Mission Statement: Temple Beth-El is a congregation of Jews and their families building a community committed to participation in all aspects of Jewish life. By community, we mean a group of diverse people who share a strong connection fostered by temple Beth El. By participation, we mean that all members will partake in and support the spiritual, cultural, educational and social life of Temple Beth-El.
From Rabbi Binah Wing
From Rabbi Binah Wing
Well, it’s hard to believe that we are already half-way through our congregation’s 100
th anniversary celebration year! We have already enjoyed so many wonder-ful events – the Kick-off Shabbat Service in January, the night at the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, the fabulous weekend with Rabbi Dan Freedlander from the URJ and Cantor Jeff Klepper with Kol B’Seder, the Artist Ensemble production of Brooklyn Boy, great weekends with our former Rabbis Kahn and Frazin, including a visit to the old Temple on Main as well as a beautiful historical tour of the Rockford Hebrew Cemetery. It’s been truly amazing and there is still so much left to our celebration! In truth, our celebration will continue into the 2014 year also.
by Toba Strauss Sisterhood women have had an incredible impact on my life. I am largely a product of the religious school system, of NFTY and URJ camping, all of which are opportunities afforded to me through sisterhood support. I feel fortunate to be a student at HUC-JIR, an institution that ordains women like me, in part because of the support (and perhaps pressure!) of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods/Women of Reform Judaism, and this year I have the opportunity to work for WRJ for my rabbinical internship. I am thankful to Women of Reform Judaism, and I personally [...]
by Rabbi Jonah Pesner Will synagogues continue to exist in the future? Will the next generation engage in Jewish life? Is Reform Judaism still relevant? These hard, honest questions underlie the conversations we members of the URJ leadership team have every day with leaders and staff of Reform congregations. Last week I was honored to be the ordination speaker at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, as a minyan of new rabbis received smicha. I addressed these questions head on, and challenged this next generation of rabbis to do the same. It is true that the data is [...]
It was just two short summers ago that URJ Camp Harlam had a teensy little garden. It was a sweet plot of land with some colorful perennials and herbs for Havdalah, plus a few rows of juicy tomato plants and other green veggies basking in the summer sun. But this summer we decided to put a stake in the ground – literally! – and declare with our sweat and muscles that we are fully committing to “greening” and “growing” at camp. It has been our Jewish vision to commit ourselves to teaching about tikkun middot and tikkun olam. This means [...]
A human ribbon of remembrance formed on the lawn just west of the Capitol. Donning green shirts, which represented the school color of Sandy Hook Elementary, those gathered marked the six-month anniversary of the shooting in Newtown, CT. Despite public outcry and a groundswell of support for proposed legislation, our nation has yet to realize our promise to decisively act to prevent gun violence in the wake of this year’s tragedies. In the six months since Sandy Hook, more Americans have been killed by firearms than were killed in Iraq. You know the statistics. On average, each day 33 Americans [...]