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                                                     May 2005
         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

 M                                          
                                                            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;                  songs, dancing, children’s activities, and (of course) lots
Board of Directors President, Ted Goldsmith:                of food.
      773/508-5739;                              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                                 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
                                                                             URJ NEWS
                 RABBIS’ CORNER
                              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 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.                                                                                 , 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, or
giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses and the                                                  order online at 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-                                 , or contact the
grandparents of King David.                                                                      Registry at 202/488-6130,
    (For more information on the story of Ruth, see Web                                

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