Temple Avodah, Oceanside NY

However you define your family,
we welcome you to ours

Holidays at Avodah

See Calendar for all events
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Purim 2017
DJ Dancing!

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Holidays at Temple Avodah

Scroll down the page to see photos and videos from the Holidays at Temple Avodah! Selichot, Rosh Hashanah,Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Chanukkah, Purim & Passover


Simchat Torah at Temple Avodah!

Even More Simchat Torah at Temple Avodah!

Our newly restored Torah at Temple Avodah **

Simchat Torah at Temple Avodah **



Selichot are penitential prayers said before and during the High Holy Days and other fast days throughout the year. For many Jews, the High Holy Day season begins with Rosh HaShanah and the start of the new month of Tishrei. Jewish tradition, however, teaches that the preceding month of Elul is a time of soul-searching and reflection to prepare oneself for the magnitude of the Days of Awe. It is during this time that we observe Selichot (also spelled s’lichot).

In Hebrew, selichot translates to “forgiveness,” and indeed there is an emphasis in these prayers on the merciful attributes with which God is said to govern the world. In many ways, the prayers which make up the Selichot service mirror what we find on the Day of Atonement which follows soon after.Reform congregations have developed beautiful and meaningful programs for the observance of Selichot on the Saturday evening prior to Rosh HaShanah. This often includes a study program about the themes of repentance and forgiveness. Many congregations show a popular movie exploring these themes. In addition to the Selichot Service, a meaningful ritual of changing the Torah covers to those specifically designed for the High Holidays often precedes the service. The special covers are usually white, representing purity and the wish that through repentance, our sins will be made white as snow (Isaiah 1:18).

At Temple Avodah, Selichot is always a time for our Congregation to gather together. Check the Calendar for the day and time for Selichot this year.


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Selichot 2016: movie A Voice Among The Silent. Great conversation and a wonderful dinner.


Rosh Hashanah

Rosh HaShanah at Temple Avodah at the Bima. **

Rosh HaShanah (“Head of the Year”) is the Jewish New Year, which marks the beginning of a 10-day period of prayer, self-examination and repentance. At Temple Avodah, our Temple family joins together in prayer and reflection in our synagogue. Services led by Rabbi Goren, Cantorial Soloist Jessica Gubenko, and featuring our Temple musicians and choir, services for our entire Temple family — adults, children and tots — join to listen to the sounding the shofar to mark the start of a beautiful new year ahead.

Rosh Hashanah Tot Service

Our special tot service from Rosh Hashanah.

Tashlich at Temple Avodah at the Waterside

Tashlich (תשליך) is a ritual that many Jews observe during Rosh HaShanah. “Tashlich” means “casting off” in Hebrew and involves symbolically casting off the sins of the previous year by tossing pieces of bread or another food into a body of flowing water. Just as the water carries away the bits of bread, so too are sins symbolically carried away. In this way the participant hopes to start the New Year with a clean slate.Each year we journey down to the waterside in Baldwin-Freeport to clean our slates.
(Photo- courtesy of Milch photo)

Temple Avodah Congregation at Tashlich Service. *

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur means “Day of Atonement” and refers to the annual Jewish observance of fasting, prayer and repentance. Part of the High Holidays, which also includes Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. At Temple Avodah, our Temple family gathers for Yom Kippur, the moment in Jewish time when we dedicate our mind, body, and soul to reconciliation with God, our fellow human beings, and ourselves.



Sukkot, a Hebrew word meaning “booths” or “huts,” refers to the Jewish festival of giving thanks for the fall harvest. It also commemorates the 40 years of Jewish wandering in the desert after the giving of the Torah atop Mt. Sinai. At Temple Avodah, our Temple Family constructs and decorates a sukkah, a small temporary booth or hut, and during the seven-day festival we gather within the sukkah to celebrate, eat and entertain.


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Sukkot 2016: Teamwork at Temple Avodah!
Men’s club builds the Sukkah, and PTO helps decorate it!


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Sukkah Construction at Temple Avodah!

Simchat Torah

Temple Avodah and the Whole Torah Scroll. **

Simchat Torah at Temple Avodah! A very special way to enjoy this joyour holiday, the Torah Scroll is shown from one end to the other, as Rabbi Goren explains all about the Torah to us.

Rabbi Goren leads dancing with the Torah in celebration as congregants share in dancing with Torah.


