Town & Village Synagogue Bulletin www.tandv.org
334 East 14th Street, New York, NY 10003 212-677-8090
November 2013 Heshvan/Kislev 5774Volume 27, Number 3
From Rabbi Laurence A. Sebert
From Cantor Shayna Postman
From Marianna Mott Newirth, President
From Esther Schwalb, Executive Director
From Sharon Steinberg, Ritually Speaking
What’s Up at T&V? PUT IT IN YOUR CALENDAR NOW!
For our calendar, see the print edition center spread or go to
BABIES’ LUNCH: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 12:45 PM
HEBREW SCHOOL BENEFIT BREAKFAST: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 10:30
JAHSS LUNCH AND LEARN WITH RABBI SEBERT: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 12 PM
HAZAK GAME TIME: WEDNESDAYS AT 2 PM
CURRY COMEDY SHABBAT: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 7:15 PM
THE PEOPLE OF THE COMIC BOOK: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 7:15 PM
BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 10:30 AM
JAHSS SHABBAT LUNCH/SELECTED SHORTS: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 16
NEW MEMBER SHABBAT: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 9:30 AM
TO SAVE THE DATE, DECEMBER 14, FOR THE CANTOR MOSS MEMORIAL CONCERT FEATURING CANTOR SHAYNA POSTMAN, THE T&V CHOIR, JUNIOR SINGERS, AND FRANK LONDON, TRUMPET WITH HIS KLEZMER BRASS ALLSTARS. SEE MORE ON PAGE 5.
From Rabbi Laurence A. Sebert
There are really only three kinds of prayers. In Jewish parlance they are known as shevach – praise, bakashah – request, and hodayah – thanksgiving. Their origins are in the very human and very natural reactions we have to much of life: expressions of wonder when coming upon a beautiful sight, a plea for help when none is in sight, a sigh of relief and thanksgiving when help does arrive.
A careful examination of our liturgy throughout the year reveals that every one of our prayers fits into one of these categories. As one might expect, the three are often interwoven. The thrice daily meditation of the amidah also known simply as ha-tefilah – The Prayer, is an obvious case in point. In this most central prayer, praise and gratitude accompany our requests for personal growth and national salvation.
To words of praise and gratitude I would like to add a request: My praise is for our community and the way in which people pull together for the benefit of all. When someone is ill or a death occurs — or a new baby arrives in our midst, many hands reach out to offer help and support. There are dozens of individuals whose efforts behind the scenes does so much to enhance the workings of our kehilla. As we explore the ways to expand and grow our whole community, countless people have stepped forward to offer expert assistance.
My gratitude is to each person who has come forward to contribute time, wisdom and resources to support the pillars of Torah, Avodah and Gemilut Hasadim upon which our community stands. With hard work, determination and vision we have done amazing work for our members and beyond. We have established one of the finest synagogues in New York City and opened its wide doors to many in need of a spiritually enriching, socially and emotionally fulfilling community. I feel deep gratitude for the blessing that I am part of this community and that you have chosen to have me as your rabbi.
My request, as the truly unique confluence of Thanksgiving and Hanukah approaches, is that we will continue to dedicate ourselves with gratitude to one another in ways that touch the hearts and minds of our T&V family, as well as the huge community that is just beyond our doors.
Saturday, November 9, 10 am
Interpreters are Jessica Ames and Melanie Gershick.
ASL interpreters are available at T&V when requests are made in advance. Please contact Bram (email@example.com) for more information.
From Cantor Shayna Postman
Over the 65 years since Town & Village Synagogue was founded in 1948, our community has always valued music and raising our voices together in prayers and song.
Members of the T&V adult volunteer choir meet for rehearsals nearly every Tuesday evening for six to eight months a year.
New choir members have joined our veteran members who have sung together for decades, continuing to rededicate their efforts each year. All members make a significant contribution of time, talent and effort to meet the expectations of their fellow choristers and the T&V community. It is our privilege and honor to participate in services and otherwise share our music with the greater T&V community.
