Esa Enai – I Lift My Eyes

Esa Enai – I Lift My Eyes

I am searching for words
For the words that describe,
Make sense, or at least comfort.
Words that summon me from the depths
Of my solitude.

In the night, there is darkness.
Restless attempts to sleep,
Twisting, turning into the shadows.
As I seek a comfortable pose
I bring my knees to my chest
Folding my dreams in half;
Will the crease ever come out?

And in the day there are
Silent attempts to find hope.
Twisting, turning toward the light
As I look for direction, a path, a way.

It is not easy to find the way.

And so
I lift my eyes to the mountains
Heaven lays her head upon the mountaintop
And I begin to climb.

What is the source of my help?
I climb and gaze upon the vistas.
More mountains, more horizons
Never ending moments where Heaven meets earth,
Never-ending possibilities to meet the Divine.

Lift me, carry me, offer me courage.
Help me understand life’s sharpest paradox:
That to live is tragic and wonderful,
Painful and awesome, dark and filled with light.

I lift my eyes to the summit
And as I climb I find my help
In the turning and twisting it takes to
I have found a path and it is worn and charted
By all those who are summoned from solitude.
I take their lead.
And I know that in the most essential way
I am being carried up the mountain.
And even now,
Dear God, even now
I am not alone.

Rabbi Karyn D. Kedar
The Bridge to Forgiveness
stories and prayers for finding God and restoring wholeness

Body & Spirit

Mindfulness Jewish Meditation
Thursdays, 10:00-11:00 a.m. 
Join us for an hour of relaxation and learning! Jewish Spirituality offers a new contemporary paradigm for Jewish learning. It is a means to personal learning and transformation. Jewish Spirituality is rooted in Torah, Hasidic and mystical texts. Each week we will start with a brief chant, study and learn, and then sit in meditation (or walking meditation). This practice is based on Chesed (love) and Emet (seeing our personal truths). We learn to see how we relate to the text before us, what it stirs up in our hearts and minds. Mindfulness benefits are many: improved concentration, memory, health, immune system, cardiac health, mood stability, and stress reduction. We start with one breath at a time! No prior experience is necessary, all are welcome. The class will be facilitated by Margot Andersen, MSW, a graduate of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s Mindfulness Meditation Teacher training.
Contact: Margot Andersen

Wise Aging – Living with Joy, Resilience & Spirit
Groups will begin this Fall
Developed by the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, Wise Aging is geared to those in their 50s through active aging. The series will focus on topics including becoming your authentic self, cultivating spiritual qualities for well-being, changing bodies and body images, revitalizing relationships, leaving a legacy and living with loss, change and death. Join us for these rich 7 week sessions to reflect on where you are on your journey in life and how to make the most out of life’s precious moments. 
Contact: Margot Andersen

“Be Still and Get Going!” 
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Instructor: Margot Andersen, MSW, Mindfulness Meditation Teacher, Institute of Jewish Spirituality
In this session, we will explore how to find our courage and faith during life’s most difficult challenges to move forward. Often, we become stuck and frozen with anxiety, uncertainty and fear. We will look back at the wisdom of ancient texts to help us find our faith and equanimity during times of adversity and change.
Contact: Margot Andersen

Spiritual Seekers Discussion Group
Day & Time TBD
This welcoming and open self-led group invites you to join as they select books and topics to discuss with themes related to the Jewish calendar, life cycle, and spiritual contemporary living.
Contact: Margot Andersen

Omer Study Group
Day & Time TBD
Spiritual seekers will meet weekly during the period known as the Omer to count the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot. We will explore the Jewish principles involved in preparing to receive Torah. Omer, A Counting by Rabbi Karyn Kedar will be used as one of the texts for discussion, as well as other sources. Join us as we make these 49 days count!
Contact: Margot Andersen

BJBE Choirs

Our choir members have a passion for music and an enthusiasm for singing the melodies of our people. BJBE also offers our members the opportunity to sing regularly during services.

Kol Simchah (Voice of Joy), our Junior Choir, is comprised of 2nd-6th graders who participate in our Family Shabbat service. Rehearsals include attention to music, text, expression, and fun!

BJBE Adult Choir is an important addition to our High Holiday experience at BJBE. Members who participate in this choir have a unique opportunity to enrich the heart and soul of our congregation.

Our Teen Choir and Band help to lead our congregation in prayer at our monthly Matzah Ball Shabbat services as well as other special occasions throughout the year.

The Hallel Singers for the Festival Holidays bring extra joy and spirit to our festival morning services by leading everyone in the traditional singing of the psalms of Hallel.

BJBE Multi-generational Choir is comprised of the Adult and Junior Choirs that come together during some services and events throughout the year to enhance the worship experience.

Contact Leslie Block if you are interested in singing with us.



Mizmor L'Shabbat Service
First Friday of the Month (September – June)
7:30 p.m. - Service

A joyous, musical service featuring Shakshuka and our amazing T'filah Band.

