Category Archives: Planning
I am not a scientist, I am a rabbi. I am not a doctor, I’m a mom and a Crohn’s patient. I am not a miracle-worker, but I know my actions have power and consequences.
If there was ever a time when we each have to take stock of how we are living our lives and how our actions could impact each other, now is the time. Consider this time in our lives like the preparation period for Yom Kippur, called “cheshbon ha-nefesh” or “accounting of our souls.”
In this moment, let us take an accounting of our actions/ma’asim so that we can then take an accounting of our souls. Ask yourselves: what am I doing that is helping to heal the world? What am I doing that is hurting the world? What can I do to preserve life?
Right now, the answer is clear. Stay home and stay safe.
While there is so much that is unknown about the COVID19 virus, there is one thing that is clear. It is spreading across the world, across the United States and across Montana. There is no place that will be untouched by the virus. The challenge is slowing down its spread so that our healthcare systems are not overwhelmed and people at risk are not able to be helped. The challenge is doing all that we can so that the fewest number of people die from this virus.
We are all responsible for doing what we can to keep ourselves safe, our loved ones and our communities safe, our state and our country protected.
So, please, if you can work from home, stay home. If you do not work regularly, stay at home. If you feel just fine, stay at home. If you are not feeling well, stay home and call your doctor.
Once we are taking care of our physical needs, we need to remember our emotional and spiritual needs. The level of anxiety is frequently high for many of us. The more we read or hear about the disease, the scarier things seem. As word arrives that people you know and care about are affected by the disease, it can be even scarier. Please take care to limit your time reading and listening about the virus and balance your day with refreshing actions like listening to music, reading a book, taking a walk or doing an art project!
What I can offer to you is a listening ear, relatively quick text responses, and presence by virtual meetings. In the next couple days I will be sending out word about how we can connect virtually so that we are staying safe, socially distant, yet also virtually connected.
What to do while you are staying at home and isolating? I highly recommend that you schedule a regular time to sit in prayer or meditation to help ground your spirit and reset your nervous system. There are various apps that will offer you timers for meditative sitting or guided meditations of various themes and lengths of time. Below is website information for the Institute of Jewish Spirituality that is holding a daily sit and offering resources for spiritual comfort in troubling times.
Soon, I will be offering learning sessions on skills to manage anxiety and regulate our nervous systems as well as lessons from Jewish tradition about life, Torah, resiliency and the power of the human spirit. I am also happy to start up a study group on the basics of Jewish life, in preparation for our Adult B’nai Mitzvah celebration July 25th–virus-willing. If you want to learn about Torah, prayer, Shabbat and Jewish holidays, please email me at email@example.com. Even if you have had a bar/bat mitzvah in the past, I am creating a service to share each other’s learning and spiritual journeys!
There are many people in our community who have wisdom and experience to share and I would love to create a way for us all to share with each other. I will be in touch about ways we can share experiences, learn together and laugh together. We can’t hug each other but we can smile and share and support each other.
We are all in this together. If you know of someone who is ill and needs support, please reach out to them. If you know of someone who is elderly, please reach out to them. If you need something and think I might be able to help, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. You can email, text or call me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-787-7846.
In closing, there are traditional prayers for waking up in the morning that help us express gratitude and remember the gift of life, health and spirit. They are below and click here for a PDF if you would like to print them out for your bedside table or morning coffee spot. I invite you to take a moment when you wake up in the morning and when you go to bed at night, to recount your blessings and focus on the many resources we can all access, at any time, from any place.
Please stay tuned for more resources from me and Glacier Jewish Community and please stay in touch and stay safe!
With love and blessings,
Rabbi Francine Roston
Now’s the time to explore Meditation!
If you always wanted to explore meditation, now might be the time!
If you are finding yourself struggling with uncertainly and anxiety, I encourage you to consider growing or expanding your meditation practice. Daily meditation can be a way to anchor your day and help give you a sense of calm and stability in these uncertain times.
The Institute for Jewish Spirituality offers many different courses and options for study and meditation integrating Jewish tradition. I encourage you to browse around their website http://www.jewishspirituality.org One of their offerings is a “Meditation Starter Kit” which includes all the tools and resources you’ll need to feel confident, prepared and inspired as you begin your Jewish meditation practice, including:
• A sample text teaching – connecting the wisdom and inspiration of scripture to everyday life
• A guided meditation practice connected to the text – that you can use again and again
• Simple tips for how to begin meditating – and how to integrate Jewish mindfulness meditation into your life
Click here for more information on the meditation guidance offered by the Institute for Jewish Spirituality.
