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Bet Shira Congregation's Annual Memorial Lecture

Bet Shira Congregation in southwest Miami-Dada County at 7500 S.W. 120th Street, Pinecrest, recognizes the great importance of community involvement and providing educational opportunities in Learning. Bet Shira has established an Annual Memorial Lecture Series in honor of the Late Rabbi David H. Auerbach, who was the Founding Rabbi Emeritus of Bet Shira Congregation.

The lecture this year will be presented this Sunday, March 25, 2018, at 11:00 A.M. in the Synagogue by guest speaker, Rabbi Mitch Chefitz on the topic: Abraham, Jochanan ben Zakkai, and Us: Three Pivotal Moments in Jewish History. Speaker Mitchell Chefitz is the author of The Seventh Telling, a best-selling novel, and The Curse of Blessings, a widely translated collection of stories.

Recently his narrative poetry framed the performance of The Jewish Bride at the Arsht Center. Known nationally as an author, locally Mitch Chefitz is also known as a Rabbi, first at Temple Beth Am, then with the Havurah of South Florida, and lastly at Temple Israel of Greater Miami. He has been president of the Rabbinical Association of Greater Miami, and also chairperson of the National Havurah Committee. Rabbi Chefitz is a graduate of Berkeley and also stood bridge watches as a Navy Lieutenant on a destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin. Now, most Sunday mornings he spends time at the Pinecrest Market.

"Bet Shira Congregation established the Annual Lecture Series when Robert and Michele Stone provided a gift to permanently endow the Rabbi David H. Auerbachz’l Annual Memorial Lecture. This endowment gift will ensure the legacy of Rabbi Auerbachz’l and recognize Rabbi Auerbach's distinguished career dedicated to Torah and the Jewish Community,” said Rabbi Mark H. Kula, the Rabbi of Bet Shira Congregation. This Lecture is open to the community at no charge, and you may RSVP to the Bet Shira Congregation office at (305) 238-2601 or email to: bscmemberservices@betshira.org.

Bet Shira Congregation “WE BUILD COMMUNITY” Program

Bet Shira Congregation in southwest Miami-Dade County at 7500 S.W. 120th Street, Pinecrest, recognizes the great importance of community involvement and providing educational opportunity in learning about relevant important issues. Join in for a full weekend of celebrations to help build community.

On Friday evening, August 25th, at 6:30 P.M., Shabbat Services will be held followed by a Wine & Cheese Oneg. On Saturday morning, August 26th, at 9:30 A.M., Shabbat Services will be held followed by Kiddush, Schnapps, Sweets, & Torah Study.

Sunday morning, August 27th at 11:30 A.M. a “Building Community Brunch” is being held for the Community. All events will take place at the Bet Shira Congregation and is free and open to the public. Please RSVP your attendance to (305) 238-2601 or on-line at bscmemberservices@betshira.org.

“Building Community is part of the goals of our Synagogue,” said Mark H. Kula, the Rabbi of this 400+ member Conservative Congregation serving the Southwest Miami-Dade area. He added “All of us benefit from the blessing of community when we experience challenges. Community supports us. Our good times are further enhanced by the presence of community.”

The Jewish American-Israeli Song Book

The Bet Shira Congregation "26th Annual Tu Bishevat Concert" featuring the Klezmer Company Jazz Orchestra “The Jewish American-Israeli Song Book” will be held on Sunday Afternoon, February 12th at 4:00 P.M. in Bet Shira Congregation in Southwest Miami-Dade County at 7500 S.W. 120th Street, Pinecrest. This Concert is open to the entire community.

The Hebrew words “Bet Shira” translate into “House of Song” in English.
“In keeping with its namesake, Bet Shira Congregation keeps music on the forefront of the celebration
of Jewish life” says Rabbi Mark H. Kula of this 400+ member vibrant intergenerational community of friends
and families of all ages serving the Miami-Dade County Conservative Jewish community.

“This year the traditions continue with musical services and programs representing
a full range of Jewish Music. The beautiful aspect of Music, and Jewish Music in particular, is its
accessibility. Jews and non-Jews alike appreciate the universal language of music finding that music
links us together as one family” continues the popular charismatic Rabbi Kula.

