Hanukkah 5779

Festa di Channuka reminder.png

Here are the Hanukkiyot of the last day of Hanukkah 5779 that our congregation’s members lit.  Light & love are always the right answer for Beth Shalom Milano.

In times of deepest darkness, let your soul shine bright. 

Hanukkah Mitzvot Day - 9 December 2018

MITZVOT HANUKAH.jpg

For Beth Shalom’s Mitzvot Day (9 December 2018), we paid a happy Hanukkah visit to the Residenza Arzaga, the senior home for Milan's Jewish community. 
We brought Hanukkah cards that our kids made, sufganiyot and candies.
And that all brought wonderful smiles to the residents' faces.

Thanks to everyone in the Beth Shalom community for their generous support.

Soup Shabbat - TZEDAKA' - Centro Sant'Antonio, Milano

Soup Kitchen 11.2018.jpg

On 17 November, Beth Shalom hosted a very successful “Soup Shabbat” event to collect tzedakah from the congregation for Centro Sant’Antonio (CSA).

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Frate Carlo, this center provides basic services to those in need, such as warm meals, showers, and clothing.

Our very generous contribution of 200 euros will be used by Frate Carlo to buy sleeping bags to help the homeless stay warm this winter.

CSA is also looking for donations of gently used sleeping bags.

Donate them to a good cause!

Beth Shalom’s Soup Shabbat is one example of our continued commitment to expressing our Jewish faith through the Mitzvah of Tikkun Olam (Repairing the world). 

Thanks to everyone in the Beth Shalom community for their generous support.

ONE MORNING, THREE MITZVOT

17 NOVEMBER 2018

A VERY SPECIAL SHABBAT AT THE

CONGREGATIONAL RESIDENCE ON SATURDAY MORNING

YOU CAN PARTICIPATE IN:

 

TORAH STUDY AT 9:30 PARASHAT VAYETSAI AND THE STORY OF JACOB'S LADDER

 

SHABBAT MORNING SERVICE AT 10:30

 

SOUP KITCHEN SHABBAT LUNCH AT 12:30

 

AS A PART OF BETH SHALOM'S COMMITMENT TO TIKKUN OLAM RABBI DAVID AND DAVID Z WILL BE MAKING AND SERVING SOUP AND CHALLAH FOR THE CONGREGATIONAL LUNCH FOLLOWING SERVICES. WE ASK YOU TO DONATE WHAT YOU WOULD HAVE SPENT IF YOU HAD GONE OUT FOR A MEAL OR WHATEVER AMOUNT YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE GIVING.

THEN OUR COMBINED TZEDAKAH WILL BE DONATED IN THE NAME OF BETH SHALOM TO A WORTHY CHARITABLE CAUSE IN OUR COMMUNITY. 

 

WE SING AL SHELOSHAH DEVARIM, ON THREE THINGS THE WORLD IS SUSTAINED: ON TORAH, ON WORSHIP AND ON LOVING DEEDS

 

JOIN US ON NOVEMBER 17TH FOR A CHANCE TO PUT THESE WORDS INTO ACTION.

HERE IS YOUR CHANCE TO OBSERVE THREE IMPORTANT MITZVOT IN ONE HAPPY MORNING. 

IT WOULD BE VERY HELPFUL IF YOU LET US KNOW HOW MANY OF YOU WILL BE COMING SO OUR

CHEFS WILL KNOW HOW MUCH SOUP TO PREPARE.

 

RSVP TO:

BETHSHALOM.MILANO@GMAIL.COM

 

Aryè's Summer Experience at Camp Hess Kramer in Malibu

This summer I had an experience that for some people may be normal, but for me it was a real special thing.

When I arrived at the Los Angeles airport there were three guys waiting for my arrival - Ezra, Matthew and Noam. Ezra and Matthew were some of the counsellors in the leadership.

At the exit of the airport, with the car to pick us up, there was Rachel, Ezra's mum. I stayed with Rachel and her family for three days. 

