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Shofar Elul 5771/Tishri 5772

Jewish Family Congregation

September 2011

From the Rabbi’s Desk I have always thought it very appropriate that we begin the Jewish new year in the fall, at the same time that the school year begins anew, and so do many other program years, like the symphony, opera, ballet and certain sports calendars. This year, as we prepare to welcome 5772, at JFC we are shaking things up a bit. In an effort to offer activities and events that may be of interest to targeted subsets of the congregation, we are introducing several new things to our Shabbat calendar. Gone are the days when all Shabbat services started at 7:30 pm! You will not find any of the new Friday evening plans on the September or October calendars, because those two months are very busy in other ways. But close attention, please. On an irregular basis, we will be holding some services at 6:30 pm, some at 7:30 pm, and some at 8:00 pm. You can decide which ones work for you. The services that will be from 6:30 to 7:15 pm are targeted at young families. There will be no meal involved, but a kid-friendly Oneg Shabbat will follow the service. We plan a service of singing, prayers and story-telling. There will not be a later service that evening. Sometimes the service will be at 8:00 pm, to appeal to those who get home late from work, perhaps. In order to build community, we will start those evenings with a potluck dinner at 6:30 pm…if you can make that (no sign-up required), just bring a dairy/veggie/fish dish to share with 6 people…and pizza (we’ve had enough pizza dinners here!). We have scheduled a couple of “rock Shabbat” services featuring our youth members…and we are hoping that some of our adult members who play electric guitar, drums, etc., will provide an adult rock Shabbat once in the coming year.

In addition, we have designated two Shabbatot as musical occasions, and we look forward to the chance to learn some new or different music. We are also scheduling a couple of opportunities for congregants to deliver a drash (a mini-sermon on something from Torah or on a relevant Jewish subject), so please think about the ideas you’d like to share. And a few times over the year, there will be a new event on Shabbat afternoons: Lunch ‘n Learn. Over a byo bag lunch (again, dairy/veggie/fish only), we’ll discuss a topic of current interest, which will be announced in advance that week in the email broadcast. We’ll meet from 11 am till 1 pm…another way to build community and encourage thinking about matters of concern/interest to us as Jews. There will be one service this year featuring the music and style of Shabbat services at our URJ summer camps. And for fun, we are scheduling an Ashkenazi service…for those who cannot forget yisgadal v’yiskadash…and for the rest of us in a nostalgic frame of mind! The calendar also will feature a Shabbat called Worship 101, during which we will answer questions about the what/why/where/when/how of a Shabbat evening service; come prepared with questions!! All these changes are in addition to many services that will be at 7:30 pm; these include the grade services and the festival observances (Sukkot, Yom HaShoah, Yom HaAtzma-ut,). And services that occur the evening before a Bar/Bat Mitzvah will be at 7:30 pm as well. So, as you can see, we are going to have a busy and interesting year in 5772. But these new additions to our calendar will only be meaningful if you take advantage of them. When you check out our congregational calendar on the JFC website (, you can search through the months and pick out the dates that will be of special interest to you…and plan to join us for them. (Continued on page 19)

From the Rabbi’s Desk Service Schedule High Holy Day Appeal September Oneg Hosts Kids Ask the Rabbi Support-A-Walk JiFTY Religious School Notices The Religious School

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Yahrzeit/Annivs/Birthdays JFC Classified Early Childhood Center Eisner Camp pix Social Action Committee Ask the Rabbi Donations Form JFC Calendar

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Jewish Family Congregation Shofar


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 Jane Emmer Temple Administrator Jolie Levy

SEPTEMBER Friday, Sept 2/ Elul 4 Saturday, Sept 3

7:30 pm 10:00 am

Parshat Shoftim

Friday, Sept 9/ Elul 11

7:30 pm

Parshat Ki Tetzey

Shofar Editor Jolie Levy Shofar Printer EnterMarket

Bat Mitzvah of Samantha Shulman

Jennifer Ceisler chants Torah Bat Mitzvah of Maggie Ceisler

Saturday, Sept 10

10:00 am

Friday, Sept 16/ Elul 18 Saturday, Sept 17

7:30 pm 10:00 am

Parshat Ki Tavo

Friday, Sept 23/ Elul 25 Saturday, Sept 24

7:30 pm 10:00 am

Parshat Nitzavim

Wednesday, Sept 28/Tishre 1 8:00 pm Thursday, Sept 29 10:00 am 10:30 am 1:30 pm

Friday, Sept 30/Tishre 2 Board Of Trustees Richard Mishkin, President 914-764-8305; Mark Lavin, Vice President; Polly Schnell, Vice President; Jeanette Sanders, Secretary; Carrie Kane Elise Serby Patterson Shafer Debra Verbeke Elisa Zuckerberg and Johanna Perlman, Past President

September 2011

2:30 pm 8:00 pm 10:00 am 7:30 pm

Bar Mitzvah of Stephen Henshaw

Bar Mitzvah of Alexander Wattles

Rosh HaShanah Morning Service Youth Service Tashlikh Service At the home of Barbara and John Stern*** Family Service Second Evening Service Morning Service Shabbat Shuva

*** at 188 Smith Ridge Road…either walk with us, with police escort, or park at Stevens Memorial United Methodist Church (at Shady Lane), opposite the Sterns’ home; please bring your own bread crumbs to throw into the pond. Friday, Oct 7/ Tishre 10 Saturday, Oct 8

8:00 pm 10:00 am 10:30 am 2:00 pm

Kol Nidre Morning Service Youth Service Family Service

3:00 pm

Healing Service

4:00 pm

Yizkor and Concluding Service

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!

