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From the President

Hello Everyone,

I would like to start by apologizing. Last month, I forgot about our scheduled and advertised Saturday morning Bagel Brunch. My first apologies go to those who made the effort to attend only to find a locked and closed location. But I would also like to apologize to the community at large for failing to follow-through on a commitment. No excuses. I just forgot. If the organizer of an event can forget, even though we have a newsletter, and a website with a calendar, then it shouldn’t be surprising that others will forget as well. You don’t forget Pesach. You don’t forget Rosh Ha Shanah. But you can forget a bagel brunch, or any of a number of events until they become so ingrained that they become part of your internal clock. It is hard to do. I think our First Friday of the Month Shabbat Services have hit that level for many of the attendees, though we would love to see more. But other events, like our Third Saturday of the Month Shabbat Morning services, the bagel brunches, or the movie series, face an uphill battle to land on the visceral calendar.. so you just know.. “Ahh, it’s the third Saturday.. let’s go to St Paul's for Shabbat Services..” My hope is that these other programs ultimately do become part of our internal schedules, but until then, I will just try harder, and I hope you do as well, to take a moment and visit the calendar at betshira.com, or go back and check our newsletter for upcoming events.

Before we move on to Passover, just a final note on Purim. I would like to thank everyone involved in making this year’s Purim Celebration a success. Amy, Kathryn and the religious school students did a wonderful job with the Megilla reading, Debbie, Amy, Dean, Cynde, & Becca for working so hard on distributing the Shaloch Manot bags to those who attended, and baking the hamantashen.. the religious school students for decorating and stuffing the bags with all of the treats


Kabbalat Shabbat
Friday, April 11, 2014
Led by Emily Katcher
6:30 PM St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Community Passover Seder!
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

5:00 PM St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Shabbat Torah Service
Saturday, April 26th, 2014

10:00 AM
St. Paul's Episcopal Church

see the calendar for details

Pesach Matzah

and goodies, Tina for making wonderful Hamantashen for the community party, and everyone who helped set-up the games (thanks Randy!), help the children play them (David, Justin, Paul, John, Rafi, Dean, and help in the kitchen afterwards). I’m sure I missed some folks, and I will think of you as soon as I submit this letter… In the end, the Shaloch Manot fund-raiser generated over $1000 for Habitat for Humanity and the Religious School. If you haven’t yet received your basket, please send me an email (jonbakin@gmail.com) and I will get you a replacement.. without the hamantashen.. they are a bit stale by now! But with the rest of the goodies, including the coupons for a free bagel at Metro Bagels, a free coffee at Lehani’s, and a free Giacometti at Pan d’Amore Bakery.

Now, 30 days after Purim, is Passover.. Once again, we, and by we, I mean Barry and his team, are working hard to bring to the community a wonderful Bet Shira Community Seder. Please contact Barry immediately if you are able to volunteer… These kinds of events take many many individuals working together to pull off, and we could use your assistance. Also, let Barry know if you intend on attending this year, as that too is a critical element in planning!

Finally, check your calendars, and if they are not circled already, save the dates for our upcoming Shabbat services as well! 


CALL FOR A VOLUNTEER! We are in the process of finding a newsletter editor. If you are interested in the position, please contact Jon at 360-385-9556 or Barry at 360-379-3042.


Yom HaShoah, also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day, will be commemorated on Sunday, April 27, 2014 2pm, at Congregation Kol Shalom, 9010 Miller Road, Bainbridge Island.

Shoah, which means catastrophe or utter destruction in Hebrew, refers to the atrocities that were committed against the Jewish people during World War II.

We will gather to honor the victims with songs, prayer, testimonials and readings.
All are welcome.

Religious School News:

This month our Hebrew Chai group was lucky to have Aviva Tiles as our guest teacher. Aviva is the USY Regional Youth Director for the Pacific Northwest. We studied important personalities in Jewish history all the way from Joshua and King David up to Theodore Herzl and Golda Meir. The lesson culminated with the question "Would you be Facebook friends with them?" which led to a really fun discussion.

 The Religious School students have also started a huge timeline which will include all the prophets and Kings we are learning about this year.

 Our Ashrei Challenge ended quite successfully with the Hebrew School kids leading Ashrei for the whole congregation at the Feb 22 service. They sounded great! In March we learned some Purim songs, and prepared for the Purim party, and now we are focusing on Passover. Who remembers all the words to the four questions? Happy Passover to everyone! 


If you are a Jewish high school junior who meets the QuestBridge criteria of academic excellence, economic need, and demonstrated leadership potential, you are eligible to be considered for an award program offered by the Edward Fein Foundation and aimed at reaching Jewish students.
For more information check the website http://www.questbridge.org/for-students/feinfellows
or contact Rachel Fishbein at feinfellows@questbridge.org.

Movie Night

Last month, a small group of community members came out to view a free screening of Disobedience, a movie telling the true story of a Portuguese Ambassador who took it upon himself to disobey orders and issue visa for tens of thousands of people, including over 10,000 Jews, fleeing the advancing Nazi's during WW2. The power of the movie led us all to forget that it was shown on a computer projected onto the wall screen, that we were sitting on folding chairs in a church social hall… It's not the Rose, but watching movies with Jewish themes surrounded by other Jews provides a perfect context for discussion and growth. We hope you join us for our future installments in our movie series. Watch for announcements regarding upcoming screenings.

Visit our Member's Corner for more community news, for more event listings see the calendar page.

Nan Toby Tyrrell invites you to view a video of her playing the piano:



*Soundly Jewish: Life Around the South Puget Sound & Olympic Peninsula
A great website resource of news and events in our area.  http://soundlyjewish.org/


Thanks to all who have returned your 5774 membership contribution so promptly.
If you've not yet done so, please make every effort to return your 5774 membership contribution at your earliest convenience so that we can more easily plan our programs and operation for the year. If you've misplaced the appeal you received in the mail send an email to Barry at barryell@olypen.com or call 379- 3042.

A link to the membership form for 5774 can be found on our Membership Page.

We hope that you will like what you find here, and welcome your comments. Please email: betshira@yahoo.com for general comments.

Submissions will be evaluated by the Board of Bet Shira prior to publication.  Submissions must be germane to the purpose of Bet Shira and www.betshira.comCommercial solicitations cannot be published. Please send your submissions in digital format.