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Bulletin May, 2014 1 Iyar– 2 Sivan 5774 Vol. 5 Published Monthly





1545 BUSHKILL STREET • EASTON, PA 18042-3118 (610) 258-5343 • Fax: (610) 330-9100 • email:

DISTRIBUTION NOTICE If you would like family members or others to receive a copy of the bulletin, please send name, address and $15 payment to Bnai Abraham. If you have not sent your email address to Bnai Abraham office staff, please do so as soon as possible. We will be notifying congregants of emergencies and special events through email.

CONTACTS Gerald Weisberger

President & Programming Committee Chair

Howard Nathanson Shelly Blumenthal

Youth Chair Gift Shop Chair

Howard Nathanson Irwin Lewis, M.D.

Kadima Advisor Men’s Club President &

Elaine Morrow

Ritual Committee Chair Sisterhood President

Ellen Lifschutz Aliette and Marc Abo, MD

Choir Director Theatre Club

Gerald Weisberger

House Chair

Marna Simon Lothar Gumberich

Membership Chair Memorials & Torah Restoration Committee

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS The deadline for submitting items is May 17th. Please have all items to BAS office no later than May 17th. Any items received after that date will be published in the next month’s bulletin.

O F F I C E H O U R S: Closed on Mondays and Fridays. Hours open: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Services/Minyan Schedule Thursday: 7:25 AM Friday Night Services – 8:00 PM First Friday of Each Month – Simcha Shabbat: 6:30 PM Saturday: 9:30 AM Kiddush follows If you require a special minyan, please notify the office at 610-258-5343.


For several years, I have been captivated by a particular statement of Gandhi about non violence: "My nonviolence does admit of people, who cannot or will not be nonviolent, holding and making effective use of arms. Let me repeat for the thousandth time that nonviolence is of the strongest, not of the weak.” What amazes me about this is that, despite Gandhi's utter and complete devotion to his principles of non-violence, he realized that--in his higherarchy--it was worse to be a coward than to be violent. If one could not learn how to be assertive through the non-violent ideal, violence was permitted to him as a means of fighting cowardice. The ideal, of course, was to be non-violent. But Gandhi realized that not everyone was courageous enough to take that path. In other words, his greatest value was human dignity, and that--for its sake--his deeply held conviction in non-violence could be set aside. I've thought about this a good deal as a Rabbi. What are our most deeply held convictions? Do they fall in the realm of Jewish observance (Shabbat, kashruth, festivals)? Are they social values (human dignity, promoting the social welfare)? Do they concern issues of peoplehood and continuity (raising Jewish families)? Or do they fall more broadly into the realm if faith and spirituality--say, for instance, a belief in divine providence? When these convictions fall into conflict--as they often do--which priority do we choose. If, say, an impoverished person comes to the synagogue on the Sabbath, do we refrain from offering tzdeakah because we privilege Sabbath observance over social welfare? Are there occasions when we should privilege continuity and peoplehood over human dignity--how tight should the gates to our community be? And is there a value that trumps even our greatest held convictions--are we willing to set aside almost everything--as Gandhi was-for a particular value? I deeply value Jewish observance. And yet, if observing Judaism is going to cause people pain and suffering--if it is going to alienate them from Judaism--we should acknowledge that pain, and perhaps even set aside aspects of Judaism for those individuals. And yet, at the same time, I believe that we should acknowledge, with a degree of humility, that perhaps the problems we have with the faith belong not to the religion, but with ourselves. Perhaps we have not sufficiently struggled to understand what our faith and our God were trying to teach us. Perhaps only a very few of us will be able to be, in Gandhi’s words, among the "strongest" those who are able to make all of Judaism meaningful and relevant. The rest of us are left to struggle towards strength--to acknowledge that we are on a journey. The path encourages us to hold on to that which we find meaningful, and to set aside those things which we cannot accomplish without bitterness or malice. Best wishes for a meaningful month, Rabbi Stein


No message this month.