Elul 5771/Tishri 5772

Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

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A High Holy Day Appeal to Support Our Fellow JFC Families by Jeff Berg and Richard Mishkin

Since the inception of Jewish Family Congregation, it has been our practice to be inclusive of all types of individuals and families. This was one of our founding values. This practice extends to those who may not have the ability to pay their full membership fees in a particular year. This practice allows us to truly be a FAMILY to those congregants who find themselves in challenging financial circumstances, enabling them to receive support from their congregation when they need it most. During the past few years we have seen an increase in these requests.

Religious School that we use some of the shekels that Leslie Gottlieb distributes to the students). This deficit (budgeted at $66,000) almost exactly matches the special arrangements relief provided to JFC families last year.

We don’t want to change our values, AND we do need to do something about our budget deficit. This is why, at Rosh Hashanah this year, we will implement a practice that has been used for decades at other synagogues throughout the United States. We will reinstitute a High Holy Day appeal, a practice JFC successfully used for a few In turn, families who are granted “special arrangeyears when we moved into our home over 15 years ago. ments” (i.e., partial relief from full annual membership Both current and past members of the Board of Trustees fees) are typically some of our most active members. They uniformly believe that this is an activity that must be embecome engaged in such activities as volunteering their braced at this critical time, just as it has in other congregatime on social action programs, staffing fundraising events, tions around the country. serving as class parents, and leading communications activities for JFC. They value the helping hand that JFC pro- Rabbi Carla remembers the congregation she grew up in auctioning off aliyot for the year during the High Holy Days vides and actively give back to thank JFC for its compasas a way to fund temple operations. Jeff remembers his sionate support. father delivering several High Holy Day appeals to the To insure financial equity and to provide a measure of fismall congregation in Connecticut where he grew up. duciary financial responsibility, we ask those who are seek- We’re sure that many of you have similar memories. ing “special arrangements” to share, confidentially, the summary pages of their federal tax return each year, with Our appeal during Rosh Hashanah will be simple and a three-person special arrangements committee. Over the straightforward, and hopefully as befits JFC, in line with past few years, this committee has authorized thousands our values. We will ask all families who are in a financial position to do so, to anonymously support part or all of of dollars of relief to JFC families who were not in posianother JFC family who requires special arrangements tions in a particular year to pay full dues. this year. We are hoping that this High Holy Day appeal, If you read the annual meeting mailing sent in early June, to help your fellow JFC members, will result in a substanor the special congregational mailing sent in mid-July, you tial reduction in, or perhaps the elimination of, our budgwill have noticed that JFC incurred a deficit last year and is eted deficit for 2011-2012. Please listen for our appeal on budgeted to incur one again this year. This is even after the first morning of Rosh Hashanah and join with us to the board implemented an aggressive series of budget cuts strengthen and support Jewish FAMILY Congregation. in all areas of temple operations and is planning a series of fundraising events for the coming year. Unlike our federal government, JFC cannot finance deficit spending by printing money (although we have had suggestions from the

SEPTEMBER ONEG HOSTS BOARD HOST: Richard Mishkin (914) 764-8305 9/2/2011

Sklarin, Richard & Beth Dodes, Jeff & Cyndi

B/M of Samantha Shulman


Smith, Brian & Leslie Fisher. Michael & Alyssa

B/M of Maggie Ceisler

Sturm, Steven & Rackear, Amy Berger, David & Fischer, Jennifer

B/M of Stephen Henshaw


Portnoy, Matthew & Julie 9/23/2011 Henshaw, Donn & Plotka, Abbey

B/M of Alex Wattles

Please find a substitute if you cannot host your assigned Oneg. Please contact the JFC Office with the names of the new hosts. Please contact your Board Host if you have any questions.


