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Beth Israel Congregation


Beth Israel Congregation Newsletter

September/October 2006
Elul/Tishri/Heshvan 5766/5767

Selihot Services
High Holiday Book Change
High Holiday Flower Contributions
Childcare for High Holidays
Yizkor Book
Sing in the New Year
Gift Shop
Sukkot Celebration
Tot Shabbat Is Back
Yahrzeit Dates Needed
Renovation Celebration
News from the Hebrew School

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

Selihot Services: the Only Midnight Service of the Jewish Year

by Daniel Leeman

Study, prayer, and deeds of loving-kindness are the three pillars upon which the world stands. (Avot 1:2). Our Synagogue attempts to provide a variety of opportunities to implement this three-part life. Yet, there is no time of year more profound for preparing one's heart in prayer than the days leading up to the Jewish New Year celebrations, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

The new month of Elul begins Thursday, August 24th. According to the Aggadic Midrash, this is the day that Moses began his ascent of Mt. Sinai for the second time. Forty days later, Moses is said to have arrived back from the summit to deliver the Law to Israel. When the second tablets arrived, we willingly accepted them. The Midrash considers this "second chance" to be the first Yom Kippur in history.

Just as we prayed at the base of Mt. Sinai as Moses transcribed the Torah, we recite the Selihot each year to prepare our hearts for the New Year. We traditionally begin at midnight, a Saturday evening prior to Rosh Hashanah.

The term Selicha, the singular form, means forgiveness. This type of prayer has taken many fascinating forms and was originally established for fast days associated with times of crisis, such as drought. The recent killing and destruction in Northern Israel and Southern Lebanon and the current fragile cease-fire and rebuilding effort, may be considered such a crisis. (Mishnah Taanit, Ch.2: 1-4)

Some of the beautiful poems of the Selihot service date back literally two thousand years, and have recently been examined and translated for our benefit. Cities throughout Europe in the last thousand years have developed their own books and traditions for this Selihot Night. Wecan develop our own. The music of the service has a special mode, sung only for these prayers and themes and at this season.

Let's bring in the New Year with a full heart. Rather than at midnight, we will be starting our one-hour service at 9:00 pm, Saturday evening, September 16th at our lovely Synagogue. Please come.

High Holiday Book Change

On Sunday, September 17th at 10:00 am we will be changing over the books and readying the synagogue for the High Holidays. If you could possibly help, please come. The more hands we have, the easier and faster it will be.

High Holiday Flower Contributions

If you would like to contribute toward the flowers for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, please contact Marina Singer.

Childcare for High Holidays

Please contact Campbell Clegg if you think you would like babysitting on the High Holidays. In the past this was an underutilized service, and we would be happy to continue to provide it if there is a need for it. So please do call. We want to avoid having children unattended in the Minnie Brown Center.

Yizkor Book

Lola Lea has once again generously agreed to put together the Yizkor booklet for the High Holidays. If you wish your loved ones to be included in this booklet, please send your name, the name of the deceased, and their relationship to you to Lola Lea.

Please note that donations for the Yizkor booklets should be mailed to Rea Turet.

Sing in the New Year

by Evelyn Panish

Choir rehearsals Thursday nights at 7:00 pm at the Minnie Brown Center.

We have already met a few times under the direction of Cantor Leeman and look forward to welcoming new members. Please join us.

Shop the Synagogue Gift Shop for the New Year

by Marina Singer

Thanks to the the Boyd family, our gift shop showcase is now located at the Minnie Brown Center. We have 18-month Jewish calendars available for the new year. If you would like me to save you one, let me know.

I also can take orders for items you need to purchase for holidays, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, gifts etc. You can go on line to,, or, find an item you want, and order it at considerable savings through Beth Israel's gift shop. I will also have catalogs available on the show case at the Minnie Brown Center.

Sukkot Celebration

by Marilyn Weinberg

On Sunday, October 8, from 12:00-2:30 pm, we will celebrate Sukkot with our Annual Pot Luck Progressive Sukkot event. We will share food and bless three different sukkahs. You will be receiving a special flyer in the mail with the details. We have a great day planned, so mark your calendars now.

