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 - MAY 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.
7:30 p.m.
via ZOOM

Meeting ID: 834 4572 4373
Passcode: 181004

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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, May 7 at 7:00 p.m.
All other weeks on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
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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.
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Meeting ID: 614 246 852
Passcode: 549042

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbBPyZ5AGn
Sunday, May 16th
7:30 p.m.

Meeting ID: 836 0513 6665
Passcode: 148644

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Monday, May 17th
10:30 a.m.

Meeting ID: 885 7619 9978
Passcode: 458014

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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 
A Message from

Rabbi Michael D. Howald

A new controversy seems to arise every week in the ongoing cultural war in this country. The recent dispute over so-called COVID-19 “vaccine passports” is only the latest issue in a series of debates that proceed in predictable ways. After the different sides of the argument present their initial views, the debate proceeds for months or years afterward with increasingly hostile rhetoric, often without either side saying anything particularly new or interesting. The recent disagreement about whether, and in what settings, private or public parties can or should require proof of vaccination has, however, so far largely restricted itself (in this country, at least) to considerations of individual rights under American law and tradition. Yet, as residents of the most religiously identified major industrial country, Americans frequently profess a faith that also speaks to the issue of vaccination. Before reaching our own opinion on this important issue, accordingly, it makes sense to also know what the faith of Israel teaches about the status of vaccines in our own community.
Our ancient ancestors know nothing of vaccines, but they knew that medical treatments always entail some degree of risk. They almost always permitted medical treatments that held out a realistic hope of a long-term cure, even if they carried a risk of death. This principle continues to prevail in discussions regarding vaccinations in modern Jewish law. When the first smallpox vaccines became available, almost all Jewish legal scholars that addressed the issue permitted the vaccination, even if it carried a risk of a severe adverse reaction in a small number of cases.
Rabbi Israel Lifschitz, writing in the 19th century, ruled that a healthy person may take the smallpox vaccine, even though 1 in 1,000 people might die from it, because the danger from a natural case of smallpox was even greater. He analogized the decision to take the vaccine to a person who sees his friend drowning in the sea. In that case, our Sages reasoned, one is prohibited from standing idly by while another life is in danger, even if the rescuer risks his own life to do so. J. Terumot, Chap. 8. Based on the strength of this and other rulings by other Jewish authorities, virtually all modern Jewish legal scholars permit, or even require, vaccination against childhood diseases. The Reform movement has even issued a responsa (a statement of our movement’s interpretation of Jewish law) that allows a congregation to adopt a rule, should it so choose, to require immunization of students as a condition of admission to religious school.  Responsa 5759.10 (Compulsory Immunization)
Does the same reasoning apply to the COVID-19 vaccine? As opposed to vaccines against mumps or rubella, for example, none of the existing vaccines have received more than emergency approval. Children under 16, moreover, are not yet eligible to receive any of the new vaccines, although that situation may change before the start of the next school year. An argument could be made, accordingly, that any current obligation to vaccinate discriminates against an important part of our community and invades a personal right to direct our own care. 
Jewish law, however, focuses on obligations rather than rights. During a pandemic that creates a significant risk of death for us and others, some have argued that the desirable goal of reaching “herd immunity” obligates eligible members of the Jewish community to vaccinate even in the absence of final approval. A recent article by two doctors in Tradition, a journal of Orthodox Jewish thought, makes exactly that argument and concludes that Jewish law certainly permits, and likely even obligates, members of the Jewish community to vaccinate in order to help end the pandemic for everyone. Refusal to vaccinate, in their view, violates the moral obligation to not stand idle while another comes to harm.
This conclusion is entirely separate from the discussion of mandatory vaccinations under American law and tradition. Both sides in that argument will doubtless continue to marshal their claims under the lens of individual rights for years to come. Those for whom Jewish tradition and law is also important, on the other hand, will consider their obligations to the community. Seeing the issue from that perspective widens our understanding and appeals to our multiple identifies as American Reform Jews.
Rabbi Michael Howald   
A Message from
Jerry Gross & Alan Siegel

