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MICAH e-MAILBOX: July 2014

July 1st, 2014

Click here for your July 2014 update!

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT — Dedication Is Done, Service Has Begun

July 1st, 2014

by Elaine Lee, Membership and Communications Director

“Make for Me a Mikdash…” was the refrain on Sunday morning, June 8 at Temple Micah’s and Park Hill United Methodist Church’s history-making (Re)Dedication of the Babbs Memorial Chapel at 5209 Montview Blvd., in Denver. The restyled sacred space, Rabbi Adam Morris explained, will be known from generation to generation as the Temple Micah Mikdash at Babbs Chapel, spawning a spontaneous chorus of “Amens.”

This faithful gathering, including Temple Micah, PHUMC plus neighbors, filled the Main Parlor of the church’s large Sanctuary. The event drew hundreds of people, more than could fit at once into the smaller renovated holy place being renamed in Hebrew, “Mikdash.” No one seemed to mind the name change or the crowd. Before and after the dedication, participants visited the Mikdash to gaze at Jewish symbols including a Mezuzah, serving as a commanding sign on the doorpost, and a newly installed Ner Tamid, or Eternal Light, signifying the Divine and proclaiming as translated from Hebrew: “Know before Whom you stand.”

It was literally and figuratively a moving celebration months in the making, as the church Chapel became transformed into a space mainly for Jewish use. The ceremony reminded those present of the covenant created between the temple and this church in January, shortly after Temple Micah had moved here from a congenial 3-1/2-decade precedent of leasing from and partnering with Park Hill Congregational Church at 2600 Leyden St., in the same neighborhood.

The ceremony also punctuated Temple Micah’s and PHUMC’s potential for positive interaction ahead. As suggested by clergy remarks and smiles all around, opportunities for increasing familiarity and understanding abound.

“Brothers and sisters in Christ,“ PHUMC’s Rev. Dr. Eric Smith greeted everyone, quickly adding “excuse me” as he turned to the rabbi to ask, “How should I put that?”

Rabbi Morris replied, “Brothers and sisters… just brothers and sisters.”

“Alright,” Pastor Smith continued, “brothers and sisters, we come to consecrate this Chapel!”

After co-led rituals by the rabbi and the reverend and singing led by David Ross, also playing keyboard, the celebration branched out with self-guided explorations of the renovated Mikdash, socializing in the Coffee Bar, and encouragement of PHUMC Youth Ministry’s upcoming social action trip to Belize, Mexico, partly funded that day by a BBQ lunch and a ceramics sale.

Recalling the Chapel’s prior naming for the Rev. Dr. J. Carleton Babbs, who served in the PHUMC pulpit between 1955-1974, Pastor Smith lauded Pastor Babbs’ recognition of the “necessity of eliminating all barriers” including racial discrimination, to church membership. “He was the one who really helped us be a multicultural church.”

Reena Carter, a member of PHUMC, welcomes Temple Micah’s space-sharing for a related reason. “To me, it adds to the diversity our church has been known for,” she said. “I love the coming together of the congregations.”

Amener Williams, attending this event with two grandchildren and a niece, said, “I think it’s wonderful that we’re sharing space. The ceremony was beautiful and energizing. I loved the music – and we hope for good things coming out of our fellowship.”

Aaron Tate, an East High School freshman, is on the church’s delegation to Belize – and hopes to perhaps travel someday too with Temple Micah teens, or to plan fundraising events and fun times together “so that we could get to know each other better.”

“I’m delighted that we made a decision and you guys made a decision to join hands together,” John Childs said. “The merging of our two faiths, it’s like a marriage made in heaven.” From maintaining the building to using the facility more fully and effectively, there are many ways that the temple’s presence will help the church, he stressed. Childs has been a PHUMC member for almost 50 years, as an usher, on the planning committee and the board, while trying to help the church with anything that needed attention. He well remembers Dr. Babbs as a preacher who strived “to live the faith and who felt the church should represent the community and everyone should be welcome.”

Pastor Babbs worked diligently not only to convince this congregation to integrate itself and to expand opportunities for participation among all of its members, but also went around urging other churches in the area to do so, Childs reminisced. The church now is proud to include “a little bit of everybody,” he added. In that tradition, PHUMC congregants have warmly welcomed Temple Micah to be part of and to help build an even more diversified sacred community.

