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Rabbi David Spinrad’s Installation Shabbat Dinner

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Tu B'Shvat: What Is A Birthday For Trees?

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 12:00am

This video is featured in Jvillage Network's Tu B'Shevat Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here. 


From AlephBeta 


What Is Tu B'Shvat And Why Do We Celebrate?


Every year, we celebrate the strange Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shvat – according to the Talmud, it’s a birthday for all of the trees born in the previous year. And not just a birthday – it’s really a “new year” for the trees. How odd is that? In this video, Imu Shalev breaks down this strange holiday to uncover what Tu B’Shvat really means to us today. Discover how Tu B’Shvat is actually all about gratitude to our Creator, for the fruits of the trees.

Watch video. 

The Modern-day Appeal of Tu B’Shevat

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 12:00am
This article is featured in Jvillage Network's Tu B'Shevat Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here. 

By Jenna Weissman Joselit for Tablet Magazine 


The Jewish New Year of the Trees demands little of us, but offers us a chance to connect our roots with good causes, new rituals, and recipes


If ever there was a holiday ripe for revitalization and collective embrace, it’s Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish New Year of the Trees. Falling smack in the middle of winter, when the weather is usually not at its best, the age-old festival, which some scholars date to the early Middle Ages, heralds the prospect of regeneration, of sunnier days ahead. That alone should commend it to North American Jews, lifting their spirits when they sag under the weight of gloves and hats and scarves, their movement impeded by the heavy tread of boots.

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Did You Know There's a Jewish Holiday Every Month?

Mon, 12/31/2018 - 12:00am
from BimBam.com
 

What is Rosh Chodesh?

 

How Jews Celebrate the First Day of Every Month
 

Rosh Chodesh is a minor Jewish holiday that happens on the first day of every month and literally translates to “head of the month”. Watch our explainer video to learn the significance of this monthly holiday.

This holiday has long been considered a special holiday for women. Some say that this is because women of Israel did not offer their jewelry for the creation of the Golden Galf so they were given Rosh Chodesh, a day when they could abstain from work. Others connect the lunar cycle of the holiday to a woman’s menstrual cycle. For thousands of years, Rosh Chodesh has been a holiday where women gather together for a variety of activities, from reciting prayers, to sharing a meal, discussing Jewish ethics and working for social change.


Watch Video.
 

Why Study Torah?

Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00am
BY CLIVE LAWTON for MyJewishLearning


The tradition of Torah study has built up a tradition of questioning and clarifying which is simply an incomparably rich skill to cultivate.


By Jewish standards, the question “Why study Torah” is a very new one.

For a couple of millennia, studying Torah was just a given for male Jews. Of course you’d learn it — or at least read it in bite-sized chunks every Shabbat in synagogue, in a never-ending cycle where not only was the yearly reading finished and then immediately begun again on the Simchat Torah festival, but each week’s chunk was trailed on Shabbat afternoon with a little preview of the following week’s portion.

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What Is A Mikveh?

Mon, 12/17/2018 - 12:00am
BY SHOSHANNA LOCKSHIN for MyJewishLearning


Whether you're dunking for conversion or for any other reason, here's what to expect at the ritual bath.


A mikveh (pronounced MICKvuh, also spelled mikvah), is a Jewish ritual bath.

Almost every Jewish community has at least one mikveh (you can search here for a traditional mikveh, or here for a non-Orthodox mikveh directory). In larger Jewish communities you might have a choice among mikve’ot (plural for mikveh).

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Modeh Ani: Beginning the Day with Gratitude

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 12:00am
BY RABBI SHEFA GOLD on MyJewishLearning


Starting the day with gratefulness opens the heart to the blessing of wonder.


I gratefully acknowledge Your Face; Spirit lives and endures;
You return my soul to me with compassion; How great is your faith in me!

מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ רוח חַי וְקַיָּם שֶהֶחֱזַרְתָּ בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי בְחֶמְלָה, רַבָּה אֱמוּנָתֶךָ
Modeh ah-nee lifanecha, Ru-ach chai v’kayam, she-hechezarta bee nishma-tee b’chemlah rabbah emunatecha. 


