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Communications

May 2020 Newsletter

 

A REFORM CONGREGATION  

5150 Peridia Blvd E. BRADENTON, FL 34203

www.TempleBethElBradenton.com
TBEBradentonfl@yahoo.com     941-755-4900

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

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

 

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"NEWS AND VIEWS"

BY RABBI MICHAEL STERNFIELD

 

Dear friends,

Amidst all the uncertainty, the bewilderment and the tedium of these times, America is being tested. We the people are not pulling together as we should, and this is to the detriment of far more than the current pandemic. Our collective response to the coronavirus will resonate long after the danger has passed. One of the most important concepts of political philosophy is that we live as a society because there is a general consensus that we are part of the social contract. The social contract is a theory or model that originated during the Age of Enlightenment and usually concerns the legitimacy of the authority of the state over the individual. Social contract theory typically asserts that individuals have consented, either explicitly or tacitly, to surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority in exchange for protection and for the maintenance of the social order. The term takes its name from The Social Contract, a 1762 book by Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Judaism embraced this concept long ago. The Torah calls it the Covenant, or in Hebrew: b’rit. The Jewish people often has been referred to as the Children of the Covenant, B’nai Brith actually. Ever since Sinai, we have been taught that God has given us commandments by which to live our daily lives and through which we may live securely with justice, compassion and peace between one another.

Whether we call this the social contract or the Covenant makes little difference. This all boils down to: we are in the same boat. We will sink or swim together. A simple midrash illustrates this point: A group of people were travelling in a boat. One of them took a drill and began to drill a hole beneath himself. His companions said to him: “Why are you doing this?” Replied the man: "What concern is it of yours? Am I not drilling under my own place?" Said they to him: “But you will flood the boat for us all!”

Unfortunately America seems to be disregarding this elementary lesson. This should be a time for national unity and resolve. Instead, by quarrelling over such obvious responsibilities as social distancing, wearing of protective masks, and avoiding public gatherings, including worship services, the very foundation of this country we love so dearly is being undermined. These are times that call for placing the well-being of all above personal preferences. But altruism appears to be in short supply at a time when we need it most. When the real experts, the scientists, tell us that this is not the time for relaxing the restrictions, there should be no arguments. Each of us should be asking only: What can I do to help? If we are advised to wear a protective mask, this is not an infringement on personal liberty, it is the least we can do to help keep all of society safer.

Amidst all the uncertainty, the bewilderment and the tedium of these times, America is being tested in a manner that this nation has not known since the Great Depression and the Second World War. That these limitations placed on us has become a political issue is worrisome. At a time when we should be united by the advice of scientists and physicians, instead we have political finger-pointing and anger. The coronavirus should not be a political issue at all, but from all indications it will be the central issue of the upcoming election. This needs to be a time for national unity and resolve.

We will get through this. Of this I am certain. There very well may emerge a new normal. We may not like it as much as the old normal. But we can make it through successfully if we rededicate ourselves to the social contract, the Covenant, of which we are all beneficiaries.

Shalom,

Rabbi Michael P. Sternfield


MUSIC

Cantor Bard

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

Voice! 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)

TBE_Choir

 


 

Message from the President

Shalom Temple family and friends,

I hope this communication finds everyone safe and well! After following our stay at home directives for almost six weeks, all of us have probably developed some sense of cabin fever by now. As I listen to the daily updates on the coronavirus situation, I anxiously await some positive news that indicates the time has approached that we can slowly get back to some normalcy. I am certain that this day will come, but we are not there yet.

I have received many positive comments from our members regarding the weekly spiritual videos that arrive on Erev Shabbat. Rabbi Sternfield and Cantor Bard have been doing a wonderful job in preparing us to celebrate our Sabbath and we thank them both from the bottom of our hearts! You can expect more virtual programming and we hope to add more capabilities in the near future!

All of you should have received TBE mail asking for your votes to approve our new fiscal budget and the establishment of a new Standing committee on Security. Hopefully, we have received all your votes and the results will be announced in a subsequent message. Many thanks to all of our members who participated!

