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Yom Shishi, 26 Tishri 5777

We Shine Brighter Together at RTR...

Combining over 110 years of Reform Judaism in Rockland County, Temple Beth El (Spring Valley) and Temple Beth Torah (Nyack) merged to create an even brighter entity, The Reform Temple of Rockland (RTR). Everyone comes together here - interfaith couples, LGBT families, the young and the not-so-young - to create our warm Jewish community.

Our Worship is enriched with a love of music, filled with our Cantors’ gifted voices, adult and youth choirs, and our Ruach Shabbat band.  Toe tapping and hand clapping are encouraged!  See for yourself why so many find our family-friendly, Friday night services or special Tot Shabbat program so inspiring, or why our Bar and Bat Mitzvahs are just beginning their journeys, not ending them.

Each of us is a Jewish light but together, we all shine brighter. Don’t wait for a holiday to drop by.  Our caring clergy and congregation look forward to meeting you!

Welcome Rabbi Sharff!

“To say we are excited about joining you, as we work to build this new community together would be an understatement!” This opening quote from a letter that Rabbi Sharff sent out to the congregation just prior to joining the Reform Temple of Rockland in July 2016 could have been a quote coming from The Reform Temple of Rockland to Rabbi Sharff! We are excited and thrilled to have Rabbi Sharff join us and help build our community, as well as the community for Reform Judaism in Rockland. 

Rabbi Sharff says his door is always open, he enjoys meeting and getting to know members of the community. We encourage you to reach out and get to know him and his family.

Rabbi Sharff believes in the power of music. That should be music not only to Cantor Neff’s ears but to ours as well, since we are a community that loves to pray through song.

If you see new little faces running through the building there’s a good chance it might be one of the Rabbi’s three children Emily, 9, Noah, 6, or Alex, 3. What a joy to see new children making RTR their second home.

Speaking of joy, Joy is the Rabbi’s wife. Welcome Joy! We are sure your name is a foreshadowing of all the wonderful time we will spend together as we embark on our continued Journey toward a life-long learning of Reform Judaism.

In addition to Rabbi Sharff, the Reform Temple of Rockland’s clergy includes Cantor Sally Neff, who has served Temple Beth Torah for more than a decade and has helped the new synagogue establish its spiritual and musical identity.  

Rabbi Sharff and Cantor Neff spent a year studying together in Jerusalem and are already friends -- now colleagues! We are so excited for them to be leading our congregation together to build upon RTR’s meaningful and transformative worship experiences, emphasizing music and the spoken word to facilitate congregants’ emotional and spiritual connection to Judaism.

Click here for more information about our Clergy.

Remembering George Bryant - TBT Organist

It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of George Bryant, organist at Temple Beth Torah for over 35 years. He was a sweet soul and a beautiful musician. We will miss him. Zichrono livracha - May his memory always be an abiding blessing.

A little about George:

When George Byrant was seven years old, his parents decided that it was time to consider piano lessons. The teacher told them that they should start off with six lessons to see whether he had any musical aptitude, or whether it would be a waste. After the six lessons, the teacher told his parents to buy a piano. The purchase was certainly not in vain. George went on to study piano seriously, earning bachelors and masters degrees from Julliard.

During his later years at High School, the organist at his church would take summers off. George learned how to play the organ and began to substitute. These were his earliest experiences following his ultimate calling, to play music in houses of worship.

After graduating from Julliard, he returned to his home town here in Rockland County and began teaching piano. It wasn't long before St. Ann's church hired him and he worked there until his recent retirement. In 1977, Cantor Don Croll had the opportunity to listen to George at a Thanksgiving service and was impressed by what he heard. The very next year, before the High Holy Days, Cantor Croll asked George to fill in for one service at the end of the summer. With a lot of new music to learn, George accepted. After the first hour of rehearsing, they finally reached the end of the music book and George closed up and got ready to leave. Little did he realize they weren't done yet! The Torah service was in a different notebook!

At the end of that first night's service, Rabbi Stern and Cantor Croll approached George and said, "We hope you can stay forever." From a one night gig as a substitute, George became a beloved part of the Temple Beth Torah community. He prepared countless B'nei Mitzvah students with helpful advice about breathing for singing and how to project. He was with our community at times of joy and times of sorrow; for baby namings, B'nei Mitzvah, weddings, and funerals, his music helped us pray.

George's love of song and connection with community reached beyond his two religious jobs, however. George was on the Board of Directors of the Rockland Symphony for many years, and was a founding member of the Rockland County Music Teachers Guild (1962). Through six different Cantors, George was a steady backbeat at Temple Beth Torah for over 35 years. He will be greatly missed.

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D'var Torah Calendar Newsletter Support RTR

Upcoming Events


10.28.2016 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm


10.29.2016 9:00 am - 10:00 am


10.29.2016 10:30 am - 11:30 am


11.01.2016 4:45 pm - 6:45 pm


11.01.2016 6:45 pm - 8:15 pm


11.02.2016 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm


11.03.2016 10:30 am - 11:30 am


11.04.2016 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm


11.05.2016 9:00 am - 10:00 am


11.05.2016 10:30 am - 11:30 am

Contact Us / Directions

The Reform Temple of Rockland, New York

330 North Highland Avenue
Upper Nyack, NY 10960
Phone: (845) 358-2248 / Fax: (845) 358-3450
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Community Resources

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