Sign In Forgot Password

Special Events

Rabbi Mike Farewell - Shabbat Service & Pot Luck Luncheon ♦ Saturday, June 11, 2022

Many were in attendance, in person or via ZOOM,  to say farewell and yasher koach to Rabbi Mike as he begins his new career adventure in Atlanta, Georgia.  We have posted a gallery of selected photos and the video of the Shabbat Service.  Forward to whatever part of the service you want to view:

Anthony opens the Service (0:00 )
Morning blessings (9:00:00)
Torah Service (1:07:00)
Baby Naming Service (1:22:00)
Torah Service Conclusion (1:34:00)
Tributes to the Rabbi (1:45:00)
D'Var Torah by Rabbi Mike (2:16:00)
Dedication and Service Conclusion (2:23:00)
Choir (2:37:00)
Kiddush (2:40:00)

We are still accepting donations toward the purchase of the inscribed rock, now added to our Eitz Chaim (Tree of Life),  in recognition of Rabbi Mike’s part in the spiritual journey of Congregation Beth Elohim… and to celebrate our community as we move into our next chapter.  To donate, go to our website Donate page, www.bethelohim.org/donate, select the General Fund.  You may also send a check to the office.

As we say farewell, we can still learn from Rabbi MIke by reviewing some selected drashot and some of his public writings that we have posted on our website.  Find drashot HERE and public writings HERE.

Click on this photo to view the full gallery of photos:  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VIDEO:


 

Faux Food Truck Festival ♦ Sunday, May 22

Many congregants enjoyed the food from the "food trucks" set up by several organizations within CBE.  Here are some highlights!  Click on the photo to view the gallery from this event!


 

Purim Service & Megillah Reading and Purim Carnival 2022

Fun was had by all as the video and photos show!  Check out the 15 second "chicken dance" video and then click on the image below the video to see the gallery of fun photos.

Click on the image below to view the gallery of photos! You may need to click on the lower right of the blue bar to see all 23 photos.


 

Chanukah 2020/ 5781 Virtual Celebrations

Click on the image for the photo gallery that includes images from some of our virtual events including our daily community candle lighting, Chanukah Story & Craft, Great Jewish Fry Off,  Menorah craft contest, and our own CBE Coffee House!

Here is the video of our congregant/ congregant family members who shared their first time voting experiences in the Na'aseh sponsored New Voter's program.

 

 

Crisis And Faith - An Interfaith discussion on how to find the Holy in the midst of the COVID-19 Crisis ♦ April 1, 2020

Panelists:  Rabbi Michael Rothbaum, rabbi of Congregation Beth Elohim; Reverend Jill Cowle, serves the Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church in Harvard; and Imam Dr. Khalil Abdur-Rashid,  University Muslim Chaplan at Harvard University.   CLICK HERE for full bios of the panelists.


 

50th Anniversary "Peace, Love and CBE Gala" ♦ Saturday, November 16, 2019

Enjoy this photo gallery of 55+ photos from this party in celebration of CBE's founding in 1969!  Click on the photo of Rabbi Mike and friends to see the full gallery!  You may need to click "next page" to see all photos!


 

George Schaffer's Yom HaShoah Presentation ♦ April 30, 2019

Congregant George Schaffer gave a Yom HaShoah talk on his life and Kinder Transport experience for Micky Waks' 6th graders at the Horace Mann Middle School in Franklin.

Dan Klein was there to record the talk:

 


 

A Life of Godwrestling: Rabbi Arthur Waskow in Conversation with Rabbi Mike Rothbaum ♦ March 23, 2019

Congregation Beth Elohim was honored to welcome Rabbi Waskow, a luminary of our generation, for a night of conversation and dialogue about his lifetime of work revitalizing and inspiring American Jewish culture. Photos of Rabbi Waskow and his wife Rabbi Phyllis Berman with Rabbi Mike.  

