“I looked after you in the desert…” Hosea 13:5
¡ADELANTE! The Temple Beth-El News
P.O. Box 1029, Las Cruces, NM 88004-1029, 505.524.3380 NOVEMBER 2006 / CHESHVAN-KISLEV 5767
News from “the Other Temple Beth-El” Mission Statement
By Jamie Bronstein Temple Beth-El is dedicated to
creating and maintaining an inti-
mate and involved Jewish commu-
Having spent the High HolyDays this year at what I’ve been calling
nity. We strive to be a place where
“the other Temple Beth-El,” in Aptos, California, I’ve had the oppor-
spiritual growth, tradition, and
tunity to observe what another congregation does differently. As I sat ritual provide meaning and comfort
among what seemed like hundreds of people, in a well-appointed to every person who comes through
sanctuary under a soaring roof, hearing Kol Nidre sung by a talented our doors. Temple Beth-El encour-
cantor and a tuneful choir, I was impressed. But I also had the oppor- ages its members to learn, celebrate,
tunity to reflect on some things that our Temple Beth-El—the Las serve, and grow together, so that each
Cruces one—really does right. person will have the fullest opportu-
nity to share the beauty of Jewish
We’re an egalitarian congregation. This comes out not so much in the
language of the prayers, which are not as completely neutral as some
I’ve heard—but in the way in which the congregation behaves.
There’s no selling of parking passes for hundreds of dollars so that
wealthy people can park closer to the sanctuary at the High Holy-
Days, while everyone else parks blocks away and takes a shuttle bus.
There’s no selling of reserved seating at the front, so that people with
money can walk in a minute before the service starts and sit in the
front row. We don’t just talk our egalitarianism: we live it.
We’re friendly and hospitable to strangers. We’re not so large a con-
gregation or so large a town that people we’ve never seen before
could show up to a Shabbat service or even to the High HolyDays
without people noticing and greeting them. Maybe it’s because Las
Cruces is a small town and there’s not that much going on—but I pre- TABLE OF CONTENTS
fer to think it’s because Las Crucens genuinely care about the well-
being of others and want them to feel comfortable . Affiliate News 8
Contacting Temple Beth-El 2
Our synagogue has an open door. Can you imagine a synagogue with Donations/Tributes 7
a locked door, where an attendant has to buzz you in? Where there High Holydays 11
isn’t a welcoming place to sit and schmooze while your child is in In Memoriam 14
religious school, so nobody sticks around? On the contrary, the Las Mazel Tov, Todah Rabbah 4
Cruces Temple is a magnet. People have walked in during services or President’s Message 2
potlucks who obviously had no current connection with the Temple, Rabbi’s Message 2
and have had their questions answered regarding what goes on there Upcoming Events 15
on a Friday night, with an invitation to come and see.
There are some things that we can surely absorb from looking at what
other synagogues do well—as editor-in exile, I’ve been collecting
ideas that I’ll share at a later date. But together, we ought to celebrate
what we do well: creating that egalitarian, homey, open-door feeling.
CONTACTING TEMPLE ¡ADELANTE! THE TEMPLE BETH-EL NEWS Page 2
Rabbi: From the Rabbi: The High HolyDays: Their Message
524-3380 While the month of holidays is behind us, their message lingers and evolves throughout the
firstname.lastname@example.org, This idea was brought home to me strongly by this article which was published in the LA
messages 522-2777 Jewish Journal on September 29, 2006. It is reprinted with the permission of the author. It
Treasurer: took Anne Brener a full year to arrive a unique vantage point. May we use the coming year to
Marianne Panzini-Rosenthal evolve and develop our strengths and work on our I’m Sorry thoughts. It is challenging work,
but it will make us into more caring and sensitive souls.
Religious School: The Book of Jonah: When Doves Call
Beth Edwards 532-0335
by Anne Brener - reprinted with permission from the author
It's time for Jonah again. I cherish this prophet, whose Hebrew name, “Yonah” means
“dove,” the bird of peace. I consider him a member of the family.
Family Shabbat: Shortly after the deaths of my mother and sister in 1971, the rabbi of New Orleans’s syna-
Susannah Skyer Gupta 522-1070 gogue, Shir Chadash, gave my dad, Mike Brener (z'l), the honor of reading the Book of Jonah
Lisa Weinbaum 522-1910 on Yom Kippur afternoon. The rabbi hoped this would engage my father in the community
Hadassah: and deliver him from the waters of grief.
