Temple Beth Ami Philadelphia is a 60 year old tranditional Synagogue located in the NE section of Philadelphia
Temple Beth Ami Philadelphia is a 60 year old tranditional Synagogue located in the NE section of Philadelphia
Temple Beth Ami Philadelphia is a 60 year old tranditional Synagogue located in the NE section of Philadelphia

Temple Beth Ami News

Shaliach / חילש

E-mail:  templebethami2@gmail.com / Web Site: tbaphilly.org
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Temple Beth Ami Philadelphia is a 60 year old tranditional Synagogue located in the NE section of Philadelphia

February – March – April 2018 / Sh’vat – Adar – Nisan – Iyar 5778


Services / שירותים

Monday morning: 7:30 am with Breakfast to follow

Monday evening: 8:00 pm

Thursday morning: 7:30 am with Breakfast to follow

Thursday evening: 8:00 pm

Friday evening: 8:00 pm with Oneg Shabbat

Saturday morning: 9:00 am with Kiddush

Sunday morning: 9:00 am with Breakfast to follow

Complimentary coffee, tea, soda and cake are served after the service on Friday and there is a Kiddush with cake, juice and wine after Saturday Shabbat service. On Sunday, Monday and Thursday morning, for those who would like to stay, we have breakfast after the morning Minyan for a $3.00 donation.


The Ten Commandments-“Honoring one’s father and mother”

This past Shabbos we read Parshat Yisro, the portion in the Torah which discusses the Ten Commandments. When I studied the Ten Commandments as a student, I was always told that the first five commandments relate to one’s relationship with G-d, and the last five commandments relate to one’s relationship with their fellow man. This explanation makes sense for the most part. The first three commandments specifically talk about worshipping G-d, and how we should always be aware of our relationship with G-d. The next commandment, keeping the Sabbath, also deals with our relationship with G-d, as we are told that one day of each week we should separate ourselves from the rest of week, and keep the day holy. In essence, Shabbos is a day of devotion to G-d.

The last five commandments deal with our relationship with our fellow man. The commandments are: Don’t kill; Don’t commit adultery; Don’t steal; Don’t bear false witness against thy neighbor, and Don’t covet thy neighbor. These commandments all specifically deal with our relationship with our fellow man. The one commandment, however, that I haven’t yet mentioned is a bridge to all the other commandments-“Honor thy father and mother”. Does this commandment actually deal with our relationship with G-d, or does it deal with our relationship with our fellow man? The answer is actually both, and for that reason it was placed between the commandments dealing with G-d and those dealing with one’s fellow man.

In today’s times, many people choose to ignore their “roots”. They don’t want to identify with their religious background or history, and they don’t want to identify with their culture. They say: “I want to be like everybody else. My parents’ views and beliefs are old-fashioned”. In Judaism, however, our roots, our history, and our culture are the very basic of our existence. Our traditions and customs have been handed down from one generation to the next. We appreciate these traditions and we appreciate what our parents have taught us. Our parents’ teaching form the very nature of our existence. Note that some of the most complicated and important commandments in the Torah relate to the period after a parent’s death. Shiva, the rituals in the first month of mourning, the prohibitions of rejoicing for one year after a loved one’s death, the recital of Kaddish during the first year and every year after that on the yahrzeit, and the saying of Yizkor. Why do we do all this? Because our parents brought us into this world and taught us to be respectful of others. Our parents brought us into the world and taught us Gd’s teachings (We say in the Shema “And you should teach the Torah to your children”). Our parents gave us our values that we will hopefully pass on to our children one day. As a result, we need to honor our parents, not only during their lifetimes, but also after their deaths, and by doing so we will not only improve our relationship with our fellow man, but we will be honoring G-d as well. For this reason, the commandment of “honoring one’s parents is the fifth commandment, bridging the commandments between man and G-d, and man and his fellow man”

Rabbi David Novitsky, former Rabbi at Temple Beth Ami


The primary purpose of a synagogue is as a place of worship for its members and the community. Another important function of the synagogue is as a gathering place. When people stop attending the synagogue, the synagogue will
soon cease to exist.

