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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...

Comfort oh Comfort: The Work of Repair

November 10, 2016


“Comfort oh Comfort My People/My Nation” are the words of the Haftarah that we chant on the first Shabbat of consolation following Tisha B'Av, the most solemn day on the Jewish calendar.  They are from the 40th chapter of the book of Isaiah, a text that begins with a proclamation of hope and reconciliation.  “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and declare to her that her .. iniquity is expiated”. In other words, the...Read more...

Come on board: There is much to celebrate in our Jewish journey

October 15, 2015


Just two weeks after we enjoyed the delightful festival of Sukkot our congregation created another occasion for joyful celebrating " the first Beth Israel Gala. This gathering was special in so many ways. I am enormously grateful to have my 18th anniversary with our community marked in such an uplifting manner. Thank you all for that!! What an achievement for any congregation to have sustained a relationship that has stood the test of...Read more...

Mon, May 23 2022 22 Iyyar 5782