Thursday, February 1, 2024

This week:

  • TONIGHT! Thursday, February 1 at 7 pm: Buildings and Grounds Committee. Click here to join.
  • Tomorrow, Friday, February 2
  • 5:30: Community Potluck
  • 7:00: Live Shabbat Services with Rabbinic Intern Ezra Leventhal in the Sanctuary and on Zoom
  • Tuesday. February 6 at 7:00 pm: Israel Working Group meeting only on Zoom. Email Phyllis Forbes for the link.
  • Wednesday, February 7 at 4:00 pm: Women's Book Club reading Elizabeth Strout's Olive, Again. Only on Zoom. Email Phyllis Forbes for the link.
  • Thursday, February 8: Adult Education series. For both events, click here to join.
  • 10 am: Rabbi Jean Eglinton leads a Talmud Study, Tractate Megillah: Hiding, Coming Out and Purim.
  • 11 am: Hebrew Review with Pam Lucas.

Save the Date:

  • Saturday, February 10, 10:30: Lois Fein and Shmuel Dorr lead a virtual Shabbat on Mishpatim, the Ten Commandments. Click here to join them.
  • Monday, February 22, 6-7:30 pm: Dayenu: On Zoom: A Jewish Call to Climate Action planning meeting for 2024.

To see more of Shir Shalom's calendar, click here.

Live Worship Tomorrow

Friday, February 2 at 7 pm

Services with Rabbinic Intern Ezra Leventhal in the Sanctuary and on Zoom.

And beforehand

at 5:30

Community Potluck Dinner

Please bring a dish plated

with enough to serve 10.

Entrees are encouraged.

Many would appreciate your listing allergens, such as nuts, dairy, gluten, and alcohol.

The Building & Grounds Committee meeting is open to anyone and everyone who is interested in the upkeep and improvement of our facilities.

Click here to join.

If you’re not able to attend the meeting but would like to be involved, please email Elliot Goodman at 

Zoom Link:

or by phone:

Dial: 415-762-9988

Meeting ID: 725 948 2096

password: 856328

Thank you, Rachel and Welcome, Lois

My Fellow Congregants,

As many of you already know, Rachel Findley has informed us that her master’s degree program requirements make it impossible for her to remain as Director of Education beyond the end of February.

So I am writing to let you know that Lois Fein—who enhances our services with wonderful music, and who served as our Hebrew School director a few years ago—has agreed to become the Interim Education Director from the beginning of March to the end of the school year in May.

Lois has considerable experience as an educator. She taught Modern Jewish History for several years at the Jewish Day School in Belleview, Washington, and also started a Young Jewish Filmmakers program.

An Upper Valley resident, she teaches in the Pre-K/Kindergarten program

at the public elementary school in Reading, Vermont.

Lois tells me that her family has been part of the Shir Shalom community since our congregation’s earliest years. She currently serves as our Song Leader during Friday evening and Saturday morning Shabbat services, as well as during B’nai Mitzvot, Learner’s Services, Tot Shabbat programs, and holiday celebrations. In short, Lois loves sharing the joy she finds in the music, prayer, history, and traditions of Judaism throughout our congregation, to toddlers, Hebrew School students and parents, and to teens and adults of every age.

As Rachel winds down her time as our Education Director, I want to thank her for her commitment—in her words—to helping our children “feel enveloped in a safe and loving community.” On behalf of our Hebrew School teachers, our Vice President for Education Roni Skerker, and our Board of Directors, I want to take this opportunity to extend our gratitude to Rachel along with our best wishes for her and her family.

Michael Brown,


Israel Working Group Meeting

Tuesday, February 6 at 7:00 pm

The agenda includes funds for Israeli groups and a discussion of future speakers like Dr. Meron Medzini.

Only on Zoom. Email Phyllis Forbes for the link.

