Temple Beth Hillel Update

What's Happening at TBH 

How to Join Virtual Events

Friday, July 31 at 7:00 PM - Online Candle Lighting

Saturday, August 1 at 10:15 AM -- Lay-led Torah Study

Friday August 7 at 7:30PM -- Online Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat evening services

Saturday, August 8 at 10:15 AM -- Lay-led Torah Study

Friday August 14 at 7:30PM -- Online Candle Lighting

Saturday, August 15 at 10:15 AM -- Lay-led Torah Study

Resources and Support

Community Support
In these difficult times, it might be hard to know where to turn for help. Need a loan?  Having difficulties with your job, or need support? Our Community Support page can help you find the help you need!

Online Activities and Resources
Maybe you're just getting a little stir crazy?  Expand your Jewish learning, visit a museum, take a cooking class--all online! Check out these and the Online Activities and Resources on our website.

Volunteering and Social Action Programs
We are commanded to leave the corners of our fields and the gleanings of our harvest and vineyards for the poor and the stranger. Learn about how you can give back to our community.
Donate to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties and help those in need

Please reach out to potential members  

As you know, Temple Beth Hillel is a wonderful community that will benefit from more members and participation in Temple life and events. You are our best ambassadors. So, please reach out to your family and friends. Let them know about us, the events we have, and the wonderful community that we are.

Feel free to have them contact or anyone on the Membership Committee.

Summer Camps and Travel

Learn more about summer camps and travel

Keeping In Touch With Us

We have two main ways to communicate with our community:
TBH Update: Subscribe to the TBH weekly update.  You'll receive an email for you to confirm that you want to join.  Still having problems?  Contact Wendy Roth at
TBH Discussion list: We send e-mail messages through our google group email list tbh  If you are not on this list or are having trouble using it, contact Laura Taub at


High Holy Days Survey-Tell us what you think!

What are you looking for in this year's High Holy Days?  Fill out the survey and let us know.

TBH On-Site Activities Remain Suspended in Response to COVID-19

Learn more
View the calendar and join us online

Vaetchanan, Deuteronomy 3:23 - 7:11 - Parshat Ha Shavua for Shabbat, Saturday, August 1, 2020

This week’s Shabbat is called “Shabbat Nachamu,” The Shabbat of Consolation, from the first two words of Haftorah, Isaiah 40, which begins, “Nahamu, nahamu…, Comfort, oh Comfort my people…” It is the first of seven Shabbats of consolation, following Tisha b’Av leading up to Rosh Hashanah. 

This week’s Haftorah sets a tone for our preparation for the High Holy Days, reminding us of our mortality. “All flesh is grass, All its goodness like flowers of the field: Grass withers, flowers fade When the breath of the LORD blows on them. Indeed, man is but grass: Grass withers, flowers fade— But the word of our God is always fulfilled!” (Isaiah 40:5-8). 

Isaiah reminds us that our time on earth is short. What gives it meaning is dedication to something greater than ourselves. To the Prophet Isaiah, our sages, many of our parents and grandparents, and some of us, that something greater is God. 

But what does it mean to dedicate ourselves to God, or something greater than ourselves? This week’s Torah portion gives us a possible answer, “Do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may go well with you.” (Deuteronomy 6:18) Commenting on this verse, 

Nahmanides (14th Century Spain) wrote, “... generally one should do what is good and right regarding everything, including compromise, acting beyond the strict demands of the law.” Nahmanides is urging us to go beyond the letter of the law and to fulfill the spirit of the law. The letter of the law strives to curb people’s worst impulses. Nahmanides mentions compromise, because a compromise requires we take both our needs and the needs of others into account. 

This is the spirit of the law, caring for others. Our sages rejected selfishness. They considered it to be the root of evil. 

Imagine what our world would be like if we tried to do good by taking care of the needs of others as well as their own needs? Let’s hold this in our hearts as we prepare for the High Holy Days.