Temple Micah is a friendly Reform Jewish synagogue, trying in the words of its namesake, the biblical prophet Micah, to “Do Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly.” The temple has drawn diverse congregants from across greater Denver for more than 50 years. For more information about Temple Micah or the Mikdash/Chapel (Re)Dedication, visit http://www.micahdenver.org, or call Elaine Lee, 303-388-4239 x1.

A NOTE TO POTENTIAL MICAH MEMBERS…

Visitors are welcome, whether in the synagogue’s quarters with PHUMC at 5209 Montview Blvd., or at Temple Micah’s Shabbat outings around the town this summer. The congregation of Temple Micah is eager to greet you and to help you participate; applications for affiliation are accepted throughout the year. Membership and dues info are available at http://www.micahdenver.org. Or call 303-388-4239 x1.

MEET THESE BABIES…

  • Conrad Woods, born May 29, 2014, is the son of Tia & Andrew Woods & brother of Kiya.
  • Tylur Jacob Lockhart, born May 27, 2014, to Jennifer & Jonathan Lockhart, is the grandson of Sheri Lockhart and Fritz Lockhart.
  • Mabel Shapiro, born April 5, 2014, is the daughter of Meagan Londy Shapiro & Andrew Shapiro & sister of Vivienne.

MAZEL TOV TO THIS RECENT GRAD…

  • Jacob Theis was very active in the theatre community at George Washington High School. His roles included Perchik in Fiddler on the Roof, Octavius Caesar in Antony and Cleopatra, and Corny Collins in Hairspray. After graduating in June and spending his summer as kitchen staff at Shwayder Camp, he’ll be off to the University of Arizona where he is interested in studying marketing.

CONDOLENCES…

  • Ellen Rose, yahrzeit June 12, 2014, sister of Michael Rose (& sister-in-law of Melissa Weiser-Rose)

THANK YOU FOR THE GENEROSITY… (donations Temple Micah received in the past month)

  • Estate of Erich Callmann
  • Kate Chasansky — Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund in appreciation of his guidance through her conversion journey
  • Karen Hagler — Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund in appreciation for including her brother, Myron Goldstein, for Misheberach and reading the yahrzeit of Debby Furman
  • Meagan Londy Shapiro & Stephen Shapiro – Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund for naming of their daughter, Mabel Shapiro
  • David Teitelman — General donation in honor of Admiral Michelle Howard, aunt of Sol Teitelman
  • Adriana Weinberg – General Operating Fund in memory of her parents, Maria & Heinrich Weinberg

(Temple Micah is grateful for every contribution. For information about how to make a donation, or in case of any inaccuracy in this listing, contact Elaine Lee, 303-388-4239 x1, elaine.lee@micahdenver.org.)

2014 JEWISH APPRECIATION DAY AT THE COLORADO ROCKIES

  • Click on the link above to hear and glimpse Micah kids and more singing the “Star-Spangled Banner” on Sunday, June 22 at Coors Field. The ad hoc children’s chorus was directed by Uri Ayn Rovner, Temple Micah cantorial soloist, Hebrew teacher and tutor and proprietor of Calliope Music Studios.

GOOD-TO-KNOW RESOURCES…

  • InnovAge Home Care is a nonprofit organization that could be useful to you or someone you know, says Alice Alban, a Micah board member familiar with the group. The organization offers home care, money management, companionship, information, referral, transportation and Medicare/Medicaid counseling to help adults be independent as long as possible. Some people age 50 and up or disabled may be eligible for free help managing finances; all must meet income guidelines of below $22,340 per year for an individual or below $30,260 per year for a couple. Money Management volunteers sort mail, organize bills, prepare budgets, prepare checks for signature, ensure timely bill payment and may do other financial tasks. Call Gaile Weisbly-Waldinger, 303-300-6933.

Take Note of Temple’s Annual Meeting

July 1st, 2014

by Michael Clapman, President, and Michael Aubrey, Secretary, Board of Trustees

Dear Fellow Temple Micah Congregants:

Following you will find the minutes of the Temple Micah 2014 Annual Meeting. I want to thank all of you who were able to attend. Your participation and comments were greatly appreciated by the board. We want to recognize and apologize for the oversight of not providing to you in advance of the meeting, our recommended slate of board members and officers, as required by the bylaws. We are committed to insure that it will not happen again. As a couple of you pointed out, we also recognize that there are other provisions of the bylaws that have not been adhered to strictly.