SIMCHA SHABBAT FRIDAY, MAY 2, 2014 - TIME: 6:30 P.M. Please join us for our musical Simcha Shabbat on Friday, May 2nd and stay for a special oneg to follow.

GALA DELUXE BRUNCH SUNDAY, MAY 4, 2014 – TIME 10:00 A.M. COST $6.00 On the heels of the Professor Weiner’s lecture comes the May 4, 2014 Brunch with Special Speaker Alex Morrow of Morgan Stanley Topic: “Looking at where we are in the markets and strategies to address volatility” or my title – Make Some Money in 2014 RSVP to or leave a message at 610-253-2481 DO NOT MISS THIS EVENT

BNAI ABRAHAM/TEMPLE COVENANT OF PEACE KNITTING GROUP WEDNESDAY MORNING – MAY 21, 2014– TIME 10:30 A.M. At the home of Jessica Ytkin 2321 Woodridge Terrace, Easton, PA 18045 Please RSVP by Phone: 610-253-8251

BNAI ABRAHAM AND THE JEWISH BOOK COUNCIL MAY 15, 2014 AT JCC ALLENTOWN – TIME: 7:00 P.M. MAY 18, 2014 AT BNAI ABRAHAM – TIME: 11:00 A.M. Please join us on join us for two events this May that culminate our first year of partnership with the Jewish Book Council. On May 15th at 7:00 PM, the Allentown JCC will be screening: Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness, the award winning 2011 documentary. Then, on Sunday, May 18th at 11:00 AM, Professor Jeremy Dauber--who is featured prominently in the film--will be speaking on his new biography, The Worlds of Sholem Aleichem. A free deli lunch will follow. Transportation is available for both programs; your RSVP is kindly requested. Details about the book are below: The first comprehensive biography of one of the most beloved authors of all time: the creator of Tevye the Dairyman, the collection of stories that inspired Fiddler on the Roof. Novelist, playwright, journalist, essayist, and editor, Sholem Aleichem was one of the founding giants of modern Yiddish literature. The creator of a pantheon of characters who have been immortalized in books and plays, he provided readers throughout the world with a fascinating window into the world of Eastern European Jews as they began to confront the forces of cultural, political, and religious modernity that tore through the Russian Empire in the final decades of the nineteenth century. But just as compelling as the fictional lives of Tevye, Golde, MenakhemMendl, and Motl was Sholem Aleichem’s own life story. Born Sholem Rabinovich in Ukraine in 1859, he endured an impoverished childhood, married into fabulous wealth, and then lost it all through bad luck and worse business sense. Turning to his pen to support himself, he switched from writing in Russian and Hebrew to Yiddish, in order to create a living body of literature for the Jewish masses. He enjoyed spectacular success as both a writer and a performer of his work throughout Europe and the United States, and his death in 1916 was front-page news around the world; a New York Times editorial mourned the loss of “the Jewish Mark Twain.” But his greatest fame lay ahead of him, as the English-speaking world began to discover his work in translation and to introduce his characters to an audience that would extend beyond his wildest dreams. In Jeremy Dauber’s magnificent biography, we encounter a Sholem Aleichem for the ages.

JEWISH HERITAGE NIGHT THURSDAY, MAY 22, 2014 – GAME TIME: 7:05 P.M. Please see the announcement below about Jewish Heritage Day at the Iron Pigs. We have set aside a block of tickets for Bnai Abraham. Please contact the office to reserve your spot.