Welcome to what is presenting itself as the “New Normal”.  This seems to be the replacement phrase for ‘when will we get back to NORMAL?’  Many of us have received our vaccinations or are in the process of completing the effort to be fully vaccinated.  As more and more of us are able to gather together, we will be able to once again participate in small, socially distanced, safely monitored activities.  As you know, we were able to experience our first on-site, Erev Shabbat service in our Sanctuary on April 16th.  As this was the first time we were able to ‘live-stream’ the Service, there were some technical problems that affected the quality of the sound.  For this we apologize and want to assure you that we are actively engaged in overcoming this problem.  We are also planning another on-site Erev Shabbat service on May 14 and will again abide by the safety protocols to protect our Clergy as well as our Congregants.  More information will be sent prior to the event.

The month of May will also have a vital element in the life of our Congregation.  Our annual Congregational Meeting will be held on May 12th via Zoom to enable the greatest number of our members to participate.  It is this event that enables you to exercise your oversight of Temple Leadership by voting for the slate of Officers for the 2012-2022 fiscal year.  You will also be asked to review and approve the budget for the new year.  Also available for your consideration will be the reports of all the committees and affiliate organizations whose work has kept Temple Israel functioning through the past year.  There will also be an opportunity to have questions answered.  In the meantime, those committees and organizations are still working at full speed to keep you occupied by providing you with meaningful activities.  It is our hope that more of these activities will take place in person as soon as circumstances allow.

We are very happy to see that the Temple Israel Virtual Gala Journal will be ‘in production’ from May 1st through June 30th.  During this time the Virtual Gala Journal Committee will be accepting your submissions and donations which will then be compiled into a virtual journal and electronically distributed on July 12th.  Please be sure to review the mailing you receive regarding this opportunity to show your support of Temple Israel in our on-going effort to remain a viable and important home for Reform Judaism on Staten Island.  

Please scroll through the entire E-Shalom and make note of calendar items that catch your attention. And then, PARTICIPATE!  We thank you for your continued support and look forward to a safer and healthier new year.

Jerry and Alan
On October 12, 2020, your Board of Trustees adopted a policy to guide congregants, clergy and employees so ensure maximum safety during the pandemic.  Please note that this policy does not set any timeline for indoor gatherings on our property – it only lays out the procedures to follow at such time that indoor events resume.   To see the policy  CLICK HERE.
(The document consists of 6 pages:  1 to 3 is the policy, 4 is the tracking log and 5 & 6 is the waiver form.)
Cheesecakes, blintzes, wearing white, confirmation ceremonies, reading the Book of Ruth… You are right! It is time for the Festival of Shavuot! 

From the second day of Passover, we start the counting of the omer. Seven weeks of anticipation for the holiday. Shavuot in Hebrew literally means “weeks,” the celebration seven weeks after Passover. And then on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan, we commemorate the anniversary of the giving of the Torah by God to the Children of Israel at Mount Sinai. We celebrate Torah, we celebrate its teachings, education and our commitment to our Jewish values.

This information was all relatively new to me since coming to America. Like many other Israeli secular families, we did not really celebrate the holiday. My most vibrant childhood memory of Shavuot was from the kibbutz, when we went to visit family and friends. What a joy! Huge parades, performances by young and old volunteers from the kibbutz and the area, massive Israeli folk dancing on the kibbutz lawn, dancing barefoot on the grass till the early hours of the morning, the traditional dance of new mothers with their newborns in their Björns, a long parade of the kibbutz “bikkurim (the first fruits).”

In ancient times, Shavuot was the first day on which individuals could bring the bikkurim to the Temple in Jerusalem. The bikkurim were brought from the seven species for which the land of Israel is known: wheat, barleygrapesfigspomegranatesolives, and dates.
In the largely agrarian society of ancient Israel, Jewish farmers would tie a string around the first ripening fruits from each of these species in their fields. At the time of harvest, the fruits identified by the string would be cut and placed in baskets woven of gold and silver. The baskets would then be loaded on oxen whose horns were gilded and laced with garlands of flowers, and they were led in a grand procession to Jerusalem. As the farmer and his entourage passed through cities and towns, they would be accompanied by music and parades. At the Temple in Jerusalem, each farmer would present his bikkurim to a Kohen (high priest) in a celebratory ceremony.
So, even though we did not have flowery-horned oxen in the kibbutz, (more like tractors or club-cars) we still celebrated the first crops, or the first kibbutz’s output. My favorite car was the one with toddlers wearing white, carrying baby chicks.
These days, where Israeli society is so torn and polarized, where religion is perceived as either Orthodox or secular, the kibbutzim are preserving the ancient tradition of Shavuot. And it has nothing to do with the receiving of Torah..or does it? It is Judaism based on the land, healthy and just production and celebration of community.

