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 Sarah Weissman
April 26, 2019

The afikomen has been found, the Haggadahs have been put away, and Pesach is nearly over, so naturally, I’m making my guest list for next year’s Seder.  I’ve decided that since Elijah was a no-show yet again (at least at my Seder--I don’t know about yours), I’m going to invite someone else in his place next year: her name is Serach bat Asher. 

Serach is the daughter of Asher and the granddaughter of Jacob.  She’s mentioned in Genesis along with the rest of Jacob’s family as they head down to Egypt (46:17) and, curiously, she is also mentioned in the...

Rabbi Janet Marder
April 26, 2019

By the seventh day of Passover, I've had a bellyful of matzah. I've eaten it in all kinds of forms this week: matzah balls and matzah brei, matzah kugel and matzah meal rolls, as well as a delicacy I only learned about when I got married: gabritte matzah, which consists of matzah pieces soaked in hot water, salted and eaten with scoops of cottage cheese. Shelly makes this for me every year, seeking the perfect al dente texture, occasionally altering the flavor with subtle additives he will not disclose. I’ve searched the Internet in vain for this recipe, or something...

Daniel Rosenthal, Neill Brownstein, Peg Krome
April 12, 2019
Rabbi Heath Watenmaker
April 5, 2019

Four and a half decades ago, in a paper in American Scientist, Herbert Simon and William Chase drew one of the most famous conclusions in the study of expertise:

There are no instant experts in chess—certainly no instant masters or grandmasters. There appears not to be on record any case (including Bobby Fischer) where a person reached grandmaster level with less than about a decade's intense preoccupation with the game. We would estimate, very roughly, that a master has spent perhaps 10,000 to 50,000 hours staring at chess positions…

In the years that followed, an entire field within psychology...

Rabbi Jonathan Prosnit
March 29, 2019

As March comes to an end - a brief reflection as its been quite a month in the Jewish world.  Most prominently here  at our festival of Purim - which seems like a 10 day extravaganza - where we delighting in the heroism of Esther and Mordechai, sing songs, deliver gifts, give tzedakah and drink booze to celebrate the saving of the Jews of Shushan. 

And, earlier this week was the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington DC.  The annual gathering of America's pro-Israel community.  Which included  the demonstrations of groundbreaking Israeli innovations, keynote speeches by Israeli leaders, and a bipartisan...

Rabbi Janet Marder
March 22, 2019

Dylan Chidick was born in Trinidad 17 years ago. When he was 7, his family immigrated to the U.S. They settled down in Brooklyn; later, priced out of the market, they moved to Jersey City, where Dylan enrolled at Henry Snyder High School. He was an excellent, hard-working student. His mother supported the family by working as a home health aide. In mid-2017 she lost her job and the family lost their home. They moved into a shelter and lived there for several months.

Around this time, Dylan started preparing to go to college, hoping to be the first person...


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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).