TAXY – Temple of Aaron Generations X & Y
Rabbi Fine’s first task at Temple of Aaron was to build a chevre of young Jewish professionals in their 20s and 30s. It was an immediate success, engaging hundreds of TAXY members through social engagement, religious observance, and educational programming. Highlights include a Celebrity Charity Bowling event, Sukkah Bar Crawl, and a national panel of speakers on Jewish Education. TAXY won a Schechter Award for programming in 2013.
Temple of Aaron has boomed on Shabbat morning through a variety of initiatives. In 2017 Rabbi Fine and ToA pushed for a Holy Playground. This turned Temple of Aaron into more than just services on Shabbat morning but a place to connect to Judaism, spirituality, God and community. Among many offerings was Rabbi Fine’s Meditative Service focused on ones inner thoughts through traditional prayer.
Rabbi Fine spearheaded the Temple of Aaron’s Adult Education. Coining it Thinking Jewishly, Rabbi Fine has brought stability and creativity to what is now a robust adult education program. Through learning outside the synagogue, technology, and classes on all levels Temple of Aaron has developed a comprehensive and inclusive adult education program. Courses have included Skyping Rabbis Around the World, Kings: The Death of David, weekly Pirkei Avot class at a local coffee shop and more.
Vegan Synagogue Challenge
In 2017 Rabbi Fine and Temple of Aaron received a national grant to combine Vegan foods and programming into the synagogue planning. The events will include Vegan Cheese and Wine night for Young Women, a vegan tour of the Minnesota Fair and other events that will reach hundreds of unique participants.
Rabbi Fine placed a major emphasis on the three central elements of Shabbat; Ritual, Education and community. Through a fundraising campaign he instituted weekly kiddish luncheons, experiential youth Shabbat experiences, and diverse educational offerings. Shabbat has truly become an immersive experience at Temple of Aaron and has quadrupled in attendance since Rabbi Fine took over. Hope to see you there!
Artist-In-Residence / Scholar-In-Residence / Athlete-In-Residence
In 2013/2014 Rabbi Fine developed a week-long Artist-in-Residence program. This week long synagogue experience included visits to local Jewish organizations and runs education for all ages. Rabbi Fine secured money for 4 years of the program. Its initial year, Temple of Aaron hosted Jon Adam Ross (JonAdamRoss.com) and in 2015 musician Naomi Less. Scholar-in-Residence was a program Rabbi Fine reinstated using scholars who not only bring quality education but fascinating stories that help individuals visualize practical Jewish learning. The Athlete-in-Residence is an opportunity to meet and schmooze with great Jews in sports. The event has hosted MLB’s First Designated Hitter Ron Blomberg, former NFL QB Jay Fiedler, and former 76ers GM Brad Greenberg.
Exciting Holiday Enhancements
Rabbi Fine has dedicated himself to establishing larger participation for the Jewish Holidays. Using innovative programming, congregants and unaffiliated have come to enjoy Temple of Aaron’s twist on religious practices. Programming has included; Hannukah Miracle! Rabbis Turn into Bar Tenders , Sukkah Crawls, Annual 2nd Seder with Haroset and Deviled Eggs Bar (and more), and Adult Murder Mystery Purim!
Public Space Judaism
Rabbi Fine takes Temple of Aaron’s Judaism outside the synagogue. Summer of 2015 ToA hosted four Kids Concerts in underserved Jewish communities. The concerts including Jewish kids musicians, free Kosher ice cream, and it was free to the public. The synagogue throughout the year held booths at festivals including Grand Ole Days the Midwest’s largest one day festival!
Tikone is one of Rabbi Fine’s newest programs. Developed to allow more socialization in Religious school and a more active learning model, Tikone USY launched in 2014. Thus far the program has attracted more students and an interest from various educations. In 2016 it enabled TUSY to win EMTZA’s Regional Chapter of the Year for the first time in 23 years.
5 for Fridays
In an attempt to reach all 900+ families more frequently, one of Rabbi Fine’s first initiatives was to great the 5 for Fridays program. Every week Rabbi Fine calls, at random, five families to merely wish them a “Shabbat Shalom.” The program has been a nice way for outreach and people look forward to the phone calls.
Rabbi Fine’s biggest goal has been to increase synagogue attendance on Shabbat mornings. Through various educational programming, Rabbi Fine has transformed the Bimah into a place where unique learning takes place. A Vision Speaker Series and The Great Rabbis Debate highlight the Bimah as new, rich and exciting place to learn. The Visions themes have included The Future of Twin Cities Jewry, New Trends in the Jewish World, A New Perspective on Israel, and The Future of Conservative Judaism. The Great Debate featured spirited conversations over The Fall of Eden, Was Noah Really Righteous?, and Moses a Justified Murderer?
Rabbi Fine has worked hard to have a great relationship with many affiliates in the Twin Cities, as well as all over the country. No program better captures that commitment than Fridays at the St. Paul JCC where Rabbi Fine created a program to spend Shabbat with the children. It is the highlight of his week. Rabbi Fine also hosted a basketball game called RavBall – a weekly open basketball game.
Rabbi Fine has been tasked with reshaping or creating the following affinity groups:
- College Kesher – This program connects our congregants to their synagogue while they are away at college. College Kesher provides programming during vacations, holiday packages, and summer resources.
- Golden Kepah – This long standing Torah reading program has been updated to incorporate technology and engage life-long Torah readers.
- Chesed – Provides aid and resources for internal members including making shiva minyan, shiva meals, and other mitzvot.
- Israel – Temple of Aaron’s first Israel committee helps provide resources for the community including monthly articles and speakers. The group works closely with the Partnership Project, AIPAC, JNF, and Israel Bonds.
- Boomers – Our newest group connects members 50+ years old with social activities and exclusive learning opportunities.
- Kiddish Club – The Kiddish Club helps with idea to enhance food and drink options and provide ruach for various events and holidays.