This week's Shabbat-O-Gram is sponsored by
Caren and Glenn Price
in honor of their son,
Sawyer, becoming a Bar Mitzvah.
Students at our Teva Kids program, which integrates science and Judaism, learn about colors last Sunday. Click here for more photos from our new spring album, which includes Purim pictures. You can also upload your TBE Purim photos there directly.
Mazal tov to Sawyer Price, who becomes Bar Mitzvah this Shabbat morning. Join us on Friday night as well, as we welcome the first weekend of Spring! See Matthew Goodman's d'var Torah from last Shabbat.
Parking at garage of 1558 Washington Blvd.
Happy Purim - See The Jewish Week's Purim Spoof Issue
This year's happiness rankings are in!
Israel dropped two places on the World Happiness rankings, released this week. See the World Happiness Report. Considering the relative peacefulness of the top tier (though even the most peaceful and remote countries have experienced their share of terrorism and grief - we can now add New Zealand to that list), it's amazing that a perpetually tense place like Israel consistently ranks so high. Factors that are dragging down the US include opioid addiction and social media (perhaps our addiction to social media as well). So, still sky high at #13, why are Israelis so damn happy? Purpose, belonging, venting, health, weather, lots of holidays, and an optimistic viewpoint have something to do with it. With a national anthem that means "The Hope" (though it sounds like a funeral dirge) and an unofficial motto ("Yiheye B'seder") that means "Everything will turn out OK," (even when it won't), and now, internationally renowned cuisine and Eurovision to boot.
Winter birds brush our faces in farewell.
Our step quickens as thaw gains force and marches into inevitability.
Flowers, bold in their delicacy,
viewed since time's beginning,
are seen anew, interpreted afresh.
Everyone sees flowers in a different way, Rinah once said.
Trees spread cover thickly
between the chemical groves below and above,
insisting on their leafy say.
Hands pool the earth, laying the foundation for renewal.
Already we envision stalks bent with bounty.
We breathe these many fragrances, humbled, awed.
But like the gazelle on the savannah,
our eyes are always shielded toward the horizon.
We peruse the headlines and the top stories;
we assess the pitch of the chatter.
Who knows how long this generosity,
how deep this permissibility.
Dogwood blossoms etch our prayer in grace.
This story "National Poetry Month: 'Jewish Spring'" was written by Ezra Glinte
Why I'm Going to AIPAC
Sarah Tuttle-Singer, a top-notch and unabashedly progressive author and blogger for Times of Israel wrote an opinion piece last week on why progressive Jews should attend the AIPAC Policy Conference, which might be seen as a rebuttal to Thomas Friedman's recent column, Ilhan Omar, AIPAC and Me. Tuttle-Singer sees Friedman's objections to AIPAC as insufficient to warrant boycotting what has become, in effect, the biggest big tent that American Jews have with regard to Israel, even as that tent has suffered considerable wind damage in recent years.
I'm going to speak at #AIPAC2019, and I'm getting these reactions from the Jewish community:
From the Right: "How COULD they?"
From the Left "How COULD YOU?"
Let's talk about it:
They know exactly who they're inviting.
They know I love this place.
They know I choose to be here, and I make that choice every single day.
They also know I am outspokenly opposed to the Occupation, and I am passionate about justice and equality and security and freedom for Israelis and Palestinians and refugees and migrants and EVERYONE in The Land.
They know that I am sickened and heartbroken that the government of Israel is increasingly racist and not even hiding it anymore.
They know that the political misogyny around the Western Wall makes me want to punch a wall.
They also know that I am no fig leaf, and that when I have any opportunity to talk about all these things, I will, and I'll make no apologies and pull zero punches.
And they also know how much I fiercely love Jerusalem - how I'm committed to building bridges between communities, that more than anything, I am proud to be part of a story where you aren't just living history as it unfolds, you're literally helping create it.
And that means showing up.
Let's be clear about something: AIPAC is not monolithic. I know folks working there who voted for Trump. I know folks working there who voted for Bernie. I know folks working there who love the prime minister. I know folks working there who voted for Meretz, and even one who wrote in "Hadash."
And that's the beauty of it: the Jewish community both in Israel and in America isn't monolithic, either.
And it's true that a lot of folks who come to Policy Conference are in the Center and the Center-Right, or even Far-Right, and that's the best part: I have things I want to say. I have things to say about the Israel I love and I have things to say about the Israel I wrestle with, and yes, I want to change things, and while it's nice to celebrate the good and complain about the bad with friends who nod along and agree with everything you say, change begins when you talk to people across the board who may not like what you have to say but are willing to listen.
In other words: this is EXACTLY when progressive Jews need to show up. And speak.
Israel faces an election in just a couple of weeks that will be as fateful as any Israeli election in a generation, with vast implications for Israeli democracy as well as for American Jewry. This is not the time to back away. Tuttle-Singer is correct in saying that AIPAC is not monolithic, especially once you get away from the cookie-cutter speeches at the plenaries and head to the breakout sessions, or just listen to the conversations in the halls. Yes, AIPAC enabled Bibi's reckless appearance before Congress that has caused tremendous damage to the bipartisan consensus around Israel. But this is also where the leadership issued an apology for the destructive rantings of candidate Donald Trump in 2016, and Trump has not spoken at AIPAC since. As buttoned up as AIPAC tries to be, it nearly always is messier than planned, and that's the Jewish way. Jews like a good mess. We do not do hospital corners very well, on our beds, and in our conferences too. Here's to a messy AIPAC! I'll let you know how it goes.
Join us next Thurs., March 28 at 7:30 PM, for the pre-publication celebration of my book. The actual publication date is April 2, but we've moved this up a few days so as not to conflict with our incredible Women's Seder, which will be on the 2nd.
