Rabbi Abigail Treu
Our favorite Indian restaurant was jam-packed when we arrived, one of those nights when every table is full and you are so close to the diners at the table next to yours that, despite your best efforts, you cannot tune out their conversation. Halfway through our meal, a woman and a young man who was unmistakably her grandson were seated at the two-top next to us. Even without the grandmother's large chainecklace, they looked (as my Russian Jewish father-in-law would say) "typically Jewish," and given our neighborhood on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, there was nothing atypical about that.
Try as we might to concentrate on our own conversation, we could not-they were, after all, only inches away. The grandson had just returned from a life-changing semester abroad in India, and was intoxicated by the experience. He ordered proudly from the menu, explaining the dishes to his grandmother and how they differed from what he had eaten there. He described how he had decided to major in Eastern Religion and hoped to get back to that part of the world. He talked about the Bhagavad Gita and the teachings of his favorite Hindu masters. His grandmother listened patiently, but seemed bewildered by her grandson, who was unshaven and long-haired but otherwise looked just like her, yet was learning Sanskrit and had had his world thrown open by a country, people, and culture completely foreign to her. She never said it, but you could see it in her eyes: "India? What does that have to do with you, a nice Jewish boy?"
As Jewish Americans, we have the greatest blessing our people has ever known: freedom. A freedom that grants us not only the ability to vote and educate ourselves and live as full citizens of our great nation, but also to explore faiths and traditions and cultures besides our own and to choose any of them for ourselves. If the Hindu masters move my soul more than the teachings of the Rabbis-well, it's a spiritual free market in 2012 America. I can choose to be whoever I want to be.
The most important question of our time is, therefore: Why should I? Why should I choose a Jewish life? And more than just a "Jewish" life-which might consist of nothing more than bagels, gefilte fish, and a penchant for Seinfeld reruns: Why should I choose a life of mitzvah, of Jewish commitment and action, when there are so many other compelling religions and spiritual paths?
Rabbi Treu is National Director of Torah Fund, Women's Campaign for Conservative Judaism.
The publication and distribution of the JTS Torah Commentary are made possible by a generous grant from Rita Dee and Harold (z"l) Hassenfeld
May Their Memories Be For a Blessing
8/1/2013 (25 Av)
8/2/2013 (26 Av)
8/4/2013 (28 Av)
Louis Jonah Lieberman
8/5/2013 (29 Av)
Mr. Max Friedman
Robert Alan Kapetansky
8/7/2013 (1 Elul)
Moshe Buncel, Moshe
8/8/2013 (2 Elul)
8/9/2013 (3 Elul)
8/10/2013 (4 Elul)
Jack Harold Kaufman
8/11/2013 (5 Elul)
8/12/2013 (6 Elul)
8/13/2013 (7 Elul)
8/14/2013 (8 Elul)
8/15/2013 (9 Elul)
8/17/2013 (11 Elul)
8/18/2013 (12 Elul)
8/19/2013 (13 Elul)
Pearl Leah Naimark
8/21/2013 (15 Elul)
Rabbi Carl L. Manello
8/23/2013 (17 Elul)
8/24/2013 (18 Elul)
8/27/2013 (21 Elul)
8/30/2013 (24 Elul)
8/31/2013 (25 Elul)
To make a donation to commemorate a yahrtzeit, please click here. If you are a member of the synagogue and a yahrtzeit for your loved one is not on the list, please contact the synagogue office so we can update our records.
Please click here if you wish to permanently memorialize a loved one by purchasing a yahrtzeit plaque.
Shabbat Services: Re'eh
Friday, August 2nd
SHABBAT IN THE PARK, BLOOMER PARK 6 P.M.
Saturday, August 3rd
9 a.m. Services, Sanctuary
We will celebrate the aufruf of Casey Weiss and Brian Ginsburg, children of Marla and David Weiss and Sheri and Michael Ginsburg. Kiddush Lunch is sponsored by Marla and David Weiss in honor of Casey and Brian. We wish the Weiss and Ginsburg families Mazel Tov.
Kiddush Lunch is available through the generosity of weekly sponsors. Please e-mail or call the synagogue office if you would like to sponsor a kiddush lunch. You may also make a donation to the synagogue specifically for the Kiddush Lunch Fund by clicking here.
