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Beth Israel Congregation

   
 
 
 

Beth Israel Congregation Newsletter

May/June 2017
Iyyar/Sivan/Tammuz 5777


President's Message
Upcoming Services and Programs at Beth Israel
Ladies' Dine Around
Special Guests for Upcoming Shabbat Service
Annual Meeting
Shavuot Service
Torah Study Resumes
Shabbat Under The Stars
Sunshine Committee
Purim Celebration
Our Graduates
Highlights from Hebrew School
Maine Conference for Jewish Life
Donation Opportunities
Donations
Remembrances for May-June 2017
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 info@bethisrael-maine.org.


President's Message

by Marilyn Weinberg

We are so pleased to announce the selection of Lisa Vinikoor as our new Beth Israel Rabbi. During this cold and snowy winter, so many of you came to our services and programs to meet our rabbinic candidates. The 8-member Search Committee, spent over six months creating our application criteria, sorting through resumes, conducting on-line interviews, hosting Rabbi candidates and listening to you. They are very excited that Rabbi Lisa has accepted our offer.

Lisa Vinikoor is just completing her fifth year at Hebrew Union College (NYC) this month. Born and raised in Vermont, she earned her Bachelor's Degree in history from Smith College and her Master's Degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Before moving to New York City for rabbinical studies, Lisa lived in the greater Boston area for fourteen years where she was an elementary school teacher and later a social justice community organizer with interfaith communities.

After moving to New York City she taught in religious schools and served as the student rabbi of Beth Yehuda Congregation in Lock Haven, PA. In addition to rabbinical studies, Lisa worked for the URJ, helping congregations develop social justice initiatives and strengthen congregational life. This year she has worked at Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn as a community organizer on their racial justice campaign.

Lisa wrote to the board and search committee:
"I was continually impressed by the level of engagement and intentionality that each person I met had in how they interact with the congregation. From newer families and long-time members, I really got a sense for the warm and caring community you have built. Please extend my thanks to all the people who cooked and hosted us. I would be honored to join you in the important and holy work of growing and strengthening Jewish life in Bath."

Lisa and her wife Dr. Alyssa Finn are excited to be coming to Maine. They will be joining us on August 1.


Upcoming Services and Programs at Beth Israel

by Marilyn Weinberg

MAY

Saturday, May 6
10:00-10:45 am
Tot Shabbat
Led by Rachel Connelly
Minnie Brown Center

Friday, May 12
7:00 pm
Shabbat Evening Service
led by Rabbi Daniel Lehmann
Discussion on Medical Ethics
Led by Dr. Lisa Lehmann
Synagogue

Saturday, May 13
10:00 am
Torah Study and Potluck Brunch
Led by Rabbi Daniel Lehmann
Synagogue

Sunday, May 21
9:30 am Brunch
10:00 am Annual Meeting
Synagogue

Tuesday, May 30
6:00 pm Dairy Potluck Dinner
7:00 pm Shavuot Service
Led by Rabbi Simeon Maslin
Synagogue

JUNE

Friday, June 2
6:30 pm
Shabbat Evening Service
Led by Hebrew School Students
Synagogue

Saturday, June 3
10:00-10:45 am
Tot Shabbat
Led by Rachel Connelly
Minnie Brown Center

June 9-11
The Maine Conference for Jewish Life
http://www.colby.edu/jewishlife/
Colby College

Friday, June 16
7:00 pm
Shabbat Evening Service
Synagogue

Saturday, June 17
10:00 am
Shabbat Morning Service and Torah Discussion
Led by Rabbi Simeon Maslin
Synagogue

Saturday, June 24
10:00 am
Shabbat Morning Service and Torah Discussion
Led by Rabbi Simeon Maslin
Synagogue

Friday, June 30
6:30 pm
Shabbat Under the Stars
Location: Friedland Residence


Ladies' Dine Around

by Crissy Swartz

All are welcome to join in.

Date: Wednesday, May 3
Place: Brunswick Tavern
4 Noble Street, Brunswick
207-837-6565
Time: 6:00 p.m.

Please RSVP by Monday, May 1
(final head count needs to be phoned in)


Special Guests for Upcoming Shabbat Service

by Marilyn Weinberg

Friday, May 12 - 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 13 - 10:00 a.m.
Synagogue

We have a wonderful opportunity coming on the weekend of May 12 and 13. Rabbi Daniel Lehmann and his wife Dr. Lisa Lehmann will be coming up for the weekend to spend Shabbat with us and share their insight and knowledge.

On Friday evening, Rabbi Lehmann will lead a Shabbat evening service. His wife, Dr. Lisa Lehmann, will talk about her specialty, medical ethics. Her focus will be on end-of-life issues including the Jewish view of physician-assisted suicide. On Saturday morning Rabbi Lehmann will lead a Torah study group followed by a potluck brunch.

Rabbi Lehmann is president of Hebrew College in Newton, MA.

Dr Lisa Lehmann is presently Executive director of the National Center for Ethics in Health Care with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Both Rabbi Lehmann and his wife Dr. Lisa Lehmann have lengthy biographies with many achievements and accomplishments. To get more information go to: http://www.hebrewcollege.edu/biography
https://www.ethics.va.gov/about/staff/lehmann_2015.asp

This is an opportunity not to be missed.


Annual Meeting

Please join us on
Sunday, May 21
at the Synagogue

9:30 a.m. - Brunch
10:00 a.m. - Meeting

Don't miss this opportunity to express your point of view about the direction our synagogue will be taking. What would you like to keep/change?

Learn the latest about our new Rabbi, the building needs, the funding challenges and the decisions we face.

Your voice and votes are needed.


Shavuot Service

by Marilyn Weinberg

Tuesday, May 30
6:00 p.m. - Dairy Potluck Dinner
7:00 p.m. - Shavuot Service
Synagogue

Shavuot is the Hebrew word for "weeks" and refers to the Jewish festival marking the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Traditionally, the Book of Ruth, part of the section of the Bible known as Writings, is read during services on Shavuot.

We are so fortunate to have Rabbi Simeon Maslin lead our Shavuot service again this year.

It is customary to eat dairy foods on Shavuot because Jewish tradition compares the words of Torah to the sweetness of milk and honey. So we will begin our celebration with a potluck dairy meal at the synagogue at 6:00 p.m.

Following our meal we will have Rabbi Maslin lead us in our special Shavuot service including the reading of the Book of Ruth.


Torah Study Resumes

by Marilyn Weinberg

Saturdays, beginning June 17
10:00-11:30 a.m.
Synagogue

Last summer Rabbi Simeon Maslin began leading a Torah study group at Beth Israel after doing so in Brunswick for many years. We are so pleased that he will be returning to Bath again this summer, beginning June 17.

Services will begin with an approximately 15-20 minute service, leading into a Torah reading, and then a study discussion.


Shabbat Under The Stars

by Marilyn Weinberg

Friday, June 30
6:30 p.m.
Friedland Residence
11 Pinefields Lane
Brunswick

By popular request we will be resuming our Shabbat Under the Stars program this summer. Jay and Lenore Friedland have offered their home for our first outdoor service of the season. If you have attended one of these services you know how wonderful they are. If you have not yet had an opportunity to attend in previous years, then make this your first of many.

We are still looking for additional "homes" for these services, so let us know if you are interested,


Sunshine Committee

by Peggy Brown

The Beth Israel Sunshine Committee is up and running. Thank you to the 18 volunteers who signed up on the lotsahelpinghands.com web site. It's not too late! If you would like to volunteer, we'd love to have you. Don't forget that the Sunshine Committee needs to know when someone has an occasion to celebrate or needs help during difficult times. Call Sharon Drake or Crissy Swartz at the Sunshine Committee .


Purim Celebration

by Camille Kauffunger
So, Esther swallowed her fear,
and calmed her nerves.
She went after this task with Vim and with Verve.

With such a busy winter season of congregation activity, we considered letting go of an organized Purim party. Our Hebrew School students, however, were adamant about acknowledging the holiday with some traditional Purim noise! On Sunday, March 12, Hebrew School students, teachers and parents, followed Queen Esther's example and approached the business of Purim with great vim and with verve, as they rolled up their costume sleeves and transformed the Minnie Brown Center into a fun community festival.

This year's celebration included a family Megillah reading lead by Abby Halpern, a humorous Dr. Seuss megillah recited with great concentration by the students. There were creative carnival games, prizes, pizza and Susan Horowitz's light and perfectly shaped hamantaschen. The rainbow cookie dough disappeared especially quickly, parents chatted, and children ran between Robert Gersh's token and prize table and all the carnival game stations. The winner of the big "Guess the number of mini-M&Ms in the jar" contest was Stella Kauffunger with her estimate of 3010 M&Ms.

Thank you to all the event organizers and participants. There is no doubt, Haman's name was the only thing booed at this successful and well-attended Purim affair.

The moral of the story, Yeladim, you now know,
Is to honor G-D and all people wherever you go.
To stand up and speak out for all that is right,
and to you, Chag Sameach...Laiela Tov, and
good night.

from a Dr. Seuss-shan Purim Spiel


Our Graduates

by Marilyn Weinberg

Many of the class members who "graduated" Hebrew School in 2011 are now ready to graduate from High School and leave our community to start a new chapter in their lives. We want to congratulate all of them and share a little information about their achievements.

Henry Raker, Sullivan Boyd and Isaac Boll will all be graduating from Brunswick High School.

Henry Raker has had a strong focus in music, and has played with the school band, the wind ensemble, jazz band and his own jazz combo. In addition he put out a CD (with Isaac Boll and others). The band is Sticker Incentive and the CD is called Night on the Town.

He continued to swim every year with Long Reach Swim Club at the YMCA as well as the Brunswick High School swim team and was captain of the team.

He went to Camp Ramah in New England every year until he was too old to return. He is graduating from Brunswick High School in June.

He will be taking a gap year in New York City working with two jazz musicians and practicing his saxophone. In the fall of 2018 he will be attending Skidmore College.

Isaac Boll has dedicated himself to theatrical productions, and various bands and choruses. He's performed in all of the straight plays and musicals playing Warner in Legally Blond, and Javert in Les Miserables.

Isaac successfully auditioned into the All-National Choir twice singing with the best students from around the country. Isaac will attend Boston University next year to study Music Education.

Sullivan Boyd was selected as a finalist for the Graziano award. He was selected as all-academic, and center and tackle awards for Pine Tree Conference. He participated in varsity football, indoor track and varsity lacrosse. In addition, Sullivan served as a volunteer coach at the YMCA for their boxing program.

Sullivan will be attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute for either mechanical or aerospace engineering. He intends to play football there.

All three young men were selected as members to the National Honor Society

Zelda Clegg will be graduating from North Yarmouth Academy. She is an academic all-star. Zelda loves volleyball and has been on school and travel teams all four years. She was selected to be on the all-state and all-academic volleyball team as she was in basketball as well. She served as captain of both teams. She even plays on the Lacrosse team as well.

Zelda will be attending Union College in New York next fall.

In addition both Arielle Leeman and Noa Sreden will be graduating from Morse High School. Both are in the top ten of their class with Arielle taking top honors as valedictorian. Arielle will be attending Brandeis University in the fall.


Highlights from Hebrew School

by Abby Halper

This spring we have focused on the holidays of Purim and Pesach. For Purim, the students studied the story and prepared signs in Hebrew for the carnival games. At the carnival, they presented The Megillah According to Dr. Seuss and enjoyed a fun celebration.

Our students and a few parents and grandparents enjoyed our annual model seder. The seder is an opportunity for experiential learning. The familiar and interactive rituals bring to life some of the most important themes of our religion: welcoming others, thanking God for miracles big and small, protecting the oppressed, and celebrating freedom. It was also an opportunity for the students to practice their Hebrew skills. In addition to the Mah Nishtanah, Morah Alina's upper Hebrew classes presented a play on the meaning and words of the Mi Chamocha, which the Israelites sang after crossing the Sea of Reeds.

We have all been impressed with the students' growing Hebrew reading skills. At every level, whether it is learning the aleph-bet or reading whole words, we have seen good progress. The fourth graders follow along in the siddur and read the simple Hebrew words in their stories. With Yom Haatzmaut coming up, I have been teaching the Hatikva, Israel's national anthem.

This year the students' study of tzedakah focused on the wide variety of Jewish charitable organizations that serve not only Jews, but also the needs of non-Jews worldwide. We began with a discussion of priorities. Do we choose to give locally or globally? To Jews or non-Jews? As we began to examine the Jewish organizations, the students found that many organizations asking for money were political action groups—which, from the students' perspective, is not tzedakah at all. The students chose Mazon and HIAS to donate the school's tzedakah money to this year. In addition, the charitable loans made through Kiva have been partially paid back, and so we will loan that money back out again.


Maine Conference for Jewish Life

June 9-11, 2017
Colby College
Waterville, Maine

Join Jews from around the state to experience the best of Jewish learning, culture and life.

For more information and to register:
http://www.colby.edu/jewishlife/


Donation Opportunities

by Karen Filler, Treasurer

We will be billing for our next fiscal year in late June. Dues for 2017-2018 will remain the same although we will be incurring additional expenses with the arrival of our new rabbi in August. We have created a fund that we hope will fill the $25,000 gap in our budget. It is called: Fund the Rabbi. In the last newsletter, I wrote that one of our longtime congregants has generously offered to match up to $10,000 in donations to this fund. This is an unbelievably generous gift and hopefully will be an incentive to all of us to donate to this fund. This means we need to raise $10,000 for the match plus an additional $5,000.

