EVENT HIGHLIGHTS & PICTURES

A Year to Remember

A Year to Remember

Dear Friends,

A Year to Remember

We hope and pray you find this message a source of pride and comfort. As we reflect on 2020, we can all agree, it was an interesting and challenging year to remember. Even during the pandemic, The Temple team rose to the challenge and creatively found new and safe ways to create positive, meaningful experiences, for all members of our Temple family.

Here are just a few of The Temple’s achievements:

  • We transitioned from in-person services and classes to Zoom and YouTube within one week. In addition to weekly services and classes, we engaged with our members every month with relevant programming, member bags, meal pick-ups, and more. We added many programs and invited more outside speakers, comedians, and local leaders than ever before.
  • We reimagined our High Holy Day Experience with Member Bags, customized prayer books, a special message from our Governor, and programming for all ages.
  • We worked collaboratively with the other synagogues in town to host a joint Havdallah Hanukkah Celebration, the first of many joint programs to come.
  • We continued life-cycle events and Tikkun Olam projects, following all CDC guidelines. We created a new Mitzvah Makers group and doubled the number of Tikkun Olam projects we normally do.
  • With the help of dozens of dedicated volunteers, we helped members in need with groceries, learn to use Zoom and YouTube, shop online, and get necessary medications and other essentials. We made sure that no member was left behind.
  • We wrestled with difficult questions about race and social justice in our community. Our Adult Education Committee began a monthly Conversation Series to continue the dialogue with partners, experts, and activists in our community.
  • We continued to open our doors and expand our community as 24 new families joined our Temple, and we welcomed back five additional families who rejoined.
  • In order to provide much-needed childcare for our ECEC families, we reopened our preschool during the pandemic while providing a safe educational environment. Our excellence was not missed by the larger community as The Temple Trager ECEC was named Best Preschool in Louisville by The Voice Magazine.
  • Our Religious School went online to continue engaging Temple youth with religious education. Moreover, we are proud that we were one of the few Reform Jewish Religious Schools in North America that not only stayed open virtually but also prolonged the school year to continue enriching our students. From Hebrew classes to baking workshops to Torah lessons, our students continued their education safely at home.
  • Throughout this pandemic, we worked diligently with our Board of Trustees to ensure that our budget and investments are financially strong.
  • We installed a new technology platform to improve back-office efficiencies and provide flexibility for our future.
  • We increased marketing and communications with our members, to maintain continuity for The Temple’s presence, throughout the pandemic.
  • Our maintenance team remodeled several areas of our Temple, thanks to many generous Temple donors. When we welcome our members back, you will be greeted by many enhancements.

Most importantly, we stayed safe and healthy and we will continue to maintain safety standards until we open our doors later in 2021.

Thank you to all of our Temple team members and volunteer leaders for a job well done in 2020 – and thank you to each and every Temple member for your continued support and commitment to our mission to be a center for Reform Judaism in Louisville and beyond.

We wish all our families a happy, safe, healthy 2021!
Rabbi David Ariel-Joel
Rabbi Joe Rooks Rapport
Craig Goldstein
Reed Weinberg

BRO TALK with Max Shapira

BRO TALK with Max Shapira

BRO TALK with The Temple Brotherhood
Tuesday, November 24 at 6:00 pm

Join The Temple Brotherhood for their first BRO TALK with Max Shapira, President of Heaven Hill Distillery.

from https://www.whiskeyuniv.com/s-max-shapira

Max Shapira was the only son of Ed Shapira, one of the five brothers who founded Heaven Hill Distilleries following the repeal of Prohibition. Max has been with Heaven Hill for 48 years and at the helm of the Bourbon Behemoth during a period of rapid growth and expansion and brand acquisitions which has made Heaven Hill the world’s second largest bourbon distiller by volume.

