CONGREGATION P’NAI TIKVAH (Formerly Valley Outreach Synagogue)
Kol Kiruv December 2013 Table of Contents Cover Page Rabbi’s Message Cantor’s Notes President’s Message Women’s Rosh Chodesh Jewlicious Learning Jewlicious Hanukiahs Jewlicious Latkes MiShebeirach Gloria Steinman Reconstructionist News Reconstructionists In Israel Rabbi Arthur Waskow CPT Bookworms 5774 JFSA Updates & Fundraising Nid’vei Leiv—From the Heart Birthdays & New Members Kidz Korner Yahrzeits Jewish Federation Gala Grandma Sadie Getting Married The Sin City Schmoozer #MakeItHappen Melton
Kislev/Tevet 1 2-3 4-5 6 7 7 8 9 10 11-12 13 14 15-17 18 19 20 21 21 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
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 email@example.com www.pnaitikvahlv.com
www.facebook.com/ pnaitikvahlv www.twitter.com/ pnaitikvahlv
Vol. 20—No. 7
“TIS THE SEASON” December at Congregation P’nai Tikvah is the light in the dark filled days of winter. We start out the month with “Latkepalooza” a joyous welcome for Shabbat and an actionpacked adventure of culinary competition as we battle for who has the best latkes, with taste, presentation and enjoyment being the bench marks. Whoever wins this friendly rivalry will be awarded the prize of two tickets to Grandma Sadie is Getting Married … Again? What bigger reward could a maven of latkes ask for? $18.00 gets your family into the event, where there will be an opportunity to regal us with your Ninth Night of Chanukah song, story or pantomime. DON’T FORGET LATKEPALOOZA WILL BE HELD AT THE EASTER SEALS BUILDING 6200 West Oakey Blvd, Las Vegas Nevada!!! We will return on December 20th to the Kraft-Sussman chapel for Shabbat. Torah Study will be on the 7th and 21st of December at the Rabbi’s house. Make sure to RSVP for Torah Study, the study group gets bigger and bigger each time. We will not be having Tot Shabbat during December. Do a mitzvah and help make our up-coming “Grandma Sadie’s Getting Married….Again!” (January 26) a rollicking success by purchasing a tickets and sending your well wishes to the bride and groom. Congregation P’nai Tikvah will worship on Shabbat on the 6th at The Easter Seals Building at 6200 Oakey Blvd and on the 20th at KraftSussman Chapel, in the Bank of Nevada Business Park at 3975 S. Durango, Suite 104, in Las Vegas. Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv services will begin at 7:30 PM. Torah Study will take place at 10:00 AM on December 7th & 20th 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 1
Message from the Rabbi
A Time of Dedication Dear Chevreh: ‘Tis the season. And how! We start off the month of December deep in the week of Chanukah and simultaneously thrust into the national clamor around Christmas and there’s no escape. For those with young children, we call this the December Dilemma. Even the lighting of the JFSA Chanukkiah and the community Chanukah celebration, December 1st takes place in Opportunity Village’s Christmasy “Magical Forest.” The Chabad sponsored Chanukkiah lightings in various parts of town will round out the Chanukah week, but I’d like to share with you a Chanukkat Bayit….the dedication of a home that puts a different spin (no dreidel here) on the concept of Chanukah. Chanukah, means “dedication.” And it originally was referring to the dual historical and theological holiday in 165 CE when the Maccabbees overcame the Syri-Greeks and rededicated the Temple, lighting the Menorah with oil that should have lasted for only one day, but miraculously lasted for eight days. This past November 24th, I attended a Chanukkat Bayit…a dedication of the new home of the Academy for Jewish Religion, California, the wonderful, transdenominational seminary from which I received my rabbinical training and from which I received my smicha (ordination) in 2004. AJR/CA is a unique institution. One of only less than a handful of seminaries that train rabbis, cantors, and chaplains, it is also one of three seminaries that are not Movement affiliated. Its graduates (now over 100 strong) serve in Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform, Renewal, and Transdenominational synagogues. It also has clergy in Jewish Educational institutions, doing pastoral care, academia, and Jewish communal leadership. It is pluralistic and dedicated to “developing religious leaders steeped in Torah wisdom and tradition, capable of transforming Jewish communities into places where all Jews can grow toward wholeness and well-being.” The students generally come to the Academy as second or third or fourth career professionals, so they’re generally highly accomplished and deeply determined to undertake the rigorous, but highly inspirational, academic program. I was in the second graduating class, and, as you can imagine, Continued on page 3
Message from the Rabbi continues
I consider my years at AJR/CA some of the most stimulating and profoundly happy years of my life. When the school first opened, it was located in an old synagogue in Mar Vista (west LA), on Venice Boulevard. Shortly after I graduated, the school moved to the beautiful Hillel House on the campus of UCLA. But in both situations it was renting in a space that was also used for other purposes on the days when the school was not in session (sound familiar?). Growing out of each space and realizing that it’s physical needs were no longer being met, a search was begun last year, and on November 24th, the school had a beautiful dedication of its new home on Wilshire Boulevard and New Hampshire, in central LA. It was a wonderful, meaningful event, with representatives from the interfaith community as well as LA Jewish leadership and nearby synagogues. The new facility was brimming with people admiring the offices, classrooms, and community room/bet mikdash. I took personal satisfaction as they hung a beautifully crafted mezuzah (created by one of my classmates, Cantor Eva Robbins) on the doorpost of the student center, Mercaz Mintz. Chevreh, the Chanukkat Bayit was a testament to visioning, hard work, good governance, and the support of hundreds. May we envision the day, and continue to persevere towards the goal, of a home for our own Congregation P’nai Tikvah, where learning, praying, growing, and celebrating can take place with lots of room to grown. As Theodor Herzl famously said: “Im tirzu, ein zo aggadah.” If you will it it is no dream. Chag HaUrim Sameiach, Happy Chanukah and a wonderful December.