Virtual Minyan

with Art Skerker

Wednesday, February 7

8:30 am

on Zoom only

Click here to join

Thanks to

Dr. Meron Medzini and Mickey Medzini

On Monday, Dr. Medzini and his son, Mickey, concluded a four-part series that started in the beginning of January. During the weekly meetings, they laid out in graphic detail the disturbing and complicated situation in Israel as a result of the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack. As a former soldier, Dr. Medzini is confident that the IDF will accomplish its mission of crushing Hamas in Gaza. But he believes that the ideology behind Hamas will not be eliminated in the near future, if at all. He expressed repeatedly his deep concern that this war, the longest in Israel’s history, is severely damaging Israel both internally and internationally.

Both Dr. Medzini and Mickey, who is a reservist and was recently called into active duty, described the human, emotional and economic toll that the war is having on their beloved country. The sessions were extremely informative and somewhat depressing. However, Dr. Medzini describes himself as an eternal optimist and therefore is convinced that Israel will prevail as it has done many times in the past.

In response to my thanking them on behalf of Shir Shalom, they replied:


“We are most grateful to you and the entire congregation for your appreciation. We do these sessions as we think it is important to keep our friends in Vermont in the picture even though it may be disturbing at times. We feel part of the congregation and look forward to more discussions when you feel the time is right.”


We are very fortunate to have such good friends in Israel and we, as well, look forward to visiting with them again in the coming months.

Women's Book Club

Zoom Only

Wednesday, February 7 at 4 pm


"Olive Kitteridge, the deliciously funny and unforgettable miserabilist at the heart of Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 2008 novel that bore her name, fully deserves the sensitive and satisfying follow-up that Strout has written about her."

The New York Times

Prickly, wry, resistant to change yet ruthlessly honest and deeply empathetic, Olive Kitteridge is “a compelling life force” (San Francisco Chronicle). The New Yorker has said that Elizabeth Strout “animates the ordinary with an astonishing force,” and she has never done so more clearly than in this book, where the iconic Olive struggles to understand not only herself and her own life but the lives of those around her in the town of Crosby, Maine. Whether with a teenager coming to terms with the loss of her father, a young woman about to give birth during a hilariously inopportune moment, a nurse who confesses a secret high school crush, or a lawyer who struggles with an inheritance she does not want to accept, the unforgettable Olive will continue to startle us, to move us, and to inspire usin Strout’s words“to bear the burden of the mystery with as much grace as we can.”

Please email Phyllis Forbes for the Zoom link.

Click Here to join

Hebrew Review

with Pam Lucas

Thursday, February 8 at 11.

Click Here to join

Virtual Shabbat


February 10

10:30 am

Click here to join

Lois Fein &

Shmuel Dorr

who will lead congregants on Zoom in reading the Torah portion, Mishpatim


The Ten Commandments

(1966) by Marc Chagall

Monday, February 12, 2024

6:00 - 7:30pm

Via Zoom

Please join us for our next Upper Valley Dayenu Circle meeting, where we will discuss plans for our 2024 programs and actions, including our ongoing book group discussions, hosting a climate film festival, a learning event on natural burial, hands-on community in conjunction with the Upper Valley Jewish Community and Dartmouth Hillel's volunteer opportunities, and more!

The Upper Valley Dayenu Circle is led by Talia Manning and is supported by the UVJC Social Action Committee.

Would you like to join our monthly knitting group? We gather at Sue Brown's house to knit Healing Shawls for those who are ill. If you're interested or would like more information, please email her. She can also be reached at 617-435-0661 for thoughts and questions. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Shir Shalom’s Caring Knitters have made hats, booties and sweaters for us to welcome newborns.

Zoom Information

Sanctuary Room - this will be used for larger group events such as the 1st and 3rd Friday Night Shabbat Services, B'nei Mitzvahs, and other live events

Meeting ID: 219 902 8045

Passcode: Dg8WLC

Meeting - this will be used for Rabbi's teaching including Torah Study, Hebrew I and II, Adult Education, Wednesday and Saturday Minyans, Social Groups, etc.

Meeting ID: 725 948 2096

Password: 856328


Check the calendar at for Zoom numbers to use for each event or meeting. 

Contact Information:

(802) 457-4840

 Rabbinic Intern Ezra Leventhal

Michael Brown, President

Ann Brandon, Temple Administrator

Mailing Address:

PO Box 526, Woodstock, VT 05091




Woodstock Area Jewish Community, Congregation Shir Shalom