The Jewish Temple of Alexandria, Louisiana

Founded 1859



SHABBAT SERVICES are held every Friday evening at 6:00 pm. Social begins at 5:30 pm. Visitors are welcome.

SATURDAY MORNING TORAH SERVICE begins at 9:30 a.m., followed by TORAH STUDY AT 10:30. Informal and informative. Visitors are welcome.

RELIGIOUS SCHOOL is held on Sundays from 9:00 to 11:30 from September through the end of May. School is available to children of members between the ages of 4 and 18. See Religious School for the 2015-2016 school calendar.

TOTs TOO! program is offered periodically for the youngest children. Please see Religious School for Tots Too! schedule. This special Tot service is a family experience. It begins with a light breakfast served in the Garden Room; then the Tots and their parents and grandparents are gathered in the Sanctuary for a short service, followed by an oneg; then families participate in a hands-on art project. This child-friendly service is designed for children ages 2-7 and introduces them to the key elements of Shabbat: prayers, music and traditions. 

The opportunity to learn to read Hebrew is being offered. Please check with the Temple office for specific times and dates.

ACTIVITIES include a covered dish dinner following Shabbat Service, usually once per month, visiting lecturers, musical performances and concerts, celebration of Holidays, and some of our members recently enjoyed an eleven day journey to Israel.

The JEWISH FOOD FESTIVAL celebrated its third great success in January, and it is now planned as an annual event. The most recent Food Festival was very well attended, enjoying a full house from the hours 11 am to 1 pm. Almost every member of the Temple joined in to help make it a great success - selling tickets, planning, cooking, serving, dining in. Not only was it a financial success, it was also successful in member camraderie and in community good will, as many, many non-Jewish members of the community attended and enjoyed the Festival.

Also, the Temple Sisterhood just held its forty-something CORNED BEEF SANDWICH SALE in the week of St. Patrick's Day. Watch for Corned Beef Sale Day in 2018.



Making Shabbat Memories
Compiled by Judy Caplan Ginsburgh, 2013

"Shabbat Across America" was begun in 2002 as a way to reach out to unaffiliated Jews and help affiliated Jews grow and deepen their understanding of what Shabbat can mean for their lives. Below is a list of simple things you and your family can do to make any Shabbat special. 

• Set the table especially for Shabbat. Use Shabbat symbols, flowers, a tablecloth or placemats.

• Give tzedakah. Decide where you will donate the money. Each Shabbat everyone contributes what they can. Make a special container or tzedakah box to collect contributions.

• Create your own family rituals that are unique to this special day.

• Take turns lighting candles and leading Kiddush (blessing over the wine), motzi (blessing over the bread/meal) and birkat hamazon (blessing after the meal).

• Sing Shabbat songs. Add a musical instrument. Sing along with a recording.

• Bless your children; periodically invite children to bless their parents.

Ask grandparents about family traditions, Shabbat ritual objects or recipes that have (or have not been) passed down.

• Come to synagogue as a family or with friends. Have a Shabbat dinner before or after services with friends and/or family.

• Everyone should be asked to describe one good thing that they did during the previous week; or tell one thing they are thankful for that week; or say something nice about everyone at the table.

• Add your own family prayer for those close to you, those who are sick, etc. before the meal.

• Make the Shabbat meal special

• Serve a special dessert

• Give children special roles and responsibilities-helping to light candles, reciting a blessing themselves, setting out the ritual items, polishing a Kiddush cup or candlesticks.

• Greet one another with “Shabbat Shalom” (a peaceful Shabbat)

• Keep in mind as a guide, the three mitzvot (commandments) of Shabbat: Holiness (kedushah), Rest (menucha) and Delight/joy (oneg)

• Set aside time on Saturday to do something you usually don’t get to do: take a walk, read a story, visit older relatives, do a mitzvah (good deed), spend family time just being together.

• Make the day different from the other days of the week

• Make havdalah Saturday evening, to say goodbye to Shabbat

• Remember, rituals are special and they are regular; they give order and meaning to our lives. They make us Jewish.

Adapted from: the Reform Jewish Outreach 2000 Idea Book, Kahn, K.,ed. (1999) New York: UAHC Press.

Congregation Gemiluth Chassodim
2021 Turner Street Alexandria, LA 71301