June & July 2013 - Congregation Beth El

June & July 2013 - Congregation Beth El

June & July 2013 - Congregation Beth El


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ISSUE 137 • <strong>June</strong> & <strong>July</strong> <strong>2013</strong> <strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> is a member of The Union for Reform Judaism<br />

“Honoring Tradition, Celebrating Diversity, and Building a Jewish Future”<br />

In this issue<br />

From the Rabbi p.2<br />

Member Spotlight p.3<br />

President’s Message p.4<br />

Youth & Family Education<br />

p.7-8<br />

Guest Articles p.5, 15<br />

<strong>June</strong><br />

B’Nei Mitzvah p.11<br />

Events p.11<br />

New Members p.13<br />

Board Buzz p.14<br />

New Books in the Library p.16<br />

Highlights<br />

Pride Shabbat with wine<br />

Friday, <strong>June</strong> 28 at 5:30 pm on the terrace<br />

Ludus Danielis (The Play of Daniel)<br />

Sunday, <strong>June</strong> 30 at 4:00 pm at <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong><br />

<strong>July</strong><br />

Chardonnay Shabbat<br />

Friday, <strong>July</strong> 26 at 5:30 pm on the terrace<br />

Features<br />

Growing Up in Nazi Germany, p. 3<br />

Judaism and Emerging Adults, p. 5<br />

Taking Tallitot to Jews in Uganda, p. 9<br />

Torah Study Turns 36, p. 17<br />

Music Room p.18<br />

Torah Study Schedule p.19<br />

Tzedakah<br />

Calendars<br />

p.20-21<br />

p.22-23<br />

Gift Shop p.24

FROM THE raBBI<br />

What Makes an Organization<br />

“Jewish”<br />

There are numerous Jewish<br />

teachings and texts about our<br />

responsibilities to the poor and marginal in the community. A<br />

passage in the Talmud explains that the longer one resides in a<br />

town, the broader one’s obligations to the community: “[After<br />

a person resides in a town for] 30 days, one is obligated to<br />

contribute to the soup kitchen, after three months to the [general<br />

tzedakah] fund, after six months to the clothing fund, after nine<br />

months to the burial fund, and after twelve months to the repair<br />

of the town walls.” This passage from late antiquity illustrates<br />

how both civic works and social welfare were understood as<br />

obligations for all the residents of a town.<br />

For hundreds of years, the Jewish community taxed its<br />

members — as well as solicited voluntary contributions — to<br />

support its schools, raise ransom for captives, offer dowries<br />

to orphan brides, maintain the soup kitchen and to establish<br />

the cemetery and provide a decent burial for all. In America,<br />

our grandparents and great-grandparents quickly founded<br />

mutual aid and communal outreach organizations, from<br />

hospitals to burial societies to social service agencies to serve<br />

the needs of their own community and to provide the services<br />

that governments did not. In the Bay Area, we are the proud<br />

inheritors of their legacy when we continue to support and to<br />

benefit from the programs of the Hebrew Free Loan Association,<br />

Reutlinger Center (originally the Home for Jewish Parents),<br />

Jewish Vocational Services and Jewish Family and Children’s<br />

Services (JFCS) of the East Bay.<br />

JFCS-East Bay, on whose board I serve, was founded more than<br />

135 years ago to support the needs of an immigrant Jewish<br />

community. In recent years, as the needs of our wider Jewish<br />

community have changed, JFCS has asked itself again and<br />

again what it means to be a “Jewish social service agency” at<br />

this time. JFCS continues its historic mission of serving the needs<br />

of the Jewish community by providing financial support, cultural<br />

activities and counsel to our community’s aging Holocaust<br />

survivors; offering emergency financial assistance and support<br />

to Jews in need; and providing sliding-scale mental health<br />

counseling services to Jewish individuals, families and the<br />

community.<br />

For many years, JFCS-East Bay served as the primary<br />

resettlement agency for Jewish immigrants from the former<br />

Soviet Union and from Iran arriving in our communities. Now<br />

that the demand for these services from the Jewish community<br />

has ended, JFCS has taken its expertise in the many dimensions<br />

of refugee resettlement and is assisting in the welcoming and<br />

resettlement of Afghani and Iraqi families; recently, it has also<br />

specifically sought out and welcomed gay and lesbian refugees<br />

who are fleeing persecution. In this way, the agency combines<br />

our Jewish values and the legacy of Jewish experience to<br />

help those who are most in need today. Among many other<br />

programs, JFCS is also a major provider of mental health<br />

consulting services to public early childhood education programs<br />

in Oakland.<br />

The work JFCS does is a contemporary expression of what it<br />

means to be “Jewish” today and, in my opinion, represents the<br />

theological outlook reflected in our Reform liturgy at <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>.<br />

As Jews, we share an enduring commitment to the values of<br />

caring and compassion taught by our tradition. As a Jewish<br />

community, we continue to assume responsibility and take care<br />

of our own community. We consider it our obligation to reach<br />

out towards and serve the needs of the larger community, most<br />

especially those who have been where we were: “You know the<br />

heart of the stranger because you were strangers in the Land of<br />

Mitzrayim (Egypt).”<br />

I take pride in how <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> partners with JFCS and other Jewish<br />

agencies to serve our members, the Jewish community as a<br />

whole and the wider community where we live, fulfilling the<br />

summons “l’taken olam b’malchut Shaddai – to repair the world<br />

in consonance with our highest values.”<br />

Rabbi Yoel Kahn<br />

Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the East<br />

Bay is now offering Home Care services in addition to case<br />

management. Please contact JFCS at 510-558-7800 for<br />

additional information.<br />

Rosh Hashanah 5774: Single Evening Service<br />

Rosh Hashanah 5774 begins on Wednesday evening,<br />

September 4. This year, we will hold a single Rosh<br />

Hashanah evening service (instead of an Early and a<br />

Late service), beginning at 7:30 pm. A single service will<br />

allow more of our members to enjoy a meaningful and<br />

restful beginning of the High Holy Day season. After<br />

extensive discussion and consultation, the Ritual Committee<br />

decided that the varied musical and liturgical needs of our<br />

membership could be served at a single evening service.<br />

There will continue to be, as there has been in the past,<br />

Early and Late services for the morning of Rosh Hashanah<br />

and for the evening and morning of Yom Kippur. Childcare<br />

will be available at the Rosh Hashanah evening service.<br />

2 The Builder: <strong>June</strong> & <strong>July</strong> <strong>2013</strong>


One Member’s Story: Growing up<br />

Jewish in Nazi Germany<br />

by <strong>El</strong>isabeth Wechsler<br />

This is the first of three articles describing how Alfred Cotton’s<br />

almost normal upbringing in 1930s Germany became restricted.<br />

The second article relates how Kristallnacht affected Alfred<br />

and his family, followed by the miracle of Kindertransport. The<br />

third and last article addresses Alfred’s experience in war-torn<br />

England and his eventual emigration to the United States.<br />

As LOng-time <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> member Alfred COTTOn observed,<br />

“Very few Jews alive today had the experience of growing up<br />

in 1930s Germany.” The story of how his normal childhood<br />

upbringing gradually evolved into a series of restrictions — and<br />

eventually a nightmare — follows.<br />

Early in 1934, Alfred<br />

remembers that a large<br />

glass display case, about<br />

300 to 400 yards from<br />

his house, was filled with<br />

anti-Semitic screed and<br />

grotesque drawings of what<br />

Jews supposedly looked like.<br />

It was a way for the Nazis to communicate with the average<br />

person who didn’t have a radio and didn’t buy newspapers.<br />

The newspaper publisher who created the window display riled<br />

up people against Jews and Alfred’s parents told him not to read<br />

what was in the window, but when other people weren’t looking<br />

Alfred sneaked a glance. The newspaper, Der Sturmer, became so<br />

infamous that after World War II the publisher was found guilty of<br />

war crimes during the Nuremberg trials and was hanged.<br />

When Alfred was nine-and-a-half, the family’s summer vacation<br />

was marred by a sign in their destination railroad station on the<br />

North Sea that stated “Jews not wanted here,” which shocked him.<br />

Also in 1935, the infamous Nuremberg Laws were enacted. These<br />

laws took away citizenship from all German Jews and enforced<br />

many other restrictions. Alfred remembers that although no<br />

Jewish household could have a maid under 45 years of age, the<br />

family had an older, very loyal cleaner who came three times a<br />

week and who stayed until his parents left Hamburg.<br />

The son of Polish citizens who emigrated to Hamburg, Germany,<br />

after World War I, Alfred’s first memory of Naziism is as a<br />

seven-year-old, of their maid who wore a swastika lapel pin on<br />

her overcoat. His parents didn’t discuss the matter with Alfred<br />

but soon moved to a different neighborhood closer to his school,<br />

an Orthodox institution named Talmud Torah. This was 1933,<br />

the year that Adolf Hitler was named Chancellor of Germany<br />

after garnering a large number of votes in the election.<br />

A few months after his family’s move, they visited relatives<br />

in Rostock, Germany. Even though his relatives’ family was<br />

Orthodox, they kept their store open on Saturdays, the busiest<br />

day of the week. During Alfred’s visit one Saturday, two Brown<br />

Shirts (Nazi hoodlums) appeared and stood in front of the<br />

clothing store with signs for Germans to boycott it because<br />

the store was Jewish-owned. To prevent the men from leaning<br />

against the doors, Alfred’s uncle left the front doors of the store<br />

open. The Brown Shirts stood there all day, or may have been<br />

relieved by others, but “this made a big impression” on Alfred.<br />

Until 1935-36, Alfred played in a neighborhood park and<br />

remembers sliding down a small hill in the snow during the<br />

winter. One day he was with a friend there and at the entrance<br />

to the park was a sign saying “No Jews Allowed.”<br />

Because Alfred took English for language study in junior high<br />

school, he and his friends went to a movie theater to see a<br />

Shirley Temple film, but by the end of 1936, no Jews were<br />

allowed in movie theaters.<br />

Alfred’s family kept kosher but after the Nuremberg Laws, no<br />

shochets (kosher butchers) were allowed to work and there was<br />

no more kosher meat. As with other observant Jewish families,<br />

Alfred’s had to go without meat. Some butchers bought regular<br />

meat, heavily salted it and offered it as “new kosher,” Alfred<br />

recalled. “The situation was bad but life went on and you did the<br />

best you could.”<br />

Increasingly, boys in his schools were called names such as<br />

“Jewish pigs” as they walked to and from Talmud Torah, so most<br />

Continued on p.10<br />

www.bethelberkeley.org 3


The State of the Synagogue<br />

I would like to begin THIS column, my<br />

first as President of <strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>, by<br />

thanking all of you for entrusting me with the<br />

responsibility of heading up <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s volunteer leadership for the<br />

next two years. I am excited about the work that lies ahead and<br />

look forward to collaborating with the talented and dedicated<br />

volunteers who were elected to serve on the Board of Directors.<br />

I am writing this column en route home from Atlanta, where I<br />

attended the 15th annual Scheidt Seminar sponsored by the<br />

Union for Reform Judaism. (URJ, formerly called the Union of<br />

American Hebrew <strong>Congregation</strong>s, is the umbrella organization<br />

of Reform synagogues in North America. More than 900<br />

congregations, including <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>, are members.) The Scheidt<br />

Seminar is designed for presidents and presidents-elect of URJ<br />

member synagogues. This year 117 congregational leaders —<br />

a record number — from 34 states, the District of Columbia,<br />

Canada and Puerto Rico attended the seminar. Over the course of<br />

three 12-hour-plus days, we learned together, celebrated Shabbat<br />

together, sang together, exchanged program and administrative<br />

ideas together, schmoozed together and overate together.<br />

So what did I take away from the conference, besides an<br />

expanded waistline Many things. First, I gleaned several<br />

exciting program ideas from my fellow Reform synagogue<br />

leaders that I think would fit in well at <strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>.<br />

