SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

January 4, 2014

North Shore religion news in brief


The Salem News

---- — The First Universalist Society, 211 Bridge St., Salem, is starting a new program called Spirituality Film Discussion. The first program will be on Saturday, Jan. 11, for a discussion of Woody Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors.” A light potluck gathering (snacks or fuller meals, as participants feel like contributing) will start at 6:15 p.m., with the film at 7 p.m. and discussion to follow. The Rev. Michelle Walsh will facilitate the discussion meetings. The program is free, and all are welcome. For more information, call the church at 978-744-3224.

Comedian Johnny Lampert appears at Giggles and Goodies, the annual comedy night at Temple B’nai Abraham, 200 East Lothrop St., Beverly, on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $35 each. Reserve a spot by Thursday, Jan. 16, at 978-927-3211, ext. 14. Limited tickets are available at the door. Also, back by popular demand, tell a joke for $5. Proceeds benefit the synagogue’s religious school.

The Lappin Foundation presents PJ Library Budding Scientists, a free program for children ages 2.9 to 5 to explore science through a Jewish lens using Jewish values-based literature and hands-on science experiments. “Labs” will meet Mondays, Jan. 27, Feb. 10, March 24 and May 19, from 3 to 4 p.m. at Congregation Shirat Hayam, 55 Atlantic Ave., Swampscott. Debbie Leibowitz, an early childhood educator, will facilitate the program, and participants will receive lab coats and lab books. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is required by Thursday, Jan. 16, to Phyllis Osher, 978-740-4404 or posher@lappinfoundation.org.

Congregation Shirat Hayam of the North Shore will host a New Year’s Brunch for widows and widowers on Sunday at 11 a.m. at Congregation Shirat Hayam, 55 Atlantic Ave., Swampscott. Rabbi HaLevi will present a brief program titled “New Year’s Resolutions — Resolve to Have a Good Year.” The cost is $10 per person. For more information or to reserve a spot, contact Marla Gay at 781-599-8005, ext. 27, or visit www.shirathayam.org.

Babies up to 6 months of age, along with mothers and caregivers, are invited to Baby Lounge for a morning of gentle movement with yoga instructor Ariela HaLevi and helpful hints for making Jewish ritual a part of a baby’s life. Baby Lounge meets on Thursdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Cohen Hillel Academy, 6 Community Road, Marblehead, from Jan. 9 to Feb. 13. Reserve a spot with Barbara Tanger at btanger@cohenhillel.org. Baby Lounge is a free program that welcomes the participation of interfaith couples and families, and people of all abilities, backgrounds and sexual orientations.

The Christian Women’s Connection January Brunch will be held on Monday, Jan. 13, from 8:45 to 10:30 a.m. in the Lighthouse Point Room at the Danversport Yacht Club, 161 Elliott St., Danvers. Lucia Perry from Country Corner will showcase her wooden carvings and paintings. Also, Lovedy Alexander will present “A Success Story” on how she overcame self-doubt and anger. Brunch is $14 inclusive and free baby-sitting is available for children up to age 5. Reservations are required by Saturday, Jan. 11, and can be made by contacting Jan at 978-303–7873 or 978-532–1379. For childcare or to make a cancellation, call Jan.

Rabbi Emily Mathis will lead a discussion group at Temple Beth Shalom in Peabody on Sundays, Jan. 19, Feb. 16, March 9, and April 6, from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. at 489 Lowell St., Peabody. Using “The Sacred Table: Creating a Jewish Food Ethic” as a guide, Mathis will lead a discussion of the Jewish perspective on food and justice, environmental ethics, the history and trends of Jewish dietary practices within reformed Judaism, animal rights, and more. Admission to the program is free, but books cost $12 for temple members and $18 for nonmembers. Light refreshments will be served. For more information or to reserve a spot, call the temple office at 978-535-2100.

Temple Beth Shalom’s Adult Education Committee presents “Comparative Religion: The Three Abrahamic Religions” featuring Dr. Michael Szycher on Sunday, March 2, from 10:15 to 11:45 a.m., at Temple Beth Shalom, 489 Lowell St., Peabody. Szycher presents a layperson’s guide to the similarities and differences between Judaism, Christianity and Islam; sacred time, space and objects; religious rituals, traditions, mysticism and spirituality; and the question, “Can religion and science co-exist?” Complimentary bagels, lox, pastries, and drinks will be available for participants. Reservations are required by Monday, Feb. 24, at bsimons@templebethshalom.org.

On the second Sunday of each month, members and friends of Maple Street Congregational Church collect food and essential items for the Danvers food pantry. Items most needed are baby wipes, disposable diapers in sizes 3 through 6, canned soups, peanut butter, canned tuna and cereal. The church is at 90 Maple St., Danvers. For more information, call 978-774-4510.

“Cocktails and Community: A Tu B’Shvat Celebration of the Seasons,” will be held Saturday, Jan. 25, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at Aviv Centers for Living, 240 Lynnfield St. in Peabody. The event, which is sponsored in part by Temple Beth Shalom of Peabody, will celebrate Tu B’Shvat with a program for adults in which, rather than mixing wines, four seasonal vodka infusions will be mixed. In addition to mixology, the event will feature refreshments representing the seven species of Israel and will share information about four local organizations working to strengthen the local food system and access to healthy food. In keeping with the biblical tradition of counting the fruit-tree tithe from the 15th of Shvat, a portion of the $25 cost of the evening will be donated to several charities. RSVP by Jan. 22 to bsimons@templebethshalom.org or 978-535-2100.

The Lappin Foundation will participate in a professional study to quantify the impact of the Youth to Israel Adventure on Jewish identity and is seeking the names and email addresses of at least 75 percent of the Y2I alumni from 1971 to 2007. Alumni, or anyone who knows of an alumnus, are asked to send the names, email addresses, and year of participation to dcoltin@lappinfoundation.org, or call 978-740-4410 with the information. The foundation is also seeking the names and email addresses of alumni of Israel teen trips who received a subsidy from the foundation (1971 to 2007) for any teen Israel experience, including USY, NEFTY, Young Judaea, and others. For more information, contact Executive Director Deborah Coltin at 978-740-4428 or dcoltin@lappinfoundation.org.