Congregation B'nai Harim
at the Nevada County
Jewish Community Center
January / February
2024-5784 Newsletter
Nevada County Jewish
Community Center Newsletter
Serving the members of our Diverse Community
as together we search, study, and learn the history, the culture,
the principles, the Values ..... explore and take on moments here and there
of just what does it mean & how does it feel to take on this Jewish experience?
What is this Jewish Identity .......
Upcoming Events!
Services via Zoom and In Person
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 945 669 9137
One tap mobile +16699006833,,9456699137# US (San Jose)
Dial by your location   +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
Shabbat Services
Join us on the First Friday for our Family Shabbat Dinner followed by our evening Shabbat Service at 7:00

January 5th @5:30 PM
January 19th @ 7:00 PM
February 2nd @5:30 PM
February 16th @ 7:00 PM

Torah Study
Janaury 6th @ 10:00AM
January 20th @ 10:00AM
February 3rd @ 10:00AM
February 17th @ 10:00AM
Saturday Torah Study:
Studying the Torah,
the Hebrew Scriptures, from the
very beginning of the Bible.
Please see Rabbi's Message for more details.
via Zoom and In Person
Rabbi David Azen

Rabbi Office hours
by appointment only please.
You may contact Rabbi Directly or the NCJCC Office
Please visit our Website
for more information and to find our links
to event RSVP's, payments, and donations!

A $5-10 donation for all Friday night dinner events unless otherwise noted for special events is appreciated. Thank you for your support.

Important Dates

Events will be held in Person and by Zoom when possible.
Any change will be noted in the weekly schmooze.

Tu BiShvat
January 24th-25th

Israeli Circle Dancing
January 28th @ 2:00 PM

Valentines Day
February 14th

Movie Night
March 29th @7:00 PM

Monthly Programs by Department

NCJCC Board Meeting
First Thursday each month
January 4th @7:00 PM
February 1st @7:00 PM

Sisterhood Meeting
First Thursday each month
January 4th @12:30 PM
February 1st @ 12:30 PM

Sisterhood Book Club
Second Monday each month
Janaury 8th @ 12:30 PM
February 12th @ 12:30 PM

Sunday School
January 7th and 21st @ 9:30 AM
February 4th and 25th @ 9:30 AM

Rabbi Kids
Contact Rabbi David for details

Youth Hebrew
Thursdays @ 3:30 PM

Adult Hebrew Classes
Contact Kinneret at

Tu BiShvat January 24-25
 Tu BiShvat or the "New Year of the Trees" is Jewish Arbor Day.

The holiday is observed on the 15th (tu) of the Hebrew month of Shvat. Scholars believe that originally
Tu BiShvat was an agricultural festival, marking the emergence of spring. In the 17th century, Kabbalists created a ritual for Tu BiShvat that is similar to a Passover seder. Today, many Jews hold a modern version of the Tu BiShvat seder each year. The holiday also has become a tree-planting festival in Israel, in which Israelis and Jews around the world plant trees in honor or in memory of loved ones and friends.

Please see our Social Action below to help us plant trees.
Rabbi's Message
Start at the Very Beginning
For the new year, Congregation B’nai Harim (Bringing Hebrew Wisdom to the Hills), will begin studying the Torah, the Hebrew Scriptures, from the very beginning of the Bible. Hebrew and not-yet Hebrew learners will explore the depths of each letter, from the original pictographic images that became letters, to the hidden mysteries of one of the sacred tongues of the world, in fact one of the roots of our culture today. If you want to get to the root of God and your faith, if it emanates from the Hebrew Scriptures in any way, you must start at the very beginning. Rabbi David M. Azen will begin before the beginning, in the white space before the words. Back when, per Mickey Hart, all there was was rhythm. The heartbeat of infinity. You’ll learn what the purpose of creation was from the architect that drew up the blueprints for bliss day by day, and what went awry according to Rabbi Isaac Luria in the 1500s. All tongues are sacred, and yet…Hebrew has a special place in the development of world culture, and mistranslations and surface understandings from third hand sources have soured some of the beauty, mystery and ambiguity of the text. Medieval philosophy did a terrible number on God, forcing us to believe in an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being that is nothing like the multifaceted deity of the Hebrew tradition. Those who have risked and given their lives for the preservation, continuation, and continuous reinvention of this tradition ought to be cherished, and the regular pushing of the boundaries of what is right and what needs to happen comes directly from the Exodus tradition. The Jewish people who have held fast to the Tree of Life and done countless good deeds for people of all tongues aim to improve the world. We just can’t do that if we’re dead. For those in the Jewish community, in these times of turmoil, we need to turn to our tradition and do the most good deeds we can, and observe those markers of identity that strengthen our knowledge of why we’re still here. We learn in the Talmud: There are priceless words and actions that bear fruit in this world and the world to come: Honor father and mother; compassionate deeds; grace to guests; visit the sick; celebrate weddings; accompany the dead for burial; deep prayer; make peace among people. And study of Torah is equal to them all (because it leads to them all. So come and study, here or elsewhere, doesn’t matter, just keep learning. For those of other tongues and faiths, you are welcome to join in the exploration. The rabbis taught that study was a form of meditation, so if you’re interested in learning Hebrew at an excruciating slow pace, embracing mystery, ambiguity and freedom to question, consider joining us -- we aren’t looking for converts, just fellow travelers and friends. The Jewish tradition does not compel belief to get a spot in the next world. If you’re not yet a member of the congregation, and would like an invitation to start and/or deepen your relationship to the Bible, please send a note to and let us know a bit about you and what background you have, and what interests you about this opportunity. May this new year find us ready to learn more about each other and how to live by bringing out the best in ourselves and each other.

