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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...

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...

Spiritual Nourishment In Times of Transition

May 2, 2018

May2

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

Dec12

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...

Prayer Following Shooting at First Baptist Church

November 9, 2017

Nov9

Our hearts go out to the victims of the recent mass shooting at the first Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, only weeks after the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas. The fact that this recent shooting took place in a house of worship further aggravates our sense of vulnerability and loss.

We open our hearts and add our prayers to ask for all healing possible for those suffering the consequences of gun violence.  We pray...Read more...

Preparing for Shavuot

May 28, 2017

May28

Our next holiday, Shavuot, involves a special type of preparation.  This major festival celebrates the giving of the Torah and we have been counting toward that observance since the 2nd night of Pesach for 7 weeks, or as we say in Hebrew,  sheva Shavuot!  (Shavuot means  weeks).   The premise of Shavuot is that we become vessels for God and Torah.   How might we do that?

Torah study, prayer and...Read more...

In Response to Hate

February 28, 2017

Feb28

We were shocked.  Saturday night hundreds of gravestones at the Mt. Carmel Cemetery were desecrated.  Immediately people of all backgrounds - Jews, Muslims, Christians - ventured out to the cemetery to offer assistance.  Yesterday I participated in a gathering of close to 200 faith leaders that culminated in a press conference denouncing the vandalism on the Mount Carmel Cemetery. 

The Rev. Jay Broadnax,...Read more...

Praying With My Feet

January 20, 2017

Jan20

We studied the Shema and V'Ahavta last Tuesday at Hebrew School, exploring the commandment to love God with all our heart, all our soul and all that we have. This is a text that we are called upon to contemplate every day, as the Shema is part of daily prayer. I use the term “contemplate” mindfully, rather than using the terms chant or pray. This text falls in the part of the service that invites our questioning even more than our...Read more...

Sun, September 22 2019 22 Elul 5779