Notes from the Cantor
By now, everyone should have received my letter saying that I will be retiring at the end of June, which is the end of my current contract period with PTBAS. I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of kind words and well-wishes, and greatly appreciate all your love and support. I wish to express my thanks, first of all, to the members and leadership of PTBAS who entrusted me with the spiritual leadership of such a special congregation, and then also to the many members of TBE who welcomed my contribution to the consolidated congregation. My particular thanks go to Rabbi Heidi Hoover. I am certain that her inspired, collaborative leadership will help B’ShERT fulfill its potential to be a strong and vibrant center of Reform Judaism in Brooklyn.
I still have many months ahead to be with you, and I do hope you will sing, learn and spiel with me! Class times for the course in the music of the synagogue, and rehearsal times for Purim and the May Gala follow below. I do have one particular request. As my career as a congregational cantor comes to a close, it is of the utmost importance to me to acknowledge the role that Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion has had in my life. The brilliant rabbis and cantors at HUC guided and trained me for my life’s profession, and then continued to support, nurture and inspire me throughout my life. If you are looking for a way to express your thanks to me upon my retirement, then please consider making a donation to the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion L’Dor VaDor Scholarship Fund in my honor. Send your donation to the temple office payable to PTBAS, and then one check will get sent to HUC. It would make me very happy to know that our time together will now help to raise up the next generation of Reform cantors, rabbis and educators.
This is by far the most serious article I have ever written for a bulletin that comes out at Purim time, so let me close with a thought on the lighter side. I’ve heard it said that the trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off. To avoid that stress, I intend to keep teaching at Congregation Shaaray Tefila on the Upper East Side. So I’ll be around, and I know the deep friendships I have made over the years at PTBAS will continue.
Chag Purim sameach! Happy Purim!
LEARN, SPIEL & SING with CANTOR BERNSTEIN
Words and Music the study of synagogue music
Sat. Feb. 3, 12:45 at 2 pm - “Music and Text”
Tues 3/6, 7:30–9 pm “What’s Jewish about this Music?”
Tuesday, March 13, 7:30 - 9 pm - “Who Changed My Service?" - Reform worship and its Eastern European origins
Friday, Mar. 16, 7 - 8 pm - “That Doesn’t Sound Jewish At All” - the world of Jewish music
SPIEL: Purimspiel rehearsals: Tuesdays, 2/6, 13 & 27, 7 - 8:30 pm.
SING: Gala Concert rehearsals - Relive the glory of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Ebbets Field! Join the chorus for “The Brooklyn Baseball Cantata!”
Tues, April 3, 10 17, & 24, and May 1, 7 at 8:30 pm.
I have not known Cantor Suzanne Bernstein for very long; I began to get to know her last year in preparation for our consolidation. I have found her to be a remarkable spiritual leader and an extraordinary cantor and musician. It is a great pleasure to work with her this year, and I pray that as she goes forward she will find fulfillment, pleasure, rest, and joy in all that she does.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about holiness. Those who practice Reform Judaism don’t talk too much about holiness, or about our relationship with God. We enjoy the music and the familiarity of ritual. These in themselves can become very important to us. But how often, and for how many of us, do they actually lead to moments of holiness, or connection to something greater than ourselves (whether we call that something “God” or use another term)?
In the Torah, the word kodesh and its various forms, which we translate as “holy,” mean something that is set apart, separate. Shabbat is a holy day in that it is set apart from the other days of the week.
A few weeks ago, I had a conversation before Shabbat services with a few of our nine-year-old congregants about the sanctuary being a holy place. “What,” I asked, “do you think it means for you that the sanctuary is a holy, a sacred place?”
They immediately answered, “That we should sit still and be quiet.” At nine years old, they have already learned that when an adult talks to them about sacred space, it is a veiled reprimand for talking or walking around. More recently I asked the congregation during a family service how they feel while they’re sitting still and being quiet. Some of the kids answered: “Restless.” “Like I want to move my legs.” I imagine that if you’re feeling restless, doors to holiness are unlikely to open.