Some are narrow in focus, mainly concerning the functioning of<br />

our Board of Directors and program committees; but others are<br />

broader in scope, potentially engaging our entire community.<br />

Over the next year I will share these ideas with you after input<br />

and guidance from the Board, our clergy and staff, and <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s<br />

program committees.<br />

Second, the Seminar confirmed that the challenges that confront<br />

<strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> are shared by many, if not most, Reform<br />

synagogues in North America. Nearly all synagogue leaders<br />

recounted the difficulty their synagogue faces in attracting new<br />

members and — most importantly — retaining those members<br />

beyond b’nei mitzvah. Nearly all reported coping with financial<br />

stress, struggling to secure the resources needed to sustain<br />

their programs; pay their clergy, educators and professional<br />

staff; and maintain their physical space. Nearly all bemoan the<br />

modern-day exodus of young adults, those in their late teens to<br />

early 30s, from synagogue engagement. And nearly all recount<br />

the difficulties they and their clergy confront in fashioning<br />

worship services that resonate with their members spiritually, are<br />

fresh and innovative, and appeal to a broad cross-section of<br />

their congregation — yet do not alienate those who prefer that<br />

Shabbat and holiday services never change.<br />

Third, I learned that despite the challenges confronting <strong>Beth</strong><br />

<strong>El</strong>, we are far stronger than many congregations. Some<br />

presidents decried the net loss of members their synagogues<br />

were experiencing year after year, sometimes leaving only a<br />

handful of worshippers to pray in a cavernous space originally<br />

built to accommodate 1,000. In contrast, <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s membership<br />

has remained stable for years and is now growing modestly.<br />

Some at the seminar spoke of recurring budget deficits, forcing<br />

the exhaustion of financial reserves, the sale of a portion of<br />

their property, or the laying off of educators and administrative<br />

staff. In contrast, at <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> we are holding our own financially,<br />

notwithstanding the significant mortgage debt we took on when<br />

we moved to our new building. Other presidents noted the<br />

difficulty they face in engaging more than a small percentage of<br />

their members in synagogue life. In contrast, <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s programs<br />

are robust, well-attended and growing as we continuously find<br />

new ways to connect with our members spiritually, educationally<br />

and socially.<br />

“Our community remains<br />

cohesive, respectful and<br />

embracing.”<br />

Still others at the seminar described the poor condition of their<br />

synagogue facility, with roofs that leak, spaces that are too<br />

large or too small for current needs, and buildings constructed<br />

long before we embraced the very Jewish goal of inclusiveness<br />

and physical accommodation for all. In contrast, at <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> we<br />

enjoy a beautiful, accessible building, carefully tailored to suit<br />

our needs. Our community remains cohesive, respectful and<br />

embracing, devoid of factionalism and internecine strife.<br />

I draw these comparisons not to gloat, even less to bask in<br />

some form of Jewish schadenfreude, but rather to highlight the<br />

enormous strengths and successes our synagogue community<br />

has achieved, in large part through the efforts and participation<br />

of all of you. <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s successes sometimes get overlooked<br />

when we bog down, as we inevitably will, trying to cope with the<br />

problem-of-the-day, the crisis du jour. I believe that the source of<br />

our success derives directly from the strength of the partnership<br />

we have managed to forge — thanks to the efforts of many over<br />

the years — among our clergy, professional and administrative<br />

staff, and remarkable volunteer lay leadership. Each is an<br />

essential component of the sacred community we call <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>.<br />

Each gives its all to create an environment that is welcoming,<br />

inclusive, multi-faceted, engaging and meaningful so that all of<br />

<strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s members can find what they seek within our walls.<br />

I wish you all a pleasant summer. And for those children, teens<br />

and young adults now immersed in the extraordinary, multisensory<br />

experience known as Camp Kee Tov, I wish you a<br />

summer overflowing with ruach.<br />

L’shalom,<br />

Paul Sugarman<br />

4 The Builder: <strong>June</strong> & <strong>July</strong> <strong>2013</strong>


1301 Oxford Street<br />

Berkeley, CA 94709-1424<br />

Phone: 510-848-3988<br />

Fax: 510-848-2707<br />

Youth and Family Education Office<br />

Direct Line: 510-848-2122<br />

Nursery School Office<br />

Direct Line: 510-848-9428<br />

Camp Kee Tov Office<br />

Direct Line: 510-848-2372<br />

Midrasha Office<br />

Direct Line 510-843-4667<br />


Rabbi Yoel H. Kahn<br />

Rabbi of the <strong>Congregation</strong><br />

ext. 215 - rabbikahn@bethelberkeley.org<br />

Rabbi Reuben Zellman<br />

Assistant Rabbi & Music Director<br />

ext. 228 - rabbirz@bethelberkeley.org<br />

Norm Frankel<br />

Executive Director<br />

ext. 212 - norm@bethelberkeley.org<br />

Debra Sagan MaSSEY<br />

Director of Education<br />

ext. 213 - debra@bethelberkeley.org<br />

Maguy WEIZmann-mCgUIre<br />

Early Childhood Education Director<br />

ext. 219 - maguy@bethelberkeley.org<br />

Zach Landres-Schnur<br />

Camp Kee Tov Director<br />

ext. 217 - zach@bethelberkeley.org<br />

Tameka Young-Diaby<br />

Bookkeeper<br />

ext. 210 - tameka@bethelberkeley.org<br />

Rebecca DePalma<br />

YAFE Administrative Coordinator<br />

& Youth Group Advisor<br />

ext. 214 - rebecca@bethelberkeley.org<br />

Juliet Gardner<br />

Clergy Assistant<br />

ext 216 - juliet@bethelberkeley.org<br />

Margee Burch<br />

Communications Coordinator<br />

ext. 211 - margee@bethelberkeley.org<br />

Molly Daniels<br />

Communications Coordinator<br />

ext. 235 - molly@bethelberkeley.org<br />


Camp Kee Tov Admin. Coordinator<br />

ext. 223 - emily@bethelberkeley.org<br />

Diane Bernbaum<br />

Midrasha Director<br />

510-843-4667 - diane@midrasha.org<br />

Odette Blachman<br />

Gift Shop<br />

ext. 240 - oblachman@sbcglobal.net<br />

Rabbi Ferenc Raj<br />

Rabbi Emeritus<br />

ferenc@bethelberkeley.org<br />

Guest Article<br />

Keeping the Faith…or Not<br />

Judaism and Emerging<br />

Adults<br />

by <strong>El</strong>izabeth Fishel<br />

Are we in the midst of a great religious recession A number of recent<br />

studies all show that younger people are less religious than older people in every way,<br />

and religiosity has declined with each successive generation. In the 2012 Pew Research<br />

Center report on Religion and Public Life, one-fourth of 18-to-29-year-olds are classified<br />

as unaffiliated, a far higher proportion than among their parents (15 percent) or<br />

grandparents (10 percent).<br />

Is this news bad for the Jews<br />

In a recent interview, <strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s Rabbi Yoel Kahn took the long view, optimistic<br />

and unperturbed. “We’ve been hanging out successfully for 5773 years,” he said, adding,<br />

“we’ve seen many worse challenges.”<br />

Some of us grew up in a Judaism of obligation, he pointed out, with a sense of<br />

responsibility to Jews who gave their lives in the Holocaust. But for today’s young people,<br />

he believes, it’s better to lead with attraction, not coercion and guilt. The best thing parents<br />

can do to keep their Jewish young adults in the fold is to live their own vibrant Jewish lives<br />

and model that engagement to their kids.<br />

In hundreds of interviews with parents and their 18-to-29-year-olds, as well as survey<br />

responses from around the country for a forthcoming book When Will My Grown-Up Kid<br />

Grow Up, it was clear that religious questioning is part of the identity explorations that are<br />

woven into this life stage. Emerging adults generally feel that it would be wrong for them<br />

simply to accept what their parents and others have taught them about religious issues.<br />

Their inquiry sometimes leads to a confirmation of their childhood beliefs, but more often<br />

to modifying them, and sometimes to a wholesale rejection.<br />

So how do we build a 21st-century community that attracts and supports its young people<br />

To reach them where they live, many congregations, including <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>, recognize the need<br />

to increase their Web and Facebook presence to reach a wider group of young adults.<br />

They also strive to offer programming that draws in a younger cohort and then makes sure<br />

young people feel welcomed and supported.<br />

We’re also fortunate to live in a time when other institutions are also stepping up outreach<br />

to young people. Hillel enriches the lives of college students on 550 campuses around the<br />

country. Birthright has offered free heritage trips to Israel for 340,000 18-to-26-year-olds,<br />

80 percent from the United States and Canada. Urban Adamah started its farm-based<br />

Jewish residential leadership program in Connecticut, and in 2010 opened a farm in<br />

Berkeley (located at 1050 Parker Street) that combines urban agriculture and social justice.<br />

Even if your Jewish young adult misses out on these programs, never underestimate the<br />

passage of time. According to Kara Powell and Chap Clark, authors of Sticky Faith, about<br />

half of the emerging adults who drift away from their parents’ religion do return in their<br />

late 20s. Rabbi Kahn observes this pendulum swing back at <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>, as well. “When people<br />

become partners and parents themselves, they realize the value of being part of a longterm<br />

community,” he says. Returning to <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> signifies, “I’m really an adult now.”<br />

<strong>El</strong>izabeth Fishel is a long-time <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> member and the co-author, with Jeffrey Arnett, of<br />

When Will My Grown-Up Kid Grow Up Loving and Understanding Your Emerging Adult,<br />

published by Workman in May, <strong>2013</strong>.<br />

www.bethelberkeley.org 5

FROM Our Outgoing PRESIDENT<br />

Passion and Respect — Two<br />

Sides of Leadership<br />

I cannot believe that two years have<br />

passed so quickly and that this will be my<br />

last column as President of <strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>. Starting with<br />

this issue of The Builder, you will begin to hear from our new<br />

President, the amazing Paul Sugarman. Paul’s contributions to<br />

<strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> have already been immeasurable, including running<br />

the original capital campaign that made it possible for us to<br />

build our beautiful new building and co-chairing our Program<br />

Council. Paul, like many of our <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> leaders, lives a life of<br />

service to the community.<br />

One of the great pleasures and, at the same time, one of the<br />

great challenges of being President of <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> is the diversity of<br />

our congregation. In this case I am not referring to the rainbow<br />

of diversity in backgrounds represented at <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>. It is true<br />

that <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> has worked hard at becoming a welcoming place<br />

for interfaith families, converts, LGBTQ members, physically<br />

challenged members, atheists, true believers, young families,<br />

empty nesters, singles and people of all racial backgrounds —<br />

and this will continue to be a focus for us in the future. However,<br />

another real challenge and source of excitement for me as<br />

President has been the diversity in how people connect with <strong>Beth</strong><br />

<strong>El</strong> and the passion they bring to those connections.<br />

“Passion makes <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> programs<br />

spectacular and mutual respect<br />

keeps our community together”<br />

There are those who connect to <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> through our Torah Study<br />

group and our early morning Shabbat minyan. They love that<br />

those programs are lay-led, giving our congregants a way<br />

to express themselves. At the same time, we have those who<br />

love our outstanding rabbis and staff-led programs. They are<br />

passionate about our regular Shabbat services, Rabbi Kahn’s<br />

Sunday morning “Roots and Branches” classes, Rabbi Zellman’s<br />

chorus and music programs and our learners’ Shabbats. There<br />

are those families that connect through our thriving Youth and<br />

Family Education programs, our warm and nurturing Nursery<br />

School, the fun and young leadership development of our youth<br />

programs, and through the spirit and sheer joy of Camp Kee Tov.<br />

We have many members of our community who are passionately<br />

connected to our social action programs like our homeless<br />

<strong>Congregation</strong>al Shabbaton on October<br />

11-13 at Camp nEWman<br />

Save the date for a weekend away with your <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong><br />

family! Registration will open in the middle of the summer.<br />

Don’t miss out on this fabulous experience!<br />

meal, food drives, meals for shut-ins or for those who are ill. We<br />

have those who can’t stand to miss any of our Adult Education<br />

programs or our Israel programs. And we have those members<br />

who just like to come and join our community, who sit for hours<br />

after Shabbat services chatting with their <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> friends or who<br />

have been members of the same chavurah for decades, or who<br />

love the Men’s Club events or the programs put on by the Women<br />

of <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>. Then, of course, there are those like me who take<br />

advantage of almost every one of these programs.<br />

It is a blessing to have a congregation with such a variety<br />

of passions. It is that passion that makes each one of our<br />

programs so successful. Yet, at the same time, those passions<br />

can create challenges: What happens when there is conflict<br />

between groups What happens when the Torah study group<br />

and the Shabbat services group both want to use our beautiful<br />

Beit Midrash but the transition is problematic What happens<br />

when some of the people involved in a particular program<br />

are committed to a change in leadership while others are<br />

committed to keeping the leadership in place How do you<br />

deal with the conflict that arises when some of our congregants<br />

come to services because they love the chorus and the musical<br />

instruments while others find they are a distraction and violate<br />

their sense of tradition How do you deal with the conflicting<br />

views on our relationship with the State of Israel It is here<br />

where those who connect to the congregation by generously<br />

volunteering to take leadership positions must participate. As<br />

President, I have been blessed with leaders on our board, our<br />

program council and our staff who have done a tremendous job<br />

at navigating through these difficult situations.<br />

In facing these challenges, we have always been guided by<br />

the Talmudic teaching that “these and these are the words of<br />

the living G-d.” This teaching instructs us that it is possible for<br />

two people to hold diametrically opposed positions — even in<br />

interpreting the will of G-d — but if their intentions are good,<br />

each position can still be correct. The Talmud goes on to teach<br />

us that you still must make a decision as to the appropriate<br />

course of action. It teaches that we should listen carefully to<br />

each side and then make a decision that is guided by “kindness<br />

and humility.” The purpose of the teaching is to ensure that<br />

we continue to treat each other with respect even when we<br />

passionately disagree. It is the passion that makes <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong><br />

programs so spectacular and it is the respect that keeps our<br />

community together.<br />

Now that I am leaving the presidency, my next job will be to<br />

find and help develop the next generation of <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> leaders.<br />

