Catch up with your Nassau Synagogue community in time for Chanukah.

President's Message
High Holidays at our shul are always wonderful, and this year was extraordinarily so. Much gratitude to Derek and Rebecca Fields for the leadership, spirituality, and thought-provoking discussions that convey our special relationship. Thanks for honey harvested by members Fred and Laurie Kimmelstiel and for their wonderful babkas. Thanks to Rich and Carol Altwerger for donating the break-fast food, including lox, bagels, whitefish, cake, and more. Not only did they donate all this wonderful food, they also presented it beautifully. Thank you, Faith Schottenfeld and the Kimmelstiels, for donating the new pots, pans, silverware, bowls, and dish towels that we direly needed. Special thanks go to our own Hebrew School graduate Tori Civerolo for leading Children's Services. And deep thanks to all of you who volunteered as Torah readers, ushers, food preparers, and cleanup helpers; your efforts were appreciated. 
It's almost Chanukah! Time to get out the 
dust off the 

and make sure to have enough candles or oil. And of course, it's time to plan those delicious 

It's also time to be bombarded with Christmas music. I enjoy it, actually, just as I love all the brilliant decorations, though it brings back memories of teaching my children about being Jewish in a predominantly Christian world. They were often the only Jewish kids in their classrooms, if not in their schools. (I don't miss having those conversations with teachers and school principals.) Once, my son told me that he must be a "bad boy" because his teacher told them that Santa came to all the homes of "good" boys and girls. (This still makes my blood boil.) From then on, I strove to anticipate such problems and equip the kids. I taught them to respond, when asked what Santa brought them, that they celebrated Chanukah, not Christmas. If those asking said they were sorry, my kids learned to reply, "I love Chanukah, so please don't feel sorry!" I hope my children internalized those lessons and learned, as adults, how to share them with others.

Our Nassau Synagogue Chanukah Party is scheduled for Sunday, December 17, starting at 5 pm. Come join in the dreidel games, sing Chanukah songs, and eat your fill of donuts and delicious, homemade latkes. How wonderful it is for our shul family to be together during this Holiday season. Wishing you all Happy Chanukah, and a year filled with joy!
Pam Tatar
Nassau Synagogue Chanukah Party, 5778 
Sunday , December 17 at 5:00 pm
Enjoy our famous homemade latkes, salads, beverages, jelly donuts, dreidels and more!
Please join us. 
RSVPs are encouraged. or call Pam at 518-441-5062

Donations graciously accepted.  

Annual Community Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
By Michael Roland

The annual Community Interfaith Thanksgiving Service was held on Sunday, November 19th, at Grace United Methodist Church in Nassau. Board member Michael Roland represented the Nassau Synagogue. 

For those of us who haven't attended this service, it's a wonderful gathering of the local religious community. In addition to our congregation, the service was attended by the AQRT Sufi Order, the HVB Interfaith Network, the Baha'i Faith, the Nassau Reformed Church, St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, and the Town and Village of Nassau, respectively. 

Along with music and hymns, the service consisted of readings by each representative, in turn.  In addition to giving thanks for our blessings, a consistent theme emerged from the readers: the need for truth and integrity, justice and compassion in the face of a troubled world and political climate.  For example, Michael's reading was of Psalm 101, which opens with "I will sing of mercy and justice." 

A reception followed the service with refreshments and good conversation with the community. We are all invited to next years' service.

Town of Nassau Holiday Display
Melody Howarth, Nassau's town historian, reached out to the shul seeking pictures and items about Chanukah for inclusion in their holiday display case at the Town Hall. Several pictures of past Chanukah celebrations at the shul and several dreidels on loan from Faith Schottenfeld are on display through the holiday season. The Town Hall is located at 29 Church Street in the Village of Nassau.  

Membership / Donation Form

The Nassau Synagogue tradition is that one need not be a member to attend Shabbat services or to participate in our events and programs.  We do not sell seats for the High Holidays, nor do we auction aliyot. How have we been able to do this over the years and still keep membership dues so very low?  It is through your continued support that is essential to keeping us strong.  The Nassau Synagogue relies almost exclusively on the contributions of its supporters and on our membership dues.  So please, help us with a donation, and/or consider becoming a member. 
PHONE NO._______________________E-MAIL______________________________
Please note that at least one adult member of a membership unit must be Jewish by matrilineal descent.
Family Membership         $300
Individual Membership   $200
________I would like to renew membership in the Nassau Synagogue
________I would like to join the Nassau Synagogue
_____   If you are joining or renewing your synagogue membership, please check here if you would like your personal information included in the Membership directory. By checking here you are agreeing to the terms and conditions as follows: that the main purpose of the directory is to make personal contact with other members to encourage social interactions, acknowledgement of celebrations and other meaningful events, and to encourage the promotion of shul related activities among those on the list.  The list may not be shared with anyone who is not on the list, given to any organization without the prior consent of the Board, or used to promote political ideas or platforms. 
To the General Fund:  $_______________                            To the Hebrew School:  $ _____________
To the Kiddush Fund:   $ ______________  
Or contact Barbara Neiman, 477-9580 or , if you would like to sponsor a full Shabbat Kiddush
In Honor of_____________________________________________________________
In Memory of___________________________________________________________
PLEASE MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO THE NASSAU SYNAGOGUE and mail with a printout of this form to:  PO Box 670, Nassau, New York   12123. 

