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summer 2024

The Summer brings lots several exciting changes and updates to B’nai Israel  programs and events. Please make sure to read through for the latest:

Shavuot Holiday Celebrations  June 11-12

Kabbalat Shabbat Friday Evening Services

Beginning June 14 and continuing through August 30, Friday evening Kabbalat Shabbat services will begin at 7:00 PM, later than our usual 6:15 PM time. We look forward to seeing you!

August 16: Musical Kabbalat Shabbat with Cantor Josh with Wine and Cheese

Casual summer Shabbat

Casual Shabbat is back!
Saturdays, June 22–August 24
No ties, no jeans.   

Summer Speaker Series

During the summer months, we invite members of our community to speak on Shabbat mornings and address the congregation about the interesting ways that they connect special experiences to their Jewish identities. All presentations take place during Shabbat services, at approximately 10:45 AM:

  • June 22 – Together We Will Win: My Wartime Trip to Israel with Jim Ackerman
  • June 29 – A Call to Action: Reflections on the B'nai Israel Civil Rights Trip with Ellen Ginsberg
  • July 6 – Reflections on B'nai Israel's Recent Jewish Heritage Tour to Buenos Aires, Argentina with Peggy Pearlstein 
  • July 13 – Sephardic Jews: Experiencing a New Golden Age in America with Larry Bensignor 
  • July 20 – Reflections and Insights from Three Years of Shlichut with Hagai Dagan-Schlachter

  • July 27 –  I Lost My Parents but Found Them, and More in a Year (Plus) of Daily Minyan with Diane Saltzman
  • August 3 – The Legal Battle Against Campus Anti-Semitism with Denise Katz-Prober

To learn more about our Summer Speaker Series, click here.


The Ruined House by Ruby Namdar
with Rabbi Mitchell Berkowitz
July 1, July 22, August 12

Click here for details and to register.

summer beit midrash – TUESDAYS IN JULY 

7:30–9:00 PM In-Person and Recorded
There is no charge to attend. Each session is independent. Register for those that interest you or for all.


The Keys to Living a Long Life: Honoring & Releasing
with Rabbi Mitchell Berkowitz

For the upholding of two specific mitzvot, the Torah tells us that we will live a long life and fare well: honoring our parents and releasing a mother bird if we take her eggs. What, if anything, unites these two mitzvot and how do we understand their alleged reward? Click here to register.


Why Are the Holidays So Late This Year? Introduction to the Jewish Calendar
with Cantor Sarah Bolts

The Jewish calendar is endlessly fascinating! Did you know that it’s set up so that the holidays never fall on certain days? Or that Rosh Hashanah is not actually the first day of the year? This class provides an overview of the Jewish calendar and some of its interesting features. Click here to register.

July 16

Wait a Minute…God Isn’t Perfect?
with Rabbi Michael Safra

While the claim that God is not perfect seems contrary to what Jews are “supposed” to believe, notions of an imperfect God are deeply embedded into biblical, rabbinic, and kabbalistic texts. The idea that God is  perfect and immutable is founded mostly in the philosophical treatises of the 10th, 11th, and 12th centuries; these texts are important, but they do not represent the totality of normative Jewish theology. Might the conception of an Imperfect God help us to better relate to God and the commandments? If we understood that even God was capable of mistakes, might we become more forgiving of our own misdeeds (and those of the people we love)? Click here to register.


Reflections on Yossi Klein Halevi’s Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor
with Rabbi Cheryl Stone

In Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor, Yossi Klein Halevi reaches across the seemingly infinite gulf between two peoples, writing as an Israeli to an imagined Palestinian neighbor. Halevi also invites those neighbors and others to respond. Right now, we are in such a time of immense pain and a universe of complex emotion. Halevi’s book can serve as a model for us to process some of what we are experiencing and desire to express. Come explore excerpts of his letters as well the responses and look at how to craft either our own letter to our neighbor, real or imagined or our response to Halevi’s attempt to bridge the divide.  Click here to register.

We look forward to seeing you this Summer! Have a safe and wonderful season.

Thu, June 20 2024 14 Sivan 5784