Page 1


Kol Kiruv April 2014


Passover Cover


Rabbi's Message


Cantor’s Notes


President’s Message


Community Seder


Synagogue, Rebooted


CPT Bookworms 5774


Synagogue, Rebooted (cont.)


Women’s Rosh Chodesh


Purim Pics


Volunteers In Israel; Patsy Kart and Jane Kusel


Synagogue, Rebooted (cont.)


Jewlicious Learners


Synagogue, Rebooted (cont.)


Purim Pics


In the Community


Adult Ed—Kidz Korner


On’gai Shabbat, Anniversaries, Birth- 19 days and Mazel Tov MiShebeirach




Community Resources


Nid’vei Leiv—From the Heart


Contribution Form


Calendar at a Glance


Clergy and Staff Rabbi: Yocheved Mintz Cantor: Marla Goldberg Accompanist: Timothy Cooper Newsletter: Nancey Eason Educator: Rabbi Mintz Bookkeeper: Lynn Pisetzner Office Administrator: Nancey Eason

Vol. 20—No. 11

passOver is coming: May the “Fours” be with you!

Be sure to join us for our communal seder on the second night of Pesach, Tuesday, April 15, at 6:00 p.m., at the Blasco Wing in the UNLV Foundation Building. The Haggadah, an interactive Maggid (with a distinctly Star Wars theme), great own-made food, singing, and a wonderful evening with our Congregation P’nai Tikvah family and guests. Make your reservations online or call the office at 702-436-4900. (See page 5 for additional information. 4 goodness sake, don’t 4-get to be with us 4 this very special seder! Congregation P’nai Tikvah will worship on Shabbat, April 4th & 18th at Kraft-Sussman Chapel, in the Bank of Nevada Business Park at 3975 S. Durango, Suite 104, in Las Vegas. Tot Shabbat will be held on April 4th at 6:30 PM. Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv services will begin at 7:30 PM. Torah Study will take place at 10:00 AM on April 5th & 19th at Rabbi Mintz’s home. A bagels and lox brunch is served. Please RSVP by calling the administrative office at (702) 436-4900 or by emailing

Message from the Rabbi “Aviv, Aviv Hinei Zeh Bah” Dear Chevreh: “Aviv, aviv, hinei zeh bah / springtime, springtime, behold it’s arrived” are the words of a lovely song that our Jewlicious Learners sang sweetly at services in March, and fittingly too, as on the calendar, we are officially in Spring. While it may not seem much different from the amazingly mild winter we had, Spring heralds more than daffodils and robins. Chag HeAviv, the Spring holiday is one of the four names for Passover and Passover is upon us. It’s clear from the Cantor’s Notes and from the lovely message from our fearless president, Barbara Holland, that Passover is a favorite holiday for them; and from the two boards full of memories of Sederim past, it’s clear that most of us have wonderful memories of Passover spent with family and friends over the years. Me too. I have great memories of years gone by and love being together for our Sederim. I’m looking forward to our CPT Communal Seder on April 15th and hope you all make your reservations promptly. No one should be alone on Pesach, so please contact me if you have special needs. Chag HeAviv is one of the names for Passover, but there are three others: Chag HaMatzot (the feast of the unleavened bread), Chag HaPesach (the feast of the Paschal lamb), and Z’man Cheiruteinu (the season of our redemption from slavery). Aviv, Matzot, and Pesach seem easy to relate to….they’re tangible and pretty obvious; but when we annually slave in the kitchen to prepare the foods necessary for the Seder and do a really thorough housecleaning to get the house ready for Pesach….one wonders if we’re not auditioning for the movie “8 Days a Slave.” Of course, I’m kidding. It’s a labor of love to prepare for Pesach. And it’s a joy to be together for the Sederim, but what happens after the Seder? For many families, that’s it, and then the remaining days of Pesach are endured, not celebrated. Like the “Mah Nishtanah” says, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” Let’s actually make each night different this year. The second Seder begins the counting of the Omer, and, once again, we can get a thought a day to help us elevate our spiritual selves from Redemption to Revelation---the seven weeks until Shavuot. That’s different! Let’s consciously climb a 49-day spiritual ladder. What else can we do? This starts with the physical ridding our house of chametz, you know, the stuff that puffs up our bread and other foods. Well, how about ridding our selves of the stuff that puffs us up? How about consciously ridding ourselves of pride and arrogance, egotism and selfishness…..for every day of Pesach. And, who knows, maybe it will become a habit? The point is that if Passover is to be a true “Z’man Cheiruteinu,” season of our redemption, we should do more than simply retell the story of our exodus from Mitzrayim, we should really make an effort to liberate our selves, elevate our souls, and consciously strive to improve our beings to the point that we can be worthy of Sinai….our peak experience. Chag HaPesach Sameiach,

