Congregation Beth Israel's eNews for May 26, 2017

Friday, May 26
6:30 p.m.
Shabbat Sanctuary Service
Rabbi David Lyon,
Cantor Daniel Mutlu,
Rabbi Adrienne Scott,
Rabbi Joshua Herman

Saturday, May 27
8:30 a.m.
Shabbat Morning Minyan
(Gordon Chapel)

9:45 a.m.
Torah Study
(Finger Board Room)
Rabbi David Lyon

See the Worship Schedule



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Rabbi Lyon on the Radio
Rabbi David A. Lyon may be heard on Sunday mornings, 6:45 a.m., KODA, Sunny 99.1 FM radio


Confirmation in the 10th grade is a source of pride to teenagers who claim their Judaism at different stages in their lives by confirming what they can at this point. It’s a realistic and optimistic observation about who they are, today.

It’s realistic because they know that the world is filled with choices for them. There are no boundaries of any sort in the world they’re entering as young adults. The Internet and globalization have given them keys to a world in which they can copy, paste, and edit their view of everything.  That’s why our first trimester addresses their image of God in Judaism. One God, individually imagined, gives them room to grow with God as they enter a world of their own successes, struggles, and outcomes. At the end of the trimester, their personal statements about faith are profoundly clearer than they were before we began our studies, and admittedly clearer than their parents’ own faith commitments, in some cases. My hope for them is that they can relate to God as they grow, without fear that the God of their childhood can’t grow with them into adulthood.  God should be a source of all they need in life, in the best and worst of times.

It’s optimistic because rather than closing the door on new revelations, we’re opening the way for them to confirm, today, what they can and with every expectation that there’s more to come. Teenagers don’t want to be told what to believe; they prefer to learn what’s possible. In Judaism, there is no dogma about God, except that when we imagine God, we imagine one, not two or three. While there’s room to consider the possibility of none, at this age, I like to remain optimistic, too; teenagers are invincible and powerful, but years and experience often develop gratitude and awe if they’re open to it. I believe they are. I always believe they are, because teenagers want for themselves what we wanted for ourselves when we were their age. It’s difficult to surrender invincibility and power to finitude and mortality; but, if we see God as an unconditionally loving parent/partner, then we lose nothing and gain everything over a lifetime.

This Shabbat, we honor our Confirmands and thank them for their year of study with their rabbis and cantor, and for the promise they demonstrated to us and God that the future of Judaism is unfolding in their dreams and visions. Please extend your congratulations to the following students and their parents:


Confirmands                    Parents

Erica Altman                     Ross Altman
Sebastian Altman              Courtney and Ken Altman
Maddie Benzuly                 Cindy Sather and Douglas Benzuly
Alex Cortez                       Jodi and Michael Cortez
Alex Galor                         Helen and Daniel Galor
Aliya Gosdin                      Leslie Malkin-Gosdin and James Gosdin
Ethan Lovy                         Leisa and Jordan Lovy
Eli Maierson                      Meredith and Ryan Maierson
Asher Moskowitz               Anna and Paul Moskowitz
Arielle Ollagnon                 Rachel and Pascal Ollagnon


The 10th Grade Class of the Miriam Browning Jewish Learning Center invites you to join them in the Sanctuary beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 26, for Confirmation. A reception will follow in Wolff-Toomim Hall.

will be closed on Monday, May 29, for the Memorial Day Holiday. Offices will be open on Tuesday, May 30.

Temple offices will be closed on Wednesday, May 31, for Shavuot. Our Shavuot Yizkor Service will be held in the Gordon Chapel at 10:30 a.m.


Registration is now open for the 2017-2018 MBJLC year! You can register online with your member login and password! If you need your login information, or would like a hard copy of the registration forms, please call the MBJLC offices at 713-271-7369. Don’t miss the deadline for financial aid, June 1! Late enrollment fees go into effect July 1.

The entire Congregation is invited to view Cinema Judaica movie posters in The Margolis Gallery during Temple Office business hours. Cinema Judaica consists of two companion exhibits, The War Years, 1939-1949, and The Epic Cycle, 1947-1971. The posters will be on display through May 31. For more information, please contact Sara Kaiser, or 713-771-6221 x301. 


Our Annual Meeting will be held on Thursday, June 8th, as we complete our fiscal year, elect officers and trustees, and announce our Volunteer Spirit Awards as well as our Volunteer of the Year. All Congregants are eligible for the Volunteer Spirit Award, with the exception of Beth Israel Staff. RSVP and nomination forms were in your May billing statements!

Click here to visit the library web page.


Beth Israel Sisterhood's Judaica Shop is open Monday - Friday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Wednesday until 5:00 p.m.

Contact Anita Seline, 713-777-4315 for information.

PLEASE visit our website for information on other upcoming events.


Rabbi David Lyon's book, God of Me: Imagining God throughout Your Lifetime, Cantor Daniel Mutlu's CD, A Musical Year at Beth Israel, Rabbi Samuel Karff's two disc set of sermons, Words Spoken from My Mind and Soul, and Rabbi Karff's latest book, For This You Were Created, are all available through our Judaica Shop, and Click below for more information.


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