Dating back to 1935 five local Bardstown businessmen including Ed and David Shapira and Mr. Joseph L. Beam (Jim Beam’s cousin) put their heads and their wallets together and started a distillery. The Shipira’s initial investment was 40% of total and equaled $17,500 (Mr. Joe had a 20% share or half of that of the Shapiras at $8,750) into a company that had no still, no warehouses, no brand names and no inventory. That amount is the equivelent of $330,000 in today’s monetary value. On December 13th, 1935, the first barrel was filled at Heaven Hill Distillery. The name was taken from William Heavenhill, a farmer who previously owned the land where the distillery was built. An old wise tale claims that when one of the partners went and applied for the distillery permit he typed the name wrong as two words instead of one. From that point on the name stuck. Ed later went to all his other brothers and asked them to join him. Around 1939 the five Shapira brothers (David, Ed, Gary, George and Mose) all agreed to invest another $20,000 to buy out their partners and keep the business running. The Shapira Brothers were inducted posthumously into the Bourbon Hall of Fame as a collective group in only its second class in 2002.

Two of the sons of the five Shapira brothers followed in their collective fathers’ footsteps. Max L. Shapira (1943-present), Ed Shapira’s son, came aboard at Heaven Hill at the age of 28 in 1971. Max had graduated with his Masters in Business Administration from Harvard and worked on Wall Street for five years before coming back to join the firm. Max became the first member of all the Shapira grandchildren to join the family business. His cousin Harry Shapira (1947-2013) , who was David Shapira’s son would also go to work for Heaven Hill when he started in 1973.

Max Shapira , the son of Ed shapira was born in Louisville in 1943 and most of his childhood he grew up in Bardstown near the the Heaven Hill distillery. Shapira left the family and Bardstown to go to college. He earned his Batchelor’s degree at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia in 1965 and went on to earn his Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1967. Among all his siblings and cousins in the Shapira family it would be Max that eventually assumed a leadership role for the second generation of Shapiras. He came aboard at Heaven Hill at the age of 28 in 1970 as the Director of Corporate Planning after five years at J. P. Morgan on Wall Street working in corporate acquisitions.

Early on in his days at Heaven Hill he was thrown into learning all aspects of the distillery business, he worked with his father side by side until his father’s death in 1982. The longest surviving of the five Shapira brothers was George Shapira who passed away in 1996. At that time Max took over as President at Heaven Hill. Shapira would become the Captain and pilot of the Heaven Hill ship guiding through both good and bad times.

It wasn’t an easy business to run at that time because the whiskey industry was at the bottom of all liquor sales in eighties and almost disappeared. But under Max’s stewardship Heaven Hill diversified. The made or bought a branded liquor product in all spirit categories. They actually started buying up other brands whean almost everyone else way selling. He encouraged Master Distiller Parker Beam to amp up research and development inside of Heaven Hill’s laboratories to find new products. They also built upon their current route structure to leverage their new and acquired products with their existing distributors.

In September 2018, Max Shapira became only the third recipient of the Kentucky Hall of Fame’s Parker Beam Lifetime Achievement Award. Only illustrious Bourbon leaders Jimmy Russell of Wild Turkey and Bill Samuels Jr. of Maker’s Mark proceeded Max in earning the award. The award was named in 2015 for Parker Beam, who joined Heaven Hill in 1960 as a sixth-generation distiller in his storied family. He became Master Distiller in 1975 and earned numerous awards for distilling, aging and selecting some of the world’s most acclaimed Bourbons.

YouTube link for BRO TALK with Max Shapira: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99QUpebZcPY

Behind the Scenes with The Temple Staff

Join us Behind the Scenes! While our members continue to stay safe at home, The Temple staff has been busier than ever!

For a peek behind the curtain of what goes on in a typical day, we created a quick video! While we may not see you in person, The Temple continues to facilitate an expansive array of educational classes, religious services, meetings, mailings, ZOOM calls, emails, technology advancements, building updates, membership, volunteers, Tikkun Olam, maintenance projects, fundraising, Covid-19 protocol, religious school, preschool, special events, inter-congregational alliances, etc. All require an enormous amount of legwork! In short, it takes a lot to run a congregation from a very small team and the goal is to continue to engage our members safely each month and maintain The Temple’s continuity in your life.

