Kelly Farkas is the President and we are a women’s group who represent the heart of the Temple. You do not have to belong to the Temple or be Jewish to join us, although there is a yearly minimal fee of $36. We host various events such as the Rosh Hashanah oneg, Break-the-Fast, Hannukah Party, Annual BBQ, Penny Harvest and many onegs throughout the year. We sometimes go to see plays, movies and have dinners outside of the Temple together, but we always have fun!!!

The Gift Shop

Sisterhood runs a store that sells Judaic and non-religious items for all holidays and occasions. We are open most Friday nights after services, at various events and for special appointments.

Gan Shalom-Garden of Peace

Our Community Garden, Gan Shalom (‘Garden of Peace’) was first tilled and plotted in 2010, the Hundredth Anniversary of Temple Israel in Gary, Indiana.  We have since expanded by increments and content.  Each plot has a distinct individual or group in charge of it.  The plot we are featuring this month is our prayer/meditation plot, dedicated to the memories of Darlene and John Navarro, beloved members of the Temple community and among those responsible for the fulfillment of Gan Shalom.

The meditation/prayer plot is on the northwest corner of the garden and is open to any and all who care to sit a bit, listen to the wind, admire the gardens and view the life of nature all around us.  It is sheltered on two sides by sunflowers, and morning glories.  We have two sun dials donated by one of our gardeners.  The plot has chairs to sit in.  This year we have added Jewish Blessing Flags from Ilana Schatz of Fair Trade Judaica.  The flags are inspired by Tibetan prayer flags.  They are called ‘Blessing’ flags because the first word of traditional Jewish prayers is “Baruch”, meaning ‘Blessed”.  May we all strive to live our lives so that we are a blessing in the world around us.

In the Tibetan tradition, prayers are carried on the wind.  The Hebrew word for ‘wind’ is ‘ruach’, which is also translated as ‘spirit’ or ‘breath’, as if the blessings of our spirit are carried in the wind.  This set of Jewish Blessing Flags celebrates seven key values in the Jewish tradition (and many other religious and spiritual traditions):  Love (Ahavah), Compassion (Rachamim), Lovingkindness (Chesed), Peace/Wholeness (Shalom), Healing (Refuah), Respect (Kavod), and Justice (Tzedek).  The breezes are blowing these blessings on our community and neighborhood.

So come join in the spirit of Gan Shalom.  Take a load off.

Community Chest

Our goal is to use donated monies to build positive relationships in our community and to help, even in a small way, to meet the needs of people and organizations who are struggling. We decided a couple years ago to focus on the needs of veterans, under-served schools, and the homeless. We also hold some funds to be available for individuals and families in an emergency.

The committee brings their thoughtfulness and their experience in the community to make the hard decisions on how to use a limited amount of funds to express our Jewish values.

Social Action

We are a group of very conscientious members who want to continue to provide a better environment in our community and for the world. We meet monthly and have held voter registration drives, sent letters to our Congressman, became involved with local community causes, part of the Interfaith Council in Gary, brought in guest speakers, and many more. We are always wanting to assist and lend our voice to those in need, and to take a call for action to make the world a better place.  Our Social action committee recently participated in the Women’s March in Chicago where our very own Rabi Damsky spoke to the marchers

Membership & Marketing

As this committee meets on a regular basis to create forums for our members and to seek new members to become part of Temple Israel. Informal gatherings have taken place at various local restaurants, coffee shops, juice bars, and even a Bison Farm. We continue to show the community that we are present and welcome you to become part of Temple Israel.

Shabbat Club

Meets the first Saturday of every month with each Shabbat show casing various ways you can be together to celebrate Shabbat and led by a group of members. We have met at the Indiana Dunes, a park, members homes, the garden, and yes at Temple. Although each Saturday is unique, some of the ways we have enjoyed Shabbat are thru: games, singing, discussing, drumming, making food and eating food, and ending with Havdalah. An intimate group, but very warm and welcoming.

Peace & Justice Seder

Each year we provide a seder inviting local churches, mosques and the community to come together for a meal and service celebrating our similarities. The seder is held during the Spring around Passover and people from various faiths participate in the service. The meal is delicious, festive and plentiful and the music accompanying the service is beautiful and spiritual.