September 2020



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

Due to the COViD-19 Viral pandemic, live Shabbat Services are are cancelled until further notice.

Shabbat Services can be seen on youtube at Temple_Beth_El_Bradenton





Dear friends,

In a few weeks, we will be turning the calendar on yet another year, according to the Jewish counting. With what sentiments will be saying goodbye to 5780? For fully half of this year, soon past, we have been mostly in isolation. Not only have we been unable to join together for Shabbat services and other activities; our entire lives have been put on hold. Speaking personally, I will be looking back on 5780 with considerable regret. It has been mostly a lost year, with no way to make up for that loss, all the more so because 5781 offers no promise that the pandemic will end soon. That we could spend the coming year in similar isolation, that the death rate will continue as it is now, is a prospect we don’t want even to think about.


In normal years, we look forward with anticipation for the year ahead, and recite sh’hechiyanu that we have reached this day. We will recite that prayer multiple times at our High Holy Days services but I sense that the mood will be less joyous. Of course, we are thankful that we have made it this far. Still, my mind and I would surmise yours as well, is preoccupied with would’ves, could’ves and should’ves. Should we be so fortunate to return to a more normal existence, my hope for all of us is that we will enter upon from 5781 with the determination to delay less and do more. To borrow a well-known phrase spoken by Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr., there is “a fierce urgency of now.”


To use a simple metaphor, I would say that looking through the rear-view mirror best describes the spirit of the High Holy Days. We all have our hopes and dreams. we cannot see what lies on the road ahead. But we can look back, from where we have come, and as we do, perhaps we will have gained an added appreciation that there is not a single day to waste. There really never was, although we often acted that way. If 5780 will have taught us this lesson, this alone is reason enough to recite sh’hechiyanu. I have long felt and personally have come to accept that the good times in our lives teach us nothing. It is only through adversity that we may grow in wisdom.


So, should we be so fortunate to come through to the other side of this pandemic sooner rather than later, my hope for all of us is that we will emerge with a much great awareness of how precious each day is; the determination to make fuller use of whatever time there will be in our Book of Life.


I read recently that there is a reason why, in our cars, the rear-view mirror is so small and the front windshield is so large. Looking back with a sense of regret is of limited value. But to face forward with a greater appreciation for the gift of life—that is something worth celebrating! So, as we observe the beginning of a New Year, let’s do our best to do so with a great sense of urgency.


Deborah and I wish you and your dear ones L’shana tova tikateivu.


Rabbi Michael P. Sternfield


Cantor Bard

“Looking  to the new year ahead when, God, and the Art of Science, -willing we can altogether rise and shine in song, sweet harmony ..For real!”

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

Notes from the Cantor


A New Year !!


The wheel turns …Renewal!


We look ahead with optimism and hope 

We count our blessings 

We do our T’shuvah and resolve to walk the talk,

and  become our better selves .




Our hearts are full .


Wishing each of you and every one a

Good new year of life.


Zei Gezunt !




Cantor DB , Rabbi MPS 

and Family 

Please visit and listen to recordings of holiday songs by our own Cantor Bard, Cantor Joseph Portnoy and Richard Tucker.


Message from the President

Shalom Temple family and friends,

I hope this message finds everyone safe and well! On August 7th, we started recording Shabbat video services back at our Temple with our new equipment. If you haven't had an opportunity to see it yet, please take a look on YouTube. I am sure you will enjoy it! I want to thank Joel Auerbach for helping us with the recording and editing of the videos. We are looking for volunteers to help with the Shabbat filming periodically. If you have expertise or interest in videography, please contact me to discuss it.

Rabbi Sternfield, Cantor Bard, and our Ritual Committee members are still hard at work preparing for our Virtual High Holy Day Services. We are putting together a very nice program for all to appreciate and watch at your convenience.

