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Volume 152, Number 11

Iyar/Sivan 5771

June 2011

B’nai Israel Shavuot Celebration Tuesday, June 7 and Wednesday, June 8 Come rejoice in the Festival of the Giving of the Torah, the Festival of the First Fruits with prayer, picnic, and planting. Tuesday, June 7 6:00–8:00 p.m.

own dairy-licious dessert at our Ice Cream Sundae Bar, featuring yummy flavors and fancy fixings brought to us by Sunny Daes Ice Cream of Fairfield—Yumm! Conclude this fun and filling evening with a flower planting on the synagogue grounds. You can come and enjoy your blossoming flowers all summer long.

Be a part of our joyful Torah celebration at B’nai Israel’s Family Shavuot Service and come welcome our newest B’nai Israel fruits** to the B’nai Israel family. **all those beautiful babies born into our community this past year

“And Your People Shall Be My People”—But these days, who are the Jewish people anyway? A Joint Tikkun Leil Shavuot with Congregation B’nai Israel and Congregation Beth El Tuesday, June 7 at 8:00 p.m. at B’nai Israel

Bring yourselves, a picnic blanket, and a vegetable side dish or salad to add to the variety of main dairy dishes that we will provide for a pot luck picnic. RSVP to Elaine at 203-336-1858 or echetrit@ by June 5.

Who’s included? Who’s not? How wide is the tent? How welcoming can we be? How welcoming should we be? Are there differences among Conservative and Reform rabbis? Are there differences among rabbis within the same Jewish streams?

It is a tradition to eat dairy-filled dishes during Shavuot, so in deference to tradition you will be able to make your

Join Rabbis Gurevitz, Prosnit, and Satlow for a conversation on:

Good discussion—and cheesecake, too!! Wednesday, June 8 10:00 a.m. Yizkor Service

Save the Date! Friday, June 17 Please join us for a Shabbat celebration in honor of Gail Weinstein’s 25 years of dedicated service to Congregational B’nai Israel’s Nursery School. Oneg reception 5:00–6:00 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres and wine Shabbat service 6:00–7:00 p.m. Immediately following the service will be a celebratory dessert in Gail’s honor. Please RSVP to Lynn at 203-336-1858 or by June 10.

Sincere Sympathy

We extend our sympathy to the bereaved families of: Grace Gelfand, grandmother of Dr. Mark Hotchkiss Gloria McKerlie, mother of Helen Natt

Sharing Our Joy… Congratulations to:

Ken and Nina Rabine on the engagement of their son, Justin, to Jessica Kleiner.

Advertising Space Is Available! Do you have a business? Would you like more customers? Join those who advertise in our Bulletin. You’re reading this, as do hundreds of people each month. Our rates are low, and you’ll be supporting our congregation while growing your business. For lawyers and accountants, we’re also adding a listing of supporters. With your ad, you’ll get a free listing. Space is limited, so please contact Caren Schwartz at regarding space and rates. Thank you!

Summer Schedule The temple office will start summer hours on May 31: 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Friday

In This Issue Table of Contents From the Rabbi’s Desk ............................3 Brotherhood News .................................4 From Rabbi Gurevitz ..............................5 Early Childhood Center ...........................6 From the Education Center .......................7 Young Families Havurah ..........................8 Family Education ...................................8 Adult Jewish Learning .............................9 Donations ......................................10, 11 Shabbat Services ..................................11


What’s happening at temple? Get Happenings, our weekly email! Send your request to!

From the Rabbi’s Desk

A Place of Good Beginnings—Thank You Gail In 1986, Bob Gillette (then our Director of Education) told the Board, “If you want a great nursery school you have to hire a great director.” A year later the B’nai Israel preschool program began with Gail Weinstein as director and Phyllis Shangold as the first teacher. There were fourteen 3-year-olds in the very first class. In subsequent years the 4’s began, followed by the 2’s and then Coffee and Cuddles for the toddlers. Extended day and summer camp developed as Gail continually tried to meet the expanding needs of our parents. All this because of the vision of Gail Weinstein, our founding director. For almost 25 years Gail has been the source of constancy and comfort, curriculum and creativity. Together with her stable and cohesive teaching staff (of which Phyllis is still a member), Gail has made the B’nai Israel nursery school a place of good beginnings for so many families. Wonderful teachers create the basic trust that children need, parents are reassured about their own nurturing skills, and the synagogue sings with activity. Under Gail’s leadership our school is a place of love and learning for children and parents alike. The joy-filled atmosphere

