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Yom HaShoah 2019 Remarks

May 02, 2019

Introduction
Good evening. My name is Rabbi Ben Goldberg and on behalf of KTI and the other participating synagogues—Community Synagogue of Rye, Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester and the Jewish Community Center of Harrison—thank you for joining us this evening for this important commemoration of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

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Passover 5779: A Memorable Night

Apr 24, 2019

Among the commentary and news items that circulate leading up to each major Jewish holiday, one piece stood out. [Available here: https://forward.com/life/faith/422792/american-jewish-teens-passover-seder/ ] Dr. Arielle Levites is a scholar of Jewish education, and she and her colleague Dr. Liat Sayfan recently completed a soon to be published study about today’s Jewish teenagers.

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Vayikra/Shabbat Zachor 5779: Fighting Amalek Today

Mar 17, 2019

“Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey, after you left Egypt—how, undeterred by fear of God, he surprised you on the march, when you were famished and weary, and cut down all the stragglers in your rear. Therefore, when the LORD your God grants you safety from all your enemies around you, in the land that the LORD your God is giving you as a hereditary portion, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!”

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P'kudei 5779: Journeys and Destinations

Mar 14, 2019

In my life prior to KTI, I spend many years as a student, first college and then rabbinical school. Part of that lifestyle meant that I was constantly moving. In fact, every nine months or so, or sometimes even more frequently, would I pack up all of my belongings and go somewhere else, including moving to Israel and back twice. There were times in rabbinical school when for various personal and professional reasons I would be away from home almost every weekend for months at a time.

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Va-yakhel 5779: Giving to Receive and Giving to Give

Mar 05, 2019

As I turned on my car radio on Thursday morning—on my way to Starbucks for my office hour, please come by any Thursday from 8-9!—I discovered that it is yet again that time of year. Not some religious or civil holiday, not some milestone in our ever-expanding election cycle. No, it is one of the annual NPR pledge drives! My usual listening was interrupted by impassionate pleas for financial support of the nonprofit radio station.

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Yitro 5779: The Ocean and the Cave

Jan 30, 2019

Two years ago, Daniel and I had the opportunity to visit Channel Islands National Park. The islands are about an hour’s boat ride off the coast of Southern California. They draw in visitors with opportunities to be deep in relatively unspoiled wilderness in just a day trip from the concrete jungle of Los Angeles. Around the perimeter of the islands are many sea caves, rock formations carved out by the rhythms of the waves.

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Va-y’hi 2018: Figure and Background

Dec 26, 2018

What do you see in this image? A vase, or two faces looking at each other? This famous optical illusion was developed by the Danish-Jewish psychologist Edgar Rubin, as part of his work on what he called the figure-ground distinction. Normally, when we look at something, our brains automatically differentiate what is the main figure and what is in the background. So, for example, when we read printed words on a page, our brains focus on the words and not the white space around them.

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Va-yishlah 5779: Thanksgiving

Nov 21, 2018

In this week's Torah reading, Va-yishlah, we learn of Jacob's confrontation with his brother Esau after 20 years away.

In preparation for this confrontation, Jacob prays, acknowledging that "I am unworthy of all the kindness that You have so steadfastly shown Your servant: with my staff alone I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps" (Genesis 32:11).

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