At Temple Beth Ami, we have services five mornings and three nights a week. We have other events for all people to attend and enjoy. The services and events are listed in every Shaliach.

Please come to synagogue. Without your attendance the reason for the existence of Temple Beth Ami will cease. This would be a result that will be harmful to the entire Jewish community.

We look forward to seeing you in shul – Kenneth G. Harrison, Esq., President


We live in an ageist society. This means that people make assumptions about us based on our age—but we have the freedom to view ourselves as we wish.

When my 70th birthday approached, I dreaded it, but now I have come to love this phase of life! I have liberated myself from the notion that life is how I am viewed by others, and I have embraced the outlook that life is how I see it, how I experience, it, and how I engage with it. This is the secret, and it’s absolutely wonderful.

As I created the JFCS program “Women of a Certain Age” I started playing around with the word “age.” As I mulled it over, I started rhyming: age, stage, page. It occurred to me that we are all actors on the stage of our lives—and to act, we must be fully present. When I contemplated “page,” I thought about what we would want to write on a given page in the book of our lives. And again, the notion of mindfulness, presence, and completely inhabiting our lives took hold—in order to write about something, you must be thoughtful and focused and engaged.

The key is to adopt a positive, vibrant outlook by learning and practicing the following concepts:


הודעות מיוחדות

Saturday, February 10th at 9:00 AM: We are fortunate enough to have the smart, knowledgeable & always entertaining Rabbi Mitchell Novitsky officiating Saturday Services. His sermons are thoughtful, insightful & his energy is contagious. You will NOT want to miss seeing him.

Saturday, February 10th Shabbat Shekalim/ שבת שקלים : ("Sabbath [of] shekels") Read in preparation for Purim, requests each adult male Jew contribute half of a Biblical shekel for the upkeep of the Tent of Meeting. The Torah portion Exodus 30:11-16 is read. Takes place on the Shabbat before the 1st of the Hebrew calendar month of Adar, or on the 1st of Adar if it falls on Shabbat. In leap years on the Hebrew calendar, when there are two months of Adar, it is on the Shabbat before the 1st of Adar II or the 1st of Adar II if it is Shabbat.

Thursday, February 15th Rosh Chodesh Adar/ ראש חודש אדר : Beginning of New Hebrew month Adar. Adar is the 12th
month of the Hebrew year & corresponds to February or March.

Saturday, February 24th at 9:00 AM: Rabbi Mitchell Novitsky will be officiating Services starting at 9:00 AM.

Saturday, February 24th Shabbat Zachor/ שבת זכור : ("Sabbath [of] remembrance) Shabbat that immediately precedes Purim. Deuteronomy 25:17-19, describes attack by Amalek. There is a tradition from Talmud that Haman, antagonist of the Purim story, was descended from Amalek. The portion read includes a commandment to remember the attack by Amalek, which means at this public reading both men & women make a special effort to hear it.

Wednesday, February 28th Ta'anit Esther/ תענית אסתר : The Fast of Esther is a Jewish fast from dawn until dusk on Purim eve, commemorating the three-day fast observed by the Jewish people in the story of Purim. If the date of the Fast of Esther falls on Shabbat (Saturday), the fast is instead observed on the preceding Thursday. Like other minor fasts, Ta'anit Esther begins at dawn & ends at nightfall.

Wednesday, February 28th at 7:00 PM Erev Purim, Read the Magilla Esther (Rabbi will be in attendance)

Thursday, March 1st Purim: (Hebrew: פּוּרִים , Pûrîm "lots", from word pur, related to Akkadian pūru). Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire from destruction in the wake of a plot by Haman. It is one of the most joyous & fun Jewish holidays.

Thursday, March 1st at 7:30 AM Purim, Read the Magilla Esther
Friday, March 2nd: Shushan Purim/ שושן פורים : Purim celebrated in Jerusalem & walled cities.

