TBT's Newsletter: The Connection
Events and Activities
The following Events are held via Zoom unless otherwise noted:
June 11 - 6:45 pm Oneg in the Park-Shabbat Sing-Along
June 19 - 7:00 pm - Havdallah/Juneteenth Conversation
June 20 - 10:15 am - Moral Courage: A Learning & Practice Group
June 27 - 10:15 am - Moral Courage: A Learning & Practice Group
June 30 – 4:00 pm - Board Meeting and Installation of New Board Members
"The Chasidic Masters"
Weekly on Sundays 9:00 am - 10:00 am - 6/6, 6/13, 6/20, 6/27
ON THE HORIZON
July 9 - Multi-Generation picnic in the park and Shabbat
July 31 - Bar Mitzvah of Levi Freedman
Dear TBT members,
With my last President’s Message, I confess I’m feeling a jumble of emotions. I’m both happy and sad to step down on June 30 from my role as president of our wonderful community. You, dear members of TBT, have given me purpose throughout the pandemic, made me a better person, helped me learn how to step forward and to sit back while teaching me what temple life is all about. My time with you has been a limitless source of learning, and I am richer for it.
To my fellow board members-- it has been a joy serving TBT alongside you. You are smart, generous and dedicated individuals. Thank you Ann for your no-nonsense contributions to our discussions. Thank you Terry for your pragmatic approach and excellent note-taking. Thank you Mark for your detailed understanding of so many things. Thank you Kerrie for your fresh perspective and can-do attitude. Thank you Lester for being a tremendous support always and anytime, and thank you Jillian for making space for TBT in your busy life.
Which leads me to Rabbi Johanna. Thank you Rabbi. I love and respect you. It has been an honor of my lifetime to be your partner in leadership. We entered into our sacred relationship committed to trusting each other, being honest in our dialogues, and respectful of our differences. We have done that and more. I’ve learned so much from you and I can’t thank you enough.
I look forward to remaining on the board another year, chairing the membership committee, participating on the programming committee, and co-chairing communications with Kathy Schindel, another wonderful TBT friend I must also thank. A few years back in a speech on Erev Rosh Hashanah I said that I work for food and friendship. I’ve received this in abundance at Temple Beth Tikvah and the future continues to look bright.
Love and thank you!
From Rabbi Johanna Hershenson
June...the month that beckons summer is here! The school year has ended. And so has Temple Beth Tikvah’s fiscal year. This month one board takes its leave and another steps in. One budget is exhausted and a new one proposed. Why doth the rabbi wax poetic about a temple budget? Our budgets and our checkbook registers are clues to what is important to us, at least what is important enough that we spend our money accordingly. Beneath all our hopes and prayers, how we spend our money demonstrates what we value.
Anticipating a post-pandemic year of gatherings focused on reconnecting and opening ourselves to the joy of celebrating the seasons and life cycle milestones in community, the discussions that brought our Temple Beth Tikvah 2021-2022 budget together were some of the best conversations in which I’ve participated in my eight years here in Bend. Our program and membership committees have asked our finance committee for more money than in years past. For what? And here’s the profoundly beautiful part... For investing in the quality of our member interactions!
We’ve answered the call of the past year with as much enthusiasm and effort as possible to keep our congregation open and vibrant despite restrictions on gathering and stress in each and every household about family members, neighbors, and friends with underlying health conditions. With a critical mass of our membership and greater community vaccinated, our tolerance of Zoom services has diminished and our imagination about how we can begin getting together again is churning joyfully. Let’s continue Jewish holiday related gift bags with hints leading to an imminent gathering. Let’s develop a volunteer corps of members who can lead services and read from Torah with our rabbi. Let’s, let’s, let’s...
This energy and placement of resources is spot on for this moment in time. Not only has the pandemic brought significant numbers of new residents to Central Oregon, among them are Jews! In the past year we have welcomed households who’ve relocated to Bend if only via computer and smart tablet screens. Among those who’ve joined Temple Beth Tikvah during the past year is a higher critical mass of younger households, couples without children and with new babies and toddlers.
