1545 Bushkill Street
Easton, PA 18042
Phone: (610) 258-5343
Fax: (610) 330-9100
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Service Schedule

Thursday, 7:25 am
Minyan

Friday, 8:00 pm
Shabbat Evening Services

Saturday, 9:30 am
Shabbat Morning Services

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Donate to Bnai Abraham

Your contribution helps support a wide range of BAS programs and activities that strengthen both our congregation and the larger community.
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Celebrate at
Bnai Abraham

Jewish WeddingFrom weddings and Bar/Bat Mitzvahs to business functions and lectures, our facility is a great setting and location for your special occasion.
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BAS Office Hours

Synagogue office is closed on Mondays and Fridays. Hours open: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Bulletin Distribution

We are going green and
encourage bulletin distribution through email. We will also communicate emer-gencies and special events through email.
If you have not sent your email address to Bnai Abraham office staff, please submit it now.

If you would like family members or others to receive a copy of the bulletin, please send name, address, and $15 payment to Elaine at Bnai Abraham.

Religious School

BAS Religious School welcomes all children ages 1-8th grade to enrolll in 2009-2010 program. Everyone is welcome.
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BAS Rabbi's Message

Rabbi's Message Archive

August, 2013

In a recent New York Times, Jennifer Schuessler observed that historians have not paid significant attention to the development of main line Protestant denominations during the 20th century. She argues that many values that inform the American left find their roots in main line churches in the 1950s and 1960s. It is worth noting that the Conservative Movement in Judaism aligned closely with the values of these churches; in fact, as Schuessler observes, the decline in affiliation among main line denominations (and by extension, the Conservative and, to some degree, Reform movements) finds its roots in their very values. What were they, and how can we learn from them to strengthen our community?

This coming year marks the 125th anniversary of Bnai Abraham Synagogue and 50 years since the construction of our current building. Over that time, our history has closely paralleled the larger developments in American Judaism. Our founding as an Orthodox synagogue in the 19th century is a direct result of the large number of Jews who emigrated from Eastern Europe following the assignation of Alexander II, the Russian Czar. The founders of Bnai Abraham were culturally and religiously different than the Jews they discovered living in Easton. The founders of Temple Covenant of Peace were, by and large, German Jews; in fact, the records at Temple Covenant of Peace were kept in German until the end of the nineteenth century.

As Jewish immigration ballooned during the early twentieth century, Bnai Abraham grew to accommodate a growing population. At the same time, second and third generation American Jews began to emerge as a growing demographic within both the larger North American community and here in Easton. Many young men from this demographic fought in the Second World War; when they returned from their service and began their families, they were seeking something different in their religious life.

By the 1950s, a distinct pattern was emerging in American society. Religion—particularly main line denominations—was seen as a kind of American response to Communism; we were a nation under God. That God, however, was not particular. The religious values of the day, especially espoused in the Northeast, were of openness and tolerance. The civil rights movement and later the campaign against the war in Vietnam found strong allies in churches and synagogues.

In Schuessler’s blog, she notes that the very values that defined these movements worked against them—if ecumenicalism and pluralism were fundamental to religion, why belong to a church (or synagogue) at all? At the same time, the ideals that these organizations espoused have permeated American society. Schuessler cites historian David Hollinger’s assertion “that the main line won a broader cultural victory that historians have underestimated. Liberals, he maintains, may have lost Protestantism, but they won the country, establishing ecumenicalism, cosmopolitanism and tolerance as the dominant American creed.”

If this is the case, where do we go from here? I’d love to hear your responses and respond to them in a coming article. Please share your thoughts!

Best wishes for a meaningful month,

Rabbi Stein