VOLUME XXIII, NUMBER 6          WWW.SHALOMPCS.COM                       FEBRUARY  2018
Attention PCS members: Please be sure to attend the PCS Congregational Meeting scheduled for Monday, February 12, 2017 at 7:30 pm. We will be discussing matters of significant importance to PCS and its future. 

The Rabbi's Column: 
Partners in Caring


by Rabbi Dr. Julie Hilton Danan
I'm so pleased to announce a new service to our community,  Partners in Caring , brought to PCS through the untiring dedication of our Caring Committee chair Susan Freidman (and her very caring Caring Committee members), as well as kind donations from some PCS members and the generous funding of UJA Federation of New York. Some 40 synagogues and schools in Westchester use the Partners in Caring program, and we are the newest addition.
Here's how it works:
Ellen Weisberg, a social worker from Westchester Jewish Community Services (WJCS) has been assigned as our Partners in Caring contact. Through Ellen, PCS members will have the opportunity to address issues and concerns in a safe, comfortable, and familiar environment.  Our social worker can facilitate group sessions right here at PCS on topics including caregiving and bereavement, the "sandwich" generation, preparing for the college environment, bullying and cyber etiquette, concerns of young families, separation and divorce, and programs for seniors. She can also serve as a resource to our Hebrew School parents, teachers, and students.
Our Caring Committee will be coming up with some subjects of interest to our members for Ellen to address, so if you have any topics that you want us to highlight, please get in touch with me or Susan Friedman, afried0925@aol.com.
Individual PCS members can schedule up to three private sessions with Ellen free of charge. She can meet with you in a variety of locations. If further service is required, a referral will be offered. Ellen Weisberg, can be contacted at WJCS at 914-761-0600, ext. 146 or eweisberg@wjcs.com . All meetings are kept strictly confidential.
In addition to all that, Ellen is already serving as a resource for me as rabbi, by helping me better support congregants and community members who might be dealing with serious personal issues or need referrals to support groups or social services. Finally, Ellen has already begun to let us know about many kinds of support groups already offered by WJCS for those dealing with issues like caregiving, dementia, or bereavement.
About Ellen:
Ellen Weisberg, M.Ed, LMSW, received her master's in social work from Simmons College School of Social Work in Boston, MA. She has spent over 25 years in the field. Ellen is the coordinator of Project SEED, a collaborative program between WJCS and The Jewish Education Project. Project SEED helps synagogue-based early childhood centers address children's challenging classroom behaviors and provides support, education, and counseling to parents. She also coordinates Partners in Schools, a program of UJA Federation of New York that provides mental health support and counseling to Jewish day schools.
I'm very excited that we are introducing Partners in Caring at PCS. Remember, this is  in addition to the pastoral counseling and rabbinic support that you can receive from me, and the services offered by our volunteer Caring Committee. If you need a friendly visit, rides, meals, or similar support, please do not hesitate to contact committee chairperson Susan Friedman at 917-846-3038. Thanks again to Susan for the great work that she has done enhancing support for our community members. We are working together to help make sure that PCS members feel support and care from our community.

Hebrew letter blocks
by Galit Sperling, Principal

As the weather outside got colder and colder, PCS Hebrew School seemed to get warmer and even more festive with each passing day! These next few months at PCS are going to be packed with holidays, events, and programs, so be sure to pay close attention to the online calendar and email notifications.
It is wonderful to celebrate the holiday of Tu B'Shvat (the new year of the trees) in wintertime, as it gives our students - and all of us - the opportunity to reflect, be grateful, and rededicate ourselves to the Jewish value of tikkun olam, taking care / repair of the world. Appreciating and finding ways to care for nature, Mother Earth and its inhabitants, helps us to grow as a community, and to pass on these vital resources to the next generations.
Our fifth- and sixth-grade students are looking forward to their Havdalah and Shabbat events, respectively, that they have been working toward in class. We have postponed these dates, so that their beloved Hebrew teacher, Karen Stamatis, can recuperate from a severe flu, and celebrate with them on these joyous evenings.
We wish Karen a very heartfelt refuah shlema, and we look forward to celebrating her and our children this February at PCS!

Upcoming Hebrew School Dates:

Friday, February 2: B'nei Mitzvah Class Shabbaton: 6 pm dinner, 6:45 pm Mishpacha Shabbat               service
Sunday, February 4: Teacher Kallah (County-Wide Professional Development) - No classes
Saturday, February 10: Kitah Hey Havdalah Event at 6 pm
Sunday, February 11: B'nei Mitzvah Class Parent-Child Program
Friday, February 16: Kitah Vav Loves Shabbat Dinner Event at 7 pm
Sunday, Feb 18 - Sunday, February 25: No classes (School Spring Break)
Thursday, March 1: Purim Celebration at 5 pm in lieu of regular classes

Kitah Gan/Aleph/Bet students with Noah's Ark animals and animal accessories!

Students in Kitah Gan through Kitah Daled practicing and enjoying Shabbat!

Hey & Vav (5th and 6th grade) students doing special pottery projects and... 