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Connecting with the Torah, the Temple Avodah Family sings and dances the night away to live band music and the beautiful voice of Cantorial Soloist Jessica Gubenko and Rabbi Uri Goren. Together we also learned about the Torah traditions and shared blessings and sweets of chocolate and ice cream and cookies to sweeten the new year ahead.



Chanukah time is not to be missed at Temple Avodah. Our annual Chanukah Service and Dinner is always a highlight of the winter season. It is a family event with fun for kids and adults alike. The winning of our annual raffle for a great prize is announced, and the lights of Chanukah are celebrated by the Temple Avodah family. Specifics on the Chanukah Celebration for the year can be found on this website in November and/or December each year on the calendar.

Temple Avodah Sanctuary at Chanukkah. *


Over 300 people came together
for a special Shabbat service
and celebration of Chanukah at
Temple Avodah in Oceanside NY.
Prayers and Chanukah songs led by our
Junior and Teen Choirs under the direction
of Cantorial Soloist Jessica Gubenko
with music by Schleppenwolf,
otherwise known as the
volunteer musicians of Temple Avodah.
Chanukkah, 2015.



Temple Avodah Junior and Teen Choir sing at Chanukkah. *


Chanukkah Blessings



Chanukkah Blessings


Purim is always a fun and exciting time at Temple Avodah. There is a Service filled with costumed congregants, that always included the retelling of the story of Purim in a unique way that is different each year– often our Temple’s Senior and Junior choirs sing, a Dinner Party, a Kid’s Carnival or other fun event, the winning of our annual raffle by three lucky winners, the gifting of Purim Shalach Manot baskets and of course, Hammentashin for all. Specifics on the Purim Celebration for the year can be found on this page in February and/or March each year.


A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away….
Was the best Purim Spiel ever!
Thanks to our amazing cast, Temple Avodah
presented a Star Wars Purim
under the direction of our
Cantorial Soloist Jessica Gubenko.

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See and relive Purim at Temple Avodah:
a Star Wars Purim
under the direction of our
Cantorial Soloist Jessica Gubenko.


The reviews are in: The Temple Avodah 2016 PURIM Spiel was the best in the Galaxy! **

Purim at Temple Avodah during the Purim Spiel *

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The post Purim Spiel dance party complete with ice cream and hamentashen was fun for all ages!


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Every PURIM is different at Temple Avodah.

From past years, here is one review:

OBSERVATIONS OF A GREAT EVENING AT TEMPLE! from one of the Temple Avodah Purim attendees–

It was so exciting to see so many people in the sanctuary Saturday night so involved with what was happening. As I looked around, anyone and everyone I saw had a smile on his or her face!! They were totally engrossed in and enjoying the very special Purim shpiel. They loved being a part of it …some moving their bodies to the music, all shaking their groggers or holding up signs or just shouting at Haman. The atmosphere was one of excitement and joy. The “players” and the musicians, one and all, did a fantastic job.

Then came our dinner in the Social Hall! There was plenty to eat for everyone. The deli sandwiches and salads and the hot dogs were a different and special treat…continuing to make everyone happy and keep them smiling. Hats off to those who planned and organized the dinner!!

The talent show that followed indicated that we really do have a lot of talent among our own members. The adults continued to enjoy while the children were occupied in the Atrium with their own Purim Carnival. There were lots of games and lots of children having a good time. Kenny Kombert’s ice cream truck was a big hit as well. Many thanks to our PTO co-presidents who did a great job organizing this event!

Our raffle was a huge success with many prizes given out to the lucky winners.

Purim for all was perfect!! In short, we had an evening to remember and one which should make our congregants want to bring their friends and family back another time to our special Temple Avodah events! Thank you to our many different volunteers who handled different parts of the evening – a truly collaborative effort.

–Ellen S.



Passover is an unforgettable experience at Temple Avodah. Our Passover Service each year surpasses the prior year, as Passover is celebrated in an exciting and original way, involving all congregants in celebrating this special holiday. A Chametz Dinner is held prior to the start of Passover. Specifics on the Passover Service and events for the year can be found on this page in March, and/or April each year.


Temple Avodah’s Junior and Teen Choirs do Passover medleys using the music of Les Mis, Coming Home and Forget You.

What goes on the Seder Plate?


photo and video credits
* Photo courtesy of Milch Photography
** Photo courtesy of Webmaster
*** Photo courtesy of Religious School
Videos courtesy of Temple Avodah You Tube Channel
If you have photos from any events at Temple Avodah to share on our website, please contact our Webmaster