Nevada County Jewish Community Center & Congregation B'nai Harim
March 2020
This month we celebrate Purim!
Visit our website for the Weekly Schmooze and Calendar @
Some Highlights!
The Property Backyard Landscape Project is coming along beautifully but we need your help. We have had the privilege of an anonymous donor to Match $50,000 in donations for our project. Please consider making a tax deductible contribution today.
Check out the the details below.
Checks to NCJCC and note backyard project.
Mail to NCJCC P.O. Box 1426, Grass Valley, CA 95945

More great information below.
Keep Reading

Shabbat Services and Torah Study
Friday Night Shabbat Services with
Rabbi David Azen
Saturday Torah Study

Happen the first and third Friday of the Month. Please visit our website at for the current dates and times in the Schmooze.

March 6-8 we will celebrate Purim with Rabbi David Azen
March 6th @ 6 pm with Dinner and the Purim Spiel.
March 8th at 9:30 with our Sunday School Purim Spiel.
Bring your best costumes and groggers to add to the merriment of the production of "A Fiddlin" Purim Spiel.

Click this link for a twist on your favorite Hamantaschen - Herb and Cheese filling

With celebrations including costumes, skits and songs, noisemakers, and gifts of food, Purim is definitely full of fun! Purim is a joyous holiday that affirms and celebrates Jewish survival and continuity throughout history. The main communal celebration involves a public reading—usually in the synagogue—of the Book of Esther (M'gillat Esther), which tells the story of the holiday: Under the rule of King Ahashverosh, Haman, the king's adviser, plots to exterminate all of the Jews of Persia. His plan is foiled by Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai, who ultimately save the Jews of Persia from destruction. The reading of the m'gillah typically is a rowdy affair, punctuated by booing and noise-making when Haman's name is read aloud.
Purim is an unusual holiday in many respects. First, Esther is the only biblical book in which God is not mentioned.


Second, Purim, like  Hanukkah , is viewed as a minor festival according to Jewish custom, but has been elevated to a major holiday as a result of the Jewish historical experience. Over the centuries, Haman has come to symbolize every anti-Semite in every land where Jews were oppressed. The significance of Purim lies not so much in how it began, but in what it has become: a thankful and joyous affirmation of Jewish survival.

Get out the VOTE!! March 3rd
Here's one more reason.

The story of Purim and Megillat Esther was catalyzed by the drawing of lots, when Haman cast his lot to determine the date he would destroy the Jewish people. The date he drew allowed the other events of the story to fall into place, leading to the eventual demise of Haman and his family and the elevation in the status of Esther and the Jews in their time.

Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism's (IMPJ) monthly newsletter:
Israel - On March 2nd, on Election Day, Israelis will once again have the opportunity to cast their lots - this time, to choose our own future. I believe that Israelis will choose a future that is open, inclusive and accepting of the fact that a Jew is a Jew is a Jew. Right now our friends in the United States have a unique opportunity to vote at the same time as us here in Israel.
Wishing you a Chag Purim Sameach,
  Rabbi Gilad Kariv
IMPJ President & CEO

A time for our country to come together and share our ideas, thoughts and beliefs. We do have a say.
Vote March 3rd!!

Purim Fun to do with your family or friends

  • Quiz: Which Purim Character are You? Click the link to visit the website. Link

  • Family ideas to celebrate Michloach Manot ( Purim Gift baskets and give back to the community) Link

  • Hamantachen taking to long?
Try Apple Hamantaschen Galette Link

Inside this Newsletter

News from our Rabbi and Board President
Messages from our Education Department, Men's Club, Sisterhood, Book Club, Membership, and Property Development.
Whats Happening around the JCC

If you have additional information or a correction,
Please send an email to NCJCC@outlook .com
Visit us on Facebook

Rabbi's Message
Rabbi David Azen
A Fiddlin Purim Spiel
By Marc Michaels
"It has long been a tradition to re-tell the Purim story of Megillat Ester in a shpiel - a playlet. After a break for some food and celebration a bunch of gifted amateurs take to the stage and re-enact the special story. Often these are set to some iconic cultural reference point past, present, and future.
I've been writing these for many years covering many themes and performing them with a variety of people.
Fiddler on the Roof was, and is, my favourite play.... "

Voted nonprofit of the year by Senator .......
" 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."
Presidents Message

