What is Minyan?
Small groups, shared affinities, with the purpose of connection
How it Works
The goal of a Minyan is to help each and every person in our community to feel needed, necessary, and a part of something sacred, and we believe such community must begin in small units of connectedness.
Minyanim are loosely organized around shared affinities like an interest in food, culture or history. However, the primary purpose of each minyan is create meaningful interaction and connection among participants.
Minyanim meet on a regular basis (usually once per month). You’ll be able to provide your input on the group that works best for your schedule when you sign up.
Here are our groups-at-a-glance. Please follow below to sign up and see more details on our Minyan offerings!
|Writing as Reflection||This Minyan will use writing, ours and others, to explore our relationship with various texts and ourselves. How does the act of writing help us connect to our conscious and unconscious thoughts? How does writing raise questions that challenges our thinking and our sense of the world? Members of the Minyan will suggest texts (books, articles, movies, art) for us to explore.||Monthly, Tuesdays at 7:00 pm|
|What the Heck, God?!: The Book of Job||The Book of Job has baffled and inspired readers for millennia as it asks the age-old question: why do bad things happen to good people? In the What the Heck, God?! minyan we’ll discuss different interpretations of the Job narrative from our own and other faith traditions. Job raises universal topics that we’ll explore together through the lens of the text: suffering, grief, abandonment, and God making inexplicable decisions. What—if anything—does Job have to teach us today? Why is the Book of Job included among our holy texts? Who and what is Satan in the Book of Job—and who and what is God?
For new members, 20s/30s, and single congregants of all ages
|Bi-Weekly, Wednesdays from 7:00 – 8:30 pm
|Understanding the Other America||According to the Talmud the House of Hillel and the House of Shammai disputed hundreds of issues. The House of Hillel is considered the greater because it not only taught the viewpoints of the House of Shammai but it taught them before teaching its own interpretations. From this we learn the importance of understanding the other’s perspective. Roughly half our fellow citizens support President Trump. The purpose of this minyan is to explore the reasons for this. To be clear, we will neither be deploring nor extolling the administration’s policies. Rather we will be seeking to respectfully understand better the lives and concerns of Americans who, in general, do not live in the coastal bubbles.The focus will be sociological rather than political.There is no pre-set methodology. It is anticipated that will be among the first things the minyan will tackle.||Monthly, Tuesdays at 7:00 pm
|Culture Club||In a city teeming with every ethnicity and identity, we are blessed with a vibrant Jewish culture that emerges around every corner. Join us as this Minyan explores sites old and new, experiencing them with fresh faces and inquisitive minds. This group will meet once a month, October through June for a minimum of 4 hours per event. Such events to consist of theatre, walking tours, museums, cooking class, meals, etc. Many of these events involve much walking.
Participants must be flexible and committed. This is not a drop in/drop out group. We expect you to turn up at every event. All fees to be paid by each of us.
|Dependent on event but once a month.|
|Mindfulness Meditation as Prayer||Distraction is all around us, there is noise without and within. The rise of mindfulness speaks to the same spiritual truths found in nearly every religious tradition – how do we create space for gratitude, how can we cultivate stillness, how can we find compassion and a sense of center? This minyan is intended for the mindfully-curious and those wanting to create a mindfulness practice. We will explore, practice, and support one another.||Monthly, Sunday Mornings|
|“Jewish Lives” Biographies||“Jewish Lives” is a prizewinning series of biographies published by Yale University Press. Each book is written by a well-known scholar and highlights the life and impact of an important Jewish figure in fields such as literature, religion, philosophy, politics, cultural and economic life, and the arts and sciences. Our minyan will select one book from this series each month to read and discuss as a group.||Monthly, Sundays from 10:00 – 11:30 am
|Documentaries: Exploring the Medium and the Message||Documentary discussion, cinema connection, film friendship. This group will view documentaries in advance of the group’s gatherings and discuss the medium and message of each film during the meetings. We expect the topics to evolve to reflect the interests of the members of the group.||Monthly, Sundays at 4:00 – 5:30 pm
|NYC Adventures!||Each month we will take a quick trip to another part of NYC and get out of our UWS bubble! All adventures will take into account school drop off and pick up. We’re thinking museums, boats, exotic foods and maybe some good old fashion touristing!
