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Beth Israel Congregation


Beth Israel Congregation Newsletter

September/October 2014
Elul 5774/Tishri/Heshvan 5775

President's Message
Flowers for the High Holidays
Selihot Service
Holiday Youth Services
Rosh Hashanah Community Luncheon
Yom Kippur Break Fast
Community Sukkot Celebration
Simchat Torah
Bath Jewish History Presentation
Youth Activities and News from the Hebrew School
Be Part Of the Jewish 'CORE' in The Coming New Year!
Birthdays and Anniversaries

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

President's Message

by Marilyn Weinberg

By the time you receive this newsletter, our summer, filled with visitors and travels will be ending and we will be back into a more regular routine. As the days get shorter and the nights cooler we are very aware of the changing seasons. What a perfect time for the High Holidays, with such an obvious awareness of change in the air.

As the days before Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur draw near, I always feel blessed that we are given an opportunity to "take stock" of where we are and decide on those things we want to change. This is an opportunity to look not at just ourselves, but also at our community and think about our focus, direction and commitment.

In July we celebrated Beth Israel's history with a special exhibit and panel presentation. Looking at old photos, reading articles and hearing stories from yesteryear were fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable. We have such a rich past.

The time has come to also look toward our future. Beth Israel will be undertaking a strategic planning process over the next year to see what we can do to keep Beth Israel alive and vibrant for the next 100 years. We will be sending out regular updates and information to keep you abreast of our progress. We will want to hear from all of you, because the synagogue belongs to all of us.

May this year bring you and your family only the best.
L'Shana Tova

Flowers for the High Holidays

by Lenore Friedland

If you are interested in contributing toward the synagogue flowers for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, please contact Marina Singer at Please include the names of the people you would like to honor or remember.

Your donations for the flowers should be sent to:
Beth Israel Congregation
906 Washington St.
Bath, ME 04530

Selihot Service

by Marilyn Weinberg

Saturday, September 20
8:00 p.m.

This year's Selichot Service will take place Saturday evening, September 20, 2014, at 8:00 p.m. It is a one-hour healing service of song and prayer. It will begin with a brief lesson about some of the laws regarding words of kindness. Please make every effort to attend.

Holiday Youth Services

by Barbara Leeman

Rosh Hashana
September 25
11:00 a.m.
Minnie Brown Center

Yom Kippur
October 4
11:00 a.m.
Minnie Brown Center

In addition to our regular services, we will have our children's service at the Minnie Brown center at 11:00 a.m. on both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. An announcement will be made at the adult service just before 11:00 a.m., so that you can walk your child to the Minnie Brown Center.

You are welcome to stay with your children and enjoy the prayers, stories and singing with them. Your child will be brought back to the adult service at the conclusion of the Youth service if you are not already there. Denise Tepler will lead the Rosh Hashanah service while Monica Blatt and Marina Singer and will lead the Yom Kippur service.

A snack for the children will be provided on Rosh Hashanah. Please contact Barbara Leeman or Denise Tepler with any questions.

L'Shana Tovah Umetukah, a sweet and a good new year!

Rosh Hashanah Community Luncheon

by Marilyn Weinberg

Thursday, September 25
1:00 p.m.
Minnie Brown Center

Rosh Hashanah is the time when we all come together as a community. Our High Holiday potluck community luncheons have been a great opportunity to renew acquaintances.

We will begin our Rosh Hashanah luncheon at the Minnie Brown Center immediately following morning services on Thursday, September 25, at approximately 1:00 p.m. It will be a great opportunity to catch up with each other and share some delicious food, for which our members are known. We will then go together for a Tashlicht service at the waterfront in Bath at approximately 2:00 p.m. You can drop off a "non-meat" dish at the Minnie Brown Center before you come to services.

Yom Kippur Break Fast

by Marilyn Weinberg

Saturday, October 4
6:45 p.m.

This year our annual potluck break fast will begin right after we blow the shofar, signaling the end of Yom Kippur. There is something very special about being together to break the fast. You can drop off food any time at the synagogue on the 3rd or 4th of October. The break fast will be held at the synagogue.

