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COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT – My Favorite Hanukkah Recipe

December 1st, 2014

by Elaine Lee, Membership & Communications Director

On Hanukkah 1989, I wrote a note for a tiny tot on the title page of a storybook: “To Darling Elsa, A ‘sweet’ potato! We love you Lots-kes! Mama and Papa.” That book, “Potato Pancakes All Around: A Hanukkah Tale” written and illustrated by Marilyn Hirsh, became our family’s instant cookbook and since then has been re-read lots of times by my brood. It’s the tale of a visiting peddler who shows villagers how to make the most luscious latkes from a crust of bread. It’s also about a hilarious latke cook-off of sorts, as in the process he teaches a tenet of haute cuisine to two more experienced chefs – grandmas on opposite sides of a family, bickering over whose recipe is best.

As the plot culminates, both grandmas are best cooks – together, with each other and with the peddler and with everyone else in the house! Every person has a different ingredient to add to the mixture, not only helping it toward completion but also toward yielding the best possible result. So, too, we gather this month to realize something special about what each person can bring to the latke table and to our community. Then, too, we may start to understand how each addition to our Micah blend contributes immeasurably to who we are as a congregation.

If you insist, I could pass along to you “Grandma Yetta’s and Grandma Sophie’s Recipe for Potato Pancakes.” But yours is as good, if it includes a crust of bread.

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Welcome to New Members…

  • Lynda Goldstein of Denver
  • Manny & Johanna Ladis & family of Denver

Condolences…

  • Jessica Wurtzel, yahrzeit 11-2-14, wife of Rick Griffith & mother of Rowen & Marin Griffith
  • Leon Groisser, yahrzeit 11-10-14,  father of Dena Sorokin & grandfather of Jacob Sorokin
  • Steven Kolber, yahrzeit 11-22-14, father of Nicole Klein, father-in-law of Marc, grandfather of Adam & Jennah

MANY THANKS FROM TEMPLE MICAH (for donations processed last month)

GENERAL FUND

  • Alice & Scott Alban – Top Latke Table
  • Brenda & Hal Bruno – in memory of Leon Groisser, father of Dena Sorokin
  • Brenda & Hal Bruno – in memory of Jessica Wurtzel
  • Kate & Matt Chasansky — in memory of Jessica Wurtzel
  • Francine & Allan Krumholz – where it’s needed most
  • Allison Wallis Rabinoff – synagogue support

IN-KIND DONATIONS

  • Andrew & Tia Woods — supplies for temple office and educational programs

SPECIAL THANKS TO CHESED TEAM…

  • David Kelly, Donna Morganstern and willing collaborators for coordinating food for some Micah members facing health issues or other challenges
  • Sonia Boin, Karen Hagler, Carol Molnia, Patti Parson, Christina Pope, Ruth Segal, Ellen Zuckerman for providing occasional cards, notes and calls to convey sentiments on behalf of the congregation, letting people know that the Micah community is present in spirit at times of joy or difficulty
  • Members welcoming newborns in other Micah members’ households, as opportunities arose, and all participants in the congregation’s Chesed efforts — doing “deeds of loving kindness,” tailored to circumstances. The Chesed Committee is regrouping soon for 2015, on an as-needed basis, to express greetings, congratulations, thinking-of-you sentiments, well wishes, condolences or other forms of empathy… as simple as a casserole, a card or a kind word. If you’re willing to offer a friendly note or call, a thoughtful deed, perhaps a kugel or a little encouragement, please put yourself on the Chesed helpers list with Elaine Lee at 303-388-4239 x1.  

IN OUR VICINITY… (at Temple Micah, 5209 Montview Blvd., Denver, unless noted otherwise)

Temple Micah Board Meeting – Tuesday, Dec. 9 – 6:30 p.m. Micah members always are welcome for monthly meetings of the congregation’s board.

Micah Boomers +/- — Thursday, Dec. 11 – 7:00 p.m. Anyone considering himself or herself more or less a “Boomer” can schmooze and study in this context. Tonight’s discussion led by Rabbi Adam Morris centers on Daniel, concluding the focus on prophets. Also at this meeting the group will consider topics for 2015. RSVP to Risa Tatarsky via the Temple Micah Membership Directory or at 303-388-4239 x1, and say if you’ll bring a snack to share.

Rabbi Mo’s Roundtable – Thursday, Dec. 18 – 7:30 a.m. Talk about current topics of Jewish interest at Snooze, 2262 Larimer St., in LoDo. The conversation is free; plan to pay for what you eat or drink there.

