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2013 Nov. 5774

INSIDE This Issue

Golf Tournament page 4

Touro Honors its Old Timers By Lester Nathan members were in attendance at Touro Hall on October 23rd. The evening began with the initiation of four new members and the regular business meeting. After a sumptuous turkey dinner, the festivities began. Chairman Jed Brandes began the ceremony by saying, “We celebrate continuity in the form of our old timers and our association.” He stated that their long-standing memberships 25 – 29 year members (l-r): Mark Freedman (29), Andy Lamchick have preserved the institutional knowledge which (27), Herman Wallock (25), Howard Custis (25), Ross Feinberg has kept Touro going, and then offered them his (25), Dr. Jeffrey Jacobson (27), Edward Fink (27), Gerald Tebrow hearty congratulations. (27), & Sanford Karp (29) Barry Schiff was the evening’s master of ouro Fraternal Association paid homage ceremonies, with help from Brother Rick Cohen. to its brothers with over 25 years of Barry mentioned that the Old Timers “club” had membership at Old Timers Night, held expanded to over 170, calling it a great tribute during the October lodge meeting. Over 120 Old Timers - continued on page 5


Touro Does It Again

Walter Potenza page 6

By Steve Waldman, Chairman, Student Financial Aid


Jeff Padwa page 6

Family Game Night page 7

nce again Touro has been able to assist the children of its brothers with funding for their higher education endeavors. I am pleased to announce that fourteen young men and women have been selected to share a total of $45,000 in educational financial aid. Three of the recipients received $3,000 scholarship grants. Eleven others shared a total of $33,000 in interest-free loans from the Association’s Leo Greenberg Memorial

Scholarship Fund. A total of ten applications for grants were received and the three winners shared some common ground. Coincidentally, all three winners had gone on the March of the Living trip at some point in their young lives. They all believe in giving back to the community by not only doing volunteer work for various organizations, but by taking leadership roles in those organizations.

Deena E. Guttin

Bennett G. Schiff ~1~

Scholarships - continued on page 5

Jordan B. Harpel

Chairman's Chatter By Jed Brandes, Chairman of the Board


y mother’s parents came from a shtetl. After they passed through Ellis Island, like so many other immigrants, they set to the task of assimilating. They primarily spoke Yiddish, but made sure to learn English. My mother, their only child, was given the freedom to steep herself in the American way of life. Though they were never particularly religious, it was of paramount importance to my grandparents that my mother never lost sight of her family, her Jewish roots and her people’s culture. As you might expect, my mother also was not especially religious. But she did keep her family close. The holidays (both secular and non-secular) were times for the family to be together, more so than to observe religious rites or commemorate an historic event. We did practice the more common rituals, like the Passover Seder or lighting Chanukah candles. But on holidays, the meals were absolutely the highlight. We would delight in our culture through brisket, latkes, my great aunt’s famous apple cake, knaidlach, kreplach, etc. Similarly, few in the family were especially concerned about the expertise with which my brothers, cousins or I chanted our Haftorahs at our Bar Mitzvahs. But, oh the parties afterward! And we all went to Hebrew school. It was never particularly important that we learn to speak Hebrew, but four days a week we were surrounded by other Jewish children. And in spite of the fact that it was an absolute misery, Hebrew school did expand and reinforce the customs we learned at home. One way or the other, appreciation of our background, our culture, our family values (and the occasional Yiddish idiom) was going to be passed along to the next generation. Does it sound familiar? I don’t pretend for a second that there is anything fantastical, or even remotely unusual about my family’s experience. In fact, this type of experience is the fabric of the American existence, regardless of background. For ours is a country built by immigrants. But if my family history is commonplace in the context of American culture, then it is even more so in the context of Touro culture. Most of our brothers came from Jewish immigrants. I know that we all have an appreciation for our Jewish roots. The weight of history and the calling of past generations demand it. Our culture is why we became members of a Jewish fraternal association. And Touro comes through! With a full slate of social events, we celebrate our culture. Chanukah parties at the hall are extensions of our celebrations at home. Two-fers and the dinner dance at the Venus de Milo become Touro’s versions of Bar Mitzvah and wedding parties. And then there’s the food. We cannot forget the food. Brisket dinners, dairy dinners, deli dinners, latkes, even Kosher Baked Chicken. They are all throwbacks to another time. But most ~2~