For RSS Parents
|Every 5th Wednesday at 11:00 am|
|Community as Family||Community as Family (CAF) is a group of synagogue members aged approximately 50 and up (singles and couples) who have no children to help with needs as we grow older. Members may anticipate — or who are already experiencing — the challenges and needs of growing older without family to rely upon for practical and emotional support. The group is an empowerment group (as opposed to support group). As a group we educate ourselves and each other regarding resources available to us, and positive actions we need to take in order to ensure our needs are taken care of and our lives are enriched.
For Age 50+, singles or couples without children
|Monthly, Tuesdays at 6:30 pm
|The Rebirth of Populism
From McCarthy to the Present in Documentaries
|By watching and analyzing a series of documentaries, this Minyan hopes to study the rebirth of populism/nationalism/anti-Semitism from McCarthy up to the present day. There will be a chosen documentary which the group will view before each Minyan meeting and then discuss.||Monthly, Mondays at 6:30 pm
|Minyan? It’s Walk in the Park!||Do you love to get outside for a walk in one of our beautiful NYC parks in all kinds of weather? This group will gather for a weekday coffee break/walk. We will ask big questions, engage with the weekly Torah portion and share our reflections. There will be time for gathering as a full group to share, time for walking side-by-side with alternating partners and also time for silent reflection and nature appreciation. (Distance covered will be around 2.5 miles).
For Backpack Buddies volunteers who walk plus other CRS walkers who are free Wednesday mornings!
|Monthly, Wednesday Mornings
|Niggun Minyan: The Power of Voice||How do we connect to the still small voice within? In this Minyan we will begin with a simple reading of the weekly Torah Portion, but not discuss it initially. This will be followed by a guided Jewish meditation and a Niggun — a wordless melody — then transition into prayer by adding words to the melody. A conversation about the weekly Torah portion follows with a focus on how it is relevant to our lives today rather than an intellectual discussion. One need not have a singing voice or knowledge of meditation and Hebrew to participate. Just a mind that needs stillness and a heart that yearns to open.||Monthly, Wednesdays at 7:00 pm
|Reinventing Ritual||Explore the mikveh your way, lay Tefillin , celebrate Rosh Chodesh, have Shabbat dinner, bake your own challah.
Have you ever wanted to try a Jewish ritual but didn’t know where to begin?
We will explore the many possibilities and, together, we’ll create our own unique approach to Jewish rituals. Maybe these rituals are just for you and maybe they are to share with your whole family. The rituals will be chosen by the group and there are no boundaries to what we will explore.
|Monthly, Wednesdays at 9:30am
|Finding Joy in Prayer, Meditation & Song||We begin with 1/2 hour of nosh & conversation before the meeting begins. We studying the weekly Torah portion & each person takes a turn running the Torah portion & hosting. We also use a calming meditation to calm & center ourselves. We end on a joyful note with different songs each month.||Monthly, Thursdays at 6:30 pm
|Repair the World Through Social Action||We’ll create a community interested in furthering social justice. Activities will include letter writing to elected officials to advocate on issues of importance, supporting the Muslim community by standing outside houses of worship with other Jewish volunteers and writing letters to asylum seekers being detained in the NYC area.||Monthly, Depending on the composition of the group, we’ll select a combination of weekday and weeknight meeting times, to accommodate everyone’s schedules.|
|HGN- Havdalah Game Night||Whether attending Havdalah Unplugged Services at CRS (with game nights afterwards) and alternately enjoying different fun and relaxing venues in the city- making new friendships and connections||Monthly, Saturdays at 6:00 pm
|Rodeph Running Club||Fitness, fun, and friendship. We will gather once a month to connect and run together, exploring various areas of the Upper West Side as we raise both conversation and our heartrate! This is for both those who lightly dabble in running and those who do so regularly.||Monthly, Sunday Mornings|
|So You Want to be a Producer!||This Minyan will oversee the production and community aspects of the Rodeph Sholom Theater Company. We will plan for the Spring 2020 show and create community in the process.||TBD|
|Modern Lessons from the Wisdom & Stories of Biblical Women||Matriarchs, Female Biblical figures, Modern day (s)heroes. What can we learn from women of the past? What insights do they have for us as mothers, daughters, wives and friends today? The stories of our biblical foremothers are brief and elliptical yet rich with meaning. Join this breakfast Minyan centered on these uplifting role models and how their trials, tribulations, and triumphs are more relevant than ever for women today.
