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254 Broad Avenue Leonia, NJ 07605 201.592.1712

  • March 30, 2023 9:11 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    March 30, 2023

    Dear Friends,
      Our spirited 3/4 Grade will lead much of our Shabbat Evening Family Service (7:30 PM)  while also offering a presentation for Pesach.

      A very special three-congregation Shabbaton takes place at Temple Sinai in Tenafly on Shabbat morning, with study (9:00 AM), worship with our student cantors Joe Flaxman and Iris Karlin (10:30 AM), and lunch and learn (11:45 AM). On Saturday night we conclude with a staged reading of my play As a Driven Leaf  and dessert reception (7:30 PM). 

       All this is free and open to the public thanks to the generosity of the Rudy Schwartz Scholar-and-Artist in Residence Fund (established by my mother Barbara Schwartz in memory of my father).
      Even though the registration deadline has passed, just let me know, and we will let you in!
       Here is the online link to the article that appeared this week about the Shabbaton in the Jewish Standard::

        Our very full weekend continues in our school on Sunday with both a Tot-Seder and school-wide Pesach program, as we get ready for our own family celebrations and our second night Congregational Seder.

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz
  • March 23, 2023 8:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    March 23, 2023

    Dear Friends,
      Have you heard of the term "national divorce"?
      If you haven't, you should...and it is downright scary.
      I'll speak about why that is so at our Shabbat Evening Service (7:30 PM).

      We will have our final Shabbat Morning Torah Study (10:00 AM) of the school year this week.
      Why such an early end? 
      For good reasons: next week is the Shabbaton; the week after is Pesach, and then six b'nei mitzvah in a row!

       Ready to read the next book for our Adas Emuno Book Club (May 8)?
       It's Dinners with Ruth by Nina Totenberg.
       I know this is going to be a great session because we have congregants who went to high school, to college, and to law school with Ruth Bader Ginsberg!

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz
  • March 16, 2023 9:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mar. 16, 2023

    Dear Friends,
      The Book of Exodus, which we conclude this week, is a tale of two books.
       In the process of discovering this we learn a great deal about ourselves.
       I'll explain what I mean at our Shabbat Evening Service (7:30 PM).

       We celebrate the bat mitzvah of Naomi Slater at our Shabbat Morning Service (10:00 AM).
       Mazal tov to Naomi and her family!

        Reminder- two fast approaching events next month require your rsvp-  the Shabbaton on April 1 and our Seder on April 6. 

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz
  • March 09, 2023 8:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    March 9, 2023

    Dear Friends,
      A bit of Purim redux- a new archeological discovery announced last week sheds light on the holiday we just celebrated.  
      And another recent find sheds light on one of the most important events in human history- the invention of the alphabet.
      I'll say a few words about each at our Shabbat Evening Service (7:30 PM). 

      Our weekly portion is all about crisis management- the crisis of the Golden Calf.
      We'll confront the situation at our Shabbat Morning Torah Study (10:00 AM). 

      Did you know that you do not need to have read the book to enjoy our bimonthly book club?
      I myself did not get to read The Women of Rothschild: The Untold Story of the World's Most Famous Dynasty, but I'm looking forward to the discussion anyway. 
       Our Adas Emuno Book Club meets on Monday (7:30 PM) via Zoom.

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz
  • March 02, 2023 11:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    March 2, 2023

    Dear Friends,
      Its all about Purim this weekend!

      At our Shabbat Evening Service (7:30 PM) we'll kick things off with some fun-facts about the holiday, and some special music to get us in the festival spirit.

      At our Shabbat Morning Torah Study (10:00 AM) we'll devote a special session to the Book of Esther. Regular and irregular attendees are invited to this lively discussion of the Bible's most provocative parody. 

      At our congregation-wide Purim Spiel and Service (10:00 AM) on Sunday we'll read from the Megillah with full sound effects, and be treated to a mini-spiel led by our students!
      Afterwards you are invited to a Purim Nosh on hamantaschen (on our patio weather permitting) and to the Purim Carnival (11:00 AM).

       Whew- all that's left is to say "see you there" and "Happy Purim!"

