The Voice of the
Pelham Jewish Center
January 2023/Tevet-Shevat 5783
In This Issue
Leadership Messages

Rabbi Benjamin Resnick

Education Director
Ana Turkienicz

Steve Martin

HaKol Editor
Barbara Saunders-Adams

Congregant News
& Donations

Book Notes
Barbara Saunders-Adams

Challah Days and Latkes
Marjut Herzog

Finding Peace on a Train
Jordan Salama

Food For Thought

Share a Simcha

Tributes & Donations

Rabbi Benjamin Resnick
Dear Friends,
As many of you know, I am pretty passionate about the Chicago Cubs, which I have been for the better part of my 39 years on this earth. As a young child, I remember being a somewhat ambidextrous baseball fan. There was a time, growing up in Chicago, when I rooted for both the Cubs and White Sox in equal measure. And at one point, because my grandparents lived in Florida, I started following the Marlins. But once my love affair with the Cubs really took hold (probably around my bar mitzvah) I never looked back. Ever since, I have remained loyal through many changes in my life, through many cities and many seasons, through some periods of exaltation and through some dark nights of soul. And now, even though I love New York City deeply–and even as I have prided myself on being a New Yorker for my entire adult life–I still find myself unable to care much about the Mets or the Yankees. 

Why? As Jerry Seinfeld has observed, loyalty to a single team is inherently somewhat absurd. As players change and as the years roll on, we find that we are basically rooting for the clothes. But still it is difficult to move on from the fascinations of our youth, and those of us whose imaginations are captured by sports enjoy a kind of atavistic thrill when we cheer on the teams of our childhood. We situate ourselves in an unfolding story, which has through-lines even as the characters change through the years. And we return to a sense of home and hearth, the abiding comfort of the tribe, decked in our colors and our sacred symbols and embraced by our rituals. So at Wrigley, as all Cubs fans know, the cheering starts after “the land of the free” and not following “the home of the brave.” This is not the case at all ballparks, at least not in my experience, and there is a great comfort whenever I am able to make it back to the Friendly Confines to hear those cheers, which decorate the finale of the anthem with a kind of percussive energy, just as there is great comfort when I walk into shul and sing a tune that I know and love. Tribalism is a powerful thing. And it can be a wonderful thing, a comfort and source of strength. 

It is also something that should be, from time to time, interrogated, and this happens in a truly fascinating way in the early narratives about Moshe. Consider the following, which we read this past week (Shemot 2:11-13):
וַיְהִ֣י ׀ בַּיָּמִ֣ים הָהֵ֗ם וַיִּגְדַּ֤ל מֹשֶׁה֙ וַיֵּצֵ֣א אֶל־אֶחָ֔יו וַיַּ֖רְא בְּסִבְלֹתָ֑ם וַיַּרְא֙ אִ֣ישׁ מִצְרִ֔י מַכֶּ֥ה אִישׁ־עִבְרִ֖י מֵאֶחָֽיו׃ 
Some time after that, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his kinsmen and witnessed their sufferings. He saw an Egyptian man [ish mitzri] beating a Hebrew man [ish ivri], from among his kinsmen.
וַיִּ֤פֶן כֹּה֙ וָכֹ֔ה וַיַּ֖רְא כִּ֣י אֵ֣ין אִ֑ישׁ וַיַּךְ֙ אֶת־הַמִּצְרִ֔י וַֽיִּטְמְנֵ֖הוּ בַּחֽוֹל 
He turned this way and that and, seeing no man [ish], he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
וַיֵּצֵא֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשֵּׁנִ֔י וְהִנֵּ֛ה שְׁנֵֽי־אֲנָשִׁ֥ים עִבְרִ֖ים נִצִּ֑ים וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ לָֽרָשָׁ֔ע לָ֥מָּה תַכֶּ֖ה רֵעֶֽךָ׃ 
When he went out the next day, he found two Hebrew men [anashim] fighting; so he said to the offender, “Why do you beat your fellow?”

This text–which tells a very famous story and marks a pivotal moment in the myth of our people–introduces a number of fascinating ambiguities. 

