FEBRUARY | 2021
Included in this month’s LIGHT

  • President’s Message
  • What Have Our Rabbis Been Up To?
  • February ArtTalk Tuesdays
  • Jewish Book Review, Feb. 3
  • Beth Or Builders - Winnick, Nabutovskys, Hanauers
  • Conversation with author Mamta Chaudhry-Fryer
  • What Happened at the Tu B’Shevat Seder - Help Save the Environment
  • 20 COVID Vaccine Slots for Members
  • Weekly Shabbat Services - Looking forward to Purim
  • March Toiletries and Cleaning Supplies Donation Drive
  • 40th Anniversary Save the Date Update
  • Tributes
Securing Our Future
By Mel Tenen
These are very exciting and changing times, not only for our country, but for Beth Or as well.
 
Change is typically something we normally tend to avoid. We get comfortable with the status quo and we start to fear that change will take us somewhere worse as opposed to somewhere better. But the reality is that the change that is in store for Beth Or will be exciting! Why? Because the necessary change involving the sale and leaseback of our property is absolutely going to take us somewhere so much better.  We should all be excited knowing that what is still to come for Beth Or will mean hope and a belief that our future is so much more secure.
 
Yes, I said much more secure and not “fully secure” …by that I mean that, notwithstanding the financial improvement that comes with the sale/leaseback, we still must maintain and grow our membership as well as continue with strategic fundraising efforts.
 
As we at Beth Or approach our 40th anniversary. we have been faced with two choices as members of our sacred community. We could have stayed as we are, which would have resulted in a perilous uncertain future …or we could have embraced change and taken the necessary steps to move forward in order to allow something so much better to come about. 
 
Our sages say we receive the gift of binah (understanding) at the age of 40. The Talmud says, “One does not come to fully comprehend the knowledge of his teacher before 40 years,” connecting age 40 with the attainment of knowledge and a new state of being. Rabbi Akiva transformed his life at age 40, going from an ignorant shepherd to one of the greatest Torah scholars and righteous men who ever lived.
 
The sages indicate that at age 40, great change and transformation can and is supposed to occur. The number 40 is significant throughout the Torah. Moses spent 40 days on Mount Sinai, and it took 40 years of wandering and experience in the desert for the Jews to understand in an inner and profound way. At the end of those 40 years, they were finally allowed entrance to the Promised Land.
And the same holds true for our beloved Beth Or. Through your unanimous vote at our recent congregational meeting, we have chosen to move forward with excitement as we are about to commemorate our very own 40th Anniversary.
As our 40th Anniversary unfolds, it signifies both a completion and a beginning — and, with G-d’s help, the foundation of an entirely new existence with the hope and confidence that we will endure for at least 40 years more.
Catch Up With Beth Or’s Rabbis Over The Years
Have you heard, Beth Or is celebrating its 40th Anniversary on February 27th. Leading up to that extraordinary event, Rabbi Robyn has set up different chats with our former rabbis over the past 40 years. Please join us for live discussions along with schmooze time after each conversation to say hi and reminisce. Find out where they are and what they have been up to since they left! The chat with Rabbi Mark Kram took place on January 31st. That chat, and all the rabbi chats, can be found on YouTube. Look for Where Are Our Rabbis Now?
The chat with Rabbi Mark Kram took place on January 31st. That chat, and all the rabbi chats, can be found on YouTube. Look for Where Are Our Rabbis Now?
Next up on the agenda is a conversation with Rabbi Rebecca Lillian on February 7 at 11:30 AM.
 
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID 830 7651 0007
Password 760783
On February 10, at 7 PM, the conversation continues with
Rabbi Rami Shapiro

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID 876 2777 0710
Password 127223
The next conversation takes place on February 14th at 11:30 AM with Rabbi Leon Olenick.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID 860 8604 0521
Password 571198
February ArtTalk Tuesdays
On February 23 at 7:30 PM Lesli-Ann Belnavis
Elliott, MS, ATR will be the featured artist.

