You may attend in-person services beginning Oct. 22nd, in accordance with the Temple’s Covid-19 guidelines, available by clicking here.
Online services will continue to be streamed on Zoom and Facebook.
However, all meetings, classes and other events remain virtual, via Zoom, until further notice, unless otherwise noted.

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…

Click here for spring photos of the Temple garden.

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

October 18, 2021

Dear fellow congregant:

The Temple Israel board of trustees voted to resume in-person attendance at Shabbat worship services, starting this Friday, October 22nd. Temple Israel will also continue on-line access to Shabbat services via Zoom and Facebook.

Remember to check Rabbi Blair’s Temple Israel Reminder LINKS email every week to access the Zoom link for Shabbat services.

All Shabbat Services Zoom sessions will open 30 minutes prior to the start time.

For in-person worship services at Temple Israel, the doors will open 15 minutes prior to the service start time and lock 15 minutes after the service start time. Requirements for in-person attendance include being fully vaccinated and wearing a mask at all times in the Temple. Hand sanitizer and masks are available as you enter the Temple.

I would like to remind everyone to respect each worshipper’s personal (social) space in the Temple’s Sanctuary. Covid data indicates that rates of infection are still high in Charleston and that the number of active coronavirus cases are now over 10,000 in West Virginia.  Please be careful and safe.


Francine Thalheimer

Temple president

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, October 15th

Click here to download PDF of Rabbi Blair’s Service Notice with links to the recording of the Shabbat service held Oct. 15th.

High Holy Days and Sukkot services

Click here to download PDF of Rabbi Blair’s Service Notice 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.

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.

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.

Upcoming Events

6:00 pm Two Charleston Rabbis Discussion...
Two Charleston Rabbis Discussion...
Oct 27 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Thursday, Oct. 27 at 6 PM – Two Charleston Rabbis[...]
5:30 pm Shabbat service
Shabbat service
Oct 29 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Friday, Oct. 29 at 5:30 PM – Shabbat service
5:30 pm Shabbat service with Torah. Para...
Shabbat service with Torah. Para...
Nov 5 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Friday, Nov. 5 at 5:30 PM – Shabbat service with[...]
10:30 am Torah study
Torah study
Nov 6 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am
Saturday, Nov. 6 at 10:30 AM – Torah study

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.


Please be generous – needs continue to run especially high in light of the Corona Virus Pandemic effects. Note the many Tzedakah opportunities that we have supported over the years: Manna Meal, Covenant House, Sojourner’s Shelter/YWCA, RCCR, Mazon, AJWS, HIAS, and all the other worthy causes in our community and beyond. Please also remember current needs of many due to natural disasters, such as the ones that recently struck Haiti.

 – 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.

Scheduling: What Works for You?

Contact Rabbi Blair

I plan to return to our calendar, in the weeks and months to come, several events that we have had in past, but before I schedule them, I want to ask for your input on day and time. In short:

A Bissell Torah – a short conversation jumping off from some topic that is related to Torah (at least vaguely) was held weekly on Thursdays at 3 PM. I have heard from several people that this time was not good for them. When would be best? Should this be weekly, or less frequent?

Charleston Death Cafes are back on the schedule. Please read the recent updates by clicking here.

Havdalah was something a few folks asked about. It would be on Saturday evenings (it could be at a set time, or vary with the time of sunset). How often would you want this to be offered, and when?

Jewish Literature – a discussion of short readings that were Jewish from Yiddish, Hebrew, or English writers – was held on Sundays at 2 PM twice a month. Again, this was not ideal for everyone; what would be better?

Two Charleston Rabbis programs were roughly monthly on Wednesdays or Thursdays at about 6 PM. Is there a better time or day (of course, it has to take into account other events and Rabbi Urecki’s schedule)?

Temple Israel Zoom Check Ins were held on Mondays at 10 AM weekly. Is this still useful and something people want, and is there a better day or time for this?

Sporadic classes: if I offer a class, either a single session or a short series of two to four sessions, what day(s) or time(s) would be best?

I would very much appreciate hearing from you to help me schedule events to make them available to the most people possible. Please get back to me, ideally by Oct. 10. That way I can plan the calendar and incorporate the events information into the next Bulletin! Thank you.

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.”