“After Incarceration, There’s Life”
Please join the Temple Israel community as we prepare for Passover with a screening of Beyond the Wall. As our Exodus story instructs, liberation is only the first step – the challenge is living with freedom. The U.S. imprisons Americans at globally unprecedented rates; within three years of release approximately two-thirds of the formerly incarcerated, particularly those with substance abuse disorder, are re-arrested and sent back to prison. Beyond the Wall takes a close look at the journey from incarceration to community, from behind the wall to beyond the wall, of several Massachusetts men who are attempting to rebuild their lives on the outside with little support from the system. Louie Diaz, whose dedication to helping these men is central to the film, will be present for a Q&A.
A dash of this and a spoonful of that! Taste and smell bring us back to special moments in our lives. Gather to learn and prepare special recipes from TI members troves of taste! Share memories, enjoy conversation, and learn a few cooking tips from our star chef Phyllis Tobin.
Which of our clergy makes the best matzah brei? On the first day of Passover, our clergy will compete. Will our reigning champion Rabbi Zecher keep her title, or will someone new take home the trophy? We’ll eat, celebrate the holiday, and enjoy a special musical program with Ellen Allard, an award-winning recording artist, composer, performer, and music coach, and one of the most influential musicians on today’s Jewish music scene.
Through ritual, song, and conversation we will retell the story of Passover over a potluck Seder meal. Rabbis Zecher, Jacobson, and Gubitz will lead the Seder. Please register and let us know what dish you will bring to the Seder.
We “pass over” pine cones every day. Inside each of these pine cones is among the most precious of all nuts – the pine nut. Most of us pass more pine nuts in a single day than one could count in a year. Yet, they remain hidden, unseen. Moreover, they’re nearly impossible to extract with our own hands. The pine cone “imprisons” its seeds, and only hard work on the part of nature compels it to open up. The cones of Fire Pines, for instance, are glued shut by resin, and only a raging fire can force the cone to release its seeds. Thus these seeds, the glorious pine nuts all around us, remain “out of sight, out of mind.”
This Passover, as we retell the story of our ancient persecution and redemption, the story of our wandering ancestors, we must listen to the stories of those wandering, those fighting against modern day Pharohs, today.
As we lift up the matzah, we remember that at different times in our history, as Jews, as immigrants, as Americans, as humans, we have vacillated between affliction and redemption. And so, we stand together with our immigrant neighbors to gain strength and work together toward all of our dignity and freedom.
Passover compels us to confront the expanse and also the limits of one of the most basic of human attributes, and one that is surely needed in this and every age: empathy.
As I prepare for Passover, I have been reflecting back on the tight knots I felt in my stomach when I found out that Donald Trump had been elected president of the United States.
I reflect on all the Jewish women making pesach in their homes as I do in my mine – cleaning, weeding out, preparing for renewal. I also think of all of the women over the past three thousand years who’ve prepared in similar ways right at this point in the calendar. Our conveniences and techniques are different, but we are connected by the desire to sanctify our homes, transforming our dining rooms into holy places.