Skip to main content
The Podcast from The Temple

The Podcast from The Temple

By Rabbis Berg and Lapidus
Rabbis Peter Berg and Loren Filson Lapidus host this podcast from The Temple, a Reform Jewish synagogue in midtown Atlanta. Delve into Jewish topics and get to know our historic congregation and the Atlanta Jewish community through meaningful and fun conversations and interviews.
Listen on
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Breaker Logo


Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Episode 30: Our History and Our Future
As our Temple Vision and Values statement says, "We are our history, our future." This week, Peter and Loren talk about MLK Shabbat, a longstanding tradition for The Temple and a meaningful partnership with Ebenezer Baptist Church. We also talk a little about the COVID-19 vaccine that is starting to become more available and the value of pikuach nefesh, saving a life. Next week, we will be joined by Rev. Tony Sundermeier from First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, discussing another special interfaith partnership between our communities.
January 13, 2021
Episode 29: Our Jewish Future
We are excited to kick off 2021 by having a conversation with Mike Leven, who most recently was CEO of the Georgia Aquarium, after a distinguished career in the hospitality industry. He'll share about the Jewish Future Pledge ( and the Leven Family Jewish Identity Institute at The Temple, just two ways he is using philanthropy to ensure Judaism's strength for our children and generations to come. And, we'll hear about his recent book, Can't Do It Yourself: How Commitment to Others Leads to Personal Prosperity.
January 6, 2021
Episode 28: We are Jewish (and celebrate Christmas with our families)!
When Chanukah and Christmas come around, for many interfaith families it can be a time of celebration and also some challenges. Join Rabbi Lapidus, Rabbi Medwin, and Elizabeth Foster, as they share their experiences as children of interfaith families and how that informs them today both personally and professionally. If you want to know more about how The Temple welcomes and supports interfaith families through our Leven Family Jewish Identity Institute, you can email Rabbi Lapidus at We look forward to sharing new episodes in 2021!
December 16, 2020
Episode 27: Helping to Make Miracles
In honor of the beginning of Chanukah, our celebration of miracles, we speak with Elana Frank, CEO and founder of Jewish Fertility Foundation. This amazing organization provides emotional and financial support to those struggling with infertility, and is a resource to so many in our community. For more information, please go to
December 9, 2020
Episode 26: Dive into the Mikvah
This week, we "take the plunge" into the mikvah, a Jewish ritual bath, by speaking with Jocelyn Schorvitz, the executive director of MACoM: Metro Atlanta Community Mikvah. Learn about this community mikvah, the ways people re-imagine the ritual, and ways you can visit MACoM. For more information, please visit 
December 2, 2020
Episode 25: Meet the (Student) Cantor!
We are so excited to talk with Mike Jarvis, The Temple’s first Cantorial Intern. A fourth-year student at HUC-JIR, Mike is spending this year as part of our clergy team leading worship services and bnei mitzvah. In our interview, we’ll learn more about Mike’s journey to cantorial school, what he likes about Jewish prayer, what’s on his playlist, and what he hopes to learn at The Temple this year! We will not have a new episode next week due to Thanksgiving, but you review all of our episodes by going to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or And, as a reminder, you can send questions or feedback to
November 20, 2020
Episode 24: Where do we go from here?
One week after Election Day...and where do we go from here? We talk about sacred arguments especially in light of recent election results and Georgia's Senate runoffs. And then, we start to talk about Thanksgiving and how to approach this season of gratitude. 
November 11, 2020
Episode 23: Helping our Neighbors
This week we have the honor of speaking with Adrianne Hamilton-Butler, the executive director of the Zaban-Paradies Center. The ZPC is a shelter for homeless couples on The Temple's campus, and as we'll learn, there are numerous ways that it is extending its reach and needs our help! For more information, go to 
November 4, 2020
Episode 22: The "Other" Rabbi Lapidus
In this episode, Peter and Loren talk to Rabbi Micah Lapidus, who along with being the rabbi at the Davis Academy and Loren's husband, is the newly-named Composer-in-Residence at The Temple. We talk about how Micah got into Jewish songwriting, the inspiration behind the music we hear at MLK Shabbat, and have more than a few laughs. You can find links to his albums by going to or searching for "The Davis Academy" on iTunes or Spotify.
