Jewish Life

Living Jewishly in Dothan

Temple Emanu-El

Mission Statement

Temple Emanu-El is a Reform Jewish congregation upholding the traditions of Judaism including Hebrew Language, Tanakh, T’fillot, Mitzvot, Holidays, Customs, Jewish History, and Israel, while empowering members to cultivate their relationship with God and Torah.

The mission of Temple Emanu-El is to cultivate and nurture the love and understanding of Judaism; to provide a warm and caring environment to nurture Judaism; to ensure the future of our Jewish community, commitment to Tikkun Olam, and to strengthen and serve our members.

Temple Emanu-El – History

Dothan’s synagogue was organized on January 30, 1929, meeting and worshipping in rented space. The dedicated group of families completed a new building on September 14, 1941, served by the congregation’s first full-time Rabbi, Alfred Wolfe.

A major building addition (social hall, large kitchen, and classrooms) was completed in 1963, followed in 1998 by a comprehensive remodeling/upgrading of the entire synagogue facility. We are very proud of this commitment to continuous improvement, ours truly is an exquisite facility, yet the building is paid for and has no mortgage.

For 88 years, our synagogue has maintained an active, dedicated congregation without the comforting security of a large Jewish community. We have not missed a Shabbat evening service during those 88 years; proof positive that the congregation enjoys lay leaders prepared to step-up (as needed) to lead services.

Our congregation regards and respects each of its members as family. Although modest in number, we consider ourselves “small but mighty," proud of our spirit, positive energy, rich history, and commitment to excellence.



Temple Emanu-El – Warm & Welcoming

During 1941, Temple Emanu-El affiliated with the Reform Movement and remains a member of the Union for Reform Judaism.

Fully aware that mainstream Reform may not be everyone’s personal choice, Temple Emanu-El has always strived to ensure that congregants from more traditional backgrounds are comfortable in celebrating their Judaism at our synagogue.

Cantor Neil Schwartz serves Temple Emanu-El as sole clergy. Cantor Neil joined us in July of 2019. He is a graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary, and is a member of the American Conference of Cantors and the Cantors Assembly. 

Temple Emanu-El – Summary Information

188 North Park Avenue
Dothan, AL 36303

(334) 792-5001

Clergy: Cantor Neil Schwartz

Office Manager: Tammy Denhart



  • 60 member units; governed by Board of Trustees; very active Sisterhood; Brotherhood; Hadassah
  • 300 seats in the sanctuary; 5 classrooms; library; social hall with stage; kitchen; private gardens with sukkah/chuppah
  • Shabbat Evening Services; Monthly Shabbat Morning Services; Shabbat Torah Study; Religious School on Sunday; Bar/Bat Mitzvah study; Confirmation classes; Adult/lifelong education classes; as well as many other interfaith community events