Calendar & Activities

For further information on any of these events, email to:

Please NOTE:  The events below are listed by date descending…that means you will need to scroll down to see the events according to their date in the year.  For example, July events are further down in the list than August events. 


Coronavirus-19 Update

Dear Beth Israel Congregation,
The Jewish legal principle of Pikuach Nefesh tells us that saving a human life takes precedence over virtually all else.


Below you will find an outline of our policies for upcoming in-person events:
1. All people entering the building must wear a well-fitting mask that covers the nose and mouth. Exceptions to this policy will be made for those on the Bimah and/or when people must eat indoors, for example in the case of bad weather (see #5);
2. Spacing: We will maintain as much space as possible between household groups. We will also ask that people respect each other’s personal space. During services, we will avoid practices that bring members of different households within close contact;
3. Removing our Vaccine Mandate: BIC will no longer require those attending in-person events to be fully vaccinated as there is little evidence that 2-dose vaccination limits the spread of Covid, only that it limits the severity of the illness;
4. Ending Contact Tracing: We will no longer collect names and numbers of participants in events as contact tracing is no longer viable;
5. Eating at in-person events: We will limit food to finger food or to meals that can be easily eaten outside. While food may be set up inside, we will strongly encourage people to eat outside unless their accessibility needs or the weather necessitate indoor dining. If indoor dining is necessary, we will set up tables in a manner to allow proper distance between households.
We very much look forward to celebrating together in the weeks to come!
Just in case you still might be getting a booster, have a look at the blessing below:
Vaccination (Booster) Blessing
Many of us have now started to receive COVID vaccinations and so I though it might be time to once again re-transmit the Vaccination Blessings that Cantor Leon Litvack had put together for us:

image.pngBlessings to recite on receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine image.png


For everyone who has undergone and survived the trials and tribulations of the last year, receiving the vaccine will be a relief; but it may also be considered a blessing, in the Jewish sense. We recite blessings every day of our lives: when we get up or go to bed, eat, sleep, pray, and on many other occasions; indeed all of our human functions emanate from the showering of God’s grace upon us. For this reason, it is appropriate to recite these two blessings when receiving the vaccine.

1. A blessing to thank God for the miracle of our bodies:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעֹולָם, רֹופֵא כָל בָּשָׂר וּמַפְלִיא לַעֲשֹות בִּידֵי כָּל יֹושְׁבֵי תֵבֵל

Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha-olam, rofeh chol basar u-maflee la-asot bi-dei kol yoshvei tevel.

Baruch atah Adonai, our God, sovereign of time and space, who heals all flesh, and works wondrously through human hands.

2. The Shehecheyanu: a blessing to celebrate special occasions. We recite it to give thanks to God for new and unusual experiences.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעֹולָם שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזַּמַן הַזֶּה

Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha-olam, shehecheyanu, ve-kiyemanu, ve-higiyanu lazman hazeh.

Baruch atah Adonai, our God, sovereign of time and space, who has given us life, sustained us, and has enabled us to reach this moment.

Cantor Leon Litvack (1 Nisan 5781, 14 March 2021)



Kabbalat Shabbat Service


When:  TBA.  

Where:   On-Line.  Zoom.  See below for details.

We will make every attempt to have in-person services combined with live-stream (Zoom) access for those who wish to attend remotely.  This may not always happen.  For this week’s community gathering and Kabbalat Shabbat service Zoom connection please contact  Ron or Dana at  if you:
    • wish to attend and require the Zoom connection details;
    • would like to do an English reading; and/or,
    • wish to receive a copy of the service in pdf.
If you are interested in doing one of the English (or Hebrew) service readings or you wish to read a poem or some other short piece as part of the service, an original work, or just a favourite, please let us know NOW, like NOW.  Kids, this means you too.  The absolute cutoff for replies is before Thursday evening prior to service date.  Because of the need to exchange emails and set up schedules to plan the service, last-minute replies cannot be accommodated.
Do you want to practice those familiar Kabbalat Shabbat songs as presented by our talented religious leader, Dan Houpt?  Unequivocally, the answer is yes, so go to this YouTube link:
Many, many thanks to Dan and his technical director and producer (and btw, son) Sam Houpt, direct from deepest Douro, Ron Molnar and many other volunteers for their dedicated efforts to make these Kabbalat services happen!!
NOTE:  Return to this page often to find out details about upcoming Kabbalat Shabbat services and gatherings.  Content below will change as we transition more to in-person Kabbalat Services.  COVID requirements are still in place.  Please read the details above regarding what you need to do to keep yourself and others safe while at Beth Israel Synagogue.  To summarize, the requirements for participating in the Kabbalat Service in-person when they happen are as follows:
  • Wearing of masks.
  • No drink or food consumption.
  • Social distancing.