Society will always be ripe with concerns of inequality and justice. Art will always reflect and highlight different social justice issues in unconventional yet sometimes provocative and symbolic ways.Visual art for social justice can transcend culture, ignite creative self-reflection and promote real changes in society. Lesli-Ann Belnavis Elliott, MS, ATR
will showcase how her background as both an Art Therapist and Photographer influenced unique themes of social justice and social commentary in her digital photographic images. Expect to be visually aroused and creatively challenged, personally and as part of a community. Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81701243765
Meeting ID 817 0124 3765
Jewish Book Review continues on February 3

Book review discussion on Healing A Fractured World continues at 7:30 on February 3. This week’s discussion focuses on Chapter 4 of Jonathan Sack’s, z’l book.
 
 
Join Zoom Meeting
As we look to the future, we remember our past and the leaders who brought us to this place
 
As we look forward to celebrating our 40th Anniversary, there are so many people who we should thank for our continued success. In this February edition of the LIGHT, we’ll be looking at 3 members who helped us reach this special moment. The people we are highlighting this month, and the folks we highlighted in January, are not current Board members. What they did in the past helped us get here and need to be remembered for those successes. There are many people who have brought us to this point, but space is limited. We hope you enjoy this walk down memory lane.
With a song in her heart, Phyllis Winnick
 
A lifetime of service and dedication to others are just two of the many special ways to describe long time Beth Or member, Phyllis Winnick. Joining Beth Or right after Hurricane Andrew blew through, Phyllis was immediately attracted to the sense of community exhibited by Beth Or members.
 
Before joining Beth Or, she hadn’t been a member of a temple since her 20s while living in New Haven, Connecticut. In those days she was a member of an orthodox synagogue.
 
“A friend encouraged me to seek out Beth Or,” she recalled. “I was immediately impressed with Rabbi Rami Shapiro and the inclusiveness of the membership. It didn’t matter who was the biggest donor. Everyone was then, and now, treated the same way.”
 
Through the years she has developed lasting friendships with many Beth Or regulars. While COVID has put a crimp in their regular birthday celebrations, the group consisting of Diane Pearl, Marcy Prince, Gail Hochheiser, Nancy Kirsner, Sara Horowitz, Gail Ironson and Sheila Silverberg, stays close and remains a constant support for each other.

Speaking of support, Phyllis feels very grateful to Nancy Kirsner and her twice a week support groups via Zoom. “They have meant so much to so many people during this very difficult time. She does such a wonderful job.”
 
When joining Beth Or, she found herself gravitating to the choir. Singing alto, she has continued in the choir ever since. “Ellen Buckstel arranged the sitting in the choir so my mom could see me during services which made both me and my mom very happy.”
 
Music has been a constant presence in Phyllis’ life since she was a child. She started playing piano at age six and as a teenager won a competition which gave her access to playing as a guest soloist in the New Haven Symphony Orchestra on five different occasions. A unanimous choice of the judges, it was an experience she’ll never forget. Being in the Beth Or choir gives Phyllis a sense of well being and is transformational. As she sings she enters an altered state of consciousness and it gives her great spiritual happiness.
 
“It gives me such joy and togetherness with others in the choir,” Phyllis said.
 
As part of her love of music Phyllis has appeared in three community theater productions: Music Man, Fiddler on the Roof and Hello Dolly.
 
Volunteering in the choir is not the only part of Phyllis’ contribution to Beth Or. Over the years Phyllis has served on the temple board as corresponding secretary, has raised thousands of dollars for Mazon and is a regular lay leader for Friday night services. For many years Phyllis organized all the food donations for the annual Spaghetti Dinner. She’s also been a regular mainstay for the Yard Sale.
 
“In addition to Beth Or feeding my need for spirituality, and surrounding me with dear friends, and sharing the gift of music with us all (thank you, Michael), it has provided me with an opportunity for personal growth,” Phyllis said. “Public speaking was never on my to-do list, but Beth Or has given me confidence to stretch my limits. I appreciate my Beth Or community more than I can say. We rock!”
 
