February – March 2017

Erev Shabbat Worship Service
Feb 24 @ 8:00 pm – 9:15 pm
Torah Talk @ Sanctuary
Feb 25 @ 9:00 am – 10:15 am

The Torah is a vast collection of stories, commandments, ritual practices, and ethical standards. It is meant to be studied and understood not only to connect us to our ancestors and traditions, but to guide us toward an ethical and spiritual life. Torah means learning. For many of us, understanding Torah is not easy. We may find the language confusing and the meaning difficult to grasp. Yet when we learn together, we are thrilled by the insights we glean and share. Update your calendar now and join us. Participants are encouraged to voice their thoughts, insights and interpretations. Dress is casual. Previous Torah study or Hebrew fluency is not required. Questions or for more information, contact Susan Trivers, Worship Committee Chair at worship@nvhcreston.org.

Shabbat Worship Service @ Sanctuary
Feb 25 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm

Shabbat morning services at NVHC are open to the public. In community, we pray, we read Torah, we sing…and celebrate important lifecycle events such as baby namings, b’nai mitzvah and auf rufs.

B’nai Mitzvah Parents Class @ Classroom 109
Feb 26 @ 9:25 am – 10:25 am

This class is for parents of students who will become B’nai Mitzvah in the near future.  In five sessions, the class discusses the meaning of this life cycle event and the mitzvah of celebrating Shabbat, provides information about your responsibilities and the sequence of your child’s preparation, explains the structure of the worship service using Mishkan Tefilah, the Reform siddur (prayerbook), and provides an opportunity to prepare a D’var Torah. The class blends structured teaching, practical advice, and shared experiences. The goal is to make the Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparation process a deeply meaningful experience for the whole family and to perpetuate the spirit of Jewish community and tradition. Parents generally take the class from 6 to 18 months before the Bar/Bat Mitzvah event. Parents with children in the same Torah Corps group are encouraged to take the class together. Past participants in the class, both Jewish and non-Jewish parents, report that the sessions helped them to feel better prepared, gave them an opportunity to talk with other pre-B’nai Mitzvah parents, and taught them numerous aspects of the tradition and liturgy involved in this life cycle event.

      • Class held Sundays:  2/12, 2/26, 3/19, 3/26 and 4/2 from 9:25 to 10:25 a.m. in classroom 109

There is no cost to this class series but registration is required, simply send an email to Elaine at Elaine@nvhcreston.org.

Exploring the Prophets @ NVHC Library
Feb 26 @ 9:50 am – 11:00 am

Abraham Joshua Heschel describes the biblical prophets as some of the most disturbing people who have ever lived.  In voices an octave too high for our ears, the prophets demand that Israel live according to God’s ethical commandments.  Israelite prophecy was unique in the ancient Near East because it is rooted in God’s authority, rather than that of temporal rulers.  It is concerned with social justice, abuse of power, and worship that is disingenuous. The prophets remind us that individual acts of immorality threaten the whole nation.  In this class, we will explore selections from the prophets, learn about the world in which they prophesied, and discuss the timeless nature of the prophets’ call to conscience. We will explore Amos, Micah, Jonah, Hosea and others as time permits.

Prerequisites:  None

Fee: Members $100, Non-member $140, Tamid Students Free

Sundays beginning Sept 18

Click here for register.



Tanakh Chevruta @ NVHC Library
Feb 26 @ 11:05 am – 12:15 pm

Tanakh is Torah + Neviim (Prophets) +  Ketuvim (Writings).  The Hebrew Bible!  Chevruta is a study partnership. This study group is focused on reading and discussing the Hebrew Bible weaving in our understanding of ancient, medieval, and modern Jewish History, Tanakh, and Derech HaShem. Specific topics covered will determined by the group as we progress.  (Last year we covered Samuel I & II, and Kings I & II).

There are no prerequisites.  Everyone has something to offer and something to learn!

Fee:  Members $18, Non-Members $36

Text:  Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures (The New JPS translation according to the traditional Hebrew text).  Copies available in the NVHC Library or bring your own.

Sundays beginning Sept 18, click here to register.

The Past and Future of American Judaism @ Multi-purpose Room
Feb 28 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

The American Jewish community as we know it was shaped primarily by waves of Eastern European immigration over a century ago. As each generation gains distance from those waves, the
ideas, themes, cultures and practices of American Judaism will be different from those of the past.  This class will cover the origins of American Judaism and the trends shaping our future.

Led by Rabbi Michael G. Holzman.  Tuesday Nov. 29, Jan. 24, Feb. 28, Mar. 28, Apr. 25

Sof Shavua Nosh
Mar 3 @ 6:00 pm – 6:30 pm

A “pre-Oneg” (Sof Shavua Nosh) prior to services, that encourages people to eat and enjoy a sip of wine and snack and socialize.  Come straight from work, have a snack, pray, and then go home, or out to a relaxing dinner!

Erev Shabbat Worship Service @ Sanctary
Mar 3 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Shabbat and holidays are times of joy and reflection. We come together to deepen our connection to each other and express our responsibility for community. We celebrate with song, prayer, intellectual challenge and, of course, good food! Services at NVHC are open to the public, join us.

Book Club @ library
Mar 4 @ 9:00 am

Book selections are made by club participants.  Discussion is open to all; there is no fee to participate. For more information about Book Club, contact Marjina Kaplan at Marjina2@yahoo.com.


September 10 (one week later because of Labor Day).  The People of Forever Are Not Afraid by Shani Boianjiu. 352 pp. Fiction. This is the story of three girls coming of age – if you can call it that – in the Israeli Defense Forces.  More than that, the 25-year-old author, drawing on her own years with the IDF, tells the story of a people’s resignation to living in a world that’s been strange for so long, they can no longer remember how strange it is.

October 1The Girl from Human Street: Ghosts of Memory in a Jewish Family by Roger Cohen.  Illustrated Memoir.  304 pp.  In the years around the turn of the 20th century, Roger Cohen’s family joined the mass exodus of Jews out of their long, mostly dismal residency in the Pale of Settlement. Like thousands of their Lithuanian landsmen, Cohen’s relatives headed for the sunny, still-undeveloped, resource-rich country of South Africa. In this new world they began with nothing, worked hard and achieved much. As is often true of successful immigrant families, their grandchildren could live as though the old world had never been. Cohen’s father became a doctor, his mother was college educated. Both were raised with the comforts that only numerous servants can provide: Being a Jew in South Africa was not unlike being a Jew in the American South: anti-Semitism was not absent, but it was greatly mitigated by a segregated black underclass all but legally enslaved.

November 5.  The Hilltop by Assaf Gavron, translated by Steven Cohen.  Fiction.  This novel, which won the 2013 Bernstein Prize (one of the most prestigious for an Israeli novel), tells the story of an Israeli hilltop settlement, Ma’aleh Hermesh C., on the West Bank. The tale is told through the relationship of two brothers: Gabi, the ascetic follower of Nachman of Breslov, and Roni, the outgoing, worldly older brother, who thinks religion is “an interesting social attempt to deal with the fact that all men are addicted to sex and violence.”


December 3.  The Family: Three Journeys into the Heart of the Twentieth Century by David Laskin.  Memoir. In tracing the roots of his family,    Laskin captures the epic sweep of the twentieth century.  A century and a half ago, a Torah scribe and his wife raised six children in a yeshiva town at the western fringe of the Russian empire. But history took the family down three very different roads. One branch emigrated to America and founded the fabulously successful Maidenform Bra Company; another went to Palestine as pioneers and participated in the contentious birth of the state of Israel; the third branch remained in Europe and suffered the onslaught of the Nazi occupation.