Photo sessions will be 10 minutes long, maximum 4 people. It will include 4 digital photos for $40.00. Photos will be delivered to you via email. Clothing: Light colors and without much design so that it does not get lost with the navy blue background and decoration.
All games will have an entrance fee of $18 per person.
Almost exactly 5 years after hurricane María struck Puerto Rico, we are once again faced with another climate catastrophe. Hurricane Fiona has caused widespread destruction and flooding, and many communities remain without access to electricity, water, food and/or shelter. Our own facilities were faced with a failure of our emergency backup power system, which will also require repairs to ensure we are able to continue providing a space for the community to charge their devices, store their temperature-sensitive medications, collect water, and meet to provide emotional support to each other. So far, we have no reports of injuries or worse within our congregation, but we have yet to accomplish contact with 100% of our membership, as communications in many areas are still unavailable. We do know that our members have sustained lots of property damage.
Funds raised will go entirely towards our recovery and rebuilding efforts, first meeting the immediate emergency needs of our community for food, water, shelter, emergency power, medications and clothing, before transitioning to more long-term reconstruction and resiliency efforts of our Jewish community.
This week’s Torah portion is a triple-header of passages familiar to us: the Ten Commandments, the Sh’ma and the V’ahavta. They’re all in D’varim/Deuteronomy, chapters 5 and 6. I would be remiss if I didn’t call your attention to this part of Moses’ final speeches to the Israelites. Yet, while I recommend that you go home and read them, I want to focus instead this evening on the issues raised by the special name given to this Shabbat, Shabbat Nahamu, the Sabbath of Consolation.
This past week the Jewish people observed Tisha B’Av, the saddest day in Jewish history. According to our traditions, both the first and second temples in Jerusalem were destroyed on the ninth day of Av in the culmination of our enemies’ assaults on Jewish faith and Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel.
From early on, in the wake of these nearly overwhelming national catastrophes, the rabbis instituted a day of fasting, with the reading of Kinot, poems of sadness, along with the biblical Book of Eichah/Lamentations. Our history also records that the expulsion of Jews from Spain took place on the 9th of Av in 1492, and that many other disasters befell our people on this day in history. Each event contemporized the observance and made it newly relevant.
Our Reform movement, which in its first 100 years de-emphasized Jews’ return to the land of Israel, abandoned the observance of Tisha B’Av – the mourning for the destroyed Temples — as have many Israelis since the establishment of the State in 1948.
But I disagree. In considering Jewish history, I think it is important to remember Tisha b’Av and these two Shabbatot: the one before Tisha B’Av, called Shabbat Hazon, and the one following – Nahamu.
We need consolation! And not necessarily because of our “sins,” which the rabbis said were the cause of our suffering. Our suffering comes, rather, because of the geopolitical realities of our history: Israel is a small nation in a bad neighborhood, a tiny defenseless minority among hostile neighbors.
We need consolation to restore and reinforce hope. I characterize us Jews as Asirei tikvah – prisoners of hope. Our Jewish anthem, Hatikvah – the hope! — asserts ohd lo avdah tikvateinu – our hope is not yet lost. I believe this, and I hope (!) you do too.
On Saturday, July 23, 2022, Temple Beth Shalom honored a living legend, Shula Feldkran Vollweiler, for her lifelong love, commitment and dedication to Judaism. Over the last forty years, Shula served as TBS president, vice president, principal and teacher of the religious school as well as Hadassah vice president of education. Currently she is a member of the board of directors, social action committee and spiritual coverage committee.
“Shula understood that the key to our success was to share the love of being Jewish,” Rabbi Norman Patz wrote. He was among the illustrious visiting spiritual leaders, members of TBS community and family members who expressed their appreciation of Shula and what she meant to them in heartfelt messages. They spoke in person and in videos and letters written for the historic occasion attended by more than 70 community members and others, and by some who shared in the tribute virtually, Rebecca Román, organizer and emcee of the day-long event, credited Blanca Hernandez with conceiving the idea of an event to honor Shula’s legacy.
“Walk with her and you’ll be wiser, your Judaism (will) grow deeper,” Rabbi Roberto Graetz advised community members.
