TBT News - September 2017  

   Come be a part of our growing Reform synagogue. All are welcome!

In This Issue
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September Celebrations
TBT Board Members
Board Officers:

   Jeanne Freeman

 Vice President:
   Sheila Luber
   Mary Jane Eisenberg
   Lester Dober

   Marilynn Jacobs

   Chuck Shattuck
TBT Commitee Chairs
 Adult Education
   Mel Siegel

 Bikkur Holim
   Suzanne Schlosberg
   Evie Lerner

 Calendar Keeper
   Ann Rosenfield

 Chevra Kadisha
   Ralph Uri

 Communications & PR
   Ann Rosenfield

   Mark Schindel

   Chuck Shattuck

 Finding Our Connections
   Sheila Luber

    Kerrie Zurovsky

   Char Dimond
   Beverly Adler

 Membership & 
 Member Engagement
    Vivian Freeman

   Andrea Casey

   Julie Geveshausen

   Sara Charney Cohen

   Jan Freeman Bauer

   Marijane Krohn

 Religious Education
   Kathy Schindel

 Social Action
   Lynne Connelley
        --- and---
   Kim Rafilson

   Mark Schindel

 Youth Group
   Naomi Chudowsky
        --- and---
   Jillian Frankl

Bend Jewish Library
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TBT Event Planning
Quick Guide
Quick Links
September Calendar of Events 

   Sep.   8    5:30 p.m. - Family Shabbat
   Sep. 11    7:00 p.m. - Adult Education: Intro to Mussar
   Sep. 15    5:30 p.m. - Tot Shabbat
   Sep. 16    7:00 p.m. - S'lichot Havdallah and a Movie
   Sep. 20    7:00 p.m. - Erev Rosh Hashanah Service
   Sep. 21  10:00 a.m. - Rosh Hashanah Morning Service
                  4:00 p.m. - Tashlich and Family Fun Picnic
   Sep. 24    2:00 p.m. - Kever Avot - Pilot Butte
                  3:00 p.m. - Kever Avot - Deschutes Mem.
                11:59 p.m. - October Newsletter Deadline
   Sep. 29    7:00 p.m. - Kol Nidre Service
   Sep. 30  10:00 a.m. - Yom Kippur Morning Service
              ~12:45 p.m. - Adult Learning & Discussion
                  3:00 p.m. - Yom Kippur Afternoon Service
                  4:30 p.m. - Yizkor Service
                  5:15 p.m. - Neilah Concluding Service

   October 14th - Adult B'nai Mitzvah Service
   October 28th - Bat Mitzvah of Katie Jackman
   November 4th - Breakfast and Civil Discourse program

SEPTEMBER School Activities
All activities at Shalom Bayit unless otherwise noted.
Sunday School 10:00 a.m: - 9/10, 9/24
Hebrew & Judaica class 4:00 p.m: - 9/12, 9/19, 9/26

For more details about any TBT events, see our complete schedule of Services, School activities, and Events online:


TBT Highlights
September Focus:
Getting Ready for a New Year


Family Shabbat Celebration 

Let's Get Ready for 
Rosh Hashanah!
Friday, Sept. 8th, 5:30 p.m.
First Presbyterian; Heritage Hall 

Bring your favorite "comfort food" for a Family Shabbat Activity night. It's a multi-generational pot luck supper and celebration of Shabbat.  There'll be fun, food, family and friends.  Info: Marijane Krohn at  mak11@pitt.edu.

Introduction to Mussar - 
Jewish Character Development
Monday, Sept. 11th, 7:00 p.m.
First Presbyterian; Adult Ed Center

What is a mensch? How do we let our inner mensch out? Mussar literat ure provides tools for defining what a decent human being is and how we practice being decent human beings.  Make this discussion part of your own preparation for the  High Holy Days. What will you seek to improve in yourself this year?