Rabbi Yocheved Mintz
Cantor’s Notes: It has five notes, a little song that probably is the most famous Chanukah song. What is it? It is “I Have a Little Dreidel.”, or “The Dreidel Song”. It’s a song that people have learned from an early age. I, myself, have a love/hate relationship with this little ditty. On one hand the song is fun. It makes one want to dance and is fun to sing. On the other hand, “I Have a Little Dreidel” seems to be the only Chanukah song non-Jews seemed to know the existence of. (Now it’s the Adam Sandler “Chanukah Song”.) Growing up the holiday concerts my schools did were filled with winter and Christmas songs, except when the music teacher remembered there was a “Jewish Kid” (or two) in the class. “I Have a Little Dreidel” was always added to the concert then. We had “S’vivon”, “Ma-oz Tzur”, and “Chanukah, Oh Chanukah”. But it was always “Dreidel” that we sang. Oh, and on another hand, (I can be like Tevye, who always seemed to have more than one hand when trying to decide something) I grew up at the Temple where the composer of “I Have a Little Dreidel” had lived. (Or so I thought, until recently.) According to most people the music of “I Have a Little Dreidel” was composed by Samuel Goldfarb (his brother wrote what is known as the “traditional” Shalom Aleichem) with lyrics by Samuel S. Grossman. Samuel Goldfarb was the music director for Temple DeHirsch in Seattle, Washington in the 1950’s and 60’s (before my time, of course). But I recently, saw an article that there was a Yiddish version first. In the English version the singer sings about the dreidel, in the Yiddish, the singer is the dreidel. And it is made out of lead, in the Yiddish version. (Apparently dreidels were once made of lead, and I’m very glad that has changed.) So here are the ‘original’ versions in English and Yiddish (I can’t translate the Yiddish fully so, any speakers out there, please help). Another fun idea is to write new, modern verses to this song. I did so several years ago, with the help of some Sunday School children. My favorite? “I have a little dreidel. I made it out of Ice. It melted on the table. Now that’s not very nice!” Make up your own, sing dance, and have a Happy Thanksgivikah!
ָאד ָאד ריי ויי U T O T M A O O
I W O O
L’Shalom, Cantor Marla Goldberg
I have a little dreidel. I made it out of clay
“I Have a Little Dreidel” . ,איך בין ַא קליינער דריידל געמַאכט בין איך פון בלײ
Ikh bin a kleyner dreydl, gemakht bin ikh fun blay
When it's dry and ready, then dreidel I shall play.
אין,קומט לָאמיר ַאלע שּפילן. דרײ, צוויי,דריידל – איינס
Kumt lomir ale spiln, in dreydl eyns tsvey dray.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, , דריידל, דריידל, דריידל,אוי. I made it out of clay. דריי, דריידל, דריי זיך,אוי
Oy, dreydl, dreydl, dreydl, Oy, drey zikh, dreydl, drey
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, אין,טָא לָאמיר ַאלע שּפילן then dreidel I shall play. איינס און צוויי,דריידל
To lomir ale spiln, in dreydl eyns un tsvay.
It has a lovely body, with legs so short and thin.
זיך,און איך הָאב ליב צו טַאנצן דרייען אין ַא רָאד
Un ikh hob lib tsu tantsn, dreyen in a rod
When it gets all tired, it drops and then I win!
.- טָא לָאמיר ַאלע טַאנצן ַא דריידלTo lomir ale tantsn, a dreydlkarahod. קַארַאהָאד
Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, with leg so short and thin.
