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the newsletter of woodlands community temple

January 2013 Tevet- Shevat 5773

After Sandy: Woodlands Gives Back By Mike Winkleman

Perhaps that was you sitting in the cold and dark early in November wondering when the power would be restored. And perhaps that was you checking your house for damage when the wind pulled the branches down. Or mopping up your basement when the river rose. Or hanging out at Woodlands keeping warm and enjoying movies and an Internet connection. Chances are, however, that when the power came back, the heat went on, the basement dried out, and the branches were reduced to firewood, life went back to normal. Woodlands kept power, but not all our trees were so lucky. But, as we certainly know, that’s not the case for so many people in the New York metropolitan area. Which is why Woodlands has been helping out, sending teams to places

IN THIS ISSUE “Annie” Purim Is Coming! p. 5 “Rocky Horror” Purim Is Coming! p. 7 “Tu b’Shevat: Mindfulness on the Menu”p. 2 Education Transition Update p. 4

(Continued on page 12)

Hanukkah Comes Twice This Year: The Woodlands Winter Online Auction Didn’t get what you wanted for Hanukkah last month? Well, like the miracle of the burning oil, Woodlands offers the miracle of the online auction. Originally scheduled for November, Woodlands’ “We Are Family” auction was swept off the calendar by Hurricane Sandy. Launch date is now January 15, with goods available for bidding for two full weeks. Turn to page 19 for a preview of some of what you’ll find online. Then go to and place your bids. Great gifts—for you, your friends, your family—and, because the auction is a major temple fundraiser, it’s a great gift for Woodlands as well. (Continued on page 19)

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

WoodSY Midnight Run p.8 Harriet’s Big Send-Off Volunteer to Help! p. 20 A Minority Opinion p. 14 4th Annual Jonah Maccabee

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

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


“Tu b’Shevat: Mindfulness on the Menu” Saturday, January 26, 2013 4:30 – 7:00 pm (including a potluck dinner) RSVP online ( or the temple office (592.7070)

Celebrate Tu b’Shevat with an exciting evening of learning, havdallah, and a potluck dinner. Using elements of the Tu b’Shevat seder and our own experiences, we’ll be exploring “mindfulness” in regards to food. Learning (parallel tracks: one for adults and one for families with kids) • For adults: Led by Rabbi Billy, we’ll be exploring the spiritual elements of the holiday as related to its different symbols. We’ll also investigate the ethical and moral actions we take in regards to food. • For families: Led by Rabbi Mara and resident cooking instructor, Jenna Lebowich, we’ll use our five senses to explore the foods, symbols, and meanings of the holiday All that followed by a special Tu b’Shevat Havdalah (led by our clergy). Then we’ll join together for a potluck dinner. • For dinner: Please bring a hearty main or side dish that has special significance to your family. • Be prepared to share that story informally with others. If you’re bringing kids, involve them in the preparation and explanation of the dish. No nuts, please. Please sign up in advance at . Any questions, be in touch with Rabbi Mara (

Purim Fun at Woodlands! Don’t forget to send in your Sh’lakh Manot (Purim Goody Box) order form You received ordering information by mail earlier this month. We need your order form back by January 25! Or if you prefer, you can place your order online at Not only is sending Sh'lakh Manot a mitzvah, but you will feel great knowing that all proceeds will go directly to keeping our Temple operating costs down and will also directly support our religious school. Remember, 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 box, all of the names of the families that “sent” it will be included in their personalized Purim greeting. Purim boxes will be sent home with our students from religious school. They will also be available for pickup after the “Annie” Purim Megillah reading. 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!

Worship Schedule Shabbat Shemot

Saturday, January 19

Shabbat Evening Service at 8:00 pm

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.

Friday, January 4

The first Shabbat of the new year. Come join us! Babysitting available tonight, no reservations are necessary.

Saturday, January 5

Lerners Minyan at 8:30 am Shabbat Morning Service at 10:30 am Celebrate with us as Jessica Friedman, daughter of Jan and Jeffrey Friedman, becomes a Bat Mitzvah. Exodus 1:1 - 6:1 ... Isaiah 27:6 - 28:13

Lerners Minyan at 8:30 am

Exodus 10:1 - 13:16 ... Jeremiah 46:13-28

Shabbat Beshallakh Friday, January 25

Kidz Shabbat at 7:00 pm Our monthly 30-minute shenanigans, join in Shabbat songs and stories with Rabbi Billy, Rabbi Mara and Cantor Jonathan. Bring a buck for tzedakah!

Shabbat Vaera

Tu b’Shevat Shabbat Shirah at 8:00 pm

A Joyful Noise at 8:00 pm

Our annual Jewish music service, this year linked to the holiday and themes of Tu b’Shevat. Babysitting available tonight, no reservations are necessary.

Friday, January 11 Bring your family, and let’s celebrate Shabbat with a new song (and a few old ones, too)! Visual Worship tonight, too. No siddurim (unless you want one, of course). All prayers and readings will be projected onto screens. See you there! Babysitting available tonight, no reservations are necessary.

Saturday, January 12

Lerners Minyan at 8:30 am Shabbat Morning Service at 10:30 am Celebrate with us as Jacob O’Donovan, son of Linda Batwin O’Donovan and Gene O’Donovan, becomes a Bar Mitzvah. Exodus 6:2 - 9:35 ... Isaiah 66:1-13

Shabbat Bo

Friday, January 18 Martin Luther King Shabbat at 8:00 pm An evening devoted to the writings, thoughts and dreams of Dr. King and all of us who have followed him. Rabbi Mara and Cantor Jonathan will lead tonight’s service while Rabbi Billy is at the Confirmation Shul-in downstairs. Babysitting available tonight, no reservations are necessary.

Saturday, January 26

Lerners Minyan at 8:30 am Shabbat Morning Service at 10:30 am Celebrate with us as Samara Scharf, daughter of Joanne Levine and Doron Scharf, becomes a Bat Mitzvah. Exodus 13:17 - 17:16 ... Judges 4:4 - 5:31

Shabbat Yitro

Friday, February 1 Mishpakha Shabbat at 6:45 pm (note earlier start-time!) 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

Saturday, February 2

Lerners Minyan at 8:30 am Shabbat Morning Service at 10:30 am Celebrate with us as Joel Gardner, son of Eve Gordon and Michael Gardner, becomes a Bar Mitzvah. Exodus 18:1 - 20:26 ... Isaiah 6:1 - 7:6

Hevra Torah Learning, Saturdays, 9:15-10:15 am January 5: Parshat Shemot Facilitated by Rabbi Billy January 12: Parshat Vaera Facilitated by Cantor Jonathan January 19: Parshat Bo Facilitated by Rabbi Mara January 26: Parshat Beshallakh Facilitated by Rabbi Billy Feb 2: Parshat Yitro Facilitated by Rabbi Mara 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 January 4, 11, 18, and 25. 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 B”

Begins on Sunday, January 6 (9:00-11:00 am) and Wednesday, January 9 (5:30-7:30 pm). And while we’re at it, please make sure you’ve got Sunday, February 3 and Wednesday, February 6 on your calendar too. See you there!