These days I went to the LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), to Hollywood, to the wax museum, to the Chinese Theatre and to the car museum (Petersen Automotive Museum).

The day before the camp began, I went with Ben, Rachel’s husband, to Beverly Hills to meet David, who was in Leadership and he told me what we would do in the camp. 

Before going to the camp, Ezra introduced me to all the people in the leadership.   

In the camp, every morning we raised the American and Israeli flag, I liked it so much, and a few days before the end of the camp, they invited me to raise the American flag. 

Every day, before dinner, we had the function and every meals we did the prayer before and after meals.

Every day we had two sports activities to do, which you had to choose, and after two weeks you had to choose two more.                                                 

I did flag football and cooking, and the other two weeks I did flag football and archery. 

Shabbat

On Friday night, the girls wore a white dress, and the boys wore a white shirt.

After dinner, all the campers and counsellors went to the dance room where we formed a large circle, and when the music began, we all started to jump and sing. Later we went outside where we danced Israeli dances. 

I became famous in the camp because I was the first Italian in the leadership and many people came to know me.

In Leadership, someone had a younger brother, and they introduced me with: "He is the Italian".

Rick came to take me from the camp and I stayed with him for three days.

The first day I went to the beach in Malibu where I met Sandy, Rick's wife.

On the second day I went to Universal Studios, and on the third day I went to Venice beach and went on foot to Santa Monica beach. They were very special days.

I will always remember this experience because this was my first time in the camp, and all the people welcomed me as a brother, as part of their family. Another thing I liked about the camp is that we were singing all the prayers.

I'm really happy to have had this experience.

I say thanks to Rick and Sandy for hosting me at their house.

Thanks to Rabbi Goor for all his precious time that he used to help me to design this fantastic summer, because without him this would not have been possible.

Thanks to David and Carol Ross, Carey Bernitz, Rabbi Whiman and David Zucker and thanks to Rachel Andres and her beautiful family.

Thank you for this wonderful experience and thank you all for making it possible.

Aryè C.

A response to the Pittsburgh tragedy

We of Congregation Beth Shalom in Milan are deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic shooting that took place at Congregation Tree of Life in Pittsburgh in the United States. We pray for the souls of those who came to the synagogue for Shabbat and who lost their lives simply because they were Jews. 

We pray for the families of the victims that they may find strength at this time of deepest grief. We pray for those who were injured. May God be with them and all who mourn with them.

The tragedy that touches any of our congregations touches all our congregations. 

May hatred cease from our world, speedily and in our time. We will continue to respond to this senseless act of hatred with acts of goodness and peace.

Rabbi David Whiman

Yom Kippur Morning Sermon, 5779/2018

By Rabbi Donald Goor

Zionism is an Infinite Ideal

I have to be honest – I struggled as I prepared for today.  Evan and I are so happy with our lives – its great to work part time, to live in an apartment that we helped design and was remodeled for us, to travel a lot, to serve this congregation in Milan, to be living our dream.  No complaints.  We have a great life.  Yet when I look around and see what is happening in the Israel I love, I’m more and more upset.  So today I want to be honest with you –brutally honest.  Share my thoughts, my feelings, to challenge you to think differently about Israel.  

Let me begin with an important statement.  I’m a passionate Zionist. I’m concerned for Israel’s existence. The land and people of Israel are central to my identity.   I love Israel. And that’s what I want for you. To be a passionate Zionist.  But more than that – to also be an introspective Zionist.

I’m also a concerned, even frightened Zionist. The Israel I love is going down a path to become a modern nation state that is antithetical to my values, to values such as pluralism, democracy, even Judaism.  

