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Our History

A Timeline History of Kehilat HaNahar 

Early 1980s -- Carl Glassman and Dinie Sulnitzer host ‘orphan seders,’ Shabbat services, and Hanukkah celebrations in their home and then at the Wedgwood Inn after its founding in 1982.

1990 -- Sandy Roth, who would later become KHN’s first rabbi, meets founding members during a Hanukkah celebration.

1993 -- Sandy Roth announces she’s enrolling in rabbinical school at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC).

1994 -- Sandy Roth leads the unnamed group in a Passover seder in the fall, and the group holds its first High Holiday service with about 150 attendees.

1994-1995 -- The group, now known as Kehilat HaNahar (KHN, or the Little Shul by the River), continues to hold about two events a month (mostly Friday night services) at public spaces in Lambertville and at the Solebury Meeting House. The Shul School also starts in 1994. As Sandy Roth pursues her rabbinical training at RRC, an affiliation with the Reconstructionist movement is established.

Jan. 1996 -- KHN purchases its building from Pam Minford, who was using the 1851 schoolhouse as a storage facility for her restaurant and catering business in Lambertville.

June 24, 1998 -- The building for Kehilat Hanahar has its dedication ceremony. Among the many comments during the ceremony, Reverend David Anderson of Trinity Episcopal Church said, “I think it’s a sign of vitality in the community. We need diverse faiths [in New Hope]".

September 1998 -- KHN hosts an art show featuring nationally recognized local artists, an early sign of what would become KHN’s tradition and practice of welcoming a diverse group of people from all walks of life.

2000 -- The Jewish Reconstructionist Federation presents founding member Abraham Leibson with the Tof Miriam Award for Artistry and Creativity. KHN wrote the following note in the gala program: “Thank you for your dedication, wisdom, and gentle creativity. You inspire each of us and have helped knit us together in community.”

Aug. 29, 2000 -- A spray-painted swastika and hateful statement were found on the side of KHN’s shed. Members from various religious and community organizations gather at the site and offer support to KHN.

Fall 2000 -- The swastika and hateful graffiti are covered over by the tile mosaic we now see, expressing themes of love and acceptance. The Council of Churches changes its name to the Delaware Valley Interfaith Council and invites Rabbi Sandy to join. She later goes on to be President of the organization.

2001-2008 -- As New Hope grows, so does KHN's membership.

2008-2011 -- Rabbi Sandy is diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.  A series of student rabbis help provide coverage as she, despite illness, continues to lead the congregation.

2011-- Having battled cancer for three years, Rabbi Sandy dies at 58.

2011 -- After an extensive search, Rabbi Diana Miller is hired to be the new spiritual leader at KHN.

2017 -- A successful “Burn the Mortgage” campaign results in the Little Shul paying off its mortgage.

2018 --  KHN membership continues to hold strong and steady, with Rabbi Diana Miller leading the congregation.  The life of the community continues to grow.

2019 --  KHN celebrates it's 25th anniversary!



Wed, June 12 2024 6 Sivan 5784