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Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

September 2011

Elul 5771/Tishri 5772

Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

Registration for the Winter/Spring 2011-2012 season of Taglit-Birthright Israel trips with URJ Kesher opens on September 14th, 2011 at URJ Kesher is a TaglitBirthright Israel program provider. Learn More: Taglit-Birthright Israel OR contact Leslie Gottlieb

Have you checked out the JFC Blog recently? Go to

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17th Annual Support-A-Walk Sunday, October 2, 2011 On October 2nd, Support Connection is holding their 17th Annual Support-A-Walk at FDR State Park in Yorktown Heights. Support Connection provides free personalized support programs for people affected by breast and ovarian cancer. The walk is held to raise breast and ovarian cancer awareness with all proceeds benefiting Support Connection's free services. The three-mile walk begins at 10 a.m. with pre-walk activities starting at 9 a.m. Debra Paget and Jeff Berg are again forming a "JFC team" to walk together - men, women, and children are all welcome! If you'd like to walk with us, please contact Debra Paget ( If you can't attend the walk but would like to donate to this worthy cause, please go to, enter “Jewish Family Congregation” in the search box, and the 10/2/11 Support-A-Walk will be right there! The picture below is last year’s JFC Team.

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Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

September 2011

Jewish Family Congregation Early Childhood Center Where Family is our middle name

WE ARE CURRENTLY REGISTERING FOR 2011-12! Please visit our website at OR call (914) 763-3028

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Elul 5771/Tishri 5772

Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

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On Thursday, September 15th, 2011, JFC’s temple youth group, JFTY, will be having its first meeting! There will be fun and exciting games and yummy food! We have a whole new board this year and hope that you will come and join us! All eighth through twelfth grade students are invited to be a part of our youth group. You will not be disappointed! Also, do not forget JFTY will be holding a youth service during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur! We will have shortened services with entertaining music and video clips explaining the importance of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

JiFTY By Jessica Sheptin

Women Newly Diagnosed are Urged to Contact WJCS Breast Cancer Navigator WJCS is urging women newly diagnosed to contact its Breast Caner Navigator Program, which provides mentors for help and support through breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Each mentor is a breast cancer survivor, who can offer the type of support and understanding that only someone who has been down that road can provide. For more info, contact Jessica Cigale, MSW, BCN Coordinator, at 914-761-0600 ext. 144 or Breast Cancer Navigator is a program of WJCS supported by funding from UJA-Federation of New York.

Free BRCA+ Support Group WJCS's Pathways to Care and the Montefiore Medical Center Department of Reproductive Genetics are cosponsoring a BRCA+ Support Group on September 26 at 6:00 PM at the Larchmont Woman’s Center, 2345 Boston Post Road. This free monthly group is for women who are at a high-risk for developing breast or ovarian cancer and have not personally been diagnosed with cancer. For more info, contact Jane Slevin at 914-761-0600 X143 or Funding for this group is provided by UJA-Federation of New York.

Volunteers Needed to Deliver Kosher Meals to Yonkers Homebound Volunteers are needed to deliver kosher meals to homebound individuals living in New Rochelle and Mt. Vernon. Sponsored by Westchester Jewish Community Services, the Kosher Meal Program operates Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Sinai Free Synagogue in Mount Vernon where the meals are picked up at 11:30 AM and the warming containers are returned daily at about 1:00 PM. Volunteers use their own cars and can travel in two-person teams. Each route encompasses about five deliveries and takes about one and a half hours from start to finish. Volunteers can participate weekly, monthly or on an as-needed basis. Anyone interested can contact Caron Gelles at 668-4350.

WJCS Holocaust Survivor Groups Set Meeting Dates The WJCS Holocaust Survivor Group meets the first Tuesday of the month starting September 6, The WJCS Holocaust Child Survivor/2nd Generation Group meets the second Tuesday of the month starting September 13 and The WJCS Holocaust 2nd Generation Group meets the third Tuesday of the month starting September 20. All groups meet from 7 – 9 PM at WJCS, 141 North Central Avenue, Hartsdale. Anyone interested in joining can contact Facilitator Halina Rosenkranz at 949-6761 X541 or

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Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

September 2011

Elul 5771/Tishri 5772

Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

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The Religious School by Leslie Gottlieb

Why is it that no one can get along throughout the millennia? Many of you might remember what Mick Jagger anemically uttered decades ago as a melee ensued at the rock concert in Altamont, California. The Hell’s Angels and crowd fought with a very ugly outcome while Mick helplessly cried, “Why can’t we all get along?” Some years later a similar thing was said when Rodney King, in 1989, asked-- after he was involved in a racial incident with police in Los Angeles which prompted widespread rioting-- “People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?” That one made it to number 22 in a list of 25 of the most famous quotes in recent history. Getting along is something we try to teach our children from the earliest stages of life and yet real understanding eludes us so often. The latest round of arguing from the halls of Congress regarding the debt ceiling issue makes me think of this poorly learned lesson once again. I began to think of the Democrats and Republicans as kids on a playground arguing about something like possession of a ball. Really? Can’t we just get along? At Religious School we teach our students selected mitzvot or values for action. Whether it’s chesed or kindness, hav’ at shalom ben adam l’ chavero or making peace between friends or derech eretz or the way of the land and the right thing to do… we extend the work of the family by instilling a need to perform real acts in the world that change lives and things that matter. When we talk about peace, we don’t take sides. We profess peace for its own sake. Sometimes the gap between sides is great and peace is hard to deliver, but then there are those moments on the planet where good people come together to make this life seem wonderful. Take the scene in Tel Aviv over the summer. Here is a quote from a news article that described the situation…. “Most had never seen the sea before. The women were Palestinians from the southern part of the West Bank, which is landlocked, and Israel does not allow them in. They risked criminal prosecution, along with the dozen Israeli women who took them to the beach. And that, in fact, was part of the point: to protest what they and their hosts consider unjust laws. In the grinding rut of Israeli-Palestinian relations — no negotiations, mutual recriminations, growing distance and dehumanization — the illicit trip was a rare event that joined the simplest of pleasures with the most complex of politics. It showed why coexistence here is hard, but also why there are, on both sides, people who refuse to give up on it. “What we are doing here will not change the situation,” said Hanna Rubinstein, who traveled to Tel Aviv from Haifa to take part. “But it is one more activity to oppose the oc-

