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The Monthly Newsletter of Congregation Beth Torah
Issue 293 •Tishri/Cheshvan 5775
October 16th November 20th, December 11th
A Note from the Rabbi Rabbi Rick Shapiro
Shabbat, October 3rd:
The sixth chapter of Book of Exodus – the conclusion of the story of Moses’s encounter with God at the burning bush – begins with a strange introduction and disclaimer. “God spoke to Moses and said to him: ‘I am the Eternal. I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as El Shaddai, but I did not make Myself known to them by My name YHWH.’” The German Bible scholars of the 19th century used this passage as the foundation for their creation of modern biblical criticism, citing the combination of the different names used to refer to God as proof of the fractured origins of the Biblical text, each name having been used by a different “author.”
Simchat Torah: Sunday, October 4th
Our sages of old, on the other hand, saw in these words an affirmation of the many-faceted presence of God in human experience. Their understanding begins, as does much of rabbinic wisdom, with a problem: the verse from this passage puts into God’s mouth the claim that the patriarchs had not known God by the name YHWH, while the text itself contradicts this claim by the frequent occurrences of this precise divine name in Genesis where the stories of the patriarchs are told. What are we to do with this apparent inconsistency?
Sukkot and Simchat Torah! After the final shofar blast of Yom Kippur and the Gates close there is…
10:30 a.m. We will have Shabbat morning worship outside in and around the Sukkah (weather permitting). Why not bring a sack lunch and enjoy a meal in the Sukkah after worship? If you would like to use our Sukkah at all during the week of Sukkot to have a family meal, just give the office a call and book it. We will have the table and the lulav and etrog out there for you to use.
5:30-6:30 p.m. This is a day when the end and the beginning are both celebrated, so why not have breakfast for dinner??!! Chris Cakes will be here flipping flapjacks. All you have to do is show up and catch them! Don’t worry about the calories; we’ll dance those off during worship. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Time to celebrate Torah. Bring your consecration Torah scrolls if you have them and wear your comfortable shoes. Let’s celebrate the Tree of Life and all that it means to our lives. Come and enjoy the live Klezmer music as we mark another year of learning from the stories and the lessons of the Torah.
Monday, October 5th:
Shimini Atzeret worship including a Yizkor service 10:30 a.m. Simchat Torah morning worship with The Temple B’nai Jehudah here in the Beth Torah sanctuary. Our worship leadership team will be leading worship along with theirs.
May your Sukkot be bountiful with blessings and your Simchat Torah be enlightening.
As frequently happens, Rashi gives us the clue to unlock the puzzle. In commenting on our passage, he tells us that “I [God] made certain promises to [the patriarchs] and in the case of all of these I said unto them: ‘I am God Almighty (El Shaddai). But by My name YHWH I was not know to them.’ It is not written here ‘I did not make My name YHVH known to them’ but rather ‘By My name YHWH I was not known [to them]’; i.e., I was not recognized by them in My attribute of ‘keeping faith,’ by reason of which My name is called YHWH, [which denotes] that I am certain to substantiate My promise.’” What Rashi and the many others who adopted his reasoning are trying to tell us is that God can be known in many different ways. While the name YHWH may well have been used in patriarchal times, the matriarchs and patriarchs did not understand the full nature of God that was implied by the name; indeed, they could not do so as long as God’s promise of redemption remained unfulfilled. According to Rabbi Gunther Plaut, our passage seems to be telling us that Moses was the first to come to understand God in this new light: as “faithful, merciful, and (Continued on page 2)
Worship (Continued from page 1) compassionate”; as the One Who remembers the promises made to the patriarchs and will fulfill them. And to emphasize this fact, immediately following our verses is God’s four-fold promise, repeated each year at our Pesach table, to redeem the people Israel from oppression and lead them back to the Land of Israel. Tradition teaches us that each of the patriarchs and matriarchs had their own way of relating to God, their own manner of understanding the Divine Reality. In the words of our liturgy, “Our Fathers prayed, each through his own experience of God, each through his own private vision that his people came to share. And each of our Mothers had her own vision.” And now Moses joins that elite company, as his encounter with God and subsequent understanding add to the diversity of divine divulgence. To the perceptions given to Abraham through morning prayer, to Isaac by means of midday meditation, and to Jacob via his nighttime visions is now added that of Moses, who hears God in the midst of fire. And what is all of this to us? All too frequently today we try to fit all forms of Godknowing into a single framework. If one group feels that Shabbat services are fine, then everyone should. How can she not like that version of the Sh’ma? It moves me to tears! How dare he criticize the way we read Torah? I find it both beautiful and meaningful! It must be that way for everybody! What we all too often fail to recognize is that, when it comes to the quest for the Divine Reality, one size doesn’t fit all. Some of us are mystics and others are rationalists; some are dreamers and others seek the Eternal in the mundane events of daily life. No one manner of reaching out for the Limitless One exhausts all of the possibilities; any one method of worship, however profound and evocative to some, will fall flat for others. In the words of Rabbi Edward Klein: “ Each from his own viewpoint glimpses ultimate reality and each viewpoint is true if the person’s quest is sincere and faith is strong.” As we celebrate Sukkot and Simchat Torah together, joining in giving thanks for God’s bounty and for the Torah that enables us to understand the reality of God’s Presence among us, may each of us continue to pursue our own distinct method of struggling to experience the divine in our daily lives. Who knows? Some of us just might catch a glimpse of the bush, burning still in the divine unknown and waiting still only to be seen.
