Under the Iron Dome: Experiencing the Conflict in Israel First-Hand

I did not expect to become a target of missile fire this summer — that was never on my intended agenda of tanning, shopping and padding the resume. Yet, during the middle of my Jerusalem summer program’s potluck dinner, our shrieks of delight at the watermelon and feta salad succumbed to deadening silence as a siren suddenly blared over the loudspeaker.

A note from Rabbi Goldberg at OSRUI

I once had the pleasure of learning from Harry Kraemer, of the Kellogg School of Management. He taught that leadership is not something one waits for until an invitation arrives. Leaders start leading by the choices they make, the actions they take and the ones they refuse to take. Even a five year old can be a leader, finding a ball and asking his or her friends to start playing.

What is God – Part 12: God’s name is Ineffable

What a complicated word this is – “ineffable.” If something has a quality that is ineffable, it is not possible to express it in words. Often, this is because the quality is too beautiful, too grand, too exalted.

One set of metaphors we found in our Adult Ed class was those attempts to describe something that was indescribable. (Put aside the fact that calling something indescribable is, in fact, describing it.) God is Alone, the Eternal, the Answer to all of the “why” questions. We know the letters of God’s name, but not how to actually say them out loud.

Yeah, we’re gonna have a party, party!

You have heard we are having a party, right? As we get closer and closer to May 3rd and a night of Beatlemania, the excitement is building around Temple Sholom. Even our littlest Gan Shalomers are ready to Come Together and celebrate!

To help them get into the spirit, members of the Gan Shalom and Temple Sholom staff recorded a CD of their favorite Beatles songs. Some even re-imagined the songs to be more Temple Sholom appropriate! Hey Jude became Hey Jews for example!

What’s your Favorite Beatles song?

The Beatles have such a tremendous catalog of music it’s hard to believe that they were together and recording music for such a short time – only about ten years. A lot of my favorite Beatles songs tend to be ones written by George Harrison or Ringo Starr, which is pretty interesting since the vast majority of their music was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. My all-time favorite is Here Comes the Sun

Why is our Elevator under the sea?

We all live in a yellow submarine…The Beatles are invading Temple Sholom! Well, Beatlemania is anyway! Everyone on staff is so excited to Come Together to celebrate our Annual Spring Fling as a congregation. Membership and Programming Coordinator, Kylie Zacharia channeled one of her favorite Beatles tunes when it came time to decorate the elevator.
May 3rd is fast approaching – and we hope that you will join us at 7:30pm for a fun night of dinner, dancing, and of course great Beatles music performed by Premier Beatles Band, The Cavern Beat.

What is God – Part 11 – God as the Model

We are, we say, created in God’s image. Using a metaphor found in The Gates of Prayer, God is the Mold from which we were fashioned. I find this to be a compelling metaphor. God is the Model for our own thoughts and behaviors.

God is Holy, so we must be holy. God is Just, so we should act justly. God is merciful, so we should love mercy.

Say NO to concealed weapons at all Houses of Worship

In July 2013, the State of Illinois enacted the Firearm Concealed Carry Act (the “Concealed Carry Law”), which authorizes properly licensed individuals to carry a concealed firearm in Illinois. The law went into effect on January 1, 2014.

While there are designated properties and locations where concealed firearms are not allowed under the Concealed Carry Law, houses of worship are not among them; accordingly, properly licensed individuals are allowed to carry a concealed firearm in many other houses of worship.

What Ari Shavit Said & What Israel has to do with our Children.

Ari Shavit, while speaking at the Standard Club on Monday December 9, said lots of things about Israel and its people that I continue to think about, but his comment about American Jewry really caught my attention. It arose during the Q and A portion of his presentation on his recently published My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. Near the end of the address, Shavit expressed a profound concern over the relationship between Israel and Jewish American youth, especially those from secular, non-orthodox communities. What he said had nothing to do with synagogue participation, intermarriage, or the like. It had to do with the political behavior of Jewish American adults.

In early November, I came across the first of several reviews of Shavit’s My Promised Land. In this book, Shavit, an Israeli author and columnist for Haaretz, embarks on an exploration of Israel’s history from the early Zionist movement (of which his own grandfather played a significant role), to the present, in order to understand the source of Israel’s state of “duality” and his own fears about Israel’s survival that have dogged him since childhood. By “duality,” Shavit explains, “On the one hand, Israel is the only nation in the West that is occupying another people. On the other hand, Israel is the only nation in the West that is existentially threatened. Both occupation and intimidation make the Israeli condition unique” (xii). All of the reviews I read convinced me that Shavit had compelling things to say, so when I heard that there would be a Temple Sholom presence at the Standard Club to hear Shavit speak, I signed right up.

A Note From the Biennial – From Kimberly Ross

I’m currently attending my first URJ Biennial. I arrived in San Diego last night in time for most of the opening plenary, which included remarks from some giants in the Reform movement (not to mention a pre-recorded video message from Vice President Biden). Later, many of us heard a concert by singers-songwriters Julie Silver and Michelle Citrin. Then jet lag set in.