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President's Message - January 2020

Although the Jewish New Year is in the fall, the secular New Year in January is a significant date for all of us. It is a time for reflection and goal setting for our lives in the greater Edmonton community. With this in mind like last year the January Bulletin is an opportunity to share with you some of our accomplishments in 2019. 

Our Shabbat Services followed by our delicious Kiddush lunches continue under the capable leadership of Rabbi Steven Schwarzman. In 2019 we had seven B’nai Mitzvah students studying and participating on Shabbat. In 2020 we have nine students. Congregants young and older are a vital component of our Shabbat Services and our morning minyans. This year we have had an average of 70 plus congregants participating in our Shabbat services. When there is a simcha being celebrated we often have closer to 100 congregants in attendance. We encourage you to come, to participate, and to lend your voice to our kehillah. 

The Adult Education programming led by Anna Linetsky continues to provide rich and thought-provoking topics related to Jewish life and life in Edmonton. The programs are often scheduled right after the Kiddush lunch on Shabbat. Our next program is Dr Jerry Katz MD presenting “An Overview of Israeli Medical Inventions and Discoveries” on January 11, 2020. Please join us! Since Rabbi Schwarzman’s arrival we have had very successful Kabbalat Shabbat services and delicious Shabbat dinners followed by an Adult Education program. There were 100 plus attendees at the Friday night events. Check the synagogue Bulletins for our next Friday night service, Shabbat Dinner and an Adult Education program.  

We held a very successful Hanukkah program on December twenty second. This very successful program was a joint effort of Beth Shalom with Beth Ora, PJ Library and JCore. Activities included cookie decorating, menorah building, picture taking, a play produced and presented by Beth Ora youth and a delicious Hanukkah lunch. After the simcha participants had the opportunity to take a bus from Beth Shalom to the Menorah lighting at the Alberta Legislature. Yasher Koach to everyone on a job well done! We believe it is critical to provide excellent and engaging programming for our families with younger children and we are planning more exciting events for you in the coming months. Watch for information about our up coming March Purim Party which will be offered in partnership with Temple Beth Ora. Spread the word and we will see you there.  

Rabbi Schwarzman offers “An introduction to Judaism “class on Tuesday evenings at 7:30 pm and Bettina Schwarzman is offering a Leyning class at Beth Shalom at the same time. Please contact the synagogue office if you are interested in joining these classes.   

Rabbi Schwarzman and Cantor Mannes continue to participate in Interfaith activities in the Edmonton community and with other religious groups who are interested in learning more about Judaism. They continue to support the sick by doing home and hospital visits. Please contact the synagogue office to let us know when your loved ones are ill and would like us to visit with them.   

I am very proud to share with you that we have completed the three major goals our Board set out to 

complete in 2019. Our most important goal was the hiring of a new Rabbi for Beth Shalom. Rabbi Schwarzman and Bettina Schwarzman joined us as of the first of July and quickly became spiritual leaders in our kehillah and the Edmonton Jewish Community. Secondly the lower chapel renovation was completed and this beautiful sanctuary has enhanced the quality of our spiritual life at Beth Shalom. Thirdly the electrical upgrading is completed making our building’s infrastructure safer and more up-to-date. Yasher koach to all of us on a job well done. Presently the Board is working on the synagogue’s 2020 budget which will include our goals for the upcoming year. 

Please feel free to contact me, at any time, if you have questions, ideas, or concerns you would like to share with me to improve Beth Shalom. I will keep you updated as the work unfolds. Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy and prosperous 2020. It has been an honour to serve Beth Shalom this past year and may we continue to go from strength to strength in the year ahead.



Lana Black























Sat, 25 January 2020 28 Tevet 5780