By Dov Levy. The famous Woodbourne Shul at 457 Route 52 proudly announces the opening of its Summer 2016 vacation season. The shul will again service the public with a full program including dozens of round-the-clock minyanim, numerous shiurim both daily and weekly, the renowned Kolel Mesirus Nefesh and a constant supply of light refreshments.
This unique blend of Torah, Avodah and Gemilus Chasodim are the hallmark of the charismatic Rabbi Mordechai Jungreis shlit”a, Niklesburg Rebbe. Beginning in 2010 the Rebbe revitalized the decaying building and transformed it into a booming center of life servicing the entire Sullivan County and beyond.
The Historic Congregation Bnai Israel building – in the past it served such luminaries as Rabbi Moshe Feinstein and the Tzehlimer Rav zt”l – has become a major draw for summer vacationers looking to grab a minyan and a quick bite on the go. Of course, there are many, many regulars as well. Under the magnetic leadership of Rabbi Jungreis shlit”a, the 96-year-old building now listed on the National Register of Historic Places has been brought back to life as tens of thousands of people pass through its doors each summer.
From its humble beginnings in 2010 when the Rebbe hung up a sign announcing “Minyanim Going On Now!” the shul has grown exponentially with each passing season. An estimated 80,000 (!) mispalelim pass through the shul now each summer. The naysayers who politely told the Rebbe his idea was crazy and the plan would never get off the ground were quickly proven dazzlingly wrong. Major renovations were undertaken two years ago as the shul threatened to collapse under the strain of so many worshippers.
Despite his incredible devotion and exhaustive efforts, Rabbi Jungreis sees himself not as the shul’s rabbi but more as a gabbai, a custodian who oversees the public domain. “This is not my shul—it’s your shul, it’s everyone’s shul. This is Klal Yisroel’s shul!” Indeed, the trademark sign hanging on the large Menorah outside greets every arrival with a cheerful “Everyone Is Welcome!” The Rebbe’s legendary warmth is part of the very fabric of the shul. Many people openly admit that they visit Bnai Israel chiefly to experience meeting the Rebbe and enjoy his heartfelt blessings.
As in previous years, the shul will be open for full services from early morning until after the last Maariv—usually 2 AM or later. You can also enjoy a bite, cold and hot drinks, breakfasts, Daf Yomi shiurim, and the delicious Thursday night cholent along with the equally enthralling weekly shiurim. Don’t forget to stop and say hello to the Rebbe and receive his affectionate blessings!
For those spending Shabbos in Woodbourne there is major news breaking: After years of intense effort, Rabbi Mordechai Jungreis has erected an eruv around the village!
The lack of an eruv posed an ongoing problem for many years. Men who used the mikvah on Shabbos morning were forced to resort to the practice of “wearing” their bath towel around their neck. Mothers with small children were forced to remain indoors. Some people carried while outdoors without realizing that they were not permitted to do so. Many others admitted openly to Rabbi Jungreis that they had inadvertently found themselves carrying outdoors on Shabbos.
In response to this pressing need Rabbi Jungreis lobbied with the authorities and was recently issued a permit to erect an eruv around the entire village. The situation was thoroughly reviewed by competent rabbinical authorities and the Woodbourne eruv has been constructed to accommodate all halachic requirements. A map detailing the exact perimeters will be available to the public shortly.
[TLS – Press Release]
May the Rebbono Shel Olam grant Rabbi Jungreis shlita another successful summer.
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