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CONGREGATION P’NAI TIKVAH (Formerly Valley Outreach Synagogue)

Kol Kiruv August 2013

Av/Elul 5773

‫אֲ נִ י לְ דו ִֹדי וְ דו ִֹדי לִ י‬

Table of Contents Cover Page Rabbi’s Message Cantor’s Notes President’s Message Shabbat Around the Valley Women’s Rosh Chodesh Jewlicious Learning Inquiring Minds Want to Know Challah Baking at the Rabbi’s MiShebeirach Updates & Fundraising Birthdays & Anniversaries Kidz Korner Yahrzeits High Holiday Services Grandma Sadie Getting Married Help the Homeless Calendar at a Glance

1 2 3 4 5 6 6 7 7 7 8 9 9 10 11 12-13 14 15

Clergy and Staff Rabbi: Yocheved Mintz Cantor: Marla Goldberg Accompanist: Timothy Cooper Newsletter: D’vorah Turrentine, Educator: Rabbi Mintz Bookkeeper: Lynn Pisetzner Office Administrator: ‘D’vorah Turrentine CPT on the Web: pnaitikvahlv pnaitikvahlv Social Network with CPT:

Vol. 20—No. 3

Hard to believe, but we are entering the month of Elul, the last month of the Jewish calendar year, the month of introspection, seeking and granting forgiveness, and taking account of our souls.

Elul is a Hebrew acronym, however, standing for “Ani L’Dodi V’Dodi Li”—-I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. Our To-

rah readings and Hafttarah messages remind us that we have an intimate relationship with G-d, and tradition reminds us that this is the month where “the King is in the meadow.” We don’t need to go to the Royal Palace to speak to the Sovereign of Sovereigns of Sovereigns. As we prepare our selves for the coming New Year, let us also think about our community and resolve to help one another grow this holy congregation . Do join us for services in August on the 2nd and on the 16th. Bring the kidlets for Tot Shabbat on the 2nd. RSVP for Torah Study (this month we’re going to do some Talmud study). Be sure to get your membership registrations in, if you haven’t already; and order your tickets for the Days of Awe as soon as you can. This is a good time to invite friends and acquaintances to join you at our second annual Challah Baking afternoon, at the Rabbi’s house, the Texas Station for Days of Awe, at the Rabbi’s home for Slichot, and at Sunset Park for Tashlich. Congregation P’nai Tikvah will worship on Shabbat, August 2nd and 16th, 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 August 2nd 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 August 3rd and 17th 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: Justice, Judaism, and Much-Needed Dialogue on Race Relations

Chevreh: Many of us marched for racial equality fifty years ago; many of us hoped that the ugly biases of our nation’s history might be transformed with the election of the nation’s current President. Sadly, the recent Zimmerman trial and subsequent discontent makes it patently clear that we are far from a post-prejudice era. I would be remiss, as your spiritual leader, if I didn’t share with you my thoughts on the trial and the deeper issues that emerged from it. The high profile trial of George Zimmerman, accused of the murder of Trayvon Martin, became even more volatile with the finding of Zimmerman as being “innocent,” based on the “Stand Your Ground” law in Florida.. I understand that Nevada, also, has a “Stand Your Ground” law. Jewish wisdom tell us that “If someone comes to kill you, kill him first.” (Talmud:Sanhedrin 70a) But the Talmud continues: “If, however, you can prevent his killing you by wounding him rather than killing him, and, nevertheless you kill him, you become a murderer.” (Sanhedrin 74a) I ask myself how the Stand Your Ground law compares to the Talmud’s teaching, and I find them diametrically opposed. Martin was unarmed; Zimmerman was armed. Martin was being pursued; Zimmerman was the pursuer. But I wasn’t there, and I can’t understand whether Zimmerman was feeling a need to protect the neighborhood from a young man in a hoodie. I wasn’t there and I don’t know why Zimmerman did not stand down, as he had been instructed by the police. I don’t know what was in his mind; but his own words seem to indicate a fear of or, to put it mildly, a bias against a young man based on the color of his skin and the clothing. Maybe it was fear of “the other.” Maybe it was something else. I don’t know; I wasn’t there.

