February at Temple Beth-El

We had an amazing weekend January 12-13 with our Forging Ahead: Civil Rights Stories and Songs program. From the opening reception at Temple Emanu-El to the closing notes of Neshama Carlebach’s concert, it was an incredible weekend. The speakers were all excellent, the food was great. It was an honor for Temple Beth-El to be able to host our new Senator for one of his first public appearances after his swearing-in. Kol hakavod to everyone who worked so hard to make the weekend happen including the committee that organized it (especially Ronald Levitt and Bob Greenberg, it was Bob’s vision initially), the staff, the lay volunteers, our presenters, and Neshama Carlebach and her band. I’m grateful I had the opportunity to be a part of it – it was a “career highlight” for me personally.

Looking forward, we have a lot of good things going on in February. Gili Weintraub’s Bat Mitzvah, David Applebaum’s Bar Mitzvah, and later this month we’ll have our joint Purim celebration with Temple Emanu-El. Our collaboration last year was so successful we decided to do it again. This year we’ll have a megillah reading and dinner at Temple Emanu-El (starting at 6 pm, Wednesday, February 28). Our religious schools are also collaborating on a Purim Carnival on Sunday, March 4.

Many people have said they feel the standard Shabbat morning service is too long, has too much Hebrew, and isn’t engaging enough. Sarah and I address all those issues with our Contemporary Service (our next one is March 3); the service is shorter (starts at 10 am), uses more English and features lots of music from Sarah and her guitar. It’s sort of “Shabbat Ruach” for Saturday morning. Would love to see you there.

There’s a Jewish saying, mishenichnas Adar marbim b’simcha, when the month of Adar begins, joy increases. Adar begins on Thursday night, February 15. May your joy increase!

Rav Barry