In-person religious services continue to be streamed online, on Zoom and Facebook.

Covid-19 and influenza: Masking is requested, especially if it’s possible that you have been exposed recently, or are experiencing any symptoms.

Meetings, classes and other events are a mix of hybrid, online-only and in-person-only events. Please check the twice-weekly LINKS emails from Rabbi Blair for participation info. If you aren’t receiving these emails, please contact Rabbi Blair.

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 – and now the Parkersburg-Marietta, OH community
  • 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

This photo and many others were taken by Louis Davidson in the late 2000s for a gallery of American synagogue photos on the website of the Anu Museum of the Jewish People, located in Tel Aviv, Israel. Please note: these photos were taken prior to the renovation of the main Sanctuary.

Temple Israel on Facebook

Sign up for the WRJ Newsletter at

Visit the WRJ Facebook page at

Find out about regional activities and sign up for the WRJ Mid-Atlantic Candle at

Temple Israel’s cemetery is located within the boundaries of Charleston’s Spring Hill Cemetery. Click here for more info.

Click here for a PDF of the Cemetery Policy updated January 2023.

Click here for a PDF of the directions to the Temple Cemetery.

Caring for our Torahs

Thanks to Ellie Schaul for taking care of the project, from start to finish, of refurbishing of the silver rimonim set, which caps one of our Torah scrolls.

The rimonim were repaired by Scott Petit of Petit Jewelry Designs of Charleston, who has done similar work for the Temple over the past few years. As always, the repair to our treasured pieces was beautifully done, and Scott donated his labor. His generosity is greatly appreciated.

 – Gayle Tigger-Shaw, President

From Wikipedia:

Torah finials or rimonim/rimmonim ([Hebrew: רִמּוֹנִיִם, lit. “pomegranates”], singular: rimon /rimmon) are silver or gold finials adorning the top ends of the rollers (עצי חיים Atzei Chaim) of a Sefer Torah (Torah scroll). Very often the rimonim are adorned with little bells and are very intricate.

Borrowing prayer books for Shabbat to use at online services

Please note: The CCAR (Central Conference of American Rabbis) no longer provides online access to prayer books.

Temple Israel will continue to provide Zoom access and Facebook Livestreaming of the services, as we have been, so that you can still participate and view the services without coming into the building.

Click here to navigate to the CCAR website for info about purchasing Mishkan T’filah, the prayer book we use for Shabbat and Festivals. For a Kindle version, here’s a link to

Click here to navigate to the CCAR website for info about purchasing Mishkan HaNefesh, the prayer books we use for the High Holidays. For Kindle versions, here’s a link to

 –  Rabbi Joe Blair

Loop technology update and clarification

A few months back, I mentioned the Loop Technology installed in the sanctuary. It is still there and functioning, but I have since been told that newer hearing aids do not include the capability to tune in (in order to make them smaller), so that option may not be available directly. However, there are receivers in the choir loft area, with earphones, so you can still use the system. Ask the tech crew about them – before the service begins – if you want to use them at a service.

– Rabbi Joe Blair

Please refer to LINKS emails from Rabbi Blair for access to classes, which are online-only with two exceptions*. If you aren’t receiving LINKS emails, please contact Rabbi Blair.

Meetings of Sisterhood, Book Club, and the Temple board of trustees are in-person only.
Religious services are both in-person and online.

The two classes that are in-person – at B’nai Jacob Synagogue – as well as online:

Torah class with Rabbi Urecki and Rabbi Blair, (most) Tuesdays at 10 AM. These dates aren’t listed individually. *In-person at B’nai Jacob and online.
Talmud class with Rabbi Urecki and Rabbi Blair, (most) Thursdays at 10 AM. These dates aren’t listed individually. *In-person at B’nai Jacob and online.

Upcoming Events

5:30 pm Charleston Jewish Film Festival,...
Charleston Jewish Film Festival,...
Jun 16 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Sunday, 6/16, Charleston Jewish Film Festival, Caperton Planetarium in the[...]
4:30 pm A Bissell Torah – online only
A Bissell Torah – online only
Jun 20 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Thursday, June 20 at 4:30 PM – A Bissell Torah
11:00 am Sisterhood board retreat
Sisterhood board retreat
Jun 23 @ 11:00 am
Sunday, June 23 at 11 AM – Sisterhood board retreat,[...]

Recordings of services

Most recent Shabbat, Yom HaShoah

Service for Shabbat, Friday, May 31, 2024 PDF link.

Yom HaShoah service held May 05, 2024 PDF link.

Special Joint Oct. 09, 2023 Prayer Service “Standing as One” link

High Holy Days 2023

Yom Kippur services Sunday & Monday, Sept. 24 & 25, 2023 PDF link.

Shabbat Shuvah service Friday, Sept. 22, 2023 PDF link

Shabbat-Rosh Hashanah services Friday & Saturday, Sept. 15 & 16, 2023 PDF link.

  • Most recent Havdalah service: Click here to download the PDF of Rabbi Blair’s service message with links to the recording of the Havdalah service held May 6, 2023

Tzedakah (Charity)

As always, but particularly at this time when we are told that Teshuvah (Return to the right path), Tefillah (Prayer), and Tzedakah (Righteous Giving) act to transcend the harshness of the decree inscribed, please be generous. You know that there is a terrible mess in the world – the headlines tell us that there are many disasters, wars, and catastrophes all around us, and needs are extreme, both domestically and overseas.

Please do what you can, wherever you can – financially, or by volunteering, or both. Support and assist whoever and whatever you are able, supporting whatever moves you.

Tzedakah is among the highest of all mitzvot possible; may your heart be moved to give a little bit more than you otherwise might, may your generosity be a blessing for those who receive it, and may that blessing reflect onto you and your loved ones.

 – Rabbi Blair

Rabbi Joe Blair. You can read Rabbi Blair’s bio here.