Temple Emanuel (Kensington, Maryland)
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Temple Emanuel Kensington, Maryland
Temple Emanuel
Logo of Temple Emanuel
AffiliationReform Judaism
LeadershipRabbi Adam Rosenwasser,
Cantor Lindsay Kanter [1]
LocationKensington, Maryland
Temple Emanuel (Kensington, Maryland) is located in Maryland
Temple Emanuel (Kensington, Maryland)
Location within Maryland
Geographic coordinates39°01?16?N 77°04?33?W / 39.0211504°N 77.0757698°W / 39.0211504; -77.0757698Coordinates: 39°01?16?N 77°04?33?W / 39.0211504°N 77.0757698°W / 39.0211504; -77.0757698
Completed1958; 62 years ago (1958)[2]
Interior area13,180 square feet (1,224 m2)[2]

Temple Emanuel is a synagogue located in Kensington, Maryland. Temple Emanuel is provides worship in accordance with Reform Judaism.[3]

Clergy and leadership

Rabbi Adam Rosenwasser provides spiritual leadership at Temple Emanuel.[1] Lindsay Kanter serves as Cantor.[1]

Dianne Neiman is the executive director.[4]Monte Mallin is the president of the Board of Trustees.[5]

Religious programs and activities

Temple Emanuel Shabbat services[6] and Jewish holiday services.[7]

Temple Emanuel holds brit milah and baby naming ceremonies for newborns, b'nai mitzvah ceremonies for students, marriage ceremonies and blessings, and funeral services.[8]

Temple Emanuel operates an after-school program with a religious curriculum.[9][10] Temple Emanuel's Early Childhood Center (TEECC) for children ages two to five opened in fall 2008.[11] There are also youth groups for children and teenagers.[12]

As part of its adult learning program, Temple Emanuel has workshops and classes about spiritualism and Judaism.[13] Discussion topics have included Black-Jewish relations,[14]Israeli literature,[15] coping with the rise of anti-semitism in 21st-century Europe;[16]Martin Luther King Jr. and social justice;[17] the lack of access to affordable medical care and Jewish teachings related to the issue;[18]Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah;[19] and a Jewish perspective on equal rights for gays and lesbians.[20]

Temple Emanuel hosted an ecumenical Seder dinner for Jewish and non-Jewish people at Temple Emanuel.[21] Cosponsored by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, clergy of different religious denominations read poems about Passover in Hebrew, Yiddish, Aramaic, and English.[21]

Performing arts

Temple Emanuel has hosted musical performances such as Russian, Georgian, and Romani songs by musicians of the former Soviet Union;[22]chamber music composed by victims of the Holocaust;[23] and klezmer music inspired by the life and work of the founder of Hasidic Judaism, Baal Shem Tov.[24]

In February 2000, Temple Emanuel's Shabbat service included a dance interpretation of the week's Torah portion, performed by Avodah Dance Ensemble.[25] In December 2003, Temple Emanuel's Shabbat service included jazz music.[26]

Charitable activities

In 1995, forty members of Temple Emanuel cooked and served turkeys to people who were homeless as part of an ecumenical Christmas dinner with So Others Might Eat.[27]

In October 2007, members of Temple Emanuel collected and donated 5,742 pounds of groceries to local food banks.[28]

Historic Torah

In 1917, a Jewish congregation in Slonim, Russia, buried two Torahs in wooden chests in a field to protect them from the Bolsheviks, who had been closing synagogues and burning Torahs throughout the Soviet Union.[29] The Torahs remained there when, on June 25, 1941, Nazi soldiers marched Slonim's Jewish residents to the same field and murdered them there.[29]

The descendants of Slonim's rabbi returned to Slonim and retrieved the two buried Torahs in the 1990s.[29]

Temple Emanuel bought one of the Torahs in 1998.[29]


Vietnam War

In 1971, Temple Emanuel released a resolution calling for President Richard Nixon to "set and announce a complete withdrawal of all American forces operating in and over Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia by March 1972".[30] The resolution urged Congress to act to end the war if the president did not do so.[30] In a vote among Temple Emanuel's members, 76 percent supported the proposed resolution.[30]

Natan Sharansky

In March 1977, the Soviet Union arrested Natan Sharansky for being a spy for the Central Intelligence Agency.[31] The Soviet Union accused Sharansky of giving the Central Intelligence Agency lists of over 1,300 refuseniks, many of whom were denied exit visas because of their knowledge of state secrets.[32][33]

Representatives of Temple Emanuel met with the head of the Department of State's Human Rights Office to urged the Department of State to pressure the Soviet Union to release Sharansky.[31]

Sharansky was imprisoned until February 1986, when he and three other accused spies were released to West Germany in exchange for five other individuals also accused of spying.[34] Sharansky immigrated to Israel.[35]


Temple Emanuel has a zero-carbon footprint by supporting the alternative energy investments of the Carbonfund.org Foundation.[36]

Temple Emanuel's sanctuary features a large wood sculpture in the shape of a banyan tree.[37] The sculpture was made from Maryland tulip poplar trees.[37][38] The sculpture symbolizes one of Temple Emanuel's guiding beliefs, to blend Judaism and sustainability.[38]

In 1994, Temple Emanuel completed an energy audit of its building.[39] Temple Emanuel recycles and composts, and it includes an environmental reading into Shabbat services.[39][38] The lighting, heating, cooling, and energy efficiency is monitored in every room of the building.[40] Children maintain an organic garden on the grounds.[38] Rabbi Stone strongly supports the congregation's efforts to be sustainable, citing a passage in the Midrash.[39][41]

The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism awarded 2013 Irving J. Fain Social Action Award to Temple Emanuel for its activities in support of social justice and tikkun olam.[42]

Genocide in Darfur

In 2005, Temple Emanuel was one of many Jewish congregations organizations that demanded the United States act to end the genocide occurring in Darfur, Sudan.[43]

Marriage equality

In 2012, Temple Emanuel encouraged its members to support the Civil Marriage Protection Act, to allow people of the same sex to marry in Maryland.[44]

Minimum wage

In 2014, Temple Emanuel's membership voted in favor of a resolution supporting an increase in the minimum wage so workers can "support themselves with greater dignity and independence -- a true Jewish value. ... It is a religious responsibility to care for the needy of our society and safeguard a just minimum wage."[45]



Temple Emanuel was formally incorporated on December 2, 1952.[46] At the time, it was the only reform Jewish congregation in Montgomery County, Maryland.[47] Rabbi Leon M. Adler served as its first spiritual leader.[47] In January 1955, the congregation agreed to purchase five acres (20,000 m2) of land along Connecticut Avenue in Kensington to build a sanctuary, religious school, and social hall.[47] Oscar Felker chaired the fundraising campaign for purchasing the land and constructing the synagogue.[48] Construction plans were finalized in October 1956.[49] Construction was completed in 1958,[2] and the synagogue was formally dedicated on May 2, 1958.[50]

New rabbi

On February 27, 1988, Rabbi Adler died of an aneurysm.[51] Rabbi Warren G. Stone was installed as Temple Emanuel's spiritual leader on November 15, 1988.[52] Originally from Massachusetts, Rabbi Stone had served as rabbi of Temple Beth El in Corpus Christi, Texas, for six years.[52]. In recent years, Rabbi Stone retired. On July 1, 2020 Rabbi Adam Rosenwasser was installed as Senior Rabbi.


