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The Monthly Newsletter of Congregation Beth Torah
Issue 295 Kislev/Tevet 5776
Family Hanukkah Celebration
Sunday, December 6th 4:00–7:00 p.m. Light your first night light with us... 4:00 p.m. Hanukkah games and food 4:45 p.m. Weiner Religious School New Student Consecration (included here instead of on a Sunday morning as in the past so more people can attend) 5:15 p.m. More games and food 6:00 p.m. Rocky Mountain JewGrass Concert – open to the entire KC Jewish community. No charge.
Sermon-in-Song and Hanukkah Dinner Friday, December 11th, 6:30 p.m.
Congregation Beth Torah is hosting our annual Hannukkah Dinner on Friday, December 11th, immediately following Services and Sermon-in-Song. We’re planning a yummy brisket dinner with latkes and all the fixins’. We will supply gelt, dreidels and sufganiyot! Bring your menorah and candles for lighting before dinner.
Bring a friend and share our light. Dinner Price: Adults and kids 23 and over: $5 RSVP to the Beth Torah Office or Laura at email@example.com You can pay by Credit or Debit Card, check or cash.
Black Friday… Cyber Monday and Giving
Look inside to see how far $25 can go! A Note from the Rabbi Rabbi Rick Shapiro We traditionally associate the festival of Hanukkah with the value of religious freedom. We recall how the Maccabees fought the Assyrians for the right to practice their Judaism, and were victorious despite tremendous odds. As we kindle the Hanukkah candles each year, we celebrate their victory as a triumph for the rights of all peoples to pursue God in whatever way they choose, a right we enjoy in this nation, a right enshrined in the Constitution of the United States. The meaning of the word Hanukkah, however, suggests an additional layer of meaning, as well. The word “dedication” reminds us of an argument between the schools of Hillel and Shammai over the appropriate way to light the candles of this festival. The School of Shammai argued that on the first night of Hanukkah, eight candles should be kindled; on the second night, seven candles; and so forth on down to one candle on the last night. The School of Hillel, however, asserted that the appropriate observance required one candle on the first night, two on the second, and so forth up to eight candles on the last night. Later generations were asked to explain the words of Hillel’s disciples: why did Hillel feel that kindling the Hanukkah lights in an ascending, rather than a descending, order was so important? Their answer was that, as a general principle, we do not decrease holiness; we increase it. Instead of steadily decreasing the lights that were to remind us of the miracle of God’s presence, we are to gradually increase them. This is to teach us that the festival of Hanukkah serves also as a reminder of the increased dedication required in each subsequent generation to maintain the gift bequeathed to us by the Maccabees. Frequently, although we light the candles as directed by Hillel, I am convinced that we have forgotten the reason. Let us remember that the Maccabees fought for the freedom actually to practice their Judaism, not merely for the abstract right to do so. In reality, the message of Hanukkah transcends the holiday (Continued on page 2)
Torah Portion & Haftarah
(Continued from page 1) of Hanukkah itself. Hanukkah is primarily about dedication: the ever-increasing amount of dedication it takes to practice Judaism year-round, to live a Jewish life in the midst of a secular environment that is often inhospitable to those who choose to do so. This year, as we watch the candles burn, let’s remember to talk not only of the Maccabees’ victory, but also of why they fought to begin with. Let’s remember to keep the lights of Hanukkah burning in our hearts year-round, and rededicate ourselves to living a life filled each and every day with the radiance and splendor of God’s presence. Lynn joins with me in wishing all of you a wonderful Hanukkah. May the lights of the season burn brightly in your homes and in your hearts.
December is Traditionally a Month of Giving. A month where we give gifts and where we show our appreciation for others and for the gifts we’ve received. It’s also a time to make a gift before the year closes for tax credit. If you appreciate the wonderful education your child or grandchild is receiving through the ARJE Accredited Weiner Religious School, now is the time to show it. Many families remember the teachers who show up with a smile and creative ideas to engage their students every Sunday morning. Why not consider a gift to the Educating our Future Fund in honor of classroom teachers, specialists or just in honor of the Weiner Religious School in general? These gifts will be sure to put a smile on many faces as they will help ensure the same quality of excellent education our families are now enjoying included in their membership commitment. No gift is too small (or too big). Let’s recognize and appreciate all who contribute to the continuation of the Jewish people through educating our youngest members.