 


 

Purim Carnival and Purim Service ♦ 5779/ 2019

Click HERE for Purim Shpiel 5779 photos ♦ The Greatest Shusan

 


 

 World of Jewish Song: Tsvey Brider ♦ February 2, 2019

World-acclaimed vocalist (and CBE member) Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell and accordionist/keyboardist Dmitri Gaskin 

 


 

Rabbi Mike on Chagigah!   

Rabbi Mike recently recorded a brief spot with Hal Slifer from Chagigah Radio on radio station 88.9 WERS. He spoke about CBE and did an introduction of one of Anthony's songs. 

The spot aired Sunday morning, November 4th. Click below to hear the full 6:36 minutes.

Chagigah, Boston's largest Jewish radio program, is broadcast Sundays 8:00-11:00 AM on WERS FM radio 88.9, and also streams worldwide on the Internet. Visit their web page at WERS.org.


 

Religious School/ Family Education

 

Pictures from the exciting first day of School, 2019!

 

 


 

 

Gimel Class (3rd grade) Shabbat Service - May 10, 2019

 


 

New York City Trip for 8th and 9th graders ♦ March, 2019

 

 


 

3rd Grade Family Education Program - March 3, 2019

 

 


 

Brotherhood

Brotherhood Breakfast with speaker, Barry Friedman held on March 6, 2022

Presenter Barry Friedman has been creating beautiful carvings from found objects in his small condo in the Boston area. Wandering through a nearby cemetery, he picks up dead branches and then carves and paints them to create art objects.  He says “I work with nature." This activity is a metaphor for Barry’s whole life, transforming death and loss into art and beauty. 

Barry was born in Poland in 1939. When he was three years old, he and his family escaped from Sobibor Concentration Camp when the Partisans blew a hole in the camp wall. Barry tells many stories about those times when he lived in the woods, hiding in fear and struggling to find food to eat. Somehow he manages to imbue these stories with humor, although they are, in fact, unbelievably sad.


 

Video of the discussion with Joe Federman, AP Bureau Chief for Israel and the Palestinian Territories, at the Brotherhood Breakfast held on Sunday, January 9, 2022 

 

YOU MUST BE LOGGED INTO YOUR ACCOUNT IN ORDER TO VIEW THE VIDEO BELOW

Joe Federman grew up in Westborough, Mass. and made his first trip to Israel in 1983 on a NFTY tour, a decision he is pretty sure his mother now regrets. He went to Clark University in Worcester and has a master's in international affairs and Middle East studies from Columbia University. He has worked for the Associated Press in Charleston, West Virginia and New York City, in addition to spending four years at The Wall Street Journal. He returned to the Associated Press in Jerusalem in 2003 and has been there ever since. He has gone on assignments to Rome, the Hague, London, Cairo, Beirut, Amman and across Israel and the Palestinian territories. Currently, he is the news director for the Associated Press in Jerusalem, overseeing coverage of Israel, the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jordan. Despite the time away and long distance, he remains a proud and active member of Red Sox Nation.

 

 

Video of Yousef Bashir's presentation at the Brotherhood ZOOM "Breakfast" with Yousef Bashir - September 12, 2021

 

YOU MUST BE LOGGED INTO YOUR ACCOUNT IN ORDER TO VIEW THE VIDEO BELOW

Yousef Bashir spoke at CBE in 2013 and 2014 while earning his MA at Brandeis University's Conflict Resolution and Coexistence (COEX) Program. As the current Director of Research & Operations at the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, he is a tireless advocate for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and previously worked on Capitol Hill as a member of the Palestinian Diplomatic Delegation to the United States. 

Read Yousef's own words in Brandeis Magazine and in his 2019 Op-Ed in the New York Times (paywall). His book, The Words of My Father: Love and Pain in Palestine, was endorsed by The New Yorker Magazine"At one of the darkest times in the elusive effort to end the conflict in the Middles East....a remarkable new memoir." He was interviewed in 2019 in JewishBoston.com.


