Temple Israel Reform Congregation
of Staten Island
315 Forest Avenue
Staten Island, New York 10301
Rabbi Michael D. Howald                     Student Cantor Shirel Richman
Co-Presidents Jerry Gross and Alan Siegel
E-Shalom - JUNE 2021
Temple Israel’s Electronic Bulletin
“Shalom, Welcome to Temple Israel....” is a phrase taught to us by Carole Lachman, a beloved, long-time congregant and bulletin editor who died in 2002. We named our bulletin in her honor and worked to realize her vision of Temple Israel as a community that welcomes the stranger and lets no one stand alone. As we move to a new version of this tradition of communicating with our Temple Israel family, we continue to forward Carole’s vision, love and devotion for our synagogue.

Most of our usual Temple activities have now become virtual. Please join us for any or all of the following Shabbat and Festival services and Torah Study sessions by simply clicking on the links in the link boxes at the posted times. All sessions will take place using Zoom. Links are also posted in weekly News and Notes. If you wish to call into these services or meetings, the phone numbers for audio access are also listed. *Please note that some of the meetings may require that you include the listed password.

Friday, June 4 at 7:00 p.m.
All other weeks on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Dial by your location
  +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
    +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
    +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
    +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
    +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
    +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

Meeting ID: 947 946 323
Passcode: 947053
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kiTgwLeuU
Every week on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. followed by Services at 11:00 a.m.

Dial by your location
 +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
    +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
    +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
    +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
    +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
    +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
Meeting ID: 614 246 852
Passcode: 549042

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbBPyZ5AGn

Through the generosity of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, there is a free online flip-book version of our prayer book, Mishkan T'filah for Shabbat, available 

Through the generosity of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, there is a free online flip-book version of our prayer book, Mishkan T'filah for Youth, available 
We look forward to receiving your response to our recent Virtual Gala Journal Fundraiser mailing. Click below to see a copy of the letter.
A Message from

Rabbi Michael D. Howald

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing,
there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
Rumi (13th century)

         In Israel, they have a name that encompasses all the obstacles to lasting peace in the Middle East. For a topic as fraught as the ongoing conflict between the various parties who claim a stake in the future of the region, this term neatly includes all the history and all the hope and frustration of all the conflicting interests in 3 short Hebrew syllables: המצב –(“ha-matzav”) literally, “the situation.” The word appears several times in the Hebrew Bible to refer to a person’s physical status or station.  In medieval times, the word’s meaning broadened to include a person’s existential situation.  During the Second Intifada (2000-05), which included the time I was studying at Hebrew Union College’s Jerusalem campus, it came to refer to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Although ha-matzav is grammatically neutral, the usage of the word also carries with it the idea of a continuing source of pain and anguish without any obvious solution.
         Its in the nature of hamatzav, that it never entirely goes away but the pain and the anguish is more palpable at certain times than others. The last few weeks have been such a period for all those who live with the daily danger of death coming from the sky. At such times, voices in our society, both within and without the Jewish community, often demand that American Jews take a binary position on hamatzav that requires unwavering and uncritical support for one party or the other. At such times, antisemitic perspectives flood social media and the Jewish community engages in an internal dialogue that increasingly threatens to tear us apart on the very issue that should unite us, connected as we are to the land and people of Israel by history and familial ties.
I believe it is possible to be a proud Zionist and to support a sustainable and equitable peace with the Palestinians. I further believe that its possible to maintain a commitment to the equal dignity of Israelis and Palestinians even as I understand that the Israeli government cannot just stand by as rockets are fired indiscriminately at its residents. I acknowledge that, since I and my immediate family do not live in Israel, we do not face the same risks as those that do and that I cannot insist that a distant observer’s assessment of danger govern the decisions of those who live under a daily threat of death.
I also admit that the land and people of Israel are separate from its current leaders and that, in a healthy system of government, room exists for honest disagreements with the decisions made and strategies employed by those in power. Finally, I share the frustration at the lack of obvious answers to hamatzav even as I continue to hope that one day, when somebody asks me: “מה המצב? (`What’s the situation?’),” they will be referring to my latest checkup rather than conflict in the Middle East.  In the meantime, may the One who makes peace in the high heavens, also bring peace to Israel and to all the inhabitants of the world. Amen.
Rabbi Michael Howald   
A Message from
Jerry Gross & Alan Siegel

In a world already topsy turvy and struggling to find the right balance, the CDC’s mid-May poorly communicated change of course on masks was a major curve ball to those charged with keeping public spaces safe.   

To those listening to news headlines, it sounded like it was time to ditch the masks and get back to being up close and personal to everyone.  However, to those of us guarding our congregation’s health, the fine print and cautions practically took us back to ‘step 1’ of a year ago: …Only if you are vaccinated.  ….Social Distancing….well maybe.  …100% capacity….only on even numbered odd Tuesdays.   And so on.   And don’t even ask us about the restrictions imposed by HUC that are still in place to protect our Student Cantor.  We are hopeful that these will soon be revised to better serve everyone’s needs. 

We are also well aware of the daunting fact that many places overseas that opened up too soon, found themselves shutting down again as they experienced surges.

Adding into the mix is that since we want families to be able to bring their children to services, we have to be most conservative on masks and distancing until vaccines are fully available for everyone. 

Above all, we don’t want ‘congregational whiplash’ by having to backtrack on our path to full re-opening;  therefore, our path will be slow and deliberate.  And as we write this in mid-May, with changes coming on a daily basis, we cannot see that far into the future.  But we can do some planning. 

