Tevet-Shevat 5779/January 2019

Nevada County Jewish Community Center
and Congregation B'nai Harim

Dedicated to the preservation, continuity, and enrichment of the
spiritual, communal, ethical, and cultural teachings of Judaism
Monthly Newsletter 5779 January 2019
Rabbi's Message

A Year for Quixotic Quests
 
Reading Don Quixote itself is a Quixotian effort – at 900 pages, I raced through it as a college sophomore before the semester ended so I could say I’d read it all, but that’s most
of what I remember about it – I finished it. Written by Miguel de Cervantes in the 1600’s in Spain and considered the first great novel in Western literature and one of the greatest if
not best of all time.

It tells the tale of a would be knight and his faithful sidekick, Sancho Panza, as he seeks to battle injustice. Often thought of as lost in fantasy, “tilting at windmills.”
At the same time Harold Bloom calls him heroic for fighting against reality as it is and fighting to redeem life from the inevitability of death.

If you have seen or heard of the musical Man of La Mancha, the character will be familiar
to you, and if you’ve heard “To Dream the Impossible Dream,” you’ll recognize the spirit of his quest.

As I contemplate the year to come, I find myself thinking about a Quixote in our midst and what we might learn from him. Jerry and Bea Pressler are long-time members congregants of the NCJCC and B’nai Harim, yet we haven’t seen them

for a while as it’s difficult for Jerry to get around as he used to-and yet, every day,
he manages to get down the stairs to his study and he translates a line or two of he Torah using several linguistic and grammatical sources. Now, there are plenty of translations of
the Torah around, so Jerry’s not doing it because he can’t get his hands on one of them .

And he’s not doing it to get it published. He’s just doing it to understand the text t a deeper level and because the investigation into the roots of the words satisfies his soul and his unquenching thirst to keep learning. It's a monumental effort; he’s been at it for a number
of years and if I remember co rrectly, he’s still somewhere in the book of Exodus. It doesn’t matter how fast or far he gets, as the fulfillment is in the moment of engaging and striving and being in the thrall of something so much greater than oneself.

I highly commend Jerry’s example for all of us – not necessarily starting your own translation of the Torah, but of seeking something great and fantastical and beyond anything you might necessarily complete in this lifetime the midst of the craziness and reactivity of our culture, we need those quests that lift us up and above and provide us with some exaltation as we
try to remember what human beings can strive to become.

We need to battle against accepting the world as it is, accepting ourselves as we are,and to set our sights on something great and mighty and heroic, even if we seem nutty to others and even ourselves .

As Harold Bloom wrote about Quixote: “The final injustice is death, the ultimate bondage,
o set captives free is the knight’s pragmatic way of battling against death.

” To the ramparts, everyone! Let us fight the good fight, in whatever form it may be for us. Personally, I’m going to get a copy of Don Quixote and reread it (Bloom recommends Edith Grossman’s translation).

If you’re interested in trying the Quixote experiencing . Find your crazy quest and let’s share notes on how it goes.

Here’s to a healthy and quixotic 2019, blessings to all,

Rabbi David
 
President's Message

"What's in a Name"

A s Regards to the creation and evolution of our Our Names
Nevada County Jewish Community Center (NCJCC)
Congregation B'nai Harim (affiliated with the Union of Reform Judaism (URJ)

T he choosing of a "Name" has long been regarded as some of the most important decisions one makes for oneself and/or by another on their behalf (e.g., naming of a child at birth, the name of a business , an idea, the title of a Book, a discovery..and..more) throughout their life.

All of these and hundreds more examples give insight into the reason why "Naming" is of such great significance or value ... it could portend a future of success or good will... or not. Thus, keeping in mind the possible consequences associated with a Name, , one is challenged to choose just the right word or words that correctly deliver the full intent of their meaning...capturing the exact phraseology of the language that delivers the sentiment.... the intention of the One or of the many insuring that the very nature of the Name ,...its description, its definition.... will be carried forward by the person, persons; by the object,...by the event, by the discovery...knowing that the who or what bearing the name will carry the intention, reflect the true interpretation of what the name represented long into the future...in perpetuity,

Yes, a Name given to One or to an idea, a product, at Birth, came with someones desire that the person or object, idea, will manifest the intended qualities , the appearance that the "Namer" desired or believed the person or object already possessed .

