Reminder for Kitchen Cupboard collection

A reminder that the Temple Beth El Social Action Committee will be collecting nonperishable food items at this Sunday’s showing of Nicky’s Family.

Canned goods of all sorts (vegetables, fruit, main dish meals, tuna, etc.), pasta and jars of sauces, cereal, cooking oil – all are welcome and will be gratefully received by the Kitchen Cupboard’s clients.

When you come to the theatre, please bring a FOOD DONATION (canned or boxed) and place it in the collection box marked “For KITCHEN CUPBOARD.” The Social Action Committee will deliver those donations to the Kitchen Cupboard.

Also ongoing is the Social Action Committee’s Chanukah Tzedakah Project “Watch the Oil Grow”.


Baroque Kol Nidre

The composer Handel arrived in London in 1712 and wrote his sublime opera Giulio Cesare in 1724. This was only a short time after Jews had been allowed to return in England starting in 1655 after their explusion in 1290. By this time, historians suggest that the majestic melody of the Ashkenazi tune to Kol Nidre must have been well established. One of the moving and dramatic arias of Giulio Cesare is the funeral oratory of Pompey sung by Cesare “Alma Del Gran Pompeo”. Every time I hear this aria always wonder if Handel was influenced by Kol Nidre.

Listen to this clip from the aria and see if you agree with my feeling of the uncanny similarity. The audio excerpt is taken from the René Jacobs recording of Giulio Cesare. Jennifer Larmore is heard singing the title role of Cesare.

We know so little about the life of Handel, his opinions and his philosophy. However it would appear from his music that he was motivated by universal ethical ideals. I like to entertain the fantasy thought of the great composer sneaking into the synagogue on Yom Kippur to hear Kol Nidre and being as moved by it as we all are and expect to be very shortly.

G’mar Hatima Tova to all!


How can synagogues evolve?

The Fall 2013/5574 issue of “Voices of Conservative/Masorti Judaism” has some very interesting and thought provoking articles on the theme of “How can synagogues evolve?”

CJ magazineIn particular I was struck by Dr Ron Wolfson‘s article summarized as: “A leading Jewish thinker says synagogues will succeed in engaging people only if they foster meaningful relationships”.

CJ relationship
This is a powerful quote. It does seem that synagogue leaderships need to do more than write checks but what does it mean to “foster meaningful relationships”? Checks and fundraising we can measure, these are tangible and clearly important.

How can we measure “meaningful relationships”?

How do we account for their impact?

Should synagogues leaderships be expected to both fundraise AND also foster meaningful relationships? Are these reasonable expectations of the synagogue leadership?

There is always a lot to think and discuss in this publication. A big thank you to Rochelle P. for directing attention to this particular issue.