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the newsletter of woodlands community temple

September 2017 Elul 5777 - Tishrei 5778

Hevra Torah – The Woodlands Community Temple Board of Trustees and the WCT Staff extend our sincerest Come Join Us! n Saturday mornings, wishes for a sweet, healthy and fulfilling Rosh whether you bring a little one to religious school or Hashanah 5778... to you, your family and friends, you’re just taking it easy at home, and all humankind. why not come by the temple and


The WCT Marketplace is Coming! by Gary Stern


he temple’s billowing tent for the High Holy Days will stay up this year after Yom Kippur – as the great Woodlands “Marketplace Sale” returns on Sunday, Oct. 8, from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm. This venerable Woodlands tradition will be a major temple event for the upcoming year, as it culminates months of intensive planning, requires volunteer time from across the congregation, and should stand as a significant fundraiser for 5778. “It sounds almost sacrilegious,” Rabbi Billy Dreskin says, “but so many good things come from this event that I’d argue it’s Woodlands’ third Holy Day!” This year’s tent sale, the first in several years, is expected to offer about 80 tables of

merchandise -- much of it coming as donations from exclusive estate sales. Goods for sale will include jewelry, crystal, clothing, furniture, electronics, artwork, housewares, goods for babies and older children, and so much more. “Our goal is to fill the tent like an Israeli bazaar,” says Ken Dubensky, a longtime Woodlands member who has been running the tent sale, on and off, since 1999. The reason the Marketplace Sale is not held more often is that it’s so much work Continued on page 2

Kabbalat ShabBarbecue Fri, Sep 8 @ 6:00 pm A Great Way to Start the New Year!


something very special and wonderful about barbecue nights at Woodlands. There’s a fabulous feeling of comfort, of relaxation, and of friendship in the air. These are not “family services” (even though we try to make

them family-friendly). We’ll have a regular Woodlands service (outdoors weather-permitting), simple but plentiful food, and company that can’t be beat. So bring yourself, bring your partner, bring your family. Just come and join us for one of these incredibly lovely evenings. The first Kabbalat ShabBarbecue will take place on Friday, September 8. The

service will begin at 6:00 pm (on the patio, we hope), followed by dinner at 7:00 pm. Dress casually. Make your reservations for dinner at And one more thing: Know someone who doesn’t yet belong to Woodlands? Bring them to A Taste of Woodlands at 5:30 pm to meet the clergy and staff, then show them how wonderful your temple is!

spend an engaging, stimulating and uplifting hour talking Torah? Some really nice folks come together each Shabbat morning (9:15-10:15 am) and sit with Billy, Mara or Jonathan to explore the portion of the week. Some of us know a few things about Torah, some don’t know anything. All of us bring our minds and our hearts to meet the text and, together, seek to discover something about it that reaches out across three thousand years to touch our souls. Oddly enough, while wrestling with these words we often see our own selves peering back at us. That just seems to be how Torah works. The focus section is always announced in the weekly email so, if you like, you can read the text beforehand. But if you haven’t read, come anyway. We would love to have you give us a try. Stop by any Saturday morning and take a seat at the table. We’ll help you find the right page and, when you’re ready, we’d love to hear what you’re thinking. Questions are just as welcome as answers!

Hevra Torah Learning ... every Saturday morning, 9:15-10:15 am, in the Meeting Room. Come hungry ... for ruggelakh and intriguing conversation.

Our Woodlands Community

The WCT Marketplace Sale is Coming!, Continued from p. 1

Rabbi Billy Dreskin Rabbi Mara Young Cantor Jonathan Ben Gordon Tara Levine, Director of Youth Engagement Corey Friedlander, Sh’liakh K’hilah Deena Gottlieb, Intern

to plan and execute. Dubensky will need about 120 volunteers on the day of the sale, mostly to run the merchandise tables in shifts, and about 50 volunteers the day before, on Saturday, Oct. 7, to do an enormous amount of setting up. It’s essential that dozens of congregants (even those who never worked, or saw a Marketplace Sale before), sign up to contribute a few hours. Anyone willing to volunteer time on either day should sign up at The Marketplace Sale traditionally brings together so many people from across congregational life that members get to meet people they’ve never known and leave the tent with new friends. WCT P.resident Dayle Fligel says the Marketplace Sale is really about “... members of all ages, parents with their children, all working side by side creating community. This is an event where all hands are needed both Saturday and Sunday. I have met and remained friends with Woodlands members that I worked with at previous tent sales. This is a whole lot of fun, and all it requires is donating your time and items you no longer want or use.” This is the one major temple fundraiser that doesn’t require members to bring their checkbooks (although members are welcome to buy goods they must have). The Marketplace Sale will be advertised across the region, from New Jersey to Connecticut and down to the Bronx and Queens, and organizers hope to draw around 700 people whose sales will support Woodlands. Dubensky and other volunteers have been collecting merchandise for months, including unsold items from estate sales. Goods are being stored in members’ homes and a storage facility donated by The Lock Up Self Storage in Ardsley. On Saturday, Oct. 7, volunteers will be needed to help transport these items to Woodlands and carry them into the tent. Dubensky needs a bunch of teenage “runners” who can do much of the carrying and legwork. Temple members are also encouraged to bring donated items on Saturday the 7th. “You get to sweat together and laugh together,” Dubensky says. On the day of the Marketplace Sale, volunteers are needed to staff tables for these shifts: 8:00-11:00 am, 10:30 am to 1:00 pm, 12:30-3:00 pm, 2:30-5:00 pm, 4:30-6:00 pm and 6:00-9:00 pm. There will be plenty of food, of course: bagels for breakfast, hot dogs and hamburgers for lunch and a bake sale. Volunteers eat for free. “The Marketplace Sale is a tremendous community builder,” Rabbi Billy says. “It takes our entire village to make this one happen, and everybody feels like part of the team because we’re all there together.”

Executive Committee Dayle Fligel, President Rachel Wineberg, VP Education Andy Farber, VP Facilities Michael Wiskind, VP Finance Nancy Fishman, VP Programming/Ritual Irving Adler, Financial Secretary Steve Sagner, Secretary Bonni Abore, Treasurer

Board of Trustees David Bertan Dan Emery Judy Feder Herb Friedman Yvette Gralla Amy Green

Elka Klarsfeld Jenna Lebowich Lisa Linn Mike Scafidi Michele Wise Ann Zarider

Stu Berlowitz (ex-officio)

Office Staff Liz Rauchwerger, Office Coordinator Marjorie Mattel, Office Assistant Michele Montague, Education Administrative Assistant Bookkeeper

Woodlands Community Temple 50 Worthington Road White Plains, NY 10607 914.592.7070 main office 914.592.1790 religious school direct line 914.592.7376 fax Religious School:

Woodlands Community Temple is affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism Art Director: Melanie Roher Advertising Director: Aliza Burton


Registration is now open!

