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Rabbi Elana Zelony

Torah Fast When Torah is Dropped

It happened. A Torah was dropped during services. That story children whisper in Hebrew school with eyes widened in disbelief about fasting for forty days is true. Well, give or take a few leniencies that rabbis have made over the centuries. However, the important message is not the shocking length of the fast. Rather, it’s the message of community […]

Beri Schwitzer

Get motivated to take action!

G’mar Chatima Tova! On Rosh Hashana our fate is written and on Yom Kippur our fate is sealed…and in July our High Holiday Family Record gets written. While the Congregational Learning Center is on summer break, we use this time to develop all of the exciting programs and events for the year to come. It […]

Cyd Friedman

Our Spiritual Home and Our Journey

We are all so fortunate to have Beth Torah as our spiritual home in the unsettled world in which we live. If you are new to the congregation, haven’t been around in a while, or are here all the time, we are so happy to welcome you to be with our amazing family over the […]

Rabbi Elana Zelony

Yamim Noraim: “Days of Awe”

The Hebrew phrase yamim noraim is used to describe the ten days between Rosh Hashanna and Yom Kippur, and is usually translated as, “days of awe.” However, if you enter the word noraim into Google Translate it will tell you that the word means “terrible.” This is a good lesson on why we shouldn’t depend […]

Beri Schwitzer

ISJL Partnership

At Congregation Beth Torah, we’re proud to partner with the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) to ensure our children an excellent Jewish education. The ISJL is a regional, trans-denominational Jewish organization serving a thirteen– state southern territory. Our school is one of 70 religious schools across the region sharing in the ISJL’s curriculum, […]

Cyd Friedman

School, Holidays Coming Up

It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over and we are getting ready for school and the holidays. It has been a wonderful summer so far with B’nai Mitzvot every weekend in June, and the simchas continue with B’nai Mitzvot every weekend in August. We also celebrated an Auf ruf in July and have […]

Rabbi Elana Zelony

Torah Stories and Their Changing Meaning

My mother once asked me if I ever worry that I’ll have nothing to say in a sermon because we read the same Torah every year and the story never changes. It’s true that we read the same words every year, but their meaning changes because of experiences we’ve had. These experiences provide us with […]

Beri Schwitzer

Make It Jewish

Mission: Make it Jewish. Seems simple enough, doesn’t it? It’s a challenge I give Miriam and Hannah every summer. Let’s take on a project to learn, to study, and make it Jewish. Over the years, we have studied Jewish authors and artists, historians and heroines—and this summer is a big mystery. It might just be […]

Cyd Friedman

Busy Summer and Security

First, I want to say thank you to those who were able to attend our annual meeting. I am honored to continue serving as your president in the upcoming year and appreciate your confidence in me. I want to welcome the new members of the board; I look forward to working together. A big thank […]