Happy new (secular / Gregorian) month of May! I'm doing two readings from Texts to the Holy this month in the Berkshires: one in Williamstown on Saturday May 5, and one in Pittsfield on Thursday May 10.
Saturday May 5, 7:45pm, Williams College Jewish Association
How do we engage the sacred through the written word? Join Rabbi Rachel Barenblat for a special se'udah shlishit (final Shabbat meal) and havdalah (ritual to close out Shabbat) where we'll read and learn from her recently published book of poetry, Texts to the Holy.
Rabbi Rachel Barenblat is spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel in North Adams. A widely published author, popular teacher, and spiritual director, in 2016 she was named by the Forward as one of America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis and most recently is a Founding Builder at Bayit: Your Jewish Home.
All are welcome; FB users can RSVP at the FB event page. This program will harness the unique spiritual valance of Shabbat drawing to its end with niggunim (wordless melodies), poems from Texts to the Holy, a havdalah ritual, and (once Shabbat is over) an opportunity for schmoozing and getting books signed.
Thursday May 10, 10:45am, Knesset Israel (presented by Jewish Federation)
The Jewish Federation Connecting with Community presents "Two Contemporary Poets Read" with Jean P. Moore, PhD and Rabbi Rachel Barenblat. The women will share the stage as they read from their newly published books of poetry. Jean's presentation will focus on her nature poems, largely inspired by her many years spent in Tyringham. Rachel will read from Texts to the Holy, her latest collection.
This free program is part of the Federation’s Connecting With Community Series and will be followed by a kosher hot lunch. Lunch is a $2 suggested donation for adults over 60 years of age or $7 for all others. Advance reservations are required for lunch and can be made by calling (413) 442-2200 before 9 a.m. on the day of the program.
For more information, see the recent notice in the Bershire Eagle, Pittsfield - Jewish Federation Hosting Contemporary Poets. I'll have some copies to sell at KI and am happy to sign them if you would like.
If you're local to the Berkshires I hope to see you at one or the other of these events!