 ...in Intro to B'nei Mitzvah with Ed Sperling


Thanks also to Richard Solomon, Oren Cohen, and Eric Klein 
for joining Rabbi Julie and helping the B'nei Mitzvah class put on tefillin.


Postcards from Eretz Yisrael*

Welcome sign acknowledging the financial support of the JNF
Here in Israel I am  a volunteer at Aleh Negev-Nahalat Eran, a rehabilitation village in Southern Israel for children and adults with special needs.  It is located near the city of Ofakim and covers 25 acres.
My job duties includes helping low-functioning adults with feeding and arts and crafts activities, as well as interacting with them in other ways.

Me as substitute drummer, entertaining residents of Building 8 (my population) 
with a Shabbat Song
My fellow volunteer, S'rah
Two of Building 8 residents
Other residents 
of Aleh Negev-Nahalat Eran

Therapeutic methods
The pony to the left and the horse to the right are part of the Therapeutic Horseback Riding Center

The hydrotherapy pool
I find my job to be a spiritual experience, and this village to be a holy place, because of the compassion shown toward the residents.
As I told Erez Naim, the volunteer coordinator there, "The two most inspiring places for me in Israel are the Kotel and Aleh Negev-Nahalat Eran."
*Our correspondent is Rhea (Rachel) Wolfthal, long-time PCS congregant,  who made aliyah to Israel in August 2017.
Testing for the Breast Cancer Gene
On Tuesday, January 9, the PCS Adult Education Committee hosted Dr. Rand Stack, who gave a compelling presentation on "Jewish Women and Breast Cancer." The presentation included detailed information about testing for the BRCA (BReast CAncer) gene. In conjunction with this presentation, PCS President Leyla Nakisbendi contacted Robin Camhi Baum, the outreach director for a new genetic testing study called the BRCA Founder Outreach Study (BFOR).
BFOR seeks to increase access to BRCA genetic testing to individuals of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry regardless of a family history of the cancers associated with BRCA gene mutations (breast, ovarian, prostate and pancreatic). The study is being led by national experts in hereditary cancer genetics with the goal of empowering people to use the information about their BRCA test result to make potentially life-saving decisions about their future health in consultation with their medical care provider.
Local participants must be age 25 or older, have a least one grandparent of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, live in the NY metro area, and have health insurance. There is no cost for the BRCA founder mutation genetic testing as the study is funded by private philanthropy.
Fliers with information about this study are in the back of the PCS sanctuary, and more detailed information is available at www.BFORstudy.com.

TGI Shabbat

PCS Mishpachah (Family!)
Shabbat Dinner and Service

Friday night, Feb. 2
6 pm: Shabbat dinner FOR EVERYBODY*
6:45 pm: Family-friendly service
led by the seventh graders
7:30 pm: Oneg Shabbat with dessert
Children Jumping
*To help offset the cost of the dinner, there is a suggested donation of $18/adult, $9/child, 5 and under free.
Click here for easy on-line payment and to RSVP!
Or e-mail Marcy Gray at mgray@shalompcs.com or call 769-2672. 
Pleasantville Community Synagogue is a welcoming Jewish community with people of diverse traditions and backgrounds who want to share a joyous spiritual and cultural home.
                                       Visit www.ShalomPCS.com  ~ (914) 769-2672 ~ info@shalomPCS.com
219 Bedford Road, Pleasantville, NY 10570
For parking info, please visit www.shalompcs.com/directionsandparking .
During services and other events, parking spots at synagogue are priority for disabled and elderly visitors.

Pleasantville Community Synagogue
Progressive Dinner!
Saturday night, February 3, 2018

Enjoy an exciting evening progressing from one home to the next.  Meet new people,   have fun and great food in a relaxed, warm atmosphere!
  • Meet for hors d'oeuvres at the home of Kathy Schuler & Jon Blackman.
  • Draw one of our host names and proceed to their home for the entrĂ©e. Gather again with everyone for dessert at the home of Claire & Oren Cohen.
Sign up as a host or come as a guest
and bring an appetizer or dessert...
Please  click on or copy and paste the link below to sign up online:
Or feel free to email Event Chair Marlo Klein at pcsprogressivedinner18@gmail.com .

Please volunteer: Sunday, Nov. 20, 3-4:30 pm
TGI Shabbat
PCS Mishpachah (Family!)
Shabbat Dinner and Service

Friday night, Feb. 16
7 pm: Family-friendly service
led by the Sixth graders
7:30 pm: POTLUCK Shabbat dinner FOR ALL!

Children Jumping
Questions? Concerns? Want to RSVP?
E-mail Principal Galit Sperling, pcshebrewschool@gmail.com ,
or call the PCS office, 769-2672. 
Pleasantville Community Synagogue is a welcoming Jewish community with people of diverse traditions and backgrounds who want to share a joyous spiritual and cultural home.
  Visit www.ShalomPCS.com ~ (914) 769-2672 ~ info@shalomPCS.com
219 Bedford Road, Pleasantville, NY 10570
For parking info, please visit www.shalompcs.com/directionsandparking .
During services and other events, parking spots at synagogue are priority for disabled and elderly visitors.
Please volunteer: Sunday, Nov. 20, 3-4:30 pm
for the
Saturday night, MAY 12, 2018
THE most fun night of the year!
Stay tuned for more details!

