What a year it has been!
So we are a bit delayed in submitting our top 10 list for 2015. That does not diminish the Jewish joy, learning, and meaningful moments we have shared. Here are 10 standout moments. There is no way we could capture them all. Write back and let us know if we missed one of your favorites. Most importantly, we are looking forward to kicking off 2016 with our first Shabbat celebration of the year this Friday evening at 7:30. We will have the joy of hearing our 5th graders lead us in some prayers and Narda Oz will share some reflections on Israeli culture and society. Looking forward to sharing a meaningful 2016.
Rabbi Michelle Pearlman
1. Celebrating our new website bethchaim.net Thank you Elaine Goldhammer!
2. Sharing in the wedding of Betsy Berger and Allison Wolf. The first same gender wedding at Beth Chaim and our generous brides invited the entire congregation to take part. #lovewins
3. It wasn't a Bar Mitzvah but it was a lot of fun: Hebrew Blindfolded Macarena, Crazy Hora, limbo, Israeli dancing, selfies, prizes, great snacks and 70 lunches made for the hungry at Safe Harbor, Rak Dan Entertainment and our amazing Beth Chaim teens. 2015 It's not YOUR Bar Mitzvah Party
4. Unscrolling the Torah on Simchat Torah and other holiday celebrations. Celebrating Hanukkah with Shabbat Dinner, a Top Chef latke making contest (congrats Martha Gross!), and interfaith dialogue with our Walk the Walk teen guests.
5. Listening to all the stories at the groundbreaking FIRST EVER Beth Chaim Story Slam.
6. Misheloach Manot! Tasting the hamentaschen which were baked and delivered with love by our dedicated Sisterhood members. This too was a first for our congregation which helped us all to engage in the Purim mitzvot of giving to one another and giving tzedakah to those in need in the wider community. $1000 was raised for the Chester County Food Bank.
7. Collecting 4,5000 lbs of food for the West Chester food pantry during our High Holiday Food Drive. We filled that truck and did a second drive during the Thanksgiving-New Years season to add to our food donations and commitment to feeding the hungry.
8. Chili Fest and our Night at the Races. Did you know that Beth Chaim's members sing a mean Karaoke rendition of "Sweet Caroline?"
9. Participating in Beth Chaim's Visioning for 2022. Leader BCRC member Joanne Borin led a process which was joyful, honest, forward thinking and allowed many voices to be heard.
10.BCRC youth soaked up the sun and ruach at Jewish Camps this summer. We had students at Galil, Nah Jee Wah, and URJ Harlam Day and Residential Camps to name a few. 5 BCRC families even went to Camp Harlam Family Camp together for an end of the summer adventure.
Beth Chaim Story Slam Creator Terry Heyman
Its not YOUR Bar Mitzvah Party
Camp Harlam Family Camp
2016 has so much joy in store. 26 people are signed up to go on our Beth Chaim Trip to Israel. Scholar Dr. Ron Wolfson is going to visit our community to talk about his book Relational Judaism on April 10. Join us for the Beth Chaim Birthday Bash and Fundraiser on Feb 27th. Purim is coming, Pesach fun and much much more. Happy 2016 Beth Chaim!