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Shofar Sivan/Tammuz 5770

Jewish Family Congregation

June 2010

From the Rabbi’s Desk By the time you read this, the 20th anniversary of my changed a lot since I was a student. But the best learning rabbinical ordination will have come and gone. And that experiences were my student pulpits, where I learned by means that it has been 25 years since I went to Jerusalem doing, and these remain at the core of rabbinical training. to live for the first year of rabbinical school. How time Sometimes, ever since school, I have found myself wishing flies! that I had paid more attention, or elected different opI left a career in the Canadian civil service to go to rab- tions, so that I would be better prepared to do specific binical school. I worked for the Department of Transport, parts of my job. But I suspect that I would have felt the Air Administration, as a trainer (the Canadian government same way, regardless. favours promotion from within its ranks, and provides the The most important part of the job of a 21st century Retraining in-house to bring employees up to standards for form rabbi is something for which there is no training supervisory positions), and was at the point where, to fur- ground. I consider it my primary function to convey the ther my career, I would have had to take an immersion beauty and depth of Judaism, and to do so with joy. I see program to become fluent in French, so that I could work around me too many Jews who grew up learning about the in both of Canada’s official languages. I chose instead to restrictions and limitations that (Orthodox) Judaism imlearn Hebrew, in rabbinical school! poses, so that they have never reached the delight and Many people have asked me…from richness of our heritage. These people the day I announced my plan to beJudaism is relevant to every part of remind me of the secular Israelis, who come a rabbi… why I did this. It was, our lives, and that does not mean reject Jewish religious practice because after all, a long time since I had been in the only version of it they see as legitiadopting an Orthodox lifestyle. school, and I had a career and a life. mate is Orthodoxy. But the truth is that the things that really matter to me I want to teach that Judaism is relevant to every part of were relegated to the periphery of my life because my our lives, and that does not mean adopting an Orthodox job, which I actually enjoyed, did not address those lifestyle. I came to Reform Judaism because I saw hypocthings. And I wanted to make the important things cen- risy around me in the practices of those who claimed to be tral to my life every day. “Orthodox” or “Conservative”, but violated the absolute So I went to rabbinical school. The first year, in Jerusa- requirements of those branches of Judaism by driving and lem, was a tough slog because I was challenged by the shopping on Shabbat, eating treyf outside their homes, and school to learn Hebrew in the most advanced class, and so on. Reform allows us to make choices about our pracwhile I struggled, I know that it paid off handsomely in tice so that it can be consistent with our intellectual posilater years in the program, and ever since, too. I remem- tions. ber when we came to the middle of third year, and we had It saddens me to realize that so many Jews today cona “hump” party, since that is the middle of the five year sider religion somehow “old-fashioned”, irrelevant to their program. We also concluded, that evening, that “rabbi” lives. They are missing out on the extraordinary intellechas five letters, and that we acquired one each year; but tual adventure that Jewish texts provide, and the beauty that night we only had the top half of the first “b”!! that rituals can add to life. As it says in Gates of Prayer There are a lot of things that one doesn’t learn in rab(our old prayerbook), “there are many days off, but few binical school, of course, even though the curriculum has (Continued on page 18) From the Rabbi’s Desk The President’s Message Service Schedule Oneg Schedule Early Childhood Center The Religious School Social Action Committee Donations to JFC

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JFCAdults Ask the Rabbi ECC Pictures TIKVA Walk of Hope JiFTY Yahrzeit/Annivs/Birthdays SITGO Kids Ask the Rabbi

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Confirmation Speeches Summer Fun Form Donations Form Calendar

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Page 2 Jewish Family Congregation 111 Smith Ridge Road P.O. Box 249 South Salem, NY 10590 Phone: (914) 763-3028 Fax: (914) 763-3069 e-mail:

Rabbi Carla Freedman Cantor Kerry Ben-David

School Director Leslie Gottlieb Early Childhood Center Director Fern Tannenbaum Temple Administrator Jolie Levy

Board Of Trustees Jeanette Sanders, Interim President 914-763-0311 Bill Pink, Secretary; Andrew Serby, Treasurer; Carrie Kane Mark Lavin David Marceau Richard Mishkin Polly Schnell Nita Weissman Elisa Zuckerberg and Johanna Perlman, Past President

Shofar Editor Jolie Levy Shofar Publisher David Emmer

Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

June 2010

The President’s Message by Jeanette Sanders As the summer months approach, the days get longer and the stress level lessens. You may be celebrating the end of another school year -- with its mountains of emails, schedules to juggle, demands of work, school, religious school, sports and extra-curricular activities. Or you may just be looking forward to some time off and an increased focus on leisure. It’s likely you endured a long winter of stress while attempting to squeeze in quality family and leisure time, along with some meaningful service to the community. Each year, during the quieter months of summer we can recover and fortify ourselves for the year to come. Congratulations to us for facing the day-today challenges and getting through it all! At JFC, for the Board of Trustees, this is also a meaningful time of year. We are at the end of our fiscal year and the two-year terms of some of our Board members will be ending in June. We will seek new board members and plan our priorities for the coming year. We review our fiscal position and prepare financials for the next fiscal year. We conduct an annual congregational meeting. We begin the planning for our High Holy Day services, which requires a vast amount of coordination and are attended by all of us and some extended family and guests. The Board is facing significant challenges this year, as they have in years past, and will continue to do so in the future. The temple, although primarily a spiritual place, must be run in an efficient and responsible way so that it can continue to serve the needs of its congregational members. In my last message, I listed many of the ways our temple serves our needs. All of the services and programs that the temple makes available have a financial overhead that the board is struggling to maintain with very limited funds. In addition, this is a difficult time for some of our member families as the economy has suffered a significant negative impact during this downturn. Some families are facing stresses and challenges that they have not faced in the past. We try to reach out and assist, to the extent feasible, where there are extenuating circumstances, to make temple membership accessible for those families who are unable to afford it. The rest of the member families share the burden when we extend this kind of generosity to our families who are truly in need. This is how we have operated in the past and hope to operate in the future. However, this shared responsibility extends to all of us. We are dependent on everyone keeping their commitments to JFC. We count on members paying

