Tammuz – Elul 5772
Issue No. 10 Temple Israel – PO Box 4284 – Springfield, MO 65808
Email: TempleTalk417@gmail.com – Phone: 417.888.5151
Letter from the Rabbi
My history professor Dr. Jacob Marcus of blessed memory used to say that there is no such
thing as a “first Jew.” He said that if ever you start to talk about a “first Jew” anywhere, there
always turns out to be another Jew who was there before him.
We do know that twenty-three Jews arrived in the colony of New Amsterdam (later New
York) in 1664. Governor Peter Stuyvesant wanted to expel them, but the Dutch West Indies
Company, in which Jews played an active role, ordered that they be allowed to stay. They
soon were joined by other Jewish settlers.
But Jews had arrived in the New World even earlier. The year 1492 is famous for the voyage
of Christopher Columbus and infamous for Ferdinand and Isabella’s expulsion of the Jews
from Spain. It is very probable that some of these Jews sailed across the Atlantic with
Columbus. Other Jews, too, were coming to North and South America in the fifteenth and
Jewish migration continued throughout the colonial period. By the time of the American
Revolution in 1776, there were approximately 2,000 Jews living in the American Colonies,
most of them Sephardic Jews from Spain and Portugal. The newborn United States of
America was the first country in which Jews received equal citizenship.
The nineteenth century saw a huge influx of Ashkenazic Jews, first from Germany and then
from eastern Europe: Poland, Austria-Hungary, Russia, etc. Ever since, Jews have flourished
here to an unprecedented degree. For the most part, the United States of America has truly
been a goldina medina, or golden land. As our country celebrates its 236th birthday, we have
much for which to be thankful. So, happy Independence Day!
Rabbi Rita Sherwin
Rabbi’s Letter 1 Oneg Shabbat Hosts
President’s Letter 2 July 6 Ray & Mandy Van Ostran August 3 Ray & Mandy Van Ostran
Sisterhood 3 July 13 Ray & Mandy Van Ostran August 10 Ray & Mandy Van Ostran
Yahrzeits 4 July 20 Judith Peavey August 17 Sylvia Persky
Donations 5 July 27 Marc & Nancy Cooper August 24 Ray & Elizabeth Weiner
Member News 3&6 August 31 Volunteer needed
Upcoming Events 7 Volunteers to host an Oneg Shabbat are needed. Please call Oneg coordinator Melanie Curtis at
home (890-5157), work (269-8922) or cell (429-6120) if you can help. We truly appreciate our
Calendar Insert volunteer hosts! If we have no volunteers, we are unable to offer Onegs.
Letter from the President
At the end of May, Cindy and I visited our older daughter, Rachel, who lives in New Jersey, near
Philadelphia. As part of the visit we attended Friday night services at the temple she has recently joined,
Temple Emanuel in Cherry Hill, a Reform congregation. It is not a coincidence that it is the same
congregation that our friends Marty Rosenberg and Ellen Fenick also belong to. And for those really
paying attention, it is also the congregation one of whose previous rabbis was Jonah Kaplan’s mother.
Rachel tells me that there are three congregations in Cherry Hill this size, plus a Jewish Community
It was like being in Jewish heaven. We ate supper at a Jewish-style deli, called the Kibbutz Room.
Brought back lots of memories of home, New York City.
The congregation has about 1,000 family units, about ten times the size of ours. We were met at the
entrance by the rabbi (they have two, plus a cantor) and the executive director. The building was
gorgeous. Most spectacular was the ark. Rather than built into a wall, like many, including ours is, it was
surrounded by metal flames reaching to the sky. It was breathtaking.
I kicked myself, saying “Toto, I don’t think we are in Springfield anymore.”
Some observations: First, the prayer book was the same as ours, but smaller. Kind of like a Reader’s
Digest version of the Mishkan T’Filah. Second, the prayers were the same, but songs were just a bit
different, kind of like regional dialects. Third, Temple Emanuel has two Friday night services and we
went to the later one. Interestingly, there were not a lot of people there. I don’t know how many
attended the earlier one, but as a percentage of the total, it was pretty close to what we get. Fourth,
besides the rabbi and the executive director, there was also a uniformed police officer near the entrance.