Over the past many years, the nature of Temple Micah and the pattern of governance has changed some, and in some cases, prudence and efficiency have dictated that procedures and policies be put in place that are in some variance to the bylaws. For example, the bylaws require a few standing committees whose responsibilities have for some time been handled by temple staff, and therefore, asking congregants to serve on those committees would have been superfluous.

That being said, we understand that it is inappropriate to vary from an organization’s bylaws. As many of you know, we have created the Governance Task Force. This group is made up of congregants, board members and staff. The purpose of the group is to study our current governance model and recommend changes that would enhance our ability to manage the temple’s business, recruit and develop volunteers and leaders and ensure that we are completely in compliance with our bylaws. This may result in changes to our current bylaws, and if so, you will be kept informed and the process for making those changes will be done in accordance with the requirements of our current bylaws.

The work of the Governance Task Force will be completely transparent and you will be kept apprised of its progress. If you have questions, concerns or suggestions, please feel free to let me or the rabbi know. I can be reached at president@micahdenver.org (or through the temple, 303-388-4239).

Thank you,

Michael Clapman

Temple Micah

Board of Trustees Meeting Agenda: Annual Meeting

June 8, 2014

9:30-11:30 AM

Location:

Temple Micah

D’var Torah (Rabbi)

Annual meetings are about numbers and by symmetry we are in the book of Numbers. In this week’s portion Moses sends the spies to survey the land. Some spies say it is dangerous and occupied by “giants”. Two spies, however, report that the land overflows with milk and honey.

The people are aroused by the danger and it is this sin (of the exaggerated danger) that results in the people wandering in the desert for 40 years.

Salting the mood of the people with fear and distrust is a sin.

We have an obligation to honestly assess ourselves. We also need to not see ourselves as grasshoppers to the giants of the larger community but simply appreciate our strengths and weaknesses.

Welcome and President’s Report – Mike C

It has not been a quiet year at Temple Micah. We have moved and the board has approved a 10 year extension to the Rabbi’s contract. The future path is established and solid moving forward.

However, to ensure our well-being we have established three task forces: 1. Governance, 2. Micah Tomorrow, and 3. A group looking at short-term revenue and expenses.

Budget Update and 2014 – 2015 Budget – David

Budget summary for 2013 to 2014.

Our income increased by 11% and expenses rose in concert. Our longterm savings rose about 2%. Our Money Market declined due to expenses associated with the move. So, year-over-year the picture is on track.

However, on the budget we had some shortfalls.

Income:

-Dues collections met targets for the first time in memory

-Donations were lower than planned

-Several planned fundraising efforts failed to materialize

-Micah Move Over effort may have cannibalized other efforts

Expenses: On target to meet budget

TA: Keeping a close eye on expenses and maximizing dues

Approach to 2014-2015 Budget:

-Incorporate positive trend in dues collections since the dues committee will continue to do their good work

-Temper expectations around “general donations” including lower HH attendance

-Using 2013-2014 as the core factor to predict next year’s budget

Outlook for 2014-2015 Budget:

Income: $370K

Expenses: $414K

Shortfall: $43K less $23K for income on investments for an overall shortfall of $23K

Comment #1: Is the cause of HH reduction due to the location of the services?

Response: Probably not since we redirected people to the new location. Also, the trend has been downward for some time. Over time there has been a trend for less community-wide attendance at HH and attendance limited more to our membership. Our membership has increased slightly to 207 units and this does not compensate for the decreased community attendance.

Comment #2: Can the RS be a place to recruit new members. This year there were not any non-member families at RS

Comment #3: What do we pay URJ for affiliation? Follow Up Question: Are we looking at URJ membership critically?

Response: A significant amount based on membership. 17K per year. The Revenue and Expense Task force will look at this.

Comment #4: How much received for Micah Move-Over?

Response: $22K

Comment #5: Why not pay off entire shortfall rather than just half?

