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: The Little Shul with a BIG Heart!

Sisterhood News
Don’t fall this fall!
Sunday, September 11, 10AM-12PM
Presented by MBIEE Sisterhood
All welcome, no charge
Therapists from TRY (Therapy Restoring You)
will give tips on fall prevention.
Light brunch will be served.
Hope to see many of you in person after these two trying years!
RSVP Helene at

Rabbi On The Sidelines

New Series on JBS Sundays at 7pm

Verizon 798, xFinity 1684, DIRECTTV 388

or watch LIVE on

JBS and Sinai Temple in Los Angeles are thrilled to announce the JBS program of "Rabbi on the Sidelines," a faith and sports conversation series hosted by Rabbi Erez Sherman.

New hour-long episodes will premiere every Sunday at 7pm, with encore airings throughout each week.

Rabbi Erez Sherman serves Sinai Temple, in Los Angeles, where he has created innovative programming and engagement opportunities for the Jewish community and beyond.

A strong advocate for the State of Israel, he has served as an AIPAC Rabbinic mentor. In the world of sports and faith, Rabbi Sherman created Sinai Temple Basketball Camp in 2014, allowing hundreds of campers to combine their passions for Judaism and sports at the highest level. Rabbi Sherman also works actively with the special needs community, creating inclusive experiences for those most vulnerable. As an author, he has been published in The Forward, The Jewish Journal, and The Jewish Exponent.

Rabbi Sherman began combining his passion for Jewish life with his passion for sports through the talk-show format during the pandemic. A year later, "Rabbi on the Sidelines" boasts an incredible lineup of the most well known coaches, athletes, owners and broadcasters sharing stories of faith, hope, and inspiration. "Rabbi on the Sidelines" consistently emphasizes how faith and sports represent a true intersection of the American Jewish experience.

JBS President Mark S. Golub says of the new series: We are so excited to be adding "Rabbi on the Sidelines" to our roster of programming on JBS. On top of very much admiring the community of Sinai Temple, nurtured by Rabbi David Wolpe and Rabbi Erez Sherman, I also have great and longstanding affection for Rabbi Charles Sherman, Erez's father. We had a most wonderful and memorable conversation for L'Chayim that I reflect on to this day and am very grateful for. 

And on a separate personal note, after all things Jewish, and of course theater, my other passion in life is baseball and sports in general. So I'm thrilled to be bringing our audience a series that connects a love of sports with a love of Jewish ideas and themes.


It's always the right time to buy your wine needs.

The Mitzvah Food Pantry is gratefully accepting donations of kosher non-perishable food or food gift cards of any denomination to local grocery stores. Please drop off your food in the box in our synagogue lobby. For gift card donations, please place them in a sealed envelope labeled “Food Pantry” and leave them in the synagogue office. Email Carol Weinbaum or call the synagogue office for more information.


every weekday morning at 8 am, and Sundays at 9am
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Candle Lighting Times and Readings

Upcoming Events

10 Aug
10 Aug 22
11 Aug
11 Aug 22
12 Aug
12 Aug 22
13 Aug
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14 Aug 22
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31 Aug 22
01 Sep
1 Sep 22
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2 Sep 22
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3 Sep 22
03 Sep

President's Corner



President’s Remarks for Congregational Meeting         

May 18, 2022

Shelley Schwartz, President

Welcome Everyone to the 2022 Congregational Meeting. I hope by now everyone knows who I am... but just in case we have visitors, I’m Shelley Schwartz, the President of the Congregation. And… I call this meeting to order.

The coming year is a very pivotal one for me. My professional license expires and I have to make a choice. Do I go to the significant trouble of renewing it? Or do I acquiesce and make it inactive thus unequivocally entering full retired status. Those of you senior to me in the Congregation, I am sure, are smiling—remembering when you had to make that same decision.

We spend so many years doing what we love, spending countless hours during the week at that 2nd home… never really believing that day will come when we walk out of those doors that very last time.

No one likes change. We’re comfortable with the continuity. We’re more than happy to let the other guy do the work so long as we can call ourselves part of the organization.

But the reality is, that over the course of time, things do change. And we all know that eventually, if we don’t do our fair share, we’ll be out one way or another… one by our own choice… or one by the organization either by getting fired, or because no one’s doing their fair share and the doors get shuttered. The concept of change in any organization realizes itself in making crucial decisions: shall I go? Or shall I be part of the expansion of new ideas brought on by new management?

