Woodbourne Shul Winds Down Summer 5778


The summer vacation season is winding down, but tefilos continue full force at the historic Woodbourne Shul on Route 52. It was another whirlwind summer of constant coming and going as the shul serviced the tens of thousands of heimishe vacationers who retreated to the pleasant atmosphere of the Catskills for a bit of relaxation.

The dormant shul was revived in 2010 by Rabbi Mordechai Jungreis shlit”a, beloved Niklesburg Rebbe, who saw it as the perfect to accommodate the needs of the seasonal frum community. It is flourishing ever since, with each summer bringing ever greater numbers of visitors who drop by to catch a tefilah, refreshment and a warm bracha from the Rebbe.

The Rebbe’s devotion to the shul is legendary. He was there every morning this summer to unlock the doors at 5:30 AM. He spent virtually every minute of every day overseeing the bustling minyanim and making sure everyone has all their needs provided. Doors never locked before 2 AM, or so, after which the Rebbe drove the non-Jewish janitor to his home in Monticello, a drive of 20 minutes each way. Then he caught at most two hours of sleep before returning to prepare the shul for yet another day of activities.

Over the past few years the shul has seen attendance grow steadily, with total numbers in the upper ten thousands in recent years. Yet this summer the shul saw hundreds of new faces each day. How many times did the Jungreis family hear people step into the shul and ask in amazement, “Wow—is today visiting day?!” Thousands of dollars were spent each day to provide the coffee and light refreshments, not to mention the highlight of the week: hot chulent and kugel that are served to the delighted crowds every Thursday night.

In one of Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Weiss’ weekly Thursday evening shiurim at the Woodbourne shul – another tradition that developed here in recent years – he stressed that “People should learn from Rabbi Jungreis’ example that this world is all about giving, and more giving and more giving!”

The proudest aspect of the shul’s operation is its tradition of complete openness to all. This motto is prominently displayed on a large sign outside the shul, but it is also reflected on all of the faces that enter. Here all walks of Klal Yisrael mingle comfortably; there is no hint of the machlokes and divisiveness that sadly sometimes still finds expression in other venues.

Every day at the Woodbourne Shul is an ongoing Kidush Hashem, one that Klal Yisrael should rightfully be proud of. That there was not a single incident of disharmony or discord throughout the entire summer. It is a Kidush Hashem that has a profound impact, if only in a quiet way. Numerous people admitted to Rabbi Jungreis shlit”a and his sons that they never put on tefilin but committed to doing so daily now after experiencing the warmth and camaraderie that are the hallmark of Rabbi Jungreis and the Woodbourne Shul.

While the summer rush has died down the shul is now gearing up for the first night of Selichos, always a big draw. Selichos will take place Motzaei Shabbos at 1 AM. What better place can there be to launch the tefilos of the Yomim Noraim than the shul that brings Klal Yisrael together year after year?




  1. “Thousands of dollars were spent each day to provide the coffee and light refreshments”

    How much does coffee and light refreshments cost? Not everyone partakes in it either.

    Seems excessive.

    Get a forensic accountant on the case

  2. “Then he caught at most two hours of sleep before returning to prepare the shul for yet another day of activities.”

    How much does he sleep during the day?

    Not getting enough sleep is dangerous and against the Torah.

  3. “In one of Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Weiss’ weekly Thursday evening shiurim at the Woodbourne shul”

    Who is that? A new Rabbi?

    Is he related to Rabbi Moshe Meir Weiss from Staten Island?

  4. Your just talking from hate I don’t no the budget but there is a kolel of over 35 yingerleit every morning and they get paid weekly. Ps all summer your giving hate comments hasham should help you with some positive touts p.s. I no of plenty ppl who go there for lots of help matters.

    • It says that they spend thousands of dollars each day on coffee and light refreshments.

      Is that true or not?

      Kollel and other expenses are separate.

    • so are you personally connected? so could you enlighten people if this is a paid advertisement masquerading as news? seeing this websites fascination with this particular shul.

  5. What’s with the pictures of nashim? I thought Matzav had a srtict policy against such a mehaliech unless they were from a very wealthy mishpacha?

    • umm.. matzav has a policy of women are allowed if dressed tznios. which has been the “minhag” of jewish papers like the Jewish Observer historically. I imagine you would be aghast that it used to be the norm to see women in jewish papers. that was before it became taboo. tell me what is untzniyos of a picture of a women dressed tsniyosly? because they are a woman? it is you who are separating from the traditional stance just remember that! go look at the Jewisg Observers archives on the Agudah website.

  6. Have you people been there and seen what goes on?
    This is a rav who has concern for all.
    Last year my wife gave me a list of girls to ask him for a bracha for a shidduch.
    He took the list and taped it to the davening amud so that people should daven for them.
    The Woodburne shul building has been around for a very long time, as is the same for many shuls in the Catskills.

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