October 28, 2020
Episode 21: Meet the Sugarmans!
This week, we welcome Rabbi Alvin and Barbara Sugarman (and their dog, Daisy) to the podcast. We hear some stories and highlights about their decades of marriage and being leaders in our community. And, we even find out what they like to do for fun! This and all of our previous episodes are available at, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other podcast apps. As a reminder, send in your questions to to be answered on a future episode!
October 21, 2020
Episode 20: Opera in a Tent
We're back! To kick off the new year 5781, we are so excited to speak with Tomer Zvulun, General and Artistic Director of the Atlanta Opera and member of The Temple. He shares his journey to opera, the challenges and opportunities brought by the pandemic, and some insight into The Kaiser from Atlantis, which was written in 1943 in the Theresienstadt concentration camp, and will open in the Big Tent on October 23. For more information on the shows live or online, go to And, send in any questions to be answered in a future episode to
October 13, 2020
Episode 19: The "Super Bowl" of Sermons
Do you ever wonder how the rabbis come up with their High Holy Day sermons? Join us as we debrief our respective writing and reflecting processes, and talk about the meaning of these particular sermons. If you are interested in joining us for High Holy Day services, please go to for more information!
September 10, 2020
Episode 18: What to Wear?
Have you ever wondered why the clergy wear white robes for the High Holy Days? And have you wondered what to wear and what to do to set up your sanctuary at home for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur virtual services this year? During this episode, we answer these questions and reflect how to make these days meaningful, even amidst these unusual circumstances. 
September 2, 2020
Episode 17: Time to Prepare
This week starts the month of Elul, the last month of the Jewish year. Join us as we start to reflect on how we can prepare for the High Holy Days this year. Hear some updates on what The Temple is doing to make our virtual High Holy Days engaging and interactive, and get some ideas for how to make this experience meaningful from home. This is the first of many High Holy Day-themed conversations, so send your questions to to be answered in a future episode! And, for more info about The Temple's offerings, please go to
August 19, 2020
Episode 16: The Power of the Shema
It's the time of year when we read the Torah portion that includes the words of the Shema. Join us as we reflect on the power of the Shema during these times of uncertainty, the meaning of the commandments that are introduced in Deuteronomy...and an update on where rabbis like to hike in Atlanta! Many of our upcoming episodes will center around preparing for the High Holy Days, so send your questions to!
July 30, 2020
Episode 15: What happens when both sides are right?
As we sit socially distanced and acutely aware of our droplets and aerosols, Peter and Loren talk about the current debates happening about school openings and what Judaism says about a situation where both sides represent valid and important values. And, as we start to really count down to High Holy Days 5781, we give a brief preview of what it will mean to lead virtual services this year. 
July 22, 2020
Episode 14: What makes a Jewish restaurant?
This week we share our last of the pre-COVID interviews: a conversation with Temple members Ben and Jennifer Johnson, co-owners of The General Muir, West Egg, Yalla, and many other restaurants. Hear their story of creating an American Jewish deli, traveling in Israel, and join us in talking about one of our favorite things: food! 
July 11, 2020
Episode 13: The View from the Sanctuary
Two hours before leading services from an empty sanctuary, Rabbis Berg and Lapidus reflect on returning to our sacred space and the special significance on this July 4th week. It’s a short and sweet episode! As always, feedback and questions can go to
June 27, 2020
Episode 12: The Clergy Dads
In honor of Father's Day, Rabbi Peter Berg talks with his fellow clergy dad, Rabbi Steven Rau, and clergy dad-to-be, Rabbi Sam Kaye. They talk about what they've learned from their fathers and what it means to be a dad (or dad-to-be)!
June 21, 2020
Episode 11: Meet the (Temple) President
This week we are excited to speak with our new Temple president, Kent Alexander, about his journey to leadership and how he hopes The Temple will learn and grow from the transition to being open virtually. 
