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Beth Israel Congregation

   
 
 
 

Beth Israel Congregation Newsletter

March/April 2016
Adar I/Adar II/Nisan 5776


President's Message
School Shabbat Service
Upcoming Services and Programs at Beth Israel
Maine Jewish Film Festival Comes to Brunswick
Community Hamantaschen Bake
Special Film and Discussion by Colin Goddard
Purim Celebration
Brunch and Talk by George Krassner
New Children's Program
Community Passover Seder
Building Committee Report
KELT Presentation
Thinking About Summer Camp Yet?
Synagogue Gift Shop
Birthay and Anniversaries
Welcome New Members
Donations

NOTE: It is our policy that no personal telephone numbers, email addresses or mailing addresses be contained in the web version of our newsletter. If you need to get in touch with one of our members please email us at info@bethisrael-maine.org.


President's Message

by Marilyn Weinberg

What a wonderful time to be part of Beth Israel, as we develop and define ourselves for the future. A decision to affiliate with a movement was a careful one. Knowing that we want to hire a Rabbi to guide us in the coming years, joining one of the Jewish movements would allow us a broader range of qualified potential candidates. We took our time with research, committee meetings, Skype sessions and board discussions. We learned that the Reform movement would allow us the freedom to define who we are and supply the support we would need as we move forward. We held an informational meeting and participated with lengthy email and phone conversations with membership. On Sunday, February 21, our membership voted in an overwhelming majority to affiliate with the Reform movement.

Meanwhile, so many of you have come forward to lead services, attend programs and participate in a number of activities. What an amazing community we have. March and April are filled with activities and services to allow you to connect with Beth Israel. You can have a glimpse of our adorable and brilliant children at our school Shabbat service. Beth Israel is again a proud sponsor of the Maine Jewish Film Festival and four films will be shown in Brunswick in March. We have special Purim and Passover celebrations coming up as well as speakers and services.

The energy and enthusiasm at Beth Israel is inspiring and hopeful for the future of our little congregation. Come to everything, or maybe just one thing, but come.


School Shabbat Service

by Theresa Gandler

Friday, March 4
6:30 p.m.
Synagogue

The students of Beth Israel Hebrew School will be leading the Friday night Shabbat Service on Martch 4 at 6:30 p.m. This is a special service that showcases the talent and hard work of our Hebrew School students. It will take the place of the regular Friday night service. Please mark your calendar and come out to see these amazing kids and teachers.


Upcoming Services and Programs at Beth Israel

by Marilyn Weinberg

Maurie Libner and Irwin Brodsky lead a regular Torah discussion group every Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. at the Synagogue.

Shabbat Evening Service
Synagogue
Friday, March 4 at 6:30 p.m. - Led by our Hebrew School students
Friday, April 1 at 7:00 p.m. - Led by Maurie Libner
Friday, April 15 at 7:00 p.m.

Tot Shabbat
Minnie Brown Center
Saturday, March 5 at 10:00 - Led by Rachel Connelly
Saturday, April 2 at 10:00 - Led by Rachel Connelly

Special Programs

Maine Jewish Film Festival
Saturday, March 12
Sunday, March 13

Community Hamantaschen Bake
Sunday, March 20
10:30 a.m.
Synagogue

Special Film and Discussion by Colin Goddard
Tuesday, March 22
7:00 p.m.
Minnie Brown Center

Community Purim Celebration
Friday, March 25 at the Minnie Brown Center
5:00 p.m. - Pizza
5:30 p.m. - Megillah Reading
6:10 p.m. - Purim Spiel

Brunch with George Krassner
Sunday, April 10
10:30 a.m.
Synagogue

PJ Library Children's Program
Sunday, April 17
10:30 a.m.
Minnie Brown Center

Community Passover Seder
Saturday, April 23
5:00 p.m.
Minnie Brown Center (RSVP required)


Maine Jewish Film Festival Comes to Brunswick

by Marilyn Weinberg

Saturday, March 12
Sunday, March 13
Frontier, Brunswick ME

With the support of members of our congregation, Beth Israel is a proud sponsor of the Maine Jewish Film Festival again this year. There will be four films shown during the weekend of March 12 and 13 at the Frontier Cafˇ in Brunswick. I am listing the links for details for each film.

It would be wonderful if we all came early and had dinner together at the Frontier before (or after) the film. Spread the word and bring your friends to share the interest and excitement.

Save the dates now.

SATURDAY, March 12
8:00 p.m.
Touchdown Israel: Tackle Football in the Holy Land - Documentary
http://www.mjff.org/touchdown-israel/

SUNDAY, March 13
2:00 p.m.
Frank vs. God - Comedy
http://www.mjff.org/frank-vs-god/

SUNDAY, March 13
5:00 p.m.
Rock in the Red Zone - Music Documentary
http://www.mjff.org/rock-in-the-red-zone/

SUNDAY, March 13
8:00 p.m.
Dough Comedy-Drama
http://www.mjff.org/dough/


Community Hamantaschen Bake

by Marilyn Weinberg

Sunday, March 20
10:30 a.m.
Synagogue

We have lined up some of our wonderful Beth Israel chefs to teach us how to make yummy Hamantaschen. Each chef is bringing a favorite recipe so you will have an opportunity to try different ones and taste them. It should be a delicious, fun filled morning and you will have recipes to take home with you. We hope to serve them at our Purim celebration on Friday, March 25.


Special Film and Discussion by Colin Goddard

by Teresa Gandler

Tuesday, March 22
7:00 p.m.
Minnie Brown Center

Living for 32 <<a href="http://livingfor32.com">http://livingfor32.com> is a film about the 32 students murdered in the tragic Virginia Tech shooting. And the 32 people killed by guns every day in America.

Colin Goddard was a student at VA Tech that day and survived by "playing dead." He was shot four times. "Living for 32" is his story.

After recovering and finishing his degree, Colin Goddard decided he was going to volunteer for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence <<a href="http://www.bradycampaign.org">http://www.bradycampaign.org>, the nation's largest gun control organization. And he was going to convince them to sponsor him in wearing a hidden camera and going undercover into gun shows all across America, to prove how easy it is for anyone to buy a gun, with no identification, no Brady background check, and just a wad of cash.

Come to the Minnie Brown Center for this special film followed by a discussion with Colin Goddard.


Purim Celebration

Please join us on Friday, March 25 for our community Purim celebration at the Minnie Brown Center

5:00 p.m. - Pizza (bring salad or drink)
5:30 p.m. - Megillah Reading
6:00 p.m. - Parade of costumes
6:10 p.m. - Purim Spiel
(Our own interpretation of the Book of Esther)

Followed by homemade Hamantaschen


Brunch and Talk by George Krassner

by Marilyn Weinberg

Sunday, April 10
10:30 a.m.
Synagogue

Please join us for a brunch and talk by our new member George Krassner. George is a recognized pioneer in the American space program. He wrote the first book on space communications, worked with the original seven astronauts, and teamed with Dr. Wernher von Braun on a top-secret moon project. George will share insider stories, secrets, and goofs in the infant years of the space program, and display souvenirs, photos, and space program memorabilia. He will play the taped recording of President Eisenhower's message of peace to the world from the first communication satellite, using the electronics designed by Krasner. This will be a truly exciting event!


New Children's Program

by Rachel Connelly

Sunday, April 17
10:30-11:30 a.m.
Minnie Brown Center

On April 17 from 10:30-11:30 am, Beth Israel Congregation and the PJ Library Program of the Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine (JCA) are co-hosting "Let My People Go: PJ Library Pre-Passover Family Program" aimed at children between the ages of 2 and 8. The program will take place at the Minnie Brown Center and is open to all.

Join us for Pre-Passover fun and a reminder of what kids can expect during this festival of freedom. We will read a story, talk about Passover, and then act out the symbols on the seder plate.

Andrea Krasker Gavin of the JCA in Portland who coordinates the PJ Library Program will lead the program, assisted by Rachel Connelly, Beth Israel's Tot Shabbat teacher.

This is a great way to jump-start your Passover celebration.


Community Passover Seder

Saturday, April 23
5:00 p.m.

You are invited to join family and friends for a potluck Community Passover Seder.

Reservations required by April 15. Please e-mail info@bethisrael-maine.org or call 443-4606.

To cover expenses:
$5.00 per person/$10.00 per family for members
$10.00 per person/$20.00 per family for non-members


Building Committee Report

by Marty Fox

The cost estimate to complete the entire master plan for renovating the Minnie Brown Center came in much higher than expected by the building committee.

A proposal was presented and agreed to by the Board to obtain a rough estimate for phase 1 modifications of Minnie Brown. Phase 1 consists of: moving the wall between the entry way and the hall two feet closer to the front of the hall, installing a handicap access bathroom and coat closet, and building a spiritual leader's office downstairs.

The project of greatest concern, as mentioned in the facilities section of the Strategic Plan, is to have an ADA approved bathroom upstairs at the Minnie Brown Center. Rough cost estimates are underway.


KELT Presentation

by Marilyn Weinberg

On Friday, February 26, after a brief Shabbat service, we welcomed Ruth Indrick, a member of KELT (Kennebec Estuary Land Trust). She spoke to us about global warming and its effect on the plants, animals and water levels in the midcoast region. We learned a lot. Thank you to Ruth and to Sharon Drake who had this yummy cake made in appreciation of KELT and the important work that they do.


