Security Update from the Shul Leadership

The events of this past Saturday at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville has renewed feelings of fear, frustration, and worry among many of us. As a response, on Wednesday evening the Beth Jacob Board of Trustees and Security Committee met with the Jewish Community Relations Council's Director of Security, Rob Allen, Gil Mann, the chair of the JCRC Security task force, and Mendota Heights Police Chief Kelly McCarthy to discuss a plan of action for heightening the security measures used within our community. 

Last Saturday, Chief McCarthy from the Mendota Heights Police Department was immediately in touch with shul leadership upon learning of the attack and has committed to helping us with training and support. We continue to work with all the community partners to strengthen our physical protections and increase our training and readiness for security incidents. If you have experience with security matters (through law enforcement or military service) and you want to be involved with this process, please be in touch with Executive Director Jamie SkogBurke at

We are taking an important step in increasing our security starting this Shabbat: the front doors will be locked, a greeter will be letting you in the building. We will remain warm and welcoming, even as we adopt this change we have been urged to make. Additionally, we have a security guard on campus every Shabbat, and the Mendota Heights Police Department frequently has squad cars patrolling by the building and the walking trails used by us. Should you have questions or concerns please be in touch with Jamie or one of the Co-Presidents. 
January 22, 2022| Parashat Yitro | 20 Shevat, 5782
Candlelighting: 4:48 pm | Havdalah: 5:50 pm
Shabbat Service Livestream:
Weekday Service Zoom:
This Shabbat:
  • Kiddush this Shabbat is brought to you by Beth Jacob's Kiddush Fund. Please feel free to contact the office to sponsor a Kiddush.

  • Kiddush will be served in the foyer, for "to go" eating ONLY. There is NO indoor eating until further notice. 

  • We have good KN-95 masks available in the lobby. If you don't have your own KN-95 (or N-95) mask we ask that you use one of ours.

  • Iyunim and Kehilat Shabbat programming is on Zoom this Shabbat and going forward until further notice. (See Youth Education Update link above.)
The Arab-Israeli Conflict Since 1917
A Class Taught by Dr. Arie Zmora
8 Sundays, now starting THIS SUNDAY January 23; 3:00-4:00pm (on Zoom, see below)

The course will focus on the complex and nuanced ways that Israeli Jews, Arab
Israelis, Palestinian writers and poets, as well as scholars outside the region, have
addressed the Middle East Conflict. In this course we have chosen writers and
scholars whose narratives bring into focus dramatic encounters among Jews and
Arabs on both side of the political divide.

The compelling writings of Israeli and Arab literary and political figures will expose
the participants to multiple perspectives of the conflict, its nuances and
dilemmas. In order to better understand the political controversies of the
different communities we will also read polemical essays on the topics at the
center of the public debate addressed by Israeli, Arab, and American scholars.

To register and get the Zoom link, click here.
THIS SUNDAY at 1:00pm:

Please join Hadar, Saint Paul’s Shaliach with the St. Paul Jewish Federation along with Central MA’s Shaliach who will facilitate a discussion about the Jews in North Africa during World War Two. Click image for full size version, click here to register for this Zoom discussion.
Engagement on Public Safety & Policing

Beth Jacob is partnering with Interfaith Action and MN Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington on a series of Clergy Civic Engagement sessions
about creating a better system of public safety and policing in Minnesota.
We will walk through real-life scenarios that police officers face on the job. What do we want our public safety officers to do in these situations? Our work together will culminate in a report of the collective feedback.

Rabbi Rubin is actively involved in this project, and is looking for volunteer partners to represent the Beth Jacob Community and bring information back to the congregation. There are four trainings, and we hope to have a few presentations with the congregation.

To participate in this important community project, please contact
Zoom Chats

The Kesher Committee is sponsoring a zoom chat —a Coffee Klatch or Tea Time Get Together—THIS Sunday, January 23rd at 10am. For questions, please contact

Would you like to join in on our Weekly Wednesday Zoom Chat? We are looking for people who are feeling like they would like to connect with others via zoom-Just to chat and check in. You never know who will be there! Yelva? Nancy? Rabbi Tamar? If you are interested in joining in, please contact
"BeAware" Program – Online Security and Safety Training
Open to All Beth Jacob Congregants
Thursday, January 27 - 12 pm

In the aftermath of the hostage situation on Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, the Secure Community Network (SCN) - the official safety and security organization for the Jewish community in North America - will offer a new training session designed for members of the Jewish community. The training will provide attendees with an improved ability to recognize suspicious behavior and criminal activity, guidance on how to report it, and strategies to protect themselves and others from violence. To register Click here
Engage! Four Days of Jewish Learning Feb. 5 - 8th

Get more info & to register for Engage! by clicking here

Engage Presenters include Beth Jacob’s Own:
Rabbi Adam Rubin, Rabbi Yosi Gordon, Rabbi Emma Kippley-Ogman, Noam Sienna, Earl Schwartz, Nina Samuels, Beth Gendler, Riv-Ellen Prell, Rafi Forbush.
Click here for more information
Beth Jacob’s World Famous Purim Film Festival!


Are you an amateur filmmaker? A professional? Are you still reading this? We are seeking the submission of Shpiel-y films, 6-60 seconds in length to be shown on March 16th during Mendota Megilla Madness. Your topic should be silly, and involve the Purim story, or not. Be creative, submit your entry by March 1, and wait on the edge of your seat for the debut of your masterpiece!

Submit at When it asks for an email, enter and inundate her inbox!
Blood Supply Shortage in Minnesota

There is a serious shortage of blood in MN and blood banks are urgently appealing for blood donations. If you donate before February 12 you can also participate in ours on March 27!
Shul policy does require proof of full vaccination, including a booster shot (if you're eligible) for entering the building. You can show your card in person, or you can submit this online by clicking here. If you are unable to submit this online you may come to the office to do this, or contact Frances Fischer in the office for help.
Calling all EMTZA Alumni

Join the EMTZA Virtual Alumni Gala! 

Wednesday, January 26, 7pm Central
Register at:

Click on the image to see a full size version
Quick Links

Service Schedule
  • Daily minyan: 7:15 am weekdays (7:00 am on Rosh Hodesh); 8:30 am Sun. & Holidays. Morning minyan is currently meeting in person AND on Zoom every day at

  • Shabbat Morning Service: 9 am Saturdays; In-person, and streaming here: YouTube Livestream.
Ongoing Adult Classes
Just show up or click the Zoom link at class time to join.

  • Around 8 am: Morning Mishnah; with Rabbi Tamar. The Mishnah is an edited record of the complex body of halachic material transmitted in the aftermath of the destruction of the Second Temple. Its intention was to train the sages in thinking through the legal issues that inform Halacha. In encountering these texts together, we gain access to the conversations out of which developed the foundational principles that shaped Jewish law as we know it today. At Beth Jacob and on Zoom at (or just stay on Zoom after Morning Minyan).
  • Noon: The Rest Is Commentary - Now Go and Learn It; with Rabbi Adam Rubin. The weekly Torah portion through the lens of classic interpretation. At Beth Jacob and on Zoom at

  • 11 am: The Life and Works of Abraham Joshua Heschel; with Rabbi Tamar. Brilliant, complex, and inspiring both as a teacher of Torah and an activist, we will spend the year trying to better understand Heschel's life and legacy. We'll begin with Abraham Joshua Heschel’s book: God in Search of Man. At Beth Jacob, and on Zoom by request.

  • 9:15-10:00 am, 1st and 3rd Saturdays: For the Jew in the Pew; with Rabbi Lynn Liberman. Welcome back to Shabbat Morning Study! Our siddur is filled with words of prayer, with some of the oldest of these found in Tehilim—the Book of Psalms! We will explore the Psalms that are widely used throughout the Shabbat service, considering their meaning and exploring why and how these words are still a part of our liturgy today. No prior experience needed, texts are provided in Hebrew and English!

JRLC Housing Webinar Thursday February 3:
The JRLC, Joint Religious Legislative Coalition, is continuing its monthly webinars on the housing crisis.  Please join us at 6:30pm for a one-hour presentation followed by small group discussions with members across the state.

  • February 3: Legislative Solutions and Housing Advocacy for 2022 Session Hear from housing leaders about key legislative initiatives to address the crisis across the affordable housing continuum; be part of the solutions.

Camp Ramah Family Camp Registration - Summer 2022! For more information and to register click here.


For Kids and Families:

Resources & Miscellaneous:

  • JFS Services, including Community Support Program, Connection to Community Resources, Counseling & Mental Health Services and more!

  • Jewish Genetic Disease Screening It's important that anyone of Jewish heritage know whether they're at risk of having a child with a serious or possibly fatal disease, preferably before they become pregnant.