Community Sukkot Celebration

by Marilyn Weinberg

Sunday, October 12
12:00-2:00 p.m.
Around Bath

On Sunday, October 12, from 12:00-2:00 p.m., we will celebrate Sukkot with our annual Community Potluck Progressive Sukkot celebration. We will share food and bless three different sukkahs. We will be sending out a separate flyer soon with all the details. We have a great day planned, so mark your calendars now.

Simchat Torah

by Marilyn Weinberg

Friday, October 17
5:30 p.m. - Pot Luck Shabbat Dinner
6:15 p.m. - Service

We will be celebrating Simchat Torah this year on Friday, October 17. We will have a potluck dinner starting at 5:30 p.m., followed by our Simchat Torah/Shabbat service at 6:15 p.m.

This holiday is a celebration of the Torah and you will have a chance to march with the Torah as we make our way around the sanctuary seven times. There will be singing and dancing as we proceed. It is not only a great time for adults, but also a great time for children to come, as they will receive an honorary aliyah as the Torah is read.

Bath Jewish History Presentation

by Marilyn Weinberg

On Sunday, July 20, over 130 people filled our lovely synagogue to view exhibits and listen to stories from some older members of our congregation, representing four founding Beth Israel families. We had many members of our congregation there along with visitors from all over the country.

We will be keeping the full exhibit up through part of September. The two large Bath panels will stay at the synagogue.

Fred and I are happy to show people the exhibit if they would still like to see it. Just email us and we will meet you at the synagogue. If you came to the exhibit but did not have time to read all of the articles, Fred has posted them on the history page of our website <>. Mark Ireland is in the process of creating a video of the event. We will also have more photographs posted on the website as well. We will let you know when everything is up and running.

Youth Activities and News from the Hebrew School

by Barbara Leeman

First Day of Hebrew School
Wednesday, September 3
4:00 p.m.
Minnie Brown Center

For all current members, and previous students, be on the look out for emails and website updates.

For anyone new and interested in information, please send your name, phone number, or email address to

Bagels and Blocks Playgroup

Beginning in September, the Minnie Brown center will be open for monthly drop-in playgroups. This is designed as an opportunity for our young Jewish couples with young kids to meet each other while relaxing and enjoying some coffee and bagels. Our preschool kids (1-5yrs old) will have a chance to play with some blocks, toys and of course, each other. The timing has not yet been determined. Please contact Barbara Leeman at for information and input.

Family Shabbatot
Friday, November 14
5:30 p.m.

Family Shabbat services continue at Beth Israel Congregation. These "family style" Shabbats take place at 5:30 p.m. and are designed for families with young children. We learn some prayers, sing songs and listen to a story. Services last approximately thirty minutes, and are a great way to introduce young kids to our Jewish community. This program takes the place of our regular Friday night service.

New Students

We are always happy to welcome new students. If you find that your son or daughter is ready for Hebrew school or you know someone that may be interested in additional information regarding a Jewish education, please contact us at

Be Part Of the Jewish 'CORE' in The Coming New Year!

by Cantor Daniel Leeman

When Moses received and transmitted the Torah to our people at Mt. Sinai, the Children of Israel were quoted as saying: "Naaseh V'nishmah." "We will observe and understand." The rabbis interpret this by taking note of the order of the verbs. From the order, they derive a lesson for Jewish living. Our sages teach that Judaism begins with action and faith, and only then can we later fully understand the importance and significance of our actions and mitzvot. This is true today.

As the New Year approaches and we all start to reflect on last year, and look ahead to the new Jewish year, I request that you all consider making a major change in the coming year. Please accept my request to both help, plan, and participate in more of the regular Torah Study and life cycle, Sabbath, and holiday observances here at Beth Israel in 5775. As you make your schedules and look at the Jewish calendar and holiday cycle, please decide to become part of the Jewish "CORE" Community Organized for Renewed Energy at Beth Israel of Bath. Can we count on you?