Tekiah # 295, December 2015
Congregation Beth Torah (913) 498-2212 Fax: (913) 498-1071 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.beth-torah.org
If you need to contact Rabbi Shapiro for a rabbinic emergency when the office is closed, he can be reached on his cell phone: 760-668-5806. Officers President...................................................Linda Zappulla First Vice President…………………................Barry Katz Vice President………………………...........Bonnie Swade Vice President……………………..........…Elisa Waldman Secretary ........................................................ Matt Haun Treasurer ................................................. Mike Ginsberg Immediate Past President.......................... Michelle Cole Board of Trustees Jeff Altman Tom Cohen Todd Davisson Miki Herman Frank Sterneck
June Crane Mike Fine Bob Milgrim SueAnn Strom
BTTY President........................................... Sarah Shaw
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Staff Interim Rabbi........................ Rabbi Rick Shapiro, D.D. Founding Rabbi ................ Mark H. Levin, D.D., D.H.L. Music Director..................................... Emily Tummons Director of Community Connections...........Laura Intfen Director of Education ........................... Bridey Stangler Director of Finance ......................... Todd Janvrin, CPA Office Manager..................................... Robin O’ Bryan Administrative Assistant.........................Sharon Altman Administrative Assistant ............................... Cathy Nix Bookkeeper......................................................Barb Kitt Communications Associate ........................ Sara Glass BTTY Adviser: Zach Zwibelman JYG Adviser: Rachel Bolter © Congregation Beth Torah, Overland Park, KS
December 4/5 23 of Kislev Parashat Vayeishev “Keep in Touch with your Family” Bar Mitzvah of Noah Waldman December 11/12 30 of Kislev Parashat Mikeitz “Light One Candle for Religious Freedom” Bat Mitzvah of Lia Davidson December 18/19 7 of Tevet Parashat Vayigash “Recognize Oneness with Adonai” December 25/26 14 of Tevet Parashat Vay’chi “Honor your Parents”
In Memorium John Berkowitz Husband of Debra Berkowitz Father of Aaron Berkowitz and Sarah Berkowitz Neil Meltzer Father of Phil Meltzer Rita Bromberg Gloria Bernstein Mother of Susan Kivett Grandmother of Gabe Kivett Jeffrey Steven Blum Brother of Dr. Michael Blum David Difilippo Father of Marie Difilippo Selma Wade Mother of Lou Wade Gabriel Hellman Father of Dr. Richard Hellman
Linda Zappulla, Board President Linda.Zappulla@gmail.com
Beth Torah is in the process of completing our search for a new rabbi. We have welcomed and shared our hospitality with 4 candidates, and they have shared their teachings and their personal stories with us. The Search Committee will be sending representatives to their home congregations, so we can add that perspective to our decision process, in addition to extensive reference checks. The selection of our new rabbi is critical to our future, and the committee is doing everything possible to ensure we hire the best candidate for us. You have seen some new activities at Beth Torah this fall, in recognition of the importance and contribution of our non-Jewish members and interfaith families to Beth Torah. The Task Force on the Role of Non-Jews in the Congregation has been meeting since August, and will be providing a recommendation to the Board of Trustees in the near future. A new series of programs for Interfaith Families has been launched and made available to the community, as well as the congregation. We are grateful to the many non-Jewish members and interfaith families who are raising their families and living Jewishly as part of the Beth Torah community. As we approach the end of the calendar and tax year, please consider including Beth Torah in your end of year giving plans. · For the first time, we are participating in Giving Tuesday – the fund raising version of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Join the Thanksgiving weekend fun, help Beth Torah, and make a donation. This year GivingTuesday is December 1, 2015. · We are working hard to be sure there is value to your membership, and if you are a family with children in religious school, school tuition is now included in your membership. · If you have a Donor Advised Fund or a Supporting Foundation Fund, don’t forget you can use it to support Beth Torah – to pay your membership commitment, or make a donation in honor or in memory of an important person in your life, or to support a favorite cause. The Educating our Future Fund is where I am directing my donations this year. · A Legacy Gift makes a commitment to Beth Torah for the future – no money comes out of your pocket today. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and my warm wishes to you and your family for a Happy Chanukah.
