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The Chaverim Team is working hard in the time of COVID-19. We recently delivered 30 Passover Care packages to members of our community so they had matzoh and kosher wine for seder. Thank you to Rabbi and Stacie Gabert for all of their help in this effort.
The Chaverim and Social Action committees have been active on several fronts to help people in need during the COVID-19 shutdown.
A 4-week online series hosted by Rabbi Tobie Weisman, and Rabbi David Edleson
Begins Sunday, April 26 at 11 am
Ever wondered how to approach talking about the BIG QUESTIONS with your children? Ever want to share idea and challenges with other parents raising kids in the Jewish tradition?
Rabbi David Edleson and Rabbi Tobie Weisman will be co-teaching a 4-week Parenting through a Jewish Lens class via Zoom.
Teaching will be based on a curriculum designed by Hebrew College in Boston. This will be a text-based discussion class from ancient and modern Jewish sources. Texts will be sent out in advance of each class. Each week will focus on a different topic:
- Sunday, April 26: Parenting for Resilience
- Sunday, May 3: Parenting for Responsibility
- Sunday, May 17: G!d Talk and Spirituality
- Sunday, May 24: Making Space for Self Expression
At a date in the near future, we will have an in-person meal together focusing on Hopes and Dreams for Our Children.
Curriculum developed by Boston’s Hebrew College. Additional support from:
Wednesday mornings, 11 am – noon*
Current book: Jews in China: A History of Struggle – Nicholas Zhang, N House Publishing (April, 2019)
Topic: Jewish History
Chinese Jews are the descendants of Han Chinese and Sephardic Jews who migrated to China thousands of years ago. They reside along the banks of Yellow River, in the cradle of a great civilization, but unknown to most people.
They boast a profound line of descent, from ancestors who fled Roman persecution during Han Dynasty to merchant forefathers who journeyed across Silk Road during Tang Dynasty, the Jews found a new home for themselves in China.
Throughout a long history of upheavals, these people of immense perseverance and resourcefulness congregated as much as possible to support each other in their new home. While eventually adopting Chinese customs as necessity for survival, they fought hard to maintained their Jewish way of life. After centuries of intermarriage and millenniums of assimilation, these children of Abraham and Sarah, sculpted by teachings of Confucius and Lao Tzu, emerged with an identity and culture that is uniquely their own, unseen anywhere in the world. This occurrence is exceptionally rare, and utterly significant.
From the Publisher: The author skillfully condenses centuries of historical information about four main groups of Jewish immigrants to China into this succinct, but comprehensive, chronicle. The Kaifeng Jews, who now look no different from their Chinese neighbors due to thousands of years of intermarriage and assimilation; the Baghdadi Jews, who came to Shanghai after the First Opium War and became fabulously wealthy through opium trade and real estate development; the Russian Jews, who left the Pale of Settlement for a better life in Harbin and prospered by supplying vast natural resources from Northeast China to Europe; and last but not least, the tens of thousands of German and Austrians Jews who escaped Nazi-occupied Europe and found refuge in Shanghai.
Please order your Paperback or Kindle edition in time for our April 22 meeting.
Order with Amazon Smile, and a portion of your purchase can be donated back to Temple Sinai! Learn more about Amazon Smile.
It is strange to be celebrating Passover and liberation from bondage when so many of us are stuck in our homes due to a plague. As I saw on Facebook recently:
Jewish Irony: Passover Cancelled Due to PLAGUE
But let’s also remember that on the night of the first Passover, all the Israelites were stuck in their houses as well. So like our ancestors, we are staying in our homes to retell the story of our going from slavery to freedom and to remind ourselves that in this time when we are all focused so much on the epidemic, the issues of freedom haven’t gone away – they have grown. Around the world, people are still in bondage and slavery, and the issues of poverty, food insecurity, refugees and climate change now have the added threat of Covid-19. It will be hard not to be with our friends and family around the Seder table, but now more than ever, we need to remind ourselves of the values – and challenges – of freedom, and our responsibility as Jews to make sure freedom rings out over the voices of those who call for a Pharoah to save us. We call to God, and the divine spark within each of us that knows that freedom is the oxygen the spirit needs to breathe, and that all of us made in the image of the Divine deserve to be free.
Passover Song Links
Songs we often sing at Seder
- Rabbi Edleson’s 2019 Haggadah for Temple Sinai
- NEW UNION HAGGADAH – an online flip-book of the classic Reform Haggadah
- UJA-FEDERATION “Simple Seder” with explanations. A to-the-point, no frills online Haggadah
- A CHOCOLATE SEDER HAGGADAH – A seder for chocolate-lovers by ReformJudaism.org. Fun visuals and a very different take on Passover.
- UNION FOR REFORM JUDAISM PASSOVER SEDER FOR YOUNG CHILDREN – Tips and a link to the PDF of a short Haggadah.
- SHARING THE JOURNEY HAGGADAH – an online flip-book of this lovely Reform Haggadah.
- INVISIBLE: A SOCIAL JUSTICE HAGGADAH – from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. And excellent Tikkun Olam focused Haggadah.
- AMERICAN JEWISH WORLD SERVICE PASSOVER RESOURCES: This site has haggadot and readings focused on issues of social justice and helping those most vulnerable. A meaningful way to reflect on today’s greatest sources of oppression through the Seder.
- MAH NISHTANAH – AN LGBTQ AND ALLY HAGGADAH – Keshet. A queer-focused Haggadah from the Jewish LGBTQ Advocacy organization.
- SAY/DER – from Lab/Shul A super-simplified Seder, boiled down to four discussion questions, and four rituals actions, no Hebrew.
- AN INCREDIBLY SHORT SEDER – not pretty, but three to-the-point pages for the impatient to eat.
- Make YOUR OWN HAGGADAH