5150 Peridia Blvd E. BRADENTON, FL 34203     941-755-4900

Shabbat Services are every Friday night at 7:00 pm
Saturday morning at 10 am followed by Torah Study



It may seem like a small matter to most people, but the installation of the new sign at the entrance to the church/synagogue is especially significant. Obviously, it will make it much easier for guests and visitors to find us. But there is much more to this improvement.  First of all, we are truly grateful to Rev. Shannon Jung who really pushed for the new signage. In the short time that he has been the spiritual leader of Braden River Presbyterian Church, he has shown himself to be a true friend of Temple Beth El. His recent guest sermon on the occasion of the Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday Shabbat service was well received.  He and Patti obviously were very pleased to be with us and our members were equally happy to welcome them. I should add that in the aftermath of recent violent anti-Semitic events in Jersey City and Monsey, NY Rev. Jung was the first to express his concern.

I hope that you have noticed that the new sign has our two congregations listed side by side. This is especially generous on the part of BRPC. After all, we are tenants in their church. It is definitely their building and yet they were gracious to list us side-by-side. To me, this speaks volumes. Until recently, we felt mostly like renters. Things are much different now. We are here to stay for the foreseeable future and, much more important, we are in the process of becoming spiritual partners with BRPC.  Rev. Jung and I have high hopes that our congregations will develop many possibilities for joint activities, while continuing to be distinctive entities with our own traditions and beliefs.

I found it both amusing and illustrative that, during the month of December, the sanctuary was decorated with both wreaths and Chanukah decorations. When our ark was in place for Shabbat services, brilliant red poinsettia plants surrounded it. The best part of this was that nobody complained. It seemed both natural and appropriate.

For our part, we have always treated the facilities with great respect. Our members, particularly Kate Richmond and the Women of Beth El, are well aware that we want to do our very best to take care of the facilities as if they were our own.

I hope you understand more fully why the new sign is such a lovely gesture. We are blessed to have such friends.


Rabbi Michael P. Sternfield



"Those who sing, pray twice." (Talmud)

Cantor BardVoice! The gift we all possess! If you love to sing (more or less on pitch) and have a musical ear in ensemble, then the congregational choir is for you! For more information: please contact Cantor Bard (773-484-8149)



Message from the President

Shalom Temple family and friends,

I am pleased to report that a new exterior sign at our front entrance was recently installed and is being shared with our friends at the Braden River Presbyterian Church. We are very appreciative of our relationship and are thrilled to be doing some mitzvah projects together!

Our Temple will be participating in a blood drive with the BRPC on Sunday, January 26, 2020, from 10:00 AM -12:30 PM on our premises. You will need to show an ID and I encourage all healthy congregants to help out. Each donation can save up to three lives!

With Regards to Security, TBE Security committee members have been working hard behind the scenes and we have obtained all required bids on protecting our windows in both buildings as well as adding exterior LED lighting. Our Board of Directors will be voting on approving these Security enhancements at the upcoming meeting and we will be applying for a Jewish Federation matching grant. I anticipate the Security improvements will begin sometime in February. 

On January 24, 2020, our URJ Ambassador Greg Miller will be joining us during our Shabbat service to present the charter to our congregation. I am asking that all Temple members participate and support this major milestone at Temple Beth El. I believe our affiliation with the URJ is very important for the future of our congregation!

The Temple Men's Club is preparing for our 3rd Annual Italian Dinner, TBE's only fundraiser of the year! Please join us on Saturday, February 22ND at 6 PM. Please save the date and join us for a fun-filled evening!

I would like to ask everyone to please continue supporting our mitzvah projects, Habitat For Humanity, Meals on Wheels, as well as the Women of Beth El monthly charitable programs. These are all very important causes and we are always looking for new volunteers.  If anyone has an interest in joining us, please contact me. Special thanks to all our congregants that generously give their time and financial support to both our Temple and those that are less fortunate than us

Ron Eiseman



TBE Special Events

01/24   Erev Shabbat TBE 7:00pm. URJ charter presentation by URJ Ambassador Greg Miller.

01/26   Meet and Greet in Lakewood Ranch. 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm..