Happy celebration of “WEEKS”!

Shirel Richman
Student Cantor

Adult Choir Rehearsals (Virtual)
Tuesday, May 4- 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, May 18- 7:00 p.m.

Junior Choir Rehearsals (Virtual)
Sunday, May 2 - 12 noon
Sunday, May 9 - 12 noon
Sunday, May 16 - 12 noon
Sunday, May 23 - 12 noon

If you would like to join the Choir, please contact Student Cantor Shirel Richman at scantorrichman@gmail.com.
Jodi Siegel & Shariann Ganz
On Wednesday, May 19th, the General Membership of Sisterhood of Temple Israel will elect a new slate of Officers and Directors for the 2021-2022 Year.  It is hard to believe that another year has already come and gone and that we are already planning for a new beginning.  

As we start to reflect on Sisterhood’s activities and accomplishments over this past year, we cannot help but give ourselves (our Sisterhood officers and members) a “virtual” pat on the back for overcoming challenges in order to not only maintain almost all of our traditional activities and programs, but for all the creativity we have shown in finding new and imaginative ways to engage our membership and keep Sisterhood strong. 

We are grateful to so many of our members who have stepped up to help Sisterhood grow over the past year.  There are too many to name, but you know who they are.  They have been the ones asking you for recipes, donating items for raffles or sales or food drives, delivering donations, dinners and desserts, announcing fundraisers, creating flyers, writing notes and letters, organizing virtual programs, planning workshops, setting up Zoom links, hosting meetings, developing leadership, depositing checks, paying the bills, packaging baskets, stuffing envelopes, and so on, and so on, and so on! 

We are trying to plan for some sort of end-of-year celebration event which can include everyone so that we can really say “Thank You”.  We will certainly let you know the details as soon as they are finalized. In the meantime, please remember that you can say thank you with a donation to the Temple which will be acknowledged in the Friday night program or, on a grander scale, by participating in the upcoming Virtual Gala Journal and Fundraiser which is currently taking place. You may have already received your invitation to participate in the mail or looked at it earlier in this bulletin.  We look forward to seeing your creative journal submissions.

In the near future, however, we hope to see all our Officers and Directors at our Executive Board Meeting on Thursday, May 6th.  We hope you enjoy your complimentary desserts (courtesy of Sisterhood) at our Mothers’ Day Oneg on Friday, May 7th. We look forward to seeing all our members at our Annual General Membership Meeting for our election and BINGO night on Wednesday, May 19th.  (If you wish to participate in Bingo, please RSVP to sisterhoodti@aol.com before May 15th). On Sunday, May 23rd, we will have our hybrid in-person and Zoom Book Discussion at 3:30 about “The Light of Days” by Judy Batalion.  If you are interested in joining us, please contact jsiegel23@aol.com.

Wishing you a wonderful Mother’s Day and Shavuot!

In Sisterhood,
Jodi Siegel & Shariann Ganz
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 April 18 . We recapped our Yellow Yom HaShoah Candle Project. Thank you to everyone who has participated. Additionally we conducted 1st 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 your mind..

It is very important to keep the work of Brotherhood going strong as we navigate these unprecedented times.
We also discussed the return to in person services the first of which was held on Friday night Erev Shabbat April 16th. It was a very special feeling to return to our Sanctuary for services. With this in mind, I have tentatively scheduled August 22nd as the date for the annual Brotherhood Bar B Que. We will explore this in more depth as the next few months come along. Please mark your calendars for this event as well as 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

MAY 2021
Mazel Tov

ILENE PAPPERT on being honored with the JCC Nancy Avis
L'Dor V'Dor First Generation Award.