Friday, March 9th at 6:30 PM Shabbat Across America – Join us for Shabbat service, followed by a light dinner. Members $12.00, Non-members $15.00, Kids: $10 (up to 13) ** PLEASE CALL ASAP FOR RESERVATIONS**

Saturday, March 10th Shabbat Parah/ שבת פרה : ("Sabbath [of the] red heifer") Takes place on Shabbat before Shabbat HaChodesh, in preparation for Passover. Numbers 19:1-22 describes parah adumah ("red heifer") in the Jewish temple as part of the manner in which kohanim & the Jewish people purified themselves so they would be ready ("pure") to sacrifice the korban Pesach.

Saturday, March 17th Shabbat HaChodesh/ שבת החדש : ("Sabbath [of the] month") Precedes the first of the Hebrew month of Nisan during which Passover is celebrated. Exodus 12:1-20 & the laws of Passover. On the first day of Nisan, God presented the first commandment of how to "sanctify the new moon" (kiddush hachodesh) for the onset of Rosh Chodesh & thus Nisan becomes the first month of the Jewish year (counting by months).

Saturday, March 17th Rosh Chodesh Nisan/ ראש חודש ניסן : Beginning of New Hebrew month Nisan. Nisan or Nissan is the 1st month of the Hebrew year & corresponds to March or April.

Saturday, March 24th Shabbat HaGadol/ שבת הגדול : ("Great Shabbat") Shabbat immediately before Passover. There is a special Haftarah reading on this Shabbat of the book of Malachi. Traditionally a lengthy & expansive sermon is given in the afternoon to general community.

Friday, March 30th Ta'anit Bechorot/ תענית בכורות : Fast of the Firstborn is a unique fast day in Judaism which usually falls on the day before Passover. Fast is usually broken at siyum celebration (typically at the conclusion of morning services), which, according to prevailing custom, creates an atmosphere of rejoicing that overrides the requirement to continue fast. Unlike most Jewish fast days, only firstborns are required to fast beginning at dawn.

Passover/ פֶּּסַח /Pesach: Commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan, which is in spring in the Northern Hemisphere, & is celebrated for seven or eight days. One of the most widely observed Jewish holidays.

Friday, March 30th at 7:00 PM First Pesach Seder. Join us for a Kosher Dinner & service. The Jews have an everlasting covenant with G-d to observe Pesach. Additional details such as menu & selling the Chometz will be available soon. Mark the date. (Rabbi will be in attendance)

Saturday, March 31st at 9:00 AM Services 1st Day of Pesach (Rabbi will be in attendance)

Sunday. April 1st at 9:00 AM Services 2nd Day Pesach (Rabbi will be in attendance)

Friday, April 6th at 9:00 AM & 8:00 PM Services 7th Day Pesach (Rabbi will be in attendance)

Saturday, April 7th at 9:00 AM Services 8th Day Pesach & 11:00 AM Yizkor Recited (Rabbi will be in attendance)

Thursday, April 12th Yom HaShoah/ יום השואה : laShoah ve-laG'vurah ( יום הזיכרון לשואה ולגבורה ; "Holocaust & Heroism Remembrance Day"), observed as Israel's day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews & five million others who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany & its accessories, & for the Jewish resistance in that period. In Israel, it’s a national Memorial Day & public holiday. Inaugurated in 1953, anchored by a law signed by Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion & President of Israel Yitzhak Ben-Zvi. It is held the 27th of Nisan (April/May), unless the 27th is adjacent to Shabbat, in which case date is shifted by a day.

Sunday, April 15th Rosh Chodesh Iyyar/ ראש חודש אייר : Beginning of New Hebrew month of Iyyar. Iyyar or Iyar is the 2nd month of the Hebrew year & corresponds to April or May.