All TBT members are welcome. Beverages and snacks are welcome.  Questions: email Mel Siegel at  mws@cmu.edu.

Saturday, Sept. 16th, 7:00 p.m.
First Presbyterian,  Adult Center

Have you ever found yourself in a downward spiral and everything you do seems to make matters worse? How do you begin teshuvah, taking pause to notice you're off track, and making the conscious decision to deliberately choose another path? Join us for " Changing Lanes" with Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson. Although not a Jewish film, it addresses principles of Judaism.  

Beverages and snacks are welcome.
Questions:  Contact Mel Siegel at  mws@cmu.edu
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High Holy Days 5778
Service Schedule
Torah and shofar

We invite you to join us for High Holy Day Services. We welcome all to attend any or all of our services.  We do ask that everyone (including TBT members) make reservations online at:
http://www.bethtikvahbend.org/index.php/worship/high-holy-days, or  by calling TBT at (541) 388-8826.  

We would appreciate receiving your reservations as soon as possible, but no later than September 15th.

Unless otherwise noted, all events are at 
First Presbyterian Church
230 NE Ninth Street
Bend, OR 97701 (map)

Rosh HaShanah*
Wed. Sept. 20    7:00 p.m.   Erev Rosh Hashanah Service
Thur. Sept. 21  10:00 a.m.   Rosh Hashanah Service
                          4:00 p.m.   Tashlich, Family Fun, and
                                          picnic at Pioneer Park

Kever Avot   Sun. Sept. 24  
2:00 p.m.  Pilot Butte Cemetery
3:00 p.m.  Deschutes Memorial                        Gardens

Yom Kippur*
Fri. Sept. 29    7:00 p.m.   Kol Nidre Service
Sat. Sept.30  10:00 a.m.   Yom Kippur Morning Service
                   ~12:45 p.m.   Adult Learning and Discussion
                                      at conclusion of AM Service:                                           Daniel Quinn's "Ishmael"
                      3:00 p.m. Yom Kippur multi-generational                                         Afternoon Service.  Families &                                         individuals of all ages, with
                                      and without children
                      4:30 p.m.   Yizkor Memorial Service
                       5:15 p.m.  N eilah Concluding Service

If you have your own copy of the High Holy Day Prayer Book, Gates of Repentance, PLEASE remember to bring them to services.

Thank you to those volunteers who have committed to assisting as Check-in, Greeter, or Books, for any of the High Holy Days events. The Membership Committee will send you a reminder of your date, as well as assignment, and appreciates you arriving at least 30 minutes prior to services.
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Tot Shabbat 
Sept. 15th, 5:30 p.m.

Tot   Shabbat  and potluck family dinner. For location and more information, please contact  Jessica  Hammerman at  jesshamm@gmail.com .
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A Letter from Shefa Gold

Shefa Gold's "Preparing for the High Holy Days" workshop is Sept. 8th - 10th at Shalom Bayit. The registration deadline has already passed. For more information, please contact Tully Ellsberg at tullyell@gmail.com.

        Dear friends at Beth Tikvah,
I'm excited about coming to Bend to celebrate, learn and practice together. It's such a propitious time just before the High Holy Days to be together and explore how we can each show up for the possibilities of Renewal.

The Torah portion for the Shabbat that we'll share is called Ki Tavo and it's about the preparations and instructions concerning how to enter the Land of Milk and Honey. There is an old reggae song that says, "The Promised Land is a state of mind." 

When I'm in that state of mind, then gratefulness, generosity and compassion just flow naturally. There, I remember my connection to all life, and I can easily forgive everyone who might have hurt me. 

Even if we can't always live in that state of mind that is the promised Land, we can get a taste of its milk and honey. And that taste can guide us on our journey.

So, my intention for our weekend together is to support each other in the holy work of "Entering the Land," tasting its goodness so that the taste can expand our capacity for Forgiveness and Compassion.
I look forward to meeting you.

Shefa (Rabbi Shefa Gold)
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Position Open
Religious Education Director

The Jewish Community Religious School is looking to hire an organized, articulate, thoughtful Religious Education Director, responsible for overseeing the administration of the school grades K through seven. Benefits include a monthly stipend, grateful parents, and many hugs from excited kids. 
Our religious school provides classroom education about Jewish holidays and ceremonies, theology and prayer, ethics and values, mitzvah projects, and more. During the 2017-2018 year, you'll work with Rabbi Hershenson and teachers to ensure that curriculum goals are met, communicate with parents as needed, and track school finances and teachers' payroll. In subsequent years, you'll also work with the Rabbi and school community to review curriculum, update registration, create rosters and plan a successful academic year for the kids.
You won't need to be present at every session of Sunday School and Hebrew School, however at least monthly attendance at each is requested. 
The position is open effective January 1, 2018 and if you are eager to start sooner, we'd be happy to arrange. Our current Director will do everything she can to get you up to speed so you can start with knowledge and confidence. 
If you are interested, or there is someone that you'd like to recommend for the position, please contact Kathy Schindel at schindelke@aol.com .  
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Divrei Tikvah  RJohannaHeadShot
From Rabbi Johanna Hershenson

September means school and September means High Holy Days!! 
I hope everyone has enjoyed a beautiful and fun-filled summer in Central Oregon and wherever our vacation travels have taken us. 
Figuring out where to watch the eclipse and then watching it was an experience shared with family members and neighbors and strangers. I particularly enjoyed the sense of unity witnessing such a magnificent event together generated. We were all amazed. No matter how much we understand science and the workings of the universe, we could not help but marvel at the momentary blocking of the sun, the flash, the late morning experience of dusk and its light winds, the rarity of the occurrence...we were there to witness it and experience it. 
As all things, not just the good ones, come to an end, so this summer wanes into another new school year and shortly afterward, the High Holy Day season.
The turning of seasons calls us to turn our attention to the gap between who we imagine ourselves to be and who we actually are in life. The High Holy Day work of Teshuvah, repentance and return, begins as we prepare to greet Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur during the second half of the month.
This year I have engaged in two new cycles of learning that are worth noting. 
During the summer, I began studying in the Masters in Counseling program at OSU-Cascades. I am participating in a two-year (including summers) graduate program, working towards earning a license to practice as a therapist in the State of Oregon. My intention is to develop a part-time counseling practice to complement my part-time professional commitment to Temple Beth Tikvah. I hope to specialize in relationship, intimacy, and life transitions. 
One task from the summer courses I took was to develop an affinity for a particular theoretical approach to counseling. Not surprisingly, I landed in what's known as an existential therapeutic orientation. The founders of this approach were Hegel and Nietzsche, Soren Kierkegaard, Martin Buber, and Victor Frankl. While an ongoing search for meaning marks my rabbinate and will guide my work as a counselor, I have also discovered that another theoretical orientation co-pilots my journey.  Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy addresses thoughts, feelings, and actions.  In addition to creating and choosing meaning in life, we can and ought to learn how to exercise control over how we think, feel, and act.
Also this summer, Temple Beth Tikvah supported me in attending a retreat and subsequent distance learning program in Jewish mindfulness and Mussar (Jewish character development) offered by the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. Throughout this year, I will meet monthly online with a teacher and five other rabbis to continue this course of study. Next year I will train a group of TBT members, and in the following year that group of trainees and I will begin implementing Jewish character development into our TBT program offerings.
Mussar (Jewish character development) literature begins in rabbinic times and is further developed in the Middle Ages in Jewish communities in Spain. In the late 19th century, the mainstream Rabbis of Eastern Europe refine and strongly encourage Mussar teachings and practices in response to the populism of Chasidism. Chasidism challenged the Jewish establishment by elevating the idea of cultivating an individual spirituality in contrast to the hierarchical structure of Yeshivah book learning. Mussar addresses less the amorphous nature of spirituality and focuses instead on individual development around character development. What are the traits we want to strengthen (generosity, learning,) and the traits we want to harness (indignation, self-absorption,) to be a good person?
Expect to learn about Mussar and Jewish mindfulness over the course of the next couple of years. I will write and speak about topics I am learning and practicing in sermons, newsletter articles, and adult learning offerings. Bring your curiosity and your questions. Your feedback will guide our communal journey of learning and practicing together. 
I look forward to seeing everybody at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services and gatherings!

