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Passover and other April Happenings

Shalom - What a weekend! Around 250 people came through the synagogue to celebrate the arts with us. The social hall was filled with vendors showing off beautiful artwork and functional pieces. Rhonda's classroom was packed with children jumping up and down, concert-goers enjoyed music and storytelling, workshop participants learned new skills, and so much more. We've heard from attendees that the weekend was "fun and inspiring" had "wonderful energy" and "showed the vibrancy of our community." The Greenfield Recorder reviewed the event (with great pictures!):

If you attended and would like to share your thoughts on the event, we've created a brief feedback form here:

Read on for info on Passover, other upcoming events in April, refugee support, and more.

Table of Contents

  • Passover Match-Up 'Last Call' & Horseradish for Sale
  • April Events Lineup: Yiddish Class, Shabbat Dinner, Superbia, Eventide Singers, and more...
  • Freedom Sabbath with Special Guest Sarah Pirtle
  • A Message from the Refugee Support Project
  • Rabbi Message: March 18, 2017


Last Call for Seder Match-Ups

We've had a great response to our 2017 Passover Match-Up! There are still a few spots left at Seders, so if you're looking for a seat, fill out our form online or in person, or call the office 413-773-5884. If you've already signed up, we'll be letting you know the results by the end of the week. The form is at:

Horseradish Sales to Benefit Hebrew School

Janice Colbert, Andrea C-K, and Kim Audette show off their Horseradish

The brave team behind Three Tears Horseradish (pictured above) have created a delectable spicy sauce for you to shmear on your gefilte fish this year. Made from locally grown horseradish, cried over personally by influential members of the TI community. Your $10 purchase supports our Hebrew School programming. Now taking orders, sales end 4/3. To order, email [email protected], or call the office.

Yizkor Service

Yizkor/The Memorial prayers are said on the occasion of the last day of Passover. We will be holding services on Tuesday, April 18 at 10:00am. Please help "make a minyan" for those who mourn.

April Events Lineup

Let's celebrate Spring and the re-emergence of our favorite plants and animals. Visit our website calendar for more information on any of the below. All events at Temple Israel, 27 Pierce Street, unless noted otherwise.

Sunday, April 2, 10:30-12:30pm Yiddish Class with Yosl Kurland. $15 for TI members / $20 for non-members
Monday, April 3, 5:00pm Planning session for the Myrtle Street Garden (a Superbia Project)
Tuesday, April 4, 12:30pm Lay-Led Torah Study (Meets every Tuesday)
Friday, April 7, 6:00pm First Friday Shabbat Dinner - Come at 5pm to help
Saturday, April 15, 10:00am Freedom Sabbath with Special Guest Sarah Pirtle
Tuesday, April 18, 10:00am Yizkor Service
Thursday, April 20, 5:30pm Hot Topics: A Practice in Handling Heated Conversations - at St. James Episcopal Church
Friday, April 21, 7:00pm Shabbat Evening Service
Saturday, April 22, 7:00pm Eventide Songs of Hope & Comfort - Workshop and Participatory Concert
Sunday, April 23, 4:00pm Superbia Potluck
Saturday, April 29, 10:00am Shabbat Morning Services
Sunday, April 30, 2-4pm Garden Cleanup

Freedom Sabbath with Special Guest - Sarah Pirtle

Saturday, April 15, 2017 - 10:00am

Join the TI community in welcoming special guest Sarah Pirtle for a sabbath of Passover sing along.

Sarah and friends will bring classic Pete Seeger music - songs that have the power to feed us for the journey towards freedom.

10AM for the song service and shared refreshments.

A Message from the Refugee Support Project

Since the US refugee policy has changed, the Western Mass Jewish Family Service is not receiving refugees - only "1 or 2 here or there." In the meantime, the needs of local immigrants have become more crucial. People are fearful of possible ICE raids - with no warning, which can lead to being held and deported. There are a couple of initiatives being organized locally. We can offer rides as protection for those who might be stopped while driving. We can offer financial assistance for parents. If they are deported they want their children to have valid passports so they are not left behind. These are difficult times for this generation of immigrants. Ellen Kaufmann 625-9708

Rabbi Message: March 18, 2017

Our ancestors this week are at Mount Sinai, getting instructions for creating a conscious society. Throughout most of the month, we read about the instructions, design and materials for the desert sanctuary. This week's torah reading, Parshat Ki Tisa, begins with the phrase "When you count... (literally, lift)... each Israelite, they shall bring half a shekel" The counting is accomplished by the coin or measure that each person gives. The gold thus contributed will be molded into the forms and tools of the sacred space - the desert sanctuary built in the midst of the camp.

We ourselves, the "half measure" we bring, is our gift to creating the sacred space. The rich and the poor all offer the same amount. Each is represented equally. The goal of this gift - and this sanctaury we build - is to lift us up. To give, to be counted and to be lifted up are all rolled into this metaphor.

It is always our job to make a space into which holiness can shine thru us into the world. Individually and collectively, this is the Jewish understanding of our purpose here. Essentially, we bring heaven to earth. This is the idea of "lifting."

One important piece here is that we give half a measure - incomplete, not whole. Our side of the equation is necessary and required, yet inadequate. Inadeqate as we are, we must be counted. Collectively, each contributing our part, a sacred container arises. Something much bigger than each of us, even all of us. Something of a different level.

To be worthy and empowered to give and also humble - knowing about our natural "halfness" - is something of a spiritual balancing act. There is advise here for our collective work as well, in the temple community and in our wider circles. There is so little we can do alone and what we wish to accomplish might be bigger than any of our efforts. Yet we bring our part - humbly, gratefully, with others, and trust that something sacred is established.

So may it be. Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Andrea