The Upper Valley Jewish Community (UVJC) is an egalitarian, independent
congregation serving the Upper Connecticut Valley. Our goal is to provide a
meaningful, contemporary Jewish experience that embraces the richness of our faith, history and culture. The UVJC offers religious services, holiday and life cycle celebrations, educational opportunities for all ages and a variety of social and cultural programming.
The UVJC maintains a close relationship with Dartmouth Hillel, with Rabbi Edward Boraz serving our joint community. Rabbi Boraz is an experienced congregational leader whose inclusive approach to Jewish Community life makes him an ideal spiritual leader for our diverse Congregation.
The Upper Valley Jewish Community (UVJC) is an egalitarian, independent
A Rabbinic Reflection for the New Year of 5773
It is at this time of year when we are commanded to do T’shuvah, repentance; to engage in an intense introspection both individually and as a community. When I reflect upon the Jewish people who live here, whether they affiliate or not, I am struck deeply about how much everyone cares about Jewish life, the Jewish people, and humanity. It is, in many ways remarkable that in this small island, where its largest institution’s motto is taken from prophecy of Isaiah – Kol Koreh Bamidbar – a voice cries out in the wilderness - that so vibrant and caring group have expressed such deep love for Jewish life and its promise.
I see it in the small things, not necessarily in the large gatherings for great events like the Yamim Hanoraim. Rather, it is in the small daily rituals that I engage in. Almost every day in the late afternoon, I go to the mailbox. I enjoy seeing little envelopes on which printed is our name and address. It usually indicates a membership, school enrollment, or a donation to help further the work that we are doing. It brings me pleasure to know that Jewish people in our world care.
A parent may be waiting in the Leon Black promenade of the Roth Center, while her or his child is finishing their lesson in preparation for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Yesterday, a group gathered in the Lappin Lounge to discuss issues related to our cemetery. The day before, in that very room, a lovely group of women assembled to play Mah Jong, throughout the previous week, Dartmouth Jewish students studied and socialized there as they prepared for the end of the summer term.
Soon, ninety children, their teachers, and their assistants, will begin another cycle of Jewish learning in the various rooms as we once again on Sundays and Tuesdays become a Talmud Torah, a group of people devoted to the study of Torah. Tonight, we have services and dinner. Tomorrow morning is Shabbat where will celebrate a Bar Mitzvah of a young man and then Sunday a wedding will take place in the Alperin sanctuary.
This kind of stuff is the norm. We have the wonderful Klezmer Concert that was the vision of a Board member. It will begin Motzei Shabbat September 8th at 7:30 p.m. with Havdalah, followed by the actual concert at 8:00 p.m., and then a Selichot service. On Sunday, our religious school begins, with a concert by the Klezmer band that played the night before, followed by our annual cookout. Dartmouth Jewish students will celebrate the new class of 2016 with a 2:30 p.m. bagel brunch and then will gather on the Green to connect with new Jewish students at a campus-wide celebration.
We may still be a “midbar” – a Jewish wilderness – when we compare ourselves to the larger urban centers that have larger concentrations of our people. Let us not forget, however that the Torah was given in the midbar – the wilderness – as well; a Torah that is alive and well through all of you and that your collective voices is one that is heard loud and strong throughout this beautiful land.
Shannah Tovh U’metukah
May you have a beautiful and sweet Year
There are wonderful events planned for this weekend through Tuesday as we celebrate Hanukah with a fantastic party filled with fun for the entire family!
1. Tonight: December 16th (21st of Kislev (4 days till Hanukah- the Countdown has begun). Begin at home by lighting Shabbat Candles. The "official candlelighting time is actually 3:53 p.m. (hard to believe isn't it). The blessing is Barukh atah adonai eloheinu melech haolam asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav, v'tzivanu l'hadlikh Ne Shel Shabbat.
6:00 p.m: Shabbat Services featuring our 7th Graders and 8th Graders who will help lead our service followed by a pot-luck dinner. Uncle Shmulik (Hebrew for Uncle Sam) wants YOU!
2. Shabbat Morning (21st of Kislev): 9:30 a.m. at the Roth Center, followed by a lovely Kiddush. Come any time - Prayer and community are good for the soul. The Torah Reading is Vayshev. Perhaps it should be renamed to "Sibling Rivalry Gets Out of Control and Goes Viral" for with it begins the story of Joseph and his brothers.
3. No Sunday School (Don't cry): However on Monday (24th of Kislev) from 3:00 - 5:00 join our new Director of Education Meira (Maggie) to help create just the right Hanukah decorations for our Chanukanza celebration the following day. Please rsvp to her at 646-3887 - THEN ......
4. HANUKAH (finally) First Day of Hanukah (25TH OF KISLEV 5772): All MENORAHS AND THEIR OWNERS ARE WELCOMED - We want this BIG!!! We are calling it CHANUKANZA! WE START AT 5:30 P.M. BEST LATKES IN HANOVER - THE RABBI PROMISES
COME AND HELP US LIGHT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MENORAH IN THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE IF NOT THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE, SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED BY OUR OWN ANTOINETTE JACOBSON, A WORLD ACCLAIMED SCULPTOR AND THEN COME INDOORS FOR A FUN-FILLED PARTY FOR ALL AGES!!!
