Temple Emanu-El Celebrates 79th Annual Meeting

Temple Emanu-El Celebrates 79th Annual Meeting

June 17, 2008

On Monday June 16, Temple Emanu-El held its 79th Annual Congregational Meeting. Speaking to those assembled, President Dr. Barbara Minsky expressed her appreciation to the Board of Trustees and Officers for their dedication, long hours and diligence during the past year.

Dr. Minsky listed several major congregational accomplishments as “proof positive that Temple Emanu-El is an exciting, vibrant, and growing religious community.”
During this past year, Temple Emanu-El was honored to recruit Rabbi Lynne Goldsmith as our fifteenth Rabbi. The congregation and the greater Dothan community have been impressed and enriched by her leadership and positive energy.

Our Sisterhood and Hadassah had another fabulous year and we thank them for their quality programming and significant fundraising support. The Second Annual Bill Nomberg Goods and Services Auction and the Annual Hadassah Art Auction were, both, a first class success. Brotherhood was reestablished this year, producing several great events and now has 23 members.

The Temple enjoyed an ambitious adult education program this year including “Taste of Judaism, “Judaism 101,” and Adult Hebrew. Saturday morning Torah Study was vibrant and well-attended. In addition, Rabbi Goldsmith presented a series of excellent interfaith community educational events.

Concluding her remarks, Dr. Minsky celebrated that four new families joined our synagogue this past year and that “we look forward to even bigger and better things next year.”
Rabbi Goldsmith then spoke to the audience outlining what she feels was “a truly wonderful year for herself and the congregation.” Our “small but mighty congregation” had two baby namings, a wedding, three B’nei Mitzvah, Consecration, the first Confirmation since 1999, and several conversions. During the upcoming months, our Temple family is looking forward to another baby naming, three more B’nei Mitzvah and several conversions.

Concluding her remarks, Rabbi Goldsmith said “Truly, we are on a roll. I mean it when I say that I won the pulpit lottery in my Hebrew Union College Rabbinical Class of 2006. May we strive not only to continue the congregation’s commitment to our covenant with God and Torah, but also to further strengthen it with action and love.”


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Temple Well-Represented at URJ’s Camp Henry Jacobs

Temple Well-Represented at URJ’s Camp Henry Jacobs

July 3, 2008

Dothan’s Jewish community is enjoying another fantastic summer camp experience at the URJ’s regional facility, Camp Henry Jacobs in Utica, Mississippi.

After first attending an excellent professional conference at the Institute for Southern Jewish Living in Jackson, Rabbi Goldsmith traveled to Utica to serve on the Camp faculty for a week. Her responsibilities included leading Shabbat services, assisting with teaching, tutoring students and serving as the “Team Chaplain” of the Maccabia Games Red Team, a group of campers ages eight to fourteen.

While at Henry Jacobs, Rabbi Lynne was thrilled to see and play with two Temple Emanu-El campers, Luana and Mathew Banker.

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Temple Celebrates Abbey Lewis Bat Mitzvah

Temple Celebrates Abbey Lewis Bat Mitzvah

July 14, 2008

On Shabbat evening July 11, Abbey Lewis was called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah at Dothan’s TempleEmanu-El. Over seventy-five congregants, including fifty Lewis family and friends, attended the service which was lead entirely by Abbey.

Temple’s Brotherhood cooked and served an excellent formal meal in our social hall before the service and the Lewis family, assisted by Sisterhood, provided a fabulous Oneg after the service.

Congratulations Abbey, for a job well done, and to your parents Mark and Lisa. Your congregation, your extended family, is very proud of what you accomplished.

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Temple Trip to Montgomery – July 20

Temple Trip to Montgomery – July 20

August 19, 2008

On Sunday July 20, 2008 thirty-two members of Temple Emanu-El, and their friends, traveled to Montgomery. We enjoyed lunch at Carraba’s Restaurant followed by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s production of West Side Story.

Truly, this was a fantastic Temple family experience: great food and fun and an excellent professional quality performance.

Make plans to join us next year for Les Miserables !


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Dothan in the News

Dothan in the News

August 20, 2008

On Tuesday August 19, 2008, Dothan was visited by Associated Press correspondent Jay Reeves to gather information for an article about our Jewish community (past and present), Temple Emanu-El, Blumberg Family Jewish Community Services (JCS), and the JCS Family Relocation Project.

