September 2016 newsletter

End of summer event:

As has become custom, this summer once again we celebrated the end of summer vacation with a community event. We welcomed with open arms new families and enjoyed getting together with all the regulars. Lots of bubbles were made (and popped), refreshing popsicles were had, and one special ceremony of blessing the children as they start another year of learning and studying was conducted.

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Coming up:

Meeting with the Melton program participants:

Thurs. Sept. 15th, we will be meeting with the participats of the Melton program who will be visiting in the region all week. A special ceremony of prepping Challahs is planned, and these will be part of the baked goods distributed as a part of our Sweet Shabbat.

Kabbalat Shabbat:

Friday, Sept. 16th, 2016 we will have a Kabbalat Shabbat at 18:30. As customary, on Thursday, Sept. 15th, we will be collecting baked goods to distribute to needy families for A Sweet Shabbat.


High Holy Holidays:

A special tour in light of these special days is planned between Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur. This year we will be visiting Zippori, a city that sits atop a hill overlooking its surrounding, as a bird in a tree (word play in Hebrew). It was a city of Kohanim, the city of Rabbi Yehuda, the place of the Sanhedrin, the city where the Mishnah was sealed. We will learn about the history of the city, about its culture and consider the differences in mindsets between then and now. The tour will be Friday morning, Oct. 7th, 2016. More details forthcoming.   Save the date!

August 2016 Newsletter

This past month:

General assembly of the Masorti movement:

On July 17th dozens of community leaders from all over the country met at the new synagogue of the Torat Chaim Herzliyya community. Before turning to the business of the day, a fascinating lesson was given by Prof. Tama Alexander, Chairperson of the National Authority for Ladino Culture. The lesson concerned “Vows, women and betrayal”, based on a Ladino Midrash.

אסיפה כללית

Passing of the Mikveh Law:

From Yizhar Hess, CEO of the Masorti movement: “On July 25th the Knesset passed a law discriminating religious services. The law states that local religious councils are permitted to limit groups (i.e., mostly the Reform movement and the Masorti movement) from using Mikvehs. This law is not only not Jewish and undemocratic, not only a spit in the face to the many conservative Jews in Israel, but also a deliberate blindness to the deep and powerful processes taking place among Jews living outside of Israel. Rabbis and leaders from North America who have devoted their energy, time and funds to protecting and supporting the state of Israel, are looking at Israel astounded by the disrespect, the pretentiousness and sheer arrogance of the country they loved, and their heart breaks. Some are undergoing a true grieving process. The State of the Jews has decided to disconnect from its people. A stain such as this, even a Mikveh cannot purify.”

A sweet Shabbat:

This last sweet Shabbat a community member was particularly creative and donated a lovely decorated cake. It moves us all to see the volunteering spirit of community members and other city residents to bringing a smile and warmth to families in need.

עוגות יולי 2016


Next Kabbalat Shabbat:

Fri., Sept. 16th, 2016, at 18:30

As usual, the afternoon before. Sept. 15th, we will be collecting baked goods for families in need, that will be distributed Friday morning.


End of summer party:

This year we will once again be celebrating the end of summer vacation and the beginning of the school year with a fun event for kids and parents alike. Save the date: Aug. 25th, in the afternoon. More details to come.


Newsletter 26 – April 2016

Bat Mitzvah program: This month our Bat Mitzvah program ended. In the last meeting, mothers and daughters toured Binyamina in the footsteps of the wonderful musical artist Ehud Manor, followed by a lovely picnic and commencement ceremony. The community gave the girls prayer books to accompany them through life.


Bar Mitzvah program: The last meetings of the Bar Mitzvah program dealt with things connected to our past and tradition, including becoming familiar with Tefilin, and learning about how the Bar Mitzvah ceremony came about.


Purim: As has become a tradition, we held a community egalitarian reading of the Megillah of Esther. This year various community members were cast as characters in the story and played out their parts. Also, Michal and Dana specially prepared and read a portion with the Torah tropes. Lots of noise and festivities, and much laughter all around!


Upcoming events:

Kabbalat Shabbat: April 15th, at 18:30 with a potluck dinner afterwards. As usual, the day before, we will be collecting baked goods to give to families in need and make their Shabbat sweeter!

Burning of Chametz: Friday morning, 9:00 a.m., we will gather as usual for burning the Chametz just before Passover begins. Please bring something to burn, and something to nosh!

Holocaust Memorial Day: this year we will be joining the initiative of Remembering in the Living Room, and will be hosting a special session on the eve of this important day. Anyone who wishes to connect meaningfully to this Memorial Day is welcome.

Newsletter 25 – March 2016

Bat Mitzvah program: This month the girls and their mothers had a family meeting and included the fathers, making time for both parents with their daughter. The meeting centered on making challahs and discussing family and parenting issues from both the perspective of the girls and their parents, followed by a late dinner with the freshly baked challahs.

Bar mitzvah program: This month the boys and their fathers continued their meetings. The group has really come together with lots of positive energy, thus creating an atmosphere of sincerity and meaningful growth. The meetings centered on the meaning of a Mitzvah, maturation ceremonies and relations between fathers and their sons.

A sweet Shabbat: This month 18 local families had their Shabbat sweetened by a record high of baked goods brought by community members. We constantly are touched and moved by this sharing.


Upcoming: Save the date for the annual community egalitarian reading of the Megillah of Esther. And this year – a few surprises await! Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016. More info to follow.