their dues and honoring building fund commitments and, for those who can, giving a little extra. You may not know it when you are at services, but the family sitting in front of or behind you may be in dire financial straits. I’d like to appeal to our congregants to please actively participate in JFC’S continued success. Please take part in our fundraising activities such as the Cabaret Night, the iPAD raffle, the upcoming Dinner and Auction in the fall, the Scrip shopping card program and making your Amazon purchases through our website. These are all ways you can support us and, in turn, you may be indirectly helping a family who is in need. If you have a simcha you are celebrating or an event worth marking, consider making a donation to the temple in honor of your celebration. Our recent renovations culminated in a beautiful re-dedication of the sanctuary and a huge number turned out to celebrate our building improvement. Remember that though the sanctuary is new, much of the building is quite old and in constant need of maintenance and repair. The upkeep and care of our building and the offering of the various programs and services are strictly a matter of available funds. But your donations can assist in many ways. Can you … Make a building maintenance financial donation (to purchase much needed pumps to keep the basement dry, repair the generator, update the sprinkler system, etc)? Sponsor a religious school child whose family is having trouble making ends meet but is in the process of preparing for a bar or bat mitzvah? Make a technology financial donation so that outdated and slow computers can be replaced and updated and expanded storage capacities for important documents can be obtained? Become a sustaining member of Jewish Family Congregation? So, summer is here and we get to kick back and relax as the day-to-day schedules lighten slightly and we can enjoy the longer days. We can reflect on a busy and hopefully fulfilling year and make plans for how we will make next year even better. The Board will be doing much the same with respect to life at the temple. We hope that summer is good to you and that you re-energize for the fall’s demanding pace. You will soon receive your membership statements and shortly after, the High Holy information packets, a sign that the cycle will soon be starting again. A Happy and relaxing summer to all!

Sivan/Tammuz 5770

Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

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SERVICE SCHEDULE Friday, June 4/ Sivan 23

7:30 pm

Saturday, June 5

Parshat Sh’lakh –Lekha Stuart Feldman chants Torah 10:00 am Bat Mitzvah of Emily Feldman

Friday, June 11/ Sivan 30 Saturday, June 12

7:30 pm Parshat Korakh 10:00 am Bat Mitzvah of Isabella Marinucci

Friday, June 18/Tammuz 7

7:30 pm

Parshat Khukat Laurence Furic chants Torah 10:00 am Bar Mitzvah of Jacob Furic

Saturday, June 19 Friday, June 25

Shabbat In The Great Outdoors (SITGO) 6:30 pm Bring Your Own Picnic 7:30 pm Musical Service

ONEG HOSTS June 4 Alan & Denise Simon Richard & Beth Sklarin

Please find a substitute if you cannot host your assigned Oneg.

June 11 Andrew & Dayna Kaplan Michael & Bonnie Schwartz

Please contact the JFC Office with the names of the new hosts.

June 18 Peter & Jamie Kaplan Robert & Barbara Strongin June 25 Theodore & Lisa Bloch/k Paul & Lorraine Malamet Jodi Senese

BOARD HOST Andrew Serby (203) 894-1720 Please contact your Board Host if you have any questions.

CHOIR If you would like to join the choir, or for more information, please contact Kathy Storfer at We welcome all adults -13 or older! Have you checked out our Gift Shop lately? Stop in and take a look! The items change frequently! If you are interested in purchasing anything, please let the JFC Office know.

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Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

June 2010

Sivan/Tammuz 5770

Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

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Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

June 2010

Early Childhood Center By Fern Tannenbaum

I must make a confession: I never went to nursery school. Sadly, many adults my age were never given an opportunity to attend a preschool. Perhaps this is the reason why I am so in love with early childhood education. How rewarding it is to know that we are enriching the life of every child who walks through our doors. Each day I am greeted by the sight of young children learning and discovering something new. Where else could they experience the wonder of creating orange by mixing red and yellow or recognizing that the lines they draw created the letter A? The ECC children get to meet their best friends and find out how to work cooperatively with others. Most importantly, this is the place where each child has fun experiencing music, stories, class activities, outdoor play and especially, learning about being Jewish. I wish I could go back in time and attend JFC ECC, and I believe many of our parents feel that way too. Our school is a magical place for a child but fortunately for the parents, we do not just teach children; we are here for the families too. As an Early Childhood Center, is there really something we can do for parents? Amazingly there is. First, we are a warm meeting place where moms exchange thoughts with each other and dads connect with their fellow dads. Through this, friendships are made and families share in each other’s special moments. The ECC is a place where parents can celebrate Jewish holidays with their children and practice the traditions they enjoy at home. Raising children need not be a lonely experience for families that may not have relatives living near them. Parents can learn parenting techniques from experienced teachers, our social worker and the many workshops we offer. Parents can also depend on each other for emotional and child rearing support. In other words, the ECC is not just a place for learning for children, but a community of warmth and support for the parents as well. Nevertheless, our parent community is not an insulated community. It is a community of compassionate and generous adults who reach out and help each other, our neighbors and the ECC. I love observing the little ways the parents help other parents by watching each other’s children, sharing meals and being good listeners. I am especially proud of the way our ECC parents always remember to give their children Tzedakah money and contribute to our food and clothing drives. The money, the food and the clothing collected this year were all donated to the Community Center of Northern Westchester which helps our local neighbors in need. However, I am most grateful for the help that our parents give to our teachers and school. Our parents readily contribute healthy snacks, gently used toys and recyclables for class projects. In addition, many parents are on our Early Childhood Committee which is committed to the improvement of the ECC through enriching the curriculum, raising funds, increasing our visibility in the community and strengthening parent connections. In fact, this month all of the ECC parents were invited by the committee to a wine tasting summer party thanks to the efforts of Gillian Margolin and Rachel Clott. This social event will give the parents one last

