Temple Emanuel of Tempe


Grant abundant joy to these loving friends, as You bestowed gladness upon the beings You created in the Garden of Eden of old. Blessed are You, Adonai, who gladdens brides and grooms.



temple-emanuel-of-tempe-weddings-lifecycle2-500x333Weddings are joyous celebrations, the merging of two people and beginning of a new phase of life. Each wedding ceremony is unique, an expression of the tastes, energies, and values of the couple getting married. At the same time, each wedding partakes of Jewish culture, calling on the timeless symbols and words that turn two loving individuals into a family.

In preparation for the wedding ceremony, each couple meets with Rabbi Dean several times. Together, they discuss both partners’ vision of the service. He explains all aspects of a Jewish wedding, describing which ritual acts are required by Jewish custom and law, which are optional, and how they may be adapted to reflect the couple.  


During these sessions, Rabbi Dean’s goal is to craft the wedding ceremony that’s right for each couple, enabling them to transform from two people in love into a family. Through this process, they get to know each other well.  

In addition, the three speak together about their expectations for the future. They create a safe environment to discuss the sometimes complex issues of married life.

Rabbi Dean officiates at weddings/commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples.

Rabbi Dean officiates at interfaith weddings, provided the non-Jewish spouse has completed Tempe Emanuel’s Discovering Judaism course, or a similar program. (Ideally the Jewish spouse will take the class, too!) This learning enhances the couple’s understanding of each other’s customs and values. It also allows the non-Jewish spouse to participate fully in his/her own wedding, not as an observer to another person’s tradition, but rather as someone who understands what’s involved and feels at home within the wider Jewish community.


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Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, who created joy and happiness, groom and bride, gladness, jubilation, cheer and delight, love, friendship, harmony and fellowship. Adonai our God, let there speedily be heard in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the sound of joy and the sound of happiness, the sound of a groom and the sound of a bride, the sound of exultation of grooms from under their chupah, and youths from their joyous banquets. Blessed are You, Adonai, who gladdens grooms and brides.




I raise my eyes to the mountains:  What is the source of my help?
My help will come from the Eternal, Maker of heaven and earth.

~ Psalm 121



Funerals are sacred. They provide survivors the opportunity to say goodbye, and begin the grieving process. They pay tribute to a loved one. They acknowledge the end of a life with beauty, dignity, and respect, and in so doing they honor life itself. Funerals are sacred and powerful acts of love.

The Jewish funeral service is relatively simple. It consists of passages from Jewish sources, both ancient and modern, of great beauty and wisdom. These help put words to the complex soup of feelings we experience when someone close to us dies. Jewish funerals include the ancient hymn “El Male Rachamim/God Full of Compassion,” and the sacred Mourner’s Kaddish. Funerals typically include a hesped/eulogy, written by the rabbi in consultation with the family. They conclude with burial, aided by the hands and devotion of those who loved the deceased most. They may be conducted at a chapel or entirely at graveside. Family and friends typically gather at someone’s home following the service to begin shiva. Some families mark all seven days of this period of mourning; others abbreviate the observance.

In addition to conducting funerals, Rabbi Shapiro officiates at memorial services, when the body is not present, or at the interment of cremated remains. He is available to guide a family through the entire process of making pre-need arrangements, working with the mortuary and cemetery, planning the service, and shiva.  

There is no charge for the funeral, memorial service, or interment of a member of the Temple Emanuel community. There is a charge for non-members.

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May the Source of peace send peace to all who mourn, and comfort to all who are bereaved.




About a year following a death, loved ones gather at the grave to dedicate a memorial. This simple ceremony is called an “unveiling.”  It provides the family and close friends an opportunity to reconnect with each other. They acknowledge the passage of time and the new shape their lives have taken. Family members are invited to speak to the deceased and to each other.

Although they can be very public, unveilings are typically private, understated events.



Four things are beautiful beyond belief:
The pleasant weakness that comes after pain,
The radiant greenness that comes after rain,
The deepened faith that follows after grief,
And the re-awakening to love again.

~ Author Unknown




It's never too late to become bar/bat Mitzvah. Join our study program and you'll gather with other adults for an amazing experience culminating in a b'nei mitzvah ceremony. No previous education or Hebrew required — all you need is a commitment to learning.

  • Meetings: Group study is offered every two years, and compliments a personalized course of study that you design with Rabbi Dean. Please contact him if you’re interested in getting started!

Temple members only.

Contact: Eve Goodman
Phone: 480-838-1414




A bar or bat mitzvah is an important milestone for Jewish children as they reach their thirteenth birthday. Temple Emanuel's comprehensive program for religious school students includes prayer classes, Haftarah classes and special parent/child meetings with the Rabbi, all in preparation for a meaningful and unforgettable bar or bat mitzvah.

Prayer class — 10 months before bar/bat mitzvah

Torah preparation with Emily — 6 months before bar/bat mitzvah,
Wednesday evenings during religious school classes.
Summer schedule varies.

Parent/child meetings with Rabbi Dean or Rabbi Jason — by appointment.

You will be contacted to schedule four one-hour meetings.

Bimah practice session with Emily Kaye — two weeks before bar/bat mitzvah

Prerequisite: Three years of Jewish education to include two years immediately before the bar/bat mitzvah

Temple members only

Fees: Vary
Registration required: Please call the Temple on your child's 11th birthday

Contact: Eve Goodman
Phone: 480-838-1414