From the Rabbi’s Desk

Sheloshim – A Month of Mourning

Posted on November 9, 2023

Tuesday was the one-month anniversary of the massacre in Israel on October 7. And while our grieving continues, we have begun to accept the fact that the war against Hamas will likely continue for some time, that the situation is complex, and that our support for Israel becomes more crucial with each passing day. Next Tuesday, November 14, Jewish Federation of North America is organizing a march in Washington DC.

Update on Israel and TIP

Posted on November 1, 2023

Dear Friends,

In the wake of all the devastating events we have witnessed over these past several weeks, I am reaching out to you today to share some thoughts and some helpful actions we can all take.

Rabba Kaya Stern-Kaufman

High Holiday Message

Posted on September 12, 2023

Dear Friends,

As we approach the High Holidays I am reminded of a powerful statement in one of our essential prayers.

Rabba Kaya Stern-Kaufman

From the Rabbi’s Desk

Posted on September 1, 2023

The wind rushes through the trees at our new home, creating a swishing chorus of dancing branches and leaves. We are so grateful to be putting down roots in our new home in the woods of Eliot.

Water from the well

Meditation on Moving

Parashat Naso
Posted on June 4, 2023

Dear friends, As you may already know, my husband, Steve, and I are currently in the process of moving into a new home. With great joy and a lot of lifting, we are disassembling and reassembling our material lives. As always, I find there are amazing connections between the weekly Torah portion and current activities Continue Reading »

Water from the well

From Freedom to Revelation

Parashat Emor
Posted on May 7, 2023

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 patterns in our lives. To Continue Reading »

Rabba Kaya Stern-Kaufman

Portsmouth Stands Together

Posted on April 28, 2023

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 the courage and strength of Continue Reading »

Yom HaZikaron & Yom Ha-atzmaut

Posted on April 25, 2023

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 anxieties about the current government and Continue Reading »

Matzah – Opening to Compassion: A Passover Message

Posted on April 4, 2023

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 that in the month of Continue Reading »

hanukkah doughnuts menorah

A Bridge of Light – A Chanukah Message

Posted on December 16, 2022

The root of the word Chanukah, Chet-Nun-Khaf (ח–נ–כ), means dedication, but the root of this root is Chen, Grace (חן). The light we celebrate at Chanukah expresses grace in two ways. First, there is the miracle of the light that lasted for eight days, that is, the gift of grace by God that allowed the Continue Reading »