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 Rokdim.co.il/#/ 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
zoom.us/j/512501420 (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.  https://mailchi.mp/ba3858056219/soco-activist-news-522020?e=33e39a3762. 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.

BMertz Beth Ami racial justice presentation

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 Leanne@sonic.net 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.

Israeli High Holidays: Eight Days of Remembrance

Eight Days of Remembrance
– from sorrow to redemption

What is called the Israeli High Holidays starts with commemorating the losses of the Jewish people and ends with a celebration and giving of thanks.

Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) began the evening of April 20. It commemorates the acts of violence against our fellow Jews in WWII, specifically the murder of our brothers and sisters and other innocents by Nazis and their collaborators. Many of us have family who died at the hands of the Nazis.

A week later, we observe Yom HaZikaron, a day to remember all those who died defending our homeland in Israel from other aggressors. We remember the sacrifice of both soldiers and civilians who died at the hands of terrorists or in battle. The full name of the day is Yom HaZikaron LeHalalei Ma’arakhot Yisrael ul’Nifge’ei Pe’ulot HaEivah (יוֹם הזִּכָּרוֹן לַחֲלָלֵי מַעֲרָכוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל וּלְנִפְגְעֵי פְּעוּלוֹת הָאֵיבָה), the Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism. Many of us have friends and relatives who were murdered for the sake of our name.

Yet we are directed to leave our grief behind starting the evening of April 28 as we celebrate the miracle of the modern Jewish State of Israel. In normal times we would dance the hora, hear Israeli folk music, light bonfires, and celebrate throughout the streets. This year will be different due to COVID-19. Here in Santa Rosa, we needed to postpone our scholar in residence talks on Jewish Identity. Instead, let us turn to our computers and watch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxzR9Z-kG6Q  a celebration from two years ago and sing along with the prayer to protect our children and this land from the hatred all around us.

Here are some ideas from the Reform movement:

  • Prepare a special meal to celebrate the holiday. Find an Israeli recipe that appeals to you and give it a try!
  • Change your Facebook profile picture to the Israeli flag or wish Israel a happy birthday on social media to share your love of the Jewish homeland.
  • Do a Yom HaAtzmaut craft project with your children. Options include creating easy tear flags, pretty painted planters, or celebratory pinwheels.

Here is a brief video telling more about Yom HaAtzmaut.

Watch these Two Important Videos: Getting through the Quarantine with Natan Sharanksy + Concepts & Misconceptions about Israel, Zionism, and Jews

Natan Sharansky – Five tips to get through the Quarantine

Click the link below to view this powerful webinar.

Watch this dynamic presentation on

Concepts & Misconceptions about Israel, Zionism, and Jews

Concepts & Misconceptions about Israel, Zionism, and Jews

LIVE: Are you in quarantine? Don't worry – StandWithUs is here to keep you educated about Israel. Join our first StandWithUsConnect webinar with Charlotte Korchak, StandWithUs director of international student programs. Streaming live from Israel. In this presentation, we will discuss core concepts and misconceptions regarding Israel, Zionism, and the Jewish people, and will provide the tools needed to explain these topics to those less informed. Moreover, we will also tackle the core claims made against Israel’s right to exist, providing the necessary knowledge and skills to challenge those arguments, and ultimately show how these expressions of Anti-Zionism are in fact Antisemitism.

Posted by StandWithUs on Wednesday, March 18, 2020