Large Enough to Serve You
Small Enough to Know You


Beri Schwitzer

Emotional and Spiritual Passover Cleaning

“When we clean for Pesach, we are not simply preparing to leave Egypt. Rather, we are committing to leave all the things that constrict us emotionally and spiritually and open ourselves to new possibilities.” —Lisa Silverstein Tzur As soon as Purim ended and the last hamantashen crumb was on my lips, my bubbie began her frenzied Passover cleaning. […]

Cyd Friedman

Spring Synagogue Events

We had such a meaningful and special March! Our Purim party, megillah reading and shpiel were well attended and so much fun! Every age group enjoyed, participated and felt the beauty of community. Then on March 22, the Beth Torah community joined with the larger community at the JCRC Interfaith Seder. Rabbi Zelony led the Seder, along with Bishop […]

Rabbi Elana Zelony

Ordinary People Taking Responsibility

Life seems to be full of connected events. I’d like to share a series of connections that speaks to love triumphing over hatred. It happened once that Holocaust survivor Judith Meisel, born in Lithuania and imprisoned in Stutthof, had dinner with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This happened because, after the Shoah, Mrs. Meisel rebuilt her life in Philadelphia. […]

Beri Schwitzer

Teacher Spotlight: Adiv Zelony

ADIV ZELONY was born and raised in Los Angeles; attended and graduated from the University of Southern California with a BA in International Relations. He spent his junior year abroad in Israel and two weeks after graduation made Aliyah. He served in the Israeli navy for two years and finished his naval career with the rank of sergeant. He met […]

Beri Schwitzer

Volunteering Creates Bonds

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel said that “What we need more than anything else is not textbooks but text people. It is the personality of the teacher which is the text that the pupils read; the text they will never forget.” This quote reminds me so much of the warmth and kindness that radiates through our hallways during Learning […]

Cyd Friedman

Busy Month Ahead

We have such a wonderful and busy month ahead! But before I get to all of that, I just want to say THANK YOU to our wonderful volunteers and congregants! Being at a variety of events over the last month just reminded me of how fortunate we are. We have celebrated and mourned together quite a bit; from […]


Have you ever been Jewbarrassed? It’s a word that describes the embarrassment of feeling we’re supposed to know something Jewish, but we don’t. For example, we might feel Jewbarrassed when people sing birkat hamazon, grace after meals, and everyone but us seems to know the words. Or, maybe we feel it in that moment of not being sure whether […]

Beri Schwitzer

Teacher Spotlight: Steven Duchin and Hillary Block

In an effort to introduce our Congregational Learning Center team to the community, we will feature teacher spotlights in the Family Record. This month we would like to introduce you to our two amazing enrichment specialists: Steven Duchin (Music) and Hillary Block (Art). Both Steven and Hillary (along with Chelsea Egenberg) are an integral part of our Wednesday […]

Cyd Friedman

Gratitude about CBT

Have you taken a few minutes lately to feel gratitude? Besides the reasons in your personal lives to be thankful for, what about your CBT family and home? I am so grateful to my Beth Torah family, and want to say thank you to all of you in making our home such a unique and special place. Let […]