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What to expect when you do not know what to expect: Late Summer and Fall 2021, Delta Variant Ed.

What to expect from our weekly Shabbat Celebrations?

What to expect from our 5782 High Holiday Celebrations?

What to expect from our Fall Youth and Family programs?

PLUS Rabbi Kinberg predicts the future. Read on, please.

What to expect from our weekly Shabbat Celebrations?

This month we began hosting HYBRID Shabbat services and classes. This means that we simultaneously Zoom and have people gather in our little chapel or outside in the courtyard. (We ask all who come to be vaccinated or to wear a mask, all policies are in accordance with the State of WA)

Hybrid: This is no easy feat AND we are committed to welcoming people in a variety of ways to our Shabbat celebrations--those who can come in person and those, for any reason, who need to join us remotely.

We deeply miss Asher and his music each and every Shabbat. We honor him by welcoming into Kol Ami two new music leaders. Susan Bardsley is our new Choir Director. She comes to us with decades of experience working within both Jewish and secular educational music programs. We are blessed to have her working with our Choir and helping to plan our High Holiday celebration this year. Susan's first Shabbat at Kol Ami will be on August 6th at 7:30 pm. Please join me in welcoming her to our lil' community.

We are also so very lucky to have Emily Stochel as our new Shabbat song leader. Emily is a long-time member of the Eastside Jewish community, having grown up at Temple B'nai Torah, and is an alumna of Camp Kalsman. I was one of the rabbis at her Bat Mitzvah and have watched Emily grow as an artist. I know Asher would be thrilled that one of the youths we both watched grow up is now leading our holy prayers on a bima in his steed. Emily will be with us two Friday nights a month, Shabbat mornings during our Youth education sessions and for holidays and B'nai Mitzvah.

Our Shabbat celebrations will follow this schedule as we move towards the new year of 5782 and beyond.

1st Fridays: 7:30 pm Kabbalat Shabbat with Susan Bardsley and our wonderful Choir.

2nd Fridays: 7:30 pm Kabbalat Shabbat with Emily Stochel

3rd Fridays: 5:30 pm Kabbalat Shabbat By Kids, For Kids, families, every one followed by a Zoom-only monthly speaker series. August speaker? Washington State Holocaust Center!

4th Fridays: 7:30 pm Kabbalat Shabbat with Emily Stochel

5th Fridays: Rabbi Kinberg Wild Card

What to expect from our 5782 High Holiday Celebrations?

Like our Shabbat celebrations, the High Holiday celebrations this year will also be HYBRID. We will host the evening services at our location in Kirkland and will give participants a choice of an early service at 5:30 pm or a late service at 7:30 pm. We are limiting our seating within the sanctuary to 50 percent (or so) of capacity to allow for space and airflow. We will not be packing in like sardines this year! Yom Kippur day will also be in-person and online and we will closely monitor numbers so to keep all of our services from becoming too crowded. Rosh Hashanah day is something NEW and SPECIAL this year. We are taking ourselves outdoors for the entire daytime celebration. Services, youth programs, a community lunch, and tashlich plus study sessions and a community craft project will ALL take place at Vasa Park in Bellevue. Registration for High Holidays 5782 begins on our website on August 1st. Guests are welcome!

Minimum donation for guests to attend? $18. Maximum: there is no maximum. All donations made in honor of attending our High Holiday celebrations are extremely appreciated. These guest donations help keep us going.

A very basic High Holiday Schedule

Selichot Saturday, September 4

Rosh Hashanah is Monday, September 6 & 7.

Yom Kippur is Wednesday, September 15 & 16.

Sukkot is September 20-27

Simchat Torah will be celebrated on September 25th during our Shabbat morning service.

What to expect from our Fall Youth and Family programs?

Unlike Shabbat and High Holidays, we do hope to host our youth education programs in person and not virtually. We have shortened the school day and will keep our class sizes to a maximum of 15 masked students. Tot Shabbat, Programs for grades 1-7, youth group for middle and high schoolers, and family education programs will all begin in October and we will follow Washington State guidelines as to our health and safety measures.

We are very excited to welcome Dorthy Kahn as our new Youth and Family Programs Coordinator. Dorthy comes to Kol Ami with a lifetime of youth work experience and deep roots within the Reform Jewish world. Dorthy and I are always available to all of our families for support and guidance in integrating into the Jewish community and in accessing resources for social, emotional, spiritual, and religious development for youth and family. We look forward to welcoming our families with children back to Shabbat mornings starting in October.

Expect more teen and family programs this year.

Expect monthly family bagel brunch/play/shmooz events.

Expect to connect.

Class sizes are limited this year. Registration begins August 1st online.

Rabbi Kinberg predicts the future.

This I know with complete faith and certainty.

  1. Something I described above is not going to go as planned. We are still mid-pandemic with the Delta Variant breathing hot upon our collective neck. We plan, the Universe laughs. I am getting comfortable with this dynamic. So please have expectations and also: expect to be flexible and to pay attention to the possibility of changes in plans.

  2. We will endure and thrive. No matter what our plans end up being and which actually come to fruition--we will persevere. Judaism has outlived so many powerful, rich, technologically able civilizations and we will outlast, outlive and thrive even within the context of this pandemic and this world which is still full of antisemitism. We have a voice this world needs to hear--a voice which advocates, always, for generations yet unborn. For the earth. For justice. For compassion. For connection. No matter what ends up happening, we will gather to honor family and creation every Shabbat, both in the eve and the morning. We will gather people of all ages, someway, somehow, to honor LIFE and ancestry. And we will gather and celebrate our holy seasons. And we will continue to pass our teachings and wisdom to the next generation. All of those things will happen.

And our challenge? Our challenge is to move into the unknown, the expectedly unknown, with love, grace, commitment to each other and our ancient people to be a link in a chain of tradition. Your strength is OUR strength. Your commitment is our commitment. Each of us counts. Each of us has a role in Kol Ami. We might not know exactly what to expect as we move into this late Summer and Fall but this we can be sure of...the Jewish people, Jewish celebrations, Jewish connections will be here, will endure, and will be available to you for nourishment and renewal.

If you have any questions, concerns, ideas or feedback do not hesitate to contact me or a Kol Ami Board member.

Many many blessings for health, safety, and peace,

Rabbi Kinberg

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