Simchat Torah 2018

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Oct 052018
Beth Ami Temple held another joyous Simchat Torah service this year. In addition to marching around the sanctuary with the Torahs and waving flags, 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 our accompanist Lorraine Greenberg provided a backdrop of lively traditional tunes. Click/tap here to see a video of the unscrolling of the Torah.


Shabbat Service/Town Hall Meeting – 5/4/18

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May 042018

Our final Shabbat service of the 2017-2018 season was capably led by Beth Ami Temple members Susi Stone, Jerry Mittelman, and Cantorial Soloist Mike Robbins. Following the service and Oneg, our annual Town Hall meeting was held, and Donna Horwitz presented outgoing president Jerry Mittelman with a beautiful Kiddush cup and tray. Treasurer Bob Unferth discussed our budget forecast for the coming fiscal year, and Nancy Stiegel and Bob Unferth were introduced as our co-presidents for the upcoming two-year term.

Jerry Mittelman and Susi Stone leading our Shabbat service

Shabbat service leaders Jerry Mittelman, Susi Stone, and Cantorial Soloist Mike Robbins leading the Kiddush

Arnie Schwartz, Jerry Mittelman, and Donna Horwitz

Shabbat Service – “Meet and Greet” Spring Open House – 4-13-2018

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Apr 132018

Our service this evening included a “Meet and Greet” Spring Open House followed by a Shabbat service. Beth Ami members were encouraged to bring guests with them to learn about our active adult congregation, services, and our many social activities and clubs. Our service was attended by 60-70 people, including 12 guests.

The meet and greet also offered everyone a chance to meet our dynamic clergy, Rabbi Allison Lawton and Cantorial Soloist Mike Robbins. Rabbi Lawton’s sermon on “Community” can be viewed here:

Our service concluded with the congregation holding hands while singing “Oseh Shalom”:

Speaker Series – Professor Hava Tirosh-Samuelson speaks on Judaism and Environmentalism

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Mar 232018

Arnie Schwartz, Professor Hava Torosh-Samuelson, Rabbi Allison Lawton, Jerry Mittelman

Professor Hava Tirosh-Samuelson was the guest speaker at Beth Ami Temple’s March 23rd Friday night service. She is Director of Jewish Studies at ASU and spoke on ‘Judaism and Environmentalism’. Her thesis was that in the Jewish tradition, it is mankind’s responsibility for the world God has created. Man is the tenant farmer on land that God owns. Land ethics are spelled out in the Bible, such as fruit is not to be eaten on a new tree for the first several years of growth. The Bible expresses concern for future generations. It preaches biodiversity and prohibits the mixing of various species; the limiting of human consumption; and warns against wanton destruction and the causing of pain to animals vis-à-vis today’s industrial production of animals. She opined that the Bible is eco-kosher, which implies vegetarianism and a connection between social justice and ecological justice.

She recommends Jewish environmental spirituality be practiced in our own homes and in our synagogues by recycling, waste reduction, growing gardens, converting to solar energy, and becoming vegetarians.

Shabbat Service – Purim 3-2-2018

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Mar 022018

Rabbi Allison Lawton’s favorite holiday of the year is Purim. If you had any doubts about this fact before, consider her special outfit for our Shabbat Purim service on Friday, March 2nd:

Rabbi Lawton holding our Megillah

To Rabbi Lawton’s delight, our Shabbat service included a Purim Shpiel starring some of Beth Ami Temple’s talented members:

Beth Ami Temple actors and actresses who starred in the Shpiel included Bette Nitzky, Stan Nitzky, Blossom Osofsky, Steve Hertzfeld, Susanne Zimmerman, Steve Zimmerman, Shari Brooks, Jeff Brooks, and Barry Markowitz.


Thank you Jewish News for including Rabbi Lawton’s Purim photo in its 3-9-18 issue, page 16.

Speaker Series – Judy Laufer, local author and educator, speaks about her recent book.

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Feb 022018


Judy Laufer, Author of Choices

Beth Ami Temple Members listen to Judy Laufer, author and educator.

Local author and publisher Judy Laufer discussed her recent book Choices:The True Story of One Family’s Daring Escape to Freedom, a true story of her family’s daring escape from Hungary during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, as part of the Beth Ami Temple Speakers Series. In addition, Judy mentioned several children’s books she has also written.

You can view more information about Judy’s background as well as review and/or purchase her books by clicking/tapping 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