Category Archives: Holiday Celebrations

Holiday programs separate from worship. RSVP or reservations if needed will be noted on the post.

Hannukah Party at Temple Shalom

Sunday, Dec 10th at 4:30

ARKanukah, ARKanukah
Come light the menorah,
Let’s have a party
We’ll all dance the hora,
Gather round the table, we’ll give you a treat, 

Dreidels to play with, face painting, magic, etc and latkes to eat.  

Potluck — latkes, dairy, veggie, and fish
Don’t forget your Menorah!

RSVP Beth or 479-582-1707 and let us know if you want to make latkes or what you are bringing.
OR Reply on our Evite:

Rosh Hashanah Service Schedule

Wednesday September 20
Evening Service – 7:30pm

Thursday September 21
Morning Service – 10:00am
Children’s Service – 11:15am – 12:00pm
Dairy/Veggie/Fish Potluck – 12:00pm
Tashlich & Dessert at Wilson Park – 2:30pm

Friday September 22
Morning Service – 8:30am
Kiddush & Refreshments – 11:00am
Service continues – 11:30am
Dairy/Veggie Potluck following service – 2:30pm

Community Passover Seder

Saturday, April 15 at 5:45 pm.
Rabbi Jeremy Simons will officiate.

Our community Passover seder will be held at our temple on Saturday, April 15 at 5:45 pm.  Reservations are required by April 8.  Click here for the reservation form.

Please note that you should fill out the form on your computer, then PRINT THE FORM and mail it with your payment.

PesARK Store is Open!

Just arrived:

  • kosher for Passover Horseradish ($3 a bottle)
  • matzah toilet seat covers—LET MY PEOPLE GO
  • towels trimmed with matzah material
  • matzah mitt and gloves

In the shop:

  • seder  plates
  • award winning Pesach books for of all ages
  • charoset dishes (of you could use  for horse radish, honey, et
  • lucite matzah holders
  • matzah crumb buster
  • Shalom Sesame It’s Passover Grover DVD

From Israel:

  • silk matzah cover
  • Miriam kiddush cup
  • mezuzah made out of olive wood
  • Safed candles–in new beautiful colors
  • new decorated round trivet with a Star of David cut out in the middle
  • spices for the spice box
  • Shalom and Shalom Y’all painted decorated tiles–(to hang or use as a trivet)

If you need anything or want something not listed, contact or 479-582-1707

Passover food items at Walmart (Joyce and Martin Luther KIng), Whole Foods, and the Fresh Market Rogers at the Promenade.  Walmart on Joyce even has Pesach pizza making kits!

A Special Letter From The Rabbi

Dear Friends,

Today, as I write these words (it’s Sunday), it is the first day of Elul, the last month of the Jewish year and the beginning of the New Year season.

It is customary during this month to recite Psalm 27 every day (download the text in English and Hebrew here) and to blow the shofar (if you have one) every day except Shabbat until the next-to-last day of the month. These things serve as reminders for the spiritual work we need to do during this month.

Most us are familiar with the teaching of the Mishnah, quoted in countless prayer books:

For sins between a person and G-d, Yom Kippur atones, but for sins between one person and another, Yom Kippur does not atone until one appeases the other.
For many of us, the language of sin no longer rings true, and the image of G-d as Judge seems alien. The prayers in the traditional Machzor (High Holiday Prayer Book) might seem like something from another time, from a society we no longer identify with.

But if you clear away the clutter, the season still has a message for us: when we think of G-d as Judge, it means that we need to speak the truth to ourselves—the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. There so many things that fall into the cracks of our mind and remain there unthought-of. So many things we avoid thinking about. So many pretexts we invent to avoid the pain of self-reproach. And it may even be that at times we need such evasions and pretexts to move forward with our lives. But as the High Holidays approach, we need to put aside these evasions and pretexts and see ourselves as we really are.

And as for sin—well, we may not think of our lives in terms of sin, but people really (all too often) do bad things to each other. Hopefully, our own bad deeds are not truly evil, but often we don’t live up to the standards we set for ourselves. And even more, although we may be good enough, we can do better than merely “good enough.”

