- Rabbi’s Blog | An Israeli flag on the moon!
April 12, 2019
Chaverim Yekarim, Ok, so it was not the soft lunar landing for which the project had hoped and planned for more than 8 years. It was a crash landing of sorts after Israel had become the 7th country in the world to enter the moon’s orbit. BUT…make no mistake, there is now an Israeli flag
- Rabbi’s Blog | Any bacon lovers out there?
March 29, 2019
Haha, I thought I would get your attention with that subject line! 🙂 Our tradition gives us a fascinating insight into human reality by way of this often-maligned, tasty (so I’m told!) animal. This week, we get a detailed list of the animals considered kosher and those that are not. As you may know, to
- RSVP for 2nd Night Seder | April 20
March 21, 2019
RSVP below for our 2nd Night Seder on Saturday, April 20 at 5:30 p.m. Deadline is Friday, April 12. BSS adult members are $30 each and non-member adults are $45 each. Children and students of BSS-member families are FREE, Make your checks out to Beth Shalom Synagogue (memo: Seder) Our family-friendly seder will be interactive and
- Rabbi’s Blog | Join us: Candle Light Vigil
March 20, 2019
Chaverim Shalom, Tonight begins the holiday of Purim, a time when forces of darkness conspired to take over the world. Yet the Jewish People, led by Esther and Mordechai, summon up the courage to defeat the overwhelming evil. Is this not a story that continually repeats itself?? As you all know, a terrible tragedy struck
- Purim is here! | Wednesday, March 20
March 14, 2019
Purim is here! Join us next Wednesday evening, March 20, at 5:30 p.m. for our Purim festivities. Together, we will fulfill the four mitzvot of Purim and inject some of our special Beth Shalom flare into them. We’ll begin with a hamentashen making party and competition where we will pit two time-treasured congregational recipes against
- Rabbi’s Blog | Remember
March 14, 2019
Chaverim Yekarim, While we Jews excel at many things, I believe that memory must occupy the top of that list. Throughout history, we have elevated the act of remembering to an art form, as a way of eternalizing fleeting existence. Think of all the examples: The Jewish State, Israel, has the most memorials of any
- Corned Beef Sandwich Sale
March 13, 2019
We are no longer taking new orders. We will honor all previously accepted orders and serve drive-through customers only. Thank you so much your incredible support! Sunday, March 17 – Drive Through Pick-up only Monday and Tuesday, March 18 & 19 – Drive Through Pick-up or Business Delivery for 5+ sandwiches Choose from: Proteins: Corned Beef Tuna Fish
- Rabbi’s Blog | 2 Milestones in 1 Week
February 22, 2019
Chaverim Yekarim, My wife had a couple of significant milestones in her life as this week comes to a close. She officially changed her name from Samantha Ashley Shabman to Samantha Shabman Trief. Yes, it turns out I am no longer the only rabbi with the unusual last name of Trief. Of course, though I
- Weekend with Carly Abramson | Feb. 22 & 23
February 19, 2019
We’ve got an action-packed schedule of events this weekend! Our ISJL (Institute of Southern Jewish Life) Fellow, Carly Abramson, will be leading things on Feb. 22 and 23. Her beautiful music and voice will enhance our Kabbalat Shabbat Services on Friday Evening and Saturday Morning. At 9 a.m. Saturday morning, Carly will lead Shabbat Yeladim (Tot
- Rabbi’s Blog | The First Jewish Building?
February 8, 2019
Chaverim Shalom, We Jews don’t rely on a physical space for prayer or to facilitate God’s presence. We believe that prayer and God can be found anywhere. For this reason, unlike so many cathedrals and mosques around the world, it is rare to see very elaborate and ornate synagogues. And yet, as we all know,
- RSVP by Feb. 11 for Scholar-In-Residence Events
February 5, 2019
Our Scholar-In-Residence weekend is nearly here! RSVP by Feb. 11 to let us know you will be coming to events on Feb. 15 & Feb. 16. Rabbi David Stern, senior rabbi of Temple Emanu-El in Dallas and president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, will deliver the sermon during the 6 p.m. service on
- Rabbi’s Blog | March 16, 2018 | Vayikra: The Singular Power of Corned Beef
February 1, 2019
A sermon delivered at Beth Shalom Synagogue on March 16, 2018 When my unit underwent field-training in the IDF, there were some tough conditions to which we had to accustom ourselves. Carrying heavy weights, digging a hole in which to sleep, barely getting to use it, the intense discipline. But one of the hardest things to get used
- Rabbi’s Blog | Does God talk to us?
