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Some Notes from Cantor Lois

10/01/2020 11:33:48 AM

Oct1

Cantor Lois

"Where Do  We Go From Here?"

09/19/2021 09:16:37 AM

Sep19

Chevre, (Friends),

I hope your High Holiday experiences were meaningful, inspiring even! Now that 5782 has officially begun, where do we go from here? Well, as I type this edition of "Some Notes from Cantor Lois", people are physically at Adath Shalom, and the raising of the community sukkah is in the works. I'm about to work with a list of B'nai Mitzvah students, some of whose Bar/Bat Mitzvah is rapidly...Read more...

G'mar Chatimah Tovah - May You Be Sealed in the Book of Life

09/14/2021 12:12:26 PM

Sep14

With love, I share this beautiful "private concert" from my extraordinarily talented friend, cellist Diane Chaplin.

Read more...

It's Now or Never

08/24/2021 10:20:06 AM

Aug24

Chevre (Friends),

As Rosh Hashanah approaches, some of us may feel disappointed in what we won't have, during this continuing time of Covid. Last year many of us were feeling isolated and frustrated, and scared.  We weren't able to gather in person at Adath Shalom, and we weren't able to gather around the holiday table with our friends and family. Having a taste of normalcy, after many of us were fortunate enough to be...Read more...

Wanting the pain to go away.

08/10/2021 01:07:40 PM

Aug10

Chevre (Friends),

These are challenging times and although a great deal of the challenges are due to the seemingly unending pandemic, the truth is that almost every family is also dealing with something else, completely unrelated to the pandemic. Wanting to be there for each other and with each other is natural. More and more, however, it is not always the safest practice. So how can we be there for each other when many...Read more...

Announcing the  Month of Elul

08/03/2021 10:22:05 AM

Aug3

Chevre (Friends),

This Shabbat we will announce the new month of Elul, which begins Saturday night, Sunday, and Monday. Can you hear the drums beating in the distance? I can! Elul is the month we use to enter into Rosh Hashanah, the new year, and every day we are allowed to blow shofar (i.e. not on Shabbat), we hear the startling cry of the ram's horn. Each day, we are reminded that we don't have all the time in...Read more...

"Can You Hear Me Now?"

07/27/2021 10:47:10 AM

Jul27

Chevre (Friends),

When I was still in seminary, I remember having my mind blown when one of my teachers shared a part of his "Jewish journey." He told a story of when he was so angry at G-d and didn't think that it was okay. He felt lost and didn't know what to do with his feelings. His whole theology was shaken and he did not see any way to save his relationship with HaShem ("The Name," a way of referring to The Source...Read more...

The Band is Back in Town! (or, will be, on August 6th)

07/20/2021 01:40:27 PM

Jul20

Shalom Chevre (Friends),

Please mark your calendars and join us for a lively KLEZMER-influenced Friday night musical Shabbat service on August 6th at 7:15pm!  Our inimitable band: Steve Fineman (bass guitar and trumpet), Alan Koenigsburg (keyboard), Carol Meiseles (violin), and Andy Silbert (clarinet), will be filling the rafters with uplifting and comforting melodies!  In a tribute to my...Read more...

"Major   Changes, Minor Adjustments"

07/13/2021 08:48:08 AM

Jul13

Chevre (Friends),

I am excited to begin my sixth year serving the Adath Shalom community! We all have many special memories and much to be grateful for! 

July 1st began my new part-time contract at Adath Shalom. Where some people may feel the changes more than others, I wanted to take this opportunity to share that although I won't be at every Shabbat service or at some of the festival holiday services, I...Read more...

"Making the Most of  Each Moment!"

07/06/2021 10:38:53 AM

Jul6

Chevre (Friends),

This Shabbat  begins the month of Av. For many, this represents a summer month, and not much more. There are so many ways to think about time and how we experience it. As I write this, we are eight weeks from Erev Rosh Hashanah. Of course, for a synagogue community, that means there is much work to be done! Getting everything ready from the building to the machzorim (the High...Read more...

Tzedek, Tzedek Tirdof - We Rise!

06/15/2021 11:06:33 AM

Jun15

Chevre, (Friends),

Some of you may remember back in June of 2019 when Adath Shalom hosted the annual Women Cantors' Network conference. It was a marvelous opportunity for me to share my sisters (and brothers) in song, with all of my Adath Shalom family! This year, the WCN is holding a virtual conference, and one of the highlights was the presentation of the commissioned piece, composed by the incredibly talented Sue Horowitz. Sue...Read more...

06/09/2021 10:43:18 AM

Jun9

Update this content.

"Plus Ca Change...."