Hanukkah Service at Temple MicahFriday, Dec. 19 — 6:00 p.m. The fourth night of Hanukkah will be alight with faces of Micah congregants at a Shabbat service at 6:00 p.m. Happy Hanukkah!

Multiply Your Generosity – Giving reloadable grocery gift cards as holiday gifts or for other occasions is both a boon to Temple Micah, from which you buy them, and recipients. You can give the cards to family, friends or strangers. Moreover, those who receive the cards as gifts can then use them as they wish, instead of getting something pre-determined. Organizations such as Jewish Family ServiceMetro CareRing or Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. guide these gifts to people who will appreciate them. Buy extra cards to have handy for such purposes this season, through Temple Micah’s website . Or call 303-388-4239 x1 for more ways to expand your purchasing impact.

AROUND TOWN…

  • Kavod on the Road – Micah congregants and others interested are invited to brainstorm with Kavod on the Road for adult Jewish community programming. Your ideas and suggestions are wanted! This planning meeting takes place at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9 at Jewish Family Service at the Jewish Community Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., Denver. RSVP to 720-382-7842; refreshments will be served.
  • Jewish Heritage Night with the Denver Nuggets – Cheer for the Nuggets, facing Houston Rockets, at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 17. Every ticket for that second night of Hanukkah comes with a souvenir shirt and family-oriented, pre-game activities including a Latke vs Hamentashen Debate at 6:30 p.m., a kids’ arts and crafts room opening at 7:00 p.m. till halftime and Menorah Lighting at 7:45-ish on the Pepsi Center Court. The game starts at 8:30 p.m. Discounted rates for this event range from $20-$65 (regularly $40-98). For tickets or more details, call Trevor Cowan, 303-405-1693.
  • Festival of Lights with Colorado Hebrew Chorale – Hear the Colorado Hebrew Chorale paired with Stories on Stage in a free event at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, the third night of Hanukkah, at Civic Center in downtown Denver. Come to the McNichols Building for food, fun, music, stories and traditions. Bring your menorah! RSVP is appreciated. Questions? Call 303-355-0232.
  • Making Peace Possible:  Bringing Together an American Jewish Response – Jeremy Ben Ami, president of J Street, Debra DeLee, president & CEO of Americans for Peace Now and Daniel Sokatch, president of the New Israel Fund discuss a path to Israeli-Palestinian peace and some current challenges to Israel’s Jewish and democratic values. This free program at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18 at Temple Emanuel, 51 Grape St., Denver is presented by J Street Colorado in cooperation with Americans for Peace Now and New Israel Fund. For more information, call 303-748-4815.
  • Jews Do Simon – Familiar voices and instruments including those of Hal Aqua and the Lost Tribe and David Ross can be heard in this tribute to Paul Simon by them and other Colorado Jewish musicians at 8:00 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 10 and 7:00 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. The performances take place at Swallow Hill Music, Daniels Hall, 71 E. Yale Ave., Denver. Cost is $18 in advance or $20 on the day of show. Tickets are for sale at www.swallowhillmusic.org.

Feed or Read To Help

December 1st, 2014

by Helen Spiegel, Board of Trustees Member & Social Action Chair

On the spectrum of congregants’ ongoing voluntary efforts, some are serving meals here to homeless women and others are fortifying literacy for children in nearby schools. How will you help? The Micah team is doing a great job providing dinner on the first Wednesday of odd-numbered months to the women in the Women’s Homelessness Initiative. Elaine and Irv, Louis, Jo, Karen, Sheri deserve a huge thank-you. But you too can help. Join our team, meet some of the others from Park Hill United Methodist Church who work tirelessly. Remember, the goal is to provide a safe, dignified place to eat and sleep for an evening: emphasis on dignified.

If you can’t show up in person, no problem. There is always need for warm socks, hats, toiletries, gift cards to McDonalds or Subway or another place downtown. CLEAN OUT your bathroom closets of all those hotel shampoos bottles and lotions. If all else fails, donate money to provide for these women. Bring your donations to the Temple Micah office, or call 303-388-4239 x1 and leave your message.

A second project for Social Action is Reading Partners. We have two volunteers already. This program provides essential reading help to children in some of our neighborhood schools. Sign up or learn more at the organization’s website, readingpartners.org, or call 720-409-9909. Kayla Thomas Walker is one of the volunteer coordinators. Mention that Temple Micah sent you!

Thanks, also, to all of you who are involved in other projects that make our world a better place.