|Monthly, Wednesdays 8:30 am
|An Hour of Art – Art Lovers Minyan||We will come together to discuss meaning in art in the world around us. From current museum or gallery shows, occasional guest curators, artists, collectors, and educators, we will create connection in conversation. Share a favorite bottle of wine and end with 10 minutes of wit and wisdom from Pirket Avot- Inspirational Torah teachings.||Monthly, Mondays from 7:00 – 9:00pm
|Evolution of Rock Music: 1950s to Today||According to an essay posted on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website, “rock and roll” were code words for sexual intercourse in blues songs, and these words first appeared on a record in 1922. The roots of what we call rock music today emerged in the early 1950s. At each gathering we will discuss rock music of a particular decade, beginning with the 1950s and ending with the 2010s. The subject is enormous and the specifics will be developed with the input of the group. We will have fun, listen to some music, and watch some YouTube videos of performances.||Monthly, Tuesdays from 7:30-9:00 pm
|Breaking Bread and Binah||Join us, as we meet to discuss issues important to the millennial generation and topics that directly affect us as couples. Meetings will alternate each month between attending Friday night services at Rodeph Sholom followed by a meal at a local restaurant and Shabbat dinners in our homes. This group is for millennial couples in long-term relationships, currently with or without infants and toddlers. For restaurant gatherings, couples should be prepared to spend $50/couple. For home dinners, $20/couple.
For millennial couples in committed, long-term relationships, currently with or without newborn babies.
|Monthly, Fridays from 6:30 – 8:15pm
|Bringing Purpose to the Party||How do we as parents make the B’nai Mitzvah experience truly meaningful in a city where materialistic expectations run high? This Minyan is for current 6th and 7th grade RSS and Religious School parents who may be struggling with how to create a poignant Jewish experience for their children when so often the actual celebration becomes more about DJs and Swag Bags. Parents will discuss both their ideas for creating a meaningful event as well as some of the obstacles they face. At each meeting parents will explore different dilemmas such as issues of expense, competition among tweens to throw the best, biggest, and most fun-filled party, kids who don’t (yet) feel connected to Judaism, struggles with who to invite, and any other issue we raise together.||Monthly, Wednesdays at 7:00pm
How do I sign up?
You must be a member of Congregation Rodeph Sholom to join. When registration opens, you will be asked to offer your top two choices of Minyanim, and please make sure you are able to attend all of the listed meeting dates and times for them. If you need any assistance, email email@example.com.
When I submit my desired Minyan(im) requests, am I guaranteed a spot in one of them?
We will do everything we can to ensure you get one of your top two choices. We will be placing people on a first-come-first-serve basis and will notify you about your Minyan within 48 hours of your request.
What if the Minyan I’m interested in is already full?
Minyan is based around small-group belonging which means limiting the size of each group. If your requested Minyanim are all full we will prioritize your placement into another available Minyan, or welcome you to be trained to ignite your own Minyan.
What if I can only make some of the meeting times of a Minyan?
The purpose of Minyan is connection which depends on the consistency of shared time and space. While we recognize that life and the world sometimes present unexpected conflicts, please only request to join a Minyan whose meeting dates and times all work in your schedule.
What if I want to start my own Minyan?
Wonderful! Please contact your clergy at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will explore this together!