Temple Israel hosts a ‘Groovy’ Rick Recht concert/community-wide event for Jewish families

On Friday evening, September 16, Congregation Temple Israel is hosting an outdoor Shabbat event called Shabbatstock for families in the St. Louis Jewish community. The evening includes a bring-your-own picnic dinner on the Brodsky Circle lawn, complimentary Kosher ice cream from Cool Times Ice Cream Truck (sponsorship provided by Jewish Federation of St. Louis), face painting, a short Shabbat service with Rabbis Amy Feder and Michael Alper, and a live concert with Jewish Rock Radio’s Rick Recht. This event is open to the entire Jewish community and is free of charge. Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic blanket for the lawn and to wear their grooviest tie-dyed t-shirts. Beverages will be provided. When: Friday, September 16, 2016 from 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm Where: Congregation Temple Israel’s Brodsky Circle lawn (#1 Rabbi Alvan D. Rubin Dr., St. Louis, 63141) Cost: Free of charge. No RSVP required.   Event website can be found at www.ti-stl.org/Shabbatstock For questions, contact Temple Israel’s front office at 314-432-8050.   ###   Congregation Temple Israel is a caring, inclusive community committed to living Reform Judaism and participating in the sacred destiny of the Jewish people and Israel through education, worship, and repair of the world. We welcome and embrace individuals and families from all backgrounds. Wherever you may be along your Jewish journey, there is a place for you at Temple Israel. For more information, go to...

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Congregation Temple Israel Announces New Family Education Department and Leadership Structure

Leslie Wolf, who has served as Congregation Temple Israel’s Deutsch Early Childhood Center (DECC) Preschool Director for eight years, will now be serving as Director of Family Education. Leslie has had tremendous success in helping DECC quintuple in size and become a Jewish preschool admired and emulated around the nation. In her new role as Director of Family Education, she will continue to lead and oversee DECC, as well as help to provide a consistent approach and connection between Temple Israel’s early childhood education program and our Religious and Hebrew Schools. Temple Israel has also hired Sandy Kramer as Assistant Director of Family Education. Sandy has served as the Education Director of Shaarei Tikvah in Wichita, and prior to that, of the Wichita Jewish Community School, where she developed a successful Shabbaton program for the entire Wichita Jewish community. Before moving to Wichita, she served as the Director of Educational Programming at Beth Israel-The West Temple in Cleveland, where she ran the religious school, family education and congregational programs, and developed Camp Kee Tov, the first Jewish day camp on the west side of Cleveland. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Washington University and her Masters degree in Jewish Education (MJEd) from Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts. Sandy will be the primary contact for Temple Israel’s Religious and Hebrew Schools. To help support the Family Education department, Temple Israel has hired Sara Jones as Family Education Office Administrator. Sara has worked with children and families at the St. Louis Jewish Community Center for almost eighteen years, starting in the KidZone with children ages six weeks to eight years. Sara then managed their youth programs and after school program for school-aged children, and most recently, served as the J Day Camps Camp Registrar. “Leslie, Sandy, and Rabbi Michael Alper, with the support of the Family Education Office Administrator, are working together to create a visionary, out-of-the-box learning experience for children of all ages and their families that builds on the vibrant, engaging school that we currently have and tailored to suit the needs of our Temple Israel families,” said Dee Mogerman, President of Temple Israel. “This plan has the full support of our Board of Trustees, our Rabbis, and our Religious and Hebrew school staff, who have been an instrumental part of our vision for moving the Family Education department forward.” Temple Israel’s Religious School program is a continuation and extension of DECC’s Preschool experience where students begin to form their Jewish identity. The program begins in Kindergarten and runs through senior year of high school, enabling students to progress and grow from young children who are passionate about their Judaism to young adults who will become the future leaders of our Jewish community. For more information about DECC and/or Temple Israel’s Religious and Hebrew School program, please contact Leslie Wolf, Director of Family Education, at lwolf@ti-stl.org or...

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Family Seder at the J

Join other families for the third annual community family Passover seder at the J led by Rabbi Brad Horwitz and musical guest Rob Aronson on Saturday, April 23 at 6:00pm at the Staenberg Family Complex. This experience promises to be a fun and interactive experience and is geared towards families with children ages 6-15. $15 per child and $20 per adult includes yummy kosher passover dinner by Kohn’s. Siblings are welcome and RSVPS are required by April 15 by contacting Rabbi Brad Horwitz bhorwitz@jccstl.org or registering online at jccstl.org. This year’s seder is part of the Passover Across America initiative and is coordinated by the J’s Center of Jewish Community...

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Shaare Emeth’s Winter/Spring 2016 Early Childhood Engagement Schedule Announced