In a discussion I held with some of the religious-school parents, I asked them to share moments of holiness they’ve experienced when they weren’t sitting still and being quiet. Some shared the sense of unity when the whole audience sings together at a rock concert as a holy moment. Others spoke about participating in sports, those moments when you’re able to disengage for a short time with your intellect and just do.
Holiness is in those moments when we are able to separate from our regular selves for a time, either to feel part of something greater than ourselves or to get out of our heads and stop thinking so much.
For many, sitting in silence and meditation is a way to open a door to holiness. But there are other ways—singing, dancing, running. Fasting on Yom Kippur or studying all night at Shavuot are both ways to weaken ourselves, making ourselves more physically vulnerable, and they can also open doors to holiness.
Some of our discussions this year in our community have been about changes to our rituals in services. Some congregants have expressed strong feelings that they need rituals to happen in a certain way, while others feel equally strongly that they need those same rituals done in a different way. This is not easy to navigate. If you are someone who feels strongly about certain rituals being done in a certain way, I’d like to invite you to look deeper. What is it about the ritual that is important? If you say, “It doesn’t feel like Shabbat without it,” why is that? What about the ritual opens a door to holiness?
Outside of our rituals, I invite you to consider where you find moments of holiness in your life—what takes you outside of your intellect and/or makes you feel unified with something bigger than yourself?
We know that different people have different needs when it comes to holiness. Sometimes it can be difficult for those needs to coexist. Let us have compassion for others' needs, and restrain ourselves from telling them they’re doing it wrong. Let us wrestle and grope and stumble our way to holiness. Let us try new ways and integrate them with some of the ways that work for us already.
Please share your thoughts and ideas with each other and with me, in the spirit of a community of seekers of holiness. I look forward to seeing you soon. Rabbi Heidi Hoover
photo by Harvey Wang
Volume I Sh'vat/Adar 5778 / February 2018 No. 4
voice of truth
Song leader Larry Milder reminds us all that:
“Wherever you go there’s always someone Jewish.
You’re never alone when you say you’re a Jew.
So when you’re not home, and you’re somewhere kind of newish,
The odds are, don’t look far – ‘cause they’re Jewish, too.”
Surely you can find Jews in unexpected places but where can you find 6,000 Jews in one place? And where would you go to find that many Reform Jews in one place? Israel, maybe? No, not yet. But look no farther than the URJ Biennial.
In December, our contingent consisting of Faye Guskin, Tamara Kerner, Eric Platt, Yvette Pomeranz, Ellyn Rothstein, Rebecca Rothstein, Susan Sysler and Cantor Bernstein attended the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial 2017 in Boston, MA. There, we sang, danced, laughed, and were inspired by those who brought us fresh perspectives. We prayed with our words and with our feet. And we met many like-minded people from diverse backgrounds and cultures that complemented as well as challenged us. There was a powerful sense of vitality and connection in engaging with our fellow Reform Jews and in learning new things or breathing life into old ideas.
Some of the highlights were the keynote speakers at the plenary sessions. Reverend William Barber, the founder of Repairers of the Breach, aroused us, calling us to action for racial and social justice. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warner passionately spoke about her fight for economic justice issues, particularly for the middle class. At the plenary sessions we heard Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha talk about her fight to protect the children of Flint, MI, during that city’s water crisis and Israeli author David Grossman speak about his activism in Israeli society.
We were amazed by the variety and diversity of music. Many of us attended a concert introducing new social justice music for our time. This music was created through the URJ’s Dunst Social Justice Music Project and has been recorded as the album, Together as One. Songwriters Peri Smilow, Stacy Beyer, Julie Silver, Rabbi Joe Black, and others presented their music to encourage us to “engage our activist souls.” We attended concerts by Nefesh Mountain, combining Jewish spirit and soul with bluegrass music, and Nava Tehila, an ensemble from Jerusalem presenting original musical prayer. Ellyn and Rebecca Rothstein listened to Sacred Music: Inspiring Pluralistic Spirituality in Israel with Rabbi Or Zohar, formerly an Orthodox Jew from a family of Orthodox rabbis who became a secular Jew and finally a Reform rabbi and Feliza Zohar, his wife and fellow performer, an Asian-American and Jew by choice.