  1. ^ a b c "Clergy". Temple Emanuel. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "10101 Connecticut Avenue Kensington MD 20985-3803". Real Property Search. Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  3. ^ "History". Temple Emanuel. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  4. ^ "Staff". Temple Emanuel. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  5. ^ "Board of Trustees". Temple Emanuel. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  6. ^ "Shabbat". Temple Emanuel. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  7. ^ "Holidays". Temple Emanuel. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  8. ^ "Life Cycles". Temple Emanuel. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  9. ^ "Early Childhood". Temple Emanuel. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  10. ^ "Religious School". Temple Emanuel. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  11. ^ Greenberg, Richard. "Teach your children well". Washington Jewish Week. February 14, 2008. p. 18-19.
  12. ^ "Youth". Temple Emanuel. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  13. ^ "Adult Learning". Temple Emanuel. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  14. ^ Nirula, Gagan. "In Brief: Julian Bond at Temple Emanuel". The Washington Post. April 30, 1994. p. B7.
  15. ^ "Religion News and Events: Judaic Literature". The Washington Post. May 3, 2001. p. T8.
  16. ^ "Religion Notes: Dealing with Anti-semites". The Washington Post. March 20, 2003. p. T9.
  17. ^ "Honoring Martin Luther King Jr." The Washington Post. January 15, 2004. p. T8.
  18. ^ Fingerhut, Eric. "Rabbis urged to use bima to discuss uninsured". Washington Jewish Week May 13, 2004. p. 5.
  19. ^ "Religion Notes". The Washington Post. May 25, 2006. p. T24.
  20. ^ "Religion Notes". The Washington Post. September 14, 2006. p. T4.
  21. ^ a b de Looper, Frauke. "German Political Foundations: A Unique Tool in German-American Relations". German Life. 4.2. September 30, 1997. p. 18.
  22. ^ "This Week: Community Events". The Washington Post. May 18, 1995. p. MD6A.
  23. ^ Fox, Larry. "Weekend's Best: Rest of the Best". The Washington Post. February 21, 1997. p. N3.
  24. ^ McLellan, Joseph. "Performing Arts: Zina Gendel and Dionne Laufman". The Washington Post. November 9, 1999.
  25. ^ Bennett, Alysia. "Religion News and Events: Dance Ensemble". The Washington Post. February 3, 2000. p. M7.
  26. ^ "Religion Notes: Jazz Shabbat". The Washington Post. December 4, 2003. p. T11.
  27. ^ McGrory, Mary. "Food for Thought". The Washington Post. December 21, 1995. p. A2.
  28. ^ Greenberg, Richard. "Food for thought, and more". Washington Jewish Week. October 4, 2007. p. 6-7.
  29. ^ a b c d Broadway, Bill. "Long-Hidden Torah Finds a New Home; Buried Scroll Survived Bolsheviks, Nazis". The Washington Post. May 23, 1998. p. F9.
  30. ^ a b c Medsger, Betty. "Kensington Temple Resolution Urges End of Vietnam War". The Washington Post. December 4, 1971. p. B5.
  31. ^ a b "Pressure on Soviets Backed". The Washington Post. December 2, 1977. p. D12.
  32. ^ Toth, Robert. "Russ indirectly reveal 'state secrets': clues in denials of Jewish visas". Los Angeles Times. November 22, 1976.
  33. ^ "US reporter got secrets, Russians say". The Milwaukee Sentinel. July 12, 1978.
  34. ^ "Soviets Free Shcharansky Dissident, 8 Others Involved in Swap". The Seattle Times. February 11, 1986.
  35. ^ Bushinsky, Jay. "Shcharansky hailed as a hero in Israel". Chicago Sun-Times. February 12, 1986.
  36. ^ Stone, Warren G. "Environmental protection a sacred obligation". Washington Jewish Week. January 4, 2007. p. 16.
  37. ^ a b Broadway, Bill. "Passover: Newly Inclusive, Environmentally Aware". The Washington Post. April 19, 1997. p. B6.
  38. ^ a b c d Holzel, David. "Temple Emanuel". Washington Jewish Week. August 9, 2012. p. 9.
  39. ^ a b c Nieburh, Gustav. "Ecology Movement Begins to Take Root Among the Religious". The Washington Post. April 23, 1994. p. A5.
  40. ^ Amann, Paula. "To be young, Jewish and green; COEJL gathering draws small, youthful crowd; D.C. area synagogues, rabbis in the spotlight". Washington Jewish Week. March 3, 2005. p. 8.
  41. ^ Amann, Paula. "Both green and Jewish; In search of social equity, Reform rabbi melds faith, energy". Washington Jewish Week. April 21, 2005. p. 4.
  42. ^ Snyder, David. "Warranted Recognition". Baltimore Jewish Times. 331.8. April 19, 2013. p. 17.
  43. ^ "Jewish groups urge Bush to take action on Sudan genocide". Washington Jewish Week. July 21, 2005. p. 6.
  44. ^ Snyder, Ron. "Jews Impact Same-Sex Marriage Debate". Baltimore Jewish Times. 327.7. August 17, 2012. p. 18-19.
  45. ^ Norris, Heather. "The Push for $10.10". Baltimore Jewish Times. 336.6. February 7, 2014. p. 24-27.
  46. ^ "Temple Emanuel: Department ID D00208579". Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation Business Services. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  47. ^ a b c "Temple Emanuel to Buy Five Acres". The Washington Post. January 21, 1955. p. 29.
  48. ^ "$105,000 Given In Emanuel Drive". The Washington Post. March 4, 1955. p. 29.
  49. ^ "Temple Emanuel To Unveil Plans". The Washington Post. October 5, 1956. p. 30.
  50. ^ "Synagogue to Dedicate New Building Sunday". The Washington Post. April 18, 1958. p. B11.
  51. ^ "Temple Emanuel Rabbi Leon M. Adler Dies". The Washington Post. February 28, 1988. p. C6.
  52. ^ a b Hyer, Marjorie. "People in the News". The Washington Post. September 10, 1988. p. D19.

External links

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