Believe it or not… we have the same motivators at work here at MBIEE. As we have many relatively new members to the Congregation, I think it’s important to understand our history. We moved from our home of more than 50 years at 2nd and Cheltenham for economic reasons some 10 years ago. A very progressive well-thoughtout plan by our leadership at the time, with the assistance of our friends from Congregation KI created a space that gave us the opportunity to maintain the semblance of, and nurture our historical Conservative underpinnings. Yes… that was 10 years ago!!! In these last 10 years, our Congregation sustained tremendous change. We changed our home. We changed Rabbis. We changed Cantors. We changed Baal Koreh. And we changed Gabbaiem. People died. People moved away. But then, many of you… including myself, found a place to pray, a place to learn Jewishly, and a place to meet people who we could identify with. And we found it at Melrose!

We have spent the last 3 of the last 10 years battling an enemy together. That enemy was, and continues to be Covid-19. The first year was actually easy in retrospect. Everyone and every thing shut down! Under the leadership of past president Fran Sion z”l, we re-created our sanctuary on-line. For the High Holydays that year, we innovatively created a quite theatrical yet warm, welcoming, and liturgically-correct Conservative Service via Facebook and YouTube. During the 2nd half of the 2nd year of Covid, we were fortunate to be able to open our doors albeit, super-cautiously to our Congregation at least to those who dared to venture from their homes because of that urge… that heartfelt need to pray at the Aron Ha Chodesh… to see the Torah in person… even though we couldn’t touch it back then….

And this last past 6 months where we have now fully opened… still with many Congregants reluctant for health-reasons to leave their homes… leaving davening to their own private space while communally sharing Melrose on-line. Other Congregants have found their happy-place turning on their computer and enjoying services over coffee at their respective breakfast tables.

But now, as the threat of Covid begins to wax and wane, we want those of you who can… those of you who are able… those of you who are vaxed and medically comfortable… to come back!

We want you in the Sanctuary. We need you in the Sanctuary. And we need your support in person and financially by supporting our programming! We want you in the sanctuary to take an Aliyah… the old-fashioned way. We want you at the kiddush tables to schmooze together after services. We want you to come to the up-coming programs and support them. And we want to see you… not just at a funeral or a shiva. Come celebrate a simcha with us! Sponsor a kiddush to share your joy with our Melrose Family! We miss you.

Aside from our spectacular Jewish Learning Series which have been unsurpassed in excellence, our in-person programming over the last year has been somewhat lacking, due
in part to the pandemic… due in part from lack of participation… but I am confident that this will change sooner rather than later.

Shavuot is coming in a few weeks on Saturday, June 4th along with a most delicious dessert reception preceding the evening of study. We hope you will come to services on Sunday morning… the first day of Shavuot and stay for our traditional Blintzes brunch.

Mid to late June, we look forward to a Sunday Brunch to honor our new Officers and thank those who have retired from our Board of Directors. July… we are in the planning stages to finally enjoy one of our famous Melrose BBQ’s … this time to recognize our Past Presidents.

And in September… we plan to host a New Members Reception to meet new members and greet old members who we haven’t seen in such a long time because of Covid. It will be a wonderful way to end the summer and greet not only our Congregational members, finally get to celebrate our 10th anniversary in our new home, but dare I say usher in the High Holydays as well.

And that’s just the beginning. But… in order for this to blossom, it will take change. It’s time to retire those bedroom slippers on Saturday mornings… it’s time to get back to the “work” of putting on our “Saturday Best” … come to shul. Be a part of the whole. Get involved again my dear Melrose Family. We are the “little shul with the big heart” that needs you here and needs your support to make us whole… and healthy.

In summation, and to bring our chat full circle, I want you to be the first to know that my decision regarding my nursing license is to put in the work and renew. Because when something is important to you… it’s worth the effort. Whether it be my paid job as a nurse, or my volunteer job as the President of this Congregation, the efforts are certainly worth the outcome.

Later in the program, I will formally introduce our newly elected Officers, but preemptively and in closing, I want to say Mazel Tov and Yasher Koach to our new Officers, and a heartfelt Todah Rabah to those officers who have retired their positions. And a special thanks to our Nominating Committee under the leadership of Mitchell Pinsly including Committee members Irv Gellman, Hannah Klapholz, Margo Kuno, and Don

And to all of you… thank you for joining us this evening as we move forward with the next portion of our meeting.

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