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Hazak logoHochmah: Wisdom
Ziknah: Maturity
Kadima: Looking Ahead


Hazak is the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s organization that supports programming for folks 55+. Adults, of any age, are welcome to attend! At Beth Emeth, HAZAK is a congenial group who want to continue to grow their Jewish and world understanding in a friendly and welcoming environment. Be a member, be a guest or bring a guest. Hazak members do not need to be CBE members.

We meet in the CBE Social Hall from 1:00 to 3:00 on the third Tuesday of each month.  We engage with a wide variety of accomplished speakers and authors, enjoy film discussions and, of course, we nosh and schmooze. Look for our schedule in the Weekly Announcements and The Shofar.

Join Hazak

Have you renewed your membership? Don't miss out. Dues are only $18.00 for the entire 10 month program. Join in advance or at the door. Checks should be made payable to CBE Hazak. Click here to download and print the membership form.

The name Hazak means "Strong," and is also made up of the first Hebrew letters of the words:

Hazak logoHochmah: Wisdom
Ziknah: Maturity
Kadima: Looking Ahead


Questions About Hazak?

Contact Carol Silberstein and Ellyn Greenspan at We also welcome ideas for future speakers.

5780/2020-21 Hazak Events

This year we have lined up an impressive roster of experts on timely topics, most with some Jewish connection. Many of our speakers share their knowledge along with their own unique and fascinating personal stories. Note: All of these programs are subject to change if speakers become unavailable. (See also: Calendar)

Date Guest Speaker and Topic

October 20, 2020

Dr. Harold Geller: Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places – The Search for Life in the Universe

In recent days there has been much talk about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence in the universe. However, where are we looking and why do we look where we look, is often overlooked in the media and on the internet. We will discuss the search for life in the universe and reveal the techniques and rationale of looking for life in all the right places; in our Solar System, in our Milky Way Galaxy, and in our universe. Carl Sagan once said that, “somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” There are those who argue that the discovery of life elsewhere in the universe will be the greatest discovery of them all.

Dr. Harold A. Geller is Observatory Director and Associate Professor at George Mason University.  He served as co-Investigator for the Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement (VISTA), the largest educational grant ever awarded Mason, from 2011 through 2015. Since 2012 he has served as a Solar System Ambassador for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He is author of books, contributed to edited volumes, and has published over 90 papers in education, astrobiology, astrophysics, and biochemistry. 

November 17, 2020

Dr. Jim Kinter: Climate Change in the Commonwealth of Virginia

“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” This old saying neglects the fact that everybody is inadvertently doing something about the weather – we are changing it. The reality of global climate change is now undeniable and the likelihood is high that industrialization, urbanization and deforestation have caused most of the changes observed in the past 60 years. The citizens and businesses of the Commonwealth of Virginia are not exempt from the changes Earth will experience during the rest of this century–there will be a new normal and we all need to prepare for it. Knowing where, when, and by how much climate will change in the Commonwealth, and what the impacts of those changes will be on citizens’ lives, livelihoods and property, are critically important aspects of planning and preparing for changes that are decades in the making. Dr. Kinter will describe Mason research that is focused on these questions, emphasizing what we have learned about predicting future weather and climate in the mid-Atlantic region and what remains to be done to advance our understanding to actionable predictions.

Dr. Kinter is Director of the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA), which conducts research on climate variability and predictability from days to decades, focusing on phenomena such as droughts and floods, monsoons, El Niño, and climate change. Dr. Kinter is also Professor and Chair in the department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences of the College of Science at George Mason University, where he is also affiliated with the Climate Dynamics Ph.D. Program. After earning his doctorate in geophysical fluid dynamics at Princeton University in 1984, Dr. Kinter served as a National Research Council Associate at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and as a faculty member of the University of Maryland prior to helping to create COLA. Dr. Kinter has served on many national review panels for both scientific research programs and supercomputing programs for computational climate modeling.

December 15, 2020

Rabbi Mina Goldsmith: Hanukkah

More details to follow!

January 19, 2021

Richard Rubenstein: Religious Conflicts and Their Resolution

Religious Conflicts and Their Resolution. Why do religious conflicts sometimes become lethal? What is causing the current spread of violent religious conflicts worldwide? What can be done to resolve these conflicts?

Richard E. Rubenstein is University Professor of Conflict Resolution and Public Affairs in the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. Education Harvard College, B.A. in History and Literature, Oxford College, M.A. in Jurisprudence (Rhodes Scholar), Harvard Law School, J.D. Mr. Rubenstein has authored numerous books on conflict resolution, war, terrorism and religious conflicts.

February 16, 2021

Info coming soon!

March 16, 2021

Info coming soon!

April 20, 2021 (Postponed from April, 2020)

Steve Silberstein: My Father’s Story of Surviving the Holocaust and The Auschwitz 75th Liberation Commemoration

Congregant, Steve Silberstein, will tell us the story of his father Michael’s survival in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Steve will also share their experience of recently attending the Auschwitz 75th Liberation Commemoration in Poland. Over the years Michael has spoken to many groups about his experience. Steve is committed to continuing the legacy and speaking about the Holocaust to raise awareness and educate in order to fulfill the promise to never forget. It is a powerful story with meaningful insight and lessons for all.

Steve and Carol (your Hazak Programming Co-Chair) Silberstein joined Congregation Beth Emeth in 1995 and raised their children David and Sara here from Religious school through Confirmation.

Steve recently retired from Micron Technology and plans to speak with diverse groups of students and community members about his father’s Holocaust experiences. He looks forward to traveling, exploring, staying engaged in the community and enjoying the kids and grandchildren.

Not on the Hazak email list? Contact Ellyn Greenspan and Carol Silberstein at to make sure you receive the Zoom link.

May 11, 2021
(Postponed from March 2020)

Chuck Cascio: Fire Escape Stories book talk with Beth Emeth’s own author!

Chuck Cascio is an award-winning journalist, educator, short-story writer, and business leader. The author of three nonfiction books, Chuck has had hundreds of news stories, feature articles, and opinion pieces published in a wide-range newspapers, magazines, and journals. Among Chuck's awards are a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, a Suburban Newspapers of America Award for Column Writing, a Distinguished Teacher Award in the Presidential Scholars Program, a Rothman Institute Award for Entrepreneurial Leadership, and other honors and citations for journalism, creative writing, teaching, and business.

A native of Brooklyn, NY, Chuck moved to the Washington, DC, area at an early age, but he remains a New Yorker at heart. He earned a BS degree in Economics and Business from Wagner College on Staten Island, NY, and an MA in Communications from the American University in Washington, DC, where he later became an adjunct faculty member. Chuck also taught high school and was faculty advisor to student newspaper publications in Fairfax County, VA, receiving extensive recognition for his innovative approaches to teaching. After leaving the classroom, Chuck served as Vice President for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and then as Vice President for Educational Testing Service.

June 15, 2021

Info coming soon!


From Generation to Generation

L'dor vador—from generation to generation—
I pass to you
Not the giddy joy of success,
But the lump in the throat the signals
The wisdom to speak softly in a fragile world.
Through these finger tips
Pass sensual gifts—
The feel of sand between the toes,
The eye that captures
The flight of the gull at sunset,
Take them, child of my child—
The ability to grow inside the mind,
To change, to forgive, to love.
Take them,
And when you grow old,
Bequeath them l'dor vador,
For these are the things that remain worthwhile,
That make life worth living.

Poem by S. Anne Sostrom z"l

Sat, October 31 2020 13 Cheshvan 5781