Services and events this week
Thursday, December 24, 6-9 pm
Chinese Dinner and a movie on Christmas Eve
Home of Rabbi Ari and Rachel Saks
Join the Beth Mordecai community for our annual Chinese Dinner & a Movie night at the Rabbi's house! On our Facebook page you will be able to vote on your preferred movie. This year's choices are:
 ~ Annie Hall
 ~ Frisco Kid
 ~ Zero Motivation 

Friday, December 25, 8 pm
Friday Night Services -- Being a Jew During Christmas
The American Jewish experience is shaped by a common history and a positive or negative attitude towards acculturation and assimilation into American society. Christmas is one of those flashpoints in which American Jews decide "just how Jewish" and "just how American/secular" they want to be. Some can't stand the Christmas spirit and some find it moving. How do YOU experience this time of year? We'll have a communal conversation during services about our experiences and attitudes towards Christmas.

Saturday, December 26, 10 am
Saturday Morning Services: Jewish Burial -- A Religious or Secular Practice?
In this week's Torah portion we read of the burial of Jacob and his son Joseph. The former is buried according to the traditions of his family with the burial taking place in a "family burial cave" in Canaan. However, his son Joseph is buried in Egypt with all of the Egyptian rites associated with burial. How do these two examples of burial reflect the modern choices for Jews to bury their loved ones according to Jewish tradition (like Jacob) or according standard secular practice (like Joseph)? How do you think our loved ones should be buried? What are the messages we want our burial and funeral rituals to convey? Be part of this exploratory conversation on Jewish funeral and burial practice. 

Kiddush is sponsored by Ann Blog. Please come and help us make a minyan!

Upcoming events
Friday, January 1, 8 pm 
Friday Night Services: Celebration Shabbat
Join our community for spirited and lively participatory services. Each service includes elements of singing, storytelling, and conversation with the community. If you have a simhah (birthday, anniversary, etc.) during the upcoming month of JANUARY please join us for a special blessing!

Saturday, January 2, 10 am
Saturday Morning Services: Torah Talk
Torah Talk is an opportunity to delve into the rich teachings of the week's Torah reading. In lieu of a formal sermon, we will pause the service after the Torah reading for a lively 10-15 minute discussion on how we can apply the wisdom of the Torah to the needs of our everyday lives.
Please contact Rabbi Saks ( if you are interested in sponsoring Kiddush.

T uesday, January 5, 3:30-4:30 pm
Veterans Home Visit
NJ Veterans Home and Hospital in Menlo Park
Join Rabbi Saks, the Caring Committee, and other members of your Jewish Home for the Soul to help care for the souls of Jewish veterans every other Tuesday afternoon. 

Contact Sherry Weber (; 908-756-7854) if you are interested in participating.  

Save the date!
Sunday, January 10, 11 am
Grandparents Circle (for Jewish grandparents whose children have intermarried)
Congregation Beth Ohr, 70 County Road 516, Old Bridge
The final part of a three part workshop with Rabbi Saks and Rabbi Joel Mishkin of Congregation Beth Ohr in Old Bridge for Jewish grandparents whose children have intermarried. We will debrief your holiday experiences and talk about next steps. Please RSVP to Rabbi Saks ( You can participate in this program even if you missed one of the other sessions.

Friday, January 29 to Sunday January 31
Our NEXT Shabbatapalooza!
Stay tuned to our upcoming January bulletin for more details.