Recently, I sent a request for everyone to help out the Food Bank of Manatee with a donation. They still have critical needs of many items and this organization is one of Temple Beth El’s mitzvah projects. If anyone would like to contribute that has not had the opportunity, I have included a link to their website. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

http://www.mealsonwheelsplus.org/the-food-bank-of-manatee

In closing, I know that we are all facing difficult times but our Temple family remains strong and we are here to help! If anyone needs anything, please let us know.

Stay Healthy and Stay Safe!

Ron Eiseman

President


OUR CALENDAR

In line with recommendations from the CDC, Temple Beth El will not hold any services, meetings or special events until further notice. Please stay healthy and safe. You will be notified of any updates.


MEMBERSHIP

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.


MENS CLUB NEWS

It is time to start thinking about 2020-2021 Men's Club Membership. 

This last year, half of the Temple's male members joined the Men's Club.  That response was better than what we normally get. I would like to take this opportunity to pitch membership to all the men of Beth El.

People tell me that they don't join the Men's Club because most of our activities take place on Sunday.  Some people believe, that as Temple members, they are entitled to participate in all Men's Club activities whether or not they join the Men's Club.  This, by the way, is true. So why join?

The way our Temple is structured, essential Temple operations are performed by the Men's Club (and Sisterhood).  There is no Ways and Means Chair on the Temple Board, for example, because Temple fundraising is the responsibility of the Men's Club.  Along with fundraising, the Men's Club provides the Temple membership with outings, social activities, mitzvah projects, and whatever support is needed.  When you go to the Temple on the High Holidays, and find the room set up, you can be sure that the Men's Club was there. 

We cannot do any of this without the operating expenses that come from dues.  We do not raise any money for ourselves: what we raise goes directly to the Temple.  We were able to have the Italian fundraiser this year, because Men's Club dues enabled us to cover the cost of the meal. 

The bottom line is that even if you don't attend our meetings and events, as a Temple member, you benefit from the Men's Club.  The Temple could not do the things it does without a functioning Men's Club.  That is why, when contacted about membership, it is so important that you join. 

 

Ken Handelman  Mens Club, President 


Women of Beth El

If you're not a member, come and try us out! 

We are alone….Together! Nothing stops our wonderful “Women of Beth El” from performing Mitzvahs. Not even a Pandemic! A special salute to the following WBE members who have teamed up to become the Temple “Phone Tree:” Jean Ellis, Linda Hoffman, Marlena Johnsky, Beverly Safron, Carol Segal, Florence Shulman, & Kate Richmond. Plus our Men’s Club President & supporter Ken Handleman. Together they reach out their branches to the entire congregation every week. Their many friendly phone calls make sure we are all safe and connected.

 

Bonnie Krasik "Women of Beth El", President

bkrasik@aol.com (248) 661-4583


Hebrew and Religious School

Tu B'shvat Seder

Religious School is happening!

Our 4 teachers are teaching their class members by telephone. So far, it's been 1 to 1 teaching. We're looking at, and talking about holding a Zoom class, where all the students can see and hear each other. 

We're planning for a possible Bar Mitzvah this summer, but plans aren't solidified because of the Corona virus, and the uncertain schedule. 

Cantor, DB and I are taking turns watering the 4 recently planted trees. Hopefully they'll be fine.

Everybody, as far as I know, is fine, and looking forward to life returning to its normal activities.

 

Shalom, 

 

Susie Konicov 

Education Chair

& Hebrew teacher

swkonicov@gmail.com

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:      http://JELF.org


The Treasurer's Corner

Treasurer’s Column for the Newsletter

Our fiscal year starts on June 1 and ends on May 31. Those members who would like to pay their dues via a single payment should make their payments in May or early June. The dues structure has not changed. It is $125 per month ($1500 per year) for families and $85 per month ($1020 per year) for singles and part time residents who pay dues at a northern synagogue. We have eliminated the discount for annual payments.

 

For those paying monthly, please consider using your bank’s “bill pay” option. You can set it up one time to send the synagogue, the same amount of money each month on the day of the month that you choose. It costs you and TBE nothing. Payments by credit card cost us about 3 percent.