Linda Zappulla Volunteer Coordinating Committee
The Volunteer Coordinating Committee will be highlighting one Congregation Beth Torah Standing Committee in each month’s Tekiah. We are proud of the fact that we have so many volunteers dedicating their time and efforts to create a better Congregation Beth Torah and a better world! This month, we want to recognize the JFS Food Pantry Committee, headed by Phyllis Goldberg. As part of the Rabbinical Association’s partnership with the Jewish Family Service Food Pantry, each congregation is committed to collecting food and paper/toiletry items for the Food Pantry on a monthly basis. During the High Holy Day Food Drive, Beth Torah was responsible for donationg 2/3 of the food collected by all congregations. Phyllis points out that the partnership her committee has with Beth Torah Temple Youth Group, and specifically its Social Action Vice-President, Rylee Hendrikse, was the key to our success. Who could turn down a smiling teen who wished you a Shanah Tova and handed you a bag to fill and return? BTTY has really stepped up its involvement in our campaign to feed the hungry. In addition to their invaluable help on the High Holy Day Food Drive, they have taken it a step further and volunteered their help in person. What wonderful examples for all of us. Our monthly items for December are canned soups, vegetables, fruit and Wet Wipes. Watch the Tekiah for notification of new items each month. Along with support of the Board of Trustees, the Food Drive Committee has set two goals: They encourage everyone to bring SOMETHING with them each time they enter our building. Make it a habit! No one should go hungry on our account! They encourage our members to make it a “family affair.” When you shop with your children, just remember to ask, “What should we bring to Beth Torah this week to help hungry families in our community?” sets an example and teaches our youth that we are acting in the image of God when we do God’s work of feeding the hungry. Rylee Hendrikse and Stephanie Herman also serve on this committee. If you would like to be more www.beth-torah.org | Page 3 involved, contact Phyllis at email@example.com.
Laura Intfen, Director of Community Connections firstname.lastname@example.org
Life at Beth Torah
“This Biennial is a five day manifestation of family strength. Five-thousand strong, we come together as a joyful diverse family, ready to become the best leaders we can be, and ready to celebrate each other and our wonderful Reform Jewish Family.” Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union of Reform Judaism
What celebrations do YOU have coming up at Beth torah?
Hiney ma tov u’ma-nayim. Shevet ach-im gam ya-chad. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for people to sit together in unity. Psalm 133
Spread the joy:
I had the honor and pleasure of attending the 73rd URJ Biennial Convention in early November in Orlando, Florida. Other members of our community who attended were our President, Linda Zappulla, Rabbi Shapiro, board member Todd Davisson and avid learner Amy Shaw. I learned from world-renowned leaders about change, leadership, budgets, values, Torah and programming. But mostly I learned that we at Beth Torah are on the cusp of something pretty exciting. With all the buzz around our community regarding a new rabbi, I wanted to make sure that our commitment to programming for our families with children didn’t get overshadowed. We are a part of a URJ Community of Practice called: Engaging Families with Young children for Congregations Without Early Education Centers. Todd Davisson and I represent Beth Torah’s participation in this group. A Community of Practice is a group of Reform congregations that go on an 18-24 month journey together to address a shared problem in their communities. They learn from URJ professionals and from each other. We are one of ten congregations that so far have shared an online webinar on mindsets and trends and then shared a day and a half of in-person learning and sharing in Orlando. I want to share with you five principles that will be used to develop solutions to a problem of how to strengthen our congregations and make Judaism, and Beth Torah relevant and meaningful to the lives of our members. Amy Asin, the URJ’s vice president for Strengthening Congregations has published these principles and they have appeared in many faith based publications. They will be guiding much of what we do here as we delve into this amazing Community of Practice: • Empower lay leaders. Encourage your target audience, whether it be young adults, young families or both, to take ownership of the process. Establish a trusted, trained core of lay leaders who will be networking while creating the community they want to be part of. Staff can’t, and shouldn’t, do it all. “If you build a world that’s about maximal entry points, you can’t be every place,” says Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas of Temple Beth El in Charlotte, North Carolina. • Play the long game. You may need to devote several years to an experiment before you see results, so be willing to invest time and patience, Thomas said. “My biggest takeaway is you absolutely can’t back down. Nothing about this is ‘set it and forget it.’ You constantly have to stoke the fires. … With experiments, anytime you’re pushing the boundaries, you can’t just do it once. You have to do it consistently to create structure.” • Don’t get caught up in numbers. Traditionally, congregations have looked at quantitative measures of success: How many people showed up to an event? Was there enough food for everyone? Did we stay within budget? All of those are fine to track, but the URJ urges congregations to develop deeper measures: Did anyone make a new friend? Are participants hanging out together outside the synagogue? Are they learning meaningful ways to apply a Jewish lens to their broader lives? • Be authentic. Temples seeking to attract young adults often assume incorrectly that if events are “too Jewish,” young people won’t participate. “What we found was interesting and fascinating. In every congregation, they didn’t want anything purely social,” said Lisa Lieberman Barzilai, the director of the URJ’s Leadership Institute. “You shouldn’t be walking away from the Jewish piece,that’s why they were going to you. If they wanted something purely social, they could go to a bar.” · Take programming beyond the walls of the institution. Engage your audience wherever they feel comfortable,whether it’s in coffee shops, offices, pumpkin patches or people’s homes. And particularly when trying to reach young adults, make sure your online and social media presence is responsive, engaging and reflective of the type of environment you’re trying to create. In this Tekiah you can learn how these principles are being put into place all over our infrastructure. From lay leadership, to strategic planning, to music, to worship, to school and to membership, we hold these high and strive to use them. So be looking out for Beth Torah to be using these principles in future programming. As a member, you are a stakeholder in this. Show up, share ideas, bring a friend and make a friend. Hiney ma tov u’ma-nayim. Shevet ach-im gam ya-chad. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for people to sit together in unity. Psalm 133
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Sponsor a breakfast or some fancy shmancy creamers for our Sunday morning breakfasts. Purchase a leaf on our Tree of Life in the Ulam. Sponsor a Nosh for an Erev Shabbat Friday night worship. Contact the Beth Torah office to take an opportunity to spread the joy!
