July 28, 2015   12 Av 5775
Union Temple of Brooklyn, NY
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Religious School, Sundays 9:15 AM


From Kindergarten to 7th grade 

Classes starting September 20, 2015,

Or contact

Mindy Sherry Director of Family & Youth 

Shabbat Schedule

OUT OF THE SHABBOX will resume in September 2015

'What is Kinder Kef' ?'

Fridays at Four Tot Shabbat will resume in October 2015

Shabbat services are conducted throughout the summer months, July & August: 

Kabbalat Shabbat on Fridays at 6:30 PM,

Shabbat Morning Services on Saturdays at 10:30 AM

PJ Botton



Union Temple is pleased to announce its affiliation with the PJ Library! See how families with children from 6 months to 8 years can get a free Jewish content book or CD each month.

Click here to sign up!

Programs and Events  
We join together through Adult Education, Brotherhood, Sisterhood, and the Social Action Committee for a wide variety of educational, social, and cultural activities including:

    • Shabbat Morning Study Hevre

    • Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah Class

    • Shabbaton with Notable Speakers

    • Concerts  *  Films  *  Lectures

    • Book Discussions  *  Game Nights

    • Dances  *   Theatre Outings

    • Walking Tours of Jewish New York

We view all our programs as opportunities to bring our congregational community together to socialize, to learn, and to celebrate our heritage.

Who We Are  

Union Temple is an egalitarian, inclusive Reform Congregation, spanning the generations. Founded in 1848 by a small group of German and Alsatian Jewish immigrants living in Williamsburgh, since 1929 Union Temple has been located in a magnificent building at Grand Army Plaza. We are a house of worship, a house of study, and an intimate community of mutual support for our members. We reach out to the diverse communities of Brooklyn and warmly welcome individuals and all types of families to join us. As a congregation we are dedicated to Tikkun Olam, the repairing of our world, through the pursuit of social justice and active participation in the larger Jewish and general communities. Union Temple is a member congregation of the Union of Reform Judaism

Read more about the History of Union Temple...

Benefits for Temple Members  

Tickets for High Holy Day services A Blessing

Union Temple Preschool Discount

School of Religion Discount

Pastoral Counseling and Services

Eastern Athletic Club Discount


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Greetings from our Rabbi  

The congregation of Union Temple is a diverse, yet closely knit group of thoughtful and compassionate people who draw together in times of joy as well as times of sorrow. It has been a privilege for me to serve as Rabbi since 1992. On behalf of our congregational family, I invite you to celebrate our past, share our present, and be a part of shaping our future.   Rabbi Dr. Linda Henry Goodman  Click here to read the Rabbi's Message

With a free evening from Hartman this past Monday, Steve and I treated ourselves to a performance of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra at the International Convention Center, known to most as "Binyanei Ha'uma,"  which is across from the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem.  The IPO usually performs at the Charles Bronfman Auditorium at the Cultural Center of Tel Aviv, but since last night's performance was in Jerusalem, it saved us the drive.   Maestro Zubin Mehta conducted the orchestra, along with the Gary Bertini Israeli Choir and an assemblage of magnificent soloists, in a concert performance of Giuseppi Verdi's opera, "Un Ballo In Maschera" (A Masked Ball) - a story of palace intrigue and affairs of the heart.  Verdi originally intended the protagonist to be the King of Sweden, but the court censor nixed that idea, and relocated the story to center around the governor of Boston, MA, in the 18th century.    Admittedly, a pretty ridiculous premise; but Monday's performance was absolutely gorgeous, with magnificent singing and playing all around.

The great conductor Arturo Toscanini conducted the first performance of the IPO on December 26, 1936.  Originally called the  Eretz Yisrael Symphony Orchestra, the name was changed to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra with the formation of the state in 1948.  The orchestra was founded by violinist Bronislaw Huberman, a Polish Jew who had fled from the Nazis to Palestine.  Its general manager was Leo Kestenberg, a German Jew forced out of Germany by the Nazi regime.  In fact one of the primary intents of the orchestra was to provide professional opportunities for many Jewish musicians forced out of Europe and elsewhere, as the world moved closer to conflagration.  During WWII, the orchestra played no fewer than 140 performances for Allied soldiers, and in 1942, arranged a special performance for the soldiers of the Jewish Brigade of El Alamein.  Since that time the IPO has played numerous performances for IDF soldiers all over the country.

In 1988 Leonard Bernstein was named the IPO's Laureate Conductor.  Seven years earlier, in 1981, Steve and I had the pleasure of attending an outdoor concert of the IPO in Jerusalem, which Bernstein conducted.  In honor of Former Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kolek, the program included a segment of Viennese Waltzes by Johann Strauss.  It was an incredible moment - sitting in a valley known as the "Sultan's Pool,"  packed to the gills with enthusiastic music lovers, just outside the Old City Wall, which was specially illuminated for the occasion, listening to Strauss waltzes conducted by Leonard Bernstein.  Now what could be better than that?!