I grew up loving Israel, proud of Israel.  I remember at Sunday school passing around the little blue box – the same blue box that my grandmother placed each week next to her Shabbat candles.  I was taught a Zionism that is encapsulated in that little blue box JNF box.  Together we will built a state.  We will make real our ancient prayers and aspirations.  We will ensure its borders. We will gather in the exiles, from Europe, the Middle East, Yemin, Persia, Ethiopia.   We will created a thriving economy. Jaffa Oranges- and now Waze – high tech.  70 years of pride. We will build a modern day Garden of Eden.   Hatikvah. We will achieve the dream.  We will come home. 

“And we… even after 70 years…we are not yet there. We are not yet home. Israel was established so that the Jewish people, who have nearly never felt at-home-in-the-world, would finally have a home. And now, 70 years later, strong Israel may be a fortress, but it is not yet a home..

…When the Israeli government attempts to improvise questionable deals with Uganda and Rwanda, and is willing to endanger the lives of thousands of asylum seekers and expel them to the unknown — Israel is less of a home.

And when the prime minister defames and incites against human rights organizations, and when he is looking for ways to enact laws that bypass the High Court of Justice, and when democracy and the courts are constantly challenged, Israel becomes even a little less of a home —for everyone.

When Israel neglects and discriminates against residents on the fringes of society; when it abandons and continuously weakens the residents of southern Tel Aviv; when it hardens its heart to the plight of the weak and voiceless — Holocaust survivors, the needy, single-parent families, the elderly, boarding houses for children removed from their homes, and crumbling hospitals — it is less of a home. It is a dysfunctional home.

[when Israel passes laws that discriminate against the LGBT community, it is far from being our home.]

And when [it passes a Nation State Bill] that neglects and discriminates against 1.5 million Palestinian citizens of Israel; when it practically forfeits the great potential they have for a shared life in the land — it is less of a home — both for the minority and the majority.

And when Israel arrests a rabbi for doing a wedding…denies a space at the Kotel for us to pray, when Israel strips away the Jewishness of millions of Reform and Conservative Jews — again Israel is less of a home.” (David Grossman)

This is not the Israel that I hoped for when I put my quarters in the little blue box, or that my grandmother envisioned when she started Shabbat by putting change in her little blue box.  This is not the Israel that Ben Gurion envisioned when he signed the declaration of independence.  This is not the Israel that I was taught as a child or that I envisioned when I became a citizen.   This isn’t a Zionism of which I can be proud. 

Our challenge today is not to create or defend a state.  Our challenge today is to maintain a secure safe state that lives according to Jewish values.   I am worried that we are busy worrying about defending a state that we will soon find completely objectionable.  Do we really want a secure and safe Jewish homeland that we find objectionable and that looks upon us objectionable as well? 

 I am a proud Zionist, and I am also an introspective Zionist.  its time that we raised our voices and created a new Zionism for today.   

I envision a new Zionism based upon a serious relationship between Israel and the diaspora, based upon a healthy exchange of ideas and values.  Israel offers us strength of identity, a living breathing Judaism.  We offer a pluralistic, egalitarian Judaism based upon prophetic Jewish values.   

To be a modern day Zionist there are action items for us?  1.  We must care. If we don’t begin to care, deeply and actively, soon – we will soon have an Israel which we can no longer support.  2.  We must speak up. As Jews we have a voice – an authentic and crucial voice based upon authentic Jewish values.  3.  Put your money where your mouth is.  Why do we fund organizations that don’t support the values about which we care so deeply?  Before you support an organization in Israel ask:  Have they made statements about pluralism, about minority rights, about democratic values? And yes, put your money where your mouth is.  Support the Reform movement in Israel.  Join a reform congregation as a foreign member.  That’s support for pluralism, for democracy.  Support the Israel Religious Action Center – the IRAC – the Reform movement’s advocacy center which fights for the right to pray at the kotel. It fights against racism. It fights for women’s rights.  Support the New Israel Fund, an organization that funds non-profits in Israel that stand for democracy, for minority rights, that cares about the quality of the state we love.  Support organizations like the Yad B’yad schools where Jewish and Arab Israelis learn together.  Support Shutaf – a small organization…I’m on their board – which provides after school and camp programs for Jews and Arabs – all of whom have special needs.  

