Melrose B'nai Israel Emanu-El

The Little Shul with the Big Heart

8339 Old York Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027
Phone: 215-635-1505 | Email:

Welcome to Melrose B'nai Israel Emanu-El


Melrose B’nai Israel Emanu-El is the small, haimish, traditional, egalitarian congregation that extends warmth and welcomes a range of diverse ideas so that people of all ages will know they are valued, participate and feel spiritually uplifted. We are a United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism (USCJ) congregation

We invite you to join our warm and welcoming community, and get to know “the Little Shul with a BIG Heart!”

Fast of Tevet – Tuesday

What's New

Shabbat Worship Times

  • Kabbalat Shabbat - Every Friday night, at 5:45 pm - early enough to get home for Shabbos dinner.
  • Mincha/Maariv/Havdalah - Every Saturday evening. The time changes with sunset times.
    Time this week:  4:15 pm

Shabbat Luncheon to Honor Edythe Kaplan

Saturday, December 29 - Services 9:15am

     Today we honor Edythe Kaplan, a congregant who was critical to the establishment and growth of MBIEE.  A three-time President of our Shul (1987-90, 1999-2001, 2001–03), Edythe has contributed to every aspect of MBIEE life.  A festive luncheon after services will be dedicated to Edythe.  All are invited, but reservations are suggested: (215-635-1505) or


MBIEE New Members
So far, we welcomed 20 new members to our Shul this year
49 in past two years
We are growing!

The Shofar

The November (Hanukkah) issue of the MBIEE newsletter, The Shofar, has been mailed to congregants.  You can also pick up a copy from the table in our lobby. Look for full coverage of our 60+ Anniversary Celebration Holiday, completed with photographs; also, you'll find the Shul calendar, recipes, and a new mini-quiz.  All previous issues are available for reading or downloading on this web site:

Current and Past Issues of Shofar

Active Listening Devices Available

Active Listening Devices have been installed and are ready for use in our sanctuary.  You may reserve one by calling the office (215-635-1505) or contacting Fran Sion ( or Sandy Pinsly (  The upgrading of the sound system of our sanctuary is now complete with the recent installation of speakers in the rear of the room.  Everyone should now be able to hear clearly from any section of the room.









MBIEE Privacy Statement

Candle Lighting Times and Readings

Support our Minyan

Fran Sion Receives LES Award

Melrose B’nai Israel Emanu-El congregant Fran Sion has been named the 2018 recipient of MBIEE’s LES award.  The award, named for Leonard Cohen, Edythe Kaplan and Shirley Cohen, recognizes devoted service to the shul.  “Leonard, Edythe and Shirley worked very hard in every facet of the shul’s operations,” say MBIEE Rabbi Charles Sherman. “All three served as president of the shul. We were would not be here today without the help and loving care they have given. They went above and beyond.”

Fran was recognized for her work as co-chair of MBIEE’s Inclusion Committee, and for her overall dedication to MBIEE. She currently serves as vice-president. “When something needs to be done – what we hear is, ‘Why don’t we call Fran,’” says MBIEE President Ron Goldman. “She is that kind of person. We value her wisdom, her time, and her dedication to the synagogue.”

Fran first became involved in the inclusion effort when Laurie Goldfarb, then vice-president, asked her to help write a grant application geared towards increasing accessibility at MBIEE. MBIEE was one of 18 synagogues in the country awarded the grant, which was sponsored by the Ruderman Family Foundation.

The committee began with conducting a survey, Fran explained. “We were committed to make changes that would fully allow people with disabilities to participate in the Torah service,” she said. Early efforts included increasing accessible parking, improving the sound system, and working towards accommodating food sensibilities for our community.  The committee commissioned an artist to create an accessible Torah table for the sanctuary.  Fran expressed gratitude to her fellow committee members and co-chair, Honey Zazoff, as well as generous benefactors, who made the project possible.

Fran was a teacher in the Philadelphia schools for 31 years and went on to develop a reading program at Johns Hopkins University. She and her husband Bob joined MBIEE some 12 years ago. “Right away, I was impressed with the warmth of the congregants,” she says. Once retired, and thus no longer traveling for work, she looked forward to becoming more involved. “I felt this was something I could commit myself to,” she says.

“The congregation has embraced inclusion,” Fran says. “It’s been a learning experience, a rewarding experience, and it is an ongoing one.”

Ernie Gross Tells His Story at Duke University

     MBIEE congregant, Ernie Gross, was on the road this Yom Ha Shoah to tell his amazing story to a large audience at Duke University.  An interview with Ernie and one of the American soldiers who liberated him from Dachau was recorded by television station WRAL and can be viewed at Ernie Gross at Duke.  The interview included Don Greenbaum, an American GI whose unit freed Ernie and his fellow inmates just before they were scheduled to be murdered by the Nazis. 

For the past ten years, the Holocaust survivor and American liberator have traveled, sharing their story. They say there is a message they want people to take away from it: “You have to be nice to each other, everybody counts. We all come from the same source, so we have to try to get along and make a better world.”