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Chronicles Long Island’s Oldest Synagogue—Founded 1883—Sag Harbor, NY

EXCITING SEASON AHEAD... Planning for the 2012 “Season” has largely been the province of the hard working Program Committee under the Chairmanship of Rona Klopman. Her Committee, including Rabbi Morris, Dasee Berkowitz, Fran Gottfried, Jacqueline Berg, Barbara Freedman, Ann Chwatsky , Neal Fagin, Myra Peskowitz, Andrea Fagin and Judy Klinghoffer, has met regularly to find notable speakers, authors and entertainers who will bring interesting programs to us from May through September. The opening event, Friday evening, May 18th featured internationally known Professor Ralph Buultjens speaking on “The New Middle East; Israel and its Neighbors.” On Friday, June 8th, at 8 PM, a very special Oneg will honor Margaret Bromberg, who retired after many, many years of faithful service to our Temple, both as a Lay Leader and as our first Administrator. Her vast knowledge and insight will be missed. Our best wishes to her for whatever her future holds. Friday, June 15h, a Potluck dinner arranged by Andrea Fagin and Myra Peskowitz will follow a short service from 7:30-8PM. Our Scholar-in-Residence Weekend will be held June 29-30, with Dr. Eliyahu Stern, Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies and Religious Studies at Yale. On Sunday, June 24th at 5 PM, Lucille A. Roussin will speak on “Holocaust Art” and looted artwork. July 1st at 4 PM, author Arthur Magida will speak on his new book, “The Nazi Séance” about a clairvoyant Jew who was on Hitler’s staff. Our program on Sunday July 8thh will feature the movie Jews and Baseball and will be shown at the Temple at 7:30 PM. On Saturday July 14th, from 11:30-12:30 PM, Prof. Richard Gambino will be discussing “Jewish Mysticism.” Author events will be co-sponsored by Bookhampton with the various author’s books sold at the events. Sunday July 15th we honor Temple members Jeffrey and Sheila Britz at the annual Temple Cocktail Party. We are appreciative of all the efforts and support that Jeff and Sheila have given to the Temple and could think of no greater tribute to their years of service than to honor them in this way. On Friday July 27th there will be another potluck dinner at 8 PM after a half hour service from 7:30 8PM. Myra and Andrea will be organizing this dinner, as well. Sunday August 5th at 4 PM we are delighted to have Bob Spiotto’s one-man show on Danny Kaye – admission will be $10. Bob is the artistic director of all the community arts programs at Hofstra University and is multi-talented. On Sunday August 19 author Jodi Kantor will discuss her book The Obamas at 4 PM. FRIDAY, AUGUST 24 at 8 PM is the Dedication of our Holocaust Torah.

May 2012—Iyar/Sivan 5772

MESSAGE FROM RABBI LEON A. MORRIS It’s been a wonderfully active winter and spring, filled with Holiday celebrations, classes, family education, youth group events and much more. And to think that our “busy season” is just getting started! This summer will include numerous opportunities to connect with our community and with Jewish life. I will highlight just two of them in this column. This past year, I got very excited by a creative project that was a collaboration between the British Museum and the BBC entitled, A History of the World in 100 Objects. On the radio and through podcasts, a dedicated website, a blog, and a beautifully illustrated book, this fascinating series drew upon one of the world’s most extensive museum collections to connect to the story of our world. I was so inspired by this project, that I decided to organize a sermon series throughout the summer entitled, A History of Jewish Life and Thought in 10 Objects. Each Friday evening (except for two early services prior to our Shabbat potluck dinners) in June, July and August, I will take a single object of Jewish life and draw from it the relevant Jewish values for our time. Some of the objects will surprise you, some will delight you. And some you may have never seen before. On Saturday mornings, my one-hour class following our one-hour Shabbat morning service and Kiddush will also be a series of courses linked by a common theme. Like the 10 Objects series, each session can stand on its own, but with important connections one to the other. This series will be entitled, Making Meaning of a Mitzvah. Each Shabbat, we will focus on one single mitzvah from the Torah, tracing its development, practical application and its significance for our time. The 12 mitzvot highlighted in the series will be a mix of “ethical mitzvot” and “ritual mitzvot.” The first mitzvah (on June 2) will be the very first mitzvah in the Torah, “be fruitful and multiply,” and the last mitzvah we will learn about (on September 1) will be the mitzvah to “write a Torah scroll” (we will have completed our Torah restoration campaign a week prior to this). I look forward to sharing both of these learning opportunities with you.