Union for Reform Judaism Biennial December 6-10, 2017, Boston, Massachusetts


oin your rabbis, temple leaders and members who enjoy great music, teachers, and worship for this phenomenal Reform Jewish experience. Speakers include: Abigail Pogrebin, David Grossman, William Barber and Anita Diamant. More information is available at Registration is now open! Save $200 by signing up before Oct 10. Learn how to make Woodlands a better synagogue for us all, and have a great time in Boston too!

from the


What’s In It For You? Dayle Fligel, President

I can hardly believe

that I am beginning my third and final year as your president. There are many thoughts going through my mind at this time. First of all, where has the time gone? I think of how much I have loved getting to know you, our members, how much I have enjoyed the programs we have had, and how eager I am for this year’s events to begin. I have spoken and written about volunteerism, the practice of volunteering your time and talents in our community. Woodlands would not exist without our volunteers, as they are our backbone. There are many members to thank for giving their time and their talents. Because of these volunteers, our membership enjoys an array of programs throughout the year. As you are enjoying and participating in different events, think about what it means to be a volunteer, and what does it mean to specifically be a Woodlands volunteer? What’s in it for you? What are the benefits and enrichment you will receive by volunteering? Being a volunteer at Woodlands has its benefits. It provides physical and emotional rewards, which are very healthy for your soul. By volunteering, you help us save resources and allow us to bring you such high-level programming. As a volunteer, you gain experiences in areas you might never have thought you would choose. Volunteering is the best way to bring people together and make new friends. Volunteering promotes personal growth and self-esteem and truly strengthens our community. By being a volunteer, you have a chance of doing and being involved in new opportunities. You have a chance to not only give back to Woodlands but to our surrounding community as well. By participating in community service, your investment in Woodlands and our membership helps the community at large. But most importantly, by being a volunteer you have a chance to make a difference in the lives of our Woodlands family. If you are waiting for the right time, it’s now. If you think that someone else will take care of it, you’re probably right, but think of what you will gain by being that “someone else.” If you think, “I’m not needed,” you couldn’t be further from the truth. Everyone is needed! If we each add just a little, our cup will overflow with community, fellowship and joy. Make this year the year that we are overflowing!! Reach out to me at or reach out to our individual committee chairs. Find out what you can do, remembering that either small or large, all jobs are important. Be a volunteer – try it, I promise you will like it.

…make a difference in the lives of our Woodlands family.

L’shana tova ... wishing you a sweet New Year,

Just Israel

Kaleidoscope Changes Hearts and Minds by Corey Friedlander The classroom-based Kaleidoscope program teaches problem-solving, collaboration, self-awareness and other social and emotional skills proven by research to form the foundation of respect between people of different backgrounds. Wafeed Mansur, principal of Hilmi Shaafi junior high school in Acre, believes Kaleidoscope is responsible for halting afterschool hostilities that used to arise between his mostly Muslim Arab pupils and Jewish kids in the mixed northern city. “It was a little tough at the beginning,” says Mansur, “because many [participants] couldn’t manage to see a Jew or an Arab as someone they could talk to. We kept insisting the meetings should go on and they started to express their ideas and their fears, too. Since they discovered the qualities of the other side, the humanity of the other side, and personalities that could hear and deal with their opinions, I haven’t heard of any problems in the last six or seven years.”

While Israel struggles with the challenges of establishing peace with her neighbors, good news does emerge. This column provides a brief glimpse of something taking root there that firmly aligns Israel’s values with Judaism’s. We hope you share our pride and admiration for these Arab/Israeli achievements.

A Reminder from Irv Adler, Financial Secretary As a new year begins, please remember that any financial arrangement previously made with the Financial Secretary is for one year only. After receiving your temple bill, if a discussion about a new arrangement would be helpful, please contact Irv Adler at


from the

R a bb i

Rabbi Preaches the Good News! Rabbi Billy Dreskin

We Want You to Make “A Joyful Noise!”


en years ago, we began this service as an experiment. We were looking for ways to create Shabbat services that are informed by the American gospel tradition yet are still authentically Jewish. “A Joyful Noise!” is what we came up with. We designed it to be captivating and enchanting for adults and children alike. With a 12-piece musical ensemble that includes piano, bass, drums, guitar, 2 horns and 4-6 singers, we’re able to create a contemporary, dynamic musical experience that features melodies by many of the American Jewish communities best-known and bestloved composers. Visual worship means engaging graphics behind the prayers and sometimes punctuating the sermons. They also mean your hands are free – free to clap, free to place around someone else’s shoulders or hold their hands. And of course, thoughtful and stimulating writings from the rabbis and others who find their way onto the “AJN” bimah. Here are the dates for the coming year (5778/2017-18): Fri, Oct 20 Fri, Dec 1 (our 10th anniversary!) Fri, Feb 9 Fri, Mar 2 Fri, May 11 “A Joyful Noise!” always draws a crowd. We’d love to see you there as well.


ope. I haven’t become a minister of the Gospel. I’ll leave the New Testament to our neighboring churches (‘tho I hope we’ll all get to do some interfaith studying together in the months ahead). The “good news” I’m talking about concerns little-known events worldwide. Did you happen to read Nicholas Kristof’s column back in July, “Good News, Despite What You’ve Heard”? It’s the most Jewish op-ed I’ve read in a long, long time. Rabbi Nakhman of Breslov, an 18th century Torah scholar and spiritual leader (and grandson of the Baal Shem Tov), would teach, “Ein ye’ush ba’olam k’lal ... it is forbidden to give up hope.” Our world is certainly a complicated place. There’s an awful lot of it that’s downright depressing, and much to be scared about. But not as much as you might think. Judaism challenges us to hope and to labor for a brighter future. 20th century French writer Edmund Fleg expressed it this way, “I am a Jew because at every time when despair cries out, I hope.” We are a people of endless optimism. Even when there’s little to be optimistic about, we can’t help ourselves. We sing “Bayom hahu ... on that day,” imagining a world where all live together in justice and peace. Impossible? Probably. But that won’t stop us from working towards it. Kristof writes about leprosy, how it used to affect untold numbers who were stigmatized and ostracized from their communities, and how the number of cases worldwide have dropped since 1985 by ninety-seven percent. 97%!! Now that’s good news. Disease is on the skids. Since 1990, 100 million children’s lives have been saved through vaccines, healthier eating and improved medical care. Malaria used to kill indiscriminately, but in the first decade of the 21st century there were 670 million fewer cases and 4.3 million fewer deaths than previously predicted. That’s good news. Steven Pinker, in his book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, asserts that violence throughout the world – including military conflict, homicide, genocide, torture, treatment of children, of animals, and of minorities – has declined. Life has gotten better for all of us. And while life for any given individual may be horrid and cruel, overall human existence has grown more secure. Which means that more bad guys have been brought to justice and more good guys have felt the sun shining at their backs. That’s good news. So buck up, kiddos. Things aren’t as bad as we may think. And together, we can make a difference. Here at Woodlands, we can work to save Syrian refugees, we can work to prevent the deportation of immigrant neighbors, we can feed Westchester’s hungry, clothe NYC’s homeless, assist survivors of domestic abuse in reclaiming their lives, and combat climate change. And just by walking into the building, we can say hello to someone, ask how their day’s been, and touch one another’s lives with warmth and welcome. Dr. King, forever hopeful, taught that “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” The prophet Micah similarly taught, “You have been shown what is good and what your Creator requires of you: to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.”

It’s a new year. Let’s work together to bring light and greater understanding and love to as many as we can. L’shana tova tikateivu ... in the New Year, may we be inscribed for, and be inscribers of, abundant blessing.



from the

R a bb i

Next Year in Jerusalem! Rabbi Mara Young


s we begin a New Year together, travel is on my mind. I have visited Israel four times in my life. The sights, sounds and smells of those four visits remain potent in my heart and mind. In 1997, my Grandma Jane took me on a tour as a Bat Mitzvah gift. I remember riding a donkey, my first falafel, and saying prayers at the top of the Masada ruins. I remember thinking it was strange that I had to wear a long skirt to the Kotel (the Western Wall). I learned that Israel was really accessible and had a strange way of feeling like home, even though it was so far away. In 2000, I spent six weeks touring with NFTY in Israel. I remember hiking through the Negev, eating schnitzel in kibbutz dining halls, the Israeli family that housed me for a few days and the smell of the shampoo in their shower. I learned that Israel wasn’t just made up of tourist sites, but of people, and that experiences you have in Israel create long-lasting bonds with those you experience it with. From Summer 2006 through Summer 2007, I lived in Israel for my first year of rabbinical school. The year and the setting transformed me. I actually lived Shabbat for the first time. Fridays were spent cleaning the house and walking to Supersol to pick up fresh cherries before the city’s bustle descended into a whisper for 24 hours. I volunteered with the elderly at a nursing home where Russian grandmothers shook their fists at me when I brought them the wrong kind of juice. Hebrew was the language of my life; I directed taxi drivers and fought an erroneous water bill over the phone in a tongue that was foreign but increasingly confident. Oh, and I fell in love with my future husband. In 2016, my fellowship with the Jewish Education Project took me beyond my comfort zone. I met with settlers in the West Bank, just beyond a checkpoint. I ate in the home of Jews of Moroccan descent and toured the controversial City of David in East Jerusalem. I experienced Israel with more complexity and came home an even bigger Zionist – believing in Israel as the historical heart of the Jewish people while being deeply committed to helping it become a modern state rooted in the Jewish values of justice and compassion. My fifth trip to Israel is December 22, 2018 - January 1, 2019…and I hope you will join me on it. We’re going full speed ahead into Israel’s history, culture, modern challenges, and most interesting sites. Explore the mix of old and new in Jaffa/Tel Aviv, the spiritual heart of Jerusalem, and the magic of the Negev desert. Immerse yourself in the center of Jewish hopes and dreams for millennia – hear the Hebrew, taste the spices, and meet the amazing people. This trip is meant for folks of all ages. While you can visit Israel on your own, there is something very special and enriching about touring it with your temple family! Traveling as a temple community, we’ll learn and grow together. Now is the time to sign up! You can see a detailed itinerary, pricing, and logistics at If you have any questions, please be in touch with me. Most importantly, I hope we’ll experience it all side-by-side. The deadline is Thanksgiving, so don’t delay!

