Welcome from


Rabbi Batsheva Appel

👋 Shalom!

Welcome to Congregation B’nai Israel, a sacred community with deep roots here on the Mississippi River. In the Talmud is a favorite story of mine about being rooted along the water:

A student said: Teacher, please bless me. They replied: Let me tell you a parable. To what may this be compared? To a traveler who was journeying in the desert: they were hungry, weary, and thirsty and they found a tree with sweet fruit, pleasant shade, and with a spring under it. They ate of some of the fruit, enjoyed the shade, and drank from the spring. When they were about to continue their journey, they then say to the tree: How can I bless you? That your fruits be sweet? They are sweet already. That your shade be pleasant? It is. That there should be a spring under you? There already is. So the blessing I give you is: May it be God’s will that all of your shoots be like you. So also with you. With what shall I bless you? With the knowledge of Torah? You already possess it. With sustenance? You have sustenance already. With the next generation? You have the next generation already. Therefore I say, May it be God’s will that the next generation be like you. [Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Ta’anit 5b-6a]

Congregation B’nai Israel is like that tree. All are welcome to join us. We have deep roots and history along the water. We have opportunities for the sweetness of learning for all ages. We support and sustain each other through the celebrations and challenges. We are working to help the next generation develop into the mensches, the amazing people that we know that they can be.

If you have questions about the community or about Judaism, please call (520-576-4490) or email me. I look forward to speaking with you.

Kol tuv, all the best,

Signature of Rabbi Batsheva Appel