of the school echoes through the entire building and makes this a happier place to work and worship. The overarching Jewish environment instills sacred values and teaches Shabbat and holiday traditions and much, much more. Many current congregants trace their B’nai Israel beginnings to the welcome mat the nursery school provides. Gail has also been a trusted colleague to the rabbis, cantors, and educators with whom she’s worked. She’s protective of her program as good directors need to be, but she also understands the unique school-shul connection and has worked devotedly to make certain that that partnership benefits us all. Reflected in her own words as recorded in our temple history A Light to the Generations, Gail stated, “Our primary goal is making our students self-sufficient and independent. We want them to feel comfortable with themselves, comfortable in a group, comfortable making choices. We’re laying the foundation for the life skills they will need in the future. We want to grow outstanding Jewish children who along with their families are committed to a Jewish life.” Gail, congratulations on making that goal a reality for so many. The entire B’nai Israel community salutes you and wishes you and Peter the blessings of a well-deserved retirement.

Rabbi Prosnit’s son Jonathan was ordained as a rabbi on Sunday, May 8 at Temple Emanuel in New York. Mazel Tov!

Rabbis Prosnit and Wendy at Jonathan’s ordination, holding a photo of Jim’s 1981 ordination (with Jonathan then in arms!)

Jonathan Prosnit and Diana Fersko at ordination, Temple Emanuel, New York. Of the nine rabbis ordained from Hebrew Union College– Jewish Institute of Religion this year, two grew up at B’nai Israel.

Items of the Month: Baby supplies (diapers, formula, baby food)


Brotherhood News We wish to thank all of our members, the many affiliate groups we support, and our clergy for helping to make this past year a successful one.

the continued success of our efforts. Each and every man in our community can make a difference. Please be sure to make your contribution this year.

The Brotherhood places great importance on supporting both our temple and local community. This year we made significant financial contributions to Operation Hope in honor of its 25th anniversary and Rabbi Prosnit’s longtime service to its board, as well as to Jewish Family Services and Mazon. We also supported the efforts of the Religious School Committee with picnics in September and May to mark the beginning, and end, of Religious School and assisted them with the Purim Carnival.

If you wish to join Brotherhood, please send a $40.00 check made out to B’nai Israel Brotherhood to:

Each week, the Brotherhood provides breakfast for our Shabbat worshippers, and we are glad that the Young Families Havurah, led by Rabbi Nicole Wilson-Spiro, has brought her vibrant group into our midst each week. To all men in the B’nai Israel community: Your membership is the single most important contribution you can make to ensure

B’nai Israel Brotherhood 2710 Park Avenue Bridgeport, CT 06604 At Brotherhood we measure our success by the mitzvahs we make and the joy they bring…whether you are already a member or are looking for a fun and productive way to get more involved in temple life, come on out and lend a hand in the company of some really great guys who love to have fun! Drop me an email anytime for more information. L’shalom, Jim Greenberg, Brotherhood President

Career Day at B’nai Israel B’nai Israel Synagogue hosted its third successful “Career Day” last month for the Classical Studies Academy of Bridgeport. Fifth and sixth grade students attended this worthwhile event. The event was coordinated by Jill Tarlov, who encouraged temple members from various professional backgrounds to give students a glimpse into future career opportunities. The day started with an introduction by Rabbi James Prosnit. Mayor Bill Finch, teachers, and students.

dermatologist, a jewelry designer, and a policeman, to name a few. The children rotated around the room and spent 15 minutes with each professional, who came prepared with props for demonstration and descriptions of their job.

Gemologist Michael Kasson demonstrates his craft to students

B’nai Israel and the Classical Studies Academy have enjoyed a rewarding relationship over the years. Temple members have visited the school to read stories in the classroom, offered enrichment programs, and collected school supplies for the students. Career Day was very successful, thanks to all the professionals who volunteered their time. The presenters this year included an audiologist, a radio personality, a chef, an artist, a


Mayor Bill Finch of Bridgeport was another special guest. He spent time with the children explaining how the mayor’s office works and the services he provides for the city. There was a lot of interest on the children’s part—they asked many questions to try and understand the role of the municipal government in the way their school is run. The day concluded with delicious snacks that were donated by Classical Studies parents. Many thanks to Jill, Mayor Finch, all our professionals, and especially the students!

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From Rabbi Gurevitz Holding Out a Hand In any particular week, it is not unusual for someone with little or no prior connection to our congregation to walk in off the street or call the temple office looking for a listening ear and some emotional or spiritual relief from the challenges of life. Rabbi Prosnit and I bear witness to the struggles that are part of unemployment, family tensions, the search for community, caring for aging parents, the pain of divorce, the spiritual questioning that comes with loss or illness, and much more.

support and refuge, we find some, in their isolation, becoming more distant from us. During the summer months, in particular, the sense of isolation that can come from life’s challenges can be magnified when others are out enjoying the beaches, family vacations, and the better weather. Please don’t struggle alone. Your clergy are here for you. Please let us know if you could use a listening ear and an outstretched hand. Sometimes the sharing of a burden can help lighten that burden a bit; sometimes it can open doors to new possibilities or new ways of seeing. Sometimes it can provide a little spiritual sustenance to help get us through the tough times. Please contact us at 203-336-1858 or jprosnit@congregationbnaiisrael. org,, or sblum@ All conversations are confidential. Let us be there for you.

These are human experiences and they know no bounds—they are challenges faced within our congregation too. But while there are those who know that we are there for them and reach out to us during those challenging times, there are so many more in our community who are feeling the pain of something difficult currently going on in their lives that we don’t Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz have the opportunity to support because we don’t hear about it. Instead of the temple providing a place of

Come See Our New Garden!! You may have noticed, in walking through our In the coming weeks, we will announce the date and synagogue, the completion of our beautiful new time of a dedication ceremony regarding this very garden, off the sanctuary and the pavilion lobby. This special place. garden, which was conceived during the planning of our renovation project, has been generously funded by Cleo and Jonathan Sonneborn, in memory of Jonathan’s grandmother, and will be known as The Hannah Hofheimer Memorial Garden. Please come take a walk through this wonderful new space. We will be adding seating shortly, which will enable us to enjoy the tranquil surroundings as well as experience a different type of reflective and meditative atmosphere.

Happy Summer!


From the Early Childhood Center As you know, I am retiring from Congregation B’nai Israel Nursery School in June. In 1986, Rabbi Arnold Sher and Robert Gillette (the Religious School Director at the time) had a vision for a quality Reform preschool in the Bridgeport area. I was fortunate to have been hired as a teacher and later became the director of the school. Our mission was to provide a nurturing and stimulating Jewish environment for newborns through preschoolers. Thank you to Rabbi Sher and Bob for your leadership in making Congregation B’nai Israel Nursery School a reality. Over the years, Congregation B’nai Israel Nursery School has become a wonderful gateway into our synagogue for unaffiliated families. Congregation B’nai Israel Nursery School started as a one-room school in 1987 with 14 children. More than 700 students have passed through our halls, and it is always a joy to see former nursery school students continue through their bar/bat mitzvah and participate in BIFTY. I have been blessed here at work, and Congregation B’nai Israel Nursery School could not have flourished without the support and dedication of many individuals. How fortunate I am to have the opportunity to work with Phyllis Shangold. Phyllis, thank you for being a great teacher and dearest friend that anyone could ask for. Our 3-year-old class for their There are so many teachers Tzedakah project collected money all year, and we are using with whom I have had the the money to cook for St John’s opportunity to work and Church. We are cooking an entire including Vivian meal to feed 100 people. Pictured learn, here are Alex and Na’ama mixing Greenberg, Serena Sher, Jill the sauce into the pasta. Ellen, Debbie Viens, Lynne Marks, Suzanne Block, Mara Fudin, Alexa Cohen, Liz Nigrosh, Jackie Bahkash, and Nancy Wilson. All of our present and past teachers are a dedicated, warm, and professional group. I want to pay tribute to all of my present and past teachers for their support and friendship. Many have been affiliated with our school and congregation for a number of years.


