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Classes Start This Week; Shabbat Services & Kiddush this Weekend

Shalom! Some adult education offerings start this week... and we hope you can join for Shabbat services this weekend followed by Kiddush at Rabbi Andrea's! Read on for more.

Table of Contents

  • July Classes Start This Week: Storytelling tomorrow; gluten-free baking on Friday
  • This Saturday: Shabbat Morning Service & Kiddush at the Rabbi's
  • July 30: Superbia Neighborhood Garden Tour
  • Job Openings at Temple Israel's Hebrew School
  • Reflections from Rabbi Andrea on her July 4 trip to Washington, D.C.
  • Community Announcements

July Classes Start This Week!

!! Starting Tomorrow, Wednesday, July 12 !!
Risking Grief; Activating Hope: Stories for Dark Times.
July 12, 19 and 26, 7pm; $60/$45 for TI members
This year we will gather during the thee weeks before Tisha B'Av, our day of mourning, and explore the grief wisdom our tradition has to offer. Why do the Rabbis insist that in brokenness lies hope? And that the Messiah, our mythic image for ultimate hope, is actually born at the end of our mourning on TishaB'Av afternoon? How did the Rabbis throughout our tradition connect ash and hope, trauma and resilience, rupture and redemption? How might we? Dare we hope with the ecological, social and political unraveling we see around us? The Rabbis say YES!
We'll journey together weaving ancient stories into our lives. We'll use story circles, personal reflection, texts, art and time outdoors to find our own stories of loss, brokenness and hope. All levels of experience are invited. Please register by emailing [email protected] or confirming with [email protected]. Please bring payment on the first day.
!! Starting Friday, July 14 !!
Gluten-Free Baking Demonstrations
July 14, 21, and 28, 10am-12pm; $15 per class/$36 for all three

Join us for a series of gluten-free baking demonstrations given by our very own Rabbi Andrea! Each class will touch upon general principles of gluten-free baking, work from a specific recipe, and result in take-home goodies for you to enjoy. We can make some accomodations/subsitutions for dietary restrictions - please ask. To register, please email [email protected].

1st session, July 14: Calzone/pizza dough
2nd session, July 21: "Gluten-Free Bread That Doesn't Suck"
3rd session, July 28: Dessert principles & Lemon Bars

Shabbat Gatherings This Weekend

Saturday, July 15
Shabbat Morning Service @ TI, 10am
Kiddush @ Rabbi Andrea's, 12:30pm

Come to either or both! For more information or directions to Andrea's, email [email protected]

Superbia Neighborhood Garden Tour

Join Temple Israel's Superbia Project for a neighborhood walking tour! We will explore some of the wonderful gardens in our area and share in our hosts' gardening wisdom.

Sunday, July 30, 4-7pm.
Meet at Temple Israel, 27 Pierce Street
**Please arrive a few minutes early so we can start the tour on time
4:00pm: Depart Temple Israel and head to a first year garden down the street. We'll hear about these hosts' experience of getting a garden started.
4:30pm: Walk around the corner to visit a cleverly designed raised bed system that a tenant has created. She will talk to us about working with a landlord to create gardens while renting.
5:00pm: Walk down the street to experience a model urban farmstead. These folks have gradually transformed this once neglected and overgrown property, which was infested with invasive species, into a place of beauty and a source of healthy food.
We will return to Temple Israel around 5:30 and depart in bikes and cars for our final tour on the other side of town (Directions will be distributed then). On the way there are two gardens we have the option of visiting: one with extensive rainwater collection systems, and one with the beginnings of an edible forest garden. Pick one of these homesteads to visit and then reconvene on Colrain Road by 6:15, where we'll explore a 1/2 acre multiple use property with an orchard, community garden plots, chickens, and a sustainable low-impact greenhouse.
We'll close out the evening enjoying pizza and more. Great if you can bring fruit, a dessert, or beverage to share.

