Security at Temple Emanuel


We continue to reassess our security needs in tandem with Newton police and security professionals.

Due to the hard work of our security committee over the past several years, we have implemented a number of security measures based on their regular check-ins with police and other security experts. In light of the horrific acts in Pittsburgh, we have taken immediate action in implementing the next phase in our security plan in ensuring that armed security guards will be stationed at both doors when the building is opened.

We could use your help as together we can stand stronger:

  • If you notice someone who looks out of place or acts in an unusual manner, please inform a Temple Emanuel staff member Or, if you feel particularly threatened, call 911.
  • Please make sure you bring your fob with you when you come to the building. If you do not have a fob, please contact the office to receive one. Please do not share your fob with anyone else. Please report lost fobs immediately.

As always, we continually strive to strike the right balance between establishing a secure and safe space while maintaining a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Jeff Lurie, Temple Emanuel’s Executive Director.

Show Up for Shabbat


Pittsburgh is watershed. There is before Pittsburgh and after Pittsburgh.

The massacre at Tree of Life has and will result in more security at Temple Emanuel and at synagogues throughout America.

And it has created more conversation about how truly safe and secure Jews are in the United States. I have heard grounded, rational people share how vulnerable, exposed, and frightened they feel now. That is why we have had, and will continue to have, including on Shabbat, upgraded security measures, including uniformed, armed Newton police officers standing guard. Your safety and security are our first priority.

That is also why it is all the more imperative that we join a national movement, #ShowUpForShabbat, and come together. Not afraid. Not divided. Not missing from the pews. But here, stronger than ever.

Shabbat morning is going to be very powerful.

Senator Elizabeth Warren is going to join us to read the Prayer for Our Country and to offer words of love, presence and support.

I am going to read words from one of our members, Ellen Segal, who is from Pittsburgh, who knew the two brothers, Cecil and David Rosenthal, very well. She and her husband Steve attended the funeral and will share what it was like to be at their service and burial.

Rabbi Robinson is going to deliver a powerful sermon entitled “Tending the Tree of Life in the Valley of the Shadow.”

We will sing America the Beautiful together.

Martin Luther King, Jr. taught us: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

This Shabbat let us radiate light and love,
Wes


Join AJC in honoring the memory of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting victims and standing up to anti-Semitism and all forms of hate by participating in the nationwide #ShowUpForShabbat campaign.

AJC is calling on Jewish communities across the country—along with elected officials, religious and civic leaders, and other allies, both Jewish and non-Jewish—to flock to synagogues this coming Shabbat (Friday night and Saturday, November 2-3).

For those who want to #ShowUpForShabbat but do not belong to
Temple Emanuel, please join us!

Shabbat Alive! or Kabbalat Shabbat Services :  Friday evening | 6:30 pm
Shabbat Morning Services :  Saturday morning | 6:45 am and 9:30 am

Annual Appeal 5779: Turning Storm Clouds Into Sunlight


Yom Kippur Annual Appeal, 5779
September 18-19, 2018 — 10 Tishri 5779

One Shabbat morning an elderly woman who walked into a shul where she was greeted at the door by a friendly usher who offered to take her to her seat.  Where would you like to sit?

The front row, please.

The front row?  Why so close?

Oh, I really want to be able to hear the rabbi’s sermon. I don’t want to miss a single word!

Have you ever been to our services, the usher asked?  The rabbi is a nice guy and all, but frankly his sermons are not scintillating.

Really, she said.  Do you know who I am?

No, he said.

I am the rabbi’s mother.  I think his sermons are fabulous.

Do you know who I am, the usher asked?

No, she said.

Good, he answered. Let’s keep it that way.

I first told this joke a few weeks ago in a sermon about not writing people off.  The usher and the mother write each other off, and in this season we should recommit to not doing that.

I tell this joke again tonight because it points to the inevitability of disagreements in a community. People see things differently. The usher and the mother have different opinions about the rabbi.  So too, people here see things differently. We are like our country. Diverse. Divided. Passionate.   Some think we are too left. Others think we are too right. That has not changed.   The important point is that these very real differences have not stopped our shul from being a place of Jewish values that inspires all of us, in ways consistent with our convictions, to radiate kindness, compassion and love into the world.

