VOLUME XXIII, NUMBER 7          WWW.SHALOMPCS.COM                       MARCH  2018
The Rabbi's Column: 
Teens of America,
Teens of PCS

by Rabbi Dr. Julie Hilton Danan
We read in the haftarah of Shabbat HaGadol, the week before Passover, "And I will turn the hearts of the parents to the children and the hearts of the children to the parents." - Malachi 3:24
This is a time for our hearts to turn toward our youth. Last month's horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida, showed the frightening vulnerability of our nation's youth (indeed of all citizens, but especially our young people in schools). I extend deepest condolences to PCS member Jay Zweibaum and his family on the death of his 14-year-old cousin, Alex Schachter, in the shooting.
On Passover we speak of going out from Egypt. The Hebrew word for Egypt, Mitzrayim, also means a stuck place, a narrow place that we can't escape. That's how America has seemed concerning gun violence. Within days of the Parkland shooting, the young survivors of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School precipitated a national movement of teenagers speaking out fearlessly for gun control and school safety. Their movement has already impacted the country from the White House to state houses, businesses to schools, and maybe, hopefully, even our gridlocked Congress. It is far past time to take common sense actions to reduce loss of life from the American tragedy of recurrent mass shootings, but somehow it took the courage of our young people to move us from our current Mitzrayim.
We need to address many issues that contribute to these ongoing slaughters, including mental health care, domestic violence, law enforcement, and school safety. But we can never really ameliorate the problem without addressing the root cause, the means to inflict massive harm through the ever greater availability of lethal assault weapons.
There was a small but meaningful interfaith service here in Pleasantville the evening after the shooting. Yes, "thoughts and prayers" have become a topic of scorn lately when they substitute for much-needed action. Still, we do need time for reflection, lament, and mutual support so we can take action from a centered and thoughtful place. One of the most effective ways to do that is through prayer.  To put it more plainly, we need to not just issue statements about "thoughts and prayers," but to actually think, actually pray, and then be motivated to take meaningful and persistent action on many levels.
I will paraphrase the words of one of my Christian clergy colleagues at the service, who said that, as clergy, I do not presume to tell my congregants how to vote. But I do challenge you to bring all of your sacred Jewish values - including the sanctity of life, the protection of the vulnerable, the commitment to bettering the world for all - to all your choices and actions as citizens of our country.
And now, let me turn to a happier topic involving young people, our progress on a teen program here at PCS.
I'm happy to report that, in February, we had a teen planning dinner at PCS with four members of our teen steering committee and board liaison Laurie Hirsch Schulz. (Thank you to Laurie for kindly treating us all to pizza!) Robin Berman, an experienced high school teacher, has volunteered to be our youth advisor.
We met with rabbinic student Sam Yolen (via Zoom) and in person with Eric Stone from Rewilding School of Westchester, an organization devoted to teaching outdoor skills to all ages. Eric has a background in United Synagogue Youth. Both young men impressed us with their enthusiasm about Judaism and the environment, and their ability to lead compelling programs for teens.
We came up with the following plan for monthly programs for the rest of spring, which I hope will be very interesting and attractive to our teens in grades 8-12. Our focus will be divided between outdoor/environmental programs and service projects. All except the May program are on Sundays.
March 11, 1-3 pm: Hike at Rockefeller State Park Preserve with Sam Yolen, with an emphasis on Judaism and the environment. In case of inclement weather, Sam will lead an indoor program at PCS.
April 15: J-Teen Literacy Day in Yonkers . We will volunteer at a large service project with Jewish teens from all over Westchester.
May 5: Lag Ba-Omer Saturday night campfire diner and night-time moonlight hike , concluding with havdalah, with Rewilding School at Angle Fly Preserve, Somers. Those who don't want to do the hike can come just for the dinner.
In addition, we continue to work on our long-awaited Shabbat Retreat for the teens. (Another possibility is a Shabbat Retreat for all ages, with programs led by the teens.) Laurie and Sydney are looking into the availability of Sprout Lake Camp for this event.
If you have teens in your household, please watch for details on these events, participate, and invite your friends. If you don't have teens in your household, please be their allies here in our congregation and in our nation.
Wishing a joyful, meaningful Festival of Freedom to all.
Happy Passover! 
Hebrew letter blocks
by Galit Sperling, Principal