JCS executive director Robert Goldsmith organized and hosted the day-long site visit and was interviewed at length. The itinerary included:

1. Tour of Dothan (for background/context photographs)

2. Telephone interview with three leaders of Dothan’s Jewish community

(Dr. Barbara Minsky, Valerie Barnes, and Edward Marblestone)

3. In-person interview with three leaders of Dothan’s Jewish community (Thelma Nomberg, Richard Blumberg, and Larry Blumberg)

4. Tour of Temple Emanu-El and an in-person interview with Rabbi Lynne Goldsmith

Dothan’s Jewish community and the JCS are honored and excited to receive this attention — proof positive that ours is a truly distinctive, vital and most worthy initiative.


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Interfaith Education – A Conversation About Jesus

Interfaith Education – A Conversation About Jesus

August 21, 2008

On consecutive Tuesdays, August 19 and 26, Dothan’s Temple Emanu-El and Evergreen Presbyterian Church are hosting an interfaith class on the subject of Jesus.

Rabbi Lynne Goldsmith and Reverend Joseph Johnson are leading the discussion of issues such as: (1) what is the Trinity; (2) was Jesus man or God or both; (3) what is the Jewish interpretation of the Messianic texts in Hebrew Scriptures ?

The first class was well attended; the audience of 45 addressed many of the questions of mutual concern, delving into history and scripture, all the while respecting each of our faith traditions.

This class promises to be another success in a series of such community Dothan interfaith events in which Temple Emanu-El is pleased and honored to be a major partner.


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Shalom Yall – Guest Article

Shalom Y’all – Guest Article

August 21, 2008

Although I grew up in the South, I admit that I have never been to Dothan, Alabama. I imagine it is a very nice town and I know that it has a Jewish community with a vibrant population and many Jewish communal institutions. The question that the community leaders in Dothan are asking is: How do you get people move to Dothan and help sustain the community? In other words, what will it take for people to move to Dothan, especially when the trend among young people is to move to the big cities.

That is where Dothan seems to have taken a page out of the JOI play book. We believe that if we want people to enter the Jewish community and its institutions then we have to provide them with incentives for doing so. In the case of Dothan, the Jewish Community Service of Dothan is offering $50,000 no interest grants as part of its Family Relocation Project. In today’s economy, that is indeed an incentive.

Families shouldn’t expect automatic entitlement to the JCS funds just because they are moving to town — there is an intensive vetting process to make sure recipients are committed to helping strengthen and grow Dothan’s Jewish community. One of the qualifications is the family must remain in Dothan for at least five years. This is a bold plan, and we look forward to following its progress — and measuring its success.

Posted by Kerry Olitzky August 4, 2008 on the website and blog of the Jewish Outreach Institute (JOI), reprinted with his permission.

The Jewish Outreach Institute honors Jewish values by promoting a more welcoming and inclusive North American Jewish community that embraces intermarried familes and unengaged Jews, and encourages their increased participation in Jewish life.

Dr. Kerry Olitzky is Executive Director of the JOI.

Please visit their website at: http://joi.org


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Associated Press Publishes Article – Relocation Project

Associated Press Publishes Article – Relocation Project

September 9, 2008

Wow ! On Monday, September 8, 2008, the Associated Press published an article and audio slide show profiling Dothan’s Jewish community, our Temple Emanu-El, as well as Blumberg Family Jewish Community Services and the Family Relocation Project. Immediately after publication of the article, we have received world-wide attention, significant press coverage, over 400,000 hits on our website, and hundreds of contacts from families interested in moving to Dothan to join our Jewish community.

If your family has contacted us about our Project – we ask that you please be patient.

Click here to read the article:
http://joi.org/bloglinks/Group%20dangles%20$50K%20for%20Jews%20who%20move%20to%20Ala_%20town%20-%20Yahoo!%20News.htm

Click here to view the audio slide show:
http://hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/_national/recruiting_jews/index.html


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CNN Correspondent Visits Dothan

CNN Correspondent Visits Dothan

October 3, 2008

On September 19, 2008 CNN Correspondent John Zarrella and his videographer Jerry Simonson spent the day in Dothan to gather information for a story about Dothan, Temple Emanu-El, our organization, and the Family Relocation Project.

John and Jerry spent 90 minutes at the Temple to tour the facility and interview Rabbi Lynne Goldsmith.

Then, Jewish Community Services executive director Rob Goldsmith provided a tour of Dothan and was interviewed, followed by an interview of Dothan’s Mayor Pat Thomas.

The final stop was Larry & Laura Blumberg’s home. John and Jerry interviewed Larry as well as Daryl and Loretta Shapiro and Marty and Abbie Margolies.

The day concluded with a warm and wonderful Shabbat evening dinner hosted by Larry and Laura.


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