With 15 percent of its population who categorized themselves as observant, Ariel is often categorized as a “secular” city. One only has to walk down the streets and pass the synagogues of all kinds to know that, no matter what their defined level of observance, Ariel residents are engaged with the best of Jewish values, and are inspired by Jewish texts and traditions.
Friends of Ariel works to actively enhance and create meaningful engagement with the Jewish values that are at the heart of the founding of the city.
Every year, American Friends of Ariel teams up with Ariel’s Religious Council and the Social Services Department to give the less fortunate the chance to experience freedom from want on Passover.
The Bar/Bat Mitzvah program sponsors the coming-of-age ceremony for young adults in Ariel of all religious affiliations, particularly those without sufficient means to celebrate this important Jewish milestone on their own.
The Rambam Association was established in 1992 to help the community in the city of Ariel. Since its establishment until today, the association works from within temporary buildings. Today, the synagogue is located in a prefab building with severe maintenance deficiencies, making it difficult for the members of the community and their children to conduct activities in the synagogue. The Rambam Association has now undertaken to build a new synagogue facility.
The Shvut Ariel Synagogue started ten years ago struggling to secure a minyan (quorum) for prayer. Today, Shvut Ariel is the hub of Jewish spiritual and communal life in Ariel, catering to the needs of the diverse community in the City, from Sephardic to Ashkenazi, from families with young children to seniors, from new immigrants to Israeli natives, from “traditional” to observant.
Ariel’s newest synagogue, located in the city’s Moriah neighborhood, is an exciting work in progress. This small synagogue currently borrows Torah scrolls from other synagogues and would be very grateful to receive one they could call their own.