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Welcome to Temple Beth Shalom Online

Shabbat Services Friday evenings at 8PM and Saturday mornings at 9:30AM

Who We Are

  • Conservative-Egalitarian-Caring

  • Contemporary-Challenging

  • Uplifting-Learning-Celebrating

  • Comforting-Healing-Exploring

  • Join us on the Journey!

Ira J. Rothstein
Rabbi
Summer Greenwald-Gonella
Cantor
Karen Ross
Executive Director
Nancy Shechter
Ed. Dir.

Our Philosophy

Temple Beth Shalom was founded in 1978. Since then we have grown from a handful of individuals to over 500 families. Our building was dedicated in November, 1984.

Our mission is to “Bring Good Things To Light". We believe that God gifts to each of us a divine spark. It is that divine spark that makes each of us who we are as human beings and as Jews. Our challenge throughout our lifetime is to develop a healthy relationship with that divine spark. If we succeed then by our actions and our growth “We Bring Good Things to Light.?In other words, we each do our share to inject light into a world that is often far too dark.

Mitzvot are tools of light. The more mitzvoth we do, the more light we bring into our lives and into the lives of those around us. Being part of a “community of light?means that we share in this sacred task together. Being part of TBS gives each of us the opportunity to connect with each other, with our history and with our tradition.

Be part of the TBS experience and together we will “Bring Good Things to Light!?

 

What's Going On

Friday Shabbat Services:  Friday evenings at 8PM  in the Sanctuary weekly.

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Saturday Morning Shabbat Services are at 9:30 AM in the Sanctuary weekly.   

 

Food Drive:  Remember to bring your Kosher canned good item for our ongoing food drive.  Our food bin is located in the education wing door lobby area throughout the year. The food is transported to the Open Door Food Shelter in Freehold and the Samaritan Center in Manalapan on a regular basis. Remember it is a mitzvah to feed the hungry.    

 

TBS Alive Shabbat Service: Friday,  September 15 and October 27 at 7:30PM .  TBS Alive is our Shabbat Service with musical accompaniment. It is difficult to describe the service that is uplifting and spiritual. You have to experience it yourself to understand what we mean. Please be here and bring your friends.  After the service, Rabbi Rothstein will hold a discussion session on a timely topic. Please mark your calendars.

 

Rabbi Rothstein's  Meditation Class -October 10, December 19, January 2,  February 20, March 20, May 22.  Mark your calendars.

 

High Holiday tickets, Reserved Seating and Parking- Contact the Temple office for additional information

 

Book of Life Memorials and Greetings- Deadline for submitting memorials and holiday greetings is July 30. Contact the Temple office for additional information.

 

Something to Think About

WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US

 

In 1970 Walt Kelly, the author of the Pogo comic strip, coined the phrase, "We have met the enemy and he is us."  This week I have been thinking about that phrase over and over again.  In a world filled with danger, hatred and killing, it is hard to believe that the government of Israel would make an enemy of the majority of Jews around the world.  It feels surreal to even read my own words.  But the reality is that there is no way to sugarcoat what amounts to not only a slap in the face, but a betrayal.

In January 2016, the government of Israel signed an agreement to create an egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall.  This was no easy accomplishment.  The negotiations were extensive and thorough.  But the government seemed open and willing to send the message that Israel and the Western Wall must be for all the people, including conservative and reform Jews and anyone who did not see himself to be Orthodox.  The term "people of Israel" needs to be inclusive, even at the Western Wall.

 

This week the government suddenly voted to suspend the plan that had been agreed upon after years of negotiation.  Simultaneous to the government's reneging on the Western Wall agreement, a new conversion bill has been set forth in the Knesset granting official authority for conversion in Israel to the Chief Rabbinate.  Such a bill would then give the ultra-Orthodox the political power to determine who is a Jew.

The double barreled blow by Netanyahu feels like betrayal.  After many years of careful and precise negotiations and a verbal agreement by Netanyahu and his government, at the last minute they have reneged and instead they have decided to send the message that reform and conservative Jews are second-class citizens.

 

What is going on here?  It's called politics.  Netanyahu rules by coalition.  Key members of his coalition are the ultra-Orthodox, who do not recognize Conservative and Reform Judaism to be valid expressions of Judaism.  Does Netanyahu feel in his heart that conservative and reform Jews are not real Jews?  I doubt that.  But this is politics.

 

I'm reminded of the story that back in 1944 Stalin and Churchill were talking about the future of Poland.  Churchill says to Stalin, "Poland is a Catholic country and we cannot allow anything to complicate our relations with the Vatican."  Stalin replied, "How many divisions does the Pope have?"

 

Unfortunately, the majority of Israelis have not yet learned that the ultra-Orthodox viewpoint does not constitute the only legitimate viewpoint of how Jews can live Jewish lives.  So Netanyahu may commiserate with us.  But we do not vote in his elections.  How many divisions of voters can we dispatch in Israeli elections?  In the end, that is what Netanyahu has chosen as the only thing that matters.

 

By the way, according to the story when the Pope heard Joseph Stalin's quip about how the Pope did not have any divisions to dispatch into battle, apparently the Pope said, you can tell my son Joseph that he will meet my divisions in heaven.

 

It's a great response by the Pope, but Netanyahu is not fighting any battles in heaven.  He is fighting battles on his own political landscape here on earth.  Netanyahu has chosen politics over his role as leader of all Jews around the world.

Perhaps at the last moment some kind of compromise will fix this.  But what will be much harder to fix is the betrayal of trust.

 

We have met the enemy and he is us.

 

I wish I had a more uplifting message to share as we begin the summer months.  Let us hope and pray that Netanyahu will come to his senses and recognize that the richness of Judaism can be found in its various interpretations and modes of expression.

 

Am Yisrael Chai - the nation of Israel lives and our love for Israel lives, no matter what the ultra-Orthodox may think of us and no matter how far Netanyahu genuflects in his submission to the ultra-Orthodox!

 

Am Yisrael Chai!

Rabbi Ira Rothstein