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COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT — Celebrating B’nai Mitzvah Hugs to Graduation Handshakes

May 1st, 2015

by Elaine Lee, Membership & Communications Director

Congratulations are in order! Temple Micah’s ongoing bevy of b’nai mitzvah services, replete with tossed candy, allows us all to marvel at students’ sweet steps from childhood into Jewish adulthood. As adolescent congregants grow beyond these coming-of-age rites into other life-stages, the Micah community still cares about its offspring, wonders what becomes of them and gets to find out each spring — in graduation blurbs. Micah members, now’s the time to share those “Grad of 2015” reports! If someone in your family soon will complete high school, college, university or other higher education, e-mail me by Friday, May 15 to put your grad-of-the-year in next month’s Micah spotlight.

Please include the student’s first and last names, school, diploma or degree and major, honors, chief activities, plans and so on – whatever you and your graduating person are willing to share publicly and would appreciate appearing in the temple blog. If I may help, I’d be delighted to hear from you at 303-388-4239 x1.

WELCOME NEW MICAH MEMBER…

  • Ellen Zeff of Centennial

GREET THIS NEWBORN…

  • Sasha Joelle O’Malley, born March 23, 2015, weighed in at 8 lb, 3 oz and measured 21″ tall. She is the daughter of Gena & Sean O’Malley.

CONDOLENCES…

  • Judy Goldberg, yahrzeit 4-30-15, Temple Micah member and a past president; survived by children Adam (Lisa), Jonathan (Sandy), Benjamin (Molly), Elissa (Anndee) & their families
  • Daniel Cassel, yahrzeit 4-25-15, father of Judith Casel-Mamet, father-in-law of Sam Mamet & grandfather of Elliot & Abe
  • Russell M. Thorson, yahrzeit 4-22-15, father of Jon Thorson, father-in-law of Sharon Thorson, grandfather of Brett (Meghan) Thorson & Mieke Thorson (Scott Esserman) great-grandfather of Paxton & Peyton, Jeira & Isaiah

COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES…

  • Wednesday, May 6, 6:30 p.m., Shalom Cares 2015 Annual Fundraising Event, “It’s All About Heart & Soul,” featuring The Motones in a musical journey through the era of Motown. Proceeds from this event, supported by community sponsors including Temple Micah, will help residents of Shalom Park Nursing Home who are unable to pay fully for their care and services. For tickets, go to www.ShalomCares.org/events, or call 303-680-5000.
  • Friday (5:30-8:00 p.m.), Saturday (10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.), Sunday (9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.), May 8-10, Park Hill Art Club Spring Art Show Jo Ann Zvares, a member of Temple Micah and the art club, has two paintings in this show. Among the works on display at 5209 Montview Blvd., Denver, will be oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastels and photography in a wide variety of styles and themes.
  • Sunday, May 10, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Mother’s Day/Shavout Festival, at EKAR Farm & Community Garden, 181 S. Oneida St., Denver. Try the petting zoo, pony rides, butter making and more! Cost is $20 per family. Families are encouraged to bring a dairy picnic to enjoy on the farm. Ekar strives to build community, provide experiential and environmental education and grow sustainability-produced fruits and vegetables for those in need. Call 303-520-7581.
  • Friday, May 15-Saturday, May 16, Shabbaton on the Santa Fe Trail, including Shabbat services at Temple Aaron, 407 S. Maple St., Trinidad, CO, the oldest synagogue in continuous use in the western United States. Find out more from Lin Sunshine, 303-748-0866, Union for Reform Judaism Rocky Mountain Community Chair. Cost is $36/person; sign up here. For registration questions, call Ryan Becker, 212-650-4196.
  • Sunday, May 17, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Celebrate! at the J, 350 S. Dahlia St., Denver. A combined festival of Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center and Hazon with exhibitors including Temple Micah, this event celebrates the intersection of food, family and community. It’s designed to be a fun, hands-on day for all ages with do-it-yourself options and family-friendly activities, including art, music, cooking and gardening projects. Volunteers at Temple Micah’s info/activity table will enjoy free admission to this fest! To arrange your shift, contact Elaine Lee, 303-388-4239 x1.
  • Sunday, May 17, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, Jewish Genealogical Society of Colorado will be at the Denver JCC with Debbie Schwartz speaking on “Overcoming a 30 Year Brick Wall: How We Found Our Lithuanian Shtetl, Hasidic Cousins and a Genealogy Goldmine from the 1930s.” Find out more about this group from Joel Cohen in the Micah member directory or leave him a message at temple, 303-388-4239 x1.

