Tikkun Olam at Temple Beth Am

Connecting our congregation to social action opportunities

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Green Team Meeting Feb 4

by guest blogger Barak Gale

Dear Beth Am Green Teamers,

Many a Tu B’Shevat has passed since our Green Team (or Adama Team, or whatever we will call it) has convened.  Yet the scourge of catastrophic climate change impacts our country, our world, more and more.  May our blessings tonight over the fruit of the trees help in some small way to move the Divine Shefa, not only to provide renewal of the fruit trees, but to provide renewal of our community’s collective effort at Tikkun Olam-Adamah, Let’s bring to bear the skills, heart, joy, compassion, of Beth Am and become part of the Reform Jewish movement and part of the worldwide movement for change.

Leah and I hope you can join us to renew the process of engagement.

Date:  Monday Feb 4
Time:  7:30 pm
Place:  Home of Leah Vetter,  10715  39th Ave NE, Seattle

Special Request:  to not apply any perfumes or fragrances, including in lotions like Vasoline, shampoos like Head & Shoulders, etc.  Thank  you!

Please let us know if you can come.

Barak Gale

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Tikkun Olam in Tanzania

Dear Friends,

There are a lot of places to do Tikkun Olam in the world, including of course here.  We practice Tikkun Olam both here in our community, and also as many of you know in different parts of the world – most recently East Africa.

In 2013, we are going to volunteer in Tanzania to work in Massai villages in the north, around Arusha.  One of the projects that we want to do is teach children photography.  And so, we asking you, our friends to consider donating your used digital camera that we can bring along with us.  Photography is a very good way to help children communicate and bring out their creativity.  We have seen many examples of this around the world during our volunteering experiences.

If you don’t have a small digital camera to donate, you can make a small contribution which we will use to buy cameras.

We also want to bring some laptops with us for the NGO we will be working with – RISE Africa.  So please consider that also.  By the way, RISE is registered as a US 501 c 3, so any contributions, either in kind or cash are tax deductible.

Please consider helping.

Many thanks!

Peter and Hinda Schnurman

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A Cause for Optimism

By Barak Gale, Temple Beth Am Green TeamImage

Dear Chevra,

Occasionally I have bursts of real optimism regarding the ability of humanity to make it’s voice heard to save our planet from folly. One such burst of optimism was earlier this evening at the Coal Export Hearing at the Convention Center.
A little background….
Big coal companies want to ship dirty Montana and Wyoming coal through our state to be burned in Asia. The Army Corps of Engineers, Whatcom County Council and Washington Dep. of Ecology hosted this hearing, one of six around the state, to define issues, public concerns, and alternatives to be addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement regarding the proposed coal export terminal at Cherry Point, near Bellingham, WA.
The cause for optimism….
It wasn’t just that hundreds of people dressed in red rallied in Freeway Park , or that I’d guess over a thousand people packed two enormous halls at the hearing, or that those dressed in red with the slogan “Beyond Coal Exports”  greatly outnumbered those dressed in green t-shirts supporting the coal terminal.  It was the breadth and depth of the statements from teenage boys and girls talking about their future, fishermen talking about the danger to our waters and fisheries, a Muslim woman sharing a legend and speaking of the sacredness of the earth from a Muslim perspective, Prof. Jaffe of the U.W.  talking very specifically about the known dangers of coal and coal dust, etc., etc.   Every person was so articulate.
I was fortunate to be able to speak as well.  I identified myself as a member of Beth Am.   Last moment I decided to chant instead of speak.  Here was my testimony….
Ladies and Gentlemen (I like the formality of this.)
I believe wholeheartedly that we are destroying our Garden of Eden.  I would like to share a dirge from my Jewish tradition.  (This is a part of the keenah or dirge composed by Chazan Richard Kaplan, and based on the Lamentations text and melody.)
Vi konen Yirmiyahu o’oh.  Ka’asher shama otah shara.  Hakinah l’churban gan eden..
Jeremiah wept, o’oh.  Hearing her song.  Lamenting her Temple so wounded.
Alas my forests are dying.  I hear my waters crying.  When will they learn?
O’oh that I, o’oh that they were pure again.
I urge you to evaluate the impacts of this project on creation.
Thank you.
People still have until Jan. 21 to comment at www.eisgate waypacificwa.gov.
For more information about the Temple Beth Am Green Team please contact Barak Gale barakgale@gmail.com

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Film Screening by AJWS Dec. 12

Film_screeningPlease join American Jewish World Service (AJWS) for cocktails and a private screening of Pray the Devil Back to Hell, a riveting documentary film depicting the extraordinary true story of Liberian women whose nonviolent protest movement helped bring an end to their country’s devastating civil war.

