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Save the Date for the Dan Nichols Zoom Concert Event!

Save the date for August 13th! Stay tuned. More info to come via email!

 Temple Announcements: Many New Programs in Zoom and Facebook Live!

The program for Jacob Keesee's Bar Mitzvah can be downloaded here ...

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we will celebrate Shabbat remotely. Please join us on Facebook Live at 7:00 PM on Friday as we join in community from our homes.
Here is how to access Facebook Live:

Go to our Temple Emanuel Facebook page for Shabbat services:

Once the broadcast from you begins, it will be on the top of the page. IF you are signed into Facebook and have previously "liked" Temple Emanuel, then once the Facebook Live broadcast begins, you'll receive a notification.

We are using Zoom, Facebook Live and our emails to keep in contact with you.

Click here for the full list of Temple Announcements ...  

Tuesdays at the Temple

Please join us for our Tuesday Night get-togethers coming up in June!

Dr. Susan Virginia Mead, a native of Lexington, Virginia, earned her B.A. in Sociology and Art from Agnes Scott College, and her M.S. and Sociology from Virginia Tech. She just completed her 23rd year at Ferrum College where she has taught sociology and been integral to Ferrum’s Holocaust and Appalachian studies programs.

Twenty-three years after first being involved with projects in what is now the world’s newest nation, Susan’s dream of traveling there was finally realized. Susan lived in Wau, South Sudan from January through April 2016, teaching at St. John’s College and the Clement Mboro School. On her way home, she visited Hope House International, home for more than twenty children from South Sudan going to school in Kenya, nine of whom are sponsored by individuals and organizations with ties to southwestern Virginia.

Her goal was to find a way to connect people inspiring hope in the newest nation in the world with groups in the U.S. that have a heart for international peacebuilding. To this end, upon her return, Susan established Diversity Serves, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to “connecting diverse communities through creating sustainable partnerships for cultivating prosperity and peace.”

Info for Shavuot

Temple Emanuel celebrates Shavuot with our national movement!

7:30 - We will join on Zoom for coffee and cheesecake chat.
Bring your own cheesecake and coffee!

8:30 - 12:00 - We join the national celebration outlined below.

                       See you there!


Copy and paste registration information below!

Reform Movement Tikkun Leil Shavuot

Shavuot offers us the opportunity to celebrate the Torah and its teachings.

Come together with the Reform Movement on Thursday, May 28, for Tikkun Leil Shavuot -- -an evening of learning, music, prayer, and poetry. Together, we will delve into the beauty, complexity, and joy of Torah.

Join us for one, two, three, or all four hours:

8:00  - 9:00 PM ET– Shavuot Conversation
Hosted by

Join HUC-JIR professors for a Shavuot conversation on individual responsibility and obligation in modern Jewish thought featuring Rabbi Rachel Adler, Ph.D., Rabbi David Ellenson (a professor of Jewish Religious Thought and Modern Jewish Thought), Rabbi Joseph Skloot, Ph.D., AND Rabbi Aaron D. Panken (Assistant Professor of Modern Jewish Intellectual History).

9:00 - 10:00 PM ET – Preparing to Ascend: Poetry on the Themes of Shavuot
Hosted by the CCAR

Join CCAR Chief Executive, Rabbi Hara Person, and acclaimed poets, Jessica Greenbaum and Judy Katz, as they take a poetic journey up the mountain, reading and discussing poems that share themes with Shavuot.

10:00 - 11:00 PM ET – Ahavat Olam: Love, Torah, and Great Music – Hosted by the ACC

All you need is love! Ahavat Olam, sung in the evening service, praises God for having shared the Torah with us - a gift which can be seen as God's greatest expression of love. Together with Cantor David Berger of KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation in Chicago, IL (Scholar in Residence for the American Conference of Cantors), we'll dig into some classical rabbinic sources, contemporary reflections, and sample pieces of the amazing music that bring this love song to life.

11:00 PM - 12:00 AM ET – A Discussion on Personal Jewish Stories – Hosted by the URJ

Hearing the stories of others allows us to imagine how our own lives can and might change - so join Rabbi Leora Kaye (URJ Director of Program) and Rabbi Esther Lederman (URJ Director of Congregational Innovation) for a conversation on personal Jewish stories. We'll hear from others in the Reform Movement about their Jewish journeys, challenges, and adventures, ultimately reminding us that Judaism is as much about where you have been as it is about where you can still go.