The award winning Klezmer Company Jazz Orchestra is led by Aaron Kula,
brother of Rabbi Mark Kula, and will play a concert of the most famous songs from the Israel and
Chassidic Song Festivals as well as Jazz arrangements from their own American Klezmer song book.
Selections will include winning rock songs such as Nolad’ti L’Shalom, Shir L’Shalom, Oseh Shalom
and jazzed up versions of Layla Layla, Halleluyah and more. The 8 member band will improvise and
rock your soul with memorable songs performed between 1965-2000. The concert will also include
a sing-along with solos by Bet Shira clergy! A not to miss season event!

There are still some tickets available for the Bet Shira
Jewish American Israeli Song Book Concert, so please contact Bet Shira at (305) 238-2601 or on-line at www.betshira.org.
Ticket prices are: Reserved Seating $36, General Admission $18, and Students free.

Tu Bishevat, the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month Shevat, is the New Year
for trees. Most know this day to be, Jewish Earth Day. Based in Jewish literature for over 2,000 years,
the lesson is clear, love this earth as a great gift from God. Rabbi Kula says “We are commanded
to protect the environment and appreciate nature. Judaism dictates we be aware of nature as
a blessing that is essential, brings comforts and inspires. And, so, for the past twenty six years,
Bet Shira has marked the sacredness of Tu Bishevat with song.”

“Jewish Music, the language of our souls secures our Jewish bonds.
Tu Bishevat imagery is one of cultivation. In nature, anything fostered grows and thrives. Perhaps the
theme of Tu Bishevat is more than just a birthday for the trees; it is the high holidays for nurturance and
the blessing of encouragement. Sing Etz Hayim - Torah is the Tree of Life. Feel this link of
nurturing and Torah. If we cultivate our awareness of nature and develop our connection to Judaism,
we are celebrating Tu Bishevat,” concluded Kula.

Second Avenue Jewish Chorale to join forces with prominent musicians to present “Peace, Shalom, Salaam” on April 10, 2016 in Miami Beach.

South Florida’s Second Avenue Jewish Chorale will give a groundbreaking concert on Sunday, April 10, 2016, at 4 PM at Temple Emanu-El in Miami Beach. The program, “Peace, Shalom, Salaam,” under the direction of Coreen Duffy, will feature the Second Avenue Jewish Chorale, the University of Miami’s Frost Symphonic Women’s Ensemble, celebrated “Siempre Flamenco” duo, Paco and Celia Fonta, internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Robynne Redmon, and baritones Rabbi Marc Philippe of Temple Emanu-El and Rabbi Mark Kula of Bet Shira Congregation.

“Peace, Shalom, Salaam” will celebrate those who strive for peace in the Middle East and throughout the world, by presenting a musical commemoration of the struggle and hardship of conflict and by promoting the dream that we can bring about peace. The music performed will offer an international flavor, representing different world regions, religions, and perspectives. Siempre Flamenco and the Second Avenue Jewish Chorale will perform music rooted in Spain, harkening to a pre-Inquisition period when Christians, Jews, and Muslims co-existed peacefully, their cultures flourishing. Other highlights include music from various traditions such as Catholic, African-American Gospel, Broadway, American folk, Israeli, and Palestinian.

The Second Avenue Jewish Chorale, now in its fifth season, is the only select concert choir in South Florida that performs music from around the world that is connected to Jewish tradition, composers, and culture. The sparkling voices of the Second Avenue Jewish Chorale and the Frost Symphonic Women’s Ensemble, combined with the spiritual and vocal leadership of Rabbis Philippe and Kula and the visual spectacular of Siempre Flamenco, will create a stunning afternoon of music that will be unforgettable.

Tickets are free; suggested donation is $10. Reserved VIP seating is $18, and includes a cocktail afterglow sponsored by Dr. Phillip and Patricia Frost. To RSVP and for VIP seating, reserve online at www.SecondAvenueJewishChorale.org or contact Temple Emanu-El at (305) 538-2503. Parking is available at the 17th Street garage ($1 per hour).

