Chanukah 5779 and end-of-year activities

Chanukah is around the corner. Please join us for the following festivities:

Wednesday, 5 December at 18h30 – FOURTH CANDLE – An open Shiur on the last day of classes, at which Rabbi Shaked will explain the significance of the festival.

Thursday, 6 December at 18h00 – FIFTH CANDLE – Bring your young children for Candle Lighting, Dreidels, Latkes and Doughnuts. Special guest: Rabbi Greg Alexander from Cape Town. Families from Bet David will also be joining us.

Friday, 7 December at 18h00 – SIXTH CANDLE – Bring your Chanukkiah for Candle Lighting at the Kabbalat Shabbat Service at the Shul. Indoor and outdoor activities for younger and older children and of course our fabulous Brocha! Everyone is welcome. (Flyer attached).

JKids Club/Youth programmes

JKids Club:   We’ll be having our final JKids Club Shabbat Service for the year this Friday evening. Please meet in the Courtyard at 18h15 sharp, where we’ll welcome the Sabbath by lighting candles, then use our own JKids Club Siddur (prayer book) to sing and recite the blessings for our interactive Kabbalat Shabbat service. This will be followed by a Kiddush with our legendary kid-friendly unfermented wine, Challah and sweets. See you there! Teens and JKids Dads/Granddads club members also welcome. Love, Jody and Kathryn, your JKids Club team.

JKids Club will meet again next Friday evening (the 7th) for our end of year party. After that we’ll be taking a break until after the secular New Year.

Youth Zone: Always available as a place to hang out and chill, supervised by Gamemaster Kfir Shaked.

Religion School: Please note Religion School is closed for this year. Lessons will resume in 2019 and dates will be advised.

Calling or visiting the Shul Office

Please be patient when calling or visiting the Shul Office, as we don’t currently have a Receptionist. As a result, incoming calls and email messages are being fielded by Christine and Russell (mostly by Christine). We are updating the job description and requirements for the post and hope to fill the post early in 2019.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2018/12/03/chanukah-5779-and-end-of-year-activities/

Beit Emanuel Matters: 2/3 November 2018

Proudly Progressive Shabbat Project

Our Proudly Progressive Shabbat Project took place over 26/27 October. Our Shabbat programme is pretty full as it is (especially on Saturdays), so the only additional activity was the Tallit-making workshop facilitated by Sharon Shaked. Now that PPSP has become an accepted part of our Shul calendar for the year, we’ll see what we can do to enhance the programme for next year. I’m pleased to report that some congregants mentioned that they had attended specifically to support the Shabbat Project, and I’m now able to put faces to a few more names.

#ShowUpForShabbat

Sadly, 27 October 2018 has also become a date that will “forever live in infamy”, as the date of the massacre of 11 congregants at Tree of Life Or L’Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh. We will be participating in the AJC #ShowUpForShabbat initiative (supported by the SAJBD and SAUPJ) this weekend, and the names of those murdered will be read out before the Mourners Kaddish. Please see the attached SAJBD mailing for more details, but in a nutshell, show up here, and post about it on social media.

Auerbach Lecture

Our 14th Annual Franz Auerbach Interfaith Memorial Lecture was held on Tuesday evening (30 October), and featured our captive guest speaker Irwin Manoim. With his usual dry wit and acerbic style, Irwin took apart some of our most treasured notions about ourselves as a people, including the idea that reasoned debate and discussion have always been part of our DNA.

In line with Lesley Hudson’s vote of thanks, I won’t try to do justice to Irwin’s lecture in a paragraph or two. For those of you who weren’t there, we will probably make the lecture available in at least one medium. Why weren’t you there, by the way? Irwin Manoim is perhaps not as famous as some of our previous Auerbach Lecture speakers, but he is one of the moral and intellectual giants of the late and post-Apartheid era. Next time he speaks, I strongly recommend that you take advantage of the fact that he hangs around at Beit Emanuel, and come and listen to him, whatever the topic or occasion. At the very least you’ll get a chuckle out of it, and probably go away with a new perspective on whatever he’s talking about.