Diane Bass 522-3833
Mensch Club: My father embraced the invitation. Like Jonah he escaped drowning.
email@example.com, In gratitude, my dad framed a wooden structure in the synagogue courtyard to be outfitted
522-6594 each year as a sukkah and used for celebrations. His gift captured the exquisite paradox af-
Worship Committee: firmed after Yom Kippur when we build sukkot:
Corry McKissack 526-9661
Life is fragile, like these huts, but despite our vulnerability we celebrate z’man simchatanu,
Beth-El Temple Youth
(BETY) : “The Time of Our Joy.” My father continued to chant Jonah until his death in 1995. He and
firstname.lastname@example.org, President’s Message
Oneg Organizer: I owe a debt of gratitude to the many members who made the High HolyDays so memora-
Debbie Levy ble. The worship committee—chaired by Corry McKissack—had great planning, and I
email@example.com, want to thank every reader for their efforts. Special thanks to Leora Zeitlin, Stuart Kelter,
526-9100 and Gabriel Lampert for the voices that sustained and beautified the services. The Torah
This newsletter is your forum for crew lifted and schlepped the Torah with great energy and assisted the reading as is usual.
Jewish news and information! The break-the-fast crew did an outstanding job providing for our recovery. I get a big smile
Please take advantage of the op- thinking of the smiles and warmth radiating from the social hall as we broke the fast.
portunity to get your news item,
creative writing or unique per- I’d like to thank the Levys for helping me get the chairs into storage as the usher group got
spective out there by submitting
the books put away after the services. I’d also like to thank the attendees for their warmth
it to: nmbethelnewslet-
firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions? call and support in this most important time. You may notice I could not list everyone, for every-
the editor, Jamie Bronstein, at one needs a kudo and thanks for pulling off this community event.We have spent 72% of the
831-458-3262 (h). budgeted monies for the new building and have begun to draw on the line of credit from
First National Bank to complete the building.
(continued on p. 9)
Page 3 NOVEMBER 2006 / CHESHVAN-KISLEV 5767
Jonah became so closely linked that the year after he died, only the rabbi would step up to the bimah on Yom Kippur after-
noon to fill his shoes. Jonah is so human. This prophet, who hears God’s call and runs in the opposite direction, speaks for
the part of all of us that would rather sit, like Jonah, in the shade, drink cool drinks, and mutter about evil, rather than arm
ourselves with righteousness and set upon the overwhelming wrongs we are called to confront.
While I am no prophet, in the last year I have had the sense of being called. Like Jonah, I would not have chosen my mis-
sions. As the Days of Awe approach, I realize that it has been a Year of Awe. The Hebrew word for awe, “yirah,” is vari-
ously translated as awe, fear, reverence, terror, and horror. It describes our shock when we come toe-to-toe with the great
mysteries of life and death and cannot absorb them. Our spiritual imperative is to traverse the narrow bridge from the awe
of fear and trembling to the awe that represents a renewal of reverence and love.
This year, with Jonah as my companion, I have taken two journeys on that bridge. These excursions have given me a fright-
ening view of what Al Gore might call “An Inconvenient Promised Land.” I have visited the Land of Mass Environmental
Disaster and the Land of Cancer. I fear these might be waiting for all of us, if we remain mired in fear and denial and do not
find a way to steer our community to align with the Yom Kippur biblical call to “choose life.”
My call came three days before Rosh Hashanah last year. It came, not from heaven, but on my cellphone, through God's
representative: the current rabbi of Shir Chadash. I was in New York, after working with the Red Cross in Mississippi. I had
intended to go to Baton Rouge where the relief efforts of the New Orleans Jewish agencies were regrouping. But Hurricane
Rita was approaching. I headed East instead of West and waited out the storm.
I e-mailed the rabbi to ask if I could help, thinking he would ask me to make pastoral visits to congregants remaining in
Louisiana. Within an hour, he called. Most of the congregation was in Houston. He was going there to lead Rosh Hashanah
services for them. There was a small group left in New Orleans. They wanted a service. Would I lead?
Like Jonah, I was afraid. In the seconds between his question and my response, I reminded myself that I had only three days
to learn an unfamiliar machzor, write sermons and review Torah portions. I had never led High Holiday services without a
cantor. I blow shofar poorly. Then I thought of Jonah who ran away when he was called. I said, “Yes.” A few frantic days
later, I was on a plane, headed, not to Nineveh, but to New Orleans.
A flight into New Orleans used to have a party atmosphere. But on the day before the Yomim Noraim, my fellow travelers
and I descended with mouths agape in horror. We looked down at the swamps that had reclaimed the Crescent City. My
fellow travelers were in two categories. There were the relief workers: FEMA, the Corps of Engineers, Red Cross, Salvation
Army and others from around the world on missions of mercy and repair. And there were the returnees: people coming
home from exile, having fled to havens across the Southern states and further. I was in both categories.
I was coming to bring relief, and I was coming home. I fled New Orleans years ago, not because of a hurricane, but after the
deaths of my mother and my sister. So in a sense, though I have spent much time in New Orleans in the ensuing years, I was
also returning from exile. I was making the journey on the day before Rosh Hashanah, the day that had sent me running
from the city in 1971. For it was on the day before Rosh Hashanah in 1971 that my mother killed herself. As I headed to
New Orleans, my early losses, my efforts at healing, first for myself and then through my writing and work as a psycho-
therapist and spiritual director, and, now my rabbinical studies, all of this seemed to be part of some mysterious curriculum
that had been preparing me for this for my entire life. My teacher, Rabbi Jonathan Omer-Man, used to ask, "What is the
question for which your life is the answer?"