  • Sunday, May 31, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Walk for Israel, leaves from JCC Denver, 350 S. Dahlia St. The two-mile community walk celebrates Israel’s independence and wraps up in a post-walk party with live music, Israeli games, activities and festive food. The walk is free, but registration is required through www.JewishColorado.org. Contact Susan Weinberger, 303-316- 6481.

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

GENERAL FUND:

Toward High Holy Days Prayer Books…

  • Jason & Robin Glanz
  • Gwenael Hagen & Denise Geiger
  • John Harrington III
  • The Hodas family
  • Patti & Tom Parson
  • Dan Rimland
  • Jeff & Karen Roberts
  • Daniel Shurz
  • Martin & Wendy Smith
  • Helen Spiegel
  • Marc & Katy Spritzer – for new prayer books & general operating support
  • David Wexler

General Operating Support…

  • The Aubrey family – for Passover
  • Carol Molnia & Gary McIntosh – for yahrzeits of Edwin McIntosh, Jack Molnia, David Molnia
  • Marlynn & Joe Silver – yahrzeit donation in memory of James “Bart” Dean
  • Louis Wolfe – in honor of Spencer Hodas bar mitzvah
  • Louis Wolfe – in honor of Marin Fisher bat mitzvah
  • Louis Wolfe – in honor of Alexis Mitzner bat mitzvah
  • Louis Wolfe – in honor of Ella Galaty bat mitzvah

FRANCES REED MUSIC FUND:

  • Sharon & Jon Thorson – in memory of her mother Frances Reed’s fifth yahrzeit

RABBI’S DISCRETIONARY FUND:

  • Michael Kutner — in memory of Natalie Kutner
  • Park Hill Congregational Church

THANKS TO TEMPLE MICAH’S 2015 SPRING EVENT SPONSORS

  • General — Feldman Mortuary/Generations
  • Mensch — Anonymous, Michael Clapman & Risa Tatarsky, Elizabeth & Lawrence Feldman, Debra & Frank Piazza, Karen & Jeff Roberts
  • Motzi — Brenda & Hal Bruno, Agnes & Ken Dwenger, Jacob Gore, Charles Kessler & Chris Lynn, Rabbi Adam & Renee Morris, Patti & Tom Parson, Allison & Dan Rimland, Ruth & Bradley Segal, David Teitelman, Jon & Sharon Thorson, Jo Ann Zvares & Miriam Swihart
  • Community Partner — Jewish Family Service

AND THANK YOU TO MORE SPRING EVENT SUPPORTERS…

  • Attendees, Auction Donors & Bidders, Raffle Givers, Cookbook Purchasers & Recipe Contributors, & Everyone Else who donated toward or helped with the event
  • Judith Cassel-Mamet and others on the imaginative Spring Event Committee including Julie Lewis, Christina Pope, Karen Roberts, Ruth Segal & Helen Spiegel for creating this fun way to support Temple Micah, Rick Griffith for promotional material — & Nancy Bieber plus Helen for churning the assorted recipes into a lovingly sorted trove for publication as the Micah Cookbook
  • Jewish Family Service, community partner, for its collaborative role

THANKS TO OTHER TEMPLE MICAH VOLUNTEERS…

  • Michael & Robin Aubrey, Community Passover Seder co-coordinators, & their assistants
  • All helpers at Temple Micah’s Rick Recht Concert 

Learning Well Done and Yet To Be Done

May 1st, 2015

by Bethany Friedlander, Temple Educator

A year will come, a year will go, but what we learn will stay forever. Thank you to all of our amazing teachers who have planned lessons that have inspired our students not only to come each Sunday, but to think, explore and love their connection to Judaism and the Hebrew language. It is with great pleasure to list just some of our highlights from the Temple Micah Religious School and Mishpacha! program during this previous year and to provide a preview of the new 2015-2016 term:

News from 2014-2015 School Year

  • Bayachad family participants explored the concept of Veahavta Lereacha Kamocha — Love your neighbor as yourself — through interactive activities that parents and students participated together in within their respective classrooms.

