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03/26/2024 01:25:33 PM

Mar26

Below you'll find items that we think may be of interest to our congregants.

Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony

04/16/2024 12:11:26 PM

Apr16

Event

For six decades, Greater Philadelphia has shown up each year to say Never Again at the Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony to observe Yom HaShoah.  The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia invites you to join their 60th annual ceremony as part of this vital tradition to ensure that we Never Forget about the six million Jews who perished in the Shoah and that we continue to honor the survivors living in our communities. The ceremony on Sunday, May 5, from 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM will include candle lighting, music and prayers. Advance registration is required. For security purposes, they are not able to accept walk-ins. Location: Horwitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial Plaza, 16th Street and Ben Franklin Parkway. Click here to register. RSVP by Friday, May 3 at 11:59 a.m.

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Jew

04/16/2024 11:07:04 AM

Apr16

Event

Aren’t all Jews wealthy and overly focused on money? Do Jews hold an excessive amount of influence and power compared to other groups? How can you say that anti-Zionism is antisemitic? Lean into your discomfort during this thought-provoking conversation with two voices of our generation and co-authors of the upcoming book, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Jew: New York Times bestselling authors Noa Tishby and Emmanuel Acho, former Eagles’ player. Register here.

Event Details:

Date & Time:
Wednesday, May 1, 2024
8:00 a.m. | Registration and Light Breakfast
8:30 a.m. | Program Promptly Begins 
9:15 a.m. | VIP Meet & Greet (immediately following program)

Location:
Har Zion Temple, 1500 Hagys Ford Rd, Penn Valley, PA 19072

Couvert:
General Admission – $65 (Includes book)
There will be an opportunity to purchase additional books at the event.

Survey for Teens

04/15/2024 11:12:02 AM

Apr15

Jewish Life

There’s an exciting, new national research opportunity on Jewish teen mental health that just went live that we want you to take part in. It's the first-ever national study of Jewish teen well-being. It asks about the biggest stressors teens face and the support you find most helpful. We know the Jewish community is diverse and want to be sure the data captures this.

Your voice and experience are so important! The survey is brief, mobile-friendly and anonymous. You can click here to take the survey when you have a few minutes. The survey is open through May 17, 2024.

It's Time to CSA!

04/09/2024 02:02:50 PM

Apr9

Tikkun Olam

Kol Ami Hazon CSA at Congregation Adath Jeshurun partners with over 100 Amish and Mennonite organic farmers from Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative (LFFC). Enrollment keeps local sustainable farms and local food safe for future generations. The diversity of crops among LFFC farmers ensures a good variety of fresh seasonal produce each week. The CSA is composed of members from the local community. They safely distribute fresh, locally grown, organic vegetables, fruit, eggs, cheese, and herbal medicines each week on Tuesday evenings (4:30-6:00 PM) from Adath Jeshurun’s kitchen.

The LFFC CSA Summer 2024 season runs from the week of April 29 to the week of October 28 (27 weeks). You can find out more and sign up here. If you have questions, contact Robin at Robinrifkin@comcast.net or Shelley at Srchamberlain@comcast.net.

From Rav Shai: Why Couldn't Moses Enter the Promised Land?

04/08/2024 01:22:45 PM

Apr8

Torah

There is a common misconception that the reason why Moses was not allowed over the Jordan River into the Promised Land involved hitting a rock with his staff for water.

The Torah does use the rock incident as the occasion to inform Moses that he won’t make it into the Promised Land, but the Torah does not actually say that’s the reason why Moses can’t lead the Israelites there. As so often happens, it is only the crash of current events that has allowed me to understand the Torah’s deep intention.

There is one other great figure of the Bible who was unable to complete his vision and mission, King David. He was the founder of the messianic line who purchased the land for the Temple in Jerusalem, but was not allowed to build the Temple. Why? Here the Bible is explicit: He spilled too much blood. He fought too many wars (I Chron. 22:8).

But he fought those wars with God’s blessing for the safety and security of Israel. Why would he be punished for that?

Our rabbinic commentators admit what the Torah text omits: King David spilled innocent blood, blood that was unnecessary to spill to secure the victories necessary for Israel to be secure in its land (RaDaK and Malbim). He founded the messianic line, but you can’t build a Temple for God by shedding innocent blood.

Could the TaNaKH have revealed about King David what it was unwilling to disclose about Moses? Consider the final plague: God tells Moses that every first born in Egypt will be killed. Unlike Abraham, Moses does not argue with God that it would be unjust to murder the innocents with the guilty. (I owe this insight to Rabbi David Seidenberg.) The Rabbis made a big deal comparing Abraham, who argued for justice in Sodom and Gomorrah, with Noah, who just, sheepishly, complied. God said all the first born in Egypt were to be slain, and Moses complied, without pushing back, at all.