On erev Shabbat July 6 we will meet our 2012 Cantorial Student Amanda Kleinman. She will receive her Master of Sacred Music Degree and be ordained as a Cantor in May, 2015 after graduating from Hebrew Union College’s Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music. She was graduated Summa Cum Laude from Middlebury College with a BA in Music and History and membership in Phi Beta Kappa. She has also studied at the Rothberg International School and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Ms. Silver’s work has been shown in galleries on the East End as well as in group shows in New York. She graduated from Cooper Union with a Certificate in Fine art and has a BFA from the University of New Mexico.

Ms. Kleinman’s previous experience has included an internship at Scarsdale Synagogue, Temples Tremont and Emanu-El, where she served as Cantor during the senior Cantor’s sabbatical; led Tot Shabbat and other pre-school programs and prepared B’nei Mitzvah students. Prior to that she worked in Bloomington, IL at Moses Montefiore Temple where she traveled monthly to lead Shabbat services, organize concerts for the choirs and teach music in the religious school. She also served as Assistant Education Director at the URJ Greene Family Camp where she helped schedule visiting faculty; created a CIT Education curriculum, compiled a Shabbat evening siddur for camp use and directed the summer B’nei Mitzvah program. In addition, she worked in programs at Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York and Temple Emanu-El of Dallas. Rabbi Morris and President Neal Fagin have both said that “Amanda is a perfect fit for our Temple...we hope the congregation will embrace and appreciate her as we do.”

ART COMMITTEE ...ANN CHWATSKY... In our endeavor to beautify our Social Hall we have embarked on an art program featuring Jewish art and artists. Here are a few scheduled exhibits: JOYCE SILVER: In the Tradition, will run from May 15 June 4th—an opening reception was held May 20th. Ms. Silver was raised in a secular Jewish home and, as an adult, went searching for a meaningful way to connect to her heritage. Several years ago she discovered the Artists’ Beit Midrash, at the Skirball Center in NYC, founded by Rabbi Morris and Tobi Kahn, a well-known artist. “The class became my Jewish home. Each year following a theme, we read and discussed texts from the Torah, Mishnah and other commentaries related to that theme...then went home and made art stimulated by the discussion. I have a sense of the continuity of 5,000 years of Jewish life and the power and beauty inherent in this on-going, open-ended dialogue of which I feel my art is a small part. Some of my work, like "Sacrifice", "Adam and Eve", "Twilight" is directly related to a class theme. Other pieces, like the Hebrew letters, are my response to their visual beauty. I am a mixed media painter, and I use collage which allows me to play and be spontaneous. The whole experience is one of deep joy.” Sacred Places, by Joyce Silver

