Bereavement Committee

Beth Shalom is a caring community that supports our congregants who have lost a loved one. Our Bereavement Committee reaches out to congregants to provide support and to offer a meal to the immediate family during shiva. While the family is sitting shiva, we provide minyan leaders and prayer books at the family’s home, as needed. Daily minyanim are held throughout the year to help those saying kaddish after the shiva period is over.




Memorial candle



Stack of books


Book Club


Our book club gets together once a month to chat about our selected book, socialize, and enjoy some munchies. Each book we read has something Jewish about it, whether it’s the characters, the subject, or the author. Most are novels or memoirs, plus other occasional nonfiction.

Our get togethers are generally on the second Wednesday of the month at 7:30 p.m., in congregants’ homes. Come for one meeting or become a regular. Newcomers are always welcome. Contact Sharon Schreiberg to find out whose home we are meeting in that month.

Here are the books we will be discussing over the next few months:

August 12: The Weight of Ink, by Rachel Kadish

September 9: A Bend in the Stars, by Rachel Barenbaym


The Chosen Meeple 

The Chosen Meeple is our drop-in board gaming group. We meet once a month following Shabbat services and kiddush, from about 12:00 to 5:00 pm. Everyone is welcome to join in one of the various board games that are being played and stay as long as you like. It’s a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon. For more information, contact Bernie Gabin.

Don’t know what a Meeple is?

Come and find out!

Board games and a meeple

Here are the Meeple dates for the next few months (note: during the COVID closures, the Meeples are meeting on Sunday over Discord rather than after Shabbat kiddushes):

  • August 16, 2020
  • September 13, 2020





Etz Hayim chumashim


Discussion Group

The Daytime Discussion Group tries to dig as deep as possible to learn more about the world in which we live. Topics are picked by attendees — and may be changed on the spot as long as everyone present agrees — and can range from sweeping looks at history and culture to nitty-gritty subjects such as water reclamation projects in Israel. We generally share an interesting idea (from books, articles, personal experiences, etc.) and then examine that topic from as many different viewpoints as possible. Since we are in an election period there will likely be political discussions, but only if everyone agrees to them.

The discussions are held on Tuesdays at 2:15 pm. We meet off-site so we can enjoy the company of our dogs. (We will move back to the synagogue if someone is allergic.) Contact Barbara Pollack for the location and other information.

Talmud Study Group

The Talmud Study Group reads and analyzes Mishna and Gemara. They are now studying the second volume of Sanhedrin (judiciary and capital punishment) and have studied tractates Berachot (blessings), Pesachim (Passover), Taanit (public fast days), Bava Kamma (damages), and Avodah Zarah (Idolatry and superstitions). No Hebrew background is required, but one must be comfortable learning a limited Hebrew and Aramaic vocabulary to understand recurring phrases that are not easily translatable. Some sessions are in-person, while others are conducted by conference call. Contact Lisa Hemmendinger for more information.






Plates of food




Vatikim hosts Friday night Shabbat dinners for empty nesters and mature couples and singles without children at home. Each potluck dinner is held at the home of a congregant, with participants bringing pareve dishes to share. Dinners are held the second Friday of each month between November and June.  The dinner finishes in time to get to Beth Shalom for Friday night services.

The dinners are announced in the Scroll and emails. RSVP to the office when you’d like to attend and sign up for something to bring. (It doesn’t matter if you don’t cook, as we also need items such as challahs, salad dressing, and paper goods.)