“Lo, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death”. This phrase from the 23rd Psalm echoed in my mind all this past Fall. I had rushed to New York in early October to take care of my dying mother. She was in hospice care at her home. I then spent more than 2 months at her side.
The High Holidays are over. They are a time for deep contemplation and contrition. This is not so generally recognized by the outside world. When telling non-Jewish acquaintances that Rosh Hashanah is coming and marks the new year, I find they generally presume that it is a festive, December 31st-type event with lots of partying.
The IJC is approaching the end of the year. The last Hebrew School session will be held on Saturday May 30th. The IJC will hold its annual general meeting (AGM) on Sunday morning June 7th.
The High Holidays are almost upon us – the beginning of a new year (5776). This year our rabbi – Rabbi Ira Goldberg – will lead the High Holiday services. He will be assisted by a familiar face to anyone who has attended IJC High Holiday services over the past five years – Cantor Marty Eisenstein.
The Flemish Opera is currently staging the 1835 French opera “La Juive” composed by Jacques Fromental Halevy. This grand opera, set in the 15th Century, deals with the position of a minority in a theocratic authoritarian state, the lack of tolerance, the fanning of mob hatred and the violent consequences.
We are coming to the end of another year. It has been a year of change: a new rabbi and a switch of school sessions to (mostly) Saturdays alongside services. Both have reinforced the vitality of IJC.
It is almost Pesach. IJC will celebrate it with a Community Seder on the First Night (Friday, April 3rd) led by Rabbi Ira. Pesach is the Festival of Freedom, the story of the Exodus from Egypt. It is a festival not intended to be formally celebrated in a shul.