Please mark your calendars for the meeting to form new chavurahs. It will be held at Beth Torah on Sunday, February 21, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. We know that many Beth Torah members have expressed interest in joining a chavurah. We hope that you will be able to join us on that date. If you are unable to attend, but still want to join a group, please contact us. Our chavurah is a very important part of our lives. When we first met at a chavurah formation meeting more than 13 years ago, none of us knew each other. Since then, we have become a family, and it truly has been a blessing. The reason we decided to volunteer to help other chavurahs is to pass our wonderful experience on to others. Let us know if we can answer any questions you may have. We’re looking forward to seeing you on February 21st! For more information, contact: Susie & Jerry Klinock (913) 663-5446 Susie.Klinock@gmail.com
Congregational Forum Thank you to everyone who attended our Congregational Forum in November. We covered a lot of topics. The lay leadership wants you to know we have heard the concerns about our Hebrew and b’nai mitzvah preparation program and are currently working on next steps on these two topics. Keep an eye out on our web site and in your email “in box” for more information.
High Holy Day Food Drive Report Beth Torah did it! JFS notified us that of the almost 9,000 pounds donated by the community, Beth Torah collected 5,168 pounds of items during our High Holy Day food drive. We are Beth Torah Proud! These personal-hygiene and food items make a huge difference to the people served. So, let’s continue to fill our barrels as we come to Beth Torah. The most needed items for the pantry at this time include: •Canned meat, tuna, chicken •Peanut butter •Canned fruits, vegetables, beans •Cereal •Personal care items...soap, shampoo, toilet paper, deodorant •Cleaning products Thank you for your ongoing support. Let us reduce food insecurity in our community. www.beth-torah.org | Page 5
Adult Education & Special Programs Bringing Adult Education to You Discussion on the Writings of the Torah Join the community in discussion on Shabbat morning, 9:00 to 10:15 a.m. in the Library. Jewish Book Club Contact Rabbi Shapiro to be a part of our Jewish Literature discussion group. On Monday, December 21st, at 7:00 p.m., we will discuss: Suddenly, Love by Aharon Appelfeld.
Bridey Stangler, Director of Education Bstangler@beth-torah.org
Five Ways to be Jewish in the Month of December December’s the best. Even without the Festival of Lights, everyone is so blessedly happy. Frazzled, yes, but happy. Mundane errands are punctuated by bells. The drive home, plunged into the dark of an early sunset, sparkles from jolly, if overly-elaborate, lawn decorations. And the music! Of course its schmaltzy, but isn’t it also, even just a tiny bit wonderful? (Thanks to my Jewish grandmother, Dot Fritzshall, who played Jingle Bells on the record player when I brought my first boyfriend to Rosh HaShanah dinner, I will forever be a sucker for Christmas music.)
Saturday Night at the Movies Join your community for an exploration of the Israeli feature films of the past 50+ years. Each film will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Beth Torah Ulam and be followed by a discussion led by Rabbi Shapiro. Join us on Saturday, December 19th, for a viewing of “The Attack”.
If you’re like me, and you would happily drink eggnog beside a blinking tree while roasting chestnuts on an open fire and listening to Bing Crosby, then this list is for you. If you’re desperate for your Judaism to shine bright among all the lights without being a complete Grinch, this list is also for you.
Ray Davidson Yiddish Circle If you haven’t yet visited the wonderful “Yiddish Circle for Learning” at Congregation Beth Torah, you’re missing a treat. Come to Beth Torah each Friday at noon until 1:30 p.m. Bring your lunch if you’d like.