Additionally, with the High Holy Days in the Fall, Temple Beth Tikvah enters its Bar Mitzvah year. (Yes, a Temple is masculine noun in Hebrew, hence Bar Mitzvah.) We will be in our thirteenth year. What will that mean to us, within the context of Jewish living? How will we begin seeing ourselves as maturing as a congregation?
What a wonderful time to be a part of our loving community! Summer fun. Outdoor events. An easy return to human interactions. Let’s pay attention. Let’s notice what it feels like to come out of winter dormancy, hibernation, to the fullness of the summer sun’s rays of warmth.
Rabbi's office hours are by appointment.
Click here to schedule a Zoom meeting.
Click here to schedule an in-person office meeting (115 NW Oregon Ave, Suite 26 - on second floor, stairs only)
This is the sixth in a series of bi-monthly spotlights on our leadership. Eileen Katz, Newsletter Ed.
Rabbi Johanna Hershenson has been on a remarkable journey — from growing up in an interfaith home to worldly rabbi.
Johanna was born in Washington DC, the oldest of three sisters. She and her siblings celebrated Christian holidays with their paternal family and Jewish holidays with their maternal family. Johanna’s father converted to Judaism just before her Bat Mitzvah.
Some of Johanna’s fondest childhood memories are working on her paternal grandparents’ farm which provided food for the two families. She was drawn to the joy of working the soil.
The seeds of Johanna’s love of Judaism began early, in Sunday school and Hebrew school in the 2nd through 4th grade where she was encouraged to engage her inquisitive mind. She thrived on the openness of the dialogue.
Johanna became conscious of cultural differences among the handful of black and Jewish students in her high school. There began the foundation of her sense of social justice. In her senior year, Johanna spent a semester in Israel. There she was exposed to Arab Israelis, further crystalizing her thoughts on the importance of multi-cultural interactions if world peace is a serious goal.
In high school Johanna helped form what was then a Human Relations Club, the precursor of what are now consciousness raising and civil rights groups. As a member of the Jewish Youth Group in high school, she learned to lobby for issues of national justice. By age 16, Johanna knew for certain that she wanted to be a rabbi. Her decision was in part influenced by the casualness of the rabbis in the youth group which was quite different than the formality of the rabbis in her synagogue.
Johanna attended the University of Wisconsin where she majored in History, Hebrew and The History of Culture. In her freshman year, she met her future husband, Mark. They were married six weeks after graduation and took off for Jerusalem where Johanna began her rabbinic studies. The original plan was that Mark would be working with American students studying archeology. Those plans were scrapped when the first Gulf War broke out and students were discouraged from traveling to Israel. Mark returned to Cincinnati, close to his parents, where he stayed for months until Johanna returned to Cincinnati to continue rabbinical school.
After five years of rabbinical school Johanna decided it was time to enjoy some traveling that she had missed as a “gap year” between studies. She accepted rabbinical positions in Los Angeles, Alaska and New Zealand where she and Mark produced a documentary called “A Torah Tale,” tracing the journey of a Torah from the Czech Republic to New Zealand.
In the midst of all the career building, Johanna gave birth to Zoe in Los Angeles and Abi in Orange County. The two sisters are now adults and live in Oregon, making Johanna and Mark very happy.
Johanna and Mark found their way to Bend in 2013 after Johanna learned of an opening for a rabbi at TBT. Mark’s parents had visited Oregon earlier and told the couple that Central Oregon would fit well with their outdoor lifestyle. The TBT Board was delighted to have Johanna on board after many years of operating without a local rabbi.
In 2016, Johanna was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. While the diagnosis and treatment were extremely difficult to accept, she discovered the warmth and intimacy of a caring community she previously understood only intellectually. The experience of being cared for by members of Beth Tikvah was an essential component of her healing and return to vibrancy. Johanna recounts she had only ever been a caregiver in the lives of others. To be cared for was an incredible feeling. Fortunately, Johanna is able to count herself as a survivor of this devastating disease.
