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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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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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 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 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 Celebration at Rabbi’s Home

Temple Celebration at Rabbi’s Home

June 9, 2008

On Saturday night, June 7, Rabbi Lynne and Robert Goldsmith welcomed approx. 40 members of the congregation to their Dothan home to celebrate Havdalah and to affix a Mezuzah to the doorpost of the home’s front door. It was a very special celebration, a time to enjoy our Jewish community’s extended family, as well as coffee and dessert.


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Discovered – Journal of Temple’s History

Discovered – Journal of Temple’s History

June 4, 2008

The Seder at Camp Rucker was attended by approximately one thousand persons.

In addition to the personnel of Camp Rucker and their families, the majority of the members of Congregation Emanu-el and the personnel of Napier Field attended this service. Chaplain (Rabbi) Samuel M. Silver and Mr. Mistovsky of the JWB were in charge of the service and had to cope with a number of difficulties. They provided and supervised the preparation of a vast amount of food. They cleaned an unused mess hall.

It was, perhaps, poetic justice that German prisoners of war were placed at their disposal for the celebration of our Festival of Freedom……Moving farewells took place last Sunday and today. In spite of restrictions, Chaplain Silver was able to bring “his” boys to the Temple in special buses for the brunch. The parting between the Congregation and the men of the 98th division was the parting of good friends.

The quotation above is from the handwritten history of the synagogue that was recently rediscovered by our President, Dr. Barbara Minsky in a Temple office cupboard. This history was written into the volume by C. Davis Turner, an early congregational leader, at the encouragement of the first Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El, Rabbi Alfred Wolf. These two men have provided us with an invaluable gift; the gift of knowledge of our congregation’s early history.

The book not only chronicles our beginnings, but provides us with an incredible and vivid account of the synagogue and its activities during the World War II years. Can we even imagine a Seder for 1,000 people, or the fear and trepidation as men of the 98th division who had become part of the synagogue family were alerted that they were being shipped out?

Knowledge of our local Jewish community’s history can help us understand where we are today, and more importantly, help us to plan for the future. Rabbi Wolf and Mr. Turner have given us an incredible gift, and I for one, am astonished and grateful that this treasure was found. We will be referring to it often in the months and years ahead.

There is an interesting piece of history/coincidence that is not recorded in this book. On June 27, 1974, in Simsbury, CT, Rabbi Samuel M. Silver, the same Rabbi Silver mentioned in this book of history and who served as an army chaplain at Camp Rucker, officiated at the marriage of Robert Goldsmith and Lynne Downey.

God surely works in mysterious ways.

Rabbi Lynne Downey Goldsmith

 


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Brotherhood Trip to Montgomery Biscuits Baseball

Brotherhood Trip to Montgomery Biscuits Baseball

June 2, 2008

On Sunday, June 1, twenty-three members/family/friends of Temple’s Brotherhood traveled to Montgomery to attend a Class A professional baseball game, as the Montgmery Biscuits lost to the Carolina Mudcats, 5 to 3 in front of 3,000 fans. Despite the 95 degree heat, we all enjoyed the good company, cold lemonade, and dinner afterwards at a local deli. Let’s do this again, next year !


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Congratulations

Congratulations

May 28, 2008

Lisa and Mark Lewis whose son, Daniel, graduated from University of Alabama on May 10 with a B.S. in Hospitality and Hotel Management. He’ll begin an internship at Disney World this summer.

Sarah Bauman, daughter of Marie and Jeff, who graduated on Sunday, May 18 from Birmingham Southern College with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Psychology.


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