June will see an in-person, live-streamed Shabbat morning service as Genevieve Lopez is called to the Torah as Bat Mitzvah. Because of current restrictions, please enjoy this service via livestream. Brotherhood and Sisterhood are planning one in-person event each which we hope you will attend. 

As June progresses, we will evaluate the requirements of all the current guidelines, and work toward the goal of everyone being able to be at Temple for the High Holy Days.  We will be working with Rabbi, our Student Cantor, the Ritual Committee and the Board of Trustees to plot our safe path.

In the meantime, plan to attend the Zoom installation Shabbats for the Board, Brotherhood and Sisterhood.  And don’t forget to support the Virtual Gala Journal.  We have expended a great deal of efforts and money to stay in touch during the pandemic and prepare for reopening, so this is a critical effort that needs your participation.

Yours in service to our Temple Community,
Jerry and Alan
As the Temple’s fiscal year comes to an end, our Congregants are encouraged to review their personal records to ensure that all annual commitments to Temple Israel have been honored.
As we can all appreciate, this has been a most difficult year for all of us.  Although we have been unable to gather together in person, we have been most fortunate to have had the ability to participate in Erev Shabbat Services and both Sisterhood and Brotherhood meetings on the Zoom format.  In addition, our Adult Learning Committee and the Avis Foundation have provided us with many enjoyable activities from Yoga to reviews of movies, TV and radio programs. 

We are looking forward to a new year that will include the relaxation of some of the constraints that were implemented during the past year and a half.  We will be moving toward a reopening of our House of Worship including Shabbat services and ultimately in-person High Holiday Services.

We appreciate your continued support of our Temple and ask that you give your attention to the Annual Commitment documents that will be arriving at your home before the end of this month.  You will be asked to update the information that we have on file for you to ensure the timely receipt of communications and mail at your home.  In addition, please be sure to update any changes in email contacts, cell phone numbers, home and/or vacation addresses, as well as any additions to your family’s Yahrzeit listing.  Please complete the documents you receive and return them no later than July 15th with your initial fulfillment of your annual commitment for the 2021-2022 year.

We wish you well as we look forward to a successful new year with you as an active member of the Temple Israel family.  Stay well, stay safe, stay with us.

If you know of any families with young children, please refer them to Bryn Biren or Terry Baver for inclusion in the Avis Foundation program.  We will also be pleased to welcome all other prospective new members. Please refer potential members to the Temple Office.

Jennifer Straniere, Financial Secretary
Alan Siegel, Co-President

If you have any questions about your membership at this time please contact me at the Temple Office at 718-727-2231.
Dear Temple Israel,

As the academic year is ending and we start to feel the gentle summer breeze upon us, I would like to look back at the year we had together as a community and show immense gratitude.

First, I would like to thank Rabbi Howald for his endless support, trust and guidance. I am so blessed to have you as my mentor. 

Thank you to the Temple Israel leadership, Board members, Sisterhood, Brotherhood and our temple’s volunteers for the wonderful events which kept us together in the time of isolation. We had an amazing production of the High Holidays services which kept us all safe in our homes but together at heart, with the deepest commitment to a beautiful, meaningful and spiritual holiday experience. A fun Sukkot gathering, community online dinners, Hanukkah fair, a Debbie Friedman concert and so many more events.

Thank you to my dear Temple Israel Choir. I am in awe of what we achieved together as a team. Through team effort each singer acquired skills like video producing, set designing, solo singing in a home-recording-studio, and more. The choir has produced more videos than anybody anticipated and they did it with joy and genuine commitment to the congregation.

Thank you to my dear students at the Temple Israel Religious School. I appreciate your perseverance and curiosity to learning -- even in an online environment! I was able to get to know you and I loved teaching you this year. Thank you to our Temple Israel Religious School families who supported their children’s Jewish education.

To the greater Temple Israel community: Thank you for welcoming me as your Student Cantor this year. This was the best first-year experience for which I could ever hope. Thank you for joining me in the first steps of my cantorial journey, “coming” to my practicum and supporting Lincoln and me every Shabbat. Watching your faces online, we could almost hear you singing with us. Your smiles and gestures inspired us throughout. We loved seeing you (on your Zoom square or at the building) and we cannot wait for the moment it will be safe for us all to pray, learn and sing together in person again. 

Have a safe, refreshing and wonderful summer! 

See you in the fall!

B’shirah (with singing),
Shirel Richman
Student Cantor

Adult Choir Rehearsals (Virtual)
Tuesday, June 1- 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, June 8- 7:00 p.m.

If you would like to join the Choir, please contact Student Cantor Shirel Richman at scantorrichman@gmail.com.
Jodi Siegel & Shariann Ganz
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year? 
                                             (Jonathan Larson, RENT)

As we reach the end of our fourth and final year as your Sisterhood Co-Presidents, we continue our tradition of asking ourselves a similar question….How do you measure Sisterhood’s Year…especially THIS year?

