the newsletter of woodlands community temple
March 2013 Adar- Nisan 5773
Building Jewish Lives Woodlands expands its sense of community through three new programs Woodlands is fond of pointing out that its middle name is “community,” with all the sense of fellowship, support, and spiritual harmony that word implies. And whether we’re all gathered under the tent during the High Holy Days, swaying with our arms around each other singing “Adonai Oz” during a Shabbat service, or wrestling with critical temple-defining decisions during, for example, Ritual, Finance, or Social Action committee meetings, it is clear that community spirit underscores the Woodlands Way. Truth is, however, Woodlands, like many institutions, is composed of many different, not always overlapping communities—communities defined by, among other markers, lifecycle, lifestyle, heritage, and geography. And as the temple embarked on its program planning (Continued on page 2)
G arden in Full Bloom
WCT plants the seeds to commemorate our educator’s retirement. If you know Harriet Levine (and who reading this newsletter doesn’t?), then you’ve probably noticed how frequently her conversation is sprinkled with garden metaphors. And for good reason. Harriet is the ultimate gardener. But the fruit of her labors goes well beyond the traditional garden gates. For 21 years she’s been tending some of Woodlands’ most rare and precious plants: the students in the religious school. And—along with the rest of us—watching them take root and blossom, moving on to seed other gardens, using their Jewish education as a watering can to keep Judaism growing. Now it’s time for Harriet to turn over her gardening tools to a new horticulturist: Rabbi Mara Young, who becomes Woodlands’ director of congregational learning in July. What will Harriet plant in her retirement? To get some hints, come to the Shabbat service on Friday, May 31, when we honor not only Harriet, but the educational program that has flourished under her care. And then join Harriet for cocktails, dinner, and lot of tributes at our gala, well, garden party, on Saturday night June 1. And offer your own bouquet with a thank you ad in the service program/journal that’s being put together in her honor. For information, contact the temple office or check the temple website.
1st Seder: Monday evening, March 25
IN THIS ISSUE Pesakh Yizkor Memorial Hour p. 3 Rabbis’ Winter Hunger Appeal Extended p. 4 1st Day of Passover Learning p. 5 Todah Rabbah..Many, Many Thanks p. 5, 7 L’taken Continues to Inspire p. 8 Havdalah on Ice is Back! p. 6 Mah Jongg Comes to Woodlands p.7 4th Annual Jonah Maccabee Concert p. 9 Post-Sandy Ritual Replacements p. 12
Our Woodlands Community Rabbi Billy Dreskin email@example.com Rabbi Mara Young firstname.lastname@example.org Cantor Jonathan Ben Gordon email@example.com Harriet Levine, Educator firstname.lastname@example.org Ross Glinkenhouse, Youth Director email@example.com Corey Friedlander, Sh'liakh K'hilah firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive Committee Stu Berlowitz, President email@example.com Jenna Lebowich, VP Education firstname.lastname@example.org Dayle Fligel, VP Facilities email@example.com Eugene Stein, VP Finance esteinWCT@gmail.com Michael Winkleman, VP Programming/Ritual firstname.lastname@example.org Steve Sagner, Financial Secretary email@example.com Mark Selig, Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org Andy Farber, Treasurer ARFarberWCT@gmail.com
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 (email@example.com) 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: firstname.lastname@example.org web: www.wct.org Woodlands Community Temple is affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism
Patricia Nissim, Makom Editor Melanie Roher, Makom Designer Charlie Strick, Makom Advertising
Building Jewish Lives (Continued from page 1)
last fall, keeping in mind this year’s overarching theme—the Woodlands Family Tree—the fact that Woodlands is composed of so many different communities was top in mind. To address specific community needs, the Adult Education committee developed a special program called Building Jewish Lives and focused on three specific groups within the temple: Young Families, Interfaith Families, and Seniors—along with members of the so-called “Sandwich Generation” (people who are caring for both their children and their aging parents simultaneously). Through a series of meetings with members of all three communities last fall, the committee focused in on some of the key issues these groups are facing and developed programming that addresses those issues. The result of those meetings can be seen—and experienced—at Woodlands this month, as Adult Ed presents three events, targeted to members of specific groups, but open to all interested temple members. Kicking off the series is “Interfaith Families: Joys and Challenges,” on Sunday, March 3 at 2:15 pm, with Rabbi Billy describing the evolving role of interfaith families in the Woodlands temple community and a number of interfaith families discussing their own experiences, both rewarding and difficult. The following weekend, Young Families will come together (Saturday evening, March 9, 7:00 pm) for a potluck dinner and a no-holds-barred discussion (with no kids invited!) moderated by Rabbi Billy on the evergreen topic of Jews and Money: How to instill children with Jewish values in an increasingly material world. On Sunday, March 10, Seniors and Sandwich Generation members can start a conversation on the Jewish view on aging (led by Rabbi Lisa Izes) and then talk both with experts and among themselves on such critical topics as Medicare, Medicaid, and Elder Care, as well as aging in place, living with new limitations, balancing the needs of children and parents, and taking care of ourselves as caregivers. These programs are just the beginning of a multi-community-based effort at Woodlands, addressing the needs not just of the three communities for which these programs have been developed, but for other communities within Woodlands as well. For more information—and to get involved—contact Mike Winkleman, vice president of programming and ritual: email@example.com or 478-5598.
Worship Schedule Shabbat Kee Teesa
Saturday, March 16
Hurricane Relief Shabbat at 8:00 pm
Celebrate with us as Jason Solano, son of Lori and Albert Solano, becomes a Bar Mitzvah.
Friday, March 1
For eight years, our members have joined in recovery efforts to assist families affected by Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast. This year, we’ve also helped folks hurt by Superstorm Sandy. Tonight, the volunteers will share their stories of rebuilding homes and rebuilding spirits. Babysitting available tonight, no reservations are necessary.
Saturday, March 2
Shabbat Morning Service at 10:30 am Celebrate with us as Jonathan Montague, son of Michele and Mark Montague, becomes a Bar Mitzvah. Exodus 30:11 - 34:35 ... I Kings 18:1-39 (additional reading for Shabbat Parah is Numbers 19:1-22)
Shabbat Vayakhel-Pekuday Friday, March 8
A Joyful Noise! at 8:00 pm A service that everyone – from youngest to oldest – will want to attend. An ensemble of eleven musicians who, with your voices, will fill our Sanctuary with a joyful noise! Visual Worship tonight, as well – no siddurim (unless you want one) ... all prayers and readings will be projected onto screens. Special welcome to our 3rd grade families! Babysitting available tonight, no reservations are necessary.
