CJC Blog


The Mishnah records four new years every year. Each one takes on a special character. Elul is the New Year for animal tithes. Rosh Hashanah is the New Year for the creation of the world. Tu B’Shevat is the New Year for the trees. And the first of Nisan, (the month in which Passover occurs) Continue Reading »


by Fred Thomsen The recent Torah portion, Terumah, is the first of seven devoted to the building of the mishkan, the portable sanctuary where the Israelites could experience the presence of G-d. It seems particularly fitting to discuss this now, as we have begun this year’s membership pledge drive. Terumah means “gift” or “offering”. In Continue Reading »

Teshuvah/Repentence — in February?

by Rabbi Sonya Starr Lately I have been thinking about teshuvah, repentance. I know what you are thinking, it is February not August or September. when we are supposed to get sermons about teshuvah. Some of you might know that I love magical thinking. One of my favorite comments from our Sunday school students is Continue Reading »

To Sustain

From Fred Thomsen CJC Co-President In the middle of the second year of CJC’s implementation of a “sustainability dues model” I want to reflect on where we are as a congregation. And, as we are still in a post-Thanksgiving glow, I want to express my gratitude. First, I am thankful for the all the support Continue Reading »

We Remember

This is the speech Rabbi Starr gave during the Community Interfaith Vigil, Monday, October 29, 2018 In 2012, 6 people died at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek Wisconsin because they were Sikhs In June 2015, 9 people died in Charleston South Carolina because they were African Americans In June 2016, 49 people died in Continue Reading »

Aging in Place in Howard County

From Rabbi Sonya Starr When I was asked to present on a Leadership Howard County panel, I explained that I was not an expert in this field and that mostly what I would bring to the table was anecdotal stories of 19 years working as a congregational rabbi in Howard County. In order to expand Continue Reading »

I Learned Something Recently

From Steve Kramer Co-President I have learned something recently that has changed my view of Rosh Hashanah. For me, it has become one of the most meaningful and important Jewish holidays. My new understanding of the holiday started with an article by Rabbi Asher Resnick that pointed out three facts about Rosh Hashanah and asked, Continue Reading »

Counting the Omer

by Rabbi Sonya Starr As I cleaned my house ridding myself of chametz, I was watching the news reports about the March for Our Lives. As I was physically preparing for Passover, I was witnessing a new generation of Americans demanding change. As I thought about our Seders, I remembered that the counting of the Continue Reading »

G’milut Chasadim and The CJC Caring Committee

by Steve Kramer, CJC Co-President G’milut Chasadim According to a story told by Jewish mystics, when G-d desired to create the world G-d was everywhere, with the divine light filling up all of existence. So G-d withdrew some of the light to make a space for the universe—and then breathed the light back into the Continue Reading »

New Year’s Resolution – Time to Speak Up

Sermon for Parshat Shemot By Cantor Ben Kintisch The New Year’s holiday has come and gone, and, well 5 days in, how are you doing? If you made a resolution, are you sticking to it? No judgement from me – I’m just a human boy person, and I am fallible, and I, too, have trouble Continue Reading »