Thank you for being a Temple member – we value your ongoing support and look forward to seeing you again in person soon!

Behind the Scenes Video Director, Producer, & Editor: Benji Berlow

Join us Behind the Scenes! While our members continue to stay safe at home, The Temple staff has been busier than ever!

For a peek behind the curtain of what goes on in a typical day, we created a quick video! While we may not see you in person, The Temple continues to facilitate an expansive array of educational classes, religious services, meetings, mailings, ZOOM calls, emails, technology advancements, building updates, membership, volunteers, Tikkun Olam, maintenance projects, fundraising, Covid-19 protocol, religious school, preschool, special events, inter-congregational alliances, etc. All require an enormous amount of legwork! In short, it takes a lot to run a congregation from a very small team and the goal is to continue to engage our members safely each month and maintain The Temple’s continuity in your life.

Thank you for being a Temple member – we value your ongoing support and look forward to seeing you again in person soon!

Behind the Scenes Video Director, Producer, & Editor: Benji Berlow

Drive-in-21

Drive-In Movie Night

Thank you to everyone who joined us for The Temple’s first-ever Drive-In Movie Night! We enjoyed a beautiful night under the stars with snacks, assigned parking spaces, social-distancing and donated non-perishables for our local food pantry. Thanks to all who attended!

Event Description:

You’re invited to a date at the drive-in! On October 17, The Temple will host a family movie night, under the stars, in our front parking lot. We’ll set up a big screen in our front parking lot and every car gets free snacks as they enter.

Based on an overwhelming member vote – we’ll feature The Secret Life of Pets 2. If you have not yet RSVP’d, please do so ASAP.

The Temple will follow social-distancing guidelines and require all participants to RSVP prior to the event and wear masks. Cars will be spaced out to maintain a social distance so everyone can relax and enjoy the movie. Restrooms in the building will be available, children will need to be chaperoned.  Safety is our #1 priority.

This event is free of charge with your donation of a blanket or food pantry item. See you at the drive-in!

Thank you everyone for joining us for our first Drive-In Movie Night. We passed out snacks and treats, assign spots at a social distance, and donated goods for local causes. Thank you everyone who came! You’re invited to a date at the drive-in! On October 17, The Temple will host a family movie night, under the stars, in our front parking lot. We’ll set up a big screen in our front parking lot and every car gets free snacks as they enter. Based on an overwhelming member vote – we’ll feature The Secret Life of Pets 2. If you have not yet RSVP’d, please do so ASAP. The Temple will follow social-distancing guidelines and require all participants to RSVP prior to the event and wear masks. Cars will be spaced out to maintain a social distance so everyone can relax and enjoy the movie. Restrooms in the building will be available, children will need to be chaperoned. Safety is our #1 priority. This event is free of charge with your donation of a blanket or food pantry item. See you at the drive-in!

The High Holy Day Experience

Thank you everyone for joining us for the High Holy Day Experience for 2020/5781. Please see the images below. A schedule of the program can be found here and videos can be found on our YouTube page.

The vision of creating new prayer books for these High Holy Days came from the hope that we might provide for our congregation a way to bridge the distance of the virtual services which we are streaming into their homes, by placing in their hands these familiar words of prayer in an accessible and familiar form. The services are designed specifically for our congregation, drawn with Hebrew and English prayers selected from the current and historic prayer books of Reform Judaism, other High Holy Day resources and prayers, and blessings written by rabbis of The Temple as well. Editing these new prayer books was a labor of love – with Rabbi David carefully selecting the prayers to fit well within an online format, while Rabbi Rapport designed and edited each page of the 150-page work. And none of this would have been possible without the support of The Temple Women of Reform Judaism / Sisterhood and The Temple Brotherhood who sponsored the project so that every Temple family could receive a copy of the prayer books delivered to their homes for the High Holy Day experience.

