Page 1

the newsletter of woodlands community temple

December 2012 Kislev - Tevet 5773

Shopping Spree A behind-the-scenes look at the Woodlands Judaica Shop By Fran Smith

In one quick swoop on a recent Sunday afternoon, I found presents for everyone on my Hanukkah list at the Woodlands Judaica Shop. Actually, I didn’t walk in with a list — my family goes easy on Hanukkah gifts. But after stopping by to interview Karen Fox, the shop’s co-chair, I took a close look inside the glass cases and I couldn’t resist. That “kosher maven” cookbook holder seemed perfect for my nephew and his wife. My daughter would love that delicate silver bracelet with the lapisMay we help you? Karen Fox (center), with Ellen Bloom and Mark Fox. studded hamsa charm. And for my mother… well… enough about me. Let’s talk about you. If you haven’t seen the revitalized shop, check it out — and bring your checkbook or credit card. Over the past year, Karen and her co-chair, Ellen Bloom, have brought new life, great style, distinctive merchandise, and marketing muscle to the shop. The results: A nice

IN THIS ISSUE Holiday Toy Drive p. 2 WCT’s Response to Super Storm Sandy p. 2 & 9 College Students Brunch p. 3 Hanukkah with the Levins p. 5 “We Are Family”, Winter Online Auction p. 7 Food: Billy Weighs In p.8 Catching Up with an Academy Alumna p. 9 Hanukkah Observance Information Center p. 20

(Continued on page 12)

Catalyst for Change: The Mishpakha Moment For many Woodlanders today, the early Shabbat service called Mishpakha, which takes place every five or six weeks, is a standard part of the temple’s calendar, not unlike, say, A Joyful Noise (every six weeks) or Kidz Shabbat (once a month). But there are a few key differences. Rather than starting at 8:00 pm and ending with an oneg roughly 90 minutes later, Mishpakha starts with an optional communal dinner, at 6:00 pm, followed by an hour-long service that begins at 6:45. Mishpakha overflows with kids, some paying rapt attention, some running in the aisles under the watchful eyes of their parents—and the amused and appreciative glances of older congregants. (Continued on page 13)

Please give to the WCT Annual Fund or Endowment Trust. Contact David Fligel (693-0520) or Chuck Fishman (674-4542).

Hanukkah… Light the 1st candle

Saturday, December 8

Our Woodlands Community

“Have a Heart” and “Toys for Tots”

Rabbi Billy Dreskin Rabbi Mara Young Cantor Jonathan Ben Gordon Harriet Levine, Educator Ross Glinkenhouse, Youth Director Corey Friedlander, Sh'liakh K'hilah

Two great ways for adults and children to share the Hanukkah spirit!!

Executive Committee Stu Berlowitz, President Jenna Lebowich, VP Education education@wct.og Dayle Fligel, VP Facilities Eugene Stein, VP Finance Michael Winkleman, VP Programming/Ritual Steve Sagner, Financial Secretary Mark Selig, Secretary Andy Farber, Treasurer

Board of Trustees Nancy Brown, Andrea Einhorn, Nancy Fishman, Gloria Falk, Aliza Garafalo, Jill Garland, Lois Green, Barry Leibowitz, Lisa Linn, Mike Scafidi, Cliff Schoen, Jay Werner, Rochelle Stolzenberg (ex-officio)

Office Staff ( Patricia Nissim, Temple Administrator Liz Rauchwerger, Rabbi’s Assistant Michele Montague, Educator’s Assistant

About Our Temple Woodlands Community Temple 50 Worthington Road White Plains, NY 10607 914.592.7070 phone 914.592.7376 fax email: web: Woodlands Community Temple is affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism

Patricia Nissim, Makom Editor Melanie Roher, Makom Designer Charlie Strick, Makom Advertising


Have a Heart for the Holidays. Bring new, unwrapped Hanukkah gifts to WCT between November 26 and December 12. WJCS will distribute your gifts to needy Jewish children throughout Metropolitan New York. Checks for the purchase of gifts (payable to WJCS) may be dropped off, too. Toys for Tots. Bring new, unwrapped Christmas gifts to WCT between November 26 and December 18. The Greenburgh Fire Dept will wrap and distribute your gifts to needy children throughout Westchester. Checks for the purchase of gifts (payable to “Toys for Tots”) may be dropped off, too. This year, make it a tzedakah Hanukkah!!

WCT’s Response to Super Storm Sandy Now that our own power is back on, the debris is being cleared and our roofs repaired, it’s time to focus on those people elsewhere whose homes and lives are still in disarray. WCT’s response to Super Storm Sandy will likely be ongoing for many months to come. It is our fervent hope that you will stay engaged with us, joining in one or more of our projects, demonstrating Judaism’s age-old concern for those in need. • First, please sign up to volunteer with us. You can do so online at • Second, every two weeks we’ll announce our new donation projects, one for cash donations and the other for donating goods. We’ll let you know about them in temple emails, the service daf, and at Your check or online donation is always welcome. • And third, hands-on volunteering as a synagogue community is coming. It’s taking time for us to coordinate with established groups. In the meantime, we encourage you to link up with other programs, such as,, (this is the Reform movement), or (the UJA-Federation). Thank you for your spirit and your generosity. We’ll stay in touch with you throughout. As difficult as life has become for so many in New York and New Jersey, folks like you are their hope and their light. You inspire us all.

Membership Dues

A reminder that temple dues are to be paid by December 31. Please contact the Financial Secretary, Steve Sagner, at 914-997-0890 if you have any questions.

Worship Schedule Shabbat Vayishlakh Friday, November 30

Mishpakha Shabbat at 6:45 pm (note earlier start time!)

Saturday, December 15

Lerners Minyan at 8:30 am Shabbat Morning Service at 10:30 am

Our newest worship experience for the whole congregation but earlier so families with kids can attend. Meaningful for adults, engaging for kids! If you like, join us for a quick 6:00 pm dinner – make your reservation at Also tonight, conversion ceremony for Juliana Roos, daughter of Emily Roos, granddaughter of Roberta and Lloyd Roos.

Celebrate with us as Rachel Best, daughter of Carolyn and Rob Best, becomes a Bat Mitzvah.

Saturday, December 1

A quiet evening of Shabbat beauty and prayer with Rabbi Billy and friends.

Come celebrate Shabbat with Cantor Jonathan while practicing Hebrew reading skills and learning about the liturgy. Kaddish will be read. No 10:30 service today.

Saturday, December 22

Lerners Minyan at 8:30 am

Genesis 32:4 - 36:43 ... Hosea 11:7 - 12:12

Shabbat Vayeshev Friday, December 7

New Music Shabbat at 8:00 pm Rabbi Billy and Cantor Jonathan are teaming up tonight to bring you an evening of worship with new melodies just emerging from the fertile soil of American Jewish creativity. Special welcome to the newest members of our temple family this evening.

Saturday, December 8

Lerners Minyan at 8:30 am Shabbat Morning Service at 10:30 am Celebrate with us as Justin Green, son of Amy and Fred Green, becomes a Bar Mitzvah. Genesis 37:1 - 40:23 ... Amos 2:6 - 3:8

Shabbat Miketz

Friday, December 14 Shabbat Hanukkah at 8:00 pm Lots of music. Lots of Hanukkah. Lots of latkes. Need we say more? Be sure to bring your family Hanukkah menorah and help us really light up the Sanctuary!

Genesis 41:1 - 44:17 ... I Kings 7:40-50

Shabbat Vayigash

Friday, December 21 Shabbat Evening Service at 8:00 pm

Hevra Torah Shabbat at 9:15 am Led by Rabbi Mara, Torah learning and Shabbat worship together. We’ll go until 11:15 or so, and then a bagel-andcream-cheese brunch will follow.

No lerners minyan today. Genesis 44:18 - 47:27 ... Ezekiel 37:15-28

Shabbat Vayekhi

Friday, December 28 Shabbat Evening Service at 8:00 pm A quiet evening of Shabbat beauty and prayer with Rabbi Mara and Mark Young leading us in song.

Saturday, December 29 Lerners Minyan at 8:30 am Come celebrate Shabbat with Cantor Jonathan while practicing Hebrew reading skills and learning about the liturgy. Kaddish will be read. No 10:30 service today. Genesis 47:28 - 50:26 ... I Kings 1:1-12

Hevra Torah Learning, Saturdays, 9:15-10:15 am December 1: Parshat Vayishlakh Facilitated by Cantor Jonathan December 8: Parshat Vayeshev Facilitated by Rabbi Mara December 15: Parshat Miketz Facilitated by Rabbi Billy December 22: Parshat Vayigash Facilitated by Rabbi Mara December 29: Parshat Vayekhi Facilitated by Cantor Jonathan There’s abundant room around our table. Drop by once or often; we’d love to have you join our lively conversation. Usually in the Meeting Room.

