Barbados Jewish Community

President’s Message – May 27

Word of the week:

Dear all,

Scott and I have wonderful news! Our son Justin and Malou Morgan are now engaged! For us the news of their engagement comes with two exclamations! One is “finally” and the second is “Hooray”. We could not be happier to welcome Malou into our family! As the young members of our community grow, we are filled with optimism that Judaism will continue to exist in Barbados. I attended a meeting with the Commonwealth Jewish Council a few days ago and there were representatives from Cayman Brack, St. Lucia, Jamaica and Barbados. The united message was that we are all struggling to keep Judaism alive in our Islands. The combination of a lack of attendance at services as well the challenge associated with providing inspirational educational opportunities was a major topic of discussion. With that in mind, please help us celebrate Shavout on June 4that 6:30 pm at Nidhe Israel Synagogue.

“Shavuot commemorates the spring harvest and the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.

Since the counting of this period (sefirat ha-omer) begins on the second evening of Passover, Shavuot takes place exactly 50 days after the (first) seder. Hence, following the Greek word for “fifty,” Shavuot is also referred to sometimes as Pentecost. Although its origins are to be found in an ancient grain harvest festival, Shavuot has long been identified with the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.  Traditionally we eat dairy foods such as blintzes and cheesecake on Shavout and we also read the book of Ruth.

There are many explanations given for the reading of Ruth on ShavuotThe most quoted reason is that Ruth’s coming to Israel took place around the time of Shavuot, and her acceptance into the Jewish faith was analogous of the acceptance of the Jewish people of God’s Torah.

We have decided to reduce our summer service schedule due to Neal traveling to another time zone and others just finding it hard to participate.  Services will be held as follows:
Saturday, June 4th for Shavout, 6:30pm. (in person at Nidhe Israel and on zoom)
Friday 17th June 6:30pm (Zoom only)
Friday, July 8th 6:30pm (in person at Nidhe Israel and on Zoom)
Friday, July 15th 6:30pm (Zoom only)
Friday, August 5th 6:30pm (in person at Nidhe Israel and on Zoom)
Friday August 19th, 6:30pm (Zoom only)

The political cartoon by Clifford Berryman that inspired the teddy bear.

Did you know that the teddy bear owes its existence to a Jewish couple?  Morris Michtom, a Brooklyn candy shop owner, and his wife, Rose, created a stuffed toy bear in honor of Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. It all began when Roosevelt went on a hunting trip in 1902 but failed to locate a single bear. His assistants reportedly cornered and tied a black bear to a tree for the American president to shoot.  A big game hunter, Roosevelt refused to kill the bear because it would be unsportsmanlike, according to the National Park Service. A political cartoonist turned the fateful hunting trip into satire. When the Michtoms saw the cartoon, they decided to make a new toy and call it “Teddy’s Bear.” Their invention was wildly popular.

Meanwhile, across the ocean, a German family named Steiff created stuffed toy bears with shoe-button eyes and an embroidered nose”.

Simon Kreindler’s book, “Peddlers All, Stories of the First Ashkenazi Jewish Settlers in Barbados” is now available on Amazon, both as a Kindle E-book and as a paperback.

Don’t forget to count the Omer each evening at sundown. Here is a great app to help you remember each day with a special meditation.

Rose Miller Altman                        May 2       1 Iyyar
Leah Pillersdorf Gilbert                 May 2       1 Iyyar
Moses Steinbok                               May  5      4 Iyyar
Mary Altman Speisman                 May 15    14 Iyyar
Srul (Jacob) Bernstein                    May 7      16 Iyyar
Zvi (Harry) Burak                             May 7      16 Iyyar
Edna Altman Pillersdorf                 May 21    20 Iyyar


This week Friday night’s service will be on ZOOM ONLY at 6:30 PM.

Please click this link to join our service.

Please click this link for a copy of our siddur.

Shabbat Shalom

Sharon Oran, President
Barbados Jewish Community