Letter from Rabbi Ross

Rabbi Michael RossDear TBS Friends and Family,

As we wrap up 2021, we have taken a break from in-person gatherings for a few weeks. This break has allowed my family and me to visit relatives in Los Angeles for the first time, after a 2-year hiatus. Our corner of Northeast Ohio has been hammered by Covid cases in December. Many of the area synagogues have taken similar breaks from in-person gatherings for the next few weeks as we all reassess the risks of outbreaks in our communities. TBS religious school has decided to take a full month off from in-person gatherings, and will host some Zoom gatherings in early January. In-person classes will hopefully resume on 1/23.

At this point in time, there’s a strong possibility that our first Torah Study/bagel brunch set for Sat. 1/8 might move to Zoom only. That decision will be made next week.

As we close out 2021, many of us are navigating the anxiety of yet another wave of Covid cases. It can seem unbearable. And we also know we have developed major tools for coping with pandemic life. Most of us adults are vaccinated and boosted. Most of our older kids are now vaccinated as well. Please find time during this period to get vaccinated or boosted and to stay safe. Please mask up for public indoor gatherings of any kind right now.

We have also found hope and light in our holiday celebrations and Shabbat communal practices. A few weeks ago I heard a lovely sermon about how Jews in NEO are holding both gratitude and grief at this time. May we carry both of these into our new year of 2022. May we acknowledge our losses and treasure our reunions, our communal gatherings, our feasts. May we find nourishment in this time for our bodies, for our hearts, for our minds, and for our souls.

May we carry a light of hope and compassion into the New Year, 2022, and may it be a year of blessing for each of us.

EXCITING NEWS! Our next “Judaism 101” class will begin in January!

I wanted to let each of you know I will be teaching a weekly “Judaism 101” course for Temple Beth Shalom, Hudson, this winter in-person and on Zoom. This class will meet on Sunday afternoons starting on Jan. 23. We held this class last spring and it was a huge success! As of today, 20 people have signed up for this class.

If you ever wanted to know more about Jewish history, Jewish philosophy, holidays, or practices, then this class is for you.

This new course is perfect for:

  • potential conversion candidates
  • folks who want to learn about Judaism from an adult perspective and may have paused their Jewish learning as teens
  • interfaith folks who want to broaden their Jewish knowledge base
  • young parents who want to get grounded in their Jewish knowledge

The class will be organized like a college survey course with a focus on: Jewish history, holidays, philosophy, and prayer. The course is free for TBS members and college students, and it’s $54.00 for non-members. There will be 4 inexpensive paperbacks to purchase as part of this course. Please let me know if you are interested in this class. RSVP – rabbimichaelross@gmail.com


  • Sat. 1/8 & 1/22, 9:30 am: Torah Study and Bagel Brunch – “Prophets: King David” – in-person and Zoom (TBD)
  • Fri. 1/14, 7:30 pm: Tu Beshvat Shabbat Servicein-person and on Zoom (TBD)
  • Sun. 1/23, 4:30 pm: Judaism 101 Classin-person and on Zoom (TBD)