January 25, 2019
Chaverim Yekarim, There’s a Jewish dating service cleverly named SawYouAtSinai, playing on the traditional idea that all Jewish souls, past and present (all 600,000 types) stood at Sinai for God’s revelation thousands of years ago. There’s something really comforting and accessible about this idea if we choose to accept it. Similar to this idea at
- We remember: The National WWII Museum to observe International Holocaust Remembrance Day
January 25, 2019
On Sunday, January 27, The National WWII Museum will screen the award-winning documentary Who Will Write Our History at 2:00 p.m. at BB’s Stage Door Canteen. Roberta Grossman’s film tells the riveting story of Emanuel Ringelblum’s clandestine archive of daily life and resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto. The screening is free and open to the
- Rabbi’s Blog | Feb. 16, 2018 | Terumah, Valentine’s Day, Stubbornness and God
January 18, 2019
A sermon delivered at Beth Shalom Synagogue on Feb. 16, 2018 I’ve been accused frequently of being stubborn, mostly by my wife, sometimes by others, and yet I’ve always taken it as somewhat of a compliment, as a badge of honor. After all, aren’t us Jews am kshey oref, a stiff necked, stubborn people. Why should I not
- Israel and Louisiana’s Governor | Jan. 29
January 16, 2019
Learn about the Louisiana Governor’s Economic Development Mission to Israel featuring Governor John Bel Edwards and a panel discussion with Louisiana’s Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, Maj. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis (Co-Chair Louisiana Cybersecurity Commission), and President and CEO, The Water Institute of the Gulf, Justin Ehrenwerth. The program will be Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019.
- BaRFTY Dinner | Jan. 27
January 15, 2019
BaRFTY Presents: Abraham’s Spaghetti Dinner, a fundraiser for Dream Street. Sunday, Jan. 27, 5-7 p.m. at Beth Shalom. $10 eat in or take out, includes drink & dessert. Auction follows dinner. To reserve your spot, please email dskaplan @ cox.net or joshuahblack @ gmail.com. We accept cash or checks written out to
- Rabbi’s Blog | Coming to Your Pharaoh
January 11, 2019
Chaverim Yekarim, What if Pharoah were part of us? We often think of Pharaoh as this cruel and unrelenting villain in Jewish history, refusing to let the Israelites out of slavery despite the calls from Moses and the ensuing plagues. And, indeed, he was this villain. But our Jewish tradition always challenges us to probe
- JFed Annual Meeting | Jan. 13, 2019
January 11, 2019
The Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge Annual Meeting will take place on Sunday, January 13 at 3:00 PM at B’nai Israel. Lindsey Friedmann, Associate Regional Director of the ADL will join us to discuss who they are, what they do and address the current climate as it relates to Judaism and Anti-Semitism. JFed will
- See you at the movies
January 11, 2019
Tickets are now on sale for the 13th Annual Baton Rouge Jewish Film Festival January 16-20, 2019 at the Manship Theatre. The Festival has become one of the outstanding entertainment and cultural events of the city. If you have been to the previous Festivals, you know the quality of the films and speakers. If you have not attended the
- Rabbi’s Blog | July 14, 2017 | Parshat Pinchas: Pinchas and True Peach
January 4, 2019
A sermon delivered at Beth Shalom Synagogue on July 14, 2017 Something very strange happens at the beginning of this week’s Torah portion based on what happened at the end of last week’s. For an act of extreme violence, Pinchas is rewarded by God with a brit shalom / a covenant of peace. As many of us know
- Rabbi’s Blog | Our most amazing gift
December 28, 2018
Chaverim Yekarim, Hundreds of years ago in the Middle Ages, the rabbis gave human beings the nickname ha’midaber / the one who speaks, highlighting that crucial distinction between humans and other living creatures. It is that ability to speak that allows us to rise up from our bodies and aspire toward holiness and partnership with
- Havdallukkah Pictures!
