Life’s random and unexpected events threw me for the past few months. I had big plans for this spring at Kol Ami. Teaching online and leading outdoor services and activities, continuing to memorialize our beloved Asher, and nurture our growing congregation. But as we all know: you plan, the Universe laughs. Living in the reality of infinite possibility means that an infinite number of blessings can come your way. And also curses. Two hospitalizations and surgeries in the span of a month are a reality I could never have conjured for myself. The last time I stayed overnight in a hospital was 14 years ago when I gave birth to Erez.
Thank you all for keeping Kol Ami vibrant and moving forward. Special thanks to J. J., our synagogue administrator, Rhonda Marshall our Ritual Chair, and our co-Presidents Linda Bookey and Mike Bresko. I am excited to get back in the swing of things and to move towards a post-acute pandemic reality. I look forward to sharing our reopening plans with you soon and to seeing many of you in person over the summer. God willing!
Speaking of the summer...here is some of what Kol Ami will have going on over the next few months.
Shabbat Celebration, Restorative Practice, and Study: we offer Shabbat practice weekly both Friday night and Saturday morning. Friday night services for June will continue online but we hope to add in on-site services once our state opens back up. This means you can join by zoom or come in person. This is also true for Shabbat morning. We will meet online for June and hope that later in the summer when the state opens up, we will go hybrid. Starting this week I will be leading Torah study and our meditative services on Saturday mornings. We will also be adding in an early outdoor service on 4th Fridays for families with young kids and/or anyone who likes an early service: 5:30 pm.
Shabbat practice is one of the greatest strengths of Judaism and if you do not yet have a Shabbat practice-contact me! I would love to help you develop one for your sustained vitality and inner strength.
Adult/Teen Learning: Thursday nights are for adult/teen learning at Kol Ami. In June I will be teaching about death, dying, and Jewish wisdom. The course is called Dying Well. Look to HaKol for the details. We will explore not only how to prepare for our deaths but also how to support loved ones through the process of leaving this world.
In July and August, we will dive deep into the personal work of Mussar. This Jewish system of personal and spiritual development originated in Eastern Europe in the 1800s and grew up alongside the modern movement of psychology. Modernized by scholars over the past 30 years, Mussar is now an ideal mind, body, and spiritual practice for people living Jewishly today. This 8-week course will lead directly into the High Holiday season. Let this summer be a summer of personal development. For more information about Mussar and what to expect during our course of study please check out this site: Mussar Discussion and Study Guide | Reform Judaism Magazine
We do not charge or require registration for our adult/teen learning programs. We want to make your own Jewish and personal development to be a low barrier but also focused and high quality. Private spiritual/postural counseling is also always available for our members.
Social Gatherings for People of All Ages and Stages: Keep a lookout for outdoor social gatherings in the back yards of our members and our community walks. We will be planning events for children and families too as we get into the summer. I would love to do another kayak Havdalah with our families!
New staff: We will be announcing the new Kol Ami staff this month. We are in the process of filling the positions of song leader, choir leader, and youth and family education coordinator.
This is going to be a fun summer. It is a time of reconnecting with each other and what it means to be in the community side by side and shoulder to shoulder. We will take it slow. We will always consider the most vulnerable in our community and we will do our best to leave no one behind. We are a small but loving and intentional Jewish community. We are here for each other and we are laying down strong foundations for future generations.
A final note: With the recent rise in AntiSemitism, we also need to show up for each other to keep our community and the Jewish people strong. Shabbat, Jewish learning, connecting to our tribe, nurturing our children, and caring for our ill and elders...this is the work/avidly, these are the commitments/mitzvot which have kept us keeping on for the past 2000 years. I am delighted to have made it through my scary crisis to be with you all to lead you through another difficult season in the life of the Jewish people. We know that the only way out is through and we always get through the tough times together: learning, loving, nurturing, building, and rebuilding rooted in the hope of a better future.
Many blessings and so much love,