Tekiah # 293, October 2015
Torah Portion & Haftarah October 2/3 20 of Tishrei Parashat Chol HaMo-eid Sukkot Oct 4- Shimini Atzeret Oct 5- Simchat Torah/Yizkor “Give Thanks for G-d’s Bounty” October 9/10 27 of Tishrei Parashat B’reishit Shelby Shames becomes a Bat Mitzvah “Begin Anew” October 16/17 4 of Cheshvan Parashat Noach Gabriel Kivett becomes a Bar Mitzvah “Explore your Family Tree” October 23/24 11 of Cheshvan Parashat Lech L’cha Keely Wright becomes a Bat Mitzvah “Identify a Goal of Your Journey” October 30/31 18 of Cheshvan Parashat Vayeira “Care for the Stranger (or Angel?)”
In Memorium Florine Frankel Peck Cousin of Floyd Frankel
Congregation Beth Torah (913) 498-2212 Fax: (913) 498-1071 Email: email@example.com 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 Advisers: Hannah Michelson & Zach Zwibelman JYG Advisers: Rachel Bolter © Congregation Beth Torah, Overland Park, KS
Save the dar t15eth: ,
Sunday, Novembe our next 10:00 a.m. will be rum. Come Congregational Fo portant get updated on im topics such as: Our Rabbi Search Our Strategic Plan Our finances Our programming Our community
Linda Zappulla, Board President Linda.Zappulla@gmail.com
I want to take this issue of Tekiah, early in our new year, to thank our staff for all their hard work, for their commitment to our community, and for their friendship. During the High Holy Days, their work is magnified. Throughout the year the staff makes it seamless to be a member at Beth Torah. Cathy Nix is the front desk receptionist and handles all of the administrative duties for the Weiner Religious School. She helped make Bridey’s arrival as new Director of Education smooth and pleasant. It is Cathy who greets you when you walk into the office, and who buzzes you into the building if you don’t have your ‘fob.’
Sharon Altman is our administrative support staff and a familiar face at Beth Torah for many years. I particularly want to thank Sharon for her work on the golf tournament, where her passion and tenacity mark our success.
Barb Kitt is our bookkeeper. She helps manage our member accounts, ensuring our donations are properly accounted for, and asking the detailed questions that keep our books in order. Todd Janvrin, CPA, Director of Finance, has been instrumental in helping us toward our balanced budget, and to manage our cash flow. His knowledge and experience in working with non-profit organizations and his tranquil presence have helped us manage our budget, and deliver greater financial transparency to our members. Robin O’Bryan is our long-time office manager, with Beth Torah from the very beginning. Her friendly face and voice on the phone are a welcoming presence, as she manages the office staff and handles the myriad questions that cross her desk. Emily Tummons, Music Director, brought a new voice and new vision to our music program, welcoming our congregants to the bima to sing and play their instruments, enhancing our worship and spiritual connection. Laura Intfen moved seamlessly to the newly created position of Director of Community Connections, overseeing the office staff, managing the building, and maintaining our important connections with our members. She continues to be our ‘go-to’ person, finding the answers if she doesn’t have them. Bridey Stangler is our brand new Director of Education, and already we feel her energy and enthusiasm for Jewish learning, and connecting with our members, young, old, and in-between. Sara Glass is our Communications Associate, helping us deliver our many messages to the congregation, and to the Kansas City community. Not to mention the transition to our digital Tekiah and social media! Custodial support is behind the scenes, but we wouldn’t have a clean building, Friday night nosh and Oneg, or program set-ups, without it. Finally, I must thank Rabbi Rick Shapiro for his good humor and calm demeanor as we go through our transition. We are learning a lot from him, and appreciate both our preparation to be ready for a new rabbi, as well as the ‘regular’ rabbinic support he gives us. He is a strong partner to me and to the Board. My thanks to each of our staff, personally, and on behalf of the Board and the entire congregation,
Linda Zappulla Boy Scouts welcomed at Beth Torah In late July, when we learned that the Boy Scouts of America had ended its controversial ban against gay scout leaders, the Beth Torah Board voted to remove all restrictions on scout activity at Beth Torah. You will see the Boy Scouts in our building doing various service projects for us, recruiting from time to time, and being good neighbors and role models. A number of our children belong to Troop 61, a Jewish troop, fully inclusive and welcoming of all scouts and leaders, hosted at Congregation Beth Shalom. Sometime in the near future, you will see an Eagle Scout project installing benches and landscaping in our outdoor worship area for the members of our community. We are delighted to welcome the Boy Scouts, while continuing our longstanding support for full equality of gays and lesbians in all www.beth-torah.org | Page 3 aspects of congregational and civic life.