 

Brotherhood Curling at Petersham Curling Club - January 6, 2019

 

 

Sisterhood

Girls Night Out at True West Brewery - June 13, 2019

 

 

Girls Night Out to see MixnMatch with CBE's own Wendy Linden and Rachel Weitzner - January 3, 2019

 

 

Na'aseh/ Social Action

Video of 20th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute:  "Racial Justice and Communal Safety: Cultivating MLK's Legacy" with distinguished guest speaker U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins
Monday, January 17, 2022 

We were honored to welcome Rachael Rollins as our featured guest speaker. 

About U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins

The Honorable Rachael Rollins is U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.  She is an advocate for criminal justice reform and has worked to push measures to reduce incarceration, correct racial and ethnic disparities, adopt alternatives to traditional prosecution, and improve relationships between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. She is the first woman to serve as Suffolk County District Attorney and the first woman of color to serve as U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.   

The event was sponsored by Na'aseh ,the Social Justice group of CBE.  Co-sponsors included: Racial Justice for Black Lives, United Church of Christ, Boxborough, St. Matthew's United Methodist Church, Congregation Beth El, Sudbury, Fostering Racial Justice, Highrock Church of Acton, League of Women Voters - Acton, Acton-Boxborough United Way, and Indivisible Acton.


 

Confronting the History of Housing Discrimination – Learning from Our Past and Taking Action Now ♦ May 26 and June 2, 2021

Sponsored by Na’aseh and its Racial Justice Group

This two session, interactive workshop was developed by JALSA in consultation with Bob Van Meter, adjunct professor at Boston College Carroll School of Management. In the sessions, we sought to understand racial disparities in housing in Massachusetts and the history that created them.

Session 1 Video:

Session 2 Video:

 


 

Racial Justice and Reckoning: A Proactive Conversation with the Acton & Boxborough Police Chiefs ♦ Tuesday, May 25, 2021

 


 

Modern Day Refugees: Everything you Wanted to Know about Refugee Resettlement in New England ♦ Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Speaker:  Emma Tobin, Chief Program Officer, International Institute of New England (IINE)

Emma Tobin's talk explored the lived realities of refugee resettlement in an increasingly complex immigration landscape, including the role that communities can play in supporting refugee and immigrant integration. 

You can view the event video below and view the powerpoint slides of Emma's presentation HERE.


 

"Race and the Juvenile Justice System" sponsored by the CBE Racial Justice Committee ♦ March 24, 2021

Speakers were Sana Fadel, Director of Citizens for Juvenile Justice, who provided an overview of racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system, including their work to address this long standing problem.  And, Senator Jamie Eldridge talked about legislation that addresses both the juvenile and adult justice systems.  


 

Reverend Mariama White-Hammond's 2020 MLK breakfast talk ♦ January 20, 2020

Rev. Mariama White-Hammond's talk was entitled “From Hip Hop Activist to Just Transition Pastor: One Woman’s Journey to Live at the Intersections.” She discussed her own journey, from teenage leader of Project HIP-HOP to preeminent climate justice activist and civil and human rights minister, and how it relates to the sacred and joyful work of tearing down silos — not only in the world, but in our communities and in our own hearts.

Rev. White-Hammond is the founding pastor of New Roots AME Church in Dorchester. She applies an intersectional lens to her ecological work, challenging folks to see the connections between immigration and climate change or the relationship between energy policy and economic justice.

Her presentation (courtesy of Acton TV):


 

Jewish Racial Justice Tour ♦ October 27, 2019

 

 


 

Burlington Mosque - Friday prayers in support for Muslim neighbors following New Zealand attack ♦ March 22, 2019

Several Na'aseh members gathered in the rain outside the Burlington Mosque for Friday prayers and lit candles near the entrance to the mosque.  It felt good to return the support that we received from our Muslim neighbors after the Pittsburgh shooting.

Martin Luther King Jr Breakfast - January 2019

 

Crossing Southern Border Forum - March 3, 2019

"Witness to Injustice" - Experts and eye witnesses share their knowledge and experiences at the southern border and the humanitarian impact of the US policies.

