Dear Sinai Community,

This week I read an amazing book I would like to share with you: My Promised Land: The Triumph and The Tragedy by Ari Shavit, a leading Israeli columnist and writer and member of the editorial board of Haaretz. In it, Shavit traces the history of Israel through focused narratives that overflow with love of Zionism and Israel, while also shining light on how we got to where we are today with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This book has become a must-read in Jewish circles, and one of the most popular books of the past year among American Jews. It recounts the history of Israel since 1890 and offers illuminating commentary and interpretation through a prose that is mesmerizing and compelling. I highly recommend the book, and I would love to propose a Book Club (T.S. E.L.L.I.O.T.T.) meeting to discuss it.

If you are interested, please order and read the book and save the date of Thursday, December 10th at 7:00 p.m. We will celebrate Chanukah and discuss the book together. This will also be a wonderful vorspeis of engaging with Israel before the iEngage series “Engaging Israel: Foundations for a New Relationship” course on Israel that begins January 14. Dr. Oshrat Orenstein and I will be co-teaching this very thoughtful course developed by the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. We encourage you to sign-up today! I am looking forward to our community deepening our understanding and relationship with Israel, her history, culture, promise and complexities.

As a community, we are also looking forward to the Family Retreat in less than two weeks at S. Lake Tahoe, and community-wide conversations about social justice, to be announced soon. Also, we are celebrating two Batot Mitzvah this month, that of Talia Guzman and Honor Edmands. Please join us!

Shalom uv’racha,
Rabbi Bair