July 2015 - Tammuz/Av 5775

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Jewish Family Congregation Newsletter - The monthly bulletin of a vibrant Reform congregation in South Salem, NY

Text of July 2015 - Tammuz/Av 5775

  • Shofar Tammuz/ Av 5775 Jewish Family Congregation July 2015


    From the Rabbis Desk page 2 Presidents Message page 3 Religious School page 4 Early Childhood Center page 5 Ritual Committee page 6

    Ask the Rabbi page 7 Yahrzeit/Birthday/Anniversary page 10 Oneg Shabbat Hosts page 14 Donations page 14

    July Service Schedule

    Shabbat Balak, Numbers 22:2 25:9

    July 3 6 pm Shabbat Service at Ridgefield location

    Shabbat Pinchas, Numbers 25:10 30:1

    July 10 6 pm Shabbat Service at Ridgefield location. Champagne and Strawberries Oneg Shabbat 7:30 pm Shabbat Service at South Salem location

    Shabbat Matot-Masei, Numbers 30:2 36:13

    July 17 6 pm Shabbat Service at Ridgfield location

    Shabbat Devarim, Deuteronomy 1:1 3:22

    July 24 6 pm Shabbat Service at Ridgefield location

    Shabbat Vaetchanan, Deuteronomy 3:23 7:11

    July 31 6 pm Bar-B-Que at South Salem location. RSVP to office before Monday, July 27 7:30 pm Shabbat Service at South Salem location

    Ruth Ossher presents the Manzares family with funds raised at the Religious School Car Wash.

    Leah and Nate celebrate at the Religious School end of year party.

    ECC students Calvin and Ian plant in the playground garden.

  • Page 2 Jewish Family Congregation Shofar July 2015

    From the Rabbis Desk

    The below article was shared at the JFCs Annual Meeting on May 31, 2015.

    Do you remember the taste? You could smell it from over 100 feet away. The delicious, wafting odors

    in the air created anticipation and excitement, a feeling of home and a sense of security, even with the

    normal and tough struggles of daily life. Im not talking about a Memorial Day BBQ last weekend, your favorite dish that your mother or grandmother made for you, or even a meal at your favorite restau-

    rant. Im referring to the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic -- that we used to eat in Egypt.

    In thinking about what I might share today as some words of inspiration, I remembered this story of our

    ancestors, wandering in the desert and complaining to Moses. First they complained about water, then

    bread, then they wanted what they had in the old days -- even while they were slaves in Egypt. Afraid

    of the uncertain future, they not only reminisced about what they had, they wept and cried to Mo-

    ses, If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish that we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucum-bers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic

    It seemed like an appropriate passage to remind us about today, and then a mini-miracle happened. I

    could not remember the verse in the torah, so I went to my concordance, trying to look up the word for

    cucumbers -- then I realized that the current word in Hebrew (mlafafonim) for cucumbers is not the same as the Biblical word (kishuim). So then I looked up garlic (shumim) and found the verse -- Num-

    bers 11:5, which happens to be in this weeks torah portion of Bhaalotcha!?! Amazing. Maybe a signal for us today.

    The story continues with Moses hearing the people weeping, and Moses calls out to God, Why have You dealt ill with Your servant, and why have I not enjoyed Your favor, that You have laid the burden of all

    this people upon me? I cannot carry all this people by myself, for it is too much for me. God re-sponds, Gather for me 70 of Israels elders and bring them to the Tent of Meeting, and let them take their place there with you. I will come down and speak with you there, and I will draw upon the spirit

    that is on you and put it upon them; they shall share the burden of the people with you, and you shall

    not bear it alone.

    In this period of challenge and uncertainty for our congregation, it helps to know that each of us does

    not need to bear the burden alone. Each of us is like an elder of JFC, because the way our congregation

    is structured gives power to every single individual. Some carry a bigger portion of the burden in areas

    of volunteering or planning or organizing or finances. Every single person controls our destiny.

    Later on in this weeks parasha, we learn about Eldad and Medad, who prophesied in the camp. A youth ran out and told Moses, saying, Eldad and Medad are acting the prophet in the camp! And Joshua son of Nun, Moses attendant from his youth, spoke up and said, My lord Moses, restrain them! But Moses said to him, Would that all Gods people were prophets. Today we are prophets, determining the fu-ture.

