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Welcome to Temple Beth Shalom Online

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ALL PROGRAMS AND SERVICES- CONTACT TBS 732-446-1200

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 evening, services at 8PM  in the Sanctuary weekly unless listed otherwise in this section.  Saturday morning services in the Sanctuary weekly at 9:30AM

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 ServicesFriday,  February 22 and March 15 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 calendar

Sisterhood Craft Night- Thursday, February 28 at 7PM- Join Sisterhood for  a fun craft activity night.  No experience necessary.  We will be folding book pages to make an adorable mouse.  All you need to do is bring a book with you that is 8X5 and has more than 200 pages in it.  If you don't have a book this size, let us know and we will help you out.  All other supplies will be provided.  Coffee, Tea and dessert will be services.  Cost is $5.00 per person for Sisterhood members and $10. per person for non-Sisterhood members.

Rabbi Rothstein's  Meditation Class -  February 19. Please watch your e-mail for all information and mark your calendars.  

TBS CARES DAY - March 10- Join us for our day of  action and Tikun Olom in the Community- 8:30AM- 12 Noon at TBS.   Come in for a light breakfast,  A brief message from Rabbi Rothstein and then you can pick which charity or charities you would like to volunteer to participate in. (Prep for lunch at a Soup Kitchen and/or shelter, Toy Drive and make card and art bags for childre in the hospital, Toiletry bags for the homeles, Kindness Rocks Project, Hair Braiding for Locks of Love, Sports activity for phone cards for the troops, Children's Book Drive, Purim Baskets for Seniors participating in Meals on Wheels Program, Make blankets for children in the hospital, Make dog toys for the Monmouth County SPCA, Blood Drive, Clothing Drive and more.....

Blood Drive - March 10 Sign up today to donate blood and help those in need.  Appointments available from 8:30AM to 12:30AM.  Contact the office to schedule your appointment.

Collection of Old Clothing-March 10 - Drop your donation of old clothing to the front of Temple Beth Shalom between 8:30 and 12noon in a large heavy duty plastic bag.  Our volunteers will take your donation from you and give you a receipt.  Donations will be given to two other organizations in need.

Purim Carnival - March 13-  4:30PM to 6:30PM- Games, Refreshments and fun for all.

Purim Services - March 13 - Purim Parade - Purim Spiel- 7PM- Join in the fun of our Purim Parade, Purimspiel and hear the Megillah be read.  Let's all boo haman together and enjoy some Hamantashen too.

 Shabbat Services honoring our Teen Leaders - March 22 - 8PM.  Join us as we honor and thank our  Volunteer Teen Leaders for all that they have done at Temple Beth Shalom.

Shabbat Services installing Cantor Summer Greenwald-Gonella - March 29 -  7:30PM.  Join us as we officially install Cantor Summer in her position as our Cantor as she enters her new  contract with us.  

 

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