A Bright New Year Begins

The new year will begin next week. Every year at this time I reflect on the blessings that have been given to me. That I was born into the most prosperous country on earth. That I enjoy great freedoms, among them religious freedom. That my family is happy and healthy, that I live in a community of good people. At this time each year I must thank all of you. Thank you for being willing to open your thoughts and hearts to me, for sharing your joys and sorrows, your deeply felt convictions and truths. Thank you for stretching out of your comfort zones to make your relationships and families strong and safe places for each member. For the boundless source of love you pour into the world. You make my days, days of adventure and joy.

As I do each year, I am sending a note to my rabbi, thanking him for seeing into my heart many years ago and setting my feet on this path. This year I have decided to expand those letters to include a number of other community leaders who have helped me to create programs that welcome all of you, all of my own family, to a deeper engagement in Jewish life.

Thank you all.

Free High Holy Day Children’s Services – Alameda

Children Services for Rosh Hashanah are on Sept., the 13th at 9am.
Children’s Services for Yom Kippur are on Sept. the 22nd at 9am.
There is no cost, all are welcome.
Temple Israel, 3183 Mecartney Rd., Alameda
Call for more information 510-522-9355

Free High Holy Day Services in San Rafael
Join Rodef Sholom for the following services – free –
Rosh Hashanah Children’s Services
Thursday, Sept. 13 at 2pm
Second Day Rosh Hashanah Services
Friday, Sept. 14 at 9:30am
Yom Kippur Children’s Services
Saturday, Sept. 22 at 1pm
Yom Kippur Yizkor & concluding Services
Saturday, Sept. 11 at 3pm

All services are at Civic Center in San Rafael. Call Rodef Sholom for more information at 415-497-3441.

Selichot Services this Saturday night
At the end of the last sabbath before the High Holidays there is a special services called Selichot. It is late and has a mystical feeling to it for me. Summer is ending, the autumn brings a crispness to the night air. My congregation gathers in the courtyard of our synagogue and holds a havadalah service – ending of Shabbat. Then we go inside for study and then, as we get towards 11pm, comes Selichot. The Torah scrolls are dressed in white, symbolizing the beginning of the Days of Awe. The notes of the solemn tunes of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur rise in the golden light. Find a service at a synagogue near you and experience the night.