Our Goal: To light as many Menorahs in One Room as Possible!!!!
THE WEBMASTER WONDERS - Can anyone find whether there is a guiness record for most chanukiyot lit in one place?
Welcome to the UVJC Home Page. We seek to inspire your Jewish thoughtfulness and learning. The passage is from this week's Torah Portion Chayei Sarah, the Life of Sarah. The themes are so beautiful, as they are about love, marriage, and finding comfort and peace.
This week's events"Jewish Life at the UVJC and the Roth Center for Jewish Life"
Tuesday: November 15th:
12:00 p.m. Torah Study: We are now in I Samuel 19 and a profound question has been raised. What is the true nature of God's ominopotence in our moral narrative? So we will study a selection from Maimonides's Mishmneh Torah for guidance.
3:30 p.m: Our remarkable students arrive for Jewish Learning: We begin with snacks, friendship and then move into sacred gathering in the Alperin Sanctuary (4:00 p.m.). Our focus is on prayer, and this week we will study and talk abot the Shema and maybe the V'shamru, followed by classrooom instruction in Hebrew.
6:30 p.m: Enhancing Our Understanding of Judaism. Jewish and non-Jewish adults engage in a study of Torah and Jewish Values using the curriculum being developed all of our young people.
Wednesday: November 16th: Mah Jong at 12:00. This great group gathers for a few hours to play one of the most culturally Jewish games ever. I remember growing up and watching my mother play this Chinese game with her friends. Reservations for this week's Friday Night dinner are due.
Friday: November 18th: Candlelighting Time 4:01 p.m.: Services at 6:00 p.m.: A beatiful Hillel service followed by dinner prepared by the New England Culintary Institute. Our Dartmouth students are bringing their favorite College Professors. If you want to attend, because we are expecting a very large gathering, you must do two things. One is attend services before dinner. Second, you must rsvp to Claudia Palmer (1-603-646-0410) no later than Wednesday the 16h.
Shabbat November 19th: (9:30 a.m.) The Torah portion is Chayeh Sarah (the Life of Sarah). The D'var (sermon): "Love, Marriage, Companiionship, Reconciliation." We'd love for you to join us and if you wish to do any part of our service, such as to lead us in a prayer, do a favorite reading, receive an aliyah (being called to the Torah), simply let us know. If you wish a special prayer to recited for someone in need of spiritual, physical, or emotional healing, but are unable to attend, please write our Rabbi at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday November 20th (10:00 a.m.): Our religious school begins with assemnbly filled with song and ruach (spirit). 10:30: Parents are invited stay afterewards and discuss"How are We Doing" - The First Six Weeks of Religious School" and "What Do We Need to Do Improve" - 11:30 a.m. Bnai Mitzvah parent gathering.
Hag Sameach (Happy Holidays) It is now just five days since the conclusion of the Yamim Hanoraim (the Days of Awe) which was marked by hundreds of people of all ages gathered in Rollins Chapel at Dartmouth for Neilah and Havdallah. The Rabbi's concluding words to everyone was a simple one, "Our tradition teaches that tomorrow we are to build Sukkot (plural for Sukkah). And so we did in two places - one in our own backyard at the Roth Center and the other at the Organic Farm at Dartmouth which is on Route 10 north of the Dartmouth campus, overlooking the Connecticut River. Please visit either one throughout these 8 days of celebration.
Why Sukkot? The Torah teaches that many of the Jewish Holidays fall in this time of year with this beautiful Festival occurring five days after Yom Kippur. Last night, we began this time of Thanksgiving with lighting the candles, a lovely family service, followed by a pot-luck supper that began with Kiddush and Motzi (the blessings over the wine and bread), and acknowledging all the good that we have been blessed with.
The Festival of Sukkot is one rich in symbolism from the lulav (a palm branch, with willow and myrtle) and etrog (a very special fruit) that we recite blessings over to having our meals in the fresh air with the changing fall season.
Both this morning and tomorrow we will have services at 8:00 a.m., so if you are in the neighborhood, please feel free to join us. Services tomorrow evening at 6:00 p.m., led by Dartmouth students, followed by a delicious Friday night dinner cooked by our friends at Hillel. Shabbat services at 9:30 a.m. with a wonderful Bat Mitzvah celebration. And to fulfill many mitzvot, including the mitzvah of teaching our children and our own adult study, our religious school, where there is something for everyone, begins at 9:30 a.m on Yom Rishon (Sunday morning). All of these will be at the Roth Center.
And so we turn our thoughts from seeking to be inscribed in the Book of Life to One of V'samachtah B'hagechah" - rejoicing in our festivals.
Click here for the Schedule of Services for Sukkot