Click the link below to register!


Dear Friends,

As the spread of the corona virus disrupts our daily routines and causes anxiety and fear to envelop our society, I want to let you know the Temple is here to support you at this difficult time. As of last Friday, we have closed our building and canceled all services, classes and celebrations for the foreseeable future. We have made some small purchases which will allow us to stream services with better quality than in the past. We will also be conducting classes and tutoring by Zoom in the coming days. Zoom is a platform that allows for discussion in a meeting format. You will receive an email invitation to a class and you simply click on the invitation and it will take you to the class. Older Hebrew School students will also be tutored by zoom.

For the time being I will be coming to the Temple daily for several hours each day. If you become ill, please let us know. We want to support you in any way possible. As a way of staying in touch regularly during this unusual time, I will be sending an email several times a week with Jewish teachings, helpful ideas from trusted professionals or conversation starters.

I understand that especially for those who live alone, social isolation is a very difficult and lonely prospect. I will be calling our seniors and others who live alone to check in with you as often as I can.

I know that as a community we will support each other and we will get through these difficult times. Jewish tradition teaches us that when we finish reading one of the five books of Torah we say to one another “CHAZAK CHAZAK V’NITCHATZEIK” – May we have strength and may we strengthen each other! With compassion, caring and love we will strengthen each other. With prayers for health and peace,


Rabbi Kathy Cohen


Dear Congregants,

As you are aware, the public health concerns regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation are escalating rapidly. Shabbat Services will be canceled tonight, March 13, and Temple Emanuel classes, programs, services and activities will be canceled as we close our building for the foreseeable future. The Executive Committee and Board of Directors are regularly assessing this ongoing situation. We will provide more information soon regarding streaming of our services. Please let us know if you have any question or need assistance.

- Rabbi Kathy Cohen
  Sara Beth Katz

"Behind the Silence" Event Photos

Pictures from "Behind the Silence", a journey through a multimedia presentation that pays tribute to the music and art that survived the Holocaust. 

The August Bulletin is available!

The August monthly bulletin is available! Bulletins can be found here ...

Temple Emanuel Welcomes You!

"Welcome to Temple Emanuel in Roanoke, Virginia. We are the only Reform Congregation in the greater Roanoke and New River Valley region. We take an innovative approach to Jewish tradition, while remaining true to the values and ethics of our heritage. Affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism, we strive to embody the ideals of “Doing right, loving goodness, and walking humbly with our God.”

Our Temple represents a wonderful blend of people from many countries and walks of life. As a relatively small congregation, we serve each other as a warm and welcoming family — always ready to support each other, and always ready to include new members in our mix. Our doors are open to all who wish to learn about Judaism, explore their Jewish heritage, or deepen their Jewish commitment.

Temple Emanuel is an active, dynamic, and spiritually fulfilling community. Explore our website and you will see the amazing energy of our congregation!"

– Rabbi Kathy Cohen

Welcome to Temple Emanuel!

We hope you were our guest for Purim 2019: Esther and the Beast!

Sunday, March 24th, we celebrated Purim, ate Hamantashen, and sat down to watch the Temple Emanuel Players present a unique play, Esther and the Beast, that tells the story of Purim using the themes from Disney's Beauty and the Beast. There was song, drama, some eunuchs, a curse and a rose, blossoming love, and a hateful villain. Would there be redemption for the Beast? What will become of Esther and the Jews?

If you missed the spiel, you'll have to wait for it to come out on DVD! One thing was for sure: it was certainly one for the records!


The Beregovski Suite: Klezmer Reimagined was a success!

Through the efforts of our Music Director, Scott Williamson and AGAR we were treated to an incredible concert by Alicia Svigals and Uli Gcissendocrfer.

"I couldn't be more thrilled we are kicking off our music series with this program. Alicia Svigals was a founding member of the Klezmatics, one of the world's leading performers of klezmer repertory," said Temple Emanuel Music and Program director, Scott Williamson. "This music expresses the heart, soul and spirit of life that is core to one of the world's great folk cultures. 'Klezmer' music, with its bluesy harmonies, memorable melodies and infectious dance rhythms is one of the most beloved forms of Jewish culture. We're honored to co-host this fantastic, jazz-inspired duo with our friends from Amherst, the non-profit arts organization, Amherst Glebe Arts Response (AGAR)."



