On Sunday evening, December 1st, the Beth Sholom Community joined to celebrate Chanukah. In addition to a wonderful Chanukah meal, complete with freshly made latkes and a community Menorah lighting, our families were engaged in a story telling event with Rabbi Ilan. Special thanks to the committee, led by Deanna McAlexander, who decorated, cooked and planned, and to our event sponsors: Deanna & Andy McAlexander, Joanne Levine & Noah Sabin, Christine & Russell Scheinberg, Amy Hertz & Robert Shankman, and Tresha Mandel & Barry Shulkin. The generosity of these families allowed us to offer this program at a reduced cost to our members and brought close to 100 people to this event!
Beth Sholom Congregational Sukkot Dinner
On Sunday evening, September 22nd, over 120 friends joined in the Beth Sholom sukkah to celebrate the holiday of Sukkot with a delicious spaghetti supper. The kids made their own stuffed ushpizin to visit in the sukkah, and we all joined together to sing Happy Birthday to Rabbi Ilan, whose actual birthday was two days earlier. Special thanks to Deanna McAlexander for her leadership in organizing this event and to Illysa Wertheimer for planning and coordinating the youth project, as well as to our event sponsors: Sheila & Bob Cohen, Judy & Ron Holzer, Deanna & Andy McAlexander, Sara & Herb Slovis and Mariette & Joel Turetzky. We could not have asked for a more beautiful evening to join together as a community and to dine under the stars.
Tikkun Sholom Day – A Big Hit!
A special thanks to all of our members who came out on Sunday morning, August 25th to help repair our shul! Here is a list of the projects that were completed: cleaning social hall chairs, planting colorful flowers in our pots that sit at our entrance, cutting back overgrown hedges along our drive, washing and ironing taleism, moving furniture to help set up our Rabbis' office, polishing silver, making High Holiday cards for our members in the Memphis Jewish Home or currently in the hospital, repairing our Sukkah, changing out our prayer books in preparation for the High Holidays. Our day concluded with a quick lesson on why we change our Torah covers for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and then our entire community participated in dressing the Torahs in their holiday whites! Special Thanks to our Tikkun Olam Committee, chaired by Susan Moinester, and to Illysa Wertheimer, who chaired this project.
Young Families Seudah, Swim and Havdalah
On July 20th, Beth Sholom young families enjoyed a pot luck dairy seudah shlishit at the home of Illysa and Michael Wertheimer. Both kids and parents were able to take beat the summer heat with swimming fun, and as the sun set, they all bid farewell to Shabbat with Havdalah services. Special thanks to the Wertheimers, for opening their home and for coordinating all of these fun plans for our young families.
Purim Persian Party and Megillah Festivities - 2013
This year, we ushered in Purim with revelry and merriment at a Persian Party. Our guests each came into the building through a specially constructed tent where they could create a Persian themed costume, in the instance that they had not come in disguise. During the Megillah reading, we enjoyed different noise makers to help keep everyone involved in the story line. ….. clapping hands for Mordechai, bells for Esther, whistles for Vashti and traditional groggers for Haman. Our community court was transformed with wonderful decorations, candles, and Middle Eastern music. In addition, participants could have their fortune read or get a henna tattoo while they enjoyed delectable appetizers including hummus and pita, cucumber salad, chocolate dipped apricots, dates and figs and baklava! The evening was completed with a belly dancer, who engaged everyone in learning to dance.
Beth Sholom Takes Top Honors at Annual Anshei Sphard Kosher BBQ Contest
to Beth Sholom’s Sisterhood and Men’s Club! Thanks to our master decorators and cooks, Beth Sholom earned two first place awards this year at the Anshei Sphard Kosher BBQ Contest. We received best booth for our creative “Garden of Eat’n” booth and best beans. Special mention to our Sisterhood president, Marsha Bender and our Men’s Club president, Kevin Bernstein and their team: Mitchell Bender, Madelyn and Kent Gordon, and Jeffrey Kay as well as our entire Tikkun Olam High School, who volunteered their time at the contest.
Annual Lag B’Omer Picnic – May 2012
We welcomed our annual Lag B’Omer celebration with a cookout on the grounds of our neighbor, the Bornblum Solomon Schechter School. Over 100 people enjoyed Jeffrey Kay’s culinary talents! We feasted on kosher hot dogs and grilled chicken as well a veggie burgers for those who are not meat eaters – along with a host of yummy side items. The kids especially liked the popsicles for dessert. In addition, we arranged for haircuts, a Lag B’Omer tradition. And the Boy Scouts arrived with gear in tow to coordinate some fun team building exercises for everyone. We could not have ordered up a more beautiful night.