Yahrzeit List In the Bond of Life

May 2014 May 2 May 2 May 3 May 4 May 6 May 10 May 13 May 14 May 14 May 14 May 14 May 17

Contact Irwin Lewis, Ritual Chairman

May 17 May 18 May 19 May 19 May 20 May 20 May 21 May 25 May 26 May 27 May 27 May 27 May 27 May 29

Beatrice Hochhauser, beloved mother of Les Hochhauser, mother-in-law of Ricky Hochhauser, and grandmother of Aron Hochhauser Robert Kutner, beloved husband of Miriam Cassel Taylor Cooper, beloved daughter of Peter Cooper and Meryl Kelechava Ruth Blechman, beloved sister of Lydia Zibulewsky Myriel Seidel, beloved wife of Norm Seidel Fay Gast, beloved mother of Judy Walker Seymour L. Cooper, beloved father of Jill Reilly Marcus Zeitz, beloved father of Jessica Ytkin Burton Abramowitz, beloved brother of Sally Brau Zev Maisel, beloved husband of Carole Maisel Jean Kalb, beloved mother of Sally Neadle Theodore Martin Braffman, beloved father of Marsha Abraham Morris Berman, beloved father of Ilona Marmer Lena Feihman, beloved grandmother of Sherry Brooks Doris Zippel, beloved wife of Marty Zippel Zalman Leib Lifland, beloved father-in-law of Doris Lifland Fannie Kaplan, beloved mother of Sid, Joseph and Leopold Kaplan Philip J. Goldman, beloved father of Bernice Merbaum William Moskowitz, beloved father of Fred, Dan, and Robb Moskowitz Lorene Taylor, beloved mother of Pam Taylor Simon Merbaum, beloved husband of Bernice Merbaum Barbara R. Goldberg, beloved mother of Susan Jones David Lipton, beloved father of Wendy Gumberich Leah Falk, beloved mother of Norman Falk Emma Gross, beloved mother of Faye Goldberg Sylvia Ziev, beloved sister of Fay Goldberg

BNAI ABRAHAM SYNAGOGUE General operating expenses Please consider a donation to Bnai Abraham Synagogue to cover “General Operating Expenses”. Your donations support our Congregation and strengthen our Jewish community here in Easton. BEATRICE & LEON FRIEDMAN FUND 1.  Support organizations that benefit minor children whose parents are unable to provide for their health, maintenance, support and education 2.  Needy, elderly 3.  Shelter for the homeless BUILDING FUND Extraordinary maintenance and repair of the buildings and property of the synagogue and parsonage SISTERHOOD CAMP RAMAH SCHOLARSHIP FUND GENERAL ENDOWMENT FUND Interest only used to subsidize Bnai Abraham’s operating expenses GOLDMAN/MERBAUM TORAH FUND HERB SNYDER GARDEN FUND JESSE & TAYLOR COOPER FUND DR. JOEL LEWIS SCHOLARSHIP FUND Bar/Bat Mitzvah tutoring stipends JULIUS COHEN MEMORIAL FUND 1.  Religious School Scholarships 2.  Assisting needy congregational youth in Jewish-oriented education, programming and activities (e.g. Yeshiva or Jewish Day School, trips, USY) RABBI’S DISCRETIONARY FUND ROBERT KUTNER LIBRARY FUND SHEILA GOLDBERG FUND To pay High Holiday fees for anyone who cannot afford to attend SILVERMAN RELIGIOUS SCHOOL FUND Religious School Scholarships, Shofars SISTERHOOD BUILDING FUND SUE SEIGEL SHABBAT FUND 1.  Shabbat programming, including kiddush lunches 2.  Bagels and Books SY JACOWITZ TOT SHABBAT FUND Boker Tov Scholarships THEATER FUND Supports a wide variety of synagogue projects and functions

Bnai Abraham Synagogue Doris Lifland sending congratulations to Danny Cohen and Helaine Sigal on their recent awards. Doris Lifland sending a special thank you to Rabbi and Dena for opening their home and sharing their Seder with family and friends. They are wonderful hoists and it was truly appreciated. Cindie and David Drill in memory of Arthur Popkave’s brother, Murray Popkave. Cindie and David Drill in memory of Bob Shubert, brother of John Shubert. Ellen and Phil Hof – Mazel Tov to the Popkave family on the birth of their grandson, Jack Roberts. Ellen and Phil Hof in memory of Rabbi Mark Shrager. Roger and Marna Simon send birthday wishes to Doris Lifland. Jerry and Gail Weisberger sending congratulations to Danny Cohen on his Man of the Year Award from ProJeCt.

Building Fund Sally and Dexter Neadle sending congratulations to Danny Cohen on his Man of the Year Award from ProJeCt. Sally and Dexter Neadle sending special birthday wishes to Doris Lifland.

Goldman/Merbaum Torah Fund Bernice Merbaum sending birthday wishes to Dexter Neadle, Jessica and Herman Ytkin. Bernice Merbaum sending congratulations to Danny Cohen and Helaine Sigal on their recent awards. Bernice Merbaum in honor of Doris Lifland’s 90th birthday.

Sue Seigel Shabbat Fund Pat Gould and family in memory of Rabbi Mark Shrager.

Sheila Goldberg Fund Bernice Merbaum sending get well wishes to Sheila and Julia Goldberg.

Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund Sandy and Alan Abeshaus in honor of our grandson, David Kurlander on his graduation from Case Western Medical School. David Denenberg in memory of Rabbi Shrager and Robinne on Pesach. David and Melanie Wolf-Greenberg in memory of Rabbi Mark Shrager. Bernice Merbaum thanking Rabbi Stein for his kindness.

Yahrzeit Brett Bragin in memory of his grandfather, Edward Linker, and his father, Reubin Bragin. Sally Brau in memory of her father, Samuel Abramowitz. Sherry Brooks in memory of her mother, Marilyn Margolis. Doris Lifland in memory of her father-in-law, Zalman Leib. Shirley Falk in memory of his father, Irving Krasner. Shirley Kimball Hausen in memory of her husband, Stanley A. Kimball. Ricky Hochhauser in memory of her mother, Rose Cohen. Sandy Weiner in memory of her mother, Jean Greenberg.

Todah Rabah Thank you Eric Goldman for sponsoring the Kiddush on April 19th. A Kiddush will be sponsored on May 3rd for Doris Lifland by her children in honor of her 90th birthday. Bob and Sandy Weiner will be sponsoring a Kiddush on June 7th in honor of their 50th wedding anniversary. They would like to extend an invitation to the entire congregation to celebrate with them.

Kiddush is a perfect way to celebrate a special birthday or anniversary, and it allows you the opportunity to celebrate with our community. To sponsor a Kiddush for $36, please contact the synagogue office. Do you have a celebration we should know about? Email

R e f u a h S h ’ l e m a (A Full and Complete Healing) To all who were sick or hospitalized, we wish a return to good health. Phoebe Altman Deborah bas Briendel David Denenberg Sheila Goldberg Les Hochhauser Susan Jones Ellen Lifschutz Andrew Shaw Jack Stein

In memoriam May God in His Kindness Grant Comfort and Solace to the Mourners

Sisterhood News Sisterhood News

The Ritual Corner For May Submitted by Irwin Lewis

Shabbat Many Jewish mystics taught: During the six weekdays the earth has become separated from God; Shabbat reunites the world and God. The Torah teaches that god blessed the seventh day and made it Holy. With what did God bless the seventh day? With an extra measure of light. Some say God blesses the candles lit on Shabbat, that they may burn with extra light. Others say that God blesses the light of a person's face on Shabbat, so that the light of one's face is not the same as during the week.----from Genesis Rabbah

It’s a New Year -- Be Part of Sisterhood Join an extraordinary group of women to support the synagogue and have fun while doing it. It’s the New Year – Send in your annual dues -- just $20 (Make check payable to Bnai Abraham Sisterhood and send to the office.) Sisterhood members will be calling all the women in our congregation with the goal of making every member feel part of our Jewish community. Mitzvah Committee Let’s reach out to our members in times of consolation or illness, celebrate happy events, and welcome new members. Let’s especially reach out to Jewish residents (in and out of our congregation) at local facilities. We can make a difference. Contact Elaine Morrow with any questions or to get involved. Call 484-515-3475 or email


ADULT EDUCATION Our successful Torah Study group will continue to meet Thursday mornings, 10:15 to 11:15. No prior experience is necessary. We are charging a low materials fee of $10 per semester to defray the cost of copying and coffee.

