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chai from b et h el NOVEMBER 2017 | I SSUE NO 2

T HE CENT ER OF JEW I SH L I FE I N FORT BEND COUNT Y


Th e Jew ish Ch ar act er of Th an k sgivin g Rabbinic Ruminations by Rabbi Joshua Lobel It has been said that Thanksgiving is the most ?Jewish? of the secular holidays our country celebrates. And with good reason, as the themes of Thanksgiving, including gratitude, family togetherness, freedom, peace, hospitality, generosity, and, of course, delicious food, are intrinsic to Judaism.Substitute a brisket for a turkey, latkes for the sweet potato pie, and it could be any number of Jewish festivals. There are scholars who posit that Thanksgiving does indeed have Jewish origins. For, in American folklore, the creation of Thanksgiving falls at the feet of the Pilgrims, a group of Puritans fleeing persecution. It is hypothesized that this group of devout Christians looked to the Bible for inspiration in the creation of a feast of gratitude. And what did they find? The festival of Sukkot, during which the Israelites gave thanks for the bounty of the harvest, the gifts of the land.According to this theory, Thanksgiving is nothing more than the ?American Sukkot!? Another Jewish connection to this holiday is the preponderance of rituals which run through our celebration. Like every good Jewish holiday, Thanksgiving consists of many distinct rituals, oftentimes unique to each family.We all have our ?Thanksgiving rituals,? in which we partake during our festival of

gratitude and peace.Some relate to where we enjoy our festive meal and what we watch on the TV ? gotta watch the Lions and Cowboys on Thanksgiving! But, funnily enough, if we think about it, many of these rituals have a Jewish tint.We gather together with our family and friends.Is there anything more Jewish than joining together with our loved ones to celebrate a significant occasion?Or how about going around the table to say one thing for which we are grateful? A very Jewish idea as well.We enjoy special foods we do not eat during the year. Just like we normally don?t eat hamentashen except for Purim, or matza except for Passover, we don?t usually make a habit of eating cranberry sauce or sweet potato/ pumpkin pie during the summer. With that in mind, before digging into your turkey and green bean casserole, I humbly suggest adding three rituals to your Thanksgiving celebration which may lend an additional ?Jewish touch? to this joyous celebration. 1. Say the motzi and Kiddush before partaking of your Thanksgiving meal. A Jewish expression of gratitude for the bounty God provides for us to enjoy is most appropriate on

this day of thanks.Extra credit if you include birkat ha-mazon after you finish eating! 2. Recite the shecheyanu, the blessing we say upon reaching significant and meaningful moments in our lives. A beautiful gathering, filled with family, friends, and delicious food is certainly worthy of such a blessing. Celebrate the blessing of family by blessing your children, your parents, according to the words of our tradition. 3. Finally, in addition to going around the table and mentioning the blessings in our lives for which we are grateful, tell the story of your parents, grandparents who, like the Pilgrims and like our Jewish ancestors, left their homes searching for something better. Speak of how they came to this country seeking freedom from oppression, opportunities to live in peace and prosperity, to pursue the American dream.In this way, we recall the many blessings America as provided for us and hopefully, compels us to ensure that everyone who desires to share in the American dream is afforded the same opportunity our ancestors had when they came to our great nation. Happy Thanksgiving ? Chag Hodahyah Sameach!