10th Grade Students and Parents Monday, February 4, 6:00-8:00 pm

Our third Confirmation Family Session with Rabbi Billy. All parents and Confirmands should attend. We’ll have dinner together, and then share in family learning. Please contact the religious school office (592-7070 or only if you’re unable to be with us

Confirmation Shul-in at the Temple

Friday, January 18, 4:00 pm Saturday, January 19, 8:00 am Coming soon! All Confirmands are invited to spend a night in the temple with Rabbi Billy, Ross Glinkenhouse and Jade Sank. We’ll continue our exploration of what it means to be Jewish, this time with clay, papier mache, fire and too much junk food.


Your Confirmation student knows about the following date, but we would be oh-so-appreciative if you would make sure it is written on all personal and family calendars. This program is a vital component of the Confirmation curriculum. Important topics will be covered. Your 10th grader should arrive on time, bringing a sleeping bag and a toothbrush. Questions? Call the religious school office: 592-7070.


from the Rabbi

Torah Need Not Come Exclusively from Torah


llen and I were sitting at the piano, singing our way through an exquisite contemporary tune, entitled “Help Is on the Way.” We’d both fallen deeply for Nancy LaMott’s recording, and it was Ellen who contacted the composer, David Friedman, to see if we could get the music. I’ve always been haunted by this song. It’s so optimistic about the future, even while acknowledging the difficulties we face. Nancy LaMott, for whom this was a signature piece, sang it with such conviction, even as her cancer-stricken life was ebbing away: “Don’t give up the ship even when you think it’s sinking and you don’t know what to do. Don’t give up your dream even though you may be thinking it never will come true. Life has its own ideas of how things come about; and if you just hang in there life is gonna work it out. Help is on the way from places you don’t know about today. From friends you may not have met yet. Believe me when I say I know. Help is on the way.” In the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, it’s taught, “There is hope if we let ourselves be helped.” I know what it’s like to feel alone, that there’s no one to turn to, to sense despair in the emptiness of it all. But I also know the strength that comes from a tender embrace, a compassionate ear, a helping hand, gradually replacing the night with a few resurrecting rays of hope-filled light. In 1994, Nancy LaMott was rushed to the hospital where her loved ones learned she only had days to live. In those brief hours, she was embraced by her closest friends and family, phoned by her devoted fan, President Bill Clinton, and promised by the composer of “Help Is on the Way” that her voice would continue to be heard. Then, only an hour before her death, she married the love of her life. As her website tells it, “Nancy LaMott had it all, if only for 45 minutes.” The secret to living (and I think Nancy LaMott understood this) ... is to know long before the hour of our death just how rich we truly are. Neither money, fame nor power hold the tiniest candle to the sense of completeness that accompanies a life of giving and of receiving love. This is great Torah for us all.

Reminder: Help Us Bring WCT’s Next Intern Don’t forget, we’re currently seeking pledges to fund our newest rabbinic intern. With three annual gifts, as little or as much as you can afford, you can help underwrite the cost of this program. At $20,000 per year, $60,000 over the course of the three years, we need everybody’s help to make this happen! Nineteen interns (including Rabbis Billy and Mara) have loved and valued their time at Woodlands. If you have benefitted from the presence of an intern at WCT across the years, won’t you help us do it again? You may make your pledge online at If you have questions, contact one of the rabbis (, or temple president Stu Berlowitz ( 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. Thanks so very, very much!

from the Cantor

Concealed Weapons


t was in a local bar in New Haven, an evening some years ago. I became aware of the fellow who sat on my left wearing his jacket as he sipped his drink. We nodded to each other, respecting our mutual right to silence. After a beer refill, he pulled back his garment, revealing a pistol stuck in his belt. He counted with his index finger, pointing to each person in the place, and spoke out loud. “One, two three, four, five. Good. I’ve got a shell for everyone, with one left. ” I tapped my right hip, where he couldn’t see beneath my coat. “Nope. That doesn’t count mine. Mine cancel yours.” The guy looked at me. “Sheesh. Then screw it.” And he walked right out of the place, moving fast. I sat quietly and concluded there and then that handguns should only be issued to police and military persons. It is perilously irresponsible to sell them to the public, available to bullies and psychopaths. Don’t misunderstand me. Americans did, and some still do, use rifles and shotguns in a struggle of self reliance and faith against a hostile natural world. The American rural experience gave us important values; firearms are symbolic and historic objects in our narrative of self understanding. In fact, a 1792 federal law required “every free able-bodied white male citizen” age 18 through 44 to “provide himself with a good musket or firelock…” I will quickly point out that this edict did not ask men to buy pistols, or cannons. The most terrible murders we read about in the news usually employ repeating weapons that, like artillery, can kill many people at once. Or involve pistols, weapons easily hidden. The production of such guns should be reduced to nearly nothing by force of law. They are not needed for any wholesome purpose.

“Annie Purim!” Is Coming! Saturday, February 23 at 7:30 pm Our annual massive, choral insanity known as Megillah Madness is on the not-so-distant horizon. This year, it’ll be an “Annie Purim!” celebration, so get yourself a little red dress and a puppy and, leaping lizards, put this date on your calendar!

Join Our Cast for “Annie Purim!” Just Two Rehearsals! Adults, teens and kids are all needed to present the music and script for “Annie Purim!” Our (count ‘em!) two rehearsals will be held on Wednesdays, February 6 and February 20. Pick your time ... either 6:30-7:30 pm or 8:00-9:00 pm. Come sing with us because the show can’t go on without you! The ever-lyrical Dreskin family promises the usual nuttiness to mangle some of the most successful theatre music ever written! Sign-up today by emailing Song lyrics, mp3 recordings, and lead sheets will (eventually) be available for download.

Why a Shabbat Service to Honor Dr. King? Friday, January 18 at 8:00 pm

What does Martin Luther King Day mean to you? Another Monday holiday? Sales at the Westchester? But where does one go to commemorate Dr. King’s lifetime commitment to racial and human equality? Or to affirm our own commitment to the continuing struggle for civil rights? That’s why we encourage you and your family to join us Friday evening, January 18 at 8:00 pm for our annual Martin Luther King Shabbat. Make sure your kids understand the importance of this day. And set aside time for your observance of this significant American holiday.

Shabbat Eve with Todd Herzog Friday, February 8 at 8:00 pm Visit toddherzog. com and listen to some of Todd’s music. We’re sure you’ll want to circle this date on your family calendar.

URJ Shabbaton ...You’re Invited! Saturday, January26, 8:45 am - 5:00 pm Here’s an opportunity to spend a day celebrating Shabbat with worship, learning and other Reform Jews from across the East District of the URJ. To be held at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Short Hills, NJ, the day will include learning sessions with clergy from around the tri-state area, as well as a Shabbat morning d’rash by Rabbi Rex Perlmeter, Director, Jewish Wellness Center of Montclair. Details are available at edshabbaton. Ace musicians Peri Smilow and Rick Calvert will help make this Shabbat one to remember. Hope to see you there!


