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Kiddush Conversation: Israel, The Ever-Dying People

on Fri, 05/06/2011 - 03:22

Join Legacy Heritage Rabbinic Fellow Charlie Schwartz for this stimulating, post-kiddush discussion.




Passover is right around the corner with the first seder starting Monday night, April 18th.  Congregation B'nai Shalom will be holding services at 9:30am on all days of Yom Tov, with the Yizkor Service taking place on the last day of Passover, Tuesday, April 26th.   As you prepare for the holdiay, be sure to check out these handy resources:

The Rabbinical Assmebly of the Conservative Judaism has put together this handy guide to help you kasher your kitchen: has fantastic resources on Passover which can be found here:

And here is a great piece from the Jewcy about how to spice up your Seder:  

Save the Date: DAFNA Weekend April 8-10

on Fri, 02/18/2011 - 15:29


April 8-10, 2011, will mark a very special weekend for B'nai Shalom and the entire Jewish Community. We will be welcoming DAFNA as our Musician-in-Residence. DAFNA is an amazing Israeli musician, teacher, and music therapist who will be sharing her passion for Israeli music and culture at B'nai Shalom throughout the entire weekend. 


On Sunday, April 10th, she and her "All Stars" will be the featured performers at a community-wide children's concert at 2:00pm at B'nai Shalom. Along with our numerous Community Partners, B'nai Shalom will be promoting this outstanding event to the entire community as well as to DAFNA fans in Toronto and Rochester.  Get a Taste of DAFNA here:



JTS Torah Commentary - Parashat Ki Tissa

on Fri, 02/18/2011 - 15:20

What an amazing juxtaposition! The (near) miraculous events in Egypt that we witnessed on news broadcasts over the past week coincide with Parashat Ki Tissa, the Torah reading for this Shabbat. The circumstances of the two are wildly different, yet the fundamental human concerns in each setting overlap to an extraordinary degree. - First we need some context for the parashah, which contains the "molten calf" narrative. In Exodus 24:18, Moses had gone up Mount Sinai and remained there "40 days and 40 nights." Then, in a series of cutaway scenes that don't really advance the plot or chronology, the Torah readings of the previous two weeks (Terumah and Tetzavvah) provide lengthy, detailed instructions for establishing the cult: for building a portable Tabernacle to be used during the desert wanderings, for establishing the priesthood, and for the initial stages of sacrificial worship. In other words, the ground is all set for the Israelites to begin their life as a "religious community." Moses had continually asked Pharaoh to release the people so that they might worship God and now, at last, after 400 years of servitude to the Egyptian ruler, all the pieces were in place for that to happen. Our parashah opens by providing still more support for Israel's emerging cultic system. Moses was to conduct a census to be accomplished by collecting a half-shekel from each of the adult males, presumably an early building fund project. Now, surely, everything would be in order for the new religious structure.

JTS Torah Commentary - Parashat Tetzavvah

on Tue, 02/15/2011 - 16:50


Exodus 27:20–30:10

February 12, 2011 / 8 Adar I 5771

This week's commentary was written by Rabbi David Hoffman, scholar-in-residence, Development Department, JTS.

Leading With Absence

With the first words of our parashah, we see the shadow, but not the body, of a man.

"V'ata tetzavvah et b'nai yisrael" (Exod. 27:20): "And you shall instruct the children of Israel" in the production of oil for the menorah to be used in the Tabernacle.

Only two verses later we read:

"V'ata hakrev eilekha et aharon ahiekha v'et banav eto" (28:1): "And you shall bring forward Aaron your brother and his

A Little Warm Up for Tu Bishvat!

on Mon, 01/17/2011 - 14:51