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12 Facts About Hanukkah You Probably Didn't Know

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 12:00am
This article is featured in Jvillage Network's Hanukkah Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here. 

 

by LEAH SILVERMAN for Town & Country Magazine



Everything you need to know about the Festival of Lights.


1. What is Hanukkah? The word Hanukkah means "dedication."

The holiday commemorates the triumph of a band of rebel Jews known as the Maccabees in reclaiming their temple from the Greek-Syrians.

2. Hanukkah lasts for eight nights, to commemorate how long the holy light burned.

The temple required a holy light to burn inside at all times, but the Jews had only enough oil for one night. Incredibly, the light burned for eight days.

Continue reading.

Mayim Bialik Breaks Down Those Pesky Hanukkah Myths

Mon, 11/26/2018 - 12:00am
From Kveller 
 
This article is featured in Jvillage Network's Hanukkah Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here. 
 

It can be a little daunting to explain what Hanukkah is to your kids (or your non-Jewish friends who are curious about the holiday). Because it can be hard to know where to start. That is why Mayim Bialik made a Hanukkah quiz video in which she talks about some facts and misconceptions about the Festival of Lights.

Read & Watch.

Did You Know...?

Early Childhood Learning Center Registration Open!

Information for the 2019-2020 Program Registration is available

 

Let's share our stories and thoughts on Facebook!

 
Like our page to be the first in the know about upcoming events and specials.

“Through sharing we all find a common ground, inspiration, hope, meaning, and, ultimately, action.”

 

Beth El is raising funds for a new playground?

Beth El is getting a new playground!  If you would like to donate towards this very worthy project, simply send your donations to Beth El Hebrew Congregation and notate "Playground."  If you donate on line, the playground fund is first on the list!

 

Lifelong Learning

Wednesdays during the school year
@ 7:00 PM
See calendar for exact dates and subjects

 

ALIVE!

For more information about ALIVE! go to alive-inc.org.

Upcoming Events

 

We have a very special service January 18 at 7:30 p.m. in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and his heroic work.

We will be joined by our talented 5th grade class and singer-songwriter, LEA.

Trivia Night

Come for a fast and fun night of trivia, food and comaraderie on Saturday, March 2, 2019, 6:00 pm, at Beth El.  Adults and teens (7th grade and up) can play!  The cost is $35 per person (includes: dinner and participation), BYOB.  Bring cash to buy optional extra chits to help your table become the champion!  Separate, supervised Kids Night Out - $10 per child (6th grade and younger; includes casual dinner, movie & games).  RSVP: by Monday, February 18, Advance Ticket Sales Only. Register here  Questions: Contact Anne Levy, [email protected]  Proceeds will go to the Beth El Playground Fund.

Please sign up for Ushering at Beth El for Friday Night Services ​

This is a great opportunity to see and meet fellow congregants.Please use the link to sign up:

 

Support During Shutdown                         

As the frustrating government shutdown drags on, we extend our sympathies during this anxious time for you and your family. While Beth El Hebrew Congregation is not a direct service provider, we can offer temporary dues relief until the shutdown has ended. We hope this resource list can be an asset during this difficult time and pray for an immediate resolution:

 

What Furloughed Workers Need to Know About Filing for Unemployment Benefits: https://tinyurl.com/yd3v7w29

A Furloughed Federal Employee’s Guide to Filing for Unemployment: https://tinyurl.com/y9qltsjt

U.S. Office of Personnel Management Furlough Guidance: tps://tinyurl.com/y8sg3mum

Alexandria Center for Economic Support: https://tinyurl.com/yd66o7mj

Coordinated Services Fairfax County: https://tinyurl.com/y8f9e4vg

Local Restaurants Offering Free or Discounted Meals and More: https://tinyurl.com/ybmozmt3

 

                  


 

There are activities, meetings, services and seminars at Beth El each week, ranging from service opportunities to Jewish learning and education, drawing members and guests from throughout the Washington, D.C. area.

the full calendar