Our Congregation

About CEI

Congregation Emanu-El Israel (CEI) is the center of Jewish activities in central Westmoreland County. CEI is affiliated with the Reform movement, but members familiar with either a Reform or Conservative tradition will find a friendly, comfortable feeling here. CEI is the ideal place to renew or strengthen ties with your Jewish identification.

CEI supports the traditional family, the non-traditional family and Jewish singles.


First of all, CEI is a house of worship. It has been part of the history of Central Westmoreland County for 125 years. Religious services are held on the Sabbath and all major Jewish holidays. The Sabbath is celebrated on Friday evening with a Reform oriented service. At the CEI Friday evening Sabbath services, all are welcomed with singing both in Hebrew and in English. Members of the congregation, as well as students from our Religious School assist our Rabbi in conducting these services.

Sabbath services are also the forum for sharing with friends and family, those important life cycle events including baby naming, Bar or Bat Mitzvah, and remembering our loved ones. For families with smaller children, Tot Shabbat services are held approximately once a month during the school year.

In addition to High Holiday services, all other major holidays are celebrated. A community Passover Seder has been celebrated for several years now on the second night of Passover and our annual Hanukkah dinner is a long-standing tradition.

Religious activities are conducted by our Rabbi, Rabbi Stacy Petersohn. Rabbi Petersohn recently joined CEI in the summer of 2017.


Our congregation and Rabbi Petersohn are devoted to the development of Jewish life and values, and to the education of our children. To provide our children with the knowledge of Jewish history, ethics, culture and language, CEI runs an integrated Religious school. The school is for our children in grades K-10. This comprehensive training is administrated by a knowledgeable and committed faculty, and includes individualized Bar and Bat Mitzvah training. Religious School operates Sunday mornings for grades K-10 with weekday after school Hebrew for grades 3-7. For the adult members of the congregation who desire to increase their knowledge of Judaiam or revitalize their religious identification, CEI has an adult education program. Courses include Bible study and Talmud. Our size permits us to tailor courses upon request. Our book club reads current Jewish literature, fiction and non-fiction, and meets bi-monthly to discuss the books. For adults who desire a Bar or Bat Mitzvah for the first time, or feel that it is the time to renew their original Bar or Bat Mitzvah, individualized lessons are also available.

Cultural and Social

To continually enrich our lives in the tradition of our ancestors, CEI has an active calendar of cultural events. These have included Israeli film showings, food fairs, and much more.

CEI, above all, is a warm welcoming group of individuals and families like you who want to be part of a larger Jewish community. We have an active Sisterhood that sponsors a full range of social, educational and fundraising activities. A CEI Mens Club is also available. The congregation has sponsored two annual community-wide events that are renown throughout Westmoreland County. The "Taste of Westmoreland" is a night where the community taste tests foods provided by thirty or more leading area restaurants and caterers.