The congregation of Temple Emanu-El takes seriously its role in Tikkun Olam, repairing the world. To that end, members volunteer their time and resources to work with several local human service organizations.
The Temple is a founding member of Caring Congregations, a group that established Caring Days, an adult daycare program for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory disorders. A Temple representative serves on the agency’s Board, and the Temple participates in several fundraising activities for the organization.
Members of the congregation have taken responsibility for servicing a weekly route delivering food for the Meals on Wheels program, a component of the Community Service Program of West Alabama. This program provides a hot lunch to persons who are home-bound, or are unable to prepare meals for themselves.
One morning a month, a group of Temple members spends several hours working at the Food Bank of West Alabama. This group is involved in packing meals that are sent home with area school children, to ensure they have enough to eat over the weekend, when they do not receive subsidized school lunches. At Yom Kippur, we make a special effort to collect food and funds for the food bank.
Throughout the year, collection baskets at the Temple are available for in-kind donations to Caring Days, the West Alabama Food Bank, and Turning Point (a safe haven for victims of domestic violence). In addition, the Temple, the Sisterhood, and the Men’s Club, often organize special donations to these and other community organizations.
The Temple is also a member of the Tuscaloosa Coalition Against Predatory Practices (T-CAPP). This organization of faith-based groups was formed to address the problems caused by the spread of payday lenders in the area, which create serious financial issues for low-income individuals in the community.
S O C I A L C L U B S
President: Qiaoli Liang
Vice President: Tracy Kellner
Treasurer: Sonni Besnoy
Secretary: Cas Lisko
Parliamentarian: Anna Singer
Past Presidents: Amy Ahmed, Ruth Applebaum, Pam DeWitt, Betty Jo Goldstein, Wendy Goldstein, Barbara Hood, Anna Singer, Marianne Rosenzweig, Adena Whitman
The Sisterhood of Temple Emanu-El was established in 1913 and affiliated with NFTS (now WRJ – Women of Reform Judaism), which also formed that year. 2013 marked the centennial milestone for both organizations. As a member of WRJ, our Sisterhood supports the
YES fund (Youth, Education, and Special Projects) which helps to strengthen the institutions of our Reform Movement and ensure the future of Reform Judaism. Sisterhood participates in conventions at the district and national levels of WRJ, and Amy Ahmed serves on the WRJ Southeast District Board as a State VP.
The sisterhood fulfills many roles at the temple. We organize social events that help build strong bonds and friendships among temple women and families. We provide refreshments at the Rosh Hashanah Oneg and serve a full Yom Kippur Break-the-Fast meal for our congregants and Hillel students at no charge. We make a substantial contribution to the temple each year in support of the temple, the religious school and Hillel. When the current temple was built in 2011,
the sisterhood contributed the funds for the Toby S. Whitman kitchen.
For meeting and event dates, refer to the temple website calendar.
For more information on becoming involved with Sisterhood of Temple Emanu-El, please contact Qiaoli Liang.
President: Kevin Besnoy
Vice-president: Jesse Wheeler
Treasurer: Allen Rosen
Past President: Murray Silverstone
The Men’s Club of Temple Emanu-El of Tuscaloosa is an auxiliary organization whose purpose is to strengthen, promote, and advance the objectives and activities of the Temple Emanu-El congregation. We organize and participate in social and cultural activities designed to promote the Jewish interest and the commitment of the temple members, with the goal of instilling a more thorough knowledge and appreciation of the Jewish religion, traditions, and heritage among our members and the laypeople of the Temple, and to build ties with the greater Jewish community. We also seek to establish and maintain ongoing ties with the Jewish students at the University of Alabama, and to work with and assist the Sisterhood of Temple Emanu-El in fund-raising and other Jewish community related-activities.
Membership: Annual membership is currently $36 (double-chai) and any male who is interested in the activities of the Men’s Club and Temple Emanu-El shall be eligible for membership.
Men's Club meets on the 3rd Sunday of every month. Please refer to the calendar for any possible changes.
For more information on becoming involved with the Men’s Club of Temple Emanu-El, please contact Kevin Besnoy.