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TEMPLE TALK by fjwuxn

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                              Little Neck Jewish Center                                 Vol 5 Issue 4
                                                                     January 5769

                         Message        from Hazzan Mordechai Schram

                         This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine

       Light is a central and powerful image in our prayers and in our lives. The Torah begins with
the words “G-d said, ‘let there be light’; and there was light. G-d saw that the light was good, and G-d
separated the light from the darkness” (Bereshit 1:3-4). It is important to note that the sun was not
created until the fourth day. We understand from this that the source of light is from G-d not from the
sun.   Continuing on light themes: The first b’raha before the Shema, often called yotzer after the
phrase yotzer or u-vorei hoshekh – “…who forms light and creates darkness”, deals primary with our
recognition of G-d as Creator, with reference especially to the morning sunlight. The blessing ends
                Baruh ata adosehm, yotzer ha-m'orot - Blessed are You, Eternal G-d, who forms
with the phrase "
lights." Rav Munk says the “light” of this blessing refers not merely to the newly dawned day, but to
the physical forces of creation itself. Light is the energy-giving, life-giving force of the universe.
More on light: We both enter into and depart from Shabbat with light; the light of the Shabbat and
Havdallah candles. We try to bring this light of Shabbat inside of us and then carry that light into the
week. On Hanukkah the light is a miracle. We pray for the light of the Hanukkah candles to illumi-
nate the path(s) toward rededicating (Hanukkah means dedication) ourselves to the ways of Torah.

       The lights of our rituals are, therefore, a powerful metaphor for the light of G-d and the light
in which we are always striving to find within ourselves.       Light is both physical and spiritual; it
represents rebirth, return and renewal; it connects us to our wonder of being part of the splendor G-d’s
creation and in turn toward Torah, thankfulness and faith. On this Hanukkah may we rediscover and
rededicate ourselves to finding the light inside all of us to make our world a better place. Hag Urim
Sameach – wishing you all a happy and meaningful festival of lights.
Page 2

                          President’s Message                by Steve Aronowitz



At a special board meeting held on December 17, the following motion was passed unanimously with two ab-

         “Authorize the establishment of a steering committee to negotiate for a possible consolidation
         between Little Neck Jewish Center and Marathon Jewish Center. The steering committee is author-
         ized to establish sub-committees, as needed, and report to the Board of Trustees on a regular basis.”

The process actually began at last year’s Yom Hashoah memorial service when I first met the Marathon Jew-
ish Center president, Dr. Abe Dyzenhaus. We also spoke walking down 5th Avenue at last spring’s Israeli
Day Parade. We developed quick rapport and decided to speak again after the summer.

Here is the background leading up to the decision to convene formal discussions related to the Board’s re-
cent action:

    ?? In September, our Board of Trustees approved the establishment of an exploratory committee to dis-
       cuss the possible consolidation of Little Neck Jewish Center and Marathon Jewish Center Hebrew
       schools. MJC has approximately 30 students presently enrolled; LNJC has over 90 students. The
       committees from the respective synagogues met twice and it was quickly apparent that there was in-
       terest in discussing the potential of a full consolidation.

    ?? At a meeting held on December 7, the respective committees were joined by the president of Wan-
       tagh Jewish Center who spoke with us about the recent successful merger process with Farmingdale
       Jewish Center.

    ?? At the December 7 meeting, the committees determined that before going any further a motion (listed
       above) should be presented to the respective congregations for the purpose of ascertaining the inter-
       est level of conducting meaningful discussions regarding the future of both Jewish Centers.

This decision is, of course, a major development, particularly following what many would consider a low point
in our 60-year history. I am aware of the concerns of many of our congregants. Some individuals reflect, “It’s
too early following our last experience.” Others believe, “There is a good feeling in the temple right now.
Why risk another disappointment?” And some members sense that “our financial condition is good; we don’t
need a partner.” As president, I am elated that there is a ‘good feeling,’ but I assure you, it is temporary.
Our financial situation is barely adequate and that is only because of an increase in membership dues and
school tuition, and generous gifts from two recently deceased members. So, if you believe that our financial
condition is sound, even though demographics indicate few Jewish families are moving into our area, then
consider that we are negotiating from a position of strength.
                                                                                                         Page 3

As we approach negotiations, we will learn from our past experiences and, while those who played a signifi-
cant role in our last consolidation talks will not serve in similar positions, we will utilize their knowledge and
skills to avoid potential problems.