There were so many amazing learning sessions, group discussions, concerts and services it would take pages to describe. The following are some our individual impressions of what we experienced at the Biennial:
Ellyn Rothstein: Rabbi Rick Jacobs’ sermon on Saturday reinforced the theme of action, not just words but also spoke to vitality (the difference between still waters and moving waters) and connection. He stunned us all with the notion that Jews outside of Israel, especially in North America, are as vital and important as the Jews within the holy land. And he called for the removal of the pejorative word “diaspora” to be removed from our vocabularies.
Faye Guskin: It was amazing to be among 6,000 Reform Jews, and feel connectedness, and learn about the Reform Movement. Though I have been a member of the Temple since 1988, this experience greatly increased my awareness, knowledge, and interest in the extensive resources of URJ, and of the great leaders, participants, dedication, and creativity across the movement. I especially enjoyed the plenary sessions, services, and other sessions which focused on music. The whole experience, being with our great group, and all, has really enhanced my life. So glad I went! Thank you for the encouragement to go!
Tamara Kerner: So my impression of the Biennial was that it was a great experience. The best part was to be surrounded by 6,000 like-minded souls of all ages. The Shabbat services both Friday and Saturday were wonderful. Being exposed to all of the music, both familiar and new was icing on the cake. I only went to a couple of the sessions. The Saturday session with Krista Tippett, which was a live recording of the radio show and podcast of “On Being with Krista Tippett,” was wonderful. She interviewed Imam Abdullah Antepli and Rabbi Sarah Bassin about building bridges between Muslims and Jews; they were both animated and interesting with wonderful back stories.”
Yvette Pomeranz: It is natural that we temple members become engrossed in the little world of our own congregation. In attending this Biennial, as well as prior ones, I have been struck by the magnitude of the Reform movement. It is not just the prayers in our prayer book and the music which we generally use "at home" in our temple, but prayers and music developed by so many other creative people with other insights and spiritual experiences enhancing our own individual and communal worship. It is the sheer number of people -- congregations from all over the United States and Canada, and Israel and the World Union. I think that most important is realizing our power on the domestic and world stages to take actual action to advocate for and realize social justice, not just for Jews but for everyone. This is really the main thrust of Reform Judaism. It is empowering to realize our influence and accomplishments. Seeing the beautiful Torah that the Reform Movement presented to President Kennedy, thinking of the Reform rabbis who marched during the Civil Rights era, and recalling those leaders who had access to more recent Presidents, such as Obama (all of whom were part of either this or prior Biennials) makes me very proud of our Reform heritage.
Rebecca Rothstein: I came home with a tallit, a kippah, a necklace, a digital copy of an album called “Together as One,” and a badge with ribbons that speak to my faith and Jewish milestones that have made me who I am. Though they are significant and meaningful to me, they only scratch the surface of this experience. I was inspired. I was inspired by the passion and common commitment to engage in acts of tikkun olam. Al Vorspan said, “We are Jews, not spectators.” Rabbi Rick Jacobs talked about praying with your feet and actively doing your part to create a world where there is social justice. He wanted us to take what we learned and bring it back to our congregations and apply it to our lives.
Cantor Suzanne Bernstein: I love going to Biennial. I enjoy reconnecting with congregants and clergy from all the congregations I have served over the years. The services, concerts, programming and speakers are always excellent. Here are a few that were particularly inspiring to me:
1. Morning services with Nava Tehila. The music from this Jerusalem congregation lifts my soul. I have introduced the Nava Tehila Sim Shalom at Shabbat morning services.
2. Theology of Action with Rabbi Michael Marmur and Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi. Co-sponsored by the Religious Action Center, the rabbis discussed the texts that inspired the activism of Abraham Joshua Heschel and Eugene Borowitz. I passed on some of what I learned about Heschel at the Shabbat Tsedek Shiur on January 12, Dr. King observance weekend.
3. Sunday symposium "Bringing Israel Home" co-sponsored by ARZA, Shalom Hartman, URJ and IMPG. I have been sharing what I learned about "relational Zionism" at services and at Torah study.
