Interest Groups

Sisterhood

The mission of the Sisterhood of Temple B’nai Torah is to build connections between the women of Sisterhood to each other and, in turn, the Temple, our community and the world-at-large, as part of Women of Reform Judaism.  We achieve this goal by providing opportunities for spiritual, social and intellectual growth.  Contact: Mollie Launer at [email protected]

Lay-Led Torah Study

Meets at 9:00 a.m. in the youth room every Saturday year-round to discuss the Torah portion being read at services that day. The choice of a translation and commentary is up to each participant. Clergy from TBT and other synagogues near and far occasionally join us and are always welcome, but there is never a designated leader. The discussion emerges organically. Contact: Jacque Weddle at [email protected]

Clergy-Led Torah Study

For those who want to explore the Torah portion of the week with guidance from our Clergy, the Clergy-Led Torah Study takes place at 9:00 a.m. every Saturday.  While focusing on that week's Torah portion, participants learn through questions and the commentary.  Contact: Rabbi Lipper at [email protected]

TBT Garden Club

Gardeners of all levels are invited to join TBT Garden Club. The club meets about once a month during the day, sometimes weekdays, and occasionally weekends to hear speakers, tour gardens or go on fieldtrips. The club will determine the interests of its members and go from there. Contact: Bonnie Godfred at [email protected]

Mah Jongg

The mah jongg group usually meets every other Monday. This is a group of learners who enjoy playing together.  Newcomers to the game are welcome.  To be placed on the on the elist for this group (as dates may vary depending on people’s schedules), contact: Barby Cohen at [email protected] 

Endless Opportunities

This is a group of diverse, mature, active, and fun-loving folks with a Temple connection, who are interested in social and educational activities. The programs are held on various days during the week.  Endless Opportunities is sponsored by Temple B’nai Torah, Temple DeHirsch Sinai and Jewish Family Services, and the get-togethers are held at TBT or Temple DeHirsch Sinai. All activities are publicized in the Temple’s weekly email. Visit our Endless Opportunities Page Here

Totally Book Talk (TBT) Cafe

This group is for women of all ages and meets monthly to discuss a variety of genres (non-fiction, contemporary fiction, memoirs). Choices range from contemporary fiction, historical fiction, books with a Jewish connection or international settings. Women are welcome to drop in at any time.  For those who are interested in thoughtful, stimulating discussions, this is the group to join.  Contact: Helene Gershowitz at [email protected]

Rosh Chodesh/Women’s Friendship Circle

Join us for conversation and friendship at our lively monthly discussions. Throughout the year, various books are selected to inspire and foster deeper understanding of Judaism, Jewish spirituality, and connection with others in the group. Led by Anna Satenstein and Donna Blankinship. Contact: Donna at [email protected].

Choir

Do you like to sing? Please consider giving of yourself, your time and your good energy to enhance our TBT services by joining the choir. Share in the joy of Shabbat through singing sacred music and make new friendships too.  If you can hold your pitch and are available most Sunday afternoons – you’re in. Contact: Marianne at [email protected].

Jewish History

The History Chavurah is a self-organized study group focusing on Jewish history and cultural aspects of our Jewish journey.  We examine education, economics, governance, women’s role, religious beliefs and rituals and culture throughout key historical events. We primarily use histories written around the time of an event we are studying and archeological texts, with the Tanach as a supplement. Each topic is self-contained so people joining now can jump right in. We try to make available selected overview material or potential sources to review prior to each discussion. While individuals do step forward and lead selected sessions, we ask that all participants prepare and bring their own perspectives to each study session. We generally meet on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 PM at TBT.  Contact: Jeannie Moskowitz at [email protected].

Lilith Salon

Join other women of all ages at TBT's Lilith salon. Held quarterly, each salon starts with topics taken from “Lilith” magazine, but the conversation moves in whatever direction the participants take it: new women’s rituals and celebrations, gender and employment laws, food, love, ideas of beauty. Contact Lee Weissman at [email protected].

Mitzvah Corps

Mitzvah Corps of Temple B’nai Torah is an all-volunteer group made up of fabulous folks from the Temple community! We help our fellow members and their families in all sorts of wonderful ways. We may visit a home-bound senior or pick up groceries for an ailing member. We might call a member who is recovering from surgery or drive someone to services. We sometimes even provide a couple of hours of childcare for a family in need. Some of us have driven a TBT member to a medical appointment because they were not well enough to drive themselves. There are all kinds of ways to help out, and you can give a little or give a lot. It’s up to you. A little help can make a big difference in someone’s life. Furthermore, if you need help yourself, be sure to call us so we can connect you with the help you need.

Contact Lori Harnick or Robin Negrin at [email protected] or phone the Temple office, (425) 603-9677.

Tikun Olam Task Force (Social Action)

l’taken olam b’malchut shaddai ~ to repair the world under God’s sovereignty ~ Aleinu Prayer

Temple B’nai Torah has a strong tradition of social action and social justice work. We are currently focused on a number of initiatives:

Homelessness and Hunger – From working with the City of Bellevue to adopt  more humane approach to hosting Tent City and participating in several programs that provide meals for those in need, we have a long history of advocating for homeless people, legally and practically.

Gun Law Awareness and Advocacy – Keeping abreast of current advocacy work underway in our state and nation by Jewish organizations, we plan to continue our own discussions and advocacy in this area.

Refugee Concerns – We have partnered with Jewish Family Services and our friends in the Muslim community to begin the process of setting our long-term goals in this pressing global crisis.

Environmental Impact – Our Greening subcommittee is committed to revising our internal processes to reduce waste and costs and decrease our impact on the earth.

We also participate in numerous other events throughout the year, including a community-wide service day, a bone marrow drive, “Gardening for Good” providing fresh produce for our local food bank, and voter registration. Contact Donna Blankinship at [email protected].

TBT Board and Table Games

A TBT Games Group for people who enjoy board and other table games.  For people who enjoy strategic games, being together and having fun. Join us on specified Sundays at 9:30 am at the “Buck Stops Here” Café at TBT, in homes of members or Crossroads, depending on interest.  Watch for announcements in the religious school newsletter and weekly email, and/or get on the elist to know when we are playing.  Contact Matthew Titelbaum at [email protected].

Interested in Starting an Interest Group?

Do you have a passion you’d like to share with others in our Temple community?  All it takes is a good idea and your willingness to coordinate.  Every group is different. Some meet in homes, some at the Temple, and some out and about.  They meet at times convenient to the coordinator and participants in the group.  Let us know your interest and we’ll be glad to help with initial organization and publicity.  Contact: Katie Sturm at [email protected].