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

Sisterhood’s 68th Annual Holland Bulb Sale going on now through May 24th

Click the graphic above to email the Temple office.

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 a link to the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department website.

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

Watch memorial service for Rabbi Israel B. Koller on Facebook
Recorded October 15, 2020. Click Facebook to watch the service. When Facebook tells you to login or create an account, simply click “not now.”

photo courtesy the Charleston Gazette-Mail


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

Counting of the Omer began April 16/17 and continues through June 4, which is Erev Shavuot, for a total of 49 days.

Mizrach Omer Calender*, by Moses H. Henry, Cincinnati, 1850. Ink on paper. Courtesy of the HUC Skirball Cultural Center Museum Collection, Los Angeles. A mizrach serves as a symbolic orientation towards Jerusalem, the direction towards which prayer is oriented. This highly complex mizrah illustrates Moses Henry’s patriotism with the motif of the American eagle astride a shield and bunting of the Stars and Stripes. The architectural images also make reference to the ideals of Freemasonry, as during the nineteenth century many Jews began to join Masonic orders. This mizrah has a second function as an omer calendar, as the forty-nine roundels in the border count the seven weeks between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot. The legend at the top reads “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither” (Psalms 137:5). *This misspelling is part of the file’s name in Wikipedia.

A note about the Haggadah chosen by the Ritual Committee and used in our congregational Passover Seder held April 15:

It is Telling the Story, adapted by Barry Louis Polisar.

Copies are for sale online, or you can download a PDF of it without cost by clicking this link

You can view it online or print copies from the PDF file.

Rabbi’s Notes

May events

We have most of our usual and ongoing events – except for Torah study, which won’t be until June – PLUS the Sisterhood Installation of Officers at the Shabbat service on May 20.

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, May 13th
Click here to download PDF of Rabbi Blair’s service message with links to the recording of the Shabbat service held May 13th.
Most recent Havdalah
Click here to download PDF of Rabbi Blair’s service message with links to the recording of the Havdalah service held March 12th.
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.
Yom HaShoah service held April 27, 2022
Click here to download PDF of Rabbi Blair’s service message with links to the recordings of the Yom HaShoah service.
Click here for the online flip book of the Shabbat/Weekdays/Festivals Siddur, Mishkan T’filah.

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.

Upcoming Events

all-day NO Zoom Check-in
NO Zoom Check-in
May 23 all-day
Monday, May 23 – NO Zoom Check-in
10:00 am Torah Class
Torah Class
May 24 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Tuesday, May 24 at 10 AM – Torah Class
10:00 am Talmud Class
Talmud Class
May 26 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Thursday, May 26 at 10 AM – Talmud Class
4:00 pm A Bissell Torah
A Bissell Torah
May 26 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Thursday, May 26 at 4 PM – A Bissell Torah
4:00 pm Jewish Literature
Jewish Literature
May 29 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Sunday, May 29 at 4 PM – Jewish Literature

Please note

  • There will be no Torah study session in May; it will resume in June.
  • Friday, June 3 at 5:30 PM – Shabbat Torah service with Parashah Bamidbar, and Shavuot observed
  • Saturday, June 4 at 10:30 AM – Torah study: Numbers 1:1-4:20 (online ONLY)

In-person Shabbat services have resumed. Services ARE STILL AVAILABLE ONLINE, on Zoom and Facebook. If you aren’t receiving LINKS emails from Rabbi Blair, please let him know that you would like to be added to his distribution list.

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.

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

West Virginia Climate Conference June 4 in Charleston

West Virginia chapters of Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) and the First Presbyterian Church of Charleston will host “Caring for Creation Together: A West Virginia Interfaith Climate Conference” in Charleston on June 4, 2022. Registration is free.

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.

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.

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.

Ellie Schaul: Reimagining the Familiar – A Sixty-Year Retrospective Exhibition. The exhibit will be on display at the Juliet Art Museum at the Clay Center through June 5. For info about the exhibit, click HERE.

Ellie Schaul’s watercolor study (1982) for the tapestry cover of the Chapel Ark, “For Lo, the Winter Has Passed.” From “Temple Israel Art,” researched and edited by Ellie Schaul, 2014. Photo by Michael Keller.