Best thing about Biennial 2017 — my daughter, Miryam came with me! Sharing a room and our thoughts about programs we attended made this the most special Biennial ever for me. I hope we can go together to Chicago for Biennial 2019!
The URJ Biennial is an opportunity to learn, share and experience through music, Torah study and services, a variety of programming sessions (social action, diversity, faith, innovation, community) and interaction between clergy and laypeople, teens and adults, and all genders. It offers a connection among and between congregations to enable all of us to reach out and make a difference. The biennial allows us to re-engage, motivate and move forward.
We hope that we have inspired you to put attending an URJ Biennial to your bucket list. It was truly an amazing experience for all of us and we hope you join us in Chicago for URJ Biennial 2019.
The History of Purim
The story of Purim is found in the Book of Esther, one of the books in the Ketuvim (Writings) section of the Bible. It is set in the land of Persia (current day Iran) at the time when Ahashverosh was king. King Ahashverosh held a banquet in the capital city of Shushan and ordered his queen, Vashti, to come and dance before his guests. She refused, and lost her royal position.
Acting on advice from his counselors, Ahashverosh held a pageant to choose a new queen. Mordechai, a Jewish man living in Shushan, encouraged his cousin Esther to enter. Esther won but, following the advice of her cousin, did not reveal her Jewish origin to the king.
Mordechai often sat near the gate of the palace. One day he overheard Bigthan and Teresh plotting to kill the king. Mordechai reported this to Esther. She then told the king. The matter was investigated and found to be true, and Bigthan and Teresh were executed. Mordechai's deed was recorded in the king’s diary.
Meanwhile, the king's evil adviser, Haman, paraded through the streets, demanding that all bow down to him. Because Jews do not bow to anyone but God, Mordechai refused to bow down to Haman. Upon learning that Mordechai was Jewish, Haman decided to kill all the Jews in the Persian empire. He plotted to kill them—convincing King Ahashverosh to go along with the plan—and cast purim ("lots," plural of pur), a kind of lottery, to determine the day on which he would carry out his evil deed: the 13th of Adar.
However, Mordechai alerted Esther to Haman's evil plot, and Esther, in turn, revealed her Jewish identity to the King, convincing him to save the Jews and foiling Haman's plot. Haman was hanged, Mordechai received his estates and the position of royal vizier, and the Jews of Persia celebrated their narrow escape on the 14th of Adar, the day after they were supposed to be annihilated.
Thus, the fate Haman had planned for the Jews became his own. The holiday of Purim celebrates the bravery of Esther and Mordechai and the deliverance of the Jewish people from the cruelty of oppression.
Although Purim is observed in most places on the 14th of Adar, in Jerusalem, it is celebrated on the 15th. M’gillat Esther explains, “on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month—that is the month of Adar—when the king’s command and decree were to be executed, the very day on which the enemies of the Jews intended to have rule over them, the opposite happened, and the Jews prevailed over their adversaries.” The Jews fought and won on the 13th of Adar and celebrated the following day. However, M’gillat Esther also says that the Jews did not defeat their enemies until the 14th of Adar in the walled city of Shushan. Therefore, cities that were enclosed during the time of Joshua do not celebrate until the 15th, which has been appropriately named Shushan Purim. Because of the significance of Jerusalem, Purim is celebrated on Shushan Purim. From: The Jewish Home by Daniel B. Syme
URJ Biennial 2017 Report
TEMPLE BOOK GROUP IS READING VORACIOUSLY!
We truly are the "people of the book," with opportunities for book discussions once a month in the evenings at a congregant's home and also every few months with Saturday lunchtime discussions at the Temple. Everyone is welcome!
Here's the upcoming schedule for the 7 p.m. evening discussions:
March 7: Walking the Bible, by Bruce Feiler
April 4: The Last Jew, by Noah Gordon
May 2: The Zookeeper's Wife, by Diane Ackerman
June 6: American Pastoral, by Philip Roth
July 11: My Russian Grandmother and her American Vacuum Cleaner, by Meyer Shalev
Call the Temple office for the location of the evening discussions.
Book choices for the next two Saturday discussions are yet to be announced, but mark your calendars for March 17 and May 12. These Saturday discussions will be at the Temple at 12:45 p.m. and a light lunch will be served.
