MARCH/APRIL 2015/ADAR-NISAN-IYAR 5775 Craig 2015/ADAR-NISAN-IYAR 5775 ... She was named by Newsweek…

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    INSIDE THIS ISSUE PAGE 2 A Once in a Lifetime ChallengePAGE 8 New Officers & TrusteesPAGE 9 Sale of HametzPAGE 10 Passover Guide 5775PAGE 13 Our Legacy SocietyPAGE 15 Meet the Gorfinkels

    MMTemple Beth El Founded 1913. In 2008 merged with Congregation Bnai Jacob (founded 1891). Devoted to seeking God, doing Mitzvot, studying Torah, and creating Community. 1

    Scholar-in-Residence Rabbi Rachel Cowan to Visit Friday & Saturday, March 27 & 28 Rabbi Rachel Cowan will be our Scholar-in-Residence on Friday, March 27 and on Shabbat, March 28. Rabbi Cowan, formerly the Executive Director of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, is working on a special project, Aging with Wisdom. She was named by Newsweek in 2007 and in 2010 as one of the 50 leading rabbis in the United States, and by the Forward in 2010 as one of the 50 leading women rabbis. Rabbi Cowan was featured in the PBS series The Jewish Americans. She received her ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1989. Rabbi Cowan is the co-author, with Dr. Linda Thal, of the soon-to-be-published Aging Wisely: Living with Joy, Resilience and Spirit. Our scholar-in-residence is partly sponsored by a special group of women who include: Judi Bullock, Judy Ingis, Aileen Kramer, Susan Kuzon, Ginny Lepow, Susanne Osofsky, Susan Porter, and Bunny Schwartz. These women, who all turned 40 years old in the same year, went


    Craig Kazin to be Honored at the Nechamen/Chernick Breakfast Sunday, March 8 The congregation is invited to attend the 7th annual Nechamen/Chernick Breakfast on Sunday, March 8 at 9:15 am, sponsored by the Program Committee. This event raises funds for the Nechamen/Chernick Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships for member children to attend Jewish educational and summer programs. For a bio of Craig, please see the January/February issue of Tekiah or visit our website, The Program Committee will prepare a delicious hot breakfast. The cost is $10 if paid by March 2; $15 after that date. Please make your reservations by calling the temple office at 733-4149 or visit our website, We hope everyone will join us to honor Craig for his service and dedication to Temple Beth El and will make contributions to the Nechamen/Chernick Fund in his name. Attendees are encouraged to stay for the Annual Meeting which follows at 10:30 am (see article on page 8).

    Rabbi Ed Feld to SpeakSaturday, March 14 Temple Beth El is pleased to announce that Rabbi Ed Feld will speak on March 14, following Shabbat services and lunch. The topic of his discussion is Finding Ourselves in the Psalms. Rabbi Feld is senior editor of the new Mahzor Lev Shalem, published by the Conservative Movements Rabbinical Assembly, for which he was listed as one of the Forward 50the 50 outstanding American Jews of 2010. Of his new book, Joy, Despair and Hope: Reading Psalms (Cascade Books), one reviewer wrote, Rabbi Feld has a profound understanding of the pathways to spiritual striving, and another wrote, It invites readers to see the psalms as windows into the human condition.



  • Israel Ride 2014: A Once in a Lifetime ChallengeSharon Cohen This past November, I travelled to Israel for a new experience. I chose to see Israel one pixel at a time. What do I mean? Well, when one travels on a bike you really see each and every view of each and every foot you travel. Israel Ride 2014 began as a once in a lifetime challenge. I arrived in Jerusalem on a Monday evening, still wondering if I had prepared enough over the last year to ride the 275 miles to Eilat. The next week would be the test of a lifetime, as I had not done much bike riding over the last 20 years, with the exception of this past summer of training. Every person I met over the next 24 hours prior to the start of the ride was friendly and wonderfully welcoming. We all played Jewish Geography and usually came up with a personal connection. I met folks who attended Camp Ramah Canada with me

    in the 1970s, I met a man whose daughter worked with mine at the Isabella Friedman Center last summer, and I met a man who grew up near one of my current neighbors. When you have 160 people who like to bike, love Israel and the environment, it was never a far stretch. As we left Jerusalem the terrain was hilly of course, but beautifully green and lush. Our first 4 miles were basically downhill, and each and every view was amazing. On this first day, we covered over 60 miles from the Judean Hills to Beer Sheva, 18 of which were along the West Bank.