Saturday, March 9
Shabbat Morning Service at 10:30 am Celebrate with us as Sarah Rosenfeld, daughter of Janice and David Rosenfeld, granddaughter of Fran Rosenfeld, becomes a Bat Mitzvah. Exodus 35:1 - 40:38, I Kings 7:40 - 8:21 (additional reading for Shabbat HaKhodesh is Exodus 12:1-20)
Shabbat Vayikra Friday, March 15
Mishpakha Shabbat at 6:45 pm
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 wct.org/mishpakha.
Shabbat Morning Service at 10:30 am
Havdalah on Ice at 7:00 pm How do you improve on Judaism’s sweetest ceremony, Havdalah? Put it on ice, that’s how! Join us at the Westchester Skating Academy for family fun! Leviticus 1:1 - 5:26 ... Isaiah 43:21 - 44:23
Friday, March 22
Hevra Torah Learning, Saturdays, 9:15-10:15 am March 2: Parshat Kee Teesa Facilitated by Rabbi Billy March 9: Parshat Vayakhel-Pekuday Facilitated by Rabbi Billy March 16: Parshat Vayikra Facilitated by Cantor Jonathan March 23: Parshat Tzav Facilitated by Rabbi Billy March 30: Parshat Hol Hamoed Pesakh 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.
Shabbat Evening Service at 8:00 pm A quiet evening of Shabbat beauty and prayer. Corey Friedlander will be on the bimah. Babysitting available tonight, no reservations are necessary.
Friday Night Shabbat Babysitting
Saturday, March 23
Babysitting is provided by teens from our religious school.
Shabbat Morning Service at 10:30 am Celebrate with us as Joseph Rickles, son of Kristin Tess and Fred Rickles, becomes a Bar Mitzvah.
March 1 March 8 March 22
Leviticus 6:1 - 8:36 ... Ezekiel 36:22-36 (additional reading for Shabbat HaGadol is Malachi 3:4-24)
No reservations are needed! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Shabbat Hol Hamoed Pesakh
Pesakh Yizkor Memorial Hour Monday, April 1 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Friday, March 29
Shabbat Evening Service at 8:00 pm A quiet evening of Shabbat beauty and reflections on our Pesakh week. Corey Friedlander will join Cantor Jonathan while the rabbis are both away.
Saturday, March 30
Hevra Torah Shabbat at 9:15 am (note earlier time) Led by Cantor Jonathan, Torah learning and Shabbat worship together. We’ll go until 11:15 or so, and then a light Pesadikeh brunch will follow. Exodus 33:12 - 34:26, Numbers 28:19-25 ... Ezekiel 37:1-14 ... 4th day of the Omer
Dear Friends, Whether someone you love died recently or many years ago, Jewish tradition provides an opportunity through Yizkor to reconnect memory and heart for a few moments out of our busy lives. While we can certainly each stop anytime to do this ourselves, to come together with our synagogue community is a beautiful and meaningful way to honor those we love. Please join us for our 7th Day of Pesakh Yizkor Hour. We’ll sing, read, and share a few words and thoughts of remembrance. Then we’ll return to our regular day.
Please give to the WCT Annual Fund or Endowment Trust. Contact David Fligel (693-0520) or Chuck Fishman (674-4542).
Reminder to the 7th Grade f r o m t h e R a b b i Family Torah Learning with the Rabbi “Section B” Sunday, March 3 (9:00 am-11:00 am) and Wednesday, March 6 (5:30 pm7:30 pm). See you there!
10th Grade Students and Parents Monday, March 18, 6:00-8:00 pm
Our fourth 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 email@example.com) only if you’re unable to be with us.
Friday, March 8 at 8:00 pm A service that everyone – from oldest to youngest – will love. With an ensemble of musicians who fill our Sanctuary with, well, a joyful noise, it’s not a performance but an exuberant opportunity to lift your voice in celebration and prayer. So bring your family, and let’s fill Shabbat with a noisy and joyful song! Visual Worship tonight, as well. We won’t be using siddurim (unless you want one) because all the prayers and readings will be projected onto screens. See you there!
On Jonah’s 4th Yahrzeit
was reading an article about the first-responders in Newtown, CT, describing their experiences during the shooting and their lingering emotions six weeks later. As I worked my way through the interview, tears gushed down my face. At one point, I put my head down and just sobbed. I sympathized so deeply for all of them. But there was something more. This is how things are for me now in a world without Jonah. Four years since his death, I continue to experience life differently than I did prior to March 2009. Back then, the tears came from that Kodak commercial of the father and his son watching a sunset, his child whispering, “Do it again, Daddy.” After all, I’ve been a father since Katie’s birth in 1988, and a sucker for kids and puppies ever since. Now there’s something else. I have this lingering sense of loss that, for the most part, resides quietly inside of me but, every now and then, insists on coming out and reminding me that Jonah’s no longer here, won’t ever be here, and I won’t ever stop missing him. This isn’t to say that I’ve stopped living. That isn’t true at all. If you’ve spent any time with me, I hope you’ll agree. Life is still an amazing, purpose-filled and delightproducing experience. I certainly wish Jonah were here, but his absence doesn’t remove all of life’s goodnesses – only the ones connected to him. And I think there’s a lesson here for us. While I certainly have a huge pain that I carry with me, I’m by no means the only one who is hurting. So many of us are bruised, hurt, wounded by life. All of us face that profound, existential choice — whether or not to go on, whether or not to insist on living life fully and happily. I’m actually kind of lucky. The source of my pain is also the source of my inspiration. Jonah lived his life with such exuberance. Each day was an opportunity to do something wonderful. Missing him may, on occasion, bring tears. But more often, it reminds me of how much beauty remains. That helps me a lot. And if you need it, I hope it can help you too.
Rabbis’ Winter Hunger Appeal throughout February extended to March 15 Needy families need your help!
Rabbi Mara on Maternity Leave Rabbi Mara is away on maternity leave throughout the month of March, returning to us sometime in April. While she’s away, Rabbi Billy, Cantor Jonathan, Harriet Levine and Ross Glinkenhouse are all available to you.
Each of us has a vital role we can play in helping those who are trying but just can’t make it in America today. On Yom Kippur, we filled our Food Van and made generous contributions to The Food Bank for Westchester. But it’s simply not enough to get folks through the winter. Won’t you please join us in making an online donation at wct.org/hungerappeal or write the most generous check you can and return it to us here at the temple? On March 15, we’ll forward all of our donations as one immensely caring gift from the people of Woodlands Community Temple. The Food Bank for Westchester is the backbone of Westchester’s emergency food distribution network, providing over 90% of the food distributed by grass roots organizations throughout the county.
from the Cantor
Another Shot at Perfection
ven as the groundhog searched for his shadow, the hemisphere stretched and began to stir from its wintry sleep. Snow and ice have been suspiciously absent in another mild winter; still, the absence of growing and moving things conveys a mood of static gloominess. I look forward to mosquitoes and finches and crocuses, to the reassuring sound of children playing outdoors. It will be sweet to open all my windows and walk in the hot sun once again. As we prepare for spring in the natural world and the Jewish calendar, I mark the rebirth within that is essential to human experience. We get a second chance in the spring, and we need it. We feel the impulse to begin new projects and put things right. We do Pesakh cleaning, paint the house, empty the garage. Put away the clothes we don’t wear. Join a team. Fall in love. Adopt a pet. Rejuvenate. We Jews have many texts and holidays that echo this impulse. Our springtime of Purim and Passover shows renewed hope in every way. We are physically spared in both narratives, and begin life anew. The Jewish approach to these matters includes one detail that goes beyond the simple exultation in the moment of being alive. Judaism reminds us that we animate in the presence of God. Thus brought back to life, one must acknowledge the hand that brought renewal, and live in service to God. I have personal ideas about how I hope to change and be reborn this spring. I will strive to improve and create in ways that are worthy. And in the midst of this energy and delight, I shall praise God and offer thanks for the opportunity to live, for the chance to be part of the glowing vitality of the natural world, and for another shot at perfection. In springtime all things seem possible, don’t they?
180 Jewish and Arab disabled adults work at an Israeli phone center known as “Call Yachol” (“able to call”). Founded in 2008 by Israeli psychologist Gil Winch, “Call Yachol” offers a parentbased management model where workers are given abundant affection and time to have fun. Based in Rishon Lezion, 8 miles south of Tel Aviv, countries around the world are looking to replicate “Call Yachol” for themselves. Winch says “there is no reason for these employees’ mental or physical limitations to keep them from excelling on the job. But most have suffered from being shunned by mainstream employers and lack self-confidence in their potential. Up to 90% of severely disabled adults face chronic unemployment.” He sees this as “a much-needed and important revolution in the employment of people with disabilities in Israel.” A mitzvah of the highest order. Check out “Call Yachol” for yourself at callyachol.co.il.
Todah rabbah (thank you)! ... to the folks who made our “Tu b’Shevat: Mindfulness on the Menu” celebration
such a success: Tom Rechtschaffen, Jenna Lebowich, and Liz Scafidi. ... to the members of our Hevra Kaddisha who, during our members’ most vulnerable moments, conduct shiva services in their homes. ... to our sixth grade teachers (Dayle Fligel, Jessica Nanus, Aliza Garafalo and Adam Hart) for writing and sharing iyyunim in “A Joyful Noise!” this past January. ... to our Superstorm Sandy Judaica Replacement Project team: coordinators Ann Zeliger, Sue Galin and Richard Weiss, Social Action Chair Julie Stein, and muchloved volunteer Samara Scharf. ... to the teachers and parents (Adam Weber, Jay Kogan and Lynn GoodmanKogan, Andrea Einhorn, Barry and Lori Leibowitz, Julie de-Winter Stein, and Adam Rosenthal) who helped WoodSY’s have a successful Midnight Run. ... to our online auction crew, Jill Garland, Helen Harper and Karen Bernard. Your endless hours and dedication surely made the difference. ... to German Franco for his time, dedication and everything he’s done in making it all happen at Woodlands.
1st Day of Passover Learning Pesakh Morning, Tuesday, March 26, 8:00 - 9:30 am If you’d like to keep the seder spirit going the morning after, come join us at temple for ninety minutes of inquiry and conversation. Together with Rabbi Billy, we’ll explore some of the great Jewish midrashim (rabbinic stories) and see what they have to teach us. And if you’re lucky, we’ll have some matzo waiting for you! Definitely hot coffee and something breakfast-y.
Adult Learning Committee Sunday, March 3 at 9:00 am Scholar-in-Residence Committee Wednesday, March 6 at 8:00 pm Project Isaiah Committee Sunday, March 10 at 2:00 pm Executive Committee Monday, March 4 at 8:10 pm School Board Monday, March 11 at 8:10 pm Finance Committee Monday, March 11 at 8:10 pm Monday, March 18 at 8:10 pm Ritual Committee Monday, March 11 at 8:10 pm Social Action Committee Thursday, March 14 at 8:00 pm Board of Trustees Sunday, March 17 at 7:30 pm
Our Mishpakha in Uganda Woodlands is sponsoring Ugandan college student Sarah Nabagala’s attendance at the Brandeis Collegiate Institute this summer in California. To learn more about Sarah, the other Jews of Uganda, the BCI, and how you can participate, read more at wct.org/abayudaya. .
s a Jewish professional, attendance at synagogue has always been important to me. My favorite holiday, though, doesn’t revolve around synagogue worship, but is connected to celebration at home. I have come to the conclusion that I feel this way because Pesakh is all about family and friends. Recently a cousin sent to me a photo of a family seder taken years before I was born. In it were aunts and uncles, still quite young, my grandparents, great grandparents, and great aunts and uncles. My sister and I had the best time trying to identify everyone and were actually quite successful. The photo reminded me of all the seders I had attended as a child, and even after marriage, with many of those same relatives. As the older generation died, and Len and I moved all over the country, we began to create our own family seders, inviting whatever family could travel to us, and friends, many of whom had no family nearby. And these past few years without Len, having as many friends and family as my living room will allow is something I wouldn’t think of discontinuing. During my childhood, Pesakh began days before the first seder, when my mother and aunts would gather at my grandmother’s house to start the preparations, ending with a shining house and table filled with the most marvelous foods. So many memories! This is what Pesakh is all about for me. It is more than retelling the story of the Exodus and passing that story down from generation to generation, more than tasting the symbolic foods on the seder plate, and even more than creating my “Levine Haggadah.” It is welcoming people who are nearest and dearest to me, using the seder plate that belonged to my great-grandmother and the Kiddush cup that belonged to my best friend’s mother. It is the tears that come as I cook, recalling my father, who always grated the potatoes by hand. At Pesakh, we recall the story of the Exodus, ask the four questions, open the door for Elijah, and drink all those cups of wine. But we also, if we do it right, celebrate this most festive of holidays with the people who mean the most to us. May it always be so.
