Yom Ha'Atzmaut Celebration 5778 Recap

The CBS campus was busy this weekend as we got together to celebrate the 70thYom Ha'Atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day), presented by Achshav Yisrael. It was a great event thanks to a generous contribution from the Jewish Community Federation, including the Seligman Family Foundation and Sterling Bank and Trust!

There was music by music and dancing by the Israeli musician Lior Ben-Hur and members of his band, Sol Tevél; a screening of the Israeli film “Promises"; a variety of activities for families and kids; and a lavish buffet featuring Israeli food and beverages.

Thanks to all the hard-working volunteers that helped it all come together, including a whole slew of CBS staffers from the Administration, the Preschool, and the Youth Activities staff. Thanks to Jane Sykes for the great food!

A special thanks to Achshav Yisrael for taking the organizational lead and working tirelessly to make the special day possible: Eileen Auerbach (event and Steering Committee chair, organizer of video); Becky Buckwald (organizer of the music and the children’s activities); Maureen Samson (food/buffet organizer); Ira Levy, Ephraim Margolin, and Steve Sloan (registration); Betsy Eckstein (publicity and food preparation); Sandra Cohen (food preparation) and Eva Newbrun (publicity).We appreciate what you do! Todah rabbah (thank you very much)!

Check out some photos from the festivities below.

Community Yom Ha’atzmaut Celebration

AchshavYisraelLogo

Buy your tickets for our upcoming Achshav Yisrael is hosting an event!

The Yom Ha’atzmaut Celebration will take place on Sunday, April 22, 2018, 3 - 5:30 p.m., at CBS.

On May 14, 1948, the Jewish leadership, headed by future Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, announced the establishment of the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. Join us to celebrate the 70th anniversary of this momentous event! There will be fun, food, and activities for the whole family

MUSIC - Israeli musician Lior Ben-Hur and his band, Sol Tevél, will perform in Koret Hall – come ready to dance!

FILM - Screening of the Israeli film “Promises”

FAMILY FUN - A variety of activities for families and kids on Eva Gunther Plaza

FOOD - a light Israeli buffet and beverages

REFLECTION - Schmoozing and reflecting on Israel’s accomplishments and challenges in the last 70 years.

Adults general admission: $15
17 & under (or still in high school): FREE
Advance registration required for all ages (below or call 415.221.8736).

Please contact CBS office if a waiver is needed.

ABOUT ACHSHAV YISRAEL: Achshav Yisrael’s mission is to provide quality programming about Israel to Congregation Beth Sholom and the broader community. Achshav Yisrael programs are open to all age groups and will occur on a regular basis. We intend to create a safe space at CBS for community exploration of Israel.

Achshav Yisrael Steering Committee Members: David Agam, Eileen Auerbach, Becky Buckwald, Sandra Cohen, Betsy Eckstein, Ira Levy, Ephraim Margolin, and Maureen Samson

Beraysheet -- Genesis 1:1-6:8

facebook_coverdesign_bereshitNew 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.

Kezayit: Wall To Wall

Facebook_PlacingNoteInWallClose_YomHaAtzmautCelebration_May2016What's this Kezayit thing? Read here.

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When we reported on the delightfully fun Yom Ha'atzmaut celebration that took place at CBS on Sunday, May 15, we highlighted the handiwork of our talented CBS Family Preschool students:

"Outside, in Eva Gunther Plaza, congregants of all ages added personal aspirations and prayers to an amazing replica of the Western Wall made by the CBS Family Preschool Pre-K class. The students were inspired by photos of the Western Wall as well as memories and stories shared by children in the class who have visited the actual wall in Jerusalem. (The notes added to the replica wall yesterday will soon be carried to the actual Western Wall and placed there!)"

Indeed, this winter, during the Bay Area Conservative/Masorti Mission To Israel (December 22, 2016 – January 2, 2017), Rabbi Glazer will deliver all of the notes placed in the replica wall by members of the CBS community to the Kotel. (Todah rabbah, Rabbi!)

