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Answering The Call To End Racism: How To Move Forward

July 1, 2020


“Where are you?” is the first question in the Torah, posed from God to Adam, after the first couple eat from the Tree of Knowledge. The reader understands that God knows where they are physically. The question posed is deeper and existential.

Where are we right now? Among other things, we are living radically constricted lives in response to a deadly pandemic. We need comfort and strength and discipline for the long days ahead...Read more...

Using the light of Chanukah to overcome the winter blues

December 1, 2019


Rabbi Linda Potemken

Chanukah embraces the themes of religious freedom, dedication, sufficiency, sustainability, light and possibility. There are many ways to celebrate this festival. Here are a few suggestions:

Invite others to light candles with you. Relax while the candles are burning. Experiment with different latke recipes. Investigate places most worthy of tzedakah and make contributions in honor of others. Focus on the theme of religious freedom...Read more...


October 1, 2019


Rabbi Linda Potemken

These holidays invite in a wide range of human emotions. We began on Tisha B’Av, sitting on the floor in tears over historic and contemporary tragedies - encountering the destruction of the Temple through Lamentations and the calamity of injustice to migrants through empathy and protest. The High Holidays, the days of awe, are just that - awesome days to engage existential questions, hopes, fears and to continue to right our wrongs. We...Read more...

Welcome to our new rabbinic intern, Janine Julia Jankovitz Pastor!

September 6, 2019


Through the auspices of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College Kleinbaum Internship, we are pleased to welcome to Beth Israel Janine Jankovitz Pastor, who will be serving as a student rabbinic intern with us throughout the year. 

Janine is entering her final year at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She has worked as a student rabbi in several different capacities, including Hillel, chaplain, and has served three...Read more...

Turning to 5780 - A New Year

August 30, 2019


September comes quickly, with summer slipping by without our consent.

The school year resumes, the weather slowly changes and we arrive at a time of self-reflection. The Hebrew month
of Elul, the month that precedes Rosh Hashanah, is traditionally the time for spiritual preparation for the holidays.

With Rosh Hashanah arriving at the end of September, we have this whole month to prepare for the season of repentance,...Read more...


July 1, 2019


Rabbi Linda Potemken

Do you slow down in the summer? If not, I want to encourage you to find a way to do so. One of the best ways to keep equanimity in the face of turbulence is to practice mindfulness. While this is frequently interpreted as meditation - a worthwhile practice - it can also refer to the simple acts of pacing ourselves, limiting multi-tasking and being more present to each moment. Stepping into the restfulness of Shabbat, taking more time in...Read more...

Being Open to Discovery

September 2, 2018


This sacred season is replete with holy days, each unique yet wedded to one another through the theme of teshuvah - turning, returning, repenting, and renewing. As we step into each holy day we encounter opportunities to celebrate;...Read more...

LOOKING BACK - LOOKING FORWARD: An Awesome Beginning & Thank You

July 1, 2018


Dear Friends,

As we move more deeply into summer we enter the book of Deuteronomy in our cycle of Torah readings. Devarim, as it is known in Hebrew, offers words from Moses encouraging the Israelites to prepare for their future by taking a look at their past. Inspired by Torah, we'd like to take a moment to reflect on the first year of our rabbinic transition to a unique way of filling one leadership position with two rabbis in...Read more...

Spiritual Nourishment In Times of Transition

May 2, 2018


Ten years ago I created a support group for members who were in transition.   At that time most of the vicissitudes were professional but some members were dealing with health crises, relationship or family changes and various types of loss.   We met for many years until there seemed to be no need.  Recently I have wondered if there may be renewed interest in a similar group.   If you are going through any...Read more...

Celebrate Chanukah

December 12, 2017


HAPPY CHANUKAH      by Rabbi Linda Potemken

Chanukah is here!  I invite you to embrace these eight nights and to maximize their pleasure and meaning.  Here are ten reasons I savor our festival of lights:

It's Time: Chanukah occurs two months after we danced with the Torah at our last autumn festival, Simhat Torah.    We are due for another...Read more...
Tue, June 22 2021 12 Tammuz 5781