Rabbi's Letter

February 14, 2017
29 Shevat 5778
Dear Friends,

Last Sunday morning, the One Room Shul House met and shared a visit from a very special guest, Miera Hirsch Markovski (undercover Sharon Spivak). Miss Meria is 95 years old and came to share with us her life story, having traveled from Poland to America when she was a little girl. She told us the stories of the old country and what it means to her to have been able to come to America and build a new life. The children were captivated and the experience was special beyond words. 
I had invited Miss Meira to come visit our school as we were studying about getting older and I knew that her story would touch the hearts of the children and I was right. We are talking about getting older because this coming Shabbat we all will be celebrating Miss Fran Weiss’s 103 rd birthday!!!! We live in such a terribly bifurcated culture. We discriminate by age all the time. We want to be with people our own age and we often times don’t even know how to relate to people of other ages. I wanted the children to contemplate the idea that, though the body ages, oh yes it does, the soul actually gets younger in vitality as wisdom and years blend together.

Our art project that day was to create beautiful hand made flowers and to write special blessings for Miss Fran for her birthday celebration on Shabbat. I hope you all join us to see what the children have created and to share the love that we all have for Fran.
                       103, now that is one young soul!
This coming Friday evening at Shabbat services we are going to be celebrating the beautiful new kitchen that came to fruition by the extreme generosity of Mark Alper, of our B’nai Israel Sisterhood and of Bucky Stein, all of whom have made our spectacular kitchen a reality. 
The service will begin at 6:30 with a delicious Shabbat dinner to follow prepared by our very own president Barry Weiss and his trusted sous chefs. Please RSVP to the office. Dinner is $10 Per person with a family cap at $20. Please join us as we celebrate this wonderful new kitchen and the loving people who made it possible.
Get ready for your heart and soul to be inspired when you share with us, Debbie Smith’s Bat Mitzvah on February 24 th . She has worked so hard, studied so diligently and is singing her haftorah in her sleep. Please RSVP and let us know that you plan to attend, all are welcome!
I hope you’ve got your costumes ready to go. Purim will be on Wednesday the 28 th at 6PM and its going to be the story of Esther put to Beatles songs. If you would like to participate with your friends,  karaoke style, please call Rabbi Julie, Ill give you a choice of songs and you will help us to make our Purim celebration as joyous as it should be.

Rena Goldwasser, our Hamantashan queen, is about to start baking all of those Hamantashan. Please give her a call as she still needs a few more bakers. Please participate in our Shalach Manot gift giving. My dream is that every single B’nai Israel family will participate showing our world what a truly loving and caring congregation looks like. A place where everyone matters, to everyone!
On March 4 th at 12:30 we will gather at the B’nai Israel cemetery for the unveiling of both, Robert Margolis and Janet Evanson , the beloved husband and mother of Roselle Margolis. There will be a light lunch at the Synagogue following the service. Please join us, all are welcome!
On March 10 th at Shabbat services we will celebrate Harrison Freedland and Elizabeth Burgess with an Auf Ruf in honor of their upcoming wedding. They will be called up to the Torah and begin their journey from the blessings that emanate from the Torah. 
Its that time again,
MAY 11,12 and 13 2018
Emerald Isle

We have only ten rooms left after last year’s attendees signed up. So please join us and respond as soon as possible because when the rooms are gone, they are gone and the Center is otherwise full. A deposit of $50 will hold your seat. Next week the details will be forthcoming. Don’t miss this wonderful weekend away at the beach where there is nothing to do but be spiritually fed and enjoy a magical Shabbat weekend together. Contact Jane Birnbach for more information: (910) 612-0891.
I want to thank you all who have already called to pick a date to sponsor an oneg or a Kiddush. Of course if someone does not want to participate we would never force anyone but I wanted to share with you the reason why this program is definitely one of the “best Practices” of the most successful Synagogues. This is why, Shabbat services are truly the pulse of the Synagogue. Though they are not attended by everyone, we do have a solid and growing attendance of congregants, some old timers some new members, the children and their families are regular visitors as are many others who find the services comforting, spiritually nourishing and like “coming home.”

What takes place in the sanctuary every Shabbat is the “constant” in our Jewish lives. The ancient prayers are sung and they allow you to feel as if you’ve landed on solid ground. The outpouring of emotions that are the core text of our liturgy is like a melody to the spirit.

The friendship and the care that defines our B’nai Israel Shabbat culture IS the quiet success of our sacred community. As your Rabbi, I have been completely committed to bringing warmth and joy to the rhythm of our Jewish life and that begins when we share a pray, a meal, a visit with our fellow congregants and that is exactly what happens here on Shabbat.

The first goal of this program is to entice our wonderful congregants to come in and share a piece of their lives with the rest of us.  This is how we come to care about each other. This is our chance to truly get to know each other. In life we build relationships with the people we share LIFE with. We want you to come to Shul and let us celebrate with you, your family’s simchas, your important dates and mostly our common heritage that underpins the heart of our collective soul.

This program will make us a stronger family. Our sanctuary is your haven, by sharing our important days together we all are strengthened.

When you participate, you will see that we have given you a chance to stop and take a moment to honor your loved ones, a birthday, a memory or just take a Shabbat to hang out with your Congregational family.

I hope that you will give it a chance. It will enhance our bonding as a community because the future of Jewish synagogue life depends on the family we build from within. This will help us grow closer.

Thank you so much for supporting our hopes and dreams for the best B’nai Israel that we can build.
On a side, look at the beautiful life that is thriving here at B’nai Israel. If you would like to have a Bat Mitzvah or prepare your Bar Mitzvah Haftorah, if you would like to visit our One Room Shul House and share your Jewish story with our children, if you would like to learn how to read Hebrew or study ethics or search for our spiritual roots. If you would like to help feed the homeless at the Good Shepherd Center or help lead a karaoke song for Purim, if you would like to participate in cooking a Shabbat dinner for our congregation or come see the children in the sanctuary processioning with the Torah. All of this and more await you here at B’nai Israel. Please feel welcomed to pick up the phone and jump right in. It’s all nourishment for the soul.

Looking forward to seeing you all soon!!!
באהבה ושלום

Shabbat Shalom my friends,
הרב אלישבע בת דוד ודבורה
Rabbi Julie Kozlow
(910) 762-1117 ~ B'nai Israel phone