Yom Kippur begins this Sunday evening
Everyone is welcome at Temple Beth Hillel’s High Holy Days Services! It's not too late to reserve your place now
so that you can join us. We will send you the links you need to join the services.
We look forward to seeing you!
| Reserve your place now
Ha'Azinu, Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52 - Parashat Ha Shavua for Saturday, September 26, Shabbat Shuvah
Dr. Carol Dweck, through her work at Stanford, has publicized the idea of the growth mindset. In brief, she has shown in her research that some people have a fixed mindset and believe they are born with certain traits and cannot change. Others have a growth mindset and believe they are always capable of change and growth, throughout their lives.
The Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is called Shabbat Shuvah, The Sabbath of Return. It takes its name from the Haftarah reading, Hoseah 14:2 - 10, which begins, “Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, For you have fallen because of your sin.”
Return (suv in Hebrew) is the root of teshuvah (or repentance in English). In the Hebrew, teshuvah communicates the sense that each human being has a Divine essence which is good, because we are all created by God in the Divine image.
We may obscure, or cover up, or lose our connection to our inherent goodness through our actions and choices, but it is always there. We just have to turn toward it.
This is what teshuvah and the High Holy Days are all about. This special Shabbat, coming between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, reinforces the importance of our holy, transformative work during the Days of Awe.
The Jewish attitude toward human beings supports the idea of a growth mindset. The High Holy Days remind us that we are always capable of positive change and growth, if we choose to engage in it.
Read last week's commentary
Watch High Holy Days Videos and Reflections
From the President
For the High Holy Days I find comfort in the familiar. I treasure the timeless aspects of our observances that evoke cherished memories – several of which I have shared in previous messages. Like most or even all of us, I logged into our Rosh Hashanah services with trepidation. How could this online experience possibly allow the same feelings or have the same meaning? While I do miss being together physically, I found our Zoom observances quite moving. Rabbi Dean wrote above about the importance of being capable of change and growth. I think that as a community, we are displaying an amazing ability to change and adapt to very difficult circumstances.
Even though I have repeatedly done so already, I still want to thank Rabbi Dean and Cantor Shayndel, our Ritual Committee, Wendy Roth, and Michelle Husby. This has been a challenging process and I believe the challenge is being met brilliantly. We are a resilient community that I am confident will continue to overcome the obstacles, both known and unknown, that we are sure to face in the future.
I look forward to seeing everyone online for Yom Kippur. May we all have an easy fast.
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
High Holy Day Services 2020 - Coming Together in Awe
Yom Kippur services begin this Sunday evening at 7 pm. All our services will be online this year and you can still make your reservation to participate in our Zoom service.
You can watch drashot, reflections, and services on our website or on the
You can also watch recordings of our Rosh Hashanah services, including the Shofar service, Rabbi Dean’s drashot, and a series of reflections on teshuvah.
Watch on TBH Website
Watch on TBH Richmond YouTube channel.
Reserve your place now
High Holy Day Appeal – Food for Thought
For over a decade, Temple Beth Hillel and our partners have provided food in December for 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 presents us with extraordinary challenges. The number of people experiencing food insecurity has ballooned; local schools are providing over 3,000 meals a day. Our resources are less than previously. One of our major partners has ceased operation due to the difficulty of obtaining donated food and volunteers. Many of those who might donate are experiencing economic difficulties themselves. Potential volunteers are at risk and sheltering-in-place.
Nevertheless, the need is so great that we are determined to make the program work to serve 400 families as we did last year. As part of this support, Temple Beth Hillel has chosen to request help for Food for Thought for the High Holy Day Appeal. We know many of you may be facing your own challenges, but, if you can, please help with a donation
. We can't provide you with an envelope at services, but you can donate here
or by sending a check to Temple Beth Hillel, 801 Park Central Blvd., Richmond, CA 94803, with a notation in the memo line that it is for Food for Thought.
We will also be needing volunteers to help pack and distribute boxes safely December 12-16. Many of our volunteers won't be able to help this year, so we are particularly hoping for less vulnerable, younger and/or stronger people. Perhaps you know of such people or groups that might be interested. If you can help, please contact Laura Taub
Donate to Food for Thought
High Holy Day Donations
Although we are welcoming everyone to our High Holy Day services, we are affected by the current economic situation as are many others. If you would like to make a donation to Temple Beth Hillel, you may do so here
, or send a check to Temple Beth Hillel, 801 Park Central Blvd., Richmond, CA 94803.
Donate to TBH
At Rosh Hashanah late afternoon schmooze, it was agreed that all those who worked so long, and so diligently, made our services truly a virtual success. For a small synagogue community such as ours, the smooth production, the interlacing of the pre-recorded choir, the indoor/outdoor logistics were a marvel. Definitely a production worthy of any congregation. A big TODAH to the Rabbi, to Cantor Shayndel, and all those in front of the camera and behind it whose efforts made our services so very meaningful.
Join us for community Shabbat candle lighting this Friday, Sept. 25 at 7:00 pm
Let’s begin Shabbat together by lighting Shabbat candles. Please join us at 7:00
In this way we can all be together in this time of physical isolation.
You can also join by calling
1 (669)900-9128 Meeting ID: 517 749 891
One tap mobile: +16699009128,,517749891#
Religious School Has Started
Our religious school is off and running! Our first meeting went very well. Rabbi Dean led the families through our first online Tefillah Service, a whole new experience for everyone. Jenny's class and Heather's class all got to meet and learn about Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. In the B’nai Mitzvah class, we started our year-long project of building an extensive family tree, introducing the B’nai Mitzvah prayers, and preparing for Rosh Hashanah. All in all it was a great start for our modified religious school to build our community during these trying times.
We did not have religious school Sunday, Sept. 20, because of Rosh Hashanah. We will resume our school on Sept. 27. Please let David Zimring know if you have any questions. L'Shanah Tovah!
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.
Office Phone Out of Order
AT&T estimates it will be working again after September 30. If you need to get a hold of Michelle you can call her cell phone, 510.260.4349, or email, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.