Over time the meaning, the purpose of a "Name" can be changed by others not involved in the initial reason this person or object was given their name... Now it becomes many definitions, many interpretations, many understandings and a whirlwind of misunderstandings that can remain attached or associated with name for the good or the bad..... and after the thousands of years of Living..the name "Jewish" brings

And now the story of how we came to have more than one Name to represent the "who, what and where we are and how we have evolved to become the Jewish Community ..in our affectionately described "Shul on the Hill"

As local legend tells the Story.... it was sometime back in the mid nineteen seventies when five local Jewish Families who had chosen the Sierra Foothills for its natural beauty, peaceful environment. A place committed to healthy living; where the pursuit of artistic expression was valued and practiced... a place to live, work, raise a family and become involved in supporting these efforts in the greater communities of Grass Valley, Nevada City ...

O n occasion these families gathered.. discovering they shared a common heritage .. one that had traditions, culture and values. As the memories and feelings of past lives...the parts that remembered the positive, the good about being Jewish and the reminder of the gatherings of "family" to observe and celebrate these "good' expressions of living a life of Jewish values...became a reality.

Over time the determination to reclaim the “Jewish Experience” as they defined it became a desire... a desire to bring forth the tangible elements of in-depth learning of what it means to choose to be...to claim the name.. as we are always becoming Jewish.

A few years into sharing , learning , growing together ..this small community of Jews continued to grow, expanding in size... growing larger than ones living room or back yards could accommodate. About ten years into "becoming"... leadership in the group decided to formally create and legally incorporate the Nevada County Jewish Community Center. (NCJCC); Except there was no center...yet.

The now NCJCC continued to be the many people who gathered to share and participate .. Its primary purpose to create a way, in irrespective of past associations,...a space without borders, to share with others the primary Jewish experiences of a shared history.. a heritage represented by thousands of years of a shared identity... culture and traditions, practices. bringing light, peace and understanding with a priority commitment given to social justice and “Tzedakah”our small but mighty way to Contribute in Helping “ to fix the world”.

Without going into detail about the story (for a future installment) of how we continued to grow...and after wandering about for 15 years ....sharing the real estate of local religious and secular businesses supportive of our work.... we were able to purchase "a Home of Our Own" Now, 25+ Years later we continue to deliver a diverse range of services to our Community from our modest "Shul on the Hill".

Fifteen 15 Years ago, the then NCJCC Board and membership decided to formally affiliate with the Philosophy and Practice of the Reform Movement creating Congregation B’nai Harim under the Legal Umbrella of the NCJCC.. The formal association with URJ offers support and assistance to affiliated Congregations across the Country with a Division focused on "small congregations".

T hus back to our Name. We are actually two names: two Independent , yet inextricably intertwined , woven together .....as members of a family we share a foundation of being Jewish...with the names Nevada County Jewish Community Center (NCJCC) and Congregation B’nai Harim, together, as one to continue our 40+ Year legacy of being of service to the Jewish Community

However, as the above paragraphs that reference the complex nature of of a Name, there are important distinctions in respect to our names and, we are honor bound to fulfill the intentions of each.

T he NCJCC name as intended by Our Founders represents the Jewish Community irrespective of religious affiliation. or practice.. There are many Jews who relate strongly to their broadly defined Jewish Identity”, who live a Jewish life ....preferring no “named" or no religious affiliation The NCJCC is a home for all who want to learn and participate in the Jewish experience irrespective of their personal choices of religious or spiritual practice.

T he creation of Congregation B'nai Harim as part of the NCJCC' and affiliation with the United Reform Movement expanded and strengthened our commitment to maintaining
and growing a place of worship, spiritual practices.. the Small Congregation Division was extremely helpful with our search for and being able to draw from a panel of highly experienced Rabbi's.

Our ability to hire a Rabbi with the qualities and experience of Rabbi David insures our ability to support the Bar and Bar Mitzvah programs ,bringing a high level of Rabbinic Teachings to our youth and adult education programs... as well as the entire community
with his Shabbat Service, Celebrating and Honoring Jewish Holidays. His willingness to participate in local events and collaboration with faith based organizations enhances our presence in the greater community.. and the private consultations and home visits bring
us able to be there..with those who cant travel.

