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06 April 2015

President's Report by Dr. Mike Halsted

Written by Dr. Mike Halsted

It is hard to believe that with the arrival of spring, the midpoint of my term as President of Temple Israel is quickly approaching. The High Holidays, Chanukah and Purim have come and gone, and Passover is here. It seems we hardly skipped a beat with the move and the congregation has seamlessly settled into continuing the traditions from our years at Cass Street, while also starting new ones at Sterling Ridge. I hope we all feel quite at home as we look forward to starting our third year in our new building in August.


27 March 2015

As I See It... by Rabbi Azriel

Written by Rabbi Aryeh Azriel

I have never wanted to be a politician. What has always motivated me in my work is the desire to be an educator working in the field of values-based education.

Today, of course, because such is the way of the world, everyone among us Jews in the US and in Israel is talking about the political options and the mathematical options. The conversations about the election results have moved swiftly into the realm of how to build coalitions, the mathematical possibilities which still theoretically exist which could enable Yitzchak Herzog of the Zionist Union to betray most of his principles and become Prime Minister, and the horse trading that Bibi Netanyahu and the Likud will do to build the right wing coalition at the smallest possible cost to his party and the national coffers.



26 March 2015

Are There Really Bad Jews?

Written by Scott Littky

BadJews crop


Recently a group from Temple Israel ventured out to the Bluebarn Theatre to see BAD JEWS.  First of all if you have never been to the Bluebarn off of 11th Street in the Old Market, you really should, it is a real gem and I’m sure their new facility is going to be even better.  Now I am no theatre maven, I leave that to my son, Avi.  Truth is I know very little about what makes good or bad theatre.  So with that said, as a middle age Jewish male, I found Bad Jews, to be a very complex and a thought provoking play.  Please allow me to explain.


20 February 2015

A Look Back on Purim...

Written by Cantor Shermet

Purim begins on the evening of Wednesday, March 4, and we will hold our service, spiel and carnival at that time. Absent from the list of Torah holidays (chagim) are Chanukah and Purim, and they are therefore considered “minor” holidays.

Scholars guess that Ahashueras was Xerxes I of Persia, since Megillat Esther occurs during the fifth century BCE. “Pur” is an Akkadian word that means “lot,” as in casting your dice for chance or fate. Haman cast lots to fix the date for the destruction of the Jews, and this date was the 13th of Adar. This became now the Fast of Esther in remembrance of her fast before coming to the King to plead for her people.




05 February 2015

Ten Principles for Living a Life of Integrity

RamiShapiroby Rabbi Rami Shapiro

Read these ten vows carefully. First seek only to understand their meaning and intent. Then ask yourself whether or not they speak to you. Do they challenge you to live up to the principles they espouse? If they do, read them aloud as an affirmation of intent. Speak them as an act of ownership and commitment: This is what I am about as a religious person. These are among the core ideals I seek to manifest in my life through my actions. These are the pillars of truth I lean upon in my quest for spiritual awakening.


20 January 2015

A Very Personal Vote for the Soul of Israel

Posted in Rabbi

In one of the most important historical documents in the history of Zionism, Theodore Herzl wrote “A state is created by a nation’s struggle for existence.” Herzl could not have been more correct. The nation of Israel has existed since the days of Abraham. The state of Israel as we know it today was born out of our struggles. It was born first out of the European struggle with Anti-Semitism. The state was born again in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973 and at every other time it struggled with war. We watch today as it is born again and again with struggles that every state must face. With most of these struggles and re-births, all we can do from our very comfortable seat in the diaspora, is pray. But there is a struggle, an increasingly more personal struggle for us in America and at Temple Israel that we can address with more than prayer. It is the struggle for the religious soul of our Jewish state.


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