My question had to have been, "Will you come to help after Katrina?" (continued on p. 11)
Page 4 NOVEMBER 2006 / CHESHVAN-KISLEV 5767
Messages to Our Community
. . . to Charlotte Jones who won blue and red ribbons for her two handmade porcelain doll entries in the Southern New Mexico
. . . to Willie Pass on the birth of his great-grandson Matthew Francis Newman, on September 27 in Manchester, New Hampshire.
. . . to Ann Hansen on being named Worthy Matron of the Las Cruces Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star on September 30.
. . . to Jim and Marianne Panzini Rosenthal on the birth of their grandson Levi in Austin, Texas.
. . . to Kathi Barit for her inspiration to our children and for her development of creative art projects for Sukkot and Simchat To-
rah. We look forward to Kathi’s continued volunteer involvement with our religious school.
. . . to Papa John’s Pizza on Missouri and General Manager Jeff Lemons for the donation of pizza for our Simchat Torah celebra-
tion and to Elaine Cohen and members of our Sisterhood for the delicious salads and desserts.
. . . to Leora Zeitlin and Stuart Kelter and Gabriel Lampert for their help in making Simchat Torah such a joy.
(continued on p. 8)
And right in the heart of town...
Come relax in our casual restaurant and café, serving a full menu ranging from falafel, hummus, baba
ghanouj and Greek salad to lamb shanks and kebab. Choose an espresso drink to accompany your baklava,
tiramisu, or cheesecake — then select something delicious to take home with you from our extensive selec-
tion of specialty groceries. Italian pasta? Swiss chocolate? Phyllo dough? Feta cheese? Proper British loose-leaf
tea? Which of our olive oils will you try this time? Or why not let us cater your next party?
1245 El Paseo 505.647.5956
Mon-Sat. 7 am—midnight, Sunday 8 am—midnight
Page 5 NOVEMBER 2006 / CHESHVAN-KISLEV 5767
2007 URJ Biennial Looms in Costa Mesa
It’s time to start making plans! Make sure to be part of the 2007 Regional Biennial, February 23rd to 25th in beautiful Costa
What is Biennial? It is an uplifting and overwhelming experience, an opportunity to pray and share ideas and connect with a
huge community of committed Reform Jews, a chance to learn from and be inspired by our Movement’s leaders. This year our
Biennial returns to its historic home, the Hilton Costa Mesa, which was recently renovated to upgrade the comfort and ele-
gance of all its guest rooms and meeting spaces.
Our 24th Biennial Convention will be enlivened by some new and exciting elements, including:
• Four pre-Biennial study opportunities: our HUC scholars kallah, a Sacred Aging kallah, a membership kallah, and an
• A full track on the timely and controversial social action issue of immigration
• “Shabbat Rocks” and the “Battle of the Choirs”
• “Affinity” networking lunches on Shabbat.
And we will be enriched by many special and stimulating guests, including:
• Rabbi Lenny Thal, with his unique understandings and humor
• The wise and witty Rabbi Richard Address on “Sacred Aging”
• Rabbinic texts specialist Dr. Alyssa Gray and Jewish languages maven Dr. Sarah Bunin Benor
• World Union for Progressive Judaism expert on Israel, the FSU and South American Jewry, Rabbi Joel Oseran
Find out why over 500 synagogue leaders—clergy and staff, lay leaders, and involved members alike—were so happy that
they attended the 23rd Biennial Convention in 2005. Share the Biennial highlights they had:
• Shabbat services that were beautiful davening experiences: spiritual, innovative and exciting, and filled with ruach
• Stimulating and exciting speakers and down-to-earth workshops that gave participants new ideas for practical action
• The camaraderie of connecting and reconnecting with leaders from other congregations and the opportunity to discuss
issues of common concern
• Networking with North American and regional staff and learning about resources available from the Union for Reform
• Fabulous entertainment
Mark your calendars! Get ready to be part of the special energy and the amazing experience that is Biennial!
MAH JONG PLAYERS WANTED!
Beginners, rusty or experienced. Looking to start up a
group or more. Time and location will depend on who is
interested. Please contact Kathi Barit at 522-7182 by
December 1 to get the tiles clicking!
Page 6 NOVEMBER 2006 / CHESHVAN-KISLEV 5767
Mi Sheberach List
Since its inauguration in December of 1998, our Mi Sheberach list has grown in size. Many in our congregation and the
community ask for names to be included, yet do not attend services to offer the prayers in person.
In an effort to monitor the well-being of those on the list, and to keep the information current, Rabbi Kane has decided to
implement a suggestion given to him by Ricki Haith, the founder of the original Kansas City PRAYERWORKS
group, and the inspiration for our PRAYERWORKS group which meets monthly.
