Archive: March 2018

Making Strides for Religious Understanding in the Holy Land

Posted on March 12, 2018

Pastor Todd Buurstra, religious leader of the North Branch Reformed Church, and I have been making strides together for some time now. Some have been in the area of advocacy, where we have been strident in our call for justice and compassion for the weak and vulnerable among us: the stranger, our neighbors who are Continue Reading »

Welcoming Elijah

Posted on March 7, 2018

As we all know, no Seder is complete without a communal expression of our hope for a visit from Elijah the prophet, who signals the time when “the hearts of parents will be turned towards their children, and the hearts of children will be turned towards their parents” (Micah 3:24). Elijah heralds the coming of Continue Reading »

65 Years of Excellence

Posted on March 7, 2018

The year 1953 was an interesting and historic year. In Washington, Dwight D. Eisenhower was inaugurated as president, and Earl Warren was sworn in as chief justice of the Supreme Court. The Korean conflict came to an end. The first Chevrolet Corvette rolled off the assembly line and the first issue of Playboy hit the Continue Reading »

A History of Temple Beth-El

Posted on March 7, 2018

Before Temple Beth-El Simon Weil was the first Jew in Somerville, arriving in 1864. In 1892, Weil and others organized the Anshe Chesed Cemetery Association which, in 1907, became Congregation Anshe Chesed, an Orthodox synagogue with some 40 members. Between the two World Wars, many Jews focused their activities on Jewish communal organizations outside the Continue Reading »

Strangers to Friends: The Message of Passover

Posted on March 5, 2018

Passover is my favorite Jewish holiday of the year. Why, you may ask? It certainly isn’t because of the delicious matzah, that’s for sure! (I confess, though. I do like to make matzah brie…) No. I love Passover because of the message of the holiday. “Remember, you were strangers.” I remember when my family first Continue Reading »

Things Kids Hate About Seder

Posted on March 3, 2018

I don’t know what it means. It’s boring. It just drags on and on. There’s so much to read. I’m hungry. Being allowed to have only a small bite of food each time we say a blessing is torture. Horseradish doesn’t taste good. My extended family speaks different languages. I’m not allowed to text at Continue Reading »

Our Teens Experiencing and Changing the World

Posted on March 1, 2018

Our teens have had several terrific travel experiences over the past two months. In January, we launched a new overnight trip to New York City for our eighth and ninth graders. It was a tremendous success. We had fun and still learned so much. The itinerary included visits to the historic Central Synagogue for Shabbat, Continue Reading »

Inspired to Serve

Posted on March 1, 2018

Temple Beth-El is privileged to have four newly elected officials in its congregation, serving in positions from local school boards to the New Jersey Assembly. Our fellow congregants and public servants are interested in pursuing a broad range of goals while in office, with an eye toward improving the lives of people in their communities. Continue Reading »