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Shemot

Weekly-Torah-Portion - Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00am

Exodus 1:1−6:1
 

By Rabbi Sarah Bassin for ReformJudaism.org
 

The Limits of Control
 

We take control. We lose control. Sometimes things are beyond our control.

There is as much value in recognizing what’s within our control as there is in acknowledging what is not. Finding that balance of what to own and what to acknowledge as beyond our reach can be tough. It can be a poignant internal struggle — particularly when you’ve just suffered a trauma or been the victim of a crime.

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NYU student government passes BDS resolution led by Israeli Jewish student

Young-Adults - Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00am
Written byi24NEWS


The next stage is for the bill to pass the University Senate before being considered by the Board of Trustees


The Student Government Assembly (SGA) at New York University (NYU) voted in favor of a BDS-type resolution for the divestment of companies that do business with the Israeli army.

The “Resolution on the Human Rights of Palestinians” co-authored by Israeli-Jewish student Rose Asaf along with Bayan Abubakr, and Leen Dweik, calls on NYU to divest specifically from Caterpillar Inc., Lockheed Martin, and General Electric unless they agree to stop “play[ing] an active role in funding and perpetuating Israel’s illegal occupation and its violation of human rights, making NYU complicit in these crimes.”

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MUSLIMS, JEWS AND CHRISTIANS ON BEING LGBT AND BELIEVING IN GOD

LGBTQ - Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00am
By Kashmira Gander for the Independent


The lesbian, gay, bi, and trans-rights charity Stonewall has enlisted faith role models to tackle the idea that religion and sexuality are mutually exclusive 

 

Organised religion and sexuality haven't always been the most comfortable bedfellows. And interpretations of religious texts, from the Bible to the Quran, have been used to argue that being LGBTQ is a sin. In some 74 countries around the world same-sex relationships are illegal, while the rights of trans people remain unprotected - with religion often a sticking point for progression. 

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24-year-old Israeli earns jazz's most influential prize

Jewish-Arts-and-Media - Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00am
by Benyamin Cohen for FromtheGrapevine 


Virtually unknown before Monday, Tom Oren wins Thelonious Monk contest.


Tom Oren has tickled the ivories in relative obscurity up until this point in his career, but that's all about to change. The 24-year-old Oren, a native of Tel Aviv, just received the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition – one of jazz's highest honors.

The award was announced earlier this week at a gala event held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and hosted by actor Blair Underwood. Oren performed two songs at the event, including the Cole Porter standard “Just One Of Those Things.”

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SHEET PAN CHICKEN A L’ORANGE

Jewish-Food - Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00am
Jamie Geller for JoyofKosher


Orange flavored chicken is a classic combination for a reason. Mix up the citrus, add some extra sweetness, and your chicken will be delicious every time. Roasting the chicken on a sheet pan achieves succulent, crispy chicken with the perfect glaze. 

Make this chicken recipe as part of our 1-hour shabbat menu with Quinoa Pilaf and Kohlrabi and Fennel Slaw. 

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The Hardest Part of Being Jewish on Christmas Isn't What You Think

Children-and-Familes - Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00am
by REBECCA GRUBER for PopSugar Family


The hardest part of being Jewish on Christmas has nothing to do with piles of presents under the tree or virtually everything under the sun being closed that day. We have our Christmas traditions, too. On Christmas Eve we pop a big bowl of popcorn and sit down for a family movie marathon of Elf and Home Alone. It continues the next morning with the 24-hour marathon of The Christmas Story followed by a trip to the local movie theater for whatever movie is debuting that day (and there's always a good one!) and concluding with dinner in our favorite Chinese restaurant where the dishes are presented with a flourish that we don't see on a normal Sunday night dinner.

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What to Do About the Solomons by Bethany Ball

Jewish-Books - Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00am
Review by Heidi Sax for Jewish Book Council
 

Talk about salacious! In her debut novel, What to Do About the Solomons, Bethany Ball leaves no stone unturned as she gradually divulges the inner psyches, darkest secrets, and most problematic idiosyncrasies of her kibbutznik characters. Lust, drugs, money, and other excesses are no strangers to the Solomon family. Lovers of classic Jewish literature and gossip rags unite: this one’s got something for everyone.

 

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In an increasingly nonbinary world, is gendered Hebrew willing to adapt?

Israeli-News - Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00am
By RENEE GHERT-ZAND for The Times of Israel


While applauding the social impetus, Israelis are divided in opinions on an American-based initiative and question its grammatical integrity


Not long ago in Israel, Rabbi Arie Hasit led memorial prayers and study at a service for a transgender Jew. Among those gathered were many members of the LGBTQ community, some of whom identified as gender nonbinary — neither male nor female. While the American-born Conservative rabbi  is generally not at a loss for words in his fluent Hebrew, this time he was.

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Hanukkah AND Christmas: 7 Books for Interfaith Children

Interfaith - Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00am

This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily.com 


By Susan Katz Miller


Once upon a time, December holiday books for children focused on either Christmas, or Hanukkah. Now, many children grow up in Jewish families celebrating Christmas with Christian grandparents. Or, they grow up in Christian families celebrating Hanukkah with Jewish grandparents. Or, they grow up in interfaith families celebrating both. Here, I review seven Hanukkah and Christmas books, in order to help you find the right book for your young interfaith children or grandchildren.

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Why Study Torah?

Celebrating-Judaism - 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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Novel gel propulsion to slash cost of communication satellites

Going-Green-Jewishly - Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00am
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c
 

Cheaper, more environmentally friendly rocket-engine technology offers same level of performance and control as toxic ‘legacy’ fuel.

Watching a live event happening half a world away, or chatting with someone in another country, would not be possible without the hundreds of communications satellites orbiting Earth to relay telecommunications signals electromagnetically.