INEZ & STEVE SINGER on the occasion of their granddaughter Gwendolyn becoming a Bat Mitzvah.

GALE & WAYNE SCHWARTZ on the occasion of their grandson, Brandon becoming a Bar Mitzvah;  .

CHERY LEVINE AND JUDITH PESSAH on being selected as Temple Israel's UJA Honorees.


The Schwartz Family on the loss of Eric Schwartz, son of former members Norman and the late Hedy Schwartz, z'l .

Get Well Wishes 

CLAIRE GUTTSMAN & PAMELA J. CARLTON recovering from cataract surgery.

Thinking of You



New Affiliate Members

Happy Spring.  

How nice it is to experience the warmer weather, although not yet as consistently as we may like.  

And it was wonderful for those of us able to attend our first Erev Shabbat Service in the Sanctuary in over a year.  On April 16th approximately 30 congregants met and experienced the moving Service led by Rabbi Howald, Student Cantor Richman with the musical assistance of Lincoln Richman.  As promised, the Service was live-streamed to our congregants who were unable or uncomfortable with attending in person.  Although there were some audio challenges, we are confident that they will be addressed and fixed as more experience is gained with this new technology.  We are grateful to our Temple leadership for the live-streaming availability.   We note that to keep us safe, all CDC, city and HUC-JIR guidelines were followed.  Our next In-Person/Live-Streamed service will take place on Friday, May 14th. We hope to schedule one in June, as well.  Information will be shared as soon as it is available.     

On Wednesday, April 7th at 7:00 PM Temple Israel observed Yom HaShoah on Zoom.  Our speaker was survivor Arthur Spielman, a Staten Island resident. Mr. Spielman spoke of his experiences as his family escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto and he was hidden in a Hungarian orphanage and later in Budapest. Liberated by the Soviet Army, the family made it to the U.S. after three years in a D.P. Camp.  A question-and-answer period followed.  His appearance was arranged through the courtesy of the Speakers Coordinator of the Museum of Jewish Heritage with the assistance of Jerry Gross. A beautiful and moving Yom HaShoah Memorial Service led by Rabbi Howald and Student Cantor Richman including readings by congregants concluded the special evening.  Congregants had the opportunity at home to light the Yom HaShoah candles provided by Brotherhood.

We are looking forward to Sisterhood’s Mother’s Day Virtual Oneg following the zoom 7:00 PM Shabbat Service on May 7th.  We hope you made your arrangements to participate prior to the deadline of April 30th.  Additionally, we hope to see you on Zoom for the Membership Committee’s sponsoring of the Shabbat Shalom Bring Your Own Dinner on Friday May 21st at 6:30 PM before our 7:30 PM Shabbat Service.  Please let the Membership Committee know you will be attending.

Erev Shavuot will be observed on Sunday evening May 16th with the zoom Service starting at 7:30 PM.  Following the Service, Rabbi Howald will be leading a Tikkun Leil Shavuot study session for approximately one hour.  On Monday, a Shavuot Morning zoom Service starts at 10:30AM and will include a Yizkor Service.  

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.  We are grateful to all whose efforts have enabled us to continue to connect as a congregation with worship, study and community. 
Please look to your e-mails, messages, Temple Israel’s News and Notes, Facebook Page and this E-Shalom Bulletin for additional information about special Services and study opportunities as noted above.

Please stay safe and healthy.

Linda Brill and Jeffrey Ganz

We thank the following congregants who have graciously accepted the honors of lighting the candles and reciting the Motzi at Erev Shabbat Services in April:
Brianna Levinsky, Brian Levinsky, Linda Brill, Alan Brill,
Shariann Ganz, Andrea Simon, Fred Simon,
Claire Guttsman and Dennis Guttsman  

Nina Rohan
Ushering Chair
Sunday, May 16- Monday, May 17
The festival of Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.