Bet Shira 25th Annual Tu Bishevat Concert Series Concludes Featuring: “SHTREIML”

The Bet Shira Congregation "25th Annual Tu Bishevat Concert Series" will conclude with its Part #4 featuring “SHTREIML” to be held on Tuesday Evening, March 8th at 7:30 P.M. at Bet Shira Congregation, located in S.W. Miami-Dade County at 7500 S.W. 120th Street, Pinecrest. This Concert is open to the community. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door and are available by contacting the Bet Shira Office at (305) 238-2601 or on-line at www.betshira.org.

The Hebrew words “Bet Shira” translate into “House of Song” in English. “In keeping with its namesake, Bet Shira Congregation keeps music on the forefront of the celebration of Jewish life” says Rabbi Mark H. Kula of this 400+ member vibrant intergenerational community of friends and families of all ages serving the Miami-Dade County Conservative Jewish community.

“This year the traditions continue with musical services and programs representing a full range of Jewish Music. The beautiful aspect of Music, and Jewish Music in particular, is its accessibility. Jews and non-Jews alike appreciate the universal language of music finding that music links us together as one family” continues the popular charismatic Rabbi Kula.

The SHREWIML Musical Program is performed by a Leading Canadian Klezmer Musical Ensemble. Founded in 2002, the Montreal and Philadelphia based Shtreiml offers a high-octane mix of not-so-traditional Eastern-European Jewish and Turkish music. Led by innovative composer, pianist and harmonica player Jason Rosenblatt, a protégé of harmonica master Howard Levy, and one of the few people worldwide who can play the diatonic harmonica (a.k.a. blues harp) chromatically, Shtreiml's blues-rock infused set, delivers a new look at some centuries old folk music.

Shtreiml's latest album entitled Eastern Hora is a compelling program of all-original music performed in collaboration with Istanbul native Ismail Fenicoglu. Enchanting and ornate, oud player (ancient musical instrument) and vocalist Ismail Fencioglu is a true master of Turkish music. He's a rare talent whose soaring vocals and fleet fingered oud playing conjures images of the Bosphorus at sunset and truly transports the listener to a different time and place.

Joined by the rest of Shtreiml, the group features the Balkan punch and rhythmic flair of Rachel Lemisch (trombone), Thierry Arsenault (drums) and Joel Kerr (bass). This is a project which is firmly rooted in the Jewish and Ottoman traditions, but brimming with hard rock sensibilities and dexterous improvisational know-how. Shtreiml has been performed at concerts, festivals and venues in Canada, The U.S. and Europe has been labeled "explosive" (Halifax Chronicle Herald) and "exhilarating"(Rootsworld).

Tu Bishevat, the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month Shevat, is the New Year for trees. Most know this day to be, Jewish Earth Day. Based in Jewish literature for over 2,000 years, the lesson is clear, love this earth as a great gift from God. Rabbi Kula says “We are commanded to protect the environment and appreciate nature. Judaism dictates we be aware of nature as a blessing that is essential, brings comforts and inspires. And, so, for the past twenty five years, Bet Shira has marked the sacredness of Tu Bishevat with song.”

“Jewish Music, the language of our souls secures our Jewish bonds. Tu Bishevat imagery is one of cultivation. In nature, anything fostered grows and thrives. Perhaps the theme of Tu Bishevat is more than just a birthday for the trees; it is the holiday for nurturance and the blessing of encouragement. Sing Etz Hayim - Torah is the Tree of Life. Feel this link of nurturing and Torah. If we cultivate our awareness of nature and develop our connection to Judaism, we are celebrating Tu Bishevat,” concluded Kula.

The Bet Shira Congregation "25th Annual Tu Bishevat Concert Series"

The Bet Shira Congregation "25th Annual Tu Bishevat Concert Series" will be featuring “The Final Songs of Theresienstadt” to be held on Thursday Evening, February 18th at 7:30 P.M. at Bet Shira Congregation, located in S.W. Miami-Dade County at 7500 S.W. 120th Street, Pinecrest. This Concert is open to the community at no charge. Please RSVP by contacting the Bet Shira Office at (305) 238-2601 or on-line at www.betshira.org.

The Hebrew words “Bet Shira” translate into “House of Song” in English. “In keeping with its namesake, Bet Shira Congregation keeps music on the forefront of the celebration of Jewish life” says Rabbi Mark H. Kula of this 400+ member vibrant intergenerational community of friends and families of all ages serving the Miami-Dade County Conservative Jewish community.