cupation. One day in the future, people will ask, like they did of the Germans: ‘Did you know?’ And I will be able to say, ‘I knew. And I acted.’ ” All the tension disappeared between two peoples and governments… all with a swim in the Mediterranean Sea that put women together who wanted good things for each other. Imagine that? With a little water and some human kindness the rage washed away—even just for a short time. And risks were taken all around but the price of peace for them on that day was worth it. Even Leopold Bloom in James Joyce’s tome Ulysses rambles on saying, “I stand for the reform of municipal morals and the plain ten commandments. New worlds for old. Union of all, jew, moslem, and gentile. Three acres and a cow for all children of nature. Saloon motor hearses. Compulsory manual labour for all. All parks open to the public night and day. Electric dishscrubbers. Tuberculosis, lunacy, war, and mendicancy must now cease.” You will surely go mad reading anymore as I have this summer. Finding a subject and predicate in sentences in this book is a rare thing but I like language so I stuck to it. You get the point. Even Joyce at the turn of another century gave his central character a voice to combat the disagreeable aspects of life, things that ensnare us like war and fighting. We never seem to learn but we keep on teaching our children these truths about peace and understanding and pray for it in different ways so that with any hope the next generation will live to see it realized. I remember my grandfather thinking he would live to see Israel live in peace. The dream of peace and the fighting never stop. These two forces coexist side by side and guide us through bitterness and love that wrap around this world over time like two vines climbing up the same tree both striving to obliterate the other… but in the end it is the tree that suffers most. The vines will kill the tree given time. Seventy years after the slaying of innocent Jews in the hillsides of Bukovina where my father’s family is from, Mordechai Twersky visited some mass graves. He recited from our liturgy standing over the grassy mounds. “Life can still sprout here,” says a Jewish survivor in Russian witnessing his visit. He recites El Moleh Rachamim (Gd full of Compassion) and reads from Ezekial, “Son of man, can these bones live?” When will we learn from the mistake of war? Perhaps the study of how much we fail in this life should bring us back to reflect on the beauty and innocence of children. Surely, what we cannot teach them they will teach us—even in lessons of war and hate. A few ago an op-ed piece ran that described a little girl’s frustration with the crisis concerning the lack of clean water for children in many parts of Africa. For her 8 year old birthday party she decided that her guests should bring $9 each to be donated to the cause. She only collected $220, some(Continued on page 15)

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Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

September 2011

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Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

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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 Brian Besterman & Alison Ganis David & Jennifer Ceisler David & Marina Fried Mr. Michael Gitlitz & Dr. Rita Landman Drew & Mindy Hoffman Joel & Laura Kaplan Peter & Jamie Kaplan Jerome Kerner & Alexis Johnson Jeffrey & Elizabeth Klotz Matthew Meister & Dafne Sanchez-Aldama William & Jennifer Pink Andrew & Nicole Rose Edmond and Debra Verbeke

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

BIRTHDAYS Susan Andrade Alissa Auerbach Sophia Barson Jeffrey Berg Isabella Berland Matthew Berland Ella Blum Zachary Brand Maxwell Buchman Chloe Carson Jennifer Ceisler Ellen Cohen Sarah Dash Bryan Dorf Noah Falconer Sophia Firestein Bryon Friedman Abigail Gabor Jack Goldberg Kevin Goldman Michael Gottlieb Stephen Henshaw Mindy Hoffman Meryl Honig Zachary Horwitz Allison Junquera Lucas Kane

Andrew Kaplan Elana Kaplan Gregory Kaplan Zachary Kaplan Jerome Kerner Rachel Kurlander Henriette Kutscher Tyler Leitner Roy Lerner Sherry Levin Wallach Eric Levine Carly Moss Ruth Ossher Douglas Paulding William Pink Julie Portnoy Samantha Rai Sarah Richman Ginger Schwartz Jessica Sheptin Marcia Sher-Kalter Andrea Shulman Jonathan Storfer Sarah Valente Edmond Verbeke Bonnie Wattles Gabriel Zuckerberg

YAHRZEITS Samuel Berger Edith Blumenthal Emery Ceisler Irving Cohen Murray Emmer Roslyn Garin Sonia Goodstein Max Kalb

Seymour Kalter Sidney Kirstein Dina Leitner Samuel Levine Rose Margolis Mordecai Lester Mendell Herbert Storfer Leopold Weisberg

Have you considered celebrating significant birthdays and anniversaries with a leaf on our Simcha Tree of Life? Call the JFC Office for details.