Cantor Louis Moss, z’l, served as the beloved Hazzan at T&V for over 3 decades, until his untimely passing in 1988. Fittingly, it is through song that we memorialize him each year in concert. This year’s 25th Anniversary Cantor Louis Moss Memorial Concert will take place on Saturday night, December 14, 2013, at 7:30 PM. Please save this date on your calendar, and share it with your neighbors and friends. You won’t want to miss T&V’s feel-good event of the year! I will be singing, and leading the exceptional Choir and Junior Singers, and we will again be accompanied by pianist Cynthia Shaw. This year’s repertoire includes an array of Jewish music from the varied genres of Cantorial recitative, Hasidic nigun, popular Israeli songs, Shabbat zemirot–songs in Hebrew, Yiddish and Ladino. The concert selections will reflect a wide range of musical expression from the contemplative to the exuberantly joyful.
We are thrilled to announce that our special guests this year are Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars, led by Grammy Award winning T&V Member Frank London, on trumpet. They are going to rock the sanctuary with their energized Klezmer, and they’re going to be playing on their own, with me, and with the choirs.
We hope that everyone in the T&V community will join us for this fantastic celebration of music in the T&V community.
Admission is $30 at the door, and $25 by December 12; college and graduate students’ admission is $10 and 18 years and under get in for free. Call Julie Baber in the T&V Synagogue office at 212-677-8090, ext. 0 to reserve your tickets for this fantastic event.
From Marianna Mott Newirth, President
Last Shabbat, as I was sitting in our main sanctuary doing my best to follow along with the Torah reading, I inevitably fell off the rhythm and lost my way. Choosing to leave the job of tracking the Torah readers to our expert Gabayim I turned my focus to the rich codex in my hands determined to get something out of it. Many of you know I like to pull ideas within the parshiot to frame my announcements at the end of services every week. This week what struck me most powerfully was the entirety of the book I was holding.
Lifting the opened humash up to eye level, what I observed in my right hand was a relatively thin section of pages and in my left hand over 1,000 pages yet to be read this year. I took this as a metaphor for where we are as a kehilla. Much has occurred in our community since we started reading Genesis a mere two months ago; for example:
• We opened up a dialogue with the real estate community to explore ideas for what we could possibly create with our building for our expanding kehilla of 400+ member units (approximately 800 individuals).
• The building next door to us went on the market and we began seriously exploring the possibility of buying it.
• The Landmarks Preservation Commission took interest, yet again, in considering the Landmark status of our building (which has been pending for 47 years) and local bloggers took to the internet to pontificate on the place of our building within the community, much of it misconstrued.
• The Pew Research Center on Religion & Public Life released A Portrait of Jewish Americans citing gloomy numbers for the Conservative Movement
• Meanwhile a delegate of our clergy, staff and lay leadership went to Baltimore for United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s Centennial Celebration. The USCJ conference was an invigorating re-boot for the Conservative movement, delivering a clear message that our role is not only still relative but important and vital to the well-being of all Jews in America. 100 is the new, well, 50!
…all this on top of the usual business of running a synagogue, starting another year of Hebrew School, marking life cycles and launching a year of strategic planning for our shul. Is it any wonder I had a hard time following the Torah portion in my Humash?!
This past Sunday (October 27) morning – while Hebrew School was going on in classrooms, our entryway lobby, and a corner of our social hall – fifty T&V members joined in the main sanctuary for a kehilla Information Session where we addressed all of the items I just cited above. It was an extraordinary conversation with quality questions, complete information, and vision building. I won’t go into detail on all that was covered as I’d co-opt the entire Bulletin. What I can say is that we are focused on taking care of the building we have and carving out better space for our Hebrew School and our future! I will continue to post updates in our e-newsletter, ShulNews, as we have confirmed news to share.
We have 1,000 pages to go in this year and I intend on fostering the growth and strength of our kehilla as we all work together to take care of our shul and one another, page by page.
From Sharon Steinberg: Ritually Speaking
In November, on the 25th day of Kislev, Jews celebrate Chanukah. Chanukah celebrates the victory of a small band of Jews (Maccabees) over the large army of Antiochus Epiphanes in 165 BCE. On the 25th day of Kislev, Judah and his band emerged victorious and they rededicated the Temple. The word Chanukah means “rededication.”
