Calm Down at WES: Yedid Nefesh ("Companion of the Soul") Kabbalat Shabbat Meditation Service

February 24, 2017 - 6:30pm

Rabbi Marc Margolius leads Yedid Nefesh ("Companion of the Soul"), a contemplative service for Shabbat evening consisting largely of guided silent meditation, interspersed with chanting and a short teaching.  No prior meditation experience is necessary.

Photo (CC) W.Lead

"Now, How Can I Put This? A Jewish Guide to Criticizing Others,” with Rabbi Margolius

February 25, 2017 - 11:30am

Rabbi Margolius will lead a congregational study session on tochecha, the art of constructively criticizing or admonishing others, as our Shabbat Chadash ("New Shabbat") program Saturday, February 25 at 11:30 am. This session is part of WES’s participation in the 9Adar Project, a worldwide project promoting a culture of constructive conflict, sponsored by the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem.

According to the Talmud, on the 9th of Adar approximately 2,0000 years ago the constructive conflict between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai erupted into a violent, destructive battle over a vote on 18 matters of law; as many as 3,000 students died.   Formerly considered a day of fasting, the Pardes Institute has “reconstructed” the 9th of Adar as a time for Jewish communal reflection and rededication to constructive, respectful conflict.

"What Matters: Conversations about the End of Life"

Rabbi Margolius spoke on Shabbat morning, January 7, on “What Matters:  Caring Conversations About End of Life,” a program in which WES is participating to promote facilitated, Jewish values-based conversations about wishes for the end of life. 

"What Matters" ( is based at the JCC, funded by Plaza Memorial Chapel, and has engaged with several synagogues and communal organizations in New York City over the past 18 months. It is based on an evidence-based Advance Care Planning program that was developed at Gundersen Health Center in LaCrosse, Wisconsin in order to fill the gap between the legal documentation of advance directives, such as power of attorney for health care, and the emotional and spiritual reality of what it means to make decisions for a loved on. 

Rabbi Margolius's talk was the first in a series of WES programs including film discussion group, panel discussion, a book group discussion, and a panel featuring a physician, an attorney, rabbi, and an ethicist.


FOR KIDS in grades 6,7, and 8:
a social group for building community,
Click here for more information

JFLL: A Cutting-Edge Approach to Jewish Learning for Families

Jewish Family Life and Learning (JFLL)

Click here for quick links to request info or registration forms for 2016-2017.

Rabbi Nadia Gold, our Director of Family Engagement, is always eager to speak with our current and prospective JFLL families and WES members at large. Make an appointment with ngold [at] westendsynagogue [dot] org (Nadia) to learn more about our unique brand of Jewish education.

Kef Kids: Jewish Fun for Pre K-2d Graders!

A Creative Approach to Jewish Learning!  Kef Kids is a bi-monthly program on Saturday afternoons offering pre-K through second graders a fun, hands-on Jewish experience. Jewish holidays, values and rituals are taught through visual art, drama, cooking and music. Kids not only learn about Judaism but they LIVE it! 

Reconstructionist Judaism on One Foot (Video)

Enjoy this brief, entertaining video introducing the Reconstructionist approach to Judaism.  For more information, click here.

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