Congregational News & Events – May 2017 issue

Posted on: April 29th, 2017 by tgregory

@ West End

Israeli comedian Benji Lovitt will provide laughs when WES elects new board and officers at annual meeting

American-Israeli comedian Benji Lovitt

West End Synagogue will hold its annual meeting on May 5 during which it will elect a new board and trustees and officers. The 5:30 p.m. meeting will be followed by a congregational dinner and a good laugh courtesy of American-Israeli comedian Benji Lovitt. 

The 7 p.m. dinner, which is cosponsored by an anonymous donor, costs $10 a person. Lovitt’s performance, which will begin at 8 p.m., is sponsored by the Janet Levine March Memorial Cultural Affairs Fund. 

Lovitt, a Texas native, graduated from the University of Texas, where he was active in Young Judea and Hillel.  He made aliyah in 2006 and his comedy is built around observations about Israeli society from the perspective of an oleh. He also has written for a number of publications, including USA Today, Time magazine, Huffington Post, The Times of Israel and the Jerusalem Post. He is perhaps best known for his annual list of “Things I love about Israel.” 

He performs regularly throughout North America, where he works with Jewish organizations to help build connections to Israel and bridge cultural differences between Jews in Israel and the diaspora. 

The new slate of officers includes: Steve Hirsch, president; Karen Weil, executive vice president; Stephen Potash, first vice-president; Batia Karabel, second vice-president; Daniel Levin, treasurer; Emily Schneider, secretary, and Barbara Dab, past president. 

Up for a two-year term on the board of trustees are Adina Barocas, Richard Cohen, Jerry Levine, Martin Ted Mayden, Matthew Segal, Abby Sparks and Harriet Workman. 

Serving the last year of a two-year term (or as a one-year replacement) are Ayal Bitton, Mary Cornelius, Jesse Ehrenfeld, Nancy Flexer, Leslye Lapidus, Michael Metzman and Ellie Rosenbloom. Also serving one-year appointed terms will be Michael Gryll, Men’s Club representative, and Barbara Herman, Sisterhood representative. 


@ Micah

Rabbi Philip ‘Flip’ Rice speaks with teenagers who visited Congregation Micah recently as part of the Nashville Metro Schools’ Houses of Worship Tour. The students also had lunch in Micah’s social hall.











Rabbi Rami Shapiro will lead two sessions on the art of loving kindness 

Rabbi Rami will explore of the art of loving kindness during two evening May 17 and 24 at Congregation Micah. Both sessions begin at 7 p.m. 

Drawing on the thirteen attributes of loving kindness articulated in the Book of Exodus, the sessions will explore teachings and practices for cultivating compassion, grace, patience, and forgiveness. The goal is to provide insights into the divinity of the self and others and tools for developing a loving and compassionate life.

Autographed copies of Rabbi Shapiro’s book, The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Preparing to Practice, will be available for purchase for $20. Please RSVP on the Events page of the Micah website at  


Barry Wishnow will host “A Woman’s Circle” at his design studio on May 19

Barry Wishnow will host “A Woman’s Circle” from noon-2 p.m. on May 19 at Bash, his clothing design studio at 1120 Montrose. 

Bash is a 1940’s-inspired bespoke clothing brand for men and women. Following a light lunch, Wishnow will share his experience in the fashion industry and how Judaism has inspired and influenced his professional life. 

RSVP on the Events page of the Micah website at Attendance is limited, and notice will be given on the site once RSVPs are closed.  


Also this month at Micah: 

• The Micah book club will discuss Bee Season by Maya Goldberg at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 5 in the library following the Shabbat service. For more information, contact Ron Heady at

• Micah Adult Education presents a lesson in traditional Jewish cooking featuring master challah maker Lewis Goldstein on May 7. Bakers will meet at 1 p.m. in the kitchen. The cost is $15 per person; please RSVP on the Events page of the Micah website at

• the Bagels, Learning, and Torah (BLT) study group will hold a special session on May 13 on understanding the Haftarah, the selections from the Prophets read each Shabbat after the Torah portion. The group meets from 9:15-10:30a.m. in the Eden Room. Coffee, bagels and other snacks are provided.

• Shabbat Shaband, Micah’s hip volunteer band, will accompany cantorial soloist Lisa Silver – and even throw in a Klezmer tune or two – during the 6 p.m. Shabbat service on May 26, which will follow the weekly WINE-down at 5:30 p.m.


@ Chabad

Chabad to host a Southern Style Lag B’Omer BBQ

Chabad of Nashville will host a Lag B’Omer Southern Style Kosher BBQ and an Israeli bonfire beginning at 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 14 on the outdoor patio of its campus at 95 Bellevue Road.

