An Exciting Start to Our New Jewish Year


Jay Jacobs, President

Hello from the other side of 5780.  Did you enjoy our High Holiday observances as much as I did? Rabbi Alyson and Cantor Juval led us through an inspiring liturgy and the choir—I was singing with you from the pews—sounded even better.  We had so many volunteers from greeters to ushers to Yom Kippur workshop facilitators. Thank you all for participating during High Holidays and beyond. This is going to be a busy year and the gift of your volunteering will be like manna to sustain each other.   Here are just a few things coming up.  

Our application for a new settled rabbi has been submitted to the Rabbinical Placement Commission of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.  BCC’s Rabbinic Search Committee is now preparing for the interview process, during which the identities of rabbinic applicants must remain confidential.  You can read more about this process and the anticipated timeline in the Search Committee’s article elsewhere in this issue.

Did you know our chazzan, Cantor Juval, has been with us for ten years now? During the High Holidays we circulated a card, now filled with signatures and well wishes (on both sides) for his anniversary.  A big thank you to everyone who participated, but that’s not the only way to appreciate our amazing and talented cantor. He is planning a Cantors Cabaret in December, and we will be applauding and celebrating his tenth anniversary with BCC during the reception.  Many thanks to Kenna Love for her production of this event. I hope to see you all there. Please bring a friend.  

Our clergy and Director of Education Rae Antonov Portnoy have also been collaborating with the Shabbat morning minyan to create intergenerational services on Shabbat mornings.  We plan to ease into this, starting with every other month to see what works. I attended the first one and really enjoyed seeing the kinder (children) with theirs eyes twinkling at the Torah. We invite you to join us and experience it yourself.  All ages are welcome.

If you didn’t get a chance to choose some of Mary Oliver’s poetry that Rabbi Alyson presented on Yom Kippur, we have them printed on colorful cards in the lobby.  Please take any of them that move you. A prolific writer of both poetry and prose, Mary Oliver routinely published a new book every year or two. In the late 1950s she met photographer Molly Malone Cook, who would become her partner for over 40 years and also her literary agent.  Ms. Oliver lived in Provincetown, Mass. and Hobe Sound, Florida until her death in early 2019 at age 83. You can read more about her at

For me, the new year 5780 is not about how we continue to survive in a chaotic secular world but rather how we can come to live together Jewishly, because we are, after all, the House of New Life.