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Temple Emanuel L'Chaim Music Series presents Life is a Cabaret: a dinner theatre fundraiser!

We hope you joined us for Temple Emanuel L'Chaim Music Series presents Life is a Cabaret: a dinner theatre fundraiser to benefit Temple Emanuel! We had a five-star menu with beloved theatre music from Cabaret, Chicago, Gershwin, Sondheim & more, performed by some of Roanoke's favorite professional musicians!

Thank you so much to Scott Williamson and company, for the wonderful food our Temple Brotherhood prepared, and for everyone else that made this wonderful evening a success!


Romania: Revolution, 1989

With many thanks to everyone who helped make the premiere reading of Aaron Garber's new opera Romania: Revolution, 1989 possible. It was a special day in Virginia. The subject hit home in a powerful way as many in the audience experienced the juxtaposition of life and art, history and the present, at once jarring, moving, disturbing, cathartic. (Spoiler alert: the first act ends with the protagonist's 16-year-old twin sisters shot and killed.)

What an honor and privilege it is for me to work on it in this Fall at West University of Timișoara with Romanian friends Mihai Popean, Mariana Faur, Cismariu Liliana, and Săndulescu Ramon. Ciao!

- Scott Williamson, Musical Director


Tuesdays at the Temple

Join us tonight, May 21st at 7:00 PM for part 3 of "Covering challenging news." Our own Jake Lichtenstein, editor in chief of The Cavalier Daily and very recent graduate of UVA, will be our speaker. Jake will talk about the Charlottesville riots and other trying moments for the paper. We will meet at 7:00 PM in the Library. We hope to see you there!

Welcome to Temple Emanuel!

 Temple Announcements

Please join us Friday night at 7:00 PM for Erev Shabbat Services. Sara Beth Katz, President and Marilynn Zeljenjak, Sisterhood Co-President, will sit on the bima. Joe Lichtenstein will be sharing his graduation speech as our sermon this evening. Sam Peppers will lead part of the service as we celebrate his becoming a Bar Mitzvah on this Shabbat! Scott Williamson will be leading our music this Shabbat. We thank him for sharing his magnificent voice with us! Our Oneg Shabbat is a gift of the Peppers family in honor of this special Shabbat for Sam. We thank them for enhancing our services!

Please join us for Shabbat morning services on Saturday at 10:30 AM as Sam Peppers becomes a Bar Mitzvah. Mazal Tov to Sam and the Peppers' family!
(Saturday Services as well as the Sam Peppers Bar Mitzvah have been rescheduled for Sunday, June 9th at 10:30)

Shavuot is Saturday night! Please join us for our annual cheesecake and Torah Study honoring the gift of the Torah. We will meet at 7:30 PM in the library.

JCRS and Hebrew School are on vacation until September.

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

The June Bulletin is available!

June's monthly bulletin is available! Bulletins can be found here ...

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)."



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 

Shabbat Jewish Services in Roanoke Virginia


Worship at Temple Emanuel nearly always is filled with music. Scott Williamson, the Director of the Roanoke Opera, leads our choir. Our student cantors elevate our services with old and new interpretations of song and Torah readings. 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 (6:30 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.

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Cantors At Temple Emanuel Roanoke Virginia


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 Roanoke Virginia Calendar of Events


Temple Emanuel's calendar is chock full 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 Apperson Boulevard and Brambleton Avenue, 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 (6:30 pm in summer). 

Learn More At Temple Emanuel Roanoke


All Events
  • Monday
    Jun  17
    Kayitz Summer Day Camp
    Monday, Jun 17th 10:00a to Friday, Jun 21st 3:00p
    Please sign up your children, ages 3-11, for our 2019 Kayitz Summer Day Camp! Please complete the application provided in your May bulletin and return to the office by June 1st along with your check. You can access the May bulletin here, at: Camp dates are June 17-28.


  • Monday
    Jun  24
    Kayitz Summer Day Camp
    Monday, Jun 24th 10:00a to Friday, Jun 28th 3:00p
    Please sign up your children, ages 3-11, for our 2019 Kayitz Summer Day Camp! Please complete the application provided in your May bulletin and return to the office by June 1st along with your check. You can access the May bulletin here, at: Camp dates are June 17-28.



Tue, June 18 2019 15 Sivan 5779