UHC joins Jewish Community Legacy Project for virtual Elul events; prepares for holidays

By Betsy Frank

The month of Elul that began August 26 precedes the High Holy Days and begins our process of Teshuvah, or repentance.

More traditional congregations blow the shofar each morning during Elul to remind Jews of the holiness of Rosh Hashanah.

In small congregations such as ours, we prepare for the High Holy Days largely on an individual basis.

However, this year during the month of Elul, our congregation, along with a group of legacy congregations in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana, are participating in a pair of special online programs to help prepare for the High Holy Days.

We also welcome Rabbi Stanley Miles, who grew up in our congregation, to lead High Holy Days services!

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We’re thankful for the freedom to celebrate Judaism in meaningful fashion

By Betsy Frank

As active as our congregation remained during the period of Zoom-only, and then hybrid worship, we hadn’t held a large social gathering since Purim in March 2020.

That changed April 23 with our Passover Celebration in the Vestry Room at the Temple.

More than 20 people attended in person and more attended online. As United Hebrew Congregation moves forward from the pandemic, we have learned more than ever that we can be engaged in multiple ways.

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Walter Sommers welcomed Shabbat at the Temple, among the numberless generations

By Betsy Frank

I don’t always plan which readings to include before I lead Shabbat services.

Normally, I just pick a reading at the last moment during the service. But I’m frequently amazed that the reading I pick seems so pertinent to the day.

During a recent service, right after we lit the Shabbat candles, I selected the reading at the top of Page 124 in Mishkan Tefilah.

As I read this unplanned reading, I got a lump in my throat. A beloved member of the numberless generations had just passed away — Walter Sommers.

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UHC takes climate action, plans special virtual event January 23 with The Shalom Center

By Betsy Frank

Both Rosh Hashanah and secular New Year tradition call on us to make changes in our personal and collective behavior.

Our congregation has taken a step toward improvement by getting involved with Creation Care Partners, an Indiana interfaith organization dedicated to helping individuals and congregations ameliorate climate change.

United Hebrew Congregation will co-sponsor a virtual event at 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23, as Rabbi Arthur Waskow, founder and director of The Shalom Center and a pioneer in eco-Judaism, will speak on “Confronting the Climate Crisis: Despair or Sacred Action?”

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