Havurat Ee Shalom

1% Rebate at Thriftway

Did you know you can financially support the Havurah by simply shopping at Thriftway?

That’s right!  Thriftway gives 1% of sales to non-profit organizations. All you have to do is save your receipts and write your name and phone number on the back. Make it a regular habit. Directions are below.

In past years as many as 30+ families participated.  As much as $700 every three or four months was added to the Havurah budget! All of those dollars went to support programs and activities! Sadly, we are not close to those results at the present time. And a new volunteer to collate and submit receipts is needed. Email Vashonhavurah@gmail.com to step up.

We strongly encourage everyone, no matter how small the purchase, to participate in this project!

How to Participate:
1. Print name and phone number on back of each receipt.
2. Receipts must not be older than a year at time of turning in.
3. Only Vashon Island Thriftway receipts are currently being collected for the Havurah. (The IGA has developed a receipts for non-profits program and a new receipts coordinator can look into it.)
4. Receipts can be turned in at Emma Amiad’s office in town.

Torah Study: 9:30 am, Sat. Nov 17th

Torah Study
9:30 am • Saturday, Nov 17th, 2018
Vayetzei / ויצא פרשת
Genesis 28:10 – 32:3

On his way to his uncle Laban’s, Jacob dreams of a ladder that stretches up from earth to heaven. There are angels of God ascending and descending the ladder. Jacob lives at his uncle Laban’s home for several years, marrying Laban’s daughters, Leah and Rachel, and building a large family.


Torah Study meets for approximately 90 minutes every Saturday beginning at 9:30 at the Havurah building on the Westside Hwy. Before meeting together, group members may generally read each week’s portion in advance. If you don’t have time, that’s okay, since we frequently read at least some of the text together. You can also listen to the portion online at the Jewish Publication Society website. A pdf of the printed text is also available.

Discussion is informal and respectful of our tradition. The portion is usually discussed in the context of contemporary, historical, spiritual, political and cultural themes; how it informs religious practice and Jewish values; and how the Torah relates to our lives today. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Interested individuals can join in the reading/discussion at any point of the year. There is no reservation or RSVP required – simply show up!

If you are unsure which Torah section will be read any week, consult the bottom of our Torah study page reading cycle here.

A Message from Our President Suzanne Greenberg

I was touched beyond words at the response to our call for a vigil following the massacre in Pittsburgh. In under 24 hours, folks united across cultural and religious lines to come together to make a stand against hatred and bigotry.

As Jews, feeling historically abandoned by much of the non-Jewish community in Europe is in our collective memory. The outpouring of love and support from our allies was thus even more powerful; people coming forward to grieve and stand with us was a firm contradiction to that painful past. The beauty of all our faces and voices lit by flickering flames was palpable as person after person spoke from their hearts to say never again, not here.

We have much work ahead of us as Jews, as Vashonites, as Americans, and as citizens of this planet. Our country is on a dangerous path, and each of us must continue to take a stand every day to fight against racism, anti-Semitism, LBGTQ oppression, and bigotry of all flavors. We must all be allies to each other and unite in solidarity. Times are dark, but last Sunday, each person added a flicker of light to the darkness. The light will prevail.

Suzanne Greenberg
President of Havurat Ee Shalom


Upcoming Events

Sunday Dec 2: First night of Hanukkah!
Saturday Dec. 8: Hanukkah party at Cohousing.
Wednesday, Dec. 19: Havurah-Sponsored Christmas Dinner @ Episcopal Church.
Feb 4th: Irish Music & Dance Violinist Frankie Gavin.
Feb 17th: Dancer-Musician Nic Gareiss.


More Details… Carolina Nurik and May Gerstle will host the annual Christmas dinner at the Episcopal church Wednesday, Dec 19. The regular dinner crew appreciates the Jewish community stepping in so they can have a day off. Please let May know if you can help set up, cook, serve or clean up. We always have a great time and our guests are most appreciative.

Please contact May:

Message from Rabbi Sarah Niebuhr Rubin

All of us at the Havurah are deeply grateful for the outpouring of support from our friends and neighbors of the wider Vashon community. Upwards of 70 people showed up to participate in our memorial service and to sing with us, to share their thoughts, prayers and personal stories. 

Half a century ago, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote, “Let us yield no inch to bigotry, let us make no compromise with callousness.” We believe that if ever there were a moment to commit to making no compromises with bigotry, fanaticism, racism and the demonizing of immigrants, that moment must be now. 

