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8501 Ridge Road
Cincinnati, OH 45236

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Job Posting for Part-time Building & Grounds Associate. Click on letter to enlarge.



Rededicate Yourself to Judaism with Adult B’nei Mitzvah 

In just a few short weeks, we will begin our eight-night celebration of Chanukah. Chanukah usually brings to mind the light of the Chanukiyah (Chanukah menorah), the spinning dreidel, the gatherings with friends and family, the delicious latkes (and other fried foods)—all the elements that make this a true Festival of Lights. In the darkness of winter—and often, in the darkness we might be personally or communally experiencing— Chanukah stands as a celebration of light, hope, and promise.

The Hebrew root of the word Chanukah is chet – nun – chaf; it means “dedicate,” “consecrate,” and “educate.” It’s fascinating to know that in Hebrew, there is a connection between dedication and education. Our Chanukah narrative notes that Jews were forbidden to study Torah and practice their faith; when the enemy was defeated, our people rededicated the Temple in Jerusalem and renewed their commitment to Jewish life and learning. 

Rockdale Temple’s next Adult B’nei Mitzvah class will begin in early 2023 and culminate with a group B’nei Mitzvah celebration near Shavuot 5784, in the Spring of 2024, Rockdale’s 200th Anniversary Year! Adult members of Rockdale Temple are welcome to participate. Whether you did not have the opportunity as a child, chose Judaism as an adult, or have a child/grandchild approaching their own B’nei Mitzvah experience, this is a great time to complete this mitzvah! 

The Adult B’nei Mitzvah class will be taught primarily by Rabbi Kahan and Rabbi Binder, with occasional guest teachers. The group will meet every other week for about 16 months, alternating between in-person and Zoom gatherings. Our class will engage in a Jewish learning journey in which we explore Jewish texts, liturgy, history, and practices, rededicating ourselves to our Judaism. Participants do not need to be proficient in Hebrew; we will have opportunities to learn Hebrew together, as well as master the leadership of Shabbat prayers and the chanting/reading of Torah! 

Registration is now open for Rockdale’s 200th Year Adult B’nei Mitzvah class. Please register online or call the Temple office. The cost is $180, which includes all meetings and materials. I am available to speak with interested members for any questions or concerns. We hope you’ll join us!
This Chanukah, give yourself the gift of rededication to Jewish education! 

With blessings for a Chanukah filled with light,

Rabbi Meredith Kahan
Senior Rabbi 

We're hiring; join our team!


Job Posting for Part-time Building & Grounds Associate. Click on letter to enlarge.

Rockdale's Response to Colleyville

Click on image to see letter sent to our congregation

Click on image to see the statement from Cincinnati Board of Rabbis


High Holy Days Health & Safety

Click on Letter to read about High Holy Days Health & Safety policies.

Introducing incoming executive director David Solomon

See announcement below. Click on thumbnail to enlarge.

Meet Erin Binder - Rockdale's INCOMING assistant rabbi & educator!

The Rockdale Temple Board of Directors has unanimously elected Erin Binder as our next Assistant Rabbi & Educator. Erin will be ordained from Hebrew Union College in New York in May 2021 and also holds a master’s degree in Jewish education from the College. Erin is primarily from Austin, Texas, but spent her high school years in Cincinnati and was confirmed at Rockdale Temple!Soon-to-be-Rabbi Binder will be responsible for the leadership of our Kehal Kodesh Religious School and youth programs, as well as RUACH and additional engagement and outreach projects. She will partner with Rabbi Kahan in the areas of worship, ritual, and lifecycle officiation; pastoral care; congregational programming; adult education; social justice and action; and more.

Rabbi Kahan notes, “Erin is a talented and experienced Jewish educator who will bring great creativity and excitement to our school. She is a passionate teacher of Torah and leader of prayer; her knowledge will surely uplift our Rockdale community. I am pleased to welcome her as my rabbinic partner and know she will serve our congregation with great wisdom and compassion.”

President John G. Cobey remarks that soon-to-be-Rabbi Binder’s election feels like a homecoming. “I have great hope for Rockdale’s future, and Erin is part of an exciting future for our congregation.” Erin Binder will begin her tenure as Rockdale’s Assistant Rabbi & Educator on July 1st. We look forward to welcoming her to Cincinnati and our sacred community.

Congregational Announcement
*Click on letter to enlarge

Rabbi Meredith F. Kahan Elected Senior Rabbi of Rockdale Temple

At a special congregational meeting on March 14, 2021, Rabbi Meredith F. Kahan was elected as the tenth Senior Rabbi of K.K. Bene Israel/Rockdale Temple, the oldest congregation west of the Allegheny Mountains.

Abby Schwartz and Aaron Herzig chaired the Search Committee that selected Rabbi Kahan as Rockdale Temple’s Senior Rabbi.  “After a rigorous review of candidate applications and interviews, the committee made the unanimous decision that Rabbi Kahan was the right choice for our holy congregation. We were secure in the knowledge that we had looked seriously at other candidates with the goal of finding the best choice for the future of Rockdale Temple,” Schwartz noted.  “Rabbi Kahan was vetted among her peers and rose to the top. Not only is she a Jewish scholar with an inspiring vision for the future of our congregation; she has demonstrated compassion, grace, and dignity during a very challenging time following the loss of our beloved Rabbi Sissy Coran. We look forward to her continued leadership,” Herzig added.

According to John G. Cobey, Rockdale Temple’s President, “On behalf of the Board of Directors and following a unanimous vote of the membership, we are pleased to announce and embrace our new Senior Rabbi Meredith Kahan.  Rabbi Kahan was raised at Rockdale Temple and now she will lead us as the tenth Senior Rabbi of Rockdale.  With her election, we will continue to be blessed with a leading Rabbi, as Rockdale has been blessed with prominent leaders and members throughout its almost 200-year history.  We in Cincinnati will continue to benefit from Rabbi Kahan's leadership as we now build for the future.”



Senior Rabbi Meredith F. Kahan's Remarks for Congregational Meeting
Sunday, March 14, 2021

*Click on Thumbnail to enlarge.



Election Day Message from your Leadership 

Dear Rockdale Temple Family,

We acknowledge the anxiety many are feeling as the final results of our national election remain uncertain. As the democratic process unfolds, we will need to be patient, understanding that voting is a mitzvah and counting every vote a sacred obligation. With this in mind, we have provided a resource from the Union for Reform Judaism (click HERE) with respect to patience as votes are counted, as well as a video from Rabbi Kahan with a message, prayer, and song from Election Day that is provided below.

Please know that your rabbis and Rockdale staff are here to support you during this uncertain time. We invite you to find peace, strength, and inspiration with your congregation as Shabbat arrives – we will gather both Friday and Saturday in real time over Zoom for music, prayer, and community. And remember that, as a Kehal Kodesh, a holy community, we are here for one another. Today and always, Rockdale Temple remains committed to being a house of prayer for all peoples.

Rabbis Kahan and Jaffee, Rabbinic Intern Sam Schauvaney, and Laura Wright

We Will Not Stand Idly By

Rockdale Temple decries the murder of George Floyd. Once again, we bear witness to the great pain of the injustices that People of Color are subjected to in this country. Once again, we cry out against racism and the systems that allow it to perpetuate. Once again, we see – and participate in – the protests swelling across the nation as thousands of people share their anger, grief, and thirst for justice.

We have been here before. Throughout our country’s history, and certainly in the very recent past, we have seen devastating examples of persistent systemic racism that has led to the deaths of other human beings. The NAACP reminds us that, “senseless hate crimes and incidence of COVID-19 cases and deaths spreading throughout the Black community display the continuance of systematic racism and privilege granted to white people in America.” With this in mind, we take to heart the words of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who said, “… morally speaking, there is no limit to the concern one must feel for the suffering of human beings, that indifference to evil is worse than evil itself, that in a free society, some are guilty, but all are responsible.” We are all responsible for what comes next in our communities, our city, our state, and our country.

We echo the call of Torah: we will not stand idly by (Exodus 19:16).

It is not enough to refrain from bigotry, racism, or violence. We must not be complicit. We must take action. Here are some ways each of us can be an upstander at this important time:

  1. Learn. Read books and articles about African-American identity, racism, and justice, particularly those by Black authors. None of our children are too young to begin this conversation; smaller kids can start by reading books and playing with toys that feature children of color. All may learn from the National Museum of African American History & Culture’s new Talking About Race resource.
  2. Reach Out. Build relationships with People of Color and anyone with a different racial, ethnic, or religious identity. Remember that Jews of Color are part of our community! Connect with friends in the Black community who are scared and in pain and share your support and care.
  3. Raise your Voice. If you are able (and feel comfortable doing so at this time of COVID-19), show up and participate peacefully in a planned, local protest. If you cannot attend in person, show support by providing resources to those protesting. Contact your government officials (find your: Senators, Representatives, Ohio Officials, Kentucky Officials) and demand accountability, transparency, and justice throughout our criminal justice system.
  4. Make Change. Participate in Rockdale’s Justice Collaborative work – contact Andi Herzig, Justin Levy, or Joan Roberts. The Justice Collaborative is actively reaching out to our friends in the Black community to offer support and solidarity. Find actionable items at the RAC of Reform Judaism’s Racial Justice page. Get involved with the Cincinnati Regional Coalition Against Hate. Join the efforts of the NAACP’s We are Done Dying campaign.

We will not stand idly by the blood of our fellow human beings. We commit ourselves to the pursuit of justice and pursuit of peace.

Rabbi Meredith Kahan
Acting Senior Rabbi

Rockdale Temple Board of Directors
Jim Heldman, President
John Cobey, President-Elect

Rockdale Temple’s Justice Collaborative
Andi Herzig, Justin Levy, Joan Roberts, co-chairs

We also recommend to you the important statements of our Jewish and faith-based communal partners:

JCRC of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati
Union for Reform Judaism / Religious Action Center
Central Conference of American Rabbis
Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion
Cincinnati Regional Coalition Against Hate
EquaSion/Cincinnati Festival of Faiths

the Memorial Service of Rabbi Sigma Faye Coran

We remember and honor our beloved Rabbi Sigma Faye Coran. Below on the left is her memorial service which took place at 10:00AM on Sunday, May 10. On the right is a news story that ran on WCPO on May 15.


Rabbi Sissy Coran, age 54, passed away May 8, 2020. She was the beloved daughter of Aubie (Sandy) Coran and the late Susan Coran and daughter-in-law of Marvin and Gerry Kraus; devoted spouse of Rabbi Matthew Kraus; loving mother of Jacob (Kim) Kraus-Preminger, and Shirah, Micah, & Eden Kraus; dear sister of Steve (Laurie) Coran & Jeff (Kim) Coran; also survived by many loving nieces, nephews, friends, colleagues, and Rockdale Temple family. Rabbi Coran's family gathered for services Sunday, May 10 at 10:00AM. The community is invited to view the video of the service in the above window.

The family will observe Shiva on Zoom at 7:00PM on Sunday, May 10 and Monday, May 11. For Zoom Meeting link and password, please refer to the email sent out or contact

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to Rockdale Temple or Goldman Union Camp Institute would be appreciated.

If you would like to send a message for the Coran/Kraus family, please fill out the fields below.


Our love and support to the Family of Rabbi Coran on her Passing

Dear Rockdale Temple Family,

It is with great heaviness in our hearts that we inform you of the death of our beloved rabbi, Sigma Faye Coran. Rabbi Coran passed away peacefully on Friday morning after spending her last days surrounded by her family and loved ones.

We turn our hearts to her husband, Rabbi Matthew Kraus, her children, Jacob (Kim), Shirah, Micah, and Eden, and her entire family, as they grieve their enormous loss. We join them in sorrow, remembering Rabbi Coran with great love, admiration, and respect. As we sit with our own pain and grief, we ask for privacy for Rabbi Coran’s family.

Due to the current pandemic, funeral services will be private. We will have opportunities in the coming days to come together as a sacred congregation to mourn, remember, and honor our rabbi, teacher, and friend.

Baruch Dayan HaEmet – We praise You, Judge of Truth.

Zecher tzadika livracha – May the memory of our righteous one be for a blessing.

James G. Heldman, President

Rabbi Meredith Kahan, Associate Rabbi

Letter from Rabbi Coran with postscript from Jim Heldman and Rabbi Kahan      

Letters from Rabbi Coran with postscript from Jim Heldman and Rabbi Kahan; and from our board president, Jim Heldman. Click on the thumbnail to enlarge.