 

CBE at Cor Unum — Christmas 2018

 

Christmas/ Mincha Prayer Vigil in support of our Immigrant Neighbors • Suffolk County Sheriff's Dept. • December 23

WBZ Jim Smith reports the event, including statements by Rabbi Mike:  "Faith Leaders Hold Immigration Detention Vigil Outside South Bay House of Corrections"

 

Adult Education

Our 2022 Scholar in Residence was Rabbi Neal Gold, Jewish Chaplain & Hillel Director at Babson College in Wellesley, MA and the Past President of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis ♦ February 11 to 13, 2022

The theme for the weekend was:
B’tzelem Elohim --  All Human Beings are Created in God’s Image
How does this key Jewish value inform us in these times of conflict?

About the speaker:
Rabbi Neal Gold teaches and writes about Jewish texts, Israel, and the intersections between Jewish life and the contemporary world. Rabbi Gold is a lecturer for Me'ah through Hebrew College and teaches courses that empower adults to understand Judaism on a deeper level.  He is the Jewish Chaplain & Hillel Director at Babson College in Wellesley, MA, and the Past President of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis. He has served as the national Director of Program & Content for ARZA, the Association of Reform Zionists of America, for which he writes about the weekly Torah portion. For over 18 years he led congregations in New Jersey and Massachusetts. He received smicha from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. 

Neal is a prolific writer, teacher, counselor, and social activist, who loves how the beauty and power of Jewish texts and traditions unite communities, inform Jewish souls, and transform the world. In 2019 he created a rapidly expanding online platform for Jewish learning called A Tree with Roots. 

Friday Shabbat Service D'var Torah

Brotherhood Breakfast - Sunday, February 13:  Rabbi Neal Gold with Dr. Mohamed Lazzouni, Imam from the Islamic Center of Boston in Wayland


 

Jewish Book Month Author Event with Rabbi Ariel Burger ♦ Sunday, November 7, 2021

An Evening with Rabbi Ariel Burger, author of Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom.  

The world remembers Elie Wiesel -- Nobel laureate, activist, and author of more than forty books, including NIGHT -- as a great humanist. As Wiesel’s teaching assistant at Boston University and as his friend, Ariel Burger and Elie Wiesel had intimate conversations on matters of intellect, spirituality, and faith. Rabbi Burger gives us a front-row seat to these remarkable exchanges in and out of the classroom.

Tikkun L'iel Shavuot ♦ May 16, 2021

Congregants joined together, on ZOOM, for an evening of learning from Rabbi Mike and Cantor Sarra and several congregants.

Yom Hashoah 5781 Event ♦ April 7, 2021

When Yitzhak Ziv (Itzale) arrived in Israel in 1949, not long after the Holocaust, he was taken in by Zilpa Buchaltzev, CBE congregant Ronny Almog's grandmother. Itzale was one of the only surviving relatives from a small town in Lithuania, who escaped through the forests of Siberia.  By video, shortly before his death at age 93, Itzale tells his story of survival and overcoming, from his exile from his home in Lithuania through his teenage years in the Siberian labor camps, and eventually his unification with his family in Israel.  Amir Ziv, Yitzhak's son, joined us for Q&A.

Scholar in Residence ♦ February 12 - 14, 2021


Our 2021 Scholar in Residence was Ruth W. Messinger, social justice consultant, educator, and former CEO of American Jewish World Service (AJWS).  Ruth W. Messinger works as a social justice consultant in the Jewish community in New York, engaged with issues of race/racism, voting rights, immigration and the environment, and teaches civic engagement and organizing. From 1998 to 2016 she was the CEO of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), an international human rights and development organization which she continues to serve as its Global Ambassador. Previously, she had a twenty-year career in public service in New York City. She is married to an educator and has three children, eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren. 

Friday Night:

Saturday Morning

Sunday Morning:

Jewish Book Month Speaker featuring Sarah Hurwitz. ♦ Sunday, November 15

Sarah Hurwitz was a speechwriter for Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama, and head speechwriter for First Lady Michelle Obama. In her memoir,  Here All Along, Ms. Hurwitz describes how she rediscovered Judaism as an adult. Ms. Hurwitz talks about why Judaism matters in these difficult times as she is interviewed by Rabbi Mike.


