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A Vibrant Jewish Present – Shabbat Bo – Rabbi Saks’s Sermon

February 10, 2017

Rabbi Jared Saks’s sermon February 3, 2017 – 8 Shevat 5777 Congregation Bet Ha’am A week and a half ago, Kirk and I found ourselves sitting in the sanctuary of the Stadttempel, Vienna’s oldest synagogue. Built in the first quarter of the 19th century, it is the only 19th century synagogue still in existence in […]

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It’s Time to Start Living – Rabbi Saks’s Yom Kippur Sermon

October 14, 2016

It’s Time to Start Living Yom Kippur 5777 October 12, 2016 – 10 Tishri 5777 Congregation Bet Ha’am Rabbi Jared H. Saks     When Kirk and I saw a production of Pippin at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, I couldn’t help but think of my grandmother when we were introduced to Andrea Martin’s […]

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Now is the Time to Act – Rabbi Saks’s Kol Nidre Sermon

Now is the Time to Act Kol Nidre 5777 October 11, 2016 – 10 Tishri 5777 Congregation Bet Ha’am Rabbi Jared H. Saks     When my cousin became Bar Mitzvah, we gathered in his rabbi’s study shortly before the service. I noticed a sign on the rabbi’s desk: The rabbi’s charge is to comfort […]

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Open the Tent Flaps – Rabbi Saks’s Rosh Hashanah Sermon

October 7, 2016

Open the Tent Flaps Rosh Hashanah 5777 October 3, 2016 – 1 Tishrei 5777 Congregation Bet Ha’am Rabbi Jared H. Saks     For a moment, take in this space, this sanctuary filled with our community on this Rosh Hashanah morning. Often, I am complimented on the beauty of our synagogue building, and while I […]

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Walking Judaism Street – Rabbi Saks’s Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon

Walking Judaism Street[1] Erev Rosh Hashanah 5777 October 2, 2016 – 1 Tishrei 5777 Congregation Bet Ha’am Rabbi Jared H. Saks   I used to have the same conversation with myself around the third day of Passover every year: I could really go for a spicy tuna roll. Or maybe some salmon nigiri. Or even […]

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Love Labor / Shabbat Re’eh…a sermon by Rabbi Jared H. Saks…September 2, 2016 – 30 Av 5776

September 16, 2016

For the past two years, we’ve taken a group of our evening school students on a Jewish trip to New York. Many of the typical New York experiences – Broadway, Times Square – are part of the trip, but we’ve also been sure to take them to the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side […]

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Finding Temporary Clarity in the Kosher Food Aisle (and Store!)…by Sarah Szanton

September 7, 2016

Imagine, if you will, you’re at a Shabbat morning service. It’s time for the Torah procession when you usually sing, “Al Sh’losha D’varim” – Upon three things the world stands: on Torah, on worship and on deeds of lovingkindness. Only this time, you and your fellow congregants are more honest about what the world really […]

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Confirmation Speeches 5776

June 29, 2016

Speech #1 Sophie Frantz   When I was younger I had a lot of questions about being Jewish. I knew that we celebrated Hanukkah instead of Christmas, and our house was lit up with a menorah instead of lights on a Christmas tree. In the spring we would search for afikomen instead of pastel colored […]

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My Brother’s Big, Fat Jewish Wedding…by Sarah Szanton

June 14, 2016

My brother’s wedding!  How delightfully un-middle-aged it sounded to think about my brother getting married.  People my age talk more about our kids getting married, if we’re lucky, but usually not our siblings. Despite the sound of it, though, this was, alas, a middle-aged event after all.  A second marriage for both of them, the complications of children […]

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For Holiness, Wholeness, and Peace / Shabbat Shekalim – Parashat Vayakhel…Sermon by Rabbi Jared Saks, March 4, 2016 – 25 Adar 1 5776

March 29, 2016

I’ve been to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem about a half dozen times. Every tour to Israel includes a visit to Yad Vashem and on our recent trip, I was dreading the experience. I’ve been through enough times to remember a sense of what comes next, even with the new building […]

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The Israel That I Love / Shabbat Ki Tisa…Sermon by Rabbi Jared Saks, February 26, 2016 – 18 Adar 1 5776

In an article published by Tikkun Magazine this week, David Gordis shared his sadness about the vision he once held for Israel. Gordis, who served as vice-president of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, the Conservative movement’s two seminaries, as well as being President Emeritus of Hebrew […]

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Connections — by Kate Goldfield

March 22, 2016

What does the 2012 Fox TV show Touch, a gelato place, and the Jewish concept of the “Righteous 36” all have in common? The TV show Touch centers around a nonverbal, likely autistic young boy named Jake. Jake is not able to talk or communicate with the world in a typical way, so instead he […]

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We Cannot Remain Silent – Rabbi Jared H. Saks

January 12, 2016

We Cannot Remain Silent Shabbat Sh’mot January 1, 2016 – 21 Tevet 5776 Congregation Bet Ha’am Rabbi Jared H. Saks     Some years ago, after having been ordained from Hebrew Union College, I had a need to call upon the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the CCAR, for assistance with some matter. The person […]

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Social Justice at Bet Ha’am by Rabbi Jared Saks