So why do we Jews have a tradition of inserting notes into the Kotel? Because the Western Wall is the last remaining remnant of the Second Temple, it is itself venerated as a sacred icon by many Jews -- some even believe it is a direct conduit to G-d -- and the handwritten notes placed in the wall's cracks are prayers or requests made to or of HaShem. Even non-Jews place personal entreaties in the wall, and it's become something of a requisite stop for foreign visitors to Israel, especially political figures.

Facebook_PlacingNoteInWall2_YomHaAtzmautCelebration_May2016According to the Jewish Virtual Library, "the Wall has been a popular place for prayer since the Second Temple was destroyed in 70 C.E., [and] the earliest example of placing notes at the Western Wall occurred in the mid-16th century. Rabbi Gedaliah of Semitzi visited Jerusalem and the Western Wall in 1699 and wrote the first recorded evidence of prayers being written down and left in the cracks of the Wall. The Wall became a popular destination during the 19th century as technology afforded more people the ability to travel the globe."

Fortunately, even if you're not a world traveler, you can place a note in the Western Wall. You can take advantage of services like that offered by Orthodox outreach organization Aish HaTorah, which allow people who can not visit Jerusalem in person to type in messages that are then printed and placed in the Western Wall by an Aish representative. Alternatively, you can add a note to the replica created by our preschoolers -- the wall is currently installed in the hallway between the synagogue and the preschool -- and know that it will find a home in the actual Western Wall later this year. Our preschoolers recommend this latter option!

Finally, we leave you with a joke: Every year, Shlomo visits the Kotel to place his special appeal in one of the wall's cracks. His petition reads, "HaShem, please help me win the lottery this year." Year after year, however, Shlomo fails to win any lottery prizes. Finally, after many years of this, as Shlomo departs from the Kotel, he is addressed by G-d. Startled and trembling on his knees, Shlomo looks toward the source of the incorporeal voice and asks, "HaShem, what do you ask of your humble servant?" G-d replies, "Nudnik, will you go and buy a lottery ticket?"

Yom Ha'atzmaut Celebration

Facebook_RabbiGlazerLiorBenHurSolTevel_YomHaAtzmautCelebration_May2016Yesterday afternoon, the Achshav Yisrael committee of CBS, in partnership with the Jewish Community Federation, presented its sixth program, a celebration marking Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day).

After kicking Israel's 68th birthday party off in Koret Hall with some of Rabbi Glazer's always-thoughtful remarks and a first-rate rendition of Hatikvah by Congregation Anshey Sfard's hazzan, Avyatar Alfassi, the crowd danced, noshed, and schmoozed as the popular singer-songwriter Lior Ben-Hur and his band Sol Tevel performed. The music was both soulful and fun; it was a hit with all assembled.

Outside, in Eva Gunther Plaza, congregants of all ages added personal aspirations and prayers to an amazing replica of the Western Wall made by the CBS Family Preschool Pre-K class. The students were inspired by photos of the Western Wall as well as memories and stories shared by children in the class who have visited the actual wall in Jerusalem. (The notes added to the replica wall yesterday will soon be carried to the actual Western Wall and placed there!) Nearby, families enjoyed cookie decorating, making Israeli flags, and face and hand painting activities.

Other attendees headed into the SF Schoolhouse space to watch Dancing In Jaffa, a documentary about Pierre Dulaine, four-time ballroom dancing world champion, fulfilling a life-long dream when he takes his dance program, to his city of birth, Jaffa. From the film's press release: "For generations, Jaffa has been a city divided by two communities that continue to grow increasingly apart. Over a ten-week period, Pierre teaches Jewish and Palestinian Israeli children to dance and compete together. The film explores the complex stories of three children, all of whom who are forced to confront issues of identity, segregation, and racial prejudice as they dance with their enemy."

CBS heartily thanks the Achshav Yisrael committee for its work on this program, and the Jewish Community Federation for it's generous support! Check out some photos from the program below, and visit the CBS Facebook page for more.

