Shabbat Shalom

Although the Shabbat-O-Gram usually takes the entire summer off, there's no excuse for delaying when a need cries out. And this week there is a crying need to help both in Haiti, recovering from yet another devastating earthquake, and Afghanistan, where we have a special moral duty to assist those seeking to escape and find safety elsewhere.

  • As for Afghan refugees, check out IRIS - Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services. There are lots of ways you can help, from donating money and supplies to temporarily offering up space in your home to providing a rental.

Air miles donated also go a long way. Even though there are limited flights going out of Kabul, refugees and asylum-seekers will travel by any means necessary to get to safety, facing 6+ month sojourns across half a dozen countries. See

Our congregation has a longstanding relationship with HIAS, which is also providing assistance to refugees. And we may have an opportunity to help resettle a refugee in our community, through the efforts of Stamford Interfaith Refugee Settlement (S.I.R.S).

  • While there are far more serious and tragic aspects to this story, it is interesting to read the stories now coming out about the last Jew in Afghanistan, and why he is choosing to remain there when an escape to israel is possible.

  • Also, you can read here about how the Conservative Movement is dealing with a sex abuse scandal that has rocked its youth programs. And this update as more victims have come forward. it should be noted that although these incidents are horrific wherever they occurred, none involved personnel in our Connecticut region.

  • While our carefully calibrated High Holiday plans still seem to be holding at the moment, the article below indicates just how fragile any plans can be. I for one am hoping that our safety measures, combined with our high-quality live-stream plans, will enable us to deliver a spiritually uplifting hybrid experience for all. Meanwhile, I continue to call on everyone to get vaccinated, follow CDC guidelines and do all that we can to save lives and beat this virus. Read here how other communities are being impacted by the delta variant, particularly in the south, and see this article: Synagogues hoped to be in person this year. Now they’re not so sure.(RNS) A flood of new cases fueled by the highly contagious delta variant is putting increased pressure on synagogue leaders to scale back High Holy Days services. See also: As Jewish High Holidays approach, we must reform our plans again