May 7, 2021
Sally Berger *
Stuart Feigelman
Louis Melniker
Michael Duskin *
Katherine Marks *
Rose Kitoff *
Beatrice Kutell
Solomon Nison
Anna Siegel
Alan Bernard Sostek
Harriette Duskin *
Alma Rothwein Jacobs *
Richard Litkofsky *
Clara E. Silverberg *
Muriel Trachman *
Milton Eisen *
Barry Nadel *
Ida Shenman *
Marilyn Tanzer
Fred Feigelman
Fay Schaefer *

And we remember from the Holocaust
Irena Siekierzynska
Helana Winer
Jacob De Wilde
Ernst Kummermann
Yokheved Ofman

May 14, 2021
Esther Goldman Dumont
Beatrice Lachman *
Ada Lauter *
Eugenia Gavarlynsh
Dr. A.  Milton Jacobs *
Dorothy M. Melniker *
Rea Silberberg
Ernest Beck
Harold B. Blach
Roslyn Klein
Craig Lawrence Horn *
Suzanne Nadel *

And we remember from the Holocaust:
Baruch Scheuerman
Yosef Hampel
Heinrich Peschek
Ernst Gaube
Martonne Braun
May 21, 2021
Murray Gold *
Florence Hurkin *
Charlotte A. Braverman *
Seymour G. Gollubier *
William Grodman
Rose Lipson
Itta Berlyand
Irene F. Carducci *
Edith Gamoran
Iris Mushnick
Etta Rabin *
Ane Sussman *
Rita Feldstein *
Ruth Lewis
Dr. H. Edward Marshon *
Samuel Tatt

And we remember from the Holocaust:
Haya Borys
Rosa Sepp
Marianna Hoch
Franz Grücke
Tauber Karcon

May 28, 2021
William Brill *
Irving Cohen *
Siegfried Katz *
Carole Lachman *
Burton Cohen *
Anna Katy Silverman *
Gertrude Claire Gross *
Leon Grossman
Robert Selig
Peter Nash *
Beatrice V Dubrim Morse *
James A. Meyers *
Lee Pessah *
Ben Harris

And we remember from the Holocaust:
Georgi Koschuchowski
Pesya Wenglinski
Efroim Zaydman
Hans Latzer
Isser Ehrlich
* These names are on our Memorial Wall.
About the Weekly Yahrzeit List...

It has come to our attention that there is some confusion about who is listed on the Yahrzeit List each Shabbat.  The list consists of three parts.

The first part is only read when there has been a recent death in the congregational family, and is introduced by “….recently taken from our midst.”  In this section, we list congregants who have passed away, or the seven closest family members of a congregant as defined by those for whom a mourner is traditionally obligated to sit shiva:  spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, son or daughter.  These names are included weekly for the month after their funeral.

The second part of the list is preceded by the phrase “We recall the names of our loved ones whose Yahrzeit is observed this week” and it consists of those whose yahrzeits (death anniversary) fall from Saturday to the next Friday.  These names come from the compilation of names of people our congregants have submitted that they wish to remember annually on either the Hebrew or Gregorian anniversary of their passing.  It is not limited to family members outlined above and can include grandparents, in-laws or others of significance to you.  You have the opportunity to add names every year with the papers that come with the renewal of your annual commitment. You can also add names at any time by writing to the Temple Office.  These names are kept from year to year.  Those who have had a memorial plaque dedicated to their name will be read each year regardless of your membership status.

The third part of the list contains the name of several Holocaust victims from the list we have obtained from Yad Vashem as of way of remembering those who have no one to say Kaddish for them

As you may have noticed, after Rabbi has finished reading the Yahrzeit List, he invites Service attendees to offer additional names for any period of mourning.  This is an opportunity to mention anyone important to you.

Please be aware that the second and third part of the weekly Yahrzeit List are printed in E-Shalom each month.  Also, you will receive a letter from Rabbi prior to the Yahrzeit that the name will be read on an upcoming Shabbat and a reminder when to light a Yahrzeit candle if that is your practice.  You can also make a donation in your loved one’s memory in the Shabbat program the week his or her name is read.

