Today we take part in community-wide menorah lightings, which is consistent with the values and traditions of this holiday. In our nation, which protects and honors religious freedom, Chanukah reinforces the notion of pluralism: that each faith and creed has the sacred right to be different, to uphold its own ideals and principles, and to serve God in its own unique way. Hellenism sought to homogenize all faiths and cultures; the Maccabees succeeded in battling for the right to uphold Judaism in a world of paganism and to swim against the popular tide.
However you choose to celebrate, may you, and your entire family be illuminated with the warmth of the holidays. We invite you to join us in Temple Beth Ami’s annual Chanukah events (with something special every night!):
Saturday, Dec. 5. 12am-4pm – Holiday Celebration at Old Town Newhall, Wendy Hersh singing Chanukah, songs & arts and crafts , Heritage Park & Main Street (NEW EVENT)
Sunday, Dec. 6, 5pm - Santa Clarita’s Jewish Community Party at Westfield’s Valencia Town Center (1st Night)
Monday, Dec. 7, 6pm - Storytime at the Canyon Country Library (2nd Night)
Tuesday, Dec. 8, 7pm - Chanukah Party and Storytime at Barnes & Noble, Valencia. Fun for all ages! (3rd Night)
Wednesday, Dec. 9, 6pm - Storytime at the Old Town Newhall Library (4th Night)
Thursday, Dec. 10, 6pm - Join us as we light the Stevenson Ranch Community menorah at Stevenson Ranch Parkway and Holmes Place (5th Night)
Friday, Dec. 11, 8pm - Don’t miss TBA’s famous Chanukah Party and Shabbat Celebration at Temple Beth Ami featuring PASHA/Volunteer Family of the Year Award (6th Night)
Saturday, Dec. 12, 7pm – TBArts “ Deathtrap” at The Rep, menorah lighting & Q/A with director Mark Kaplan (7th Night)
Sunday, Dec. 13, 7pm - Vodka/Latke at the Blazer’s (8th Night)
Monday, Dec. 7, 6pm - Storytime at the Valencia Library
As we begin 2016, we have a chance to look back at what has already happened since the Jewish New Year three months ago. These last months were a time of new possibilities and celebrations as well loss and frustrations. As we stand at the beginning of a new secular year we look out to the unknown and our mind fills with more questions and uncertainty.
On one thing you can be rest assured –Temple Beth Ami continues to be a source of strength to Santa Clarita and beyond. We have multiple 12 Step meetings each and every week at our facility including AA, Alanon and OA. This coming year we are adding NAMI/National Alliance on Mental Illness support groups to the organizations that we are using our shul as a home. We continue to house homeless families this year as part of Family Promise, and nearly had a child born at TBA during her parents recent stay. Our facility, though small on size, has a huge impact on our community.
Please keep Temple Beth Ami in mind as you make end of the year charitable donations: www.templebethami.org/support-tba.html. Your generosity has helped us come so far, enabled us to help so many and we know we will be there for challenges in the future.
This year Temple Beth Ami begins the celebration of its first 30 years! Great events are being planned throughout the next 12 months and we hope you will a find a way to join us in the festivities. Whatever this secular year holds for us as a community, a people and a nation, we will all be better off meeting the challenges and opportunities ahead together. May 2016 that soon begins be a more peaceful and successful one than the one that just passed. Peace, Health and Blessings to all of you.