We invite you to connect and engage with the women of Temple Emanu-El and become a part of our vibrant Sisterhood community. Temple Emanu-El’s Sisterhood is a group of multi-generational women who join together in programs and activities that enrich our lives and nurture our sense of spirituality. Under the guidance of our clergy, each program includes social gathering, learning, and community building.
Educational and cultural enrichment are offered through a variety of programs. We are an integral part of Temple Emanu-El through our commitment to our temple’s Social Justice initiatives, our Judaica Shop, and the many special projects and events initiated by our clergy and other committees.
As a member of Temple Emanu-El, you are already a part of the Temple Emanu-El Sisterhood. There are no dues to join. We look forward to having you share with other Jewish women around the world in our common bond of caring for our families, our temple family, Israel, and our community.
We want to welcome men of all ages to Temple Emanu-El Brotherhood. Throughout the year we organize social-action, religious, and educational events in order to serve our congregation. Brotherhood’s goal is to foster the Jewish community within Temple Emanu-El and the Greater Atlanta area in accordance with Jewish traditions and values.
As part of our Year of Engagement we are encouraging you to please join, support, plan, and participate in our many events and activities. You can help further enhance the mission of Brotherhood and strengthen the community of our spiritual home. Please contact Temple Emanu-El Brotherhood President Danny Summerfield, if you have any questions or would like more information.
Temple Emanu-El’s Social Action mission is a reflection of our congregation’s dedication to the ideals of justice, tolerance, access to education, and a life of dignity for all. The Social Action committee is comprised of passionate members who work to create and implement a vision of community activism as an integral part of Jewish life. We are constantly seeking ways to fulfill our spiritual aspirations by helping our greater Atlanta community, while also supporting important social change projects in Israel.
Our programs include hands-on volunteer projects for the whole family, as well as opportunities for meaningful philanthropy, and policy advocacy. We are always enthusiastic about welcoming new members and participants with a variety of skills and talents needed to organize, implement, and follow through on a multitude of projects.
The Adult Education Committee provides a wide range of educational programs the temple community. Programs include: guest speaker presentations; scholar and artist-in-residence weekends; regularly scheduled classes. Volunteers who are interested in planning and developing programs or who would like to work to implement existing programs, contact Stephen Blick.
The Temple Emanu-El Caring Committee has been comprised of compassionate members of haham lev (wise hearts). The committee practices the spiritual Jewish values of bikkur holim (attending to the sick) and chesed (acts of love and kindness). Our goal is to be present with community members in their times of joy and sorrow. The Caring Committee is excited to welcome volunteers who are interested in helping with telephone calls, card writing, hospital and home visitation.
The Caring Committee Needs You!
Shimon [the son of Rabban Gamliel] says: “It is not what one says, but rather what one does,
that makes all the difference in the world.”
The Caring Committee serves all of our congregants in times of joy, illness, and loss. We currently need volunteers for Substitute Callers and Food Deliverers. Substitute callers fill in for our regular callers in making contact with our congregants for Life Cycle events. Food Deliverers purchase meals or trays for our congregants, deliver the food, and are reimbursed by Temple.
Please volunteer to be a part of our Caring Committee family. You can make a difference!
Caring Committee’s Visiting Committee
The Caring Committee would like to reinstitute our Visiting Committee. We could make visits to congregants’ homes, rehab centers, and senior living residences. The visits would be for those who are ill, housebound, or want visits in a senior residence. We need to have someone volunteer to Chair this and would work closely with Ann Fine and Gerri Penn as well as our clergy and staff. We will also need volunteers for this committee to make the visits. Visits can also be phone visits.
“Love your fellow as yourself,” This commandment, said the great Jewish sage Rabbi Akiva, is a most basic principle in the Torah. Reaching out to your fellow with patience, love, concern and unity is among the greatest mitzvot we can do.
Members write about the personal satisfaction they feel as members of the Caring Committee:
My name is Joanne Eissler and I joined Temple Emanu-El in 1993. I moved to the Atlanta area from the San Francisco Bay Area in 1992. I knew that I wanted to be involved in a Synagogue and a Jewish community. Joining Temple Emanu-El has been one of the best decisions I have made.
I retired last year with 30 years working for the Federal Government service. All my service was around the country, starting in Washington, D.C., moving to San Francisco, CA and then on to Atlanta, all involving a different agency. My last 13 years of service was with the Centers for Disease Control where I was an Administrative Assistant.
After a few years of thinking about joining the Caring Committee, I chatted with a member at an Oneg Shabbat one Friday evening. She was explaining all that the Committee does and what a blessing it is. A few days later I received a call from Ann Fine and that is how I became a member in 1997.
When I make my phone calls on a Friday afternoon to a congregant that is in need due to a death, surgery or a birth, I hear the congregant say thank you and how appreciative they are of the call. This makes me feel good that I am able to make a difference and I always feel rewarded after I complete the phone call.
My name is Judy Rich and I am a volunteer for the Caring Committee at Temple Emanu-El. I have been doing this for almost 12 years; serving in this capacity has been very rewarding. It is an easy and gratifying way to donate my time and to know that by reaching out to those in need of support, I can make a difference. I also help deliver food when needed. This includes contributing to a shiva meal or taking a dinner to someone who has been ill if requested.
These simple tasks are greatly appreciated by our members. It is a special feeling to know that as a congregation, we care for and about what is happening to all of our congregants.
Libby Pollock has been a member of Temple Emanu-El since 2003 and has volunteered on our Caring Committee for almost 10 years. She is our “Thursday caller” – she calls on our congregants experiencing life events if they are reported to the office on a Thursday.
