December 19, 2014   27 Kislev 5775
Union Temple of Brooklyn, NY
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Union Temple PRESCHOOL now accepting students.

To schedule a tour:

Call: 718-623-1322


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

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


Pizza and a Movie

6:30 PM Kabbalat Shabbat

7:30 PM Pizza

8:00 PM Film: The Chosen, based on the novel by Chaim Potok


Union Temple Sisterhood will warm up your winter with a terrific Chanukah program.

More on this program



Kabbalat Shabbat for Chanukah and potluck to follow -

Latkes & Vodka and edible menorah contest!

Join us as we light the Chanukah candles at our Shabbat service.

Afterward, we'll feast on delicious latkes and potluck dinner.


Bring your entries to the party. Prizes awarded for:

* Most Creative Edible Menorah

* Wackiest Edible Menorah

Remember: Bring a dish to feed 8 hungry revelers

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21, 3:00 - 5:00 PM


We’ll sing, dance and munch on sufganiyot! For kids up to age 6

Union Temple Breadth of Israel Tour

May 2 – 15

For more go to

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!


                                                                                                                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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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


The Festival of Hanukkah commemorates the Maccabean victory over the powerful army of the Syrian-Greek King Antiochus IV (Antiochus Epiphanes) in 165 BCE. The Books of Maccabees and the Jewish historian Josephus describe various commemorative ceremonies in the years following this momentous event. But the Rabbis of the Talmudic period (2nd-5th centuries CE) knew that they needed to systematize these celebrations and take control of the ultimate message of Hanukkah. One of the ways in which they accomplished this was by transforming the commemoration into a home holiday. 
The following is one explanation for this transformation, excerpted from a fine article by Noam Zion in his extraordinary compendium, A DIFFERENT LIGHT: The Big Book of Hanukkah, published by the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. 
First, the Rabbinic candle lighting is a liminal ceremony, meaning it occurs at the threshold (“liminos” in Greek) in two senses. In space, the doorway is the border and the gate between home/street, private/public, family/national. In time, dusk is the border between day/night and light/darkness with all their metaphoric significance. The Rabbis required that each household “publicize the miracles of Hanukkah” by sending a message from the home to the public sphere, the market place. It seems more than a coincidence that when the Greeks tried to force every Jewish family to renounce its Judaism and to proclaim its loyalty to Hellenist culture, religion and politics, that the doorstep was the location chosen.

“At the doors of their houses and in the squares they burned incense [to the pagan gods].”

In short, the Greek persecution was aimed not only at the temple and not only at requiring notables like Mattathias to offer sacrifices on public altars, but struck at family Judaism. Circumcision, Shabbat and Kashrut (or at least eating ritually pure foods) were the target as well. Many rank and file Jews defended their families' Judaism even to the point of martyrdom. The martyrdom of the scribe Elazar, and of Hannah and her seven sons, is a person “bearing witness” (martyr in Greek means to bear witness) to the public persecutors that God, not Antiochus, is the final authority.

Therefore the Rabbinic “publicizing of the miracle,” house by house is more than a clever advertising campaign to spread information. It is a family bearing of witness to the public that we are a family loyal to Judaism. When the Rabbis encouraged individuals to go beyond the minimum requirement of one lamp per house and to light one lamp per individual, they mandated individuals within each household to voluntarily reiterate their personal commitment to the family’s public declaration of faith. . . .

Let us add a second note about the Rabbinic form of observance. The candles are lit one at a time in mid-winter at the darkest point of the cycle of the moon (the 25th of Kislev when the moon is just disappearing and then beginning as a new moon to reappear on the 1st of Tevet and then to wax slowly). This occurs also at the darkest phase of the solar cycle, the winter solstice (of the northern hemisphere). Unlike holidays of redemption like Sukkot, Purim and Pesach, which are celebrated at the full moon and at the fall and spring solstice, Hanukkah reflects the beginning of the redemptive process, not its completion.  

In the foregoing passage, Noam Zion alludes to the sole purpose of lighting the menorah, according to Talmudic tradition: to publicize the miracle of Hanukkah. The lights of the menorah are to be displayed for all to see. They are not to be used for any purpose other than this. We are to look at them, and that it is all. They burn as a testament to our ongoing loyalty to our people, our tradition, and to God.

In this spirit, I wish all of you a Chag Urim Sameach – a joyous Festival of Lights.

Candles are added to the menorah from right to left
and kindled in the reverse direction, from left to right.
On Shabbat, light the menorah before the Shabbat candles.

,בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲֹשֶר קִדְֹּשָנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו
וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר ֹשֶל חֲנֻכָּה

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melekh Ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav
v’tzivanu l’hadlik ner shel Chanukah.
Blessed are You, Eternal our God, Sovereign of the Universe,
Who has sanctified us with Your mitzvot, and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah lights.

בָּרוּךְ אֲתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶעָשָֹה נִסִּים לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ
בָּיָּמִים הָהֵם בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melekh Ha’olam, she’asah nisim la’avoteinu
bayim hahem baz’man hazeh.
Blessed are You, Eternal our God, Sovereign of the Universe, who did wondrous things for our ancestors in days of old at this season.

first night only:
בָּרוּךְ אֲתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melekh Ha’olam, shehecheyanu, v’kiy’manu, v’higiyanu laz’man hazeh.
Blessed are You, Eternal God, Sovereign of the universe, who has given us life, and sustained us,
and enabled us to reach this season.

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 ( 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.

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  - 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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