From the Desk - Rosh Hashanah Program
As we approach the holidays, we are organizing many online and in person events and preparing material for members to help us all celebrate Rosh Hashanah in these unusual circumstances. I also wanted to take the opportunity to remind you of some recent, upcoming and ongoing events at Beth Ora. It's wonderful to hear the beautiful feedback from our programs and we hope that they are offering inspiration and communal connection during this challenging time.
As we have been so busy, there is a lot to report on but please do take the time to look at all the activity in our Beth Ora community and make note of any upcoming events that you'd like to attend.
Talk with Wendy Eisen, Activist for Soviet Jewry
Last week, we were privileged to host communal leader and former Soviet Jewry activist Wendy Eisen to the Beth Ora Zoom room. Wendy recounted the fascinating and inspiring story of this incredible movement while reflecting on her own experiences and contribution. As I explained at the event, this story poses questions to each of us as to how we should stand up firmly for what we believe in and never lose hope for the future. Special thanks to Eric Dym for his help at the event.
Shabbat Kids Program in the Park
We are constantly thinking of ways to engage our children in the Beth Ora community, despite the challenges posed by the current virus. We are very grateful to Sarah Benshimon, Howie Brown and Hannah Stoopler who have been running a great program for the kids in the park on Shabbat morning, from 10:00-10:45 AM (weather permitting). The kids do some of the prayers and have a little Kiddush as well as having the opportunity to play together in the park opposite the synagogue.
Restarting of Weekday Morning Services
We are delighted to have restarted our weekday (Sunday-Friday) Shacharit minyan which starts at 8:00 AM each morning. We are very grateful to Rabbi Haim Nataf and the Petah Tikva community for supporting us in getting the minyan started.
A quick reminder that, each Friday at Noon, I give a 15 minute inspirational series of Torah ideas relating to the weekly parsha. We have also been holding weekly Mincha/Maariv services on Tuesday evening. For the last couple of months, we have only had a few people at these services but we are now pleased to offer the opportunity to hear the shofar blown between Mincha and Maariv. It was wonderful to see so many people join us last night for prayers and to prepare for Rosh Hashanah by hearing the blowing of the shofar. Make a note in your calendar if you'd like to join us next Tuesday at 6:50 PM. We also have havdallah every Saturday evening and it's wonderful to see different people join us each week to listen and participate in this mitzvah.
We are particularly excited for our special session on Sunday, September 13th featuring Israeli settler Rabbi Shaul Judelman and Palestinian Noor Awad. Rabbi Shaul and Noor are involved in an organization called Roots in which Israelis and Palestinians of very different political and religious outlooks reach out to each other in respectful and compassionate dialogue. The event will be fascinating and carries important messages for our community. As the speakers are in Israel, the program on Sunday will be at 2:30 PM.
On Thursday, September 24th at 7:00 PM, we welcome Rabbi Shalom Hammer who we had the pleasure of hosting at Beth Ora a couple of years ago. On December 5, 2019, Rabbi Hammer's 18 year old daughter, Gila z"l, died by suicide. This Pre-Yom Kippur presentation relates the important lessons regarding sensitivity and compassion to our fellow, which Gila exemplified and demonstrated to others despite her demise at such a young age.
Rosh Hashanah Program
In addition to all these events, we are delighted to let you know about the following programs, specifically relating to Rosh Hashanah.
If anyone would be interested in hearing a short sermon amidst a small gathering in the garden of one of the members on the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah, please let me know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, September 12th at 9:00 PM
Online Selichot Join us on Zoom for the first night of Selichot led by Rabbi Heshy Benshimon To join, https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81664894447. Thursday, September 17th at 8:00 PM
Bringing the Shul to Your Home Join Rabbi Heshy and Rabbi Knopf, be inspired through the nourishment of the mind and soul as they journey through the highlights of the Rosh Hashanah service. And end off with a Pre-Rosh Hashanah L’Chaim! To join, https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88580487461.
Saturday, September 19th at 9:00 AM
Rosh Hashanah Morning Service at Beth Ora Sunday. September 20th
Rosh Hashanah Morning Service at Beth Ora at 9:00 AM
Lunch on the Grass for Young Families at 1:00 PM - Bring your own food and picnic blankets for Rosh Hashanah lunch, song, story, shofar. and Tashlich. In the park, opposite Beth Ora.
Community Shofar Blowing and Tashlich at 4:00 PM - Join us in the park, opposite Beth Ora to hear the shofar.
Throughout these challenging times, please know your community Beth Ora is here for you. If there is anything we can do to help you over the holiday period, please don't hesitate to email me, or call on 514-714-6559.
Wishing you a wonderful week ahead,
Rabbi Anthony Knopf