Sunday, September 25, 2011

Zoo Minyan Dinner in the Sukkah - Thurs. Oct 13

Zoo Minyan Dinner in the Sukkah -
Thurs. Oct 13

Potluck: veggie/dairy

WHERE: Woodley Park /Deb & Shalom's

more info?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sukkah building - Oct. 10

Greetings Zoo Minyanites, old & new,
advanced planning:

Sukkah building will be Oct 10th - Columbus day

Plan to join in!

Monday, May 30, 2011

BLINTZfest -- Wed. June 8

(Zoo Minyan is not scheduled to meet in June, however --

Blintz Fest at Deborah and Shalom's - 1st Day of Shavuot -- 5pm, June 8 (Wed.)
Come join Shalom & Deborah for their Annual Shavuot Blintz Fest!
Sleep to your hearts content on the 1st day of Shavuot and then come by starting at 5pm.
Blintzes come fresh from Grandma's heirloom blintz pan - you are invited to bring toppings. If you are in the mood, other Hekshered potluck items are welcome but certainly not required. Eat Bubbelah eat!

TIME: 5 p.m. through ???

At Deborah and Shalom's house in Woodley Park. For directions, check your Zoo mail, or email

No RSVP necessary (but always appreciated) -


Monday, April 04, 2011

Shall we meet Sat. May 14th?

question --
Shall we meet Sat. May 14th?
Zoo Minyan needs you!
(see below)

The NHC Chesapeake Retreat (National Havurah Committee) was great!
a weekend of music and classes with new friends and old.
Now is a good time to consider NHC Summer Institute -

Next scheduled Sat. Zoo Minyan is...
May 14th

Can you...
Sign up to Leyn?
volunteer to Host?
Bring zooMinyan veggies?


Enjoy your Pesach!
Chag Kasher v'Sameach

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Fri. night Zoo Minyan - March 18th

Friday night before Purim, what do you do for Erev Shabbat???
come to

Fri night Zoo Minyan

March 18th

We'll have spirited songful Davening and delicious dinner (catered entrees from Sienna's). We'll be in Woodley Park, at the home of Deborah & Shalom. 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.

The Details:
Friday night, March 18
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 Deborah & Shalom

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, 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 upcoming Friday night dates & Shabbat Morning dates, check the Zoo Minyan Google calendar (yep, it's there, just to your left, top of the page) as updates unfold.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

3/18 Friday night; 3/16 bake Hamantaschen

2 announcements -

March 18
save the date for Friday Zoo Minyan in Woodley Park

March 16
come bake Hamantashen! RSVP

--Happy Spring!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Zoo Minyan - No Davenning, but some learning, Sat. Feb. 26th

Zoo Minyan is not meeting for davenning Sat.
Feb 26.

Sorry folks! Insufficient leyning turn-out for Zoo this shabbos, wouldn't be lichvod Torah. Apologies for the short notice / change of plans.

But feel free to stop by for some learning after davenning elsewhere (or after shaarei sheina / sleeping in, as is your custom).

We'll have some awesome texts on Hulda the prophetess's role at the Beit ha-Mikdash, on the difference between the Mishkan and the Beit ha-Mikdash, and we may even experiment with some (shabbos-friendly) mishkan-building of our own.

1:30pm at Deborah and Shalom's house, challah and light snacks provided, add a pot-luck contribution if you'd like.

Good shabbos!

P.S. We're considering some chasiddishe non-davenning events for Zoo Minyan. Write back to if you want to get in on the plotting.


SPECIAL NOTE: Sat. Feb 12 is Erev Shira/ Evening of Song (folk singing and musical instruments) Come join us Sat. night - 6:30pm; Havdallah & then singing -with Instruments.

(now back to info on regular Zoo Minyan Sat.)

The opening pasuk of this week's Parsha (Shmot 27:20) says, “Tell Israel, that they should take for you pure olive oil, beaten for the light, to bring up the Ner Tamid [continuous light]”. This verse is cited in the gemara (Shabbat 21a) as a proof-text:

Rami bar Hama taught, “the wicks and oils that the sages decreed cannot be used for kindling the shabbat [lights], cannot be used in the Mikdash [the Temple]....For the flame should rise from itself, and not ascend by means of something else.”

One interpretation is that we are the olive oil, and holiness is the flame. The eternal light, the blinding presence of the holy, is something that happens naturally – unbelievable as that seems, until we actually experience it. But it only happens when we've prepared for it. The purity of the olive oil takes a lot of work, as we're pounded through the mortar of life.

When we can step back from that necessary work, and enter into shabbos menuchah, then we are drawn up into the wick, and become part of that brilliant flame. Rami bar Hama says, that process happens by ourselves, not through another: by virtue of where we are (the Mikdash, or whatever holy spaces we create), when we are most ourselves (shabbos, of course), and especially, who we are – or who we've made ourselves to be.

May your mortar yield sediment-free oil this week, and may you be drawn up into the wick of the Ner Tamid this shabbos, and every shabbos – including the next Zoo Minyan, on February 26th.


We'll be gathering for davenning, lunch, shmoozing, singing, etc., Sat. Feb 26 in Woodley Park (within walking distance of the Zoo, as is Zoo Minyan custom) at Deborah & Shalom's house.

Want to volunteer to lead something for davenning, or add something to enrich our kavannah (we call them davenning treats, i.e. creative tidbits, not actual food ;) Schlep a sefer torah, or bring some Zoo Minyan veggies? Write back to

For Leyning there are aliyot available (please sign up if you can!)...use self-service leyning spreadsheet, or email

The Details:

Zoo Minyan
Saturday, Parshat Vayakhel, 26 Feb
10am sharp, with a rockin' Psukei d'Zimrah
Pot-luck dairy/veggie lunch -- main courses especially appreciated

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

Shabbat Shalom

Monday, February 07, 2011

Next Zoo Minyan - Sat. Feb. 26th

To lead, Leyn, offer a Davenning Treat, or bring Zoo Minyan veggies, contact us.


See you soon!