Welcome to Temple Israel

Vestal, New York

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W e l c o m e   t o   T e m p l e   I s r a e l   o f   V e s t a l

N e w   Y o r k

Temple Israel, located in Vestal, New York, is a modern, conservative synagogue founded in 1886.  We are affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.  Temple Israel provides a complete range of religious, educational, spiritual and pastoral services dedicated to the principle that our people's survival and our personal satisfaction depend upon a living heritage that is loyal to the past and relevant to the present.  Traditional in practice, yet sensitive to the diverse needs of all the members of the community, Temple Israel holds that the religious experience, as reflected in the synagogue, should be spiritually satisfying, intellectually honest and appealing.

The synagogue, with its rich program of education, social, and cultural activities, aims to create a community of mutual support, intellectual vitality and spiritual sustenance.



Upcoming for Temple Israel

for Upcoming Event Web page, click here


January 23, 2015 and Beyond

Telephone numbers 607-723-7461 and

607-231-3746 (Rabbi’s office number)

Upcoming Services at the JCC:

Friday January 23rd- minyan at 5:30pm at JCC- NOT at Woodland Manor

Saturday January 24thShabbat services at 9:30pm

Tuesday January 25th - minyan at 5:30pm

Friday January 31st minyan at 5:30pm

Introduction to Mishnah and Talmud with Rabbi Szajman.

Classes on Thursday mornings Feb 5, 12, 19 & 26 from 10am-11:15am in the JCC Library.

Please note date changes!

Temple Israel Tot Shabbat Program at the JCC on Saturday January 24th.

Join us in the Library to march with the Torah at 11am then proceed downstairs to the Tumble Room at 11:15am for fun, learning, and food with parents Eliav Bock and Randy Friedman.

Minyan, Martini Mania – Saturday February 7th at 7:00pm at the home of Alan & Julie Piaker, 4713 Deerfield Pl, Vestal. Hors d’eouvres, dinner & dessert will be served. Donations to Temple Israel are encouraged for attendees. Reservations are required by February 1st to Julie at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Barbara Gilbert at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Educational Luncheon– Saturday February 14th at 11:30am following services at the JCC. Rabbi Tziona Szajman will speak about “A Personal Relationship with God Theology in Times of Pain and Times of Joy”. There will be a light Kiddush lunch. All are welcome!

Joint Purim Celebration with Temple Concord- Wednesday evening, March 4th, 6:15pm at Temple Concord. All are welcome to be part of the Purim Shpiel, the traditional retelling of the Purim story with much jest and song.  Please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you are interested in participating in the Shpiel (solo or chorus parts), readings, Megillah chanting or reading or other ways to help out.  Please feel free to invite others to join us. The more the merrier!

We are still taking orders for the Walkway Bricks. Choose to have your family’s name or loved ones remembered in the bricks as they line the walkway to the Holocaust Monument. Payment plans may be worked out with the office if needed. Contact the office for these forms also.

From Beth David:

The community mikvah at Beth David Synagogue is in serious need of renovation to improve both its functionality and appearance. The mikvah serves the needs of all three local congregations as well as those travelers passing through our community or coming from nearby summer camps. The mikvah offers the individual, the community, and the nation of Israel the remarkable gift of purity and holiness.  Indeed, Jewish Law states that constructing a mikvah takes precedence even over building a house of worship. Both a synagogue and a Torah Scroll, Judaism's most venerated treasure, may be sold to raise funds for the building of a mikvah. Fortunately, given that we do have a functioning mikvah, we don't need to go to such extremes. However, the importance and significance of the mikvah warrants this request for your assistance by making a contribution to help fund the mikvah renovations. Any amount - large or small will be greatly appreciated. Please send your check payable to Beth David Synagogue to Beth David Synagogue, 39 Riverside Drive, Binghamton, NY 13905 and indicate that it is for the mikvah renovations. Thank you for your understanding and your support.


Susan Wright and Lori Tuberman,  Mikvah Renovation Co-chairs

Follow Rabbi Szajman’s blog at www.RabbiTziona.com

Happy Winter-Only 56 days (and counting) ‘til Spring!



Shabbat Shalom from Rabbi Szajman


It has been a long week, out sick with one of the many viruses running rampant right now.  I received much sympathy from family and friends, but through it all I knew that I was blessed, that this would pass.  My heart and prayers go to those who suffer with more serious illness and pain.  My thanks to the volunteers and staff who provided coverage for me while I was ill.

Possibly one of the most painful elements of our Torah is read in this week’s parashah – Bo.  We read of the final plagues upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians.  The last one, the death of the innocent first born children, terrifying and difficult.  Underneath the stream of plagues runs a constant perplexing theological problem “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.”  What does this mean in terms of our free will?  What does this mean for our own theology, our vision of God as merciful and kind?  How does the text mean to inspire our lives, how we treat others, how we view our place in the world?  We will be addressing these questions in a theological discussion this Shabbat. Please join us for services at the JCC, 9:30am on Saturday, in the Library.

Young families are invited to join us in marching with the Torah at 11:00am followed by a special service led by parents Eliav and Randy in the Tumble room.

Please also note that Friday night services will be held at the JCC at 5:30pm this week.  We have moved our Woodland Manor Shabbat to Friday February 27th, 6:15pm.

Rabbi Tziona Szajman

Temple Israel, Vestal, NY

Rabbi’s Office Line: 607-231-3746

Cell: 607-232-6766

Office Hours Tue - Fri 8:30am -10:30am


Late Sunday night, December 15, the roof over Temple Israel's social hall caved in.

We are grateful that no one was in the building at the time and there were no injuries.  Fortunately, the Sanctuary was unharmed. Our leadership is making plans to repair the damage as quickly as possible. Our thanks for the community's tremendous support.

Click here for updates on our rebuilding.

Link to "Healing Journey", a sermon by Rabbi Szajman

Services continue.  Our community is strong.  Join us Tuesdays and Fridays at 5:30pm in the JCC Library and Sat at 9:30am at the JCC.

Hebrew school Wed and Sun continue at the JCC. Thank you to our head teachers: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
The Temple Israel Tzedakah Quilters

The Temple Israel Tzedakah Quilters was formed last September. We have six active members and a few who come when they are able.

We have been meeting at the JCC in the library on Wed. afternoons at 1pm.

We have made about 30 quilts so far. They are distributed to hospitals, nursing homes, cancer units, neonatal units, shelters and the homeless by a group called The Caring Quilters Project.

We welcome any quilters who would like to join us. The group has lots of fabrics and some tools. Each member uses her own sewing machine.

Anyone interested in joining please contact Sandy Paston at 607-217-4038.

Click here for video. [49.6MB file]

Temple Israel

Friday Shabbat Programming

Every Friday night!

5:30 pm Kabbalat Shabbat Services in the JCC meeting room.



See Menus under Education on left.


Hillel Academy of Broome County K-8 Jewish Dayschool

For more information contact Administrator This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

or visit our website:  HillelAcademyofBroomeCounty.org.

Due to Temple Israel's Building Damage, Hillel will be meeting for the remainder of the school year at TEMPLE CONCORD.


Once a month, Temple Israel takes our Kabbalat Shabbat Service on the road.  Our members gather in nursing homes to share kabbalat shabbat with our elders who can't travel to us. (This replaces the regular 5:30m service that day.)


Check us out on Facebook.


50 million Americans currently struggle to put food on the table every day.  Please support MAZONClick here.

Temple Israel is a proud participant in Children of Abraham Interfaith Dialogue

For Information on our Interfaith Book Club:   click here


for Rabbi Prouser's Form: CLICK HERE