Congregation B'nai Harim
at the Nevada County
Jewish Community Center
November / December
2023-5784 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
November 3rd @5:30 PM
November 10th @ 7:00 PM
December 1st @5:30 PM
December 8th @ 7:00 PM
December 15th @ 7:00 PM

Torah Study
November 4th @ 10:00AM
November 11th @ 10:00AM
December 2nd @ 10:00AM
December 16th @ 10:00AM
Saturday Torah Study:
The Hebrew Prayer and Meditation and
Social Justice Torah
via Zoom and In Person
Rabbi David Azen

Rabbi Office hours
by appointment only please.
You may contact Rabbi Directly or the NCJCC Office
Important Dates

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

Daylight Savings Ends
November 5th at 2:00AM

Men's Club Presentation
November 12th - 2:30 PM
Speaker - Bruce Brill
See Details below.

November 23rd

Adult Education Series
December 3rd at 3:00 PM
"Remembering Yiddish"
See details below.

December 7th - 15th
Party December 10th

Movie Night
December 29th @7:00 PM

Monthly Programs by Department

NCJCC Board Meeting
First Thursday each month
November 2nd @7:00 PM
December 7th @7:00 PM

Sisterhood Meeting
First Thursday each month
November 2nd @12:30 PM
December 7th@ 12:30 PM

Sisterhood Book Club
Second Monday each month
November 13 @ 12:30 PM
December 11 @ 12:30 PM

Sunday School
November 5th and 19th @ 9:30 AM
December 3rd @ 9:30 AM

Rabbi Kids
Contact Rabbi David for details

Youth Hebrew
Thursdays @ 3:30 PM

Adult Hebrew Classes
Contact Kinneret at

Donation Opportunities!
If you’re looking for a year-end tax write off, please donate by using the blue “Donate” button on our website . You can also donate by mailing a check to NCJCC, PO Box 1426, Grass Valley, CA 95945.

Our largest need at this time is for "Facilities" -as we recently had extensive plumbing repairs on the main line to the street. See the Facilities Report below. We appreciate your continued support of our Center. NO AMOUNT IS TOO SMALL OR TOO LARGE! Please, everyone pitch in what you can. Thank you.

In addition, please check out this months Social Action Drive - Project Warmth!
Thank you!
A Very Big Thank You
to everyone who participated and volunteered at the 3rd Annual Golf Tournament. We appreciate your dedication, time, and commitment to the Nevada County Jewish Community Center.
Hanukkah - December 7-15th
 Holiday Travelogue: 9 Hanukkah Customs From Around the World
In many parts of North America, we dream of a white Hanukkah (or we wish for the opposite); other Jewish communities – Australia, for example – celebrate the Festival of Lights in the heat of summer or, as in Alaska, in constant darkness.
Here are some of the unique Hanukkah traditions of nine countries around the world – some warm and some cold – to inspire you this year. What are your family's holiday customs?

Click the link below to check our counties like Cuba, Syria, Mexico, Morocco and more.

Rabbi's Message
Beloved Community:

In the face of danger, we laugh, we cry, we make challah. 

Our holydays provide us with a guide toward navigating the dangers of life in this world, especially as Jews. On Purim, we retell the story of our survival in the face of a genocidal maniac over 2,000 years ago. Instead of falling into despair, we turn it into comedy. Mel Brooks, rather than Sartre. We tell jokes about other more recent maniacs, even 20 years after the horrendous events. On Tisha B’av, we cry remembering the destruction of the Temples and the expulsion from Spain, and during our remembrance of our martyrs on Yom Kippur, we weep, knowing the goodness lost at the hands of haters. And on Shabbat, we remember that life is still good, there is still joy to be had, and challah to be made, wine and candles to be blessed.

In Israel, weddings have been celebrated with even more intensity since the horrible pogrom of October 7. Israelis, who rebuilt bombed out cafes within a day, in order to demonstrate they will not be defeated, rise up together to take care of each other. While life will never be the same, it goes on, there, and here. Around our country, more Jews are reigniting their Jewishness, lighting candles, making Shabbat with each other — restaurants and families are making Shabbat dinner and gathering to insist on choosing life even as tragedy and fear threaten to overwhelm us. 

And we remember…we remember those slain and we remember the hostages. As part of an initiative of our Reform Movement, we will keep the hostages in mind and pray for their release by having photos of several of them on the bimah on empty chairs. We will do what we can to support their release, we will pray, we will call, we will rally and we will honor them. 

We will also remember that it is an honor to be Jewish and to fight for our right to exist as a people. We will remember all the efforts to make peace over the years, the willingness to trade land for a peace that seems may never come from those who will not tolerate Jews having their own place. We will mourn for the innocent caught in historical hatreds not of their own making, and yet learn enough to deflect any attempts to delegitimize the indigenous nature of Jewish life in our land. 

So laugh, cry, make challah, connect with community, pray and take action to support our people through these hard days and nights. And continue to find blessings and bring those to each other.

Rabbi David

President's Message

This past month has been especially distressing for the Jewish community. The war in Israel is devastating, as is the continued war in Ukraine and in other regions around the world. Clearly there is a failure in conflict resolution in these regions as age-old fights continue to resurrect themselves and new ones develop due to ever-changing conditions. We can find parallels to these conflicts in our own country and in our own lives.