Recently, Fran Burday has accepted a TBE board position to Chair the Publicity Committee. Fran has had a very successful career in sales and marketing and has excellent communication skills. She brings a lot of enthusiasm to our Temple and we are all excited to have her on our team! Please join me in welcoming Fran as a new member of our board.

I am happy to announce that we will be hosting our 2nd TBE Zoom (Virtual) get together where everyone can see familiar faces and catch up. On Saturday, August 29th at 5:00 pm, we will have a brief Havdalah followed by a Happy Hour where everyone can sit with their wine and cheese (in front of your computer). I will be sending out the Zoom invitation the day before so please save the date and plan to join us. All you need to do is click on the link and follow the instructions.

Thank you all for hanging in there with us during these difficult times. As soon as there is a significant reduction in COVID-19 cases, we will try to reschedule some outside services. Please keep your spirits high. Brighter days lie ahead!

If anyone needs help, please let us know.

Stay Healthy and Stay Safe!

Ron Eiseman



High Holy Days



The health of our members and guests is of utmost importance to us. Therefore, in this difficult year we will be holding all services “virtually”, meaning that they will be prerecorded and put on YOUTUBE. Everyone is invited to observe the Holy Days with us. We will send you an easy-to-use link prior to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. You will also be able to find the link on our web page ( You may attend our services on YouTube at times of your choosing, wherever you may be.


We hope that you will join us at this sacred Season!


Please call the Temple at 941-755-4900 and leave your name, address and email, so that we may send you the combined Prayerbook/Book of Remembrance for the High Holy Days. With this booklet you will be able to participate in our services, rather than just watch.


Erev Rosh Hashanah – Friday, September 18th  7 pm

Rosh Hashanah Day – Saturday, September 19th 10 am

Erev Yom Kippur (Kol Nidre) – Sunday, September 27th 7 pm

Yom Kippur Day and Yizkor – Monday, September 28th 10 am



I would like to ask all members to compose a small family history to add to each newsletter.  We have been unable to spend time with each other and this can be a way to meet a new friend or a nice reminder of a friend's background.

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

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.

One way our members help those in need.

On Wednesday August 12th exactly 1year from the groundbreaking Temple Beth El, as part of an Interfaith Building Coalition, dedicated the beautiful home we all built for the Harris family. It was a labor of love and the beginning of many more homes to build.

Men's Club

There has been much talk in the news lately about Vote By Mail and the Postal Service.  I thought it would be helpful to explain how this all works in Manatee County.


First of all, you actually have until the week before the election to sign up to vote by mail.  Your sign up is good for 2 election cycles, and ballots start going out 30 days before the election.  You can sign up on line at or by calling the Supervisor of Elections at 941-741-3823.  If you decide not to vote by mail after you sign up, you can turn in your ballot at your normal voting location, and vote there.  IN ORDER FOR A VOTE BY MAIL BALLOT TO BE COUNTED, IT MUST BE AT THE OFFICE OF THE SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS AT 7:00 PM ELECTION NIGHT.  You can check the status of your ballot at  This ability to check makes fraud a nonissue, along with the fact that there is a paper trail.


If you decide that you do not want your ballot to go through the mail, you can bring it to the Supervisor of Election's Office at 600 301 Blvd W Suite 108 34205.  There is a slot on the outside of the building, behind the flag pole, where you can safely turn in your ballot.


There are 264,000 registered voters in Manatee County.  125,000 voters are signed up to receive a vote by mail ballot.  These people are the most likely to actually vote.  That is why it is important to mail back your ballot as soon as you are able.  We have the power, and I would add responsibility, to prevent a log jam on election day.  And again, it is safe and easy to bypass the mail and deliver your ballot to the Supervisor of Elections.


This election is important to everyone.  It is necessary for all of us to vote safely.


Ken Handelman  Mens Club, President 

Hebrew and Religious School

Shalom to all!