Response: We did not want to use more than 20K, which has historical precedent. We also want to set a level of fiscal discipline and the new Revenue and Expense Task Force is a response to this.

Additionally, this is not a onetime event. We have had a habit of running these shortfalls. Withdrawing the extra monies is not a longterm solution.

Budget Approval: Approved without dissent.

Revenue/Expenses Review Task Force – Brian

Purpose and Mission: Find $23K in 2015 and erase the budget deficit. There are no sacred cows- Every line item will be examined. The Task Force will then report back to the board, which will ultimately make the decision of where to act.

We are unlikely to save our way out of the deficit. We will need new sources of revenue.

Members; Brenda Bruno, Greg DeRosa, Brian Silverman, David Teitelman

Comment #1: Will you be brainstorming new revenue sources?

Response: Yes, but not making specific recommendations for a single fundraiser. And the approach has to be sustainable so we do not exhaust our volunteers.

Comment #2: What if a member has a specific idea?

Response: Contact the committee.

Micah Governance Task Force – Helen

The May retreat spawned novel ideas on Micah Governance. We realized that we do not have an organized way of tapping the talent of our members.

Questions:

-Are there ways to reorganize the board?

-How are leaders identified and supported?

-How do we recruit people and match them to work that they are good at?

-How can staff be best utilized?

Observation: People want to do the things they are good at but do not want to be overwhelmed with work.

Members: Helen Speigel, Sharon Thorson, Amy Anderson, Tony Frank, Rabbi Morris.

Comment #1: What is “governance”?

Response: It is the entire system from board to staff to volunteers.

Comment #2: Example?

Response: We have a Woman’s Homeless Initiative. A member wrote about the women’s experiences. That took advantage of the member’s expertise and interest without asking more than she could give.

Micah Tomorrow – Nancy

Few of the members have heard of the Task Force despite multiple blogs on the topic. The Rose Community Foundation that arose from the sale of the Rose Hospital works with Jewish organizations to invest in their future so that they can “live-on” in perpetuity. The program starts with training and a $6K grant doled out in portions.

Where we are now: We have looked our finances and history. To big influxes of funds: 1. Sale of the original building and 2. Building fundraising around the year 2000. We decided thoughtfully that we are not to be building owners; which is in the best interest of a community of our size.

So, we have these two pots of money that can be invested.

Rose will manage these funds. Our Designated Fund (available at any time) and our Endowment Fund (restricted monies for the long term). We can use UP TO 5% of the Endowment Fund each year to meet immediate needs.

The ongoing process will be to grow the Endowment Fund to fund Micah through the unpredictable future. We will be talking to everyone who loves Micah; not just those in their twilight years.

Comment #1: How was Rose vetted and chosen?

Response: This was deeply investigated and compared to Wells Fargo and Jewish Colorado. Note that Rose is managing hundreds of millions of dollars.

Comment #2: What is the purpose of the endowment?

Response: Keep Micah in existence and eventually endow the Rabbi’s position.

Comment #3: Do we get less interest by dividing the monies between two funds?

Response: No. Just different rules for each fund

Comment #4: Will we be protected from market vagaries?

Response: No. Both will be in growth-orientated funds.

Comment #5: There are life insurance funds that pay to institutions rather than individual beneficiaries

Response: Task Force will look at

Board and Officers Election – Mike C

Three retiring board members; Jason (5 years), Nancy (4 years), and Dena (4 years). Each of these retiring board members will continue to serve on Micah committees.

Proposed Slate for 2014-2015:

President: Michael Clapman

Vice President: Brian Silverman

Secretary: Michael Aubrey

Treasurer: David Teitelman

At Large: Alice Alban, Chuck Kessler, Helen Spiegel

As part of our rethinking of governance we are proposing to not change the board this year. We are instead proposing a “continuing resolution”.

Comment #1: How are we going to get everything done?

Response: We have already divvied the essential duties. Board members have signed on to step up during this interim. This may be less than a year depending upon when the Governance Task Force makes their recommendations.

Comment #2: Do the bylaws need to be changed? The bylaws must be changed by community vote.

Response: The bylaws allow for changes to occur at a special meeting. If the Task Force makes a recommendation to expand the board we will release a slate with 30 days notice and call a special meeting if needed. Presently, the structure of the board is within the confines of the bylaws.

