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  • January 22, 2019 1:13 PM | Lance Strate (Administrator)

    Religious School News

    Cantor Sandy Horowitz, Religious School Director

    As I write this column we’re still coming off of the excitement of December’s Chanukah Family Service, featuring the 5th Grade. The students did a great job as they not only led us in the regular Shabbat prayers and music and put on a Chanukah skit, they also lent their voices to some classic Chanukah songs.

    Family Services are always a lot of fun, and they are for all ages and all generations. We love seeing the sanctuary filled with parents and siblings, friends, board members, frequent Shabbat attendees and occasional visitors alike. It may be cold outside, but Shabbat warmth is a thing to be experienced, especially when we come together as a school and temple community. Save the date for the next Family Service led by the 4th graders on January 25.

    Meanwhile, soon we will also be celebrating Tu B’Shevat, known as the “New Year of the Trees”. Our annual Tu B’Shevat Seder is generally known as a congregational event – rather than a school event – but some of the families and children who have attended in the past will tell you that it’s a lot of fun for all ages. Taking place on January 18 this year, the seder (shorter than a Passover seder, I promise!) takes place in the social hall following a brief Shabbat service. There are special foods, special songs and special stories that pertain to this holiday, and you get to experience it all at the seder.

    Dates to note for January and February:

    Friday, January 18
    7:30 PM–Tu B’Shevat Seder

    Friday, January 25
    7:30 PM–Shabbat Family Service led by Grade 4

    Sunday, February 17

    Friday, February 22
    7:30 PM–Shabbat Family Service (theme to be announced)

  • January 22, 2019 1:06 PM | Lance Strate (Administrator)

    A Message from the President

    Michael Fishbein, President

    As Rabbi Schwartz often explains, Adas Emuno is a house of worship, a house of learning and a house of gathering. But there is something special about Adas Emuno—it is also a house of joy. For members who limit their participation to the High Holy Days, Adas Emuno is a house of spiritual renewal and a house of remembrance. These devoted members take inspiration from the wisdom of Rabbi Schwartz reflected in his service, leadership and sermons; their spirits are uplifted by High Holy Day melodies chanted so beautifully by Cantor Horowitz. What they are missing, however, is the joyful occasions that are part of Adas Emuno’s year-round observances.

    Consider our annual Sukkot celebration that begins with “pizza in the hut” and continues with singing in a packed social hall. What a fun evening that is! Songs from Woody Guthrie to the Rolling Stones fill the room, brought together with the musical accompaniment of accomplished guitarist Peter Hays. Thank you Cantor Horowitz, Elka Oliver, Skyler Oliver, and Stella Borelli for sharing your lovely voices with us.

    I’m pretty sure everyone who attended that evening is looking forward to next year’s Sukkot celebration. What is more lively than our monthly Family Services? These Shabbat evenings feature one of our Religious School grades leading us during the service. It is a delight to see these young students demonstrate their knowledge and enthusiasm. The students, their teachers, and the Cantor always lead us in robust songs of Shabbat. The joy is real—and contagious.

    How about our Hanukkah party? It begins with the lighting of the menorah in front of our temple, a couple of songs and a joke or two courtesy of the Rabbi. Later, we kindle our 118-year-old menorah. This year, we feasted on delicious latkes made by several of our members and Debby Schwartz. Back by popular demand, Elana Fishbein led improv games with the participation of both young and old.

    On Friday, January 18, we will hold our Tu B’Shevat Seder, a fun occasion on which we celebrate the “New Year of Trees.” We eat various types of fruit and nuts, and drink both red and white wine (or grape juice)—all in a specific order. This seder is based on Kabbalistic ideas and was developed during the 16th century in what is now Safed, Israel.

    Coming up in March is the celebration of Purim, highlighted by our annual Purim Shpiel. Previous shpiels featured creative scripts and songs written by Lance Strate, our immediate past president. Who knows what the next shpiel will bring? I know one thing—it will be fun. Consider joining as a cast member and you, too, can become an instant Adas Emuno star.

    Now that the dark days of winter are here, it’s a good time to introduce extra light into every week. Come to Friday night Shabbat services; attend the Rabbi’s popular Saturday morning Torah study group; be inspired at Family Services; enjoy the Tu B’Shevat Seder; laugh and make noise during the Purim merriment. Don’t wait for the next High Holy Days to come to your house of worship, your house of learning, your house of gathering—and, yes, your house of joy.

  • January 22, 2019 12:46 PM | Lance Strate (Administrator)


    Rabbi Barry Schwartz

    A striking tapestry of Jewish art now hangs in our social hall. If you haven’t seen it, make sure to go downstairs the next time you are at the Temple. It is unlike anything you have seen before.

    The tapestry was created from eleven hand embroidered Ethiopian Jewish panels. Nine of the panels depict scenes from the Bible. The other two depict an Ethiopian Jewish synagogue gathering and a celebration of the unique Ethiopian Jewish festival of Sigd.

    These embroideries, originally pillow covers, were made in the 1980’s when the Ethiopian Jewish community waited to make aliya to Israel. Many had already left their tiny villages in the Gondar province and were living in a compound in Addis Ababa awaiting their fate. The North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry organized this project to help provide a means of support, and an expression of pride, under the most trying of conditions.

    The embroideries are astonishingly intricate (some 40,000 stiches per piece) and vividly colored. I collected several of them when they were first made and used them as pillows at my Pesach seder each year. Recently I acquired the remaining Bible scenes and had the idea to turn them all into a tapestry. Fortunately my wife Debby had the skill to turn vision into reality!

    The Jews of Ethiopia trace their origin all the way back to the union of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon. They remained Jews through century after century of isolation and discrimination. They always dreamed of living in Israel. That dream was finally realized in two great airlifts, Operation Moses in 1984 and Operation Solomon in 1991 that brought some 25,000 individuals to Israel under extraordinary circumstances. Today that community has grown to 140,000 souls, 50 percent under the age of 19.

    I also was a new immigrant to Israel in 1985 and had the opportunity to work with the newly arrived Jews of Ethiopia in Haifa, and to serve in the Israeli army with them. It is an experience I will never forget. So the story behind the tapestry is deeply personal for me even as it represents a shining moment in modern Jewish history.

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