  • Hebrew classes were abuzz with prayers, blessings, Shalom, basketball, games, 3D Hebrew letters and even a Llama, all in Hebrew.

  • Our K-1st grade students created flowers in honor of International Women’s Day.

  • On a brisk, rainy morning during Sukkot, students traveled to our sukkah to decorate, learn, shake the lulav, eat harvest bread and sing songs.

  • 4th Grade journeyed from Mitzrayim (Egypt) to the Promised Land experiencing the labor of a long walk, grumbling stomachs, fears of being without a leader and ability to make it on their own. Through a simulation that began at Blessed Sacrament School,  they traveled to our Temple Micah Mikdash (Chapel) and back around to Blessed Sacrament. Students participated in a memorable enactment of our own Jewish journey.

  • Students sang with Rick Recht on a beautiful (non-snowy) Saturday night.

  • Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade students teamed up with Kavod on the Road to learn about the mitzvah of mishloach manot – giving gifts of food on Purim. They worked with our Micah community to deliver those gifts to Micah members around the entire city of Denver.

  • 5th/6th grades not only began to put together their own books related to the theme of “Love your neighbor as yourself,” but, along with their families, learned about Sephardi Passover customs, tried different Sephardi foods and worked to create social justice seder plates.

  • Our Bar/Bat Mitzvah 7th graders worked diligently to present their first mock Torah service for the parents and one another in preparation for their big day of each leading an actual service.

  • Adults continue to learn Hebrew through song, prayer and laughter.

News for 2015-2016

  • Family Retreat growing: Religious School families will be invited to the Mishpacha! Family Retreat.

  • Sunday morning Shmear and Shmooze: Parents are welcome to stay after morning assembly to eat and chat with other parents.

  • Stay for Adult Learning: From 10:30-11:30 a.m. Bethany and Rabbi Adam Morris will be teaching a variety of adult learning classes. All classes, dates and topics will be posted at the beginning of the school year so you can choose from one or all to attend.

  • Joint PJ Library-Micah program: PJ Library provides a wonderful gift each month to every registered family in Denver who has a child between the age of 0-8. In the mailbox, families received a Jewish book for FREE to read and enjoy. Temple Micah will co-partner with PJ Library to provide another experience with Jewish books.

  • Sunday musical sessions led by local musicians: We are privileged to have so many local Jewish musical artists in our city. This is the year to let them shine at Temple Micah.

Introducing Company

May 1st, 2015

by Rabbi Adam Morris

I am so privileged and honored that many of you think of me as ‘your’ rabbi.  As you may guess, I have my own ‘rabbis,’ too… and one of them is coming to visit me (and you). Rabbi Mark Goldman and his wife, Dr. Meryl Goldman, are coming to visit my family and me during the Memorial Day weekend. They are planning to join us for Shabbat morning services that weekend, too (May 23). Rabbi Mark has been and continues to be a mentor/friend/brother/uncle and rabbi to me since we met in Cincinnati in 1990. If you’re at services that morning, you may notice that I will be a little excited and maybe a little nervous with both of them in the ‘house.’

Rabbi Mark is difficult to describe… but in this regard, I have a little help. He recently shared with me something that another student of his — from a different time and place — wrote about her experience with him. Perhaps her thoughts will give you a little insight into someone who is very important to me and my family. I have never met her, but I like what she had to say. Her name is Rachael McNeal and her following piece is entitled:

“How a Rabbi Made me a Better Christian”

This year, I’m participating in Better Together Day (Tuesday, April 14) for the third time and I couldn’t be more excited. A lot of movements have a signature “day of action” to promote their cause, but Better Together Day is special to me because it’s a moment to reaffirm my commitment to interfaith cooperation. I am particularly excited about this year because Interfaith Youth Core is asking us to really engage with someone who believes differently than I do, to talk to a human. It seems like such a small thing, but I really think that honest, personal interactions across difference gives us the foundation for positive relationships.

