AUGUST | 2020
Looking forward to your membership renewal

We are so glad that so many of you have responded to the request to renew your membership with Beth Or, your Jewish home. You are the most important link in the sacred chain that connects Jews across the millennia and around the world. We hope you will explore the diversity of interesting opportunities we are preparing for High Holidays and beyond. To those few of you have yet to renew, please do so now. You can click on to join via the website or feel free to call the Temple office at 305-235-1419. The summer months, including membership renewal, helps us direct our planning for the rest of the year. Having our full compliment of members, makes our planning that much more successful.
Yizkor tributes deadline is August 16

2020 High Holy Days
Zichronam livracha, May their memories be for a blessing.
A Video Tribute

This year, our Beth Or Yizkor service will feature a multi-media video tribute that will include photos of our loved ones.  We plan to include the presentation in our Yom Kippur services and on our website.  We will create the presentation to enable sharing to friends and family. Because of this expanded Yizkor presentation, the August 16 deadline is very important so it can be properly assembled.

You need to fill out the form on the Yizkor page click here
For each family member or friend, you wish to remember, please submit the form with information filled out by August 16,2020. (There is no limit to the number of people you may honor, but each must be submitted separately.)
Reimagined High Holy Days
Journey of Discovery

With High Holidays approaching, amid the COVID pandemic, Rabbi Robyn has a brought together a group of dedicated congregants who have been working throughout the summer months to reimagine how to capture the awe and transformative powers of our High Holy Day services. Instead of just focusing on the services themselves, the services will cover a 40-day introspective, spiritual journey to prepare our hearts, minds and souls for self-discovery, teshuva and forgiveness. It will begin on the first of Elul (August 21) and continue through to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. There will be rich and diverse holiday-themed opportunities to explore prayer, meditation, Jewish text learning, music, the arts, Jewish foods and Jewish responses to social justice and contemporary challenges facing our world today.

This tiny taste of what’s ahead will give you an overview of what to expect.

Our Reimagined Journey of Discovery through the High Holy Days includes:

· Weekly Movie Nights & Discussion
· Weekly Book Review of “This is Real and You are Completely Unprepared” by Alan Lew
· Weekly “Memories from the Kitchen” sessions featuring cooking demonstrations and sweet reflections from holidays past
· Weekly Introspective meditations
· Jewish Text study and spiritual explorations
· High Holy Day musical review of traditional and contemporary melodies
· Creating your own Living Legacy with Merle Saferstein
· Specially curated Gallery of Light exhibitions and projects
· Social justice opportunities
· Full days of virtual programs on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to keep us connected as a community and inspired to transform our lives for the coming year.

Here is a specific example of one of the book
discussion opportunities:

Join Shep Faber and George Emerson for a weekly discussion of the best-selling book by Rabbi Alan Lew, “This is Real, and You are Completely Unprepared”. In this book, he leads the reader on a journey, from Tisha b’Av through the month of Elul to the Days of Awe, to help awaken and transform our souls in preparation for the High Holy Days. In the words of Rabbi Jack Riemer (author of “Finding God in Unexpected Places”): “Travel with Rabbi Lew on his journey through the High Holy Day season and you will learn much that will sustain you and that will nourish you and guide you, not only during the holiday season but all through the year and all through your life.”

Tuesdays, August 25, September 1,8, 15, and 22 via Zoom. 
You can order the book via Amazon or Walmart. Start reading now.

Members of the High Holiday committee include: Pat Barron, Shep Faber, Rob Berse, Janie Emerson, Sara Horowitz and Stan Bilsker.
Bring in the Holidays with Sweetness

Share the holidays with your loved ones near and far. We are offering baskets including home baked challahs, apples, and locally sourced wildflower honey for pick up and local delivery. If you wish to send holiday sweetness to others, we are also offering honey shipments to anywhere outside of our local delivery area.

There are a variety of ways you can purchase your holiday specialty items with a combination of pick-up and delivery options.

If you live locally and want to purchase a High Holiday basket including a home baked round challah, wildflower honey and apples, that basket is $36. If you want that same basket locally delivered, add another $18 for delivery. That total is $54. We will not be shipping challahs or apples outside of our local delivery area. If you want to purchase a jar of locally sourced wildflower honey and want to pick it up, each jar of honey is $18. If you want the honey delivered, add another $18 per jar.

