Finding Inner Jewish Identity (FIJI)

These texts are for students taking a class for those considering becoming Jewish at Temple Beth El. The texts support active discussions about Jewish identity, creating a Jewish home, celebrating Jewish holidays, and more. The class is taught by clergy and special guest speakers.  There are several points of entry into F.I.J.I., and registration is required. This class is held year-round (except for certain holiday weekends.)

Some helpful FIJI resources:
Blessings for food and more -  From Kol Haneshamah: Songs, Blessings and Rituals For the Home, pp. 108-­‐117
Shabbat Blessings, Recordings and more from the URJ - Shabbat Stuff

More information about conversion with Temple Beth El can be found here.

The conversion process around the mikvah can be found here.

A great source for maps and other things about Biblical times can be found here.


Unit Alef – “א” –The High Holy Days, the Days of Awe

4 class sessions (August-September 2015)

August 15, 2015 – Many holy days - what are they all about?
What we do:
- A look at the scope of the High Holy Days
- A look at Elul in particular, and the time to prepare for the holidays.
How we do it:
- Create a tshuvah practice for Elul
Reading: Strassfeld, A Book of Life, pp. 260-273, The High Holidays

August 22, 2015 – Rosh HaShanah
What we do:
- Rosh HaShanah in detail – history, services, practices
How we do it:
- Avinu Malkeinu (3 different versions) – meaning and singing
- Celebrating the Jewish New Year in synagogue
Reading: Strassfeld, pp. 3-21, Dawning - beginning a Jewish spiritual practice

August 29, 2014 – Yom Kippur
What we do:
- Yom Kippur in detail – history, services, practices
How we do it:
- Ashamnu and v’al kulam, Kol Nidrei – communal confession
Reading: Strassfeld, A Book of Life, pp. 176-­205, The Path of Prayer

No class on Labor Day Weekend


September 26, 2015 – Sukkot and Simchat Torah
What we do:
- More holy days! History, services, practices
How we do it:
- Sukkot practices & liturgy – living, eating, dwelling with nature
Reading: Strassfeld, A Book of Life, pp. 274-283, Sukkot, Simchat Torah, and Shemini Atzeret

High Holy Day celebrations:
- S'lichot – Saturday night, September 5
- Rosh HaShanah – Sunday-Tuesday, September 13-15
- Shabbat Tshuvah – Friday-Saturday, September 18-19
- Yom Kippur – Tuesday-Wednesday, September 22-23
- Sukkot – Sunday-Monday, September 27 - October 5
- Shemini Atzeret-Simchat Torah – Sunday-Monday, October 4-5