TEMPLE MENORAH HIGHLIGHTS
MAY 8: NOT FOR CHILDREN ONLY ♫♪ SCHOOL NOTES ♫♪
by Nettie Katzenberg, Vice President for Education
Temple Menorah’s May 8 visit to the Holocaust
Museum in Skokie, although planned with the Family On April 24, we celebrated the second Seder at
School in mind, is not for children only. All Temple Temple Menorah, capably led by Rabbi David Spitz.
members are invited to attend. Many thanks to Hank Tausend for making the charoses
The event, which will be attended by another and to Mike Caselman for designing the Pesach flyer.
religious school group as well, will begin promptly at 10 Also, thanks much to Stephanie Dertz, Johnnie and Julia
a.m., and participants are urged to arrive on time. Barber, and Wilma Maxwell for helping out.
Parking is easily available at the museum, located at On May 8, the religious school will visit the
4233 W. Main Street. Holocaust Museum in Skokie. We will view a short film
―This experience should stimulate a great deal of and listen to a presentation by a survivor. This should
discussion,‖ according to Marlene McLeod, who prove to be a very insightful morning for all. Thanks to
organized the visit. Marlene McLeod for making all of the arrangements. All
Marlene reminds Family School parents to bring their temple members are welcome to attend.
children directly to the Museum, rather than to Temple
Menorah that morning. She also urges parents to stay --------------------------------------------------------------------
with their children for the film and presentation. DO YOU DO SHAVUOT?
―It will give you an excellent opportunity to respond
to your child’s questions with greater familiarity and No, Shavuot is not the newest funky dance. It is the
comfort,‖ she notes. holiday following the 50-day period of the counting of
the omer. Shavuot, which begins on the evening of June
12 this year, is intended to remind us of the link between
AY 15: WALK WITH ISRAEL Passover, when the Israelites were led out of Egypt, and
the giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai.
Temple Menorah is once again participating in the The same 50-day period is also (with the exception of
Walk with Israel. All Temple Menorah members are Lag B’Omer, which takes place on the 33rd day) a time
urged to meet at Menorah at 9 a.m. Registration for the of partial mourning. Traditionally, during this time
walk will be at the JCC, from which point the walk will weddings, parties, and other jollity are forbidden in
proceed to the Skokie Sports Park about 1-1/2 miles memory of a plague during the time of Rabbi Akiba (c.
away. 15 to 35 CE.).
For more information, please contact the Temple The end of the counting of the omer, therefore, is a
Menorah office. double cause for rejoicing. Usually this is done by
holding a Layl Tikun Shavuot or study session, including
reading the Book of Ruth (see crash course, page 3).
CONGREGATION CONTACTS But this is not just any study session. Typically,
Temple Menorah office, Stephanie Dertz, Secretary: celebrants try to stay up all night, helped by stories,
773/761-5700; firstname.lastname@example.org songs, dancing, children’s activities, and (of course) lots
Board of Directors President, Ted Goldsmith: of food.
773/508-5739; email@example.com Does this sound like fun? Temple members who have
Building Vice President, Marty Vesole 847/821-1472 attended Shavuot celebrations at Menorah in the past had
Education Vice President, Nettie Katzenberg: a great time. And the more people who attend, the more
847/983-0235 fun it is.
Religion Vice President, Mark Zaltman 773/508-5709 If you think you would like to help organize such an
Highlights Editor, Lisa Yondorf: 773/262-1396; event, please contact Vice President for Religion Mark
firstname.lastname@example.org Zaltman (phone 773/508-5709) and Rabbi Spitz (phone
Rabbi Bruce Gottlieb: 219/873-0150 847/362-4226).
Rabbi David Spitz: 847/362-4226
TEMPLE MENORAH HIGHLIGHTS – page 2
FROM THE PRESIDENT SIMCHAS
By Ted Goldsmith MAY
A couple weeks ago, the weekend of April 8-10, John 18 Therese Yee and Norman Milsk
McLeod, the Temple’s Executive Vice-President, and I Birthdays
had the opportunity to attend a Union for Reform 2 Sue Spitz
Judaism (URJ) Small Congregations Conference in Fort 6 Stephany Slutzky (21)
Wayne, Indiana. John and I both agree that it was a 8 Harold Rosenberg
worthwhile trip and gave us a lot of things to think 11 Janice Goldsmith
about. Although each small congregation is unique, we 12 Marissa Maile (15)
found that many small congregations share our problems Linda Olson
and concerns. We also met many of the staff from the 14 Jaclyn Gitlis (13)
Midwest Regions of the URJ, who seemed to be Marlene McLeod
genuinely committed to helping its struggling 19 Andrew Arons
congregations. 23 Rebecca Milsk (18)
The first activity of note was the Friday night 26 Lori Klein-Blazek
Shabbat service, which I unfortunately missed, but John Nikki Willens (16)
told me about. It was a big ―shebang‖, complete with a 27 Linda Schmelkin
Klezmer band, dancing in the aisles, and a multi-member 30 Ivan Joseph
choir. The result was a very lively and charismatic JUNE
evening, with many non-members and a number of non- Anniversaries
Jews even, attending. What certainly it told us is that 7 Helga and Harold Rosenberg
music always draws, and people love a party. If that 9 Marlene and Alan Baer
what it takes, let’s try it! 14 Adrienne and Bruce Gottlieb
There were also exercises and group activities the 23 Zelda and Richard Ginzburger
next day, including an exercise that focused on strengths 25 Sue and David Spitz
and weaknesses of small congregations. We learned 27 Nettie and Joel Katzenberg
about congregations even smaller than ours (25 families Iris and henry Tausent
in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan), congregations of under 100 30 Harriet and Richard Arons
families, and one which started only a year and a half Lillian and Vernon Crasner
ago. There are certainly advantages to being small, but Birthdays
there are the well-documented energy, money, and 2 Martin Vesole
membership drains. 10 Iris Tausent
Finally, on Sunday, I attended a workshop on 17 Larry Baer (21)
membership/outreach, which was quite interesting. The 26 Matthew Cohen
workshop was led by Rabbi Dan Rabishaw, who is the 28 Marci Mies (20)
Great Lakes Region Director, and focused on the idea of 29 Steve Hirsh
―connection.‖ That concept is something I have thought
a lot about the last few months and I think holds the key On the sick list: Temple Menorah wishes all the best to
to any congregation’s success in maintaining its strength, Allen Berman, Ivan Joseph, and Rose Vesole.