Friday Night Shabbat Babysitting Babysitting will be available during the 8:00 pm Shabbat service on December 7, 14, 21, and 28. No reservations are necessary for babysitting during Shabbat services. Contact with any questions.

College Students Brunch Wednesday January 2, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm at Woodlands Come join with the professional staff (Rabbi Billy, Rabbi Mara, Cantor Jonathan, Harriet and Ross) for friends and food! We'll have brunch with all its trimmings and some of your favorite temple friends.  A great time to catch up and come back to WCT - the place that loves you so much!

We Want to Hear from You It is always a pleasure to hear good news from members of our WCT family. It often helps to share the not-so-good too. Please let us know if you or someone else is in need of a visit or phone call from our clergy. Many assume that “everyone knows,” but this is not always true. A note or call to our temple office or clergy will ensure that we are able to extend our support to Woodlands members in a moment of need.


Reminder to the 7th Grade: Family Torah Learning with the Rabbi “Section A” resumes on Sunday, December 9 (9:00-11:00 am) and Wednesday, December 12 (5:30-7:30 pm). See you there!

10th Grade Students and Parents Monday, December 3, 6:00-8:00 pm

Our second Confirmation Family Session with Rabbi Billy. All parents and Confirmands should attend. We’ll have dinner together, then share in family learning. This evening, the subject of traveling to Israel, this coming summer or in the future. Paul Reichenbach, Director of Camping and Israel Programs for the Reform movement, will join us. Important note: We’re not simply promoting a trip; please come join a discussion on the role of Israel in our lives. Contact the Religious School office ( only if you’re unable to be with us.

Limmud NY February 15-18, 2013 Hilton East Brunswick Hotel, NJ

Limmud NY is a unique opportunity to join with Jews of all backgrounds and persuasions in order to learn, grow, and worship together – a place where you are a learner and contributor all in one. Choose from 300 sessions presented by leading Jewish activists, artists, educators, innovators, public figures, and scholars. Learn through Jewish sacred study, art, music, film, literature, yoga, nature walks, kids’ camp, and a diverse array of Shabbat rituals and prayer services. Limmud NY is a great way to explore subjects as far ranging as Israel, Jewish ethics and ecology, social justice, and humor. More info and registration at


from the Rabbi

Why Are You Always Asking for Money? The Role of Tzedakah at WCT


n 1952, Life Is with People, an exquisite literary portrait of life in the shtetls of Eastern Europe, described the role of tzedakah in this world-before-theHolocaust: “Life in the shtetl begins and ends with tzedakah. When a child is born, the father distributes money to the poor. At a funeral the mourners give coins to the needy. At every turn, the reminder to give is present. If something good or bad happens, one puts a coin into a box. Before lighting Sabbath candles, coins are dropped into a box. Children are trained to give. A father will have his son assist the beggar instead of doing so himself. The gesture of giving becomes almost a reflex.” It is against this backdrop that tzedakah enters our lives. As members of Jewish families, we understand with pristine clarity that sharing with others is a primary tenet of Jewish belonging. This is why synagogues ask for money. We can’t help ourselves. Our DNA is programmed for generosity. No matter what the state of our own economic affairs, Talmud teaches that “even those who are poor, who themselves survive on tzedakah, should give tzedakah.” Woodlands Community Temple, being a caring and helping community, performs lots of tzedakah. Some of it benefits the wider community, and some takes care of needs within the synagogue itself. After all, we too are a not-for-profit, charitable organizations. Many tzedakah projects are coming to Woodlands in the next few months. I want you to know what they are so you can better budget family dollars should your DNA impel you to give. This month, we’re asking for pledges to bring in a new rabbinical intern next fall. In January, we’ll hold the Online Auction and be selling Mishloakh Manot for Purim, both of which help underwrite the temple’s general expenses. In January and February, tickets for the annual Jonah Concert will provide camp scholarships. In February, I will issue a Winter Hunger Appeal, seeking your help in keeping local food pantries stocked all winter. And we’ll continue assisting families affected by Super Storm Sandy. Tzedakah is a really good thing. It’s good for the recipients, and it’s good for our own souls. So as has been said, don’t “give ‘til it hurts.” Give ‘til it feels great! Thank you ... for all the goodnesses you bring.

Hanukkah Concert featuring The Levins! Sunday, December 9 at 3:30 pm The Levins family concert will include fun, interactive original songs as well as favorite classic Hanukkah sing alongs. The Levins have rich harmonies and great rvakh that make you feel you are getting eight nights of presents all at once. Belarus. Admission will be $5 per person with a maximum of $20 per family. Sign up online at

from the Cantor

Classic Latkes

Playing Guns


he question of regulating firearms was absent from the Presidential Campaign. Too hot to discuss, apparently. Guns have a powerful moral valance; they symbolize something more. When I was a child we played guns. Nearly all of us had toy rifles from various periods of American history, from Daniel Boone to World War II. We imitated our heroes. We’d run about, shoot at imaginary enemies, hide behind hedges. You’d call “I’m hit” and roll or collapse appropriately. We sacrificed our lives in a good cause. Then, after an appropriate time dead, we would rise again. We played at potency, at conflict, at idealism, at meaningful adulthood. We used our imagination. My friend Rick’s father did not permit him a toy gun, so he borrowed from the rest of us. Rick’s dad had been a Marine at Guadalcanal and still suffered from his wounds. One summer day, toting rifles, Rick and I went to his yard. Rick’s Dad came down the rear steps to speak to us. He was tall and lean. He’d show us how to play war; we were thrilled. He got spades out of the garage, and we dug a hole deep and wide. The grass and stones made it hard work in the sun. Then we put in 10 inches of water to make it the real thing. The three of us jumped into the muddy water. Nobody said anything. At first the water felt cool, but soon it turned kind of clammy, and then chilly. We crouched in the wetness with our rifles, not speaking or moving. Rick started to stand up. His Dad spoke with a hushed tone that froze us in place. “If you stand up they will kill you. Stay down.” We sat in that muddy hole for a long time. We became sandy prunes with goose bumps on a hot summer afternoon. Finally Rick’s Dad said he guessed we had enough for today.

Hanukkah Music to Spice up Your Latkes! Among our most powerful Hanukkah memories, to be sure, are the melodies we learned as little kids. There’s so much wonderful Hanukkah music out there; why not fill your home with something more than Christmas muzak this year? Cantor Jonathan recommends (some as Hanukkah music, some as Hanukkah gifts): • Enchanted: A New Generation of Yiddishsong (Adrienne Cooper) • Woody Guthrie’s Happy Joyous Chanukah (Klezmatics) • Wonder Wheel Klezmatics) • Rhythm and Jews (Klezmatics) • The Jewish Experience - Chanukah (Western Wind and Theo Bikel) • Circle of Fire - A Chanukah Concert (Voice of the Turtle) Rabbi Billy recommends: • It’s Chanukah Time (Julie Silver)• Light These Lights (Debbie Friedman) • Hanukkah Swings (Kenny Ellis) • The Chanukah Collection (Safam) • Songs in the Key of Hanukkah (Erran Baron Cohen) • Rockin’ Chanukah Revue (Sam Glaser) • Celebrate Chanukah (Jon Simon) • The Hanukkah Lounge (Instrumental Jew Age Music) • Chanukah Fever (Mama Doni) • Must Be Chanukah (Stacy Beyer) • Eight Nights of Joy (Joe Black and the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band) To purchase any of these recordings, try,,, or (for mp3 downloads).

1 medium yellow onion 3 large yukon gold potatoes (about 2 1⁄2lbs.), peeled Kosher salt, to taste 6 tbsp. finely chopped chives 3 tbsp. plain matzo meal 2 large eggs, lightly beaten Freshly ground white pepper, to taste Canola oil for frying Sour cream or applesauce 1. Working over a bowl, grate some of the onion, followed by some of the potatoes, on the large-hole side of a box grater. Repeat until all the vegetables are used up. 2. Sprinkle mixture with salt and transfer it to a sieve set over a bowl. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from mixture, allowing it to collect in bottom of bowl. Transfer mixture to another bowl and cover surface with plastic wrap; set aside. Set reserved potato liquid aside to let the milky white starch settle. Pour off liquid from starch. Transfer starch to mixture along with the chives, matzo, eggs, and salt and pepper. Gently mix. 3. Pour enough oil into a skillet that it reaches a depth of 1⁄4”; heat over medium-high heat. Working in small batches, form mixture into balls, using about 1⁄4 cup of the mixture for each, and place them in the oil. Flatten each ball gently with a spatula to form 3”–4” pancakes. Fry, turning once, until golden brown, crisp, and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Transfer the pancakes to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Serve the potato pancakes with sour cream or applesauce.