Participants will learn about and celebrate the Jewish holiday of Lag B’Omer, the 33rd day of the 49-day period between Passover and Shavuot, by gathering around a bonfire for a kumzitz of Israeli music in Chabad Park and take part in the planting of an organic herb garden that will be used in preparing Shabbat dinners throughout the summer months for the Nashville community.

There is no charge to attend the event, although the cost of the meal is $10 a person.  Reservations are appreciated. For further information or to make reservations got to


Celebrate the Ten Commandments’ 3,329th birthday 

Chabad will celebrate Shavuot from the evening of May 30 to June 1, with the reading of the Ten Commandments scheduled for 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31.

Following the reading of the Ten Commandments, a dairy buffet dinner will be served, including blintzes, pastas, pizzas, and a special Ten Commandments Ice Cream Party. All are welcome to come and celebrate, and there is no charge. 

Shavuot celebrates the revelation of Torah on Mount Sinai 3,329 years ago. 

“Every year on the holiday of Shavuot this revelation is re-experienced during the reading of the Ten Commandments in the synagogue,” said Rabbi Yitzchok Tiechtel. “It is of great importance for every family to attended synagogue on Shavuot together with their children, to listen to the reading of the Ten Commandments, as the children played a critical role in our receiving the Torah.“

For more information about Shavuot at Chabad visit or call (615) 646-5750.


Shavuot Yizkor will be on June 1

Congregation Beit Tefilah Chabad will hold the Shavuot Yizkor sevice on Monday, June 1, at 11:15 a.m. in the Doochin Sanctuary at the Genesis Campus for Jewish Life.

The Yizkor memorial prayer for the departed is recited in the synagogue four times a year: On the last day of Passover, the second day of Shavuot, Yom Kippur and Shmini Atzeret.

“When we recite Yizkor, we renew and strengthen the connection between us and our loves ones, bringing merit to the departed souls,” said Rabbi Yitzchok Tiechtel. Traditionally Jews make a charitable gift or perform other mitzvot through which they bring merit to the souls of their dear ones, he said. 


CGI Nashville offering ten days of Jewish fun and pride during June

Camp Gan Israel Nashville will offer two 1-week sessions this summer, June 12-16 and June 19-23. 

“Our program is designed to let our campers’ minds run wild, enjoying nature, crafts, sports and water activities, while building character and responsibility in a relaxed, fun atmosphere,” said CGI Director Esther Tiechtel.

Each day of camp has a theme, such as Shabbat or Israel. All of the activities during the course of that theme reflect its theme. For example, during charity day, the children create little wooden charity boxes, enjoyed a penny hunt, and baked edible charity boxes. 

Celebrating its 15th year of operation as part of the world’s largest network of Jewish summer camps, CGI Nashville is open to children ages 3-12. It offers scholarships, sibling discounts, and daily hot lunches. All applications received before May 10 receive a free camp T-shirt. For more information or to register please go to, or call Camp Gan Israel Nashville (615) 646-5750. 


@ The Temple

Workshop will look at building an anti-racist movement as Jews

Claire Schwartz and Hannah Cornfield will facilitate a workshop on Saturday, May 6 at the Temple focusing on building an anti-racist movement. 

The workshop will consist of two sessions designed to be taken together on a single day. 

A morning session from 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m. will offer an interactive historical overview of Jewish commitments to racial justice movements in the United States from the Civil Rights Movement to Black Live Matter. 

An afternoon session from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. will include activities aimed at self-reflection, envisioning an anti-racist future, and identifying steps that might be taken to work towards racial justice.  


Joint town hall session with Micah will discuss health care as right or privilege

Is health care a right or a privilege? 

U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper and Dr. Larry Van Horn, executive director of Health Affairs at Vanderbilt’s Owen School of Management, will present different views on this subject on Wednesday, May 10 during the first of two collaborative town hall meetings co-sponsored by The Temple and Congregation Micah. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at The Temple. 

Dr. Frank H. Boehm and Rabbi Laurie Rice will moderate, Rabbi Shana Mackler will offer introductory remarks, and Rabbi Mark Schiftan will close the session. 

The town hall is part of an ongoing series focusing on issues of social justice and communal concern through a variety of viewpoints in the spirit of an open, civil, respectful and honest dialogue. 


Also this month at The Temple: 

• The 166th annual congregational meeting will be held at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 5 prior to the Shabbat service, which begins at 6 p.m. 

• The graduation ceremony for The Temple’s 2017 pre-kindergarten class will be t 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 18. 

• The Temple Preschool will host Family Fun Day at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 21 at its playground.