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Birthright: Tel-Aviv - Jared Polikoff and Alicia Sheinkin

10 days in a completely different world where we come from. Israel. That is the connection everyone has on birthright. Jewish identity. That is something that birthright participants come to find on this trip and explore on a deeper level. About two-thirds of the trip has passed, and boy were the Jewish Federation's birthright volunteers right about it being crazy in a perfect way. Choosing a favorite place or activity that we have experienced thus far is definitely a hard one. Although one day, in particular, stood out our in mind, and that was our experience at the Tel- Aviv Market. There was a certain charm and uniqueness about it. There are various products and foods to purchase th

Birthright: Through a different lens

When birthright changed their acceptance guidelines from only accepting applications from people who had never been on an organized trip to Israel, to allowing those to return once again, I called Heather immediately and said we have to go back to Israel! We both went to the same Jewish high school in Phoenix Arizona and went on our junior class trip to Israel for two weeks. Although we are visiting the same sights that we did 9 years ago, this experience is remarkably different. We view the country through a different lens. The meaning behind this land sinks into our cores, and will shape our identity as Jewish Americans. On our high school trip, we knew everyone on our trip already. We had

The Latest Assault on Progressive Judaism In Israel

I am always wary about criticizing Israel in public. Israel gets enough criticism from outside the Jewish community and increasingly from factions within the Jewish community. But sometimes, I have to speak out. Lately, the thing that has forced me to complain about the Israeli government has little to do with the Palestinian conflict and more to do with the government’s assault on religious freedom. Believe it or not it is easier to be a Christian or Muslim in Israel than to be a Conservative or Reform Jew. Though there are a myriad of issues including marriage, divorce, conversion and burial that are affected, it is praying at the Kotel that has become ground zero in the fight for relig

Greetings From Tel Aviv!

The Nevada Birthright Israel group landed Thursday night after a full day of travel. We met our tour guide and the eight Israeli peers who will Right now, the participants are in an informative lecture about Israeli politics and security. Later, we will head to tel Aviv to see independence hall, the market and the beach. After that they will ride camels. And that's only half their day! You can follow our travels on Facebook. Just search for #birthrightsrael #bus149

Summer Traditions at Midbar Kodesh Temple

Summer is upon us and with summer comes two traditions that I started at Midbar Kodesh Temple. The first is a summer book series. For the past couple of years we have taken a break from the regular book club to delve into books related specifically to Israel. The books are either written by Israeli authors or about Israel. This year we have chosen The Hill Top by Assaf Gavron and The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem by Sarit Yishai-Levi. We will discuss The Hill Top on July 10th and The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem on August 21st both at 10 AM. There will be bagels and coffee as well. The second tradition is to have a sermon series. I like to devote 4-6 weeks of sermons to a theme that forces u

Birthright Israel: Day 0

My grandmother never got to Israel. Although we rarely agreed on much, she was an inspiration. My grandmother, my Nana, was a single, working mother in the 1960’s, and later, she helped raise me. She taught me that regardless of gender, race, income, religion or any of the things that divide us, we are all equal in the eyes of G-d and the law. She taught me that Israel and America are similar in many ways; we value the rights of freedom of speech and expression and religious practice, and that the right of self-determination of the minority could never be negotiable. But she also taught me that there was something special about Israel. That magic was real there. That miracles could happen. T

Surprising gastronomic custom for a traditionally lactose intolerant community.

We celebrate Shavuot this weekend. It is the second of the three pilgrimage festivals. Originally it was the celebration of the spring harvest. In rabbinic times, a new meaning was added to the holiday: the celebration of the Israelites receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai. There are many customs on the holiday such as reading the Ten Commandments, staying up all night studying, reading the Book of Ruth and of course eating dairy foods. That last one, eating dairy foods is a bit of a conundrum. Where and when did the custom of eating dairy arise? There are several reasons given for the custom. I will share just a couple. 1. When the Jewish people received the Torah they received final instruct

School's out... time for Camp MKT

Ready to sign up? Need more info? Check out the details on Camp MKT here. Summer Camp MKT 2016 at Midbar Kodesh Temple promises to be fun for all as the Early Childhood Center preschool teachers transition from formal education to informal programming that includes drama, art, yoga, music, water play, cooking and sports. Science is introduced during the fun packed sessions that begin June 14 and run through August 5 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Before and after care will also be available. Session registration is on-going but some age group spots and session fill up fast. For more information on Summer Camp MKT 2016 contact the synagogue, located in Green Valley Ranch, at 702.454.4848.

