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Eruv is Pending for Shabbat November 20-21

This is Island Synagogue

A Modern Orthodox congregation that welcomes Jews of all backgrounds
and levels of observance


Click  HERE  for Wednesday Zoom class

Click HERE for Thursday Talmud class

Click HERE for Island Synagogue Facebook Class

Code To Joy: The World’s Happiest Kept Secret

IT'S A QUESTION that has launched a thousand self-help seminars, a riddle that has perplexed multitudes, a mystery that enthralled the ancients: What is the secret of happiness? Jewish thought has long emphasized the importance of living with joy. But how? And can you really choose to be happy?

This extraordinary course goes beneath the surface to find answers. Synthesizing timeless Jewish wisdom and the latest findings from the field of positive psychology, we look at how wealth, meaning, trust, optimism, regret, faith, introspection, mindfulness, relationships, and ritual all interrelate with our outlook on life. Packed with spiritual insights you can apply to real life, you’ll love every minute of discover-ing the Code to Joy.

We invite you to crack the code and find the key to J-O-Y in every lesson.

Please email me at to register and for the zoom link. 


Devorah Kornfeld

Tour Jerusalem Live - click flyer to register!

Island Synagogue Featured in Mercer Island Living!

Larger version can be seen by clicking HERE

Yom Kippur Appeal 2020

In case you missed it, below is the text of the High Holidays Appeal on Monday 9/28.  Here is a link to the video

Shana Tova
Thank you all for being here tonight. It's not something that we take for granted, especially this year.
What makes this Yom Kippur night different from all other Yom Kippur nights? Instead of sitting together,
we sit six feet apart. Instead of shaking hands, we wash our hands. Instead of sharing smiles, we wear
facemasks. We are protecting one another. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to see everyone pulling
I'm sure everyone here misses Kiddush, and all our other social events and gatherings. I miss them. We
will be back, when it is safe. In the meantime, our priority is to keep everyone safe, and hold to our
Yiddishkeit in these complex times.
In the meantime, Island Synagogue is doing everything possible. Our Eruv experts finally got Shorewood
into the Eruv. We held services onsite basically as soon as it was allowed, outside at first, with a variety
of safety measures recommended by Dr. Ze'ev Young. Later we moved inside, and added daily online
classes with Rabbi Kornfeld and Rabbi Toban. Our volunteers took their Shofars all over the island for
members and other Jews who didn't feel comfortable coming to us. And of course, Rabbi Kornfeld spends
immeasurable time visiting the sick and comforting mourners.
Island Synagogue is a special community. We hold true to Torah, but we are open to people from all
different backgrounds, and at different places in their journey. We are community, and we are family,
built around our Rabbi, and built by so many special people who do so much.
We don't have the resources of larger shuls. We have a small but dedicated part-time staff, a few
amazing volunteers and a great board. I wish I could thank everyone who deserves it, but I can only
name a few:
* Rabbi Kornfeld, who jumped cheerfully into online learning, rethought every aspect of the prayer
service for COVID safety, on top of everything he does at the shul and in our community;
* Keith Apperson, our Executive Director, who has really stepped up to all the challenges we have
* Cantor Ari Goldwag, who made a long journey to enrich us with his voice and spirit;
* Dr. Ze'ev Young, our medical advisor, who has guided us every step of the way with the latest
science, along with blowing Shofar at Islander Middle School and in front of several homes;
* Rob Back, our Operations Director, who drives all things physical and arranges for continuous
* Rich Gilmore, our perennial usher, who arranges his life so that he can guide and protect us all
during services;
* Finally, I would like to thank my wife Naomi and all the spouses and families of our volunteers and
staff, for supporting us and putting up with our frequent and sometimes unplanned absences.
I need to be honest about where things stand right now. Island Synagogue has never been able to
operate from dues alone. I don't know of any synagogue which does. Beyond that, we lost income from
the shutdown. Some members are having serious financial difficulties and have reduced their
contributions. So, those of you who are still financially sound, we need you to increase your General
Fund donations from previous years. Think about whether you are still doing okay, and if you are,
consider a substantial increase for this year. I know this is a lot to ask, but it's what Island Synagogue
needs to stay healthy. Some of you have already stepped up --- you know who you are - but it's not
enough yet. We need everyone.
Island Synagogue's future can be bright. The Jewish community in Seattle is growing fast. Mercer Island
is highly desirable. We have so much opportunity for growth if we come out of this chapter healthy.
In times like these, we decide what is important to us. Institutions we care about are deeply challenged
by COVID. We need to put our values into action, now. By the next High Holidays, I expect we will be
able to resume our normal life in the synagogue, maybe with a few safety adjustments. We can get
through this time and build an even stronger Jewish community.
Thank you for your generosity. Thanks to everyone who made it possible for us to be here together.
G'mar Chatimah Tovah - may you and all those you love be inscribed and sealed for health, contentment
and prosperity this year and always.

Jon Newman

Daily Indoor Services


Shacharit will tentatively be Sundays @ 8am,  Mondays through Thursdays 7am. Please call or Text Rabbi Kornfeld @ 206-679-9117 to confirm your participation and to confirm it will be happening. 

- Please let us know you are coming to in-person services (daily or Shabbat) by clicking HERE. Please review and confirm our important health policies.



Our hospitality committee is dedicated to creating a welcoming atmosphere for observant Jews visiting Island Synagogue.

We can arrange lodging and meals over Shabbat and holidays for singles, couples and families. We also provide information about where to find kosher food.

If you are visiting Western Washington, or would like simply to visit Island Synagogue for Shabbat or a holiday, please contact us at and we will do our best to accommodate your needs and introduce you to our warm community.

Tue, November 24 2020 8 Kislev 5781