Presidents Message
  “the role of the individual and his or her single acts
can determine the future of the world”
Talmudic Saying of Rabbinic Sages
As Jews we are offered the opportunity to experience two annual "New Year’s".
One in the early fall with the ten days of introspection, clearing the slate and
rededicating ourselves to living a "good" life at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and again only months later at the annual celebration of the New Years in January we are invited to again check in with the year past and plan for our future.
During each period of time we are invited to reflect on our thoughts and deeds of the past year, a time to enhance our awareness of individual responsibility in our personal life, our families, our work and communities.
As we consider the many events of 5779…. ones locally, ones as a nation and the international arena……. without recounting the specifics and dire consequences, I must admit... "we're not looking so good" This became more apparent when I recently came across a message I wrote to our members in 1994 ... it referenced a past year in which many substantive discussions, in-depth negotiations and formal agreements for peace were being actively pursued... in some instances commitments were codified into formal signed agreements between Israel and neighboring Arab countries.
While some of the agreements remain... many other exchanges over the past 26 years have lapsed or failed. And, tragically there appears to be little trust that peaceful co-existence will be possible any time soon. Thus my message today in 5780 is much more somber in nature…one that acknowledges an unwillingness, to date to be a humanity that believes in and is devoted to creating a peaceful world…. A world where  the life of another is respected and protected.
What will it take for people of an interconnected world community to renew a commitment to accepting, honoring our diversity and doing what is needed to reside in a more peaceful world?
The answer to the above conundrum from a global perspective may not be answered in the immediate term... however the many thousands of years with our history as the Jewish people, a Tribe, who have  continually struggled and fought against all odds to remain together... to retain our commitment to
justice ...  Tikun Olam is a testament to our resilience... to our strength as a people who choose life and a deep commitment to living in peace with our world communities
And thou we have had our own share of concerns.... the strength of our history has led to our humble existence as the "Shul on the Hill" is giving us more cause for optimism.  As stewards of a shared commitment to service of those who are the NCJCC, Congregation B'nai Harim we were formed by a few for the sole purpose of reconnecting to memories of the best experiences of being Jewish. A way to share with others "just a little something " that had been missing as they pursued busy lives away from their beginnings.
For forty seven (47) years our being "just a bit of the best of what it is to be Jewish" has attracted the interest, the enthusiasm of others who had been missing “just a little something “ that made them feel at ease, provide more comfort, feel more at home. This element of “a little something” took hold . Now the few became the more ... with interested observers discovering a connection they wanted to explore
A Jewish Identity is deeply personal. Our role is just to be Present... Open, warm, Welcoming, to listen ... to offer ways of learning... nurturing one’s choices to experience, to try out... to Keep or embrace.
Today, the result of many hundreds of people who have remained committed giving hundreds of thousands of hours in time and hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep us here and able to be of service continues. Thus, my more somber view of the condition of our greater world community is softened by the facts, the truth of our presence and a never-ending commitment to continue of service in perpetuity. And for that.... I am Grateful.
Please join in insuring our growth and ability to bring the diversity and the best of what it is to be part of the Jewish experience... being part of our family, a member of the Tribe.
One way is to join in helping by making a tax deductible Contribution to help us reach a match to the $50,000 Contribution of an Anonymous Donor to continue developing our new Property Backyard Landscape Development Project in Progress.
B'ahava & Shalom, Iola 

Youth and Adult Education
Kinneret Vinitzky, Principal Religious, Hebrew School
for Children, Youth and Adults
We are building a SMALL City of Jerusalem.

Dear Sunday School parents and Members of Congregation B'nai H'arim of the NCJCC,

We have been working hard learning about ancient Jerusalem and how the Jews of the old city lived. Our culminating project is to build a re-creation of this beautiful old city using bits and pieces of things we find around us. This is where we need your help!

Please send in any small building and/or craft supplies you might have have lying around that you may not be using. Those of you doing construction projects around the house that may have some small pieces of wood, tiles, clay or plaster -- anything that could help our students build a thriving city! Some other suggestions:
*Lego people, toy soldiers
*toy farm animals, plastic camels, Lego animals
*cloth,wood, blocks, popsicle sticks, felt, thin cardboard, small rocks, pebbles
You get the idea, right? 
Thank you so much for your help and participation. We will be accepting donations beginning this Sunday until mid April. 

Lori,Carol,Debbie,Dana and Kinneret

Our teachers are: 
Mya Russel - Teaching Pre-school 
Dana Valensky Teaching Kindergarten - 1st Grade 
Lori Cohen Teaching 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Grade 
Kinneret Vinitzky - Teaching 5th, 6th, and 7th Grade

Hebrew class is scheduled on Wednesday at 3:30pm - 4:30pm. Attached you will find the 2019-2020 School calendar and the registration form by clicking on the highlighted text above to view and download.

Youth Activities
Dan Kalt, Youth Coordinator

We'll be planning more fun activities for our temple teens / tweens as the year starts and throughout the year. If anyone is interested in helping out, please don't hesitate to contact the Rabbi or myself at

Men's Club
Gordon Mann, President
The Men's Club meets the second Sunday of each month at 9:30am. We feature interesting speakers and presenters from the community. The activities include monthly meetings with stimulating speakers, and events such as a scotch and BBQ, wine and beer tastings, golf, and Poker games to prepare for the next Poker Tournament.

