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20
Nov
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Seattle Solidarity Vigil

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05
Oct
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Join Rabbi and Rubisa Meyers at StandWithUs on October 14th!

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24
Aug
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This Shabbat @ EZZY BEZZY !

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21
Aug
0

A Must-See Film on Modern-Day Israel !

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09
Aug
0

JT NEWS Story on EB's new Live Online Learning Program

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See this link for a great article by Olivia Rosen about our new Live Online Learning Program for kids and adults!

www.jtnews.net_downloads_jtnews_081012_web.pdf

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29
Jul
0

Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

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tishbvnightKudos to veteran EB photographer and media whiz Michael Behar for this beautiful e-poster.  The picture doesn't just capture what took place at Ezzy Bezzy on Tisha Be'av evening this year; it expresses the sentiments of our people throughout the generations since the Hurban Bet Hamikdash, the Destruction of our Temple.  Our sages say that anyone who mourns for Jerusalem merits to see its joy.  Rabbi Mirsky, in his Sefer, Hegyoney Halacha points out that someone who does not believe that they have yet lost a loved one cannot have closure; Ya'akov Avinu, our forefather Jacob, refused to accept words of consolation from his children because he subconsciously sensed that Joseph was still alive; similarly, we Jews hold firm in our belief in the reconstruction of our Bet Hamikdash - we refuse to be consoled!! Paradoxically sitting on the ground on Tisha Be'av is a mourning that expresses a confidence that this mourning will come to an end.

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03
Jul
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SAC: Monday, July 2nd: Creating a Thick Atmosphere of Israel

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After a wonderful Ezra Bessaroth family wedding on Sunday evening at Tibbetts Creek Manor in weddingIssaquah (Mazal tov again to Esther and Julian Alhadeff, and Esther's parents, Amir and Gail Ben-Meir!....see the picture Michael Varon caught of me and posted on facebook -  as the Matador during the wedding dancing!) I drove back to camp this morning with three campers (my son Avraham Beryl, Eli Almo and Jacob Ben-Ezra). Not before stopping by the Hemmat home, where Rachely joined the group. Fully equipped with Israeli flags and other Eretz Yisrael props, Rachely set the tone for this wonderful day @ SAC.

israeliflagToday's theme was Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel.  Some of the highlights: blue and white decorations throughout camp, morning sessions on facts and stats of modern Israel followed by an afternoon Maccabia, Israeli dancing for the girls with Rachely, Tzizit-tying for the boys with Dr. Larry Adatto, a delectable felafal lunch courtesy of Eli Varon, Israeli music, a guest appearance by Chana Adatto's Hatan, Yonatan Shefa of the Maccabeats, a surprise visit by new Olim Leah, Yonit and Dalia Jacobson, an Israeli boot camp activity into the night...

All of today's activities created a real "thick atmosphere" of Eretz Yisrael, highlighting its centrality to Jewish identity. Counselor Ephraim Adatto said it best when he pointed out to me in a casual conversation that though in the past, there has been a day set aside for Israel at SAC, this year's program was more clearly defined and focused.

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02
Jul
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Sneak Preview of L.O.L. Seattle's new online Jewish Educational Center

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Starting this fall in Seattle - live online Torah classes, brought to you by Ezzy Bezzy and torahtutors.org!

For more information, see the LOL website: http://lolseattle.wordpress.com/

Details to follow! For more info: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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27
Jun
0

Color War Break Out @ SAC

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colorwarToday, Color War broke out at Camp SAC when SAMIS trustees entered the dining hall with a "Color War" sign.  The dramatic announcement followed an evening and tension for SAC campers, as Director Leon Covitz announced at Arvit last night that the camp was being bought out by BCMH, and was heretofore being renamed "Seattle Ashkenazic Camp" though the acronym of SAC would be maintained. Some fifteen campers from the Ashkenazic community would purportedly be joining the current session - this, combined with the buy-out - would lead to the use of Artscroll siddurim, new pronunciation of key words, and a general change in the culture of the camp. The practical joke, the halachic parameters of which were dubious, was somewhat realistic, since NCSY director Ari Hoffman a member of BCMH, was here Tuesday morning, and Rabbi Owen returned to Seattle Tuesday afternoon, apparently in a flurry of negotiations "to seal the deal".....What transpired overnight was a campers' campaign to maintain the Sephardic identity of the camp.....and relief when Samis Trustees Rabbi Rob Toren, Eddie Hasson and Jerry Cohen dramatically revealed that the joke was merely a prelude to Color War! ehassonTo the right is a picture of Elana Hasson, SAC counselor, a student at NYHS and a former student of mine at SHA. She is a member of EB, and daughter of Nate and Raniel Hasson. Hazzan Yogev and Rachely Nuna came out to camp today with their son Ori, the youngest camper.  He can be seen in his stroller, below: 

ori



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27
Jun
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Silly Late Night Antics @ SAC

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27
Jun
0

Laptop Talmud Scholar

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urielcohenOne of my Chevruta/learning partners here at SAC, Uriel Cohen, son of EB's Leon Cohen. If you look carefully, you can see the text of the Talmud on Uriel's laptop and my laptop, in the foreground. In the background, the camp art room. We learn at 4:30 every afternoon, and I'm really enjoying it.  

