HaKarat HaTov: Jewish Thanksgiving and Jewish Living

November 24, 2016

Discover more Jewish values on raising kids who are responsible, grateful and menschy with money on Tues., Nov 29, when NY Times money columnist Ron Lieber speaks.

When this year’s Slichot speaker, Dr. Dan Gottleib of WHYY hosted his final weekly Voices in the Family last year, he focused the show on gratitude.  As callers thanked Dr. Dan for giving them something– courage or patience or thanks…  he responded (paraphrased) “I don’t give anyone anything that isn’t already there.  It’s about seeing what’s already there.”

Seeing what’s already there– this is Judaism’s approach to Thanksgiving.  One Hebrew term for gratitude is “hakarat hatov.” Read the rest of this entry »

“Then They Came for the Jews”

April 28, 2016
downloadI have been horrified and heartbroken to hear hate speech spoken, and worse, accepted without repercussion, in so many circles of American life.  From the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic “scholarship” and responses at my husband’s alma mater, Vassar College, as well as other campuses, to candidates and their followers who scapegoat people of different backgrounds from their own, our society is too slow to see that when someone else’s humanity is sacrificed, so is our own.
Amidst such failures in our world, I am heartened to discover souls who see beyond their own identity, who can lift their eyes to see the humanity in the other.  I am grateful to our congregant Susan Friedenberg for introducing me to Holocaust scholar Doug Cervi, who will be our guest this Sunday, May 1, 10:30am, when he facilitates for us a conversation with a Holocaust survivor and that survivor’s liberator.

Read the rest of this entry »

Learn with Rhonda Fink-Whitman about Her Advocacy of New Holocaust Education in PA

October 31, 2014

What is your response to the anti-Semitism in our history and in today’s world? Perhaps the most important Jewish response is to begin with learning.  On Sunday, Nov. 9 at 3:00 pm at Rodeph Shalom, in observance of Krystallnacht, Night of the Broken Glass, the series of coordinated attacks against the Jews throughout Germany and Austria on Nov. 9, 1938, we will join together and learn with Rhonda Fink-Whitman author of 94 Maidens and successful advocate for Holocaust education in PA was passed in Pennsylvania recommending that Holocaust education be taught in all public, charter and cyber schools. A trip to Germany uncovered the horrible truth about what happened to her mother during WW II and she felt that it was her responsibility to tell the story as she does in 94 Maidens.  Together, we will deepen our understanding and glean inspiration from her advocacy.

There is no charge so please bring a sweet to be served with tea.  Please rsvp to Julia Erlichman: juliadiane501@gmail.com.  Thank you to the RS Women for bringing us together for this important discussion!

Crowd Sourcing Sermons

June 26, 2014


Imagine that you are a member of the Rodeph Shalom clergy team, and you could tap into the collective wisdom of our congregation to help you write your sermons this summer.

That is exactly what we are going to do this summer with CROWDSOURCING SUMMER SERMON SERIES.

What is Crowdsourcing? It is the process of obtaining ideas or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, especially from the online community. (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2014)

What is Crowdsourcing a Sermon? It is an opportunity for us to draw inspiration from your comments and to encourage conversation among our congregants on important Jewish issues. Crowdsourcing sermons will be a way for us to find an opportunity to draw closer as a community. It will be a way for us to fulfill our Vision of creating profound connections Read the rest of this entry »

Counting the Omer: Listening

April 24, 2014

Sometimes, the mitzvah is just to listen.  For this week’s omer counting focused on strength, in reverence for next week’s observance of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, we give thanks for the many survivors who allow us to listen to them.  This Sunday (10:15 am at RS), we’ll welcome survivor Ralph Franklin to tell us his story.

Baruch Ata Adonai, Elohenu Melech ha-olam asher kidishanu b’mitzvotav vitzivanu al s’firat ha’omer.  Blessed are You, Eternal our God, Ruler of the universe, who makes us holy with sacred actions and enjoins us to count the omer.

Hayom asarah yamim, shehem shavuah echad, ushlosha yamim la-omer.  Today is 10 days which are one week and 3 days of the Omer.

Wishing you a meaningful omer– Your RS Clergy

Thrice Blessed with Torah

October 14, 2011

By Fred Strober

Rosh Hashanah at Rodeph Shalom had special meaning to me this year. I attended both the “alternative” and “classic” services, finding each inspiring in its own way. Having played some role in shaping the back-to-back nature of the services, I felt that I wanted to participate in both, but I never thought that I would come away so moved with my very personal involvement with the Torah over the course of the morning.

Read the rest of this entry »

Center City CSA

July 28, 2011

Members of the Center City CSA (community supported agriculture) look forward to Thursdays when Farmer Phil comes and drops of fresh produce and cheese.  Some of the produce we have received so far include swiss chard, kale, onions, peaches, blueberries, plums, lettuce, arugula, zucchini, cucumbers and chives- all organic and straight from the farm.  Along with trying new vegetables, each participant volunteers to help with distributing the produce. 

Members will have the opportunity to visit the farm where everything is grown and take a canning class to learn about preserving the fresh produce.

Check out more pictures at Rodeph Shalom’s facebook page.

Like the Center City CSA on Facebook.