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Emerging from the Wilderness

05/26/2020 08:29:12 AM


by Rabbi Joshua Lesser

Take a census of the whole Israelite community by the clans of its ancestral houses, listing the names, every male, head by head. (Numbers 2:1)

As we begin the book of Numbers with a census, it's intriguing to note that while it states that the aim is to account for the entirety of the Israelites community, in actuality it is the men. Presumably,...Read more...

If Not Now, When   

05/20/2020 09:32:43 AM


  by Joshua Lesser - written as a lead article for the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association's newsletter on Responses to Covid-19 


...How does one plan when the wave washed away the concrete of our intentions?

How does one reschedule with a calendar that doesn't have dates?

...All the whens have fled.

...If not when, then now.  (excerpt...

The Dust of the Earth by Rabbi Josh

04/27/2020 08:59:12 AM


Rabbi Josh

The Dust of the Earth by Rabbi Josh

"I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth” was the Divine promise.
And as humans do, we assumed it was all about numbers.
Seduced by the idea of abundance
And distracted by what we misunderstood as a competition of sorts,
We missed the real blessing.

The dust of the earth has always been precious in the eyes of the Divine.
Each particle, each plot,  
Every stretch of landscape,
Just like the earth in its totality, is beloved
--and meant to be free.

And perhaps once we are done counting, striving
Owning every mote,
Writing our name triumphantly on every tree,
Claiming the claimless,
We will discover the real blessing:

We will be “as the dust of the earth”
Because together, we and the earth are one.


Built for Crisis

03/24/2020 08:05:47 AM



More than ever, I am grateful for this community and for you. 

As Reconstructionists, we know that Judaism is an evolving religious civilization, but who knew that we would be faced with such rapid evolution?!

But if we go back a moment and look at our fastest and most significant evolution, the destruction of the temple, we can come to understand that Judaism is a tradition that was designed to...Read more...


06/04/2018 01:44:36 PM


Some of the CBH teens participated in the NEXT DOR program this year, visiting with residents of Berman Commons Assisted Living and learning their stories. View this video summary of their year:

Participants also wrote essays about her experience in the prgoram. Hannah Laing's writing was chosen as the winning essay and she was given a scholarship to participate in a summer...Read more...

Expanding the Vision of “Welcome”

05/08/2018 11:38:35 AM


Radical Welcome: A Process, Not a Destination

By Rabbi Joshua Lesser
I used to joke that straight people need welcoming synagogues, too! But over the years as Congregation Bet Haverim has transitioned from being a synagogue comprised of almost entirely LGBT members to an LGBT-founded synagogue serving a diverse membership with a straight majority, welcoming people is no laughing matter. In fact, it is intentional and on-going...Read more...

Fri, September 17 2021 11 Tishrei 5782