• Tikkun Olam
    Tikkun Olam Members worked with Habitat for Humanity
  • You are Welcome Here
    You are Welcome Here
  • Youth Kallah
    Youth Kallah Teens from the whole Northeast gathered at TBK
  • Family
    Family Pray and stay--a perfect summer Shabbat
  • Tikkun Olam
    Tikkun Olam Our youth learn to work for social justice.

From Darkness to Light
From Rabbi Levy

It is hard to believe that just a few short months ago, Rabbi Stein and I were beginning our tenure as the rabbis of Temple B’rith Kodesh. But here we are, six months later, completely immersed in the very full schedule at TBK. The winter has taken over and we have already celebrated so many wonderful holidays together. As the winter months drag on, we look forward to the spring and the holidays that come with it.

The Hebrew month of Shevat, which typically falls sometime during January and February, brings an interesting and sometimes forgotten holiday, Tu B’Shevat, the fifteenth day of Shevat. This holiday is often called the “Birthday of the Trees.” Tu B’Shevat is also one of the four holidays we refer to as a New Year. Of course, we know that Rosh Hashanah is the “Head of the Year.” But, Tu B’Shevat is also a New Year, a New Year of the trees. Historically, Tu B’Shevat was the time of year that people paid taxes on their fruit trees. Centuries later, we celebrate Tu B’Shevat with a Seder of fruits, nuts, and wine, all foods that come from trees.

So, why celebrate the New Year of the Trees in the middle of winter, when all of the trees have shed their leaves and stand bare in the cold, gray sky? Traditionally, Shevat was the month that the almond trees in Israel began to bloom and bring some much needed color into the dark winter. We, however, are far from springtime. Looking at the empty trees reminds us that we still have months of cold and snow ahead of us. But perhaps Tu B’Shevat can actually be a reminder of the wonderful warm seasons to come? Perhaps the New Year of the Trees is also a light in the middle of the dark, much like the candles that warmed our hearts during Chanukah?

May this Tu B’Shevat be a reminder to you and your family of the gifts that trees bring to our lives. From food to shelter, trees are constantly giving to us. May we remember to give back to the trees. Please take some time to plant a tree or give tzedakah to an organization that can plant a tree for you. It’s time to do our part and take a stand for trees. Chag Sameach!

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Congregatings!
Thursday June 22
Lunch at 12:00 noon, Speaker at 12:15 pm
We Plan... God Laughs: Stories of Being Jewish in Japan with Rabbi Rachel Smookler - at TBK

Community Concert
sponsored by several synagogues

Monday June 26   7:00-10:00 pm at TBK   

Azafea - A Spanish Odessey
Music from the Sephardic Diaspora
Tickets & Sponsorships from $20 - $1000
For information on Azafea and
to purchase tickets click here. 

Jewish Federation Event for the Community
Tuesday June 27 at 7:15 pm
A Celebration of Community: Annual Meetings Combined
Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, Jewish Family Service of Rochester, Louis S. Wolk Jewish Community Center of Rochester & Hillel Community Day School.  Celebrating Shining Stars in our Community - Free of charge at the JCC, 1200 Edgewood Avenue     Learn more...

Project  Homeless Connect
As the summer solstice comes to us, it's not too early to plan for fall.  Project Homeless Connect Rochester will be coming again to the Blue Cross Arena on September 14.
    If you'd like to volunteer again, please register on the website: http://homelessconnectrochester.org/
    If you'd like to help with a coat drive, please reply and let me know and I'll put you in charge with those managing the coat collection. The coat room is one of the things our guests look forward to and we have to work hard to ensure that there are enough to go around.  We could use your help.