Feb
5
Sat
*Canceled* Zoom Game Night
Feb 5 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Please join KB for a virtual game night! There will be several breakout rooms with games, conversation, and general schmoozing. Possible activities include hanging out in the main room, Boggle, Scattergories, Codenames, Jackbox, Fictionary, and a dance party! If you’re interested in hosting one of these activities, or some other activity, please let Cathy know (cathycab@gmail.com).

Please register here for the Zoom link: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEld-GurjkqHN0UW9kByfm3j-Q9SAVngLxs

Feb
8
Tue
Executive Committee Meeting
Feb 8 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

The Executive Committee is Kahal B’raira’s leadership and coordinating body. It includes the president, vice-president, treasurer, secretary, members-at-large, Sunday school chair and representative to the Society for Humanistic Judaism. Meetings are open to all KB members. For the Zoom link, please email Lidia at l.pruente@kahalbraira.org.

Feb
9
Wed
B Mitzvah Cohort Meeting
Feb 9 @ 6:00 pm – 6:45 pm

Students in the B Mitzvah planning process, or thinking about beginning the process, are invited to a B Mitzvah cohort meeting. Lidia will meet with the students to do some introductions and icebreakers, in order to build community among students at different points in the B Mitzvah process. Then we’ll do some activities to develop speech writing skills.

There will also be time for a parent Q&A.

For the Zoom link, please email Lidia at info@kahalbraira.org.

Feb
10
Thu
American Jews and Racial Justice: Where We Are Now and How We Got Here
Feb 10 @ 7:15 pm – 8:45 pm

Sponsored by Hebrew College and hosted by the Cambridge Collaborative: Congregation Eitz Chayim, Tremont Street Shul and Kahal B’raira.

Thursdays, 7:15-8:45 pm, 10 Sessions
Location: Zoom
Cost: $180; some financial aid available
Register: https://tinyurl.com/ja4h8pk2

Part One: Finding our place: Jews in the Struggle for Racial Equity
with Tema Smith – 6 Sessions: 9/30, 10/28, 11/18, 12/9, 1/13, 2/10

With a renewed awakening about the pervasiveness of systemic racism in our society, questions about where the Jewish community fits in are appearing more and more. How does the social construction of race impact the Jewish community? Are white-presenting Jews considered white? How does the Jewish community show up for Jews of Color? And where does antisemitism fit into this spectrum of oppression? In this course, we will dive into some of these hot-button topics and emerge with a deeper understanding of each of our places in the fight for justice.

Part Two: American Jews and Race: A Historical Perspective
with Dr. Marc Dollinger – 4 Sessions: 3/17, 4/7, 5/5, 6/2

Learn about the most important historical moments for American Jews and questions of race. Explore how white-presenting Jews have, and have not, been considered privileged in U.S. history. Dive deep into the civil rights movement of the 1950s and early 1960s, learning new insights into both southern Jews and northern Jewish participation in racial justice causes. Learn about the apparent break-up of the Black/Jewish alliance in the mid-1960s with a close reading of the Black Power movement and its inspiration for American Jewish public identity. Finally, examine actual historical documents going back 360 years revealing the interconnection between Jews, race, and racism, that show us how “becoming American” often meant participation in racist systems.

If you encounter any difficulties with registration, please contact Cindy Bernstein at cbernstein@hebrewcollege.edu or 617-559-8709.

There will not be much homework for this series.

Feb
13
Sun
Community Gathering with the Joanie Block Dance Company
Feb 13 @ 9:30 am – 12:15 pm

Joanie Block has been part of Boston’s vibrant dance community for over 30 years. As the founder and artistic director of SelmaDanse, her works frequently address Jewish themes. In a rare live performance at KB, Block, along with KB member/dancer Melinda Rothstein and Julie Leavitt will deliver her most recent creation.

Block explains her inspiration for the dance:

My husband died in November, and I watched the memorial candle flicker out as the Chanukah candles were being lit. At that moment I thought to myself, The light and the dark are never far from each other.

Rabbi Yitzhak Shemuel Reggio, a 19th century Italian Torah commentator, considered the Plague of Darkness that fell upon the Egyptian pharaoh and his followers, a darkness that symbolized a need to re-examine one’s opinions, assumptions, and behaviors. A darkness that can propel us all toward the light of a more humane world.

Living through New England winters, many of us brace ourselves through the literal and figurative darkness that seeps into our psyches as we await the returning light. Dance, which is filled with our collective stories, challenges us to re-examine our opinions, assumptions, and behaviors, by providing us with a fresh perception of the relationship between these seemingly antithetical forces.

9:30 – Schmooze/Mifgash, outside
10:00 – Announcements
10:10 – Candle Lighting and Service
-short break-
11:00 – Program by Joanie Block dancers
12:00 – Optional: Stay For an Extra 15 Min of Q&A
12:15 – End

Community Gatherings will be hybrid, with in-person and streaming options. For more information, please email Lidia at info@kahalbraira.org.

Sunday School & Foster Care Box Day
Feb 13 @ 9:30 am – 12:15 pm

Our Sunday school curriculum emphasizes critical thinking, ethics, history, and culture. We welcome students and families from all backgrounds, including LGBTQ+, interfaith, and intercultural families. Visitors are welcome! For more info, please email Sophia Brion-Meisels, our school director, at eddirector@kahalbraira.org.

