KOL ISRAEL - Temple Israel


KOL ISRAEL - Temple Israel
The voice of Temple Israel
Greater Manchester’s Center for Conservative Jewry
Rabbi Eric Cohen, PhD
Volume 16, Issue 3
[email protected]
Christine Dame, Office Administrator
66 Salmon Street, Manchester, NH 03104
In this Issue:
Words from the Rabbi ................................................... 1
Schoolhouse News ....................................................... 2
Bat Mitzvah Speech by Jamie Danklefs ...................... 2
Torah Restoration Project – Spring Update ............... 4
Donations ....................................................................... 5
May & June Yahrzeits ................................................... 6
Purim 2016 ..................................................................... 7
The Four Questions we asked at the
Passover Seder are perhaps the most
famous formulation that Jews have come up
with over the centuries. Jonathan Woocher,
the chief ideas officer for the Jewish
Education Service of North America, is a
major proponent of innovation in Jewish
learning and engagement. He reminds us, in
the journal Shma, that: “Jews are famous
(notorious?) for our love of questions
questions). One could argue, in fact, that our
faith is built around a set of ancient
questions, both simple and profound, that
resonate throughout time: “Where are you?”
(Genesis 3:9 - God is looking for Adam in the
Garden of Eden); “Am I my brother’s
keeper?” (Genesis 4:9 - Cain’s response to
God’s question: “where is your brother
Abel?”); “Will not the judge of all the earth
do justly?” (Genesis 18:25 - Abraham
responding to God’s plan to destroy Sodom
and Gomorrah); “What is your name?”
(Genesis 32:28 - Jacob’s question to the
angel with whom he wrestles).
Questions are at the heart of all Jewish
learning, and which questions we seek to
answer makes all the difference in the impact
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May Dates ............................................................. 8
June Dates ............................................................ 9
Kids Happenings ............................................... 10
Passages ............................................................ 11
Thank You! ......................................................... 12
Editor’s Note ...................................................... 13
Temple Events at a Glance ............................... 14
that learning will have.” How is this so? In
eJewishphilanthropy.com, Dr. Sarah Levy
writes that when discussing current trends
among Jews in North America, Jewish adults
ask questions about intermarriage and
declining synagogue activity. Levy, the
Director of Delet (Adult Education) for the
Colorado Agency for Jewish Education,
argues that if we want to ensure rich Jewish
lives in the 21st century, these are not the
issues to focus on. She writes: “We should
not be asking ourselves, for example, “How
can we prevent intermarriage?” Rather, we
should be asking, “How can we engage
students and potential students in such a
way so that Judaism becomes an integral
part of who they are and who they want to
be?” We should not be asking, “How can we
ensure Jewish continuity?” Rather, we
should be asking, “What is it about Judaism
that is so amazing that it should continue,
and how can we spread that to our
students?” And we should not be asking,
“How can we encourage affiliation in order to
maintain the status quo?” We should, rather,
be asking, “What are the needs of Jews
today, and how can we address those needs
now and in the future?”
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Once we frame our questions in these terms,
Levy argues, we can begin to formulate
answers that offer meaningful approaches
to the challenges that face us. I agree with
her sentiments. At the Passover Seder, we
asked the Four Questions that our ancestors
have handed down to us over two
millennia. The ancient Rabbis were very in
tune with what the Jews of their times
needed. I hope we can meet the challenges
of our time, and learn to ask the questions
we should be asking for Jews in the 21st
century. Please, join me in this sacred
~ Rabbi Eric ~
by Aida Koocher
Jewish learning is a mitzvah. It is a mitzvah
to learn to recite the blessings, to learn to
read Hebrew, to learn to sing Hebrew songs.
The students in grades 3-4 have been doing
a great deal of learning about the ceremonies
that highlight “growing up Jewish”. We made
our way through the book called, The
Journey of a Lifetime, The Jewish Lifecycle
The students read about how the Jewish
community celebrates milestones such as a
Brit Milah and Brit Bat, receiving a Hebrew
name, beginning religious school, becoming
a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, reaching confirmation,
getting married, and the customs that honor
a person who has passed away. Learning
about the customs and traditions of Jewish
life-cycle rituals enables the students to feel
connected to the larger Jewish community
and to feel pride in carrying on our Jewish
On this note, I would like to end with the
Shehekianu: “Praised are you, Lord our G-d,
King of the Universe, who has given us life,
sustained us, and brought us to this season
of joy.” Amen.
