From the Presidents – April 21, 2023

       We hope everyone is enjoying expanded diets again now that another Passover is in the books.  We also wanted to thank everyone who was able to attend the Yom Hashoa service last night.  This time of year weighs heavily on all of us as we contemplate the magnitude of the tragedy to the Jewish communities of the world that the Holocaust unleashed.  We must never forget, painful as it is, because we must never allow it to ever happen again.  And yet Yom Hashoa also brings a sense of hope as well as sorrow.  When the Nazis and their allies embarked on their murderous crusade, they set out to completely destroy Judaism everywhere in the world.  Despite the millions they managed to kill, however, they still failed, because Judaism and Jewish communities all over the world survived and continue to thrive.  Just as remarkable are the stories of those who risked their lives to ensure that outcome.  Individuals such as Oscar Schindler, who though he joined the Nazi Party spent his entire fortune during the war protecting over a thousand Jewish workers in his factory (he remains the only former Nazi to be buried with honors in Israel).  Or Raul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who risked his life to personally save thousands of Hungarian Jews in Budapest at the close of the war (and ended up dying in a Soviet gulag for his efforts).  Or the entire nation of Denmark, which stood up to the Nazis by spriting nearly the entire Jewish community of Denmark to safety in Sweden, saving over 90% of them.  These stories, and many others, remind us that even in the midst of immense tragedy hope can live on with the right amount of motivation and courage.

In other news, several holidays are coming up now that Passover is complete.  In the coming weeks we will be celebrating Yom Haatzmaut and Yom Hazikaron, celebrating the birth of the modern state of Israel.  Also, on Sunday, May 7, at 2:00 p.m. we are in for a very special treat because Cantor Marney will be performing a free concert program entitled “Love Songs and Lullabies from around the World”  The program will be a mix of songs in Yiddish, Ladino, as well as Jewish composers from Broadway and some miscellaneous pieces.  We encourage all members and their families to come enjoy some great music as well as refreshments.  And there will be cake! 

Also, soon it will be time for elections to the Board of Directors, which will take place at the Annual Membership Meeting in June.  Please consider joining the Temple Beth Hillel Board of Directors for the upcoming year.  Our Board is always on the lookout for members who have ideas for the future of the temple and the ability to carry out that vision.  You can reach out to us or any Board member when you are interested.

       Finally,  the next Shabbat Service will be held this Friday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m.  Come worship with our community!  Also, Family Shabbat will be held earlier in the evening at 6:15 p.m, right before the next Shabbat service.  We plan to hold a mini seder for all the kids so spread the word to families in the area to come and enjoy the festivities.  The Adult Ed class with Rabbi Dean has resumed its regular schedule.  We will also have Torah Study on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.  And those who wish to join Tefillah services at the Religious School are welcome starting at 9:30 a.m on Sundays (though not this Sunday because of a field trip).  Thanks everyone!


 If I am not for myself, who will be for me?

If I am not for others, what am I?

And if not now, when? -Rabbi Hillel

~ Anna B Stein and David Zimring, Co-Presidents, Temple Beth Hillel