A Passover Teaching from Rabbi Yael Rapport

Dear CBST Community,
Pesach may never have felt so relevant and real to us as it does this year. We are living through a series of modern plagues; we find ourselves in a Mitzrayim of contemporary invention--restriction and narrowness over which we have no agency or control. Perhaps this is the closest we have come to the ancient exhortation of our Haggadah: B'chol dor vador, chayav adam lirot et atzmo k'ilu yatzani miMitzrayim--in every generation, it is incumbent upon each person to see themselves as if they personally made the Exodus from Egypt.

Like us, the Children of Israel did not know what the length of their term of restriction would be. In their case, it lasted for generations in which they were enslaved. But when the moment arose for individual and communal action, our stories of courage are the ones we retell over and over: the stories of Shifra and Puah's bravery and skill, Pharaoh's daughter Batya's compassion, Yitro's generosity, Miriam's music, Aaron's oratory, Moses' leadership. Each of us has a singular gift that we can offer to the world at this moment, that is essential to the realization of our reason for this season: z'man cheiruteinu, the season of our liberation.

This Pesach, CBST will gather together with rituals both ancient and new. It may be the first time we will have a Seder via Zoom, but we will sit surrounding a table larger than we ever could have imagined. When we ask at every future Seder, "Why is this night different from all other nights?," it may be this night we are remembering as a moment when our own modern experience and the experience of our ancient ancestors brushed through the veil of time.

We wish you a chag kasher v'sameach, a fitting and sweet Passover this year.

Here's how you can mark this season of liberation with CBST:
"Preparing For Passover with Rabbi Moskowitz"
Monday and Tuesday, April 6 & 7, 6:30-7:15 pm, via Zoom
Join Zoom Meeting:  https://zoom.us/j/238671634 
Meeting ID: 238 671 634
Dial by phone: +1 646 876 9923
In preparation for Passover, Rabbi Moskowitz will share thoughts on identity, communal responsibility, and unity from the Haggadah.

Read this poignant piece by Rabbi Moskowitz.  
One Mitzvah Leads to Another: Sell Your Chametz
Halachah  (Jewish law) prohibits eating  chametz  (leaven) during Pesach and also forbids us to even own  chametz . Our tradition provides a legal procedure: you can "sell" your  chametz  and, an hour after after Passover concludes, you can "buy" it back (without actual delivery or pick-up). This year, Rabbi Rapport will serve as your "Chametz Agent." There is no fee - you make a contribution (maot chittim) HERE. You will support the online Seder and enable Pesach observance by someone who would not otherwise be able to celebrate.
Deadline: Monday, April 6.  
Whether taking a seat at CBST's virtual table, or opening the Haggadah with those who share your home, get an introduction and some advice about the order of events here.
Discover the classic symbolism of the items on our seder plates (or their creative alternatives!) and consider the addition of a symbol that represents a contemporary struggle for social justice equity. 
Teach Our Children the Story: Down The Nile: A Passover Aggadah Adventure
Starting Monday, April 6, at 10 am, CBST's Aggadah Actors will release daily video clips for children with activities and challenges designed for ages  2-7, their grownups and families to bring the Passover story to life. Although we can't gather in person, we'll bring the theater experience to your home with new interactive content on Wednesday, April 8th -- click here to see the trailer. 
Wednesday, April 8, 6:30 pm; VIA ZOOM (no need to register) 
Led by Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum
Please arrive at least 10 minutes early so that we can begin on time. Please note: Zoom works better on a computer (laptop or desktop). Using Zoom via phone will limit your capacity to participate.  
Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/589495681 
Meeting ID: 589 495 681
OR dial by phone: +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/aF9WVqzqn

Some Important Things to Know about This Year's Seder
  • We will be using A Night of Questions, ed. by Rabbi Joy Levitt and Rabbi Michael Strassfeld. You can download a free pdf of the Haggadah here
  • We're using Zoom for the Seder this year, so there's no need to register!
  • If you had registered for the in-person Seder, you should have already received an email about refunds. Questions? Contact Ruth.
  • Contribute in support of CBST's online Seder led by our Clergy Team.
Second Night Seder Options (for those who observe): Thursday, Apr. 9 / 15 Nisan
  • Lead your own seder for your household or loved ones using the
    A Night of Questions haggadah link above!
Friday, Apr. 10 / 16 Nisan
"Connecting in Community"  with Cooperberg-Rittmaster Rabbinical Intern Deborah Megdal,  3-4 pm 
Meeting ID: 256 347 787; by phone: +1 646 876 9923
In this stressful time, we need to love, support, and listen to one another with an open heart. All are invited to a short text study & support session. No registration required.
Friday, Apr. 10 / 17 Nisan
Shabbat Chol HaMoed Pesach, 6:30 pm 
Ba'al Tefillah: Cantorial Intern David Fair
Piano: Music Director Joyce Rosenzweig
Service Leader & Drashah: Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum
Visit CBST's main Facebook page--you will find the livestream of the Shabbat service at/near the top of the page.
Saturday, Apr. 11 / 17 Nisan
Shabbat Chol HaMoed Pesach - Liberal Minyan, 10 am
B'nai Mitzvah of George Aul, Sharan Bonder, and Brian Zumhagen
Ba'al Tefillah: Cantorial Intern David Fair
Service Leaders: Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum and Rabbi Yael Rapport
Divrei Torah: George Aul, Sharan Bonder, and Brian Zumhagen
RSVP here to be sent the Zoom link

Limmud (Grades K-8) Online, 10-11 am
Teen Track Online, 1:30-2:30 pm 
For students who want to connect with their teachers and each other, Limmud will be held via Zoom. Teachers will email their classes the Zoom link and details. Hebrew tutoring included, by appointment only. 
Havdalah, 8:30 pm
Service Leader: Rabbi Marisa James
Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/654880356
Meeting ID: 654 880 356; phone: +1 646 876 9923 (New York) 
Thursday, Apr. 16 / 22 Nisan
Pesach Yom Tov Shacharit with Yizkor, 10 am
Ba'al Tefillah: Cantorial Intern David Fair
Service Leader & D'var Torah: Rabbi Yael Rapport
RSVP here to be sent the Zoom link

Thursday, Apr. 16 / 22 Nisan
Mimouna Conversation, 6 pm
Meeting ID:  668 106 581 ; by phone: +1 646 876 9923
Mimouna is a traditional North African celebratory dinner that takes place the day after Passover. Join CBST members Yvonne Gore, Shep Wahnon, and Avi Ofrane, who grew up observing Mimouna, for a conversation about the meaning and joys of this holiday.
Brought to you by Aleinu, open to all.

Sunday, Apr. 19 / 25 Nisan
Mimouna with the 14th St Y and Downtown Jewish Life, 5 pm
A Mimouna-inspired music performance and a panel on the interfaith nature of the holiday with CBST member, Shep Wahnon, and the musician Jawad Boussina.
Facebook Live details forthcoming!

Chag kasher v'sameach! 

RSK signature2
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum 
Senior Rabbi

Rabbi Yael Rapport 
Assistant Rabbi

Joyce Rosenzweig 
Music Director

Rabbi Mike Moskowitz
Scholar-in-Residence, Queer & Trans Studies

Rabbi Marisa Elana James 
Director of Social Justice Programming
Congregation Beit Simchat Torah
130 West 30th Street, New York, NY 10001-0154
tel 212.929.9498 | fax 212.620.3154 | info@cbst.org | www.cbst.org