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Interfaith Outreach & Education

Outreach Torah“You too must love the stranger, for you were strangers in the Land of Egypt” 
Deuteronomy 10:19

“Let your house be open wide”
Pirke Avot 1:5

Temple Israel invites Jewish choices for all – Jewish or not, member or not, for both interfaith and Jewish families.  We welcome, educate and offer support to all people who are new to Jewish living either through marriage, conversion, or any born Jew who would like to learn more about practicing Judaism.  Temple Israel opens its doors to anyone seeking a place for themselves among the Jewish community.

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The word “gesharim” means “bridges” in Hebrew. It is an appropriate name for a dedicated group of people who have converted, are in the process of conversion, involved in interfaith relationships or simply born Jews seeking to learn more about their religion, thus bridging the gaps between their culture of origin and Judaism.

This educational support/discussion group will cover topics such as Jewish holiday celebration, Life Cycle events, and creating new family traditions.  Participants leave each session with hands-on practical information for helping to create their Jewish homes. The sessions are taught at no charge by Temple Israel’s clergy and Jewish educators. Each class includes a support discussion allowing participants to share stories about their Judaic experiences. Gesharim meets once a month in the evening at a private home in the West Bloomfield area. 

This 14-week course, offered twice a year is geared towards those interested in learning more about Judaism, or considering conversion.  Temple Israel clergy teach about Jewish traditions, history, holiday celebrations, Israel and much more. The class also includes a special tour of the Holocaust Memorial Center. There is even an introduction to Hebrew along the way! For more information please contact Rabbi Arianna Gordon, Director of Education and Lifelong Learning at 248-661-5725 or [email protected].

Immediately following the Intro to Judaism class, this 5-week discussion group supports and enriches the process of conversion for individuals and their partners (when applicable) who are considering Judaism. Participants will be encouraged to share experiences with each other, develop supportive relationships and discover the significance of the Jewish community, Jewish people and Israel.  The group is self-directed depending on the expressed needs of the participants and is held in partnership with a sponsoring rabbi and facilitated by Temple Israel’s Outreach Fellow.

This program is ideal for newcomers who are interested in learning about Judaism in a more individual way. Temple Israel mentors are personally selected by our clergy to walk along with each newcomer through an entire year of holiday celebration and study on his/her journey toward Judaism.  Mentors serve as active listeners and practical resources for information on how to live a Jewish life.  New families are also encouraged to be paired with one of our Temple families.  This program is a great way to be introduced personally to all of Temple Israel’s events. 

Shabbat Solos
Flying solo on Shabbat? New member? Visitor? Or simply solo?  This is a group that sits together at the Kabbalat Shabbat Friday night services. Discover the real joy in Shabbat fellowship.  Come sit, sing and pray together…& join us for the oneg after services. Simply give us a call and we will meet you at the door! For more information click here.

Shalom Squad
This group consists of friendly, helpful Temple members who greet and welcome at the sanctuary door prior to Friday night services.  They are there to assist in choosing which services to attend, answer any questions, or simply help with information. 

If you are interested in any of these programs or want more information, please contact:

Carol Lynn Cooper
URJ Outreach Fellow
[email protected]


Tracie Fienman
Director of Programming
[email protected]

Grandparents Circle: Are you a grandparent looking to nurture the Jewish identities of your interfaith grandchild?

Tuesdays at 7 pm  -   October 13, 20, 27 & November 3, 10

Temple Israel is pleased to present our Grandparent's Circle: A FREE five-session course that inspires and teaches participants how to nuture the Jewish identities of their grandchildren while respecting the choices of their intermarried adult child. Participants learn techniques for listening to and talking with their adult children, incorporating Judaism into everyday conversations, and creating Jewish memories for their grandchildren.



About Us

Temple Israel is a Reform Jewish Congregation which seeks to fulfill its religious and ethical goals by being a center for spiritual fulfillment, life-long learning, cultural enrichment, community leadership, social responsibility, and by lovingly entrusting our Reform Jewish tradition from generation to generation. We are committed in our support of the State of Israel and of the Jewish people throughout the world.

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