The honey delivery is not limited to our local delivery area since it will be shipped by the USPS. All packages for local delivery and/or shipped will include a gift card and personal message.

All orders should be made through the Beth Or Temple office, 305-235-1419. All orders must be made by August 21st.

Local delivery means anything within a radius of 10 miles
of the temple.
Amy Lomaskin
an Unsung Beth Or Shero
It’s Friday night and services are about to begin. Like magic they start. Whether it’s during a pandemic, or meeting in person, the “magic” of getting services up and running, often happens before the call to worship. At Temple Beth Or that “magic” is often in the person of Amy Lomaskin.

A mere 5’ tall, don’t let Amy’s diminutive height fool you. She is often the magic behind many of the projects at Beth Or and is clearly one of the temple’s Unsung SHeros.

A former member of a couple of other synagogues but not terribly active, Amy immediately felt a different connection with Beth Or’s people and religious approach.

“In other places Mel and I rarely attended Friday night services and when we did we often kept checking our watches to leave,” Amy recalls. “It was different at Beth Or.”

Having attended some Beth Or High Holiday services at Signature Gardens, they had interacted with members and felt inherently they were “our kind of people.”

Members since 2011
Amy and Mel, joined Beth Or in 2011. “Everyone we meet at Beth Or is so genuine,” Amy said. “No one is showy and the congregants accept each other for who we are and not for insincere reasons.”

Amy’s emersion into Beth Or’s life extends from the simple to the sublime. She has no aversion to undertaking menial asks and larger ones as well.

Before the advent of the pandemic, Amy worked with office staff to set up for Friday night onegs. Since our switch to Zoom services, she and Mel supervise the display of the beautiful power point that accompanies Rabbi Robyn’s and lay leaders worship services. In case it’s gone unnoticed, Amy frequently changes the slides from service to service to keep them fresh and interesting.

Before Rabbi Robyn became our spiritual leader, Amy worked with Rabbi Mark Kram to set up the temple Adult Education Program and coordinated the Mussar program with him as well.

One of her happiest and self fulfilling moments was becoming at Bat Mitzvah in 2014. She studied with our dearly departed Shirley Pollak and took several private Hebrew lessons with her. Her friendship with Shirley meant a great deal to her. Amy also taught in the previously active Beth Or Sunday school.

Before COVID and continuing through today, Amy coordinates the lay leader program for Friday night services, often volunteering herself as a lay leader throughout the year. During High Holidays for the past four years, Amy has coordinated the Aliyahs for all the services.

One year, when Rabbi Robyn had to be out of town, Amy led a highly acclaimed Selichot service.

Undertakes a variety of projects
The list of what Amy has done, and continues to do for the temple, fills an entire page ranging from helping in the gardens, to helping Mel in administrative duties when he was president, to working on the yard sale, helping with Give Miami Day, volunteering for social justice initiatives, among other important tasks.

One of Amy’s greatest attributes is her patience. Not only in evidence in her work for the temple, but in her private life. Born at Coral Gables Hospital, making her a native Floridian, she found her life turned upside down in her last year of high school.

Her father sadly passed away that year changing Amy’s college plans. She was supposed to attend the University of South Florida but ended up staying local to remain with her mom. She attended Miami Dade Community College and graduated from Barry College. Later she received her masters from NOVA Southeastern University.

She taught elementary school for many years but after her 11th year was offered a position at Southwood Middle to teach basic math. Language Arts had been her previous focus, so Amy patiently taught herself what she needed to know to teach math to her students. She mastered it well, becoming a main stay math teacher at Southwood. She organized a morning math tutorial program for math students before regular classes began. Beyond her math instruction, she also earned her
Gifted Certification. 

But perhaps the greatest demonstration of her patience was her relationship with her husband Mel. Married since 2009, she and Mel remained engaged for 12 years. It was something they both preferred. Their courtship was “love at first sight” having gotten engaged only three months after meeting. While highly unusual, it’s clear that their 23 years together—either engaged or married—are a resounding success.

Married previously to Mark Lomaskin, who passed away in 1993, Amy has a daughter Miriam, who works for the national Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, as the chief staff photographer. Her ton Todd lives in London, with his wife Ting, and is a senior software developer. 

In addition to her children, she also has 5 indoor cats who she adores, Lily, Spice, Calliope, Ayla and Cayenne.

