The last Jewish temple preserves faith


Temple
Beth Israel Sinai’s congregation hall.

AUSTIN KRIEGER | krieg004@rangers.uwp.edu  

The Ranger News reached out to the Jewish temple, Beth Israel Sinai, in Racine recently to highlight cultural diversity in the local area. Spokesperson for the temple, Robert Katzman, explained how the temple is involved in spreading peace and diversity to the surrounding community.

The Jewish faith

Overall, the Jewish faith is dwindling in numbers and consists of approximately 15 million people, mostly residing in the United States and Israel. Beth Israel Sinai is actually the last Jewish temple in Racine, with a small congregation of 12 people.

They just recently moved to a smaller location due to the decreased congregation size and amount of practicing Jews in the area. This is significant because in Judaism, it is required for 10 people, or a minyan, to be present to open the Torah—the sacred text of the Jewish faith.

Interacting with the community

lastJewishTemple_RobertKatzman
Robert M. Katzman displaying the Torah.

Katzman, who represents the temple on the Racine Interfaith Council, hopes to shed  light on his faith and place of worship. By presenting more information and reaching out to schools and organizations, Katzman hopes to keep the culture of the Jewish faith alive and known to others, not only for Jewish people. As he puts it, “All that matters is that you’re interested, and I don’t care what you look like or what you believe, all that matters is you have interest in the history and see the validity in what we share here. We want to break down the barriers between people.”

Students and anyone from the area are welcome to come and participate in worship and learn about the culture and history of the Jewish religion. As for where and when, worship is held at the temple every Saturday at 9:30 a.m., which is known as the Sabbath. Torah classes are also every Thursday evening at 6:00 p.m.. The temple is located at 3009 Washington Ave in Racine.

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