Purim came in with a bang. Lots of costumes, fun and our wonderful Megillah Reading. This year our theme was Elvis! We had a number of impersonators, long sideburns and sunglasses. And we enjoyed having and Elvis Tribute Artist serenade us between Megillah chapters. The kids went crazy and the adults were pretty wowed too. Purim could not have been merrier than at Beth Sholom
Chanukah 2011 – Bowling Fun
Beth Sholom revived an old tradition of celebrating Chanukah at the Bowling Alley. We lit chanukiahs, ate pizza and donuts – because what is Chanukah without a little oil – and sang Ma’oz Tzur with all of the other bowlers watching our fun. All who attended – from all age groups – have requested that we do this again – so watch for Chanukah 2012 when we’ll see who can get closest to that score of 300 while we enjoy holiday fun.
Weekend in the Woods Retreat – October 2011
Over 40 members from our Beth Sholom Kehilla traveled to Natchez Trace State Park for a family retreat. We welcomed and experienced Shabbat together, with services, meals, and special learning sessions for both adults and children of all ages. We said good-bye to Shabbat on Saturday evening with Havdalah and a campfire complete with s’mores, singing and dancing, and we had a chance on Sunday to break bread together one final time and to study together before we departed to return to our homes and our individual lives. Everyone agreed that it was a special bonding experience and we are all looking forward to another retreat in the fall of 2012. Special thanks to Bob Cohen, VP Education, for spearheading the ritual and educational aspects of the retreat, to Judy Bookman as well as Rabbi Aaron for leading some of our sessions and to Jeff Kay for handling the food and other administrative details. It was indeed a team effort.
WORLD WIDE WRAP – FEBRUARY 6, 2011
Beth Sholom Men’s Club hosted the 11th annual World Wide Wrap in the Arie Becker Chapel on the first Sunday in February. Before heading home to prepare for the Super bowl, Beth Sholom men, women and religious school students gathered to teach and learn about the mitvah of wearing tefillin. Those with prior experience took the time to work with those new to wearing tefillin and helped them perform the mitzvah. Afterwards, everyone enjoyed a special breakfast prepared by Men’s Club volunteers.
Burial of Holocaust/Wolf River/Adler Torah
Please click the image to read about the recent burial of the Adler/Holocaust/Wolf River Torah on Sunday, May 23rd at Beth Sholom Memorial Gardens.
Lag B'Omer Cookout Draws Big Crowds
In spite of torrential rain and tornado warnings in Memphis, Beth Sholom attracted over 100 people to its annual Lag B'Omer Cookout. Even though we had to move the picnic and activities into the building this year, we enjoyed great food, archery, sand art, haircuts, and games while listening to live music. Our Israeli Dance group even entertained with some lively dancing. Thanks to our Men’s Club volunteers, Mitch Hodus, Dan Spector, Alex Aronson, Danny Schaffzin, Kent Gordon, Ron Holzer and Sanford Shefsky, as well as our grill masters, Brad Magdovitz and Charlie Bresinger for setting up the room and for their culinary talents. For the second year in a row, we held the drawing for the winner of the Deal or Another Deal Israel or Trip of your Choice Drawing. This year's grand prize was won by Sherry Rudner. Special thanks to all who were involved in planning and executing the cookout, Marsha Bender, Kay Geller, Deanna McAlexander, and Myra Alperin with a special thanks to Mimi & Ron Grossman for supplying the adult beverages. And Kudos to the Deal or No Deal Coordinators, Sandy Lipman and Rose Morrison, and to their entire sales team!
2010 Pesach in the Park- Again a Huge Success
Beautiful weather on Sunday, April 4th, brought overflowing crowds out to Cameron Brown Park for Beth Sholom’s annual Pesach in the Park. Master Chefs, Charlie Bresinger and Michele Less stood over hot Kosher for Passover grills making matzo brei for the eager crowd. All ages enjoyed the idyllic park setting and members and guests brought bats and balls, kites, and frisbees to add to the activity. The children and their parents enjoyed the playground, and many more brought their bikes so that they could ride along the park trails. There were even a large number of family dogs who enjoyed a walk in the park in between their owners' socializing and eating. Special Thanks to Deanna McAlexander and her Pesach in the Park Programming Committee for planning a wonderful morning for us. We all look forward to "Next year in Jerusalem" but also to next year in the park!
Beth Sholom Welcomes Chanukah 5770
This year, Chanukah started off with a bang as Beth Sholom welcomed 130 people to its annual Holiday Celebration. Beginning at 6pm, our intergenerational program begain with the Lighting of the Chanukiah and Chanukah songs. A special Dinner was served complete with hot dogs and latkes prepared with love by our kitchen volunteers, Myra Alperin, Michele Less and Marsha Bender, A team of volunteers helped the children make their own edible menorahs from loaves of French bread, carrots, pretzels, icing, jelly beans and other yummy foods. Alex Aronson ran a Human Bingo game for the whole crowd, which gave everyone the chance to learn new things about each other, including information about where people were born, who has a kosher kitchen, and who attends morning minyan, to name of few clues. As people wished each other Happy Chanukah at the close of the event, everyone agreed that they had a great time and are looking forward to Chanukah again next year.
