I've Always Wondered
What Connects the Summer Solstice and the Month of Tammuz? Originally Published June 24-25, 2022.

This past week we experienced the aestival solstice, the beginning of summer, the longest daylight day of the year.  Although this year the month of Tammuz doesn’t begin until over a week later, that month is often associated in Jewish life with the solstice.  Tammuz is named for the Sumerian god Tammuz.  He was supposedly […]

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Derekh - Upcoming
Introduction to Judaism - Unit 2 Registration Open

The Greater Pittsburgh Jewish Clergy Association (GPJCA) proudly presents Introduction to Judaism. Intro to Judaism (ITJ for short) is a 25-week course, split into 3 units, that explores the literature, history, traditions, and spiritual foundations of the Jewish religion. The course welcomes anyone interested in growing in their knowledge of the Jewish faith who would […]

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Uncategorized
Book of Remembrance 5783

Jewish memories are the foundation of our rituals, traditions, and identities. During Yizkor services four times each year, we use the Book of Remembrance to help us recall those who have passed away. An entry in the Book of Remembrance is a meaningful and tangible way to memorialize and honor departed loved ones. Remembering an […]

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I've Always Wondered
Who Are the Descendants of Rev. Elias Zaludkowski? Originally Published June 17-18, 2022.

Last week we told a bit about the life of Cantor Elias Zaludkowski.  While living here in Pittsburgh, he not only served as Cantor, but literally became a part of the Beth Shalom family.  A couple weeks ago we were honored by a visit from the Avner family, who came from all around the country […]

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I've Always Wondered
Who Was Rev. Elias Zaludkowski? Originally Published June 10-11, 2022.

From 1937 to 1943, Elias Zaludkowski was Cantor of Congregation Beth Shalom.  (I hear some of you saying, “I knew that!”)  He and Rabbi Goodman Rose (who served this congregation from 1924 to 1950), the second Cantor and the second Rabbi to serve the congregation, put together a siddur, eponymously The Friday Evening Late Service.  […]

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I've Always Wondered
What Is Tikkun Leil Shavu’ot? Originally Published June 3-4, 2022.

Because, the story goes, folks woke up late to receive the Torah from God, each year we make “reparations” or “rectification” (tikkun) by staying up all night (leil) on Shavu’ot to study.  That way we cannot sleep through - and thus miss - anything important.  (We note that the book tikkun may be used to […]

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