both from within and without. In fact, ―connection‖ is
what brings in and keeps new members, a connection
when potential members come and visit. But even more
importantly, the successful congregations are those that IN MEMORIAM
keep a connection with those within the congregation.
Phil Sudakoff (April 7)
This is the backbone of the congregation, which keeps
Former long-time member of Temple Menorah
its members feeling a part of the group. And that, I am
convinced, is what we need to focus more of our
attention on in Menorah. We need to make sure that our
connections to each other get renewed, and continue to
grow. We need to reach out to all our members; it is the
responsibility of each of us to establish connections.
TEMPLE MENORAH HIGHLIGHTS – page 3
by Bruce Gottlieb Torah by E-mail
The Union for Reform Judaism offers a weekly Torah
Adrienne and I subscribed to The Goodman Theatre commentary for congregational and home use. The
series. This past weekend we were privileged to see Silk. commentaries—parashat by parashat—are available
It is a rich, sensuous, and ingenious work directed by online at urj.org/torah/. You can have the newest week’s
Mary Zimmerman and based on the novel by Alessandro commentary delivered directly to you by e-mail —
Baricco. I like to go to movies to sit back and be follow the link from the Torah page.
entertained. I like to go to theatre to sit up, be grabbed, Israel Independence Day Resources
and made to think. There are two lines from the Silk For Yom HaAtzma-ut--Israel Independence Day—which
script that grabbed me, and have been running through falls on Thursday, May 12, ARZA has prepared a variety
my mind. I plan to use these two ideas with the of resources to help you and your family celebrate
substance abuse group I facilitate, but they speak to all through study and worship. Visit
of us. www.arza.org/israel/israelmatters.htm, to find "Simchat
Sometimes rabbis help by teaching and giving Arzeinu: Discovering Our Land," ARZA's Yom
advice. We forget that sometimes we can help simply by HaAtzma-ut resource guide. Featuring a brief history of
asking a question and then stepping back. For this article Yom HaAtzma-ut, information about Jewish
I plan only to share those two lines, ask some questions, communities in the Diaspora, biographical sketches of
and invite you to ask more questions and to find your important Zionists, a bibliography that lists important
answers. Israeli literary, cinematic, and musical achievements and
“Most people observe their own destiny as they a guide to selected poems by Yehuda Amichai, "Simchat
observe a rainy day.” Do you merely observe your Arzeinu" offers resources for learners of all ages.
destiny or do you really take an active role in defining Help With End-of-Life Decisions
it? Is your destiny something you embrace as full of life This spring the Terri Schiavo case placed end-of-life
and promise, or is it something you view as gloomy and decisions front and center in the national consciousness
something from which to be shielded? and led people of all faiths to write living wills. URJ
“Reasons get forgotten.” What do you do - good or publishes a guide that addresses end-of-life decisions
bad - but do not remember why? Do you accept that or from a Reform perspective. A Time to Prepare, by Rabbi
do you seek to recover old reasons and create new Richard F. Address, is part informational guide and part
reasons? workbook, and covers topics including durable power of
attorney, organ donation, wills, ethical wills, rituals for
BOOK OF RUTH – THE SHORT, SHORT VERSION saying good-bye, and more. To order, contact the URJ
If Shavuot commemorates the anniversary of the Press toll-free at 888/489.8242, e-mail email@example.com, or
giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses and the order online at www.urjpress.com. For still more
Israelites at Mount Sinai, why do we read the Book of information on end-of-life decisions, please visit
Shavuot, it turns out, also celebrates the culmination Registry of Holocaust Survivors Needs Names
of the barley harvest in Israel – and the crux of the story In 1981, the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust
of Ruth takes place at harvest time. Survivors established a national registry to document the
As you may remember, Ruth, a Moabite, was a lives of survivors who came to the United States after
faithful convert to Judaism. When her own husband World War II. Created to help survivors and their
died, she remained with Naomi, her widowed mother-in- descendants search for relatives and friends and to assist
law to help her, rather than returning to her own people in historical and genealogical research, the registry,
to seek a new husband. located in the Holocaust Memorial Museum in
Both women were very poor, and Ruth went to glean Washington, DC, includes more than 190,000 records
in the fields after the harvesters had done. There she met related to survivors and their families.
Boaz, the wealthy owner of the field, who had heard of The registry is seeking information from survivors
her good deed of standing by Naomi. who have yet to register. If you know a survivor, please
After a little conniving on Naomi’s part, Boaz encourage them to register at
eventually married Ruth. Ruth and Boaz were the great- www.ushmm.org/remembrance/registry, or contact the
grandparents of King David. Registry at 202/488-6130,
(For more information on the story of Ruth, see Web firstname.lastname@example.org.