Congregation B’nai Israel Nursery School’s goal is to help young children become more accepting of and comfortable with themselves, others, and their Judaism, and to recognize their loving creative potential as individuals. I believe in this approach wholeheartedly and have tried very hard to imbue the school with Here is Gabe stirring vegetables this mission. Thank you to that will be served. Jim, Sheri, Rachel, Elaine, Abby, and Ira for your professionalism and for helping us to achieve a warm, nurturing environment. I have enjoyed working side by side with you on a daily basis. Your guidance has been immeasurable and your friendship valued. My warmest thanks and appreciation to all the families who enrolled their children in our school. We have partnered together to enable your children to grow and flourish. Congregation B’nai Israel Nursery School would not survive without your trust and faith in us. To all the past and present Board members, past and present Presidents, thank you for believing in the importance of having a synagogue preschool. To my administrative assistant, Theresa, you have provided invaluable assistance with all my mailings and keeping things organized. Thank you also to the custodial staff who always smile and tidy up the school rooms. And to the office staff for being a wonderful support system to me and our school families. It has been an incredible journey these last 25 years. What a pleasure to see our school succeed and prosper. I leave a legacy that I have been proud to be a part of for all these years. Gail Weinstein

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From the Education Center

Adaptation and Relationship I hope you have read and heard of some of the amazing things that have been happening to create and deepen relationships among the parents in our Religious School. We are blessed with a number of talented people who are only too delighted to bring classroom parents together, organize and implement our monthly Havurah socialization programs, and make the many different school-related events happen. Our challenge has been gathering people to meet as a committee to discuss and deliberate matters of policy, curriculum, and the development of new educational initiatives.

Meetings will be determined by the role of each team. The two teams will meet jointly twice: once in the fall and once in the spring. The Community Building Team will meet as needed throughout the year, as a whole or in subgroups according to the needs of each event or program. The Vision Team will have more regular meetings throughout the year to enable their work to continue. I want to thank Cindy Becker, Gayle Szuchman, and Mindy Siegel—who serve as our educational leadership team—for formulating this new approach with me.

We have come to understand that some congregants prefer to plan events and programs. Others prefer to analyze, explore, and imagine the future of education at B’nai Israel. And some like to do both. Just as we have adapted the way we connect to people, we are now going to adapt the way we organize and plan. The Religious School Committee will no longer meet as a committee. There will be two teams: 1. The Community Building Team will focus on the activities/events that have helped connect many of our religious school families to each other as well as the temple. In essence, this is what most of the members of the existing committee have found most compelling this year. Meetings for this team will be determined based on the needs of the various programs. 2. The Vision Team will focus on policy, curriculum, and initiatives. One of its tasks will be to begin the process of reviewing how our curriculum meets the vision of our congregation and the needs of our families. Members will also figure out how to take Jewish learning and building relationships to the next level. 

This is your invitation. We hope that many of the parents in our school will join one team or the other. We also ask those of you who no longer or do not yet have children in the school to join us as well. Your experiences and your hopes will help us make B’nai Israel’s religious school the place where everyone wants their child to be! L’shalom, Ira J. Wise, Director of Education

Items of the Month: Baby supplies (diapers, formula, baby food)


Family Education Our last Mishpacha Shabbat of this school year will be held on Friday, June 10 at 6:30 p.m. Bring your family to B’nai Israel for an informal Shabbat experience, which includes dinner, blessings, a Shabbat story, singing and dancing. Share a joyous Shabbat celebration that is ideal for families with preschool- and elementary school–age children.

We provide the main dish. You bring a side dish or dessert. $5.00/adult, $2.00/child. Weather permitting, we’ll share our Shabbat dinner and celebration on our B’nai Israel patio under the setting sun. RSVP to Elaine at or 203-3361858 by June 8.

Young Families Havurah The beautiful weather is finally here, and the Young Families Havurah has started to move outside as much as possible. The Havurah will continue to meet every Shabbat throughout the summer, and on sunny Saturday mornings you can find us singing and praying together outside behind the Pavilion. We also have planned several outdoor gatherings, and we hope you will join us! Please invite your friends with young children and let them know that everyone is always welcome at the Havurah—you do not need to be a member of B’nai Israel to participate.

June 8 at 9:30 a.m. Shavuot Strawberry Picking at Jones Family Farm in Shelton, CT Shavuot marks the end of the grain harvest and the beginning of the fruit growing season. Come take part in your own fruit harvest with the Havurah! June 25 at 10:30 a.m. Adult Discussion on Explaining Death to Our Children Immediately following Havurah services, Rachel Yurdin and Rabbi Nicole will conduct a discussion for parents on presenting the Jewish view of death and dying to young children. Most parents struggle to best explain death to our children. Not only is Rachel a parent of two wonderful children in our Havurah, she is also a Clinical Social Worker, specializing in bereavement. Children will play on the playground and participate in Shabbat games while parents discuss. 9:30 a.m. for services, 10:30 a.m. for discussion.

