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Newsletter 01/19/2011

Weekly E-Mail News, January 19, 2011
Congregation Beth Shalom

Location: 308 South B Street
Mailing address: c/o 200 West Washington
Fairfield, Iowa  52556

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Shabbat Services 8:00 p.m., Friday Evening, January 21 (Shevat 19)

Shabbat Services will begin at 8:00 p.m. at Beth Shalom on January 14, weather permitting.

New President, Director at Beth Shalom; Thanks, Julie Blum

After 10 years of service to the Congregation, Julie Blum is stepping down as President and Acting Director.

We are thrilled to welcome back Marc and Susan Berkowitz to the respective positions.
Thank you Marc and Susan. We are so grateful to be in your capable, experienced, and loving hands.

Mazel Tov.

Shabbat Shirah

Thanks to Jane Pitt who led Shabbat Shirah service in honor of the late Debbie Freidman.  Thanks to Fred Schwatz for his percussion accompaniment and all those who attended.

Mazel Tov Gritz’s

Jonathan and Jennie Gritz had a 7 lb. 1 oz. healthy boy on 1/11/11 in Washington, D.C. – Alexander Charles Gritz. Mazel Tov to all, including grandparents Neal and Marcy Gritz, Stuart and Joan Rothenberg.

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for Fairfield

Shabbat (candle lighting) begins at 4:56 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 21 Shabbat ends (Havdalah begins)  Saturday, 5:56 p.m. in Fairfield.
Tu Bishvat: Happy New Year, Trees!

Jews love a new year — this is the 2nd of three new years in the Jewish calendar year.  We also love various English spellings of our holidays.

Tu B’Shevat, the 15th of Shevat on the Jewish calendar — celebrated this year on Thursday, January 20, 2011 — is the day that marks the beginning of a “New Year for Trees.” This is the season in which the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle. Legally, the “New Year for Trees” relates to the various tithes that are separated from produce grown in the Holy Land. These tithes differ from year to year in the seven-year Shemittah cycle; the point at which a budding fruit is considered to belong to the next year of the cycle is the 15th of Shevat.

We mark the day of Tu B’Shevat by eating fruit, particularly from the kinds that are singled out by the Torah in its praise of the bounty of the Holy Land: grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates. On this day we remember that “Man is a tree of the field” (Deuteronomy20:19) and reflect on the lessons we can derivefrom our botanical analogue.