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Congregation Beth El – Keser Israel Events for November & December 2023

November 16, 2023
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Congregation Beth El – Keser Israel Events for November & December 2023

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.

Book & Gift Sale

On Sunday, December 3, the Sisterhood Giftshop will host its annual Hanukkah book and gift sale.  Also that day, artist Joel Silverstein will talk about his book, The Brighton Beach Bible, an autobiographical narrative based on the Exodus story, and will sign copies.  Refreshments will be served.  Details at

Menorah Lighting

The community is welcome to help light the BEKI Hanukkah menorah each evening before the quick maariv service, starting Thursday, December 7.  Details at

Hanukkah Learning

The Shabbat Schmooze on Saturday, December 9 is “Judith and Hanukkah.”  Max DuBoff, a member of BEKI’s ritual committee and a PhD candidate in Classics and Philosophy at Yale University, will lead a study of excerpts from the Book of Judith, plus Judith’s reception by medieval commentators and Jewish feminists.

Designer Selected

Amy Reichert, an award-winning Judaica designer, architect, and exhibition designer, has been selected to design the new Torah ark for BEKI’s sanctuary.  A graduate of Yale University with both a B.A. and M.Arch, Reichert has designed visual elements for numerous synagogues.  Her work has been displayed at the Jewish Museum in New York City, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Jewish Museum in Vienna, and the San Francisco Contemporary Jewish Museum.  The new Torah ark is part of BEKI’s sanctuary redesign by architect Michael Goldblum of Building Studio Architects.

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 Groups

The USY group for students in grades 7 through 12, led by co-presidents Miranda Hurwitz, Miles Katz, and Daniel Manning, all seniors at Amity High School, will hold a Hanukkah gathering December 2.  BEKI’s Kadima youth group, for students in grades 4 through 8, will have a Hanukkah Party on Decrmber 9.  Contact for information about time and location.

Teen Kesher, a learning program for 7th to 12th graders on alternating Wednesday evenings, offers another chance for teens to connect.  They explore Jewish texts and ideas that respond to their own questions and interests.  A favorite topic last year was demons and the supernatural in Judaism.  This group is led by Education Director Annie Norman-Schiff and Rabbi Eric Woodward.

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

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