Join Us to Welcome the New Year 2017 (5778)

Join Us to Welcome the New Year 2017 (5778)

Join us for our innovative Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur observances.  At Temple Beth Israel, we draw on our colorful history to fashion rituals that are authentic, fresh, meaningful and provocative.  We welcome everyone to our observances.  You don’t need to be Jewish or know how to read Hebrew.  Just bring an open heart.

We create a safe and supportive environment in which to contemplate our place in the universe and think about whether we are doing all that we can to live a meaningful life.  And we do this with a unique blend of traditional prayers, contemporary poetry, old and new songs, lessons and ideas.

Tradition has us set aside time every fall to take stock before moving on into the next year.  we are urged to engage in a personal reckoning.  We ask the questions: Am I living the life I want to live?  Am I making the most of my time on earth?  What kind of spouse am I?  What kind of parent, friend, sibling, son or daughter am I?  Am I using my talents wisely?  Am I helping to make the earth, my community, my country better?  Am I working for peace?  Am I an agent for good?

These are important questions.  In our day to day lives we generally don’t get to take time to think about these things.  Rosh Hashanah creates a space for us to consider our vision for ourselves.  It is a time for accounting, recognition and acute self-awareness.  We cannot move forward without an honest assessment of how we have been doing.

We will read together, sing together, listen to each other, hear ancient words and melodies in a holy language and, if it all works as designed, we will emerge refreshed, restored, inspired and with renewed energy to enter into the New Year.

2017 High Holiday Schedule at Temple Beth Israel – Danielson

Eve of Rosh Hashanah:  Wednesday, September 20, 6:30 PM
Rosh Hashanah Day 1:  Thursday, September 21, 9:30 AM followed by riverside Tashlikh Service
Rosh Hashanah Day 2:  Friday, September 22, 9:30 AM
Eve of Yom Kippur – Kol Nidre:  Friday, September 29, 6:30 PM
Yom Kippur: Saturday, September 30, 9:30 AM
Passover 2017 – Spring is Here

Passover 2017 – Spring is Here

This wonderful time, the most joyous time of the year has come…The sun is high in the sky…. the air is free and fresh, soft and clear. On the hill are the first sprouts of spring grass – tender, quivering, green…With a screech and a flutter of wings, a straight line of swallows flies overhead, and I am reminded of the Song of Songs. “For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone, the flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing is come.”

These are the words of Shalom Aleichem that we read a few Sundays ago at our Community Passover Seder. We had 70 participants from throughout the community. We sang, told stories ate ritual foods and had coffee and deserts. The building was filled with singing and a spirit of renewal and rededication to our traditions and to each other.

This year, our Seder was held against a backdrop of news filled with anger, hate and rancor and divisiveness – especially featured in our recent election and our current politics. But we have also seen a renewed and reawakened spirit in the country. The fight for decency, justice and love has taken on a new energy.

The Haggadah teaches that in every generation, new pharaohs arise to oppress and endanger us. And in every generation, every human being must work anew toward freedom.

Passover is about renewal. Rabbi Mendy Uminer reminds us that the Hebrew word for month is ‘Khodesh’, which comes from ‘Khodosh,’ the word for new. That’s because every month in our lunar calendar is launched by the arrival of the ‘new’ moon.
Uminer writes, “We know that the moon isn’t actually ‘new’; it’s obviously existed for a very long time. But it disappears from view every month, and then returns. And every month, we celebrate our restored appreciation and consciousness. We go outside, look up at the moon and recite a blessing in which we thank God for this celestial boon to the universe.”

The Haggadah teaches that we need not accept the world as it is. We can make it better.

We can take a cue from the new moon. We can look at our spouse, friends, families, job, or home with renewed appreciation and excitement. We can feel so blessed by the constants of our life that we thank God for our good fortune, we infuse an exhilarating burst of beauty into our day. We can remember that our neighbors, fellow citizens, even strangers are God’s children who struggle with the same challenges as we do. Let’s renew our embrace of the things we know are good – decency, democracy, fairness, justice, humanity. Perhaps even, renewed faith in God.

The moon’s monthly renewal is not only the basis of our lunar calendar, but also an important reminder. Renewal is the stuff of life. The moon is new every month. The earth comes back to life every spring. This Passover, let us start again – fresh and free.

