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September/October President's Column by Amy Gerstein: Let the Sunshine In
Last Rosh Hashanah, deep in the pages of Mishkan Ha’Nefesh — our machzor (High Holy Day prayerbook), I came across a kavanah (intention, reading) from Rabbi Milton Steinberg that has stayed with me all year.

Crisis in Ukraine
During these trying times, our friends in Ukraine need us more than ever before. Many have had to flee their homes with nothing more than what they can carry. Others are still in Kyiv, Poltava and Odessa to fight for their freedom and  democracy. Innocent people are suffering. At this point, Beth Am is evaluating the needs of our Ukrainian friends and is providing funds for special projects. Find out how you can help.


The Orchard 2023 High Holy Day Programming
This is the time of year when we hear the call of the shofar and celebrate the start of a new year. Our spirits are lifted as we are called together with friends, family and community members from all over the world for a time of reflection and renewal. Adults in their 20s and 30s are invited to come prepare for and celebrate the holidays with good friends while making new ones!

Beth Am Gesharim (Bridges) Presents a Wise Aging Forum
How might we age with joy and resilience? Please join these monthly conversations on Zoom, in which we look for wisdom in our Jewish tradition, as well as relevant modern sources. Each time, a specific topic is briefly addressed by one of our clergy or a trained Wise Aging facilitator. After questions and comments, you are invited into break-out rooms for reflection in small groups.

Chevra Kadisha Candle Project
One of the three important tasks of Congregation Beth Am’s Chevra Kadisha (Jewish burial society) is to support those in our community who are mourning the death of a loved one. Recently the Chevra Kadisha partnered with our youth programs to find a new way to reach out to those marking a first yahrzeit, a first anniversary of death.

Community Circles: Building community and friendships through shared interests.
Beth Am Community Circles are your place to connect more intentionally with other members around a shared interest or life stage. Community Circles are affinity groups open to members of Congregation Beth Am and coordinated by congregants. Help start the group you are looking for!


Registration Is Now Open for the Summer 2024 Beth Am FAMILY Trip to Israel!
Trip Dates: June 12-23, 2024

Next summer, join Rabbi Heath Watenmaker, his wife, Amy, and their family, on a 12-day Beth Am Family Trip to Israel (operated by J2 Adventures)! A trip itinerary and details are now available.


Sign Up for Beth Am's Adult Trip to Greece and Israel — Only a Few Spots Left!
Join Orna Morad and Rabbi Sarah Weissman for an unforgettable trip to Greece and Israel, March 4-18, 2024. Together, we will explore some of the most famous sites in Athens, then travel to the "Jerusalem of Greece," Thessaloniki, to learn more about the Jewish community that once flourished there. We will then make our way to Israel, where we will spend time in Jerusalem, Sde Boker and Tel Aviv. This trip is open to Beth Am members as well as other members of the wider Jewish community. Please contact Orna or Rabbi Sarah for more information.

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. 


September/October Clergy Column by Rabbi Jon Prosnit: Look Up, It's the Moon
If you ever want to play a mean joke on one of your rabbi friends, here’s a way to do it; look up at the sky on a clear new moon summer night, turn to them and say, “Look at the beautiful moon. Doesn’t that mean it’s almost Rosh Hashanah?”

High Holy Days 5784 | 2023
This is the time of year when we hear the call of the shofar and celebrate the start of a new year. Our spirits are lifted as we are called together with friends, family and community members from all over the world for a time of reflection and renewal. Learn more about our 2023 High Holy Day season programming with Congregation Beth Am.


Help Beth Am Thrive

September Fund in Focus: The Richard and Caroline Hoffman Library Fund helps our library purchase new publications, supplies and media to sustain a current and healthy library collection. Consider a gift to the Hoffman Library Fund today, it’s a terrific way to honor a loved one for a Bar/Bat mitzvah or other simcha!

https://images.shulcloud.com/7738/377405_orig.jpgThe Beth Am 2023-24 Annual Campaign Needs Each One of Us
Beth Am is committed to being the center of your Jewish life, a place to find meaning and fulfillment, and a safe and loving space for all who seek it. As we embark on our new synagogue year, we must renew our commitment to each other, and to the financial health of our congregation.


Beth Am's September Tzedakah Box: Israel Religious Action Center
For decades, the Israel Reform Movement, and its legal and advocacy arm – the Israel Religious Action Center, have been serving on the front lines of nurturing Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, one that adheres to the vision of Israel’s Declaration of Independence as a country for all its citizens and one that Jews around the world are proud to call home.

Pursue Justice Update
Come to the Pursue Justice Yom Kippur Afternoon Study Session on Monday, September 25 to discuss the Jewish culture of constructive conflict and healthy disagreements. As the 9 Adar project writes, “In our ancient texts, it is called machloket l’shem shemayim (disagreements for the sake of Heaven).

Beth Am Heat Pump Project Wins SVCE Electric Showcase Award
Last year Beth Am, with the assistance of consultants funded by Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE), completed a major electrification project to replace our gas-powered heating system for the Sanctuary and Social Hall with an efficient electric heat pump. As an added benefit, our new system provides both heating and cooling. We were recently notified that the project won the SVCE Electric Showcase Award for demonstrating leadership and experience in transitioning to electric technologies.


Youth Ed Programs Begin Soon!
We're excited for another great year of programming for tots to teens. Join us for our PreK-7th Grade Back to Shul Day on Sunday, September 10 to reconnect with new and old friends! Program start dates are as follows:

  • Wednesday, August 30: Hagigah
  • Sunday, October 1: Sunday Program; 6th & 7th Grades; and Chavurah
  • Wednesday, October 4: Teen Nights


Adult Education Opportunities: Start 5784 Off Right by Learning Something New!
We have an exciting schedule of learning opportunities this fall, including a renewed partnership with New Lehrhaus: The Bay Area Hub for Adult Jewish Learning, our Saxe Family Scholar-in-Residence Weekend, and of course, our “oldies but goodies” classes. Whether you are a talmid chacham (Torah scholar) or new to Judaism, Jewish learning is for you! Please visit the Adult Education webpage for full class descriptions and registration information.

Tue, July 23 2024 17 Tammuz 5784