From the Presidents – Sept. 29, 2023

L’Shana Tova Everyone!

And so another successful High Holidays draws to a close here at Temple Beth Hillel.  We would like to give a special thanks to all the people who made it happen, including Rabbi Dean, Cantor Marney, the Ritual Committee, Jane Durango for helping organize the Break Fast, those who have made donations for our High Holiday Appeal and Food for Thought, and many others.  We also extend a warm welcome to all our new members along with visitors who came to our amazing temple for the first time.  With all of your efforts, we will have many more stirring High Holidays to come.

And now it is time for the Holiday Rush.  The passing of the autumnal equinox generally indicates we are right in the middle of a slew of holidays in the Jewish calendar, including the recent High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and now, Sukkot and Simchat Torah.  Each one represents a critical period in Jewish history and/or keeping our ancient rituals alive through prayer, fasting, feasting and Torah study.  The fact that all four of them happen so close together symbolizes how great joy can be combined with great contemplation and reflection to create a holistic experience for Jewish communities around the world.  In that sense, autumn can claim to be the most important season of them all.  So let us enjoy the balmy days of autumn and the many colors of nature before the calendar gives way to winter (or wildfire season).

Looking ahead, this coming Sunday on October 1, we invite all congregants to attend the Urban Tilth lecture and Sukkot gathering in the Temple’s own sukkah at 2:00 p.m. (and a huge thank you to all those who helped put up the sukkah this past Sunday!)  For those who don’t know, Urban Tilth is a Richmond non-profit whose mission is: to inspire, hire, and train local residents to cultivate agriculture, feed our community, and restore relationships to land to build a more sustainable food system, within a just and healthier community. The work Urban Tilth is doing in Richmond is a perfect topic for Sukkot, our fall harvest festival! So plan to socialize, fulfill the mitzvah of the four species (shake the lulav and etrog), enjoy some snacks and drinks, and learn!  

And for those who wish to make a difference in our own community, we highly encourage you to consider joining the Temple Beth Hillel Board of Directors next 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.  And as we have discovered, serving on the Board makes us appreciate how much Temple Beth Hillel means to us and our children.  In addition, we would like to thank all those who have made donations for our High Holiday project of replacing the window coverings in the sanctuary.  And for those who wish to volunteer for Food for Thought this year, there is a sign up sheet in the main hallway.   

Finally, our regular services will continue through the rest of the year.  Our next regular Shabbat Service will take place on Friday, October 6, at 7:30 p.m.  Torah Study will continue every Saturday at 10:15 p.m.  And of course, our wonderful Religious School has restarted and we encourage everyone to come to our Tefillah services every Sunday at 9:30 a.m.  Lastly, the next Family Shabbat service will be held on Friday, October 20, at 6:15 p.m. just before our regular Shabbat service.  Please help spread the word.  We’ll see y’all in our sukkah on Sunday!  Thank you 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