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February 2023


Ahhh….February….a special month for me!

Winter is still here….the brisk mornings offer a great time to get outside and enjoy the beauty of the Ojai Valley.  We are so fortunate to be able to share this unique atmosphere together.  It allows for some clear thinking.

Speaking of which, a couple of weekends ago, your Board of Directors and Finance Committee met for a full day (and I mean that when I say that---we were together for about 7 hours!!!) to discuss the future of our JCO.  I was put into a state of bewilderment when it was brought up that our dues has not been raised in just shy of ten years!!  No wonder its such a push and struggle to put on programs, events and make any improvements.  Kuddos to the people who have worked so hard throughout all those years to help sustain our ethos at JCO !!

This month is a month of real reflection for me.  When you come to temple when I’m there, you’ll see that I’m wearing purple. Each and every day of the month I do this—or at least I try to.  Amethyst is the birthstone for February.  Way back when, my sister and I made a pact that we would honor our special day and wear ‘something’ that was purple.  Everyday in the month, we would call each other and ask “what are you wearing today?”.  I challenge you to come to Shabbat services to make sure I’m wearing purple---and if I’m not, call me on it!  Won’t that be fun??

Besides a month of purple-ism, February will have some great events we can all share together.  The first Friday, Shabbat will be ushered in with music—lots of music—by Cantor Mitzi.  February 5 is our intergenerational women’s group, The Red Tent.  Please, ladies, come join us.  It’s an afternoon of developing deeper relationships with each other; and making new friends.  We have a Bagel making lesson happening on February 12th and the Men’s Group (which I hear is a place the guys are really enjoying being —you guys should go!) is scheduled for February 16th.  All of the information on all of these events are in the weekly eNewsletter that gets sent to your email box on Wednesday mornings.  It’s imperative that you register for some of these events so there will be enough provisions for everyone!

Rabbi Lisa continues to give us lessons in our spirituality and the weekly Torah portion during our Shabbat services as does Sheila.  We are so fortunate to have caring people bring us into Shabbat each week…after all, Shabbat is the most important holiday we have.  Truth!  I often wonder why many Jews only show up only at the High Holy Days, when Shabbat is more important.  (Note:  I’m not making this up.  I verified it with Rebbe Google:

Reflection….how can we not reflect on the state of our country, the state of our wonderful state of California with the recent senseless loss of life in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay?  Safety is a major concern not only for Jews, but for everybody.  February 15, 6:30pm, please come to the Social Hall for a special Community Resiliency Training.  We all must remain vigilant in awareness for everyone’s safety.  Please register asap at: . You can take the information you learn everywhere you go!

Looking ahead, March is shaping up to be a very active and fun month for our Jewish Community of Ojai.  Please be on the lookout for an email from before the end of the first week of February.  A special event is brewing for March 3 and it requires special ‘action’ (such as registration ASAP since seating is limited)!!

Also in March, we are so excited to be hosting The Mitzvah Project:  a one-man show on March 19th, presented by Performances to Grow On ( ).  Tickets are $25, however, JCO has been given a discount code where our tickets are $20.  You can find the code and details in our weekly eNewsletter.  And, as you know, seating is limited!

And Purim is coming!!  Rabbi Lisa is going to tell us the Purim story on March 10 at our Shabbat service so, get your costumes ready for a fun and traditional time together!

Oh and by the way, the naming of the vintage Rialta RV is still in the works  There have been many quite good suggestions yet no decisions.  So put on those thinking caps and let me know what you come up with.  (You can refer to January’s Letter from the President to refresh your memory.  Remember it needs to end in ‘ee’!)  I think the end of February is a good deadline for your thoughts!!

And with all of that, I wish us all a very Peaceful & Healthy February—one to celebrate!

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