Stanton Shul, by Yona Vermer

Beginning on June 10 thru early July, Dutch-born Yona Verwer’s AMULETS will be on display. An opening reception will be held Sunday, June 10 at 4 PM. An artist and curator in New York, her works explore identity, terrorism, Tikkun Olam, Kabbalah, and the notion of God. She has shown and curated in numerous galleries and museums nationally and internationally, including the Andy Warhol Factory, the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art, the Bronx Museum, the Center for Jewish History, the Mizel Museum, the Reginald Lewis Museum of African-American Art, the Stanback Museum, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, and the Holocaust Memorial Center, and has been featured in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Daily News, the Forward, The Jewish Week and the Jewish Press. Through the end of July, Rachel Kanter’s TALLIT ART will hang at the Temple. Since she grew up surrounded by women who were always making things—knitting, quilting, beading, weaving—she followed in their path and earned a BFA in ceramics from Syracuse University and a MFA in ceramics from Rochester Institute of Technology, School for American Crafts. She has worked with various materials to further her exploration of Jewish ritual objects. In searching for a new woman’s tallit, she was guided by history, so her tallitot are a combination of both history and tradition. Her work has been shown at The Jewish Museum in NYC, the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, American Jewish University, Hebrew Union College, the Society for the Advancement of Judaism and Temple Emanu-El in NYC among many other locations. It has also been featured in many Judaic and crafts publications.


EDUCATION…Dasee Berkowitz… HEBREW SCHOOL We have been having a great time at the Hebrew School over the last couple of months and eagerly await Leah Oppenheimer’s return in the fall. We have also been developing some good family education programs during the past several months. A few weeks ago parents and children worked alongside one another in the Head Start program in Bridgehampton beautifying their playground.

Our Shabbat Shaboom! program for families with young children has been continuing once a month in the off season with a potluck dinner following the sing-a-long. As one mom said, “I have to come back each month because I just can’t get those tunes out of my head!”

DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE… Jeffrey Britz and Margaret Doyle On March 29th the Development Committee held a cocktail party hosted by Alan and Susan Leavitt for the initial contributors to the Torah Restoration Project. The campaign, co-chaired by David Diskin and Alan Leavitt, will raise funds not only for the restoration of our 150 year old “orphan” Torah scroll from Czechoslovakia, but also for the enhancement and renewal of our own community. There will be opportunities for everyone in the congregation to join in this special undertaking. Please save the date of Sunday, June 3 to meet the sofer (Torah scribe), Rabbi Moshe Druin from Sofer-On-Site in Florida, and have the honor of writing in the Torah scroll.

Hebrew School visit to Head Start

We met with and played with the kids and learned about the ways that we could help them. Our students and parents put Tikkun Olam (fixing the world) into action. One of our students, Ruben Schneiderman, aptly noted, “You think you are going to be doing good work helping others, and what you don’t realize is that you feel really good inside” and another student, Sarah Levine commented, “When you help other’s it’s like helping God because we are all created in God’s image.” Our Hebrew school kids have such beautiful souls! Our moms and dads worked alongside the kids and Ava Locks, a Hebrew School mom mentioned, “I realized how much you can make a difference when everyone works together.” We continue to engage our children in meaningful and fun honor of Israel’s Independence day, we turned our Hebrew school kids into artists, making a relief of the map of Israel using ice cream as their modeling material. After highlighting major cities and decorating their maps with M&Ms and sprinkles, they “internalized” the beauty of the land of Israel by eating every last bite! We are busy planning ahead for next year, and hope to include a lot more outings for children with their parents. We think that creating opportunities for parents and children to have meaningful Jewish experiences together will have a profoundly positive impact on both parents and kids. ADULT PROGRAMS The Mother’s Circle meets twice a month to support one another as we think about how to raise Jewish children within interfaith marriages. And the Women’s Spirituality group is enjoying its monthly gatherings, using the Jewish spiritual practice of Mussar as our guide to improving ourselves, our relationship to others and to God. These two newer groups joined our more established Rosh Chodesh group for a wonderful Women’s Seder the Sunday before Passover. Twenty women gathered together, to sing, dance, eat, laugh and discuss the place of women in the Passover story.

This historic Torah was requested by the late Rabbi Paul Steinberg when he served our Temple and was received by thenPresident, Charles Egosi in September, 1993. The scroll will be officially dedicated on Friday, August 24 at Shabbat services and read for the first time on Rosh Hashanah morning. We will be sending out a beautiful brochure with details of the many opportunities to participate in this historic moment.