A Poem & A Prayer for You
by Lynn Ungar
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love—
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
A Prayer of Hope During this Pandemic
by Rabbi Naomi Levy
We are frightened, God,
Worried for our loved ones,
Worried for our world.
Helpless and confused,
We turn to You
Seeking comfort, faith and hope.
Teach us God, to turn our panic into patience,
And our fear into acts of kindness and support.
Our strong must watch out for our weak,
Our young must take care of our old.
Help each one of us to do our part to halt the spread of this virus
Send strength and courage to the doctors and nurses
In the front-lines of this battle,
Fortify them with the full force of their healing powers.
Send wisdom and insight to the scientists
Working day and night across the world to discover healing treatments.
Bless their efforts, God.
Fill our leaders with the wisdom and the courage
To choose wisely and act quickly.
Help us, God, to see that we are one world,
Who will rise above this pandemic together.
Send us health God,
Watch over us,
Grace us with Your love,
Bless us with Your healing light.
Hear us God,
Heal us God,
Glacier Jewish Community/
Bnai Shalom |
PO Box 615, Kalispell, MT 59903
Dear Great Falls Hebrew Association Aitz Chaim,
As we adapt to new daily routines, it may not seem like the season of freedom is upon us. We know that our seders will look different this year, but one thing is certain: Passover is far from cancelled. We’re here to help you make this holiday one of the most meaningful to date.
So how’s this going to work? Do you host a cozy seder at home? (No guests means less stress!) Or do you host a virtual seder for loved ones from across the country? Join us on Zoom as we discuss these questions and The Art of Virtual Gathering this Friday, March 20 at 12pm EST. Expect tips for feeling connected and inspired at your seder, whatever form it takes.
Ready to be a guest instead of a host? Join Haggadot.com’s first-ever virtual seder on Sunday, April 12 at 2pm EDT / 11am PDT. Why Sunday? So Eileen can join us all the way from London, while our super-special co-host, Esther Kustanowitz can join us from Los Angeles. Plus, some of you prefer to unplug on the first two nights, and we want to include you too. We’d love for you to invite friends and family of all faiths to join us. We welcome everyone. (If you’d like to help us plan our virtual seder, you can join our Seder Planners Facebook group.)
Finally, we can address your ongoing questions in our virtual “office hours” on Friday, March 27 and Friday, April 3 at noon EDT. We’ll help you work on your haggadah and imagine new rituals for celebrating in these uncertain times. Check our Facebook page for ongoing updates.
Remember to check out our 2020 Favorites Haggadah, an ongoing collection of the most up-to-date content for this Passover season that feels… well, oh so different from every other Passover season. Now is a great time to contribute your clips for us to feature in this compilation.
Questions? Email us. We’re here for you and we’re ready to celebrate everything that makes this community special and wonderful.
Wishing you healthy and safe days ahead,
Eileen, Rebecca & Dave
The Haggadot.com Team
Due to the current restrictions on group gatherings and for the safety of our congregation members during this Coronavirus crisis, the Aitz Chaim Board has made the decision to cancel our community Seder this year. Other seders and gatherings around the state are also being cancelled. Congregation President Laura Weiss said in an email: “Stay home, read a good book, stay well.” Rabbi Ruz said in an email, “… we’ll reschedule when it becomes possible! Take care, everyone!!💜
Shavuah tov, my friends!
So it looks like best practices, as dictated by the CDC, state regulations, and my children, dictate that I NOT fly there for the Pesach community gathering. 🥺 It’s looking like we have to push our plans back about six weeks.
Let’s turn the lemons into lemonade: we can have an amazing Shavuot celebration! It would be wonderful to learn about and enjoy this holiday together, a first!!
Please let me know what you think about that idea ASAP, so that rather than getting a refund on my ticket I can switch it to that time.
Meanwhile, I beg you to observe the social distancing and hygiene practices that Washington state had to wake up to on our own, thanks to that orange menace!!
Life here is so strange: everywhere is deserted, and grocery stores are barely half stocked. No school, no Shul, no anything.
My daughter’s partner works for a funeral home, transporting dead people from their homes to the mortuary. He has been, obviously, way too busy. And as my daughter is immunosuppressed with a chronic illness, we are really scared. Dystopia indeed!
Please check on my Facebook page to find some wonderful prayer and healing services that are being broadcast online by some incredible musicians and clergy!
Stay safe and, as everybody keep saying, WASH YOUR HANDS!!
Sent from my iPhone March 14, 2020
Dear Hadassah Montana,
Happy 2020! Nancy Oyer here, your statewide chapter president, for one more year. This letter will give you a quick overview of some past and upcoming highlights for us. Here are the topics!
