Category Archives: General

At URJ Biennial, We Are Reminded That We Are Not Alone by Rachel Campbell

Dec 14

It would be an understatement to say that it has been a challenging time in our country these last several years. I don’t need to go through the laundry list why. And while Temple Beth El has served as a beacon to many of us during these hard times, it can often feel like we are […]

From My Seat at URJ’s Biennial Convention by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

Dec 07

For five days every two years, thousands of Jewish professionals serving reform congregations and organizations, lay leaders, and congregants come together to learn, to pray, and to connect. We come together to learn about best practices and principles. We come together to hear how other synagogues struggle and succeed, that we may bear witness to […]

Chanukah, Hope, and Hosting: The Youth Are Our Present by Rabbi Dusty Klass

Nov 20

Chanukah celebrates the proverbial light in the darkness, the hope that comes from flickering flames in the midst of a cold winter night, the story of the nascent Jewish people’s triumph over seemingly overwhelming forces. On Chanukah, miracles happen; the impossible is made possible. Chanukah bolsters our ability to hope. The power of hope is […]

A Prayer for Thanksgiving by Temple Beth El Clergy

Nov 20

The Torah describes the harvest festival of Sukkot as a time to give thanks to God for the bounty and beauty of the world. Our Jewish holiday inspired the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony in 1623 to shape new rituals to express their timeless gratitude. As Jews, as Americans, as human beings, we too give thanks […]

Home by Andy Harkavy, Director of Congregational Engagement

Nov 15

Many people have numerous definitions for the word home. Over the years, I often asked myself, “Is home where I live or is it where I was born?” Home is defined as the place where one lives permanently. I have not lived in Atlanta since I graduated from high school in 2002. I have almost spent more years […]

Do A Mitzvah – Turn the World Around by Susan Jacobs, Director of Education

Nov 09

This Shabbat we will read the parsha, Chayei Sarah, the life of Sarah.  The portion begins with Sarah’s life but focuses on her death and burial. What is amazing about Abraham and Sarah is how much they accomplished in their advanced years. Rabbi Stephen S Pearce, Ph.D, writes, “Chayei Sarah was written at a time […]

Democracy is Not a Spectator Sport by Rabbi Judy Schindler

Nov 01

When Jeremiah the prophet preached 2600 years ago, he enjoined his fellow Jews who were exiled to Babylon to get engaged with their community, “Seek the peace of the city to which I have caused you to be in exile…for in its shalom, you shall find shalom.” (Jeremiah 29:7) The word shalom is variously translated as […]

Words of Gratitude by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

Oct 30

“I offer thanks to You, ever-living Sovereign, that You have restored my soul to me in mercy: How great is Your trust.” This translation of the Modeh Ani prayer begins each of the morning services in Mishkan T’filah, the Reform Movement’s 2007 prayer book. The very first words on our lips each day are meant […]

Family – There are All Kinds and I Seem to Need Them All by Candace Naliboff, Director of Member Services

Oct 24

When my husband and I moved to Charlotte over five years ago, we knew only our daughter…we were so happy because our little family was together again, but I needed more. I was born in Hendersonville…so coming home to North Carolina after all these years meant I had many cousins that I would get to […]