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The Faith and Courage to Believe When Dawn is Still Dark


Message from the Rabbi Emerita


Note from the Cantor


Brunch with Brilliants


A New Moon for All


Look Whose Coming


Kol Isha III


Kidz Corner


Jewlicious Learning & Yad Squad


Birthday’s and Anniversaries




Nid’vei Leiv—From the Heart


Calendar at a Glance


RSVP to Attend: Clergy and Staff Interim Rabbi: Rabbi Pamela Frydman Rabbi Emerita: Rabbi Yocheved Mintz Cantor: Cantor Marla Goldberg Educators: Rabbi Yocheved Mintz and Cantor Marla Goldberg Teacher’s Aide: Austin Royer Bookkeeper: Lynn Pisetzner Treasurer: Lynn Pisetzner


Congregation P’nai Tikvah will worship on Shabbat, February 3rd and 17th at 2685 South Rainbow Street, STE 108. Tot Shabbat-Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv services will begin at 6:30 PM on February 3rd and Shabbat-Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv services will begin at 7:30 PM on February 17th. Torah Study will take place at 9:30 AM on February 4th and 18th. Congregation P’nai Tikvah meets at 2685 South Rainbow Street, STE 108, Las Vegas, NV 89146

$ :

The Faith and Courage to Believe When Dawn is Still Dark By Rabbi Pamela Frydman

Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish New Year of the trees is celebrated in 2017 on February 11th. Tu B’Shevat reminds us that divinity touches all aspects of creation, including plant life. In the southern hemisphere, February is in midsummer, but in the northern hemisphere where most Jews live, February is in wintertime. Here in Clark County, we have trees that lost their leaves in the fall and will remain bare until the spring. At the same time, we also have trees that have some green all year ‘round like palm trees and evergreens. On the other hand, in snowy climates, Tu B’Shevat is a time when trees may still have snow and frost on their branches. Why do we celebrate Tu B’Shevat in the midst of winter when some trees are bare, most trees are not in bloom and some trees are laden with snow and ice? Why not wait and celebrate Tu B’Shevat in late spring or early summer when everything is in bloom? Judaism teaches us to celebrate life when life is still nascent and brand new. We hold a brit milah (covenant of circumcision) when a boy is 8 days old even though his manhood is long in the future. Similarly, we hold a naming and blessing ceremony for girls when they are tiny and their maidenhood and motherhood are long in the future. We celebrate bar and bat mitzvah when adulthood is just a gleam in a teenager’s eye, and we celebrate each new Hebrew month when the moon is a lovely thin crescent and the round full moon is half a month away. Faith is the currency of the soul. When we experience life in its fullness, it is important to remember to be grateful and that too involves ritual such as celebrating one’s birthday or an anniversary or graduation. But the Jewish celebrations of newness and beginnings are held so early in the cycle of life that we must have faith in order to believe in the possibility of fulfillment at a far later time. The Torah tells us that the Israelites had little faith in Moses when he began leading them out of slavery and into the wilderness. However, by the time they reached the Sea of Reeds a week later, the Israelites’ faith was tested and they passed the test with flying colors. When they saw the sea part, they realized that there really is a G-o-d and it was G-o-d who had saved them from slavery. When the sea parted, the Israelites also believed in Moses as G-o-d’s messenger, but their faith was short lived and by the time they arrived at Mount Sinai six weeks later, the Israelites were once again a quart low on faith. continued on page 3