Our Holocaust Torah

GOOD NEWS...Births, and Rites of Passage A DOUBLE Mazel Tov to Margaret and Michael Bromberg...first on the birth of their grandson, Samuel Lawrence Bromberg, son of Simon and Katherine Bromberg on January 4, 2012 and then on the marriage of their daughter Rabbi Minna Bromberg (who has chanted so beautifully from our Bima on many occasions) to Rabbi Alan Abrams on March 18, 2012. Mazel Tov to Adrienne Fierman on the birth of her grandson Zachary Russ Fierman, March 15, 2012. Mazel Tov to Cindy and Tom McErlean on the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter Sarah on April 28, 2012 and to Nicole and David Gruenstein and Leda and Gerry Goldsmith on the Bar Mitzvah of their son—and grandson— Joshua Aaron on May 19, 2012. After serving our congregation beautifully for the past two years, Julia Katz has graduated fromThe Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at Hebrew Union College and has been ordained (this is the first time Cantors have been ordained, rather than invested). We will miss her…but we wish her well in her new position as Assistant Cantor at Central Synagogue in Manhattan


ADMINISTRATION...Eileen J. Moskowitz It seems that Event Planning has become a major sub-division of Administration…we love to party! We ended the year with a very well-attended (especially for mid-week) First Light Chanukah Celebration—with music, latkes, dancing and menorah-lighting—across the generations. Then in March, we had a double-header for Purim: a Megillah-reading started the evening’s fun-filled activities, which also included belly-dancing lessons, a master magician, mask-making, face painting and hamantashen (of course!). After taking the kids home and tucking them in, Purim was Unmasked! – and our social hall became the venue for beer-tasting with a local micro-brewery, as well as pizza and a DJ playing very cool music to round out the evening’s festivities. We certainly did our best to invoke the time-honored Purim tradition of “eat, drink and be merry!”

ROSH CHODESH...Gail Gambino This was the winter that wasn’t! We had nary an incident or a cancelled meeting. Rather than ice, snow or freezing temps, our focus was on curriculum development . Last fall I read about a number of studies at the Universities of California, Miami, Kentucky and Northeastern that are endeavoring to analyze the emotional and physical health benefits of experiencing gratitude in one’s life. The reported experiments and interviews included specific tasks and exercises that foster the feeling of gratitude. Preliminary findings included sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, increased satisfaction with life, greater optimism and kinder behavior toward others. One key tool was keeping a “Gratitude Journal.” After thorough discussion, including links to the spiritual work that we do before and during the High Holidays, Rosh Chodesh inaugurated its own Gratitude Project. Members are “Journaling” and sharing experiences at our monthly meetings. We are enjoying the process as well as anecdotal observations and are eager to see how the project unfolds. In another vein, a small group of us got together in January for some long-range planning—examining annual themes and exploring new ideas. Many thanks to Eileen Moskowitz, Ellen Ruby, and Emilie Kutash for their hard work and excellent thinking in making these plans. Emilie led us in a lovely and thoughtful look at Purim, including the “hidden Esther” in all of us. Again, it was our pleasure to sponsor the Women’s Seder at the Temple, so beautifully led by Dasee Berkowitz. It’s an annual celebration we’ve come to anticipate and the number of participants increases each year.

Rabbi Morris and Dasee Berkowitz and their children, Tamir and Yael, in costume at Purim