I am especially excited about the pledge for college students across the country to not only meet someone of a different religious or non-religious background, but to talk about something that inspires them, because doing just that has really strengthened my commitment as a Christian to my own faith.

While I definitely grew up in a very diverse church (five of the seven continents were represented among the congregants), growing up I wasn’t really exposed to many different religions. Sure I had the occasional atheist friend or Catholic friend (in my upbringing Catholicism might as well have been a different religion from the Christianity I knew), but really I wasn’t exposed to many different kinds of beliefs. In fact, it wasn’t until college that I met a Jewish person – at least so far as I knew.

For most of my life I really believed that Christians had the monopoly on “goodness.” And by that I mean I thought in order to be motivated to serve other people, and really truly love other people, one must know Jesus first. For instance, I didn’t understand how perhaps an atheist could have a strong moral code. In light of this, naturally I never really imagined that I could learn about my Christian faith through relationships with non-Christians.

That is, until I met Rabbi Mark Goldman … (continue here)

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT — On Izzy Award Winner, David Sirota!

April 1st, 2015

by Elaine Lee, Membership & Communications Director

David Sirota, Micah member, will receive an Izzy Award for his investigative reporting, presented by the Park Center for Independent Media. Praised for outstanding achievement in independent media and journalism, he will speak at the award ceremony on Wednesday, April 15 at Ithaca College in New York. According to the college website, David’s “dozens of exposés in 2014 on corruption in our country’s $3 trillion pension system… shed a critical spotlight on powerful officials of both major parties (from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie). The result: mainstream media attention, official investigations, passage of legislation and changes in government practices.

“In one exposé headlined ‘The Wolf of Sesame Street,’ Sirota revealed that New York’s public TV station accepted a $3.5 million donation from a billionaire anti-pension activist to fund coverage of the pension issue. The station was forced to return the money; PBS’s ombudsman wrote of ‘ethical compromises in funding arrangements’ that ‘nobody really knew until Sirota wrote about it.’”

Izzy Award judges further noted, “With his torrential coverage of the pension story, David Sirota shows a remarkable ability to make financial issues clear – clear enough to prompt action by officials and news outlets from coast to coast.”

The Izzy Award is named for I. F. Stone, who launched I. F. Stone’s Weekly in 1953 and exposed government deception, McCarthyism, and racial bigotry. Bestowed annually in recent years, the award is intended to honor “an independent outlet, journalist or producer for contributions to our culture, politics, or journalism created outside traditional corporate structures.”

Mazel tov, David, from your Temple Micah community! (This 2015 award is shared by him with co-winner Naomi Klein, cited for her book on climate change and columns on varied social issues.)

*****

GRADS-TO-BE OF 2015, WHO ARE YOU? – Temple Micah members with someone in the family completing high school, college, university or other higher educational study this spring, please e-mail a paragraph about the grad’s accomplishments and plans to Elaine Lee, 303-388-4239 x1, for inclusion in an upcoming e-newsletter. This congregation enjoys good news, is proud of its scholars and likes to recognize mortar boards with “Mazel Tovs!”

CONDOLENCES…

  • Robert Fireman, yahrzeit, 3-2-15, father of Orah Fireman, father-in-law of Andrew Schiavoni, grandfather of Max & Naomi
  • Mazal Sella, yahrzeit 2-28-15, mother of Eyal Sella, mother-in-law of Sarah Klahn, grandmother of Lotem & Inbal, Luke & Jariya
  • Robert (Bob) Braman, yahrzeit date unavailable, cousin of Jeff & Karen Roberts, Alyssa, Caroline & Benjamin

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

RABBI’S DISCRETIONARY FUND:

  • Fran Glucroft – in honor of b’nai mitzvah of Casey & Rebecca Zickerman… Mazel Tov!