Picnic in the Park June 3 at 5:00 p.m. Playground time and Shabbat dinner in Lincoln (“Jackman”) Park at 455 Jackman Avenue in Fairfield. Plan to arrive at 5:00 p.m. for playground Rabbi Nicole Wilson-Spiro time and 6:00 p.m. for dinner. We’ll provide candles, juice, and challah. You bring a picnic blanket (there are a few tables too), a picnic dinner, and a dessert to share. Rain date: June 17.


Happy Summer!

Adult Jewish Learning at Congregation B’nai Israel Adult Round Table Thursday, June 2 at noon This is a discussion about current events for anyone who wants to go deeper than the headlines and enjoys expressing their own opinions and hearing those of others. Facilitated by Gloria Katz and Dorothy Blaustein. Bring a sandwich, your opinion, and an open mind. Widows’ and Widowers’ Shabbat Meet-Up, With Special Guest Rabbi Suri Krieger Saturday, June 4 at 2 p.m. Join Rabbi Suri Krieger for a presentation on “Visualizing” the Women of the Torah: An Artistic Exploration. With good company and afternoon tea. At the home of Lee Attenberg, 203-374-9688. It’s More Than Just Numbers: Accountants and Financial Folks Study Rabbinic Texts Wednesday, June 8 at 8:15 a.m. Join colleagues as traditional Jewish texts with a focus on financial/business concerns are discussed, debated, and made relevant to today. Texts are in English. All accountants and those involved in the “fiscal world” are welcome. We meet at Cohen, Burger, Schwartz and Sax, 2228 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield. Please contact Rabbi Prosnit at Jprosnit@ to be added to the email list. Talmud At the Bar: Lawyers Study Jewish Law Thursday, June 16 at 8:15 a.m. Join colleagues as we connect the Talmud and areas of traditional Jewish law to issues relevant to today. Texts are in English. All attorneys (or those involved in the legal profession) in the congregation, and their colleagues, are welcome. We meet in Bridgeport at Pullman and Comley, People’s Bank Building, 8th floor. Please contact Lynn at 203-336-1858 or to be added to the mailing list.

“Truth, Justice, and the Jewish-American Way,” With Student Rabbi Lisa Kingston Fridays, June 10, 17, and 24, and July 8 at noon The American comic book industry—both its creators and many authors—have Jewish cultural and religious backgrounds. Consciously or not, comics provide both visual and textual representations of Jewish identity, culture, and values. This course will look at how certain popular comic book characters speak to our Jewish values and our texts. We will read some comic book history, biblical texts, comics, and even a graphic novel. No comic experience necessary!

It Takes a Village

(or at least a synagogue community!) We are looking for a few good teachers for our Religious School this fall! On Sundays we need teachers for music, Hebrew, and Kitah Gimel (3rd grade). On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons we need a teacher for Kitah Vav (6th grade). If you are interested, or know someone you think would be terrific, contact Ira Wise at 203-336-1858 or iwise@