·       In the number of video boxes that filled our screens at each of our Zoomed meetings and events?
·       In the number of edits to our calendar because we keep adding virtual events throughout the year?
·       In the awards and acknowledgements our members receive because they go “above and beyond”?
·       In creative cookie designs we learned at our Cookie Decorating Event?
·       In the amazing support we received from those men who have chosen to become “Friends of Sisterhood”?
·       In interesting and creative virtual programs presented at our monthly meetings?
·       In the number of cookies boxed delivered for our virtual Mother’s Day Cookie Oneg?
·       In the number of Chanukah candles which lit up our screens as we welcomed each night of Chanukah with a special musical guest?
·       In the applause after our virtual Nefesh Mountain Concert?
·       In hours of planning and counting for the delivery of Chanukah dinners to everyone’s homes?
·       In the number of times we updated our SH membership list in order to add our new members?
·       In the number of virtual museum and synagogue visits arranged for us by our fabulous vice -presidents?
·       In the stories of each Suffragette we studied during the past year celebrating 100th Anniversary Of The 19th Amendment – Women's Right To Vote?
·       In the new decorations we purchased for the Sukkah?
·       In the ‘Thank You’ notes and letters we receive from congregants and organizations?
·       In the number of Rosh Hashanah Honey Gift Bags packaged and delivered?
·       In the laughs we had during our program on “The Jewish American Princess”?
·       In our enjoyment in hearing the wonderful songs of Debbie Friedman sung by our student cantor and her husband?
·       In the number of cans and boxes and jars and bags of non-perishables donated by our members for our Thanksgiving and Kosher for Passover Food Drives?
·       In the number of shopping trips it took to get all the matzoh and wine and Passover desserts needed for our Passover Seder dinners?
·       In the number of food containers and labels used by Kaplan Caterers to pack the enormous amount of food prepared for our Seder dinners?
·       In the number of closets and cabinets we searched for donations of fabulous items for our first-ever Sample(d) Sale or the number of bids we had for a Salad Spinner?
·       In the sips of wine during our Wine and Cheese Tasting event?
·       In the beautiful new floral arrangements Sisterhood donated to beautify our Bimah?
·       In the number of Shabbat Gift Bags delivered to our new members?
·       In the number of parsley seeds we mailed to each congregant in celebration of Tu B’Shevat?
·       In the number of Hamentaschen packaged for Purim?
·       In the 100 Trees we planted in Israel because of your donations for Tu B’Shevat?
·       In the delight of our members as they received the most extraordinary and creative Shalach Manot gifts thoughtfully designed by our chairpersons?
·       In the number of items searched for during our on-line Scavenger Hunt?
·       In the gifts purchased at our in-person Holiday Gift Fair?
·       In the number of pieces of chocolate gelt packaged for delivery with our Chanukah dinners?
·       In the number of chairs we carried to meet each other in the park or on the Temple Patio?
·       In the number of personal Havdalah kits prepared for those who attended our first outdoor Havdalah service?
·       In the Bingo numbers called during our E-Bingo games?
·       In the names printed on our annual community New Year’s Card designed by a talented Sisterhood member?
·       In the number of our members who attended virtual WRJ events this past year?
·       In the number of checks mailed to home addresses of those organizing this year’s Sisterhood events because we could not be at the Temple?
·       In the slices of pizza and glasses of wine served at our Pizza in the Hut Sippin’ in the Sukkah events?
·       In phone calls and e-mails arranging for assistance with Sisterhood events?
·       In Temple Israel traditions and rituals we managed to uphold this year, even though we couldn’t do them in person at our synagogue?
·       In Shabbat and Yom Tov candles and blessings?
·       In Raffle tickets sold for our fundraising events?
·       In the number of reservations placed by our members to attend events in honor of our members at community events?
·       In all the Good & Welfare reports sent out to our members?
·       In stamps for hundreds of mailings?
·       In the Tanakhs, texts and Torah Commentaries given as gifts to B’Nai Mitzvah and Confirmation Students?
·       In the number of times the words “thank you” are spoken?
·       In the thousands of dollars donated to our temple in addition to our annual commitment?
·       In money raised at fundraisers to support all that SH does for our Temple?
·       In the thousands of dollars spent on Journal Ads honoring our members and clergy...and (this year) ourselves?
·       In the donations we made to fight Breast Cancer together?
·       In the attendance at our events by so many outside of Staten Island because we “went virtual”?
·       In the funds we contributed to make sure this year’s High Holiday Services were filmed?
·       In the number of recipes submitted for our Kosher for Passover Cookbook?
·       In the writing and reading of the detailed minutes of every meeting?
·       In the women who are always there for each other in times of need?
·       In all the kernels of popcorn ordered to support our fundraising efforts?
·       In the arguments that take place because we all care so much?
·       In the number of opening and closing prayers which sometimes bring tears to our eyes because of our love for our sisters?
·       In the dues we pay to Women of Reform Judaism?
·       In the number of “Coffee and Conversation” and “Happy Hour” Zoom gatherings?
·       In SH members who sit on every committee at our Temple?
·       In the number of hours put into planning every detail of every event?
·       In the thousands of minutes spent in meetings or preparing for meetings or following up from those meetings?
·       In communications between Florida and NY so everyone can stay in touch all year?
·       In the birthday and anniversary celebrations each month?
·       In the hours spent in cars driving to temple to pick up or deliver checks and packages?
·       In the number of edits of a monthly bulletin article?
·       In the time spent preparing budgets and financial reports?
·       In the polishing of the silver as we ready ourselves for the High Holidays?
·       In the number of Sisterhood checks written or checks written to Sisterhood?
·       In the pride we feel when our own daughters become members and directors of our Sisterhood?
·       In the careful thought of a nominating committee who works hard to make sure SH will continue to thrive?
·       In the hours upon hours of time the women of Temple Israel dedicate to making sure Temple Israel is there for us now and in the future?

So, how do you measure this extraordinary year in the life of the Sisterhood of Temple Israel?
You measure it in strength, love, perseverance and resilience!!