GENERAL FUND:

  • Scott & Alice Alban – in memory of Jerry Klein
  • Sonia Boin – yahrzeit donation in memory of her husband, Jerome Boin
  • Gwenael Hagan & Denise Geiger – yahrzeit donation in remembrance of his stepfather, Eugene M. Krader
  • Sarah Klahn & Eyal Sella – yahrzeit donation in loving memory of her father, Richard Klahn
  • Irv & Elaine Levy – yahrzeit donation in memory of beloved father, Joseph S. Levy
  • Cyrel Phillips – in memory of Jack Molnia, uncle of Carol Molnia
  • Jan Roth – for perpetual yahrzeits of Lenore & Barbara Silverwise, Sydney, Millie & Leo Roth
  • Rabbi Ted Stainman
  • Risa Tatarsky & Michael Clapman – yahrzeit donation in memory of her husband, Fred Tatarsky
  • Risa Tatarsky & Michael Clapman – yahrzeit donation in memory of her mother, Norma Jeanne Freedman
  • Louis Wolfe – in honor of Casey & Rebecca Zickerman becoming b’nai mitzvah
  • Jo Ann Zvares & Miriam Swihart – in memory of Jo’s sister, Sherry Zvares Sanabria

Toward High Holy Days Prayer Books…

  • Anonymous
  • Janis Anderson
  • The Aubreys
  • Barbara Bandel
  • Michael Bercovitz
  • The Bram/Thor family
  • The Brunos
  • Joel Cohen & Kathryn Oberdorfer
  • The DeRosas
  • Stephen Dreskin & June Inuzuka
  • Lisa Dean & Oliver
  • Steven & Kari Epstein
  • Michael Erlich & Kelly Besfer
  • Lawrence & Elizabeth Feldman
  • Michael Fierberg & Elyse Gellerman
  • The Fireman/Schiavonis
  • Peter & Suzanne Fischer
  • Fran & Mike Fisher (2 donations)
  • The Fishers
  • The Goldsteins
  • Donna & Harry Gordon
  • The Gores
  • Karen Hagler
  • Robin Kane & Mitch Wolberg
  • The Kassons
  • Beverly Kaufmann, Marsha Kaufmann, Cheryl Solko
  • The Kleins
  • Lynn Klyde-Silverstein & Darrian
  • The Krumholzes
  • Fred Kutner
  • Elaine & Irv Levy
  • Mitchell Levy & Sheri Lockhart
  • Sheri Lockhart
  • The Soep/Galatys
  • The Litwack Strongs
  • Dianna Litvak
  • David Miller & Lisa Farber Miller
  • Dan Mitzner & Rachel Baumel
  • Carol L. Molnia & Gary E. McIntosh
  • Carol L. Molnia
  • Rabbi Adam Morris
  • John & Sandy Nance
  • The Nassis
  • Irv Nelson
  • Debbie & Frank Piazza
  • The Pollack/Franks
  • The Pope/Altshulers
  • Michael Rose & Melissa Weiser-Rose
  • Dorothy Rosenblatt
  • Joyce Rosenblum (2 donations)
  • Family of Leo Roth
  • Ilana & Terry Rubin
  • The Schreibers
  • The Segals
  • Ira Selkowitz & Pilar Osorio
  • The Silvermans
  • The Sorokins
  • Carol Spero
  • Mary Ann Strassner
  • Risa Tatarsky & Michael Clapman
  • David Teitelman & Sol
  • Kelli Theis
  • Jon & Sharon Thorson
  • The Vissers
  • The Weinstein/Kellys
  • The Winfields
  • The Zillers
  • Jo Ann Zvares & Miriam Swihart

SPECIAL THANKS to 2015 B’nai Mitzvah Students & Their Families for promoting the new High Holy Days Prayer Books for Temple Micah

AND A BIG THANK-YOU IN ADVANCE to Judith Cassel-Mamet & the whole Spring Event Committee & to all supporters of the upcoming event…

  • Ticket-buyers
  • Auction donors (Remember: Friday, April 3 is the deadline for donating auction items!)
  • Recipe contributors
  • Cookbook pre-purchasers
  • Volunteers
  • Sponsors

Spring Event SPONSORS will be listed in the “Temple Micah Cookbook” and also will be thanked in a future MICAH e-Mailbox listing except those wishing to remain anonymous.