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

 

Howard Hammerman
Treasurer
410-430-3019


Article of the Month

As the coronavirus continues to spread, synagogues, Jewish centers and other organizations that serve as gathering places for the community around the world have closed.

But even while communities cannot come together physically, some are still organizing projects to provide support to those who are suffering or at perilous risk amid the pandemic.

From phone counseling to sewing face masks to buying kosher food for Jewish doctors and nurses, there’s no shortage of ways to help.

Here’s a list of Jewish initiatives that you can support — without having to leave your house.

Get kosher food to Jewish health care workers

Journalist Bethany Mandel is raising money to provide kosher meals for observant Jewish health care providers and their co-workers. She has raised more than $16,000 through more than 200 individual donations, which have been used to order some 40 deliveries from restaurants to hospitals. She is partnering with restaurants in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Wisconsin for the deliveries. 

Areyvut, a New Jersey-based organization that engages Jewish youth, is delivering Kosher meals to Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, a heavily Jewish township in New Jersey that has been hit hard by the virus. The organization has raised $4,000.    

Skokie Valley Agudath Jacob, an Orthodox synagogue in Skokie, Illinois, also has raised $4,000, to deliver kosher food to local first responders. 

Sew face masks

A number of Jewish organizations are asking community members with sewing machines to help make face masks, which the CDC says helps lower coronavirus transmission rates. The Jewish Association on Aging, a senior care facility in Pittsburgh, is asking for face mask donations for its at-risk residents. Masks should be made following specific directions and can be dropped of or mailed.

Daniel Ostrov and Stephanie Cole assemble face shields in Kohelet Yeshiva High School’s “fab lab.” (Courtesy of Kohelet)

Kohelet Yeshiva High School, an Orthodox day school in suburban Philadelphia, has turned its high-tech arts center into a factory for making face shields  for local doctors and nurses treating coronavirus patients. The shields are made of a transparent acrylic that covers medical providers’ entire faces to protect against bacteria and viruses that can be present in droplets when patients cough or sneeze.

The school has made 200 shields but recently started implementing a new production method that will allow it to significantly ramp up production. Kohelet has raised money to sustain production for five weeks and it is raising additional funds here.

Send food to community members struggling with poverty

B’nai Brith Canada is raising emergency funds for needy Jewish community members in the Greater Toronto area, including seniors, who are struggling amid food pantry closures. 

Masbia, a network of kosher soup kitchens in Brooklyn and Queens, is looking to raise $350,000 to provide food for 1,000 people who are quarantined amid the pandemic. Each box contains enough food to last 14 days. The organization has raised more than $100,000. 

Provide phone counseling

Ruach: Emotional and Spiritual Support is a group of Jewish therapists, social workers, rabbis and chaplains who are providing free emotional support to community members during the pandemic. Those looking to be counseled fill out a form to be paired with a provider who will call them for a 30-minute phone session.

The initiative, which is organized by Jewish doctoral student and spiritual care intern Taylor Winfield Haboucha, is seeking additional volunteers to offer care. Licensed therapists, social workers and clergy, as well as board-certified chaplains, can get more info and apply to participate by emailing RuachEmotionalandSpiritualCare@gmail.com.

B’nai Brith Canada is raising emergency funds for needy Jewish community members in the Greater Toronto area, including seniors, who are struggling amid food pantry closures. 

Masbia, a network of kosher soup kitchens in Brooklyn and Queens, is looking to raise $350,000 to provide food for 1,000 people who are quarantined amid the pandemic. Each box contains enough food to last 14 days. The organization has raised more than $100,000. 

Provide phone counseling

Ruach: Emotional and Spiritual Support is a group of Jewish therapists, social workers, rabbis and chaplains who are providing free emotional support to community members during the pandemic. Those looking to be counseled fill out a form to be paired with a provider who will call them for a 30-minute phone session.

