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October 4, 2015 | 21st Tishrei 5776

Synagogue Showcases Facilities and Services Available to Mayo Clinic Patients

Annette Powers

May 17, 2011, Rochester, MN - On Sunday, staff and congregants from B'nai Israel Synagogue in Rochester, Minn., welcomed community members for an open house to tour their beautiful award-winning sanctuary, library and classrooms.

Community members also had the opportunity to learn about services B'nai Israel Synagogue provides to Jewish visitors, many seeking medical treatment, who come to Mayo Clinic in Rochester each year.

"The open house gave us the opportunity to show how we meet our dual mission -- serving our Jewish residents and Jewish patients and their families who visit Rochester," says Rabbi Michelle Werner of B'nai Israel Synagogue.

B'nai Israel synagogue strives to meet the religious, cultural and social needs of all who visit the synagogue by providing:

  • Chaplaincy services
  • Companionship with the local Jewish community
  • Synagogue tours
  • An extensive Jewish library with over 1,500 volumes
  • A beautifully stocked gift shop

The open house was part of a new initiative at B'nai Israel Synagogue to reach out to Jewish patients and their families who visit Rochester. "Due to privacy regulations, we are unaware of the presence of Jewish patients until they are hospitalized or if some member happens to be in touch with them," says Alex Lupu, B'nai Israel Synagogue President. "This new program will proactively reach out to patients and their families to inform them of our presence and to encourage them to initiate their first call to us."

B'nai Israel Synagogue was one of 20 congregations in North America recently awarded a Union for Reform Judaism Incubator Grant to fund these outreach activities.

For more information about B'nai Israel Synagogue, contact the synagogue staff at 507-288-5558 or

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