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Charry Service: Honoring the Legacy of Miriam Gafni

Honoring the Legacy of Miriam Gafni

From its inception, the Germantown Jewish Centre has been committed to the principles of egalitarianism, inclusion, and the pursuit of social justice in Jewish life and in the wider community, as well as commitment to the Zionist ideal.  No one personifies those principles and ideals more than Miriam L. Gafni, who was a part of the Centre family from early childhood until the end of her life.  In her service to the congregation, including her service as GJC’s first woman president, she created a special chapter in the Centre’s history.

All are invited to the service and kiddush on Saturday, January 30th as we honor the legacy of Miriam L. Gafni and dedicate a plaque in her memory at Shabbat services in the Charry Sanctuary.  Judge Abraham J. Gafni will give the d'var Torah in Miriam's honor, Miriam and Abe’s children, Jonathan M. Gafni and Rachel I. Gafni, will read Torah, and Joan N. Stern will speak about her sister.  Germantown Jewish Centre would like to thank Abe and Joan for their donation to the Centre in Miriam’s memory, including the plaque, designed by Betsy Teutsch, which will hang in the Charry Lobby in Miriam’s memory. We would like to thank the Gafni, Stern, and Cohen families for co-sponsoring the kiddush that will follow this special service. The kiddush following the service is being co-sponsored by the Gafni and Stern families in honor of the dedication in memory of Miriam and the Cohen family in honor of Cy’s very special birthday.

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The Charry Service provides a traditional, egalitarian service with a focus on learning.  Both women and men participate equally in our service, and we encourage and provide opportunities for participants to learn the language (Hebrew) and the skills (chants and tunes) that allow them to lead the prayers and to read from the sacred texts that make up the core of our service.  Our Rabbis and other guest teachers open up new perspectives on these texts and encourage discussion during our extended study period after the Torah is read. 

· We useSiddur Sim Shalom, the prayerbook of the Conservative movement, to which we add inclusive language to welcome both women and men into the prayer experience. 

· Our Shabbat prayers begin with Shacharit (the morning service) and continue with the Torah reading. We take time for an extended period of study before finishing with Musaf (the concluding service).  

· Our reading from the Torah follows the shorter, triennial cycle, completing the reading of the Torah every three years. 

· Our study each week may focus on that week's Torah reading, our place in the Jewish year, or broader topics affecting our world.  In all cases, participation and discussion are encouraged so that we can learn from each other.   

· Children are welcome at the service, and we invite children to take age-appropriate roles in the service as they, too, learn along with us.