Limmud NY February 15-18

Education Update

Hilton East Brunswick Hotel, NJ

Judaism and Education

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 .

UPCOMING MEETINGS Executive Committee Sunday, January 6 at 7:30 pm Finance Committee Monday, January 7 at 8:10 pm Monday, January 14 at 8:10 pm School Board Monday, January 14 at 8:10 pm Social Action Committee Thursday, January 17 at 8:00 pm Ritual Committee Monday, January 21 at 8:10 pm Board of Trustees Monday, January 28 at 8:10 pm

Next Month in Makom


ince I began my tenure at WCT, I have often spoken or written about Jewish education. What I said 15 or 20 years ago still bears merit today. It is important to note that, although informality is the hallmark of Woodlands Community Temple, it does not take the place of commitment to learning and excellence in everything we do. The Talmud teaches us that the scholar takes precedence over the king. Throughout history, whenever Jewish schools were closed in Moslem or Christian countries, rabbis remained faithful to the precept of learning, and reopened their academies in distant countries. Like the wandering Jew, the torch of Jewish scholarship passed from North to South, East to West. As Jews moved from place to place, the treasure our ancestors were most anxious to carry with them were their books. It has always been the duty of parents to provide proper education for their children. This value remains today. Presently, the synagogue is where most Jewish education takes place, from the youngest to the oldest. Although membership in synagogues often begin when families realize the need for their children to begin studying Hebrew and learning about Judaism, we find that the families who become members years before that essential time are often families who are more active, attend Shabbat services together, take adult education courses, and encourage their children to continue religious school through high school. We are blessed that Woodlands Community Temple is a place where many families join well before the time required for their children to become B’nai Mitzvah, and tend to stay on for years afterward. At WCT, we give families as many opportunities as possible to become literate Jews. In the religious school our goals are to provide a program of academic studies and extracurricular activities that will enable our students to participate in all aspects of Jewish life. We have also made adult learning a priority, giving our adult membership a wide variety of opportunities to become Torah – literate. I am certain that our leadership and professional staff will continue to make education a priority. To quote my friend and mentor, Rabbi Jan Katzew, “Jewish learning may not guarantee Jewish living, but it is the best method we have to insure a Jewish future.”

• “Nightline” Review:

Rabbis and TV experts take a close look at the “Nightline” special on Abrahamic religions (with a eye on the WCT footage)

• The Real Purim:

Annie vs. Janet; Daddy Warbucks vs. Rocky Horror

• Sandy Update:

The work continues

• Youth Engagement:

Previewing the NFTY Convention


WCT’s Israel Committee Monday, January 14, 8:10 pm Devoted to facilitating opportunities for all of us to celebrate Israel’s culture, and to help promote peace and understanding inside of Israel and with her neighbors. We’d love (and need) your participation! Please email Liz Rauchwerger in the temple office ( to attend. Together, let’s bring our love for Israel, and our concern for humanity, to a higher level of discourse and of action in our temple. Link up with a huge movement of like-minded North Americans who adore the Jewish state and who dream of lives lived in peace on both sides of her borders!

from Rabbi Mara

The Constant Learner


s 2013 begins, I continue to prepare myself for my new role as Director of Congregational Learning (beginning in July). As the Director of Congregational Learning, I’ll be overseeing the educational vision and day-to-day educational functioning of Woodlands while also functioning as a member of the WCT clergy. My previous experience working in other religious schools, the formal educational training I received in my years at Hebrew Union College, and my time working in the Hillel world will greatly inform how I tackle the new role. Yet there is always more to learn! This year I have been pursuing formal and informal ways of furthering my education on Jewish education. I’m participating in multiple webinars through the Jewish Education Project and the National Association of Temple Educators, as well as working directly with other educators (including our own Harriet Levine). I’m most thrilled to be participating in HUC’s Certificate in Jewish Education, specializing in adolescents and emerging adults. The certificate program began last fall. It is a blend of online classes, independent learning, fieldwork, and challenging assignments/projects. I’m a part of a dynamic, creative cohort of 16 individuals with diverse educational and professional backgrounds. Our instructors are top-notch. There are also three in-person intensives that we all attend. The first was in Los Angeles, where we explored the formation of Jewish identity. Now, in the first two weeks of January, my cohort and I will take up fulltime residence in NYC to learn about family systems/dealing with crisis, organizational dynamics, and continue our exploration of experiential education (see the back page of Makom for more info on what this is). Other topics we’ve studied and/or will study this year: adolescent/young adult psychology, curriculum development, use of social media/new technologies, and more. I’m thankful to the Woodlands community for the opportunity to pursue this certificate. I have already gained considerable insight into Jewish education and I’m confident that the skills and lessons I’m learning will be of added benefit to our religious school and our temple community.

Religious School Calendar Wednesday, January 2

Religious School reopens regular schedule

Sunday, January 6

9:00 am: 7th Grade Family Torah Study #1 Grp B

Monday, January 7

6:00 pm: Academy Wednesday, January 9 5:30 pm: 7th Grade Family Torah Study #2 Grp B Friday, January 11 6:30 pm: 6th Grade Family Shabbat Dinner Sunday, January 13 9:00 am: 3rd & 4th Grade SPARK Program #3 11:10 am: 5th & 6th Grade SPARK Program #3 Monday, January 14 6:00 pm: Academy Friday, January 18 Time TBA: Confirmation Shul-In Saturday, January 19 8:00 am: Confirmation Shul-In ends 9:00 am: Gan Hayeled Monday, January 21 No Religious School and Academy Club 56 Program,Check with Ross for time & event Wednesday, January 23 4:30 pm: 7th Grade Trip to Temple Israel (tentative) Friday, January 25 7:00 pm: Kidz Shabbat Saturday, January 26 9:00 am: K-2 Kindling program for kids only Sunday, January 27 9:00 am: 4th Grade Trip to Hebrew Home Monday, January 28 6:00 pm: Academy


A Rocky Horror Purimspiel Wanna help create our brand new Adult Purim Celebration? It will take place on Saturday night, March 2. The theme is “A Rocky Horror Purimspiel” and it’s time to get creative! No kids will be allowed to attend, so let your mind go wild. Email Eugene Stein (esteinwct@ to get on board.

Our Mishpakha in Uganda

Woodlands facilitated the addition of over 500 books to the Abayudaya children’s library. More information on the Jewish community in Uganda and how you can help at


Yo u t h M a t t e r s

Shalom, Woodlands! How Sweet It Is! By Rabbi Billy Dreskin

In Kohelet 8:15 (aka Ecclesiastes) we’re advised, “Nothing under the sun is better than to eat and drink and enjoy.” Even better, if it’s sweet! Did you know that human beings are one of the few species on earth that can even taste sweetness? Which explains why your cat didn’t invent mocha chip ice cream. But your dog could have. The theory is that pure carnivores don’t need the sweet-gene. If our diet is varied, we do need it. Which is good for making dinner reservations, but not so good for counting calories. Unless we eat fruit, which offers all kinds of great nutrition. Evidence is mounting that fruit can help prevent aging, brain deterioration, and cancer. You can eat it all day and all night without getting fat. And the nutrients we access by eating whole, unprocessed fruits contribute to a lifetime of good health. So dump the candy, cookies, and processed foods too. No Sweet’N Low or Splenda either. Each time we reach for an unhealthy sweet, something our body truly needs is not getting eaten. If we’re selective about what enjoyable foods we eat, we can accept Kohelet’s invitation without reservation. How sweet is that? 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.

