January 28, 2015   8 Sh'vat 5775
Union Temple of Brooklyn, NY
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Saturday, April 4th 2015  6:00 PM

Seder will be conducted by Rabbi Linda Henry Goodman

Dinner & wine will be kosher for Passover

Vegetarian meals will also be provided.

Reserve online HERE or download the reservation form HERE.


Union Temple PRESCHOOL now accepting students.

To schedule a tour:

Call: 718-623-1322

Email: krista@UTpreschool.org

Religious School, Sundays 9:15 AM

For more information please contact

Mindy Sherry Director of Family & Youth Engagement for information.


Wednesday Evenings at Union Temple 7:30 - 9:30 PM

For more information click on CALENDAR/EVENTS or go to http://www.scribd.com/doc/241237474/IEngage-FLYER

Shabbat Schedule


A cross-cultural, interfaith arts based program designed to explore themes such as peace and charity through movement, music and storytelling. For kids up to age 5.

February theme will focus on Friends
2/07 Music and Storytelling with Ben and Shawn
2/14 Movement and Music with Julie and Ben
2/28 Movement and Music with Julie and Ben
All programs are FREE and run from 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. on the 4th Floor!

'What is Kinder Kef' ?'

Fridays at Four Tot Shabbat



Focus: Opening Energy Channels and Coming Into Balance for the New Year
For our first SHALOM MEDITATION CIRCLE of 2015, we will clear away “mental clutter” which prevents us from experiencing Clarity and Serenity. We’ll open up blocked Energy channels so we can experience Renewal and Release from old habits of thinking and reacting. You do not have to be a Temple member.

All SHALOM MEDITATION sessions are led by Dr. Gail Levine-Fried,Ph.D,CTRS,RYT, tenured college professor(retired). Certified Yoga teacher (RYT,Yoga Alliance); former Staff Dept. of Psychiatry, St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital and Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center; Wellness Lifestyle Educator. Member of Union Temple since 1955.


If you like to sing join our vocal group led by Shinae Kim.
Come sing with your friends!
Union Temple Singers invite any one who enjoys singing. We meet most Wednesday evenings (6:30-7:30) throughout the year and engage in learning various musical settings of Shabbat, festival and High Holiday liturgy. Formal musical knowledge is not required to join. Feel free to come and listen! For more information or questions, please contact shinaekim@nyu.edu



A delightful musical evening in celebration of the Sabbath of Song.
Libi B’mizrach - My Heart Is In The East Songs of Israel,
with Emma Goldin and Shinae Kim.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 3:00 - 5:00 PM 
PJ LIBRARY TU BI’SHEVAT PARTY, for kids up to age 6.


First Friday Family Shabbat and Tu Bi'Shevat Seder, 6:00 PM - Snacks, 6:30 PM - Kabbalat Shabbat, 7:30 PM - Potluck Dinner



Havdalah and First Saturday. 

Please join the Sisterhood and Brotherhood of Union Temple for Havdalah in the lobby of Union Temple. After Havdalah and light refreshments, we will go to the Brooklyn Museum to enjoy the First Saturday program of art and music.




 “Good Vibrations for Attuning Mind, Body, Spirit”

There is no fee for the session and it is open to all. You do not have to be a Temple member.



6:30 PM - Kabbalat Shabbat - Oneg and music with David Segal




Part of an interfaith relationship and want to learn more? Born Jewish, but it’s been a while? Interested in conversion to Judaism? Then you’re invited to Introduction to Judaism, a 17-week course on the basics of Judaism. For fees and registration: reformjudaism.org/introny



Fourth Friday Shabbat

7:00 PM - Dinner ($10pp), 8:00 PM - Shabbat Service, 9:00 PM - Oneg and Program: Rev. Hope Johnson and Dr. Janice Johnson: Living Legacy Project: 50 years Since Selm.

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!

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


A God of War or a God of Peace?  *

Shirat Hayam, the Song of the Sea, is the centerpiece of our Torah portion this week.   "I will sing to the Lord for He has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider He has hurled into the Sea." (Exodus 15.1) From the outset, God is portrayed as a mighty warrior.   Adonai ish milchamah, Adonai Shemo. (Exodus 15.2)  The Jewish Publication Society translates this as:  "The Lord, the Warrior - Lord is His name!"   Ish literally means "man,"  thus ish milchamah literally is a "man of war," and this term appears in other translations. But God is certainly not a man.  The actual intent of the expression ish milchamah connotes a profession, if you will.  So ish milchamah is more properly translated as "warrior."  One way or the other, it is clear that the Shir presents God as a warrior.  Whom is the God of Israel warring against?  Obviously the primary opponent is Pharaoh.  But in addition to Pharaoh's pursuing armies, there is the Sea of Reeds as well.  The Sea plays a major role in this poem as the backdrop to the war that God was waging against Pharaoh.  The Sea, in fact, was a potential enemy of the Israelites until God prevailed over it by splitting it in two. 

This is not to suggest that the Sea itself is a god of some sort, though in other ancient cultures there was indeed a god of the sea.  In fact when we read this Shir, we need to be cognizant of surrounding cultures of the Ancient Near East.  In the Mesopotamian myth of creation Enuma Elish, a great fight took place between the sea monster Tiamat and the chief god of the Babylonian pantheon, Marduk.  Tiamat is, in a effect, a female warrior, and Marduk is a male warrior.  Marduk defeated the sea monster, and was then anointed as King of the World.       Likewise, the Canaanite god Baal was announced as King of the Gods when he defeated Yam, the god of the sea, and Nahar, the god of the river. 

 While the Bible rejects these gods, we have to assume that these traditions were in the background of Shirat Hayam.  But the problem for the writer of the Shir is that Biblical religion could not speak about such mythical figures as Marduk and Baal as gods.  For the Bible, there is only one God - the God of Israel, the Creator of the world.   Set against the backdrop of the Ancient Near East, it was a revolutionary and transformative idea.

 But eventually, the idea of God as a mighty warrior became problematic for Jewish tradition, as evidenced elsewhere in the Bible.   Deutero-Isaiah, most notably, imagines a "dialogue" between the God of Israel and the Persian King Cyrus, who was probably a follower of Zoroastrianism.  God refutes all other gods, and emerges as the one and only Creator of heaven and earth, and all that is therein:  "I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I the Lord do all these things.   Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness; let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up also; I, the Lord, have created it."  (Isaiah 45.7-8)  Note in these verses that God is not a "mighty Warrior,"  but rather, an Oseh Shalom, the "Maker of Peace!"

In Isaiah, and also in Psalms, Zechariah, and elsewhere, we find the opposing portrayal of God as a "Maker of Peace."   So, is God a "Mighty Warrior"  or a "Maker of Peace?"  The Biblical answer is, both.  If we take these opposing attributes metaphorically and apply them to ourselves as human beings, perhaps we can see that both are true.  While sometimes the reality of human history and contemporary events forces us to be mighty warriors, our ultimate aspiration is to be pursuers of peace.

 * This background was part of an extraordinary shiur (teaching) that I attended last year at the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. It was presented by Bible Scholar Israel Knohl, who holds the Yehezkiel Kaufmann Chair of Biblical Studies at Hebrew University, and is a Senior Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute.  

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...


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.


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

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.


                                                                                                                SHABBAT  MORNING STUDY  HEVRE

Saturday Mornings, 9:00-10:20

beginning September 6

Led by Rabbi Goodman

Bagels and Coffee are served


Songs of Comfort and Praise

~ history and literary structure, with Rabbinic commentaries and occasional musical settings ~

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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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