This week we are going to celebrate the 80th birthday of Temple Israel. What a great milestone!

I have over the years been involved on a regular basis at Temple Israel from 2010.

I felt honoured and privileged to have conducted Shabbat services, High Holidays, Passover seders, Conversion classes, Mitzvah Day and many more in our Mother Synagogue for Progressive Judaism in South Africa. I am often times fascinated by this synagogue as being a place of Jewish culture and religion in Hillbrow, Johannesburg.

Temple Israel represents the early history of progressive Jews in South Africa, and holds many important memories for many congregants that live in many different parts of the world. Temple Israel’s first Rabbi was the late MC Weiler, who was a great proponent of human rights and believed that the essence of Judaism is a commitment to others. He was deeply committed to women’s rights and was the first South African Rabbi to promote the equal involvement of women in all aspects of Jewish practice. This synagogue is a spiritual home for many people that live in this area, and has played a very important role in Reform Judaism here in SA. Without a permanent Rabbi, this special synagogue continues to maintain all the religious services during the year, as well as having an important aspect in the outreach for the community. Since my arrival in South Africa, I have on so many occasions volunteered my Rabbinical services to this congregation, and I am sure that we will continue to create beautiful memoires together in our future worshiping.

Wishing Temple Israel many more years of success and blessings!

Rabbi Julia Margolis 

Some of my memories in Temple Israel

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