importantly, at Touro, we are… …family. We come together as brothers. It’s not just a word. The more we come to Touro events, the more we learn about each other and develop a genuine bond. The obligation we assumed in the initiation ceremony to care for one another, becomes less an obligation with each event we attend. It is understood. It’s in our DNA. After all, are we not mensches? And so, Touro is here to help us ensure that some of the traditions of our people endure. In a time where fewer and fewer American Jews identify themselves as being Jewish (according to a recent survey conducted by Pew Research Center), this could not be more important. But the association can only take it so far. We must do our part to ensure that Touro’s lifeblood is secured. Specifically, we need new members to carry on its traditions. In years past, we bragged about how three generations of a family would sit at our meetings as brothers. Today? Not so much. In recent months I have spoken with a number of brothers with sons of membership age. I’ve asked them why they haven’t brought their sons into the fold. The usual explanations? Their kids are busy, they are away at college, they don’t know anyone at Touro, etc. In reality, these are little more than excuses. My son will turn 18 in March. In April he will attend the New Member Open House. And he will tender an application for membership. If I left it up to Daniel, it would not happen. He’s busy, he’ll leave for college in August, and he doesn’t know anyone at Touro. But I know better. The few dollars I must spend to maintain his membership will not be missed, nor will they be wasted. It may be years before he becomes fully active in the association. But the time will come when the weight of history and the calling of past generations catch up to him. And when they do, I have every confidence that the brothers will welcome him with open arms. In the meantime, he will come to meetings and events as time permits. Touro and its members will be all the better off for having another brother. And I’ll kvell. Your association needs you as much as you need your association. There’s a symbiotic relationship between the organization and its members. Do you have a son, nephew or cousin of age who is not a brother? How about a friend? If so, then ask yourself why you are depriving them, your brothers and yourselves of much needed camaraderie. Remember: someone once did you the kindness of bringing you into our great fraternity. Pay it forward. You, your brothers and your association have everything to gain. Gai gezunterhait!

President's Report

Social Scene Fall 2013 By Andrew Liss, Vice President, Harmony Lodge


cannot believe it is almost the end of the year! And what a year we have had! A new Chairman and Vice Chairman! As this pertains to the Social Committee, they have both given us ideas for new events, and new perspectives. It was Chairman Jed Brandes who came up with the idea to revitalize the Touro Football event, which had a great turnout. Chili, Hot Dogs, Cards tables and a nice win from the Patriots over the Steelers. Brother Steve White won the tickets to the Patriots vs. Bills game on December 29th, at Gillette Stadium. We also had our Old Timers Night, saluting Brothers with 25 years or more of membership. We got to hear about what Touro was like in the past, from holding meetings at many different locations, to the famed electric dance pad. There is a lot more on the horizon, new events to be coming, but we need your input. If you cannot attend a Social Committee meeting (Every first Tuesday of the month), I encourage you to go to the Facebook page, see what happening, and if you do have an idea, email me there. Here are upcoming events: December 18 6:30pm - 9:30pm, Touro Hall American Chop Suey ala Miller and the classic movie by Mel Brooks, Blazing Saddles. December 25 - Annual Chinese Dinner and a Movie Dinner at the Chinese Buffet Restaurant, 100 Division Road, East Greenwich. The two seating’s will be at 4:30 and 6:00pm. January 29, 6:30pm - Harmony Lodge Meeting Chairman Emeritus Bob Miller's Meatloaf with all the fixings withTrivia Night hosted by Vice Chairman Alan Lury. February 26, 6:30pm - Friendship Lodge Meeting at Chelo’s of Warwick Guest speakers: Trinity Repertory’s Artistic Director Curt Columbus and Associate Artistic director Tyler Dobrowsky. May 04, 6:30pm -The Book of Mormon @ Providence Performing Arts Center. As always, when you attend a Touro meeting please remember to bring a nonperishable kosher food item for the less fortunate.

By Norman Dinerman, President, Harmony Lodge


rothers, I hope that you had an enjoyable summer, made wonderful memories with your family and friends and are looking forward to making more as the leaves fall and winter approaches. One of my memories is that of October 5th at Touro Hall. Touro was hosting a family game night called “Minute to Win It”. As my wife and I walked through the doors, I saw a different side of Touro that I haven't seen during regular meetings. Family and friends were gathered eagerly, eying the games that Rick Cohen's committee had put together. They were looking for ways to get “one up” on their competition, and not even the smell of latkes could stop them from focusing. It was great to see generations of families together enjoying themselves. I am so proud to see my son, stepping up and sharing Touro time with me as an officer. As the younger generation becomes more involved and steps up, it continues a circle with no end. I hope you had the opportunity to take in some of the excellent speakers we have heard and have come to the events on which our Social Committee has worked over the summer months. We are always looking for fresh ideas and planning new events for months to follow. Everyone is always invited and we meet on the first Wednesday of every month to brainstorm, joke and laugh. Speaking of fresh ideas our new social program, Bagelpon, launched at our November Lodge meeting. Through Bagelpon you can enjoy some time with your family and Touro friends, try out a new and fun event and save a few bucks at the same time. The first event will be December 15th at AMF Bowling Lanes. Visit the website for details. Stay in touch and keep up-to-date with all events and information at

