Make your reservation today for Temple Beth Hillel's High Holy Days Services
Everyone is welcome at Temple Beth Hillel’s High Holy Days Services! Reserve your place now
so that you can join us, and so we can ensure we have enough room online for everyone.
We look forward to seeing you!
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And remember to pick up your High Holy Days box Sunday and Monday, Sept. 5-6, from 1-5. Learn more below.
Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1 - 29:8 - Parshat Ha Shavua for Shabbat, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020
This week’s Torah portion begins with the ritual of the first fruits, when Israelite farmers would bring the first produce of their harvest to the Temple as a sign of gratitude. There they would recite a fundamental statement of Jewish identity: “My father was a wandering Aramean. He went down to Egypt with meager numbers and sojourned there; but there they became a great and very populous nation. The Egyptians dealt harshly with us and oppressed us; they imposed heavy labor upon us. We cried to ADONAI, the God of our ancestors, and ADONAI heard our plea and saw our plight, our misery, and our oppression. ADONAI freed us from Egypt by a mighty hand, by an outstretched arm and awesome power, and by signs and portents. God brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. Wherefore I now bring the first fruits of the soil which You, ADONAI, have given me.”
This passage, in its concise language, describes the history of the children of Jacob and how they became the Jewish people through the Exodus from Egypt and their entrance into the Land of Israel. It proclaims the shared Jewish historical experience and the Jewish commitment to a world that is free from slavery and exploitation.
As we experience the holy month of Elul, when we are commanded to do deep self-examination in preparation for the High Holy Days, let us take these words into our hearts, examine and feel how they resonate with us.
Do we see ourselves as having gone out from Egypt as liberated slaves?
Do we appreciate God’s call to end misery and oppression?
Can we express gratitude for all that we have been given in our lives?
Read last week's commentary
From the President
Our past president, Neil Zarchin, ended all his President’s Messages with, “We are what we do.” During these past difficult pandemic months I have often thought about what we, Temple Beth Hillel, do and it makes me very proud to be a member of this community.
Although we can’t safely gather in person, we continue to pray together online. Our Ritual Committee, led by Rabbi Dean and Cantor Shayndel, is working diligently on online High Holy Day observances that promise to be meaningful. Of course we would rather be together, but Covid-19 makes that impossible. I am, however, awed by the creativity and dedication of our committee and clergy who are accomplishing this unprecedented task. Our choir, led by Cantor Shayndel, is adapting to our current circumstances in a manner that is sure to impress.
Once again this month we delivered over 400 sandwiches to GRIP to be distributed to those in need. Jane Kaasa is due a giant thank you for organizing this effort. Our Food For Thought Committee refuses to give up on providing meals for local students and families even though the current circumstances may eliminate the usual means of packing and distributing the boxes of food. The committee is facing the challenges with optimism, determination, and creativity.
In a few weeks, our Religious School will start the new school year online. Although nothing can replace in person instruction, our teachers, clergy, and staff are dedicated to providing fun and meaningful Jewish instruction. If you are a Religious School family or if you know a family that might join us, please contact David Zimring, Larry Fox, or Michelle Husby.
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?
Read last week's letter
What Time Shall We Pray?
Since we have moved to online Shabbat services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are experimenting with an earlier start time for our Friday evening Shabbat service: 7:00 PM, rather than 7:30 PM. Since we no longer have to drive to synagogue, we thought it would be worth trying, to see the impact on people’s Friday evening.
This change also means that candle lighting and Shabbat services are always at the same time, so if you join on Friday evening at 7:00 PM, you know you will have either a little or a lot of Shabbat.
We’d like your thoughts, particularly if you are a regular Friday evening participant. Please send your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s Join together for Shabbat evening services online this Friday, Sept. 4 at 7:00 PM (Note: new start time)
As we continue to shelter-in-place and cannot come to the synagogue, we are bringing our services to you with our Shelter-in-Shabbat. We celebrate our full Shabbat evening service and hope you can join us. All you need is a computer or a smartphone and internet access.
If you can’t join us for the entire service, please join us at 7:00 to light Shabbat candles together. In this way we can all be “virtually” together in this time of isolation. You can stay online for the evening service if you wish.
You can also join by calling
1 (669)900-9128 Meeting ID: 517 749 891
One tap mobile
Join the Service
Pick Up Your High Holy Day Box Sunday, Sept. 6 and Monday, Sept. 7 1-5 PM
This year, while we must remain physically distant from each other, maintaining a sense of connection is more important than ever. We need each other.
To help you experience the High Holy Days as fully as possible and to sustain our sense of the Temple Beth Hillel community we have put together a package of essentials for observing these Days of Awe, a High Holy Days in a Box.
The box is a special package we have put together for you with candles, kosher grape juice, some honey, a copy of our Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur prayer books (for you to use during the holidays and then return) and some other fun things.
Your High Holy Day box is available for pick up at Temple Beth Hillel on:
Sunday, September 6 from 1 PM to 5 PM and on
Monday, September 7 from 1 PM to 5 PM.
To ensure everyone stays safe and healthy we will have curb-side pickup, with tables set up outside the synagogue and all volunteers will be masked.
We are inviting everyone who is physically able to come to TBH and pick up their box. We will contact those who can't come to arrange a delivery time later in the week.
Looking forward to celebrating the High Holy Days together.
High Holy Day Services 2020 - Coming Together in Awe
Shana Tova! With the continued surge in COVID-19 infections and concomitant restrictions currently in place, this year’s Temple Beth Hillel’s High Holy Days will be entirely online. They may not be in person, but they will not be virtual. They will be real! Our volunteer leadership is working with Cantor Shayndel and Rabbi Dean to create a rich experience. Our services will be different but they will be profound and meaningful. We will be worshiping together, as a community, online, but our services will be shorter.
In addition to these “synchronous” services, we will be providing a series of asynchronous events, study sessions, recordings of songs, videos of drashot and the Torah service, memories and reflections by congregants and clergy, to ensure that the coming Days of Awe are a profound and special time. We look forward to worshiping together and being in community with you. More information will be forthcoming soon.
If you have something you would like to share with the congregation, for example, a favorite High Holy Day recipe, a memory, or a reflection, please let us know by contacting email@example.com
These are strange and different times. Our hope is that if we work together as a community we can create a High Holy Day observance that will be very different, but still meaningful.
Reserve your place now
TBH Sandwich-Making for the GRIP Souper Center -- Wednesday, Sept. 23
Wednesday, Sept. 23, 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.
Notes from the Board, August 19, 2020
The Board discussed plans for High Holy Days and Religious School. Read more