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Congregation Beth El – Keser Israel Events for Feburary 2023

July 4, 2024
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Protests in Iran 

Author Roya Hakakian will speak about Women, Life and Liberty: Current Protests in Iran on Saturday, February 11. Born and raised in Tehran, she arrived in the U.S. in 1985. Her writing includes the memoir Journey from the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran and also Assassins of the Turquoise Palace, about the shooting of Iranian and Kurdish opposition leaders in Berlin in 1992. An active thinker of foreign relations, Hakakian is a founding member of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center and currently serves as an editorial board member of World Affairs. Details at

Keeping Our Kids Safe 

BE SMART for Kids will be the topic for a Zoom conversation Wednesday evening, February 22 with Joanna Taczanowsky, who is the state lead of that effort. The presentation, part of a campaign to raise awareness about secure gun storage, will address gun accidents and the risk of guns in suicide. Email for details and the Zoom link.

Carol Anderson Film 

A new documentary conceived and narrated by Carol Anderson will be shown on BEKI Zoom Wednesday evening, March 1, followed by a conversation with the producer. Professor Anderson is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies at Emory University and author of the New York Times bestseller White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide. The film is titled I, Too, from the Langston Hughes poem with those opening words. Details at

Purim Festivities

The Adar celebrations will begin on Friday, February 24 and Saturday, February 25, with Crazy Hat Shabbat at BEKI. Adults and children are encouraged to wear crazy hats as a warmup to Purim, when full costumes are encouraged. Erev Purim festivities for children and adults will be Monday, March 6. Details at

Retrospective Exhibit

Cynthia Beth Rubin will speak about her retrospective exhibition on display at BEKI, entitled Sensing Connection, on Sunday, March 5. In works spanning decades of explorations, Rubin depicts imagined sensations of the unseeable yet essential aspects of our world. In collaboration with the Menden-Deuer Oceanography lab at the University of Rhode Island, recent work explores bringing empathy, awareness, and curiosity to the unseen or rarely seen microscopic life of the ocean. Details at

Classes with the Rabbi

Current learning opportunities with Rabbi Eric Woodward include a discussion of the weekly Torah portion on Thursday mornings; Philosophy and History of Conservative Judaism via Zoom on Thursdays at 7 pm; and Talmud study (Chapter 2 of Tractate Shabbat) on select Sunday mornings. On Saturday, March 4, he will lead a class about the Theology of Purim. Details at

Children’s Programs

Children's Havura, K-2 Kehila, and Junior Congregation, all led by parent volunteers, meet in person each Saturday morning. 

On Saturday evenings in February, BEKI offers a kid-friendly Havdalah on Zoom. This online event includes singing the blessings along with Rabbi Eric Woodward and reading a story with Education Director Annie Norman-Schiff. For more information and the Zoom link, consult

In Person and Online

BEKI offers in-person services twice daily, led by Rabbi Woodward and congregants. Weekday services also are on Zoom. To request the Zoom link, email

<span class="fineprint">Located at 85 Harrison Street (corner of Whalley Avenue - Route 63 - in Westville)</span>

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