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As they encamped at the foot of Mount Sinai, Moses had the Israelites prepare for a special moment. They were to wash their bodies and their clothes – not an easy feat in the wilderness – and they were to take a respite from marital relations for three days while they prepared to receive the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments became the watchword of the Jewish faith and some of the top ten commandments such as honoring parents and not murdering or stealing are considered to be universal laws of basic human decency. But notwithstanding the moral centrality of the Ten Commandments within and beyond Judaism, G-o-d’s recitation of the Ten Commandments caused the Israelites to cower from being in direct contact with G-o-d. Instead, they asked Moses to intervene to prevent direct contact with G-o-d in the future. They said to Moses, “Speak with us, and we will hear; but do not let G-o-d speak with us, lest we die.” Moses responded by telling the people, “Do not be afraid, for G-o-d has come to test you, so that fear of G-o-d may be before your faces, so that you will not sin.” But the Israelites didn’t buy it and there has never again been a time during which an entire human population was known to receive direct revelation from G-o-d. Instead, G-o-d realization has become something that we experience one on one with the divine or in small groups. I believe that is why we say that when there are two Jews, we have three opinions because we are prone to diverse views based on human values rather than divine realization. We are interested in human views because our ancestors shied away from the booming voice that recited the Ten Commandments to an entire generation of Israelites while they were gathered at the foot of Mount Sinai. We are a people of faith. We name and bless our children when they are tiny infants and we circumcise our boys during infancy as well. We celebrate the new year of the trees when trees are still in their winter state. Perhaps the coming of the Messiah is a hint about a time in the future when everyone can understand everyone else and two Jews will no longer need to have three opinions. Based on how life is now, that would take a miracle and Jewish tradition tells us that we are not to just wait around for it. The Torah says, “do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor.” When others are suffering, we are expected, as Jews, to raise our voices, lend a hand and dip into our pockets to help make a difference. Yet the sages of the Talmud say that if someone tells us the Messiah is coming, we should interrupt our daily activities. The teaching goes like this: “If you are plowing your field and someone comes by and announces that the Messiah is arriving, what should you do? Keep plowing.” continued on page 4


When things settle down around us and everything falls into place, we will call that season the time of the Messiah. Until then we must have faith during dark times that the light will return and enlightenment will prevail. Until then, we must roll up our sleeves and help those and stand with those who are not being treated right. It is our job as children of G-o-d to care for G-o-d’s other children which includes all of humanity, and it is our job to stand up for what we believe in and what we believe is right even when doing so is not popular and even when others disagree with us. Two Jews; three opinions. And in the midst of the struggle to know what is right and how to stand up for it and make a difference, we must have faith that better times are ahead and that there will come a time, when divisiveness will give way to harmony and struggle will give way to peace.

Contemplating nature's beauty


Dear Chevreh: “If we are able to be involved, but remain indifferent, we are responsible for the consequences.” --Midrash Jewish tradition teaches us that we are to pay particular attention to welcoming the stranger. We are instructed to do so no less than 35 times in the Torah, more than any other commandment. Jewish history teaches us “Never again.” We are instructed to learn from history, and learning should lead to action. My colleague, Rabbi Wayne Dosick has said: “To live through dramatic events is not enough. One has to share them and transform them into acts of conscience.” Jewish social consciousness teaches us that we are “l’takein et ha-olam”/to repair the world. We are not to sit idly by when we feel there is an injustice in the world. And the late Elie Wiesel famously said: “The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.” On Shabbat, January 21, millions of women (and supportive men and children) marched out of sincere concern for a number of social issues, marginalizing women, LGBTQ rights, immigrants and refugees, etc. We are fortunate to be able to live in a country where we can do such a demonstration. For the most part, the marches were peaceful and moving. There were a number of CPT members who participated in either the Washington march or the one that took place here in Las Vegas. I was one of them, privileged to help hold the banner at the front of the participants, and honored to be asked to speak. The coordinators of the march here had expected perhaps two thousand marchers. When I mounted the steps of the Federal Court House and looked out on the crowd, I was overwhelmed. A rainbow of colors, people filling the entire block---sidewalks and street, and spilling over to the north and south, clearly more than two thousand…easily 5,000 and the R-J later reported as many as 15,000. People of conscience. As I addressed the crowd, I remembered marching in the ‘60’s, sometimes with a baby on my back and one in the front. Women’s rights, free Soviet Jewry, etc., and I honestly, perhaps naively, felt that I would never feel compelled to join another demonstration for the rest of my life. And here I was, not only marching, but addressing the marchers and the media, and on Shabbat, no less! What would make a Rabbi who generally doesn’t drive on Shabbat, except to go to the synagogue—what would compel me to participate in such a march? I struggled with the concept, but ultimately decided that this demonstration fell under the umbrella of “Pikuach Nefesh,” saving a life. And we all know that Pikuach Nefesh supersedes even the Sabbath. When the travel ban on the seven Muslim countries was announced, the gag order on certain governmental institutions, and the order to resume the oil pipeline that would cut through the Sioux nation’s land, alarm bells went off in my heart. Memories of the turning away of the SS St Louis nagged at me. “First they went after the Muslims,” paraphrasing the first line of a famous passage by Reverend Martin Niemoeller; I had to make a check-list and look at the parallels between current times and the 1930’s. I know that we are a country of checks and balances, and I pray that our checks and balances prevent a repetition of the past. But the alarming rise of Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are not coincidental. The increased actions by White Supremacists both here and abroad, the Alt Right, the gag orders, the “alternate facts’---all these are little red flags. No one can truly know the future, but, at this point in our civilization, knowing that the past is prelude to the future, it would behoove us to not stand idly by, but to contact our representatives and let our voices be heard, listen intently to differing opinions, and, yes, even take to the streets and march. L’Shalom,