Among other accomplishments, Johanna completed her Masters in Counseling at Oregon State University in 2019, and is working part time at Bend Counseling and Bio Feedback. In March of 2020, Johanna was honored with an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew Union College recognizing twenty five years of rabbinic service.
What are Johanna’s thoughts about the future of TBT? “Per Jewish tradition, now that TBT is 13, it is becoming an adult and it is time to think about its future direction.” She poses questions such as how can TBT attract younger members, what is the best way to interact with the outside world and how can TBT be a comfortable place for members of all political persuasions?
Johanna feels TBT leadership cannot ignore issues of morality taking place in the world outside of TBT but she struggles with what is the best way to be inclusive for the congregation. “It used to be we could disagree, and still share a piece of chocolate cake while we argued. The greater climate has become so divisive, even discussing Jewish values generates discomfort.”
Rabbi Johanna invites members of the congregation to weigh in on these and any other issues important to the future of TBT. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Bat Mitzvah Oneg Shabbat Sing-Along
Friday, June 11
Aspen Meadow Shelter
Come celebrate Mya Frankl’s upcoming Bat Mitzvah with a sing-along followed by a dessert buffet Oneg sponsored by Paul and Jillian Frankl.
All TBT Members are invited to join the celebration.
Watch for more details in the TBT Happenings.
Havdallah With Two Mavens
Juneteenth Conversations about Black-Jewish Relations
Saturday, June 19
Join Rabbi Johanna Hershenson and Riccardo Waites, Founder of the Central Oregon Black Leaders Assembly (COBLA) in celebration of Juneteenth, the day news of Lincoln’s order for emancipation reached Black slaves in Texas.
Remembering this significant moment in American history, the rabbi and Riccardo Waites will engage in a public conversation about Black-Jewish Relations historically and today. What does our collective American Jewish memory of “Black-Jewish Relations” mean to us today? Is our idea of that alliance outdated? Is it mutual?
If you’re looking for even more ways to connect with COBLA, check out their “Take the Butte Back March” that same day at 11:00 am at Pilot Butte. Riccardo and COBLA invite us to participate. Look for the infographic below.
See the weekly Happenings for more information.
Shabbat in the Park-In Person - Save the Date!
Friday, July 9
We can’t wait to see you!
TBT members-- please save the date for our well-deserved, long-awaited, FUNtastic 2021 Shabbat in the Park celebration led by Rabbi Johanna!
Our big summer picnic for all ages is happening on July 9 and you won’t want to miss it!
Join us for a whole lot of schmoozing (hugs allowed with mutual consent!!) and good eats plus a Kabbalat Shabbat service featuring Cantor Rayna singing live and in person.
We are also welcoming new members and giving thanks to our amazing volunteers. Watch for the Shabbat in the Park invitation coming to your inbox later this month.
With your health safety our top priority, health measures for this event will adhere to CDC and state regulations in place at the time.
Moral Courage: A Learning & Practice Group
Sundays, twice a month
10:15 am - 11:45 am
The Moral Courage: A Learning & Practice Group offers a brave space for TBT members to engage with one another on some pretty challenging topics. As a course, a study group, and a support group all in one, the Moral Courage: A Learning & Practice Group explores race, gender, ethnicity, identity, and beyond from the perspective of Jewish wisdom and teaching.
A few of our members wanted to share testimonials with you about their experiences thus far in the group.
“As a relatively new Bend resident, I was grateful to be invited into the TBT community through this monthly discussion group, exploring and considering many topics that are thought-provoking and often deeply personal and moving. Lauralei Garrity is an absolutely wonderful facilitator, finding perfect materials for our group to focus the discussions and meeting each member wherever they are on their individual learning journey.” -- Sharon Maier-Kennelly
Learning never ends.”
-- Linda Brant
Facilitators Rabbi Johanna Hershenson and Lauralei Garrity welcome TBT members of all ages and backgrounds to join the on-going conversation. Our next meeting will be on June 20, 2021.
