Beginning with the second night of Passover, we count the Omer to mark the days between Pesach and Shavuot. Pesach tells us how power corrupted Pharaoh’s character, and just 49 days later, Shavuot tells us how community, Torah, and sharing bounty defeat that corruption. We are grateful that our tradition offers these opportunities to be human, to grow, and to consider who we want to be in the world. Character Matters is what we are calling this journey of growth and learning. We are ready and excited to embark on it with you.

Counting the Omer is a practice of mindfulness. On the one hand, counting each of the days from Passover until Shavuot seems effortless; sticking with it involves a consciousness, a mindfulness, to remember to count each night. And, just as other practices may reward us in both expected and unexpected ways, so too, the counting for 49 days might stimulate new awareness and mindfulness, elevating the commonplace of our everyday living. The habit of counting the Omer can help us remember that it is upon us to make each of our days count.

Our Omer count begins at sundown with the 2nd day of Pesach, Saturday evening April 20th, and will lead us for 49 days through to Shavuot – the 50th day, commemorating our receiving Torah at Sinai. This year, our daily Omer count, will be inspired by a passage from Pirkei Avot, a tractate of the Mishnah that contains wisdom and instruction in how to live ethically. This section reminds us, amid all of the discussions of rules in our sacred texts that the rules are meant to matter in the context of living an ethical life. In Pirkei Avot 6:6, we read: “The Torah is greater than both the priesthood and royalty, seeing that royalty is acquired through 30 virtues, the priesthood twenty-four, while the Torah is acquired through 48 virtues.” Our first night will begin with a prayer for our journey; each of the subsequent nights will consider one of these virtues and offer a six-word prayer/insight (see origin) based on that virtue. We invite you to share your six-words prayers/insights each or any day in response to our post.

Please join us on our Omer journey toward living with more mindfulness and open-heartedness.

Our service of remembrance, honoring the memories of our loved ones.

This year, for both Yizkor at the end of Pesach and on Shavuot, we will be sharing stories of people who taught us Character in their lives. Loved ones who are no longer with us physically, but ingrained in us values, lessons, and virtues that shape who we are today. If you would like to be part of this experience sand share your story, please contact Marsha Sheinman or Karen Singer.

Please use the following questions to guide your thoughts.

For Pesach:

  1. Describe a most vivid memory of your loved one.
  2. Share a lesson that your loved one taught  you that still resonates in your life.
  3. Share a challenging interaction you had with your loved one, and how that either was resolved or not before they died. Describe how you feel about that.

For Shavuot:

  1. What would you ask your loved one if they were here today?
  2. How do you think your loved one would like to be remembered?
  3. Share an experience or remembrance that brings a smile or laughter to you now.
  4. What is the image of your loved one that persists with you?

This Finally Friday, not only is it the end of April, it’s also the last day of Pesach (Passover)! Come celebrate the conclusion of Pesach with us at our Festival of Chametz Finally Friday Shabbat. We will have a family-mindful Erev Shabbat service followed by a chametz-filled dinner and oneg!

Dinner is sponsored by the clergy, but registration is required for an accurate headcount. Click here to register.

Shabbat Kavod is our Shabbat of Honor and Respect, which will happen on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11. This Shabbat experience is a time for families to spend time together and give kavod for those who care for us – our parents, grandparents, nannies, etc. This gathering also helps to build on what our Kehilat Limmud students are learning on Sundays, but it’s not just for our students! We all have people in our lives that have shaped our character, taken care of us, and taught us important lessons.

We hope you will join us for this celebration of respect, gratitude, and love.

A worship service offered by our 10th graders, a culminating event in their formal Jewish education. Their words of Torah are inspiring and, for many, the highlight of the liturgical year. Our teens are our future, and our future is looking very bright.

The Confirmation Service will begin at 4:00 pm and the oneg will follow at 5:30 pm.

Join us to celebrate the gift of Torah received at Mount Sinai as we affirm the importance of studying Torah, remember loved ones with Yizkor, and according to custom, eat rich dairy desserts! Join us for all or part of an evening of singing, chanting, Torah Reading, and study in a way that will challenge and uplift the soul!

7:00 pm – Yizkor

7:45 pm – Prayer and hearing 50 verses of Torah chanted, including the 10 Commandments – please sign up here to chant a verse or two!

Cheesecake & Blintz competition and nosh (email Cindi Drake if you would like to participate)

8:30 pm – Tikkun Leil Shavuot: Learning together until midnight