Rabbi Yocheved Mintz 2

Cantor’s Notes

A Note From the Cantor In the last few weeks, our congregation has been invited to write down memories of Passover past for an exhibit in the Holocaust Resource Center here in Las Vegas. For me, as I’m sure it was for many, to decide on one memory was difficult. Once thing I can say is that most of my great memories revolved around my family and my father. I have wonderful memories of making our annual matza ball soup together. He was known for his great matza balls and is the one who taught me how to make them nice and fluffy. Working in the kitchen together with him are definitely some of the best memories I have of getting ready for our seder. The memory I put down for the poster was one that did involve dad. He was also known for his humor which both my brother and I inherited a little (or a lot). Our Haggagah had a line that said “Let us now say Grace” that came after the meal. My father brother and I would always shout, “Grace” much to my mother’s annoyance. We had a lot of joy during those times. I have had some serious memories too. The year I applied to Hebrew Union College, my acceptance letter was in the mail box on the day of the first seder. Saying, “Next year in Jerusalem” had much more meaning for me that night. Of course, many memories come from the melodies we sang. With me being a cantorial soloist, and then a cantorial student, my father pretty much expected the music to be lead by me. One song in particular we always loved was Dayenu. It was a song to clap to, to dance to. It is an old song, over 1000 years old. It first appears in the ninth century in a medieval haggadah as part of Seder Rav Amram. It is a song of thanks. Dayenu sets us up for singing the Hallel, the praises of God. We sing it at the end of the Maggid, the telling of the story, and before the Psalms. This order is done according to the tenth chapter of Massechet Pesachim from the Mishna that tells us to tell the story and end with praise. There are fifteen stanzas to Dayenu. We can break these stanzas up into three categories, Leaving Slavery, Miracles, and Being with God. Thinking about it, the Dayenu poem is a summary of our redemption story. God freed us, showed us miracles, brought us to the land promised to our ancestors and gave us our laws to follow. And we praise God for each of the things done. My understanding of this is that I should never take anything for granted, the big, or the small. All are Gods gifts to us. May your Pesach be one of peace, love, joy and family. L’Shalom, Cantor Marla Goldberg 3

Message from the President: I want to thank those members and the Rabbi who brought Purim to life this past Saturday night. “Come as you Aren’t” was the theme, and our members outdid themselves with their costumes. We celebrated the end of Shabbat with Havdallah outdoors, and then enjoyed our Jewlicious Learners do a PurimSpiel, which led us to an interactive reading of the Megillah, followed by a hilarious adult PurimSpiel. Lots of food and drink and fun, and a thoroughly enjoyable evening for everyone. And now, one of my favorite holidays and one of the most popular holidays, Passover, is just around the corner. According to the 2000-01 National Jewish Population Survey (NJPS), 67% of Jews routinely hold or attend a Pesach seder, while only 46% belong to a synagogue. For practicing and non-practicing Jews, Passover is a time for family. Pesach begins on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nissan. It is the first of the three major festivals with both historical and agricultural significance (the other two are Shavu'ot and Sukkot). The primary observances of Pesach are related to the Exodus from Egypt after generations of slavery. This story is told in Exodus, Ch. 1-15. Memories go back to when I was a child living in Baltimore, Maryland, with my mom and dad. I can vividly remember searching for Chametz that they had hidden in our home. And oh yes, my parents kept Kosher, so boxes of dishes, pots and pans and silverware came out of the attic to be washed while we packed up the rest for the next eight days. It also meant spring cleaning the house from top to bottom. Those were the days of cooking with chicken fat! We would have our Seder at my Aunt Norma and Uncle Abe’s home. Long, long tables set with the finest of silverware and China dishes. You knew when you were no longer considered a child as your dinner place was no longer in the kitchen and you got to sit with the adults in the dining room! How we used to fight over who would chant the 4 questions, “Mah Nishtanah”, “why is this night….?” We always invited our many Christian friends to celebrate the holiday with us and experience first-hand our Passover Seder. My family had a custom to sit on pillows (possibly from the Greeks and Romans, representing free people) and we would ask our guests to bring theirs to our Seder. What would be a Seder without the Afikomen? I never found it, ever. I was beginning to think it was rigged. Following the tradition of thousands of years, we invite you all to come to our Seder. Congregation P’nai Tikvah will be holding a wonderful celebration of remembrance and of freedom on the second night which is April 15, 2014, at6:00 pm, in the Blasco Event Wing, UNLV Foundation Building on Cottage Grove Avenue east of Maryland Park Avenue (kitty-corner from Ham Hall I have always told my non-Jewish friends that so many of our holidays pertain to religious freedom. We live in world where freedom is an abstract word, a far away dream for so many people. Purim and Passover are stories about freedom and the importance of freedom for the human spirit. So we celebrate the past with wishes for the future that one day, all people in this world can experience the freedom of life and the freedom of worship. May your Passover Seder add so many more family memories, as mine surely will.

