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22 July 2015

Confronted by Israel: A frank conversation with Rabbi Brown following his recent trip to Israel and the West Bank

Written by Rabbi Josh Brown

Adult Study Class
Thursday, July 22, 10-11:30 a.m.

I invite you to join me tomorrow as I reflect on this experience, the great joys and the terrible fears I experienced. While I have a lot to share, I hope our time together will be a frank discussion that unpacks some of the facts, even if it leaves us with more questions to be answered.  


23 June 2015

Progressive Israeli Jews Under Attack


On June 17th, Israel’s newly installed minister of religious affairs, David Azoulay, called the Reform movement “a disaster for the nation of Israel.” A disaster. With one word, the person chosen to be in charge of the religious affairs of all Israeli Jews denigrated an entire Jewish Movement. A movement with millions of constituents in Israel and around the world, and with a proud history of contributing to Judaism’s colorful tapestry.

Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu issued a statement last night saying that he “strongly disagrees” with Azoulay’s comments. He pledged to “ensure that Israel remains a place where all Jews can feel at home.”



23 June 2015

My Jewish Heroes & Mentors by Justin Cooper

Posted in Summer Speaker Series

Shabbat Shalom

When I was asked or more accurately had my arms twisted to speak about “My Jewish Heroes & Mentors”, I thought that the subject would be one to easily be addressed. By the way Rabbi Azriel, due to the twisting of arms, you are temporarily stricken from my hero list!

In answering the question , my first thought was how have other people defined “heroes”?



03 June 2015

Reflections on a Traveling Torah by Mike Erman


MikeErmanTorah2-webShabbat Shalom..

Last December, when the family was in Oakland for Marshall's Bar Mitzvah, there was a discussion after services of the history of the Torah he read from and Emma will read from tomorrow. At that time Lori asked me to make some remarks at Emma's Bat Mitzvah to which I replied "you must be kidding, you know I am terrified of public speaking" ........... Lori can be tough to say no to.



05 May 2015

The Brandon Thomas Pursuit of Passion Scholarship

Posted in Temple Israel

BrandonThomasBeginning this year, we will be presenting the Brandon Thomas Pursuit of Passion Scholarship to two of our graduating seniors. Brandon was just shy of graduation from the Institute for the Culinary Arts when he died at age 21 from injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident. Brandon was passionate about his career choice and was a loving and caring friend to all who knew him. When asked to describe Brandon, his Mother Andie Gordman said, “Brandon had a passion for culinary arts, he knew from a young age he always wanted to be a chef. Thanksgiving was absolutely his favorite holiday and he couldn’t wait to help plan the menu and cook the meal.” READ MORE

05 May 2015

The Mitzvah of Being a Neighbor

Written by Rabbi Josh Brown

rabbi brownThe relationship of one neighbor to another supersedes politics and religion. It is, perhaps literally, just too close to home. We see our neighbors from our kitchen windows and over our fences. We notice when they neglect their lawn or celebrate their child’s birthday with balloons on the mailbox.

Our Torah makes no secret of the fact that human beings must honor our neighbors. The importance of the neighborly relationship falls no lower than the Golden Rule itself and the tablets God gave Moses at Sinai. READ MORE

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