Beth Ami Culture Group Tours Tikkun Olam Exhibit

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Jan 112018

Six members of the Beth Ami Culture Group toured the Tikkun Olam II exhibit at the Cutler-Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center, home of the Arizona Jewish Historical Society, on Thursday, January 11th.

Tikkun Olam is a Jewish concept defined by acts of kindness performed to perfect or repair the world. The exhibit consisted of beautiful and thoughtful contemporary art by four exceptional local artists to raise the awareness of the need to repair the world of its imperfections and not stand idly by when another person is endangered or an issue of concern requires human intervention.

For additional information about the Cutler-Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center, please tap/click here.

For additional information about the current exhibit(s), please tap/click here.

Hanukkah/Shabbat Service 12-15-2017

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Dec 152017

Our December 15 Hanukkah service was a magical celebration of the holiday!  Using their own menorahs, our congregants lit their candles at the same time, while Cantor Mike chanted the prayers. Interestingly, no two menorahs were the same, and  thankfully, the church’s fire alarm wasn’t  set off! The ceremony was followed by the Shabbat service  illuminated by the warm light of the flickering candles.

Jordan Brickman

Jerry Zack

Beth Ami Culture Group Attends Pompeii Exhibition

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Dec 122017


Some of our group who gathered for a group photo.

Fourteen members of our Culture Group attended the fabulous Pompeii: The Exhibition display at the Arizona Science Center on Tuesday, December 12, 2017. More than 200 precious artifacts were included in the exhibition.

The catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius on August 24, 79 C.E., froze the Roman city of Pompeii in time by burying everything in its path for more than 1700 years. Ironically, the same debris and ash that destroyed the city also preserved it.

Following our tour of the exhibition, most of our group met at Alexi’s Italian restaurant for a delicious lunch and chitchat.

BAT Strollers Tackle Brown’s Ranch Route – 12-3-2017

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Dec 032017

A hearty group of BAT Strollers tackled a new route at the Brown’s Ranch trail-head in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve of north Scottsdale. Arnie S, Bernie A, Carol, Paul, Harriet, and Terry followed Jan and Steve Hertzfeld into the wilds of north Scottsdale on a beautiful warm December day. All felt accomplished after a 5+ mile stroll.


Speaker Series – Rabbi Yosef Garcia Spoke on Crypto Jews at Beth Ami Temple on December 1st

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Dec 012017

Rabbi Garcia led off the Beth Ami Temple Speakers Series with his fascinating discussion of the history of Crypto Jews in the Americas and the search of many of them to regain their historic Judaism. His organization, the Association of Crypto Jews of the Americas, assists them on this journey.

To view Rabbi Garcia’s bio, please click/tap here.

Rap with the Rabbi 11-5-2017

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Nov 052017
An enlightening gathering was held on Sunday morning, November 5, at the home of Bobbie and Ted Kraver. Rabbi Lawton  graciously answered all kinds of questions from why she became a rabbi to her personal belief in God.  In addition, bagels, lox, cream cheese, and an assortment of delicious sweets were served. Overall, it was a great way to get to know both fellow members and the Rabbi a little better and to interact with each other in the warm, welcoming setting. A special thanks to Rabbi Lawton for taking the time to meet and to the Kravers for hosting the event in their lovely home.
  • Rap with the Rabbi 2017 - Rabbi Allison Lawton

BAT Strollers Walk for Mental Health – 10-21-2017

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Oct 212017

BAT Strollers Walk for Mental Health

Beth Ami Strollers Bobbie Lazarus, Gerry Zack, Bernie Aaronson, Carol Sinai and others joined Jan Hertzfeld  for a walk for Mental Health in the 13th annual NAMI Arizona walk at the Arizona Capital, the morning of October 21st.

This was the 5th year that the BAT strollers have joined the walk. It was a beautiful day with hundreds of others completing either a 1.5 or the 3 mile loop.

Mental disease that has touched millions with an estimated 1 in 4 American families needing to deal with severe brain disorders.

Our society is greatly impacted by mental illness and this disenfranchised segment of our society. A large segment of our homeless population is afflicted, as are many of our co-worker and friends (which you might not be aware of), to name just a couple of areas.

Thank you Beth Ami Strollers for helping to bring awareness to this life-long disease.


Simchat Torah 2017

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Oct 142017
A joyous  Simchat Torah service was held  again at Beth Ami Temple this year but with something new added. Yes, there was the usual marching around the sanctuary with the torahs and much flag waving; in addition, the torah was completely unscrolled and held up by the entire congregation. While the torah was unscrolled and being held up, Rabbi Lawton went around the room reading excerpts from each book; afterward, Rabbi Lawton, with help from members, rescrolled the torah back to the beginning of Genesis. While all of this was happening, Cantor Mike and Lorraine Greenberg were providing a backdrop of lively traditional tunes.


Click/tap here to see a video of the unscrolling of the torah.


Here are a few photos from our Simchat Torah service:
  • Holding the unscrolled Torah

Tashlich Ceremony 9-24-17

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Sep 242017

A nice group met for a short Tashlich ceremony on Sunday, 9-24-17, to clear out the sins of 5777 and become ready to begin 5778 with a clean slate. Harriett and Paul Finger, Arnie Schwartz, Stu Meckler and friend Edlyn, Bernie Pollock and dog Cosmo, Carol Sinai and Bernie Aaronson, Maddy and Jim, and Steve and Jan Hertzfeld enjoyed the ceremony, followed by a good stroll on a beautiful day at Tempe Town Lake with a lunch on Mill Avenue.

Tashlich 2017

Tashlich Ceremony at Tempe Town Lake on 9-24-17.


An update:

Thank you Jewish News for mentioning Beth Ami Temple’s Tashlich ceremony in their 9-29-19 edition, page 16.