chance to gather together as a parent community before September. The ECC has been helped by so many parents, and we are also very fortunate to be helped by many of Jewish Family Congregation’s members. Although these men and women have no children at the Early Childhood Center, they are a very important part of the community. Happily, I have so many people to thank this year that I can’t thank them all in this one article. Therefore, as you can see, I have created a separate thank you box for our fabulous volunteers. Our school is made richer by our volunteers, and it is made an exceptional place for our young children to learn and grow by our teachers and staff. Thank you to Alison Brodoff, Debra Cohen, Ellen Elias, Dinah Rader, Laura Vayness and Jodi Waxman for working above and beyond what is expected every day and to Ellen Weisberg, our social worker, for her outstanding guidance. A special thank you goes to Jolie Levy, JFC administrator and publications expert extraordinaire. We are always grateful to Rabbi Carla Freedman for her support to the ECC and for the affection she has for all of the children. I would also like to thank Cantor Kerry Ben David for his lively music and his optimism, and Leslie Gottlieb, the Religious School Director, for her sharing and caring. Finally, I would like to thank Kathleen Sakowicz for being our new office assistant and welcome her to our JFC family. Please look on page 21 for some very special thank you’s from the Early Childhood Center. Even though I never had the opportunity to attend nursery school while I was young, I have more than made up for what was missed. I have been given the pleasure and privilege of creating the best early education possible for our students. More importantly, I am able to do it with help from the finest staff and parents an early childhood center could have. I look forward to the next school session with anticipation of a great school year especially because of the wonderful people who are there to help and support us at the ECC.

Sivan/Tammuz 5770

Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

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The Religious School by Leslie Gottlieb

The New York Times Magazine section is my favorite candy. After waiting all week to indulge, somewhat like dieting Mondays through Fridays only to let loose a little on Saturday night, the wait (and not the weight, sadly) is finally over when one of us brings in the weekend news mother lode. After thinking these days about parenting, in general, I read a wonderful article recently in the magazine section about babies and whether or not they are born with a sense of morality. Wouldn’t the job of teaching and raising children be so much easier if they all came with a morality chip downloaded? With all of our efforts to curb bullying and negative behaviors in children and teenagers… couldn’t we simply just tap into that place inside them already hard-wired--- a neurological space that detected right from wrong? Do we need to start from ground zero with respect to understanding behavior or can we assume that humans are inherently programmed to sense good and bad from birth or before birth? Professor of psychology at Yale, Paul Bloom, recently wrote a book entitled, How Pleasure Works. Don’t you wish life were filled with all the time in the world to actually read books like this that sound so promising on so many levels? He wonders, if children enter the world already equipped with moral notions, why is it we have to work so hard to humanize them? A valid question, indeed. Recently, Ruth Ossher talked to me about something her third grade class did as part of an end-year culminating activity. She asked her class to write positive notes about every single member of her class so that they could each have a collection of comments that explained why he/she was liked or admired and for what reasons. She took a moment in time to have students reflect on good qualities that make a person likeable. Teaching kids about the Jewish teaching of lashon hara (gossip, essentially) began and ended with a positive twist in this case. In an age where Facebook and Formspring websites—besides offering positive social networking opportunities-- are used to create tension and hostility among teens who are searching out themselves and the world for answers… this third grade lesson was a grounding experience and one that would help build character in the authors as well as the readers. Kuddos for Ruth and “Snaps” for the kids (Legally Blonde reference)!! So Professor Bloom tells us that, “A growing body of evidence… suggests that humans do have a rudimentary moral sense from the very start of life. With the help of well-designed experiments, you can see the glimmers of moral thought, moral judgment and moral feeling even in the first year of life. Some sense of good and evil seems to be bred in the bone.” He continues to say that, “Socialization is critically important. But this is not because babies and young children lack a sense of right and wrong; it’s because the sense of right and wrong they naturally possess diverges in important ways from what we adults would want it to be.” So then, we clearly cannot stop parenting our kids as they grow and develop; we don’t simply need to make sure they hold our hand crossing the street

or don’t say mean words. We have to teach them how to maneuver throughout the course of life making sure at every turn and with every word (written and spoken) that they are in command of what is morally right. And who is the ultimate arbiter of that? Parents? Maybe something higher and stronger. Maybe there is a truth that we are all born with--- but perhaps we need some coaching and prodding from those with more experience in life to help us find what we know is right from the source within us. Maybe it is a divine attribute only that we strive to understand…. But some would argue, like Joseph Henrich from his article in the journal Science that, “… much of the morality that humans possess is a consequence of the culture in which *children+ are raised, not their innate capacities.” That sounds right, too. Our kids live in a fast-paced world where the Internet helps to raise them like it or not, starting at very young ages. This is a Herculean job as we monitor them as parents. It is our job as Jewish educators, too, to expose our children to values and teachings that will support a healthy view of the world—but we are up against a very large current of culture whose impact we can only begin to imagine. And it doesn’t stop when our kids leave home for college either. Whether kids are naturally equipped with a moral compass or they develop one over time in their young lives while still living at home, they land on a college campus and all too soon realize that the world is a very big place with lots of strong opinions and sadly, hate abounds. Recently, college campuses have hosted rallies revealing much anger and hatred toward Israel. Again, how much do we train out kids to be able to filter out what is good and bad, what is healthy dialogue and what is hateful speech and racism? Alone at college, Jews are not plentiful in most cases. Camaraderie is hard to come by in some places especially as you move away from city schools. I know this first-hand from my own children’s exposures at college. You have to discuss these things at home before they enter the world on their own so that they have a sense of what they believe in before they are summarily attacked for what it is they represent. Take a look below at what has been happening as of late around college campuses with respect to Israel. This is a clip from the Jewish National Fund website:

Join JNF Moms for Israel. Arm our children, your children, with the knowledge necessary to advocate for Israel on college campuses across the U.S. (Continued on page 20)

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Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

June 2010

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Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

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The JFC Social Action Committee by Debra Lavin The Next Midnight Run is June 12. We still have space available for volunteers to come on the run! This will be the last run that we do before late next fall. B'nai Mitzvah -age young people and high school age students are encouraged to participate -- it is a very meaningful and memorable experience. At this point we do not need to have a parent for every family attending, as long as we have at least one parent from the B'nai Mitzvah class to "oversee" the kids. Please email Debbie Lavin if you want to come on the run, or to participate in any other way. Other jobs include making bag dinners to be given out on the run and COLLECTING USED MEN'S CLOTHING! We need the following items: Men’s jeans ● Men’s backpacks ● Men’s sneakers New men’s underwear ● New men’s tube socks Belts ● Hooded zipper sweatshirts ● Blankets Razors ● Shaving cream ● Deodorant Washcloths ● Toothpaste/toothbrushes We are accepting donations for the fall and winter runs next year, so if you are giving away a man’s jacket, hats or gloves, please keep us in mind. We package the toiletries in gallon-sized Ziploc bags, so donations of those are welcome as well. Cases of water are also always welcome. Financial donations in support of the midnight run help us to purchase toiletries that we are short of and new socks and underwear.

