Rosh Chodesh Women— plus Men!

On Thursday, May 5 please join the Rosh Chodesh women’s group for a Field Trip to the Santa Rosa Junior College’s Planetarium. The hour-long show which covers the basics of the solar system, with a focus on the moon, begins at 12 noon. The cost of the show is $5 … plus parking. (You may want to consider car-pooling.)

After the show, we’ll have lunch at SRJC’s Culinary Café (at 1:30pm).

We don’t want to keep this special event to ourselves, so we’re inviting both women and men!

RSVP to Zelda Bettman <> or 529-3521 by Tuesday May 3, as space is limited.

Join us Friday, May 13th for a Rockin’ Israel Independence Celebration

Rockin’ Yom HaAtzmaut at Beth Ami – Friday, May 13

A Sonoma County-wide event – Everyone welcome

Celebrate Israel’s Independence with a joyous musical Shabbat evening at Congregation Beth Ami. The celebration will start at 4:00 and includes special programs for children, an Israeli wine and cheese reception for adults, henna and face painting, dinner of Israeli-style food, special musical guest artists Melita Silberstein (of Octopretzel ) and Isaac Zones (of Shamati), and Shabbat evening service.

flyer for Israel Independence Day

Everyone is Welcome

Come for all or just parts of the event. No charge for anything except dinner.

Dinner reservations made by May 10: $8 per adult, $4 children 6-12, 5 and under free

Dinner reservations made after May 10: $14 per person


Co-sponsored by the Jewish Community Federation with support from the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund.


News from Social Action

Last week we had a nice turn out for the food bank.  We were joined by  Susan Miller,  Lenore Holloway,  Linda Emblem, Lyla Nathan and Nancy and Andy Fleming. Toda Raba and great job everyone. The next opportunity to go to the food bank is  Wednesday,  May 4th from 10:00-12:00.
The Redwood Empire is having its annual fundraiser, Empty Bowls, on Saturday April 30th.  They need volunteers for all shifts from morning til evening.   Should be a wonderful event.  Want to join Susan Miller and me?  If you are interested please call Helen Myers at the food bank.  523-7900×143.
SAY’s Dream Center is up and running.  They are having tours with a light lunch.  The next one  is Wed. April 27th at 12:00-1:00.  The Dream Center is our neighbor and it would be wonderful if members took a tour to see this amazing new facilty.   To make a reservation please go to their website at  Think about going with a friend.
JFCS continues to need food for the growing number of individuals and families that need a little extra food.  We have been doing a wonderful job filling up the bin in the foyer.   Thanks and keep up the good work.  Remenber, hunger does not take a vacation!
The Social Action committee of Shomrei Torah is showing a movie on Sat. April 16th at 7:30 . Poster Girl is an Oscar-nominated documentary about an Iraq war veteran dealing with PTSD.  There will be a panel discussion following the film. Film is free, donation is welcome.  Should be quite informative.
B’ shalom,  Lyla Nathan

Social Action at the Fammies

The Annual Fammy Gala Fundraiser for Jewish Family and Children Services was held a the Ritz Carlton in SF on Saturday February 27th. JFCS is a wonderful organization that provides many useful services in our community. This year our Social Action Committee was honored, along with other organizations, for providing food to their pantries.f2eb4cab-5ad5-4331-b20b-493ad9334c76[1]

I want to thank all of you for sending a donation to JFCS on behalf of me and the the Social Action Committee. I am very grateful and honored by this recognition. You know we do things, really never expecting to be given awards and I truly never expected to be given so much recognition at an event. But last night was truly my 15 minutes of fame. I was at the Gala with Susan Miller and Lenore Holloway from our committee. It was a wonderful event and it made me realize even more what a wonderful organization JFCS truly is. I am thrilled that we support such a remakable organization that provides services for all people during every phase of their life.
Todah Raba again, Lyla and SAC

This is the video of JFCS Food Pantry leaders agency wide, including our Beth Ami people. If you missed the Gala, you’ll want to see this.

Social Action Committee at the Food Bank

We will be going to the Redwood Empire Food Bank on Wed. March 2 and April 6 from 10:00-12:00. Please consider helping out. The food bank is always in need of volunteers so if you can’t make it on the 2nd you can always show up and say you are from Beth Ami. Thanks Any questions, please contact or 526-7438

Change and Providence

“The sun rises and the sun sets…” (Ecclesiastes 1:5)
“R. Berechyah said in the name of R. Abba bar Kahana, ‘Really! Don’t we know that the sun rises and the sun sets?!
“But the sense of this verse is: Before the sun of a certain righteous person sets, the sun of another righteous person rises…Before the sun of Sarah set, the sun of Rebecca dawned. And so it is in every generation: The sun rises and the sun sets.’” (Ecclesiastes Rabba 1:10)

The classic midrashic commentary, Etz Yoseph, explains that this is all an expression of Divine Providence; that despite the constant changes that go on in the world, this is one way in which God sees to our well-being.