Wishing you l’shana tova ... a sweet New Year ... and l’nesiah tovah ... a sweet new trip!

“…there is something very special and enriching about touring Israel with your temple family!”

Save the Date! 6th Annual Jonah Maccabee Concert with Dan Nichols, Josh Nelson, Ellen Dreskin and Rosalie Boxt

Saturday, March 10, 2018


High Holy Days at Woodlands 5778 ELUL: A Month to Get Ready During the month of Elul (which began on Tue eve, Aug 22), Jewish tradition urges us to begin the introspective process that will occupy our attention during High Holy Days. As we wind down from the sunny, lazy days of summer, Elul reminds us it’s time to begin examining ourselves – our actions, our outlooks – and begin considering why we’ve made the choices we’ve made in the past year, and how we might modify those choices in the months ahead. Rosh Hashanah begins on Wed eve, Sep 20. These days are tremendous gifts to us from Jewish tradition: that rare opportunity to spend dedicated time thinking about the person we’re supposed to be. Every moment in the tent leverages that opportunity. In the preceding days of Elul, we encourage you to look for other ways to start this sacred process. See you in the tent!

Selihot: A Midnight Mystery Sat, Sep 16 at 10:00 pm As the summer winds down, join us for this late-night very spiritual beginning to Judaism’s remarkable period of self-reflection we call the High Holy Days. Selihot has its origins in Jewish mysticism and, to this day, offers an embracing, inspiring late-night hour of personal review of the year gone by. It’s a very sweet, yet provocative opportunity to meet the music and the themes that will fill our tent just a week later. One of our better-kept secrets here at Woodlands, Selihot is some people’s favorite service of the entire year! Be sure to put Sat, Sep 16 at 10:00 pm on your calendar.

Honor a Loved One High Holy Days Bookplates Now Available It is a time-honored Jewish tradition to honor people we love by making tzedakah contributions on their behalf. You and your family may do this by purchasing bookplates to dedicate individual copies of our High Holy Days makhzor. Your donation will help us pay for these new makhzorim. • Bookplates cost $36 for each makhzor dedicated. • One plate will be lovingly inscribed with both your and your loved one’s name. • Each plate will be placed inside one synagogue copy of our High Holy Days prayerbook. • Order online at

A Word to Our Parents about the High Holy Days Please know that we encourage all our children to attend adult services for High Holy Days. While children’s programs and services tailored for specific age groups will be available throughout the High Holy Days, you and your entire family are always welcome in the tent. We look forward to seeing them among the faces for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We ask that you be considerate of other worshipers during the services and be responsible for your child’s behavior, whether inside or outside of the tent.

Parking for the High Holy Days “Be a Good PARKING Neighbor.” We know parking is at a premium when large numbers come to temple. So please carpool and reduce the number of cars coming into the neighborhood. If you do drive, park at St. Joe’s (in the designated spots only). If the St. Joe’s lot is full, you may park on Don La, Biltom Rd and Drake Rd, but not Whitehouse Rd. Remember to park only on the side designated by Police Department signs and strictly observe the NO PARKING signs. Greenburgh Police patrol these streets, and will ticket (maybe tow) cars not parked properly. There will be handicapped parking spaces close to the Tent for legitimate state or county handicapped parking license permits. In addition, the entire temple parking lot will be reserved for families that require parking in close proximity to the temple such as seniors unable to navigate the hill from St. Joe’s. These spaces are extremely limited, so please make sure you truly need one before parking there. Thank you for complying with these instructions. The High Holy Days are a wonderful time for us; let’s do what we can to be wonderful neighbors, as well.

Ushering for High Holy Days Is Open to All! Ever wondered how to volunteer to help out in the Tent during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur? It’s easy, and we could really use your help (teens included). Sign up online at Lend a hand at either congregational services or family services – your pick! We also need 15-20 minutes of help after Neilah (the closing service on Yom Kippur) to put away books and papers for next year. Questions, please contact Mike Lebowich (


High Holy Days Service Schedule Selihot (Sat, Sep 16) Late-Night Service

10:00 pm

Sukkot Evening (Wed, Oct 4) Sukkot Family Experience

4:30 pm

Kabbalat Sukkot Service 5:15 pm

Rosh Hashanah Day (Thu, Sep 21) Family Service 2:30-3:45 pm (parents and school-age children)

Rosh Hashanah Evening (Wed, Sep 20)

Sukkot BBQ

Evening Service

8:00 pm

Teen Experience (Grades 8-12)

Tashlikh (for everyone) 4:00-4:45 pm (we’ll walk from WCT to St. Joe’s Church)

8:00 pm

Sukkot Learning with Rabbi Mara 8:30-10:00 am

Simkhat Torah Evening (Wed, Oct 11)

Yom Kippur Day (Sat, Sep 30)

Rosh Hashanah Day 1 (Thu, Sep 21) Morning Service

10:00 am

Family Service

2:30-3:45 pm

Young Family Service

3:00-3:45 pm


4:00-4:45 pm

Rosh Hashanah Day 2 (Fri, Sep 22) Morning Service

10:00 am

Shabbat Shuvah (Fri, Sep 22) Evening Service 8:00 pm (Corey Friedlander will speak)

Kol Nidre (Fri, Sep 29) Evening Service

8:00 pm

Teen Experience (Grades 8-12)

8:00 pm

Yom Kippur Day (Sat, Sep 30) Morning Service

10:00 am


12:30 pm

Family Service

1:45-3:00 pm

Young Family Service

2:15-3:00 pm

Afternoon Learning

2:15 pm


3:30 pm

Afternoon Service

4:30 pm


5:30 pm

Congregational Break Fast

6:30 pm

6:15 pm

Family Services for the High Holy Days

Sukkot Day (Thu, Oct 5)

Young Family Service 3:00-3:45 pm (parents and preschool-age children)


6:30 pm

Family Service 1:45-3:00 pm (parents and school-age children)

Cong’l Simkhat Torah Celebration

7:30-9:00 pm

Young Family Service 2:15-3:00 pm (parents and preschool-age children)

Simkhat Torah Day (Thu, Oct 12) Yizkor

9:00 am

Consecration Service

10:15 am

High Holy Days Sermons Will Be Online If you find one presentation or another particularly meaningful during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, or just want to read something through again, you can download it for yourself or to share with others. They will be available at hhdsermons.

Tashlikh – Judaism’s Rosh Hashanah Water Ritual At 4:00 pm on Rosh Hashanah afternoon (Thu, Sep 21), we’ll gather by the stream at St. Joseph of Arimathea Church (just down the street at 2172 Saw Mill River Road ... plenty of parking in the church lot). After spending a few moments considering what hurtful parts of ourselves we’d like to “cast off” in the New Year ahead, we’ll scatter bread crumbs “into the depths of the sea.” Very simple. Very personal. Very powerful. Join us for our 4:00 walk from the temple to the stream (or meet us there), and our “casting off” as we observe Tashlikh. A poignant beginning to 5778. Special invitation: If you have a shofar, bring it. At Tashlikh, everyone is welcome to sound the calls.