In early February, WoodSY will be participating in a Midnight Run to NYC. Becca Leibowitz, WoodSY’s Social Action Vice President, has taken the lead on this event and would like to share some thoughts with y’all. L’shalom

WoodSY Midnight Run On Saturday, February 2, WoodSY’s 11th and 12th graders will be embarking on WoodSY’s first self-organized Midnight Run in many years. We are very excited about it! For those of us who attended the Midnight Run in our Confirmation year, we are looking forward to partaking in this hands-on, eye-opening social action experience again. Though only 11th and 12th graders can actually attend the run, all of WoodSY will be getting involved in various ways, whether that’s donating/sorting supplies (see below for what we need!), or helping pack food beforehand. As we all know, homelessness is an issue around the globe, and NYC is of course no exception. We will be providing these men and women with clothing, toiletries, food, and, perhaps most importantly, engaging them in conversation. We’ll learn about them as individuals and start to eradicate common assumptions about homeless people. But in order for this to be successful, and to allow us to do our best to provide the homeless people of NYC with what they need, we need your help! So go through your closets and drawers! We need (in the largest sizes you have, please!): warm coats, durable pants, tube socks, underpants, long underwear, sweaters, sweatshirts, long-sleeve shirts, T-shirts, hats and gloves, shoes, belts, backpacks, etc. Please keep in mind that men’s clothing is in higher demand than women’s clothing. We also need toiletry items (small hotel sizes are best): soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, washcloths, shampoo, razors, shaving cream, deodorant, lip balm, feminine hygiene products. Collection boxes will be set up at the front of the temple. Please help us make this Midnight Run a success! Thank you! Becca Leibowitz WoodSY Social Action Vice President

Our K-2 families took the “trash” they found in their classrooms and turned it into something beautiful. Each candle they created represents something that makes a community strong and beautiful. But where’s the shamash? The fire that lights all the others resides in the WCT community already! We are the shamash!


from the President

Save the Dates

Happy New Year!

“Building Jewish Lives”


he start of the year reminds me that there are a wealth of opportunities that we can all take advantage of to revive ourselves spiritually, intellectually and physically. The best part is that as we enhance ourselves personally, WCT can benefit as well! In January, we can participate in the Mishloach Manot Purim baskets and “We are Family” Auction fundraisers. Purim is celebrated in February, and March brings Havdalah-on-Ice ice skating combined with a short Havdalah service. April has the annual Jonah Macabbee concert. Brad Zimmerman entertains at our coffeehouse in May, after being delayed by Superstorm Sandy. June is full of activities including our End of Year Gala honoring our Temple Educator, Harriet Levine, and our end of year Shabbarbecue. Along the way, we have Adult Ed programs, Pesakh, Shavuot, and Shabbat programming to become involved in. While at temple recently, I was so impressed by the number of people who are involved in our Social Action committee. They have a wide array of activities that you can become involved in, such as Project Isaiah, Midnight Run, or Knitting for Hope’s Door. Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts have included several trips to the Rockaways and various collections of items to donate. I expect that we will be providing support for some time as we have done and continue to do with supporting the Gulf Coast after Katrina. There is ample opportunity to be a part of the programs at WCT. We are always looking for volunteers. The benefits of participating in activities like these are that you will be doing some really good work and having fun with other members of the WCT community! One last point I would like you to consider. If you want to do something that you don’t see on the temple calendar, let me know and we’ll see if we can make it happen.

As members of a synagogue community, we accompany and support each other through the ups and downs of our lives. These three sessions will use a Jewish lens to help each of us figure out how best to navigate issues facing different segments of our community. Join us for the one(s) that speak to you. Interfaith Families Sunday, March 3, 2:00-5:00 pm Seniors and Sandwich Generation Sunday, March 10, 2:00-5:00 pm: Young Families with Children Date TBD We will have more information in future issues of Makom and on the website.

Save the Date! 4th Annual Jonah Maccabee Concert Saturday, April 13, 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm Plan to attend the 4th Annual Jonah Maccabee Concert, featuring Michelle Citrin, Chana Rothman and Elana Arian, three of contemporary Jewish music’s favorite newcomers. New this year, we will host TWO concerts, both to take place on Saturday evening, April 13.

Chana Rothman

The first will be a one-hour concert for school-aged children (grades 2-6) and their families at 5:00 pm. The second will be our regular adults-and-teens concert at 8:00 pm. Pick the one that’s right for you, but don’t plan on traveling far because, for the first time, we’ll be back home at Woodlands Community Temple! Tickets go on sale exclusively to Woodlands members beginning February 3, two weeks before we open ticket sales to the general public. The Jonah Maccabee Concert sells out every year. Don’t miss this evening of wonderful entertainment and community. Proceeds support scholarships for URJ summer experiences for Woodlands children and teens. Purchase your tickets at

Elana Arian

Michelle Citrin


Social Action

Project Ezra

January is a retailer’s time to step back from the hectic pace of the recent holidays, but not for The Judaica Shop at Woodlands. We’re gearing up for our next buying season and need to make room for the new merchandise that will be arriving shortly – a perfect time to take advantage of our POST & PRE-HOLIDAY SALE. It’s post-Hanukkah and Rosh Hashanah and pre-Passover and we have magnificent pieces on sale. Passover Seder plates, matzoh trays and covers and afikomen bags are 10-20% off; a variety of apples and honey plates are on sale and don’t pass up the chance to get a one of a kind hanukkiah and Hanukkah candles at great prices. Have you seen the new Tzedakah boxes that are being gifted to our Religious School children when they become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah? Sara and Michael Beames, glass artists located in upstate New York have created what we call our “Woodlands, deconstructed” Tzedakah box. We hope this gift from the temple will reinforce Judaism and Woodlands’ strong commitment to loving kindness and continually remind them of their connection to their Woodlands community. We carry a number of Sara and Michael’s other glass pieces including striking mezuzot --each one a special piece of Judaica. Looking for something special? Want to know more about other items our artists produce? Send us an email (judaicashop@ and we’ll happily do the shopping for. Can’t think of the ideal gift? We now have gift certificates available and to make your shipping even easier, we now accept credit cards!The Judaica Shop at Woodlands is open, by request, every day the temple office is staffed; evening and weekend hours are noted in the weekly temple email.


