Kol Hadash Articles

On Facing Yom HaShoah

Just around this time last year, I was visiting Yad VaShem. It was my second time at the museum and first time visiting so close to Yom HaShoah, which added another somber note to an already doleful experience. Out of all the images … Continue reading »


Civil Rights Through a Jewish Lens

Over the weekend preceding Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, B’nai Jeshurun traveled with 21 8th- and 9th-graders to Birmingham, Montgomery, and Atlanta, on a journey to explore the civil rights movement and struggle throughout U.S. history—and how it is relevant … Continue reading »


Two Prayer Retreats, Two Paths to the Soul

BJ Prayer Retreat at Menla Mountain By Sian Gibby How to describe the transcendent communal Jewish experience of the BJ Prayer Retreat? A complete picture isn’t possible; living it happened in multiple dimensions, some of them not communicable in writing. Below, … Continue reading »


The Path to Freedom

In December 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old street vendor, set himself on fire in protest of continued harassment that was inflicted on him by local Tunisian authorities. His suffering ignited a rebellion that brought down the Tunisian government and shook the … Continue reading »


A Year of Release

What does a millennia-old agricultural law have to do with our spiritual lives today? Shmita is the seventh year of a seven-year agricultural cycle found in the Torah. It is commonly translated as “sabbatical year,” but it literally means “release.” It … Continue reading »


An Additional Soul: Family and Fun at the Reach for Shabbat Family Retreat

Circles began to form around nine different havdalah candles in the glass-walled sanctuary. As new and old friends gathered together around each candle, marking the separation of our beautiful Shabbat from the rest of the week, I could already see the … Continue reading »


A Memorable Visit with Rabbi Marcelo

One of the hallmarks of the Kitah Aleph curriculum at BJ Hebrew School is our Synagogue Study. Learners explore what takes place in a synagogue—its sacred objects, rituals, life cycle evets—and the role a shul plays in an individual’s life … Continue reading »


Brukhim Haba-im: Welcome to our New Staff!

Anyone who has been a BJ member for even a short period of time knows that the shul has a knack for hiring great staff people—and our latest crop of hires is no exception. New positions allow us to tailor duties … Continue reading »


“These I Recall”: Eleh Ezkerah 5775

No matter how many Holocaust stories we hear, each one offers a uniquely profound view into the tragic time leading up to, during, and immediately following World War II. At this year’s Yom Kippur Musaf service, BJ members Barry Lichtenberg, … Continue reading »


Night of 100 Dinners: Let’s Honor the Hospitality Legacy of Sara and Andy Litt

Like the avant-garde Parisian salon of Gertrude Stein where modern art was discovered and nurtured, Andy and Sara Litt’s living room was an incubator and haven for BJ. As they entered, guests could count on a good bottle of wine … Continue reading »


Tashlikh and the Thrill of Potential

Every year, my sister’s in-laws announce their big Rosh Hashanah gathering for 4:00PM on the first day of the holiday. They extend their most generous invitation to my mother and me and now, of course, to my husband as well. It’s a lovely evening, … Continue reading »


Towards a More Inclusive Judaism: Bridging the Distance

I can trace my choice not to go to rabbinical school to a very particular moment in time. Rabbi Matthew Cutler was driving me home from a youth group retreat where I had been the songleader. As a senior in college, … Continue reading »


Our Little Shul in the Woods: The BJ Community Retreat

On Memorial Day weekend, nearly one hundred BJ members, Marcelo, Roly and guest teacher Nigel Savage, Director and Founder of Hazon, decamped to the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. The long drive brought us home to the woods, surrounded by farmlands, … Continue reading »


Tzedakah,Tefillah and Teens: Digging Deeper on the Teen Service Trip

On the surface, teens and prayer do not seem like natural partners. If you were able to witness the 23 teens on BJ’s February service learning trip to the Dominican Republic, however, your mind may have changed. As part of the … Continue reading »


The Bride and Grooms of BJ: Introducing the Simhat Torah Kallah and Hatanei 5775

Every year, BJ rabbis single out deserving congregation members to bestow the honor of reading Torah during our Simhat Torah celebration. This year, the blessing of Simhat Torah hatan (groom) and kallah (bride) has been given to three wonderful members of … Continue reading »


Hebrew Immersion, Song and Creative Play: New Young Family Programs for a New Year

At BJ, Jewish identity begins to develop in the earliest years of childhood. Creative programs, such as Bim Bam and Children’s Services, provide families with young children regular opportunities to connect with Judaism and with one another. As we look ahead … Continue reading »


Heartfelt Thanks and Sincere Welcome: The Changing of the Board

A new BJ fiscal year brings fresh faces and inspiring ideas to our Board of Trustees. At the May 30 annual meeting, our community unanimously voted in and welcomed four new board members, as well as a new general counsel (read … Continue reading »


“Are You There, God? It’s Me, __________.” Davening in White: The BJ Women’s Retreat

Sometimes, B’nai Jeshurun can feel like a very big place—especially for a single woman in her thirties. After joining BJ a year ago, I explored various routes and entry points into the community. Although BJ members are friendly, warm and open, … Continue reading »


Meet Irv Rosenthal, BJ’s New President

As of July 1, and for the next three years, Irvin Rosenthal is adding the responsibilities of President of BJ to the existing demands of his position as Chief Financial Officer of UJA-Federation. Irv brings his thoughtful reserved style, life-long … Continue reading »


Elevating the Souls of Our Loved Ones

This year, as every year, I will make gifts in my parents’ memory following Yizkor. For most of us, the High Holy Days are a time to remember, reflect and return to our truest, best selves. The approach of Rosh Hashanah and … Continue reading »


Moving to the Community House:
The Color of Connection

While speed-deleting unwanted items from my personal email account, I fortunately noticed color consultant Bonnie Krims’ newsletter before it landed in the virtual trash bin. I discovered Bonnie’s work more than seven years ago while searching for paint colors for … Continue reading »


Bringing Farmworkers to the Table:
Expanding our Understanding of Ethical Consumption

Fair trade, organic, cage-free or local—each trip to the supermarket forces us to balance a cacophony of ethical claims. And yet, what about the people who picked those apples, milked the cows, or gathered the eggs? They are invisible in … Continue reading »