from Rabbi Mara
“Dedication” Educate children in the way they should go, and even when they are is old they will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
he Book of Proverbs gives us all kinds of wise gems. This one maxim is particularly powerful in the way we look at Jewish education. To understand its true power, though, we must look at the word “educate.” In Hebrew, the word for “educate” is hinukh. Hinukh most simply means to teach or to guide. We often see teaching as a one-way street: sit kid down, open kid’s brain, place in information. But our tradition tells us to go much further than this. You might recognize hinukh as the root word of a very famous holiday: Hanukkah. On Hanukkah, we not only celebrate miracles, but we also celebrate the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. Hinukh actually means “dedicate.” When we read Proverbs with this nuanced understanding, our whole view of religious education may change. Our job as a synagogue community extends beyond delivering Jewish information to our young people. Yes, we want them to know the prayers and to be familiar with the Jewish lifecycle, holidays, culture, and text. But more than knowing about these things, we want them to experience them and cherish them. We want them to dedicate themselves to Jewish living. To what end, though? Just so the Jewish people will survive another generation? That can only motivate us so much. We must educate, or dedicate, our youth in order to not just to build good Jews, but to build good people. Ultimately, we want our kids to know that their tradition speaks to who they are as individuals and what we can be as a society. We want them to know that by being strong Jews, they can be strong human beings. Sure, they can achieve this in a number of other ways, but Judaism requires that they firmly dedicate themselves to particular ideals – ideals that they can explore in our worship, our texts, and our yearly observances. It is up to us to make these opportunities for exploration as compelling as possible, so that our youth will always feel they have a safe path to walk – one full of conviction and value. B’shalom,
Religious School Calendar
Sunday, March 3 9:00 am: 7th Grade Family Torah Study #5 Grp B Monday, March 4 6:00 pm: Academy Wednesday, March 6 5:30 pm: 7th Grade Family Torah Study #6 Grp B Friday, March 8 6:30 pm: 3rd Grade Shabbat Dinner 8:00 pm: A Joyful Noise Service Saturday, March 9 9:00a m: K – 2 Model Seders (kids only please) Sunday, March 10 Daylight Savings Time begins Set your clocks ahead 9:00 am: 3rd - 4th Grade SPARK Program 11:10 am: 5th - 6th Grade SPARK Program Monday, March 11 6:00 pm: Academy 6:00 pm: 8th Grade Family Learning 6:30 pm: 9th Grade Trip to Coachman Center Friday, March 15 6:00 pm: Mishpakha Dinner 6:45 pm: Mishpakha Service Saturday, March 16 No Saturday morning classes 4:30 pm: Gan Hayeled, K – 2 Kindling Program Havdalah/Pot Luck Dinner 7:00pm: Havdalah-on-Ice Sunday, March 17 8:45am: 5th Grade Trip to Lower East Side 9:00am: Judaism 101 11:10am: 6th Grade students come for Mock Wedding 12noon: 6th Grade families/friends come for Mock Wedding March 18 6:00pm: Academy 6:00pm: Confirmation Family Meeting #4 March 23 – April 1 Religious School Vacation April 3 – Religious School reopens
Todah rabbah (thank you)!
Mah Jongg Comes to Woodlands Thursdays, March 14, April 18, May 16 at 7:15 pm Be a part of a new monthly Mah Jongg tradition at Woodlands! Play for fun, meet new and old faces, or learn something new. Everyone is welcome, beginners to experienced players. Please bring your Mah Jongg card and a nosh to share. No nuts please! The 2013 card is available now from the National Mah Jongg League website. Please RSVP to Esther Feldbaum firstname.lastname@example.org.
Purim Goody Bags Committee Julie Stein, Gail Wainer, Barbara Wishner, Amy Green, Elka Klarsfeld, Jane Wachs, Marjorie Berman
Yo u t h M a t t e r s
Shalom, Woodlands! Guess What’s Holy? Guacamole! By Rabbi Billy Dreskin
The first avocado trees were brought to Israel in 1908. They didn’t bear fruit until 1927. Today, more than 80,000 tons are harvested annually. The Hebrew word for avocado? Ah-vo-kah-do. And you thought you’d never speak Hebrew! I’m not a big fan of avocados. No crunch factor. But it’s difficult to argue against their healthiness. Rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals, high in protein and qualities that help to boost HDL (the good cholesterol), and filled with carotenoids (enhancing your immune system), avocados make good sense. Even on your burger! When I shared with my daughter Katie that the Hass Avocado Board had found that adding half an avocado to your (90% lean beef) burger may curb the production of compounds that contribute to inflammation, her response was, “Well, I don’t eat hamburgers anymore, but I do love avocados. If the teaching thing doesn’t work out, how can I get a spot on the Hass Avocado Board?!” I promised I’d look into that for her. Used to be, flavor-wise, “a good hamburger” in Israel was an oxymoron. And while now, health-wise, it may be an oxymoron in any land, next time I’m in the Holy Land and I can’t go another day without some meat, I’ll ask for a burger with avocado. In Hebrew, that’s “hahmboor-ger eem ah-vo-kah-do!” Aren’t you a smart one! Each month, “Chew on This” offers a morsel of teaching on how to think Jewishly about food and eating. Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live is our inspiration. Consult a physician before starting your own wellness journey.
ho remembers those green mitzvah book packets called the “Eylu Devarim: 13 Mitzvot program?” (Waits a few minutes while you ponder.) Of course you remember it if you recently became Bar or Bat Mitzvah at WCT! Why do I bring it up? We always strive to make sure the programs we do are relevant and meaningful for our kids. Every so often, it is important for us go back and think about what it is we are doing. With that in mind, with guidance and input from the rest of the professional staff team, we’re tweaking the program to make it even better. We’re sprucing up the packet to enhance the program and the experience it brings. The purpose of the program is still to integrate the performance of mitzvot (commandments) in the 7th grader’s life. To get the most out of the experience, the kids will reflect on their individual mitzvah-doing as group. What makes the program different from the past is that now the entire 7th grade will be participating in this project together from the beginning of the year to the end. Also, this year Rabbi Mara and I began a new curriculum for our 7th grade called “Becoming B’nai Mitzvah.” It’s a way to bring greater understanding about what it really means to become B’nai Mitzvah. One thing we explore is what this moment means for not only the child, but also for the moms and dads and the rest of the family (hint: it’s a big deal for everyone!). With that idea in mind, we’ve made the family component of the 13 Mitzvot program more robust. There will be individual and family tasks in which to participate. This way we can really work to integrate this Bar/Bat Mitzvah year into the life of the family, not just the 7th grader. Those are some of the changes to come. We are very excited about how this can enhance the experience for our b’nai mitzvah kids. I am looking forward to launching the program next year. L’shalom
“L’taken” Teen Political Action Seminar Inspires Our Young People Recently returned from L’taken, a social justice learningand-action program run by our Reform movement's Religious Action Center, twenty of our 10th-12th graders joined Ross Glinkenhouse and Rabbi Billy in a weekend of exploring and implementing the very highest of American civic values and Jewish ethical values: working to make our communities better for all. Special thanks to WCT’s Steve’s H.O.P.E. (Helping Open People’s Eyes) Fund – created in loving memory of Stephen Lelewer – for helping to make the trip possible.
