From the Rabbi

This week’s parashah, VaYiggash, contains the culmination of the Joseph narrative. As the powerful viceroy in Egypt, unrecognized by his brothers, he has framed his youngest brother, Benjamin, for stealing a goblet, and threatens to keep him as a slave. The parashah opens with older brother Judah stepping forward to intercede on behalf of Benjamin, an intercession that leads to Joseph’s self-revelation, and the reunification of the family. In her commentary on this parashah, Dena Weiss explores how Judah’s approach to Joseph can be a model for any of us who face hard conversations, whether with loved ones, strangers, or in the strange case of Joseph, someone who is functionally both.

TBI Updates

The second in the series is:

Wednesday, January 16, 7:00 pm: Dr. Joshua D. Greene, Professor of Psychology and a member of the Center for Brain Science faculty at Harvard University, will present Human Morality: Features and Bugs. Dr. Green will provide an opinionated overview of human morality, drawing on insights from psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy. He will discuss the two kinds of moral problems and two kinds of moral thinking.

For over a decade Dr. Green’s lab has used behavioral and neuroscientific methods to study moral judgment, focusing on the interplay between emotion and reason in moral dilemmas. More recent work examines how the brain combines concepts to form thoughts and how thoughts are manipulated in reasoning and imagination. He is the author of Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them. Dr.Green will join us via Skype.

These are free and open to the public. Light supper provided to those who registered in advance. Feel free to bring your own vegetarian dinner.

Wednesday, February 13, 7:00 pm: Dr. Kari Marie Norgaard, Associate Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies at UO. Dr. Norgaard will be speaking on indigenous cultural revitalization connected to climate change, specifically the importance of cultural burning as preventative for the very large fires that have been happening recently.

Thursday, March 14, 7:00 pm: Dr. Elliott Berkman, Associate Professor Psychology, UO, will speak on topics related to goals, self-control, commitments, and related barriers.

Our synagogue is part of a national project entitled “Scientists in Synagogues,” a grass-roots initiative run by Sinai and Synapses in consultation with the American Association for the Advancement of Science Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion, and funded by the John Templeton Foundation. Click to learn more.


TBI Brotherhood Breakfast. Jody Seasonwein presents “The Art of Communication: Looking to Listen.” Sunday, December 16, 9:30 amClick here for full details.


Jam Band Shabbat is almost here! Celebrate the solstice with singing, dancing, and meditations. Click the yellow poster for full details


In the Bin: Each month at TBI, we collect a different item needed in the community. For December, we are collecting toys for kids in need. Please bring something to add to the bin when you come to TBI and help make this season a little brighter.


Calling all actors & helpers for the Purim Shpiel. Purim is March 20th, and all interested actors/helpers are invited to join the cast. Our theme is immigration, and our script is “Pride, Prejudice and Purim” by Jannae Austenstein.  Set in 18th century England, discover how Esther Bennet and her diaspora family navigate a new culture and find ways to stay true to their Jewish roots. The auditions will be in early January, and all those interested will have a part. For more information, email Lucy Zammarelli. Click the picture for full details.


 Mark your calendar for the TBI Dream AuctionSunday, March 3, at 5:00 pm. And if you’re interested in joining the Auction Committee, please contact Jody Kirtner in the office.


TBI is hiring a Director of Community Education. View the job description and application instructions here.


Sign Language Interpretation 
Some services and events have interpreters scheduled. Please notify the office if you would like interpretation at additional upcoming services or events.

Oneg Signup
Host an oneg following Erev Shabbat services! Share the spirit of our community, greet friends, meet new friends. Celebrate a milestone, honor a family member or friend, remember a loved one. Co-host with someone. Life is busy, so keep it simple. Cookies and fruit is all that’s needed!  Instructions and reminders provided. Questions? Contact Jody  in the office. Sign up here.

Shabbat Lunch
TBI provides a light lunch following Shabbat morning services when there are no B’nai Mitzvah. Everyone is invited, and you don’t need to attend services to join in. If you’d like to sponsor a lunch in celebration of an occasion, to honor someone, or to remember a loved one, please send in a check or donate online and select “Shabbat Lunch Fund.” Sponsorships are a minimum of $100.

We also need help with set-up and clean-up. Volunteer here.

Follow TBI

Check us out on YouTube!

You can find the High Holiday services, The Purim Shpiel, This American Jewish Life talks by TBI members, and more. Full HD videos and live streaming where available.