Author Archives: Laura Bernstein

WE CAN ALL BE SHEPHERDS: WHAT MAKES A JEWISH LEADER? BY DR. LAURA BERNSTEIN

Oct 19

WE CAN ALL BE SHEPHERDS:  WHAT MAKES A JEWISH LEADER?  The Torah offers abundant lessons for leadership for today.  As we turn the scroll through the opening chapters of Genesis and later into Exodus, we see how Noah, Abraham, and Moses each face the challenge of corruption in their day and respond in different ways. […]

We are the Light by Dr. Laura Bernstein, Executive Director

Aug 17

In the words of Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, “The Torah teaches that God created a world capable of chaos and order. While this can sometimes create moments of despair, it is also the basis for all hope, all light in the darkness.” In our staff meeting this […]

The Kindness Game by Dr. Laura Bernstein

Jul 06

This week’s Torah portion, Parashat Balak, allows us to consider the power of words – both positive and negative. A Moabite King named Balak hires a non-Israelite prophet named Balaam to curse the Israelites; yet on three occasions God causes words of blessing to come forth from Balaam’s mouth. Rather than focusing on the negativity that was intended to be spoken by […]

DAYEINU! by Dr. Laura Bernstein, Executive Director

Apr 13

Like tens of thousands of Jews around the world, my family and I recounted the story of Exodus this week as we participated in the annual Passover seder. It would have been enough to have been invited to one seder.  We were blessed to be included in two. It would have been enough to hear […]

Bright Lights by Dr. Laura Bernstein, Executive Director

Dec 29

Chanukah is a story of miracles and reminds us that light defeats darkness.  It’s a story of challenge and a story of hope. This Chanukah I reflect on the number of bright lights in my life and in the life of Temple Beth El. On the personal side, my life is filled with weekly trips […]

My Life Is Like A Chapter Book by Dr. Laura Bernstein

Oct 13

As we conclude Yom Kippur, a holiday of intense introspection, and look toward Sukkot, a holiday that calls us outside into the world and outside of ourselves, I find myself thinking about what my life will be like a year from now or perhaps 10 years from now.   What surprises are in store?  What challenges await?  […]

ARE YOU WATCHING? ARE YOU LISTENING? BY DR. LAURA BERNSTEIN

Aug 18

In this week’s Parsha Va’etchanan, we are told to “teach the Torah to your children and children’s children.”   So, what does this really mean?  For me, I think about what type of role model I need to be for my daughter.  She’s now 7 ½ and seems to have eyes in back of her head […]

Warm Cookies and Cold Milk are Good for You by Dr. Laura Bernstein

Jun 30

Well, this is it.  Tomorrow we welcome our new clergy.  We form a new leadership team.  We have a new Board President.  We take a significant step forward on our congregational journey. It is a moment for which we have long planned and anticipated. If you weren’t at the annual meeting, you missed Ginny Rosenberg sharing […]

The Journey Continues by Dr. Laura Bernstein

May 25

Tomorrow is Lag BaOmer, the 33rd day of the Omer.  The counting of the Omer marks the period from Passover, commemorating the Jews’ Exodus from Egypt, to Shavuot, commemorating the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. The journey from Egypt to Sinai was not only physical, but it was also spiritual.  The Israelites had […]