Neilah (for everyone)

5:30-6:30 p

College and High School Aliyot for the High Holy Days Each year, we are delighted to invite our high school students and college students for a Torah aliyah during the High Holy Days. This year, these will take place at the following times: • For All Academy Students and WoodSY Members Rosh Hashanah Morning Thu, Sep 21 @ 10:00 am • For All College Students Yom Kippur Morning Sat, Sep 30 @ 10:00 am

The High Holy Days Food Van Bring a Box or Bag of Food on Yom Kippur In Westchester, one in five are hungry or at risk of hunger. The elderly, working poor, single mothers and children ... 200,000 food-insecure Westchester residents. On Yom Kippur, Woodlands collects non-perishable food to donate to local food pantries, directly feeding our neighbors in need. Bring a bag or box of new, healthy food. If you can volunteer for an hour or two to help at the collection truck – accepting donations, checking expiration dates and boxing the food – please visit (adults and children grade 6 and older).


High Holy Days 5778

Your Tallit’s Nightlife

The tallit (prayershawl) is traditionally worn only during morning prayer. If you’re the shaliakh tzibur (service leader) or you’re coming up for an aliyah (either to bless or to read the Torah), you may wear one for these specific moments. But there’s one time during the year that everyone is invited to wear a tallit at night: Kol Nidre. So for Yom Kippur this year, give your tallit a nightlife and bring it to the tent for Kol Nidre.

Bring Your Kids Back for Neilah As the sky grows dark, we dim the lights and open the Ark to prepare for the closing of Yom Kippur’s “Gates.” It’s a magical moment. We’d love to have you return with your children and grandchildren for our concluding Neilah service and one final, awe-inspiring tekiah gedolah on the shofar. Neilah begins about 5:30 pm and concludes with the blast of the shofar and a brief Havdalah at 6:30. You’re welcome to come in with your kids at any time.

face: How should we best use modern treatments and technologies in a thoughtful and appropriate manner? 2) As the day continues on, come spend an hour with our very own Rabbi Joan Glazer Farber studying and discussing some of our traditional Yom Kippur texts. This year, she’ll take us on a second journey into the new Reform makhzor, Mishkan HaNefesh. She’d love to have you join her 2:15-3:15 pm in the Youth Lounge.

A Note about Yom Kippur Yizkor Our Afternoon Service and Neilah (Concluding Service) on Yom Kippur Day follow immediately after Yizkor. There is no interruption. These services are among the most inspiring moments during the entire High Holy Days, but their beauty is disrupted by congregants leaving when Yizkor concludes. Please remain with us for the final minutes of the day.

Please Join us at our Famous Annual Sukkot BBQ Wed, Oct 4, 4:30-8:00 pm A holiday celebration for the whole congregation!

Yom Kippur Afternoon Learning Jewish tradition finds many people staying at temple throughout Yom Kippur day, both to deepen the value of the Holy Day and to make it easier to fast. Between some of our services, we offer some wonderful learning opportunities that you’ll really enjoy: 1) Immediately following our morning service, join us in the Sanctuary for an hour’s presentation and discussion on “Pediatric Ethics: Protecting the Interests of Children,” featuring our very own Dr. Alan Fleischman along with rabbinic intern Deena Gottlieb. New medical interventions for infants, children and adolescents bring the promise of longer and better lives, but may also create burdens and conflicts and a diminished future quality of life. Alan will discuss the hard choices that families and clinicians


4:30 Sukkot Family Experience 5:15 Kabbalat Sukkot Service (a 1-hour musical, visual worship for young and old) 6:15 Sukkot BBQ Sukkot activities and services are free. BBQ costs: Through Fri, Sep 29: adults $15, children $7, families $30 On or after Sat, Sep 30: adults $20, children $10, families $40 Bring one side-dish or dessert per family (if possible, make it local, go for organic, and keep it green). And don’t forget, no nuts please! Sign-up online at Please remember to bring fruits and veggies to hang in the sukkah!

Build My

Own Sukkah?! Building a sukkah at home can make Sukkot exciting and hands-on for young and old alike. It’s really not so complicated. And many sukkah-builders involve their friends, relatives, and even the entire neighborhood in the fun. Sukkot this year begins Sunday evening, October 16 (and tradition has us return home from Yom Kippur services to begin building). Why not let us show you “The Sukkah Project” and other ideas about how to make your own sukkah? Visit for details.

Simkhat Torah!! Our Annual Celebration Of Torah And Jewish Learning Wed, Oct 11 Dinner at 6:30 pm Celebration 7:30-9:00 pm Don’t miss our rockin’ Simkhat Torah house band! Witness the awesome experience of unrolling the entire Torah! Bring your entire family – from great-grandparents to grand infants – as we sing, dance and celebrate with our Torah ... the Woodlands way! Register for dinner at

Worship Schedule This month, we have noted the days of the Hebrew month of Elul. Jewish tradition challenges us during Elul to prepare ourselves for the High Holy Days. When Elul ends, we hope you will enter the Tent ready to engage in self-transformation.

Shabbat Nitzavim-Vayelekh

Shabbat Kee Taytzay

As the month of Elul leads us toward Rosh Hashanah, come share in our communal preparation for the Days of Awe. Join us as we take the opportunity to explore the meaning of our Holy Day prayers, and how they can help us review and improve our lives. The 25th of Elul, five days until Rosh Hashanah.

Deut 21:10 - 25:19 ... Isa 54:1-10

Fri, Sep 1 Outdoor Shabbat at 8:00 pm Start your Labor Day weekend right, with Shabbat celebration! The 11th of Elul, nineteen days until Rosh Hashanah.

Deut 29:9 - 31:30 ... Isa 61:10 - 63:9

Fri, Sep 15 Worship with the Wires Exposed at 8:00 pm

Sat, Sep 16

Sat, Sep 2

Shabbat Morning Service at 10:30 am

No 10:30 am service today. Ask for Kaddish to be recited at Hevra Torah (9:15 am).

Celebrate with us as Jack Oren, son of Nancy and Richard Oren, becomes a Bar Mitzvah.

Shabbat Kee Tavo

Shabbat Ha’azinu

Deut 26:1 - 29:8 ... Isa 60:1-22

Deut 32:1-52 ... II Sam 22:1-51

Fri, Sep 8

Fri, Sep 22

A Taste of Woodlands at 5:30 pm

Shabbat Shuvah at 8:00 pm

Know someone who doesn’t yet belong to Woodlands? Bring them to meet your clergy and temple leadership, then show off your temple at our service and barbecue!

The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur offer time to continue reflecting on the purpose and direction of our lives. Corey Friedlander, our shaliakh kehilah, will be our very special guest speaker and Cantor Jonathan will chant the Shabbat Shuvah haftarah.

Kabbalat ShaBBQ at 6:00 pm A great way to start the new temple year. Come celebrate Shabbat for an hour and then stick around for our famous ShabBarbecue. Reservations for dinner online at The 18th of Elul, twelve days until Rosh Hashanah.

Sat, Sep 9 Shabbat Morning Service at 10:30 am Celebrate with us as Ian Forman, son of Adrian Forman and Frank Forman, becomes a Bar Mitzvah.


Babysitting at 8:00 pm Shabbat

services is provided by teens from our religious school. This month, babysitting will be available on Sep 15 and 22. There is no charge and no advance notice is required. For further information, contact During the High Holy Days, babysitting will be available. There is a fee and advance registration is required (no walk-ins will be accepted). Advance reservations may be arranged at for the following services: Rosh Hashanah Evening (Wed, Sep 20) ... 8:00 pm service Rosh Hashanah Day (Thu, Sep 21 and Fri, Sep 22) ... 10:00 am services Kol Nidre (Fri, Sep 29) ... 8:00 pm service Yom Kippur Day (Sat, Sep 30) ... 10:00 am and 3:30 pm services

Hevra Torah Learning Saturdays, 9:15-10:15 am There’s abundant room around our table. Drop by once or often, we’d love to have you join our lively conversation. In the Meeting Room or Library.

Sep 2: Parashat Kee Taytzay Facilitated by Harriet Levine

Sep 9: Parashat Kee Tavo

Sat, Sep 23

Facilitated by Rabbi Joan Farber

Shabbat Morning Service at 10:30 am

Sep 16: Parashat NitzavimVayelekh

Celebrate with us as Sophie Miller, daughter of Jill and Todd Miller, becomes a Bat Mitzvah.

Shabbat Yom Kippur Fri-Sat, Sep 29-30 Yom Kippur falls on Shabbat this year! See the HHD Schedule for service times.

Facilitated by Miriam Emery

Sep 23: Parashat Ha’azinu Facilitated by Julie Hirschfeld

Sep 30: Yom Kippur No Hevra Torah today


from the


Being Scammed — An Opportunity for Torah Cantor Jonathan Gordon


was recently hacked by a guy in Africa who wanted me to click on his link. I’ll give you the text conversation we had on my Facebook Messenger account. This fellow posed as a singer whom I know. He asked about my family and health, and then shared his good news.

Jammin’ Shabbat 5778! Put on your jammies, bring a bedtime friend, and c’mon over to Woodlands for the wildest bedtime song, stories and blessings ever! Rabbi Billy, Rabbi Mara and Cantor Jonathan will be jammin’ with songs and stories. So if you’re looking for an exciting way to celebrate Shabbat as a family (and to get ready for bed), you won’t want to miss a single JAMMIN’ SHABBAT this year! One Friday night a month, 7:00-7:30 pm. Here are the dates for 5778 (2017-18): Fri, Oct 13 Fri, Nov 10 Fri, Dec 22 Fri, Jan 12 Fri, Feb 16 Fri, Mar 16; Fri, Apr 20 Fri, May 25 Grandparents: If you have little ones living in (or visiting!) the Westchester area and you’d like to kvell at their loving being in temple, invite them to join you for Jammin’ Shabbat. They’ll love it, which means you will too!

If you or someone you know is a victim of Domestic Abuse, please share this confidential hotline:

Him: I got a Federal grant. My friend told me about it, and she got 75K! Here is the link, it’s worth a shot. Me: How does it feel to be a crook, stealing from the innocent? What do you tell your parents you do for a living? Him: What are you talking about? ME: You and this scam you are trying to run. Why do you do it? Him: You wanna know? Me: Yes I do. Him: Okay. Poor government. If our country was like yours, do you think I would try to scam you? Me: No, I know we are a very wealthy country. Privileged. If there were a better way, you would take it. My problem is that the old or disabled will fall for such a scheme. They deserve protection. Him: Yes I would, but there is no better way. Me: I hope you find a better way, even in your country. Him: You have a good life, a good country, everything you need is within your grasp. It’s not my fault I choose to scam, the economy pushed me. Me: There can’t be much money in what you are doing now, or is there? Him: No there is not. Me: Well, I hope that God leads you on straight paths for the sake of His name, as the Psalm says. Him: Get a little money today, food for like two weeks, and starve until another one rolls in. Amen to the psalm. I am sorry I tried scamming you. Me: I hope you find a better way to a life you are proud of. I forgive you, truly. But think of the old or infirm who fall victim. Him: Lol. My real name is Xxxx. Me: Where in the world are you, or can’t you say? Him: Xxxx Nigeria. Me: May God bless you and your family with prosperity and happiness. Him: Amen, and thank you sir. Me: Be well. There are too many victims in this world. We should protect them all. Him: I really appreciate your talking to me in this manner despite the fact that I was about to hurt you. I pray that the Almighty God touches my heart, and I turn a new leaf. May God help me. Me: Amen, and best of luck. Him: Thank you, thank you.

This time of year, we affirm enduring truths: That all people have the capacity to return to God, and that words of God can help us turn to proper conduct. May it be so in all places and times.


from the

D i r e ct o r


Youth Engagement

Coming Your Way! Tara Levine


hope everyone had a lovely summer filled with relaxation and fun! This summer, I was a Unit Head at URJ Crane Lake Camp for Lower Chaverim, the kids going into 8th grade. A bunch of WCT kiddos were in my unit, so we had tons of fun spending the summer together, along with all of our other WCT friends who were always close by. Camp is a great way for me to feel connected to the URJ in a different way than the rest of the year, and I am reminded why URJ camping is so poignant for kids who grow up in it. They’re immersed in Jewish life 24/7 for 4-8 weeks, make the best friends of their lives, and learn more about who they are. It’s truly beautiful, and I’m lucky to be part of it. This year (my third year at Woodlands ... boy, how time flies!) I’m looking forward to some exciting things. Soon, I’ll be launching a new program for teens involving monthly challah baking and tzedakah. We will likely bake on Wednesdays and be selling challah to congregants on Thursdays. If you or your teen are interested in helping, please let me know. Everyone else: get ready to order some amazing challah! Also, this year, I’ll be continuing to work with the LGBTQ+ taskforce to help make Woodlands an even more inclusive place to be. In June, we held our first Pride Shabbat, which was incredibly special for everyone involved. This year, we are hoping to replace our current single-stall bathroom signs with ones that are inclusive of all genders, continue updating language on signup forms and the website to reflect non-binary language, and more. Our taskforce typically meets monthly on Thursday nights, so if you’re interested in being part of the conversation, please be in touch. Lastly, our Youth and Family Engagement Committee has some exciting events planned. Parents of teens, if you attended Dr. Betsy Stone’s session last year, you know how valuable it is to have a program targeted just towards your demographic. Parents of smaller kids usually have more opportunities to see each other and troubleshoot questions about parenting, but as kids grow up there are fewer opportunities available. YFEC is trying to help bridge that gap again this year, so save the date for speaker Nicole Nevarez, who will be visiting us on Saturday evening, November 18 (from Moving Traditions: Rosh Hodesh and Shevet Achim) to speak about sexuality and identity. You won’t want to miss it. And due to popular demand, YFEC is also hosting two Yoga Shabbat services this year. More information to come!

It’s going to be another wonderful year here at WCT. I can’t wait to continue this incredible journey with all of you!

“Simply Shabbat” is Simply Delightful! Woodlands is a pretty exciting place to build a Jewish life for ourselves and our loved ones. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to take it easy and just enjoy one another’s company. “Simply Shabbat” is a Friday evening service that does just that. The clergy lead a simple Shabbat service, with familiar Jewish melodies, perhaps a Torah reading or a discussion, and the beauty of spending Shabbat with our beloved Woodlands community. Our first “Simply Shabbat” this year will take place at 8:00 pm on Fri, Sep 15. Come join us!

Memorial Garden Wall Inscribe Your Loved One’s Name


wice a year, Woodlands adds names to our beautiful outdoor Memorial Garden Wall (just outside the sanctuary on the other side of the Ark) and dedicates them during a Yizkor Memorial Service. The fall dedication will be held during Yizkor on the last day of Sukkot (Monday, October 12 at 9:00 am). Please visit if you wish to have names inscribed on our Memorial Garden Wall in time for the Sukkot dedication, and supply the information requested there - not later than Friday, October 7. The price for inscription is $800 per name. Space may be reserved on the Wall for future inscriptions with full, advance payment. All names (whether they are to be inscribed or reserved) should be submitted at the time of reservation. This allows the engravers to allocate appropriate space for future inscriptions. Zekher tzadik livrakha ... their memories are for a blessing.


September Happenings & Beyond Learning

Sukkot Learning in the Sukkah

Welcome back to another season of fantastic adventures with Adult Education. Our ongoing favorites continue with Jewish Studies with Harriet Levine, Book Club, Current Events, Lunch and Learn, and S’forim Forum. New events are always on their way, as well! Check the Adult Ed brochure for details.

