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Congregation Beth Shalom

Jewish Community in Bozeman, Montana

February 8, 2016: Music, Music, Music!

Parshat: Terumah

Dear friends,

Our Torah readings over the next month are mostly focused on the building the Tabernacle in the desert, the prototype to the Temple that would eventually be built in Jerusalem, and in many ways, to modern synagogues. One of the most important features is the eternal lamp, a light which never goes out, and which still features prominently in today’s synagogues. The most obvious meaning to the eternal lamp is that it represents the continuing light of Judaism, which we pray will never go out.

This past Shabbat convinced me that the light is shining bright. Some 150 of us bore witness to a beautiful ceremony in which Ryan Jacobs became a bar mitzvah. Ryan impressed with his warmth and humility, and we all left assured that the future of Judaism is in good hands with Ryan and the other five b’nei mitzvah kids awaiting their turn later this year. And we at Beth Shalom, as a community, by educating and supporting these kids are doing our part in the larger global picture.

We continue the excitement as we gather as a community again this Friday night, February 12 at 6:00 pm, to celebrate Shabbat with our lively Friday Night Live service, followed by a dairy pot luck. We have been doing the special Friday Night Live service intermittently for the last couple of years, and although it has been popular, we are soon moving to a new format for Friday night music, so this will be the final Friday Night Live for a while.

Beginning in March, our new regular Cantorial Soloist, Amber Ikeman, will be joining me to lead music from the bima, together with other musicians. Amber is a talented professional musician with a deep connection to Jewish music. Together, we will be gradually revamping our music with cutting edge Jewish music. Thankfully, Josh Burnim, who has brought us so much great music over the years, will still be leading music from time to time and will assist in a variety of ways. Check out Amber, her website, and some of her original compositions.

AmberIkemanAmber Ikeman
Cantorial Soloist/Composer

This weekend, please also join us on Saturday morning, February 13, for our mystical chanting service at 8:30 am, and Torah study at 9:30, with the usual bagels. coffee, and great conversation.

And mark your calendar for the next meeting of the Beth Shalom Book Club on February 27 (RSVP please), and a special Purim party (details TBA) on Saturday evening, March 26.

Blessings for a great week.
Rabbi Ed