Spare Torah Reading Table returns to Arkansas
In late April, Rabbi Aaron & Sharona Rubinstein and Barbara & Bruce Newman made a special drive to Bentonville, AR to donate a spare Torah Reading table to newly formed Etz Chaim Congregation. They were warmly greeted by members of this thriving, young congregation who then went to work to unwrap the table and bring it into their sanctuary, its new home. President Tom Douglass and Rabbi Jack Zanerhaft welcomed the Memphis crew and thanked Beth Sholom for its generous contribution. Rabbi Aaron commented on how fitting it is that a Torah reading table which began in Blytheville, AR be returned to Bentonville, Arkansas where it could resume it's life as art that serves a purpose rather than sitting in a storage closet. Finally, the congregation's Torah was brought out of the ark and opened on the table for all to see. The brief welcome ceremony and minchah service was followed by a lovely dinner hosted by Congregation Etz Chaim after which socializing continued with a special dessert at the home of Ida and Steve Feinberg. Our Beth Sholom representatives returned to Memphis, excited by this new relationship and with hopes of planning future programming together.
Shushan VIllage Purim Carnival Receives Raves
This Purim season, the Beth Sholom Young Families Committee thought BIG in planning the annual Purim Carnvial. Held on Sunday, March 8th - the day before Purim - from 5pm - 7pm, there were activities for all ages, and all ages participated in the most successful Purim Carnival in Beth Sholom history, with over 200 people in attendance. In addition to the usual games - ring toss, go fish, Hamantashchen Cake walk, there were a host of inflatables including a bouncy cage, a giant slide, and a batting cage. Children and adults alike had a number of art projects to choose from such as sand art and face painting. Everyone enjoyed the Balloon Man and people were excited to take a photo home with them from the Shushan photographer, Steve Conroy. Kosher Hot Dogs and Falafel were available for dinner, thanks to our master Kitchen Staff, Larissa & Jeff Kay, and there were Hamantaschen for sale to take home thanks to Beth Sholom Sisterhood. Everyone in attendance wishes a hearty Yasher Koach to Keri Unowsky, Purim Carnival Chair, and her dedicated team!
Beth Sholom Hosts B'nai B'rith/Hadassah Music and Dance Concert
On March 8th, Beth Sholom teamed up with B'nai B'rith and Hadassah to provide the community with a free concert of Jewish and Israeli music. Coordinated by Rabbi Aaron, the concert featured local musicians as well as Beth Sholom members in both song and dance. The performances received rave reviews from all in attendance, and opened the door for an annual community event.
Beth Sholom Sponsors Second Annual “Night Without A Home”
On Saturday, October 17th, in the middle of the holiday of Sukkot and in response to the homeless crisis in Memphis as the winter months approach, Beth Sholom sponsored its 2nd annual “Night Without A Home” sleepover in the sukkah for youth in 3rd through 8th grades. Beginning with Havdallah in the sukkah, the kids enjoyed pizza, games and music in the sukkah and those with strong constitutions actually slept outside as well. Amanda Rainey, from the Institute for Southern Jewish Living, joined us for the entire program. Entry to the event was a new or gently used blanket for Manna House – a guest house for the Memphis Homeless. Sunday morning everyone journeyed downtown to Manna House to deliver the blankets and to assist with much needed touch up to the guest home. Kathleen Krucek, Manna House director, was there to welcome the Beth Sholom crew and to thank everyone for their care and support. Special thanks to our chaperones and drivers: Rabbi Aaron & Sharona Rubinstein , Sharon Prager, Stacy Canales, Debbie Schaeffer, Connie Binkowitz, Janet Light and Susan Alexander.
Rubinstein's Rockin' Shabbat a Big Hit with Young Families
On the 3rd Friday night of each month, Beth Sholom offers a special and very well attended Young Families Event. Rabbi Aaron and Sharona lead our infants through grade 2 children and their families in a Kabbalat Shabbat service developed especially for them. With a great deal of singing, dancing and movement, these young children start learning right from the start about the excitement in welcoming Shabbat each week. Each month we have a different theme some of which have included Tzedakah Shabbat, Luau Shabbat, Back to School and Grandparents Shabbat. Services begin at 6:00pm and are followed by a family oriented and kid friendly Shabbat blessings and dinner.
Birthday & Anniversary Shabbat is Back!
This past June 21st, Beth Sholom formally reinstituted a monthly celebration of member birthdays and anniversaries. While we have sporadically acknowledged these celebrations, beginning with June, this program is formally Back with a Bang! Early each month, an invitation will go out to all members (including our very special children and teens) with birthdays and anniversaries during the month inviting them to come to shul on the third Shabbat of the month to be blessed in front of the Torah during the 4th aliyah. Our June celebration was a huge success with close to 50 members aged 13 to 89 and celebrating anniversaries from single digits to over 50 years blessing the Torah together and then being blessed by Rabbi Aaron. We also welcomed our dear friend and long time member, Mildred Wachter, back to Memphis. She is pictured above with her dear friends, Herkie Shankman, Esther Shendelman and Minette Kochman.
Our July Birthday and Anniversary Shabbat will be held on July 12th. Watch for your invitation as your birthday or anniversary month arrives!