Sermons | Congregation Beth Am




Watch, listen or read the sermons in our listing of recordings below. Alternatively, you may subscribe to the Beth Am Sermons Podcast.

Watch, listen or read the sermons in our listing of recordings below. Alternatively, you may subscribe to the Beth Am Sermons Podcast.



Rabbi Janet Marder
January 2, 2004

On November 1, 1755, it was All Saints’ Day in Lisbon, Portugal -- then one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and one of the largest, as well. That day, as the churches were packed with devout worshipers, a devastating earthquake struck the city. A modern writer describes it like this: “Just before ten in the morning, the city was hit by a sudden sideways lurch now estimated in magnitude 9.0 and shaken ferociously for seven full minutes. The convulsive force was so great that the water rushed out of the city’s harbor and returned in a wave fifty...

Rabbi Chuck Briskin
December 11, 2003

Imagine yourself as the managing editor of a newspaper. How do you decide which stories to place on the front page and which to bury deep inside. Where would you have placed the circus involving Michael Jackson? Or the search for the missing college student in North Dakota? Which stories matter? Recent Supreme Court decisions and congressional legislation certainly do. Would you have covered Senator Susan Collins appearance at last week’s AIPAC dinner in San Jose? Where is Israel in your newspaper? What do you think is important in the world and what makes news newsworthy?

A week and...

Rabbi Josh Zweiback
December 6, 2003

I phoned my Aunt Judy last week before I left for Israel. I told her: “Since my mom isn’t here to worry about me while I’m away, it’s your job to be anxious on her behalf.” She didn’t let me down.

But the happy truth is, she had nothing to worry about. I was perfectly safe. My trip was wonderful and at no time did I feel that I was in danger. I was honored to perform my first wedding in the Jewish State—Hadar Peled and Guy Shirazi, dear friends and teachers in our youth education program,...

Rabbi Janet Marder
December 5, 2003

“As religious leaders, we are outraged at recent violent attacks on synagogues in Istanbul. We unequivocally condemn all these attacks against Jews at prayer and call on leaders – governmental and religious – of all countries to join us in this condemnation.”

This ad appeared in the New York Times this past Wednesday, sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League, and signed by 11 Christian leaders, including the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches and a range of denominational representatives including Episcopal, Evangelical Lutheran, Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, Mormon, United Church of Christ, Assemblies of God and the Society...

Rabbi Janet Marder
November 28, 2003

“Tov l’hodot l’Adonai – it is good to give thanks to God.” Americans do it once a year, on the fourth Thursday in November. It used to be the last Thursday in November – that’s the way it was when Abe Lincoln first proclaimed this national holiday in 1863. But in the depths of the Depression, in 1939, President Roosevelt set it one week earlier, as a way of helping businesses by extending the pre-Christmas shopping season. Americans give thanks once a year, in the autumn, with football and feasting and a big parade in Manhattan. Jews are taught...

Rabbi Janet Marder
November 21, 2003

I was nine years old and in the fourth grade at Hesby St. School in the San Fernando Valley. For the first time I had a teacher who was not old and scary but young and beautiful. Even her name was beautiful – Miss Jewel. Every afternoon she read aloud to us from a book that I loved: Island of the Blue Dolphins. I was completely wrapped up in the story of Karana, a California Indian girl growing up in solitude on one of the Channel Islands, with only the wild dogs and the birds for company. I couldn’t wait...


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).