Author Archives: Susan Jacobs

New Year’s Resolutions and Revelations by Susan Jacobs, Director of Education

Dec 27

As Jews, we have two New Years, Rosh Hashanah and January 1st. When I was younger, I used to see Rosh Hashanah as the reset button for my spiritual self. It was my time of reflection and introspection. A time to take stock of my relationships and personal journeys and to center and change things […]

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 […]

Not Your Same Old Religious School by Susan Jacobs, Director of Education

Jul 26

Sometimes it’s hard to be a kid! Sometimes it’s even harder to be a Jewish kid! Attending religious school is a vital part of growing up in a Jewish family.  Who knew it was so challenging to learn to be Jewish?  After all, it requires more than just eating bagels. At Temple Beth El Religious […]

Magic Words by Susan Jacobs, Director of Education

May 03

I’m sitting at my computer scrolling through inspiring quotes to find the perfect one that will inspire all of our congregational families to volunteer on Mitzvah Day. If only I could find those magic words from someone far more eloquent than me that would touch our hearts and move us into action. Profound words from […]

Zachor – We Remember by Susan Jacobs

Mar 08

This week’s Torah portion is Zachor or Remembrance. It is the portion that is always read the Shabbat preceding Purim when we are commanded to remember the evil of Amalek and to eradicate it from the face of the earth. Haman was thought to be a descendant of Amalek and the holiday of Purim celebrates Queen Esther’s bravery […]

The Final Gift by Susan Jacobs, Director of Education

Jan 24

I’m getting old. I feel great and I have a truly amazing life but the comforting layer of family, friends and members of my community who are older than me is thinning.  That safe bubble that kept me young because they were the old ones is dwindling. Honestly, it’s a little unsettling. When I look […]

Telling the Story by Susan Jacobs, Director of Education

Dec 14

“Just as Hanukkah candles are lighted one by one from a single flame, so the tale of the miracle is passed from one man to another, from one house to another, and to the whole House of Israel throughout the generations.” — Judah Leon Magnes This is the week that we will pull out all […]

Touching Torah by Susan Jacobs, Director of Education

Oct 26

How many of us grew up terrified of ever touching the Torah scroll? How many of us really ever had a chance to see the Torah up close?  The Torah is our most sacred object and as I was growing up the Torah became something beyond my reach. Something so revered that being in close […]

The Gift by Susan Jacobs, Director of Education

Sep 07

I am always so excited and a little nervous every year at this time.  We are in the count-down days before religious school begins.  The office is abuzz with activity trying to get everything ready for opening day, September 11th.  I look forward to the excitement and activity that fills the lobby and halls as […]