An interfaith service for Holocaust Remembrance Day will take place on Wednesday May 4th at 7 pm, at the First Congregational Church in West Brattleboro. BAJC (Brattleboro Area Jewish Community) and BAICA (the Brattleboro Area Interfaith Clergy Association) will offer a service in commemoration of the six million Jews and five million homosexuals, political protestors, Catholics, handicapped, and others who were murdered at the hands of the Nazis.
There will be two Shabbat morning (shacharit/Torah) services this month, at 10:00 on April 2nd, led by Cantor Kate Judd, and on the 9th, led by a guest leader. Morning services are followed by a light kiddush snack and time for shmoozing.
There will be a Yizkor service on the last night of Passover, April 29th, at 6:30, the third of the four required Yizkor services in the Jewish calendar--the special memorial prayer recited by all those who have lost a parent or a close loved one. A minyan is needed for the service, which will be quite brief. Please come for Yizkor, then stay, if you wish,for a musical Kabbalat Shabbat and dessert potluck (no chometz, please!).
Join us Sunday April 10th from 3:00-5:00 p.m to explore Gnosticism with Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Keiner.
Gnosticism is the shared root of Jewish, Christian and other ancient Mediterranean faiths and cultures. But just what exactly is shared between these various religions? What is Gnosticism? How is it embedded in Jewish text, life and practice today? During our afternoon with Rabbi Andrea, we will explore the core concepts of the Jewish mystical tradition and its Gnostic roots. We will ask what the core insights of this tradition are, and how it is reflected today in our communities. As these principles draw us into a deeper understanding of our own beliefs and practices, we will also gain the ability to have meaningful interfaith dialogue with others.
Please join Brattleboro Area Jewish Community for a community seder on the second night of Passover, Saturday April 23, 2016 at the West Village Meeting House at 5:30 p.m. Main dishes will be catered by Sharon Myers, and Cantor Kate Judd will be leading us through a traditional Jewish seder. You don't have to be Jewish to share this journey and feast with us - all families and individuals are welcome!
We will be accepting reservations by phone and through our Sign Up Genius portal. Sign Up Genius is easy to use and has no membership fee, nor do you have to become a member of Sign Up Genius to reserve your space, see how you can contribute and see what others have already pledged to bring. If you don't feel comfortable signing up this way, just call Laura Berkowitz 257-0922 or BAJC 257-1959, and we'll happily make your reservation for you!
A Christian professor from Wheaton College has been censured for wearing a Habayyah in solidarity with her Muslim counterparts. The College claimed she violated their “evangelical Statement of Faith." by publicly stating that Christians and Muslims “worship the same God”.
The irony (and ignorance) of this is that she was literally correct.
Allah translates directly to “the God” or more correctly, “THE God” (In the sense of the “one and only”). Arabic Christians and Arabic-speaking Jews also refer to God as “Allah”.
Join in Remembering Children: The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting
The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting unites family and friends around the globe in lighting candles for one hour to honor the memories of the sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, and grandchildren who left too soon. As candles are lit at 7:00 p.m. local time, hundreds of thousands of persons commemorate and honor the memory of all children gone too soon.
Brattleboro Area Jewish Community’s annual Chanukah party and latke feast will take place on Friday, December 11th, the sixth night of Chanukah, which is also the time to welcome Shabbat.
We will start at 6:00 with lighting of Shabbat and Chanukah candles. Please bring your chanukiah (menorah) and candles so we can create a beautiful light as we sing the blessings and enjoy a variety of latkes. We will supply applesauce and sour cream but we need folks to bring cooked latkes to share. They can be microwaved or warmed in our oven.
At 7:00, we will hear Chanukah stories and sing favorite Chanukah melodies, accompanied by our Friday-night band. There will be dancing and dreidel-spinning also. We hope you can be there!
Jesus wasn’t the first.
Ancient Greek stone carving of Orpheus
Each of us, regardless of our age, has a need to be known, to be remembered, to feel that our lives made a difference and to express our values and our love.
Many of us may have prepared legal wills to distribute our belongings after we die. But few of us have considered leaving a spiritual/ethical will: a record of who we are, a document that can be offered to loved ones either while we are still alive or after we are gone.
Brattleboro Area Hospice invites you to explore and reflect on your legacy in two free events with Claire Willis:
Here is a short excerpt from a reprint of an article written by Jim Sleeper for the Huffington Post. I found it on Alternet.org.
"Once again, we've heard that the gunman was deranged. Once again, we've heard that gun control is imperative. What we aren't hearing is that Americans, for many more years and with greater intensity than inhabitants of other countries, have been groped and goosed and pummeled by a sophisticated, multi-trillion dollar drive to short-circuit deliberation and dialogue in order spur the self-centered impulse buying that is ruining our civil society.