Our Rabbis were bothered by Moses’ docile compliance, so the midrash assures us that all the firstborns were guilty of rejoicing in the pain and distress of the Israelites. They got what was coming to them. They weren’t innocent! That’s what the midrash says. Our Rabbinic sages had a stake in preserving a sense of divine justice. They couldn’t accept such collateral damage as the price for redeeming the Israelites from bondage.

Why didn’t Moses make it into the promised land? Because like King David, Moses had innocent blood on his hands. He could have challenged God about the need to kill every firstborn. He could have asked if all that bloodshed was necessary to redeem Israel.

Too many Israelites died in bondage, and too many Egyptians died securing our freedom. Moses is remembered as our redeemer—although, curiously, not in the Haggadah where he is not even mentioned. But Moses can’t lead us across the river into the Promised Land because the river flows, in part, with the blood of innocent Egyptians.

At this year’s Pesach seder, we should use all our fingers, not just our pinkies, to dip into the red and diminish our joy. God willing, like the Israelites, we will prevail, but our joy will be diminished.

This essay was published with many others in the Conservative Movement’s Passover reader: Passover Reader 5784: Not A Haggadah on The Digital Home for Conservative Judaism (exploringjudaism.org).

Six Months in Captivity: Attend the March to Free the Hostages on April 7 in Washington, DC

04/03/2024 10:31:43 AM

Apr3

Israeli War/
Non-AJ Event

On Sunday, April 7, exactly six months since the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, JCRC of Greater Washington and dozens of local and national organizations invite you to march to bring home the hostages. One-hundred and thirty-four innocent people remain in captivity; they are being tortured, starved and raped by Hamas terrorists. The march from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial is not just to call for the hostages' release, but to demand it. Join us on Sunday, April 7 at 2:30 PM on the National Mall to make your voice heard. (The closest DC Metrorail stop to the march is Smithsonian on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines.) To learn more about the event, visit hostagesforumdc.com.

Tell and K'vell

04/03/2024 10:19:03 AM

Apr3

Update this content.

Stories help us pass along Jewish values and traditions. They inspire us, teach us and create a sense of belonging. Tell and K'vell helps pass along Jewish values and traditions and makes a wonderful Passover gift! If you're celebrating at home or you're a guest for the holiday, Tell and K'vell will help you deepen connections, build a sense of community, and strengthen Jewish identity. Orders placed by April 15 will be received in time for Passover. Plus, FREE SHIPPING on purchases of two or more! Limited time offer! Click here for more info.

Donate to Mazon

04/03/2024 10:09:11 AM

Apr3

Tikkun Olam

This Passover, honor your family and friends with personalized MAZON E-Cards or printed tribute cards. At Passover, we reflect on what it means to be part of a community. We know that it was the strength and courage of their community in action that allowed the Israelites to find freedom. Today, it is the strength and courage of our community in action that can bring an end to the pain and indignity of hunger. If you have any questions or would like to send multiple cards, please call (800) 813-0557 or e-mail mazon@mazon.org. Donate here.

Play: "The Last Yiddish Speaker"

03/27/2024 10:38:33 AM

Mar27

Non-AJ Event

The InterAct Theatre Company in Philadelphia is presenting "The Last Yiddish Speaker" at the Drake Theater from March 29 through April 21. Here's the synopsis: In the years following a successful January 6th insurrection, a white supremacist regime has come into power. Paul and his teenage daughter, Sarah, live under the radar in a small town upstate as Christian-passing, despite being Jews who fled New York City. When an ancient Yiddish-speaking woman arrives on their doorstep, Paul and Sarah are forced to decide between fleeing again or fighting for their faith, their heritage and their identity. Tickets are $17 but from April 5 through April 7, a "pay as you can" policy is in effect. Find out more here. (One of the directors was here at AJ for the Vigil for Israel.)

Lindy-Springfest 2024 at PJFM

03/26/2024 01:44:00 PM

Mar26

Non-AJ Event

Philadelphia Jewish Film and Media (PJFM) has some great movies coming up this spring! Their "Lindy-Springfest 2024" runs from April 4 through April 7. You can see their whole schedule here, but on April 5 at 2:00 PM, Four Films and a Museum will be shown right here in our neighborhood at The Towers at Wyncote. You can purchase tickets for it here.

Creative Contest Opportunity!

