Cara Bernstein

In Western Queens, New Blood Raises Hopes for Jewish Revitalization

Young Jewish singles and families are flocking to Astoria, Long Island City and Jackson Heights — but can the existing synagogues draw them in?

11/18/2009
Staff Writer

When Cara Bernstein walked down the aisle a month ago to meet her fiancé under the chupah, she knew her wedding day was a crossroads not only in her life, but in the life of her Queens synagogue, which had not hosted a bride and groom for 22 years.

Nearly the entire congregation at Astoria Center of Israel celebrated her marriage that day, whether or not they knew the couple personally.

“A fellow congregant told me that I’m part of a new wave of congregants,” said Bernstein, who is 38.

Young Jews in Long Island City celebrate Sukkot on a condo rooftop. Rabbi Zev Wineberg
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