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Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO ALL READERS Ruth Ossher is DANGEROUSLY ALLERGIC to many flowers. Accordingly, we CANNOT have the following flowers in the building at any time: Lillies Tropical flowers Jasmine scent Any highly scented flowers Artificial flowers that have been sprayed Ruth is NOT allergic to: Tulips Daffodils Hydrangeas Mums Sunflowers Potted flowers that we plant outdoors If you are using a florist, PLEASE have them call us even if they are sure. Dangerous mistakes have already been made. Many thanks for your cooperation!

September 2011

Special holiday foods needed for Community Center of Northern Westchester’s Holiday Share drive. Fall is just under way, but the Community Center of Northern Westchester is already focused on the holiday season to come. The Thanksgiving season and December holidays move many to generously donate special holiday foods to those in need. Did you know that the Community Center begins distributing those holiday foods as part of its Holiday Share program on November 1st? Families visit the Center’s food pantry once a month, so the Center’s early November “shoppers” are already picking up food for Thanksgiving. That means that beginning in early October, the Center collects food and monetary donations so that hundreds of our neighbors in need in northern Westchester can enjoy special holiday meals. Please help us “plan ahead” and donate to this very special community collaboration in the months before the holiday seasons begin. Donations are gratefully accepted for our Holiday Share drive starting in early October. We especially need: Frozen Turkeys up to 12 lbs. Frozen Turkey Breasts Frozen Roaster Chickens, 6-7 lbs Flour (1 or 2 lb bags) Sugar ( 1 or 2 lb bags) Coffee (instant or ground) Tea Bags Hot Chocolate Fruit Juice ( 64oz/family size) Butter Cookies in Tins Cake Mixes Bring your donations to: Community Center of Northern Westchester 84 Bedford Road, Katonah, NY 10536 Phone: (914) 232-6572 Tuesday - Friday 10:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.


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.

Elul 5771/Tishri 5772

Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

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Early Childhood Center By Jane Emmer

As I write this September Shofar article it is still summer, the end of summer, but still summer. I have just returned from a short vacation, and I return to JFC with great excitement and joy. The air is still warm, but the tips of some leaves are showing the sparkle of fall. The teachers in the Early Childhood Center have begun to ready their classrooms for the arrival of new friends.

classroom has a profound effect on the feelings and actions of the children, their families, and the teachers. Children organize their world through the environment we provide” (Dombro, Colker, and Trister Dodge, 1997). The world children are presented with will make a big difference in their lifelong journey!

The classroom is the focal point of each teacher The learning environment is an important and pow- team; however my focus is the bigger environerful teaching tool. Much of the early childhood ment. We are blessed to have 10 acres of land to teacher’s work is done before the children ever use as our classroom. We are anxious to make arrive. If the environment is set up with the some improvements to our playground. I am workknowledge of how children learn and develop, it ing on a 12 month curriculum centered on gardencan positively support teaching and learning. The ing and planting in a Jewish context. Thank you classrooms are organized to foster exploration Dale Saltzman (Grandpa of Aaron and Reed Sawith learning materials. Learning materials are padin) for helping with this effort! concrete and relevant to a child’s own life experiPlease help me in welcoming our new and returning ences (open ended but purposeful). The classroom gifted group of educators: environment is setup for choices. Yellow Room – Debra Cohen & Laura Vayness Each teacher team discusses, plans and organizes. Blue Room – Alison Brodoff & Ellen Goldstein Throughout the year, the classroom space evolves Green Room – Lynn Kassel & Dinah Rader as our curriculum and children change.. We are As the New Year begins please do not hesitate to careful to observe how each child and class uses share your ideas, energy and creativity. Feel free the space and the materials that we have preto stop by or give me a call! pared. The staff invests a great deal of thought and time while setting up the classroom environment before school begins. The result is a natural, peaceful, calm and aesthetically pleasing space Todah Rabbah to: that provides the children and their families a  Our wonderful camp staff (I hope that I do not leave anyone out)… Kathy Weingarten, Dinah sense of comfort, a place they can call home. As Rader, Jodi Waxman, Debra Cohen, Indy Li, Billie the children live in the classrooms and hallways, Li, Spencer Kaplan, Elana Kaplan, Phil Levens, the space becomes their own, rich with works of Skyler Levy, Scott Dorf, Navi Weiss, Stephanie art and artifacts that are visible to everyone who Goodkind visits JFC.  Skyler Levy for putting together our new airplane Synagogue schools have the additional challenge of shared space. Creating an environment where our youngest learners will thrive and our older students will feel comfortable is not as easy as it looks. In peaceful classrooms, children and their families feel welcome, child-centered activities happen easily, and those who use the space feel happy and have the ability to take ownership. The environments make a big difference in children’s success in school and beyond. “The environment in the

And for painting our rainbow line!

 The Heftler family for their donation that allowed us to buy our new mini roller coaster.

 Stephanie and Karen Blum for helping take down the NEW playground canopy before Irene arrived. and of course…  Rabbi Carla Freedman – for joining us in our spirited camp Shabbat celebrations ( in the playground this summer).  Jolie and Kathleen for holding down the fort in the office  Jason Breslin for sharing his music with our campers.

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September 2011






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JFC was honored for sending 13 campers and 5 staff members to Eisner Camp this summer! Pictured left to right: Ivy Cohen, Jane Emmer, Corey Cutler, Rabbi Carla Freedman, Cheryl Chess (JFC’s new Ambassador to Crane Lake and Eisner Camp), Debby Shriber and Rabbi Jonah Pesner

The Religious School (cont’d) (Continued from page 9)

what shy of the $300 goal she set for herself. After her family’s car accident that soon claimed her life only, the donations poured in and now the total collected is over $850,000.

remember Rachel Beckwith from Seattle, a small voice who from the grave reminds us that if we all got along… that’s right, Mick… then we could provide clean water and food to the most needy. As the song goes, it’s time to give peace a chance.

Before she discovered charity: water, she donated her hair to Locks of Love at 5 years of age. Nicolas Kristof writes, “In the midst of this grim summer, my faith in humanity has been restored by the saga of Rachel Beckwith. She could teach my generation a great deal about maturity and unselfishness — even though she’s just 9 years old, or was when she died on July 23.

And at this special time of year with the High Holy Days before us, think of the Ki Anu Amecha and how small we are with so much ability to create good and harm in this life:

Rachel lived outside Seattle and early on showed a desire to give back. At age 5, she learned at school about an organization called Locks of Love, which uses hair donations to make wigs for children who have lost their own hair because of cancer or other diseases. Rachel then asked to have her long hair shorn off and sent to Locks of Love.

If we remember that we are but passing shadows, maybe we can get over ourselves enough to live in peace with each other and help to provide the most basic necessaries to those suffering.

We are arrogant; but you are merciful. We are obstinate; but You are patient. We are laden with sin; but you abound in compassion. We are a passing shadow; but You are eternal.


‘She said she wanted to help the cancer kids,’ her mother, Todah Rabbah to… Samantha Paul, told me. After the haircut, Rachel announced that she would grow her hair long again and do-  All of the RS Class parents who have volunteered to nate it again after a few years to Locks of Love. And that’s help this school year what she did.”  The Youth Group and President Andrew Blum for their So we will keep on teaching chesed or acts of loving kindwork on the HHD Youth services ness to quiet the beast that is famine and disease and ha-  Karen Blum for her help in creating a book inventory tred--- and to those who perpetuate war which destroys for the RS over the summer the lives of innocents as well as the innocence in all of us,

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Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

JFC Social Action Committee by Lee Goldstein As the new year approaches, our Social Action Committee is gearing up for some great activities. We invite everyone – adults, teens, children – to get involved. Join us for Midnight Run, Project Hope, and our various giving projects throughout the year. Or do you have a fantastic idea or dream project you would like to spearhead? We welcome your engagement!

Garage Rehab We are transforming the old, decaying garage into the staging area for the Midnight Run. We are still looking for donations of roofing material to finish the job: 1000 sq feet of roll roofing, nails, and roofing cement (about $700). Contact the Tammi Shulman at 767-0544 for more information about materials or installation.

Midnight Run The next Midnight Run will be in late fall; contact Debbie Lavin if you would like to participate with food, donations, driving, direct support. We may only be doing two midnight runs this year, one in the fall and the other in spring – so plan accordingly!

Also – we are planning a barn raising to put up that new roof on Sunday September 18th. Volunteers wanted! We wish everyone a sweet new year, and will love to see more of you!

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The Tzedakah of the Month For SEPTEMBER Is HOMES FOR HEROES FOUNDATION Their purpose is to provide or coordinate financial assistance and housing resources to our nation’s heroes such as military personnel, police/peace officers, firefighters and first responders in need. Selected by the

JFC Social Action Committee

Want to help?

Contact Debbie Lavin ( or Jeanette Sanders (

Don’t forget to stop in and check out the JFC Gift Shop! The items change frequently! If you are interested in purchasing anything, please let us know in the JFC Office.

ShopWithScrip! And help support JFC at no cost to you while shopping at the same stores you already visit! If you have not yet created an account with ShopWithScrip, please contact the JFC Office and we’ll get you started! It’s easy! It’s free! And there are many exciting offers!

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Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

- - - Lots of new vendors! - - Check website for details.