Get Ready for Top Latke Parade!

December 1st, 2014

by Alice Alban, Board of Trustees Member & Top Latke Chair

Which will be the best latke of 2014? Find out Saturday, Dec. 6 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Temple Micah, 5209 Montview Blvd., Denver, as we celebrate our 7th Top Latke Taste-off & Hanukkah Party. Experience live music, a dreidl contest, latke tasting and judging, the balloon man, a light buffet and more. BYOD — Bring Your Own Dreidl to try to spin and win!  BYOM — Bring Your Own Menorah (and candles) to bless and light! Everyone involved or interested in Temple Micah can click here now to RSVP — or go to our website by or before Tuesday, Dec. 2 and use the first Top Latke link you see there! Don’t wait for higher rates to take effect after tomorrow.

“New” member? It’s the perfect family event… and savory also for individuals — a great way to meet or get friendly with people of all ages! “Old” member? Renew friendships and enjoy one of our most popular events. “Not a member?” Not to fret. Guests are welcome.

Any question or snag? Want to enter your latkes or help another way with this fest? Let us know immediately at 303-388-4239 x1. See you on the 6th!

May You Be the Brightest Light

December 1st, 2014

by Rabbi Adam Morris

The lights we light on the Chanukah menorah not only light up the darkest time of the year, but they serve as a more enlightening metaphor. Each of us is a soul whose flame burns as bright as the most glorious candle on a Chanukah menorah. Just like the shammes candle, we each possess the potential to bring light to where there is darkness in the world and within our own lives. Giving gifts is one of the ways that we also recognize our power to bring light to others, but there are other ways that we can bring light or see the light at Chanukah. Perhaps some of these enlightening ideas will inspire you and your family’s Chanukah observance….

  • Social Action Scavenger Hunt – One or two nights instead of exchanging gifts, take a hunt through your home and collect unneeded clothes, toys, food and any other items and give them to a local shelter or organization that could use the items for the recipients of their good works.
  • Meet a Flame of Freedom – Focusing on the theme of freedom in the Chanukah story, invite a guest to a Chanukah dinner and ask this person to share her or his story of freedom. It may be someone who immigrated to the United States fleeing persecution, someone who participated in the Civil Rights movement or someone who has worked or works for freedom in our country or elsewhere in the world.
  • Rededicate Yourself – The word ‘Chanukah’ means ‘consecration’ or ‘dedication.’ Take a night out of the Chanukah celebration and talk about things that you as a family and individually want to dedicate yourselves to in the next year. You may want to focus on how as a family you treat one another or setting a goal of something you want to do more as a family.

May the lights you light this year warm and brighten all who encounter them.

MICAH e-MAILBOX: November 2014

November 1st, 2014

Click here for November news and nuances!

These Are the Homes That Micah Builds

November 1st, 2014

by Sarah Rovner, Micah Representative, Habitat Interfaith Alliance

Habitat Interfaith Alliance is a coalition of 14 congregations including Temple Micah, sharing a goal to build homes in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Metro Denver. The coalition aspires to raise $85,000 per year to support the building of one home – and is completing its 12th home! HIA strives to continue to be an example of inclusivity and acceptance for these homeowners and the Denver metro community by working closely together in partnerships. Throughout the year HIA hosts various fundraisers and hopes that members of these congregations participate as appropriate.

Upcoming events include the annual HIA Soup Dinner and Cook-off on Saturday evening, Jan. 31, 2105. If inclined, you may provide a soup or dessert for this event. Later this winter will be our week-long Used Book Sale, Monday, Feb. 9-Monday, Feb. 16. To contribute to and/or attend either event or for more info, contact Sarah Rovner or Mary Ann Strassner through the Temple Micah Membership Directory or leave a message at 303-388-4239 x1. We are so appreciative of your involvement in HIA events.

You can find additional information about these interfaith social action activities at www.hiadenver.org. Besides Temple Micah, participating congregations include B’nai Havurah, Central Christian Church, Christ the King Catholic Church, First Universalist Church, Hebrew Educational Alliance, Rodef Shalom, St. Andrew Methodist Church, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, South Broadway Christian Church, Temple Emanuel, Temple Sinai, Trinity United Methodist Church and Prairie Unitarian Universalist Church.

