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Erev Shabbat Service & Sukkot Celebration: With Guest Speaker Enrique "Kique" Bazán

Friday, September 29, 2023 14 Tishrei 5784

6:15 PM - 7:30 PMSanctuary* & Livestream at; Followed by an Oneg Shabbat in the Sukkah

During our Erev Shabbat service and the first night of our harvest festival of Sukkot, we will honor farmworkers who harvest the fruits and vegetables grown “over the hill” on San Mateo County’s coastside farms. After the service, we will gather to enjoy our beautiful Beth Am sukkah and celebrate with a festive Sukkot Oneg Shabbat.
Our guest speaker will be Enrique "Kique" Bazán, Assistant Director of ALAS — a social service nonprofit and farmworker/service worker advocacy group based in Half Moon Bay. The acronym ALAS stands for Ayudando Latinos A Soñar, which translates as Helping Latinos to Dream. However, the organization advocates for local farm and service workers of all nationalities. Plans are also underway for Kique to bring some students with him to Beth Am to perform music and dance.

[Read the JWeekly article, written by Beth Am FarmMitzvah Task Force member Jamie Beckett, about Beth Am's efforts to support the hard farm workers who help ensure that we have access to fresh produce.]

“ALAS... brings services to farmworkers and their families who sacrifice so much so we have food on the table, but who far too often fall through the cracks of society’s safety net,” said California State Assembly member Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park) who, along with State Senator and Beth Am member Josh Becker (D-San Mateo), honored ALAS as their 2023 California Nonprofit of the Year. Becker praised ALAS for its mobile unit, the Farmworker Equity Express van, which expands services such as vaccines to farms and ranches. Both noted that when the farmworker community in Half Moon Bay was devastated by a mass shooting in January, ALAS stepped up to serve and care for the grieving community.

Today, ALAS community services include a food pantry, physical and mental health programs, early childhood and senior programs, and a wide range of cultural activities. ALAS also assists with language translation and legal services. Two pressing challenges that ALAS is addressing are the need for affordable housing and the need for safe water for drinking and cooking. That’s because, unfortunately, a lot of the water that farmworkers use has been polluted by agricultural chemicals

If you are interested in helping to feed the folks who help to feed us, we will be collecting $15 Safeway gift cards at the Friday night service to help the farmers supplement their food supplies. Multiple cards may be donated, but must be in $15 denominations.

We are also collecting diapers, wipes and formula for the Mother and Baby class at ALAS. If you would like to donate, please bring these supplies to any Tot Shabbat service (see the Beth Am calendar for date/time information).

If you have the time and interest to make a longer-term commitment, we encourage you to join our FarmMitzvah Task Force, a group of Beth Am members who will be helping ALAS as needed throughout the year, promoting legislation that aids farmworkers and supporting clean water and affordable housing initiatives. If you would like to join the FarmMitzvah task force, please contact Laura Cohen at

For more information about ALAS and to donate funds directly, check out the website at

After the service, we will gather to enjoy our beautiful Beth Am Sukkah and celebrate with a festive Sukkot Oneg Shabbat.

*This service will be live video streamed. By entering the Sanctuary you give Beth Am permission to record you.

Learn more about fall holidays 2023.

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Tue, October 3 2023 18 Tishrei 5784