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Showing posts from September, 2010

Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah @ CNS

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Jerry blowing shofar at a Rockin' Hoshannah Rabbah this morning!
Thursday, September 30
9:30 am: Shemini Atzeret Services with Yizkor
7:15 pm:Erev Simchat Torah Services and Celebration, beginning with opening the entire Torah in the Social Hall!

Friday, October 1st
9:30 am: Simchat Torah Services & Celebration!  BYOR (Bring your own Ruach!)

Congregation Netivot Shalom 1316 University Avenue Berkeley, California 94702

Very powerful article from Alban: "Bursting Forth without Burning Out"

Bursting Forth without Burning Outby Bruce G. Epperly , Katherine Gould Epperly
Fall is a time of bright red, yellow, and orange, shorter days, transformation, and letting go. Winter is on the horizon and the changing colors forecast cold days and bare trees. Although both of us have experienced the cycle from summer to fall and the yearly ritual of bright colors and falling leaves for more than fifty years, we seek to approach the season with an open spirit and a beginner's mind because each fall brings something new to the environment and our lives. As the two of us move toward our own personal autumns in ministry and academic life, the spirit of autumn calls us to rejoice in the harvest of a good life, the fruitfulness of faithful ministry, the impact we have made on others, and the need to embrace creativity and change as the prelude to the next adventure. Bidden or unbidden, fall bursts forth, whether in the cornfields or the lif…


SPEND A HIGH SCHOOL SEMESTER IN ISRAEL - Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim (TRY) , the spring semester program and USY High the 2 month, partial semester program  sponsored by Ramah Programs in Israel is open to students in 10th, 11th and 12th grades.  Come to our information session on either Wednesday, October 20, 8:30 p.m. at The Seife Home, 1837 Bret Harte Street, Palo Alto  or Thursday, October 21, 8:30 p.m. at The Finkelstein Home, 5940 Wood Drive, Oakland, CA. Dr. Joe Freedman, Director of Ramah Programs in Israel, will be presenting an overview of the program and answering questions. High level academics/college prep program/full high school credit/AP courses and SAT available.  Explore and learn about Israel in classes that include biking, hiking, kayaking.  For more information, please contact Judy Greene, or 212 678 8883.Judy GreeneCoordinator, Ramah Programs in Israel3080 BroadwayNew York, NY 10027212 678 8883Fax: 212 504 "The leader of the opposition, and head of Kadima, on the rift between young Diaspora Jews and Israel – and what we can do to bridge it."

September 28, 110 Tuesday 28 Tishri 3871 10:09 IST  Photo by: AP Time for a new Jewish conversationBy TZIPI LIVNI
21/09/2010The leader of the opposition, and head of Kadima, on the rift between young Diaspora Jews and Israel – and what we can do to bridge it. any good family, the Jewish people have shown time and again how we can unite in times of crisis. When Israel faced its enemies on the battlefield or when Jewish communities abroad have been threatened, we have come together and recognized our collective responsibility for one another.

But if this alone is the nature of the ties that bind us, it constitutes a failure of vision and of leadership. To define ourselves only by the threats we face is to allow our adversaries to define us. It is a definition founded in fear. This may be a mechanism for Jewish sur…

This Sunday @ CNS! "Israel Through the Eyes of a Bedouin Muslim Israeli"

A Shepherd's JourneyIsrael Through the Eyes of a Bedouin Muslim Israeli: A talk and book signing with Ishmael Khaldi Introduced by Rabbi Avi Novis-Deutsch, Bay Area Masorti Visiting Scholar
Cosponsored by Congregation Beth Israel, Oakland Hebrew Day School, Hadassah, Tehiyah Day School, and Bay Area Masorti
Ishmael Khaldi, vice consul in San Francisco from 2006-2009, grew up one of eleven siblings in a tent in the Galilee. He went from tending goats to becoming Israel's first Bedouin diplomat and is presently Arab affairs advisor to the Foreign Minister. He has chronicled his unusual life in a highly-acclaimed memoir, "A Shepherd's Journey." A sought-after speaker both in Israel and the U.S., as a Bedouin, a Muslim and a proud Israeli, he brings a unique perspective to the discussion of Israel. See for more info.

