The Lechu Neranana Synagogue - The Carlebach Minyan in Givat Shmuel

The Lechu Neranana Synagogue is a dynamic and growing kehila (community) located in Givat Shmuel, in close proximity to Bar-Ilan University. The community is comprised of an enthusiastic nucleus of families and is constantly growing from week to week. Members include Israeli born sabras as well as olim from numerous countries, such as the U.S., Great Britain, France, Australia, Belgium, Venezuela, and Russia, amongst others.

Our synagogue offers a unique setting for conducting tefilot (prayer services) in an atmosphere of simcha (joy and happiness). This is largely achieved by the incorporation of the tunes and nusach of the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach throughout the tefilot (Friday night-kabbalat shabbat services, Shabbat morning prayers, festival and high-holidays). Rabbi Carlebach was not only a famed musician and singer but was a torah scholar and spiritual counselor to thousands the world over. It is not only the wonderful tunes of Rabbi Carlebach that are infused throughout the services but also we have caused a revival of tunes of various chassidic sects that were almost lost due to the holocaust. The prayer services serve as a spiritual uplifting to all those attending, children, teenagers and adults alike. We attract every shabbat large crowds of students from nearby Bar-Ilan University and try to be a home away from home for many of them (in particular those studying from abroad). We have much gratification by our ability to especially involve children from the youngest possible ages in the prayer services. The synagogue has gained wide recognition all over Israel. Just recently Cantor Hainovitz from Jerusalem’s prominent Yehsurun Synagogue sought an invitation for himself to be invited to our community to experience a Shabbat with us in Givat Shmuel.

We are well aware of the ever-growing rift between the observant and non-observant in today’s Israeli society. Unfortunately, many Israeli’s feel a great alienation to religion and have attended services at the most only a handful of times. We strive to create an atmosphere that will attract the non-observant Israeli and allow them to be comfortable in the synagogue. By doing so we may be able to fill this void in modern day Israel. We feel that a community of families who are involved in every aspect of Israeli life be it in hospital, universities, the army or business, yet devoted to orthodoxy with joy and warmth, is best suited to bridge the gap. The prayer services conducted in the spirit of the late Rabbi Carlebach have created a special davening experience drawing congregants from near and far. We have in addition, over the course of the past years, hosted over several dozen of leading rabbis as scholars- in -residence for an entire shabbat. Just recently we have hosted the former Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Lau as well as the current chaplain of the Israel Defense Forces, Rabbi Weiss. The current Chief Rabbis, the Rishon Letzion Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Rabbi Yona Metzger has also been guests in our community. They are all enthusiastic about our project and remain in close contact with us. Over the course of these weekends community wide informal and formal lectures and discussion are held. Once again, we believe these to be of vital importance in today’s society.

As our community has become well know for it’s hospitality and for being a model for enthusiasm in its prayer services just recently, upon the request of the Jewish Agency, we hosted a group of male and female soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces. These soldiers, mostly new immigrants from the former Soviet Union, were participants in a special introductory course to Judaism. Needles to say, the soldiers enjoyed there stay in our community and reported back to the IDF with renewed enthusiasm.

Where are we located?

Our synagogue was founded in the summer of 1997 in a small-borrowed trailer on the premises of the local elementary school in Givat Shmuel. We have greatly out- grown the trailer’s capacity. On a typical Shabbat we draw an overflowing crowd of 350-400 men, women and children. On the holidays we are unable to accommodate all those who wish to join us.

Why are we unique?

We believe that the combination of religious Zionism and modern orthodoxy along with the warmth and love as exemplified through the songs, prayers, and teaching of the late Rabbi Carlebach will enable us to strengthen commitment to Judaism amongst both observant and non-observant. We serve as a community center for recent olim (immigrants), students, soldiers and youth from all the surrounding areas. As a community strongly committed to both the state of Israel and the torah and well integrated in every aspect of modern day Israeli life we feel that we are best suited if anybody to achieve this goal and consider it a mission of utmost importance.

Our goals:

Due to the uniqueness of our project the local mayor and municipality of Givat Shmuel have allotted us a centrally located plot of land. Our goal is to successfully complete the construction of a suitable building that will house our synagogue and community center.

We are thus seeking funding assistance for the project.

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