The Tzedakah of the Month For

June is

“MIDNIGHT RUN” Selected by the

JFC Social Action Committee Want to help? Call Debra Lavin (232-0756) or Jeanette Sanders (763-0311)

Donations to JFC Last Month General Fund

David and Jane Emmer Doris Hettmansberger Dr. Michael and Rona Salpeter Leslie and Susan Simon Leslie and Susan Simon Ronald and Joan Cohen

Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund Betty Goodman Laurence Furic

Strongin Family Peter and Jamie Kaplan

Religious School Fund Peter and Jamie Kaplan 3rd Grade Class

In In In In In In

Memory Of Eleanor Aufsesser Memory Of Eleanor Aufsesser Memory Of Eleanor Aufsesser Memory Of Martin Simon Memory Of Milton Fayne Honor Of the occasion of John and Barbara Stern receiving WJC Distinguished Service Award

In Memory Of Eleanor Aufsesser In Honor Of Peter and Jamie Kaplan on the occasion of Sean Kaplan’s Bar Mitzvah In Honor Of Josh Strongin’s Bar Mitzvah In Honor Of Sean Kaplan on the occasion of his Bar Mitzvah In Honor Of Linda Paulding on the occasion of Sean Kaplan’s Bar Mitzvah In Honor Of Rabbi Carla Freedman and Leslie Gottlieb

Religious School Student Scholarship Fund Laurence Furic

JFC-URJ Camp Fund

In Honor Of Peter and Jamie Kaplan on the occasion of Sean Kaplan’s Bar Mitzvah

David and Jane Emmer

Does your company match charitable donations? JFC is a non-profit organization, and your contributions may qualify.

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Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

JFC Adults It has been a great year or activities for the adults of JFC. Together we went bowling (just happens to be a sport that was popularized in the United States by Jews) and watched a big Israeli hit TV comedy on a huge largescreen TV. As the caregivers of parents and loved ones, a group of us was taken through the process of examining our coping styles and resources for caring for ourselves as we care for them. And as a group we performed the wonderful mitzvah clearing leaves for the new A-Home senior living complex in Pound Ridge. Our first Game Night was so much fun it seems destined to become an annual event. It has been a great year or activities for the adults of JFC. Together we went bowling (just happens to be a sport that was popularized in the United States by Jews) and watched a big Israeli hit TV comedy on a huge large screen. As the caregivers of parents and loved ones, a group of us was taken through the process of examining our styles and inner resources for caring for ourselves and them. And as a group we performed the wonderful mitzvah clearing leaves for the new A-Home senior living complex in Pound Ridge. Our first Game Night was so much fun it seems destined to become an annual event. On Purim, ironically, we viewed “A Serious Man.” This thought provoking film seemed to evoke either adoration or loathing. The Israeli Wine Tasting event and cheese

June 2010

By Jeanne Shanin, Adult Program Coordinator tasting was a lot of fun as well as instructive, with Golan wines receiving top ratings. And we discovered, at The Art of Contemporary Puppet Theater exhibit, that puppetry is yet another artistic medium for illuminating political concepts with passion and emotion. JFC*Adults is a program meant to build social connections amongst the adults of our congregation – connections on an adult level, not related to kids and parenting. People instinctively look for a synagogue in which to raise their children, but do not pay as much attention to their own need to be part of a community of like-minded people who share many common features. Though we offer educational, religious, social action and tzedakah activities, none of these directly address the need to create a personal community among the adults of the congregation. JFC*Adults continues to offer a wide variety of activities, hoping to attract the interest of our members in some if not all of them. We recognize that people have varying interests and available time, so we try to offer choice and a flexible schedule. What makes this "Jewish"? Either the activity itself OR the people you share it with. Summer Event We will be cruising this summer from a new location on Saturday, July 24, 2 pm, followed by dinner or picnic. Save the date and plan on having a great afternoon and evening with your JFC friends!

Tutoring High School and Middle School SAT and ACT Prep. Michael Horwitz, Ph.D., M.A., M.S., LMHC Professor of Academic Strategies Instruction (914) 533-1141

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ASK THE RABBI Question: What is an “eruv”? Answer: A bit of background, first. The Torah says that no one is supposed to leave his/her domain on Shabbat (Ex.16:29). From this the rabbis deduced that each person has a small personal space…usually considered one’s house, yard or garden. This text in Exodus was understood to mean that a person cannot carry anything outside his/her own space. Within one’s home, yard or garden, one can carry anything. But outside the home, one cannot carry at all. There was in ancient times an exception to this: inside a walled city, all the individual private domains were considered to be connected by virtue of being marked off by the wall. The idea was that all the private domains were commingled, and the Hebrew term for this is eruv. But of course very few people live in walled cities today. To compensate for this, some rabbis recognize the creation of an eruv by connecting wires, or even string, to form an unbroken circle around a city or part of a city. This is easy to achieve where power lines are high up on poles, and they do in fact encircle a whole residential area. If a section of the circle is incomplete, the community leaders add a length of wire or string to complete the circle. The wire or string becomes the defining entity whereby private domains are commingled, so that Orthodox Jews can carry on Shabbat, within the defined space. If you are driving by an area where Orthodox Jews live, on Shabbat you may see the men carrying their tallit bags, and this is a clear sign that an eruv exists in that community; otherwise, you will see the men wearing their tallitot as they walk to synagogue. The restriction on carrying imposes severe limitations on women, because baby carriages and strollers are prohibited without an eruv, so the women with small children are prevented from attending services or even visiting one another on Shabbat. Many communities see the creation of an eruv as a necessary gesture to encourage people to observe Shabbat. But there have been situations where one Orthodox rabbi does not recognize as valid an eruv created by a different Orthodox rabbi, and hence there has been tension between the two communities, created by the eruv. Incidentally, the word eruv is connected to the word erev, which means “evening”. Apparently, “evening” means that time of day when daylight and dark are “commingled”. That’s a nice way of looking at the transition from daytime to night-time, I think. For us as Reform Jews, the restrictions on carrying may seem meaningless at best, but it is worth understanding the mind-set of a much stricter way of living Jewishly.

