"The New Jewish Canon”:
A Conversation about Contemporary Judaism
May 11 @ 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
The late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries have been a period of mass production and proliferation of Jewish ideas, and have witnessed major changes in Jewish life and stimulated major debates. Join this class to talk about the book, “The New Jewish Canon,” which came out this year in July. This book offers a conceptual roadmap to make sense of some of this rapid change. The New Jewish Canon is an entry point for the Jewish intellectual and communal zeitgeist of the contemporary period and the recent past, canonizing our most important ideas and debates of the past two generations; and just as importantly, stimulating debate and scholarship about what is yet to come. Join Rebbetzin Bethany with your lunch on zoom to talk about some of these debates. Register here for the zoom link.
Jewish Liturgy 101 with Cantor Wittner
May 11 @ 6:00 PM
What does our liturgy mean? Why do we say the Amidah every day, three times a day? What is the v’ahavta all about?
Jewish liturgy includes reciting, chanting, or singing texts; using ritual objects and wearing ritual garments; performing choreographed physical actions and gestures, and reciting blessings. Although Jewish liturgy includes far more than just the texts that are recited, the texts themselves provide a valuable way of understanding what Jewish prayer and worship is all about. Join us for a three-part series with Cantor Wittner to answer these questions and more in Jewish Liturgy 101.
The Tikkun Middot Project
May 11 @ 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
The Tikkun Middot Project is an innovative, national program to promote character development through mindful engagement with the Jewish Mussar tradition. Beth El is participating by building a small group that will meet to study, discuss, and practice character-forming techniques. Created by the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, the purpose of the program is to bring positive communal change by helping individuals acknowledge and reduce negative behavioural patterns. The course will help you be more skillful at navigating challenging situations by building up your wisdom and compassion. Beginning November 17th, Rebbitzen Bethany will be leading a group through this program using a curriculum created by Rabbi David Jaffe.
What Kind of Commitment Is This? Participants will meet once a month for two hours over the course of nine months. In between sessions, participants will check in with a chavruta (study partner) at least once, to study relevant material and check-in for approximately 30-45 minutes. During each unit participants will learn about an action and a focus phrase they can use to help them work on the character trait for that month. Registration is required and the group will close after the first session so that we can build intimacy as a group.
Lunchtime Torah Study
May 12 @ 12:00 - 1:00 PM
This Torah study meets via Zoom and will cover that week’s Torah portion. All levels welcome.
Hands Up Together 2021
May 13 @ 5:30 - 6:30 PM
Collat Jewish Family Services
Mark your calendar for 5:30 pm May 13, when CJFS will honor Nancy Collat Goedecke at our annual Hands Up Together event! The virtual event will be presented by Mayer and Medical Properties Trust, Inc. Event Chairs are Marjorie Perlman and Emmett McLean, and the event’s Honorary Chair is Charles Collat Sr. Hands Up Together 2021 will be presented on Zoom from 5:30-6:15 pm on Thursday, May 13. This annual event helps make it possible for CJFS to provide care and support for older adults in greater Birmingham. CJFS programs and services support independence and enrich quality of life for older adults, regardless of their faith or financial ability.
May 16 @ 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Sunday afternoon, in-person, socially-distant, outdoor adventures for the sake of building empathy, integrity, kindness, and civic-mindedness. During our monthly adventures, we will focus on building our awareness of contemporary social challenges and Torah’s power to help us be better thinkers, feelers, and doers. Students will need to wear masks at all times and we ask that you bring your own kosher-style snacks and water bottles. This is a program organized out of Beth El for 4th-8th graders. It is open to all children in the community.
Contact Margaret if you are interested in participating or would like more information.
Shavuot Learning with Rabbi Wright
May 16 @ 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Join us for this special learning session with Rabbi Wright as we explore Shavuot together. Shavuot, the “Feast of Weeks,” is celebrated seven weeks after Passover (Pesach). Since the counting of this period (sefirot ha-omer) begins on the second evening of Passover, Shavuot takes place exactly 50 days after the (first) Seder. Although its origins are to be found in an ancient grain harvest festival, Shavuot has long been identified with the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.
Book of Ruth Text Study with Cantor Wittner
May 16 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
A Shavuot tradition is to study late into the evening. Led by Cantor Wittner, we will read the book of Ruth and dissect the text with Rabbinical commentary and questioning.
Family Friendly Shabbat Picnic
May 22 @ 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Description:Join us for frisbee golf, family fun and a delicious spread at this special Shabbat picnic celebrating our seniors and confirmation students. This will be our last Shabbat picnic as we’ll be beating the heat and taking a summer hiatus, so you won’t want to miss it! Bring a chair or picnic blanket and your favorite face mask. More details on the menu coming soon.
Financial Assistance Available
for Jewish Community Members
Thanks to a grant from the Greatest Needs Fund of the Birmingham Jewish Federation’s COVID Relief Campaign, Collat Jewish Family Services is offering financial assistance to Jewish community members who are facing financial insecurity because of job loss, caring for family or other issues. Confidential assistance is available to members of the Birmingham Jewish community who need help with rent or mortgage payments, utilities, prescription costs or other needs. To learn more, please email CJFS Clinical Director Marcy Morgenbesser LICSW, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 205.879.3438.