Shofar and PomegranatesL’Shanah Tovah! Happy New Year!

Well, not quite yet. Erev Rosh HaShanah falls on Sunday evening, Sept 25 this year, while Erev Yom Kippur falls on Tuesday evening, Oct 4. But we’re starting our planning now so mark your calendars!

All of our High Holidays services and events are free and open to everyone. [There’s a few housekeeping details to mention – click on the button below for complete information.] We hope you’ll join with us as we celebrate this important season of the Jewish year. 

Our High Holiday Offerings

Books, a cup of tea, and a pair of glasses

Standing on One Foot: A Brief Introduction to Judaism

Four Tuesday mornings at 11am in the Erdle Lounge at the JCC

Aug 9 – History
Aug 16 – Holidays
Aug 23 – Lifecycle
Aug 30 – Spirituality

The course will be taught by Rabbi Drorah Setel. It is co-sponsored with Lifespan, open to all, and free of charge. [Photo curtesy of freepik]

Open Tent Shabbat graphicOpen Tent Shabbat

Aug 12, 6pm, in the Dawn Lipson Canalside Tent at the JCC

Our Shabbat Service will be led by Rabbi Drorah Setel and rabbis from Temples Sinai and B’rith Kodesh. Our accompanists will be Temple Emanu-El’s cantorial soloist Charlene Sommers, and the Temple Emanu-El band: Rabbi Sandra Katz, Professor David Schwartz, and Phyllis Clayton. The service will be followed by a picnic dinner.

Register for the Picnic

Temple Emanu-El’s Summer Picnic

Sunday, Aug 21, in the Dawn Lipson Canalside Tent and the playground behind the JCC

We welcome friends and newcomers to meet our Temple family on a summer afternoon.

11:30am – coffee meet & greet for families with young children
12-2pm – food & outdoor games for all

We’ll provide snacks and drinks. Please bring a dairy/vegan dish (no meat, poultry or shellfish please) to share. All are welcome!

Elul New Moon Circle

Sunday, Aug 28, 7pm in the courtyard at the JCC 

The new moon of Elul marks Rosh HaShanah l’Behemot, the New Year for Animals. We’ll celebrate by studying Perek Shirah, an early medieval poem that details the unique song of each animal, learning a blessing for our animal companions, and sharing our own significant connections to animals. Please bring songs, stories, pictures and/or mementos related to animals. All are welcome!

Cover of Alan Lew's Book ,This is Real and You are Completely Unprepared

Elul Study Sessions

Four Wednesday evenings at 7pm in our Temple Emanu-El Library at the JCC

Aug 31; Sept 7, 14, 21

Rabbi Drorah Setel will lead us in discussions based on Alan Lew’s Book, This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared: The Days of Awe as a Journey of Transformation. Handouts will be provided. The course is open to all and free of charge to our members. Guests and visitors are warmly welcome; we ask that you make a donation from the heart.


קהילת עמנו אל

K’hilat Imanu El – Our Emanu-El Congregation





תקון אולם

Tikkun Olam
Mending the World

  • Four happy people in a sukkah
  • Marching in Pride Parade with large Temple Emanu-El sign
  • People around large table discussing Torah
  • Temple members saying the blessing over the Shabbat challah
  • Rabbi Setel leads members in an outdoor Tashlich service

Shalom and thanks for visiting our Temple Emanu-El website

We are a Reform Jewish Congregation in Rochester, New York. Our members are Jews by birth, Jews by choice, and those drawn to Judaism, including multiracial, LGBTQ+, and interfaith households. We see ourselves as a family, where everyone’s participation is sought and appreciated. We invite you to attend our services and events, and share in our warm, informal approach to Reform Judaism.

This week at Temple Emanu-El

Shabbat Service

Friday, Aug 5, 6pm in the courtyard at the JCC (with Zoom option)

Chevre Torah Study Groups Online

Saturday, Aug 6, 9:30am and 10:35am

Men’s Club

Tuesday, Aug 9, 9am at the Nutcracker Family restaurant

Standing on One Foot – Intro to Judaism – “History”

Tuesday, Aug 9, 11am in the Erdle Lounge at the JCC

Spiritual Practices Team Meeting Online

Tuesday, Aug 9, 7pm

See Our Full Calendar of Services and Events

Our Covid-19 Policy

We value the health and safety of all who worship, celebrate, and learn with us. We want to take care of each other and are particularly conscious of protecting the most vulnerable among us. For that reason we ask that all attendees to any of our in-person services, celebrations, and events bring proof of COVID vaccination and wear masks.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Rabbi Drorah Setel’s Aug 3, 2022 Message

This Sunday marks the observance of Tisha b’Av (the 9th of Av) on the Jewish calendar. A fast day commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples in ancient Jerusalem, Tisha b’Av was generally ignored by early Reform Judaism, which rejected any belief in the restoration of the Temple and its sacrificial rites. Raised in a classical Reform congregation, I had never heard of Tisha b’Av before going to Jewish summer programs as a teenager.

Read Rabbi Setel’s Entire Message

Also from Rabbi Setel

Here are Jewish resources for those wishing to respond to the situation in Ukraine:
HIAS – HIAS is a refugee aid organization currently working with the Kyiv-based NGO Right To Protection (R2P), which has 162 staff members on the ground as well as organizations taking in refugees in Poland and Moldovia.

World Union for Progressive Judaism – For those wishing to donate specifically to the Ukrainian Jewish community, consider giving to the WUPJ Ukraine Crisis Fund.

Back to top

Skip to content