If you have any further questions about the weekly Yahrzeit List, please feel free to reach out to us through the Temple office.
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, May 7
Celebration of May
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Service at 7:00 p.m.
via ZOOM
Sisterhood Cookie Oneg to Follow

Friday, May 14
Service at 7:30 p.m.
In person and Live -Streamed

Friday, May 21
Shared Zoom Shabbat Shalom BYO Dinner at 6:00 p.m.
Service at 7:30 p.m.
via ZOOM

Friday, May 28
Service at 7:30 p.m.
via ZOOM

Torah Study and Shabbat Services
Saturdays at 10:00 a.m.

Thank you to everyone who supported our Religious School's "I love Temple Israel" face mask fundraiser last month. Because of your generosity, our fundraiser was a sell out and many of us can enjoy wearing our matching Temple Israel facemasks the next time we are on-site together. The funds raised will go directly to special events for the children next school year. 

On Sunday, May 23rd our school will come together for the first time in-person since September when we gather on the patio for our annual Religious and Hebrew School Stepping Up Ceremony. Students will be able to participate in Hebrew Bingo, Trivia and enjoy a treat from the ice cream truck at the end of the event. We look forward to honoring all of our students and teachers for their dedication.

As the school comes to a close for this year, we must focus on plans to return to the building for in-person classes next year. We want to continue some of the special events and the holiday kits we have brought to all families this year in conjunction with the AVIS Foundation. In order to do this, we need more families involved in the Parents' Committee. Please reach out to me if you are able to be part of the committee that supports our children's religious school enrichment activities and works directly with the school.


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

We are looking forward to Friday, May 21st when, having prepared our own dinners, we will gather together on Zoom to pray, eat and enjoy each other’s company. We will welcome Shabbat together with candle lighting and blessings and will then break into virtual table groups for dinner.  Maybe we can share some interesting Shabbat dinner recipes. Following dinner, Rabbi will gather us together for Birkat HaMazon- the grace after meals- and Erev Shabbat services will follow. See the flyer that follows for more information.

** TI WIIFM (Temple Israel- What’s In It For Me?)
Temple Israel is a busy place. See flyers throughout this E-Shalom issue for specific information. 
Temple brings beauty, balance, spirituality and holiness to our lives.
      Attend Erev Shabbat or Shabbat morning services, or gain insight about the current week’s Torah portion through Torah study.
      Temple connects us to each other and to the wider Reform Jewish community.
      Participate in Sisterhood or Brotherhood to make lasting friendships and help our Temple grow and thrive while connecting to our national  affiliates, such as URJ (Union for Reform Judaism) and WRJ (Women of Reform Judaism).
       Temple enables us to have a voice in what matters-both in our immediate community and on 
the national scene. 
      Learn about how you can engage in making our society a more just, more compassionate and more equitable place through working with the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.

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.


KEEP FOLLOWING THE UPDATES THROUGH THE WEEKLY NEWS ‘N NOTES. If you’d like to share some thoughts about how Temple Israel has sustained you over these past months, please e-mail Libby Gershansky (eng2ndlang@aol.com) and we will include your thoughts in our upcoming Membership columns.
Temple Israel’s fiscal year ends in June.  Please make sure that you maintain your “Member In Good Standing” status by settling your account before the end of June.  

If you have any questions about your membership at this time please contact me at 917-838-6675 or email me at tmplisrfinsec@aol.com.

Jennifer Straniere
Financial Secretary
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3.Type in “Temple Israel Reform 4.Congregation of Staten Island"
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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.
Some featured items this month:
Contact Blanche Ricci at branchtr.ricci@gmail.com
if you are interested in any Judaica Shop items.
Many thanks to Michael Tennenbaum for the delightful discussions of the vintage films Public Enemy, Mr Smith Goes to Washington, Casablanca, and Singing in the Rain. For some of us it brought back memories of previous viewings, and for some satisfaction that we finally got to see these classics! We hope to have Michael return with “The Golden Age of Hollywood” and guide us through the viewing of more classic films. (Avis)

Sunday, May 2–1:30. Children’s Program, “Brian the Animal Guy and his Wildside Zoo”.
Outdoors! Bring your own chairs. Parents and grandparents welcome. No Rain Date! (Avis)

Sunday, May 2–4:00. “Judy, Judy, Judy, Effects of the Pandemic” continues! “Adjusting to the New Normal”.