~~ Rabbi Hershenson's office hours are by appointment. If you would like to set up an appointment, please contact her by email at: johannahershenson@gmail.com, or by phone at 541-213-9880.

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President's Message
From TBT President Jeanne Freeman  

Summer has flown by at a rate that seems far faster than most years. And with so many b'nai mitzvah to celebrate, we came together more often than we sometimes do in summer as we welcomed Leila, Maxwell and Chase into our adult Jewish community.
Our Shabbat in the Park brought many - from our youngest to our oldest members - to Shevlin Park, where we finally all got to hear Jo play the Sh'ma on her saw. Who knew you could shop at Home Depot for musical instruments!? And what fun to visit with so many members, prospective members, and guests from near and as far away as Israel.
For the leadership team and committees, summer has been a busy time preparing for the year ahead. The TBT calendar is filling with a variety of Shabbat Services and programs, Tot Shabbats, dinners, adult ed programs, Havdallahs, Jewish Community Religious school, holiday parties, Connections events, fundraisers, social action programs and more. For a small community, we have a very busy year planned. And while we don't expect to see you at every event, we do hope to see you at many of them.
Each of our members has his or her own reasons for participating. For some it is spiritual, others social, or educational, or for projects of gemilut chassidim and tikkun olam. For some it is connection to Judaism and a Rabbi. Whatever your reason, we hope that you will find it at TBT. Our success is measured by the satisfaction and enjoyment of our members and not by the number of members that attend.
Recently, the board held its annual retreat where we set our goals for the coming year, determining the needs of the community and how we can fulfill them. Our top priority is to find a new director for our Jewish Community Religious School. After five years in that role, Kathy Schindel is stepping down effective December 31st. In that time, Kathy has brought together Central Oregon's three Jewish communities, creating a program that has given our kids a foundation in Judaism and reading Hebrew. She has worked with teachers, parents, and students to develop an exciting educational environment. We are all indebted to her for her commitment to our children's Jewish education. 

Now that we've secured her commitment to continue tutoring our b'nai mitzvah students, we are accepting her resignation as Education Director, and we are seeking her replacement. Please read the "help wanted" ad elsewhere in this newsletter and make your recommendation for someone to fill the position.
Some of our other priorities for the year include:
  •  Getting our communications and calendaring processes in place so that we can plan more efficiently and reach you in a more timely way.
  •  Continuing the efforts to hold more multi-generational events to bring the community together.
  •  Developing multiple fundraising events to support our TBT programs.
  •  Expanding our music program to have more congregants participating and creating a TBT songbook.
As we approach the High Holy Days, we enter the season of Teshuvah. In a recent sermon, Rabbi Hershenson referenced teshuvah as returning to our principles and values. Looking back to our founding members and to the principles and values upon which TBT was built, I think that we are still on the right path. I look forward to seeing you during the Holidays, to connecting with old and new friends, to the sweet taste of honey, to hearing the music of Kol Nidre.
L'Shanah Tovah,
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Board and Committee News
TBT Board Notes
Next Board Meeting:  October 3rd, 3:30 p.m. 
Location:  Stonebriar Apartments Clubhouse

Your TBT Board meets monthly and everyone is invited to attend. Dates and times of Board meetings are on the TBT calendar at:  bethtikvahbend.org/calendar

If you would like to read minutes of previous board meetings, you can request a copy from Board Secretary Mary Jane Eisenberg  maryjanee112@yahoo.com.
Social Action Updatetikkun olam earth
Lynne Connelly & Kim Rafilson, Social Action Co-Chairs

Tikkum Olam is a foundational aspect of Judaism, and the TBT community strongly embodies that spirit in its efforts to feed the hungry at Family Kitchen, Backdoor Café and Bethlehem Inn. The social action committee would like to expand our volunteer opportunities to include local organizations that focus on children, seniors and the environment in hopes of appealing to a broader segment of the congregation. 
In that vein, we are hoping to hear from all of you about your interest and willingness to support more social action events beginning this Fall. We would also like to know if you would support a future Mitzvah Day where we come together as a community and participate in various social action activities throughout the day.
We will be sending out a survey to all of you in the next couple of weeks so we can gain a better understanding of your social action interests and willingness to support these events. As of now, we are looking towards organizations that are child/family-focused, senior-focused, animal-focused and environmental-focused.
Here are some examples of local organizations we may be interested in helping.
-Devin's Destiny provides birthday parties for homeless/low income kids
-Sparrow Club helps kids with medical needs and their families
-After School Buddies is a volunteer organization for 4th and 5th grade girls
-Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA) is responsible for maintaining bike trails
-Deschutes Land Trust oversees restoration projects
-Central Oregon Nordic Club Trail and Shelter Maintenance maintains nordic trails
-Bicycle Re-Source of Bend provides bikes for those in need by rebuilding and refurbishing donated bikes
-Bend Spay & Neuter
-Fences for Fido
-Equine Outreach Horse Rescue
-The Alzheimers Association
-Touchmark at Mt. Bachelor Village
While we are putting the survey together, feel free to email Kim Rafilson at kimrafilson@icloud.com if you have any other ideas or suggestions and if you'd like to be part of organizing our exciting social action events.

Education Report Aleph Bet blocks
Kathy Schindel, Education Chair

After receiving feedback from many families, we have decided to implement our plan to combine "Sunday" school and Hebrew school for the older students. Students in Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades will meet twice a month on Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Students in 3rd grade and beyond will meet weekly for Hebrew on Tuesdays from 4:00-5:00 p.m. Then, from 5:00-6:00 p.m. will be their "Sunday" school or Judaica class.
Sunday school for grades K-2 will begin on Sunday, September 10th from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at Shalom Bayit. 

Hebrew school and Judaica classes for 3rd grade and beyond will begin on Tuesday, September 12th from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at Shalom Bayit. The Tuesday classes will follow the Bend-La Pine School District calendar.
Please fill out the registration forms for religious school so that they are received prior to the start of school on September 10th and 12th.  Forms are available on the TBT and JCCO websites. Please go to  http://www.bethtikvahbend.org/images/PDF-Documents/Religious-School-Reg-Form-2017-2018.pdf

Youth Group Happenings
Sid Rafilson

Shalom Teva, Central Oregon's BBYO chapter, has been busy getting ready for the 2017-18 year. We had our kick-off event at South Twin Lake in August to get continuing and potential new members excited about BBYO. Roughly fifteen teens attended. Many were new 8th grade members and older teens who had not participated before. We had a great time barbecuing, playing around in the lake, and getting to know each other better.

On September 1st, eight of our teens volunteered at Family Kitchen. We worked with adult TBT members to cook for and serve one hundred thirty clients in need of a healthy meal.
On  September 15th-17th, many of our members will be attending Kehillah (fall Convention) at the Great Wolf Lodge. There will be around one hundred eighth-graders and high schoolers from all over the Pacific Northwest attending. We are all looking forward to joining together with all the other chapters in our region.

We're so excited that our chapter is growing and becoming more active. If you know a teen in grades 8-12 who might be interested, please contact Shalom Teva
President Sid Rafilson:  

OCTOBER Newsletter Deadline:  September 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 Sara: sarrava@gmail.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.

Sara Charney Cohen
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Federation and URJ Hurricane Relief 

100% of your donation goes to relief for Houston.

Dear Community,

Over Shabbat and continuing today, we have all watched with great difficulty as Hurricane Harvey has and continues to cause catastrophic destruction to the Greater Houston area, Texas coastal communities and Central Texas. Our thoughts and prayers are with all who are affected by this terrible natural disaster. 

Lee Wunsch, CEO of the Houston Jewish Federation, reports that the amount of rain and resulting flooding has surpassed that of the storm two years ago. Bayous and tributaries are flooding beyond their banks and roads are impassable. People whose homes are flooding are being advised to go up to their roofs so they can be evacuated; emergency workers were evacuating stranded residents through the night. Synagogues and Jewish organizations have been flooded, as well.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, as we always do, wants to help those impacted by flooding. We have opened an emergency relief fund to support communities and individuals affected by Hurricane Harvey. Every dollar raised will be put to good use in helping and saving lives. It's easy to make a contribution, simply visit  jewishportland.org/houston .

We will continue to communicate and share ways that we can provide support to these affected communities.

Our tradition teaches us to thank G-d for sukkot shalom , the shelters of peace in our lives. And we are also taught to care for those in need who do not presently have the necessary shelters to protect themselves and their loved ones. May we combine our efforts in the coming days to take care of those in need. 

Thank you for your support,
Marc Blattner
President and CEO  

URJ Hurricane Harvey Relief
URJ logo
The URJ responded to Hurricane Harvey by implementing programs for families, creating a hurricane relief fund, and showing support for surrounding Jewish organizations.

URJ Greene Family Camp opened their doors to the community, and families in need of shelter with the  Hurricane Harvey Houston Day Camp .

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Meet TBT: Member Spotlight
Get to Know Jessica Hammerman
By Jana Zvibleman

"Did the Jews do something to bring the Holocaust on themselves?" a Central Oregon Community College (COCC) student asked Professor Jessica Hammerman.

That's when Jessica knew she wasn't in New York City anymore.

That was confirmed when her colleagues told her she was welcome to add symbols of her heritage to the department's Christmas tree.

With her PhD in French, Algerian, and Jewish history, Jessica says, "It was difficult to adjust to Jewish life here - to being a true minority, and an outlier in my job."

Moving to Bend in 2013, she found the TBT community very welcoming, to her, her husband Isaac Peterson, and their then two-year-old daughter Ruby. Yet in her professional life, coming from an environment rich with other experts in her field and those related, she was suddenly the only world-history professor in town, the only one versed in the cultural history of Islam, and Judaism, and racism . . .. And in contrast to the wide diversity of backgrounds of east-coast city-savvy students, she discovered that many of her Oregon students had never been out of this area and never been exposed to wider ideas.

"I came to realize that it's up to me t o be a voice, " she said. "Not just in my classes, but also in this town. It's incumbent on me to speak out, on radio, tv, at events. Because this is a difficult time, politically, and it's so important to teach, about Jews, about the Holocaust . .. I have the opportunity to make an impact here. I've had to find my spot, and to decide whether to be a leader who is Jewish, or a Jewish leader."

And so as a Jewish leader, she's set about widening horizons and deepening understanding. Among her endeavors are new classes, including History of the Islamic World; History of Sexuality in Europe's 20th century; the history of world religion; and the Holocaust and its legacies.  Also, she has spearheaded an annual educational event for the college and the wider community commemorating Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Jessica grew up in Phoenix, in a Conservative Jewish family. "I'm happy to be part of our growing synagogue and growing community," she said. To help it along, she initiated the Tot Shabbat, now a popular monthly activity for families with young children, held in homes. Jessica and Isaac's 10-month- old son, Zev, enjoys absorbing that atmosphere.

And now six-year-old Ruby attends the Sunday School, to which the family gives rave reviews.

