Category Archives: May 2013


EDITOR’S NOTE: Rabbi Chaim Bruk is the Chabad Lubavitch rabbi in Bozeman, where he lives with his wife Chavie and their three children, Chaya, Zeesy, and Menny. He reminds us that to know the Torah and to live the Torah is to choose life itself. As we look forward to the annual celebration of Shavuot next week, let’s begin to become more familiar with the Torah and what it teaches us even now, starting tonight. Reprinted with permission.

Torah Iz Dee Beste S’chorah!
By Rabbi Chaim
While Chavie and the Women’s League of Chabad were enjoying their pre-Rosh-Chodesh get together and chatting about the Sinai moment, I was upstairs thinking about Torah study. In an average week I merit to study unadulterated Torah with countless individuals. With one it’s the Prophets and with another Talmud, with one it’s Miamondoes’ principles of faith and with many others it’s JLI’s fascinating courses and our group classes throughout the week. Chavie and I enjoy immensely being able to enjoy Torah with whoever wishes to broaden their knowledge.
Tuesday evening will usher in the holiday of Shavuot, when we celebrate the pinnacle moment of Jewish history. In front of more than two million living Jews and the spirit of every soul to ever live, G-d handed us His most precious treasure, the wisdom of all wisdom, His Torah. He didn’t have to, but He chose to; giving us an unparalleled opportunity to connect with Him. Shavuot is our annual reminder to incorporate daily, or at least weekly, Torah study in our lives, because a life without it, is no life.
The Talmud teaches: Once, the wicked government of Rome decreed that the Jewish people were forbidden to study Torah. Pappus ben Judah saw Rabbi Akiva convening gatherings in public and studying Torah with them. Said he to him: “Akiva, are you not afraid of the government?” Said Rabbi Akiva to him: “I’ll give you a parable. “A fox was walking along a river and saw fish rushing to and fro. Said he to them: ‘Why are you fleeing?’ “Said they to him: ‘The nets that the humans spread for us.'”Said he to them: ‘Why don’t you come out onto the dry land? We’ll live together, as my ancestors lived with your ancestors.'”Said they to him: ‘Are you the one of whom it is said that you are the wisest of animals? You’re not wise, but foolish! If, in our environment of life, we have cause for fear, how much more so in the environment of our death!’ “The same applies to us: if, now, when we sit and study the Torah, of which it is said ( Deuteronomy 30:20 ), For it is your life and the lengthening of your days, such is our situation, how much more so if we neglect it….
Make a resolution this Shavuot to begin a Torah class, to join five other Montanans to study your daily Chayenu, to have a one-on-one with a fellow Jew – or even the Rabbi – in Torah; whatever it is, make Torah real. Don’t just rise for it in Shul, kiss it as it makes it’s rounds or dance with it on Simchat Torah, allow it to permeate your heart, soul and day to day life.
As the Yiddish song goes Torah Iz Dee Beste S’chorah – Torah is the greatest asset!

Wishing you and yours a Shabbat Shalom & a Happy Shavuot!
Your friends @ Chabad Lubavitch,
Rabbi Chaim, Chavie, Chaya, Zeesy and Menny


EDITOR’S NOTE: We received the following e-mail announcement:

Date: May 8, 2013 4:38:02 PM MDT

I just wanted to pass this along in case anyone might like to come visit Boise next month.

As a member of Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel, I’ve developed the first ever Idaho Jewish Cultural Festival. Attached are all the details.

It would be so exciting to see some folks from around Idaho and neighboring states come out to participate in this inaugural event.

Attached is the press release and all the details. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and feel free to forward this to all the Mishpachah.


