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.

Potluck June 8th @ 6:00 PM

Hosted by Julea and Kevin Gardener
8728 SW 190th St

Kevin and Julea welcome you to their home, 6pm Friday June 8th. Kids are most welcome, bring a generous dish to share!


Monthly potlucks were a part of our Vashon Jewish community from the very start. The Havurah (meaning “group of friends”) started with friendly social get-togethers in 1986. First known as the Jewish Study Group, they quickly prospered and held frequent fun potluck gatherings.

The Havurah tradition of potlucks in members’ homes has been revived!  We gather in each other’s homes, on the 2nd Friday evening of every month, to briefly welcome Shabbat, meet old friends and welcome new ones and enjoy a delicious potluck meal. Bring friends and family to our regular community get-together!

Thank you to John & May Gerstle for hosting in May.

Potluck hosts needed for July, August and beyond 

If you’re considering hosting, and are unsure of Friday night Shabbat traditions, the Havurah can supply the challah and wine and lead a brief kiddush (blessing to welcome the Sabbath). Have more questions or want to volunteer? Email us at:



Counting the Omer May 18, 2018

Counting the Omer + Shavuot
Learning Event for May
Friday May 18th, 7:00 pm

Louise Olsen and Sharon Alper lead an enriching discussion

Have you ever wondered what this beautiful painting in our basement is about? Or why we eat dairy on Shavuot? Or what the counting of the omer is? Join us FRIDAY MAY 18th at 7pm for an interactive program and then dessert!

We’ve been reading and learning, and we’re excited to share the power of these holidays with you.

~Louise Olsen & Sharon Alper

Learn more about Shavuot, counting the Omer, Shavuot & Lag B’Omer at My Jewish Learning:

Counting the Omer


Lag B’Omer

Third Friday Lecture Series: Healing the World

Tikkun Olam

3rd Friday Lecture Series: Emma Amiad on Healing the World

Fri, June 15, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
A presentation and discussion on what we owe to the world and some examples of those who have stepped up and inspired us.
Emma will share the inspiration she found in the life of Hannah Senesh, as well as the words of some of our modern poets and philosophers concerning doing our part in Tikkun Olam, the healing of our world.
Emma will lead a discussion on what we need to do as individuals and as a community to heal and to help.

Luke Mirsepasy Johnson

The Havurah mourns the death of Luke Mirsepasy Johnson  זיכרונו לברכה

A memorial will be held at the Havurah
15401 Westside Hwy
June 9th at 2:00PM

Luke Mirsepasy Johnson, a resident of Vashon, Bellingham and Woodinville, died unexpectedly on April 18, 2018 at the age of 26 after having recently returned to Vashon Island.

Luke is survived by his mother, Jill F. Johnson, his grandmother, Anne Johnson, his uncle, Brady R. Johnson and other extended family members, including Thor Alpha, Vikki Cain and her family, Kayla Young and her family, Lorie Almeida and her sons, Tyler and Ethan Almeida. He is predeceased by his grandfather, Ralph W. Johnson.

Luke was born in Seattle, WA on June 10, 1991. He graduated from Vashon High School in 2009. He was accepted into Western Washington University in Bellingham, where he studied for close to 3 years towards a degree in Chemistry.

Luke’s interests were varied, ranging from baseball, to chess, piano, then drums, skiing, hiking and chemistry. He had a natural ability for anything involving math. He loved good food, often in the form of huge burgers or big breakfasts. Luke loved to challenge the norms and test established rules. His friends found him to be charming, yet with a uniquely twisted sense of humor. He had travelled to France, Switzerland and twice to Israel.

Luke struggled with a heroin addiction for six years which took hold of him at age 20. This disease tragically caused his death on April 18th. He will be deeply missed by his friends, family, and all who knew him.

A celebration of Luke’s life is scheduled from 2:00 – 4:00 PM on June 9 at the Havurah, 15401 Westside Hwy SW.  In remembrance please consider making a donation in Luke’s name to Vashon Youth and Family Services: Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Program. You can mail a check to VYFS: SUD Program, 20110 Vashon Hwy. SW, Vashon, WA 98070, or make a donation online at https://vyfs.z2systems.com/np/clients/vyfs/donation.jsp.

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!



Not in My Family, May 10, 7:00 pm

About 40 people attended Roger Frie’s deeply moving account of his grandparents Nazi past. Dr. Frie took questions from the audience after his talk. Thanks to member Phil Cushman fro bringing Dr Frie to our speaker series.

Special Speaking Engagement
Not In My Family: German Memory and Responsibility After the Holocaust
with Roger Frie, Ph.D
Thursday, May 10, 7:00 pm

The second event of the Spring Havurah lecture series features Dr. Roger Frie, who will speak about and show a slide presentation about his new book, Not In My Family: German Memory and Responsibility After the Holocaust.

After many years Dr. Frie came to suspect that his beloved German grandparents had a Nazi past. He embarked on a long and painful research project in order to find the truth and struggle to deal with it. The book is about that struggle.

Many commentators have noted that one of our biggest problems today is our defensive inability to admit our mistakes and the mistakes or limitations of the groups or communities with which we most identify. But without facing the past we cannot heal our communities and change the future.

Dr. Frie’s courageous public discussion of his family during World War II is a model of honesty and integrity for us all, regardless of our personal histories, group affiliations, race, age, or gender.

Not In My Family (Oxford University Press), received the 2017 Canadian Jewish Literary Award and will be awarded a Holocaust Prize later this month. About the book, acclaimed psychoanalyst Donna Orange wrote “Roger Frie asks us to face the unavoidable: how are we responsible for what we only half know, and may not have personally lived?”

Dr. Frie is a philosopher and historian educated in London and Cambridge and a psychoanalyst and psychologist trained in New York City. He is Professor of Education at Simon Fraser University and Affiliate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and Psychoanalytic Faculty and Supervisor at the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and Psychology in New York.

Dr. Frie has written and lectured widely on historical trauma, culture and memory, and human interaction. His new edited book “History Flows Through Us: Germany, the Holocaust and the Importance of Empathy” (Routledge Press), creates a dialogue between Holocaust historians and psychoanalysts.

The presentation is free, the book will be available for purchase, and donations to the Havurah will be accepted.


Vashon Theatre to Screen “Big Sonia” Documentary

Big Sonia – Survivor, Grandma, Diva.

Vashon Theater Screenings
Tue, Mar 13, 8:15 pm
Wed, Mar 14, 7:00 pm
Thurs, Mar 15, 7:00 pm

In the last store in a defunct shopping mall, 91-year-old Sonia Warshawski – great-grandmother, businesswoman, and Holocaust survivor – runs the tailor shop she’s owned for more than 30 years. But when she’s served an eviction notice, the specter of retirement prompts Sonia to resist her harrowing past as a refugee and witness to genocide.

A poignant story of generational trauma and healing, BIG SONIA also offers a laugh-out-loud-funny portrait of the power of love to triumph over bigotry, and the power of truth-telling to heal us all.

Introductions and Q & A with the filmmakers,  Eric Frith and Todd Soliday!

Check out the film’s trailer here.