By Jamie Danklefs
Welcome everybody and Shabbat Shalom.
First, I would like to thank everyone here
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today. I have learned a lot of responsibility
through the process of becoming a Bat
Mitzvah. For example, I have had to organize
my speech and my mitzvah project, or good
deed. For those of you who do know me,
you know that organization is not my biggest
strength. I have also gained some time
management skills balancing my school
work, Hebrew studies, and learning my Torah
and Haftorah portions. It is a bit scary
becoming a young adult because I have
many responsibilities and new opportunities
ahead of me in the near future. Very soon, I
am going to be going to high school and God
forbid, driving! Those cars better get off the
road when I’m 151/2. I have also learned a lot
about sacrifice, which is the theme of my
Torah and Haftorah portions.
My Torah portion examines the procedures
for certain sacrifices such as the burnt
offering, the grain offering, the sin offering,
the reparation offering, and the peace
offering. Without going into too much detail,
God gives Aaron and his sons (who are the
priests) instructions for how to make these
For example, for the burnt
offering, which the priests are required to
make every morning and evening, the priest
burns the animal and then takes off his
ceremonial clothes and puts on linens to
collect the ash and put it besides the altar.
Then, he takes off his dirty linens and puts
on other clothes for taking the ashes outside
the camp. Also, the priests must never let
the fire on the altar go out.
My Haftorah portion also talks about
sacrifice, but in a different way. Rather than
focusing on the sacrifices themselves, it
addresses what it means to sacrifice. The
people of Jerusalem were being sinful by
doing things like oppressing orphans and
widows, sacrificing their own children, and
worshipping other gods in God’s temple.
What God pretty much said to them through
the prophet Jeremiah, is: “you need to stop
this nonsense!”
God said that doing
sacrifices is great, but being good people is
far more important. The sacrifices were fine,
but the real goal for the Jewish people was
to be loving, just, and moral; they clearly
failed in this.
What I found most
Torah and Haftorah
seem contradictory.
saying “do these
Haftorah portion is
interesting about my
portions is that they
The Torah portion is
sacrifices” while the
saying “don’t bother
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doing these sacrifices if you’re just going to
be unjust and immoral.” So my question for
you is, what is the difference between
following a law because someone tells you
to and following a law because your morality,
values, and convictions say that it is the
right way to live. Following a law because
someone tells you to is like when you ask
your parent why you have to do something
and they respond with “because I said so,”
which, in my opinion, is not a valid answer.
In the Ten Commandments, it says “Thou
shall not steal.” Do you follow that law
because you are told to, or because your
morals tell you that stealing is wrong? The
Jewish people made the sacrifices as they
were told, but completely ignored the
underlying intention of being good people.
In my opinion, making a sacrifice has no
meaning unless you believe in its purpose.
When I think about making a sacrifice, the
person who comes to my mind is Raoul
Wallenberg who sacrificed his life to help
save the lives of nearly 100,000 Jewish men,
women, and children in Hungary during
World War II. He also touched the life of my
grandfather, Yitzhak Dishon, who survived a
tragic period in Jewish history thanks to
Wallenberg’s selfless acts of bravery and
My grandfather was born in
Germany, the youngest of four children, from
an Orthodox Jewish family. The family fled
to Hungary when my grandfather was very
young due to increasing anti-Semitism in
Germany. Eventually, his parents sent the
three eldest children to Sweden as the threat
of war in Hungary increased. However, they
wanted to keep my grandfather close
because he was still very young. In March of
1944, when my grandfather was 11 years old,
the Nazis occupied Hungary. My grandfather
and his parents were taken to a camp and my
grandfather was then sent to a house run by
the International Red Cross. He did not
know that he would never see his parents
again as they were later sent to Auschwitz.
During his stay at the Red Cross shelter, a
man from the Swedish Embassy came and
gave him a “Schutzpass,” an official looking
document invented by Raoul Wallenberg that
deportation to the concentration camps. The
Schutzpass is credited with saving 20,000
Jewish lives. The man told my grandfather
that he would be safe in the Red Cross
shelter, but if he ever felt in danger, he
should take the Schutzpass and go to the
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Swedish Embassy.
As the war ravaged
Hungary, my grandfather, along with others
in the shelter, were sent to a ghetto. But, my
grandfather knew he was in danger and ran
away to the Swedish Embassy. There, he
met Raoul Wallenberg who gave him a coat
and new shoes and sent him to a Swedish
safe house. Because of Raoul Wallenberg’s
sacrifice, my grandfather survived.