Barbara Holland President of the Board 4


Synagogue, Rebooted Lab/Shul Is an Experimental Jewish Gathering Still in Its Beta Phase By JOHN LELAND MARCH 14, 2014 As reprinted from New York Times At a rock club on the edge of SoHo on a recent Saturday, Amichai Lau-Lavie stood in front of two musicians and a set of video screens, bringing a message about counterculture. Mr. Lau-Lavie, 44, descends from at least 37 generations of Orthodox Jewish rabbis. He is also a gay man who lives in the East Village — a fan of the Smiths and Emily Dickinson, a father of three, the creator of a drag character named Hadassah Gross. On the screens was an image of a sacrificial lamb, taken from a Dutch painting. “Some of you are synagogue veterans or synagogue survivors,” he said to the congregation before him. Starting a loose dialogue with the audience, he asked them to name something they were thankful for. A smattering of answers came back. If they felt guilt that they wanted to expiate, as ancient people did through ritual sacrifice, what did they feel guilty about? “Where is sacrifice in our lives today?” he asked. Audience members shouted answers without raising their hands. Mr. Lau-Lavie, a rabbinical student, walked into the crowd to share the microphone. What act in today’s society, he asked, was painful enough, messy enough, to approximate ancient sacrifice? Finally he offered an answer: unplugging from the Internet for one full day a week. It would hurt, sure, but it could also be cleansing, he said. Then he confessed: “Giving up digital for 24 hours is so healthy, but I don’t do it, because I’m addicted.” The gathering was the monthly Sabbath service of Lab/Shul, an experimental pop-up synagogue that is still in what Mr. Lau-Lavie calls its beta phase. Mr. Lau-Lavie was gearing up for Purim this weekend and the confluence of Passover and Easter in April, when the congregation will mix traditions in a Last Seder. “One of the ways to describe what this is about is creating sanctuary,” Mr. Lau-Lavie told the roughly 60 people who came to City Winery for the more-than-two-hour service, Lab/Shul’s fifth. Some were non-Jews or atheists; some were observant men and women comfortable in skullcaps. The conversational style and claim to counterculture, the texts and videos projected on screens, the emphasis on arts and music, resembled nothing so much as a modern evangelical Christian church. Mr. Lau-Lavie invited congregants into a big tent: “It’s a god-optional, bring-your -own-god, do-it-yourself-god, everybody-friendly community.” These are precarious times for non-Orthodox synagogues in New York. According to a 2013 survey by the Pew Research Religion and Life Project, fewer than one-third of American Jews belong to a synagogue, and barely onequarter say religion is very important in their lives, compared with 56 percent of the general public. The share of Jews living in a household where anyone belonged to a synagogue fell to 39 percent. In a 2001 survey, it was 46 percent. The decline has been especially acute in Reform and Conservative congregations, many of which have closed or merged to stay afloat, even as the Orthodox community expands. (continued on page 8) 6

P’nai Tikvah Book Group 5774 NOTE CHANGE OF APRIL DATE WHO:

THE PARTICULARS All members of our Congregation P’nai Tikvah community


April 22, 2014 @ 6:45 PM July 17, 2014 @ 6:45 PM


Home of Jane Kusel 2645 Evening Sky Drive Henderson, NV 89052 702-407-5077 (H)


4 evenings translated into 4 journeys of the senses through shared dissections of the readings below. *Limited to 12 voices-please RSVP in a timely fashion

Remaining Selections for This Year April Book: TOO JEWISH

Patty Friedmann

Autobiographical at its roots, this novel absorbs the reader into the heavily assimilated New Orleans Jewish community. Bernie Cooper escapes Nazi Germany and ends up in LA only to find himself the victim of a new prejudice against Jews-the kind that comes from other Jews. July Book: COMING OF AGE...AGAIN

Carol B. Mizrahi

Lighter fare for hot days, the humor, moxie and wisdom of four friends finds its voice around the table of a weekly mahjongg game. Barbara, Irene, Rochelle, and Sylvia understand that their carefully orchestrated lives are falling apart and prove that "coming of age" can happen more than once. It’s not too soon to suggest books for next year. To do so, please send your suggestions directly to Jane Kusel at It’s not too late to join in the fun; all you need to do is read the book and let Jane know that you’ll be there!


(continued from page 6) The wreckage, in turn, has created opportunities to improvise. “We’re in a veritable explosion of experimentation,” said Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, executive director of Mechon Hadar, a nonprofit group that teaches and supports Jews in communities of learning, prayer and service. “It used to be that there were three or four major flavors of Jewish life, and you belonged to one of them. Now you see things grow up in the spaces between those more institutional expressions of Jewish life, and they’re really taking off.” Mr. Lau-Lavie finds himself part of a coterie of religious leaders, Christian as well as Jewish, asking a nearly impossible question: In an increasingly secular, technological, consumer-driven culture, how can they revise worship in a way that is relevant to people who have unlimited demands on their time and weak ties to institutions? In New York, these leaders include Joy Levitt, executive director of the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan, whose Jewish Journey Project restructures Hebrew school to group students by interest rather than synagogue. At the nondenominational Romemu synagogue, which meets at a Presbyterian church on the Upper West Side, Rabbi David Ingber has built a growing congregation and an Internet audience he says is close to one million with services that incorporate yoga, Buddhist meditation and New Age spirituality along with extensive Hebrew prayers. “The Pew study tells us, if synagogue life won’t innovate, then we’re going to continue to lose people,” Rabbi Ingber said. “I’m convinced we’re blessed to live in a marketplace that forces us to hone what we’re doing.” He added: “The hierarchical model of the rabbi speaking to a flock is obsolete. Experience is paramount. And information alone is not transformative, so people are not coming to synagogue to learn new things. If you have everything you want to know at your fingertips and you’re still unhappy, it’s clear that information isn’t enough. People ask how come their services aren’t as transformative as their yoga class. And they could be.”