Our synagogue has recently experienced a major transition. Last Fall, Carolyn Metz announced her retirement from the position of Executive Director as of the end of December, 2015. I still remember my personal sense of dismay when I received her letter informing me of her intentions. In many ways Carolyn has served as a mentor to me as I assumed the position of rabbi to Congregation Beth Ami a little over three years ago. We had many conversations about the need for our congregation to take an active role in in our community and in the lives of our members, and just how that might be accomplished.
Carolyn was the point person in the monumental challenge of re-envisioning the role of our Beth Ami Community Nursery School and, with her close friend Barbara Tomin, helped bring this complicated project to a successful conclusion.
It was Carolyn who read about the program Guess who’s coming to Shabbat Dinner! and decided that we could reinvigorate our synagogue membership’s Shabbat experience through this.

Again it was Carolyn and BT who worked together to come up with the idea of our Beth Ami Sustainers and find a way for our synagogue to finance the newly created position Director of Youth Activities as well as other important projects.
We all know that it’s one thing to have a great idea; it’s a whole other matter implementing that idea and making it a successful reality. The secret of Carolyn’s success is that, over the course of decades, and in the various roles she has played in serving our Santa Rosa and Sonoma County Jewish community, she has developed deep and lasting friendships. She has been able to share her enthusiasm and her ideas with those friends. In this way they have all worked as a wonderful team in making dreams a reality. This has gone well beyond the responsibilities of a synagogue executive director and we have all been the beneficiaries.

I look forward to working with Carolyn in her role as a regular member of Beth Ami, and pray that she will gain much naches from the additional time she will have to enjoy her family and friends. I know that we will continue to be blessed by her presence and the active role she plays in our Sonoma County Jewish Community.

Our Search Committee, under the able chairmanship of Myrna Morse, had an awesome task in finding Carolyn’s successor. To say that Myrna put together a hard-working and multi-talented committee would be an understatement.
Over the course of just a few months they achieved what many might have thought was an impossible task!
As a result of their combined efforts, we are delighted to announce the appointment of Leah Frost as our new E.D. Leah’s background includes a relationship with our Beth Ami during the course of her childhood. She has had extensive experience in the various tasks of administration, from scheduling to writing handbooks. She has had first-hand opportunity to work with customers, clients and service providers and, as of late, she serves the congregation in Davis as the assistant to their executive director.
We have all been charmed by Leah’s talent, warmth and sincerity and her clear abilities as a people person. She expresses a deep love of Judaism and K’lal Yisrael, as well as a compassionate concern for her fellow human beings. As leaders of the congregation, our president, Laura Alexander (who played an active role on our search committee), along with our Board and our Committee Chairs are all delighted to welcome Leah and her mother to our community and our synagogue family.
I look forward with confidence and great anticipation to working with Leah in continuing the important work that Carolyn and others have accomplished, in leading Congregation Beth Ami into the future.

“The sun rises and the sun sets…”
May this transition indeed be an expression of God’s Divine Providence!

Skill Building Intensive March 6th

Next Sunday Skill Building Intensive April 3rd. Grades 4th and up come together monthly on a Sunday to hone their Hebrew reading, Torah chanting and T’fillah leading skills. This is another way for our students to succeed­—whether for catch-up if they’ve just joined us or have had to miss class, to develop select skills or to take their skills to the next step Monthly intensives are free for enrolled CBA students and open for enrollment to the greater community, to foster connections for our students with other Jewish kids and to increase access to high-quality Jewish learning. February 7th Join us for our monthly Toolkit Sunday, 10-1 Brush up on your Hebrew reading, whether you need an intro to alef or you’re working on increasing speed and fluency! Free to Religious School students and nearly free for all CBA members (donation gladly accepted), for youth and adults, age 10 and up. Please RSVP and bring a dairy or pareve bag lunch.

Classes are held from 10 AM-1 PM at Congregation Beth Ami. The scheduled meeting times are: 11/8/15, 12/6/15, 1/10/16, 2/7/16, 3/6/16, 4/3/16, 5/1/16

Donation request: Our hungry students have devoured our snack budget! I am gratefully receiving donations of fresh, whole oranges, string cheese and unopened boxes of whole grain crackers. Please let me know if you’d like to sponsor a snack. $10 feeds all our kids for the whole school day! Thanks so much.


