ברוכים הבאים
Welcome to Beth Jacob Congregation

We are a welcoming, egalitarian Conservative synagogue of more than 350 families located in Mendota Heights, Minnesota, easily accessible from all parts of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. 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.

Featured Events & Activities

DEPICTION OF JEWS IN MEDIEVAL & RENAISSANCE ART

On Zoom 7-9 pm Thursday, October 21
Register at Beth-Jacob.org/Art

Explore the image of Jews in visual art from the early Middle Ages through the Renaissance. In a time when literacy was uncommon, these images were the political cartoons and posters of the age. Jews have been depicted as monsters, subhuman, animals or demons. Medieval depictions of monsters were not designed simply to scare their viewers: They had many purposes, and provoked many reactions. They enforced prejudices and social hierarchies. In this lecture, we will see paintings, sculptures, reliefs and gargoyles that are clear evidence of this, and discuss the fine line between free speech and incitement to violence.

This lecture will be presented by Claudia Hercman, who has been one of Beth Jacob’s favorite Zoom presenters this year!

BETH JACOB ONGOING CLASSES

Fall classes start in October!
MONDAYS:
  • Noon: The Rest Is Commentary – Now Go and Learn It; with Rabbi Adam Rubin. The weekly Torah portion through the lens of classic interpretation. At Beth Jacob and on Zoom at Beth-Jacob.org/commentary.
  • 7:30 pm: Prepare My Prayer Before You; with Rabbi Adam Rubin. Explore the siddur to find meaning, inspiration, and spiritual sustenance. At Beth Jacob and on Zoom at Beth-Jacob.org/prayer
WEDNESDAYS:
  • Around 8 am: Morning Mishnah; with Rabbi Tamar. The Mishnah is an edited record of the complex body of halachic material transmitted in the aftermath of the destruction of the Second Temple. Its intention was to train the sages in thinking through the legal issues that inform Halacha. In encountering these texts together, we gain access to the conversations out of which developed the foundational principles that shaped Jewish law as we know it today. At Beth Jacob and on Zoom at Beth-Jacob.org/Mishnah (or just stay on Zoom after Morning Minyan).
THURSDAYS:
  • 11 am: The Life and Works of Abraham Joshua Heschel; with Rabbi Tamar. Brilliant, complex, and inspiring both as a teacher of Torah and an activist, we will spend the year trying to better understand Heschel’s life and legacy. We’ll begin with Shai Held’s book: Abraham Joshua Heschel: the Call of Transcendence. At Beth Jacob, and on Zoom by request.
  • 6:30-7:45 pm: Adult Beginning Hebrew Class; with Steve Greenberg. This class is for people who want to learn to read (decode) Hebrew and understand some of the basic words in blessings and prayers. We will use the book: Learn Hebrew Today. At Beth Jacob and on Zoom at Beth-Jacob.org/SteveHebrew. To register for the class email Steve Greenberg at sigminn@gmail.com.
SATURDAYS:
  • 9:15-10:00 am, 1st and 3rd Saturdays: For the Jew in the Pew; with Rabbi Lynn Liberman. Welcome back to Shabbat Morning Study! Our siddur is filled with words of prayer, with some of the oldest of these found in Tehilim—the Book of Psalms! We will explore the Psalms that are widely used throughout the Shabbat service, considering their meaning and exploring why and how these words are still a part of our liturgy today. No prior experience needed, texts are provided in Hebrew and English!
IF THERE’S SUFFICIENT INTEREST:
  • On One Foot: an Introduction to Judaism; With Rabbi Rubin & Rabbi Tamar. Judaism is not just a religion or a culture or people, or even a way of living in the world – it is a world unto itself, encompassing ancient and newer rituals, complex ideas, and thousands of years of history. If you’ve been curious about Jewish learning but didn’t know where to start, this class is for you! The class will be offered starting this fall only if there is sufficient interest. Please go to Beth-Jacob.org/intro for more info or to register your interest in the class.

AUTHOR READING

Tuesday, November 9,  7-8:30 pm
Hear our own Susan Siegfried read from her newest book, The Pomegranate.  
In her third novel, S. J. Schwaidelson (that’s Susan) weaves another cinematic story, immersing readers into exotic lands and cultures with surprisingly contemporary conflicts and human passions.

“I do not talk to dirty boys.

The girl was defiant, her dress dusty, her scarf askew; tendrils of burnished copper hair escaping onto her face. She would not stand by as her brother defended her honor. She would defend herself.

So begins the story of Batsheva Hagiz, the spirited daughter of a Jewish merchant dynasty in the city of Málaga. Her life is set by tradition, with schooling in languages, merchandise, and trade. But it’s her love of swordplay and the ability to throw a dagger with deadly aim that will serve her best.

On the caravan journey across the desert to her wedding, Batsheva is abducted by men who are certain their sheik will prize her body. In the early days of captivity, chained to his tent, she makes the decision to do more than merely survive. She will live.

Her resolve will push the boundaries of convention and take Batsheva from the sands of the Maghreb to the Holy Land where a crusade rages, to the court of Plantagenet England”

Stay after the reading to purchase books, which the author will graciously sign!

This event will be available on Zoom, signed books can be shipped.

And make sure to purchase your copy to read for the Beth Jacob Book Group, after kiddush on December 11.

POST-KIDDUSH LEARNING: CLIMATE CONVERSATION

Saturday, November 13 after Kiddush (1 pm)

Join us for a Climate Conversation on, led by staff from Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light. In this hour-long conversation, we start by connecting with our deepest values. Then we articulate together the realities of the climate crisis, how it connects with our faith and spirituality, and how our community can take action for a more just and sustainable world.

BETH JACOB COMMUNICATION

There are lots of ways to stay current on what’s happening at Beth Jacob! We send a weekly email, along with other occasional updates, along with birth and death notices; to sign up (or manage your email subscription), go to Beth-Jacob.org/email, or just text BJCMAIL to 22828.

Our Facebook group is another place to find out about events, as well as connect with others in the Beth Jacob Community. To join, go to facebook.com/groups/BethJacobCongregation and click “Join”.

The Kol Ya’akov print newsletter is typically mailed out once a month, and you can always read an online version of the most current issue (looks great on an iPad or other tablet, and you can click the links!) at Beth-Jacob.org/KY. To get added to the Kol Ya’akov distribution list, or to let us know if your phone, address, or email has changed, contact the Beth Jacob office at 651-452-2226 or BJCoffice@beth-jacob.org.

As always, let us know what works best for you. We want to hear your feedback!

Out-of-town visitor?

Welcome! We look forward to worshiping with you, and sharing Shabbat and holidays. For Shabbat hospitality, please contact our office at (651) 452-2226. Find Us!

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Calendar

Beth Jacob hosts a wide variety of activities serving the diverse interests and needs of our congregation.

View full event calendar →