June 15, 2020
Episode 10: Our Responsibility to Act
Amidst the events of this week, with protests unfolding around the country, we focus on what we as a Temple and Jewish community can do to respond. This episode is a conversation with Dr. John Eaves, co-chair of the Racial Justice group of the Rothschild Social Justice Institute at The Temple. He urges us to not wait for an invitation, but to find ways to be involved to combat systemic racism and respond to the call of these times. 
June 4, 2020
Episode 9: The Mohel the Merrier
After an update on how it feels to wear dress shoes for the first time in 10 weeks and what happens when you launder a Kindle, Rabbis Berg and Lapidus reflect on life cycle events in the face of COVID-19. Babies are still being born, meaning the role of a mohel (ritual circumciser) is as important as ever. We feature an interview with Dr. Jonathan Meisel, who trained as a Reform mohel (ritual circumciser). In February, Dr. Meisel sat with us to talk about his journey into this new role in the community, reasons for circumcision on the 8th day, and what he learned from his own experiences as a father during his sons' brit milah ceremonies.
May 26, 2020
Episode 8: Who is Helping the Rabbi?
In this episode, we feature an interview with Dianne Ratowsky, who has been the assistant to the senior rabbi at The Temple for decades. She shares stories from working for Rabbi Alvin Sugarman and now Rabbi Berg, and tells us how things have changed from the typewriter days. After the interview, Rabbis Berg and Lapidus answer some of the questions that have been submitted by listeners to (keep the questions coming!).
May 17, 2020
Episode 7: Clergy are Mothers too!
This episode in honor of Mother's Day will be released on Wednesday afternoon. We will feature Rabbi Lapidus, Cantor Hartman and Rabbi Medwin discussing how being mothers and grandmothers (and daughters) influence them as clergy. And, Rabbi Berg and Rabbi Lapidus will talk about resources for those who are struggling to become mothers or who are missing their mothers this week.
May 6, 2020
Episode 6: Happy Birthday, Israel!
In honor of this week in which we observe Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut, we share an interview from January 2020 with Consul General Anat Sultan-Dadon, who represents the State of Israel here in the Southeast region of the United States. She began at the Consulate here in Atlanta in July and in this interview she shares her experience and insight about numerous topics including Iran and BDS.
April 29, 2020
Episode 5: The View from Outside the Camp
In honor of the 25th anniversary of Rabbi Lapidus' bat mitzvah, we discuss Parashat Metzora and how it is particularly relevant to COVID-19 and our current social distancing, and share a few stories of creative life cycle events during the pandemic. If you have questions or stories, share at The podcast is now available on Apple podcast, Spotify, and other platforms. You can also access it at
April 22, 2020
Episode 4: COVID-19 and the Atlanta Jewish Community's Response
This week we compared notes about how Passover in a pandemic is going, and then interviewed Eric Robbins, CEO of Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, about how the Atlanta Jewish community is responding to COVID-19. For more information, go to Also, if you have questions you'd like us to answer on a future episode, please email!
April 14, 2020
Episode 3: The Five Children talk about Passover
In this week's episode, we're taking a break from the serious conversations and taking advantage of being home with our children. Join the three Berg children and the two Lapidus children as they talk about favorite Passover foods, fun memories, and what it's like having their rabbi parents home all the time!  **Please excuse the technical difficulties that make a couple responses hard to hear. We're still learning this distance recording!**
April 6, 2020
Episode 2: A Conversation about Anti-Semitism
Even in a time of social distancing and coming together against COVID-19, anti-Semitism is a relevant topic. After a check-in with Rabbis Berg and Lapidus, we will share an interview with Dov Wilker, Regional Director of AJC-Atlanta. This was recorded in January 2020, just a few weeks after the stabbings at a Chanukah party in Monsey. Sadly, this week Rabbi Josef Neumann, a rabbi who was injured during the attack, died from his injuries.
April 1, 2020
Episode 1: Rabbis are People Too
Our pilot episode, recorded at The Temple during January 2020, where Rabbis Peter Berg and Loren Filson Lapidus start the conversation about what they hope this podcast will be! We are recording from The Temple in Atlanta, Georgia. 
March 25, 2020