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Spring Changes in the Garden...

Shalom! As May draws closer we'd like to draw your attention to our upcoming Community Meal May 3 - we are still looking for volunteers to help with this event - please read on for details.

There will be Shabbat Morning Worship this Saturday, 4/29. There will be NO First Friday Dinner on May 5 as Rabbi Andrea will be on retreat.

Table of Contents

  • Temple Garden Reinvigoration & Cleanup Day April 30
  • Community Meal - May 3
  • 'Off and Running' Film Screening - May 6
  • Resting in the Land: An Elemental Sabbath - May 13
  • Message from Rabbi Andrea - with Gratitude to our Community
  • Community Announcements

Temple Garden Reinvigoration

You may notice that the burning bushes on Pierce St. have all been pruned by Snow's. It looks a bit drastic, but not to worry, they will return in better shape. Also the four crabapples have been pruned. This Sunday 4/30, Nancee Bershof (master gardener) will be coordinating garden plantings from 2 - 4pm. All are welcome to come and help! We look forward to having beautiful landscaping, thanks to all Nancee's efforts and imagination!

Thank you very much, Nancee, for all your work on behalf of TI and your generous financial donation to support the landscaping!

Now is a wonderful time to consider contributing to the Reva Reck Memorial Garden Fund to support the efforts of our Garden Committee.

The good folks of Snows prune the burning bushes at Temple Israel

Community Meal at the 2nd Congregational Church in Greenfield

Wednesday May 3, 5pm @ 2nd Congregational Church, Greenfield

Dear Friends, On May 3rd we have another opportunity to provide a delicious meal to our neighbors in need by serving the Community meal at the 2nd Congregational Church at 5pm. You can donate money or food and/ or volunteer to help set up, serve and clean up the meal at the church. For food we are requesting either cooked chicken, side dishes or desserts. Please contact us and let us know how you would like to help. Jean Cherdack at jeancher63@gmail.com or 413 625-6206 or Shirin Morris shirinmorris@gmail.com or 413 625-9855 Please call us before we call you! Thanks in advance for your help with this project!

'Off and Running' Film Screening

Saturday, May 6, 6:15pm

'Off and Running' Film Screening Poster

'Off and Running' is an award winning documentary about a young adopted woman coming of age and seeking a fuller understanding of her own race, identity and family.

Free and Open to the public

Meet, greet, eat 6:15

7:15 Screening

Followed by discussion

Resting in the Land: An Elemental Sabbath

Saturday, May 13, 10:00am

Dori Midnight

Dori Midnight, Interfaith minister and Kohenet/Priestess (in training) is an intuitive healer in her Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Roma traditions. Dori and Andrea will journey with us thru the four elements - which are an integral and built in part of Jewish cosmology and ritual.

Thru song, movement and meditation come with us on this celebration and study of the torah portion Emor, which describes the seasonal arc and the cycles of seven which organize the ancient Jewish calendar.

10am service followed by Kiddush and conversation.

A Message from Rabbi Andrea - with Gratitude to our Community

Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener

Our community is a bit like a spider. Poeple are attracted here to learn, OR to feel community, OR to daven/pray OR to support Jewish continuity, OR to train their kids, OR to work together to express the prophetic vision of Judaism, OR to glean from the Jewish cultural heritage and expression AND many other reasons. I am able to see the diversity and richness of it all. I am able to connect with so many of you who bring your skills and interests here. With this writing, I take the time to let you know about what others in the commnity are creating. These are some of the amazing activists at TI:

Yosl Kurland, who has so many skills, is bringing Yiddish - language and culture - to an avid band of students.

The finance committee (headed by Carol Silver), the Board (headed by Jess Rigollaud) and the House committee (headed by Marc Weinberger and Marsha Stone) do the thankless and invisible jobs which make everything else possible. Thank you. We see you!

Our garden and grounds work was taken up this year under the leadership of Nancee Bershof and Rhonda Wainshilbaum. We look forward to work days and relaxing days in the improved grounds.

Thanks must go to Ellen Kaufmann and the Refugee Support project. Ellen and the committee have become important links in promoting and supporting human rights and safety of refugees here and abroad. The committee has adapted to the new administration with wisdom and passion - creating effective responses for changing circumstances.

Jean Cherdack and Shirin Morris have spear-headed our community meals offers for our neighbors at Second Congregational Church. Their efforts (besides being pretty fun!) place us where we should be - with our neighbors, helping where we can.

Michael Hurwitz is a steady shephard of the Meyers Library. He posts new and interesting books in creative ways and keeps good order in our lively library.

Okay, you get the idea. Among the committees and working groups I didn't even mention yet: Shmitta/Sustainability, Cultural Progamming and their wonderful film series on Embracing Diversity, Membership, School, IT, Programming, Ritual, Long Range Planning, Investment, Burrial Society/Hevra...And the list goes on!

We are doing amazing things. I am happy and proud to be part of the connective tissue of this beloved community.

Community Announcements

Kol Isha: A Concert of Jewish Music

May 1 @ Jewish Community of Amherst

Voces Feminae, dir. Catherine Bell, Presents Kol Isha: A Concert of Jewish Music. Music from across the diaspora, including works by Salamone Rossi, wordless Ashkenazi tunes, and Sephardic folk songs from Spain, Bosnia and Turkey. Included: heartbreak, advice from mothers to daughters, lullabies, liturgy, and at least one song about a king.

Admission is free and open to the public.

Friday, May 12, 6:00-7:30pm, NAVA TEHILA Musical Kabbalat Shabbat!


We'll come together with Nava Tehila's musical ensemble bringing Jewish Renewal from the heart of Jerusalem, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Rabbi Riqi Kosovske and Beit Ahavah - for an uplifting service by Nava Tehila and a night of blessings, with a beautiful celebration Oneg to follow. All are welcome!

Mak'hela Spring Concert to honor Jewish Family Services' work with refugees

May 21 @ Community Music School of Springfield

Mak'hela: The Jewish Chorus of Western Massachusetts, will conclude its 14th season with its first-ever concert in Robyn Newhouse Hall at the Community Music School of Springfield (CMSS). The "Building Bridges of Peace" concert, which will take place Sunday, May 21, 2017, at 2:00pm, will also feature members of the Layaali Arabic Music Ensemble, a Massachusetts-based group of musicians specializing in Arabic music, and will honor the New American Program, an initiative of Jewish Family Services (JFS) of Western Massachusetts dedicated to resettling refugees in the local area. For more information contact Peter Steinberg - steinbergpeter1@gmail.com

Jewish Genetics 101: What you should know about breast cancer and inheritance

Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
in Temple Beth El Social Hall, 979 Dickinson Street, Springfield, MA.

Staff from the Family Cancer Risk Program of Baystate Medical Center will present on the BRCA genes, associated cancer risks, when to test, family history, options for treatment, emotional consequences and insurance concerns. National resources will be available and time will be set aside for questions and answers with experts in the field. Light refreshments will be served. Please pre-register. Email info@jfswm.org or call 413.737.2601.

Sponsored by Jewish Family Service of Western MA, Family Cancer Risk Program of Baystate Medical Center, and Temple Beth El.