Temple Israel Reform Congregation of Staten Island
315 Forest Avenue
Staten Island, New York 10301
Rabbi Michael D. Howald                     Student Cantor Jennifer Benrey
Co-Presidents Jerry Gross and Alan Siegel
E-Shalom - JUNE 2020
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.
Many of our usual Temple activities have now become virtual. Please join us for any or all of the following Shabbat and Holiday services, Torah Study sessions, On-line Learning Options, or Sisterhood Meetings or Chats by simply clicking on the links in the purple 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 meetings, the phone numbers for audio access are also listed. *Please note that some of the meetings may require that you inlcude the listed password.
Thursday, May 28th at 7:30 p.m.

Meeting ID: 886 4686 4180     
Password: MatanTorah  (case sensitive)
Thursday, May 28th at 7 pm - Friday, May 29th at 12 noon

There is the tradition of Tikkun Leil Shavuot. (“All night study”)
People interested in studying on the evening of Shavuot with the clergy of smaller Reform congregations can go to the website below and register. After registration, a Zoom link and a schedule will be sent to you.  
Friday, May 29th at 10:30 a.m.

It is our tradition to have our family Yizkor lists read during the service.  Because of the current circumstances, if you wish the names to be heard, please be prepared to read your own list aloud when called on by Rabbi.

Meeting ID: 875 4029 6620    
Password: Torah  (case sensitive)

  Friday, June 5th at 7 p.m.
All other weeks on Friday at 8 p.m.
Dial by your location
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    +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
    +1 301 715 8592 US
    +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
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    +1 253 215 8782 US
Meeting ID: 947 946 323
Password: 947053
Every week on Saturday at 10:00 a.m.
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    +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
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Meeting ID: 614 246 852
Password: 549042
Every Monday at 10:00 AM (EST)
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Meeting ID: 956 716 667
Every Thursday at 7:30 pm
Dial by your location
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    +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
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Meeting ID: 255 299 887
A Message from
Rabbi Michael D. Howald
As May draws to its close, we begin a new book in our annual cycle of readings.  Beginning in the last week of May and continuing though June and most of July, we will read from the Book of Numbers, called  Bemidbar  in Hebrew.   Bemidbar  is a polysemous word in Hebrew with a variety of translations, including “in the wilderness”, “through the desert” or “in the nomadic pastures.”  This describes the setting of the Book of Numbers, which takes place in the wild fields and hills which lie between the cultivated pastures of ancient Egypt and Canaan.  This setting, a place which is neither domesticated nor barren, serves as a metaphor for the people of Israel at this stage of their development, neither a nation nor just a collection of fellow travelers, as they journey toward a destination they cannot yet see.
We stand today in the same “between” place as our ancient ancestors.  For the past 2 months we have sheltered in place, conducted our meetings and services online and waited for some definitive sign we have arrived at the end of our quarantine.  Despite our hopes, however, we now are beginning to recognize that we will live in this space between what we knew before the pandemic and what the post-COVID-19 world will hold for longer than we expected.  In his groundbreaking book, Rites of Passage, Arnold van Gennep spoke of a such a period, where we are no longer in the world we knew and not yet in the world that will come as a ‘liminal’ space between the familiar and the new.
For our ancestors, to be  Bemidbar , in the land between slavery in Egypt and nationhood in  Eretz Yisrael  (the land of Israel), was to occupy a threshold with both opportunity and challenge.  They were destined to reach the other side but the wilderness between molded them into something greater than they were when they entered. In the wilderness, the people of Israel, tested by adversity and blessed by miracles, forged themselves into a nation whose influence continues to reverberate in our modern world.  They did so by abandoning the rhythms and rules that had governed their previous lives in servitude and embracing a reality in which they were free to choose their own destiny.  Even though many of them longed to return to the world they once knew, even with its limitations and burdens, because they understood the familiar and were anxious about the unknown, they still continued onward.  Today, we empathize with them more than ever before, standing as we do in our own rite of passage from pre- to post-pandemic.
In the post-COVID world that is in the process of becoming, we will need each other more than ever before. The nearly 1000 Staten Islanders who have died, the over 21,000 residents of our city who are confirmed and probable victims of this deadly virus, will remind us ever more of the fragility and preciousness of life.  As we occupy this space that is neither the height of the pandemic nor its end, shattered and sobered by the toll of death and economic dislocation, we may draw upon the experience of our ancient ancestors in the wilderness.
Just as the Israelites committed themselves to the journey to the other side, so may we.  As they found inner reserves of resilience and flexibility to carry them across, so can we.  As they bound themselves together despite the impatience and frustration that comes with a passage whose rules and limits are uncertain, so will we.  Just as did those who went out from Egypt, we will reach the other side, and it will be together.  In the meantime,  Chazak v’Ematz !  May we all be strong and courageous, kind and patient, until that great day when we will all worship together in person again!

