Sermons | Congregation Beth Am





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...

Rabbi Janet Marder
June 17, 2016

They called it “Pulse” – the regular throbbing of the arteries, caused by successive contractions of the heart. You feel it on your skin where the arteries are close to the surface; you feel it in your body when you’re dancing. It’s a word that evokes the rhythmic beat of music, when the lights are flashing and the floor and the walls are vibrating from the sound. The pulse is the throbbing of life itself. 

The gunman opened fire in the crowded club just about 2 a.m. He used a handgun and a high-capacity assault rifle – the kind where...

Rabbi Heath Watenmaker
June 10, 2016

When was the last time you really thought about your identity, or perhaps identities - what it is that makes you, well, you? For some of us, it’s not something we think about much - perhaps we’ve had it figured out for a while and haven’t given it much thought lately.

As some of you might know, my first rabbinical position was at the Hillel at Rutgers University in New Jersey, working as the Reform Outreach Initiative Rabbi. It was the first position of its kind in the country, and my job was to do targeted outreach to students from...

Sister Judy Donovan
2016 Akselrad Lecture
June 3, 2016


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).