Did you know that Judah’s army marched with lulav?
Some think that since they were at war and had no time to celebrate Sukkot, this was really their Sukkot–an eight-day festival (ending in Shemini Atzeret).
The more popular explanation for the eight days is to commemorate the miracle that a jar of oil that should have lasted one day lasted for 8 days, making Chanukah a tribute to God, and not to the Maccabees.
Lighting the Chanukiah
The candles are always lit after sunset–one on the first night, two on the second night, and so on until all eight are lighted on the last night. They should burn for 30 minutes and no work or reading is to be done by their light. The candles may not be extinguished. An extra candle called the Shammos is used to light the other candles.
All Chanukiot consist of 8 candles and one Shammos.
We light the candles starting on the right side of the chanukiah but we light them from left to right. When using an electric chanukiah placed in a window, the lights should be lit in the opposite order so that when viewed from the outside they are in the correct order. Three blessings are recited on the first night and two on the others. The extra blessing on the first night is the Shehecheyanu.
Did you know that in Sephardi and Eastern communities, boys born during Kislev are named Nissim (miracle)?
Did you know that the various spellings of Chanukah (Hanukkah, Khanukah) all have 8 letters?
Chanukah is the time for playing the dreidel game. The letters on the dreidel are nun, gimmel, hay and shin, the first letters of the phrase: “a great miracle happened there.” Those letters add up to 158 (gematria) which is also the same number assigned to the word mashiach. Spinning the dreidel is thought by some to be a call to the Messiah to come.
If you live in Israel the letters are nun, gimmel, hay, and pei, equaling 138, the same value as the word lekach–the start of the phrase “I will give you a good doctrine”, giving the spinning a sense of the sacred.
Chanukah is a time for parties, gifts, eating latkes. Ashkenazi Jews eat their latkes with either sour cream or applesauce; Sephardi and Eastern European Jews eat vegetable latkes; Libyan Jews eat heart shaped latkes. Sufganiyot (donuts) are eaten in Israel and deep fried sweets dipped in honey are eaten in Greece and Iran.
HAZAK THEATER PARTY
Sunday, November 10, 2 pm
Contact Hedy Alban at 646-429-8784 or firstname.lastname@example.org for details and reservations.
At last count, T&V HAZAK boasts 293 members; that is, every member of the shul who is 55+ belongs. Automatically. No additional fees. No signup. And at present, we have only one focus in mind: to enhance the lives of our members with enjoyable social and cultural events. So come and join the fun.
OCTOBER KIDDUSHIM: WITH THANKS
We thank the wonderful people who sponsored our kiddushim last month.
October 5: Kiddush was sponsored by the Vance family in honor of Eden’s Bar Mitzvah
October 12: Kiddush was sponsored by Francine Smilen, Sam Kuckley & Roberta Alpert in honor of Francine and Sam’s milestone birthdays. Kiddush angels were Miriam Best in honor of her birthday and Phyllis Harbus in honor of the birth of her great-nephew.
October 19: Kiddush was sponsored by Town and Village Synagogue in appreciation of the Board and by Jackie Berkowitz & Michael Stallman in honor of the 50th anniversary of Michael’s Bar Mitzvah and their 36th wedding anniversary.
October 26: Kiddush was sponsored by the Kiddush Fund. Kiddush angels were: Bea & Sy Beder in honor of Bea’s 90th birthday and their 70th wedding anniversary, Erica Schultz in honor of her birthday, Judy Hiller-Schwartz & Ron Schwartz, Harriet & Paul Lutzker in honor of their birthdays.
WORDS ARE INADEQUATE to express our appreciation for the outpouring of love and the many acts of kindness shown to us by our dear friends of T&V in our time of loss. The spiritual guidance, the gifts of food, the acts of tzedakah, the many calls and notes of consolation and concern, and the visits during shiva, all served to lift my spirits and support me at a time I needed it most. The Ashners are indeed blessed to be a part of this beautiful community and to have such generous teachers and friends. May each of you be blessed to continue your good work in health and strength.