The initiative, which is organized by Jewish doctoral student and spiritual care intern Taylor Winfield Haboucha, is seeking additional volunteers to offer care. Licensed therapists, social workers and clergy, as well as board-certified chaplains, can get more info and apply to participate by emailing RuachEmotionalandSpiritualCare@gmail.com.

Check up on Holocaust survivors

Chabad of Southwest Broward, Florida, is organizing volunteers to make daily and weekly calls to homebound Holocaust survivors and seniors. Though the seniors all live in South Florida, volunteers can visit sunshinecirclefl.com, call 754-800-4770 or email Andrusier at libaandru@gmail.com for more information on the volunteer program.


Smile of the Day

A woman on a train walked up to a man across the table. “Excuse me,” she said, “but are you Jewish?”
“No,” replied the man.
A few minutes later the woman returned. “Excuse me,” she said again, “are you sure you’re not Jewish?”
“I’m sure,” said the man.
But the woman was not convinced, and a few minutes later she approached him a third time. “Are you absolutely sure you’re not Jewish?” she asked.
“All right, all right,” the man said. “You win. I’m Jewish.”
“That’s funny,” said the woman.” You don’t look Jewish.”


Donations

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

Yahrzeits

Jean Ellis IMO Rebeca Levy and Eve Pesk

Karen Knoll IMO Roger Knoll

 

Yahrzeit Information

May 1st and 2nd May 22st and 23nd

Lois Gerber IMO Rebecca Gerber

Judie Littell IMO Bennett Levy

Pearl Friedman IMO David Scharfman

Marlena Johnsky IMO Daniel Johnsky

Linda Hoffman IMO Bessie Slavin

Jean Steiger IMO Paul Ostrov

Neil Clark IMO Jennie Clark

Roger Danziger IMO Arthur Danziger

Dottie Mizzi IMO Rebecca Abo

Loren Hoffman IMO Elsie Hoffman

Beverly Safron IMO Thea Lehmann

Carol Segal IMO Bernice Cohen

May 8th and 9th February 29th and 30th

Jean Ellis IMO Gerald Abowitz

Dick Solyn IMO Myron Solyn

Carol Segal IMO Bernard Albert Cohen

Ruth Weiss IMO John B. Estrada

Alan Cohn IMO Jack Cohn

Lois Gerber IMO Israel Gerber

Anna Bever IMO Sarah Berlin

 

May 15th and 16th

 

Iras Roback IMO Lewis Lavine

 

Linda Hoffman IMO Art Samson

 

Bayla Kolton IMO Edward Kolton

 

 

 

Sisterhood = Challah and Oneg

YAHRZEIT/MEMORIAL PLAQUES

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. 

GENERAL DONATIONS

SPECIAL DONATIONS

CANTOR BARD's MUSIC FUND

SIMCHA GRAM CARDS FOR BIRTHDAY, ANNIVERSARY, GET WELL, OR CONGRATULATIONS and SYMPATHY CARDS

RABBI'S DISCRETIONARY FUND

To make a donation, go to www.templebethelbradenton.com/Donate

 

  May Birthdays May Anniversaries
1 Neil Clark 4  Eli and Neva Lerner
2 Ron Adelson 9  Stephanie and Cliff Peshek
6 Carol Segal 29  Albert and Staci Rosenstein  :
8 Marlena Johnsky    
8 Lionel Freedman  
9 Dan Breitberg  
10 Larry Lev  
14 Marv Howard  
14 Amelia Clark  
21 Rebecca Hadesman  
22 Fran Burday  
24 Ellen Tillotson  
25  Robin Eisman  
31 Celia Strickler  

 

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 yinfiss@hotmail.com

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

www.templebethelbradenton.com     www.facebook.com/TBEBradenton


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

TBEBradentonFL@yahoo.com 

www.templebethelbradenton.com

www.facebook.com/TBEBradenton

 

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 Robyn Spirtas
Ritual Katherine Richmond
Board Member at Large Gary Weinberg
Women of Beth El Bonnie Krasik
Men's Club Ken Handelman

 

for Rabbi or Temple information or to RSVP for an event, please email TBEBradentonfl@yahoo.com. 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 www.templebethelbradenton.com/events .

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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