Temple Beth El's religious school started Sunday, August 16, at 11:00 a.m. We all connected to Rabbi, on Zoom, and were graced with a hearty Welcome Back. Rabbi spoke to the students, Cantor DB led us all in a few songs and a short Havdalah, and then we left Zoom, and separated into smaller groups with the teachers, Debrorah Bard, Emily Mulholland, Rabbi Sternfield, and me, Susie Konicov. This was the time for Hebrew class, which lasted till 12:30.

It was a good beginning, and the children were eager to begin again.



Susie Konicov


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.  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:

Article of the Month

Jews and Psychology 

Erwin Segal, Ph.D


(Installment 1) 


            The Jewish influence on Psychology has been broad and pervasive. Jews have been instrumental in the creation and development of many of the systems and areas of psychology, and other fields of study, that have had direct influence on psychology. This Jewish influence seems to come from the very essence of Jewish scholars irrespective of their active religious affiliation. Consider two anecdotes. 1) I was the designated host for Jerry Bruner, who was the Psychology Department’s Distinguished Speaker around 2000. He told me about a discussion that he had with his friend Alexander Luria who was a distinguished psychologist from Russia, about the fact that even though neither of them had any involvement or interest in religion, both believed that their Jewish background strongly influenced their views and professional careers. 2) Sigmund Freud wrote that although he had abandoned the holy writ and all the common characteristics of his people, he still thought that much of his being was Jewish, ‘probably its very essence.’ 

            Two of the most interesting historical figures I know lays a foundation for our study. 

            Moses Maimonides (1138-1204), one of the most important Jewish biblical scholars in history, made critically important contributions to secular scientific study, thus Jewish scholars made important contributions to scientific scholarship by the twelfth century. 

Maimonides was a physician, philosopher, scientist, and theologian. He broke with Jewish educational tradition by adding secular subjects and texts to religious study. He argued that one should be facile in both logic and scientific observation before even attempting to understand the intricacies of Jewish history, theology, and philosophy. Maimonides argued that all claims (including religious ones) must be supported by reason and observation. He argued that if a claim even in a sacred text could not be supported by reason and observation, it must be interpreted metaphorically. He observed that there is often a hidden content beneath the literal one. Those who believe the bible to be literally true are idol worshippers, as literal interpretation of the inconsistencies in the biblical text requires rejection of rationality. Accepting irrational claims as true, requires treating the text as an object of veneration, rather than a source of knowledge, that is, an Idol. 

From Maimonides, Jews were given permission to study the world, and to give rational interpretations to what they find. All scientists, including Jewish social scientists, thus are given an open invitation to search for truth according to the guidelines of observation and reason. 

Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) was a Jewish-Dutch philosopher of Portuguese Sephardi origin. He was one of the primary contributors of the 17th C. Age of Reason and modern scientific philosophy. Spinoza strongly influenced Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, and Charles Darwin, the four unique 19th C scholars who together changed our understanding of the world. Spinoza’s views included modern conceptions of both the self and the universe. He came to be considered one of the great rationalists of 17th-century philosophy. 

Spinoza claimed that man, as is true about all organisms, has an active essence, conatus, a built-in drive to persist as an individual being. A person’s self includes the conatus. This interacts with our physical, social, and biological environment. Spinoza is the primary historical source of the idea that people are active organisms who strive to survive as living beings. Also, he argued that mind and body can both be studied scientifically. These principles are implicit in most modern psychology. 

             Spinoza would have been recognized much more prominently in history, except for the cultural and religious reaction to his theology. The positions that he took on God and nature were considered highly heretical. Spinoza argued that the dynamics of the world is self-contained, in that what occurs is a consequence of the intrinsic properties of the world and the laws of nature. The principle of sufficient reason that he held requires that these laws override any possible miracles by God for any reason. On July 27, 1656 the Talmud Torah congregation of Amsterdam issued a writ of cherem (Hebrew: חרם, a kind of ban, shunning, ostracism, expulsion, or excommunication) against the 23-year-old Spinoza. The cherem was to last forever, and as yet has not been revoked. 