Should the family bring forward a wrongful death suit in civil court? I believe they should. Again, we go to the Torah, which famously says “An eye for an eye,” (Leviticus 24:2-21); but the Talmudic interpretation does not take this literally, rather that one should have financial recompense for suffering, health care, lost wages, and legal fees…and I do know that that could make a difference in this case. The need for understanding “the other,” for realizing that we are all created “b’tzelem Elohim,” in the image of G-d, that we should love our neighbor as ourselves, and that we should not pervert justice. I think that many of us do understand these teachings; and I think that many of us simply give them lip service. There was a time when Jews walked side-by-side with Blacks, working together for the betterment of African Americans. It’s time we resumed that walk and resumed that dialogue. As my colleague, Rabbi Laura Duhan Kaplan writes: “Both the American Jewish and Black communities are self-protective, and with good reasons. But there is strength in numbers, in coalitions, and in asking serious questions. Even if justice, in the strict procedural definition, was served in court…, we know that social justice was not. “ As we enter this month of contemplation and selfassessment, let us ask if we are content to “sit idly by” or if we are willing to re-enter the deeper dialogue about race relations in the United States. After all, the Torah teaches “Tzedek, Tzedek Tirdof!/ Justice, Justice pursue!” L’Shalom u-l’Shalom Bayit, Rabbi Yocheved Mintz

I was not in the courtroom either, and I have to trust that he was duly judged by a jury of his peers. The responsibilities that this jury carried were onerous, for sure. I don’t know what my verdict would have been, and I don’t know how the country would have responded had Zimmerman been found guilty. But I do know that the Torah teaches, “Do not pervert justice or show partiality” (Deuteronomy 16:19). I have to trust that the jury took their responsibilities seriously and felt that the prosecution did not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. They were not asked to determine if Zimmerman was a racist.


Cantor’s Notes:

On July 1st, a wonderful thing happened for all cantors who graduated from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion-School of Sacred Music (now the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music). We have been retroactively ‘ordained’. Previously we were described as ‘invested’. This fact was announced at the American Conference of Cantors/Guild of Temple Musicians convention in Minneapolis. Some people might wonder why I feel this in a wonderful thing. What is the difference between the two? Invested: To install in office with ceremony. Ordained: To invest with ministerial or priestly authority; confer holy orders on. Some say it is just a matter of semantics, but if you look at the definitions you can see being ‘ordained’ contains a dignity and meaning not found in being ‘invested’. As graduates from HUC, we have been attempting to get this expression changed for years, but have found many blocks to getting becoming ‘ordained’ as part of who we are. (Other schools have ordained their cantors for years.) Why we were not had many issues, including the fact that, originally, the cantorial program took only 4 years to the rabbinical program of 5 years. That roadblock ended with the cantorial class prior to mine. I was in the second class that spent 5 years in study to become a cantor. The first class of the five year program graduated in 2005. The first year most of our classes where shared with the rabbis, and as we continued our studies we became more specialized. Our first year of HUC was spent in Jerusalem. We learned Hebrew, Torah, and Liturgy in classes along side our rabbinic student classmates. While in Israel the cantorial class also began to learn trope and nusach (how prayers are sung). When we returned to New York, we had continuing classes in Liturgy, Midrash, and Jewish Philosophy, the trope to the High Holidays and the Festivals, and the nusach to Shabbat, Holidays and Festivals. I had nusach classes for both traditional and modern music. We delivered practicum (when we ‘lead’ a part of a service in front of all the cantorial teachers and students as a practice and were critiqued on how we did) lead the weekly shacarit services and took part in the school choir. There was a lot to learn and know. In our 4 th year we were given our Masters of Sacred Music. At the end of each year we had to sing in front of all the cantors who taught us and show them what we learned that year. In our 5th year we had a thesis to write and a recital to perform that was based on our thesis. But still we were considered only ‘invested’, despite the years of study. Then last year it was decided that the students graduation from the HUC-JIR-DFSSM were finally to be ordained in this year’s ceremony. It was a small victory for us, the members of the American Conference of Cantors. But we then began to wonder, what about those of us who came before, the ones who had as much study as those now being ‘ordained’? So July 1, 2013 is a wonderful day for those of us now officially ‘ordained’. July 1st it is a good day. L’Shalom, Cantor Marla Goldberg


Message from the President:

I have given much thought of about what I wanted to write in this article. The High Holidays are fast approaching as Rosh Hashanah begins in the evening of September 4, 2013. Traditionally, throughout the thousands of synagogues, Presidents will reach out to their membership asking for donations during the annual Kol Nidre Appeal. I decided to research Kol Nidre Appeals on the internet. I was looking for some special, spiritual appeal but what I found was the standard format from the many Appeals that I read. No matter how the message was written, the story line was the same- “we must rely on fundraising activities such as the Kol Nidre Appeal in order to maintain the programming and services on which all of us have come to depend.” In some cases, the letters to the Congregational members addressing the importance of the Kol Nidre Appeal went into quite some detail as to the financial status of the Congregation. I could have easily substituted the name of our Congregation in any of these letters and speeches, asking our members to donate generously for the exact reasons- Kol Nidre Appeals do provide the extra funding that allows our Congregation to continue to provide the services to our members. But for me, I wanted to say something more. If we think about the High Holidays, it is about transitions, our past, present and future. As individuals, it is a time for reflection of our past, our present and our future and so it is with our Congregation, where we have been, where are we now and where will our future take us. We are at a turning point as your board of directors, your spiritual leaders, Rabbi Mintz and Cantor Goldberg continue to build upon the foundation of the past leadership of President Sam Lieberman. In order for P’nai Tikvah to take the next step into the future, we need our members to make a personal commitment, a personal investment as a home can only be as strong as the family that supports it. According to Pirke Avot, “the world rests on three things, Torah, prayer and acts of loving kindness”. In the Netaneh Tokef prayer, we exclaim, “repentance, prayer and charity shall… As we collectively prepare for the holidays, we appreciate your generous donations. Please join us to celebrate the High Holidays at the Texas Station. In closing, I wanted to share the words of Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman as I finally found the spiritual words I was looking for in writing this article. “ What attracts us to this strangely haunting ritual of Kol Nidre? Is it the music? Surely. Is it also the high drama of the occasion? Yes, it is that as well. But it is more. For a brief moment, as Kol Nidre is chanted, we are in touch with the sacred and with our finitude: with those we love and with the broader human universe; with our own better selves and with G-d….” Barbara Holland, CPM President 4