Sunday, April 15th at 10:30 AM Brunch & Learn: Guest speaker will be Bat El Trabelsi, Shaliach is from Israel & serves as a resource to the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, available to individuals, educators & organizations. Bat El was born & raised in Israel & has lived in Kfar Saba, Einav, Zefat, Kiryat Shmona, Tel Aviv & Kibbutz Hannaton. As a commander in the Israel Defense Forces, she served in a border intelligence unit. She received her B.A in Psychology & Human Resources from Tel Hai Academic College. Bat El worked as a Partnership 2Gether Living Bridge Coordinator for the Jewish Agency for five years. For the last three years, Bat El was an educator in a pre-army leadership program at Hannaton where she also coordinated the local Noam youth chapter. Bat El is a very outgoing person, who loves meeting new people & is excited about exploring Philadelphia. Donation $10.00 Members. $12.00 Non-members. Call for information & to reserve your place.

Wednesday, April 18th Yom HaZikaron/ יום הזכרון : Israeli Memorial Day. Note that Hebcal displays modern holidays like Yom HaZikaron according to the Israeli schedule. Although Yom Hazikaron is normally observed on the 4th of Iyyar, it may be moved earlier or postponed if observance of the holiday (or Yom HaAtzma'ut, which always follows it) would conflict with Shabbat.

Thursday, April 19th Yom HaAtzma'ut/ יום העצמאות : Israeli Independence Day. Commemorates the declaration of independence of Israel in 1948. Note that Hebcal displays modern holidays like Yom HaAtzma'ut according to the Israeli schedule. Although Yom HaAtzma'ut is normally observed on the 5th of Iyyar, it may be moved earlier or postponed if observance of the holiday (or Yom HaZikaron, which always precedes it) would conflict with Shabbat.
Sunday, April 29th Pesach Sheni/ פסח שני : Second Passover, one month after Passover.

If there is a topic/speaker you believe would be beneficial for us to have, please let the office staff know & we will work with you to schedule a Brunch & Learn or a similar type of event.


By providing your email address to us all information pertaining to the synagogue such as holidays, special events, announcements, etc. will get to you much faster. Free email accounts are available. The two most popular are from google and yahoo. If you need help setting up your email Jill can help you. Call or stop by the office on Tuesdays 9:00 AM-4:00 PM and/or Thursdays 9:00 AM-7:00 PM. We will NOT share your information with anyone. This will just allow us to get you the information you want/need in a timely manner and there will be no more worries about missing deadlines, mail getting lost and/or sent to the wrong address. All materials sent via email will also be printed and copies will be available for you to take on the display cases as soon as you walk in the synagogue.

Custom cards are available for any occasion, birthday, anniversary, congratulations, get well, condolence and/or just to wish someone well. For a small donation you can let someone know that you are thinking about them.

We now have three different sponsorship levels available for anyone interested in sponsoring an extended Kiddush. This is a great way to honor a loved one’s special event, birthday, graduation, baby naming, anniversary, Bar/Bat Mitzvah and/or to remember a loved one's Yahrzeit. Please contact the office for more information.

The office is open Monday – Thursday 9:00 AM-4:00 PM & Friday 9:00 AM-2:00 PM. Please feel free to stop by the office or call us at 215 673-2511 with any questions or for information regarding upcoming events, yahrzeit, donations, etc. If we are not in the office leave a message and either Jill or Tamara will get back to you. You can also reach us via email templebethami2@gmail.com.

Payment forms for Shabbat Across America on Friday, March 9th are printed for your convenience and can be found on the display cases as soon as you walk in the synagogue. Payment is due by Monday, March 5th.

The payment form for the Passover Seder and selling the Chometz will be available within the next week or two. We will have both forms printed for you to take on the display cases as soon as you walk in the synagogue. They will also be available via email.

Thank you – Jill & Tamara

*Thomas K. James chairs the PSA2 meeting which is an event to discuss what is happening throughout our community. This is your chance to voice any concerns about your neighborhood and speak with a Police Officer from the 7th District. The event is 7:00 PM the 2nd Monday of every month at Randi’s Restaurant & Bar located in Grant Plaza II, 1619 Grant Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19115. If you have any questions or would more information call 215 919-3430 or email junie412@hotmail.com.


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