On Friday, July 2, Rockdale Temple celebrated its return to in-person Shabbat services with a Rock the Block celebration. Before and after the service, which took place in the Mayerson JCC tent, more than two hundred members and guests enjoyed a multi-generational block party atmosphere in the Rockdale and Mayerson JCC parking lot, featuring a cookout dinner, beverages, a Kona Ice truck, music, and activities for children.
The service welcomed Rockdale’s new Assistant Rabbi and Educator Erin Binder. She, Senior Rabbi Meredith Kahan, and Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati Fellows and Rabbinic Interns Caitlin Brazner and Ilana Symons led services under the tent.
John Cobey, President of Rockdale Temple, commented, “Two hundred plus Rockdale members and friends came back in person to celebrate old friends and new beginnings. We socialized with each other, served food and ate together, made plans to reconnect, and then prayed together, led by our four knowledgeable, energetic, and engaging clergy.”
Jennifer Clark, Chair of Rockdale’s Engagement Task Force that planned the event remarked, “Seeing everyone together in person was so incredibly meaningful. What an amazing experience having all of our voices pray together in the same space, and it was truly a special night when we welcomed Rabbi Erin Binder to the Rockdale family.”
Stephanie De Falco, who co-chaired the Assistant Rabbi & Educator Search Committee with Larry Smilg noted, "I could think of no better way to reunite with our Rockdale family and to welcome Rabbi Binder than with Rock the Block. Celebrating Shabbat in person, dining together, catching up after all this time, watching the kids (who have really grown over the last 16 months) play and make memories together once again — the evening reminded all of us why we love Rockdale so much."
Throughout the summer, Rockdale Temple’s Friday night Shabbat services will take place in the tent on the campus, and will also be live-streamed on several platforms. Saturday morning Torah study and services will be held in the Temple building in person and online.