December 2012 - Kislev 5773

We've been busy with many learning opportunities this fall and have a wide range of exciting offerings coming in January and February.

Our Torah study classes have been attended by over 30 enthusiastic participants. 
One participant writes:
I want you to know how deeply moving I found the chanting at the beginning of the teaching, and the discussion of the text as well.I am feeling so enriched by these classes Kaya, and hope we will continue through the winter.

Our Hevra Kadisha has provided care to the deceased and comfort to local families. In addition to our women's team, our men's team is now in place and we have also been able to provide sh'mirah/sitting vigil through the long hours of the night. We are so grateful to our volunteers for this selfless service. A community member whose father benefitted from these services writes the following:

I am writing to thank you and the volunteers of the Hevra Kadisha from the bottom of our hearts. Thanks to all of you, my father's transition from passing to his final rest completely satisfied our hopes and desires that this occasion be one of respect and sacredness. The care shown to my father and our family, from those who performed the solemn tahara (ritual washing), to the gentle volunteers who came to pray and meditate with his body all through the night, from the time we went home until the time we returned the next day, was remarkable and meaningful.  We felt held and supported through the entire process. What a gift - both you and the Hevra Kadisha's graceful framing of my father's last chapter on this earth. Thank you. 

Please check out our upcoming programs below.
Wishing you a Happy Chanukah!




Ellen Bernstein
Rabbi Ellen Bernstein
The Ecological Wisdom of Torah

Discover how the language in the early chapters of Genesis reveals a critically important ecological vision underlying much of the Bible. 

Rabbi Bernstein, dubbed the birth-mother of the Jewish environmental movement founded "Shomrei Adamah-Keepers of the Earth," the first Jewish environmental organization in 1988. She is the author of numerous books on Judaism and ecology including "The Splendor of Creation" and "Ecology & the Jewish Spirit."

When: Sunday 1/13/13,  1:30 - 3:00 PM
Where: Chapel of the Church on the Hill,  55 Main St. Lenox, MA
Fee: $20

To Register:  Please respond to this email or call 413-274-1034 

An Interfaith Forum 
Spiritual Views on Death and the After-life

This forum will present the spiritual beliefs and rituals related to the process of dying, death and the after-life as understood by many of our world religions. 

Presenters will include a panel of local clergy from the Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Christian Community, Muslim and Buddhist faith traditions. 

Topics will include: customs surrounding care for the deceased; the journey of the soul after death; the relationship between the living and the dead; and what these traditions teach regarding preparation for this ultimate transition.


When:  February 3, 2013   1:30-4:00PM


Where: Berkshire South Regional Community Center, Great Barrington, MA


Fee: $10


Rabba Kaya on the road
January 14th and January 28th
Congregation K'nesset Israel
Pittsfield, MA

Creating Sacred Community
A Learning Opportunity with Rabba Kaya

Acts of loving-kindness and compassion between individuals and their neighbors are the hallmark of Jewish communal life. Welcoming guests to our homes (hakhnasat orhim) and visiting the sick (bikkur holim) epitomize the supreme value expressed in the Torah- v'ahavta l'reiakha kamokha- You shall love your neighbor as yourself.


Beginning in session one, we shall explore texts describing the practice and spiritual implications for hospitality upon the guests and the host. In session two, we will explore the imperative and the sensitive nature of visiting the sick through study of rabbinic texts that reveal a depth of concern for the welfare and dignity of every human being. 

January 25 - 27, 2013
Isabella Freedman
Jewish Retreat Center
Falls Village, CT 

A Tu b'Shevat Celebration
at Isabella Freedman Center

Join Rabba Kaya for this weekend of celebration 
and commitment to a sustainable future.

 For more info go to: http://isabellafreedman.org/tubshevat
Come for the weekend or for a day. Commuter rates are available.
About Us
We seek to enrich and support Jewish spiritual life in the Berkshire region by transmitting the richness of Jewish tradition and wisdom to the broadest audience of seekers while fostering a contemporary sensibility and awareness.


By providing educational opportunities and offering experiences in prayer, 

meditation and movement. 

By offering chaplaincy/spiritual support services to the sick, elderly and bereaved

By providing a community-wide Hevra Kadisha (Jewish Burial Society)


Board Members: Elie Hammerling-President, Barbara Drosnin, Myrna Hammerling, Helaine Harris, Stephen Kaufman, Susie Kaufman, Andrea Jacobson, Sol Israel


Rimon is an affiliate of Jewish Federation of the Berkshires 



Rimon: Resource Center for Jewish Spirituality
PO Box 502, Great Barrington, Massachusetts 01230
413-274-1034,  info@rimonberkshires.org