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Upcoming Events from Our Lifelong Learning Committee

Hebrew has three ways to refer to a synagogue: Beit Tefilah (House of Prayer); Beit Knesset (House of Assembly); and Beit Midrash (House of Study). The TBEMC Lifelong Learning Committee is committed to creating a Beit Midrash for our community by providing congregants opportunities to connect with each other while exploring historical, cultural, and religious aspects of Judaism.


Even during these challenging times of COVID-19, we have come together, through Zoom, to learn from noted experts in their fields and from each other – in the weekly Thursday morning classes, monthly Book Club, and special events.

We have several upcoming events planned, so mark your calendars! 

November 12, 2020:  Zoom Presentation:  Professor Amy Kalmanofsky, Dean, List College, discusses her book “Dangerous Sisters of the Hebrew Bible.” 


Recent events from the Lifelong Learning Committee:

September 2019: “How to Appreciate the High Holy Days: The Important Themes, Prayers and Customs of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur” two-part series presented by Rabbi Kerbel

October 27, 2019:  The Jewish Connection to Comedy Film Series: “The Frisco Kid”

Fall 2019:  “Why the Jews”: An Exploration of the Anti-Semitism Throughout History and What to Do About It” two-part series presented by Rabbi Paul Kerbel

Fall 2019: Thursday morning class – “Message of the Prophets” class, led by Rabbi Kerbel

November 10, 2019: Scholar-in-Residence Program: Professor Jack Wertheimer, Professor of American Jewish History at the Jewish Theological Seminary.  Two lectures: “Jews on the Move: How Migrations Have Remade American Jewish Life” and “The Good News about American Judaism.”

December 15, 2019: Trip to See “Fiddler on the Roof” in Yiddish in NYC with dinner at Ben’s Deli

December 29, 2019: “The Jewish Connection to Comedy Film Series: “Brighton Beach Memoirs”

January – June:  Thursday morning “Torah Classes” with Rabbi Kerbel

January 26, 2020: “The Jewish Connection to Comedy Film Series: “Biloxi Blues”

February 23, 2020: “The Jewish Connection to Comedy Film Series: “Broadway Bound”

June 10, 2020:  Zoom Webinar: “COVID-10 Pandemic: An Overview of Federal and New Jersey State Response, the Impact on the Jewish Community, and Opportunities for Advocacy,” led by Joshua Cohen, Director, Government Relations & External Affairs, Jewish Federations of New Jersey

July: Thursday morning classes “Book of Psalms” – led by Jerry Baranoff

July 16, 2020:  Zoom Discussion: “Racism, Anti-Semitism, Black Lives Matter and the Jewish Community” led by Melanie Roth Gorelick, Senior Vice-President, Jewish Council for Public Affairs and Jim Johnson, Corporation Counsel, City of New York

July 23, 2020:  Thursday morning class, “Book of Job” led by Jerry Baranoff and Neil Mayer

September 3, 2020: Zoom discussion “The View from Federation: Response to the Pandemic in New Jersey, the United States and the World” led by Dov Ben-Shimon, CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ

October 15, 2020:  Zoom Presentation:  Rabbi Dan Ornstein discusses his new book “Cain v Abel: A Jewish Courtroom Drama”

A murder mystery, a comedy show, a Zumba class – see what we’ve been up to…

With this year being different in so many ways, we’ve also found new ways to keep spirits high among our members!

In late- February, we hosted our 2nd annual Trivia Night and Tricky Tray fundraiser to a sold-out crowd.
Our Sisterhood recently put on a Murder Mystery through Zoom where our members investigated–and were suspects in–a murder. Who knew we had so many characters in our temple?

Other recent events at TBEMC:

  • A film series celebrating Jewish comedies, from Brighton Beach Memoirs to Keeping the Faith
  • A stand-up comedy show
  • A virtual Zumba class
A lifelong learning class on the history of The Beatles

Stay tuned for more fun events at TBEMC!

Meet Rabbi Kerbel

Rabbi Paul David Kerbel joined Temple Beth-El Mekor Chayim in 2019. Rabbi Kerbel brings a wealth of experience and practice to our congregation, serving congregations large and small, both as a senior rabbi and associate rabbi during his career.

Born in Philadelphia, Rabbi Kerbel was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Rochester, New York and Hollywood, Florida. Rabbi Kerbel’s father Bob served as a Jewish communal professional in these communities, and his mother Ruth as an active lay leader in the communities and synagogues in which they lived. His parents imbued in him the importance of interweaving commitment to the synagogue, community and Israel.

Rabbi Kerbel was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1985, receiving the Isaac H. Wolfson Award for Dedicated Service to JTS during his four years of undergraduate and five years of rabbinical school experience at JTS. He was awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree in 2011 for dedicated service to the American Jewish community.

Rabbi Kerbel and his wife Melissa are the proud parents of Sam and Aliza who live in New York City, Rabbi Judah and Eliana who also live in New York City, and Micha, a recent graduate of The Ohio State University, who works for The American Jewish Committee in Washington, DC. Melissa serves as the East Coast Director of the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

Rabbi Kerbel serves as the Rabbinic Campaign Chair of the Schechter Institutes, Israel’s leading pluralistic academic institution, and as a senior member of the Global Jewish Community Committee of UJA Federation of New York. He is a member of the New York Board of Rabbis and an active supporter of the Anti-Defamation League, AIPAC, and Friends of the Israel Defense Forces. He looks forward to becoming involved in the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest, the New Jersey Rabbinical Assembly, and area Boards of Rabbis.

Gan Katan (“Little Garden”) Early Childhood Program

A wonderful education choice for Jewish children ages 3 & 4. Class meets every other week from Sept. to May. Small class size limited to 10. Age-appropriate learning activities include singing Jewish & Hebrew songs, dancing, listening to read-aloud stories, dramatic play, craft activities, and early literacy activities to develop Hebrew skills. Students meet Jewish friends and share positive experiences of Jewish community in the friendly and welcoming environment of TBEMC. Class will be taught by an experienced Jewish early childhood educator. To learn more, contact Cantor Lanzkron-Tamarazo at cantor@tbemc.org or call 908-276-7351.

The Jewish Agency for Israel: Fund for the Victims of Terror

The Fund for the Victims of Terror provides Israel’s terror victims with direct, immediate financial assistance after an attack.

After a terror attack, victims and their families often need funds quickly to rebuild what they have lost. The Jewish Agency For Israel helps them fast, providing immediate, direct assistance so that they can start the process of healing – often within 24 hours. The Fund has helped hundreds of Israeli families. Please join us in providing comfort for those whose lives are suddenly overturned by trauma. With your help we can ease their recovery and help them move on.

To contribute, click here to be taken to the JAFI website

To contribute by phone in the US: 1 (212) 318-6109

For program support in Israel: +972-3-762 8372 or 8373

If you would prefer to contribute by mail, please send a check to:

JAFINA, 633 Third Avenue, 21st Floor, Suite C, New York, NY 10017

For questions: please email us at donorservices@jafi.org.