January was a rainy month in and out of the NJC, and on January 9th our meeting and game night had to be postponed.
On January 16th we had a lot of fun doing the kitchen inventory. The NJC Kitchen Inventory is now registered at Bed Bath and Beyond. You may go to the registry to donate an item by clicking here.
The Sisterhood is using the funds raised from our recent Bake Sale to fix the walls in the pantry. The money will cover the materials, but we need your help to actually make the repairs. We would appreciate it if you could help by coming to the NJC on Sunday, February 17th, at 11 a.m. and becoming a "hands on" part of your synagogue.
The Sisterhood received a lovely donation from Sharon Snyder to buy a KitchenAid Mixer and small kitchen appliances. She also donated several pots and pans. With all of the recent donations, new items from the registry, and in conjunction with the Caring Committee, we are going to be able to make some delicious meals for our members who are ill.
Our recent Bake Sale on Sunday, January 27th, was a great success. Thank you to all who participated! On Wednesday February 6th, we held our monthly game night / business meeting.
On Tuesday, February 19th, at 11:00 a.m. we are baking Hamentaschen to send to our college students. On Thursday, February 21st, at 7:00 p.m. we are baking Hamentaschen for the NJC Purim Festival. On Sunday, February 24th we are preparing potluck for the Purim Carnival. Remember to join us for the Purim celebration!
On Wednesday, February 27th, we have the Book Club at 7:30 pm. February's book will be: Rav Hisda's Daughter, Book I: Apprentice: A Novel of Love, the Talmud, and Sorcery by Maggie Anton.
On Wednesday, March 6th we will have a painting party! The fee will be $15.00, all inclusive. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Elsa Bates.
On Wednesday, March 13th we will hold our monthly game night / business meeting.
On Monday, March 25th there will an NJC cleaning of the Shul in preparation for the Pesach Seder.
On Tuesday, March 26th we have the Congregational Seder on the second night of Pesach, and, as is traditional at NJC, the Sisterhood will organize the event. We are going to need everyone's assistance for a happy and successful event.
On April 12th -14th there will be a WRJ Women's Retreat at Jacobs Camp in Mississippi. Early registration is March 1st - $150.00; Regular registration is March 20th - $175.00; Late registration (after 3/20) - $200.00. For more information go to www.wrj.org, or contact Nan MacMaster.
Please keep an eye on the NJC Calendar for changes or updates to this schedule.
We hope you join the Sisterhood for lots of fun activities!
President: Elsa Bates firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President: Nan MacMaster email@example.com
Treasurer: Cheryl Klein firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary: Maureen Kurtz email@example.com
We are now reading the second of the five books of the Torah, the book of Exodus. In Hebrew the name of the book is Sh’mot, which means “names.” Sh’mot begins by listing the names of the sons of Israel (aka Jacob) who came to Egypt. These same people were listed in Genesis 48, the final chapter of the first of the five books of Moses. Why did the biblical text repeat what we already know? One suggestion is that hundreds of years after leaving Israel, the descendants of Israel still knew their Hebrew names and for that reason they were worthy of being redeemed.
In our time, it is traditional to give our children Hebrew names; boys are given their names when they have their B’rit Milah – circumcision – and girls at a special naming ceremony. In reality, many in our community were never given a Hebrew name by their parents, or people have forgotten the Hebrew name that they were given. I have had to provide witnesses to the signing of a ketubah (the traditional marriage agreement) a Hebrew name so that they can sign the document. I have officiated at funerals needing to insert the Hebrew name of the deceased into the liturgy and there was no one who knew the Hebrew name of the deceased.
On happier occasions, when we call people up to the Torah for an Aliyah we use their Hebrew names. When individuals are ill we say [sing] a mi shebeyrach after first announcing all of those who are ill. At NJC we commonly use English names, but it is more traditional to use Hebrew names. Yes, I know that God understands our prayers in English, but there is something very moving about following a very old tradition and knowing that we are using a custom – minhag – that our ancestors did long ago, even when they were in Babylonia.
I will be conducting a workshop on Monday, January 28th at 7:30 pm to explain how many of our Hebrew names came about. I will provide those who attend with suggestions for where they can research the meaning of their names or select an appropriate Hebrew name. We will start to compile a file of everyone’s Hebrew names that can be used on appropriate occasions. Later in the year, we will have a special group naming for those in our community who receive Hebrew names.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (985) 400-3959 to let me know that you are planning on attending so that I can prepare enough material.
