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Education & Jewish Life

Rosh Chodesh (“Head of the Month”) is the celebration of the new moon – the first of each month of the Jewish calendar.  This observance, dating from Biblical times, is recognized as a woman’s holiday; a day associated with women’s renewal and celebration!  Rosh Chodesh groups, meeting monthly, offer contemporary Jewish women this special space in time; a time to gather for learning, ritual, spiritual exploration, and to mark life passages.

From October through May, monthly, and near the time of the new moon, Sisterhood women gather at each other’s homes at 7:30 in the evening.  Alternating between Mondays and Wednesdays (to afford people the opportunity to come), we take turns hosting and facilitating these meetings, exploring a breadth of subjects on themes related to Judaism or womanhood, sharing learning, ritual, spiritual exploration, and marking life passages. With a new theme each month it is easy to decide to attend at any time, so attendance each month is fluid and varied.  

Our past topics have included the women who inspired us growing up, Jewish genealogical research (led by a couple of our members who are experts), when we first felt Jewish, the relationship of the moon and the feminine in art and poetry, Jewish cooking traditions, mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law (based on the Book of Ruth), light, the book “A Bintel Brief,” interesting magazine articles, and learning Yiddish songs from one of our older members. Some of our best discussions have been when women were invited to bring something with them to the gathering—such a photo of mother/grandmother, a poem or prayer of Thanksgiving, a favorite Jewish ritual object, and so on.

The schedule is partially planned for the coming year, but there are opportunities to add your voice! If you have a topic of interest that you would be interested in suggesting or facilitating, or would like to host a gathering, please let Barb Levine know.  Please mark your calendars with these dates and plan to attend these warm and interesting evenings.  Please RSVP to the hostess prior to each event. 

See the Sisterhood Newsletters for detailed schedules.

Wellness Series

The Temple Isaiah Sisterhood Wellness Series Committee plans and carries out guest lectures at Temple Isaiah each winter on topics of health and wellness. The series is open to all members of the Temple community, including men. Although RSVP’s are not required, they do help us plan refreshments. The Wellness Series lectures are free to Sisterhood members.  Everyone is welcome: Suggested donation is $10 for non-Sisterhood members.

Thursday Study Classes with the Clergy

Each fall and spring, our clergy team works with Sisterhood to delve into topics of interest in a weeks-long session of study.  For details on the current or upcoming topic, see the Sisterhood Newsletter and eblasts.

Held on Thursdays, Time 9:30 - 11:00am 

Questions or comments email Rebecca Shahmoon.

Passover Women's  Seder

During the Passover season, Sisterhood often hosts an event to enhance the holiday.  This year's Passover Women's Seder will be held on March 25, 2018 at 4:00 pm.

Tu B’Shevat Seder

Tu B’Shevat, the “Birthday of Trees” and the celebration of spring, is a holiday that explores and teaches the importance of conservation and taking care of the earth. It is like a Passover Seder (but shorter!). A Tu B’Shevat Seder has a role for everyone. We will talk about Israel and the special care needed to turn the desert green; and about fruits and nuts and how the inner seeds and outer shells protect future life, just as we protect our families and ourselves.

Sisterhood invites you to come with your whole family, your book group, your Chavurah, or just by yourself and experience this mystical Jewish holiday. The Seder is adult oriented but children friendly. Anyone who can be comfortable listening attentively is welcome to join us on January 28, 2018 at 4:00 pm.

Tashlich

Each year, Sisterhood sponsors the arrangements for Tashlich, the ceremonial casting away of our sins after Rosh Hashanah, by casting breadcrumbs into a moving body of water. Tashlich means “You shall cast,” referring to our sins which we cast way from us. We meet at a moving body of water (the Lexington Reservoir,)preferably one with fish in it, (the “Res” has fish!) and symbolically cast our sins into the water using breadcrumbs.

The moving water carries our sins away from us. Why fish? Since they have no eyelids, their eyes are always open, symbolizing God’s constant watch over us. And, just as fish are suddenly caught in the net, we too are caught in the net of judgment of life or death.

Selichot

On the last Saturday night before Rosh Hashanah, Jews around the world prepare for the upcoming High Holy Days, gathering in prayer and reflecting on the themes of the season.  Sisterhood also makes arrangements for the refreshments for the annual Selichot program and service with Temple Emunah. Temple Emunah is the Conservative temple in Lexington that was formed at the same time as Temple Isaiah, as both originated from the Arlington Lexington Bedford Jewish Community Center.

Tue, November 21 2017 3 Kislev 5778