Rabbi Philip Ohriner

Preparing Our Homes and Our Souls for Passover

by Philip Ohriner on March 21, 2017

Dear Friends, For many of us Passover is a cherished time of year. It provides an opportunity to focus on the central narrative of the Jewish people—our role in the quest for freedom. Passover affords us the rare opportunity to think deeply with family and friends about freedom and the remaining work necessary in ensuring freedom for all humanity. As... Read more »

High Holiday sermons offered by Rabbi Ohriner 5777

by Philip Ohriner on October 13, 2016

The Mashgiach and the Captain: Lessons in Judging Others Favorably Rabbi Philip Ohriner Rosh Hashanah Day #1, 5777 There once was a great mashgiach, a supervisor of kosher standards at a food processing plant. The mashgiach was revered by rabbis and his community for upholding the highest standard of kashrut. The trusted mashgiach spent his days travelling from one factory... Read more »
“Dear Ari, As you embark upon another great adventure, I want you to know how much I respect and love the mentsch you have become, especially over this past year. I know you are meeting kids who come from different cities and backgrounds than you. I am sure there are kids who don’t know how to be a mentsch. There... Read more »
In the afterglow of Passover, we now find ourselves in the period of the counting of the omer. The Torah teaches that for 49 days we count the omer each night, as our ancestors did when they left Egypt. Midrash tells us that when our ancestors left Egypt, Moses told them it would take 49 days to reach Mt. Sinai.... Read more »

From Rabbi Ohriner

by Philip Ohriner on April 4, 2016

Dear friends, As you know, February and March were difficult months for our kehillah as we experienced an unusual number of bereavements. From one funeral and shivah minyan to the next, CBD members came out to fulfill the mitzvot of k’vod hamet (honoring the deceased) and nichum aveilim (comforting the bereaved). Over the last eight weeks, I have been reminded... Read more »

From Rabbi Ohriner

by Philip Ohriner on February 18, 2016

Dear Friends, As our staff and Board of Directors begin to think about the year to come at CBD, I’d like to use my column this month to share news about an exciting change that will affect our staffing model beginning this summer. I continue to be in awe of the powerful, meaningful, and intentional change Congregation Beth David has... Read more »
Dear Friends, Shavua Tov! This morning I received the following joint statement from the various arms of Masorti/Conservative Judaism announcing a monumental step forward in a decades-long effort to create a permanent, pluralistic prayer space at the Western Wall. There is information at the bottom about a webinar that we are all invited to participate in to learn more. As... Read more »

From Rabbi Ohriner

by Philip Ohriner on December 16, 2015

Dear Friends, A couple of weeks ago we had a fantastic annual meeting where our community took stock of our financial security, as well as a huge number of statistics and numbers demonstrating the strength and vibrancy of congregational life at CBD. It was a very full meeting with a significant time devoted to the Next50 project. I’d like to... Read more »
By Rabbi Ohriner Bein hameitzarim: Journeying Through Periods of Distress גָּֽלְתָ֨ה יְהוּדָ֤ה מֵעֹ֨נִי֙ וּמֵרֹ֣ב עֲבֹדָ֔ה הִ֚יא יָשְׁבָ֣ה בַגּוֹיִ֔ם לֹ֥א מָצְאָ֖ה מָנ֑וֹחַ כָּל־רֹדְפֶ֥יהָ הִשִּׂיג֖וּהָ בֵּ֥ין הַמְּצָרִֽים׃ Judah has gone into exile Because of misery and harsh oppression; When she settled among the nations, She found no rest; All her pursuers overtook her in the narrow places. This verse from the book... Read more »

News from Israel – July 6, 2015

by Contributor on July 15, 2015

Inside Israel The 5th happiest country in the world.  Israel is one of the top 5 happiest countries, according to a new Better Life Index report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  Israel came after Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland on 22 variables – including income, education, housing, health, life expectancy, life satisfaction and community. Zoabi is... Read more »

Preparing for Passover

by Philip Ohriner on March 20, 2015

Dear friends, As we move ever closer to Passover, I am sure many of you are beginning to think about Passover cleaning and preparing for the Festival of Freedom. The physical, spiritual, and intellectual work we do in the coming weeks leading up to Passover is some of the most intense work of the entire year. All of this work... Read more »

NEXT 50 UPDATE February 12, 2015

by Philip Ohriner on February 13, 2015

Starting on TUESDAY FEBRUARY 17th the main entry doors will be closed! This is the beginning of a very exciting time. It is truly the first giant physical step towards our extraordinary future, as well as the beginning of a finite period of up-rootedness. Please continue to refer to the website regularly for program locations, construction logistics and general project... Read more »