Mi Shebeirach Prayer Service for Rabbi Coran, May 6, 2020


Submitted by Shomrei Olam

SHOMREI OLAM: Jewish Environmental Advocates of Cincinnati is proud to announce the winners of its essay contest for Jewish youth. The essay contest titled, ”What does it mean for Jews to be stewards of the Earth?” celebrates the 50th anniversary of Earth Day first celebrated on April 22,1970.​​​​​

High School division winner, Emily Waterman, received a $500 award. She is an 11th grader at Sycamore High School and attends Kulanu, the joint Reform Jewish Temples’ High School. In citing scripture, “I will plant you, and not uproot “(Jeremiah 42:10) as a metaphor, Emily wrote being a steward of the world means “not only to conserve the resources this planet has…[but] to take part in modern environmentalism and activism, to pass and lobby for legislation to help the environment, and to remember how much the world needs our aid to stay the beautiful place …it is today.” Reminiscing about her trip to Israel last summer Emily said, “planting a tree to give back to my homeland was very powerful….I felt like I had finally made a difference, no matter how small.”

In the Junior High School (7th and 8th grade) division, the winners were Levi Goodman and Avi Mattlinsky. Each received a $100 award. Both are 8th Grade students at Rockwern Academy. In citing Genesis 1:28, Levi stated that although God gives dominion “over every living thing that moves upon the Earth, a ruler’s responsibility is to take care of his or her people.

Humanity still has this responsibility to this day.” Avi states that the environment is “super important [as] the Earth is a little sibling because God formed one human from the dust of the earth. …and blew into the human’s nostrils the breath of life….We humans were made from the earth. That creates a deeper connection between us” (Genesis 2:7).

While as a 6th Grader at Rockwern Middle School Academy Achinoam Maggid did not qualify in the Junior High division of the contest, the outstanding essay was recognized with a special $50 award. In the conclusion of the essay Archinoam states, “I think young people are the future and we need to help the adults change their ways and do more for the planet we call home.”

Shomrei Olam, the only Jewish nonprofit organization in our region focused entirely on the environment, encouraging members of the Jewish community, young and old, to be good stewards of the earth. In addition to the Essay Contest, Shomrei Olam has held workshops providing information on improving energy efficiency in our community buildings, helped the Mill Creek Alliance remove invasive honeysuckle in the Mill Creek watershed, and is introducing a new program to help individuals reduce their carbon foot print.

Rockdale Reaches Out

Hello Rockdale members:

Cincinnati has so many refugees and new undocumented immigrants who are in need of help to become independent. There are all kinds of ways to help, volunteer, donate, and support!

While we are under quarantine, our volunteer activities are largely reduced, but the needs are great. Consider donating money to local food pantries, Heartfelt Tidbits, or Tikkun Farms - they are providing food for refugees (and other in-need families).  

I look forward to Rockdale Temple's member involvement with the refugee and new-to-USA communities.

Looking ahead…. 
Volunteers and support will be needed for summer camp in June (dates TBD) at Academy of World Languages. The program will need daily volunteers (helpers as well as instructors for science and fitness) and funding (for snacks, supplies, bus trip).
Tikkun Farm in Mt Healthy is duly named as a place which fosters “healing the world."  It is the picture of  tikkun olam. They have a full slate of great programs. On “volunteer days,” volunteers can come and go as they want, and help with any project at the farm, as well as learn about the farm. I will be at the Volunteer Day on Saturday, July 11, 12:30-4:30pm. Join me😊  Also, I would love to have a Rockdale-and-friends group attend the “Seasonal Drum Circle” on Saturday, June 20, 6:00-8:00pm. There will be a potluck dinner. We could make it a Havdallah service, and learn about the farm. Go to for more information.
Please contact me for any and all questions and interest level!
Cora Steinberg
Chair, Rockdale Reaches Out


Dear Rockdale Temple family,

As you are all aware, the realities of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are changing every day. We wrote to you in the fall about our deep commitment to pikuach nefesh, the principle that saving a human life supersedes all other religious considerations. Now as then, the safety and well-being of our community is our highest priority.

While physical distancing is required at this time, we are committed to being present for each other. Please complete this survey to help us match congregants’ needs and with others’ talents and gifts! We know that our sacred community is ready to support and strengthen one another.

Following recommendations from the CDC and Ohio Board of Health, and working in line with additional orders with regards to gatherings, we are putting in place measures to protect one another. Our sister synagogues and organizations in Cincinnati are following a model very similar to our own.

