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    Purim Message from Rabbi Tobie Weisman

    Hag Purim Sameach!  Happy Purim! This Purim marks one year on the Jewish calendar since we became aware of the Pandemic.  Last year, we celebrated in person at synagogues and all over the world with much frivolity.  A few days later all in person meetings all over the world were curtailed.  There has been so much sickness, death, social isolation and dark times this year.  And even though we can see the light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccines and other positive developments, many people are still suffering.   Yet, we all know that Purim is a joyous holiday.  How should we be celebrating Purim this year, taking…

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    Senate Devotions

    Tuesday February 16, 2021, Rabbi Tobie Weisman We just began the Jewish lunar month of Adar this past Friday.  This is the month representing JOY.  As the rabbis teach us, “When the month of Adar enters, joy increases”  (Talmud – Taanit 29a). The Jewish holiday of Purim is a joyous holiday which begins next Thursday night and Friday, when we read from the Scroll of Esther.  We read about the frightening edict enacted to wipe out all the Jews that the evil advisor to the King named Haman had convinced the King to enact.  The heroes of the story are Mordechai and his niece Queen Esther.  Mordechai heard of the evil…

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    See the Light, Be the Light

           I was moved by the theme of unity so beautifully portrayed throughout inauguration day Wednesday. As much as this is an ideal for the US, it seems to be the motivating principle behind JCVT and our role in sharing, celebrating and supporting the diversity of Jewish life in Vermont.       In my short time as JCVT director, I’ve been honored to speak with many Vermont Jewish leaders, mostly clergy, who convey their deep belief in welcoming Jewish life in whatever way is meaningful for each individual. Even these religious leaders recognize that many Jews may never feel comfortable going to synagogue yet honor Jewish identity that manifests itself in other ways,…

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    WELCOME TO THE NEW JCVT NEWSLETTER!!!

    Link to the newsletter here. As the new Executive Director of JCVT, I see many possibilities for us to better support, inspire and celebrate the diversity of Jewish experience in Vermont. Communications seems key to anything we do to connect JCVT to Vermonters and to help you connect to each other and the Jewish community here and beyond our borders. We will be instituting several changes that we hope enhance our communications. One of the first is the creation of this bi-weekly newsletter to complement the events calendar (previously called the JCVT newsletter) which will be published on alternate weeks. The newsletter will include news from JCVT and our affiliated…

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    Inspiring Music for the New Year

    I just discovered Koolulam, thinking everyone must have seen them through some social media. Koolulam is a social-musical initiative aimed at strengthening the fabric of society. I hope this example of their work brightens your day and offers a positive message as we head into a New Year.

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    Camp Gan Israel Remains Open, Healthy, and Positive

    Not one complaint is heard from the cluster of children waiting outside Camp Gan Israel in Burlington, VT as they wait to be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 before they are allowed to enter camp. Instead chatter, laughter, and smiles fill the sidewalk each morning as campers patiently and excitedly stand with their friends awaiting the activities of camp ahead. Along with all other summer camps across the nation, Camp Gan Israel of Burlington, VT, which is part of the largest and fastest growing networking of Jewish day camps in the world for children ages 5-12, was forced to decide whether to close for the summer or adjust to new…