Welcome the New Year 5777  –  Come to Temple Beth Israel in Danielson

Welcome the New Year 5777 – Come to Temple Beth Israel in Danielson

Join us for our innovative Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur observances.  At Temple Beth Israel in Danielson, we draw on our proud and colorful history to fashion rituals that are authentic, meaningful and provocative.  We welcome everyone to our ritual.  You need not be Jewish or read Hebrew. Just bring an open heart.

We create a safe and supportive environment in which to contemplate our place in the universe and consider whether we are doing all that we can to live a meaningful life.   And we do this with a unique blend of traditional prayers, contemporary poetry, old and new songs, lessons and ideas.

Turn of the Century Yiddish Rosh Hashanah Card Depicts a Family’s Visit to the Temple

Turn of the Century Yiddish Rosh Hashanah Card Depicts a Family’s Visit to the Temple

Tradition has us set aside time every fall to take stock before moving on to the next year.  We are urged to engage in a personal reckoning.  We ask the questions: Am I living the life I want to live?  Am I making the most of my time on earth?  What kind of spouse am I?  What kind of parent, partner, friend, sibling, son or daughter am I?  Am I using my time and talents wisely?
Am I helping to make the earth, my community, my country better?  Am I working for peace?  Am I an agent for good?

These are important questions.  In our day to day lives we generally don’t get to take time to think about these things.  Rosh Hashanah creates a space for us to consider our vision for ourselves.  It is a time for accounting, recognition and acute self-awareness.  We cannot move forward without an honest assessment of how we have been doing.

We will read together, sing together, listen to ancient melodies in an ancient and holy language and, if it works, we will emerge refreshed, restored, inspired and with renewed energy to enter into the New Year.

Join Us!

Rosh Hashanah Eve: October 2, at 7:00 pm
First Day of Rosh Hashanah: October 3, at 9:30 am (followed by Tashlikh Service by the water)
Second Day of Rosh Hashanah: October 4 at 9:30 am
Yom Kippur EveKol Nidre: October 11 at 7:00 pm
Yom Kippur Day: October 12 at 9:30 am

Community Passover Seder 2016 Honors Killingly-Brooklyn Interfaith Council

Community Passover Seder 2016 Honors Killingly-Brooklyn Interfaith Council

The Preservation Society’s sixth annual Interfaith Community Passover Seder was held on April 10, 2016.  As we do every year at this time, we gather to retell the ancient story of the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt.  We read poems, sing songs and taste the traditional symbolic foods associated with the holiday.  And as we remember that ancient struggle and the liberation, we honor the struggles for freedom and justice around the world that continue today.

The tradition requires not only that we tell the story but also that we see ourselves as having been liberated in Egypt.  The central theme of the Seder is that the Exodus story is not just a Jewish story but rather a human story that lies at the heart of what it means to be a free man or woman.  The rabbis have referred to the Seder – the reenactment of the Exodus – as a call to action.  Our Community Seder, which opens and closes with the sounding of the Shofar, is designed to stir participants to work together to insure not only that all are free but in doing so – that the world be made into a better, more peaceful and more beautiful place.  We are directed to be sensitive to the struggles of others.  We are instructed to be concerned with the rights and wellbeing of strangers, the homeless and the impoverished.  If we experience oppression we may be better able to understand the pain of the oppressed.

This year we honor the Killingly-Brooklyn Interfaith Council for its leadership in the renewal of spiritual and community life in Northeastern Connecticut. This Council has supported the mission and programming of the Preservation Society from the very beginning and we sincerely value our partnership with the Council in working to enrich the cultural, social, spiritual and religious wellbeing of the community.

Among its many worthy endeavors, the Council has supported the Brooklyn-Danielson Fuel Fund and Food Ministries. It has partnered with member faith communities in important celebrations, special services and community events such as the World Day of Prayer, Good Friday Procession, Easter sunrise Service, Creation service at Davis Park and many others.  And, of course, the Council has been a strong supporter and friend of the Preservation Society at important celebrations such as our Passover Seder, the High Holidays, Chanukah, and the Interfaith Thanksgiving Service which last year celebrated its sixtieth observance.

We at the Preservation Society cherish our friendship with the Council.  We recall that a mere sixty some years ago a small band of Jews, many of them our parents, settled in the Killingly area and were welcomed and supported by the local congregations, many of them members of the Council.  The passage of time has strengthened our friendship and we are delighted to work side by side with the Council on making our community stronger in body and spirit.

Immigrants

Immigrants

Immigrants are in the news – again. They are on the move. They are crossing the Mediterranean from Turkey to the island of Lesbos. They are crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico to Texas. And, they are being rounded up by the Immigration Service to be deported.

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