Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Note the time of school services and dinner

Shalom Horim/Dear Parents:

Beginning in January will be our Friday night class services, one each month. Due to the now later hour of the service, 6:30, it makes greater sense to have the dinner prior to the service. Please note all dinners will begin at 5:30 followed by the service at 6:30.

Our first service is January 11, being co-led by our Kitah 6/7. Our Feb. service is on the 1st, led by our Kitah 4/5, and it is a Folk Service, as are all the following services (the Jan. service is not a Folk Service).
March 8th is our Kitah 2/3 service, and April 5th is our Kitah Gan/1 service.

Our December Saturday morning service was a great success. It was wonderful to see so many of you in attendance. Remember, we have another school service on March 16 at 9:30. For this service, in addition to student participation, we would also like parent participation. Take a look through the Saturday morning service and let me know if there are any prayers you and your child would like to co-lead. Additionally, let me know if any of you would like to chant Torah or Haftarah. Think about it and if I don't hear back from any of you, I'll be doing some asking after the New Year. It's a great way to model for your child that the service is not just for children. BTW, you can choose to read any of the prayers in Hebrew or English and we also encourage participation of non-Jewish parental units.

Before signing off, a special thanks to all of you who contributed to the Toy Drive. We sent two large boxes of toys, games, books, art materials, stuffed animals, etc. out to California. Also, a special todah rabbah to Kitah 4/5 for their successful bake sale, raising over $80 in one night to send to HIAS. Kol Hakavod!!

Reminder, no class next week for winter break. See you tomorrow!

Morah Judy

Monday, December 10, 2018

Important Events the week of December 10, 2018

Shalom Horim/Dear Parents:

Yesterday at the annual meeting two parents came up to me thinking the school service was this Friday night. Let me clarify:

The School Service is this Saturday, December 15. (We have one other Saturday service, March 16).

This service should not be confused with the Friday night Grade/Class services, which are all noted on the calendar.

The Saturday services will have all the students participating in a small portion of the service. It is an opportunity for you and your child to see what a Saturday morning service is like at Temple Sinai with Rabbi Edleson.

The service begins at 9:30 a.m.

Other important news

Burst Pipe
This Sunday there was a burst pipe and it affected the men's bathroom in the school as well as some of Classroom #1. I don't yet know what things will look like on Thursday, but we do have two independent bathrooms in the Social Hall so bathroom use should not be a problem.

Bake Sale
Following the tragic events at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Morah Shelli's class decided to use their class tzedakah collection to send to HIAS. They also want to raise additional funds and are holding a bake sale this Thursday. Items will be in the $.25-1.00 range, baked by the students in Kitah 4-5, and will be on sale before, during and after school. So please send your child in with a few extra farthings for this.

Toy Collection
We are collecting new, unwrapped toys, books, and cards [written by you and your children], to send to the families in Paradise CA to offer some holiday cheer under very trying circumstances. You can send it in with your child on Thursday to school, or bring it Saturday to the service. I will be mailing the gifts on Monday so Saturday is the cut-off date to bring the items.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Shalom u'vracha,
Morah Judy

Monday, November 12, 2018

Upcoming Events

Shalom Horim/Dear Parents:

You spoke, we listened. some folks felt the 6:30 service time was a little late for the wee ones so Rabbi E will be leading a 5:30 Tot Shabbat service several times a year, with the first one coming right up Friday, November 16 at 5:30.

Come sing and dance and welcome in Shabbat. A fun family frolic. All are welcome. Bring friends!

Other fun upcoming events:

Our school Chanukah party is December 6 and the following night, Dec. 7, is our Rock Shabbat service at 5:30 followed by our annual Great Brisket Bake-Off. Because you can never have too much brisket, unless you're a vegetarian, in which case...have you tried our members' vegetarian brisket? You'd be hard pressed to tell it's really seitan!

Of course, all items are needed in addition to brisket: salads, sides, desserts, drinks, etc.

Speaking of fun events, Sisterhood's annual Latke and Vodka Party is coming up Dec. 8 and is open to everyone. This fun evening is a great way to mix 'n mingle, meet old friends, make new ones.

I'll keep you posted on more upcoming events.

Until then, stay in touch and drop in and say 'Hi!'

Morah Judy

Monday, November 5, 2018

Post Pittsburgh

It has been a very difficult week since the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. In the Burlington area, we have been very fortunate that all of our synagogues held memorial services and this past Tuesday the Jewish and non-Jewish communities came together at Contois Auditorium in an interfaith showing of solidarity. And this past Sabbath, our synagogue participated in #ShowUpForShabbat, where we welcomed many Jews and non-Jewish folks who wanted to stand with us in solidarity.

At school our teachers and Rabbi Edleson very sensitively handled the situation, talking to our students and getting their feedback on their perception of the situation and on anti-Semitism, something we had hoped would be eradicated in our lifetime, but unfortunately is growing.

I sent out many resources on how to talk to your children following tragedies, but sometimes words aren't enough. We need to emphasize that all of us will do everything we can to keep them safe, but that everything in life has risks. It is our job, not just as Jews but as human beings, to make this world a better place. As Jews, however, we are commanded in Pirkei Avot, the Ethics of our Fathers, “You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it (2:21).”

It's important for our children to know that our community is strong and we have many wonderful neighbors who stand with us against hate of any kind.

I am enclosing links to articles about talking to your children and one for Stars of Hope, a project on creating something meaningful following a tragedy:

Don’t Avoid Talking To Your Kids About The Pittsburgh Shooting by Sivan Zakai for The Forward

Talking to Children About Tragedies & Other News Events 

4 Steps for Talking to Kids About the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting from Kveller

Stars of Hope 

Together we are stronger!

Wishing for a world of peace,
Morah Judy

Friday, September 28, 2018

Simchat Torah/Consecration/Potluck & Other Events this weekend

Where can you have more fun learning about Judaism than learning it through nature on a farm? 

That's what Living Tree Alliance is all about. And this weekend, as we reach the conclusion of our Sukkot holiday, LTA is having Sukkot on the Farm, once again, with all sorts of fun and activities for young and old. Saturday night our own Rabbi Edleson is leading a "Shirtan" Havdalah and Sunday morning Saragail is leading a drumming circle. There's food, there's Klezmer, dancing, craft projects and more going on all weekend. You can even stay overnight under the stars:

BTW, there is a charge depending on events, so check the website

Also this weekend, for all you ladies, Sisterhood is having it's kick-off brunch Sunday morning from 9:30-11:30 with Rabbi Edleson as our special guest speaker. The topic: Growing Up with a Jewish Mother. You do not have to be a Sisterhood member to attend, we'd love to have you. As Marjie Sheppard of Sisterhood says: A little nosh. A little schmooze. A little quality with some Jews.*
(*Notice it says 'some' Jews because not all our Sisterhood members are Jewish; all women, or people identifying as such, are welcome.)

If you are in town this Saturday night*, our Brotherhood is sponsoring a dinner in the sukkah, all are invited. So for any of you gentlemen not a Brotherhood member, I'm sure they'd love to have you join. This dinner is open to anyone in the congregation, not just men or Brotherhood members. (*Postponed from Tues. night due to rain)

Don't forget our Pot Luck dinner and Simchat Torah service Sunday at 5:00 
Congregation Ruach Hamaqom, Jan Salzman's Burlington congregation, is joining us in this joyous celebration. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Back to School - Open House

Shalom Horim/Dear Parents:

By now you should have received an email from Temple regarding Religious School registration. Please note, you no longer have to specify the grade on the registration form, we will take care of that. 

This coming year, the first day of school is on September 13 at 4:00. If you are able, please be prepared to stay to do some singing with Rabbi Edleson, noshing, meet your child’s teacher, greet old friends, and make some new ones. We will also hold a short parent info session detailing new programs we have coming up this year.

Note, this is a regular school day, so grade K-1 this year will meet weekly from 4:00-5:10.  All other classes meet from 4:00-6:15.

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me either by phone or email or in person.

I’m looking forward to a wonderful new year with all of you and with our new rabbi. If you have not yet met Rabbi Edleson, please come by to say “Shalom!”

Oh, and I almost forgot: 

BONUS ROCK SHABBAT. September 7, before school even begins, we are having a special Rock Shabbat service* to welcome back all our students. It is also Pride Weekend so at the service we will also welcome members of our LGBTQAI community. Temple is also marching in the Pride Parade on Saturday (Burlington moved the parade to Saturday from Sunday out of deference to Erev Rosh Hashanah on Sunday.)

*Please note that this Sept. 7th Shabbat will begin with an Open House at 5:30, so your children can come meet their teachers. 6:00 services begin and will be followed by a BBQ Dinner by Brotherhood.

  Also note that Rabbi Edleson has started leading weekly Saturday morning services from 9:30-10:30. So for those of you having trouble getting your child here Friday nights, Saturday morning is now a great option.

Shalom u’vracha,

Morah Judy

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Summer's here, the planning goes on

Shalom Chaveirim/Dear Friends,

By now you must all know that we have a new rabbi starting July 1st, Rabbi David Edleson. Friday, July 6 is his first Shabbat service. So please come to the preneg at 5:30, attend the service at 6, and stay for the oneg following the service. He has wonderful, new ideas and is a great musician besides, so be prepared to learn some beautiful new music.

And on July 7th, Rabbi Edleson is leading a Havdallah service outdoors, around our new fire pit. You come, we supply the 'Smores!

I'd like to share with you some other dates coming up.

August 10th we are holding a very special Rock Shabbat to say good bye to our students who are going off to college, whether for the first time or returning. So if you have a student heading to college, please bring them to this special service.

September 7th is a welcome back to school service for our students in Religious School. Additionally, it is Pride Week in Vermont so we'll be having some special music to reflect our returning students and our friends in the LGBTQAI community.  Following the service, our Brothers in the 'Hood are making a BBQ for everyone.

September 13th is the first day of school for everyone! 

Services all summer are at 6:00. Please note, that there is a pre-oneg, or a preneg, at 5:30 before all the services. There will be an oneg following the services only on special, listed weeks, such as July 6th, which is Rabbi Edleson's first Shabbat.

Have a wonderful kayyitz/summer,

Morah Judy

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Jewish Resources for Coping with the Tragic Shooting in Parkland, FL

In these tragic times, it is difficult to know how to respond and address the latest shooting issue with our children. The Reform movement has some resources on its website.  Here is one.


At least 17 people are dead and more injured in a horrific shooting Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. Once again, in the wake of senseless and devastating gun violence, we mourn, we come together, we offer words of condolence – and we ask how we can prevent these tragedies from happening again.

Says Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, in a statement from the Reform Movement issued after the massacre,

I can imagine the Holy One sobbing along with us, distraught over the senseless bloodshed we’ve collectively allowed to happen. Human care for one another, perhaps Divinely inspired, is what is desperately needed right now. “What's also needed is action. While every person of conscience must be shocked and outraged by the frequency of these horrific mass shootings, no person of intelligence can be surprised.

After the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, NV, the deadliest in modern American history, Daryl Messinger, chair of the Union for Reform Judaism, wrote,

Read more. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Want to learn Hebrew?

I'm often asked about programs for you and/or your child to practice Hebrew.  Here's one that's enjoyable, engaging, and easy to use.  It's HebrewPod 101.

Check out their website and video and start learning Hebrew today.