Thus, our two names that on occasion cause confusion in defining who we are..to others and to ourselves. We are currently reviewing how to best integrate these two descriptions into the language we use in Printed Materials, Formal Publications; the day to day Spoken and Written Word Communications ... how we make reference in PR and Media etc.

What is the statement that best represents the meanings, messages inherent in our names that clearly articulate the Distinction referenced above so that it is Understood using only a few words.... , most especially as to how the statement of “who we are” and “what we are" meets the standard of interpretation, understanding within the affiliated , unaffiliated and never affiliated communities we serve,

Our Home" on Walsh Street , Our "Shul on the Hill" is a place of Study..a place of Learning... a place of Reflection...a place of Worship..... of religious/Spiritual Practices....a place of comfort where we gather as a Community , as a family together in times of Joy and Sorrow ,to honor and rejoice, for teaching and learning the many ways that define "our ways of being Jewish ..

S tudying, reading, listening..l.earning from both religious and secular texts,our teachers, our Rabbi.. and..each other about our thousands of years of diverse Jewish Life Histories and Cultural backgrounds that span the Globe; Where as both children and adults we Learn the uniqueness and mysteries of the Hebrew Language, of the Ways of spiritual/religious worship and practices; Observing, Honoring and Celebrating Life Cycle Events ... where we come to the understanding and begin to trust that we are not alone on this journey ..where one can reach out to give and to receive All are enthusiastically Welcomed

May we continue to grow from Strength to Strength
B'ahava, Iola

Religious School

Teaching, Learning, Experiencing, Practicing "Being Jewish"
Our History, Culture, Traditions, Religious/Spiritual Practices, Our Hebrew Language..
Educating Our Children , Adults, Our Families & Our Community


Shalom,

As our teachers and students passed through the Fall months actively engaged in the teaching and learning of Jewish History, being introduced to and practicing their linguistic skills of the Hebrew language and participating in reenactments of those events that have defined our way of being for thousands of years we quickly found it time to Celebrate the very fun and lesson filled Holiday of Hanukkah

Soon We were all busy reading, listening and retelling Hanukkah stories. The students worked hard on creating beautiful board games and crafts. practicing Hanukkah songs
and learning Israeli dancing for our Annual party.

The Hanukkah party this year was held in our own Home.... making it feel "homier", festive and lots of fun as we put on costumes, played, sang, danced, and, of course ate lots of Sufganyiot (doughnuts) and Latkes ... which were once again made by the Men of the
NCJCC Men's Club.

I felt a sense of gratitude to witness our Jewish community coming together in a joyous celebration as we were lighting our menorahs and sang together.

Before we knew it, it was time to begin the annual Winter Break..... And now as we move past this busy Winter Holiday Season, I wish all of you wonderful upcoming months as we move forward with enthusiasm and a renewed commitment to support the continuous growth of all.... Whether young or "older" in learning more about being Jewish

As classes begin .. so do the many opportunities to hear and learn more of those interesting stories about our history, religious practices, the Hebrew language and more from Rabbi David, our Teachers our parents and one another.

I n addition to Sunday morning studies, the weekly, after school Hebrew lessons and any additional tutoring by our devoted teachers is for the purpose of offering focused time to assist our students to better understand and comprehend spoken Hebrew as well as to provide more practice time for those who are preparing for Bar/Bat Mitzvah. There is also a "Learning Hebrew "Class for Adults on Tuesday evenings at 6 pm. in the Social Hall.

I would like to thank our great teachers Cece Karp, Maya Russell, Dana Valensky, Lori McClintic, for the commitment, in creating and planning the curriculum and special events and downright hard work. Kudos also go to our parents, the Sisterhood, the Men's Club and other members who support the work of our School and educational programs throughout the year.

Y ours,
Kinneret Vinitzky
Memorial Service for Bill Kroot- Sunday February 3rd, pm

Please Join us for a " Special Memorial Service " to
Remember, Honor, and Celebrate
the Life of Our Own "Bill Kroot"

L ed by Rabbi Alan Greenbaum
with Rabbi David Azen
Iola Eliana Gold, Lay Cantor
and members of the Kroot Family

Sunday February 3, 2019 at 2 pm
at the NCJCC, Congregation B'nai Harim
"Our Shul on the Hill"
506 Walsh Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945

A Reception Hosted by the Kroot Family ,
NCJCC & Congregation B'nai Harim will Follow
in the Social Hall Immediately after the Service

I f you have a Special Memory, a Poem, Reading,
Picture or Words You would like to
Share with Bill's Family ...
Please s end c/o Iola Gold
b y email to ncjcc@outlook.com ,
Mail to PO Box 1426, Grass Valley CA 95945
or drop it off at the Center Office by January 30 we will
prepare a "Memory Booklet ' for Bill's Family and Our Community

Men's Club of the NCJCC
T he Men's Club meets the second Sunday of each month at 9:30 am. 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.

