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CSK's Book of Life Speakers 2023

08/31/2023 01:57:17 PM




When the Rabbis of the Talmud would argue over a point revolving around life and living, there was always a great variety of opinions on the “shoulds” of life.  That variety of opinions was actually the point.  But after rounds and rounds of discussion, if you really wanted to know, “OK, but what’s the law?” it inevitably came down to this: “If you want to know the law, go out to the marketplace, and watch the people in their interactions with each other.  Once you determine the pattern, that’s the law.”

As much as is often made of the import of what is happening “on the bima,” especially during the High Holy Days, the most important drama that is happening is within you.  I am very proud that CSK has always sought the input and engagement of our community, not only as “recipients” of the wisdom and inspiration we seek to offer, but as contributors as well.

At CSK’s High Holy Days this year, I am so excited to welcome Peter Berry, Laura Rose, and Amber Hoffman - three wise teachers (and friends), who will deepen and heighten our experience.  Here’s just a little bit about what to look forward to!

Peter Berry – Rosh Hashanah morning service, Sept 16, 10 am
I have known Peter ever since his family’s tragic accident in July, 2011.  Peter and Aaron both found their way into wheelchair basketball and today play oversized roles on the University of Alabama Wheelchair basketball team, with Peter currently vying for a spot on the Men’s 2024 Paralympic team.  Recently, Sports Illustrated ran a feature story on Peter and Aaron, and I was stunned by Peter’s wisdom that came through.  On Rosh Hashanah morning, Peter will share with us his response to the question, “What does it mean to write myself into the Book of Life?” To learn more about Peter, check out this recent Sports Illustrated feature article
Laura Rose – Yom Kippur morning service, Sept 25, 10 am

Laura Rose (and her soon-enough to become husband, Ben), were actually at CSK’s very first Shabbat on December 6, 2013!  Not long after, Laura became CSK’s Director of Communications and Programming and for years – from Chillfest to High Holy Days to Journey and beyond, Laura lent her creativity, hard work, and love to our mission.  Today, living in Basalt, CO with Ben and their three beautiful daughters, Laura is the host of the top motherhood podcast, “Look Ma’ No Hands,” and the founder of Maxwell Media, a boutique marketing firm in Aspen, Colorado. On Yom Kippur morning, Laura will share with us her response to the question, “What does it mean to write myself into the Book of Life?” To learn more about Laura, the podcast and Maxwell Media, visit her at  Laura will also be leading a Teshuvah Workshop on Yom Kippur day, 1-2:30, "Nurturing Our Children, Nurturing Ourselves" - Meaningful, Practical Self Care for Modern Parents in a Crazy World.  To learn more and to sign up, click HERE
Amber Hoffman – Yizkor service, Sept 25, 3:30 pm

Amber Hoffman is relatively new to our CSK community, and she is a Death Doula.  A Death Doula provides non-medical, holistic support and comfort to people preparing for, or experiencing the end-of-life transition. Amber has been working with the dying since 2012, a journey that began with the death of her mother. Since then, most of her death doula work has been as a hospice volunteer, specializing in advocacy during the death vigil. In 2020 she became certified as an End-of-Life Advocate/Death Doula from the Conscious Dying Institute (Boulder Colorado) and in 2021, she became a member of NEDA, the National End of Life Doula Alliance.  On Yom Kippur afternoon, during our Yizkor (Memorial) service, Amber will address our community with stories and life lessons she has garnered through this sacred death work, adding invaluable perspectives on writing oneself into the Book of Life. 
CSK’s High Holy Days strive to be so much more than a ritual check list.  Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are grounding experiences that invite us into conversation with ourselves and with the Divine, however we understand It.  We hope you will accept this invitation towards the soul-work that our ever more complicated lives demand, if we are to live with greater balance, humility, and equanimity.  To sign up for the High Holy Days, please click HERE.

Mon, February 26 2024 17 Adar I 5784