Dear Friends,
We hope you are hanging in there and finding the strength to meet each day's challenges. While we are all trying to figure out what this new normal means, may we find comfort in the knowledge that we are in this together. Please let us know if there is anything you need - from food shopping to a friendly phone call....

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ginden family , on the death of David's Mother, Barbara Ginden yesterday. There will be a virtual shiva minyan tonight at 7pm if you are able to join us. May David, Sherry, Matthew, Ben, and Jacob be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. 
2.   This Shabbat we're trying an experiment!  Instead of live-streaming we will be using Zoom and Facebook- live for our Friday night service. This will allow more participation and even a chance for an oneg shabbat with schmoozing (sadly no food). See details in Thursday's Chai-lights.
3. Are you looking for positive news? Remember our big push to have you vote in the World Zionist Congress Elections? T he results are in and ARZA/Vote Reform was the clear winner. Thanks to all of you who voted! Looking for more positive news? Check out this article.  World pollution is down, many vaccines are in development, and people are helping out my making facemasks. Maybe you can too? Hartford Hospital is looking for supplies. And consider donating blood at the Red Cross or donating food to Hands on Hartford.
4.  Looking for online experiences?  Check out the listing below for options  at CBI and in the larger Jewish community and if you know of any really good ones - let us know please! Including today at noon - a  virtual mental health session/support group on how to deal with anxiety, isolation from social distancing and getting along with your household members with Aliza Schulman LCSW sponsored by Young Israel and JFS and  see this helpful handout .
5.  It's always been about taking care of each other" In this week's Torah portion Vayikra, God calls out to Moses - our Torah teaches us that we are called to be responsible for each other. Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts. 
Many years ago, a student asked the anthropologist Margaret Mead what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about hooks, clay pots or whetstones. But she didn't. Mead said the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was a femur (thigh bone) that had healed from a break. Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die. You can't run from danger, go to the river to drink water or hunt for food - injured animals or humans become fresh meat for predators. No animal survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal. A broken femur that healed is evidence that someone cared for the injured, treated the wound, took the person to safety and cared for them until they recovered. "Helping someone through difficulty is where civilization begins", said Mead.  "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can't change the world;  For, indeed, that's all who ever have." 
6. A Prayer for Strength when I feel Alone
There are often times, O God, when I feel alone, 
and yet I know in my heart that I am never alone. 
You are always there waiting for me to speak to You
of my desires, hopes and dreams. 
Yet how seldom do I reach out to You 
to voice my gratitude for all that is beautiful 
in my life...all the gifts of my life.
Love, family, friendship, have come from You. 
But the greatest gift of all is Your presence, 
which time and again has given me strength, faith and courage.
Now, in the midst of doubt and confusion, 
I need to know that You are beside me in the depth of my being. 
With You there, 
I know I am not alone - ever. 
My Friend, my strength, my God. 

With peace and blessings, Rabbi Pincus

Classes in Yellow are from CBI - others are ones from across the country you might be interested in...
Yoga w/ Michelle Aaron
Jewish meditation for Challenging Times with IJS
Morning Music & Mindfulness with Max Chaiken
TALMUD STUDY With Rabbi Pincus
Evening Mediation with Rabbi Jonathan Aaron
"Inside the Rabbi's Study"
with Rabbi Ed Feinstein Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
Get Up and Get Active w/ Cantor Tifani
Secular Song Session! w/ Temple Isaiah
Singalong with Brett
Weekly Torah Study) w/ Rabbi Jonathan Aaron
Click to participate

Congregation Beth Israel Shabbat Services
a progressive, welcoming Reform Jewish community

701 Farmington Avenue
West Hartford, Connecticut 06119