Annual Reports — May 2017

Adult Education

Three Minutes in Poland: Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film. Illustrated book talk by author Glenn Kurtz. May 18, 2016, 7:00 PM, Federated Church of Orleans

    Traveling in Europe in August 1938, one year before the outbreak of World War II, David Kurtz, the author’s grandfather, captured three minutes of ordinary life in a small, predominantly Jewish town in Poland on 16mm Kodachrome color film. More than seventy years later, through the brutal twists of history, these few minutes of home movie footage would become a memorial to an entire community — an entire culture — annihilated in the Holocaust.

    Three Minutes in Poland traces Glenn Kurtz’s four-year journey to identify the people in his grandfather’s haunting images. His search took him across the United States, to Canada, England, Poland and Israel, to archives, film preservation laboratories, and an abandoned Luftwaffe airfield. Ultimately, with diligence and extraordinary luck, he encounters seven living survivors from this lost town, including an eighty-six-year- old man who appears in the film as a thirteen-year-old boy.

    Painstakingly assembled from interviews, photographs, documents, and artifacts, Three Minutes in Poland tells the rich, funny, harrowing, and surprisingly intertwined stories of these seven survivors and their Polish hometown. Originally a travel souvenir, David Kurtz’s home movie became the sole remaining record of a vibrant town on the brink of catastrophe. Three Minutes in Poland is a riveting exploration of memory, loss, and improbable survival.

Am HaYam Wednesday Movies at The WHAT Theatre, Wellfleet

  • To Life May 25, 2016, 7:00 PM

    Jonas, a young man on the run, arrives in Berlin just in time to save Ruth’s life. Evicted from her apartment, the sarcastic but warm-hearted aging Jewish cabaret singer saw no other way out than suicide. Meanwhile Jonas, driven by a secret, is also fleeing from his love and his future. As Ruth recovers, she and Jonas form a deep bond informed by her own tragic love for a non-Jewish man in post-WWII Germany - a love burdened by the legacy of the horrors perpetrated by Nazi Germany. As Jonas discovers Ruth’s past and takes part in her present, his attentions and the passionate, lusty Yiddish songs of her youth help her find the way back to life. In turn, when Ruth learns Jonas is incurably ill, she helps him find the strength to tackle his fears, and to forcefully propose “L’Chaim – To Life!”

  • How to Win Enemies June 8 at 7 PM

    Lucas is a young lawyer with a penchant for detective stories. When he meets Barbara at a cafe, he is enamored. She is smart, sexy, and has great taste in literature. But things aren’t always what they seem. After Barbara goes home with Lucas, he wakes up to find his financial savings, and Barbara, gone. Determined to find her and to solve this mystery, Lucas uses the detective skills gathered from his beloved books and finds himself in an intriguing, twisted plot.

  • The Midnight Orchestra September 14 at 7:30 PM

    The estranged son of a once famous Moroccan musician is unexpectedly transformed after re-turning to his homeland. Like many Jews who fled domestic troubles, Michael Abitbol left Casablanca as a child during the racial tensions of the Yom Kippur War and never looked back. After years of silence and buried memories, the brooding son returns home to make peace with his past. When death claims his father before they can reunite and reconcile, Michael seeks to understand the legacy of this iconic singer of yesteryear, a man largely unknown to him. With the help of a comical Muslim cab driver and a host of other quirky characters, he sets off on an adventure to track down the surviving members of his father’s orchestra and fulfill the old man’s dying wish, finding friendship and rediscovering his cultural roots along the way.

Alicia Svigals Klezmer Concert
September 21, 2016 7:30PM The WHAT The Julie Harris Stage

    Alicia Svigals is the world's leading klezmer fiddler, a founder of the Grammy-winning Klezmatics who she co-led for seventeen years, and a composer who was selected to be a 2014 MacDowell Fellow. She has played with and composed for violinist Itzhak Perlman, the Kronos Quartet, playwrights Tony Kushner and Eve Ensler, the late poet Allen Ginsburg, and many others.

