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Friday Night Lights

Jun 08, 2018

Take a look inside the Gorn Chapel at about 5:45 PM on a typical Friday night.

Up in the front rows, a family is beaming—no, bursting—with pride while a 13-year-old battles butterflies before saying the kiddush in honor of the next day’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah.

A few rows back, some are in a more reflective mood as they prepare to stand and observe the Yahrzeit of a loved one. And still others may be attending services that evening because they are facing the fresh wounds of a more recent loss.

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Hiddur Mitzvah: Beth El's Sephardic Torah

May 18, 2018

Hiddur Mitzvah is the Jewish concept of beautifying the commandment by appealing to the senses. Ornate ritual objects engage our feelings with their sounds, fragrances, tastes, textures, colors, and artistry. These aesthetically pleasing objects enhance our observation of Jewish practice and expand the enjoyment of religious acts. In this series, we will look at several ritual objects in Beth El’s collection that are lovely examples of Hiddur Mitzvah.

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Beth El's Guide to Shavuot

May 15, 2018

Shavuot (weeks in Hebrew) is one of Judaism’s three pilgrimage festivals, which celebrates the beginning of the wheat harvest and the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people at Mt. Sinai. The commandment for the Shavuot festival comes from the Book of Exodus Chapter 34:22 “And you shall observe the festival of weeks, the first fruits of the wheat harvest and a festival of gathering at the turn of the year.”

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From Sinai to Social Justice: How Jewish Social Entrepreneurs Embody Torah Values

May 04, 2018

The holiday of Shavuot celebrates the Jewish people receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai. When the Jewish people accepted the Torah, they entered into a covenant with God to live their lives according to specific values. Every year on the holiday of Shavuot we renew our acceptance of God’s gift and reaffirm our agreement with Him. In turn, God “regifts” the Torah to the Jewish people.

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Beth El Announces Momentous Vote at Annual Meeting

May 01, 2018

On March 1st, 2017, the General Assembly of Kehillot of the United Synagogues of Conservative Judaism (USCJ), the umbrella organization to which Beth El belongs, began to allow synagogues to expand membership to include non-Jews. Also, USCJ permits each synagogue to interpret that ruling in a way that is appropriate for their particular congregation.

On May 16th, 2018, Beth El’s congregation will vote to update the synagogue's bylaws to include non-Jewish spouses as official members.

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Hiddur Mitzvah: Beth El's Omer Counter

Apr 27, 2018

Hiddur Mitzvah is the Jewish concept of beautifying the commandment by appealing to the senses. Ornate ritual objects engage our feelings with their sounds, fragrances, tastes, textures, colors, and artistry. These aesthetically pleasing objects enhance our observation of Jewish practice and expand the enjoyment of religious acts. In this series, we will look at several ritual objects in Beth El’s collection that are lovely examples of Hiddur Mitzvah.

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Reflections from Dr. Eyal Rob

Apr 11, 2018

I just returned from Israel where I was on an educational mission called Shevat Achim to explore and study our sister city, Ashkelon.  Ashkelon is Baltimore’s sister city since 2004.  It was so interesting and impressive to know how similar Baltimore’s school system, from an educational standpoint is to five of the public schools we saw in Ashkelon.

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