Looking for a topic for this month’s column, I thought about what Temple Israel means to me, and what it may mean to you, too. I decided to look at the covers of issues of our bulletin over the past two years and these are the photos that I saw:

Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman, perhaps the world’s leading Reform liturgist (and husband of Gayle Hoover, as well) paying us a visit to help us discuss where we have come from and where we are headed;

Rabbi Debra Dressler signing her second contract, signifying that she is happy with us and that we are happy with her;

Rosh HaShanah;

Members, young and old, in our “old” Sukkah;

The dedication of the Art Benjamin Children’s Book Collection;

Chanukah 2012 with visiting (and returning) musician Alan Goodis and the Share the Warmth social action programme;

The 2012/13 teaching staff;

Purim and Pesach;

Interfaith Tree Planting;


Our three couples renewing their wedding vows in front of an assembly of family and friends;

The new Temple Israel Board for 2013/14;

Rabbi Dressler with several Camp George campers and counsellors from Temple Israel;

Our three B’Not Mitzvah women, the “two Lisas” and Elizabeth, who made us, and continue to make us, all proud;

The Joseph Campbell/Afiara Quartet who performed at the Rabbi Joel Wittstein Camp George Scholarship Fund concert, JewBilation;

TI Religious School kids at the ArtVenture Studio, creating works of art to be sold at the 2013 London Book and Art Fair for charity;

One of the 18 beautiful (and warm and cozy) fleece blankets made at the 2013 Share the Warmth event and donated to Merrymount;


The Chicken Soup Cook-Off at Covent Garden Market.

Not in cover photos but definitely worth a mention are two menschen, our own Art & Eleanor Ender, the 2013 JNF Negev Dinner honorees

What does all this add up to? Well, we celebrate lots of Jewish holidays together, we encourage learning (at ALL age levels,) we are deeply involved in social action, and we are a community that enjoys each other’s company. We have people who devote time, energy, skills, and money to keep Temple Israel going in the right direction(s.) Please think about ways you could be more involved in one (or more!) of these areas of Temple Israel life. It will benefit YOU as well as US!

Happy Spring! And speaking of this long-awaited season of increasing warmth, Linda and I wish all of you and your families a warm and Happy Chag Ha’Aviv – a Happy Pesach. If you wish to join us for our second day Congregational Passover Seder on Tuesday, April 15th, please get your reservations in to the office right away as space is limited to the first 98 people.

Wally Zimmerman