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Donations Please note that only contributions of $10.00 or more will be acknowledged with a card and Bulletin listing. Rabbi Prosnit Discretionary Fund Maggy and Jose Anstey in honor of daughter Fabienne’s marriage to Douglas Silverman. Leona Attenberg in memory of Diane Kauders, wife of Dr. James Kauders. Wendy and Jeff Bender in memory of mother, Charlotte Aaron. Lori Berger in memory of her mother, Cecelia Davis. Lori and Ken Berger in honor of Jonathan Prosnit’s ordination on May 8. Barbara Bresler in appreciation to Rabbi Prosnit. Ellen, Art, and Joanna Gang and Kent Sanderson in honor of the Prosnit family. Jim Greenberg in appreciation to Rabbi Prosnit. Bernie and Jan Jacobs in memory of mother, Mary Jacobs. Ellen Kadden—Thanks to Jim and Wendy for a great time in Israel. Jack and Ellen Kadden—Congratulations to Jim and Wendy on their family simchas. Judy and Barry Kramer in memory of Dr. Joel Feigenson, husband of Diane Feigenson. Carol Krim in loving memory of husband, Michael. Ellie Levin in memory of Dr. Ralph Parker, father of Betsy Kutner; in memory of Sidney Gelfand, brother of Anne Kamens; in memory of Nathaniel Bresler, grandson of Bobby Bresler; in memory of her mother and father, Beatrice and Irving Kleban. Laura and Dudley Orr in honor of the engagement of Jonathan Prosnit to Erin Gleeson; in memory of Richard Levenson, father of Naomi Schaffer. Ernest Paushter in memory of father, Samuel Paushter. Beth Reich and Carol Offenbach in memory of mother, Vivienne Goldstein, and in appreciation to Rabbi Prosnit. The Reznikoff family in honor of Jonathan Prosnit’s ordination as a rabbi. Suzanne Saletan in memory of Sandy Altneu; in memory of Willi Evans; in memory of Donald Rubens; in honor of Ted Rudolph’s special birthday. Saturday Afternoon Widows and Widowers Group—thank you to our guest speakers— David Pressler for his provocative presentation; thank you also to Donna Tauss, Steve Verbil, Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz, and Rabbi Debbie Goldstein. Gail Schriffert, Dustin and Tamara Schriffert in loving memory of mother and grandmother, Minnie Vineberg. Ellen Sheiman in loving memory of father, Milton Unger; mother, Sylvia Unger; and brother, Martin Unger.


Marni and Paul Vinci in appreciation to Rabbi Prosnit for the wonderful B’nai Mitzvot service. Emma and James Wittstein in appreciation to Rabbi Prosnit for his support of Michael’s Bar Mitzvah. Burton and Sheila Yaffie in honor of Marc Silverman and Lori Berger’s years of service to the Temple. Rabbi Gurevitz Discretionary Fund Tracy Benham in appreciation for the wonderful Interfaith Seder. Audrey Bernstein with gratitude. Barbara Bresler in appreciation to Rabbi Gurevitz. Jim Greenberg in appreciation to Rabbi Gurevitz. Beth Lazar in appreciation to Rabbi Gurevitz for organizing the songfest in memory of Debbie Friedman. Norma Schmidt—a contribution. Ellen Sheiman in honor of Beth Lazar and all she does for the temple and the community. Marni and Paul Vinci in appreciation to Rabbi Gurevitz for the beautiful service the night before Sarah’s Bat Mitzvah. Enhancement Fund S. James and Edith Baum in memory of brother, Gerald Baum. David Berkowitz, Helen and William Mazer Foundation—a contribution. Audrey and Larry Bernstein in memory of Nathaniel Bresler, grandson of Barbara Bresler. Henry N. Diamond in memory of Dr. Albert Madwed. Rosalind Gordon in honor of Jim Greenberg’s Bar Mitzvah. Jack and Ellen Kadden—Congratulations to Jim Greenberg on his Bar Mitzvah; condolences to Luise Burger on the loss of her father, Herbert Mann; to Richard Krantz on the loss of his father, Aaron Krantz; to Michael London on the loss of his mother, Arlene London; to Ellen Hyde Phillips on the loss of her husband, E. Cortright Phillips; to Ellen Rosoff on the loss of her father, Lawrence Leon; congratulations to the Herzlinger family on the birth of their second granddaughter; to Jon and Cleo Sonneborn on the birth of their newest grandchild. Arnold and Bobby Kaplan in memory of Nathan Rapoport. Stephen Lessler in honor of the 90th birthday of Jean Goldreyer. Congratulations! Hilary and Roger Machlis in honor of Rebecca Molinoff’s Bat Mitzvah. Amy and Glenn Rich in honor of Seymour Horowitz, father of Stuart Horowitz. Barbara Solomon in honor of Jim Greenberg’s Bar Mitzvah.

