Almost There! Day 2

We’re so close in our countdown to the launch of the new sanctuary. Here are the pics from Thursday:

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Shabbat Greetings from Cantor Margot Goldberg – September 14

Shabbat Shalom!  As we head into the High Holydays, I would love to suggest that you take the year to add Torah study to your weekly routine.  There are many opportunities online to study that take only a few moments, but will certainly keep you thinking for the rest of the week.  Many of these online opportunities also will send you emails about upcoming holidays.  For example, the below from Torah Topics for Today seemed appropriate for the weekend.



Rosh Hashanah is perceived as the Jewish New Year, but it is so much more than that. It is time to reflect on the quality of relationships with friends and family and compare yourself to the way you were a year ago. Rosh Hashanah, according to the tradition, gives you a time to make amends to family and friends.

Use the days leading up to Rosh Hashanah to go through a process of introspection and evaluation with your family, thinking and talking about habitual problems and conflicts that are difficult to change. Seeing other family members, regardless of age, struggle with their problems provides children with a measure of comfort and a dose of reality.

Give your children specific examples to think about as they make their own moral inventory of transgressions. Maybe they didn’t treat a sibling well or didn’t share. Perhaps they lied to a friend or didn’t act with respect toward an elder.

TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT how they could improve in their relationships.


    • Could you be nicer to your brother or sister?
    • Could you be a better member of your classroom?
    • Do you treat your friends the way you would like to be treated?
    • Do you act respectfully to your parents and grandparents?
    • How does it feel to tell someone you are sorry for the way you may have treated him/her?

By Rabbi Dianne Cohler-Esses

You can also subscribe to:

My Jewish Learning to receive: Weekly Torah Portion Summaries, Text Studies, Commentaries etc…

URJ for 10 Minutes of Torah offers a daily email on the topics of:

  • Reform Voices of Torah – commentary on the weekly portion
  • The Rhythum of Jewish Time
  • Isarel connections
  • Delving Into t’filah – discussions of the New prayer book
  • Reform Judaism Q&A

Sign up for one, two or all.

Midrash Manicures

And many more.

Don’t forget that if you want to study Torah, you can also join Rabbi Holtz on Wednesdays from 10-11 am (beginning again in October) and feel free to join us on Saturday mornings at 9 am for our Conservative Service and Torah discussion.

Barry, Tamir and I want to wish you a happy and healthy New Year filled with the study of Torah.

Cantor Margot

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Renovation Countdown: Day 3

Today’s post is a bit late because I wanted to make sure we have photos of the lovely mezuzah hanging Rabbi David led last night for a small group of the renovation task force and the board of trustees in honor of Alan Cohen.

Our only concern was that someone would sit in a pew that wasn’t yet anchored to the floor! But, no worries, everything went beautifully (and yes, those two fellas were working at 8 pm last night to secure them.)

Here are the pics from Day 3 of our countdown:



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Sanctuary Renovation Countdown – Day 4

I went with Day 4 rather than Day 2 on the advice of folks on our Facebook Group. Either way, launch day is coming soon!

Here are today’s pics:

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Sanctuary Renovation Countdown: Day 1

Those of you comfortable and familiar with renovation projects (which doesn’t include me!) know that the last few days are when all the fun stuff happens. In a blink you go from, “Oh my gosh we’re never going to finish on time!” to “Wow, look how much those guys did today!”

This week, I’ll post photos every day so we can all see the progress as we get ready to use the new sanctuary for the high holiday starting on Sunday.

But just a heads up; if you haven’t seen the sanctuary for a few weeks, I think you’re going to be amazed at how it looks already.

Here we go with Day 1 of the Sanctuary Renovation Countdown!

(PS: shoutout and thanks to Rob Mintzes from Gisolfi for taking and posting the photos.)

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Shabbat Greetings from Rabbi David Holtz – September 7

Renewal.  That’s one way to think about the High Holy Days.  The world is renewed; our spirits are renewed; we have a chance to ask forgiveness and renew our relationships.  And, of course, this year we will have a renewed worship space.  The pieces are coming together, and it is going to be beautiful.

It has taken more time than we expected to make it all happen.  Surprisingly, that is also true of personal renewal – it takes longer than we think.  As I’ve said many times, if you show up on Rosh Hashanah without having done any spiritual preparation, you’re bound to be disappointed in the result.

Tomorrow night the Holy Day season officially begins with Selichot (related to the Hebrew word “s’licha – excuse me”), a program and service created specifically to get our spiritual and repenting juices flowing.  We’ve got something for every age group.  You’ll find specific information elsewhere in this e-mail.  I encourage you to begin your High Holy Days tomorrow night.  That will help ensure that your personal spiritual renovation is completed on time!