Religious School • Bryna Bilanow
The children studied the Hebrew alphabet and played a game of Eretz Eer. In the game, the children looked at each letter and tried to come up with as many animals, cities and countries that begin with that letter’s sound. Then they used their bodies to create the Hebrew letters, and wrote their names in Hebrew. In the next lesson, they used their knowledge of the Hebrew alphabet to look at the name of our next holiday, Tu B’Shvat. Adi explained that because each letter has a numerical value, the holiday gets its name from the 15th day of Shvat. The children discussed the importance of trees and made their own plant project. They took wet cotton balls and filled up a nylon stocking with the balls and seeds. They decorated a planter for their future seedlings, and will hopefully have a nice chia head growing over the next few weeks!
The class focused on the current Torah portions that begin the book of Shemot (Exodus). They learned how the children of Israel settled in Egypt and were eventually enslaved. They discussed the story of Moses and how he was rescued by a trio of strong women: Yocheved, Miriam, and Batya. The next week they learned more about Miriam and her various roles as prophet, midwife and musician. The students learned about Miriam’s well which sustained the Jews through the desert, and they sang “Miriam’s Song” by Debbie Friedman. The class has also been drawing pictures to illustrate what they are learning about the Torah.
The students finished up their maps of Israel and painted them, making sure to include historic sites, geographic features and neighboring countries. In the next class they learned about kibbutzim. They watched videos about the kibbutz movement and how the kibbutzim have evolved over the years to reflect the changes in society around them. The class also participated in a game to understand what was so attractive about sharing resources in order to start kibbutzim. They drew up chairs in a circle, one for each student, stood on them, and then switched chairs at the teacher’s command. As the teacher removed chairs the children had to balance on chairs together. Their goal was to have as many of them stay on the chairs so they all worked together to keep each other balanced. When the class started another round the kids agreed to set up the circle of chairs in a tighter circle to make it easier to help each other. Afterwards they talked about how sharing ideas and strengths in a communal way could have also helped the kibbutzim.
In the oldest class the students “visited” Haifa. They learned about its diverse inhabitants, which include Druze, immigrants from the Former Soviet Union, Arab Christian populations, and members of the Baha’i faith. The children split up, studied one of the groups, and presented what they learned to the rest of the class. In the next class they looked at kibbutzim, their origins, aspirations and evolution. They also spent some time learning about agriculture and environmentalism in Israel. They listened to a podcast, which discussed how environmental conservationists in Israel were able to stop Israelis from picking wildflowers with a simple but effective public service campaign.
Jenn Queen leads the family Tu B'Shvat Seder
The Fix Is In: Repairs to the sanctuary included new lighting and sheetrock under the balcony & repair of ceiling holes.
From The Presidents’ Desk
Over the last few months, the by-laws committee has met several times to create a new governing document for the congregation, combining the best from the pre-existing TBE by-laws and PTBAS constitution with new ideas based on research and brainstorming. The by-laws committee will have a final drafting session on February 8, and then the proposed by-laws will be distributed to everyone for comment. Here are some highlights:
1. The officers of the new congregation will be a president, a vice president, three vice presidents, a secretary, and a treasurer. All will be elected to a term of two years, and no one may serve in the same office for more than two consecutive terms. Past presidents will serve with the officers to form an executive board.
2. Trustees will serve three year terms; the term of one third of the board will expire each year. Trustees will have a term limit of two consecutive terms. Additionally, Temple Affiliates and the Youth Group can designate a person to serve on the board for a one year term.
3. This leadership structure will begin on July 1, 2019; until then, the officers and the boards will not change.
4. In the case of an emergency, the President can approve spending up to $5,000, and the Executive Board up to $20,000. The Board is authorized to spend up to $20,000 for any purpose.
5. There will be 12 standing committees: Adult Education, Building, Caring/Chesed, Communications, Finance, Fundraising, Long Term Planning, Membership, Religious School, Ritual, Social Action, and Special Events. All other committees will continue as ad hoc committees or sub-committees of these 12 standing committees.
