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Welcome to Congregation Beth Israel of Media - ברוכים הבאים

We are a Reconstructionist congregation in Media, Pennsylvania. We strive to inspire and educate our members, providing them with a warm and nurturing community. We engage in Jewish learning, tikkun olam (repairing the world), and creating wonderful memories with terrific social events. Come join us!

Quick info for what's happening now

Please join us for these upcoming events:


Delaware County Jewish Community
Spring Concert Series

Live music presented at 4 Delco synagogues now through June.  Next concert is at Congregation Beth Israel on June 17, 2016. Click here for more information and to RSVP.


Friday, May 20, 5:45pm - 7:15pm

Celebrate Spring and the Torah with children from infants to 6 years old.  Sing, play, dance. Wear your PJs to this casual Shabbat celebration.  Click here for more information.

 

 Read about our Green Faith Certification

WHY WE LOVE PESACH

Four reasons we love Pesach:  the props, the people, the meal , the message - of the seder.

The props are the tools we use to enter into the Passover story :  the ritual foods we bless and eat, the afikoman search and prize that captivates our kids,  the pillows we lean on to symbolize freedom, the haggadahs that are our scripts, our hymnals, our guide for the evening.  Over the years people have brought additional props to the table, using their creativity to further illustrate the story and engage the participants. I’m thinking of people marching around a table with sacks over their shoulders symbolizing the few possessions one could bring as they trudge out of Egypt.  

The people around the table bring the seder to life.  For those of us with a long Jewish history the memory of those with whom we shared seder is often comforting and precious.  Their stories become part of the weave of tales told in the course of the evening.  For all of us it is an opportunity to reach out to others - family, friends or those we’d like to know better - and to create meaningful connections through the sharing of an important evening.  Passover is social.  We work to make sure that no one is all alone the night of the seder.

REMEMBER THE STRANGER: HIAS PA RETURNS TO BI

Remember the Stranger is a mitzvah that appears 36 times in the Torah.   Our tradition holds that the story of the enslavement in Egypt teaches our hearts to know the stranger and to care about the plight of the vulnerable. For this reason and more the current refugee crisis summons us to listen and to respond.  But what might we do - as individuals and as a community?   I am grateful to announce that Carrie Fox-Kline, Director of Refugee Programming and Planning at HIAS PA, will join us on Shabbat, April 9th, to educate us about the current situation and to help us figure out how to respond.

 

Representatives from this wonderful organization have visited BI in the past, but for those new to their work, here is a little background, courtesy of their website.   HIAS PA provides legal and supportive services to immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers from all backgrounds and works to assure their fair treatment and full integration into American society.  HIAS Pennsylvania believes that newcomers are an asset, not a burden, to the community.  

Their programs include:    Representation and legal counseling before immigration agencies and courts;   Assistance with citizenship, refugee resettlement and other social services to assist newly arriving immigrants, refugees and those recently granted asylum;  and  Advocacy and education related to immigrant issues and rights.

 

HIAS PA and Beth Israel are natural partners through our mutual concern for the vulnerable and our shared commitments to tikun olam (repair of the world).

We are proud to welcome HIAS PA back to Beth Israel and hope that our conversation on that day leads to action that will touch lives and save lives.

HAPPY PURIM: Beth Israel Members - Treats Await You

Beth Israel has a wonderful tradition of creating Purim gifts for every household in the community. The bag of goodies awaiting your retrieval is called "mishloach manot" - treats that are sent to friends, family, neighbors and community members on Purim. There is also a custom of giving tzedakah and feeding the hungry on this holiday but mishloach manot are sent as a kindness to everyone! BI members - you can pick yours up anytime between now and March 26th.

Purim, the festival linked to the book of Esther, is celebrated playfully by Jewish communities across the globe.  It is the silliest holiday on the Jewish calendar, arriving in the doldrums of winter reminding us that spring and Pesach are not so far off. The Purim story tells of a time when the Jewish people were saved from calamity and when ingenuity triumphed over evil.  Stepping into this story encourages us to release pain and worry and to soothe ourselves with laughter and creativity. Tomorrow we will go back to solving the problems of the world. Today we will bask in an oasis of joy. Beth Israel raises up the entertaining Purim Shpiel, the Purim play, which is preceded by dinner, a silly service and the reading of the scroll of Esther.  (Megillah reading)  We will enjoy these together the evening of March 23rd.

Purim, like the winter festivals of Chanukah and Tu B'Shevat, is considered a minor festival. But we love it and celebrate it wholeheartedly.  We relish our yearly opportunity to share our playful rendition of the story and to hold with levity the conflict between good and evil that prevails to this day.

Many thanks to the members of the Beth Israel Rosh Chodesh group for producing these Purim gifts for our entire community. We are grateful for their sacred service.

Beth Israel is proud to support these organizations

       

GreenFaith - Interfaith Partners for the Environment

Mazon | A Jewish Response to Hunger


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