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Shir ShalomVT

Volume 2| Issue 2

November 2022/5783



Shabbat Worship with Rabbi Haigh

Friday, November 18 ~ 7:00 pm

Rabbi Haigh will be speaking on Chaye Sarah.

In person and via Zoom Room.

Click here to connect via Zoom Room.

Hebrew School

November 20 ~ 10 am

Virtual Prayer

11/23 ~ 8:30 am

Supporting The Upper Valley Haven

Fulfilling the mitzvah of feeding those in need for Hanukkah

Once again, Shir Shalom will be collecting meals to help those in need. Meals should feed 10 people and be covered, wrapped, and cooled in a container that will not be returned to you. Salads, main dishes, sides, desserts - what ever you like to make. Please label the dish, and any allergen information.

Dishes should be delivered to Shir Shalom on December 11 by noon. Please contact Jessie Slack or Susan Brown to sign up or if you have questions.

Learning for Adults

Torah Class 11/17 ~ 10 am

Hebrew II Class 11/17 ~ 11 am

Hebrew I Class 11/17 ~ 12:15 pm

Ukraine Initiative

Please contact Mickey Elsberg

or Andrea Felix  if you wish to help.


October 14 – November 15


Hannah Beres

Edna Ruth" Hatcher Bonanno

Fedor Borodin

Eva Bushkin

Fan Cohen

Kathy Dickinson

Stephen I. Dietz

Faye Drazin

Gertrude Feigenbaum

Janice Felson

Daniel Finer

Joyce Gales

June (Maltzman) Gross

Reuben A. Grossman

Eleanor Stiller Harris

Irving Kanter

Martha Leber

Valerie Fassler Levitan

Jenny Zelda Linn

Maria Maschio

Marlene E. Nassau

Ida Polsky

Sylvia Roberts Moss

Lolo Sarnoff

Julian Weinstein

Norma Drue Green Yarbrough

Todah Rabah

 For all the gifts of the heart that have been given between October 8 - November 10, 2022. We could not have done it without you!

Click for list

Shabbat Potluck Celebrations

Mark your calendars for a Potluck Shabbat celebration on Friday, December 2nd from 5:30-7:00 pm! 

Join us for candle lighting and challah followed by a community potluck! Each month will have a different theme--December will be Israeli foods and drinks! Desserts and coffee at 6:45pm and then Shabbat Friday night services to follow at 7:00pm. Sign up for a dish to bring or to help set up or clean up! 

The Potluck Shabbat dinners are a way to build our in-person Shir Shalom community and share an informal Shabbat dinner together! All are welcome to attend. These events are perfect for all generations to attend.

Save the dates for upcoming Potluck Shabbat dinners on January 6 and February 3rd. 

If you are interested in being an event host or bringing a dish? Please let us know by signing up here. For more information, please call the office at 802-457-4840.

Can't make it to worship in person? Join us via Zoom:

Zoom Room

Educational Classes, Morning Minyan, 20's/30's/40/s, etc.

or by phone: 415-762-9988

Meeting ID: 725 948 2096

For more information on all our programs, visit our website or calendar at:

Last month's Simchat Torah Celebration

with the Community - So much Joy!!

From the Rabbi's Desk 


Dear Friends,

Last week was the 84th anniversary of Kristallnacht. Occurring on the eve of Veteran’s Day, the

juxtapositions of these two events and the election which loomed made for a stressful and

disconcerting mix of emotions leading up to

Shabbat. With the rise in Anti-Semitism

and the high stakes of the midterm elections, it was a profoundly emotional time.

On Sunday November 6th, just days before the election, I had the honor of addressing the first

session of the St James’s series, “Understanding Each Other: Comparative Religions.” Invited by

the church to help educate our neighbors about our heritage, it was a wonderful opportunity to

share our mission and our thinking with the broader community. Lois Fein sang with me, and she and other members of the choir and congregation helped to open the conversation with the words of Hinei Ma Tov. Psalm 133: How good it is when brothers and sisters dwell together.

I am so honored to serve in the state of Vermont. Our Republican Governor was re-elected

with a huge majority, and we are sending our first non-male representative, another member

of our Democratic congressional team to the U.S. Congress. I am so optimistic as our bipartisan,

thoughtful state continues to function and govern and to share the responsibilities of leadership. This Shabbat, I will be speaking on Chaye Sarah; perhaps the piece that calls to me most profoundly is the image of Ishmael and Isaac coming together to bury their imperfect father. Abraham.

The world is messy, the rise of Anti-Semitism is a real and deeply present threat. Yet, meetings

like last Sunday's, where our non-Jewish neighbors seek understanding or the invitation in late

October to speak at the UCC in Randolph on our shared mission to support Ukrainians in need,

reminds us to be grateful. As Thanksgiving looms, between the football, the turkey, the family

political schisms, and the parades, might we take time out to thank the divine for the beautiful

and free nation in which we live, those that risked their lives to protect our freedom, and the

deep, deep truth that we have more in common than that which divides us. Shema koleinu

Shema Koleinu Adonai, dear God, hear our voices as we focus on the gifts we have and remember that our safety and security sits in your hands.

With gratitude to the divine and love to all on Thanksgiving.

Rabbi Ilene Harkavy Haigh

From the President's Desk 

From The Education Corner

As a child, I learned neat, sanitized Torah stories: Noah was about cute animals, and Moses was a fearless leader. When I (re)read – or arguably actually READ – the Torah as a young adult, I was astonished to learn that our ancestors lived these beautifully fragile, messy, emotional lives.  

At this point, I (re)dedicated myself to Judaism, because the truth of Torah resonated deep within me. It was not that I suddenly considered the Torah a historical document or the immutable word of G-d, but that it FELT real – I could connect and empathize with the plight and joys of my ancestors. I could have been them. In fact, I was them. 

When you read Torah, you will see anger, jealousy, rage, loss, and pain. These stories weave together – akin to our Havdalah candle or Shabbat challah – with other narratives of hope, redemption, transformation. And while these joyful elements intertwine around the sadness, they do not smother it. They do not render the sorrow mute, but rather they hold it – carry it, if you will. 

While our ancestors learned to walk the derech (righteous path) of Torah in the most painful of ways by leaving the world that they knew to blindly follow an unwilling leader into the scorching desert, they never dropped their burden of grief and loss. They surrounded themselves with community to help carry it, and the belief in a promised hope for a brighter future.  

Torah teaches us that at a foundational level we are a people made up of opposing components; we are a complicated amalgamation of our sorrows, fears, joys, and hopes. It also teaches us that we are not alone; we are a people who are bound together from Sinai to the Messiah by the unbreakable threads of love and grief and hope.

As you all know, my family and I have experienced the most unimaginable loss this Fall. Sadly, I have come to learn that society at large does not understand how to deal with grief. People seem to feel that loss such as ours should be neatly contained within a few weeks. It should have a convenient ending, a box to tuck it into, and a transformational effect on all who encounter it. Anything other than this would be considered burdensome or problematic.

But not the Jews. We understand that grief is not a mental illness, but the inevitable counterpart of love. That it is messy, deep, and heart wrenching, and that it cannot be squashed, but rather must be held and intertwined with joy and hope. And, in Judaism, we are not allowed to carry this grief alone, but rather we are held by our community - who come together to wrap us with their love, to hold us in our grief, and to help us bind this sorrow into the fabric of our people. Because only then are we fully connected with the collective memories of our ancestors, anchored by sadness and joy, eyes fixed on a horizon of hope, with the understanding that our grief is not a roadblock to finding a land of milk and honey, but rather a natural part of the journey.

Thank you for holding us together.

In love,

Leah, Randy, and Sophia