MORE ABOUT SPRING THINGS WITH TEMPLE MICAH…

  • Thursday, April 9 — Micah Boomers +/- , those who consider themselves “Boomers” more or less can discuss Jonah at this 7:00 p.m. program at the synagogue, 5209 Montview Blvd., Denver. Make time to learn, converse and nosh. RSVP to Risa Tatarsky through the Micah directory or temple, 303-388-4239 x1, and mention if you’ll bring a snack to share.     
  • Thursdays, April 16 and May 21 — Rabbi Mo’s Roundtable – Talk about current topics of Jewish interest with Temple Micah’s rabbi and congregants at 7:30 a.m. on these mornings at Snooze, 2262 Larimer St., Denver. Buy your own breakfast items.
  • Monday, April 20 – Temple Micah Women’s Book Group – “A Tale for the Time Being” by best-selling author Ruth Ozeki is the prose to explore this month with Micah friends, place to be determined. In case you’re wondering whether to read this novel, “A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be.” Let Nancy Weil know if you’ll attend, and she’ll tell you where – or call the temple, 303-388-4239 x1. If you want to jump ahead and start reading the title (and book) for May, that’s “Nothing Daunted” by Dorothy Wickenden. New participants are welcome!     

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS…

  • Thursday, April 9, Interfaith Prayer Vigil — Traffick Stop, part of Broomfield United Methodist Church, plans a gathering “to declare that all people deserve freedom” at 11:30 a.m. at the Colorado State Capitol, 200 E. Colfax Ave. Traffick Stop aims to end trafficking such as forced labor or forced prostitution by raising education and awareness. For more info, call 720-391-2050.
  • Tuesday, April 21, Yom HaZikaron, Israel Memorial Day Community Commemoration — This free event in remembrance of those who lost their lives fighting for Israel and victims of terrorism is presented by JewishColorado and Rocky Mountain Rabbinical Council. The tribute takes place at 7:00 p.m. at Hebrew Educational Alliance, 3600 S. Ivanhoe Way, Denver.
  • Sunday, April 26, Jews on the Move: A History of Modern Migration David Shneer, a professor and director of the Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder, speaks at 10:00 a.m. in a program of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Colorado at the Jewish Community Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., in Denver. Joel Cohen of Temple Micah is a member of the genealogical group and would be happy to tell you more about its monthly speakers and other activities. He’s reachable through the temple directory or by leaving a message at the temple, 303-388-4239 x1.

Will You Help To Build or Fund a House?

April 1st, 2015

by Sarah Rovner, Temple Micah Liaison to Habitat Interfaith Alliance

HIA member congregations and other groups have begun the work on our latest Habitat home, located at 10th and Mariposa. You can easily sign up to build on any day… and/or you can join Temple Micah and Rodef Shalom members in building on Sunday, April 26. For either or both of these options, you simply go to the HIA website and follow directions to sign on for any of these times. As always, we appreciate your support.

If building is not your forte, there is info on the HIA website about the upcoming HIA Golf Tournament to be held on Monday, June 1.  You can sign up to golf or be a sponsor by providing goods and/or services for a silent auction in connection with the tournament.  All details are contained in links on the same website.

Governance Task Force Update Opportunities

April 1st, 2015

by Micahael Clapman, President, Board of Trustees

For the past nine months, the Temple Micah Governance Task Force (GTF) has been meeting to evaluate and make recommendations to the Board of Trustees regarding Temple Governance and Administration. The GTF is comprised of representatives from the board, congregation, staff and Clergy.

The goal of the GTF is to recommend ways to establish well-defined, understood and institutionally supported roles for the three basic pillars of the Micah community: the Board, the Professional Staff and the Membership that fulfill the governance and programmatic needs of the synagogue.

Towards that end, the GTF will be making recommendations in the following areas:

  • Roles and responsibilities of the Board of Trustees
  • Roles and responsibilities of the professional staff
  • Ways to engage the congregation to enhance the congregation’s ownership in additional aspects of the Temple’s programs and governance.

As the GTF’s work is beginning to come together in preparation for presentation to the congregation at our Annual Meeting on June 14, 2015 (save the date!!), I would like to invite you to hear more about this important work. Members of the Board and GTF will be available at the following times to review the GTF’s work and answer questions:

April 11 — immediately following Saturday morning services

April 17 — immediately following Friday night services

April 19 — at 9:15 a.m. at the religious school (at Montview and Elm)

If these times are not convenient or you would prefer a one-on-one conversation, please contact me at 730-231-1433 or the Rabbi at 303-388-4239 x3. Thank you.

