Qabbalat Shabbat: Friday, 6:00 p.m. Torah Study: Saturday, 9:00-11:00 a.m. Weekday Minyan: 6:15 p.m.

Syna-Blog

A Testimony

  • Posted by Matt Soffer
  • On June 28, 2017
Testimony before the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy Rabbi Matthew Soffer, Temple Israel of Boston Massachusetts State House June 20, 2017   I’d like to thank the Chairs, Sen. Barrett and Rep. Golden, as well as the Vice Chairs, Sen. Brady and Rep. Chan, and the members of this esteemed and essential Committee, […]
Read More
 

Trump is President and We are Awake

  • Posted by Suzie Jacobson
  • On January 20, 2017
    Today is Friday, January 20th, 2017. Today Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States of America. This Shabbat, Jews everywhere read parashat shemot, our book of freedom. The book that gives us the image of a parted sea, a mixed multitude crossing together in song. The book that gives […]
Read More
 1

A Post-Election Reflection: Still Becoming American Jews

  • Posted by Matt Soffer
  • On November 15, 2016
As many of you know, the history of our congregation has been written beautifully by Susan Porter, Lisa Davis, and Meaghan Dwyer-Ryan, in their work entitled Becoming American Jews.  It’s a book you can judge by its title. It tells our story; it reminds us that when we say “our story,” we are not talking […]
Read More
 

Surviving the Babble (And this Election)

  • Posted by Suzie Jacobson
  • On November 5, 2016
  This sermon was delivered at Temple Israel on Friday, November 4th, 2016.  I’m quite terrible at learning languages. Nothing causes me more panic than staring slack jawed at a well meaning foreign speaker. Or that empty headed feeling when I can’t remember the right vocabulary. I enjoy eloquence. I married an English professor and […]
Read More
 

Ecclesiastes for a Bat Mitzvah

  • Posted by Suzie Jacobson
  • On October 22, 2016
This morning I officiated at the b’not mitzvah (note: plural, feminine Hebrew) of two incredible young women. Trying to be clever, I updated Ecclesiastes’ famous “To everything there is a season” poem so that it would speak to a 13 year old. Some where along the line I realized that maybe this speaks to us all… _________________________________________________________________________________________ […]
Read More
 2

Sinful but Saved by the Grace of God

  • Posted by Matt Soffer
  • On August 23, 2016
Rabbi Soffer’s D’var Torah from 8/19/16 delivered at Temple Israel of Boston This week’s portion is called “V’etchanan,” and it offers a clear window into the fierce love between Moses, God, and the Israelites.  I say, “fierce love,” because that’s what we mean when we say, “Covenant,” or B’rit. Covenant is not an easygoing friendship.  […]
Read More
 

Fly High and Stick the Landing

  • Posted by Jen Gubitz
  • On August 16, 2016
D’var Torah delivered during Riverway Project‘s Soul Food Friday at Temple Israel of Boston, August 12, 2016 Rows upon rows, shelves upon shelves, rooms upon rooms of series, of titles, of tables of contents, of chapters, of pages of books in the Boston Public Library. I was browsing and searching for just the right titles, just […]
Read More
 

Shabbat Awakenings: “Do As You Have Promised!”

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On August 5, 2016
Welcome again to Shabbat Awakenings, a weekly reflection as we move toward Shabbat. “Do as you have promised,” is what Moses told the leaders of the tribes of Reuben and Gad. The Jewish people had made their way over the course of forty years toward the Jordan River. On the other side was the land […]
Read More
 

Shabbat Awakenings: The Counting Begins

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On July 29, 2016
Welcome again to Shabbat Awakenings, a weekly reflection as we move toward Shabbat. Each moment in history has its significance. I am moved by this moment in time. During these past two weeks norms have been shattered in all directions and different opinions have been aired. Wherever we may find ourselves and however we may […]
Read More
 

Shabbat Awakenings: From the Outside In

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On July 22, 2016
Welcome again to Shabbat Awakenings, a weekly reflection as we move toward Shabbat. In the Torah this week, we read about the King of Moab who commissions Balaam, a prophet-seer, to curse the Israelites as they continue their trek toward the land of Canaan. From the ruler’s vantage point, the Jewish people appeared formidable in […]
Read More
 

Shabbat Awakenings 5776 – July 15, 2016

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On July 15, 2016
  Welcome again to “Shabbat Awakenings,” a weekly reflection as we move toward Shabbat. After all of the events of last week, from Baton Rouge to St. Paul to Dallas, I wanted to turn toward hope this week. But I don’t think we are there yet. Grief and mourning course through our cities and towns. […]
Read More
 

Shabbat Awakenings 5776 – July 8, 2016

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On July 8, 2016
  Welcome again to “Shabbat Awakenings!” Each Friday, I will be sending you a reflection or thought with which to approach Shabbat as a way to stir up awareness of the potential of this day. Shabbat offers us the chance to turn inward to nourish our inner life so that we have the strength and […]
Read More
 

The Seventh Person from the Left

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On July 5, 2016
In Memory of Elie Wiesel He is the seventh person from the left. All of them are gaunt men, younger and older, staring into the camera. Squeezed onto the planks that are supposed to serve as a place to sleep in the prisoner barracks of the concentration camp. But this iconic picture is a picture […]
Read More
 

