Shalom Rabbi Epstein!

Meet Rabbi Ephraim Epstein, the Jewish Federation's Community Scholar in Residence. This new role in the Jewish Federation family serves to increase Jewish content for the Federation and our family of agencies, in line with our mission to enhance Jewish life. 

Rabbi Epstein is the former senior rabbi at Congregation Sons of Israel in Cherry Hill, where he spent the last 21 years of his career. During the past two decades, Rabbi Epstein has established relationships with the organized Jewish community, the local police force, hospital leadership, and even the Governor's office, serving on the New Jersey Holocaust Commission for many years. 



Shabbat is an opportunity to bring family and friends together, reflect on what truly matters in life, and keep the culture of Judaism alive. Here are some resources to help you observe.

Federation Community Candles 

Light Up South Jersey



The Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey is offering free Shabbat candles in the lobby of the Katz JCC located at 1301 Springdale Road in Cherry Hill.


Stop by and pick up your candles from the basket in the lobby every Thursday after 4 pm through Friday. Let’s light the Shabbat candles in our own homes, but bring in the Sabbath together as one community.

Candle lighting times in
Cherry Hill, NJ for Winter 2022-2023


Time to light candles

December 30 

4:26 pm

January 6

4:32 pm

January 13 

4:39 pm

January 20 

4:47 pm

January 27

4:55 pm

February 3

5:03 pm

February 10 

5:12 pm

February 17 

5:20 pm

February 24 

5:28 pm

March 3 

5:36 pm

March 10 

5:43 pm

March 17

6:51 pm

March 24 

6:58 pm



Download Blessings Here


Shabbat Table Talk

Looking for ways to enhance your conversations as you gather around the Shabbat table? Read through these thought-provoking topics that dive into Torah portions and beyond as you head into the weekend. 

  • Imagine two of your friends who don’t know one another are on vacation…in the same week, the same city, and the same resort, but come back with entirely different experiences. One had the time ...

  • What is unique about a Jewish celebration? There is probably (and often kosher) food, some Jewish style dancing, and many rituals and customs associated with the day. From the beginning of this Par...

  • When presented with a situation, often we pay it attention until we are satisfied, and we take our eyes off the matter assuming it will play out how we conjecture.  Yet quite often it simply is no...

  • There’s nothing quite like seeing a child’s face when they realize they grew an inch or two since the last time they were measured. Graduating from the highchair to the kitchen table or no long...

  • Relationships are bound to hit bumps in the road. People may say something that feels hurtful, do something that feels painful, and a repair is in order. Yet if and when the apology does ensue, do ...




Explore and engage in person with old and new friends about relevant and contemporary Jewish topics.


Homes will rotate in the community. Address to be shared upon registration. 


Hosted by the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey

Chaired by Barbara Robbins


If interested in joining our group, contact Rabbi Ephraim Epstein, JFED Community Scholar in Residence, via email at or call 856.751.9500 x1191.



Learn about traditions, values, and rituals from our Community Scholar in Residence. Rabbi Epstein can also serve as a resource for everyday issues, offering perspective with a Jewish lens. He will answer all questions submitted by community members, and questions will remain anonymous unless permission is provided to share with the larger community. Highlight this as a resource that he provides to the entire community as our Community Scholar in Residence.


Have a question on your mind about Jewish culture or everyday life from a Jewish perspective? Submit it to our Community Scholar in Residence, Rabbi Ephraim Epstein:


Check back soon for new Q&As!

  • Q: HaShem gave us the ability to exercise freedom of will – making our own choices. Why, then, did he also give us guilt? Why, if one is committed to a decision (small or great), having implement...

  • Q: My brother and his wife are moving into a new home. Aside from hanging a mezuzah, are there any other rituals for a Jewish "house-warming"?

    A: Mazel Tov on the new home! Indeed, affixing a Me...

  • Q: Are there any Jewish rituals for the winter solstice?

    A: Since the Jewish calendar and festivals are primarily based on the Lunar Calendar, and the solstice is related to the sun, there is no ...

  • Q: What types of spices (Havdalah) should be used for Havdalah?

    A: Smelling sweet spices after Shabbat concludes serves to strengthen our souls that feel diminished after Shabbat goes away.

    The g...