Sermons | Congregation Beth Am





Rebecca Whitman
July 15, 2016

Shabbat shalom!

I'm the type to test the waters before diving in.

I had never been involved in organized Jewish or synagogue life as a child. My family was "twice a year" Jews, attending the children’s services for the High Holy Days, with a family Seder for Passover, candles for Hanukkah, and not much else. So, when I was metaphorically launched into the deep end without my goggles on for a session at Camp Newman, it was an unpleasant surprise. My mom had convinced me to attend our local Reform Jewish summer camp through a video about their high ropes...

Rachel Gibson
July 8, 2016

Shabbat Shalom.  Thank you, Cantor Shpall, for inviting me to speak to the congregation on this beautiful Shabbat.  I’m thrilled that tonight we’re welcoming our rising 6th graders who will begin the next phase of their Jewish journey, as they get closer to becoming a bar or bat mitzvah. 

Together with Cantor Shpall, I’m co-chairing what is called the B’nei Mitzvah Revolution, here at Beth Am.  As the youngest of seven kids and the only girl in the bunch, I love the idea of being a revolutionary.  It makes me think of the rising up of the least powerful segment...

Debbie Mukamal
July 1, 2016

Shabbat Shalom. Thank you to Rabbi Marder for the opportunity to share some words this beautiful Kabbalat Shabbat.

My friend Willard grew up in Menlo Park. In true Silicon Valley fashion, entrepreneurship surrounded him from his youth. His dad owned the shoe shine business on the Stanford campus, and he has fond memories of selling hot dogs and ice cream on University Avenue, long before it was populated with start-ups. These days, Willard is the proud owner of Magic Hands, a thriving eco-friendly mobile auto detailing business. He’ll come to your home or your office and detail your car with...

Cantor Kay Greenwald
June 30, 2016

Dave, as we all know, was a study in contrasts and a force to be reckoned with. He was compassionate – I sometimes found him in his office, taking a moment to weep over the loss of a Beth Am congregant, or over the news that someone was sick or struggling. He was tough – he survived illness and loss and kept on going. He was an iconoclast – he loved to question, to doubt and he was ready to discuss any idea. He had a deep love for tradition and the values that Judaism brings to the world. He...

Cantor Lauren Bandman
2016 ACC-GTM Convention, Philadelphia
June 26, 2016

When asked what he would like to be remembered for, Cantor David Unterman answered without hesitation: “I hope people would say that I touched them and opened them up to deeper emotions and a deeper understanding of what Judaism is all about. I hope they will say, ‘He’s the guy who got me to think, to challenge, to ask questions and ask myself questions.’ That's what I want to be remembered for.”

Dave’s loving wife, Carol Carter, recently described her husband as a person who “accepted people where they were, and encouraged them to question anything and everything on their...

Rabbi Jonathan Prosnit
June 24, 2016

It’s Shabbat Evening.   You are at home sitting down for a delicious Shabbat meal with your family.   First you offer the blessings over candles - kindling the lights of Shabbat. Next, maybe you offer the blessing over children - the words of the priestly benediction - may your daughters be like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah - your sons like Ephraim and Menashe.  

Next you say the prayer over the sweetness of Shabbat, borei pri ha-gafen, the kiddush, over wine or grape juice.    What comes next?   While some of us jump directly to challah - in a more traditional household...


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).