Welcome to Temple Israel…

Established in 1873 and a founding member of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), we are one of the oldest and most renowned congregations in the American Jewish experience.

  • Serving families from Charleston and surrounding areas of West Virginia
  • Offering an engaging array of education classes, enrichment programs, visiting scholars, concerts, and social opportunities
  • Active Temple Sisterhood affiliated with the WRJ
  • Energetic participation in community social action and interfaith relationship building
  • ​A community that treasures its diversity in all its forms – age, marital or partnership status, gender identity, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity

Learn more about us…

Temple Photo by Louis Davidson | Learn More…

Havdalah and…

I mentioned that I was planning to offer some Havdalah events. Havdalah is the very short ritual that marks the end of Shabbat, so these are on a Saturday evening. Our first Havdalah evening will be March 9, roughly 5:30 to 7:15-7:30. I anticipate some noshes, a movie/documentary and a discussion. And a SHORT Havdalah ritual to close. Watch for more details next month.

Rabbi Blair

For Havdalah blessings and other info, click here.

Shabbat Services
Friday evenings
5:30 PM

Covered Dish Dinner Friday, March 1 following the 5:30 PM Shabbat service

Please bring a dish to share or only yourself, your choice.

Welcome, Rabbi Joe Blair

We welcomed Rabbi Joe Blair as the rabbi of our Congregation on July 1. Please read Rabbi Blair’s bio here.

To view the special mailing Rabbi Blair sent out in mid-August, please click here.

For information about
Weather Related Cancellations
call 304-342-5852
and listen to the
recorded message.

Temple now has an official Facebook presence

Charleston Death Cafés begin March 17

Please consider attending a Charleston Death Café. They are scheduled for Sundays, March 17, April 28 and June 16 at Temple Israel. The time is 6-8 PM. Charleston Death Cafés are Free, and we invite anyone interested to come. The facilitator will be Rabbi Joe Blair. Rabbi Blair has facilitated Death Cafes since 2015.

Death Café

What could be nicer? A cup of tea (or coffee), a little cake, a chance to talk about death….
It used to be that one would never speak in polite society about money, sex, religion or death. It seems that the last of the taboos today is death – but being taboo does not eliminate the need to discuss it.

Death Cafés are a venue where that taboo is left at the door and the topic of all conversations is death. Nothing is right or wrong, no view or opinion is censored or judged, those attending are welcomed and supported by others present, and there is no agenda. It is simply a supportive and comfortable setting to raise issues and discuss matters around death.

At a Death Cafe people drink tea, eat cake and discuss death. The aim is to increase awareness of death to help people make the most of their (finite) lives. Death Cafés are NOT Therapy, and they are NOT counseling. They are facilitated conversations, set and determined by the attendees. Nothing is sold or pitched, and no one is judged.

The Death Café is simply a venue in which practically any topic of conversation relating to death is welcome and permitted: whether it concerns your own feelings about death, an experience related to the death of another, the process of advance- and pre-planning, practical/logistical issues around death, or any questions you want to ask. Death Cafés are not affiliated with any religion or product, they have no agenda, and there is no sales pitch or pressure.
Death Cafés have been going on worldwide since 2011, with over 7500 official cafés held (and others as well). You can read about the organization online: https://deathcafe.com/

Death cafés are often drop in – no reservations required for most of them (though this varies by location).

What we ask: we do ask for contact information from those attending so we can send notices (usually emails) of the next café, and many Death Cafés will accept free will donations to help offset the cost of the refreshments, but there is no obligation. Attend or not, donate or not, speak or not, as you wish – it is entirely up to you.