These action items aren’t a luxury – they’re a necessity, and the necessity is now.  Time is running short.  Our Zionism must be passionate – and it must be introspective.   It’s not what’s wrong with Israel that’s important.  And it’s not what’s right about Israel that’s important…it’s all about imagination.  What’s important is that we imagine, and strive to create the Israel that can and should be.  

The Zionism of the little blue box is past – we have a modern, secure state.  The Zionism of today is up to us to create.  It is more than defending a state, it is all about the quality of that state. The Zionism of today calls upon us to stand for democracy, calls upon us to demand pluralism, call out for minority rights, fight racism. 

“Israel is painful for us. Because it is not [yet] the home we want it to be. We acknowledge the great and wonderful thing that happened to us, by having a state...But we also feel the pain of its distortion.”

Theodor Herzl was truly a modern day prophet. He envisioned a modern state. And he looked beyond its creation.   He spoke across the generations when he said:  I once called Zionism an infinite ideal…as it will not cease to be an ideal even after we attain our land, the Land of Israel. For Zionism…encompasses not only the hope of a legally secured homeland for our people….but also the aspiration to reach moral and spiritual perfection.  

Zionism.  Moral and spiritual perfection.  That moral and spiritual perfection is in our hands.  The vision is clear.  The challenge has become obvious.  Action on our part is necessary.  The time is now.  

“…”  David Grossman speaking at the Alternative Memorial Day event in Tel Aviv, April 17, 2018.Ofer Vaknin

Upcoming at Beth Shalom

Dear friends,

Here we go again. This year the High Holidays are even earlier than last year! Please mark your calendars for the following events and services. September and October as always are very busy months for Beth Shalom: that is why we are sending out this message before the summer vacation. Please make sure that you put the following dates on your calendar.

Friday, Sept. 7. at 730pm Kabbalat Shabbat at the congregational apartment. 
Rabbi Goor and Cantor Kent will lead this Shabbat to discuss the upcoming High Holidays. They will help us to reflect in order to set the mood and get into the spirit to observe Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Please coordinate with Carey Bernitz +393356348682 and Carol Ross +393408794687 to let them know what special dish you will prepare for our potluck dinner. Carey and Carol will then plan a dinner that is balanced with vegetables/ carbohydrates. Some meat or chicken dishes that are also associated with this holiday. Desserts, fresh fruits and wine are also welcome. 

Monday, Sept. 10 at 10:30am Rosh Hashanah Services at the Hotel del La Ville.
For the fourth year, we are honored to have Rabbi Goor and Cantor Kent with us for the High Holidays. This marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year, 5779 culminating 10 days later with Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur services.  

Tuesday, Sept. 18, 7:30pm Kol Nidre services at the Hotel del la Ville.  

This most important night of the year in the Jewish calendar is a time to reflect on the past and think about what we can do to improve our character and the world in the new year, 5779. 

Wed. Sept. 19.  Yom Kippur Services at Hotel de la Ville. 

10:30am morning services
4:30pm Yizkor and Neilah services. 

Sunday September 30. For Sukkot,we have a surprise which we will announce in early September. Save the date!

October/December Calendar

Sat. Oct. 13. 10:30am Shabbat services at Hotel de la Ville

Friday, Oct. 26 730pm Kabbalat Shabbat at the Congregational apartment 

Sat. Nov. 17.  10:30am Shabbat services at the Hotel de la Ville

Sun. Dec. 2.  First day of Hannukah and party at the Congregational apartment

Sat. Dec. 15 10:30am Shabbat services at the Hotel del la Ville 

*Torah study class schedule will be published in early September. 

Carey Bernitz, President of Beth Shalom and the Board wish you Shabbat Shalom and a happy summer and we look forward to all being together again for the High Holidays!