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4x5 Color_for_Internet_Uram_0013Welcome to Temple Emanu El. We are a reform congregation conveniently located to encompass the Jewish community in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland. Our doors are open to you and your family. Please come join us for Shabbat services, for learning opportunities, for fun and spirituality. We are a family centered congregation and strive to provide opportunities for members of all ages and interests to be meaningfully engaged.

At Temple Emanu El, we believe that learning is life-long. We know that our children are our future, but we also know that our parents and grandparents may want to gain knowledge and insight as well. Our religious school is outstanding with a child-centered approach and an active, participatory learning environment that has been recognized nationally. Our students are active in youth group, activities, camp and family retreats.  Our pre-school is a warm and nurturing environment for our little ones. And for the adult learner, we have much to offer. Whether you love to cook, have a passion for music, are an avid reader or enjoy Torah discussion, we have a spot for you.

We strive to be your Jewish home away from home. Come visit us and find out more.

Judy Uram, President

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Rabbi's Study

Rabbi Bima_edit

What it is, What it ain’t. 

The term “Tikkun Olam” is bandied from the Bema, in the Halls of Congress and by the unhinged, aging and amoral Ezra Goldman, played by Elliot Gould on Showtime’s series, “Ray Donovan.”  Whenever a Hebrew term becomes this popular it is, inevitably, misused.  Here is your incomplete corrective: 

Tikkun has to do with putting something in order, completing, repairing or straightening it out.  “That which is crooked cannot be l’tkon (straightened)” Ecclesiastes 1:15.  Or as Ecclesiastes says of himself (12:9); he tekain (organized) many proverbs.” Nachmanides’ and others use “tikkun olam” as the justification for interpreting a law to make it more realistic and observable (ad loc Leviticus 25:5).  A takkanah is a significant legislative act or correction in Halakah.  Olam, minimally, means the world in which we live.  Its greater meaning is the universe of earth and sky and maximally, infinity of time and space - this world as well as the heavenly realm. 

In a full reading of Aleinu we say: “l’takain olam b’Malchut Shaddai” – to repair the world in the Rulership of God – which became part of our liturgy no later than 9th Century CE Babylonia, thanks to Rav Amram Gaon.  It is associated with the closing verse of Aleinu, Zechariah 14:9 “… on that day God will be One…”  In this context, tikkun olam is an illiberal concept suggesting that the world will be perfect when everyone worships God as we do.

In Jewish mysticism, tikkun olam has the metaphysical meaning of gathering the sparks of light that went forth during creation.  For the mystic, this light is gathered whenever we do mitzvot, ritual or ethical.  When the light has been re-united, the universe will have been repaired.  This mystical influence is seen in the customs of gathering the light of Shabbat candles to the eyes, and the chanting of “Or zarua la’tzadik” – Light is sown for the righteous - as we take up the Torah scrolls in preparation for Kol Nidre.

By the early 20th Century, North American Jewry took up Jeremiah’s instruction (29:7) that we work for the welfare of the cities to which we have been exiled.  Jewish leaders and individuals became engaged in many social and political causes.  Enhanced by involvement in the mid-century civil rights and anti-war movements, so called ‘Social Action,’ became a hallmark of Reform Judaism.  This broadened into a wide political agenda that was, eventually, bannered under the re-adopted Hebrew term of Tikkun Olam.

Unfortunately, Tikkun Olam has, in some quarters, been identified with a particular political party or outlook.  This is an error.  Tikkun Olam is the effort to perfect God’s creation, making the world a place that is more shalem – whole in every respect.  And, although we may differ on how to get there, we are engaged in tikkun olam whenever we take action, ritual, ethical or political, that makes us better people, improves our congregations, relieves suffering or enhances justice. 

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Cantor's Corner

Cantor Lawrence_Reception_editedWe are pleased to welcome Richard Lawrence as Temple Emanu El’s new Cantor. Please join us for Shabbat services as well as programs and events at TEE to get to know him.

Children in Grades 2-6 are invited to participate in our TEE Children's Choir. Rehearsals are held on Sunday mornings at 9:00 am, prior to Religious School. For information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at 216/454-1215.

You can now follow Cantor Rick on Facebook. Click here to see his page.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, September 20 ~ Selichot ~ 6:30 pm
Join us for an Israeli style dinner catered by Aladdin's ($20/person) followed by a video & discussion at 7:30 pm, dessert reception and Selichot service at 9:00 pm. RSVP to Renee Higer at 216/454-1209.

Sunday, September 28 ~ Annual Memorial Service ~ 2:00 pm
The Annual Memorial Service will be held at Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery Chapel at 26200 Aurora Road in Bedford Heights. 

Sunday, October 5 ~ Family Fall Festival & Sukkah Building ~ 10:00 am - noon
Join us for pony rides, a petting zoo, pumpkin painting, touch-a-tractor, crafts, games, treats and a hot chocolate bar. $5/person or $20/household. Click here for more information. RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  at 216/454-1223.

Wednesday, October 8 ~ Sukkot Service ~ 7:00  pm

Join us to celebrate Sukkot

Friday, October 10 ~ Camp Reunion Shabbat ~ 7:30 pm
All are welcome to join us for this upbeat camp-style Shabbat service. Enjoy snacks and a craft - make your own instrument to use in the service. Please note the later service time. For information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  at 216/454-1220.

Sunday, October 12 ~ Sukkot Open House ~ 1:00 - 5:00 pm
Rabbi & Lisa Denker invite you for a visit and nosh in their sukkah at their home, 32675 Burlwood, Solon.

Press Room

News about Temple Emanu El can frequently be found in the pages of the Cleveland Jewish News, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Solon Times, Chagrin Valley Times as well as others. Some recent articles include:

June 2014: New Cantor Lawrence Refers To Emanu El as Family [link]

June 2014:
Temple Emanu El is Pleased to Announce Richard Lawrence has been Hired as Cantor [link]

June 2014:
Temple Emanu El Names Lawrence as Cantor [link]

May 2014:
Temple Emanu El Third Graders Take Up Collection [link]

March 2014:
Temple Emanu El Sports Night [link]

February 2014:
Rosenthal Marks 25 Years as Preschool Director [link]

February 2014:
Tikkun Ha'olam Award [link]

January 2014:
Meshuganotes Aims to Hit High Notes [link]

January 2014:
ZOA President: Interim deal won't stop Iran [link]

January 2014: Zionist Leader Will Speak on Iran [link]

January 2014:
Belle Likover, Repairing the World at 94, Honored by Temple Emanu El [link]

January 2014:
Likover to Be Honored for Longtime Social Work [link]

December 2013
: Ruach Hadasha iniates Jerusalem - Cleveland bond [link]

December 2013:
New Spirit CEO to speak at TEE [link]

November 2013: The Values of Chanukah [link]

September 2013:
Tweeting Atonement? [link]

July 2013:
TEE to hold Special Needs Shabbat [link]

July 2013:
Three generations serving TEE Board of Trustees [link]

June 2013: Union Prayer Book Shabbat service set at Temple Emanu El [link]

May 2013
: TEE Brotherhood Receives Men of Reform Judaism Programming Award [link]

April 2013: Paint the Night Features Speed Painter [link]

March 2013: Remembering The Exodus From Egypt [link]

March 2013: TEE Adds Infant Care Room To Preschool [link]

February 2013: TEE Celebrates Fourth-Generation Member [link]