Looking for a fun, casual way to “be Jewish” with your toddlers and preschoolers? Celebrate the Jewish holidays and Shabbat with other young families during monthly early childhood programs at Congregation Shaare Emeth and Shirlee Green Preschool. All early childhood engagement programs are created specifically for children 1 month to 5 years of age and their siblings. All events are free and open to the community—regardless of membership at Shaare Emeth or of enrollment at Shirlee Green Preschool. Winter/Spring 2016 Early Childhood Schedule: Saturday, Jan. 9, 9-10:30 a.m. – Silly Snow: Discover amazingly fun ways to enjoy snow—from crafts to snacks! Friday, Feb. 19, 5-6 p.m. – Tater Tot Shabbat with Special Guest Musician Peri Smilow: Enjoy a family friendly Shabbat service with a special guest appearance by Peri Smilow. Smilow is a nationally recognized touring artist, composer, educator and activist with the unique ability to deeply move people of all ages. After the service, join us for a free Tater Tot Shabbat dinner (with reservation). RSVP at www.sestl.org/ece or to Kendra at 314-569-0048 by Friday, Feb. 12, to ensure we have plenty of tots for everyone! Sunday, March 13, 9-10:30 a.m. – Soaking Up Spring: Let’s have fun in the Outdoor Kitah, the preschool’s new outdoor classroom. Sunday, April 24, 9-10:30 a.m. – Everyone for Earth: Celebrate the joys of our planet. Congregation Shaare Emeth and Shirlee Green Preschool are located at 11645 Ladue Road, Creve Coeur, 63141. Enter on the south/preschool side of the building. For more information, please call Karen Lucy at 314-692-5320 or visit www.sestl.org/ece. ### Shirlee Green Preschool at Shaare Emeth is a Jewish preschool that nurtures the whole child, from academic preparedness to physical development to spiritual exploration. We come to know the child as an individual and address concerns and celebrate successes and milestones great and small. We are part of Congregation Shaare Emeth, a compassionate and inclusive Reform Jewish community which strives to engage in a personal and meaningful way with our members with young children, beginning with the decision to have children and continuing through the journey of...

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Shirlee Green Preschool Emeth Opens Second Infant Room in Less than Two Years

When Shirlee Green Preschool at Shaare Emeth opened their first infant room in March 2014, feedback and demand for the school’s new, soothing space was overwhelmingly positive. The room quickly filled to capacity, and additional families waited for the opportunity to enroll their little ones under the care of Karen Lucy, Shaare Emeth’s Director of Early Childhood Engagement, and her team of dedicated early childhood teachers. “The opening of our first K’Tanim room, our infant room, affirmed our belief in the need for more Jewish-based infant care,” said Lucy. “In fact, we soon realized that one infant room was not enough. We’re excited to announce that Shirlee Green Preschool has opened our second infant room for little ones as young as six weeks old!” The newest infant space was designed like that of the first K’Tanim room, with a soothing, comforting, embracing atmosphere. The room uses soft lighting and colors, calming music and a humidifier. “Infants, with their delicate skin and lungs, have special needs,” Lucy explained, “and we want our rooms just perfect for them.” Shirlee Green Preschool at Congregation Shaare Emeth accepts infants as young as six weeks in their K’Tanim infant rooms. Hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday—including during the summer months when “Shirlee Green Preschool” shifts to “Camp Micah.” This is the second infant room the preschool has opened in a 21-month period. “We feel privileged to witness the growth of these small individuals,” Lucy said, “beginning in the infant room and continuing through pre-kindergarten.” The congregation’s second infant room is part of a wider strategy to engage families with young children. Shaare Emeth’s broader Early Childhood Engagement program holds monthly programs for families with children ages infant to 5 years and their siblings—regardless of preschool enrollment and temple membership—as well as periodic parenting-related events and two weekly Baby ‘n Me classes for infants and caregivers. To schedule a tour of the school and the infant rooms and to visit with Karen Lucy, please call the preschool at 314-569-0048 or email klucy@sestl.org. ### Congregation Shaare Emeth www.sestl.org/ece Shirlee Green Preschool www.sestl.org/shirlee-green-preschool Shaare Emeth Early CHildhood Engagement...

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Destination Weddings/Events in Israel: Do I really need to hire a planner?

Soon you’ll be walking down that aisle with your love! Not long to go now until your dear son’s Bar Mitzvah! You have been awaiting this moment for so long. Yes, we all cherish these exciting moments in our lives. We find ourselves reliving them for years to come. But before that special day comes, its firstly time for the thinking caps to come on. Its time for the planning. Its time to get down to the fine details to create this dream celebration. So you might be asking yourselves – Where do I start? Do I need a planner? My family and I could probably split the responsibilities, but is it worth it? Is hiring a planner worth adding that extra expense to my current loooong list of expenses? What about my budget? How will it really help me? What will I be saving? All excellent questions. Here is a little insight of how a wedding or event planner can be useful for you regardless of budget limitations. Save Your Money A planner has the time and connections to find you high quality vendors to match your budget, whether high or low. Most likely she has long-term relationships with most of the vendors and can therefore get you much better prices and package extras that you could get yourself, saving you thousands off the overall cost. She will be a skilled negotiator ensuring that you get what you want and what you pay for. Your Budget Your planner will help you to understand, organize and manage your budget. Your Time is Valuable Planning an event – especially a wedding, can take an average of 250 hours in total. Booking the main vendors is the easy part, (kinda – see below) but as the details become finer, and the day approaches, the ‘things-to-do’ list becomes longer and longer, and you find yourself drowning in it all, and the stress levels begin to rise. Remember the ‘big picture’ needs to be translated into hundreds of smaller details. An event planner will help you do this, and she will do all the necessary research for you, list you all the details from A to Z, and manage it from start to end. All you will find yourself doing is the choosing and then you can allow yourself not to think about it any longer. Booking the ‘Right’ Vendors This is a tricky one, as there are literally thousands of vendors in every sector. In addition, Google search can be dangerous as looks can be deceiving. When having a destination event in Israel, there is an issue of different expectations of service, product and mentality. It is only after you have booked a vendor, that the overall experience of working alongside your vendor of choice be discovered. Sometimes luck will bring you satisfaction in your choice, and sometimes it could be a disaster, and at which point, its usually too late to change. With a planner, you can be confident that you will be pleased with the outcomes of the service, manner and product being offered by each vendor, and she will send your way the specific vendors that fit exactly your taste and budget. Venue coordinators are not the same This is one of the questions I am asked frequently as...

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