שבועיים
Every Two Weeks
In this Newsletter:

. Monthly Shabbat services begin November 7th
. Speaker Series begins Sunday, November 22nd: No Silence on Race
. Sincere condolences to Marilyn Arkin and family
. Rabbi Lithwick’s High Holiday sermons and videos
. Daniela Gesundheit’s new album in the news!
Dear Members,

This has been a packed and productive month of Tishrei—the first month of the Jewish civil calendar. It really is the start of a new year. Tishrei begins with Rosh Hashanah and ends with Shemini Atzeret, when we start reading the Torah again from the beginning. A new year to unroll!
 
We are so grateful to the many of you who joined us for High Holiday services this year. The services exceeded all our expectations! Thank you to Rabbi Dara Lithwick for leading us through unchartered waters with fearlessness, creativity, compassion and humour. You can read Rabbi Lithwick’s sermons here: https://shirlibeynu.ca/?p=20289 and access the videos of her sermons here: https://shirlibeynu.ca/?p=20318. They are also posted on our website.
 
Heartfelt thanks to Chazzanim Daniela Gesundheit and Paula Wolfson and the many others whose contributions made the services unique, beautiful and spiritually fulfilling. It takes a community! If you missed our high-tech thank you video at services, or wish to see it again, here it is: https://youtu.be/uZKxcQjMQdU.
 
We are pleased to announce that our monthly Shabbat services will start again on November 7th with Rabbi Lithwick. Our Speaker Series will start on November 22nd with representatives from No Silence on Race. See below for more information and how to register.
 
As we announced recently, our B’nei Mitzvah class started on October 18th with new teacher, Yonah Sienna. The program is for 11- to 13-year-olds who want to develop their own understanding of what it means to be Jewish and part of a Jewish community. It is not too late to join before the second class on November 22nd. For more information, see our website: https://shirlibeynu.ca/?p=19973, or contact Karen Charnow Lior at: slboard@shirlibeynu.ca.
 
Thank you to everyone who has written to provide thanks and comments on our services and other offerings. It means so much to us to hear from you!
 
Stay well and strong,
Board of Directors 
We are very happy to resume our monthly Shabbat services, beginning Saturday, November 7th at 10:30 am. The service will be led by Rabbi Dara Lithwick. Stay tuned for the dates of future Shabbat services in upcoming newsletters.
 
To participate in virtual offerings, you need to have a Zoom account and register. Email shirlibeynzoom@gmail.com to register.
We are launching our new Speaker Series, starting with two members from No Silence on Race, Akilah Allen-Silverstein and Yoni Belete, on Sunday, November 22nd at 10:30 am. This is an initiative of our Social Action Committee.
Yoni Belete
Akilah Allen-Silverstein
The board endorsed in principle the organization’s 9 pillars (see below) to work toward greater racial equity and inclusion. We are currently exploring how we can implement these pillars in Shir Libeynu.

No Silence on Race describes its origins and work below:

“No Silence on Race began as an open letter from Black Jews, non-Black Jews of colour, and our allies to Jewish congregations, federations, foundations, organizations, nonprofits and initiatives: An open letter written by proud members of the Canadian Jewish community. We are Jewish community board members, educators and leaders. We write from a place of love for our Jewish identities and community, while also grappling with the cultural erasure, exclusion and structural racism that we experience in Jewish spaces. Nevertheless, we are compelled to be in Jewish community because it is who we are. 

No Silence on Race is born out of the necessity for racial equity and inclusivity in Jewish spaces in Canada. We believe that conversation, listening and self-reflection are important first steps to creating anti-racist, inclusive and equitable Jewish spaces. We look to the entire Jewish community in Canada to challenge ourselves to do more and to envision the path forward. We have designed 9 pillars as a guideline for how organizations can begin this work. We encourage all organizations to be intentional and creative in their implementation… with the goal of creating meaningful impact and change.”

Please visit: https://www.nosilenceonrace.ca to read the open letter and biographies of Akilah and Yoni.
Congregation Shir Libeynu sends its sincere condolences to Marilyn Arkin and family over the death of her beloved brother Sheldon Reinsilber. He died on October 17, 2020, in Toronto. May Sheldon's memory be a blessing.

For more information and/or to leave a message of condolence, please go to: https://www.benjaminsparkmemorialchapel.ca/ServiceDetails.aspx?snum=136987&fg=0
“Alphabet of Wrongdoing”

We included a letter from Daniela about her new album, “Alphabet of Wrongdoing,” in one of our September newsletters. Some of you told us that you missed seeing it. It’s not surprising that it got lost among all the High Holiday information and reminders! We are reproducing it below. Also check out this wonderful article in the Forward earlier this month about Daniela’s journey and her album: https://forward.com/culture/music/455713/cantors-new-record-mixes-pop-and-prayer/?fbclid=IwAR3m299lvt4qKuxa1MJYy_D4Zl8MAoJ8yjGjog9IEgD4hRNVx_SalEm6H5g. (I, humble newsletter editor, can tell you that the album is amazing! I have been listening to it constantly over the past few weeks.)
Dear Shir Libeynu Members and Community, 
Entering into my thirteenth year as your Chazzan, my thirteenth year davening with you, singing with you, I am moved but unsurprised by our ability as a community to create such a sense of togetherness across a great, frustrating distance. It was such a gift to be together during Rosh Hashanah, and I look forward with anticipation to Sunday evening, our Kol Nidrei service.
Over the years many of you have asked for an album of the High Holy Day liturgy, and at long last I have something to offer you! Alphabet of Wrongdoing is the summation of years of turning these melodies over and over, as they accrued depth and meaning, becoming sweeter with each iteration. 
 
I am so happy to share that Alphabet of Wrongdoing is now out digitally along with an accompanying 108 page digital libretto. Physical copies will be out in 2021 due to production delays from Covid 19. 
 
In addition to 10% of the proceeds going to The Loveland Foundation, for each purchase by a Shir Libeynu member I will donate a portion of the proceeds back to the Community Access Fund at Shir Libeynu. 
 
Purchase the album and libretto here
 
Thank you for your support, and I hope this music resonates. 
 
G'mar Chatimah Tovah, 
Chazzan Daniela Gesundheit
Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsberg
 
At our Rosh Hashanah service, Daniela read the beautiful and powerful “Kaddish for Ruth Bader Ginsberg” by Ariana Reines. Several members asked us to include it in our newsletter. Here it is from the ritualwell website: https://ritualwell.org/ritual/kaddish-ruth-bader-ginsburg. It was first published by the author on Instagram.
Queer Text Study
LGBTQ+ at the J (MNjcc)
Thursday, October 29, 7:00 pm
 
Queer text study is a thing! Join LGBTQ+ at the J for their new series with awesome queer educators holding space for us to learn together. For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/715424252398556.
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