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT — Why Alli Winn Is a Winner

November 1st, 2014

by Elaine Lee, Membership & Communications Director

On Friday, Nov. 14, a Micah teen will receive an “outstanding youth” award as part of National Philanthropy Day at the Denver Center for Performing Arts. Quite an honor! Here’s how it happened, in her words: “Shalom, Temple Micah members! My name is Allison Winn. I am 14 years old, and in ninth grade at Denver School of the Arts. In 2009, I founded The Stink Bug Project. What is the Stink Bug Project? It’s a program that gives well-trained dogs to children with life-threatening illnesses. All of the dogs are trained by prisoners in the K-9 Companion Program. The Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation helps run Stink Bug and is our 501(c)3 organization. My family and I fundraise by baking dog biscuits with volunteers at a commercial kitchen, and we sell the dog biscuits at local businesses and farmers markets. My grandpa, Bill Litvak, helps deliver the biscuits all over Denver.

“National Philanthropy Day is a celebration of philanthropy in Colorado. I was nominated for this award by my mentor Steve Donzelli and Jan Nadav at the Mizel Museum. Steve is a professional in the pet services industry and he has helped make many important connections for Stink Bug. Jan works with kids at the Mizel Museum’s summer camps and she has been a strong supporter of Stink Bug for years. They wrote nomination letters and the National Philanthropy Day board decided to choose Stink Bug! Now I will also be considered for a national award, competing with other state winners in the youth category.

“I’m very honored to receive this award, which will give me $2500 for my college fund.

“For more information on Stink Bug Project, our website is http://www.rmchildren.org/programs/stink-bug-project/. If you know a family who has a child battling a life threatening disease who might be interested in a companion dog, or if you have any questions, please e-mail us.”

* * * * *

WELCOME TO NEW MICAH MEMBERS…

  • Barbara Bandel of Denver
  • Robin & Mitch Chasansky of Aurora
  • Toni & Randy Palmer & family of Denver
  • Julie Selsberg & Josh Protass & family of Denver
  • Jeffrey & Kate Sirota & family of Denver

INFANT UPDATE…

  • An addendum to the autumn announcement from Nancy & Alan Bieber… their grandbaby born on Rosh Hashanah has since acquired a name: Johanna Mika Schwartz. You may spot this wee one and her parents, Amanda & Jason Schwartz, visiting here from New York City during Hanukkah!

CONDOLENCES…

  • Henry Arthur Miller, yahrzeit, Oct. 20, 2014, grandfather of Sascha Ripps, grandfather-in-law of Brad & great-grandfather of Grayson & Elon

MANY THANKS FROM TEMPLE MICAH (for donations received last month)

GENERAL FUND

  • Beverly Kaufmann — in memory of Carl Kaufmann, husband, father & grandfather
  • Sheri Lockhart & Mitch Levy – in memory of Bertha Haugen, mother of Kari Epstein
  • Sheri Lockhart & Mitch Levy – in memory of Warren Paul, father of Jacob & Ella Paul
  • Bernie Mazor – in honor of the marriage of Elissa Goldberg & Anndee Hochman
  • Brad & Ruth Hart Segal – in memory of David Segal
  • Vicki & Harry Sterling – in honor of the Sterling/Hay family & their delight in their membership at Temple Micah
  • Louis Wolfe – in honor of the bar mitzvah of Evan Wiley
  • Louis Wolfe – in honor of the bat mitzvah Jariya Freehling

REED MUSIC FUND

  • Richard S. Simms, P.C. – in honor of the birthday of Jon Thorson

MICAH MOVE-OVER

  • Shelley Wiley & Beth Cohen – for Evan Wiley toward b’nai mitzvah class gift

HIGH HOLY DAYS

  • Betsy Armstrong
  • Nancy Beighley
  • Jack & Nancy Blumenthal Family Fund
  • Vicky Collins Ewalt
  • Bruce Berman, Howard Fistell
  • James & Emily Gerson & family
  • Michael & Nancy Greenspon
  • Ernie & Mary Alyce Groman – in appreciation to Temple Micah
  • Sarah Indyk
  • Alan & J.M. Jaffe – for the very enjoyable High Holy Days services… “we enjoy the warmth and community feel of Temple Micah”
  • Eric Kaplan
  • Michael Katz
  • Judy Amilaner Lichtbach
  • Nancy & Mark Winski

ARDEN PEARL ROLL OF REMEMBRANCE

  • Anonymous
  • Roz Cantrell
  • Elyse Gellerman & Michael Fierberg
  • Sarah Klahn & Eyal Sella & family
  • Megan Marx
  • Marin & Wendy Smith
  • Ken Vogel & Lia Woodall