February 2, 2018
March 2, 2018
May 4, 2018
June 1, 2018

Kabbalat Shabbat Service
Second, Fourth & Fifth Fridays of the Month (September – June)
7:30 p.m. - Service

A soulful service featuring contemplative music and sermons in the traditional BJBE style.

January 26, 2018
February 9, 23, 2018
March 9, 23,* 2018
April 13, 27, 2018
May 11, 25, 2018
June 8, 2018

*On March 30, since so many in our community will be hosting or attending a first night Seder, we will not hold a Shabbat service at BJBE that evening.

Matzah Ball Shabbat Family Service
Third Friday of the Month (September – May)
5:15 p.m. – Matzah Ball Soup and Challah
6:00 p.m. – Service
Join the BJBE community for a bowl of matzah ball soup and challah followed by an uplifting, inspiring multi-generational service featuring our Kol Simchah Youth Choir and a story for children.

February 16, 2018
March 16, 2018
April 20, 2018
May 18, 2018
June 15, 2018

Summer Kabbalat Shabbat Service
Every Friday, June 22–August 10, 2018, 6:00 p.m.


Kol Shabbat Musical Service
9:30 a.m.
Celebrate Shabbat in a relaxed and informal environment with beautiful music and spirited singing, Torah reading, and an inspiring D'var Torah.

Tot Shabbat
Second Saturday of the Month (September –June)
9:30 a.m. – Service
10:00 a.m. – Kiddush and Family Art Project
Celebrate Shabbat with your toddlers in this fun and energetic service which includes joyous music and a Shabbat story for children. Then join us immediately following the service for challah, grape juice, and a creative family art project.

February 10, 2018
March 10, 2018
April 14, 2018
May 12, 2018
June 9, 2018

Morning B'nai Mitzvah Service
10:45 a.m.; beginning January 1, 2018 the service will begin at 11:00 a.m.
Celebrate with BJBE teens and their families as they take on the obligation of becoming bar or bat mitzvah. The bar/bat mitzvah students lead the entire service along with the clergy, chant Torah, and deliver inspiring D'vrei Torah (sermons).

Havdalah B'nai Mitzvah Service
5:00 p.m.
Celebrate with BJBE teens and their families, as they take on the obligation of becoming bar or bat mitzvah. The bar/bat mitzvah students lead the entire service along with the clergy, chant Torah, deliver inspiring D'vrei Torah (sermons), and lead us in the Havdalah ceremony marking the transition from Shabbat to the new week.

Wednesday Morning Minyan
6:45 a.m.

BJBE offers a convenient mid-week opportunity for prayer on Wednesday mornings. Stop in on your way to work to give your spirit a workout, find friendship in community, and be present for fellow congregants who need to say Kaddish for a loved one.

Avodah / Spirituality

We affirm the goodness in life when we offer a daily prayer of gratitude. When life is difficult, and still we find the spiritual fortitude to offer a prayer of gratitude, then we declare possibility, optimism, hope.

-Rabbi Karyn D. Kedar

From being warmly greeted by an usher as you enter Shabbat services, to the support of a community there for you after you have lost a loved one, BJBE is dedicated to enhancing the spiritual life of our congregation through a variety of prayer, programs, and services for all ages, knowledge-levels, and interests.

For more information about the worship & spirituality experiences, please contact Marcus Newman, Ritual Committee Chair.


Service Schedule

Wednesday Minyan

Morning Minyan: Every Wednesday at 6:45 am

First Shabbat

Friday Evening
7:30 pm - Mizmor L'Shabbat with our T'filah Band (September-June)

Saturday Morning
9:30 am - Kol Shabbat
10:45 am - B'nai Mitzvah Shabbat Service (when scheduled)
11:00 am - Torah Study
5:00 pm - B'nai Mitzvah Havdalah Shabbat Service (when scheduled)

Second Shabbat

Friday Evening
7:30 pm Shabbat Service (September-June)

Saturday Morning
9:30 am - Kol Shabbat
9:30 am - Tot Shabbat (September-June)
10:45 am - B'nai Mitzvah Shabbat Service (when scheduled)
11:00 am - Torah Study
5:00 pm - B'nai Mitzvah Havdalah Shabbat Service (when scheduled)

Third Shabbat

Friday Evening
5:15 pm  Matzah Ball Shabbat pre-oneg (September-June)
6:00 pm -L'dor Vador Family Service (September-June)

Saturday Morning
9:30 am - Kol Shabbat
10:45 am - B'nai Mitzvah Shabbat Service (when scheduled)
11:00 am - Torah Study
5:00 pm - B'nai Mitzvah Havdalah Shabbat Service (when scheduled)

Fourth/Fifth Shabbat

Friday Evening
7:30 pm - Shabbat Service... Soulful and inspiring (September-June)

Saturday Morning
9:30 am - Kol Shabbat
10:45 am - B'nai Mitzvah Shabbat Service (when scheduled)
11:00 am - Torah Study
5:00 pm - B'nai Mitzvah Havdalah Shabbat Service (when scheduled)

Note: Summer services are at 6:30 pm, typically beginning the end of June through August.