It is an opportunity I look forward to because it will give me a<br />

chance to meet and get to know more of the tremendous people<br />

who make up the <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> community. So, if you are interested<br />

in making a difference and helping to guide the future of this<br />

wonderful congregation, please let me know. I’d love to meet<br />

you and get you plugged in!<br />

Dan Magid<br />

Past President, Board of Directors<br />

6 The Builder: <strong>June</strong> & <strong>July</strong> <strong>2013</strong>

YAFE<br />

<strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>: A Place for Everyone<br />

by Debra Sagan Massey, RJE, Director of Education<br />

<strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> is embarking on a project to<br />

earn a Rosh Pina Cornerstone Certification<br />

by examining how welcoming we are to families and individuals<br />

with special needs, and improving where needed. We will be<br />

looking at all of our programming, examining our facility, and<br />

educating our leadership and members so that we can be a<br />

more inclusive congregation. <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> is partnering with Rosh<br />

Pina, an organization started by <strong>El</strong>ana Naftalin-Kelman, that<br />

will help guide us in a thoughtful process and will lead us to<br />

important changes. Our goal at the end of the Cornerstone<br />

certification process is to open doors into the Jewish community<br />

for many who currently do not feel welcome. We need your<br />

partnership in this process.<br />

First, you can share with us your ideas as to what you would like<br />

<strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> to offer in order to be more inclusive. Would you like to<br />

see Shabbat services that welcome and encourage noise and<br />

disruption Would you like to have more programs for families<br />

with children with special needs Would you like sign language<br />

interpretation during Shabbat services Or perhaps you are<br />

interested in having programs for siblings of a child with special<br />

needs Whatever your idea, we are interested in your input! We<br />

are convening a task force of both adults and youth to meet with<br />

<strong>El</strong>ana and to identify priorities for the synagogue to address.<br />

Please email me at debra@bethelberkeley.org if you would like<br />

to join this meaningful task force.<br />

Second, we want to spread the word to our friends and family in<br />

the East Bay who might be interested in being involved, but have<br />

not felt included in the past. We need your help to spread the<br />

word that <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> is addressing these needs and we want to be a<br />

place where people come to be included in the Jewish community.<br />

We hope to begin making significant changes this summer and<br />

into the fall of this coming year. Please join us in this important<br />

work and help to make <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> a place for everyone.<br />

YAFE Registration Now oPEn!<br />

Don’t miss out on all the fun, friends and learning! Our youth<br />

and family education programs are open to all preschoolers<br />

through 7th graders for next fall, and offer something for<br />

everyone. Go to our website, www.bethelberkeley.org, for more<br />

information.<br />

<strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> Garden nEEds Volunteers<br />

With many thanks to our garden volunteers and our garden<br />

teacher Nathaniel Markman, the <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> Garden continues to<br />

grow and offer us delicious produce. Our students have been<br />

getting their hands in the dirt and connecting Judaism to the earth<br />

and the seasons. All <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> members are welcome to come to<br />

the garden any time and to harvest food for your table at home<br />

(please just remember to close the gates!). We are always looking<br />

for volunteers to help water and maintain the garden when our<br />

students are not available. Please email debra@bethelberkeley.<br />

org if you are interested in helping with the garden.<br />

Summer Plans from the Ritual Committee<br />

by Ruth Ehrenkrantz<br />

Come JOIn us for a happy hour and festive gathering on<br />

<strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s terrace for two summer Chardonnay Shabbats:<br />

Friday, <strong>June</strong> 28 at 5:30 pm and Friday, <strong>July</strong> 26 at 5:30 pm. Sit<br />

outside with a glass of wine on a lovely summer evening. The<br />

service begins at 6:15 pm.<br />

August 31 is our summer Shabbat B’Yachad (All Together) service.<br />

Check the e-updates for the service times. A festive oneg will be<br />

provided after the combined services. Come join us as we meld<br />

our separate Saturday morning practices into one service.<br />

Over the past few months we have been looking for solutions to<br />

our Saturday morning space issue. Many people use our facilities<br />

on Saturday mornings. We are examining ways to tweak our<br />

programming to make the late morning service more welcoming.<br />

In August, Rabbi Kahn will lead several services in the sanctuary<br />

and test various options we are considering (including some<br />

historic European synagogue furniture arrangements).<br />

After each Saturday morning service, we are planning to have<br />

a sit-down oneg where everyone can relax and enjoy a meal<br />

together. We are looking for people to help us with the oneg lunch.<br />

The work would involve preparing salads, fruit plates, heating up<br />

casseroles that have already been prepared, and making sure that<br />

everything is ready to be served at the end of the service. If you<br />

would like to perform this mitzvah, or would like to know more<br />

about it, please contact me at ruthehren@comcast.net.<br />

www.bethelberkeley.org 7

BENS & Youth Groups<br />

Nursery<br />

School Taking<br />

Applications for<br />

Summer Program<br />

by Maguy McGuire<br />

It is hard to imagine that the end of the school year is<br />

approaching. So much has happened since the school year<br />

began, and soon we will be transitioning into our summer<br />

program. <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> Nursery School’s (BENS) summer schedule will<br />

parallel that of Camp Kee Tov, starting in <strong>June</strong> and ending in<br />

August. This year BENS will have three summer sessions:<br />

• Session I will begin on <strong>June</strong> 24 and end on <strong>July</strong> 19<br />

• Session II will begin on <strong>July</strong> 22 and end on <strong>July</strong> 26<br />

• Session III will begin on <strong>July</strong> 29 and end on August 23<br />

Summer sessions are open<br />

to all children throughout<br />

the Bay Area and the<br />

community at large. We<br />

are currently accepting<br />

application for children two<br />

to five years old.<br />

This year’s summer<br />

programs will focus on<br />

creating activities related<br />

to classic stories adopted<br />

from nursery rhymes and<br />

fairy tales. The children<br />

will engage in dramatic plays, such as “The Three Little Pigs”<br />

and “Billy Goat’s Gruff,” using our newly built outdoor stage.<br />

In addition, the children will have the opportunity to explore<br />

the outdoor environment; engage in sand play, plant our newly<br />

built, enclosed sustainable garden; and feed and (hopefully)<br />

collect eggs from our three hens.<br />

BENS is happy to announce the start of a new transitional<br />

program for the new incoming “Two” families. Gan Katan will<br />

welcome our new two-year-olds for the summer. During this<br />

time, Gan Katan teachers will assist families and their children<br />

in the transition and separation process, helping them adjust<br />

to their new environment, daily routines and schedules. We’ll<br />

again get to watch the amazing transition as shy children forget<br />

themselves when they play with their classmates.<br />

<strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> Teens in<br />

Our Community<br />

Esther Simon has been accepted into the University of<br />

Iowa Young Writers’ Studio summer program! Mazel tov,<br />

Esther!<br />

Anna Saldinger has been accepted into the Young<br />

Writers’ Workshop at Bard College at Simon’s Rock this<br />

summer! Mazel tov, Anna!<br />

Allison Lukas has been elected the Regional N’siah<br />

(President) of BBYO’s Central Region West! Mazel tov,<br />

Allison!<br />

Mazel tov to <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> congregants Rudy Brandt and Bryn<br />

Lewin-Offel, who have completed a full year of training<br />

and strategic philanthropy work, raising money locally for<br />

worthy causes in Israel and around the world with JCF’s<br />

East Bay Jewish Teen Foundation.<br />

Announcing our <strong>2013</strong>-14 Sababa Board<br />

Noah Winkelman, President<br />

Liora Ami, Religious & Cultural Vice President<br />

Tal Zvik, Communications Vice President<br />

<strong>El</strong>i Waldman, Membership Vice President<br />

Nathan Magid, Programming Vice President<br />

Emily Levenson, Social Action Vice President<br />

<strong>El</strong>iana Pollick, Photographer<br />

Jessicah Ross, Member-At-Large<br />

Avi Park-Bernstein, 8th Grade Representative<br />

Anna Portnoy, 7th Grade Representative<br />

Max Sklar, 6th Grade Representative<br />

Nitzan Gladstone, Event Chair<br />

Mazel tov on being elected and<br />

we look forward to an amazing year!<br />

Save the Date!<br />

<strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> <strong>Congregation</strong>al Shabbaton<br />

October 11-13, <strong>2013</strong> at Camp Newman<br />

Sababa & Ruach will be offering retreat options for our<br />

6th-8th graders and 4th-5th graders!<br />

I’m not ready to say goodbye to such a good year, but I also<br />

can’t wait for the new year to come. Happy summer!<br />

8 The Builder: <strong>June</strong> & <strong>July</strong> <strong>2013</strong>

Distributing Tallitot<br />

to Jews in Uganda<br />

by <strong>El</strong>isabeth Wechsler<br />

Tagging along with a documentary film group, Marv Pearlstein,<br />

a <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> member since 2001, brought new tallitot in March to a<br />

94-year-old congregation of Jews in Mbale, Uganda.<br />

There are two stories here.<br />

One is the establishment of a coffee-growing cooperative of<br />

Muslims, Christians and Jews that sustains the community<br />

economically and keeps the peace in a remarkable example<br />

of religious respect and cooperation. The coffee cooperative is<br />

called mirembe kawomera, meaning “delicious peace” in the<br />

local language, Luganda. It was founded by J. J. Keki, who is<br />

also active in the community’s religious life.<br />

The Mbale cooperative has a contract with Thanksgiving Coffee<br />

of Fort Bragg, California, to market their fair-trade coffee. Since<br />

the cooperative was started living conditions in Mbale have<br />

improved markedly. There is now electricity in the Abayudaya<br />

(meaning “people of Judah”) <strong>Congregation</strong> Moses Synagogue<br />

and interior facilities next door in the rabbi’s house.<br />

The other story is that of a tribal elder in 1919 who chose<br />

Judaism as his religion; then most members of the tribe<br />

converted and the men were circumcised. The leader, Semei<br />

Kakungulu, rejected both British rule and the New Testament<br />

in one decision. Semei chose a literal interpretation of the Old<br />

Testament as his sacred text, and his descendants are involved in<br />

both the coffee cooperative and in Mbale’s religious life. Many<br />

members of the community were officially converted to Judaism<br />

in 2002 by Conservative rabbis.<br />

Since the coffee cooperative was started, it has served as an<br />

example of a stunning reversal of violence and strife in Uganda<br />

by the cooperation of its residents across religious lines. The<br />

documentary film about the cooperative will be aired on PBS in<br />

the coming year.<br />

www.bethelberkeley.org 9


”Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof“<br />

Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue<br />

by Laurie Swiadon and Norman Postone, co-chairs, Israel Committee<br />

<strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> is connecting with the Israel Religious Action<br />

Center (IRAC) of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism<br />

(i.e., the Reform Movement) in an exciting new relationship.<br />

<strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s Israel Committee has been working on creating greater<br />

engagement in Israel for our congregation. We want to learn<br />

more and do more to address the growing gap between Israel<br />

and the Diaspora. We invite you to join our meetings, the first<br />

Thursday of each month.<br />

During the past two years, <strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> has hosted a<br />

variety of scholars and representatives of organizations in Israel.<br />

Through this process, we have realized that our engagement as<br />

American Jews can affect the development of Israel. A number<br />

of our speakers have encouraged us to become more actively<br />

involved. As a result, our committee unanimously voted to ask<br />

the <strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> Board of Directors to encourage its<br />

membership to support the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC).<br />