06/09/2021 09:01:13 AM

Jun9

Chevre (Friends),

Insurrection! Political intrigue! Societal shifts! Plague! Death! The Wrath of God! And that's just this week's parasha (Torah chapter)!  If you haven't read Korach, you literally don't know what you're missing! The most dramatic movie on Netflix has nothing on this chapter!  And without much imagination, today's reader can find parallels to what is happening in Jewish society...Read more...

"A Land Flowing with Milk and Honey?" -- Forget it!

06/01/2021 02:42:42 PM

Jun1

Chevre (Friends),

You may, or may not, be someone who,each week, takes time to read the chapter of Torah we will be reading during Shabbat. Or, perhaps you are in the habit of reading a chapter of Torah every week, and maybe even sharing your ideas with other interested friends or colleagues, and finding unique meaning from that week's  parasha (section/chapter).

If you haven't read this week's chapter...Read more...

Dealing with Re-entry Anxiety

05/24/2021 10:48:33 AM

May24

Chevre (Friends),

As I speak with more and more congregants, and as I experience my own layered re-entry into social gatherings, this May 15th article from the Wall Street Journal, has become a helpful resource to share. Having anxiety about stepping outside and even joining people in gatherings here and there is a real thing. It is called "re-entry anxiety," and there are ways to manage it. Not everyone is ready to...Read more...

"How do you do Jewish?"

05/19/2021 10:16:05 AM

May19

Chevre (Friends),

The newest Pew study had some very interesting data regarding American Jews and the way they identify as Jews. Serving the needs of a diversified population is part of what it means to be in community. So, this time, my Happenings article is a question to each of you: "How do YOU do Jewish"? Is it a food thing? Is it a yahrtzeit (annual anniversary of the passing of a loved one), remembrance? Is it every...Read more...

Megillat Rut- The Book of Ruth - Chapter 1, vs 16-17

05/11/2021 09:50:59 PM

May11

"A Healing Hope"

04/26/2021 11:27:59 AM

Apr26

Cantor Lois Kittner

For all of you who are healing and hoping to heal:

A Healing Hope - by Cantor Lois Kittner

Healing takes time and hope takes faith;

Faith in something constant and sure.

Sure, I’m hopeful.

I’m hopeful that my expectations don’t exceed my reality.

My reality is precious, is ever-changing, and influenced by mindful focus.

Focusing on healing...Read more...

"In  Recognition of My Students"

04/20/2021 07:53:46 AM

Apr20

Chevre, (Friends),

I don't think anyone would argue that it has been a challenging year! Each of us has persevered to the best of our ability and some days, or weeks, have been better than others. Through it all, I have been inspired, and impressed, by the dedication of my students, who have continued to learn how to read Hebrew from the siddur, or prepared new Torah readings, and learned new prayers to lead during their rescheduled...Read more...

Here's to Us!

04/13/2021 12:12:51 PM

Apr13

Chevre (Friends),

This is a short and heartfelt entry.  I am happy to announce that I will be continuing to serve as Cantor of Adath Shalom for another year, starting on July 1, 2021.  May we continue to go from strength to strength together. I am grateful to HaShem for the ability to serve this loving community, and I look forward to a year of continued growth and blessings.

Read more...

"What's your Hebrew name?"

04/06/2021 11:23:59 AM

Apr6

Chevre (Friends),

For many of us, especially those of us who are not regular religious service attendees, the importance of knowing our Hebrew name doesn't usually surface as one of our priorities on any given day. But, when someone we love is ill, or has unfortunately passed, this same question becomes important. In past generations, our ancestors knew their Hebrew names (or more likely, Yiddish names), because that was the name...Read more...

Ritual Redux

03/30/2021 07:07:09 PM

Mar30

Chevre (Friends),

I hope everyone is enjoying these middle days of Pesach (Passover). When I was growing up, I spent Passover at my Aunt and Uncle's house in Far Rockaway, Queens (NY). It was fascinating to participate in the household preparations: clearing the house of chametz (bread and any other non-kosher for Passover items). Searching for the last remains of any crumbs, with a candle and a feather! And, the cooking! My...Read more...

"Poised to Run"

03/24/2021 10:26:07 AM

Mar24

Chevre (Friends),

In listening to this podcast episode from Krista Tippet's "OnBeing," I knew I had no words more powerful or helpful than those shared in this conversation. Wishing you all a zissen Pesach! Be kind to yourselves. Please practice self-compassion. We are still processing the trauma of crossing the miraculously opened sea, and our journey in the desert has just begun.

OnBeing.org-Christine...Read more...

"Did That Really Happen?"

03/09/2021 11:33:57 AM

Mar9

Chevre (Friends),

One of the frequently asked questions during the reading of the Haggadah, is about the reality of the plagues visited upon the Egyptians, and by extension, the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea. "Did that really happen?" Sometimes it is asked with a twinge of disbelief or even accusation. 'How do you expect me to believe that such miracles took place in real life! Preposterous!' Sometimes it is...Read more...