Raoul Wallenberg, who was the first
secretary of the Swedish Embassy,
volunteered to go to war-torn Hungary to
rescue as many Jews as possible.
Wallenberg’s safe houses and Schutzpasses
saved many thousands of Jewish lives. He
confronted Nazi commanders even though
his own life would be in danger. In January
of 1945, after the Soviets took control over
Budapest, Wallenberg was ordered to report
to the Russian authorities who accused him
of being a spy. He was never seen or heard
from again. It is believed that he was sent to
a prison in Moscow, but no one really knows
how he died.
I believe that what makes Raoul Wallenberg’s
sacrifice so great is that he risked something
he could never get back – his own life. My
grandfather documented his experiences as
a little boy during World War II in a memoir. I
would like to read you an excerpt that speaks
to Wallenberg’s sacrifice.
“I went to look up the Red Cross house
at the location to which we were taken
from the Ghetto. It was a long walk but I
had good shoes and a coat, thanks to
Raoul Wallenberg… I did not know at
the time that Raoul Wallenberg was
already in the custody of the Russians
who arrested him on trumped up
charges that he was an American spy.
Wallenberg was later taken to Moscow
where he languished for the rest of his
life in the Gulag... Since then I have
been thinking often about the fate of this
man and how to reconcile what
happened to him, a man who had saved
tens of thousands, with the individual
providence of God.”
For my Bat Mitzvah project, I am collecting
money to donate to a charity for Holocaust
survivors in memory of my grandfather, as
well as all the victims and survivors of the
Holocaust. The charity I have chosen is
called The Survivor Mitzvah Project, which is
a nonprofit organization that provides food,
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medicine, and better living conditions for
elderly Holocaust survivors in Eastern
Europe and the Ukraine. I am collecting
money by selling copies of my grandfather’s
memoir in which he writes about his
experience as a young boy surviving on his
own in Budapest during the Holocaust. To
purchase a copy, I have placed envelopes
with order forms that you can either mail or
give to me after Shabbat and I will send you
the book. All the proceeds will be donated to
The Survivor Mitzvah Project.
I would like to again thank everyone here
today for being part of this important day in
my life. I want to thank my mom for helping
me with my speech and with learning my
verses. I definitely could not have done this
without her. My dad was also a huge help in
this sometimes stressful process.
supported me no matter what and I can’t
think him enough for just being there for me.
I would like to also thank Rabbi Eric for
teaching me my Torah and Haftorah portions
and for helping me with ideas for my D’var
Torah. He also encouraged me to keep
trying after I had messed up the
pronunciation 20 times.
Morah Karen, my Hebrew school teacher,
has also helped me with my Jewish studies.
When I first came to this synagogue I could
read Hebrew, but I could only read slowly
with a lot of effort. Over the past two years,
with Morah Karen’s and Rabbi Eric’s help, I
have gained the skills to finally advance to
Jewish adulthood.
Along the way, I was not alone for I had one
of my best friends, Georgia Schill by my
side. I knew I could always count on her to
help me learn a new blessing. She is always
trying to find new ways to help the people
around her and she has inspired me in many
My D’var Torah would not be complete
without giving thanks to my grandma,
Rochelle Dishon.
She was an amazing
person and it was very important to her that
her grandchildren have their Bat Mitzvahs. I
know that she is somewhere here, proudly
sitting and listening to her first grandchild
become a mature and grown up young adult.
She would be ecstatic that I am wearing my
grandfather’s tallit. I want to thank her for
giving me that extra push and for being such
a huge part in this journey.
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Torah Restoration Project
Restoring Our Scrolls, Renewing
Our Souls, One Letter at a Time…
The latest weekly e-mail bulletin sent out
from the Temple Israel’s office administrator,
our very own Christine, informs us that the
“Torah Restoration Project” has raised
almost $5,400.00. This amount represents
approximately 66% of the total needed to
finance restoration of our Sefer Torah.
Thank you to the numerous people who have
graciously contributed over the last few
months to this project; we hope many more
contributors will join us in finishing off this
wonderful mitzvah.
Trying to schedule a date to rededicate our
Restored Torah has required multiple
considerations - High Holiday, religious
school participation, bar/bat Mitzvahs, other
temple events, and input from Sofer Stam,
Rabbi Hale, as well as the Comedy/
Entertainment Fund Raising Extravaganza,
which has been postponed until early fall.
The Sunday before Simchat Torah, (Oct. 23rd)
doesn’t work for the Sofer Stam. The Sunday
before that, Erev Sukkot, (Oct.16th), might
work, although usually our students would
be decorating the sukkah, on that day. At
this time, the head of our religious school,
Karen Jacobs, and our Rabbi, who is in
touch with the Sofer Stam Rabbi Hale, are
working out the logistics of combining these
two family events. Once a date and time
have been finalized, we will send out the
After the restored Torah has been
rededicated, our temple will be blessed to
have seven usable kosher Torah scrolls,
including two heavier larger scrolls, two
middle-weight scrolls and three lighterweight smaller scrolls, which are easier to
roll, lift and carry. The rededicated Torah is
one of the smaller scrolls, so we have an
additional light-weight Torah to rotate into
daily use, which will help alleviate some of
the wear and tear on the other two smaller
Torah scrolls used on a daily basis have the
tendency to accumulate wear and tear such
as popped stitches, tears and fraying of
edges. Scrolls that are not used tend to
deteriorate from neglect, with faded lettering,
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dust accumulation and other such problems.
Keeping this in mind, and to avoid any major
restoration project in the future, the religious
committee has recommended implementing
a yearly Torah Maintenance Schedule. In
addition to maintaining the health of our
Torahs, this schedule will also include the
upkeep of the Arks, repairing Torah covers,
polishing silver ornaments, repairing Torah
crowns and upkeep of other religious
As a means to finance this maintenance
project and to bolster the funds available in
the Mandel Torah Fund, the religious
committee and the board of directors
investigated the possibility of selling one of
our larger scrolls. This recommendation is
not taken without some trepidation. While we
are fortunate to own seven Torahs, the more
scrolls we have the greater our responsibility
to maintaining them. Some synagogues can
only afford one or two scrolls, while others
cannot even afford one. Selling of a Torah
will lighten our maintenance responsibility,
and also allow our congregation to perform
the mitzvah of making available a kosher
usable Torah to a synagogue that cannot
afford a new scroll.
A special Torah Sale section has been added
to our temple’s website and additional
notices have been posted on other specific
rabbinical sites. This endeavor does not
happen overnight.
It may take months,
years, before a suitable purchaser develops.
Then other procedures, such as, inspections
and negotiations, need to be completed
before a finalized agreement is reached.
As part of the Torah Maintenance Program,
volunteers to help with some of the in-house
duties - vacuuming and dusting the arks,
periodic rolling of the Torahs, polishing
silver ornaments and some sewing repairs of
Torah covers. As a footnote, our silver
crown (keter) and silver finial (rimonim) sets
are showing signs of needing some minor
repair work. Keter and rimonim sets are
special artwork placed over the top part of
the wooden Torah handles, also known as
the Etz Chaim. We could use the help of a
skilled silversmith; if you know of a local
silversmith or are interested in helping with
any of the maintenance, please to contact me
(David Winthrop.) or Rabbi Eric.
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To all our members, future members and
community we give blessings for a happy
and healthy Pesach season.
Torah Restoration Committee
David Winthrop, Chair
Steve Saulten, Synagogue President
Rabbi Eric Cohen
Eleanor Rice in memory of Isaac Semiat
Reva Rovner in memory of Celia Berger
Roberta Silberberg in memory of George Silberberg
Gary & Rochelle Lindner in memory of Rose Haller