But there is another side to Phyllis that has been a significant part of her life for decades. She is a scientist by trade having run the Cytology Lab at Mt. Sinai Hospital for 36 years. The lab she ran studied cells and cancer for proper diagnosis. She loved being part of potential cures for patients but in particular she developed a special partnership with pathology. She taught residents and felt good about her ability to help others.
 
And helping others didn’t stop in the lab. She had a three year association with Recordings for the Blind as their evening director. Phyllis volunteered for the Guardian Ad Litem program where she was the voice for children caught up in the foster care system.
 
She has also felt fortunate that her mother, Bernice, who lived to 104, was treated so lovingly by Beth Or members. Phyllis is very close with her sister who lives in Pembroke Pines, but she hastens to add that she considers Beth Or part of her extended family.
In The Very Beginning There Was Lenny and Adrianne Nabutovusky
 
When one wants to go back to the very beginning of Beth Or, there isn’t too much need to look farther than Lenny and Adrianne Nabutovusky. 
 
In 1981, they teamed up with friends Anne and Dave Harris, to start a Humanist Congregation loosely associated with Judaism. Two years later they were introduced to Rabbi Rami Shapiro. A few other couples had joined the group by that point (including Michael Newman’s parents) and Doug Schwartz. The temple hooked up with the Reconstructionist movement and Beth Or became a reality.
 
In 1983, Lenny became Beth Or’s first official President but he credits Doug Schwartz for being the engine behind Beth Or moving forward at that time.
 
“Doug and I were friends at Miami High and we were active together in AZA,” Lenny said. “I still miss him.”
 
Adrianne became very active as well, serving as the Oneg Chair for at least 10 years and she helped out with children’s events at Beth Or.
 
The duo kicked off the long-loved Jews in the Woods program with camping in the Everglades. “We built bonfires and slept on the ground,” Adrianne said. “It was great fun and a wonderful bonding opportunity for the congregation.”
 
The congregation grew and there were many opportunities for team building. At a weekend retreat organized by Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Lenny said it was a statement Rami made that transformed their family’s Jewish worship.
 
“He told us if you want to be Jewish, do something Jewish,” Lenny said. “Adrianne and I took it to heart and Adrianne started making Shabbat dinner every Friday night for our family. It’s now a 30-year tradition that has stayed with us even during COVID. We now gather every Friday night on Zoom rather than sharing Shabbat dinner together. It’s one of the reasons we aren’t on Friday Zoom Shabbat Services.”
 
The Nabutovsky’s also started Beth Or’s Treasure Hunt. “We created clues and picked out the sites,” Lenny said. “It was so much fun for everyone.”
 
Adrianne recalled one particular clue set where they contacted a thread company and had the company unspool the thread to put a clue on the spool and then the manufacturer rethreaded the spool.
 
“We took it very seriously in an effort to create an extraordinary event,” Adrianne said. “I think everyone really appreciated it.”
 
Dave Barry became aware of the Treasure Hunt and used it as a basis for the famous Tropic Hunt.
 
When Rabbi Shapiro left Beth Or, the Nabutovusky’s did as well and ultimately became founding members of Bet Breira. However, for some time, the couple maintained duel membership with both temples.
 
They both liked the idea of a more liberal Jewish congregation and about five years ago Lenny and Adrianne returned as active participants with Beth Or.
 
For many years even when they were not members, Lenny, who owns a pest control company, volunteered his pest control services to Beth Or. He continues to do this on a regular basis.
 
Adrianne taught for many years first at the old JCC on 102nd Avenue. After that she taught at the House of Learning and then for 10 years at Oliver Hoover Elementary. After Oliver Hoover, she taught ESOL at Sunset Senior High and conversational English as well.
 
A quiet person by her own description, Adrianne likes to stay out of the spotlight but steps in to help whenever she can. Before the pandemic, she was a frequent helper in the Meditation Garden.
 