Possibly, the model will be to strengthen the committee heads who report frequently to the board without actually serving on the board.

Comment #3: Great that you are willing to take this on and think creatively. In some ways this is a growing pain of getting larger.

Comment #4: How will this be communicated to the Micah community? How will we reach the newer members with these important changes?

Response: Use the Micah Move Over model. Emails and talk to people at events. But, honestly, this is part of the process of learning how to best communicate. For example, the dues committee contacts every member but could also plumb member interests and abilities.

Open Discussion

Comment #1: What happened to our Mission Statement?

Response: We know what makes Micah special. The board and Rabbi use the essence of the Mission Statement to help in decision making

Comment #2: Where is Tikkun Olam in our Mission Statement and Task Forces?

Response: Our Governance Task force will help address this deficit by finding the volunteers to help repair the world.

Comment #3: Save the date for the Golf Tournament and it is for everyone.

Comment #4: Can we extend our Tikkun Olam to our everyday lives?

Become Eternally Enlightened

July 1st, 2014

by Rabbi Adam Morris

The next time you will be able to enjoy our new Mikdash/Chapel space, you might notice (if you have not already) that the new Ner Tamid is finally in its place. Ner Tamid translates most commonly as ‘Eternal Light” — it is symbolically always lit to remind us of the limitless nature of divinity. I have had occasion to explain the Ner Tamid and its symbolism to many school and church groups who have sat at the various synagogues in which I have served as a rabbi. It did not matter if that Ner Tamid I was explaining was in Dixie (Nashville or Charlotte), Down Under or at Mile High — one person in the group always asked with reverence and curiosity: “What do you do when the light burns out?”

And each time, after waiting a beat, I would answer: “We change the light bulb.” Some groups would laugh at my deadpanned response and others would ignore my attempt at humor.

It was as if my guests sensed the precarious connection between an everyday light bulb and the limitless presence of divinity and worried about what the cosmic impact would be when the Eternal Light would be eternal no more. What would happen to God if the lights went out?

Our lives are constant reminders of our limits. These limits dynamically define us — as they challenge and inspire us to do more and to be more. Still, they are limits. Whether it is with our words, our deeds, our minds or our bodies it seems that even the best and brightest and greatest of what we overcome and create seems to have an end. Even an Eternal Light.

In my mind, we set aside time to gather together in a Mikdash like ours to ponder, confront and reflect on our dual nature — we are of body and of spirit; we are corporeal and we are ethereal. In our kishkes we know we are limited and we intuit that we have no end. The presence of this symbol — our Ner Tamid — in the sacred space of our community presents us with reality of our limits and the possibility that there is some element or aspect of us that is without limit. At times the Ner Tamid puts us in our place — reminding us of what we cannot be or do. At times the Ner Tamid reminds us of our place — suggesting to us something sacred beyond the sometimes suffocating limits we face.

Next time you enter that sacred space, pay attention to what the Ner Tamid presents to you.

How To Help a Refugee Family

June 1st, 2014

by Hannah Walker, Micah Member for Social Action

A refugee is someone who has fled his or her home country because of persecution, war or violence. A refugee cannot return or is afraid to do so.  Last year, some 2,199 refugees moved to Colorado. These individuals came mainly from Burma, Iraq, Bhutan and Somalia. Many moved from desolate refugee camp to desolate refugee camp in search of a country that would allow them to live without religious, ethnic or political persecution.

Upon arrival to the United States, many refugees face significant challenges. They must learn to navigate complex cityscapes, to master a foreign currency and to communicate in a new language. Adults work long hours at low-level jobs, often taking night shifts and enduring long bus commutes. In Colorado, many newly-arrived refugees find jobs in the Greeley meatpacking factories. In addition to adapting to a new school, teenagers are often charged with child care and finding jobs. Younger children, who usually pick up English quickly, frequently become responsible for translating. The stress of these challenges is often exacerbated by cultural and linguistic barriers.

