I hope you had a joyful Thanksgiving, with an opportunity to be with loved ones and to express gratitude for family and friends. As we come to the end of Kislev, we welcome Hanukkah very soon, affording us all more time with friends and family!
The Temple Beth Am community will be busy this month of December, as we are visited by candidates for our open Rabbi position. We have our first candidate visiting on the Shabbat of November 30 – December 1, and it is possible we will have additional candidates during the two following weeks in December.
Please note that the candidates will speak and teach several times throughout Shabbat. In each case, on Shabbat morning, the Library Minyan will come together with Shir Hadash and Beitenu following Musaf to hear the candidate deliver a Drash. In cooperative fashion, the Library Minyan will strive to conclude davening between 11:50 & 12 noon on the Shabbatot when rabbinic candidates are at TBA. To help make this happen, we ask all of you to continue exercising your “joyous flexibility” in the coming weeks!
In addition, we have an abundance of programming coming this month, including the DPL Shabbat dinners on December 21. Please don’t forget to sign up. And check out the TBA programming as well. Hanukkah Monologues on December 9 features our own Library Minyaners Jerry Krautman and Jackie Weiss.
Stay tuned for an updated report on addressing sound amplification in the Library Minyan. And if you have suggestions on repairs or modest renovations that need to be made in the Dorff Nelson Chapel, please share them with me. We may have the opportunity to address some issues in 2019.
Finally, please mark your calendars for the annual Library Minyan general meeting following Kiddush on Saturday January 26, 2019.
May the lights of the Hanukkiah illuminate your lives with joy! B’shalom,
Be a Welcome Shabbat Guest in a Library Minyan Home on 12/21
The Diaspora Potluck (DPL) Committee reminds you about the annual Shabbat Dinners in Geographically Dispersed Homes on Friday, December 21, 2018.
A lively, lovely group of hosts have come forward eager to welcome guests into their homes. There is still room for guests.
If you have never taken part in one of these dinners, you are missing something special. Take a very safe chance, and sign up! It’s great fun to be in a home that may be new for you, with a new mix of LM folks.
Write to Rebecca.email@example.com if you have questions. And so sign up asap — definitely by Sunday, 12/9.
You can click here to reserve your place as a Guest.
— Rebecca Friedman, DPL event coordinator
Got an Agenda? The Ritual Committee Wants to Know
From time to time, people approach me (during or) after services and suggest that the Ritual Committee needs to do something about ... (and then my Shabbat amnesia kicks in, and I forget what they said). Here's your chance to do something about that!
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
with any suggested items to be included on the 2019 agenda for the Library Minyan's Ritual Committee. Please provide a brief summary of the request, and what you see are the pros (and cons) of your position.
I don't promise that we will take up every item that gets only a single request — but I do promise that if a new issue is raised by multiple people, it will be vetted and discussed.
— Bill Seligman, Ritual Chair
Dec 1 Torah Club, Rabbinic candidate Drash after Musaf, & Co-sponsored Kiddush
Dec 21 DPL Winter Welcome Shabbat Dinners
Jan 5 Co-sponsored Kiddush to Celebrate Recent Grandchildren
Jan 12 Torah Club & Bermans sponsor Kiddush for Abe's birthday
Library Minyan Annual Meeting
Nurturning Jewish Children
Even if you don't know us, if you daven in the Library Minyan, you'd recognize our three kids, ages 8, 5 and 1.5. They've been Minyan regulars since they were born — napping in their infant seats at first, then playing on the floor in the back corner with a break to wave goodbye to the Torah as it returns to the aron, and now, for the older two, running up to the bimah for Adon Olam and lollipops, or to collect candy showered on b’nei-mitzvah.
Young children have an infectious enthusiasm for the world. They see beauty in things we never would have noticed, sing and dance unabashedly, and delight in even mundane activities like seeing how high they can swing or how many bubbles they can pop. We love experiencing the world through these eyes.
But we know that the kids' enthusiasm will wane over time, and we're determined to make the most of it before that happens. One aspect of that is giving them as many engaging, immersive Jewish experiences as we can while they're still receptive to it. Fortunately, there are lots of opportunities.
We sing the songs they've learned at the joyous, musical Pressman ECC Kabbalat Shabbat service. We let them choose their favorite kiddush cups and challah covers for the Shabbat table. We prepare a
dinner that includes all the colors of the rainbow in honor of Parshat Noach — and, this year, followed that up with a toy camel on the table for Chayei Sarah. We build a sukkah for Sukkot, make mishlochei-manot for Purim, and have ice cream for breakfast as a special Shavout treat. From time to time, we manage even more deeply immersive experiences like the dynamic Ramah shabbaton or a trip to Israel.
And, on Shabbat mornings, the whole family goes to shul. Given our approach of making Judaism accessible and engaging, we wish Beth Am offered a kid-geared service every week,
or even monthly. Since it doesn't, we instead search for special moments within the regular service — kissing the Torah, accompanying us for an aliyah, sitting with adult friends who go out of their way to make them feel welcome. We hope that all these experiences, woven together, will kindle in them a love for Judaism and Israel that will last throughout their lives. It's not always easy, but we think it's worth it!
— Alana & Jon Rotter