 

End of Life Series Videos - January 5, 2020; January 26, 2020; March 1, 2020; October 17, 2021

 

Ethical Wills with Bob Russman-Halperin - January 5, 2020

For centuries Jews have written ethical wills to share their values and life lessons with future generations. In this interactive workshop, we update the concept for the 21st Century, and use practical tools and the latest technologies to begin a rich conversation with our children and beyond. Recorded on January 5, 2020.

Elder Healthcare with Malka Young, LICSW, CCM - January 26, 2020

Malka Young will share practical information that will help you help your parents or prepare for your own later years. How to find healthcare? What are the pitfalls to avoid? What does Medicare cover? What do you do if you are concerned about your parents' driving? These and other questions will be answered in an interesting and informative workshop. Recorded on January 26, 2020.

Estate Planning with Attorney Barbara Epstein of Scheier, Katin & Epstein and a member of CBE - March 1, 2020

Attorney Barbara Epstein gave a 60 minute presentation on the fundamentals of estate planning.   Estate planning is sometimes thought of as limited to saving taxes for people of financial means. However, the broader and more realistic view is that estate planning is necessary for anyone who wishes to direct the transfer of his or her assets on death or to manage those assets during incapacity or incompetency. In addition, for those with minor children or beneficiaries with special needs, estate planning is even more critical. Recorded on March 1, 2020

<

Chevra Kadisha with Hal Miller-Jacobs, cofounder of the a Community Hevra Kadisha of Greater Boston - October 17, 2020

Reciting Kaddish and Yizkor for a departed loved one is a basic Jewish custom most are familiar with. Yet many are not familiar with the loving custom of how we care for the departed in preparation for what many believe is the afterlife. The process of taharah, ritual washing of the deceased is done by a caring cadre of individuals.

The Community Hevra Kadisha of Greater Boston (CHK) is an independent, non-denominational organization of individuals, synagogues and other Jewish institutions committed to making the full range of burial rituals accessible and available to the entire Jewish community. 


 

Scholar in Residence Weekend with Dr. Susannah Heschel:   "A Unique Friendship: Abraham Joshua Heschel, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Civil Rights Movement."

Dr. Susannah Heschel is the Eli Black Professor and Chair of the Jewish Studies Program at Dartmouth College. Her scholarship focuses on the history of Jewish and Protestant religious thought in Germany during the 19th and 20th centuries. She has written and edited many books, including two volumes of her father’s writings, including Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Writings of Abraham Joshua Heschel. Dr. Heschel discussed the relevance of her father’s teaching on prayer, spirituality, and social justice. Recorded February 2, 2020.


 

Jewish Book Month Speaker, Rachel Kadish, author of The Weight of Ink, and winner of the 2017 National Jewish Book Award ♦ Sunday, November 3, 2019

 

 


 

Services

Shabbat Shirah @ Home ♦ Friday, January 29, 2021

Featuring two CBE "virtual choir" premieres
The CBE choir continued our beloved tradition of Shabbat Shirah (Sabbath of Song) featuring two CBE "virtual choir" premieres. You can find video recordings of the beautiful music HERE on the Choir page.   Below, we share the recording of the D'var Torah by our wonderful choir director, Judy Kramer.   

Havdalah Service Under the Solar Canopies ♦ October 17, 2020

Rabbi Mike Rothbaum, Cantor Sarra Spierer and the CBE Solar Team held a special Havdalah service under our solar canopies in the ELC parking lot. A limited number people attended the event in person including the Solar Project Committee,  Senator Jamie Eldridge and Representatives Tami Gouveia and Danillo Sena. Others joined via ZOOM.

Click on the photo to view the photo gallery and the image below is a video recording of the service.

 

Pride Shabbat Service featuring guest Joanna Ware ♦ June 28, 2019

Joanna Ware was our special guest at CBE's first Pride Shabbat service! Joanna's Dvar Torah linked the parsha (Sh'lach L'cha) to the celebration of Pride month in an interesting and convincing way.

Click HERE to read Joanna Ware's Dvar Torah.

 

Thu, October 6 2022 11 Tishrei 5783