Wood River Jewish Community

Newsletter May 16, 2023

Following the film, there will be a panel discussion of interfaith community members, including our President, Jeff Rose, moderated by Tony Evans, the religion writer from the Idaho Mountain Express.

Adult Education/ Shlicha Program


A discussion led by Stav our Shlicha

Thursday, May 18 at 5PM

WRJC Lewis Family Center

95 Badeyana Drive. Sun Valley.

shabbat banner

Please Join Rabbi Robbi Sherwin for Shabbat services

On Friday, May 19, 2023

at 6:00pm at the WRJC Lewis Family Center

95 Badeyana Drive - Sun Valley/Elkorn

Oneg to follow


SAVE THE DATE: Sabrina Molinari 's Bat Mitzvah on May 27th.

The Molinaroli Family is very excited to be celebrating the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Sabrina, on May 27th. We are thankful for the support of the entire Wood River Jewish Community and are looking forward to this wonderful milestone in the WRJC's new home.  

As an act of Tikkun Olam, Sabrina was drawn to an organization called Tikva that gives abused, homeless, and orphaned Jewish children of Ukraine a better home. As well as providing homes for Jewish children, Tikva also invites Jewish families and the elderly inside their doors, with a focus on accessible healthcare and education for children. Tikva has improved the lives of over 3,000 Jewish families as just a small charity. With the war in Ukraine raging on, Tikva needs support more now than ever. While Tikva is still functioning during the current conflict, the houses are filling up fast with displaced families from across Ukraine. If you are interested in helping support this valuable mission, please see Sabrina's fundraising page: HERE

Donations of the week


The Kanowsky family

Sun Valley Jewish Festival

Anita Weinsberg

David Kaye and Judy Teller Kaye

Bob and Lynda Safron

Al and Brenda Hackel

Where needed Most fund

Barry Traub

Irene Alverson

David Kaye and Judy Teller Kaye in memory of Ruth Gottlieb


Lincoln and Sarah Spoor


Torah Parsha of the week

Bamidbar (in the wilderness)

Numbers 1:1-4:20


This week, we begin the book of Numbers, and over 600,000 Israelites continue to march through the wilderness to the Promised Land. God commands Moses to take a census of the entire Israelite community. The tribes arrange themselves in marching order and the duties of the Levites are outlined.


* A census is taken to organize those who are eligible for army duty. Several censuses are conducted in the Torah and the ancient sages asked why this was so. Numbers Rabbah 2:19 says that it was to demonstrate God’s love for the Jewish people, who God considered like a treasure. The people are like a valued object to be counted, caressed and recounted to make sure that the treasure is safe and nothing was lost. With each counting, God declares: “I have created the magnificent stars of the universe, yet it is Israel who will do my will.”


* A notable mitzvah that affects male Jewish infants, the pidyon haben, or redemption of the firstborn son, is outlined in Bamidbar. Originally, all firstborn sons must serve the priesthood, so chosen because the Israelites were spared the plague of the death of their firstborn during the exodus from Egypt. In Numbers 3:12, we are told that the Levites were assigned to perform these services instead of the firstborn sons, but that all other firstborns must be redeemed at the age of 30 days. Since the destruction of the Temple, a donation to tzedakah has taken the place of a giving up your firstborn son to the priesthood.


Bamidbar, an actual head-count, tribe by tribe, numbers the men eligible for military service: 603,550 in all. The census is so significant that the whole 4th Book of Moses is called "Numbers "in English. Still, we're left with an ambivalence about counting human beings. We don't like to reduce people to numbers and some historical numbers are too awful to contemplate. In ancient times, worshippers were counted indirectly by adding up their half shekel dues. Need ten for a prayer quorum? A 10-word Torah verse calling on Divine protection is used instead of numbers. At times, the Torah itself is also used as a “10th” for a minyon.

Rabbi Robbi



Shavu’ot – The Festival of Weeks – and What’s Cheesecake Got to do with it?

The Israelites have been in the desert for seven weeks since leaving Egypt and they are waiting for Moses to come down from Mt. Sinai after speaking with God. Thunder and lighting and rumbling from the mountain are frightening to them. Finally, Moses descends carrying two tablets and the knowledge of the entire history of our people. 49 days in the desert, and no longer slaves, God finally reveals the Torah (“the Law”) and the 10 Commandments to the Israelites and we begin to build the society that God has intended for us. 


So, what does this have to do with eating dairy products? Three explanations: The laws of kashrut, (“keeping Kosher”), which govern the proper and holy ritual slaughter and consumption of animals, were first introduced at Mt. Sinai. After learning of these laws, the Israelites could not eat the meat they had prepared, as it was not prepared according to the newly revealed laws of kashrut. Without time for a proper ritual slaughter, they ate dairy products instead, which were readily on hand. King Solomon compared the Torah to milk. He wrote: "Like honey and milk, it lies under your tongue." (Song of Songs 4:11) Another explanation: The land that was promised to us was described as “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8)


We will celebrate Shavu’ot together next Friday, May 27 at 6:00 PM and we invite you to come and offer your best dairy dessert to share with your tribe.


Rabbi Robbi

Jerusalem Day: Celebrating the Rich History of the Holy City

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Walter Basil Pape, Brother of Margery Friedlander

Jeanne Bass, Mother-in-Law of Harriet Parker-Bass

Hedy Block, Aunt of Juli Roos

Evelyn Caldwell, Mother of Ravona Molkner

Ruth Gottlieb, Aunt of Judith Teller Kaye

Stanley Gottlieb, Husband of Jacquelyn Gottlieb

Joseph L. Wolff, Father of Paul Wolff

Matthew F. Magidson, Father of Jory Magidson

Abraham Morton, Grandfather of Darrel Mendelsohn

Sarah Sankowich, Grandmother of Juli Roos

“I want to take a moment of time just to write a few words to the WRJC members who have so graciously called, written, and donated after the passing of my bride of 72 years. Sara Jean was the love of my life, and Sun Valley was our home since our Villager was built in 1968. We spent many, many years there, and now our children, grand children and great grandchildren are enjoying what we so loved. Thank you all for everything you have done over the years that has made our lives so enjoyable.”


With love from one of the original members of the Wood River Jewish Community,


Richard Cardozo and family

Jill Grossman

Karen Saks

Robert Brand

Al Hackel

Paul Rosenthal

Judy Firtel

Norm Leopold


Howard Banchik and Sandi Rosebaum

Steve and Betsy Conowitz

If you need any help this month, please don't hesitate to contact Mila Lyon


208- 721-7933

Board of Directors

Jeff Rose, President

Dana Berntson, Vice President

Noa Ries, Vice President

Judy Teller Kaye, Treasurer

Coni Foster, Secretary

Josh Kleinman, Past President

Susan Green, Past President 

Linda Cooper

Phil Goldstein

Ron Greenspan

Amy Kroll

Juli Roos

Bob Safron


Rabbi Robbi Sherwin

Claudie Goldstein, Executive Director

The WRJC stands with a Jewish and democratic Israel.