Muriel Freedman in memory of Harry Davidovitz
Muriel Freedman in memory of Edith Levine
Ellen & Matthew Harrington in memory of Philip Haller
Ellen & Matthew Harrington in memory of Bruce Haller
Barry Steinberg in memory of Morton Steinberg
Irma Wallin in memory of Gary Wallin
Carol & Bob Sternberg in memory of Herbert Sonny Kaplan
Carolyn Corliss in memory of David Kniager
Renee Brenner in memory of Samuel Sidman
Reva Rovner in memory of Joseph Rovner
Judi Kennedy in memory of Mark Winthrop
Michele Plotkin in memory of Esther Dovner
Edith & Milton Novak in memory of Bernard Novak
Irving Taube in memory of Dora Taube
Eileen Kope in memory of Leonard Chitister
Charlotte & Harold Gross in honor of Pam & Steve Saulten
Diane & Arthur Sigel in memory of Eric Jacobs
Brian Grodman in memory of Eric Jacobs
Stephen Singer in memory of Irving Singer
Bunny Golder in memory of Maurice Mandell
Isadora Zlotowicz in memory of Alika Victoria Zlotowicz,
born March 18, 2016 and died March 20, 2016
Vol. 16, Issue 3
Iyar 24, 5776 to Sivan 24, 5776
Nissan 23, 5776 to Iyar 23, 5776
Nissan 23
Nissan 24
Nissan 25
Nissan 25
Nissan 25
Nissan 26
Nissan 27
Nissan 28
Nissan 29
Nissan 30
Iyar 1
Iyar 3
Iyar 4
Iyar 6
Iyar 7
Iyar 8
Iyar 9
Iyar 10
Iyar 11
Iyar 12
Iyar 13
Iyar 14
Iyar 15
Iyar 16
Iyar 17
Iyar 18
Iyar 19
Iyar 20
Iyar 21
Iyar 22
Kol Israel - May/June
Sophia Silverberg
William Kaplan
William Resnick
Rochelle Dishon
David Silverberg
Leona Worobey
Maurice Kurtz
Meyer Lew
Max Slosberg
Lillian Smith
Bertha Treisman Fallman
Frances Friedland
Oscar Fleischer
Leas Gagnon
Dora Taube
Rivkah Arlasky
David Gallant
Ralph Kurtz
Sadie Mandell
Libby Perlstein
Louis Smith
Louis Ellenson
Joseph Feldman
Esther Rebecca Margolis
Mollie Silber
Faye White
Manya Cohen
Charles Levy
Paul Fessel
William Gilman
Samuel Gruber
Harry Spierer
Sylvia Cohen
Samuel Margolis
Abraham Boyarsky
Larry Brenner
Bertha Ruth Cohen
Rose Eckman
Mary Cohen
Benjamin White
Seymour Jacobs
Helen Mushlin
Rose Mushlin
Ethyl Riter DiNitto
Ida Resnick
Esther Dovner
Estee Sidman Holop
Jay Brian Cagan
Catherine Gruber Sherman
Florence Klein
Benjamin Winneg
Fannie Firestone
Abraham Savan
Leonard Chitister
Fannie Leifer
Albert Mandel
Mark Winthrop
Morris Mushlin
Sonia Ekman
Dolores Schill
Estelle Citron
Leah Goodman
Philip Dickstein
Charles Myers
Benjamin Shapiro
Edith Rosenblum
Louis Spector
Bessie Krieger
Barnard Novak
Samuel I. Slosberg
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Iyar 24
Iyar 27
Iyar 29
Sivan 1
Sivan 3
Sivan 4
Sivan 5
Sivan 6
Sivan 7
Sivan 8
Sivan 11
Sivan 12
Sivan 13
Sivan 14
Sivan 15
Sivan 16
Sivan 17
Sivan 18
Sivan 19
Sivan 20
Sivan 21
Sivan 22
Sivan 23
Sivan 24
Albert B. Cohen
Alvan Saxe
Sarah Stein
Rose Kabatznick
Hyman Lewis
Louis Rosenblum
Clarence Fleet
Pearl Siegal
Irving Wallin
Henoch Bialoglowski
Minnie Rabinovitz
Henry Rubinsky
Herman Nusenoff
Henry Koocher
Oswald Hausknecht
Sara Hausknecht
Dorothy Higer
Marilyn Koocher
Richard Schubert
Louis Goodman
Edward R. Kaplan
Adele M. Siegel
Shirley Darling
Harold Marvin Katz
Bertha Perlman
Fanny Waldman
Kenneth Braverman
Sadie Bresnick
Sylvia Milden
Edith Mandell
Hyman Novak
Sylvia Novak
Herbert Carlin
Lena Ekman
Frome L. Feldman
Joseph Leifer
Sumner Lewis
John Rand-Dyke
Arno Schreier
Esther Baller Cohen
Sidney Golder
Leonard Itzkowitz
Gerald Kaufman
Rose E. Levine
John Cohen
Bella Kovitz
Jim McAdoo
Mary Tolman
Shirley Lindner
Dora Mallin
Dina Unikel
Alex Leifer
Gwendolyn Eckman
Sarah Plotkin
Nathan Rosenstein
Augusta Goldberg
Irving Weiner
Shirley Brown
Marcia Rosen
Jacob Spector
Jacob Kniager
Edward Jacob Metz
Rose Winthrop (Kramer)
Simon Messenger
Melvin Alterman
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Grades 6-7 interpretations of the four children in the haggadah.
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