Finally, we brought home a copy of their monthly newsletter. It is clear that when a congregation
reaches a certain size, there are lots of things that can be done.
I woke from my dream. I was back in Springfield, back to our little congregation of some 100 families.
We cannot do what Temple Emanuel can do. We don’t have the staff, we don’t have the funds, we don’t
have the building and other resources. I think we do quite a bit with what we have.
But, smaller congregations have more opportunities to participate in various ways. And smaller
congregations need a greater percentage of its membership to help carry out its functions.
So we may not live Over the Rainbow. But we do pretty well with what we have. We could do better and
we could do more, but we need your participation.
Our July board meeting will be on the 8th, the August board meeting will be on the 12th, both at 9:30 am.
As always, members are invited to come.
TIME CHANGE: BEGINNING JUNE 1,
FRIDAY EVENING SERVICES ARE AT 8:00 PM.
At our June 10 meeting, the board adopted the mission statement printed below. Normally, we would bring this up
at our annual congregation meeting, but we did not have a chance to get to it. Instead, we are asking the
congregation to let us know what you think of this statement.
If you have any comments, please contact me. My phone number is 862-9614 and my e-mail address is
firstname.lastname@example.org. I would like to hear from anyone who has comments by July 31.
Temple Israel Mission Statement:
The mission of Temple Israel is to be a Jewish presence in the Ozarks by serving as the spiritual, educational, and
cultural center for all Jews and their families.
Affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), we are an inclusive congregation which welcomes Jews from all
backgrounds to join us in our proud affirmation of Judaism and the Jewish people.
In support of our mission, we provide communal worship services and holiday observances, celebrate life cycle
events, engage in the study of Torah, participate in social action projects, and offer a wide variety of cultural and
Twelve sisters met Sunday, June 10 at the temple for a long awaited Sisterhood meeting – we hadn’t had one since January!
Should I call meetings more often – or do you like erratic meeting times?? Let me know! As always, we had a delicious
pot luck luncheon before the meeting!
It was reported by our secretary/treasurer that we now have 38 paid Sisterhood members. That is wonderful, but we
would sure like to know how to get more of you to participate. If anyone has ideas for projects, fun activities, speakers, or
trips, please tell me or any Sisterhood member, as we are open to all suggestions that will help increase participation.
Book Club is still up and running. We read The Invisible Wall by Henry Bernstein and discussed it at the home of
Elizabeth Weiner on June 27.
Sisterhood’s mitzvah projects have consisted of donations to Temple Israel’s Chai Fund to wish a r'fua shalemah to
members who were ill, a donation to the Kitchen, Inc. following a fire at their facility, and a donation to an organization
that helps homeless and troubled youth, The Rare Breed. We are also going to sponsor a Hebrew School project, details to
be announced. A Sisterhood member who wishes to remain anonymous made a generous donation to help purchase four
new fryers for the kitchen.
We have planned a Mah-Jongg day for Sunday afternoon, August 5 at the home of Becky Supak. Those who want to learn
and/or play must have a 2012 Mah-Jongg card. If you RSVP after the card order has been placed, we might be able to find
an extra card or two. We will have at least three members who can patiently teach those of you who want to learn the
Sisterhood will meet in the temple kitchen on Sunday, October 21 and Sunday, October 28 for group baking sessions in
preparation for Art Fest on November 18. We have in our midst several experienced bakers who will teach us to make
strudel, challah, blintzes, rugelach, hamantaschen, and kugel. This year we will sell only Jewish baked goods. Please join
us on one or both of these Sundays so we can bake lots and lots, and then you can go home and bake even more! This is
Sisterhood’s biggest annual contribution to the temple and we want to make more money than ever this year.
We will again sponsor the Erev Rosh Hashanah Oneg on September 16 and we hope to have enough desserts left over for
the Rosh Hashonah luncheon the next day and maybe even for break-the-fast following Yom Kippur.