If you want to make an important impact in the community, please consider becoming involved with Temple Micah’s family sponsorship initiative. In collaboration with Ecumenical Refugee and Immigration Services and with assistance from other community organizations, Temple Micah will be sponsoring a refugee family. This short-term, highly-beneficial commitment, involves working in small teams to support a recently-arrived family as it adapts to Colorado. Teams will be small but will be supported by established and experienced organizations. Team members will be able to work largely at their own discretion but guidance and resources will also be available through implementing organizations.

Opportunities for involvement include:

  • Helping to furnish apartments

  • Airport pickup

  • Transportation to medical appointments

  • English tutoring

  • Helping families to understand American culture and traditions such as appropriate attire, holiday celebrations etc.

  • Serving as liaison between teachers and families

  • Being a first friend to a newly-arrived family

If you are interested in becoming involved with this extremely rewarding and very flexible opportunity or if you have any questions, e-mail theyosemiteproject.co@gmail.com or reach Hannah through the temple, 303-388-4239 x1.

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT – Hooray for Micah Graduates of 2014

June 1st, 2014

by Elaine Lee, Membership and Communications Director

Each spring, much like a beaming parent, Temple Micah is proud to say “mazel tov” for scholastic accomplishments of its members. It’s always a pleasure to congratulate graduates of high school or more advanced educational programs on their learning and other achievements – and most of all, for being none other than who they are. Now’s the time again to be amazed and to give this shout-out to Micah grads on parade!

IN PRAISE OF MICAH SCHOLARS…

  • Laura Thor has graduated with her Doctor of Ministry in pastoral psychotherapy from the Graduate Theological Foundation. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for 25 years, she looks forward to continuing her private practice of counseling with a focus on clients’ spiritual needs and values as resources for their emotional well-being.
  • Eyal Sella has completed his Master of Business Administration degree in the University of Colorado Executive MBA program.
  • Jacob Sorokin is graduating from the George Washington High School IB program, and going to New York University in the fall. He and the other editors of the school newspaper, The Surveyor, won several awards from the Colorado High School Press Association.
  • Jacob (Jake) Wallace graduates this spring from Cherry Creek High School with honors and was very active in the CCHS music program. He earned All-State status for jazz, concert and orchestra trumpet performance. He will be majoring in music and attending the University of Colorado in Boulder.
  • Hannah Walker is graduating from the IB program at George Washington High School in the top 10% of her class and will attend George Washington University. She has kept up a commitment to the Denver refugee community, ever since making it a priority in preparation for her bat mitzvah. She volunteers for the African Community Center in its First Friends program, mentors peers weekly through the “On Track” program and volunteers at the Denver Street Fraternity. She also established an informal not-for-profit called the Yosemite Project, serving refugees’ needs. She worked with Rep. Diana DeGette’s office, the board of the African Community Center, Denver and Aurora Police Departments and other organizations to help residents near Yosemite Boulevard and 14th Street strengthen their neighborhood. At her campus this fall Hannah plans to live in the Civics House, for students dedicated to social justice and other community development issues.

(Please excuse any inadvertent error or omission. If you’re aware of others deserving mention in the MICAH e-Mailbox/”Community Spotlight” section, be sure to notify Elaine Lee, 303-388-4239 x1, elaine.lee@micahdenver.org.)

WELCOME TO NEW MEMBERS…

  • Mildred Harris Caplitz & Bryan Bernholtz of Denver
  • Jeff & Sonia Deutsch of Aurora
  • Katharine Lee & Daniel Shurz & family of Denver
  • Gail & Ulysses “Chip” Mason of Denver
  • Avery B. Snider & Katherine B. Sykes & family of Aurora

 

CONDOLENCES…

  • Charlotte Weiser, yahrzeit May 17, 2014, mother of Melissa Weiser-Rose & mother-in-law of Michael Rose

 

THANK YOU TO THESE DONORS… (for contributions received last month)