We are thrilled to announce that the Board has agreed.<br />

As the public and legal advocacy arm of the Reform Movement<br />

in Israel, IRAC was originally initiated in 1987 to win recognition<br />

and gain equal government funding for Reform and Conservative<br />

Judaism, with the goals of advancing religious pluralism in<br />

Israel. After a long legal battle, IRAC won the right for Reform<br />

and Conservative rabbis to be paid by government funding,<br />

as Orthodox rabbis are. Today, IRAC’s legal work extends well<br />

beyond advocating for the rights of Reform and Conservative<br />

Jews. IRAC’s legal department has become expert on the issue<br />

of fair distribution of government funds for other minority groups.<br />

IRAC is now the preeminent civil and human rights organization<br />

in Israel, having achieved many successes in the Supreme Court.<br />

For example, IRAC has been at the forefront of the battle against<br />

gender segregation for over a decade on bus lines and at the<br />

Western Wall. In 2011, after a four-year legal battle, IRAC won a<br />

Supreme Court case effectively making forced gender segregation<br />

on public buses illegal and prosecutable.<br />

IRAC also lobbies the Knesset on behalf of bills that promote<br />

a more just, pluralistic and democratic society and works to<br />

block new laws that are discriminatory, unjust and threaten<br />

the democratic nature of the state. IRAC has greatly improved<br />

laws regarding Israeli Palestinians, Bedouins, immigrants, LGBT<br />

communities and widows, and is working to secure freedom of<br />

choice in marriage and equal rights in divorce for all Israelis.<br />

We want to do our part to build a strong Reform Movement in<br />

Israel. In addition, we want to give what we can as a community to<br />

promote an Israel that protects equal rights for its citizens, whatever<br />

their religious or ethnic background. This purpose is clearly stated<br />

in The Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel.<br />

This year you will see a new box on your membership renewal<br />

form asking for your support for IRAC. We encourage you to<br />

check “Yes” to show your support for a more just and democratic<br />

Israel, and add an extra $36 donation to your <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> membership<br />

toward that support.<br />

Alfred Cotton Story, Continued from Page 3<br />

of the kids, Alfred included, walked in pairs. Jewish children<br />

who attended public school had a worse time of it. They were<br />

often pushed, shoved and, increasingly, beaten up by their non-<br />

Jewish classmates.<br />

By this time no Jewish professionals — doctors, lawyers,<br />

accountants — could work for “Aryan” (that is, non-Jewish)<br />

clients, and no Jewish clients could be served by “Aryans.”<br />

Fortunately, Alfred’s family’s doctors and lawyers were all Jewish.<br />

In 1937, his father and uncle started to wind down their wine<br />

wholesale business in Hamburg and were finished by the end<br />

of that year. They gave up the premises by early 1938. At this<br />

point there were about 18,000 Polish Jews living in Germany.<br />

The Polish government decreed that they needed to revalidate<br />

their Polish passports, but the problem was that the Polish<br />

consulates refused to revalidate the passports of Jews and<br />

made it clear that they didn’t want Jews to repatriate.<br />

10<br />

The Builder: <strong>June</strong> & <strong>July</strong> <strong>2013</strong><br />

On October 28, 1938, two German<br />

police came to the door in the middle<br />

of the night and arrested Alfred’s father.<br />

Along with other male Polish Jews,<br />

Alfred’s father and uncle were deported to the Polish border, but<br />

Poland wouldn’t grant them entry. They stayed in the “no man’s<br />

land” between the German and Polish borders until agreement<br />

was reached to allow the deported Jews to stay at a camp at<br />

Zbaszyn on the Polish side of the border. Polish Jewish women<br />

were not deported at this time.<br />

Alfred’s father and uncle were able to board a train, first to<br />

Alfred’s mother’s parents’ home in Przemysl and then on to his<br />

father’s family’s house in Sambor a while later. They stayed<br />

there for some time, Alfred said.<br />

The next article will describe the effects of Kristallnacht on<br />

the Jewish community in Germany and on Alfred’s family, in<br />


The congregation is cordially invited to<br />

attend the service and kiddush following<br />

to honor these b’nei mitzvah candidates:<br />


<strong>El</strong>i Waldman will be called to the Torah<br />

as a Bar Mitzvah on Saturday, <strong>June</strong> 1 at<br />

10:15 am. He is the son of Jed Waldman<br />

and Laura Harnish.<br />

Photo by Emma Waldman<br />

Rebecca Mogill will be called to the<br />

Torah as a Bat Mitzvah on Saturday, <strong>June</strong><br />

22 at 10:15 am. She is the daughter of<br />

Mark Mogill and Maribel Paterno-Mogill.<br />

Ezra Bolton will be called to the Torah<br />

as a Bar Mitzvah on Saturday, <strong>June</strong> 8 at<br />

10:15 am. He is the son of Woody Bolton<br />

and Judy Wolff-Bolton.<br />

Abigail Cole will be called to the Torah<br />

as a Bat Mitzvah on Saturday, <strong>June</strong> 29 at<br />

10:15 am. She is the daughter of Felicia<br />

Cole and Dean Amundson.<br />

Avi Simon will be called to the Torah as a<br />

Bar Mitzvah on Saturday, <strong>June</strong> 15 at 10:15<br />

am. He is the son of Jonathan Simon and<br />

Christina Spaulding.<br />

Avi Park-Bernstein will be called to the<br />

Torah as a Bar Mitzvah on Saturday, <strong>July</strong> 6<br />

at 10:15 am. He is the son of Alicia Park<br />

and Lee Bernstein.<br />


Join Us at LGBT Pride <strong>2013</strong>!<br />

<strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> will join Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership<br />

for Justice in the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT)<br />

Pride Parade in downtown San Francisco on Sunday, <strong>June</strong> 30<br />

at 10:30 am. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to release<br />

its decision on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act<br />

some time before the Pride parade. This will be an amazing<br />

opportunity to celebrate — or protest — the decision together.<br />

The entire Jewish community, including LGBT people and allies,<br />

will stand together for equality. Please sign up to walk with us in<br />

the parade online at http://bit.ly/sfpride<strong>2013</strong>. Contact Margee<br />

Burch, margee@bethelberkeley.org or 510-848-3988, ext. 211,<br />

for more information.<br />

Open Sukkahs Wanted for Community<br />

Gatherings<br />

Each year, members open their sukkahs for an evening or an<br />

afternoon and members visit, sit and share a potluck meal or a<br />

snack in sukkahs throughout the East Bay. Invite your friends and<br />

we will inform the <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> community of your invitation. Sukkah<br />

parties are the best! Please contact Ruth Ehrenkrantz ruthehren@<br />

comcast.net with any questions or to sign up as an open sukkah<br />

host this year: September 18–25. Thanks!<br />

High Holy Days Volunteer oPPortunitIES<br />

by Ruth Ehrenkrantz<br />

There are many ways for our members to get involved and<br />

make High Holy Day services a welcoming and participatory<br />

experience. We need about 200 volunteers for various tasks over<br />

the holidays. Please offer your help early and make planning<br />

simpler for our clergy and lay leadership.<br />

• Welcome people as they walk into our synagogue. This is<br />

a wonderful way to make our members and guests feel at<br />

home. Volunteer to be an usher and greeter by contacting<br />

Jerry Weintraub at gdweintraub@yahoo.com.<br />

• Volunteer to open the Ark, read a poem or a prayer during<br />

a service. There are options in English and Hebrew. Please<br />

contact Peggy Lipson at peggylipson@comcast.net if you’d<br />

like to participate in one of the services.<br />

• Read from the Torah. We will provide you with all of the<br />

materials you need to prepare.<br />

If you have any questions or would like to sign up, email Sara<br />

Sarasohn sarakeiko@gmail.com.<br />

Thank you for offering your help!<br />

www.bethelberkeley.org 11

RECIPE<br />

A Mediterranean Dish with Meyer<br />

Lemons<br />

by Margie Gelb<br />

Here’s a recipe THAT TAKES ADVAnTAge of the abundance of<br />

Meyer lemons growing all over the East Bay. Preserved lemons<br />

are easier than pie. Brined in salt and lemon juice for several<br />

weeks, they mellow into a lovely, light, bright lemon pickle.<br />

Mince the peel and use to perk up salads, marinades and<br />

Moroccan tagines. This recipe is inspired by Paula Wolfert, the<br />

noted author of Mediterranean Cooking.<br />

Preserved Lemons<br />

2 Meyer lemons, scrubbed and dried<br />

2 to 3 tablespoons kosher salt<br />

3/4 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)<br />

Directions:<br />

1. Cut the lemons from the stem almost to the base, in<br />

quarters, keeping all four sections attached at the base so<br />

the lemon continues to hold together.<br />

2. Open each lemon gently and sprinkle it inside with one<br />

tablespoon of salt. If some spills, scoop up the spilled salt<br />

and rub it over the outer edges.<br />

3. Place the lemons in a glass jar just large enough to hold<br />

them. Pour lemon juice over lemons. Seal the jar tightly<br />

with lid.<br />

4. Leave the jar on the counter for 7 days. Shake jar every<br />

day. On day 7, place jar in the refrigerator. Keeps well for<br />

2 to 3 months.<br />

Asparagus & PrESErved Lemon Farro Salad<br />

1 1/2 cups farro, semi-pearled<br />

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil<br />

1 pound asparagus<br />

1 preserved lemon, insides removed, rinsed and, diced small (or<br />

2 tablespoons prepared preserved lemon from a jar)<br />

2 tablespoons lemon juice<br />

1/3 cup red onion, diced small<br />

Freshly ground black pepper<br />

4 ounces French feta cheese<br />

1/2 cup dry cured Moroccan olives, pitted<br />

Directions:<br />

1. In a saucepan, bring farro and enough water to cover to<br />

a boil. Add salt, lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes.<br />

Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with olive oil.<br />

2. meanwhile, break the tough stems off asparagus. Steam<br />

asparagus for 3 to 4 minutes or until they turn a bright and<br />

vibrant green. Plunge in cold water to stop the cooking<br />

process. Cut into 2-inch pieces. Add to cooked farro.<br />

3. Stir diced preserved lemon, lemon juice, diced red<br />

onion and black pepper into cooked farro. Fold in feta<br />

cheese and olives. Taste for salt but you probably won’t<br />

need it.<br />

Serves 4 to 6.<br />

Margie, along with her daughter Josie, wrote and published a cookbook entitled The Lazy Gourmet: Real Food, Real Easy.<br />

Although she took cooking classes in France and in the Bay Area, most of her easy recipes were developed during the years<br />

when she was a working mother and was determined to have wonderful meals using fresh ingredients<br />

that were nevertheless not too onerous to prepare.<br />

Letters to the Editor<br />

Your thoughts and opinions are important to us. If you have<br />

a subject of interest to the <strong>Congregation</strong>, write a letter or<br />

essay of a maximum of 500 words and submit it to:<br />

Editor, The Builder, emwechsler@earthlink.net by<br />

<strong>June</strong> 26, <strong>2013</strong> for the August-September issue.<br />

