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Weekly Message
June 26 - July 3rd

July Dates to Remember

July 3rd Mah Jong at 2:00 pm
July 6th  -Shabbat Shacharit and Torah services at 10:00 am 
- leader TBA
July 10th Mah Jong at 2:00 pm
July 20th  -Shabbat Shacharit and Torah services at 10:00 am
- leader TBA
July 11 Board of Trustees meeting at 6:00
What's in This Week's Message? 
Being of Service article by Kate
Annual Meeting Pics
Summer Newsletter Note
Stonewall's 50th Anniversary Celebration
Peace Building 
Green Rebel Preview with Harvey Stein
Rabbi Yitzchak Wagner Returns to Southern Vermont
Cantor Kate- House Rental Opportunity
Being of Service
This has been a month of “lasts”: my last Board meeting, my last interfaith clergy meeting, my last day of Hebrew School, my last Kabbalat Shabbat service…Co-President Laura Berkowitz said, when I mentioned this, “I hate goodbyes!” Normally, I do too – but of course, in this case it is not a permanent goodbye, thank Goodness, but only a l’hitraot (see you later). Because, G-d willing, a year from now I will be returning with renewed energy and purpose to continue in my job as the leader of this very special Jewish community here in our green little corner of the world.

A few years ago Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, who is now the President of my alma mater Hebrew College, wrote a thoughtful piece about what it means to be “Called” as Jewish clergy.  Rabbi Anisfeld quoted a poem of Yehuda Amichai:
The greatest desire of all is to be
In the dream of another
To feel a slight pull, like reins,
To feel a heavy pull, like chains.
“I became a rabbi,” she wrote, “ Because I wanted to feel that pull – sometimes slight, sometimes heavy – of belonging. From a young age I felt claimed – by God, by Torah, by the Jewish people – and I have always treasured that feeling, even when I strained against it…The longing to live a life that matters is universal, but it is not generic. It is deeply personal and particular”.

Although I didn’t come to Judaism until adulthood, I felt this pull from a very young age, too, without being abler to identify where it was pulling me. Religious practice, ethics, music with a deep spiritual meaning – all of these pulled me. Also, although I hesitate to say it, it seems that the God I have such trouble believing in sent me messages pointing toward Judaism, such as a trunk full of items which my great grandfather had brought from his year of study and archeology in the “Holy Land”, and a menorah which my mother bought without knowing that’s what it was.

Rabbi Anisfeld quotes Chassidic rabbi Sholom Noach Berezovsky, who said, “Every person has a special shlichut, a distinctive purpose for which [that person] was sent…the beginning of all avodah, all service, is discovering for what [articular purpose one was sent into this world.” Rabbi Anisfeld goes on, “Needless to say, the task of discerning our particular purpose is not simple, and our responsibility to the world does not remain static. […] It requires that we pay close attention – in every hour and season of our lives – both to our greatest struggles and our greatest strengths. […] If we see our difficulties as failures, we lose our capacity to grow. If we dismiss our delights as distractions, we lose our capacity to give.”

There have been many delights, and not a few difficulties, in my seven years here at BAJC.  I continue to learn about my own limitations and shortcomings, as well as my skills and strengths. I leave for my sabbatical deeply grateful for everything and everyone in this community, and for all the good work we have done together. I am excited about what I will learn while in Israel from September to May, and how that will inspire me for my continued life with all of you when I return.

Rabbi Anisfeld asks, “Are we drawing on our deepest struggles and strengths to be of service to our world? And are we inviting others to do the same?” I am striving to meet this challenge, and I invite you to join me. How can we work for a better BAJC and more, for a better world? How can we heal and repair the damage we humans have done to God’s beautiful world, how can we support each other through our griefs and struggles, how can we pass to the next generation our love of Jewish ethics, values, rituals, music and prayer, culture – all that we know to be good in the Jewish way of living? Starting in September, look for my blog, in which I hope to report what I am learning and experiencing in Jerusalem. And in the meantime, know that you all will also have a wonderful year of learning and growth with the capable help of your interim spiritual leader, Rabbi Lee Moore.

So – this is my last weekly message for a while – but only the beginning of the next chapter of our lives together. Thank you for letting me continue to be of service to our community.
A few snaps from our Annual Meeting!

Thank you Deb Schiller for the pictures!
Summer Newsletter

The next newsletter will be a summer issue covering July and August and it may not come out until after the July 4th holiday weekend.  Please send anything and everything you want to see in the summer newsletter to Faith by June 23rd.  Anyone can submit information or suggestions, but committee chairs, in particular, are asked to tell us about their committee’s accomplishments this past year and/or plans for the new year.  It is also a good time to share our blessings — let us know about graduations, new jobs, engagements and weddings, and other recent good happenings in our BAJC family.  Since the newsletter might go out a little late, please be aware that there is a Saturday morning service scheduled for July 6th at 10:00, service leader TBA.

Here's what to expect this summer:

Thursday, July 25, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
WWAC, together with 118 Elliot, will present an event organized by
Jerusalem Peacebuilders
 A Screening of
Within the Eye of the Storm

This film tells the story of a Palestinian and an Israeli who were once dedicated fighters willing to kill and be killed by one another for their nations who, when faced with the tragic loss of their daughters in the conflict, chose to do the unexpected and instead of seeking revenge, turned from enemies into brothers.
Film will be followed by group discussions with participants from the 
Jerusalem Peacebuilders’ Vermont Leadership Institute

Event Location: 118 Elliot, 118 Elliot St. Brattleboro VT 05301

For more info please visit
In June, another Brattleboro group will present a program which may be of interest to our WWAC audience, especially to those who appreciated our last event, "Youth Demand Action on Climate Change" on June 5.
On June 19 @ 6 pm, also at 118 Elliot, Brattleboro Common Sense will be offering a free screening of "Ice on Fire!," a documentary which focuses on solutions designed to slow down our environmental crisis, After the film there will be group discussions of climate solutions.  
Green Rebel Preview with Harvey Stein
Sunday, June 30, 2019 - 4:00pm

Temple Israel Library 27 Pierce Street
(Enter on Myrtle)

Join filmmaker Harvey Stein as he raises interest in his next film project: Green Rebel - the Adventures of Kaptain Sunshine. The new film follows the career, hopes and anxieties of Israeli solar entrepreneur Yossi Abramowitz as he works to bring solar power to rural Africa.

Harvey is soliciting interest and crowdsourcing support for this next project. His previous film, A Third Way, about the Israel-Palestine conflict, was screened 2 years ago to a full house at Greenfield Cinema. Clips from the new film will be shared and Harvey will describe his project. Donations appreciated!

This film is of interest to you if you support a green economy, if you believe in the power of visionary leadership and inter-group collaboration and if you hold a vision for the promise of the Jewish state.

Cantor Kate is Still Looking
House Rental Still Available!

September through May
Cantor Kate is looking for one or two people to rent her furnished home in West Brattleboro from Sept. 2019-May 2020. The house has two bedrooms, one bathroom, and a basement with a washer and drier. On a country road, 1.5 acres with gardens and lawn. No pets.

Please contact Cantor Kate for more information. 380-1677
ARE YOU STILL A BAJC MEMBER? Your “gift from the heart,” no matter the size, signifies your intention to continue to be a member of BAJC, and to support its programs. Gifts can be sent to:
PO Box 2353, Brattleboro 05303.


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