Thinking About Summer Camp Yet?

by Rachel Connelly

As part of the Center for Small Town Jewry, Rabbi Asch of Beth El, Augusta, and Mel Weiss, Education Director Temple Beth El Portland, and Beth Israel in Waterville are running two week-long programs for Jewish children in Central Maine. In its second year, each "Funtensive" is a week of fun filled Jewish activities for children aged 4 to 12 years of age. Older children are also welcome as junior counselors. This summer both weeks of Funtensive will take place in Augusta at Temple Beth El, 9:30-2:00 each day. The weeks are July 18-22 and Aug 8-12. The price is very low, thanks to funds from the Center for Small Town Jewry and donations. This is really a wonderful opportunity for our children. For more information about the program, please contact Rabbi Asch. Those interested in putting a carpool together can contact Rachel Connelly and we can connect people.

In the planning stage is a Funtensive Preview, which will take place at the Minnie Brown Center.

We are planning a family program for May to give the kids a feel for the Funtensive experience. Stay tuned!


Synagogue Gift Shop

by Crissy Swartz

Special Gifts for Passover!

Our Synagogue Gift Shop is here for all of you to make those Passover Seder purchases. Do you need an extra Seder Plate? How about Passover Haggadah? Matzah Covers?

Give me a phone call or email me and we can set a time to get together. Last orders for Passover, March 31!


Birthdays and Anniversaries

March Birthdays March Anniversaries
1 Max Ergas 15 Jennie & Campbell Clegg
3 Donny Giulianti 19 Glen and Beth Eisman
4 Robert Lenox 25 Doris and Leslie Shaw
5 Gary Torow
6 Crissy Swartz
8 Teresa Gandler
9 Andrew Schoenberg
10 Monica Blatt
12 Ethan Blatt
12 Tobyn Blatt
12 Nicholas Giulianti
13 Jennie Clegg
20 Maurie Libner
27 Noa Sreden
28 Campbell Clegg
April Birthdays April Anniversaries
2 Lisa Tessler 14 Amy and Wayne Gould
5 Nadia Leiner
7 Sumner Blatt
8 Mort Panish
9 Susan Horowitz
18 Barbara Baseman
18 Leslie Shaw
18 Steven Barr

Welcome New Members

We are pleased to welcome back members

  • Chris Boyd and Donnie Spiegelman
  • Reginald and Tinker Hannaford
  • Lola Lea

Donations

We would like to thank the following people for their donations

  • George Isaacson in loving memory of his father, Benjamin Isaacson
  • George Isaacson in support of Beth Israel Congregation
  • Matthew Budd and Rosalind Gorin in support of Beth Israel Congregation
  • Lenore and Jay Friedland in memory of Michael Lane, brother of Stan Lane
  • Donald and Mara Giulianti in memory of Michael Lane, brother of Stan Lane
  • Andy and Deborah Hagler in support of Beth Israel Congregation
  • Linda Silberstein and Larry Loeb in memory of Michael Lane, brother of Stan Lane
  • Barbara and Robert Lenox in memory of her mother, Freda Selig
  • Matthew and Karen Filler in memory of Michael Lane, brother of Stan Lane
  • Fred and Marilyn Weinberg in memory of Michael Lane, brother of Stan Lane
  • Marji Greenhut in support of Beth Israel Congregation
  • Mort and Evelyn Panish in loving memory of her mother, Else Chaim and his step-father, Alex Mutterperl
  • Maxine Gersh in loving memory of her mother, Myrtle Leavy and her father-in-law, Benjamin Gersh
  • Jeremy and Joan Fields in loving memory of his father, David Fields
  • Maria and Donald Giulianti in loving memory of her father, Leon Berman
  • Marilyn and Fred Weinberg in loving memory of her mother, Ann Isacoff and his father, Marvin Weinberg
  • Robert and Barbara Lenox in loving memory of his father, Fred Lenox
  • Margaret Brown and John Martell in loving memory of her grandfather, Solomon Wernick
  • Marilyn and John Darack in loving memory of her parents, Sterling and Ruth Shapiro
  • Karen and Matthew Filler in loving memory of her parents, Gerald and Frances Feldman
  • Karen and Mathew Filler in loving memory of her grandmother, Sarah Lang
  • Marilyn and Fred Weinberg in honor of the birth of their grandaughter, Hannah Megan Mecklenburger
  • Marilyn and Fred Weinberg in support of The Maine Jewish Film Festival
  • Irwin and Lori Brodsky in support of Beth Israel Congregation