During Pandemic times Shabbat has become even more important in the life of our community. Creating sacred time, reflection time, family time, renewal time each week is more important now than ever before. The stress of the looming illness, unemployment, political chaos, injustice, and environmental degradation all weigh on us. All are heavy on our shoulders. None of us immune. None of us untouched. And yet all of us are inheritors of this holy day of rest and restoration.
Kol Ami never backed down, even for one minute, from the challenge of reaching and nurturing our members and guests during this Pandemic. We have never missed a Shabbat, we never shut down and we are always looking for ways to feed the souls of our community members. As we enter the dark season in the PNW, we are rededicating ourselves to making Shabbat the highlight of our week and where we put the most energy in building community and bringing Jewish wisdom to each of you. Allow me to introduce you to our new Shabbat line up! ( Side note: I will be at all of these services and programs unless I am taking a vacation or am ill.)
First Shabbat of the Month:
Classical Shabbat with Simon Bell and our Kol Ami Choir
Judaism has a rich tradition of Western classical music. Our Choir Director and Soloist, Simon Bell, will be bringing the works of Jewish composers from the classical tradition to these first Friday night services. We will not only engage in the music but also the history and biography of classical composers. We will also view video recordings of our choir taking on new pieces. If you enjoy the music of classical Reform Judaism, choral pieces, and the voice of a classically trained soloist: This is the service for you! 7:30 pm Zoom.
First Shabbat of the Month:
Shabbat Story Time with Rabbi Kinberg
I have always wanted to be a children's entertainer and now is my moment! We will begin each first Shabbat of the month with an interactive, engaging, and musical 30 minutes of Shabbat storytelling. This is for the entire family and we will hear both new and classical Jewish tales, learn about the special Jewish values, and mitzvot these stories bring forth and sing together the songs of our people. Expect special guest appearances from my animal menagerie and my favorite stuffed animals and puppets. Your animals, favorite stuffies, and puppets are also, of course, welcome join the Shabbat fun. 4:30 pm Zoom.
Second Shabbat of the Month:
World Music Shabbat with Asher Hashash and Guests
Morocco, Yemen, Ethiopia, Uganda, Israel, the Americas: the sounds of Jewish music come from all over our world. As we have migrated and sought safety and prosperity, we have adopted and adapted the sounds of our new homelands. Both Asher and I come from Mizrachi backgrounds and the flavors of our ethnicities come out in the work we do with Kol Ami. The music and teachings of this Shabbat are dedicated to exploring Judaism beyond the pale, outside of the Ashkenazi normative forms of Judaism which pervade American Jewish life. If you love world music and exploring the diversity of Jewish life: This is the service for you! 7:30 pm on Zoom.
Third Shabbat of the Month:
IN-PERSON and OUTDOORS Camp Shabbat with Asher Hashash and guests
Jewish summer camps are the single most influential cultural factor in American Jewish life. Debbie Freidman, Chava Mirel, Noam Katz, Dan Nichols, Asher Hashash and so many more creative and inspired Jewish musicians have created a vast collection of contemporary Jewish music. Jewish camps have also popularized the inclusion of secular music into religious services to add an element of surprise and delight to our ancient liturgy. This third Friday night is unique in that we will be leading the service outdoors at Kol Ami. This is a sing-a-long Shabbat! We will build a fire, bring camp chairs and blankets, provide a tent covering in the case of rain or snow. Individual smores kits for oneg. RSVP required to attend in person. We will also be live on Zoom.
Fourth Friday of the Month:
Early Family Service with Asher Hashash
One of our congregational goals for 5781 is to provide more family experiences for people of all ages. You do not need kids to attend. But you do need to enjoy the presence of children. Intergenerational programming is an opportunity for people to share in all ages and stages of congregational life. From generation to generation we pass not only our values but also our prayer, songs, and stories. This service is dedicated to honoring generations and bring everyone together. Short, simple, sweet, and to the point-this service is for anyone who wants to start Shabbat in a family-friendly space. 5:30 pm Zoom.
Fourth Friday of the Month:
Dinner and Movie or Speaker
Bring your dinner to the screen. We will do kiddush and motzi together and then either engage with a speaker or a movie, followed by a discussion. This month we welcome climate activist Barak Gale. Barak will address our congregational social action theme for the year: climate change, climate justice, and Judaism. Be sure to check Hakol for film titles or speaker topics. 6:30 pm Zoom
Whew! I am looking forward to celebrating weekly with our community as we navigate these difficult season in the life of our nation. I look forward to connecting weekly both Friday night and Shabbat morning. Shabbat is at the heart of Kol Ami. Rain or shine, peace or strife, health or illness, joy or sorrow--no matter what--you can count on Kol Ami to bring Shabbat into your life.