“This year the traditions continue with musical services and programs representing a full range of Jewish Music. The beautiful aspect of Music, and Jewish Music in particular, is its accessibility. Jews and non-Jews alike appreciate the universal language of music finding that music links us together as one family” continues the popular charismatic Rabbi Kula.

The Musical Program is Performed by: Christine Wilkie Bohlman and Philip V. Bohlman. The Chronicle of the Love and Death of the Flag-Bearer, Christoph Rilke was the last major composition created in the concentration camps during the Holocaust. The great Czech composer, Viktor Ullmann, began sketches on the melodrama composed for a single speaking voice and piano in Terezín/Theresienstadt during the summer of 1944.

Christine Wilkie Bohlman is Lecturer in Piano and Chamber Music in the College at the University of Chicago. She is the co-recipient (with Philip V. Bohlman) of the Donald Tovey Memorial Prize from Oxford University for her performances of music from the Holocaust. Philip V. Bohlman is Ludwig Rosenberger Distinguished Service Professor of Music and the Humanities at the University of Chicago. He is the Artistic Director of the New Budapest Orpheum Society, whose most recent CD, As Dreams Fall Apart: The Golden Age of Jewish Stage and Film Music (Cedille Records) is a 2016 Grammy Award Nominee for “Best Classical Compendium.”

Tu Bishevat, the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month Shevat, is the New Year for trees. Most know this day to be, Jewish Earth Day. Based in Jewish literature for over 2,000 years, the lesson is clear, love this earth as a great gift from God. Rabbi Kula says “We are commanded to protect the environment and appreciate nature. Judaism dictates we be aware of nature as a blessing that is essential, brings comforts and inspires. And, so, for the past twenty five years, Bet Shira has marked the sacredness of Tu Bishevat with song.”

“Jewish Music, the language of our souls secures our Jewish bonds. Tu Bishevat imagery is one of cultivation. In nature, anything fostered grows and thrives. Perhaps the theme of Tu Bishevat is more than just a birthday for the trees; it is the holiday for nurturance and the blessing of encouragement. Sing Etz Hayim - Torah is the Tree of Life. Feel this link of nurturing and Torah. If we cultivate our awareness of nature and develop our connection to Judaism, we are celebrating Tu Bishevat,” concluded Kula.

Bet Shira Congregation Annual Lecture Program

Bet Shira Congregation in southwest Miami-Dade County at 7500 S.W. 120th Street, Pinecrest, recognizes the great importance of community involvement and providing educational opportunity in learning about relevant important issues. Celebrate Jewish learning by attending the Inaugural Lecture of The Rabbi David H. Auerbach Annual Lecture Series on Wednesday evening, December 9th at 7:30 P.M.

This Annual Lecture Educational Program has been established to Honor Rabbi Auerbach’s Love of Learning displayed during the last three decades of his outstanding service to the Bet Shira Congregation, as its Founding Rabbi and now as “Rabbi Emeritus.” This outreach lecture program is permanently endowed by Robert & Michele Stone of Bet Shira Congregation.

Bet Shira Congregation welcomes Dr. Kenneth Stein as the Inaugural Lecture Speaker presenting the Topic: “Israel, The U.S., The Middle East and the Next Administration” and the importance in understanding the relationships.

Dr. Kenneth W. Stein is Founder and President of the Center for Israel Education and is Director of the Institute for the Study of Modern Israel at Emory University in Atlanta. Dr. Stein is recognized world-wide as a leading expert on Israel and the Middle East. He is widely published and has received numerous teaching awards.

“His dedication to marrying academic scholarship with innovative pedagogy is unmatched. Dr. Stein has conducted more than two dozen professional development workshops for more than 1,500 educators, who have impacted thousands of students maintaining a focus on the history and politics of modern Israel, the modern Arab world, and American foreign policy toward the region,” said Rabbi Emeritus, David H. Auerbach.

“Professor Stein’s college teaching at Emory remains centered on analyzing original sources to unfold the story of the Modern Middle East and, likewise, that of Zionism and Israel,” said Mark H. Kula, the Rabbi of this 400+ member Conservative Congregation serving the South Miami-Dade County area. He added “Everyone is welcome to attend this Educational Seminar and celebrate the Love of Learning displayed by Rabbi Emeritus Auerbach.”

