Steve McCloskey, President
JEWISH SONGS, FUN AND GAMES
IN FEBRUARY AND MARCH AT NJC
February's highlight at Naples Jewish Congregation (NJC) will be Listen Up!’s exquisite a cappella harmony, suffusing Jewish songs with their unique multigenerational humor and impressive vocal talents. This year’s NJC Artist Program will present Listen Up! Thursday, February 20 at 7 pm, followed by an elegant wine-and-dessert reception. The group's powerhouse program, entitled “Celebrating Judaism and Israel Through Seventy Years of Jewish Song,” showcases the rich tradition of Jewish liturgy and song, leavened with a decidedly contemporary flavor.
You will be enthralled by Listen Up!’s Adon Olam cover of Pharrell Williams’ monster hit “Happy,” which has been heard at Shabbat services in synagogues across the U.S. Their newest YouTube sensation is a Billboard Music-worthy and edgy Hebrew remix of Lil’ Nas X’s chartbusting “Old Town Road,” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, garnering critical acclaim from the Forward and Kveller. (Ask your grandchildren about this song). Come to savor the contrast between the irrepressibly upbeat "Say Shabbat Shalom" with the hauntingly beautiful" Yerushalayim Shel Zahav" (Jerusalem of Gold). Once again, we extend our heartfelt thanks to the Federation for its most generous support of our Artist Program, a major NJC fundraiser.
Here is how the Chicago Tribune raved about Listen Up!, the “house band” of the Greater Chicago Jewish Festival for the past 25 years: “What comes across in every moment of their performance is an adoration for singing -- turning melodies and harmonies on their heads to come up with something unique and full of freshness and appeal. When redefining musical rules, it helps to be good -- and Listen Up! is very good, lacking nothing in imagination and the ability to sell their vision of a song.” Learn more about the group here.
February and March also feature two adult education sessions led by Rabbi Herman. On Friday, February 7 at 5 pm, Rabbi Herman will be leading us in a session entitled “Dissent and Dialogue,” expounding on the Judaic teachings that promote civic engagement, a topic particularly relevant in these fractious times. We will discuss the art of disagreeing without being disagreeable.
We conclude February with our New Member Reception and Shabbat service on Friday, February 28. This is our opportunity to celebrate our new members at a 6 pm wine and cheese reception and to honor them by having them participate in the 7 pm Shabbat service.
On Friday, March 20 at 5 pm, Rabbi Herman will be discussing Jewish Medical Ethics For The 21st Century at his fifth adult education session of the year. This promises to be a timely and germane topic, sure to engender stimulating discussion.
We close out the month with our annual Game Day on Monday, March 30, from 10:30 am to 4 pm at Cypress Woods Golf Club. There are 30 tables of 4 available for poker, mahjong, canasta, bridge, dominoes or a myriad of other games sure to please your tablemates. The per person charge ia a mere $45, which includes your morning coffee, all day soft drinks, a fabulous buffet brunch, a terrific silent raffle with donations from well known vendors and the camaraderie of your friends immersed in fun and games.
NJC’s Game Day, a major fundraiser, has been a mainstay of the March calendar in Naples for years. Seating for this popular event is limited to first paid reservations, so signing up early will indeed guarantee you "a seat at the table.”
WHAT A SEASON
IT PROMISES TO BE AT NJC!
As we usher in the “season” in Naples, we at NJC understand that there are many spiritual, cultural, educational and social offerings competing for your time and dollars. Naples Jewish Congregation promises a rich blend of all four in our calendar.
Education is a pillar of the Jewish experience. From January through March, Rabbi Howard Herman will be leading adult education sessions covering the topics of Dissent and Dialogue, a Judaic perspective on our fractious times (Friday, January 10), Jewish Medical Ethics in the 21st Century (Friday, February 7) and Jewish Magic and Superstition (Friday, March 20). These diverse conversations reflect more than 40 years of Jewish study and teaching experience that enhance our time together. All 3 sessions begin at 5 pm, followed by a light dinner at 6 pm and Shabbat services at 7 pm.
Our Men’s Club Shabbat was observed Jan. 4 and Sisterhood Shabbat will be held on Friday, January 31 at 7 pm. These Shabbat services are important because they're conducted by members and honor their many. As a proud sponsor of the Greater Naples Jewish Book Festival since its inception, NJC will host a two-authorevent on Monday, January 13, entitled “Jewish Journeys,” an afternoon exploring the subject of memoirs. Reading is such an integral part of our lives as informed Jews that we are grateful for the to bring this inspiring literary event to the greater Jewish community. On behalf of NJC, I would like to thank Ted Epstein and all others involved at the Jewish Federation of Greater Naples (JFGN) for bringing the Greater Naples Jewish Book Festival, a wonderful multi-author event highlighting literature and learning, from conception to fruition.
NJC will host a Federation Shabbat on Friday, January 24 at 7 pm. Before the service, a wine and cheese reception will be held at 6 pm to introduce our members to the leaders of the Jewish Federation of Greateer Naples, including Jeffrey Feld, CEO/Presideent and Jane Schiff, the federation board's chair. Jeffrey and Jane will participate in our Shabbat service, the theme of which will be the power of community. The Federation is all about building and fostering a more vibrant and involved greater Naples Jewish community, through its efforts our various congregations and its work with community-wide groups, such as the Women’s Cultural Alliance (WCA), the Men’s Cultural Alliance (MCA) and others. NJC values the Federation’s support of our congregation which serves to bolster the bonds within our Jewish community.
Federation support has been critical to the success of the six years of NJC’s Artist in Residence Program, as the principal underwriter of this Program. This year, on February 20 at 7 pm, NJC will present "Listen Up!," a stellar Jewish a cappella quartet that has entertained the Chicago area with its eclectic and unique take on Jewish song for over 25 years. Listen Up! combines dynamic vocal power, exquisite harmony and a deep love of Judaism and Israel to deliver an audience engaging concert that you will not soon forget.
We close February with our New Member Reception and Shabbat on Friday, February 28, beginning with a wine and cheese reception. We will celebrate our new members, who will participate in our Shabbat service that evening. This event is in keeping with NJC’s mission to be the small congregation with the big heart.