from the President
For Those Who Come After Us
n a recent Jewish Week “Musings” column with the above title, Rabbi David Wolpe starts by saying, “Selfless creation is the backbone of the world. Like the architect who designs a house he will not inhabit, each of us must shape the world in ways that will not benefit us.” Further, Wolpe says: “The Rabbis tell the story, so often repeated, of an old man planting a tree. When asked why — since he will not live to enjoy its fruits — he answers that he plants for those who come after him, as those who came before planted for him. Every person lives in a world made possible by the wild hopes and diligent work of those who went before.” As I read this column, I thought about our Educational Director Harriet Levine, and our end-of-year celebration in honor of her retirement. Harriet was hired by WCT 21 years ago to lead our religious school. During her time at WCT, Harriet has made it her goal to not only run the best educational program possible, but also to build a program that would provide the foundation and plant the seeds for our school for years to come. The celebration takes place during the weekend of May 31 and there are several ways in which your participation will make the weekend a success: The commemorative journal honoring Harriet will not only be a keepsake journal, but it will also be the Siddur we use for our May 31 Shabbat service. It is soooo important to Harriet that this service be at the heart of our celebration. On Saturday, June 1, we will celebrate in style at our annual gala. We hope that you can join in the celebration honoring Harriet’s 21 years at Woodlands. Please mark your calendars, write something in the journal, participate in the service, and then celebrate with Harriet and your WCT friends at our gala evening. It is going to be a very special weekend that you won’t want to miss!
Save the Dates! Friday, May 31 Saturday, June 1 For Harriet’s Big Send-Off
Harriet Levine, educator extraordinaire, is about to start the next chapter of her life. Yes, she’ll still be found at Woodlands—just not every day, 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
4th Annual Jonah Maccabee Concert Saturday, April 13 Two performances 5:00 pm: One hour concert
The FourTh AnnuAl
Jonah Maccabee Concert
for families and young families $5 per person, $20 per family Go to wct.org/jonah
8:00 pm: Full concert for adults and older children
Chana rothman Michelle Citrin and elana Arian
$36 General Admission $18 Student Admission for Saturday, April 13, 2013 students for the first time, we are thrilled to host the concert in our own synagogue. $180 Golden Gifter Woodlands Community Temple $72 Silver Supporter 50 Worthington Road, White Plains, NY 10607 Go to wct.org/jonah to purchase tickets for the 8:00 pm performance TWo PeRfoRmaNces: Three of contemporary Jewish music’s most exciting new voices.
See you there!
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 email@example.com.
5 pm - one hour concert for families with school-aged children, grades 2-5 8 pm - our full concert for adults and older children Tickets go on sale to Woodlands members January 27 and to the general public on February 10. (Because of the limited capactiy, the concerts will sell out quickly.)
To PurChASe TICKeTS
wct.org/jonah or 914.592.7070
The Judaica Shop Committee is very excited about our recent buying trip. We spent time meeting with a number of new artists whose work will be arriving in the next few weeks and of course checking out the newest pieces of many of our long standing vendors. The Jewish holidays for 5773 (2013) come very early this year (are they ever on time??) and shopping for holiday items to be in-house on time for your purchase will be very challenging! Beautiful Passover items for your holiday table are on their way... all perfect for gift giving...and getting! New pieces from the jewelry artists of AlefBet, Michal Golan and Jillery are soon to arrive. We love AlefBet’s Shema necklaces and bracelets – mother and daughter Paula and Alissa continue to create fashion forward affordable Judaic jewelry. Stop by and look for new hamsa, evil eye and red string bendel bracelets. We are always taken aback by the work of mixed media artist Gary Rosenthal. Beside the striking beauty of his one-of-a-kind pieces, Gary Rosenthal Judaica is known for being a company that combines business, art, and social responsibility. The studio employs a number of autistic craftsmen who contribute valuable skills and are instrumental in creating the very special woven copper mezuzot that are some of their best selling pieces. Gary’s Glass Ribbon Project is a powerful way for those who have been touched by breast cancer to join the fight against the disease. His commitment to tzedakah, community and Judaism mirrors Woodlands’. We carry a wide selection of his mezuzot, Judaica sculptures and Kiddush cup (a perfect Elijah cup for Passover!) and a pair of his magnificent Shabbat candle holders will be arriving any day.
It is a mitzvah to help others in need. There is a shortage of blood supply at the hospitals in our area. On Sunday, March 3, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm, Woodlands is having its blood drive with White Plains Hospital. Only 6 people can donate per half hour session please signup at wct.org/blooddrive, or email Chuck Bauer at lbauera@aol. com or call him at 589-7231 in order to schedule an appointment.
Cooking Dinner for VOA Join us Sunday, March 3 at 9:30 am to cook Sunday night dinner for the residence at Volunteer of America. Contact Social Action at SocialAction@wct.org to participate. We will cook another meal on April 21 so mark your calendar. This is a great family activity.
Collection of the Month
Pet items to benefit The Hudson Valley Pet Food Pantry. This organization helps to provide pet food assistance to economically challenged, disabled and elderly residents of the Hudson Valley region. For more information hvpetfoodpantry.org.
Project Ezra Passover Food
Help us provide newly bought Kosher for Passover food for 50 elderly, lowincome Jewish friends from the Lower East Side. We are looking for plain and egg matzah, matzah meal, matzah farfel, tuna, salmon, sardines, canned soup, borscht, shav, gefilte fish, bottles of grape juice, bottles of vegetable oil, instant coffee, tea, jelly, honey, canned fruit, canned vegetables and dessert items – cakes, cookies, macaroons, and candy. Please leave the items by March 8. You can also make a donation to the Project Ezra Fund at wct.org/donate, scroll to the bottom of the page under Social Action and click on Project Ezra.
If you are interested in the Reform Movement’s views on social issues such as gun control, women’s rights, immigration, domestic abuse and much more, check out rac.org
Food of the Month Canned Meats/Fish/Beans
Living Ethics, Part 2
Rabbi Joan Farber Thursday, March 7, 8:00 pm
How does Jewish tradition influence the daily decisions of our lives? We will explore issues through the lens of Reform response.
