Health and Synagogue Updates
V’nishmartem me’od l’nafshoteichem – “you must surely take care of yourselves.” Jewish tradition teaches that we have a sacred responsibility to take care of ourselves and to take care of each other.
Below is the latest information and updates on Beth Shalom events and progams, amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Please check this page regularly for the most up to date information.
Many of our offerings will take place via Zoom, a video conferencing program. Visit this page for the basics of getting started with Zoom. If you do not have access to the internet or wifi, please contact Carol Benedick and we will do our best to help.
There are no in-person services until further notice. This includes Shabbat services, Kabbalat Shabbat, weekday minyanim, and Passover services. We hope to resume by April 25th; however, the exact date depends on recommendations and requirements from the Health Department and state of Washington. In the meantime, we have the following opportunities for online connection with our community:
- Daily Minyan Online. We will resume our daily minyanim at their usual times (weekdays at 7am, Monday evenings at 7:30pm, and Sundays at 9:30am) on Zoom. Contact Melani Baker for the Zoom meeting invitation. For Congregation Beth Shalom’s guidelines for participating in virtual minyanim, click here.
- Communal Virtual Havdallah. Saturday, April 4th at 8:45pm. Join us on Zoom for communal havdallah, a kavanna (intention) from Rabbi Rose, and music with Harvey Niebulski and Marianne Tatom! Please contact Melani Baker for the Zoom invitation.
Rabbi Rose will continue to send messages on Fridays offering words of Torah and updated information on preparing for Shabbat. Please check out the Rabbi’s Corner for the latest.
Information about Lifecycle events during the COBID-19 pandemic can be found here. If you have additional questions or concerns about lifecycle events at this time, please contact Heidi Piel, our Lifecycle Coordinator
Appoint Rabbi Rose to sell your chametz:
Matza Cook Along with Rachel. Join Rachel on Zoom to bake matza together as we get ready for Passover. Geared towards k-5th graders, great for younger kids as well with parent help. To bake along with Rachel, please be ready with flour, water, salt, a bowl, a mixing spoon, a greased or foiled baking sheet, a rolling pin, and a fork, and parents, please preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Don’t feel like cooking? You are still welcome to join us and watch and hang out as we bake! April 3 from 11:00am-12:30pm. Contact Rachel Wachtel for the Zoom link and meeting information.
Pre-Passover for Families with Young Children. Families with young children are invited to get ready for Passover with Rabbi Kurland! We’ll sing songs and hear a child-friendly version of the Exodus story! Wednesday, April 8 from 11:00-11:30 am. Contact Melani Baker for the Zoom meeting invitation.
Virtual Siyum for Fast of the Firstborn. Wednesday, 4/8 immediately after morning minyan (same Zoom link). We’ll complete the learning of a tractate of Talmud together, followed by a celebratory meal (bring your own food to your computer!), which will allow firstborns to eat for the rest of the day as well. Contact Melani Baker for the Zoom meeting invitation.
Daily Minyan during Chol HaMoed on Zoom. Sunday, 4/12 at 9:30am; Monday, 4/13 at 7am and 7:30pm; Tuesday, 4/14 at 7am. Contact Melani Baker for the Zoom meeting invitation.
Virtual Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs) Chanting. Sunday, 4/12 at 11am. Our usual custom at Beth Shalom is to chant a few chapters of Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs) on each of the Yom Tov days of Passover. Since we won’t be meeting on those days this year, we’ll be chanting it virtually during Chol HaMoed. Join us to listen to this beautiful text celebrating the arrival of springtime and the presence of love in the world! Contact Melani Baker for the Zoom meeting invitation.
Passover Resources. From Haggadot to food preparation to Passover playlists, ideas for families and those celebrating solo – this is a list of resources for this year’s Pesach.
Early Childhood Center
The ECC will be closed through April 24, following the Seattle Public School District’s decision to close schools to stop the spread of COVID-19. We currently plan to reopen beginning April 27. Please contact Leah Lemchen with questions.
The Religious School has moved to online learning on Tuesdays and Sundays. Please contact Rachel Wachtel for more information.