  • Deborah Carr – in memory of Charlotte Weiser, beloved mother of Melissa Weiser-Rose, & Carol Rose, beloved mother of Michael Rose
  • Kate & Matt Chasansky – in memory of Dottie Magidow, great-aunt of Matt, & yahrzeit of Valdis Kaupuss, father of Matt
  • Judy Goldberg – in memory of Carol Rose & Charlotte Weiser, mothers of Michael Rose & Melissa Weiser-Rose
  • Sarah Klahn & Eyal Sella — toward b’nai mitzvah class gift for the Micah Move-Over
  • Ann & Jim Lampman – Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund in memory of Leonard Alban, father of our dear friend Scott Alban
  • Kimberley & David Silverman — toward b’nai mitzvah class gift for the Micah Move-Over
  • Risa Tatarsky & Michael Clapman – in memory of Carol Rose & Charlotte Weiser, mothers of Michael Rose & Melissa Weiser-Rose
  • Laurel Weinstein & Aaron Kelly – toward b’nai mitzvah class gift for the Micah Move-Over
  • Louis Wolfe – in honor of the bar mitzvah of Ryan Johnston, in honor of the bar mitzvah of Jared Marx, in honor of the bat mitzvah of Jenna Silverman

(Temple Micah greatly appreciates every contribution. For information about how to make a donation, or in case of any inaccuracy in this listing, contact Elaine Lee, 303-388-4239 x1, elaine.lee@micahdenver.org.)

SOMETHINGS FOR EVERYONE…

  • Micah’s Motley Jews… Play ball or cheer on the temple softball team Sundays weekly to help make a happy season! Find out when, where and how you can do your part from Kane Aldinger, captain, or leave him a message at 303-388-4239 x1.
  • Micah Boomers +/-… If you relate to the “more or less a Boomer” tag and would like to learn more about Jewish texts, this crew may be for you! Psalms will be the topic at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, June 12 at Temple Micah, 5209 Montview Blvd. RSVP to Risa Tatarsky or the temple, 303-388-4239 x1, and please mention if you’ll bring a snack to share.
  • Temple Micah Women’s Book Group… There’s always room for discussion at meetings of this bunch on third Mondays monthly. The next gathering is at 7:00 p.m. on June 16 in the Kaplan family’s home, where Donna Tartt’s book, “The Goldfinch,” will be reviewed. Ask Nancy Weil how to get a copy and get in on the gab, or contact Temple Micah, 303-388-4239 x1.

 

OTHER SUNNY STUFF…

  • Reminder: 10th Habitat Golf Classic – Habitat Interfaith Alliance, a coalition of congregations including Temple Micah, urges your support of this Habitat for Humanity Golf Tournament including a silent auction to benefit home-building for people in need of homes. The event takes place Monday, June 2, with 7:45 a.m. “shotgun” at Glenmoor Country Club, 110 Glenmoor Drive, Cherry Hills Village. For details, contact Sarah Rovner, a Micah HIA rep, or e-mail golf@hiadenver.org.
  • Park Hill Garden Tour — Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. presents a Garden Walk, showcasing 12 inspirational gardens, on Saturday, June 14 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. An artist will be in each garden to add enjoyment to the day. The community garden at Park Hill Elementary School also will have Master Gardeners, Master Composters and the Chicken Coop people available to answer questions. Tickets are $12 each, or $10 for seniors, if purchased in advance and $15 on the tour date. You can make early arrangements at www.greaterparkhill.org or buy tickets at the Art Garage, 6100 E. 23rd Ave., on the day of event. Proceeds benefit the neighborhood association.
  • Patio Networking – Mingle with the Denver Jewish business community on Thursday, June 19 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at The Tavern Lowry, 7401 E. 1st Ave., in Denver’s Lowry Town Center. The Denver Jewish Chamber of Commerce has planned this evening for casual networking. Light vegetarian appetizers will be provided; drinks are extra. Cost: $5/chamber member (preregistration required). $10/non-member (preregistration required), or $15 at the door; 2 for 1 draft beers will be available till 7:00 p.m. Bring plenty of business cards to give out.
  • Show of Pride — Micah congregants are welcome to march with others under Keshet’s “Jewish Community Pride”  banner at the Pride March on Sunday, June 22, to wind up at PrideFest in Civic Center Park downtown. For more info on the Keshet marching plans and route, check with Rafi Daugherty, 303-691-3562.

Micah Tomorrow News

June 1st, 2014

by Nancy Litwack-Strong, Board Member and Member of Temple Micah Live-On Committee

Congratulations to our forward thinking Board of Trustees! On Tuesday, May 13, the board voted to move our invested savings to Rose Community Foundation and to establish two funds: a Temple Micah Endowment Fund and a Temple Micah Designated Fund. Both will be managed in a way that promotes the long term survival of everything we have come to love about our congregation.