Hadassah Shabbat / Shabbat Zachor
Hadassah Mission to Israel
Inspirational Hadassah Stories
Important Dates for all of Hadassah Montana 2020:
• April 25-27 – Desert Mountain Region (DMR) Board Meeting – Las Vegas, NV
• September 11-13 – FAB 5 Regional Conference – San Diego, CA
• October 23-25 – Hadassah Montana Annual Meeting (Location To Be Determined – Working on Helena Area) SAVE THE DATE!
• December 5-7 – DMR Annual Conference – Location To Be Determined
We are part of the Desert Mountain Region of Hadassah. Our region is a vertical slice of the US, with chapters from Montana down to Arizona and New Mexico. We are pink:
Our new region president, Renee Sidman, of Colorado Springs, is recovering from a concussion. She is easing into computer and telephone work (and can’t look at screens all day). She welcomes your Hadassah cards and certificates, and Desert Mountain Region concerns have been handled by our past president Barbara Raben in Las Vegas, and our new Organizational Vice President (OVP) Jan Klatskin in Denver. Get well cards for Renee can mailed to: 6120 Wilson Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80919.
Renee sent an update to the region board last week, with the following note:
First, thank you all for your good wishes. I’m easing back into things, and wanted to give you a heads up on our Region board meeting in Las Vegas April 25-27. Apparently we will be sharing LV with 400,000 others there for the NFL draft. So, make your flight reservations early. As soon as we have finalized the hotel, I’ll send out information so you can make hotel reservations. We are looking into an optional visit to the Las Vegas Holocaust center.
Our Hadassah Montana chapter has a new advisor for 2020. Allow me to introduce Lee Schreiber from Las Vegas, NV. Lee is so wonderful and I can’t wait for you to all meet her when she comes to Montana for our annual meeting (October 23-25). You can meet her sooner if you join me and go to Las Vegas in April, or San Diego in September. All are welcome to all region and national events and I encourage each and every one of you to consider going. I’ve had two phone calls with Lee, who has already successfully advised me on everything from planning our annual budget, to meeting deadlines for filling out the necessary forms our chapter needs to submit each year to region and national, to discussing types of events or fundraisers that are a great fit for our most unique, far flung chapter. Here is a photo and bio from Lee:
My name is Lee Schreiber. I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. I have two daughters ages twenty-seven and twenty-eight. I am a professional violinist and a member
seven and twenty-eight. I am a professional violinist and a member of the Las Vegas Philharmonic. I am also a trained Suzuki teacher. I teach violin and viola. My students range from ages three through seventy. I am fortunate because I love what I do for a living!
I became involved with Hadassah in 2005 as a part of the Hadassah Leadership Academy training program. Learning about Hadassah has changed my life. I see Hadassah as a wonderful vehicle for Tikkum Olam (making the world a better place.) Most of my closest friends are people who I have met through Hadassah. Since 2005, I have served on my Chapter board as President of Hadassah Southern Nevada for three years. I have served on the region board as the Advocacy Chair for DMR.
This is my first year as an Area Vice President for the DMR region. I am so excited to be working with Nancy and your Montana Chapter of Hadassah. I think the way everyone stays connected with so much physical distance is admirable. I also think the energy and commitment everyone is making to Hadassah is fantastic. I would love to have Montana Hadassah members attend a DMR meeting or the Fab 5 meeting this year and show off how much energy and commitment you have for Hadassah! My hope is that I can supply information, support and encouragement that will be helpful for your endeavors this year! Thank you for all you do!
Area Vice-President, DMR
Hadassah Shabbat / Shabbat Zachor (Purim):
I am hopeful and excited our statewide chapter will have groups in multiple cities host a “Hadassah Shabbat Zachor” event on the Shabbat before Purim, OR a Hadassah Shabbat event on any Shabbat in 2020. Good News! We have one event planned already in Bozeman:
1. Bozeman/Helena: Rabbi Mark Kula and cantor Amber in Bozeman have agreed to host a Hadassah Shabbat Program on Friday Night, June 12, 2020, at Congregation Beth Shalom in Bozeman. Hadassah Montana will sponsor the Oneg Shabbat, and any Hadassah members present will be honored in a group aliya.
I have attached the “Shabbat Zachor Program in a Box” to this email. Will you lead this event in your community? Our chapter can contribute some funding for drinks and/or snacks so contact me!
2. Billings: Hadassah Shabbat at Congregation Beth Aaron?
3. Missoula: Shabbat Zachor or Hadassah Shabbat at Har Shalom?
4. Flathead: Shabbat Zachor or Hadassah Shabbat at someone’s home?
5. Great Falls: Shabbat Zachor or Hadassah Shabbat at someone’s home or at Aitz Chayim?
Hadassah Mission to Israel:
I had a wonderful trip to Israel on Hadassah’s Interfaith Mission in December. I will give a presentation on my trip when we meet in October, but I can tell you I was so inspired after my visit to Hadassah Hospital. I am so proud of us, for our support of such an amazing place. I encourage everyone to go visit! From the healing gardens, to the full spectrum natural lightbulbs, to the high tech way of communicating updates to waiting family members to reduce stress, to presentations from enthusiastic nurses and doctors who love going to work every day, to the training of Palestinian doctors and nurses from the West bank, to the medical training through outreach to third world countries and first world countries after natural disasters, to the Chagall windows in the hospital synagogue sanctuary, it was amazing. And that was just one day!
I was in a tank on the Lebanon border. I was in the building that Eli Cohen (THE SPY) used to frequent on the Syrian border. I was in a boat in the Galilee. I was in churches in Bethlehem. I was in a Yemenite restaurant where our Interfaith group ate and danced late into the evening. I walked the beach in Tel Aviv. I floated in the Dead Sea. I ate amazing Druze food in the home of the first Druze woman to buck the system and get a driver’s license in Israel. I prayed at the Western Wall. I visited the grave at Mount Herzl of my cousin Max Steinberg the war hero, who at age 24 in 2014, was killed in Operation Protective Edge. I got to see the amazing, miraculous transformation of lives happening with the kids (who I got to meet) at our Hadassah sponsored Meir Shfeya Youth Village in the Carmel Mountains.
If this is your year to go on a trip to Israel, consider going with our region: https://secure.ayelet.com/HDAwesome2020.aspx
Inspirational Hadassah Stories:
And last but not least, here are three inspirational Hadassah stories, from Barbara Sofer, Director of PR at Hadassah in Jerusalem:
After his training for the IDF combat unit, the handsome, muscular soldier was his fittest ever. With ease, he ran up hills, carried heavy equipment, and aced weapons training. And then suddenly, he had trouble walking. Paralysis spread throughout his body. Dvir Teitelbaum, 21, was struck by Guillan-Barre syndrome, a neurological disorder in which the immune system attacks the nervous system. An awful moment for Dvir was watching a mosquito feast on his arm, unable to swat it away. At Hadassah Ein Kerem his illness was treated, and then he began arduous rehabilitation at Hadassah Mount Scopus, receiving physical, occupational, neurological and psychological therapies to regain his strength and spirit. “I got my life back at Hadassah’s hospitals, “says Dvir. “I never realized how important the work of the women of Hadassah was until I needed it. How wonderful it is that you are going to expand the rehabilitation center so more soldiers like me and civilians can be helped.”‘ “Last year he couldn’t even light a candle “says Dvir’s mom Rachel Teitelbaum. “This week, we’re lighting our Hanukkah candles as a thanksgiving celebration of Dvir’s s recovery. I can’t thank you enough.” Dvir and all our soldier patients keep us safe. We must ensure their recovery. We are Hadassah: The Builders of Jerusalem.
When Inna Stepanova Zamir was 14 she didn’t know anything about being Jewish. She and her sister Anya went for the first time to Jewish Agency programs in her hometown of Kharkov, a major city in the Ukraine. “My maternal grandparents had suffered so much from Antisemitism that they didn’t want my mother to discuss our Jewishness,” she said. A Zionist flame was ignited for the sisters. They applied to take part in the Naaleh program where teens come by themselves to Israel to study. Excellent students, they were accepted, and when Inna was 15 they were living in the dorms and studying at the school at Hadassah’s Meir Shfeya Youth Aliyah Village. “There was a lot to adjust to–new language, new food, and kids who tell you everything that’s on their mind,”she says. “We were pampered city kids and suddenly I was collecting eggs and working in the dining hall.” Adjust she did. “When I went to IDF, I was better prepared than most for communal living.” She was featured in the news apprehending a terrorist trying to cross into Israel. “He looked shifty and I had experience at reading body language, “she said. Inna always had an inclination towards physics and math, and was well prepared by Meir Shfeya’s prize-winning school for studies in the faculty of Aeronautic Engineering of the Technion. She recognized Yossi Zamir, one of her engineering classmates from the army and married him. In the meantime, her parents, inspired by their Zionist daughters, moved to Israel. Inna was in the news again recently, when she won the 2019 Gemunder Prize which will fund her future studies and research. Her doctorate is , shhhhh…on timing of rocket propulsion. “I want to thank the women of Hadassah for their long support which has made Meir Shfeya the embracing, high-level educational institution it is and for caring about students like me. You provided the bridge between my childhood in the Ukraine and my life in Israel. You made me part of the Hadassah family not only when I was a student, but forever. You gave me my future.” And she is helping to secure the safety of our future.