Wednesday, May 5 and Thursday, May 20–7:30. Continuation of “TV and Radio in the 50s and 60s”, presented by David Frankel. (Avis)

Tuesdays, May 11 and 25–7:30. Meditation, with Jennifer Korten.

Wednesdays, May 26, June 2, 23, 30-7:30. Mark Meyer, Art History Part IV. “The Old Masters”—Velazquez, Goya, El Greco, Zuberon. You must register with Bryn Biren at MsBunny7@aol.com. (Avis)

Links will be sent shortly before the Zoom programs.

Thinking Ahead—Look for announcements from the Adult Learning Committee on future programs on “Computer Complaints” and “Body Awareness”, a gentle movement class combining aspects of Yoga, Meditation, and concentration on physical health!

                                        Cheryl Levine and Judith Pessah
Adult Learning Committee Co-Chairpersons
Bryn Biren & Terry Baver
Avis Foundation
Slowly, with little steps we are coming together again.

Our first activity in the month of May is “ BRIAN, THE ANIMAL GUY and the Woodside Zoo”. We are planning to visit with Brian and his friends outdoors at Temple Israel on Sunday, May 2 at 1:30 PM. Everyone must wear a mask. (We will only be able to access the handicapped bathroom in the Social Hall on that day).

We continue to enjoy Friday afternoon classes at The Resource Room, located at 534 Forest Avenue. Our children, ages 6-9, will attend on May 7 and May 21. Please note that we are changing the time to 3:30-4:45 PM for the girls and boys. Parents must drop off and pick up their children, promptly at 4:45 PM , from the outside of the building.

We have exciting programs coming up, including Lego Robotics, Building and Designing Simple Machines, Making instant Snow, and learning about What Makes Slime.

The children ages 10 and above will meet on Friday, May 14 to continue 
“Games, Games, Games” from 2:45 - 5:00 PM. They are really enjoying getting together to socialize.

Parents are welcome to attend the Avis Foundation sponsored Yoga classes that take place on Monday nights at 6:15 PM, Thursday nights at 6:30 PM and Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM. Contact Bryn Biren at MsBunny7@aol.com for the Zoom links.

The future of Temple Israel depends on increasing our membership. We are looking for young families to join our Temple family. Terry Baver 
(Terryqbaver@gmail.com) and Bryn Biren ( MsBunny7@aol.com) will reach out immediately to any prospective members. You are our best source for referrals. We are happy to hear from you.

Stay safe and we hope to see you very soon!
Terry Baver & Bryn Biren

It's not too late to join the FUNdraising committee for our Island Wise Trivia Night on Saturday May 1, 2021. Please contact Rhonda 347-277-0035, Karen 718-687-8533 or Lissa 917-846-5454 if you would like to participate.
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 begin at 7:00 PM.

Instructor: Jennifer Korten
MAY 2, 9, 23, 30

629 410 6339

MONDAY classes begin at 6:15 PM.
Instructor: Denise Nizzare
MAY 3, 10, 17, 24

THURSDAY classes begin at 6:30 PM.
Instructor: Denise Nizzare
MAY 6, 13, 20, 27

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 Religious Action Center (RAC) is the social justice arm of Reform Judaism.  For many decades the RAC has fought for civil rights, voting rights and issues of equity and justice that are important to our democratic way of life. 

The Reform Movement’s 2021 Racial Justice Campaign is a continuation of the Civic Engagement Campaign that several of our congregants were involved with in 2020, reaching out to disenfranchised voters in states where voter suppression has been a common practice.

We are again at a moment when many states are enacting laws to suppress voters. The RAC plans to campaign heavily for H.R.1- “For the People Act” to protect the freedom of ALL Americans to vote. In addition, the RAC will work towards rooting out systemic racism at the community level, addressing the needs of Jews of Color and campaigning for legislative changes that will ensure a diverse and equitable society for all of us.

As Jews we are mandated to pursue justice, to work for freedom and to make this world a better place for all.
To learn more click on this link:
We will keep you posted as plans develop concerning how Temple Israel might participate. 
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.