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AnchorJune/July President's Column by Amy Gerstein: Holding Two Truths
I’ve been thinking a lot lately that during these days, these strange and sometimes painful days, I often must balance two (or more) competing and contradictory, thoughts in my mind at the same time.

Support Israel
We continue to grieve for the families who lost loved ones on October 7th and pray for the immediate return of all the remaining hostages being held in Gaza. As a community, we know that we are not whole; a rise in antisemitism locally and nationally, the threats of an expanded regional war, the constant anxiety and discomfort of going to school or work. Learn how you can become involved.

Welcoming Leah Shapiro as Youth Engagement Program Director
Leah will serve as our Youth Engagement Program Director, primarily focusing on teens and tweens as well as other experiential and community-building initiatives. Leah comes with years of experience leading community education and program facilitation at Temple Emanuel in SF, Santa Cruz Hillel, URJ Camp Newman and more. Leah started in her position and onboarding earlier this month. Please join us in welcoming Leah to the Beth Am team!

Member Spotlight: Tracy Tat
Tracy Tat is a vibrant member of The Orchard community, whose journey with Beth Am began in 2020. Initially tuning in to virtual events, Tracy transitioned to attending outdoor Shabbat services as the world reopened in 2021. Her connection to The Orchard blossomed that same year, when she was introduced to a network of young members who shared her enthusiasm for exploring Judaism.

Welcoming Yael Karmi as Youth Education Program Director
Yael will serve as the Youth Education Program Director, picking up much of Alex's portfolio and focusing her work on teaching and instruction. She comes to us most recently as the director of the Hebrew language immersion program “Beged Kefet” at the Addison-Penzak JCC in Los Gatos and a lecturer in art history at Foothill College. She has also taught Hebrew and art at Beth Am for many years. Yael shadowing Alex last month for onboarding and observing programs, and will take a break until her official start July 1.

Caregivers Sh'ma Groups
Are you caring for an elder or spouse or loved one? If you feel overwhelmed, you are not alone. You can take part in a Sh’ma Group — not therapy, but a safe and friendly virtual space for sharing stories. This group format has proved successful here at Beth Am, helping us to start meaningful, supportive conversations. You will have guidelines for suggested topics and respectful interaction. You can easily form or join a group; the leadership duties are minimal and help from clergy is continually available. 


Anchor June/July Clergy Column by Rabbi Heath Watenmaker: Harvesting a Spirit of Renewal
Welcome to summer! In many ways, June feels like a month of renewal. There are (usually) more sunny days than dreary days; the days are warm, the afternoons are cool and breezy. For many, it’s a time to take a breath and find moments to delight in nature and a few moments of respite. This sense of rest and renewal is tempered, these days, by the brokenness and hateful rhetoric that sometimes feels as if it’s all around us in our world today. But still, our Jewish calendar calls us to take a breath and consider this moment of renewal.

Outdoor Summer Services Continue!
As in years past, beginning in June we will celebrate Shabbat in our beautiful Outdoor Chapel all summer long. In July and August, we will welcome Beth Am members to share words of Torah during the service. A listing of speakers is now available.

Help Beth Am Thrive

AnchorJuly Fund in Focus: Youth Education, Camp and Israel Scholarship Fund
Beth Am’s Youth Education, Camp and Israel Scholarship Fund helps make registration fees as affordable as possible for families who need financial assistance. We will never turn a prospective student away for financial reasons!


Does your employer have a matching gift program? You may be able to double or even triple your contributions to Beth Am! Many Bay Area companies will match charitable donations dollar-for-dollar, or even two dollars for every one you donate.


AnchorBeth Am's July Tzedakah Box: JFCS
Founded in 1850,  Jewish Family and Children's Services (JFCS) is one of the oldest and largest human service agencies in the United States. They are guided by the Jewish traditions of advancing human dignity for everyone, community responsibility, inter-generational ties and repairing the world.

Be More Sustainable – Get Involved and Learn about Climate Action
Judaism values environmental sustainability as a core of tzedek, and our Dayenu Circle is doing amazing work in addressing it. There are many opportunities to get involved, learn how to lower your own carbon footprint, and apply our informal motto — to always consider how we can be “MORE SUSTAINABLE!” Read on to learn about our recent activities and how you can get involved.


Beth Am Youth Education Registration Is Now OPEN for the 2024-2025 School Year!
We hope you will join us for another year of exciting Youth Education programming! Our programs build community and identity through deep and dynamic Jewish learning. We offer programs for everyone, from Chavurah (our program for families with children ages 3-5) to Hagigah (our theater education program for 2nd-5th graders) to Teen Nights (our learning program for 8th-12th graders), and much more!

Tue, July 23 2024 17 Tammuz 5784