03/26/2024 01:33:40 PM

Mar26

Project

UNAPOLOGETICALLY JEWISH, a social media initiative presented by Philadelphia Jewish Film and Media (PJFM), aims to strengthen and foster bonds with Judaism and explore relationships with Israel through the creation of original, digital content by Jewish “GenZillennials” (now open to ages 18+). In this contest, EIGHT selected applicants will design their own unique digital content to be published on their own platforms (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and/or YouTube) AND PJFM’s social media with the goal of attaining the most online engagement rates, which include the total number of likes/comments/shares per post and followers. The top FOUR contestants who receive the highest levels of engagement are invited to present their series at Digital Chutzpah 2024! PJFM’s Digital Media Festival on Wednesday, September 19, 2024, at the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History. On Closing Night of the festival on Sunday, September 22, social media metrics for the four contestants’ content are measured one final time, and the contestant with the most engagements receives a $5,000 prize AND inclusion in Fall Fest 2024’s programming. Click here to learn more.

Awake My People: Jewish Responses to Antisemitism, at Gratz College

03/18/2024 11:45:12 AM

Mar18

Non-AJ Event

On Tuesday, April 2, Gratz College, will be presenting what they call “An Evening to Honor Gratz's Unparalleled Commitment to Combatting Contemporary Antisemitism.” The featured speaker is Dr. Avinoam Patt, Inaugural director of NYU’s Center for Study of Antisemitism and the Maurice Greenberg Professor of Holocaust Studies in NYU’s Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies. What's the difference between a Jewish optimist and a Jewish pessimist? And how does the punchline of this classic joke shed light on our interpretation of the relationship between antisemitism and the development of modern Jewish identity? In this talk, renowned scholar, Dr. Avinoam Patt, will explore how Jewish responses to persecution (and acceptance) have affected the development of Jewish identity in the modern period, through the lens of political, religious, social and cultural movements. 7:00 PM, in-person only. Free of charge. Register at https://www.gratz.edu/registration-forms/awake-my-people.

Philly Friendship Circle's 2024 Annual Gala

03/18/2024 11:34:18 AM

Mar18

Non-AJ Event

Join us on the road to friendship at Philly Friendship Circle's 2024 Annual Gala! Let's pave the way to authentic inclusion and celebrate our amazing teens and young adults. Sunday, April 7 at 5:00 PM, at Hilton on City Ave. For more info, visit phillyfriendship.org/gala.

From Rav Shai: A Recap and a Request

03/04/2024 03:00:37 PM

Mar4

Israel

On February 25, close to one hundred people sat in rapt attention as four survivors of the October 7th pogrom recounted their personal horror stories. Their accounts were searing. We heard stories that have not been widely publicized in the American media, including that after the first wave of Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israel, subsequent waves of “civilians” entered Israel to ransack, pillage, and rape in what can only be described as “wilding.” The ensuing trauma inflicted on these survivors included the death of their dreams of peaceful coexistence.

Nevertheless, we also experienced the resilience of these kibbutzniks who vowed to return and rebuild. We have assembled a task force at AJ to do all we can to support their bravery and commitment. Specifically, in the coming months we will be looking for ways to strengthen the personal connections between our two communities. If you’d like to serve on this task force, be in touch with me.

In the meantime, there are critical needs which are currently underfunded. To date, AJ has donated more than $5,000 towards the support of Kibbutz Kfar Azza. Those funds will be directed towards Children’s Therapy programs. If you would like to donate, click here.

Shortly after the October pogrom, AJ went into action and raised $115,000 for an ambulance through Magen David Adom. In the intervening four months, we waited to see where we might focus our efforts anew. With Kibbutz Kfar Azza, that search ends. There are both short-term challenges and long-term visions with which we can help, and not just financially. Click here for the Kfar Azza Foundation’s Project Directory which offers a 26-page summary.    

The earliest fundraising drive in Jewish history began with an “ask” from the holy One: “Tell the Israelite people to bring Me gifts; you shall accept gifts for Me from every person whose heart is so moved.” The drive was so successful that it had to be called off: “The people are bringing more than is needed for the tasks entailed in the work that Adonai has commanded to be done.” Moses thereupon had this proclamation made throughout the camp: “Let no man or woman make further effort toward gifts for the sanctuary!” So the people stopped bringing: their efforts had been more than enough for all the tasks to be done.

We’re not there, yet. The divine dwelling remains unfinished. As Pirkei Avot reminds us, we don’t have to finish the job, but that doesn’t excuse us from contributing to the task.

Plant A Tree

03/04/2024 02:58:31 PM

Mar4

Israel

Help us fill a forest with trees in Israel! Trees are $18 each. Click here.

Fri, April 19 2024 11 Nisan 5784