UPCOMING MEETINGS Reinverting Ritual Sunday, December 2 at 4:00 pm Executive Committee Monday, December 3 at 8:10 pm Finance Committee Monday, December 10 at 8:10 pm Ritual Committee Monday, December 10 at 8:10 pm Board of Trustees Monday, December 17 at 8:10 pm


Save the Date! 4th Annual Jonah Maccabee Concert with Michelle Citrin, Chana Rothman and Elana Arian Saturday Evening, April 13 5:00 pm: one-hour family concert 8:00 pm: adult/teen concert

For the first time, back home at Woodlands Community Temple!

Todah rabbah (thank you)! To the good folks at St. Joseph of Arimathea Church and First Community Church of the Nazarene, for opening their hearts, their doors and their parking lots to us during the days after Super Storm Sandy.

Woodlands at the Ardsley Day Thanks to Karen Berlowitz, Aliza Garofalo, JJill Garland, Julie Levine, Andy Farber, Dayle Fligel, Shelli Katz, Barry Leibowitz, Laurie Leibowitz, Lynn Goodman-Kogan, Julie de Winter-Stein, Karen Fox and Mark Fox, for staffing the WCT booth and sharing the beauty and joy of our temple.

Education Update

NATE – What is It?


recently came back from leadership meetings for NATE, the National Association of Temple Educators, and in late December will be attending their annual conference. Over the years since I arrived at WCT, people have asked about this organization. When they hear that I’ve attended a conference or kallah, and certainly since I’ve been in NATE leadership, they’ve wanted to know about these meetings I attend all over the country. NATE is the international (yes, we have members from Canada) professional organization for educators in the Reform movement. Although at its inception almost 60 years ago, those educators were the supervisors of congregational religious schools, over the past several years membership has changed to include Early Childhood people, camp directors and other informal educational leaders, and educators in agencies other than synagogues. NATE’s mission is to serve Jewish leaders working for the advancement of Reform Jewish education by promoting and encouraging the professional growth of its members and advocating for the profession by improving the context in which educators work. As 50th anniversary conference co-chair, on the NATE board for 6 years, and on the Operations Team as co-chair of Membership Outreach, my responsibilities have been to help ensure that the NATE goals are being met. I am grateful that Woodlands Community Temple has been so supportive in allowing me to be part of NATE leadership. Without the backing of my own community, I would not have been able to assist other educators throughout the United States and Canada. Over the years, themes at conferences and kallot have directly impacted on how and what we teach in our religious schools. We have explored issues of technology, of diverse learning styles, of programming for older youth and teens, experiential education, reflective practices, and many others. This December, the theme is “Project Based Learning.” PBL attempts to guide students in exploring real-world questions in a meaningful, engaging, and active way. A successful PBL project for the Jewish classroom would be one that teaches not only information, but engages students in questions of Jewish life, identity, values, and connection. I am excited to be able to explore this topic with my colleagues, and to bring back what I have learned to share with our own teachers.

Religious School Calendar

For our end-of-year gala honoring Harriet Levine on the occasion of her retirement.

June 1 6

Saturday, December 1 9:00 am: K-2 Kindling Program “Hanukkah” Sunday, December 2 9:00 am: Spark Program 3/4th grade 11:10 am: Spark program 5/6th grade Monday, December 3 6:00 pm: Confirmation Family Meeting #2 6:00 pm: Academy Sunday, December 9 9:00 am: 7th Grade Family Torah Study - Group A 3:30 pm: Family Hanukkah Concert Monday, December 10 4:00 pm: 7th Grade Trip to Woodlands Atria 6:00 pm: Academy 6:20 pm: Etgar 36 Presentation

Yo u t h M a t t e r s

NFTY 101


op Quiz! What is NFTY? If you answered “North American Federation of Temple Youth,” you’re right! If not, don’t worry. This article is going to help put into perspective what it is! As members of the Union for Reform Judaism our Woodlands youth group has the opportunity to participant in NFTY (the national body of temple youth groups) and NFTY-NAR (our New York Area Region). NFTY is a supplement program for our teens who want to dive deeper in exploring their Reform Judaism and make friends from around the region and the country. What’s great is that it is a peer led program (ran with guidance from youth professionals). There are many ways to participate in our Jewish journeys and NFTY gives the opportunity for our teens to do it, on their terms, in a space that is sacred to them. Some facts: • NFTY is made up of 19 different regions all over North America • Our region is NFTY-NAR • There are a few different types of events: • Kallot (interactive weekend events that are either at a camp, a retreat center, or with home hospitality by a local temple) • North American Convention (a themed event that happens once every two years and brings all 19 regions together for 5 days normally in February • Day events in the region (this includes a Leadership Training Institute, Social Justice Day, Elections, and a Gala) I encourage every teen to try two events before they or you make up their mind whether you like NFTY or not. There’s so much going on at each event that at first it can be a lot to take in. Yet the majority of kids are won over by the ruakh (spirit), the music, the open arms, and the rich Jewish experience. There is so much more to know. This month, I will be sending out an email that will really explore NFTY on a larger level, so look for it in your email boxes! Of course, if you have questions please feel free to email me at L’shalom,

Religious School Calendar Wednesday December 12 5:30 pm: 7th Grade Family Torah Study - Group A Friday, December 14 4:00 pm: WoodSY Shul In Saturday, December 15 9:00 am: Gan Hayeled Monday December 17 4:30 pm: 7th grade trip to Lincoln Park 6:00 pm: Academy Saturday, December 22 - Monday, December 31 No Religious School

We still need merchandise & services for the auction What can you sell on the We Are Family Winter online auction? The sky’s the limit. Almost. Here are a few examples. For more details, check the website. • Gift cards and gift certificates for restaurants and stores. • Massages, manicures, yoga lessons, personal training sessions. • Tickets for professional sporting events. • Airline tickets and hotel accommodations. • Music lessons, knitting lessons, singing lessons. • Wine and wine tastings. • Vacation property rentals. • Tennis or squash court time. • Health club trial memberships. • Electronics, furniture, luxury goods (new and in the original packaging) What can’t be sold at this auction? Just a few things: artwork, exercise equipment, financial services, rare and new books.

We still need volunteers

When WCT’s big online auction opens on January 15 and your screen is alive with goods and services on which to bid, it will all look so easy. But it’s not. Pulling together the goods and services, asking local merchants and congregants to donate, coordinating the information (pictures, descriptions, pricing), getting it online takes a lot of work. Volunteers are needed. Contact Jill Garland for more information and to volunteer (; 347-489-5046). 347-489-5046).


from Rabbi Mara

Season’s Greetings Is That Excellent Health I Smell on Your Breath? By Rabbi Billy Dreskin

Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi was teaching a class when he was distracted by the smell of garlic. In anger he shouted, “Whoever is eating that stuff, get out of my room!” Hiyya left. Later, Shimon asked, “Was it really you?” Hiyya answered, “Heaven forbid I should eat garlic during class!” Hiyya, in preventing a fellow student’s humiliation, became a fabulous role-model for compassionate living. But if Hiyya wasn’t eating garlic at home, or onions for that matter, he fell short of being a nutritional role-model. Allium vegetables – which include onions, garlic, leeks and shallots – are amazing cancer fighters. They can detoxify carcinogens, halt cancer cell growth, and prevent tumors from enlarging. Garlic and onions may very well be super-foods, and contrary to making his student leave, Yehudah HaNasi should have asked for a bite! Decide for yourself what goes into your body. Read up on garlic and onions in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book, Super Immunity. Each month, “Chew on This” offers a morsel of teaching on how to think Jewishly about food and eating. Consult a physician before starting your own wellness journey.

Bereavement Support Group: If you have lost a beloved Family member, and would like to benefit from sharing stories and tears (and laughter) and insight with others, we’re started a support group for you. It is facilitated by Stefani Cohen, LCSW, and will run December 5, 12, 19 and January 2, 9 all at 7:30 pm at the temple. Please let the office know (592-7070 or if you plan to join us.



have taken part in a Christmas celebration every year of my life. It happens in the home of my family’s very dear friends, the Batons. The Batons are observant Catholics. Every year on the evening of the 25th, after they have been to mass and back, they gather their family and close friends for a festive meal and gift-giving. I never took part in the tradition of “chinese food and a movie” because I was with the Batons (and will continue to be this year). We eat a lot, admire their tree, and enjoy the sense of family. Similarly, every single year, the whole Baton clan joins the Judds (my family) for a night of Hanukkah. We light the hanukkiah, play dreidel, eat latkes, and give gifts. There too, we enjoy the sense of family. Growing up, I had a clear understanding that Christmas was the Batons’ holiday and that Hanukkah was mine. There were clear boundaries. While I was not celebrating the birth of Jesus, they were…and I respected that. I was also clear on the fact that even though it was their holiday, it was perfectly acceptable, and even beautiful, for me to be there supporting their religious traditions. What a great thing for my parents, my sister (and now Mark) to be able to add to their holiday joy and for them to add to ours. Our holiday celebrations wouldn’t be the same without one another. And the same goes for the first communions, the bat mitzvah celebrations, the weddings, and the baptisms, and (God willing) an upcoming babynaming. For me, my December traditions represent the beauty of living in a diverse America. Navigating the different December holidays looks different in each of our homes, and can sometimes be a difficult road to walk. There’s no one way to tackle the season, but certainly keeping love and understanding at the forefront is a good way forward for all.