    Shabbat shalom and Hag sameach,
    Rabbi Schwartz
  • February 23, 2023 8:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Feb. 23, 2023

    Dear Friends,
      Did you by chance read last week that a book has come to auction that may fetch the highest price ever for a manuscript (in the $30-50 million range)!
      It is no less than the oldest near-complete Hebrew Bible known to exist.
      I'll share my excitement about this story at our Shabbat Evening Service (7:30 PM).

      An interesting debate about holiness in this week's Torah portion helps explain why we venerate the Bible as we do. 
      We'll take that up at our Shabbat Morning Torah Study (10:00 AM).

       We're getting ready for Purim, which is fast approaching- note that our congregation-wide celebration will take place on Sunday morning, Mar. 5 (10:00 AM)- megillah reading, spiel, and plenty of hamantaschen, to be followed by our school carnival. 

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz
  • February 16, 2023 8:04 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Feb.16, 2023

    Dear Friends,
      There is so much happening in Israel right now that it feels like I could talk about it all the time.
       For this week, I just want to pay quiet tribute to a genuine Israeli hero, Ilan Ramon, on the 20th anniversary of his death in the Columbia space shuttle tragedy.
       I'll do so at our Shabbat Evening Service (7:30 PM).

        The weekly Torah portion  moves into legal territory this week, and at our Shabbat Morning Torah Study (10:00 AM), we will look at the the always vexing question of capital punishment.

        Note that religious school does not meet this week in honor of President's Day weekend.
       Ready to read our next book for the Adas Emuno Book Club meeting on March 13? The Women of  Rothschild: The Untold Story of the World's Most Famous Dynasty by Natalie Livingstone, promises to tell all!

    Shabbat shalom
    Rabbi Schwartz
  • February 10, 2023 8:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Feb. 9, 2023

    Dear Friends,
      I am grateful to our student cantor Joe Flaxman for leading services and study while I am away.

       The Ten Commandments make their appearance in this week's Torah portion.
        If you haven't heard them chanted you will have the opportunity to do so at our Shabbat Evening Service (7:30 PM), where the fourth of the ten, to observe the Sabbath, will be discussed.

       The place of the Ten Commandments in Jewish life will be considered at our Shabbat Morning Torah Study (10:00 AM).

       I look forward to returning on Sunday for religious school, including Confirmation Class.

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz and student cantor Flaxman. 
  • February 02, 2023 8:11 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Feb. 2, 2023

    Dear Friends,
      I am grateful to our student cantor Joe Flaxman for leading service and study while I am away.
      The Song of the Sea from the book of Exodus is probably the oldest text of the Hebrew Bible.
       At our Shabbat Evening Service (7:30 PM) the power of this poem will be experienced through chanting and discussion.

        The message of this ancient song of liberation will be considered at our Shabbat Morning Torah Study (10:00 AM).

         And then join us for a Seder Tu Bishvat (11:00 AM)—an hour long celebration of the new year of trees, sampling the fruits and juices, music and poetry of this holiday. No reservation required!

       The minor but fun holiday will also be marked on Sunday, at our Tot program (9:30 AM) and school-wide celebration.  

    Shabbat shalom and Happy Tu Bishvat,
    Rabbi Schwartz and student cantor Flaxman
  • January 26, 2023 8:27 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Jan. 26, 2023

    Dear Friends,
      I am very grateful to our student cantor Joe Flaxman for leading services and study while I am away.

      At our Shabbat Evening Service (7:30 PM) the topic is theological: “Everything I do is in service to G-d, even when I do not believe in G-d.” What does it means to be a religious Jew as well as questioning Jew who believes in the power of myth?
       Our Shabbat Morning Torah Study (10:00 AM) considers the plague of darkness. that culminates the ten plagues of the Exodus. We will explore different ways to interpret darkness in our lives (physical, spiritual…) and how we are called to be a light unto the nations. 

      ***Advance notice: next week a Seder Tu Bishvat to celebrate the new year of trees will be held after Torah study (11:00-12:00). All are welcome!

    Shabbat shalom,
    Rabbi Schwartz and Student Cantor Flaxman

Student Cantor

Joseph Flaxman

Religious School Director

Annette De Marco

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