family destination for the High Holy Days!
Our popular and interactive Family Services are designed for families with young children ages newborn – Kindergarten. The services provide an opportunity for children to connect with the rituals, music, and stories of the High Holy Days in a warm and fun context. Older siblings are always welcome. The Family Services this year will feature the engaging and family-friendly Machzor Katan, and occur at 10 a.m. on Rosh Hashanah Day 1 and Yom Kippur. Co-led by Rabbinic Intern Amanda Russell, our CBS Family Preschool Director, and CBS Family Preschool Assistant Director. Featuring musical accompaniment. No tickets are required.
We’re also pleased to announce Kadima Klub, an exciting new program specifically designed for Jewish students in Grades 6 – 8. Led by David Agam and our USYers, Kadima Klub is engaging and fun. It doesn’t matter whether you know all there is to know about "doing Jewish" or if it’s all just Hebrew to you, Kadima Klub provides a supportive and engaging experience for young Jews of all stripes and knowledge levels, one full of song, art, and learning!
Kadima Klub for Rosh Hashanah Days 1 & 2 and Yom Kippur includes your annual Kadima membership for 2017-18 / 5778 for one low price of $54. If your family is not yet a member of CBS, you are still welcome to join our Kadima chapter; the non-member price is $90. Ain’t that (New Year) sweet! Click here to sign your kid(s) up.
DAYS OF AWESOMENESS
Days of AWEsomeness programming will explore the themes of the High Holy Days through communal prayer, games, storytelling, and music. Days of AWEsomeness is open to children ages newborn – Grade 5.
We are offering six Days of AWEsomeness sessions this year (Erev Rosh Hashanah, Rosh Hashanah Day 1, Rosh Hashanah Day 2, Kol Nidre, Yom Kippur, and Yom Kippur Mincha/Ne'ila) – each session is $25 per child. Click here to see the program details/schedule and to reserve space for your kid(s).
Today, the latest edition of The Financial Four, an update from our Interim Director of Finance, Missy Sue Mastel.
Happy Secular New Year!
I think we're especially fortunate to have two New Year celebrations; I use one for my spiritual health and the other for my (and incidentally, the synagogue’s) financial well-being. Some people say spirituality and financial considerations shouldn’t mix. Don’t believe that for a second; they are inextricably tied together. At the synagogue, like everywhere else, you get what you pay for – we commit to supporting our synagogue and the synagogue is there when we need and want it.
A lot has happened in a few short weeks since my last post. So, with no further ado, let's look at our recent progress.
1. Commitment to Cash Flow – While we continue our bold push to create a sustained culture of giving, we are well on our way to making our projections for the year, coming in at or below budget on our expenses. This good news is a direct result of...
2. Our Commitment to Savings – Many of our Board members and volunteers have come up with great ideas to help us save money. We are investing in programming changes for our synagogue database, our telephone systems, and our postage and copying contracts in order to create more sustainable long-term cost structures. Some of you may have noticed some of our customer relationship management (CRM) changes, and may have experienced a glitch here and there. We are grateful for your patience and understanding as we work through these systemic changes and get everything working correctly while we continue to do our job of keeping your financials accurate and up to date.
3. Commitment to Staff and the Environment – So many people came to tell us how wonderful the High Holy Days services were at CBS, and many felt this was because of the hard work of our staff. We agree, so we have reworked our staff benefits to include Commuterchecks and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) benefits for anyone who opts in. We also scheduled some lovely back massages for the hardworking CBS Family Preschool and office staff just before our wonderful Light It Up! Community Hanukkah celebration.
4. Commitment to the Community – We all know that Beth Sholom is not an island, and we have been making a lot of plans to partner and work with other synagogues. Here, in the financial office, we are forging a CRM redesign for use by other congregations in the Bay Area. We thank Congregation Emanu-El and Peninsula Temple Beth El (San Mateo) for encouraging us to "boldly go where (few) synagogues have gone before." Stay tuned for exciting updates on that front!
Finally, thanks to you, our members, who give all of our commitments – and your commitments to us – meaning and purpose.
New Beginnings: How do I want to begin again this year?
Whenever a new chapter in life is about to begin, it is wise to take a step back and ask: How do I want to begin? What are my hopes, aspirations, and dreams?
The Jewish New Year is a time to ask ourselves similar questions: How do I want to begin again this year? And, as we begin again at the Torah scroll's start, with Genesis, what role does my kehillah kedoshah (my sacred community) play in this new beginning?