Jessica has also enjoyed taking Ruby   to Chabad family events, such as Hamantaschen- and Matzah-making. She is eager to nurture the TBT community's regular Shabbats and to help create bonds among families with young children.

Busy with mothering and her profession, Jessica doesn't find much time to just relax. But when she does, she likes reading fiction and practicing yoga. Plus, Dr. Hammerman is a whiz at trivia games.

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Community News
Walk to Defeat ALS - Sept. 9

UPDATE:  ALS Walk has been canceled due to smoke. Contributions to ALS Association are still welcome. See link below.

From Jana Zvibleman:

As you may know, my husband Bruce passed away after ten years with the disease ALS. While a cure did not come in time to help him, we did receive some much-needed support, care help, and adaptable equipment  from the ALS Association. 

The Walk is the annual fundraiser to make such support possible, as well as to further research. 

Here in Bend on September 9th, it is a pleasant event. The stroll at Farewell Bend Park includes a lot of meeting nice people. Afterwards, there is food, beverages, music, and just a bit of  announcements. If the smoke or heat or anything prevents you from walking, you can help or hang out at the gathering area.  

I'd really appreciate the company if you would like to join TeamBruce

You can sign up on the website, and choose whether or not to donate. (You do not have to contribute in order to come be part of the Walk).

Thanks very much!!

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Save the date for TBT's next special community event...
put this on your calendar
Picture a Jewish community where members talk with each other openly with curiosity and compassion. We discuss politics, temple affairs, health care, child-rearing and beautiful Bend with enjoyment and understanding. At TBT, we are becoming that community. 

Save the date for our next special community event, Breakfast & Civil Discourse, featuring guest facilitator Bryn Hazell, a local expert specializing in "Nonviolent Communication." The Saturday morning program promises practical lessons and dialogue to help us communicate even better, especially when we disagree. In small group interactions, we'll practice the skills we learn to shift difficult conversations from uncomfortable or combative to calm and productive. It's food for thought from start to finish. Please plan to come and grow.

Event:  Breakfast & Civil Discourse
Date/Time:  November 4th, 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
(Breakfast 9 a.m. / Workshop 9:30 a.m-12:30 p.m.)
First Presbyterian Bend, Health & Wellness Room
Open to TBT members only, post b'nai mitzvah and older. More information to come your way. 

Presented as part of Finding Our Connections, a TBT program initiative. 

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Oregon Surrogates and Israel
By Rabbi Johanna Hershenson

Did you know that Oregon's liberal laws around surrogacy are big news in Israel??
Gay couples in Israel who long for children are not allowed by Israeli law to adopt children. Many go outside Israel to adopt children and bring them home under the Law of Return, stating any Jew can make Israel his or her home. 
Apparently couples have been reaching out to rabbis in Portland for some time, to officiate conversions for babies birthed by non-Jewish surrogate mothers. Rabbi Michael Cahana from Congregation Beth Israel reached out to me last spring to connect me with a couple who traveled from Tel Aviv to adopt a baby from a surrogate mother in Central Oregon. The demand is growing and the Portland area cannot meet needs. Since that first couple, one more has visited and another will come in the late fall.
Converting babies is an interesting endeavor. When an adult decides to become a Jew, it's easy. He or she studies, and, upon learning basic Jewish teachings and rituals, meets with a Beit Din (rabbinic or lay led court of three individuals) to be affirmed in his or her journey. 
Rabbinic literature says it is acceptable to convert an infant or child who lives with Jewish parents because it benefits the child to be the same as his or her parents.  There is no course of study (for obvious reasons). If the infant is a boy, circumcision is part of the process.  Finally the conversion is sealed with t'vilah, immersion in a mikvah or natural body of water. Parents immerse the baby, and then when the child reaches the age of Bar or Bat Mitzvah, he or she should immerse in mikvah again of his or her own free will.
I led the first family to do an immersion because I find it a meaningful ritual in the conversion process. I learned that everything is different with babies. First of all, intelligent Jewish parents don't really want to immerse their newborns in cold water on cold days. We went to the Juniper swimming pool instead. Still, parents are not particularly keen on the idea of dunking their babies completely under water, so the dads only immersed the child to his chest. It was a sweet moment, but not as meaningful as I had hoped. When I met with the second family, I shared my thoughts on the first experience and we decided to skip immersion at this time, and it is upon the parents to remember to bring their daughter to the mikvah or ocean when she reaches the age of majority, Bat Mitzvah.
In addition to a brief conversion ceremony and instructions for the parents, I provide a certificate as a keepsake, and a letter to Israel's Ministry of the Interior on Temple Beth Tikvah letterhead indicating that I have overseen the child's conversion to Judaism. This letter is an essential component of the immigration paperwork parents must provide to ensure their infant is an Israeli citizen.
It is an honor and a privilege to be able to help gay families in Israel grow, a mitzvah I never imagined would present itself in Central Oregon. We should all, at Temple Beth Tikvah, be proud. While we touch just a couple of families here and there, we are contributing our little bit to the movement for family equality in Israel. Amen and amen.
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Taizé Service
Next Taizé:  October 5th