Joan and Leon and the family of Dr. Maurice Yankow
26th Annual Bikur Cholim Conference
Sunday, November 10, 2013, 9:00 AM-3:30 PM
Join us for a full day conference with inspirational keynotes, practical workshops and a moving panel presentation! Meet people from around the country for an enjoyable and meaningful day.
UJA-Federation of New York, 130 E. 59 Street, New York
3 Ways to Register:
BY EMAIL: email@example.com
BY PHONE: 212-632-4500
THE PEOPLE OF THE COMIC BOOK: JEWS AND THE GRAPHIC NOVEL
with Dr. Eddy Portnoy
4 Tuesday evenings, 7:15-8:45 PM
November 19, December 3, 10 and 17
Fee members, $100, non-members $150
This course examines graphic novels created by Jewish authors and artists since the emergence of this genre during the latter half of the twentieth century. In addition to focusing on the role of graphic novels in Jewish popular culture and as a medium for Jewish storytelling, the course will situate these works within the larger history of the genre of graphic novels and of cartooning generally. After tracing the history of the genre’s origins in newspaper comics, comic books, satirical cartoons, and underground comics, the course will examine key works by major graphic novelists.
Session 1: Jews and cartoons: an unusual history. (This lecture doesn’t require any assigned reading. It is an overview of the fraught history of Jews and cartoons)
Session 2: The development of comics and graphic novels read: Will Eisner’s “A Contract with God” and “Dropsie Avenue.”
Session 3: The Maus heard round the world: when graphic novels became big. read: Art Spiegelman’s Maus.
Session 4: Jewish graphic novels grow up: the continuing development of the genre read: Joan Sfar’s “The Rabbi’s Cat,” and Rutu Modan’s “Exit Wounds”
Eddy Portnoy teaches in the Judaic Studies program at Rutgers University, where he offers courses on Jewish history, Jewish humor and graphic novels, and Yiddish culture. He is a contributing editor at the Forward and at Tablet Magazine. He has written extensively on Jewish popular culture.
TO ENROLL CALL THE OFFICE AT 212-677-8090
PARALLELS BETWEEN THE NEW TESTAMENT AND RABBINIC
With Rabbi Noah Bickart
Much of the material contained within the books which constitute the collections of material known as the “New Testament” and “Talmudic Literature” were first conceived in the same time and place, 2nd and 3rd century Roman Palestine.
However, they are usually seen as the exclusive possessions of the Christian and Jewish communities which continue to rely on them as foundational religion documents. In this course, we will examine a series of parallel texts from these collections with the explicit aim of breaking down preconceptions of how these books were read in their original context and how they might be used today.
Rabbi Bickart was born and raised in Washington D.C. He attended the University of Chicago where he majored in English Literature and booked rock and roll bands to liven up a notoriously serious bunch of students. He studied Bible and Talmud at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem, before receiving a Masters Degree in Hebrew Bible from the Harvard Divinity School in 2003. He was ordained at Jewish Theological
Seminary in 2008 and he remains there, working on a PhD in the department of Talmud and rabbinics. He and his wife, Nadia Kahn, along with their children Meir (6) and Rina (3) have returned to New York after a wonderful year in Jerusalem.
8 Tuesday evenings, 7:15-8:45PM
January 21 and 28, Feb 4, 11 and 25, March 4, 11 and 18
Fee $250 members, $300 non-members
TO ENROLL CALL THE OFFICE AT 212-677-8090
NEW MEMBER SHABBAT
Saturday, November 23rd
Shabbat morning is the one time each week when our entire community gathers together. After prayers, we shmooze over a light kiddush lunch. It’s a great opportunity for members old and new to get to know each other better in a warm and friendly environment.
New members, we hope you will participate – opening the ark, saying a prayer, going up to or reading from the Torah. The portion of the week is Vayeshev. If you are interested in reading, Cantor Postman is available to help with preparation: she can meet in person or over the phone, or simply email needed materials.
Even if you prefer not to participate in the service, we hope you will join us on
November 23rd for an official welcome and delicious kiddush. If you are unavailable that day, but would like to participate at another time, please let me know.
