Affiliated with the Union for Progressive Judaism (UPJ)
Charities Commission Registration Number CC29542
PO Box 26 052, Epsom, Auckland 1344, New Zealand
Tel: 09 524 4139 Fax: 0282 552 3027
Office: Christine O’Brien email@example.com
Board members and portfolios
Educator, Debbie Miller firstname.lastname@example.org
Auckland Jewish Burial & Benevolent Society,
Sue Berman 022 051 3589
Service times are Fridays at 6:30pm and Saturdays at 10am.
Opinions expressed in Teruah do not necessarily represent the views of Beth Shalom Board of Management.
I cannot believe that it is the end of the year already. Can someone please explain how this has happened? I am quite sure it was just January and I was thinking about all of the things ahead in the new year. My last child leaving home for University, the change in my personal plans from moving to India to taking a job that I absolutely love, the promise of exciting things to come. And I must say, it was a wonderful year for my family.
And I can say the same for Beth Shalom. We have embraced visiting rabbis and new members. We have enthusiastically pushed forward with our investigations into joining the AHC on the proposed JCC site in Remuera. We have celebrated Mitzvot, and Hagim and the lives of those who have left us.
Of course, it’s easier to look back and recount what has happened than it is to look forward and guess what is to come. There are no guarantees in life (except death and taxes, as my dad is fond of saying!). Sometimes it is scary to face the unknown; to deal with change. But together, we are stronger. We lift each other up and support each other. That is what Beth. Shalom is all about. Our whole is so much more than the sum of our parts. It has always been that way and it will continue to be that way. It isn’t just the services or the Hebrew school. It isn’t the holidays or the prayer books we use. It isn’t the building or the kitchen or the Maon. It is the people. We are what makes Beth Shalom our home.
So, that didn’t go where I thought it would when I started! But nevertheless, it came from my heart. And it is with that same love and optimism that I look to the new year. This time a new decade. No guarantees. No hindsight. Just the promise that together, we can do anything.
PS I am truly curious how many people actually read this message each month, so I’ll just drop this here: my husband, Mike, has started a new job in Bogota, Colombia, and my new year plans are to join him as soon as possible. Yes, I am planning to leave New Zealand for a while. As one cheeky friend pointed out to me, she’s heard this before.... I can’t be sure it won’t change again but it’s looking pretty promising right now and we are very excited for what the future holds. Deb x
A group of Beth Shalom members has commenced, to think of and pray for individuals in our community, who are in need of healing.
The idea is that this group is not an organised group or minyan. Simply, caring people who, when made aware of the need, help healing with the power of prayer.
And that families in distress might receive comfort from the knowledge that this is taking place.
Caring for the unwell is part of being a community.
For those interested, I can supply articles: “The Jewish Way in Healing”, and some scientific research on the positive power of prayer in healing.
If you wish to be part of this group
Or, if you know of someone who is unwell that would appreciate our prayer
Please contact Leon Goldwater or Christine O’Brien at shul office
Leon: email@example.com 020 403 88054
Christine: firstname.lastname@example.org 524 4139
Catherine McCracken's big birthday
DEB FILLER’S GOT STORIES TO TELL!
I DID IT MY WAY IN YIDDISH (in English) Written & Performed by DEB FILLER
directed by PETER PASYK
Q Theatre, February 18-22, 7:30pm
For the first time in several years you can travel with Deb Filler, New Zealand’s only Jewish comic (she’s a Ki-brew—a Kiwi Hebrew) along an incredibly entertaining journey of stories and songs. Deb’s acclaimed one-woman tour de force:
I DID IT MY WAY IN YIDDISH (in English) is coming to Auckland’s Q Theatre
February 18-22nd only.
