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Shoreshim Fall Update

posted Oct 2, 2010, 4:54 AM by   [ updated Oct 2, 2010, 5:05 AM ]
New members: We extend a warm welcome to new members, both families and individuals. Bonni Epstein, the Roths, Hoffingers, Canners, Herschs and Brickels have joined – and several others are in the wings. Many thanks to last year’s board for positioning Shoreshim so well; to Andy Gluck and Wendi Kaufman for stepping up on this; and to the Glucks for hosting the New/Prospective Member Coffee Klatch: full house. Please talk with Andy or Wendi about anything involving recent, new and prospective members (or mah-jongg). It’s all very exciting for our growing community . . . . 

The Shoreshim School year is in full swing. More than 30 children are enjoying and learning under the guidance of our wonderful new principal, Ita Zoberman Mandel, and the dedicated, creative teachers. Please let Cathy Drake, our School Liaison on the board, know anything that’s on your mind. 

The Retreat is coming right up – it’s November 5-7 at colorful Claymont, West Virginny. Fun, relaxation and bonding are only an hour away (unless you get lost….). Janna Kirr and Robin Feldman are planning a fine weekend, from Friday evening clear through to Sunday noon. That famous ‘Claymont cuisine’ will free us up for all the activities – which won’t even include dishwashing this year…. And the board voted to subsidize part of the cost to members. It just doesn’t get any better than this, so sign up when the evite arrives this weekend! Can’t wait?   Then click on the document. Breaking news: sign-up by October 16 and get 15% off the tab!!

High Holy Day services, by universal acclaim, were wonderful, from the chanting, machzor and new material to the rousing shofar service. In fact, Shoreshim’s 5771 High Holy Day services took top honors for “Best Non-Pulpit Jewish New Year Services” in a Newsweek poll of diaspora congregations (just kidding – couldn’t resist, Barry…). We experimented a bit with committee structure, and everybody helped to make the services special. Next year we’ll likely reduce the committee size; not split the chairman and service leader roles; and continue having one person coordinate the various services – a role ably filled by at-large board member Paul Mandell this year. And the scrumptious Break-the-Fast potluck and the Kirrs’ house was fantastic!

Our Sukkot celebration was lovely. The builders and decorators had their hands full in the afternoon heat and humidity. But then fall weather kicked in – perfect for the lulav-shaking service led by Damon Feldman, and for the potluck / schmoozfest / movie (Schwartz – thanks to the Litvins and Tosers) that went late into the night. Plus, we beat the rainy deluge by a good ten hours, so our timing was perfect. . . . With Dan Spar, P.E., the builders are working on further stabilizing and simplifying our sukkah for next year.

More upcoming: The Simchas Torah service (6-8pm sharp on Monday, October 4 – right after school lets out) looks to be a great celebration – almost 50 people have replied to the evite and it's not too late for you to hit the evite tab. So come dance with the Torah - Andrea Foster will lead on guitar, and the Shoreshim committee under Neil Kirr’s direction promises a fun, and delicious, evening. Plus, Cathy Drake will give us a reading there – mazel tov to the 3 Drakes [Cathy, Chris and Erin] on their conversion to Judaism on September 15 before the beit din. Truly a life-changing experience! 

Tzedakah: We are in gear. Thanks to Miles Maestas & Co., the board adopted the Tzedakah Committee’s recommendation to allocate $1600 from last year between the Free Clinic and the Food Pantry in Reston. Heidi Cherry already is off and running to lead our tzedakah efforts this year. 

Adult Ed and older member options: The board wants to focus on programs for our older members, and we hope to be rolling out some fun social and educational options soon. First up: the very engaging Rabbi Gilah Langner will lead three sessions on ‘Decoding the Talmud’ this fall – as R. Gilah puts it, to focus on ‘basic questions in Jewish history and theology.’ Watch your emails for details about time and place for this intriguing seminar. Cost will be $10/session for members, and $20/session for non-members (again, thanks to last year’s board for this). Please contact board member Larry Uman with your ideas for spring sessions. 

Member input: We’ll be scheduling a members’ meeting this winter. It won’t be as elaborate as our catered annual members meeting in May, but we want you to have ample opportunity for input and feedback. (We road-tested a conference-call phone/video service but think it’s too impersonal for Shoreshim.) Also, we’ll soon start evaluating IT options to optimize the communication channels among members and for other Shoreshim-related email traffic.