Purim Fun again at Woodlands! Megilat Esther tells us that the Jews of Shushan celebrated their deliverance from Haman by sending gifts (Sh’lakh Manot) to one another. This Purim, the Woodlands congregation will again have the opportunity to send Sh’lakh Manot (Purim Goody Bags) to other Woodlands families. The cost will be $18 for the first family you select, $6 for each additional family or you can send to the entire congregation for $118. Although families will receive only one Purim bag, all of the names of the families that “sent” it to you will be listed. Ordering information will be coming to you January 2013. Please honor this tradition of giving at Purim by participating in Woodlands Sh’lakh Manot program. Send to your friends in the congregation…your children’s religious school teachers… to people who do so much to make our temple the wonderful place it is…better yet, send to the entire congregation! At any level, you will be doing a mitzvah by fulfilling a commandment of the holiday!

from the President

Wandering Jews

Superstorm Sandy

Besides High Holy Days Services


uperstorm Sandy has provided a difficult few weeks, but the storm has passed, our homes and WCT have power, heat, hot water, internet, etc. Our area has nevertheless been thrown for a loop. Superstorms like Sandy are not supposed to happen in the NY region, though scientists had warned us that the area is not well protected for years. As I write this article, I haven’t seen the destruction first hand, yet I know exactly what it looks like, because New York is experiencing what the Gulf Coast has been living for the past 7 years. I expect that I will have been to the devastated area by the time you read this. For the past 6 years during Presidents Week WCT has traveled to the Gulf Coast. I’ve been on all 6 trips with my son Josh, and I’ve seen destruction like this first hand. Houses wiped from their foundations. Possessions strewn on the street. Lives changed forever. It’s been 7 years since Katrina, and WCT made a 10-year commitment to help because there is so much to be done. WCT stepped up to help out- adults and teens rebuilding together and providing supplies as needed. I expect that our response to Sandy will be very similar to what we have done with Katrina. One difference is that we will have day trips on a more frequent basis to help those in the NY area. What makes our commitment to helping different from most others is that, like Katrina, our support after Sandy will also be for the long term. One important lesson that we learned from Katrina is to listen. Remember to lend an ear as people share their stories. They appreciate it more than you might realize. We need to rebuild people’s emotional well-being as much as we need to restore their physical surroundings. I hope you will join with us in this Mitzvah of helping those who have been devastated by this storm.

By Ryan Rosenberg

Besides High Holy Days services, the most Jewish moment of my college life so far was when I joined a Bible study group with some friends from my dorm. With Christians. Where I am the only Jew. Jokes about “this is what happens when you go to a school in the South” aside, I find the interfaith dialogue stimulating, causing me not only to think about the thought processes and beliefs of others, but also to reflect on my own Jewish values and what Judaism says about the topics we cover. And when talking about Jewish ideas, I also have to be the one taking the lead, the one who knows about these topics. It’s similar to what I did with the rest of my class last year in Academy with the gesher l’kesher program, but without a lot of the basic understanding of Judaism. Most of the time, though, I’m on completely unfamiliar ground, talking about New Testament stories and Christian theology that I haven’t been wholly exposed to. I think my experience at Woodlands, especially with interfaith dialogue and differing interpretations of the Torah, helps me a lot, as I am able to look at topics metaphorically, or use the analytical skills I’ve developed to parse the discussion for themes relevant to Judaism. So far, I’ve enjoyed the experience tremendously and I’m looking forward to continuing with the study group and whatever other interesting religion-related opportunities college life throws at me. Ryan Rosenberg is a first-year student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, currently planning on majoring in Political Science and Peace, War, and Defense. If you’ve embarked upon your posthigh school life (college or elsewhere) and have a Jewish experience or story to share with us, we’d love to hear from you! Contact Rabbi Mara ( to volunteer.


Judaica The



As we recover from nature’s latest test of our tolerance and reserves I am brought back to reality by the emails I am receiving advising me to track the Judaica Shop’s UPS shipments made this summer amidst emails about power restorations. It’s back to business as usual at The Judaica Shop at Woodlands.We are well-prepared this year to welcome the Festival of Lights with beautiful candles from Israel, dreidels, hanukyot and holiday table top items. If you are like me, struggling every year for ideas for small gifts for a few of the eight nights --- check out the hamsa key chains and the wide assortment of inexpensive Judaica jewelry for boys and girls. Have a winter wedding to attend? Or a new baby due in the family? Know a child becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah? Our favorite mixed media artist, Kathryn Cukier has designed a number of unique, one of a kind framed art pieces for us that celebrate these occasion that are always well received and treasured gifts. Know of a Judaica artist whose work might appeal to our community? Looking for something special and don’t see it in the display cases? Curious whether an item could be customized or personalized? Email us at: Don’t forget to spread the word that The Judaica Shop at Woodlands is your neighborhood gift shop for gift giving... and getting. The gift shop is open, upon request, every day the temple office is staffed; evening and weekend hours are noted in the weekly temple email.


Social Action

Domestic Abuse Task Force (DATF) Due to the success we’ve had working with Hope’s Door, the DATF is expanding its efforts and outreach to other Westchester organizations. Domestic abuse continues to be a big problem and organizations are reaching out to us for help. 

Just recently we heard about Tatiana, a severely abused and lonely woman with 3 boys, ages 2,3 and 8. They are currently living at a White Plains shelter and are waiting for approval to move into housing. Tatiana has no family or friends in the area and no possessions aside from the clothes on their backs. With winter approaching, we are hoping to provide basic living necessities as well as winter clothes, coats, shoes, boots and toys for the kids. For many of these families just knowing that there are people out there who care what happens to them is an enormous blessing. If you’d like to help or are looking for a holiday Mitzvah gift, please purchase 1 or more items from the gift boxes: Box 1: kitchen utensils, pots & pans, dishes, silverware; Box 2: twin sheets, comforters & blankets, pillows; Box 3: bath & hand towels, bath rugs, trash can; Box 4: gift cards – American Express, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Visa or any grocery stores. Please leave items on the Social Action shelves in the education entranceway. Or visit wct. org/domesticabuse to see what items are needed.

Breakfast Run

December 9, 6:45 am

We will meet at the temple before caravanning into the city to feed breakfast to those less fortunate than us. To sign up to supply food, participate on the run, email For more information and explanations go to

Christmas Gifts for Children’s Village Help make a boy’s Christmas wish come true by volunteering to purchase a gift from their wish list. Many of these boys will spend Christmas alone at the village away from their families and will not receive any gifts. Contact Jeanne Bodin at Jeanne.bodin@gmail. com to get a name to shop for.

Food of the Month

Snacks and large cereal boxes

Knitting & Crocheting: Join us Sunday, December 16, 1:30 – 4:00 pm for a cover dish lunch, to knit and crochet and just relax. Mark your calendar now for the rest of the year - April 4 and June 9. RSVP to that you can join us and what you will be bringing.

Confirmation Midnight Run Help the Confirmation class by collecting clean, gently-used men’s pants, warm shirts, sweatshirts, sweaters, coats, blankets, hats, scarves, gloves, and shoes. We need these items to make the night a success for the Confirmation class. They will be going on a Midnight Run into the city, Monday, December 24. Contact to find out what else you can do to help.

Collection of the Month

Adult, men-size only, gently-used clothing, coats, shoes, gloves, scarves and blankets

Adult Learning

A Tour of the Torah

Rabbi Marcus Burstein Rescheduled: Thursdays, Nov 29 and Dec 6 at 8:00 pm Take an up-close tour of the Torah, learn about what goes into writing a Torah scroll, look at large and small letters, unusual spacing, and special passages. Learn some famous midrashim about why it looks the way it looks.

