Open House(s) at Temple Israel

by | Aug 10, 2019 | What’s Happening

Saturdays, August 24 and September 14, 9:30 am

It’s getting to be that time of year—time to start thinking about the High Holy Days. For everyone, it’s a time of teshuvah, of returning. For long-time members of the Jewish community, returning can mean anything from going back to shul after taking the summer off to revisiting the familiar prayers of the machzor.

But in a transient community such as Hampton Roads, with its large military and student populations, ‘returning’ can mean actually having to find a temple to return to. That can be a daunting enough task at any time, but perhaps even more so at this time of year.

Temple Israel, a Conservative congregation located in the Ward’s Corner area of Norfolk, is planning a series of open houses so that anyone who falls in the category of looking for a place to worship can sample the temple’s services, meet Rabbi Michael Panitz and members, and enjoy the hospitality that’s one of the hallmarks of the synagogue.

On Saturday, August 24, visitors will experience a standard Shabbat service, where it’s quickly evident that Temple Israel is a very participatory congregation. On Saturday, September 14, and in fact, on the second Shabbat of each month, the congregation holds traditional services from 9:30 to 11 am, followed by a special program and discussion. The presentations are as diverse and varied as Temple Israel’s membership, and provide an atmosphere for learning and sharing that’s both intimate and fun. Called Second Saturday, on September 14, the topic is “Promises and Regrets,” a fitting precursor to the coming High Holy Days.

Visit Temple Israel on one (or both!) of these Saturdays for Shabbat services and an oneg lunch. While services begin at 9:30 am, you can join the service at any time. The congregation promises a warm welcome, an enlightening experience, and a meaningful exploration of modern Judaism.

Bobbie Fisher