Touro Golf League Announces Its Winners By Barry Shaw, Chairman, Golf League nother exciting year in the Touro Golf League Division B, the first half winner was Joel Bazar and the concluded with a banquet and awards ceremony second half winner was Alan Rappoport. held at the Islander Restaurant. We also had a weekly closest-to-the-pin contest This year was different, because we split the league in both divisions. Jeff Davis and Jed Brandes won the into two half-seasons, creating two winners in the A most weeks. Prizes were $10 gift cards. division and two winners in the B division. For next year, league play begins on April 29th and In Division A, the first half winner was Steven Shaw. all Touro brothers are invited to join. For information, For the second half, Barry Shaw took the honor. In please contact the Touro Office at 785-0066.



Community Involvement Embraces Tradition By Andy Lamchick


his year’s Community Involvement Committee has been discussing ways we can make the most impact in our community with our funds. Our first effort does not include much money, but instead, our physical efforts. Each quarter, a group of our committee meets on a Sunday morning at the Ronald McDonald House in Providence to prepare a dinner for the families of critically ill children. This effort is warmly received by the families and the RMH staff. We were also able to provide a tremendous amount of food for the needy, with the help of a matching grant from Alan Shawn Feinstein, to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. Our $1000 donation quickly became $2000. We also donated $1000 to Jewish Family Services for their heat assistance program, and

$1000 to support their kosher meal program. We recently had a request from the Jewish Seniors agency for $600 to sponsor their daycare music and arts program for seniors. The committee overwhelmingly approved this request. Then we heard about needy Jewish families in our community who have no money for basic needs, let alone for Hanukkah gifts. We were told about fifty Jewish families which are in desperate need. The committee dug back to Touro’s roots of providing Hanukkah gifts for the needy in our community and so, we will donate $1000 specifically to help out the fifty neediest Rhode Island Jewish families. The Community Involvement Committee represents you, the members of Touro. We focus on the Jewish community first, on your behalf. Feel free to make suggestions to myself, or anyone on our committee for future donations.

2013 Golf Tournament Winner Decided by Tie Breaker… By Bruce Weisman


unday July 21 was the date and The Cranston Country Club was the place. Great weather, great food and a photo finish. The Touro Team of Jerry Tebrow, Rick Fain, Joey Goodman and Joel Cohen beat out the 2nd place Touro team of Jeff Davis, Neil Arbor, Norman Goodman and Bruce Weisman by a tie breaker on hole #9. Prizes for the day were awarded for first and second place for both Touro and Touro/Guest Teams. There were also prizes for closest to the pin for both Touro members and guests.

TOURO TEAM - 1st place (l-r) [76] Gerald Tebrow, Rich Fain, Joey Goodman, Joel Cohen (won by matching cards)

CLOSEST TO PIN: 8th hole: Touro member-Abe Strashnick 12th hole: Touro member-Fred Lury 15th hole: Touro Guest-Guido Iacobbo TOURO TEAM 1st place: [76] Rich Fain Gerald Tebrow, Joey Goodman Joel Cohen (won by matching cards) 2nd place: [76] Jeff Davis Bruce Weisman Neil Arbor Norm Goodman GUEST TEAM 1st place: [62] Abe Strashnick Mark Hosford 2nd place: [64] Barry Rappoport Alan Rappoport

TOURO TEAM - 2nd place (l-r) [76] Jeff Davis, Neil Arbor, Norman Goodman, Bruce Weisman

TOURO/GUEST TEAM - 1st place (l-r) [62] Joe D’Ambra, Guido Iacobbo, Mark Hosford, Abe Strashnick


Guido Iacobbo, Joe D’Ambra David Rappoport, R. Rappoport

TOURO/GUEST TEAM - 2nd place (l-r) [64] Alan Rappoport, Ryan Rappoport,David Rappoport, Barry Rappoport

Touro Honors Its Old Timers continued from page 1

30-34 year members: (l to r) Peter Hodosh (30), Howard Shapiro (31), Joseph Sharpiro (31), Steven Levy (31), Rodney Locke (34)

40-44 year members: (l to r) Barry Levin (42), Marvin Jacobsen (44)

