Not a member?    We would love for you to join us!
The synagogue—one of Judaism’s most ancient institutions—continues to provide for the spiritual, communal and educational needs of every generation of Jews. Each synagogue is unique, with its own distinct character and culture. But all synagogues have one fundamental thing in common: They are the Centers for Jewish Living in your community. A synagogue is a special place because it nurtures three things that Jews have sought for themselves and their families, three things that infuse life with a sense of meaning and fulfillment: Community, Learning and Spirituality.

Being part of a synagogue community throughout life is a priority for many and we hope that it will be one for you too.  To receive a membership packet, call the Temple Front Office at (619) 286-2555 and ask that one be mailed to you.

Below are ways to enhance the Temple membership experience for you and others!

Join a Chavurah:

A chavurah is a small group of Temple Emanu-El members who join together to celebrate Jewish life, friendship and community.  The Chavurah program is designed to bring congregants with similar interests together who might otherwise not have an opportunity to meet.  It is a chance for our congregation’s members to get to know each other outside of the synagogue, yet it is designed to build relationships within the synagogue.

Chavurot consist of individuals, couples or families, up to about 20 people total.  The difference between a chavurah and any other social group is that all members make a commitment to the group to meet regularly, once a month.  These get-togethers can involve Jewish services, holidays or events, sharing personal simchas, eating meals together or any other social activities that the group determines for itself.

These groups can provide a wonderful way to get to know others and build lasting friendships with fellow synagogue members, enhancing your experience as a member.  Please note: the chavurot are only open to current Temple Emanu-El members.

Get Involved:

Help out once, twice or regularly with our wonderful Temple programs.  You don’t need to join a committee to help out.

Explanation of Committees and Programs :

Plans and coordinates continued learning experiences for members.

Meets regularly to sing together, and occasionally enhances Shabbat and holiday services.

Improves the aesthetics of our facility, including placement of art and Judaica.

Comprises all of us and provides support for Temple members in times of need and joy.

Creates and supports small friendship groups within the larger Temple community.

Offers activities to meet social and spiritual needs of Temple members 55 and older.

Plans and runs fundraising activities, including the annual gala.

Oversees the maintenance and improvement of the Temple and grounds.

Coordinates and maintains the operation of our Temple Library.

Supports Temple members to integrate into the community and enhance the membership experience

Supports the Preschool director, staff, parents and students with ongoing programs and activities.

Coordinates efforts to publicize Temple events and activities.

Coordinates/implements security and safety programs, along with local law enforcement, to ensure the security and safety of staff, students and congregants.

Provides the opportunity for hands-on involvement in programs such as the Hunger Project, Storefront Youth Shelter, and Mitzvah of the Month. The committee also donates goods and funds to local, national, and international agencies.

Supports the Torah School director, staff, parents and students with ongoing programs and activities.

Provides a supportive connection among women of the congregation with a wide range of events and programs for the WRJ membership as well as support of tikkun olam, social action and educational activities in cooperation with our Temple and congregation at large.

Works with the Rabbi to plan, oversee, and refine aspects of ritual practice and religious events.

Assists with social activities and fundraising efforts for Chaverim (grades K-2), OYE (grades 3-5), EASY (grades 6-8) and SANETY (grades 9-12).


How often do you have services?
We have Shabbat services every Friday evening and Saturday morning.  Our Shabbat evening service begins at 6:00 pm and our Shabbat morning service begins promptly at 10:30 am in the Sanctuary.

How many Rabbis does Temple Emanu-El have?
We have two rabbis.  Rabbi Devorah Marcus came to us from Temple Beth-El in Great Neck, New York. She began her tenure here on July 1, 2013 and is our Senior Rabbi.  Rabbi Benj Fried is our Rabbi Educator. He received his ordination from Hebrew Union College in May of 2017.   He works with the Adult Education Committee to enhance our learning experiences, with our Youth Groups and our Torah School.

Rabbi Lawson, who served our congregation for 36 years has retired and is enjoying his Rabbi Emeritus status.

How many members does Temple Emanu-El  have?
We currently have 470 families.

What do I get for my membership dues?
On top of the regular benefits of membership like High Holy Day tickets, access to summer camps, the privilege of voting at our Annual Congregational Meeting and more, our Rabbi, staff, and members will be there to support you through life’s challenges and joys. You will also be supporting our synagogue and the great programs we offer. Our members find they get back much more than they pay for.

How do I join Temple Emanu-El?
Please call the office at (619) 286-2555 to request a membership packet by mail.  Fill out the “census form” found in the packet and mail or bring it into the Temple Office.  We will then set an appointment for you to meet with our Executive Director, Shiri Haines, who will complete the process and set your dues level.

What if I can’t afford membership dues?
We always make it possible for any individual or family to become a member or remain a member at a rate commensurate with your ability to pay.  We do not turn anyone away and are pledged to work with members according to their financial situation.

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