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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...

Prayer Following Shooting at First Baptist Church

November 9, 2017


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


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...

In Response to Hate

February 28, 2017


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,...

Praying With My Feet

January 20, 2017


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...

Thanksgiving, FUSE & Spreading Goodness

November 17, 2016


4Ever Grateful is the name of the talent show and community gathering that we will celebrate with our FUSE partners.  It will be held the afternoon of November 20th and will feature a group from each community offering a number for the show.   Kudos to our chorus for bringing a Beth Israel presence to this event.   We have also been asked to provide desserts - something at which we excel!

FUSE is...

Thu, November 30 2023 17 Kislev 5784