This informative event will be held in the Bet Shira Congregation at 7500 S.W. 120th Street, Pinecrest, and the community is invited to attend at no charge. Students attending the Lecture may receive community service credit for this educational experience. A Dessert Reception follows the program. Please RSVP your attendance to Bet Shira Congregation at (305) 238-2601 or on-line at bscmemberservices@betshira.org for more information.

Bet Shira Congregation invites all to Shabbat Morning First Day of Passover

On the First Day of Passover, Saturday morning April 4th, Bet Shira Congregation is presenting its traditional Shabbat Passover Service accompanied by an “a cappella quartet” leading selected psalms from Hallel, the magnificent prayer of Tal and musical selections from the liturgy of the Three Festivals.

The service begins at 9:30 A.M. at Bet Shira Congregation at 7500 S.W. 120th Street, Pinecrest and will be led by Rabbi Mark H. Kula and Cantor Shiree Kidron. Everyone is welcome to all of Bet Shira prayer services as well as this special Passover service. Please share in the joy of the Passover liturgy and music.

The Hebrew word Tal means dew and recognizes the value of water in the holy land of Israel from ancient times to today. The poem includes six verses describing nature, hope, prosperity and poetry celebrating the blessing of water.

“The prayer and melodies of Passover are meaningful to all people who value freedom and the blessings of nature. The prayers and Exodus connect Jewish people around the world to each other and the land of Israel. From Biblical days through today, we thank God for the gift of water that sustains all of our lives. How appropriate to set aside this one day to recognize and sing about water and dew. We remind ourselves that conservation is essential and thank God for the blessing of water” says Rabbi Mark H. Kula of Bet Shira.

Cantor Shiree Kidron adds “The piyut or liturgical poem as we know it was composed by Eliezer Ha-Kallir who lived in Tiberius in the 7th century and was known for composing liturgical poetry. Tal has been set to music by numerous composers and set a solemn tone for the Festival service.”

Bet Shira Congregation wishes everyone a Happy Passover.

For information on this or other events, call (305) 238-2601 or visit www.betshira.org. Please note Services are also live-streamed for the entire community at the Bet Shira website.

Voices of Jewish Europe: A Spiritual Legacy for Tomorrow

The Bet Shira Congregation "24th Annual Tu Bishevat Concert" featuring Voices of Jewish Europe: A Spiritual Legacy for Tomorrow will be held on Thursday Evening, February 5th at 7:30 P.M. at Bet Shira Congregation, located in S.W. Miami-Dade County at 7500 S.W. 120th Street, Pinecrest. The remarkable Second Avenue Jewish Chorale and Musica Judaica, Miami’s professional ensemble invite you to experience a spectacular night of Jewish choral music from Romantic-era Europe.

The Hebrew words “Bet Shira” translate into “House of Song” in English. “In keeping with its namesake, Bet Shira Congregation keeps music on the forefront of the celebration of Jewish life” says Rabbi Mark H. Kula of this 400+ member vibrant intergenerational community of friends and families of all ages serving the Miami-Dade County Conservative Jewish community.

“This year the traditions continue with musical services and programs representing a full range of Jewish Music. The beautiful aspect of Music, and Jewish Music in particular, is its accessibility. Jews and non-Jews alike appreciate the universal language of music finding that music links us together as one family” continues the popular charismatic Rabbi Kula.

In the nineteenth century, Jewish Emancipation instigated a new, choral music sensation in synagogues. Cantor Salomon Sulzer in Vienna formed a chorus that became the jewel of Viennese culture and attracted Jewish and Christian devotees from around the world. The voices of the Vienna Jewish singers were so compelling and the music so beautiful that devotees described it as "so wild and strange a harmony" that it "instantly freed" them from anti-Semitic prejudices.

