The Greensboro Jewish community had its first permanent settlers in the middle 1890’s. At this time, the earliest Greensboro members of the Cone and Schiffman families arrived and were soon joined by relatives and in-laws. The decade of the 1890’s was a period of rapid growth for Greensboro. The population grew from 3,317 in 1890 to 10,035 in 1900. Growth continued for both the general and Jewish populations. It was in an atmosphere of optimism and rebirth that the foundation of modern Greensboro, with its Jewish community, was built.
The religious group that was to become Temple Emanuel was organized in 1907. The first documented formal worship services were for the High Holy Days. The early services were held in the rented second floor of a grocery store on South Elm Street.
Formal records began with minutes of the Trustees on February 8, 1908. The first meeting in 1908 was held to discuss arrangements for the purchase of the first Temple, a former Friends Church in the first block of East Lee Street. On April 9, 1909, the organization became more formal with the official name being Reform Hebrew Congregation, Inc., but was called the Greensboro Hebrew Congregation because of participation by both Reform and Orthodox Jews. The building was called Temple Emanuel. The Congregation was officially named Temple Emanuel in 1949 in recognition of the recently formed Conservative congregation at Beth David Synagogue.
What We Do
We are a vibrant and caring Reform Jewish congregation with approximately 570 families and a member of the Union for Reform Judaism. As a diverse congregation, we explore Jewish traditions, culture, rituals, and history in a warm environment that is inclusive, relevant, and inspirational. Preschooler or retiree, teen or mother, survivor, or corporate climber, there are meaningful services, ceremonies, and engaging events for everyone.
Led by our dynamic rabbis, Fred Guttman and Andy Koren, worship services are joyous, musical, informative, and very welcoming. You will be delighted by the beauty of our sanctuary as we celebrate the many life cycle events in our community. Join us for our exceptional High Holiday services, Tot Shabbats, B’nai Mitzvah celebrations, the Martin Luther King Shabbat Service, and scores of other interesting speakers and special programs. Our Rabbis lead with a 24-hour dedication and commitment that is unparalleled.
Beginning with the Early Childhood Engagement Center (ECEC) and continuing through Confirmation and Adult Learning, Temple Emanuel provides educational opportunities for everyone. Our religious and pre-school programs are thriving and on any given Saturday morning you will find a lively Chevra Torah study session. Of particular note this year, Temple Emanuel is proud to offer the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School, in addition to our other instructive course offerings.
None of this happens without an enthusiastic community backed by a dedicated board and office staff. It is easy to become involved here. Brotherhood and Sisterhood are always seeking new members and programming ideas, and welcome your participation. We welcome you to explore our Empty Nesters, Friendship Circle for Senior Adults, Chesed Committee, and the numerous community service projects of the Social Action Committee. Whether you are interested in music, recycling, rituals, terumah, education, or temple finance, we look forward to your membership and involvement. We strongly encourage you to come and spend some time with us.