Job Openings at Temple Israel's Hebrew School

Temple Israel, Greenfield, is developing a pre-school program for families with young children and is seeking a teacher/outreach worker to design and develop a monthly program.

The Temple Hebrew School has an opening for a teacher's assistant for the elementary-age Hebrew School which meets on Sunday mornings.

Descriptions of these jobs are on the Temple web site at

Please send by mail or e-mail a letter expressing your interest in a position to the Temple office
[email protected], 27 Pierce St, Greenfield MA 01301 by August 3, 2017.

Reflections from Rabbi Andrea on her July 4 visit to Washington, D.C.

This 4th of July, I took a personal pilgrimage to Washington DC. My plan was simple. I wanted to pray and meditate in DC on our nation's birthday. But what to pray for? What to pray about?

If we wish for peace, don't we have an obligation to look for the obstacles to peace and pray about that? If we wish for a healthier national dialogue, don't we have an obligation to explore our judgments and our fears and our assumptions? I went with questions like these.

Early in the morning, I had coffee with Egyptian immigrants who were going to be selling hot dogs and ice cream near the capitol. Later that day, I sat quietly and meditated facing the White House, as up-scale Chinese tourists took selfies with the WH in the background.

I sang and walked with Resist for part of the day. I visited Mr. Lincoln and touched the names of the young men and women who died in my generation's war, the Vietnam War. At the peak of the day, I walked with scores of Americans of all shapes and sizes and colors; in saris and in American flag themed shirts. People were cooling off their overheated family members with ice cubes and cool drinks as the parade of singers and bands from around the country proudly marched. I went to the African American Cultural Museum to learn about the great debt this country owes to the enslaved people who built it and farmed it and empowered our first thriving economy. I walked thru that museum with people of many colors and backgrounds, a group of Americans.

Every step a prayer.

On my last revolution around the Mall, I asked some of the National Guardsmen what I should pray for. Peace was the number one answer, followed by a sharp intake of breath around clenched teeth (as in: "Where should I begin?!"). After a while, I rejected the "peace" answer as lame and incomplete. Here are some of the responses:

"The insight and strength to do the next right thing"

"The easing of pain"

"Friendliness. These senators get along great until the cameras roll."


For myself, I mostly had a sense of opening to remorse; and a willingness to not defend my position, to feel regret and responsibility; and to look for the good in others. I will admit that my prayers failed at time. There are individuals for whom I could not find an opening to hope.

I take home with me a few faces and a few voices, a few smells and sounds, the sense of the breeze one feels when one sits quietly on a hot day. I stayed close to my heart - close to my wish - for the whole day. I come back with more strength and more resolve and a bit less grief.

Community Announcements

Upcoming Programs from Traprock Center for Peace & Justice

Facilitation Deepening Weekend
August 17-20
Starseed Healing Sanctuary, Savoy, MA

This weekend is a special opportunity to work with Sarah Pirtle, one of the early developers of the Work That Reconnects (founded by Joanna Macy as Despair and Empowerment work). It will also be presented by Aravinda Ananda, Joseph Rotella, song leader Anne Goodwin and others. Starseed is a quiet and lovely rural retreat center in western Massachusetts. Registration by July 15 is requested, so please act quickly if you would like to come!

Both newer and more experienced facilitators are welcome. Information and registration here.

A food coordinator/cook for this event is being sought; a stipend will be paid. Inquire of Aravinda.

2017 Interhelp Gathering
November 3-5
Woolman Hill Conference Center, Deerfield, MA

Children's Program: Planning for this year's Interhelp Gathering (annual Work That Reconnects weekend workshop) is well underway, and we look forward to seeing many of you there. If there is sufficient interest, we will provide a children's program. Four or more children, along with family member(s), must be registered by August 18 for us to proceed with making plans. Start giving it thought right away, and please pass the word. Detailshere. Please contact Paula Hendrick with questions.

New this year: Online registration and Paypal options (although we prefer to receive checks in the mail, thus avoiding a service charge). Registration is now open.