01/27  Rosh Chodesh. 6:00pm. Clubhouse Sarabay Condo complex. 1714 69th Ave. W, Bradenton. Open to all TBE women.

02/09  Men's Club trip to Chihuli Glass Museum.1:00pm. 720 Central Ave S,  St. Petersburg

02/12 International Movie Night and Dinner. 6:00pm. TBE. A contemporary Israeli/Palestinian satiric comedy that has had excellent reviews, The dinner will be contemporary Israeli cuisine. $13.00 pp members, $18.00 pp guests, $5.00 pp without advance payment. Register before 02/09 online or call TBE 941-755-4900.

02/22  3RD ANNUAL "BUONO APPETITO"! NOW THAT'S ITALIAN  FUNDRAISER. 6 pm. TBE.. $30 pp members $35 pp guests. Great Food – Great Desserts – Music – Entertainment – Silent Auction – Live Auction. Sign up sheet in the temple or call the office at 941-755-4900

02/26 Women of TBE Luncheon. 12:00pm. Peridia Golf Club.

03/08 Topaz Shopping Center, Meet for lunch at 12:00 pm at Stonewood Grill,5415 University Parkway.

04/08 Save the Date. Annual TBE Seder. 6:00 pm. Watch for more information.


Regarding the fundraiser on February 22nd – the meal cost and all monies made from this fun and delicious event goes to your temple. The Men's Club and the Women of Beth El donate their cost of food and their time to make this event run smoothly. The monies we make from the silent and live auction is the bulk of the monies taken in. Each of you have a special talent and we would love for you to donate 1 or 2 items to the auction. 

We also need gift certificates to restaurants, theaters, spas, nail salons, beauty parlors etc for our silent auction. So please contact all places you frequent

Please call me as soon as possible with your wonderful items for this event.

Sandy Clark



Membership in a synagogue represents a commitment to the community. It means that you are involved in keeping Jewish life alive and seeing it continue to the next generation. It also gives you a framework of giving and contributing to the Shul, and it means that you are a partner in supporting the financial needs of the Synagogue which we are all part of. If you are interested in joining Temple Beth El Bradenton, please contact our membership chair,

Helen Hammerman

All prospective members are invited to a "Meet and Greet" on Sunday, January 26th. Come by any time from 3 – 5:30 pm..13908 Messina Loop, Lakewood Ranch. Schmooze with TBE clergy, nosh on refreshments and get to know some of our members. Current members are encouraged to bring guests. Please rsvp with number of people coming so we can plan appropriately. Send your RSVP to


All prospective members are invited to a "Meet and Greet" on Sunday, January 26th. Come by any time from 3 – 5:30 pm..13908 Messina Loop, Lakewood Ranch. Schmooze with TBE clergy, nosh on refreshments and get to know some of our members. Current members are encouraged to bring guests. Please rsvp with number of people coming so we can plan appropriately. Send your RSVP to

"It is everyone's responsibility to help our congregation grow. There are two things that everyone can do. First, invite your Jewish (and interfaith) friends and neighbors to a Friday night or Saturday service or special event and accompany them. Second, send their names to me at 

We all want to see Temple Beth El grow and thrive. We are ready to expand our congregation and share it. You can help us to grow. It's easy. As Membership Chair, I promise that I will follow up with your guests to show them that we care. So, let's give back to the place that loves us and let's love it back. Let's share our little space of Jewish delight and help grow our Temple membership. To paraphrase a famous quote: 

" 'Ask not what your Temple can do for you. Ask what you can do for your Temple.' I have an answer. Help us grow. It's up to you".  – Helen Hammerman

Welcome New Members

B'ruchim HaBa'im" !We are so happy that you are with us here at Temple Beth El!  We appreciate  your presence and welcome your active participation and look forward to getting to know you.  

Cantor Deborah Bard

* Calling all full time college and graduate students that would like to join the congregation… If you are a full time student 25 or under, you can belong to the synagogue for just $25 per year, yes per year! For more info  call the TBE office at 941-755-4900 and leave your name and phone number.



