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Welcome to iBrattleboro!

Welcome to iBrattleboro!
It's a local news source by and for the people of Brattleboro, Vermont, published continually. You can get involved in this experiment in citizen journalism by submitting meeting results, news, events, stories, reviews, how-to's, recipes, places to go, things to do, or anything else important to Brattleboro. Or, just drop by to see what others have contributed.

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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013


Spirituality section

Michaelmas: A Harvest Festival Of Yore

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:


Ruby Sales on 50th Anniv. of Jonathan Daniels Martyrdom

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.


New 'Synagogue Outdoors' Grant Brings BAJC Outside

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.


BAJC Announces the Ordination of Cantor Kate Judd

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 Time to Register Students for Hebrew School!

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.


Fortune Telling For Children

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.

animal oracle

“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.”


The Golden Rule


Hebrew School Registration

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.


Memorial for Kat (Coates) Bark

Andrew Bark wishes to invite everyone who loved his late wife Katharine M. Bark to a celebration of her life.

Kat’s memorial will be a pot luck to be held at the Townshend Town Hall from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 7th. 

For more information, please call Andrew at: (802) 451-6188,


Miracle on Westervelt Avenue

Grace had just turned 5 one day before Christmas Eve, and Eve would be two the day after Christmas. It was 40 years ago. 

We had been reading chapter books, one chapter each night. It was time to pick up our current book, Wind In The Willows. Tonight happened to be Christmas Eve, but the coincidence of our having come to the chapter about Rat an Mole’s Christmas Eve celebration did not dawn on us... at least not at first. 


The BAJC "Pop-up" Gift Shop for Chanukah!

The BAJC "pop-up" gift shop will be open for several  days this week and next.  Chanukah candles are available, along with menorahs, dreidels, chocolate "gelt" and other Judaica and gift items. Although you can't purchase anything on Shabbat,  you can select your candles and gifts next Saturday morning (12/13), and pay another day, when it's not Shabbat. (You can send a check to BAJC.) 

The gift shop (in the BAJC office--the cottage behind the shul) will also be open on Monday 12/8 from 3:00 to 6:00on Wednesday the 10th from 1:30 to 5:30, on Thursday the 11th from 3:00 to 8:30, and on Friday the 19th from 4:00 on.


Clown Repa Asks Tokpa Dorje a Most Important Question

One day Clown Repa came before Tokpa Dorje with a very important question. Earlier that morning, Tokpa Dorje had thought that perhaps he’d go for a walk, so he had a disciple bring him his cane. However when he sat up from his common reclining Buddha posture he was struck yet again with the sheer wonder of enlightened manifestation and was so joyously inspired, he hadn’t moved from that position. And so it was like this that Clown Repa found him. Not wanting to disturb him, he sat near some other disciples who were meditating in the room.

After awhile Tokpa Dorje turned to the others and said, “Clown Repa has a very important question that he’s dying to ask and it would pain me greatly if the son died before his father.”


Peruvian Shamans Coming to The Stone Church

Condor and Eagle Fly Together

A Community ceremony of healing, connection and manifestation with Don Francisco and doña Juana, master shamans of Peru  

Event is June 30th, 7:30 PM

(Various offerings in Keene area and Maine May 17-29 include a 3-day workshop, individual sessions and more group ceremonies)

The Q'ero elders see the Condor as  the energy of the Andes, connected to the heart.  They see the Eagle as the energy of North America, connected to the mind.  As we connect and fly together, the power of the mind unites with the love and passion of the heart, and it becomes possible for our greatest passions to reflect our soul  purpose.  This is true for the individual, and it is true for societies as well.  Just as we seek to rediscover (and spread) the heart energies that are often well hidden in our communities, the Q'ero people seek the Eagle.  For them, the technology and know-how that is second nature for us -- once united with the ancient ways --  is a gateway to abundance and a better life.  What better sendoff could there be for our guests as they prepare for a very literal flight -- their long journey home -- than to connect  them with us in a ceremony of healing, gratitude, abundance and celebration.


When Religion Is Politics - Prof Dan Miller

Recent decades have witnessed the emergence “political religion,” that is, social groups of global significance who define their political identities in explicitly religious terms. Examples of this phenomenon are numerous, and include global Islamism, Hindu nationalism, and the American Religious Right. This talk explores the significance of these movements for Western social and political thought and suggests how we need to reconsider our understanding of the social in light of them.


Clown Repa Shares His Dream With Tokpa Dorje Who Reveals Its Meaning.

Clown Repa awoke one morning having dreamed a curious and wonderful dream that he felt surely must portend auspicious accomplishment in his practice but he could not understand the signs so he decided to briefly break retreat and go beseech Tokpa Dorje for his clairvoyant interpretation. These days Tokpa Dorje was very old and usually remained in his room which is where Clown Repa found him. As Clown Repa entered the room with his head bowed, Tokpa Dorje opened one eye and then closed it again.

           “Dear son, why have you broken your retreat?” he asked.


Scriptural Assistance

Anybody know the source of this quote?

“Behold! the angel said: O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a word from Him: his name will be Christ, Jesus, son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and of [the company of] those nearest to God.”


The Dragon of Fear

A long time ago, before I was born, a world leader named Roosevelt said: “The only thing to fear is fear itself.”  And, of course, he was right.  We live in a world where there are millions of things to fear, millions of things that might potentially get us.  More and more, the simple occasions of daily life are occasions for fear, from going to the doctor to using the Internet.  If you really thought about it, you would be paralyzed!

For most people who have fears (I feel I can say this, being a person with fears), it’s not the present moment that’s the problem.  It’s what the realities that the present moment might lead to.  Yes, we want to fix the problems of the present but it’s the problems of the future that really bother us.  So many bad things could potentially happen.  Even if you think you’re not a fearful person, think of how many times you say “I didn’t do such and such because I was afraid such and so might happen.”  Fear and worry are future oriented but the future hasn’t happened yet so none of those fears are “real”.  They are imaginings, usually fairly dark imaginings at that.


A Genuine Hero

The following is a brief excerpt from a story by Rebecca Stolnit. I found it on a website called TomDispatch, dated July 18th. For me Snowden is one of the few people who truly define the word hero. He gave up everything and now has the most powerful country on earth trying, vainly so far, to get its hands on him. He did what he believed was right knowing that his government would kill him in a heartbeat. He did what he did without knowing if anyone in the world would or could protect him. He gives meaning to the word courage.

Dear Edward Snowden,

Billions of us, from prime ministers to hackers, are watching a live espionage movie in which you are the protagonist and perhaps the sacrifice. Your way forward is clear to no one, least of all, I’m sure, you.


iBrattleboro Poll

60 degree temperatures in Brattleboro in February are