Letters, essays and guest articles may be edited for<br />

length and at the discretion of the Marketing &<br />

Communications Committee.<br />

No anonymous submissions will be accepted.<br />

Editorial Staff of The Builder<br />

<strong>El</strong>isabeth Wechsler, Editor and Senior Writer<br />

Guest Contributors: <strong>El</strong>izabeth Fishel, Margie Gelb,<br />

Scott Spear, Cathy Sevens<br />

Janine Baer, Copy Editor<br />

Jennifer Robinson, Layout and Design<br />

Margee Burch, Production Coordinator<br />

The Marketing and Communications Committee will offer<br />

guidance and suggestions for future issues of The Builder.<br />

Interested members are invited to join the committee.<br />

Contact jeff.seideman@earthlink.net<br />

12<br />

The Builder: <strong>June</strong> & <strong>July</strong> <strong>2013</strong>

Member Corner<br />

Compiled by The Builder Editor, <strong>El</strong>isabeth Wechsler<br />


Finkel Family<br />

Lonnie and his children Sarah and Robbie Finkel live in Orinda;<br />

Lonnie has his own law firm with offices in San Francisco and<br />

Walnut Creek. He’s an avid swimmer who enjoys doing anything<br />

outdoors. Daughter Sarah was born in Berkeley in January<br />

2000, and son Robert was born there in February 2002. The<br />

children attend Seven Hills School in Walnut Creek. Sarah is<br />

finishing the seventh grade and she competes in equestrian<br />

events around the state. Robbie is finishing the fifth grade and<br />

will continue at Seven Hills’ middle school next year. Robbie is<br />

also a good student and enjoys an array of seasonal sports and<br />

playing the guitar. Lonnie, Sarah and Robbie love the East Bay<br />

and Berkeley, in particular, for its diversity and eclectic blend<br />

of peoples, perspectives, arts and restaurants. They also enjoy<br />

the intellectual energy and diversity of viewpoints. Lonnie and<br />

his children chose to join <strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> because of<br />

that same diversity, intellectual energy and commitment to the<br />

community. They also want an opportunity to volunteer and help<br />

those who are less fortunate. The Finkel family was also looking<br />

for a more personal and laid-back synagogue and have found<br />

that at <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>.<br />

Eyal Gurion & <strong>El</strong>lie Shor<br />

“The great<br />

recommendation<br />

we received from<br />

Yuval and Reut Gez<br />

encouraged us to<br />

visit the place,” said<br />

Eyal Gurion of <strong>Beth</strong><br />

<strong>El</strong>. He and his wife,<br />

<strong>El</strong>lie Shor, found that<br />

Maguy Weizmann<br />

McGuire’s warm welcome and her<br />

tour of the preschool helped convince<br />

them that <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> “is the perfect<br />

place for us and for our two-yearold<br />

daughter Noga,” Eyal added.<br />

The family will move to the East Bay<br />

from Israel in August. Eyal will start<br />

the MBA program at Haas School<br />

of Business at UC Berkeley in the<br />

fall; he currently works in sales and<br />

marketing in the medical device field.<br />

For hobbies, Eyal plays the drums, and enjoys wine tastings,<br />

while <strong>El</strong>lie has Noga(!), plus vegan and healthy food and<br />

philosophy. Noga loves painting on everything. <strong>El</strong>lie and Eyal<br />

both plan to volunteer in <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s preschool. <strong>El</strong>lie also would<br />

like to help with the library and perhaps teach philosophy. Eyal<br />

may also volunteer as a handyman on standby.<br />

Loren and <strong>El</strong>ise Perelman<br />

Loren and <strong>El</strong>ise Perelman moved to Oakland from San Diego<br />

a year ago because Loren secured a position in analytics at a<br />

biotech company in Emeryville. <strong>El</strong>ise is a stay-at-home mom.<br />

They were drawn to <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> because of the preschool. “We have<br />

two children, a first grader and a 3 1/2 year old,” Loren said.<br />

Gail & Thomas Reagan<br />

Gail and Thomas Reagan have lived in the Bay Area most of<br />

their lives. They live in Oakland. Gail is a licensed clinical social<br />

worker (LCSW) and Tom is a solar energy developer.<br />

Other New Members<br />

We would also like to welcome: Jack and Rose Gansky of<br />

Berkeley; Judith Gussman of Albany; Nicole Harris and<br />

Rattanoch Hort; Will and Teresa Kabat-Zinn, of Albany; Sydell<br />

Lemerman (Rabbi Zellman’s grandmother), of San Francisco;<br />

Allison, Dylan and Cora (2) Saloner; Emily Schnitzer (Camp Kee<br />

Tov Administrator); Joshua and Talya Weinstein of Berkeley.<br />

Ruth Ehrenkrantz’s Gefilte fISh<br />

The person who gave me this recipe a few years ago<br />

said to buy cheap fish. I have used cod, perch, salmon,<br />

red snapper, basa basa and sole in the past. Using fish<br />

that has been frozen is fine. It is nice to use two or three<br />

different fish when you make it.<br />

For two bread loaf pans:<br />

3 pounds of fish fillets<br />

In a food processor, grate 2 onions and 2 carrots. Place in<br />

a large bowl. Add:<br />

¼ cup of matzoh meal<br />

1½ tablespoons sugar<br />

½ tablespoon of salt<br />

¼ teaspoon pepper<br />

1 tablespoon oil<br />

¼ cup water<br />

3 eggs<br />

If the fish has bones, take them out with a pair of tweezers.<br />

Grind up the fish in the food processor a pound at a time<br />

using the pulse setting. You want it to be ground up, but<br />

not turned into paste. Add the fish to the bowl. Mix well.<br />

Turn into oiled loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 90 minutes.<br />

Cool and slice to serve.<br />

www.bethelberkeley.org 13

Editor’s Column<br />

Board Buzz<br />

by <strong>El</strong>isabeth Wechsler<br />

This column covers two BOARD meetings, March 19 and<br />

April 30. In my first column (see the April-May issue of The Builder<br />

on <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s website), I covered most of the business brought to<br />

the Board. This time, because of space limitations, I will just draw<br />

your attention to the highlights of each meeting.<br />

The March 19 meeting was highlighed by Joanne Backman’s<br />

announcement of the slate of officers nominated for the Board.<br />

By now you know the candidates, who are our elected officials of<br />

<strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>. Note that Jill Dodd, first vice president, will assume the<br />

presidency of the Board in two years.<br />

A presentation by the Jewish Community Relations Council<br />

(JCRC) representative, Myrna David, followed. Myrna, who is<br />

based in Oakland, was introduced by member Wilma Rader and<br />

then proceeded to outline what the JCRC does — namely, Israel<br />

advocacy, social action, interfaith outreach, education, synagogue<br />

engagement, legislative affairs, and more. The JCRC can help<br />

publicize events and news to the larger Jewish community.<br />

A discussion of the proposed dues increase to $2,875, a 2.7<br />

percent increase, followed. It was noted that some 66 percent of<br />

the congregation do not pay the full dues amount, and concern<br />

was expressed about increasing the synagogue dues every year.<br />

Jim Offel suggested that members pay 1.5 percent of their gross<br />

income as dues. However, the resolution passed, and it was noted<br />

that the cost per family to provide <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s programs is $4,100 —<br />

higher than the proposed dues increase.<br />

There was also an update of the Ma Tovu Campaign by Jim Offel.<br />

To date, we have received pledges from 40 member households,<br />

for a total of $1,238,883. Solicitations continue for the 34 percent<br />

of the congregation who pay at least the full dues amount, with<br />

the goal of raising at least $2,000,000 in pledges by the High<br />

Holy Days.<br />

Norman Postone presented a request from the Israel Committee<br />

for a voluntary $36-per-membership donation to Israel Religious<br />

Action Center (IRAC) to provide advocacy on civil rights and<br />

social justice in Israel. Norman asked that this request be part<br />

of <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s annual dues pledge process. Discussion followed,<br />

with several cautionary remarks about setting a precedent. The<br />

measure passed.<br />

Absent: Paul Sugarman, Wendy Lukas, Nancy Turak and Amy<br />

Resner.<br />

Guests were: Myrna David (JCRC), Wilma Rader and <strong>El</strong>isabeth<br />

Wechsler.<br />

The April 30 Board meeting was the last one presided over by<br />

President Dan Magid. Paul Sugarman, <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s new President,<br />

will serve two years beginning May 6. Once again, just the<br />

highlights...<br />

<strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> now has 502 member families. There will be a push<br />

for members to submit their renewals by September 4, Rosh<br />

Hashanah.<br />

A discussion was held about setting up a foundation for Camp<br />

Kee Tov and to allocate a percentage of synagogue overhead<br />

expenses, including pro-rating staff salaries. It is thought that it<br />

might be easier to have parents of Kee Tov campers write a check<br />

for a donation to the foundation rather than to <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>. An alumni<br />

group is being set up — with some alums in their 60s. In addition,<br />

91 non-member families checked the box “yes,” asking if they<br />

would be interested in membership at <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>. Several Board<br />

members noted that this development is a good recruitment tool<br />

for <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>. Membership packets, including brochures for Youth<br />

and Family Education (YAFE) programs and Chug Mishpacha,<br />

were sent to these 91 interested families.<br />

A large part of the meeting was devoted to going over the<br />

budget before the May 5 Annual Meeting and various slides were<br />

recommended to show the full membership to keep it informed<br />

but not overwhelmed.<br />

Next was the authorization of a standing committee on governance<br />

to cover Board nominations for next year’s slate and to establish<br />

training materials for new members of the Board. Mentors signed<br />

up to help the seven new Board members get up to speed and<br />

were urged to contact their “newbies” before May 5.<br />

The meeting ended with Dan giving farewell gifts to Board<br />

members. The next meeting will be Tuesday, May 28 at 7:00 pm.<br />

All <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> members are welcome to attend.<br />

Absent: Allen Nudel, Wendy Lukas, Amy Resner.<br />

Guest: <strong>El</strong>isabeth Wechsler<br />

Note of ApprECIation<br />

Immediate Past President Dan Magid has generously<br />

offered to pay for the printing and bulk-mailing of this<br />

issue of The Builder in order that every member household<br />

will receive an actual hard copy in the mail. This gift is just<br />

one of many that Dan has provided to our congregation.<br />

His time and leadership have contributed to the success<br />

of <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> in many roles over the years, most recently as<br />

President of the Board of Directors. Yasher Koach, Dan!<br />

14<br />

The Builder: <strong>June</strong> & <strong>July</strong> <strong>2013</strong>

Jews By Choice<br />

My Conversion<br />

by Cathy Sevens<br />

THROughout my LIFE I have been a spiritual journeyer. When<br />

I left Ithaca, New York with two kids, one frog, and a passel of<br />

dreams in tow, I had no idea that I would live in California for<br />

the next 11 years, serve on the Board of Directors of <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>, and<br />

eventually convert to Judaism. All I knew was that once I had<br />

found a neighborhood community, it would be important to me to<br />

search out a spiritual one. Not being one to close doors, I sported<br />

my kids to one church after another in search of a place that felt<br />

— to all of us — comfortable, known, and yes, inspirational.<br />

Our journey was rather fruitless. Finally, one morning, spiritually<br />

parched and just a little desperate, I called my friend, Marian<br />

Magid, and asked if I could come with her to her synagogue.<br />

Of course, as I said, up to this point, I never considered actually<br />

becoming Jewish. Growing up in the Bible Belt I never knew a<br />

single Jew — or if I did, I sure didn’t know it. However, when<br />

I moved from Wichita Falls, Texas, to Ithaca, New York, I<br />

discovered with unerring accuracy who was Jewish: they were,<br />

simply, the folks with whom, without knowing why, I felt an<br />

instant and deep affinity. No wonder, then, that when I moved<br />

here and Marian carted me off to my first Friday evening service<br />

I immediately fell in love. I felt I had been here 5,000 years. I<br />

was finally, finally home.<br />

Of course, these transformative experiences tend to be<br />

somewhat unnerving and I had to immediately step back and<br />

take a deep breath for several months. However, when one<br />

finds one’s true heart, there is no turning back. In another<br />

several months, work slowed down and I was left with a wideopen<br />

swath of time and the urge to study.<br />

My study was pure pleasure. I read; I searched; I soaked up<br />

everything I could. My desire and devotion were irrepressible.<br />

Marian somehow gradually eased me over until I was serving<br />

on the Board, making latkes, and presenting Torah portions. Of<br />

course, by this time I had Albert and the rest of the family by my<br />

side as well. I celebrated the High Holy Days, Chanukah, and<br />

Passover with them. My first Seders were replete with Marian’s<br />

matzo bagels, Robinn’s potato flour banana cookies, and lots<br />

of memories of a loving, wide-hearted patriarch bargaining for<br />

Afikomen with the not-yet-sleepy children who would eventually<br />

manage to yawn their way through the final songs. By now I not<br />

only had a home; I had a whole community.<br />

I chose the Friday service for my conversion. I dressed and<br />

headed with my friend Edith Reimann, my children and my<br />

mother to the synagogue. There were all my friends from Torah<br />

study — too many to name — standing ready to welcome me<br />

into their family. I was so ready. That night I walked up to the<br />

bimah, Marian by my side. Together we lit the candles and<br />

together we sang the blessing. At the end of the evening, after<br />

the last blessing, after the wine was passed and the challah,<br />

shielded from embarrassment by the beautiful cloth, was<br />

uncovered, broken and shared, I was Jewish at last. Without<br />

knowing it, I had been waiting for this moment all my life.<br />

Cathy Sevens is chair of the Women of <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>.<br />