Reservations have been made for our trip to the Morean Arts Center in St. Pete to view the Chihuly Glass Collection. The address is 720 Central Ave St. Pete 33701.  The date is Sunday February 9.  Our tour of the Museum starts at 1:00 PM.  At 2:00 PM we are scheduled to attend a glass blowing demonstration.  It is important that we arrive on time.  We have been booked as a group which allows us to pay the discounted price of $16.25 per ticket.

However, we cannot buy the tickets individually.  People planning to attend are requested to make payment in the form of a check to the "Temple Beth El Men's Club".  Payment in advance would be much appreciated.  A sign up sheet we be placed in the lobby on Friday January 17.

Reminder: Anyone interested in donating to the Jewish Family Services Book drive can leave their donations in the Temple lobby.


Ken Handelman


Women of Beth El

As Margaret Fuller said, "Today a reader. Tomorrow a leader" You can change the life of needy children by becoming a part of our "Women of Beth El Mitzvah Project".  Throughout February & March we're collecting new books for children Pre-K through 5th grade.



It's a team effort with the Men's Club that's tied into JFCS's annual Book Drive. Your donations will go to schools, hospitals, and several service agencies throughout Manatee County. 

Our annual "Topaz" shopping trip is set for Sunday March 8th. We'll have lunch at noon at Stonewood Grill on University Parkway.  At 2 o'clock we'll "shop til we drop" at "Topaz", buying beautiful wholesale clothes before they hit the stores. You are also welcome to just come for lunch. We still have a few openings for "Women of Beth El" members. So contact me if you haven't already done so. 

Finally, February 26th at Noon is our regular "Women of Beth El" luncheon meeting. Peridia Golf Club. If you're not a member, come and try us out! 

Bonnie Krasik "Women of Beth El", President (248) 661-4583


Hebrew and Religious School

Our Hebrew & Religious school is an interactive, hands-on teaching experience.  If you are interested in registering your child for Religious school, please contact our Education Director, Susie Konicov, by calling the Temple office at 941-755-4900.  

If you know an unaffiliated Jewish family with young children, who is looking for a shul, please tell them about us! We want to build our religious school and are looking for more students.  Thanks for being a link. Susie Konicov, Education Chair

The Jewish Education Loan Fund (JELF) provides interest free loans to Jewish students for college and graduate school. For further information go to their website:


"What's a Nice Jewish Boy Doing Here?"  Part I


The year was 1965. The place was Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I got there in January and stayed until April. I was a junior in college, taking a semester off to make a difference in the world.

            It all started the previous spring. Antioch College was in a small town not far from Dayton, Ohio. There was a White section of town and a Black section. Caucasian men got their hair cut at Gegner's on Main Street. Bay street had a shop that cut the follicles of the other races. In April a few students protested in front of Gegner's barbershop. Then the group grew and grew.

            I was a reporter and photographer for the student newspaper. The protests doubled when students from the nearby historically Black college joined the march. What had once been an orderly procession, turned into something close to a riot. More than 80 students moved from the sidewalk and onto the main road through town, a state highway. I was on the outskirts of the action, taking pictures. The police came in and started arresting students. The students sat down and locked arm. The police started indiscriminately hitting students with their clubs then carrying them to waiting vans. Then came the tear gas. Most observers ran away.

 I was safely taking pictures from the porch of the bank. But I couldn't just stand there while my friends were getting beat. I gave the camera to a friend, sat down and locked arms with an African American student.  We sang "We shall overcome." The police hit my friend then grabbed me. Soon I was sharing a jail cell with about fifteen other students. We were arranged the next day, fined a few dollars and released. I managed to get back to the dorm just before my parents came to visit.

That summer Martin Luther King, then the head of the NAACP, along with other civil rights icons and organizations called for an all-out effort to end blatant voter suppression in Mississippi. The call was answered by over a thousand activists, mostly White college students from the North and West who joined with local Black activists to register voters and teach in "Freedom Schools." The white residents resisted, sometimes with violence. In Hattiesburg the local paper published a weekly column headlined, "Negroes who registered to vote this week." In most cases, those with jobs were fired the next day.

