Beth Emet - The Free Synagogue

Beth Emet is a diverse, multigenerational Reform community with a dynamic approach to Judaism. Our congregation seeks to create a spiritually vibrant, socially conscious, intellectually challenging, and deeply caring environment firmly rooted in Jewish tradition and values.

Embracing Holiness Small

Yearly Theme 5774

At the midpoint of the Book of Leviticus in Chapter 19, we find not only the exact center point of the Torah, but also the spiritual heart of the Torah. “Kedoshim tihiyu,” God calls to the Jewish people. “You (plural) shall be holy.” In Torah, there’s usually a chain of communication from God through Moses to the People of Israel, but here God calls out to the entire community directly, with no intermediary. Holiness is so central to Judaism that God communicates to everyone, not just the priests and leaders; holiness is incumbent upon each individual. Yet, holiness in our modern, secular age can seem off-putting, even daunting. You may ask, “Why would I want to be holy? Could I possibly be holy even if I wanted to?” This year, we will explore together these questions and the vast Jewish literature on holiness to better understand the concept of holiness and how we might embrace it in our lives. Leviticus 19 contains some very concrete examples of how to lead a holy life (some of which are found in the 10 Commandments). They include how we should care for our own souls and our relationship with Divinity. Equally important, holiness addresses how we treat and interact with other human beings. We will explore both aspects of holiness and how they interconnect and influence each other. For purposes of our annual theme, I have translated kedoshim tihiyu as embracing holiness. God tells us to be holy, but it’s up to each of us to embrace this commandment. We delved into the concept of holiness throughout the year.

Some highlights included our fourth Friday Shabbat speaker series as well as our scholars-in-residence this year:

Rabbi Estelle Frankel  psychotherapist and author of the book Sacred Therapy, worked with us through worship and study to explore the Kabbalistic notion of planes of consciousness with which we relate to God. This weekend was jointly sponsored with JRC.

Embracing Holiness Amidst Diversity: Our Jewish Experience in an Interfaith World with Jodi Bromberg, President of InterfaithFamily.com.

Rabbi Noam Katz composer and performer of Jewish music, led us in worship and taught us how Jewish music and prayer can nurture our holiness.

Rabbi Rachel Cowan, former executive director of the Institute of Jewish Spirituality, talked about the curriculum she developed on “Wise Aging” and will guided us in one of the sessions.

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  • Celebrate & Commemorate - BE@70


    January 10-12, 2020


    For 70 years, Beth Emet The Free Synagogue has created a community uniquely open to diverse understanding and expression of what it means to be a Jew.

    For 70 years, we have inspired and challe...

 

Beth Emet is a diverse, multigenerational Reform community with a dynamic approach to Judaism. Our congregation seeks to create a spiritually vibrant, socially conscious, intellectually challenging, and deeply caring environment firmly rooted in Jewish tradition and values.

  • with Khane-Faygl Turtletaub
    Wednesday, November 20 | 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
    You have told Jewish jokes and you have heard Jewish jokes. This class will explore what makes a joke Jewish, and what makes a Jewish joke funny.
    Me...

  • Adults and Kids Night Out at Beth Emet


    Saturday, December 7 | 5:30 - 8:00 p.m.

    Last year's Adults and Kids Night Out at Beth Emet events were such a hit that we're doing it again!

    The evening begins with Havdalah together in the Lobby, then, we'll spli...

  • November 1 - December 8

    Cleaning out your closet this fall? Consider helping our Soup Kitchen guests stay warm this winter by donating your gently used coats, scarves, hats, gloves, and boots. Please make sure pock...

  • Ivrit with Ronit

    With Ronit Levy
    Wednesdays, October 23 - November 18 | 4:30-5:30 p.m.

    A fun afternoon Hebrew class for children ages 4-6. Learn Hebrew through songs, games, dance, snack, yoga and more.

    $10 per session. Please co...

  • Celebrate & Commemorate - BE@70


    January 10-12, 2020


    For 70 years, Beth Emet The Free Synagogue has created a community uniquely open to diverse understanding and expression of what it means to be a Jew.

    For 70 years, we have inspired and challe...

  •  Thinking about keeping your slate clean after Yom Kippur? Want a Jewish way to deepen your focus on your speech, behavior, and ideas? Looking to connect to people in meaningful ways? You may be looking for tikkun m...

  • Beth Emet Book Club


    facilitated by Judith Pittel
    Count to a Thousand: Negotiating life as an American in modern-day Israel 
    with author Caroline Goldberg Igra
    Wednesday, November 20 at 1:00 p.m. 
    Count to a Thousand tells the story of an A...

  • Thursdays,  November 21, December 12, January 16, February 27, March 19, April 23 | 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

    Participants study as a small group of adults studies to become b’nei mitzvah together at Beth Emet. Requirements for Adult...

  • facilitated by Mark Schoenfield
    Wednesday, November 6 | 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. and repeated Friday, November 8 | 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    Our brains take in and store huge amounts of sensory information. Part of the material stored un...

  • with David Shyovitz
    Fridays, December 13 and 20 | 9:45 – 11:15 a.m.
    The relationship between Christians and Jews has been marked by violence and mutual antagonism for much of the past 2000 years; but at the same time, Jews and ...

  • with David Zarefsky

    Tuesdays, November 12 and January 7 | 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
    This is a continuing lecture-discussion class on contemporary public issues of interest to Jews as citizens. We will focus primarily on United States ...

  • Drumming for Self-Renewal

    with Linda Schneider
    Wednesdays, October 30 and December 11; 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.

    Percussion offers hands-on, non-verbal access to the spiritual and emotional while connecting with others. Treat your mind, body, and spirit to a...

  • with Khane-Faygl Turtletaub
    Wednesday, November 20 | 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
    You have told Jewish jokes and you have heard Jewish jokes. This class will explore what makes a joke Jewish, and what makes a Jewish joke funny.
    Member fee $...

  • Hebrew 1

    with Bluma Stoller
    Sundays, October 6 – May 10 | 10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    (no class December 1, 22, 29, January 5, February 16, April 12)
    For learners with no or limited Hebrew language background. The aim of this class is to f...

  • Hebrew 2

    with Nancy Fink
    Sundays, October 6 – May 10 | 10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    (no class December 1, 22, 29, January 5, February 16, April 12) 

    For learners already able to sound out Hebrew words. Improve your reading fluency. Explor...

  • Hebrew 3

    with Dorit Flatt
    Sundays, October 20 – May 10 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (no class December 1, 22, 29, January 5, February 16, April 12)
    For learners who have completed Hebrew 2 or an equivalent, including the basic ability t...

  •  Thinking about keeping your slate clean after Yom Kippur? Want a Jewish way to deepen your focus on your speech, behavior, and ideas? Looking to connect to people in meaningful ways? You may be looking for tikkun middot.

    Be...

  • The Planet in Peril—Study and Action

    with Rabbi Amy L. Memis-Foler
    Wednesday, November 13 | 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
    Jewish values teach us that we are obligated to take steps to correct the damages of climate change. In the chapter, The Planet in Peril, from Reform J...

  • with Rabbi Michael Balinsky
    Fridays, November 15 and 22 | 9:45 – 11:15 a.m.

    Although the Reform movement is steeped in ritual/mitzvah expressions, it does not define itself as a halachic movement. However, halachah can help us ...

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