In April we had both a Women’s Passover Seder–-sponsored by the Women’s Rosh Chodesh Group—and our traditional Second Seder, this time with a dinner prepared by the gourmet private chef, Peter Cooke. At the end of the month, we celebrated Israel’s Independence Day in the annual community-wide celebration, including the screening of a wonderful Israeli film at the Sag Harbor Cinema, which we co-sponsored with the Conservative Synagogue of the Hamptons. Several of our families have recently sponsored a Friday evening Oneg or Saturday morning Kiddush: Phyllis Arakie in memory of her husband Yorkie; Janet Burak, in memory of her mother Beatrice; Margaret and Michael Bromberg, in honor of the marriage of their daughter Minna; and the McErlean family in honor of their daughter Sarah’s Bat Mitzvah. If you have a simcha to honor, or a yahrzeit to commemorate, consider sponsoring an Oneg Shabbat or Kiddush—a meaningful way to acknowledge the special day with our Temple community. See our website or call the office for details. We’d like to welcome our newest members: Deborah Lieberman and David Cornblath; Samuel and Stephanie Lebowitz; Bebe Chalem, Francine and David Genser. Bruchim Ha’Baim!

Women’s Passover Seder

During the month of Iyar, Myra Peskowitz helped deepen our understanding of Counting the Omer and its spiritual dimensions as articulated by Jewish mystics. In June Eileen will lead an exploration of Jewish American Women writers and finally, we look forward to our annual July picnic. Friendship, fellowship and fun are as central to Rosh Chodesh as the challenging ideas, themes and ideas we share. WE HAPPILY WELCOME NEW MEMBERS! Please call or email me if you are interested...631-725-2943 or

I look forward to hearing from you.


CARING PROGRAM… Gail Gambino, coordinator I am pleased to report the Caring Program “ spread its wings” this spring. Fulfilling a longstanding hope of Rabbi Morris, we visited the residents and patients at the Hampton Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Southampton. We inaugurated this outreach in March with a Purim celebration replete with Mishloach Manot (Purim Goody Bags) thanks to Dasee Berkowitz and the teachers and students of our Hebrew School. In April, with the entire Morris/Berkowitz family, we offered an abbreviated, but lively Seder led by Rabbi Morris with able assistance from Tamir. Yael made herself useful waving and smiling to the residents. Needless to say, these two adorable children, eliciting smiles and affection, were notable and outstanding volunteers for this new venture. Our presence was very much appreciated by the residents and staff of the facility and that was most gratifying to us. With their encouragement we will expand this aspect of the Program to include monthly Shabbat visits as well. Closer to home, in caring for each other, WE ARE STILL IN CRITICAL NEED OF VOLUNTEERS TO COMPLETE A SHIVA MINYAN. Won’t you please join our volunteer list for this important mitzvah? It is most rewarding to help care for one another in times of loss. You can call (631-725-2943) or email me, Many thanks to all of our volunteers and to captains Ruby, Kutash and Tatkon.

SOCIAL ACTION… Jonathan Glynn reports for WINGS OVER HAITI... “Wings Over Haiti is raising funds to complete its new school. We are adding10 new students to our existing 43 children. Haiti continues to battle with increased fatalities due to cholera and starvation.” Please see:

Wings Over Haiti classroom

DAVE LEE REMEMBERS... Soon after the shul was finally able to afford a gas furnace we began to fix up the lower level to use as a meeting room. It left much to be desired, but it was all we had. To make it more presentable some old kitchen cabinets and a sink had to be removed. A member gave us a new sink unit so we could have Oneg Shabbats as well as meetings in that room. Lo and behold, when a cabinet was removed we found A HIDDEN MIKVAH! We then removed the floor and our piece of history was complete. At the time it was built, the congregation was Orthodox and the Mikvah was used by the first members.

BEST WISHES AND GOOD LUCK TO... Nick Dwoskin, Jeremy Pepper and Kai Vatash— all of whom were Bar Mitzvahs at Temple Adas Israel, have now graduated from Pierson High School and are looking forward to their college careers. We will be offering them a special blessing at services on Friday night, June 15, at 7:30 PM.

Later, we started accumulating items of Jewish interest, hoping some day to use that space as a museum. The items are now in one of the lower level rooms next to our kitchen. My fond wishes are that our Hebrew School some day will be able to be relocated in an expanded property and our 125-year old mikvah will be the centerpiece of the first Jewish museum on the East End ( where the original Jews on Long Island made their homes). Looking from the past to the future of our gem of a shul, let’s keep the idea of its history alive.