Vayikra 5775 — The Levitical Lens

April 1st, 2015

by Rabbi Adam Morris

I am sad. I am disillusioned. I am angry. It is not that the recent Israeli election changed the status quo. There will be a similar ratio of a ruling ‘conservative’ block and an opposing ‘liberal’ one. It is not even that there were any true surprises coming from Prime Minister Netanyahu — he was manipulative, combative, parochial and… consistent. My sadness, disillusion and anger result from how his efforts were rewarded by the electorate. This response gave him — at least in the context of Israeli politics — a landslide victory. It is a harsh reminder of the kind of rigidity, chauvinism and myopia that has Israel’s present and future in what is akin to a death grip.

How fitting for me that the mysterious machinations of our spiritual tradition would present the beginning of the book of Leviticus as the Torah lens for me to reflect on these feelings. Each year as we are confronted by Leviticus’ antiquated and anachronistic notions and practices: ardous sacrificial offerings; an officious and domineering priestly caste and all the graphic descriptions of how’s, what’s, when’s and who’s involved. Yes, we endeavor (with moderate success) to translate the sacrificial system into some mythic and metaphorical meaning. At the end of the day — no matter the eloquence of our transformative tale — we have no problem rejecting the relevance of these obligations and relegating them to their appropriate place in our past. I became a Reform Jew — because I was drawn to this willingness to unashamedly, unabashedly and respectfully leave such attitudes and practices where they belong — in our past.

Using this levitical lens, I examine these elections and the things that are said, done or promised to be done in the name of Judaism. With the same vehemence with which I reject the relevance of sacrifices in our present and future view of the world, I am compelled to reject these narrow (Mitzrayim like?) attitudes toward other human beings — no matter how one may label these human beings: Arabs, Israeli Arab Citizens or Palestinians. I am compelled to reject such attitudes that embrace a supposed divine promise for a swath of land while negating the actual divine gifts of compassion, justice and peace.

No, the election has not changed the status quo in the Knesset, the Israeli electorate or even Prime Minister Netanyahu. The election, however, has changed me.

MICAH e-MAILBOX: April 2015

April 1st, 2015

Click here for your April update on Temple Micah!

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT – Order & Personalize New High Holy Days Prayer Books!

March 1st, 2015

by Elaine Lee, Membership & Communications Director

Please support the 2015 B’nai Mitzvah Class Project by ordering one or more new High Holy Days prayer books for Temple Micah. To count toward the project, orders must be completed by Wednesday, March 25. Fill in this form, or access a link via Temple Micah’s website to buy and inscribe books as you wish. The newly published liturgy, “Mishkan HaNefesh: A Machzor for the Days of Awe,” will be used by the Micah community this fall and annually. Bar and bat mitzvah families are purchasing books as a class gift to the temple and hope you join their efforts to generate an even more generous supply.

As you may remember, Temple Micah piloted a draft version at the congregation’s 2014/5775 Rosh Hashanah Morning Service last fall. Now you can help the temple obtain enough copies of the completed full set to be used at services throughout Rosh Hashanah, Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur. Cost for each prayer book is $30, with or without an inscription. The book is published by the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

Newly updated prayer books will be acquired by the momentum of this b’nai mitzvah class campaign combined with communal contributions. Inscribe the books in honor or memory of special people, or designate other wording. Thank you, in advance, for supporting this book drive. Then be amazed with what your Micah community does with these state-of-the-art books!

