August 6, 201521 Av 5775
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The Covenant of Fertility

Rabbi Lauren Eichler Berkun

Fertility of the womb and fertility of the land are divine gifts.

The themes of fertility and barrenness are central to the biblical narrative. It is striking how often we encounter barren women in the Bible. Sarah, the women of Abimelekh's household, RebekahRachel, Manoah's wife, Hannah, and the Shunamite woman are all examples of barren women whose wombs are opened by God. Clearly, the process of reproduction holds a key to biblical theology. The very covenant of Israel is presented as a brit [covenant] of fertility. God promises Abram, "This is my covenant with you. You shall be the father of a multitude of nations...I will make you exceedingly fertile." (Genesis 17:4, 6). This week's parashah further emphasizes the connection between covenant and childbearing. Moses teaches: And if you do obey these rules and observe them carefully, the Lord your God will maintain faithfully for you the covenant that He made on oath with your fathers: He will favor you and bless you and multiply you; He will bless the issue of your womb...You shall be blessed above all other peoples: there shall be no sterile male or female among you or among your livestock... (Deuteronomy 7:12-14).

As we explore the theme of fertility in the context of parashat Ekev, we uncover 

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May Their Memories Be For a Blessing 

8/7/2015 (22 Av)

Joel D. Hamburger

Bennie Magy

8/8/2015 (23 Av)

Marilyn "Mike" Feigelson

8/9/2015 (24 Av)

Bertha Chitkin

8/11/2015 (26 Av)

Sarah Lewis

Ormond Sacks

8/13/2015 (28 Av)

Louis Jonah Lieberman

8/14/2015 (29 Av)

Edward Avadenka

Leonard Gaba

Robert Alan Kapetansky

8/16/2015 (1 Elul)

Moshe Buncel

Louis Silverstein

8/17/2015 (2 Elul)

Robert Keila

8/18/2015 (3 Elul)

Louis Rose

Sam Toby

8/19/2015 (4 Elul)

Jack Harold Kaufman

8/21/2015 (6 Elul)

Franka Charlupski

8/23/2015 (8 Elul)

John Eby

8/24/2015 (9 Elul)

Reinald Freedman

8/26/2015 (11 Elul)

Ernest Gans

Arthur Markowitz

8/27/2015 (12 Elul)

Alex Kuhn

8/28/2015 (13 Elul)

Pearl Leah Naimark

8/30/2015 (15 Elul)

Rabbi Carl L. Manello

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.  

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B'nai Israel Synagogue is affiliated with USCJ
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
Shabbat V'etchanan/Shabbat Nachamu
Friday, August 7th
Shabbat Table
6 p.m., Chapel

Saturday, August 8th

9 a.m., Sanctuary

Kiddush Lunch is sponsored by the following Kiddush Lunch Bunch participants:   Rita Goldstone, Hilda Hamburger, Rachel Kapen, Gail Kaye, Sheila and Marty Kurland, Marlene Margolis, Ilene Miles and Carol Wiseman.

To help sustain Kiddush Lunch, please consider joining a Kiddush Lunch Bunch group. E-mail Mindy Shuback for more information.  


Donations to the Kiddush Lunch Fund can also be made online or mailed directly to the synagogue. 



8:00 p.m., at the home of Laurie and Robert Kimmel.  Please rsvp to the Kimmels if you plan to attend:




To the following people for preparing our high holiday packets and our yizkor books:  Debra Singer, Miles Singer, Stephanie Singer, Karen Gordon, Mark Kuhn, and Marlene Margolis.  This is a tremendous undertaking each year, and their assistance is greatly appreciated.


Guest Tickets

Guest tickets for High Holiday Services may be ordered through the synagogue office.  For order form, please click here.  Please place order by August 31st to allow time for processing.


Formal youth activities will resume in the fall.
pj library
"PJ OUR WAY," a reading program for youth ages 9-11. 
A unique book club for parents and children which will meet 10/18, 11/15, 1/31, 2/28, and 5/1. Please e-mail Rabbi Robbins if you wish to receive further information about this program.

To stay current on all youth and family activities, contact Ilana Glazier to join the B'nai Israel Families Facebook Group.

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Sisterhood Corner
Tuesday, August 25, 7 p.m. 
Challah Baking and Demonstrationchallah
at the home of Nancy Benchell Eisman.  Bakers of all levels, from aspiring to expert, are invited to attend. Mark your calendars and watch for further details coming soon!

The first Book Club meeting was well-attended and enjoyed by all.  Click here for list of future books and dates.  
Thank you to Lori Orel and Shelley Fenyes for organizing Book Club.  Your suggestions are welcome.


Saturday Night Learning
August 8th, 8 p.m., at the home of Laurie and Robert Kimmel.

Great Love Stories of the Tanach

FINAL SESSION: Mondays August 10

Time:    9:30 AM to 11:00 AM

Instructor:  Mitch Parker

Mazel Tov 
Happy Birthday!

Birthday Cake


 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

18  Melissa Berlin

19  Katie Rosen

19  Sally Soverinsky

21  Stefani Chudnow

21  Adam Gordon

22  Maya Rosenberg

23  Vernon Gordon

25  Rabbi Jonathan Berger

27  Noah Marcotte

27  Cary Rosen

27  Melvin Toby

29  Edward Chudnow

Jewish Wedding


 14 Jeffrey Eisman & Nancy Benchell-Eisman

 14 Steve & Tammy Dines

 14 Armando & Rhonda Duer

 14 Ram & Karen Orzach

 15 Mechelle & David Bernard

 18 Rabbi Jonathan & Laura Berger

 18 David & Louise Lazarus

 20 Michael & Debbie Balkin

 25 Jerry & Sharon Knoppow

 30 Roy & Robin Rosen

 31 Michael Karesh & Gayla Bassham

 To make a donation in honor of someone's birthday or anniversary, please click here.

If your birthday or anniversary information is not listed, please email the synagogue so we can update our records.
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B'nai Israel Synagogue  
5085 Walnut Lake Road
West Bloomfield, Michigan  48323