Many of us know of Rose Community Foundation from its grant-making funds available to various causes that this foundation focuses on — Jewish life, education, aging, child and family development and health. The foundation also promotes philanthropy among non-profits (like us) and family funds by administering investments. RCF’s portfolio of investments — its own funds and the ones its staff manages for organizations — totals $278 million.

Temple Micah is so fortunate to have seed money with which to establish our funds. And for this seed money we must thank and acknowledge two distinct groups. The first group is the founders of Temple Micah. In 1978, when the Temple Micah building on Monaco was sold, these leaders had the vision of a future for Temple Micah and had the foresight to protect the proceeds from the sale of the building to use towards that future. Many temple leaders have come and gone since that time, but all have been good financial stewards of this building fund.

In addition to the Micah founders, another group of Micah members in 2000-2002 were asked, and responded “YES,” to requests for one-time contributions to a building fund. This support increased our “nest egg” by over $120,000. Since that time, as most of you know, we came to realize that building ownership was not in our community’s best interest. So, we have come to think of this money, from both of these groups, as a legacy fund. And it is this money that will be invested with Rose Community Foundation.

So, may our current and future leaders continue to proceed with wisdom. May our financial future be secure. May our community grow in joy, knowledge and spiritual wealth. And, when YOU are asked to be part of Micah Tomorrow, our Legacy Fund, may you say a resounding “YES!”

Who’s Counting What and Why?

June 1st, 2014

by Rabbi Adam Morris

When you read this post, the Jewish world will be well into telling the stories of our wilderness wanderings in the book of Bemidbar or Numbers. As I write this post, we are just beginning our annual foray into reliving our ancestors’ wilderness wanderings. The English name for the book of Bemidbar is ‘Numbers’ on account of the counting of the numbers of Israelites in the first chapters of the book. Interesting, how the Torah presents me with the abstract concept of numbers and the process of counting them, while at the same time I find myself awed by the concrete reality of the counting of a couple of specific numbers.

Let’s begin with the abstract…

Numbers (and the process of counting them) are the tools we use as we attempt to quantify and qualify the true stuff of life. The numbers remind us of our place in the world — both its its security and its “precarity.” Numbers may help us feel safe, give us a reason to celebrate and or motivate us to renovate our lives. While it is true that every number which we use in this manner holds significance and import, we human beings tend to appreciate the ones that are nicely round or even. So, if we settle frequently on the numbers that end in ‘5’ or ‘0’ or ones that simply awe us with their weight, it is understandable.

Which leads me to two concrete numbers that wow, inspire and humble me…

  • 20 years ago this June, I stood before the Aron Hakodesh/Holy Ark at the historic Plum Street Temple in Cincinnati and received my S’micha/Ordination from Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk (may his memory be a blessing), President of the Hebrew Union College.

  • At last month’s Micah board meeting, we (that is to say, President Mike Clapman on behalf of the Micah community and I) signed a new 10-year covenant between Micah and me (that begins on July 1, 2015 at the conclusion of this current covenant).

Both those numbers cause me to feel pride and gratitude. I still do not know what to say (or at least how to best express what I think and feel) about each of them. Best I can do at the moment is to lean on Torah and what it teaches us about numbers and this counting of them. Having served as a rabbi for 20 years… planning on serving as YOUR rabbi for another 10 (truly 11 years)… gives me a great sense of security and strength; elicits feelings of joy and celebration and challenges me to wonder: ‘What have you been doing all of this time?!’ and ‘What are you going do with the rest of the time you are given!?’

What I do know with great certainty is that these numbers (and any significant numbers like them) are firmly rooted in the context of healthy, trusting, mature and meaningful relationships. I have been a rabbi for 20 years and will get to be your rabbi for another 10 years because of the work and play that we engage in together. We trust each other, we respect each other and value each other. Much more so than the nice, round and even numbers, I am deeply grateful for these relationships. I look forward to wandering and exploring more of the wilderness with you.

MICAH e-MAILBOX: June 2014

June 1st, 2014

Click here for your June 2014 edition!

MICAH e-MAILBOX: May 2014

May 1st, 2014

Click here for a glimpse of May 2014!