Project Ezra is an independent, non-profit grass roots organization serving the frail Jewish elderly on New York’s Lower East Side. They provide a variety of services to a largely homebound population. They do not fall under any Federation or umbrella organizations nor do they receive any government funds. They depend on the tzedakah of the community at large. As it is said during Yom Kippur, “Do not forsake us in our old age; as our strength seeps away, do not abandon us.” Woodlands Community Temple offers two opportunities to fulfill this mitzvah. On Sunday, January 27 from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm, WCT will host a luncheon for 50 Project Ezra participants. We are looking for people to: 1. Host a table by supplying a dairy lunch and conversing with your guest, 2. Help provide food with a family that is hosting a table, 3. Make a donation to WCT, Project Ezra on the memo line, to help fund some of the food provided. The food served is commonly a dairy meal consisting of bagels, lox and cream cheese, tuna fish, whitefish salad, egg salad, noodle pudding, salad. Contact Harriet Kohn at to volunteer. The second opportunity will fall before Passover when Woodlands provides Passover food boxes.

Dessert for a Week

Woodlands has been supplying dessert for a week the month of December and will continue into January. Due to government cutbacks, meals at Volunteers of America in Valhalla no long have desserts. If you are interested in this program contact Jeanne Bodin at for more information or to sign up for a week of desserts.

Advocacy Task Force

What keeps Reform Jews awake at night? Learn more about the issues and what you can do to get a better night’s sleep: 1) The Religious Action Center, and sign up for the Chai Impact newsletter which features current Jewish Reform issues like the Women of the Wall having equal rights and 2) the Israeli Religious Action Center - and sign up for their newsletter.

Warm Clothing and Coat Collection

We will be extending our collection into January for New York Cares and Midnight Run to help clothe those on the streets and still suffering from Hurricane Sandy. We are only collecting clean, gently used men’s warm clothing with coats being the most important item. We will take new hats, gloves, and scarves for adults.

Tu b’Shevat Oneg Friday, January 25

Join Social Action on, after Shabbat Shirah services for a traditional Tu b’Shevat Oneg with explanations about the foods served at a Tu b’Shevat seder.

Food of the Month Baking mixes/frosting

Collection of the Month

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

Social Action Meeting, Thursday, January 17, 8:10 pm.

Join us to voice your social justice views. Check out all the current activities and Hurricane Sandy Relief information on the Social Action Website

Adult Learning

Book of Judges: Ancient Israel’s Childhood

S’forim Forum

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.

We will discuss another book in the tradition of Ashkenazic secular literature. Enemies: A Love Story, by Isaac Bashevis Singer, a wild discursion where the past collides with the present in New York City.  Similar events happened to many who flew from Eastern Europe, but Bashevis weaves them in a unique and brilliant narrative and characterization. We will meet at 4:30-6:00 pm, snacks and Havdalah of course.

Rabbi Billy Dreskin Wednesdays, January 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 at 8:00 pm

Judaism 101

Rabbi Mara Young

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.

Cantor Jonathan Ben Gordon Saturday, January 28, 4:30 pm Enemies: A Love Story by Isaac Bashevis Singer

Living Ethics, Part 2

Lifecycles – Part 1 Sunday, January 27, 9:30 am

Rabbi Joan Farber Thursdays, February 7, 14, 28, 8:00 pm

Lifecycles - Part 2 Sunday, February 17, 9:30 am

How does Jewish tradition influence the daily decisions of our lives? We will explore issues through the lens of Reform response.

This session will focus on lifecycle events from birth to Confirmation.

This session will focus on the lifecycle events of marriage and divorce, as well as end of life issues.

Book Club

Augustus by John Williams Thursday, January 24, 8:00 pm Facilitated by Frank Hariton

Winner of the National Book Award, Augustus traces the life of Augustus Caesar, eighteen years old when his uncle Julius Caesar is murdered. Surrounded by powerful men jockeying for power, he must work against these political machinations to claim his destiny as the first Roman emperor. John Williams has written a meticulous researched novel bringing to life a pivotal moment in Western history.

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 Daytime Diversions is here to provide all who have between 1 ½ to 2 free hours on the first, second, and third Wednesday of the month with fun, stimulation, and entertainment. We also provide you with doughnuts, coffee/tea. Bring friends, relatives, and neighbors. Wednesday, January 2, promptly at 10:00 am, we view and discuss one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best mysteries, Strangers on a Train. The 1951 film stars Farley Granger, Robert Walker, and Ruth Roman. Two strangers each agree to kill someone the other person wants disposed of. Sounds like “a plan,” but when only one of the “players” actually fulfills his vow, the problems start multiplying. Please arrive by 9:45 am to grab a snack and settle in, as we start promptly at 10:00 am. Wednesday, January 9, at 10:00 am. We’ve got a great way to avoid the winter blues and travel to Spain. Join on when congregant and world traveler, Ed Miller, will treat us to a slide show of travels through Barcelona. We’ve enjoyed Ed’s presentations before, and he’s back by popular demand. Ed has presented throughout Westchester for the past 17 years, sharing, through slides, music, and dialogue, the wonders of his travels and discoveries. Bring friends for entertainment, coffee/tea, and doughnuts. Wednesday, January 16 at 10:00 am. Current Events Group. Our esteemed facilitator and agenda writer will be Arthur Pell. We’ve given Bob Steinhardt a much deserved month off. Arthur will gladly welcome additional agenda input from attendees. Please email ideas in advance to him at


Just Israel

After Sandy: Woodlands Gives Back By Mike Winkleman

(Continued from page 1)

Making The Desert Bloom The Negev Desert makes up about 60% of Israel’s landmass. Despite the challenge the desert presents, though, Israel has successfully created an agricultural economy. Through technological achievements and the cooperative culture of the kibbutz movement, Israel has achieved much since its founding, developing water-saving technologies and taking advantage of the abundant solar energy. While the threat of drought and lack of water sources still remains a challenge, Israel remains creative in solving these problems. Not content to keep its methods for success a secret, the Israeli government’s MASHAV program is partnering with farmers all over Africa. MASHAV brings expertise in irrigation, water technologies, agricultural production and climate change in order for African farmers to thrive in their arid climate as well. The program works with individuals, helping smallholder farmers to raise enough food for their families and have a small surplus for sale. Many of these smallholder farmers are women.

like the Rockaways, and partnering with other organizations throughout the region in the effort to help rebuild. Here are two reports from the field— and some information on how you, too, can get involved. Plus some information on Mitzvat Mississippi, our ongoing commitment to Katrina victims.

Rebuilding a Temple

Lynn Goodman describes a trip to the Rockaways: “The WCT crew met in the WCT parking lot at 7:30 am on Saturday, December 1. We got into several cars and drove to Belle Harbor, where Team Rubicon and Americorps, the groups organizing the clean-up operation, had set up a command center. We were assigned a team leader, a woman employed by Americorps, and given safety gear—a Tyvek suit, helmet, gloves, and glasses. While we were waiting for an assignment, Cantor Ellen Dreskin spotted an old friend, Rabbi Margie Slome, who had grown up with Billy in Ohio. It turns out that Rabbi

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. Saturday, December 1: WCT’s crew

Sunday, October 21, Rabbi Mara led our members on a walking tour of the Lower Eastside, including the Eldridge Street Synagogue.