I look forward to hearing from you. Feel free to contact me.
The Jewish Theological Seminary invites you to the Bernard G. Segal Memorial Lecture in Law and Ethics–
WHAT IS LIFE WORTH? Tailoring the Law to Meet the Challenges of Unique Catastrophes
Speaker: Kenneth R. Feinberg (former special master, September 11th Victim
Compensation Fund; administrator, the One Fund Boston Victim Relief Fund)
Wednesday, November 6, 7:30 pm Reservations required:
JTS, 3080 Broadway at 122nd Street www.jtsa.edu/life
ANNUAL HEBREW SCHOOL BENEFIT BREAKFAST
Sunday, November 3rd, 10:30 am
(Hebrew School classes will be in session)
Host: The T&V Youth & Family Committee RSVP 212-677-8090
If you haven’t paid your Kol Nidre pledge yet, please do.
There’s no time like the present!
The newest material from the Wellness & Learning Network has been posted to www.wlcj.org.
This month’s material looks at family.
In Turning Gold into Lead, Dr. Barb Levin explains how adverse childhood experiences impact both the mental and physical health of adults.
Ethical Wills offers insights from the Jewish tradition in how to bequeath our hopes and dreams to our children and grandchildren to ensure a vital and emotionally stable adulthood.
Jewish War Veterans Post 1
$20 per person
Chanukah music by the
December 1 at 1 p.m.
Town and Village Synagogue
334 East 14th Street
near First Avenue
Contact:  477-3131
Giving at T&V: The Generosity of Our Community
Abby-Gail Adler in memory of her grandmother, Rebecca
Alan and Pat Rosof in memory of Alan’s mother, Sally
Albert Robbins in memory of his father, Leo
Arthur Sellner in memory of his aunt, Ray Daun
Bernice Baer in memory of her husband, Leonard
Beth Mann in memory of Barbara De Leon
Beth Mann in memory of Frances Unger
Beth Mann in memory of Roberta Schine’s father, Saul
Beth Mann in memory of Sharon Steinberg’s mother, Elsie Projansky
Bonnie Silverman in memory of her father, Bernard Levine
Carol Green in memory of Joan Ashner’s father, Maurice Yankow
David Silverman in memory of his father, Alex
Ellen Tabor in memory of her father, Robert
Glenn Dawson in memory of his father, James
Janet Davis in memory of her grandfather, Samuel Israel
Joan Smoller in memory of her mother, Irene Rodman
Miriam Steinberg in memory of her aunt, Ruth Magnus
Miriam Steinberg in memory of her father, Isadore Sfarti
Miriam Steinberg in memory of Joan Ivler’s mother, Dorothy
Phyllis Harbus in memory of her mother, Zelda Tish
Phyllis Rifield in memory of Joan Ashner’s father
Rita Davis in memory of her father, Charles Schreier
Rita Moskowitz in memory of her husband, Abraham
Ron Schwartz and Judy Hiller-Schwartz in memory of Ron’s brother, Curtis
Sam Kuckley and Roberta Alpert in memory of Joan Ashner’s father, Maurice Yankow
Sandra Berg in memory of Rose, Sophie, and Tillie Mass
Steve Nesselroth in memory of his mother, Aida
Susan Amighi in memory of her father, Leonard Silver
Susan Amighi in memory of her grandmother, Sarah Perlove
Bob Winograd in honor of Louise Sherby and Lisa Galinson Treitman
Ellen Tabor in honor of Francine Smilen’s special birthday
Ellen Tabor in honor of Sam Kuckley’s special birthday
Louise Sherby in honor of Sam Kuckley’s special birthday
Rabbi Henry and Judy Sosland in honor of their daughter, Rabbi Abby Sosland
Roy and Elinor Blash in honor of Lita Karp’s great-grandchild
Sharon Steinberg, Esther Marcus, Marcia Weiser, Richard Claman and Beth Clark, Jackie
Berkowitz and Michael Stallman, Louise Sherby, Paul and Harriet Lutzker, Judy Benstein,
Cynthia Weber and Lew Freedman in honor of Carol Green’s 65th birthday
Rabbi’s Tzedekah Fund
Carol Swerdel in memory of her parents, Esther and Harry
Arnold Frogel and Galina Heifitz
Steve Schreiber and Amy Lorowitz
Steve Jacobson Camp Ramah Fund
Beth Mann in memory of Helen Gribetz
Beth Mann in memory of Stephen Hubscher
Elsie B. Tabakman Bikur Cholim Fund