Rabbi Menachem CreditorCongregation N…

3 upcoming Adult Learning Opportunities at CNS!

Discover Judaism! Jewish Theologies  with Rabbi Menachem Creditor 
What does Judaism think about "God?" How do the visions of God in the Torah, Prophets, Writings, and Rabbinic periods compare? Is it the same God? How do modern Israeli poets and post-Holocaust theologians grapple with the eternal questions of meaning and purpose in the world? Text-study and discussion will be the basis for these conversations with no expectation of solutions in the end. No Hebrew is required for this class.
Dates: Tuesdays, Oct. 12, 19, 26; Nov. 2 Time: 7:30 to 9pm  Place: Netivot Shalom, 1316 University Ave., Berkeley Class fee: $40-$60 — (sliding scale, no one turned away for lack of funds) Please email Rachel at to register.
Equal and Pluralistic – challenges and difficulties in Israel society with Rabbi Avi Novis-Deutsch, Bay Area Masorti Visiting Scholar Co-sponsored by Bay Area Masorti and Congregation Netivot Shalom
This is a sensitive topic, one we are…

Upstart Bay Area: Dust and Dreams

There is a strange elation that occurs at the end of Yom Kippur.  Once the afternoon headache has worn off, the sky begins to deepen, and the culmination of the day approaches, we, somehow, do not want the day to end. This period of heightened awareness and closeness to God, to that which is beyond us, and to the depths of our selves, can become our new norm, even, perhaps, comforting. Who wants to return to the "real world?" If all can be forgiven, if nirvana-like peace and joy, kindness and compassion, can be achieved within the meditative, prayer-like state of removal from worldly concerns and behaviors, why return to that difficult world? Yom Kippur is the Jewish people's "India" stop on the Elizabeth Gilbert  "Eat, Pray, Love" tour, and, when it concludes, we aren't quite sure where we should head next. The Jewish response to this potential desire to linger in Yom-Kippur-mode is the holiday of Sukkot. We are literally commanded to get up, t…

Rabbi Jill Jacobs in the Forward: "A Case For Shaping Civil Society With Jewish Law"

Rabbi Jill Jacobs in the Forward: "A Case For Shaping Civil Society With Jewish Law" Public JudaismBy Jill JacobsPublished September 15, 2010, issue of September 24, 2010. PRINTEMAILSHAREAUTHOR ARCHIVEFORWARD FORUM The poster took my breath away: "The divine throne will not be complete until the idolatry of Zionism is uprooted. May it be Your will that we will soon be able to say, 'Blessed is the One who has uprooted idolatry.'"I was not in Ramallah, but in Mea Shearim, the ultra-Orthodox enclave of West Jerusalem. Holding my bag of freshly purchased seforim, or holy books, I marveled at the irony: A member of the same community that routinely uses religious language to convey violent contempt for fellow citizens had just sold me the books that I would use to develop a Jewish call for a compassionate society.My family's recent sabbatical in Israel yielded searing images of religious Jews behaving badly in the name of Judaism: Me…

Yom Kippur 5771: "Not Up in the Air"

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here Yom Kippur 5771: "Not Up in the Air"
Rabbi Menachem Creditor  
dedicated in love to the Netivot Shalom Community
Olam Chesed Yibaneh / We will build this world from love. (Ps. 89:3)

Ten days ago we recited "HaYom Harat Olam - Today the World is Born,"  and now ten days have passed.  The world has been born again.  Is it better than it was before?  A  harder question:  What did you do during these past 10 days to make it better?  Our obligation might not be to complete the task, but we are certainly not free from it.    

It matters very little what you believe.  No one is a "bad Jew" or a "bad person" for believing one way or another.  But there remains such a thing as "sin."  Sin is when we fail to act when it is necessary.  And we have all sinned this year.  Me, you, civil and religious leaders - we have not done enough when oil pipes burst and floods raged and fires burned, when earthquake…