Sermons | Congregation Beth Am





Rabbi Janet Marder
Erev Yom Kippur 5777
October 11, 2016

Fifteen miles west of the center of Berlin is the quiet, leafy suburb of Wannsee. Each summer, thousands flock to its beautiful lake, fringed by woods and greenery. Yachts and sailboats cruise its cool, shimmering waters; sunbathers enjoy its mile-long beach, filled with white sand imported from the Baltic coast.

On the shores of Lake Wannsee stands Wannsee House, an elegant villa built in 1914 by a German pharmaceutical executive. Symmetrical in design, surrounded by spacious lawns, flower beds and terraced gardens, the house’s back windows offer stunning views of the lake. In this idyllic setting, on January 20, 1942,...

Rabbi Jonathan Prosnit
Rosh Hashanah 5777
October 3, 2016

There was once a king who had plans to visit a town in his kingdom. In preparation for the king’s visit, the town decided to fill a giant barrel with wine and present it to the king upon his arrival. Where were they going to get so much wine to fill the giant barrel? They came up with a brilliant idea; each family of the town would bring one flask filled with wine and pour it into the giant barrel and this way the barrel would fill with wine.

They placed a giant barrel in the center of the town...

President Loree Farrar
Yom Kippur 5777
October 2, 2016

Watch this special address by our Beth Am President Loree Farrar.

Rabbi Heath Watenmaker
Erev Rosh Hashanah 5777
October 2, 2016

When I was in middle school, I was a really shy, quiet kid. Thinking back, I can now recognize the turning point, when I began to discover that I actually could make good friends and become a more social person. It was the same summer I got my braces on (a real highlight in the life of a teenage boy about to enter high school). Out of the blue, my temple’s youth group advisor called me and invited me to go on our youth group’s annual river rafting trip. It was a seven-day road trip, from Los Angeles to the...

Rabbi Heath Watenmaker
September 9, 2016

During the summer between my third and fourth year of rabbinical school, I travelled to Germany with other HUC students on a program called Germany Close Up, in order to explore the long, complex history of Jews in Germany. While there, we took a walking tour through the city of Hamburg, focusing on the Jewish sites in the city.  But there was a problem: On the tour that we took, there were no Jewish sites to see. Just plaques and markers:

This was once the site of a Jewish cemetery.
The town’s main synagogue once stood here.

Rabbi Sarah Weissman
September 2, 2016

It’s been a busy summer.  The news has been filled with terror, triumph, and Trump.  We’ve seen the first woman nominated for president by a major political party.  We’ve seen Michael Phelps and Simone Biles win gold.  We’ve taken vacations or staycations or just enjoyed the lighter traffic around here.  And now, in what seems to be the blink of an eye, it’s September.  The kids are back in school and the calendars are filling up.  But just as we start jumping back into the busy-ness and business of life, the Jewish calendar pulls the reins and stops us short. ...


Congregation Beth Am
  • 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
  • (650) 493-4661 Contact Us

We strive to live as a holy community whose study and practice of Judaism inspires and challenges us to "do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with our God" (Micah 6:8).