Welcome to Congregation Beth Shalom! While we are all dealing the pandemic, we are committed to remaining connected as a community. Reach out to us and we will continue to stay in touch with you. For the time being, we will connect online, and we know that in the near future we will celebrate as a Jewish community in person.
Operating Protocols as of May 13, 2020
- The temple plans to continue virtual services and events for the foreseeable future under Phase 1 and 2 of the Governor’s reopening plans. This policy will be re-evaluated as the situation evolves.
- Staff is permitted to work in the temple building, or continue to work remotely, as they deem appropriate.
- Usage of the building by affiliates is to be limited. If an affiliate needs to use the building to meet with staff or to conduct other temple business, they must obtain prior authorization from Rabbi Mark Kula or Lisa Roots. No more than 10 people may be present in the temple at any given time, and 6 feet of social distance must be maintained between each person. We also require the use of facial masks if any individuals plan to interact in-person with other individuals while in the temple building.
- Lisa Roots is maintaining a Google Doc to track the plans and actions of any building users. If anyone plans to go to the temple, they should obtain the requisite authorization and contact Lisa Roots at 406-556-0528 or firstname.lastname@example.org to let Lisa know when they will be there, and what areas of the temple they plan to utilize. Cleaning supplies are available in the foyer of the temple. Immediately prior to exiting the temple, the building user (or the last building user if a group of 10 or less is present) should disinfect any surfaces that they touched during their visit, and use a wipe or paper towel sprayed with disinfectant to open the door to exit the building. Upon exiting, the building user should confirm to Lisa that this cleaning was done.
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Shalom from Rabbi Kula
August 4, 2020 – 14 Av, 5780 - Tu B’Av Love: Today and Everyday!
Shalom, Beth Shalom and Friends!
Tu B’Av, the 15th Day of Av, August 5, carries both ancient and modern significance. Tu B’Av is the Holiday of Love, Hag HaAhavah. Originating in the time of the Second Temple in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, Tu B’Av had been mostly forgotten, only to be rejuvenated in contemporary Israel and beyond in recent decades. In its modern incarnation, it is similar to a Hebrew Jewish Valentine’s Day, highly sought after for romantic dates and weddings. Israeli culture promotes music and dance festivals on the night of Tu B’Av. While it has no formal legal status as a holiday, and carries no particular liturgy nor ritual practices, this festival is worth noting as a day to celebrate Ahavah—Love.
Looking back to the Mishna, a second-century compilation of Jewish teaching, Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel teaches:
There were no better (happier) days for the people of Israel than the Fifteenth of Av and Yom Kippur (afternoon), since on these days the daughters of Israel/Jerusalem go out dressed in white and dance in the vineyards. What were they saying: Young man, consider whom you choose to be your wife.
Other Rabbinic explanations highlight this day as one when the Biblical tribes of Israel inter-mingled with each other, finding partners, making friends, reconciling conflicts, and fostering connections. Perhaps this was a day to find common ground and apply the Torah’s teaching, “Love your neighbor as one self”. Based on that particular understanding, we should observe this day wholeheartedly, developing liturgy and meaningful rituals.
As with most Jewish holidays, Tu B’Av, begins on the evening before the 15th of the Hebrew month of Av, between the 14th and 15th, and is the night of a full moon. Similar to our ancestors in both Judaism and other cultures and religions, we link the full moon with romance, love, and magic. After all, the brightly-lit full moon dispels the darkness.
This year Tu’B’Av corresponds to August 5, and is a very personal Day of Love for me. Coreen and I celebrate our wedding anniversary August 5th. I am blessed and grateful for Coreen and look forward to many more years of love.
Look up to the sky tonight and observe the full moon. Remind yourself of this rekindled Jewish Holiday, Yom HaAhava, Day of Love. May we all value and know the blessing of love.
Shalom U’veracha-Peace and Blessings
Rabbi Mark Kula
Ahavah-Love, Beracha-Blessing, Hatunah- Wedding.
Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur!
Beth Shalom is active this summer, Zooming services, meetings and Torah study. We are planning for the coming year welcoming new and current affiliates tackling these challenging times.
The Ritual Committee, Amber and I are coordinating Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services. Adhering to best safety practices, and the Governor’s guidelines, we currently plan to Livestream from our Beth Shalom sanctuary. Please stay tuned for updates.
We are excited to announce our new Mahzor/ High Holy Day Prayer books are here! Thank you for donating to the New Mahzor project. Lisa Roots is affixing the inscriptions and we look forward to using them in the future. For now, we will use the digital version which will be screen-shared during our services.
We appreciate your support and engagement with Beth Shalom. Let’s continue reaching out to each other during this pandemic optimistically looking forward to the time we can all gather safely.
► Here's an easy way to support Beth Shalom: shop on Amazon! When you want to order something, first visit smile.amazon.com, then select "Congregation Beth Shalom, Bozeman" as the organization you want to support. Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchase to us. Thanks!
Links to join our High Holiday services will be emailed to our list. Sign up using the form above.
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Congregation Beth Shalom is a place where affiliates of all ages come together to be a learning and spiritual community who joyfully pray together and celebrate Jewish history and tradition. We cultivate in our affiliates a lifelong connection to Judaism through the lens of the Reform and Renewal movements.