, אוי, דריידל, דריידל, דריידל, אויOy, dreydl, dreydl, dreydl, oy, drey zikh, dreydl, drey דריי, דריידל,דריי זיך
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, it drops and then I win!
To lomir ale spiln, in dreydl eyns un tsvay.
My dreidel's always playful. It loves to dance and spin. A happy game of dreidel, come play now let's begin. Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, it loves to dance and spin. Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel. Come play now let's begin. I have a little dreidel. I made it out of clay. When it's dry and ready, dreidel I shall play. Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made you out of clay. Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, then dreidel I shall play. 5
Message from the President:
In just a few days, our families will be celebrating both Chanukah and Thanksgiving. The first Thanksgiving was shared between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians in 1621. The Pilgrims had come to the New World seeking religious freedom. The Pilgrims had a good harvest and were thankful they had made it to the New World and that they were actually surviving. They gave thanks to G-d. We all know the Chanukah story. In 165 B.C.E., Mattathias the Priest and his eldest son, Judah, the Maccabee, led the Jewish people in evicting the Syrian-Greeks from Palestine. Religious freedom was restored. The Temple in Jerusalem that King Antiochus IV had converted into a pagan shine was restored and rededicated. Chanukah means “dedication”. In lighting our Chanukah candles, we give thanks to G-d for the miracles for our ancestors (she-asa nisim la-avotenu, ba-yamin ha-hem ba-zeman ha-zeh) and for sustaining us and enabling us to reach this day (she-hecheyanu, ve-kiyemanu, ve-higiyanu la-zeman ha-zeh) Religious freedom, survival and thanks to G-d ties these two holidays together. In Eastern Europe, there was a tradition to distribute Chanukah gelt to the children on the fifth night of Chanukah. Today, in America for many families, Chanukah is a time whereby we compete with the holiday of Christmas. Black Friday doesn’t come fast enough for us to fill our shopping cart with gifts for the eight days to come. The giving of gifts… In Kahlil Gibran’s masterpiece, “The Prophet” (one of my favorite books), there is a chapter on giving. “Then said a rich man, Speak to us of Giving. And he answered. You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give”. At this time, I ask that you “give of yourself” by supporting our efforts to make our production, “Grandma Sadie is Getting Married…Again?” a financial success. We need volunteers. We need CPT members who will help make telephone calls to our membership and to the past attendees of our previous production of “My Big Fat Jewish Wedding” to encourage them to purchase tickets for the January 26, 2014 wedding, which will be the event of the New Year! We encourage you to purchase your tickets and bring your friends. We need volunteers who will make telephone calls asking for donations for our silent auction. We need volunteers who will help us find advertisers for our wedding book. Don’t be shy to ask your landscaper or pool company or beautician or your doctor or the many people who you come in contact with on a daily basis to purchase ads. For more information of how you can help, feel free to contact me at 493-5450.
Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving and a Joyous Chanukah. Barbara Holland President of the CPT Board 6
Women’s Rosh Chodesh Group
Jewlicious Learners Welcome back Kalisheva Adler-
Todah Rabba (Thank You) to Linda KaufSwanberg, our newest Jewman for hosting last month’s welcome to Kislicious Learner! lev. Kitchy Judaica was the theme as each lady went home with their very own hand A Story by Danica Lockett: assembled Mah Jongg Chanukkiah. We will welcome the month of Tevet on December 8th, at 7:00 pm, at the home of Judy Mirisch. Our theme will be “Bringing Light to the Darkness”. Please RSVP to Judy at email@example.com. Seating will be limited to 10 people, so sign up early. We look forward to the upcoming chances to be together on the new moon. Thank you for your hospitality. Save the date for the upcoming months: Sh’vat-January 5th—Dotti Elgart Adar-February 2nd—Dale Gardner Adar II-March 2nd– Jennifer Cohen Nissan-April 6th—Ann Mandell Iyar-May 4th—Nancey Kasse Sivan-June 1st—Rabbi Yocheved Mintz Rabbi Moshe Rubin of Montreal,(obm) saw Rosh Chodesh as a wonderful opportUNITY that is, to be in unity as we celebrate the start of the month.
“Once upon a time there was a rabbi who was getting ready for services. But none of the People came so the rabbi said where are all the people? And then the rabbi heard a loud nock at the door. And she said the people are finally here. So she went to open it but it was not the People instead it a bunch of monsters! The rabbi screamed Ah! The monsters lit the challah on fire. And put the fire in the whine. Finally she got the monsters away. Then finally the people came and the rabbi said Why are you so late? The rabbi stud there real frozen. We were stuck in the traffic by monstors. “
The youngsters have been busy preparing for Chanukah and the Latkepalooza celebration. Check out the photos of the Channukiot they made and the recipe for the latkes they prepared! Classes will continue on Monday afternoons at the Rabbi’s home, from 4:15 to 6:00, 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 continues to be open, but classes have begun.