Rabbi Michael Howald    
A Message from
Jerry Gross & Alan Siegel

Dear Fellow Congregants,

As we begin writing this message, we look back on the past 3 months with a sense of disappointment tempered by a sense of gratitude to the members of the Temple Israel family.  We were approaching the Spring season with high hopes for numerous Temple-wide activities including Shabbat Shalom dinners, our Annual Community Seder, Brotherhood and Sisterhood meetings and a variety of fundraising activities that would have brought us together in our Sanctuary and our Social Hall.  And then, with little or no advance warning, our plans were forced into a new direction with our focus being redirected to maintaining our health and protecting our families and fellow congregants.

And then our Congregation came together in an on-line platform to continue our Erev Shabbat services, Torah Study, Shabbat Morning services and learning opportunities for our Hebrew School and Religious School students.  We were also able to participate in Yoga classes sponsored by the Avis Foundation for Temple Israel and, on a weekly basis, Coffee and Conversation Chats and Happy Hour, Scavenger Hunt and Bingo with Sisterhood.  All of these activities served the purpose of maintaining the sense of Community at Temple Israel.  

As we look forward to the Summer, we hope to celebrate with you at our Virtual Gala honoring Rabbi Michael Howald as we commemorate his 10 th  year with us. We also hope to see you at our weekly services and, possibly, in person at some outdoor events. 

We would again like to offer or congratulations to Financial Secretary Jennifer Straniere on being honored by the SI JCC as a L’Dor V’Dor award winner and also to both Terry Baver and Bryn Biren upon being honored by the UJA for their efforts as functionaries of the Avis Foundation.

We are hopeful that your appreciation of Temple Israel’s commitment to each and every one of our congregants will be reflected as you renew your annual commitment to our Temple.  We are grateful for the support you have offered at our annual Congregational Meeting when the slate of Officers and Trustees was approved without objection. We will all continue working diligently on your behalf to maintain Temple Israel as the rightful home of Reform Judaism on Staten Island.

We wish you a healthy and safe Summer.

 Jerry & Alan
 Jerrold Gross and Alan Siegel
Notes from Student Cantor Jennifer Benrey
Dear Temple Israel family,

What a bittersweet moment this is for me writing my final newsletter article. It’s also bittersweet because for so many in this time, myself included, goodbyes and defining moments of transition cannot be made in person. Still, we do what we can to mark our rites of passage and moments of transition in the best ways that we can, which are unique to this particularly digital and distant time in our history. What I wouldn’t give to see you all in person and catch up on your lives and give you all hugs, to set foot in our synagogue building once more, and to sing together in joy and prayerful connection. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to see your faces each week and still feel your presence and see your smiles.

I have so cherished getting to know you all and share in the unique Torah that each of you brings. Our connections are holy and they have enriched my life. You welcomed me with open arms into your community, and I am beyond grateful for the love you have shared, my own personal sukkah of shalom. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to learn your rituals and how you do Jewish and also the opportunity to envision for the community and enact new ways of reaching spiritual uplift.

I am especially grateful to the adult and junior choirs for all they have given of their time, voices, and heart. Your voices will ring out soon and the joy they bring will be more uplifting than ever. Thank you for inspiring me and granting me the space to express my passion for choral singing.

Thank you also to my sweet religious school students for their dedication and heart, especially in this time of quarantine. I have loved our conversations in class and have learned as much from you as I hope you have learned from me. I also cherish the fun we had singing together in music class each week. I am comforted in knowing that the future of the Jewish people is bright with you at its forefront. I love you and will miss you dearly.

