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Congregation Beth Shalom

Jewish Community in Bozeman, Montana

Rabbi's Weekly Message

A Whole week of Matzah Ahead!

Parshat: Pesach

Dear friends,

In this season of Spring and liberation, I am reminded of the continuous cycle of rebirth and sadly, death, as we mourn the recent death of Joe Colombo, father of Cassie and father-in-law of Seth Cooper, following a lengthy illness. There will be a memorial service on Friday, April 6, at 4:00 pm at the Bozeman Methodist Church, followed by a celebration of Joe’s life at Valley View Country Club.

With death comes new life, symbolized by the egg on our seder plates on Passover.  It was wonderful to re-connect with so many old and new friends at the packed Community Passover Seder on Saturday evening. Much thanks to Franke Wilmer, Dennis Aig, Bess Harris, Lisa Mueller, and all the others who made this happen. Special kudos to Franke who baked the matzah! Our seders were particularly meaningful this year because even though refugee and immigrant crises mount throughout the world, so many Jews and Jewish organizations have stood behind these refugees and immigrants, reminded — as we are at our seders — that we too were refugees, and we know what that feels like.

Passover lasts eight days, so we’ll continue our Passover celebration this Friday evening, April 6, at 6:00 pm, as we welcome the Shabbat within Passover. It’s a great opportunity to be part of the Jewish community as we celebrate our central holiday. We will follow this with some Passover learning at Torah study on Saturday, April 7, at 9:30 am,  featuring interesting discussion, coffee, bagels, and more. Even before that, the Interfsith Panel meets at the Temple this Wednesday at Noon, where we’ll discuss the ure of the soul in different religious traditions, and take questions from the audience.

Coming up soon is Holocaust Memorial Day on Sunday, April 15, at 3:00 p.m., at Hope Lutheran Church.  It promises to be a very special program once again. And the Beth Shalom book club is Saturday, April 14, at 6 pm, where, over a potluck dinner, we’ll discuss Martin Goldsmith’s “The Inextinguishable Symphony”, an intriguing story of music and the arts in Nazi Germany, as seen through the eyes and experiences of his family. Martin is now a Bozeman resident and will be receiving his honorary PhD. this spring, where he’ll also be the commencement speaker. For more information, contact Marilyn King,

And mark your calendar for a fun Tikun Leyl Shavuot on Saturday evening, May 19, at 6 pm at the Leopold home. This will double as my retirement celebration. More on that later.

Blessings for a great week,

Rabbi Ed