SAD NEWS... We are saddened by the loss of the following members of the Temple and of their families: Richard Schultz, loving husband of Judith Schultz, January 31, 2012; Janice Zimmerman, beloved mother of Jeff Zimmerman, February 29, 2012; Robert C. Strauss, beloved father of Alma Hyman, March 2, 2012; Belle Shaw, adored sister of Dr. Samuel Slipp, March 9, 2012; Geraldine Sholl, loving sister of Dan Peskowitz, March 16, 2012; Jerry Chalem, adored husband of BeBe Chalem, March 16, 2012 and Philip Zaslower, loving husband of Sheila Zaslower, March 31, 2012.


OUR CEMETERY IS HERE FOR YOU! Neal Fagin, President I always remember a story that my parents told me. When they were married 70 some odd years ago my Father's parents, Becky and Morris, bought them eight cemetery plots as a wedding gift. My Mother's parents, Ida and Max, bought them a radio. Whose parents were more practical?. Perhaps both gifts were meaningful presents at the time. While I am not suggesting that you buy either cemetery plots or a radio as gifts, I want to make you aware of the Temple Adas Israel – Chevra Kodetia Cemetery. It is on route 114 on the right hand side as you head toward East Hampton. Up until recently there were only about 40 remaining plots. However, the Temple has recently purchased the adjacent parcel of land. We now have plenty of space to accommodate future generations. We are preparing a pamphlet with more specific information, however, if you need prices, or other information sooner, please call Eileen in the Temple office or Howard Chwatsky, who heads the Cemetery Committee, at 631-725-4523.

SWAN SONG...Exit Leda Goldsmith This is my final issue as Gatherer of Information, Reporter and Editor of this publication...a “job” I have been doing for well over 20 years! I appreciate the fine work of my “Field” Reporters, Committee chairpersons, officers and Board members – and especially, of late, the excellent help I have received from Eileen Moskowitz (she did a great job as photo editor for this edition). While I love to write and to edit...the “process” of compiling all the information, getting approvals, re-writes, additional submissions way after deadline... and the like, just got to be too much, and take up more of my time than I could comfortably I decided to say Farewell...but not Good Bye. While I won’t be sending out weekly news releases (sometimes more than one a week) and putting together this newsletter ...I will still be around and available to edit brochures, fund raising letters and other such documents as the need arises. Thank you, my loyal readers, for your support. I’ll see you around!

TEMPLE ADAS ISRAEL Elizabeth Street & Atlantic Avenue PO Box 1378 Sag Harbor, NY 11963 631-725-0904

TEMPLE PERSONNEL RABBI LEON MORRIS… 631-725-0904 x1 DASEE BERKOWITZ: Educational Consultant STUDENT CANTOR JULIA KATZ ADMINISTRATION: EILEEN J. MOSKOWITZ 631-725-0904, PRESIDENT: NEAL FAGIN 631-835-2902, VICE PRESIDENT: ALAN LEAVITT SECRETARY: DAVID J. LEE TREASURER: HOWARD CHWATSKY HEBREW SCHOOL DIRECTOR: LEAH OPPENHEIMER EDITOR, CHRONICLES: LEDA C. GOLDSMITH BOARD MEMBERS: David Diskin, James Dwoskin Barbara Freedman, Gail Gambino, Leda Goldsmith, Jonathan Nash Glynn, Richard Hemley, Donald Katz, Rona Klopman, Howard Maisel, Ann Silver ASSOCIATE BOARD MEMBERS: Jeffrey Britz, Margaret Bromberg, Mindy Cantor, Jerry Cohen, Janet Grossman, Myra Peskowitz, Phyllis Silver, Sandy Slipp 6

Spring 2011 Chronicles  

Temple Adas Israel Newsletter

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