December 26, 2018
We’ve added photos from our Dec. 8, 2018, Havdallukkah celebration (Havdallah and Hanukkah combined) to our Celebrations slide show. Check it out by clicking on the photo
- Pictures from Jacobs Camp Shabbat!
December 26, 2018
Thank you Jacobs Camp for hosting pre-neg and leading parts of our Kabbalat Shabbat service on Dec. 14. We are very thankful to have Jacobs Camp as part of our Southern Jewish community.
- Rabbi’s Blog | Jan. 20, 2017 | Parshat Shemot: Naming It
December 21, 2018
A sermon delivered at Beth Shalom Synagogue on Jan. 20, 2017. I have always struggled with speaking, especially as a child. Sometimes the words just wouldn’t come out of my mouth no matter how much I willed them, I would get stuck on certain consonants, stutter my way through them. Sometimes I wouldn’t speak at all in fear
- Annual Meetings Planned
December 18, 2018
Beth Shalom’s 2019 Annual Meeting will take place on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 9:30 a.m. The Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge Annual Meeting will take place on Sunday, Jan. 13 at 3 p.m. at B’nai Israel. Lindsey Friedmann, Associate Regional Director of the ADL will join the JFed meeting to discuss who they are, what they do
- Rabbi’s Blog | Vayigash
December 14, 2018
Chaverim Yekarim, As our reading of Genesis approaches its conclusion these next couple of weeks, we reflect on some of the lessons that we have learned. Our ancestors formed part of an epic drama, one in which they played an active role. Yes, God made a lot of things happen to them, but they also
- Tickets On Sale Now!
December 13, 2018
Tickets are now on sale for the 13th Annual Baton Rouge Jewish Film Festival, Jan. 16-20, 2019, at the Manship Theatre. The festival has become one of the outstanding entertainment and cultural events of the city. If you have been to the previous festivals, you know the quality of the films and speakers. If you have not attended
- How “to do” Shabbat
December 12, 2018
So, just how do you “do” Shabbat? Here is a video from ReformJudaism.org that explains how to make the blessings over Shabbat candles, wine and bread. This will be old hat for many, but if you are haven’t practiced in a while or are simply curious about Judaism, this is a great introduction.
- Rabbi’s Blog | Mah Tevakesh – What are you seeking?
November 30, 2018
Chaverim Yekarim, This week, Joseph goes off in search of his brothers and loses his way until he stumbles upon a mysterious person. The Torah refers to this person simply as “ish / man,” and yet we must not confuse his anonymity with his importance. At a period of great physical and spiritual changes, this man/angel
- Jacobs Camp is coming to BSS!
November 26, 2018
On Friday, Dec. 14 at 6 p.m., join Assistant Director of Jacobs Camp, Joshua Posner, for a special Jacobs Camp Kabbalat Shabbat Experience! Kids will come up and help lead parts of the Service and you’ll have a chance to learn about this exceptional Southern institution and how it could play a role in your
- Rabbi’s Blog | Happy Thanksgiving
November 22, 2018
Shalom Chaverim, Thanksgiving is the quintessential American AND Jewish holiday. As Jews, we do it everyday of our lives. It is hard-wired into our DNA. It is our very name! The word Jew comes from the Hebrew word yehudi, derived from the root l’hodot, to thank. The Jewish People get another one of its names in this
- Brotherhood Meeting | Dec. 2
November 20, 2018
The Beth Shalom Brotherhood will meet at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2. Please join
- Happy Havdallukah!
November 20, 2018
Join us Saturday, Dec. 8 at 4 p.m. for our 2nd ISJL Camp Shabbat! Let’s build on the momentum from our first amazing weekend! Camp Shabbat offers great educational content for kids and adults alike in a fun and dynamic setting. We’ll learn about this awesome holiday of Hanukkah, along with the corresponding mitzvot that
- Sisterhood 2019 Planning Meeting
November 19, 2018
Please join your Sisterhood for our 2019 Planning & Working Meeting — 11 a.m., Sunday, Dec. 2. We will be organizing and planning for our Dec. 8, 2018, Havdalukah celebration & Dairy Potluck Dinner, plus all of our spring 2019 events including Scholar-in-Residence Shabbat with David Stern, corned beef sandwich sale, Purim, and
- The December Book Club book is…
November 19, 2018
Beth Shalom Synagogue’s Book Club is back! Get a head start on your reading now in preparation for our meeting on Saturday, Dec. 15. Our December book is “We Were the Lucky Ones: A Novel” by Georgia Hunter. Find it on Amazon or at your local
- Join Us for a Celebration-Filled Weekend!