When we shared the good news that Quin, the woman from Uganda whose life was at risk because she was gay, was granted asylum by a federal judge, the response from our community was overwhelming.  Within one day more than sixty Temple Emanuel members volunteered to help.  Seven families said we’ll house her indefinitely. One family is doing so.

That’s not to mention the daily rides, calls, meals, shiva visits, sick visits, that happen in our community every day.  Somehow, magically, our beloved member Chanah Berkovitz just happens to appear every single morning at 7:00 for morning minyan, and every single evening at 7:30 for evening minyan, even though she no longer drives.  Immaculate transportation.  The  miracle is the love of our members who  drive her every day.  Small wonder that she calls Temple Emanuel an “oasis of spirituality.”

Kindness, compassion and love originate here and spread out to the world.

But is that enough of a response? Is that perhaps a cop-out?  Isn’t the world in an urgent moment?  Of course it is. Doesn’t our country need your advocacy, not just your kindness?  Of course it does.

But like the rest of the country, we don’t agree on what the right political outcome looks like.  We can agree on the importance of Jewish values, and those values are even more important in these sharply divided times.    These are the Jewish values that our world needs more of, and you can find these values right here: respecting other people, k’vod habriot; personal humility, anivut; the ability to listen, shema yisrael; and that we act consistent with our principles.  That we make a difference in the world, tikkun olam.

That’s why we are sending 25 teens to Israel this December to deepen their love of the land and people of Israel.  Get inspired here, make a difference out there.

That’s why we are doing a family mission on March of the Living, taking our families from Auschwitz to Israel, to confront the history and present reality of anti-Semitism. Get inspired here, make a difference out there.

That’s why we raise money every year for 30 years for the soup kitchen of the Mass Avenue Baptist Church, and why our volunteers regularly serve in the soup kitchen. Get inspired here, make a difference out there.

The services, programs, classes, and events that allow us to get inspired here and make a difference out there take resources.  That is why our Annual Appeal is so important. 28% of our revenue comes from our Annual Appeal. Your support literally allows us to do what we do and to be who we are.

One fine August afternoon this summer, Elias and I were officiating at a wedding for one of our families in Newport, Rhode Island.  All weekend long there was a 70 % chance of rain in Newport.  As Elias and I drove to the wedding, it poured the whole time.

Fortunately, this couple had signed up for the Temple Emanuel Clergy Weather Protection Package where, for a slight additional fee, we guarantee perfect weather for outdoor venues.  Just as we got to the wedding site, the rains stopped, the heavens cleared, the sun shined, and we had a perfect hour of sunlight for a very happy bride and groom.

The storm clouds gathered, but through the power of love and grace the storm clouds were turned to sunlight.

With your help, it can happen again, right now.  With your generous gift to our Annual Appeal, we can turn storm clouds of division into sun light through the power of your love. Thank you, and g’mar chatimah tovah.

A Conversation with Yossi Klein Halevi


On June 3, 2018, the Award-winning author and Shalom Hartman Institute senior fellow Yossi Klein Halevi joined in conversation with Aviva Klompas, Associate VP of Strategic Israel Engagement at CJP, celebrating the launch of Yossi’s groundbreaking new book,  Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor

Hartman iEngage Lecture


Israel@70: Judaism and Democracy
May 9, 2018

All of Israel is Responsible for One Another:
On the Israel-Diaspora Relationship

A conversation with Orit Avnery, Rani Jaeger and Dani Segal
Moderated by Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, Dean of The Rabbinical School of Hebrew College.

Bringing together the voices of the Hartman Beit Midrash for Israeli Rabbis, a unique pluralistic rabbinic training program representing the diversity of the Israeli-Jewish experience.

This program is cultivating a new generation of leaders who are reshaping the Israeli public sphere to reflect and respect religious diversity in Israel and around the world.