Rabbi Yocheved Mintz


Cantor’s Notes A Note From the Cantor She was born Roberta Petermann on May 4, 1930 in the Bronx to Sol and Ruth Petermann, a shoemaker and milliner. She loved to sing and perform and would sing and dance around their home. Roberta’s grandfather was a head waiter who knew the great cantor and opera singer, Jan Piece. He arranged for Jan to hear his 13year-old granddaughter sing. Jan Pierce was very impressed and encouraged the family that Roberta needed singing lessons. Her parents agreed and worked hard to pay for her lessons with a demanding, but excellent voice teacher, William Herman. With Herman she studied several languages and practiced singing using clarinet scales. After six years, Herman felt Roberta was ready and introduced her to the general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, Rudolf Bing. After hearing her sing the second aria of the Queen of the Night from Mozart’s Magic Flute several times, Bing selected Roberta (now Peters) to sing the role in February of 1951. She was only 21. But before this performance the Met was presenting Don Giovanni, and the singer who was supposed to sing the role of Zerlina became ill. Peters was called and asked if she would sing the role. She had six hours’ notice and never sung it with an orchestra. Despite this, Roberta’s performance was a hit and as they say, the rest is history. Roberta Peters careered spanned decades as she sang in opera houses throughout the world. She sang for every president from JKF to Obama and performed on many television shows, including the Ed Sullivan show where she appeared 65 times. Roberta Peters was a great supporter of Israel and Jewish causes. Yiddish, which she learned from her grandmother while spending summers in the Catskills where her grandfather was a waiter, was a favorite language for her to sing in. She sang many concerts in synagogues and for many Jewish organization. Her support of continued on page 7


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Hebrew University lead to her creation of the Roberta Peters Scholarship Fund. She performed many concerts in Israel for this. Peters also supported Israeli Bonds, and served on the board of the Anti-Defamation League. She performed with Richard Tucker, for soldiers in Israel, when the Six-Day War began in 1967. Roberta Peters is considered one of the greatest sopranos of the 20th century. She was not only a glorious singer, she was beautiful inside and out. She used her talent and beauty to entertain, and then used her celebrity to give back to the world. She died on January 18, 2017. May her memory be for blessing, and may we always emulate her charitable legacy. L’Shalom

Cantor Marla Goldberg Items urgently needed for low income clients 3 shower chairs 3 hand held shower nozzles 3 sets textured stickers for bottom of tub T.V– must be able to connect to DVD player and must have remote. flatware, steak knives, paring knives. spatulas for non stick medium and large non stick frying pans medium and large cooking pots with lids plates, bowls, drinking cups, mugs storage containers for food baking dishes - 9 x 9, 9x 11, etc. toaster or toaster oven dishtowels bath towels and pillow cases twin fitted sheets trashcans plunger, bathroom cleaning tools and supplies kitchen sponges bathroom rug shower curtain Contact Annie Wolff 702.239.8245 7


New Moon for All “The Masks We Wear!” Sunday, February 26 Home of Iris Katz

RSVP to 702.436.4900 or 9



KIDZ KORNER for February


Jewlicious Learning & Yad Squad SIGN UP TODAY FOR OUR 2016-2017 SESSION Jewlicious Learning Hands on, experiential learning makes Jewish education fun and meaningful for our youngsters from Kindergarten through B’nai Mitzvah. Working with Rabbi Mintz, Cantor Goldberg, and our caring and engaging teaching staff makes a loving, caring, and motivating environment for our youngsters. Yad Squad (formerly “Teen Torah Tribe”) Post B'nai Mitzvah teens will be meeting from 10:00 to 11:30 on Sunday mornings once monthly this year for continuing education and leadership training. In addition to increasing their skill in "doing Jewish," they will experience: Social Action Opportunities Building self-esteem Building Jewish identity Building Jewish literacy Connecting with other Jewish teens and with the community and being provided with opportunities for positive personal expression.