The Days of Awe at Home

The Days of Awe are upon us

Dear Temple Members,

The Days of Awe are upon us. Rosh Hashanah begins this Friday night and Yom Kippur just ten days beyond that. We have been preparing for this High Holy Day experience for so long it has seemed at times as if this moment would never arrive. But now we have all but arrived at our day of days.  We have prepared New Prayer Books for our hands, Streaming Services for our eyes, the haunting melodies of these days through the voices of our socially distant choir for our ears, and now it is time to prepare our hearts for repentance and return.

Planning for the High Holy Days was always the plan. The entire month of Elul was to be dedicated to day-by-day reflection in preparation for the shofar’s call to return. This age old tradition has not traditionally included prerecording a video message from the governor, sending an HDMI cable to connect your computer device to the flat-screen TV, figuring out a way to gather your beloved collection of family and friends without actually physically gathering, or gathering all the ingredients for a holiday meal from touchless delivery at the grocery store. 

These High Holy Days we have prepared in different ways, we know they will not feel the same once they arrive, but it is our hope that these days might be memorable for more than the pandemic which has created the need for all these preparations, but rather for the message of unity amidst adversity, and the strength of a community of faith which they have taught.

Shanah Tovah, from your rabbis, your Temple leadership, and from all your Temple staff who have worked so hard to make this High Holy Day experience one we will remember: for blessing and not for curse, for sweetness and not for sorrow, for beginnings and not for its end. May the One who has opened the gates of repentance and welcomed us in love through generations of our people, bless you all and those you love in this New Year and for many years to come. 

L’Shanah Tovah, may it be a year of goodness and blessing for us all.

Rabbi Joe Rooks Rapport
Rabbi David Ariel-Joel

Ice Cream Social (Distance)

Ice Cream Social (Distance)

Thank you to everyone who joined us for The Temple’s Ice Cream Social (Distance)! We enjoyed a fun night of music, sweet treats, social-distancing, and donated non-perishables for our local food pantry. Thanks to all who attended!

Event Description:

The Temple’s Ice Cream Social (Distance) Get Together and Tikkun Olam Opportunity
Wednesday, August 26
6:00 – 7:30 pm in The Temple Front Parking LotJoin us for an outdoor evening gathering to reconnect with your Temple family (socially distanced) and do a mitzvah for our community. Comfy Cow ice cream will be provided free of charge when you bring a donation to the JFCS Meyer Food Pantry (preferably toilet paper, cans of vegetables, cans of fruit, cans of soup, peanut butter, and cereal).The Temple will be following social distance guidelines with designated tables for families to sit, REQUIRING ALL PARTICIPANTS TO WEAR MASKS, AND RSVP PRIOR TO THE EVENT.We will start with three shifts for families (6:00 pm, 6:30 pm, and 7:00 pm) and will open up more if there is more interest than we can safely accommodate. More details and guidelines to follow.

The Temple’s Ice Cream Social (Distance) Get Together and Tikkun Olam Opportunity Wednesday, August 26 6:00 – 7:30 pm in The Temple Front Parking Lot Join us for an outdoor evening gathering to reconnect with your Temple family (socially distanced) and do a mitzvah for our community. Comfy Cow ice cream will be provided free of charge when you bring a donation to the JFCS Meyer Food Pantry (preferably toilet paper, cans of vegetables, cans of fruit, cans of soup, peanut butter, and cereal). The Temple will be following social distance guidelines with designated tables for families to sit, REQUIRING ALL PARTICIPANTS TO WEAR MASKS, AND RSVP PRIOR TO THE EVENT. We will start with three shifts for families (6:00 pm, 6:30 pm, and 7:00 pm) and will open up more if there is more interest than we can safely accommodate. More details and guidelines to follow.