Names will be left on the Mi Sheberach list and read for two months (eight weeks) unless Rabbi Kane is otherwise noti-
fied. This is a change from past policy, in which names were kept on the list for three months. Our list continues to
grow, and more and more members are not informing the Rabbi.
Rabbi Kane On Sabbatical
October 24-November 28
Rabbi Kane will be on sabbatical from October 24
through November 28. In case of emergency, please
contact President Paul Feil at 522-2777 or at
email@example.com. As of press time, arrangements are
being made for emergency rabbinical coverage if neces-
A Thank You From the Marianne Panzini Rosenthal
On behalf of the Rosh Hashanah Oneg Committee (Bea
Klein, Brenda Parish, Karen Currier and myself), I would
like to thank all of the Sisterhood members whose contri-
butions of food, time, and effort made the celebration such
a sweet beginning to the New Year. What most impressed
me was not how well you all can bake (which you can), or
how generous you were in your efforts (which you were),
but rather how wonderfully caring and supportive your re-
sponse was to the Committee members who sought your
assistance . . . testament to the fact, I think, that we are, and
remain, a cohesive community of women of valor. Many,
Page 7 NOVEMBER 2006 / CHESHVAN-KISLEV 5767
Donations and Tributes From the Treasurer
Donations to Temple Beth-El are grate-
fully accepted for the following funds and
General Operating Fund
General Operating Fund
for the Temple’s day-to-day operation
In honor of Irv and Nina Rothman Building Maintenance Fund
—From Grace Hammesfahr for repair and upkeep of our current
In Memory of Burton Zuckerman
for construction of our new building
—From Elaine Cutcher Community Service Fund
for various projects that benefit both our
In honor of Stanley Kaminsky community and Las Cruces/Southern
—From Jane and Bill Zuckerman Send a Kid to Israel Program (S.K.I.P. Fund)
to send Temple youth to Israel
Fund 2004 Irving Batkin Memorial Scholarship Fund
to provide a Jewish education for our
children: earnings from this fund are used
With thanks to Rabbi Kane mainly to offset the cost of operating our
—From Dee Cook Religious School
Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund
used by the rabbi for educational pur-
In memory of Burt Zuckerman, Len Sugerman, and Leonard Weinglass poses, religious needs, and tzedakah
—From Harry and Diane Bass (charity/philanthropy)
Periodically, the temple may list other
In honor of my wonderful parents, Geneva and Leonard Pritikin short-term projects or needs. Contribu-
—From Neysa Pritikin tions that do not specify a project or fund
will be added to the General Operating
Fund. If you have a question or wish to
Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund contribute for a project not listed here,
please contact Treasurer Marianne
In honor of Yetta and Morris Feldman and Mac Singer
—From Lillian Singer
In honor of Ethan Rosenberg
—From Joshua and Valerie Rosenberg
Irving Batkin Memorial Scholarship Fund
—From Ari and Carrie Swartz
Page 8 NOVEMBER 2006 / CHESHVAN-KISLEV 5767
First of all I would like to offer a heartfelt thanks to the committee for the Erev Rosh Hashanah oneg. Bea Klein and Marianne
Panzini-Rosenthal, along with their able team Brenda Parish and Karen Currier, as well as all those who donated time, money, and
food, put together an elegant and delicious spread. As Marianne said in her personal thanks to all of you, “…we are, and remain, a
cohesive community of women of valor.”
Also, I would like to thank Ann Berkson, Dee Cook, and Paula Kramer for organizing what did indeed turn out to be a “delicious
and abundant Yom Kippur Break Fast.” I believe Dee has included in another part of the newsletter a thank you to all of those
who contributed to this occasion and I second those thanks.
I apologize to those ten people who were inadvertently left out of the directory. Buzzie Lieberman has done an outstanding job
each year as a volunteer putting together our information-filled directory, but despite her giving the printer a complete list (all ten
of you were in the file she sent to the printer) those names disappeared. Their contact information should be listed in another part
of this newsletter, so please clip it out and include it in your directory.
At this writing I am putting the finishing touches on our Sukkot Megillot study of Ecclesiastes. For each of these studies, the plan
has been for Rabbi Kane to lead one portion and then have a Sisterhood member lead the other portion. Due to various circum-
stances, I, who was scheduled to lead the Sisterhood-led portion, was unable to put together as complete a lesson as I would like
so Stuart Kelter gamely stepped in as an “honorary sister” for the day. Thank you Stuart! The next study of this type won’t be un-
til Purim, when we will take a closer look at the book of Esther.
Upcoming events for November include our next Speaker from the House, Corry McKissack, on November 12 at 4:00 pm. Keep
your eyes peeled for more information to come. We have a fundraiser in the works as well, so watch for it!
As a reminder, the Judaica shop is open Sundays from 9:00 to 11:30 when religious school is in session. Because of the time
change it will no longer be open on the third Friday of the month before the family Shabbat service. We received very few re-
sponses to our questionnaire but if you have any comments or suggestions you would like to share with me concerning the Judaica
shop, please feel free to contact me.
My email account has changed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you may call me on my cell phone 642-7403.
Sisterhood President 2006-2008
Todah Rabbah (continued from p. 4) A message from Rabbi Kane:
Because so many of our congregants’ family members
. . . to Brian Tice, General Manager of Las Cruces’s Pat and close friends do not live in our community, it may be
Goff store, for the delivery and pick-up of the large screen necessary to contact them in cases of an emergency, God
TV for our High HolyDays . . . and to the Weinstein fam- forbid. To that end, I offer you the opportunity to provide
ily for their expert video assistance! me with such important information which I will hold in
confidence in a secure location. At such time as its use
. . . to Jeanne Abkes, Ken Kessin, and Ed Pias for their becomes necessary, it will be available and accessible.
musical assistance at our monthly family worship ser- You may keep the information sealed in an envelope, or
vices. go over it with me. Please call me if you have any ques-
tions. I am eager to meet with you to allay any anxieties
you may have in this sensitive matter.
Page 9 NOVEMBER 2006 / CHESHVAN-KISLEV 5767
Instead of the normal meeting for October, the Mensch Club, under the direction of Jake Kolikant we erected the Sukkah at
the temple. Thank you Jake Kolikant, Phil Alkon, Robert Kirschner, Mel Kirschner, Irving Laub, and Willie Pass for help-
ing to erect the Sukkah and to David Steinborn for storing it through the year.
The speaker for the November 5 meeting will be S. E. (Ed) Hughs, Research Leader and Laboratory Director of the United
States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Southwestern Cotton Ginning Laboratory here in Las Cru-
ces. He will speak about cotton in the Mesilla Valley and beyond.
The movie for November 21 is “Ushpizin” “Powerful, touching, and amusing, Ushpizin (Guests) is a heart warming and
soul-searching film. Big-hearted Moshe Bellango is down on his luck, so he and his loving wife Malli pray passionately for
a miracle. Their prayers are answered . . . in the form of a large sum of money that mysteriously lands on their doorstep. But
the great “gift” leads to the arrival of two uninvited ushpizin, and Moshe and Malli are left wondering . . . have they found
God’s favor or is this just a test of their devotion?”
Mike Lieberman, Mensch Club President
President’s Message (continued from p. 2)
We are anticipating the sale of the Parker Road property after we are moved into the new site. The precise date evades us, but
will become evident soon. Paid pledges are needed now. Planning for the temple move is underway with a committee in-
cluding Mike Lieberman, me. and Steve Halper (quartermaster skills). We have begun a thoughtful process that will require
efforts from the entire congregation. I know we may count on YOU!!!
Francis Williams has stressed her commitment to a first class library at the new facility; If you have a chance to thank her,
please do so. The library committee and audiovisual committee are confirming the pre-planning with the New Temple
Committee headed by David Steinborn. Thanks to all.
The Rabbi’s sabbatical is underway from Oct 24 thru Nov 28. A stalwart group will fill his shoes.
Our membership grows to greater than 150 families and community interest is sustained by the volunteer efforts of lots of
people. We are sad when we lose old friends to travel and leaving town, but we are glad to replace the ranks with new impor-
tant people as they arrive in the Las Cruces area. If you know of people who should be asked, please alert me or Charlotte
Jones, who is membership chair.
I appreciate your interest and your support, as we experience change and undergo the inevitable growing pains in our shul by
the Rio Grande.
Page 10 NOVEMBER 2006 / CHESHVAN-KISLEV 5767
MAY THEIR MEMORIES BE A BLESSING
. . . to Dave Zeemont on the loss of his cousin Beth Lawrence in New Jersey on September 23.
. . . to Ed Kaminsky on the loss of his father Stanley Kaminsky in California on September 25
. . . to Nancy Oretskin, Zach and Jake Manning on the loss of her father and their grandfather Norman Samuel Oretskin
on October 3 in Binghamton, New York. Donations in Norman’s memory may be made to the Temple’s Fund 2004.
. . . to Elaine Cohen on the loss of her aunt Stella Davis of Chandler, Arizona on October 3. Donations in Stella’s mem-
ory may be made to the Temple’s Fund 2004.
Contest: Name the Obscure Jewish Historical Figures!
Pictures have been distributed throughout the newsletter. How many can you name?
Answers to be printed in the next issue!
Page 11 NOVEMBER 2006 / CHESHVAN-KISLEV 5767
TEMPLE BREAK FAST
We would like to thank everyone who donated food, products, money and time for our community Break Fast. We
appreciate your participation in helping to make the occasion successful and hope you all enjoyed the event.