Shabbat Jewish Services in Roanoke Virginia


Worship at Temple Emanuel is nearly always filled with music. Scott Williamson, former Director of Opera Roanoke and current Fulbright Faculty Scholar in Romania directs our music and programming. Asherah Capellaro is our interim choir director and music leader. Children are always welcome at services and Rabbi Kathy Cohen encourages them to participate. Shabbat services are held each Friday evening at  7:30 pm (7:00 pm in summer). 

Learn More At Temple Emanuel Roanoke

Temple Emanuel Roanoke 125 Year Anniversary


For over 125 years, Temple Emanuel has welcomed diverse groups of persons to worship, learn, support one another, and celebrate life together. In the noble tradition of Reform Judaism, ours is an inclusive community that is particularly welcoming to families who may not have a Jewish member. Our doors are always open to newcomers and to Jews who have lived in the Roanoke area, even for a long time.

Learn More at Temple Emanuel Roanoke

Temple Emanuel Roanoke Volunteering Opportunities


Temple Emanuel is recognized as one of the leading supporters of the Roanoke valley. Our programs include Giggles 'n' Grins, which helps provide clothing, school supplies, and food to over 25 area children. We also support Family Promise, which takes a holistic approach to ending homelessness among families in our area. From our Brotherhood and Sisterhood, to our many individual Mitzvah Day volunteers, Temple Emanuel cares.

Learn More At Temple Emanuel Roanoke

Jewish Life Events in Roanoke Including Funerals, Weddings and Bar Mitzvahs


Temple Emanuel is always there to bring Jewish understanding and tradition to life events in and about Roanoke. From joyous events such as weddings, to introspective ones such as funerals, we support members and relatives at all times. Many of our children celebrate Bat and Bar Mitzvahs, Confirmations, and other Jewish milestones in our synagogue, surrounded by family, friends, and well-wishers from the Roanoke Jewish community. 

Learn More At Temple Emanuel Roanoke

Kids At Temple Emanuel Roanoke Virginia


Everyday, we hear children laughing at Temple Emanuel. The Jewish Community Preschool, a separate entity established by Beth Israel Synagogue and Temple Emanuel, is located in our building. The Jewish Community Religious School, also in concert with our friends at Beth Israel Synagogue, offers classes to all age groups. Older students participate in NFTY and many attend URJ sports, science, and other camps.

Learn More At Temple Emanuel Roanoke


Jewish culture and devotion are characterized by life long learning. At Temple Emanuel, adult education includes scholars in residence, Hebrew classes, film, concerts, a book club, and domestic and international travel. Our library provides a quiet place to browse through our Jewish collection or simply to relax. Persons wishing to learn more about Judaism or begin their journey in our tradition are taught by our rabbi and resident experts. 

Learn More At Temple Emanuel Roanoke

Members of Temple Emanuel in Roanoke Virginia Are Upstanding Citizens


Numerous members of Temple Emanuel are upstanding citizens in their community. They are well-regarded in Roanoke as a result of their business acumen, contributions to the arts and sciences, and help for others in need without asking for anything in return. We particularly honor the senior members of the Temple Emanuel community who continue to share their wisdom, love and energy with new generations. 

Learn More At Temple Emanuel Roanoke


Temple Emanuel's calendar is chock ful of events. From Jewish holidays, to Shabbat services, to classes, social activities and community functions, our synagogue is busy. Our online calendar, which updates automatically, can be copied into Outlook and web-based calendars such as those in Gmail. Below you will also find a summary of upcoming events at Temple Emanuel.

Learn More At Temple Emanuel Roanoke

Directions to Temple Emanuel in Roanoke Virginia


Temple Emanuel is conveniently located near the intersection of Persinger Road, SW and Brambleton Ave, SW, near Virginia Western Community College. Our office is normally open between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. It can be reached at (540) 342-3378. Visitors are requested to please contact our office before arriving. Shabbat services are held each Friday evening at  7:30 pm (7:00 pm in summer). 

Learn More At Temple Emanuel Roanoke


There are no upcoming events at this time.


Tue, August 11 2020 21 Av 5780