Always a wonderful Sukkot morning, come nosh on bagel and a shmear while exploring some of Judaism’s greatest texts. We’ll read through the originals and probe them for deeper meanings and contemporary relevance. Led by Rabbi Mara.

Thu, Oct 5, 8:30-10:00 am

Talmud with Rabbi Billy

L’shana tovah!

Five Thursdays, Oct 19 - Dec 21, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Book Club Wed, Sep 13 at 2:00 pm

The Talmud is a doorway into self-discovery. Containing 800 years of spiritual inquiry, the Talmud has, for 2000 more, beckoned generations of seekers who’d like to better understand the Jewish quest for answers to life’s greatest puzzles: right and wrong, pain and struggle, the existence of God, death.

We open the season with Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior, a brilliant and suspenseful novel that covers climate change, stagnating marriages, fears for the future of our children, the role of society and ethics, dynamics of extended family life, cultural difference of region and class, infidelity, friendship, and the role of religion in contemporary society. What a read!

You are warmly invited to join our intrepid team of adventurers and learners. Get yourself a copy of Koren Talmud Bavli, Vol. 1: Tractate Berakhot (English and Hebrew Edition) and jump right in with us (or just visit our first class to try us out). Our conversations are entertaining, frequently enlightening often irreverent, and sometimes life-changing. Contact the office ( to register. Hope to see you there!

Social Action

Engaging Israel: Jewish Values and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Rabbi Billy Dreskin

9 Wednesdays, 8:00-9:30 pm Oct 18 - Jan 3 We’re not looking to change your politics on Israel, but to work with the prism of Jewish values through which you form your opinions. Through text study with Rabbi Billy and video presentations from renowned Israeli scholars, we’ll address core questions that foster greater understanding and greater respect for each other, without whitewashing the differences. Visit israel to register. Course fee is $18. Book fee is $20.


September Mensch of the Month is Grade 7 You, too, can be a mensch by bringing in cereal boxes, granola bars, juice boxes or fruit cups for the food cart. Help our local food pantries and the folks they serve.

as well as middle school and older kids (with parent) are welcome. Too often we walk by those who are hungry, rarely having the time to stop and talk. This doesn’t have to be. Join us by emailing Michael Silverman and Betsy Schorr at Or, if you can’t come along, you can provide homemade or store-bought breakfast foods or new or gently-used casual clothing.

Woodlands Gift Card Drive at the Sukkot BBQ Wed, Oct 4 Woodlands Domestic Abuse Task Force continues to help families move from Hope’s Door into transitional housing. We do the best we can to provide survivor families with everything they need for a fresh start, but sometimes we just don’t have the time or resources to cover everything. To meet needs as they arise, as well as fill in any missing items, we ask once each year that those attending the Sukkot BBQ bring a gift card from Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, Kohl’s, etc. and drop it off in the DATF basket at the sign-in table. Want to join or to find out more about the Domestic Abuse Task Force? Email us at

Upstander Intervention Workshop Sun, Oct 15, 3:00-5:00 pm The names of several hundred congregants and friends who pledged to fight bigotry appear on our temple Stand Up Wall. For them and for others, we are providing help in just how to do that. The Center for Anti-Violence Education will conduct a workshop here at Woodlands teaching us the range of responses available to us when we see someone targeted by hatred or when we are in the presence of bigoted conversations. Registration information is coming.

Monthly Knitting and Crocheting Sun, Sep 17 at 3:00 pm Make mitzvah projects together with our friendly and active group. All levels welcome, including beginners. RSVP to Angela Adler (

Breakfast Run Sun, Sep 24, 6:45-10:30 am If you have never done a breakfast run, this may be the time to start. Join us for an extraordinary morning on a NYC street serving breakfast, supplying toiletries, distributing clothing, and bringing compassion and a smile to low-income or homeless folks. Adults

Refugees and Immigrants Because we know what it feels like to be a stranger, our work with refugees and immigrants is expanding. Our Refugee Resettlement ( and Immigrant Friends at Woodlands ( task forces welcome your participation.

Meet Deena Gottlieb! Environmental Task Force

New Rabbinic Intern Starts This Fall 2017


Our new Environmental Task Force, chaired by Kirsten Kleinman and Adam Hart, is looking for members. If you are concerned about the environment and want to join with others to make a difference, let Kirsten and Adam know at

ince 1976, Woodlands has hosted fifteen HUC rabbinical students as interns. They have taught us and our children, led services, and participated in social justice activities. Fully embraced by this community, each intern has fallen in love with Woodlands and wished they could stay forever (only two have managed that feat ... do you know who?).

Youth Engagement

Now, we’re getting ready to welcome intern #16. Her name is Deena Gottlieb. You can meet Deena in the Tent during the High Holy Days. For now, she’s written a few words of greeting for you to read here. But don’t wait too long to come meet the real thing!

Teen High Holy Days Rosh Hashanah Evening Wed, Sep 20 at 8:00 pm Kol Nidre Fri, Sep 29 at 8:00 pm Join WoodSY for teen services. To start the New Year, we’ll enjoy meaningful, teen-led worship and a program. Bring your 8th-12th grade WCT friends!

Shalom! My name is Deena Gottlieb and I am delighted to join the Woodlands community as your rabbinic intern!

I Woodlands Receives Award from URJ Summer Camps For the 7th consecutive year, Woodlands Community Temple has received an award from Eisner and Crane Lake camps for sending loads of young people to Eisner, Crane Lake, 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy, Kutz Camp, and NFTY in Israel. WCT sent 43 students to URJ summer programs, or about 20% of our religious school population. We’re so proud to receive this recognition of our support of Reform Jewish summer programs. These are a crucial part of building children’s Jewish identity, self-esteem and confidence. By sending our kids to Reform summer programs, we’re helping them shape the future of Reform Judaism, and mold positive, Jewish lives for themselves. For more information about Eisner, Crane Lake, Kutz or 6 Points, visit online.

have just completed my second year of the rabbinical program at HUC-JIR. Duringmy first year in Israel, I served as a New Israel Fund Social Justice Fellow and participated in the Rabbinical Student Seminar at the Shalom Hartman Institute. I love Hebrew language and Israeli music, and I am excited to share my passion for Israeli culture. I attended Yale University and graduated in 2015 with a degree in Cognitive Science and Religious Studies. Within cognitive science, I worked in a lab where I assisted with research into the cognitive origins of religious belief. We worked with young children to try and determine how, when, and why religious ideas manifest along the course of human development. Within religious studies, I learned about the role of ritual in people’s lives, and the ways in which people create meaning and purpose through religion and spirituality. I also studied the motivations for understanding human experiences – including religion, emotions, and health – through brain science. I believe that there is much to be learned through dialogue between religion and science, and I look forward to engaging in those conversations during my time at Woodlands. During college, I served as Religious Life Chair and Co-President of Yale Hillel. I became passionate about creating innovative ways to celebrate the holidays and making Judaism meaningful and relevant in the lives of college students. I worked with a professor of African American Studies to plan seders for Passover, and helped to create multi-faith discussions on forgiveness and atonement for Yom Kippur. I was also a member of a group called MAJIC, Muslims and Jews in Conversation, where students gathered to talk about issues affecting our lives and our world. Additionally, I was very active in the Yale Hunger and Homelessness Action Project. In my free time, I enjoy swimming, reading non-fiction, and spending time with family and friends. Please introduce yourself to me in person or by email (intern@wct. org). I can’t wait to start working with this incredible community!

Deena Gottlieb WCT Rabbinic Intern 2017-18


the Simkha Page

Our B’nai Mitzvah

Hello again!!! Feels like the summer was just a blink and we’re back full throttle in our fast paced lives. The Judaica Shop at Woodlands strives to relieve some of the pressure by being “your neighborhood shop for gift giving ... and getting.” We just finished our summer buying and can’t wait to showcase the great new merchandise we found. So stop by and check out our new mezuzot, Shabbat candlesticks, home blessings, baby gifts and of course ... Judaica-inspired jewelry! September marks our annual “Surprise Sale.” Stop by the gift shop, pick a sealed ticket for 10%, 15%, 20% or 25% off your in-stock purchase from Sun, Sep 10 - Thu, Sep 28. Don’t miss this opportunity for great deals on holiday (Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, Passover, Purim) merchandise, on hostess gifts, or on those pieces you’ve been eyeing before they’re gone! We love to listen to our congregants and bring in those unique pieces you’ve been looking for. Check out the Judaica-themed sympathy cards, electric Yahrzeit candles, kaleidoscopes and car mezuzot! The Judaica Shop is open, by request, every day the temple office is staffed. Evening and weekend hours are noted in the weekly temple email. Looking for a something special? Email us at

L’shana tova! 14

Ian Forman

Sophie Miller

Sep 9

Sep 23

Torah Portion Kee Tavo

Torah Portion Ha’azinu

Hebrew Name Avraham

Hebrew Name Devorah

Jack Oren Sep 16 Torah Portion Vayelekh Hebrew Name Simkha Gedalya

Todah Rabbah (thank you) to... David Gaffen, for his excellent presentation on what in the news is real and what is not.

Everyone who facilitated learning at our Tikkun Layl Shavuot: Rabbi Joan Glazer Farber, Andrew Bordwin, Harriet Levine, Rabbi Mara Young, Jordan Stein, Zev Kaufman, Jordan Einhorn, Jay Izes, Rabbi Lisa Izes, Lisa Sacks, Barry Kessler, Donna Hart, Roberta Roos and Karyn Schorr, Corey Friedlander, Deena Gottlieb (our new intern!), Jenna Lebowich, Leora Cohen Friedman, and Margot Serwer. What an incredible evening!

Our fabulous tech teams that kept the pictures coming during visual worship: Maddy Lesser, Elijah Emery, Dylan Klein, Sam Scafidi, Ashley Klein, Anna Schlesinger, Marina Lebowich, Jonathan Montague, Rabbi Joan Farber, Daniel Goldberg, Molly Greenholz, Brendan Chang and Isabelle Ripin. Makom “staff reporters” Fran Smith and Gary Stern. The LGBTQ+ Task Force for implementing an incredible first Pride Shabbat at WCT. The wonderful grilling crew at the Mishpakha ShaBBQ: Stu Berlowitz, Mark Fox, Mitch Klein and David Bertan.

Mazal Tov to... Adrian Forman and Frank Forman as their son, Ian, is called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah. Nancy and Richard Oren as their son, Jack, is called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah. Jill and Todd Miller as their daughter, Sophie, is called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah. Ken and Liz Blum on the birth of their grandson, Ryan John Blum, son of Julie and Michael Blum. Steve and Terri Levin on the birth of their grand-daughter, Maisie Eloise, daughter of Adrienne and Noah Tanzman.

Corey Friedlander, on being honored by the Shames JCC and Rivertowns Jewish Consortium for dedication to providing inspiration to his fellow congregants for living more meaningful Jewish lives.

Donations We appreciate the thoughtfulness of those who support Woodlands Community Temple by remembering and honoring their friends and loved ones through their generous contributions.

Rabbi Billy’s Mitzah Fund

In memory of Dora Cooke, mother of Jackie Leicht, from Nelson and Jackie Leicht. In honor of our mothers, Gloria Israel and Miriam Berliner, from David and Donna Berliner.

In honor of Corey Friedlander for being honored by the JCC on the Hudson, from Sy and Sarah Donner. In memory of Steve Zizmor, from Lee and Nanci Brickman, Stu and Karen Berlowitz, Ellen Shapiro and Rav Julius Rabinowitz, Michael and Stacey Silverman. In memory of Robert Brickman, father of Lee Brickman, from Lee and Nanci Brickman. In memory of Julian Fischgrund, father of Robert Fischgrund, from David and Dayle Fligel. In memory of Julian Fischgrund, father of Robert Fischgrund, from Mark and Michele Montague. In memory of Tamara Danish Tabb, aunt of Cantor Jonathan, from Mara and Mark Young. In honor of Joshua Montague’s college graduation, from Mara and Mark Young. In memory of Michael Gross, step-father of Adam Lesser, from Michele and Mark Montague. In honor of the Board of Trustees for their commitment, dedication and friendship, from Jason Fenster. Donation from David and Dayle Fligel. In memory of Gloria Israel and Miriam Berliner, from Michael and Stacey Silverman. In honor of Pam Chernoff for choosing Judaism, from David Griff and Roni Beth Tower. In memory of Robert Landress, father of Barbara Landress, from David and Dayle Fligel. In appreciation of Fran Weingast for her kindness, from David and Donna Berliner. In memory of Richard Arkin, from Max and Sandy Tuchman. In memory of Beulah Bruckheim, mother of Jane Steinhardt, from Bob and Jane Steinhardt.

Cantor’s Discretionary Fund

Education Enrichment Fund

In memory of Gloria Israel and Miriam Berliner, from Larry Katzenstein and Julie Ann Levine. In appreciation of Billy and Ellen for their support following dad’s funeral, from Andy and Joan Farber. In appreciation of Rabbi Billy for officiating at the marriage of Laura DeLucia and Aaron Gaita, from The DeLucia and Gaita Families. In memory of Max Leicht, father of Nelson Leicht, from Nelson and Jackie Leicht. In appreciation of Rabbi Billy for the heartfelt funeral service for Alan Hersh, from Ilene Hersh. In appreciation of Rabbi Billy for helping me choose Judaism, from Pam Chernoff. In memory of Anna Leicht, from Jackie and Nelson Leicht. In memory of Ceil Tuerk, from Miriam Bromberg. In honor of the marriage of our daughter, Jackie, to B.J., from Michael and Stacey Silverman. In honor of the naming of Hayes Jaguar, son of Katja and Alex Kirshbaum, from William and Marina Braun. In honor of the wedding of their son, Ben to Cassie Hirchfeld, from Carl and Jeanette Katz. In memory of Beatrice Endick, mother of Carol Kronenberger, from Jamie Kronenberger. In memory of Laura Allen, sister of Debbie Pollowitz, from Jim and Debbie Pollowitz.

Rabbi Mara’s Mitzvah Fund

In memory of Cantor Jonathan’s beloved Aunt Tamara, from Todd Gordon and Susan Feder. In memory of Natalie Cohen, mother of Roberta Florin, from Steven and Roberta Florin. With thanks to Cantor Jonathan for his concern and help, from David and Donna Berliner. In memory of Norman Leon, uncle of Jackie Leicht, from Nelson and Jackie Leicht.

In honor of Rabbi Mara receiving the Young Pioneer Award, from Mark Kaufman and Rachel Wineberg. In honor of Rabbi Mara receiving the Young Pioneer Award, from David and Dayle Fligel. In honor of Karen Berlowitz for being honored by Solomon Schechter, from David and Dayle Fligel.

Chai Fund

In honor of Harriet Levine for making our class interesting and enjoyable, from WCT Jewish Studies Class.

In memory of Richard Farber, father of Andy Farber, from Stu and Karen Berlowitz, Lee and Nanci Brickman, Larry Katzenstein and Julie Ann Levine, Michael and Jenna Lebowich, Andrew Loose and Jill Garland, Don and June Moskovitz, Michael and Stacey Silverman, Social Action Committee. In honor of Jason Fenster’s ordination, from Don and June Moskovitz. In honor of Jason Fenster’s ordination, from David and Dayle Fligel.

Adult Education Fund

Social Action Fund In honor of Julie Stein, from Social Action Committee. In honor of Jason Fenster’s ordination, from Jeanne and Murray Bodin.

