January 2021 -- Tevet-Shevat 5781,  Volume 27, Issue 1

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Westchester Circles, a New Online Program for Those 60+

UJA Federation of New York is planning a new online program for the 60 plus community called Westchester Circles. A varied and small virtual group created for people who may feel isolated and are looking for connections, the program features a large choice of offerings this winter including:

19 Blessings of the Shemoneh Esreh/Amidah, on Fridays, 10:00 am starting January 15 – April 2. Sponsored by Westchester Board of Rabbis with Facilitator Rabbi Moshe Edelman, who will examine the structure of the central HaTefillah and the content of each of the brachot (blessings). Knowledge of Hebrew is not required.


Ask the Rabbi: Everything to Know About Jewish Stuff will be held on Wednesdays, 10:00 am, from January 13 – March 31, sponsored by Westchester Board of Rabbis with facilitator Rabbi Moshe Edelman. The conversation starts with reviewing the 24 topics most often asked by Jews to their synagogue rabbis.


Four-Worlds Judaism on Tuesdays, 11:00 am, starting January 12 – March 30, sponsored by Hebrew Congregation of Somers with Facilitator, Rabbi Shoshana Leis. This program is an introduction to Jewish Renewal, a movement that embraces all Jewish denominations and was developed in the scintillating ’60s by Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi, z”l.


Kaballah and Kibbitz will be held on Fridays at 1:00 pm, January 15 – April 2, sponsored by Harold and Elaine Shames Jewish Community Center on the Hudson with facilitator Rabbi Ben Newman. Join for a brief lesson in kabbalah (Jewish mysticism), mindfulness, and Jewish teachings on human happiness followed by half an hour of kibitzing.


Pirke Avot – Our Take on Ancient Wisdom will be held Wednesdays at 3:00 pm from January 13 – March 17, sponsored by Westchester Board of Rabbis, with facilitator Rabbi Linda Portnoy Goldberg. Pirke Avot is a collection of maxims and moral teachings from the Mishna containing rabbinic wisdom from 200 BCE to 200 CE. These teachings deal with how to live a good life, not in terms of religious law, but from a practical point of view.


Reel Theology on Thursdays at 11:00 am January 14 – March 25, sponsored by Congregation B’nai Yisrael and facilitated by Rabbi Josh Strom. This program discusses what Jewish lessons your favorite films can teach.


Welcoming Shabbat on Fridays, at 3:00 pm starting January 8 – Ongoing and sponsored by The New York Board of Rabbis with Facilitator Rabbi Tamar Crystal. The group comes together to greet Shabbat with other seniors.


Behind the Headlines in Israel on Tuesdays at 10:00 am, January 12 – March 30, sponsored by The Jewish Agency for Israel with Nadav Shachmon. Each session will explore a different issue related to Israeli society through analyzing Israel’s current events.


Wonder Women (Current Events Discussion Group) on Two Mondays a Month at 4:00 pm, the class on current events for women has started. Sponsored by JCC of Mid-Westchester with Facilitator Mara Roberge.


Work the Earth and Protect It: The Jewish Way to Care for Our Planet on Tuesdays, 11:00 am, January 5 – March 30 (except 2/16], sponsored by Westchester Jewish Community Services with Facilitator Rabbi Michael Goldman discussing Judaism’s deep environmental roots.

Embracing Liminality: Gaining Control at Times of Great Uncertainty on Thursdays, 10:00 am, January 14 – April 1, sponsored by Westchester Jewish Council with Facilitator Jessica Morgenthal. Explore liminality and paths to flourishing during these uncertain times.

Lions and Tigers and Bears? on Wednesdays, 1:30 pm, February 24 – March 24, sponsored by Westchester Jewish Community Services with facilitator Rabbi Pamela Wax. Let the spiritual practice of mussar help ground and nourish you.

Sharing Our Stories on Mondays, 2:00 pm, January 11 – March 29, sponsored by Westchester Jewish Council with facilitator Arlene Kleinberg, sharing in each other’s stories.

What’s Cooking on Wednesdays, 11:30 am, January 6, February 3, March 3, March 31, Sponsored by DOROT with facilitator Cippi Harte, discussing creative cooking.

UnLonely Project on Tuesdays, 11:00 am, February 2 – March 23, sponsored by JCC of Mid-Westchester with facilitator Sylvia Alvarez. The UnLonely Project is part of a national program designed to help participants manage a variety of age-related challenges while simultaneously reducing their levels of social isolation and loneliness. Each one-hour session will include a creative activity while supporting mindfulness, social, and emotional learning.

Westchester Circles is a collaboration of Beth El Synagogue Center, New Rochelle, DOROT, JCC of Mid Westchester, Harold and Elaine Shames JCC on the Hudson, Jewish Agency for Israel, Westchester Board of Rabbis, WJCS and Westchester Jewish Council.

For more information or to register for Westchester Circles, call UJA Federation of New York in Westchester at 914-385-2100 or write stromt@ujafedny.org