           On June 21, 1964 three civil rights workers, Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner were murdered. Goodman and Schwerner were Jewish. Goodman's brother went to Antioch.

           By September most of the college kids had returned to their campuses leaving a skeleton crew to man the movement they had started. The call for help went out again and despite my parents' opposition, I joined five other classmates and went to Mississippi right after new years 1965.

 I lived with a Black family in a barely heated two-bedroom house a long walk from the civil rights office on Mobile street, the main business street for the Black community. Church groups fed us. We helped by driving people to doctors' appointments etc. Occasionally, we facilitated voter registration. We held a march or two. We held some classes in church basements. I did some career counselling and prepared tax returns. We tried to stay warm. It was a very cold winter.

         Shortly after I arrived the office manager quit. I took over and handled the money, communications and wrote weekly reports to headquarters in Jackson and bulletins to the New York Times. The police arrested me once, at gun point, for driving a few miles over the speed limit. Someone shot at me once but thankfully missed. I was beat up once and left in a ditch.

         The Jewish community in Hattiesburg was organized in 1938. They still exist and have an attractive brick synagogue in the White part of town. The Mississippi social order placed Jews somewhere above the Blacks but below the Whites. Jewish families made their livings as contractors, merchants and professionals.

         The congregation didn't want the disruption caused by the civil rights activists. Anti-Semitism was a close cousin to racism. The temple's young rabbi visited our offices several times and became my friend and councilor.In late February the Rabbi's son turned 13. The Rabbi insisted I attend the Bar Mitzvah and meet his extended family who were coming from New York.

        After the ceremony, the congregation moved to the social hall where a huge buffet table beckoned. During the previous eight weeks my diet consisted of ham, collard greens and grits, I was transfixed by the sight of pastrami, lox and bagels. Grabbing a plate, I started at one end with iron determination not to stop until I reached the other end where cream-filled New York pastries awaited. While my body was in Mississippi, my taste buds had never left New Jersey.

 I was twenty-two years old, the only college-age person in the room. Everyone smiled at me and let me know I was welcome. A woman with a five-year-old in tow approached me. Her name tag announced that she was the vice-president for membership. "You're a new face," she said with a broad smile. "What's your name? Do you go to the local college?"  "No," I replied. "I manage the civil rights office on Mobile street."

       There was a deadly silence. It was as if I had turned into a pile of manure. She grabbed her son and pulled him away as if I would infect him. As I got to work with a knife and fork, I could see her speaking in low tones to the temple hierarchy. Just as I started working on the lox and bagels, the president approached and asked, "What's a nice Jewish boy doing here?" I didn't answer. I was too busy chewing the delicious food. Then he told me to leave.

      Outside the building one of the Rabbi's relatives, offered me a ride back to New Jersey. I declined. Clutching my doggie bag of roast beef and pastrami, I caught a taxi back to Mobile street and continued my work for another six weeks. I was in Hattiesburg during Dr. King's famous Selma, Alabama march.

      Harold Hammerman  (Author of "Flying Blind", 2018 Finalist Royal Palm Literary Award Competition.)

Let the congregation share your joy or memory. Please consider sponsoring an Oneg Shabbat in celebration or remembrance

Friday: Challah and wine $25; food $25 both $50

Saturday: Challah and Wine for Sat. morning. $25

Entire Shabbat,  $75.00

Please make all checks payable to: WOMEN of BETH ELTemple Beth El


Memorial Plots are available from Temple Beth El. Located in Palmetto, Florida, Skyway Memorial Gardens has been serving the residents of Manatee County since 1952. The tranquility of Skyway ensures a peaceful resting place for years to come. Call TBE for more info on the "Garden of Abraham".

Monthly payment plans now available through TBE.

Please remember TBE in your will, there is no greater gift.   

A project of the sisterhood is to feed the hungry. There is a food barrel in the foyer, waiting for your contribution. Please bring your nonperishable food items as often as possible. Hunger has no season.

  • Traditional burials as well as burial for those who choose cremation available.   
  • Monthly payment plans are available through TBE. Call 941-755-4900


The Treasurer's Corner

Thanks to everyone who has paid their dues on time. Let me remind our members that if you pay for the entire year in one transaction, you can subtract $45.

