Pesach Message from Darchei Noam

Dear Friends of Darchei Noam,

I realize that you are well aware of the maelstrom of horrific events that have been overwhelming all of us for the last half a year.  It truly feels as though our world has been turned upside down and, unfortunately, the future seems just as frightening as the past.

During challenging times such as these, it is human nature to draw comfort from being part of a community. I am sure that is why attendance at our Shabbat services and other events has grown during the last few months – including not only long-time members but also quite a few local residents of all ages who discovered our synagogue for the first time and now attend services regularly.

We are doing our best to continue with our regular programming, including weekly classes on the week’s Torah portion, Bar/Bat Mitzvah classes, and choir practice. We still hold several Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies every week, and we celebrate holidays together. On Purim, children and adults enjoyed a costume party with a communal reading of the Megillah.

In line with the policy set by the Israel Movement for Reform Judaism, Darchei Noam is helping strengthen the ties between Jews and Muslims in Israel. Delegations from our congregation and from the Arab-Israeli city of Tayibe have hosted each other several times in the last few months, enabling an all-too-rare opportunity for person-to-person encounters between the two groups. It turns out we have much more in common than you might expect! In addition, we have also began offering a weekly course in spoken Arabic to members of Darchei Noam.

The upcoming Passover holiday will clearly be a challenge this year. It’s hard to celebrate freedom when there are still so many hostages being held in Gaza. I’m sure that you will join me in praying for their prompt release, as well as for better, more peaceful times for Israel and the entire Jewish world.

With warmest wishes,

Ilana Dothan


April 18, 2024