Book Club

Looking For A Few Good Readers. Read and join the Temple Book Club. In existence for 12 or more years, we are still reading excellent books which raise pertinent moral and social issues. On Tuesday, December 18 at 8:00 pm, Rochelle Novins will facilitate Second Person Singular at her home. Second Person Singular is many things: a psychological mystery reminiscent of Nabokov; a touching examination of what it means to be Arab in a Jewish state...a family comedy that involves all sorts of delusions and secrets and lies...Kashua is an unusually ambitious and gifted writer. If you would like the schedule of books for Spring 2013 please email Jeanne Bodin at

S’forim Forum On Saturday, December 1, S’forim Forum will discuss Telegraph Avenue, the latest work of America’s eminent Jewish writer, Michael Chabon. come from 4:30 to 6:00 pm, with refreshments and a quick Havdalah. No previous experience necessary! Come on in; the talk is fine.

Judaism 101

Overview of the Tanakh Rabbi Mara Young Sunday, December 16 9:30 am Our newest monthly adult class, this is a chance for you to experience an overview of Jewish ritual, history and literature. Join us for one or every class. This session will focus on the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible comprising the Five Books of Moses, the Prophets and the Writings. Bagels and coffee provided.

Book of Judges: Ancient Israel’s Childhood Rabbi Billy Dreskin Eight Wednesdays, beginning December 5 at 8:00 pm

Abraham built the first Israelite home. Moses brought the Israelites back from captivity. Joshua led the conquest. But it was the Judges who governed the new nation. And it wasn’t always milk and honey. What can we learn of our ancestors? And how does this speak to our lives today? The SEVENTH Book of the Bible. It’s time.

On-going classes: Jewish Studies, Harriet Levine Thursdays, 10:00-11:30 am. Adult Hebrew Classes Thursdays, 7:00-8:00 pm. Modern Hebrew, Rabbi Joan Farber Thursdays, 8:15-9:15 pm.

Daytime Diversions The election and all those ads and robo calls are finally behind us. Welcome back to the relative peace and quiet of the normal Daytime Diversions season, and it’s a really good one! We look forward to seeing you (your friends, neighbors, et al.) Come to the movie on the first Wednesday of a month, a speaker on the second Wednesday of the month, and the Current Events Discussion Group on the third Wednesday. All sessions start at 10:00 am and we provide doughnuts, coffee/tea. Wednesday, December 5, we will view and discuss Strangers on a Train. The 1951 movie stars Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, Robert Walker, and Leo G. Carroll. Walker thinks he has the perfect plan to get rid of his hated father, and when he meets Granger, on a train, he the plot seems simple. He will kill Walker’s wife, so that Walker can remarry, and Walker will kill Granger’s father. One of them doesn’t live up to the bargain, and the plot thickens. One of Alfred Hitchcock’s best, with the usual Hitchkock machinations. Come at 9:45 am, to settle in with breakfast, as we start promptly at 10:00 am. Wednesday, December 12, meet Seymon Pinkhasov. Seymon is a physiotherapist by day and a filmmaker at night. Seymon immigrated from Russia in 1977, where he trained as a fencer and a doctor. Among his credits, he served as the 1984 US Olympic Fencing Team. His documentary films focus on the tensions between “individualism and the State.” Seymon will share and discuss his award winning documentary, “Sports and Peace”, which tells the story of private citizens in Israel and the Palestinian territories who found opportunities to engage with each other on the playing fields. Seymon will happily field questions and comments. Wednesday, December 19, Current Events Discussion Group meets to respond to election results and ponder the next steps in solving the world’s problems. Come add your voice to the ones around the table. Bob Steinhardt’s agenda is always on the mark!


Just Israel

Shopping Spree

A behind-the-scenes look at the Woodlands Judaica Shop By Fran Smith

(Continued from page 1)

Tikkun Olam in Cardboard on Wheels For less than $10 worth of durable recycled cardboard, plastic bottles, and recycled tires, Israeli entrepreneur Nimrod Elmish and automation expert Izhar Gafni can build a wheelchair. The maintenance-free cardboard wheelchair can carry riders weighing up to 400 pounds while withstanding water and humidity. The $6 million that an international non-profit organization currently spends annually to provide free metal wheelchairs to the disabled in developing nations can now be used as a one-time fee to build a factory that would produce the cardboard wheelchairs at almost no cost with help from rebates for using “green” materials. The plan is for the chairs to be made on largely automated production lines supplemented by a workforce comprising people with disabilities. According to Elmish, the Israeli mindset played an important role: “The thinking of the resources, the social model, the thinking behind employing disabled people, the thinking of giving back to the community.” While Israel struggles with the challenges of establishing peace with her neighbors, good news emerges regularly. 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 her achievements.

revenue source for the temple, and a wonderful resource for the community. Karen’s husband, Mark, a former gallery owner in Greenwich, Conn., has pitched in to help transform the shop into a thriving business. Woodlands member and graphic designer Melanie Roher Schwartz helped with branding, creating a bold logo, labels, and business cards that give the shop visibility beyond the temple community. The prices can’t be beat. The shop pays no overhead, so savings are passed on to the customers. Karen even gift wraps beautifully and for free. Proceeds benefit the temple, and never has shopping felt so worthy. Karen sees the shop as more than a vehicle for fundraising (not to mention self-indulgence). She wants it to encourage all of us to bring more Judaica into our homes. She certainly inspired me. Here she shares the secrets of the shop’s success. You overhauled the inventory when you took over. How did you do that? We went on a massive buying trip. Not knowing what this congregation is looking for, what is going to sell, what are the price limits, we just bought a lot of stuff. We went to the New York Gift Show, met with suppliers, and asked them what their best sellers were. We explained that we want to be the neighborhood gift shop that people come to. Were the suppliers receptive? A lot were helpful. Some thought, “Oy, here comes another Sisterhood gift shop.” Now they welcome us with open arms, because we have placed multiple reorders. We have shown we’re actually here to do business. How did you increase sales? One of the things we’ve learned is that to be a successful shop you have to be open—as often as possible—and you have to have a lot of volunteers to make that work. I’m here so much, my kids call this my second home. And we’ve also taken the shop to the street, for example, to Ardsley Day, the village’s street fair.


How did you do there? We sold out of mezuzahs. Who would have thought? What’s the top seller at Woodlands? The jewelry — it’s affordable and everyone always wants another piece. What have you learned about the congregation through this work? They do have good taste. They like pretty things. Is the clergy involved in the shop? Mara is one of my best shoppers. You’re an executive recruiter by profession. How do you know so much about retailing? I don’t love shopping for myself, but I love buying gifts for people and getting that gasp, that response. And when my husband owned the gallery, I would go in on weekends and just sit and talk with people: “Tell me what you’re looking for. Tell me what’s important to you.” I’d listen to them and learn who they are and what they want, which is really what I do as an executive recruiter. Woodlands Judaica Shop—which bills itself as “your neighborhood gift shop for gift giving…and getting!” —is open by request every day the temple office is staffed. Evening and weekend hours are noted in the weekly temple email. The shop is closed on Shabbat. For more information, for special orders, and to volunteer to help staff the shop, call the temple office or write judaicashop@wct. org. Or just stop Karen, Ellen, or Mark (or any of the other volunteers—Fran Stein, Margie Berman, Elka Klarsfeld, and Lois Green) any time you see them— which will usually be at the shop itself.

Catalyst for Change: The Mishpakha Moment

Don’t delay ...

(Continued from page 1)

Is this the summer to send your child or grandchild to a URJ summer camp (Eisner, Crane Lake, Kutz or 6 Points Sports Academy)? Well, up to $1,000 is waiting for you! No kidding! We’ve linked arms with the UJA-Federation of New York and the Foundation for Jewish Camp and are thrilled to be able to offer this subsidy to any family wanting to give a child their first, unforgettable experience of summer at a Jewish sleepaway camp. The application process is now open at If you’ve got questions, feel free to contact Harriet, Ross or Rabbi Billy.