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The Early Childhood Center The Green Room’s Day At The Beach

The Blue Room at Muscoot Farm

The Yellow Room at Norwalk Aquarium

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Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

TIKVA Walk of Hope May 2, 2010

Thanks to EVERYONE who walked or contributed!

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June 2010


By Zia Waldman At our last meeting, JiFTY's board decided on board positions. Not many changes: Renna Gottlieb is still our President, Dan Bloch is still our Programing VP, Daniella Acker is still our Social Action VP, Matt Emmer is still our Religious and Cultural VP, Zia Waldman is still your Communications VP, but we now have Andrew Blum as our Membership VP!!!!!

Our May Shul-In

All of us at JiFTY would like to congratulate all 7th going into 8th grade kids on their recent/upcoming bar/bat mitzvah! Now you guys can come join JiFTY in the fall!! The board is looking forward to a summer full of planning exciting events for the end of the summer and fall programs!! Have a Great Summer!

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Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

YAHRZEITS Adolph Auerbacher Yehuda Ayash Norda Berlin Judith Birnbaum Estelle Bloch Ed Blum Maurice Cohen

David Dutka Indy Goldman Lillian Paget Dorothy Pedowitz Philip Stein Pearl Weiss

Please call the JFC Office when any relevant information arises or changes so all Birthday, Anniversary and Yahrzeit listings are accurate and up to date. JFC can only list names/dates that have been reported to us.

ANNIVERSARIES Peter & Liza Breslin Dan & Alison Brodoff Rick & Bobbie Cohlan Roger & Jo Drawec Stuart & Elaine Feldman Allen Gabor & Lisa Papernik Michael Green & Susan Feinstein Kristine & Edward Grossman Jonathan & Jama Hansonbrook Terry Kalter & Marcia Sher-Kalter Glenn & Deborah Kurlander Gerald & Lynne Landau Richard & Catherine Mishkin Richard & Johanna Perlman Raymond & Hillary Raimondi Alan & Jeanette Sanders Solomon Schepps & Karen Kalikow Gordon & Polly Schnell Steve & Cheryl Shainmark Alan & Lisa Sheptin Alan & Denise Simon Ralph Sinsheimer & Amy Peck John & Barbara Stern Paul & Peri Stevelman Todd & Gernine Tuckner Clifford Wallach & Sherry Levin Wallach Hal & Laurie Wolkin

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BIRTHDAYS Daniella Acker Jessica Acker Donata Albert Andrea Alintoff Heidi Auerbacher Daniel Berger Newton Bersch Samuel Breslin Nancy Brown Maggie Ceisler Brian Chipman Shoshana Chipman Julie Conti Kevin Dorf Roger Drawec Kenny Elias Stuart Feldman Daniel Feldman Emily Feldman Donna Fiammetta Robert Fischman Stephen Fisher Mark Frey Daniela Goldman Ava Goodstein Martha Gordon Renna Gottlieb Max Grzymala

Milo Hansonbrook Doris Hettmansberger Michael Horwitz Andrew Junquera Emily Klotz Gerald Landau Mark Lavin Talia Levinsohn Dara Marceau Danielle Ossher Alexander Ozols Lisa Papernik Alex Perlman Raymond Raimondi Jacob Schefer Sarah Senese Tony Senese Alexa Serby Elyse Sherr Heather Sherr Taylor Simon Noah Sklarin Andrea Stegman Barbara Stern Samantha Stevelman Steven Sturm Clifford Wallach Julia Warren

Please consider celebrating significant birthdays and anniversaries with a leaf on our Simcha Tree of Life. Call the JFC Office for details.

JFC CLASSIFIED ALL ADS ARE A FLAT $18 AND MAY NOT EXCEED 50 WORDS. THEY WILL RUN FOR ONE MONTH ONLY. To place an ad, submit the text and your payment to the JFC Office. You may email the text to and either drop off or mail your check (payable to JFC). Credit card payments are also accepted.

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Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

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Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

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From the Rabbi’s Desk (cont’d) (Continued from page 1)

Sabbaths�. I think that people who dismiss religion as not useful to them are cheating themselves of life beyond the surface matters of making a living, providing a home and meals, and other practical matters. Surely there is more to life than that. At least I think so. And I have found that my life is enriched by study, prayer and ritual. I like the fact that Shabbat provides a way to escape the demands of the work world, that kashrut introduces consciousness to eating, that joyful worship lifts the heart and soul, that our festivals and our liturgy make us aware of the passing of time. And so, as I see the date on the calendar, and recognize that I have been an ordained rabbi for twenty years now, I reflect back and forward on a life defined by Judaism and the challenge to bring that Judaism into the lives of others. I have no regrets about leaving the Canadian civil service! By the way, I have chosen to celebrate the 20th anniversary of my ordination with a leaf on the simkha side of the tree of life in our entry way. I invite you to celebrate your simkhas that way too!