Propelling the largest of those satellites requires costly and highly toxic jet fuel, while launching smaller satellites requires other liquid fuels that could benefit from improvement.

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Finding a Safe Space on a Kibbutz

Feature-Article - Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00am
By Sara Toth Stub for Tablet Magazine


Israel’s kibbutzim start taking in African asylum-seekers and their families


L. left her home in Ethiopia more than a decade ago, when she was still a teenager, hoping to find work in neighboring Sudan. But instead she was kidnapped, taken into the desert of the Sinai Peninsula by human traffickers, and finally apprehended by Israeli officials on the border with Egypt.

“I am still haunted in my head from this whole ordeal, everything that happened in the Sinai,” she told me, declining to give more details.

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Yiddishkayt

Jewish-Arts-and-Media - Mon, 12/17/2018 - 8:06am
Yiddishkayt.org

 

What's with the resurgence of Yiddish these days. There's the proliferation of Yiddish newspapers, a new Yiddish production of "Fiddler on the Roof," and many more universities offering Yiddish as a major, or at least language classes. 

 

Did you know there's a website devoted to all things Yiddish? Yiddish has always been an evolving language so with ties to the past and it's feet firmly in the present, check out this incredible website.

 

 

New York’s Yiddish Press Is Thriving

News-in-the-Jewish-World - Mon, 12/17/2018 - 12:00am
By Rose Waldman for Tablet Magazine


‘Der Yid,’ ‘Der Veker,’ ‘Di Tzeitung,’ ‘Der Blatt,’ ‘Maalos,’ ‘Moment,’ ‘Der Shtern,’ ‘Di Vokh,’ ‘Der Blik,’ and ‘Der Blitz’ all fill niches of Hasidic readership


Call it: A Tale of Two Hasidim. One of them, a man of about 20, stands at the entrance of a kosher supermarket riffling through the pages of Der Yid, the Satmar community’s Yiddish-language newspaper. The young man turns the pages, pauses here and there, and then sets the paper back onto the stack in front of him. He isn’t finished, though. A feast of publications lies before him in acrylic display boxes: newspapers, glossies, and chapbooks, all in Yiddish, each one more enticing than the other. Hard to decide which one to peruse next.

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Vayechi

Weekly-Torah-Portion - Mon, 12/17/2018 - 12:00am

Genesis 47:28–50:26 


By Rabbi Stephen S. Pearce, Ph.D. for ReformJudaism.org


How the Living Serve the Dead


Va-y’chi concludes the narratives of Genesis by foreshadowing enslavement and redemption — central themes of the Book of Exodus. As the Genesis narrative draws to a close, Joseph and his retinue journeyed from Egypt to Canaan to fulfill Jacob’s bidding that Joseph bury his father in the Tomb of Machpelah, the burial cave purchased by Abraham for his family from the Hittites (Genesis 23:1-20). After fulfilling this promise, the progeny of Jacob returned to their adopted land of Egypt and their comfortable homes and lives


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Judaism and Tattoos

Young-Adults - Mon, 12/17/2018 - 12:00am
by Rabbi Menachem Levine for aish.com


Even though you can get buried in a Jewish cemetery if you have one, there are a number of compelling reasons why the Torah prohibits tattoos.


“Rabbi, if I get a tattoo, can I be buried in a Jewish cemetery?”

As a rabbi in Northern California, I’ve been asked this question many times. It’s a widespread misconception amongst American Jews that a tattoo bars one from being buried in a Jewish cemetery.

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The Funniest Jewish-Palestinian Lesbian Couple You’ll Ever Meet

LGBTQ - Mon, 12/17/2018 - 12:00am
BY ARIELLE KAPLAN for Kveller 


The saying “opposites attract” has never been truer for Jess Salomon and Eman El-Husseini. One’s a Jew from Canada, the other’s a daughter of a Palestinian family. Salomon is a Taurus, and El-Husseini is a Leo. One’s a ginger, the other a brunette. So, nu? What’s the glue that keep this Odd Couple together? Love, of course.

 

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CORN FLAKE CRUMB BAKED CHICKEN

Jewish-Food - Mon, 12/17/2018 - 12:00am
TAMAR GENGER MA, RD for JoyofKosher 


This was my grandmother's recipe for breaded baked chicken, she called Southern "Fried" chicken, she dipped in oil, I dipped in egg whites. I added the honey for a little sweetness. It is very simple and reheats well.


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How to Raise an Upstanding Child

Children-and-Familes - Mon, 12/17/2018 - 12:00am
By Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg for BimBam.com
 

Raising an Upstander, the Jewish Way
 

What is the Jewish response to bullying? How do we raise our children to up stand up to bullies and ultimately become upstanders in the world? Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg explains a concrete way that you can raise an upstander using your child’s lunchbox.

Rabbi-in-residence for AVODAH, writer and mother of three, Danya shows how taking action to teach your child to positively model the Jewish value of kindness can be game-changing for a family.

Read & Watch.
 

My Mother's Son: A Novel David Hirshberg

Jewish-Books - Mon, 12/17/2018 - 12:00am
Review by Renita Last for Jewish Book Council

 

My Mother’s Son is a moving coming-of-age story spiced with dark family secrets, historical references, dirty politics, and poignant immigrants’ tales that beautifully evoke life in 1950s Boston.

Now a successful radio raconteur, Joel reminisces about his childhood and the years beyond. “When you’re a kid,” he laments, “they don’t always tell you the truth.” This is the account of how the thoughtful, clever, and open narrator finds and unfolds the truths that were woven into the lies, exaggerations, and family lore he’s been told.

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Did You Know...?

Early Childhood Learning Center Registration Open!

Information for the 2019-2020 Program Registration is available

 

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“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