Tot Shabbat Is Back

by Barbara Leeman

Tot Shabbats are returning to Beth Israel. On Friday, October 13, at 6:30 pm we will hold our first family Shabbat service. This will be a special program geared for families with young children, although all ages are welcome to attend. We will learn some prayers, sing songs and listen to a story. For this October service we will have our "oneg" in the synagogue's sukkah. It should be a lot of fun. This program will take the place of our regular Friday night service. Our next scheduled Tot Shabbat service will be December 1.


by Rea Turet, Treasurer

At the beginning of September, the bills for Beth Israel Congregation Dues 2006-2007 (5767) will be mailed. There is a slight increase in the amount of dues:

  • Family Membership: $600
  • Family Membership Over 65: $500
  • Single Membership: $450
  • Single Over 65: $350

We will continue to have the categories of Benefactor, $1000, and Donor $750.

There is no increase in the amount of tuition. Hebrew School tuition remains at $375 for each child. The third child is not required to pay tuition.

The dues increase was voted in at the June Annual Meeting. The reason for this minor increase is that the budget for Beth Israel Congregation anticipates an $11,000 shortfall between income and spending. Most expenses are monthly and cannot be eliminated, such as salaries, maintenance upkeep, electricity, telephone, etc.

As always, if you have financial problems, pay what you can. Dues and tuition payments may be on an installment basis. We do not charge interest for unpaid balances. Our bills continue for the twelve months of the year.

Thank you for your understanding in this.

Yahrzeit Dates Needed

by Marilyn Weinberg

It is our custom to remember our loved ones on the anniversary of their death and to say Kaddish for them on that day. If you have lost a loved one over the past years and would like them to be remembered, please send the dates of their passing, their name and relationships to you to Marilyn Weinberg. Their names will be added to our list and you will receive a written notice each year to remind you of this date. Note that the Yizkor book that Lola Lea is doing for the High Holidays is separate from this.


Beth Israel Congregation wishes to thank the following people for their donations:

  • Janice Povich in memory of her husband, Don Povich and father, Harry Goldstein
  • Norma Dreyfus and Stan Lane in memory of her father, Dr. Morris Goldberg
  • Dr. Daniel Morgenstern, in memory of his father, Frederic Morgenstern
  • Jay & Lenore Friedland in memory of his father, Edward Friedland
  • Monica and Donny Blatt in memory of his father, Arthur Blatt
  • Daniel and Susan Levey in memory of his parents,Leo and Shirley Levey
  • Rea Turet and Sandy Polster in memory of his father, Martin Polster
  • Steve and Marina Singer in memory of his mother, Bessie Singer and her mother, Henrietta Shapiro
  • Daniel and Barbara Leeman in honor of Sharon Drake
  • Reg and Tinker Hannaford for the Hebrew School
  • Hyman Charney in honor of the b'nai mitzvah of his grandchldren, Michelle and David Brann
  • Edward Kerson
  • Diane DeVizcaino

Renovation Celebration

by Marilyn Weinberg

Many of you have visited the synagogue during the summer and have seen the downstairs renovation progress. The construction is finally complete and we are ready to celebrate this wonderful event.

On Saturday evening, September 9th, at 7:30 pm, we will have a "Renovation Celebration" party with yummy desserts and good company. We will follow this with blessings and a brief Havadalah service. Without all of your donations to the capital campaign, this project never would have happened. Thank you.

News from the Hebrew School

by Barbara Leeman

Kindergarten/Preschool Classes

Our Kindergarten/Preschool class (Gan) will begin September 13 at 4:00 pm. This is a wonderful opportunity for any families with younger children to have time for Jewish learning through crafts, songs, cooking, stories and more. The class will be meeting generally twice a month this year on Wednesday afternoons. Tuition will be $200 for the year.

If you are interested in enrolling your child, please call Susan Horowitz or Barbara Leeman so that we can get an accurate count of class size.

Last Hebrew School Year in Pictures

Campbell Clegg took many pictures throughout the Hebrew school year and Barbara Leeman compiled them and other pictures from many of our activities throughout the year. We thought you may all enjoy seeing our Beth Israel Hebrew school in action. There are about 75 photos, so get ready for about 5 minutes of entertainment. Feel free to send the link to anyone who you feel may be interested in sending their children to our school, or anyone who may be interested for other reasons.

We take pride and joy in seeing our students in their many activities. We delight in seeing them learn and develop as our teachers aspire to nurture their young Jewish souls. We want you to share in the vitality and varied activities that are taking place at our Hebrew school. Enjoy!

To view the slide show, go to our web site and click on the Hebrew School picture.