Dear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,
This month of May will bring us many opportunities for celebration and joy!
- On Shabbat morning May 5, Reb Rachel will lead a Rumi service. (You can read more about that on Reb Rachel’s blog.)
- On Shabbat morning May 12, Rabbi Howard Cohen will lead a “traditional”-style service (lots of Hebrew & singing) — please note: Torah study will be folded in to the service.
- On erev Shabbat May 18, we’ll welcome special guests Rabbi Everett Gendler and his wife Mary Gendler to speak about their lifetime of Jewish social activism work, from environmentalism to teaching nonviolence in Tibet. That same evening, we’ll also honor our Take and Eat volunteers.
- On Shabbat morning May 19, our services will be co-led by Reb Rachel, David Curiel, and Rhonda Shapiro-Rieser (more about that below.) Expect harmony and song, some musical instruments which may be new to the CBI bimah, and plenty of Shabbat joy! Please note: David Curiel will be our cantorial soloist for the upcoming Days of Awe.
- On Shabbat morning May 26, Rabbi Pam Wax will lead services; on that Shabbat afternoon we’ll call Jesse Cohen to the Torah as a bar mitzvah; and that night we’ll celebrate Shavuot at the Williams College Jewish Religious Center beginning at 9pm.
- And on Sunday morning May 27, Rabbi Pam will lead Shavuot morning services, including Yizkor / the memorial service — time TBA but probably around 10am. Whew!
As promised, here’s more info on our service-leaders for May 19:
On Shabbat morning, Saturday May 19, our services will be co-led by a trio of joyful shlichei tzibbur (prayer-leaders): Reb Rachel, Rhonda Shapiro-Rieser, and David Curiel.
David Curiel is a long-time wine merchant recently turned Jewish educator, now studying in the ALEPH rabbinic program. He’s been singing since he was in the cradle (according to his Bubbie) and loves nothing better than teaching a new niggun or harmonizing to a familiar one. David will be co-leading High Holidays this upcoming fall with Rabbi Rachel. He also bakes a mean pie.
Rhonda Shapiro-Rieser is a student in the ALEPH Smicha Program. She has a D.Min in Jewish Spiritual Direction and is a graduate of Lev Shomea, the first program to train Jewish spiritual directors. She currently is the Jewish Student Advisor for Smith College. She has recently discovered that King David did not play the harp. He played the ukulele. She is doing her best to learn and revive that ancient tradition.