Israel Matters! – July/August 2021

There Are Judges In Jerusalem

A lot has happened in Israel since we took you on a river ride down the Hetzbani river last month. Hamas indiscriminately fired over 4,000 rockets at Israeli civilians, Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system prevented the vast majority of those rockets capable of causing civilian casualties from landing, and Israel’s air force punished Hamas with civilian-casualty-minimizing strikes that degraded Hamas’s rocket and tunnel infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. (more…)

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The Message of the Pandemic

The earth does not belong to us. It belongs to G-d. This is what the Torah teaches us. We are but temporary sojourners on this earth.

Now think about the corona virus and the terrible pandemic that turned our lives upside down. People ask me on a regular basis, “Rabbi, why is this happening? Why is G-d doing this to us?. What is the message of the pandemic?” I have heard the same answer from numerous people. “G-d is trying to tell us something about our relationship to the earth, and our relationship to nature. Stop!” (more…)

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Sheikh Jarrah, Shimon Hatzadik: A tale of two gravesites in Jerusalem

The current dispute surrounding the Sheikh Jarrah area has deep roots, stretching back to the first years of Arab and Jewish settlement outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City, in the 19th century.

Security forces clash with protesters during a protest against a visit of right wing politicians and against Israel’s plan to demolish some houses of Palestinians in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah on May 10, 2021 (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Security forces clash with protesters during a protest against a visit of right wing politicians and against Israel’s plan to demolish some houses of Palestinians in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah on May 10, 2021
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

 The current conflicts in Jerusalem are not traceable to a single source. The always charged period of Ramadan, the cancellation of Palestinian elections, the attacks on ultra-Orthodox Jews and the response to these by Jewish far-right activists, the placing of barriers at the Damascus Gate, and the frustrations born of a year of lockdowns are all important contributory factors. 

The long dispute over housing rights in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, however, forms a prominent ingredient in the incendiary mix. The Supreme Court this week was due to rule on the appeal of three Arab families seeking the overturning of an eviction order against them. The ruling has now been postponed.

What is the background to this “real estate dispute between two private parties,” as the Foreign Ministry website refers to it? And why has  “ Sheikh Jarrah ” become a rallying cry for Arabs and their supporters both in Jerusalem and with echoes far beyond it?  (more…)

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TBS Social Action Committee June 2021

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Thank you to those who donated to the Diane Kaplan SocialAction Fund!

Please note that we cannot accept donations of items at TBS at this time.

Only monetary donations please!

Thank you for your generosity. Together, we are all making a difference!

Ongoing Programs: (more…)

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Israel Matters! – June 2021

Israeli Freshwater Fun

When asked to associate “water” with “Israel,” most people respond instantly with “the beach!” And indeed, there are beautiful beaches up and down the Mediterranean coast with prominent stops in Ashkelon, Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Netanya, Michmoret, Haifa, and Nahariya. Eilat on the Red Sea is another hot spot for beach lovers, while those in search of spa-style revitalization know that the best choice is not Med, not Red, but Dead as in the Dead Sea. Then there is Lake Kinneret, also known as the Sea of Galilee, from which the Jordan River flows south. (more…)

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May 2021: President’s Message

I can’t believe it’s June – the end of our fiscal year. It seemed to go so quickly. I’m cautiously optimistic, because it appears we’re turning the corner on the pandemic. With vaccinations ongoing, even masks are coming off outside. Therefore, I feel comfortable in saying “WE ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS.” Please just call the office at 203 288-7748 if you are coming in, so we know how many congregants to expect. (more…)

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What defines Jewish music?

From Shlomo Carlebach to Debbie Friedman to Yiddish tunes, there is a vast history to explore.

ARED STEIN blows a shofar as Rabbi Naomi Levy plays a drum at the Nashuva Spiritual Community Jewish New Year celebration in LA, 2015 (photo credit: LUCY NICHOLSON / REUTERS)

ARED STEIN blows a shofar as Rabbi Naomi Levy plays a drum at the Nashuva Spiritual Community Jewish New Year celebration in LA, 2015
(photo credit: LUCY NICHOLSON / REUTERS)

What is Jewish music? (more…)

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