Movie nights, plays and concerts, game days, outings to museums and Jewish festivals were discussed as future activities.
Stay tuned – be active, give us suggestions and re-join Sisterhood in September!
Your Sisterhood President,
Judith Peavey 3
Tree of Life Yahrzeits
Remember that dedications on the Tree of Life July 6
are permanent reminders of Ruth L. Rubenstein
special people or events.
Births, Bar or Bat Mitzvahs, Weddings, Honors, Sidney Friedlander
Achievements, or just to honor individuals. Helen Nicolopolas-Surprenant
Please contact Fred Hamburg Mary Maxine Simonson
(417) 881-4425 July 20
Bikur Cholim & Condolences Ernest Tarrasch
If you know of anyone in the July 27
who is sick or has had a death in the family, August 3
please contact any of the following: Israel Robert Freelander
Rabbi Sherwin at the temple Leah Grote
(417) 888-5151, Frieda Sadow
Ruth Arneson (417) 861-6366, or
Margo Hudson (417) 743-2349 August 10
Hilary M. Fletcher
IN MEMORIAM Danny Davenport
We are saddened to announce the death of a long- Dustin Riceman
time member of this congregation, Darlene
Rubenstein, who passed away after a long illness on Julius Grote
June 20. Our loving condolences are with Darlene’s Reginald Levy
husband George and their children Rosemary, Julie, Paul Schwartz
and Steve and their families. Zichronah livrachah, Jerome J. Shestack
may the memory of the righteous be for a blessing.
Gilbert S. Greenwald
Shelia L. Mosten
temple israel on the web If you would like to make a
donation in remembrance of your
you can find us at: loved one’s yahrzeit, please send
your donation to:
and PO Box 4284
follow us on facebook Springfield, MO 65808-4284
Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund Donation to Our
From Harry Dorman.
A generous donation towards the
purchase of four new frying pans was
To thank Rabbi Sherwin for the personal and
made by an anonymous donor.
loving wedding ceremony she conducted for
our daughter Lauren’s marriage to Kelly
From Tom and Judith Peavey.
A huge thank-you to Rabbi Sherwin for
performing such a beautiful and personal
wedding ceremony under the chuppah. From Mark and Cindy Rushefsky.
From Kelly and Lauren Fisher.
In honor of our daughter Lauren’s wedding
to Kelly Fisher.
With fondest regards to Rabbi Sherwin and From Tom and Judith Peavey.
From Leon Schwartzman. To honor and thank Dan and Margo Hudson
for the glorious post-wedding time at Sky
From the Peavey family and the Fisher family.
In loving memory of Julian Grossman.
From Steve and Amy Scher.
In loving memory of Rose Caplan.
From Leatrice Fetter.
To honor and thank Gytel Lotven for baking
with love the amazing heart-shaped challot
for Lauren and Kelly’s wedding.
REQUEST FOR OUR TEMPLE
From Tom and Judith Peavey.
To honor Harry Dorman and all those who
work to tend our “tzedakah garden.” Our dedicated and hard-working gardener
From Anonymous. Harry Dorman is making his annual
request for used nylon pantyhose for
To honor Mel Curtis and all those who work attaching plants to stakes. Please put
to coordinate and host the oneg Shabbats. pantyhose in the paper sack on the bench
From Anonymous. by the front door.