We accept cash, checks and credit cards. Those that have given us their credit cards with instructions to charge the card once a month should consider "Bill Pay." This is a service offered by almost every bank. Once you set it up the bank will cut a check to the Temple once a month on the date you specify. There is no charge either to you or to the Temple for this service. Unfortunately, the Temple pays a 2.5 percent fee on all credit card transactions.

If you are not sure of your current account balance, feel free to contact me.

Howard Hammerman



Article of the Month

The Brandeis University Steinhardt Social Study Research Institute  has released a report "2019 Sarasota-Manatee Jewish Community Study". 

It provides a detailed socio-demographic portrait of the regional Jewish community and describes community members' participation in Jewish communal life, their private Jewish activities, and their attitudes about Judaism and Israel. This is their summary of some of the findings:

"As of 2019, the Sarasota-Manatee Jewish community numbers approximately 35,300 adults and children living in 17,100 Jewish households. This total includes 25,400 Jewish adults and 3,400 Jewish children, as well as 6,100 non-Jewish adults and 300 non-Jewish children.

Since 2001, the number of Jewish individuals living in Sarasota-Manatee increased by 86%. This growth rate approximately doubled the regional population growth rate.

Forty-eight percent of Sarasota-Manatee marriages including a Jewish partner are interfaith marriages.

The Jews of Sarasota-Manatee can be divided among four regions: Lakewood Ranch, Coastal Areas/Downtown Sarasota, Rest of Sarasota County, and Rest of Manatee County

The largest share of the community, 42% of Jewish households, are located in the Rest of Sarasota County area. Lakewood Ranch is home to the smallest share of Jewish households among the geographic regions. However, the rapid growth in this area is indicative of a shift in the population center of the Sarasota-Manatee Jewish community.

The Sarasota-Manatee Jewish community is getting younger. There are now 3,700 children living in Sarasota-Manatee Jewish households, 3,400 of whom are being raised Jewish. This figure is more than double the estimate from 2001, when 1,500 Jewish children were being raised Jewish in the area.

Ninety-two percent of children in Jewish households are being raised Jewish in some way.


Twenty-eight percent of households in Sarasota-Manatee include someone who belongs to a synagogue or another Jewish worship community of some kind. This is a decrease in the percentage of synagogue participation since 2001, but an increase in the raw number of membership households due to population growth in the area.

Eighty percent of households (and 82% of Jewish adults) report making a charitable contribution in the past year.

Twenty-seven percent of Sarasota-Manatee Jews report that they personally experienced antisemitism in the past three years. When asked to describe these experiences, the most common incidents described were antisemitic comments made in either a conversational or aggressive tone.Members of the Sarasota-Manatee Jewish community are concerned about antisemitism, but that worry is directed more at the national (79%) than the local level (40%).

Among Sarasota-Manatee Jews, 56% have been to Israel at least once. The Sarasota-Manatee rate of travel represents a higher proportion than among US Jews in general.

Twelve percent of Jewish households have been constrained from participating in Jewish life due to financial issues.

Twenty-three percent of Jewish households in Sarasota-Manatee include at least one person who is limited by some sort of health issue, special need, or disability."


This is a link to the full report:

The Jan 14th Sarasota Herald Tribune editorial titled " "This place is no place for anti-Semitic slights" discussed this report and concluded with reference to the 27% who reported experiencing an antisemitic comment saying:it is"one data point that does not speak well for the 96.4% of non-Jewish residents". It goes on to repudiate casual cruelty.

Smile of the Day

Newspaper Bloopers

Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.

The Temple Office

5150 Peridia Blvd E Bradenton, FL 34203 (941)-755-4900 Office hours: Monday – Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


Rabbi Michael Sternfield
CantorDeborah Bard
Cantor EmeritusAlan Cohn
Religious Education DirectorSusie Konicov
PresidentRon Eiseman
Exec. Vice PresidentNeil Clark
TreasurerHoward Hammerman
SecretaryBayla Kolton
VP of MembershipHelen Hammerman
Immediate Past PresidentRobyn Spirtas
RitualKatherine Richmond
Board Member at LargeGary Weinberg
Women of Beth ElBonnie Krasik
Men's ClubKen Handelman


The TBE office is available to you or for your questions. We are typically open Tuesdays thru Thursday, 9:30 am – Noon.  For Rabbi or Temple information or to RSVP for an event, please call the Temple office. 941-755-4900. The Office is located at Temple Beth El, 5150 Peridia Blvd E, Bradenton 34203. Please notate on your check what the monies are for ie: "donation", "dues". You can also find out information or RSVP to an event by going to .