Still, while Mishpakha has become institutionalized over the last two years, it’s useful to take a look back at its history, if only to be reminded of how both individuals and groups of congregants can foster change at this inherently experimental temple. As Liz Scafidi, one of Mishpakha’s early proponents, remembers it, “Mishpakha started because a bunch of families with younger children expressed that they would like to go to services more frequently but felt unable to do so because the Friday night service was so late. They felt torn because it was a choice between keeping their kids up after their bedtime and risking the ensuing crankiness, or hiring a babysitter so that they could go to synagogue, which seems awfully unJewish and partially defeats the purpose of observing Shabbat.” But wanting a different kind of service and launching it are not, of course, the same thing. Tom Rechtschaffen, who, with Mike Lebowich, was co-chair of the Ritual Committee at the time, notes that early in his involvement with the Ritual Committee, he had advanced the notion of this sort of service but, as he puts it, “I had gained little ground.” It wasn’t until other members with young kids and similar concerns got involved in temple leadership and joined Tom’s lobbying effort, that “we were able to make this service a reality.” Making the service a reality meant, as Tom recalls, “calling upon our own resources: the members of our group who were willing and able to lead prayers, sing, and write divrei Torah, which helped our popularity as most of the attendees were involved in leading the service in some way.” As the service became more popular, it evolved. The clergy got involved. Congregants without young kids started attending to see what this Miskpakha thing was all about. And dinner was added. As Jenna Lebowich

$$$ Available for 1st time Summer Campers

recalls, “In the second year we realized that many of us were rushing to have dinner before the service started or were leaving the Oneg to go to dinner together. Tom took up a collection and ordered pizza so we could continue to schmooze at temple before and after the service.” By June 2011, when temple leadership met to look at the temple calendar for the 2011-2012 year, it was clear that Mishpakha had become so successful— and so ingrained in the fabric of the community—that, rather than continue it as an alternative to the 8:00 pm service, it should become, on the nights it was held, the service that evening, so that everyone, young and old, could attend—with dinner as an option to all who wanted additional schmoozing time. The lesson here, as Tom puts it, is that “if you want to change something, the best way to do it is to get involved.” Mishpakha, adds Jenna, “is an example of Woodlands at its best. Our community is about each person being part of the greater whole and contributing their ideas and efforts to make our temple a constantly evolving, living organism. We saw a need and worked with leadership and the professional staff to create a program that not only met our needs, but exceeded all our expectations.” —Mike Winkleman

Don’t delay ...

Summer Camp Applications Due Now! Believe it or not, sections of our Reform movement’s summer camp programs Crane Lake, Eisner, Kutz and Six Points Sports Academy fill to capacity by December. So if you’d like to ensure your child’s place in one of these programs, please do not delay submitting application and deposit. Reform Jewish summer camps are not only great, but they help solidify our kids’ positive sense of Jewish identity. In this world of competing values and claims on our time and energy, this is a tremendous gift for you to offer your child or grandchild. Call the Eisner/Crane Lake office (212-650-4130 or online at necamps., Kutz Camp (845-9876300 or online at, or Six Points (561-208-1650 or online at to find out more about this wonderfully enjoyable summer opportunity for your child or grandchild. Youth Director Ross Glinkenhouse, Temple Educator Harriet Levine, Rabbi Billy and Rabbi Mara have information, as well. Financial assistance is the rabbi.


Our Mishpakha in Uganda

Help Bring Us Our Next Intern! A message from Rabbi Billy and Rabbi Mara Dear friends,

Join fellow Woodlanders in becoming Woodlands sponsors the Mama in the Schools Program, enabling Rebecca Nantabo to work with kids in the Abayudaya high school on sexual maturity issues, HIV, pregnancy prevention, and conflict mediation. More information on the Jewish community in Uganda and how you can help at

Next Month in Makom Tu B’Shevat:

Assessing the Environment After Sandy—What You Need to Know; What You Can Do Auction Fever:

Worth the Wait Purim Preview:

The Whole Megillah

In 1985 and 2009 respectively, we arrived to Woodlands Community Temple as your new rabbinic interns. With our very first experiences at WCT, it became very clear to us that this was a different sort of synagogue. We both fell in love with Woodlands’ openness, curiosity, sense of family, and serious dedication to Jewish learning and living. After two years each as interns, we graduated from Hebrew Union College, were ordained rabbis and, although on different calendars, we joined the WCT family full-time. And in the years since our internships ended (for Mara, two; for Billy, twenty-four!), the impact of those brief years remains monumental. A Hebrew Union College education is top-notch and the learning is exciting. Yet, in those last days of rabbinical school, we found that the most important learning we were doing was right here at Woodlands Community Temple. For the nineteen interns who have served this synagogue since 1976, it has been the opportunities to teach and schmooze, to learn from you and from your professional staff and volunteer leadership, that have cultivated in all of us an ever-deepening appreciation for the beauty of Jewish living, and a lifelong love for Woodlands. At its October meeting, your Board of Trustees expressed this same fondness for the WCT rabbinic intern program, unanimously approving a call to raise funds for a new intern beginning next fall. If you and/or members of your family have enjoyed the presence of a rabbinical student in our temple community, if you appreciate the profound impact such an experience has on the entire career of a young rabbi, we hope you will help make this happen for intern #20. We’re asking for pledges of three annual gifts, as little or as much as you can afford, to underwrite the cost of this program. The cost will be $20,000 per year, $60,000 over the course of the three years. If you’re budgeting, keep in mind that no payment on your pledge will be due until after July 1, 2013. We’ll bill you on your temple statement. You may make your pledge online at If you have questions, contact one of us (, or temple president Stu Berlowitz ( Thank you so very much. May you go mee khayil el khayil ... from strength to strength. In friendship and shalom,

Rabbi Billy Dreskin WCT Intern 1985-89


Rabbi Mara Young WCT Intern 2009-11

December Yahrzeit (24 Kislev - 16 Tevet) Friday, December 7 Priscilla Austin Herbert Falk Sr. Renee Falk Henry Falk Helen Farbman Florence Feldman Murray Fishman Mary Fleischman Helen Friedman Ida Gorelick Julia Gralla Roger Green Jerry Green Mathilde Hadjes Cantor Robert Harmon Claire Kach Sophie Kotin Benjamin Levine Alexander Martel Susan Nawy Harold Newhouse David North Gerhard Reiter Anita Schantz Sarah Schorr Nathan Wachs Carl Weingast Ivie Zolotoy

Friday, December 14 Rose Adler Jason Barnard Ellen Block Eli Borwick Constance Burke Andre Chonigman Adrienne Cooper Gilbert Delugach Florence Fields Doris Fligel Lanelle Friedman Ken Garland Rose Glick Helene Goldberg Helen Goldman Martha Goldschmidt Myrna Gordon Freda Gralla Arthur Halpern Bob Kayser Dorothy Kent Irving Kohn

Ruth Laski Louis Lestz Sidney Milbauer Stanley Moll Mildred Morris Elizabeth Razgha Elsie Reznick Siegfried Rosenthal Jerry Schantz Sara Schultz Esther Shalant Elizabeth Shapiro Lillian Cohl Shodet Sol Smith Julius Ralph Steinhardt Sam Stolzenberg Joan Tauss Helen Titus Thelma Weinert Joseph Westler James Matt Winkleman

Friday, December 21 Murray Aibinder Frances Aliminosa Carolyn Aron Jacques Barjon George Bennett Mollie Bloomenfeld Paul Bodin Angelo Cardile Jacob Cohn Bertha Dubin Carla Eckstein Julia Fihrer Carol Ann Gadell George L. George Julie Goldschmidt Mary Ann Hollinger Lillian Hurwitz Etta Jacobs Naomi Kohn Sam Krieger Gloria Krivoshey Minna Levine May Lewis Zelda Magid Max Moskovitz Martin Paley Elizabeth Roggen Charles Rosen Sylvia Rosenberg Sandra Sobel

Lewis Sobel Julius Sommer Harry Stiefel Elliott Stone Rita Witkowski Joseph Yeshion Leo Zimmerman Roberta Ziss

Friday, December 28 Florence Abend Harry A. Aibinder Sam Apter Mary Berkowitz Mildred Cohen Rick Collins Richard Collins Goldberg Elaine Herbert Elk Seymour Florin Harold Friedlander Hans Goldman Samuel Gordon Marilyn Gottfried Oscar Green Hazel Heyman Audrey Kalvin Charlotte Kaufman Helene Kaufman Morris Landman Helena Loose Arthur Lucks Lucille Meirowitz Edith Opochinsky Steven Perlman Bessie Schapiro Sobel Andrew Weinberg Estelle Weisenberg William Wolf

The Woodlands Community Mourns the Loss of Cynthia Landis mother of Patricia Nissim Ruth Muraskin aunt of Roberta Florin Mitchell Johnson father of Karen Grogin Walter Roth uncle of Andy Farber Judith Cohen Osterman aunt of Aliza Garofalo

We Join in Extending Our Condolences

Honor a Loved One Bookplates Now Available It is a time-honored Jewish tradition to honor people we love by making tzedakah contributions on their behalf. Now, in addition to contributing to our regular funds, you and your family may purchase bookplates to dedicate individual copies of our High Holy Days makhzor, Gates of Repentance. And your donation will help us purchase new prayerbooks as the need arises. • Bookplates cost $36 each. •O  ne 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

HaMakom y’nakhem otam… may God bring comfort to all who are in mourning. Zekher tzadik livrakha ... may their memory be for a blessing.


WCT Funds Available for Your Support

The Simkha Page

Professionals’ Mitzvah Funds

B’nai Mitzvah

Rabbi’s Mitzvah Fund Supports various individuals, organizations and/ or programs at the discretion of the Rabbi. (Checks should be made payable to the Rabbi’s Mitzvah Fund. Please specify Rabbi Billy or Rabbi Mara.)