Laura Intfen, Director of Community Connections firstname.lastname@example.org
Choose your adventure……. With the High Holy Days in the rear-view mirror and the first days of both Sunday school and TAG done, it is time to relax into the routine of 5776. Well….maybe not. If it seems to you that the pilot light of programming here at Beth Torah has been lit, you are not alone. Family programming spatters our congregational calendar with Tot Shabbat, play groups, rumpuses, swinging and flapjacks. Social Justice sings out at our staff meetings with the music of Mitzvah Day, reStart, food and blood drives, backsnack and Safehome meals. Worship reaches out from the office suite of our building with the planning of no less than five holy day worship opportunities planned with our neighbors at B’nai Jehudah this year. The future stalks at our front entry way as our Rabbi Search Team goes into overdrive with skype interviews, deep discussions regarding our future leadership and glimpses at the numerous talented, exciting rabbis, knowing one will be on our bimah and in our hearts soon. Our Strategic Planning committee is combing through information learned at our forums and workshops from last year to refocus our Mission an Vision to be more reflective of who we are as a congregation. Connections are melding as our policies and programming specifically for our interfaith families become part of our congregational language and mentality. Also, groups of lifelong learners are attending classes on huge topics such as parenting, aging, wisdom and Torah. The addition of these programs have help to reduce the feeling of isolation among congregants. As groups of learning partners focus on huge topics such as parenting, aging, wisdom and Torah to lessen isolation in our community. Family programming, social justice, worship, our future and connections all based on Jewish values are on the pages of our calendars, websites, Facebook profiles and tweeting, Instagram and vine phone screens. Each page holds an adventure for our members. What you choose matters. Choose boldly; but choose something.
Important fob facts: • Your fob works from 8:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. every day but Tuesday. If your fob is not working, please let me know. If it is Tuesday and your fob is not working, that is by design. • The fob will not work on any door but the far North front door (the one to the left of the center doors as you are entering the building). When you pull on the other doors, it damages them. They are locked 24/7, so please, do NOT pull on the other doors. They won’t open. There is no fob reader for the back door. You will need to use the intercom to be let in back there. • The fobs do NOT turn off the building alarm. Do NOT use your fob to enter the building if you think there may be no one else there. The alarm will go off once you enter the building. • If you lose your fob, let the office know. We can program it not to work and for a fee of $10.00, we will program a new fob for you. • Fobs will not take the place of your Shalom Squad on Erev Shabbat or substitute for a human smile, handshake and hug for greeting each other. Because the smiles, handshakes and hugs are what moves us from fobulous to fabulous.
Planned Giving Quote of the Month “Beth Torah has been such an important part of our lives. Adding Beth Torah as an additional primary beneficiary to our life insurance policy was easy, costs nothing and helps CBT qualify for grant funding. And, giving a legacy gift not only helps Beth Torah now, but will help to ensure it is still supported when we’re not here for future generations.” -Matt & Shanna Haun A planned gift is a commitment you make today that does not ripen into an actual gift until down the road. The commitment can be in the form of a bequest in your will, or the designation of Beth Torah as a partial beneficiary to your IRA, 401K or a life insurance policy. It’s easy and there is no initial cost to you. For more information check out the Planned Giving display board in the foyer, call Laura Intfen in the office or call Barry Katz. Barry Katz Chair, Congregation Beth Torah Dor L’dor Planned Giving Committee (816) 274-4054 (office) / (913) 767-9484 (home)
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CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR MITZVAH DAY Joel’s Ride Is Ready to Roll Join us for your last ride of the year! Joel’s Ride: Wheels for Meals is scheduled for Sunday, October 18th. There are four rides to choose from including a 10, 25, 42 and a metric century (62 miles). Ride times start as early as 8:00 a.m. but are staggered so all rides end at our after-ride event with lunch sponsored by Spin! Neapolitan Pizza, as well as some adult beverages. All rides are SAG supported and helmets are required. The 10-mile ride is entirely on bike paths and off-road so it’s the perfect family ride. The 25, 42 and 62-mile rides are through Southern Johnson County. If you can’t ride, then consider volunteering for our event as a part of this year’s Mitzvah Day event. Registration can be found by clicking here to go to Active.com. Register by October 1st, and get a free event T-shirt. Joel’s Ride supports the Joel H. Winston Social Justice Fund at Beth Torah. Registrants are asked to donate three cans of shelf stable foods for pantry donations.