Got pocket change? Remember Pushke money? Put your change each day in a ziplock bag, then bring the bag to the Temple as a donation. Every little bit helps! It is a great way to get the kids to contribute too!



"It is a Tree of Life to those who hold fast to it." Proverbs 3:18  Purchasing a leaf (or leaves) on our Tree of Life, is a wonderful way to mark and sanctify precious life events, such as: B'nai Mitzvah, engagements, weddings, birth of a child or grandchild, birthdays, anniversaries, or any special occasion.  It is also a loving way to remember those who have gone before us. Call the TBE office for more info –

A donation  to Temple Beth El will be new clients.


Yahrzeit Information

February 7th and 8th February 21st and 22nd

Beverly Hurowitz IMO Joe Hurowitz

Freda Koff IMO Molly Koff

Neil Clark IMO Paul Clark

Ruth Weiss IMO Ruth Smith

Robert Hadessmith IMO Donald Hadesmith

Joe Roback IMO Gladys Roback

February 14th and 15th February 28 and 29

Susan Koff IMO Leon Schiffman

Judy Rothhauser IMO Eugene Rothhauser

Linda & Craig Hoffman IMO Gilbert Okum

Loren Hoffman IMO Morris Hoffman

Howard Hammerman IMO David Hammerman

Jean Shames IMO Irving Shames

Ishmael Baal-Shem IMO Marie Dawn Connor


Freida Koff IMO Herbert Koff


Susie Konicov IMO Werner Weiner


Josh IMO Joel Leuchter


Please see our temple supporter, Jay Givarz at Fidelity Bank, for all your mortgage needs




Thank you for supporting Temple Beth El with your donation. Please let us know if you would like your donation directed to a specific purpose.


Katherine Richmond IMO L.Richmond

Beverly Saffron IMO Henry Hartwich

Florence Shulman IMO Alice Shur

Marlena Johnsky IMO Harry Klein

Sisterhood = Challah and Oneg






Marlena Johnsky for Betty and Arnie Klein


To make a donation, send checks payable to Temple Beth El, 5150 Peridia Blvd E, Bradenton, Fl. 34203 or go to

  February Birthdays February Anniversaries
1 Evan Kozmits (2010) None
2 Beverly Hurowitz  
7 Karen Knoell  
12 Ishmael Baal-Shem  :
13 Irv Zamikoff  :
14 Staci Rosenstein  :
17 Beverly Safron  
18 Jean Steiger  
21 Lois Gerber  


Simcha Grams

TBE sends Birthday, Anniversary, Bar/Bat Mitzvah and other celebration "Simcha Grams" to members in honor of their special day. This is a wonderful way to contribute to your Synagogue and to send your TBE family good wishes.

Names must be received at the office by the 20th of the month prior to the birthday, anniversary or special event. Include a note with your name(s),the name(s) of whom and what you are honoring and how you would like your signature on the card they will receive. The donation is $2.00 per name. In the memo area of your check write "simcha gram and mail to:

Temple Beth El, Attention: Simcha Gram,. 5150 Peridea Blvd. East, Bradenton, FL 34203.

If you wish to pay by credit card use the yellow "donate"button above or call the TBE office, 941-755-4900, give them the above information and your credit card authorization.

The card will be mailed to those individuals prior to their special day and your donation will be acknowledged in the newsletter.

If we have somehow overlooked your Simcha or made an error in printing the date, please accept our apologies and call the temple office at 941-755-4900 so that we may update our records.

Contact the Newsletter editor at

Office: 941-755-4900  Address: 5150 Peridia Blvd East, Bradenton, Fl. 34203

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