Hamantashen 2016 1OVER A THOUSAND! We’re SHOUTING-out big THANK YOUs to our coordinator Ahuva Simon- Sa’ar; to our team of dough & filling contributers: Jo Anne Bressick, Lee Feinstein, Judi Hyman, Tish Levee, Barb McGee, Myrna Morse, Leanne Schy, Ahuva Simon-Sa’ar, Janet & Jeffrey Stein-Larson; and to our bakers Alexandra Abend, Anne Brown, Barb McGee, Myrna Morse, Leanne Schy, Ahuva Simon-Sa’ar, Janet & Jeffrey Stein-Larson, Myra Thomas- Stern, Nancy Tisman. After 4 weeks of assembling and baking, we now have 1161 dairy hamantashen with quite a variety of flavors (including poppyseed, prune, apricot, cherry, chocolate, and more) in the CBA freezer for use during our Purim celebrations (spiel March 19 and 20), services (March 23 and 24) and Shlach Manos (send in your orders). It was a job well done, and will be well appreciated by all! The next part of this project, ENJOYING THEM.
Hag Samaech Purim.  Janet & Jeffrey


At the Contemporary Jewish Museum

What a lovely time we had! Thank you all!!
We went on our our “field trip” on Sunday, April 10 to the Contemporary Jewish Museum < > and lunch at Shangri-La Kosher vegetarian restaurant. It was a wonderful day, and we survived the parking …
We also have another special program: Thursday, May 5 SRJC Planetarium and Lunch at the Culinary Café! Zelda Bettman has made arrangements for us to enjoy a program at Santa Rosa Junior College’s Planetarium. The hour-long program with questions afterward is advertised as a “School Show” but Zelda says it’s really for all ages. They cover the basics of the solar system and focus a lot on the moon! We’ve reserved space for Thursday, May 5 at the 12noon show. (We can carpool or just meet there.) Then join us for lunch at SRJC’s Culinary Cafe. RSVP to Zelda < > or 529-3521 and let her know if you want to attend either or both … and if you want to carpool.
The remaining months’ gatherings are: Iyyar (Monday, May 9 @ 7pm … Israel Theme), Sivan (Tuesday, June 7 @ 6pm … Walk Around a Lake), Tammuz (Tuesday, July 5 @ 7pm … American Jewish Women of Note), Av (Thursday, August 5 @ 7pm … Songfest in the Courtyard), Elul (Sunday, September 5 @ 11am … Potluck and Shofar Blowing; Looking Back and Planning Forward).
We hope you’ll join us!
         Patty Bernstein on behalf of all Moon Mavens


Welcome Leah Frost

Shalom! I’m thrilled to announce that Leah Frost has accepted the position as Beth Ami’s new Executive Director effective January 25, 2016.

Leah will be moving from Davis, California where she has served as Office/Facilities Manager of Congregation Bet Haverim for the past three years. She has over 20 years in the administration field and a high level of expertise in managerial, customer service relations, and interpersonal communication. Leah is a graduate of Sonoma State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Mendocino College with an Associate’s degree in Psychology.

Leah lived for many years in Ukiah. She and her family used to attend Beth Ami back in the 80s with Rabbi Jonathan Slater. So, she already has connections to our Beth Ami community!

I would like to thank Myrna Morse, Chair, and members of the Search Committee, Patty Bernstein, Bonnie Boren, Barb McGee, Andrea Nett, Bob Raful, Mark Rosen and Nancy Sherman for finding such a talented and skilled Executive Director!

I am confident that Leah will be a great addition to the Beth Ami family and all of us on the Board are looking forward to working with her.

Please join me in congratulating Leah and welcoming her back to Beth Ami!

Mark your calendar for Sunday, January 31st for a mid-year membership meeting and when you’ll have the opportunity to meet Leah in person.

Thank you,
Laura Alexander, President

New news from Social Action

Susan Miller has spear-headed the small ziplock bag of snacks and hygiene products for those in need.  As an alternative to giving cash  to people, the SAC is preparing bags that you can take from the synagogue foyer,   The bags will be available this Sunday at the membership meeting.    You can  take one and give it to someone in need.  We will also have a basket in the foyer for you toLyla and bag of goodies drop off any travel size items that you may have: soap, creams, toothpaste, shampoos etc.  We are hoping to make this an on going mitzvah project.
If you like the idea ,  please consider helping.   Thanks so much.
Next week we are going to the Redwood Empire Food Bank.  The date is Wed.
Feb. 3rd.  from 10:00-12:00.  Please consider joining us either in the kitchen preparing food or packing produce.
The Annual Fammy Gala Fundraiser for Jewish Family and Children  Services is being held a the Ritz Carlton  in SF on Saturday  February 27th.  JFCS is a wonderful organization that  provides many useful services in our community. This year our Social Action Committee is being honored, along with other organizations,  for providing food to their pantries.  This a a pretty big deal and it would be terrific if we could fill a table at the Gala.    Congratulations to the dedicated members of the committee, Susan Miller, Cheryle Miller, Roz Edelson, Judi Hyman, Lenore Holloway, Lyla Nathan, Karen Herskovic, Roberta Rosenthal,  Ellen Mundell and Tish Levy.  For more info  please contact Diana Klein at JFCS at 707-303-1500.   Reservations are due by Feb. 5th.  Thanks