STEVE DORFF

HANNA AND THE MOONLIT DRESS

WEDNESDAY, NOVEM BER 1 12:00 PM: BOOK LOVERS LUNCH Alexandra Silber ? After Anatevka: A Novel Inspired by ?Fiddler on the Roof ? Sana Krasikov ? The Patriots: A Novel Advanced purchase required $27 (Includes one book and lunch) 7:30 PM: Kvetch or Kvell Parenting Through a Jewish Perspective $12m | $18p 7:30 PM; Yehoshua November - Two Worlds Exist $12m | $18p THURSDAY, NOVEM BER 2 6:30 PM: Katha Pollitt ? Abortion: Truth and Post-Truth* FREE 7:30 PM: Lou Cove ? Man of the Year $12m | $18p SATURDAY, NOVEM BER 4 5:00 PM: THEATRE: Hannah and the Moonlit Dress $8m | $12p (Discounts for families 5+) 8:00 PM: FILM: Fanny?s Journey $10m | $15p SUNDAY, NOVEM BER 5 9:15 AM to 12:00 PM: Oliver Lapin Family Day FREE 10:00 AM: THEATER: Hannah and the Moonlit Dress $8m | $12p (Discounts for families 5+) 11:00 AM: Patricia Bernstein - Ten Dollars to Hate: The Texas Man Who Fought the Klan* $12m | $18p 2:00 PM: FILM: Ben-Gurion, Epilogue $10m | $15p 7:30 PM Alexandra Zapruder ? Twenty-Six Seconds: A Personal History of the Zapruder Film $12m | $18p

M ONDAY, NOVEM BER 6 7:30 PM: TAKE YOUR PICK: READING AS A COMMUNITY Julia Dahl ? Conviction: A Novel Brian Platzer ? Bed-Stuy is Burning: A Novel $12m | $18p TUESDAY, NOVEM BER 7 7:30 PM: Gary Belsky ? Up Your Game!: Skills, Tips, and Strategies to Achieve Total Sports Mastery $12m | $18p 7:30 PM Amy Kritzer ? Sweet Noshings: New Twists on Traditional Jewish Desserts $12m | $18 WEDNESDAY, NOVEM BER 8 7:30 PM: Linda Hirshman ? Sisters In Law: How Sandra Day O?Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World $12m | $18p 7:30 PM: Kathy Kacer & Jordana Lebowitz ? To Look a Nazi in the Eye: A Teen?s Account of a War Criminal Trial* FREE THURSDAY, NOVEM BER 9 12:30 PM: MELTON LUNCH & LEARN; Evan Moffic ? The Happiness Prayer: Ancient Jewish Wisdom for the Best Way to Live Today* $12m | $18p (Optional Lunch $10) (FREE for Melton Students) 5:00 PM FILM: High Noon $6 7:30 PM: Glenn Frankel ? High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic $12m | $18p (Includes free admission to High Noon) FRIDAY, NOVEM BER 10 1:00 PM FILM: Body and Soul: An American Bridge $10m | $15p

SATURDAY, NOVEM BER 11 7:00 PM: EXCLUSIVELY FOR 6-8 GRADERS ?Chopped? with David Kirschner - Matzo* FREE 8:00 PM: CONCERT: Tavche Gravche $20m | $30p SUNDAY, NOVEM BER 12 11:00 AM: Eddy Portnoy ? Bad Rabbi: And Other Strange but True Stories from the Yiddish Press $12m | $18p 2:00 PM THEATRE: The Play's the Thing FREE 4:00 PM: Dr. Michael Roizen ? Age-Proof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip $12m | $18p 7:30 PM: Steve Dorff ? I Wrote That One, Too? :A Life in Songwriting from Willie to Whitney $12m | $18p THURSDAY, NOVEM BER 16 EXCLUSIVELY FOR AGES 21-THIRTY SOMETHING 7:30 PM: Inside the Author ?s Studio with Adam Valen Levinson ?The Abu Dhabi Bar Mitzvah $10 (Includes book)