ABOUT ACHSHAV YISRAEL: Achshav Yisrael’s mission is to provide quality programming about Israel to Congregation Beth Sholom and the broader community. Achshav Yisrael programs are open to all age groups and will occur on a regular basis. We intend to create a safe space at CBS for community exploration of Israel.
Achshav Yisrael Steering Committee Members: Eileen Auerbach, Becky Buckwald, Sandra Cohen, Betsy Eckstein, Eva-Lynne Leibman, Ephraim Margolin, Lucia Sommers


Facebook_FamilyEntering_YomHaAtzmautCelebration_May2016 Facebook_RabbiGlazerOpeningRemarks_YomHaAtzmautCelebration_May2016 Facebook_HazzanAvyatar-Alfassi_YomHaAtzmautCelebration_May2016 Facebook_WesternWall_YomHaAtzmautCelebration_May2016 Facebook_PlacingNoteInWall_YomHaAtzmautCelebration_May2016 Facebook_NotesInWall_YomHaAtzmautCelebration_May2016 Facebook_KeikoGoldenTalyaGlazerElyssaWortzman--SarahGolden_YomHaAtzmautCelebration_May2016 Facebook_LiorBenHurSolTevel2_YomHaAtzmautCelebration_May2016 Facebook_LiorBenHurSolTevel12_YomHaAtzmautCelebration_May2016 Facebook_LiorBenHurSolTevel10_YomHaAtzmautCelebration_May2016 Facebook_LiorBenHurSolTevel11_YomHaAtzmautCelebration_May2016 Facebook_LiorBenHurSolTevel3_YomHaAtzmautCelebration_May2016 Facebook_Dancing2_YomHaAtzmautCelebration_May2016 Facebook_Dancing3_YomHaAtzmautCelebration_May2016 Facebook_DancingInJaffaScreening_YomHaAtzmautCelebration_May2016 Facebook_PosterColoring_YomHaAtzmautCelebration_May2016 Facebook_MikaBuckwald_YomHaAtzmautCelebration_May2016 Facebook_HandPainting_YomHaAtzmautCelebration_May2016 LogosAchshavYisraelLogo

CBS Yom Ha'atzmaut Celebration

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GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!
We invite you to our community celebration of
Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day)!
AchshavYisrael
Sunday, May 15, 3 - 5:30 p.m.
Congregation Beth Sholom
301 14th Avenue

On May 14, 1948, the Jewish leadership, headed by future Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, announced the establishment of the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. Join us to celebrate the 68th anniversary of this momentous event!

There will be fun, food, and activities for the whole family:

MUSIC – Israeli musician Lior Ben-Hur and his band, Sol Tevel, will perform in Koret Hall — come ready to dance!

FILM – Screening of Dancing in Jaffa in the SF Schoolhouse (on CBS campus)

FAMILY FUN – A variety of activities for families and kids on Eva Gunther Plaza

FOOD – Israeli goodies & drinks

REFLECTION – Schmoozing and reflecting on Israel's accomplishments and challenges in the last 68 years

Adult general admission is $10 and children attend for FREE!
All attendees must RSVP via Universe.
(When RSVPing for children, please add their age in the surname field -- for example, "Marx, 6.")

This program is brought to you by Congregation Beth Sholom’s Achshav Yisrael, with the generous support of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties.

Logos ABOUT ACHSHAV YISRAEL: Achshav Yisrael’s mission is to provide quality programming about Israel to Congregation Beth Sholom and the broader community. Achshav Yisrael programs are open to all age groups and will occur on a regular basis. We intend to create a safe space at CBS for community exploration of Israel.

Achshav Yisrael Steering Committee Members: Eileen Auerbach, Becky Buckwald, Sandra Cohen, Betsy Eckstein, Eva-Lynne Leibman, Ephraim Margolin, Lucia Sommers


Image credit: Lior Ben-Hur with Sol Tevel, by Marc Hors for Beats Photo.com