* * * * *

CONDOLENCES FROM THE MICAH COMMUNITY…

  • Marguerite Oxman, yahrzeit 2-6-15, grandmother of Sara (& Klaas) Visser & great-grandmother of Nina
  • Jack Molnia, yahrzeit 2-5-15, uncle of Carol Molnia (& Gary McIntosh)
  • Leo Roth, yahrzeit 9-27-13, Micah honorary member & husband of Jan Roth
  • Anne Winokur, yahrzeit 1-29-13, Micah member

* * * * *

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

GENERAL FUND

  • Irv & Elaine Levy – in memory of his beloved sister, Dolores Schankerman

RABBI’S DISCRETIONARY FUND

  • David Coren & Meg Frantz & family – in memory of his father, Clarence Coren

FRANCES REED MUSIC FUND

  • Debbie & Frank Piazza – in honor of Sharon & Jon Thorson

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GET INVOLVED IN CONTINUING ACTIVITIES…

  • Micah Boomers +/- — If you feel older or a little younger than this group’s name suggests, you’re close enough!  Micah Boomers +/- will resume with Rabbi Adam Morris remarking on biblical writings about Judges in a discussion at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, March 12 at Temple Micah, 5209 Montview Boulevard. To find out more about this monthly program focused on finding meaning and relevance in the Bible, or to RSVP, contact Risa Tatarsky or leave her a message at 303-388-4239 x1. Please bring snacks to share.
  • Rabbi Mo’s Roundtable – Sometimes you have to get up early to keep with Temple Micah. Meet up with rabbi, congregants and others who can’t wait to chat about timely topics of Jewish interest at 7:30 a.m. third Thursdays monthly this spring at Snooze, 2262 Larimer St., Denver.
  • Temple Micah Women’s Book Group – Read and be ready to review “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown at 7:00 p.m. Monday, March 23. For location and to RSVP, contact Nancy Weil via Micah’s directory or call the temple, 303-388-4239 x1. New participants are welcome. If you’re a repeater with this group but don’t read the book-of-the-month, that’s okay too; you’re still welcome!
  • Para-chaplain Program — Jewish Family Service seeks Jewish volunteers for its Para-chaplain Program. Training will be held on Wednesdays, April 29, May 6 and May 13, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at 3201 S. Tamarac Drive, Denver. Bikur Cholim para-chaplains are caring individuals who visit Jewish seniors in non-Jewish facilities and in their own homes. Para-chaplains also facilitate discussion groups, lead Shabbat and holiday services or simply sit and visit with a Jewish resident who wants companionship. Apply for training at www.jewishfamilyservice.org/volunteer/para-chaplains by Friday, March 20. Or learn more about what the program entails from Beth Lippa, 720-248-4599.

Social Action Encounters & Rewards

March 1st, 2015

by Helen Spiegel, Board Member, with Jo Ann Zvares for Women’s Homelessness Initiative & Sarah Rovner for Habitat Interfaith Alliance

As part of its imperatives, Temple Micah provides dinner on first Wednesday evenings bimonthly through the Women’s Homelessness Initiative, in cooperation with Park Hill United Methodist Church. Also, the Micah team provides conversation, a prayer if requested and creative writing involvement facilitated by Jo, next on March 4. “Prior to my retirement, I spent the last 7½ years of my eclectic career working with disadvantaged women, many of whom were homeless,” she recalls. “It was the most rewarding time of my working life. So, for me, volunteering along with other members of Temple Micah’s baby boomer group has been a blessing. It gives me the chance to know that I am contributing not only food, but caring and respect to women who often do not experience caring or respect.”

To add your presence or to bring a dish for the homeless women this Wednesday or to volunteer for future occasions, contact Helen through the Micah membership directory or leave her a message at 303-388-4239 x1.

Also, here’s the latest submission from Sarah about Habitat Interfaith Alliance, including a wrap-up on the HIA used book sale and an invitation to the next HIA event – a day to work on building a home!

HIA thanks Micah members for contributing to the annual used book sale last month, either by donating books or by buying replacements. This sale raised more than $8,000 which will contribute greatly to the next house build, #14 for HIA!

This year the house building will start in mid-March, weather permitting. It will take place at 10th and Mariposa in Denver, close to Metro University downtown. This is an area to be revitalized with multi-use projects, including homes. Temple Micah will team with Rodef Shalom to work on Sunday, April 26, weather permitting. Contact either Mary Ann Strassner or Sarah, with questions and to reserve your spot; both are reachable in the Micah directory or through the temple, 303-388-4239 x1. There will be other days opening for volunteers, and you can sign on to work any of those days too. Once again our thanks go out to Temple Micah folks who contribute to HIA’s success.