  • Friday night services will be held online only. They will be pre-recorded and you can access them via our video archive at this link:
  • Saturday Morning Sichat Torah (Torah study) will be held at 9:30am and Shabbat Services at 10:30 via Zoom meeting at this address:, or you can call in 1.929.205.6099, meeting code: 931219181#
  • All large programs scheduled to occur before May 1, including Shabbat dinners, our annual Passover Second Seder, and the Women’s Seder are cancelled. We will continue to update our community when programs resume or as they are rescheduled.
  • Religious School is now on an extended Spring Break but looks to be on hold for the foreseeable future. We are committed to maintaining our school community and offering learning opportunities! Rabbi Kahan will communicate with families as we create virtual classes, resources, and times to pray, sing, and be together.
  • Our Tuesday afternoon Rak Limud: Talmud Lessons Every Jew Should Learn will continue exclusively via Zoom. To participate please RSVP to Rabbi Coran We hope to provide additional opportunities to learn and be together virtually.
  • Our facility is in “remote office” mode. Rockdale Temple will be closed to all visitors and most staff will be working remotely to prevent the spread of the virus. If you call our office, please leave a voicemail. We will be checking voice mails and returning calls throughout the day (9:00am – 5:00pm). We will use the time to deep-clean all offices and do maintenance and upkeep throughout the building.
  • Pastoral visits, such as our rabbis visiting members in the hospital, people in assisted living facilities, and nursing homes must now be done via FaceTime, phone calls, and texts. Please let us know if you or anyone else needs pastoral care.
  • We want to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our community, be they emotional, physical, or other. We recognize that in these uncertain times, lives and fortunes can change very quickly. Please don’t hesitate to contact Jewish Family Service if you are food insecure or worried about rent or mortgage payments.

We recognize that this is a rapidly changing situation. Please keep an eye on our website for the latest updates and let us know if you require phone-only communications.

Thank you all for supporting us with your commitment, love, and patience as we try our best to support you in turn. Thank you all for helping us live our principle of pikuach nefesh, even when it is inconvenient to do so. We believe that we must do all we can to flatten the curve and limit transmission of the virus. We pray that this time will pass quickly allowing us to be together again soon.

Please be in touch with our rabbis and/or lay and professional leadership if you have any questions.

Rabbi Sissy Coran, Rabbi Meredith Kahan, Jim Heldman, and Karen Martin

Register for Kehal Kodesh School

Kehal Kodesh School of Rockdale Temple instills knowledge and love of Reform Judaism. We provide pathways to spirituality and God through instruction in Torah, ritual, traditions, tikkun olam (social responsibility), and connections with our sacred community.


Kehal Kodesh Religious School meets on Sunday mornings, 9:30-noon. We begin each Sunday with t'filah (musical prayer services), to which parents, grandparents, younger siblings, and caregivers are invited. We begin Religious School with pre-school aged children, and students stay in our program through 8th grade (in 9th grade, our students join other teenagers at Kulanu: The Cincinnati Reform Jewish High School). Our teenagers continue on Sunday morning as madrichim (student guides). Our year includes Family Education (learning with parents and children together), class Shabbat services, field trips, holiday programs, retreats, and other opportunities for learning and community-building for the entire family. 

Kehal Kodesh Hebrew School teaches Hebrew in fun and meaningful way to students in grades 3-7 on Tuesday afternoons from 4:30-6:00 p.m. The goals of our Hebrew program are for our students to: become knowledgeable in the structure and meaning of the Shabbat and holiday liturgy; decode, read, and write Hebrew consonants and vowels; familiarize themselves with Hebrew and Jewish life vocabulary; and experiment with Modern Hebrew. We are educating our children for life-long learning and participation in congregational life, not for one specific  lifecycle event. At Kehal Kodesh Hebrew School, we teach students in the classroom, using a variety of active, artistic, written, and musical experiences.

For more information, please contact Rabbi Meredith Kahan, Associate Rabbi and Educator. 

Opening Day - Sunday, August 25th at 9:30am!

shabbat@Home Tonight: No services at Rockdale

As a reminder, there will not be services at Rockdale tonight as we celebrate Shabbat@Home. We have pre-recorded services for you all to watch along--whether you are hosting a Shabbat dinner, joining as a guest, or celebrating on your own.

Shabbat Shalom!

Watch stream here.


Friday, January 25

We invite you to find meaning, to forge connections and to belong, by being host for Shabbat@Home.

We are looking for both hosts and guests for Shabbat dinner on January 25 as we strive to deepen community connections around the dinner table. Hosts, please consider opening your hearts and home by inviting guests to share a Shabbat dinner with you and your family. You can invite friends and colleagues. If you see someone in the halls of the temple, or a fellow religious school family, invite them. If you see someone in an adult education class or committee meeting and you'd like to get to know them better, invite them. If there are extra seats at your table, consider welcoming those who have signed up through our website to be guests. Dinners do not need to be fancy, but rather a chance to be together and get to know one another around the table.