1. Bless the snow. The first good one might be conveniently timed – in a lull when all homework and housework is done. But it may be right before the big meeting, or while the kids are at school. Embrace the beauty and create a Jewish memory. Take two minutes to feel it on your face outside the front doors of your work. Pull the kids out of class for 15 minutes (yes, drive there for just 15 minutes, they’ll never forget it). Then, sing it: Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam, shehechiyanu v’kiamanu v’higianu, la’zman ha-zeh!
Stay-N-Play Board Games At Stay-N-Play following Services on Friday evening, December 18th, you can stay to play board games with our community. Bring your friends and any games you want to play or just come and learn some new games. Contact Matt Haun at email@example.com for information. The Stay-N-Play group is looking for a new coordinator to organize the monthly activities for 2016. If you would like to know more, please contact Matt Haun. Wisdom on Wednesdays The Wisdom on Wednesday crew is exploring Second Temple Judaism. As our interests crystalize, our source texts may include the four books of Maccabees; information reflecting the growth of synagogues and the development of sects in the Jewish community; some writings of the historian, Josephus; sections of the Talmud talking about relations with Roman soldiers and emperors; perhaps even some background about the Jewish Jesus. We eat and schmooze every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m., then read and discuss from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Drop by the Bride’s Room and join us. You’re always welcome! Lunch with the Rabbi Join Rabbi Shapiro this month for some lunch and some learning at our next Lunch with the Rabbi on Thursday, December 17th, 12:00-1:30 p.m. in the Library. Bring your own lunch or call the office at (913) 498-2212 to order a sandwich. Sarah Shaw BTTY President 2015-2016 Hi all! The first semester of BTTY is nearly over, but we’ve still got some great plans in store: Last month our JFS Scavenger Hunt was a lot of fun and we collected a lot of food for the JFS food pantry. Plan on coming for another awesome Chill Night after Friday night services on December11th when we will watch a movie and hang out. Then on Sunday, December 20th we are going to join up with JYG for some ice skating at Crown Center. I hope to see you all there, I am super excited! BTTY President Sarah Shaw www.beth-torah.org | Page 6
2. Volunteer. People are still in need, even when everyone else wants to be at home with their families. Volunteer at Ronald McDonald House or reStart to make the holiday cheerier for those who would rather be elsewhere on Christmas. 3. Say Merry Christmas back. Or better yet “I hope your Christmas is super-awesome.” Maybe the time is right for “And a happy Hanukkah to you, sir!” If you’re up for a brave-hearted debate about secularism, “Happy Holidays.” But before taking issue with the assumption of your Christianity, consider the time and the place. The Talmud (Baba Metzia 59a) tells us that it’s better to be tossed in a furnace than to embarrass another person. We live in a nation where 90% of the population celebrates the big C. Is an assumption based on statistics like that worth calling out the grocery store cashier? 4. Crank up the tunes. Because the best of them were written by members of the Tribe, and we may as well send the royalties to the Jewish families of all the greats: Mel Torme (“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…”), Irving Berlin (I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…”), Sammy Cahn (“Oh the weather outside is frightful…”), and Jay Livingston, born Jacob Harold Levison (“Silver bells, silver bells, it’s Christmas time in the city….”). To all our Christian friends out there: You’re welcome. 5. For all of this, make sure your Menorah lights up the window. It’s not just tradition, it’s about making sure the light of the Jews can be seen near and far. “The lighting of the hanukkiyah (Hanukkah menorah) is the vehicle by which we remember this moment of Jewish history and proclaim it to ourselves and the outside world, writes Dr. Ron Wolfson in Hanukkah: The Family Guide to Spiritual Celebration. There are places where it is not safe to advertise our faith. Fill the outside world with the light that others can’t shine.
JYG Update: Join Beth Torah JYG and BTTY for some ice skating and fun at Crown Center on Sunday December 20th! This program is open to all Jewish 6th through 12th graders in the area! Meet us at Beth Torah at 11:15 a.m. We’ll carpool to Crown Center and have lunch and hot chocolate at Panera followed by ice skating! We’ll be back at Beth Torah around 3:15 p.m. for pick-up. Please bring $6 for ice skating admission and $3 for skate rental... or feel free to bring your own skates if you have them! You’ll also need money for lunch or a drink! Please RSVP to Bridey in the Beth Torah office at 913-498-2212 or firstname.lastname@example.org by December 15th! Parents - please let us know if you are willing to drive to and from this event! www.beth-torah.org | Page 7
December 2015 B’nai Mitzvah Bar Mitzvah of Noah Waldman Noah Gregory Waldman, son of Elisa and Stuart Waldman, will become a Bar Mitzvah on the morning of December 5th at Shabbat services. Noah is the older brother of Geordie Waldman, and the grandson of Carol and Harold Sader and Reva and Mark Waldman. Noah enjoys reading, scoring soccer goals, studying Chinese, playing cello and practicing Tae Kwon Do. Noah is excited to celebrate with his friends and family, and the Congregation is invited to join Noah and his family for a Kiddush lunch following services.