Read last week's commentary

From the President

Another week has passed and the Covid-19 news is not getting better, but we are a resilient community and we continue to adapt, support each other, and get things done.  Our Ritual Committee, led by Rabbi Dean, Cantor Shayndel and Jane Durango, is hard at work planning meaningful online services and our choir, led by Cantor Shayndel and Maggie Jacobs, is preparing for a high tech way to contribute to our observances.  Our Religious School Committee, led by Rabbi Dean, Larry Fox, and David Zimring, is planning meaningful online learning for when classes resume in September.  We are creatively finding ways to adapt and meet the challenges of our present less than ideal situation.  We truly are a small and mighty congregation and we will get through this together.
We are Temple Beth Hillel.
If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am not for others, what am I?
And if not now, when?  
-Rabbi Hillel

Read last week's letter

High Holy Day Services 2020 - Coming Together in Awe

Shana Tova! With the continued surge in COVID-19 infections and concomitant restrictions currently in place, this year’s Temple Beth Hillel’s High Holy Days will be entirely online. They may not be in person, but they will not be virtual. They will be real! Our volunteer leadership is working with Cantor Shayndel and Rabbi Dean to create a rich experience. Our services will be different but they will be profound and meaningful. We will be worshipping together, as a community, online, but our services will be shorter.
In addition to these “synchronous” services, we will be providing a series of asynchronous events, study sessions, recordings of songs, videos of drashot and the Torah service, memories and reflections by congregants and clergy,  to ensure that the coming Days of Awe are a profound and special time. We look forward to worshipping together and being in community with you. More information will be forthcoming soon.
We need your help. Last week you received a High Holy Day survey, which is critical to our planning and to responding to congregant needs. To date we have received 25 responses. We need your input. If you have not responded, please do. Here is a link to the survey.
We also need your participation. If you have something you would like to share with the congregation, for example, a favorite High Holy Day recipe, a memory, or a reflection, please let us know.
These are strange and different times. Our hope is that if we work together as a community we can create a High Holy Day observance that will be very different, but still meaningful.

HHD Survey

Join us for community Shabbat candle lighting this Friday, July 31 at 7:00 PM

Let’s begin Shabbat together by lighting Shabbat candles. Please join us at 7:00.You can also join by calling:

1 (669)900-9128 Meeting ID: 517 749 891
One tap mobile
Join the Service

TBH Sandwich-Making for the GRIP Souper Center -- Wednesday, August 26

Wednesday, August 26, is our Temple's next day to make sandwiches for GRIP. We each make about forty sandwiches (your choice) and bring them to the Temple parking lot at about 9:45 AM.  Please put the sandwiches in individual baggies, place them in a bag or box, and label the type of sandwiches made.  If you can make sandwiches that day and/or if you have any questions, please contact Jane Kaasa (510)222-3221 or (510)421-7331.

Calling All Members - Photos Needed

As most of you have likely seen over the years, we do an annual postcard with the dates of the holidays and celebrations for the Temple, highlighted and accented with photos from the past year of Temple events and members that represent our wonderful community.  Check your cellphones and cameras for some wonderful moments that we can share.  Please send your photos to:

Notes from the Board, July 15, 2020

The board discussed finances, plans for conducting High Holy Days remotely, and the renewal of Cantor Shayndel’s contract.
Learn more

Prayers for Community Members in Need

We pray for speedy and complete healing, r’fuah sh’leimah, for the following members of our community:

Geoff Capnick, Sharon Chernick, Dora Cohen, Irving Feurst, Heather Fox, Sam Genirberg, Bill Harris, Stan Hazlak, Michelle Husby, Jennifer Kemp, Laura Roybal, Sandra Steele, Daylena & Alex Kowalsky, Matt Lisby, Sharon Mittleman, Connie Nowlin, Michael Nye, Lincoln Ott, Gordon Raskin, Josh Redel, Gabriel Tattenham, Pat Trumbull, Timothy Welstand, Fran Welstand, Melissa White, Kendra Windrix, Caleb Zimring 

If there is anyone you would like included in our prayers for healing, please send their names to If you're on the list and feeling better and would like to be removed, please let Rabbi Dean know.
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Temple Beth Hillel Richmond · 801 Park Central · Richmond, CA 94803 · USA

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