Grandparents Group Spring 2024

“It is a welcoming environment, in which Rabbi Ehrlich and Jacqueline Fisher create a community of trust and a safe space to share. It’s been a fantastic experience learning from the other grandparents and connecting with them as well. I encourage all grandparents to join.” – Rita Haves

As someone seeking to excel in grandparenting while maintaining a positive relationship with their own child, Rita found Temple Emanu-El’s Grandparents Group to be an ideal opportunity. This group provided a perfect platform for Rita and others to enhance their grandparenting skills and connect with fellow members. Led by Rabbi Ehrlich and Jacqueline Fisher, participants delved into strengthening generational ties and forming friendships with other temple grandparents. It is the Temple Emanu-El’s Grandparents Group that offers the chance to reinforce these connections l’dor v’dor–from generation to generation. Our program offers a warm space for sharing wisdom and deepening bonds through engaging activities and authentic conversations. Open to temple members and grandparents of member families, come join us in building meaningful intergenerational relationships.

Grandparents Group meets Fridays, March 1, 8 and 15 from 10:30 AM to 11:15 AM on Zoom. Register now. 



Celebrating a Year of Success with Hebrew Programs for Young Families

A Year of Connecting Cultures: “Boker Tov, Baby!” and “Shiru Iti! Sing with Me!” Temple Emanu-El proudly marks the first year of our innovative Hebrew-language programming for Young Families, “Boker Tov, Baby!” and “Shiru Iti! Sing with Me!” Launched last year to meet demand from Israeli members and parents eager for early Hebrew education, these …

Finding Our Place at Temple Emanu-El

Adapted from Lauren Bernstein’s speech at the Gather Shabbat Evening Service March 24, 2023

My husband Jon and I moved into the area in January of 2020 while I was pregnant with our son. Jon went to Hebrew school at Temple Emanu-El and was Bar Mitzvah’d here, so moving back uptown was a bit of a homecoming. We were excited to settle into the neighborhood and join the temple. The pandemic had some other plans, and we spent our first few months tracking down hand sanitizer and settling into newborn parent life. We finally joined Temple Emanu-El later that year in Fall 2020.

As soon as we joined, we immediately wished we had done so sooner. We could not believe how quickly Temple Emanu-El welcomed us into the community. At a time when just about all social interactions were done over Zoom, we found that the temple had a lot to offer in the way of social connectivity, particularly for two sleep-deprived, new parents.  Before long, we were attending virtual Young Member programs pretty consistently, where we met several people. Doing so exposed us to the Emanu-El’s Gather groups.

“One thing that is really great about belonging to a congregation of this size and with so much diversity is the ability to find common ground and interest in almost anything.” 

Jon and I soon joined both a Young Professionals Gather and a TV Watching Gather.  Through the Gather programs, we made some very close friends, some of whom are in this room right now.  And joining Gather opened our eyes to new opportunities at the temple — specifically the toddler program that met twice a week in 2021-2022.

Seeing how our son thrived at the temple, particularly with kids who are now some of his closest friends, it only made sense to become involved in Gather Family.

Gather Family has been a fantastic way to get to know member families with similarly aged kids. Thus far, we have done a number of local activities with the children, including visiting the Central Park Zoo, going to the SlooMoo Institute, and checking out the Alice in Wonderland Dreams exhibit. And while it is Gather Family, we’ve also ditched the kids and have gone out with just the parents, which has been a great way for us to connect and foster new friendships.

One thing that is really great about belonging to a congregation of this size and with so much diversity is the ability to find common ground and interest in almost anything.  And as someone with a “COVID baby,” having a community within the temple of people going through similar experiences has been both a pleasure and a stress reliever.  In addition to just having a group to attend events and exhibits with the kids, it’s also a community where we can talk about the challenges and stresses of parenting generally, and specifically to raising children born during this unique period.

And it’s been wonderful for our son as well. He loves attending temple events, and in the fall, he will be attending Temple Emanu-El Nursery School, together with two other children in our Gather Family group. We are incredibly grateful to the congregation and the clergy at Emanuel for giving us the tools to foster and grow these relationships.

Emanu-El Downtown: Celebrating Sukkot

By Dina Mann | Director, Emanu-El Downtown “Cast your bread on the water, and one day it will come back to you.” This dose of biblical study came courtesy of my kids’ new PJ Library book, Nuri and the Whale. The original text is from the book of Kohelet/Ecclesiastes. Kohelet is traditionally read on the …

Celebrating Rosh Hashanah Downtown

By Dina Mann, Director, Emanu-El Downtown September 22, 2022 – Summer might be over, but the good energy is spilling over into fall at Emanu-El Downtown. On Sunday, September 18, we welcomed over 150 babies, kids, and grown-ups to our New Year Festival, an afternoon of arts and crafts, music, apples, honey and so much …

JTA: In an effort to reach young families, Temple Emanu-El opens an outpost in Chelsea

September 16, 2022 – Emanu-El Downtown was featured in Jewish Telegraphic Agency/New York Jewish Week, with quotes from Rabbi Joshua Davidson, Emanu-El Downtown Director Dina Mann, and members of our growing community. Want to learn more? We hope you’ll join us at the New Year Festival on our new Downtown satellite this Sunday, September 18, …

Emanu-El Downtown: Play. Explore. Learn.

By Dina Mann | Director, Emanu-El Downtown This Friday, Jews around the world will add the shofar to their morning prayer service signaling the new Hebrew month of Elul, which precedes Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The shofar is a wake-up call. A jarring reminder to get to work on yourself, your family, and …

amNY: Temple Emanu-El to open new campus in Chelsea

August 18, 2022 amNY features Emanu-El Downtown, interviewing Rabbi Joshua Davidson and Emanu-El Downtown Director Dina Mann about upcoming programs, and its pivotal role within the Jewish community. This recent expansion answers the call of Jewish New Yorkers who are seeking more connection to the local Jewish community as well as those who experienced a …

Young Families: All About Passover

Parents, What happens at home is the best way for children to learn. Involve them in the experience. Have them help prepare for Passover according to their abilities. They can clean up their toys. Help set the table. Color a placemat. Roll some matzah balls. Taste the Charoset. Learn some songs – and they can …