Chavurah Update: From the Hebrew root word that means “friend,” a chavurah is a small group of congregants who become friends through regular meetings and shared interests. There is no better way to feel Beth Torah’s motto of “we are the community we need” than by being in a chavurah. We have been in ours for 13 years, and it’s still going strong. The members of our chavurah are truly like a second family. If you are interested in joining a chavurah, or forming a new one, please contact us. Be sure to include your name(s), email address(es) and your age(s). We will contact you regarding a fall meeting for the formation of new groups. We need to update the chavurah information on file. If you are now in an existing chavurah, please ask one member to contact us. If your chavurah needs more members, or is having problems, please let us know, and we will try to help. Susie & Jerry Klinock
Volunteer Coordinating Committee
The Volunteer Coordinating Committee (VCC) appreciates everyone who responded to our initial Sign Up Genius. Everyone should have been contacted by a committee or project chair. If you have not, please let us know! There are still some opportunities to pitch in.
CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY
You can sign up for Mitzvah Day and Joel’s Ride through a Sign Up Genius, also. This is a wonderful tool, that lets everyone know who is volunteering and where and when you need to be at your location. You can trade times with others if something comes up and it even sends reminders! We appreciate all of your assistance in helping us become “the community we need.” Jennifer Levinson & Marcia Rittmaster, VCC Chairs Jenlevinson0203@gmail.com / email@example.com
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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, October 26th, at 7:00 p.m., we will discuss: Catch the Jew by Yuvia Tenenbom. 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, October 17th, for a viewing of “Walk on Water.” 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. Parent Education Opportunity Join us at Beth Torah on Sunday, October 11th from 10:15 -11:15 a.m. to get some tips from community professionals on How to Make Partners of Your Kid’s School. Stay-N-Play Board Games Stay-N-Play following Services on Friday evening, October 9th , 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 mhaun01@ gmail.com for more information. Save the dates: November 13th and December 18th for the next Stay-N-Play game nights. Wisdom on Wednesdays Bring a lunch and join the shmoozing at noon, or come at 12:30 p.m. when study begins. You’ll find us in the Bride’s Room. Lunch with the Rabbi Join Rabbi Shapiro this month for some lunch and some learning at our next Lunch with the Rabbi on Thursday, October 15th, 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! BTTY Prez, Sarah Shaw here, Our Rush Program this month including Israeli games and a bonfire was a success. For Rosh Hashanah we had a good turnout for our Netflix Teen Service and we were excited about our Disney-themed Yom Kippur program on September 23rd. September 25th we went to Fall Havarah at Shwayder in Colorado. Coming up in October, we are having our first Chill program of the year; there will be pizza and fun - just come hang out with us from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on October 10th. For Mitzvah Day, the BTTY Board will have a stand to give out snacks/water to the riders of Joel’s Ride, and we are also having a Halloween Party at reStart for the kids. Come celebrate with us! L’shana Tova Tikatevua, Sarah Shaw
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Bridey Stangler, Director of Education Bstangler@beth-torah.org
The peace of the Sabbath, of a stopped world, a time outside time, was palpable, infused everything, and I found myself drenched with a wistfulness, something akin to nostalgia, wondering what if: What if A and B and C had been different? What sort of person might I have been? What sort of a life might I have lived? Oliver Sacks, renowned neurologist and author, published his own reflections on the Sabbath in the New York Times on August 16th. It was the second to last publication of his life, and he wondered: What would have been different if he hadn’t boycotted his own Judaism? What would his life have looked like if, as an adult, he had embraced the Otherness of the Shabbat? Two weeks before cancer took his life, Sacks observed the parallel between the Rest of Shabbat after a week well worked, and the peace that comes when one has accepted fate, and is happy with the life lived. He reflected, though, that the “monklike existence” of his solitary career would have been enriched long before his death had he relished in the Rest with the people he loved. All of us – not just Reform Jews, or those who have departed from more observant upbringings – struggle with the supernatural elements of