Everything here is running on "camp time" which is an hour earlier than the actual time.....Leon has tried to explain this to me on a couple of occasions, but I still don't get it.  Rabbi Benjy Owen was here until this afternoon, and will be back for Shabbat.  Hazzan Nuna is slated to come out to camp tomorrow.  

on the lake

In the early evening, Rubisa Miriam and I took our 5 year-old out on the lake in a paddleboat.  Very relaxing!  Here's a picture we took of ourselves on the boat: Now, I'm not a great naval navigator.  As a junior counsellor at Bnai Brith Camp in Ontario back in 1978, I guided by cabin (traveling in canoes!) around an island three times before I realized that it was our destination! I can handle paddleboats, though...


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26
Jun
0

@ Camp SAC

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Though the camp has its very own blog, I thought it might be nice to offer my perspective on life here at Sephardic Adventure Camp 2012.  I just returned this morning with Miriam and our daugther Shani from a night in Seattle, where we visited Gail Ben-Meir in Swedish, as she recuperates from last week's urgent surgery.  Thank G-d, she is slowly recovering, but it's a long road, and we wish her a Refuah Shelema/speedy recovery.  Gail's Hebrew name is Rivka bat Sarah.

birdhousesThis morning, following our camp-wide Tefila, led by Ezra Cohanim and Albert Mezistrano, we came back to the dining hall, only to find that NCSY director Ari Hoffman had arrived with several dozen (low-cal?) Krispy Kreme donuts for the kids and staff. at 9:45 (camp time!) I led the second of a series of learning sessions with the 9-10 year old boys.  Our topic today was halacha and Mesora, and the distinction between halacha and minhag.  An energetic group of boys, including Sammy from Portland, but featuring home-grown talent such as Jo Jo Gladstein, Eli Almo, Ori Amiel, Sivan Shriki, Jacob Benezra and AJ Maimon joined me in a 45 minute session packed full of information and creative thinking. I'm really enjoying the opportunity to learn with the kids this summer! climbing

Speaking of Torah study, I have also had the opportunity for a daily Chevruta with EB's very own Uriel Cohen and SBH's Albert Mezistrano.  Uriel and I are learning Masechet Succah while Albert and I are learning Masechet Bava Metziah.

More updates to come!

(pictures: top left: building birdhouses in the art room
bottom right: "Climbing!" - thank you Rubisa Miriam!) 

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26
Jun
0

JT NEWS to Feature Rabbi Lau

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This past weekend former Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, made a historic visit to Seattle. The youngest survivor of Buchenwald, in this photo he meets with Margaret Hollinger, 102, at Kline Galland. Margaret was an army nurse at Buchenwald upon liberation. Stay tuned for the whole story online and in the next issue!

thelaus with the nurse

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24
Jun
0

Reflections on the Rabbi Lau Visit

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From Thursday through Shabbat Perashat Korach, hundreds of members of the Seattle Jewish community were treated to a Shabbaton featuring Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau. It's now Sunday morning, five lectures and hours of informal conversation later, and I finally have an opportunity to process the experience.

ymlauRabbi Lau, whose personal journey from the Holocaust to the Chief Rabbinate is elucidated in his autobiography, "Out of the Depths" embodies the qualities of a true leader of  Israel. As I mentioned on Shabbat morning, in his greatness - personal, professional and moral - Rabbi Lau is able to relate to absolutely everybody. This is reflected not only through his warm personal interactions, but in his engaging and inclusive stories that speak to each and every person who attends his talks.

Rabbi Lau's effectiveness stems from his skills as an orator and his effective, nuanced use of humor.  For me, his message derives its authority from his extensive world travels.  We heard the story of Latin-American woman on a plane who, after watching him put on Tefilin reveals that she, too, is Jewish. Sadly, she was denied a Jewish education, since her grandmother chose not to reveal her Jewishness to children and grandchildren.  Rabbi Lau made a plea for Jewish unity by sharing with us a conversation between an unnamed U.S. politician who explained that cracks in the Israeli political consensus and unity is the key to appreciating US political pressure on Israel. The Rabbi skillfully weaves these encounters into profound Torah lessons; his worldly interactions, instead of weakening his strength of spirit and resolve, give his perspective authenticity and authority.

lauTo the left is a photo of Rav Lau and myself following a 4:30 am minyan that gathered at the home of Eli and Rebecca Almo prior to the Lau's flight from Sea-Tac this morning. (In the background are Avi Behar and Dovid Amsel.  Thank you to Michael Behar for the picture)

My sincere hope is that this Shabbaton can serve as a model for future joint initiatives aimed at inspiring and strengthening Jewish life in our community.

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21
Jun
0

Rabbi Lau Visit - Details

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