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International Synagogue at JFK

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John F. Kennedy International Airport, 4 Central Terminal Area
Jamaica, NY 11430 United States
(718) 656-5044

The International Synagogue serves airport employees, business people, and Jewish travelers at JFK Airport. Serving American Jewry in this unique way since May, 2001, the Synagogue receives groups of persons of all ages from all over the United States prior to their departures to Israel or other places on the globe. Since travelers must now arrive early for their flights because of heightened security concerns, the chapel provides a quiet place for individuals and groups to gather, pray, meditate, and study. The Jewish chaplain is available for counseling families who may be sending children to study in Israel or parents leaving to Israel for retirement, as well as for crisis counseling in the event of emergencies (Critical Incidence Stress Debriefing).

The chapel is open for shacharit, mincha, and maariv services, as well as for group prayer (minyan). Passengers can rest between connecting flights in the chapel. Orientation for departing groups of teenagers or adults can be given in the chapel. Many prominent rabbis and communal leaders use the shul for davening and study.With the Air Train, the Synagogue is only minutes away from all the terminals and airlines that serve JFK.

Special activities conducted at the International Synagogue include a weekly Lunch and Learn program on Thursdays. Appropriate celebrations are observed for the holidays of Chanukah (serving sufganiot), Purim (hamantaschen), and Yom HaAtzmaut – Israel Independence Day. The lulav and etrog are available during Succoth. We read the megillah on Purim night before the EL AL flight. Jewish organizations can greet Israeli and/or Jewish dignitaries while in transit. While the chapel is opened by security on Shabbat, there are no organized prayer services. On rare occasions, passengers have been stranded in the chapel, and the shul has served as refuge until nightfall.

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