As we now know, negotiations of this magnitude require sensitivity, open-mindedness, and vision. I have rec-
ommended to the Board and it has been accepted that the following individuals will join me on the Steering

   ?? Executive Vice-president George Neiderman has served the temple in his present role for two terms.
      He is the consummate team player whose calm, unexcitable approach will be invaluable.

   ?? Vice-president for Education, Debbie Sosman, has earned a reputation of someone who “gets things
      done” and has great ability in bringing individuals to consensus, as evidenced by the continued im-
      provements of our Hebrew School program.

   ?? Board trustee Barbara Levine brings a wealth of financial knowledge and a savvy ability to communi-

I believe the Steering Committee members of Marathon Jewish Center come to the table with the same
hopes we have. Granted I have only met a few individuals representing MJC; however, I sense our values
are similar and that the two synagogues present “a good match.” Time will tell. Obviously, nothing is certain;
however, I am optimistic that we will reach accord in a timely manner, essential to the process. As we
move forward, sub-committees may be formed and other members will be asked to join us as, together, we
determine the future of Little Neck Jewish Center.

A critical area of concern which was brought up by several trustees at the December meeting was communi-
cation. Negotiations, quite naturally, take several up-and-down swings and sometimes information has to
be considered confidential (for a time period); however; the Steering Committee’s commitment to each mem-
ber of the congregation is to provide information on a regular basis, through meetings and written communi-
cation. As has always been my practice, any member may contact me (516) 353-0599 to discuss temple

The Steering Committee members have discussed what we believe are “non-negotiable” items for a success-
ful consolidation. To reiterate, we are sensitive to the feelings and needs of our members. The ‘balance
of power’ provides the Steering Committee with great decision-making responsibility; in the end, however, the
congregation votes ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ We begin these talks using that knowledge as our guide.

In conclusion, I appreciate the confidence you have in me as president. I assure you that I take the responsi-
bility seriously and every decision I make will reflect my commitment to the synagogue. The same will hold
true for each member of the Steering Committee.
Page 4

                       Religious School News                   by Mr. Beryl Kwitkin

                                             Religious School News

The first mini- semester has ended and report cards have been mailed to parents. Parents have also received,
via e-mail, their child’s grade curriculum. The wording of the curriculum has been changed to make it easier
for parents to see the “academic expectations” for students in the different subjects they are taught.

The highlight of December programming in the Religious School took place on Wednesday, December 10 th,
when the School-Wide Yiddish Competition #1 was held. Students in grades Aleph through Hey participated
in demonstrating their knowledge of the ten Yiddish words (nosh, kvetch, shelp, shmutz, oy vey, plotz, nu,
shamooze, chutzpah, and kibbutz) they had been learning during the 1st mini-semester. During this Yiddish
Competition, our “Guest Judges”, Steve Aronowitz and Debbie Sosman, made public the scores on the ten
original Yiddish sentences each class had previously submitted and then our Guest Judges evaluated a “skit”
each class preformed to demonstrate their understanding of the ten Yiddish words which had been studied. For
the final part of this competition, Mr. Kwitkin asked each class to answer “Jeopardy!” type questions for the
“extra” food related Yiddish words (bagel, lox, bialy, blintz, halvah, gefilte fish, knish, kugel, rugelach)
which also had been studied. Classes scored within five points of each other and will take their scores into the
next round of the Yiddish Competition, to be held in March 2009. (Note: The judges, teachers, Mr. Kwitkin,
and the parent in attendance were all kvelling from the nachas being demonstrated by students during this
Yiddish Competition.)

Todah rabah (thank you) to Mrs. Laurie Neiderman (and to her helpers) for putting together a Chanukah gift
bag for the students in our Religious School. The box of candles, dreydel, and chocolate coins helped to make
the holiday of Chanukah a bit
more practical and enjoyable for students.

Parents should have received the second e- mail report of their children’s Junior Congregation / Shabbat atten-
dance. It is the responsibility of parents to “self-report” the dates when their children have attended Shabbat
services (other than Junior Cong.) in order to work towards satisfying each grade’s service attendance require-

On Friday evening January 30 the second grade service, focusing in upon Daled students, will take place.
Daled students will help Cantor Schram conduct this welcoming service for Shabbat. All are invited to attend
and participate in this unique Shabbat experience.

On January 5th, upon their return to Religious School from the Chanukah / winter recess, students will gather
in an assembly to welcome the new Jewish month of Tevet, by reciting sections of the Hallel prayer and eating
a Rosh Chodesh (new month) snack of cookies and apple juice.
                                                                                                            Page 5

In January students in each class will be collecting money to purchase a class tree to be planted in Israel in
honor of Tu B’shevat, to be observed on February 9, 2009.

