OUR LAG B'OMER PICNIC IS TONIGHT (May 25) FROM 6–7:30 P.M.

Bring your own dairy-vegetarian picnic dinner, blankets and/or chairs, and join us for this fun-for-everyone event including games, activities, music around the bonfire and community-building. The WJC will provide dessert and cold drinks and the WJC community band will provide the music.

Some upcoming dates to remember:

Annual Yard Sale: July 17–18
Download the calendar & donation guide

Annual Keter Shem Tov: November 19

Dear WJC Family & Friends,

At the first Evening of Sharing you spoke and your board listened.

One of the things you asked for was better communication, so we thought you might like a quick recap of the regular, monthly Board meeting. Of course, you always have access to the full minutes by request and are welcome to attend the regular meetings in person on the third Thursday of each month at 7 pm. If you would like to address the Board, however, contact Board President Rondavid Gold at [email protected] in advance so he can put you on the agenda.

This meeting recap, which we will continue to provide shortly after each Board meeting as long as you find it useful, is intended to keep you up to date on some of the things your Board and its committees are doing.

Avis and Joe Toochin attended our May 19 meeting to report on some of the issues discussed at the ad hoc member communication task force meeting; Paul Mozian, who is also a member of that group, as well as its liaison to the board, was present in his new capacity as a board member.

A second Evening of Sharing has been scheduled for June 23rd at 7 pm at the WJC. These meetings will be scheduled as long as they are felt to be necessary. Remember, there is no “you” and “us” There is only “we” and we all very much want our shul to thrive. Key to every board discussion before a vote is taken is always the question: “What is best for the WJC? ”

Our new board members—Paul Mozian, Desiree O'Clair and George Swain—were introduced and they spoke briefly about themselves. George is a lifelong educator who now works for the non-profit New York State Association of Independent Schools. He told us that after he was in a serious bicycling accident five years ago, his wife, Jessie Levey, reached out to the board. The response she received made them feel like they very much belonged at the WJC. Desirée does free-lance video and advertising work with her husband. Paul has worked in the music business since the mid-1960s and, yes, he even knew the Beatles when he served as director of artist relations for Apple in the early 1970s.

The Family School concluded with a-year end dance and the teachers will be working over the summer to develop a program that will be enticing to families seeking to raise their children in a Jewish lifestyle.

Watch for the Fundraising Committee's upcoming effort to sell garden walking stones in memory or honor of loved ones. Let's try to support this new program.

Your Finance Committee is working on a strategic plan to stabilize the WJC's future. These are difficult financial times. Expenses have been cut to the bone, which means postponing needed repairs and updates to our building and premises, as well as the addition or expansion of programs we would like to offer. We are solvent at present mainly because of a bequest that proved larger than anticipated but our building needs work. Donations at all levels and memberships are down. The board needs the support and volunteer energy of every one of us to help the WJC continue to provide a warm and welcoming Jewish home for all who seek it.

Shalom,

WJC Board of Directors

WJC Logo

Dear Members and Friends of Kehillat Lev Shalem,

We are excited to introduce SPARKS, a new program that offers an opportunity for us to bring our individual gifts more fully into Shabbat services.

SPARKS is an acronym for Sacred Participation And Renewal Kehillat Lev Shalem. The goal of SPARKS is to create more congregational leadership within Shabbat services, enriching the spiritual strength of our community. We will accomplish this goal by good old-fashioned matchmaking to connect learning partners and mentors. Once connected, each team will explore different parts of the service, delving into any area that interests them.

Perhaps you would like to learn how to give a d’var Torah, how to lead a prayer in Hebrew or English, or how to dress and lift the Torah. SPARKS will match you up with a mentor who can teach you how these things are done. The wonderful thing about this program is one-on-one and small group mentoring. Participants don’t have to commit to a particular amount of time or a full series of classes in order to learn. Mentors and learning partners will get together according to their own levels of interests and time constraints. They may meet only once, for as little as an hour, or they may decide to spend more time learning together.