Music Fund Carol and Nate Barsky in memory of sister, Mildred Greenberg. Helen Belinkie in memory of Harry Sheketoff and in memory of Eugene Fitelson. Lisa and Joav, Joshua and Jonathan Burger in memory of Imrich Greschler. Jim Greenberg in appreciation to Cantor Blum. Judy and Barry Kramer and family in memory of Diane Kauders, wife of Dr. James Kauders. George and Chris Markley in memory of Diane Kauders, wife of Dr. James Kauders. Beth and Randy Reich and family in memory of aunt, Esther Zimmer. Sandy and Bob Sherman in loving memory of Charlotte Sherman, mother of Bob. Marni and Paul Vinci in appreciation to Cantor Blum for her dedication and help in preparing Sarah for her Bat Mitzvah. Iris Wittstein in honor of the Bat Mitzvah of Sarah Vinci., daughter of Marni and Paul Vinci. Emma and James Wittstein in appreciation of her support of Michael in preparation for his Bar Mitzvah. Bifty Greenwald Scholarship Fund Jane and Jerry Pressman—a contribution. Marni and Paul Vinci in honor of the Bar Mitzvah of Jacob Mallon, son of Erik and Lisa Mallon. Rabbi Martin Library Fund Muriel Lefsetz in memory of mother, Fanny Kaster, and husband, Morris Lefsetz. Elona and Michael Logue in honor of the Young Families Havurah. Marni and Paul Vinci in appreciation to all the religious school teachers who contributed to Sarah’s education in preparation for her Bat Mitzvah. Rabbi Arnold I. Sher Social Action Fund Bari Dworken in honor of Jim Greenberg becoming a Bar Mitzvah. The Elbaum Family—thank you to Dr. Larry Dinkes for his kindness. Andrea Good and Jeff Ackerman in memory of Edith Kovar, mother of Stuart Kovar. George and Chris Markley in loving memory of their fathers, Aram Nahabedian and Ludwig Markley. Harriet and Sam Miller in memory of Diane Kauders, wife of Dr. James Kauders, and Dr. Joel Feigenson, husband of Diane Feigenson. Laurie and Dan Schopick in memory of George Cohen, father of Diane Bader. Marni and Paul Vinci in honor of daughter Sarah’s Bat Mitzvah. Lorrie Wexler in memory of George Cohen, father of Diane Bader.

What’s happening at temple? Get Happenings, our weekly email! Send your request to!

Donations Please note that only contributions of $10.00 or more will be acknowledged with a card and Bulletin listing. Carol and Steve Wolfson—Sending congratulations to Marc Silverman, who is an outstanding individual in the congregational community. Religious School Enrichment Fund Cindy and Michael Becker in honor of Jim Greenberg’s Bar Mitzvah. Sally Kenler in appreciation to Rabbi Prosnit. Sylvia Neigher in honor of Jim Greenberg becoming a Bar Mitzvah. Beth Reich and Carol Offenbach and families in appreciation to Lisa, our rabbinic intern; in memory of mother, Vivienne Goldstein. Amy and Glenn Rich in memory of Donald Rubens, father of Sally Kenler. Marni and Paul Vinci in appreciation to Ira Wise for helping Sarah to prepare her speech for her Bat Mitzvah. Religious School Scholarship Fund The Reznikoff family in honor of Jacob Wunder’s Bar Mitzvah. Audrey, Ira, Ethan, and Ira Wise in honor of Jonathan Prosnit’s ordination. Nursery School Enrichment Fund Andrea Goodman and Jeff Ackerman in appreciation of Gail Weinstein.

Nursery School Scholarship Fund Gail and Peter Weinstein in memory of Ralph Parker, father of Betsy Kutner and Jane Resnick; in memory of Harry Sheketoff, husband of Selma Sheketoff. Sylvia Prosnit Adult Education Fund Elaine and Juda Chetrit in honor of Jim Greenberg becoming a Bar Mitzvah. Mazel Tov! Esther Spiegel in memory of Anna Steiber Spiegel, Benjamin Steiber, and Dorothy Berkowitz. Judith Brav Sher Fund Marni and Paul Vinci in appreciation to Elaine Chetrit for helping Sarah to prepare her 13 Mitzvot project for her Bat Mitzvah. Daniel Smith Cemetery Fund Samuel and Harriet Miller in memory of mothers, Jennie Smith Kot and Zelda Miller. Charles Fried Keshet Fund Denise Fried sending congratulations to Harriet and Sam Miller on grandson Harrison’s Bar Mitzvah; congratulations to Rabbi Arnold and Serena Smith on granddaughter Daniella’s Bat Mitzvah; in loving memory of Charlie from Denise, Marc, Debi, Sasha, Jesse, Shari, Aaron, Cooper, and Rebecca.