The Nabutovsky’s have two grown kids, three grandchildren and one great grandchild.
It is my belief that most people join a synagogue to be part of a community and I’m no different - Ossie Hanauer
 
Ossie Hanauer’s association with the Beth Or community dates way back to 1984. While her contributions are memorable, it was Harry Hanauer who made a name for himself in a most extraordinary way.
 
Ossie had been a member of Beth Or for about 11 years. Harry and she were in a serious relationship and Harry had become part of the Beth Or community as well. Rabbi Rami Shapiro had a tradition of asking for folks to mention any ‘news of the day’ at worship services.
 
“Harry stood up and right there in front of everyone and asked me to marry him. It was a riot,” Ossie recalled.
 
She obviously said yes and they have been married for 28 years. Harry has been very supportive of Ossie’s work with the temple and her many other exciting adventures. She and Harry have two daughters, Cathy Scannapieco and Carol Cobb, z”l and two grandchildren, Peyton Cobb and Avery Cobb.
 
They also have an adorable rescue Morkie, Cara, who has been a blessing. “She came along at the right time offering tremendous comfort after much loss and during COVID is keeping us busy and filling the house with laughter,” Ossie said.
 
In her long association with Beth Or, Ossie has been the originator of many programs. She served for many years on the board and came close to being President at one point but decided to offer her help in other ways.
 
One of the projects she is most proud of is People of the Book. It was an educational outreach project where money was raised for the Scared Grounds Coffee House (forerunner to the Lighthouse Cafe) and to buy books and distribute them to underserved communities.
 
“It was very fulfilling both personally and for the temple,” Ossie said. “We did it for several years and distributed at least 3,000 books. The temple received the Dade County Council Literary Award.”
 
Ossie fondly remembers working with Doug Schwartz on behalf of the temple. “Doug was the essence of Beth Or. Every proposal he made was not born out of ego but for the benefit of the temple.”
 
Ossie chaired the Progressive Dinner for many years and headed up two major auction events that raised thousands of dollars.
 
“We had some really major items to auction off like hotel stays and other big ticket items,” she said. “We hired a professional auctioneer. It was very exciting and profitable.”
 
Ossie even participated in the choir for a few years and during that time served on a committee for an innovative Women’s Seder where she played the role of Dr. Ruth.
 
She was the first congregant, after Jeff Kaminsky, to read from the Torah at High Holiday services and was named a Member of the Year at one point. She also worked on the LIGHT publication and was the first person to include tribute acknowledgments in the publication.
 
When thinking of Torahs, Ossie fondly remembers her mother’s donation of a Torah to Beth Or.
 
“We found a place on Miami Beach that sadly needed finances and sold us the Torah. It was a sad moment for them, but joyous for our temple,” Ossie said. “My mom, Ruth Bosch Lidsky, donated a Torah in her mother’s name, Rose Tancer. We marched from the street to bring the Torah into the temple.”
 
She also has other fond memories of her mother who often “took to the bima and kept everyone roaring with laughter.”
 
Although some folks thought Ossie “worked full time for Beth Or,” she actually had outside employment that kept her very busy.
 
She worked for more than 20 years in market research, development and franchising for several companies including Burger King and Churches Chicken, among others. She traveled around the country finding properties for those companies. She was unique in her role as she was the only woman in this profession at that time.
 
“I learned so much about contracts and real estate,” she said. “It was very interesting and kept me on the move.”
 
After a short stint owning her own business as an independent consultant, she worked for Miami Dade College as the Director of Service Learning, Civic Engagement and Democracy, coordinating the service-learning program at the Kendall campus.
 
“I spent the first half of my working career littering the streets of America and spent the second half cleaning them up,” Ossie mused.
 
She also worked for United Way for a couple of years as a Development Director.
 
“It is my belief that most people join a synagogue to be part of a community and I’m no different,” Ossie said. “I’ve developed lifelong friendships which have meant a great deal to me. I miss the fact that we don’t have children in our congregation, and I hope that someday we will again.”
 