Some Notes from Cantor Lois- "Let's Be Sensible!"

02/17/2021 06:42:50 AM

Feb17

Chevre, (Friends),

I recently had a meeting with a professional organization and one of my responsibilities was to come up with very short, fun, get-to-know-something-about-each-other exercises, when we were taking a break from the intense work we were focused on.  It ended up being fun and it also served as a reminder of how important it is for each of us to take breaks and, how important it is for each of us to take care of...Read more...

Your Moment in Time - "A Shehechiyanu for Receiving a Vaccine"

02/09/2021 11:14:26 AM

Feb9

Chevre, (Friends),

The Covid vaccine is starting to arrive at distribution hubs. As more and more people will be finding available appointments to receive the Covid-19 Vaccine, I wanted to share Rabbi Margaret Frisch Klein’s Shehechiyanu for Receiving a Vaccine.

Nathan and I were blessed to receive our first doses, and the importance of the moment cannot be exaggerated. I would like to suggest that you have this blessing...Read more...

The Family That Prays Together....

01/27/2021 11:06:02 AM

Jan27

Chevre, (Friends),

Last year, just after the pandemic closed the doors to our sanctuary and building, I launched a Jr. Congregation experiment on Zoom. The purpose was to use the time and resources we had, as efficiently as possible, while also acclimating pre-B’nai Mitzvah students, who would most probably find themselves helping to lead services on Zoom for their respective Bar or Bat Mitzvah Shabbats. We continued meeting during...Read more...

"Sliding into Home"

01/19/2021 02:07:42 PM

Jan19

Chevre, (Friends),

It’s been a tumultuous few weeks and anxiety is high. Our emotions are real and our concerns legitimate. Still, I am filled with hope for our country, for our state, and for our community. When every minute is billed as “Breaking News”, I want to remind you that being on alert all day long, every day, is detrimental to your physical, spiritual, and mental health. Please take time to unplug, to breathe fresh...Read more...

Happy 95th Birthday to Our Beloved Olga!

01/13/2021 02:31:57 PM

Jan13

Our beloved Olga Menczer turns 95 this Wednesday, January 13, 2021.

Olga is a legend in many circles and a Rock Star at Adath Shalom! Simply put, we just adore her! Olga tells it like it is, hugs and cries without abandon, and takes young and old under her wings of love. We are blessed to call her our Olga!

This past Shabbat, I had asked Olga if I might sing a song in honor of her special birthday. Without hesitation, Olga said “Eli, Eli is my favorite song. I just love it!” She then went on to tell me some of the memorable occasions when it was performed or sung just for her.  One of those occasions was at Cantor Brian Kalver’s congregation, Congregation B’nai Israel. Cantor Brian sang his rendition just before Olga was about to deliver a talk, and she was so moved, it took a while to then take the stage and deliver her presentation.  Cantor Brian and Sue Och’s daughter, Emily Kalver, is an alumna of the Zamir Choir and she also wanted to share in this musical gift for Olga.

Here are some links to “Eli, Eli” in honor our beloved Olga Menzer’s 95th birthday. And, as we say, in our Hebrew/Yiddish/Jewish….blessing:

Hebrew: עד מאה ועשרים שנה‎: Ad me'ah ve-essrim shana; 

Yiddish: ביז הונדערט און צוואַנציק; Biz hundert un tsvantsig),

May you live "till 120" (and beyond!!)

 

Cantor Lois – “Eli, Eli” for Olga Menczer - 

Click here for Cantor Brian Kalver's rendition of Eli, Eli!

 

Click here for Emily Kalver's beautiful Eli, Eli!

Wishing you all good health, strength, peace, and love!

With many thanks to The Creator for helping us to stay connected with each other!

Love, Cantor Lois

.

Happy New Year, Again

12/30/2020 04:10:55 PM

Dec30

Living in two calendars offers twice the opportunities to celebrate, reflect, honor, and connect. We have our Jewish birthdates and our secular birthdates, our loved ones' yahrtzeits and the secular anniversaries of their passing, our Jewish wedding anniversary and our American wedding anniversary. We observed Rosh Hashanah, the "Head" of the Jewish new year, back in September, and, at this writing, tomorrow night is New Year's Eve. Some of...Read more...

The Last Shabbat of 2020

12/27/2020 11:29:00 AM

Dec27

Chevre (Friends),
 
As we prepare for the last Shabbat of 2020, I reflect back on the many challenges and losses we have faced, as a community. I am also greatly appreciative of the creativity and openness we have brought to keeping our community together, and I look forward to new beginnings in the new secular year.
 
We may not all gather together for our Friday Night services, but I've enjoyed reaching out to many...Read more...

Tue, September 21 2021 15 Tishrei 5782