Delicious, Jewlicious L’vivot (Latkes) Ingredients: 2 1/2 pounds Russet potatoes 1 medium yellow onion 4 medium scallions 1 large egg 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup vegetable oil Procedure: 1. Peel, cut, and (using the grating disc of a food processor) grate the potatoes. 2. Remove half of the grated potatoes to a large strainer set over a large bowl. 3.Replace the grater blade with a metal blade. Add the onions and scallions and pulse until the potato/onion and pulse until smooth. 4. Add the entire mixture to the grated potatoes in the strainer and push down to strain out as much liquid as possible. Let this liquid sit in the bowl for a few minutes and pour out the liquid, reserving the residual potato starch that will be in the bottom of the bowl. 5. Add the potato mixture back into the bowl with the potato starch. Add the egg and mix in with the salt and pepper. 6. In a large skillet, heat the oil (peanut oil will not burn) and add the potato mixture, one heaping tablespoon at a time. Fry until golden, flip and fry until golden on the other side. Drain on paper bags or paper towels. Yield: 14– 18 latkes Serve with applesauce, sour cream….or, as in our case, ketchup. Yum!
Mi Shebeirach/”Get Well” Wishes to…
Marie Ackerman Marjorie Lieberman D’vorah Turrentine Edith Rome Gary Paykel Elliot Bender Paul Bodner Gittel bat Libba Heika Libba Heika bat Sima Wendy Linker Maya Granat Craig Goodrich Richard & Eric Wulff Corey Goldman Phyllis Zuckerman Tiffany Freud Andy Holland Rosemarie Chapman Connie Rivchum Scott Dykstra Anne Altman Barry Goodwin Arlene Cohen Paul Goldstein
Seth Horowitz Arleen Gibson Richard Steinberg Larry Kamanitz Danielle Reitenour Brazyl Monique Ward Pinky Garcia Susan Margolin Scott Simon son of Margaret Joyce Schneider Bob Mirisch Salavatore Salzano Helene Bernstein Jackie Kolner Jay Berger Bernie Gehring Esther Schwartz Superman Samuel Sommer Seth Axelrod Survivors of Typhoon Hyaun Sonny & Lew Mayron Jay Berger Barbara Grossman Deborah Williams
“Oh, You’re Still An Activist?” By Gloria Steinem
Fifty was hard.
(as published in “This is what 80 looks like!”)
It was the end of the central years of life—maybe harder for women, since we’re still valued for bearing and raising children—so I greeted it with defiance: I was going to go right on doing everything I’d done before. It took me three or four years to realize this was not progress. Sixty was great, like a doorway into a whole new country. Once the gender role was over, I could go back to the tree-climbing, rebellious person I was before it descended—only now I had my own apartment, a little cash, and was tall enough to reach the light switch. Indeed, the person we become after sixty probably most resembles who we were before we were 9 to 12 (if we are female) or 5 to 8 (if we are male and the “boys don’t cry” stuff happened earlier). Seventy was sobering, but still a seamless continuation of freedom because I was healthy, engaged in work I loved, and was able to travel as an organizer as I’d ever been. I also had that most life enhancing of all things, a circle of chosen family who were both co-workers nearby and in other countries; say, India or South Africa or Zambia. But eighty is different. It’s about mortality. Though I have every intention of living to 100, it’s only twenty years into the future, and something that happened twenty years in the past seems like yesterday. I continue to do every bit of the on-the-road organizing that I have always done, but now, I’m super-conscious that this has always taken me away from writing, and I don’t want to die saying, “Wait a minute….” Also I do notice that my memory for names and nouns—never good—is bad enough to interfere with my conversation. When I was seventy, I used to say that remembering something right away was as good as an orgasm. Now I worry that I’ll soon be asking someone how I like my eggs. Most of all, I notice that the word “ Still” has entered almost every sentence addressed to me. As in: “Oh, you’re still traveling and speaking.” Or: “You’re still wearing blue-jeans.” Or even: “You’re still funny!” And especially: “You still haven't retired!” I’m tempted to respond: Retired from what—from life? But instead, I explain that I’ve always been a freelance person, as a writer and in the movement: something my father prepared me very well for by his love of insecurity. (As he used to say, “If I don't know what happens tomorrow, it could be wonderfull!”) I’ve never had a real job, and besides, I love what I do. But by far my most serious worry is that, just by being close to eighty and telling my stories—crucial because listening to each other’s stories is the major way we learn and the only way we remember—I will contribute to the current form of opposition:
The false idea that our movements are over, and terms like “post-racist” or “postfeminist.”
