Temple Israel’s Second Saturdays engage and entertain

October 28, 2019

What’s Happening

Temple Israel’s unique hour-long Second Saturday programs are excellent and uplifting experiences

For nearly seven years, synagogue past president and former local TV interviewer Joel Rubin has led a once a month interactive conversation on a Jewish related topic. Often it features a community person well-versed in the subject.

“I cannot tell you how rewarding it is to see and hear our members talk, learn, and share,” says Rabbi Michael Panitz. “We all look forward to each Shabbat Sheini.”

Come as early as 9:30 am for the traditional service or just at 11 am for Musaf, the Second Saturday program, some final prayers, and of course, TI’s outstanding Shabbat kiddush lunch.

Here’s what’s ahead:

November 9, 11 am—Wooden Ships on the Water

According to the Torah, Noah’s Ark, which is read in Genesis each fall, was 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, 51 feet high with three decks. Of course it was made of wood, a subject retired Marine Corps officer Tom Brandl of Virginia Beach knows well. A 1979 US Naval Academy grad, Brandl started and runs the Tidewater Wooden Boat Workshop in Norfolk, which teaches valuable skills to low-income youth. Meet him and learn about constructing watertight boats, like arks.

December 14, 11 am—Ma’oz Tzur

It is eight centuries old, but is still sung every night of Hanukkah, which begins the following weekend. Did you know the song has five stanzas, with the first letter of each forming an acrostic of the author’s first name, Mordechai? Did you know it talks about all ancient enemies up until that time from Pharaoh to Haman? Examine the history of this holiday staple, sing all five stanzas, and hear the premier of a new and updated sixth verse, written by Bobbie Fisher.

January 11, 2020, 11 am—Prophets Among Us

As the New Year begins, everyone would like to know what 2020 holds. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and others were prophets, and certainly there are many people today who fancy themselves to know what’s coming in politics, culture, technology, and the state of the planet. On this Shabbat Sheini, the conversation will be about the future, and among the guests will be someone who is paid to predict, a local TV weather forecaster.

February 8, 2020, 11 am—Let Freedom Ring

Fort Monroe has a stirring story about how three fleeing slaves turned that federal post into Freedom’s Fortress. After the morning’s portion about the Children of Israel’s escape across the Sea of Reeds, learn about the horrors of slavery in the U.S. from the National Park Service’s Superintendent at Fort Monroe, Terry Brown, a chronicler of the official beginning and end of slavery, both of which occurred at Old Point Comfort in Hampton.

March 7, 2020, 11 am—Zachor-Remember

Purchase New York Times columnist Bari Weiss’ new book, How to Fight Anti-Semitism and be ready to chat about what is prompting today’s anti-Jewish bias. The conversation will focus on this troubling resurgence on the first, not second, Saturday in March because it is the Shabbat before Purim.

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