Shabbat Around the Valley Hosted by Sam Lieberman

Hosted by Rabbi Mintz

A special thank you to Sam Lieberman, Jennifer Cohen and Rabbi Mintz for hosting everyone have a good time, the food was delicious and the Shabbat spirit was felt by all.


Jewlicious Learners

Women’s Rosh Chodesh Group We’ll tell you all about last month’s Retreat (“Making Trouble: The Roles of Women in the Shifting Paradigm of Contemporary Judaism”) in next month’s Newsletter, but suffice to was really memorable! Our Rosh Chodesh get-together to welcome Elul will be held at the home of Annie Goodrich, Sunday evening, August 11, at 7 p.m.

Summertime and our Jewlicious Learners are involved in all sorts of summer activities. Performing, swimming, sports, traveling, and, yes, learning. Rabbi Mintz is offering one-on-one Skype Summer Hebrew Enrichment….and, while we currently are working with pre-Bar/Bat Mitzvah students, she offers the basics to incoming stu-

RSVP by the 7th, please, so Annie knows how dents too. many to prepare for ( Classes for the Fall will take place on While we need hosts and homes for the year, our schedule will be to meet on Sunday evenings at 7 pm, on August 11, September 29, October 27, December 8, January 5, February 2, March 2, April 6, May 4 (tentative), and June 1st. 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 For details regarding current CPT fundraisers or suggestions for future fundraising opportunities, please contact Dale Gardner

Monday afternoons at the Rabbi’s home, from 4:15 to 6:00, beginning August 26 and continuing Sept 9, 16,23, and 30; October 6, 21, 28,; November 4, 11, 18, and 25; December 2, 9, and 16; January 6,13, and 27; February 3,10, and 24; March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; April 7, and 28; May 5, 12.19 and June 2. Registration now open.

Enjoy the rest of summer!

When lighting the Shabbat candles what is the significance and number of times of circling around the candles? (answer on page 7)


Mi Shebeirach/”Get Well” Wishes to…

Question: When lighting the Sabbath candles, what is the significance in the number of times of circling the candles? From Rabbi Mintz: While it would be easy to sing out “Tradition,” that actually is the reason. It’s a little trickier. Tradition reminds us that we are not to light a fire on Shabbat, but if we say the blessing over the candles the normal way (blessing first, then partaking of that which we’ve blessed…like the Motzi and the Kiddush), we’d be breaking the Sabbath by lighting a fire. So we create what is called “a legal fiction,” in that we light the Shabbat candles, cover our eyes until after the blessing, and kind of recreate the “lighting” by opening our eyes to it. (source: The Shulchan Auch, Orach Chaim 263:5/) As to the custom of bringing the mitzvah closer to us by circling three times, it has become tradition to do so, saying “Baruch Hu! Baruch Sh’mo!” (Blessed is G-d; Blessed is G-d’s Name) each time. I like to think that the first time is for my family, the second time for my community (you all), and the third time for all of Israel and humankind. Do you have a personal significance that works for you when the candles are lit? Do share it with us.

