Every Two Weeks
In this Newsletter:

. Tikkun Olam
. Renewed search for permanent Rabbi
. Monthly Speaker Series begins on Sunday, November 22: No Silence on Race
. Upcoming Shabbat services
. Sincere condolences
. Community news

Dear Members,

There’s a story in the Talmud about a non-Jew who came to Shammai and agreed to be converted if he could teach him the entire Torah while standing on one foot. Shammai sent him away, but Hillel welcomed him, saying: “That which is hateful to you do not do to another; that is the entire Torah…”
These are the best words we can find in this difficult time as Remembrance Day approaches, as we remember Kristallnacht and so many other genocides, and when we think of the genocides being perpetrated in the world today (https://www.genocidewatch.com/countries-at-risk). “That which is hateful to you, do not do to another.”
This is a difficult time. We may feel overwhelmed by the pandemic, the enormity of the injustice we see, the enduring need to assert that “Black lives matter” and “every vote counts.”

In her Kol Nidrei sermon in 2016, Rabbi Emerita, Aviva Goldberg feared that we were “at a dystopian juncture where like Orwell’s 1984, words and truth are relative and have no meaning—war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength.” She suggested that “the effects of [Trump’s] rhetoric will not just reverberate in the halls of Congress, the Senate and the world but will actually continue to function as a clarion call towards a xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, misogynist and sexist world.”

However, and this is the most important part, in her sermon, Rabbi Goldberg asked us to work together to repair the world, Tikkun Olam:

“Is it not our responsibility to expand upon these moral and ethical tenets of Judaism these acts of forgiveness? Is it not our responsibility to create a new template of acts of clarity and mutual recognition?

Let our task be in the New Year one where we take the time to truly explain ourselves, where there is no longer an abyss of misinterpretations, of misdirection, of misunderstanding between the so-called left and the so-called right, the liberal and the conservative. Let us work to repair this world so that we are not just tolerant of one another but again as [Elie] Wiesel notes respectful of one another.”

Four years later, we derive comfort and purpose from rereading these words. (You can access the full sermon on our website: https://shirlibeynu.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/We-Must-Continue-to-Repair-the-World-Kol-Nidre-sermon-Rabbi-Aviva-Goldberg-Kol-Nidrei-October-11-2016.pdf)

By working to repair our world, we truly honour the dead and embrace the living.

Stay well and strong,
Board of Directors 
The Board is renewing its search for a permanent Rabbi to lead our congregation, starting in spring 2021. Click here for the job posting: https://shirlibeynu.ca/?p=7021. It closes on November 20.
As we reported in March, a committee was struck to consult with members and search for a new leader. The majority view of the search committee was that Shir Libeynu should not hire a permanent new spiritual leader at that time. Its view was based on members’ input (contributed through roundtable discussions) and in-depth interviews with several candidates.
The committee recommended to the Board that it should search for an interim leader to serve for one year to conduct Shabbat and High Holiday Services. The Board followed this advice and was very fortunate to find Rabbi Dara Lithwick to lead us through this transition.
While we don’t know what the spring will bring, we are searching again for a permanent Rabbi who can lead us virtually or in person into the future. 
We’re excited to announce that we’re organizing monthly speakers on a variety of interesting topics. Board members Dorothy Rusoff and Abbe Edelson are working with Eden Nameri on this. They are trying to schedule them for the third Sunday of every month. 
We’re launching the series with two members from No Silence on Race, Akilah Allen-Silverstein and Yoni Belete, on Sunday, November 22nd at 10:30 am. Email shirlibeynuzoom@gmail.com to register.
Please visit: https://www.nosilenceonrace.ca for more information about this group. If you have questions you want to ask Akilah and Yoni, you can send them to us in advance and we will pass them on to the speakers. Email us at: slboard@shirlibeynu.ca.

The Downtown Jewish Community Council sponsored a talk by this organization in October, which Dorothy attended and found enlightening and thought-provoking. The speakers described their 9 pillars or actions to help Jewish agencies, organizations and congregations undertake anti-racism work. The Board of Directors has endorsed them in principle. On November 22, we will talk about how Shir Libeynu can embrace these actions in practice. Everyone is encouraged to attend and join this vital conversation.
If you have ideas for speakers or would like get involved with the Social Action or Education Committees, please email us at: slboard@shirlibeynu.ca. We’d love to talk to you!
Thank you to Rabbi Lithwick, Paula Wolfson and Jamie Flagal for yesterday’s wonderful Shabbat service. We will continue to offer Shabbat services on the first Saturday of every month at 10:30 am, led by Rabbi Lithwick, with the participation of our Chazzanim and members. Here are the dates so you can get them in your calendar: December 5, January 2, February 6, March 6, April 3 and May 1. We will confirm our Pride service closer to June.
We will send out reminders before each service. Please invite family and friends and help us grow our congregation!
To participate in virtual offerings, you need to have a Zoom account and register. Email shirlibeynuzoom@gmail.com to register.
Annette Salem

Our shul offers condolences to the family and many friends of Annette Salem, who died on Friday, November 6, 2020, in Toronto. May Annette's memory be a blessing. A notice with more information will follow in a few days.  
Eli Hoffman

Congregation Shir Libeynu sends its sincere condolences to our dear friends Jinks and Alan Hoffmann for the death of their beloved son Eli Hoffmann, in Israel recently. May Eli's memory be a blessing and a comfort to the entire family.

Donations in Eli's memory may be made to the Canadian Liver Foundation https://www.liver.ca/ and/or the Canadian Cancer Society https://www.cancer.ca/en/?region=on

Here is a link to tributes to Eli Hoffmann, written by friends and colleagues:
Holocaust Education Week

Book talks, a films series and other programming are being offered virtually in November and December to mark Holocaust Education Week (November 2-9) this year. Click here for all the details.
Jewish Free Loan Toronto

To help our community deal with the financial fallout of the pandemic, Jewish Free Loan Toronto has created a new, emergency COVID 19 interest free loan. Click here for details: 
Limmud Toronto 2020
Sunday, November 22 on Zoom
Participate in this innovative, inclusive festival of Jewish learning that brings people of all backgrounds together to celebrate the rich diversity of Jewish culture and heritage. For presenters’ list, tickets and more: https://www.limmud.ca.
Congregation Shir Libeynu