Dozens of book bags collected
for foster children
Beth Or member Rose Spector coordinated a very successful book bag collection drive during July for foster children. Working in cooperation with the Family Care Network, Rose sent out a request to Beth Or members to donate book bags and our members responded overwhelmingly!!! Thank you Rose and thank you BETH Or!
Upcoming Gallery of Light Special Events
August 5 11:00– 12 Printmaking Basics with Jen Berse
August 5 , Wed. 11:00– Printmaking Basics with Jen Bers Join us in this GL event and learn how to create your own art prints with found objects you have at home. Jen will inspire you to learn a new skill and understand the art of printmaking.
August 11 11:00– 12 Printmaking +Books with Tom Virgin
Discover the versatility of talented printmaker and book artist, Tom Virgin, as he introduces the art of handmade books, printmaking, and his artistic brand, The Extra Virgin Press. We’ll see how “beautiful writing and vibrant print media” combine to create stunning works of art.
Zoom with us for ARTalk Tuesday, August 11 from 11:00-12:00
The Gallery of Light at Beth Or
August 22 7:15
Exploring ELUL with Nancy Billings
Join Beth Or and the Gallery of Light for Gallery Virtual Opening and Havdalah Service on Saturday, August 22 at 7:15. This Virtual Opening will feature the works of creative textile designer Nancy Billings.
If you want more details on how to enroll, please contact: 
Interested in purchasing Israeli Bonds?

Israel Bonds will hold a number of exciting and diverse national and regional virtual events featuring high-level Israeli dignitaries, inspiring guests, and exhilarating entertainers highlighting the importance of supporting Israel through investments in Israel bonds. This programming, exclusive to Israel Bonds, offers highly valuable and unique content not available anywhere else.

Invitations for a variety of engagements will include:
  • Tuesday, August 18 - Israel Bonds Blessing for a New Year featuring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu & Israeli Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer
  • Thursday, September 10 - Israel Bonds’ Chef’s Table featuring Michael Solomonov
  • Tuesday, September 15 - Live from the Kotel with Israel Bonds
  • Thursday, October 1 - A special Sukkot with Israel Bonds
  • Sunday, October 18 - Israel Bonds Women’s Division Archeological Tour of the ancient Talmudic village of Korazim

Everyone interested in any of these events: RSVP here
Join in Weekly Shabbat Services

Join Rabbi Robyn Fisher, or one of our lay leaders, as they usher in Shabbat each week. Services take place every Friday night beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Zoom until further notice. Zoom notices for all virtual events are sent to the day before the event.
Have you checked Beth Or’s Website Calendar?

Please use the Beth Or website calendar to check for current and future events. It is updated regularly with details of all of Beth Or’s exciting and innovative programs activities. Make it part of your daily routine. The website is Find the Calendar/Events at the top of the page.
Beginning Beth Or and PACT 4th Anniversary

Beth Or is beginning its fourth year in PACT - People Acting Community Together - an organization which brings more than 40 synagogues, churches and mosques together in Miami-Dade County united in the fight for social justice.

The focus these last four years has centered around issues relating reducing gun violence, providing identification to immigrants, getting police cooperation to treat young violators of non-violent offenses with citations rather than arrests, increasing affordable housing, among other issues.

Members of PACT also got involved with protesting against the Homestead Detention Center and joined in Beth Or’s Compassion Caravan.

For 2.5 days in mid July, Annette Katz and Pat Barron participated in a Zoom training conference to get ready for the 2020-21 program year. 

As in years past, we will conduct listening meetings with our congregation to receive your input on various social justice issues. There will be several opportunities for membership involvement throughout the year, even if meetings are conducted virtually.

The PACT meetings we hope you will in attend, in addition to the Listening Meetings, include the annual membership meeting, the rally and ultimately the Nehemiah Action. Following the Action, there is also a celebration where you will have an opportunity to financially invest in PACT.
Please keep an eye out in The LIGHT, and direct emails, regarding how each of you can become more active in PACT.
Vicki and Jeanne become grandparents
Vicki Brail & Jeanne Covert are thrilled to announce the birth of their granddaughter Evie. Happy and exhausted mothers are their daughters Dori Brail & Angie Peng. Dori was raised in the Beth Or community and was a bat mitzvah and an active member of her confirmation class. 

Silver Lining!
The pandemic has a silver lining! At least in this case. Blake Hechtman, his wife Marisabel and daughter Ariel, moved to Miami from California because Google put them on remote work. Ilien and Keith could not be happier!

