Rosh Hashanah 5778—Not A Reset Button

By Dan Brosgol

Rosh Hashanah never really comes at the right time, crashing into the secular calendar without regard to the schedules of school, ballet, pennant races, or youth soccer games.

Sometimes it comes right after Labor Day, and sometimes it comes in October. Some years it’s in the middle of a late summer heat wave, while in other years we are already breaking out the fleece and the cider. No matter when it pops up (this year, the holiday starts at sundown on Wednesday, September 20), life comes to a screeching halt and we end up not in school and not at work, but in synagogue, dusting off tunes that we only hear three times a year and going from a pace of 0-to-60 on the High Holidays meter, seemingly in no time at all. It’s a little disorienting.

But every year at Rosh Hashanah, the blowing of the shofar (a ram’s horn) calls us to attention. Wake up! Listen up! Get serious. It is a powerful sound, perhaps one that used to bring armies to battle and allegedly preceded the revelation of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai.

Shalom Emeth – a Reform Jewish Temple in Burlington led by Bedford Rabbi Susan Abramson

By Lee Vorderer

Members of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and Temple Shalom Emeth examine the temple’s Torah scrolls. – Courtesy photograph

Rabbi Susan Abramson says that people feel at home right away when they visit Shalom Emeth, a Reform Jewish Temple located in Burlington, MA. Abramson, who has served Shalom Emeth for 34 years, says that the Temple is regional, serving the needs of surrounding communities as well as those of Burlington.

Bedford Residents, Local Leaders, and Clergy Gathered for Monday’s Community Vigil

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

Nearly 200 Bedford residents — parents, grandparents, teens, children, and pets — made their way to the basketball court across from Bedford High School after Congressman Seth Moulton’s Town Hall Meeting at BHS on Monday evening.

Congressman Moulton opened the community vigil, speaking out against the recent demonstrations and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In Bedford: Congressman Seth Moulton’s Town Hall Meeting and Community Vigil

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

Bedford’s Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) drew a nearly standing-room-only crowd to the Bedford High School on Monday evening, August 14. At the end of the Town Hall meeting, Congressman Moulton joined Bedford clergy, Rep. Ken Gordon, and roughly 200 community members at a vigil of solidarity to address the events of Charlottesville, VA over the weekend.

Stay tuned to The Bedford Citizen to read our reports from both the Town Hall meeting and the vigil, but in the meantime, here are some photographs to give you a flavor of the evening.

First Parish Earns AIM Certification for Becoming an Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry

Submitted by First Parish, Unitarian Universalist Church in Bedford

First Parish in Bedford recently became the second Unitarian Universalist congregation in the country to be named an “AIM-certified congregation.” AIM (Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry) is a joint program of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and EqUUal Access, an organization whose mission is to enable the full engagement of people with disabilities. Marie Ryder, a member of First Parish’s Access for ALL team, accepted the award on the behalf of the congregation at General Assembly, the UUA’s recent national meeting in New Orleans.

Bedford High School’s Group Documentary Team Brings Home a National History Day Medal

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

Congratulations to the four members of Bedford High School’s National History Day team — Lexia Ciccone, Cordelia Houck, Natalie Knight, and Georgia Michelman — and their history teacher, James Sunderland. In a ceremony live-streamed on the Internet, Bedford’s team and their senior group documentary, ‘Zora Neale Hurston: Taking a Stand for a Holistic Portrayal of Black Women & Black Culture in Literature,’ earned the third-place medal on Thursday morning at the University of Maryland.

The 2017 National History Day theme was ‘Taking a Stand in History,’ and Bedford’s team competed in a field of 100 entries from around the world. The field was narrowed to 10 finalists after each project was presented to a panel of judges.

St. Paul’s Annual Thrift Sale – Saturday, June 24 from 9 am until 2 pm

Submitted by St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

St. Paul’s will hold its annual Thrift Sale on Saturday, June 24, from 9:00am to 2:00pm. The sale features gently used clothing, household goods, white elephant objects, toys (in good shape), books, CDs, DVDs, and more. Clothing is sold by the bag.

The Thrift Sale is a wonderful example of stewardship in the broadest sense of the word: it’s a fun way for parishioners to collectively recycle what they have been given, while providing goods and clothing at reasonable prices to those who can benefit from them. All unsold items are donated to local charities.

Celebrate Summertime at the First Church Strawberry Festival ~ 6 to 8 pm on Thursday, June 8

Submitted by First Church of Christ, Congregational

Service with a smile, and a red cap to meet Health Department regulations – Image (c) JMcCT, 2015 all rights reserved

Please join us for an evening of sweet treats, music, and fun on Thursday, June 8 from 6pm – 8pm. It’s the 67th Annual Bedford Strawberry Festival hosted by volunteers from First Church of Christ Congregational, rain or shine, at 25 Great Rd Bedford.

Our strawberry shortcakes are made with fresh strawberries in their own juices, homemade biscuits, Bedford Farms vanilla ice cream and real whipped cream. For chocolate lovers, hot fudge sundaes will also be served.

An Open Letter from School Superintendent Jon Sills – Hate Symbols Once Again Appear In Bedford

By Jon Sills, Superintendent of the Bedford School Department

Since the start of this school year, swastikas have been found in middle and high schools in Reading, Lexington, Newton, Brookline, Billerica, Cambridge, Harvard, Stoughton, Canton, and Marblehead, and on the garage of an African-American family in Arlington. The Anti-Defamation League reports that in 2016 Massachusetts ranked fifth in the nation for the number of anti-Semitic incidents, with reported offenses jumping from 50 in 2015 to 125 in 2016. During this school year, as well, racist graffiti has been reported to have been found in Attleboro, Concord, Newton, Harvard, Cambridge, Brockton and Natick public schools.

Sadly, Bedford has not been immune to this intolerable trend, as indicated by the high school’s discovery of two swastikas on Friday and the middle school’s discovery of a swastika on Monday. Both school principals sent messages to their parent communities and they are addressing the issue with their students in a variety of ways.

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