From the Presidents – April 26, 2023

Shalom Y’all!

As is so often the case, sorrow is followed by celebration in the Jewish calendar (and even vice versa sometimes).  Now that Yom Hashoa has passed, it is time to turn our thoughts to one of the most remarkable miracles to ever occur in the 20th century: Yom Haatzmaut!  In the wake of the tragedy of the Holocaust and the reality of the retreat of empires around the world after the Second World War, the eastern Mediterranean witnessed its turn for independence movements.  In 1948, after much delay and reluctance, the British Empire agreed to withdraw from Palestine and enact the plan of the United Nations to create a Jewish state for the first time in nearly two millennia.  The leaders of this new state of Israel issued their Declaration of Independence and received support from around the world, including the United States.  At that moment, the newborn state of Israel faced one of its greatest crises as it was attacked from all sides by a combined force from Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and several other countries, all eager to wipe Israel off the map before it even began.  And yet, miraculously, Israel survived all of these attacks and established itself as a brand new nation.  Seventy-five years, though the nation continues to have its problems and crises, it still represents a symbol of resilience for Jewish communities all over the world.  May it continue for many, many years to come.     

In other news, 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, May 5, at 7:30 p.m.  There will likely be a special treat as members of the Richmond City Council will attend to deliver a Proclamation for Jewish Heritage Month.  Also, Family Shabbat will be held two weeks later on May 19 at 6:15 p.m, right before the next Shabbat service.  The Adult Ed class with Rabbi Dean has resumed its regular schedule and 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