Temple Israel Reform Congregation

of Staten Island

315 Forest Avenue

Staten Island, New York 10301


Rabbi Michael D. Howald

Cantor Suzanne Bernstein


Bryn Biren, Linda Brill, Sandy Mazzucco, Felicia Otto


Temple Israel’s Electronic Bulletin


January 2023

Tevet - Shevat 5783

“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.

Erev Shabbat Services take place IN PERSON. Live-stream links, for those unable to join us, will be e-mailed to all congregants, along with the Friday night Progam, every Friday. The Zoom link for Saturday morning Torah Study and Services can be found below. (Please check weekly News and Notes and the Friday Night Program for any updates or changes.)

Shabbat Morning**

Torah Study at 10:00 a.m. followed by Services at 11:00 a.m.

Meeting ID: 842 7725 0914

Passcode: 345339

One tap mobile

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Dial by your location

    +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

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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

Rabban Gamaliel was one of the most respected rabbis in antiquity. He was a son of Judah HaNasi, the sage who supervised the compilation and editing of the Mishnah, one of the foundational documents of Jewish law. He was also famous for the wisdom he left behind in the form of legal rulings and sayings. Some of his most famous are found in Pirke Avot, a classical collection of statements and instructions meant to impart lessons and instructions to following Jewish generations. Rabban Gamaliel lessons particularly emphasize the importance of the community.  Those who work with the Jewish community, he taught, are strengthened by the merits of those who came before and the righteous deeds they do for the sake of others, he believed, would stand forever.

Rabban Gamaliel believed that we cannot walk out on our community and that, even if we don’t complete the work, Heaven will still credit us as if we had.  His focus was on the World to Come (the ancient rabbis’ term for the realm we enter after death), but recent studies have confirmed that volunteering and giving to others also can give purpose and meaning to our lives and combat the epidemic of loneliness in our society.  In 2019, for instance, 3 in 5 Americans reported feeling lonely and, in addition, nearly ¼ of those 65 and older are considered socially isolated according to a study by John Hopkins and the University of Michigan. The situation, if anything, has gotten worse since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020.  Working with the community through volunteering can help end or mitigate those feelings of isolation and it is, as Rabban Gamaliel teaches, a fulfillment of ancient Jewish values. It can even help us live longer and feel healthier. 


The New York Times recently reported the results of a study of 10,000 volunteers in the United Kingdom, 2/3rds of whom agreed that their work with the community had helped them feel less isolated.  This was true at all age levels but particularly marked among young adults.  Not only that, those who volunteered often reported a renewed sense of purpose and a broadening of their social perspective. By focusing on the community, accordingly, the volunteers both helped others and themselves.


Although Rabban Gamaliel’s lessons often speak in terms of gaining merit for the World to Come, I suspect he also knew that working with the community was also good for the giver in this world. We are social animals, and we gain by involving ourselves in the lives of others, both psychologically and physically. So, when one of our lay leaders speak about the need for volunteers to usher for a service, to help plan a fundraiser or join the board, see those requests, not as an additional burden to your life, but as a way for you to find added meaning in your own life while also following the teachings of our sages who remind us of the benefits of immersing ourselves in the community which sustains us even as we sustain it. 

Rabbi Michael Howald   
A Message from the Co-Presidents

How does the song go?  “We are Family”. Yes, we are, and after our Family Shabbat, I want to change the tune to read “We are Families”!!! Our first Family Shabbat in December was so well attended.  What a great sight to see so many young families participate and attend this in person service. We look forward to seeing many more families at future Family Shabbats.

This is what Temple Israel is all about…Family and Community.  Our religious and insightful programs encourage congregants to connect with Judaism in spiritual and personal ways.  With antisemitism at an all-time high, now more than ever we need to be united as a Temple. 

This past month we made beautiful purchases for family and friends at our Sisterhood Holiday Fair on Dec 4th.  On December 11, we visited the beautiful city of Paris on Zoom with Tour guide Karen Reb Rudman that was sponsored by Sisterhood and the Adult Learning Committee. This past Friday Dec 16th we enjoyed wonderful foods at our Hanukkah Pajamika Shabbat and New Member Dinner. Pamela Rogozin our Sisterhood Co-President shopped and cooked with gusto while her committee comprised of Sisterhood Co-Presidents Judy Lee and Anita Zuckerberg as well as Blanche Ricci, Sue Freedman, Pamela Carlton and Remy Smith worked tirelessly to create lists, arrange seating and set up tables. On the evening of our terrific dinner, we had several congregants who came out to mix, chop, heat up and help serve. Thank you to Rian Silverman, Jackie Rabinowitz, Susie Goldstein, Susan Marks, Sandy Feuerstein, Fern Barris, Rochelle Maltz, Cheryl Levine, Claire Guttsman, Shari Stein-Ballow and Anna Wu.

As I have said before it takes a “Village” and we are the “Villagers!!!!”.Temple Israel continues to need our support.  All these events can only happen if we as congregants become more involved in creating them.

At our Shabbat service that followed our Hanukkah New Member dinner, Rabbi Howald, Cantor Bernstein and our Congregation welcomed returning Members, Jane Adler, Barbara Trilling and Ann Young. 

We are also very excited to announce our New Temple Israel Members:

Sarah Lentini and Avi Tuchinsky, Anna Wu, Jessica and Gregg Brown and daughter Hannah, Amanda and Mike Donovan and daughters Aria and Camila, Reva and Lee Brooks and daughters Emanuella, Jude and Shane, 

Michelle and Eugene Shaganov and sons Oren and Daniel, Rian Silverman and son Nolan Buono.

We welcome all of you to Temple Israel.

On December 18th, we lit the first candle on our Menorahs for Hanukkah. As I read about in spiritual Jewish teachings the flame of a candle compares to the human soul.  The flames, when lit, encourages each of us to reach higher, and to elevate ourselves.  We as Jewish people perform acts of kindness and humility when in the face of negative external pressure. The image of the lit candles is a reminder to ourselves to find the unique spark inside each of us, and to let it shine out to the world.  Within each of us, and joined together with our Temple Israel family, we can turn a single flame into a community. Let’s continue to celebrate that image in the New Year

Wishing everyone a Very Healthy and Happy New Year.


Sandy Mazzucco

on behalf of Co-Presidents Bryn Biren, Linda Brill, and Felicia Otto

Dear Fellow Congregants,

Thanks to all of you who have already completed your annual commitments to Temple Israel.  Please watch your mail for a reminder regarding completion of outstanding balances on your account.  Please be reminded that notifications for completion of your building fund will be sent as a separate document.

A reminder that your Membership Form provides us with the most current information about you and your family.  If your form was not fully completed, one of our Membership Committee members may be contacting you to secure any information that was omitted.  Please be sure to update changes in email contacts and new phone numbers for all included family members.

Please feel free to contact me directly at 917-873-4739 should you wish to discuss any matter regarding your annual commitment.  Be sure to leave your name and phone number if you are leaving a message.

Again, thank you for your on-going support of Temple Israel.

Alan Siegel

Financial Secretary

Please consider becoming a member of our


It helps to make membership available to all our families. Speak to our Financial Secretary to upgrade your membership.

When I first began my studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in the early 1980’s, the cantors from the Conservative movement on the faculty of the School of Sacred Music largely set the curriculum and the general tone of the school. There were no women on the faculty. We learned to daven traditional (i.e. Conservative and Orthodox) services in addition to the music of the Reform movement. Song-leading was something that only happened at summer camps. 

Every year we had to present a practicum on a subject chosen by the faculty. In my early student years, I was assigned “Erev Rosh Hashanah for the Reform movement.” I included one (only one!) setting for which I accompanied myself on guitar, “Yih’yu L’ratson” using the High Holy Day trope. Some of you may remember that I offered this setting in years past, with Jane Adler beautifully playing her flute. 

The cantors on the faculty liked my setting, but were not comfortable with me including guitar. A guitar could never inspire a congregation like an organ does on the High Holy Days, they said. The cantor who was the chair of the faculty at the time commented archly, “when I hear the guitar, all I can do is smile.” I broke the unwritten code that students never responded to criticism at their practica and replied, “Is it so bad to smile on the High Holy Days?” The universal intake of breathe at my chutzpah caused at least a level three wind storm. 

Eventually, the winds of change prevailed, though. More and more HUC students made it clear that they had been inspired to become cantors and rabbis by their summer camp experiences. Congregations loved the sense of belonging that singing together brings. The songs of NFTY (National Federation of Temple Youth and most especially the compositions of Debbie Friedman, became essential to the education of both cantors and rabbis. Debbie Friedman became one of the most beloved members of the HUC faculty. After her untimely death on January 9, 2011 at the age of 59, the cantorial school was renamed the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music. 

We have come a long ways since the days when stern HUC faculty would openly criticize a terrified, silent student after a practicum. Nowadays you are much more likely to hear a guitar than an organ at services. Debbie and the inclusive, accepting culture of summer camp have made HUC a kindler, gentler, freer place to learn and grow. 

At our first Friday family service this month, we will mark Debbie Friedman’s Yahrzeit by singing her beloved songs, and sharing her life story from a brand new children’s book, written by Deborah Lakritz and illustrated by Julia Castaño: “A Place to Belong, Debbie Friedman Sings her Way Home.” Let’s celebrate her life as we create with her songs our own place to belong, Temple Israel.

Cantor Suzanne Bernstein 


Friday, January 6- 6:30 pm

Jr. Choir warm-up for 7 pm Family Service

Sunday, January 8:

10 am - Sr. Choir rehearsal 

12 noon - Jr. Choir rehearsal 

Wednesday, January 18th at 12:30pm:

Informational Zoom meeting about ACC trip to

Poland & Prague

(see details below)

Thursday, January 19: 7 pm

Sr. Choir rehearsal 

Friday, January 20- 7 pm

Sr. Choir warm-up for 7:30 pm Service

Sunday, January 29: 

10 am - Sr. Choir rehearsal 

12 noon - Jr. Choir rehearsal


Ayelet Tours is presenting an informational Zoom meeting about this exciting trip, open to all:

January 18th at 12:30pm EST 







For calendar updates click here..

To print or download a copy of this calendar, click here..


JUDITH PESSAH and family as her grandson, SAMSON, is called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah;  

BEVERLY & HOWARD MAZER & family as their grandson, TYLER, is called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah.



JODI, ALAN & JESSE SIEGEL & Family on the loss of her aunt, Anna Janatofsky, 

ANDREA & FRED SIMON & Family on the loss of her brother,

Jay Wolodiger

BARBARA FRIED & Family on the loss of her sister,

Brenda Cluna;

JERRY & KAREN GROSS & Family on the loss of his brother, Harold Gross.


RICHARD LEIMSIDER released from the hospital;

RENEE GROSS, daughter of KAREN AND JERRY GROSS, recovering from gall bladder surgery; 

JOHN BURMAN, our office manager , recovering from COVID




January 6, 2023

Louis Barnet *

William Garfunkel *

Marian Lee *

Telva Nison

Jerome Sommer

Bertha Dicker *

Roselyn G. Gross *

Olga Lieberman

Albert Melniker *

Norman Silverman *

Lydia Doris Weiss *

Phyllis Zimmerman

Rita Guttsman

David Morse *

Arlene Rich

Abraham Schwartz *

Maynard Selmon

Janet Aronson

Selma Blumin *

Larry Dumont

Fannie Calmus

Samuel Shapiro *

Meyer Axelrod *

Claire Biren

Tina Goldstone

And we remember from the Holocaust:

Sandorne Leipnik

Karoly Kelemen

Amadee Lecalle

David Pezarro

Samuel Hirsch

January 13, 2023

David Aronson

Barnett Kadin *

Irving Schwimmer *

Benjamin Feitelson *

Edward Kitoff *

Herman Lippman

Nathan Nadel

Dorothy Smith *

Lawrence Applebaum

Irwin Jaeger *

Stanley Miller

Mord Reuben *

Rose Dunn *

Julius Hyatt

Amelia Schmeidler *

Harry Docteroff *

Solomon Horowitz *

Ruth Applebaum

Joseph Klauber *

Alvin Myron Mulnick

And we remember from the Holocaust:

Shlomo Feiger

Jacques Marti

Levie Messcher

Kutiel Asher

Jan Pazdera

January 20, 2023

Robert Koren *

Michael Pisetzner

May G Stein *

Paula Brandt *

Daniel Lewin *

Florence Lustig *

Barry Lee

Joseph Stern *

Eileen Carlton *

Anna Dichter *

Minnie Wolff

Louis Wolinitz

Marie Rosati Checchi

Joan Kass *

Rose Roth *

Nathan Sappin *

Edythe Kadin *

Mitchell R. Stein *

Bernice Hanibal

Melvin Sher *

And we remember from the Holocaust:

Robert Lindeman

Yitzhak Gliksman

Elisabeth Jaraczewski

David Plaxat

Eita Zylbersztajn

January 27 2023

Jack Freedman

Louis Kunofsky

Sam Lauter *

Sam Tannenbaum

Sarah Tatt

Molly Rosenbaum

Morris Taub *

Roy Dumont

Jerome Fishman

Abe Outman

Nettie Barnet *

Martha Dickar *

Beatrice Litkofsky

Arthur Lomazow

Sophie Mulnick

Joseph Pollak *

Ester Weis

Hedy Schwartz *

Sandy Slamow *

Raisa Borodova

And we remember from the Holocaust:

Wolf Rüttel

Jakow Barsukow

Gertrud Rothenberg

Jacow Lazar

René Leherpeux

* These names are on our Memorial Wall.

Erev Shabbat Services

Friday, January 6

Celebration of January

Birthdays & Anniversaries



Service at 7:00 p.m.

In Person and

via Live-Stream

(link to be sent via e-mail)




Friday, January 13

Service at 7:30 p.m.


In Person and

via Live-Stream

(link to be sent via e-mail)


Friday, January 20


5:30 p.m.


Service at 7:30 p.m.


In Person and

via Live-Stream

(link to be sent via e-mail)


Friday, January 27

Service at 7:30 p.m.

In Person and

via Live-Stream

(link to be sent via e-mail)

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

Click here to come join Saturday Morning Torah Study and Shabbat Zoom Services!


The Advance Payment Program allows members to pay in advance for Friday night program ads. Members usually deposit $100 (or less in some cases) and when an ad is placed, $5 is deducted. When the balance gets low (usually to about $10) an e-mail is sent reminding the member that they should consider adding money to their account. 

You may, if you wish, pay in advance for Friday night program announcements. For more details contact the Temple office or contact Deanna Feder dfeder19@aol.com to set up an account. 

We hope all had a wonderful holiday season observing Hanukkah with lots of light and a secular New Year with both good health and happiness for 2023.  It is amazing all the different ways we were able to celebrate Hanukkah here at Temple:   the Sisterhood sponsored Holiday Fair, Hanukkah/Pajamika and Hanukkah/New Member Dinner, the Erev Shabbat Hanukkah Service with Rabbi Howald, Cantor Bernstein and the Adult and Junior Choirs and the School Chanukah Party.  There were certainly many opportunities.

Earlier in the month of December through the efforts of many we had a participatory Erev Shabbat Torah Service.  Thank you to Jerry Gross and Jodi Siegel for the flyer inviting participants, Nina Rohan for being the point person for volunteers, Rabbi for his assistance and guidance and Jerry Gross for developing cues and distributing them to all participants. The Service was led by Rabbi Howald and Jim Rohan, Chad Rachman read Torah, Libby Gershansky gave the D’Var Torah, Ira Gershansky did the Aliyah.  Other particpants were Jane Adler, Joseph Aronson, Ellen Birch, Bryn Biren, Deborah Chernoff, Deanna Feder, Miriam Friend, Karen Gross, Kevin Lipsitz, Beverly Mazer, Blanche Ricci, Pamela Rogozin, Inez Singer and Remy Smith. Our thanks to all who participated in the Service.  

This month we anticipate hearing Temple Israel Bar Mitzvah and Confirmand Phineas Larson read Torah at the Erev Shabbat Service of January 13th.   And on Friday January 20th the Erev Shabbat Service will be a Scout Shabbat.   There will be the baby naming of Diana Evelyn Kolesar, daughter of Shannen and Jordan Kolesar, granddaughter of Pamela and Michael Rogozin during the Erev Shabbat Service of January 27th during which we also are trying to schedule a guest speaker.

Finally, as we continue to thank Jim Rohan for his musical leadership at Erev Shabbat Services when Cantor Bernstein is not here and Jaimie Blackman and Dr. Ken Pickover for their musical accompaniment at Saturday morning Shabbat Services on Zoom whenever they are available, we need to add a thank you to Sim Lenner who has been providing music at our Sunday morning school Service, sometimes with Cantor Bernstein, sometimes with Jim Rohan and sometimes on her own.   Thank you, Sim.

Please look to your e-mails, messages, Temple Israel’s News and Notes, our Facebook Page and this E-Shalom Bulletin for any additional information that becomes available.

Linda Brill, Jerry Gross Nina Rohan



Thank you to the following congregants for their assistance with ushering during services as well as for honoring the Congregation with their presence on the Bimah in December:

Bryn Biren, Marnie Blit, Jeffrey Chason, Susie Goldstein, Maurice Goldstein, Deanna Feder, Barbara Fried, Jerry Gross, Cheryl Levine, Richard Marlieb, Beverly Mazer, Sandy Mazzucco, Felicia Otto,

Jackie Rabinowitz, Blanche Ricci, Judy Scher and Anna Wu 

Nina Rohan

Ushering Chair

Happy New Year to all! We wrapped up 2022 with our Religious School's 1st Annual Hanukkah Party and these pictures speak for themselves. Our kids had a blast dancing to Hanukkah music, playing games, having their faces painted, enjoying balloon artistry and having a visit from our life size dancing Dreidel! 

This month is our last Family Shabbat Service in our Fall Semester Incentive program and all students who attended at least one Shabbat Service October-January will receive a gift card from the Parents' Committee this month. Helping to fund this initiative were two fundraisers taking place the past two months: our Dine In at Jimmy Max and our Fun Pasta Fundraiser. We brought in a combined total of over $800. Thank you to all congregants who participated in our fundraisers. 

Our January Family Shabbat Service takes place at 7:00pm on Friday, January 6th and religious school resumes after a mid-winter break on Sunday, january 8th at 9:30am. 

Be well!


Sisterhood hopes that you enjoyed Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, with your family, friends, and Temple Israel.  

December has been a very busy and enjoyable month. It started with a bang with Sisterhood’s Annual Holiday Fair on December 4.  A huge thank you to Blanche Ricci and Deanna Feder who very skillfully headed this event as they have done for many years!  Many tables laden with goods for sale surrounded the social hall as the fair had quite a delightful selection of gifts.   There were Chanukah menorahs, Karen Gamoran’s Mary Kay beauty products, storybooks with accompanying furry stuffed animals, Bryn Biren’s handmade jewelry, Judaica items, coloring cloths with magic markers, and an array of children’s Chanukah toys. There was even Chanukah gelt.   Nina Rohan and Shari Stein-Ballow were busy wrapping the purchases for those who requested it.  A big thank you for all those who manned tables, took payment, set up the day before and/or on the morning of the fair.  There were: Karen Gross, Karen Gamoran, Linda Hannibal, Jodi Siegel, Rachel Hannibal, Silvia Gornstein, Inez Singer, Pamela Rogozin, Deanna Feder, Debbie Chernoff, Libby Gershansky, Anita Zuckerberg, Judy Pessah, Nina Rohan, Fern Barris, Judy Lee, Shari Stein-Ballow, Deborah Levine, Larry Hannibal, and the Magnus Family.  Please excuse us if we neglected to list you.

Sisterhood took a trip to Paris!  On December 13, through a joint effort by our Programing VP Judy Pessah and Cheryl Levine’s Adult Education Program, we were transported to Paris and its highlights on Zoom.  It was a spectacular presentation; an hour and a half well spent.   

For Sisterhood’s Chanukah New Member Dinner/Chanukah Pajamakah event on December 16, Pamela Rogozin shopped, cooked. and presented all the delicious and tasty traditional holiday foods that guests at a Chanukah dinner enjoy most.  All their favorite foods (roast chicken, brisket, potato pancakes, etc.) were gobbled up by our appreciative guests.  

Judy Lee could be seen everywhere at the Chanukah Dinner.  She helped set up the day before the dinner, served, arranged tables, was a troubleshooter, and helped our guests enjoy the experience. 

We had other helpers who assisted, and we thank them immensely.  Among those helpers were:  Rian Silverman, Jackie Rabinowitz, Rochelle Maltz, Anna Wu, Fern Barris, Blanche Ricci, Shari Stein-Ballow, Susan Marks, Pam Carlton. Susie Goldstein, Sandy Feurerstein, Claire Guttsman, Cheryl Levine, Sandy Mazzucco, and Sue Friedman. Thank you so much for lending a hand!  It was very much appreciated.

Jodi Siegel entertained the children with games and prizes and snapped photos of the children and guests enjoying the activities. Many children and some adults dressed in Chanukah-themed pajamas which was great fun.   Jodi made the Chanukah Pajamakah such an entertaining and festive event, especially for the children. Thank you also to Jodi Siegel who did a fabulous job ordering, arranging, and presenting the many delicious oneg desserts to be enjoyed by our guests.   

To make the evening even more complete, the children’s and adult choirs, led by Cantor Bernstein, performed for the congregation during the service.  What angelic voices we were treated to!

Thank you, Rabbi Howald for the lovely service and sermon you conducted for our Sabbath and upcoming Chanukah celebration.  

We hope our new members and their families felt the warmth and welcoming spirit of Temple Israel since we wanted this to be a pleasant experience.  

Thank you ALL for attending and adding to the evening. You helped make the dinner a great success!            

In 2023 we look forward to more exciting events.  A Sisterhood General Meeting will be held on January 22.   Shari Stein-Ballow and Programing have arranged some fascinating programs for the next few months. Our Annual Sampled Sale will take place in IN PERSON this year. Please join us on February 11th for a fun evening of great bargains, food and friendship. If you have items to donate, please contact Jodi Siegel.

On February 12, a Joint Sisterhood/Brotherhood Meeting will be held in the morning, followed by a Congregational meeting in the afternoon.   Sisterhood is presenting a huge Bingo/Raffle Night and Sample Sale on March 18.  Join us and help plan more enjoyable events. 

We look forward to working with you in the coming months. 

Best wishes to you as 2022 has ended and we welcome 2023!

Respectfully submitted,

Anita Zuckerberg, Pam Rogozin, Judy Lee

Sisterhood Co-Presidents 

Brotherhood at Temple Israel continues….

Happy New Year!

Thanks to all of our congregants who participated in our annual Hanukkah Greeting Card with artwork generously provided by JD Lee. (We again apologize to the Ganz and Straniere Families for the omission of their names from the listing of supporters.)

Your support of this effort will help us to sponsor holiday related activities for our children.  

We hope that you enjoyed a bright and shining Hanukkah holiday with family and friends.  We look to greeting you at future Brotherhood events.

Alan Siegel and Bob Zuckerberg

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. 


We had a Membership Meeting on December 15, 2022.

Sandy attended the URJ Presidents Group on Zoom on November 30th. A variety of different dues structures from the various Temples was discussed. It was noted that many of the Temples are having the same difficulties regarding membership and seniors affording dues, etc. One temple mentioned that they have started a young member Advisory council for to learn more about what young families feel are important to Temple life. Sandy felt the meeting validated that all Temples across the country are having similar issues.

Sandy and Claire met with Rabbi Howald on Zoom regarding inviting the director of the Pride Center to come and speak at our Temple. Rabbi said that he had a discussion with her and she would do a presentation for the Temple. Rabbi indicated that we could possibly do a Friday night program with Carole as a guest at the Shabbat service. Everyone felt that that was a good way to go rather than having a special lecture during an evening, etc. We discussed that we were not sure how to get the word out that our Temple is welcoming to Pride members and possibly using our Temple Facebook page, etc. where we could make posts. Claire and Sandy will again meet with Rabbi Howald about setting up a date for Carole to come to Temple.

Membership is thinking about asking Rabbi Kalmikoff to do a program in March blending young and seasoned families for an intergenerational event. Rabbi Kalmikoff did a program sponsored by the Avis Foundation last month which was inspiring.

The committee is also thinking about scheduling a zoom shabbat dinner possible in February. 

Sandy Mazzucco

Claire Guttsman

2.Select "Change Your Charity"
3.Type in “Temple Israel Reform 4.Congregation of Staten Island"
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Temple Israel benefits!

The Caring Community offered assistance for the shiva at the home of Jodi Siegel for her beloved aunt, Anna Janatofsky and set up and served at the shiva at the home of Barbara Fried for her beloved sister, Brenda Renae Cluna. The committee also acknowledged the loss of Andrea Simon's brother, Jay Wolodiger in Florida. Dinner was sent to the Gross Family as they mourned the loss of Jerry's brother, Harold Gross. May the families find comfort among the mourners in Zion and Jerusalem and may their memory be for blessing.

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 Judaica Shop items this month:

Contact Blanche Ricci at branchtr.ricci@gmail.com

if you are interested in any Judaica Shop items.

Bryn Biren
Terry Baver
Avis Foundation Trustees

The mission of the Dr. Ronald Avis Foundation for Temple Israel Reform Congregation is:

…. to provide financial support for young families seeking membership in Temple Israel, and to attract new young families by providing learning opportunities, family programming, and social justice initiatives.


January is an interesting month: cold and often isolating. So it is a very good time to attend services with your children and stay connected to our community.

On January 22nd we are having a Challah making event for our children. That will be a wonderful experience and we hope many of you are planning to come. Reach out to Felicia or Terry if you want to attend.

Also, keep the date, February 4th open…We are having an evening with our young children at the Staten Island Children’s Museum. 5:30-7:30. Including dinner!!!

Our Family Shabbat is January 6th. We hope many of you plan to come. 

Tot Shabbat will take place January 20th. It is a wonderful experience for the little ones and we hope many of you attend. You can also invite any families who are not temple members. They are welcome to join us. You can also invite them to our Family Shabbat on the 6th and to the Staten Island Children’s Museum. 

We always need everyone’s help in building our congregation and bringing in new families. And we always need all members to find something to volunteer for that they are most interested in. 


Bryn Biren and Terry Baver

Many thanks to Judy Scher for her discussions on our experiences “After the Pandemic”, and a clarification of our knowledge of the observed “Differences Between Generations. Our attendees at the second gathering were mainly “Baby Boomers”, with one, not to be named, belonging to the earlier “ Silent Generation”!

On December 11, we virtually returned once again to “Gay Paree”, led by our delightful Parisian guide, Karen Reb Rudman! We co-sponsored this program with Sisterhood. And by the end, many of us were dreaming of a possible visit in reality!

Looking Ahead—

Our next Book Club Meeting will be on Thursday, January 5 at 7:30 on Zoom. We will be reading “The Matchmaker’s gift by Linda Cohen Loigman. This is a story of the spanning of the generations. It tells of a woman who is a Matchmaker in the 1920’s and that of her granddaughter, a divorce attorney, living in present day New York. The discussion will be led by Cheryl Levine. Please contact Cheryl for more information, Cherylmlevine@gmail.com.

We are excited to present, on Wednesday evenings, February 8th and 15th, at 7:30 PM, a two part presentation on the “Jewish Catskills” by premier tour guide, Justin Ferate. He has won several NYS Tour Guide awards. Please join us! To reserve a spot, please contact Cheryl, at Cherylmlevine@gmail.com.

What would you like to learn about Judaism and it’s liturgy? What would you like to know about the History of the world’s varied religions? We have been brainstorming some ways to answer your questions, so let us know what you are curious about.

Cheryl Levine and Judith Pessah

Adult Learning Committee Co-Chairpersons

Please join the FUNdraising committee for our First Annual Games Extravaganza on January 21, 2022. Doors open 7:15pm.
Join us for a fun filled night, laughter guaranteed! Bring a team or join a team. Challenge your Temple Israel family. Enjoy some tasty snacks. Bring your own bottle (BYOB).
$20 per person pre-paid (preferred).
See our new flyer below.
Make your check payable to Temple Israel (Write fundraising at the foot of the check) and please mail to:
  Rhonda Trontz- Allen
660 Bard Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10310

Questions? contact
Lissa        917-846-5454
Rhonda    Rhondata61@yahoo.com
Karen       kefreygamoran@aol.com
Thank you for your support!

Respectfully submitted,

Rhonda Trontz-Allen,

Karen Frey-Gamoran,

Lissa Winchel


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...

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