June 2010

Sivan/Tammuz 5770

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Kids Ask the Rabbi Question: Why are Jews not supposed to eat


Answer: Because it says so…in the Torah! In Leviticus 11, there is a list of the kinds of animals Jews are permitted to eat, and also a list of those we are NOT permitted to eat, and “swine” (pig) is explicitly mentioned in verse 7. It was quite common, in ancient times, for each culture to have its own “table rules”; that is, rules about whom a person can eat with, what a person can eat, and what rituals, blessings, etc. would happen at meals. That would clearly mark society into 2 groups… the people we can eat with and those we can’t. We’d be able to tell just by observing what food is on the table, who the guests are, and what ceremonies take place before and after eating. Imagine walking into a huge room where people are seated at different tables, and you have to find the group where you’d feel comfortable eating. You’d walk around and find some people eating without saying any blessings at all- not your group; the next group are eating pork-not your group; the next group are eating meat and milk together-not your group (this is another prohibited food arrangement from Leviticus); the next group are eat-

ing shellfish- also not your group (same reason); then you come to a table where people are saying blessings and eating foods that are permitted in Leviticus…and you say: “these are MY people!” As to why this prohibition exists at all…that is an interesting question. Some would say that, in ancient times, when no refrigeration was available, pork spoiled very quickly, so Jews chose not to eat it. But that would mean that the rules of the Torah only apply until we can figure out a way around them…and that is clearly not how the Torah intends us to operate. Instead, we should understand that God has taught us to put limits on our appetites, and it is a test of our commitment to God that we accept and obey those limits. This is a good thing. It enables us to apply some controls to our behaviours, and to be conscious of what we eat and why and when and how. There are people today teaching us to eat locally produced foods, to eat foods in season only, to eat foods produced without chemicals and especially pesticides, and to eat mostly plants. These are more modern versions of “table rules”, so, if you continued to walk through that huge room, you’d find tables where people are eating only vegetarian foods, or only what is produced locally and in its appropriate season (what is grown around here in January???). In each case, it is a matter of understanding our relationship with the source of all food, our planet and its Creator. Not eating pork doesn’t seem like such a big deal when you think of it that way.

Have you checked out the JFC Blog yet? Go to

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The Religious School (cont’d) Imagine this. A prestigious university in the United States with deep roots in the American Jewish community invites Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren, to deliver its annual commencement address. But instead of pride, he is met with protest. He’s a “divisive” figure, it is argued, and the students deserve better. You can stop imagining. It is really happening at Brandeis University. Support Brandeis University’s choice of Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren as its commencement speaker. Imagine this. At campuses all over the country, protests and rallies are held against Israel during something called Israel Apartheid/Hate Week. You can stop imagining. It really happens. Imagine this. A pro-Israel speaker at a respected university was shouted down and heckled by a well-organized group of students and other protesters. At one point the speaker had to be taken out of the room by security. You can stop imagining. It really happened. JNF’s Moms for Israel campaign is arming our children. It is bringing pro-Israel advocacy programs to high school juniors and seniors to prepare them for what lies ahead. Be a part. Join tens of thousands of moms across the U.S who are standing up for Israel. Moms, from the moment you brought your children into this world, you have given them the tools necessary to navigate life successfully. Don’t stop now.

So as parents and educators, let’s stay ahead of all of this. Whether our kids come equipped with a sense of right and wrong is an interesting topic-- but not the real issue. We need to continually guide them and tell them how they can use their moral upbringing as Jews to make this world a better and more tolerant place. We are all

Visit the Simon Wiesenthal Center online to see the Top Ten Lies About Israel and help educate our kids: capable of promoting the ideals of tikkun olam to the rest of the world. It’s not that free speech is a bad thing or that those who hate Israel do not truly believe that what they are feeling is the right thing…. It’s that if we do not teach our kids about why the State of Israel is so special, they will not understand why the hate-mongers are offbase. And that is precisely why all of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah students eligible for Confirmation Class in the fall (grades 8 & 9) should sign up today so they can share their developing ideas about this very big world with their peers--- and a rabbi, their teacher, who has the knowledge and wisdom to help them on their path toward adulthood—all with a Jewish perspective. Have a great summer. We’ll miss the kids!!!

Todah Rabbah from the Religious School to:  The JFC board and Rabbi Freedman for another year of outstanding support for the Religious School  Jolie Levy who has helped to make this school year run so smoothly—and all with a smile!  The Religious School Committee for their ongoing support  All of the Class Parents who were a great help all year long  The Youth Group Board for a terrific year!!! Special thanks go out to the following for their end-year gifts to Leslie on behalf of the Religious School:  Jane Emmer and the Youth Group families for the wonderful herb planter  Grade 3 families for the donation to the Religious School Fund on behalf of me and the rabbi  Ellen Elias' 2nd grade class for the Barnes & Noble gift certificate  Rona Salpeter's 2nd grade class for the wine  Sam Friedman for the thoughtful card  Grade 1 families for the gift card and poem

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The JFC Early Childhood Center Sincerely Thanks: Early Childhood Committee Chair Early Childhood Committee


Diane Richman Karen Blum, Rachel Clott, Lee Goldstein, Linda Lederman, David Marceau, Gillian Margolin, Meredith Rudin and Elise Serby Iris Glass Hallie Benson, Rachel Clott, Susan Greenberg, Sara Manes, Meredith Rudin and Dina Zusel Hallie Benson, Linda Lederman and Sherry Wallach Nicole Rose David Marceau, Richard Mishkin, Polly Schnell, Wynter Schnell and Pat Shaffer Nita Weissman

Public Relations

Elisa Zuckerberg

Wise Parenting Presenter

Alexis Johnson

Book Club Chair Class Parents Lunch Bunch Coordinators Cooking Class Canopy Team

Now Registering for Fall 2010

Limited Spaces Available for 2’s, 3’s and 4’s Don’t let your child miss out All registration forms are available on our website: Click on Education, then ECC

2010-2011 Religious School Registration All forms available now at: Registration periods: (rates increase each period) Early: Feb. 10-Mar. 17 Regular: Mar. 18-May 11 Summer: May 12-Aug. 31

