Jewish Community Center

Opening Doors to Spirituality, Social Consciousness, and Community A Friendly Egalitarian Conservative Congregation

Shabbat Beshalach

Exodus 13:17-17-16
Candle Lighting time 5:05 p.m.

Some say that the American writer Anne Herbert scribbled the phrase "Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty" on a placemat at a restaurant in 1982. The sentiment has since been popularized through film and literature and has become a part of our vocabulary.


Our tradition disagrees.  We shouldn’t practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty. Rather we should do deliberate and consistent acts of kindness all the time. Why should we show kindness to others? The answer is clear in this week’s Torah portion.  When the Children of Israel crossed the Sea of Reeds, they sang a song of thanksgiving. One verse exclaims “This is my God and I will glorify Him. (Exodus 15:2) In the Talmud Abba Shaul commented on this verse “Emulate Him. Just as God is compassionate and merciful, so too should you be compassionate and merciful. (Shabbat 133b) To follow God’s example and to glorify Him we need perform acts of loving kindness.


The new administration wants to put “America First.” There is nothing wrong to take care of our own for Hillel says: “If I am not for myself, who will be?” But Hillel didn’t stop there.  He knows that we live in a broken world and we cannot ignore the fate of others like all those suffering refugees from war torn countries, undocumented immigrants, and other minorities like the LGBT community.  Hillel continues: “If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?” (Pirke Avot 2:14)


We never know what one act of kindness, done in God’s name, will do.


Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Greene


Service Schedule

Friday night 7:00 p.m.
Shabbat 10:00 a.m.


Save the Date!

Shabbat, February 11th Celebrate Tu Bishvat with us with our annual “outdoor” renewal service indoors. Our theme will be “Let the Earth Teach You Torah.” As usual we shall use meditation, movement, song, and prayer explanation to enhance our prayers.  Services begin at 10:00 a.m. with the Boker Tov Café opened at 9:00 a.m. Our Tu Bishvat Seder and luncheon follows immediately after services.


Wednesday, Februrary 15th, 7:15 p.m. Sisterhood's women's Rosh Hodesh Shevat celebratin with meditation, craft project, learning, eating, laughing, and just enjoying each other's company. $5.00 cover charge for food and materials.  RSVP today calling the office or writing us at


Sunday, Feburary 19th , 11:00 a.m. Our next Israeli film in our film festival will be Time of Favor Time of Favor is Israeli writer-director Joseph Cedar's 2000 debut film, starring Aki Avni. Winner of Six Israeli Oscars including Best Picture, "Time of Favor" is a taut thriller about the tense relationship between the orthodox nationalists and the military. Both a political-psychological drama and a love story between a passionate woman and two best friends, "Time of Favor" raises important questions of faith to one's religion, duty to one's nation, and love for oneself.


The New York Times called it an "art house thriller," and the Los Angeles Times said it was "one of the most successful contemporary Israeli films." 



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