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.
Dear Congregants, I am writing to share with you a very exciting decision made by the board of management.
As you know, we are grappling with some complex questions as a community including evaluating the merits of moving to a shared Jewish Community Centre with the Auckland Hebrew Congregation, and more critically trying to better understand the spiritual, social and pastoral care needs of the Beth Shalom community.
While the board commenced strategic planning and engaged a number of focus groups, time constraints and lack of expertise was proving to make the job insurmountable in a timely fashion. In order to expedite what is a pivotal stage in Beth Shalom’s development, we have engaged the help of Rabbi George Wielechowski as our consultant in this process.
The board has had the opportunity to work informally with Rabbi George over the course of the past 18 months. Some of you may even remember that Rabbi George came to visit Beth Shalom last winter. Rabbi George specialises in congregational change and has worked with a wide range of communities to help them articulate their vision, goals and priorities, helping define structures to actively engage current members and attract new participation.
Rabbi George lives with his wife and 2 sons in San Diego so much of his consulting will be done with the board and additional members via Skype and emails. However, he will also come to New Zealand to meet with the greater community during the year as well as leading our High Holy Day prayers. Rabbi George’s first visit will likely be at the beginning of April.
I know that you will welcome him warmly and I ask you please participate actively in this strategic process to ensure that Beth Shalom is the strong, vibrant, meaningful community we all want it to be.
I will be watching closely from afar.
Rabbi George Wielechowski is a spiritual leader, entrepreneur, and the founding director of the . He earned his M.A. from Johns Hopkins University and his rabbinic ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Rabbi George has worked in the pulpit and in for/nonprofit executive roles and regularly advises Jewish organizations on creating accessible, welcoming community and the importance of regular innovation and self-disruption. He also serves in strategic advisory roles for the , , and . Rabbi George has previously developed, branded and helped manage early-stage startups in the digital content creation, technology, education, and consumer product sectors. An active writer, filmmaker, and media producer, Rabbi George's creative credits also include contributing essays, feature films, animation, documentary, and national television series credits. He lives with his wife and two sons in Cardiff, CA.
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
Tu B'Shevat, 16th February 2020. We enjoyed a lovely Tu B'Shevat seder sitting underneath our very own grapevine that was full of bunches of grapes. The participants donated money for the planting of three trees in Israel.
Gene and I would like to say that we enjoyed our nice long visit with many people from the community. The bonus for us is that our daughter Ellen enjoys living here now, making it even sweeter for our visits to Auckland. We look forward to many more visits in the near future. - Anita Sorkin
AUCKLAND LIBRARIES INVITES YOU TO THE CENTRAL CITY LIBRARY TO VIEW AN OLD AND PRECIOUS MEGILLAH.
Manuscripts display: Chag Purim Sameach! Happy Purim!
Heritage Collections Reading room, Level 2, Central Library
To celebrate Purim (Festival of Lots), a Judaic scroll (c. 1750-1800) from the Archives & Manuscripts collection is being showcased. Purim is an important spring festival in the Jewish calendar. It celebrates the deliverance of the Jews of the ancient Persian Empire from a plot to murder them. This narrative is told in the Megillat Esther, Scroll of Esther or מגילת אסתר, like the one on display, and is read during Purim.
This Megillah came to Auckland Libraries in 1894 [there is a date stamp] but there is no record of who donated the scroll. It was viewed by Sharon Lieberman Mintz, curator of Jewish Art at the Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary and Senior Consultant Judaica to Sotheby's New York, when she visited for Limmud, and she gave assistance for describing and dating this scroll.
The scroll will be on view from early March for the month.
The Reading Room is open 9am to 5pm Monday -Friday and 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.
On Monday 9 March we will be celebrating Purim. The article below from My Jewish Learning tells us about this festival, its origins and how we celebrate it these days in the Community. We look forward to seeing you at our Beth Shalom Celebration of Purim at 6.30 pm on 9 March. Remember to bring some finger food for a shared meal after the service. There will be children’s activities colouring in masks from 6pm.