Thank you all for what may have been the most amazing year in the history of the Sisterhood of Temple Israel and for having enough faith in the two of us to allow us to continue to lead Sisterhood for another year.
In Sisterhood,
Jodi Siegel & Shariann Ganz
Mother's Day Oneg Cookie Boxes Ready for Delivery
Temple Israel – Reform Congregation of Staten Island

Hello Everyone.
I hope everyone continues to enjoy good health as we continue to remain somewhat socially distant during these unprecedented times.

Our Zoom Meeting was held on Sunday May 13. We voted upon the nominations for Officers and Directors for the 20221-2022 calendar year. More importantly, we had the time to schmooze and catch up and have an open forum to discuss anything that was on our minds.

It is very important to keep the work of Brotherhood going strong as we navigate these unprecedented times.
We are planning and end of year Brotherhood Paid Up Members Breakfast offsite on Sunday, June 27. Details will be forthcoming shortly. I have scheduled August 22nd as the date for the annual Brotherhood Bar B Que. Flyers will be available shortly. Please mark your calendars for this event as well as for the Installation service which will take place via Zoom on Friday night June 18th.

During these trying and unprecedented times we know we can always count on Rabbi for his spirituality, guidance and knowledge to lift up our feelings.

At this time all in person events and meetings for the Brotherhood are held via Zoom unless otherwise noted. Hopefully we will all be able to come together soon and experience the friendship and camaraderie that we so much look forward to.

During these changing times always know that we are here to assist in any way. If you need something done, someone to talk to or whatever it might be please reach out and we will make sure your needs are addressed. Until we can enjoy our personal interaction I leave you with, stay strong, stay safe,  be positive and do your best together we will come through this stronger.

Brotherhood is a vital affiliate organization to the Temple. Together we are strong and make a difference to our Temple Family.  

Please share your ideas with us to enhance the Brotherhood experience.
Your in Friendship and Brotherhood,
Jeff Ganz

JUNE 2021

Kaycee Barris, daughter of FERN & NEIL BARRIS, on the completion of her Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting;

BEVERLY & HOWARD MAZER and family as their grandson, Samuel Mazer,  is called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah; 

CLAIRE & DENNIS GUTTSMAN and family on the marriage of their son Jory to Annie Kim;  

Avodah Award winners: JAIMIE BLACKMAN, DR. KEN PICKOVER, FELICIA OTTO, PHINEAS LARSEN, SILVIA & SAM GORNSTEIN and special recognition to TERRY BAVER & BRYN BIREN for their work with the AVIS FOUNDATION for programs in Adult Education.

ELLEN BIRCH & Family on the loss of her cousin, Deidre Sostek


MAXINE COHEN recovering from knee replacement surgery.
ARNIE GROSSMAN recovering from surgery.



As we read in Deuteronomy, a community is too heavy for anyone to carry alone.

We at Temple Israel have always been blessed with congregants who have brought to our community willing hands and loving hearts. Their loving work has sustained us.

Each year, at our congregational meeting, we honor those individuals whose dedication to our congregation has helped us in so many ways. The award honors those who understand and accept their obligation to this community and have worked tirelessly to ensure that we remain a vibrant Beit T’Filah, House of Prayer, Beit Midrash,  House of Study and Beit K’Nesset, House of Community Gathering. 

AVODAH means service….in the broad sense…service as in work and service as in prayer. These awards represent our acknowledgment of the extraordinary Holy service given by these congregants to our Temple community. 

On behalf of the Board of Temple Israel it is a privilege to confer this year’s AVODAH awards.

The recipients of our first Avodah Awards are Ken Pickover and Jaimie Blackman. 

Rabbi Howald reminded us that Rabbi Abraham Heschel has written, “The only language that seems to be compatible with the wonder and mystery of being is the language of music…..To sing means to sense and to affirm that the spirit is real and that its glory is present.”

Ken and Jaimie have both showered us with the blessing of their music 

Jaimie comes to almost every Saturday morning Torah study and service. Each week he brings us his enthusiasm, his voice and his extraordinary creative ability on the guitar. He experiments with different interpretations of each prayer and  helps to bring the services to profound heights. He has worked hard this year to set up his studio at home, has reached out to experts on recording and has been able to continue to provide sound that works so well on Zoom. Jaimie takes so much joy in music and his love of it is contagious to all who attend services.

Ken has brought to Saturday services his beautiful voice and his love of music. When Jaimie is away, Ken fills in for him.  Every week, Ken plays a final tune which all have come to look forward to. Ken recently learned to play the ukulele and now has shared that with the congregants at the services. They especially love hearing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. 

Jaimie and Ken’s love of music touches us all. Barbara Fried, who attends Saturday morning services, says that their music goes directly to her heart. Linda Brill agrees and says that their presence and music uplift all who attend the services.

For their gift of music to our congregation, we honor Ken and Jaimie with this year’s Avodah Award. 

We are presenting the next Avodah award to Felicia Otto. When Bryn Biren was president, she described a day when Felicia wondered down University Place, where she lives, and entered Temple Israel, never to walk up the block again! As Bryn has described her work, Felicia totally immersed herself in the congregation. From her first successful bowling fundraiser for Sisterhood to the recent fundraiser for the religious school, Felicia has involved herself in all aspects of temple life. Felicia joined the temple board two years ago, is now chairperson of the religious School Committee, and next year will be the Co-1st Vice President of our executive board. 

One of the missions of the Dr. Ronald Avis Foundation for Temple Israel has been to provide programming for young families. Felicia has worked with the foundation to bring many wonderful programs and activities to our families, even in this year of the Pandemic. She developed ideas for craft kits celebrating the holidays and four were given out this year to our families. Felicia constantly comes up with new ideas, and then, because of her dedication, creativity, discipline and continual work for our congregation, she enables them all to happen. 

