President’s message – January 2023
As we begin 2023, we are seeing new opportunities to be in community, and we want to continue to share our stories and traditions in a safe way. As the trio of viruses continues to affect members and allies, please continue to keep yourself and others safe by making your best decisions. I still have some Sonovia masks available!
The holiday season was a great one for us, with our first Benicia Menorah Lighting – a nice group was there to celebrate with Rabbi White; our Hanukkah Party – we were able to show the ball drop in New York City and toast the New Year as it arrived in New York City on the big screen on our Social Hall stage; and our CBI Tea in the Social Hall on Sunday, with a lovely group – and some amazing hats! – and a good fundraising effort, despite the threatened rain. I hope board members will make an effort to show up for some of our regular events, like Friday’s Shabbat Seder (Jan. 20), and next week’s Game Night (Jan. 27). We’d love to see some new faces as well!
We have lots of opportunities this coming Sunday for making connections: Rabbi’s class on Discovering Judaism in person in the Social Hall and on Zoom; our Bagel Cafe will be open, run by Melissa this week, and we will have some singing in the Social Hall after Rabbi’s class (service songs as well as other songs) before Sarah’s Yoga Nidra class in the Library. We had a great group of 7 people in the Library last time, and it was really wonderful!
In this time of added stress, with health challenges and continuing antisemitism, it is really rejuvenating to gather in community and show our support for each other. Please don’t be a stranger – reach out to others in any way you can. It is important to make those connections, and build new ones, to help keep us strong.
As we come up to the Hebrew month of Shevat, please remember our tradition’s advocacy of responsible stewardship of God’s creation, and consider what you can do to be part of caring for the environment, join in ecological activism, and celebrate nature. Also consider an opportunity to continue the Jewish tradition of planting trees wherever Jews may live.
– Cheryl Gewing