We will be co-hosting the Fifth Friday Night Shabbat Film Series in November, March, May, and August . If you have suggestions for a Great Movie with a Jewish Theme . We hear there are quite a few out there with Great Reviews. We may also sponsor
a Interactive Discussion after the showing.

T he 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 ev enings 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 bage ls, coffee, and orange juice for only $5.00 (such a good deal your mother would be proud).

C ontact Gordon Mann at sharkmann@suddenlink.net f or more information suggest an interesting speaker, or to schedule a n event.

NCJCC Sisterhood
The Sisterhood holds its meetings on the first Thursday
of every month beginning at 1:30 pm at "Our Shul on the Hill"
(NCJCC, Congregation B'nai Harim) 506 Walsh Street , Grass Valley.

Please come and join us. We have fun, great food, drinks, and friendships. Most meetings we Host a Speaker who never cease to provide interesting information on a special topic of which they have experience. In addition to our support of NCJCC programs and activities.. we also hear and learn about the services from the dedicated leaders and volunteers of local non profits organizations, businesses and our local and state Public and Government Agencies.

A few times a Year we sponsor special o utin gs and Fun events : Game Days, Themed luncheons/dinners, Celebrating /Honoring one of our Own or a Community Agency or Special Community Member and More... An upcoming Event..celebrating the Chinese New Year will be held on February 11. It is an early evening Dinne r... Watch for more Information

For any questions...to be a guest at an upcoming meeting or event (checking us out to learn if its really True that we're as fun and wonderful as this message is telling you) and/or if y ou're Ready to Join Now . ... Contact Membership Chair Ruth Goodin
at goodin.ruth@gmail.com.

Don't forget the Judaica Shop's 50% off Sale on Hanukkah items (excluding candles and wrapping paper) running through February 7. Hours are 12-3 pm Contact Arline Mehr @  mehr9715@gmail.com or 530-802-0002 for additional information.
Book Club
To those women who love to read, th e Book Club provides a stimulating and
interesting discussion each month. Our choices include both fiction and
non-fiction books.

We meet on the Second Monday of the month at 1:30 p.m. Your only requirement
is that you be a Sisterhood member. Contact me to l earn the name of the latest
Book we're Reading

Arlene Waxman
Local "Bass Family" Searching for "Bass Family" Members

Local "Bass Family" Searching for "Bass Family" Members

My name is Isaac Bass. I am 82 years old, the child of two Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe.


My mother, Fanny (Frume Weiss) Bass emigrated from Schmorgon, Belarus in 1910, and my father, Isadore Bashakewitz, from Ramygala, Lithuania in 1911.
Bashakewitz was obviously anglicized to Bass.

My wife and I bought a house on Lake Wildwood 2 years ago. I am not a practicing
or even an occasionally observant Jew, but the cultural heritage is indelibly imprinted in me. 

Out of curiosity I did a search on the Jewish Community in Grass Valley and of course arrived at your web site. While scanning your newsletter I noticed the Yahrzeit for Abraham Bass and the Mishebeirach for Jane Bass.

Bass is not a very common Jewish name, so I thought that there was an outside chance that the Basses of Grass Valley might be related. M y father had brothers who raised families in Chicago and Baltimore with whom we have lost touch. If you would be so kind, could you ask the Basses of Grass Valley if they would be interested in exploring the possibility of being related to me?

Thank you for your attention to this request.

Best Regards, Isaac Bass

Please Contact the NCJCC or Mr Bass Directly
if you have information that could assist
him in finding Family Connections.


