Social Action Committee yearly Review

The SAC has a very active membership committed to Tikun Olam ( repairing our world)
The members include: Judy Gunnar,Lenore Holloway , Judi Hyman, Rita Kagan, karen Herskovic  ,Tish Levee, Cheryle Stern Miller, Susan Miller, lyla Nathan ( co chair), Ellen Mundell, Bobbie Rosenthal ( co chair), Carol Swanson, Michelle Zygielbaum .  I thank them for their amazing
We are committed to projects throughout the year.  We , along with the generous help of the congregation ,collect healthy  non- perishable food for the Redwook Empire Food Bank.
We also have a yearly winter  clothing drive to which the congregation gives to generously.This year we delivered  warm clothes and blankets  to Catholic Charities.  They do a wonderful job of distribution to those in need.
*Dinner at the Palms*
The Palms is an converted motel on Santa Rosa Ave. that is run by the veteran’s administration and Catholic Charities providing housing and services for previously un- sheltered individuals.  Every 2 months we prepare a hot meal for 75-80 residents .We often serve chili, meatballs, salad, and dessert.  This year Bernard and Maria Soltes ( pasta etc.) have provided their delicious pasta dishes.  Also Jerry Newman prepared smoked Brisket.  Both meals were so appreciated.  Thanks to you all the Mitzvah!
Last month ,because of Covid  19 ,we delivered 80 individually packed meals. We are planning  to deliver a chili dinner on Wednesday, July 1.
*Redwood Empire Food Bank:*
For most of the year we went every 2 months to help at the food bank. We would also go out for a simple meal following the work. We had many people join us over the years .We look forward to starting this activity as soon as we can and hope that many of you can join us.    I am sure everyone knows how important the food bank is at this time. The numbers of families in need has risen dramatically.*Toiletries  collection and distribution with nursery school *
We collected toiletries with the nursery school. The children packed them and delivered items to those in need. We hope to have more inter generational activities with them.Shabbaton with Beth Haman
In November we helped the adult education committee with Shabbat dinner  and the cabaret. It was a lovely weekend and well attended.

Of course our activities have been limited during the last months.  We have zoomed and kept  in contact as a group. Any one interested in participating in any way please call or email the office or Lyla Nathan.@ 5267438.   We have will continue to do what we can to support those in need.
Thanks for everyone’s continued support of our committee and our mission of Tikun Olam,
Shalom, lyla

Social Action bringing dinner to The Palms

You’re invited to our next SAC meeting next Tuesday June 9th at 1:00 pm.  We will discuss our next Palms meal and share other news. Of course Lyla will lead our merry band of do-gooders.  I only have a 40 minute use of Zoom – so you don’t have to pencil in too much time!
Stay cool —

Judi Hyman’s Zoom Meeting– check back just before the meeting in case the zoom url changes.

Scheduled: Jun 9, 2020 at 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM


Meeting ID: 788 3104 5187

Password: 8DruU9

Intentional Neglect and National Outrage.

Without doubt, the United States of America has much to be proud of. The great experiment in a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” which the founders of this country began almost two hundred and fifty years ago, has brought the blessings of opportunity, freedom and happiness to a vast number of its citizens.

At the same time, we cannot ignore the fact that these blessings have been denied to many Americans, simply by reason of race. This list doesn’t pretend to be exhaustive. Most of us would be shocked at the living conditions both squalid and life-threatening which so many of our people endure, especially those who occupy our inner cities; the sense of hopelessness, and in contrast, the perception of white privilege which guarantee the growing disparity between the empowered and the under-privileged. However, the fact that at this time, when those who are commissioned to protect all citizens are shown to have a long-standing and consistent pattern of abuse and brutality against the Black American population, we cannot be surprised when that segment of our society expresses their fury and has risen in revolt against such treatment.

On the one hand, the number of those in support of the “Black lives matter” movement is a source of encouragement and hope. In establishing the Constitution, the framers clearly sensed the importance of being able to express outrage on the part of the governed through “peaceful assembly.” I believe they were wise enough to realize that it might take such expression to bring about needed change on the part of those who occupied the positions of power. Even today, the vast majority of the people taking part in the current demonstrations are (almost surprisingly) seeking a peaceful way to express their systemic anger at the long history of abuse, both physical and economical, stretching in an unending chain all the way back to the days of slavery.

Tragically, at the same time, there are those individuals who see, in all this, an opportunity to undermine through violence, destruction of property, and pillage, the foundations of our society. Here we depend on our institutions of law-enforcement, local, State and, if necessary, Federal, to assist law-abiding citizens to bring such criminal behavior under control and restore order.