Both guests and hosts can sign up HERE

Rockdale Temple will provide each host with challah, grape juice, prayer sheets, and discussion questions to help you break the ice. We will also pre-record and stream Shabbat services that evening.

Please note: we will not be having services at Rockdale Temple on January 25.

*We do have limited funding available to offset dinner costs. Rockdale Temple can offer up to $10/guest for the first 100 guests with dinner receipts and a photo of your group. For groups where the majority are under 35, dinner funding is available from You must register in advance, and may only receive reimbursement from one source.

Dan Nichols: Artist-in-Residence

Dan Nichols
October 26-28, 2018

Spend a musical weekend with the Rockdale Temple community as we sing, pray, and learn with Jewish singer-songwriter, Dan Nichols!

Friday, October 26
Rock Shabbat, 6:15 p.m.

Dan leads our monthly Rock Shabbat, an upbeat, music-filled Shabbat service for all ages! Dinner will follow the service. Dinner cost is $14/adults, and $6/kids aged 4-12, with a family maximum of $40. Kids under 4 are free! RSVP here by October 24.

Saturday, October 27
RUACH Shabbat Service & Brunch, 11 a.m. (Growler House)

RUACH will host a musical Shabbat brunch with Dan Nichols! Dan will teach us, inspire us, and celebrate Shabbat with us through song. Jewish young professionals, their significant others and friends, and those exploring Judaism, ages 21-39 are welcome.

Havdalah & House Concert, 8 p.m. (Home of Rabbis Coran & Kraus)
Join us in an intimate, musical experience for adults with Dan Nichols as we celebrate Havdalah in the home of Rabbi Coran and Rabbi Kraus. RSVP here by October 24.

Sunday, October 28
Community Concert, 11:30 a.m.

Our community is invited to sing along with Dan at a special concert, featuring Rockdale's religious school students. This concert follows a morning of musical programming for our students. All are welcome! 

Welcome to ShulCloud

Karen Martin

In the course of the last year, your Rockdale Temple staff has been working hard to update some of our critical systems, including our database software. We were looking for software that would give our community a better way to interact with the Temple online and more control of their information, while also giving us a better way to ensure we are staying in touch and meeting your needs.  After months of research and preparation, we will be launching ShulCloud, the next step in congregational communication, this June. By the time you receive your membership packet (look for those in your mailbox by June 15), you’ll be able to log in to our new website, update your personal information, pay your Sacred Annual Commitment online, and make a donation to Rockdale anytime the mood strikes!

The new website will be live on June 4, and you are welcome and encouraged to explore. If we have an email address for your family, you will receive an email with login information on June 4. Any adult members of a household for whom we have an email address should be able to log in. If you do not receive an email on June 4 and would like to be able to access your account online, please reach out to the Rockdale Temple office at 513-891-9900, or email Patty at

Once you are able to log in, you can view and update all of the information on your account. For starters:

•  Click on "View & edit your profile” to review your personal information, and then click on each of the other categories under your name (Contact Info, Business, Other and About Me) to make sure that the information in your profile is correct. When done, scroll to the bottom of the page and select "Save changes to person".

•  On your Welcome screen, scroll down the screen to "Manage People" and review or add your family members by clicking “Edit” next to their name(s) or "Add New Person".

•  The person whose name is preceded with an "*" is the Primary person within your account. We recommend that the Primary person be the bill payer in the household. To switch roles between Primary and Secondary, click "Edit Your Family" and then the "Switch" button at the top of the screen. Make certain to scroll to the bottom of the page to “Save Changes to Account”. If bill paying is a shared role, it's your choice as to who is Primary.

•  Scroll further down the screen to review your yahrzeits. If you would like to add Yahrzeits to your account, please contact Paige Barker, in the Rockdale Temple office to receive information about our Perpetual Memory program.

•  Note: There are two sections within your Welcome screen which do not need to be edited. "My Subscriptions" and "My Events" are features we will explain and enable in the future.