Please contact Melani Baker with any adult education questions. Most classes have moved online. We’re adding new classes (all free of charge at this time), including:
Yiddish Torah Study
Join Harvey Niebulski, Marianne Tatom, and friends on Sunday afternoons at 2 pm via Zoom as we together explore the weekly parsha using the fascinating and extraordinary Yiddish translation of Yehoash crafted nearly a century ago. No previous Yiddish knowledge required, and all texts will be provided virtually. Please contact Marianne Tatom to receive a meeting invitation to our virtual “beys medrash.” This class is offered free of charge, and Zoom registration is also free.
“Where Did You Come from and Where Did You Go?” The Maccabees and Other 2nd/3rd Temple Jewish History Mysteries
Tuesdays, March 24-April 28 (6 sessions), 2:00pm-3:00pm
Join Beth Broadway for a dive into Jewish history mysteries. We know the story of Chanukah and how the Maccabees saved the Temple from the hands of the Greeks and restored freedom to the Jews until the Romans took it away again. But have you ever wondered how the Greeks and Romans started ruling in Israel in the first place? What did they have against our Temple? Why was Herod’s Temple really our 3rd Temple? And what about those Maccabees? Who were they really? Where did they come from, and where did they go? And how about the Essenes and the Dead Sea Scrolls? Where did they come from, and how did they disappear? And how do all these mysteries relate to what is happening in Israel in modern times? If any of these questions intrigue you, join us for a rapid historical survey of the primary sources that explain it all! Contact Melani Baker for the Zoom meeting invitation.
Passover Prep — in Yiddish!
Sundays March 29 and April 5, from 6:00pm-7:00pm
Take a break from your pre-Passover cleaning and come learn a bisl Yiddish! Harvey Niebulski and Marianne Tatom will teach Yiddish songs and blessings to liven up your Passover table. We’ll look at historical Yiddish Haggadahs together as well as teach classic songs such as “Mu Asapru (Who Knows One)” and “Khad Gadyo” in Yiddish translation and transliteration. Our learning will culminate in our second annual Yiddish “3rd” seder, held virtually via Zoom in the late afternoon/early evening on Sunday, April 12 (which is not a yom tov). Contact Marianne Tatom with questions or for the Zoom meeting invitation.
Prayer Shawls: Making Space for Prayer in Modern Jewish Poetry – Virtual Lecture
Monday, April 20th, from 10:00am-11:00am
How can modern poems (by Avraham Shlonsky, Yehuda Amichai, Myra Sklarew, Yehoshua November, and Hava Pinhas-Cohen) help us understand the significance of the prayer shawl in Jewish culture? Join Professor Naomi Sokoloff for this talk focusing on modern literature that revisits and reconsiders traditional Jewish prayer. Through discussion of work by Americans and Israelis, we can discover not only how contemporary writers reinterpret foundational texts of Judaism, but also how recent poems in English and Hebrew enter into conversation with one another. Professor Naomi Sokoloff teaches Hebrew, modern Jewish literature, and Israeli culture at the University of Washington. Her book, What We Talk about When We Talk about Hebrew (And What It Means to Americans), co-edited with Nancy E. Berg, won a 2019 National Jewish Book Award. Contact Melani Baker for the Zoom meeting invitation.
Teaching to prepare you for next Sephardic Kabbalat Shabbat
Sunday, April 26, from 1:00pm-2:00pm
Have you attended Sephardic Kabbalat Shabbat services at Beth Shalom and wished you could have participated more fully? Have you never attended, but have been interested? Ari Alhadeff—who has led our Sephardic Kabbalat Shabbat services in the past—will teach a session for those who are interested to learn Sephardic melodies for Friday night services. Recordings will also be made available for learning outside of class, and Ari will teach a follow up session on May 10th. These learning sessions are appropriate for those wishing to participate in the tefillah, as well as those who might be interested in leading services. This class will either meet online for in person, depending on health recommendations at the time. To register, click here.
Resources for Online Learning and Events
Many organizations are making Jewish teachings and events available online during this time. Click here for a list of resources that Beth Shalom is aware of.
Gemilut Chasadim (Acts of Lovingkindness)
One of the most important things we can do in these times is take care of others.
- Call (or text) one person each day who you think might need extra support or a friendly ear.
- Check in on your neighbors. If you do not know them, this is a great time to start!
- Email Rabbi Rose if you or someone you know needs help – obtaining medicine or food, for instance — or would like pastoral care, either over the phone or computer.
Financial Concerns during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The King County Council has compiled a list of resources available for people experiencing financial difficulty because of the coronavirus: FinancialHelpCovid19-3.16.20