Beth El's Guide to Tu B'Shevat

Jan 18, 2019

By: Ben Kreshtool, Ritual Director

Tu B’Shevat is commonly thought of as the “Birthday of the Trees” or the “Jewish Earth Day.” The festival derives its name from the Hebrew calendar date on which we celebrate: “Tu” is a pronunciation of the Hebrew letters for the number 15, and it falls in the Hebrew month of Shevat. The "Tu" in Tu B’Shevat is the numerical equivalent for the number 15 by using gematria, the letter tet ט is 9, and the letter Vav ו is 6, so 9+6 = 15.


A Thin Blue Line

Jan 16, 2019

By: Rabbi Steven Schwartz

The 1988 documentary film ‘The Thin Blue Line,’ investigates the mistaken murder conviction of Randall Adams for the killing of police officer Robert Wood.  The events of the film took place in Dallas, Texas, in the fall of 1976.  The title of the movie is taken from a phrase the prosecutor uses in his closing argument at Adams’ trial – the police, in essence, form a ‘thin blue line’ that separates an ordered society from anarchy.


Rabbi's Reflections: A Shifting Ground

Jan 11, 2019

By: Rabbi Steven Schwartz

Almost right under your feet, and you may not even realize it. A recent New York Times Book Review issue dedicated its core article to the changing conditions and dynamics of America's Jewish Community. 

God is in the Crowd, The Jewish American Paradox, The New American Judaism - these are a few of the books reviewed in the article, itself tellingly entitled Lamentations. 


Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn

Jan 11, 2019

Beth El's Achshav Teens Travel to Israel for Capstone Experience
By:Brandon Chiat

Everyday, hundreds of flights touchdown at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport, carrying thousands of Jews from around the world who conclude their journeys to Israel in the same way: a rousing round of applause and cheers. This month, 14 high-school students from the Berman-Lipavsky Religious School will experience this right-of-passage, many for the first time.


Embracing the Dual Faith Family

Dec 18, 2018

Two Interfaith Families Share Their Journeys at Beth El
By: David Harrison 

When Robert Hiken’s mother-in-law picks up the grandchildren — Seth, Gabriella and Parker — from the Berman-Lipavsky Religious school and the Pauline Mash School for Early Child Education, she consistently notices the warm, welcoming feelings that are extended to her.


Caregiver Cafe: Handling the Holidays

Nov 09, 2018

The holidays can be a stressful time. But if you’re caring for a loved one suffering from a new or long-term illness, the holidays can be downright disruptive. 

At this month’s Caregiver Care, Sarah Shapiro will facilitate a discussion about handling the holidays when a loved one is ill. She’ll talk about setting realistic expectations, making a plan, and enlisting support. 


Making Space for "The Other"

Oct 26, 2018

There once was a man named Hamsa who lived in the same community as another man named Bar Hamsa. A prominent man, also from their community was marrying off his daughter and it was the celebration of all celebrations. Everything for the wedding banquet was done with great extravagance – including the invitations which he hired someone special to hand deliver to each of his invited guests homes.