Most of us already attend High Holidays, Hannukah, and Pesach Celebrations. Many also attend special events, like our history project presentations this summer. But Jewish life at Beth Israel includes Jewish learning Wednesday nights, regular Friday night services and Saturday morning Torah study and services, Sukkot, Tu Bishvat (Jewish Arbor Day), Purim, Shavuot, as well as a new program for Jewish teen social and learning activities. In addition, our holiday programs include memorials as important as Holocaust Remembrance, Israel Independence Day Celebrations, Tish'ah B'av (Remembering the Destruction of both Jerusalem Temples) services and more. At so many of these programs we struggle for a minyan. Each of our beautiful Jewish holiday celebrations and observances provide insight into our Jewish values and enhance our daily lives in some way, if we take them to heart.

So this year, let's not struggle for a minyan to say Kaddish at any of the important holiday observances. Let's all begin the New Year with a commitment to the basic life cycle, Torah study, and holiday observances, which serve as the core of Jewish life here at Beth Israel. Having the synagogue filled with prayer and song and large groups of regular learners and worshipers will make Jewish life so much more wonderful here on the beautiful coast of Maine. Let's commit today to attend as many of these events and programs as possible in the coming year, so we can build on the beauty and strength of our traditions. I look forward to hearing from you about your plans to increase your participation and support for our Jewish "CORE" in the upcoming year.

Birthdays and Anniversaries

September Birthdays September Anniversaries
2 John Darack   3 Linda Silberstein & Larry Loeb
3 Marty Fox   29 Lisa Tessler & Mark Ireland
11 Doris Shaw      
11 Diane Gilman      
12 Abby Sreden      
20 Zelda Clegg      
20 Zelda Clegg      
23 Lola Lea      
23 Jeremy Fields      
27 Eydie Rose Kaplan      
28 Sam Gandler      


October Birthdays October Anniversaries
8 Beth Pols   7 Marty & Thyle Fox
14 Evelyn Panish   10 Mitchell Manin & Joyce Bellevue
15 Thyle Fox   12 Jennifer & Allan Kaplan
17 Allan Kaplan   22 Barbara & Stephen Baseman
21 Barbara Lenox      
22 Shira Gersh      
22 Jacob Schoenberg      
25 Stephen Baseman      


Many thanks to the following people for their donations to Beth Israel Congregation

Members Members and Friends

  • Betsy Atkins in loving memory of her mother, Barbara Bronstein
  • Michelle Riley in loving memory of her mother, Paula Travers
  • Donald and Mara Giulianti in loving memory of her mother, Bertha Jablonsky Berman Goldstein
  • Gordon & Monica Blatt in loving memory of his father, Arthur Blatt
  • Jeremy and Joan Fields and in loving memory of his mother, Ruth Fields
  • Janice Povich in loving memory of her husband, Donald Povich
  • Janice Povich in loving memory of her father, Harry Goldstein
  • Ellen and Michael Hagler in loving memory of her father, David Goldman
  • Denise Linet and Gary Torow in loving memory of her father, Abraham Linet
  • Marilyn and Fred Weinberg in loving memory of her father, Max Isacoff
  • Edgar and Barbara Einhorn
  • Thelma Silberstein
  • Marji Greenhut in loving memory of her mother, Sylvia Greenhut

In Appreciation of the Bath Jewish History Presentation

  • Nathan Cogan
  • Robert and Salwa Smith in loving memory of the Frieda Mikels family
  • Joanne Sacoff in loving memory of Esther Petlock Levine
  • Elaine S. Povich and Ronald A. Dziengiel
  • Barbara Cogan Neidig in honor of Edward Cogan
  • Barbara Cogan Neidig in honor of her father and mother
  • Andrew and Deborah Hagler
  • Ann Orkin
  • Reginald & Pauline Hannaford in honor of Marilyn and Fred Weinberg
  • Stephen and Tiffany Brand, in honor of founding members Jane Pesky, Harry Arenstam and Emma Arenstam
  • Lisa Brand, in honor of founding members Jane Pesky, Harry and Emma Arenstam
  • Amy Pearlstein in loving memory of her grandfather, Louis Petlock
  • Marshal and Amy Tinkle in honor of Cantor Leeman
  • Susan and James Sidel
  • The numerous attendees at the July 20th event who made cash donations