God. Spirituality is easier to embrace, as it’s born b’lev, in our hearts, and rarely asks justification. But God (capital G) requires a suspension of disbelief with which our modern, rational brains struggle. Supernatural = beyond the natural and typical order of our understanding. We are, as our name Israel suggests, those who wrestle with God. Oliver Sacks, though a self-proclaimed maybe-believer, still wished he had taken respite in the time that Adonai commanded – the Seventh Day. In this first month of 5776 let us resolve to separate the day which has been separated for us. It can be difficult. Weekend sales, soccer practice, neglected chores, and the business of living all compete for attention with loving of living. Let us learn from our intellectual luminaries who say at the end of their lives that they would have been richer embracing Stillness. From our captains of industry who regret the sheer volume of hours spent working. From our children, who relish sleeping late and starting slowly. Praying with book in hand and leather bands wrapped tight around arms is not for everyone. But the traditional observance of the more traditionally observant can teach us all something about creating Otherness. How will we set apart this day when we – for the most part – don’t have to file, report, supervise? What will we hear when there’s no prattle of work? What will we learn about our loves and ourselves? Consider that the educational mission of 5776. www.beth-torah.org | Page 7
October 2015 B’nai Mitzvah Bat Mitzvah of Shelby Shames Shelby Shames, daughter of Cindy Shames, will celebrate her Bat Mitzvah on Saturday, October 10th. Shelby is a 7th grader at Bingham Middle School in Independence. She loves music and participating in several Special Olympics sports. Bar Mitzvah of Gabriel Kivett Gabriel Kivett, son of Jeff and Susan Kivett, will celebrate his Bar Mitzvah on Saturday, October 17th. Gabriel is a seventh grader at California Trail Middle School. He enjoys playing basketball, baseball, soccer and going on family vacations. He is the grandson of Gloria Bernstein and the late Gilbert Bernstein and Judy Kivett. The congregation is welcome to join the family for refreshments following the service. Bat Mitzvah of Keely Wright Keely Wright, daughter of Jennifer Forman-Wright and Brian Wright, will celebrate her Bat Mitzvah at Shabbat worship on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Keely is a seventh grader at Indian Woods Middle School. She loves playing volleyball, piano, going to Camp Sabra and hanging out with her friends. Keely is a big sister to Livia and granddaughter of Marti Rosen-Atherton and John Atherton, Debbie and Steve Heuertz, Rodney and Ruth Wright, and the late Allan Forman. For her Mitzvah Project, Keely is collecting items for Unleashed Pet Rescue, where her dog, Boss, was cared for. Needed items include bleach, paper towels, gas and pet store gift cards, dog/cat food, treats and toys. Please feel free to bring your donations. The congregation is welcome at the dessert reception following our community’s morning worship and Kiddush.
The Gift Shop at Congregation Beth Torah Are you celebrating a special family holiday-birthday, anniversary, bris or baby naming, confirmation, or graduation? These events can be made even more memorable with a gift from the Gift Shop. As the synagogue reminds us to bring our simcha to Beth Torah to celebrate with the community, the Gift Shop at Congregation Beth Torah welcomes the chance to share in these special times. Did you know that you can register for gifts for any simcha? Yes, you can celebrate any special occasions you wish. We will set up a gift registry so that your family and friends can choose something they know you will treasure. All you have to do is come in or call the Gift Shop to get started. Our volunteers are happy to help you with gift ideas. Did you know we have gift cards? The Gift Shop at Congregation Beth Torah has gift cards. If you find yourself unsure what to give, a gift card is a great idea. Our gift cards are just like any store. You can purchase a gift card for any amount and our purchasing system keeps track of the card and any value left on the card. For example, if you have a card with $36 and you buy an item for $20.25, your receipt will keep track and tell you that there is $15.75 left for another time. Do you have two or four hours to help? The Gift Shop at Congregation Beth Torah needs volunteers to help in the shop. It is fun helping people find that special gift for family and friends. It is a good opportunity to meet other members of our Beth Torah community. Please contact Kelly at (913) 498-1474 if you have some time to help. The Gift Shop at Congregation Beth Torah is happy to announce that the winner of our “Sweet New Year” raffle is Richard Bellotti. Richard won an apple and honey set. We wish Richard many sweet new years with the apple and honey set.
