"SLAYING THE DRAGONS OF BIGOTRY:" Shavuot Tikkun May 23 features JCPA's Rabbi Steve Gutow and ADL's Rabbi David Sandmel

The conclusion of Akdamut, the classic piyyut (liturgical poem) of Shavuot, envisions a messianic era in which God will slay Leviathan and Behemot, two enormous creatures mentioned in Scripture,and prepare them as a banquet upon which the righteous will feast.  At our Tikkun Leyl Shavuot, we will explore two contemporary issues which may be understood to reflect these twin "dragons," racism and anti-Semitism.  

6-7 pm:  Traditional Shavuot blintz dinner​​

7-7:30 pm:  Jewish Ambivalence Towards the 'Other,' text study with Rabbi Marc Margolius ​​

Rabbi David Sandmel7:30-8:30 pm: "Current Aspects of Global Anti-Semitism" with Rabbi David Sandmel, Director of Interreligious Affairs for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).  Rabbi Sandmel is responsible for ADL’s interfaith outreach efforts both nationally and internationally.  He is former Senior Advisor on Interreligious Affairs for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and served as Crown Ryan Professor of Jewish Studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, and Director of Life-Long Learning at Temple Sholom in Chicago. He received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

8:30-9 pm: Havdalah, then ​Hazzan Ayelet Piatigorsky on Akdamut, the classic piyyut of Shavuot

9-10 pm:  "African-Americans and American ​Jews:  A Romantic or Ruptured Partnership?" with Rabbi Steve Gutow, President/CEO, Jewish Council on Public Affairs.  In light of rising awareness of and concern about racial injustice and anti-Semitism, Rabbi Gutow will explore the enigmatic relationship between the Jewish-American and African-American communities, including the "false narratives," lows and highs, and our mutual responsibilities going forward.  He has worked in his present position to protect Israel's security, move the Jewish community and the US government to end genocide in Darfur, restore civility in public life, fight poverty, and create a sustainable environment.  Rabbi Gutow has been named to the “Forward 50” and Newsweek/Daily Beast list of most influential rabbis three times since 2008.

10-10:30 pm:  Siyyum (wrap-up) with Rabbi Margolius

WES Open House


Explore our creative, joyful and
inclusive approach to Judaism

Friday, June 5

5 pm              Learn about Reconstructionist Judaism
                       & our cutting-edge family programs
                            >> Wine and cheese for adults
                                          with Rabbi Marc Margolius
                            >> Activities for K-3rd graders
                                          with Rabbi Nadia Gold
                            >> Babysitting for 0-4 year olds

6 pm              “First Friday,”  family friendly musical service
                        for all ages!

7 pm              Shabbat dinner after services with pizza for kids

Saturday, June 6

9 am              Torah study with Rabbi Margolius

10 am            Shabbat services (free babysitting for 0-4)

11:15 am      Shirat Shabbat camp-style musical program
                       for K– 4th grade

11:30 am      Tot Shabbat for 0 – 4 year olds

12:30 pm      Kiddush lunch

1:30 pm        “Telling Our Stories: Raising Reconstructionist Children
                           -- an Intergenerational Conversation”

Kef Kids - Fall registration is now open!

Registration for Fall 2015 is now open for our new Shabbat program for kids, Pre-K—2nd grade at West End Synagogue

Free, Weekly Drop-In Musical Shabbat Programs for Infants through Fourth Graders!

Tot Shabbat
for 0-4 Year Olds
and Parents,
every Shabbat/Saturday
11:30 am

Click here for more about
Tot Shabbat.


Shirat Shabbat
("Song of Shabbat")for K-4th Graders and Parents,
every Shabbat/Saturday
11:15 am

Click here for more about
Shirat Shabbat for K-4th grade.

JFLL: Our Cutting-Edge Approach to Jewish Learning for Families

Jewish Family Life and LearningJFLL blends individual choice with experiential and whole family learning.  This year we are excited to pilot a new partnership with the groundbreaking Jewish Journeys Project (JJP) at the JCC in Manhattan for families with 3rd-4th grade children.

Click here for quick links to request info or registration forms for 2014-2015. Rabbi Nadia Gold, our Director of Family Engagement, is always eager to speak with our current and prospective JFLL families and WES members at large. Make an appointment with ngold [at] westendsynagogue [dot] org (Nadia) to learn more about our unique brand of Jewish education.

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