Slome’s synagogue, West End Temple in Neponsit, had been devastated by the storm. She was looking for a cleanup crew to help her. Team WCT was looking for a site to help. We made a shidduch and routed our crew to West End Temple. The temple had been flooded. Its floors and walls were rotting. It needed to be torn apart and rebuilt. We started pulling up floor boards and piling the

Saturday, December 8: WCT’s crew

debris at the curb. Rabbi Slome bought us pizza. A week later, we returned. This time we removed wood paneling and portions of the sub-floor. The work was grueling, but rewarding. And Rabbi Slome bought us more pizza.”

Rebuilding Lives The trip to the Rockaways grew out of a temple-wide effort to find ways— from collecting money to hands-on rebuilding—to get involved. Shelli Katz describes a few of these efforts, which have been coordinated by a small committee established for this purpose, along with the temple’s Social Action committee: “We made a connection with the UJA to tag onto some of the activities they were involved in, such as sorting and packing supplies, as well as collecting items such as cleaning supplies, batteries, gloves, and flashlights. URJ and WRJ are also working on a coordinated effort— which Woodlands is participating in—to rebuild families’ Jewish collections by providing them with ritual items such as kiddush cups, menorahs, Shabbat

Mitzvat Mississippi: Keeping the Katrina Commitment

candlesticks, and kids books, so that families have meaningful Jewish items while in transitional housing. In addition to the “10 Days of Turning” fundraising project, we’re doing bimonthly collections, both for specific

Lest we forget, even seven years after Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast, recovery efforts are still underway. Since 2007, Woodlands congregants have ventured south each February for Mitzvat Mississippi, helping Gulf Coast residents rebuild their homes, and their lives. This year’s trip—the seventh—leaves on February 16, with 15 Woodlanders once again joining Dobbs Ferry Lutheran Church members in the New Orleans area. For more information, contact Stu Berlowitz.

Save the Dates! Friday, May 31 Saturday, June 1 For Harriet’s Big Send-Off

The WCT Team: Want to add your name? Saturday, December 1 Crew Jay Werner Stu Berlowitz Lynn Goodman Jay Kogan Ellen Dreskin Julie Stein Karen LaSala Susan Goldman Gerry Cohen

items and tzedakah, which is slated to go to a specific charity. “Funds collected in our second effort went to Family-to-Family, a Hastings organization involved in hunger relief. We have also arranged to ‘adopt a family’ from a hard hit area and will have details about that family’s needs shortly. A third collection is now underway for coats, hats and gloves, to go to the NY Cares coat drive and the confirmation class’s Midnight Run. We plan to continue collections of needed items and funds where possible.” Looking to get involved? Both the temple website and the weekly email have information on ongoing efforts—organized both by Woodlands and other organizations—as well as information about who to contact. Check them frequently for updates.

Saturday, December 8 Crew Lynn Goodman Stu Berlowitz Lauren Blum Donna Berliner Susie Brubaker Ed Brubaker Heather Brubaker Zach Yeskel Andy Farber Thank you to Julie Stein, Shelli Katz, Sue Galin, Ann Zeliger and Richard Weiss, for coordinating WCT’s Response to Super Storm Sandy.

Harriet Levine, educator extraordinaire, is about to start the next chapter of her life. Yes, she’ll still be found at Woodlands—just not everyday, and never on traffic duty. Come celebrate the impact she’s had on our children’s lives (as well as our own) these last 21 years with:

Friday, May 31 A special shabbat evening service

Saturday, June 1 Cocktails, dinner, and lots of tributes Say your own personal and public thank you to Harriet with an ad in the service program/journal that will be available at both events. Help out by volunteering to plan and staff the June 1 event and sell ads for the journal. For information and to volunteer, contact the temple office: 914-592-7070 or


A Minority Opinion By Mike Stein


dmittedly, when I first went away to college I was somewhat nervous about meeting people who weren’t Jewish. In high school I had been surrounded by my Jewish friends at every turn. My social life centered around WoodSY, NFTY, and camp. My town, too, had always been extremely accepting of Jews. But the way that I’ve stayed Jewish in college has had everything to do with the people I never would have had the chance to meet in high school. For the first time in my life I found myself explaining what Judaism was to my roommate, and then to other kids on my floor. It was unnerving (in a way) to have gone from a life where basically everyone in Westchester had been to a Bar Mitzvah celebration to explaining why I couldn’t eat bread on Passover. As a side note, I discovered that my non-Jewish friends love matzah, and they ate all four of my boxes on the first day of Passover. Far from diluting my sense of a Jewish identity, however, the greater diversity I’ve found at school has made me consciously think of myself as a Jew for the first time. Never before had I had to critically examine Judaism in the way I did while explaining what I believed in for practically the first time. Talking about the conflicts in Israel with those who fundamentally disagree helped me push my understanding of my beliefs beyond a dead dogma to a fuller, richer understanding of myself as a Jew. This year I live in an apartment with three non-Jews and Christmas decorations have been up since Halloween. And while I know they see me as their friend – rather than as their Jewish friend–meeting them helped me to realize not just how important my religion is to me, but how proud I am to be a Jew. Mike Stein is the former president of WoodSY and a sophomore at American University in DC, where he is double majoring in Political Science and Economics. If you’ve embarked upon your post-high school life (college or elsewhere) and have a Jewish experience or story to share with us,


Education Transition Update


t’s hard to believe, but with the start of the new secular year we are already half way through the transition year for our Education team. In just six months we will be celebrating Temple Educator Harriet Levine’s retirement and honoring her 21 years of service to Woodlands, a while officially inaugurating Rabbi Mara Young as our Director of Congregational Learning. These two incredible professionals have been working very hard together for the past six months to transfer the knowledge of many years of experience as well as to build the foundation for many new things to come. This way, our congregants can experience a smooth transition as the baton is passed. Since the start of the transition year on July 1, 2012, Rabbi Mara has worked side by side with Harriet to learn the inner workings of the administration of our Religious School - from curriculum planning and staff management to payroll and budgeting. They have worked with the School Board on many topics including the development of a new Social Media Usage policy for school and program staff. In partnership with our teachers and the other temple professionals, Rabbi Mara and Harriet have been working together to enrich our family programming -- from strengthening our Religious School Kindling and SPARK, to developing parallel adult and family programs for holiday observance and learning. We are seeing a stronger link between education and worship. Rabbi Mara has also been running Academy this year, working closely with Ross on youth programming while also participating in the HUC Certification Program in Jewish Education for Adolescents and Emerging Adults. (When she disappears for the first two weeks of January 2013, don’t panic! She’ll be in Manhattan full time for a two week intensive for the program.) When Rabbi Mara disappears again for two months around February (this time for the lifelong intensive called parenthood) Harriet, Ross, Michelle, our school staff, and lay education leadership will be maintaining the momentum of development. We will continue working towards positive change and growth through the remainder of the year as we continue the process of transition. Our congregants should be prepared for shifts along the way, as we transition not only the leadership of temple education but also some of the logistics. Meanwhile, please continue to communicate with both Harriet and Rabbi Mara on issues pertaining to education at Woodlands. The more they both know, the better they can respond. Please also feel free to contact me at with any questions, thoughts or concerns regarding the transition.

