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Community

May/June President's Column by Jay Hirsh: A Place to Express Our Values
As I write this in March, I’m hopeful that in May and June we are continuing to see the Bay Area re-open and more people feeling comfortable to gather for sports, theater, learning and yes, worship. For many of us, it’s been two years since we’ve been able to spend much time on Beth Am’s campus, the shared home for our community.

Stop Antisemitic Content in CA Schools,
By Barbara Windham, Beth Am Jewish and Israel Advocacy Committee
An overtly antisemitic version of Ethnic Studies (ES) is now being promoted in California school districts by activists of the for-profit Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (LESMC) group. Portions of this curriculum are precisely the ones that the Governor and the State Board of Education rejected from early drafts of California’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum “due to concerns related to bias, bigotry, and discrimination.”

Facing Our Truths: Small Group Discussions on Race
Beth Am’s Racial Justice and Equity Initiative will be convening several small groups of 5-10 participants to meet for a series of 6 sessions about how we face our truths about race, privilege, power and the biases that we all hold. Groups will be facilitated by trained congregants. The sessions are based on wonderful materials prepared by clergy and staff from Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles, CA,and Temple Isaiah in Lexington, MA.

Women of the Bible Through a Creative Lens: A Photo Exhibit
You are invited to visit Women of the Bible Through a Creative Lens, a photo exhibit brought to you by Beth Am Women and the Beth Am Poltava/Odessa Committee. The exhibit is NOW OPEN! Featured are works by photographers from the Congregation Beth Am, Beth Am Youth Education and Shirat Ha-Yam, Odessa communities — all inspired by women of the Bible.

 

Crisis in Ukraine
Our hearts are breaking as we learn of the difficult and aggressive situation unfolding in Ukraine. We are concerned about the military action and the resulting loss of life, as Ukraine’s fragile democracy is threatened. As we know, historically, in such circumstances the Jewish community becomes a target, and we are fearful of such an outcome in the coming days. Here’s what you can do...

Beth Am Family Trip to Israel | Summer 2022
There are still two family spots remaining to join Beth Am's Cantor Jaime Shpall & Marcel Bergmann for a 12-day Taste of Israel Family Trip (operated by Da’at Tours). Trip Dates: June 15—26, 2022

Worship

May/June Clergy Column by Rabbi Jeremy S. Morrison: Introducing Gabriel Lehrman, Beth Am's Summer Cantorial Intern
Cantor Jaime Shpall is completing her seventh year as our Cantor and will be on Sabbatical from June 1-August 31. We will miss her, but are happy that she’ll have this well-deserved opportunity for rejuvenation and rest with her family. In her absence, Gabriel Lehrman will be joining our staff as our Summer Cantorial Intern from June 1-August 7, and will be serving in many of Cantor Shpall’s capacities.

Shavuot 2022
In ancient times, Shavuot was a pilgrimage festival during which Israelites brought crop offerings to the Temple in Jerusalem. Today, it is a celebration of the giving of the Torah, education and actively choosing to participate in Jewish life. Learn more about celebrating (virtually AND in-person) with our community!

Counting of the Omer
The period between Passover and Shavuot is called the “Counting of the Omer” (Sefirat Ha'omer). Omer means "barley sheaf" and refers to the offering brought to the Temple on the second day of Passover. Starting from that day, the Torah also instructs that “you shall count off seven weeks. They must be complete: you must count until the day after the seventh week — 50 days” (Leviticus 23:15-16).

 

Help Beth Am Thrive

May Fund in Focus: Israel Awareness Fund
Yom Ha’Atzmaut is May 4-5 — Happy 74th birthday Israel! Consider celebrating with a gift to Beth Am’s Israel Awareness Fund to support wonderful programs such as our Oneg Israel series. These programs help foster our cultural connection to Israel through enlightening lectures, shows, films and food. Donations are invited to help fund future educational programs that will explore and enhance our relationship to Israel.

Builders Circle Profile: Lisa Whitmore and Frauke Schimmoller
If you spend a fair amount of time at Beth Am, you probably know their faces — as they are here a lot! At Shabbat services, Torah Study, Asilomar, events, classes, or volunteer opportunities, Lisa and Frauke have become fixtures here as wonderfully committed members of Beth Am. And they are unique among the members that have been profiled here for the Builders Circle, in that both were not raised Jewish, underwent conversion to Judaism, and went on to become very active in our community.

Support Beth Am When You Shop Amazon
Generate donations every time you shop! Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Congregation Beth Am — just select "Congregation Beth Am" and then every time you shop on AmazonSmile, funds will be automatically generated for our community. Start shopping! AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same Amazon Prime benefits.

Justice

Beth Am's May Tzedakah Box supports The Sir Charles Clore Jewish-Arab Community Centre in Akko, Israel. Akko is one of the most diverse cities in all of Israel and The Centre’s aim is to provide high-quality, low-cost activities for Akko’s residents regardless of ethnicity or ability to pay.

Adult / Youth Education


Beth Am Youth Education Registration Is Now OPEN for the 2022-2023 School Year!
We can’t wait to welcome our Youth Education community back for another year of exciting programming! All of our programs emphasize relationship building and multiple entry points for different students and families. We offer programs for everyone, from Chavurah (our program for families with children ages 3-5) to Hagigah (our theater education program) to our teen community programming. Join us!

Summer Adult Education Opportunities
There are numerous learning opportunities for adults at Beth Am, from drop-in classes to more formal courses. Many of our offerings are free and open to the general public; others have a fee or are meant specifically for Beth Am members. Beth Am’s learning opportunities are designed to build relationships, helping us connect more deeply with our history, with the traditions of the Jewish people and with one another. Check out what's coming up!

 

Register for Spring Semester Hebrew Classes for Adults
Whether you are a beginner or nearly fluent, we have a Hebrew class for you! Most classes will be held on Zoom this semester. A few sessions will be held as hybrid sessions for those who would like to attend a class or two in person. Dates of hybrid lessons TBA. Please contact Orna if you need help determining which level is right for you. For scholarship requests, please email Rabbi Sarah Weissman.

Thu, May 26 2022 25 Iyar 5782