Friday, January 11, 2019

Shabbat-O-Gram for January 11


Shabbat Shalom!

Join Cantor Fishman and myself for services this evening at 7:30, and then for Shabbat-in-the-Round tomorrow at 9:45 (and come a little earlier for breakfast).  Sunday is our Tu B'Shevat Ice Cream Seder at our Religious School.  Parents are most welcome to join us - and learn about one of my favorite Jewish holidays.  On Sunday we will also be having our bone marrow registration drive.

About 25 attended the inaugural session of our new sneak-preview class yesterday, in anticipation of my upcoming book.  Among other things, we watched and discussed this highly entertaining 10-minute video:

The Making of a Mensch
The Making of a Mensch

You can still join the class, as each session will be self-contained.  At each of these sessions, we'll be looking at different sections of the book and fleshing out some of the underlying Jewish values explored.  The class is free, but please register by contacting Ellen in our office, at

The Exodus Starts Here

This classic quote from Michael Walzer's "Exodus and Revolution"seems particularly timely during the week when the Exodus narrative is read in the Torah, and with dramatic events swirling all around us:


New Holocaust Film at the Avon

If you've seen movies at Stamford's Avon Theater, you might have noticed that Temple Beth El is listed as a community partner.  Well, partnership has it's privileges.

The Avon will be presenting a special sneak preview screening of  

Post-film Q&A with director Claus Räfle
and special guest Hanni Lévy
Thursday, January 24 at 7:30 pm
We can get a special group rate of $8 if more than 20 are interested.  Let me know if you are.  In any event, this seems like a film worth seeing.
While Goebbels infamously declared Berlin "free of Jews" in 1943, 1,700 managed to survive in the Nazi capital. Claus Räfle's gripping docudrama traces the stories of four real-life survivors who learned to hide in plain sight. Moving between cinemas, cafés and safe houses, they dodged Nazi officials and a dense network of spies and informants. Yet their prudence was at odds with their youthful recklessness, prompting them to join the resistance, forge passports, or pose as Aryan war widows. Masterfully weaving these story threads together, THE INVISIBLES is a testament to the resourcefulness, willpower and sheer chance needed to survive against incredible odds.

Not Rated | In German with English subtitles | 110 minutes
Hanni Lévy, who is portrayed in THE INVISIBLES by actress Alice Dwyer, was born in 1924 in Berlin-Tempelhof. Starting in 1931 she lived with her parents in Kreuzberg. Her father died in 1940 of complications from forced labor, followed by her mother two years later. Soon afterward seventeen-year-old Hanni managed to escape arrest. With the help of non-Jewish acquaintances, she went into hiding in Berlin. She found refuge with a ticket seller at the Nollendorfplatz cinema, who also housed her in her apartment until the liberation of Berlin. Lévy has been living in Paris since 1946.

Claus Räfle has directed over forty feature-length documentaries for television. His political satire DER KANDIDAT, received honorable mention at the Max Ophüls Awards. DIE HEFTMACHER received the Grimme Award, a top award for television journalism. His documentaries BLITZHOCHZEIT IN DÄNEMARK and DIE STUNDE DAVOR each received nominations for Best German TV Documentary from the Prix Europa.

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

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