Category Archives: August, 2011

Proposed Congregation Budget for 5772

With the ending of the month of August, Congregation Aitz Chaim is now preparing for a new year.  We will again be doing our best to bring yiddishkeit to Northcentral Montana, albeit in a more limited way than in previous years.  Since demographic changes have caused our congregation to shrink, we can no longer offer monthly services 10 times per year.

As a result, I now propose to you the following budget for the coming year.  This budget will be on the agenda for congregation approval at our upcoming Annual meeting, which will be held on Sunday, September 25 at 1:00 P.M. at 1015 1st Avenue North.

This budget proposes bringing in Hazzan Magalnick to lead High Holy Day services and flying in a Student Rabbi from HUC in Los Angeles to lead three additional services.  We are currently considering scheduling these services for November, March (Purim) and May (Lag B’Omer).  Our specific congregation calendar will also be proposed in the very near future.

In order to conduct even this limited schedule, our congregation will need to raise almost $10 thousand per year in dues and donations.  The amount that we raise shrinks each year, and we have lost money from congregation operations for each of the past two years.  Without payment of membership commitments from each and every one of our congregants, our ability to maintain an active congregational schedule will be critically impacted.  Minimum membership commitments of $250 per individual and $500 per family are requested from all congregants, and additional donations above that amount would greatly enhance our efforts.  Your membership commitment can be paid by check, cash or credit card.  To pay by credit card, simply use the link to the right of this post.

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What is Aitz Chaim’s Minhag?

A Sefer Torah, the traditional form of the Heb...

Image via Wikipedia

As we prepare to enter the year 5772 and schedule our services for the year, I think it a good idea for our community to continue to discuss our rituals and traditions.

We have a ritual committee.  Unfortunately, that committee has not had a meeting since 2005.  In the coming weeks, I am going to put together a document outlining our minhag.  In the meantime, please find after the “more” link copies of the minutes from our 2005 Ritual Committee meetings.  Please read and give us your comments!

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The Jewish Dog by Elliott Magalnick

Morty visits Dr. Saul, the veterinarian, and says, “My dog has a problem.”

Dr. Saul says, “So, tell me about the dog and the problem.”

“It’s a Jewish dog. His name is Seth and he can talk,” says Morty.

“He can talk?” the doubting doctor asks.

“Watch this!” Morty points to the dog and commands: ” Seth, Fetch!”

Seth the dog, begins to walk toward the door, then turns around and says, “So why are you talking to me like that? You always order me around like I’m nothing. And you only call me when you want something. And then you make me sleep on the floor, with my arthritis. You give me this fahkahkta food with all the salt and fat, and you tell me it’s a special diet. It tastes like dreck! YOU should eat it yourself! And do you ever take me for a decent walk? NO, it’s out of the house, a short pish, and right back home. Maybe if I could stretch out a little, the sciatica wouldn’t kill me so much! I should roll over and play dead for real for all you care!”

Dr. Saul is amazed, “This is remarkable! So, what’s the problem?”

Morty says, “He has a hearing problem! I said ‘Fetch,’ not ‘Kvetch.”

GREAT Video on Creating Welcoming Synagogue Websites

This is a GREAT video — how are we doing here?  What could we do better?  Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Is There Life After Death? Follow up reading material from Elliott’s discussion topic.

Here is a link to the complete article that Elliott distributed tonight:

One of the contributers is Dara Horn who wrote a book called The World to Come which I recommend highly:
It touches on some of the themes we talked about tonight and many others.

If you’ve read it (or after you read it now that I’ve recommended it)…BUT not before!…take a look at her comments about the “deliberately ambiguous” ending here: