Melanie Einbund

February and March were active months at the Institute for Judaic Services and Studies (IJSS) that included in-person Shabbat services, a class, and Purim.

Shabbat services on March 25 were in person with Rabbi Harari officiating, and with cantorial soloist Sarah Boltt accompanied by David Mancini-Conway.

Our Feb. 25 service was held in person and included a dinner beforehand. After services, there was an Oneg Shabbat. Oneg Shabbats are a time for us to gather and celebrate. Our sponsors were Sherry and Bill Kaplan celebrating Bill’s “21st” birthday (Bill was born on Feb. 29). Melanie and Nate Einbund also celebrated their permanent move to SaddleBrooke! It was wonderful for us to be together and enjoy seeing each other.

Rabbi Harari conducted the class “Judaism Is More Than a Religion.” There was a lot of information with more questions than answers. The interest of the participants and the energetic and stimulating dialogue was contagious. Rabbi Harari led us through conversation to understand and formulate ideas of how Judaism is more than a religion. Is there a magic answer? No. All agreed that Jewish life includes religious practices, customs, rituals, traditions, ethics, food, holidays, and adaptation to the culture of the country and surroundings in which we live.

In the spirit of Jewish unity, IJSS and the Jewish Friendship Group jointly sponsored a Purim Hamantaschen and Dessert Evening on March 15.

IJSS is a small, active, and welcoming congregation. If you have questions or wish to join our congregation, contact Joan Elder 520-360-1478 or Seth Eisner 520-818-6340 for information.

Happy Passover everyone and a happy spring!