A special place for so many in a thriving Hudson Valley town located on the historic Hudson River, Temple Israel of Catskill to me is my family heritage. My mother as a young girl would accompany her father to the old temple on Main Street for High Holy Day services annually. As the fourth generation of a Temple Israel family, the memorial plaques with names of my and my parents’ past teachers, doctors, owners of local stores our family patronized and did business with, it is all magical and spiritually fulfilling. However, the people make the temple even more than the beautiful building.
New blood has energized the temple and brought about advancements over the years as has our current spiritual leader, Rabbi Zoe B. Zak. I came to the temple after my mother’s passing in early 2013. She died 50 years to the day that her father had, quite unexpectedly. It was a very challenging time as she was my last immediate relative. I received the strength and support that I needed during my husband’s periods of illness and my own grieving. Reestablishing relationships with my late grandparents’ friends and with those friends’ children who my mother went to school with, has softened my heart and been one of the most cherished things outside of my personal home life.
Come experience Temple Israel of Catskill and see for yourself. Not only are the faces smiling, the onegs delicious, and the temple well cared for, the spirit is alive in the teachings of Reform Judaism. We welcome people of all backgrounds, all education levels, cultural interests, and income levels. We pride ourselves on the past and present diversity of the congregation.
Children and families are always welcome and encouraged. And if you like to sing, this is the service for you. If you don’t, just sit back and enjoy the music at every service.
Call Temple Israel your spiritual home!
Steven Mann 9/4/2019