Temple B'nai Sholem is an independent Synagogue following to the tenets of Conservative Judaism. Our small St. Joseph, Missouri congregation is like a family, welcoming guests and strangers to share in the joys of Shabbat and the unique heritage of Judaism.
Lay leadership continues to provide for the religious needs of the congregation with members and a lay cantor leading regular Friday night services. Read our history to see how we've survived for over 40 years with and without a Rabbi.
B'nai Sholem offers a relaxed, family atmosphere that encourages all members to become involved in whatever manner they are able. As we adjust to the changing needs of our congregation, the location for Shabbat services is alternating every two weeks between Bnai Sholem and Temple Adath Joseph at 6PM. Following services everyone is welcome to continue the fellowship of Shabbat at dinner at various restaurants around the area.
In addition to our main sanctuary with seating for 300, our facility also offers seating for 45 in the chapel, a 2000 sq ft social hall with a full kitchen, and several classrooms and meeting rooms. Convenient curbside parking is available in addition to safe off-street parking in our adjoining paved parking lot. View our annual bulletin here or as a pdf.
The experiment we began in March alternating Sabbath services and locations with Temple Adath Joseph has been well-received and continues on through the month of May and likely through the summer. We alternate Friday night service locations every 2 weeks. The starting time will remain at 6PM with an opportunity to go out to dinner together following services. We welcome guests regardless of which location is holding services. View Temple Adath Joseph's Facebook page along with photos from the 2015 Community Seder
Services at Temple Adath Joseph (17th and Felix St) on May 29th, with services lead by Rabbi Linda Steigman, will be followed by a meatless lasagna dinner. There is no cost other than your free-will donation. We return to The Shul - Temple Bnai Sholem - on June 5th and 12th. We will return to Temple Adath Joseph for two weeks on June 19th and on 26th.
IT'S OMER TIME!
|Read more about Counting the Omer below. Or for some fun check out this website to Count the Homer
|Tu'B'Shevat is celebrated annually as the New Year for Trees (which happen to have a special value in Israel), and begins on Tuesday evening, February 3rd. A special Seder dinner (Seder means order) is often held celebrating the 3 types of fruits in a particular order: 1) Fruit with an inedible outside and a totally edible inside such as coconut, pomegranate, and almonds. 2) Fruit with an inedible pit such as apricots, nectarines, and olives. 3) Fruits that are completely edible such as figs and berries. Special attention is paid to the 7 species found in Israel: Wheat, Barley, Grapes, Figs, Pomegranates, Olives and Dates. It is recognized for its ecological aspects (especially in Israel) and celebrated as Arbor Day when trees are planted.
|Purim begins on Wednesday evening, March 4th. As told in the Book of Esther,
Purim commemorates a major victory over anti-semitism, oppression, and genocide. It is a festive
celebration of food, drink, dance and costumes, culminating in the retelling of the story by reading
the Megillah, the scroll version of the book of Esther, and great noisemaking as the name
of the story's villain is read (to blot it out). A special service and dinner are held at the Shul to enable all to observe the primary commandment related to Purim: to hear
the reading of the book of Esther.
Passover (Pesach) begins with the ritual Seder Friday evening, April 3rd. Temple Adath Joseph will host a community-wide Seder on April 3rd for those who wish to observe the first night as a community rather than just with family. This holyday period (lasting 8 days), celebrates the salvation and Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt after 400 years of slavery. The well-known story behind the holiday is related in Chapters 1-15 in the Book of Exodus. Families celebrate the holiday with a ritualistic festive meal (seder) retelling the Exodus story using symbolic foods. Most notably, the eating and even ownership of bread and grain products, as well as leavening agents, is prohibited. This commemorates the rush of the Jews leaving Egypt that prevented their bread from rising. As a result we eat specially prepared matzah strictly observed to prevent the leavening process from beginning. Symbolically, we suffer as our ancestors did and remove the rising of pride or arrogance within ourselves. For more information visit Judaism 101.
Count the Omer
|The period between Passover and Shavuot is referred to as the Counting of the Omer. In the Torah we are commanded to count the days between Passover and Shavuot by using the method referred to in the days of The Temple that represents the common measurement of a grain offering -- an omer. Beginning on the second day of Passover an omer of barley was cut down and brought to The Temple as an offering. We continue counting in modern times as a link between Pesach, our liberation from physical bondage, to when we receive the Torah on Shavuot, our liberation from spiritual bondage. "You shall count from the eve of the second day of Pesach (April 2nd), when an omer of grain is to be brought as an offering, seven complete weeks. The day after the seventh week of your counting will make fifty days, and you shall present a new meal offering to God (Leviticus 23:15-16).|
|The 33rd day of the Counting of the Omer (beginning Wednesday evening May 6th) is a minor day of celebration for several events that are historically attributed to that day: During the time of Rabbi Akiva, a plague that killed 24,000 of his students ended; It is the anniversary of the death of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, founder of the Zohar (books of Jewish Mysticism) who revealed its greatest secrets the day he died; It also marks the temporary victory of Simon bar Kokhba's men over the Romans and becoming a symbol that emphasizes the struggle for national liberation and freedom. This day of celebration is often marked by bonfires (for the light of bar Yochai's mystic teachings), and use of bow and arrow (commemorating the midrashic teaching that no rainbow was seen during Bar Yochai's lifetime).|
|Shavuot begins on Saturday evening,May 23rd. Biblically referred to as the Festival of Weeks (Pentacost in Christian religions), the Festival of Reaping, the Day of First Fruits, and is considered the day of the receiving of the Torah. This two-day holiday officially concludes the Passover season that began 50 days prior and was linked to this moment by the Counting of the Omer. Traditionally this day is celebrated as if all Jews were present at the receiving of the Torah at Sinai. It is also commemorative of those who have converted (the book of Ruth is read) in recognition of their modern-day acceptance of Torah. Dairy foods are traditionally consumed since until the Torah, there were no laws for the proper slaughtering of animals. Another explanation is attributed to King Solomon who portrayed the Torah as "honey and milk are under your tongue" (Song of Songs 4:11). Yizkor is observed on the second day of Shavuot.|
LOCATION ALERT! Starting in January of 2015 we returned to Bnai Sholem as our regular location for Friday Night Shabbat services. Our change of venue to Vintage Gardens was a big hit, but with no members currently residing there, it was time to come home to our regular location at Bnai Sholem. Since then, we have begun to alternate locations with Temple Adath Joseph as we join together as a Jewish community. We may also occasionally find it necessary to cancel our Shabbat service. If you are planning on visiting us call 248-4248 to let us know your plans and we can verify services are being held and where. We always try to send out a text notice and prominently put a notice at the top of this page as soon as we know there are changes in the schedule. YOU CAN ALSO CHECK THE LEFT PANEL FOR NOTICES OF LATE CHANGES.
