The word “WE” is at the heart of West End Temple. We strive to successfully combine the ritual and the spiritual within our unique seaside community located in Queens County, New York. Our goals, among others, are to perpetuate the cause of liberal Judaism and to deepen and promote the worship of God so that our present and future generations can be inspired by the love and teachings of our faith. We endeavor to provide a spiritually-enriching environment for both our current members as well as for those who are seeking a temple to call home.
West End Temple-Sinai Congregation was founded in the summer of 1939. Our first High Holy Day services were held that September and were led by Rabbi Emanuel Schenk.
In those first years, services were held in the old Seville Hotel on Rockaway Beach Boulevard and, later, in the upstairs room in the Park Theatre on Beach 116 Street. The temple’s current location was once a property known as the Mandel Mansion, which the congregation purchased at auction in the late 1940’s. As the congregation increased in number, it outgrew the Mansion. The building that stands today was constructed in 1954.
For over 50 years, our temple was led by Rabbi Joseph Weiss and served as the central address for liberal Jewish life, learning and observance on the Rockaway Peninsula. Currently, our congregation is presently led by Rabbi Marjorie Slome.
West End Temple is affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism which represents more than 900 congregations in North America Reform Judaism has enabled the Jewish people to introduce innovation while preserving tradition, embrace diversity while asserting commonality, affirm beliefs without rejecting those who doubt, and has brought faith to sacred texts without sacrificing critical scholarship.
For over 75years, we have been a vital and valued institution in the Rockaway community. West End Temple has and continues to educate both the young and old about Jewish history, culture, and living. We have a time-honored commitment to interfaith dialogue and activities on the peninsula. We commit our time and resources to the promotion of social justice and Jewish learning and we are honored to be a trusted source to countless families when they select our nursery school as the learning and loving environment they want for their children.
Rabbi Marjorie Slome
Rabbi Marjorie Slome was ordained in 1987 at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York City. In the 27 years since her ordination, Rabbi Slome has served as interim Rabbi at Pittsburgh’s Temple Sinai, Rabbi/Educator at Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, and has directed numerous programs for the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services in New York City. In addition, she has worked for the Union for Reform Judaism and the Jewish Campus Activities Board in Philadelphia.
Rabbi Slome has also served as co-chairperson of the Women’s Rabbinic Network, President of the Brooklyn Association of Reform Rabbis, and Chairperson of the Women’s Rabbinic Alliance while at HUC-JIR.
She holds a Master in Social Work from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and Community Planning, and a BA from the University of Cincinnati.
Rabbi Slome is married to Kenneth S. Stern, an attorney and author. They have two children, Emily and Daniel and the family lives in Brooklyn.
Sherry Bernstein has been the Director of the West End Temple Nursery School for more than 26 years.
Born in Manhattan and raised in the Rockaways, Sherry has devoted her entire adult life to nurturing, educating and motivating pre-schoolers in our community. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Long Island University and a Master in Early Childhood Education from Hofstra University.
Sherry began her teaching career as a kindergarten teacher at P.S. 114 over 35 years ago. In 2001, she was responsible for bringing NYC Universal Pre-Kindergarten to West End Temple and, in 2004, she was given the Educator of the Year Award by Trinity Services of New York.
Through Sherry’s efforts and hard work, West End Temple’s nursery school has become the preeminent nursery school in the Rockaways. Her caring and loving attitude, her attention to detail, and her deep commitment to children have contributed to the success and good reputation of West End Temple Nursery School.
Sherry and her husband, Mark, live in Belle Harbor. They have two children, Samantha and Joshua. .
Stuart Rauch, Music Director
tuart retired as Director of Fine and Performing Arts for the Oyster Bay-East Norwich School District on Long Island in 2005 after 34½ years of inspiring the youth of NYC and L.I. He began his career as a music teacher at Far Rockaway High School where he also directed the shows. Between Far Rockaway High School and Oyster Bay he served as Assistant Principal Supervising Music and Art at Francis Lewis High School.
During his career, Stuart served as the first president of the Music Educators Association of NYC and president of both Nassau County and New York State Council of Administrators of Music Education. In addition to his activities in the temple, Stuart currently is Executive Assistant for the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA), Music Director of the First Presbyterian Church of Far Rockaway, a consultant to the NYC Department of Education and Government Relations Chairperson for Nassau Music Educators’ Association.
Stuart and his wife Rena married in the Temple. Rena is a Clinical Social Worker with Peninsula Counseling Center and also has a private practice. They have two children, Meredith and Benjamin, and two grandchildren Hannah and Jared.
Jennifer Rueben is a third-year cantorial student at HUC-JIR’s Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music and serves as West End Temple’s student cantor. Prior to 2013, which she spent in Israel, Jennifer spent seven years as a cantorial soloist at Temple Israel of Greater Miami and at various other synagogues in South Florida. She received certification in Jewish chaplaincy from the Greater Miami Jewish Federation’s Refuat HaNefesh program, through which she served as a chaplain at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Jennifer graduated with a degree in opera performance from the University of Florida. She worked as a professional singer and ran a voice studio in Miami.