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Our Mission

Be a welcoming Jewish home for members, visitors and the local community for worship, study, friendship and support to increase the understanding and appreciation of Judaism.


On behalf of our entire congregation, I would like to say welcome. No matter what brings you to Rochester, we want to be your Jewish home. Whether you and your family are relocating to Rochester or you are visiting Rochester to receive care at one of our local medical clinics and hospitals, we look forward to seeing you. B’nai Israel Synagogue provides worship services and holiday celebrations, education programs, congregational activities and hospitality to all who enter our doors.

As Rabbi, I serve both as spiritual leader of B’nai Israel Synagogue and Jewish chaplain of the Mayo Clinic. Bridging the gap between practical and spiritual needs is an integral part of our mission. In other words, we are here to help.

Since our congregation was established over one hundred years ago, many things have changed in Rochester, but our commitment to warmly welcome those living in or visiting southeastern Minnesota has not.

I look forward to welcoming you to our Jewish home.

-Rabbi Michelle Werner


Become a member of our engaging congregational community and have the opportunity to attend all worship services, education programs and events and participate on the Board of Directors or on a synagogue committee. Contact us at 507-288-5825.

Gathering of Reflection and Response to the Shooting in Pittsburgh

Hundreds of community members joined the B’nai Israel Synagogue congregation on Tuesday, October 30, 2018, in a moving service in response to the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, October 27.  Read Rabbi Michelle Werner’s inspiring comments and prayers from the service here.

We extend our heartfelt thank you to the many individuals and organizations who have reached out to our community in the wake of this tragedy. We are grateful for your support and for the many words of encouragement.

Sat, July 11 2020 19 Tammuz 5780