Watch this space for more about our Oct 28th vigil to honor the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue massacre.  ~Bart Arenson

Message from Rabbi Sarah Niebuhr Rubin

Friends and Members of Havurat Ee Shalom,

I am heartbroken by the news from Pittsburgh, and have been thinking about what it means here on this side of the country. 
We are Jews — and the Jewish community is small. Intimate. The Havurah is a microcosm of that. I don’t know if others in the community have direct connections to Tree of Life in Pittsburgh. I am but two degrees from one of the victims. 
But it hardly matters how direct our connection. We are all part of one community. We join together when other people are attacked out of hatred. And we strive to make the world a better place. 
We mourn with the mourners of Pittsburgh. All Israel is bound up together as one community, responsible for each other. And we rise up with our neighbors who stand with us at this time, no matter their faith, because we know that we are all responsible for making the world a better place. 
I am heartened by those who stand in vigil, and who act and speak with the mourners to say “Never again.”

~”For with You is the source of life; in Your light we find light.  Extend Your compassion to those who know You, and your justice to those of upright heart.” (Psalm 36)

Click to read a message from our President Suzanne Greenberg

Beachcomber Features Rabbi Sarah Rubin

New Leaders Take Helm at Island Congregations

by Paul Rowley
Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber:

Sarah Rubin, the new part-time rabbi of the Havurah, said her fondness of the Pacific Northwest dates back to her childhood. She remembers long summers on Vashon, surrounded by family and friends, and hot days spent at Camp Sealth where she was later a counselor.

“To be in the Jewish community here, it is really an honor,” she said.

Rubin noted that the island resonates with many, often for the same reasons — it’s a wonderful place for children to grow up, with a level of privacy, sense of belonging and way of life that few know anywhere else.

“The Havurah is very much like that: Everybody contributes in whatever way they can, and they know each other very well, support each other and help raise families,” she said. “We’re hoping more [young families] will find their way to the community.”

As a girl, Rubin said her primary education was founded in tradition, but she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in anthropology, minoring in medical sciences. As part of her research, she excavated human remains at archeological sites in Jerusalem and along the Euphrates River in Turkey to understand burial practices and patterns of arthritis in monks.

Rubin’s research and faith collided as questions about the study’s ethics arose and whether concerns about excavating the dead were warranted.

“There was a certain part of the academic community willing to face that question, but also a large part that said, ‘It’s science for the sake of science,’” she said, adding that she was humbled by those considerations and ultimately drawn back into work among the living.

Peter Rubin, a member of the Havurah with no relation to the rabbi, said Rubin’s compassion distinguished her as they conducted a search for a rabbi to lead services.

“There’s a strong foundation of social generosity in Hebrew,” he said. “There is a principle in Hebrew — Tikkun Olam, meaning ‘repairing the world,’ and so we were looking for a rabbi that could connect with the social change and intentions of the Jewish group here,” he said.

Frankie Gavin & Nic Gareiss Perform in February

Frankie Gaving – Upcoming February 4th 2019 

In February of 2019, thanks to Kat Eggleston, the iconic Irish fiddler, Frankie Gavin (who was recently honored as Traditional Musician of the Year at the Gradam Ceoil Awards broadcast on Irish Television station TG4.) will perform at the Havurah. Over his distinguished career Frankie has performed all over the world and for four presidents at the White House.

Frankie is one of Ireland`s most iconic fiddle players.  His name is immediately associated with the group De Dannan formed in the 1970s, and who are credited with breaking new ground in Irish traditional music through innovative choices of material and arrangements and a unique style of playing. 

Throughout his musical career Frankie Gavin was fascinated and inspired by the music of those legendary Irish musicians who emigrated to America in the early part of the twentieth century. Giants such as James Morrison, Paddy Killoran and The Flanagan Brothers who left Waterford for New York in 1911. Seventy years later, in 1981, De Dannan released the album Star-Spangled Mollywhich included the band’s hit version of the original Flanagan Brothers’ song My Irish Molly-O. The release reawakened massive Irish interest in the music of this bygone era.

Frankie has recorded and played every genre of music from rock and roll with the Rolling Stones to jazz with Stephane Grappelli.  We are thrilled to bring him to the intimate setting of our building.

Don’t miss this incredible performance.

PS, Vashon’s Kat Eggleston has been particularly instrumental in bringing Celtic and traditional Irish musicians to our island, including the dynamic Open the Door for Three trio

~~Bart Arenson

Havurah Membership

Membership and donations are a vital part of our annual budget and help to ensure Havurat Ee Shalom’s presence on Vashon Island.  Our year begins and ends about September (at Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year).  Havurat Ee Shalom (also called the Vashon Havurah) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit religious organization; all contributions and membership dues are fully tax deductible.

Dues are entirely self-assessed, meaning dues of any amount are welcome, and all financial information is confidential.  Active members give $500 to $1,000 a year.  (No one is denied membership for financial reasons).

You can view suggested “Fair Share” membership dues, which are based on income levels, by clicking the link below:

Fair Share

To become a new member or extend your current membership simply mail your check to:

Havurat Ee Shalom

PO Box 89, Vashon Island, WA 98070.

You can also pay for a new or continuing membership right now on our website. Just click the link below!