At a Chinese restaurant near his office in the financial district, Mr. Lau-Lavie described the mixture of skepticism and family destiny that brought him to his current position, partly against his will, he said. It was a bitterly cold January day, and he was in New York on a visit from Jerusalem, where he is spending a semester-long sabbatical from the Conservative Jewish Theological Seminary. He is in his third year of a five-year rabbinical program; it had been his plan to start Lab/Shul after he finished. The genesis of Lab/Shul dates to 1998, when Mr. Lau-Lavie came to the United States from Israel to develop an arts education program at B’nai Jeshurun, an Upper West Side congregation known for its innovative services. “It was the ‘it girl’ of the ’90s,” he said of the synagogue. But while he was there he noticed a disconnect. The heart of the service was given to a scriptural reading that felt lifeless compared to the competing forces in New Yorkers’ lives, he said. “It’s really long, all in Hebrew, people go up, down, up, down, sermon, whatever,” he said. “It’s an hour. Whoever is there has either their nose in the text, trying to follow along, or they just check out, go in the back, go outside. The kids are whisked out. It was December and it was the Joseph saga, and I’m thinking, You guys, this is a good story. Down the road, on Broadway, there’s folks lined up around the block for a matinee of ‘Joseph.’ It’s the same story. Why is it so badly presented?” Mr. Lau-Lavie’s eyes light up when he speaks, his tone alternating between genial pedagogy and — in a slightly higher register — punky mischief. He has spent enough time pitching his ideas that the words come in long paragraphs. (continued on page 13) 8

Women’s Rosh Chodesh Group Our get-together to greet Adar Bettook place at the home of Jennifer Cohen. Todah Rabah to Jennifer to extending her gracious hospitality for our deep and moving conversation.

Mitzvah Envelopes: Mitzvah envelopes are given out at services with the hope that they will be filled out and returned with a donation for the congregation. Honoring or remembering loved ones, giving tzedakah for a MiShebeirach, simply being thankful for meaningful services, and any other reason you can think of helps the congregation’s sustainability and funds future programming.

20. Rabbi Tarfon said: The day is short, the task is great, the laborers are lazy, the wage is abundant and the master is urgent.

This month, the month of Nissan, we will not have a formal meeting. We will meet together before “A Night to Honor Israel” at Bucco de Beppi's at 7690 West Lake Mead at 5:00 and we'll all go over together. RSVP to office at 702.436.4900. Join us next month on May 4th at the home of Ann Mandell as we bring in the month of Iyyar. You can RSVP to Ann at 702.616.0396 or email to

21. He used to say: It is not incumbent upon you to finish the task. Yet, you are not free to desist from it. If you have studied much in the Torah much reward will be given you, for faithful is your employer who shall pay you the reward of your labor. And know that the reward for the righteous shall be in the time to come. Pirkei Avot 2:20-21

Box Tops For Education are an Easy Way to Support

P’nai Tikvah’s

Jewlicious Learning Program! Box Tops for Education is a very simple way for you to contribute to C PT’s Jewlicious Learning program every time you shop! Clip box tops from hundreds of products. Some products are offering double and triple box tops! Box Tops can be brought to Shabbat Services


They Came As They Weren’t

Purim Fun 5774


Jane Kusel and Patsy Kart Share Their Experience with Volunteers for Israel The mission of Volunteers for Israel is to connect Americans to Israel through volunteer service. We achieve this goal by partnering with military and civilian organizations that enable volunteers to work side-by-side with Israelis. We promote solidarity and goodwill among Israelis, American Jews, and other friends of Israel. The program began in 1982, during the first war with Lebanon, when civilian replacements were needed for thousands of reservists called to duty just as Israel's harvest season began. Israeli General Aharon Davidi Jane being "love tapped" after receiving volunteer epaulets and Sar-El cap sent emissaries to the United States to enlist volunteers to harvest crops and save the economy. More than 600 volunteers responded immediately. Today, VFI programs maintain that pioneering spirit. Since 1982, more than 30,000 Americans have signed on to do civilian work on Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) bases. Newer additions include a summer International Youth Program, an add-on to TaglitBirthright tours, and other volunteer options. Our madrichot, Bailee and Uvula, both great!

In the past five years alone, more than 5,000 people have gone on

VFI programs. No matter the task, the VFI focus is always to lend our hands and to assure Israel that she does not stand alone. VFI is a non-profit, non-political, nonsectarian organization. 3-20-14 2:15 PM PST

Patsy receives epaulets and cap


The "club" for volunteers...yes, cocktail table is a cardboard box!

The following is a thumbnail sketch of Jane Kusel and Patsy Kart's first week doing duty in Israel for the Volunteers for Israel Program:

Open air dryers!

Matzrap, a medical supply army base situated about 25 minutes outside of Tel Aviv, is home to me and 33 other IDF volunteers from the US, Great Britain and Canada Sunday AM through Thursday PM for the next 2-3 weeks. By now I hope you've received several visuals to help put my words into pictures. We breakfast at 7:15 daily , feasting upon Israeli salad, hummus, yogurts, bread, eggs, and today...pancakes! 8 AM ushers in flag-raising always concluded with Hatikvah in unison. Our madrichot then give us "daily newsreels" orally inclusive of weather, exchange rates, local, national and international news. We work from 8:30 until lunch at 11:45 when we have our big meal. This consists of assortments of grains, rices, couscous, vegetables, falafel, vegetarian mysteries, chicken, soups, and bread. We then report back to work from 1-4 ish, have dinner at 5:45 (basically indistinguishable from breakfast), an evening activity at 7 and fall into bed as soon as possible. We are charged with important, exacting jobs as we prepare items for medical kits to be transported both to the battlefield and global areas of need to which our Homeland is most often the first responder. To date I have tested, categorized, counted and packed 100s of trachael tubes, surgical scissors and leukoplast (ace bandage material on 5 meter rolls). My warehouse commander, Barach, is adorable and in typical Israeli fashion gives me no less than 3 things to do at a time couched in sketchy, at best, directions.