Continued on p.16

The Woodlands Community Mourns the Loss of Robert Zegster uncle of Ellen Bloom Donald Muir father of Amanda Blatter Robert Landress father of Barbara Landress Diane Weiss mother of Richard Weiss Lilly Erbst mother of Sandra Froimowitz Lewis M. Stubits father of Liz Shlom HaMakom y’nakhem otam… may God bring comfort to all who are in mourning. Zekher tzadik livrakha ... may their memory be for a blessing.

September 11, 2001 Zekher tzadik livrakha ... may their memory be for a blessing.

No Phones or Cameras at Services, Please When our Woodlands family celebrates sacred moments – services, weddings, funerals, etc., – we endeavor to create something that transcends ordinary time and brings us into relationship with our Creator. We hope that you will help create these moments by being fully present and in spiritual partnership with us and with God. Please, no additional lenses or recorders. View and remember through your own eyes and heart.


Upcoming Meetings

Jewish Life Committee Mon, Sep 11 at 8:15

School Board Mon, Sep 11 at 8:15 pm

Finance Committee Mon, Sep 18 at 8:15 pm

Board of Trustees Mon, Sep 25 at 8:15 pm We would be delighted to welcome you to any temple meeting that interests you. Please be in touch with Dayle Fligel ( for information on how to join (or just visit) a committee.

Donations Continued from p.15 WCT Endowment Fund In memory of Gloria Israel and Miriam Berliner, from Jack and Sue Safirstein. In memory of Steve Zizmor, from Jack and Sue Safirstein.

Torah and Ritual Fund In memory of Steve Zizmor, from Steve and Terri Levin. In honor of Corey Friedlander for being honored by the JCC on the Hudson, from David and Dayle Fligel. In memory of Steve Zizmor, from Hal and Elaine Shames. In appreciation for the warm support we received from our temple family following the death of our mothers, from David and Donna Berliner.

Domestic Abuse Task Force Fund In memory of Michael Gross, step-father of Adam Lesser, from David and Dayle Fligel.

Geraldine and Gerald Weinberger Lifelong Learning Fund

Bernard and Frances Shapiro Chesed Caring Community Fund In memory of Steve Zizmor, from Marty and Rhoda Payson. In memory of Rita Matz, wife of Bjorn Matz, from Marty and Rhoda Payson.

Jonah Maccabee Fund: In memory of Leonard Gould, father of Debbie Pollowitz, from Jim and Debbie Pollowitz. In appreciation for Rabbi Billy’s support and caring, from David and Donna Berliner. In memory of Alan Hersh, from Max, Sandy and Michael Tuchman. In honor of Linda S. Kantor, from Beth Sher. In honor of the marriage of our daughter, Jackie, to B.J., from Michael and Stacey Silverman.

Music Fund In memory of Steve Zizmor, from David and Donna Berliner.

In honor of Rabbi Billy for teaching us so well, from Gerry Weinberger. In honor of Harriet Levine, teacher extraordinaire, from Gerry Weinberger.

B’rukhim haba’im

Welcome to our newest members! Peter Clyne and Jennie Brotman Ross and Amanda Firsenbaum Heather and Roger Levenson Jeremy Leventhal and Adriane Bilous Jonathan and Jayme Mazur Sydney Passin

Jews & Muslims Again Share Ramadan Meal @ WCT In June, Woodlands was once again privileged to host our Muslim neighbors for an Iftar dinner – the meal that breaks each day’s fast during Ramadan. Following the traditional Muslim call to prayer, we shared delicious Turkish food. In addition, we learned about Islam while our clergy taught about and led Havdalah. As we sat together at tables in our sanctuary, we were able to engage in dozens of lively conversations with our new friends, learning more about each other’s religions, cultures and lives here in the U.S. The Iftar dinner was part of Woodlands’ continuing outreach to other faith communities in our area. If you’d like to help make events like this one happen, join WCT’s Bridges of Faith and Friendship task force. Email us at

Trip to the Jewish Farm Sun, Oct 1, 10:00 am - 3:30 pm (includes driving time)


et into the Sukkot spirit by heading to the farm for the day! Pile the whole family into the car and head to Eden Village Camp in Putnam County (a beautiful 45-minute drive) for a day of harvesting and pickling veggies, planting new crops, and learning about Judaism’s connection to the earth, food, and sustainable agriculture. Bring your own lunch, and we’ll feast in the farm’s sukkah. This trip is back by popular demand, so reserve a spot early (limited to 30 people). $20 per person Register at (Wed, Sep 13 is the deadline).


We t h a n k o u r A d v e r t i s e r s f o r t h e i r S u p p o r t



We t h a n k o u r A d v e r t i s e r s f o r t h e i r S u p p o r t

Joseph Casario Claudia Forlong, Rick Romagnoli, Danielle Ponga, Matthew Pantal

Serving Westchester County and the surrounding areas since


We t h a n k o u r A d v e r t i s e r s f o r t h e i r S u p p o r t


Non-Profit Org U.S. Postage

PAID White Plains, NY

50 Worthington Road White Plains, NY 10607

Permit No. 1112

Save the Date

current resident or:

for the WCT Marketplace Sale

Sun, Oct 8


Judai Connection Rabbi Billy Dreskin

Eco-Jewish Funerals


ewish law prohibits cremation. Somewhat reluctantly, Reform Judaism permits it. But that may be changing. And you may be among those who do that. As Reform Jews, we choose freely what to do with our “earthly remains.” Burial or cremation, each of us decides. In a climate-changing world, this is no longer just about personal preference. There are real environmental consequences to our decisions. By the 8th century, Jewish authorities agreed that kevurah – burial in the earth – was a mitzvah, a religious obligation. The Talmud emphasized not only the importance of l’vayat ha-met (paying tribute and honor by accompanying our dead to their final resting place) but kevurah (specifying that we accompany them not just anywhere but to the cemetery, lovingly placing their bodies into the ground so that they might fully return to nature). Regarding cremation, Torah prohibits deliberately damaging our bodies while we’re alive, and the Talmud (Khulin 11b) forbids damaging it after. Second, human sacrifice in the ancient world (forbidden to Jews) often involved fire so Judaism rejected using fire in disposing of our dead. Third, the Talmud (Gittin 56b) tells of the Roman General Titus (architect of the destruction of Jerusalem) who ordered that his body be cremated and scattered to the winds “to avoid the

judgment of God.” Judaism views cremation as a denial and desecration of God. And in recent years, cremation has acquired an emotional link to the fires of the Shoah (the Holocaust), prompting many to reject a method so brutally employed by the Nazis. Nevertheless, in 1893, the Reform movement resolved “that in case we should be invited to officiate as ministers of religion at the cremation of a departed coreligionist, we ought not to refuse on the plea that cremation is anti-Jewish or irreligious.” More than a hundred years later, this policy remains unchallenged within the Reform community.

Perhaps it’s time. To maintain the fire that consumes a body, a month of one person’s energy usage is required. And when a body is cremated, greenhouse gases are emitted. Additionally, toxins in the body may be released into the earth. Traditional burial can also have an environmental impact. Metal caskets require considerable non-biodegradable

resources and, worse, may leech chemicals into the ground. Cut flowers, often treated with chemicals and pesticides, may also leech into the ground. And although Jews do not embalm, the rest of America introduces into the soil 800,000 gallons of these carcinogenic fluids every year. A Jewish funeral where embalming is not employed and caskets are made solely of wood, impact is reduced dramatically. “Green burial” can do so even further. A plain pine box that has no varnish or stain is eco-friendly. The really traditional ones that use wooden pegs to hold them together, even moreso. There are even green cemeteries and green sections of cemeteries that not only prohibit embalming, require biodegradable caskets, they forgo traditional markers in favor of lower-profiles (including geocached GPS coordinates). These cemeteries look more like forest walking trails and preserve natural landscapes for future posterity by locking up the space below them. Explore the issue for yourselves. Discuss it with your loved ones. Do some Google searching and come to your own conclusions. Your clergy are available to discuss this too.

WCT Makom September 2017  

Woodlands Community Temple September 2017 Bulletin

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