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Rosh Hashanah Food Delivery for Home-Bound Seniors

I just signed up for a wonderful program sponsored by DOROT to provide New Year’s goodies for home-bound seniors. It’s one of those win-win programs for everyone involved, and we’re so lucky that our Tikkun Olam team at Temple Beth Abraham is organizing it for us!

Here’s how it works. You have to pre-register online here by September 4.  On Sept. 9 come to temple at 10 am to make a gift bag filled with yummy stuff DOROT provides, attend a very brief (about 15 minutes) orientation session, and then deliver the package and spend 1/2 hour – hour visiting with a senior.

Honestly, what could be better to do on a Sunday with your family than this? Please sign up now and help us meet our goal of visiting 60 seniors on Sunday September 9th! I


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Shabbat Greetings from Pamela Barkley – August 31

9 Days.

That is what remains between reading this post, and the start of another year of Religious School. Just a few weeks ago when were at a luxurious 44 days, I urged you all to see the midpoint of the summer as a call to action. A reminder to get those lists of “Things I’m going to accomplish this Summer,” accomplished.

But we are way past the midpoint folks. We are at the bitter end of what may or have not seemed like a long summer to you. But make no mistake, the fat lady has sung and it is OVER.

So with the few precious days you have left I am going to remind you to consciously, intentionally, deliberately take in those last few wisps of summer. Breathe in the sunshine. Take mental snapshots – or real ones – of your beautiful garden or the green grass. Go indulge in the tastes of summer – get a double scoop ice-cream cone and lick up every sticky drop. Lay on a hammock, a park bench, or a beach blanket and look up at the sky. Allow yourself one more lazy afternoon filled with the sweetness of doing nothing.

And then find your own way – privately or with a family member or friend – to bless the moment. This can be the words of blessings you know like the Shehechyanu or words made up entirely of your own heart. Judaism has a long tradition of marking important moments in our lives. We not only mark special occasions, but each week we mark the moment of transition from Shabbat and its holiness, to the rest of the regular week .  The transition from summer to fall, from no school to school, from relaxed to hectic, is certainly an occasion worth marking in some concrete way. Take 60 seconds and make up your very own prayer to do so.

I hope you spend the next 9 days relishing in the last bits of summer!

Pamela Barkley, Director of Education

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Shabbat Greetings from Cantor Margot Goldberg – August 24

Shabbat Shalom!  According to my favorite Jewish website,, Elul is the month of preparation and shofar blowing.  What is it that we should do in preparation for the High Holydays?  Jewish tradition points to the name of the month as symbolically appropriate–the letters of Elul form an acronym for the words in the verse Ani le‑dodi ve‑dodi li–“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song of Songs 6:3). Believing that the “beloved” refers to God, the sages take this verse to describe the particularly loving and close relationship between God and Israel. Elul, then, is our time to establish this closeness so that we can approach the Yamim Noraim, or Days of Awe, in trusting acceptance of God’s judgment. We approach the trial not out of fear, but out of love.

For the Sephardic  community, this process started last Saturday evening as we began the month of Elul.  For the Ashkenazi community, to which most of us affiliate ourselves, this process of Selichot begins at the end of Shabbat preceding Rosh Hashanah.  Since this process shouldn’t be rushed, there is a ruling that there should be a minimum of 4 days between Shabbat and Rosh Hashanah. This year is one of those rare years when the rule must be applied so please join us for our Selichot program and service on September 8 (programs for all ages start at 6:30pm, service is at 7:30pm).

During Elul, it is customary to blow the shofar each day as a rallying cry towards repentance and self-reflection.  Its echoes are meant to move us toward inscription in the Book of Life.  Last year, we began the custom of sounding the shofar during the month of Elul as we prepare for Shabbat, after our opening songs and before L’cha Dodi, when we usher in the Sabbath bride.  Please join us this Shabbat to hear one of our amazing volunteers blow the shofar and to begin your own personal journey towards a cheshbon hanefesh, accounting of your soul.  For more information about the shofar and High Holyday preparations please enjoy these articles: and

As the New Year approaches, I hope that if I have wronged or hurt you in any way, that you will find a way to forgive me so that we can move into the year 5773 with a clean slate and open hearts and minds.  Please know that I forgive you for anything that you might have said or done during the past year that might have hurt me and that I hope that we will find a way in the coming year to study, learn, sing and pray together in a relationship of understanding and love.


Cantor Margot

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A Little Sheet Rock Makes a World of Difference

A little sheet rock makes a world of difference and our new Sanctuary is starting to look more like a room and less like a construction zone.  This week, work began on closing the walls and completing the bimah flooring.  Our roof and air conditioning are being completed and we are looking forward to next week when we will continue to see the room progress toward the finished product.  Please see the below pictures for an updated view of the progress done this week.


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