"Filler is a complete chameleon, transforming herself instantly into dozens of relatives and accents ... exhilarating and liberating." The Independent (London)
Expat Kiwi and performer extraordinaire DEB FILLER will be performing this internationally toured show at Q as part of Summer at Q and the Fringe. She tells stories from here and from there, sings songs from afar and close, hilariously familiar, gob smacking, poignant. Thus powerful, whirlwind tour of stories is truly funny and moving.
"Consistently clever ... Extraordinary ... Tour de force" Philadelphia Inquirer
Getting ready for their Bat and Bar MItzvah: Learning to lay tefillin with Asher
Sunday/Hebrew School What a year it has been at Beth Shalom Sunday school.
We have 3 Bar and Bat Mitzvahs this December and another in the States with JD celebrating with us in February. It always seems like we have so much fun at Sunday school. I wish that we could see each other every day and really learn to speak Hebrew. These kids are all such bright sparks and ask such interesting questions that you think we could tackle anything with these amazing kids on our side.
We have thoroughly enjoyed our amazing new renovated kitchen. Morning tea is not just for eating anymore. We make challah, Hamantaschen, cookies and falafel and have a creative food time during our break.
The main part of our day is the serious Hebrew and Jewish Studies that our students are doing. We have seen a lot of progress this year and I am pleased to say that our students and teachers find a way to make it interesting.
G'milut Hasidim- Deeds of Loving Kindness We recently learned about G'milut Hasidim in kita Bet and Gimel and Ramban’s 8 levels of giving. The students then put their ideas into action and packaged packets of socks and underwear for the Women’s Refuge, which is closest to the highest level: they did not know who they were giving it to and the people did not know who they were. The highest level is of course to find someone a job so they can be independent of needing tzedakah to get by.
It would be nice if our community could offer that service. We have members in our community in need of employment. If there are people who have jobs to offer and we could do a match of service that would be great. If you have a job to offer please feel free to send it in to email@example.com. It can be small odd jobs or a permanent position. Bar Mitzvah class has been very busy polishing up their knowledge of the service with Terry and Desiree Gelbart. They also learned how to put on tefillin with Asher Assaraf (thanks to Chris Milton we had enough tefillin sets to go around).
Kita Aleph just love their teacher Stav. We were so lucky to have her on board for another year and discover her hidden talent of singing and drama. They are learning their letters and all about Judaism. What a joy to see their happy eager young faces.
Next year We are really excited for next year. We have some new teachers on board.
We are sadly saying goodbye to Carol McCracken, a dedicated member of our team who has taught her eager students for 2 years. We really loved her classes and her crafts. Carol always incorporated a creative activity with every bit of learning. Thank you, Carol we will miss you. We hope you will come back to visit.
Lilach Cohen will be joining the team. She is planning some new and exciting classes for Kita Gimel.
Asher Assaraf will be teaching kita Bet and Mira Taitz will be co-teaching with Stav until she leaves after Pesach and then Mira will be taking over kita Aleph.
Tami and Ted Ries will be taking on the revived Bnei Mishnah class.
Sam Dyson is coming on board as a substitute teacher and maybe we can dream up some seriously stimulating environmental activities, Sam’s specialty.
Desiree and Terry Gelbart will be sharing the helm with Debbie Miller to guide the Bar and Bat Mitzvah class and what a pleasure with their amazing service leading skills.
So, it has been great year thanks to all our teachers, students and parents. Looking forward to our Celebration of Learning on December 8th and our final trip to Tiritiri Matangi - the congregation is invited to both.
Thanks to my co leader Ayelet Zoren. We started a new program at Beth Shalom. Shabbat Kat a monthly pre-school service in the library which has been very successful. We usually have about 20 parents and kids singing, dancing and learning. It is lots of fun and a great introduction to Hebrew and Judaism. It is the first Saturday in every month and it will start up again in February. Ayelet is taking a sabbatical in Toronto so we are looking for another co-leader starting in the New Year.
Intro to Judaism
Shabbaton is March 27-29 and thanks to our amazing organizing committee we have some great ideas in the works along with a rocking list of speakers and musical experiences lined up for you and your kids.
