The Falmouth Jewish Congregation is a vibrant, egalitarian Reform congregation affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and served by Rabbi Elias Lieberman and Pamela Rothstein, Director of Lifelong Learning. Its membership represents a diverse, inclusive, participatory community with diverse traditions, practices, and beliefs. All are welcomed with warmth and respect — Jews, interfaith families, and people of all ages and gender identities. While varied in background, the congregation is united in a dedication to providing a place that meets the needs of the Jewish community on the Upper Cape and beyond for worship, celebration, lifelong learning and social action.
On April 12, 1981, a small group of Jewish families which had been holding religious services in their homes held an organizational meeting at a local bank. Thus was born the Falmouth Jewish Congregation. Through the generosity of various churches in the community, services were held on a regular basis. The congregation affiliated with the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (now known as the Union for Reform Judaism) in 1982.
The unique spirit of interfaith cooperation continued when the East Congregational Religious Society gave the Jewish community, as an outright gift, the East End Meeting House (a simple and elegant post-and-beam structure built in 1797) with its accompanying parsonage, and a “Teaching and Preaching” endowment. The Meeting House was refurbished and transformed into a synagogue and was dedicated in October, 1983. The parsonage served as an office and school. Also that year, the congregation called its first full-time rabbi to serve its religious and spiritual needs.
The Falmouth Jewish Congregation has enjoyed steady growth over the years. As a result, larger facilities were necessary. In 1989 work began on the congregation’s Blanche & Joel D. Seifer Community Center. This building, which houses the temple’s offices, religious school, social hall, library and chapel, is used for a wide array of social, religious, and cultural programs. Both Goode Chapel and the Meeting House are used for worship services at different times throughout the year.
In 1995, the Falmouth Jewish Cemetery was dedicated on a beautiful site on the congregation’s property. It is the first and only free-standing Jewish cemetery on Cape Cod and is open to all Jews and their immediate families.
The congregation maintains a full complement of educational programs as well as a range of social and cultural activities for the benefit of its members and the greater Cape community. The congregation currently numbers over 300 households, including Families, Individuals and Associates (members who have a primary affiliation with another synagogue.) Interfaith and non-traditional families are warmly welcomed into the congregation.
Rabbi Robert Goldstein served the congregation from 1983-1990. Rabbi Elias Lieberman has served the congregation since 1990. Pamela Rothstein, Director of Lifelong Learning, has served the congregation since 1999.