Just to name one example of why that is wishful thinking: It took more than a century for the abolitionists and the suffragists to gain a legal identity as human 10
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beings for all women and men of color. Now, we’re striving for legal and social equality, regardless of race or sex or ethnicity or sexuality—and that’s likely to take at least a century, too. As original cultures say: It takes four generations to heal one
act of violence.
So I would just like to contribute a few lessons I’ve learned in the past decades, and might be useful in the very long years to come. Only you will know in the future moment: 1) Be hopeful. Pessimism kills possibilities before we even start. I do recommend skepticism—it keeps from being impractical or profligate with resources—but remember: Hope is a from of planning. 2) You can’t do it alone for long. Human beings are communal animals. If we are alone, we come to feel wrong or crazy or at fault. Make sure you meet once a week or once a month with a small group of people you trust and share your worldview. The Internet is great for locating people and facts, but being together with all five senses produces the brain chemicals that allow empathy. You can’t raise a baby on the Web. Pressing Send is not activism. 3) Diversity is way better than uniformity. Maybe you can’t represent everybody affected by an issue, but it's harder to solve if you don’t. It’s worth waiting to start. Otherwise, the first people in a group will be viewed as its owners. Besides, we learn from difference, not sameness. 4) Change doesn’t start at the top. That’s an anti-democratic idea used to keep us passive at the middle and bottom. Grass without roots will always be vulnerable. Even electing someone is just the beginning. As President Roosevelt is said to have told a supporter, “Okay, you’ve convinced me. Now go out and force me to do it.” 5) The end doesn’t justify the means; the means are the ends. That means it’s crucial to choose the means that most reflect the ends you want. After all, the difference between means and ends is just time. This means that the surest way to be effective is to behave as if everything you do matters; a lesson I learned form Arthur Waskow decades ago; a moment of time he had no reason to remember—but I did. We have no idea which thing we do in the present will matter in the future. 6) Human beings and all living things are linked, not ranked. Most of us have grown up with the idea that the hierarchy or pyramid is the desirable and even the only paradigm, yet for nearly all of human history, the paradigm was the circle. From the lethal cost of defeating each other and conquering nature, we are learning that the pyramid is not sustainable. Only the circle can be sustained. Here is the good news: Each of us is a unique combination of heredity and environment who could never happen before or again, and each of us shares more with other humans than we do not share. Sometimes as I approach eighty, people ask me if I’m going to “pass the torch.” I always explain that I’m not giving up my torch, thank you very much; I’m using my torch to light the torches of others. Because if each of us has a torch, there will be a lot more light. 11
FROM THE RECONSTRUCTIONIST MOVEMENT Israel Is Calling You! What’s your stake in Israel? Find out when you join us on a unique journey of learning, camaraderie and selfdiscovery. Deepen your connection to Judaism as you experience life in Israel today. Learn from leading academics, Israeli thinkers and political activists in a unique series of stimulating and provocative programs. Join a progressive Jewish conversation—intellectual, spiritual, political dialogue that will build your knowledge, challenge your perspectives, and broaden your understanding of Israel. Our unique tour will include unusual stops such as the Ein Shemer Ecological Greenhouse and Co-existence Workshop and the Museum on the Seam, and meetings with Women of the Wall, journalist Yossi Klein Halevy, and Knesset member Ruth Calderon. The first Reconstructionist movement trip to Israel will be May 14–21, 2014. For more information, contact Barbara Lissy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215.576.0800, ext. 155. New Movement Leader Announced Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., is the new president elect of RRC, it was announced earlier this month. She will take office on January 1. Waxman, a historian of American Judaism, brings a vision well suited to today’s landscape. As many readers will know, a recent study by the Religion and Public Life Project of Pew Research found that three quarters of U.S. Jews feel “a strong sense of belonging to the Jewish people,” although 42 percent of those say they have no religion. Waxman offered a decidedly upbeat take on the study: “Reconstructionist Judaism brought to the forefront of Jewish thinking the concept of Jewish peoplehood, and our approach continues to offer pathways for non-religious Jews—inviting them to explore and ideally deepen their experience of Judaism and Jewishness,” she said. Waxman previously served as vice president for governance at RRC. She also serves on the faculty, teaching courses on Reconstructionist Judaism and practical rabbinics. From 2002 to 2012, she was a High Holiday rabbi for Congregation Bet Havarim in Fayetteville, NY. Learn more about our president elect at www.rrc.edu/MeetDeborahWaxman. Registration Is Now Open for Summer 2014 at Camp JRF! Recognized as one of the “Top 10 Jewish Camps,” Camp JRF provides innovative, creative and engaging programs for youth entering second through 12th grades. As an inclusive community, we welcome children from a wide variety of family structures, religious practices, and socio-economic backgrounds. At the center of our Reconstructionist philosophy is a deep commitment to building a community in which all are welcome to grow and thrive. And it wouldn’t be camp without all the fun of summer – swimming, sports, arts, music, friends, and so much more! One, two, three, and four week sessions, plus a five-day Family Camp program, all in the beautiful Pocono Mountains! For more information and to register, call 877.226.7573 or visit www.campjrf.org First Plenum Business Meeting a Resounding Success The first business meeting of the new Reconstructionist plenum, a conference call on Sunday, October 27, opened with a happy cacophony as 89 voices from all over North America recited a prayer for conducting community business. Fifty-three voting representatives of congregations and havurot participated. By a vote of 46 in favor and seven abstentions (with zero ”no” votes), the plenum ratified the slate of RRC board governors who had been elected for three-year terms to end August 2016. A lively discussion ensued about the current tikkun olam issue our communities are addressing—the “wealth gap.” For the next two years, Reconstructionist congregations and havurot will examine the widening discrepancy between rich and poor in North America. The commission will develop resource materials and will gather information about what our communities are doing currently.