If you are interested in joining the group or if you have questions, please email program coordinator Lauralei Garrity at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chevruta: The Chasidic Masters
Sundays, 9:00 - 10:00 am
What is a Chevruta? Chevruta (pronounced chev-roo-ta) is a group of adults committed to lifelong Jewish learning together, where camaraderie and friendships are cultivated through discourse. A fitting name for TBT’s adult education group!
In June Rabbi Johanna Hershenson is leading our exploration of The Chasidic Masters.
Together, we will explore selected writings of the Chasidic Masters and discover how grassroots populism and genuine thirst for spirituality converge into an entirely new form of Jewish expression.
Come, let's study together!
See the weekly Happenings for the Zoom information.
TBT Board Notes
Next Board Meeting: June 30, 4:00 to 6:00 pm.
Due to COVID-19, all board meetings are being held via Zoom. If you would like to attend, contact Lauralei Garrity at email@example.com.
If you would like to read minutes of previous board meetings, you can request a copy from Board Secretary, Terry Hoogstede firstname.lastname@example.org .
July Newsletter Deadline: June 24th
This newsletter is emailed to both members and non-members each month. If you have something you want to include in the newsletter, please e-mail it to Eileen Katz: email@example.com by the 24th of each month for the following month's publication. As always, you will continue to receive "e-minders" before important events take place.
Temple Beth Tikvah gratefully acknowledges the following contributions:
Jeanne Freeman & Burt Litman In Memory of Rose Freeman
- Lorraine & Lawrence Schechter In Memory of JoAnne Shapiro
- Lorraine & Lawrence Schechter In Memory of Claire Osborne
- Lorraine & Lawrence Schechter In Memory of Phyllis Blumenthal
- Anne & Gary Held In Memory of John Cron
- Anne & Gary Held In Memory of Alan Held
- Larry Barker In Memory of Dinah Siven Goberg
- Seana & Ron Jollo To Goodwill Fund in Honor of Rabbi Hershenson
- Selma Nichols To Gary Reynolds Memorial Fund in Memory of Gary Reynolds
Donations listed above were made to the Temple's general fund unless otherwise specified.
You may honor the lives and achievements of friends and relatives via a tribute with a donation to TBT. You can do this online by clicking here, or by sending a check and the name and address of the person being honored to TBT at P.O. Box 7472, Bend, OR, 97708.
Donations may be designated to a specific fund, including:
- General Fund
- Gary Reynolds Memorial Fund
- Youth Education Fund
- Music Fund
- TBT's Goodwill Fund
- Social Action/Tzedakah Fund
- or the Corrie Grudin Memorial Fund
Temple Beth Tikvah
P.O Box 7472
Bend, OR 97708
Your secure online donation to
Temple Beth Tikvah
is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your generosity.
Celebrations in June honor the following:
- Marijane Krohn & Mel Siegel
- Terry & Andreas Hoogstede
- Victor & Naomi Chudowsky
- Melissa (Missie) & Mike Wikler
- Alex & Sara Charney Cohen
- Glenn Cantor & Inge Eriks
- Robin Salant & Erik Jambor
- Mark & Johanna Hershenson
Budget & Finance
Communications & PR
Your secure online donation to
Temple Beth Tikvah
is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your generosity.
About Temple Beth Tikvah
For Jewish families, retirees and singles at every level of faith in Central Oregon, Temple Beth Tikvah provides a comforting embrace for the soul of your DNA. We are a dynamic Reform Jewish congregation with friendly, giving, active people drawn to Bend and Central Oregon because of the active lifestyle we find here.
We come together in different ways, inspired and informed by our common thread of Jewishness. Whether you were born Jewish, love someone who is Jewish or choose to be Jewish. Practice Judaism a little, a lot or not at all. TBT can serve as the heart of your vibrant, connected life.
We can be your primary source of friendship, purpose, spiritual and intellectual pursuit. Or a side note adding flavor and dimension how and when you want. Whichever you choose, TBT offers an inclusive, communal foundation on which to build your relationships, experiences and practice. From social activities to social action, worship to study, participation to leadership. It's your choice, in this community of yours.