Rabbi Tom Samuels at the Sunday morning study session and brunch, which was one of the Shabbaton weekend activities he conducted at Temple B’nai Shalom in January 2016.

Adult Education & Activities

At Temple B’nai Shalom, we focus on programs that help our members understand Judaism, the practical aspects and the “fun” of being Jewish and Israel.

 

In January 2016, Rabbi Tom Samuels from Chicago conducted a weekend Shabbaton, which included sabbath services, Torah classes and viewing of an Israeli film,  followed by discussion.

 

In July 2016, funded in part by a Ravitz Foundation grant, we took a bus trip to the Holocaust Museum in Skokie, Ill.

 

Programs in recent years, usually following lunch or brunch, have included:

  •  A former Temple B’nai Shalom member who grew up in the congregation and made aliyah to Israel, who talked about his experiences serving in the Israel Defense Force.
  • A Temple member and artist presented a program about her participation in an artists-in-residence program in Israel.
  • Cave explorer Chris Nicola told how 38 Jews survived the Holocaust by living in caves in Ukraine for 581 days from 1942-44.
  • The director of the Jewish Studies Program at Eastern Michigan University talked about the music of Irving Berlin.
  • Israeli author Diana Bletter talked about her book, “A Remarkable Kindness,” and living in Israel.

 

The Adult Education Committee has conducted Sunday morning study sessions at which participants studied prayer book Hebrew and viewed Rabbinic video teachings on various Torah study subjects, followed by discussion.

 

We have an ongoing Jewish book discussion group that meets regularly.  The books, fiction and non-fiction, all have Jewish content and cover a range of topics. The discussions are lively and fun. Anyone interested is welcome to join.

 

We have carpooled to attend programs at the Jewish Federation of the St. Joseph Valley in South Bend, Ind., about 35 miles from Benton Harbor.

 

Temple B’nai Shalom has a library for members with books on a wide variety of Jewish topics. 

Youth Education & Activities

We want our youth to experience the joy of being Jewish and emphasize the value and fun of learning as a community.

 

After an absence of three years, due to lack of students, we were happy to revive our Sunday school during the 2014-15 school year and hope to see attendance grow.

 

To prepare students for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah, we can teach students to help lead Friday night and Saturday morning services. They learn to chant the Hebrew liturgy and read from the Torah.

 

Youth activities include attending events with children from other synagogues at the Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley in South Bend, Ind., about 35 miles from Benton Harbor.

 

We support our children attending Jewish camps and assisting them by offering camp scholarships as the need arises. We can provide information relating to the availability of camping programs.

 

We also emphasize family education by including families in celebrating holidays such as Chanukah, Purim, and Passover.