A greater tragedy would befall our society, if we were to mix up these two groups. We should not use the latter civil disobedience as an excuse to attack all those other people for using their right to peacefully assemble and bring their legitimate issues to the public forum.

It’s been about 170 years since this country was almost cast asunder by the American Civil War. It’s fortunate outcome was the official end to slavery. While emancipation was a major milestone, it could never be considered the end of the road. True, there have been important steps taken towards bringing the black community into line with the majority of its citizens, but the truth is, the expressions of outright racism and, in this case, brutality, the clear inequality of opportunity in the economic and educational areas, continue to pervade our society. This is truly a blight on all of us.

The response of “All lives matter,” to “Black lives matter,” misses the point entirely! True, the black community is hardly the only community that experiences bigotry or racism in our country. However, the fact that their predecessors were forcibly brought to this country under inhumane conditions, the length of time they have had to endure racial discrimination, economic abuse and brutality, makes a compelling argument for the need to address this outrage in an immediate and determined way.

At this point in history, it becomes imperative to devote significant resources to work with the black community to address the wrongs of history: to do our best to re-educate and hold accountable those who suffer from the social disease of racism. By working to grant the opportunities of full citizenship to that segment of the population that has suffered the most, we can begin a process of securing the blessings of this nation and its Constitution to all who come under its banner.

Rabbi Mordecai Miller

Congregation Beth Ami

Santa Rosa, CA

Dancing on Zoom?

It’s a sad fact that folk dancing does not lend itself to social distancing in any way. Even without holding hands, the increased respiration and movement through a shared space, and for a long duration of time, has much more potential for virus transmission than quiet sitting activities, or briefly passing people on a walk. I don’t think I could manage to dance while wearing a mask; most people have said that they could not dance in masks as well. So I’m feeling pretty discouraged about this hobby i love so much.

There are lots of zoom groups and facebook live streams designed to help people who want to watch, hear the music, and dance in their homes.

I’ll list them below as i get notices.

Be well,


Yaron Meishar of has prepared 20 dance sessions that you can watch or dance to. They include a few nostalgia sessions, a debka session and several sessions of Moshiko’s dances (It’s really great to see him dancing some of his dances again).

Orly and Aaron host choreographers in zoom dancing Wednesdays  6:00-9:00 pm Pacific (Password: balagan)



Welcome Shabbat as a Community

We would love for you and your family to join us Friday evenings 6:00 pm on the Beth Ami Zoom page  to join in welcoming the Shabbat. Our plan is for each family to have their Shabbat Candles ready to kindle.  We will start the Zoom session at 6:00 pm; light our candles together and (while on mute), join Lisa Iskin in chanting the Blessing.
Immediately following we will have an abbreviated musical Kabbalat Shabbat service which should end around 6:40 pm. This will conclude with the chanting of Kiddush and we hope you will be able to join us for this part, too.
We hope that joining as a community, in this way, will lift all our spirits with the beauty and holiness of Shabbat.
Carolyn Metz,   Mordecai Miller

Rosh Chodesh, the Omer, and Zoom

Rosh Chodesh women’s group will meet Sunday May 24 at 11 a.m. via Zoom, to welcome the beautiful month of Sivan, and learn about the mystical qualities of the counting of the Omer. Lee Feinstein will talk about the creation of her Omer quilt, and the meanings behind the symbols. Open to all Jewish women. One side effect of zoom is, you can attend from afar! Invite your far-flung friends. Zoom url address

Lee’s quilt, along with a chart of the symbolic meanings of the Omer:

The omer refers to the 49-day period between the second night of Passover (Pesach) and the holiday of Shavuot. This period marks the beginning of the barley harvest when, in ancient times, Jews would bring the first sheaves to the Temple as a means of thanking God for the harvest. The word omer literally means “sheaf” and refers to these early offerings.

The Torah itself dictates the counting of the seven weeks following Passover:

“You shall count from the eve of the second day of Pesach, when an omer of grain is to be brought as an offering, seven complete weeks. The day after the seventh week of your counting will make fifty days, and you shall present a new meal offering to God (Leviticus 23:15-16).”

In its biblical context, this counting appears only to connect the first grain offering to the offering made at the peak of the harvest. As the holiday of Shavuot became associated with the giving of the Torah, and not only with a celebration of agricultural bounty, the omer period began to symbolize the thematic link between Passover and Shavuot.

While Passover celebrates the initial liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt, Shavuot marks the culmination of the process of liberation, when the Jews became an autonomous community with their own laws and standards. Counting up to Shavuot reminds us of this process of moving from a slave mentality to a more liberated one.