July Birthdays August Birthdays
1 – Harold Singer 1 – Susan Conine
4 – Miriam Taub 1 – David Tarrasch
7 – Kenneth Burstin 3 – Brian Hamburg
11 – Nancy Bright-Kaufman 5 – Harry Dorman
12 – Miriam Merrifield 6 – Thomas Peavey
17 – Herbert Cohen 8 – Elizabeth Weiner
18 – Irwin Cohen 9 – Amy Scher
20 – Sherry Speaker 12 – Rudy Iturria
21 – H. David Morrow 15 – Melanie Curtis
25 – Arlene Grier 17 – Jeff Eaker
27 – Robert Grand 19 – Mareen Gill
31 – Bobbie Kallembach 19 – David Romano
31 – Pam Weiss 29 – Doris Nachman
29 – Daniel Weinhaus
RELIGIOUS SCHOOL REGISTRATION
Religious School registration is from July 30 through August 15. Registration is by mail and the
registration forms can be downloaded from the website: Jewish417religiousschool.com. Go to
Sunday School under the Main Menu for all registration information. Mail completed registration
forms and tuition to the temple:
PO Box 4284
Springfield MO 65808-4284
PROGRAM AT THE LIBRARY CENTER
Our own author/former congregant Sandy Asher's work is being featured at the Library
Center - Saturday, July 14, 7:00 pm and Sunday, July 15, 2:00 pm:
The Library Foundation presents a special fundraiser featuring a reading of "Walking
Toward America." Admission $10 for adults, $5 for students. The one-woman script was
developed by former Springfield author Sandra Asher from the memoir of Springfield
resident Ilga Vise. Former Springfieldian and actress Annie Meek Montgomery portrays
the young Ilga Vise during her courageous flight with her family from their homeland in
Latvia during World War II. The script was chosen for development at New York
University’s New Plays for Young Audiences workshop at the Provincetown Playhouse in
2011, a Friday Night Footlights reading at the Dramatists Guild in May 2012 and a world
premiere full production at The Open Eye Theater in Margaretville, N.Y. on Memorial Day
FALL HOLY DAYS SCHEDULE (Details in September issue of “Temple
Saturday, Sept. 8 8:00 pm Selichot service
Sunday, Sept. 16 8:00 pm Erev Rosh Hashanah service
Monday, Sept. 17 10:00 am First day Rosh Hashanah – Morning service
12:15 pm Luncheon
1:30 pm Children’s service
2:15 pm Tashlikh
8:00 pm Evening service
Tuesday, Sept. 18 10:00 am Second day Rosh Hashanah – Morning service
Friday, Sept. 21 8:00 pm Shabbat Shuvah
Sunday, Sept. 23 10:00 am Yizkor service at cemetery
Tuesday, Sept. 25 8:00 pm Kol Nidre service
Wednesday, Sept. 26 10:00 am Yom Kippur – Morning service
3:00 pm Afternoon service
4:30 pm Children’s service
5:00 pm Yizkor service
5:30 pm Neilah service
6:30 pm Break-the-fast
Friday, Oct. 5 6:00 pm Shabbat and Sukkot dinner
7:00 pm Shabbat and Sukkot service
Sunday, Oct. 7 1:30 pm Simchat Torah and Consecration
Thank you to those who baked and contributed the delicious cheesecakes we enjoyed
at our Shavuot picnic: Elaine Hamburg, Amy Scher, Kay Jones, Melissa Iturria, Phyllis
Singer, Melanie Curtis, Cindy Platz, YaoYao Platz, Sophie Platz, and Alexandra Okeson-
Haberman. Thank you to the kitchen crew: Merlin Coffee, Melanie Curtis, Ilene Raphael,
and Mandy Van Ostran. And thank you to everyone who came to the picnic and made
Shavuot such a good time.
THANK YOU FROM THE RABBI
On behalf of myself and the congregation, I wish to thank those who stepped forward to lead the four
Shabbat services I missed while recuperating from surgery. Thank you to Mandy Van Ostran for
organizing the services. Thank you to Mandy, Irwin Cohen, Marc Cooper, and Pearl Walker for giving the
divrei Torah. Thank you to Marc Ekhause for leading the Torah services and for chanting Torah and
haftarah. Thank you to Mark Rushefsky, Ken Burstin, and Jonah Kaplan for leading services and playing
the guitar. Thank you to service readers Julian Pacheco, Alexandra Okeson-Haberman, Victoria Kaufman,
and Anna Weiner. You praiseworthy Jews empowered the congregation to fulfill the mitzvah of the
recitation of prayers on Shabbat.
Also I wish to thank everyone, especially the Sisterhood, for your visits, cards, food, drink, phone calls,
prayers, best wishes, and all manner of encouragement and support. You have truly helped me to achieve
a refuah shleimah, a speedy healing, and I appreciate your menschlichkeit from the bottom of my heart!