All services, meetings, classes and other events are virtual, via Zoom, until further notice, unless otherwise noted. Online services will continue to be streamed on Zoom and Facebook.

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

A letter to the Temple Israel Congregation and Community

Dear Members and Friends of Congregation B’nai Israel:

Due to the high Covid numbers as reported last Saturday by our Security Committee Co-Chairs, and the recommendation by the Security Committee to suspend in-person worship, the Temple Board has voted to suspend in-person worship until further notice. Your Board will continue to receive regular weekly COVID reports from the Security Committee and will reopen the Temple for in-person worship as soon as the Board determines the COVID situation permits.

The Temple will continue to provide services virtually on Zoom and also on Facebook. Our Shabbat Service, scheduled for this Friday, September 24, 2021 at 5:30 PM will only be virtual on Zoom and on Facebook.

The Temple’s Security Committee will be monitoring Covid numbers in our community and in our state.  Those reports be shared with our congregation on a regular basis.

Our utmost concern is to keep our congregants and our staff safe and healthy.  Any questions or concerns, please contact me.

L’Shanah Tovah,

Francine Thalheimer



Rabbi’s Notes for September

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, September 17th

Click here to download PDF of Rabbi’s Blair’s Service Notice with links to the recording of the Shabbat Zoom service held September 17th.

Joint Sukkot service with B’nai Jacob on Monday, Sept. 20th

Click here to download PDF of Rabbi’s Blair’s Service Notice with links to the recording of the Sukkot service held September 20th.
Click here for the online flip book of the Shabbat/Weekdays/Festivals Siddur, Mishkan T’filah.

Temple Israel’s newly renovated and reconfigured main Sanctuary.

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 services, meetings, classes and other events are virtual, via Zoom, until further notice, unless otherwise noted.


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. He is looking for input about continuing the meetings.

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


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

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.