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Community Action

12/08/2023 12:00:00 PM


Rob Jobrack

What would you do if you found a homeless person sleeping right outside your door one morning?

That’s exactly what happened one recent Sunday morning at Beth Sholom Temple.  When folks started arriving for Religious School and Bagel Bar, they found a woman sleeping right outside our door on the Plantation Drive side. 


Sermon on Trans Rights (from April 7, 2023)

05/11/2023 02:27:55 PM


Student Rabbi Ora Jacobsen

I’m angry. Impassioned. Indignant. Outraged. There are not enough words to describe
the injustice, and lack of morality that is happening in this country with the persecution of on
behalf of the LGBTQ+ people, and the trans community in particular.

Last week was Trans Day of Visibility. Regretfully, I was not here with you then, but this
important issue needs to be raised. I need to raise it, because it’s...Read more...

B'nai Mitzvah Projects

03/28/2023 03:46:46 PM


Robert Jobrack

As part of Beth Sholom’s B. Mitzvah process, each student has to do a “Mitzvah Project”:  some way to make the world a little better.  In Jewish teaching, this is Tikkun Olam, or “Repairing the World”


So what have our students been doing? Let’s hear from them:



Keeping the Mi Shebeirach List

01/06/2023 01:23:03 PM


Sabina Weitzman

At every service conducted at Beth Sholom Temple, we set aside time to pray for people in need of healing, inviting those present to say aloud the names of people they are thinking of.  We sing “Mi Shebeirach”, asking the One who blessed our ancestors to please help our loved ones who are ailing.  While our service leaders (lay and professional) approach this portion of the service in varied ways, the core intention is to allow...Read more...

Give Back with Amazon Smile

01/02/2023 11:57:46 PM


Michael Camber, Corresponding Secretary

Looking for Other Ways to Give?

Think of how much you spend on Amazon.  You probably don’t know, but for most of us it's far more than we’d guess. I was shocked at what my relatively non-consumerist household spent with Amazon in one year. Now, what if I told you there’s a way to raise a bit of money for Beth Sholom, that costs you nothing and requires no effort.  The Amazon Smile feature donates 0.5% of many...Read more...

BST End of Year Annual Appeal

12/05/2022 01:49:57 PM


Laraine Whitcomb & Jonathan Levin

Dear Members and Friends of Beth Sholom,

It’s that time of year again – sometime between the High Holidays and Chanukah – when presidents, finance chairs, and fundraising committees reach out to congregants in an annual appeal for donations to help offset the costs of operating their temple.  For some synagogues, it’s one of many efforts at outreach; for Beth Sholom, it’s the only time we make this request.

Next...

D’var Torah Vayeira - from Rosh Hashanah Day II

09/28/2022 11:03:11 AM


Allan Grady

Shana Tova!

Cantor’s theme this year is “courage” and “bravery.” To avoid competing with (or contradicting) her, I decided to start with the opposite side: “fear;” or in this case, “fear of God.” The angel says to Abraham: “I know you are one who fears God, (y’rei Elohim) because you did not withhold your son whom you love.”


Roadmap for Elul

08/29/2022 11:04:51 PM


Rabbi Paul Swerdlow


With Rabbi Paul Swerdlow

Elul – A time to complete unfinished business: August 28 – September 25

Our journey begins a month before Rosh Hashanah. We are about to close the page on another
year. Before we do, we have some unfinished business. Begin the month by listing everything
that we would like to accomplish...

Parsha Re-eh

08/29/2022 11:04:24 PM


Robert Jobrack

(Adapted from D’var Torah 27Aug 2022 by Rob Jobrack)

Torah, and particularly the Book of D’varim (Deuternonomy) is full of references to Blessings and Curses, stating that those who fulfill mistzvot (commandments) will be blessed, and those who choose otherwise will suffer curses.   Torah details the blessings and lists the curses that will ensue if we make the wrong choices.    Is Torah really telling us that if...Read more...

Listen, REALLY Listen!

08/26/2022 06:13:30 PM


Mike Haas

Torah Study - Parshat Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25)

Let me be so bold as to suggest that the prayer SHEMA collectively contains the most important words in Judaism, but SHEMA is, for many reasons one of the least understood words in our liturgy. The two most famous occurrences of the word SHEMA are in last week's parsha Et’chanan: (Deut 6:4) "Hear O Israel שְׁמַ֖ע יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל, the Lord our God, the Lord...Read more...

Thoughts on Ukraine and the Russian Invasion

03/10/2022 06:58:13 PM


Robert Jobrack

How Should A Jew in Fredericksburg Feel About Events in Ukraine and the Russian Invasion?

As Americans, we should pay attention.  Any rudimentary knowledge of history tells us two things:

-          The U.S. cannot insulate itself from wars in Europe

-          A military invasion of neighboring country by a large, powerful country does not end with just one...Read more...

Gift Card Scam

03/05/2022 11:02:19 AM


Beware of Scam to Purchase Gift Cards! 

Please beware of unauthorized requests to purchase gift cards.  At least one congregant has received such aRead more...

Our Covenantal Community

02/10/2022 01:57:28 PM


Robert Jobrack

What does it say about a Jewish community that comes together to do a mitzvah for someone they don’t know, a person who does not have a relationship with our congregation?

On February 9,  Sarita London was  laid to rest at Oak Hill cemetery.  She was a Jewish woman living in Fredericksburg with no family in the area.  She was not a member of BST and personally unknown to us.  When her family...Read more...

Giving Back

02/04/2022 11:31:59 AM


Rabbi Bruce Aft

Dear Friends,

It was an influential quote in my lifetime...I was a six year old child and it made a significant impression on me.  I often wonder if I have just heard about it, or whether I really remember the actual quote.  In any event, I want to share it with you.

John Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

Why am I writing about that today?  In...

Dues: A Fee or an Investment?

01/31/2022 10:49:06 AM


Robert Jobrack

Why do we each make a dues commitment to a congregation and why bother?

For years in the Reform Movement membership implied certain privileges, like invitations for upcoming events, Religious School eligibility, and tickets for High Holy Day services (though tickets for HHDs are no longer done at BST).  This membership model implies fee for...Read more...

Mon, June 24 2024 18 Sivan 5784