SUNDAY, NOVEM BER 19 5:00 PM: David Biespiel $12m | $18p

For ticket information visit www.erjcchouston.org


NOVEMBER

Mari c Forbes

5

Jodi Bernstei n

16

Mi chael Bersi n

28

Luke Ok i e

8

Dani el Stei ner

6

How ard Katz

17

Cori nne Wi lli am s

29

Alli son Green

10

Ti na Stei ner

6

Davi d Stei n

17

Mari lyn Gorel

30

Anna Gratz

14

Ri chard Chai ti n

8

Margaret Rosenzw ei g 19

Jonah Hatti ngh

15

Li li Li ebgold-Stern

8

Marti n Pedow i cz

22

Sarah Karni low

20

Tom Claret

11

Bri an Rayw i d

22

Anna Karni low

21

Douglas Acker

12

Susan Sher

22

Sam antha Turner

21

Betty Braun

15

Ti na Di am ond

24

Madeli ne Marlow e

24

Sheri Karni low

15

Carol Katz

25

Arm i n Habervo

26

Dora Pi ncus

15

Wendy Warren

25

NOVEMBER Robert and Li sa Goodm an

4

Stacy and Mi chael Turner

22

Patri ci a and Bri an Rose

5

Wi lli am and Ellen Asnes

24

Alan and Betsy Morgan

18

Edw ard and Mari lyn Carli n

24

Mazel Tov to Sharon and Barry Shapi ro on the bi rth of thei r new granddaughter. Mazel Tov to Alex Schei ner on becom i ng a Bar Mi tzvah. Mazel Tov to Seth Stei ner on becom i ng a Bar Mi tzvah.

Th e con gr egat ion ext en ds it s h ear t f elt con dolen ces t o t h e f am ilies of M ir iam Hall, Ru bin Levin e, Joyce Kr am er , Hen r y Wit h er spoon , Alice Sch if f m an an d Th elm a Pen r od.


DedicateA Mahzor or Commentary

Ou r High Holy Day Pr ayer book gu ides ou r spir it u al jou r n ey du r in g t h e m ost of sacr ed of season s.

Tor ah com m en t ar y: -

-

In clu des t h e Tor ah , Haf t ar ah an d addit ion al r abbin ic com m en t ar y. Used f or Sh abbat ser vice an d Tor ah st u dy.

Dedicat ion s can be m ade in celebr at ion of a m ilest on e or in h on or / in m em or y of a loved on e M ah zor Book plat es - $36; Com m en t ar y Book plat es - $54 Limited dedication opportunities available for the Commentary Con t act t h e Tem ple of f ice t o r eser ve you r dedicat ion plaqu e Em ail: adm in @bet h elt x.or g - Ph on e: 281.499.5066


NOVEMBER 2017

DECEMBER 2017

1

5:15pm Hebrew Classes

1

7pm New Member & Religious School Shabbat

3-5

Fall Retreat/Na'aseh V'nishmah @ GFC

3

3

7:00pm Shir Shabbat

4

10:30am Seth Steiner Bar Mitzvah

5

9am RS K-2 Family trip to ERJCC Bookfair 9am Confirmation Class 9:15am Intro to Hebrew 10:30am Intro to Judaism 1pm Senior Group meeting

9am Chanukah Shop & Schmooze 9am Confirmation Class 9:15am Intro to Hebrew 10:30am Intro to Judaism 1pm Senior Group meeting

6-10

Rabbi Lobel @ URJBiennial in Boston

6

5:15p Hebrew Classes 7pm Executive Committee Meeting

10

9am Religious School Pancake Breakfast 9am Religious School & Confirmation Class 9:15am Intro to Hebrew 10:30am Intro to Judaism

12-19

Chanukah

15

Cantor Rene Waghalter Installation & Menorah Lighting Cereomy

16

10:30am Religious School Shabbat

17

9am Religious School Pancake Breakfast 9am Religious School & Confirmation Class 9:15am Intro to Hebrew 10:30am Intro to Judaism

22

No Preschool Winter Break through January 7

24

No Religious School

25

Temple office closed

26

1:30pm Senior Group Current Events

27

No Hebrew Classes

31

No Religious School

7

7pm Executive Committee

8

5:15p Hebrew Classes

9

KRISTALLNACHT

11

10:30am Religious School Shabbat

12

9am Religious School & Confirmation Class 9:15am Intro to Hebrew 10:30am Intro to Judaism

13

7pm Ritual Committee

14

1:30pm Senior Group Current Events 7pm Board Meeting

15

PS Thanksgiving Feast 5:15pm Hebrew Classes 5:30pm B'nai Mitzvah Workshop

17

PS Fall Shabbat

19-26

NO Religious School/NO Hebrew Classes

20-24

NO Preschool - Thanksgiving Break

20

7pm Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

23

THANKSGIVING (t em ple of f ice closed)