Cantor Jonathan Ben Gordon Saturday, March 9, 4:30 pm My Mother’s Sabbath Days by Chaim Grade
This moving work about pre war Vilna will be the selection discussed at the March 9 meeting of S’forim Forum. Chaim Grade, the author of great classics of Jewish fiction, has written a rich work reminiscent of Dickens in its astonishing wealth of characters, and strength of place and time. This tender and moving memoir takes us to the very source of his widely praised novels and poems—the city of Vilna, the “Jerusalem of Lithuania,” during the years before World War II. Although this out of print work is often dear, and hard to find, we have obtained a supply of moderately priced volumes for those who wish to participate in the discussion. Contact Cantor Jonathan for information. What a great way to delve into the canon of Jewish fiction! See you there.
Six Weeks of Talmud Rabbi Billy Dreskin Begins Thursday, March 14 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Ever been curious about what’s in those really big books known as “The Talmud”? You are warmly invited to join our intrepid team of adventurers and learners. Get yourself a copy of Koren Talmud Bavli, Vol. 1: Tractate Berakhot (English and Hebrew Edition) and jump right in (or just visit our first class to try us out). Our conversations are enlightening, entertaining, often irreverent, and sometimes life-changing. Contact the office for more information. Hope to see you there! Scheduled classes: March 14, 21, April 4, 11, 18, 25.
Judaism 101: Lifecycles Death/Grieving Rabbi Billy Dreskin Sunday, March 17, 9:30 am
Our newest monthly adult class 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 lifecycle processes of death and grieving.
Thursday, March 21, 8:00 pm
We will discuss Sotah by Naomi Ragen. This is the story of a young woman living in Jerusalem’s ultraOrthodox enclave who is accused of the unforgivable sin of adultery.
Israel’s Founding Fathers Rabbi Eve Rudin Wednesdays, April 3, 10 and 17 at 8:00 pm
Explore the writings and teachings of major Zionist thinkers such as Theodor Herzl, A.D. Gordon, Ahad Ha’Am, and Jabotinsky, and how they influenced the creation of the modern state of Israel. Rabbi Eve Rudin is Director of the Congregational School at Park Avenue Synagogue in NYC. She’s also a beloved member of Woodlands.
Maggie Anton, author of Rashi’s Daughters Thursday, April 25 at 8:00 pm
Maggie Anton, award-winning author of the historical fiction series Rashi’s Daughters, will speak about the writing of her newest book, Rav Hisda’s Daughter. More information in the April Makom.
Daytime Diversions Wednesday at 10:00 am Movie: Billy Elliot Wednesday, March 6 Come at 9:45 am for breakfast snacks, movie begins promptly at 10:00 am This acclaimed movie has great music and is a charming, heartwarming comedy/drama. During a coal strike, we meet Billy, the 11-year-old son of a macho coal miner. His father enrolls him in boxing classes, but Billy wants to go to ballet class. Only the prospect of a fancy career may alter Billy’s father’s opposition to a ballet career. Poignant, lovely, and fun to watch
Speaker: Rabbi Joan Farber How Jewish Texts Can Inform Our Current Decisions Wednesday, March 13 Have you ever been bothered by a dilemma or ethical question? You can write to Dear Abby, or contact the NY Times Ethicist, but Reform Jews have another option. Join us to meet with WCT congregant, Rabbi Joan Farber. Rabbi Farber is the fromer coordinator of URJ’s 10 Minutes of Torah. She is a visiting professor at the Academy for Jewish Religion, and on the WCT adult learning faculty. Rabbi Farber will focus on ethical problems and the Reform Jewish Response to those problems.
Current Events Group Wednesday, March 20 No one ever leaves disappointed from our popular Current Events Group. We have much to discuss, and many diverse opinions. Though we circulate an agenda in advance, you can always bring up a topic not being covered. Join us!
Why You Should Sign Up For Birthright Trip To Israel By Lexi Selig Although I was very involved with Jewish life at Woodlands, in college I did not participate in Hillel and I did not attend any Jewish events or services. I did take an assistant teaching position at a Conservative temple in the area, and I also minored in Judaic studies. The best opportunity I ever got in college, though, was in my Sophomore year when I went on a free Birthright trip to Israel. I finally experienced all that my pre-school and religious school teachers had been telling me – how I would magically feel at home. The Israelis we met were so welcoming and there are so many meaningful places to explore. I had to go back. I spent my last semester of college at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. As a History major with a minor in Judaic Studies, studying in Jerusalem was the perfect end to my college experience. Living in Israel got me back in touch with Judaism and gave me new Jewish experiences. I learned about the kosher laws, became friends with people who kept Shabbat, and had Shabbat dinners with an Orthodox woman who taught me a lot about the Orthodox way of life. When I went to the Israel Museum, I saw an exhibit dedicated to the life of the Hasidic Jews. I met many secular Jews in Israel as well. Many of my friends in Jerusalem were Christian, but very interested in studying Judaism. I also had the opportunity to travel to Turkey, Jordan, and Bethlehem (in the West Bank) and learned about Muslim culture. I was in Jerusalem during the Gaza war last November, and although I was terrified when the air raid sirens went off and I had to take cover, I did not want to leave. I would encourage any Jewish college kid who hasn’t experienced Israel to sign up for a Birthright trip immediately. Lexi Selig recently graduated from SUNY Albany and will be attending Hunter College this Spring for a master’s degree in childhood/ special education. If you’ve embarked upon your post-high 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 (RabbiMara@wct.org) to volunteer.
Judaica Replacement Project by Julie DeWinter-Stein, Chair, WCT Social Action Families whose homes or belongings were swept away in Hurricane Sandy have some comfort coming their way, thanks to a project at Woodlands. Shortly after the Hurricane, Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) congregations in Hurricane Sandy-affected areas assessed which of their families had lost significant possessions and Woodlands was asked to coordinate a project to replace Jewish ritual objects to these families, such as Kiddush cups, Shabbat candlesticks, menorahs and Jewish books for the home. The Judaica Replacement Project at Woodlands is modeled after a program run by the Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) to assist families after Hurricane Katrina. Our project is headed by temple members Ann Zeliger, Sue Galin and Richard Weiss. The WRJ has put out an appeal across the country to their Sisterhoods and member Judaica Shops to donate ritual items. With incredible generosity, temples across America and Canada have sent items to us here at Woodlands so that we can help families rebuild their Jewish world. Through a grant from the URJ Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, books and CDs are being purchased to include in the packages. If you’d like to join the WCT Judaica Replacement Project to package and deliver boxes to temples whose families have been affected, please email SocialAction@wct.org. It’s wonderful to know that there’s a community of caring Reform temples to help families rebuild spiritually … and Woodlands continues to help the families rebuild their Jewish world.