Thank you to the following people: Jeanne Abkes, Sally Alkon, Simy Allan, Kathi Barit, Diane Bass, Claire Bellak,
Barbara Berger, Lynn Berkeley, Rebecca Berkson, Dinny Bomberg, Cindy Brooks, Cheri Hudson-Brown, Marieka
Brown, Emily Cohen, Robin Cohen, Karen Currier, Beth Edwards, Bonnie Eisenberg, Linda Fisher, Mary Fitzgerald,
Amy Fiszbein, Amy Fox, Renee Frank, Mary Friedman, Joan Glickler, Susannah Skyer Gupta, Ann Hansen, Tana
Hemingway, Joni Highsmith, Charlotte Jones, Cyrille Kane, Deanna Kessin, Lila Kirschner, Estelle Klassner,Bea
Klein, Susi Kolikant, Jimmy Kramer, Susan Lapid, Florence Levine, Debbie Levy, Buzzie Lieberman, Judy Long,
Ana Laura Mandabach, Mangino, Alison Mann, June Mazzolini, Corry Mc Kissack, Gerie Muchnikoff, Eve
Palanker, Brenda Parish, William Pass, Elissa Poel, Maureen Pollack, Rita Polsky, Ethel Rabkin, David & Marcia
Rabinovich, Helen Raphael, Marianne Rosenthal, Betty Rosse, Nina Rothman, Christi Rubin, Joan Silar, Vivian
Steinborn, Sharon Steinborn, Roslyn Sugarman, Ruth Ann Sugarman, Dan Tapper, Diane Weeks, Lisa Weinbaum,
Alice Weinstein, Lea Weiselman, Lisa Willman, Chris Wohl, Harriett Wolf, Erich Zameret, Leora Zeitlin.
—Ann Berkson, Dee Cook, Paula Kramer, Break Fast Committee.
Rabbi’s Message (continued from p. 11)
And there was more. Thirty-five years ago, before the deaths of my mother and sister, I worked for the Ecology Center of
Louisiana. I bicycled from the Garden District to the French Quarter each weekday to present a five-minute radio segment.
We hoped to alert residents of the Gulf South to the dangers of the chemical by-products of the oil industry; the toxins in our
food chain, water, and air; global warming; the erosion of the coastal wetlands, and the potential for disaster when the Army
Corps of Engineers tries to out-engineer God and nature. That was in 1970 and 1971.
And when I returned to New Orleans, that day before the Birthday of the World, I witnessed the fulfillment of the environ-
mental nightmare we forecast all those years ago. I visited homes weeks awash in the Katrina flotsam, reeking of mold and
chemicals, penetrating every material thing that denoted daily life. Nearly every refrigerator in town was covered with the
spores of long-decayed food, and set out on the sidewalk awaiting removal and disposal.
By whom? To where? I smelled the smells. In New Orleans they still smell the smells.
Now, late at night, as I begin to fall asleep, I return to New Orleans. I see the houses that are still stained with waterlines
above their doorways and smell the mold that remains in many places more than a year later. I remember the gray of seem-
ingly nuclear winter that covered the foliage, leeched by the fetid water of its verdant semitropical green. I feel the nausea
that rose in me as I drove through the debris-filled streets around my father's flooded and looted store in the Ninth Ward and
saw not one other human being.
But that’s not the only nausea I have felt this year. Nausea has been an occasional side-effect of the treatment for the cancer
found in my body shortly after I returned from my three months in the Gulf South. During these Days of Awe, I weigh these
back-to-back catastrophes to see if there is a relationship between them. I try to find some meaning that will allow me to bet-
ter align myself with the Holy Call to Heal the World. (continued on p. 12)
Page 12 NOVEMBER 2006 / CHESHVAN-KISLEV 5767
Rabbi’s Message (continued from p. 11)
As a child in Louisiana, I can remember the black skies of summer. Darkened, not by clouds prophesying rain, but by
mosquitoes flocked so thickly they blocked the sun. Clouds of white followed them. Again, not the lamby clouds of im-
pending precipitation, but of DDT belching into the sky to kill the insects. Did this give me cancer?
Or was it the secondhand smoke from my mother's Salems as I rode in the passenger seat through the streets of New Or-
leans, stopping periodically at the gas station, where I inhaled the sweet fumes of refined Louisiana crude? Or was it
swimming in Lake Pontchatrain before it became illegal?
Or maybe the birth-control pills or the diet sodas or the hormones or the toxins in hair products and cosmetics or the fact
that I did not eat enough organic? Overeating? The L.A. air? My laptop sitting on top of the womb where the tumor was
During these Days of Awe, we contemplate what we must do to align ourselves with the Holy Call. What better way to
observe the days between the Birthday of the World and the Day of Atonement than to ponder our connection to the
When Dana Reeve died, the tender eulogies remembered her grace, courage and kindness. Commentators committed to
fighting the disease, finding a cure and wiping the scourge of cancer off the face of the earth. No one mentioned the earth
We early environmentalists made a public relations blunder that weighs heavily on me on these Days of Awe. Instead of
“Earth Day . . .Friends of the Earth . . . Save the Earth,” we should have appealed to human narcissism, crying out, like
Jonah in Nineveh, “Repent . . . save yourself . . .your days are numbered . . . ” How grotesque would it have to be to be
as effective as Jonah and rouse the community to break through denial and honor the sacred call of tikkun olam? And do
we have time? The earth will take the time it needs to recover itself. It is human beings who are in urgent danger.