First, who are Moshe’s kinsmen? We the readers know that Moshe is, of course, a Hebrew, but does Moshe know that? Ibn Ezra, an important medieval commentator, thinks the answer is no and he says explicitly that Moshe, the prince of Egypt, is going out to see his Egyptian brothers. He then says, rather audaciously, that the referent of the word kinsmen changes mid-verse, which may in fact be the most accurate reading. In the first instance it refers to the Egyptians but in the second, after Moshe has witnessed their barbarous treatment of the Hebrew slave, it refers to the Hebrews.

Another ambiguity is the use of the word ish (man), which appears and vanishes mysteriously throughout the verses and which is superfluous every time, as
R. Jonathan Magonet keenly observes in an article that explores this episode in depth and to which my analysis here owes a great debt. In Hebrew, which has gendered suffixes, one need not say “ish mitzri”–an “Egyptian man.” One may simply say “mitzri” without sacrificing any semantic meaning. 

Finally–and this also is related to the use of the word ish–why exactly is Moshe looking around? Ostensibly he is checking to see if anyone will witness him killing the Egyptian–and indeed some later aspects of the story do bear this interpretation out–but on a basic level this strains credulity. After all, the entire episode takes place in public at a major worksite. Of course there are other people around. Yet still, following a verse that introduces an “Egyptian man” and a “Hebrew man,” we are told that Moshe looks around and sees no man. The phenomenon of the vanishing ish is repeated in the very next verse, in which Moshe sees two Hebrew men fighting. Yet when Moshe interrogates the guilty party, the text simply refers to “the offender” or perhaps “the wicked one” but not “the offending man.”

Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin, the head of the famed Volozhin Yeshiva in the 19th century, brings all these swirling ambiguities into focus by suggesting that when he was looking this way and that Moshe was in fact searching out an Egyptian magistrate who would take action against the taskmaster for beating a slave without cause. Finding no one, he was forced to act himself. And when the text says Moshe saw no man we are meant to understand that Moshe found no one to stand up for justice. He saw plenty of men, but no mensch and so, says Rav Berlin in his commentary, Moshe had to be the mensch

What is crucial about this moment–and here I will return to my reflection about being a Cubs fan-is that it is at once an absurd and a powerful aspect of my identity. Moshe’s transformation from a Prince of Egypt into a mensch does not involve him unambiguously embracing his Hebrew identity. After all, he is as quick to point out the injustice of the Hebrew “offender” as he is the injustice of the Egyptian taskmaster. Rather, the text positions Moshe as standing between these identities and, in some sense, transcending them for the sake of what is right. And while my loyalty to the Cubs is (I think) a rather harmless and, for me, enriching embrace of tribalism, this episode in Moshe’s life makes me aware that there are other forms of tribalism in my life which may not be so simple and which may not be so positive. And, it is not one that remains entirely unchallenged, as my youngest son, a New Yorker like me, is already rooting for the Mets. What will happen, I wonder, when one day my absurd happiness when the Cubs win comes into conflict with his? The stakes of this particular example are low, but the emotions involved are, as any sports fan will tell you, real and important.

Loyalty is, of course, a fine quality. “All Jews,” as the Talmud famously says, “are a surety for one another.” We should be loyal to our fellow Jews and we should try to love them, even when they are difficult to love. And yet we must also remain aware that there are other orders of reality–the deep, divine call of justice–that commands us and requires us to act, even when we might prefer not to. It is not easy to stand up to an enemy. It is a hundred times more difficult to stand up to those who are on our team. But the Torah asks us to do both. 

