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.

Friday July 20th: Observance of Tisha B’Av

A short service is planned for Friday July 20, to mark Tisha B’Av, the collective day of mourning in the Jewish calendar. Meredith Cummings and Julea Gardner are planning to incorporate music into our service, beginning at 6:30 with teaching of a song followed by a short break and a service at 7pm. Meredith will give a short talk (drash) about Tisha B’Av, followed by a discussion. Kiddush (blessing the bread and wine) will conclude the evening.

Many tragic events in Jewish history are reputed to have occurred on this date, especially the destruction of the First and Second Temples, some 656 years apart but on the same date — the 9th of Av.  Some sources indicate that the First Temple was destroyed on either the 7th or the 10th of Av, and the Second Temple was destroyed on the 10th of Av. However, rabbinic authorities decided to mark the 9th of Av as the official date for remembering the destruction of both.

Join us!


Torah Study July 21, 2018




The Torah Study Group meets for approximately 90 minutes every Saturday beginning at 9:30 at the Havurah building on the Westside Hwy.  Before meeting together, group members independently read or listen to each week’s portion.  The Jewish Publication Society (JPS) provides a free online audio version of the weekly reading, along with a pdf download of the printed text, so you can read along as you listen.

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!

Honoring our Outgoing President June 24 @ 3PM

Party Honoring Louise

Afternoon of Sunday June 24th 3-5pm

Louise Olsen, longtime president of the Vashon Havurah, will be honored for her service to the Jewish community on Vashon.

The Havurah will gather to thank Louise for her incredible energy and long tenure as president.

Make plans now to attend. Don’t miss the opportunity to thank Louise personally for all the fine work she’s done. Watch this space more more details.

Kabbalat Shabbat with Rabbi Sarah Niebuhr August 17th

‘Bruchah HaBa’ah’

The Board of Havurat Ee Shalom is pleased to introduce Rabbi Sarah Niebuhr Rubin, who will lead our services during the High Holy Days this September.  Meet Rabbi Sarah at a Kabbalat Shabbat service, featuring lots of singing and discussion, on the evening of August 17th.  We hope to add additional bi-monthly (every-other month) Shabbat services as our budget allows.

In 2007 Rabbi Sarah received rabbinic ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote,PA. Prior to that, she earned BA and MA degrees in anthropology, with a graduate minor in medical sciences.  As part of her research, she excavated archeological sites in Jerusalem and on the Euphrates River in Turkey.

Rabbi Sarah is influenced by her work as an anthropologist, both in working with people in diverse cultures and in the stratigraphy (study of rock strata) of ideas and traditions from archaeological excavations. She believes that knowledge of Jewish values and ideas from across traditions and generations is important to individual and communal Jewish connection.

Rabbi Sarah’s previous rabbinical experience includes spiritual, educational, and cultural work at Congregation Ahavas Achim in Keene, NH, Congregation Beth Shalom in Seattle, and the Seattle Jewish Community School.

Currently, Rabbi Sarah provides client support at Committee for Children, a Seattle-based non-profit, and serves as interim rabbi at Temple Beth Or in Everett. In addition, Sarah brings Jewish engagement to individuals and communities through “Writing as a Spiritual Practice” and through life-cycle rituals.

We look forward to a warm community welcome later this summer for Rabbi Sarah, her husband Robert, and their son Jonathan!


Third Friday Lecture Series June 15: 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.

Building Work Party June 3 @ 12:30 pm

Join our Puget Sound Zen Center partners for a building and grounds cleanup. We’ll meet about 12:30, after the Zen Center’s Sunday morning service and potluck, to spruce up our shared space. 

Our Zen partners will have tools on hand, but if you can bring gardening tools (clippers, weeding tools, loppers, etc) and/or landscaping tools (rakes, shovels, etc). Please label your tools so we can keep track. Join us!

Contact Bart:  bart.arenson@yahoo.com

Potluck June 8th @ 6:00 PM

Potluck hosts needed for July! 

August Potluck will be Hosted at Dockton Park


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 Kevin & Julea Gardener for histing in June.

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


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: