Historical records tell us that the first Jews living in Toledo arrived in 1837. As the Jewish population of Ohio continued to grow, so too did the Toledo Jewish community. Congregation Shomer Emunim was founded in 1870, and then was dissolved, but by 1875 the congregation was reorganized as a Reform congregation, with services being held in store rooms and homes. The name of the congregation, selected by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, founder of Reform Judaism in America, was "Shomer Emunim - Guardian of the Faithful," taken from the Book of Isaiah (26:2) "Open the gates, and let a righteous nation enter, [a nation] that keeps the faith."
The first place of worship was a small church rented from a Christian congregation located on 11th Street between Madison and Jefferson in downtown Toledo. In 1879, it was decided to raise the then grand sum of $12,500 to build a Sanctuary. A small structure was built on Tenth Street between Washington and Monroe. As the Jewish population was centered near the building, it was considered an ideal location. The Temple was personally dedicated by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise.
The Toledo Jewish community grew, and after 23 years, the congregation moved to a larger building on Scottwood Avenue between Monroe and Bancroft, which had previously been used by Epworth United Methodist Church. In 1916, with a growing membership, the congregation built a major new synagogue on Collingwood Avenue, known affectionately as the "Collingwood Avenue Temple." By 1950, Reform Judaism was a vital and flourishing movement and the building was enlarged. Five years later, another addition was made to the building.
In 1973, our beautiful edifice on Sylvania Avenue was built and dedicated. Today, The Temple remains a vibrant institution. Our school educates hundreds of children; young and old families find meaningful spiritual, social, educational and service activities; and we continue to espouse the highest principles of our faith in the general community.
Reform Judaism affirms the central tenets of Judaism - God, Torah and Israel - even as it acknowledges the diversity of Reform Jewish beliefs and practices. We believe that all human beings are created in the image of God, and that we are God's partners in improving the world. Tikkun olam — repairing the world — is a hallmark of Reform Judaism as we strive to bring peace, freedom and justice to all people.
Reform Jews accept the Torah as the foundation of Jewish life containing God's ongoing revelation to our people and the record of our people's ongoing relationship with God. We see the Torah as God inspired, a living document that enables us to confront the timeless and timely challenges of our everyday lives.
In addition to our belief that Judaism must change and adapt to the needs of the day to survive and our firm commitment to Tikkun Olam, the following principles distinguish Reform Jews from other streams of Judaism in North America.
Reform Jews are committed to the principle of inclusion, not exclusion. Since 1978 the Reform Movement has been reaching out to Jews-by-choice and interfaith families, encouraging them to embrace Judaism. Reform Jews consider children to be Jewish if they are the child of a Jewish father or mother, so long as the child is raised as a Jew.
Reform Jews are committed to the absolute equality of women in all areas of Jewish life. We were the first movement to ordain women rabbis, invest women cantors and elect women presidents of our synagogues.
Reform Jews are also committed to the full participation of gays and lesbians in synagogue life as well as society at large.
Samuel R. Weinstein, D.Min., M.S.
A native of Pittsburgh, Rabbi Samuel R. Weinstein graduated from Columbia University in New York with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1977. Rabbi Weinstein began his rabbinic studies at the Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem, Israel in 1978. Returning to the Cincinnati campus of the College after a year of study, he received his Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters in June 1981. His thesis was entitled, "Rabbinic Perceptions of Aaron." He received rabbinic ordination from the College on June 4, 1982. Rabbi Weinstein also holds a Master of Science degree in Counseling from Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania and was elected into PSI CHI, The National Honor Society in Psychology. His thesis, written in the area of grief and bereavement, was entitled, "Conversations With The Dead: Preparing For Life After The Death of our Spouse." He has also earned the Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. His doctoral work focused on the dynamic of the congregation in the area of Pastoral Care. Rabbi Weinstein was certified by the American Academy of Bereavement as a Bereavement Facilitator in March 1998 and holds a training certificate in ministering to the Spiritual Needs of the Sick and Dying. On June 3, 2007, Rabbi Weinstein was awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity by the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion.