On January 14 the Religious School’s teaching staff will participate in the third “Staff Development and
Learning”. This series of on-site workshops, sponsored by METNY (the New York Region of United Syna-
gogue), shows that our synagogue dues, which are paid to the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism of
America, gives us the “dividend” of no-cost participation in the METNY’s new “PaRDes Yaachov Program”
for a total of four on-site workshops during the school year for teacher development and learning.

Beryl Kwitkin
Education Director

          On behalf of the entire congregation, we extend our condolences to Rabbi
          Prouser and his family following the passing of his father, Melvin, earlier in
          December. A group of temple members attended the funeral in Northampton,
          MA., on December 14. The service was officiated by our Rabbi and was a
          beautiful tribute to his dad.

         Please make every attempt to join us for services, Friday evenings, Saturday and Sunday
         mornings, and particularly Saturday afternoons, to ensure that we have a minyan consis-
Page 6

                                January 2009
      SUN                       MON                TUE         WED                 THU                FRI                   SAT

                                                                              1               2                        3

                                                                                              Candle Lighting   4:20

4                        5                    6          7                    8               9                        10
                         Religious School                Sisterhood meeting   Board Meeting
                         Classes resumed                 With Hazzan Schram 7:45 PM
                                                         7:30 PM                              Candle Lighting   4:27

11                       12                   13         14                   15              16                       17
Ritual Committee                                         Sisterhood meeting
                                                         With Hazzan Schram
                                                         7:30 PM                              Candle Lighting   4:35
                                                         21    School Bd.
18                       19                   20              Meeting 7 PM
                                                                              22              23                       24
Sisterhood Committee     Martin Luther King              Sisterhood meeting

                         No Rel . School                 With Hazzan Schram
                         Classes                         7:30 PM                              Candle Lighting   4:43

25                       26                   27         28                   29              30                       31
                                                         Sisterhood meeting                   Dolad Class
                                                         With Hazzan Schram                   Evening Service
                                                         7:30 PM                              Candle Lighting   4:51

Betsy Budne-Fennel, Deanne Raffel and Harriet Spivack have undertaken to provide seasonal floral arrange-
ments for our sanctuary while being constrained by an austerity budget. Speaking for myself, I have found the
displays, silk though they may be, to be colorful, appropriate and refreshing. They are a considerable improve-
ment to the bare sanctuary that existed previously.
I am grateful to this team for their creative, ongoing efforts.
                       Joan Ross
                                                                                                                                Page 7

                                         House Committee By Lysa Lopater
 Big changes are coming in the synagogue! You will notice during January and February the renovations taking place in the ball-
room and with the lobby lighting. In addition, we are installing light sensors for both the front and rear entrances which will enhance
safety and save money at the same time...a win-win situation.
I want to thank the members of my committee for all of their painstaking efforts in helping to obtain bids and samples for us to hag-
gle over in choosing the decor. This has truly been a team effort!
From my family to yours, have a very Happy Chanukah!
Lysa Lopater
VP House Committee

                                                Sisterhood by Ellen Baskin
Got a case of the winter doldrums? Cabin fever? Bored watching the same old television shows? Stimulate your mind and read a
book. The Sisterhood Book Review meets about every six weeks so you have plenty of time to read the book, Mao's Last Dancer by
Li Cunxin, The book is about a memoir about a Chinese male dancer who defects to the West. The book has received good re-
views. Please join the Book Review for a lively and interesting discussion of the book. at our next meeting on Tuesday, February 3,
2009. We will be meeting at Elane Berk's house, 18 Birch Hill Road, Lake Success at 7:30. Please call Elane at 516-570-2611 to
let her know if you are coming.
      The book Review is planning to read the following books for our future discussions in 2009. We have chosen a variety of
genres, settings(around the world) and authors. Some of the titles and authors are Brain Wave by Shuli Mensch, Manhunt: The 12
Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson, Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky, and Women In Jerusalem by A.B. Ye-
hoshua. Any other questions about the Book Review call Ellen Baskin at 516-487-6653.

                                    Special Gifts Committee By Neil Berman

We acknowledge the additions to our Memorial Tablets by:
Steve Aronowitz in memory of his mother, Lydia Aronowitz.
Stanley Wirtheim in memory of his parents, Vera Wirtheim and Julius Wirtheim.
Jane Blecher in memory of her mother, Wilma Blecher.
Mel Jacknowitz in memory of his father, Samuel Jacknowitz.
Toby Goldberg in memory of her mother, Beatrice Rice.
We acknowledge another generous donation from Gladys Dorfler for the Yahrzeits of her beloved family

Members interested in purchasing nameplates for the Memorial Tablets, Simcha Tree leaves, or wishing to
make donations for any occasion can do so by contacting Edith at the Temple office or any of the Committee

                                       Neil Berman, Chairman     516 482-6672
                                             Esther Forman 516 466-8818
                                              Stanley Nash 718 423-0784
                                              Gene Rattien 516 466-0490
Page 8


    3 LOGAN SLAKTER                          3 MOIEL & SHIRA YEGANEH
    4 JEFFREY COHEN                          9 PETER & EVA KESSNER
    4 HEATHER MAKOVER                      10 DR RONALD & MRS ADINA ROSEN
    5 CARYN NAHUM                          16 MORGAN & IRINA STARR
    6 REBECCA KRONWITH                     17 MARTIN & NANCY PHILLIPS
    6 ELISABETH SHALLER                    18 IRWIN & JANET TOBIN
    7 MRS ROSLYN CABIN                     20 DR SAMUEL & MRS RHODA FLEISHER
    7 REBECCA GELFAND                      28 DAVID & NATALIE KNEE
    7 ADAM DYBER                           29 DR GARY & MRS JAGI GECELTER
   11 SCOTT GOODMAN                 PLEASE NOTE.....There has been some confusion regarding
                                    names listed on our birthday/anniversary lists. Since short-
   12 BRETT DIEBER                   age of printing space precludes us from listing every mem-
                                    ber’s date, we limit the list to the following people: the birth-
   12 JONAH MITTLER                 days of all children under 23 and their siblings, birthdays of
                                     our single members, wedding anniversaries of our married
                                     members. This allows each family to be mentioned at least
   14 MRS FLORENCE SCHUMACK           once over the course of a year. If you have been omitted
                                      from the above, please call (718) 224-0404 or email us at
   14 JAKE GINSBERG                           
                                                   BRIGHT IDEAS
   19 SEAN ADWAR                                      for LIVING
   19 ROBERT FRIEDNER                                    at your
                                                   JUDAICA SHOP
   23 JULIETTE REISS                            See our Display Case in the
                                                  temple lobby or call the
                                                 temple office 718-224-0404
                                             Page 9

        Little Neck Jewish Center

      Invites you to study with

Hazzan Mordechai Schram

           Learn Prayers
          Their Meanings
          Their Melodies
       A blend of tradition and modern
  Get to know LNJC’s distinguished HAZZAN!

       Wednesdays in January
           7, 14, 21, 28
            7:30 P.M.

            Little Neck Jewish Center
           49-10 Little Neck Parkway
            Little Neck, N.Y. 11362
                 718 224 -0404
Page 10

                    *** *** *** *** *** ***

                 Membership Email
                   Address List
          Many members have approached us requesting
            that we send out fliers, notices, and other
           items via the internet. We are attempting to
           compile a list of members’ e-mail addresses.
              Kindly forward your e-mail address to:
Page 11
     Little Neck Jewish                                                                                   Non-Profit Org.
            Center                                                                                        U.S. Postage
       49-10 Little Neck Pkwy                                                                             Great Neck, NY
        Little Neck, NY 11362
                                                                                                          PERMIT No. 57
 718-224-0404 / 718- 225-5768 Fax
Office Hours : Mon-Th 9am-2:30pm
                    Fri 9am-1pm

       Joseph Prouser, Rabbi
     Hazzan Mordechai Schram
 Dr. A.B. Eckstein, Rabbi Emeritus
  Julian Raber, Cantor Emeritus
     Steve Aronowitz, President
 Beryl Kwitkin, Education Director

    We’re on the Web! LNJC.ORG

                                                                       Join us for services:
                                                Sunday minyan 8:45 am (followed by breakfast)
                                                                     Friday evening 6:30 pm
                                                                  Saturday morning 9:15 am
                                                            (Junior Congregation at 10:45 am)

                                             SHABBAT MINCHA
                                                       Saturday mincha begins 30 minutes
                                                       before Friday’s candlelighting time

                                           (Services are less formal and even more child-friendly than usual.
                                                            Jr. Congregation credit IS given)
                                                                 30 minute Mincha Service
                                             45 minute “Seudah Shlishit” (light Shabbat meal with Singing!)
                                                           15 minute Evening/Havdallah service

                              To make an addition or correction (our apologies), please call the office
                                  at 718-224-0404 or e-mail us at:

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