Category Archives: Events



Here is Zoom information for an incredible program on Sunday. My 92-year-old Rabbi was on the Exodus and this program will talk about it. Rabbi Birnbaum is beyond incredible as is his entire family. He is originally from Slovakia and was liberated at the age of 14 – he’ll tell the story on Sunday. It will be fun to see you if you join in on the Zoom. Here you go.

Eye Witness Testimony
The amazing story of “Exodus 1947” – the ship that launched a nation

Part I: Sunday, August 9, 2020, 8:00AM MDT, 10:00AM EDT, 5:00PM IDT
Part II: Sunday, August 16, 2020, 8:00AM MDT, 10:00AM EDT, 5:00PM IDT
Join Zoom Meeting. Use this same link for both days.

Submitted by Natalie Fisher Guerin


Shalom CBA Members and Friends,

COVID-19 has affected us all in ways we couldn’t have guessed when this year started, but I want to tell you about Hannah Simkovic-Kitterman.

Hannah and I have been working together for a while now, and at the beginning of the year, the excitement was building for her to invite her family and friends, and fill the synagogue with people excited to welcome her into the Jewish community as a Bat Mitzvah, a “Daughter of the Commandments”. We had a date set, we had plans for what it would look like, and the party was being thought about.

And then COVID-19 happened.

At first, we decided to postpone it to late summer, in the hopes that things would normalize and we would be able to do it “right.” Unfortunately, things once again did not work out according to plan. Undaunted, but a little demoralized, we pressed on.

I personally can’t imagine what it is like to have any lifecycle event during this time, let alone one as important and central to a Jewish teenager’s life journey than a B’nei Mitzvah in a time where social distancing and Zoom meetings are a regrettable necessity.

It is with that in mind that I would like to invite you to Emily’s Bat Mitzvah on Zoom, which will take place on Saturday, August 15th @ 10:30am. I am personally sending an all-call to the community to join in to watch the service and her Torah reading. Even though we can’t come together in the synagogue, we can still come together virtually for this important event.

You can join the service with this link:

Erik Uriarte is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Hannah’s Bat Mitzvah
Time: Aug 15, 2020 10:30 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

We will also be tentatively planning for an event next year, where we can gather for her to read Torah with a (safe) room full of people, and a real, honest-to-G-d party afterwards.


Erik L Uriarte, MAHL
Student Rabbi and Director of Religious Programming
Congregation Beth Aaron – Billings, MT
Cell: (406) 413-5367


July 17th, 6:00-6:30pm on Zoom

The members of the Montana Association of Rabbis, comprising clergy and leadership from Congregations Beth Aaron, Beth Shalom, Har Shalom, and the Glacier Jewish Community, and including R. Laurie Franklin, R. Mark Kula, R. Francine Roston, R. Ed Stafman, R. Allen Secher, Rabbinic Student Erik Uriarte, and Cantorial Soloist Amber Ikeman, will be leading a cooperative “Shabbat Across Montana.” We hope that you’ll join us for this amazing event to bring us all together for Shabbat. (Montana is likely the only state capable of holding any event with representation from all of its progressive Jewish communities.)
Please Join us here:

– Reform Prayer Book (Siddur) availability: If you would like to have a siddur to have at home, there are several options available to you. A free, fully online version is available through the CCAR here:
Additionally, a deeply discounted kindle version ($5) is available here:

Submitted by Brian Schnitzer


Dear All,

Does the opportunity for advocacy through Hadassah speak to you? If yes, this email is for you and if after reading it you would want to participate in this or lead a group, please reach out to me, Nancy, at and I will support you as you jump in here and send you the documents. Thank you. See below:

Dear Hadassah Advocacy Leaders,

It’s a very exciting and important time to be involved in advocacy, and Hadassah members are continuing to make their voices heard in new and inventive ways. Hadassah introduced a VIRTUAL Day in the District Program that enables us to meet with our elected officials via Zoom.