After ordination, Rabbi Weinstein served The Temple in Atlanta, Georgia for five years, as Assistant Rabbi and then as the congregation's first Associate Rabbi in its 120-year history. Rabbi Weinstein then served as spiritual leader of Temple Anshe Hesed in Erie, Pennsylvania for five years. While in Erie, Rabbi Weinstein conducted summer worship services at the Chautauqua Institution in New York and served on the faculty of Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Since 1992 Rabbi Weinstein has been the Senior Rabbi of The Temple/ Congregation Shomer Emunim in Sylvania (Toledo), Ohio. He has served on the rabbinic faculty of Goldman Union Camp Institute in Zionsville, Indiana, and on the adjunct faculty of the Hebrew Union College as a Mayerson Fieldwork Supervisor.
Rabbi Weinstein served as a Chaplain in the Reserve of the United States Air Force for over 27 years. Included among his decorations are the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal of the United States of America with four Oak Leaf Clusters and the Legion of Merit. Rabbi Weinstein has also served as a speaker at National Chaplains' Conventions and has published material for the Air Force Chaplain Board and the Military Chaplains' Review. He holds Air Force Training Certificates in Chaplain Medical Readiness and Trauma Pastoral Care. He also holds a Certificate from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in Managing and Resolving Workplace Conflicts. Rabbi Weinstein has graduated from Air Command and Staff College (correspondence) and is a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Air Force Air War College (correspondence). Rabbi Weinstein has served as a chaplain at the base/wing level, was the Individual Mobilization Augmentee to the Division Chief, Programs, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright Patterson AFB OH; served as the Individual Mobilization Augmentee to the Division Chief, Personnel, at the Office of the Chief of the Chaplain Corps, Headquarters United States Air Force, Washington, DC and served as the Individual Mobilization Augmentee to the Command Chaplain, Air Combat Command, Langley AFB VA. Rabbi Weinstein then returned to the Office of the Chief of Chaplain Corps, Headquarters United States Air Force, Washington, DC and served for three years as the Mobilization Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Chaplains. He retired from the military in 2009.
Rabbi Weinstein is an active participant in the Toledo community. He serves on the Pastoral Care Advisory Board of St. Vincent Health Center, has served on the Board of the Victory Center, is a member of the Crisis Response Team of the Ottawa Hills Local Schools, and has worked with the American Cancer Society of Toledo on the Memorials Committee. He is also on the Executive Board of the Interracial Religious Coalition.
Cantor Jen Roher served as the Cantor of The Temple Congregation Shomer Emunim from 2005-2010 before moving to Los Angeles and is delighted to be returning to serve this wonderful community on a part-time basis. Over the past eight years, Cantor Roher has served as the Cantor of Temple Ahavat Shalom in Northridge, CA; the Cantor of the Synagogue at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, where she also served as the Music Director for HUC-JIR’s graduation and ordination ceremonies; the B’nei Mitzvah Program Director for Temple Beth Hillel in Valley Village, CA; and a member of the staff at Temple Judea in Tarzana, CA.
Cantor Roher is an active volunteer in the American Conference of Cantors on a regional and national level. She serves on the ACC’s Publications Committee, which guides the projects of Transcontinential Music Publications, occasionally serving as a music editor. She has presented workshops, led worship, and sung in concerts at ACC national conventions as well as at URJ Biennials, and served as a mentor for new members of the ACC. She has chaired the Midwinter Conference of the Western Region of the ACC, which she looks forward to chairing again in 2019, and will serve as a co-chair of the ACC’s national convention in 2020 in San Diego.
Cantor Roher received her Master’s of Sacred Music from the HUC-JIR Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music in 2004, and was ordained as a cantor by that institution in 2005. She holds a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education from the Hartt School at the University of Hartford, and also attended the Eastman School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division. Cantor Roher met her husband, Ryan Smith, in 2005 at the Temple. They married in 2007, and have two sons, Elijah and Gabriel. The Roher-Smith family lives in Columbus, OH, where Ryan works as an editor at the Columbus Dispatch.
Bios to come.
First Vice President
Bios to come.
second vice president
Bios to come.
Dr. Jeanine Huttner
Bios to come.
Bios to come.
Immediate Past President
Bios to come.
Board of Trustees
Dr. Jason Levine
Steve Dolin (Brotherhood)
Dr. Julie Kalniz
Doug Federman, M.D.
Ernest Brookfield, M.D.
Steve Shall, D.D.S.
Lawrence C. Levey
Allan Miller, D.O.
Irwin Silverman, Ph.D.