Tagged synagogue

Some synagogues are opting for high quality over homegrown when it comes to online services. Is that a good thing?

“We just didn’t think we could do it any better,” Cantor Steven Stoehr of Congregation Beth Shalom, above, in Northbrook, Ill., said of the Shirat Haruach High Holidays service package.

(JTA) – For the rabbis and cantor of Congregation Beth Shalom in Northbrook, Illinois, the to-do list to prepare for the unprecedented online-only High Holidays season was long. In addition to transforming their usual services for over 3,000 people into an experience that congregants will find meaningful online, they… Read more »

Selma’s only synagogue has 4 members and is fighting for its life

The exterior of Temple Mishkan Israel in Selma, Ala. The synagogue has four members but wants to transform into a museum. (Amy Milligan)

(JTA) — Whenever the lone synagogue in Selma, Alabama, needs dusting, new lighting or vacuuming, Ronnie Leet is the one who does it. It’s tiring work — especially since the 120-year-old Temple Mishkan Israel hasn’t held regular services in years, hasn’t had a rabbi in nearly half a century… Read more »

The Jewish lawyer who is defending a synagogue vandal

WASHINGTON (Washington Jewish Week via JTA) — From murderers to sex offenders, some of the least desirable citizens of Maryland’s Montgomery County have walked through the doors of attorney Barry Helfand’s office. But it took a quiet teenager to make Helfand question his responsibility as a lawyer. Sitting in Helfand’s… Read more »

Sanctuary ramp at CAI promotes inclusion

The new ramp makes it easy for wheelchair-bound members of the congregation to come up to the bimah for an aliyah.

The dream of wheelchair-bound congregants at Congregation Anshei Israel — to ascend to the bimah like everyone else — has become reality. The congregation’s new wheelchair-accessible ramp, which bridges the previous divide, was dedicated at a Saturday morning Shabbat service on March 24. “I’ve been extremely frustrated that people… Read more »

JFSA Reshet program helps synagogues learn from each other

Inspired by the Reshet network, Congregation Chaverim began a mentoring program in which established families invite new ones to family-friendly events, such as this Simchat Torah celebration.Inspired by the Reshet network, Congregation Chaverim began a mentoring program in which established families invite new ones to family-friendly events, such as this Simchat Torah celebration.

Last year, Tucson was chosen as one of four pilot communities to participate in the National Reshet Network, a synagogue-strengthening program funded by the Covenant Foundation and coordinated locally by the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona. Reshet means “network” in Hebrew. In May, Rabbi Philip Warmflash, executive director of… Read more »

Secular world to inform youth mitzvah day

Congregations Or Chadash, Chaverim, and Anshei Israel will hold a community Youth Mitzvah Day on Sunday, Oct. 31, combining their religious school studies. The event, open to all Jewish students from pre-K through 8th grade, will be held at Congregation Or Chadash from 9:30 a.m. to noon. The theme… Read more »

Music, joy core of new Renewal congregation

Rabbi Shafir Lobb

A focus on blending heart and mind brings a new congregation to Tucson. Congregation Kol Simchah (voice of joy) will hold its first Friday night Shabbat service and dinner on Nov. 19. “Born of the seed of Ner Tamid,” says Rabbi Shafir Lobb, the new Renewal congregation has emerged… Read more »

At Shavuot, Or Chadash to dedicate orphan Torah scroll

Herb Cohn reads from Or Chadash's new Czech Torah scroll.

When Congregation Or Chadash formally received a Czechoslovakian Holocaust Scroll in December 2009, a once vital Czech Jewish community “was brought back to life,” says Rabbi Thomas Louchheim. Scroll MST-1408, an orphan scroll that survived World War II, is on long-term loan to Or Chadash from the Memorial Scrolls… Read more »