Felicia, while raising two beautiful children, Austin and Arielle, with her wonderful husband Jason, and working as an Assistant Principal at Port Richmond High School, continues to come up with innovative ideas and bring them to fruition. 

Our congregation is blessed to have her as a member, blessed that she walked down University Place to our temple, and blessed to have her energy, creativity and absolute concern for the education and welfare of all the children of Temple Israel.
For all her extraordinary dedication to our temple family, we honor Felicia with an Avodah award.

Our next Avodah award is being presented to Phineas Larsen. Phineas, a student at Staten Island Academy, became an assistant in our Religious school after his Bar Mitzvah and Confirmation at Temple Israel. He was a gift to all our students. Our teachers, Joanna Meltzer and Shariann Ganz have described him as gifted, talented, kind, caring, and gentle. 

Bryn spoke about Phineas at his Bar Mitzvah. She described him as a very special young man, with wonderful qualities. She spoke of his enthusiasm, his intelligence, and how much he was a role model for our students. So when he offered to work with our young children, it was a great gift to our congregation. 

Then the Pandemic landed in our world and our school became virtual. Phineas continued to support our congregation. Phineas, we are all so grateful for your extraordinary, creative and amazing Purim Shpiel! Phineas wrote the script and directed the Shpiel. He went to everyone’s home to film them. He then edited the film and gave an extraordinary performance as the Shpiel narrator. Everyone loved it. 

We all toast you, Phineas, with “blue milk”. (from Star Wars for those who
don’t know!) For your dedication to our congregation and in honor of your being a caring model for our children, we present you with our Avodah Award. 

Our last Avodah award is presented to Silvia and Sam Gornstein. Jewish scholars and teachers believe that Chesed is the primary ethical virtue. It means giving one’s self fully with love and compassion. New members Silvia and Sam joined our temple and brought Chesed to our congregational family. 

Silvia and Sam grew up in Argentina, and raised their children on Long Island. When their closest friends, Ariella Feldman’s parents, moved to Staten Island, they decided to move here too. Over the years they have been members of many congregations. But when Scott and Ariella and Ma’ayan joined us, Ariella’s parents decided to join too. And when they joined,  Silvia and Sam decided to also become a part of our family. Thank you Scott and Ariella and Ma’ayan! 

When Sam and Silvia joined us,  they quickly rolled up their sleeves, and have been a strong support to us ever since. Sam joined our choir and our Brotherhood. The choir loves that he joined them and  sees him as a respected and gentle soul. The congregation loves having his voice added to our services.  

Brotherhood president Jeff Ganz has described him as so willing to give us his time and energy. He has said that Sam is such a strong asset to our congregation, willing to volunteer whenever needed. Sisterhood presidents Shariann Ganz and Jodi Siegel have described Silvia as always eager to assist in every way that sisterhood needs. She co-chaired the Tu B’Shevat event and raised enough money for our sisterhood to purchase 100 trees in Israel. She also co-chaired our wonderful Sisterhood “Kosher for Passover” Cookbook and the sisterhood Cookie Oneg. She is always there to help. 

Scott and Ariella consider them family and while Sam and Silvia have four grandchildren of their own, Ma’ayan definitely feels like their fifth!
We are so grateful they joined our temple community and we consider them role models for our congregants. 

With gratitude for their loving commitment to our congregation and for their belief in the value of being a loving volunteer, we honor Sam and Silvia with an Avodah award. 
As our 2020-2021 fiscal year winds down, we look forward to the Temple slowly opening to more in person gatherings.  On May 14th approximately 20 congregants joined together in the Sanctuary for an in person Erev Shabbat Service led by Rabbi Howald and Student Cantor Shirel Richman with the musical assistance of Lincoln Richman and drum accompaniment from Jim Rohan from the pews.  The Service was live streamed to our congregants who were unable or uncomfortable with attending in person.  All CDC, city and HUC-JIR guidelines were followed.  Looking forward, the Bat Mitzvah Service for Genevieve Simone Blue Lopez on June 12th will be a private in-person (by invitation only), but will be live-streamed for the congregation. 

And we look forward to the Installations of our Temple Board as well as the Sisterhood and Brotherhood Boards during our Erev Shabbat Zoom Services on June 11th and June 18th, respectively.  

We continue to thank Jaimie Blackman and Dr. Kenneth Pickover for providing musical accompaniment during our virtual Saturday morning Shabbat Services when they are available. And we congratulate them each on receiving an Avodah Award from the Temple at the Annual Meeting in May in recognition of all their efforts.

We also thank all those who efforts have enabled us to continue to connect as a congregation with worship, study, and community in a most unusual and challenging year.  Thank you to Rabbi Howald, Student Cantor Shirel Richman, Lincoln Richman, the Adult Choir, the Junior Choir, Musical Accompaniments, Temple Leadership including the Officers and Trustees of the Board, Sisterhood, Brotherhood, The Avis Foundation, Committee Chairs and Members and all our Congregants.  We look forward to the future and promise as decisions are made with respect to both Shabbat and Holiday Services the information will be provided to you.

