Temple Israel congregation celebrating 50th anniversary year

Jul 13th, 2017 | By | Category: Featured, This Is Your Church

By Louise Rachlis

Temple Israel is Ottawa’s only Reform Jewish congregation.

Reform Judaism, also known as Liberal Judaism or Progressive Judaism, is a major Jewish denomination which emphasizes the evolving nature of the religion. It started in the 1800s in Germany, and experienced significant growth and evolution here in North America. Reform Judaism encourages the examination of religion with an eye toward tradition, rationality and egalitarianism.

Temple Israel synagogue is a sacred community, a home for families of all constellations, for individuals whose life choices are varied, and for all age groups.

“Temple Israel is a community, a place to live Jewish lives,” said Rabbi Rob Morais, of Temple Israel, located at 1301 Prince of Wales Drive. “From our school and youth programs, through our programs for seniors, there is something for everyone. We’re a place for learning, growing, celebrating and supporting!”

Last October marked the beginning of Temple Israel’s 50th Anniversary Year, which will continue through until the fall of 2017.

50th Anniversary co-chairs Pat Dunphy and Margot Montgomery and their committees have been hard at work all year assembling a slate of interesting activities.

“Temple Israel is an egalitarian, inclusive synagogue that welcomes all types of families, Jews by Choice, and families with a non-Jewish partner; for those who are LGBTQ, we are open and safe,” said Rabbi Morais.

Temple Israel Ottawa is a vibrant and inclusive Jewish community that welcomes all who seek spiritual connection through the sacred values of Torah, prayer, learning, music, Gemilut Chasadim (acts of loving kindness), Tzedakah (charity) and Tikkun Olam (healing the world).

As an active member of the Union for Reform Judaism, Temple is linked to the Reform movement in North America, Israel and around the world. Temple holds services where traditional Hebrew flourishes along with more contemporary elements like their mixed (male and female) choir.

Temple also offers stimulating and relevant Jewish education for members’ children from Kindergarten through high school at Temple Israel Religious School.

On the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) we welcome everyone who wishes to be a part of our community  (non-members are asked to contribute to the synagogue in exchange for tickets). All students are welcome to join us at no cost.

Temple Israel occupies a unique position in Canada’s National Capital. Founded in 1966, Temple Israel is Ottawa’s only Reform Jewish Congregation. As an active member of the Union for Reform Judaism, Temple is linked to the Reform movement in North America, Israel and around the world.

Temple Israel is united with nearly one thousand congregations in North America through commitment to a progressive approach to Jewish religious life.

Other highlights of Temple Israel are the social justice / social action programing; opportunities for adult learning; Jewish travel, and spiritual mentoring. There is an Insights to Judaism class for those who want to learn more about Judaism.

Members enjoy life cycle events, social programming and concerts, and inspiring music at weekly services. “There’s a sense of being part of a beautiful ‘family’,” said Rabbi Morais.

For more information on Temple Israel, please view templeisraelottawa.ca. 

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