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Congregation Beth El – Keser Israel Events – November 2021

Ethan Tucker Saturday

On Saturday, October 30 at 1 pm, Rabbi Ethan Tucker will speak in the BEKI sanctuary as part of the Elm City Kallah.  Known for his ability to transcend the affiliation boundaries of Judaism, Rabbi Tucker is President and Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar, an observant egalitarian yeshiva.  He will speak about “Navigating Relationships in a World of Difference.”  The event is free of charge.  Reservations are not required, but masks are.

Book and Gift Fair

The BEKI lobby will become a pre-Hanukkah shopping fair on Sunday, November 21 from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm.  A wide array of books for adults and children will be available as well as jewelry, toys, games, ritual items, and novelty items from the gift shop.  “Our gift shop has more Jewish children’s books than any other bookstore in CT, and the most interesting and affordable Judaica around,” says Karen Kassap, one of the shop’s managers.

Mark Oppenheimer

On Sunday, November 21 at 11:00 am, Mark Oppenheimer will speak about his latest book, Squirrel Hill: The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting and the Soul of a Neighborhood.  Rather than focusing on the shooting itself, his book instead explores the struggles and triumphs of the Squirrel Hill neighborhood.  Oppenheimer is the author of five books, the director of the Yale Journalism Initiative, and a host of the podcast Unorthodox.  Autographed copies of books by BEKI authors like Oppenheimer will be available for purchase that day.

Kosher Pareve Pies

The youth group is baking its annual Kosher Pareve apple and pumpkin pies.  If you are interested in purchasing Thanksgiving pies, orders are due by Friday, November 5.  Proceeds benefit the group’s tzedakah projects.  Call 203.389.2108 x114 for details.


Hanukkah arrives on Thanksgiving weekend this year, specifically Sunday evening, November 28.  The community is welcome to join the lighting of the Hanukkah menorah in the BEKI lobby every evening (except Shabbat) at 5:30 pm.

Hanukkah Parties

A Hanukkah celebration for children will be held on December 1 and for pre-teens and teens on December 5.  For more information, email Youth and Family Programming Director Annie Norman-Schiff at anormanschiff@beki.org.

Contemporary Antisemitism

On Wednesday, November 3 at 7:30 pm, the Zoom Schmooze will feature Professor Corinne Blackmer, a professor of English and Judaic Studies at Southern Connecticut State University, to discuss her new book, Poisoning the Wells:  Antisemitism in Contemporary America.  To request the Zoom link, email office@beki.org.

Christian Kabbalists

The Schmooze on Wednesday, November 10 at 7:30 pm is about Christian Kabbalists of 17th Century Europe, presented by Max DuBoff, a PhD student in Classics and Philosophy at Yale University.  To request the Zoom link, email office@beki.org.

Exhibit Extended

Because of popular demand, BEKI’s Ancestors exhibit has been extended until November 28.  Visitors have found that the accompanying text for every image—written by the donor of the image—makes every photo come alive with emotion and draws the viewer into that time and place.  The galleries are open to the public by appointment; email office@beki.org or call 203.389.2108 x114.

Located at 85 Harrison Street (corner of Whalley Avenue – Route 63 – in Westville)

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