Stay safe and healthy, 
Linda Brill and Jeffrey Ganz

We thank the following congregants who have graciously accepted the honors of ushering, lighting the candles and reciting the Motzi at Erev Shabbat Services in May:
Linda & Larry Hanibal, Jesse Siegel, Libby & Ira Gershansky, Silvia & Sam Gornstein, Rhonda Trontz-Allen.
Nina Rohan
Ushering Chair
JUNE 4, 2021
Eleanor Ecker *
David Manger *
Jesse Silverman *
Shirley Wolinitz-Sacoff *
Samuel Elrich
Beatrice Gollubier *
Victor Gross *
Carol Lee Kaminsky
Phil Kantrowitz
Julia Davis Stewart
Louis Sugarman
Doris Lipp *
Ida Gross *
Reg Freedman
Samuel Gamoran
Stanley Leigh Harrison
Ellen Pisetzner

And we remember from the Holocaust:
Gitta Haeusler
Irene Rosenthal
Gyulane Jung
Lajos Herczog
Rospi Hershorst

JUNE 11, 2021
Murray Ganz
Mildred Gold *
David Marks
Salvatore Menna
Jack Berger *
Edward Hackett
Dorothy Salmirs Kaner
Sandra Stone
Ignacio Vinocur
Abraham Weinman
Gertrude Claire Gross *
Paul Kutell

And we remember from the Holocaust:
Ferenc Hoeflich
Fritz Uhlmann
Pierre Hartmann
Arnold Meier
Adolf Krauss
JUNE 18, 2021
Irving Chazanoff
Helen Otto
Victor Gross *
Julius Holtz *
Harriet Leimsider
Esther Snyder
Morris Gross
Marcia Klein
Bea Levine

And we remember from the Holocaust:
Jenö Polgar
Hana Ofman
Michael Seufert
Margarete Seitz
Marian Gorkiewicz

JUNE 25, 2021
Sanford Duskin
Evelyn Collins
Phyllis Prosaw
Louis Dichter *
Aaron Kessler *
Bruce Harper
Steven Motelson *
Oscar Liebowitz *
Brian Robert Motelson *

And we remember from the Holocaust:
Irene Zarichta
Tauba Goldsztejn
Stanislaw Kazula
Maria Kurcz
Juda Flamm
* These names are on our Memorial Wall.
We are sorry if your name was inadvertently omitted. Please contact John at the Temple Office to update your membership information.
The Sisterhood of Temple Israel would like to help you celebrate birthdays and anniversaries for you and your family.
You can share the joy of Shabbat and your birthday and/or anniversary by helping to sponsor an Oneg Shabbat on the Friday evening when we celebrate birthdays and anniversaries for that month.
In addition to sponsoring the Oneg, the names of those celebrating appear in the Friday night program and celebrants are invited to the Bimah.
A contribution of $10 for birthdays and $18 for anniversaries is suggested to honor your special occasion and help the Temple at the same time.  
Letters are sent out early in the month prior and payment would be appreciated before the first Friday of the month of the celebration. 
As soon as we are able to celebrate Shabbat together
in person at Temple Israel,
we will celebrate all the Birthdays and Anniversaries
that we missed at a very special Oneg!

In the meantime, please celebrate with us at our Zoom Shabbat Services on the 1st Friday of each month.
We appreciate you sending in your contributions toward these wonderful Onegs!
Erev Shabbat Services

Friday, June 4
Celebration of June
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Service at 7:00 p.m.
via ZOOM

Friday, June 11
Service at 7:30 p.m.
via ZOOM
Installation of Temple Officers and Board

Friday, June 18
Service at 7:30 p.m.
via ZOOM
Installation of Sisterhood & Brotherhood
Officers and Directors

Friday, June 25
Service at 7:30 p.m.
via ZOOM

Torah Study and Shabbat Services
Saturdays at 10:00 a.m.
Saturday, June 12 Torah Study will begin at 9:15
Services will be live-streamed.
(Bat Mitzvah - Genevieve Simone Blue Lopez)

Our Religious and Hebrew School year of virtual teaching and learning came to a beautiful end last week when Rabbi, teachers, students, families and members of the congregation came together in-person on the patio to celebrate. Students received a certificate of completion of their school year level, we honored and thanked our teachers, students engaged in trivia, games and more, and of course, the event ended with an all-time favorite visit from the Ice Cream truck! Special thanks to Jodi and Alan Siegel and Jennifer and Phil Straniere, for treating us all to ice cream! Thank you to Shari Ballow, Marnie Blit, Polina Leibovich, Samantha Sherer, and Alina Shteynberg for helping to organize this event. Thank you to Alan Siegel, Jason Otto, Jesse Siegel and Jodi Siegel for helping to set up. Thanks to everyone who assisted with clean-up.

I want to encourage all families to attend our June Family Shabbat service on Friday, June 6th at 7:00pm. All students who attend and want to participate in a reading part will be able to do so. 

On Saturday, June 12th our very own student, Gennie Lopez, will be called to the torah for her Bat Mitzvah service. Mazel tov to Gennie, Brooke and Luis Lopez and Bryn and Richard Biren. 

Our focus over the summer will be a safe and successful in-person opening for the fall. We'd love to have more families join our committee to help with school organization, special events and fundraising. Please contact me if you are interested and able to serve on this committee.

Felicia Otto
Parents' Committee Chair
Become part of our community by participating in our community. Temple Israel is where community happens.

The Pew Research Center’s study of Jewish Americans in 2020 has recently been released. “What does it mean to be Jewish in America?” they ask. They found that Jewish life in America is flourishing and that a large number of those surveyed participate in some Jewish religious practices or cultural activities. Those responding identified the following practices as essential to their Jewish identity:
            1- Remembering the Holocaust
            2- Leading a moral and ethical life
            3- Working for justice and equality
            4- Being intellectually curious
            5- Continuing family traditions.
It’s no coincidence that our own Temple Israel, which has continued to flourish even during the pandemic of this past year, offers opportunities to engage and become involved with all of the above mentioned practices.
❖    We remember the Holocaust each Shabbat as Rabbi reads representative names for Kaddish. Each year we have a Yom HaShoah service at our Temple and participate in a community-wide event as well. Our ark houses a Holocaust Torah from the town of Nachod in the Czech Republic and we have taken on the responsibility of not allowing the Jews of Nachod to be forgotten.
❖    Opportunities to engage in Tikkun Olam to help those in our community who are less fortunate than we are help us to lead a moral and ethical life.
❖    Our connection to the RAC (Religious Action Center) of Reform Judaism encourages us to work for justice and equality for all people throughout the world.
❖    Our intellectual curiosity is encouraged and stimulated by our connection  to our Rabbi and Student Cantor who teach us as well as help us add the dimensions of spirituality and holiness to our lives. Saturday morning Torah study and a wide variety of adult programming also help us to grow intellectually.
❖   Shabbat and holiday services, Hebrew School and creative programming for young families encourage the continuity of family traditions and may even help us learn some new ones. 
❖    Finally, Temple Israel is an inclusive and supportive community and offers additional programming and social opportunities through its affiliate organizations of Brotherhood and Sisterhood.

Eat-Pray-Learn-Laugh-Sing and Schmooze with us!
If you know of anyone who is interested in joining our Temple, please have them contact the Membership Committee through the Temple Office.

2.Select "Change Your Charity"
3.Type in “Temple Israel Reform 4.Congregation of Staten Island"
5.Click Search
6.Click Select
7.Order as usual.
Temple Israel benefits!
Temple Israel Sisterhood Judaica Shop



Just what you need and just what they want!
The only place on Staten Island for all your Jewish gifts.
Special Orders available.
Contact branchtr.ricci@gmail.com or call the Temple Office at 718-727-2231.
Contact Blanche Ricci at branchtr.ricci@gmail.com
if you are interested in any Judaica Shop items.
In conjunction with other Sisterhoods of the WRJ Northeast District, we are proud to present.....

Many thanks to David Frankel for bringing back our memories of radio listening, and television watching in the earlier days of our lives. (Did you know that Judy Pessah danced on “The Merry Mailman”?)

The children of all ages were delighted by Brian the Animal Guy! 

Wednesday’s, June 2, 23, 30–7:30, Mark Meyer, Art History, Part IV.   “The Old Masters”—Goya, El Greco, Zuberon.  Check MsBunny7@aol.com for registration. (Avis)

Sunday, June 6,—4 PM, Back by popular demand “Judy, Judy, Judy, Coping with the Pandemic” What now.?

Tuesday, June 29–7:30, Meditation with Jennifer Korten.

Links will be sent shortly before the Zoom programs.

Thinking Ahead—Look for announcements from the Adult Learning Committee on future programs—
“Body Awareness” a gentle movement class combining aspects of Yoga, Meditation and concentration on physical health!
“Creating Art”—perhaps watercolor painting?
“The French Resistance” with our Parisian guide Karen.
Cheryl Levine and Judith Pessah
Adult Learning Committee Co-Chairpersons
Bryn Biren & Terry Baver
Avis Foundation

P.S.  We ran across an interesting article on the literary history of Staten Island: “Beside The Evening Sea: Staten Island As Haven For Writers And Reformers.”  It covers figures such as educational reform Edith Stokes, Colonel Robert Shaw, commander of the first company of African-American Civil War soldiers organized in the North and abolitionist and women’s rights advocate George William Curtis.  Curtis High School is named for him. 
We have had a very busy year and will continue to do so through the end of this month.

Our children ages 6-9 will visit The Resource Room ( located at 534 Forest Avenue) for Lego Robotics and other STEAM activities on Fridays, June 4 and 18 from 3:30- 4:45 PM. Parents are asked to drop off and pick up their children at the front door. The children will continue to wear masks and will be socially distanced. The girls and boys ages 10 and above will meet at the Resource Room on Fridays, June 11th and 25th from 2:45- 4:45 PM for “ GAMES, GAMES, GAMES”. Please e-mail MsBunny7@aol.com to let us know if your child is attending each session. The Resource Room prepares for the appropriate number of children each time and asks for a head count.

We will having a lovely, year-end event with our favorite SI Advance Food Editor and Critic, Pam Silvestri. On Sunday night, June 27th at 7:00 PM we will each order our own Chinese food and purchase our own wines from lists suggested by Pam. Pam will suggest the best wine pairings for each of the recommended dishes. Even if you don’t enjoy Chinese food, or drink wine, you can register at MsBunny7@aol.com and join in on the fun. This event is for Temple Israel members.

During the month of June we continue to have adult Yoga classes each Sunday evening at 7:00 PM, Monday evenings at 6:15 PM, and Thursday evenings at 6:30 PM. Contact Bryn Biren
for the Zoom links if you are interested.

We are always looking for new members with children to join our Temple Israel family. Just contact Terry Baver at 1(718)490-4428 or Bryn Biren at 1(718)447-6225 and we are happy to reach out to prospective members.
We look forward to seeing you and your children at one of our upcoming events.
Terry Baver & Bryn Biren

 We would like to thank everyone who participated and donated making our events fun and profitable.
 We are also working on a few FUNdraising ideas for the near future and will send out details as soon as events are finalized.
Respectfully submitted,
Rhonda Trontz-Allen, Karen Frey-Gamoran, Lissa Winchel
Click the order forms above to print or download.
Are you stressed?
Do you want to build your core strength?
Join Us.


