Home "The AZ Insider" with Kathy Shayna Shocket AZ Insider: Temple Solel's Pet Shabbat

Kathy Shayna Shocket has the inside scoop on Arizona's social scene

solel pet 1

Pet Shabbat at Temple Solel a hit!

Located in the courtyard of Temple Solel, just beyond the 
tables of fruit, bagels and cream cheese that were placed oh so carefully on a lower level buffet were... dog bones! And there were plenty of water bowls of varying sizes lining the wall as well. Yes, among the 75 congregants who came to this wonderful Shabbat (day of rest and spiritual enrichment in Judaism) morning service in Paradise Valley were 50 dogs!

This special event is known as Temple Solel’s pet Shabbat- the annual Saturday morning service at which the additional loving doggie family members could participate and pray. The congregation rejoiced in musical song and prayer, along with musical artist Todd Herzog.

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Some dogs howled along. Even the few growls between stranger dogs getting to know each other seemed in harmony with the religious tradition. Attendants chuckled when Rabbi John Linder asked the congregation to rise for a prayer. 
"I expect all the dogs to rise too," he said with an inflection that blended the serious and humorous tone of the service.

(Chicago readers, you might remember Rabbi John Linder. He was at Congregation B’nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim (BJBE) in Glenview, Illinois, prior to joining the clergy of Temple Solel in Scottsdale.)

Pictured above is Ruth Jacobs at the Temple Solel service with her adorable King Charles Cavalier. Pet Shabbat is an abbreviated temple service – with lots of socializing. “It’s so great to share Shabbat with our pets,” says Nelson Lerner. He and wife Lisa are pictured at the Solel service with their dogs Ben and Jerry. “Our dogs are such an integral part of our lives, it’s nice to share and be at the service with them,” adds Nelson.

ben and jerry lerner

By the way, Ben and Jerry are the Lerners’ certified therapy dogs. The two loving Havanese dogs are frequent therapy visitors at The Tempe Boys and Girls Clubs and soon to visit and brighten the day of the kids at Phoenix Crisis Nursery.

I also wanted to share some pics I snapped from the prior Pet Shabbat at Temple Solel. They are so precious. Briana Lieber's attire sparkled for the occasion. Her bright pink backpack was adorned with a fuzzy stuffed dog. She was there with her mother, dog Macy and grandparents Barbara and Harvey Wasserman. 


Pictured below is Larry Lipsman (bagel in hand), Jeff Lipsman and Cathy Lipsman with Farfel at Temple Solel's Pet Shabbat.

shabot with dogs

By the way, Nelson and Lisa Lerner, pictured below with their wonderful therapy dogs Ben and Jerry, were also at the recent breakfast for Gabriel’s Angels.

Gabriel's Angels

Gabriel's Angels is the agency through which the Lerners, Ben and Jerry volunteer.  

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Gabriel’s Angels is a non-profit program that delivers healing pet therapy to at-risk, abused and neglected children. It was founded by Pam Gaber, who is an advocate for abused children. It is named after the first therapy dog Gabriel.


Kathy Shayna Shocket is a freelance Reporter, Photographer and TV -Field Producer based in Phoenix, AZ.She has written and reported for prestigious publications such asTIME magazine, PEOPLE magazine,  MONEY magazine, the Hollywood Reporter and the New York Times. You can reach her at  redkarpetgirl@aol.com