Hello from My Home Bunker!

I hope you are all staying safe, healthy and connected. A big shout out and Todah Rabah (Thank you) to Bernard and Maria Soltes, owners of Pasta Etc, who have contributed boxed meals of fresh pasta and sauce for distribution to Beth Ami and Nursey School members who have been particularly hard by the economic shutdown. Thanks also to members of the Social Action committee (Judi Hyman and Susan Miller and Judy Gunnar) who have volunteered to distribute the food.

Wait until you see our beautifully refurbished main office. Jose and crew in consultation with Bonnie Boren, has painted the interior and laid new carpet. I hear it’s beautiful!!!

You can see how CBA member’s gardens are looking this spring – take a garden tour on Beth Ami’s Facebook page – beautiful and impressive. (See instructions in weekly Cybershul)

Our Calling, Caring & Connecting Committee is still at work making sure everyone has a friendly call regularly: “Hello, how are you doing and do you have everything you need?” Many thanks to the 28 individuals from the congregation who are making calls and dedicated to staying connected.

With the latest Health Department orders to be implemented today in Sonoma County it looks like we’ll be holding the Annual Meeting in June via ZOOM (date to be determined.) We are beginning to consider all the pieces of the “rentry” puzzle that will need to be in place before staff, congregants or children are permitted to gather on campus. Stay tuned.

All this is to say that even while we operate from our own separate spaces, there are ways we remain a community. Adult Education, Religious Practices, the Kitchen Committee, the Green Committee, Social Action, USY are all functioning in addition to the many services and classes Rabbi Miller is holding every week. Your Board of Directors has met several times during the past 2 months, navigating our progress through the pandemic. All of our meetings take place via ZOOM.

That’s all for now. Be well, and stay connected.

Warm regards, Carolyn

Social Action and social distancing

Shalom everyone, we had a very productive meeting and I want to fill in those who couldn’t make it. We missed you!
First off, thanks to Judy, Judi and Susan for distributing the food to members in our community. Of course a huge thanks to Bernard and Maria. I thanked them on behalf of SAC. Also thanks to Judy for organizing the food distribution.

Yesterday, Judi wanted to see if there was any way we could provide food to The Palms. We came up with an idea to prepare individual portions. Bobbi called The Palms and we have organized a delivery on next Wednesday. Please read Bobbie’s notes below. Next time those of you who aren’t participating can help as I know everyone might want to.

Secondly, Ellen told us about writing postcards to encourage people to vote in states other than California. The organization that is sponsoring this effort is Indivisible. Here is the info about writing postcards and other activities that Indivisible is sponsoring. Funny thing happened today. I went to pick up postcards, both Michele and Judi were there at the exact same time!

Anyway, hope you are well. I hope we will have another zoom meeting soon.
Take care , lyla

We will be serving individual dinners to the residence of the Palms on Wednesday, May 13th

Meals will be meatballs pasta and sauce. Dessert will be in separate containers or Ziploc bags.
Individual meals will be provided by Judi ,Lyla, Karen ,Susan , Cheryl and Bobbie. Will each make 12 individual portions.
Dessert will be provided by Ellen and Michelle.
Judi will get the individual containers they will be available at her house for pick up Friday after 2:00.
We will all me on Wednesday, May 13. 3 o’clock parking lot Beth Ami. We will load all of the food into one car and that person will drop it off at the Palms.

Please feel free if I got anything wrong to correct me. And a big thank you  for everyone being willing to do this. I am proud to be on a committee with all of you.

Roberta Rosenthal

Shelter-in-place recipes

Calling all CBA Foodies… One benefit of the Corona19 is we are all cooking at home and enjoying more meals together. Have you been cooking in your kitchen lately? What recipes have you been using? Old family recipes? New ones? Let’s share our food ideas with each other. Please include any story behind your choice and your first name if you like. Email pdf or doc attachments to with CBA recipe as the subject.

CBA Chicken Shwarma Recipe

This is my all time favorite vegetarian recipe. I grow Swiss Chard and probably put in a lot more than the recipe actually calls for. I will also describe what to do with the stems that are left. So you are getting 2 for 1 here. –Lee Feinstein
CBA Curried Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard
Here is the ultimate noodle kugel. In this recipe, you don’t merely moisten the noodles with custard. No, if it looks like the noodles are floating around in a large vat of custard, you’re doing it right! From Ethel Schy.  kugel, lukshen
Carolyn Metz’s vegetarian quiche recipe Veggie Quiche
For Shavuot: Bonnie Boren sends the blintzes recipe she uses.