Temple Adath Israel

Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 13 November 2007.

Phone: 859-269-2979
Email: RabbiMarc@aol.com
Website: http://www.lextai.org/
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History

Jewish pioneers in Lexington first met in 1903 to discuss the establishment of a Temple "...for the purpose of religious services, a Sabbath school and other matters pertaining to the moral elevation among the Jewish people of Lexington and Central Kentucky.” In 1904, the group was formally incorporated as Adath Israel Congregation. The current sanctuary was dedicated in 1926, and several additions were made to this building in the following years. The Temple's 100-year anniversary was celebrated in 2003. Former Rabbis of the Temple took part in the celebration, which sparked new growth in the congregation. The Temple membership has continued to grow rapidly.

Description

Temple Adath Israel is housed in a brick building in a largely residential area. The hallways inside the building function as an art gallery, displaying various works of art. Near the front entrance to the building, there are administrative offices, including Rabbi Kline's office, which doubles as a classroom for the religious school. There is also an industrial kitchen which is used both to prepare meals for the Temple and for use in social action projects. Near the kitchen, there is a social hall with a full stage and a small gift shop. In the center of the Temple, there is a space that is currently under construction which will soon hold artifacts related to the Holocaust. This will be the first permanent Holocaust museum in Kentucky. There is also a library which houses a multitude of books and serves as a meeting place for weekly Torah study. In addition, the building includes a religious school wing. Services take place in the sanctuary, which has high ceilings and stained glass windows.

Activities and Schedule

The most widely attended service at Temple Adath Israel is the Erev Shabbat Service, which is held on Friday evenings. Both English and Hebrew are spoken, and people of all ages and both genders participate in the service, reflecting the inclusive nature of the congregation.
Temple Adath Israel is intended to serve as a religious and educational community center. To this aim the temple offers a variety of classes and activities. The congregation holds a religious school for children and youth from two years old to tenth grade. The school, which is held on Sunday mornings, serves to teach children and youth about culture, history, language, and social justice. The congregation also holds an active adult education program which includes four levels of adult Hebrew, lectures, and ongoing studies. All of these classes are open to the public. Active Temple groups include the Sisterhood for women, the Brotherhood for men, and youth groups. These groups take on various projects within the Temple and are active in social outreach.
Temple Adath Israel also has a preschool which is open five days a week. The preschool welcomes all children ages two and a half to four years old. About half of the student body is not Jewish.

Outreach

The congregation of Temple Adath Israel is dedicated to tikkun olam (repairing the world) through social action programs. The Temple has an active social action committee which serves to connect Temple congregants with community service projects. Each year, congregants sponsor and volunteer in the construction of a house in cooperation with Habitat for Humanity. The Temple has also "adopted" a public elementary school in Lexington through the "Adopt a School" program. Temple members assist the school in many ways, including tutoring students, assisting teachers, and donating school supplies. Other social action efforts include organizing food drives and volunteering with organizations which strive to feed people in need.
In addition to the work of the social action committee, youth who are preparing to become Bar or Bat Mitzvah devise year-long social action projects in order to reach out to the community. Each youth works with Rabbi Kline to design and implement a project.

Interfaith Relations

Rabbi Kline and others within Temple Adath Israel are committed to forming strong interfaith ties with others in the Lexington community. The Temple is a part of the Black Church Coalition in Lexington. Rabbi Kline serves as the vice president of The Interfaith Alliance of the Bluegrass, a group which aims to preserve democratic life through the unified force of Kentucky's faith traditions. An Imam who serves with Rabbi Kline on the board of this interfaith group has helped lead services at the Temple. Additionally, Rabbi Kline has taught Lent classes at Christ the King Episcopal Cathedral in Lexington.