To Gail and Jerry Beale on the birth of their new granddaughter, Orlee Chava Beale. Orlee is also the great-niece of Lisa and Frank Ellias.
To Geri Feigelson on the death of her mother, Marilyn Feigelson.
B'nai Israel Synagogue High Holiday Tickets
Assistance Needed for High Holidays:
Silver polishing, church set up, high holiday mailing. Please e-mail the synagogue
if you are able to assist with any of these activities.
FINAL Shabbat in the Park 2013
Bloomer Park, West Bloomfield
Bring your dairy or pareve picnic and join us for Shabbat music, food and fun!
Upcoming Youth and Family Activities
Supervised Youth Activities, Room 3, lower level
Parent volunteers staff the youth room during the summer months.
To stay current on all youth and family activities, contact Ilana Glazier to join the B'nai Israel Families Facebook Group.
VOICES NEEDED, Youth ages 10+
to accompany our hazzan during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services.
Learn to Read Hebrew with Michael Wolf
Monday evenings, 7-8:30, July 8th-August 19th
BI/TKA Library Materials Fee: $36.00
Class size is limited. This class is for adults with limited or no Hebrew reading knowledge. Click here for registration form.
Non-members of B'nai Israel are welcome to attend.
Upcoming Community Events
and TKA/BI Joint Opportunities
The Detroit Sisterhood Community presents
"Preparing Spiritually for the High Holidays"
Two engaging learning sessions with
Rabbi Abigail Treu
National Director of Torah Fund,
Women's Campaign for Conservative Judaism
Monday, August 5th, 7:30 p.m., B'nai Moshe
Tuesday, August 6th, 9 a.m., Adat Shalom
No Charge to attend, reservations are requested.
All stitchers are welcome.
needlepoint, crochet hook or cross stitch and join the group. There is no charge to attend.
7 PM at the TKA/BI building.
FUTURE DATES: e-mail Gail Raben.
Caring Community Information
Refuah Sh'leimah/Wishing a Speedy Recovery
if you wish to add a name to our communal list.
Our caring community reaches out to one another in a variety of ways. We welcome our new members warmly with a special visit and gift. We provide shiva minyan leaders. We call/visit/provide meals for members who are ill or home-bound, bring a home-cooked shiva meal to mourners in our community, and help to drive members who need a ride to synagogue services and events. If you would like to help in any way, please call or
e-mail the synagogue
Congregant looking for a ride to services
West Bloomfield congregant is looking for a ride to morning or evening minyan and/or Shabbat services. The congregant lives behind Crosswinds Mall (Kroger), just north of Lone Pine Road. If you are available to assist, please contact Rabbi Robbins at (610) 574-5179 or email@example.com
. Thank you.
1 Alissa Citron
2 Joshua Breitman
4 Steve Freedman
8 Melissa Berlin
9 Leonard Rosen
10 Julia Abramson
10 Betsy Wolf
11 Nancy Benchell-Eisman
11 Marybeth Rosen
11 Michael Soverinsky
13 Elizabeth Breitman
13 Cathy Graub
15 Andy Beider
15 Kayla Kapen
15 David Saperstein
16 Marlene Margolis
16 Marcia Seigerman
19 Katie Rosen
19 Sally Soverinsky
21 Stefani Chudnow
21 Adam Gordon
22 Maya Rosenberg
23 Vernon Gordon
25 Rabbi Jonathan Berger
26 Robyn Hoffenblum
27 Noah Marcotte
27 Cary Rosen
27 Melvin Toby
29 Edward Chudnow
4 Steve & Nancy Kaufman
14 Jeffrey Eisman & Nancy
14 Steve & Tammy Dines
14 Armando & Rhonda Duer
14 Ram & Karen Orzach
15 Richard & Lois Wonboy
17 Philip & Eiileen Epstein
18 Jonathan & Laura Berger
18 David & Louise Lazarus
20 Michael & Debbie Balkin
25 Jerry & Sharon Knoppow
30 Roy & Robin Rosen
If your birthday or anniversary information is not listed, please email the synagogue so we can update our records.
B'nai Israel Synagogue is affiliated with USCJ,
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.