When you receive your dues letter, please consider giving at a higher level to help make this happen. Donations made to Fund the Rabbi will be used to help defray the ongoing costs of our congregation having its own rabbi.

This is an exciting time in the life of the synagogue. With our new rabbi, we look forward to growth and prosperity.


Donations

  • Robert Gersh and Susan Horowitz in support of the Rabbi Fund
  • Maxine Gersh in support of the synagogue
  • Nonnie Soifer in support of the synagogue
  • Rachel and Michael Connelly in support of the synagogue
  • Briana Robillard in support of the synagogue
  • Shelia Lucente in honor of Pesach
  • Gary Torow in loving memory of his mother, Ann Torow
  • Shelia Cohen in loving memory her mother, Helen Freedman Cohen
  • Robert and Barbara Lenox in loving memory of her father, Mishael Selig and her brother Edward Selig
  • Matthew and Karen Filler in loving memory of their parents, Frances and Gerald Feldman and Morris and Gladys Filler
  • Michael and Ellen Hagler in loving memory of her mother, Sarah Goldman
  • Larry Loeb and Linda Silberstein in loving memory of her father Joseph Silberstein
  • Marilyn and Fred Weinberg in loving memory of his parents, Frances and Marvin Weinberg
  • Donald and Mara Giulianti in loving memory of his mother, Elaine Giulianti
  • Maxine Gersh in loving memory of her husband, Fred Gersh and her sister Ellen Leavy
  • 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
  • Diane Gilman in loving memory of her father, Harold Gilman
  • Leonard and Marcia Klompus in loving memory of her son, Jeffrey Robert Cherner
  • John Martell and Peggy Brown in loving memory of her father, Harold Hershenhart
  • Margaret Brann in loving memory of her mother, Helen Charney
  • Stan Lane and Norma Dreyfus in loving memory of his mother, Janet Lane
  • Marina and Stephen Singer in honor of the wedding of Ben Singer to Jodie Chalmers

Remembrances for May-June 2017

We know we are missing many names from this list. Please send them to us so that we can add your loved ones to this list.

May their memories be for a blessing

WE REMEMBER Hebrew Date Calendar Date (2017)
Lauren Beth Dunleavy 6 Iyyar May 2
Mildred Lenox 8 Iyyar May 4
Lillian Wolfe 14 Iyyar May 10
Morris Eisman 15 Iyyar May 11
Lucille Hershenhart 19 Iyyar May 15
Ida Gersh 27 Iyyar May 23
Edward Kravitz 1 Sivan May 26
Sam Shapiro 8 Sivan June 2
Dr. Rose Goldberg 9 Sivan June 3
Victor Shapiro 11 Sivan June 5
Nicholas Giulianti 12 Sivan June 6
Edward Friedland 15 Sivan June 9
Marion Darack 18 Sivan June 12
Frederic Morganstern 18 Sivan June 12
Donald Povich 19 Sivan June 13
Joan Greenwald 21 Sivan June 15
David Raker 23 Sivan June 17
Phillip Lurie 27 Sivan June 21
Harry Goldstein 27 Sivan June 21
Bertyl Metz 29 Sivan June 23
Celia Lurie 2 Tammuz June 26
Jean Malman Becker 3 Tammuz June 27

Birthdays and Anniversaries

May Birthdays May Anniversaries
6 Daniel Giulianti   21 John & Marilyn Darack
9 Stephen Singer   22 Rosa Ergas & Stephenn Baer
11 Stephen Cohen   25 Barbara & Robert Lenox
12 Connie Povich   27 Susan Horowitz & Robert Gersh
12 Rachel Schoenberg   29 Mara & Donny Giulianti
17 Jacob Kaplan   31 Beth & Benet Pols
18 Heather Gilman-Davis      
19 Ruth Benedikt      
20 Arthur Davis      
31 Marilyn Darack      

 

June Birthdays June Anniversaries
1 Lenore Friedland   7 Marilyn & Fred Weinberg
3 Mara Giulianti   7 Peggy Brown & John Martell
3 Rosa Ergas   14 Karen & Matt Filler
8 David Povich   14 David & Connie Povich
16 Isabella Pols   16 Todd & Teresa Gandler
19 Theodore Stone   18 Monica & Gordon Blatt
28 Rea Turet   19 Richard Jablow & Anne Hebebrand
      22 Christina & Andrew Schoenberg