August 9, 2021
Shana Tova – Happy 5782: We are all excited to see 5781 end and this new year 5782 begin. It is wonderful to be gathering this Rosh Hashanah for in person worship services, the first time in over 18 months. Who among us is not glad to see this past year end. The Corona virus has turned our lives upside down. We deserve more than an ovation for keeping our sanity and surviving this turbulent year. Covid 19 has changed the world as we know it and will undoubtedly be remembered as a momentous event.
With this new year we can now look positively on the good that came out of the pandemic. We learned that we can get by with less toilet paper, we learned that we can survive being with our spouses 24/7, we learned apps, computers, tablets, learned that our cell phone can do more than just make calls, learned a new word “Zoom” and it’s not about cars. Some of us have new offices we call home.
We have so many things to be thankful for, we are blessed to have Rabbi Helene who donates her time and continues to guide us in prayer. We are thankful to have Ellen Nathan, our secretary who coordinates the Zoom meeting and services and sends out the weekly announcements. Mike Satter who is our treasurer and web site guru, and the rest of our board Ellen Margles, Kim Blackman and Marv Marcus who all work together for the growth and betterment of Beit Chaverim.
I am reminded of a quote by a German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche “He who has a why to live for can bear almost anything”. The core idea translated, means, having a strong purpose in life gives us a reason to continue on through adversity and inspires us to find a way past obstacles that may present themselves. Each of us has a WHY.
My Why, my purpose this year, was to be here to be the recipient of our new Torah from Temple Dov Schmuel, my parents shul, Lakewood, NJ. Unfortunately Dov Schmuels’ sad story is our blessing. Dov Schmuel closed its doors after decades of providing the Jewish Community of Lakewood with conservative Jewish education, culture, and support. As their congregants aged, they saw a decline in number, they made the painful decision to close and liquidate and honored Beit Chaverim with their sacred possession, their Torah. .
On this Rosh Hashanah, please ask yourselves the WHY? Begin the season with the accounting of the soul, examine what you have done, how you have lived, how you succeeded in life and how you want to see yourself in the coming year. I hope that you see yourselves included in the Beit Chaverim family. Beit Chaverim is here for your spiritual and community needs. We ask for you to be here for Beit Chaverim. Mitzvot is the greatest gift you can give your community and Beit Chaverim. Please Consider giving a Mitzvah Donation to Beit Chaverim for those occasions in your life considered a blessing, a birthday, bar/bat mitzvah, birth, wedding or honoring someone special you want remembered.
Remember to reach out to one another, love and respect each other and do Mitzvot as we are commanded in the Torah. Enclosed please find a self-addressed envelope to start the year by sharing your Mitzvah with Beit Chaverim. L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu. May you be inscribed for a good year.
Penny Lindenbaum, President
March 27, 2021
To my Beit Chaverim Family:
The traditional Seder marks the beginning of Passover, it typically involves extended family gathered around the ritual feast. This tradition dates back more than three thousand years, since the time the Jewish people were redeemed from Egypt.
This year, millions of Passover observances will be held virtually as the Coronavirus has limited how people can gather to mark the exodus of the Jews from Egyption Slavery. It will be a challenge to experience a Seder filled with rituals, symbolic foods, nostalgic smells, questions, answers, stories, songs and more, through Zoom. Restrictions don’t diminish this ancient observance, it follows the Jewish teaching that each and every person must retell the biblical story of their ancestors from slavery in Egypt to freedom as if they too lived through this. It is a powerful story and it remains relevant to this day.
On this Passover as we endure the fear and grief brought on by the global pandemic, we can relate more to the entire story of our biblical ancestors; not just the joy of freedom, but the agony of oppression and being at the mercy of forces beyond our control.
As we celebrate our second Seder with social distancing our hope and faith brings us towards a light of freedom from the Coronavirus, the eleventh plague. Thank G-d We don’t have to endure 430 years as our ancestors did for this freedom.
Let us give thanks, give generously of ourselves, continue the power of human decency and responsibility and continue the tradition of the retelling (Haggadah) of the Exodus to freedom.
May you have a Sweet and Happy Passover with all the sounds, foods, smells, songs and traditions.
Dec. 12, 2020
Letter From Penny Lindenbaum, President
Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, is technically a minor Festival for Jews. Hanukkah is a celebration of a military weak but spiritually strong Jewish people over the mighty forces of an enemy. It is the illumination and rekindling of the Menorah at the rededication of the desecrated Sanctuary. The oil which was only enough to last one day miraculous burned for eight days.
The lighting of our Menorahs on Hanukkah is a symbol and message of triumph of freedom over oppression, of spirit over matter and of light over darkness.
Fast forward to Hanukkah 2020. The Year That Was, mask wearing, social distancing, small gatherings. A time of darkness and despair, the enemy is not Antiochus, but a Virus. Covid-19 can’t be chased out or won by military might, we are battling a disease. The tools for battle are not stones or weapons, they are faith, and hopes that G-d will listen to our prayers and enable researchers to come up with the right vaccine to restore us to a Covid free World. The End of Covid will be a true Hanukkah Miracle.
We acknowledge the original connection of Hanukkah by lighting the Menorah, eating foods fried in oil, playing the dreidel and by gift giving. Traditionally, there was no gift giving during Hanukkah, it was Gelt, in the form of chocolate coins or real coins, this Hanukkah consider giving back to the community by giving Tzedakah charity to those in the community or our Synagogue. What a better way of honoring parents, children, grandchildren, friends by making Hanukkah gift donations in their names to our synagogue. Hanukkah is about giving, letting the light into our darkest places and fears, while illuminating the heart and spirit.
Another year is coming to an end and with it we would like to introduce you to the NEW look of our Web Page beitchaverimutah.org It is also a time to renew your Annual Beit Chaverim membership. We have made it easier this year in the Time Of Corona Virus to renew your membership and or make donations online through our Web page, please check it out. We have also included an envelope to mail in your dues of $150 for a family and $75 for an individual.
I hope to see you at the Hanukkah Celebration at Fire Lake Park on Sunday, December 13th at 1:00.
The Board and I wish you a happy, healthy and safe Hanukkah.
Beit Chaverim Jewish Community of Greater Zion