Teachings will begin January 6th at 10:00AM
President's Message
As we welcome 2024, we also welcome several new members to our community. 2024 also brings the return of our preschool program as we welcome our youngest members into our school. 
The final plans for the building-parking lot interface component of our security grant are under review and construction will begin as soon as the plans are approved by the city. Additional security measures are also underway as part of the Cal OES security grant. 
2024 is sure to be a busy year for Congregation B’nai Harim at the Nevada County Jewish Community Center and I invite you all to read our weekly email blast to see all the happenings and check out the calendar of events on our webpage.  
Mya Russell
Facilities Update
If anyone is interested in helping out with any facilities projects, please contact our Facilities chairperson by emailing Mya Russell at We do have several smaller projects that require very short time commitments so if you only have a couple hours to help, we have something for you and if you have a student needing volunteer hours, this is a great opportunity for them to work with other community members.

Our CalOES security grant project is underway with finalizing design plans, obtaining permits and collecting bids from contractors. In the coming months you can expect to see activity outside the building. Please do not disturb any landscape flags, paint or other markings you see outside the building as the various utilities have been surveyed.
Israeli Circle Dancing - Sunday January 28th
Friday Night Movies
Fifth Friday   
 Movie Nights

At the NCJCC

March 29th
Watch for details in the Schmooze!

Social Action
The Operation Warmth clothing drive was a smashing success!! The folks at Hospitality House were so excited and the generosity of our congregation was fabulously over the top!

For January and February
We are raising funds for JNF, the Jewish National Fund, in honor of Tu B'shvat.
Our collective goal is to raise $500 to plant 100 trees in Israel in memory of the lives taken on October 7, 2023.

There will be a collection can at NCJCC for cash and checks. 
"Fresher Sacramento seeks to enable everyone to go to bed well-fed and build wealth from health for generations to come. With nearly a quarter of a million folks in Sacramento County lacking regular access to affordable, nutritious food, our team of Fresher Chefs are cooking up a brand new model for making sure everyone goes to bed well fed, by preparing affordable, convenient, delicious, and nutritious meals for folks who lack the time, knowledge, and resources to prepare their own."
Youth and Adult Education
Kinneret Vinitzky, Principal Religious, Hebrew School
for Children, Youth and Adult Education.
Hi Everyone,

I hope you are having a wonderful break!
In the new year we are reopening a preschool group again.
The group will be joining us on Sundays.
 For the month of January we will be meeting on
Friday, January 5th to celebrate Shabbat together,
we will meet at 5:30 pm and have a service and dinner.
We will meet again February 4th.

Sunday School will meet:
Sunday, January 7th, 9:30 am - 12:00pm.
Sunday, January 21st, 9:30 am - 12:00pm, we will celebrate Tu B'shevat.
Sunday, February 4th and 25th.

Hebrew classes will meet Thursday, January 11th, 18th, 25th, at 3:30 pm.
and February 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th.


All the best, 
Men's Club
Gordon Mann, President

The Mens Club hosted Bruce Brill, author of Deceit of an Ally, on November 12th. The book talks about the background of the 1973 war where the intelligence from the US did not share the high likelihood of the attack on Israel by the surrounding countries. Lower level workers at NSA knew of the attack and were surprised the higher ups didn't pass along the information to help Israel be prepared. When asked they were advised it is above their pay grade....

It is a great informational topic of how people in charge choose what information to share, or hold back information for some self-guided purpose. I hope people are interested in purchasing the book and learning more as I have, Deceit of an Ally by Brill, Bruce (

Fifth Fridays - March, May, August, November. Watch for the films selected, hosted, and presented by Ralph Remick and Kurt Remick.

We hosted a successful golf outing in October, and it allowed people that normally wouldn't be able to play at Lake of the Pines to play. We are excited to be playing there again in 2024, so keep you eyes out for our tournament date.

We have plans for a February Purim wine tasting.

Happy 2024

B'Nai Harim Sisterhood
of the NCJCC
Officers and Committee Members

Sisterhood meets the first Thursday of each month at the NCJCC.
January 4th @12:30
February 1st @ 12:30

President:   Carol Brown
VP Programs:  Cheryl Kelly
VP Membership: Jackie Levy
VP Fundraising: Judy Silberman
Recording Secretary: Antia DuPratt
Treasurer: Gail Atlas
Judaica Shop Chair: Jackie Levy

Corresponding Secretary: Cheryl Kelly
Bereavement/Caring Hands Chair: Arline Mehr
Charitable Giving Chair: Susan Halperin
Oneg Shabbat Chair: Debbie Lamont
Book Club Chair: Ruth Goodin
Past President: Ruth Goodin

Sisterhood Book Club
The Sisterhood Book Club meets on the second Monday of each month at the NCJCC. Gather and Greet at 12:30 with lively Book Discussions beginning at 1:00.

Hope you all will join us. If you haven't read the book, that’s ok, you can join in on the stimulating conversation.

January 8th Dinners with Ruth, By Nina Totenberg
February 12th The Saturday Wife, By Naomi Regan
Jan Brenner, Membership Chair
January / February Birthdays
January / February Anniversaries
We honor those who went before us....who helped us become who we are!
By sharing the names of family and friends
who forever hold a special, precious place
in our hearts and minds .....
the people who we keep close within our
person as we move
We Remember
Thank you to our Sponsor's
Know your Evacuation Zone
Please be safe as we find ourselves in high fire danger.

Know your Fire Evacuation Zone, use the following link ZoneHaven - Now