This month we welcome Cantor Kenny Ellis to his role as Cantor/Education Director. In addition to bringing a wealth of experience and education to this position our cantor will now be working with all B’nai Mitzvah as tutor, and this dramatically increases his ability to take a lead role as clergy in our community. We look forward to having him around much more this year.
The wonderful contributions our religious school students have made to the class level led services and community service projects have been inspiring. This is in large part due to the dedication of our teaching staff as well as Judith Stolnitz our devoted Education Director whose time at the helm has come to an end. It is also a testament to the parents, who drive or carpool, and who have made it a priority for their children to receive a quality Jewish education.
This summer we are proud to dedicate our new Youth Lounge, the Bat Mitzvah project of our own Samatha Swartz. She took it upon herself to raise the money and committed herself to do the work necessary to complete this task. She was joined by her friend Kayla Halberstam, and we want to thank some devoted students as well as the families who donated their time and resources to make the lounge possible. In the coming months the lounge will be filled with our Jew Crew teen group, so please make sure if you have teens in the family they are following the Youth Events page in our newsletter, eblasts and website. We want to thank Taylor Halberstam and Stacey Guss who have on the parent leadership of the teen group.
In the realm of Adult learning, we have continued our Talmud study with the Tuesday morning class that meets at 9 AM. Our Wednesday evening Torah class meets at 7 PM and is coming up on a year of weekly study of the Divrei Torah, may Torah insights written by our own community: www.templebethami.org/tba-words-of-torah-divrei-torah. Both classes are open to all, continue year round, and can be joined at anytime. You didn’t have to be in last week’s class to jump in. They are self-contained units, like Law & Order, or maybe better yet the Twilight Zone.
A new addition to our adult education offerings is our Hebrew class facilitated by our wonderful teacher Yorit Gafni. We also also offering classes on Jewish Meditation, Intro to Judaism and Conversion classes as we have over the years, and will be having some guest presnters over this coming year as well.
We look forward to expanding the educational offerings for people of all ages and backgrounds. As our community continues to grow, so will the opportunities to expand the mind, heart and heart through Temple Beth Ami. We believe that we will truly be stronger as a community when we are all devoted to lifelong learning.
I hope you have a great rest of the summer and best wishes in the New Year ahead,
Rabbi Mark Blazer