Friday, March 20, 2015

from Israeli Elections to Jews of China

Dear Haverim:

*TONIGHT, Friday, March 20, 6:30 p.m., Kabbalat Shabbat(6 p.m. Happy Hour).  Drash topic: ISRAELI ELECTION RESULTS: A Rabbinic Perspective Through Text Study. We will also remember the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March, through the eye-witness account of my childhood family rabbi, Rabbi H. David Teitelbaum, interviewed this morning on NPR’s Morning Edition. Tonight begins the celebration of the bar mitzvah of Adam Kerzner.

*TOMORROW, Saturday, March 21, 9:30 a.m., Shabbat services.  In celebration of his bar mitzvah, Adam Kernzer will be our guest darshan.   His topic: Parshat Vayikra: Sacrifices vs. Korbanot. We thank the Kerzner family for graciously sponsoring our Kiddush lunch.
-12:30 p.m. – Torah study in the Chapel, this week led by Michele Weiner.  She will look at the concept of sacrifices and unpack them through the lense of musar, making an ancient biblical mode of worship relevant and applicable for us today.  Participants are encouraged to get through their Kiddush lunch early and go directly to the chapel to maximize their study experience.

*Sunday, March 22
9 a.m. Morning Minyan and Hebrew School
7 p.m. Kraft Education Committee presents Jewish History of China and the Hagaddah, with Professor David Stern of the University of Pennsylvania – really appropriate as we celebrate Shabbat HaHodesh – and the two week countdown to Peaach !

Come to Beth Shalom for uplifting and educational experiences!

Shabbat shalom!
Rabbi Michael 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Honoring Staff to Celebrating Purim

Dear Haverim:

*Tomorrow, Friday February 27th, 6:30 p.mKabbalat Shabbat (6 pm Happy Hour).  We will be honoring and thanking Sarah Baker Andrus for her exemplary service to our synagogue as interim Executive Director.  Sarah will be sharing lessons learned on the job in her drash, The Ner Tamid: Preserving our Inner Light.  Please join us for a celebratory dessert oneg following services.

*Saturday, February 28th, 9:30 a.m., Shabbat services.  My dvar Torah will be Parshat Tetzaveh: Serving as an Example.  I will be working in last week’s showing of Downton Abbey, where Lady Rose marries the nice Jewish boy, Ephraim Atticus Aldridge.  I am especially interested in exploring the portrayal of Atticus’ father, Lord Sinderby. Please check out this website for more Downton Abbey-Interfaith commentary

--12:20 p.m.  Following motzi and a brief nosh, Torah Study will be held in the Chapel.  If you wish to join in make sure you had a proper lunch first, and be prepared to move from the Atrium to the Chapel.  We will study for about an hour.  This week’s study will be facilitated by Josh Sacks.  We will be rotating Torah study facilitators each week.  Please join us.
-- 8 p.mHavdalah followed by our Purim Masquerade Ball.  Tickets will be available at the door.  Please join me for this fun event.

*Sunday, March 1, 9 a..m. Morning Minyan plus Hebrew School


*Wednesday, March 4, 5 p.m. Veggie Dairy Purim Seudah Potluck in Lower Level.  6:30 p.m. Purim Celebration with a Taste of Megillah reading, followed by Purim Shpeil, “Cinder Esther,” costume parade, and mixed drinks for the adults.

*Thursday, March 5, 7:30 a.m., Purim Torah reading and FULL MEGILLAH READING.  We will follow the reading with the annual ALAN SCHOENBERG PURIM SEUDAH – entrance fee – one joke.

Be happy! It’s Purim.
Rabbi Michael

Thursday, February 19, 2015

From Future Jewish Leaders to the Shabbatones

Dear Haverim:

* Tomorrow, Friday morning, 7:30 a.m., @ CBS. The 5th grade of the Albert Einstein Academy (the finest Jewish day school in the Brandywine Valley), is braving the cold to chant Torah at the Morning Minyan, and is helping provide goodies for a celebratory breakfast, as we celebrate Rosh Hodesh Adar.  This is the beginning of a new AEA effort to more deeply serve the surrounding Jewish community.  It is important that as many CBS congregants as possible attend services to encourage these young Jewish leaders (one being my own 10 year old Shira -- she came as a new-born to CBS, and now she is chanting Torah for you).

*Tomorrow, Friday, 6:30 p.m., Kabbalat Shabbat, (6 pm Happy Hour).  Drash: Rosh Hodesh: Celebrating Women in the Parashat Hashevuah – And Beyond! This Shabbat from the lighting of Shabbat candles through Birkat Ha Mazon for Sisterhood Shabbat, we will be celebrating the role of women in Judaism and at CBS.

*Saturday, 9:30 a.m., Sisterhood Shabbat services.  The talented ladies of CBS will be leading every aspect of Shabbat services.  Guest darshanit: Lior Ron, ShelichaHer topics: Changing Role of Women in ISRAEL. Kiddush lunch prepared by the Men’s Club!!
-Lay-led Torah study.  20 minutes after Motzi, Torah study participants will be invited to regroup in the Chapel for one hour of Torah study to deepen their Shabbat experience.

*Sunday, 9 a.m., Morning Minyan & Hebrew School
- 11 a.m. , The Shabbatones, UPenn’s premiere Jewish acapella group, fresh from their engagement at The White House, singing a potpourri of Jewish, Israeli and popular music, sponsored by the Kraft Education Comm.
Join us for great music, great learning, wonderful Jewish women, and Shabbat joy!
Shabbat shalom!

