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South Salem's JFC Merging With Ridgefield Synagogue, Plans Property Sale

Jewish Family Congregation (JFC) in South Salem. A sale of the property is planned.
Jewish Family Congregation (JFC) in South Salem. A sale of the property is planned. Photo Credit: Contributed
Temple Shearith Israel (TSI) in Ridgefield. The building will host the combined congregation of TSI and JFC members.
Temple Shearith Israel (TSI) in Ridgefield. The building will host the combined congregation of TSI and JFC members. Photo Credit: Contributed

SOUTH SALEM, N.Y. -- South Salem's Jewish Family Congregation (JFC) and Ridgefield's Temple Shearith Israel (TSI) announced that they will merge into one synagogue.

Both congregations approved the merger when they met on Sunday, May 31, according to Barbara Bangser, who is a spokeswoman in connection with the deal.

The combined congregation will be located at TSI's building, which is at 46 Peaceable Street in Ridgefield. The move is expected to be complete by next January and entails legal and administrative requirements to go through, Bangser added.

The combined congregation will have a new name, Bangser said, which has yet to be determined.

A sale of JFC's property is planned, Bangser said. The property is located at 111 Smith Ridge Road.

The merger will also include a combination of clergy and other officials. TSI's David Reiner and JFC's Marcus Burstein will be co-rabbis, while TSI Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray will have the same role for the combined synagogue. JFC's Leslie Gottlieb, who is currently education director, will have the equivalent position for the combined congregation.

Educational programs will be combined this fall, Bangser told Daily Voice, as the decision to do so was made before the merger vote.

"The memberships & clergy of both synagogues are very excited about this opportunity," Bangser wrote. "We have been working together and holding social events with each other for several months already."

“After many months of meeting and strategizing, we are very excited to form a new, vibrant synagogue,” TSI Co-President Steve Landzberg said in a statement.

“We will all certainly benefit from the leadership of two well-qualified and dynamic rabbis, as well as a progressive, energized religious school and new programming and social opportunities," JFC Co-President Hal Wolkin said in his own statement.

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