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Temple Beth Hillel Update

What's Happening at TBH 

TBH On-Site Activities Remain Suspended in Response to COVID-19

How to Join Virtual Events

Friday, October 16 at 7:00 PM - Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat evening services (online)

Saturday, October 17 at 10:15 AM - Lay-led Torah Study (online)

Sunday, October 18 at 10:00 AM - Religious School (online) - link available from David Zimring

Wednesday, October 21 at 7:30 PM - TBH Board Meeting (all members welcome) (online)

Thursday, October 22 at 4:00 PM and 5:15 PM - Online Hebrew School - link available from David Zimring

Friday, October 23 at 7:00 PM - Shabbat Candle Lighting (online)

Saturday, October 24 at 10:15 AM - Lay-led Torah Study (online)

Sunday, October 25 at 10:00 AM - Religious School (online) - link available from David Zimring

Resources and Support

Community Support
In these difficult times, it might be hard to know where to turn for help. Need a loan?  Having difficulties with your job, or need support? Our Community Support page can help you find the help you need!

Online Activities and Resources
Maybe you're just getting a little stir crazy?  Expand your Jewish learning, visit a museum, take a cooking class--all online! Check out these and the Online Activities and Resources on our website.

Volunteering and Social Action Programs
We are commanded to leave the corners of our fields and the gleanings of our harvest and vineyards for the poor and the stranger. Learn about how you can give back to our community.
Donate to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties and help those in need

Please reach out to potential members  

As you know, Temple Beth Hillel is a wonderful community that will benefit from more members and participation in Temple life and events. You are our best ambassadors. So, please reach out to your family and friends. Let them know about us, the events we have, and the wonderful community that we are.

Feel free to have them contact or anyone on the Membership Committee.

Summer Camps and Travel

Learn more about summer camps and travel

Keeping In Touch With Us

We have two main ways to communicate with our community:
TBH Update: Subscribe to the TBH weekly update.  You'll receive an email for you to confirm that you want to join.  Still having problems?  Contact Wendy Roth at
TBH Discussion list: We send e-mail messages through our google group email list tbh  If you are not on this list or are having trouble using it, contact Laura Taub at


Bereshit, Genesis 1:1-6:8, Parshat Ha Shavua for Shabbat, Saturday, October 17, 2020

This Shabbat we begin our annual cycle of reading the Torah. The Torah begins with the creation of the Universe and of all life on Earth--in other words a universal message.
Our sages were intrigued by this. Rashi (12th Century Germany) wondered why the Torah did not begin with the first mitzvah or commandment. He suggested that the Torah begins with Creation to establish the Jewish people’s place in the world.
Another possible reason is that our Torah begins not with the particular history of the Jewish people, which begins with Abraham, but with Creation, is to reinforce the universal Jewish message or the reality and centrality of God, that all life begins with Divine intention, and as a reminder that all life existence, here on Earth and throughout the Universe is interconnected.
In other words, the Torah begins with a message of absolute unity. That everything is one, as we say in Shema.
We feel separated from others, but that is an illusion; ultimately, we are all part of a great whole. What happens to one of us, happens to all of us.
This is the universalist moral message of Judaism. With the High Holy Days behind us, seven months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and our nation so divided, this is a message that all of us should heed.

Read last week's commentary

From the President

With the recent spike of Covid-19 infections and all the current insecurity and no end in sight, I am feeling a little overwhelmed at times and I know that I am not alone in being challenged by the current situation.  And that is the point.  We are not alone.  Even though we long to gather together, we know that we cannot safely meet in person.  Online is a poor substitute, but  at least it is a substitute that is available to us.  
The High Holy days have passed, but Temple Beth Hillel is still here and active.  We still light candles every Friday night, study Torah every Saturday morning, pray together two Friday nights each month, hold online Religious School and continue our social action programs.  We are still here for each other at a time of unprecedented need for support.  I find great comfort in our community and I hope you do too.
Personally, I find the challenges of synagogue leadership significant, but I am thankful for the opportunity to contribute – especially now.  Perhaps you might consider joining our leadership team.  There are many levels of commitment to consider and all of them are very rewarding.  Contact me ( if you are interested and we can talk about opportunities to contribute. 