Six decades ago, on Yom Ha'atzmaut, the American Jewish community was searching for a way to begin again with its religious Zionist dreams. Rabbi Yosef Dov haLevi Soloveitchik (z”l) delivered a now-classic talk about religious Zionist philosophy at Yeshiva University. "The Voice of My Beloved Knocks (Kol Dodi Dofek)" elaborates upon God’s tangible presence in the recent history of the Jewish people and the State of Israel — does this relationship constitute a "covenant of fate" (berit goral) or a "covenant of destiny" (berit yi’ud)?
Let's contrast fate and destiny. Although Jonah did not necessarily experience the joys of fate once the lots were drawn and he was cast off the ship by the sailors, we can still discern four positive consequences of the awareness of a shared fate: 1. shared historical circumstances; 2. shared suffering; 3. shared responsibility and liability; 4. shared activity. As opposed to the "covenant of fate," which was made with an enslaved people without free will, the "covenant of destiny" was made with a free nation which could, and did, make up its own mind. God does not simply impose the Torah on community; God offers it to us. And every year, God is still awaiting our response — anew. As a "people" (‘am, from the word ‘im, meaning "with"), therefore, we have no way to determine our own fate; as a "nation" (goy, related to the word geviyah, meaning "body"), however, we have the ability to forge our own destiny.
The story of creation we read of this week in Genesis 1:1-6:8 is a story of beginnings and creative inspiration, and all of this transpires within the creation that has already occurred – the divine Creator creates more than once. God as Creator forms the first human body from the unformed earth, blowing a living breath into it to form a soul. A help mate, Eve, is then formed for Adam. Moving from a state of radical loneliness to begin building community happens in relationship. But not all beginnings bode well or even last, and creation begins again with Noah, a righteous man alone in a corrupt world.
Are the end and the beginning of these episodes in the human condition "always there"? If so, what does this teach us about the way we wander and dwell in the here and now? I suggest that God offers us the opportunity to begin again by becoming a goy kadosh ("holy body") not only at Sinai (in the Book of Exodus), but also at the beginning of each year's Torah cycle – we have this opportunity for real growth.
Whether we live up to the challenge and take hold of Torah in our lives is really our choice – and our destiny. Each of us has the potential and creative power to harness a renewed covenantal relationship with our kehillah kedoshah, our sacred community at CBS. May this year give us all another opportunity to join and deepen our relationships to each other as we take hold of Torah – once again at the beginning everafter...
- Rabbi Aubrey Glazer
Artwork note: This week's artwork is inspired by one of the best known lines in the Torah. "And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light." (Genesis 1:3) The image was created with both the Kabbalistic creation story (the nitzotzot, or sparks of the divine) and prevailing cosmological theory (the Big Bang) in mind. Illustration by Christopher Orev Reiger.
for the High Holy Days!
If you have any questions, please contact us via email or call 415.940.7092.
Our popular and interactive Family Services are designed for families with young children ages 2 – 11. The services provide an opportunity for children to connect with the rituals, music, and stories of the High Holy Days in a warm and fun context. Older siblings are always welcome. The Family Services this year will feature the engaging and family-friendly Machzor Katan, and occur at 8:45 a.m. on Rosh Hashanah Day 1 and Yom Kippur. No tickets are required.
LAUNCH KADIMA 5777
We’re also pleased to announce Launch Kadima 5777, a unique, new program specifically designed for Jewish students in Grades 6 – 8. Led by David Herrera, a charismatic and popular leader among Bay Area youth, Launch Kadima 5777 is an engaging and fun way to kick off the New Year. It doesn’t matter whether you know all there is to know about "doing Jewish" or if it’s all just Hebrew to you, Launch Kadima provides a supportive and engaging experience for young Jews of all stripes and knowledge levels. Just $50 for three days of song, art, learning, and fun – Rosh Hashanah Days 1 & 2 and Yom Kippur – and that price includes your annual Kadima membership! Ain’t that (New Year) sweet! Click here to sign your kid(s) up.
DAYS OF AWESOMENESS
Days of AWEsomeness programming will explore the themes of the High Holy Days through communal prayer, games, storytelling, and music. Days of AWEsomeness is open to children in Kindergarten – Grade 5. Click here to reserve space for your kid(s).
Childcare will also be available for children ages newborn – Pre-K during all High Holy Days services. Click here to reserve space for your kid(s).