Temple Emanu-El (Dallas, Texas)

Temple Emanu-El of Dallas, Texas (founded in 1875) was the first Reform Jewish congregation in North Texas, and is the largest synagogue in the South/Southwest.


Temple Emanu-El of Dallas was founded in 1873 and chartered in 1875. Originally called the Jewish Congregation Emanu-El, it was renamed Temple Emanu-El Congregation in 1974. The small but growing Jewish community felt the need for a permanent religious structure as well as for a rabbi to conduct services and to offer religious education for children, several families formed Congregation Emanu-El. They elected David Goslin president; Philip Sangerqv vice president; Emanuel Tillman treasurer; H. Regensburger secretary; and Alexander Sanger, August Israelsky, and Henry Loeb trustees. The next year they built a small red brick temple in the Byzantine style at Commerce and Church (now Field) streets in downtown Dallas. The congregation engaged its first rabbi, Aaron Suhler, in 1875 and joined the Union of American Hebrew Congregations in 1906. In 1957 the temple moved to its present location in north Dallas. Architects Howard R. Meyer and Max M. Sandfield, with noted California architect William W. Wurster as consultant, received an Award of Merit from the American Institute of Architects for the design of the present structure, which was enhanced by art coordinator Gyorgy Kepes of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Notable rabbis at the temple were David Lefkowitz (1920-49) and Levi A. Olan (1949-72). [http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/TT/ijt1.html]


Temple Emanu-El is has had four locations in its history:
*Commerce Street (1876-1898)
*Ervay Street (1899-1917)
*South Boulevard (1917-1956)
*Hillcrest Road (1957-present) [http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/TT/ijt1.html]

Core Values

According to Temple Emanu-El's website, the goal of the Temple is to"Affirm the power of Jewish learning to create and deepen Jewish identity and commitment. Life-long Jewish learning—from childhood through adulthood—brings Jewish values to our daily lives, nurtures spiritual experiences, and both anchors and challenges us to reach out to a world in need." [http://www.tedallas.org/]


The current members of the Temple Emanu-El Clergy are:
*Rabbi David E. Stern (Senior Rabbi)
*Rabbi Debra J. Robbins
*Rabbi Oren Hayon
*Rabbi Asher Knight
*Cantor Richard Cohn

Past Temple Emanu-El Senior Rabbis include: ["A Light in the Prairie," Gerry Cristol, TCU Press (1998)]
*Rabbi William Greenburg (deceased)
*Rabbi David Lefkowitz (deceased)
*Rabbi Levi Olan (deceased)
*Rabbi Gerald J. Klein (deceased)
*Rabbi Jack Bemporad
*Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman
*Rabbi Charles Mintz (interim senior)

Past Assistant and Associate Rabbis and Cantors include:
*Rabbi Irwin Goldenberg
*Rabbi Ellen Lewis
*Rabbi Richard Harkavy
*Rabbi Liza Stern
*Rabbi Mark Kaiserman
*Rabbi Peter Berg
*Cantor Annie Lynn Bornstein
*Rabbi Barry Diamond (educator)
*Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg


Temple Emanu-El of Dallas has been noted recently for its advocacy for American involvement in the Darfur crisis. Many sermons have been given on the subject by Rabbi David Stern on the subject. "Darfur is bleeding. People are dying," said Stern. "Atrocities take place on a daily basis, the perpetrators acting with total impunity." Emanu-El has also begin the Dolls for Darfur program, in which the goal is to send postcards to major political figures who could initiate military action in Darfur, with a humah-shaped pin attached to each postcard to remind them of the toll that the genocide is taking. Many people wear these pins daily.

The Chai Road

The Chai Road is an Adult Jewish education program founded by Temple Emanu-El in 2006. It's goal is to help the student "discover the power of Jewish learning to create and deepen your Jewish identity and commitment.". It features an integrated mix of independent study, online education, and Temple classroom work. Each congregation member who takes the Chai Road sets their own path, which can be as long or as short as they wish, depending on their schedule.


Temple Emanu-El is nationally renowned for its music programs. Samuel Adler created many of the Temple's early musical offerings including their extensive volunteer adult and children's choirs. Simon Sargon expanded the choir's influence and created programs such as the Showcase Series (showcasing jazz, classical, and pops musicians).


* [http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/TT/ijt1.html Handbook of Texas]
* [http://www.bruceduffie.com/temple.html History of Temple Emanu-El]
* [http://books.google.com/books?id=vJ0MAAAACAAJ&dq=Temple+Emanu+El+of+Dallas A Light in the Prairie: Temple Emanu-El of Dallas, 1872-1997]
* [http://books.google.com/books?id=weL9M46TcU8C&pg=PA340&dq=Temple+Emanu+El+of+Dallas&sig=JlqIHD7OOdAYWGzQgdqptDOcDG4 The American Synagogue A History And Source Book]
* [http://books.google.com/books?id=OOs7HAAACAAJ&dq=Temple+Emanu+El+of+Dallas Howard Meyer: Temple Emanu-El and Other Works]

ee also

*History of the Jews in Dallas, Texas‎
*B'Nai Abraham Synagogue, Brenham
*Jewish Texan
* [http://www.tedallas.org Temple Emanu-El website]

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