She does treasure the fact that Beth Or’s community has remained close and is still engaging in a variety of exciting programs. She is particularly fond of the Gallery of Light which she thinks “has put us on the map” and is happy to see another adult BeMitzvah project underway.
 
“Our virtual presence has been amazing,” she said. “Rabbi Robyn works 24/7 on our behalf. “The Leadership Team did an incredible job through the pandemic and brought us strength at a difficult time.”
 
Ossie has been an active committee member for Beth Or’s upcoming 40th Anniversary celebration and looks forward to Beth Or’s future.
 
“I think we can look ahead to enhanced programs and development,” she said.
Circle February 24 for a Zoom Conversation with author Mamta Chaudhry-Fryer
 
Join Rabbi Robyn for an intriguing and fascinating Conversation with Mamta Chaudhry-Fryer, author of Haunting Paris, on Monday, February 24, 2021 at 7:30 PM.

Meeting ID 829 1771 0028
Password 300201
Making A Change For The Environment With Tu B’Shevat Leading The Way

 
We had a very successful Tu B’Shevat Seder on January 27. The entire event was tied to saving the environment. Click on this Haggadah to see what we learned on January 27th
20 COVID Vaccine Slots
Awarded to Beth Or
from JMH
 
Jackson Memorial Hospital has made a conscientious effort to reach out to religious institutions in administering the COVID vaccine. Because of this outreach, 20 Beth Orians have signed up to receive the vaccine through JMH. Ten members received the vaccine on January 28th and another 10 are expected to receive their first vaccine doses on February 4th. Here are a few photos of members in the vaccine process.
Shabbat Service Every Friday
Looking Forward To Purim
 
Weekly Shabbat Services begin at 7:30 PM. On February 26 we will be having a special Purim Shabbat Service. Circle your calendars now!
Shabbat Service Every Friday
Looking Forward To Purim
 
Weekly Shabbat Services begin at 7:30 PM. On February 26 we will be having a special Purim Shabbat Service. Circle your calendars now!
And coming in March a Drive By Donation Toiletries and Cleaning Supply Event - start stocking up to donate these important items
Here is the list of folks who are currently attending the 40th Anniversary Celebration. You don’t want to miss out on this spectacular event. (This is the list as of 1/29/21)
The following is our tributes list:
General Mitzvah Fund

Adrienne & Howard Hochman, in gratitude to the Leadership Team - Annette, Andrea, & Ilien for all their hard work & dedication
 
Ossie & Harry Hanauer wishing a Mazel Tov to Adrianne and Lenny Nabutovsky in honor of the birth of your great grandchild, Josie Lane
 
Robert & Juliette Robbins
 
Beth & Debbie Press, in honor of Amy Lomaskin and everyone that helped with the Shabbat
Service on 12/18/20
 
 
Ceila Belsky, sending healing prayers to
her brother, Art Belsky
 
Diane Barkow, in honor of Marvin Dunn and Rabbi Robyn for their wonderful
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Program
 
Ilien Hechtman, in honor of George Emerson, with wishes for a speedy recovery

Marti and Tom Gammon, in honor of George Emerson, with best wishes for a
 speedy recovery


Rabbi's Discretionary Fund:

Linda Goodman

Advancing Jewish
Music Fund:

Jeremy Schwartz, in gratitude for Michael Henry sending a recording of the Shema tune after we visited the congregation’s Erev Shabbat services


Yahrzeit Fund:

Contributions to this fund honors the memory of loved ones and friends on the anniversary of their death



Gallery of Light Fund:

Phyllis Winnick, in memory
of my father, Jack Winnick
 
Marti & Tom Gammon, in honor of Marilyn Traeger, Jen Berse, Enid Garber and Linda Faber for their work as the
Gallery of Light Team

Meditation Gardens Fund

Beth & Debbie Press, in memory of
Shirley and Jerry Pollak


Memorial Plaques:

Permanently remember family members and events by purchasing a memorial plaque

Be sure to visit Beth Or's website at BethOrMiami.com
and view our calendar of upcoming events
305.235.1419 email: bethormiami@aol.com