Spinoza argued that nothing is supernatural. Everything that we have to say about physics, psychology and spirit are all different aspects of nature, which is in many ways synonymous with God. The world is a single coordinated infinite self-sustaining dynamic system with all parts interacting with one another. Everything about physics, psychology, and spirit are all different aspects of the same natural entity, nature, or God. Rational thought, starting from basic self-evident axioms, is Spinoza’s foundation that he deemed necessary for acquiring true knowledge. Complete knowledge, however, is impossible to attain as the logic is complex, and the factors that need to be considered for total understanding are infinite, and only God has access to all the factors. 

Smile of the Day

Abe Doesn’t Need Google

Herman and Abe are good friends at the Boca Sinai retirement residence and they are talking about Abe’s new purchase.

"I hear that you've just bought your very first computer, Abe. How are you enjoying it?”

“Oh it’s nice,” Abe replies.

“Have you tried out Google yet?" Herman asks. “It knows everything!”

“Haven’t had to,” replies Abe.

"Really?" says Herman.

“My wife Rachel already knows everything," replies Abe.

Yahrzeit Information

September 4th & 5th

Sempember 18th and 19th

David Meier IMO Aneliese Mai

Paul Stahl IMO Bertha Stahl

Bayla Kolton IMO Theodore Halasz

Jean Ellis IMO Jonas Ellis

Susan Koff IMO Roberta Gordon

September 25th and 26th

Lisa Leuchter IMO Elaine Roberts

Sandy Clark IMO Jacob Kleinman

Craig & Linda Hoffman IMO Sam Samsom

Barry Steiger IMO Sue Steiger

Arnold & Betty Klein IMO Howard Klein

Freda Koff IMO David Koff

September 11th and 12th

Brian Weiss IMO Pearl H. Weiss

David Karubian IMO Mike Karubian

Craig & Linda Hoffman IMO Lillian Hoffman

Itay Seith IMO Leone Sherrod Taylor Rumph

Lisa Leuchter IMO Richard Roberts

Julie Wolfe Moser IMO Evie Wolfe


Barry Schneider IMO Brenda Schneider


Jean Ellis IMO Sarah Ellis


Beverly Hurowitz IMO Tiby Breitstein



Barry Steiger IMO Ann Steiger




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.  Donate TBE

Temple Beth El would like to thank Philip Rosenblum, Henry Taplinger and Larry Cohen for their donations

Sisterhood = Challah and Oneg


Temple Beth El yahrzeit plaques are now available for purchase. Purchase one for a loved one already deceased or purchase now for a future date. Plaques can be English and Hebrew or just English or just Hebrew. The cost is $250 per plaque. 






To make a donation, go to

  September Birthdays September Anniversaries
14 Diane Hart 2  Lionel and Pearl Friedman
15 Maggie Ozner 3  Barry and Jean Steiger
16 Craig Hoffman  
17  Mimi Givarz  
24 William Gregory  
25 Susan Kurtin  
25  Mitch Rubinstein  
27  Katherine Richmond  
30 Paul Stahl  

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(Kevin Thomas) at

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

5150 Peridia Blvd E Bradenton, FL 34203 (941)-755-4900 The Temple Office


Rabbi Michael Sternfield
Cantor Deborah Bard
Cantor Emeritus Alan Cohn
Religious Education Director Susie Konicov
President Ron Eiseman
Exec. Vice President Neil Clark
Treasurer Howard Hammerman
Secretary Bayla Kolton
VP of Membership Helen Hammerman
Immediate Past President Sandy Clark
Ritual Katherine Richmond
Security Gary Weinberg
Women of Beth El Bonnie Krasik
Men's Club Ken Handelman
Publicity Fran Burday


For Rabbi or Temple information or to RSVP for an event, please email 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 -941-755-4900

















                                                                                                                                                           *This ad is not a political endorsement