As summer turns to fall, I sometimes look into old traditions to cheer myself up. This year, I discovered Michaelmas. Although it's been forgotten over the years, it was once celebrated by English and Celtic peoples across the British Isles as the big annual harvest festival. We still hold harvest festivals to this day but they can't hold a candle to the harvest fests of yore. Here is a sample of what you might have might have experienced if you had to woken up late in September somewhere north of Liverpool:
I wanted all my friends and neighbors here in Brattleboro to have a chance to see this. Ruby Sales, of Atlanta GA, gave this sermon Sunday morning August 23, 2015, at St. James Episcopal Church in Keene, NH, the home congregation of Jonathan Daniels, the 26-year-old white seminarian who was shot and killed, taking a shotgun blast in order to save her life, in white supremacist Alabama on August 20, 1965.
The Brattleboro Area Jewish Community (BAJC)‘Synagogue Outdoors’ Project has won a $3000 grant from the Gendler Grapevine Foundation for innovative work to connect community life with their 12 acres of land.
This Gendler Grapevine Grant enables BAJC to add welcoming, interpretive signs, new trails, benches and outdoor gathering spaces for study, prayer, storytelling, meditation and more. The grant builds on the volunteer labor of BAJC members and friends who have already accomplished planting a vegetable garden, a heritage wheat garden, and a small orchard. They have built stairs and opened views that overlook woods and a stream. The trails on the BAJC grounds will be accessible to the general public as the Town of Brattleboro links their own nature trails to the site.
Brattleboro Area Jewish Community (BAJC) in West Brattleboro is proud to announce the ordination of Cantor Kate Judd. Kate was ordained through the Cantor Educator Program (CEP) at Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts.
The program at Hebrew College draws on renowned faculty from three Hebrew College schools — the School of Jewish Music, Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education and Rabbinical School — as well as resources from Andover Newton Theological School and other member institutions of the Boston Theological Institute. Cantors in the CEP earn a Masters of Jewish Education degree, enabling them to serve congregations as mentors and facilitators and as spiritual leaders who can empower their congregants in study as well as in worship.
It’s not too late to register children in the Brattleboro Area Jewish Community Hebrew School. Congregation Shir Heharim (Song of the Mountains), the Brattleboro Area Jewish Community, offers a once-a-week religious school for youngsters from the age six up to thirteen or older. The school offers a vibrant child-centered program that teaches Hebrew language studies as well as songs, stories, prayers, holiday observances, customs and traditions, history, current events, and all things Jewish. Students can begin school at the age of six. Anyone who is planning to become a bar- or bat-mitzvah must be enrolled for a minimum of two years.
After the first Ask-a-Baha’i post, a reader asked what the Baha’i Faith is and what are some of its teachings.
The Baha’i Faith is the youngest of the major world faiths. Like other faiths, it has a Prophet-Founder who claims to have a revelation from God. Our Prophet-Founder, Baha’u’llah, received His call to prophethood in 1853, in a Tehran dungeon called “The Black Pit”. He announced it in 1863, in Baghdad, where He had been exiled, right before He was exiled again.
His Forerunner, whom we call the Bab, which means “gate”, had been martyred in 1850, shot by a firing squad of 750 rifles. The Bab taught that He was the Herald of “He Whom God shall make manifest”, the Promised One of all religions. We believe that the One He foretold was Baha’u’llah.
Moved by the rapid loss of species, extinction prospects, an affinity with nature, I made this oracle that draws its messages and counsel from the animal kingdom. It somehow felt more universal, less judgmental than other models. First responses from the test team were very positive. People found it inspiring, thought provoking. All well and good until it got into the hands of a six year old. He was baffled by ‘the game’. “How do you win?” he demanded to know. I wrestled with an answer for him, in the end decided on something resembling the truth.
“It’s not a game, it’s a device for advice. The way it works is that there's a number of possible animals that can turn up when you throw the dice, but when you do throw down, there’ll be just two. Two of twenty-four. Why those two? Nobody can say. And nobody can predict. File it under synchronicity. Mysteries of the universe. The hand of a random phantom turning up something just for you.” "But how does it work?" he insisted. If he couldn't get the manual, he at least wanted the point. “I really can’t say why this works as it does, but it does work, and a big part of how it does is up to you.”
Time for forsythia and tulips and time to register children for Hebrew school 5776! At this time we are planning to follow our traditional structure, with an Aleph class for 6-7 year olds, Bet for 8-9 year olds, Gimmel for 9-10 year olds and Dalet for 11-12 year olds, and Hey for children who are 12 and older, have been in our Hebrew school for at least one year, and are planning to become bar- or bat-mitzvah next year.
Classes will meet from 3:45 to 5:45; the b’nai mitzvah class will probably meet from 5:30 to 7:30. We hope to keep our excellent, experienced, dedicated teaching staff, but we need to know how many students we will have (and their ages and grade in public school) so we can plan staff and space to accommodate all who wish to attend. We particularly need to know about any new students who might wish to attend.
In the spirit of “Ask-a-Cop” and “Ask-a Realtor”, our local Baha’i community has decided to launch its own series, called “Ask-a-Baha’i”.
Although many have heard of the Baha’i Faith, few know much about the Faith's history and teachings.
Through “Ask-a-Baha’i”, we want to create a space for people to ask questions from the privacy and convenience of their homes or mobile devices.