Additionally, we hope you’ll join us for an Advocacy Meeting via Zoom on Thursday, July 16th, 2020 to learn more about the Virtual Day in the District Program and other important Hadassah advocacy initiatives, including Voter Registration.

We are offering TWO Zoom opportunities to get together. Please choose which time you prefer and RSVP to Susan Glicksberg at and let us know if you’ll be able to join either meeting. It will be such a treat to see all of you! Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend. Stay healthy and stay safe.

Thursday, July 16th @ 1:00 pm PST – (4:00 pm EST / 3:00 pm CST)
Meeting ID: 831 0429 1872
Password: 640895
To Join By Phone – Audio Only
+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
Find your local number:

Thursday, July 16th @ 3:00 pm PST – (6:00 pm EST / 5:00 pm CST)
Meeting ID: 858 4633 0541
Password: 305685
To Join By Phone – Audio Only
+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
Find your local number:

Best Regards,

Stacey R. Dorenfeld
National State Advocacy Co-Chair
Hadassah Southern California Advocacy Chair
“have the courage to pursue the wisdom of your soul”

The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc.
Amelia & Mark Taper Hadassah House
455 South Robertson Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA. 90211

HADASSAH NEWS by Montana Hadassah
PO Box 204
Butte, Montana 59702 USA


Dear Friends,

In Hebrew years that do not have the extra month of Adar II, such as the present year, “Memorial Day for the Shoah and Heroism” takes place close to the Shabbat during which we read from the Torah, Parshat “Shemini”.

This Torah portion opens with a description of the day of dedication of the Holy Tabernacle and how it became a tragedy and disaster when Aaron’s two sons, Nadav and Avihu, die in front of his eyes after they sacrificed “strange fire” on the altar (which they had been commanded not to do). Only two words are used to describe the reaction of Aaron their father, when the day of joy became one of sorrow: “and Aaron became silent” (Leviticus: 10; 3).

For many long years, most of the refugees and survivors of the atrocities of the Holocaust chose silence. Moses, Aaron’s brother, did not try to penetrate the silence of his brother on that day. Today we have the mission of respecting the silence of those survivors who chose to continue that path, but at the same time to invite them with love and sensitivity, to find the key to their hearts and memories and end their silence. Unlike Moses, we have to convince them that we are more attentive than ever and that their experiences and stories will be treated as a rich treasure, rather than a mere footnote of history.

Throughout the book of Leviticus, the ritual and spiritual role of the Kohanim (High Priests) is described. At the same time, we learn about the material remuneration they receive for carrying out their mission. This teaches us that we cannot ask the survivors of the Holocaust to raise their voices, to bear witness, and to bestow their legacy, without being totally committed to their wellbeing and dignity.

Yom HaShoah is commemorated this year in the shadow of the Coronavirus pandemic. Not all of the senior citizens who lost their lives in assisted living facilities and homes for the aged were Holocaust survivors; but many were and are. Regardless of this terrible crisis that we are all dealing with, it has had an increased impact on the elderly.

The lack of effective measures in those locations, especially at the beginning of the pandemic (and, to a great degree, to this day) must be prominent in our minds this week when we remember the Shoah. Holocaust survivors are living the past months with heightened anxiety and are in significant danger. The same is true of their cohorts, the generation who founded the state of Israel who didn’t suffer the terror of the Holocaust, but who laid the foundation for life here in Israel for all of us. Like Aaron HaKohen, many of them cannot raise their voices – it is our responsibility to do it for them.

Reform Rabbi and Professor Emil Fackenheim, coined the phrase: “the 614th Mitzvah” – the commandment obligated by all Jews not to give the Nazis victory after their defeat, to guarantee the continuation of the Jewish people, to renew our ability to give hope and to act towards Tikkun Olam; and most of all not to be silent and close off our hearts.