My Last Column

by Daniel Pressman on December 31, 2014

After many hundreds of columns and thousands of words, here I am. The term for gratitude in Hebrew is hakarat ha-tov, which means “recognizing the good.” As I look back over 33 years of service to Congregation Beth David, I am grateful for so much, more than I can express in this short column. The people of Beth David gave... Read more »
Dear friends, We are excited to announce a partnership between Congregation Beth David and Milk & Honey Catering (M&H), led by Jonathan Mizrahi. While we are very pleased with the service that House of Bagels provided us for Kiddush lunches and dinners, this move allows us to have an in-house, full-time kosher caterer under Rabbi Ohriner’s kashrut (the laws of... Read more »

Rabbi Ohriner’s High Holy Day Remarks

by Philip Ohriner on October 2, 2014

Dear friends, It is a privilege to share my remarks from the High Holy Days with you (links and text below)! As I posted on Facebook just after the end of Rosh Hashanah, I am so moved by the courage of our community and the holy work we undertook collectively and individually over the holidays at CBD. To all who... Read more »
Dear friends, This past Shabbat we had the honor of celebrating the impending marriage of one of our members to her non-Jewish fiancé. This was a significant change in communal practice at Congregation Beth David, one that I did not take lightly. I wanted to share with each of you the position paper I presented to our Board of Directors... Read more »

Communal Solidarity During Difficult Times

by Philip Ohriner on July 24, 2014

Dear Friends, I am still overwhelmed by the show of support displayed at our community gathering in solidarity with Israel held this past Tuesday. To see our sanctuary filled to capacity with standing-room only and folks spilling out into the halls brought me and so many others tremendous strength at a particularly difficult moment for the Jewish people. I am... Read more »

Standing in Solidarity with Israel

by Philip Ohriner on July 9, 2014

Dear friends, This afternoon I write to you broken-hearted. The incessant raining of rockets fired by Hamas into Israel, over 300 in the last 48 hours, has my stomach in knots. Along with so many in our community, I am reaching out to friends and family in Israel currently living life from minute to minute, unsure of when they will... Read more »
A Promise and a Challenge: Engaging in a New Narrative Regarding Israel Dear Friends, This past Rosh Hashanah I made a promise to you community. I promised that we, as a Kehillah Kedoshah, a holy community, would begin to engage one another in conversations regarding Israel. As support for our Jewish homeland wanes amongst our children, it is imperative that... Read more »
Dear friends, Believe it or not, we are beginning to think about High Holy Days for 5775! In an effort to gain a better understanding of our needs as a community, we would like to ask you to take a minute to complete the following survey. This survey is geared towards our congregants who perennially make Kehillah Ketanah (the parallel... Read more »

Come See What the Buzz is About at Our Weekly Ruah Rally

by Philip Ohriner on October 22, 2013

Dear friends, Two weeks ago we had our first Ruaḥ Rally (a celebration of Jewish spirit) at the conclusion of our Shabbat morning services. With the sanctuary packed, we sang and danced in celebration of Shabbat during our first Ruaḥ rally as we welcomed the youth from our Shabbat school and tot Shabbat. Community members from 2 to 92 years... Read more »
Dear friends, I wanted to update all of you on some of the changes you can expect to see in our Shabbat morning services beginning THIS WEEK! On Yom Kippur I spoke about furthering our congregational mission by embracing  a joyful, vibrant, and relationally driven Judaism. On October 12th at noon as part of our Shabbat morning together we are... Read more »

Our High Holydays: Envisioning the Future of CBD

by Philip Ohriner on September 18, 2013

Dear friends,  I’d like to thank each and every one of you for helping us create a exciting, meaningful, energized, and moving High Holydays. It was very special to look out and see our entire community together in one space engaged in sacred work. I know I personally experienced a number of very moving moments, in particular the standing ovation... Read more »

Yom Kippur, 5774

by Philip Ohriner on September 17, 2013

Envisioning the Future of CBD Rabbi Philip R. Ohriner As antithetical as it might seem, Yom Kippur is a day for singing, for dancing, for celebrating life. It is the day in which we transition from a retrospective posture to the hopeful and joyful possibilities in our future. The hard work and dedication of Elul and the ten days of... Read more »

Rosh Hashanah eve, Day 2 5774

by Philip Ohriner on September 17, 2013

Liminality and the Jewish Understanding of Time Rabbi Philip Ohriner As many of you know, I spent most of the month of August away on family leave as we welcomed a new son, Kobi, into our family. Those three weeks were filled with sacred moments, moments in which time felt as though it had stopped, moments in which I felt... Read more »