Jenna Lebowich VP Education

January Yahrzeit (19 Tevet - 20 Shevat) Friday, January 4 Alexander Altman Max Drewnowitz Manny Dubinsky Isaac Finkelstein Marian George Bette Jacobstahl Walter Jacobstahl Barbara Levine Eleanor Levine Stanley Levy Marcy Melman Alex Mendelson Sylvia Mendelson Betty Cohn Mintz Irving Mofsenson Celia Moll Hy Needleman Leon Raphael Sylvia Rosenberg Evelyn Roth Bernard Rovin Carl Smith Claire Sobel Kurt Sperling Martin Stern Robert Sturzer Louis Udoff David Warsaw

Friday, January 11 Elizabeth Abrams Jeanne Barron Murray Belsky James Bern James Boyle Blanche Strauss Burton Louise Falk Sandi Feldbaum Robert Lawrence Figlen Laura Fine Jeannette Gallow Gussie Gollin Ruth Handelsman Rose Holzer Pearl Katz Robert Lipperman Shirley Maisel Anita Marden Lucille Meirowitz Sylvia Nitkin Norma Pinsky Mina Razgha Ethel Resnick Arnold L. Roher Irving Rosen Erica Sweet Joan Zimetbaum

Friday, January 18 Margo Allswang Thelma Belson Joseph Birken Sheila Brumberg Shaul Carmel David Cohen Maurice B. Cossman Beatrice Ernst Daffner Hilda Friedlander Marilyn Glasser Milton Glazer David Gottlieb William Graetz John Hacker Abraham Hantman Stanley Katz Daphne Laventhall Irwin Lefkowitz Mary Wolf Levin Sam Marcus Eugene Neiger Ann Orzack Caroline Ostfeld Martin Roth Gabrielle Sands Helen Scherr Frances Shames Eugene Soffer Ed Trell Arnold Weinstein Joseph Wolff Beatrice Wunder

Friday, January 25 Sam Feldman Rose Feldman Leo Blank Marsha Brenner Richard Burton Leonard Finkelstein Ida Finkelstein Philip Friedlander Harry Gallow James Gladstone Gerhard Goldschmidt Samuel Gollin Elaine Gordon Hyman Green George Gross Florence Kahn Isidore Kaplan Emanuel Lance Roman Laski Harry Lefkowitz Isreal Levine Rose Levinsohn Minnie Lucks

Lawrence Merer Abraham Novinsky Beatrice Revinson Herman Schaffer Eleanor Shuman Susan Smith Ruth Weinig Jacqueline Wendrow Jerome Zane

The Woodlands Community Mourns the Loss of Dorothy Bohrer mother of Richard Bohrer. Gerald Grant father of Jim Grant. Arnold Rosenblum father of Judy Flamm.

Friday, February 1 Florence (Faigie) Schachat Edith and Albert Ginsberg Howard B. Smith Harris Birnbaum Emily Bley Strauss Albert Block Robert Bloom Joseph Collazzo Henry Cowen Joseph David Saveloff Kurt Epstein Kenneth Fell Howard Fishman Jordan Goldenstein Kurt Goldschmidt Ethel Green Arthur Greenberg Mary H. Rosenblatt Mary H. Rosenblatt Lee Hariton Abraham Holand Alma Interdonati Joseph Israel Fannie Izes Ben Jaffa, Jr. Eugene Kelemen Ralph Kohn Jane Leah Rosenthal Rochelle Levy Hershel Liker Ian Lowenkron Gertrude Meirowitz Jay Novins Kevin Novins Rose Roos Ruth Seager Sol Sidney Fligel Emma Solano Charlotte Spahn Abraham Spieler Charlotte Stark Pearl Stein

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 Professionals’ Mitzvah Funds 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.)

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.

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.

The Simkha Page

B’nai Mitzvah Jessica Friedman

Jacob O’Donovan

January 5

January 12

Torah Portion

Shemot Hebrew Name

Rakhel Avrahamit

Torah Portion

Va’era Hebrew Name


Samara Scharf January 26 Torah Portion

Beshallakh Hebrew Name


Mazal Tov Mazal tov to Jeffrey and Jan Friedman, as their daughter, Jessica, is called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah. Mazal tov to Eugene O’Donovan and Linda Batwin O’Donovan, as their son, Jacob, is called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah. Mazal tov to Doron Scharf and Joanne Levine, as their daughter, Samara, is called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah. Mazal tov to Yvette Gralla and David Doynow, for being inducted into the Westchester County Senior Citzens Hall of Fame.

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.

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)

Scholarships and Support


Bernard and Frances Shapiro Chesed Caring Community Fund


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


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’s Billy’s Mitzvah Fund With thanks and appreciation to Rabbi Billy, from Shari and Jonathan Turell. With appreciation for Rabbi Billy’s well-chosen words and supportive ways upon the death of Bernie Leibowitz, from Bernie’s son , Barry and daughter-in-law, Laurie.

Bernard and Frances Shapiro Chesed Caring Community Fund In appreciation for the help and support from our caring community, from David Griff and Roni Beth Tower. In honor of Rachel Best becoming a Bat Mitzvah, from The Kach Family.

In memory of Mickey Johnson, from Karen Grogin.

With love to Marla and William Weiszner, from Mom and Dad.

Tom and Julie Hirschfeld

In memory of Edward Przybycien, from Rhoda and Marty Payson.

In honor of Leandra Spilka becoming a Bat Mitzvah, from Rich and Sandy Spilka

In memory of Robert Newirth, from Rhoda and Marty Payson.

Cantor’s Discretionary Fund

Music Fund

In honor of Leandra Spilka becoming a Bat Mitzvah, from Rich and Sandy Spilka.

In appreciation of Cantor Jonathan and Margot Steinberg and in honor of Leandra Spilka becoming a Bat Mitzvah, from Rich and Sandy Spilka.

Educator’s Enrichment Fund In honor of Leandra Spilka becoming a Bat Mitzvah from Rich and Sandy Spilka.

Chai Fund

Torah and Ritual Fund In memory of Cynthia Landis, from David and Donna Berliner.

Joan and Larry Weinreich

Special Education Fund

In memory of Bernard Leibowitz, from Stu and Karen Berlowitz.

In memory of Arnold Rosenblum, from Sandi and Nathan Froimowitz.

In memory of Cynthia Landis, from Stu and Karen Berlowitz. In memory of Arnold Rosenblum, from Stu and Karen Berlowitz. In memory of Arnold Rosenblum, from Gloria and Bill Falk. In memory of Arnold Rosenblum, from David Griff and Roni Beth Tower. In memory of Arnold Rosenblum, from Yvette and Larry Gralla. In memory of Arnold Rosenblum, from Mickey Milbauer. In memory of Arnold Rosenblum, from Mark and Michele Montague.