Medical warehouses where we

I am at peace and whole , albeit a bit achy and groggy, as I work alongside Israelis who drive hard and exude gratitude even harder, and as I live with other volunteers whose commitment and unconditional love for Israel pervades all. Several of us have tickets for both an afternoon and evening concert tomorrow...this is Tel Aviv where we play...apparently even on Shabbat. Hope to swing by the Carmel Market in the AM, take in the international folk-dancing on Saturday, and surely binge on more date gelato! Next Thursday Patsy and I return to Tel Aviv for the overnight and then board a train for Haifa and Ein Kote artist colony...we hope to find a day tour of the wineries. We have left 3 days open for serendipitous play and arrive in Yerushalayim no later than April 3, perhaps earlier. We even have a laundry room!

Layla tov...with xoxoxo

Outside workplace‌

Not quite 5 star but my room for five! Not IDF linens...brought from home & will leave at Base


(continued from page 13) “That was my big light bulb,” he said. “What if we changed the unit of the worship? The storytelling? This is theater. There’s a guy standing on a stage; they are transmitting a story. It happens to be the world’s best seller. There’s an audience. It’s a performance. It’s just a bad performance. It’s really bad theater. What if it was actually theater?” Mr. Lau-Lavie started a theater company called Storahtelling to present scriptural narratives the way he imagined them, in English, with music and dramatized. He also created a character named Hadassah Gross, hostess of a show called “The Sabbath Queen,” to assume the role of translator and M.C., or maven, from the Hebrew “mavin,” which means to understand. For Mr. Lau-Lavie, it was a liberating experience. “There was something about publicly doing drag that was more shamanic than anything else,” he said. “Hadassah gave me a lot of blessings to be who I am, unabashed.” Naomi Less, a musician and teacher, was an early member of Storahtelling. She had attended a Conservative synagogue as a child, but was looking for something more engaging as an adult. When she met Mr. Lau-Lavie, he handed her a postcard for his Rosh Hashana program, with an image of a toilet and an invitation to “flush away your sins.” She knew then that she wanted to work with him, she said. “It almost felt deviant,” she said of Storahtelling. “We weren’t sitting in pews listening to a sermon that told you how to behave. We weren’t attached to cantorial modes. Everything I’d grown up with gave me roots and a foundation, but I could veer off and saunter. O.K., so now I’m in a new place.” As Storahtelling grew, with holiday performances that drew several hundred people, Mr. Lau-Lavie began to develop new ways of thinking about his faith and his family legacy. Being gay had made him comfortable with challenging orthodoxies; either Scriptures were wrong, or he was an abomination, which he rejected. He was getting restless to push further, to “interrupt” people’s lives. Michael Dorf, the owner of City Winery, joined the group’s board of directors. Mr. Dorf, who describes himself as a “cultural Jew,” mainly interested in observing the holidays, felt that Mr. Lau-Lavie was a charismatic leader who could provide more. “As a music producer, when I see talent, I want to get it in front of people,” Mr. Dorf said. “Amichai is a rock star in the Jewish world. My role is to be the talent manager and ringleader producer of the show.” At a 2012 board meeting, he said the group should evolve into a synagogue, with Mr. Lau-Lavie as its rabbi. He offered his club for services. Mr. Lau-Lavie had resisted such entreaties before, feeling that “artists were the new rabbis.” This time, though, he felt he and the congregation were ready. “What matured in me is the sense that Judaism, like all religion, is not the bottom line,” he said. “That it is a tool in our toolbox for human well-being and being helpful beings, and that there is a difference between many people who really view Judaism or religion as the end goal: In other words, keep the Sabbath or marry a Jew so the Jewish story continues. That’s of course how I grew up. I realized that that’s missing the point. Besides, Mr. Dorf said: “It was the family job — he couldn’t say no.” “I’m not flying Delta because I’m interested in Delta. I’m flying Delta because it’s convenient or I got the miles on it. The idea is to get somewhere. I’m practicing Judaism because that’s my airline, because I was born into it and I think it’s got a deeply profound, ancient and relevant toolbox for a good life, but the end goal is a good life, not to be Jewish. To be human. To be there for myself and others. And that’s a totally different proposition.” (continued on page 15) 13

JEWLICIOUS LEARNERS enjoy an outdoor Havdallah service and delight the congregation with their 2014 Purimspiel!