Please volunteer: Sunday, Nov. 20, 3-4:30 pm

Coming Soon...

Tickets for the 2018 Westchester Jewish Film Festival will go on sale in mid-February for the annual festival that will run from March 13-29 at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville. This year's festival will feature 38 films, a robust mix of documentaries and narratives. Many of the films will be followed by speakers, audience Q&As, and receptions. For complete information, please visit burnsfilmcenter.org in February. For additional information and group sales, please contact Abby Popper at apopper@burnsfilmcenter.org or 914.773.7663, ext. 424.

We appreciate the thoughtfulness of those who support
the Pleasantville Community Synagogue by remembering and honoring
their friends and loved ones through their generous contributions.  
For information on making donations to PCS, including online donations,
please click here.
Fair Share /General Fund
Jonathan Gaines

Claire and Oren Cohen

Anne and Jeffrey Resnick

Audrey Lenoff
Susan and Alan Friedman, in support of Partners in Caring services at PCS, through the                Westchester Jewish Community Services
In memory of Suzanne Saada Benattar, David Benattar's beloved mother: Marcy Gray, Ruth E.      Sultan, Roberta Korus, Sheri and Karen Springer, Julie Sherman, and Rose Agliecot and family. 

Kiddush Fund
Rachel Friedman, in honor of Michael Safranek's birthday!

Rabbi Julie and Avraham Danan, in honor of meeting 40 years ago over the Torah                           portion,  Vayigash
Adult Education Programming  
Linda Levine, "to honor Rabbi Julie [and] to further Adult Education"

Ed Sperling Fund
  Susan and Philip Likes
Ezra Uganda Fund 
More than $1,000 was raised above costs as a result of the Kennedys' benefit/tribute concert at PCS. Thanks to all who helped, participated and donated, in particular Leslie Mack, Robin Freedman, Robin Berman, and Aydin Mayers. And our special thanks again go to George Greene - may his name be for a blessing - and to Merrie, Hannah and Tova Teitel-Greene for helping to make this joyful event happen.


The money raised allowed us to donate two plows and four oxen for the Jewish community in Namutumba, Uganda This makes a total of eight sets of plows and two oxen purchased for the community; their goal is to have twelve. To learn more, or to make a personal donation to Ezra Uganda, visit their website at https://www.ezrauganda.org/

Patricia Fineman, sister of Roberta Berman
February 4
Rose Schwartz, mother of Nancy Mayers 
February 4
Eleanor Blackman, mother of Jonathan Blackman 
February 7
Charles Fisher, grandfather of Dorian Goldman
February 9
Ruth Dollinger, mother of Jeffrey Dollinger
February 11
Belle Karmen, grandmother of Abbe Karmen
February 15
Alice Jacobs, mother of Barbara Altman Bruno
February 16
Doris Klein, mother of Eric Klein
February 17
Benjamin Jablow, son of Andrea and Robert Jablow
February 21
Ida Cohen, mother of Hirsh Cohen
February 24

To all PCS members:
If you or another member suffer personal tragedy or loss or are otherwise in need of help, please immediately contact Rabbi Julie at (914) 769-2672 or Rabbi@ShalomPCS.com, or to our Caring (Chesed) Committee Chair, Susan Friedman at (917) 846-3038, or SFriedman@ShalomPCS.com.

The PCS Yahrzeit Memorial Board is a beautiful and symbolic place to honor your loved ones while helping to support your synagogue. The anniversary of their passing will be commemorated with a light by their name plate. You will find the appropriate form for purchasing a memorial name plate by clicking here.

Pleasantville Community Synagogue Mission Statement
Pleasantville Community Synagogue is a welcoming Jewish community connecting people of diverse traditions and backgrounds who want to share a joyous spiritual and cultural home.
PCS officers and trustees:
President: Leyla Nakisbendi

Secretary: TBD

Treasurer: Oren Cohen

Vice President: Roberta Korus

Vice President: Richard Solomon
Board of Trustees
David Benattar

Robert Marshak

Robin Berman

Leyla Nakisbendi

Gregory Cohen

Karen Neuburger

Lisa Nicotra

Jonathan Goodman

Laurie Hirsch Schulz

Amy Gutenplan

Roberta Korus

Richard Solomon
Sheila Major

Rabbi Julie Danan

To contact PCS 
Phone: (914) 769-2672;  Fax: (914) 769-1795;  Websitewww.ShalomPCS.com
Marcy Gray, Synagogue Administrator: (914) 769-2672;  mgray@ShalomPCS.com
Galit Sperling, Religious School: (914) 773-0043; principal@ShalomPCS.com
Barbara Doctor, Member Accounts: (914) 747-3017; Accounts@ShalomPCS.com
Please click for the full PCS calendar for February 2018
Pleasantville Community Synagogue Newsletter  
February 2018         16 Sh'vat - 13 Adar 5778