If your name is on the list below the flyer, you will have a signed copy of my new book waiting for you next Thursday evening at the book launch, either because you pre-ordered through our office or in recognition of your contribution to last June's concert honoring my 30th anniversary at TBE. Books will also be available for sale at the event and you can always order online through Amazon and I will be happy to sign at any time. So, after you pick up your signed book on the 28th, what happens then?
Well, you read it, I hope. If you like it, you might want to tell your friends to order copies of their own and of course, you can go onto Amazon with a five-star review on April 2. Then, for those who would like to pick up the Mensch-Marks class where we left off a few weeks ago, let me know which chapters you would like to explore further.
PRE-SIGNED COPIES WILL BE AVAILABLE ON MARCH 28 FOR...
Mrs. Sandra Burn
Mrs. Gloria Aisenberg
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Amster
Mrs. Judith Aronin
Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Bloomenthal
Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Broder
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Butterman
Mr. Jeffrey Cohen and Mrs. Malerie Yolen-Cohen
Dr. and Mrs. Evan Cwass
Mr. Henry Eskin and Ms. Sarah Darer
Mrs. Lorraine Ditesheim
Ms. Beth Finchler
Mr. David Friedman and Ms. Meira Rosenberg
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Fruithandler
Mr. and Mrs. Harrison Ganz
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Goldblatt
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Golove
Mr. and Mrs. John Graubard
Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Greenwald
Mr. and Mrs. George Heller
Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence Holzman
Mr. and Mrs. Elliot Isban
Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Kahn
Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Laichtman
Ms. Patti Mactas
Ms. Melanie Massell
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Pollack
Mr. and Mrs. James Rothkopf
Mr. Edward Smith and Mrs. Edith Samers
Mr. and Mrs. Jack Scherban
Mrs. Evie Shapiro
Mr. and Mrs. Leon Shapiro
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Silverstein
Ms. Linda Simon
Mr. and Mrs. Mark Staines
Mr. and Mrs. Norman Stone
Mr. Marc Teichman and Mrs. Caroline Temlock Teichman
Mrs. Pamela Tinkham
Mr. and Mrs. Seymour Weinstein
Mr. and Mrs. David Wolff
Mr. Eric Baker and Ms. Bonnie Kintzer
Mr. and Mrs. Edward Berman
Dr. and Mrs. Warren Brandt
Mr. Yitzhak Brudny and Ms. Catherine Reed
Mr. and Mrs. Martin Clarke
Mr. and Mrs. Ben Evans
Mr. and Mrs. Avram Freedberg
Dr. and Mrs. Jay Freilich
Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Goldstein
Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Green
Dr. and Mrs. David Greenman
Ms. Jeannie Kasindorf
Mr. and Mrs. Allen Krim
Mr. Scott and Dr. Elizabeth Krowitz
Mr. and Mrs. Allan Lang
Mr. and Mrs. Jack Levitz
Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Manheim
Mr. John Romanow and Mrs. Barbara Muller
Mr. and Mrs. Richard Redniss
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Rothman
Mr. and Mrs. David Satz
Dr. Michael and Dr. Miriam Schechter
Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Silber
Mr. and Mrs. Alan Silberman
Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Slayton
Mr. and Mrs. David Stein
Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Tobin
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Trell
Mr. and Mrs. Louis Weinstein
Mr. and Mrs. Scott Allen
Mr. and Mrs. Bradley Boyer
Mr. and Mrs. Wilfred Brewer
Mr. Robert Cohen and Ms. Marsha Colten
Mr. and Mrs. Martin Donner
Thomas Gallagher Funeral Home
Mr. and Mrs. James Hyman
Mr. and Mrs. Alan Kalter
Dr. and Mrs. Marc Peyser
Mr. and Mrs. Sylvan Pomerantz
Mr. and Mrs. Peter Poser
Learning in Retirement
Mr. and Mrs. I. Jeffrey Turshen
Mrs. Joan Weisman
Mr. Ralph and Dr. Susan Freydberg
Mr. Norman Suchin and Mrs. Judith Dalgin
Mr. Gerry and Dr. Frances Ginsburg
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Osman
Mrs. Sheila Romanowitz
Mr. and Mrs. Edward Fein
Ms. Susan Frieden
Gallagher Funeral Home
Mr. and Mrs. Alan Jaffe
Mr. and Mrs. Peter Kempner
Mr. Gary Lessen and Ms. Lois Stark
Miss Eileen Rosner
Mrs. Marsha Shendell
Mr. and Mrs. Steven Sosnick
Mr. and Mrs. Carl Weinberg
Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Young
Mann Family Foundation Inc.
Mr. and Mrs. Alan Kalter
Cantor Martin Bear
Mr. and Mrs. Richard Fisher
Mr. Gary and Dr. Phyllis Gladstein
Mr. and Mrs. Peter Gross
Mr. and Mrs. David Harrison
Mr. James Koplik
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Heyison
Ms. Laura Markowitz
Ms. Marsha Matthews
Dr. Wendy Miles
Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon Pearlman
Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Phair
Ms. Irma Ross
Ms. Mina Roth-Dornfeld
Ms. Judy Schneiderman
Mr. and Mrs. Carl Shapiro
Mr. and Mrs. Mark Staines
Mr. Elliott Tuckel and Ms. Kathy Cooperman
Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Walzer
Dr. Donna Wolff
Ms. Karmit Zysman
Mr. and Mrs. John Graubard
Mr. and Mrs. James Locker
Mr. and Mrs. K. Paul Schultz
Mr and Mrs. Norman Stone
Ms. Marian Bauer
Ms. Barbara Rosenberg
Shabbat Shalom and Happy Purim!
Rabbi Joshua Hammerman
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