Beth Shalom Shabbaton, a Festival of Jewish Learning shared by young and old - connection, community and learning in a bush environment. Embracing who we are and what we believe in and telling the stories of what it is to be Jewish in the world today and in New Zealand.
We endeavour to make the learning special:
Daniel Miller and JD Ries (tzedakah project) collected food from supermarkets and community members as well as containers and on Nov 24th they distributed it to the disadvantaged in front of the Auckland City Library. They cooked 40 litres (4 huge pots) of chili. It was a great experience and we plan to do it again hopefully in January when JD returns from the US and his Bar Mitzvah. JD will also be leading a service and celebrating with the community on his return in February. Daniel's Bar Mitzvah is December 7th and the community is invited to share in his simcha
Debbie Miller, Education Co-ordinator at Beth Shalom
027 765 3677 or 09 579 7715 or 09-524-4139
Shalom. My name is Agam Aharon and I will be celebrating my Bat Mitzvah on Saturday 21st of December.
My Torah portion is Vayeshev and is about Joseph’s dreams and his relationship with his family.
For my Tzedakah project I have started a Give a Little page where I am collecting money for the blind foundation which changed its name to: The Blind and Low Vision NZ. Please see the link below: https://givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/blind-and-low-vision-nz
I will also leave an orange bucket in the hall foyer of Beth Shalom for those who prefer to put their donations straight there. I chose the blind foundation because I have made a device called the that scans colours and vocalises them. The scanner is made for visually impaired or colour blind people to know colours. It can even detect the colour of bin’s lids and vocalise them to help visually impaired or colour blind people manage their waste efficiently.
Me and my family would like to invite you all to join us on this special day.
Dear Beth Shalom Community:
I would like to invite you all to my Bar Mitzvah on December 7th starting at 10am.
It has been a long process over the past 2 years of preparing and I am really thankful to all my teachers and especially Chris who have worked with me over this period getting me ready for this day. I hope you will join me and my family in celebrating my Bar Mitzvah. You are invited to join us for a festive meal afterwards.
Please note that JD and myself as part of our social action project will be making meals for the homeless. We invite you to donate used, clean containers to put meals in as well as, food if you want to contribute. We are going to make pasta and rice dishes, so we will be using:, tomato sauce/paste, pasta, rice, beans or lentils. There will be a box in the foyer and any leftover supplies will be donataed to the Women's Refuge.
Hello everyone, I'm Goldie Moritz, and I would like to invite you to join me as I am called to the torah on the 28th of December for my Bat Mitzvah, followed by a Kiddush lunch. For my tzedakah project, I am raising money for a mother and seven kids who were forced to leave their home to escape domestic violence. After a time at Women’s Refuge, they have been placed in their own housing. Unfortunately, shortly after moving in they were robbed, which has made a difficult situation even more stressful.
If you are able to help, I have put a donation bucket in the shul lobby and have setup here a Give a Little page for larger donations.
I was given the opportunity to help this family through a wonderful organization called The Aunties.
The Aunties provide one-on-one wrap-around support for women and families in refuge and after. They are able to do this by reaching out to their network of “Aunties”.
My mom, dad and I are all “Aunties” and love to help out when we can.
I will be buying gifts to make the holiday season feel much better!
I am also hoping with the money I raise to replace some of the crucial household items that were stolen.
Kind Regards, Goldie
by Chris Shiller
A few Saturdays ago several of us were schmoozing in the hall after Kiddush and cake when someone asked about the mural – who had painted it and where did it come from and so on.
Apart from myself, no-one present that day knew the history of the mural so … let’s go back nearly 30 years: the massive building renovation was complete and the dedication ceremony set for November 1990 and also at this time Don Copeland, artist, presented his proposed painting project for the hall, his work being done at no cost to the community. Don and his family at that time were members of Beth Shalom, taking an active role in the community. Don also had several solo exhibitions of his art from the 1970’s-1990’s as well as private commissions.
