In-person Shabbat services have been suspended.
Online services will continue to be streamed on Zoom and Facebook.
All meetings, classes and other events remain virtual, via Zoom, until further notice.

Click here for a link to the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department website.

In order to protect our families, friends and the public health from the spread of Covid-19, all events scheduled at the Temple have been canceled in favor of ONLINE gatherings WITH ONE EXCEPTION. In-person High Holiday and Shabbat services are permitted according to Covid-19 guidelines adopted by the Temple board of trustees. Please stay informed about any changes to this policy by checking your email and visiting this website. Click here for Temple Israel Covid-19 Guidelines.

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…

Temple Israel on Facebook

Covid-19 info from other websites

Click here for New York Times free Covid-19 coverage

To access articles on the New York Times “The Coronavirus Outbreak” special site, you will need to create a free account, using your email address and a password. You don’t need to buy a subscription or give them your phone number in order to access the page, though you might be asked to do so.

Click here for Covid-19 resources and information from the West Virginia Legislature.

Sign up for the WRJ Newsletter at

Visit the WRJ Facebook page at

Sign up for the WRJ Mid-Atlantic Candle at


If you are planning

  • a move,
  • changing your phone number (or deleting a number, such as a landline), or
  • a new email address,

please contact the Temple office as soon as you have your new contact info. We have no other way of obtaining this information, except from you. Please email your new contact info to the Temple office at

An important Message to Members and Friends of Temple Israel

January 12, 2022

Dear Members of the Temple Israel Community,

Due to the high Covid numbers as reported last Saturday by our Temple’s Security Committee Co-Chairs, the Temple Board of Trustees voted last night to suspend in-person worship until the next Temple Board Meeting, scheduled for February 8th.  That gives us four weeks to monitor the high rate of infection in our community. The Temple Board will announce when we will re-open for in-person worship.

The Temple will continue to provide services virtually on Zoom and also on Facebook.  Please note that our Shabbat Service, scheduled for this Friday, January 14th at 5:30 pm will only be virtual on Zoom and on Facebook.

Our utmost concern is to keep our congregants and our staff safe and healthy during these challenging times. Any questions or concerns, please contact me ( or our Vice President, Gayle Twigger-Shaw (


Francine Thalheimer


MLK Day is Jan. 17

For information about MLK Day in West Virginia, visit

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (1963)

Photo by Warren K. Leffler – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID ppmsca.03130

During January

Ongoing regular events: Zoom Check-ins on Monday mornings; Torah Classes on Tuesday mornings; Talmud Classes on Thursday mornings; A Bissell Torah on Thursday afternoons; Temple Israel Shabbat services every Friday evening. Please check the Events schedule for dates and times.

Rabbi Joe Blair

Rabbi’s Notes

Siddurim (prayer books) for Shabbat/Weekdays/Festivals services

We 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.

If you would like to pick up a Shabbat/Weekdays/Festivals prayer book – Mishkan T’filah – simply call or email me (the rabbi) and we can arrange for you to pick up the book at a convenient time. Call my cell phone 304-989-4014 or email me to let me know you would like to borrow a prayer book.

Prayer books available for free online

The CCAR (Central Conference of American Rabbis) provides online access to prayer books. Click here to navigate to the CCAR website to access the flipbook version of Mishkan T’filah for Shabbat, Weekdays, and Festivals.


 –  Rabbi Joe Blair

Updated info about virtual services

Most recent Shabbat:

Friday, December 31st.

Click here to download PDF of Rabbi Blair’s service message with links to the recording of the Shabbat service held Dec. 31st

High Holy Days and Sukkot services

Click here to download PDF of Rabbi Blair’s service message with links to the recordings of the High Holy Days and Sukkot services.
Click here for the online flip book of the Shabbat/Weekdays/Festivals Siddur, Mishkan T’filah.

POSTPONED: The Sisterhood “Kaffee Klatch” originally scheduled for Jan. 16 has been postponed. The Sisterhood meeting will still be held, but only on Zoom.

POSTPONED: Charleston Death Cafe has been moved to Jan. 23.

It is possible that other events scheduled Jan. 16-18 – such as the Jewish Film Festival, the Rosenfeld unveiling, and the Torah class will need to be rescheduled, due to uncertain weather conditions. Please check your email for updates from Rabbi Blair or call the Temple’s “cancellation line” at (304) 342-5852.

This website won’t be updated till after Jan. 17.

Upcoming Events

10:30 am UPDATE: Sisterhood bd. & gen. me...
UPDATE: Sisterhood bd. & gen. me...
Jan 16 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am
Sunday, January 16th at 10:30 AM – Temple Israel Sisterhood[...]
1:00 pm Jewish Film Festival Park Place ...
Jewish Film Festival Park Place ...
Jan 16 @ 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Free and open to the public.
3:00 pm Rosenfeld Unveiling
Rosenfeld Unveiling
Jan 16 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

To learn more about WV Interfaith Refugee Ministry (WVIRM), visit their Facebook page here.

Read the brochure about WVIRM-Charleston’s 2nd Annual Welcoming Week Sept. 10-19 in Charleston by clicking on the graphic above.

Welcoming Week events included the webinar “Understanding the High Holidays,” featuring Rabbi Joe Blair and Rabbi Victor Urecki of B’nai Jacob Synagogue, recorded Sept. 19th. The webinar was sponsored in part by the WV Council of Churches and the WVIRM. You can view the recording of the event on Facebook by clicking here.

The Charleston Ecumenical and Interfaith Coalition (CEIC) produced a series of videos by various clergy members in remembrance for 9/11. You can view it by clicking here.

Opportunities for Tzedakah

If you have attended a Shabbat service recently, or listened to the recordings, you heard Temple president Fran Thalheimer listing many of the options for actions with the Reform Action Center (RAC), the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), and the Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ), and other groups. There are efforts in the areas of Voting Rights and many other social justice issues. Please contact Fran Thalheimer, or the RAC, URJ, or WRJ directly, for information.

 – Rabbi Blair

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

Contact Rabbi Blair if you would like to participate in Charleston Death Cafe Zoom sessions. Click here for recent updates.

Read about the local café (past programs) here. To visit the international site, click here.

Watch memorial service for Rabbi Israel B. Koller on Facebook

photo courtesy the Charleston Gazette-Mail

Recorded October 15, 2020. Click Facebook to watch the service. When Facebook tells you to login or create an account, simply click “not now.”

Click here for a link to the video “Living Our Faith: How can people of faith help heal racial divides?,” a collection of uplifting and hopeful messages of interfaith clergy in Charleston, West Virginia, coming together as partners in justice and healing.

Temple Israel’s cemetery is located within the boundaries of Charleston’s Spring Hill Cemetery

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