How does approaching 80 affect me as an activist? By Rabbi Arthur Waskow (as published in “This is what 80 looks like!”)
t’s the shape and flow of my body that arises first when I think about aging. Why? Because four years ago I went through an auto crash that is still making my left knee hurt and my back ache, and two years ago I went through a throat cancer and the radiation that for months left eating impossible. It brought me to wonder whether living was such hard work and dying so easy that I might as well stop the hard work. But I decided I really enjoy living, especially loving my co-teacher Reb Phyllis, and loving my work of twirling Torah into activism. So I’m still around, but much more conscious of my body than I used to be. Besides writing, speaking, and organizing, one important aspect of my work had been getting arrested—about 22 times, one for every book, my beloved Phyllis says. Since some of those arrests have been hard on my body, as I aged I’ve been more anxious about getting arrested. To my astonishment, getting older has made the arrests easier—at least so far. In my next-to-last arrest, as part of a prayer-in under the great Dome of the US Capitol. Hoping to inspire the US House of Representatives to pass a budget attuned to the needs of the poor and the Earth, the Capitol Police waited so long to arrest us that my back began to hurt. I asked the Police if I could get a chair somewhere. Ten minutes later they ceremoniously trundled out a wheelchair, enthroned me in it, and wheeled me away when they finally got the signal to arrest us. That ended well, not only physically but politically. The judge who convicted me of “discommoding pedestrian traffic in the US Capitol” then thanked me for my devotion to the Constitution and the welfare of the American people. My last arrest was at the White House, calling for the President to declare once and for all that the Tar Sands Pipeline was indeed too filthy of CO2 and methane for the planet to bear. We had gathered in the week just before Passover and Palm Sunday and had just celebrated a religious ceremony with the Matzah of urgent action and the Palms of green and growing life before crossing Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House fence. I was still wearing the befringed sacred
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prayer shawl, the tallit, as we stood (“illegally”) against the fence. For almost an hour, the Park Police let us sing psalms, cradle a globe, and sing “We have the whole world in our hands.” When they finally moved to arrest us, the policeman who was responsible for me first cuffed my hands behind my back and then carefully gathered the fringes of the tallit in his own hands so that they would not trail on the pavement. Though my concern that aging would make it harder to use civil disobedience as a form of activism has not quite vanished, indeed I begin to think my age may sometimes be a privilege, a bodily protection, as well as a bodily burden. A privilege of gentleness for my body that is denied young Black men on the streets of Brooklyn frisked or body-searched by a policeman, or women soldiers raped by their superior “officers and gentleman,” or the poor whose bodies were bettered and whose lives were ended by climate-crisis storms like Sandy and the climatecrisis floods of Colorado. There is a different way in which my heart has softened, along with my back and legs, as I’ve grown older. I have more compassion than I used to have for people who are cross-driven by the terrible crisis of our lives and their own wishes to live a loving life, more or less oblivious in their own homes. Even when their own homes tremble in the hurricanes of change. When people say that they can’t take part in political action because they have lost their jobs, or their homes, or maybe are right on the edge and are full of fear, trying to barely cath a breath—I try both to affirm their need for quiet and to plant a seed for deeper change. “You didn’t ‘lose’ your job” I say. “It’s not like losing your car keys, or your cane. I know—twice I’ve forgotten my cane somewhere, and I feel stupid and careless for losing it. The words “lost job” are meant to convince you that you are stupid and careless for losing it. But you didn’t ’lose’ it—some banker, politician, CEO, or Climate Pharaoh took your job away. I understand that right now you need to focus on how to pay the rent, or the doctor, or the grocery store—but don’t forget—you didn’t lose the job, they stole it.” I’m just as clear and passionate about the scandal of the One-Tenth of One Percent as I ever was, but the ups and downs of aging have made me more compassionate for those who cannot take the time and energy right now to be the activists they need to be. That the world needs them to be.. Passion plus compassion, that’s the ticket now. In the last few years, I’ve more and more been drawn by the metaphor that we 16
