Temple Beth Hillel Update

What's Happening at TBH 

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

Learn more

How to Join Virtual Events

Friday, September 18 at  7:30 pm - Rosh Hashanah evening services

Saturday, Sept. 19, at 10 am - Morning Services  

Saturday, Sept. 19, at 12 pm - Drash Discussion with Rabbi Dean   

Saturday, Sept. 19, at 4 pm - Congregational Shmooze       

Sunday, Sept. 20 - No religious school.  Enjoy your Rosh Hashanah holiday!

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


Make your reservation today for Temple Beth Hillel's High Holy Days Services

Everyone is welcome at Temple Beth Hillel’s High Holy Days Services! Reserve your place now so that you can join us. We will send you the links you need to join the services.
We look forward to seeing you!
Learn More | Reserve your place now 

The Akedah, Genesis 21:1-21:34 - Special Torah Reading for Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbat this year, and begins tonight (Friday, Sept. 18, 7:30 pm). Tomorrow morning, we will read the Akedah, the story of the binding and near sacrifice of Isaac, by his father Abraham.
It is a story fraught with trauma, tragedy, and optimism, much like our lives today. As we enter the New Year, we are doing so under conditions that none of us have ever experienced. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, required physical distancing, profound economic dislocation that has impacted many of us in our community and the ongoing wildfires, it is easy and even natural to give up hope and be pessimistic.
The story of the Akedah reminds us that, even in the most challenging circumstances, we can find a constructive way forward.
The High Holy Days are our annual life “do-over.” It is our opportunity to think about what matters most to us and to live our lives according to those values.
To be good, kind, decent people, and have a positive impact on the world.
Rosh Hashanah reminds us that we matter and our choices make a difference.
Let us all resolve to be a force for positive change in the coming year and help heal our suffering society and world.
Shannah Tovah u’Metukah! May we all be blessed with a good and sweet New Year.
Read last week's commentary

From the President

This has been a challenging time, but I am confident that as a community we will find ways to adapt and move forward.  Although I wish we could observe the High Holy Days together in person, I am thankful for the ways we have adapted and for the technology that is available to us.  This year we will be together while we are safely apart.  
I want to thank Rabbi Dean and Cantor Shayndel for their leadership, wisdom, compassion, creativity and hard work.  Adapting our observances to online platforms has never been done before and I pray will never be needed again.  I also want to thank Jane Durango, Maggie Jacobs, Alan Marks, and Carl Nelson, our Ritual Committee, for their amazing dedication and creativity.  Although our observances this year will be very different, they will be meaningful because of the Herculean efforts of our Ritual Committee, Rabbi Dean, and Cantor Shayndel.  I would also like to thank Wendy Roth for her dedication, hard work, and technical expertise.
I hope to see everyone online tonight, tomorrow, and next week for Yom Kippur.  I wish us a healthy and sweet year.  
Shannah Tovah u’Metukah!

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

Watch Mercedes Make Her Challah 
Download the Recipe (PDF)

High Holy Day Services 2020 - Coming Together in Awe

High Holy Day services begin tonight. All our services will be online this year and you can still make your reservation to participate in our Zoom service!

As time permits, we will be posting some asynchronous events such as recordings of songs and videos of drashot and Torah services. You'll be able to view them on our website,
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 by contacting

Together as a community we will create meaningful High Holy Days.
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 by contacting
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.
Reserve your place now

TBH Sandwich-Making for the GRIP Souper Center -- Wednesday, Sept. 23

Wednesday, Sept. 23, 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.

This event is sponsored by Congregation Bet Haverim in Davis and is also open to our TBH congregation. 
What to expect? 
You will lie down in a comfortable location in your own home and allow the gentle waves of sound healing to bring balance to your whole being. This listening meditation will include Hebrew Chant, Himalayan Bowls, Native American flute and other instruments. 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 846 2294 3634

Passcode: 567318  

Religious School Has Started

Our religious school is off and running!  This past Sunday was our first meeting and it went very well.  Rabbi Dean led the families through our first online Tefillah Service, a whole new experience for everyone.  Jenny's class and Heather's class all got to meet and learn about Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.  In the Bnai Mitzvah class, we started our year-long project of building an extensive family tree, introducing the Bnai Mitzvah prayers, and preparing for Rosh Hashanah.  All in all it was a great start for our modified religious school to build our community during these trying times.
We will not have religious school this upcoming Sunday, Sept. 20, because of Rosh Hashanah.  We will resume our school on Sept. 27.  Please let David Zimring know if you have any questions.  L'Shanah Tovah!

Notes from the Board, Sept. 16, 2020

The board welcomed new members and a religious school family, reviewed plans for High Holy Days, food distribution plans from Food for Thought, news about religious school, and improvements made to Temple Beth Hillel.
Read 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, Sharon Grace, Bill Harris, Stan Hazlak, Michelle Husby, Jennifer Kemp, Laura Roybal, Sandra Steele, Daylena & Alex Kowalsky, Matt Lisby, Robert Mah, Michael Mirabella, Sharon Mittleman, Connie Nowlin, Michael Nye, Lincoln Ott, Terry Phillips, Gordon Raskin, Josh Redel, Alex Rickert, Gabriel Tattenham, Pat Trumbull, Timothy Welstand, Fran Welstand, 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:

David E. Cohn Grandfather of Louise Snitz
Joe Nusbaum A beloved member of the Congregation
Violet Nye-Novak Mother of Michael Nye
Kristin Nelson Sanchez Sister of Carl Nelson
Ethel Schmuckler Grandmother of Helene Class
Reuben Robert "Bob" Scholar A beloved member of the Congregation
Morris Spiro Grandfather of Susanna Spiro
Daniel Weinstein A beloved member of the Congregation

High Holy Days Schedule 2020

Havdalah/Service Saturday, Sept. 12, 8 pm
Evening Services Friday, Sept. 18, 7:30 pm
Morning Services Saturday, Sept. 19, 10 am
Drash Discussion with Rabbi Dean Saturday, Sept. 19, 12 pm
Congregational Shmooze Saturday, Sept. 19, 4 pm
Kol Nidre  Sunday, Sept. 27,  7 pm
Morning Service  Monday, Sept. 28, 10 am
Stump the Rabbi  Monday, Sept. 28, 12 pm
Afternoon Service  Monday, Sept. 28, 4:30 pm
Yizkor (memorial) Service  Monday, Sept. 28, 5:45 pm
Neilah (closing) Service  Monday, Sept. 28, 6:15 pm
Havdalah and Virtual Break-fast  Monday, Sept. 28, 6:45 pm
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Temple Beth Hillel Richmond · 801 Park Central · Richmond, CA 94803 · USA

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