Music Program HUDDLE UP A LITTLE CLOSER: Have you ever walked behind the ark in the sanctuary?
There’s a little cove behind where we hold our Torahs. Most of the time it serves as temporary storage for supplies or equipment. A few months ago I was studying the blueprints of the buildings, trying to understand our spaces better, on the prowl for some creative spots to hold alternate musical gatherings. One of the drawings (pictured on this page) was a shock.
Bat Mitzvah of Lia Davidson Lia Davidson, daughter of Dan and Karen Davidson, will celebrate her Bat Mitzvah at Shabbat worship on Saturday, December 12, 2015, at 10:30 a.m. Lia is in the seventh grade and on the Honor Roll at Pioneer Middle School. Lia loves volleyball and follows family tradition with a love for cooking. She is also an avid animal enthusiast. The family invites the Beth Torah community to celebrate this joyous occasion. A Kiddush luncheon will follow the service.
As you can see in the blueprint, our architectural team had drawn in a conference table and eight chairs in the space behind the ark, and it was labeled the “Study.”
The Gift Shop at Congregation Beth Torah
The next time you are in the sanctuary, take a moment to look behind the ark. It is such a wonderful space. When you’re standing in the middle of it, you can see exactly why the people who conceived of and built that space had fully intended for folks to gather inside of it.
The Gift Shop at Congregation Beth Torah is Ready for Hanukkah! We hope you all have a wonderful Hanukkah holiday. The Gift Shop is a one-stop shop for all your holiday needs. We have gifts for all ages and all price points. New items arrive every day including: gelt, dreidels, menorahs, and all sorts of fun jewelry. We are ready for all your last-minute shopping needs. Ideas for the Eight Nights of Hanukkah: 1) Have a goal to light candles every night as a family 2) Have an evening with friends 3) Participate in a family mitzvah project 4) Talk about your Hanukkah family traditions 5) Try a new recipe 6) Eat latkes 7) Join the Beth Torah community on Friday night worship 8) Share the “holiday joy” with everyone you meet As the days are growing shorter, we need more candles to light the dark. What if we tried to light the dark through identifying a social justice project? A donation of the “gift” of time or money over the next 12 months would bring light and begin the work of repairing our world. The Gift Shop at Congregation Beth Torah is one way to support the community. Watch for another chance to repair the world through The Gift Shop’s January Social Justice Project. Planning on ordering a Mah Jongg card for 2016? It is time to order a new Mah Jongg card for 2016. The Gift Shop at Congregation Beth Torah will be selling Mah Jongg cards with Marlene Kahn as our coordinator. If you wish to order a Mah Jongg card for 2016, we hope you will contact Marlene Kahn at (305) 322-5998 or The Gift Shop at Congregation Beth Torah at (913) 498-2212. Happy Hanukkah to Everyone! The Gift Shop at Congregation Beth Torah
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Gift Shop Winter Hours are: Sunday 9:00 to 12:30 p.m. (during religious school), Monday 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., Wednesday and Friday 10:00 a.m. to noon.
Emily Tummons, Music Director Emily@beth-torah.org
So we are going to use it for a Shabbat Huddle in December. Everyone is invited to join my team and me in a Shabbat Huddle behind the ark on Friday, December 18th, 5:45-6:15 p.m. In this rousing song session, we’ll weave together both energetic and contemplative songs, songs with a different sort of ruach from some of our standards in the Shabbat services. A very old, Chassidic “L’cha Dodi”, a very new Oseh Shalom, niggun after niggun. We’ll welcome the Shabbat bride with the sound of the violin and the tof, with the warmth of friends, and with a whole lot of joy. If you’d like to get a little bit of early familiarity with these songs, and be a part of the “singing core,” come jam with our music team the Wednesday evening before the Huddle (December 16th, 7:00-8:00 p.m.) These Huddles will offer our music team another opportunity to experiment, and to continue discovering in direct and intimate ways what resonates with the souls of our holy community.
