IJSS: Summer!

As we get into summer, it is nice to stay connected and celebrate the changes and warmth of the season.

In friendship, we will meet a couple of times during the summer just to say “hello.” A gathering for July is also being planned as a congregation with Jewish Friendship Group (JFG) to meet before the beginning of High Holy Days in late August.

Please keep in mind the dates for High Holy Days. Rosh Hashanah is Sept. 15 and 16, and Yom Kippur is Sept. 24 and 25. More information will be provided as we get closer to those dates. Our clergy staff, Rabbi Sanford Seltzer, cantorial soloist Eliyanah Powers, and our new accompanist Joshua Nichols will lead us in observance during this special time.

King Charles III and the United Kingdom Chief Rabbi

As a part of the coronation ceremony of King Charles III, he was anointed with oil from the Mount of Olives in Israel. The verse used is rooted in the Bible, as when Moses anointed his brother Aaron as High Priest and when King David and King Solomon was anointed. The Coronation Ceremony has continued through countless generations combined with an orb, sword, and scepters, and a solid gold crown with more than 400 precious stones placed on King Charles III’s head. Rabbi Mirvis, UK’s Chief Rabbi, participated. The Rabbi was a guest at the Royal Palace so he could walk to the coronation on Shabbat after he prayed at Shabbat morning services at 6 a.m. As I just learned, traditionally, Jews are usually forbidden to enter Christian houses of worship. However, at the request of the King, they may. Of interest, a preface was added to the coronation oath to state that the Church of England will seek to foster an environment where people of all faiths and beliefs may live freely.


Tisha B’Av (July 26-27). Jewish people observe this holiday as a memorial to the destruction of the ancient temples in Jerusalem. As well, it is a remembrance to the persecution of the Jewish communities through history. It is a time to look at the world around us of the modern struggles against violence and oppression.

And then there is Tu B’Av (Aug. 1-2). After not being observed for centuries, this holiday has had a rebirth in Israel as the Jewish Day of Love. The holiday dates to the second Temple in Jerusalem as an annual “matchmaking” day! Unmarried women would dance in the vineyards outside of the Temple in white. Modern time celebrants share gifts, flowers, and a romantic dinner or night out.

For Fun!

For some summer enjoyment you may wish to look at a few websites for a bit of interest, inspiration, and thought.

Aish.com strives to inspire people to live more thoughtful, spiritual, and impactful lives through learning and sharing timeless Jewish wisdom. Recently featuring “The Bold Flavors and Political Favors of the Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean.”

Zipple.com is a Jewish portal and website aimed mostly at Jews in their 20s and 30s (an interesting look). Information for singles and a free matchmaking section among entertainment, media, food, families, and finance and a wide selection of references and websites.

Jewish Music Online (jewishmusic.com) Music of the Jews of Uganda, traditional cantorial selections to a “Reggae Passover CD, is available. Sound clips help your selections. Music e-books, sheet music, print books, and recordings are available. You may want to hear a soundbite of “The Final Recordings of Jan Peerce.”

The Institute for Judaic Services and Studies (IJSS)is a small and welcoming congregation. We value our members and their needs. If you have questions or wish to join our congregation, please feel free to contact Esta Goldstein at 520-825-1181 or Seth Eisner at 520-818-6340 for information.

Wishes for a wonderful summer to all!