FAQ

Temple Life

To answer this question, we could highlight Wise Temple’s unique service options, endless child and adult learning programs, meaningful volunteer opportunities, beautiful facilitates and rich tradition, but what makes this congregation special is its members.

It doesn’t matter if you’re married or single, with children or without, young or experienced, there is a place for you here with people eager to welcome you. Yes, you can choose from three or four Shabbat service options every week, so you find the one that speaks to you. Yes, you can bring your child to a vibrant religious school where they will grow and build their Jewish identity. Yes, you can challenge yourself in adult classes of nearly every Jewish topic. Yes, you can perform meaningful good deeds that impact the lives of others.

But when you bring yourself to these experiences, what you gain is not only spirituality, learning, and meaning; you gain a community. A community who meets you where you are, who is eager to share common experiences with you, who cares about you, who wants to celebrate your successes and comfort you in sadness. This is why you should join Wise Temple.

Now is the right time.

If you are young and single, recently married or have very young children, now is the right time. If your kids are school age or they’ve left the nest, now is the right time. If you’re a senior adult, now is the right time.

It is never too soon or too late to be a part of the Jewish community. No matter your life stage, you’ll find opportunities here that speak to you. Be a part of a growing Young Adult group, a vibrant Young Family group, numerous School Age Family groups, an outstanding Empty Nest group, an active Senior Adult group, or a multi-generational sisterhood or brotherhood group. Each of these communities offers unique worship, learning, volunteer and purely social opportunities that speak to every skill, interest, and comfort level. So now is the right time.

There are 1,100 Wise Temple families, which makes people feel a part of something big, exciting and vibrant. But we focus on making a big place feel small by helping people make close connections to other congregants.

In addition to email notifications, the following resources keep you informed of fulfilling opportunities for worship, learning, good deeds and community at Wise Temple:

  • WiseBytes, our weekly e-newsletter
  • Kesher, our quarterly print newsletter
  • Facebook, where we post regular updates

Feeling Connected

Yes! Our members reflect the diversity of the area, coming from all walks of life and many different religious backgrounds and ethnicities. We welcome Jewish singles and single parents, interfaith families, Jews of color and Jewish families in all their diversity, including LGBTQ couples with or without children. Our programs are designed to meet the diverse spiritual, religious, educational and social needs of all our members.

Wise Temple has no shortage of opportunities for involvement. Specific communities that make our big congregation feel small. Abundant opportunities to perform good deeds. Adult and child learning programs. A variety of worship experiences. When you join, we help connect you with the programs, groups, and opportunities that complement your interests.

If you’re looking to help strategize, plan, organize, lead or implement, there are many opportunities to use your talents! Call Alex Burte, Membership/Program Director, to talk about the roles you will find most fulfilling.

Membership

We hope you will choose to become part of the present and future of our congregation. To discuss membership, please contact Alex Burte, Membership and Program Director or request more information by clicking here.

We ask you to pay a “fair share self-investment” using our schedule as a guideline. No one will be denied membership due to financial circumstances. All Jews, or those with Jewish spouses or partners, are welcome to become members. Individuals and families who have questions about the membership commitment may work with our Executive Director to determine a mutually agreeable commitment.

We recognize the differing financial situations of those just starting out. This should never be a barrier to an active and involved Jewish life. As a result, we offer reduced dues to those under the age of 35.

Interfaith Couples

Yes! All family members are fully accepted into the Wise Temple family. The congregation meets every member, Jewish and non-Jewish, where they are in their journey. We encourage families/couples to attend together so they can build a community of friends and so they can explore Jewish traditions, history and culture together. Wise Temple has many interfaith couples/families. Our goal is to welcome and include all members regardless of their religious upbringing.

Yes. When a family or couple joins Wise Temple, all immediate family members/partners are considered full members. All non-Jewish spouses/partners are welcomed and encouraged to participate on all levels including worship, learning, good deeds, community groups and committees.

No. We are grateful for the support a non-Jewish spouse/partner gives to their Jewish spouse/partner. Conversion is a personal decision made only after heartfelt consideration. This decision begins within a person, so we would not ask anyone to seek that path or push anyone in that direction. If, however, someone is interested in talking about conversion, our Rabbis will guide him/her through the process and the congregation will joyfully celebrate his/her decision to convert to Judaism.

Since 1983, the Reform Movement has recognized children as Jewish if either parent (mother or father) is Jewish and if the children are raised and educated as Jews. There are many children in our congregation’s Religious School who have other religions in their extended families and our teachers have been trained to be sensitive to this.

Jewish tradition places a high value on family life. We encourage both parents to be involved in their child’s Religious School experience. We offer highly successful family programs on select Sundays during Religious School. These programs are taught by the rabbis and designed to help both Jewish and non-Jewish parents understand what their children are learning at Religious School.

Yes. At Wise Temple, we include the entire family. Both parents pass the Torah to their child as a concrete symbol of their support for Jewish education and in raising their child to the age of Jewish responsibility.

Worship Services

Most Friday evening services begin at 6:15 PM with a pre-oneg at 5:45 PM, but please check the current worship schedule for any changes.

Saturday morning service times vary depending on location and service type. Please check the current worship schedule.

In addition to a customary worship service offered every Friday at 6:15, Wise Temple offers a wide variety of additional and unique Shabbat service options.

Friday evening services are available at 6:15 PM via live stream. Even if you can’t join on time, don’t worry. If it’s still Shabbat, the archived recording of Friday evening services will still be available.

No problem. Our prayer books are written for all levels of understanding. The text is written in Hebrew, in English and in English transliteration (a phonetically written version of Hebrew.) Throughout the service, the Rabbis guide the congregation through the prayer book so that each congregant may participate in the way most comfortable to him/her.

Yes. High Holy Days tickets are mailed to members in good standing approximately four weeks before the holidays. Those who are visiting from a URJ congregation in their hometown may attend specific High Holy Day services. Tickets are obtained through a reciprocal arrangement and can be ordered by the guest from their home congregation. Non-members who are new to the city should contact the Temple office to discuss options.

Due to space limitations, we are sorry we are unable to include unaffiliated neighbors, relatives and friends during High Holy Day services. However, S’lichot Service (which occurs at Plum Street Temple just prior to the High Holy Days) is a wonderful opportunity to bring guests.

Plum Street Temple

Street parking may be available. There are also open, cash lots across both 8th and Plum Streets. Lastly, there is garage parking next to the Temple with entry from either 7th or Plum Streets.

There is no staff at Plum Street Temple during the work week; therefore, the building is closed at this time. The building is open for services and special events. Check the worship schedule for specifics.

Tours are given to groups on scheduled Thursday mornings, by appointment only. Contact Alex Burte, Program/Membership Director, 513.793.2556 to schedule.

Yes. An outside elevator is available on the 8th Street entry to the building. Assistance is needed to use this equipment. Please contact Heather Spegal, 513.793.2556 a few days before your visit so we can arrange to assist you. Please also leave plenty of time to enter the building.

General

Temple members should contact the rabbi’s office at 513.793.2556 to arrange life cycle events such as a brit, baby naming, bar or bat mitzvah, wedding or funeral.

In most cases, yes. Please contact the rabbi’s office at 513.793.2556 to make arrangements.

If the weather isn’t cooperating with us, we’ll post cancelations on the website homepage.