We must maintain the ability to listen to what the survivors have to tell us during their last years of life and have the wisdom to help them and their counterparts escape the silence and feel protected and respected during normal times, and especially during days of crises – this is the foundation of the 614th Mitzvah. Regardless, this terrible crisis has had a devastating impact on the elderly. We must each do our part to take the lessons of past generations into future ones.

I hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy during this unsure time.

IMPJ President & CEO Rabbi Gilad Kariv


How do you solve a problem like the seder plate?
Whether you’re replacing the shank bone or adding some new foods, we’ve got plenty of ideas – including ginger, spices & more.

Getting creative with your virtual Seder plate

Favorite Content for 2020:

The Wandering is Over Haggadah
An updated version of Jewish Boston’s family-friendly and thought provoking seder

Comedy Seder
Because we need a laugh…

2020 Favorites Haggadah
An ongoing compilation of what’s new & relevant for your seder tables this year

Minimalist Haggadah
Get right to the point with a Haggadah that’s short & simple, yet filled with wisdom.

Coloring Book Haggadah
It’s a coloring book! It’s a haggadah!

Passover In The Time Of Covid-19
Because we had to…

Recommended Clips:
Building Your Mental Health Seder Plate

Jewish World Watch Second Seder Plate 2020

Embodying Passover With Jewish Yoga

Coloring Pages

Passover Song Parodies

Ready-to-print Haggadahs:

Moishe House London Reverse Seder

JewBelong Haggadah

JQ International LGBTQ Haggadah

Women’s Seder Favorites Activities, games, and songs for kids and teens.

A Seder for Young Children Videos, activities, and simple blessings for young children.

Friends Seder Haggadah A short, fun Haggadah for a friendly gathering.





Greatest Hits 2011-2015


EDITOR’S NOTE: These days everything has gone virtual so that we may practice social distancing and flatten the curve of the COVID19 Coronavirus pandemic that has (temporarily, we hope) changed the way we interact with each other. You can probably pick your favorite place on the globe and they will have a virtual service streaming for the benefit of their local congregation. We have had to find creative ways to stay connected and keep our faith and traditions alive and well during this time of uncertainty. But we have survived many other times of trial, and working together to strengthen the ties that bind us together, we will survive this one stronger than ever.

Here is a suggestion from an email to Don and Helen Cherry from their daughter Karen.

… there are a number of virtual passover celebrations you can join on your computer. this is one from the Palo Alto JCC you can join. it is 4-5:15 on April 8th. Or maybe your local congregation wants to find one to do together. It seems a lot of the JCC’s and synagogues are offering these…

Click here for the Palo Alto virtual Pasover service

Submitted by Helen Cherry


Editor’s note: AN IMPORTANT message from Aitz Chaim Congregation President, Laura Weiss:

All our gatherings will be canceled until further notice.

This is unfortunate but an appropriate and responsible response to the crisis at hand.

The first Friday Shabbat gatherings and also the community Passover Seder will be canceled.

Thanks all.


Dear friends,

I hope this finds each and every one of you in good health. I know this email is somewhat long, but please read until the end.

Firstly, I beseech you to heed the instructions of your local health department and hunker down and wait out the storm. I don’t like the term “social distancing”, as we are blessed to live in an age of technology that we can be socially active, while still maintaining “physical distancing”. Chavie and I are so grateful to the tens of friends who reached out to check on us and to offer a helping hand.

The Shul of Bozeman is closed and all of our “normal” Chabad Lubavitch activities are suspended until further notice. Please DO NOT come to the Shul or our home. If you need to come by to get your Talit or Siddur, please call/text/email in advance to confirm that it’s ok and how to arrange it in the most sensible way. The women’s Mikvah is still open but will be used only by those who are well and in discussion with Chavie, our Rebbetzin and Mikvah attendant.

We are here to help . If you are at home and cannot visit your local pharmacy or grocery to get what you need, please reach out to us and we will do our best, while following the health department recommendations, to bring your items to your doorstep without any physical contact. Whether you’re in Dillon or Great Falls, Whitefish or Missoula, anywhere in Montana and beyond, if you need our help, please reach out.
If you are in good shape and would like to volunteer to bring items to those in need, please let me know ASAP and I will add you to the volunteer list.