    In next weeks torah portion, Moses sends out leaders to spy out the land across the border. Let us be like Joshua and Caleb, or like Hal and Glenn, bringing back a realistic and challenging report, yet one

    that is positive and forward-looking. Let us not dwell in the past, complaining and yearning for things

    that either no longer are or looking back to only remember the tasty memories of the past. We have

    work to do, we can support each other, and we can successfully settle in a new land, nurturing our souls

    and growing as a community. I hope that we have your support and involvement. Our community

    needs you as a Eldad or Medad, Caleb or Joshua. Thank you.

    Rabbi Marcus L. Burstein

  • Tammuz/Av 5775 Jewish Family Congregation Shofar Page 3

    Jewish Family

    Congregation 111 Smith Ridge Road

    P.O. Box 249 South Salem, NY 10590 Phone: (914) 763-3028 Fax: (914) 763-3069




    Marcus L. Burstein, D. Min. rabbi@jewishfamilycongregation.org

    Director of Education

    Leslie Gottlieb lgottlieb@jewishfamilycongregation.org

    Early Childhood Center Director

    Jane Weil Emmer jemmer@jewishfamilycongregation.org

    Administrator Kathleen Sakowicz


    Glenn Kurlander, Co-President Hal Wolkin, Co-President


    Josh Blum, First Vice-President

    Suzanne Sunday, Second Vice-President Robyn Cohen, Treasurer

    Richard Mishkin, Secretary executive@jewishfamilycongregation.org

    Karen Conti, Trustee Jon Glass, Trustee

    Mindy Hoffman, Trustee Robi Margolis, Trustee Paul Storfer, Trustee

    Bonnie Wattles, Trustee board@jewishfamilycongregation.org

    Shofar Editor

    Kathleen Sakowicz

    Shofar Printer

    Copy Stop Royal Press

    After months and months of exploration, analysis, discussion, debate

    and planning, the members of JFC and TSI have completed the first

    critical step in building together a new synagogue that will be the heart

    of our shared community.

    We want to thank everyone who committed untold hours to getting us

    here. From the legacy JFC community, we want to thank, first and

    foremost, our beloved Rabbi, Marcus Burstein, for his characteristic

    wisdom, vision and enthusiasm. Our shared community is so fortunate

    to have him and Rabbi David Reiner as the energetic and committed co

    -Rabbis of the new synagogue, and fortunate as well to have the en-

    thusiastic and talented Cantor Debbie Katchko-Gray as our cantor.

    We also want to thank Leslie Gottlieb and Jane Emmer, and all of our

    dedicated teachers, for the critical role they have played in getting us

    to this juncture, and for the even more important role they and the

    additional teachers who will be joining the combined school from TSI,

    will play in the new synagogues future success.

    The support, commitment and dedication of our professional staffKathleen Sakowicz, our Temple Administrator, and Carol Wakeman,

    our Bookkeeperwere instrumental at every pass.

    And while numerous lay leaders assumed immense burdens, all of

    whom we thank sincerely, we would be remiss if we did not single out

    three in particular for special thanks. These three people constitute an

    important part of the lifeblood of JFC and will bring their immense en-

    ergy to the new synagogue: Michael Salpeter, as co-chair of the joint

    Ritual Committee; Karen Conti, as co-chair of the joint Education Com-

    mittee; and Laurence Furic, for all the amazing work she has done in

    connection with communications and our web presence.

    We owe profound thanks to our dedicated Board of Trustees for their

    courage and vision in putting us on the path to building the new syna-

    gogue, as hard and painful as it is to say goodbye to the separate ex-

    istence of this wonderful place we call JFC.

    And finally, while we wont name them one by one, we are immensely thankful to all the members of the legacy TSI community who worked

    just as passionately and selflessly as their counterparts at JFC to bring

    us to this point.

    Now, of course, we must take on the work of knitting together two

    communities, much more similar than they are different, into one.

    Many wonderful things have already happened on this score, and more

    will follow in the weeks and months ahead. Between now and the High

    Holy Days, we will hold more services together to continue the process

    Continued on page 8

    From The Co-Presidents By Glenn Kurlander and Hal Wolkin

  • Page 4 Jewish Family Congregation Shofar July 2015

    From the Religious School By Leslie Gottlieb

    Real Collaboration

    So here we are two months from the start of school. As of today, our