R. Benjamin Resnick
Martin Luther King Day, 2023

Education Director
Ana Turkienicz

Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, picked up a hand-drum, and all the women went out after her to dance with hand-drums. And Miriam chanted for them: Sing to the LORD, for He has triumphed gloriously; Horse and driver He has hurled into the sea. [Exodus 15:20–21]

On January 9, 2011, the New York Times Music section published very sad news: “Debbie Friedman, Singer of Jewish Music, Dies at 59” . On that day, the American Jewish Community lost their new biblical “Miriam”, the one who brought prayers and blessings closer to our hearts and minds through the magic combination of Jewish tradition, American Folk, and wise weaving of words into catchy and moving melodies. One small example of Debbie Friedman’s exceptional mind, is a song that became a staple in our Passover Seders, the “Miriam song”: “Miriam was a weaver of unique variety/ The tapestry she wove was one which sang our history./ With every strand and every thread she crafted her delight!/ A woman touched with spirit, she dances toward the light".

Through Debbie Friedman’s interpretation of the exodus story, we realize how Miriam the prophetess and her friends, the women of the Exodus, crafted and packed their timbrels with the hope that one day they will get to sound them loud and clear, when their people will be able to celebrate their freedom.

I remember the first time I heard “Miriam’s Song” - in a Women’s Seder in Westchester. Debbie Friedman’s song, among many others, evoked the role of women, music, poetry and dancing, not only in the biblical Exodus story, but in our times, when women around the world lead the fight for freedom, peace, equality and so much more. The perfection and mastery with which Debbie Friedman “weaves” the biblical story with motifs that speak to the hearts of women of all ages is an inspiration for modern struggles. I feel so blessed for having had the privilege to hear it from Debbie herself, and feel her sweet and charismatic connection with everyone around her.

At the Learning Center, our 3rd through 6th grade students learned about the life and the legacy of Debbie Friedman from Naomi Birutti, one of our B-Mitzvah students. On Tuesday, Jan 10, 2023, just one day and 12 years after the passing of Debbie Friedman, Naomi presented to the LC about Debbie’s life story and songs. This presentation was one of our B-Mitzvah requirements for Naomi to receive the “Tefilah Badge” out of the Seven Badges she will receive by the end of the year. In this innovative program, which was piloted last year, the “B- Mitzvah Journeys” curriculum is built around seven different branches of Judaism: Tefilah (Prayer) - The Debbie Friedman Badge; Shabbat - The Heschel Badge; Hessed (Kindness) - The Henrietta Szold Badge; Israel/Peoplehood - The Herzl Badge; Hebrew/Modern Hebrew - The Ben-Yehuda Badge; and Jewish life - The Rambam Badge.

Debbie Friedman was chosen to be our “Tefilah Badge” representative for her awe-inspiring music. Her songs, such as the Havdalah melody, Mi Shebeirach, Lechi Lach, Hashkiveinu, S'fatai Tiftach, and many more, are a source of inspiration, hope and solace in times of difficulty, and have been embraced by different denominations of Judaism. Friedman’s influence in the Jewish music world has been immense, and her songs are used in prayer and moments of reflection. Her music has become a part of the spiritual fabric of modern Judaism, bringing together the spiritual, the secular, and the mystical.

The emotions of awe and wonder in Debbie Friedman’s songs are integral to Judaism. As we learn from the biblical Miriam, Judaism encourages us to experience awe on a regular basis, through prayer and study, as well as in everyday life. Debbie Friedman’s music has helped us engage with prayer with a sense of awe. Her music is an important part of our spiritual experience during Tefillah (prayer), and speaks to the joys and sorrows of the Jewish people.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, the “Shabbat Badge” in the BMitzvah curriculum, and one of the most influential Jewish theologians of the 20th century, taught that awe is essential to a healthy spiritual life. He wrote, "awe is the beginning of religion" and taught us that it is necessary to cultivate a sense of awe in order to appreciate the grandeur of the universe and the mystery of life. Heschel argued that awe could help us to develop a sense of humility and wonder before the Divine, and that it could lead us to a deeper understanding of our relationships with each other and the world. He believed that awe was a key component of spiritual growth, and that it could lead to a renewal of faith and a transformation of the soul. 

In his book “G-d in Search of Man”, Heschel writes, “The meaning of awe is to realize that life takes place under wide horizons, horizons that range beyond the span of an individual life or even the life of a nation, a generation, or an era. Awe enables us to perceive in the world intimations of the Divine, to sense in small things the beginning of infinite significance, to sense the ultimate in the common and the simple; to feel in the rush of the passing the stillness of the eternal.”

