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Community

November/December President's Column by Jay Hirsh — Beth Am's Commitment to Sustainability and Innovation
One of the most enduring Beth Am values is to nurture innovation. We are a community with a strong sense of our own identity and commitment to tradition, yet we embrace the culture of innovation that defines Silicon Valley. Many of our members are involved in science and high tech; we take a growth mindset approach to experimentation (whether successful or not) as a springboard for learning and improvement.

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...

Member Spotlight: Meet Emma Goss and Héber Cruz Berber
Emma’s name might be familiar to some of you. Not only did she grow up at Beth Am, but she’s The Orchard’s new peer connector. (The Orchard is a Jewish community for adults in their 20s and 30s — with or without children — in Silicon Valley.) Héber was born in Mexico City and came to the United States with his family as a small child.

 


Cookbook: A Partnership of Congregations Beth Am & Shirat ha-Yam
Bring light to your table by exploring this joint Beth Am and Shirat Ha-Yam international digital cookbook! The photos are amazing as are the delicious treats that will tickle your taste buds all through the year.

The JWeekly results for its 2022 "Readers' Choice" survey are in! THANK YOU for voting Beth Am best synagogue in the category of Innovative Synagogue Programming in the South Bay/Peninsula region!

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!

Worship

November/December Clergy Column by Rabbi Jeremy S. Morrison: Four Orientations to Reading Torah in the New Year
At Simchat Torah (which, this year was on October 16-17), we began, anew, our annual cycle of reading Torah. In that spirit, I want to share with you four orientations to reading Torah. My rabbinic colleagues and I teach these orientations to our 6th-7th grade students and families; we call them a Toolbox for Reading Torah (pdf graphic). But they are also the orientations that I, and my colleagues, utilize when teaching Torah to adults in our community. Perhaps these tools might be useful to you, when you read Torah or any of our sacred texts.

Help Beth Am Thrive

November/December 2022 Fund in Focus: Hunger and Homelessness Fund
Local organizations providing food and shelter are still facing a high demand for services from people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and from those whose incomes cannot keep pace with inflation and with the already high cost of living in our area. Many local individuals and families, including members of our Jewish community, rely on support from organizations that we fund with our Hunger and Homelessness appeal. Your contribution helps the Beth Am community fulfill our sacred obligation to comfort and support the less fortunate in our midst.

Support Beth Am When You Shop Amazon This Holiday Season
Generate donations every time you shop — this holiday season and all year round! 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.

End of Year Giving: 2022
As we approach the end of the calendar year, a reminder of the many ways to make end of year gifts to Beth Am to support our community and provide you with tax advantages for this year’s filing. We hope you will consider Beth Am in your year-end charitable plans. 2022 Tax-deductible contributions must arrive by Friday, December 30.

Justice

Beth Am's November Tzedakah Box supports Jerusalem Open House, a nonprofit organization founded in 1997 with a community center serving people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in Israel. It is the only LGBTQ center in greater Jerusalem.

Beth Am Hunger & Homelessness Winter Campaign
As our calendar turns to winter months and the temperatures on the thermometer drop, at Beth Am we take the time to recognize that there are many in our local community who are struggling to find adequate housing and food. We ask you to be as generous as possible with your end of the year giving.

Pursue Justice Update
The Pursue Justice committee was very busy this fall with midterm elections. We participated in postcard writing campaigns, once again, with the Center for Common Ground/Reclaim Our Vote, sending information on registering to vote and early voting to states with a history of voter suppression.

You’re invited to “Facing Our Truths – Small Group Discussions on Race”
Beth Am’s Racial Justice and Equity
Initiative will be convening another set of small groups of 5-10 participants to meet for a series of 6 sessions about how we face our truths regarding 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.

November/December Dayenu Circle Sustainability Tip
Did you know that metallic wrapping paper and wrapping paper with glitter, as well as greeting cards with glitter, plastic parts, 3D pieces, etc. cannot be recycled? Most ribbon is not recyclable either. Learn about alternative wrapping options!

 

Eat With the Seasons
Eating With the Seasons are a collection of local farmers and producers primarily located in San Benito and Santa Cruz counties. Weekly "farm bags" delivered to your home office, or local neighborhood pick up site.

Education

Adult Education Opportunities: This Fall and Winter
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!

Mon, November 28 2022 4 Kislev 5783