Cathedral Soup Kitchen on Christmas Day
Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, Indianapolis
For almost 30 years, Beth-El Zedeck congregants have organized volunteers to cook and serve meals on Christmas Day.  Volunteers prepare a full turkey dinner in their homes and spend Christmas Day at the Cathedral Soup Kitchen feeding those in need.  This example of Tikkun Olam also affords the priceless gift of family time on a special holiday to the regular kitchen workers and exemplifies our synagogue’s continued commitment to the welfare of Indianapolis.  Watch the Besamim, email blasts, and Shabbat announcement leaflets in November for information on how to get involved.  This program was the 2016 winner of JFGI’s Melvin Simon Tikkun Olam Award.

To sign up to donate food or supplies, click

To sign up to volunteer on Christmas Day, click

Friday, December 8 at 6:00 p.m.

Join us for a festive, musical Hanukah Shabbat service featuring melodies from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s famous show. Enjoy a delicious holiday meal (catered by Sisterhood & Men’s Club), and welcome Civic Theatre with selections from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat!
We must receive your reservation by Monday, December 4. We regret that we will NOT be able to take reservations over the phone or past the deadline.

Click the links below to reserve your place. Please check your cart carefully after you have added your tickets. Occasionally the software doubles the order.

Adult reservation (age 11+) at $16.00 each
Senior reservation (over age 65) at $13.00 each
Child reservation (ages 2-10) at $7.50 each

If you would prefer to mail a check, please print and complete the form on our Hanukah Service and Dinner flyer.

Questions? Contact George Kelley or Joanie Waldman at (317) 253-3441, gkelley {at} bez613(.)org or jwaldman {at} bez613(.)org.

October 3, 2017

Rabbi Dennis C. Sasso

We gather as a community of concerned citizens and people of faith to express our grief at the recent mass killing tragedy in Las Vegas.  We offer our sympathies to the families of the victims, our sorrow over the senseless loss of life and our prayers for the healing and recovery of the hundreds wounded.

The wounds are not only physical; they go to the very core of our hearts and souls.

When tragedies of this nature occur, the tendency is to blame the incident on the mental health and emotional instability of the culprit.  Treating the issue of gun violence as a mental health problem is evasive and irresponsible.  The truth is, that individuals with mental illness and emotional problems are more often the victims of violence rather than its perpetrators.

The blame for these far too many events of gun violence, brought about by the availability of assault weapons of warfare magnitude, lies in the collective amnesia and social delusion that allows for the rights of gun ownership to prevail over the protection of life and the pursuit of happiness of our citizens.

Let us hope that our leaders will engage seriously the issue of gun control for the safety and protection of all Americans.  Reasonable gun control might not totally eradicate such calamities, but it will make them less likely and less deadly.  There need to be rules and we need legislators with enough courage to make them.

Rabbi Dennis C. Sasso
Congregation Beth-El Zedeck


A Prayer for Peace

May we see the day when violence and bloodshed shall cease, when a great peace will embrace the whole world;

When all who live on earth shall realize that we have not come into being to hate or to destroy, but to give thanks, to labor, to hope.

Compassionate God, bless the leaders of our nation with the power of compassion.

Fulfill the promise conveyed in Scripture:

I will bring peace to the land, and you shall lie down and no one shall terrify you.

Violence shall no longer be heard in the land, devastation nor calamity within your borders.

For they shall beat their guns into plowshares and their rifles into pruning hooks.

People shall no more raise weapons against one another, and none shall make them afraid.

Let love and justice flow like a mighty stream.

Let peace fill the earth as the waters fill the sea.

And let us say:  Amen.


(Dennis C. Sasso, adapted from Mahzor Lev Shalem and inspired by the Prophets of Israel) 

Sponsored by the Sisterhood of Congregation Beth-El Zedeck, Parent/Toddler Havurah is now in its 17th year! The Havurah has been designed to introduce
young children and their parents to Jewish holidays and themes, to assist with the creation of a strong Jewish identity, and to give families in the Indianapolis area a chance to meet and form friendships. This program is designed for families with children from the age of one through Pre-K, though all are welcome! This is a parent-participation class, so please plan to have at least one parent, grandparent, or adult with your child. The next Parent/Toddler Havurah is Sunday, December 10.

Sundays, 10:15 a.m. – noon
Not Jewish and want to explore…
Jewish and want to learn more…
Have a Jewish ancestor and are curious…
In an interfaith family relationship…
Whatever your reason, join Rabbi Dennis Sasso in an open conversation of discovery about the meanings of Jewish Identify, Beliefs, and Practices.
October 8: How Judaism Began – Biblical Origins
October 22: How Judaism was Shaped – The Ancient Teachers
October 29: How Judaism was Changed – Modernity: Judaism Under Freedom
November 5: What We Believe – God, Spiritual Values, and Prayer
November 12: How We Behave – The Yearly Cycle/The Life Cycle
November 19: Ways We Belong – Family, Community, Synagogue, Israel
December 3: Judaism Today and Tomorrow

If you are interested in chanting Torah or Haftarah for Shabbat and Festivals, please contact Cantor Melissa Cohen at mcohen {at} bez613(.)org or (317) 253-3441. Expert and novices alike are encouraged to participate!

For the 40+ crowd! Join Rabbi Dennis Sasso for Cocktail Judaism, an explosive mixture of conversation, humor, and spirits. The next meeting is Monday, December 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Athens on 86th. Wanda Savala from Planned Parenthood; Dr. Leigh Meltzer, Ob/Gyn; and Marissa Kiefer, health care executive and advocate, will join Rabbi Dennis Sasso for our conversation on “Reproductive Health and Rights: Medicine, Politics and Religion.”

R.S.V.P. requested; call the synagogue office at (317) 253-3441 or e-mail Jennifer Hodes at jhodes {at} bez613(.)orgPlease note: Athens on 86th is not open for dinner on Monday night. Coffee and desserts are compliments of the synagogue.

A contemplative and musical service FOR ALL with Rabbi Shelley Goldman, including those experiencing illness, caregivers, and those walking the mourner’s path. This service will be Wednesday, December 20 at 5:45 p.m. All are welcome.

Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. in the Alpert-Solotken Library

Join Rabbi Shelley Goldman Shabbat mornings to engage with our people’s most sacred text. We will follow the weekly parsha focusing on the second triennial cycle of readings, a.k.a. “the middle” of each week’s story. We begin and end each discussion with sacred Hebrew chanting. All are welcome, and drop-ins are encouraged.

Join us for Friday Night Live the first Friday of the month, featuring spiritually uplifting music to welcome Shabbat. Cantor Melissa Cohen and the Beth-El band will lead us in lively and spirited songs sure to enhance your Shabbat experience!