It goes without saying that I have had the best rabbinic partner and mentor in Rabbi Howald. Temple Israel is so lucky to have such a menschy and all around awesome leader. I am privileged to be able to call you a friend. Thank you for absolutely everything. It has truly been an honor and a privilege to work together.

I hope that soon we will all be able to get together at the gala as one TI family so that I can tell you all of this in person, but until then, I hold my gratitude close and will continue to feel the warmth brought to my life from all of you. It has been an incredible two years, and I have been so privileged to have been able to call myself your cantor. I love you all.

Jennifer Benrey
For our end of year Bulletin message, in has become a tradition to build on what we created over the past few years.   We hope you won’t mind our latest version of this list to reflect Sisterhood’s work during the 2019-2020 year.

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 fifth year as your Sisterhood Co-Presidents, we ask ourselves a similar question….How do you measure Sisterhood’s Year?

·       In the number of times we have said, “I miss you”, over the past 3 months?
·       In the number of women who participated in our very first Sisterhood Shabbaton?
·       In the thousands of chocolate gelt coins which filled our newly designed Chanukah mosaic mural?
·       In the number of edits to our calendar because we keep adding events throughout the year?
·       In the number of e-mails and reminders sent by our Corresponding secretary?
·       In the number of phone calls about Sisterhood activities and plans?
·       In the number of little “Brady Bunch Boxes” at every one of our Zoom meetings and events?
·       In all the pins knocked down at our Bowling Bonanza chaired by one of our newest members?
·       In the number of electronic bingo cards we sent out for our Virtual Bingo event?
·       In the number of miles travelled by our members who shared their experiences during our “Around the World with Sisterhood” program?
·       In the number paint brushes and stencils used for our “Board at Home” event?
·       In the donations we made to  COVID-19 Emergency Funds and food sent to Front-line Responders?
·       In the hundreds of beautiful melodies and prayers and workshops we shared with 5000 other Reform Jews at the URJ Biennial?
·       In the smiles of all our congregants who enjoyed pizza in pajamas at our Hanukah Pajamakah Shabbat?
·       In the creativity of our members who created beautiful pottery at our Clay and Kiln workshop?
·       In the hours it takes to carefully apply for a WRJ Incubator Grant?
·       In the points and the laughs during our first ever Virtual Scavenger Hunt?
·       In the amazing support we receive from those men who have chosen to become “Friends of Sisterhood”?
·       In the corny jokes told by our caller at our Adult Bingo night?
·       In the number of flyers created to advertise everything we do?
·       In the organizations which benefited from our bi-monthly Tsedakah collections?
·       In the number of gift cards we purchase to support the Temple’s Certificate Program?
·       In interesting and motivating programs presented at our monthly meetings?
·       In the amount of cookies, cakes, fruit platters and cups of coffee at our beautiful weekly onegs?
·       In the number of Chanukah candles which lit up our Chanukah/New Member Dinner?
·       In the number of sips and snacks at our first “Sip and Schmooze in the Sukkah” event?
·       At the number of parsley seed planted and creative recipes served at our 2 nd  Annual Tu B’Shevat-themed oneg?
·       In the number of gloves and socks and warm clothing items collected for Project Hospitality?
·       In hours of planning and set up for the Chanukah/New Member Supper, Tu B’Shevat Oneg, and holiday dinners?
·       In the hours we agonized over having to cancel our Passover Community Seder?
·       In the number of times we update our SH membership list in order to add our new members?
·       In the ‘Thank You’ notes and letters we receive from congregants and organizations?
·       In the number of people who helped prepare meals to be served at local shelters?
·       In the full agendas we have for every meeting?
·       In conversations with custodians about correct set-ups for all events?
·       In pounds of rummage sale items packed and unpacked and then packed up again to be shipped off for further donation?
·       In the number of Shabbat Gift Bags presented to our new members?
·       In the lyrics to all the Rodgers and Hammerstein songs we sang during the program at our Paid Up Members Dinner?
·       In Purim groggers and Simchat Torah flags?
·       In the amount of steps taken at the Gift Show to find beautiful items for our Judaica Shop?
·       In the number of slices and cuts made in apples, kiwis, tomatos, and cucumbers at our Fruit Carving Workshop?
·       In the conversations we have with Sisterhoods from other Temples to gain more knowledge and share new ideas?
·       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 compliments our Sisterhood receives?
·       In the hours of planning meetings with Brotherhood, the Rabbi, the Ritual Committee and the Temple Secretary?
·       In the pounds of linens donated to the animal shelter?
·       In the number of gifts purchased at our Holiday Fair?
·       In the number of tablecloths laundered each week?
·       In thousands of cups, plates, utensils we consistently provide for use by our entire congregation?
·       In the names printed on our annual community New Year’s Card designed by a talented Sisterhood member?
·       In phone calls and e-mails arranging for assistance with Sisterhood events?
·       In traditions and rituals we try very hard to uphold at our Temple?
·       In Shabbat and Yom Tov candles and blessings?
·       In the amazement of our WRJ District Reps when they see how much our “little” Sisterhood does every year?
·       In potato latkes, seder plates, apples, nuts and raisin packages?
·       In contributions to the Youth, Education and Special Projects Fund of WRJ?
·       In bottles of wine and juice for our Shabbat Kiddushes?
·       In Raffle tickets sold for our fundraising events?
·       In yards of aluminum foil and plastic wrap used for meals and platters and donations?
·       In all the Good & Welfare cards and acknowledgements 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 dozens of cookies carefully selected for each Oneg?
·       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?
·       In the steps taken as we walk together to fight Breast Cancer together?
·       In the tens of thousands of dollars we donate to our Temple?
·       In the amendments made to our Constitution to make sure that we are serving our members and our organization the best of our ability?
·       In the disappointment at having to cancel our End of Year Dinner  and Installation service this year?
·       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 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 SH members who sit on every committee at our Temple?
·       In the number of hours put into planning a very special Sisterhood Installation Service?
·       In the thousands of minutes spent in meetings or preparing for meetings or cleaning up from 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 while schlepping boxes and packages and children and supplies?
·       In the number of edits of a monthly bulletin article?
·       In phone calls and e-mails to order kitchen supplies or oneg bakery and fruit orders?
·       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?
·       In the number of checks written to Sisterhood?
·       In the hours spent doing research to find the best ways to keep our members engaged during these crazy days of quarantine?
·       In the bagels and salads and pounds of lox and hours spent preparing breakfast for our monthly meetings?
·       In the pride we feel when our own daughters become members of our Sisterhood?
·       In the careful thought of a nominating committee who works hard to make sure SH will continue to thrive?
·       In the hopes we have that our younger members will become more involved?
·       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 a year in the life of the Sisterhood of Temple Israel?
You measure it in love.

