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Congregation Beth El – Keser Israel Events for November 2023

October 26, 2023
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Congregation Beth El – Keser Israel Events for November 2023

Elm City Kallah

On Saturday, October 28, Maharat Rori Picker Neiss will speak at BEKI as part of the weekend Kallah.  Her topic is “But My Ineffable Name I Did Not Make Known,” asking what this name is, what it signifies, and what is it to “know” God.

Picker Neiss serves as Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis, Missouri and is chair of the cabinet of Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis.  She is a David Hartman Center fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and a CLAL Rabbis Without Borders fellow.

She will also speak on October 27 at Westville Synagogue and October 29 at Congregation B’nai Jacob.  Elm City Kallah is made possible by generous grants from the James M. Shure Educational Fund and the Greater New Haven Jewish Federation.

Green Team Event

Energize CT Home Energy Audits will be the focus of a BEKI Zoom program at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, November 1, arranged by BEKI's Green Team.  These “energy check-up” audits are free or low-cost to Connecticut renters and homeowners, subsidized by rate-payers at UI and Eversource.  Auditors review insulation, weather-sealing, heating & cooling, lighting and other systems, fixing small issues on the spot, and identifying subsidies and rebates available to support larger improvements over time.  Speakers will include one of Connecticut’s top-rated auditors, Michelle Long, along with two BEKI members who have benefited from the audits.  Email to request the Zoom link.

Celebrating Gender Diversity

Rabbi Dr. Jay Michaelson will speak on BEKI Zoom Wednesday, November 15 at 7:30 pm on the topic “Celebrating Gender Diversity in Jewish Tradition, Values, and Theology.”  While our current understandings of gender may be recent, the phenomenon of gender non-conformity is found throughout Jewish history, Biblical text, and even theology.  Coming to appreciate what's not new about the gender spectrum can help us be more informed congregants today.  Michaelson is a political commentator, a rabbi, and the author of nine books including the bestselling God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality.  He holds a JD from Yale Law School and a PhD from Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  Email to request the Zoom link.

Fair Trade Hanukkah Gelt

As part of the congregation’s continued commitment to ethically-sourced products, all chocolate served at BEKI carries certification that it has been screened against child slavery.  For the 5th year, BEKI is bulk ordering fair trade chocolate Hanukkah candy coins, either milk or dark chocolate.  Orders are due by November 19.  For more information, email or call 203.389.2108 x 114.

Children’s Programs

Children's Havura, K-2 Kehila, and Junior Congregation, all led by parent or grandparent volunteers, meet each Saturday.  For more information, consult Education Director Annie Norman-Schiff at

Youth Group

BEKI’s Kadima youth group, for students in grades 4 through 8, offers a chance for tweens and grade schoolers to make new Jewish friends and have a lot of fun.  Kadima started off the year with blueberry picking at Bishop’s Orchards.  The next events are a November 12 ropes course program and a Hanukkah party on December 9.  Contact for more information.

Study with the Rabbi

Rabbi Eric Woodward leads a discussion of the weekly Torah portion on Thursdays.  Talmud class meets Sunday, November 19 and other select Sundays.  Details at

Located at 85 Harrison Street (corner of Whalley Avenue - Route 63 - in Westville)

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