    Weekday MorningsMonday through Friday ....... 7:00 amSunday .................................. 8:30 am

    Weekday EveningsSunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday .......5:45 pm

    Shabbat WorshipErev Shabbat ........................6:00 pmShabbat morning ................. 9:30 amShabbat afternoon ...............5:00 pm

    Fast of EstherWednesday, March 4 ..............7:00 am

    PurimWednesday, March 4 Megillah Reading ..................6:30 pmCommunity Purim Celebration at Temple Beth El ..................7:30 pmThursday, March 5Purim Service & Megillah Reading . .................6:45 am

    See page 9 for our Pesah service schedule.

    Rosh Hodesh NisanSaturday, March 21

    Rosh Hodesh IyarWednesday, April 19 ................8:30 amThursday, April 20....................6:45 am

    Please note: Beginning Saturday, March 7, the Minhah service time will change to 6:00 pm.


    I became more confident that I had prepared for this physical challenge with every rotation of my bikes tires. Each hill we climbed, I thought of our ancestors walking up these same steep hills without the luxury of pavement or even knowing where they were headed at times. The next day we spent the morning climbing to the Yatir Forest, a forest created by JNF with hundreds of thousands of trees that survive on less than 3 inches of rain a year. The Yatir Forest is now the home of much of the wildlife that used to reside in the Judean Hills. We next rode through both a Bedoiun farm and a more modern Bedouin village which partners with the Arava Institute, quite a contrast from where we had come. On Friday, we entered the heart of the desert and shade became scarce. We stopped for a rest at Golde Meir Park and Sde Boker, where we paid respects to Israels first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion. This was a very hard day of biking and we still had miles to go before Shabbat at Mitzpe Ramon. By Friday night I needed Shabbat. I found both Friday night services and Havdalah were very beautiful. I heard so many new voices and celebrated with my fellow cyclists. Riding into Kibbutz Ketura was a very moving experience for me. When I saw the sign, I got off my bike and paused for a moment or two as this is why I did the ride. As riders, we were not only raising needed scholarship dollars for the students, we were also raising awareness of the great programs that the Arava Institute offers. The Arava brings together Israeli, Jordanian, Palestinian as well as American students to study and solve environmental problems the region shares, while learning how communicate with each other as well as work and live together. My daughter Gillian lived and studied here last year, and through her I have gained a much better understanding of how critical the programs are to the future of the region.


    The deadline for the May-June issue is Friday, March 20. Email articles or photos to

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    Rabbi Amy Wallk Katz

    Isidor I. Rabi, the Nobel laureate in Physics, was once asked, Why did you become a scientist, rather than a doctor or a lawyer or businessman like the other immigrant kids in your neighborhood? His answer is noteworthy. He answered by saying, My mother made me a scientist without ever intending to. Every other Jewish mother in Brooklyn would ask her child after school So? Did you learn anything today? But my mother always asked me a different question. Izzy, she would say, did you ask a good question today? That emphasis on asking good questions made me become a scientist! So what are good questions? Most of us are never taught how to ask a good question. I would like to suggest two kinds of good questions, although they are very different. One kind of good question requires expertise to answer. Sometimes we want to gather information, learn more or become better informed. The following are good questions that require expertise:

    What kinds of governmental policies need to be in place to prevent climate change?

    What is the prognosis for a two-state solution in the Middle East?

    Did the film Selma accurately portray LBJs attitude towards the voting rights act?

    Is salvation a Jewish idea?

    These sorts of questions are designed to solve problems. These kinds of questions reinforce a hierarchy between the experts and the rest of us. Most of us have been to dinners where a hard question about American politics is asked. Within minutes, some of us go to the kitchen to prepare the next course, others take a stretch and a few people remain at the table. Those individuals at the table think they know something about American politics and continue to debate. There is another kind of good question: a question that matters to everyone and that everyone can answer. Their strength is that they do not have an answer. They merely invite a persons considered opinion.

    Do you believe that climate change should be addressed by our politicians?

    How do you inform yourself about the Arab-Israeli conflict?

    How do you inform yourself about the issues before voting? At wh