I was the first one to arrive last year at Shir Chadash on my mother’s yahrzeit to prepare for the next day's service. Wait-
ing, breathing New Orleans, I pressed my nose to the window, looking past the mud and mold, trying to see if the sukkah
was still standing.
In the silence, I heard the cooing of a dove, a yonah. I followed it around the back of the synagogue. It led me over a
fence toppled by Katrina, to my father’s sukkah. The sukkah was standing in the courtyard, not a splinter taken by the
The next day, the congregation (100 for the evening service and 170 in the morning) gathered in the small chapel,
stripped of its carpet, smelling slightly of mold. Present were Jews from every denomination, from unaffiliated to Cha-
bad. At one point a group of men from Beth Israel, the Orthodox synagogue destroyed by Katrina, shared the bimah with
me. There are some fences that Katrina toppled for which we can feel grateful.
Anne Brener is an L.A.-based psychotherapist. She is the author of “Mourning & Mitzvah: Walking the Mourner’s
Path” (Jewish Lights, 1993 and 2001), a fourth-year rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of
Religion, and a faculty member of the Academy for Jewish Religion.
Rabbi Gerald M. Kane
Page 13 NOVEMBER 2006 / CHESHVAN-KISLEV 5767
Temple Beth-El Directory Corrections and Additions
It has come to my attention, and probably some of yours if you have already used your
directory, that the following names, which should have been on page 17, have been omit-
ted by the printer. Please add this page to your directory. To help me keep current, please
call me with any other additions, correction, etc. Thanks.
Glickler, Joan Gradin, Harry
2546 Calle de Vista 5202 Cats Eye Drive
Las Cruces, NM 88012
Las Cruces, NM 88007
email@example.com Grant, Gary
1684 Stone Mountain Lane
255 W Madrid Ave #2 Las Cruces, NM 88011
Las Cruces, NM 88005 521-4511 (h)
524-3937 (h) 640-5017(cell) 640-2824 (cell)
4235 Doña Ana Road
Las Cruces, NM 88007
315 Townsend Terrace
Las Cruces, NM 88005
Goldbaum, Joy & Osborn, Norm
Box 30001 - MSC 3D
732 N. Miranda St.
Las Cruces, NM 88003
Las Cruces, NM 88005
Ben Archer Health Center
Goldman, Sam & Greenfield, Charlotte
1600 Thorpe Road
Joshua David, Zachary A.
Las Cruces, NM
307 E. Union Avenue
Las Cruces, NM 88005
523-9539 (h) 541-8782 (cell)
—Buzzie Lieberman, Directory Editor
Page 14 NOVEMBER 2006 / CHESHVAN-KISLEV 5767
In Memoriam: Yartseyts for November
In order to ensure that the name of your
loved one will be recited at a Friday night
Cheshvan 7 - 13 - Read on November 3 Shabbat service, we have instituted the fol-
Darlene Taylor*, Wife of Mel Taylor • The Hebrew dates for each week’s yart-
Harold Brown*, Father of Jeff Brown seyt are listed in each Newsletter.
Nathan Edelstein*, Grandfather of Dee Cook • Rabbi Kane asks those observing a yart-
Benjamin Galatzan*, Father of Ruth Gluck seyt to check the Kaddish list with him
Olga Szucs*, Mother of Irene Neidich five minutes prior to each week’s Shab-
Hunter Lewis* bat service, to ensure that your loved
Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin* one’s name is included.
• Hebrew vs. conventional calendar: The
Cheshvan 14 - 20 - Read on November 10 and 11 temple’s tradition is to base the yartseyt
list on the Hebrew calendar. Those who
Evelyn Benowitz*, Mother of Simy Allen wish to have a name read on a Friday
Freda Schoenbrun*, Mother of Milt Schoenbrun night close to the non-Hebrew calendar
Erwin Willman*, Father of Elliott Willman date are asked to please email or call the
Sylvia Hackman Lazar, Cousin of Tana Hemingway rabbi a few days prior to the service.
David Edelstein*, Husband of Rebekah Edelstein & Father of The rabbi can be reached at
Dee Cook firstname.lastname@example.org or 524-3380.
Fanny Levy*, Mother of Bea Klein
Isadore Rosenfeld*, Uncle of Bernard Gluck & Edith Kallman
Cheshvan 21 - 27 - Read on November 17 Temple Beth-El has a Chevra Kadisha
(sacred society) whose obligation is to
Elsa Galatzan*, Mother of Ruth Gluck prepare the deceased for burial accord-
Herschel Schreier* ing to Jewish tradition, at the request
Israel Isaac Taslitt, Father of Nina Rothman of the family. Contact Rabbi Kane for
Erwin Michelson, Father of Susan Michelson information.