November 14, 2018
Join us for what is sure to be a weekend full of singing and holiness as we are joined for an Americana Shabbat by Jewish musician Joe Buchanan and ISJL Education Fellow Carly Abramson! Friday, November 16 6 pm — Kabbalat Shabbat followed by a Special Shabbat Dinner in honor of Francine Fisher and Elaine Kaplan Saturday, November 17 10 am — Shacharit Shabbat 4-5:30 pm — Our first Camp Shabbat will be Kehila Kedosha:
- Rabbi’s Blog | #ShowUpForShabbat
October 31, 2018
Hatred has struck deep within our national fabric. Our People are left reeling after such a senseless and heinous act. And yet, as we have from time immemorial, we pick ourselves up by the bootstraps and get back to work. We do not let it define us because hope is the incurable Jewish condition. What
- A healing message of hope and love
October 30, 2018
Thank you to everyone who joined us Monday night as we honored the lives lost in the tragic synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh. We had 500 people of all faiths crowd into our sanctuary to hear a message of faith, hope and love. Thank you to everyone who said the Mourner’s Kaddish with us. The mourner’s
- Memorial Service Monday, Oct. 29
October 29, 2018
Chaverim Yekarim, The Jewish Community of Baton Rouge is planning a memorial service in honor of the victims of yesterday’s tragic and barbaric attack in Pittsburgh. Please join us in solidarity and prayer as a united Jewish community along with our interfaith brothers and sisters. We would love this to be a broad community show
- Rabbi’s Blog | Our Jewish Family Shattered
October 28, 2018
Chaverim Shalom, My heart is with you all as we mourn the senseless murders at Tree of Life-Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh. We are but one Jewish family and this impacts us like a punch to the gut…this, the worst attack to hit our Jewish People in this Nation’s history. Eleven worlds cut down by
- Learn Yiddish
October 23, 2018
Want to schmooze with your bubbe and the rest of the mishpocha, but you’re a bit of a klutz with the words? Take my eytze and join the BSS Yiddish class every Sunday at 2:30! Your mama will kvell and your zayde will plotz, so get off your tush and go from pisher to maven in Yiddish!
- Save the Date | Scholar in Residence
October 19, 2018
Save the Date for February 15-16, 2019. Join us for what promises to be an exciting and stimulating Shabbat experience with Scholar-in-Residence Rabbi David Stern. In addition to serving as the President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, he is an inspirational and engaging lecturer and teacher. When he is not crisscrossing the country
- How many Torah scrolls?
October 10, 2018
Do you know how many Torah scrolls Beth Shalom houses? Or where they came from? Our Torahs have seen war and hurricanes, along with much more celebration, joy and life. Read more about Beth Shalom’s Torah scrolls…
- Join Our Guest Song Leader on Fridays in Fall
October 4, 2018
Please join us in joy and gratitude as we celebrate these musical Shabbatot with guest song leader and educator, Leo Henkin. Leo is based in New Orleans, and is currently studying at Tulane. In addition to bringing with him many years of experience in the world of Jewish prayer, music and education, he also brings
- Save the Date for Americana Shabbat | Nov. 16 & 17
October 4, 2018
Beth Shalom is excited to welcome to Joe Buchanan, a musician who plays Americana with a Jewish Soul, and Carly Abramson to our American Shabbat on Nov. 16 & 17. Save the date and we’ll have more details
- BSS Book Club!
June 20, 2018
Jewish Journeys has partnered with the Jewish Book Council’s National Jewish Book Clubs to launch Beth Shalom Synagogue’s Book Club. Our book club will be a space dedicated to social, educational, and cultural enrichment through reading and discussion of contemporary books that span the Jewish world. Contact Galia Betech for more information. Upcoming Dates: Oct. 13 –