55-59 year members: (l to r) Myer Grossman (59), Gerald Broman (57)

35-39 year member: Robert Miller (35)

45-49 year members: (l to r) Nathan Lury (47), Sam Mendelowitz (48)

to the Association. The night’s honorees were asked to come to the front of the room and receive their special membership pins. Given the opportunity to make a short speech, several of them did. In the process, the audience got a peek into Touro’s “good old days.” Although former Chairman Arthur Poulten (51 year member) was not able to attend, he sent the Association a short statement which was read by Chairman Brandes. Brother Schiff concluded the ceremony by saying, “These brothers are an inspiration. Touro is a generational place … We are members of a unique brotherhood. Harmony, Friendship and Benevolence lives on.”

50-54 year members: (l to r) Howard Lipsey (51), Barry Newman (52), Morton Coken (53)

60 –64 year members: (l to r) Sanford Gorodetsky (64), Milton Bronstein (62), Samuel Buckler (60, Lenoard Buckler (60)

65 year member: Max Tetelbaum

Scholarships - continued from page 1

The 2013 grant recipients are: Deena E. Guttin, daughter of William M. Guttin, of Cranston. Deena is a senior at Johnson & Wales University in Providence and a Hotel and Lodging Management major. She has made the Dean’s List every semester of her college career to date. Jordan B. Harpel, son of Jeffrey M. Harpel, of Warwick, is a sophomore at Johnson & Wales University and a Network Engineering major. In addition to his studies, Jordan also manages to find time to work two part-time jobs. Bennett G. Schiff, son of Barry Schiff of Cranston, Rhode Island, is a freshman at Drexel University in Philadelphia majoring in Sports Management. Bennett has wasted no time in getting his college career off to a fast start. He has joined the Campus Activities Board, Hillel and as part of his major, he is

working at the U.S. Open Squash Championship, being held this year on Drexel’s campus. Regular Touro members, their spouses and children, and children of deceased Touro members enrolled full-time for the 2013-2014 academic year in an accredited institution of higher learning were eligible for the grants. Regular members, their children and children of deceased members similarly enrolled could apply for the interest-free loans. The loan is not re-payable until six months after the student graduates or ceases to be a full time student. Since the fund was established in 1981, approximately one half of a million dollars has been distributed to students. To date, no loans have been defaulted. As chairman of the committee, I would like to thank all the committee members for their hard work in making the loan and grant process happen. ~5~

"Euphoric Run" for a Great Cause By Howard Wasser


he one thing no one can deny about the 52 mile Ultra-marathon in South Africa. Jeff spoke annual Steak Fry is that nobody leaves about his two-and-a-half year preparation for the hungry! This year’s edition took place on venture, showed some amazing photographs of the Wednesday, June 26. As usual, Bob Miller and his lions, zebras, and elephants he encountered during gang of “happy cookers” prepared those fabulous his adventure and discussed the wonderful reception Touro kosher steaks to perfection. he received from the locals. The night kicked off with an installation He shared his feelings of running during very of eight new Touro Brothers, followed by the difficult conditions of 86 degrees with headwinds business meeting. But this was no typical business of twenty miles per hour. He seriously considered meeting, because at this meeting, Friendship Lodge the possibility that he would not achieve his goal President Lester Nathan introduced Touro’s new of completing the race within the allotted twelve Chairman, Jed Brandes. The new Chairman Jeff Padwa hours, but thought of his Touro brothers and other made an impassioned speech to the inductees to supporters. That motivated him to complete the encourage them to make the most of all that Touro has to offer. endurance test in just over ten hours. He proudly raised $25,000 The business meeting ended with a presentation of an engraved for the Ronald McDonald House in Providence. The word he used rocking chair to Chairman Emeritus Robert D. Miller as a token to describe his dream of completing the marathon was “euphoric.” of Touro’s gratitude for a twelve-year job very “well done”! Coincidently, that’s the same word used by many Touro members The speaker for the evening was Harmony Lodge Vice upon completion of their steak dinner. We all wish Jeff a hearty President Jeff Padwa. Jeff told the amazed “full house” crowd Mazel Tov!!! about his incredible feat of successfully completing the Comrades

