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congregational life

Many of us have had those moments – of sitting with others in synagogue or during a private moment – when prayer seems flat. The words don’t seem to reach us where we are at that time or place; they can’t lift us beyond our everyday worries and concerns. When I’m sitting in synagogue with my son, Akiva, I’m usually focused on his concerns.

Beth Steinberg

When 91-year-old Deana came to visit me, she came to find comfort and solace a year and a half after her beloved husband Alvin died – but it turned out that she spent more time teaching me Torat Chayim (the Torah of Life). In the process, she lifted both of us a little higher on the ladder of holiness.

Rabbi Paul Kipnes

Just opening your door is not a mitzvah; it’s a start. What happens after the welcome is what really matters. It’s the critical difference between being tolerated and being valued – that difference is everything.

Pamela Rae Schuller
Congregants standing in sanctuary

I’ve often been taught that as the people of Israel, named after our forefather, we are meant to struggle with God. It just never occurred to me that could include the struggle to remain upright.

Moriah Benjoseph

I know we have a long way to go, but for this congregation, situated in the city just a few miles from the Old Court House where the slave Dred Scott lost his case for freedom, I have hope that we are chipping away at the racism that plagues us.

Rabbi Susan Talve

Professionally and personally, I have witnessed the beauty in how the “different” can bring together families, their friends and their Jewish communities. In particular, I was privileged to be part of the process as Aubree Bella became a bat mitzvah

Rabbi Rebecca Dubowe

In the midst of the water crisis here in Flint, MI, Shapiro’s Delicatessen of Indianapolis – purveyors of exceptional Jewish foods since 1905 – traveled 300 miles to deliver a “We stand with you” meal to Flint’s Jewish community on the last Shabbat in January.

David Stanley

Inspired by Stan, our congregation's 83-year-old bar mitzvah boy, I’m thinking that I may not wait until I turn 83 to recreate some part of my entry into adulthood, according to Jewish tradition, on an upcoming Friday night. 

Howard Lev

By allowing ourselves to experience individuals who our different from us, we challenge ourselves to be better human beings. Had I given in to my temptation to return to my comfort zone that morning 22 years ago, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

Denise Sherer Jacobson

I believe that prolonged solitary confinement is a violation both of the Eighth Amendment, prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment, and a violation of religious ethics, which maintain that every human being is made in the image of God and thus entitled to be treated with dignity.

Rabbi Suzanne Singer


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