Make Music With Us
There are gateways galore for you to get involved in the CBT music program. Play an instrument? Like to sing? Give Emily Tummons a call, or email her at Emily@beth-torah. org. Our Kids Choir is open to children in Kindergarten through age 13, and we rehearse seasonally on Sunday mornings during religious school. Our Adult Choir, directed by Carmen Dieker, rehearses seasonally on Wednesdays, 7:00-8:30 p.m. There are other ways to connect if these don’t work for you, like the Shabbat Huddles mentioned above. www.beth-torah.org | Page 9
Contributions Beth Torah General Fund In Memory Of:
Sarah Ozar I.I. & Lesly Ozar Gloria Bernstein Jerald & Rochelle Pelofsky Jean Kessler Bill Kessler Arthur Rovick Rovick Family
In Honor Of:
High Holy Day Worship Emily Kerstein
Richard Greenberg Lesly & I.I. Ozar Henri Goettel Bertha Goldstein Gail Goldstein Gloria Bernstein Allison & John Spector Henri Goettel Neil Meltzer Henri Goettel John Berkowitz Henri Goettel Fred Markowitz Alan Markowitz Hadassah Salz Maureen & Sandy Salz
Educating our Future Fund
Betty Horton Ron & Jo Ann Ginson
Rabbi Levin Discretionary Fund In Memory Of: Irene Serlin Tina Shea Johanna Difilippo Marie Difilippo
CBT Fund for Families in Need In Memory Of:
Audrey Gould Karen & Kevin Flattery Simon Ozar I.I. & Lesly Ozar Margaret Pecora SueAnn Strom Morris Feinberg Susan Feinberg
Hunger Fund In Memory Of:
Simon Ozar Sarah Ozar Frances Klein Stephanie & Adam Elyachar Elaine Waxman Joel & Susan Waxman Lillian Elfanbaum Rita Stark
In Memory Of:
Neil Meltzer Maureen & Sandy Salz
In Honor Of:
Amy Dennis Pierron Music Fund
Please make reservations for the healing service by calling JFS’ office at (913) 327-8250. For more information, contact email@example.com.
In Memory Of:
END OF LIFE WORKSHOP Dealing with the issues surrounding our own mortality is the focus of a presentation, “Living a Good Life….Dying a Good Death,” scheduled for Sunday, December 6th, in the MAC Room of the Jewish Community Campus, 5801 W. 115th St. The free event, 10-11:30 a.m., is sponsored by Jewish Family Services Family Life Education Department. Although end-of-life care may be difficult to discuss, it is best for loved ones and family members to share their wishes long before it becomes a concern. JFS is offering the program so participants will come away with a better understanding of all aspects of end-of-life issues and some resources to assist them. The presentations will be followed by a question and answer session. While the program is free, registration is requested by November 30th by contacting Susie Hurst, FLE director, at (913) 327-8259 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marcia & Larry Rittmaster’s 50th anniversary Jan & Tom Harness’s 30th anniversary Maureen & Sandy Salz
Marcy Glisczinski Ellen Taylor
In Honor of:
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Religious School Fund
Visit our website: www.beth-torah.org
Sharon & Jeff Altman
Larry & Marcia Rittmaster’s 50th anniversary Mark & Sandy Robinson
In Memory Of:
Burton S. Goldstein Martin & Irene Goldstein
In Honor Of:
Radine Shaw’s 90th birthday Diana, Victor Austin & Zach Hurst Hadi, Anthony & Victoria Heinz
Joel H. Winston Social Justice Fund In Memory Of:
Rose Wexlin Ellen & Bob Bruennig Joel Winston Bruce & Susan Winston Neil Meltzer Nancy Jonas Wilson Gloria Bernstein Edis Parkans
In Honor Of:
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TEEN DRIVING RISK AWARENESS COURSE TO BE OFFERED IN JANUARY 2016 Start the New Year off in the right way by taking the “Driving Risk Awareness for Teens and Parents” program, put on by the C.H.A.I. program of Jewish Family Services. This free workshop, which is open to 9th and 10th grade students and their parents, will take place on Sunday, January 10, 2016, from 10:00 -11:45 a.m. at the Jewish Community Campus, 5801 W. 115th St., Overland Park, KS. The workshop will be facilitated by Susie Hurst, Adolescent Specialist at Jewish Family Services, and Captain Mark Terman of the Kansas City, Mo Police Department.
reStart at Beth Torah
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On Saturday, January 2nd, Congregation Beth Torah continues its 27-year tradition at reStart, preparing and serving lunch and dinner for each January weekend. The facility’s mission is “empowering people, ending homelessness.” Residents are always pleased to have Beth Torah volunteers at their temporary home. There are five weekends in January this year so we need an extra 32 members to accommodate the four extra meals. reStart plans and purchases the meals and has a staff person on hand to direct our efforts. Beth Torah volunteers prepare and serve lunch and dinner and briefly clean the dining area afterwards.
or Email us at: email@example.com and we’ll send you the links!