All TBT members are invited to Taizé - an evening of Interfaith prayerful meditation, peace, and silence. 

Taizé services are held the first Thursday of each month, October through May, 7:00 p.m. at St. Helen's Hall, Trinity Episcopal Church, 231 NW Idaho St., in Bend, OR. (Across the street from Trinity sanctuary. Please note March service will be held at Shalom Bayit.) 

Everyone is invited to attend and participate in these services of healing and reconciliation. We now have songs in more languages, and will have a 'wiggle/cry room' available at the back of the hall - with sound. The venues are wheelchair accessible.

Sponsored by Taizé Choir of Central Oregon and Trinity Episcopal Church.

For more info: taizebend@gmail.com  or 541-815-5574.

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TBT Tributes
You may honor the lives and achievements of friends and relatives via a tribute with a donation to TBT. You can do this online, 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:
   - the Youth Education Fund,   
   - the Music Fund - including Adopt-a-Musician, 
   - the Library Fund, 
   - the Rabbi Fund, 
   - the Rabbi's Discretionary Fund, 
   - the Social Action Fund, 
   - the Corrie Grudin Memorial Fund,
   - the Youth Group Fund,
   - or to the General Fund. 

Donations listed below were made to the Temple's general purpose fund unless otherwise specified.

Temple Beth Tikvah gratefully acknowledges the following contributions:
  • From Ralph and Marcia Uri, in memory of Max and Fritzi Uri.
  • From Jo Ann B. Ray, in memory of Maurice Brostoff.
  • From Gary & Terry Reynolds, congratulations to Maxwell Freidman on becoming a Bar Mitzvah.
  • From Gary & Terry Reynolds, congratulations to Chase Frankl on becoming a Bar Mitzvah.
  • From Gary & Terry Reynolds, in memory of Gary's father, Herb Reynolds.
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About Temple Beth Tikvah

Temple Beth Tikvah is a growing Jewish congregation based in Bend, Oregon. We are affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism and are excited to be the first Reform synagogue in Central Oregon.

Our members come from a range of Jewish backgrounds including Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Renewal. Temple Beth Tikvah welcomes interfaith families and Jews by choice. We are committed to providing a Jewish education for our children as well as stimulating educational activities for adults. We value social action and strive to provide a Jewish cultural, social, and religious experience in Central Oregon.

Temple Beth Tikvah is a warm and enthusiastic community that includes families, singles, and "empty nesters." We are a mix of long-time Bend residents and newcomers from around the country who moved here to enjoy Central Oregon's beauty, active lifestyle, and quality of life.

Please contact us at 541-388-8826 or info@bethtikvahbend.org for more information.
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