Annual Fund In yahrzeit memory of Doris Fligel, from David and Dayle Fligel.

Steve’s H.O.P.E. Fund In memory of Maurie and Steve, from the Seiger Family Foundation. In memory of Dorothy Bohrer, from Deborah and Michael Wiskind.

Hurricane Sandy Fund In honor of Julie and Tom Hirschfeld, Happy Birthday and Anniversary, from Judy and Paul Feder. In honor of Donna and Dave Johnson, from Deborah HalpernSinclair and Alex Halpern. In memory of Bernard Axelrod, from Jeff and Susan Axelrod. Miriam Berliner Lori Bluberg Murray and Jeanne Bodin Andrew Borwin and Gaby Sudock Bordwin Dean Chang and Heidi Gralla Matthew and Karen Cohen Myron Cohen & Andrea Marinbach Sy and Sarah Donner Bill and Gloria Falk Paul and Judy Feder Jason Fein and Jennifer Altman David and Julie Fischer David and Dayle Fligel Corey Friedlander Larry and Yvette Gralla David Griff and Roni Beth Tower Jonathan and Gloria Jaffess Steve Jacobs and Maxine Howard Alan Katz and Shelli Weisinger-Katz Barry and Judith Kessler Charles and Carol Kessler Mark and Susan Korsten Michael and Jenna Lebowich Hariret Levine Evi and Sateve Lieb Peter Lobl and Merav Gur Mickey Milbauer Rochelle Novins Arthur and Erica Pell Jonathan Richer and Lisa Sacks Lloyd and Roberta Roos Kenneth Rosenberg & Susan Morduch Frances Rosenfeld Gloria Saed Steve Sagner and Jennifer Tower Doron Scharf and Joanne Levine Michael and Stacey Silverman Jeffrey and Doreen Spector Scott Stein & Julie de-Winter Stein Stuart Stein & Teresa Snider-Stein Mark and Mara Young WCT- Children’s Tzedakah

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.


Ritual Renewal For four-and-a-half hours on Sunday evening, December 2, some 30 Woodlanders gathered in the temple’s meeting room —site of so many Ritual Committee meetings in the past—to reflect on the role and responsibilities of Woodlands’ Ritual Committee: • what it does; • why it does it; • how it does it; • what else it should be doing; • who should, could, and would be involved. Led by master facilitator (and temple member) Dale Glasser, the participants—a combination of long-time committee members and people who’d never attended a Ritual Committee meeting in their lives—worked through a series of leadership exercises to get at the essence of both ritual and committee work at Woodlands. And they came away not only energized, but also with a concrete plan of action. Watch future issues of Makom for further developments. Or, better yet, come to the January Ritual Committee meeting at 8:10 pm on Monday, January 21, and help chart the new course.

Saturday, November 17 WCT experiences Yoga Shabbat. Rebecca Smith, owner of Woodbridge Body Works, led us in an hour and a half yoga session, while Rabbi Billy and Ross added the essence of Shabbat.

Todah rabbah (thank you)! Thank you to Liz Scafidi for organizing our delicious Mishpakha Shabbat dinners. Thank you to Melanie Roher Schwartz for designing the Judaica Shop gift card. Thank you to Susan Korsten and the membership committee for coordinating the New Members Dinner on Friday, December 7.


Hanukkah Comes Twice This Year: The Woodlands Winter Online Auction (Continued from page 1)

In addition to dinner with Stu and Karen, ice cream with Dayle, Hebrew with Harriet, cooking with Jenna, challot from Joan, and a sukkah from Andy, you can bid on the following. And so much more. Jersey Boys on Broadway 2 Tickets

Ardsley Cleaners Ardsley Nails at 725-A Saw Mill River Road. FIAMOR Boutique in the heart of Dobbs Ferry. Harper’s Restaurant in Dobbs Ferry Salon Aridoma on Cedar Street in Dobbs Ferry Bloomingdales And so much more Knicks vs Toronto Saturday March 23 @ 7:30 pm 2 Tickets – Section 211 Row-6 / Seats 3 & 4

Movie Night! 4 Passes for National Amusements Theatre and $25 Bertucci’s Dough

Hanukkah Concert featuring The Levins on Sunday, December 9 Thanks to Jenny Ottinger and Adam Weber for making the Hanukkah concert such a success!

Photo: Michael Arbore

Photo: Michael Arbore

Rabbi Billy and the Confirmation class prepare dinner for the Valhalla Shelter on Thanksgiving morning. 19

Woodlands Calendar January 2013 Tevet - Shevat 5773


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JudaiConnection The New Frontiers of Jewish Education By Rabbi Mara Young

The field of education is always growing and transforming. These transformations are incredibly healthy, as educational methods are constantly adapting to the changing culture and new research in the fields of education, child development and psychology. Right now, the world of Jewish education is all abuzz about “experiential education.” Experiential education is when trained educators/facilitators place learners in the center of a stimulating activity or experience. These experiences should be interactive, enjoyable, promote community, and challenge the learner as an individual. Rather than just delivering content to a learner in a lecture, experiential education seeks for the learner to experience Jewish texts, rituals, and values. Through careful reflection on an activity, the learner then integrates the lessons into their own knowledge and identity. More than just learning in informal settings (outside of a traditional classroom), experiential learning is a holistic approach to education that takes into account setting, learner, and facilitator. It includes stimulating activities

or experiences (ie. a hike or a songsession), thoughtful reflection on those experiences, and a developed relationship between the learners. Major experiential education successes in Jewish summer camps, Hillels, and youth groups have caught the attention of the Jewish world as a whole, leading many to ask: why can’t our synagogue schools be more like camp? Jeffrey Kress, a professor of education at the Jewish Theological Seminary, cautions against such thinking. He finds it more helpful to isolate what makes learning at camp so successful and apply it to our religious schools: Attention to Social and Emotional Dynamics: Campers learn with and from their peers. They are brought into contact and caring relationships with adults as well as with youth of varying ages. They feel safe enough to take risks and engage the emotions and spirit. Multiple Entry Points for Diverse Learners: Campers have different ways to shine and a variety of ways to contribute — Jewishly and otherwise — to the community. The diversity of participants — range of interests, preferred learning modalities, special needs — is accounted

for in developing experiences. Campers, especially as they get older, help to shape their own learning environments. Integration of Content and Process: There is (ideally) a blurring of the line between learning and having fun. Activities are shaped to include various Jewish outcomes. Jewish participation feels genuine because it is integrated into the life and rhythm of the setting. Opportunities for Reflection: Campers have structured and spontaneous opportunities to think about and discuss the meaning of activities and experiences and to draw connections with their broader identities. Interconnectedness of Experiences: A web of experiences — concurrently and across time — is developed around values, skills, relationships, and knowledge. What is learned is reinforced elsewhere, and can be put into action in different places and at different points in time. Bringing these ingredients for successful learning into religious schools and synagogues is what Jewish experiential education is all about and marks the beginning of a new era in which we engage learners differently.

WCT January 2013 Makom  
WCT January 2013 Makom  

Woodlands Community Temple January 2013 Makom