Cantor’s Discretionary Fund

Supports various individuals, organizations or programs at the discretion of the Cantor. (Checks should be made payable to the Cantor’s Discretionary Fund.)

Justin Green

Rachel Best

December 8

December 15

Torah Portion

Vayeshev Hebrew Name


Torah Portion

Miketz Hebrew Name


Educator’s Enrichment Fund

Provides special programs for the Religious School. (Checks should be made payable to the Educator’s Enrichment Fund.)

WCT Program Support Chai Fund (formally The General Fund)

Supports the general needs of the Temple. All unspecified gifts are placed into the Chai Fund.

Endowment Trust

Provides a long-term endowment to support the financial needs of Woodlands Community Temple.

Outdoor Memorial Garden

With the purchase of an inscription, you can memorialize loved ones, provide for the maintenance and beautification of our Memorial Wall and Garden, and contribute to the general needs of the Temple.

Mazal Tov Mazal tov to Fred and Amy Green, as their son, Justin, is called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah. Mazal tov to Robert and Carolyn Best, as their daughter, Rachel ,is called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah. Mazal tov to Penny and Bob Apter on the birth of a grandson, Brandon Ryan Apter, son of Randi and Mark Apter. Mazal tov to Robin and Chuck Bauer on the marriage of their daughter, Lauren Bauer, to Bernardo Mas, son of Yolanda Pavan and Tony Mas Lara.

Library Fund

Funds the purchase of books for our library.

Lifelong Learning Fund

Dedicated to creating an ever-growing love of Jewish learning and living through ongoing educational exploration for all members of our congregation.

Music Fund

Underwrites special music programs, purchases music for the Cantor and Woodlands Singers, and funds Jewish Music Month activities.

Rabbinic Intern Fund

Supports the hiring of a rabbinic student to assist our Rabbi and work with our Temple community.

Scholar-In-Residence Fund

Supports the Scholar-in-Residence program.

Torah and Ritual Fund

Provides for repairs of our Torah collection and for other ritual needs of the Congregation.

Prayerbook Fund

Funds the purchase and maintenance of siddurim, High Holy Days prayer books, and Torah commentaries through the purchase of dedicatory book plates.

Scholarships and Support Bernard and Frances Shapiro Chesed Caring Community Fund

Supports Temple members in need and the activities of the Chesed Caring Community.


Donations (here or online at PLEASE NOTE: To help our bookkeeper, please issue separate checks for dues or other special events. Donations should be sent separately from all other Temple business. All donations should be made payable to: Woodlands Community Temple, except the Rabbi's Mitzvah Fund, the Cantor's Discretionary Fund, and the Educator’s Enrichment Fund which should be made payable directly to those accounts. From: Name ___________________________________________________________ Address _______________________________________________________________ In honor/memory of: _____________________________________________________ Fund Name: ________________________________________ ___________________ Amount_____________ Please send an acknowledgement of this donation to: (If not a member, please provide address) _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ Please send me an acknowledgement of this donation .


Expanding Jewish Horizons Fund

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

Rabbi Billy’s Mitzvah Fund The families of Bernie Leibowitz express their appreciation and in memory of Bernard Leibowitz, from Anita Leibowitz. In memory of Charles Samuel Hess, from Michael Hess. In memory of Ruth Muraskin, from Roberta and Steve Florin. In memory of Simon Endick, father, grandfather, from Murray Endick and Carol Kronenberger. In memory of Rebecca Endick, mother, grandmother, from Murray Endick and Carol Kronenberger. In memory of David Endick, brother, uncle, from Murray Endick and Carol Kronenberger. In memory of Aaron Endick, brother, uncle from Murray Endick and Carol Kronenberger. In memory of Sylvia Goldenberg, sister, aunt, from Murray Endick and Carol Kronenberger. In honor of the baby naming of Alessandra Messer, granddaughter, from Mark and Susan Korsten. In honor of Rabbi Billy, from Jeanne and Murray Bodin. Thank you Rabbi Billy and in honor of Rachel Fein becoming a Bat Mitzvah, from Jennifer Altman and Jason Fein.

Cantor’s Discretionary Fund In appreciation of Cantor Jonathan and for helping Miriam chant Torah, from Miriam Kerness and Family.

Montague, Phyllis Opochinsky, Ruth Rugoff, Julie and Scott Stein, Roberta and Roger Wetherbee, Mindy and Eric Zaidins. In honor of Alan Kaplan”swork on our sanctuary, from Yvette and Larry Gralla. In honor of Sue Safirstein’s birthday, from Steve and Gail Zizmor. In honor of Sue Safirstein’s birthday, from Bob and Judy Rosen. In honor of Sue Safirstein’s birthday, from Dick and Sheila Sweet.

Jonah Maccabee Fund In honor of the Dreskin Family, from Gloria and Kurt Nash.

Gates of Repentance Bookplate Fund In memory of Dinah Schwartz, from Roberta and Barry Hantman.

In memory of David Schlesinger, from Debbie, Cliff, Brian and Jason Schoen.

In honor of the birth of Brandon Apter, grandson of Penny and Bob Apter, from Yvette and Larry Gralla. In honor of Leandra Spilka, granddaughter, becoming a Bat Mitzvah, from Barbara and Bob Gralicer. In honor of Jill, Todd, Sophie and Max Miller, from Howard and Susan Gulker.

Library Fund In memory of Cynthia Landis, from Yvette and Larry Gralla.

Music Fund

In honor of Margot Steinberg, with gratitude, from Fran Smith.

In memory of Cynthia Landis, mother of Patricia Nissim from: Bonni and Tony Arbore, Lori Bluberg, Jeanne and Murray Bodin, Gloria and Bill Falk, Joan and Andy Farber, Dayle and David Fligel, Corey Friedlander, Judith and Barry Kessler, Jackie and Nelson Leicht, Mickey Milbauer, Michele and Mark

In honor of Sue Safirstein’s Birthday, from Alan Kaplan.

In honor of Susan Korsten becoming a Bat Mitzvah, from Leslie Wexler.

Thank you Cantor Jonathan and in honor of Rachel Fein becoming a Bat Mitzvah, from Jennifer Altman and Jason Fein.

Chai Fund

Endowment Fund

In memory of Arlene and Daniel Gold, from Roberta Hantman and Meryl Gold.

In honor of Cantor Jonathan, from Jeanne and Murray Bodin.

In memory of Charlotte Sambach, from Michael Hess.

In honor of Sue Safirstein’s Birthday, from Jeanne and Murray Bodin.

In appreciation of our clergy and professional staff for wonderful High Holy Day Services, from The Kerness Family.

In appreciation of WCT’s hosting of Shulhouse Rock 2012, from Elaine Ober.

Educator’s Enrichment Fund

Associate Membership Abayudaya: Mickey Milbauer. Phyllis Hirth, Ellen S. Silber.

Lifelong Learning Fund In honor of Joan Farber, with gratitude, from Fran Smith. With grateful appreciation and in honor of our teachers, from B’nai Binah students.

Special Education Fund In honor of Harriet Levine, with gratitude, from Fran Smith.

Abayudaya Fund In memory of Jonah Maccabee Dreskin, from Ellen and Billy Dreskin.

Gates of Repentance Bookplate Fund

Makom Shelibi Oheyv In memory of Cynthia Landis, from Lois Green. In memory of Bernard Leibowitz, from Lois Green.

Provides support for individuals post college age for travel to and attendance at Jewish educational and cultural programs.

Lay Professional Development Fund

Supports members of the congregation pursuing lay professional activities for the benefit of the Congregation.

College Enrichment Fund

Assists members of college age to attend Jewish programs such as URJ and NFTY conventions. Established in memory of Buddy Klein.

Confirmation Israel Study Fund

Aids Confirmation students where needed so they may travel to and study in Israel. Established in memory of Ellen Block.

Education & Youth Activities Fund

Funds special religious and educational needs for young people, other than college, including NFTY camp and program scholarships. Established in memory of Harriet Rosen.

Special Education Fund

Supports special education programs within the Religious School.

Steve’s H.O.P.E

“Helping to Open People’s Eyes,” this fund promotes social justice, individual responsibility, and moral action through the Civil Rights Journey, L’taken Political Action Seminar, and other projects. Established in memory of Stephen Lelewer.

Social Action Social Action Fund

Funds projects organized by the Social Action Committee.

Abayudaya (Jews of Uganda) Fund

Helps the impoverished Abayudaya community to become self sufficient.

Domestic Abuse Task Force

Helps us to provide assistance to victims of domestic violence leaving the Hope’s Door shelter and reestablishing their lives.

Hunger Fund

Support organizations that help the hungry and homeless in our community.