Gillette Judaic Enrichment Fund George and Chris Markley in memory of Dr. Chuck Heller. Etz Chaim Living Torah Fund Marni and Paul Vinci in appreciation to Claire Baker for her help in preparing Sarah to become a Bat Mitzvah. Arnold and Doris Tower Fund Stephen Tower in memory of Bobbi Tower. Marni Golden Vinci in loving memory of her brother, Scott Warren Golden. Lee and David Lester Kesher Project Lee Lester—get well wishes to Muriel “Muggs” Lefsetz; in loving memory of dear sister, Ruthie Lovett. Harriet and Samuel Miller in memory of Jeffrey Zeisler, son of Robert and Judy Zeisler. Vision Loan Reduction Fund Patti and Samuel Rosenberg in memory of Seymour Horowitz, father of Stuart Horowitz; in honor of the Bar Mitzvah of Jim Greenberg. Mazon Rosalind Gordon in appreciation to the Derwallis family and the Robert Berkowitz family.

SHABBAT SERVICE SCHEDULE (Fridays at 6:00 p.m. where indicated, preceded by an Oneg Shabbat at 5:30 p.m.)

Friday, June 3 6:00 p.m. Service Torah Portion – Naso Num. 4:21-7:89 Haftarah – Judges 13:2-25 Saturday, June 4 8:00 a.m. Service 9:00 a.m. Brotherhood Breakfast 9:30 a.m. Torah Study 11:00 a.m. B’not Mitzvah of Sydney Slavin, daughter of Jonathan and Lori Slavin, and Emily Tynan, daughter of Robert and Jacqueline Tynan Friday, June 10 6:00 p.m. Service Torah Portion – B’haalot’cha Num. 8:1-12:16 Haftarah – Zechariah 2:14-4:7

Saturday, June 11 8:00 a.m. Service 9:00 a.m. Brotherhood Breakfast 9:30 a.m. Torah Study 11:00 a.m. Bar Mitzvah of Zachary Angel, son of Jonathan and Evie Angel Friday, June 17—Special Oneg and celebration in honor of Gail Weinstein; please see the cover for details 6:00 p.m. Service Torah Portion – Sh’lach L’cha Haftarah – Joshua 2:1-24 Saturday, June 18 8:00 a.m. Service 9:00 a.m. Brotherhood Breakfast 9:30 a.m. Torah Study 11:00 a.m. B’nai Mitzvot of Lance Dengelegi, son of Paul and Elizabeth Dengelegi, and Emma Spartachino, daughter of Randy and Deanna Spartachino

Friday, June 22 6:00 p.m. Service Torah Portion – Korach Num. 16:1-18:32 Haftarah – I Samuel 11:14-12:22 Saturday, June 23 8:00 a.m. Service 9:00 a.m. Brotherhood Breakfast 9:30 a.m. Torah Study 11:00 a.m. B’nai Mitzvot of Jared Sales, son of Sam and Eileen Wittstein Sales, and Michael Wittstein, son of James and Emma Wittstein

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Who Is This Lovely Lady? Life is so hurried. We rarely take a moment to stop and say thank you to someone who has made a difference in the Jewish world today. I would like to stop now and thank Lee (Lena) Lester.

Lee and Rabbi Prosnit spoke about her desire to create a memorial for David as well as other Jewish special needs adults. Rabbi Prosnit told Lee about The Kesher Project. That is how I came to know her.

Lee has lived in Bridgeport all her life and has been a member of Congregation B’nai Israel for 40 years. Lee has chosen to love life in spite of a very challenging past and has determined to live a life of Tikkun Olam—making the world a better place for all. She is a lifetime member of Hadassah, a member of ORT, and a volunteer at the Jewish Home for the Elderly.

Lee became a contributor to The Kesher Project and joyously attended our meetings. And still she wanted something more, something specific with David’s name so that he could be honored. And so, to memorialize David, she created The Lee and David Lester Kesher Fund for Adults with Special Needs.

Lee has contributed so much, and I believe her greatest accomplishment happened when she joined Congregation B’nai Israel. At that time Lee was singing alto in the Choir and living with her only child, David. He had special needs and Lee was completely devoted to him. Sadly, in 1988, at the age of 43, David passed away.

Thank you, Lee, for all you do for the people in this program.

These photos are from the Lag B’Omer meeting on May 5. From left to right: Lee Lester, Joshua Mantel, Rhea Farbman, Debra Rudolf, and Robert Trost.


Rhea Farbman, Kesher director

From left to right: Tracy Raab, Rhea Farbman, Lee Lester (with guitar), Debra Rudolf, and Joshua Mantel.

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Bulletin June 2011  

Bulletin June 2011