"If You See Something, Say Something"
By Barbara Neiman
"If You See Something, Say Something™," the national campaign by the  U.S. Department of Homeland Security, raises public awareness on suspicious activities, behaviors or situations that may suggest acts of terrorism or terrorism-related crimes.  If I'm taking some liberties here with my article, so be it. There are just some things that can't be ignored. 

While in the Buffalo suburb of Clarence on a sunny Sunday this summer, I took my 20-month-old granddaughter to a lovely park with a playground. Alyvia loves to go on the toddler swings and slides at this park.  As she came down one of the slides, I saw something very disturbing. There was a swastika at the bottom of the slide she was on.
The next day, I called the park office to speak with the park manager. He wasn't in, so I spoke with his secretary.  I expressed my concern about the swastika and was told that he would take care of it. The following Friday, I took Alyvia to the park again and the swastika was still there. When we got back to my son's house, I called the park office, and was told that the park manager is aware of it but had already left for the day. I asked that he call me on Monday. By late Monday afternoon I hadn't heard anything, so I called again, and this time reached him. While courteous and respectful, the manager didn't seem very concerned. He told me that it wasn't really a problem because kids of that age using the slide wouldn't know what it meant. He said that they already tried to rub it out, but they couldn't get it clean. He also stated that it's been there for a year and that no one else has complained to him about it.  As respectfully as I could, I told him that a swastika is not run-of-the-mill defacement and  vandalism; it could be considered a hate crime in NYS. 

(As stated in the New York State We-are-all-immigrants/new-york-state-anti-hate-crime-resource-guide: " Hate crimes can be perpetrated against an individual, a group, or against public or private property. For example, hanging a noose or painting a swastika could be deemed hate crimes.")

The park manager continued to seem unaware or unconcerned. He clearly had no intention of stretching to rectify the situation. (I assume that, if he cared enough, he could have filed an insurance claim and gotten the slide replaced). 

Not about to let this go, I reported the problem to the Buffalo Jewish Federation.  While their intervention wasn't as quick as I had hoped (their staff is considerably smaller than our local Federation), the executive director did eventually get the problem taken care of.

While I'm pleased with the result, I was distressed by the park manager's attitude.  Somehow, under community pressure, his maintenance staff was able to find a product to effectively remove the swastika - so didn't they do it a year earlier?

The bottom line is clear to me: more education is needed for those in public service, particularly those in management positions. These civil servants also need to be more sensitive and responsive to such situations. 

Locally, we have been fortunate that the Village of Nassau Police, the State Police, and local officials have alerted us to potential problems, and have always been responsive to our request for more oversight, particularly during the High Holidays.

by Kate Lozier

The Mitzvah knitters met on November 20th and collected four blankets, two made by Judy Ehrlich and two by Kate Rachel Lozier. These beautiful hand-knit blankets are being donated to Joseph's house in Troy, NY. This is our third donation of blankets to this organization. They greatly appreciate our handmade gifts. Joseph's House provides emergency shelter and support services, on average, to 1000 men, women and children yearly. Their mission is to provide non-judgmental services to end homelessness.

            We also collected three scarfs, six hats, one headband, and two new, non-handmade hats for the Nassau Resource Center, Nassau's local food bank and resource center. Its clients need hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, and other warm winter gear. The Mitzvah knitters will continue to knit and donate warm accessories throughout the cold months. Donated items must be brand new. The center also needs new toiletries (toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, etc.). To donate goods, please call them at 518-766-9014 for open hours. They are located at 15 Church St., in the Village of Nassau.
            Once again, a Nassau Synagogue crew volunteered for the annual Equinox Thanksgiving Day meal: Many thanks to shul members Irv & Myrna Paris and Faith &   
Matthew Schottenfeld for representing us in this incredible community-wide event.
Volunteers from our shul are greatly appreciated. Please contact Kate Lozier at, or any board member, about Tikkun Olam activities you'd like to involve the shul with and to learn about current shul-sponsored volunteer activities

  • Danny Nerenberg's mother, Carolyn, on celebrating her 90th birthday with family and friends after having made a good recovery following a recent fall.
  • David Fruchter on his recent engagement to Amy Supraner.
  • Barry and Janet Strock on their new apartment in East Greenbush and 2nd home in North Carolina.
  • Margo Singer on her special birthday
Please send your good news to Rhonda Rosenheck with the word "newsletter" in the subject:


Please pray for complete and speedy healing for all who need healing.
Please send names of those needing healing to Pamela Tatar at  
Editor's note: Jewish traditions have many meanings of healing, and believe it possible even for those with lasting ailments. 