Bet Shira Congregation and the Second Avenue Jewish Chorale led by Artistic Director Coreen Duffy, DMA, of the University of Miami Frost School of Music, invite you to experience the wild and strange harmonies of nineteenth-century Vienna, Paris, and Berlin. “In addition to music by Sulzer, music will be performed in operatic style from the works of Cantor Samuel Naumbourg, who worked in Paris alongside French opera giants Halévy and Meyerbeer to create synagogue repertoire on a grand scale” according to Duffy. Also featured will be a repertoire of Jewish choral music master of Louis Lewandowski, who found inspiration in Mendelssohn's style and Eastern European traditions, creating one of the most enduring collections of Jewish choral music ever to be written.

“On the occasion of Lewandowski's 120th Anniversary Yahrzeit, the performance will revive and refresh the glorious music of these Romantic-era choral composers,” continued Duffy. The acclaimed Second Avenue Jewish Chorale joins forces with Musica Judaica, Miami's professional ensemble dedicated to performance of Jewish repertoire, to present this exceptional program.

There are still some tickets available for the Bet Shira Voices of Jewish Europe Concert, so please contact Bet Shira at (305) 238-2601 or on-line at www.betshira.org. Ticket prices are: Reserved Seating $36, General Admission $18, and Under 12 years old free. Tickets include a dessert reception following the concert.

Tu Bishevat, the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month Shevat, is the New Year for trees. Most know this day to be, Jewish Earth Day. Based in Jewish literature for over 2,000 years, the lesson is clear, love this earth as a great gift from God. Rabbi Kula says “We are commanded to protect the environment and appreciate nature. Judaism dictates we be aware of nature as a blessing that is essential, brings comforts and inspires. And, so, for the past twenty four years, Bet Shira has marked the sacredness of Tu Bishevat with song.”

“I am honored to be at Bet Shira and follow in the tradition of presenting quality Jewish music” says Bet Shira's Cantor Shiree Kidron. “Rabbi Kula and I recognize that Jewish culture is one of the strongest promoters of Jewish identity and community connection” Cantor Kidron added. Both Rabbi Kula and Cantor Kidron will each have solo performances in the featured program.

“Jewish Music, the language of our souls secures our Jewish bonds. Tu Bishevat imagery is one of cultivation. In nature, anything fostered grows and thrives. Perhaps the theme of Tu Bishevat is more than just a birthday for the trees; it is the high holidays for nurturance and the blessing of encouragement. Sing Etz Hayim - Torah is the Tree of Life. Feel this link of nurturing and Torah. If we cultivate our awareness of nature and develop our connection to Judaism, we are celebrating Tu Bishevat,” concluded Kula.

Bet Shira Congregation Scholar in Residence Program Featuring Rabbi Irwin Kula‏

Bet Shira Congregation in southwest Miami-Dade County at 7500 S.W. 120th Street, Pinecrest, recognizes the great importance of community involvement and providing educational opportunity. Celebrate Jewish learning as Bet Shira Congregation welcomes Rabbi Irwin Kula presenting “Beyond the Tribe: Judaism as Path of Human Flourishing” as part of its “Evelyn B. Rosen Memorial Scholar in Residence Programs” on Thursday evening, January 22nd at 7:30 P,M.

“Rabbi Irwin Kula is a leading voice for religious pluralism. He is President of CLAL – The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, headquartered in New York City and has significantly shifted the debate on Jewish identity and spiritually to include new ways of finding meaning and purpose, and is our second of three Scholars in the Evelyn B. Rosen Memorial Scholar in Residence Program this year” said Mark H. Kula, the Rabbi of this 400+ member Conservative Congregation serving the South Miami-Dade County area who also is the brother of Rabbi Irwin Kula, eldest among six brothers, each recognized in prominent Jewish Circles. He added “Everyone is welcome to attend.”

“We are in the beginning of a demographic, sociological and technological transformation that is fundamentally altering the ways people are creating identities, forming communities, and making meaning. Every domain is being affected; newspapers and music, retail and taxes, education and health. What are the implications for re-imagining Jewish products and services (Torah/ wisdom and mitzvot/practices) as well as the delivery systems (institutions) for this next era in American Jewish life?” says Rabbi Irwin Kula in his program.

Reserved Seating is available at $36 and General Admission is $18. Students are Free and a Dessert Reception follows the program. For more information, and to place a reservation, please contact Bet Shira Congregation Synagogue office at (305) 238-2601, or www.betshira.org.