Happy NewYear! Jews celebrate the NewYear along with the rest of society. It is a distinct day with its own characteristics. It is often said the NewYear’s resolutions may have derived from our prayers of resolution to be better people that we recite on our Jewish NewYear of Rosh Hashana.

On a musical note, Shabbat B’Shalach which is on January 19, is SHABBAT SHIRA, the Shabbat of Song as we recite the Song of the Sea. That song which is in our daily as well as Shabbat and holiday liturgy, describes God as the Warrior who saved us from Egyptian slavery at the crossing of the Red Sea. Cantors typically give a talk about Jewish music on that day, and I will have something very special to present on that Shabbat.

January also has the distinct Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shvat, the birthday of trees and a Jewish nature day. It’s on January 21 in the depths of our Winter. In Israel however, it marks the early signs of Spring. Beth El will have a special Tu B’Shvat luncheon right on that day with ceremonies demonstrating what the holiday is all about. Join us for an enjoyable and educational lunch on that day.

In February we have another secular holiday – Presidents Day, celebrating the birthdays of two of our most revered Presidents – George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. These presidents were firmly aware of our American heritage built on Judeo Christian concepts.

During the cold winter months, Beth El provides a wonderful warmth of spirituality in our services and activities. Join us as we observe all of the special programs we provide.

– Cantor Ralph Goren