Rabbi John R. Nimon
(Rav Yisrael Yehudah Leib ben Yosef v’Ester)
The High Holy Days are a time for tzedakah, acts of charity or righteousness. As we skip meals on Yom Kippur, we think of those who are hungry and in need of assistance. For many years, the Northshore Jewish Congregation has collected foodstuffs for the Covington Food Bank on Yom Kippur. This year, we again ask you to support this wonderful tradition by bringing a food item to services on Yom Kippur. The foods most needed are peanut butter, jelly, canned vegetables, canned soups, canned meats (tuna, beef stew, etc.), whole grain cereal, macaroni and cheese, rice, pasta, and tomato sauce/spaghetti sauce. The Food Bank cannot accept severely dented canned food, packaged food that has been opened, or food that is missing a label. The Food Bank also cannot accept homemade or home canned food. Please consider donating and participating in this great opportunity to do something meaningful for the High Holy Days.
Busy day at the NJC with lots of folks getting ready for Religious School and improving our Gift Shop. Thanks to Sandy Brenner, Religious School Director, and teachers Tiffany Gilley, Rachel Greenstein, Walkie Rosenzweig, Judy Reznik and Lisa Weinstein Ducote, and Rabbi Nimon. Thanks also to Sandra King, Quinten King, and Jeff Brenner, who were helping with the Gift Shop, and Lynn Ducote and Elsa Bates, who were helping everywhere. Jonathan King and Isaac helped, too!
Here's a discussion from Jim Klein with a thoughtful topic for your consideration. Give us your comments here or on Facebook!
Northshore Jewish Congregation. What's in a name? NJC, as a name, refers to a geographical location that distinguishes it from the South shore. Is this what we want - to identify our location in reference to the South shore or do we want a name that helps anchor us to our core values (God, Israel, Peace) and to the life of our congregation.
Over the last couple of years we have struggled with our financial future and slow decline in membership. I am optimistic of a promising future for our synagogue. I recently read about of one of the first Reform synagogues in the United States - Congregation Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim in Charleston (1750). In 1904 Beth Elohim was founded in Georgetown, S.C., and named after Beth Elohim in Charleston. Beth Elohim started much as we did with a part-time rabbi and student rabbis. Over the years the membership dwindled to five people. In anticipation of its closure one of the two torah scrolls were sold. Through a rededication of its leaders the congregation grew and survives today as a viable synagogue.
Perhaps a name like Beth Elohim would fit us. I would like to know more about the history of how we decided on NJC - I suspect it just fit at the time - but does it fit today? I believe that we need to establish our identity for now and for the future. For those who have a difficult time in breaking away from NJC as a name, perhaps we can have a Hebrew name associated with NJC. For example, Beth Elohim,The Northshore Jewish Congregation. Our letterhead would read:
The Northshore Jewish Congregation
Note: I simply like Beth Elohim as a synagogue name and only offer it up as one possibility for consideration.
We have a big lineup of events planned for our Friday evening Shabbat services in August! We begin on August 3rd, with our First Friday Shabbat Potluck dinner. We've had wonderful and enjoyable evenings with our Shabbat potluck dinners; click here for more information. On August 10th, we'll continue our custom of reading the Torah on Shabbat evening on the second Friday of each month. This is a great opportunity for young and old to see and hear a Torah service. Finally, August 17th is our installation of the new Board of Trustees, and we'll also honor our former administrator (and now Board member!) Meaux Kurtz for her hard work and dedication to the Congregation.
At Services this Shabbat evening,
A discussion on:
What do You Believe about God
And Why it Matters
At a Friday evening service in April we had a lively discussion on the question of whether or not Jews must, or should, believe in God. That was followed up by a poll on the question that was put here on Our Blog. You can vote in the poll and/or see the results here. In the most recent edition of Reform Judaism, an article appeared entitled: “The God Survey.” Mark Dov Shapiro, the author, offered an analysis of the sometimes surprising results of a similar survey that he sent to his congregation. I will be using the article as a basis for discussion this Friday evening. You can read Rabbi Shapiro's very interesting article on the internet here. Copies of the article will also be available at services.
Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom,
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Mazel Tov to Paige Teadt and Ian Overcash on their beautiful wedding ceremony this afternoon in our Sanctuary. Paige is the daughter of Troy and Heidi Teadt and the granddaughter of Al and Judy Reznik.
We have a wonderful Shabbat event planned with Habitat for Humanity on Saturday, August 11th! We're joining our services with building a house at Habitat's village in Covington. We'll start the morning at 7:45 a.m. with Shabbat services and a light breakfast at the community center there at the Habitat village. After Rabbi Nimon leads services, we'll start our building, a true "Tikkun Olam" effort. "Tikkun Olam" literally means repairing the world, a perfect metaphor for our work. Also, our youth age 16 and up can participate in the construction. Don't miss this inspirational Shabbat experience! To sign up or for more information, please contact Cheryl Klein at email@example.com.
Time to start planning our big Gala! Our Gala Chairman, Mark Wolfe, will hold a kick-off meeting for the Gala this Tuesday, June 5th, at 7:30 p.m. at the NJC. This is our biggest and most important fundraiser of the year, so please make every effort to attend this meeting and help make this event a huge success. The Gala will be held on November 3rd at the Castine Center. We look forward to seeing you Tuesday night!