current stories

The Zohar states that “… That which constitutes a real person is the soul, the rest being only garments which cover the inner essence. When people depart this earth, they put off their outer coverings and continue to live by virtue of the soul, which is immortal.”

On September 16, hundreds of our fellow Jews will make their annual pilgrimage to the Charlotte Hebrew Cemetery in order to memorialize Charlotte’s departed Jewish souls at the Cemetery Association’s Annual Memorial Service. Some of those who will attend have loved ones buried at the cemetery. Others will attend to honor the memory of loved ones buried elsewhere. And still others will attend to honor and show respect to the souls of strangers who preceded them in eternal life.

What draws hundreds of people to attend a memorial service held at a cemetery on a Sunday morning? Those of us who have been… Continue reading

This is the 24th summer that Operation Understanding  has brought a group of Jewish and African-American teens from the DC area on a trip exploring the history of the Civil Rights Movement in America. They begin their journey in Greensboro, where they visit the site of the Woolworth lunch counter sit-in and learn about the Greensboro Massacre, a 1979 anti-Klan protest that ended in six deaths.

From Greensboro, the next stop is Shalom Park.

First thing in the morning, the 21 teens and three young adult leaders attended Freedom School’s  morning Harambee, where Rabbi Kornsgold read a story, and volunteer Ellen Garfinkle taught the school children how to say “Boker Tov,” adding to the list of languages in which they are now able to say “good morning.”

We followed Harambee with a tour of the Shalom Park main campus including the JCC facilities and the Center for Jewish Education, as… Continue reading

Temple Israel is pleased to welcome Shira Lissek as its new Cantor, as of July 1.

Cantor Lissek comes to Temple Israel after previously serving as Associate Cantor of Park Avenue Synagogue in NYC since 2013. Cantor Lissek earned a Masters in Music from the Manhattan School of Music, where she majored in Voice as a merit scholar, and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University School of Music in Vocal Performance. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, she learned the art of being a Cantor from her father, Cantor Leon Lissek of Congregation B’nai Amoona. She is also the granddaughter of the late Rabbi Pinchas Chasin of Philadelphia and great-granddaughter of Hazzan Hirsch L. Chazin of New Jersey.

Cantor Lissek began serving as Hazzan Sheni at age 19, when invited to lead High Holy Day services for Congregation Beth Shalom of Kansas City and then Congregation Gesher Shalom… Continue reading