In addition to celebrating Shabbat every week, we observe Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, Simchat Torah, Purim, Pesach, Shavuot, and Tisha b'Av with worship in our main sanctuary. For more information, check this page in the weeks prior to each holiday or contact the Rabbi.
Mechirat Hametz - Selling Your Hametz
During Pesach, not only are we forbidden to eat hametz (foods prohibited during Passover), we are obligated to remove our hametz from our possession, either through rigorous cleaning and even burning the remnant, or by formally selling any hametz of value (malt scotch, etc.) that we do not wish to destroy. The practice of selling our hametz is traditionally undertaken by a Rabbi, and all are invited to formally appoint Rabbi Sami Barth as their legal agent for this purpose using a document called a Shtar Shelichut.
It is best for this appointment of the Rabbi as an agent to be undertaken in person, and a schedule of times will be posted soon. If meeting in person is not possible, you may download this document and return it to Rabbi Barth or the BIC office.
There is no fee or charge for appointing a Rabbi as agent, but it is customary to make a charitable donation that is specially directed to helping those in need celebrate Pesach. This custom is called Maot Chitin (wheat money). When you make a donation to fulfill this mitzvah, Beth Israel Center sends our collected funds to the Jewish Welfare Board to help provide a joyful Pesach for Jews serving in the US Armed Forces around the world. One of the JWB's programs is the distribution of Passover MRE's (meals ready to eat).
Rabbi Josh Sherwin, an active duty chaplain in the U.S. Navy, writes of his experience bringing these kosher for Passover MRE's to Jews around the world:
"Our seder was not typical with family, friends, or a formal service with matzah ball soup. When you are eating a kosher-for-Passover Meal Ready to Eat, the seder is simple. We sat and talked one on one about freedom from slavery and our ability to be who we are as Jews while surrounded by a military presence in a dangerous country. I was very proud to be an American -- a country that would send a rabbi all the way to a military base in Afghanistan to be with another Jewish service member for Passover."
Sell your hametz before 9am on Friday, March 30, 2018.
And make a Maot Chitin contribution at the same time if you choose.