Thank you all for another amazing (and challenging) year in the history of the Sisterhood of Temple Israel and for having enough faith in us to allow us to continue to lead Sisterhood for another year.

In Sisterhood,
 Jodi Siegel & Shariann Ganz
Just a few things Sisterhood has done in the last month!
Board At Home Virtual Workshop
Hero sandwiches sent to the 120th Precinct and to RUMSCI
Supporting our Frontline Responders & Local Businesses!
Monetary donations to the SIUH COVID-19 Emergency Fund
Virtual Bingo with Gift Card Prizes
Virtual Scavenger Hunt with Gift Certificate Prizes
Please support Sisterhood and join us for our upcoming Raffle and Cookie Decorating Workshop!
Click on flyer to print or download!
Temple Israel – Reform Congregation of Staten Island
Hello Everyone. I hope that this finds all of you and your families are well and staying healthy. The Brotherhood held its last meeting on ZOOM when we discussed our business at hand as well as nominations for Officers and Directors for the coming year.

At this time all events and meetings for the Brotherhood are being cancelled. Hopefully we will all be able to come together soon and experience the friendship and camaraderie that we so much look forward to.

Hopefully, sometime during the next few months we will be able to partake in some of our regularly scheduled activities, such as Men’s Night out and our Paid up Breakfast. We will take every caution necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of all.

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 in-person interactions once again, I leave you with this: stay strong, 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 2020

Temple Israel honorees at the UJA virtual breakfast
CHARLES NADEL & family  on the loss of  his brother-in-law, Richard Litkofsky;   JULIA LENNER    & family  on the loss of her uncle, Simon Ruditskiyn;  JERRY GROSS   & family  on the loss of his cousin, Harry Bialor, a Holocaust survivor

Student Cantor Jennifer Benrey as she moves on to the next phase of her journey to becoming a Cantor. We are grateful for the two years she shared her musical talents and knowledge with us.

We come to the month of June and we are still experiencing a challenging time.  New York is now on pause until June 13 th . Although we are looking ahead at possible scenarios that will enable us to open up and return to our sanctuary,  we actually still do not know how or where we will be able to pray during the summer and fall months.  We await the guidance of our government and our health care leaders to give us a road map.  Once they do, be assured that we will be reaching out to you for information on the ways you will be comfortable to return to the sanctuary.

In the meantime, we continue to be grateful for the ways Temple Israel has been able to keep us spiritually, emotionally and prayerfully connected using the Zoom platform.  During the month of May we were particularly grateful for Rabbi Howald, Student Cantor Benrey and the Temple leadership for continuing to provide “virtual”  Erev Shabbat Services, Torah Study and Shabbat Morning Services as well as Erev Shavuot and Shavuot morning Services (including Yizkor) on Thursday evening  May 28 th  and Friday morning May 29 th .

We note that to encourage parents with their children to join our “virtual” Family Service on the first Friday of the month, we will be having that Service return to a 7:00 PM start time effective June 5 th .
We thank Jaimie Blackman for his musical leadership at our Saturday morning virtual Services.  

And finally, we are so grateful for the musical leadership of Student Cantor Jennifer Benrey, in her second year at Temple Israel.  We wish Student Cantor Benrey all the best as she continues her education (after June) in a new position.  She will be missed.

Please look to your e-mails, messages, Temple Israel News & Notes, Temple Israel’s Facebook page, and this E-Shalom Bulletin for additional information about the special Service and study opportunities in the month of June until we are able to return to our Temple home.

Please stay safe and healthy.  

Linda Brill and Jeffrey Ganz
June 5, 2020
Samuel Elrich
Beatrice Gollubier *
Carol Lee Kaminsky
Phil Kantrowitz
Julia Davis Stewart
Samuel Tatt
Doris Lipp *
Ida Gross *
Siegfried Katz *
Carole Lachman *
Eleanora Lesiak
Reg Freedman
Samuel Gamoran
Stanley Leigh Harrison
Murray Ganz
Mildred Gold *
Gertrude Claire Gross *
Salvatore Menna

And we remember from the Holocaust:
Josef  Kristeller 
Josef  Misreh 
Stanislaw  Gibki
Leo  Neurad 
Rayzel Khaper

June 12, 2020
Jack Berger *
Edward Hackett
Dorothy Salmirs Kaner
Sandra Stone
Ignacio Vinocur
Abraham Weinman
Gertrude Claire Gross *
Paul Kutell
Irving Chazanoff
Victor Gross *

And we remember from the Holocaust:
Gitma  Ofman 
Haia  Jurgrau 
Benjamin  De Vries 
Moritz  Kantorowicz 
Yakov  Wisberg

June 19, 2020
Victor Gross *
Louis Sugarman
Harriet Leimsider
Ellen Pisetzner
Esther Snyder
Marcia Klein
David Marks
Bea Levine

And we remember from the Holocaust:
Abraham  Epstein
Hanna  Sloczower
Jean  Bassa 
Ferencne  Grunfeld 
Bella  Schwarcz

June 26, 2020
Evelyn Collins
Louis Dichter *
Aaron Kessler *
Bruce Harper
Steven Motelson *
Oscar Liebowitz *
Brian Robert Motelson *
Jack J. Freedland
Eli Grossman
Julius Holtz *
Bernard Samith

And we remember from the Holocaust:
Haia Feige  Pasternak
Georg  Karner 
Johann  Seitlinger 
Arend  Hönch 
Egon  Konig

* These names are on our Memorial Wall.
We are sorry if your name was inadvertently omitted. Please contact Lara 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. 
Erev Shabbat Services
Friday, June 5
at 7:00 p.m.
Fridays, June 12,19,26
at 8:00 p.m.
Torah Study and Shabbat Services
Saturdays at 10:00 a.m.

Family Shabbat Services
resume at 7:00 p.m.
on the 1st Friday of each month.

