Students set an example as they work toward ideal of peace and reconciliation

By Betsy Frank

On April 7, United Hebrew Congregation welcomed the Terre Haute South Vigo High School STAND club, whose members commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide with a program entitled, Together We Remember.

Rwandan genocide survivor Emmanuel Habimana served as the event’s main speaker. He recounted how as a 9-year-old, after witnessing his father’s murder, he escaped through the jungle with another child of similar age.

The local students who planned this moving program under the direction of THS teacher Peggy Grabowski understand their generation must work toward peace and reconciliation amongst all peoples.

Read More

A joyous group will celebrate Passover on Friday, April 19, at the Temple

By Betsy Frank

What is the holiday celebrated by most Jews, no matter their observance level? You have three guesses and the first two don’t count.

And the answer is … Passover! The Passover story that we recount every year represents the seminal event in the history of our people. This story sets the stage for our ongoing spiritual development.

Passover is the one holiday that really needs a joyous group in order to have a meaningful celebration. And we will celebrate! Join us for for a Kabbalat Shabbat and seder at 6 p.m. Friday, April 19, at the Temple.

Read More

Song is universal, and enriches our worship and spiritual lives

By Betsy Frank

During a recent Shabbat, we read the Torah portion B’shalach, which included the famous Mi Chamochah, or Song of the Sea.

This song is so integral to our liturgy that I wonder if we sometimes just sing it out of habit, without thinking about the lyrics.

When we sing out of habit, we might pay little attention, but we sing. Our prayers, even without music, have a rhythmic, musical quality. If we daven in the traditional way, we may sway with the rhythm of the prayers.

Read More