Synagogue membership is about having an extended family present to share in your joys as well as in your sorrow. It is comforting to know that Temple Israel will be there for you in your darkest of hours when a loved one passes away. For our members as well as some extended family, our clergy will guide you through your mourning process. They will meet with you, conduct the service (at the synagogue, memorial chapel, or graveside), help you at the burial, and join you at your house of mourning. If you need help in selecting a cemetery or a funeral home, we are here for you.
Temple Israel leads adult Hebrew students through a two-year journey that culminates in an adult B’nei Mitzvah experience. This program can bring fulfillment to any adult who was unable to celebrate their becoming bar or bat mitzvah at the age of thirteen. Through preparation for this life-cycle event, a class of learners study Hebrew, Torah, ritual and history with Ms. Toledano, our rabbis, and cantor. Students become adult B’nei Mitzvah in the presence of the community, with each student chanting Torah, giving a “d’var Torah” (literally a “Word of Torah”), and sharing with our congregation a story of the spiritual path that brought each celebrant to this milestone occasion.
A wedding is the most beautiful and special time in the life of a couple. We at Temple Israel are always honored to be a part of such an important event. The clergy of Temple Israel are happy to guide you through the process from the moment of engagement through the breaking of the glass. We can council you on every aspect of your preparations for the wedding and life beyond. We work with each couple to ensure that their marriage is as wonderful as the ceremony itself. Please be in touch with the clergy so that we can help you.
Our sanctuary is a spectacular location for a wedding. With its stunning stained glass windows, high ceiling and intimate feel, the sanctuary only enhances what is already a magical moment. We also have options for full onsite catering and a wooded setting that makes for beautiful photos.
Students who continue their Religious School studies through twelfth grade are honored in a graduation ceremony that takes place at a Friday evening Shabbat service. The graduating students create and lead the worship service, sharing their Jewish journeys with the congregation through speeches and readings.
Tenth grade students engage in an intensive study experience in preparation for their Confirmation. Confirmation class, which is taught by the clergy, focuses on theology, social justice, and Reform Judaism. The highlight of the year is a a weekend retreat at the Religious Action Center in Washington, D.C., where our students have the opportunity to engage in social justice advocacy. At the end of the school year, Confirmands lead the congregation in worship and study at the Confirmation service, which occurs on the festival of Shavuot. Students are encouraged to visit Israel on a summer tour at the end of the Confirmation year.
The Reform movement established the ceremony of Confirmation in the early 19th century. Confirmation allows young adults to “confirm” their role in the Jewish community while developing their own personal beliefs. Temple Israel of New Rochelle is proud to have been celebrating the Confirmation of young adults since 1912. Each year we add a photo of the newest class to the wall in our Youth Lounge.
At Temple Israel, the milestone of becoming Bar or Bat Mitzvah is viewed as part of the continuum of Jewish life–not an endpoint in one’s education. We highlight our students’ growth from childhood towards maturity, yet emphasize their role in our greater Temple community. The path to becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah begins with Religious School. Temple Israel requires our Bar/Bat Mitzvah candidates to participate in religious school training for a minimum of three years. This is then coupled with performance of Mitzvot and a course of study in Torah and specific chanting skills, which are taught by our clergy staff. This training culminates in a communal celebration that is held during Shabbat worship.
Following Bar/Bat mitzvah, our students continue their religious education through Confirmation in the 10th grade and Graduation in the 12th. We are proud of our students and their interest in pursuing Jewish education with us through the end of High School.
Parents are encouraged to study alongside their children, not only for their children’s sake, but also for their own. This demonstration of interest in what our children learn provides much-needed support to each student, while giving each parent a greater appreciation of the meaning of this milestone.
If you have questions about the program, please email Rabbi Nichols.
Temple Israel welcomes new students to the Religious School through a Consecration ceremony. Held on Simchat Torah, the holiday which affirms the importance of lifelong study, this service marks the beginning of each student’s religious education. Celebrants receive blessings from the clergy, certificates of consecration, and miniature Torah scrolls.
In the weeks prior to Simchat Torah, Cantor Contzius teaches the incoming group to recite the Shema and sing about the Torah. On the evening of Consecration, the students gather with the clergy and Temple president for a commemorative photograph which will later be hung in our Youth Lounge, alongside dozens of others from all of the Consecration classes in our Religious School’s history.
When a new child is born into our community, she or he receives two names. One is the name that appears on the birth certificate. The second is a spiritual name that is given in a Jewish naming ceremony. If a girl is born or if a boy has a circumcision without a “brit milah” or “bris” ceremony, a family may elect to have a Jewish naming ceremony to which friends and family are often invited.
This is the only life cycle event that our synagogue performs for members and nonmembers alike. We will be happy to assist you in selecting a Hebrew/Jewish name for your child and can perform the ceremony at either our synagogue or your home. Give us a call so that we can wish you congratulations and a hearty Mazal Tov!
Temple Israel is sensitive to the needs of the deaf community. To that end, we have set aside funds for ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation of High Holiday services, Friday night Shabbat services, and social programs. TINR is dedicated to doing everything possible to enable deaf congregants to participate in Jewish worship, traditions, and activities, and to feel connected at our Temple.
If you would like ASL interpretation for a specific event or service, please contact the Temple Israel office at (914) 235-1800.
Passover (Pesach) is the most celebrated Jewish holiday. Its home rituals, family gatherings, and universally recognizable symbols have meaning for everyone who participates at the seder table. Families and individuals join together at Temple Israel for Yizkor services, a communal lunch, and worship in the sanctuary on the first and last day of the holiday.
Three different seders are offered at the Temple throughout the week. Our community seder, led by our clergy and open to all, draws hundreds of people for the full traditional seder filled with song, laughter, food and wine. Temple Israel’s clergy help to lead the Inter-Religious Council’s annual interfaith seder. Each year the elderly of New Rochelle are transported here from local senior residences to enjoy our Friendship Club seder. Passover provides everyone in the extended community with an opportunity to celebrate together.