SUNDAY classes begins at 7:00 PM.

Instructor: Jennifer Korten
JUNE 6, 13, 20

629 410 6339

MONDAY class begins at 6:15 PM.
Instructor: Denise Nizzare
JUNE 7, 14, 21, 28*

THURSDAY class begins at 6:30 PM.
Instructor: Denise Nizzare
JUNE 3, 10, 17*, 24

964 585 2910


Free for Temple Israel Members & Their Friends!

Classes are for ADULTS ONLY.

Both chair and mat students are accommodated at each class.

For more information, contact
Terry Baver at 718-490-4428 or
Bryn Biren at 718-447-6225

The Reform Movement’s 2021 Racial Justice Campaign has several focal points. One of them relates to campaigning for H.R.1- “For the People Act” (S.1 in the Senate) making it easier for individuals to vote, including registering to vote online. Since the 2020 elections, more than 250 bills have been signed into law in 43 states designed to increase barriers to voting. This bill would create national standards for elections, making voting accessible across all states.

In addition to H.R. 1/S.1, Congress must pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act (John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act in the Senate) to restore voting rights for all races and across all regions.

What can congregations do?
The RAC is suggesting that we take the following actions:
1- Email our U.S. Senators asking them to support the “For The People Act of 2021” AND “The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.”

2-  Register for the RAC’s online training on June 10th concerning the issue of Freedom to Vote and how to lobby congressional leaders.

As Jews we are mandated to pursue justice, to work for freedom and to make this world a better place for all.

Stay tuned as more information becomes available.
Election season is upon us once again and choosing those who 
will lead our city forward following the pandemic is of critical

A few things to keep in mind:
  You can still request an absentee ballot. Due to the pandemic, a voter’s concern about COVID counts as a temporary illness this year and would therefore entitle you to request an absentee ballot. You can request a ballot online at -NYC Absentee: Home or by calling 1-866-VOTE-NYC. The deadline to make the request is June 15th, but that date might change to June 7th.

★   BE SURE TO MAIL YOUR ABSENTEE BALLOT so that it arrives by June 21st OR you can DROP OFF YOUR BALLOT at any Board of Elections office, any early voting poll site or any election day poll site up until when the polls close on June 22nd. The Richmond County Board of Elections is located at One Edgewater Plaza.

★   TO COMPLETE YOUR BALLOT- put it in the smaller envelope with the signature line and sign the smaller envelope. Then put it in the mailing envelope which will be pre-addressed but you must put your own stamps on the envelope.

   EARLY VOTING will take place from JUNE 12th to JUNE 20th.

  RANKED CHOICE VOTING- NEW THIS YEAR-Instead of selecting only one candidate, you can rank them from your first to your fifth choice. Find the name of your first choice candidate and fill in the oval next to his/her name in the 1st choice column. Likewise, find the name of your second choice and fill in the oval next to his/her name in the 2nd choice column. For more information click: 

★   Stay in touch through the Temple’s News ‘n Notes.  We will update you with new information as we become aware of it. 
Please consider becoming a member of our KAVOD SOCIETY.
It helps to make membership available to all our families. Speak to our Financial Secretary to upgrade your membership.
If you have any questions about your membership or if you know a potential new member please contact our Financial Secretary Jennifer Straniere at tmplisrfinsec@aol.com.
Contributions to Temple Israel as tributes, dedications or memorials are welcome and are published in the weekly Shabbat program.

Donations can be dedicated to the general Temple Israel Fund or to any of the following specific funds: 

  • Adult Education Fund 
  • Building Preservation Fund 
  • Caring Community Fund 
  • Carole Lachman Memorial Fund
  • Choir Fund 
  • Confirmation Fund 
  • Estelle A. Gootenberg Memorial Fund (for Torah Repair/ Restoration) 
  • Gerald J. Lustig Memorial Fund (for Ark & Ark Doors) 
  • Liheyot Fund 
  • Membership Fund 
  • Prayerbook Fund 
  • Rabbi Marcus Kramer Memorial Library Fund 
  • Shoah Education Fund
  • Scholarship Fund 
  • Rabbi Michael D. Howald Fund for Social Action and Tikkun Olam

A $5.00 minimum donation is requested for these funds. Checks for donations to any of these funds should be made payable to Temple Israel.

PRAYERBOOKS may be dedicated in honor or memory of a special person or occasion. For specific prayerbooks and donation amounts, look for the Prayerbook icons found in this bulletin

Please make checks for Donations to the RABBI’S DISCRETIONARY FUND payable to that fund.

Donations in any amount may be made to SISTERHOOD OF TEMPLE ISRAEL or BROTHERHOOD OF TEMPLE ISRAEL with checks made payable directly to the affiliate organization.

For a leaf on the TREE OF LIFE in honor of a simcha, please scroll down. 

For permanent MEMORIAL PLAQUES on our Family Memorial Wall or Original Memorial Wall, please call the Temple office at 718-727-2231.

To see list of all recent
Tributes and Program
Donations to Funds...
If you are not receiving this Bulletin via a direct e-mail and would like to, please contact us at TICOMMUNICATION@aol.com to be added to our mailing list.
Our E-Bulletin is shared with the entire Temple Israel Family and the Staten Island Community. If you are a local business or community organization and you would like to advertise in our monthly bulletin, please contact the Temple Office at 718-727-2231 or e-mail TICommunication@aol.com.