Libby relishes her role on the Caring Committee, as it makes her feel more connected to her Temple community. She shared that “connecting with fellow congregants during their time of need and being able to offer them the support of our Caring Committee has been very rewarding over the years.”
The Caring Committee’s Bikkur Cholim Committee
This committee is comprised of volunteers who participate in the Mitzvah of visiting the sick and elderly within our synagogue. If you are in need of a “friendly visitor” or would like to join this committee, contact Ann Fine or Gerri Penn.
The Religious School Committee supports the programs and educational goals of the Diamond Family Religious School. Parent volunteers participate in planning events that enhance the spiritual growth of our students and developing a warm and welcoming school community. We encourage parents to sign up and participate in the religious education of their children.
Contact Co-Chairs Robin Dubrow, Shari Gordon, or Meghan Penn if interested.
Garden Isaiah is a 16-bed food garden located by the upper parking lot. All produce is donated to the food pantry at the Community Assistance Center in Sandy Springs. Volunteer opportunities include planting and harvesting vegetables, helping to maintain the memorial rose garden and paths of Garden Isaiah and delivering produce to the food pantry (about 2 miles from Temple). We are at the Temple most Sunday mornings beginning around 9am. Please feel free to drop by.
Contact Robert Wittenstein if interested.
We’re still growing…
- Garden Isaiah was begun to provide fresh organic produce to those who are food insecure. The inspiration came from a moving presentation by Bill Bolling, then the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Atlanta Community Food Bank, during Yom Kippur services at Temple Emanu-El in 2004.
- Garden Isaiah volunteers harvest food weekly, usually on Sunday mornings. All food grown in the garden is delivered to the Community Assistance Center (CAC) food bank in Sandy Springs, where it is handed out to those in need who have been pre-qualified by their staff. We measure success by keeping records of food harvests. Over the last 11 years, we have donated over 4 tons of locally grown fresh food to the CAC, and our most recent year alone was nearly 1300 pounds.
- In 2012 we expanded the garden to include six fruit trees, and in 2015, with the help of a local Boy Scout Troop, we added three additional produce beds and two beds dedicated to a pollinator garden. Included in the pollinator garden are milkweed plants that will provide habitat for the Monarch butterfly, a species threatened with habitat loss.
- Garden Isaiah is a designated fund at Temple Emanu-El. The annual budget comes from donations that are specifically targeted to Garden Isaiah, and it takes several thousand dollars each year to keep the operation going. Temple Emanu-El donates the land. Contributions support the ongoing operation of the garden to purchase seeds, plantings, compost, fertilizer, and tools.
- To make a tax-deductible donation to the garden – CLICK HERE.
The Membership Committee helps create a welcoming environment at Temple Emanu-El by greeting and speaking with guests and prospective members. It welcomes new members and helps them find their place in our congregation. Some members of this committee will also work on new membership and retention strategies. If you love Temple Emanu-El, come and share your enthusiasm by joining the Membership Committee.
Contact Andrea Levy, Lori Bohrer, or Ellen Lindemann if interested.
The Sacred Communities Committee creates a varied calendar of programs that foster community and provides meaningful experiences for our members. The committee helps plan, promote and deliver year-round programs targeting multiple audiences within the congregation – adults, families, empty-nesters, etc. Volunteers who like to be creative and plan fun events and programs are encouraged to join!
Contact Deb Perlstein if interested.
The Ritual Committee works with our Rabbis and Cantor in the conduct of our congregation’s religious services. Congregants who can offer their expertise, ideas and efforts are welcome.
Contact Stephen Blick if interested.
The Youth & College Committee is the liaison between TEFTY for high school age children (and middle school children for Jr. TEFTY) and Temple Emanu-El. If you have a high school or middle school aged child and you would like to be involved with this dynamic group of youth, the Youth and College Committee would love to hear from you.
The Chevra Kadisha (Jewish Burial Society) is a group of dedicated men and women who, when called, meet at the funeral home to prepare a recently deceased member of the community for burial. This ritual washing of the deceased, known as Tahara, is the highest Mitzvah that a Jew can do. One never knows which Chevra Kadisha members lovingly and respectfully cared for their loved ones as identities are never discussed or disclosed. Our members can be known to the congregation if they choose.
Our vision is that Temple Emanu-El be the leading synagogue for Israel engagement in the greater Atlanta area.
Temple Emanu-El is a Zionist congregation committed to a cultural, religious, and political connection with the State of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people. Israel is a central pillar of our communal Jewish identity. We integrate Israel into our lifelong learning, worship, social justice, and the decor of our building. Our congregants travel to Israel, contribute financially to her well being, and engage in nuanced dialogue about the land, her people, and the State.
- A safe and secure Jewish and democratic state in the Land of Israel.
- A commitment to helping Israel realize values which we as liberal Jews hold dear–peace with her neighbors and full civil, human and religious rights for all citizens.
- An Israeli society reflective of both democratic values and religious pluralism.
- The acquisition of Hebrew language skills to draw closer to our sacred texts and to engage with our brothers and sisters in the Land of Israel.
- Knowledge of and appreciation for the secular and religious cultural heritage in the State of Israel
Interested in helping to shape the ways in which Temple Emanu-El engages with Israel? Temple Emanu-El's Israel Committee seeks to plan events, coordinate speakers, and provide ways to incorporate Israel into the fabric of our congregation. Join our Israel Committee today and contact Rabbi Max for more information.