Rabbi Michael

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Music, Love and Learning

Dear Haverim,
 *Tomorrow, Friday, February 13, 7:30 p.m., Shabbat Koleynu.  Please join us for this special service at a special time.  Featured will be a three-piece jazz combo, accompanying Cantor Elisa in wonderful melodies, for the entire family to enjoy, including a special rendition of the Ladino favorite, Ein Keloheynu.  We are indebted to the Kraft Education Committee for their support of this program.  Please bring new comers as well as those who normally do not attend Shabbat service – this service they are going to WANT to attend!
*Saturday, February 14, 9:30 a.m., Shabbat Services.  Special Darshanit Cantor Elisa. Her topic: LOVE and LITURGY.  They together like a horse and carriage (sorry, that’s Love and Marriage).  At any rate, what a treat to learn with Cantor Elisa. 
During Kiddush lunch, the learning continues, when Michele Weiner will facilitate a lay-led Torah study at a specially designated table, designed to allow all-comers to participate equally, with Michele moderating the group around key points she hopes to explore.
Please join us for love and learning this Shabbat at Congregation Beth Shalom!

Rabbi Michael

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Dear Haverim:

·        Tomorrow, Friday, January 9, 8 p.m. Shabbat service (note later start time).  Our guest darshan is Hirohiko Kizula. He will share the history of the Japanese “Raoul Wallenberg,” diplomat Shiume Sugihara, who helped Jews living in Lithuania flee the Nazis in the early days of WWII.  I would like to make a special request that our upper school Hebrew School parents (Vav, Kehilla, Confirmation) bring their children to this program.  It is a MUST!

·        Saturday, January 10
8:45 a.m. – Lay led Torah study (I hope to make a cameo and share some nuggets I gleaned at my rabbinic retreat).
9:45 a.m. – Shabbat services.  I will be sharing a sermon I heard from one of my RTI (Rabbinic Training Institute faculty members), Dr. Mona Fishbane, titled “Cultivating Compassion and Connection.”  Dr. Fishbane is the Director of Couple Therapy Program at the Chicago Center for Family Health.  She applies psychotherapy and brain research to the Torah portion in very original ways.

Note:  I will be implementing a new system of Shabbat morning service leading which aims to shorten the service.  I hope a shortened service will allow more congregants to attend.  If you come, I would like your feedback during Kiddush.

I look forward to seeing you this Shabbat and growing with you – both intellectually and spiritually.


Rabbi Michael

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bim-Bam to Telepathy to Jewish Women in America

Dear Haverim:
*Tomorrow, Friday, December 5th
-5:30 p.m., Veggie-Dairy, Child-friendly Shabbat POTLUCK, CBS Lower Level.  We will be welcoming new friends from the JCC Early Childhood Center who have yet to affiliate with a synagogue, plus AEA friends, and our CBS Hebrew School lower grades.

-6:30 p.m., Tot-Shabbat Pre-Chanukah Themed Shabbat Services.  Bring your Bimmers and Bammers, be prepared for a Dinosaur Knockin’ At Your Door, and a lot of guitar strumming.  Cantor Elisa and I will prepare our dramatic rendering of PJ Library’s The Chanukah Bear.  If you are a Shabbat “regular,” we will want you on hand to greet our new-comers and help them feel welcome.

*Saturday, December 6th
-8:45 a.m., Lay-Led Torah Study w/Michele Weiner, Atrium.
-9:30 a.m., Shabbat services.  We will celebrate the aufruf  of Hillary Jacobs and Eric Rosen.  (This is a very meaningful life cycle event as I officiated at Eric’s Confirmation).  Guest darshanit: Tal Eyal, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Psychology, Ben Gurion University of the Negev.  Her topic: How to Seem Telepathic: Maximizing Your Intuition in All Aspects of Your Life.  In this very challenging time in the Middle East, attending this lecture (which will begin during services and continue over an Israeli-themed lunch), is a concrete way of showing support for the State of Israel.

*Sunday, December 7th
-9:00 a.m., Morning Minyan
-10:00 a.m., Hebrew School Meets at JCC.  Community-wide Chanukah-themed Jewish education and social action program, and great food!
-12 noon, Kraft Education Foundation Bagels, Nosh & Lecture. Featuring Professor Hasia Diner, of New York University.  Her topic: A History of their Own: Jewish Women in America.  Dr. Diner will take us on a journey of the Jewish women who helped build our communities and our country.

Please join us for the music, celebrations, and learning this weekend at Congregation Beth Shalom

Rabbi Michael

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Is Thanksgiving Kosher? to Giving Thanks-A Jewish Pasttime

Dear Haverim:

*Tomorrow, Thursday, November 27,

9 am, Thanksgiving Day Morning Minyan.  Note late start time.  If you suspect any difficulties with the roads tomorrow making it necessary to cancel services, please call the “chai” line, 302-654-4462 EXT. 18, or consult radio station WDEL, for clarification.  Assume we WILL need a minyan, so all being safe, please attend.  We will conclude with a special Thanksgiving Day prayer.

*Friday, November 28
-7:30 a.m., Community Morning Minyan @ AKSE. Please help them achieve a minyan.
-6:30 p.m., Kabbalat Shabbat @ Congregation Beth Shalom (no Happy Hour).  Sermon topic: A Historical Look at Thanksgiving from Washington to Lincoln to the Practices of “Ha Rav” – Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik – or, “IS Thanksgiving Kosher?”

*Saturday, November 29
-8:45 a.m., Torah study in the atrium
-9:30 a.m., Shabbat services.  We celebrate President Ralph Downard and Lori Barbanel’s birthdays with a festive Kiddush lunch.  Sermon topic: Parshat VaYeitzei-A Thanksgiving Connection or GRATITUDE is our Middle Name.

Wishing you a happy and kosher Thanksgiving!

Rabbi Michael