Our Condolences
HaMakom yenachem etchem betoch sh'ar aveilei tziyon v'yerushalayim.
To member Lynn Gross whose mother, Ruth Rosen, passed away on November 1, 2017
On the passing of shul member, Kenneth Strock, on November 29, 2017, to his brother, member Barry Strock, and his sons Jason Strock and Jesse Eisenheim.
May  HaMakom  (G-d, by the moniker The Place) 
comfort you and yours   among the mourners 
of Zion and Jerusalem  (and  Nassau, NY).

From the Treasurer
By Barbara Neiman
As the end of the secular year approaches, the Board of Trustees of the Nassau Synagogue wishes to encourage you to make a 2017 tax- deductible, charitable donation to the shul.
Please consider making a donation in honor or memory of a loved one. You can donate to our General Fund, Hebrew School Fund, or the Kiddush Fund. Your generous donations allow us to:
  • Make the necessary repairs and improvements to our building;
  • Provide Shabbat and High Holiday services at no cost to congregants;
  • Offset the costs of holiday and educational programming. 
Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Special Shabbat Service Announcement: Parshat Yitro
Please save the date for our next full Torah Service, Saturday, February 3, 2018

Members will be reading Parshat Yitro in full. 
As always, following the service will be a delicious Kiddush for all to enjoy.  

Do You Have Your Centennial Book?
The Nassau Synagogue is offering its 100th anniversary commemorative booklet for sale to the public. It celebrates the unique history of the Jewish farmers and settlers in Schodack & Nassau, and the history of the synagogue, through documented research, photographs, and personal narratives. It preserves the past and still-living history of the last of the three synagogues that once existed in Southern Rensselaer County. 

To order, mail a check or money order made out to the 
Nassau Synagogue in the amount of $20.00 and mail to:  
PO Box 670, Nassau, NY  12123.

(No PayPal or other online ordering is available.)  Be sure to include your name and the address where you would like to receive your copy.
Centennial Book Order Form
Name:  ___________________________________­
Address:  _________________________________
City: ____________________________________
State:  ___________  Zip Code: _______________
$15.00* per member (one discount per member unit).   
Non-member/additional member copies $20.00*
*Price includes shipping within the cont. 48 states.
Total number of books ordered:           _________


Elizabeth Scheer
Elayne Schottenfeld in memory of Sidney Schottenfeld
Joan Mermelstein in memory of Sidney Mermelstein
Rhonda Rosenheck
Ann Blaustein in memory of beloved parents Morris & Ida Schwartz, brothers David, Franky & Phil Schwartz, nephew David M. Schwartz and niece Linda E. Vonbrookhoven
Judy Bloom in memory of the Placksin Family
Ellen Schottenfeld a Chai x 5 in honor of my family
Phillip Axler in memory of Beatrice Axler
Larry Salzman & Trudy Roth
Sharon & Ben Cohen in honor of Amit, Ravi, Aviva & Naomi Cohen
William Daniels
Elaine Rosen in memory of parents, Evelyn Coplon Lippman and William Lippman
Barbara Neiman - Kiddush Fund
Sherri Kramerson in memory of Harry Froim
Arthur Hochberg in memory of Marilyn Hochberg
Charles and Nancy Noland
Jacqueline Kimmelstiel
Faith Schottenfeld in memory of Sidney Schottenfeld whose voice continues to resonate in our hearts
Ellen Rubin & David Shapiro
Maida Bogoslofsky in memory of father Isidore Bogoslofsky, grandmother Kayla Elenzweig, and "auntie" Selma Elenzweig Gold
Michael Roland & Lynn Rothenberg
Jonah Kimmelstiel in memory of Coby
Irving Paris in honor of wife Myrna's successful hand surgery
Rebecca and Adam Kevelson
Inna Erlikh
Mary Kuntz
Fred & Laurie Kimmelstiel
Irving & Myrna Paris in memory of Anna Paris

Board Members
Pam Tatar, President               518-441-5062
Michael Roland                       518-766-4325
Danny Nerenberg, VP            518-674-1416
Laurie Kimmelstiel                 914-260-8860  
Barbara Neiman,Treasurer      518-477-9580
Nancy Lord                             518-495-9546          
Gail Agata                               518-758-9575
Faith Schottenfeld                   518-732-2191     
Barry Strock, Secretary           518-461-5009

5778 Sukkah Builders, left to right: Danny Nerenberg, Michael Roland, Bruce Huttner, Fred Kimmelstiel, and Jeremy Kimmelstiel.

Nassau Synagogue and Community Center  12 Albany Avenue,  Nassau, NY 12123  
Mail to: PO Box 670, Nassau, NY 12123-0670 | (518) 766-9831 |