The Gift Shop Fall Hours are: Sunday (during religious school only) 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Monday 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.; and Wednesday and Friday 10:00 a.m. to noon. We look forward to celebrating many special simchas with our community in the future. Remember, the Gift Shop is “Where Shopping Turns into a Mitzvah!” Kelly Kaplan, Chairperson
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Music Program Notes
Emily Tummons, Music Director Emily@beth-torah.org
Building Singing Communities: A few months ago, one of my cantor friends shared with me that she and her rabbi had just finished reading the book “Building Singing Communities: A Practical Guide to Unlocking the Power of Music in Jewish Prayer,” by Joey Weisenberg. They are beginning this year to implement some of the key concepts into their davening. She highly recommended it to me. I ordered a copy and read it this summer. I was pleased to see how much it is in alignment with my own core values about the ways to foster communal singing and create an environment of participatory prayer. I shared it with my two primary music team members, Tim Intfen and Carmen Dieker, and they are currently reading the book. Then I shared it with Rabbi Shapiro, and he purchased a copy for every member of the Liturgical Team. Beth Torah is lucky to be served by such a wise and involved Liturgical Team. The members of this team take very seriously their responsibility to grapple with complex and tough challenges. Last month we presented the books to the Liturgical Team, shared with them some of the important concepts in the book, and asked them to follow a schedule of reading a certain number of pages per month. Rabbi Shapiro will be allowing a portion of our monthly agenda to be devoted to discussing this book. Over this next year, I will be inviting individuals to join me in various experiments: singing classes, focus groups, Havdalah/New Moon gatherings, and other labs, so that we can explore some of these ideas together and see what resonates with congregants the most. If you’re interested in being a part of one or more of these small labs, let me know. And if any of you are interested in reading this alongside our staff, music team, and Liturgical Team over the next year, please consider ordering yourselves a copy. I’m looking forward to delving into these ideas with you throughout the year 5776. L’shanah tovah,
Emily Tummons, Music Director
What celebrations do YOU have coming up in October? Spread the joy:
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 Friday night worship. Contact the Beth Torah office so take an opportunity to spread the joy! JYG Update JYG Drive-In @ CBT: Come join JYG for homemade pizza and a movie at the CBT Drive-In Movie Theatre on Saturday, October 24th! We will start the night with making pizzas at 6:30 p.m. and wrap up with Havdalah at 9:15 p.m. Program will be over at 9:30 p.m. We will eat our pizzas, munch on some popcorn and delicious s’mores for dessert. Upon the conclusion of the movie, we will have a short Havdalah service for JYG’ers and any parents that would like to join. Please RSVP by October 23rd to Beth Torah at (913) 498-2212 or Rachel Bolter/Zach Zwibelman. Hope to see you there! Event is open to all Jewish 6th-8th graders in the community! www.beth-torah.org | Page 9
Contributions Beth Torah General Fund In Memory Of:
In Honor Of:
Babynaming of Amelia Michelson Boyd & Laura Bolter
Mother, Dorothy Lammers Father, John L. Esser Walter Lammers Ernie Esser Glen Esser Dora Edelbaum Ben Edelbaum Estelle Edelbaum Laura Bram Ronnie & Susie Goldsmith Robert & Evie Grant Morton & Leta Spack Emery & Jimmie Taylor Barry & Linda Katz Father, David Tim Blond Barton Blond Edna Shaw Robert & Jeanne Shaw Radine Shaw Harry Shaffer
Rabbi Levin Discretionary Fund
In Memory Of:
In Memory Of:
Jay Pollack Patsy Dunn Shanberg
In Honor Of:
90th birthday of Eileen Garry Sharon & Jeff Altman Janet & Robert Bloom Jackie Garry Robin O’Bryan Patsy Dunn Shanberg
Rabbi Shapiro Discretionary Fund In Memory Of:
Faye Girson Ron & Jo Ann Girson Bennett Shaw, father Gary & Amy Shaw
In Memory Of:
Marsha Horowitz Bill Kessler Laura Bram Roger and Sharon Ishee Phyllis Raskin Ross Zucker Marge & Barry Skikne
Rabbi’s Fund For Social Justice Projects In Honor Of:
90th birthday of Eileen Garry Larry & Donna Gould Cohen
CBT Fund For Families In Need Leah Kelne Bernat Harriet & Ron Jacobson Betty Bram Alan Bram
Hunger Fund In Honor Of:
Bar Mitzvah of Peyton Frischer The Kershenbaum Family
In Memory Of:
Mother, Simin Khalili James & Betsy Khalili Mother, Marianne Allen The Wylan Family Husband, Dr. Ronley H. Plous Kathleen Plous
Amy Dennis Pierron Music Fund In Memory Of:
Amy Dennis Pierron Joe Pierron
Social Justice Fund In Honor Of:
Full & speedy recovery of David Nachman Nini & Skip Rosenstock
Dr. Milton L. Tate Torah Fund In Memory Of:
Reggie Malya Lloyd Herbert & Isabelle Goldstein Milton L. Tate, DVM Scott & Sara Goldstein
Educating Our Future Fund The Gloria Gershun Fund Barry & Linda Katz Quentin and Samantha Hammontree Eric and Shanny Morgenstern Frank and Robin Sterneck Linda Zappulla Boyd and Laura Bolter Jerry and Denise Pakula
Click here to make a donation online to one of our funds.