Commissioned and costs generously gifted by Peter and Claire Bruell, this beautiful mural, titled “Beginnings”, is made up of five separate pieces representing the Five Books of the Torah. Each panel was painted in Don’s studio and the completed mural was then installed by Don with the help of Peter Bruell, as shown in the photograph. The mural when completed measures 9mx2m so it was no mean feat to install.
The first panel with the large letter “Bet” signifies Bereshit, the “waters of the deep”. The second panel Shemot is symbolised by the giving of tablets to Moses. The third panel illustrates the laws of Vayikra signified by the fruits of the earth. The fourth panel represents Bamidbar with a desert-yellow walled town and finally the fifth book, Devarim or “words” is illustrated by the Sh’ma.
Over the years some of the colours are not as vibrant as they once were but we are indeed very fortunate to have such a beautiful and original work of art for us all to enjoy.
by Sally Natan
When Christine asked me if I would write something about my recent trip to India I felt like I’d just been asked to put on a cosy old jersey; familiar, warm and comforting. It is with pleasure that I write a few words whilst keeping you all in mind.
A trip to India had been in the waiting for many years. Hezy’s grandmother was born in Mumbai and was sent back to Iraq to marry at age 12years. The family was a part of the Jewish migration between Iraq and India over that period of time. For Hezy, India was somewhere familial and beckoning.
Hezy’s brother had been to India for 3 months 12 years ago as a middle-aged backpacker and on return to Israel vowed to return once again to what he had described as a country where all his senses had been challenged.
I’d always wanted to go to India but was a little scared and although it was at the top of my travelling list I was waiting for the stars to align and for the right time to present itself.
So, after much discussion it was decided that Hezy, his brother and I would travel in late August down to India (from Israel) for 6 weeks and would concentrate our time in the Himalayas. As our preparations unfolded we were to be joined by Hezy’s brother's new girlfriend and hence we became a formidable foursome.
We took a night flight from Tel Aviv to New Delhi, arriving at 8am on a Sunday morning. We checked into an airport hotel as we had a very early flight the next morning and then flagged down a taxi and requested a ride into Old Delhi. It was mayhem – filthy, smelly, hot and crazy. People everywhere, tuk tuk’s, scooters, bicycles and carts pulled by skeletal ponies. There were explosions of colour amongst the rubbish and fabulous and disgusting smells all in the same in-breath. Cows roamed at liberty and packs of dogs rummaged for food. Everyone was in sync, moving in a rhythm that was completely beyond our reach.
Our introduction to India had begun. At 5.30am the next morning we took a flight to Chandigarh (the capital of the Punjab) then caught a train up to Shimla.
Shimla is a hill resort located in the foothills of the Himalayas and is the largest city of the enormous area called Himachal Pradesh. It was the summer capital for the British during colonisation and now buzzes with heat-escaping Indian visitors. High above the city Hanuman or the Monkey God watches over everyone and reminds us to be strong and confident in spite of difficulties we face in life.
In Shimla we met our driver and guide Brighu who was to be with us for 2 weeks as we travelled together in his 4-wheel drive vehicle. Our plan was to drive slowly through the Kinnaur and Spiti Valleys and then drop down into Kullu Valley and Brighu’s home village of Naggar. We would be reaching very high altitudes and the slow drive meant we were able to acclimatise without the need for medication. Sometimes we stayed two nights in an area so we could adjust to the thin air.
Our 2-week road trip together was a feast in every way. We travelled on narrow, high mountain passes that were so dangerous that I couldn’t think because if I did I would have been in panic the whole time. The narrow misses, blind corners, deep mountain gorges and unpredictability of the mountains provided both exquisite delight and incurable angst. All this was countered by great music thanks to Spotify, lots of laughs and a confident mountain driver who reassured us continually that we were completely safe.