Oliver Thompson
Director: Idaho Jewish Cultural Festival


Deli Days Premiers as Expanded Idaho Jewish Cultural Festival with Jewish Food, Cinema, Music, Dance and Art

Volunteers update Deli Days as part of a larger event to enhance appreciation of Jewish culture

[Boise, Idaho] May 7, 2013 – Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel (CABI) announces the Idaho Jewish Cultural Festival (IJCF) June19-23rd, 2013. The new IJCF event commemorates the 10-year anniversary of the move of the historic synagogue from its original location on State Street to its current location on Latah. Deli Days, a cherished longtime tradition for both the synagogue and the community, expands this year into the inaugural Idaho Jewish Cultural Festival. The festival runs from Wednesday, June 19 through Sunday, June 23. Jewish deli food will still be available at the festival’s original centerpiece event, Deli Days, Thursday, June 20 and Friday, June 21. Other events will share Jewish culture with the Treasure Valley, and include a dinner theater performance featuring Jewish folk music, an Art Exhibit, screening of a Jewish-themed film, and workshops on Jewish music and dance.

“Jewish culture is bigger than our historic synagogue on Latah,” said Oliver Thompson, a longtime member of Ahavath Beth Israel, “it’s bigger than Boise, and bigger than the Treasure Valley. The scale, diversity and beauty of Idaho provide a perfect backdrop for the multi-faceted traditions, culture and values represented by Jews today.”

“Other synagogues and Jewish communities around the state have been invited to take part,” Thompson said, “adding a statewide aspect to the festival.”

The Idaho Jewish Cultural Festival presents a variety of events to share this Jewish history with the Treasure Valley. A full list of events can be found on the attached fact sheet. As a volunteer, organizer, and musical performer in Boise for 16 years, what gets Thompson most excited begins with the music. “Ten years ago, as we were moving our synagogue, the Klezmer band, Millie and the Mentshn, came to play and commemorate the event. I was instantly hooked on the music. Ten years later, they are back to help us launch the new Idaho Jewish Cultural Festival.”

The Idaho Jewish Cultural Festival relies on nearly 150 years of Jewish tradition in Idaho. Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel is built on the foundations of the two original Jewish communities in the Treasure Valley. Their campus on Latah Street features the historic synagogue, the oldest synagogue in continuous use west of the Mississippi River, a large education center used for religious school and other Jewish celebrations, and generous outdoor space which hosts a community garden.

Amy Russell, Marketing Coordinator

Oliver Thompson, IJCF Director

IJCF Fact Sheet

Wed, June 19th: Jewish Dinner Theater
Sapphire Room, Riverside Hotel, 2900 W. Chinden Blvd
Doors open at 6:00pm, Dinner and Show at 6:30pm
Tickets: $35, Visit:
A multi-media presentation, “Heavy Mettle: From Shtetl to Tin Pan Alley,” by Millie & the Mentshn. The story of Jewish immigrant families as their traditional Klezmer music quickly blended with sounds of the New World. Includes a buffet dinner; followed by Klezmer music & dancing. Second set dancing only tickets available, visit Brown Paper Tickets for more info.

Thurs & Fri, June 20-21: Deli Days
Ahavath Beth Israel, 11 N. Latah
11am-8pm, Free and Open to the public.
Performances will feature Millie & the Mentshn: 12:30-1:30, 5:45-6:30, & 6:45-7:30 on both days. Other entertainment will be announced. Traditional Jewish Deli food will be sold, see the full menu on right.

Sat, June 22nd: Israeli Art Exhibit
Boise Art Museum, 670 Julia Davis Drive
Museum Hours: 10am-5pm.
Art Exhibit opening of African-American artist Kehinde Wiley and his portraits of Israeli men from 2010. For more on the artist and the exhibit, see:

Sat, June 22nd: Music and Dance workshop
Boise Art Museum, 670 Julia Davis Drive
2:00-3:30pm, Free and Open to the public.
This workshop features a live band playing traditional Jewish folk melodies. A professional Jewish folk dance instructor will lead the workshop for dancers of all levels.

Sat, June 22nd: Jewish Music Concert
Boise Art Museum, 670 Julia Davis Drive
6:30-8pm: Free with paid BAM admission.
In conjunction with the Kehinde Wiley exhibit gala opening event, a performance by Millie & the Mentshn will cap off the evening.

