Religious Practice

Rabbi Natan Margalit

Rabbi Natan Margalit


For many years, our liturgy was primarily Conservative. In recent years, our increasingly diverse community has chosen to be unaffiliated and egalitarian, yet our liturgy remains respectful of the community’s traditions. Our services are conducted in Hebrew and English by visiting rabbi Natan Margalit (see About Adas Yoshuron) and lay leader Meyer Drapkin (see “Services,” below), and there is usually transliteration for the Hebrew. We sing both modern and traditional Jewish melodies, sometimes accompanied by Rabbi Margalit’s guitar. Our prayer books (siddurim) vary, sometimes because the majority of  members on a given morning prefer “the blue book,” Siddur Hadash; but more often we pray from Siddur Eit Ratzon. Rabbi Margalit embellishes the liturgy during the service and converses with the congregation after giving a dvar Torah on Shabbat morning. Following a thought-provoking discussion in the sanctuary, the conversation often continues after Kiddush during a catered vegetarian meal after Shabbat services on Friday evening and during a delicious oneg on Shabbat morning. For information about services conducted by lay leader Meyer Drapkin, service specifics, holiday celebrations, memorial days and life-cycle events, please read on.



Our visiting rabbi, Rabbi Natan Margalit, conducts Friday-evening (Kabbalat Shabbat) and Saturday-morning (Shacharit) services once per month (see Calendar). The evening service is informal and lasts about one hour. Following the service, those who wish to may make Kiddush only, or stay on for a catered vegetarian meal (please call or email the synagogue to make a reservation: 594-4523;; the cost is $10 per person or a maximum of $35 per family) and join the rabbi in a discussion around the table downstairs. The conversation is related to the theme for Rabbi Natan’s monthly visit. Everyone is welcome to participate in the discussion and to bring their own food if they don’t wish to purchase a catered meal.

Similarly, a lively and delicious oneg is hosted by one or more members after each three-hour-long Shabbat-morning service and Kiddush conducted by Rabbi Margalit. Members and guests linger, to talk with Rabbi Margalit, discuss the parshah or catch up on the week’s news.

Every other month, one of our lay leaders, Meyer Drapkin, leads a service. His Friday-evening service is also informal and followed by Kiddush, then cookies and fruit provided by the shul. Members and guests are welcome to bring desserts as well. Meyer’s Saturday-morning service is followed by a potluck oneg (again, please see Calendar).

installation-Meyer at podium

Meyer Drapkin


Adas Yoshuron offers a full schedule of services for the High Holy Days. We celebrate Sukkhot, Simchat Torah, Chanukah, Tu B’Shvat, Pesach (Second Seder) and Shavuot,  among other Jewish holidays and memorial days (see What’s New and Calendar). See also “Memorial Days,” below.


Each year in April, Adas Yoshuron observes Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) at the synagogue in Rockland. This service is open to the mid-coast community, and all are invited to join in remembrance of the millions of people who suffered and perished in the Holocaust.

More than 12 million people, of whom 6 million were Jewish men, women and children, were lost during the Holocaust. The Adas Yoshuron community gathers to commemorate their lives and to honor their memory. The service is conducted by members of the synagogue, who share a variety of readings and prayers. Selected musical pieces are presented by the Adas Yoshuron Synagogue Choir, directed by Dr. Dana Goldsmith. Following the service, all are invited to a dessert reception. For more information, please call 594-4523 or email

Adas Yoshuron also commemorates Tisha B’Av (the Fast of the 9th of Av) each year in July or August (see What’s New and Calendar for programs). This day of mourning commemorates tragedies that have occurred on the ninth of Av, primarily the destruction of the first and second Temples.  Many Jews remember other tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people on this date.


For information about baby namings, Brit Milot, Bat and Bar Mitzvahs, weddings and funerals you wish to hold at Adas Yoshuron, see Life-Cycle Events. The synagogue has two Jewish cemeteries in the Rockland area as well as a fully trained Chevra Kadisha (Jewish burial society), which is independent from the synagogue.