July 1, 2013
Remember how teachers would ask students, who were returning to school in the fall, to write essays on “How I Spent My Summer Vacation”? Perhaps when Rosh Hashanah rolls around in early September we will all be able to say that we spent part of our vacation – a most meaningful and enjoyable part of it – at University Synagogue.
Learning, joy and spiritual growth never stop at our shul. The summer is a most dynamic time for children and adults with Shabbat Beach services (for all ages) in Laguna Beach on July 12 and Aug. 9, Torah study Shabbat services on Aug. 2 and Aug. 30, Introduction to University Synagogue and Reconstructionism Shabbat dinners on July 19 and Aug. 16 and Ramadan Shabbat dinner and services with Turkish Muslims at their house of worship on Friday, July 26.
Adult Education continues with Torah Study, a One-Day Hebrew Marathon and Pre-Jewish, Alive and American classes. Social events include an Ice-Cream Social on Wednesday, July 24 and a BBQ on Sunday, August 18. The Women’s Connection will be meeting for a variety of events as will the Board as it prepares for the New Year.
Summer will end with two unforgettable nights on Friday, August 23 and Saturday, August 31. On August 23, we’ll celebrate Shabbat Alive as our Cantor leads us in “The Music of Debbie Friedman” and Jewish musicologist Josh Kun will speak about the interplay of Jewish music and contemporary sounds. On Saturday night, Aug. 31, for Selichot, Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger will speak about his life as the son of a Nazi, who was a highly decorated soldier during the Holocaust, and how he, the son, rejected his family’s anti-Semitism, converted to Judaism, made aliyah to Israel and became a physician in the Israel Defense Forces. Selichot prepares us for the High Holidays by pushing us towards greater introspection and transformation and Dr. Wollschlaeger’s life is a testament to that process.
So, relax and refresh during the summer and come to University Synagogue for recreation and re-creation. Even more, please bring some friends and introduce them to the humanistic philosophy of Reconstructionism and the diversity of events and activities that make University Synagogue such a special community of ideas and growth for us all.
Rabbi Arnie Rachlis