Home Posts tagged Jewish Federation of the Berkshires
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PITTSFIELD — Jewish Federation of the Berkshires announced that its executive board of directors has allocated $50,000 to support emergency needs in Israel during this time of crisis. The allocation will be drawn from federation’s reserve fund and will be distributed to address critical needs as identified by Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and its partners.

The allocation comes in light of a historic $500 million emergency campaign launched by JFNA to support critical needs in the region.

The Jewish Federation of the Berkshires is accepting donations from the broader community and has already raised more than $101,000 within the Berkshire community.

JFNA recently distributed the first $10 million in aid to 20 organizations providing emergency relief and support in Israel, including the Jewish Agency for Israel, JDC, World ORT, Israel Trauma Coalition, United Hatzalah, Magen David Adom, ZAKA, Barzilai Medical Center, and the Soroka Medical Center.

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PITTSFIELD — The public is invited to join Jewish Federation of the Berkshires and its affiliates at Park Square in downtown Pittsfield for a “Community Vigil for Israel: Solidarity Through Prayer and Song” today, Oct. 11 at 5 p.m.

Community members and civic and faith leaders from across the region will express support for Israel in the aftermath of last weekend’s deadly terrorist attack on its citizens. Co-sponsors of this event with the federation are its affiliates, Berkshire Hills Hadassah, Berkshire Minyan, Chabad of the Berkshires, Congregation Ahavath Sholom, Congregation Beth Israel of the Berkshires, Hevreh of Southern Berkshire, Knesset Israel, and Temple Anshe Amunim.

Parking will be available in the nearby McKay Street lot and garages, as well as in the public parking lots opposite the Common on First Street.

Donations to provide trauma support and relief to victims can be made through the Jewish Federations of North America’s emergency campaign at jfeds.org/israelfund2023.

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PITTSFIELD — Jewish Federation of the Berkshires announced the appointment of Susan Levine as the new Food Service director for its Connecting with Community kosher meals program that provides free, nutritious meals for the community (in-person, takeaway, and meals on wheels) year-round.

Levine received a culinary arts degree at Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School in Lower Manhattan before interning at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Ariz. There, she learned healthy ways of using her culinary skills, which she applied during a long career in catering and corporate dining that included a recent stint working at the Executive Mansion in Albany, N.Y.

A 20-year resident of the Berkshires region, Levine first learned about the federation’s kosher meals program when her parents stayed at her home in New Lebanon, N.Y. and attended federation-sponsored programs and lunches at Knesset Israel in Pittsfield. Now, she is taking over the kosher meals program that was helmed by Cindy Bell-Deane for the past 25 years. “I look forward to working with Jewish Federation of the Berkshires to bring that support and sense of nourishment, both body and soul, my parents received from this community,” Levine said.

Through its kosher meals program, which is run in conjunction with Elder Services of the Berkshires, Jewish Federation of the Berkshires provides more than 3,600 nutritious meals annually. Meals are available for pick-up and also delivered to homebound community members by volunteers. In the summer months, in-person kosher lunches follow the federation’s cultural program, Connecting with Community.

“We are thrilled to welcome Susan to the federation team and pleased to have someone of her experience continue the compassionate work of nourishing our older adults through this important program,” Executive Director Dara Kaufman said. “We look forward to Susan using her skills to continue the creative and healthy meals our older community members and homebound individuals have come to rely on.”

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LENOX — On Sunday, Aug. 6 at 7:30 p.m., Jewish Federation of the Berkshires will present New Moon Rising, three of the most dynamic and creative voices in Jewish music: Elana Arian, Deborah Sacks Mintz, and Chava Mirel. The concert will take place at the Duffin Theater at Lenox Memorial High School, 197 East St., Lenox.

New Moon Rising embodies a soulful oasis of rich harmonies, deep friendship, and pure Jewish joy. This year, all concert proceeds will benefit the Anti-Defamation League’s “A World of Difference” program in Berkshire County schools.

Tickets for this concert must be ordered in advance (click here), and are priced at $25, with $20 tickets available for those under age 30. Children under 13 will be admitted free of charge. Inquire about the variety of underwriting opportunities also being offered. All tickets will be held at the door. For more information, call the Federation at (413) 442-4360, ext. 10.

This concert is funded in part by PJ Library, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, and generous underwriters.

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GREAT BARRINGTON — On Friday, July 14 at 10:45 a.m., Knosh & Knowledge will present Letty Cottin Pogrebin, who will talk about her acclaimed (and controversial) family memoir, Shanda: A Memoir of Shame and Secrecy. Joining her will be moderator Rabbi Shira Stern. This free program will take place at Hevreh of Southern Berkshire, 270 State Road, Great Barrington.

The word ‘shanda’ is defined as shame or disgrace in Yiddish. This book tells the story of three generations of complicated, intense 20th-century Jews for whom the desire to fit in and the fear of public humiliation either drove their aspirations or crushed their spirit. While unmasking their charades and disguises, Pogrebin also showcases her family’s remarkable talent for reinvention in a narrative that is, by turns, touching, searing, and surprisingly universal.

Books will be available for purchase, or attendees can bring their own copy for signing by the author.

This event is part of the monthly Knosh and Knowledge series sponsored by the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires and is also part of Jewish Literary Voices, a federation series in collaboration with Jewish Book Council. For more on this program and other federation events, visit jewishberkshires.org.

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LENOX — On Tuesday, June 20 at 7:30 p.m., Jewish Federation of the Berkshires will celebrate its work in the community at its 83rd annual meeting, which will be held this year at Shakespeare & Company’s Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre. A review of accomplishments from the past year will be shared, as well as a look forward to plans and goals for the year ahead.

Community members are invited to a celebratory reception, followed by a brief business meeting, board elections, and the presentation of the Simkin Schiller Scholarship to Jewish high-school seniors who demonstrate high academic achievement and leadership in the Jewish and broader communities.

The guest speaker will be Rabbi Aaron Fine, executive director of UMass Amherst Hillel, who will share his insights on “The State of Jewish Life on Campus.”

This event is free and open to all members of the Jewish community. The Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre is located at Shakespeare & Company, 70 Kemble St., Lenox. Visit the calendar of events at jewishberkshires.org for further details about this event.

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PITTSFIELD — On Wednesday, May 31 at 7:30 p.m., the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires will present “To Boldly Grow: Judaism, Food, and Sustainability,” an inspirational and timely discussion with journalist and author Tamar Haspel. This free event, part of Super Tzedakah Week focusing on the federation’s commitment to sustaining its community and world, will take place at Hancock Shaker Village, 1843 West Housatonic St., Pittsfield.

Haspel writes the James Beard Award-winning Washington Post column “Unearthed,” which tackles food from every angle: agriculture, nutrition, obesity, the food environment, and DIY. Her memoir, To Boldly Grow: Finding Joy, Adventure, and Dinner in Your Own Backyard, recounts her experiences living off the food grid in Cape Cod.

Haspel will be in conversation with Shamu Sadeh and Janna Siller, environmentalists and educators from the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, on the vital Jewish themes of sustainability in one’s backyard, community, and planet. The panel will be moderated by Elisa Spungen Bildner, a journalist, author (Berkshire Farm to Table Cookbook with Robert Bildner), and federation vice president.

For more on this program, which is also part of “Jewish Literary Voices,” a Jewish Federation of the Berkshires series in collaboration with the Jewish Book Council, and other federation events, visit the calendar of events at jewishberkshires.org.