FAQs

You have questions. We have answers.

Will I be welcome?

Absolutely! The Makor Center for Spiritual Judaism warmly welcomes all races, religions, denominations of Judaism, children, interfaith families, individuals with special needs, and LGBTQ individuals. It is part of our mission to be a wellspring of unity and welcome.

What is MAKOR's mission?

The Makor Center for Spiritual Judaism welcomes all who are seeking spirituality as a constant companion and Judaism as a practical life guide. We are an all-inclusive Jewish community that encourages personal spiritual health, development, and creativity.

Is MAKOR affiliated with a denomination?

Nope! We are an egalitarian, non-denominational synagogue and spiritual community. Our founding spiritual principles of affirmative prayer/Jewish Science are compatible and in harmony with all branches of Judaism.

When do you hold Shabbat services?

Our Shabbat worship services take place most Friday nights at 6:00 or 6:30 pm in the Lichtenstein Sanctuary. There are some Friday nights that MAKOR is closed—for example, on the Friday after Thanksgiving—so please be sure to check our Calendar or join our mailing list for the latest updates.  Services last about 75-90 minutes, and a light kiddush follows. We look forward to welcoming you!

I don’t read Hebrew. Will I be able to follow the services?

Absolutely! We believe that the most effective prayers come from the heart. And for most who come to MAKOR, their first language is English. Our services are led in English. Wherever we use Hebrew, our prayer and song books include transliteration.

What other kinds of programs do you have?

MAKOR hosts an array of cultural and spiritual programs in keeping with what we see as God’s two main attributes:  Creativity and Goodness. Our weekly cultural programs invite authors, artists, historians, musicians, award-winning films, and others to expand your thinking and give you fresh perspective. Our core teachings on affirmative prayer show you how to develop an affirmative, positive outlook on life and the challenges that arise.

When did MAKOR get started?

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”) as the source of happiness and healing. That approach is still relevant considering the stresses of 21st century life and society … even if the terms Jewish Science and Applied Judaism are outdated. As a result, we updated our name to The Makor Center for Spiritual Judaism in 2018.

What is this “Jewish Science” you refer to? Is it a cult?

Not at all! It reflects a very specific time in American spiritual development. In the early 1920’s, large numbers of Jews were attracted to the “mind science” religions that were in vogue, like Christian Science and Religious Science. Our founders originally coined the term “Jewish Science” to demonstrate that Judaism offered similar approaches within its own tradition. A big difference is that Jewish Science has always supported the role of doctors and mental health practitioners as vital to health and healing.

Now, Jewish Science is just one of the ways we refer to our unique mixture of meditation, affirmation, visualization, and traditional Jewish prayer to overcome the stresses and demands of everyday life.

What is affirmative prayer?

Affirmative prayer turns traditional prayer on its head. When people think of prayer, they beg for an outcome and only believe the prayer has been answered when we see results. Affirmative prayer takes the approach that believing is seeing. Our combination of meditation, affirmation and visualization is designed to clear the mind, communicate with the Divine, and enthusiastically picture the good we’re affirming – health, serenity, success, and peace of mind. We see our good with God’s eyes, not our human eyes. When we do, our bodies respond. Our world responds.

Can we attend a couple services to see if we like it?

Of course!  Except for High Holy Day services which require tickets (for space and security purposes), services at MAKOR are open to anyone who wishes to join us. Our hope is that you will come to our services, meet our community, and want to join us as a member. We’re looking forward to getting to know you!

How do I join MAKOR?

Joining is easy. Please contact our Executive Director, Terry Katz, to schedule an appointment, complete our membership application, and look forward to being part of a warm and welcoming community.

All new members will receive a free copy of Rabbi Morris Lichtenstein’s classic text, Jewish Science & Health.

How can I arrange a visit to MAKOR?

Please visit us! We would love to show you around and answer any questions you may have. To arrange an appointment please contact us at info@MakorCenter.org or call (212) 682-2626.

How can I find out more?

Browse our site. Join us for Friday night Shabbat services. Get on our mailing list to receive our weekly meditations and stay connected. And if you have a question about anything else that hasn’t been answered, feel free to fill out our contact form.