For immediate release

Contact: Barbara Bangser, Temple Shearith Israel, 203-438-6589



Jewish Family Congregation and Temple Shearith Israel will unite to form one synagogue

June 1, Ridgefield, CT / South Salem, NYOn Sunday, the membership of Temple Shearith Israel (TSI) and the membership of Jewish Family Congregation (JFC) authorized their respective leadership to move forward to combine the two temples into a larger, stronger and more vibrant “new” synagogue.

The two synagogues held simultaneous congregational meetings, at which members overwhelmingly voted for approval.

The union of the two synagogues will result in the formation of one of the area’s largest Reform Jewish congregations. The “new” synagogue (yet to be named) will make its home at 46 Peaceable Street in Ridgefield (the current site of TSI). Rabbi Marcus Burstein and Rabbi David Reiner will serve as co-rabbis of the consolidated congregation, and Deborah Katchko-Gray will serve as cantor. Leslie Gottlieb, who has been the education director at JFC, will be the director of the combined religious school, which will begin classes this fall at 46 Peaceable Street in Ridgefield. The synagogues had previously agreed to combine their religious schools in order to benefit from enhanced programing possibilities that are possible in a larger educational environment.

“After many months of meeting and strategizing, we are very excited to form a new, vibrant synagogue,” said Steve Landzberg, co-president of TSI. “JFC is looking forward to the exciting possibilities that will result from combining our two communities,” said Hal Wolkin, co-president of JFC.  “We will all certainly benefit from the leadership of two well-qualified and dynamic rabbis, as well as a progressive, energized religious school and new programming and social opportunities.”

For more information, contact TSI at 203-438-6589 or JFC at 914-763-3028, or visit TSI at or JFC at