We are Temple Beth Hillel.
If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am not for others, what am I?
And if not now, when?  
-Rabbi Hillel

Read last week's letter

Shabbat Evening Services Friday, October 16 at 7:00 pm

Join together with your TBH community.  Light the candles and welcome Shabbat with our full Shabbat evening service Friday at  7:00.
Recurring Shabbat zoom link:
You can also join by calling  
1 (669)900-9128 Meeting ID: 517 749 891
One tap mobile: +16699009128,,517749891#

TBH Sandwich-Making for the GRIP Souper Center -- Wednesday, Oct. 28

Wednesday, Oct. 28, is our Temple's next day to make sandwiches for GRIP. We each make about forty sandwiches (your choice) and bring them to the Temple parking lot at about 9:45 AM.  Please put the sandwiches in individual baggies, place them in a bag or box, and label the type of sandwiches made.  If you can make sandwiches that day and/or if you have any questions, please contact Jane Kaasa (510)222-3221 or (510)421-7331.

Help Families in Our Community – Donate to Food for Thought

For over a decade, Temple Beth Hillel and our partners have provided food in December for WCCUSD elementary school children and their families who are eligible for free school lunches, but do not get them when schools are closed over winter break. We work with the schools to provide a box of fresh produce, a box of non-perishables, a large turkey, and usually a science game for each family. This year, the need is so great that, despite logistical challenges, we are determined to again deliver food to 400 families. just as we did last year.
You can donate:
  • By credit card
  • By check - Write your check to Temple Beth Hillel with Food for Thought in the memo line, and mail your check to Temple Beth Hillel, 801 Park Central Blvd., Richmond, CA 94803
Want to do more? We need volunteers to pack and distribute boxes Dec. 12-16.  All work will be performed as safely as possible.  If you or a group you know of is interested, please contact Laura Taub.
Donate to Food for Thought

GRIP’s Annual Harmony Walk Is Virtual This Year

For decades, members of TBH have participated in the GRIP Harmony Walk, GRIP’s major fund-raiser.  Some of us have walked, and others have sponsored them with donations.  This year, like so many other events, the walk will be virtual.  You are encouraged to participate.
Get more information

Notes from the Board, Sept. 16, 2020

The board welcomed new members and a religious school family, reviewed plans for High Holy Days, food distribution plans from Food for Thought, news about religious school, and improvements made to Temple Beth Hillel.
Read more

Prayers for Community Members in Need

We pray for speedy and complete healing, r’fuah sh’leimah, for the following members of our community:

Geoff Capnick, Sharon Chernick, Dora Cohen, Irving Feurst, Heather Fox, Sam Genirberg, Sharon Grace, Bill Harris, Michelle Husby, Jennifer Kemp, Laura Roybal, Sandra Steele, Daylena & Alex Kowalsky, Matt Lisby, Robert Mah, Michael Mirabella, Sharon Mittleman, Connie Nowlin, Michael Nye, Lincoln Ott, Terry Phillips, Gordon Raskin, Josh Redel, Alex Rickert, Jeff Rosenfeld, Gabriel Tattenham, Pat Trumbull, Timothy Welstand, Fran Welstand, Kendra Windrix, Caleb Zimring

If there is anyone you would like included in our prayers for healing, please send their names to If you're on the list and feeling better and would like to be removed, please let Rabbi Dean know.

The following yahrzeits will be remembered at services this Friday evening:

Marilyn Bearson Mother of Dann Ozer-Bearson
Fred Berger Husband of Audrey Berger, Father of Daniel & Liv
Jo Clayre Brown A beloved member of the congregation
George W. Dains Father of Barbara Ball
Richard A.  Dains Brother of Barbara Ball
Albert Friedman Uncle of Hallie Friedman
Eve Genirberg Daughter of Sam Genirberg
Anne R. Goldberg Mother of Clara-Rae Genser, Grandmother of Josh Genser
Frank J. Gootrad Cousin of Jean Henderson
Robert L. Hemmings Father of Jean Henderson
Anchel Jacobs Uncle of Maggie Jacobs
Albert Jaffe Father of Arlene Lisby
Susan Brown Kozek Sister of David Brown
Sarah Linker A beloved member of the congregation
Murray Marks Father of Alan Marks
Abe Mason A beloved member of the congregation
Cheryl Moreiss Mother of Marcia Delgadillo
Alan Sagan Son in law of Sherbie Aberle
Lillian Schmuckler Aunt of Helene Class
Pearl Statner A beloved member of the congregation
Sherry Stone A beloved member of the congregation
Samuel Sweet Father of Pearl Wolffs
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Temple Beth Hillel Richmond · 801 Park Central · Richmond, CA 94803 · USA

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