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03/30/2020 05:54:36 PM


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Standing Together (Sermon from Yom Kippur, 2019)

10/11/2019 04:25:35 PM


Rabbi Hannah Orden

During the summer I asked my friend Kim what gives her hope.  She replied: “Hah!  You are asking the wrong person.”  She told me that she has just about given up on this country and is thinking of moving to Europe. She is not naive. She understands that other countries are not perfect, but as a Black woman she feels the need to get out from under the particularly insidious ways that racism in...Read more...

Why I Want to Be a Cheerleader (Sermon from Kol Nidre, 2019)

10/11/2019 04:23:55 PM


Rabbi Hannah Orden

I imagine it will not come as a surprise to most of you to hear that I was not a cheerleader in high school.  I am really not the cheerleading type.  Waving pompoms and yelling “rah rah rah’ is not my thing.  Yet, in my own way, I see myself as a cheerleader for Congregation Beth Hatikvah.  I believe this is a very special place, and I consider myself fortunate to be part of this creative,...Read more...

Belonging (Sermon from Rosh Hashanah, 2019)

10/11/2019 04:21:46 PM


Rabbi Hannah Orden

When we ask someone “Do you belong to a synagogue?” we usually mean: Are you a member?  Do you pay dues?  But belonging is so much more than that.  Over the summer when I asked congregants what “belonging” means to them, several people mentioned that belonging to a group is a primal human need.  Thousands of years ago, people had to band together to survive and on some level we still do. Read more...

Tools for Survival in Difficult Times - Sermon from Erev Rosh Hashanah 2019

10/11/2019 04:08:51 PM


Rabbi Hannah Orden

            Rosh Chodesh Tov.  Tonight I wish you not only a good and sweet new year, but also a good month, because Rosh Hashanah is the only Jewish holiday that is celebrated on the...Read more...

Circle of Belonging

10/03/2019 04:56:20 PM


Rabbi Hannah Orden

This new year's message from Rabbi Orden appeared in the NJ Jewish News' September 18th issue.

WHEN WE ASK someone, “Do you belong to a synagogue?” what we usually mean is: “Are you a member?” “Do you pay dues?” But belonging is much more than that. Congregation Beth...Read more...

The Good Enough Sukkah

08/23/2019 01:17:03 PM


Hannah Orden

When we lived in Boston, I dreamed of building a sukkah, but we had no yard, no space big enough to make our own temporary booth.  Instead, we celebrated with friends who built a sukkah on the deck overlooking their back yard. Then in May 1995 we bought our...Read more...

Evil and Hope: Thoughts on Yom HaShoah

05/07/2019 11:32:57 AM


Hannah Orden

This year Yom HaShoah affected me in a way that it has not in the past and I want to share a few snapshots from this week.

            Saturday – I turned on the television at the end of Shabbat and heard the news of another shooting at a synagogue.  This one hit me hard.  I spent a lot of time crying that night – crying for this broken world where people are...Read more...

Speaking and Listening from the Heart

04/26/2019 02:47:51 PM


Hannah Orden

Each year I try to find meaning in the Counting of the Omer - the 7 weeks between Passover and Shavuot. In the Torah there is no explanation given for why we count these days. Later, the Rabbis decided that Shavuot celebrates receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai.
This year,...


04/19/2019 01:59:04 PM


Hannah Orden

My mother was a city girl through and through — born and raised in Brooklyn — but every year she brought forsythia branches into our apartment and forced them to bloom indoors. When I see forsythia, I always think of her and the way she brought life and color and the hope of...Read more...

Mon, March 30 2020 5 Nisan 5780