6. The temple will have an annual meeting in June and a semi-annual meeting in November. Absentee voting will be allowed at congregational meetings. At the June annual meeting, the congregation will vote on trustees, officers, and the budget. Two adult members of each family membership will have the right to vote.
Please feel free to email the temple with comments and suggestions once you have read the final draft. Thanks to the Committee Members: Robin Bass, Monica Beyer, Sally Moses, Saul Radow, Herb Rubinstein, Charlotte Russell, Fran and Sam Silverman, Helene Smith, and Susan Sysler.
Clergy Search Committee
As you all know, Cantor Suzanne Bernstein announced her planned retirement at January’s Board Meeting. Cantor Bernstein is an inspirational and caring leader who will be difficult to replace, and we will celebrate her legacy at the End of the Year Celebration in June.
Knowing that we have a large guitar to string, we have formed a Clergy Search Committee for B’ShERT. The participants will be Alvin Berk, Maria Deutscher, Mady Kaye, Robin Bass, Jennifer Tattenbaum, Yvette Pomeranz, Ellyn Rothstein, Fran and Sam Silverman, Gerard Soffian, and Harvey Wang. Rabbi Hoover [plus one more member from PTBAS] will also serve on this vital committee. The first meeting was on January 30.
Currently, the Temple rents much of our classroom space to Aim High, an institution that provides early education to pre-K students and young children with special needs. The lease runs through June 30, 2024; however, the lease contains a mutual option to renew after June 30, 2019. Since we are now a new congregation, with new space needs, and in a new financial condition, we’ve created a committee to make a recommendation to the board on how to proceed on our option in 2019. The committee will be chaired by Sam Silverman and Sheldon Greenberg. So far, Faye Guskin, Liz Fisher, and Sally Moses have offered to participate. If you would like to join, contact the temple, or Sam and Sheldon.
Rabbinic Intern Search Committee
Thanks to the generosity of congregant Scott Smith, the temple has an endowed position for a student rabbi. HUC rabbinical student Jennifer Queen has served as the Jacqueline Smith Memorial Intern for the past two years, but she will be moving on in June to further explore and learn as part of her education. Susanna Stein is leading a committee to recruit a new intern. Rabbi Hoover, Adrienne Knoll, Ellyn Rothstein, Janet Schlesinger, Harvey Wang, and Emily Whitehead are also serving on the committee. All of us will miss Jenn’s skill at leading the family services, her work with students and the youth group, and her beautiful voice!
Thanks to everyone who is participating in these committees in this time of transition!
Fun from Fundraising • Pam Glantzman
We have turned a page in the calendar to 2018. A year ending in 18, chai, should mark a great time ahead for us, full of fun activities, new friends and great cheer. In that spirit, I would like to extend thanks to the following:
The 65+ people who came to Arirang in Bay Ridge to be a part of the “Dine to Donate” program. We have received a check from Arirang for $247.48.
The people who donated to the accessibility fund through the Facebook campaign on “Giving Tuesday,” November 28. We raised more than $2,300 with the possibility of matching funds from the Gates Foundation of an additional $1,800. This should arrive around February 15. Let’s all mark our calendars for this same event next year.
The people who contributed to the success of the January 7 Talent Show, both on stage and behind the scenes. The talent housed in our combined congregation is awesome in every sense of the word. The stage talent, front of house, back of house and in-house catering are a force mighty to behold. This event raised $740 after expenses. Kudos to the people who attended in the frigid January temps.
Be on the lookout for more fun brought to you in cooperation with the Fundraising Committee.
Social Action Committee
The Social Action Committee met in January and discussed the concept of joining with other Reform Temples across North America to sign a brit olam -- covenant with our world -- to take part in the Reform movement’s vision for social justice, through the Religious Action Center of the URJ. This would enable us to focus our collective energies on one or two major topics and give us resources that we might not otherwise be connected to. More discussion to follow.
Social Action Committee members participated in the Friday night services of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend with special readings.
We will be participating in a special drive for Puerto Rico hurricane survivors through Temple Beth Shalom in San Juan. Watch for a flyer with more details.
We will continue to send out emails as specific Social Action opportunities arise in the community. The next committee meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 20 at 7 pm in the Community Room.
