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"When We Believe - Tikkun Olam Happens"

Updated: Apr 22




The 23rd annual Women’s Community Seder will be held virtually again this year on Sunday, April 3 at 6 p.m. and feature a panel of experts to discuss the abilities that everyone possesses to change the world. The theme for this year’s event is “When We Believe – Tikkun Olam Happens.” Speakers will include Michelle Norris from Cultures of Peace, who will talk about the the bonds between Blacks and Jews. Also speaking will be Cindy Minetti and Sylvia Acevedo from Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services, who will discuss their agency’s Afghan refugee program. Rounding out the list of speakers is Shayna Cohen, director of Tikkun Ha’Yam – Repairing the Sea.org, a project started by the Hillels of the Florida Suncoast. The cost to attend virtually is $18 and includes a goody bag filled with traditional Seder offerings and light dinner items such as a small bottle of wine, matzoh, charoset, hummus, vegetables, nuts and poached salmon. The goody bags will be distributed by volunteers. All are welcome to participate. In addition to the speakers, the program will feature female spiritual leaders in the Tampa Bay area: Rabbi Danielle Upbin of Congregation Beth Shalom in Clearwater; Rabbi Rachel Blatt of Congregation Kol Ami in Tampa and Rabbi Jenn Mangold of Temple Beth-El in St. Petersburg. Other performers will include Cantor Katie Oringel of Temple B’nai Israel in Clearwater; cantorial soloist Joyce Liu of Temple Beth-El in St. Petersburg, guitarist Eve Alman Goldstein of Temple Ahavat Shalom in Palm Harbor, violinist Rebecca Zapen of Congregation B’nai Israel in St. Petersburg, and rabbinic intern Lily Lucey of New Jersey, who previously was a cantorial soloist at Beth Shalom in Clearwater. Their performances will be reminders of the journey Jewish women took as they fled slavery in Egypt thousands of years ago. Planners are hoping to equal or better last year’s crowd of 150 participants. This will mark the second, and planners hope, last year the event will have to be held virtually. This year the sign-up process has been streamlined in hopes of increased participation. Reservation deadline is March 15. For more information and to RSVP, email communitywomensseder@gmail.com. The planning committee consists of Cyndi Silverman of Congregation Beth Shalom in Clearwater, who has been planning this event since 2009, along with Leslie Freedman and Harriet Starr also from Beth Shalom, and Barbara Bloom and Kelly Siegel from Temple B’nai Israel. Among sponsors for the event is Beth Shalom, which for more than 20 years served as host for the Community Women’s Seder. Other sponsors are Temple B’nai Israel in Clearwater; Temple Beth-El and Congregation B’nai Israel, both in St. Petersburg; Temple Ahavat Shalom in Palm Harbor; Congregations Kol Ami and Rodeph Sholom in Tampa; the Lylah/North Pinellas and the St Petersburg Hadassah chapters, Jewish Cultural Endowment and Menorah Life (formerly Menorah Manor).

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