View this email in your browser
Mid- Month Message
December 15th-December 31st
Table of Contents
December Dates to Remember
A Visit to Holton Home
Chanukah Sale
Membership Progress
Board Briefs
New Feature Ask The Rabbi
Feed The Hungry
Committee Recruitment
Volunteers For Purim Palooza
Christmas Day
Shine A Light Brattleboro
Shine A Light Montpelier
Next Stage Rabbi Comedian/ Bob Alper
Chanukah Party!
Daniel Quipp and the VIA
The Wish for a New Stove
Paypal now available!
December 15 4:45-5:30pm Hebrew School Chanukah party.  Parents and siblings welcome

December 19 7:30pm Rabbi Comedian Bob Alper performing at Next Stage in Putney

December 21 10:00am-Noon Lay-led Shacharit service. Led by Andi Waisman

December 24 6:15-8:00pm BAJC serves Christmas Eve dinner at the Seasonal Overflow Shelter, at the Winston Prouty Center
December 25 1:30pm Game Day at BAJC
December 26 4:00-4:30pm Chanukah Visit to Holton Home

December 27 6:00-8:30pm Chanukah party and latke feast Shabbat dinner
January 2 6:15-8:00pm BAJC serves dinner at the Seasonal Overflow Shelter, at the Winston Prouty Center
January 4 10am-Noon Lay-led Shabbat Shacharit. Leader-Stephan Brandstatter
January 7 5:30-6:30pm Jewish Meditation and Spirituality with Rabbi Lee
January 11 10am-Noon Shabbat Shacharit with Rabbi Lee
January 12 1:00pm Significant Jewish Books Club

Mah Jongg every Wednesday at 1:30pm

Local Love Brigade Postcard Writing to follow all Saturday Services
On December 26th at 4pm, Rabbi Lee will be visiting Holton Home to offer a candle lighting and Hanukkah blessings and singing for the residents (especially Eva Grubinger, a BAJC member who lives there). All are welcome to join her. Please let her know if you are interested:


Our stock of Chanukah items is quite limited this year, but we will have candles, along with a few other holiday items.  You can “shop” on Wednesdays between 1:00 and 5:30  (December 11, 18) and Sundays between 3:30 and 5:30 (December 8, 15).  “Regular” candles are $2; “designer”candles range in price from $5-$12. Call Faith for more information.   

The BAJC membership committee has been tracking “gifts from the heart” for  5780 membership. As the calendar year comes to an end, we have received a little over $50,000 from a little over half of our members.   Of course, it’s still early in BAJC’s fiscal year and all we need in the weeks and months to come is about $16,000 to meet our budgeted expenses.  It is really is important that we hear from everyone so we will know who you are and what we can expect in the remainder of the fiscal (membership)  year. If you have not sent in your pledge form yet—please do so!  If you don’t want to mail it, you can contact Faith and she’ll take your confidential information over the phone or by e-mail  ( 802-464-2632 or In addition, anyone who has a new e-mail, phone, or resident address, please let Faith know so our records will be correct.
BAJC “Board Briefs”
November 14, 2019

The BAJC Board met on November 14, 2019 to discuss the following items:
  • BAJC’s possible role with Vermont Interfaith Action
  • The newly formatted financials from our bookkeeper
  • Updates on the extensive social action events BAJC is involved in, including Shine A Light, Local Love Brigade, and Feed the 1000’s
  • The letter sent to the community regarding the ramp project
  • The upcoming Board phone calls to community members
  • The BAJC Board will meet again on Thursday December 12, 2019 at 6pm at the shul
A copy of the Board meeting minutes will be posted on the bulletin board at the shul, and if any member has any questions, please feel free to contact any Board member for additional information.
New Feature
Ask the Rabbi,

Have you ever wondered ... why something is kosher or not? What are Jewish beliefs about the afterlife? Why is Passover 7 days in Israel and 8 days here in the states? 

As a new feature in our BAJC communications, Rabbi Lee will be offering a column that answers questions of interest to congregants and area Jews. This is your chance to ask that thing you’ve always wondered about Judaism (or about life ... no question is off-limits).  

To participate, just send an email to Rabbi Lee will do her best to answer every question that is submitted. 

With winter in the air, gratitude for our homes takes on extra poignancy. For those who don’t have a home, the Brattleboro Seasonal Overflow Shelter provides evening meals and nightly beds for local homeless people at the Winston Prouty Center on the Austine campus. From November to May, BAJC has the privilege of preparing and serving meals once a month for SOS residents. Here are five great opportunity to feed the poor.   BAJC’s dates for preparing and serving home cooked, belly-filling, heart- warming meals are Thursdays:  Jan 2, Feb 6, Mar 5, April 2, and the very special Christmas Eve dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 24th. Sign up with or at the sign-up link:

Directions: take Maple Street in Brattleboro to Austine Drive. Turn between stone pillars onto Austine Drive and take the second left. This will bring you past some parking to a low brick dormitory on your left, just before the massive Winston Prouty Center. Park anywhere and enter the dormitory down the flight of exterior concrete stairs. Knock if the door isn’t propped open:) Once inside continue down the flight of stairs, and turn left. This is where the kitchen and dining area are located for serving the SOS meal.
Committee Recruitment
Recently, after a lengthy period of devoted service, a Ritual Committee member resigned and we are now seeking someone who'd like to fill that position. The committee, comprised of 6 people including our interim spiritual leader, Rabbi Lee Moore is also in need of someone to Chair the group, but this is not contingent on becoming a committee member. We generally meet about 6 times or less a year addressing matters and issues pertaining to Judaic Ritual and policy with an emphasis on the High Holidays. For more information contact
In addition, the Fundraising Committee is also in need of one or two members for involvement in 2020 events. Contact
Volunteers are being recruited for BAJC's 2020 Purim Palooza party which will once again be held at the Vermont Jazz Center with world class entertainment, Jewish story telling, the Spiel, costume contest with prizes, and more on Saturday, March 7th. We'll need refreshments and baked goods, help with decorating, set up, clean up and assistance in distributing flyers throughout the county. Plans are already underway with more details to follow.

If you’re feeling lonely or “left out” on this merry day, come to shul in the afternoon for a game day, possibly also a movie, snacks and hot chocolate.  Bring your favorite board game or card game, or play the board games that will be available.  Older kids are welcome, as well as adults of all ages.  Come “hang out” with a bunch of Jewish friends and, since it is the fourth night of Chanukah, bring your candles and chanukiot so we can say the blessings, light candles, and sing a song or two together. December 25th at 1:30 pm.
Based on the success of last year’s event, the concept was introduced and encouraged to other Vermont Jewish communities resulting in Montpelier organizing their own. We are very pleased and honored that they join us in this meaningful project. Other communities may well have produced an event about which we have yet to hear at this time of publication. 

The next meeting of the Book Club is January 12th and details will be in the January newsletter.  To allow you time to get and read the book, here’s some information about it.   The World We Knew by Alice Hoffman, is a heartbreaking magical story about three women whose courage and love (and a golem?) enable them to survive 1941 Europe.

Chanukah Party!

Join us for our annual Chanukah Party on Friday December 27th at 6:00.  We will aim to light a record number of Menorahs or Chanukiahs so we need you to bring yours along.  It will be the 6th night of Chanukah, so it promises to be a BRIGHT celebration! We will have lots of latkes you can slather with sour cream or applesauce or a combination of the two!  There will also be traditional jelly donuts called “sufganyot” made by baker extraordinaire, Chelsa Roy and, for those of us who crave healthy fare, there will be some delicious salads to round out the meal. If you are paying close attention, you know there will also be a Shine A Light event this same evening, but you CAN DO BOTH because Shine A Light is a brief celebration, which begins at 5:30.

Daniel Quipp, the Southern Vermont organizer for Vermont Interfaith Action (VIA) has been working in the faith community to build relationships and grow a base of people who are looking to make systemic change. He has been working with Rabbi Lee and she has been attending monthly meetings of local faith community leaders. Daniel would love to set up one-to-one meetings with any BAJC member who is interested in making change in their community.

A brief background about VIA - They are a statewide organization dedicated to working with people of faith to effect systemic change. They work using a relational model of organizing and are a grassroots organization that listens to its members. They help people form local organizing committees which then undertake work on issues that matter to them. Daniel is organizing people in the Brattleboro area to create powerful, faith-based groups ready to bring about systemic change. In addition to supporting a network of local organizing committees they also work on statewide policy issues. 

Currently, their Clergy Caucus has been leading on the Moral Economy platform and VIA is leader in the Raise the Wage coalition that is seeking to bring about livable wages for all Vermonters. Their accomplishments make changes to systems. For example, they worked to extend the transportation network in the Burlington area to help ALL people access a medical clinic. Recently groups in Burlington and Montpelier have worked on reform of our corrections system and improving the resources available to people experiencing homelessness in Washington County.

Daniel works on Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays and would love to set up one-on-one meetings with BAJC members to learn about their experiences, passions, and hopes. The next meeting of local VIA leaders will take place on Wednesday, December 18th from 9 to 11 am at Centre Congregational Church. Any BAJC member would be welcome to attend. VIA will also be holding a kick-off event for a season of listening on Feb 1st. During this meeting, attendees will learn about the organization, meet staff from the state and national federation (, experience training on how to lead one-on-one conversations, practice those conversations with people from different faith communities and share a meal. Time and location to be decided. You can contact Daniel by email at or by phone on (347) 977 1192. Learn more about Vermont Interfaith Action at

Vermont Interfaith Action
Southern Vermont Organizer, based in Brattleboro
(347) 977 1192

We now accept Paypal on our website.
No login required. Any major credit card accepted.

Whatever level you choose to give, we thank you in advance helping to sustain Brattleboro Area Jewish Community, Congregation Shir Heharim.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
BAJC · PO Box 2353 · Brattleboro, VT 05303 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp