NEWSLETTER Vol. 7, No. 5
January 31st, 2018

Election Results 2018

I guess it wasn't too much of a surprise who won the elections for the Officers of the Board (no one ran against the slate chosen by the Nominations Committee, as is the usual turn of events). Still, congratulations are in order to Dan Lessner, President; José Daniel Torres López, VP; Eric Kaplan, treasurer; and Raúl Eitan Martínez Aguilera, Secretary.

 As a wise man once said, "There are only two good days being on any Board: the day you go on, and the day you go off". But as a wiser man said, "There are only two days that nothing can be done: one is called "Yesterday" and the other is called "Tomorrow". (I don't get a chance to quote the Dalai Lama very often.) I'm sure everyone wishes the elected officers yasher koach /"may you have strength", literally--the strength to continue the good work of past boards, the strength to move forward into the future with new ideas and programs to benefit the community, and, to complete the Dalai Lama's quote above, to have the strength to remember at all times that "Today is the right day to love, believe, do, and mostly, LIVE!" 

Wednesday, January 31st @ 10 am
Meditation Group

Attendance is open to all interested meditators from first time beginners to those with a long standing regular meditation practice, regardless of religious background.

Some elements of Jewish Meditation will be included. Our intention is to form a group that will meet on a regular basis for sitting practice, guided as well as silent meditation, meditation discussion and shared learning.


            Wise Aging Program at the JC3

6 session series on consecutive
Wednesday mornings beginning  
Jan. 31st @ 11 am

Presented by Muriel Heiberger

“Old age is not a defeat, but a victory, not a punishment but a privilege. The test of a people is how it behaves toward the old . . . man’s potential for change and growth is much greater than we are willing to admit and old age (can) be regarded not as the age of stagnation but as the age of opportunities for inner growth.”

                                                                                                  – Abraham Joshua Heschel

While age does bring with it hard-won truths, the fact that many Americans are living longer than ever means even the elderly are venturing into unknown territory. With that in mind, the JC3 is pleased to introduce Wise Aging, a program focused on using the wisdom and experience accumulated over the years to grow as one grows older.

The program is based on the 2014 book, “Wise Aging: Living With Joy, Resilience and Spirit,” co-written by Thal and Rabbi Rachel Cowen, former executive director of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. Muriel Heiberger, a trained facilitator, will hold interactive discussions offering opportunities for meaningful conversations. The book provides a wide range of possible topics, including embracing change and assessing life stories; letting go and holding on; revitalizing and nourishing healthy relationships; and finding meaning and joy in a post-retirement identity.

This program will be FREE for members.

Non-members: 500 pesos/full series.


Sorry, but as advertised registration was limited to 12 participants. You may contact the office to be placed on the waiting list, if desired.

Friday, Feb. 2nd @ 5:30 pm
“First Friday - Live” Musical Shabbat

Our celebratory “First Friday LIVE!” evening Shabbat service is a time set apart to focus on what really matters: gratitude for our lives and our communities, and for the growth of the spirit. An important part of that process is the opportunity to pray, sing, meditate, and learn together as a community.

Join us for a lively, musical Shabbat service on Friday, February 2 at 5:30 pm at the Jewish Cultural and Community Center. We will honor the traditions of Judaism by using familiar and contemporary poetry, songs, stories and other readings. You are invited to join in the singing, share in the readings and be an active, joyous participant.

We will begin our Shabbat gathering with a “meet and greet” Oneg Shabbat at 5:30 pm. The Service itself will begin at 6:00 and conclude by 7:00 pm (in time for your evening plans.)

Services will be led by Maxine Graboyes, formerly the Cantorial Soloist for B’nai Vail Congregation in Vail, Colorado for the past 23 years.  She brings grace and enthusiasm to the music – that makes people want to join in, raise their voices and experience the joy of Shabbat. Maxine has also had a long career as a professional singer appearing on Broadway, television, clubs and recordings.

Joining Maxine in leadership will be Judith Jenya, a life-long explorer of various Jewish paths, which include awards for her work with international Jewish organizations. Judith also served as a former director of a large Reform synagogue in northern California.

We look forward to your heartfelt participation. We want to build a welcoming community and make a spiritual home for non-traditional Jews and those who may not have participated in other Jewish observances in San Miguel.

First Friday…Live  will happen each first Friday of the month at the newly renovated JC3 (the Jewish Community & Cultural Center), Las Moras #47 at the corner of Cinco de Mayo, in Colonia Guadiana.  ALL ARE WELCOME!

Saturday, Feb. 3rd @ 9 am
Kehilla Shalom San Miguel de Allende's
Conservative Shabbat Shacharit Service

Parashat Yitro
Exodus chapters 18-20

Please join us for our weekly traditional/egalitarian Sabbath morning service. Although Hebrew is the predominant language of worship, our prayer books have been completely translated and transliterated phonetically into both English and Spanish. All are welcome.

This week we read about the giving of the Torah to Moses on Mt. Sinai, the climax of everything we have read up until this point.
Come hear the chanting of the Ten Commandments and join with the souls of every generation who were present on Sinai, and who proclaimed:

Na'aseh v'nish'ma: We will do and we will listen!

Saturday, Feb. 3rd @ about 12:30 pm
Come learn with us
Torah Study / Discussion Groups
Following Morning Services and Kiddush (which finishes at approx. 12:30 pm, give or take 15 minutes)
Volunteers are needed to lead the English-language group.
All are welcome. 
Emmy award-winning filmmaker/TEDx speaker and coach Gayle Kirschenbaum presents:
No More Drama With Mama

Thursday, February 8th @ 4:00 pm

Join GAYLE KIRSCHENBAUM  for a talk about her journey and method to finding forgiveness and screening of trailers for her films MY NOSE and LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER!

GAYLE is visiting San Miguel Del Allende as she is screening LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER! at Reel Docs, Feb 6 & 7th. Gayle Kirschenbaum is an Emmy award-winning filmmaker, television producer, TEDx speaker and coach. She is the founder of the forgiveness movement called NO MORE DRAMA WITH MAMA inspired by the humbling reaction to her film, LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER! Gayle has taken her message of forgiveness and speaks worldwide including at the United Nations, APA (American Psychological Association) Conference and several other conferences and meetings. She teaches a revolutionary virtual live course on forgiveness where people are transforming their lives by learning her method. Called “the Nora Ephron of documentaries”, Gayle has turned the camera on herself in her recent feature documentary. LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER! is about the transformation of a highly charged mother/daughter relationship from Mommie Dearest to Dear Mom. This is the “larger version” of her humorous short film, MY NOSE, in which we follow her mother’s relentless campaign to get her to have a nose job. Prior to this film, Kirschenbaum made a poignant and wacky film with her dog about the human/canine bond called A DOG'S LIFE: A DOGAMENTARY, which premiered on HBO. She created several reality shows that premiered on TLC, Discovery Health, and HBO. Kirschenbaum is a member of the Producers Guild of America, Film Fatales, National Speakers Association and is a judge for the Emmys. She has been featured widely in the media including New York Times, NBCs Today Show, Miami Herald, Washington Post, and Ladies Home Journal. 

To learn more visit

                                             Members: 150 pesos
                                          Non-members: 200 pesos
                         A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the JC3
Reserve Now
“Reflections from the Heart”
with Maxine Graboyes and the Tzigane Colectivo

Yiddish Music from the Shtetl to Broadway

Sunday, February 11 @ 4:30 pm
Members advance purchase - $250 pesos
Members at the door - $300 pesos
Non-members advance - $300 pesos
Non-members at door - $350 pesos
Reserve Now
Bea Aaronson
returns to the JC3

Thursday, February 13th @ 3:30 pm
We are delighted to announce that Bea will be re-starting her ever-popular Art Lecture Series here at the JC3 on Thursday afternoons at 3:30 pm*, beginning on February 13th with a slide presentation and talk about Anselm Kiefer. 

Please make your reservations by contacting Bea directly at
* Bea writes: "Just reminding you to arrive at least 15 minutes before so you may choose your seat without rushing and I may begin on time."

Cost: 130 pesos members; 150 pesos non-members
(a portion of the proceeds will benefit the JC3)
"Bread and Torah" Returns to SMA
February 16-18th
Our friends Rabbi Linda Motzkin and Rabbi Jonathan Rubenstein, who spent several weeks with us in March and April of 2015, will be returning for a brief visit in February, with a full weekend of teaching and renewing connections. 
Here is what we have planned for the weekend:

Friday, Feb. 16th 
  •  12 noon: Challah making workshop with Rabbi Jonathan, including some learning on the mitzvah of hafrashat challah (“separating the challah”)
  •  6 pm: Kabbalat Shabbat led by our guest rabbis, followed by potluck dinner 
Saturday, Feb. 17th 
  •  9 am: The rabbis will join us for KSSMA's Shabbat Shacharit services and the Torah discussion group after kiddush.
  •  6 pm: Pre-havdalah talk on Tsa'ar Ba'alei Chayim – treatment of animals in Judaism. The key Jewish principle of Tsa’ar Ba’alei Chayim – the prohibition against causing suffering to animals – concerns our treatment of the creatures we utilize to meet so many of our human needs. We will look at ancient and modern Jewish texts and discuss how to apply these values in our individual and communal practice.
  • 7:17 pm: Havdalah 
  • 7:30 pm: Hebrew Calligraphy workshop with Rabbi Linda--An introduction to the basic forms and strokes that comprise the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Calligraphy pens and alphabet charts will be provided. 
Sunday, Feb. 18th
  • 10 am: Babka workshop with Rabbi Jonathan – aka “Beauty and the Yeast”. Learn how to make babka, sticky buns, and other coffee cakes using a rich yeasted dough
  • 12 noon: Art and Spirituality presentation with Rabbi Linda --In addition to being a soferet (Torah scribe) and parchment maker, Rabbi Linda is an artist who makes Hebrew calligraphic art works, based on Jewish texts and themes, on her handmade deerskin parchment. She will show slides of some of her work and share the teachings they portray.
(More information about Rabbis Linda and Jonathan, including bios, can be found at

Please reserve for the various workshops by clicking the button below:

Reserve Now

Literary Event:
Author Bernard Beck @ the JC3

Sunday, February 25th @ 4 pm

We are honored to have Bernie and his lovely wife, Judy, visiting SMA this month. He has graciously offered to talk to our community about his most recent work, a novel, "One American Dream: a Family History" (2017). 

"The only thing Jack Rubin ever wanted was to be a real American. A Jewish immigrant from Poland, he arrives in New York City in the late 1800s and begins his American journey by pulling himself up by the bootstraps. But his success doesn't satisfy him, and when he struggles while raising a headstrong daughter through the roaring twenties, he feels like a failure. Only when he finds himself helping those less fortunate during the Great Depression does Jack realize that he's been a real American all along."

Other books written by Bernard Beck--

The Bible: The Greatest Marketing Tool Ever Written

True Jew: Challenging The Stereotype

Come join us!
Tickets 100 pesos members, 150 pesos non-members

Reserve Now
January is (was) membership month, and those who have not paid their 2018 dues by Feb. 1st will no longer be able to receive discounts and other benefits of membership.

To all of you who have already paid your 2018 dues, thank you!
If you have not yet done so, please contact the office at your earliest convenience.

If you are not yet a member, now is the time to get the most out of your membership.
Please support the JC3 by joining or renewing your membership today. We need your financial and moral support to keep going and growing!

Call (415) 185-9191 or email for more information, or simply click on the button below:
Click here to renew or join today
There has been a long tradition for people to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and other simchas, as well as to commemorate yahrtzeits, by sponsoring the kiddush luncheon after Saturday morning services. Although some folks enjoy preparing the food themselves to bring, others would prefer to have the goodies catered in. We are fortunate to have a kosher chef, Zajar Campos, now in our community who is willing to prepare a delicious spread for us at a very reasonable cost.

If you would like to sponsor a kiddush or donate to our new Kiddush Fund, please contact the office at (415) 185-9191 or  to arrange it.

Or, just click on the icon below:
Sponsor a kiddush
Please consider in addition to your membership to give a donation for some of our special funds; surely one of them will touch your heart

Our funds:



Please contact the office for more information (415)185-9191 or

or click on the "Donate Now" button below:
Donate now

First Jewish Cemetery space in all of the Bajío

CHESMA, AC is now in negotiations with the owners of the Jardines Nueva Vida cemetery in Fracc. Jardines II, SMA. We need just 15 people to purchase their spots within the next few months, and we can move forward with our plans to establish the first Jewish Cemetery space in all of the Bajío! The rates are quite reasonable, and I urge everyone reading this to seriously consider this proposal (or if you already have plans with a cemetery back in the US or Canada, to purchase a space here and donate it for burial of individuals who can’t afford it.) Burial of the dead in consecrated soil is a great mitzvah.

For more information, or to commit to purchase a space, please contact Gerardo Schwarz at, or call the JC3 at (415) 185-9191. Thank you!!
The pushkes, or KKL-JNF collection boxes, have existed for many years in almost every Jewish home and educational institution in Israel and around the world. The State of Israel was built on these blue boxes. Their existence not only enabled the collection of money from hundreds of thousands of Jews to buy land in Eretz Israel, but it also was a major educational item to convey the strong link of the People of Israel to its land. 
Keren Kayemeth Mexico is giving our community the opportunity of being part of this interesting and successful project. Please come to our office and pick up yours!
To learn more about them please click 
Bikur Cholim
Our Bikur Cholim committee is for all members needing help with health issues. We would deeply appreciate being informed of anyone critically ill, in serious treatment, hospitalized, or otherwise in dire need of health assistance by family, friends, neighbor, or personally by the shut-in or convalescent individual.
Read more
Mi Shebeirach
Included among our many prayers for a speedy and complete healing, we would like to mention those for members and friends of our community: Batya Chaya bat Sura, Miriam Yocheved bat Esther Yehudit, John “JD” Dayton, Itke bat Olga, Pesach ben Rivka, Laib Hirsh ben Sura, Devorah Gadit bat Sara, Rivka Devorah bat Ita, Zahava Dora bat Shule, David ben P’nina, Yonatan David ben Miriam, Eliyahu ben Avraham, Yosef Nachman ben Yocheved Ashna, Adrienne Brookstone,  Avram Zisser ben Gutke, David Lieberman son of Elizabeth, Priscila de los Ríos Ramírez, Shlomo ben Malka, Avram ben Elaine, Layb ben Chana, Ari ben Tslava Yittel, and Cindi Olsman.

May the Source of Life bring strength and healing to all who are ill. Amen.
If anyone would like to have the names of their loved ones included here in the newsletter, please write us

Tribute Cards are available in the office to honor/commemorate your loveones, or for any occasion. Please contact the office for more information: (415) 185-9191
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