(continued from page 12) Mr. Lau-Lavie is also a father, after a lesbian couple he knew asked him to donate sperm and help raise their children. They now have a son and two daughters, ages 3 to 7. Mr. Lau-Lavie sleeps over on weekends and one night during the week. “My mother said it’s a very biblical model,” he said. “To my family’s credit, they took it very well. I’m very lucky. And the kids are lovely.” Mr. Lau-Lavie’s vision is attractive to Jews disaffected from their tradition. Jennifer Lee and her husband, Scott Klein, discovered Storahtelling three years ago, when their daughter was approaching the age for bat mitzvah training. Though they had grown up going to synagogue at the High Holy Days, they had drifted away, returning only for the sake of their daughter. “Amichai explained, ‘This is what I imagine B mitzvah training looks like,’ ” Ms. Lee said, using the gender-neutral term favored by Mr. Lau-Lavie. “It was interactive, with music, and we got to create our own service. We said, ‘I’m in.’ At the synagogue we were in, I said, ‘I’m out.’ ” On a Friday night in January, Ms. Lee, Mr. Klein and their daughter were attending another Lab/Shul experiment: Instead of holding weekly services, what if the congregation broke up into Friday night dinners at various members’ homes, with general discussion suggestions from Mr. Lau-Lavie, but no top-down leadership? The wine flowed, the candles were lighted, the conversation moved in and out of topics suggested on a printed place mat called the “DIY Shabbat Handout.” “We’re experimenting with the frequency and ways we get together,” Mr. Lau-Lavie said. “I’m not sure that in the 21st century it has to be every week. Sabbath every week, yes. Communal gathering? Public worship? I don’t know. Is once a month something that the oversaturated and urban lifestyle can support? I don’t know.” Whether any of this can slow the decline in synagogue participation remains to be seen. Shawn Landres, who runs a Jewish innovation lab called Jumpstart, compared the experimentation in places like Lab/Shul to the “emergent” Christian churches, which have reached out to people turned off by religion. “Emergent churches and synagogues are both moving away from traditional institutional forms, to reflect a broader cultural shift,” he said. “People coming to synagogues or churches now want to be in a relationship, not a contract. They want to be in a network, not an institution.” The level of experimentation among synagogues, Mr. Landres said, recalled that of the 1950s and 1960s, when rabbis like Shlomo Carlebach and Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, immigrants to the United States, created lasting movements. Yet for all the current efforts to innovate and adapt, the synagogues that are growing in New York are ultra-Orthodox, which benefit from high birthrates and higher rates of retention than they have enjoyed in the past. Mr. Lau-Lavie concedes the appeal of their message. “The pews are filling with people who just want some structure,” he said. “ ‘Just tell me what to do. Give me order in the chaos.’ In an age in which we have more and more privileges and choices, the allure of a system that tells you what to do and what not to do, and what to wear and what to eat, and the consequences and limits of your choices, for some mental types, is essential. I get it. It’s a suspension of disbelief in its deepest sense. I’m judgmental of it and I have a lot of respect for it.” Next up for Lab/Shul are holiday events and a fund-raising gala called Mezooza Makeover, to be followed by High Holy Days services that now draw more than 1,000 people. Maybe they will continue to meet at City Winery, Mr. Lau -Lavie said; maybe they will move around — change dates, frequency, venue. Mr. Lau-Lavie seemed pleased but wary of his own success. If he continued on this course, would he become the thing he rebelled against? And if he did, could he still be a critic of the establishment? It was a paradox he turned over in his mind. From: action=click&contentCollection=U.S.&module=MostEmailed&version=Full&region=Marginalia&src=me&pgtype=article


More Purim Mishegoss



New Class Offering: Jewish, Alive & American 30 sessions, beginning in September Beginning in September and continuing for 30 sessions, Rabbi Mintz will teach a series on Jewish, Alive & American. JAA is an intensive survey course covering all things Jewish that is designed to meet the needs of adult learners who have never been exposed to this material, were exposed but would like a refresher, or who are not Jewish and want to learn what Judaism is all about. This very interactive, experiential class will explore the hows and whys of the complete Jewish holiday cycle, take a look at the Reconstructionist view of God and prayer, compare the four main branches of Judaism today, take a quick tour of Jewish Great Books, and pay close attention to what we do and why in all life cycle rituals. We will also look at “What Judaism Says� about current topics of the day. If you are interested in conversion and you are interested in taking this course, call the office at 702.436.4900 and schedule an appointment to meet with Rabbi Mintz.



On’gai Shabbat— Time to Sign up! We still have a few openings left for those of you who want to celebrate a simcha or commemorate the memory of a loved one by sponsoring an Oneg Shabbat. And for you foodies who want to get your Bobby Flay or Gordon Ramsey on, there’s still time! Check the schedule below; an opening is your opportunity:  April 4 SIGN UP TODAY!!!  April 18 SPONSOR: could be you 

May 2

May 16th

June 6th

June 20th

Caterer-Scott Linker-in Honor of Sabrina’s Birthday Sponsor-Roz Tessler and Harriet Bernstein CATERER-could be you Sponsor/CatererThe Phyllistan’s Sponsor/Caterer Nancey Eason Sponsor-Hariet Miller in Honor of 84th Birthday CATERER-could be you

Call the office at (702) 436-4900 or email to book your date now!