Diego Mendelbaum, spiritual leader of Shaare Zedek, attested that “Many of her students, today adults, still remember her as an outstanding teacher.”
She teaches by instruction and by example,” noted Blanca. Praise for her teaching talent was echoed by other speeches at the event.
“She gets things done around here,” said Cantor Dorothy Goldberg, sharing her observation of Shula as an effective leader in a video tribute.”
The event began at 10 a.m. with a Shabbat service led by Teresa Hernandez and assisted by Emily Krasinski in the sanctuary, followed by presentations at the Sue and Jimmy Klau Social Hall decorated in an elegant blue and yellow/gold theme with yellow roses everywhere.
Shula gave a message of appreciation entitled “gracias a la vida,” creating her own version of the Violeta Parra poem that both Mercedes Sosa and Joan Baez recorded. Attendees were captivated by the honoree’s exhibition of artifacts from her Jewish life, including a model of the family home in Kfar Shmaryahu, Israel, crafted by her uncle Herbert Bluth, personal historical documents, photographs of her grandparents and the traditional trauer buch (book of memory, recording the anniversary of death of Shula’s grandfather, Louis Vollweiler) kept by her mother, items of clothing from her school days in the village, as well as a tennis outfit she knitted (a craft she learned in Israel), and her ceramic sculpture inspired by Judaism.
Shula proudly showed four rings she wore- wedding bands once worn by her maternal and paternal grandparents. She shared pictures of the Bar Mitzvah of her son, Julio Klapper that took place in San Juan with Rabbi Alex Felch, her native village’s synagogue founded by her grandparents and the Western Wall. Kfar Shmaryahu was established by doctors, lawyers, businessmen and agronomists, all survivors of Nazi Germany, who became farmers in order to eke a living in the young country.
In a Q&A session, Shula explained that her mother, Ilse Feldkran, taught her the importance of conserving family documents and jewelry and to keep these historical treasures in a safe place, especially those related to the family tree.
The extraordinary activity featured typical Israeli food, a magnificent Challa baked by Trudy Acevedo, followed by a toast to Shula’s legacy.
ATTENTION MEMBERS AND FRIENDS OF TEMPLE BETH SHALOM
The grandson of our long-time member Luis Sanchez and his late wife Dalia, lives in Israel. He needs our help, urgently. The boy, whose name is Yahel Yehuda, suffers advanced brain degeneration. It is a genetic mutation so rare that it is the only one in all the databases of global genetics.
Yahel’s parents, Luisito and Keren, desperately need to purchase a specially equipped vehicle to transport Yahel to his treatments and anywhere else they have to take him.
The Israel Ministry of Health has approved a grant that will cover 80% of the cost. Luisito and Keren must raise the remaining 20% balance.
They have turned to an Israeli crowdfunding platform called GIVEBACK ISRAEL to raise the funds to get the transport vehicle for their son. The campaign is called “WHEELS FOR YAHEL”, in Hebrew “ Latet Galgalim L’Yahel.”
The campaign MUST be completed by May 11th or whatever had been raised will be returned and the campaign will be canceled. The project will be funded only if it reaches its goal by May 11th. This is an all or nothing challenge!
Our congregation’s Social Action Committee met on Tuesday and voted to contribute $3000 to the Wheels for Yahel campaign, in recognition of Luis Sanchez’ longtime invaluable dedication to Temple Beth Shalom, in honor of Luisito, the first child of the congregation to make Aliyah, and in acknowledgement of the urgent need to help Yahel.
With the Social Action committee’s contribution, only $3,000 more must be raised. With this message, I appeal to you, members and friends of our congregation, to raise that remaining $3000 needed to meet the goal.
Naomi and I are contributing $180 to the Wheels for Yahel campaign. Please join us in making a contribution.
For the time being, we will not be opening our doors on Friday evenings for Shabbat services. Our Friday services will be virtual only. You may tune in to the live-streamed service on Friday evenings at 8:00 PM on our YouTube channel:
Hasta nuevo aviso, no estaremos abriendo nuestras puertas los viernes para el servicio de Kabalat Shabat. Los servicios de los viernes serán solamente virtuales. Puede sintonizar al servicio transmitido en vivo los viernes a las 8:00 PM por nuestro canal de YouTube: