Your opinion counts!  High Holy Days Survey open now
Temple Beth Hillel Update

What's Happening at TBH 

How to Join Virtual Events

Friday July 17 at 7:30PM -- Online Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat evening services 

Saturday, July 18 at 10:15 AM -- Lay-led Torah Study

Wednesday July 22 - Make sandwiches to be delivered to GRIP.  If interested, contact Jane Kaasa (510)222-3221

Friday July 24 at 7:00 PM - Online Candle Lighting

Saturday, July 25 at 10:15 AM -Lay-led Torah Study

Monday, July 27 at 7:00 PM -- Food for Thought Meeting

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

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


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

Learn more
View the calendar and join us online

Matot-Masei, Numbers 30:2 - 36:13 - Parshat Ha Shavua for Shabbat, Saturday, July 18, 2020

This week we end the Book of Numbers (Sefer Bamidbar) with the double portion Matot-Masei. It is an exciting and profound selection of Torah, touching on community, solidarity, and commitment, keeping promises, and a genocidal war the Isralites wage on the Midianites including enslaving their women and children.
In the midst of all of this is a seemingly boring list of all the places the Israelites encamped during their forty years of wandering in the desert, for at the end of Numbers the Israelites are poised on the east side of the Jordan ready to enter the Land of Israel. It is the type of list that is easy to pass over, one place name after another, seemingly boring Torah, like the lists of generations.
And yet, as a nation we are engaged in profound debate over our history and the meaning of that history. Should statues of soldiers and politicians who fought to maintain slavery and dismember the Untied States be allowed to stand? Is the Confederate battle flag a symbol of Southern pride or of racism and white supremacy? Should military bases named after Confederate generals be renamed? This debate has emerged as a new battle ground in the so-called “culture wars.”
Perhaps another way to rephrase this question is what kind of a nation do we want to be. One that includes and values all its citizens or one that gives greater value to some citizens at the expense of others?
In Requiem for a Nun, William Faulkner wrote, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." America has never truly reckoned with its history: of slavery, of conquest, of murder of native peoples, and of discrimination.
This week’s Torah portion reminds us that we must continue to study and know our history. To come to grips with the painful and wrong parts of it, as well as the good and noble, if we are to understand ourselves.
Human beings are flawed creatures. That is how God created us. We can only become better if we confront our past with honesty and courage. That is something for us to think about as we enter our penitential season leading up to the High Holy Days.
Read last week's commentary

From the President

Even though it is essential that we stay safe by staying apart, we are not alone in our isolation.  The news is not encouraging with Covid-19 cases spiking and no sign of things getting better any time soon, but we can connect to each other and stay involved in our community remotely. We can reach out to family and friends by telephone or online.  We can and should check in with each other.  Our older congregants are fairly isolated and may need some attention like a friendly phone call.  And we can join together as a community for Friday night candle lighting, Shabbat services, or Saturday morning Torah study.
We are a community that cares for each other.  If you feel isolated and lonely, don’t hesitate to reach out. Email or call Marilyn Hertzberg (email: phone: 510-815-7885) and she will arrange to get you some support.  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 Changes for 2020

With the continued surge in COVID-19 infections and concomitant restrictions currently in place, it is highly unlikely that we will be able to hold High Holy Day services at our synagogue, either indoors or outdoors. We also have many members who are in high-risk groups for serious health consequences from COVID, thus making congregant health and safety our first priority based on the Jewish principle of pikuach nefesh, that saving life is a paramount value.
This means that our Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services will be on-line. This will be a very different experience than in the past. The Ritual Committee, Cantor Shayndel and Rabbi Dean are working to create an experience that will be meaningful but also different, including live services on Zoom, which will probably be shorter than our usual services. We are exploring a number of “extra” programs that will be available to congregants online at any time, such as teachings and guided meditations to help promote times of deep reflection and teshuvah (penitence).
We will need your help. You should have received a High Holy Day survey. We need your input to help us plan. If you have not responded, please do. Here is a link to the survey. 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, we would like to find a way to share that.
Our high holiday choir will be virtual! If you are interested in joining the choir, please reach out to Cantor Shayndel  and Maggie by 7/23.
These are strange and different times. Our hope is that if we work together as a com
HHD Survey

Let’s Join together for Shabbat evening services online this Friday, July 17 at 7:30 PM

As we continue to shelter-in-place and cannot come to the synagogue, we are bringing our services to you with our Shelter-in-Shabbat. We celebrate our full Shabbat evening service and hope you can join us. All you need is a computer or a smartphone and internet access.
If  you can’t join us for the entire service, join us at 7:30 PM to light Shabbat Candles.
We always begin our evening services by lighting Shabbat candles. Please join us at 7:30 to light Shabbat candles together. In this way we can all be “virtually” together in this time of isolation. You can stay online for the evening service if you wish. 
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, January 22

Next Wednesday, July 22, is our Temple's 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:
Diane Anderson, Geoff Capnick, Sharon Chernick, Dora Cohen, Irving Feurst, Heather Fox, Sam Genirberg, Bill Harris, Stan Hazlak, Michelle Husby, Carolyn and Roberto Isacovici, Jennifer Kemp, Laura Roybal, Valerie Schillaci Levy, Sandra Steele, Daylena & Alex Kowalsky, Matt Lisby, Sharon Mittleman, Bobbi Nadler, Connie Nowlin, Michael Nye, Lincoln Ott, Gordon Raskin, Josh Redel, Laura Roybal, 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.

The following yahrzeits will be remembered at services this Friday evening:

Sidney Altholz Father of Suzanne Nelson
Melbourne Blum A beloved member of the Congregation
Samuel Blumenson A beloved member of the Congregation
Lloyd Field Grandfather of Heather Fox
Florence Flum Mother of Judith Flum
Dorothy Friedman Aunt of Jim Koenig
Harry Gabin Grandfather of William Weiss
Rose Genirberg Wife of Sam Genirberg
Jack Goldberg Father of Clara-Rae Genser, Grandfather of Josh Genser
Abe Guss Uncle of Saralynn & Helen Nusbaum
Gary Hale Son-in-Law of Helene Wichner
Blaise Hardy Brother of Sherbie Aberle
Seymour Hertzberg Father of Marilyn Hertzberg
Helen Houska A beloved member of the Congregation
Gussie Hyman Grandmother of Helene Class
Imre Kertesz Father of Rabbi Dean Kertesz
Giselle Lakritz Mother of Renee Powell
Max Lakritz Step-father of Renee Powell
Milton Levy A beloved member of the Congregation
Dora Mason A beloved member of the Congregation
Jim Montgomery Husband of Linda Rose
Anne Nusbaum A beloved member of the Congregation
Celia Nusbaum Grandmother of Saralynn & Helen Nusbaum
Margaret Olvin Aunt of Pat Trumbull
Frank Raskin Father of Gordon Raskin
Zanvel Schwartz Grandfather of Beverly Lesch
Sarah Solof Grandmother of Jean Henderson
Bernard Welstand Father of Steve Welstand
Sanford Wichner Husband of Helene Wichner
Virginia Withers Sister of Roxann Zarchin
Ethel Zenkel Grandmother of Eric, Bonnie & Tracy Zell
Natalie Zarchin Mother of Neil Zarchin
Sylvia Zigman Aunt of Gordon Raskin
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Temple Beth Hillel Richmond · 801 Park Central · Richmond, CA 94803 · USA

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