Honorary Guest Conductors of the IPO have included William Steinberg, Kurt Masur, and currently Yoel Levi.   In 1968, Bombay-born Zubin Mehta became the orchestra's Music Advisor, and in 1977, its Music Director.  Mehta was born in the same year as the orchestra.  Next year they will both celebrate their 80th birthdays.    Mehta and IPO have a seemingly organic relationship, and he has earned the respect and affection of all its players.

An interesting controversy arose in July of 2001 during a performance of the IPO conducted by the Argentinian-born Daniel Barenboim, who lived in Israel for a number of years as a young man.  At a certain point during the concert, Barenboim announced to the audience that he intended to conduct the orchestra in a performance of Richard Wagner's "Overture to Tristan und Isolde."  In the wake of Kristallnacht in 1938, the orchestra adopted an unofficial ban on Wagner's music, because of Wagner's own rabid anti-Semitism, and because his music served as a personal inspiration for Hitler.  When Barenboim announced his intention, he acknowledged that many people there might be offended, particularly survivors of the Holocaust and/or their descendants.  A 30-minute heated debate ensued in the theater, and a number of people walked out in protest.  The music was played anyway.  But then in May of 2012, the IPO announced its decision to lift the ban on Wagner's music, and on June 18th of that year, held a program dedicated to a discussion of Wagner, which it called:  "An Academic Musical Encounter: Herzl - Toscanini - Wagner."  The IPO concluded that with the passage of time, and the expanded understanding of Herzl and Toscanini's own more positive relationships with the music, the artistic value and lush beauty of Wagner's music no longer should be banned from its programs.

In April of 2013, the IPO played a concert in Warsaw, Poland, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.  The concert began with playing of "Hatikvah," sung by the Polish National Opera.   The Israel Philharmonic playing Hatikvah. . . in Warsaw. . . .

Can the wounds of history be healed?  Perhaps that is a question that cannot be answered categorically.  But there have indeed been times when human beings have found a way to live, even with those wounds, in the ultimate pursuit of peace.  In these two particular cases, it was through the potential for human creativity and the universal language of music.  On Monday night in Jerusalem, Steve and I heard an Israeli orchestra, with soloists from Spain, Albania, the United States, Germany, Russia, and Italy, led by a conductor from India, performing the music of an Italian composer.  At least within this context, we may find a note of consolation and hope.

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Anshei Mitzvah Class will be on Wednesday Evenings, for those adults who would like to learn to read Hebrew and work toward becoming B'nei and B'not Mitzvah. If you are interested, please contact Rabbi Goodman either by phone or E-mail (rabbigoodman@uniontemple.org) during September.


Congregational Participation  

Our Religious School students, our junior choir, and our Brotherhood and Sisterhood, all assist in conducting the services at various times during the year. Music is an organic part of our services in the gifted hands of Shinea Kim, in addition to our wonderful cantorial students, as they encourage congregants to participate actively in the musical life of the congregation.

Shabbat and Yom Tov Services  

Beginning Sept. 7 and thereafter, all Friday services will begin at 6:30 PM, except for the 4th week of each month, when they will begin at 8:00 PM.  The first Friday of the month we will have our potluck dinner following services as usual.  Saturday morning services remain at 10:30.
Chick here for our Shabbat Service Schedule
Union Temple Preschool  

Open to all children in the community, the Union Temple Preschool is a morning program for two, three, and four year olds with some extended day options. Our dedicated, nurturing staff provides a child-centered environment with a curriculum enhanced by a Jewish perspective, and enrichment programs.

New Partnership  

Dear Friends:

With the support and approval of our Board of Trustees, I am pleased to announce our participation in an exciting new program of partnership with the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services of UJA. Some six other synagogues in the general Brownstone Brooklyn area also are participating in this partnership. It will provide all the rabbis and temple officers with much needed support for our older adults. I have inserted the announcement from the JBFCS below. We will be talking more about it in the coming months. If you have any questions at all, or know immediately that you would like to avail yourself of this program for yourself, a parent or relative, or someone you know, please call me at the temple: (718) 638-7600 or e-mail me at rabbigoodman@uniontemple.org.  - Rabbi Linda Henry Goodman


Through a generous grant from the Weinberg Foundation provided by UJA Federation of NY, the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services is able to offer the expertise of our geriatric social worker to area synagogues, free of charge.

We can provide your congregants with:

Innovative programs and workshops addressing the needs of older adults

o Health education

o Caregiver resources

o Social and recreational programs

Emotional support for older adult life issues

Support, consultation, and education for volunteers helping older adults

Individual and family assessment and counsel by our onsite geriatric social worker.

Home Care oversight and advocacy

Access to the full range of services of JBFCS, and other community agencies.

Partnering Synagogues will:

Develop an ongoing working relationship with our project social worker.

Work with our program staff to identify, plan and host activities to address the needs of older congregants.

Identify and refer older congregants in need.

Market and publicize the program workshops, groups, and services to the congregation and community.

Jewish World News  

Donations are welcome and can be made online!

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Union Temple offers many free events, classes and services. Your support helps continue the tradition and sustains the community.

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