Creepy is my college student film Final Project. The assignment was to create a film that tells a story with no dialogue. I was the Writer, Director, Cameraman, Editor (and made a cameo appearance.) ~ Rick Bindhamer

Kristen Jaeger & Tim Lockett 2-April Lesley & Marvin Korach 3-April Dale & Vince Gardner 24-April Life has taught us

that love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction. Antoine de SaintExupery

Eleni Rush-Giannopoulos Kristen Jaeger Myra Berkovits Roz Tessler Laurie Lytel Sam Lieberman Fern Kosh Sabrina Linker

6-Apr 10-Apr 10-Apr 13-Apr 15-Apr 16-Apr 23-Apr 28-Apr


Mi Shebeirach/ ”Get Well” Wishes to...

Marie Ackerman Marjorie Lieberman D’vorah Turrentine Edith Rome Elliot Bender Karen Boyett Wendy Linker Maya Granat Corey Goldman Phyllis Zuckerman Ron Gries Rosemarie Chapman Connie Rivchun Scott Dykstra Anne Altman Barry Goodwin Arlene Cohen Paul Goldstein Seth Horowitz Arlene Gibson Richard Steinberg Richard Wulff & Eric Wulff Carl Cowan Brazyl Monique Ward Libby Miller Matt Cohen Shayna Fried Randi Fried Max Van de Camp Howard Fox Sylvia Fox

Pinky Garcia Susan Margolin Scott Simon Joyce Schneider Paul Bodner Helene Bernstein Jay Berger Esther Schwartz Seth Axelrod Sonny Mayron Barbara Grossman Deborah Williams Kathleen Broener Susan Weinman Carl Cowan Fran Silverman Marylou Lowther Barbara Brookes Brenda Gomez David Epstein Marjory Burnstein Lucy Muller Ronnie Buchman Robert Miller Norman Fried Henry Glowa Annie Goodrich Wolff Helene Laefer Maxine Mintz Blechman Bernie Gehring 20

Irwin Berger -Remembered by Laura & Wendy Kraft Sussman

When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure -Author Unknown-

David Bernstein -Remembered by Harriet Bernstein Sheldon Elliot -Remembered by Rachel Piekarsky Edward Fox -Remembered by Marc Fox Pearl Hewel -Remembered by Jackie Ackerman & Family Jacob Kester -Remembered by Roger and Madeline Gobel Don Kusel -Remembered by Jane Kusel Jerry Lytel -Remembered by Laurie Lytel Abraham Platt -Remembered by Zandra Bender Gertrude Rose -Remembered by Stanley Rose Lee Burger Shilepsky -Remembered by Ann Brandt Helene Sussman -Remembered by Laura Sussman Beverly Kester Weinstein -Remembered by Roger and Madeline Gobel

Memorial plaques are available; to honor the departed, to inspire the living. to be remembered in the hearts of those we leave behind is, in a sense, to live forever. For further information, call the Synagogue office at 702-436-4900

Remembering Friends and Family: If you know of someone who can use a little cheer in their life because of illness or a death in their family-or a simcha -mazel tov celebration; the "Sunshine Lady� Phyllis Zuckerman would like to send a card. Please contact her at:

702.617.0585 or


Kol Kiruv, the newsletter of Congregation P’nai Tikvah, is available on-line at at no cost. If mailed, hard copy delivery is $36 annually.

NEWSLETTER ADS: If you are interested in placing an ad in the Kol Kiruv, you are welcome to send the ad to The cost is $25 for 1/4 page, $50 for 1/2 page, and $100 for a full page. Placement of ad is subject to approval by the editor.


Taxi Assistance Program (TAP), formerly known as Senior Ride, is one of the programs we have found out about in our interviews of elders in our community. This program provides discounted taxicab fares to qualified individuals, age 60 and older, and persons with disabilities through coupon booklets that are accepted by all taxicab companies in Clark County. The coupons can be purchased in books of 20 - $1.00 coupons or 4 - $5.00 coupons. The cost of each coupon book is $10.00. Clients are receiving $20.00 worth of taxicab fare for half the cost! For more detailed information about the program, call the office. If you are aware of other services provided within the community that targets the needs of the elderly, please let us know. We are compiling resources for our community and the Nevadan community at large. This is one of several focus points being headed up by Nevadans for the Common Good. This is a grass-roots community organizing effort that has grown within the inter-faith community.. It is based on the concept of building relationships and developing an effective group organically. What does that mean, that means you get to know one another. By knowing each other, as people that care, it is easier to exchange ideas and work together towards a goal. When you know the person you are calling, that they care like you, and are going to follow through, because you know them, it makes it easier to focus on a task, in this case, the needs of the elderly. The very idea to work on the needs of the elderly came from a group that broke into smaller groups of people getting to know each other and what was on there mind. There dream is to change the narrative of Nevada, to tell the story that there are people here who care about the needs of people as a community. Pretty cool! This leads into the May 13th, 2014 convention that the Nevadans for the Common Good . Please sign up to be present and be part of the relationship.