While at home, I highly recommend that you do what Jews have always done: pray to G-d. Take out your Siddur (prayer book) or Tehillim (book of Psalms) and plead with the Almighty to end this horrible plague. While surfing the web for the never ending supply of negative news, pause and take some time to learn Torah: visit for a wide array of online Torah classes. I will be also broadcasting my class on Facebook as I do each week, but perhaps will add more classes as the weeks of isolation progress.

I know that Passover is on everyone’s mind. It is on our minds too. We don’t have a plan yet, but one thing is certain that will make sure Shemurah Matzah will get to every family that needs it and as of now the Kosher food delivery is still on schedule to make it to Bozeman sometime next week. As for Kosher for Passover food, especially for the Seders, we will have more answers on this matter in the next week or so.

The Rabbis and Rebbetzins at our three Chabad centers in Bozeman, Missoula and Kalispell, are here for each one of you. Though we can’t see you in person, we are here to help in any way possible. Many programs and classes will be shared online, Montana’s Jewish Voice will still reach you before Passover G-d willing and we are here for one-on-one phone calls anytime.

Personally, I’ve set up a system where you can sign up for a 15-minute chat with me to study Torah, chat about life or seek guidance in this challenging time. Click on this link to set up your 15-minute slot.

For over a decade Chabad Lubavitch of Montana has a devoted local advisory board consisting of Mrs. Robin Bequet, Dr. Sarah Bronsky, Mrs. Paola Feher, Rabbi Amram Phelps, Dr. Mick Lifson, Mrs. Kinerette Martin and Mr. Seth Robbins. They along with me and Chavie will work together to figure out a plan for this odd time and see it through recovery.

This is a very hard time for us financially. Many of our regular donors and Passover donors are hurting due to the economic slowdown. We would like to remain stable through this era, so If you are blessed to be in a place that you could help others, please help us do our holy and vital work. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE MAKE A DONATION HERE: http://WWW.JEWISHMONTANA.COM/DONATE
Friends, we will get through this, but it will be a rough period. Don’t despair, don’t give up, don’t stop praying; we are resilient, and we’ve been through worse. WE SHALL OVERCOME!
Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Chaim Bruk


Shalom CBA Members and friends,

There will be some more emails going out in the coming days from the Board and myself regarding how CBA will be operating going forward in the face of issues related to COVID-19. For now:

– Adult Education on Monday and Wednesday will continue. This week, you may come to the synagogue, but are highly encouraged to join us online. Beginning next week, classes will be held ONLINE ONLY. If you need assistance setting up for this, please contact me and I will do my best to help. All classes are accessible through this link
Later on in the week we will hopefully have a plan in place for future services and events, including Shabbats, Passover, and the Centennial. Many synagogues across all streams of Judaism have been shutting down public gatherings out of a sense of caution, and we are evaluating how this might work for us.

– We are evaluating how best we can help and support each other in the coming days or weeks. Several of our members have already reached out to me to see how they can assist with things like basic grocery delivery, and other support to our members who have less mobility or who must remain homebound. Watch for an email later this week about what is needed and how you can help.

– If you need or want to talk to me for any reason at all, whether to just check in, to “vent”, or for moral, emotional, or spiritual support, please do not hesitate to contact me via email or by phone (406-413-5367) 24/7. I can’t promise that I’ll always pick up immediately, but I will absolutely get back to you as soon as I’m able. Out of an abundance of caution, I won’t be meeting in person for longer than a minute or two, but I’ll definitely make sure that we can talk.

– Stay Safe. Be prepared. Help Each Other. We will get through this.

Erik L Uriarte, MAHL
Student Rabbi and Director of Religious Programming
Congregation Beth Aaron – Billings, MT
Cell: (406) 413-5367