Chef Walter Potenza Came, Saw and Conquered Touro Hall By Barry Jay Schiff


n Sunday, September 29th, Harmony Lodge hosted the first meeting of the fall season. Two new members, Barry Guy and Douglas Simon, were initiated followed by a generous spread featuring lox, bagels, whitefish salad and kugel. The morning’s special guest speaker, renowned Rhode Island Chef, Walter Potenza. A native of Italy, he came to America at 19 and was raised Catholic. Through research into his family tree he discovered that his paternal grandmother was Jewish. In addition, from his father’s Italian military records, Walter learned that his dad had helped save Italian Jews from the retreating Nazis in 1944. Chef Walter Potenza Both these revelations piqued his interest in the history of Italian Sephardic Jewish cooking. At one point, there were 23 Jewish ghettos in Italy formed by a pope in 17th century. Depending on the region of Italy in which they were located, different ingredients and recipes evolved. Many Italian favorites such as the eggplant and tomato were first used and eaten by Italian Jews before they were adopted into the broad Italian culinary palate. Following his presentation, our brothers “peppered” Chef Walter with questions. If you missed the meeting, you missed an “eccellente” time.

New Brothers Initiated

June 26 2013: (l to r) Gary Berkowitz, Alan Temkin, Neil Benharris, Bruce Leach, David Leach, Daniel Schafler, Scott Halsband & Alan Halsband

September 29, 2013: (l to r) Douglas Simon & Barry Guy ~6~

October 23, 2013: (l-r) Brett Boisvert, Louis Long, Ralph Nathan, Neal White

Touro's Minute to Win It By Rick Cohen

O (l-r) Ian Berkowitz, Joel Rittner, Madison Rittner Hope Rittner, Andrea Berkowitz, Gary Berkowitz Ari Berkowitz

(l-r) Ethan Golditch, Jason Golditch, Jeffrey Golditch, Mark Lake, Mia Ackerman, Ellie Ackerman. Barry Ackerman, Ed Spater, Chloe Spater

n October 5th at 6:30 PM at Touro Hall, we hosted this year’s second Family Game Night. Attendees fueled up on hot dogs, latkes, and appetizers so they would have plenty of energy to compete in the extremely competitive challenges. Attendees divided into four teams for the competition. The challenging activities were 60-seconds each featuring common household objects and were modeled after the popular TV Show – “Minute to Win It”. Team prizes were awarded. Everyone on the teams competed. Some challenges were individual like Hanky Panky (pulling with one hand all the tissues out of a box), two person challenges like the Nutstacker (using chopsticks to stack nuts on top of each other), or entire team activities like The Mummy (covering one member of the team in toilet paper). All who attended had a great time. If you weren’t able to join us this time around don’t worry because another Touro Family Game Night is being planned for early next year.

(l-r) Frank Resnick, Lindsay Resnick, Amanda Guarino, Jodie Resnick, Emily Guarino, Max Guarino, Lisa Guarino

(l-r) Katie Levin, Michael Levin, David Goldstein, Sharon Goldstein, Gabriel Cohen, Rick Cohen, Marcy Cohen, Mitch Cohen






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December 25 Annual Chinese Dinner and a Movie

February 6 Friendship Lodge Meeting at Chelo's in Warwick Visit Touro at or scan the QR code.

2 0 1 3 NOVEMBER 5 7 7 4 Bruce Weisman, Editor Columnists: Jed Brandes Howard Custis Norman Dinerman Andrew Lamchick Lester Nathan Arthur Poulten Barry Jay Schiff Howard Wasser Staff Photographers: Jeffrey Davis Edward Deluty Stevan Labush Touro Fraternal Association 45 Rolfe Square, P.O. Box 3562, Cranston, RI 02910 Phone: 401-785-0066 Fax: 401-941-8781

TOURO BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2013-2014 Jed Brandes, Chairman Alan Lury, Vice Chairman Steven Waldman, Treasurer Marc Gertsacov, Secretary Judah Rosen, Chaplain Barry Shaw, Inside Guard Robert Miller, Chairman Emeritus Arthur Poulten, Chairman Emeritus Nathan Lury Jed Brandes Robert Miller Milton Bronstein Arthur Poulten Jeffrey Davis Norman Dinnerman Ried Redlich Barry Schiff Adam Halpern Barry Shaw Stevan Labush Michael Smith Andrew Lamchick Steven Waldman Rodney Locke Bruce Weisman Alan Lury Steven White

FRIENDSHIP LODGE HARMONY LODGE Lester Nathan, President Norman Dinerman, President Andrew Liss, Vice President Jeffrey Padwa, Vice President Richard Cohen, Secretary Andrew Shuster, Secretary Michael Levin, Treasurer Manocher Norparvar, Treasurer Max Guarino, Inside Guard Max Dinerman, Inside Guard Ried Redlich, Faithful Guide


at the Providence Performing Arts Center May 4, 2014 6:30 pm for more information, watch for the flyer or call 401.785.0066

Fall 2013  

The Fall 2013 edition of the Tourogram