Inscriptions For Memorial Wall Twice a year, Woodlands adds names to our beautiful outdoor Memorial Wall and dedicates them during a Yizkor service. The spring dedication will be held during the last day of Pesakh, Monday, April 1, at 9:00 am. If you wish to have names inscribed on our garden Memorial Wall in time for the Passover dedication, please contact Bob Apter at rhapter@gmail no later than March 15. The price for inscription is $800. Space(s) may be reserved on the Memorial Wall for future inscriptions with a 50% deposit ($400 per name). If you have already reserved a name, the price in effect at the time of the reservation will continue to be honored. All names (whether they are to be inscribed or reserved) must be listed below. This information is required by the engravers so that appropriate space may be allocated for future inscriptions.
February Yahrzeit (19 Adar - 26 Nisan) Friday, March 1 Lena Arbore-Tenebruso Morris Cohen Henry Cooperman Sheldon Fineberg Joel Finkelstein Henry Glick Yetta Goldstein Ross Gottlieb Esther Griff Murray Heyman Robert Howard Tammy Kaskawits Edna Krameisen Charles Kronenberger Bernard Landau Selma Leff Gertrude Leight Shirley Medvin Bella Melworm Rose Miller Steven Neuwirth Clara Perlman Dorothy Pinnolis Eleanor S. Pinzon Norma Ragir Sonia Revzin Dena Rothschild Elias Savada Benjamin Schachat Jack Yak Scharf Hyman Siegel
Friday, March 8 Max Berkowitz Fannie Biegelman David Bohrer Arthur Coren Nathan Dambroff Jonah Maccabee Dreskin Joan Federbusch Henny Bach Leib Feinman Josephine Fuchs Anna Glantz Eva Hindus Howard Janis George Kravitz Mildred Kaufman Lang Julius Levine Stuart James Lowenthal Carol Madow-Kolberg Benjamin Meirowitz Elwood Mendelson Bernard Miro Sidney Panzer Ruth Raften
Neil Rubinstein Berton M. Rudin Janice Feingold Rugoff Mack Shuster Jeanette Steinhardt Robert Taubman Mildred Zagelbaum Ida Zalaznick
Friday, March 15 Clara Abrams Frank Bloom Bill Burke Irene Cohen Philip Farbman Henny Bach Lieb Feinman Marvin Feinstein Charles Fish George Flamm Marci Ilene Fox Charlotte Goodman Harvey Gottlieb Pauline Hoyt Isidore (Irving) Kantrowitz Lily Kaufman Norman Kaye Gloria Kushman Paul Lang Gertrude Lasker Lee Lax Lawrence Levine Thelma (Teddy) Migden Bernard Mills Harry Novins Matthew Raften Jean Weingast Smith Joseph Tuchman Josephine Udoff Alex Waldstein Jules Witten Jean Wolf Mildred Zizmor
Friday, March 22 Anna Bankoff Hyman Behrman Celia Berkowitz Edward J. Bloomenfeld Minda Brachman Charles Clegg Morton Cohen Joseph Glantz Celia Glazer Alan Horowitz Janet Jacobs Laurraine Jaffess Jacob Janis
Herman Karpel Isabelle Katz Morris Kessler Jean Lance Gershon Pechman Mildred Raboff Ada Richter Ellis Rosen Bess Rosen Philip Rudin Amanda Safirstein Frances Shapiro Pauline Surlin Moe Tanke Fay Urso Lillian Warsaw Ruth Wechsler Mildred Weinberg Bessie Weissberger
The Woodlands Community Mourns the Loss of Judy Benedek sister of Andy Sterling Mildred Donocoff mother of Brian Donocoff Jack Orr husband of Pamela Orr Mark Weingarten brother-in-law of Jeffrey and Janet Chester uncle of David and Susan Chester Howard Weiselberg step-father of Tasha Macedo
We Join in Extending Our Condolences
Friday, March 29 Solomon Bacharach Marvin Barsky Sarah Behrman Rose Coren Frances Epstein Robin Feldman Miriam Fell Arnold Gamsu Barbara Gilden Philip Glazer Gussie Halper Charles Samuel Hess Bernard Holsten Harry Jaffess Bernard Leff Roslyn Mofsenson Elinore Neiger Theodore Piltz Philip Roggen Ray Rubin Adele Saller Norman Schorr Jacob Siegel Dorothy Stein Stanley Stein Irma Stroh Irving Udoff Reuben Weinstein Jean Wetherbee Beatrice Wilson Anthony Witkowski William Wuhrman
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 wct.org/bookplate
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.
The Simkha Page
B’nai Mitzvah Jonathan Montague
Hebrew Name Aviella
Hebrew Name Miryam
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 Mark and Michele Montague, as their son, Jonathan, is called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah. Mazal tov to David and Janice Rosenfeld, as their daughter, Sarah, is called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mazal tov to Albert and Lori Solano, as their son, Jason, is called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah. Mazal tov to Frederic Rickles and Kristin Tess, as their son, Joseph, is called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah. Mazal tov to Alan and Ilene Hersh, on the engagement of their daughter Lisa Hersh to Meir Braunstein. Mazal tov to Mara and Mark Young, on the birth of Noah Sadie.
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
Social Action Fund
In honor of Jessica Friedman becoming a Bat Mitzvah, from Jan and Jeff Friedman.
In honor of Yvette and Larry Gralla’s “60 th Wedding Anniversary”, from Bill and Gloria Falk.
Donation, from Bonni and Tony Arbore.
In honor of Joel Gardner becoming a Bar Mitzvah, from Michael Gardner and Eve Gordon. In honor of Yvette and Larry Gralla’s 60th Wedding Anniversary, from Alan Kaplan. In honor of the Babynaming of Zillin Rubin-DuLong, from Ben Rubin and Jessica DuLong. In honor of Rabbi Billy, in appreciation of your care and compassion, from Linda Lucks. In honor of Gloria Falk’s 70 Birthday, from Marlene and Joel Klein.
In honor of Al Schwartz’s 80th Birthday, from Susan and Andy Sterling. In memory of Judith Benedek, sister of Andy Sterling, from Myrna and Martin Block. in memory of Judith Benedek, wife, from Zoltan Benedek. In memory of Arthur Lucks, husband, Mollie and Jules Bloomenfeld, parents, Minnie and Abraham Lucks, Arthur’s parents, from Linda Lucks.