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are living in God’s earthquake. By “God” I don’t mean a Lord or Ruler in the sky but—pronouncing that ancient “YHWH” name without vowels as a Breath—the Interbreathing of all life. And by “God’s Earthquake,” therefore, I don’t just mean what happens in the church, synagogue, mosque, temple, I mean— everything quaking. Shaken. I think this metaphor rises for me partly because indeed the world is shaking itself to pieces, and partly because my own body feels more fragile. So I am more conscious of the quaking all around me, and to me. Constant violence—official bombs from the sky, unofficial guns in the street, paternal beatings in the home, child abuse inside the church and synagogue. A global economic mess. Ecological disaster. Sexual upheaval. Child-rearing bafflement. Age-old religious forms dissolving. Technology making obsolete our knowledges and skills, each decade. So what do you do if you are living in a multi-dimensional earthquake that won’t stop? Some people ignore it,. Walk right on while the bricks and railings crash upon them. Some people look desperately for something to hang on to . In a social earthquake, something they remember as immovable, from the past. Their granddaddy's church, and race, and respect. If the ground is quaking and the creek is rising, be damned to the foreign and the furriners. Stuff back in the bottle all the genies that have escaped. Women. Gays. Blacks. Browns. Muslims. Jews. Israelis. Palestinians. But it’s much harder to stuff a genie back in the bottle than to keep it bottled up in the first place. Takes coercion, armies and cops. There is a third response: dancing in the earthquake. Hard to do, when the dance floor itself is whirling, swirling, tipping, toppling. But the most life-giving response. Dancing in God’s Earthquake; hard, but what we are trying. Feminism that doesn’t shatter the old structures of the family, but creates new ones. That doesn’t just celebrate the possibility of electing a Margaret Thatcher, but looks toward a world suffused by the Majesty of Nurture. (B’malkhut shaddai, says that transformative vision of the Jewish Alenu prayer.) Religion that—like understanding El Shaddai as the Breasted God—goes deeper into one’s own tradition to look beyond one’s own community. Not “what’s good for the Jews, or the Christians, or Islam,” but what in one’s own tradition is good for the world, for the Interbreathing Spirit of all life.. Dancing. Harder now I’m 80 and sometimes need a cane, but I still enjoy it. Physically, politically, religiously. Join us in the dancing! 17
P’nai Tikvah Book Group 5774 THE PARTICULARS All members of our Congregation P’nai Tikvah community
January 16, 2014 @ 6:45 PM April 17, 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) email@example.com
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
This Year’s Selections October Book: ONCE WE WERE BROTHERS
Ronald H. Balson
Elliot Rosenweig, a wealthy Chicago philanthropist, while attending an opera, has a gun shoved in his face by Polish immigrant, Ben Solomon. Although Rosenweig has Solomon released from jail, the determined immigrant continues his quest to bring Elliot before the courts to answer for war crimes. This thriller is infused with poignant flashbacks into life in small town Poland during WW II. January Book: HUSH
Gittel, a thirteen year-old girl who lives in the Chassidic community of Borough Park, Brooklyn, learns of her best friend’s abuse by a family member. Forced to remain silent, nuances are wrapped in blindfolded faith and Gittel’s exploration of the complex “outside” world confounds her and the reader as the conflict between tradition and reality emerge. April Book: TOO JEWISH
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. 18
and 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:
Sponsor– Scott Linker in honor of Scott’s Birthday Caterer— CPT Committee Sponsor - Sol & Adrienne Rubin & Ruth Kaplow in honor of Adrianne & Ruth’s Birthday & Adrianne & Sol’s 11th Anniversary D’vorah Turrentine Caterer Sponsor-Jane Kusel CatererSponsor-Hariet Miller Caterer-
Interested in learning Hebrew? Learning how to chant from the Torah? Increasing your knowledge on the history, ethics, philosophy, and practice of Judaism? CPT has opport_Unity’s for helping us all live life to the fullest. Do contact Rabbi Mintz and expand your horizons.
TORAH STUDY THIS MONTH:
Nid’vei Leiv—Contributions from the heart Stan and Phyllis Zuckerman -in honor of Rabbi Mintz being honored by Hadassah. David Aris -Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund -MiShebeirach Morie Belgorod Elliot Bender -In memory of Kate Bender Harriet Bernstein -In memory of Dorothy Bernstein Ann Castro Lynda French Barbara Holland -Cantor’s Fund Howard Jacoby Lesley and Marvin Korach Jacqueline Lowrie Marlene Marcus -In honor of Rabbi mintz -In memory of Norman Marcus -In gratitude to Rabbi Mintz’s visit and prayers Rabbi Yocheved Mintz June Newmark Stanley Rose Dell and Peter Schilleci David Silverman Thank you to all of the people who contributed to the change jar.