SPECIAL THANKS TO…

  • Rabbi Adam Morris, Cantorial Soloist Uri Ayn Rovner & all High Holy Days vocalists, musicians, Temple Micah Board, Torah readers, ritual participants, contemplation facilitators, Shema Kolaynu speakers and logistical teammates
  • Robyn Hodas, Susie Schreiber & B’nai Mitzvah families for coordinating Temple Micah’s High Holy Days Food & Hygiene Items Drive & to all who contributed to it
  • All donors of in-kind furnishings & other forms of support for Somali refugee newcomers in Aurora, whom Temple Micah is helping to resettle
  • All who are strengthening the Women’s Homelessness Initiative by deed or in-kind contributions or both
  • All who patronized or pumped energy into pumpkin patches for social action purposes
  • All who participated in recent “Mitzvah Day” activities
  • Park Hill United Methodist Church for ongoing cooperation

Please notify Elaine Lee, elaine.lee@micahdenver.org, 303-388-4239 x1, of any inadvertent error or omission.

WITHIN OUR REALM… (at Temple Micah, 5209 Montview Blvd., Denver, unless noted otherwise)

  • Temple Micah Board Meeting – Tuesday, Nov. 11 – 6:30 p.m. Micah members always are welcome for monthly meetings of the congregation’s board of trustees.
  • Micah Boomers +/- — Thursday, Nov. 13 – 7:00 p.m. Anyone considering himself or herself a “Boomer” in the Jewish community can come schmooze and study at this program about the Prophet Daniel, led by Rabbi Adam Morris. RSVP to Risa Tatarsky via the Temple Micah Membership Directory or at 303-388-4239 x1, and say if you’ll bring a snack to share.
  • Temple Micah Women’s Book Group – Monday, Nov. 17 — 7:00 p.m. Join this conversation centered on Christina Baker Kline’s “The Orphan Train,” place to be determined. RSVP to Nancy Weil via Temple Micah Membership Directory or reach her through the temple, 303-388-4239 x1.
  • Rabbi Mo’s Roundtable – Thursday, Nov. 20 – 7:30 a.m. Perk up with Micah people discussing current topics of Jewish interest at Snooze, 2262 Larimer St., in LoDo; pay your way for caffeine or breakfast.
  • Anshei Mitzvah Informational Meeting, Sunday, Nov. 23 – 10:00 a.m. Jews who didn’t have a bar or bat mitzvah ceremony during adolescence can do so as adults in a Temple Micah class culminating in a group B’nai Mitzvah Service in 2016. Attend this meeting to find out more about what’s entailed, or ask the rabbi, 303-388-4239 x3.  
  • Happy Thanksgiving! – Thursday, Nov. 27 – Will you say a blessing or be a blessing? Or both?

AROUND OUR SPHERE…

  • Jewish Gender Journeys – Thursday, Nov. 6, 6:30 p.m., Temple Sinai, 3509 S. Glencoe St., Denver, free – Transgender Day of Remembrance is designated for remembering gender non-conforming and transgender individuals who were murdered in the past year. This panel, brought to the community by Keshet, is comprised of a transgender man, a transgender woman, an intersex individual, a genderqueer individual and the parent of a transgender person. They will tell their respective stories, with time for questions and answers afterward.
  • Fair Trade Market – During winter holidays, consider giving gifts of extra significance. Unique, fair-trade and handmade products from Colorado and around the world are for sale at Park Hill United Church of Christ, 2600 Leyden St., Denver. The market is open Friday, Nov. 7, from 3:00-7:00 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 8, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 9, 11:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. All proceeds go to the crafters and organizations providing the merchandise.
  • Pack Light and Fill Your Pages! – Would you like to capture your travel experiences? Judith Cassel-Mamet, a Temple Micah past president, welcomes inquiries about her Travel Journal Workshop, based on the premise that making a travel journal offers an unusual, satisfying souvenir more poetic than buying any object. The workshop is from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, Room 205, 5209 Montview Blvd., Denver. Learn techniques to record your adventures by mixing media, playing with collage, preparing pages and discussing how to use photos creatively. No drawing, writing or art experience is needed! Cost is $50 for Micah members or $75 for non-members and includes necessary materials except blank journal and apron. Register before Tuesday, Nov. 18 at www.jcmamet.net/workshops.
  • Rosh Hodesh 2015 Program: “Women’s Expressions of the Soul” – Women representing  a cross-section of Jewish Denver are putting together a collaboration for Everywoman in the community on Sunday, March 15, which Temple Micah is co-sponsoring with other synagogues and organizations. A keynote address by Caryn Aviv of Judaism Your Way headlines the 2:30-6:30 p.m. event at Rodef Shalom and Mizel Museum, 450 and 400 S. Kearney St., including afternoon snacks and a catered kosher supper. Breakout sessions will be presented by guests with varied backgrounds such as Ruth Sharon, yoga/meditation instructor; Nancy Sharp, Micah member and author of “Both Sides Now: A True Story of Love, Loss and Bold Living”; Rabbi Evette Lutman of B’nai Havurah; Claudia Trevithick, counselor and art therapist; and Yael Weinstein, Judaic fabric artist. Hold the date, and watch for details unfolding!