Mandla Makhubu

We note with sadness that it’s a year (1 November) since Mandla Makhubu passed away. Even in his absence, he is still very much a presence on the Beit Emanuel Campus. MHDSRIP.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2018/11/03/beit-emanuel-matters-2-3-november-2018/

14th Auerbach Memorial Lecture, presented by Irwin Manoim

The 14th Annual Franz Auerbach Interfaith Memorial Lecture was held on Tuesday, 30 October 2018 at 19h00 for 19h30 in the Slome Auditorium. This year’s speaker was Irwin Manoim, former Chair of Beit Emanuel and co-founder of the Weekly Mail and Mail & Guardian. His topic, ‘What happened to our courage to debate?’ dealt with how, in the Jewish community, we pride ourselves on our ability to wrestle intellectually with difficult issues, a tradition stretching back to the Talmudic sages. It’s an outlook that requires some moral courage. He asked: have we lost that courage? The full lecture is in the PDF below:

Auerbach Lecture-Manoim

Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2018/10/27/14th-auerbach-memorial-lecture/

Beit Emanuel Matters: 19/20 October 2018

(Russell Cohen, COO)

If you attended the service in the Janks Hall last Friday, please complete the VERY brief online survey linked to elsewhere in the Bulletin. ONLY if you were here last Friday though. We couldn’t help noticing that many of our regulars didn’t attend, and we’re hoping it was due to the inclement weather. If it wasn’t, we’re counting on you to set us straight.

You’ve seen the revised date for the Auerbach Lecture, right? It’s now Tuesday, 30 October instead of 23 October.

We’re still looking for more recruits for our Volunteer Security Team, which is somewhat under-strength at the moment. If you’re the outdoor type, and you’re looking for a way to put something back into the community, the Security Team is for you! Remember that the more active members there are, the less shifts each member will need to stand. Please contact Graeme Hochschild or Virgil Challens to find out more. Details in the sidebar of the Bulletin.

A serious request to please keep your speed down to 20 km/h or less when on the Campus, especially when attending services and other events. We have many blind spots, and speeding vehicles are not good for the elderly, the infirm, distracted children and cats. Lots of cats.

On the subject of security, please wind down your driver’s side window when approaching the gate, especially if your vehicle’s windows are heavily tinted (which most are these days). This will help to speed up the process at the gate. If you’re a member, you’re welcome to collect a vehicle security sticker at the Shul Office, which will also speed things up (just not above 20 km/h!).

Gauteng in 2018 is quite a dangerous place, and we need to find a balance between being a warm and welcoming community and having some idea of who’s coming through our gates. We encourage members to invite guests who are curious about Progressive Judaism to attend our services and other events. If you’re not accompanying them, however, please notify the Shul Office that you’ve extended the invitation by completing the form on the Contact Us/Forms page of our website, or by using this link: http://bit.ly/2pMH7Uo. This is particularly important if you’re inviting guests who may be unknown to our security staff and volunteers. If you prefer a “belt and braces” approach (and to avoid any embarrassment), please let me know at email address [email protected] and I’ll ensure that they’re on the Guest List.

Especially for our older members, we really need some method of electronic communication with you. If we have an email address and/or a mobile (Cellular) number for you (preferably both), we have all we need to stay in touch. (If not, then at least a fax number we can send your Yahrzeit notices to.) The details don’t necessarily have to be your own, provided that the person (e.g. your daughter, son, or even your bookkeeper) is willing to pass on the messages to you.

Shabbat Shalom!

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2018/10/21/beit-emanuel-matters-19-20-october-2018/

Beit Emanuel Matters: 12/13 October 2018

When Avi’s away, the Choir will play. Choirmaster Avi Kanar is away this week, so the format of this evening’s service will be slightly different. The venue is the Janks Hall, and the Choir members will be distributed amongst the congregation. To accommodate this, the Brocha will be in the Courtyard/Boardroom/Slome Foyer area. The JKids Shabbat service takes place in the Boardroom, so a quick set change will be needed once the kids have left.

JTalk next week in the Slome

Speaking of venue changes, the JTalk on the 20th (next week) will be in the Slome Auditorium, to accommodate what we hope will be a larger-than-usual attendance. See the attached flyer for details.

The Auerbach Lecture

Just in case you’ve forgotten to pencil in this year’s Auerbach Lecture, the date you’re looking for is Tuesday, 23 October, 19h00 for 19h30.

Proudly Progressive Shabbat Project

The Proudly Progressive Shabbat Project is the weekend of 26/27 October. Our programme is more or less the same as usual, although there will be a couple of extra goodies (details to be announced) and one or two special flourishes as a hat tip to the P/P Shabbat Project.

Electronic Communications

Since the untimely demise of the SA Post Office (at least for all practical purposes), we’ve struggled to get material out to those who don’t have some means of electronic communication. This has come up as an issue again with our automated Yahrzeit Notices. So, if you don’t already have an email address, mobile (Cellular) number or fax number on file with us, please provide one. Those are the only options available to us for sending out these Yahrzeit Notices to you.

