Welcome!

If someone were to ask me to describe the essence of Temple Israel while standing on one foot, I would say: it's all about relationships, meaning, and impact. I suppose one could say that about many organizations and causes, so let me add a little commentary here. When it comes to relationships, the connections we share in our congregation possess a genuine warmth and depth.

In the coming months, we will have many opportunities to extend and deepen those connections. These are the ways we build community and foster real, not just virtual, relationships.

When it comes to meaning, what we share is firmly-rooted in the wisdom and values of our tradition. We nourish those roots through regular opportunities for spiritual practice and intellectual engagement, supplemented by visits from leading contemporary scholars. Our shared search for meaning is what brings us together, along with an openness to be touched and transformed by it.

Lastly, when it comes to impact, we are all doing our part to make a difference locally and with regard to some of our world's most pressing issues.

“Relationships. Meaning. Impact.” These three words describe the essential elements of our congregation. The additional commentary I've shared may help to describe the unique ways in which we embody those words. Yet as remarkable as our community is in these ways, equally remarkable is what will happen when someone reading this article comes to an event and allows himself/herself to be touched and transformed by it.

If you find even one program or service on our calendar that looks interesting, that someone may be you. Like Hillel, I invite you to come and find out for yourself.

Hear more from Rabbi Heyn by attending our weekly Shabbat services. We'd love for you to join us each Friday night at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m.

Rabbi recommends

Jan
20
Sat
10:00 am Shabbat Morning Service @ Gumenick Chapel
Shabbat Morning Service @ Gumenick Chapel
Jan 20 @ 10:00 am – 11:15 am
Join us for our weekly Saturday Morning Services.
Jan
26
Fri
7:30 pm Shabbat Shirah @ Bertha Abess Sanctuary
Shabbat Shirah @ Bertha Abess Sanctuary
Jan 26 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
A special Sabbath of Song With Rabbi Heyn, Cantorial Soloist Karen Pincus, and the TI Singers with Dr. Alan Mason.
Jan
27
Sat
10:00 am Shabbat Morning Service @ Gumenick Chapel
Shabbat Morning Service @ Gumenick Chapel
Jan 27 @ 10:00 am – 11:15 am
Join us for our weekly Saturday Morning Services.

LET MY PEOPLE STAY

Earlier this week, it appeared that lawmakers were ready to pass a short-term spending bill to keep the government open. But as Senate Democrats look increasingly likely to cave, conservatives in the House look increasingly likely to fight -- or at least get some concessions. And depending on what demands GOP leaders give in to, […]

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CLARITY AND INSPIRATION

With schools still out for winter break and some families away on vacation, it's been a relatively quiet week in Miami. I took the opportunity to make a trip to Cincinnati last night to see my boys for a couple of days, so today's message comes to you from a much colder climate. From Saturday through […]

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A BLESSING FOR 2018

Parashat Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26) is the final Torah portion in the book of Genesis, the book also known by its Hebrew name, Bereishit. It concludes the narratives of the matriarchs and patriarchs of our tradition, and also brings the remarkable saga of Joseph and his brothers to a close. It ties up several loose ends […]

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DRAWING NEAR

"Then Judah drew near to Joseph and said, "Please, my lord, let your servant appeal to my lord...." In this week's Torah portion, Vayigash (Genesis 44:18−47:27), the continuing story of Joseph and his brothers reaches its climactic ending. When Judah draws near and pleads with Joseph to free their brother, Benjamin, offering himself as a […]

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THE LIGHT OF THE INFINITE

This week's Torah portion, Mikeitz (Genesis 41:1−44:17), almost always falls during the week of Hanukkah. It's common for rabbis to try to discern the connection between things that coincide and the meaning to be derived from a coincidence. Here is one interesting connection. At the beginning of this week's reading, Pharaoh had a dream about […]

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THE ONGOING STORY OF OUR PEOPLE

In this week's Torah portion, Vayeishev (Genesis 37:1−40:23), we begin the story of Joseph and his brothers which continues for ten more chapters, bringing the book of Genesis to a close in chapter 50. By the end of this first of four Torah portions devoted to the story, we have no idea how it will […]

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KEYS TO A SUBLIME THANKSGIVING

At your Thanksgiving celebration, there will be much conversation about food and other pleasant topics. But as with Jewish holidays, the meal we enjoy together is intended to impart a sense of identity, spirituality, and moral responsibility. That is to say, around the table we are invited to recall our history, our values and our […]

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A TRUE BLESSING

I once heard someone compare people who live on the East Coast with people who live on the West Coast. He said that on the East Coast, if you ask them to do you a favor, they'll usually say, "Sorry, I'm too busy," but then they go and do it for you anyway. On the […]

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THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS

After yet another mass shooting earlier this week, we hear politicians and others with good intentions offer to the victims and their families their "thoughts and prayers." This should be a comforting response to each and every tragedy but, sadly, it has not been effective in reducing gun violence and saving lives. If this public […]

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DREAM SHABBAT

In these contentious and often dispiriting times, many people experience a dichotomy between spiritual practice/renewal and social justice activism. Earlier this afternoon, I listened in on a webinar organized by the Institute for Jewish Spirituality on integrating Jewish spiritual practice with the pursuit of justice. The guest speaker was Rabbi Elliot Tepperman of Congregation B'nai […]

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