What is MAKOR?

MAKOR is a synagogue and Jewish spiritual center in the midtown/Murray Hill section of New York City that brings a spiritually and psychologically transformative path to Jews of all backgrounds.

We provide Jews from all denominations and practices with a deeper understanding of the essential teachings within Judaism, and practical guidance on how to apply them to achieve health, serenity, success, and peace of mind.

Makor מקור [muh-CORE] n. Def.: source, spring, fountain [Hebrew]

Our Approach

MAKOR brings a unique mixture of meditation and affirmative prayer to Judaism, Jewish synagogue services, and its application to daily life. We believe that effective prayer comes not from begging and pleading. Rather, it comes from developing a deep and loving connection with the Divine Source (makor) and affirming our faith that the health, serenity, success, and peace of mind we seek is manifesting. We also believe that the two main attributes of the Divine Source are goodness and creativity—which is why we offer a variety of cultural and spiritually diverse programs as well.

Originally called “Jewish Science” when developed in 1922, our approach teaches how to apply essential Jewish teachings to the stresses and demands of everyday life. It was path-breaking 100 years ago. Since then, science has only just begun to catch up in recognizing the “mind-body connection” and the power of affirmative prayer in restoring health, serenity, success, and peace of mind. Learn more about Jewish Science.

Dr. Mel Rosenthal teaching

Our History

MAKOR was originally founded in 1922 by Rabbi Morris and his wife Tehilla Lichtenstein as “The Society of Jewish Science” and later, “The Center for Applied Judaism.” It was part of an overall American spiritual movement at the turn of the 20th century, when people were turning away from rote ritual, and seeking a more intimate connection with God/Divine Source (“makor”)/Divine Mind as the source of happiness and healing.

When Rabbi Morris Lichtenstein died in 1938, his wife Tehilla became the congregation’s spiritual leader. In so doing, she was the first woman to serve as the spiritual leader of any American Jewish congregation. A prolific writer and radio host, profound educator, and powerful healer (the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale used to send his Jewish clients to her), Tehilla Lichtenstein led the Society of Jewish Science until her death in 1973. Learn more about our founders. Also, read more about the history of our neighborhood.

Building Facade cropped

Our Leadership

Our leaders come from diverse spiritual paths and cultural backgrounds. We are black and white, Jew and non-Jew, Jew by birth and Jew by choice, kashrut-observing and bacon-loving, formally ordained and passionately self-educated, gay and straight, coupled and single, male and female. What brings us all together is our love, enthusiasm, and appreciation for MAKOR, where we have all found a place of welcome and unconditional acceptance. Meet our leaders.

Male diversity


You’ll probably have questions. (Have you ever met a Jew that didn’t?). When do you have Shabbat services? What kinds of programs do you host? What’s this Jewish Science stuff—is it a cult? (No. It’s just an outdated name for a timeless yet very current approach to meditation, prayer, and spiritual healing).

How can I learn more? Browse our site. Join us for Friday night Shabbat services. Get on our mailing list to receive our weekly meditations and stay connected. Visit our FAQ page and get answers to common questions. And if your question isn’t answered there, make sure to fill out our contact form.

The loneliest question is the one not asked.

teaching is the basement

Visit Us

The Makor Center for Spiritual Judaism is located in the midtown/Murray Hill section of Manhattan, near the bustling area of Grand Central Terminal. We provide an oasis for Jewish spiritual travelers in an area normally known for its hard-edged commerce and activity. We invite you to visit yourself, or to set up a group visitation with a member of our staff.


The Center for Spiritual Judaism
109 East 39th Street
New York, NY 10016


4 5 or 6 to Grand Central Terminal
B D or F to 42nd Street/Bryant Park

Bus Directions

Madison Avenue M1 M2 M3 or M4 to 42nd Street
Lexington Avenue M101 or M102 42nd Street
Crosstown M42 to Lexington Avenue


Paid parking is available at available at 105 East 39th Street (212-979-5708) and at 29 East 39th Street (212-682-6884; 24 hrs).


Most of the spaces and facilities at MAKOR are accessible to visitors with limited mobility. Both manual and electric wheelchairs are allowed through the building.


Public restrooms are located on the lower level and second floors.

Contact Us

Call or email us, or use the contact form to send an inquiry.


Email:  info@makorcenter.org
Tel: (212) 682-2626