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Youth & Young Families

Your connection to young families in our community


Inside you'll find:

Message from Rabba Rachel

- Activities and events for Preschoolers, Teens, Parents
Besorot Tovot (Good news)


Dear Shaar Families, 

For many of us, there is still much uncertainty about what our summer will look like this year. Some have already heard that their child’s camp plans are cancelled and are scrambling to fill in, while others are holding out hope for day camp programs. Like so much of the past few months, we will pivot again and again, to find what works for our kids and our families. In Talmudic learning, there is a legal concept of l’chatchilah, which loosely translates as “the ideal” or “what one set out to do”. Then there is bedi’eved, which is Aramaic for “what actually happened in the end”. This will certainly be a summer of bedi’eved, doing the best we can under the circumstances. For better or worse, we have already been operating this way for quite some time throughout the pandemic. It is not an easy path, but we are witnessing creativity and resilience in parents and kids; we are finding new ways of parenting and of being in community.
At the Shaar, summer is a time to wind down our youth and young family programming and begin to ready ourselves for the high holidays. While we will be offering summer online Hebrew learning for kids (details will be coming soon), we will focus our energies on envisioning a different kind of holiday season this fall. In the coming weeks, I will be working closely with the parents on our youth committee, to create ways to engage children and their families on the holidays, within this "new normal" in which we find ourselves.
As the school year winds down, and children spend more time outdoors, I will move my Morning Gratitude program to two mornings per week. At Monday Morning Gratitude, we will start our week together, and at Tot Shabbat on Friday mornings, we will sing together in the sanctuary to welcome Shabbat. This newsletter will no longer arrive each week, but will now come periodically, to keep you informed about the Shaar’s programs and offerings.
Let’s count our blessings. The weather is beautiful, the summer is almost here, and the children are growing and learning each day.

Rabba Rachel





Join Rabba Rachel to start

and end the week together!             
For ages 2-6 and their grownups           

Monday Morning Gratitude 
Monday at 9:00 AM

Tot Shabbat in the Sanctuary 
Fridays at 9:00 AM

E-mail us for Zoom link
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  NCSY Jewpardy
Wednesday, June 3
6:30-7:30 PM

Join us for the final NCSY of the year! We will be looking back on the year that was, with various games to highlight favourite memories and what we've learned. Then, get ready for a game of “Jewpardy", where you will have to beat the toughest competition: Rabbi Scheier and Rabba Rachel! Not to be missed!


Open to all teens in grades 7 and up.


E-mail Eliana Rohr, Shaar NCSY Chapter advisor

for Zoom link


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Drinks After Dark:
Cocktail Workshop Mini-Series

Sundays June 7 & 14
8:00 PM
We had a great turnout at Sunday's first session! Even if you missed it, join on June 7 and 14 to discover the essentials of cocktail preparation. Each session Rabba Rachel and Rabbi Avi Finegold will outline a master recipe and several variations, including low- and no-alcohol tips for making juices and sodas more interesting. Receive a list of suggested ingredients in advance of each session.

Register Here


Besorot Tovot (Good News)
Something to lift your spirits!



Grab the popcorn – Enjoy Jewish film fest from your couch


You may not be in Florida, but since the pandemic has forced many activities to go online, you can now virtually attend this exciting community event! The 24th annual Tampa Bay Jewish Film Festival was set to run March 29 through April 5, but the pandemic forced postponement. Now, festival organizers have regrouped and will offer an at-home version of the event from June 24-28. Cost is $5 USD per film. Tickets go on sale June 5. 

Read More.



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Monday, August 10, 2020 20 Av 5780