Members are encouraged to bring children ten-years of age or older. There are a variety of tasks that fit all ages and skill levels. This includes cutting fruits and vegetables, mixing the ingredients for cold drinks, getting supplies from the refrigerator, assembling napkin and plasticware set-ups, and meal preparation and service. The lunch shift, which runs from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., requires six people while the dinner shift needs ten volunteers and runs from 2:00 to 6:30 p.m.
Speedy recovery of Phil Hermanson Nini & Skip Rosenstock
Sponsorships: December 4/5: Pulpit flowers sponsored by Hal and Carol Sader in honor of the Bar Mitzvah of their grandson, Noah Waldman. Kiddush luncheon sponsored by Stuart and Elisa Waldman in honor of the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Noah Waldman. December 11/12: Nosh sponsored by Linda Zappulla in honor of the 99th birthday of her mother, Adrienne Balagur. Kiddush luncheon sponsored by Dan and Karen Davidson in honor of the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Lia Davidson.
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Community Events SERVICE OF SPIRITUAL WELLNESS The Jewish Community Tefilat Shalom: A Service of Spiritual Wellness, Healing, and Renewal will take place on Thursday, December 3rd. The service, under the auspices of the Jewish Community Chaplaincy program housed at Jewish Family Services, will take place at Village Shalom, 5500 W. 123rd St., in Overland Park. The service begins at 6:30 p.m. It is open to the entire community regardless of one’s level of observance. Rabbi Jonathan Rudnick, Jewish Community Chaplain, will facilitate the service. The healing service features both traditional prayer and contemporary inspirational readings and music.
Lowenstein Family Foundation
Memory of: Rabbi Shapiro Discretionary Fund In Gloria Bernstein In Memory Of:
CBT Camp Scholarship Fund
We would really like for more of our newer members to participate this year. We will make sure that first-time volunteers are matched with some seasoned veterans. As you read this article, think about a fun group that you would like to work with during a shift. Maybe it’s members you sing with in choir, families you know from religious school, or members that you enjoy seeing at services. My family has participated in January at reStart for 20 consecutive years. It is so enjoyable to meet and work with other congregants and make new friends. As a parent you can watch your children enthusiastically prepare meals and wield a mop like a sailor, wondering why this never happens at home. That’s the magic of reStart. There are many ways to sign-up for a shift. Register on Sign-up Genius by clicking here, or click “reStart” on the Beth Torah website for registration directions. You can also call Scott Franklin (913) 645-1036 or the Beth Torah office. For those of you with tricky schedules that will not allow you to commit to a date, don’t despair. Let us know if you would like to be a part of the reinforcement brigade and fill in if we have last-minute cancellations.
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Beth Torah members supporting one another through life’s health care challenges.
Click here to see the December Calendar on our website: www.beth-torah.org To make a referral or to volunteer, contact: Beth Torah (913) 498-2212 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Justice at Beth Torah: Restart at Beth Torah
Be a part of Beth Torah’s longest running social justice commitment by joining us for January at reStart. For all five weekends in January, Beth Torah will prepare and serve lunch and dinner at the reStart family shelter beginning January 2nd-3rd. There is no better way to begin the secular New Year and no more enjoyable mitzvah than working a meal shift with friends and family. Sign-up begins on December 1st. Register for a shift of your choice by clicking here, or contacting Scott Franklin, or calling the Beth Torah office. See the article inside on page 11 for more information.
45th Annual Holiday Dinner Program at the Pleasant Green Baptist Church:
Because the homebound and the homeless should get holiday meals too.
Volunteer opportunities to assemble baskets and deliver meals are available for the whole family. Christmas meal help is needed starting December 20th and going all the way until Christmas morning. To sign-up to help check out our website or contact Ms. Lucy Harmon, Program Coordinator for United Prayer Movement Inc., at (913) 371-0231 or at email@example.com.
Turkey donations are needed!
Help us reach a goal of 50 turkeys to donate for Christmas. Information on both of these Social Justice programs is on our website at www.beth-torah.org. Or call the Beth Torah office for more information
Adopt a Family this Hanukkah!
Jewish Family Services relies on people like us to help make Hanukkah a joyous time for families in need. Contact the office at (913) 498-2212 or firstname.lastname@example.org to adopt individuals or whole families, and donate the new items that would help make people warm, happy, and safe this December. We will take your name and get you the ages of recipients and a list of items requested within 48 hours. Sign up now to make someone’s holidays brighter!
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