We were in awe of Naomi’s awe-some presentation about Debbie Friedman z”l and can’t wait to learn from her about Heschel, as well as other Jewish inspiring characters as she continues her quest for the 7 badges in her Journey towards becoming a Bat-Mitzvah. Yasher Koach to Naomi Birutti for achieving her first B-Mitzvah badge! And thank you to her teachers for helping her achieve this moment!

President Steve Martin

Dear Friends,
Happy New Year! I hope you were able to get some down time over the holidays and enjoy time with your loved ones. As we begin the New Year, I wanted to give you a quick update on a few key issues at the PJC.

We continue to thrive. The Hanukkah party was a major success. Adult education has resumed with strong attendance for the Rabbi’s teachings about Hasidism. The Learning Center was out in force for the First Friday of the New Year. Services continue to be rich and meaningful. Book Group, Women’s Group, an upcoming Blood Drive and support for refugees are just a few of our ongoing activities. Continued thanks to Rabbi Resnick, Ana, Adam and Melainie for providing the backbone for our success.

The PJC Board and Rabbi Resnick have agreed to enter contract negotiations to renew the Rabbi’s contract. If you have questions, comments or concerns about the contract please contact me, or any board member.

As we enter 2023, our community should be aware that we have already begun careful discussions about our budget. During the course of the last few years, we have developed a structural deficit in the range of 5%. The hard work of Mitch Cepler and colleagues has allowed us to maintain the integrity of our budget by successfully receiving COVID relief grant funds. We have again received a grant for the 2022-2023 budget year that should allow us, together with collections of our accounts receivable, to end the year even. However, there is no reason to anticipate that we will be able to attract grant funds in the future. In addition, the PJC is not immune from the rising costs associate with inflation. Therefore, we are working hard at identifying opportunities to increase revenues and decrease costs for our 2023-2034 budget.

If you have suggestions about ways to improve income or decrease expenses, please contact me or any PJC Board member. We have a strong balance sheet and have already identified practical opportunities, and therefore we are confident in our ability to manage this deficit, just as we have done many times.


HaKol Editor
Barbara Saunders-Adams
Dear Friends,

On December 31, I attended a Shabbat service at the PJC for my Mother's yahrzeit. It felt like I had come home. I was greeted cordially. The chanting and singing were uplifting. I was given an aliyah and asked to gabbai. Rabbi Resnick's poem and d'rash were memorable and thought-provoking. Like Joseph and Judah, it is important to look for the 'good' in each other letting go of past injustices. It was moving to share the Shabbat service with caring friends like Marjut Herzog, Jeremy Schulman,
Dina Shargel and Mike Dvorkin. Afterwards, Sam and I had a lovely lunch with Andrea Prigot & Haig Hovaness. This is what the Shabbat experience is all about. Although I now live an hour and a half away in New Paltz, the Pelham Jewish Center is dear to me. I look forward to many more shared experiences with my PJC friends.

I wish you a happy, healthy and fulfilling 2023!

Book Notes

The Man Who Sold Air in the
Holy Land
by Omer Friedlander

Omer Friedlander notes in his acknowledgements that "The power of a good story is that it does not protect us but instead exposes us and brings us into closer contact with our own lives." He quotes the Israeli writer David Grossman saying, "Every one of us has a kind of official story that we present to others... But if we are lucky enough to find a good listener, a sympathetic witness, then they will make us tell not only our official story but the story underneath it".

Friedlander is a sympathetic listener to his characters. They come alive in the unique circumstances in which he develops them. His evocative descriptions of place transport the reader to his native Israel. In "Jaffa Oranges" the reader can smell, taste and feel the sensuous orange groves. The confrontation-evasion between an elderly Zionist and the granddaughter of a former Palestinian orange grove owner provides insight into the "dispute" that continues to the present day.

In "Checkpoint", a grieving, human rights activist has lost her son in Gaza to friendly fire. Filming at a checkpoint to protect Palestinian dignity, she is vilified and stalked by a religious Zionist settler for abetting the enemy. She is rescued by a young IDF officer to whom she reveals the emotional turmoil surrounding her son's death.

