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We Welcome the New Year

September 1, 2021

Sep1

Rabbi Linda Potemken

With joy and gratitude, we welcome rabbinical students Molly Paul and Aya Baron to our professional team. Molly will serve as our Hebrew School principal and Aya will serve as our rabbinic intern, working with both rabbis and the community in multiple capacities. We are excited to bring the voices and talents of the next generation of rabbis to our community.

With sadness and some anxiety we do not welcome the Delta variant and the...Read more...

Turn My Weeping Into Dancing

July 1, 2021

Jul1

Shall we hold a memorial service to mourn those lost to COVID? That question has circulated in a variety of interfaith discussion groups. Most agree that it is important to mark the losses of the pandemic, including lives lost as well as the variety of physical and emotional hardships that many experienced.

But how and when?

Judaism understands that we need time to mourn. We mourn our personal losses throughout the year at...Read more...

Answering The Call To End Racism: How To Move Forward

July 1, 2020

Jul1

“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

Dec1

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...

FROM WEEPING TO DANCING

October 1, 2019

Oct1

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

Sep6

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

Aug30

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...

SLOWING DOWN FOR SUMMER

July 1, 2019

Jul1

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

Sep2

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

Jul1

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...

Sun, September 26 2021 20 Tishrei 5782