We slept in villages along the way and there was usually food available at the accommodation as well. I had made a decision to only eat Indian food, no meat or fish and that it was hot and cooked prior to my eating it. It served me well and I didn’t get sick at all.
The others were a little braver and took more chances but they were ok as well.
Once we got to Brighu’s valley, which was the Kullu valley, we temporarily parted ways and we stayed in Manali and he went home to Naggar.
Manali is a high-altitude Himalayan resort town and has a reputation as a backpacking centre. There were a lot of young travellers in Manali, especially young Israelis just out of the army.
We chose to stay in a beautiful old hotel just out of the centre and had a glorious 7 days with hot water, great bed and delicious food. It was heaven.
During that time we went out to Naggar and visited Brighu and his family and spent two nights with them. We became friends over our travelling time together and it has been a joy getting to know the family and learning how they navigate through their journey of life.
We were off to Leh in the Ladakh province of Northern India. Until earlier this year the Ladakh province has been a part of Kashmir.
Currently Kashmir has many political problems, which is causing much suffering to the people. We had hoped to go to Srinagar but that wasn’t to be as it is currently closed to visitors.
Leh was an adventurous destination and the journey there from Manali was to take two long days on formidable mountain roads but it was an unforgettable trip.
Arriving in Leh about 9.30pm in the evening, the sun had set behind the mountains hours before and it was pitch dark. As we approached the centre we saw many shops, cafes, people, animals, darkness and light and much busyness. It was an exciting entry into what would be an amazing few days in this area.
Towards the end of September we temporarily said goodbye to Ranbir and the four of us flew to Delhi for the night. Hezy’s brother and his partner flew back to Israel the next day and Hezy and I flew to Amritsar (the holy city for the Sikhs and the home of the Golden Temple).
Our driver Ranbir drove from Naggar (bless him) to Amritsar and met us there and together we drove to Dharamshala (the headquarters of the Dalai Lama and home for many exiled Tibetans) we spent 5 days exploring, trekking and two visits to the Dalai Lama’s Temple, which was fascinating.
From there we said goodbye to Ranbir and Hezy and I flew to Rishakesh where we spent 5 nights at a Yoga Retreat about half an hour out of the city.
Rishakesh is called the home of Yoga. It is on the Ganges River and a very holy city. During those days we ate beautiful food prepared at the retreat, I did a lot of yoga and Hezy took cooking lessons that they offered him. We spent two evenings in Rishakesh on the banks of the Ganges basking in the glory of holy and powerfully spiritual rituals that are a nightly event. It felt an honour to be there.
From Rishakesh we flew back to Delhi and had our last 3 days in a luxury hotel and felt very spoilt. The highlight of Delhi for me was spending some time volunteering in a Sikh community kitchen that feeds up to 30,000 people a day. It was incredible!
I’ve come home feeling filled with love for India. The generosity, warmth, colours and richness that are imbued in the culture leaves me with no doubt that I will be back.
Over the last few months, the Burial and Benevolent Society committee have been reviewing our documents and processes. We have renewed our membership form and are looking at the documentation and safe storage of information that relates to the records we hold for end of life wishes of our members.
Early in the new year we will be sending out the newly revised form giving the latest information on costs related to internment and for headstones/plaques.
We are also looking at revisiting and updating the booklet..............A Guide to Jewish Funeral and Mourning Customs, first produced in 1989 by Rabbi Ed Rosenthal and reprinted in the early 2000s. It offers a broad overview of matters related to Jewish ritual at a time of death and dying. We have plenty of spare booklets if you are interested in taking one, help yourself. We will leave copies to be uplifted in the foyer at Beth Shalom.
Yahrzeit candles are available for purchase from the office if you are remembering your loved ones and would like to light the traditional Yahrzeit candle.
We are keen as always to hear your questions or if there is a particular issue or concern you would like the committee to explore on your behalf relating to end of life.
We wish you a light filled Chanukah festive December!
The year has flown past, and our Community Care Team has been active for the last 6 months. We have celebrated ‘special birthdays with many of you, a couple of new babies and some Bnei Mitzvahs. We have also given some support to sick members, and hope we have been of help with a visit, a card, or a meal, or a lift to a Service.
Certain areas where we cannot be of help we can put you in touch with the people who can, but what we can and do offer, is support, care and friendship. During the coming holidays, many of the team, like the rest of you will be out and about, but there will still be someone to be able to assist the community, don’t hesitate, just let us know, and we will do our best.
Could we have done more? I guess we could have, but the members of the community we have supported are the one’s we knew about, so if you are reading this and thinking, ‘well, they weren’t there for me’, ask yourself if we knew about you. Family members can be useful in giving us information about their loved ones if they are sick, or in need. Also, if your special event or whatever, was in the first half of the year, an apology, but we hadn’t got going then.
When the team meet again next year we will be thinking of some more ways we can be of help, and any ideas you may have, we will be happy to include in our discussions. In the meantime, we wish you all a Happy Chanukah, happy holidays, and safe travels.
Best wishes from Lita and the Community Care Team
Lita Summerfield 021 297 9462 (TEXT ONLY) firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the office 09 524 4139
The past few weeks has been an exciting, if hectic, time for ARZA Australia, culminating in the election of a new President and Executive Committee at the AGM held in Adelaide on November 9. Led by former Victorian Parliamentarian, Helen Shardey, the new Committee offers a wonderful combination of experience and youth that is sure you serve the organization well as it prepares for the possibility of elections ahead of the 38th World Zionist Congress (WZC), to be held in Jerusalem in October 2020.
ARZA Australia’s delegation to the recent meeting of the Va’ad Hapoel of the World Zionist Congress at Beit Shmuel, Jerusalem, home of the Progressive Movement. Left to right: Cassie Barrett, Steve Denenberg & Helen Shardey.
Just days before the AGM the 3 person delegation returned from a tumultuous, but highly successful, meeting of the Executive of the World Zionist Organisation in Beersheva, Israel. At these meetings, as part of the largest faction, we were able to successfully pass motions, including reinforcing the centrality of the Declaration of Independence to all Zionist activities, and preventing a series of anti-democratic and divisive resolutions put forward by some extreme right-wing groups.
The meetings were a salutary reminder of how important it is for our global organization, ARZENU, to remain strong and able to influence the Parliament of the Jewish People, the World Zionist Congress.
As the delegation returned we welcomed a member of the Board of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) , Andrew Keene, with special responsibility for Youth engagement. Andrew made an outstanding presentation to the leaders of the UPJ congregations, again explaining the importance of the WZC and of ARZENU being a strong presence there.
This was followed by the Annual General Meeting of the UPJ where retiring President, Roger Mendelson was succeeded by co-Presidents David Knoll and Brian Samuel. Immediately following this at the AGM of ARZA Australia and having completed a full term as President, Steve Denenberg welcomed incoming President, Helen Shardey and her new Executive committee.
Incoming ARZA President, Helen Shardey
The incoming Committee comprises Helen as President, Vice-Presidents Sue Silverberg (Victoria) and Philip Levy (NSW); Honorary Treasurer Tony Leverton (Queensland); Honorary Secretary, Alex Knopoff (South Australia); and Committee members Rabbi Fred Morgan and Cassie Barrett (Victoria). Ex oficio members include the Chair of the Moetzah, Rabbi David Kunin (Japan); and the Mazkir and Shlichim of Netzer Australia.
On accepting the role of President, Helen made a presentation of a Havdallah set to Steve and paid tribute to his contribution to the organisation over many years and his generous assistance in preparing her for this important role. She also congratulated and thanked the Committee and called for all UPJ congregations to work with ARZA to ensure our continued role as a force for good in Israel, and in Australia.