‘Rabbi’ Category

Rabbi

January 11, 2013
By bethmordecai
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DAY 195: Our People, Our World

*Note:  This messsage is a little longer than usual* Dear Hevreh, A brief glimpse into any moment Jewish history reveals that we have been pulled by two, often opposing, poles -- towards our connection with our people and towards being a part of the greater society.  As such one of the tenets of Conservative Judaism that makes me a Conservative Jew, is that we can be both -- we can be good Jews and good members of society. Two upcoming events for our community clearly demonstrate our commitment to this belief. 1) Super Sunday Phone-a-thon for Jewish Federation of Middlesex County, this Sunday 1/13 8:30 am -- 2:00 pm; 5:30 pm -- 9:00 pm We have always been a people of small numbers, yet we[...]

Category : Middlesex Jewish News Perth Amboy News Rabbi Rabbi's Journal
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Rabbi

December 9, 2012
By bethmordecai
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DAY 162: Hanukkah @ Barnes and Noble

Dear Hevreh, Well, it's official.  Beth Mordecai has successfully invaded Barnes and Noble!  In partnership with PJ Library of Middlesex Federation and Barnes and Noble of Menlo Park, we had a wonderful event with crafts, songs, and Hanukkah stories.  There were 7-8 families who had their kids take part in the event (for a total of around 10 kids), many of whom are currently unaffiliated.  One family is already planning on coming to the Hanukkah party and another expressed great interest in our Hebrew School program called Project Jewish Living.  We will be following up with the families in the next couple of days, but most importantly we provided them with a positive Jewish experience that[...]

Category : Events Hanukkah Kidz Korner Rabbi Rabbi's Journal
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Rabbi

November 19, 2012
By bethmordecai
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DAY 142: The Gift of Conversation

Dear Hevreh, This afternoon I had the pleasure of spending some quality time with Reverend Ann-Marie Jeffrey, the spiritual leader of St. Peter's Episcopal Church, our partner institution for tomorrow (Tuesday) night's Interfaith Thanksgiving service @ 7 pm @ Beth Mordecai (REFRESHMENTS INCLUDED!).   While we spent part of the time working on the finishing touches of our innovative service for tomorrow, we spent the majority of time just...talking.  We talked about our calls to service, about the Bible, about the afterlife, about the nature of religious institutions, and so on and so forth.  It was a wonderful conversation because for a moment the daily grind of emails, phone calls, and obligations disappeared.  For a moment the mundane was replaced by the[...]

Category : Perth Amboy News Rabbi Rabbi's Journal
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Rabbi

November 15, 2012
By bethmordecai
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DAY 138: In memory of Cantor David Lavine z”l

Dear Hevreh, Psalm 31:13 נשכחתי כמת מלב הייתי ככלי אבד I am put out of mind like the dead; I am like an object given up for lost The sad news of the sudden passing of Cantor David Lavine z"l is a reminder to me of the gift and tenuousness of life.  Over the past couple of months, I spent a good time with Cantor Lavine preparing for the holidays, and though our relationship was a professional one, he was a big part of my life for my first few months at Beth Mordecai.  I would call him often, to plan our meetings in New York, discuss innovative ideas for services (we used some of his brainstorms in our service), and to practice the[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal
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Rabbi

July 12, 2012
By bethmordecai
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DAY 12: Thinking about motivation…

Dear Hevreh, I'm sitting here in my office, practicing my reading for the Torah portion for this week (Parashat Pinhas), and I'm struck by a story that relates to something I was thinking about at the Board of Trustees meeting last night.  We were talking last night about finding volunteers for the High Holidays, and during that discussion I wondered...how do we motivate people to give up their precious free time and commit to helping our community?  I had a suspicion of what my answer was (and to be truthful, I've thought a lot about it over the years), and that suspicion was confirmed tonight while practicing the Torah reading: Motivation comes from feeling like we matter. In this week's Torah portion, the[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Rosh Hashanah Yom Kippur
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Rabbi

July 11, 2012
By bethmordecai
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DAY 11: Reflection on today (and yesterday)

Dear Hevreh, As I mentioned yesterday, I spent the day in New York City meeting with Cantor Levine, members, and mentors.  It was a whirlwind day of stories, advice, and information, but I left feeling one word...invigorated.  In other words, it was one of those days when you don't feel as tired as you do on other days, because you know you did something worthwhile, meaningful, and interesting.  Here are a couple of the snippets I learned that I posted throughout the day on Twitter via #PerthAmboyShul: From Cheryl August whose family has been affiliated with Beth Mordecai for generations:  No matter where she is, whether it's Italy or New York City, Temple Beth Mordecai is her spiritual home From Karen Klein whose[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal
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Rabbi

July 10, 2012
By bethmordecai
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DAY 10: New York, New York!

Dear Hevreh, I am very excited because I am on my way to New York City today!  It'll be nice to step out onto the streets I called home for over a decade, but more than anything else, this trip is about a threefold commitment I am making to our community: 1) PROVIDING MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCES - This morning I will be meeting with Cantor Levine to start working on High Holiday services that are meaningful, spiritual, and relevant to our Jewish community.  These are the kinds of activities that get me very excited and I look forward to being part of a team (which can include all of you!) to provide high quality spiritual experiences.  I am psyched for the High Holidays[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Rosh Hashanah Yom Kippur
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Rabbi

July 8, 2012
By bethmordecai
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DAY 8: What’s the Point of Social Media? (Link to blog post)

Dear Hevreh, As promised, for those interested here is the blog post I wrote about Twitter, social media, and #PerthAmboyShul. What's the Point of Social Media? Talk to you at 5 or 6 pm :).  Enjoy your Sunday! Kol tuv, Rabbi Ari Saks #PerthAmboyShul  

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Social Media
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Rabbi

July 5, 2012
By bethmordecai
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DAY 5 — A Treasure Trove of Knowledge

Dear Hevreh, This afternoon, I had the honor of going with Elliot to the apartment of Sarah Omanson z"l, who passed away at the beginning of June.  Her nephew, Joel, was coming in on occasion to move her aunt's stuff from her apartment and he asked us to if we were interested in taking her collection of Judaica and Jewish books.  We obliged and this afternoon brought over five large boxes of Jewish books from her library!  These books keenly described a woman who moved from Brooklyn to Perth Amboy to become a librarian at Fort Monmouth for 35 years (1942-1979).  They epitomize a woman who wrote poems and short stories as a member of the International Society of[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal
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