Sign In Forgot Password

help us plan the high holy days

08/07/2020 12:08:40 PM


 Jewish Community of Greater Stowe

Dear JCOGS family,

For many of us, the High Holy Days are the highlight of the Jewish year. We all appreciate the familiarity of our JCOGS traditions, the opportunity to reconnect and schmooze with fellow members, and the ruach — the spirited energy that fills our sacred physical space more than at any other time in the year.
Due to the lifesaving measures established to keep us safe from exposure to COVID-19, we recognize that this year’s holiday experience will differ from our usual traditions. Indeed, before we can effectively plan and outline what this year’s holidays will look like, we feel it’s necessary to first acknowledge — as a unified JCOGS community — the loss this year of the typical High Holy Days with which we are so familiar. We will not experience an overflowing sanctuary this year, nor be uplifted by the collective harmonies, nor witness multiple shofar blowers up on the bimah, at least not in our traditional ways.

Our High Holy Day taskforce has been hard at work reimagining the High Holy Days in this era of COVID-19. We now turn to you, our community, to help us understand what the High Holidays mean to you. This brief survey will help us plan for this year's holidays and to dream about how we might create a meaningful, connective, and safe Days of Awe for each of us and collectively.

In the survey, you will learn more about what we are planning. While these holidays will certainly not be the same, in spite of the difficulties, we believe these will be very moving holiday experiences for all. We highly encourage you to fill out the survey, both to learn more about our ongoing plans, and also to help us plan further and meet our community’s needs. The deadline is THIS MONDAY AT NOON, but why not just get this off your to-do list now?

We pray that next year we will fully gather together safely and with abundant health, in community.

With hope and gratitude,

The High Holy Day Taskforce
Rabbi David Fainsilber, Susan Bauchner, Willa Bruckner, Rachel Funk, Aron Temkin, and Claudia Woodward

Statement on reopening from vt jewish clery

07/22/2020 02:01:20 PM


These are extraordinary, trying times we are all facing. As we consider reopening our spaces of worship and gathering, we must first draw on the values that have focused us on choosing life for millenia. Our tradition teaches us that there is no greater value than pikuach nefesh, preserving human life. We are also guided by areivut, our communal responsibility to each other, and savlanoot, patience in the face of crisis. While we so much wish to be together as a community in our sanctuaries, in our eagerness to return to our adored practice of coming together, we must also balance that we somehow may jeopardize the health of those in our communities. We will continue to draw on the wisdom of medical professionals and our values to guide our reopening as we plan for the summer, High Holy Days, and beyond.


07/06/2020 05:00:36 AM


Dear friends,

Rabbi David is off for the next two weeks, and Olivia is off for the next week. They need this time. They have been relentless in caring for our community for the past four months, so I more or less insisted they take time off. They resisted, and I insisted again. 

Please help me in this effort by not emailing, texting, or calling them. Whatever it is, please just hold off. Wait to email Olivia until Tuesday, July 14, and wait to email Rabbi David until Wednesday, July 22. That way, they will not return to an overloaded inbox that obviates any relaxation they are feeling.

If you need immediate assistance during this time, you can email and someone will be in touch with you as soon as possible. Rabbi Rim Meirowitz will be our emergency rabbi while Rabbi David is away. He is the first point of contact for pastoral needs, including if someone is unwell or in need of support, and you can contact him directly at 617-835-2861 or And, of course, for any other needs, I will be available, so please feel free to email me at

Thank you so much for your understanding.

All the best,

this is how we do it

06/29/2020 08:30:25 AM


Upcoming events below letter.

Dear Friends,

I am beyond words. Which, if you know me, tells you something.

For the past couple of months, I’ve been hearing from nonprofits in the area and synagogue presidents around the country that they are canceling their fundraisers. People are looking at their budgets and wringing their hands, knowing they can’t raise money through the types of events they usually host. At JCOGS, we cut the dollar goal for our fundraiser in half, and then asked the finance committee if they could figure something out. A placeholder for our usual summer fundraiser.

Well, if you logged on last night, you know they sure figured something out. The comedy event was hilarious, a mixture of professional, local, and our own homegrown talent. And the auction? When they couldn’t ask businesses to donate items, the committee asked our community to donate their talents. The items were an amazing array of our collective gifts, and I had several conversations over the course of the week that started with, “How much do you think I have to bid to get…?”

So, here’s the part you’re waiting for. We hit our new, reduced fundraising goal. In fact, we hit the old, original goal. We exceeded that goal. Through the tireless efforts of the fundraiser committee, we raised $12,068 towards our JCOGS annual fund. 

Here are the names of the people who did this remarkable work:

  • Committee chair: Sandy Manning
  • Auction magicians: Debby Sherman, Ellen Gibs, Debbie Steinerman
  • Committee members: Amy Wenger, Amy Murphy, Sarah Ellner

If you know these women, please reach out to them and thank them. They showed that it can be done. That we can come together in remarkable ways, can elevate the spirit of community, and will not let a thing like a global pandemic stop our connection with each other. Thank you, all of you.

On another note, I want to let everyone know that I’ve asked our staff to prioritize getting on vacation this summer. They have worked extremely hard through the spring, and chances are that getting away in the winter will prove difficult. This may mean that we cannot exercise our usual care in making sure there is seamless coverage, as people may need to overlap vacation time when their families are able to take time off. I ask you to be patient if some things take more time. Our staff absolutely needs to rest and recharge for the coming months. 

All the best,


A cheese tasting, a Hanukkiah, and 12 quarts of soup walk into an auction...

06/24/2020 11:45:42 AM


What can I do?

06/22/2020 12:52:42 PM



06/19/2020 03:02:06 PM


Future perfect

06/17/2020 11:46:03 AM


Canadian Friends of JCOGS renewal notice

06/17/2020 11:45:18 AM


Come to the annual meeting today

06/14/2020 08:27:22 AM


A message on white privilege, to white Jews

06/12/2020 04:39:41 PM


Support JCOGS and Laugh

06/10/2020 02:31:56 PM



06/08/2020 03:55:26 PM


Sparks of hope TONIGHT

06/05/2020 03:10:27 PM