Bruchim Habaim – Welcome to Beth Jacob Congregation! We are a Conservative synagogue of more than 350 families located near St. Paul, Minnesota. We are guided by the principles of Torah (study), Avodah (meaningful worship and work), and Gemilut Chasidim (acts of loving kindness). We exist as a congregation in order to practice and further our understanding of Conservative Judaism through the celebration of Shabbat, holidays and lifecycle events, and daily practice. More »
Friday, June 21
Shabbes afternoon, June 22, 5pm
Bring your kids, your parents, your grandkids, your
grandparents, yourselves and your friends! Bring
dinner for your family, food to share and a picnic
blanket; we’ll bring songsheets, and the park will
provide the playground.
Next dates: July 27, August 24
Tomorrow (i.e., today) is a truly historic day for all of us as Minnesotans, and especially for each of you who have had to endure years of living with the sense that your love of another was somehow “unequal” to the love that two heterosexual folks might share. I want to take a moment and just say that I am hopeful that with this vote, the state of Minnesota will begin to create a type of society in ways that we have built our community over these past many years. I told a couple some 18 years ago that I was willing to work with them on a “Commitment Ceremony” (Simhat brit shutafot”) but was not yet able to call it marriage. I told them at the time that a generation would need to pass, enabling all to see that indeed their relationship was as sacred as my own is with Phyllis. And I said, if they were willing to be the pioneers and to (sadly have to) demonstrate that, the day would indeed come to pass that we would be celebrating the equalization of marriage.
Six and half years ago, members of the Conservative community gathered at Bnai Emet to address the Teshuva which permitted JTS to admit and ordain folks for the rabbinate who might also be gay or lesbian. I said in introducing the gathering the following: (In regards to the women previously referenced) “I salute these women, and indeed the other courageous and brave Jews who were willing to demonstrate that none of us are defined by a single variable and whose identification with traditional Judaism in Conservative shuls throughout this country meant that they were willing to live with the indeterminate, to live with the unresolved and the yet to live with their own sense of dignity in the face of what could only otherwise be called rejection. Thank-you.”
This past September, as I officiated at the marriage of two women, I knew that not only was our path correct–but that it was only a matter of time before the rest of Minnesota would catch up with Beth Jacob. I want to sincerely say to each of you how much you have taught all of us about human dignity and the need to continually broaden our understanding of equality. The Psalmist said it this way–”This is the day which the Lord has made, let rejoice and celebrate on it” Today is yet another day of celebration, and indeed, moving forward we all share in the burden of building an inclusive society and strengthening a community that has worked hard to demonstrate that human dignity, that the idea of kvod habriyot, is at the core of our being.
By the way, please contact us to schedule any weddings you might wish to celebrate!
On Friday morning, Beth Jacob hosted the Twin Cities Rosh Hodesh service in celebration of Women of the Wall. Nearly 100 people gathered in our chapel for joyful tefillah, together as a wider community, to honor the courage of the women who gather each month to work to make the Kotel a place where Jews can pray in all our manifestations. For the first time this Rosh Hodesh Sivan in Jerusalem, Women of the Wall were affirmed by a court ruling in their legal right to daven at the Kotel plaza wearing tallitot and tefillin, praying aloud and reading from the Torah.
Several of our young people joined Women of the Wall in Jerusalem this morning! Five thousand haredi protesters gathered to challenge them with intimidation and violence, but this time Israel’s police force protected Women of the Wall.
Here at Beth Jacob, we celebrated their courage and added our voices to the chorus of support that the sacred sites of our people be safe places for all Jews to pray. Learn more about Women of the Wall here. Watch your email for future gatherings of solidarity and celebration here in the Twin Cities!
Wonder what it’s like to be there now? Read Jenna’s Blog!
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