As Temple Israel’s spiritual leader, I am glad of your interest and I hope that you will want to be part of our congregational community. We are inclusive: we welcome Jewish and interfaith couples; singles and families; students and retirees; seekers interested in learning about Judaism or wanting to experience it more deeply. And we are glad to have visitors. Our services blend the traditional and contemporary; we strive to offer enjoyable, content-filled Jewish learning and inspirational paths to spiritual growth.
Our synagogue has a variety of services and activities each month. Our religious school, run by dedicated parents and teachers, is designed to engage students’ minds and imaginations. I welcome opportunities to offer stimulating adult education and provide beautiful life-cycle ceremonies that respect Jewish traditions yet are appropriate to individual circumstances. Though we understand that life is always unpredictable, we know that this past year has been a troubling one for countless people worldwide because of the economy and political unrest and change. As human lives are braided together like a havdalah candle, even those who have not been directly affected by a financial crisis can sense meltdowns around them.
It’s all the more important that we cultivate and celebrate the strength and beauty that we find in family, friendship, traditions, rituals, music, community and prayer. May Temple Israel provide an oasis in which we and others find comfort, sustenance and cause for celebrating.
Our officers and committee heads as well as I will be glad to hear from you if you have questions or particular interests. We look forward to meeting you and sharing with you our plans for an exciting year of activities.
Rabbi Dr. Andrew Vogel Ettin