- Welcome New Members, Avi Goldman and Meg Postrero and their daughters Sanya and Netanya. Sanya and Netanya have been attending Religious School, and we welcome the family to our community.
- Friday night services will be starting at 7:30 PM from now on. The April 1 service will be online only, since Rabbi Dean will be unavailable.
- The Cantor Search Committee is moving forward with negotiations to hire Marney Margules as Cantorial Soloist.
- Michelle Husby has asked for a leave of absence, and we are looking for a temporary Office Manager while she is unavailable.
- There will be an online Seder.
- The Purim Carnival worked out well. Since it was smaller than usual it was easier to organize, and people were able to enjoy each other.
- Religious School celebrated Purim by making hamentashen; the older students helped set-up and run the carnival games.
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As spring approaches, it is time for that wonderful holiday where it is almost required to have fun: Purim! For the Religious School this Sunday, March 13, come dressed in costume as we celebrate the story of Esther, Mordechai, and the other characters from the Purim tale.
As I mentioned last week, I am pleased to announce that Temple Beth Hillel will once again be holding its annual Purim Carnival in person on Sunday, March 13, from 12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m. There will be booths, games, songs, and fun for the whole family. In order to have the carnival run as smoothly as possible, I would like to ask the parents to please volunteer an hour or two of your time this Sunday to help with set-up, running the games, and/or clean-up. I and the teachers will be right there with you and we deeply appreciate your help. Please let me know if you would like to run a game or help with set up.
And now for the recap. Rabbi Dean led our Tefillah Service with the highlight of moving from Exodus to Leviticus in our Torah readings. The younger grades joined with Jenny in learning about the story of Purim along with the symbols of Purim, including hamentashens, grogers, etc. The Bnai Mitzvah class continued to work on the Haftorah prayers and read through Chase’s upcoming Torah portion, looking at the theme of Creation. For the second hour, we finished up our unit on the Ukrainian Jewish community. We learned that Hasidism, Klezmer music, and the beloved story Fiddler on the Roof all gained their inspiration from the Ukrainian Jewish community. We also learned Ukrainian Jews have in the past been presidents, prime ministers, champion chess players, olympians, actors and scientists. It is truly a vibrant Jewish community that we can look up to and support in their time of need.
We look forward to seeing everyone at the Purim carnival! And thank you in advance for all the parents who will help the carnival return to its glory after the shutdowns from Covid. Shalom!
And welcome back from Ski Week! As we enter March we are once again on the cusp of a major holiday. In a few weeks we will be celebrating the exciting holiday of Purim. On March 13, I am please to announce, we will be able to restart the annual Temple Beth Hillel Purim Carnival, which will run from 12:00-1:30 p.m. It will be a lot of fun! We will also be having Religious School straight through March so all Sundays in March will have Religious School. Our next session will be this Sunday, March 6, at 9:30 a.m.
And now for the recap. Rabbi Dean led our Tefillah Service before all the kids went to their classes. The lower and middle grades have been working on the theme of Tzedakhah. All the kids made their own Tzedakah boxes and discussed the key ideas and actions behind Tzedakah.
For the Bnai Mitzvah class, our focus was on the current crisis in Ukraine and how it relates to the Jewish community here and in that suffering country. Our first hour was spent learning the Before Haftorah prayer while reviewing the Torah blessings. For the second hour, the class researched the history of the Jewish community in Ukraine stretching all the way back over 1000 years ago. We learned that Jews were welcomed into Ukraine during the Polish Empire, forced to live in the Pale of Settlement in the Russian Empire, and suffered heavily in the Holocaust yet still survived through the 20th century. Among the most fascinating facts we learned:
- Ukraine today has one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe
- The current President of Ukraine, President Zelinsky, who has done so much to rally the people of Ukraine, is Jewish
- Back in 2019, Ukraine was the only country other than Israel to have both a Jewish president and a Jewish Prime Minister.
Next week we will be learning more about this amazing community.
And that about covers it for now. I look forward to seeing everyone on Sunday!
- The service with the Cantor candidate will be Friday, February 18. Masks and social distancing will be required. A mini-oneg will be outside, with individual servings.
- We are planning to celebrate Purim on Sunday, March 13 with a Megillah reading; Purim spiel; and outdoor carnival.
- We will not have an in-person congregational Seder this year. We are considering something online.
- We need to reconstitute our Social Action committee to discuss future projects. that we might want to undertake.
- Kel-Aire will include the costs of permitting and electrical work in their HVAC bid and they will manage these. They have already submitted the request for permitting to the City.
- Security cameras have been installed in the parking lot. We will see if they can be incorporated into our existing security system.
Happy Winter Olympics Season! Hopefully everyone is enjoying watching the games and cheering on all the amazing athletes! It’s a great time for sports! Our next meeting will take place this Sunday, February 13 at 9:30 a.m. (after which we can all go home to see the Olympics and the Super Bowl at the same time!) and then we will be off on February 20.
And now for the recap. Rabbi Dean as always led our Tefillah Service, and thankfully we were able to return inside the sanctuary. Afterwards, the kids all went to their classrooms. This week the middle grades joined Jenny and the younger grades in learning all about Tzedakah. They played, did art projects, and learned the importance of giving in our community.