Interfaith Caring Community Fund

Consortium of local churches and synagogues that provide continuous care for those in need, here in our local Greenburgh community.

Midnight Run Fund

Supports the congregation’s participation in Midnight Run, which collects and distributes food, clothes and toiletries to homeless people living on the streets of Manhattan.

Mitzvat Mississippi

Supports trips to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and Louisiana to aid in the rebuilding of the area following the devastion of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Project Ezra

Supports the elderly Jewish poor of the Lower East Side.


Woodlands Calendar December 2012 Kislev - Tevet 5773


January 15 – December 5 Thank you for donating to our auction.

Please complete an individual donation form for each item or services you are donating (Form is also online at Please return it at your earliest convenience. Forms can be faxed to (914) 592-7376 or mailed to Woodlands Community Temple at 50 Worthington Road, White Plains, NY 10607. Please email digital logos and/or images to for promotional purposes on the site.

DONATED ITEM/SERVICE: ___________________________________________________________________ ESTIMATED RETAIL VALUE*: $___________________ DONOR NAME (individual and/or business name): ___________________________________________________________________________________________ PHONE: ________________________

FAX: _____________________

ADDRESS:________________________________________________________ EMAIL: ____________________________________________________________________________________ DESCRIPTION OF ITEM/SERVICE (use additional pages to describe if necessary):

DONATION RESTRICTIONS & EXPIRATION DATE (please be as specific as possible):

WILL DONOR CREATE GIFT CERTIFICATE? ___________ yes __________no (WCT can create if none is available)

Signature___________________________________________________________ Date: __________________ The estimated retail value of the item is requested to help the auction committee determine minimum bids. Donors will be sent an acknowledgement letter and tax receipt when the auction is completed. Donors are responsible for determining the tax deductibility and value of their items.


hanukkah observance information center How do we observe Hanukkah today? Where does the menorah go? Hanukkah is almost entirely a time for celebration. The candles can be lit each night at home. Songs can be sung. Games can be played. It’s good to tell (or read) the story of Hanukkah. And tzedakah is a wonderful Hanukkah tradition. In some families, one night is set aside to give gifts to the needy (rather than receive them ourselves), perhaps taking a trip to a local soup kitchen or children’s hospital to deliver some heartfelt goodies.

If possible, your hanukiyah should go near or in a window. In this way, passers-by can see the burning candles, fulfilling the mitzvah of peer-soom ha-neys, “publicizing the miracle of Hanukkah.” Remember, the Maccabean struggle against Antiochus was for religious freedom; Hanukkah today celebrates the religious freedom we enjoy here in America. Placing your hanukiyah in the window celebrates (and demonstrates) that freedom!

How do we prepare the Hanukkah menorah?

What do we actually do when we light them?

Place the candles in the hanukiyah (menorah) from right to left (as you face it). Then light them in the opposite direction. It’s an important gesture, teaching that as no candle is more important than any other, we must be tolerant and kind to people of all sizes, shapes and colors.

How many candles are used?

On the first night of Hanukkah, one shamash (“helping” candle) is used to light one candle. On the second night, one shamash lights two candles. And so forth, until the eighth night, when one shamash lights all eight candles.

When do we light our candles?

Just after nightfall. But if you need to leave the house early, or you get home late, light them when you can. As a Reform Jew, look for ways into, not ways out of, our beautiful traditions.


Tradition has us say the blessings first, then light the candles (perhaps while singing Maoz Tzur). Some families find it meaningful to recite the blessings while the candles are being lit. The first two blessings are read (or sung) each night of Hanukkah. The third blessing (She-he-khe-ya-nu) is used on the first night only.

What about when Hanukkah falls on Shabbat? Light your hanukiyah first, followed by Shabbat candles.

Help! I don’t know how to read Or sing the blessings.

Visit the Union for Reform Judaism’s website ( They’ll teach you the blessings and lots, lots more.

Advertise in Woodlands’ Makom! Buy or Find a buyer 007 Lexus es350 6 cycle, all power ABS, sun roof, am/fm cd Original owner, lexus serviced, Mileage 29, 860 , in super condition, no prior accidents, rudy red with stripe, grey interior, great ride and quietoffered at $19,000, we will donate $500 from the final sale to Woodlands Community Temple Call 914-589-2092, ask for Mort


We are holding this space for your ad Contact Charlie Strick advertising

Weinstein Memorial Chapel 914-793-3800 1652 Central Park Avenue • Yonkers, New York 10710 (1 Block North of Tuckahoe Road) E-mail: The Only Jewish Family Owned Chapel in Westchester County

A Family Commitment to the Jewish Community with Dignified, Respectful Service. Four Generations of Personalized Service Mildred, Jack*, Seymour & Edward Weinstein (Owners) Arrangements Available in Westchester and Metro NYC 24 Hours a Day • 7 Days a Week We Accept All Major Credit Cards. MEMBER: Jewish Funeral Directors Assoc. of America New York State Funeral Directors Association Westchester Funeral Directors Association *Deceased


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

James Dowdle

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

current resident or:


Our Woodlands Connection If you’ve got a story that you’d like to tell about belonging to Woodlands, please contact Rabbi Billy (

By Stacey and Mike Silverman


i, we’re Stacey and Mike Silverman. We have two adult children, Jackie and Glen. We’ve been members of WCT since 1996 and participated in all the usual temple stuff – Shabbat services, Oneg duties, ushering, family learning sessions, Purim programs, Sukkot barbeques, Tent sales, traffic duties, Midnight Runs, Book Fairs, Blood Drives, coffeehouses, ad hoc Task Forces – all that incredible stuff that Woodlands does all the time to be what it is: Woodlands Community Temple. After completing Derekh, Stacey served as co-chair of the adult education committee and is now on a task force and the membership committee. She’s studied Hebrew, Jewish Studies, Torah, Talmud, and cantillation with our clergy. Mike has been active in many Social Action projects and is now in the Derekh program. He plans to get more involved with Social Action and Finance Committees. Those are our family facts; what follows is our story. First, ourchildren’s question: “We only joined Woodlands ‘cause we have to become bat and bar mitzvah, right?” A question posed while preparing for the big events and dreaming of ‘free time’ in the future. Our story begins: We met over 25 years ago in Edmonton, Alberta at a Yom Kippur break-fast in the home of the Temple Beth Ora president. Stacey was designated to recruit Mike, an unknown face, to join the small group

of families that made up the Reform Jewish community. Mike’s comment: “the recruitment process was awesome.” TBO had a new member and we began our life as a couple. Fast forward a few years to Toronto, Ontario. We are parents, struggling to keep all the balls in the air while juggling jobs and young children. Our Jewish life was limited to important holidays and significant life events. We missed the sense of being part of a community but it was the best we could do at the time. And then, another move (1995) to Ardsley and the search began for a congregation that would support our values and beliefs as we raised our children. A place where we felt we belonged…Woodlands Community Temple. Finally, our second family, until we moved, yet again, in mid-2009 to Atlanta. Our Story’s End: Spring 2011 we moved back to southern Westchester. When we got a call inviting us to attend the New Members Shabbat Dinner and Service, Mike said to the caller, “Woodlands has the most liberal definition I’ve ever heard for New Members.” We never really felt as though we had left the congregation. Of course we attended and everyone enjoyed our unusual status. We reminisced about shared times with the people we knew and introduced ourselves to the new, new members and told them why we loved Woodlands. Memories in the middle: Spending time in the tent during the High Holy Days with all the hugging, kissing,

catching up, and chuckling about wearing old shoes in case it rains. Swaying together as we close services singing “Adonai Oz.” Driving the perfect carpool arrangement - 4 kids get out for Academy and 4 get in to go home. Being with friends as they sit shiva hoping to lessen their pain. Seeing the bimah spill over with b’nai mitzvahs, Confirmands, and graduates. Hearing the choir as it grows larger and larger each year. Teaching our son to chant his parashah. Saying yes to our daughter when she asks if she can come home last minute to attend Rosh Hashanah services; she misses the tent. Passing tissues as tears come to our eyes as our friends and their children celebrate Jewish rites of passage and life events. Burning the candle at both ends to be part of the Breakfast and Midnight Runs. Being welcomed back by the many caring, kind congregants at Woodlands who said we were missed. Finally, our answer: “Kids, we won’t force you to continue but we would like you to. We’ve always been members of a temple. We think putting your religious values into practice is important in having a balanced life. It feels good to belong to a caring community.” For Jackie and Glen, that dreamed about ‘free time’ post b’nai mitzvah never happened. They chose to actively participate in Academy through Graduation and continue to give back to their communities as adults. Thank you, Woodlands Community Temple. It’s good to be home.

December 2012 Makom  
December 2012 Makom  

Woodlands Community Temple monthly bulletin for December 2012