Useful links

And while we’re talking of things electronic, here’s a couple of links you might find useful:

  • Request to attend a service at Beit Emanuel: http://bit.ly/2pMH7Uo. This is to simplify the process for non-members wishing to attend a service here. The link is also available on our website.
  • We’re experimenting with trying to make our JTalk sessions available as podcasts. This is where you’ll be able to find them: https://anchor.fm/beitemanuel.
  • Copies of our weekly Bulletin will in future be made available online. You’ll be able to find them here: Beit Emanuel Bulletin – Google Drive: http://bit.ly/2yzjByb.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2018/10/11/beit-emanuel-matters-12-13-october-2018/

Beit Emanuel Matters 5/6 October 2018

The High Holy Days “season” is well and truly over, and our staff routines and the Campus are now returning to normal. The Introduction to Judaism (ITJ), Religion School, JTalk and Talmud Study sessions will all resume in terms of their own schedules, especially with the KDS school holidays coming to an end next Monday.

Routine doesn’t mean things come to a standstill though. In fact, there’s always something happening at Third and Oxford, and here’s a taste of what’s on in the week ahead:

  • United Sisterhood Food Collection (Benmore/Gallo Manor/Morningside shopping centres), Sunday, 7 October, 09:00 – 13:00 (Please contact Marian Gonsalves at The United Sisterhood on 011 646 2409 [email protected] if you can assist with this ongoing “existential” project)
  • UNiTE – Worldwide Circle of Sound – Interfaith Sacred Chants (The Garden, Beit Emanuel, at Third and Oxford), Sunday, 7 October, from 18:00 – 20:30
  • Eve Kantor Golden Age Club (Courtyard, Stalson Building), Wednesday, 10 October, from 09:00 – 12:00

Finally, mentioned elsewhere is the next Auerbach Lecture, with guest speaker Irwin Manoim. Pencil it in for Tuesday, 23 October, 19:00 – 21:00

Shabbat Shalom!

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2018/10/04/beit-emanuel-matters-5-6-october-2018/

Beit Emanuel Matters 28/29 September 2018

The trend of strong attendance at our High Holy Days services continued during Sukkot, especially the Erev Sukkot (Open Sukkah) service on Sunday evening. The Shul, Janks Hall and Sukkah were all filled with members and visitors, both regulars and curious first-timers, of all faiths.

This weekend will bring the “season” to a close, with our Pride Shabbat service on Friday evening and Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah services on Sunday evening and Monday morning. Treasurer Ian West and former Chair Liebe Kellen will be honoured as Chatan Torah and Kallat Bereshit respectively. On Tuesday, our facilities staff will start to take down the Sukkah, and after that, 5779 will be in full swing.

Just while I think of it, a quick “Thank You” to those who donated towards the new state-of-the-art sound system for the Choir, which operates independently of the hard-wired sound system in the Shul and Hall. We hope you all enjoyed listening to the Choir without the audio glitches we’ve been experiencing.

A note on membership

It was wonderful to see so many old and new friends over the HHDs, with the Kol Nidrei service being particularly well-attended. If you’re not a member, and we only see you here once or twice a year, please remember that for our doors to open one day a year, we have to keep them open 365 days a year (or 354/384 days a year, if you prefer the Hebrew calendar).

One of the ways we do that is to encourage people to become members of the congregation. This means accepting our “Ts & Cs” and contributing to the finances of the Shul. We have a variety of options for those wishing to become members, and as a matter of principle and practice, we never turn away anyone unable to afford our standard pricing. So, if you’re hesitant to enquire about membership because you don’t think it’s affordable, put your mind at rest and make that call. We’ll meet you at least halfway.

Russell Cohen (Executive Director)

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2018/09/28/beit-emanuel-matters-28-29-september-2018/

Beit Emanuel Matters 21/22 September 2018

While the High Holy Day “season” is far from over, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are now behind us. Attendance was strong at all our services, and feedback regarding the new Machzor (Mishkan HaNefesh), the allocation of honours and the increased participation of lay readers in services has generally been positive.

A second presentation of our Vision for Sustainability was held Motzei Shabbat on Saturday, 15 September (Shabbat Shuvah). We plan to hold further presentations, perhaps during one of our Friday evening Oneg Shabbat meals? Your feedback in this regard would be appreciated.

We expect that many of our regulars will be “Shul-ed out” by Friday evening, so we’re not expecting a big turnout for our Shabbat services this weekend. We will still be open for (spiritual) business as usual, of course, and we do hope to see you all on Sunday evening at 18h00 for Sukkot.

“Crowdfunding” the Shul

You all know what’s coming next. DON’T skip ahead, unless you have no interest in the future of Beit Emanuel.