The Men's Club is open to the entire congregation and community, men and women alike. Speakers and events are scheduled on Sundays as well as in the evenings and we'll share the upcoming opportunities in the weekly and monthly announcements, as well as the website.

We appreciate your interest and support of our activities and look forward to seeing you. Our annual dues are only $20. When we meet on Sunday mornings, we serve lox and bagels, coffee, and orange juice for only $5.00 (such a good deal! Your mother would be proud).

Contact Gordon Mann at for more information, to suggest an interesting speaker, or to schedule an event .
Lee Nold-Lewis, President
Join Now and come to our 25th Anniversary Celebration March 5th.
This is a member only event.

Our 2019-20 officers:

President:                   Lee Nold-Lewis
Membership VP:        Ruth Goodin
Programming VPs:    Carol Brown and Yardena Bobys
Fund Raising VPs:      Cheryl Kelly and Virginia Herron
Treasurer:                   Gail Atlas
Recording Secretary: Judy Silberman
Corresponding Secretary: Lori Cohen

We welcome any women who would like to join us!
Please contact Ruth Goodin, Sisterhood Membership Chair,
at 925-354-2145 if you are interested
in attending a meeting and checking us out.
Sisterhood Book Club
Arlene Waxman
Book Club discussions do continue on the second Monday of the month. Contact Arlene Waxman at 530-478-9484 for additional information.  

Jan Brenner, Membership Chair
If you haven't already or you are new to the area, please fill out the membership renewal form and mail it to Congregation B'nai Harim at P.O box 1426. If you did not receive a copy in the mail, please reply to this email with your mailing address or call the office at (530) 477-0922.
Property Development
Mya Russell Property Development Chair,
Media/Public Relations Chair
Backyard Landscaping Project Update  
Great news! Thanks to a very generous anonymous donor, we have been able to make great progress on the backyard landscaping project! We were given a $50,000 matching donation to be able to get this project going! With that money and the money we had previously raised, we have been able to put in the fencing and gates, grading is in progress as are electrical and hot and cold water to the future pavilion, concrete patio pour for the future pavilion is complete and irrigation and grass will follow right after that. 
We are desperately in need of additional matching funding in order to install trees and shrubs, the concrete walkway along the side of the building and in front, safety playground chips for the children's play area, the pavilion with BBQ, lighting, sink and counter-top and the memorial rose garden (in that order for logistical, cost saving purposes). Once the project is complete we will put a plaque with the names of all our donors.
  Please make your 2020 tax deductible donation today,
so we can continue work on the project and have a beautiful and usable space for all our membership! If you know of anyone in the community that is not a member, but might want to contribute to this project to support our local Jewish community, please spread the word and invite them to come to an event and take a look at the yard. 
Whats happening around the NCJCC
Please submit your photos to

Please support the   Nevada County Food Bank  with a donation next time you visit the  synagogue .
Canned or boxed items that  include  grains,  protein , fruits, vegetables or those kid friendly items
is greatly appreciated.
Thank you to everyone who has been adding to our donation barrel!!

We are looking for Volunteer, of all ages.
Giving back is a great way to stay involved, help others and have a great time.
Do your kids need volunteer hours for school?
Please email the NCJCC if you are interested.
We are working on a list of volunteer options. Email us if you have ideas as well.
Current Needs:
Sponsors for Passover - Kinneret Vinitzky
Board Members for the May election - Contact Iola Gold
Host an Oneg - Contact Susan Halperin

Mark your Calendars - Passover April 9th - details out soon.

Magic of Friends!!
March 2020
Jan Brenner………......………................1
Ernestine Gaynor……………...…..........5
Mike Atlas …………………................7
Carol Jo Brown………………………...........7
Norema Strongin...…………….…………..8
Alison Cohen.......................................10
Allison Kalt.................................... 10
Milo Baran.............................................14
Dana Valensky......................................18
Garrett Eckerling...............................20
Steve Goldman ............................22
Andrea Frankel.............................24
Dante Locatelli.....................................24
Morgan Halperin..................................26

March 2020
Daniel Geffner & Susan Shapiro......1
Steve & Judy Goldman......................27

March 2020
Remembered by
David Grossman
Rae Lowenthal
Joseph Label
Fred Imas
Constance Mae Ruben
Simon Kleinkramer
Ira Bass
Evelyn Klein
Dr. Wilbert Greenbaum
Lotte Johanna Lamm
Mildred Kopp
Bertha Kroot
Alexander Altas
Charles Gray
Bruno Jacob Lamm
Nicolas Kenedi

Robert and Rochelle Lowenthal
Norman Label
Olga Imas
Eva Lamm-Ruben
Fieni Verdonner
Richard and Cheryl Klein
Richard and Cheryl Klein
Rabbi Alan Greenbaum
Eva Lamm-Ruben
Una Kobrin
Harriet Kroot
Mike and Gail Atlas
Mike and Gail Atlas
Eva Lamm-Ruben
Judith Kenedi

Thank you to our Sponsors