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Weekly Email 6/13/21

Re-Opening Plans for Summer 2021

Dear Temple Emanuel Community,

I am writing to provide an update on our building re-opening process. With increased access to vaccines we have seen major advances in the fight against the pandemic. This fills us with hope, as we have been able to begin on-site programs and worship in our beautiful building, including Religious School on Sunday, B’nai Mitzvahs and Havdalah.

Our Research team met this week and reviewed percentages of positive tests, and vaccination rates/availability. All of these numbers continue to move in strong and positive directions and we are excited to move into Phase Three!

Among our Values is the reminder to love and honor others while we protect the health of our community. We have continued to offer virtual worship services and creative programming to keep our community connected. While vaccines are available to many, we still have members who are not able to come together in person. So as we start to offer in-person activities again, we owe it to each other to offer a variety of ways to connect. 

Here are our plans for June, July and August 2021:

  • Masks: For the interim, masks will continue to be required whenever indoors at Temple Emanuel; in meetings, services, and in the office. We will reassess this requirement again in the fall as children 12 and under are able to become vaccinated and cases decline. For now, this seems to be the best option, benefitting the most congregants and allowing us to gather together safely sooner. 
  • Meetings & Small Groups: Beginning in June, our building will reopen for minyanim groups, clubs, Sisterhood, MOE, and all of our other auxiliary groups to gather for meetings no larger than 30 attendees. All events must be scheduled in advance with Temple staff.  Food and drink will not be permitted at this stage but hopefully soon! We are asking that offsite Temple sponsored events that are held indoors to follow these guidelines for now.
  • Temple Office Hours: Our on-site office has officially re-opened with limited hours Monday-Friday. Masks are required for all guests and doors will remain locked. Should you need to reach a staff member, we are still available via phone, email, Zoom, or in-person by appointment. 
  • Religious School: SundayReligious School  will begin again for the 2021-2022 school year on August 8th, in-person. Students will be masked and seated indoors with low ratios of students to teachers. Additional details and registration to come soon! It is unknown if we will offer a virtual option at this time. 

AND… drumroll please…

  • Experimental Friday Night Shabbat Summer Services: Shabbat services will be held in-person/indoors beginning in July with a maximum of 100 attendees per service! Guests MUST register in advance and will be asked to follow social-distancing guidelines. Masks will be required for all attendees regardless of vaccination status. These Shabbat services will be simul-cast via Zoom to make them accessible for everyone. Congregants will be required to SIGN UP HERE  for the service of their choosing. We kindly ask that you RSVP for no more than 2 services in July and August. Additional social-distancing details will be confirmed when you RSVP.  We’re excited to gather together in our beautiful sanctuary together! 

We know congregants are eager to be back in our sanctuary, and we also know many have felt Temple is more accessible than ever. We plan to continue offering virtual services as we ease back into our sanctuary.  

I am looking forward to seeing you soon and I can’t thank you enough for your support and understanding over this past year as we have navigated this time of uncertainty.


Jennifer LeGrand
President, Board of Trustees

Update this content.

An update about Membership Renewal

Dear Temple Emanuel Community,

We know many of you have been asking
, “When will membership renewal begin?” “When will I enroll my children in Religious School for the fall?” “Why haven't I gotten my yearly email from Jocelyn?

The answers? Soon!

We know this past year has had many twists and turns and the Temple Emanuel team is no stranger to that.  Over the past few months, we have been implementing a new synagogue-specific software called ShulCloud, updating our website, and preparing to shift our synagogue's fiscal year to the term of July 1 through June 30. Because of these changes (and the fact that many are supported by other companies, software specialists and teams), we've pushed our renewal timeline along later than the schedule with which we have all been familiar.

When should you expect to hear from Temple Emanuel about renewal?

Next week, you'll receive an email from us that will allow you to check out our new website, and create your new ShulCloud log-in and password! From that portal, you'll be able to update contact information, enroll your children in religious school, edit yahrzeit dates, make donations and more.  And we'll be here to help you with all of it, every step of the way.

Beginning on July 1, you'll be able to view your annual commitment amount and Religious School fees on the portal, and complete membership payments using a variety of payment options and schedules

Thank you
so much for your patience as we navigate through this period of major change. If you've been receiving text messages from Temple, you have already seen the first piece of this new ShulCloud portal rollout! (If you haven't- please email with an updated cell p
hone number.)

Stay tuned! More to come!

Weekly Email 5/30/21

Weekly Email 5/23/21

** Please note one change that the racial Justice Study Group will be held on Thursday instead of Wednesday this week. Thanks!

Introducing our new Rabbi

Temple Emanuel of Tempe is excited to announce the hiring of Rabbi Cookie Lea Olshein as Temple Emanuel’s new Rabbi.

Over 140 households attended a Congregational Vote on Sunday, April 24th via ZOOM and voted to hire Rabbi O. 

Rabbi Olshein wonderfully exemplifies so many of the qualities our congregation identified as important including community building skills, creativity, embracing diversity, and interpersonal and leadership skills.  She had eight years of experience as a Senior Rabbi in Florida before joining her current congregation in Las Vegas.

Rabbi Olshein will start on June 1, 2021 and congregants are welcome to email her well-wishes via in anticipation of her arrival. 

To read more, click here

4/18 Weekly Email

Happening this week: Rabbi Dean Month of Service, HAMSA Israeli History, and more!

Read the e-blast

Introducing our new Religious School Director!

Dear Congregants,

Temple Emanuel of Tempe is pleased to announce the hiring of our new Religious School Director, Jessie Rubenstein. 

Jessie comes to Temple Emanuel with a significant amount of experience in religious school education, accessibility, and Jewish learning. She is an engaging educator who has worked as a religious school teacher, b’nei mitzvah tutor, wedding officiant, adult Jewish educator, and the spiritual leader for Congregation Beth HaGivot in Fountain Hills. From 2013-2015, Jessie served as a Religious School teacher at our synagogue, teaching  Hebrew to 3rd  grade students and crafting curriculum related to Jewish ethics for 9th grade students.  She graduates in June Master’s Degree in Jewish Studies and Jewish Education from Hebrew College, with a focus in neurodiversity and social-emotional learning. 

Jessie is passionate about making Jewish learning meaningful and accessible to all students and all families, and is incredibly excited to join the Temple Emanuel community. 

A word from Jessie: "I was fortunate to teach in the religious school at Temple Emanuel. Everyone I met - the teachers, leadership, congregants, and students - were so kind and welcoming to me. It was a warm and supportive environment in which to work, so much so that I have since compared my other positions to it. I am incredibly excited to be returning to this community and I look forward  to providing the families and staff at Temple Emanuel with the same warmth and support which I was given." 

"We are so excited to have Jessie on board. We know that her enthusiasm, passion for Jewish learning, and expertise as a hands-on educator make her the right candidate for the role" - Managing Director, Rebecca Weinstein. 

We want to sincerely thank the Religious School Director Search Committee for their time and efforts in finding our new team member:

The Committee: 
Hope Massar, Search Committee Chair 
Jennifer LeGrand, President 
Risa Alig 
Ari Barr 
Dina Bedak 
Emily Schwartz 
Wendi Socha 
Melissa Stoloff 

Jessie's first day will be in early June. Congregants are welcome to send her greetings via

A drive through breakfast on the last day of Religious School will be held on Sunday, May 2. We encourage all families to drive thru and drop off a card for Rabbi Dean and/or out-going Religious School Director, Sharon Paley. Sharon is retiring after serving in this interim role for three years. We appreciate all of her service to our community. 

Thu, June 17 2021 7 Tammuz 5781