It should be no surprise that shuls in general are to a large extent “crowdfunded” by means of membership fees and donations from congregants. Beit Emanuel is no exception to this, although we have managed to build up other sources of income over the years. In a sense, though, Beit Emanuel is more dependent than most on those fees and donations, because we have very few “Machers” or mega-donors to give us that boost. It should also be no surprise that many shuls rely on their High Holy Days fund-raising appeals to build reserves or close the gap between quality income and expenses. Once again, Beit Emanuel is no exception to this. We are therefore very concerned that donations in general (and over the HHDs in particular) have dropped off over the past few years.

We therefore appeal to all our members (and friends who aren’t members) to revive the tradition of HHDs’ giving (whether it’s R180 or R180,000) to help bolster this essential component of the Shul’s revenue streams.

Our members and friends tend to be quite effusive in telling us how much they love Beit Emanuel. We need you to show us the love in a concrete way, by contributing financially (over and above membership fees), to whatever extent you can afford. We’re attaching a copy of our High Holy Days appeal form, which may help you in deciding how much to contribute, and by what means.

Help us to make crowdfunding a part of the ethos at Beit Emanuel again!

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2018/09/21/beit-emanuel-matters-21-22-september-2018/

Our services this Shabbat, 17, 18 Feb: Hand-over to new management team

SHABBAT YITRO

22 SHEVAT5777

TORAH: EXODUS 18:1 – 20:23

HAFTARAH: ISAIAH 6:1 – 7:6; 9:5 – 9:6

 

FRIDAY 17 FEBRUARY

Kabbalat Shabbat Service: 06.00 p.m. – in the Shul, followed by a Kiddush in the Janks Hall.

This Friday’s Brocha has been sponsored by Tammy and David Bolon.  Thank you!

 SATURDAY 11 FEBRUARY

Shabbat Morning Service – 09h30 in the Garden, followed by a Kiddush in the Courtyard.

 JTALK – 11h30 (Boardroom) – Ivor Chipkin on the subject of “A new right emerges in South Africa”.

 TALMUD STUDY  – +/-12h45 –  Tractate Berachot, using the new Koren Hebrew/English edition of the Talmud.

The Talmud Study Group meets in the Community Library (Classroom 3).

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2017/02/17/our-services-this-shabbat-17-18-feb-hand-over-to-new-management-team/

Outgoing chair Manoim praises quality improvements at AGM

The Annual General Meeting of Beit Emanuel went off smoothly on Thursday night, with a good attendance and no dissenting voices from the floor, thanks to a positive financial report from Treasurer Ian West. The meeting, ably chaired by Professor Merle Williams, went through its business in record time.

The newly elected committee for 2017 consists almost entirely of experienced people who have served previously on management, headed by Liebe Kellen as Chair and Bianca Shakinovsky and Hester Hollander as Co-Vice-Chairs. Ian West continues as Treasurer.

Outgoing Chairman Irwin Manoim described the major decisions of the year, including protracted negotiations to sell a portion of the property to our neighbours PPS, which fell through when they declined to meet our price. An attractive new option, still under negotiation, is to rent the courtyard, boardroom, offices and garden to the Mina Lopato Nursery School, which brings a compatible organisation with a reputable name on to our campus. Manoim praised Rabbi Saa’ar Shaked for his dynamism and for bringing many new members to Beit Emanuel. He also praised the teaching staff for the outstanding improvement in the quality of our Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.

Rabbi Shaked himself talked about how Beit Emanuel had almost collapsed 24 years ago, and how it has pulled through to again become a successful congregation. He talked about how new young people are coming in to the congregation and how many weddings and baby-namings we have had. In the month of January alone we had ten new families joining. He also praised the work of the full-time staff of Beit Emanuel in supporting him.

Treasurer Ian West gave a clear picture of the income, expenses and financial prospects of the synagogue.  He urged continued vigilance when it comes to expenses, as well as continued efforts to secure other sources of income and organise fund-raising events.  Maintenance work had been stepped up following the severe hailstorm in November 2016 and the end of the PPS negotiations, and will continue into 2017.

Former chairman Diane Fine, who was elected to the Board of Guardians, presented a gift from the congregation to Richard Mkhabele, who retires this month after 45 years of service, going back to the days of Rabbi Norman Mendel. Outgoing member of the Guardians, David Fienberg, who led the negotiations with PPS, was also presented with a gift in appreciation of his leadership through difficult negotiations.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2017/02/17/outgoing-chair-manoim-praises-quality-improvements-at-agm/

Netzer to run a Shabbat-themed treasure hunt on Friday night for the kids

Kids/Youth programmes

JKids: This Friday evening Netzer, our Progressive youth movement, will be running a Netzer Shabbat-themed treasure hunt for the kids.

