Open House Shabbat

Open House Shabbat at Temple Beth Ami

Temple Beth Ami is opening its doors to prospective members for Shabbat Services on Saturday, December 9, 2017 at 9:00 AM and Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 9:00 AM. Arrive as a stranger, leave as a friend, return as a new family member. Everyone is welcome to stay after services for Kiddush, mingle with the congregation, have a meet & greet with Rabbi Mitchell Novitsky and receive a tour of the synagogue. For more information stop by 9201 Old Bustleton Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19115, call 215-673-2511 or email templebethami2@gmail.com.

Open House Shabbat

Open House Shabbat at Temple Beth Ami

Temple Beth Ami is opening its doors to prospective members for Shabbat Services on Saturday, December 9, 2017 at 9:00 AM and Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 9:00 AM. Arrive as a stranger, leave as a friend, return as a new family member. Everyone is welcome to stay after services for Kiddush, mingle with the congregation, have a meet & greet with Rabbi Mitchell Novitsky and receive a tour of the synagogue. For more information stop by 9201 Old Bustleton Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19115, call 215-673-2511 or email templebethami2@gmail.com.

19 Local Synagogues Hold Wine Tasting Event at Federation Building

— by John Oliver Mason

Nineteen Philadelphia-area synagogues joined in a wine tasting party, aimed at Jewish professionals in their 20s and 30s, at the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia building last Tuesday. Ross Berkowitz, executive director of Tribe 12, one of the event’s sponsors, said:

This is an event we have been running for six years now. The one time of the year that Jews in their 20s and 30s think about synagogues, is at the High Holidays. They really do not think about them throughout the year. So we are really trying to catch people now, when they are thinking ‘Where do I want to go for the High Holidays,’ introduce them to the great synagogues that we have in this area, and hopefully create a connection, where they can possibly get free tickets for the High Holidays coming up, and hopefully create a connection for the coming year with one or more synagogues.

More after the jump.
Tribe 12, said Berkowitz, is “an organization that engages people in their twenties and thirties in the Jewish community, finding ways to connect people today so that they will stay involved in the community in the long term.”

Except for Tribe 12, The event was sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Renaissance Group, Hillel Grad Network of Philadelphia, Moishe House, Gershman Y, the Jewish Exponent, Interfaith family of Philadelphia, the Victor Center, and the Consulate General of Israel in Philadelphia. “We all try to work together, because we know if we work together and create collaborations, we are going to have stronger events and better programs,” concluded Berkowitz.              

The participating Synagogues were:

  • Adath Israel (Conservative), Merion Station;
  • Aish HaTorah Philadelphia (traditional),Bala Cynwyd;
  • Congregation Beth Am Israel (Conservative), Penn Valley;
  • Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir (Reconstructionist), Center City Philadelphia;
  • Congregation Mikveh Israel (Spanish-Portuguese), Center City;
  • Congregation Rodeph Shalom (Reform), Center City;
  • Germantown Jewish Centre (Conservative), West Mount Airy;
  • Har Zion Temple (Conservative), Penn Valley;
  • Historic Congregation B’Nai Abraham (Orthodox), Society Hill;
  • Historic Congregation Kesher Israel, Society Hill;
  • Kesher Shalom (Reconstructionist-based), Rydal;
  • Kol Tzedek (Reconstructionist), West Philadelphia;
  • Mekor Habracha (Orthodox), Center City Philadelphia;
  • Minyan Tikvah (traditional-egalitarian), Center City;
  • Mishkan Shalom (Reconstructionist), Roxborough;
  • Temple Beth Am (Reform), Abington;
  • Society Hill Synagogue (Independent Conservative), Society Hill;
  • Temple Beth-Hillel-Beth El (Conservative), Wynnewood; and
  • Temple Beth Zion-Beth El (Conservative), Center City.

Women Cantors’ Network Conference in Philadelphia, June 12th – 15th

Congregation Kol Ami in Elkins Park will host the 29th Annual Women Cantors’ Network Conference from June 12th to 15th.  Approximately 90 cantors and cantorial soloists from California to Maine will gather to sing, learn, and share their stories and issues.  

The Women Cantors’ Network (WCN) was formed in 1982 as a supportive and nurturing environment for women cantors to share music, knowledge, and experiences in the field.  In 1981, WCN founder Debbie Katchko became the second woman in a traditional Jewish conservative pulpit.  At the time, there was little opportunity to discuss issues unique to females in a male profession.   Questions like “What about maternity leave?” “How do you manage with your growing family?” “What is the role of your spouse?”, and even the seemingly mundane, but professionally crucial… “What do you wear on the pulpit?” were yet to be answered.   Katchko found twelve women serving congregations who were interested in networking, and the group has held annual conferences ever since.  From that original twelve, the WCN has grown to over 300 women and men from the United States, Canada, Israel, the UK, France, and Germany.

More after the jump.
Since that time, of course, women cantors have been recognized and accepted into all liberal cantorial schools and organizations. The growth of the WCN membership over the years included their regular publication of a newsletter, writing of a constitution, commissioning of new Jewish music, and the creation of a very active online listserv and Facebook page.

This year’s conference theme is “Loving God, Torah, and Ourselves”.  It has many highlights, including speaker Dr. Dan Gottlieb (What Opens and Closes a Loving Heart?), the music of Rebecca Schwartz, Cantorial Soloist at Kol Ami, a workshop with Mitch Chanin (Dialogue About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict), Hazzan Charles Davidson (Tradition vs. Modernity in synagogue music), composer Joe Myerov’s music,  Dr. Marsha Bryan Edelman (Songs of Love in Many Voices), and performers Peter and Allen Allard (Love is Music, Music is Love).  On Tuesday afternoon, 6/14, the group will visit the National Museum of American Jewish History and perform the 2011 commissioned piece of music for all those touring the museum.