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 Fall 2022 


Time to light candles

September 23

6:37 pm

September 30

6:26 pm

October 7

6:15 pm

October 14

6:04 pm

October 21

5:54 pm

October 28

5:44 pm

November 4

5:36 pm

November 11

4:29 pm

November 18

4:24 pm

November 25

4:20 pm

December 2

4:17 pm

December 9

4:17 pm

December 16

4:18 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. 

  • One of the byproducts of the COVID-19 virus was that many stores stopped taking returns. There was naturally a concern about the handling of the products. This time of year, between Rosh Hashanah a...

  • Have you ever felt less noticed and a bit lost in a crowd? Although we live in a world that aims to be inclusive, there are still always those who emerge in the limelight. There is only one valedi...

  • Everyone likes a big and joyous parade. Our calendar year is surrounded by parades, such as homecoming parades, Thanksgiving parades, and the Celebrate Israel Parade, to name a few. Our Parsha this...

  • When thinking of religion in general and Judaism in particular, images of synagogue, Passover tables, and Bnei Mitzvah appear in our minds. However, if you learn the Torah and its Mitzvoth you will...

  • The chocolate cake was so delicious that the baker decided to add two helpings of chocolate when he baked the cake again. He fudged it; and it didn’t taste right. The bass was so brilliant at the...

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...