Simcha – a few thoughts

These are a few thoughts fresh off the very first simcha for one of my children.

Nothing really prepares one for the experience.

You begin to get a sense of the emotion when the kippot arrive and you realize the event is just around the corner.

kipah embossed

The synagogue looked beautiful, part of the visual memory of the occasion.

bimah flowers

The special רוח from the synagogue being packed with friends and community. Our few guests from out-of-town all remarked on how welcomed they felt and what a friendly community this is. Everybody truly celebrated with us.


An adorable young guest post-chocolate fountain!

And most important, we are so incredibly fortunate to have a Rabbi who takes the time to get to know each child on the cusp of his/her adulthood. Our Rabbi shepherds them gently with authority not just from his status as Rabbi but from the warm and trusting relationship he has developed with each student. Thinking about the twin concepts of power and influence really brings to mind how very appropriate was the Parshat Korach.

A couple of days out and I also sense the family dynamics are subtly changing, my child has a new-found confidence from the experience, entirely appropriate for the formal transition to Jewish adulthood.



Social Media Policy for Temple Beth-El

Posted at the request of Brian Rubineau:

Social Media Policy for Temple Beth-El

The TBE Board of Trustees is developing a Social Media Policy for Temple employees. Board members Gale Halpern and Brian Rubineau are leading this effort. We invite any Temple members interested in helping with or contributing to this effort to send a message to Gale Halpern at or Brian Rubineau at  (synagogue members only, please.)



It’s no small thing to raise children. We all need advice and shared insights. We named this site קול ההורים –Parents’ Voice – because sharing is vital and our voices help make a community. We hope that this site will become a place of learning, sharing, and support for the Temple Beth-El, Ithaca, NY community.

No doubt our goals will evolve as time goes on, but to start, we want to provide information about the experience of being a Jewish parent in Ithaca along with events and features of special interest to TBE members.

We also would like this to become a community space, where we can ask questions, and get answers and support. We aim to provide pointers to life in Ithaca as a Jewish parent, whether your kids are still in school or have flown the nest. Big and little issues are welcome, like where to find kosher ice cream, a new Pesach plate (hint: the Sisterhood Giftshop at TBE has them!), how to affix a mezuzah when you move into your new nest, or which melodies are used in our congregation..

We know that among our members, there are families with long Jewish traditions, and families new to Judaism and the Jewish community. We can all share questions and experiences, and everyone is welcome.

We hope you’ll enjoy the website!