Our Values

A Bold Reform Congregation Where Warmth and Majesty Meet

Temple Emanu-El has served New York’s Jewish community for almost 180 years. Deeply rooted in our legacy, we are also propelled  by a sense of purpose, justice and innovation to invigorate Jewish life today.  

Temple Emanu-El’s mission is to serve as your dynamic spiritual home–whether you are a member or unaffiliated, in the neighborhood or across the world, Jewish by birth or by choice or just curious. We invite you to worship with us, learn with us and celebrate with us both in our synagogue and online. 


We are a welcoming community in which every individual matters. We strive to foster meaningful connections among members, clergy and staff. We cherish the lasting friendships developed and nurtured through temple life. 

Inclusion and Belonging

We recognize that certain groups have been and continue to be marginalized by society and excluded from full participation in the Jewish community. Our tradition teaches that human beings are b’tzelem elohim — created in the image of God — which commands us to affirm the dignity and worth of each individual. We, therefore, welcome and embrace you because of who you are. Your race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, visible or hidden disabilities, socio-economic status or any other aspect of your identity is sacred and affirmed in our community. And we also welcome every family – Jewish, interfaith, multifaith, with children or without, same-sex, two-parent or single parent. Further, we are committed to ongoing learning and growth as we continue to build a truly inclusive community that serves all our members. 


We invite you to find purpose and relevance in Judaism and Jewish life through worship, volunteering, educational programming, cultural offerings and social events. In keeping with the spiritual and intellectual foundations of Reform Judaism, we seek to integrate Jewish traditions and values into contemporary living. We promote a Judaism that fosters a meaningful connection between our prophetic heritage and the evolving realities of modern-day life.


We want to inspire you, warm your heart, lift your spirit and engage your mind. We pride ourselves on the majesty and continuous innovation found in our worship services. 

Mutual Care 

We care for one another. We celebrate each other’s milestones and lifecycle events and provide comfort in times of illness and loss. We demonstrate respect for members, guests, clergy and staff. We safeguard each other’s health and safety by adhering to our community’s health protocols.  

Klal Yisrael (Jewish unity) 

We affirm our unity with the Jewish people in all its wonderful diversity and recognize our responsibility to Jews throughout the world in times of need, hardship or persecution.  We are proud of our historic connection to the Land of Israel and pledge our support for a secure and prosperous State of Israel.  

Tikkun Olam and Tzedakah  

We view social action and philanthropy as meaningful expressions of religious faith that affirm our belief that Judaism has a mission to help others and to repair the world.  


In keeping with our founding in 1845 as the first Reform congregation in New York City, we are committed to our legacy of continuous leadership in the Reform movement and the Jewish community. While we are proud of our history, we are focused on building our future as a Jewish voice in New York City, our country and the world.  

Membership Office


At Temple Emanu-El, we encourage our community — of every age, race, gender and background — to gather in an atmosphere both warm and awe-inspiring. As we share our moments of joy as well as our times of sadness, immerse ourselves in the richness and beauty of our tradition, and act upon our tradition’s values in the world around us.” — Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson

Membership Options

Learn about membership rates, fees, additional membership options, and reserved seating rates for the High Holy Days.

Membership Application

Review and download our membership form. We look forward to receiving your application.

Out Of Town Memberships

If you live 150 miles or more outside of New York City, we hope you’ll consider being part of our vibrant and storied Jewish community.