Historic Kesher Israel Synagogue

Welcome to Historic Congregation Kesher Israel

Our Service Schedule

Weekday Mornings

7:00 a.m.

Shabbat Mornings

9:00 a.m.

Sunday Mornings and Federal Holidays

8:15 a.m.

About

In picturesque Society Hill, Philadelphia, stands the historic building home to Congregation Kesher Israel. Built as the city’s first Universalist Church in 1796 and converted into an Eastern European immigrant synagogue in 1889, this abiding house of prayer has seen history march past and through its doors.

Community is at the heart of everything we do at Kesher Israel. We are a multigenerational congregation of diverse backgrounds, bound by enduring connections and sustained by frequent fellowship. We invite you to visit us and share in the warmth of our cherished spiritual home.

Meet Rabbi Mitchell Romirowsky

“I look forward to meeting and working with each of you in the Historic Kesher Israel community.”

Rabbi Romirowsky has served as a rabbi in the metropolitan Philadelphia area for decades. He is an active, lifelong member of the Philadelphia Jewish community, and is one of several rabbis and Jewish community leaders in his family. He is a graduate of Columbia University, the Jewish Theological Seminary and Marriage Council of Philadelphia.

Currently, Rabbi Romirowsky lives in Merion with his wife, Sheila, and their rescue dog, Molly. They have four children and four grandchildren who have made their homes across the United States and overseas in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Meet Cantor Adam Gilbert

Cantor Adam Gilbert began his relationship with Kesher Israel in 1995, when he came to serve as High Holiday Cantor. In 2004, Adam was called to serve as Cantorial Soloist for the Jewish Community Center in Long Beach Island, NJ, which he did for 3 years. Adam returned to Kesher Israel as Chazzan in 2008 and he continues to serve our congregation with great distinction.

Adam holds a dual degree from Drexel University in Finance and Accounting and he now serves as both a Real Estate Consultant and Certified Appraiser. In addition, Adam is the Owner of B & A Appraisals.

Events

Historic Congregation Kesher Israel Speaker Series

An Evening with Mitch Albom – Saturday, November 9, 2019

Internationally renowned best-selling author and journalist Mitch Albom launched his latest book, Finding Chika, in front of 234 visitors in our large chapel at Congregation Kesher Israel on Saturday, November 9th. A favor to his good friends Lew and Nadine Cohen, Mitch hosted an inspiring night that featured a VIP reception for our sponsors as well as a moving video presentation of the book and its origins. All in attendance received a copy of Chika and Mitch entertained all and personally autographed every copy.

A long-time columnist for the Detroit Free Press, Albom is a freelance sports journalist for publications such as Sports Illustrated, GEO and The Philadelphia Inquirer. This is in addition to his lengthy career writing numerous well-known books.

His most famous book, Tuesdays with Morrie, is the chronicle of Mitch’s time spent with his beloved college professor, Morrie Schwartz. A labor of love, Mitch, a Philadelphia-area native, wrote ‘TWM’ to help pay Morrie’s medical bills. It spent four years on the New York Times Bestseller list and is the highest-selling memoir ever published. His first novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, is the most successful U.S. hardcover first adult novel ever. For One More Day debuted at No.1 on the NYTBSL and was the first book chosen by Starbucks in the newly launched Book Break Program, which helps fight illiteracy by donating one dollar from every book sold to Jumpstart. Have a Little Faith was released in September 2009 and selected by Oprah.com as the best nonfiction book of 2009. The Time Keeper and The First Phone Call from Heaven, both debuted at #1 on the NYTBSL.

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto (2015) was the first book to be published in tandem with a soundtrack of original songs and covers, released by Republic Records. Also debuting as #1 on the NYTBSL was The Next Person You Meet in Heaven, a sequel to The Five People You Meet in Heaven. His most recent book, Finding Chika, is Albom’s first nonfiction title in over a decade.

Albom wrote screenplays for his books For One More Day, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, and Have a Little Faith. Additionally, he is an established playwright, including the off-Broadway version of Tuesdays With Morrie (co-written with Jeffrey Hatcher) which has seen more than 100 productions across the US and Canada.

Albom currently hosts a daily talk show on WJR radio (Monday through Friday, 5-7 p.m. EST) and appears regularly on ESPN Sports Reporters and SportsCenter.

A few photos of the event are below:

 

Stay tuned for upcoming event announcements in our speaker series, and more! If you would like to make suggestions for speakers, please give us a call at (215) 922-1776, or email office@historickesherisrael.org.

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Historic Congregation Kesher Israel Speaker Series

Brunch with Benjamin Anthony – Sunday, December 8, 2019

Historic Congregation Kesher Israel welcomed former Israeli Defense Forces Sergeant and founder of Our Soldiers Speak, Benjamin Anthony, on Sunday, December 8th, for what was an enriching and informative talk, Q&A session, and afternoon brunch upstairs in our banquet hall.

Over 70 attendees were present for the event – part of our new and ongoing speaker series – as Mr. Anthony discussed making Aliyah, his time as an IDF reservist, and a unique plan for peace in the Middle East and a brighter future for all Israelis.

Mr. Anthony is a veteran of service in:

  • The Second Lebanon War, 2006
  • Operation Pillar of Defense, 2012
  • Operation Protective Edge, 2014

He has served in Judea and Samaria / The West Bank, along Israel’s northern border, and continues to serve on an annual basis as a combat reservist in the IDF.

Check out photos some photos below!

(Photo courtesy of Our Soldiers Speak)

 

Stay tuned for upcoming event announcements in our speaker series, and more!

Reserve the Space

Interested in reserving the space for your bar or bat mitzvah, birthday celebration, or other occasion? Email us for more information.

Schwartz Preschool

The Schwartz Preschool at Kesher Israel provides a quality early education program with a child-led philosophy, emphasizing creativity and play. Caring professional educators help lay the foundation for a successful learning experience.

Hebrew School

Children within and outside of our congregation are welcome to participate in our Hebrew School program, which teaches Jewish history and culture. Contact us to learn more about our weekly lessons, children’s services and special events.

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Clergy

Mitchell Romirowsky
Rabbi
Adam Gilbert
Cantor

Staff

Norman J. Millan
Executive Director
Keyana Kutney
Administrative Assistant
Stuart R. Herman
Kiddush Coordinator
Uri Shoham
Gabbai

Board of Directors

Rick Millan
Executive Board
Sandi Foxx-Jones
Executive Board
Mark E. Levine
Executive Board
Lewis Cohen
Board Member
Ira Schwartz
Board Member
Donald Silverman
Board Member