With school break, February was an especially brief month in Hebrew School, but filled with wonderful highlights:  
  • Our teachers attended a county-wide Professional Development Kallah, with this year's theme of "Connecting to Israel" giving us new and innovative approaches to bring back to our classrooms at PCS.
  • Kitah Hey (the fifth-grade class) led a meaningful Havdalah evening, for which they had learned all of the traditional Hebrew prayers and chanting, including blessings and the songs "Eliyahu HaNavi" and "Shavua Tov." Each student contributed in several essential ways to the program, creating their own spice boxes, Havdalah plates, recycle projects, and writing creative legends based on the symbols of Havdalah.
  • Kitah Vav (the sixth-grade class) had our first ever "Vav Loves Shabbat" event, which we hope will become a yearly tradition in the PCS Hebrew School! The Vav students prepared for the evening by learning the Friday evening prayers and dinner blessings and began to learn the "Birkat Hamazon" (grace after meals) as well. In between dinner and dessert, students performed a play based on the parashah of the week, Terumah. Each family brought a dish to share as part of our potluck Shabbat dinner, and it was touching to have so many families join together for a beautiful Shabbat dinner at PCS!
  • The B'nei Mitzvah class had a field trip to Go Kosher in Mount Kisco, which they prepared for in advance in class with Rabbi Julie, learning all about the laws of Kashrut, and its origins in the Torah.
  • The Gan-Daled classes (K - fourth grade) learned about (and acted out!) the story of Purim, focusing on the lessons to be learned behind this festive holiday. We had such a great time celebrating together on Thursday March 1, with a Megillah reading, teen play, and hamantaschen for all!
See below for upcoming events in March, including challah making!

Upcoming Hebrew School Dates:

Thursday, March 1 at 5 pm: Purim Celebration **in lieu of regular classes
Sunday, March 4 at 10:30 am: Challah Making for Gan - Dalet (K - fourth grades)
Saturday, March 10 at 10 am: B'nei Mitzvah (seventh grade) Saturday morning Shabbaton
Sunday, March 11 at 10:30 am: Challah Making for Kitah Hey & Kitah Vav (fifth and sixth grades)
Sunday, March 18: B'nei Mitzvah Class Parent-Child Program with Dorot
Saturday, March 23  at 10 am: Family Education Shabbat
Sunday, March 25 from 10 am - 11 am: Passover Model Seder for Kitah Gan - Kitah Dalet (K - fourth grades), families invited!
Thursday, March 29 from 4 - 5:30 pm: Passover Model Seder for Kitah Hey - B'nei Mitzvah (fifth - seventh grades) families invited!  
Sunday, April 1 - Sunday, April 8: No Classes (Passover/Spring Break)

Thanks again to Ali and Ben Serebin for opening up their home 
to the little ones, this time back in January to celebrate Tu B'Sh'vat, the 
birthday and celebration of the trees. There were trees made of paper, trees made of food,
stories and snacks. As usual, a wonderful time was had by all, parents included!

B'nei Mitzvah class Tu B'Sh'vat seder at PCS

Hebrew School students getting ready to dress up for Purim

Kitah Hey Havdalah

Rehearsing for the Purim play

Postcards from Eretz Yisrael*

When I was single, I prayed for a bashert and HaShem sent Phil to me. 
We had a loving relationship and a wonderful 30-year marriage. I will always love him.  Losing Phil was the hardest thing I ever experienced in 
my life, but I was blessed with lots of support to help me through it.
After seven years of being alone, I decided to open my heart, and I went 
to the Kotel and prayed for a chaver (male friend). And now HaShem has sent Yosef to me. Yosef is from the Ukraine and is a classmate of mine at the Ulpan. We are now dating. He speaks Russian and knows little English, and I know some phrases in Russian, but that's about it. So we try to converse in Hebrew. What an incentive to learn the language! He lives in Beersheva with his 37-year-old single son, Vadim.

Yosef and I hangin' in the classroom
Yosef is very much like Phil. He is a caring and kind person, who is funny and has a great smile. He treats me well, and I am happy.
Recently, Yosef and I were invited to Shabbat dinner at a mutual friend's home. Soon after, I had a dream about the dinner. In my dream, Phil was there too, and Yosef was talking to him in perfect English. When they finished the conversation,  he walked over to me and I asked him if he
knew who he was talking to, and he  said he did.
I don't what the future holds for the two of us. All I know is that, for 
now, I feel  my life is complete here in Israel and that this is where I am meant to be.
*Our correspondent is Rhea (Rachel) Wolfthal, long-time PCS congregant,  who made aliyah to Israel in August 2017.
PCS Helps to Settle
Second Refugee Family

Can you help?

