שבועיים
Every Two Weeks
In this Newsletter:

. The month of Elul and getting ready for the High Holidays
. Holiness at Home: A Message from Rabbi Dara Lithwick
. The most exciting volunteer opportunities EVER!
. Queer Jewish Pride: Rabbi Lithwick in discussion at 2:00 pm today!

Dear Members,

It is Elul, the last month of the Jewish calendar, a time to prepare for the upcoming Days of Awe. The name of the month is thought to be an acronym of “Ani l’dodi v’dodi li,” “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine,” from Song of Songs or Solomon (6:3). In Aramaic, “Elul” means “search,” which we can interpret in so many different ways at this time of year and in these times: searching our hearts, searching our world, searching for meaning and answers.

To help us prepare for our Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services, Rabbi Lithwick has shared some thoughts with us below on creating holiness at home. Rabbi Lithwick led our wonderful Shabbat services earlier this month and we are so excited to welcome her back to lead us through the High Holidays.

We are extremely grateful to Rabbi Lithwick for leaving her home and family to be with us. She will be conducting the services live from a studio in Toronto so that we can offer better quality and more intimate programming. She will be joined virtually by Daniela Gesundheit, Paula Wolfson, our choir and many of the musicians and member participants you look forward to seeing and hearing at the High Holidays. While there will be much that is new (who has attended a virtual Kol Nidrei before), there will be much that is familiar and makes Shir Libeynu unique.

If you haven’t purchased your 2020-21 membership yet, please click here. Membership is so much more than a High Holiday ticket. It is what sustains us as an organization and enables us to offer programming all year round.

Below you will find other great ways to support our shul through volunteering. Please take a look and see if one of them has your name on it. We need your support!

Take care,
Board of Directors
If you need any support to participate fully in our High Holiday services, please get in touch and let us know: slboard@shirlibeynu.ca.
Schedule: We have put together the schedule of High Holiday services (click here). We are still working on confirming afternoon programming for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and will share details in our next newsletter.

Materials: Well in advance of Erev Rosh Hashanah, we will provide you with links to the services and materials. The materials will be provided in PDF format. They will be lengthy so you may not wish to print them unless you have a good printer. However, all the main liturgy will be shown on screen.

A Reminder about Yizkor: We will be reading names at our Yizkor service as we always do but the process will be a little different this year. Please send us names as early as possible. We will be accepting names until Monday, September 14th at 4 pm. You can provide names when you buy your membership. If you have already bought your membership, but forgot to fill out the Yizkor form, please click here to add names.

Read Yizkor Names: We are looking for members to record themselves reading Yizkor names. We will use the audio only, not your image. Please let us know if you would like to lend your voice to this very significant role: slboard@shirlibeynu.ca.

Lead a Workshop for the High Holidays: If you would like to offer a workshop on the afternoon of Yom Kippur (Monday, September 28th), please let us know as soon as possible: slboard@shirlibeynu.ca

Read Torah or Other Readings: If you would like to read Torah or other readings at our High Holiday services, please let us know as soon as possible: slboard@shirlibeynu.ca
Holiness at Home: A Message from Rabbi Dara Lithwick

Shalom! In less than three weeks we will be welcoming the start of 5781 together in a way that is different from any other year. The past months have brought about significant change and challenge. Rabbi Goldberg has taken on the role of Rabbi Emerita, and you will have a new face (mine) along with Daniela leading you through the High Holidays. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives, challenging us as a community to innovate and maintain social connection in the midst of physical distancing. 
Yes, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur will look quite different this year, but they will still be meaningful and grounded in customs and traditions that help us to be our best selves. Yes, we must let go of how the holiday process has been in years past when we gathered together in person. This year’s programs are designed to be experienced at home and on screen. Yet we also know that “zooming” all day can be both physically and spiritually draining. We have worked to design the services so that each segment isn’t more than 75 minutes long. Pick and choose the programs that work best for you and your family. We will be live, with some pre-recorded elements, and there will be opportunities to interact online together. As well, we are exploring options for small, in-person outdoor gathering to hear the shofar and participate in Tashlich during Rosh Hashanah, and to stretch our legs during Yom Kippur.


The services will be best experienced on tablets, computers and larger screens rather than on phones. With a streaming box, smart TV, or the right kind of cable, you may be able to enjoy the services on your TV.

I feel honoured and humbled to be joining you this year, in these extraordinary times, for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Thank you to all involved in creating and implementing this year’s holiday offerings. We are indeed stronger, together.

Shalom and see you soon!
Cool Shul Seeks New Volunteers

Volunteers are vital to our community. They contribute new ideas, creativity and energy to all we do. Volunteers make things happen! Please check out all the great opportunities below and consider adding Shir Libeynu volunteering to your plans for the New Year (the Jewish New Year!) Thanks to everyone who has already stepped up.

Host Zoom Sessions: If you know Zoom or would like to learn, please help out our Zoom Master, Jamie Flagal, by hosting some of our Zoom offerings: slboard@shirlibeynu.ca.

Contribute to our Newsletter: We would love to feature more content from members in our bi-weekly newsletter. If you would like to write or contribute something, please send your ideas to Dahlia Klinger: slboard@shirlibeynu.ca. She could use some friends on the news beat.

Join our Education Committee: Help us develop exciting children/youth and adult education programming, and collaborate with other shuls and organizations who share our goals. Please contact Jon Novick: education@shirlibeynu.ca.

Join our Social Justice Committee: Help lead the congregation’s social justice efforts with a particular focus on combatting anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism. We are looking for big ideas and enthusiasm and a small time commitment: slboard@shirlibeynu.ca
Congregation Shir Libeynu