24

Temple office closed

JANUARY 2018

25

NO Torah Study

1

28

1:30pm Senior Group Current Events

29

5:15pm Hebrew Classes

Happy New Year! - Temple office closed

FRIDAY NIGHT SHABBAT SERVICE: 7PM SATURDAY MORNING TORAH STUDY: 9AM WEEKLY EVENTS: Boy Scouts meet ever y Monday @ 7pm; Tor ch meets ever y Thur sday @ 7:30pm FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ANY OF THESE EVENTS VISIT WWW.BETHELTX.ORG


HOW TO TAKE GREAT PICTURES OF YOUR FAMILY & FRIENDS WITH A CAMERA OR CELL PHONE presented by Jory Pacht

FREE CLASS SUNDAY NOVEMBER 12 9:15AM - 12:15PM

RSVP AT h t t ps:/ / t in yu r l.com / y6vt xn g6

The most common photography myth is that you need an expensive camera to take great pictures. The truth is that photography is much more about knowledge than gear. Ansel Adams, once said: ?The single most important part of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.? The goal of this course will be to teach you to take great pictures with your cell phone or camera. We will teach you proper composition, lighting, backgrounds, and how to pose men, women, children and groups to get great pictures. The first two hours of the course will be an interactive lecture. The remainder of the course will be devoted to taking pictures. Parents with children in Religious School are highly encouraged to bring their children into the class after school to take pictures of them. Everyone should bring a cell phone or camera to the class. If you have a new DSLR and want to learn how to use it you are encouraged to bring it as well.


CBE SENI ORS GROUP UPCOM I NG EV ENTS (We will let you know if scheduled events are canceled due to the holidays)

CURRENT EVENTS 1:30PM Tu esdays At t h e Tem ple Libr ar y October 24th, November 14th, November 28th, December 12th & December 26th We will meet for lunch at 11:45am at Denny's, Hwy 6, before going to the temple.

M USEUM TRIP AND DINNER Su n day, Novem ber 5t h at 2:30pm at t h e Su gar lan d M u seu m of Nat u r al Scien ce 13016 Un iver sit y Blvd., Su gar Lan d Cost: FREE for Senior Group Members with RSVP by October 31; $7 for non-members. After November 1 members pay $7 Jim Paras will give us a tour and talk about the museum and then we will have 2 hours to look around the museum. We will then go to dinner at Fadi's, 716 Highway 6, Sugar Land at 5pm. Each person will pay their own dinner. Carpooling is an option. RSVP by October 31st to Barb Zack 281-499-3345 or barbara3132001@yahoo.com.

CELEBRATE CHANUKAH EARLY Su n day, Decem ber 10t h 1:00 PM at t h e Tem ple. We w ill su pply lat k es an d t h e f ixin gs. You br in g a dair y dish of you r ch oice. FREE to Senior Group Members who RSVP by November 30th to Barb Zack. $5.00 for non-members and member RSVPs after Nov 30. Open to all Seniors. If you all want a gift exchange, let me know when you RSVP.

?COMMUNITY CHANUKAH CELEBRATION AND INSTALLATION OF CANTOR RENEE WAGHALTER? SAVE THE DATE DECEMBER 15TH, 2017 On Friday night,December 15th, we will gather together to celebrate Chanukah, our ?Festival of Light.? We invite you to bring your menorah to the synagogue, as we will perform the mitzvah of lighting the candles united as one community. And of course, we will conclude our celebration with delicious latkes and other Chanukah treats! This year, our celebration will be made brighter as we formally install Cantor Renee Waghalter as a spiritual leader of our community. This is a profoundly meaningful moment in the life of our congregation and for Cantor Waghalter. It promises to be a beautiful celebration, filled with warmth and joy. Please mark your calendar and be sure to join us for this very special evening.


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Chai from Beth El - November 2017  

Chai from Beth El - November 2017  

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