RAB Spot

Advocacy and Prayer Amidst Pain

Today, family members, friends, and admirers of Lori Gilbert Kaye z”l, age 60, will eulogize her at her funeral at Chabad of Poway Synagogue near San Diego, CA. They will speak of how she was always doing chesed, an act of kindness or giving tzedakah to someone in need. And they will speak about her final act of offering herself as a human shield to save Rabbi Mendel Goldstein’s life, as a terrorist opened fire on him with an AR-15 type assault weapon. We mourn her loss and pray for her family to feel the outpouring of love for them and to know that Lori will be honored through the many acts of chesed being done in her memory. While we mourn we are also praying for the healing of Noya Dahan, 8 years old, and her uncle, Almog Peretz, age 32, who came from Sderot, Israel to visit family for Pesach who were injured in the attack.

Like many of you, I found out about this at the end of Passover and the harsh realities of our world sunk in. My heart broke, yet again, over another shooting at a place of worship. We are all feeling the effects of this and other attacks against Jews and people of other faiths, murdered out of senseless hate. And yet we must act.

First- at home. It is important that we speak about these events appropriately with one another and with our children. Here is a helpful guide about having conversations with our children about these atrocities. Please reach out as well if I can be a helpful, compassionate ear.

Second- in our community. Shaarei Tikvah has assessed our security situation and we have taken steps to make sure we doing what is necessary to take care of our members.

Third- in our country- Shaarei Tikvah is committed to speaking up for the value of a diverse America, which is committed to pursuing common decency and tolerance in our communities. We will continue to educate and spread the message of peace, respect, and the infinite value of every human life and to speak out against anti-Semitism, racism, Islamophobia, and bigotry of all kinds. And while rhetoric is important, it is not enough. We must also commit to taking action. Awareness of the realities we face, namely, antisemitism and the rise of white supremacy in America, coupled with a spiraling gun violence epidemic, is a crucial part of our ability to take action and improve our country.… Read more

Feeling the Effects of the Jewish Holidays

Every Purim afternoon, my family finds itself driving around dressed in costume, plugging in addresses and delivering bags of mishloach manot to surprise and delight our friends. I can distinctly recall the joy and excitement we have felt  – and have helped others feel  -over the years. The sense of joy we feel is not… Read more

Why Do We Publicize the Miracle This Year

This evening as I chanted the blessings with my family before lighting the Chanukiah, I was reminded of the many miracles that have brought us to this day. We are blessed to live in a country, and specifically, in an area of this country where we can boldly place chanukiot in our windows for all to see. Yes,… Read more

Religious School Highlights


Update from our Education Director

At my alma mater, Penn State University, there is an annual event called THON, a student organized 46-hour no-sleeping, no-sitting dance marathon, which raises millions of dollars to fight pediatric cancer.  I participated as a student, and as an alumna, I watch the livestream each year. While there are many reasons to support this event, there is always a moment during this 46-hour event when I’m completely awestruck by the incredible efforts of the Penn State student body. It was at THON when I first realized what it meant to be a part of something great and how I could make a small impact on the world.

In the few months that I’ve been at Shaarei Tikvah, there have been many moments when I’ve been struck with a similar feeling. Sometimes it overwhelms me when I see a student connect to prayers that are an integral part of our tradition or when a student proudly remembers to bring in tzedekah or when the community comes together to honor the memory of a treasured synagogue member. In this community, we have each played our part, large or small, in our efforts to grow and continue striving towards greatness.

Our religious school specifically continues to strive for this greatness- and we are on our way! Since last year, we have welcomed 12 new families into our community and grown our religious school from 59 to 79 students. And I thank you, our families, who are not just signing up your children for religious school, but attending Shabbat programming, religious school events, and synagogue-wide celebrations- this is what makes our community incredible.… Read more

January 28- February 4, 2019 Kitah Gimmel had some fun with Hebrew letters last week! After reviewing Aleph-Bet through yoga, the class put their knowledge to the test in a game of “Shimon Omer” (Simon Says). This past weekend was filled with light and new experiences! On Saturday evening Kitot Gimmel and Dalet led us in… Read more

Calendar of Events

Week of Tue., July 16 - Mon., July 22

Thur. minyan 7:00am
Fri. services 6:30pm
Fri. candle lighting 8:05pm
Sat. services 9:18am
Havdalah 9:11pm
Sun. minyan 9:00am
Mon. minyan 7:00am

Parashat Balak

Balak, king of Moab, sends for a diviner, Balaam, to curse the Israelites, so that Moab might drive them off. Balaam refuses, as God orders. Balak offers more gold; Balaam sets out. Yet his ass sees what Balaam cannot – God’s angel bars the way. Balaam then perceives his folly, atones, and proceeds as God’s messenger. “Ma tovu,” says Balaam, overlooking the Israelite camp. “How lovely are your dwellings, people of Jacob.” Balak angrily dismisses Balaam, who divines Moab’s fall. Yet Israel, seduced by Midianites, indulges in harlotry and idolatry.

Calendar of Events

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