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Kick the mid-February blues with us

Mountains of snow getting you down? We have many exciting events scheduled at Temple Israel to help you make it through February. Plus, get excited for March - the first weekend is packed, with a Hadassah sponsored Shabbat (with Famous Chocolate Oneg), 'Raise the Roof' Film Screening, and Superbia Series' Meet and Greet Potluck. And, to brighten your day right now, here is a picture from the Hebrew School's performance at our recent Semi-Annual meeting:

Hebrew School performance

Table of Contents

  • Coming Up This Week: Hot Topics, Shabbat Evening Service, Torah Study
  • Temple Work Day February 28
  • March your Calendars!
    • 3/3 Hadassah Sponsored Shabbat (with Famous Chocolate Oneg)
    • 3/4 'Raising the Roof' Film Screening
    • 3/5 Superbia Meet & Greet Potluck
    • 3/11 Purim Shpeil
    • 3/20 'White Helmets' Film Screening
    • 3/24-3/26 Art, Creativity, & Community Weekend
  • Community Announcements

Coming Up This Week

Hot Topics: A Practice in Handling Heated Conversations

TOMORROW! Wednesday, February 15, 7pm

Hot Topics is a monthly training and practice group in conducting heated or controversial conversations.

Shabbat Evening Service

Friday, February 17, 7pm

Joyous and song-filled Kabbalat Shabbat/Entering Shabbat Service. Spiritual support for challenging times. Monthly on Third Fridays at 7:00PM

Torah Study

Wednesdays at 12:30pm

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

Temple Work Day

Tuesday, February 28, 9am - 12pm

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)

March Your Calendars!

So many wonderful events coming up in March...

Hadassah Sponsored Shabbat Service & Famous Chocolate Oneg

Friday, March 3, 7pm

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

'Raise the Roof' film banner

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!

Superbia Series Meet and Greet Pot Luck

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(@)

More Upcoming Events in March...

Thursday, March 9, 7pm: Active Bystanders Training: Creating Safety in Contentious Times

Saturday, March 11, 7pm: Purim Shpeil

Monday, March 20, 7pm: 'White Helmets' film screening at 2nd Congregational Church

Friday, March 24 - Sunday, March 26: Art, Creativity, & Community Weekend

Spring Yiddish Class

The dates are in for Yosl Kurland's class What Yiddish Tells Us about Being Jewish. The course focuses on the relationship between Yiddish language and Jewish religion, culture, and philosophy.

The class will be on Sundays: March 5, March 19, April 2, April 23, May 7, May 14, May 21 (Make-up date in case of cancellation)

There is a fee for this course, and registration is required. For more information please email the Temple Israel office: office(@)

Community Announcements

Interfaith Council of Franklin County Meeting on Immigration

The plight of the immigrant is very much on our minds and in our hearts these days. The Interfaith Council of Franklin County is dedicating its February meeting to this topic. A representative of Montague Catholic Social Ministries will offer a brief presentation about what they are doing for immigrants in the area, especially those without documentation.

Rev. Kate Stevens will talk about sanctuary congregations and connections being made between refugee, immigrant, and community groups responding to issues like the Muslim ban. Kate is doing outreach to Franklin County congregations and communities as part of the wider efforts happening across Western Massachusetts and regionally. She hopes more faith groups and congregations will get involved.

The meeting will be held at Our Lady of Peace in Turners Falls on February 16th. The meeting will open with a pot luck at 5:30pm followed by introductions and presentations beginning at 6. All are invited. For more information please go to our website at

Clarinetist Ilene Stahl's Klezperanto is Back in Western MA

Ilene Stahl's Klezperanto

For one night only, the Boston-based band will perform at The Arts Block in Greenfield with more Cumbias, Cop Show music, and Romanian Surf Guitar

On Sunday Feb. 19, 2017, Klezperanto returns to the main stage at The Arts Block, 289 Main Street, Greenfield, MA for an evening called Band, Booze, and Borscht. Doors open at 6:30, music at 7:30. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Advance tickets and information are available at:

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, March 22 at 7 pm in The Arts Block on Main St. in Greenfield.

Jewish Community of Amherst Adult Education Programs

The JCA is running a wide array of Adult Education programs this semester. Coming up soon is Contemporary U.S. and Israeli Relations with Dr. Jesse Ferris - on Sunday, February 26. A full listing of programs is available at

Ali Abu Awad; Palestinian Non-Violence Activist in NoHo - Feb 28, 7:00PM

Ali Abu Awad Author of Painful Hope and Palestinian non-violence practitioner will be in Northampton on a North American speaking tour, February 28 at 7Pm at Congregation B'nai Israel at 253 Prospect Street.
Ali is a passionate and effective organizer for peace, and an inspiration to Palestinians and Jews in the region and around the world. Do not miss this opportunity to be inspired together with other members of the Jewish and non-Jewish community in our area.
Co-sponsors include Congregation B'nai Israel NoHo, Temple Israel Greenfield, Smith College Jewish Students Union. We are still inviting co-sponsors, donors and activists to attend and support. Donations will support Taghyeer, (link below)
For the sponsoring group, Andrea Cohen Kiener
(Taghyeer Non-Viloence Education Project:

Free Semester in Israel - Alexander Muss High School

Alexander Muss High School in Israel and Jewish National Fund Announces:

A once-in-a-lifetime college preparatory semester program in Israel is now open to four Massachusetts high school students! With Israel as the classroom, you will enjoy an amazing experience filled with fun and memories not had on any other abroad program! Alexander Muss High School in Israel is the only non-denominational, international academic program in Israel, accredited by the Middle States Association, providing a variety of sessions throughout the year.

This scholarship includes: AMHSI Tuition * On campus housing * All meals *Educational material *

Massachusetts high school students entering their sophomore or junior year in the fall of 2017 are eligible.
Applications are due March 17, 2017
For more information and to apply, contact Dana Gerbie Klein, [email protected] or 617-438-8775 or visit

2017 Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival Lineup

Israeli Sports Legend Tal Brody to Appear at Opening Night Screening of On the Map, Illuminating Documentary About Israel's 1977 Underdog Basketball Team

The Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival, presented by the Springfield Jewish Community Center, announces its 12th festival season. The PVJFF runs March 18 through April 4, with 21 films from 9 countries screening in 16 venues across Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties. This year's lineup continues the Festival's tradition of diverse, innovative and socially relevant programming, and reinforces its standing as the largest Jewish cultural event in Western Massachusetts.

For ticket information, schedules, trailers, and venue directions, visit or call 413.739.4715.

Great Jewish Books Summer Program

The Yiddish Book Center's
Great Jewish Book Summer Program

A five-day exploration of literature & culture for high school students

Session 1: July 23-28, 2017
Session 2: July 30-August 4, 2017

Apply by March 27, 2017

Questions? Contact Sylvia Peterson at 413-256-4900, ext. 143, or [email protected]