Doris Lovick, Cousin of Michael Lieberman
Dov Zameret, Father of Erich Zameret
Yetta Lipschutz, Sister of Abe Pomerantz & Ida Bass
Allen M. Brooks*, Father of Sharon Dorfman
Sol Lieberman, Father of Bernie Lieberman
Cheshvan 28 - Kislev 4 - Read on November 24
Isadore Blumkin*, Father of Manny Blumkin
Phillip Bond*, Father of Barbara Yalkut
Adele Kimmel*, Relative of Murray Bruder
Esther Rosenfeld*, Grandmother of Bernard Gluck &
Louis Goldin, Grandfather of Robin Cohen
Mac Singer*, Husband of Lillian Singer
Nathan Zucker, Father of David Zucker
Rebecca Wechter*, Mother of Mark Wechter
Page 15 NOVEMBER 2006 / CHESHVAN-KISLEV 5767
ONGOING NOVEMBER 5: MENSCH CLUB. The monthly meet-
BREAKFAST WITH AND WITHOUT JERRY—This ing will be held at the Temple at 7PM.
lively discussion forum on topics of current Jewish interest
is held each Wednesday morning at 9AM at the Bountiful NOVEMBER 12: CORRY McKISSACK TO SPEAK—
Bakery on Lohman Ave. Please join us! Breakfast with The sisterhood’s Speaker from the House program will
Jerry will continue to be held during the period of the feature Corry McKissack, to speak at 4PM at the Tem-
Rabbi’s sabbatical. ple. More information will follow from Sisterhood
President Elaine Cohen.
HITBODIDUT (MEDITATION)— The meditation class
has been discontinued since Harvey and Judi are moving to NOVEMBER 16: BOARD MEETING—The Temple
Memphis. We may re-evaluate the class at a later date if Board will meet at 6:30PM. The meeting is open to all
there is a demand for it. Thank you Harvey for your dedica- Temple members, so if there’s something you want to
tion and all the things you taught us. talk about, come on by!
MENSCH CLUB— “Discovering Judaism Through Film” NOVEMBER 17: TWO SHABBAT SERVICES—A
is a seminar for all Temple Beth-El members, sponsored by Family Shabbat will be held beginning at 5:45PM, with
the Mensch Club. Films are shown the third Tuesday of a dairy potluck to follow; all are welcome. If you have
each month at 7PM at the Temple. Seminar movies are any questions, please call Susannah Skyer Gupta at 522-
free, but donations are welcome. Anyone who has a movie 1070, or Lisa Weinbaum at 522-1910. A lay-led Shabbat
that they would like to share with the community is encour- service will also be held in the sanctuary at 7:30PM.
aged to contact Mike Lieberman, Mensch Club President.
Regular Mensch Club Meetings are held the first Tuesday NOVEMBER 21 MOVIE: “Ushpizin”—As part of
of each month at 7PM at Temple Beth-El. “Discovering Judaism through Film,” this movie will be
shown at 7PM at Temple Beth-El. See p. 9 for details.
PRAYERWORKS—The PRAYERWORKS gathering for
November has had to be rescheduled for the following
month. In December, the group will meet at its usual time,
the second Wednesday, of the month, on the 13th at noon.
At that meeting, we will continue to study healing psalms,
related inspirational texts, and participate in nourishing
meditation. Prayers for those on the Mi Sheberach list will
continue. If you have a name to place on the list or further
questions, please call the facilitator, Cyrille Kane, 532-
SISTERHOOD SCRIBBLERS—Meets each Tuesday
morning at the temple from 9AM to 11AM. We have a de-
lightful time sharing our creative writings, short stories, and
so on, as well as critiquing our works. New participants are
always welcome! Joan Glickler is our coordinator; please
contact Joan (524-3937, email@example.com) for details!
TALMUD STUDY—Talmud study meets every Saturday
in the Rose Wechter Social Hall at 9AM. All prospective
students are welcome and should contact Rabbi Kane for
Temple Beth-El, Las Cruces, New Mexico
Parker Road at Melendres Street
P.O. Box 1029 The Temple Beth-El Newsletter is produced regularly at Las Cruces, New Mexico. Adviser: Rabbi
Las Cruces, NM 88004-1029 Gerald M. Kane. Editor: Jamie Bronstein. Copy Editor: Susannah Skyer Gupta. Circulation: Curtiss
Robinson. We welcome contributions by, about, or for temple members. Contributions can be mailed
Phone: 505.524.3380 to the temple post office box or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. We reserve the right to
Fax: 505.521.3737 edit all contributions and advertisements: we do not return contributions to authors unless sent with a
Rabbi Gerald M. Kane SASE. For details, email the editors or call Rabbi Kane at 524-3380. Nonmember subscriptions are
email@example.com $25/year. Advertising: 2x3 (business card): $120/yearly. Quarter page: $220/yearly. Half page: $450
President Paul Feil yearly. For information about ads or insertions, or for free help with crafting an advertisement, please
contact the editors.
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