Sponsorships: October 9/10th: Following services the congregation is invited to join the Shames family for sweets in honor of Shelby’s bat mitzvah. October 17th: Following services the congregation is invited to join the Kivett family for refreshments in honor of Gabe’s bar mitzvah. October 24th: Following services the congregation is invited to join the Forman-Wright family for a light snack in honor of Keely’s bat mitzvah. www.beth-torah.org | Page 10
Community Events Wise Aging How can aging be a good thing? In “Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience, & Spirit,” Rabbi Rachel Cowan and Dr. Linda Thal invite us to a new stage of life--active aging--and give us the tools we need to embrace it. With the same warmth, humor, and wisdom that draw so many to their innovative workshops on aging, they deliver practical, real world suggestions for building resilience and navigating the challenges of aging while finding joy and meaning. Through texts gathered from a variety of religious and spiritual sources plus reflective questioning, journaling exercises, meditations, and activities that draw on research in neuroscience, psychology, and gerontology, readers dig deep for a better understanding of how to age well. “Wise Aging” provides the roadmap for the journey we are all on: achieving a fulfilling older age. No subject is off limits; Rabbi Cowan and Dr. Thal explore a wide range of issues, including: * Relationships with adult children & spouses * Body image * Romance & sexuality * Living with loss * Cultivating well-being They tackle these issues head on, and with uncanny sensitivity deliver sage advice that inspires, informs, and will help us grow into wisdom with resilience and joy. We are pleased to announce that through a partnership with Jewish Family Services, our own congregants, SueAnn Strom and Rabbi Linda Steigman will facilitate a group with nine sessions (which correspond to the nine book chapters) at Congregation Beth Torah. The initial session will be held Sunday, October 11th, 6:00-8:00 p.m., in the Brides’ Room, and continue twice monthly through January. If you would like more information about the program, don’t hesitate to contact SueAnn directly at 816.729.9671 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost of the program is $100, which includes the book. Scholarships are available as well. LOCAL HISTORICAL AUTHOR TO SHARE WORK OCTober 11th History buffs-mark Sunday, October 11th on your calendars! Come hear local author Joe Vaughan discuss the history behind Johnson County and the city of Fairway as outlined in his book “The History of Thomas Johnson and Fairway, Kansas” at an author event sponsored by Jewish Family Services’ Older Adult Initiatives, the Heritage Center of the Jewish Community Center and the Johnson County Library. The program, at 2 p.m., will take place in the Heritage Center at the Jewish Community Campus, 5801 W. 115th St. A book signing will follow Vaughan’s presentation at 2:00 p.m.. While Vaughn’s presentation is free, reservations are requested by calling Dawn Staton, JFS director of older adult initiatives, at (913) 327-8239, or emailing her at email@example.com. SPIRITUAL CARE PROGRAM SEEKS VOLUNTEERS Jewish Family Services is looking for caring and committed people to be Spiritual Care Volunteers and perform the mitzvah of “Bikkur Holim,” visiting the sick in our community. Volunteers receive training and guidance from Rabbi Jonathan Rudnick, Jewish Community Chaplain, and make visits to hospital and elder care centers on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Volunteers are required to make a year commitment, pass a background check, drug screen, TB test, attend confidentiality (HIPAA) and spiritual care training and attend three educational gatherings each year. Interested people should contact their clergy to get a recommendation to the program. Once they receive a recommendation, they will have an interview with Rabbi Rudnick. For more information, please contact Taly Friedman, JFS Director of Volunteer Engagement, at 913-730-1445. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR EXTREME YARD RAKEOVER- FALL 2015 VERSION Jewish Family Services is doing “Extreme Yard Rakeover” to help older adults in our community get their yards prepared for the winter. We are looking for volunteer teams of four to eight people to help rake and clean up yards for some of our Help@Home members. Here are the details: • Dates are October 24th-November 8th; Teams choose the date and time they want to volunteer • Yards are located in South Johnson & Jackson counties, including the Raytown & Grandview areas • All ages are welcome; it is a great activity for all kinds of groups- families, friends, youth groups, corporate groups, scout troops, etc. For more information call (913) 730-1410 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Once teams have registered, they will get a yard assignment, waiver forms and guidelines. LINK: www.jfskc.org/extremeyardrakeover.
Congratulations to our Members! Beth Torah members Bruce and Eileen Kershenbaum have been selected to chair the 7th Annual Village Shalom Ages of Excellence Celebration. The Ages of Excellence will be on Thursday evening, October 22, 2015 at the Sheraton Overland Park Hotel. Proceeds from this event provide financial assistance for Village Shalom residents who lives and care depend on receiving this essential support. Further information about the speakers and the event can be found at: www.villageshalom. org/ages-excellence.