Youth Zone: Always available as a place to hang out and chill.

JKids Jnr: Normally 09h00 every Saturday morning.  No JKids Jnr this week.

Benny Stalson Religion School: Mondays from 16:00-18:30 and Saturdays from9:30-11:30.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2017/02/17/netzer-to-run-a-shabbat-themed-treasure-hunt-on-friday-night-for-the-kids/

JTalk this week: Ivor Chipkin on the new right in SA

World politics has increasingly shifted towards what was once the fringe right. We have had the election of Donald Trump, the Brexit vote, an increasingly right-wing Israeli government, and the real possibility of populist victories across Europe in the next few months. What has been much less noticed, is how the ethnic, nationalist and protectionist rhetoric of the international right, shares similarities with an increasingly vocal Africanist group that has lined up behind President Jacob Zuma.

 

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Ivor Chipkin is the director of the Public Affairs Research Institute and a writer on government, governance and nationalism.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2017/02/17/jtalk-this-week-ivor-chipkin-on-the-new-right-in-sa/

Our AGM is on Thursday, 16th February at 7.00pm. Please try to attend

Beit Emanuel’s Annual General Meeting is next week, on Thursday, 16 February, and all paid-up members are welcome to speak, to volunteer and to vote, whether you’re a twice-a-year-Jew or a regular.

The Rabbi, the Chairman and the Treasurer will present annual reports on activities during the year, plans for the future and the state of the bank balances. The key business will be the election of a new Management Committee. Several members of the current committee have indicated that they will stand again. There will nonetheless be vacancies, and some important functions need filling by people who can bring a new energy to the committee. Even if you have no desire to stand for election, there are certain kinds of voluntary activity in which we always need help:

  • Planning and executing of events, ranging from Pesach Seders to Purim fun days to fundraisers and concerts.
  • Marketing and communications of Beit Emanuel events.
  • Security.
  • Care for the sick and Tikkun Olam.

The Management committee consists of a minimum of ten people elected at the AGM, to which another four co-opted members may be added. The committee generally meets once a month. A small Executive consisting of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Treasurer meets more often. The AGM will also elect one member of the Board of Guardians, which is an oversight committee, to serve a three-year term. Guardians are required to have served previously on the Management Committee; they are generally former office-bearers.

Those members who wished to put resolutions before the AGM needed to have done so by 2 February, 14 days before the meeting.

Nomination forms for candidates for the Management Committee and Board of Guardians must be with the Shul Office by end of day on Monday, 13 February 2017. The same deadline applies for notification of any matters you wish to raise at the meeting.

Nomination forms are available at the Shul Office, and have also been emailed to members.

The AGM starts at 7.00pm in the Slome Auditorium. Refreshments will be provided afterwards

Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2017/02/11/our-agm-is-on-thursday-16th-february-at-7-00pm-please-try-to-attend/

Rabbi Shaked presents a Tu-Bishvat seder, Saturday after service

Tu-Bishvat, a festival celebrating trees and fruits, coincides with this week’s Shabbat, starting on Friday night and ending on Saturday night. In modern times, particularly among Progressive Jews, it has become a celebration of ecological awareness. As a minor festival, Tu-Bishvat is often poorly understood. Rabbi Sa’ar Shaked will present the JTalk this week, leading a mini – Seder, explaining its significance and the various rituals associated with it, and reading and singing the traditional songs.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2017/02/11/rabbi-shaked-presents-a-tu-bishvat-seder-saturday-after-service/

Retirement gift for Richard Mkhabele, retiring after 45 years service

There will a presentation/farewell for Richard Mkhabele (who is retiring after 45 years’ loyal service to Beit Emanuel) at the end of the AGM proceedings.

If anyone is still planning to contribute towards a retirement gift for Richard, please make your donation by end of day on Tuesday, 14 February 2017.

Donations can be paid into our bank account, as follows:

Temple Emanuel

FNB Killarney Branch 256 205

A/C no. 5486 0049 352

Please use the Beneficiary Reference [YOUR SURNAME] [RICHARD]

 

Groundsman required to replace Richard

With Richard’s retirement, we will be looking for a new groundsman from 1 March.  The individual will need to be physically strong and active and be able to use his initiative, follow detailed instructions and work as part of a team.

He will work a 5 ½ day week (Mon to Sat), and may be required to work overtime.  Accommodation is provided and the salary is negotiable.

CVs and/or applications can be sent to the Shul Office, or emailed to [email protected].

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2017/02/11/retirement-gift-for-richard-mkhabele-retiring-after-45-years-service/