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Mazel Tov to this year’s Confirmands! Jessica Sheptin’s Confirmation Speech Good evening, my name is Jessica Sheptin. I was born on September 14, 1994. On the Jewish calendar the date was the 9th of Tishri 5755. Two months later on November 19, was my Jewish baby naming where I was the given the Hebrew name Yael Henya. I was named after my father’s grandfathers. When I was in second grade, I began my formal Jewish education in Hebrew School. On March 22, 2008, I became a Bat Mitzvah. Now here I am, getting confirmed. All of these important Jewish events in my life were celebrated with my family, in my community, without fear of retribution from anyone. I have never had to be afraid of being a practicing Jew. Since I was little, my family has traveled to different parts of the world where tragic Jewish events have occurred and where Jews cannot practice their religion freely. My first experience was visiting the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam and reading excerpts from her diary. Anne was my age at the time of her death in a concentration camp. Anne never had the opportunity to be Bat Mitzvahed or confirmed, like I was. Two summers ago, my family visited the labor camp, Sachsenhausen right outside of Berlin. There, many Jews worked to their deaths or were later transferred to concentration camps. Those men, women, and children were not able to attend services at their synagogues or celebrate the Jewish holidays, like I can. My family also visited the Jewish quarter in Rome where the main synagogue is surrounded by guards. Those congregants are not able to come and go freely and fearlessly to synagogue, like I can. Additionally, in Confirmation class, we have had many discussions with Rabbi Carla about the daily occurrences that threaten the lives and freedom of Israelis and other Jews around the world. All of these experiences have made me realize what a

privilege it is to be a practicing Jew. This has led me to think about what my life would be like if I could not be a Jew. First of all, I would not have celebrated all of the Jewish events, like my Bat Mitzvah, that have been so meaningful and made my family and me proud. Second, I would not be able to celebrate all of the Jewish holidays that I look forward to every year. In my family we have many traditions. Every Hanukkah, my grandpa makes my favorite Jewish food: latkes! Also, my family plays our own version of dreidel with M&Ms. On Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Passover, we get together with family to celebrate being Jewish with special prayers and foods like my grammy’s yummy brisket and my grandmother’s delicious matzah ball soup. On Passover, we read about the enslaved Jews of Egypt being freed and hunt for the afikomen. If I were not Jewish, I would miss all of these amazing traditions. If I could not be a Jew, I would not be a part of JFC’s congregation, Hebrew school and youth group. JFC is a big part of my life. Not only was I Bat Mitzvahed here, I have attended Hebrew school at JFC for the past 5 years. I have been fortunate to learn about Jewish culture and traditions and the Hebrew language from wonderfully supportive teachers. I was so inspired by the teachers at JFC, that I am now part of the student mentoring program so that I can become a teacher here one day. I am also a member of JIFTY, JFC’s youth group, because I enjoy being able to socialize with other Jewish students. Before I close, I would like to thank Rabbi Carla for taking time out of her Thursday evenings for furthering our knowledge of Judaism. I would also like to thank Leslie Gottlieb and all of my teachers at JFC for sharing the gift of Judaism with me.

Andrew Blum’s Confirmation Speech When it comes to my Jewish Identity, almost 90% of it comes right from JFC. I have been going to JFC since I was two years old. I attended the pre-school where I was introduced to Judaism. Then I went to the religious school where I started learning how to read Hebrew, prayers, and the history of the Jewish people. I volunteered at the Thursday School for many years just helping around with anything before I was old enough to be a mentor. Now that I am a mentor I teach third graders the Hebrew letters and about Israel. I’ve learned from the school and my parents that it is important to learn about Jewish values and traditions. My parents always told me that it is important to know my religion and culture. I realized how important it really was in school this year. In the halls and in class I would hear many statements about Judaism and Jews that were false

and made no sense. Many kids at JFC always ask me “why do I still come back to JFC even after my Bar Mitzvah.” An easy answer is “I have my mentoring job and many of my friends are there.” But a more specific answer is that I enjoy learning about the Political and the current issues of Jews in Israel and the U.S. After my Bar Mitzvah I became a part of the Confirmation class. In the class we discussed many topics. The ones that I found most interesting were the ones about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Sadly without this class I probably wouldn’t have much idea what was going on in Israel. I learned a lot about the history of Israel in that class and what is going on right now in that country. I feel more connected to Israel now and would really like to go there in the near future.

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Mazel Tov to this year’s Confirmands! Noah Sklarin’s Confirmation Speech While we are here tonight to celebrate the culmination of my jewish education to this point in my life, I am reminded that this is just one of many interrelated parts of my life which add up to my jewish identity. Along with, participation in life rituals and ceremonies, my social interactions, family celebrations and my morals and values. The basis for my jewish identity, is my education, which first started when I was In second grade. This was a good age to start learning hebrew. I quickly adapted to the great atmosphere of the school, and easily picked up hebrew, from excellent teachers. I always looked forward to coming to school because with all of the fun activities, it was very different from regular school. This was a great basis, for my knowledge of hebrew and jewish culture. When the time came for me to start preparing for my bar mitzvah, I was more than ready. The hebrew reading skills I learned became a big help, and the experience taught me new things, such as practicing something to achieve a goal. The most recent part of my education was confirmation class on thursdays. It gave me the the chance to stay up to date on israel, and helped me to understand certain aspects of judaism, and the meaning of being jewish. My second commitment on thursdays, is JFC’s mentoring program, where I am training to become a religious school teacher. As I learn, I can also observe teaching, While I am assisting one of the teachers. This is something I enjoy doing, because I have fun teaching, and helping younger students learn hebrew. By working in the classroom, I can help the children develop their own jewish identities.