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Reaching Out NEW MEMBER SHABBAT Join the Congregation to celebrate the affiliation of our new members, Friday evening , October 23rd. Seven families that committed to membership since May 2015 will be honored in a special service. These new congregants recently received gift baskets, and were contacted by the Membership Committee to get feedback and answer any questions about Beth Torah. This evening of celebration will feature an expanded Nosh and Oneg with Rabbi Shapiro conducting a unique ceremony to welcome our new members. The music will be great with our favorite voices and instrumentalists on hand. The new congregants include: Marie Difilippo Aaron Elyachar Jacob Elyachar Debra and Stuart Goldstein Boris Krupnik and Marina Paltsmakher Robin and Michael Pierce Jonathan Steiner Beth Torah is delighted that these families chose to join our community. Mark your calendar for October 23rd and get to know and personally welcome your new fellow congregants. Check the electronic newsletter for more details and the Beth Torah website for information on the members to be honored. MAKE MUSIC WITH US There are gateways galore for you to get involved in the CBT music program. Do you play an instrument? Do you like to sing? Give Emily Tummons a call, or email her at email@example.com. 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 Wednesday evenings, 7:00-8:30 p.m. We’re saving a spot for you! MELTON CLASSES TAUGHT BY RABBI LEVIN Rabbi Mark Levin will be teaching two community Melton classes this year. They are: Crossroads of Jewish History, the Ethics of Jewish Living and Melton Scholars Curriculum Shemot 1: From Slavery to Sinai. You can register by going to www.events.org/MeltonKansasCity, or for questions regarding all Melton@HBHA Fall courses contact Annie Glickman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (913) 327-8150. HAVE A HEART ...SAVE A LIFE Join us for the next Beth Torah Blood Drive on Wednesday, November 4th, 2:30-7:30 p.m. 37 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood, yet only 7 percent performs this life-saving mitzvah. Be a 7 percenter and join your friends at Beth Torah at our next quarterly Blood Drive. Schedule your donation online today at www. esavealifenow.org (click on “find a drive” and sponsor code “bethtorah”), or call Scott Franklin at (913) 645-1036 or email him at email@example.com. Give Blood— The Ultimate Sustainable Resource. SAVE THE DATES! We’re delighted to announce the dates for these Friday evening Sermon-in Song musical programs: December 11th (Hanukkah), January 22nd (Shabbat Shira), and May 6th (Israel). Please join us, and bring a friend! www.beth-torah.org | Page 12
Staying Connected High Holy Day Food Drive Congregation Beth Torah has provided about 60% of the food that Jewish Family Services collects for the food pantry. With the help of our youth group who provide the grocery bags at the High Holy Days, we do a fantastic job filling the Ulam with groceries. So, of course, I am counting on us to bring those bags back filled to the top. Here is my next plea; I would like our goal to be to have those food barrels filled all year. I am asking that each time we enter Beth Torah we have a canned food item in hand. Of course we can bring more than one item. When you shop for groceries add something you can donate the next time you come. Make it a family affair or a classroom activity. One in five children in Johnson County is affected by food insecurity. That just isn’t acceptable. Let’s do our part to change those numbers. Any questions, contact Phyllis Goldberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay Connected at Beth Torah: Visit our website: www.beth-torah.org Follow us on twitter: @BethTorah Join us on Facebook: Congregation Beth Torah or Email us at: email@example.com and we’ll send you the links!
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2015 Board Members Click here to see the October Calendar on our Website: www.beth-torah.org
Mitzvah Day 2015
Sunday, October 18th Schedule for the Day: 9:00 a.m. Bagels 9:30 a.m. Worship 10:00 a.m. Projects Begin New This Year: Joel’s Ride! Check website information for start times and details Please note: Sunday Morning Religious School classes are in sessions! Parents, please join your children’s classrooms for in-school mitzvah projects, and sign up for afternoon projects to take you out to the community!
Sign Up by Wednesday, October 14th, and direct any questions to Rabbi Shapiro at Rshapiro@beth-torah.org
2015-2016 Congregation Beth Torah Board of Trustees Please contact us with concerns, questions and/ or awesome moments or ideas that center around our community.
President: Linda Zappulla - Linda.firstname.lastname@example.org 1st Vice President: Barry Katz - Bkatz12306@gmail.com Vice President: Elisa Waldman - Ewaldman@jccc.edu Vice President: Matt Haun- Mhaun01@gmail.com Treasurer: Mike Ginsberg - Michael.email@example.com Secretary: Bonnie Swade - Bonswade@everestkc.net
Board Members: Jeff Altman - J.firstname.lastname@example.org Tom Cohen - Morsel3@aol.com June Crane - Glitterqueen54@gmail.com Todd Davisson - Todd@inspired2act.com Mike Fine - Dr.email@example.com Miki Herman - Mlherman13@gmail.com Bob Milgrim - Robertmilgrim@gmail.com Frank Sterneck - Fsterneck@sterneckcapital.com SueAnn Strom - Sueannstrom@gmail.com BTTY President: Sarah Shaw-Osruichick - firstname.lastname@example.org
“Deeds of Kindness weigh as much as all the Commandments”
--So says the Talmud
The K’sharim Committee and the Caring Connection Team are working together to provide Gemilut Chasidim (acts of loving kindness) through hands-on community support. Beth Torah strives to be a caring community where everyone is included and made to feel welcome to celebrate together and support each other. Join us Friday night, October 2nd, as we begin a new tradition recognizing the caring souls of our congregation who are part of the October K’sharim Committee. Our Caring Connection Team and our K’sharim Committees are joining forces for some audacious caring. You can be a part of this too. Call the Beth Torah office to offer your time and/or experience, or if you know a Beth Torah member who needs a little extra TLC from the CCT.
See you Friday night, October 2nd, because you care.
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