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Kickstart your Torah Routine!
For the month of Elul, traditionally a time when Jews prepare for the upcoming new year, the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem is offering three Rosh Hashanah themed daily learning tracks featuring beloved Pardes Faculty. Each insightful podcast is 10-20 minutes long. Sign up for the podcast.
Rabbi Jesse Olitzky:
Pursuing Justice
Continuing our YOU ARE HERE series, Rabbi Olitzky teaches about what role our commitment to justice plays in our High Holiday liturgy and how acts of justice must follow Cheshbon Hanefesh, an accounting of our souls, to change the harshness of the injustice we see all around us.
Personal Reflection: Making Real Change
Sarah Rothman
Like most of my fellow humans, I have been spending an unprecedented amount of time in my home lately. I have started to notice its shabbiness. We need a new coat of paint in more than one room, our couch has seen better days and our deck is peeling. We spent a full weekend recently moving furniture around, a feeble attempt at hiding what we can’t or won’t fix. Now it is abundantly clear that the new point of view changes nothing it just allows one to see the shabby from all angles. It is also an opportunity to wonder how often we have fallen short of pushing for authentic change by just moving things around and hoping flaws will go away over time or will be somehow fixed by someone else. How often have I lost the chance to speak up for real change in my kids school, my town, my state, because I thought someone else would or I accepted that the change I supported, the one I knew was needed, was too hard and settled for the equivalent of just rearranging the furniture. This summer, for the first time since moving to Maplewood 7 years ago, I attended a Township Committee meeting and spoke up for change. The outcome may not be the change I am hoping for but I’m learning slowly how to renovate (or demolish and rebuild!) rather than just rearrange.
Sarah Rothman is a Clinical Scientist in Hematology/Oncology at Bristol Myers-Squibb.
Confessions of the Heart:
30-Day Anti-Racism Challenge 

Over the month of Elul, join Dimensions and the Jewish Emergent Network for 30 days of anti-racism reflection, discovery, action and transformation. Based on Dimensions CEO Yavilah McCoy's powerful adaptation of the Al Chet/Confession liturgy, you are invited to engage in a daily regimen of readings, videos, podcasts and calls to action that will open your hearts and deepen your practice of dismantling racism. Across diverse entry points, our racial equity challenge will lovingly move you to re-engage your emotions, inspire your belief, expand your mindset and recover your connections to the infinite. Join our journey of Teshuva/Return as we courageously explore our individual and collective capacity for change at the intersections of race, power, privilege, supremacy and oppression in our lives. Click here to learn more and subscribe.  

Our guest chazan Rabbi Menachem Creditor teaches about and sings the quintessential High Holiday prayer "Besefer Chayim," which asks God that we and the whole Jewish people be inscribed in the Book of Life, Blessing, and Peace. 
Previous Emails in the "You Are Here 5781" Series

Congregation Beth El is an inclusive, egalitarian synagogue affiliated with United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism, serving Essex, Union, and Morris counties. We can be reached by calling 

Jesse M. Olitzky, Rabbi
Rachel A. Marder, Rabbi
Jason Silberfein, Executive Director
Danielle Weitz, Director, Thelma K. Reisman Preschool  
Rivka Nelson, Director of Religious Education
Karen Freeman-Pettis, Assistant Director
Molly Gimbel, Youth Program Director
Terry Pridgen, Coordinator of Maintenance Services

Jehiel Orenstein z"l, Rabbi Emeritus
For more information about Beth El membership, please contact
Membership Chairs, Yuval Brokman and Lisa Buber.