January 8, 2016

December 22, 2015 10 Tevet 5776   Chevrei,   In recent weeks, there has been dialogue within our congregation about our involvement in social justice causes. Our religious school students have had monthly tikkun olam programs, their parents have sought a deeper involvement in the issues of our day, and our congregation has lent its […]

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The Syrian Refugees, by Debbie Plager

December 9, 2015

It was late August and I had just started getting my son’s school supplies ready for the year.  Early fall is usually one of my favorite times of year.  The rhythm of starting a new school year, combined with Rosh Hashanah and the Days of Awe, brings this feeling of a clean slate.  Of possibility.  […]

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Hope in the Impossible / Shabbat Lech L’cha…Sermon by Rabbi Saks, October 23, 2015 – 11 Cheshvan 5776

October 30, 2015

Hope in the Impossible Shabbat Lech L’cha October 23, 2015 – 11 Cheshvan 5776 Congregation Bet Ha’am Rabbi Jared H. Saks     One of the first outfits I bought for my newborn son was a set of three Florida State onesies. On his second full day of life, Zak wore one of them at […]

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Regret – Yom Kippur 5776 Sermon by Rabbi Saks September 23, 2015 – 10 Tishre 5776

October 1, 2015

Regret Yom Kippur 5776 September 23, 2015 – 10 Tishre 5776 Congregation Bet Ha’am Rabbi Jared H. Saks     In a December episode of This American Life, I heard the childhood story of Elna Baker and her four siblings, including her younger sister Julia, and how their father, Gary, handled bad behavior in their […]

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Setting the Bar High – Kol Nidre sermon by Rabbi Saks September 22, 2015 – 10 Tishre 5776

Setting the Bar High Kol Nidre 5776 September 22, 2015 – 10 Tishre 5776 Congregation Bet Ha’am Rabbi Jared H. Saks     Daniel Kish, born in 1966, has been blind since he was 13 months old when his eyes were removed because of retinoblastoma, which is a form of eye cancer. When Daniel was […]

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Torah In Its Time — Rabbi Saks’s Rosh Hashanah Sermon

September 17, 2015

Torah in Its Time Rosh Hashanah 5776 September 14, 2015 – 1 Tishre 5776 Congregation Bet Ha’am Rabbi Jared H. Saks     This morning, we’ve read perhaps one of the Torah’s most challenging passages. The Akedah, the Binding of Isaac, which has become the Reform movement’s traditional Torah reading for the morning of Rosh […]

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Your Moral Bucket List — Rabbi Saks’s Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon

Your Moral Bucket List Erev Rosh Hashanah 5776 September 13, 2015 – 1 Tishre 5776 Congregation Bet Ha’am Rabbi Jared H. Saks     Everyone must have two pockets, with a note in each pocket, so that he or she can reach into the one or the other, depending upon the need. When feeling lowly […]

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Open House at Bet Ha’am

August 18, 2017

Join us for an Open House Dinner and Shabbat Service at Congregation Bet Ha’am on Friday, August 18. Dinner will begin at 6:30 PM. The Shabbat service will begin at 7:30 PM. There is no cost to attend. If you’re new to the area, new to the community, or know someone who might be interested […]

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Outdoor Family Shabbat and Picnic – Fort Williams Park, Cape Elizabeth

August 11, 2017

Except in the case of inclement weather, services will not be held at Bet Ha’am on Friday, August 11. Once again, Bet Ha’am is taking the show on the road! Join us from 5:00-8:00 PM on Friday, August 11, for a casual Family Shabbat service and picnic at the gazebo at the bandstand at Fort […]

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Three People Walk Into the Rabbi’s Office

June 29, 2017

By Rabbi Jared Saks – Congregation Bet Ha’am Shavuot 5777 May 31, 2017 – 6 Sivan 5777 I remember sitting in a seminar in my first year of rabbinical school, and one of our professors wanted us to engage in a thoughtful conversation about intermarriage. He recognized that, even as we were beginning our rabbinic […]

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Synagogue Membership: Reflections of an Empty-Nester

June 28, 2017

By Sarah Szanton When our kids both left home, life suddenly opened up. I bought less food, I did less laundry, I got more closet space. I stopped buying beef jerky and trying to understand football. We looked forward to date nights, travel and spontaneity. Of course we missed our kids, but we were also […]

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Bet Ha’am plays an important role in all of our lives, providing an open door for all during High Holidays and throughout the year.

The need for supporting the Annual Fund cannot be overstated. These unrestricted funds ensure we can cover our basic, day-to-day needs and meet our budgetary responsibilities, from salaries to building maintenance to Hebrew School supplies.

Membership dues do not cover the full cost of Bet Ha’am’s operations. We rely on the generous support of our members and friends to make Bet Ha’am available to all, regardless of ability to pay.

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Judaica Shop

Congregation Bet Ha’am’s Judaica Shop is establishing itself as a leading regional opportunity for unique Judaica jewelry, holiday gifts and supplies, children’s items, and everyday items.  The Judaica Shop is open 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM Tuesday-Friday and Sunday mornings when our Religious School is open.  Please call (207) 879-0028 for inquiries or requests for special order items.  This page will soon have photos and ordering information for specific Judaica items.

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Service Times

Evening Shabbat Services:

Friday evening at 7:30 PM except for the second Friday of the month, when a family service is held at 6:30 PM.

Shabbat Morning:

Saturday morning at 10:00 AM.

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