Summer Schedule for Services and Rabbi David
During July and August, Friday night services will be held every week, starting at 7:30 pm (except for Shabbat Kulanu on August 18, which will start at 6:30 pm).
During July and August, Saturday morning services will only be held on the following mornings, starting at 10 am: July 8, July 22, August 5, and August 19. Weekly Saturday morning services will resume on September 2.


Torah Study

Weekday Torah Study takes place every Thursday in our Social Hall from 10:30am to 12:30pm. That group started reading at the beginning of the Torah on Thursday, October 8, 2015, and picks up each week where they previously left off, continuing until they (eventually) finish reading the Torah.

Shabbat Kulanu
‘Shabbat For All Of Us’ – is TBE’s family-oriented service, featuring guitar playing by Rich Roston, and pizza dinner for all after the service. The next Shabbat Kulanu service starts at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, August 18th.


Vigil/Gathering in Solidarity with Charlottesville 


Rabbi David helped to organize, and spoke at, a community program entitled A Vigil/Gathering In Solidarity With Charlottesville, held on Sunday, August 13, in Merchant’s Square. Here are his remarks (Rabbi David notes that he extemporaneously embellished his written remarks while he was speaking, and spoke from notes at the end, so these words may not be exactly what he said):
​Ostracization, division, and hatred are fundamental violations of the two philosophical systems I hold most dear: Judaism and Jewish values, and freedom and Democracy. I hold freedom of speech, and the ability to express what you think, to be a sacred aspect of American life; however, expressions of racism, xenophobia, and bigotry are divisive and dangerous. As we saw yesterday, this kind of speech leads directly to death. The Jewish people have experienced this throughout our history – we know whereof we speak. This kind of targeting continued yesterday, when anti-Semitic chants and Nazi slogans were heard during the ‘unite the right’ rally in Charlottesville. Like so many other ethnic groups, white supremacy targets Jews. I am proud to stand here today with so many others who will proclaim “this shall not stand.”
​How do we combat this? How do we attempt to fight this evil that is finding an increasingly louder voice in our free society? I believe that two of the most vital steps are communication and education. We must know each other, and we must know about each other, in order to be able to peacefully co-exist. So many of us know so little about each other, beyond the stereotypes that are harmfully promulgated by those who seek to do us harm. It’s not hard to understand how and why this happens; it’s easy to make general assumptions about others based on the things that other people tell you. This is probably easier than ever in this era of social media, when there are so many different ways to receive information. However, not taking the time and making the effort to get to know and learn about your neighbors, and allowing what people tell you about them to define what you think about them, easily leads us to prejudice and hatred – which results in moments like yesterday. When we allow carelessly disseminated ideas to take hold, we strengthen the promulgators in ways that are extremely dangerous to us.
​Here in Williamsburg – a place that I call “the most civil place that I, a native New Yorker, could have ever conceived of,” we have a large number of diverse religious communities – many of which know surprisingly little about each other. It is easy for us to be more divided than united – which is not who we want to be. Sveral of us would like to address that. This afternoon, I’d like to announce the formation of a new organization in Williamsburg called HART, an acronym that stands for Historic Area Religions Together. Several clergy colleagues and I have been discussing HART recently, hoping it can be a tool for addressing these problems. HART will be an attempt to help us to know each other better, and to know about each other better. HART is an organization that will invite ALL of the faith communities in our area to come together in fellowship, providing social, educational, and communal programs that can break down divisions, help us to better know and understand each other, and bring us together. We live in a place that is fundamentally divided – we all live in separate neighborhoods that we never drive into, for example. Our religious communities operate similarly – how many Presbyterians can easily explain what Judaism is all about, for example. Not knowing each other allows us to make assumptions about each other – and that’s when problems develop. We hope that HART can be part of the solution. In the coming days, I will be inviting leaders from religious communities across the Historic Triangle to join us, to work together to becoming a more connected community. If you’re interested, I invite you to please ask your religious community’s leader to contact me. A website for HART has been set up, at the address www.peninsulahart.org. I can tell you that all that’s there is an ‘under construction’ notice, and an Email address that is routed to me. Please feel free to be in touch.
​You may be familiar with the Hebrew word shalom, which is most often translated as peace. Shalom is the kind of peace that comes not from quiet or stillness, but from feeling whole or complete – a feeling that many of us are probably searching for after yesterday’s events. In Judaism, we frequently wish each other shalom, and we have several prayers that ask for there to be more shalom in the world. I’d like to conclude with a prayer that we say near the end of most Jewish services:
Oseh shalom bimromav – May the One who makes shalom in the heavens above;
Hu ya’aseh, hi ta’aseh shalom aleinu- May this One bring shalom upon all of us;
V’al kol Yisrael – And upon all of Israel;
V’al kol yoshvei teiveil – And upon all who dwell on earth
V’im’ru Amein – and let us all say together, “Amen.”
Thank you.