Paul Levy: Finding Phil: Lost in War and Silence
November 10, 2016 7:30PM Federated Church of Orleans

    Finding Phil traces Paul Levy’s search for his Uncle Phil, killed 70 years earlier in World War II. Phil was a young tank platoon commander who braved the frigid winter of 1944-45 as allied troops advanced against an increasingly desperate Hitler, and died in France only months before the war ended. At once a mystery, a love story, a soldier’s tale, and a reflection, Finding Phil ponders family silences, peace and the war, the nature of heroism, the complexity of anti-Semitism, and the growing love of a nephew for an uncle he never knew."

Submitted by Ira Wolfson

Holocaust Memorial Program

On Thursday evening April 27, 2017, the student-led Holocaust Memorial program was held “Remembering the Holocaust for Today and Tomorrow” at the Nauset Regional Middle School. The program, which drew close to 200 attendees, was sponsored by the Nauset Interfaith Association, the Interfaith Committee on the Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights, and had the cooperation and participation of the Nauset Regional Middle School and Monomoy Regional High School.

The guest speaker, Holocaust survivor and poet Pierre Boenig, gave an extremely moving presentation about his childhood experiences as the son of a German/Christian mother and a Jewish father, who was deported to Auschwitz after the family tried to avoid such tragedy by emigrating to France. Mr. Boenig touched on several themes relating to refugees, including being targeted as “aliens” or “other,” not having a secure sense of home?since his mother sent him to live in hiding with other families?and living without freedom to express religious differences. The anti-Semitism of the Nazis even made it difficult for him to accept that his own mother was German-speaking. Students from the middle school read from Mr. Boenig’s poetry during the candle lighting ceremony.

Two choral pieces were beautifully sung by Monomoy Regional High Ladies A Capella Ensemble before and after a tribute to Elie Wiesel was presented in video and personal remarks. In addition, the program also featured musical selections performed by student musicians from Nauset Regional Middle School.

Reverend Wesley Williams closed the program by teaching the audience a Yiddish song “Shabes, shabes, shabes” which was sung in unison with vigor.

Sharon Leder, Anne Needel and Milton Teichman represented Am HaYam Havurah as members of the program planning committee.

Submitted by Sharon Leder

Justice Committee

The Justice Committee consists of five members from our Havurah: Sharon Leder, Gene Saklad, Ruth Shapiro, Judy Taylor, Renate Wasserman and 10 members from the Federated Church. This year, past chairman Don Wick named Roderick MacDonald and Ruth Shapiro as Co-Chairs.

The key issues discussed were:

  1. The Opioid Crises on Cape Cod:

    Last year, an Alateen group was formed at Nauset High School and is still meeting. Wellfleet Congregational Church is starting a Narcotics Anonymous group aimed at young people in their 20s and 30s in recovery. The Nauset Together We Can has offered some programs on coping with marijuana use. And Cape Cod’s Children’s Place will be offering a workshop in May and June called PARENTING ON THE OTHER SIDE aimed at teaching parents new skills to cope with addiction in their family, domestic abuse, and other issues. As a group, we are looking into why the Cape is so vulnerable and what viable solutions are available.

  2. Refugee Support Team (RST):

    There is a continued negative impact on refugee resettlement as a result of the Executive Order in February. Ascentria in Worcester has had to cut 40% of its staff because its funding has been dwindling. The State Department has already closed some of its processing centers.

    Am HaYam has pledged $400 to help Ascentria.

    RST is working to bring some refugee families from Worcester area out to the Cape this summer on the weekends of July 14-16 and August 11-13. The RST is looking for volunteers to house the refugees on those weekends.

  3. Safe Communities on the Lower Cape:

    Rod MacDonald is the leader of the Cape Cod Coalition of Safe Communities (CCCSC) that met regularly to share information and promote the goal of establishing safe communities. And CCCSC was successful. In the recent Town Hall Meetings; Brewster, Dennis, Eastham, and Wellfleet voted to be Safe Communities.

