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Plans for Blind Dating on Sukkot, God Willing

09/10/2021 03:28:22 PM


Rabbi Brent Spodek

For the past few years, BHA has celebrated Sukkot on Main Street with Open to the Sky, our collaborative, open-source community Sukkah. It was built to facilitate serendipity, and part of the magic of Open to the Sky was its radical openness - I...Read more...

Digging for Connection

09/10/2021 02:09:38 PM


Rabbi Brent Spodek

Earlier this summer, my family and I went canoe camping up in the Adirondacks, which was beautiful - we were together in the forest, happily singing as we paddled under clear blue skies.

At least for the first day. 

We caught a fair bit of rain the second day and by the third morning, as the edge of Hurricane Fredrick made its way through the...Read more...

How to Have a Hard Conversation

09/01/2021 01:03:12 PM


Rabbi Brent Spodek

We are fast approaching the Days of Awe and the public celebration of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippor. 

In many ways, those holidays are the culmination of work that we are called to do all during the Hebrew month of Elul - the work of teshuva. 

Teshuva is often translated as repentance, but more accurately can be thought of as return, particularly in the context of our...Read more...

Days of Awe 5782

08/10/2021 02:19:25 PM


Rabbi Brent Spodek

Dear Friends:

As you might imagine, planning for the Days of Awe has been a challenge during Covid, both last year and again this year. Last year, we were entirely virtual; this year, we will be meeting in person and on-line, but because of a lack of...Read more...

Scheduling Sadness

07/14/2021 01:30:54 PM


Rabbi Brent Spodek


Francesco Hayez, Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, Galleria dell' Accademia, Venice, It

The Evening of Saturday, July 17, 2021 marks the beginning of Tisha b’Av, the hardest day on the Jewish calendar. 


Introducing our New Education Director

06/16/2021 04:16:33 PM


Rabbi Brent Spodek

I am thrilled to introduce our new Education Director, Rishe Groner!

Rishe (pronounced Reesh-ah) is a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary and will be with us for the coming year as part of their Resnick Internship program. She is currently in Jerusalem and will be moving to Beacon later this summer. [NB: we are looking for an affordable one bedroom apartment in Beacon; if you have leads, please...Read more...

Torah of Israel and Palestine

05/20/2021 11:28:59 AM


Rabbi Brent Spodek

Dear Friends:

We just concluded the holiday of Shavuot, the commemoration of receiving the Torah in the wilderness. 

Why, our tradition asks, were we not given the Torah in Egypt, at the start of our epic journey?...Read more...

Meeting in Person

05/11/2021 04:23:10 PM


Rabbi Brent Spodek

Dear Friends:

The last time we gathered as a community was at the Purim Carnival last March; since then, we’ve gathered only online or in small groups. But, 15 months, one presidential election and 100 million vaccines later, we’re ready to start thinking about meeting in person again!

Of course, we will be following the guidance of the NYS Department of Health as well as BHA member Dr. Paul...Read more...

What are Synagogues for?

05/05/2021 03:01:51 PM


Rabbi Brent Spodek

As we glimpse the light at the end of the Covid tunnel and plan to “build back better,” I’ve been wondering what synagogues like ours are for. Why should we - or any synagogue - exist at all? 

It's an uncomfortable question, but one we need to ask - What do synagogues like ours hope to accomplish in the world? Or put differently, in what way would the world be...Read more...

Emor: What a Jew does

04/27/2021 04:08:01 PM


Rabbi Brent Spodek

More than almost any other parshah in the Torah, Parshat Emor is packed densely with commandments.

Coming fast and furious, there are commandments which define the requirements for the ancient priests, commandments which define the purity of the animal sacrifices in the Temple and commandments which establish the holiday calendar. But tucked among the 63 commandments of this weeks parsha, there is one mitzvah which...Read more...

Wed, July 6 2022 7 Tammuz 5782