Purim, or the Feast of Lots, is a joyous holiday that recounts the saving of the Jews from a threatened massacre during the Persian period (539-330 BCE). The story of Purim is recounted in the Book of Esther, whose eponymous heroine plays the leading role in saving her people. The holiday is traditionally celebrated with wild abandon and with the giving of gifts to friends and the poor.
While the origins of Purim appear clear from the Book of Esther, historians have looked in vain for any sort of extra-biblical corroboration of the events of the story. Be that as it may, it is a tale that purports to take place during a time when many Jews were living in Persia. A young Jewish woman, Esther, rises to be Queen of Persia under the tutelage of her guardian Mordecai. All, however, is not right. The Jews have enemies, and a certain Haman, the grand vizier, plots the Jews’ destruction. Even though Esther has hidden her Jewish identity from all, Mordecai prevails on her to risk her life by revealing her true identity to the king. She does this and denounces the evil Haman’s plot. At the end of the story, the Jews are able to turn the tables on their enemies, who are then punished in place of the intended victims. This story is one of the most beloved in the Jewish community, because of the hope that it gives a minority living in an oftentimes hostile majority culture. In Masekhet Megillah (scroll), the Talmudic tractate devoted to Purim observances, Rabbi Akiva declares the Book of Esther to be divinely inspired. Some commentators believe this eventually led to the inclusion of Esther in the Hebrew Bible, despite the omission of God from the book. The Greek versions of Esther contain a number of additions–including God’s name–not found in the Hebrew story.
In distinction to various other holidays, such as Pesach (Passover), Purim is the quintessential community holiday. Nonetheless, there are a number of activities that are centered in the home. One of the favorite activities in preparation for the holiday is the baking of hamantaschen, the triangular filled pastries that are the traditional food at Purim time. In addition, following the commandment to give gifts to friends and the poor, the preparation of so-called mishloah manot baskets is a fun activity to engage in, as is their distribution on the holiday. The centerpiece of Purim’s home celebration is the seudah, a festive meal accompanied by alcoholic beverages.
Celebrating Purim in the Community Purim is a community holiday of joyful celebration. The centerpiece of the communal celebration is the reading of the Scroll of Esther, the Megillah, in the synagogue. This is a raucous affair, with whoops, hollers, and noise being made every time that Haman’s name is mentioned, so no one can hear the name of this horrible evildoer. Another tradition is the Purim shpiel, the Purim play, during which fun is poked at community leaders and members. Purim has often been called the Jewish carnival, and dressing in costume and taking part in a Purim carnival heighten the levity of the day, on which one is encouraged to engage in activities that at other times of the year would be somewhat more restricted in scope, such as drinking.
The overriding theme of Purim is the saving of the Jews from a mortal threat. Even though God is not mentioned at all in the Book of Esther, from a Jewish perspective, God is the one who is pulling the strings of redemption behind the scenes. The holiday of Purim has become one of the best-loved holidays of the Jewish year. The reasons for this are easy to see. It is a joyous holiday on which everyone just lets go. Most significant, however, is the paradigmatic nature of the story of Purim. It is not difficult to see how a story in which a small and threatened Jewish community in exile is able to triumph over its foes would prove to be a powerful image for a Diaspora community faced over the centuries with threats from many different sources. The story of Purim, however, holds out the hope that no matter how bad the circumstances, things will turn out well in the end.
We hope this finds you all well and judging by the fact we have not had too busy a month, would like to assume that this is the case. Unfortunately I suspect this is not so, and that there are a few people who could have reached out to us but didn’t.
We understand there are many reasons why people don’t, independence, pride, embarrassment, among other things. Let me assure you, our role is not in any way to disrespect you, but to offer help and support in an unobtrusive way, which we would hope you can feel comfortable with. It’s nice to get a visit, a phone call, or a card when you may be feeling unwell or down, and to us, we are doing a mitzvah, and you wouldn’t deny us that, now would you?