Every Voice, Every Vote.
  The Reform Movement's
2020 Civic Engagement Campaign
As Reform Jews, we believe democracy is strongest when everyone participates – and it suffers when citizens are shut out from the democratic process or choose not to engage. 
The Reform Jewish Movement’s 2020 Civic Engagement Campaign encourages all U.S. citizens to exercise their right to vote and to break down obstacles that shut some out of the voting booth.
More information, as well as links to sign up to participate and to be included in upcoming online training sessions can be found here-

LET’S TRY TO ORGANIZE A UNITED TEMPLE ISRAEL APPROACH TO THIS EFFORT.  If you’re interested, please e-mail Libby Gershansky –  eng2ndlang@aol.com .

Become part of our community   by participating in our community. Temple Israel is   where community happens.

Shabbat Shalom Dinners: 
Although we have not yet calendared dinners for next year, we do hope that we will once again be able to welcome everyone and enjoy good company, good food, and, of course, welcome Shabbat together. As soon as we know what is possible, we will let you know.  

** TI-   WIIFM (Temple Israel-What’s In It For Me) – We are so fortunate that the technology exists that has enabled all of us to connect and stay together. The strength of our community is what is special about our Temple. There are many religious as well as social opportunities to test out while we are waiting to reopen. Some are listed below as well as throughout this E-Shalom, and on a special Zoom links page. You might discover a new interest that you want to pursue when we can all come back together again. Temple Israel is a busy place, even during quarantine!

Some things to try this month:  (See page of Zoom links to all services and events.)
Zoom  has been our lifeline.
·         Rabbi Howald conducts Erev Shabbat services, Saturday morning Torah study and Saturday morning Shabbat services all on Zoom.
·         The Avis Foundation is sponsoring a series of adult poetry workshops with S.I. poet laureate, Marguerite Rivas on June 10 th , 17 th  and 24 th  at 8pm.
·         Jodi Siegel, our Sisterhood co-president, has been organizing Zoom Monday morning coffee hours at 10am and cocktail hours on Thursdays at 7:30pm.
The links to all of these can be found in this E-Shalom.

Stay strong, stay well, and stay in touch. Zoom with us until we can meet face to face again.
Hazak Hazak V’Nit Hazek- Be strong, be strong and let us be strengthened  (together).
$$$ EASY fundraising
2.Select "Change Your Charity"
3.Type in “Temple Israel Reform 4.Congregation of Staten Island"
5.Click Search
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7.Order as usual.
Temple Israel benefits!

Please save July 8th for a fun evening of VIRTUAL TRIVIA!

Unfortunately, the Cabaret hosted by the Avis Foundation that we would be assisting with has been postponed from June 20. Watch for it to be rescheduled.
We hope everyone will join us in the fall (date to be determined) as we set sail for adventure and mystery at Temple Israel.   

We will also be planning to dine at Jimmy Maxx again. 

Respectfully submitted,
Rhonda Trontz-Allen, Karen Frey-Gamoran, Lissa Winchel
Click on Flyer to print or download.
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@aol.com or call the Temple Office at 718-727-2231.
Some featured items this month:
Contact Blanche Ricci at branchtr@aol.com if you are interested in any Judaica Shop items.

We’re hoping to be back soon and looking forward to welcoming our new Student Cantor.

If you would like to join the Choir, just come to any rehearsal...
and all the rehearsals that follow!
As our Religious and Hebrew school year comes to a close, I think we can all agree this year of learning is one we certainly will not forget! Our kids enjoyed a combination of in-school classes, holiday celebrations and festivities, as well as our first experience with virtual religious learning.

Thank you to Rabbi Howald, Student Cantor Benrey, Morah Brooke, Morah Joanna and Morah Sarah for providing our kids and families with meaningful ways to engage in Jewish learning. 

In looking forward to next school year, I am sure we all are eager to reunite in person and to see each other's faces. We are looking for anyone interested in religious and Hebrew education and in our kids' future, to participate in the Parents' Association for the Religious School so that we can ensure our kids enjoy holiday celebrations and special events together. Please email me at  feliciaholtzman@gmail.com  if you are able to support the Parents' Association with ideas and your time. Like all of you, I am working in the home, working from the home and parenting and teaching my children. Throughout the past few months, I found this quote to be meaningful and I would like to share it with you as the school year closes and summer is around the corner: "I think that when this is all over we will realize how much we have, how little we need, and the value of human connection."