We invite you to join us and enjoy the family spirit of Judaism at Temple B'nai Sholem throughout the year. There is plenty of available seating for Shabbat. For a full listing of scheduled service times, see our activities page or leader schedule.
|President Bob Ott - Following a difficult Winter with the loss of some of our members, Bnai Sholem, Temple Adath Joseph, and the Jewish community are experiencing the rebirth of Spring as we celebrate the Sabbath together by alternating service locations and styles every couple of weeks. What began in March will continue through Summer until the High Holy Days in the Fall. Together we are finding that we have more in common than there are differences. With some distinctive differences in how we each conduct our High Holy Day services, we will conduct those services separately with the goal of developing a combined service in 2016 that will allow us to share this special time together while honoring the flavor and traditions that each of our services offer.
|Vice Pres. Steve Rosenak -
Leaders and volunteers for the months of January through July, are listed below. If you would like to be the leader of a Friday night service or just present a guest sermon contact Shul Vice President, Steve Rosenak (816-646-1101). The sisterhood can always use additional help preparing and serving for the weekly Oneg following Friday night's service, so feel free to contact one of this month's volunteers to see what is needed, to be added to the regular list, or just pitch in if the mood moves you.
- January Circle: Rose Mazvinsky, Bernice Day, Kismet Eveloff, Marsha Rosenthal, Linda Kozminski, Grace Day
- Jan. 2, Shabbata; leader - Sherrie Ott; Cantor - Bob Ott
- Jan. 9, Shabbat: Leader - Open; Cantor - Bob Ott
- Jan. 16, Shabbat: Leader - Steve Rosenak; Cantor - Bob Ott
- Jan. 23, Shabbat: Leader - Marsha Conant: Cantor - Bob Ott
- Jan. 30, Shabbat: Leader - Julie Miller; Cantor -Bob Ott
- February Circle: Sherrie Ott, Dorathea Polsky, Marsha Conant, Elaine Zidell
- Feb. 6, Shabbat: Leader - Bob Ott; Cantor - Bob Ott
- Feb. 13, Shabbat: Leader - Open; Cantor - Bob Ott
- Feb. 20, Shabbat: Leader - Sherrie Ott; Cantor - Bob Ott
- Feb. 27, Shabbat: Leader - Open; Cantor - Bob Ott
- March Leaders
- Mar. 6, 6PM at Temple Adath Joseph
- Mar. 13, 6PM at Temple Adath Joseph
- Mar. 20, 6PM at Temple Adath Joseph: Leader - Nadine Smith; Cantor - Bob Ott
- Mar. 27, 6PM Shabbat: Leader - Sherrie Ott: Cantor - Bob Ott
- April Leaders
- April 3, 6PM Passover at Adath Joseph - COMMUNITY SEDER
- April 10, 6PM Shabbat: Leader - Bob Ott; Cantor - Bob Ott
- April 17, 6PM Shabbat: Leader - Open; Cantor - Bob Ott
- April 24, 6PM at Temple Adath Joseph
- May Circle: Sherrie Ott, Dorathea Polsky, Marsha Conant, Elaine Zidell
- May 1, 6PM at Temple Adath Joseph
- May 8, 6PM at Bnai Sholem; Leader & Cantor - Bob Ott
- May 15, Shabbat: Leader & Cantor - Bob Ott
- May 22, 6PM at Temple Adath Joseph
- May 29, 6PM at Temple Adath Joseph; Leader Rabbi Linda Stiegman
- June Circle: Julie Miller, Beverly Cohen, Carol Housh, Sandy Rosenak, Marcia Powell, Harriet Smolly
- June 5, 6PM at Bnai Sholem; Leader - ; Cantor - Bob Ott
- June 12, 6PM at Bnai Sholem; Leader - Julie Miller; Cantor - Bob Ott
- June 19, 6PM at Temple Adath Joseph
- June 26, 6PM at Temple Adath Joseph
- July Circle: Rose Mazvinsky, Bernice Day, Kismet Eveloff, Marsha Rosenthal, Linda Kozminski, Grace Day
- July 3, Independence Day Weekend: NO SERVICES
- July 10, 6PM at Bnai Sholem; Leader - Open; Cantor - Bob Ott
- July 17, 6PM at Bnai Sholem; Leader - Steve Rosenak; Cantor - Bob Ott
- July 24, 6PM at Temple Adath Joseph
- July 31, 6PM at Temple Adath Joseph