Susan Sysler and Laurie Bassi, Co-Chairs
Brotherhood Report • Joel Moss
Kudos to all Brotherhood members who braved the frigid cold to attend our meeting on January 14, and to all who attended our Brotherhood Indoor picnic on January 21. A special thanks to Sam Silverman and all those who helped with the cooking or brought food to share, to Gene Guskin for shopping for necessary items to make our picnic a success, and to Doreen Aronow for her game-leading talent.
We need some new faces and ideas to make Brotherhood the best it can be. If you are male, breathing and belong to our temple, you can join Brotherhood for only $25. Come to our next meeting on Sunday, February 11 at 9 am in the community room and see if Brotherhood is for you.
Here are some upcoming Brotherhood-sponsored events: Sunday March 18, 3 - 7 pm, banquet room, a special catered honor lunch/dinner. Please keep an eye out for our flyer with additional information about this exciting event.
April: Breakfast for all Brotherhood members. Paid for by Brotherhood to thank you for joining.
May: Presentation by our own Ron Schweiger on the Brooklyn Dodgers.
June: Brotherhood Outdoor Picnic At Floyd Bennett Field.
We wish you all happiness, prosperity and especially good health.
Cantor Bernstein leads the adult Tu B'Shvat Seder in song
Women of PTBAS & Sisterhood of Temple Beth Emeth
We took a brief break in January, but we’re back with a full spring schedule of upcoming events:
February 10, Brunch & Lecture 9:45 am: Physician, writer and congregant Melodie Winawer will lecture on the topic “Insults, Ordinary Objects and Empathy; Why Write (and read) Historical Fiction?” and discuss her debut novel “The Scribe of Siena.” Books will be available for sale.
April 28, Brunch & Lecture: Johnathan Schwartz, “I Made Plans and G-D Laughed …Twice.”
May 5, Brunch & Lecture: Our ever-popular speaker and congregant Alan Zarrow will offer a multimedia presentation on “Famous But Forgotten Crime Scenes of America.”
In addition to these Saturday morning events, we have some other interesting programs coming up.
Thursday, April 5: Seventh-night dessert Seder.
Friday, May 4: Women-led service to include members of Sisterhood and Women of PTBAS.
In early February, Sisterhood of TBE and the Women of PTBAS will be planning joint programming for the new year. Stay tuned for details!
Respectfully submitted by Sara Meyer West
February Yahrzeits: “For the Memory of the Righteous Is a Blessing”
Jan 27–Feb 2
Samuel P. Bermas
Anna Ritter Finkel
Ida Beth Kurland
Hannah “Jessie” Mann
Rabbie Samuel Soskin
Sylvia Jeanne Yondorf
Lillian R. Braunstein
Lila Bunsis Ross
Adrian Jerome Schiffer
Bertha Pines Love
Herman J. Rasener
Phoebe Carmel Reshes
Lewis H. Semel
Bernard M. Weynberg
Randi Beth Dorsen
Ruth J. Levy
Marc J. Rosenberg
M. Lester Siegel
Allen Jerome Stern
Theresa K. Weiss
Emanuel C. Wolff
Feb 24–Mar 2
Anna L. Sinenberg
The Simcha Zone • Happy Birthday, February Babies!
Jason Bassi Rubenstein
Alan B. Hecht
Eleni Malka Zimiles
Taking Back the ‘Z’
ARZA is TAKING BACK THE Z: unapologetic love for Israel, the land, the people and the State, is at the core of our beliefs. Zionism should not be divisive. And no one faction should be allowed to dictate ownership of “the Z word.”
Modern Zionism encompasses our values of democracy, pluralism and equality. That love of Israel demands honesty and a commitment to the continuation of building a morally exceptional society.
This is not a new concept, but today’s challenges demand nuanced action and strong leadership. ARZA provides the vehicle, the voice, the Movement.
For $36, individuals and families can show support and become members of ARZA. Two dollars stay at the temple to sponsor various Israel-related programing and the balance goes directly to ARZA. By now you should have received our membership letter, giving further details on how to join ARZA. If you cannot locate the letter, please contact either Sondra or Alice for another copy.
