Bet Israel has just completed the first half of its planned six Havayat Havdala programs. We have been funded by the Cincinnati Jewish Federation for six outreach programs, with the goal of introducing ourselves to the larger Netanya Hebrew-speaking community. The first three took place in April, May and June.
Each program started on Motzei Shabbat with initial entertainment by Aitan Birnbaum and his trio who performed songs from Jewish sources and a Havdala ceremony conducted by Rabbi Irvin BIrnbaum. This was followed by a break for refreshments and then continued with a sing along of Israeli favorites from past decades accompanied by accordionist, Nehama Elal. Hosted by Bet Israel member MC Itzhik Efron, the evenings lasted about two hours and drew over 100 people each time, most of whom have never been in our community center and who know very little about the Masorti movement.
We are planning to continue with the final three programs in October, November and December. Both word of mouth and a full page ad in local weekly, Hashavua BeNetanya, have brought Hebrew speaking Israelis into Bet Israel and we are hopeful that we can continue to offer these programs into the coming year, as well as more programs such as a three day trip Havayat Tiyul to Ramat Hagolan at the end of October and a 6 part film festival in winter, starting January 2019.
Celebrating Israel Independence Day - pictures here.
Pictures from the Holocaust Day memorial service are here.
The new Rosh Hashanna bulletin is now up - Bulletins
* Rabbi Birnbaum's report on Friday night's Kabbalat Shabbat and dinner:
The reaction to our Friday evening program was overwhelming. Several people told me that they never had such an uplifting an inspiring experience in the Synagogue. Aiton’s, Sheer’s and Nitzan’s musical renditions were truly remarkable. So was Bat-Ella’s. Carmel and Sarah added to the Ma’ariv Service. And the dinner, compliments of Dani (CEO of Sodastream), with the lusty singing of most present led by Dani and Bat-Ella, rounded out an unforgettable evening. Participants enjoyed it SO much that, despite repeated requests not to applaud, they burst into spontaneous applause several times. Perhaps we can persuade those who made this experience possible to repeat it in the not too distant future. Our gratitude to the BICA ladies, Edith, Frieda and Suzanne, led by Hadassa, as well as to Yelena, for their indispensable help.
§ From our Yom HaAtzmaut service: see more pictures here.
◊ At the synagogue's general meeting, we voted for the board as follows: President, Aaron Kreiser; Vice Presidents, Hadassa Birnbaum, Itzik Efron, Baruch Maor; Treasurer, Aida Miller, Members-at-large Helen Brawer, Debbie Efron, Jan Gaines, Edith Garfinkle, Larry Hepner, Claudja Khenkin, Lenore Levin, Gloria Scott, Allan Tobias, Yelena Wolchansky. The board also includes past presidents Howie Goodman, Morrie Kaporovsky, and Rachel Krupnik-Holman. We also voted to include long-time treasurer Sidney Kronenberg as an honorary lifetime member of the Board. Photo of the inductees: .
◊ We were devastated to hear of the passing of Rachel Holman's 4-1/2 year old grandson, Yoav. May his memory be for a blessing. Rachel, may you, Yoni and Yael, and the whole family, have only happy memories of this precious little child. Yehi zichro baruch.
For those of us wishing to give in memory of Yoav z"l, the family requests that donations go to Ezer MiZion "Lego Project". This is a project for children in the serious illness wards of hospitals, who are visited regularly and brought gifts of Lego sets to help raise their spirits --- Yoav was one of them. For donations to Ezer MiZion Lego Fund, please contact *2236.
This year's Tu Bish'vat seder was led and organized by Itzik and Debbie Efron. Here are some photos.
Aida Miller and Jan Gaines have jointly donated adefibrillatorto the synagogue, in loving memory of their mothers, z"l. On Monday 26th December, congregants who expressed interested in learning how to use the defibrillator watched a demonstration, which has been summarized here by Marsha Stein.