Happy Hanukkah from Rabbi Arnowitz 2022

Dear WJC Family,

Happy Hanukkah! Yes, Hanukkah starts on Sunday night at sundown when we will light the first candle. Not sure whether we put the candles in right to left and light them left to right or put them in left to right and light them right to left? This hanukkiah lighting tutorial video from MyJewishLearning.org should help. If you are not sure which is left and which is right this “Easiest way to Remember Right and Left” video should be useful for you. If you don’t know how to watch a video on YouTube, this video about “How and Why to sign into Youtube” video should be helpful.

And, of course, Hanukkah in this day and age wouldn’t be complete without a new video from a premier Jewish acapella group, so enjoy Six13’s – Elton Johnukah! Or how about this one?

As I mentioned last week, Wednesday night, my family and six others from WJC will head to Israel (finally, after two postponements!), so this will be my last message until 2023 (Happy New Year!). You can still hear from me by following our trip blog, which will appear on the WJC home page, and feature updates on the trip, as well as reflections from myself and other trip participants. We’ll post the updates on my Facebook page as well as the synagogue’s Facebook page too. We hope you’ll follow along and join us in spirit, if not in person.

I would like to put a few things on your radar (and your calendar) for January. We have lots of great stuff coming up:

  1. Two weeks of programming in honor of MLK Day, including “Race and Place” on January 8—a discussion about race and housing with award winning New York Times journalist Debra Kamin. There will also be volunteering opportunities on January 15 (building with The Fuller Center) and 16 (making Blizzard Boxes at the JCC of Mid-Westchester). Both of these events require registration. Then on Friday night January 20th we will honor MLK’s commitment to interfaith efforts after the Rhythm & Ruach Service during a panel ​​with three Christian clergy who were on the UJA Federation-Westchester Jewish Council Interfaith Mission to Israel with me in May. We will reflect on our trip and the power of interfaith cooperation.
  2. Learn to Chant Torah – January 8, 22, 29, 5 and 12
    Interested in learning a new skill, reading Torah at your child’s or grandchild’s b’nai mitzvah or reading for a special occasion. WJC member Hazzan Ellen Arad is offering this five session kickstart to your learning. If you are interested in joining the workshop, let Cantor Ethan know at cantorecg@wjcenter.org.
  3. Psychology for Everyday Life: The Power of Acceptance – January 18, Larchmont Temple – The second in our 3 installments addressing mental health at this liminal moment. We are offering this series in partnership with several houses of faith in Larchmont/Mamaroneck and the Larchmont/Mamaroneck Counseling Center. I hope you will join us for this important opportunity to heal and move forward, and will refer others who may appreciate the opportunity.
  4. Boundaries and Belonging part II – January 19, Shaarei Tikvah in Scarsdale – I am sorry more of you did not get to experience the incredible lecture by by Yehuda Kurtzer last Tuesday evening. Please mark your calendars now for part II with Mijal Bitton. These sessions are so enlightening regarding what it means to be a synagogue today and what it will mean 5, 10 or 20 years from now. Learn more and register here.

And before all that, I hope we’ll see you in shul this Shabba—it’s an ECC Shabbat/Dinner/Rhythm & Ruach/Chocolate Hanukkah Festival Shabbat, so I hope you’ll join us for at least some of that Friday evening and Saturday looks to be a lovely, pre-break Shabbat in shul, including some of those traveling to Israel taking a farewell aliyah. So, Happy Hanukkah and…

See you in shul.

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