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Read These 7 Books to Deepen Your Understanding of Race in America

09/10/2020 08:59:50 AM

Sep10

Brandon Chiat

Beth El hosts "Inclusion and Belonging: Jews of Color" (Thursday, Sept. 10th at 7:00 p.m.), a dynamic virtual panel discussion between parents raising Jews of Color, including Rain Pryor, who will share her story of growing up Jewish, bi-racial, and the daughter of the famous actor-comedian Richard Pryor.

The event is free and open to all, but registration is...Read more...

Beth El's Guide to Tisha B'av

07/29/2020 11:58:37 AM

Jul29

Ben Kreshtool, Ritual Director

"As the flames went upward, the Jews made a great clamor, such as so mighty an affliction required, and ran together to prevent it: and now they spared not their lives any longer, nor suffered anything to restrain their force, since that holy house was perishing, for whose sake it was that they kept such a guard about it." So writes Josephus about that fateful day on the Ninth of Av as the smoke from the Holy Temple ascended to the heavens...Read more...

A Reformed Neo-Nazi Skinhead to Speak at Beth El

07/23/2020 04:51:51 PM

Jul23

Brandon Chiat

Christian Picciolini was just 14-years-old when a man twice his age approached him in an alley. It was an encounter that would set Mr. Picciolini down a path of hatred and violent extremism. 

"The year was 1987, and I was smoking a joint," Mr. Picciolini recalled. "The man came up to me, pulled the joint from my lips, looked me in the eyes, and said, that's what the Communists and the Jews want you to do to keep you...Read more...

Joining a Shul During a Pandemic?

05/06/2020 12:03:30 PM

May6

Josh Bender, Executive Director

It is not uncommon to get calls about membership at this time of year, as individuals and families begin to think about the High Holidays, school, and a new season of exciting programming at Beth El. We are very fortunate to have a healthy and robust membership and a thriving synagogue community for all ages.

However, when I started getting inquiries this year, I was a bit surprised given the COVID-19 crisis, the closure of Beth El's...Read more...

Advance Directives

04/29/2020 12:32:35 PM

Apr29

Sarah Shapiro, LCSW-C

In these strange and uncertain times, many of us have found ourselves confronting mortality in ways we never dreamed of. As we hear stories on the news and in real life of COVID-19 patients separated from loved ones during their last days, we are reminded of the importance of making our end-of-life wishes known to our loved ones and health care providers. This recent article by a doctor in a COVID-19 unit makes a very compelling case for...Read more...

Beth El's Guide to Tu B'Shevat

02/07/2020 02:15:54 PM

Feb7

Ben Kreshtool, Ritual Director

Tu B'Shevat is commonly thought of as the "Birthday of the Trees" or the "Jewish Earth Day."

In 2020, the "Birthday of the Trees" begins at sundown on Sunday Feb. 9 and ends at sundown on Monday Feb. 10.

The name of this festival comes from its date: "Tu" is a pronunciation of the Hebrew letters for...Read more...

The Stranger

11/18/2019 08:47:28 PM

Nov18

The following is a text version of Rabbi Steve Schwartz's Shabbat sermon from November 16th, 2019.

It was 42 years ago this fall that I asked my mom to drive me to the Oakdale Mall, in Binghamton, New York, where I walked into Tower Records and bought the first rock and roll album of my life. Knowing me as many of...Read more...

Strong Winds

11/18/2019 08:34:54 PM

Nov18

With a promise of winter a stiff and chilly wind blew in from the east this morning, doing its best to wrest the last leaves off the trees and drying the ground from last night's rain. I stood for a time at an upstairs window looking out over our back yard. My eyes were level with the tops of the trees. The evergreens and the...Read more...

Shining A Light

11/18/2019 08:26:05 PM

Nov18

The following is a text-version of the remarks Rabbi Steve Schwartz delivered before the special performance of Freedom Song, a play that explores the issue of addiction in the Jewish community.  

During my now more than two decades in the rabbinate I have become intimately familiar with the terrible...Read more...

Changing Clocks

11/18/2019 08:22:36 PM

Nov18

By: Rabbi Steve Schwartz

It has always been a bit odd to me that we decide, on a given night in early November, to just switch the time on our clocks, setting them back an hour.  And then, in the spring, to change them all back. Is time that malleable? Is our power over time that simple? It...Read more...

Sat, October 24 2020 6 Cheshvan 5781