To stay informed and up to date with IMPJ, IRAC and the progressive movement in Israel, go to arza.org and/or urj.org.
Let’s continue to support progressive Judaism in the land of Israel.
Tamara Kerner, ARZA Committee Chair
Donor In Memory of
Martin & Karen Eichel Norman Blattberg
Linda Broudy Sidney E. Broudy
Barbara Wasserman Abraham Feinberg
Gina & Tom Anderson Werner Friedlander
Gina & Tom Anderson Rabbi William Kloner
Mark, Sivia, Jonah &
Asher Weintraub Rabbi William Kloner
Lynn DeNonno Mike Figueroa
Hazel Tishcoff Mike Figueroa
Marcia Kaplan Mann Mike Figueroa
Linda & Daniel Silverman Mike Figueroa
Lori & Bob Pandolfo Morton Halpern
Marcia Kaplan Mann Adele Youdin
Steven & Anne Garner Harvey Garner
Gale Resnicoff Charles Fenster
Rita & George Landberg Mike Figueroa
Donor Speedy Recovery of
Elliott Drooker For Bima Honor
Mark & Minna Seitelman Pearl Seitelman
Mark & Minna Seitelman Benjamin Seittelman
The Morton Meyer Fund for Sanctuary Beautification
Donor In Memory of
Alan Zarrow Rabbi William Kloner
Alan Zarrow Werner Friedlander
Alan Zarrow Mike Figueroa
Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund
Donor In Memory Of
Faye Levine-Guskin Natalie Levine
Book of Life
Donor In Memory of
Donor In Celebration of
Mark, Sivia, Jonah &
Asher Weintraub Silvina Weintraub
Drucker/Antopol Family Mike Figueroa
Donations to TBE
YOUR AD HERE • Want to advertise in The Voice of Truth?
Drop us a line at email@example.com or call the office.
You Are Invited to Join
THE HANNAH SENESH SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA, INC.
The Hannah Senesh Society honors the memory of one of the greatest heroines in modern Jewish history during World War II.
Family . . . . . $20.00
Individual. . . . . ..$10.00
Contact: Harry Bialor, President (718) 375-8669
JESSICA SCHULMAN • TECHNOLOGY RESOURCE SPECIALIST
COMPUTER SERVICES & GRAPHICS ARTS SERVICES
718 338-2043 • fax 718 377-7919
Kol Ha-Emet • The Voice of Truth
Editor: Michael T. Rose
Deputy Editor: Adrienne Knoll
Assistant Editors: Alan Zarrow, Alice Hyatt, Karin Orenstein, Sondra Berkman
Proofreading & Research: Sally Moses
Photo Editor: Jessica Schulman
Editors Emeriti: Ellen Block, Robert Pandolfo, Gerard Soffian & Lillian Schwartz
Published monthly ex. July & August.
83 Marlborough Road
Brooklyn, New York 11226
www.bethemeth.net & www.bshert.org
Main Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Main Phone: 718-282-1596
PTBAS direct 718-436-5082
www.ptbas.org • email@example.com
You can reach both offices via the main TBE number and our phone menu.
Submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline is the 20th of the prior month.
Wolf's Appliance Repair
Prompt, Friendly Service in Brooklyn
Fridges, Stoves, Ovens, Gas Ranges, Washers, Dryers and So Much More
Call us! 718 998 3238
Ken Brown Photography
The best for Your Mitzvah! (or any other event, personal or professional)
Longtime established pro; temple member; references available. email@example.com • 718-670-3256.
Maxine Feldman Teaches…
Piano, Voice, Guitar, Sight-Singing
Ms. Feldman has 35 years of experience teaching all ages. She has served on the music faculties of NYU, Brooklyn College, The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and Hebrew Union College. She has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, the United Nations, at PTBAS and now Friday nights at B'ShERT!
For further information please call Maxine at 718-421-3740
Do you have expertise in applying for Grants? Temple is ISO folks with knowledge, skills, abilities, referrals… Contact Sally Moses at
Support Temple when you save! Use code AH580 for your new or existing TD Bank account.
TD will pay a fee and ongoing contribution to the Temple.
Easy & free!
Final rehearsal for Purim Spiel @ 7 pm