For the B’nai Mitzvah class, we took a break from our usual theme to concentrate on the sports season. Our first hour was spent reviewing the Torah prayers before moving on to starting the Haftarah prayers. Everyone in the class will be chanting all those prayers from memory before long. For the second hour, the class researched Jewish athletes who have competed in the Winter Olympic games since 1924. They seemed to generally come from the United States, Israel, Russia, Canada, the Soviet Union, and Hungary. We even found a brother/sister American pairs figure skating team! Next week we will continue our research and then make a visual display of all the athletes and the countries they represented.
And that about covers it for now. Enjoy the Olympics and we’ll see y’all next week!
We had another great day of Religious School this past Sunday. Thanks to the reduced case counts, we were all able to go back to the classrooms. Our next meeting will take place this Sunday, February 6, at 9:30 a.m. We will also have school on February 13 and then be off on February 20.
And now for the recap. Rabbi Dean led our Tefillah Service before the kids went to their classes. The younger grades got a wonderful surprise when the Fox family distributed T-shirts to everyone! Everyone can wear them for next week’s classes!
In the Bnai Mitzvah class, we resumed our work on the Torah prayers and are now moving on to the Haftarah prayers. The students can now not only read the prayers but also chant them! They have come a long way. For the second half of class, we learned more about the Karaite community, who originated in Egypt. There are a lot of differences, especially in Kosher laws, celebrating Shabbat, who gets to interpret Torah, etc. It is always fascinating looking at the different ways Judaism can be celebrated around the world. Now that we have looked at Jewish communities in Asia, Europe, and Africa, we will turn our attention to the Pacific and South America. Should be interesting.
And that about covers it for now. Please let me know if you have any questions. I’ll see y’all on Sunday!
And welcome back to Religious School. After a long hiatus, it was great to see everyone at the Temple again. Now that we have passed the holiday season, we will have regular classes every Sunday from now until February 20. Our next meeting will take place this Sunday, January 30, at 9:30 a.m.
And now for the recap. We all gathered outside for our Tefillah Service, led by Rabbi Dean. Afterwards, each class celebrated the fun holiday of Tu’Bshvat. The younger grades got to sample the 7 species (wheat, barley, grapes, pomegranates, figs, dates, and olives) along with a variety of fruits).
I taught the middle grades along with the Bnai Mitzvah kids this week. We started off by reading a rebus about the origins of TuBshvat and then they tested their skills with a TuBshvat puzzle. For the second half of class, we all got to participate in the tradition of tasting the 7 species along with 15 different fruits (symbolizing the 15th day of Shivat, the name of the holiday). They got to try regular fruits like apples and oranges along with more exotic fruits like Dragonfruit. They all liked some of them, others did not pass the taste test, but we all had fun trying out new flavors.
And that about covers it for now. Next week we will return to our regular subjects until the next major holiday of Purim. Please let me know if you have any questions.
- The Board thanks Lucinda Casson and Louise Snitz for their work and expertise in managing our reopening plans, including maintaining the vaccination list and acting as greeters.
- The service on Friday, January 21, will be online, so the service with the Cantor candidate will be postponed.
- We are hoping to celebrate Purim on Sunday, March 13, with a Megillah reading; Purim spiel; and outdoor carnival.
- We will not have a Passover congregational Seder this year.
- Religious School resumes on Sunday, January 23, with a celebration of Tu b’Shvat.
- Bids for new furnaces, air conditioning and ventilation systems in the main building approved..
- Now that high speed internet is available, we are looking into security cameras, and also additional security measures.
I hope everyone is doing well. I wanted to let everyone know that this upcoming weekend is a holiday weekend for MLK Day so we will not be having Religious School or Hebrew School this upcoming week. Our Religious School will reconvene on Sunday, January 23, at our usual time of 9:30 a.m. For that week we will be having a belated celebration of TuBshvat. We will also be restarting Hebrew School on Monday, January 24.
I also wanted to let you know that there will be a program happening on Monday, January 17, called “Passion and Perseverance: A MLK Day Celebration at the North Richmond Farm” hosted by Urban Tilth. It will take place at 323 Brookside Drive in Richmond from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
Please let me know if you have any questions. We’ll see everyone back on the 23rd!
Happy secular new year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season along with the kids’ break from school. Now that we have entered 2022, I had a few announcements. Unfortunately, the recent COVID spike has not spared our congregation. Because of the uncertainty surrounding the surge, the teachers and I regretfully decided to cancel the upcoming religious school session on January 9 for safety reasons. Currently, our schedule includes a break on the 16th and then resumes for the rest of the month on the 23rd and 30th. Although I know the 16th is part of a long weekend, would parents be interested in having a session that day since we will now not meet on the 9th? Please let me know your thoughts.
For those enrolled in the Hebrew School, I am pleased to announce we will resume our class on January 10 but it will be through Zoom rather than in-person for at least the next couple of weeks. I will send out the Zoom link on Monday.
Let us hope and pray that the recent surge will only last for a relatively short time (as happened in South Africa) and we can all see each other in-person again soon. Please let me know if you have any questions.