Shabbat Shalom ~ Bo 2023

Dear WJC Family,

I hope you were among the many people who shared this past Friday night with us—everything from the dinner to the Rhythm & Ruach service to the Interfaith Clergy Panel was packed! Not only that, but it seemed that everyone really appreciated all of it. Whether you made this one or not, I hope you will join us for a future Friday Night Shabbat Program. We do it once a month, always with the contemporary service, dinner, and a special program.  Our next one is Friday, March 3, and will be the ever-popular “Moth Shabbat” when congregants present personal stories on a theme Moth-style. It is always fun, interesting and engaging.

Some of you may recall that in November, we had a Friday Night Shabbat Program about Jewish Organ Donation. It is as important an issue today as ever. In fact, an old acquaintance and all-around great guy, Dr. Hugh Pollack, is in need of a liver. I know Hugh from my time as a congregant at Town & Village synagogue in the city—he is an incredible and committed Jewish leader, including his time serving as president of the Ramah Berkshires board of directors. Please click here to learn more about Hugh and how you may be able to help by spreading the world or maybe even being a match for a donation. Also, if you know of someone on a list waiting for a donation, please share that information with me and we’ll get it out to the community. Organ, tissue and blood donations are among the highest mitzvot we can do!

On a different note, I know that many of you are concerned about the new government in Israel and many of the policies it seems intent on pursuing. While I still believe that the “Israel conversation” in synagogues should not be mainly political, I agree that there is reason for concern. About twenty of us have been studying the book, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor by Yossi Klein HaLevi on Thursday nights. While it was written 5 years ago and is not a political book or conversation, per se, it helps us understand how we got to where we are and the dilemmas on the table today. If you are interested, I hope you will join us and in the meantime, I find the Hartman Institute Podcast, “For the Sake of Heaven,” that Yossi Klein Halevi records with Donniel Hartman and Elana Stein Hain to be honest, direct and often very helpful.

For those of you who enjoy our contemporary services, or haven’t had the opportunity to try them yet and are looking for a different kind of musical experience, on Saturday morning we will hold our monthly Simple & Soulful. It features a beautiful prayer service led by Cantor Goldberg accompanying us on his acoustic guitar. There is a short Torah service and an in-depth interactive Torah activity. I will be leading this week and our activity will help us understand how to read the Torah with more meaning, engagement and joy—there is a reason this has been a bestseller for several millennia!

See you there or on Friday or Saturday evening at 4:45pm.

See you in shul,





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