The Temple Emanu-El Experience

Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2014 JoomlaWorks Ltd.

 and thanks for visiting our Temple Emanu-El website. We are a Reform Jewish Congregation in Irondequoit, New York, a few minutes from downtown Rochester.

We feel fortunate that we share a rich heritage, a vital Jewish community life, and a promising future. Our congregation reflects the diversity of today's society - we invite you to share in our warm, informal approach to Reform Judaism

Friday Shabbat services generally begin at 7:30 pm. 

To find out more about our congregation, please click “About Us” on the menu bar. Better yet, come visit us. 


Welcome to our High Holiday Services!

If you have not previously attended High Holiday services atTemple Emanu-El, we would like to offer you free tickets - and we look forward to meeting you.

For more information and to obtain your tickets, please contact us at 585-266-1978, or

Sept 5, 10 PM                                                   Slichot Study and Service 
Sept 13, 8 PM Erev Rosh Hashannah
Followed by a special oneg sponsored by Yoni Herzbrun in memory of his parents, Michael   and Pnina Herzbrun
Sept 14, 10 AM First Day Rosh Hashannah
Tashlich at the Lake follows the service
Sept 14, 2 PM Family Service
Sept 15, 10 AM Second Day Rosh Hashannah
Sept 22, 8 PM Kol Nidre Service
Sept 23, 10 AM Yom Kippur Morning Service
Sept 23, 3 PM Yom Kippur Study
Sept 23, 4 PM Yom Kippur Afternoon Service
Followed by a Break-the-Fast meal sponsored by Yoni Herzbrun in memory of Pnina Herzbrun’s mother, Ester Cohen
Sept 27, 5:30 PM Sukkot Celebration; Sukkah Decoration; Pizza-in-the-Hut
Oct 5, 6:30 PM Shemini Atzeret Yizkor Service  
Oct 5, 7:00 PM Simchat Torah Family Service  

Thirty plus years ago Temple Emanu-El (through the Federation) sponsored the relocation of a Laotian family that had been in a refugee camp in Thailand for several years.

We Sponsor Vietnamese Family 2Myron Dworkin with Praseuth PhongsaEarly on a Monday morning, as I was getting ready for work and getting my four children off to various schools, I received a call from a Temple member asking for help. The family had arrived the night before and they had placed them in a motel in Webster.
I begged off work and made it to the designated hotel. I found Nang Phongsa and her four young children, Bountanome, Peylouvong, Samsai and Samsoc. They looked tired, scared, definitely bewildered and confused. I immediately noted that the father was missing. My first thought was that we had lost one already. Yikes!!! He had gone to look for food. I went looking for him. I found him walking back towards the motel. He was definitely scared. After I fed them, through a lot of signs and smiles, we became friend and even later family.

Resettling them was a highlight of my life and a wonderful experience for my whole family. They were incredibly resilient, bright, ambitious and brave. The boys ranged in age from 18 months to 11 years and I immediately loved them all. When I learned all they had had to endure I loved them even more and wanted to protect them.

Sometimes that wasn’t possible. But after lugging 50 lb. bags of rice, experiencing some of the hottest food on earth and learning a little Laotian here and there, and some medical complication, we made it with the help of a lot of Temple members and Federation experts and Laotians who had come before.

At the end of three or so years, they decided to relocate to North Carolina for job opportunities, to be near friends and relatives and to be in a terrain and climate closer to their homeland. We all cried – a lot.

We have stayed in touch. Unfortunately, we visited to attend Samsai’s funeral a few years ago. My middle daughter has visited often while she was a coach at a university near their home. My granddaughter Izabella calls Nang Auntie.

On July 17 I received a call that Praseuth Phongsa (the father) had died earlier that day of cancer of the liver. I knew his chances were not good, but somehow I wasn’t prepared to know he was gone. I am grieving.

If you remember them fondly as I do please let Nang and the boys know. They remember us fondly. Nang’s address is Nang Phongsa, 1601 Shelby Road, Kings Mountain, NC 28086. May Praseuth Phongsa be for a blessing.

SuSan J. Campbell


Books and Bagels - Sunday, September 20, 11 AM. 

Hebrew Classes

Hearing Loop

Loop4As a continuation of our policy to help our members, Temple Emanu-El Has installed a hearing loop.

Help Raise Money for Temple

1. When you shop at Amazon using the link below, Temple will earn 4-10% of your purchase.

Shop Amazon

2. Use the search engine
 for your web searches. When you go there, enter "Temple Emanu-EL" under "Your favorite Cause," then click "Get Started." You may be asked to register - you can skip that step. Select our temple, Rochester, NY, from the temples listed. On subsequent searches the system will "know" that you're working for us.

Updated 9/1/15