Midbar Kodesh Temple Religious School celebrates "Yom Sport"

On the last Sunday of Midbar Kodesh Temple's religious school this year, the students took part in “Yom Sport," a morning of field day activities at Paseo Verde Park. "The students always look forward to these sporting events, and the weather made the day perfect," said Cantor Daniel Gale, Director of the Religious School at Midbar Kodesh Temple. Popsicles at the end of the games builds comradery and memories for all. Cantor Gale said that the school year was successful and that next year he and his teachers will be adding other interesting components to the program. Cantor Gale will travel to the CAJE conference this summer, bringing back new ideas to share with his teachers and stu

Mazel Tov Eve Wellish!

Eve Wellish, daughter of Midbar Kodesh Temple members Janet and Dr. Kent Wellish, graduated with an Advanced Honors Diploma from Green Valley High School. She received the NV Energy Powerful Partnership Scholarship and the George Washington University Presidential Scholarship. Eve was an active leader in Midbar Kodesh Temple’s USY group, serving as the Chapter President and the 2016 Far West USY Regional Convention Co-Chair. She enjoyed participating in several dozen community service projects with her service group, TeenMD (Teens Making a Difference). At Green Valley High School, she participated in Student Council and held the position of Student Body First Vice President her senior year.

Midbar Kodesh Temple's Cantor Daniel Gale will receive a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education fro

Midbar Kodesh Temple's Cantor Daniel Gale will receive a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education from the Shoolman School of Education at Hebrew College later this month. His thesis was about “Teaching the Holocaust through Music in Secondary Education." Cantor Gale serves as the Hazzan at Midbar Kodesh Temple, is the Religious School Director and also oversees the youth department, which includes USY, Kadima and Katan. Based on his thesis work Cantor Gale was recently contacted by the Shoah Foundation and asked to share some aspects of his research with them. The Shoah Foundation is developing a program to better utilize music in Holocaust education. Cantor Gale will participate in an upcoming

Youth groups annual pool parties

Midbar Kodesh Temple youth groups enjoyed their annual year end pool parties in June. At the USY gathering the teens welcomed the Kadima graduates who will be seventh graders in the fall. The party was held at the home of Eve Wellish, outgoing USY President, who also graduated from Green Valley High School earlier this month. Katan Kids and Kadimaniks splashed their way through the afternoon at the home of Susan and Chuck Schwartz. Programming for the students begins after Labor Day, after many take vacations or attend resident Jewish camps. USY, for teens aged 7th through 12th grade, Kadima for students 4th through 6th grade and Katan for 2nd and 3rd graders are stellar programs at Midbar K

Guess who came to Shabbas

Midbar Kodesh Temple hosted the third in a series of "Guess Who's Coming For Shabbas" dinners, part of a national program that brings synagogue families together to share the Shabbat home experience. On this month's designated Shabbat, 68 people participated in the homes of 8 hosts, bringing the total over 220 people who have participated and enjoyed Shabbat together. Stuart and Sandy Stern brought this concept to Midbar Kodesh Temple where members met and visited other member families that they had never met before. "The group experience made Shabbat special for us," said Sandy Stern. "Hosts are already lining up for the fall schedule." "Everyone I've heard from had a great time," noted And

Why are we required to recite our most significant prayers with a minimum of ten people?

As the weather heats up and we enter the summer months, our “daily” minyan begins to falter a bit. Many of our regulars start taking vacations to get out of the heat, and we are often left without a quorum. I was thinking about this on Thursday morning as we missed the minyan by two people. There were really two things that captured my focus. First, why do we need a minimum number of people in order to recite certain prayers? Second, how do we increase attendance at our morning minyan? The first question has a fairly straight forward answer. Our religion puts an emphasis on community, especially when it comes to ritual and liturgy. While we can certainly pray individually in the privacy of

MKT ECC Car Wash A Huge Success!

Miss Val and Miss Katey's students at the Midbar Kodesh Temple Early Childhood Center spent the year learning about building a better world through mitzvot. This week, the children put everything they have learned into practice and held the car wash to benefit the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, as they did for the first time last year. The preschoolers more than doubled the money that they earned from last year, filling their Tzedakah box with over $660.00! To the car wash and bake sale proceeds they will add the tzedakah money they have earned by doing good deeds at home and then take joy in making their donation to ISF, a foundation that teaches how to respect our environment and it's inhabit

Midbar Kodesh Temple | Early Childhood Center and Religious School

1940 Paseo Verde Parkway | Henderson, Nevada 89012 | 702-454-4848

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