Shabbat Affirmation
By: Jeffrey M. Tucker

On this day I will pay attention to little things within, momentary glances that turn up tensions I can erase on the spot, and hinting glimpses into my Core that illuminate new/revised facets of my good old Self. And why not? How else consecrate a day of rest and renewal?

I shall be calm, too and care especially about well-being and being, well, at peace as Me, within Me affirming. To seek out respite from routines, treadmills of factory-life, I simply summon Shechinah who is so bountiful, beautiful and kind. Am I not entitled to bask in her presence, smile at her graciousness, enjoy her endlessly?  

I take license to celebrate any recent dreams wherein I was happy, victorious, or content. Yes, the occasionally-disagreeable, frustratingly-incomprehensible, frequently-unsatisfied Me got that message, finally.

I did roam for 6 days, still do roam aimlessly, across the landscape of Life, with heavy loads or unacceptable lightness-emptiness, and I do suffer my soul to be called names, bear brunts and stay silent with choked-back words or wishes... but today is different, let it stop wandering and feel comfortably-present, stop twisting and feel full.  

I have a future- it will surely come to bless me, as the past lingers about Now where I reside in great blessing, my windows facing all the Heavenly Gates and Earthly Places. In the miracle of Existence I choose many goodies while Troublemust wait, knocking at the back door until sunset or later. ‘Sufferinglikewise must sit impotently whilst I handle the fineries of seeing and being, consciousness and sensory awareness.  

These are the clay on my potters wheel. Let me handle them, shape them, play with and engage their qualities. Now I can afford the best of these, whereas their material counterparts are elusive, rare, even unobtainable. Especially Now, in the power of a holy
continuum, I might enjoy them most!

Jeff wrote this in 2008 but was inspired to share it for The LIGHT this month.

(If you would like to contribute to The LIGHT for inclusion in Members Muse, please email Annette Katz at: with your article.)

Voting by mail is as easy as 1-2-3

Voting by mail is as easy as 1-2-3
While Beth Or is prohibited from supporting a particular candidate, it is our obligation to urge everyone to exercise their right to vote. Voting for school board, county mayor, judges, state’s attorney and other positions has already begun. There is still time to register for the November Presidential election.

Here’s some information which you may find helpful:
Miami-Dade County voters may choose to receive a vote-by-mail ballot for a specific election, or for all elections in which they are eligible to vote through the end of the second regularly scheduled general election. If you have questions, we hope our vote-by-mail ballot FAQs (Español) (Kreyòl) and the information below help you to answer them.
Vote-by-Mail Ballot Guidelines
If you are presently registered to vote in Miami-Dade County you may request a vote-by-mail ballot online.
The following is our tributes list:
In honor of the
BethOr@Home Zoom:

Gail Hochheiser in honor of the wonderful Zooms from the Gallery of Light, Nancy Kirsner & Shabbat Services

Marcy Prince in honor of Nancy Kirsner's workshop on Positive Emotions

Bette Spector to thank Nancy Kirsner for her wonderful workshops

Gallery of Light:

Marlene Kohn in honor of the Gallery of Light classes

Marti Gammon in honor of the Isaiah Scholars

Diane Barkow in honor of Gallery of Light Isaiah Scholars Opening

In Honor of:

Marcy Prince in honor of Kathy Fisler's beautifully crafted masks

Marcy Prince in honor of the yard sale

Catherine Daniels in honor of TBO Fundraising

In honor of our newest Grandparents, Vicki Brail & Jeannie Covert

Ruth Decicco for Marvin Dunn's quick recovery

Phyllis Winnick with wishes for Marvin's speedy recovery

Rabbi's Discretionary Fund:

Contributing to this fund helps the Rabbi with her special
projects and members needs

Yahrzeit Fund:

Remember a loved one by contributing to this fund

Be Mitzvah Fund:

Bette Spector in honor of Mel Tenen's recovery from surgery

Meditation Garden Fund:

Bette Spector in honor of Marvin Dunn's Birthday

In memory of:

Adrienne & Howard Hochman in memory of Alex & Millie Hochman

Celia Belsky in memory of my grandmother Anna Black Needle

Memorial Plaques:

Permanently memorialize a loved one or special event

Children's Program Development Fund:

Ilien & Keith Hechtman in honor of Vicki Brail & Jeanne Covert on the birth of their granddaughter Evie

305.235.1419 | |