Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wed. - Sukkah building, Thurs. - decorating (9/30, 10/1)

Now is the time to build and beautify, as we transition from the time of introspection to the joy of harvesting and community.

4pm - 7pm

We'll raise the Sukkah (mostly big nuts & bolts, pretty much hammer-free)

4pm - 7pm

We'll put up the panda-leftovers (bamboo) for schach, and
decorate the Sukkah (hang stuff from the rafters, attach tapestries, string lights)

No experience necessary!
Hope to see you there.

The Details:

At the home of Deborah Hittleman Flank and Shalom Flank. For directions, check your Zoo mail, or email

Chag Sameach!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sweet Shabbat Shuva - Sept. 26

Shana Tovah!

Every year there are seven days between the end of Rosh Hashana and the beginning of Yom Kippur. Not surprisingly, the seven days are spread out across all the days of the week. We thus have the opportunity to make Teshuva for each day -- where did we fall short on Tuesday's during this past year? How did we let Sunday's be some much less than they could have been? What insults against Wednesday's did we wreak, intentionally or otherwise?

We have the chance, instead, to return each day of the week to its full self -- or really, to our full selves. And most of all, on Shabbat Shuva, we have the chance to return to Shabbat. Whatever we may have missed on Shabbatot during the past year, we can create some of it this Shabbos. Want a little more singing on Shabbos this year? Want to be with friends more? Do a little more learning? Take on more of a role in leading or leyning or organizing? This Shabbat of Returning is the shabbos to do a little more, be a little more.

So come celebrate Shabbat together as we each move towards the "me" we want to be.


We'll be gathering for davenning, lunch, shmoozing, singing, etc., this Saturday in Woodley Park (within walking distance of the Zoo, as is Zoo Minyan custom) at Deborah and Shalom's house.

Volunteers still sought for Zoo Minyan veggies, davenning treats (i.e. Kavanot or creative tidbits, not actual food ;) also Torah Transporter, and davening leaders – write back to

If you'd like to Leyn there are several short aliyot this time...use the self-service leyning spreadsheet to sign up, or email

The Details:

Zoo Minyan
This Saturday, Shabbat Shuva, 26 Sept.
10am sharp, with a sweet as honey Psukei d'Zimrah
Pot-luck dairy/veggie lunch -- main courses especially appreciated

At the home of Deborah Hittleman Flank and Shalom Flank. For directions, check your Zoo mail, or email

Shana Tovah Tikatavnah v'Taychatamna
and Tikateivu v'Taychateimu!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Fri. night Zoo Minyan Sept 11, + coming soon

UPDATE: We're at Maya's house!  Details below.

Welcome to Elul, a thoughtful time of reflection, anticipation, and accounting. Come bring your spirit, soul, thoughts, Kavannah/intention -and of course your Neshama Yetayra, that fabulous extra soul you gain each week to celebrate Shabbat.

We'll have spirited songful Davening and delicious dinner (catered entrees from Sienna's). This week we'll be in Cleveland Park (though the real estate agents call it Garfield Park), at the home of Maya Bernstein.   We're seeking davenning leaders, and there's always room for davenning treats, special niggunim, etc., just write back to to volunteer.

Please make a donation toward dinner and/or bring a potluck contribution (veggie/dairy) -- details below.

But first, COMING SOON:

!!! NEXT ZOO -------
Zoo Minyan will meet Shabbat Shuva --the Shabbat between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur-- Saturday morning, September 26th.
Grab your leyning slot now, at (Note: also HAFTORAH opportunity)

SEPT 30: The Wednesday after Yom Kippur we'll raise the Sukkah (mostly big nuts & bolts, pretty much hammer-free -- plus panda-leftovers for schach) 4pm - 7pm
OCT 1: Then Thursday we'll decorate the Sukkah (hang stuff from the rafters, attach tapestries, string lights) 4pm-7-pm

The Details:
This Friday night, Sept 11
Shmoozing plus set-up: 6:30pm
Rockin' Kabbalat Shabbat -- 7:00pm sharp!
Followed by Ma'ariv, dinner, singing, drashing, more shmoozing....

At the home of Maya Bernstein

(not downstairs in the party room, as for so many other events that Maya has graciously hosted, but actually in her apartment -- we rate!)

For directions, check your Zoo mail, or email

ABOUT DINNER (it's not just a pot-luck!)

We will have main courses from Siena's! Kosher, lots of dairy plus at least one non-dairy option, all veggie, and all yummy! Vegetable lasagna, eggplant parmesan -- send in your requests

For shabbat dinner, the community provides some hearty entrees. You can:
  1. Contribute to the kitty to help pay for the entree AND / OR
  2. Bring a side dish, salad, drink, or desert as a dairy / veggie pot-luck contribution.

Don't worry about whether your kitchen is kosher (or “kosher enough”), everyone gets to contribute. But please be prepared to explain what's in your dish, to help people avoid allergy or kashrut issues.

If you're worried about whether you'll be able to eat at Zoo Minyan, there is always a critical mass of pot-luck contributions with a heksher or cooked in someone's heksher-only kitchen. There are always hekshered challot and grape juice, plus the entree is hekshered. And you'll get to know people as you ask who brought which dish. Questions? Ideas? Want to help? Need the address or directions? Write back to Shabbos is coming!


For more FRIDAY NIGHT INFO, get all the details here. And for all the upcoming Friday night dates (through Feb.), check the Zoo Minyan Google calendar (yep, it's there, just to your left, top of the page).