Rabbi Mintz will lead Torah Study for Parashat Vayigash December 7th & for Parashat Vayechi on December 21th at the Rabbi’s home at 10:00 AM. Please RSVP for Torah Study at firstname.lastname@example.org or call —the office at 436-4900.
Note URL for Congregation P’nai Tikvah, as well as Facebook and Twitter Addresses Make our web address, www.pnaitikvahlv.org , a favorite! Social networking with our shul is easier than ever! “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pnaitikvahlv and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ pnaitikvahlv . 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!
TORAH FUND PLANTING TREES IN ISRAEL PRAYER BOOK DEDICATIONS OR PURCHASE For $40.00 a prayer book can either be purchased for personal use or be dedicated to the congregation “In Memory” or “In Honor of” and a card from CPT will be sent to the family. The prayer book plate will be placed on the inside cover of our new Kol HaNeshamah siddur. 20
Scott Linker Austin Royer Linda Kauffman Ron Royer Maxine Mintz Blechman Adrianne Rubin Ruth Kaplow Sondra Rose Gloria Granat Chana Gelber Nancy Goldberg Sam Wagmeister
Dec 1 Dec 6 Dec 7 Dec 8 Dec 9 Dec 11 Dec 18 Dec 18 Dec19 Dec 20 Dec 22 Dec 30
Rose & Jerry Shapiro Dec 18 Rachel & Ron Piekarsky Dec 19 Adrianne & Sol Rubin Dec 22
KIDZ KORNER for December
YAHRZEITS FOR DECEMBER
Dorothy Bernstein -Rememberd by Harriet Bernstein George Effros -Remembered by Susan Bindhamer Minnie Etkind -Remembered by Ann Brandt
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
Abraham Fried -Remembered by April Long
Remembering Friends and Family:
Edward Kaplow -Remembered by Ruth Kaplow
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 Ladyâ€? Phyllis Zuckerman would like to send a card. Please contact her at:(702)6170585 or email@example.com
Samuel Kart -Remembered by Patsy Kart Samuel Kosh -Remembered by Fern Kosh & Gayla Wennstrom Margaret Lebenheim -Remembered by Kristen Jaeger & Tim Lockett Joseph Porath -Remembered by Rabbi Yocheved Mintz Evelyn Ullman -Remembered by Gary Ullman Kate Bender -Remembered by Elliot Bender
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 Dâ€™vorah 869-2700.
New’s Year 2014
CALENDAR AT A GLANCE: December 1 December 2 December 2 December 2 December 3 December 4 December 5 December 6 December 7 December 8 December 9 December 9 December 12 December 16 December 16 December 20 December 21 December 21 January 3 January 4 January 6 January 6
Fourth Day of Chanukah Fifth Day of Chanukah Jewlicious Learning 4:15pm Simchat Chochmah 7:00pm Sixth Day of Chanukah Seventh Day of Chanukah Eighth Day of Chanukah Latke-palooza Chanukah Celebration-Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv Services 7:30pm Torah Study-Rabbi Mintz Home 10:00am Rosh Chodesh—Home of Judy Mirisch 7:00pm Jewlicious Learning 4:15pm Simchat Chochmah 7:00pm CPT Board Meeting 7:00 pm Jewlicious Learning 4:15pm Simchat Chochmah 7:00pm Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv Services 7:30pm at Kraft-Sussman Chapel Torah Study—Rabbi Mintz Home 10:00am First Day of Winter Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv Services 7:30pm at Kraft-Sussman Chapel Torah Study-Rabbi Mintz Home 10:00am Jewlicious Learning 4:15pm Simchat Chochmah 7:00pm
My Travel Plans for 2014 I have been in many places, but I’ve never been in Kahoots. Apparently, you can’t go alone. You have to be in Kahoots with someone. I’ve also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there. I have, however, been in Sane. They don’t have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my children , friends, family and work. I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I’m not too much on physical activity anymore. I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try no to visit there too often. I’ve been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm. Sometimes I’m in Capable, and I go there more often as I’m getting older. One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get! I may have been in Continent, but I don’t remember what country I was in. It’s an age thing. They tell me it’s very wet and damp there. From the October 11, 2013 Las Vegas ISRAELITE-submitted by Phyllis and Stan Zuckerman
Blessing for the Month of Tevet: May we remember, even in the darkest days of the year, that we can kindle the inner flame and bring forth light, joy, and hope. Kol Kiruv, the newsletter of Congregation P’nai Tikvah, is available on-line at www.pnaitikvahlv.org at no cost. If mailed, hard copy delivery is $36 annually. Please notify us and remit payment .