BITTER HERB by David Schilling Š 2001

There once was a man named Herb who had slaved away at his job for many years. He never expected them to pass over him for promotion, but they did, and so he was bitter about that. Bitter Herb is what they called him. Although he was the kind of guy who mows his lawn each weekend, it seemed that he was even bitter about that too. He lived most of his life on the edge of denial. He would often whine about the problems that plagued him. He always seemed to have a bone to pick about this or that. Things were made worse by a co-worker who egged him on, a guy that Herb once called a "dip" twice. You might just say that Herb wasn't upright. One day, Bitter Herb returned from the boss's office all hoarse and reddish. "I'm fired! They're gonna let my people go! " he exclaimed. "Why? Why why why?" He opened his wallet and looked inside. "No bread!" he cried. "He tricked me out of a job!" That night, as he cleared out his desk, he knew that this night was different from all other nights. He looked at some old pictures by his children of Israel. Just then, he spilled water across his desk, when luckily, before anything got wet, the water parted. After leaving and then wandering around for a while, Herb moved to Florida where he was promised land. Herb is now happy when he and his wife go out to the local restaurant and order the specials and one is completely free. 23

Nid’vei Leiv Donations from the Heart

Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund David Aris B’Nei Simchat Chochmah Cohort II Jennifer Cohen Annie Goodrich Wolff Jewlicious Learning Fund In blessed memory of Jacob Kester, father of Beverly Kester and Beverly Kester Weinstein, the wife of Mr. Sol Weinstein from Madeline and Roger Gobel General Fund -In honor of Torah Study by Eileen Ancman -A MiSheberiach by David Aris -In honor of Torah Study by David Aris -In blessed memory of David Bernstein, Jerry Bernstein and Yetta Tessler by Harriet Bernstein -Rick and Susan Bindhamer -In honor of Women’s Rosh Chodesh Group from Debbie Eidelman -A MiSheberiach for Norman Anderson from Dotti Elgart -Cindy and Mark Fox -In honor of the B’Nei Simchat Chochmah Cohort II from Dale Gardner -In honor of Torah Study from Dale Gardner -Barbara Holland -Meera Kamegai -Don and Linda Kauffman -In blessed memory of Rudolph Beroy by Lynn and David Pisetzner -In honor of the Purim Celebration by Rose and Jerry Shapiro -In honor of the Passover Celebration by Rose and Jerry Shapiro -Rozlyne Tessler -A MiSheberiach for Marylou Lowther by Annie Goodrich Wolff

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens caN chaNge the worLd; iNdeed, it’s the only thing that ever does. - Margaret Mead



CALENDAR AT A GLANCE: April 2 April 4 April 4 April 5 April 6 April 6 April 6 April 7 April 7 April 14 April 15 April 16 April 17 April 18 April 19 April 21 April 21 April 22 April 27 April 28 April 28 May 2 May 2 May 3 May 4 May 4 May 18

“Love of Israel” Jewish National Fund Breakfast Call office to RSVP-702.436.4900 Tot Shabbat 6:30pm at Kraft-Sussman Chapel Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv Services 7:30pm at Kraft-Sussman Chapel Torah Study at the home of Rabbi Mintz 10:00am First educational Holocaust Passover Seder at Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino, call Nora Kraidman for more information: 702.732.0304 Bucco de Beppi's at 7690 West Lake Mead at 5:00 and we'll all go over to Christians United for Israel (CUFI) together. RSVP to office at 702.436.4900. CUFI: “A Night to Honor Israel” at 7:00 pm at Word of Life Christian Center, 3520 N. Buffalo Drive Jewlicious Learning 4:15 pm Introduction to Talmud 7:00 pm First Night of Passover Community Seder at Blasco Wing at UNLV Foundation BldgCall office for tickets-702.436.4900 JFLV/LGBT Collaborative Passover Seder at The Center Michaael Medved “The Grudge Against Israel: Why Do So Many Nations Hate and Fear the Jewish State? And What Can Be Done About It?” at 7:00 pm at Midbar Kodesh Temple Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv Services 7:30pm at Kraft-Sussman Chapel Torah Study at the home of Rabbi Mintz 10:00am Jewlicious Learning 4:15 pm Introduction to Talmud 7:00 pm CPT Book Club at the home of Jane Kusel 7:00 PM Yom HaShoah—Holocaust Memorial Day-Guest Speaker: Dr. Steven Smith, Executive Director, USC Shoah Foundation, “The Last Survivor” at 4:00 pm at Temple Beth Shaolom, 10700 Havenwood Lane Jewlicious Learning 4:15 pm Introduction to Talmud 7:00 pm Tot Shabbat 6:30pm at Kraft-Sussman Chapel Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv Services 7:30pm at Kraft-Sussman Chapel Torah Study at the home of Rabbi Mintz 10:00am Yom HaZikaron—Israel Memorial Day at 5:00pm at the Adelson Educational Campus, 9001 Hillpointe Road Rosh Chodesh Iyyar at the home of Ann Mandell at 7:00 pm Yom Ha’atzmaut—Israel Independence Day at the Sands Exposition Center

Blessing for the Month of Nissan: As we watch the greening blades of grass, the newly budding plants, and the new life emerging in nature, let us be blessed with the impetus to pay attention to the new energies stirring within us, as well. Amein. 26

Congregation P'nai Tikvah's Kol Kiruv - April 2014 - Adar / Nissan 5774  

Congregation P'nai Tikvah - Rekindling the Jewish Spirit. Congregation P'nai Tikvah is the only Reconstructionist / Renewal synagogue in Nev...

Congregation P'nai Tikvah's Kol Kiruv - April 2014 - Adar / Nissan 5774  

Congregation P'nai Tikvah - Rekindling the Jewish Spirit. Congregation P'nai Tikvah is the only Reconstructionist / Renewal synagogue in Nev...