All done? Click on the “Welcome” button at the top of the screen and click “Sign out.” The procedure above explains logging in for the first time. To subsequently log in, use the website address www.rockdaletemple. org in your browser and then click the “Login” button at the top right. Enter your email address and password and click “Sign in”. Looking for the other uses of ShulCloud? Sit tight. We’ll let you know about more opportunities to use this system to interact directly with us as they come up. In the meantime, we encourage you to log into your ShulCloud account and explore! If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Paige or Patty (contact information above) or me, Karen Martin,


Rockdale Temple is the oldest congregation west of the Allegheny Mountains, but we are always looking for new ways to better serve our members and our community. shabbatCTY is Rockdale’s most recent foray into innovative programming, as we hosted a special Shabbat service overlooking beautiful Findlay Market in Over-the-Rhine in April 2018.

The idea for a Shabbat service in the city originally came from Philip T. Cohen, a past president of Rockdale Temple, who expressed his desire to see more young people taking advantage of all that Rockdale has to offer. Joe Hirschhorn, who served as part of the team that helped make Phil’s idea a reality, says that shabbatCTY was designed with the hope to not just attract young people, but to “draw an entirely different crowd—or at least some different people who don’t make it out to Ridge Road for Shabbat.”

“I love OTR, and I thought it would be a great place to spend time with friends,” says Caroline Winstel-McLeod, a new member of Rockdale. The bright and attractive new venue added to the excitement of the service, but it was the spirit and the community that set the program apart. shabbatCTY is about the experience—loosely structured, it’s partially social, partially religious, and almost entirely musical. “The atmosphere was so cool. All of the young professionals from RUACH were in a row together, and we were all singing really loud. There was just a youthful energy, and everyone was ridiculously welcoming.” The service didn’t have a formal sermon—that time was used for people to meet one another and study Torah.

The Rockdale leadership heading shabbatCTY are working to grow the program to new locations throughout our urban core and to attract even more newcomers, and the spirit of the event will only continue to grow along with it. Even in its early days, shabbatCTY has come to reflect the truths and values of the dedicated people who helped bring it to life—it’s community, it’s accepting, it’s spiritual, and it meets you where you are.

Come into the FoRT!

Families of Rockdale Temple (FoRT) is one of Rockdale’s most fresh and exciting programs. FoRT is a growing community of Jewish families with children aged six and under and their older siblings. The group is spearheaded by Stephanie De Falco, Alexis Nordrum, and Rabbi Meredith Kahan, along with a committee of dedicated parents and grandparents of young children. Together, FoRT’s leadership puts on monthly programming designed to engage and educate kids and parents alike, including Havdalah PJ parties with adults-only beer tastings, Spaghetti in the Sukkah, Challah Shabbat, and FoRT on the Farm.

“We all want to get together and be together, and to enjoy Jewish activities and watch our children enjoy them, too—that’s the spirit of the group,” says FoRT co-Chair Stephanie De Falco. FoRT events teach children what it means to be Jewish, and a key piece of that is seeing themselves and their parents as part of the friendly and caring community that FoRT has become. “We want to make sure everyone leaves having gotten something out of it. When an event is created with the intention of making a program fun and meaningful for kids, it’s also fun and meaningful for the parents.”

FoRT programs weave a fine balance of family togetherness, kid playtime, and adult camaraderie. Most months, families celebrate Shabbat with musical, interactive services and enjoy a meal together. Afterward, kids play together while adults socialize and build community. Stephanie says “it’s quality time together after a busy week that, if it weren’t for FoRT, we wouldn’t have had.” FoRT Shabbat alternates between Friday evenings, Saturday mornings, and Saturday early evenings with Havdalah.

FoRT co-Chair Alexis Nordrum was pregnant with her first child when the group got its start. “It was perfect for me to get to know other parents of young kids in a city where I had no family. I wanted my kids to understand the meaning of a Jewish community.” Alexis, like others in the group, describes FoRT as a community that is overwhelmingly laidback and nonjudgmental, encouraging families to come and go as their schedules allow. The short, kid-friendly services make it easier for busy families to go to temple and feel engaged by programming that doesn’t treat either the children or their parents as an afterthought. Now a veteran FoRT member and expecting her second child, Alexis believes FoRT was—and will continue to be—instrumental in her young family’s Jewish life.

FoRT was formed at the onset of Rockdale’s participation in a URJ Community of Practice centered on Creating Connected Communities of Families with Young Children. Together with URJ leadership, experts, and our cohort, Rabbi Kahan, Stephanie, and Alexis learned how to best reach, welcome, engage, and connect young families here at Rockdale. FoRT is financially supported by a generous grant from the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati.

You can stay up to date with FoRT via, or email or Rabbi Kahan at for more information.

Fri, May 24 2024 16 Iyar 5784