CAMPAIGN FOR NEW MEMBERS - HELP WANTED! We are asking every member of our congregation to help us locate prospective new members. They may be your neighbors, friends, vet, or whoever. Please relay the name and any pertinent information to the Membership Chair, Marna Simon, or to Elaine Morrow. You may also call and give the information to the synagogue office staff. AL’S CLEANERS - FUNDRAISER FOR BAS! Bnai Abraham has been signed up at Al’s Cleaners, 1132 Northampton Street, to enable the synagogue to collect 10% of all sales of dry cleaning and laundry services that our congregants spend there. It’s easy. Just mention that you are a member of Bnai Abraham Synagogue, and they will credit the synagogue and send the proceeds periodically. Al’s is only about seven blocks from the synagogue, has very convenient hours, and does excellent work. MOVING Please notify the Bnai Abraham Synagogue office of any address changes to enable us to avoid charges for returned and undeliverable mail and to insure that you receive all mail being sent to you from the synagogue.

General announcements continued… SHOPPING AT AMAZON…A FUNDRAISER FOR BNAI ABRAHAM! Click on the Amazon search link on the “Donations” page on the BAS website, and for any purchases made during your visit on, Amazon will contribute 4% to 15% of the purchase price to Bnai Abraham! How it works: Navigate to the BAS Donations webpage at and type any item keyword in the Amazon search box, and you will be transferred to (You must use this link or purchases will not be traced to BAS). If you place items in your shopping cart and complete a purchase during your visit, Amazon will pay us a portion of the purchase price (not including shipping), that portion to range from 4% to 15% depending on the item category. Rates for categories are posted on our website. We encourage all of our members to shop on – but remember to only access through the BAS link at the below url or we will not get the purchase credit: Thank you for your continued support of BAS and HAPPY SHOPPING!

Tree of Life Permanently commemorate your simcha or celebrate a person! The “Tree of Life� sculpture is on display in the BAS Main lobby known as Founders Hall. It is used to honor and remember special events such as: Bar/Bat Mitzvahs Birthdays Anniversaries Memorials Engagements Namings Weddings and any other special milestone or celebration! Leaf: $140

Apple: $800

Or memorialize your loved one: Stone at base of tree: $1,100

Lothar Gumberich, Chairman: 610-253-5263 BAS office: 610-258-5343

Dedicate a memorial plaque to be located on the walls of the Sanctuary: $300 To honor your friends on the Walk of Life: $350

Jewish Family Services of the Lehigh Valley

Food Pantry Jewish Family Service is committed to alleviating hunger in our community. Please join us in our efforts to accomplish this. Thank you to everyone who has so generously contributed to our food pantry with nonperishable items or financial support. We are supported in the Lehigh Valley by Second Harvest, as well as by the contributions of food drives and individuals. We are looking to expand into the entire Lehigh Valley to our Jewish community, and we ask for your support. If you have non-perishable items to donate, please either drop them at JFS or call and we will pick them up. Financial donations can be sent directly to JFS. In our outreach, we need everyone to spread the word. If you know someone, either affiliated or not, who could benefit from any JFS service, tell them about us and have them call. JFS maintains confidentiality and professionalism. We will deliver emergency food packages or supplemental food boxes anywhere in the Lehigh Valley. In addition to providing food, our Benefits Checkup Program (BCU) is designed to assist low-income persons of retirement age and younger adults with disabilities to find and apply for federal, state and local benefits. JFS seeks to help individuals and families live healthier, more stable lives by providing professional counseling, education and community programs. JFS would love to assist you in scheduling a food drive or creating a project that can help benefit persons in need. Please call JFS at (610) 821-8722 or go on our website for further information.


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Place an ad in the bulletin for twelve months and reach over 160 readers. Cost: $36/year Contact the Office 610 258-5343

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