Days of Pesach, Yizkor plans, Shabbat with a special guest

Dear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,

I hope all of you have had a wonderful beginning to Pesach! I’m writing to let you know that this coming Shabbat morning (April 14), I’ll be co-leading our services with rabbinic student Lori Shaller, whose bio appears below.

Following standard practice in the Reform and Reconstructionist movements (which is also standard practice for Jews of all denominations in Israel), CBI will observe seven days of Pesach rather than eight. Saturday will be the first day post-Pesach. At our oneg, we will bless both bread (for those who are observing seven days, and are therefore eating leaven again) and matzah (for those who are observing eight days, and are therefore not yet eating leavened bread.)

It’s traditional to offer a Yizkor (memorial) service on the last day of Pesach, which for us — given a seven-day festival — falls on Friday. Since we know that many of us have jobs which would preclude attendance at a Friday morning service, Lori and I will offer a Yizkor service on Shabbat morning even though it’s no longer Pesach according to the Reform calendar.

Expect songs, teachings, and a great deal of joy! We hope you’ll join us.

Wishing you a sweet journey through the remainder of Pesach and through these first days of the Omer —

Reb Rachel

Lori Shaller writes:

I live on the island of Martha’s Vineyard with my husband, Matt Pelikan, a restoration ecologist for The Nature Conservancy and our cat Pitzi. I am studying for the rabbinate in the Aleph Alliance for Jewish Renewal’s Rabbinic Ordination Program. I’ve been an educator for more than 20 years and currently write English and History curricula and teach teachers in content institutes. Areas of expertise include curriculum design and alternative assessment, Shakespeare and World and American History. I am currently writing curriculum on Jewish Women in the Labor Movement for the Jewish Women’s Archive. I occasionally also work as a personal chef and a meeting facilitator. I enjoy being outdoors walking, running, cycling, hiking and gardening, and I am an active member of the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center. I look forward to meeting all of you!

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