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Ta Shema: September 1, 2023

125 Years of Bnai Israel: Past, Present, and Future


It's beginning to look a lot like the High Holidays are here! All Holiday information has been sent out, including seat registration, and RSVPs for all Holiday related events. Please look over everything thoroughly, as you are not going to want to miss out on the myriad of ways to celebrate the holidays together, both in and out of the synagogue building.

Hebrew School is about to kick off on September 10th and if last Sunday's Tot event was any indication, both our learners and our parents are excited to begin the new year. For more information about High Holidays or Hebrew School visit the website or call the office.

On Kol Nidre this year, I will be reflecting on our 125 year history, our vibrant present, and thinking forward to the future. But I need your help! I would love for members to share their personal stories with me. I will be sharing some of your reflections as part of my sermon. You can submit stories anonymously if you feel more comfortable sharing that way. Please help me by sharing your memories, present points of connect, as well as your hopes for the future here:

As for me, my earliest memory of Bnai Israel is my first 15-minute call with the search committee and just having a gut feeling that "this is it." My present favorite point of connection is seeing the way my daughter feels so safe and at home in the synagogue and thinks of every person at Kiddush as her best friend. My hope is that everyone feels that safe and connected here, that everyone is a friend or a potential friend.

May this be a year where we all seek together. May we seek to honor the past and the many people that enabled us to be here, sometimes against all odds. May we seek out ways to continue to grow in the here and now. Finally, may we seek to never be closed off from something new—to be surprised by what might happen if we may only be open to the possibility. 

L'shana Tova U'metuka, A Sweet New Year filled with the unlimited potential of you,


Rabbi Chaya Bender

by Cathy Cohen

When young, I couldn’t reach you
through language.

I felt distant
from your prayer book names
steeped in punishment,
in law and judgment.

Instead, I sought you
in the quiet of the sanctuary,
in chanting,
in families shoulder to shoulder.

I sought you in vowels,
in silent pause between words,
in breath.

Eheyeh asher eheyeh
with the possible.

Eheyeh asher eheyeh
of openness, forgiveness.

a sense of your essence.

Tue, June 18 2024 12 Sivan 5784