Varied Ways To Assure Temple Micah’s Future

November 1st, 2014

by Brenda Bruno, Temple Administrator, on Behalf of the Board and Micah Tomorrow

“Do justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly. That spoke right to my heart. I think Temple Micah has helped me be a better version of myself.”

“Temple Micah welcomed me when I was unsure of how I might participate, allowing me to expand my religious beliefs and spiritual curiosity  at my own pace, slowly but surely becoming comfortable enough to embrace my Jewish identity.”

“It’s the right fit for me and my family.”

One of the best parts of talking with people about the Micah Tomorrow endowment fund has been participating in conversations one-on-one, hearing about people’s values, sharing personal stories about why Temple Micah is meaningful and relevant and valued. Each discussion is unique and different.  Informational meetings are starting, and the following members have committed or promised to commit to the financial future of our temple:

Micah Tomorrow donors as of Oct. 31, 2014

Michael & Robin Aubrey

Hal & Brenda Bruno

Lawrence & Elizabeth Feldman

Charles Kessler, Chris Lynn

Nancy Litwack-Strong & Peter Strong

Rabbi Adam, Renee, Addison & Dakota Morris

Dena Sorokin

Helen Spiegel

David Teitelman

Anonymous (1)

There are different ways people have chosen to donate: future gift (bequest) of a percentage of estate; future gift (bequest) naming Temple Micah the beneficiary of a retirement plan; current planned gift spread out over several years; current one-time gift. Some have chosen not to indicate the details of their gift but that they have included or they will include Micah Tomorrow in their wills. Just as there are many different reasons why people love Temple Micah and why they would choose to donate to the Micah Tomorrow endowment, there are many different ways the gifts can be arranged. We will be updating and sharing the list of Micah Tomorrow endowment donors regularly.

Are you an estate attorney? Other temples who have already participated in the Rose Live On grant have told us this donation conversation has been a learning opportunity for those who do not have a will. We’d like to keep a list of professionals who could be a resource for those with questions. Please contact Brenda Bruno, brenda.bruno@micahdenver.org, if you would like to help.

So, What’s in Your Name?

November 1st, 2014

by Rabbi Adam Morris

Did you know that Abraham and Sarah (of ‘first Jews’ fame) were not always Abraham and Sarah? When we first meet them this season in a Torah portion — Lech L’cha — they are Abram and Sarai. As their experiences define them and their story evolves, they each add the letter ‘hay’ to their names. The ‘hey’ is not just any old ‘hey,’ but the ‘hey’ from the four-lettered, unpronounceable name of God. They added to the recipe of letters that constituted their names to that point, the divine spice of the letter ‘hey.’ The biblical author understood and sought to teach us who would listen to this story — that there can be meaning and impact even in the most mundane of actions — even in how we identify ourselves and how we identify others.

We don’t change our names much in our day and age, but we do have more than one way that we are referred to or reference others… perhaps we acquire a nickname (chosen or forced upon us) or we have different appellations depending on the relative familiarity or roles that our titles will fulfill with the various people in our lives (Mr., Mrs., Darling, Ma’am, Dr., Coach, etc.) Just like any other mundane choice we make in our lives, the names we use for ourselves and for others hold potential for other layers of meaning.

Before you start googling the best marketers and branding professionals to help imagine your new name, perhaps the first steps to unpacking the meaning behind our monikers is simply to begin to pay attention to how we identify ourselves and how we identify others. After all, even before Abram and Sarai added the divine ‘Hey,’ their lives still embodied plenty of divinity. I would bet that that same divinity abides in our lives, too… hiding in plain sight each time we say ‘Mom’ or ‘Dad’ or call out to a child, a sibling or a friend. We don’t necessarily need to add a ‘hey’ to be aware of what is already present within.

MICAH e-MAILBOX: October 2014

October 11th, 2014

Click here for all you want to know in October about Temple Micah!