Where are you on your spiritual journey? How would you like to grow? What would you like to explore? Is there a skill you would like to learn or develop? Maybe you would like to buddy with a newcomer to our services, become a greeter, or lead the Kiddush prayers. Through this program, you will have the opportunity to study any part of the service that interests you.

Beginning May 28, we will be holding occasional Shabbat morning services, led by Rabbi Jonathan, that will focus on igniting our SPARKS.

Congregants will participate in various parts of the service, making the services more special and alive. After the service, we will have a lunch-and-learn with Rabbi Jonathan, where mentors and learning partners can enjoy fellowship and share their learnings and projects.

An additional opportunity to deepen your relationship to prayer is available at our Pathways into Jewish Prayer workshops, which meet on Tuesday evenings at the WJC. The current series is exploring the Shabbat morning service, known as Shacharit. You can find out more about that series here.

SPARKS exists to help us tend the fires of our hearts and spirits, empowering us to take active roles in our spiritual community. If you would like to learn or mentor, please contact Gail Albert at [email protected], Pauline Tamari at[email protected], or Ellen Triebwasser at [email protected]il.com.

Shalom and warmest wishes,

The WJC Ritual Committee

“What Kehillat Lev Shalem is for me”

WJC ANNUAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING REPORT (MAY 15, 2016)

What Kehillat Lev Shalem is for me:

  • A place where everyone has the opportunity to grow in love and awareness
  • A place where one can enter the rhythms of Jewish time, and absorb the teachings of Jewish tradition
  • A place where we can practice being mensches
  • A place where we can learn and perform mitzvot--the righteous deeds and meaningful rituals that make up Jewish life
  • A place where we are encouraged to make our world better, fairer and healthier
  • A place to practice radical welcome, over and over again; to open our arms and hearts to one another; to notice our harsh judgments of others, and temper them with compassion and understanding
  • A place to practice teshuvah, to give others and ourselves second, third, and perhaps even 33rd chances!
  • A place where children are adored
  • A place where we can share our sadness and be held, without needing to explain
  • A place where we can disagree, and still care for one another
  • A place where we can face the fundamental uncertainty of life with courage, and with good company
  • A place to care about Israel and the Jewish people; a place where we can learn and reflect on Jewish history in all its horror and inspiration, and together remain engaged with and continue to shape the Jewish present and future
  • A place that "spiritual" types and "rational" types can happily share, and even be grateful for the variety of human experience
  • A place to help us remember that life is a gift beyond our reckoning, and to humbly and joyfully give thanks, every single day and even every single moment
  • A place to ask big questions, and to seek answers together
  • A place to celebrate life together

L'chayyim! לחיים 

Rabbi Jonathan

Dear Fellow Congregants:

I would like to offer a quick, but heartfelt expression of appreciation to all WJC members who attended last Sunday’s Annual Membership Meeting on a sunny May day when they could have been doing so many other things. It is an indication of the shul’s rebirth and new energy. It was the largest turnout in years for an annual meeting — probably upwards of 60 people.

Your questions, suggestions, ideas and comments combined with the warmth and positive energy in the room were a perfect example of what we all treasure about our congregation. If you haven’t read or heard the wonderful presentation that Rabbi Jonathan delivered at the meeting about all the reasons why he loves the WJC, please read it here.

I urge those who couldn’t attend to look into our glorious array of spiritual, educational and just plain fun programs for all ages and all interests. It really is true that the more we give of ourselves, the more we benefit and the richer our community becomes. Stay informed. Get involved. Come to the rabbi’s energetic Shabbat services. Experience the great joy of Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. Participate with committees. Take full advantage of your membership while you help assure the good health and bright future of WJC. There are so many wonderful ways to be involved. If you’re not sure where you fit and can best serve, please email me at [email protected].

Thanks again to each and every one of you for all you do.

RonDavid Gold