We have found that people are not very quick to ask for help for themselves, mainly because they don’t always feel their need is worthy enough. This is not true as far as we are concerned. All congregants are born equal, and everyone’s need is important to us. I would like to ask the families to get a bit involved here, if you know someone that wouldn’t ask for themselves, then please let us know, if you think there is any way, we can be there for the person you have in mind.
Some of you may hear of something we have done for someone, and think ‘well, they didn’t do anything for me when I needed it’ In that case, please ask yourself, did we know about you??
We, the C/Care Team, had a meeting a couple of weeks ago, and one of the things we discussed and are putting into action in the near future is a Telephone Tree. This is something we did many years ago, and we have decided to resurrect it. It is a way of touching base with members of the community, who for various reasons do not have a lot of contact with many people.
We are starting with the over 75’s, mainly because we have to start somewhere, and this won't necessarily mean all of them, as some have busy lives with families around, BUT, many do not. If you feel you would prefer us not to call, let us know, and if you are younger, but think it would be nice to be on the list, then also, let us know and we will include you.
This will happen once or twice a month, we will not be asking you for money, or a commitment in any way, all we will be asking is ‘How are you?’ and ‘would you like a friendly voice to call once or twice a month to say ‘Hello?’
Also, if you think this is something nice that you would want to do, please join the Team, the more people we have, the less work it is for everyone. We are a bit sparse with team members in certain areas and would love to have any of you on board. If you’d like to know more, give us a ring and have a chat.
Have an enjoyable and healthy March. Best wishes from Lita and the Community Care Team
Lita Summerfield 021 297 9462 (TEXT ONLY) email@example.com
Or contact the office 09 524 4139
Shalom - The seasons come and go and I swear each year goes faster! They say it's all relative to the number of years we have had lived - which I guess makes some sense! But there are ways perhaps we can extend our days... to find the time to slow down and rest - like the opportunity that Shabbat offers. The Burial and Benevolent committee are pleased to once again support the annual Shabbaton. We encourage everyone to register if you haven't already for a truly restorative but engaging weekend in the Waitakere foothills. There are sponsored places so don't let money be a barrier to your participation.
At our next meeting the committee will be discussing the Ministry of Health's consultation currently underway and welcome your feedback to inform our thinking. The documents can be found here
"This consultation document sets out a range of options for modernising the legislation relating to death, burial, cremation and funerals in New Zealand, including the Burial and Cremation Act 1964, Cremation Regulations 1973 and the Health (Burial) Regulations 1946.
Urupā (Māori burial grounds), registration of mortuaries, burial at sea and international transportation of bodies are out of scope of this review.
The Ministry of Health is seeking feedback on the options from industry and other interested stakeholders, including the general public. This consultation will help inform the development of a modern, fit-for-purpose legislation for death, burial, cremation and funerals.
Each section proposes a range of options to modernise the law in relation to the topic. The Ministry has indicated its preferred option in each section. We now want to seek the views of stakeholders to inform further policy development".
The Burial and Benevolent Society committee play a critical role in the care of our community and families at the important time of passing as well as assisting with well-being for members who may be experiencing day to day hardship. Our role as a committee is to ensure our service leaders are well prepared and supported in this work and that we are best able to advise the community with integrity.
This AGM we are looking with interest to those who feel they may be able to contribute to the workings of this committee. I will be standing again for President, David Singer Treasurer, Sue Pezaro Secretary, and the committee members Stephanie Markson and David Zussman will also stand again. We will sadly be saying farewell to our Vice President Diana Hoskyn after a long-standing role with the committee.
If you think you may be interested in joining the committee - please feel free to give me a call to discuss
Sue Berman 022 0513 589 or talk to other members of the committee for more information.
The AGM will be at 6pm on Sunday 22nd March followed by snacks and the Beth Shalom Board AGM.
Stay warm and well as we head into the Autumn season.