A divorced con artist and his daughter sell empty bottles of "holy air" to credulous Jerusalem tourists in the title story, "The Man Who Sold Air in the Holy Land". The mixture of humor and pathos in this story is heartbreaking.

"Sand Collector" features an introverted teenage girl who falls in love with a Bedouin thief. And, in "High Heels" the escape of climbing Tel Aviv towers and steel cranes keeps the reader hanging on edge.

Omer Friedlander's characters reveal themselves in these eleven taut short stories. The stories expose the dark underbelly of Israeli life as a Millenial imagines it. The reader is aware that she/he is in the hands of a master storyteller. It is hard to believe that this spell is being cast by a debut writer in his twenties. Friedlander's plots are imaginative. "The Man Who Sold Air in the Holy Land" gives you an unforgettable taste of Israel.
Challah Days & Latkes

Hanukkah was a beautiful evening with over 80 people attending. There were latkes, French fries, desserts and donuts and more -- all provided by member families. We even had a delicious Signature Drink mixed by Sam Temes. Kids spun dreidels, built Lego temples and menorahs, played world cup level mini foosball, made arts & crafts and participated in a "game show" with Rabbi Resnick. The highlight of the evening was Music by Zev Haber, our own former member who delighted the attendees with a great mix of tunes. What a Night!

First Fridays
Our three First Fridays have been a wonderful way to end the week, take a breath, get recharged with lovely melodies and prayer and eat delicious dinner and dessert. Each month we have over 50 people in attendance, and this past week of the 65, attending 25 were kids! There was a special program for young families before the regular service, with pizza and salad, cookies and fruit. We put out Legos last week and some families came into the service for part of the time, some for the whole service, some enjoyed a Shabbat feeling of relaxation, not cooking and just schmoozing, and all were enriched by time just being together. Those who came to service and stayed had a full Shabbat dinner and were treated to a surprise of delicious custard (ice cream) provided by member
Michael Weissman of Mikey Dubbs Custard and more from New Rochelle.

Hope to see you in February


Finding Peace on a Train
Jordan Salama

Jordan Salama, a LC alumnus, rides the rails from New York to San Francisco discovering breathtaking landscapes and fascinating fellow passengers along the way.

In Iowa, I had dinner with an elderly woman who introduced herself only as “Mrs. Alvarez.” The train was rocking from side-to-side as it shot forward in the darkness, and she almost lost her balance when she sat down across from me at our booth. Mrs. Alvarez was short and stout, with curly grey hair cut in a bob. She wore a dark dress with large, round buttons.

“Would I offend you if I said grace?” Mrs. Alvarez asked me. “I believe in God, but I wouldn’t want to impose Him upon anybody else.” “Not at all, please go ahead,” I replied, bowing my head as Mrs. Alvarez recited her blessings. When you’re travelling alone on the California Zephyr, the two-and-a-half-day Amtrak train from Chicago to San Francisco, you take your blessings as they come.

Only recently, Amtrak had brought back what it calls “traditional dining” on some long-distance trains, serving passengers in the dining car on white linen tablecloths with silverware, china, and blue napkins emblazoned with the logo of the railroad. The attendants paired travelers for meals at random—blind dates for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—and you just had to hope you’d get along. I ate lunch one afternoon in Colorado with a former touring drummer for the band Santana, and had French toast for breakfast in the Utah desert with a couple from South Dakota. In the Sierras, I dined with a cable salesman for Spectrum communications.

But none of these people were quite like Mrs. Alvarez. She had a precise, matter-of-fact way of speaking that I found to be very comforting. After she finished saying grace, the first thing Mrs. Alvarez asked me was if I’d had a chance to smell the flowers. She gestured to a tall vase of pink roses on our table. I hadn’t noticed it; I was so busy looking out the window at the land going by. “They are quite beautiful.” Mrs. Alvarez continued, focused, now holding the vase up to her nose. “You wouldn’t expect to see roses this nice on the table of a train.”

I asked her, in turn, if she was enjoying the ride. “Oh, extremely,” she said. “I don’t need much to be happy. I pack a simple lunch. I always carry a book.” She didn’t use her cell phone. “I turn it on when I want my children to know where I am. Otherwise, I don’t want to be bothered by it.” She paused and lowered her voice. “I will be honest with you, I don’t quite know how to use it, either.”

On the California Zephyr, she was not missing much in this respect. There was no Wi-Fi on the train, and hardly any decent cell phone reception along its route, which runs through Illinois and Iowa, the plains of Nebraska, the Rocky Mountains, and the Utah and Nevada deserts before crossing the Sierra Nevada and descending towards the San Francisco Bay.

There wasn’t much to do but read, chat with the other passengers and look out the window. There were vast, empty deserts, formidable mesas, and fire-devastated forests. In the Rockies, the great Colorado River wound its way along much of our route, and river-rafters mooned the train as we passed them by. Mrs. Alvarez remarked that she had come on the connecting train from Boston and would disembark at Glenwood Springs. “I have a brother,” she said, by way of explanation. She preferred not to fly for a number of reasons, and since she was retired she had the time to make the roundtrip journey (nearly a full week of travel) on the rails.

“And what brings you here, Jordan?”

Part of the reason I’d decided to take a 72-hour train ride from New York to San Francisco was because I wanted to slow down. It had been another strange pandemic year, but very different from the last. Twenty-twenty one was marked by a kind of push-and-pull between isolation and freedom. In isolation, we continued to speak of a hopeful return to “normal,” even as we soon started to realize that there wouldn’t be much of anything “normal” about our lives anymore, at least not in the way we knew things to be before.

But after more than a year in quarantine, we’d also managed to convince ourselves that our lives before had been, in many ways, too fast-paced. There seemed to be great virtue in slowing down however we could—in re-evaluating our priorities and passions, and in promising to live more deliberately when “all of this” (waving our arms) was over.
Yet, somehow, we seemed collectively to abandon that concept as soon as there was even the slightest hint of renewed freedom. In certain parts of New York (the parts where people could afford it) the city seemed to roar back to life. Newspapers proclaimed the summer of 2021 to be the new “summer of love,” suggested a second-coming of the roaring 20s, and even heralded the potential beginnings of a new Renaissance. 

Twentysomethings like me poured out of East Village bars and restaurants every evening. After midnight, nearby Washington Square was so often crushed with throngs of revelers that wealthy residents in the towers around the park complained, setting up nightly melees with riot police, another round of eye-grabbing dystopia and must-see TV.
Suddenly the “summer of love” also became the summer of making plans: plans to see friends, to go on dates, to find apartments; plans to travel, plans to return to the office. Plans to make up for lost time. 

Of course, it all links back to one simple point: we will do anything not to be lonely. And especially when you are just starting to find your place in the world, the pressure simply not to feel alone can be almost overpowering in itself.

Because what was 2021 if not a year of tremendous, Great Gatsby-level loneliness? Drowning in empty plans of my own making, I realized that after many months of more time than I knew what to do with—and after many months of resolving to lead a life of greater slowness and stillness back in the world—I’d suddenly found myself in a race to “catch up” with myself. My time had become anything but my own.

I was anxious, tired and deeply lonely. I knew I needed to do something to get away from it all—something purely for myself, something that I knew no one else would ever agree to do with me .So there I was, heading west on a train across America. (This actually requires two trains: The first, the Lake Shore Limited, departs New York at 3:40 p.m. bound for Chicago, where a six-hour layover leaves just enough time for a brisk walk to Lake Michigan and to stock up on snacks before returning to board the California Zephyr 

I told all of this to Mrs. Alvarez, and she nodded in understanding. “I was one of the first female corrections officers in the history of the Florida prison system,” she said. 
Unwaveringly, she described more than four decades of counselling inmates, some of them on death row and others facing imminent release after many years locked away. In these moments so charged with emotion, from greatest renewal to deepest despair, people often shared what truly mattered most to them for the very first time in their lives. So she understood why, perhaps, we were still all trying to put things into perspective now.
“It is important to give some thought to your future,” Mrs. Alvarez said later, “but you can’t let the question of the future prevent you from taking this life day by day.”

The next morning in the Rocky Mountains, I was still thinking about what she’d said when a little girl, who looked around eight years old, ran panicked into the observation car, out of breath and in tears. “I’m lost,” the girl said, to no one in particular, in between choked sobs. “Can someone help me find my mom?”

There again appeared Mrs. Alvarez, who calmly took the girl by the hand and invited her to sit a while. Out the large windows, the sun gave light to golden aspens and deep evergreens in the tall hills.

“There, there,” she said, trying to explain to the girl that her mother had to be nearby, that everything would be all right, that at least on the train you didn’t have to worry about where you were going, even if it felt like you’d lost your way.

This article was first published in the July, 2022 issue of National Geographic.

Jordan Salama is a LC alumnus, writer and History Reporting Resident for National Geographic magazine. His first book, Every Day the River Changes, was published in 2021.

Food for Thought
And Then We Had
Natan Zach

And then we had a quiet evening and we were quiet
and then the storm subsided and we weren't stormy
and we knew it mattered not at all
whether we were right or wrong.

And then you took off your shoes and we were homey
and I opened the window and we were breezy,
first signs of spring stirred in the curtain,
and I, at least, stood at the window ruminating.

Because of what could have been and will never be
because of what I've done and keep doing still.
And a bird flew away in the night, leaving behind
not a clear sign, but a dark one.

And I feared the spirit of the times and an illusive kindness,
and I feared your delusions, and the heart feared its lies.
But everything dimmed everything and said its goodbyes.

And the night was magical and fragile and unbearably wondrous
and every limb in the body shouted, Not now, not now,
and I stood there not knowing the why and the how.
Share a Simcha
"Share a Simcha" allows congregants to share their news with our PJC community. Please submit news about family members -- engagements, births, job updates, kid achievements, community acknowledgements and any other milestones -- to the HaKol Editor, Barbara Saunders-Adams.

. Mazal Tov to Jessica & Cabell Brown on their birthday
. Mazal Tov to David Eliezer on his birthday
. Mazal Tov to Jennifer Gerber on her birthday
. Mazal Tov to Marjut Herzog on her birthday
. Mazal Tov to Deborah Korenstein on her birthday
. Mazal Tov to Sandra Goldman on her birthday
. Mazal Tov to Catherine Levene on her birthday
. Mazal Tov to Maurice Owen-Michaane on his birthday
. Mazal Tov to Stephanie Prager on her birthday
. Mazal Tov to Emma Schwartz on her 10th birthday, Naomi Schwartz on her 12th birthday and Gary Schwartz on his 8th birthday
. Mazal Tov to Rebecca Schwarz on her birthday
. Mazal Tov to Gary Trachten on his 70th Birthday!
Yom huledet sameachl!
. Mazal Tov to Sheldon & Gloria Horowitz on their 58th Anniversary

Simcha is a regular HaKol feature, so keep your news and updates coming!
Tributes & Donations
PJC Logo
Did you know you can make tributes and donations online? Click here to learn more.

Donations to the PJC from...

  • Ruby Vogelfanger - In Honor of Naomi and Marshall Jaffe
  • David Haft and Jacqueline Schachter In Memory of Abraham S. Haft
  • Alec Cecil and Diane Zultowsky
  • Kimberly Koeppel

Donations to the Rabbi's Discretionary Fund from...

  • Barbara Saunders-Adams In Memory of Charles and Selma Saunders

At any time, if you wish to pay by check, please make it payable to "The Pelham Jewish Center" and mail it to our bookkeeping firm at: The Pelham Jewish Center, P.O. Box 418, Montvale, NJ 07645.

All donations to the Rabbi's Discretionary Fund, at any time throughout the year, should be made payable to "The Pelham Jewish Center -- Rabbi's Discretionary Fund" and mailed directly to Melainie Williams at the PJC office. Thank you!