We, however, have the freedom to choose how we respond. That is our strength. When we choose to “fight fire with fire”, we get bigger fires. What we need is שמע. Sh’ma is to hear, to listen. When we listen and really hear one another, we can better understand another viewpoint which creates the space in which we can work together towards resolution. While we may be limited in our abilities to solve the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, we can create peace in our own lives and in our own communities, rather than spreading more fire.

It is our duty not to shy away from conflict, but we do need to take reasonable precautions to protect ourselves. To that end, and to make certain that we can continue connecting with our Jewish community, we have taken several measures to ensure our safety. We have been in touch with local law enforcement and have the full support of both our city and county. We have been in touch with our neighbors, who are supportive of us and provide another layer of protection as they keep an eye on our otherwise quiet street. We have increased the usage of private, armed security to include all events. Our building security cameras and alarm system have been inspected to ensure they are working properly and we are in the process of replacing our security camera system to include the most recent advances in surveillance technology.

As we approach the winter holiday season with Thanksgiving, Chanukah and the rest, I invite you to listen to a song by the American Jewish singer/songwriter legacy, Debbie Friedman, called “Not by Might”.

Mya Russell
Facilities Update
Facilities Update November/December 2023 Newsletter

First the bad news, then the good news…

Yikes! We have had several visits from plumbers recently due to sewer backups. While we have been fortunate thus far to have not had any overflow into the building, our failing sewer line is on borrowed time. It is imperative that the only things that go in our toilets are #1, #2 and toilet paper. Wipes, feminine hygiene products, and everything else must go in the trash! We have had it inspected with a sewer line camera and the vintage outflow pipe between the building and the street is offset close to the sidewalk due to ground settling and the line needs to be replaced. We are working with a crew to replace the line, which requires city encroachment permits, trenching, hazardous waste disposal, etcetera and these things do take a bit of time even with the expedited status we have established. Please help us by using the sewer system delicately.

Update 10/31/23: The sewer line repair was completed today and the system is functioning properly. The cost of the repair including the initial assessment and mitigation in addition to the repair came to approximately $26,000. That amount far exceeded what we had in reserve and we had to cash in one of our certificate of deposit accounts to cover it. That means our safety net for unexpected facilities emergencies that aren’t covered by our insurance policy is depleted and desperately needs a recharge.

If you’re looking for a year-end tax write off, please donate to this significant repair project, by using the blue “Donate” button on our website and indicate you’d like your donation to go to “Facilities”. You can also donate by mailing a check to NCJCC, PO Box 1426, Grass Valley, CA 95945. NO AMOUNT IS TOO SMALL OR TOO LARGE! Please, everyone pitch in what you can. Thank you.

And now for the good news!

David Truong, husband of board representative and external Publicity chairperson Rachel Miller, has been hard at work sanding and prepping our rear deck for a fresh coat of stain. He has had the help of our backyard angel, Ralph Remick and our Men’s Club Representative Gordon Mann. Thank you David, Ralph and Gordon for this much needed volunteer project!

Merrill Kagan has been giving our playground structure some much needed TLC, starting off with power washing in preparation for a fresh coat of stain. Thank you Merrill!

These are big and important projects and if anyone is interested in helping out with these or any other 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. Thank you.
Adult Education Series
NCJCC Adult Education Series
Sunday, December 3rd - 3:00 PM - Remembering Yiddish at the Nevada County Jewish Community Center.


An informal get-together to remember our Yiddish and Yiddishkeit through Yiddish stories, songs, poetry, and family memories. This is meant to be a fun experience, not a class in the Yiddish language - group discussion will be in English.

Your hosts are members of B’nai Harim-
Norma Solarz, a Yiddish enthusiast, and Jackie Levy, who wants to reconnect with the Yiddish vocabulary of her childhood. 
Friday Night Movies
Fifth Friday   
 Movie Nights

At the NCJCC

December 29th
Watch for details in the Schmooze!

Social Action
During November and December, we are asking for donations for Project Warmth!

Please bring new or used warm clothes for donation to:
United Way Operation Warmth
Hospitality House

More details out soon in the Schmooze

For the Innocence Project, we collectively raised $1,967 - beating our $1,800 goal. There is still time to participate in the mitzvah of helping the innocent at

The food drive during the High Holidays was a smashing success and five grocery carts worth of pantry staples were delivered to the Interfaith Food Ministry. 
"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.
We have a group of great students and we are able to focus and be more in tune with our students due to the fact that we have wonderful helpers from the sisterhood. New beginnings always bring renewed hope!!! There are a lot of new ideas and exciting plans for this coming school year!

Sunday School will meet 2 Sundays a month 9:30-Noon.
Hebrew classes will meet each Thursday at 3:30 pm.

We not meet during school holidays. Watch the Schmooze for dates.
Men's Club
Gordon Mann, President
Sunday, November 12th
2:30 Men's Club Presentation
In person and Zoom

Bruce Brill,
Former National Security Agency MidEast Analyst,
will provide revelations on the 1973 Yom Kippur invasion of Israel.

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

Sisterhood meets the first Thursday of each month at the NCJCC.
November 2nd @12:30
December 7th @ 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: Dori Greenbaum
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.

November 13th The Girl from Berlin Author: Ronald Batson
December 11 Lessons frm the Edge Author: Marie Yovanovitch
Jan Brenner, Membership Chair
November / December Birthdays
November / December 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

COVID-19 Resources
Working to keep everyone safe

Keep up to date with My Nevada County website.