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Yom Kippur Appeal (President's speech)

Shalom and G’mar Chatimah Tovah.

Eleven years ago, as my wife Ilene and I walked through the doors of Temple Israel for the first time, little did we know that our journey would lead me to stand here before you today. If you had told me back then, I might have laughed in disbelief. But isn’t that the beauty of our community? How the unpredictable journey of life intertwines with the fabric of this sacred space and its people.

Now, as I stand here, it's not to harp on the challenges or dwell on what we could do better. Instead, it's to embrace the present, to acknowledge the strides we've made, and to build on the foundation of our collective strengths.

Our temple thrives when each of us finds a meaningful way to engage. I’ve witnessed firsthand the kind of magic that happens when one invests passion and heart into a cause. Our community lights up. We know that each of you is most engaged when contributing to causes that resonate deeply within you. Today, I encourage you, not just to give, but to find that spark, that cause, that purpose which aligns with your soul and brings you closer to our Temple Israel family.

Speaking of journeys and new beginnings, I cannot help but express our collective gratitude for a special journey that has recently intertwined with ours. Our Rabbi. Her spiritual quest has graciously led her, along with her wonderful family, to our temple. I had the honor of leading the search that brought her to us. Since her arrival in July, we've felt a new energy, a renewed spirit that only reaffirms our belief in the power of faith and community.

I won’t stand here today and ask you directly for money. What I ask is for a commitment. A commitment to your passion, to your community, to Temple Israel. Because when we invest ourselves, our time, and our resources into something we deeply care about, the returns are immeasurable.

May this Yom Kippur bring reflection, renewal, and the strength to continue building our beautiful community together.

Thank you. Shana Tova.

Big Things Are Happening at OUR shul!

Dear Friends,

I want to say what a pleasure it is to reach out to you as the new president of Temple Israel. Our Kahal Kadosh, our sacred congregation, has been fortunate to have some truly impressive volunteer leaders, and I am honored and humbled to be following in their footsteps and picking up where they left off. 

There is a lot of change happening at Temple Israel, and I think that is a good thing. Just a few weeks ago we welcomed our new spiritual leader, Rabbi Wendy Love Anderson. She will help bring Temple Israel to higher heights, and she and her family will be a welcomed addition to our Shul and to our greater Albany Jewish Community. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to meet Rabbi Anderson, I encourage you to come to services, check out our website and weekly emails for exciting upcoming events. 

Rabbi Wendy Anderson joins our fantastic Cantor, Rogerio Marx, as part of a dynamic duo dedicated to engaging our congregants and participants with inspiring energy (Ruach), enlightening learning, and the high-quality pastoral care that all of us, at every stage of our lives, truly deserve. I am personally so thrilled to watch Rabbi Anderson and Cantor Marx lead our services and interact on the bimah, and I hope you have the opportunity to come in-person, or watch via our Livestream on Shabbat and holidays and every day on Zoom . 

In addition to our clergy team, we have far too much happening at Temple Israel for me to lay out in a single email. So let me simply note that we are moving past Covid and have learned from the experience. Cantor Marx has recently revitalized our Kabbalat Shabbat services which are now available both in-person and on zoom. We have virtual services, but hybrid Minyans on Sunday and coming soon on Thursdays. We are coming back gradually with Seudah Shleesheet so we can have a nosh together on Shabbat afternoons. Our dual crown jewels of the Early Childhood Center and Camp Givah are full of happy, safe, and loved children who are receiving high-quality programming, Jewish education, and attention thanks to the dedicated professionals that run both programs. 

We have great upcoming programs that I encourage everyone to check out, sign-up for, and join us at. And I look forward to staying in regular contact to keep you, our congregants, informed about the exciting things that are taking place at OUR synagogue, Temple Israel. 

Thank you, and please reach out any time at:


Keegan Bailey

Annual Meeting

Our Annual Meeting was held on July 11.

Amongst all of the business that was conducted that day was the election of officers and trustees. Below you'll find a brief bio and photo of each of the  new trustees so that you can learn a little bit about them.

Leonard Goodkin

My wife, KB, and I came to Temple Israel when our first child was ready to attend preschool, then Camp Givah, and never looked back. I began with serving on the Men’s Club board and soon after joined the Inclusion Committee, then the board of trustees, then resigned to serve as president of the Hebrew Academy of the Capital District (HACD). It’s a privilege to return to the TI board and help to guide and grow our synagogue.

Elana Gordis

I moved with my husband Mitch and two daughters to the Albany area from Los Angeles in 2005.  Mitch and I are both psychology professors at UAlbany. We joined Temple Israel in 2011.  Our daughters both spent many years enjoying Camp Givah and both became Bat Mitzvah at TI.  

Elana Gordis, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University at Albany, SUNY

Jennifer Wind

Tue, July 23 2024 17 Tammuz 5784