Temple Kol Ami is an Independent, Dynamic, and welcoming Jewish Congregation Serving the needs of Fort Mill, Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, York County, and the surrounding areas

303 Tom Hall Street Fort Mill, SC

Temple Kol Ami is located in Fort Mill, York County, South Carolina welcoming Jewish individuals, couples, and families from all walks of Jewish life. Jews with more traditional backgrounds, interfaith couples, and those who are rediscovering their faith. As a congregation in York County we celebrate and embrace the joys of Judaism through ritual, culture, and our Religious School.

Temple Kol Ami has Shabbat services the first and third Friday of the month at 7pm. Services are held in the Historic Sanctuary at Unity Presbyterian 303 Tom Hall Street Fort Mill, SC

 Please join us for services

Friday night, May 2nd at 7:00pm



Temple Kol Ami Youth Gives Back

Ava Whitt, Daughter of Carolyn and Aaron Whitt and sister of Ian made a selfless decision to donate 10 inches of her hair to Locks of Love. Ava spent months growing her hair to help support the Locks of Love mission. The decision to do this made her parents very proud as it was Ava’s idea to do. Ava did not hesitate for one moment while having it cut and is now in the process of growing it again with plans of making another donation. Her hair will be used to help children suffering from long-term or permanent medical hair loss. This is a great example of a selfless act of kindness from the youth of our congregation.


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Join the Kol Ami

Koffee Klatch

image020On May 13th the Kol Ami Koffee Klatch will meet at Jump n' Java Cafe 1646 Hwy 160 W Ste F Fort MillSC 29708 from 10:30 - 11:30.

Come make new friends and talk about today’s current events or whatever is on your mind

For more information please contact Scheili Deitch


yom hashoa add

May 4, 2014 – 1 PM


Guest Speaker Suly Chenkin

Topic: “A Survivor’s Story”


Before World War II, Warsaw was a major center of Jewish life and culture in Poland. The Warsaw community was second only to New York City in Jewish population. A year after the German invasion of Poland in 1939, a half million Jews, representing 30% of the entire population of Warsaw, as well as its outlying Jewish population, were crowded into a ghetto comprising 2.4% of the city’s land area, where on average, 7.2 persons lived in every available room. The enclosed area, known as the Warsaw Ghetto, was sectioned off from the rest of the city—sealed, walled, and guarded. Food allocations were rationed. Between 1940 and mid-1942, 83,000 Jews died of starvation and disease in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Unbelievably, in this tiny, crowded, unsanitary place the Jewish community was able to create an extensive educational and cultural system, establish networks of welfare systems and mutual aid, all the while preserving the Sabbath and Jewish festivals. The attitude of the Jewish community was that nothing the Nazis could do to them would rob them of their human dignity, their age-old spiritual values, and their millennia-old commitment to their faith and tradition. Knowing that they were created in the image of God, and that Jewish martyrs throughout the ages had suffered similar physical afflictions, they fought in every way to maintain their sense of self and their humanity.

Dr. Emanuel Ringelbaum, who is known as the “historian of the Warsaw Ghetto,” had documented, beginning in 1939—before the ghetto was sealed off—a secret history of the events taking place there. “Even though we are condemned to death, we have not lost the aspect of human beings,” he said. His archives were saved in milk cans and metal boxes and buried under buildings in the ghetto. Two of the three document stashes were found after the war. Ringelbaum was imprisoned in 1944 and was murdered, along with his family, at the age of 44.

One of the rabbis of that period, Rabbi Isaac Nissenbaum of Warsaw, used the term “Kiddush Ha-Hayyim” or “sanctification of life” to describe the need for Jews to both spiritually and forcibly resist the Nazis, whose intention it was to annihilate the Jewish people. He urged Jews to do the unexpected—to abandon passivity and resignation and to cling tenaciously to life – to fight for life. "Once when our enemies demanded our soul [in reference to historical attempts to force the Jewish people to abandon their religion], the Jew martyred his body. Today when the enemy demands the body, it is the Jew’s obligation to preserve his life."

Although well-known to many of us, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was not the only heroic act in defiance of Nazi cruelty. In 1943, there were similar, although smaller scale, rebellions in Treblinka and Sobibor, both sites of extermination camps. In April 1943, Jewish partisans in occupied Belgium attacked a train carrying Jews to Auschwitz and assisted several hundred to escape.

In Warsaw, under the leadership of Mordechai Anielewicz, a “Jewish Fighting Organization” was formed. Arms had been smuggled inside the Warsaw Ghetto walls and primitive explosives and sabotage materials were manufactured. An uprising organized to begin on the Eve of Passover shocked the Germans. However, three weeks after the uprising began, in May 1943, 50,000 of the 52,000 Jews left in the Ghetto had been killed, including Anielewicz, who had been described by chronicler Ringelbaum as “the soul of the resistance.” The spirit of these brave fighters did not die, however, as we continue to remember the uprising today, more than 70 years later, with awe, admiration and respect.

Anielewicz, who was 24 when he died, wrote to a friend on April 23, 1943:

Be well, my friend! Perhaps we will see one another again. The most important thing is that my life's dream has come true. Jewish self-defense in the ghetto has been realized. Jewish retaliation and resistance has become a fact. I have been witness to the magnificent heroic battle of the Jewish fighters.

He died in the Warsaw Ghetto May 8, 1943.

StatueIn the State of Israel today, nestled on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, is a kibbutz named Yad Mordechai, after this brave young fighter. “Yad Mordechai” translates into “the hand of Mordechai” and also “a memorial or monument.” This kibbutz (one like many others in Israel, traditionally founded on an agricultural basis but now supporting various endeavors, from manufacturing to hotel management) is known for its honey. There, a bronze sculpture was installed for all to see, a proud reminder of the lessons Mordechai Anielewicz taught and the values he symbolized.


Please join us at Temple Kol Ami, 303 Tom Hall in Fort Mill, on Sunday, May 4, 2014 at 1:00 PM when we conduct a Holocaust Memorial Service and hear a presentation by guest speaker and Holocaust survivor Mrs. Suly Chenkin, whose talk is entitled: “A Survivor’s Story.” As a very young child in Lithuania (Lithuania shares a border with Poland), Suly was separated from her parents during the war but later reunited in 1947. Her family were among the 5% who miraculously survived the Kovno Ghetto. Hear her first-hand story and join with those who vow “never to forget.”