Diane Tabakman in memory of her loved ones
Cantor Moss Fund
Francine Smilen and Tod Ensign in honor of Cantor Postman
Mi Sheberach Fund
Louise Sherby for Bina Mozell
Hebrew School Scholarship Fund
Steve and Elaine Gordon
Abby-Gail Adler in memory of Joan Ashner’s father, Maurice Yankow
Marcia Weiser in honor of Louise Sherby
Marcia Weiser in honor of Sam Kuckley’s birthday
Paul and Harriet Lutzker in honor of Simchat Torah honorees
Paul and Harriet Lutzker in memory of Carol Green’s step-father, Len Serkess
Phyllis Rifield in memory of her mother
Steven Rinsler and Miriam Karp
Alan Treitman and Lisa Galinson
Bea and Sy Beder in honor of Bea’s 90th birthday and their 70th wedding anniversary
Bill and Cheryl Gross
Erica Schultz in honor of her birthday
Miriam Best in honor of September simchas
Paul and Harriet Lutzker in honor of their birthdays
Ron Schwartz and Judy Hiller-Schwartz
Sharon Steinberg in honor of Bob Winograd, Carol Green, and Jackie Berkowitz
Dedicate a Chumash- $72
A Simcha Leaf to commemorate special occasions- $72
A memorial plaque in the main sanctuary- $450 members ($500 nonmembers)
Cemetery plots are available in the T&V area in Beth David, Elmont, NY. Contact Lew Freedman (firstname.lastname@example.org or (917) 859-0083) or Hugh Pollack (email@example.com).
The T&V Legacy Society
Help ensure that our beloved synagogue is taken care of in perpetuity.
Including T&V in your estate plans can be done in an easy, no-cost way.
Information will be forthcoming, and no gift is too small (or too large). Contact Beth Mann (Brynamalka@aol.com).
Contacts at T&V
Adult Education: Nina Lehman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
American Sign Language (ASL): Bram Weiser (email@example.com)
Bulletin Editor: Claire Zuckerman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Building Committee: Leon Ashner (email@example.com)
Bikur Cholim: Miriam Fridman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Capital Campaign Projects: Cynthia Weber (email@example.com)
Caregiver Support: Susan Richter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Catering/Kiddushim: Cheryl Gross (email@example.com)
Chesed (Social/Community Action): Helena Ross (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Chevra Chesed Shel Emet: Rabbi Sebert (email@example.com) &
Cantor Postman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cook-Feed-Connect: Iris Richman (email@example.com) &
Lisa Galinson Treitman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dues Setting Circle: Lew Freedman (email@example.com)
Executive Director: Esther Schwalb (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Finance Committee: Jon Garfunkel (email@example.com)
Gei’im ba-Village- LGBT outreach: Steve Nesselroth (firstname.lastname@example.org)
HAZAK Committee: Hedy Alban (email@example.com)
Israel Committee: Susan Abramowitz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jewish War Veterans: Jerry Alperstein (email@example.com)
Luach Editor: Michelle Shostack (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Membership Task Force: Susan Abramowitz (email@example.com)
President: Marianna Mott Newirth (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ritual: Sharon Steinberg (email@example.com)
Senior Program/JAHSS: Susan Richter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Strategic Planning: David Pasteelnick & Helena Ross (email@example.com)
T&V Together: Elinor Nauen (Elinor@elinornauen.com)
20s/30s- Young Adults: Catherine Schwartz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
30s/40s Committee: Erica Schultz (email@example.com) &
David Pasteelnick (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Vision Fund: David Issroff (email@example.com)
Youth & Family Committee: Margot Hodes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Youth & Family Programming Director: Shanee Epstein (email@example.com)