Are you looking for a great cooking experience? Rabbi Mintz will be having a challah baking at her home on August 18th 3:00pm. Everyone is welcome! We will use the challots for the Days of Awe

Marie Ackerman Marjorie Lieberman Davida Lewin Schermer D’vorah Turrentine Edith Rome Gary Paykel Elliot Bender Paul Bodner Olivia Bender Gittel bat Libba Heika Libba Heika bat Sima Wendy Linker Rabbi Rob Bonem Edward Rueben Patti Lade Fran Fine Jerry Cohen Susan Bindhamer Danny Lev Aaron Shopnick Rozlyn Alexander Marilyn Kapel Marion Loeb Karl Reynolds Tony Reed Peter Hernandez Lou & Sonny Mayron Barbara Raben Phyllis Zuckerman Rabbi Stephen Robbins Craig Goodrich Connie Rivshun Gavriella bat Yisraella v’Yosef Torrey Barrett Ann Brandt Lynn Wexler Margolies Dr. Bryon Sherwin



Fundraising Opportunities

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:  August 2 Sponsor Needed 

August 16

     

September 20 October 4 October 18 November 1 November 15 December 6

December 20

Caterer—Nancy Goldberg Sponsors & Caterer Annie & Joey Goodrich Annie & Joey Goodrich Sponsor & Caterer Needed Sponsor & Caterer Needed Sponsor & Caterer Needed Sponsor & Caterer Needed Sponsor & Caterer Needed Sponsor– Scott Linker Caterer Needed Sponsor & Caterer Needed

TORAH STUDY THIS MONTH: Rabbi Mintz will lead Torah Study for Parashat Re’eh on August 3rd and Parashat Ki Teze on August 17th at the Rabbi’s home at 10:00 AM. Please RSVP for Torah Study at or call —the office at 4364900.

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 CPT’s Jewlicious Learning program every time you shop! Clip box tops from hundreds of products. Each box top is worth 10 cents for the program, and some products are offering double and triple box tops! Bring them to services with you and place them in the “Box Tops for Education” box. For a complete list of products bearing the Box Tops for Education symbol, go to: http:// . All Box Tops should be brought to Shabbat Services or sent to Dale Gardner

BE A BIRD DOG?? If you refer someone to a car dealership, on behalf of CPT, we can receive a referral fee. This is a wonderful and easy way to do a mitzvah for CPT . More information contact Doris 869-2700.

Note URL for Congregation P’nai Tikvah , As well as Facebook and Twitter Addresses Make our web address, , a favorite! Social networking with our shul is easier than ever! “Like” us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at . Thanks to Cindy Fox, Jon Axelrod, and Danielle Holland—CPT’s social network mavens—for keeping us current!! Anyone else wish to volunteer? Just call 436-4900 to be our new maven!


Happy August Birthday!! HAPPY AUGUST BIRTHDAYS Gary Ullman Mason DeLee Meera Kamegai Palmie Turrentine Marvin Korach Elizabeth Barton Iris Katz David Aris Sandy Rich Rachel Piekarsky

August 1 August 10 August 14 August 15 August 21 August 24 August 27 August 29 August 29 August 30

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY Ellen & Ron Royer Iris & Joel Katz Jennifer & Jerald Cohen

August 5 August 22 August 26


KIDZ KORNER for August



Sam Bender -Remembered by Elliot Bender Barry Corchnoy -Remembered by Anne & Gary Ullman

Memorial plaques are available for your consideration, 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 Mitzvah donations also appreciated

Patricia Elliot -Remembered by Rachel Piekarsky Dorothy Hillman -Remembered by Anne & Gary Ullman Herbert Hirsch -Remembered by Eileen & Cort Ancman Shirley Kamanitz -Remembered by Barbara Holland Alma Spector -Remembered by Caren & David Epstein Samuel Weiman -Remembered by Barbara Holland

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



Continued on page 13




Month of Elul


Challah Baking

CALENDAR AT A GLANCE: August 2 August 3 August 5 August 8 August 11 August 16 August 17 August 18 August 19 August 26 August 26 August 31

Tot Shabbat 6:30 pm Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv Services 7:30 pm at KraftSussman Chapel Torah Study at Rabbi Mintz Home Simchat Chochmah 7:00 pm CPT Board Meeting at Rabbi’s home Women’s Rosh Chodesh Get-together for the month of Elul Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv Services 7:30 pm at Kraft Sussman Chapel Torah Study at Rabbi Mintz ‘s home Challah Baking at the Rabbis’s home—3:00pm Simchat Chochmah 7:00 pm Jewlicious Learning 4:15 p.m. Simchat Chochmah 7:00 pm Slichot—7:00 pm at the Rabbi’s home

Blessing for the Month of Elul This is a month of spiritual grace. Take the easy smooth path to get in touch with what is pure and constant within; seek forgiveness and offer forgiveness; reflect on the past and plan for the future; and may we all be blessed with wisdom, understanding, and the ability to return to our most noble and promising selves. Amen 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. Please notify us and remit payment .


Congregation P'nai Tikvah August Newsletter  

Congregation P'nai Tikvah's Kol Kiruv - July 2013 - Tammuz/Av 5773 Congregation P'nai Tikvah - Rekindling the Jewish Spirit. Congregation...

Congregation P'nai Tikvah August Newsletter  

Congregation P'nai Tikvah's Kol Kiruv - July 2013 - Tammuz/Av 5773 Congregation P'nai Tikvah - Rekindling the Jewish Spirit. Congregation...