9:30-9:45 – Mifgash (outside in the backyard, weather permitting)
9:45-noon – Class time

Feb
17
Thu
Anti-Racism Book Group (members only)
Feb 17 @ 9:00 am – 10:30 am

KB members are invited to join our book group where we will learn together through reading, self-reflection, and discussion. We will read both non-fiction and fiction (current and historical fiction) and will also share online resources with each other that will support our learning and current experiences. This is a peer-supported group and not led by an expert on the subject. We are on a learning journey and hope you will join us.

In order to accommodate as many people as possible, the group will meet twice per month. You’re welcome to attend one or both of these meetings.

For the Zoom link, please email Melinda Rothstein, or Lidia at info@kahalbraira.org

Tentative Schedule

September 
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part One (Introduction & 1619-1659 & Poem); page xiii – p 35
  • The Book of Unknown Americans (fiction)
October 
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Two (1659-1699 & Poem); pages 40-69
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria (non-fiction)
November
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Three (1699-1739 & Poem); pages 73-108
  • The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee sections 1-3 (memoir, non-fiction)
December
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Four (1739-1779 & Poem); pages 111-145
  • The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee sections 4-7 (memoir, non-fiction)
January
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Five (1779-1819 & Poem); pages 149-184
  • Minor Feelings (memoir)
February
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Six (1819-1859 & Poem); pages 187-221
  • The Night Watchman (fiction)
March
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Seven (1859-1864 & Poem); pages 225-263
  • The Cooking Gene (memoir, non-fiction)
April
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Eight (1899-1939 & Poem); pages 267-304
  • Interior Chinatown (fiction)
May
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Nine (1939-1979 & Poem); pages 307-347
  • The Vanishing Half (fiction)
June
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Ten (1979-2019 & Poem & Conclusion); pages 351-392
  • Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow (non-fiction)
Feb
19
Sat
Zoom Havdalah Service
Feb 19 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Register here for the Zoom link:
Does the Talmud include a gay pirate love story? Come find out at this short and sweet Valentine’s Day themed Havdalah service! Join Zach Mayer and Lidia for a musical havdalah service, marking the end of shabbat and the beginning of a new week. To participate, have wine or grape juice, some fragrant spices, and a havdalah candle ready. If you don’t have a havdalah candle, you can use two chanukah or shabbat candles attached with a rubber band.
Feb
28
Mon
Anti-Racism Book Group (members only)
Feb 28 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

KB members are invited to join our book group where we will learn together through reading, self-reflection, and discussion. We will read both non-fiction and fiction (current and historical fiction) and will also share online resources with each other that will support our learning and current experiences. This is a peer-supported group and not led by an expert on the subject. We are on a learning journey and hope you will join us.

In order to accommodate as many people as possible, the group will meet twice per month. You’re welcome to attend one or both of these meetings.

For the Zoom link, please email Melinda Rothstein, or Lidia at info@kahalbraira.org

Tentative Schedule

September 
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part One (Introduction & 1619-1659 & Poem); page xiii – p 35
  • The Book of Unknown Americans (fiction)
October 
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Two (1659-1699 & Poem); pages 40-69
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria (non-fiction)
November
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Three (1699-1739 & Poem); pages 73-108
  • The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, parts 1-3 (memoir, non-fiction)
December
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Four (1739-1779 & Poem); pages 111-145
  • The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, parts 4-7 (memoir, non-fiction)
January
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Five (1779-1819 & Poem); pages 149-184
  • Minor Feelings (memoir)
February
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Six (1819-1859 & Poem); pages 187-221
  • The Night Watchman (fiction)
March
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Seven (1859-1864 & Poem); pages 225-263
  • The Cooking Gene (memoir, non-fiction)
April
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Eight (1899-1939 & Poem); pages 267-304
  • Interior Chinatown (fiction)
May
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Nine (1939-1979 & Poem); pages 307-347
  • The Vanishing Half (fiction)
June
  • Four Hundred Souls – Part Ten (1979-2019 & Poem & Conclusion); pages 351-392
  • Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow (non-fiction)
Mar
6
Sun
Community Gathering
Mar 6 @ 9:15 am – 12:00 pm

Join on Zoom: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85042888811

The annual all-Congregation KB Book Club will meet during our March 6 gathering—in person and over Zoom. The book we’ll be reading is Eternal Life by Dara Horn, a much-praised contemporary Jewish writer who has earned numerous awards during her career, including the Reform Judaism Fiction Prize, the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and the National Jewish Book Award (twice). She also recently published the essay collection People Love Dead Jews.
Eternal Life tells the story of a young woman in Roman-occupied Jerusalem who makes an agreement that ensures she will live forever. The story traces the impact of that decision on her life over the ensuing 2000 years, mostly jumping between her early years in Jerusalem and the present, here in the U.S. The book is relatively short—233 pages—and out in paperback. It’s also readily available in the Minuteman Library System and through Libby, the free online borrowing app. It’s a fun and fascinating book that will lend itself to lively discussion, even for those who don’t have a chance to read it. If you want to know more about Dara Horn, here’s her website: https://www.darahorn.com/

9:30 – Schmooze/Mifgash, outside
10:00 – Announcements
10:10 – Candle Lighting and Service
-short break-
11:00 – Book Group
12:00 – Outdoor Purim Carnival

Community Gatherings will be hybrid, with in-person and streaming options. For more information, please email Lidia at info@kahalbraira.org.