September 2011

Elul 5771/Tishri 5772

Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

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

And the service schedule, with all the new offerings, will be in the Shofar service schedule, on the monthly calendar at the back of the Shofar, and in the email broadcast each week…so watch for them! And don’t forget to check the service schedule this month…the High Holy Days are coming, and on Yom Kippur there is a new offering as well…………….check it out.

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(cont’d) If you have suggestions for other ideas to add spice (i.e., variety) to our Shabbat observances, please discuss them with any member of our Ritual Committee, or me. Jeanne and I wish you and your family a year of health, peace, prosperity, and joy. L’shanah tovah t ikateyvu v’t’khateymu….may you be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life for a good new year.

JFC ANNOUNCEMENTS If you would like to “announce” a Simcha in your family, please send the text (pictures are welcome too!) to Jolie Levy at Announcements must be received by the 15th of the month to appear in the next month’s Shofar. Please feel free to acknowledge your Simcha with an $18 donation to any JFC Fund or with a leaf on our Simcha Tree. Donation forms appear in every Shofar.

The items in the JFC Gift Shop have changed again. Please stop in and take a look!

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Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

September 2011

Elul 5771/Tishri 5772

Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

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ASK THE RABBI Question: What do Jews believe about life after death? Is commandments would be a sure pass into hell). there a heaven/hell? Do Jews believe in reincarnation? It should be noted that this concept of possible life-afterAnswer: This is a complicated question, and is a good ex- death was endorsed by the Pharisees about 2000 years ample of the old adage, that where you have two Jews, ago, and vigorously opposed by the Sadducees, who only you will have (at least) answers! accepted what is actually contained in the words of Torah; this was a hotly debated topic at that time, and since the We Jews always begin our search for an any question!...with the Torah. And there you will find no ref- Sadducees vanished, the Pharisaic idea became part of erence at all to life after death. There are references to a normative Rabbinic Judaism, to which we are heir today. place called “Sheol”, but that seems only to be a place So clearly, from the very beginning of the consideration of where all go after death...not a location for reward or pun- the concept of life after death, it was rejected by at least ishment. some Jews. Therefore, it is not possible, especially today, to offer one universal, one-size-fits-all answer to your When our sages read Leviticus 16, or Deuteronomy 18, question. which speaks about reward and punishment, they concluded that God’s words (as they understood the Torah to be) were true and certain to their core, so even though they could see that some righteous people did not enjoy God’s blessings (the explicitly promised reward for following God’s teachings), and some evil people did not suffer God’s punishments, still these promised responses to human behaviour must happen. Perhaps, they reasoned, these responses to human behaviour would happen on some plane or some level that we simply cannot perceive; thus was born the concept of life after death. But our sages never felt the need to elaborate much on this subject. They merely posited the possibility that life after death exists. The idea that there are separate realms for reward and punishment (heaven/hell) is not developed in Judaism the way it has been in Catholicism, for example. Our sages used the idea of “heaven” as a teaching tool, mainly in allegories they created to teach right behaviour. Nor did they ever figure out how many mitzvot would be required to qualify for heaven (or how many violations of

Since the time of the Pharisees and Sadducees, Jews have at different times believed various things about life after death: resurrection of the body and soul when the Messiah comes; reincarnation; transmigration of souls, etc. There are probably some Jews who believe one or more of these ideas right now. Since no one has ever come back from the other side of death to tell us what awaits us, we can have no certainty about this subject, and no one can say for sure what is right or wrong. If you are interested in reading more about this subject, I recommend a book by Rabbi Rifat Soncino and Daniel Syme, called What Happens After I Die (available via Amazon; be sure to go through the JFC website when you order...). The book offers good descriptions of various acceptable Jewish answers to the question, and may help to clarify your own thinking on this subject. I will be interested to know what you think, after you have read this book.

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Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

September 2011

“Bringing together youth and adults throughout the area to learn klezmer and to bring this art form to the community.� The Westchester Klezmer Program is a not-for-profit corporation that operates a music performance program to promote community service through klezmer music performances. Members participate by giving frequent public performances of klezmer music at nursing homes, programs for children with special needs, programs for developmentally disabled adults, synagogues, and other community based events. The goals of the program are achieved through multigenerational participation. Adults and teens take part by attending rehearsals and performing at concerts along side the children, helping to keep the students engaged in the program, providing them with appropriate modeling, and assisting at rehearsals. Many area synagogues have approved the program as a community service project for musicians who are preparing for their bar/bat mitzvah.

Elul 5771/Tishri 5772

Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

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Kids Ask the Rabbi In early August, a soon-to-be First Grade student visited me, and posed several really good questions; I told him that, in addition to discussing them with him that day, I would answer some of his questions in this place in the Shofar.

Question: Is the world going to end? Answer:

world by preventing the plastic from poisoning the earth; when we use products made of recycled paper, we save trees from being cut down, and the trees contribute to the well-being of the planet in many ways; when we produce and eat foods made without harmful chemicals, we protect and preserve the earth for the future.