Go, Listen, Take Part, Be Patient<br />

by Scott Spear<br />

A rabbi performed our wedding service 45 years ago<br />

in the chapel of the Episcopalian seminary where I was studying<br />

for the priesthood. I changed my mind about that vocation but<br />

stayed as a student at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) for<br />

three more years, then switched to law school so as to become<br />

a public defender. By then, if I had been asked my religion, I<br />

would have answered: none.<br />

We joined <strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> about 30 years ago for our<br />

children’s education, and I was asked to be on the religious<br />

school committee. I had read books in my teens by Jewish<br />

writers such as Buber, Heschel and Scholem, and my GTU<br />

studies, though mostly in New Testament, included Hebrew and<br />

rabbinic Judaism.<br />

About 30 years ago at a picnic, a friend remarked to me that an<br />

ethics requires an epistemology. This outraged me. Wondering<br />

why I felt that way, I returned to some philosophers who had<br />

meant a lot to me earlier. This led me to the works of Emmanuel<br />

Levinas, Otherwise Than Being: Or Beyond Essence, a book that<br />

made a decisive difference. One day six years later, it occurred<br />

to me that I had never decided whether or not to become a Jew.<br />

It was time to decide, one way or the other. I put this out of my<br />

mind to await the decision, and two months later it came to me<br />

in an instant that I must, so I told my rabbi, and he told me what<br />

to do. I am certain, too, that the people of <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> had a great<br />

influence on this decision.<br />

Books that had a signal effect upon me: The Bible, which I read<br />

first as a child. There were also the works of Paul Celan, Jacques<br />

Derrida and, especially, Levinas. Some Bible commentators have<br />

been important to me, particularly Michael Fishbane and Jacob<br />

Milgram. A recently important Jewish writer for me is Vladimir<br />

Jankelevitch.<br />

Just go, listen, take part, be patient.<br />

Scott Spear is chair of the Library Committee. He is an active<br />

participant in the Roots and Branches class taught by Rabbi<br />

Kahn. He is married to Ruth Spear.<br />

www.bethelberkeley.org 15

New Books in the Library<br />



Breaking Bread in Galilee: A Culinary Journey into the<br />

Promised Land, by Abby Rosner, tells of the author’s learning<br />

about the cuisine of Bedouins and Druze, whose trust she earned.<br />

While there are few recipes, the book provides a great deal of<br />

information about people and their food in northern Israel.<br />

Recipes abound in Jerusalem: A Cookbook, by Yotam<br />

Ottolenghi, of West Jerusalem, and Sami Tamimi, of East<br />

Jerusalem, who own several restaurants together. Here are<br />

recipes of Sefardi, North African, and Palestinians, a far cry<br />

from gefilte fish and boiled beef.<br />

Christina Hayes, Weis Professor of Religious Studies at Yale and<br />

a leading expert on Talmud, presents the 24 lectures of her<br />

undergraduate course in Introduction to the Bible. (She means<br />

the Hebrew Bible.) This is an excellent such introduction, by an<br />

outstanding Jewish scholar. This book is in the Torah Study section.<br />

Inheriting Abraham: The Legacy of the Patriarch in<br />

Judaism, Christianity and Islam, by Jon Levenson, List<br />

Professor of Jewish Studies at Harvard, challenges the view<br />

that the three “Abrahamic faiths” have a source of unity in the<br />


by Scott Spear, Library Chair<br />

patriarch, arguing that their interpretations are too diverse,<br />

their differences too profound and enduring. The book<br />

provides an analysis of the Genesis text and of the distinctive<br />

roles of Abraham in each tradition.<br />

Olga Litvak, Leffell Professor of Modern Jewish History at Clark<br />

University, argues in Haskalah: The Romantic Movement<br />

in Judaism, that the Haskalah, commonly called the “Jewish<br />

Enlightenment,” was, in the 19th century, a Jewish religious<br />

revival stemming from Eastern European Romanticism,<br />

rather than a turn to secularism, intent on fostering culture<br />

and community as a cure for the spiritual ills of the modern<br />

individual. Paul Mendes-Flohr says she “marshals stunning<br />

erudition in a nigh-magical fashion” in this book.<br />

When we build a new synagogue, we think beforehand about<br />

how our neighbors will respond to it, and to us and how we<br />

present ourselves. Saskia Coenen Snyder considers these<br />

elements in Building a Public Judaism: Synagogues and<br />

Jewish Identity in Nineteenth-Century Europe, in relation<br />

to major synagogues built in London, Amsterdam, Paris and<br />

Berlin. Debates over these, before and after building, provide<br />

her with a vehicle for gauging how Jews approached selfpresentation<br />

and how public manifestations of their identity<br />

were received.<br />

Please make checks payable to <strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> and<br />

mail to 1301 Oxford Street, Berkeley, CA 94709<br />

16<br />

CONGREGATION BETH EL Fund Contributions<br />

This contribution of $_________ is * in Memory of* * in Honor of*<br />

*<br />

Please credit the fund checked at the right:<br />

Contribution___________________________________________________________<br />

Acknowledge__________________________________________________________<br />

From__________________________________________________________________<br />

To____________________________________________________________________<br />

Address 1_____________________________________________________________<br />

Address 2_____________________________________________________________<br />

It is a Jewish tradition to give Tzedakah to commemorate life cycle events<br />

and other occasions. Are you celebrating a birthday, engagement,<br />

anniversary, baby naming, bat/bar Mitzvah or recovery from an<br />

illness These are just a few ideas of appropriate times to commemorate<br />

with a donation to <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>. These tax-deductible donations are greatly<br />

appreciated and are a vital financial supplement to support the wonderful<br />

variety of programs and activities that we offer at <strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>.<br />

The Builder: <strong>June</strong><br />

Thank<br />

&<br />

you<br />

<strong>July</strong><br />

for<br />

<strong>2013</strong><br />

your support.<br />

General Fund - Use Where Most Needed<br />

Aaron Plishner Children’s Library<br />

Allan and Tybil Smith Kahn Memorial Fund<br />

Arjmand Adult Education Fund<br />

Building Fund<br />

Camp Kee Tov Scholarship Fund<br />

Chevra Kadisha Fund<br />

David Cotton Memorial Swig Fund<br />

<strong>El</strong>len Meyer Childcare Fund<br />

Endowment Fund<br />

Freed Flower Fund<br />

Homeless Meal Program<br />

Israel Scholarship Fund<br />

Bar Lev Landscape Fund<br />

Marian Magid Memorial Fund<br />

Men’s Club<br />

Mitzvah Committee<br />

Music Fund<br />

Nursery School Fund<br />

Oneg/Kiddush Fund<br />

Prayerbook Fund<br />

Rabbi Kahn’s Discretionary Fund<br />

Rabbi Emeritus Raj’s Discretionary Fund<br />

Rabbi Vida Library Fund<br />

Social Action Fund<br />

Youth and Family Education Fund<br />

* Youth Groups Fund

Events<br />

Torah Study Robust at 36<br />

by <strong>El</strong>isabeth Wechsler<br />

When a first-timer WALKS into the Beit Midrash on Shabbat<br />

morning, she or he experiences something unique, joined by<br />

a group of regulars, drop-ins and people from the community.<br />

You know you’re someplace special when the niggun (wordless<br />

melody) calls everyone to order. Then, an individual takes<br />

responsibility for a guided tour of the week’s parashah (Torah<br />

portion). It’s not usually a Torah scholar who leads, but a<br />

fellow congregant who studies the portion and brings her or his<br />

interests, expertise and, especially, a particular point of view.<br />

Other Torah study groups are not usually as open to the<br />

wider world. They may focus strictly on the text from a certain<br />

interpretive viewpoint, but there isn’t room for people who don’t<br />

already know a great deal about the parashah, said Florence<br />

Lewis, a renewed member of <strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> since 2007.<br />

(The Lewises belonged to <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> in the ‘80s when they were<br />

raising their children.) The difference at <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s Torah Study,<br />

she added — speaking from experience at other synagogues —<br />

is that you can come with no knowledge of the parashah and<br />

leave the session with a deep understanding of that sacred text.<br />

With 50 to 70 members in attendance each Saturday morning,<br />

<strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s Torah Study is a vibrant part of the synagogue’s<br />

services buffet each week. Its success is based on several<br />

factors, but one reason most people mention is the diversity of<br />

presenters of the weekly parashah; a psychologist will take one<br />

approach of analysis, while another member, an astrophysicist,<br />

say, will give a whole new interpretation of Jacob’s ladder.<br />

A second reason for Torah Study’s popularity is the tight structure<br />

that Beverly Eigner, its moderator for 10 years, provides. A<br />

member of <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> for 35 years, she introduces the presenter<br />

(who must also be a member of <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>). After the 25-minute<br />

exposition of some angle of that parashah or the accompanying<br />

Haftarah portion, Beverly opens the floor to discussion, calling<br />

on different exuberant participants who are waiting to make a<br />

comment or ask a question.<br />

The discussion is a significant part of the experience, because it<br />

gives a participant the opportunity to question the presenter, say<br />

what she or he feels about the drash (sermon), or tell a personal<br />

story that fits into the parashah. “The session is stimulating and<br />

comforting,” said Florence. “It’s a stable thing in our lives.”<br />

Beverly commented that the format allows adults to participate<br />

in the discussion without being lectured to. “Our heritage is<br />

explored together in a relaxed and serious atmosphere.”<br />

The loyal attendees tend to be singles or couples without small<br />

children, so Torah Study draws a somewhat older crowd, but<br />

you could never describe the discussion as conventional or<br />

even anticipated. The presenter holds the key to how varied<br />

the discussion becomes. Up to now, some 520 drashot<br />

(presentations about Torah) have been recorded on tape. And<br />

Photos by Bill Zarchy<br />

it’s no problem getting members to<br />

sign up as presenters – usually, the<br />

list is full six months in advance.<br />

The group began with one couple,<br />

Marian (z”l) and Albert Magid, studying the Torah portion of the<br />

week together on the bimah in the sanctuary. Then a few other<br />

members began to trickle in and the group moved downstairs<br />

to the former building’s library; Albert recalls bringing in some<br />

chairs so that everyone could sit. Marian prepared the drash<br />

every week for three years before others were prevailed upon to<br />

take a turn.<br />

During those three years, Torah Study expanded to about 15<br />

people. Former Rabbi George Vida guided the discussion by<br />

answering the religious text queries, while his wife, Emmy Vida,<br />

called on questioners. Coffee and conversation would follow<br />

and Albert commented that Torah Study really helped build<br />

community for <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> in those early years.<br />

Beverly strongly echoed that sentiment. In fact, Torah Study has<br />

been responsible for recruiting new members to the synagogue<br />

even today. The group is almost like a big chavurah, or<br />

personalized subsection, of the 500-member congregation. And<br />

it makes congregants feel less isolated because of the warm<br />

welcome.<br />

Beverly believes that Torah Study accomplishes the three main<br />

purposes of a synagogue: as a house of prayer, providing<br />

opportunities for study and bringing together the Jewish<br />

community. The group augments what the rabbis offer in terms of<br />

bible study. Prayer begins and ends every group meeting and the<br />

religious texts are honored. Everyone who comes for the first time<br />

introduces her- or himself and receives a warm welcome. Because<br />

Torah Study is lay led, there is no need for a budget. In fact, Torah<br />

Study is a very independent part of <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> and draws many of the<br />

secular-minded congregants for its intellectual approach.<br />

Lastly, Torah Study has stimulated the <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> library to expand<br />

its research offerings to aid members in preparing their drash,<br />

and most presenters spend several hours getting ready. Beverly<br />

noted, “You may not get the most out of a parashah without<br />

another’s guidance. And sometimes the best part is that you get<br />

to know the presenter better.”<br />

www.bethelberkeley.org 17


A Year of Medieval, Renaissance and<br />

Baroque Jewish music at <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong><br />

by Rabbi Reuben Zellman<br />

Between <strong>June</strong> <strong>2013</strong> and <strong>June</strong> 2014, our congregation<br />

welcomes to our sanctuary a rare and beautiful concert series:<br />

four productions of Jewish and Jewish-themed music of the<br />

Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods.<br />

For several years I have been a singer with the professional<br />

ensemble San Francisco Renaissance Voices (SFRV). This<br />

ensemble puts on high–quality, creative concerts of early music<br />

— that is, music written before the year 1750.<br />

What many of us don’t know is that some of the music that<br />

has survived from the 12th – 18th centuries is Jewish music.<br />

Imagine music that sounds very much like Bach or Gregorian<br />

chant but with Hebrew words. It is truly a joy for me that SFRV<br />

has dedicated its <strong>2013</strong> – 2014 season to this glorious and littleknown<br />

repertoire, and that <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> will be hosting one of each of<br />

these performances.<br />

We begin on Sunday, <strong>June</strong> 30 (4:00 pm) with the Latin play,<br />