Be well!
Felicia Otto
Parents' Association

Adult Learning hopes you're well.

We are excited to be introducing a new class in June with the Avis Foundation. It is a 3 part virtual poetry workshop on the following Wednesdays, June 10th, 17th and 24th at  8pm. It  is titled, "Balancing on a Broken World." Participants will have the opportunity to examine poems based on this theme and generate writing. You do not have to have any experience reading, or writing poetry, but if you do you are welcome as well. This workshop will be presented by Dr. Marguerite Maria Rivas, the Poet Laureate of Staten Island. She is a professor at Manhattan Community College and has had a very distinguished career. Please don't miss out on this exciting opportunity. RSVPs are a must, to Judy Pessah at judithpessah@gmail.com.

We thank Rabbi Howald so much for following up April's Hebrew Boot Camp with May's 3 part class on Jewish Mysticism. Over 25 participants were informed and entertained during this fascinating presentation, which was supplemented with additional reading materials on an on going basis. Thank you Rabbi!

If you're looking for things to do in June, just go on line! You can visit the ocean depths or Mars, through the American Museum of Natural History. You can learn about ballet by visiting American Ballet Theatre's 80th season, this one presented virtually. You can hear Harvey Fierstein and Tony Kushner give talks through Brandeis National, or Thomas Friedman, columnist for the NY Times, through UJA.

If you have any questions, or suggestions, feel free to contact Cheryl at  cherylmlevine@gmail.com , or Judy at  judithpessah@gmail.com .
We look forward to seeing you in person one day soon!!!!

Cheryl Levine
Judy Pessah
If we could have one wish it would be for a crystal ball. That ball would enable us to see the future and know where we will be during this summer. Unfortunately, there is no such tool to allow use to see the future. But all of us at Temple Israel hope to make the PRESENT as meaningful and joyful as possible. Usually, once June arrives, temple programming goes on hiatus, NOT this year!
Our number one goal of the Avis Foundation has been to increase the number of young families at Temple Israel, to make it able financially for them to remain and to help insure future leadership for Temple Israel. We are dedicated to that idea.
During this summer we are hoping to create some activities for our families via ZOOM. As soon as we have specific details we will contact you. On May 30th we hosted a musical concert presented by IlluminArts. We have also worked with the Adult Learner’s Committee to provide three adult poetry writing classes on Wednesday nights, 6/10, 6/17 and 6/24 at 8:00 PM. Marguerite Rivas, poet laureate of Staten Island, will teach the classes. We are exploring other opportunities and virtual experiences that we can provide for our families during the summer.
In the Fall, hopefully, we would like to create a Young Leadership group for our pre-teens and teens, led by David Checchi. David is currently a student at the College of Staten Island, has taught at our Religious School during the past year, and spent his formative years here at Temple Israel. He is a wonderful, bright young man who has a lot to share with our students.
Going forward we plan to continue our relationship with The Resource Room. We have found the owner, Deric Borrero, to be an incredibly wonderful person to work with. He cares about our children and will be working with us to formulate a leadership program for them.
We also hope to be able to continue the Pottery Workshops at Wagner College, to have Brian the Animal Guy visit us at some point, and we would like to work with Illuminart Productions to develop some type of theatre program with our children. We are always open to suggestions for programming from our current membership.
If you know of a family that is interested in becoming part of our Temple Israel family please contact Terry Baver at 1(718)490-4428 or Bryn Biren at 1(718)447-6225. We will contact them immediately and make membership possible.
This is a time when connection with a synagogue and other families is more important than before. Just let us know!
Terry Baver & Bryn Biren

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Sunday night class begins at 6:00 PM.
Thursday’s class begins at 6:30 PM.
964 585 2910


Free for Temple Israel Members & Their Friends during the month of June!

Non-members - $15

Bring your own Yoga Mat
Both sets of classes are for

Both chair and mat students are accommodated at each class.

For more information, contact
Bryn Biren
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 
  • 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 
  • Social Action

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...
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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.