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Beth Israel Congregation

   
 
 
 

Beth Israel Congregation Newsletter

July/Aug 2016
Sivan/Tammuz/Av 5776


President's Message
Upcoming Services and Programs at Beth Israel
Shabbat Under The Stars
Minnie Brown Center to Host Bowdoin International Music Festival
An Evening With Judith Sloan
News from the Hebrew School
Treasurer's Report
New Board Members
Beth Israel on Facebook
Grant Received for Automatic External Defibrillator
Host a Bowdoin College Student
Dine Around
Synagogue Gift Shop
Birthdays and Anniversaries
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

Summer is officially here which in Maine means company, gardening and trips to the beach. All are wonderful. It's also a time for the new board to regroup and plan for the future and for the Chai committee to design wonderful programs for the upcoming year.

The future looks bright. Throughout the summer we have our wonderful volunteers leading services and our lovely Shabbat Under the Stars series expanding to three locations.

For those of you who are already wondering about the High Holidays, Cantor Jeff Warschauer and his lovely wife Deborah Strauss will be back in Bath leading a spirited series of High Holiday services and events.

Our Rabbi Search Committee will have their first meeting this summer and with the support of the Reform Movement, they hope the process will bring a wonderful leader to Beth Israel. We want to thank Marina Singer, Matthew Filler, Rachel Connelly, Allan Kaplan, Nonny Soifer, Aaron Greenwald, Robert Gersh, and Marilyn Weinberg for volunteering for this task. It's a huge responsibility and commitment and so important.

As we search for a new spiritual leader, we will face new expenses and challenges. So we ask that you continue your support. Moving forward in a new direction is challenging in that it requires both a personal commitment to programs as well as a financial commitment. We want to keep the warm and welcoming feeling that is so special to our little shul. Yet we want to reach out to all who are interested in exploring their Judaism and find a way to connect it to their lives.

Our dues bills will be going out in early August. Please consider pledging over and above your regular dues level to help make our little synagogue continue for many years to come. If you are not already a member, please consider joining.

Do you want to join a committee or do you have more questions about our future direction? Contact me at info@bethisrael-maine.org. Your help is always appreciated.


Upcoming Services and Programs at Beth Israel

by Marilyn Weinberg

July

Saturday, July 2 at 10:00 am
Shabbat Morning Service and Torah Discussion
led by Rabbi Simeon Maslin
Synagogue

Saturday, July 9 at 10:00 am
Shabbat Morning Service and Torah Discussion
led by Rabbi Simeon Maslin
Synagogue

Friday, July 15 at 7:00 pm
Shabbat Evening Service
led by Sheldon Tepler
D'Var torah by Barrett Silver in honor of his 75th birthday.
Synagogue

Saturday, July 16 at 10:00 am
Shabbat Morning Service and Torah Discussion
led by Rabbi Simeon Maslin
Synagogue

Friday, July 22 at 6:30 pm
Shabbat Under The Stars
Maine Maritime Museum
Sponsored by the Gandlers

Saturday, July 23 at 10:00 am
Shabbat Morning Service and Torah Discussion
led by Rabbi Simeon Maslin
Synagogue

Wednesday, July 27 at 2:00 pm
Bowdoin International Music Festival Community Concert
Minnie Brown Center

Saturday, July 30 at 10:00 am
Shabbat Morning Service and Torah Discussion
led by Rabbi Simeon Maslin
Synagogue

August

Friday, August 5 at 7:00 pm
Shabbat Evening Service
led by Maurie Libner
Synagogue

Saturday, August 6 at 10:00 am
Shabbat Morning Service and Torah Discussion
led by Rabbi Simeon Maslin
Synagogue

Sunday, August 7 at 7:00 pm
An Evening with Judith Sloan
http://tinyurl.com/SloanAUG7
Minnie Brown Center

Saturday, August 13 at 10:00 am
Shabbat Morning Service and Torah Discussion
led by Rabbi Simeon Maslin
Synagogue

Friday, August 19 at 6:30 pm
Shabbat Under The Stars
Georgetown
Sponsored by Rosalind Gorin and Matthew Budd

Saturday, August 20 at 10:00 am
Shabbat Morning Service and Torah Discussion
led by Rabbi Simeon Maslin
Synagogue

Saturday, August 27 at 10:00 am
Shabbat Morning Service and Torah Discussion
led by Rabbi Simeon Maslin
Synagogue


Shabbat Under The Stars

by Marilyn Weinberg

July 22
6:30 p.m.
Maine Maritime Museum
Bath

August 19
6:30 p.m.
The Gorin-Budd Home
Georgetown

Many of you joined us at Crissy and Chico Swartz's home for our first Shabbat Under the Stars. It was lovely.

In keeping with a summer of Beth Israel outreach programs, we will be hosting two additional Shabbat Under the Stars programs this summer. Taking services outside seems like a perfect way to celebrate Shabbat. In each home we will have a brief prayer service and D'var Torah, and then have time to connect with each other over dessert.

For our second "Shabbat Under the Stars" we will come together at the Maine Maritime Museum on July 22 at 6:30, in their event space, to celebrate on the banks of the Kennebec River followed by desserts on the deck of Long Reach Hall. Rain location is in Long Reach Hall. The address is 243 Washington St. in Bath. The Gandler family will lead the service.

Our third Shabbat Under the Stars will be on Friday, August 19 at 6:30. We will gather at Rosalind Gorin and Matthew Budd's lovely home on the water in Georgetown.

We will send out an email reminder and directions to each destination. Let's hope for good weather.


Minnie Brown Center to Host Bowdoin International Music Festival

by Teresa Gandler

Wednesday, July 27
2:00-3:00 p.m.
Minnie Brown Center

Minnie Brown Center will host a free concert featuring the extraordinary students of the Bowdoin International Music Festival on Wednesday, July 27 at 2:00 p.m. The concert will feature the conservatory and graduate students who are attending the Festival's six-week summer study program to hone in on their performing skills in preparation for a life in music. The students, who represent more than 20 countries and 85 states, will perform a mix of classical repertoire, including solo and chamber music. The program will be varied, and will be announced on site.

The mission of the Bowdoin International Music Festival, which was founded in 1964, is to prepare gifted young musicians from around the world for a life in music through study with world-class artists, and to present classical music in concerts performed to the highest artistic standards. Over its 50-year history, the Bowdoin Festival has established itself as a vital force throughout the music world. Visit the Bowdoin Festival on the web at www.bowdoinfestival.org or call 725-3895.


An Evening With Judith Sloan

by Joanne Rosenthal

Sunday, August 7
7:00 p.m.
Minnie Brown Center

We are excited to bring to Bath an evening with actress, radio producer, writer and educator, Judith Sloan, whose solo shows combine humor, pathos and a love of the absurd. A one-woman powerhouse, Sloan will perform characters, monologues and music from her solo shows sharing stories about refuge, migration, climate change and finding home that serve as an antidote to hate. Her empathy and perceptiveness have the potential to inspire much-needed understanding amid the inflammatory rhetoric that outweighs reason in our current electoral season. Sloan will perform excerpts from her various solo pieces including Yo Miss!, Crossing the BLVD, and a new work in progress. Proceeds will benefit EarSay.org's non-profit work with immigrant and refugee youth.

Here's what critics are saying about Judith's work:

  • "boldly carries the tradition of oral history into the 21st Century. Electrifying!"
    Eve Ensler, author The Vagina Monologues
  • "...a whirlwind tour and love poem of what has often been called the most racially and ethnically diverse county in America."
    New York Times
  • "As artfully composed and intelligently framed as it is emotionally gutsy ... inventive theater that packs a punch ... and a lesson. In a whizzing-by hour-and-a-half Sloan shows us an assortment of students of many nationalities, many of them immigrants and children of immigrants."
    Jon Sobel, BlogCritics

Donations accepted at the door.
http://tinyurl.com/SloanAUG7 to reserve a seat.


News from the Hebrew School

by Abilgail Halpern

Congratulations to our religious school students for their tzedakah collection efforts! Over the course of the year, they have collected $126. We are donating the money to the kids' choices of charities.

After studying the Jewish values and laws of tzedakah, the sixth graders chose Kiva, a charitable micro-ending organization, and the third and fourth graders chose Save the Children, which helps children succeed worldwide. $50 will go to Kiva for two $25 micro-loans, and the remainder to Save the Children. The idea of charitable loans is that the money can be lent out again and again, fulfilling Maimonides' highest level of tzedakah: a gift or loan that helps a person become self-sufficient.

Please enjoy these pictures from the last day of school. Thank you to Rachel Tefft for providing them. The kids planted flowers to beautify our school building and gourds for next year's sukkah. We also played Hebrew games on the lawn such as Or Adom/Or Yarok (red light/green light), and the kids enjoyed an ice cream party as their prize for surrendering the afikoman at the Passover model seder.

The first day of religious school next year will be Thursday, September 8. Enrollment forms and the 2016-2017 school calendar will be available on our website starting in late July (we will send out an email when they become available). We have big plans for another fun and productive year of religious school and cannot wait to welcome our new students and see how much all the kids have grown.


Treasurer's Report

by Karen Filler

On July 1 we will begin our new fiscal year. At the annual meeting, our 2016-2017 budget was passed. Our major source of income is the dues paid by our members. Donations also are an important part of our income. We are a small congregation and we depend on everyone to contribute. We are happy to accept monthly payments or make other arrangements.

The bills for dues will be sent out in early August. Tuition bills will be sent out in September.

Please feel free to contact me.


New Board Members

by Marilyn Weinberg

We are so pleased that Lou Ensel and Peggy Brown were elected to the Beth Israel Board at our annual meeting on June 7. It will be Lou's first time on the board and we look forward to his point of view and fresh ideas. Peggy was a board member several years ago and has been active on the building committee over the years. Marty Fox and Todd Gandler were re-elected to their second 3-year terms. We are grateful to have them all on the board.

We want to give thanks to two retiring board members who have given lots of time and energy over the years. Andy Hagler and Lenore Friedland are both leaving the board for now. They have both volunteered to help out when we need them and I know we will be calling on them for their help and knowledge. Thank you for all your dedication to Beth Israel.

Lou Ensel and his family have been members of Beth Israel for 15 years. He lives in Bath with his wife, Jennifer DeChant and their two children, Isaac and Eric and they all are very involved in the community

Lou is the Executive Director of the Biosophical Institute, a private foundation that works to enrich the culture through education, programming and community building. His background includes working in community relations, mediation and hunger insecurity. He is very involved in the greater Bath community with a membership in the Rotary Club of Bath, an RSU1 school board member and a trustee of the Patten Free Library.

Jennifer is a member of the Maine State Legislature and is the executive director of the Chocolate Church in Bath. Their two son's Isaac and Eric are very active in Community Theater and are both students in our Beth Israel Hebrew School. Isaac is getting ready to study for his Bar Mitzvah.

Peggy Brown has been a member of Beth Israel since the late 1980s when she joined as a young mother new to the area. She is married to John Martell, a retired Portland firefighter, and has two grown daughters, Simone and Jane, who were both Bat Mitzvah in our community. Over the years she and John served on the building committee and worked on many projects including (at the synagogue) the remodeling of the downstairs community room and kitchen, installing the new cement front steps, a new metal roof, a new sign over the door and the perennial garden. They were also involved with the repurposing of the Minnie Brown Center when it was first purchased and saw it through several major floods downstairs. Peggy also served as secretary on the Board of Directors for several years and has recently rejoined the building committee.

Peggy has been a middle level math teacher and instructional coach at Mt. Ararat Middle School in MSAD 75 for 27 years. She is active in her union and serves as Chief Negotiator for Merrymeeting Teachers Association. She also serves on the board of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Maine as a regional representative.

Peggy and John moved to Harpswell in 1981 and lived there until moving to Brunswick this spring. With the girls gone, it was time to buy a smaller house in a neighborhood where they can walk and bike most places. The house they bought required nearly total renovation, so they will be consumed with that for the foreseeable future.


Beth Israel on Facebook

by Teresa Gandler

If you haven't already done so, please "Like" Beth Israel Congregation on Facebook. See pictures from past events, information about things to come and connections to other Jewish organizations. All things temple related are just a click away!

https://www.facebook.com/Beth-Israel-Congregation-Bath-Maine-219803394718701/


Grant Received for Automatic External Defibrillator

We are so pleased that Stan Lane successfully applied for a grant, on behalf of Beth Israel, for an Automatic external defibrillator (AED), several months ago. The grant is sponsored by the Maine Cardiovascular council through a program sponsored by the US Government to place AEDs in rural areas. He was notified that his request was granted and two weeks ago Stan and Norma picked up the AED at the Bath Fire station. Since a case for the AED is not part of the grant, Norma and Stan have graciously ordered one and are making it a donation to the synagogue. Furthermore, grant recipients are required to be trained on its use by the Bath Fire Department. Stan will be proposing a date when the training will occur and also perhaps a CPR course on the new method of CPR (hands only) in the fall. We hope many of you will be willing to be part of that training.


Host a Bowdoin College Student

by Nancy Heiser

One of the items in Beth Israel's newly adopted Strategic Plan calls for greater connection between members of the synagogue and the Bowdoin College community. A way to do this is to participate in the Bowdoin Community Host program, something my husband and I have really enjoyed doing.

Jeff Cohen and I have acted as "host family" to three Jewish students, at different times over the years. We've invited the students to holiday meals, outings, shopping trips, and the like. We only get together a few times a semester, but the students, usually from far away, appreciate the opportunity to leave campus and enjoy High Holy Days or Passover celebrations in a nearby home.

The application for both students and prospective hosts asks for religious preference. In that way we have been paired up with Jewish students, for the duration of their time at the college. The program is very popular, and Bowdoin usually has more students than hosts. Students remain on campus and do not live with their hosts.

Below is a little more from the Community Host webpage. The contact at Bowdoin is Kathleen King, administrative assistant, at 725-3879 or kking2@bowdoin.edu.

"The Community Host Program at Bowdoin aims to create a home away from home for students of all class years and from as far as Nepal to as near as New Hampshire. The program can help ease the transition to college life for new students, meaningfully connect students and community members, and offer international students and teaching fellows a view of American life and culture. Although international students have priority, the program is open to any Bowdoin student when host families are available.

The individual relationships between hosts and students involve social get-togethers, outings, meals, phone calls, and companionship. Many students and their community hosts have become life-long friends."


Dine Around

by Crissy Swartz

Due to everyone's busy summer schedules, the Dine Around will not be meeting in July or August. We will pick up again in September. It has been a wonderful night out with all the wonderful conversations and delicious food!

If you have not been included in the e-mail list, but would like to be, please contact me.


Synagogue Gift Shop

by Crissy Swartz

Purchases from the gift shop help to support our synagogue!

Please put the Synagogue Gift Shop on your list for summer Bar/Bat Mitzvah "Gift" shopping. Many items can be processed within 3-5 business days after ordering. It takes 2-3 weeks delivery, once an order is placed. Please call ahead for an appointment, so we can look at the variety of possibilities.


Birthdays and Anniversaries

Listing the birthdays and anniversaries of those in our immediate family creates a wonderful opportunity for our community/shul family to have an excuse to celebrate with each other. We have listed the few that we have. If you notice that someone in your family is not listed, please send along all information to Lynn Frank, so that they can be included with the next issue of the newsletter.

July Birthdays July Anniversaries
8 Linda Silberstein   13 Maurie Libner &
9 Aaron Greenwald     Sharon Bouchard
13 Matt Filler   23 Marina & Steve Singer
13 Michael Hagler   26 Lenore & Jay Friedland
17 Adaia Shumsky   27 Lou Ensel & Jennifer DeChant
21 Marina Singer      
22 Jay Friedland      

 

August Birthdays August Anniversaries
14 Lou Ensel   11 Bob Lobis & Judy Wolfe
23 Marika Ergas   15 Rachel & Nathan Benedikt
31 Marilyn Weinberg   20 Mort & Evelyn Panish
31 Isla Tefft   31 Aaron & Liza Greenwald

Donations

We would like to thank the following people for their donations

  • Barbara and Robert Lenox in loving memory of his mother, Mildred Lenox
  • Stephen Baseman in loving memory of his father, Isadore Baseman
  • Shelia Lucente in support of the Hebrew School
  • Ruth Benedikt in support of Beth Israel
  • Maxine Gersh in loving memory of her sister, Ellen Leavy
  • Maxine Gersh in loving memory of her husband, Fred Gersh
  • Marc and Crissy Swartz in loving memory of his father, Albert Swartz
  • Robert Gersh and Susan Horowitz in loving memory of his father, Fred Gersh
  • Donald and Mara Giulianti in loving memory of his mother, Elaine Friedberg Giulianti
  • John Martell and Peggy Brown in loving memory of her father, Harold Hershenhart
  • Camille Joy Kauffunger in support of Tot Shabbat and other programs
  • Kermit and Deborah Smyth in support of Beth Israel
  • Sheila Lucente in support of the Hebrew School and Pesach
  • Mollie Sandock and James Brokaw in support of the lovely Pesach Seder
  • Shelia Lucente in support of the synagogue
  • Norma Dreyfus in loving memory of her mother, Dr. Rose Goldberg
  • Jay and Lenore Friedland in loving memory of his father, Edward Friedland
  • Marina and Steve Singer in loving memory of her father, Victor Shapiro
  • Peggy Brown in loving memory of her mother, Lucille Hershenhart
  • Sharon Drake in loving memory of her father, Edward Kravitz
  • Glenn and Beth Eisman in loving memory of his father, Morris Eisman
  • Daniel Morganstern and Moriah Moser in loving memory of his father, Frederick Morganstern
  • John and Marilyn Darack, in loving memory of his mother Marion Darack