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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_editPast Passover, Where are you Going Now?

This year, the first Torah reading after Passover includes Leviticus 20:27: “A man or woman who has a ghost within them or a familiar spirit will certainly die…  they are responsible for their own death.”  Textually, this comes at the end of the Holiness Code’s (Leviticus chapters19 & 20) comprehensive list of capital crimes, including sorcery.  Interpretively, The Raibal reads this verse as a spiritual advisement for The Omer – the period of counting seven weeks from Passover to Shavuot.

In the agrarian world of the Bible, Passover marked the end of the rainy season and the beginning of the grain harvest.  As the grain came in, it was to be counted by the omer, a volumetric measure of about 3 2/3 liters or just under a gallon of barley.  The tithe, a basic 10% flat-rate tax, was ‘withheld’ by setting one omer out of ten aside for God.  The grain harvest took about seven weeks and ended just in time for Shavuot, The Feast of Weeks, when fruit started to ripen on the tree.

Classic rabbinic calculation associated this period with the time it took for the newly freed Hebrews, to progress from slavery to Mt. Sinai where, through Moses our Teacher, The Law was received.  Law, in this case, is The Torah and the Tradition built upon it as the direction for a better life in this world and the guidebook for achieving an eternal presence in the universe.  In this way, our rabbis teach the same lesson that we have talked about at TEE and that columnist David Brooks expressed in a recent NY Times op ed., namely that freedom is meaningless without a law and social order.  Well-governed and relatively predictable personal and communal life is a necessary condition for freedom and growth.

Counting the Omer keeps this spiritual reality in our consciousness as a daily reminder that the sacred history of the journey from Egypt to Sinai must be reflected in our present-day commitment to receiving Torah today. 

For The Raibal, the ‘ghost within’ represents today’s Jew whose observance of Passover reflects only the ‘ghost’ of parents or grandparents, without continuing the evolution of our Tradition by bringing something of her or himself to the table.  The ‘familiar spirit’ is the person who sticks only to what he or she thinks they know – without seriously venturing forth into the wilderness to approach Sinai through study, Jewish engagement and receiving Torah as a living presence in their life.    Those who stick to these familiar ghosts risk the death of their own spirits and the demise of Judaism.

Since the Messiah did not, so far as we can tell, arrive this Passover we are still, as every year, commanded to Count the Omer of our souls and proceed together to Sinai.

Cantor Update

Rick Headshot_2014The cantorial search successfully and happily concluded with the finalization of our contractual arrangements with Cantor Richard D. Lawrence.   We will be welcoming Cantor Lawrence to the  congregation and community when he joins our clergy staff early this summer.  Please watch for opportunities to meet, pray, study and sing with TEE’s new cantor in the months ahead. 

Upcoming Events

Friday, April 11 ~ Tot Shabbat ~ 5:30 pm
Tye  Dye T-Shirts! Children ages 6 and under are invited for a short Shabbat service, crafts and songs. For information, contact Carolyn Abrams.
Monday, April 14 & Tuesday, April 15 ~ Matzah Mitzvah
Do you hold a 1st or 2nd seder in your home and are you willing to add a few chairs at your table? Or, do you need a place to go for Passover this year? TEE would like to help match up congregants. Click here for more details. 
Thursday, April 24 ~ Soup Kitchen Volunteering ~ 4:00/4:30 pm
TEE congregants will be volunteering the 4th Thursday of each month at the Soup Kitchen at Calvary Presbyterian Church. Participants ages 12 and up can either meet at 4pm at Mitchell's Ice Cream at La Place for carpooling or meet at the church at 4:30 pm. In addition, we need volunteers to prepare pans of spaghetti in advance. Click here for the required recipe. If you are volunteering, you can bring the spaghetti with you or the Tikkun Olam Committee can arrange for someone to bring your donation. Contact Earl Cohen at 440/461-7275 to volunteer and/or make spaghetti.

Saturday, April 26 ~ The Great Gatsby Gala
RSVP today for a glamorous evening of live music, fabulous food, open bar, silent auction and more. Click here for more information.

Monday, April 28 ~ Arthur Cowan Holocaust Speaker ~ 7:00 pm
Join us as Erika Gold, mother of Marilyn Zaas, shares her experience as a child during the Holocaust. Seating is limited. Free and open to the community. RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at 216/454-1216.

For a full listing of TEE events, programs and services, check out the latest weekly TEEmail or visit the calendar

Friday, April 25 ~ Hands on Holiday ~ 5:30 pm

Join us for stories, songs, snacks and crafts with a Yom Ha'atzmaut theme. For information, contact Carolyn Abrams.


Friday, May 2 ~ 67th Congregational Annual Meeting ~ 7:30 pm

Join us for reports from President Judy Uram and Rabbi Steven Denker, election of Temple Trustees and presentation of the Emanu Elite of the Year Award. A potluck dinner will precede the Annual Meeting at 6:00 pm. Cost is $4/person or $18/household. TEE will provide chicken, please bring a non-dairy side dish for 10 (no nuts please). RSVP to Renee Higer.


Sunday, May 4 ~ Informational Dinner for 2015 Family Israel Adventure ~ 5:30 pm

Connecting to the People & Land of Israel (June 30 - July 9, 2015), will be led by Rabbi Steven Denker and Kate Milgrom. Join us for this final informational meeting and dinner for those considering joining us on the Israel trip. We will share the updated itinerary for our fun, spiritual and unforgettable family experience of Israel's heritage and the real people and places of Israel today. Final price information will be available as well. RSVP by April 25 to Kate Milgrom. 


Cantor's Corner

Cantor Library_editedCantor Diane Yomtov brings spirituality and warmth to our congregation through her music as well as the voices of our congregation. Her musical menu includes:

Friday Night Chai - a lively, participatory, musical Shabbat service held monthly. Cantor Diane leads both the youth choir and the Chai band in this wonderful Shabbat experience.

Youth Choir - Religious School children are invited to participate in this choir which practices on Sunday mornings before Religious School performs during Friday Night Chai as well as other times during the year.

High Holy Days - Cantor Yomtov's voice along with our Holy Day choir adds richness to our most holy days of the year. Check back soon to find recordings of Cantor Yomtov's High Holy Day music.

Adult Education - Opportunities for learning with Cantor Yomtov are offered through our Adult Education programming. Previous courses have included such topics as Yiddish Theater, The Golden Age of the Cantorate, Trope and many more.

Purim Spiel - Cantor Yomtov leads a group of talented congregants in an engaging and often funny presentation of the Purim story.

In addition to her love of music, Cantor Yomtov is an animal lover and holds an annual Simchat Chayot (blessing of the animals).

Click here to read more about Cantor Yomtov's background and experience.

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:

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]