Hadassah has been supporting Youth Aliyah sine the first teens left Europe running away from Hitler in 1933. Doesn’t it feel good to be part of this story?
“I’m so happy it feels like my wedding day,” says Esti Lerer. the petite, hazel-eyed Hassidic youth worker and mother of three told me last year. She’d just given away one of her kidneys. At 28, Lerer was among Israel’s youngest altruistic kidney donors. “Along the way, I was repeatedly told I was nuts, that I should come back at 40,”she said. “The worst was when a nephrologist in Tel Aviv tore up my file. But at Hadassah I was treated with professionalism and understanding.” When she was a teen, her best friend’s father had died of kidney disease. Esti made up her mind then to donate her kidney when she grew up. It was among the important facts about herself that she shared with her husband-to-be on their first date. The recipient, Tomer Tarfa Darja, 23, from Lod is the youngest of seven children. He made Aliyah from Ethiopia with his widowed mother when he was a toddler. He was hoping to serve in an elite IDF unit, and was taking a year in a pre-army yeshiva for extra training when he fell sick. What was first misdiagnosed as gastroenteritis turned out to be kidney disease. The surgeon for both Esti and Tomer was Dr. Abed Khalailah, whom you might remember from the National Convention in Atlanta. “It was a perfect match,” said Dr. Khailailah. Esti agrees. “A match made in heaven,” she says. Tomer has become part of Esti’s large extended family. He spends Shabbatot with them and the Lerers have even included him on family trips. He and Esti are both feeling fine. He’s back to his studies and she’s busy with work and her children. Happily the number of transplants at Hadassah Hospital is growing all the time thanks to altruistic donors like Esti. “Tomer always wants to thank me, but I need to thank him,” Esti said to me today, a year after celebrating the successful transplant. ” All I gave him was a 7 ounce kidney and he gave me a whole new sphere of joy and meaning. It’s hard to express the elation and ebullience of knowing that I am so fortunate to be able to save a life,” said Esti. She asked me to send greetings to the Hadassah supporters who have saved so many lives. To use Esti’s words, let’s feel the sphere of joy of saving so many lives. That’s the Hadassah way.
Thank you for your continued support and donations.
• Plant a tree in Israel for only $18: https://secure2.convio.net/wzoa/site/Donation2?df_id=2361&2361.donation=form1&mfc_pref=T&s_src=landingPage&s_subsrc=signatureGiving
• Designate your gift: https://secure2.convio.net/wzoa/site/Donation2?df_id=1960&1960.donation=form1&s_src=nav&_ga=2.168747875.330828082.1580020914-1903514275.1553261191
— Montana Hadassah update 1/28/2020 —
Purim 2020 begins Monday evening, March 9, and ends Tuesday evening, March 10.
I think these are so clever. Joy
We’ll be making our next food order soon as we’d like it to arrive in late December or so. Please see the list below and send in your order’s by Tuesday, November 26th, at noon. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Rabbi Chaim Bruk
Chabad Lubavitch of Montana
8755 Huffman Lane
Bozeman, MT 59715
Is anyone planning to attend the Holocaust program at the Civic Center on Tuesday night? Perhaps it would be prudent for members of the Jewish community to get together afterwards to discuss the pros and cons of the program over dessert and coffee. Please offer a suggestion for an appropriate venue.
Also, if anyone is planning to attend the Eva Schloss presentation on Sunday, November 3, it might be worthwhile convoying to Bozeman for safety’s sake, depending on the weather and the roads.
Please mark your calendars for this upcoming event.
- Tuesday evening, 10/08/2019, 7:00 P.M.: Kol Nidre, led by Rabbi Ruz Gulko, at The Bethel.
- Wednesday, 10/09/2019, 10:00 A.M.: Yom Kippur Morning services led by Rabbi Ruz Gulko at the Bethel.
- Wednesday, 10/09/2019, late afternoon: Yizkor, TBA at the Tuesday evening service.
- Wednesday afternoon, 10/09/2019: Neilah, after Yizkor.
- Wednesday evening, 10/09/2019: Break the Fast Potluck, traditionally dairy (milchig.) Please bring a dairy dish to share.
Yom Kippur day schedule:
The address for the Bethel is 1009 18th Avenue Southwest. click here for map and directions.
Please email Helen at email@example.com with the type of dish you will be bringing:
3. hot dish