In honor of Yvette and Larry Gralla’s “60 th Wedding Anniversary”, from Jack and Maddy Gralla. In honor of Yvette and Larry Gralla’s “60 th Wedding Anniversary”, from Robert and Sherryl Rubin. In honor of Gloria and Bill Falk’s “30 th Anniversary”, from Yvette and Larry Gralla. In honor of Gloria and Bill Falk’s “Special Anniversary”, from Bob and Jane Steinhardt. In honor of Gloria Falk’s Birthday, from Fran Rosenfeld. In honor of Gloria Falk’s “Special Birthday”, from Bob and Jane Steinhardt. In honor of Arthur Pell’s 93rd Birthday, from Bob and Jane Steinhardt. In honor of the birth of Connor Richard Feeny, grandson, from Bill and Barbara Abram.
Donation, from Karen Blumenthal. In memory of Frances Baker, we miss you, from the Klarsfelds In honor of Bernie Bacharach, from Steve and Terri Levin. In memory of George Astrove, from Nancy Gladstone and Jesse Seligson.
Education and Youth Activities Fund In honor of the birth of Noah Sadie Young, daughter of Rabbi Mara and Mark Young, from Elka, Jeff, Lauren and Francine Klarsfeld.
Midnight Run Donation, from Michael Hess.
Endowment Fund In honor of Yvette and Larry Gralla’s “60 th Wedding Anniversary”, from Sue and Jack Safirstein.
Steve’s H.O.P.E. Fund In yahrzeit memory of Irving M.Rosen, husband, from Audrey Rosen.
In memory of Morris Kingston, father of Michael Kingston and Paula Altneu, from Michael Kingston.
Gates of Repentance Bookplate Fund
Donation, from Sandy and Peter Rosenthal.
In memory of Henry Philips, from Jane Judd.
In honor of Harriet Levine, from Carole R. Friedlander.
In honor of the birth of Noah Sadie Young, daughter of Rabbi Mara and Mark Young, from Iris Levine.
In memory of Tammy Kaskawits, from Rick Kaskawits.
In honor of Corey Friedlander, from Carole R. Friedlander.
In appreciation of Woodlands Clergy, from Michael Hess.
Those who contributed to Winter Hunger Appeal
In memory of Teresa Fishman, from Nanci Brickman.
In memory of Sophie Bluberg, from Lori Bluberg
In memory of Carl Smith, from Fran Smith.
Rabbi Mara’s Mitzvah Fund
Cantor’s Discretionary Fund In honor of Joel Gardner becoming a Bar Mitzvah, from Michael Gardner and Eve Gordon. In honor of Jessica Friedman becoming a Bat Mitzvah, from Jan and Jeff Friedman. In memory of Phyllis Litz, mother, from Steve Shaw.
Educator’s Enrichment Fund In honor of Joel Gardner becoming a Bar Mitzvah, from Michael Gardner and Eve Gordon. In honor of Jessica Friedman becoming a Bat Mitzvah, from Jan and Jeff Friedman.
In honor of Yvette and Larry Gralla’s “60th Wedding Anniversary”, from Lois and Jay Izes.
Mitzvah Mississippi Fund In honor of Yvette and Larry Gralla’s “60th Wedding Anniversary”, from Bob and Penny Apter. In honor of the Mitzvah Mississippi Program, from Carol Reiner. Donation, from Shelli and Alan Katz.
In memory of Len Levine, from Carole R. Friedlander.
Gloria and Bill Falk Liz Knobler
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.
“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.
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.
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.
Supports the elderly Jewish poor of the Lower East Side.
Donation, from Yvette and Larry Gralla.
Woodlands Calendar March 2013 Adar - Nisan 5773
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Judaic Connection What is Hallel? By Rabbi Joan Farber
As Pesakh approaches, I am drawn to the sections of the Haggadah which bring back fond memories of childhood seders. When I was growing up, my family completed the full seder to the very last song in the Haggadah, which in the old grey Union Haggadah was America the Beautiful. Seder was a time for family and stories and for the children reading difficult words. Yet, there is one section that stands out in my mind--the Hallel. The Hallel consists of Psalms 113118 and is one of the oldest sections in our liturgy. It was already known in the time of the second Temple, and was recited on the Shalosh Regalim, the Three Pilgrimage Festivals (Sukkot, Pesakh and Shavuot). When Hanukkah became part of the calendar, Hallel was included every morning of Hanukkah. More recently, it has become customary to recite Hallel on Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) and Yom Yerushalayim (celebrating the reunification of Jerusalem). It is also recited on Rosh Hodesh. Hallel is connected to the festivals and other days of rejoicing in Deuteronomy
(16:14) where it states: “You shall rejoice in your festival, with your son and daughter.” When Hallel is recited as part of a festival service, it is preceded by a b’rakhah, or blessing. Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu Melekh Haolam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu likro et haHallel. Blessed are you Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, who hallows us with mitzvot, commanding us to recite Hymns of Praise.
The melody, which Cantor Jonathan chants, sets the mood for the singing of Psalms of Praise and Joy. The blessing itself distinguishes Hallel from other Biblical texts in the liturgy by elevating the recitation to a mitzvah, a religious obligation. Hallel comes from the Hebrew root Hey Lamed Lamed which denotes praise. Really it is much more than simple praise. These six Psalms focus on praise of God and the wonders which God performed for our ancestors. Psalm 113 begins with Hal’lu Yah--or Hallelujah! It is a combination of the verb Hal’lu --Praise and Ya--a form of God’s name. This group of Psalms explicitly instructs us to praise God. In the Haggadah, Hallel is divided
into two sections. Psalms 113 and 114 are recited after the Maggid--the retelling of the journey out of Egypt. These two Psalms reflect on God’s redemptive power in our people’s history. Psalm 114 describes the journey from Egypt through the Israelites’ time in the desert, encouraging the reader to visualize the journey and the power of God. After these Psalms, the blessings on Matzah and Maror are recited and the meal is served. After the meal and after the door is opened for Elijah, the rest of Hallel is recited along with the blessing for the fourth cup of wine. These Psalms focus on the relationship between God and the people and remind us that it is an ongoing dialogue. We praise God because God has been there for our ancestors and will be there for us. As Psalm 118:24 states: “This is the day which God has made, let us exult and rejoice in it.” Thus Hallel is recited on the festivals and during the seder as a poetic reminder of God’s redemptive power and on-going relationship with us. Hal’lu Yah