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Summer B'Yachad Drop-in Lounges


While we’re physically distancing (to observe the mitzvah of protecting a life), our Temple Beth Am community is creating opportunities for you to connect with each other b’yachad. For six weeks, from July 6 through August 16, various lay leaders of our congregation are hosting drop-in lounges over Zoom – low-key gatherings where you can hang out, discuss, craft, learn, and chat. Some of the groups are intergenerational; all of them are informal, so feel free to bring a refreshment and make yourself comfortable. Come to as many or as few as you like – there’s no commitment other than being open to good conversation.

Temple Library Series, with Toby Harris

Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

July 8: Jews of Color in Fiction Literature

Hear about resources for books that focus on Jews of color. Participants may share books, authors, or other resources. Toby will "book talk" some selected titles for children, teens, and adults. All ages welcome.

July 22: Jewish Books for Children and Youth

Hear about sources for book recommendations. Toby will share some newer favorites, both fiction and non-fiction, and participants may share theirs. The focus will be on books published in the last 10 years. All ages welcome.

August 12: Re-opening Our Library (Zoom room; Meeting ID: 846 4287 8880)

Along with presenting Covid19 safety policy on books, this will be an open discussion about how our library can contribute to our community's mission of nourishing the heart, mind, and soul. How important is having a synagogue library? How can we make better use of our collection? Both philosophical and concrete ideas might be explored. Please note that we do not have a date for re-opening at this time. Teens and older, please.

Contact Toby Harris with questions or if you have trouble accessing Zoom.

Constructive Conflict from the Adar9 Project, with Ronnie Shure

Tuesdays at 7 p.m.

The Adar9 Project seeks to cultivate a culture of constructive conflict and healthy disagreement across personal, political, religious, and other divides. It is a project of the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution, part of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. 

July 14: Principles of Constructive Conflict

August 4: Modern Conflict Between Amos Tversky and Danny Kahneman (Zoom room; Meeting ID: 818 2700 3054)

August 11: Conflict in the Land of Israel (Zoom room; Meeting ID: 833 1162 2127)

Contact Ronnie Shure with questions or if you have trouble accessing Zoom. 

Entering the Week B'Yachad, with Kay Crane

Sundays at 7 p.m., July 12-August 16

Zoom room (Meeting ID: 522 965 9071)

In the spirit of the weekly experience crafted by Rabbi Ruth and Rabbi Dana, we will create time for music, meditation, and prayer as a group over the summer.

On August 2 we will be working on a directed art project, so please have simple art supplies handy: plain white paper, black ink, and colored ink, if you wish.

Contact Kay Crane with questions or Linda Amar if you have trouble accessing Zoom. 

Queer Space, with Shelly Cohen

Mondays from 7-8 p.m., July 13-August 10

Zoom room (Meeting ID: 897 2554 4254)

Queer Space is a drop-in group for anyone who identifies as LGBTQQIA+ and Jewish or Jewish-adjacent. It’s a casual safe space where we can honor and celebrate our multiple identities, where we don’t have to choose between being Jewish/adjacent and being queer. This is an unstructured space that is intended to be social and intergenerational: an opportunity to meet each other, to share experiences, to appreciate how far we’ve come and how far we have to go – especially with respect to the intersection of Judaism and queer identity. All ages welcome.

For July 20: if you have time, read this article by Rabbi Mike Moskowitz. If you don't have time, come anyway!

Contact Shelly Cohen with questions or if you have trouble accessing Zoom.

Beth Am Book Group in the Time of Quarantine, with Sandy Berger

Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m.

Zoom room (Meeting ID: 370 549 8989)

July 28: People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks (facilitated by Rebecca Hoff)

Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is at once a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and intimate emotional intensity, an ambitious, electrifying work by an acclaimed and beloved author.


August 25: The Property (graphic novel), by Rutu Modan (facilitated by Rona Frances)

After the death of her son, Regina Segal takes her granddaughter Mica to Warsaw, hoping to reclaim a family property lost during World War II. As they get to know modern Warsaw, Regina is forced to recall difficult things about her past, and Mica begins to wonder if maybe their reasons for coming aren't a little different than her grandmother led her to believe.


September 22: My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew, by Abigail Pogrebin (facilitated by Toby Harris)

My Jewish Year travels through this calendar's signposts with candor, humor, and a trove of information, capturing the arc of Jewish observance through the eyes of a relatable, wandering--and wondering--Jew.


Contact Sandy Berger with questions or Alexis Kort if you have trouble accessing Zoom. 

Crafting Into the 5781 Jewish Holidays, with Barbara Droker and Danielle Price

Tuesdays at 4 p.m., July 14, July 21, August 4, August 11

Zoom room (Meeting ID: 876 2648 7834)

Join us for Judaic learning and artistic expression as we craft to get ready for the 5781 Jewish holidays (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah). Sessions will be informal for adults and children (ages 8 and up).

Recommended supplies for the lounge on Tuesday, August 4:

Items for building a sukkah: Legos or other toys, building materials such as cardboard, colored paper, Play-doh

Standard art items: paper, print materials for cutting, pencils, and one of the following: paints, crayons, markers, coloring pencils, pastels, scissors, glue

Contact Barbara Droker with questions or Danielle Price if you have trouble accessing Zoom. 

Wine B'Yachad, with Zach Geballe

Thursdays, July 16 (at 5.30 p.m.), July 30 (at 6 p.m.), August 13 (at 5.30 p.m.)

July 16: Rosé. We will discuss the ways in which it is made, key varieties, and regions. Zach will provide a list of recommendations. Zoom room (Meeting ID: 910 2767 0207)

July 30: Sparkling wine. We will discuss how it is made, some of the important regions, and ways to enjoy it. Zach will provide a list of recommendations. Zoom room (Meeting ID: 954 8693 7680)

August 13: Chardonnay. Why is this remarkable grape subject to so much hatred? Is any of it deserved? Zoom room (Meeting ID: 935 5194 2139)

Contact Zach Geballe with questions or if you have trouble accessing Zoom. 

Sun, August 9 2020 19 Av 5780