July 23, 2014   25 Tamuz 5774
Union Temple of Brooklyn, NY
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Sunday, September 7

9:15 AM: Religious School begins.

Please contact

Mindy Sherry Director of Family & Youth Engagement for information.

Open House 

9:00 AM-1:00 PM: Sunday, September 7

Please drop in ~ bring your friends. uniontemple@uniontemple.org

High Holiday Schedule

Shabbat Schedule

Fridays at Four Tot Shabbat

'What is Kinder Kef' ?'

Newport, RI - Tour of Jewish History Dec. 6-7 More on this great trip opportunity

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

PJ BottonUnion 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!

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.


Rabbi Goodman"You shall not pollute the land in which you live; for blood pollutes the land, and the land can have no expiation for blood that is shed upon it, except by the blood of him who shed it. You shall not defile the land in which you live, in which I Myself abide, for I the Eternal abide among the Israelite people." (Numbers 35.33-34)

This week as the Book of Numbers draws to a close, we read the foregoing admonition. The murder of a human being not only destroys a life, it leaves a stain upon the very land. The only way to redeem the land from this stain, according to the Bible, was through the blood of the one who spilled it. Thus evolves the cycle of violence and vengeance in ancient Israel; but as well, the organic relationship between the people and their land.

For the past few weeks, this beautiful and cherished land has been stained all the way down to its roots. Since the brutal murder of three Israeli teenagers, perpetrated by members of Hamas, and the subsequent murder of a Palestinian teenager by lunatic fringe Jewish extremists, there has been a stain upon the land that has seeped into the souls of all who are here, and which, over the past few weeks, has continued to grow deeper and more pervasive.

The families of these four boys, who are in mourning for their darling sons, all called for compassion and peace - a break in the cycle of violence and retribution. People of good will were hoping against hope that their pleas would be heeded, and the land and all who dwell upon it would have a chance to try to heal and cleanse itself. But it was not to be. The daily and nightly barrage of rockets and missiles from Gaza by Hamas, mostly into the cities and villages of southern Israel, and some reaching deeper and farther across Israel, is unbearable and intolerable.

As you are no doubt aware, the situation is continuing to deteriorate at this moment. Israel's mission right now is to locate and destroy hundreds of tunnels throughout Gaza that give Hamas terrorists free reign to enter into Israel on foot, where they could wreak havoc on the ground, in addition to the missile barrage they are unleashing against Israel from the air. A number of these tunnels, some of which were exploded today, lead directly to the kindergartens and dining halls of kibbutzim along the Gaza border. It is a dire situation that must be reversed.

With the rising number of Israeli casualties, and the pictures of the dead soldiers now on TV, most of them barely out of their teens, Israelis make it clear that they do not want this war, and they do not want their families or themselves having to fight it. But it is a war that Israel must fight at this moment. One of my teachers at Hartman was expecting a momentary call-up from his unit in the Milluim (Reserves), since a number of them have been called. He is a philosopher. He is 40 years old, with a wife and two young daughters, and is in the middle of writing a book. Hopefully he will not have to report for duty, but it is still not settled ostensibly. But this is what it means to be an Israeli. The Army is family - everyone's family; everyone's friend, neighbor, teacher, shopkeeper, and bus driver. In addition, I would make it clear that no one - no one - derives satisfaction or gratification from the deaths of innocent Palestinian women and children. Israel's war is with Hamas terrorists, who embed themselves within the heart of the civilian population - in schools, hospitals, and apartment buildings. While Israel has sent evacuation notices to the residents of northern Gaza, through leaflets, e-mails, text messages and announcements, Hamas has urged these residents to stay where they are. Hamas does not care about these people. Its aim is to kill Israelis and destroy Israel, and if innocent Gazans are sacrificed in the process, then so be it. The conclusion to virtually every conversation I have had with various Israelis over the past two days has been: "eyn b'reyrah" - we have no choice. The current situation is intractable, and Israel must defend its citizens.

For those of you who have expressed concern, Steve and I are grateful, and we assure you that we and our colleagues at Hartman are fine, and Jerusalem is quiet. We hope and pray that the diplomatic efforts underway now will result in a ceasefire. It can't come soon enough. And once the immediate crisis has passed, many Israelis will have to return to considering what they need to do to more thoroughly cleanse the land of the cyclical stains of blood and vengeance. Discussions with the Palestinians will have to continue, of course, and those who engage in violence and terrorism cannot be supported. But for Israelis, there also needs to be profound and significant introspection regarding the values that this land should embody, and the kind of nation that Israel aspires to be. Yes, the Middle East is a tough neighborhood, and Israel must stand firm - and it can. But strength also comes from within, and that will have to be part of the equation as it eventually comes together.

"These are the commandments and regulations that the Eternal enjoined upon the Israelites through Moses, on the Steppes of Moab, at the Jordan near Jericho." (Numbers 36.13)

Our ancestors now prepare to enter the Promised Land. What is the promise, and what do we need to do to bring it to fruition? The answer lies within the hearts of our people, and perhaps in the heart of the land itself....

Rabbi Linda Henry Goodman

Jewish World News  
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

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.

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.

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
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...

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.

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.

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