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Happy last week of February!

Greetings from Temple Israel!

This year, in lieu of our community Seder, we will be organizing the Great Passover Match-Up - in which we connect members of our community with each other for hosting and enjoying Passover together. We'll have more details on that soon, but for now, we welcome your input.

Keep reading for details on the coming week, a very busy first weekend in March, and the lineup announcement for our big Arts Weekend concert on 3/25!

Table of Contents

  • This Week's Upcoming Events @ Temple Israel
  • Ali Abu Awad, Palestinian Author of Painful Hope, to speak in Northampton 2/28
  • A Busy First Weekend of March!
  • Yiddish Class
  • Celebrate Purim with us March 11
  • Arts Weekend Update: Saturday evening performances lineup finalized
  • Rabbi's Drop-in Hours and Office Hours
  • Community Announcements

Coming Up This Week @ Temple Israel

Shabbat Worship: Spiritual Support for Anxious Times

Saturday, February 25, 10:00am

Temple Work Day

Tuesday, February 28, 9:00am

Be true to your shul! Help us organize archives, supplies and photos, clean out corners and in general refresh our Temple Israel facility. RSVP to Marsha or Andrea rabbi(at)

Lay-Led Torah Study

Tuesday, February 28, 12:30pm

Our longest standing synagogue class is our lay-led weekly torah study. Come for camaraderie and conversation. Every Tuesday, 12:30-2PM

Note: In last week's bulletin it was mistakenly stated that Torah Study is on Wednesdays - it's not! It is on Tuesdays. Thanks to Lenore G. for catching the error.

Ali Abu Awwad, Palestinian Author of Painful Hope, to Speak in NoHo

Ali Abu Awwad Photo (c) Claude Truong-Ngoc / Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, February 28, 7:00pm

We are very pleased to be working with rabbis and activists in the valley to bring Ali Abu Awwad to the area. Ali will speak at Congregation Bnai Israel on Tuesday evening, February 28 beginning at 7:00PM. Ali abu Awwad is an author, non-violence educator and peace activist in the West Bank.

Check out his Ted X talk here

The talk is a fund raiser for Ali's new project, Taghyeer

A Busy First Weekend of March!

Hadassah Sponsored Shabbat Service & Famous Chocolate Oneg

Friday, March 3, 7:00pm

TI is delighted to host this year's Haddasah evening service followed by the famous Chocolate Oneg.

The theme this year is Building because the gifts for building the ancient sanctuary is described on this shabbat. Hadassah members are builders too: they build community, this incredibel organization, and the Hadassah Hospital in Israel!

Come for the sisterhood. Stay for the chocolate!

'Raise the Roof' Film Screening

Saturday, March 4
6:30pm Nosh & Chat
7:30pm Film Screening
Followed by Discussion & Reflection

TI's Cultural Art Programming group's 'Embracing Diversity' film and discussion series continues on March 4 with "Raise the Roof"

This powerful and dynamic film follows two inspired artists, Laura and Rick Brown, as they embark on a huge ten-year project to re-construct a replica of the stunning, mural-covered Gwozdziec Synagogue in Poland, including more than 300 students and artists from 16 countries. In 2014, this international team completed an incredible journey to rebuild, using period tools, one of Poland's most glorious architectural treasures, destroyed by the Nazis during WW II. By its completion they have done far more than reconstruct a lost synagogue; they have recovered a lost world.

We selected this film because of its beauty, poignance, and relevance to so many in our Greater Greenfield community whose roots in Poland. Its message and visuals are potent reminders for us today, of our need to live in peace, of the importance of building and maintaining our communities, and our need to remain open to one another. Please join us!

Meet and Greet Pot Luck: Superbia - Designing Resilient Neighborhoods

Sunday, March 5, 4:00pm

Neighbors and members of Temple israel are invited to a (vegetarian) potluck dinner and discussion on planning resilient neighborhoods. We hope to study the opportunities to work together to grow food, share tools, know our neighbors and other goals of interest to We the Participants!

This is the first of a 3 part series to understand the how and why of re-imagining neighborhood resilience. In future meetings we will do a walking tour of our neighborhood and engage in a design process to map out our ideas and any projects we wish to support going forward.

Abrah Dresdale will facilitate our first meetings. Abrah is a teacher of perma-culture design principles and a skilled and gifted facilitator. There is no charge for the series - but do plan to bring a veggies soup, side or dessert. RSVP appreciated: office(@)

Yiddish Class

The Return of Yosl Kurland's Yiddish Class:

What Yiddish Tells Us About Being Jewish

Sundays, 3/5, 3/19, 4/2, 4/23, 5/7, 5/14. 5/21 will be make-up date if needed
10:30am - 12:30pm

The class will be tailored to the experience and desires of the students. Classes focus on the relationship between the Yiddish language and Jewish religion, culture and philosophy, and make use of songs, poetry, idiomatic expressions, vocabulary building games and grammatical examples taken from the literature we are studying

$15/session or $75/series for Temple Israel members,
$20/session or $100/series for non-members.
Or pay what you can. No one will be turned away if you can't pay.

Purim Shpeil

Saturday, March 11, 7pm

The Book of Ester will be retold this year by a cast of local characters. This ancient story - set in Persia - about the eternal struggle between right and wrong use of power is as relevant as ever. Come witness and participate in this lively retelling. Bring snacks and libations if you got 'em.

Contact rabbi(@) if you wish to be in this year's cast.

Arts Weekend Update: Saturday Evening's Concert Lineup!

We are excited to announce the lineup for the concert on Saturday Evening, 3/25 - part of TIG's Art, Creativity, & Community weekend-long celebration of the arts in a Jewish context. Happening March 24-26!



ReBelle is an intergenerational and intercultural band from Africa and America, founded by Kalpana Devi and Emmanuel Manou.

They are an evocative musical force offering all original music, sung in four different languages, English, Wolof, Creole and French. Their powerhouse vocalists chant meditations on liberation while instrumentals propel roots reggae soul. Their mystical mix of pulsing tribal rhythms and strong arrangements are internationally acclaimed. Their eloquent compositions run along limbs of rasta, elements of soul and folk and poetic insurgence. Their music persuades humanity to potent change-making.

"ReBelle does some heavy channeling in their live shows.....When ReBelle performs, concert halls become churches, and for several hours, at least, people come together."- Valley Advocate

"Few bands brave the more difficult challenges of composing new, intelligent and trail blazing music...ReBelle is one such band." -Dirty Linen


Sue Kranz & Friends

Sue Kranz & Friends:
Sue Kranz has been performing since the age of 15. A gifted singer-songwriter, guitarist and flutist, she has released three recordings of original songs and covers. She was one of the stars in the women's singing group Constellations and one half the Sue Kranz & Ben Tousley duo. A world traveler who has collaborated musically from Peru to Nepal, Sue has likewise brought her creative gifts to her classroom as an elementary school and Spanish teacher for many years in Cambridge and in Western MA. Sharing music with others is her greatest source of happiness.
Cheryl Termo owns a family business in Greenfield and resides in beautiful Shelburne Falls. In between working and spending time with her considerable brood of children and grandchildren, she loves to sing with Sue Kranz & Friends, the hospice choir Eventide, and Greenfield Harmony.
Kim Erslev is an architect, teacher, farmer, potter, and singer living with her family in Shelburne Falls. Life is good!


Yosl Kurland at the piano
Composer and singer Yosl Kurland has been involved with Jewish music for nearly sixty years. He began singing Yiddish songs in high school, and later founded the Wholesale Klezmer Band of which he has been fiddler, lead singer and songwriter since 1982. He has studied with numerous teachers of traditional Yiddish song style and traditional khazonim (cantors) and serves as part time khazn at Temples Israel of Greenfield and Athol. Yosl has composed Yiddish songs and prayer music and his work has twice been chosen for the Shalshelet International Festival of New Jewish Liturgical Music. He teaches Yiddish language and literature locally, and has taught workshops on Yiddish song, language and dance at synagogues, festivals and conferences from New Mexico to Quebec.


Maggid David Arfa blows a shofar

David Arfa, Maggid (Mah-geed/Storyteller) is dedicated to Judaism's storytelling heritage and ancient environmental wisdom. He has produced two CD's, 'the Birth of Love: Tales for the Days of Awe' and the Parents Choice award winner, 'The Life and Times of Herschel of Ostropol: The Greatest Prankster Who Ever Lived'. His full length storytelling performance, 'The Jar of Tears: A Memorial for the Warsaw Ghetto Rebbe' won the Cohen Center's Hildebrandt award for its "artistic quality, technical mastery and depth of vision." He is also the Director of Education at Congregation Beth Israel in North Adams and a student in the clinical pastoral education program at Baystate Medical Center.

Rabbi's Hours / Office Hours

Rabbi Andrea's Drop-In Hours are Tuesdays, 9am-12pm.

Temple Israel's Office Hours are Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10am-2pm.

Drop on by to share what's on your mind, help out, or hang out!

Community Announcements

Yuval Ron Concert and Free Lecture Demonstration

Concert of Unity with Musical Peace Activist Yuval Ron at UMass
Thursday, February 23, 7:30pm
At UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center Concert Hall

This concert unites Middle Eastern and South Asian musical traditions in The Seeker of Truth performance. The four musicians, accompanied by a whirling dervish, blend powerful music with the global traditions of spirituality, healing, culture and mysticism. Backed up by vocals, earthy woodwinds and ethnic hand drums, o ud player Yuval Ron and the Yuval Ron Ensemble, play at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Fine Arts Center Concert Hall on Thursday, February 23. Reserved tickets are $25 and $35 and youth (seventeen and under) are $10. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the Fine Arts Center Box Office at 1-800-999-UMAS or 413-545-2511. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.

Additionally Yuval Ron will be giving a free lecture demonstration called My Heart is in the East: Sacred Hebrew Music on Wednesday, February 22 at 7 pm in The Arts Block on Main St. in Greenfield.

Adult Education: Dr. Jesse Ferris on Contemporary U.S. and Israeli Relations

Sunday, Feb. 26, 10:15 - 11:45 am

Dr. Jesse Ferris, Vice-President of Strategy at the Israel Democracy Institute in Jerusalem, will be speaking at the Jewish Community of Amherst about the implications of the election and the Trump presidency on relations between Israel and the United States. I've attached the flyer and hope you will be able to share it with your congregations. The program is free and open to all.

A full listing of adult education programs offered by the JCA is available at

Tallis-Making Workshop

March 19, 2017, 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Temple Israel, 107 Walnut St., Athol MA

Make your own tallis/tallit. Workshop led by Peggy Davis and Rabbi Bob Sternberg. To register, or for more information, call Peggy 413-624-3204.
Registration deadline: March 8 to ensure we have enough materials.
Supplies: Bring a large piece(s) of cloth to make the tallis itself, a smaller contrasting cloth for the atarah (collar) and four corner patches, and thread to match the cloth. Recommended fabrics are cotton, silk or light wool. Do not use a fabric that mixes wool and linen.
Cost: $15 per household plus $5 for each set of tsitsis threads, the four knotted tassels in the corners.
You will learn how to do the knotted pattern.
Please bring needles, pins, sewing machine, iron and/or ironing board if you are able.