Annual Reports — May 2019

ADULT EDUCATION — May 2019

2018 Am Hayam Jewish Film Festival @ WHAT, Wellfleet

  • GI JEWS: Jewish Americans in World War II July 1

    Tells the profound and unique story of the 550,000 Jewish men and women who served in World War II. Through the eyes of the servicemen and women, the film brings to life the little-known story of Jews in World War II – as active participants in the fight against Hitler, bigotry and intolerance. GI JEWS is directed and produced by Lisa Ades, who presented the film.

  • Amor October 3

    Daniel traveled for a long period in Europe, but now he is coming back to his childhood home, in a small village in Israel. He wants to find Lilah, the woman of his life. Lilah, a former ballet teacher, has been paralyzed in bed for three years now. Daniel is going to commit something unbelievable out of love. The film deals with the conflict between religious tradition and the freedom to choose your fate.

  • Across The Waters October 4

    Enjoying the nightlife of 1943 Copenhagen, jazz guitarist Arne Itkin is seemingly immune to the hardships of war, as the Danish government opts for a compliant relationship with Nazi Germany. He is initially skeptical when his terrified wife Miriam hears rumors of the round-up and deportation of Danish Jews. An overnight raid however, forces the couple to flee their home with five-year-old son Jakob. Aided by a church pastor and underground resistance, they set out on a journey for the fishing village of Gilleleje, where refugees await passage to Sweden by boat. Amidst lurking danger from the Gestapo and their collaborators, the family puts its fate in the hands of strangers whose allegiance and motives are not always clear.

  • In Search Of Israeli Cuisine October 10

    In Search of Israeli Cuisine is a portrait of the Israeli people told through food, putting a face on the culture of Israel. Profiling chefs, home cooks, farmers, vintners, and cheese makers drawn from the more than 100 cultures that make up Israel today – Jewish, Arab, Muslim, Christian, Druze – a rich, complex and human story emerges. Through scenes that are mostly cinema verité – interviews, farms, markets, restaurants, kitchens, landscapes, and history – audiences will discover that this hot, multi-cultural cuisine has developed only in the last 30 years. Its sophistication mirrors the current state of the Israeli people and their food: secular, outward looking, and innovative.

  • The Light Of Hope October 11

    Based on the true story of Elisabeth Eidenbenz (1913-2011) and her female co-workers who saved the lives of almost 600 infants in World War II. In the early 1940’s, refugees from all over Europe seek shelter in South Western France, escaping persecution from the Nazis and from Franco’s regime in Spain. Among them, there are countless women, some of them pregnant, and their little children. The camps are in horrendous shape with refugees holding out with no protection from the cold. Red Cross nurse Elisabeth Eidenbenz breathes new life into an old villa. By transforming it into a birth clinic she saves the lives of mothers and children from certain death. Despite all hardship, the villa becomes a safe haven resounding with the children’s laughter. But soon threats from without and within take shape: Authorities in Nazi-occupied France demand that she hand over all Jewish refugees and their children, while Elisabeth’s deputy Victoria sides with the Résistance partisans – a worthy cause but one that puts at stake the lives of everyone in the maternity.

  • Keep The Change October 29

    When aspiring filmmaker David is mandated by a judge to attend a social program at the Jewish Community Center, he is sure of one thing: he doesn’t belong there. But when he’s assigned to visit the Brooklyn Bridge with the vivacious Sarah, sparks fly and his convictions are tested. Their budding relationship must weather Sarah’s romantic past, David’s judgmental mother, and their own preconceptions of what love is supposed to look like.

  • The Testament October 30

    October 30 Yoel, a senior Holocaust researcher, is in the midst of a widely covered legal battle with powerful forces in Austria, concerning a brutal massacre of Jews that took place toward the end of WWII in the village of Lensdorf. An influential family of industrialists on whose land the murder took place, is planning to build a real estate project on the very same land. Yoel suspects that their aim is to bury the affair for good, but has trouble finding the conclusive evidence that would stop the project. While investigating the incident Yoel examines classified testimonies of Holocaust survivors, and to his shock and surprise he finds a testimony given by his mother, a testimony he didn’t know existed. In her testimony she confesses to a substantial secret from her past. Yoel, who’s conducting a double investigation, personal and scientific, is trapped between walls of silence – on one side, denial of the Holocaust on the part of the villagers, and on the other, his mother’s silence regarding her past. As a historian with an unshakeable commitment to the truth, he decides to continue his investigations even at the cost of ruining his personal and professional life.

ADULT EDUCATION SPECIAL PROGRAMS

  • Writing Your Ethical Will July 16 and 30

    There is a lovely Jewish tradition of writing what is called an "ethical will." Parents would write a letter to their children in which they would try to sum up all that they had learned in life, their spiritual beliefs and values and would try to express what they hoped for their children. These letters reflect that what we leave our children is not only our material possessions, but our wisdom, values, hopes and beliefs. David Balto a summer resident in Wellfleet, will teach a class on writing your ethical will. It is a two-part class in which we will begin by learning the basics of ethical wills, review past ethical wills and consider the questions to be examined in authoring an ethical will. We will then draft our own ethical wills and meet in a second class to share our draft wills.

JEWISH BOOK COUNCIL

  • This year, Am HaYam Havurah joined the Jewish Book Council for 2019-2020 and in cooperation and planning with the Falmouth Jewish Congregation will be scheduling several programs in 2019-2020 featuring Jewish authors and/or Jewish subjects.

Respectfully submitted by Ira Wolfson, Chair



Interfaith Committee on Human Rights, Genocide and the Holocaust — May 2019

3-part Educational Series 2019

This year, because of the tremendous increase in hate crime internationally, the annual Holocaust Remembrance Program transformed into three evening events, each one focused on a different aspect of hate.

The first program, Monday April 29th at Nauset Middle School was titled "The State of Hate in Massachusetts", a presentation by Robert Trestan, New England Exec. Dir. if the Anti-Defamation League. We learned what we didn't know about types of crimes and incidents of racism. This was followed by a multi-age, multi-cultural interfaith panel that opened their hearts and our minds to the racist acts against our neighbors.

Wednesday evening at St. Joan of Arc Church in Orleans Carl Wilkens, author of "I'm Not Leaving" presented his personal experience in the capital of Rawanda during the 1994 Hutu/Tutsi genocide. We learned how Rawanda is healing itself to prevent outside influenced divisiveness from tearing apart families and destroying their cultural heritage.

Thursday, May 2nd we met again at Nauset Middle School for the Holocaust Remembrance educational program. A bullet board of historical documents related to the video that was watched during the evening as well as articles about the current state of affairs in the USA was viewed by many. The evening opened with Milton Teichman giving a history of the yellow candle, followed by Sharon Leder lighting a yellow candle. This was followed by the lighting 6 Yahrzeit candles by members of the non-clergy community. Each candle lighter named family members and/or names from the Yad VaShem database and a sentence of historical significance. We watched a short video of school children planting the white flags children's memorial and listened to their thoughts. The video-journal of one survivor's history was followed by music by Jewish composer Ernest Bloch played on cello by Pastor Christian Holleck.

The evening closed with food provided and time for private discussions.

Submitted by Sharon Leder



Interfaith Justice Committee — May 2019

The Interfaith Justice Committee is composed of members from The Federated Church of Orleans and Am HaYam. The Committee meets the third Thursday of the month at the Federated Church of Orleans from 1:30 to 3:00 pm. Current members from Am HaYam are: Marcia Goffen, Karen Back and Renate Wasserman. Rod MacDonald is chair. New members are welcome and wanted. Contact renatewas@verizon.net or come to a meeting.

Over the last year we drafted a Mission Statement:

In keeping with the mandate of our faith traditions, the Interfaith Justice Committee was formed by members of the Federated Church of Orleans and Am HaYam, Cape Cod Havurah, in response to the Biblical call to do justice and love mercy.

Our purpose is to identify the local, national and global concerns of individuals and groups whose needs we feel are not being adequately addressed and/or who are facing injustice. Our aim is to strengthen the awareness of and response by members of our two faith communities to the inequalities in power, wealth and resources that exist in our world, through acts of education and advocacy developed and identified by the Justice Committee.

Because human need and vulnerability inevitably have political dimensions, as people of faith we understand the connections between faith and political action. We will be guided by our traditions as we seek to engage political leaders and others in the public square. Both our education and advocacy activities reflect Tikkun Olam, acts of kindness performed to repair our broken and unjust world

Over the last year the Justice Committee:

  • addressed the question of gun policy at a candidates meeting
  • participated together with Am HaYam in the Refugee Shabbat on Oct. 19, 2018
  • drafted and publicized an Appeal to Faith and Conscience
  • endorsed a resolution of the Nauset Interfaith Association concerning bills in Congress supporting the Wampanoag Tribal Sovereignty
  • met with a member of Representative Bill Keating's staff to express our concern over the impact of the government shut down, the refugee situation and safe communities

Respectfully submitted by Renate Wasserman



Membership and Social Committee — May 2019

The Membership and Social Committee has seven members: Jessica Dill, Chair, Sandy Chernick, Deborah Cline. Richard Dill, Marsha DuBeau, Linda Pearson, and Ruth Shapiro.

The 2019 Am HaYam Directory was distributed in January 2019 via email with 532 listings, up significantly from the previous year.

In July and August, the Committee hosted a special wine and cheese Pre-Neg in the garden behind the vestry, which attracted more people to the Shabbat service.

The Committee held a spring social May 15, 2018, “Klezmer and Cake.” Music was provided by a Bart Weisman quartet and it was attended by 46 members. Feedback was positive.

The Social/Membership Committee is working with Renate Wasserman and Erez Pinhas, owner of Abba restaurant, to provide Am HaYam members a 10-Day Journey into Israel’s Culture and Cuisine. We will be holding an Information Session on June 27. Information has been and will continue to be included in the AHY Newsletter.

In late Summer, the Committee will be holding a series of coffees in many of the lower and outer Cape towns, hosted by volunteers from Am HaYam. Using the Am HaYam Directory, for example, I will be inviting people with an Eastham address. Other volunteers will host in Orleans, Brewster, Harwich, Yarmouth Port, Wellfleet (including Truro and Provincetown). Our goal is to get to know people in a more intimate setting and encourage greater participation in the Havurah.

Respectfully submitted by Jessica Dill, Chair



Ritual Committee — May 2019

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

During the past year, 15 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.

Looking ahead to the summer, the Pre-Neg and early summer service the past 3 years have been very successful. We are planning on holding 2 of these services this coming summer, on July 19 and August 16. We hope that you will be able to join us for them.

In January and February, we held Saturday morning Shabbat Service in place of our regular Friday night service. Special thanks to Sherrill Stott for leading these services.

Several more 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 help set up and host our Oneg Shabbats. We will be looking for volunteers again for the coming year.

Celebrations were held for the festivals. These included Sukkot under the stars, a Chanukah potluck, the riotous Purim Shpiel, and the annual Community Seder. Thanks to Cindy Fox and Stephan Berrick for again hosting the Sukkot service, Elaine and Paul Biegelsen, Cindy Fox and Steve Berrick for heading the Chanukah potluck, all the Purim participants, and Arlene Cohen, Judi Sitkin and Linda Pearson for organizing and leading the Passover Seder.

Our High Holiday Services were again held at the Federated Church. And once again, we had a full house. Many thanks to all who helped with the logistics of the holidays. In addition, we held a Selichot study session the weekend prior to the start of Rosh Hashanah. The study session was well received and will be held again next September.

Many thanks to everyone for your continuing support and participation in the past year. Please be sure to take a copy of the schedule of Services and Programs for 2019-2020. I look forward to seeing you at many of these events.

Submitted by Judy Keller, Chair



Rosh Chodesh — May 2019

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”.

Meetings are usually on the third Thursday of the month at 7:30 PM. Sometimes schedules and programs change because of circumstances beyond our control.

This season Rosh Chodesh had an exceptionally interesting year, where programs were varied, educational, provocative and soul searching. We even had some events on the lighter side that were just plain fun. Included in our programming is a book discussion and a film. Most of our programs were very well attended.

Here is a list of this year’s programs:

  • “Conversion, Being a Jew by Choice”
  • Movie: Mary and Max
  • “Game Night” What kind of games and toys did we play with as children? Some women actually brought some games with them.
  • An art program: “Jewish Origami: A Hands-On Experience”
  • “End of Life Decision Making”
  • “Here and Now, What’s on Your Mind?” This was an open-ended and interactive discussion on the women’s current lives.
  • “Aging to Saging,( Wisdom)”
  • “Jewish Women and Activism”
  • Book Discussion: The Book of Separation by Tova Mirvis

Respectfully submitted by Bernice Simon-Wolfson, Facilitator



Social Action/Tzedakah Committee — May 2019

The members of the Social Action/Tzedakah Committee this year were Judy Keller, Chair, Rebecca Holmes, Carol Roth, Ruth Shapiro, and Judy Taylor.

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 year a total of $3800 was donated as follows:

LOCAL (Lower Cape Lunch) $500
Homeless Prevention Council $500
LCOC (Lower Cape Outreach Council) $450
Children’s Place $400
Jewish Federation of Cape Cod $200
Community Development Partnership $250
AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod $200
Outer Cape Health Services $200
Independence House $200
Cape Cod Health Care Foundation: VNA Services $200
The Alzheimer’s Family Support Center of Cape Cod $150
Creative Outlets: Finding Your Voice Through Art $150
Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod $100
Sight Loss Service $100
Calmer Choice $100
Cape Abilities $100
Total $3800

The Committee plans to review all the organizations we are currently supporting. If you have any suggestions of organizations that service the lower/outer Cape that you would like us to consider, please forward that information to the committee.

Carol and Stephen Roth again coordinated our High Holiday food drive. Special thanks for doing this monumental job for many years. Next year Deb and Jon Cline will be taking over the leadership of the food drive.

As part of our outreach to the nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the area, we presented a program for Chanukah at Pleasant Bay Nursing Home. The program was very well attended.

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 attended the forum presented by the Network in November. Judy Keller represents Am HaYam on the steering committee of the Network.

Am HaYam has recently joined the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative. Lyn Solomon is our representative to this organization. As part of their “Green Initiative,” we are partnering with the Federated Church in their action to make the Church a greener environment.

Additional members are needed for this committee as several of our long standing members are no longer available to participate. Please let Judy know if you are interested.

Respectfully submitted by Judy Keller, Chair



The Play Reading Group — May 2019

How Awesome! We are moving right along into our NINTH successful year! We continue to thrive! The Play Reading Group tries to alternate between serious dramas, classics, comedies and some with Jewish content and a Jewish playwright. There are copies of most of our plays in the Clams Library System or they can be purchased inexpensively through amazon.com, abebooks.com or powells.com.

Members are given a heads-up well in advance, in order to access the plays and read them before hand, if they wish to do so. “The players” have made the plays come alive with their enthusiasm and talent! Following the reading we engage in lively, interesting and sometimes riveting discussions.

Here is a list of the scheduled plays and their playwrights:

  • A Memory of Two Mondays by Arthur Miller
  • Joe Turner’s Come and Gone by August Wilson
  • I Never Sang for My Father by Robert Anderson
  • A Small Family Business by Alan Ayckbourn
  • The Women by Claire Booth Luce
  • Three Tall Women by Edward Albee

We were unable to read the last two plays because some of the plays are lengthy and carry over into the following session. We will schedule them for the Fall.

We do not meet in the Summer. Our first meeting will be in September for our annual planning meeting. The Fall and Spring hours are from 12:30, when we Nosh and Shmooze and begin reading the play at 1:00. We then go until 4:00. The Winter hours are from 12:30 until 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 an ACTOR or SPECTATOR and help create a live production of the plays.

I would like to thank all the people who participated and especially those who so graciously hosted! Have a great summer! See you in the Fall. Thank you.

Respectfully submitted by Bernice Simon-Wolfson, Chair



Torah Study Program — May 2019

Sunday morning Torah Study has been held 6 times this past year at the Brewster Ladies Library and Federated Church. All of the sessions have been led by Rabbi Douglas. The focus of this year’s sessions has been the study of Ecclesiastes. The sessions have been well attended, with over 20 participants at each session. We have one more study session this season on June 2.

For 2019-2020, we will be scheduling 8 Sunday morning sessions at the Brewster Ladies Library with Rabbi Douglas. Rabbi Douglas will be deciding on a theme for the next year in the coming weeks. The theme and a schedule of Torah Study dates will appear in the newsletter.

Many thanks to all who participate in the Sunday Torah study program. We have had many lively discussions in the past year.

Respectfully submitted by Steve Berrick, Cindy Fox and Judy Keller, Facilitators



Women's Torah Study Annual Report — May 2019

Women’s Torah Study meets year round, on the 4th Tuesday of the month (2-4 PM), in members’ homes from September to May and at the Federated Church during the summer months of June, July and August.

We study the Torah in English using The Jewish Study Bible or other Bibles plus members bring a variety of additional commentaries. Currently we are studying Leviticus.

Thank you to the women who have hosted either in their own homes or at the Church.

Respectfully submitted by Rebecca B. Holmes, Facilitator



Zamarei Hayam — Singers of the Sea — May 2019

Zamarei Hayam continues in its primary role which is to enhance our Shabbat and High Holiday services with music. We support the service leaders and participate in festival celebrations and community events, both joyful like the anniversary of our B’not Mitzvah women, and sad like the services for Gene Saklad, Zamarei founder, and Stephen Roth. In April, we represented Am HaYam in the community by conducting one of the monthly worship services at the Latham Center in Brewster. Our connection to the Latham Center was also initiated by Gene Saklad.

Music brings both joy and comfort. Zamarei Hayam welcomes new singers and instrumentalists. Participation is flexible, as schedules allow.

Respectfully submitted by Miriam Selig








Annual Reports — May 2018

Adult Education

2017 Am Hayam Jewish Film Festival @ WHAT, Wellfleet

  • Women’s Balcony August 29

    An accident during a Bar Mitzvah celebration leads to a gender rift in a devout Orthodox community in Jerusalem, in this rousing, good-hearted tale about women speaking truth to patriarchal power. When the women’s balcony in an Orthodox synagogue collapses, leaving the rabbi’s wife in a coma and the rabbi in shock, the congregation falls into crisis. Charismatic young Rabbi David appears to be a savior after the accident, but slowly starts pushing his fundamentalist ways and tries to take control. This tests the women’s friendships and creates an almost Lysistrata type rift between the community’s women and men.

  • Fanny’s Journey August 30

    Based on a true story, Fanny’s Journey is an incredible tale of bravery, strength and survival, a story of a daring young girl who will stop at nothing and fear no one. In 1943, 13-year old Fanny and her younger sisters were sent from their home in France to an Italian foster home for Jewish children. When the Nazis arrive in Italy, their caretakers desperately organize the departure of the children to Switzerland. When they are suddenly left on their own, these 11 children do the impossible and reach the Swiss border to freedom.

  • Natasha September 5

    Acclaimed author and filmmaker David Bezmozgis brings his best-selling book to the screen in Natasha. 16-year old Mark is the son of Russian- Jewish immigrants living in the suburbs north of Toronto. When his uncle enters into an arranged marriage with a woman from Moscow, the woman arrives in Canada with her fourteen year-old daughter, Natasha. Mark, recruited by his parents to take responsibility for the strange girl learns that, in Moscow, she’d led a troubled and promiscuous life. A secret and forbidden romance begins between the two of them that has bizarre and tragic consequences for everyone involved.

  • Moos September 6

    It’s Hanukkah evening and everything is the way it’s always been for Moos, who stayed in her hometown to take care of her father after her mother’s passing. But when her longtime childhood friend Sam arrives as a surprise guest from Israel, Moos gets the jolt she needed to examine her life and the choices she’s made. With Sam back, Moos realizes that she’s put her life on hold to take care of others, and she needs to follow her own dreams before it is too late.

  • 1945 September 12

    Based on the acclaimed short story Homecoming by Gábor T. Szántó. In this astonishingly haunting film, deep undercurrents run beneath the simple surface in a quaint village that's ultimately forced to face up to its "ill-gotten gains" from the Second World War. On a sweltering August day in 1945, villagers prepare for the wedding of the town clerk's son. Meanwhile, two Orthodox Jews arrive at the village train station with mysterious boxes labeled "fragrances." The town clerk fears the men may be heirs of the village's deported Jews and expects them to demand their illegally acquired property back, originally lost during the second World War. Other villagers are afraid more survivors will come, posing a threat to the property and possessions they have claimed as their own.

  • Fever at Dawn September 13

    In 1945, after having been freed from a concentration camp, the 25-year-old Hungarian man, Miklós, is being treated at a Swedish hospital. The doctors diagnose him with a severe lung disease and tell him that he has no more than six months to live. But he refuses to give up, wants to find a wife with whom he can start a new life, and sends letters to 117 Hungarian girls who are also being treated in Sweden. One of the girls is 19-year-old Lili, who likes Miklós's letter, and they start corresponding

ADULT EDUCATION Author Talks

Dov Waxman: American Jews and Israel: From Consensus to Conflict
Sunday, July 9, 2017, 7:30 PM, at the Brewster Ladies Library

    A Talk by Dov Waxman, Professor of Political Science, International Affairs, and Israel Studies and the Stotsky Professor of Jewish Historical and Cultural Studies of Northeastern University, entitled Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict over Israel explores the increasingly contentious place of Israel in the American Jewish community. In a fundamental shift, growing numbers of American Jews have become less willing to unquestioningly support Israel and more willing to publicly criticize its government. More than ever before, American Jews are arguing about Israeli policies, and many, especially younger ones, are becoming uncomfortable with Israel's treatment of Palestinians. Dov Waxman argues that Israel is fast becoming a source of disunity the old era of solidarity.


Mary Dingee Fillmore: An Address in Amsterdam
Monday, April 9, 2018, 2-4 PM at the Federated Church

    Remember and Resist: Learning from the Dutch. Contrary to the image that most Dutch people resisted the Nazis, only a small percentage actively participated, many of them women delivering messages or smuggling children to safety.? Writer Mary Fillmore will explore how people decided to resist, what they actually did, and what the results were. After living in Amsterdam’s former Jewish Quarter, Mary Dingee Fillmore was gripped by the stories of the Holocaust and resistance in the Netherlands. She devoted thirteen years to research and wrote An Address in Amsterdam, an acclaimed historical novel about a young Jewish woman who joins the resistance.


Tova Mirvis: The Book of Separation
Thursday, May 24, 2018, 2-4 PM at the Federated Church

    Born and raised in a tight-knit Orthodox Jewish family, Tova Mirvis committed herself to observing the rules and rituals prescribed by this way of life. But over the years, her doubts became noisier than her faith, and at age forty she could no longer breathe in what had become a suffocating existence. Even though it would mean the loss of her friends, her community, and possibly even her family, Tova decides to leave her husband and her faith. After years of trying to silence the voice inside her that said she did not agree, did not fit in, did not believe, she strikes out on her own to discover what she does believe and who she really is. This is a memoir about what it means to decide to heed your inner compass at long last, to free the part of yourself that has been suppressed, even if it means walking away from the only life you’ve ever known.

Submitted by Ira Wolfson



Holocaust Memorial Program

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Approximately 200 people gathered this evening to attend the annual Holocaust Memorial Program supported by Am HaYam, as part of the Nauset Interfaith Association. This year, our theme was The Courage To Care. Beatrice Muchman, and her daughter Wendy, were the guest speakers, cousins of Am HaYam member Renate Wasserman. Muchman was saved from death by a Catholic family who raised her in Belgium, though her parents perished. Muchman not only spoke at the evening program, but she also addressed an assembly of students at the Nauset Regional Middle School the next day, an event organized annually by Am HaYam member Anne Needel.

The program Thursday evening also included an exhibit from Yad Vashem in Israel called "Besa: A Code of Honor" representing the Muslim Albanians who saved Jews in the Holocaust. Students from Nauset Middle and High Schools, as well as Monomoy High School, introduced the different aspects of the program and performed musical works. Video clips were shown of other Holocaust rescuers. Connections were made to the refugee crisis of today through the video "Ode to Lesvos" about the small Greek island which provided sanctuary for close to a million refugees who crossed the sea from Turkey. Representatives of rescue efforts performed daily by organizations on Cape Cod partnered with the students to light candles in memory of the 6 million Jews who perished and to acknowledge the important work of rescue done by Youth Outreach Hospitality, Food 4 Kids, Lower Cape Outreach Council, Nauset Interfaith Association Refugee Support Team, the Immigration Resource Center, the Food Pantry of the Chatham Universalist Unitarian Meeting House (founded by refugees), and Creative Outlets, an arts program to help students reduce anxieties that put them at risk.

Submitted by Sharon Leder



Justice Committee

The Interfaith Justice Committee was formed by members of The Federated Church of Orleans and Am HaYam in response to the Biblical call to do justice and love mercy. We meet at The Federated Church the 3rd Thrusday of the month from 1:30 to 3:00.

Our purpose is to identify the local, national and global concerns of individuals and groups whose needs we feel are not being adequately addressed and/or who are facing injustice. We attempt to address these concerns through community education, advocacy, local action where possible and letter writing.

Some of our members are actively dealing with the opioid crisis here on the Cape. Others are engaged with the Refugee Support Team through the Nauset Interfaith Council. In March we hosted a dialogue on gun violence, bringing together the Orleans Chief of Police Scott MacDonald, Superintendent of Schools Tom Conrad, a member of a local gun club and others. We hope to support student action on the Cape this summer and continue our efforts in the fall. We are also watching government action or inaction on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP, and environmental issues on the Cape.

Submitted by Renate Wasserman



Membership and Social Committee

The Membership and Social Committee has eight members, Jessica Dill, Chair, Sandy Chernick, Richard Dill, Marsha DuBeau, and Skipper Silberberg-Edwards and new members Deborah Cline, Linda Pearson, and Ruth Shapiro.

The 2018 Am HaYam Directory was distributed in January 2018 via email with 471 listings, up significantly from the previous year.

On July 7, 2018, the Committee hosted a special wine and cheese Pre-Neg in the garden behind the vestry, which attracted some new people to the Shabbat service.

The Committee held a spring social May 15, 2018, Klezmer and Cake. Music was provided by a Bart Weisman quartet and it was attended by 46 members. Feedback was 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. We have updated the Am HaYam brochure to reflect the new venue for services.

We will be planning a Fall 2018 event and a Spring 2019.

Submitted by Jessica Dill, Chair



Nauset Interfaith Association (NIA)

Representation of Am HaYam

When mobility issues compelled Arlene Cohen to resign in the Spring of 2017, Len Solomon replaced her from last Fall through February. Sherrill Stott has served as co-representative since April 12.

Noteworthy Public Services and Observances

Gene Saklad and Len Solomon represented Am HaYam in leading parts of the program at the Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, which was held the afternoon of Sunday, November 19, 2017, at St. Joan of Arc Church in Orleans. Mim Selig and other members of Zamarei HaYam participated in the combined choir. The service included Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Wampanoag readers and/or vocalists.

The Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast Meeting was held Monday, January 15, in the Parish Hall at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Orleans. The keynote speaker was WGBH Senior Investigative Journalist and Harvard Neiman Fellow, Phillip Martin, who shared his analysis of "Immigration through the Lens of Race and Class." His talk was followed by a panel discussion with State Senator Julian Cyr, Orleans Police Chief Scott MacDonald, and Immigration Attorney Rita Resende. That was followed by a selection by drummers of the Wompanoag Indian Council.

This year's Continuing the tradition, the Nauset Interfaith Association co-sponsored another Holocaust Memorial Day observance at the Nauset Regional Middle School in Orleans, Thursday evening, May 10. The organizing group, i.e., the Interfaith Group on the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights, was another sponsor. [See their report for more substantive information on this year's program.]

Leading Religious Services at Latham School in Brewster

[See Annual Report of Zamarei HaYam.]

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.

For Sunday afternoon, Feb. 11, Gene organized a video/discussion program at Brewster Ladies Library for all the institutions of faith represented in NIA on the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center. Because of scheduling conflicts, this was an extension of NRCAT’s mid-January “Week of Action to Close Guantanamo.” At Am HaYam, Sherrill Stott, who led the Friday night service before it, gave a fine introduction during announcements, and Gene gave more details on the program. Despite all the planning, and Ken Campbell handling the guided discussion, the event was disastrous: very few attended, even from Am HaYam; and the sound track from the videos could not be transmitted to the loud-speakers. Because the latter problem could not be remedied by the library staff, we left early and NIA did not contribute the funds they would otherwise have given the library. Even more significant, because most community events advocated by NIA in winter are scheduled for the Jewish Sabbath and I pleaded successfully for a Sunday, I’ll have little or no chance for avoiding Shabbat in future, at least during the winter months when evening programs are seldom held.

A few days ago, despite strong opposition by NRCAT and other human rights organizations, Gina Haspel, the CIA veteran who supervised the torture of post-9/11 War on Terror detainees and helped order the destruction of videotapes depicting torture, was approved by the Senate as CIA Director. Haspel said in a statement at her confirmation hearing that she would not allow the CIA to take part in any activities akin to the agency’s post-9/11 "enhanced interrogation" program even if ordered to do so. She said in a written statement that the interrogation program "ultimately did damage to our officers and our standing in the world" but that she would not "condemn" those who ordered and carried it out. [Most of the foregoing quoted from SLATE®.] The widespread practice of vastly excessive – tortuous – periods of solitary confinement in both federal and state penal institutions continues, despite limited progress in alleviating the abuse.

Activities in Support of Immigrant Populations

The Refugee Support Team (RST), chaired by Rod MacDonald, has been coordinating the shared financial support by NIA of immigrant populations in the Worcester area. We have also been seeking families within the respective institutions of faith represented in NIA to host immigrant families on either or both of two week-ends this Summer: 7/13-15 and 8/10-12.

Respectfully submitted by E. L. Saklad



Ritual Committee

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

During the past year, 19 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.

Looking ahead to the summer, the Pre-Neg and early summer service the past 3 years have been very successful. We are planning on holding 2 of these services this coming summer, on July 6 and August 3. We hope that you will be able to join us for them.

This past January, we held a Saturday morning Shabbat Service in place of our regular Friday night service. This service was well received. Next year, we are planning on holding Saturday morning services in both January and February.

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 all the festivals. These included Sukkot under the stars, a Chanukah pot luck, the riotous Purim Sphiel, the annual Community Seder and a study session for Shavuot. Thanks to Cindy and Stephan Berrick for again hosting the Sukkot service, Rebecca Holmes, Bernice and Ira, and Tova Soyt for heading the Chanukah pot luck, all the Purim participants, Judi Sitkin and Sherrill Stott for leading the Passover Seder and Jay Gainsboro for organizing the Shavuot study session.

Our High Holiday Services, were again held at the Federated Church. And once again, we had a full house. Due to her unfortunate accident, Rabbi Douglas was not able to be with us for the High Holidays. Cantor Anker, with the assistance of many members of Am HaYam, led beautiful services that were appreciated by all. Many thanks to all who helped with the logistics of the holidays. This year we used the new High Holiday prayer books. The books were well received and added a great deal to our celebration of the holidays.

We had the joy, this past November, of celebrating the B’not Mitzvah of 5 of our members, Sandy Chernick, Jessica Dill, Linda Pearson, Carol Roth and Becca Sher. It was an honor to be able to celebrate this special day with them.

Many thanks to everyone for your continuing support and participation in the past year. Please be sure to take a copy of the schedule of Services and Programs for 2018-2019. I look forward to seeing you at many of these events.

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 where programs were varied, educational, provocative and soul searching. We even had some events on the lighter side that were just plain fun. Included in our programs is a book and a film always followed by a discussion. Most of the programs were very well attended.

Here is a list of our programs:

  • "Getting to Know You: Life Before the Cape"
  • Movie: "A Jewish Girl in Shanghai"
  • "Jewish Children’s Literature"
  • Folk Dancing
  • "Jewish Liturgical Music: Origins and Evolution"
  • "Jewish Guilt"
  • "Women of Hungary During the Holocaust"
  • Book Discussion: "All the Rivers"by Dorit Rabinyan

We wound up the season with a Super, Potluck, Salad Bar Supper and suggestions for Summer reading.

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 at our planning meeting in the Fall.

Have a great Summer!

Thank you.

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 $3600 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) $450
Children’s Place $400
Jewish Federation of Cape Cod $200
Community Development Partnership $250
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 $3600

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.

Am HaYam has recently joined the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative. Lyn Solomon is our representative to this organization. As part of their “Green Initiative,” we are partnering with the Federated Church in their action to make the Church a greener environment.

Respectfully submitted by Judy Keller, Chair



The Play Reading Group

How wonderful it is! We are moving right along into our EIGHTH successful year! We continue to thrive! The Play Reading Group tries to alternate between serious dramas, classics, comedies and many with Jewish content or in some cases a Jewish playwright. There are copies of most of our plays in the Clams Library System or they can be purchased inexpensively through amazon.com, abebooks.com or powells.com. Members are given a heads up well in advance so that they can order the plays and read them beforehand, if they wish to do so. The “Players” have made the plays come alive with their enthusiasm and talent! Following the readings, we engage in lively, interesting and sometimes riveting discussions.

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

Here is a list of the scheduled plays and their playwrights:

  • “The Piano Lesson” by August Wilson
  • “Desire Under The Elms” by Eugene O’Neill
  • “Watch On The Rhine” by Lillian Hellman
  • “The Sisters Rosensweig” by Wendy Wasserstein
  • “Abie’s Irish Rose” by Ann Nichols
  • “Counsellor at Law” by Elmer Rice
  • “Conversations With My Father” by Herb Gardner
  • “Jake’s Women” by Neil Simon
  • “A Memory of Two Mondays” by Arthur Miller

We were unable to read the last four plays because some of the plays are lengthy and carry over into two sessions. We will schedule them for the Fall.

We do not meet in the Summer. Our first meeting will be on September 10th for our annual planning meeting.

NOTE: We usually meet on the first Monday of the month, but the first Monday in September is Labor Day. The meeting will be held at the home of Bernice Simon-Wolfson. The Fall and Spring hours are from 12:30, when we “Nosh and Schmooze”, and then get serious at 1:00 and go until 4:00. The winter hours are from 12:30 until 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 the plays.

I would like to thank all the people who participated and especially those who so graciously hosted!

I would like to thank all the people who participated and especially those who so graciously hosted! Have a great summer! See you in the Fall. Thank you.

Submitted by Bernice Simon-Wolfson, Chair



Torah Study Program

Sunday morning Torah Study has been held 6 times this past year at the Brewster Ladies Library, with one cancellation due to Rabbi Douglas’ accident and one cancellation due to weather. All of the sessions have been led by Rabbi Douglas. The focus of this year’s sessions has been a continuation of the study of King David. The sessions have been well attended, with over 20 participants at each session. We have one more study session this season on June 3.

For 2018-2019, we will be scheduling 8 Sunday morning sessions at the Brewster Ladies Library with Rabbi Douglas. Rabbi Douglas will be deciding on a theme for the next year in the coming weeks. The theme and a schedule of Torah Study dates will appear in the newsletter.

Many thanks to all who participate in the Sunday Torah study program. We have had many lively discussions in the past year.

Respectfully submitted by Steve Berrick, Cindy Fox and Judy Keller, Facilitators



Women's Torah Study Annual Report

Women’s Torah Study is a group of Am HaYam women who study Torah together using discussion, research, and various sources of commentary. Our discussions are free-wheeling and always interesting.

We meet on the 4th Tuesday of the month, 2-4 PM at members’ homes, September – May, and at the Federated Church, June – August.

We also lead one Shabbat Service each year. This year we will lead the service on Friday, June 1st. Our theme is “And They Persisted” inspired by the mid-wives, Puah and Shifrah who refused to follow Pharoah’s order to kill male children born to the Jewish women and to Senator Elizabeth Warren who was stifled by Senator McConnell who famously said, “And she persisted.” The concept was to feature lesser known women from the Jewish Bible who persisted and were heroines.

Respectfully submitted by Rebecca B. Holmes, Facilitator



Zamarei Hayam — Singers of the Sea

The mission of Zamarei HaYam – Singers of the Sea – is to support the congregation's singing during our services and to help the service leaders choose melodies for their services when requested. We also represent Am HaYam in the greater community.

In September, Zamarei led the Shabbat service focusing on the service melodies by Debbie Friedman. Cantorial solist, Liz Anker, prepared us for the High Holy Days and selected several prayers for to sing, both solemn and joyous, enhancing the mood of these services. We were thrilled to support the B’not Mitzvah women in November. Along with many other members of our Havurah, we represented Am HaYam in the greater community at the annual Nauset Interfaith Thanksgiving Service at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church. Spring means Purim - always a fun time joining in Judy Keller’s Purim Shpiel. In April, we conducted a worship service at the Latham School in Brewster.

Music brings both joy and comfort to the people who attend Am Ha Yam services. Join us. Zamarei HaYam welcomes new singers and instrumentalists. Participation is flexible, as schedules allow.

Respectfully submitted by Miriam Selig








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 amazon.com, abebooks.com or powells.com. 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 rebeccabholmes@comcast.net 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