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High Holiday Sermons & Talks - 5780/2019

Rosh Hashanah - "The United States of Hagar and Ishmael"

Rabbi Mike Rothbaum

We’ll start this with a tale of a bonehead move.  We’ll acknowledge, at the same time, that the bonehead was me.

When I was in rabbinical school, I lived in Manhattan.  Harlem, specifically.  I had a little gold Ford Escort, with a 5-speed, that I drove to my student pulpit out in tree-lined Maywood, New Jersey

It was...

Rosh Hashanah Day Two- "The Akedah, What About Isaac?"

Dr. Stuart Wachter

Since this is Rosh Hashanah and I’ve never given a public d’var so, I thought surely there had to be a suitable prayer for such an occasion. Isearched high and low and this is what I came up with. 

Dear God of our ancient forebears, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob, Rachel and Leah, please bless this congregation and don’t let me throw an interception.   “ABRAHAM”, says a familiar voice. Abraham knows...Read more...

Kol Nidre - "On the Other Hand, Israel"

Rabbi Mike Rothbaum

There’s a fine tradition in Judaism — the Kol Nidre sermon starts with a joke.  Far be it from me to undermine tradition.  So here goes.

Man goes into a bar in Jerusalem.  Says to the bartender, “I’m looking for a rabbi.”  Bartender says, “nu, in Yerushalayim?  You can’t find a rabbi?”  Guy says to the bartender, “Well I’m...Read more...

Kol Nidre Morning - "The Hands on the Kids"

Rabbi Mike Rothbaum

As many of you know, Anthony and I spent five years in California.  As a lifelong New Yorker, living in California took some getting used to.  For one thing, everyone in the Bay Area dressed like they had just come back from hiking.  Business attire seemed to mean wearing your good hoodie.  And, compared to New York, people were clearly in less of a rush. There were other things to think about:...Read more...

Yom Kippur - President's Message

David Leers

Good morning. It is truly my privilege to serve as President of this special community and have the opportunity to share some thoughts with you today. Over the past few months, as I started to think about the remarks I would give today, I began to read other presidents’ speeches, both from our synagogue and many others. This speech is a combination of my thoughts and wisdom gleaned from other synagogue leaders that I’ve woven together to...Read more...

Rosh Hashanah - "Sanctuary"

Cindi Silverman

I begin with a story.


A woman, I will call her Sophia for her own privacy, came to the United States from a Central American country, after witnessing the death of family members and being threatened with her own life. She arrived with her husband and one son nearly thirty...Read more...

Yom Kippur - "Judaism as a Verb"

Sue Abrams

I invite you to join me in a journey to think of Judaism as a verb…

As the plane descended to the El Paso airport I looked out the window at the dusty landscape and thought about how I’d gotten there.  El Paso was definitely not on my top ten places to go….But here I was, accompanied by a gigantic duffle bag crammed with stuffed animals and children’s books in Spanish. I was there to volunteer at a shelter on the border,...Read more...

Fri, October 30 2020 12 Cheshvan 5781