Temple Emanu-El is a Reform Jewish congregation upholding the traditions of Judaism including Hebrew Language, Tanakh, T'fillot, Mitzvot, Holidays, Customs, Jewish History, and Israel, while empowering members to cultivate their relationship with God and Torah.
The mission of Temple Emanu-El is to cultivate and nurture the love and understanding of Judaism; to provide a warm and caring environment to nurture Judaism; to ensure the future of our Jewish community, commitment to Tikkun Olam, and to strengthen and serve our members.
Temple Emanu-El's mission will be accomplished through embracing the following values:
- Worship: uphold Jewish rituals and traditions.
- Education & Torah Study: the study of Torah is the foundation of our tradition, and teaches us the Jewish meaning of how to live our lives individually and as a community in an ever changing world. We are dedicated to building and maintaining an understanding with other faith communities through education, study, communication and a respectful exchange of thoughts.
- Social Action/Advocacy: striving towards Tikkun Olam.
- Community: to be a warm, caring, and welcoming community which offers support and friendship to the Jewish and non-Jewish community.
Temple Emanu-El - History
Dothan's synagogue was organized on January 30, 1929, meeting and worshipping in rented space. The dedicated group of families completed a new building on September 14, 1941, served by the congregation's first full-time Rabbi, Alfred Wolfe.
A major building addition (social hall, large kitchen, and classrooms) was completed in 1963 followed in 1998 by a comprehensive remodeling/upgrading of the entire synagogue facility. We are very proud of this commitment to continuous improvement, ours truly is an exquisite facility, yet the building is paid for and has no mortgage.
For over 85 years, our synagogue has maintained an active, dedicated congregation without the comforting security of a large Jewish community. We have not missed a Shabbat evening service during those 85+ years; proof positive that the congregation enjoys lay leaders prepared to step-up (as needed) to lead services.
Temple Emanu-El has successfully weathered the Great Depression, played a significant and meaningful part in the spiritual lives of our military service families and, overall, enjoys a special place in southern Jewish history.
Our congregation regards and respects each of its members as family. Although modest in number, we consider ourselves "small but mighty," proud of our spirit, positive energy, rich history, and commitment to excellence.
Temple Emanu-El - Warm & Welcoming
During 1941, Temple Emanu-El affiliated with the Reform Movement and remains a member of the Union for Reform Judaism.
Fully aware that mainstream Reform may not be everyone's personal choice, Temple Emanu-El has always strived to insure that congregants from more traditional backgrounds are comfortable in celebrating their Judaism at our synagogue.
Rabbi Lynne Goldsmith was recruited to Temple Emanu-El during 2007. She is an excellent fit with the Temple's attributes where we enjoy a high energy level; an extremely positive atmosphere of extended family; deep spiritual commitment, and; dedication to lifelong Jewish education.
Truly, the Temple is "on the move" as our Rabbi works hand-in-hand with the congregation's strong lay leadership, vibrant Sisterhood and Brotherhood, and dedicated volunteers.
Temple Emanu-El - Summary Information
Dothan, AL 36303
Rabbi: Lynne D. Goldsmith
Office Manager: Tammy Denhart
- 60 member units; governed by Board of Trustees; very active Sisterhood; Brotherhood; Hadassah
- 300 seats in the sanctuary; 5 classrooms; library; social hall with stage; kitchen; private gardens with succah/chuppah
- Shabbat Evening Services; Monthly Shabbat Mornnig Services; Shabbat Torah Study; Religious School on Sunday; Bar/Bat Mitzvah study; Confirmation classes; Adult/lifelong education classes; as well as many other interfaith community events
We hope that you enjoy the following photograph of Temple Emanu-El, taken late Autumn 2014, as the congregation completed a comprehensive modernization and upgrade of the synagogue's parking lot, portico, social hall entry and handicap ramp/entrance. This very significant investment clearly reflects the congregation's vitality, growth, and commitment to the future of Dothan's Jewish Community.