February Birthdays Stella Bialac Joey Goodrich Gayla Wennstrom Paul Aizley Wendy Kraft-Sussman Ann Mandell Vince Gardner Lorraine Brown Zelda Goldwater Faith Silverman

2/3 2/11 2/12 2/16 2/16 2/17 2/19 2/23 2/25 2/29

Linda & Donald Kauffman


Lynn & David Pisetzner


Paula & Jason Deal


Anne & Gary Ullman


Lynda & David French


Barbara & Andrew Holland


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 Kol HaNeshamah siddur. VOLUNTEERISM ABOUNDS AT CPT Homes are always needed for the various activities and meetings of our congregation. Offer a Personal prayer – If you’d like to write your own, please do so. If you would like to see it published in the newsletter.


For the Month of February Aileen Cherner -Remembered by Cindy Fox Fred Halperin -Rememberd by Ellen Royer Hyman Klane -Remembered by Susan Dubin Ernest Jacobs -Remembered by Lesley Wagmeister Bernice & Howard Linker -Remembered by Scott Linker Edward Paykel -Remembered by Gary Paykel

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

Bertha Platt -Remembered by Zandra Bender Julian Ullman -Remembered by Gary Ullman Dora & Jacob Weiman and Eleanor Wohl -Remembered by Barbara Holland 15

Nid’vei Lev- Donations from the Heart Hedda Abbott -In honor of the Wilreker's 1st Anniversary Roz Tessler -Tzedakah Bernard Mann -Nid'vei Lev Sondra Rose -MiShebeirach David Rose Walter Carnwright II -Nid'vei Lev Marian Baum -In memory of Betty Baum Anita Lewy -In honor of Cindy Fox's Birthday -Nid'vei Lev Susan & Rick Bindhamer -In memory of George Effros & Charlotte Clark


February 1 February 1 February 3 February 4 February 6 February 6 February 7 February 7 February 8 February 12 February 13 February 13 February 14 February 14 February 15 February 17 February 18 February 19 February 20 February 21 February 21 February 26 February 27 February 27 February 28 March 1 March 3 March 4 March 6 March 6

CALENDAR AT A GLANCE: 3:30 PM Advanced Biblical Hebrew 7:00 PM Ivdu et Hashem B’Simcha-Jewish Liturgy as a Spiritual System 6:30 PM Tot Shabbat, Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv Service 9:30 AM Torah Study 4:15 PM Jewlicious Learning 7:00 PM Mussar Va’ad 1:00 PM Beginning Hebrew 7:00 PM Jewish, Alive and American 3:30 PM Advanced Biblical Hebrew 11:30 AM Brunch with Brilliants featuring Ciara Byrne 4:15 PM Jewlicious Learning 7:00 PM Mussar Va’ad 1:00 PM Beginning Hebrew 7:00 PM Jewish, Alive and American 7:00 PM Ivdu et Hashem B’Simcha-Jewish Liturgy as a Spiritual System 7:30 PM Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv Service 9:30 AM Torah Study 10:00 AM Yad Squad 7:00 PM Mussar Va’ad 1:00 PM Beginning Hebrew 7:00 PM Jewish, Alive and American 7:00 PM A New Moon for All: “The Masks We Wear” 4:15 PM Jewlicious Learning 7:00 PM Mussar Va’ad 7:00 PM Jewish, Alive and American 7:00 PM Ivdu et Hashem B’Simcha-Jewish Liturgy as a Spiritual System 6:30 PM Tot Shabbat, Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv Service with Rabbi Stan Levy 9:30 AM Torah Study with Rabbi Stan Levy 4:15 PM Jewlicious Learning 7:00 PM Mussar Va’ad

Blessing for the month of Adar: A month of laughter, abounding joy, the witnessing of life entering into darkness, the advantage of light over darkness, the power of barrenness being broken. No matter what the darkness is, LAUGH and watch God permeate it. Light permeates darkness when we see this, and barrenness will break. Begin to laugh at fear.


Congregation P'nai Tikvah's Kol Kiruv - February 2017 – Shevat / Adar 5777  

About Congregation P'nai Tikvah - Rekindling the Jewish Spirit. Congregation P'nai Tikvah is a joyful warm, welcoming spiritual home for...

Congregation P'nai Tikvah's Kol Kiruv - February 2017 – Shevat / Adar 5777  

About Congregation P'nai Tikvah - Rekindling the Jewish Spirit. Congregation P'nai Tikvah is a joyful warm, welcoming spiritual home for...