Oneg Shabbat Service

When:  April 1st, 2023.  10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Where:   Beth Israel Synagogue

This Week’s Parsha: Tzav (My Jewish Learning Summary)
A member of our community is hoping for a minyan (a group of 10 Jews over age 12/13) so they can say kaddish this week – please make a special effort to be there! Mourner’s kaddish takes places towards the end of the service, around 11:30.

“Oneg Shabbat” means Joy of Shabbat. Together (and in person!) we’ll daven a few highlights from the Shabbat morning service followed by Torah study of the week’s parsha. Shmoozing, asking questions, and quiet reflection are all encouraged! Whatever brings you joy in our shared space. Feel free to drop in at any time from start to finish.
Bring a comfortable mask! Masks will be required during singing, learning, and socializing. Proof of vaccination is not required for this event.

Access needs? Need a ride/have a ride to offer? Please send an email to if there’s anything we can help with!

purim graphic

Purim Celebrations

When: Tuesday, March 7th, 2023.  6:00 p.m.

Where:  Beth Israel Synagogue, Peterborough

Please join us for our community Purim party, at Beth Israel Synagogue on Tuesday March 7th, at 6 PM.  After a 3 year engagement on Zoom, “Beth Israel Players” theatre group will act out the Megillah reading in a Purim play at the synagogue.  Many of our Youth will be in the play, which is being led by our Youth leader Nevia Frank.
As in previous years, we are looking for adult volunteers to take part in the play. Based on previous plays, NO EXPERIENCE IS NECESSARY!!!!!!
If you would to take on a role in the play, please contact Nevia Frank by sending her an email at

Our Purim plays are always interesting and more than a bit humorous!!!  Whether you are in the play or not, come out, dress up, bring noisemakers,
image.pngand have a great time.  And did someone ask if we will have Hamantaschen???????  Haman taschen.jpg  Of course! 
What kind of Purim party would it be if we didn’t have Hamantaschen and refreshments. Oye!!If you have any other questions or suggestions, please contact Larry at


Passover Seder Plate

Community Passover Seder

When: Thursday, April 6th, 2023.  6:00 p.m.

Where:  Beth Israel Synagogue, Peterborough

The doors will open at 5 PM and the Seder will start promptly at 6 PM. Please come early to mingle and get ready for the 6PM start!!! This is a full Passover Seder. Everything will be provided including a Haggadah, Seder plate, matzo, and a wonderful catered meal.

The Seder will be led by folks from our community, and we will have several guests who will attend. Please include numbers attending, choice of catered meal, and opportunities to volunteer. The deadline for registration is Sunday April 2nd, as we need to inform the caterer.

Attendees must register using this link: 


One of the guests is our very own Cantor Leon Litvack, who will join us by Zoom all the way from Belfast Ireland.

Passover is also a time to welcome the needy to our tables and is also a time of charity. Reflecting this Passover mandate, our other guests include a Ukrainian refugee family who are living in the Peterborough area.

As you recall we have been raising money to support local Ukrainian refugee families. As a community we have raised $3,300. We will present a cheque to one of the Ukrainian refugee family during the Seder.

There is some additional information below, on the 2 Ukrainian refugee families that we are supporting.


Grape juice for the 4 cups of wine will be available to all those who attend. Should you want to bring wine to the Seder, you are welcome to do so.


The costs of catering this meal is approximately $20 per person. Recognizing that people in our community are in different financial positions, we ask you to please pay what you can.

If you can’t afford to contribute to the meal, you are very welcome to come and enjoy. If you can afford the $20 or can assist us with a bit more to cover the shortfall, it would be appreciated. We will have a donation box at the Seder for meal donations.


We can really use your help to conduct the Seder.

Volunteers are required to do the following:

    • Prepare the Seders plates.
    • Prepare Matzo Ball soup
    • Set up for the Seder
    • Security
    • Clean up after

Please consider helping and indicate this on the attendance form.


The first family is a large Ukrainian family who have settled in the Marmora area – and they are exceptional in a couple of ways.  First, it is a large household of 13, 3 adults and 10 kids, 8 of whom are adopted and 1 with a physical disability.  Second, they are the descendants of a Righteous Gentile who saved Jews during the Holocaust (and they have presented documentation to this effect). This large and needy family will be our guests at the Seder. Please come out and meet them.

One of this family’s needs is basic food. Should you want to bring a food donation, we will set up a food donation box in the lobby of the Synagogue. Please note that any donated items do not have to be kosher for Passover.

Many of you have already met the second family we will support, Svitlana and her children. They left the Ukraine at the start of the conflict and emigrated to Canada. Kelli and Dan Houpt have graciously housed them at the farm and provided support since they arrived in Canada. As Svitlana can not come to the Seder, we will be sending her a cheque.


If you have any thoughts or questions on the Seder, please contact Larry Gillman at