PART One , the Pleasantville/Armonk Resettlement Team affiliated with PCS, will welcome 
our second family on March 6!
The family will be settled in White Plains.
We need drivers to help with transportation over the first few months as well as Arabic interpreters.

If you can offer a half-day as an occasional driver, or if you know of an Arabic speaker who can provide translation services, please e-mail Laurie Hirsch Schulz asap 
at lhirschschulz@gmail.com
or call her at 914-255-0358.

Thank you!

Westchester Jewish Council
Join us as we honor
the Westchester Jewish community's 
outstanding volunteers
- including PCS's own Ed Sperling! -
at the
23rd Annual Julian Y. Bernstein 
Distinguished Service
Awards Ceremony 

Thursday, March 8, 2018 -  7:30pm
Temple Israel Center of White Plains
280 Old Mamaroneck Road, White Plains
Kosher Dairy Dessert                                    Free and Open to All 
RSVP Requested. Contact the PCS office, mgray@shalompcs.com , 914-769-2672
 or click
here  to let us know you will join us. 

Davenology* Videos 
and Discussion
March 21, 7:30-9 pm

Rabbi Julie Danan invites you to experience videos of
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi of blessed memory
as he teaches about "Davenology," his word for *the art of deep and meaningful Jewish prayer. Discussion will follow. All are welcome to this free program. Please RSVP to pcsrabbi@gmail.com .
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.
Pleasantville Community Synagogue
www.ShalomPCS.com  ~ (914) 769-2672 ~ info@shalomPCS.com
219 Bedford Road, Pleasantville, NY 10570

Please volunteer: Sunday, Nov. 20, 3-4:30 pm
Tikkun Olam Through the Ages
An Adult Education Mini-Course at PCS
with Rabbi Julie Hilton Danan, Ph.D.
Rather than a perfect creation corrupted by humanity, Jewish tradition proposes that God created an imperfect world requiring human repair. This Tikkun Olam mini-course examines the historical development of "Tikkun Olam," the Jewish concept of repairing the world: in early Rabbinic literature, in Kabbalah, and in modern social activism.
We will learn about Jewish history and theology through the lens of world repair, and consider the connection between our own spirituality and our commitment to social justice.
This mini-course will combine short lectures, study of primary texts in English translation (Hebrew available for those who wish), and discussion. Come to all or come as you can! There is no charge but we need at least seven students to make it a go, so please RSVP to pcsrabbi@gmail.com if you can come.
Three Wednesdays, 7:30-9 pm at PCS
April 4: Introduction and Tikkun Olam in the Mishnah
May 9: Tikkun Olam in Kabbalah and Chassidism
June 6: Tikkun Olam in Modern Thought and Action


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

Please volunteer: Sunday, Nov. 20, 3-4:30 pm
for the
THE most fun night
of the year!
Saturday night,
MAY 12, 2018
to be held at
Crabtree's Kittle House!
Stay tuned for more details...

Please volunteer: Sunday, Nov. 20, 3-4:30 pm
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
Sandra Serebin in support of PCS music programming in honor of her the birthdays 
    of her son Ben and granddaughter Morgan

Oren and Claire Cohen

Eric and Marlo Klein

And special thanks to Marlo Klein for once again organizing this year's Progressive Dinner, always one of most fun and celebrated events in the PCS year! Yasher ko'ach , Marlo!
And PCS received thanks for its donation...

Joan Fixler, mother of Karen Fixler
March 3
Barney Etkin, uncle of Rhea Wolfthal
March 5
Charles Lubelsky, father of Janice Sandbank
March 5
Lester Mayers, husband of Nancy Mayers and  father of         Michael Mayers

March 6
Morris Fuchs, father of Audrey Lenoff
March 11
Harold Altman, f ather of Barbara Altman Bruno
March 14
Charlie Sandbank, husband of Janice Sandbank
March 15
Hank Mayers, grandfather of Michael Mayers
March 16
Martin Neuburger, father of Jerry Neuburger
March 18
Arthur Zucker, father of Steven Zucker
March 20
David Weistrop, father of Penny Weistrop
March 22
Irving Goldman, father of Dorian Goldman
March 29
Louis Goldman, grandfather of Dorian Goldman
March 30
George Johnston, father of Bradley Johnston
March 31
Hyman Karmen, grandfather of Abbe Karmen
March 31

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 March 2018
Pleasantville Community Synagogue Newsletter  
March 2018         14 Adar - 15 Nisan 5778