Ludus Danielis (The Play of Daniel). The remaining three<br />

performances will be entirely in Hebrew. Complete English<br />

translations will be provided. This September’s concert will<br />

feature cantatas, prayers and chants for the final days of Sukkot.<br />

On Purim evening 2014, we’ll host the 1774 Hebrew oratorio/<br />

opera T’shuat Yisrael al y’dei Ester (The Salvation of Israel by<br />

Esther) with soloists, chorus and chamber orchestra — and we’ll<br />

be able to boo Haman. Finally, late spring 2014 will feature<br />

music for weddings, circumcisions and synagogue dedications.<br />

Even more exciting is that our own <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> chorus and other area<br />

musicians will be collaborating as performers for some of these<br />

works. There is still a little time to be included in the chorus so if<br />

you want to join in, contact me right away!<br />

As each of these concerts approaches, I will be featuring more<br />

information about the upcoming music and the marvelous<br />

histories behind it, as well as the dates of the performances.<br />

Ludus Danielis (The Play of Daniel)<br />

Sunday, <strong>June</strong> 30 in the <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> Sanctuary<br />

3:30 pm Pre-concert talk by Rabbi Reuben Zellman<br />

4:00 pm Performance<br />

In the year 1140, the students of Beauvais Cathedral in<br />

Northern France composed one of the earliest music dramas in<br />

existence. For their subject, they chose the Hebrew Bible — the<br />

mysterious, fiery Book of Daniel.<br />

I will be portraying the prophet Habbakuk. If you’ve ever wanted<br />

to see me in a den of lions, well, now is your chance. The text has<br />

been slightly adjusted, removing the invocations to Jesus that the<br />

young Catholics added to the story — they were required to, but<br />

we’re not! Otherwise, you’ll see the Play of Daniel as originally<br />

written. The music is in the style of Medieval chant and dance tunes,<br />

with soloists and choir, costumes, and Medieval instruments and<br />

dance. I will give a short pre-concert talk about the Book of Daniel<br />

and how Jewish tradition has understood it (or not!) over time.<br />

For complete information and tickets, go to sfrv.org. Tickets will<br />

also be available at the door, $15.00-$30.00. Whether tickets<br />

are financially possible for you right now or not, we want to see<br />

you at there! If you need to, please contact me confidentially so<br />

we can make sure you can join us: (510) 848–3988, ext. 228.<br />

I hope to see many of you at these performances over the next<br />

year—rare and wonderful opportunities to hear incredible<br />

Jewish music.<br />

Going Overseas and Want to VISIt a Reform <strong>Congregation</strong><br />

How do you find your larger Progressive/Reform/Liberal family when travelling outside of North America The process is different than what you find in<br />

North America, where synagogues and Jewish institutions generally have an “open-door” policy and regularly welcome visitors. <strong>El</strong>sewhere, there is a<br />

pervasive security consciousness. Many synagogues do not publish their street addresses, return phone calls or emails, or openly declare their presence.<br />

A random visitor, even one claiming affiliation with a Reform synagogue in the U.S. or Canada, is likely to be turned away if visiting unannounced.<br />

The best way to connect is to have the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ), the institution that serves, nurtures, and supports 1,700+<br />

Reform/Progressive/Liberal Jewish congregations worldwide, make the connection for you. Several weeks in advance of your vacation, go to the<br />

World Union for Progressive Judaism website, wupj.org. On the main page, use the dialogue box to search for WUPJ congregations by country and<br />

then city. Once you verify the presence of a congregation in the area you plan to visit, email or call Rabbi Gary Bretton-Granatoor (gary@wupj.org<br />

or 212-452-6531) at the WUPJ’s New York office. Provide your travel dates, planned accommodations, when you would like to visit the congregation,<br />

the number of people in your party, and a way to contact you once you are there. If given sufficient time, the WUPJ can arrange a personal visit.<br />

18<br />

The Builder: <strong>June</strong> & <strong>July</strong> <strong>2013</strong>

Midrasha Wraps Up the Year<br />

Successfully<br />

by Diane Bernbaum, Director<br />


For those with teens in 8th TO 12th grade, please pull<br />

out your calendars and make sure that you have the following<br />

dates: Wednesday, August 28 – orientation for new students and<br />

parents; Friday, August 30 – last day to register for Midrasha<br />

without a late fee; Sunday, September 8 – first day of Midrasha<br />

classes; Midrasha retreats – November 8–10; January 31–<br />

February 2; and April 25–27.<br />

Ask most teens what their favorite part of Midrasha is and<br />

they will answer without blinking: “The retreats.” This year, the<br />

Midrasha in Berkeley campus has taken on the administration of<br />

the retreats on behalf of all four Midrasha campuses (Oakland,<br />

Berkeley, Contra Costa, and Tri Valley/Tri Cities).<br />

All together 230 teens from the four Midrasha campuses<br />

attended one or more of our weekend retreats, and nearly<br />

half of these teens attended two or three retreats. Teens spent<br />

time together learning, praying, singing, dancing, growing and<br />

playing. They had the chance to step out of their busy lives for a<br />

brief period of time to catch their breath.<br />

We have had the perfect person as Midrasha’s first Director of<br />

Experiential Education, Jenni Mangel. Unfortunately, it proved<br />

too difficult on her family for her to be gone so many nights and<br />

weekends and Jenni made the difficult decision not to return to<br />

this role next year.<br />

The good news is that we have hired a fantastic individual to<br />

take on the leadership of the Midrasha retreat program. Isaak<br />

Brown is one of our own — he has been a teacher on both the<br />

Oakland and Tri-Valley/Tri-Cities (Pleasanton) campuses and<br />

has also staffed our retreat program in the past.<br />

Isaak has been involved in education for the past seven years<br />

with a focus on social justice, service-learning and spiritual<br />

practice. He graduates this year with a masters in religious<br />

leadership and social change from the Graduate Theological<br />

Union. When not in front of a white board and a group of<br />

teens, he is biking on- and off-trail, eating vegan donuts and<br />

volunteering in violence prevention work across the Bay. “My<br />

favorite things about Midrasha retreats are getting to sing songs<br />

and practice being our best to each other all weekend long,”<br />

Isaak says.<br />

Midrasha Berkeley Registration Now oPEn!<br />

East Bay teens in grades 8 through 12 receive an enriching<br />

education and have fun while they’re doing it. For more<br />

information or to register, go to the website www.midrasha.org.<br />


<strong>June</strong> 1<br />

Parashat Sh’lach<br />

Numbers 13:1-15:41<br />

Sara Kupor<br />

<strong>June</strong> 8<br />

Parashat Korach<br />

Numbers 16:1-18:32<br />

Robert Goldstein<br />

<strong>June</strong> 15<br />

Parashat Chukat<br />

Numbers 19:1-22:1<br />

Lisa Feldman<br />

<strong>June</strong> 22<br />

Parashat Balak<br />

Numbers 22:2-25:9<br />

Rabbi Yoel Kahn<br />

<strong>June</strong> 29<br />

Parashat Pinchas<br />

Numbers 25:10-30:1<br />

Arella Barlev<br />

<strong>July</strong> 6<br />

Parashat Matot-Masei<br />

Numbers 30:2-36:13<br />

Michelle Wolfson<br />

<strong>July</strong> 13<br />

Parashat Devarim<br />

Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22<br />

Arella Barlev<br />

<strong>July</strong> 20<br />

Parashat Vaetchanan<br />

Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11<br />

Toni Stein<br />

<strong>July</strong> 27<br />

Parashat Eikev<br />

Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25<br />

Dan Magid<br />

www.bethelberkeley.org 19


Annual Fund<br />

Jeff Sloan in appreciation of Rabbi Kahn<br />

Bar Lev Landscape Fund<br />

Zoe & Aaron Davidman in memory of Peregrine <strong>El</strong>an Gardner<br />

Michael Ogul in memory of Peregrine <strong>El</strong>an Gardner<br />

B’nei MitzVAH TzEDAKAH Fund<br />

Ruth Ehrenkrantz, Spencer Klein & Micah Klein in honor of<br />

the b’nei mitzvah class of <strong>2013</strong>/14<br />

Susan Orbuch & Jim Gilbert in honor of Gefen Gladstone,<br />

Aliyah Ross, AJ Ingberman & Noah Winkelman becoming<br />

b’nei mitzvah<br />

Alicia Park & Lee Bernstein<br />

The Simon-Spaulding Family in honor of the <strong>2013</strong> b’nei<br />

mitzvah class<br />

Building Fund<br />

Bonnie Roditti in appreciation for Midrasha being able to use<br />

<strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s Social Hall for MidrashaBang<br />


Steven & Katherine Resnik<br />

David COTTON Memorial Swig Fund<br />

Diane & Edwin Bernbaum in memory of David Cotton’s birthday<br />

Gail & Ralph Bernstein in memory of Gertrude Glueck,<br />

Sidney Glueck & Samuel Bernstein<br />

Resources Offered for Mental Health and<br />

Mental IllnESS<br />

by Susan Sugarman and Karen Harber<br />

Did you know that <strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> has a task force<br />

aimed at reducing the stigma of mental illness, and<br />

working to ensure that our community is responsive to the<br />

needs of families and individuals who struggle to maintain<br />

mental health Our group of volunteer psychotherapists,<br />

social workers, and psychiatrists has compiled a list of<br />

local agencies that provide free or low-fee counseling,<br />

consultation and advocacy services.<br />

You may access the document here or via the <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong><br />

website at www.bethelberkeley.org/mentalhealth.<br />

If you have difficulty accessing the document or if you find<br />

that any of the entries are out of date, please contact Susan<br />

Sugarman, susansugarmanlcsw@gmail.com or<br />

510-206-9746. We hope that this list will enable<br />

congregants and their friends to get the help appropriate to<br />

their circumstances. For more information about the Mental<br />

Health Task Force, contact Susan Sugarman or Karen<br />

Harber, kharber1@aol.com. Our group is prepared to offer<br />

speakers or programs to promote the well-being of <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong><br />

members and we welcome your suggestions for topics that<br />

are of interest to you.<br />

General Fund<br />

Adele Amodeo in honor of Stuart Berman<br />

Adele Amodeo in memory of Aron M. Rosenzweig<br />

Gloria Bocian & William Schnitzer<br />

Florence Borkon in memory of George Rosenberg<br />

Barbara Fierer & Bob Brandfon in memory of Jacob Brandfon<br />

Ruth Greer in honor of Stuart Berman<br />

Juliette Hassid in memory of Marguerite Mizrahi<br />

Edward Holly<br />

Steven Joseph & Corey Hansen-Joseph in memory of<br />

Dorothy Golner<br />

Steven Joseph & Corey Hansen-Joseph in honor of Barbara<br />

Fierer & Bob Brandfon’s granddaughter’s bat miztvah<br />

Susan Klee & David Stoloff<br />

Sara & Robert Kupor in honor of their chavurah<br />

Gary & Lois Marcus in memory of Selma Marcus<br />

Gary & Lois Marcus in memory of Sally White<br />

Julie Matlof Kennedy & Patrick Kennedy in memory of<br />

Morris Matlof<br />

Brett Mendel & Michelle Pearl in memory of Eric Mendel<br />

Barbara Morgan in memory of Ruben Zelwer<br />

Lloyd Morgan<br />

Marv Pearlstein in memory of Harriet & Alfred Pearlstein<br />

Marv Pearlstein in honor of Adam Pearlstein’s birthday, Teri<br />

Kozy’s recovery, Carol Pearlstein’s recovery, and Jacob<br />

Pearlstein’s high school graduation<br />

Lucymarie Ruth<br />

Barry Silverblatt & Angela Botelho in memory of<br />

Jacqueline Silver<br />

Ruth & Scott Spear in memory of Norman Schiffman<br />

Ruth & Scott Spear in honor of Paul & Susan Sugarman for<br />

hosting a Supper & Schmooze dinner<br />

John Steinfirst<br />

Sharon Caplow Todd<br />

Vadjiheh Yadegar in memory of Ashraf Kashvi<br />

Vadjiheh Yadegar in memory of Nosrat Yadegar<br />

Joel Zeldin<br />

Phyllis Zisman in honor of Stuart Berman<br />

Phyllis Zisman in honor of Max & Bonnie Cooperstein’s 59th<br />

anniversary<br />

Homeless Meal Program<br />

Susan & Bruce Carter in honor of the bat mitzvah of Sarah<br />

Graup<br />

Clarke & Maria Daniels<br />

Edythe Heda<br />

Jewish Community Center of the East Bay in memory of<br />

Peregrine <strong>El</strong>an Gardner<br />

Steven Joseph & Corey Hansen-Joseph<br />

Rabbi Yoel Kahn & Dan Bellm<br />

Peggy & Michael Lipson<br />

Debra & Oren Massey in memory of Peregrine <strong>El</strong>an Gardner<br />

Josie & Alex A.G. Shapiro in memory of Peregrine <strong>El</strong>an Gardner<br />

Rabbi Bridget Wynne in memory of Peregrine <strong>El</strong>an Gardner<br />

Rabbi Reuben Zellman & Erika Katske<br />

LEGACY Fund<br />

Iren Suhami<br />

20<br />

The Builder: <strong>June</strong> & <strong>July</strong> <strong>2013</strong>


Ma Tovu<br />

Dan & Robinn Magid<br />

Marv Pearlstein<br />

Steven & Katherine Resnick<br />

Alan Sanstad & Katherine Haynes-Sanstad<br />

Marion MAGID Memorial Fund<br />

Gail & Ralph Bernstein in memory of Gertrude Glueck,<br />

Sidney Glueck & Samuel Bernstein<br />

Music Fund<br />

Adele Amodeo<br />

Susan & Bruce Carter in honor of Shelley & Steven Simrin<br />

and Rabbi Reuben Zellman<br />

Amy Joy<br />

Sara Weglinsky<br />

Susan & Bill Zarchy<br />

Nursery School Fund<br />

Howard & Rosalind Feinstein in memory of Benjamin Anani<br />

Gershon Feinstein<br />

Robert Goldstein & Anna Mantell in honor of the 100th<br />

birthday of Joel Zebrack’s mother<br />

Kevin Hale & Ruth Ever wishing refuah shlemah to Erik Hale<br />

J. Tyson Merrill in memory of Benjamin Anani Gershon Feinstein<br />

Antony & Arlene Polonsky in memory of Benjamin Anani<br />

Gershon Feinstein<br />

Barbara & Steven Segal in memory of Arthur & Belle Winett<br />

on their 100th birthdays<br />

Michael Singer in memory of Benjamin Anani Gershon<br />

Feinstein<br />

David Weiner & <strong>El</strong>len Kaufman in memory of Benjamin Anani<br />

Gershon Feinstein<br />

Oneg/Kiddush Fund<br />

Anthony Hecht & Michelle Wolfson<br />

Suan Orbuch & Jim Gilbert<br />

Rabbi Kahn’s Discretionary Fund<br />

Richard & Christine Aptaker<br />

Yonit Levy in memory of Dorothy Golner<br />

Peggy & Michael Lipson in memory of Earle, Golda, Kenneth,<br />

Charles & Robert Jester<br />

Chang & Shira Liu in appreciation of Rabbi Kahn<br />

Gary & Lois Marcus in memory of Bernard Ostrom<br />

Amy Resner & William Lee in memory of <strong>El</strong>izabeth Resner<br />

Stephen & Doreen Rothman<br />

Marcel & Margrit Schurman in memory of Rafael Kafka<br />

Rabbi Emeritus Raj’s Discretionary Fund<br />

Phyllis Zisman in honor of the bar mitzvah of Yoav Vigoda<br />

Rabbi VIDA Library Fund<br />

Odette Blachman in memory of Dorothy Golner<br />

Steven Joseph & Corey Hansen-Joseph in honor of Bob<br />

Kupor’s birthday<br />

Chang & Shira Liu in appreciation of Scott Spear<br />

Jeff Sloan in appreciation of Scott Spear<br />

Youth & Family EDUCATION FUND<br />

Sue Ezekiel in honor of Arella Barlev<br />

Laura & Jason Turbow<br />

Jed Waldman in memory of Claire & Martin Waldman<br />

Volunteer PhYSICIan SUPErVISors<br />

nEEded at <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> Medical Clinic<br />

by Adele Amodeo<br />

As many of you know, <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> has been offering a meal<br />

for the hungry of our community for almost a quarter of<br />

a century. We have tried to expand our Homeless Meal<br />

services to address more of the needs we see each<br />

month. For example, we collect and distribute gently<br />

worn clothing, blankets, toiletries, backpacks.<br />

One of the principal services we added about five<br />

years ago is a partnership medical clinic during the<br />

same afternoon as the Homeless Meal. The medical<br />

malpractice coverage for licensed physicians who<br />

supervise the volunteer medical students is provided<br />

by Lifelong Medical Care, which also provides some<br />

supplies. The other partners of <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s medical<br />

clinic include the Suitcase Clinic, organized by the<br />

Joint Medical Sciences Program with medical students<br />

from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.<br />

Undergraduate public health majors also volunteer.<br />

Our licensed physician supervisors provide the critical<br />

piece of the partnership, and we cannot run the<br />

clinic without them. The paper credentialing process<br />

through Lifelong is a little tedious but not onerous.<br />

Materials can be filled out at home and faxed to<br />

Lifelong. One does not have to be a <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> member<br />

to participate. The clinics are held between 2:00 pm<br />

and 5:00 pm on the third Sunday of the month and<br />

end when the dinner service begins. With a larger<br />

pool of physician volunteers, the burden could be<br />

minimized to twice a year.<br />

If you are interested in volunteering, or in just finding<br />

out more about the program, please contact me, Adele<br />

Amodeo, MPH, at aamodeo46@aol.com. I coordinate<br />

the clinic and send out a call early every month for<br />

that month’s volunteers. You can also talk to Drs. Neil<br />

Gozan and Ralph Bernstein, who have volunteered for<br />

the program since its inception. Thanks for considering<br />

helping out and/or referring your physician colleagues.<br />

This is a true mitzvah.<br />

www.bethelberkeley.org 21

calendar<br />

<strong>June</strong> <strong>2013</strong> / Sivan - Tamuz 5773<br />

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday<br />

1<br />

8:30 am Early Minyan<br />

9:15 am Torah Study<br />

10:15 am Bar Mitzvah<br />

of <strong>El</strong>i Waldman<br />

2 3 4 5 6 7 8<br />

9:30 am Parent-Child<br />

Play Group<br />

7:00 pm Chorus<br />

Rehearsal<br />

7:00 pm Israel<br />

Committee<br />

7:30 pm Ritual<br />

Committee<br />

6:15 pm Shabbat<br />

Service<br />

8:30 am Early Minyan<br />

9:15 am Torah Study<br />

10:15 am Bar Mitzvah<br />

of Ezra Bolton<br />

9 10 11 12 13 14 15<br />

11:00 am JYCA Info<br />

Session<br />

9:30 am Parent-Child<br />

Play Group<br />

7:30 pm Executive<br />

Committee<br />

7:00 pm Chorus<br />

Rehearsal<br />

7:30 pm Membership<br />

Committee (Offsite)<br />

BENS Last Day<br />

10:30 am BENS<br />

Graduation<br />

6:15 pm Shabbat<br />

Service<br />

8:30 am Early Minyan<br />

9:15 am Torah Study<br />

10:15 am Bar Mitzvah<br />

of Avi Simon<br />

16 17 18 19 20 21 22<br />

Father’s Day<br />

2:00 pm Homeless<br />

Meal - Medical Clinic<br />

5:00 pm Homeless<br />

Meal<br />

9:30 am Parent-Child<br />

Play Group<br />

7:00 pm Program<br />

Council<br />

6:15 pm Yismechu<br />

Shabbat Service<br />

8:30 am Early Minyan<br />

9:15 am Torah Study<br />

10:15 am Bat Mitzvah<br />

of Rebecca Mogill<br />

23 24 25 26 27 28 29<br />

3:00 pm<br />

Camp Kee Tov<br />

Orientation<br />

Camp Kee Tov<br />

Session 1 First Day<br />

BENS<br />

Session 1<br />

First Day<br />

7:00 pm Board of<br />

Directors<br />

5:30 pm Chardonnay<br />

Shabbat<br />

6:15 pm Shabbat<br />

Service<br />

8:30 am Early Minyan<br />

9:15 am Torah Study<br />

10:15 am Bat Mitzvah<br />

of Abigail Cole<br />

22<br />

4:00 pm Play of<br />

Daniel<br />

30<br />

9:30 am Parent-Child<br />

Play Group<br />

The Builder: <strong>June</strong> & <strong>July</strong> <strong>2013</strong>

<strong>July</strong> <strong>2013</strong> / Tamuz - Av 5773<br />

1 2 3 4 5 6<br />

calendar<br />

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday<br />

YAFE Early Bird<br />

Deadline<br />

9:30 am Parent-Child<br />

Play Group<br />

Independence Day<br />

Office Closed<br />

6:15 pm Shabbat<br />

Service<br />

8:30 am Early Minyan<br />

9:15 am Torah Study<br />

10:15 am Bar Mitzvah<br />

of Avi Park-Bernstein<br />

7 8 9 10 11 12 13<br />

9:30 am Parent-Child<br />

Play Group<br />

6:15 pm Shabbat<br />

Service<br />

8:30 am Early Minyan<br />

9:15 am Torah Study<br />

10:15 am Shabbat<br />

Service<br />

14 15 16 17 18 19 20<br />

1:00 pm Women of<br />

<strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong><br />

Erev Tishah B’Av<br />

9:30 am Parent-Child<br />

Play Group<br />

Tishah B’Av<br />

7:30 pm Membership<br />

Committee (Offsite)<br />

5:30 pm Camp Kee<br />

Tov Family Night<br />

6:15 pm Yismechu<br />

Shabbat Service<br />

8:30 am Early Minyan<br />

9:15 am Torah Study<br />

10:15 am Shabbat<br />

Service<br />

21 22 23 24 25 26 27<br />

2:00 pm Homeless<br />

Meal - Medical Clinic<br />

5:00 pm Homeless<br />

Meal<br />

9:30 am Parent-Child<br />

Play Group<br />

BENS<br />

Session 3<br />

First Day<br />

7:00 pm Chorus<br />

Rehearsal<br />

5:30 pm Chardonnay<br />

Shabbat<br />

6:15 pm Shabbat<br />

Service<br />

8:30 am Early Minyan<br />

9:15 am Torah Study<br />

10:15 am Shabbat<br />

Service<br />

28 29 30 31<br />

3:00 pm Camp Kee<br />

Tov Orientation<br />

Camp Kee Tov<br />

Session 2 First Day<br />

9:30 am Parent-Child<br />

Play Group<br />

7:00 pm Chorus<br />

Rehearsal<br />

www.bethelberkeley.org 23

congregation beth el<br />

1301 Oxford Street<br />

Berkeley, CA 94709-1424<br />

Nonprofit Org<br />

US Postage<br />

Paid<br />

Berkeley CA<br />

Permit #00207<br />

From the Gift Shop<br />

During the summer months it may seem<br />

as if the only activity going on at <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> is<br />

Camp Kee Tov. However, the Gift Shop is<br />

still open and accessible, and our gracious<br />

office staff is always ready to help.<br />

We have just replenished our stock of Shabbat<br />

candles, both the 72-count basic candles and<br />

the colorful sets of twelve from Safed, Israel.<br />

Our <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> group who travelled to Israel in April<br />

visited the Gabrieli Tallit studio and came back<br />

with a gorgeous new collection. With the High<br />

Holy Days approaching, we have added some<br />

very attractive new tallit sets. Our b’nei mitzvah<br />

students can take advantage of a 15 percent<br />

discount on any tallit, or any set priced over $100.<br />

Parents take note!<br />

Also, in preparation for the holidays, we are<br />

stocking an assortment of shofars in several sizes.<br />

Prepare to add your sound to the congregation’s!<br />

We have a SPECIAL SALE of whimsical candlestick sets<br />

made of poly-resin created by Israeli artist Orna Lalo.<br />

She uses glorious colors suggested by nature to make<br />

each pair individual and special. Usually $88 a pair, we<br />

are reducing them to $60. Quantities are limited.<br />

Visiting relatives this summer We have a number<br />

of suggestions for easy-to-pack gifts suitable for any<br />

occasion.<br />

The gift shop is open Mondays through<br />

Thursdays, from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm,<br />

Fridays from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm,<br />

and by appointment. It is closed on<br />

Jewish and legal holidays. For more<br />

information or to make a special<br />

appointment, please call Odette<br />

Blachman at 510-526-4917.<br />

Odette and Robinn<br />


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