January 2016 Newsletter


Bat Mitzvah program: This month we had the 5th meeting of the Bat Mitzvah program, which centered on body image. We delved into the connection between the way the mother’s view and regard their bodies and the way their daughter’s do. The meeting ended with text from the Song of Songs touching on beauty.

Bar Mitzvah program: The new program for Bar Mitzvah boys and their fathers started this month, focusing on issues of growing up and Jewish tradition. This week the participants addressed various criteria that define maturation, among them ideas from the Rambam and the MIshnah. A significant dialogue took place between the boys and their fathers, and each side saw the other in a new and refreshing light.


Sweet Shabbat: every month w are touched to see people from the city and from the community donating baked goods to sweeten the Shabbat for families in need.

שבת מתוקה ינואר 2016

Lay leaders’ workshop: On a lovely Friday morning this month we conducted a workshop for community lay leaders and activists. Facilitated by Emily Levi Shohat, we discussed issues of our connection to the community, intent on developing the community further. All the participants concurred that we had begun an important process, and look forward to continuing the discussion we started. Anyone interested in joining us is welcome to contact us, and we will be glad to have you with us.


Tu B’shvat baking workshop: We celebrated Tu B’shvat with a baking class using local fruits. While waiting for the dough to rise, we studied Jewish texts about the relations between man and nature. Under the talented direction of Revital Uziel we prepared fruit bread, date rolls, apple streusel pie and phyllo dough filled with dried fruit and goat cheese. It was fun, enriching and delicious!


General assembly: The steering committee and chairperson were re-elected. The past year’s activities were discussed, as were plans for the upcoming year.


Kabbalat Shabbat: Feb. 19th, at 5:30 pm. As usual, on the eve before (Feb. 18th) we will be collecting baked goods to deliver to families in need.

Family day: Saturday night, Feb. 13, we will have a lecture: Intergenerational Relationships between Adult Children and their Parents. The lecture will be given by Dr. Dana Peer, a Social Gerontologist and Geriatric Occupational Therapist.

Newsletter – January 2016


Bat mitzvah program: This year’s program continues, and this month mothers and daughters got together at the conservative synagogue in Ramat Yishay. They learned about the history of the Jewish coming of age ceremony and about the main symbols used, and discussed aspects of secular coming of age. The meeting in a conservative synagogue was for some a first experience in an egalitarian synagogue. It was exciting and emotional.


Volunteer appreciation event: On the first eve of Hanukkah, as part of the municipality’s volunteer appreciation event, the Ohel Menashe Conservative community received a certificate of commendation for all the volunteering we do. Dr. Dana Peer, chairperson of the community, accepted the certificate in the name of all our volunteers. We are committed to continue are activities, striving to bring pluralistic Jewish voices to the dialogue in the city.

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Hanukkah party: Continuing our annual tradition, after Shabbat, on the 7th night of Hanukkah we gathered for Karaoke. After Havdallah, and lighting the Menorah, a game of Pictionary (phrases associated with fire, light, etc.) was enjoyed by all. Following that, we put our voices to the test, and enjoyed singing. Although no new superstars were discovered, a good time was had by all!

Bar mitzvah program: We will be starting a program for Bar Mitzvah boys and their fathers on Jan. 5th. The program brings together the dads and the boys for a series of meetings that will strengthen the bond between them, and be an opportunity to discover and relate to various aspects of being Jewish and of age.

General assembly: As required our annual assembly will take place on the Jan. 6th at 8:30 pm.


Challah baking: Fri. morning, Jan. 8th, we will have a special session of baking challah and a discussion – “Food in Judaism: from biblical times to modern times”. Men and women are invited, RSVP.


Kabbalat Shabbat: Our next one will be held Jan. 15th, at 5:30 pm. On the night before, Jan. 14th, we will be collecting baked goods to be distributed to needy families in the city, making their Shabbat a sweeter one.

November 2015, Newsletter #21


Movie night: During Sukkot the community hosted a screening of the movie “Gett: the Story of Vivian Amsalem”. The movie portrays the complex and difficult state of women who are at the mercy of the rabbinical court, when they wish to divorce their husbands. If that is not enough, oftentimes, the court itself is compromised and cannot oblige a husband to grant his wife a divorce. We watched the movie, and then had a fascinating discussion, facilitated by Rivka Lubitz, an experienced Rabbinical pleader. We realized that in order to bring about change, we must continue to discuss and address such Halachic distortions, and press for the acceptance of the few orthodox rabbis who dare express different views. Change in this status quo will have to be of a bluegrass nature, creating alternatives, formulating reciprocal marital agreements regarding potential future separation, such as pre-nuptial agreements. Most of all, we need to continue to expand the pluralism and equality in our daily lives.

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A Sweet Shababt: after the holidays and getting back to routine, we are resuming our tradition of bringing baked goods to families in the city, which will make their Shabbat so much sweeter. Once amonth, Thursday before Kabbalt Shabbat, we will collecting baked goods to be delivered Friday morning. Our next event will be Nov. 19th.

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Kabbalat Shabbat: Friday, 20/11/15, at 17:30 we will be having a Kabbalat Shabbat the buliding across from the tennis courts, HaAlonim 64a.

Bar and Bat Mitzvah: Bat Mitzvah program for moms and Daughters is starting November.

Hanukkah party: Save the Date!! This year, as every year, on Shabbat of Hanukkah we will have our annual party: Dec. 12th, 2015.

Hafrashat Hallah: Nov. 13th we will be having a special Friday morning brunch with Hafrashat Hallah and Pilpulim! Come and enjoy both!