Fall was busy at Congregation Beth Ahabah.
We are three months into the second year of our written in-house religious school curriculum and this year’s ritual objects unit, with weekly mini exhibits augmented with items from the Beth Ahabah Museum and Archives, has been very popular with the students.
Adult learners have been engaged as well. During the Fall session, Jewish Cooking students cured gravlax and duck prosciutto, mastered the finer points of weiner schnitzel and bianco mangiare, and consumed some history of the diaspora along the way.
Other students studied Talmud and Midrash, rustled up some knowledge of Judaism in the Old West or delved into the structure, history and meaning of the Prayers of the Friday Night Service.
After the end of the regular season, Rabbi Nagel welcomed two dozen newcomers for a free three-week Taste of Judaism class. Winter session will feature Jewish Cooking: Winter Menu and the Evolution of Halakha as well as Judaism and Ecology and Jewish Mysticism: The Kabbalistic Tree of Life.
The latter two classes are hybrid (in-person as well as virtual) and non-members are welcome to register and attend by Zoom, details can be found on our website under the Education tab.
Our hybrid classes are held in the Carole and Marcus Weinstein Education Center, a meeting room with state-of-the-art hybrid technology, which was dedicated on Sept. 26 as part of our Hoshana Rabah service.
The room features artist Hillel Smith’s series of 54 Torah Posters. The artist spoke about the creation of the series at the service. The service and artist’s talk can be viewed on our website at:
Both the room and the artwork were generous gifts from the Weinsteins.
If you missed the Branch Museum webinar series about Beth Ahabah’s sanctuary and new lobby, “The Genesis of Two Magnificent Structures”, the recordings are now available for viewing on our website at https://www.bethahabah.org/branch-museum-webinar-2021.
At in the end of November and beginning December, we celebrated Chanukah. Congregants lit chanukiyot at Friday night services on Dec. 3.
On Dec. 5, the Brotherhood fried hundreds of latkes for a Congregational Latke and Donut Party after Religious School, and beautiful weather allowed families to enjoy them together outside the sanctuary.
Earlier in the week, Cantor Sarah Beck-Berman and Rabbi Scott Nagel led the inaugural lighting of the new city Canukiyah at a ceremony at Richmond City Hall.