Sat, June 22nd: Havdallah in the Park
Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial
8:30pm, Come participate in the Jewish ceremony that marks the end of Shabbat (the Sabbath). This short event represents the demarcation between the “normal” work week and the day of rest and features prayer, singing and community as we wish each other “a week of peace.”

Sun, June 23rd: Jewish Films at the Flicks
The Flicks, 646 Fulton Street
12:30pm, Tickets TBD
Showing “The Rabbi’s Cat,” a French animated film, tells the story of a rabbi’s cat that learns how to speak after swallowing the family parrot, and expresses his desire to convert to Judaism.

About Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel
A progressive synagogue located at 11 N. Latah Street. The historic synagogue building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was moved from its original State Street location in 2003. Video of the move is available on the DVD “The Big Move: The Journey of Boise’s Historic Synagogue.

Scout Shabbat marked this weekend

At services this coming Friday night (7:30 p.m. at the Bethel, 1009 18th Ave SW), we will mark the occasion of Scout Shabbat. Any Scout or Scouter attending in uniform will be able to wear the Scout Shabbat patch on their uniform. Patches will be available at services.

The 12th point of the Scout Law confirms that a Scout is Reverent. Part of the way that Scouts show their Reverence is to annually attend a Scout Sunday or Scout Shabbat observance.

The Scout Shabbat program is organized by the National Jewish Committee on Scouting. Aitz Chaim congregant Diane Sherick is our local Montana chapter chair of the National Jewish Committee on Scouting. More information can be found at


The Chasidic rebbe Shneur Zalman of Liady taught, “There are gates in heaven that cannot be opened except by melody and song.” This Friday night, we will have the special opportunity to pray together with extra song and melody. Some of the community’s talented musicians will join me in leading our Kabbalat Shabbat service. I hope you will come and join us, adding your voices (no talent required!). It’s been a pleasure and an honor to pray and learn with you all this year. Thank you for welcoming me into your community and into your homes.


Mazal Tov! Don and Helen’s son, Doug, who got married this past February, is being promoted to Colonel in the Army. This promotion makes him his father’s superior officer …


Student Rabbi Miriam Farber’s last official visit to Great Falls will be Mother’s Day week end, May 10-12. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend Friday evening services, Saturday morning Torah study, and the milchig (dairy) potluck/adult discussion Saturday evening. The schedule follows.

  • Friday evening, 05/10/2013: Shabbat services led by student Rabbi Miriam Farber, 7:30 P.M. at The Bethel *
  • Saturday morning, 05/11/2013: Torah Study, led by Student Rabbi Miriam Farber, 10:00 A.M. at the Bethel *
  • Saturday evening, 5:30 P.M. Milchig (dairy) Potluck and Adult Discussion at the Bethel. * Please bring a dairy dish to share.

Todah Robah to the following Congregation members who have offered their hospitality to Student Rabbi Miriam Farber and to provide the oneg for this coming week end:

  • 05/10/2013 Airport Pickup: Marty Foxman
  • 05/10/2013 Friday evening dinner: Don and Helen Cherry
  • 05/10/2013 Friday evening Oneg: Stephen Boyd and Joy Breslauer
  • 05/11/2013 Saturday lunch: Laura Weiss

This is the last time we will meet together as a community until the High Holy Days. We have so much to celebrate together — the coming of Spring, the fact that Israel exists, the fact that we are and can still be Jews in Montana of all places, learning to love and trust God more every day, learning and passing on the teachings of Torah to our children, and strengthening the ties that bind us together as families and as a community, and as a people specifically chosen by God to bless the rest of the world. What a wonderful heritage to share with each other and to pass on to our children. Let’s take this time and every time we get a chance to be uniquely Jewish to celebrate it and to kindle or rekindle the lights of Shabbat in our hearts.

* Bethel Lutheran Church, 1009 18th Ave SW

For directions or more information, click about us above.