To RSVP, please contact Matt Balaban at mbalaban@ajws.org or 415.593.3298.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2012 • 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

6:00 p.m. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, Hosted by AJWS
7:00 p.m. Remarks and film screening

704 Terry Avenue, Seattle, WA

Cecelia T. M. Danuweli
West Africa Network for Peacebuilding, Liberia (WIPNET)
Cecelia will share the captivating story of her life before, during and
following the war, including her participation in events depicted in the film.

Deborah Ashin
Merrill Black
Rabbi Jill Borodin
Laura Brandt
Pamela Cowan
Dr. Margaret Crastnopol
Shelly Crocker
Judy de Jonge
Krijn de Jonge
Susan Edelheit
Jeff Gillman
Marcy Gillman
Larry Glosser
Joanne Glosser
Kate Koester
Alexis Kort
Rabbi Lauren Kurland
Lauren Lavoie
Howard Metzenberg
Marcy Migdal
Michael Milder
Sarajane Milder
Steve Miller
Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum
Linda Paros
David Ramenofsky
Carol Silverstein
Kenny Wolf
There will be no solicitation for funds.

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An Invitation to Learn About the Abaudaya Jewish Community of Uganda

Dear Friends,
I am forwarding this invitation to you in the hope that you may want to attend and meet Aaron Kintu Moses.  We have known him for several years and first met him in Uganda in the Abayudaya Jewish Community near Mbale, in Eastern Kenya.  Several years ago we raised some money to help the school build latrines for the students and also purchase a small generator.
While this event may no doubt be of interest to you, and there is no cost, it is a fundraising event.  All of the money that is raised will help the Abaudaya Jewish Community of Uganda.   Indeed Aaron Kintu Moses is a remarkable man and leader of the Abaudaya.
It will be very nice to see you on November 15th.
Thank you!
Peter and Hinda Schnurman


You’re Invited!

Please join us in giving a very special welcome to Aaron Kintu Moses, leader of the Abayudaya Jewish community of Uganda!

On Thursday, November 15, we’re having an invitation-only gathering at the home of Howard Metzenberg in Seattle to introduce Aaron Kintu Moses, Headmaster of the Abayudaya primary school in Uganda, during his speaking tour around the United States. This is a special opportunity to meet a remarkable man who has helped lead his community through persecution and poverty as they’ve struggled to maintain their Jewish identity in Africa.

Will you attend?

Location: Please RSVP for location

Date: Thursday, November 15, 2012

Time: 7pm – 9:30pm

A light vegetarian supper will be served.

Space is limited, so please RSVP as soon as you can (harriet@kulanu.org). Please also RSVP if you cannot attend.

Howard Metzenberg: metzenberg@gmail.com  cell 360.553.1149

Aaron Kintu Moses will be touring the US from October 18 through November 21 to inform American audiences about the fascinating history and current developments of the inspiring Jews of Uganda. To view the full calendar of events, visit our online calendar. The annual Kulanu-Abayudaya Speaking Tour supports the two Abayudaya schools in Uganda, which educate and feed nearly 800 Jewish, Christian, and Muslim children who study and play together in peace. Kulanu, Inc (www.kulanu.org) is a grassroots non-profit that supports isolated and emerging Jewish communities around the world. You can read more about Kulanu’s work with the Abayudaya at www.kulanu.org/abayudaya

We hope you can make it!

Warm regards,


Harriet Bograd, President
Kulanu, Inc

165 West End Ave, 3R
New York, NY 10023

kulanu.org kulanuboutique.com
Donate to Kulanu