January Birthdays
Lucy Bottrell- Jan 9
Lindsay Halperin - Jan 9                 
SharonJoy Jahoda- Jan 10                
Maralee Nelder- Jan 12                  
Beth Gaydos- Jan 12
Arlene Waxman- Jan 16                    
Lev Weisswasser- Jan 21                  
Jacob Goldstein- Jan 22                     
Malkam Goldstein- Jan 22                 
Edward Strongin- Jan 22                    
Marilyn Salomon- Jan 30                   
Abraham Valensky- Jan 30
January Anniversaries
Steve Tillotson & Maralee Nelder- January 12   
David & Wendy Rosky- January 13                    
Alan & Dori Greenbaum- January 17                   
Yahrzeits Honored in January
Friday, January 4
Carol Azen remembered by Rabbi David Azen
Friday, January 11
Ida Ruben-Slee remembered by Eva Lamm Ruben
 
Friday, January 18
Efrain Hernandez remembered by Charles & Marilyn Salomon
Maya Hernandez remembered by Charles & Marilyn Salomon
Teri Hernandez remembered by Charles & Marilyn Salomon

Friday, January 25
Jeanette Kelly remembered by Maralee Nelder
Mishebeirach- Prayers for Healing
Need to add a name to this list? Email the office at ncjcc@outlook.com
Carol Brown
Iola Gold
Nadine Brown
Ruth Kroot
Judith Kenedi
Anna Gold
Joni Gold
Sy (Shalom) Craydman
Jerry Pressler
Allen Olson
Keith Ott
Jeff Lulla
Leah Chava
The NCJCC is Hiring! You may be the Perfect Addition to our Tea m
Highly skilled, talented, experienced and enthusiastic Professional

We are Seeking a Highly skilled, talented, experienced and enthusiastic Professional to serve as our Administrative Office Assistant w ho brings excellent Interpersonal Communication and Technical Skills (e.g., demonstrated proficiency in use of computer programs.. word, excel, publisher etc and social media marketing, etc.) to create, develop, and manage the operational needs of a small non profit business (document preparation, create informational and marketing materials for timely publication and dissemination to organization members, supporters, media and community; data collection/tracking and updates, etc. to support the purpose of the Nevada County Jewish Community (NCJCC) & Congregation B'nai Harim.

Background, knowledge, experience understanding of Jewish history, culture, traditions and practices Preferred.

Respectful of, experience, desire and ability to communicate and work with all ages ..... young children to adults Giving, Caring, Compassionate Willingness to share, learn
& Grow

Part time Position Available Immediately with Hours of Work and Salary TBD
Please submit Cover Letter with Resume/Detailed employment history.

 a Background Check and Three Professional References will be Required
post an offer, prior to Hire

S end as Confidential Information to Iola Eliana Gold, NCJCC President,
at iolagoldsings1818@gmail.com ASAP By Friday February

Original materials may be sent to
Iola Eliana Gold, President, NCJCC & Congregation B'nai Harim.
PO Box 426, Grass Valley, CA 95945. Please No Phone Calls

Donations
We always welcome and appreciate donations to the many funds which are used to enhance our community. If you would like to give, or just take a look at the list of funds, please CLICK HERE.
Nevada County Jewish Community Center Congregation B’nai Harim
506 Walsh Street/P.O. Box 1426
Grass Valley, CA 95945
Phone: (530) 477-0922
Website: www.ncjcc.org

RABBI
David Azen

LAY CANTORS
SharonJoy Jahoda
Iola Eliana Gold

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
OFFICERS
President: Iola Gold - ncjccpresident@outlook.com
Vice President: Garrett M. Eckerling
Secretary: David Cohen
Treasurer: Ed Strongin

PAST PRESIDENT & ADVISOR
Eva Lamm-Ruben

DIRECTORS AT LARGE
Eli Okrent
Kinneret Vinitzky
MEN'S CLUB
President: Gordon Mann

SISTERHOOD
President: Anita DuPratt

YOUTH GROUP
Advisor: Dan Kalt—GROOVY/NFTY
 
RELIGIOUS SCHOOL
Principal: Kinneret Vinitzky
Rabbi David Azen
Cece Karp
Mya Russell
Jenni Wadatz
Lori McClintic
Dana Valensky

HEBREW INSTRUCTORS
Kinneret Vinitzky
Dana Valensky
Mya Russell

BOOKKEEPER
Mike Atlas

WEBMASTER
Danny Klopfer

Nevada County Jewish Community Center and Congregation B'nai Harim
506 Walsh Street Grass Valley, CA 95945
Mailing Address: P. O. Box 1426 Grass Valley, CA 95945
Telephone: (530) 477-0922
www.ncjcc.org