LOL Ya’akov – Purim Newsletter

If you missed it, or just want to read it again, here is the Purim newsletter, renamed this year to the “LOL Ya’akov“. And make sure to check out all of our 2019 Purim Posters too!

Selichot Film & Services


The High Holy Day season kicks off with Selichot services, preceded this year by the film “The Penalty,” and a discussion of the death penalty in America.

The Penalty” is a feature film that goes behind the scenes of some of the biggest headlines in the history of America’s death penalty. It follows three people caught in the cross-hairs of capital punishment and the political landscape that could decide their fate.

There is no charge for this event.

A Milestone Shabbat

Saturday, June 30
Please join us at Beth Jacob for a very special Shabbat honoring Rabbi Allen! On June 30th, come for services and a beautiful kiddush lunch as we honor and celebrate Rabbi Morris Allen for 32 years of amazing leadership! This is Rabbi Allen’s last Shabbat on the bimah before he begins his sabbatical year; don’t miss it!
Kiddush is being sponsored in honor of Rabbi Allen by members of the sanctuary sections and minyanim throughout the soul community; click here to join in and sponsor Kiddish along with your section or minyan! 

Post-Kiddush Learning: Aging in Israel

After Kiddush; Saturday, June 23

Join us for a Post-Kiddush Learning session to learn about innovative models of care, as well as challenges faced when aging in Israel’s multi-faith and multicultural society. Rabbis Lynn Liberman, Cathy Nemiroff and Sharon Stiefel will share insights from their recent study tour in Israel. The tour included dialogue with policy makers, innovators in the field, and experts on alternative models of aging.  They visited sites serving populations including frail elderly, people with dementia, kibbutz residents, Holocaust survivors, and Arab citizens.

100 Years of the Balfour Declaration


Thursday, November 9, 7 pm

Beth Jacob Congregation
On November 2, 1917 the British government made a monumental public statement, the Balfour Declaration, which was instrumental in moving forward the dream of establishing a Jewish state. On Thursday, November 9th, join us as we host a distinguished panel of professors:
  • Dr. David Itzkowitz
  • Dr. Riv-Ellen Prell
  • Dr. Arie Zmora
Together they will explore the historical context and impact of this pivotal declaration from a variety of viewpoints, and how those have played out throughout the last century up until the current day.

Josh Warshawsky

Friday evening, November 10
Saturday, November 11


Musician Josh Warshawsky is coming to Beth Jacob! Josh has shared his original melodies with Jewish communities throughout the US and Canada. His first full-length album, “Mah Rabu” can be found on iTunes (listen here!). His music can be heard at Ramah and URJ summer camps as well as at NFTY and USY conventions across the country.
Friday, November 10 at 5:30
Join us for a song filled Shabbat with musician Josh Warshawsky, November 10-11! Josh is a talented songleader from Camp Ramah, and all of the kids just love him. This special Shabbat program is free for families with Ramah-age kids and under. Your family will love Josh’s enthusiasm and musical talent. This event is not to be missed! There is no charge for the dinner.

Saturday, November 11
Don’t be surprised to see Josh leading Minyan Gadol and Youth Tefila during Shabbat morning youth programming,
And after kiddush, stay for an afternoon of song and z’mirot, as Josh brings ruach and kavanah to a special Shabbat afternoon.

Ramah Director to Visit Iyunim Family Sunday

Sunday, November 12
Jacob Cytryn, Director of Camp Ramah Wisconsin, is coming to Beth Jacob! At the end of our Iyunim Family Sunday program at 11:30 am we will have pizza and schmoozing with Jacob for families of all ages. In addtion, families with children in grade 5 and up can meet with Jacob between 9:30-11:30 to discuss their plans for the summer. We want to encourage all of you to attend these events, and to find out more about this special place, and to discover more about the joys of camping as part of the larger Conservative Jewish community.

Camp Ramah Wisconsin

Camp Ramah offers an 8-week session for campers entering 7-11th grade. There are two 4-week sessions for entering 5th and 6th graders and two 12-day sessions for campers entering 4th grade. In addition, there is a 4-day Ruach Ramah program for children entering 3rd grade this coming summer which they can attend at no cost thanks to the Rabinowitz Porter incentive scholarship!

Share a Shabbat Table

Friday, November 17
Would you like to get to know other people at Beth Jacob better? Whether you are new here or an old-timer, you will love this new program that will help all of us to reach beyond our usual social circles in the shul and engage the entire community. The next “Share a Shabbat Table” dinner will take place on November 17.

“Share a Shabbat Table” is a  program to bring together members of the Beth Jacob community with a series of shabbat dinners hosted by members in their homes. You can sign up here! The form for the next dinner will close on November 7th. The signup questions will help us with the logistics of finding the right place for everyone, either as hosts or guests.

If you have questions, please contact Aaron Silver or Leslie Morris at

Author Jessica Fishman

Thursday, March 16, 7 pm at Beth Jacob


After moving to Israel, overcoming the notorious Israeli bureaucracy, making embarrassing mistakes while learning Hebrew, serving in an army “run by teenagers”, and serial dating egotistical Israelis, wide-eyed, midwestern Jessica Fishman finally thought that she had made it. Until everything came crashing down.

Jessica Fishman grew up at Beth Jacob, and moved to Israel after graduating from Indiana University with a degree in Journalism and Business. She has written a number of articles about Israel, and her story has been featured in leading Israeli and Jewish media. She was inspired to write Chutzpah and High Heels: The Search for Love and Identity in the Holy Land after a life-changing event in Israel. Her goals are to share her experience and inspire social change.


Free admission; please RSVP here. Wine and cheese reception to follow. Sponsored by: Women’s Philanthropy of Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul, and Beth Jacob Congregation.



Purim 2017 – Mendota Megillah Madness!