I Am With You

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On July 1, 2016
As I begin to serve as senior rabbi of Temple Israel of Boston, I want to share with you what I told the congregation on the eve of my selection for this great honor.   Nafshi keshora nafshecha My soul is bound up with yours These words are part of the Joseph narrative Describing the […]
Read More
 

The Cloud and the Trumpet

  • Posted by Ronne Friedman
  • On June 28, 2016
D’var Torah Parashat B’ha-alot’cha June 24, 2015  |  18/19 Sivan 5776 The great Athenian, Thucydides, wrote of the obligations that he imposed upon himself in his quest for historical truth: “With reference to the narrative of events, far from permitting myself to derive it from the first source that came to hand, I did not […]
Read More
 

Examining Our Practice of Giving

  • Posted by Matt Soffer
  • On March 16, 2016
Pekudei 5776: Finishing Exodus by Examining Our Practice of Giving (This blog was originally delivered as a sermon to the Riverway Project during Soul Food Friday on March 11, 2016) You know the feeling when you love a book so much that as the pages in your right hand get fewer and fewer, you begin getting […]
Read More
 1

Pulpit on the Common

  • Posted by Matt Soffer
  • On January 8, 2016
                    “Make the old new, and make the new holy.” – Rav Kook The most significant study of the Jewish community, “A Portrait of American Jews,” by the PEW Research Center, has shined a flashlight on the mandate for institutional change. More than one in five […]
Read More
 2

Atem Nitzavim

  • Posted by Ronne Friedman
  • On September 11, 2015
Atem Nitzavim: Mishkan HaNefesh’s Successful Navigation of Di-polar Theological Themes At the beginning of the summer, at a meeting of our clergy staff, we agreed that we would devote the month of Elul to an introduction to and exploration of our new Machzor, our new High Holy Day Prayerbook, Mishkan HaNefesh.  The word Mishkan is […]
Read More
 3

No Mention of Iran, Congress, or Nuclear Weapons

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On September 2, 2015
The moon in the sky tonight will be full.  We should be able to see it in its entirety. And just as it waxed to wholeness, it will wane back to a sliver, only to start the cycle again.  But then, it will not only be a new moon.   It will be a new year […]
Read More
 

A “Living” Prayer

  • Posted by Suzie Jacobson
  • On September 1, 2015
A “Living” Prayer: Elul as Preparation for a Meaningful High Holiday Season Today is September 1st – the edges of the leaves are taking on a reddish tint, the school buses are rolling through our towns and vacation away messages are being replaced by work emails and carpool schedules. However, though the secular world is […]
Read More
 8

A Word on the Word, “Word”

  • Posted by Matt Soffer
  • On August 21, 2015
This past Tuesday Temple Israel went to the Holy Land of Fenway Park, 40 strong, for Jewish Heritage Night. As we gathered before walking together, I offered this quasi-irreverent D’var Torah, to  complement our peanuts & cracker jacks: A D’var Torah is Hebrew for “a word” of Torah. Davar means “word.”  So let’s take with us […]
Read More
 1

Becoming “More Human” Knowing We Are “Only Human”

  • Posted by Matt Soffer
  • On August 14, 2015
In this week’s portion we encounter what is the Torah’s most unequivocal statement on economic justice.  It reads, and I’ll excerpt the passage, for the sake of brevity: Efes ki lo yih’yeh b’cha evyon – There shall be absolutely no poor among you—since Adonai your God will bless you in the land that Adonai your […]
Read More
 2

We Need Deuteronomy – Because Slavery is Not Over

  • Posted by Matt Soffer
  • On July 29, 2015
I just finished reading Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, an extraordinary work on the travesty of mass incarceration today in the US, particularly of African Americans. I haven’t yet recovered from what Alexander achieved in this work, essentially a telling of the facts, the reality, the truth about a state of injustice that I […]
Read More
 9

Rabbi Zecher blogs from Israel: Strengthen the Core

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On July 23, 2015
              My trip with AIPAC ended two days ago. But, I am still here in Israel. I chose to spend time with my brother and the rest of his family in Jerusalem. I wanted to settle into a different kind of lifestyle of Israeli living than the one I […]
Read More
 1

Rabbi Zecher blogs from Israel: A Beautiful Paradox

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On July 16, 2015
            Part of me wishes I could say I have figured it all out.  We have met with members of Knesset, Israeli academics, representatives from the Arab community, and Palestinian leaders and business people. We have traveled intellectually through difficult conversations on rocky terrain trying to understand this complex reality […]
Read More
 1

Rabbi Zecher blogs from Israel: New Puzzle Pieces

  • Posted by Elaine Zecher
  • On July 14, 2015
We landed to the news that the US had reached an agreement with Iran over the extensive negotiations regarding sanctions and its nuclear program. We walked off the plane checking our phones quoting headlines and reactions as we headed toward the passport check area. While some world leaders rejoiced at the long sought resolution, others in Israel were less […]
Read More
 2

Being Played, Playing Along, and Praying for Facts

  • Posted by Matt Soffer
  • On July 14, 2014
As I pray for a ceasefire to this conflict, looking back on how it flared up, I am haunted by the facts. I am haunted by the reality of Israel’s vulnerability, haunted by the prospect of a world without a Jewish State. I am haunted by the fact that Hamas continually launches missiles into Israel, targeting […]
Read More
 3