Women’s Tefila

Founded in our community over 20 years ago, Women’s Tefila has provided an opportunity for women and girls to gather together once a month on Shabbat afternoons to daven Mincha and explore their spirituality with greater intensity. They also meet on the mornings of Simchat Torah and Purim. The venue of Women’s Tefila offers individuals the opportunity to celebrate significant milestones, including Bat Mitzvah, Simchat Bat (welcoming a baby girl) and Simchat Kallah (for a bride), in a unique and personal fashion. Women have also given Divrei Torah on the occasion of a yahrzeit, or personal life cycle events, such as becoming a mother or a grandmother. Operating within the parameters of Jewish law,Women’s Tefila presents an alternative path to greater Jewish commitment. Women’s Tefila has become a community of activists, involved in a number of causes, including reducing domestic violence in the Jewish community and starting a Women’s Health Library at the North Shore Mikvah. In April, 1995, the Women’s Tefila of Great Neck was adopted within the framework of the Great Neck Synagogue. A schedule of Women’s Tefila services may be obtained through the synagogue office.

To join Women’s Tefila and to be on our email list

Contact Louise Kahn at or 516-482-1837. Membership in Women’s Tefila is $36 a year.

To arrange for a bat mitzvah at Women’s Tefila

Contact Annie Mendelson at .

A Bat Mitzvah at Women’s Tefila typically takes place during the Shabbat afternoon mincha service and is tailored to suit the needs of the individual girl (or adult woman who never had the opportunity!) and her family. The Bat Mitzvah girl is called to the Torah. She may then read the Torah portion herself (we have experienced and sympathetic tutors!), give a D’var Torah on the Parsha or other Jewish theme and lead mincha davening. Often mothers, grandmothers, sisters or other relatives and friends participate. The entire family then continues the celebration at a kiddush following services. . As part of the preparation for becoming B’not Mitzvah with Women’s Tefilla, girls are encouraged to undertake a chesed project.

In accordance with the rules of the Women’s Tefila of GNS, up to nine men may be present during the Torah reading, speeches and for the Kiddush following services. The rest of the mincha service is exclusively for women.

Reading the Megilla on Purim is one of the many mitzvot required of women and the Women’s Tefila meets on the MORNING of PURIM for a FULL WOMEN’S MEGILLA READING. Come in costume and join the celebration!

To become a reader for Purim Megilla reading or Simchat Torah

Contact Celia Lemonik at .

Volunteers who wish to learn to leyn (read) the Megilla on Purim or the Torah or Haftorah on Simchat Torah – whether it is a couple of p’sukim (sentences) or entire perek (chapter) – are always needed and welcome. We have highly experienced tutors to help and encourage you.

On SIMCHAT TORAH MORNING, put on your ruach, grab your kids and join Women’s Tefila for a spirited and song-filled morning of davening, Torah reading, and Divrei Torah. Each year, it grows in joy and celebration. All women who wish to do so will receive an aliyah—of you can just relax and listen! We are especially proud of our outstanding and awesome Torah reading of the seven days of creation in Breishit and the aliyah for Kol HaNaarim, the blessing of the children. We are always looking for volunteers who may wish to either lead davening or to read from the Torah for this holiday.

To celebrate a life cycle event at Women’s Tefila

Whether it be a baby naming, birthday, yahrzeit, wedding, becoming a mother, aunt, or grandmother, or for any joyous occasion or achievement, contact Annie Mendelson at .

There are creative opportunities at Women’s Tefila for celebrations which may include presenting a D’var Torah, leading prayers, reading from the Torah, getting an aliyah, literary readings, discussions, guest speakers and Kiddush.

To sponsor a kiddush at Women’s Tefila

To celebrate a baby naming, a birthday, a yahrzeit, a wedding, on becoming a mother, an aunt or a grandmother, or for any joyous occasion or achievement, contact Mark Twersky at or 516-487-6100.