Congregation Emanu-El Israel (CEI) is the center of Jewish activities in central Westmoreland County. CEI is affiliated with the Reform movement under the umbrella of the Union for Reform Judaism whose goals are to strengthen communities that transform the way people connect to Jewish life and to build a more whole, just, and compassionate world. CEI adopts the following goals of the URJ. To practice ‘Audacious Hospitality’, ‘Repairing the World’ and to ‘Invest in the Jewish Future’. However, members familiar with either a Reform or Conservative tradition will find a friendly, comfortable feeling in our Congregation. CEI is the ideal place to renew or strengthen ties with your Jewish identification. CEI supports the traditional family, the non-traditional family and Jewish singles.
CEI is a house of worship. It has been part of the history of Central Westmoreland County for 125 years. Religious services are held on the Sabbath and all major Jewish holidays. The Sabbath is celebrated on Friday evening with a Reform oriented service. At the Friday evening Sabbath services, all are welcomed with singing both in Hebrew and in English. Members of the Congregation, as well as students from our Religious School assist our Rabbi in conducting these services.
Sabbath services are also the forum for sharing with friends and family, those important life cycle events including weddings, baby naming, Bar or Bat Mitzvah and remembering our loved ones. For families with smaller children, Tot Shabbat services are held several times during the school year. In addition to High Holiday services, all other major holidays are celebrated, including a Purim celebration.
Religious activities are conducted by our rabbi, Rabbi Stacy Petersohn who joined CEI in the summer of 2017.
Cultural and Social
To continually enrich our lives in the tradition of our ancestors, CEI has on active calendar of cultural events. These have included events sponsored by The Festival of the Jewish Arts Committee with programs, such as chamber music, Jewish film showings, Israeli dance, and nationally known speakers. The Sisterhood sponsors Food Fairs and a Chanukah dinner.
CEI, above all, is a warm welcoming group of individuals and families like you who want to be part of a larger Jewish community. We have an active Sisterhood that sponsors a full range of social, educational and fundraising activities. We also have an active Men’s Club.
The Congregation sponsored an annual community-wide events known as ‘The Taste of Westmoreland’ that is renown throughout Westmoreland County.
Congregation Emanu-El Israel Board of Directors
Rabbi: Rabbi Stacy Petersohn
Rabbi Emerita: Sara R. Perman
President: Richard Virshup
Vice President: Daniel Reiter
Secretary: Virginia Lieberman
Treasurer: Julie Goldstein
Mary Ellen Kane