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Shavuot wheat
Join Temple Israel for Shavuot

Let’s Celebrate Shavuot Sign up on the website calendar to join us for any of the following Shavuot observances: Thursday, May 25, 6:30 pm, Shavuot Dairy Potluck 8:00 pm, Night of Learning Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Ten Commandments. In keeping with Jewish tradition, we welcome the holiday with dairy...

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Water from the well
From Freedom to Revelation

Dear friends, Four weeks ago, we celebrated the holiday of Pesach, our Festival of Freedom. Around our tables we enacted the historic journey of the Israelites out of slavery. Perhaps we liberated ourselves a little bit more from the ways we may enslave ourselves through unconscious habitual devotion to repetitive...

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Rabba Kaya Stern-Kaufman
Portsmouth Stands Together

Dear friends, As mentioned in today’s “This Week” bulletin, a suspect has been charged in connection with the February vandalism at Temple Israel and other Portsmouth locations. We are grateful for law enforcement, whose members have been working hard to serve justice, find the perpetrator, and hold them to account; for...

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Yom HaZikaron & Yom Ha-atzmaut

Dear friends, As we move from Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s memorial day, into Yom Ha-atzmaut, Israel’s celebration of independence, many of us are filled with mixed emotions. We all yearn for peace and security for the land and our people, yet many of us, including tens of thousands of Israelis, have serious...

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Lag BaOmer Field Day, Bonfire, & Family Picnic

Join us for an afternoon of field games, archery, low ropes, gaga, and of course a bonfire with s’mores! Let’s celebrate the middle of the Omer the way it was meant to be… with lots of fun! Pack a picnic dinner, we’ll provide the rest! This event is open to...

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Join us for a Scholar-in-Residence Shabbaton

Temple Israel’s Shabbaton featuring Reb Simcha Raphael, Ph.D., Scholar-In-Residence June 9-10, 2023 Exploring Jewish Views of the Afterlife Join us for a Scholar-in-Residence Shabbaton. We will explore views of the afterlife in Judaism through text study of Torah, Talmud, Midrash, Zohar and otherworldy tales from Hasidism and Yiddish folk literature....

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Water from the well
Seeking Balance: A D’var Torah for Parashat Tazria/Metzora

Dear friends, The section of Torah we are reading this week deals with a variety of powerful moments in life when it may be necessary to separate oneself from communal life and then, after a period of time, return to community connection. It calls for periods of separation and seclusion...

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Matzah – Opening to Compassion: A Passover Message

Matzah – Opening to Compassion Dear friends, This is the season of redemption. In springtime, the whole earth attests to the natural power of rebirth with the return of birdsong, the blossoming of new green life, a redemption from darkness into light, and from oppression to freedom. The rabbis taught...

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Israeli Flag
Unfolding events in Israel

Dear friends, As unprecedented events unfold in Israel, I am forwarding a message (below) from the Jewish Federation of New Hampshire which includes helpful links for further reading. In this season of liberation, in this springtime month of Nisan, may we witness the unfolding of a higher good for all. With blessings,...

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The Sound of Silence

Dear friends, This Shabbat we begin reading the book of Vayikra/Leviticus which opens with the word Vayikra which means, “God called out.” The verse begins: God called out to Moses and then spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting. (Lev.1:1) We note two odd things about this phrase. First, that in almost every other place...

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