  4. Network of Spiritual Progressives:

    Sharon Leder organized and chairs the Network of Spiritual Progressives which is focusing on coping with the long-term effects of society’s emphasis on material things at the expense of spiritual reinforcement.

    The Network is pushing to eliminate private funding for election campaigns, creating a new Bottom Line for corporations that would benefit the common good, and for environmental education in K-12.

Submitted by Ruth Shapiro

Membership and Social Committee

The Membership and Social Committee has five members: Jessica Dill, Chair, Sandy Chernick, Richard Dill, Marsha DuBeau, and Skipper Silberberg-Edwards.

The 2017 Am HaYam Directory was distributed in January 2017 via email with 418 listings, up 30 from the previous year. We implemented a very successful Am HaYam Arts Wine & Cheese Gala on June 22, 2016 for new and existing members. 27 members contributed paintings, sculpture, photography, jewelry, crafts, and prints to the events and several members attended. The feedback was very positive.

The Committee has responded to several email requests for information about Am HaYam and makes a concerted effort to talk with new people at any event where we are in attendance.

Submitted by Jessica Dill, Chair

Nauset Interfaith Association

Noteworthy Public Services and Observances

Gene Saklad represented Am HaYam in leading parts of the program at the AnnualInterfaith Thanksgiving Service, which was held the afternoon of Sunday,November 20, 2016, at Orleans United Methodist Church. Mim Selig, Arlene Cohen, and other members of Zamarei HaYam participated in the combined choir. The service took its theme from President Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation making Thanksgiving a national holiday toward healing our nation. The service included Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Wampanoag readers. A woman who had immigrated from North Africa and, with her husband, is raising her family in Worcester, gave a fine talk about her experiences.

The Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast Meeting was held Monday, January 16, in the Parish Hall at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Orleans. This year's focus was on the voices of tudents from Nauset and Monomoy Regional High Schools with the theme of "The America I believe in is . . . ," dialoging with them after their presentations. Paul Biegelsen, Prof. AbdulRaoof, and Rev. Hyung Yong Choi closed the meeting with the Trifold PriestlyBenediction, Paul in Hebrew, Abdul in Arabic, and Choi in English.

Continuing the tradition, the Nauset Interfaith Association co-sponsored another Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) observance at the Nauset RegionalMiddle School in Orleans, Thursday evening, April 27, 2017. Along with the organizing group, i.e., the Interfaith Group on the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights, Am HaYam was the third co-sponsor. [See their report for more substantive information on this year's program.]

Leading Religious Services at Latham School in Brewster

This past year, we held two services at Latham School, the first, a pre-Chanukah program the evening of December 20, was led by Gene Saklad with support by Mim Selig and Zamarei HaYam. The second was held the evening of April 18, as Passover was departing, in celebration of that festival. Because Gene was unavailable, Mim Selig led the program, with the support of others of Zamarei HaYam. Each observance was very well-attended and well-received.

A Collaborative Response to the Needs of Human Service Agencies on the Lower/Outer Cape

Judy Keller has continued her active role as a member of the Steering Committee for that interfaith group.

Anti-torture Activities

Because the Nauset Interfaith Association is a Participating, i.e., contributing, Member of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, that organization is represented in NRCAT’s Participating Members Council. Gene Saklad continues to serve as Liaison.

Although President Obama was able to transfer some of those held at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center to the custody of our allies, 41 still remained incarcerated there at the end of his term in office. Most of those detainees have never even been charged. During the campaign and subsequently, Donald Trump stated his intention of sending more prisoners there, and extolled the effectiveness of "enhanced interrogation," i.e., torture, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The McCain-Feinstein law required the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group to write a report on the most effective interrogation techniques. They recently released their 90-page report and concluded that humane techniques like rapport building are the best way to most rapidly obtain the most accurate information. We'll be able to use this report to push back against any efforts by the Administration to order torture or any potential effort to authorize torture in Congress. Most recently, Trump has said he'll defer to relevant Cabinet and other Administration members who have affirmed the McCain-Feinstein legislation as law.

Drones: News reports indicate increased use of drones to carry out lethal strikes and a removal of some of the restrictions on the lethal use of drones that President Obama had put in place. NRCAT is working with the Interfaith Working Group on Drone Warfare to put in place new limits on the use of armed drones.

The widespread practice of vastly excessive — torturous — periods of solitary confinement in both federal and state penal institutions, including the callous and cruel use of force against inmates with mental disabilities: although progress had been made in the Federal penal system, by Presidential decree, and in a few states, we still have a long way to go.

Activities in Support of Immigrant Populations

Last Fall, Rod MacDonald, who co-chairs the Justice Committee with Ruth Shapiro and is a prime mover on the Refugee Support Team (RST), readily convinced the Nauset Interfaith Association that they should be full partners with the Justice Committee in the RST. Although most of their joint efforts are covered in the Justice Committee AHY Annual Report, an urgent matter was raised at the NIA meeting earlier this month. That involves the plight of Haitians given Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the United States, which must be renewed at least every 18 months by the Secretary of Homeland Security or each such individual must be deported, i.e., returned to Haiti. The tragic sequence of disasters began in 2010 with the most devastating earthquake to hit that country in over 200 years, followed by a cholera epidemic later in 2010 and a terrible hurricane in 2016. TPS has been renewed for 18-month intervals since 2010; but, the current deadline for renewal is later this month of May or TPS ends for them July 22. There is genuine concern that, despite a sign-on petition by the Presbyterian Church and a letter-writing campaign urged by the Roman Catholic Church, the antipathy manifest in word and deed by the current administration in Washington puts the likelihood of renewal in significant doubt. We are contacting two Haitian congregations on Cape Cod to offer a united effortt in this critical matter.

Submitted by E. L. Saklad and A. S. Cohen

Ritual Committee

The members of the Ritual Committee are: Judy Keller, Chair, Judy Underberg, Scribe, Paul Biegelsen, Arlene Cohen, Rebecca Holmes, Shira Sands, Ruth Shapiro, Sherill Stott, Renate Wasserman and Ira Wolfson.

During the past year, seventeen Shabbat services were held at Federated Church. These were well attended, averaging over 30 people at each service. We especially want to thank Shira Sands for organizing and leading several Torah Shabbat Services, including our Simchat Torah service with Cantor Malin. Her dedication and hard work have enabled many of our members to chant from the Torah at these special services. The next Torah service is scheduled for June 2nd.

Looking ahead to the summer, the Pre-Neg and early summer service the past 2 years have been so successful that we are planning on holding 2 of these services, in conjunction with the membership committee, this coming summer, on July 7th and August 4th. We hope that you will be able to join us for them.

Several new people have led services this past year, but more Shabbat service leaders are needed. Members of the Ritual Committee are available to assist anyone who is willing to participate in this mitzvah. And a big thank you to all the people who volunteered to host our Oneg Shabbats. If you would like to host an Oneg in the coming year, please see me after the meeting to sign up for an upcoming service. We especially need people for June!

Celebrations were held for the festivals. These included Sukkot under the stars, a taste of Chanukah brunch, the riotous Purim Sphiel, and the very well attended Community Seder. Thanks to Cindy and Stephan Berrick for again hosting the Sukkot service, Denya Levine for her music at the Chanukah brunch, all the Purim participants, and Arlene Cohen and Shira Sands for leading the Passover Seder.

Our High Holiday Services, were again held at the Federated Church. And once again, we had a full house. Rabbi Douglas and Cantor Anker led beautiful services that were appreciated by all. The services ran smoothly thanks to the efforts of all who help with the logistics of the holidays. The Board has approved the Ritual Committee recommendation to purchase the new High Holiday prayer books for the coming holidays. Rabbi Douglas and Cantor Anker are working on new services to incorporate the beautiful liturgy in these books. We are in need of dedication funding to help pay for these books. Please see the information in the newsletter about dedicating High Holiday prayer books for the Havurah.

We presently have 5 women who are studying with Rabbi Douglas and Cantor Malin to celebrate their B’not Mitzvah. Their service is scheduled for November 11th. We hope the entire Am HaYam family will be able to celebrate this special day with them.

Many thanks to everyone for your continuing support and participation in the past year.

Submitted by Judy Keller, Chair

Rosh Chodesh

Rosh Chodesh is a program for the women of Am HaYam where we can all feel comfortable, be supportive of one another, or just have a special night out where we can just “let our hair down.”

All meetings are usually on the third Thursday of every month at 7:30 P.M. Sometimes schedules and programs change because of circumstances beyond our control.

This season Rosh Chodesh had an exceptionally interesting year with educational, provocative and soul searching programs. We even had some programs on the lighter side like learning Israeli dances and celebrating Chanukah. Included in our meetings is a book and a film presentation always followed by a discussion.

The following will give you a taste of our 2016-2017 Rosh Chodesh programs:

  • Our new season began on Thursday, September 15th at 7:30 P.M. at the home of Bernice Simon-Wolfson. This first meeting, as usual, was a planning session where women came together to plan programs for October-June. This meeting was facilitated by Bernice Simon-Wolfson.
  • October 20th: A film was shown called, “September of Shiraz.” Jessica Dill hosted and facilitated this program.
  • November 17th: We had a wonderful evening of Israeli dancing led by Susan Rosenberg. It took place at the Federated Church in Orleans.
  • December 15th: The topic was “Rosh Chodesh Women Celebrate Chanukah.” It was an interactive program where participants brought their Chanukah lights and told stories about them. Of course we had LATKES made by our “Latke Lady,” none other than Arline Lowenthal. It was a fun/social evening of singing, sharing and eating. Bernice Simon-Wolfson hosted this event.
  • January 19th: The topic was “The Last Chapter.” We all know that the last chapter has not been written for any circumstance in life. So Rosh Chodesh women wrote and shared their stories of what they imagined their “Last Chapter” would be. This program was co-facilitated by Arline Lowenthal and Diane Greene and hosted by Arline Lowenthal.
  • February 16th: The topic was “Jewish Women Scientists who Influenced and Changed Our Lives.” We had an extraordinary rich, meaningful and enlightened evening with Judi Sitkin as our host and facilitator.
  • March 16th: We had a discussion of the book, “The Black Widow” by Daniel Silva. This program was interactive and hosted by Judy Keller.
  • April 20th: The topic was “Our Immigrant Backgrounds.” This was an interactive program where women shared stories, documents and pictures which depicted their rich heritage. This program was hosted and facilitated by Bernice Simon-Wolfson.
  • May 18th: This program will be based on Sharon Leder’s new book, “The Fix: A Father’s Secret, A Daughter’s Search.” Sharon will discuss the impact of addiction on family members. She also looks forward to a discussion about the importance of plot, character and the craft of writing. Sharon Leder will facilitate and host this program.
  • June 15th: We will have an art program called, “Re-envisioning Eve.” Collages will be created to depict various scenes of creation from the book of Genesis. Paula Brody will facilitate this program which will be held at the Brewster Ladies Library. This will be combined with a shared refreshment table to end the September 2016-June 2017 Rosh Chodesh season.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all the women of Rosh Chodesh who helped plan the programs, hosted, facilitated and participated in them. We do not meet in the Summer. Looking forward to seeing you in the Fall. Have a great Summer!

Submitted by Bernice Simon-Wolfson, Chair

Social Action/Tzedakah Committee

The members of the Social Action/Tzedakah Committee are Judy Keller, Chair, Rebecca Holmes, Carol Roth, Ruth Shapiro, Nancy Nelson, Judy Taylor and Naomi Zach.

Every year the Havurah allocates 10% of all money donated the previous year to Am HaYam to support organizations on the lower and outer Cape. This past year a total of $3700 was donated. The allocation of the Tzedakah money was as follows:

LOCAL (Lower Cape Lunch) $500
Homeless Prevention Council $500
LCOC (Lower Cape Outreach Council) $500
Children’s Place $400
Jewish Federation of Cape Cod $200
Community Development Partnership $300
AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod $200
Outer Cape Health Services $200
Independence House $200
Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod $100
Cape Cod Health Care Foundation: VNA Services $200
Sight Loss Service $100
Nauset Together We Can $100
Calmer Choice $100
Cape Abilities $100
Total $3700

Carol and Steve Roth again coordinated our High Holiday food drive. Special thanks go to them for doing this monumental job.

As part of our outreach to the nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the area, we presented programs for Chanukah and Passover at Pleasant Bay Nursing Home.

Members of the Social Action/Tzedakah and Ritual Committees have participated at several Habitat for Humanity Builds this past year by presenting the morning devotion.

Am HaYam is also active in the Human Service and Faith Community Network on the Lower/Outer Cape. This group has been working on coordinating the efforts of the Faith and social service organizations to better meet the needs of those living on the lower/outer Cape. Members of the Havurah have attended the forums presented by the Network in October and March. Judy Keller represents Am HaYam on the steering committee of the Network.

Submitted by Judy Keller, Chair

The Play Reading Group

Here we are! We have completed our seventh successful year with very good attendance and much enthusiasm! The Play Reading Group tries to alternate between serious dramas, classics, comedies and many with Jewish content and in some cases a Jewish playwright. There are copies of most of the plays in the Clams Library System or they can be purchased inexpensively through, or Members are given a heads up well in advance in order to have them on time for our meetings and to read them beforehand if they wish to do so. The “Players” have made the plays come alive with their enthusiasm and talent! We usually meet on the first Monday of every month but cannot do so in September because of Labor Day.

Following the readings we engage in lively, interesting and sometimes riveting discussions.

Below are descriptions of our 2016-2017 Play Reading Group monthly meetings:

  • September 12th: The first meeting was a planning meeting where decisions were made as to what plays will be read for September-June. After the planning meeting, we read “Morning Star” by Sylvia Regan. This was a hold over from the previous year. This meeting was facilitated and hosted by Bernice Simon-Wolfson.
  • October: We did not meet in October because each Monday was either a Jewish or a National Holiday.
  • November 7th: We read “Incident at Vichy” by Arthur Miller. This play is about the relationships and interactions of the prisoners during the Nazi occupation in 1942 in Vichy, France. Hosted by Elaine Karp and Naomi Zack.
  • December 5th: “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett. Hosted by Judi Sitkin.
  • January 2nd: “The Deputy” by Rolf Hochhuth. This was a very powerful play that stirred up more controversy and caused greater repercussions than any other post war work. It was based on Rolf Hochhuth’s research into Vatican activities and the role Pope Pius played during the Holocaust. Arline Lowenthal host.
  • February 6th: We continued the reading of the play, “The Deputy” by Rolf Hochhuth, Act II. Hosted by Sandy Chernick and Sandi Herschel.
  • March 6th: We continued reading “The Deputy” by Rolf Hochhuth, Act III. Following the reading of this play we had a very riveting and emotional discussion based on the powerful impact it had on all of us! Carol Roth host.
  • April 7th: “A Delicate Balance” by Edward Albee. This is a powerful play upsetting the “ delicate balance” of Agnes and Tobias’s lives. The play has humor, compassion and some poetry. Hosted by Elaine Skoler.
  • May 1st; “Twelve Angry Men” by Reginald Rose. It is a character study and an examination of American diversity and the judicial system. Hosted by Bernice Simon-Wolfson.
  • June 5th; “A Children’s Hour” by Lillian Hellman. Host Judy Underberg.

We do not meet in the summer. We resume on September 11th. This will be a planning meeting for the new season. It will be held at the home of Bernice Simon-Wolfson.

We usually meet on the first Monday of every month. The Fall and Spring hours are from 12:30, when we “Nosh and Schmooze” and then officially start at 1:00 and end at 4:00. The winter hours are from 12:30-3:00. All men and women are welcome on both sides of the curtain. NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY! Just come and enjoy the fun either as a spectator or an “Actor” and help create a live production of our plays.

I would like to thank all the people who participated and especially those who were so gracious in hosting.

Submitted by Bernice Simon-Wolfson, Chair

Torah Study Program

Sunday morning Torah Study has been held 8 times this past year at the Brewster Ladies Library, with one cancellation due to weather. All of the sessions have been led by Rabbi Deanna Douglas. The sessions were well attended, averaging 20 participants at each session. We have one more study session this season on June 4th.

For 2017 - 2087, we will be scheduling 10 Sunday morning sessions at the Brewster Ladies Library with Rabbi Douglas. The theme of Torah study will continue to be a study of King David. A schedule of Torah Study dates will appear in the newsletter.

Many thanks to all who participate in the Sunday Torah study program.

Submitted by Steve Berrick, Cindy Fox and Judy Keller, Facilitators

Women's Torah Study Annual Report

Women’s Torah Study continues to thrive as we returned to the study of Torah after a year of studying Talmud. We began at the beginning with B’raisheet (Genesis) with the goal of digging deeper by using more resources such as commentaries, podcasts, and individual research.

We meet year round on the 4th Tuesday of each month, 2-4 PM. From September through May we meet at members’ homes. Each hostess provides refreshments and beverages. From June through August, as our ranks grow with the return of our “snowbirds” and summer visitors, we meet at the Federated Church in Orleans. Members who are unable to host in their homes become the “hosts” for these three meetings and provide refreshments and beverages for the meetings.

Our method is to read the Torah, in English, going around the table and stopping for questions, comments, and inquiries – some of which are very serious but frequently humor creeps in as we relate the words of the Torah to our personal experiences and family customs. On occasion we may totally veer off topic, but no one seems to mind as whatever we are discussing is important and no one person’s opinion or comments is valued over another’s.

Many of our members use the Jewish Study Bible, but other Bibles may be used. Many members have in their own collections other commentaries, such as The Women’s Torah Commentary, and translations which lead to wider discussions.

If anyone would like to join the group, email to be added to the list.

Submitted by Rebecca B. Holmes, Facilitator

Zamarei Hayam — Singers of the Sea

Zamarei HaYam’s mission is to support the congregation’s singing during our services and to help the service leader choose melodies for these services when requested. We also musically represent Am HaYam in the greater community.

There are currently twenty people on the Zamarei HaYam roster. During the High Holy Days, under the fine direction of our cantorial soloist, Liz Anker, many of our twenty members sang selected prayers adding a great deal to the mood of these services. In November, Zamarei HaYam represented Am HaYam at the annual Nauset Interfaith Thanksgiving service, held this year at the Orleans United Methodist Church. Chris Morris from the Brewster Baptist Church ably directed the joint choirs. December found us at the Latham School in Brewster assisting Gene Saklad as he presented a Chanukah program for the students, complete with dreydels. Sherrill Stott, who taught several Zamarei HaYam members several beautiful songs for this special service, led the Shabbat Shira service in February. Many Zamarei HaYam members participated in the Purim Spiel in March, created by Judy Keller – always a fun time! An interactive Passover program was held at the Latham School in April. This was a busy year for Zamarei HaYam!

Zamarei HaYam is always eager to welcome new singers and instrumentalists to our group. Participation is flexible, as schedules allow.

Submitted by Miriam Selig