Elul gives us a chance to review our lives, to do what tradition calls ḥeshbon ha-nefesh, a spiritual account-taking. The Ten Days of Repentance are hardly enough to do such a serious and sometimes complicated task. Have we hurt or offended anyone? Have we lost sight of our true life goals in the busyness of day-to-day life? Have we lost touch with people we should be connected with? Have our relationships fallen into ruts of mediocrity when they could in fact rise to heights of beauty and excellence?

Elul is the time to begin this review, so that when Yom Kippur comes, we can think back on our year with satisfaction and not regret.

Hayya, Luu, Lily and I wish you all a year of health and happiness.

Rabbi Jacob

(You can download your copy of Psalm 27 in English and Hebrew here.)

Celebrate Shavuot This Week

Saturday, June 11, 7:00pm — ??
Tikkun Leil Shavuot

Celebrate Shavuot!

When the Israelites were about to receive the Torah, it is said that they fell asleep and had to wakened by Moses.  Since then, it’s a tradition to stay awake all night and study holy texts on Shavuot.

Here’s our schedule for Saturday night:
7:00 Shabbat Afternoon Service 

7:45 Study

8:15 Shavuot Evening Service

9:15 Study  

How late we stay depends on the endurance of those present!

Question?  Contact Rabbi Jacob at 479-200-1397 or


Counting of the Omer: A note from Rabbi Jacob

Dear Friends,

This year, I invite you to join with me in focusing attention on the Counting of the Omer.  Counting the Omer is a Jewish practice that has meaning on many levels.  On the simplest level, it is simply a matter of counting out the days–49 days–between Passover and Shavuot.  On a spiritual level, it can be understood as a way of focusing on a sequence of emotional attributes.  The mystics distinguished seven such attributes–compassion, rigor, balance, victory, glory, foundation, and sovereignty.  Each of these attributes has seven aspects.  Thus, during the first week, we focus on compassion of compassion, rigor of compassion, balance of compassion, and so on.

Obviously, the meaning of some of these emotions is more obvious than others.

Counting the Omer is also a way of preparing ourselves for Shavuot–the holiday marking the anniversary of the giving of the Torah.  Each Shavuot we receive the Torah again.  To truly receive it, one must be prepared.  The Omer process is a way of getting ourselves ready.

The Counting of the Omer begins on Saturday night, and is observed every night after dark.

Surprisingly, the best online Omer calendar with how-to directions seems to be “Counting the Homer,” based on Homer Simpson:

A set of daily meditations can be found at

Aish Daily Omer Meditation

Photo by Aish: Daily Omer Meditation

I will be talking about this more at the service on Saturday, April 30, 10 a.m.

Hayya, Luu, Lily and I wish everyone a sweet Pesach.


Rabbi Jacob

Mishloach Manot for Purim

The Sisterhood is offering everyone the opportunity to take part in a wonderful and traditional mitzvah… the giving of mishloach manot [miʃˈlo.aχ maˈnot].  Mishloach manot (literally, “the sending of portions”) are bags filled with sweets and treats that Jews are supposed to distribute to friends and loved ones at Purim.

The Sisterhood will prepare mishloach manot bags for all Temple Shalom families and for children of temple members who are away at school.

To participate in this mitzvah, send a send a check for $36.00 made out to Temple Shalom Sisterhood no later than March 1st

**We are in the process of setting up an account with POPMoney, many banks offer this service through your online banking portal.  If you wish to send money through your money movement service provider, our new email is  You can also send any questions you have to this address.


Family Megillah Reading
Friday, March 6 at 6pm

Join us on Friday, March 6 at 6pm for a family megillah reading. The megillah reading will be followed by a potluck dinner (dairy/veggie/kosher fish).

If you’re feeling festive, feel free to come in costume!

Purim Carnival
Sunday, March 8 at 1pm

Please join Temple Shalom Religious School for our annual Purim Carnival — all Temple Shalom members and friends welcome!
Time: Sunday, March 8 at Temple Shalom from 1-3:30pm; Carnival and snacks from 1:00-3:00; Megillah reading by Daniel Levine from 3:00-3:30
$5 admission per person for snacks and treats (popcorn, cotton candy, hamantaschen, etc.)
Gift bags for all children!
PLEASE wear costumes!
RSVP to Erin Cohen (so we have enough food!)