Shabbat Shalom! Tonight’s services should be very special and I hope that you are planning on being with us. Our Torah portion, Mikeitz, is about Joseph; who interprets Pharoah’s dreams and saves not only the people of Egypt, but the Israelites, by planning to collect food during the years of plenty to feed the people during the years of famine. If it weren’t for dreamers, we wouldn’t be the people that we are today; we might not even be here. If it weren’t for those who had a dream of what Judaism could look like in the Land of Israel, it certainly would have been invaded long ago. If it weren’t for dreamers, nothing would change.
We have many dreamers here at TBA. There are those who dream of a renovated building and, because of their dream, determination, and generosity we have a beautiful new sanctuary. There are those who dream of changes in our worship and so over the last couple of years, we brought in a new instrument, a new prayer book, and now are experimenting with different times for worship.
There are those who dream of not only more attendees, but more participation in worship. So this week, Jodie Lane will be joining me on the bima and we will be leading both services together in celebration of Shabbat and Chanukah. Jodie has put together a small choir who will help us lead services, which will include more music than usual: new, familiar and original pieces. Under Jodie’s direction, help, and in-collaboration we are trying to work with our prayer book, which still feels new, to create a more participatory worship experience. Whether you are comfortable singing, reading along, or engaging in conversation. we feel that there is a place for everyone in our worship space and hope that you will join us at whatever level you are comfortable.
There are those who dream of new models of education for our children. This Friday night is also the next family program experience for our 5th grade class. Under Pam Barkley’s direction, the Religious School, in collaboration with LOMED (Learner Outcomes and Measurement for effective Educational Design), is experimenting with a potential new model for Religious School. The 5th grade teachers have been working with Pam and an advisory committee guided by LOMED to create different models of learning from the typical classroom model, to field trips, to family education, and online shared projects. For more information, see Pam’s article in the upcoming January bulletin.
This Friday night will be very special, I hope that you will join us!
Cantor Margot Goldberg