Another aspect vital to my jewish identity, are the ceremonies and rituals which I have experienced in my life. After I was born, I had my bris, which signifies my spiritual link with god. This ritual is was one of my first jewish experiences. Another important ceremony was my bar mitzvah. This was the ultimate test of my hebrew reading, and knowledge of prayers. By reading from the torah, and helping lead the service, my bar mitzvah helped me become more connected to judaism. After my bar mitzvah, I had opportunity to join JIFTY, the temples youth group. Jifty allowed me to socially interact with other kids from the synagogue. By hanging out with other jewish kids, in a jewish setting, It adds judaism to another area of my life, my social time. Next year I plan to continue my participation, and join the program planning committee. Youth group is always a fun time, and is something I look forward to attending. The religious part of my jewish identify involves celebrating holidays. During most of the jewish holidays, I get to spend time with my extended family. By celebrating these holidays, it helps me practice many jewish customs and traditions. My jewish identity has helped me to establish good morals and values. By following the torah, and commandments stated by god, I can continue to establish good jewish morals and values, while entering into adulthood. Being an involved member of the JFC community, is what has enabled me to develop all of these wonderful parts of my jewish identity

Julia Zuckerberg’s Confirmation Speech Over the course of my life, different experiences and knowledge have shaped the person I am today. Going to Temple and Eisner Camp, preparing for my Bat Mitzvah, and attending the confirmation class are all tremendous contributions to my Jewish Identity. Going to Eisner camp for the past few years has truly strengthened my Jewish Identity. I knew immediately when I stepped through the gates for the first time I was in a place I could call a second home. Everyone there was welcoming, arms open. The first service we had was unique, unlike any other I had attended before. T’filah brought us all together into a huge, Jewish family, along with the music and art surrounding us. As well as, I was in a bunk with people I really got close with-we shared more than just the same religion. Most of the music and activities at Eisner are inspired by Jewish customs, ideas or values, bringing forth the camp’s mission. This summer I will be in the head unit, Olim, in which I, along with many other individuals will lead the younger campers in services and camp activities. I can’t wait to return for another summer of a lifetime in which I’ll be a leader, or a Jewish adult, in the eyes of the young campers. I’ve been going to Jewish Family Congregation for seven years. In third grade I begun Hebrew School, and began learning how to read Hebrew as well as a great deal of Jewish history. It wasn’t until middle school when I truly began to understand and appreciate all the values and traditions I had gained. Of course, this was when I began preparing for my Bat Mitzvah. At this time I took all the knowledge from previous years at JFC as well my involvement in community service and learned my Torah por-

tion. Just like Moses and the Israelites had received the Torah at Sinai, this was a beginning in religious identity. As I take my steps into the real world, I will take everything I’ve learned from Ruth, Linda, and Rabbi Carla with me. Confirmation class has opened my eyes to the world as a mature, Jewish individual. Every Thursday we would meet and discuss worldwide topics, including Israel and Jewish life. I learned about relationships between Jews and those of other religions and cultures, as well as the way media portrays certain issues in articles we were required to bring in. I feel I’ve developed strong standpoints and views based on the many discussions we’ve had. Every topic we covered really got me thinking, and as my mom or dad would drive me home after class, I’d often force them into philosophical conversations. Thank you Rabbi Carla, for making Confirmation class a fun and unique experience for me! I also thank the Confirmation class for my gained knowledge and opinions, as well as that for getting my mind out of the little bubble that is Westchester. Now I find importance in learning about what goes on outside this community, and more about Jewish life. I will continue to read articles, whether they’re online or in the newspaper, even without having to share them aloud. Two years ago I stood up here, on the day of my Bat Mitzvah, reading my Torah portion as well as a speech not too different from this one. Since that day, and since taking Confirmation class I’ve been walking a path, and stepping into Jewish adulthood.

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Summer Fun At Jewish Family Congregation REGISTRATION FORM Summer 2010

Child’s Name:________________________Gender M/F_________Nickname:_______________________ Birth date:_______________________ Street Address:____________________________________________________________________ Mailing Address:___________________________________________________________________ Home Phone:________________________________ E-mail:_______________________________ Fall 2010 my child will be attending: (check one) 3 year old class:________ 4 year old class: _______ Kindergarten: _______ School :______________________ Parent name:____________________ Daytime Phone:__________________ Cell:_____________ Parent name:____________________ Daytime Phone:__________________ Cell:_____________ Siblings

Name:_________________________birthdate:________________________________ Name:_________________________birthdate:________________________________ Name:_________________________birthdate:________________________________

Local emergency contacts: Name:__________________________ Phone#_____________________ Cell:_________________ Name:__________________________ Phone#_____________________ Cell:_________________ Child’s Doctor_______________________________________Phone#_______________________ Allergies:_________________________________________________________________________ Special Needs/Services (past or present): ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ My child will attend JFC Summer Fun: Camp hours are 9:30-12:15. Week of 6/28: _____________ Week of 7/5: _____________ Week of 7/12: _____________ Week of 7/19: _____________ Week of 7/26: _____________ Week of 8/2: _____________

3 day/5 day 3 day/5 day 3 day/5 day 3 day/5 day 3 day/5 day 3 day/5 day

(circle one) (circle one) (circle one) (circle one) (circle one) (circle one)

If we run camp week of 8/9 would you be interested?_____________ The fee for JFC Summer Fun is $210 per week/ 5 day, $180/3 day. A $50 per week non-refundable deposit is required with this form. The balance must be paid no later than April 15, 2010. If you have any questions, or would like more information please call: Jane Emmer (camp director) 914-325-9065

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Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

June 2010

June 2010 - Sivan/Tamuz 5770 Sun


Tue 1 ECC

Wed 2 ECC

Thu 3 Annual Board Mt

Fri 4 ECC Service 7:30 Tot Shabbat

Sat 5 Bat Mitzvah Of Emily Feldman



8 ECC Ritual 7:45pm




4’s Moving Up Day

11 ECC

Last Day ECC Picnic Service 7:30 Tot Shabbat






18 Service 7:30 Tot Shabbat






25 SITGO Shabbat in the Great Outdoors Picnic 6:30 Service 7:30 Tot Shabbat





12 Bat Mitzvah Of Isabella Marinucci


Bar Mitzvah Of Jacob Furic


Jewish Family Congregation 111 Smith Ridge Rd/Rte. 123 P.O. Box 249 South Salem, NY 10590


Non Profit Organization Postage PAID White Plains, NY Permit No. 9022

Jewish Family Congregation Newsletter  

Jewish Family Congregation Newsletter - June 2010 edition - Sivan/ Tammuz 5770

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