Not any time soon…that’s the short

The other thing we have to do to preserve and protect the world for the future is to look for peaceful and healthful solutions to problems between But there is another way of answering this quespeople, so that we do not have wars anymore. Wars tion. The Torah tells us that God created the enleave people without shelter and food, and that is tire world, including human beings. And God not what God tells us to do to look after our world. turned the world (at least, this planet) over to us humans, charging us with responsibility for looking Wars not only kill and injure and otherwise harm people, but they damage trees and crops and fields, after it (Gen. 1:28; Gen 2: 15). and so, we must work to resolve our problems The Torah also tells us that God gave humans some peacefully. instructions on how to live successfully; in fact, the When we choose not to do these things…not the word “Torah” means instruction. And God tells occasional slip-up, but on a regular basis… we are humans that, if they follow God’s teachings, God’s instructions, they will live a good life (Lev. 26:1-13; doing the wrong thing, and hurrying the damage to the planet that could, in the long run, result in the Deut. 28: 1-14; Deut: 30: 1-20). end of the world we know. From these sources and the verses that occur before or after them, we know that it is possible…not So, in that sense, we are responsible for the survival of the world, and by following God’s instrucdesirable, but possible…for humans to choose not tions and making good choices as often as possible, to follow God’s instructions. we are actively working to keep the world going. That’s because God gave humans the power to choose to follow God’s teachings, or not. If we had The good news is that we humans are learning all not been given the power to decide to do the right the time how to take better care of our world. thing, or the wrong thing, there would be no mean- And it will be up to people like you, in the future, to ing to doing the right thing…it would be like humans make the best possible use of that knowledge, to just being puppets, with the puppet-master (in this keep the world going. case, God) making all the choices. But God did give And that’s the other piece of good news: when us that power, and so when we choose to do the people like you understand the consequences of right thing, we are rewarded with a good life. your actions and decisions, because you care about answer.

keeping the world going, we can all be assured that you will make good choices in life, that you will enSince we were instructed by God to look after this courage others to make good choices, and that the world, and we were given the ability to choose to do world is in good hands…yours! the right thing, it is up to us to keep the world goSo please take that idea with you as we begin the ing. new Jewish year, and make preserving the world Every day we make choices that, taken all together, part of your plan to be a good person in 5772! will determine whether the world can survive. Now, back to your question!

Some familiar examples: when we recycle plastic bottles and other things, we are looking after the

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Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

September 2011

Elul 5771/Tishri 5772

Jewish Family Congregation Shofar


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Bedford Bagel & Bakery 720 Bedford Rd. (Route 177) Bedford Hills, NY 10507

(914) 242-0641

Owned & Operated by Gary & Paula Levine (JFC Members) Kerry & Kathy Levine

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Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

September 2011

Elul 5771/Tishri 5772

Jewish Family Congregation Shofar

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September 2011 September 2011 Sun




Thu 1


Fri 2

YG - End-ofSummer Bash 5:00-6:30

Bd Mtg 4




Gr. 4-6 9:00-12:00 Gr. 4-6 Meet & Greet 11:30-12:00




ECC - first day 2’s






Gr. 7 4:20-6:15





Gr. 4-6 9:00-12:00 Kids Knesset 11:10-11:30






Erev Rosh haShanah OFFICE CLOSES 1:00


ECC Breakfast 10:00 a.m.


NFTY/NAR LTI (NYC) Bat Mitzvah Of Maggie Ceisler 17


RS Comm Mtg YG - 7:15-8:15 12:30 (NO RS) Kids’ Knesset forms due (K-6)


Gr. 7 4:20-6:15

Service 7:30 Tot Shabbat

YG - End-ofSummer Bash 5:00-6:30 FOCUS GROUP 7:30 YG Board MeetService 7:30 ing 6:30-7:00 At JFC Tot Shabbat (NO RS)

ECC - meet the ECC - first day teachers 3’s and 4’s ECC Parent Orientation 7:00 p.m.


Bat Mitzvah Of Samantha Shulman

[K/L First Day]




ECC Staff Mtg. YG - HHD re9:30 a.m. hearsal 4-5:30





Creation Station Service 7:30 Tot Shabbat

Bar Mitzvah Of Stephen Henshaw

22 23 24 Gr. 7 9-9:45 K-3/CC/SMP/— ECC Meet & Greet (w/ parents) Creation Bar Mitzvah 4:15-4:45 class- Station Of rooms; 4:45-5:15 Alex assembly Congregant Drash Wattles 5:30-6:30 staff mtg. Service 7:30 (SMP 3:30-5:15) Tot Shabbat 29 30

Rosh haShanah Rosh haShanah Shabbat Shuva


Distribution of Food Bags—Gr.Service 7 7:30 (at conclusion of RH services) Tot Shabbat


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

Shofar - September 2011 - Elul 5771/Tishri 5772  

Jewish Family Congregation Newsletter - September 2011 - Elul 5771/Tishri 5772

Shofar - September 2011 - Elul 5771/Tishri 5772  

Jewish Family Congregation Newsletter - September 2011 - Elul 5771/Tishri 5772