October 7, 2021 – Volume 18 Number 15
The Sagas of Creation and the Flood
Where We Fit In and How -Together- We Can Change the Narrative
Dear chevrei (friends),

This past Shabbat, in essence, was the first Shabbat of the New Year, as tradition tells us that the Sefer Ha-Chayim, the Book of Life - we pray to God - will have our names inscribed in it, and remains open and not yet sealed until the conclusion of Sukkot: the holy days of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. And so, at this official start of the New Year, we began anew the cycle of weekly Torah readings with God’s works of Creation – beginning with the creation of heaven and earth, day and night, light and darkness, which the Holy One reflected upon and said it was good. And finally, on the sixth and last day of Creation, God created woman and man in the image of the Holy, and marveling at humankind and all that had been created, the Eternal proclaimed “Behold! It was very good.”

Now, if one were an author, or a student of homiletics, this final quote from Scripture would lead us to believe that God ended the story of Creation as it had begun – on a positive note, tied together from beginning to end flawlessly, and with clarity. But God, as we know, more often times than not, is capable of the unexpected. The concluding verses of last week’s Torah portion, and the story of Noah that we read this Shabbat, paint an entirely different picture. And so, the story of Creation ends with God lamenting: “And God saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth…every thought of the heart was only evil, continually, and grieved the heart of the Eternal greatly, for the creation of humankind. And the Eternal said ‘I will blot out humankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth.’”

Of course, we are all familiar with the story of Noah and the flood, and how human life, and indeed all life, was eradicated from the face of the earth. So how do we, the descendants of Adam and Eve, our bodies and minds constructed from the very same chromosomes, who with each passing day, hear of more acts of anti-Semitism, systemic racism, and acts of violence perpetrated against Asian-Americans, and so many innocent souls deemed “the other,” or a threat, by one group or another individual showing the same propensity for violence as the generation of the flood? How do we break the cycle? How do we change the narrative?

How do we secure our own survival, and that of our planet and our progeny? These are questions I ask myself every day as I watch the evening news. One answer can be found in the history, legacy, and trailblazing work of our beloved Temple Israel, not only here in our own Westchester community, as I am proud to say, but also with congregations of every faith and denomination across our nation.

The impact of the bridge-building between the Jewish community and churches, mosques, and other religious institutions here in New Rochelle was expressed to me with great appreciation and hope for the future by many leading members of the clergy, including the head of the branch of New Rochelle NAACP, Minister Mark McLean, who greeted me warmly when I attended the New Rochelle Police Department Awards Ceremony earlier today. All expressed the importance of the work initiated by Rabbi Wohl z’l decades ago, and how this brought respect and understanding, harmony and cooperation, to New Rochelle and many communities beyond our geographic location.

Having dedicated my life as a pulpit rabbi, I have always seen “my congregation” as encompassing the entire community. I intend to do no less together with you, the members of my Temple Israel family, and this way, together, we will be like Aaron, the brother of Moses, who not only loved the concept of peace, but actively pursued it. In this way, we will do as God commanded us, to engage in the work of Tikkun Olam (the repair of the world) – by being a light unto the nations of the world, and partnering with the Eternal by reaching out, heart to heart, to erase the hate, and replace it with love.

Shabbat shalom,
Rabbi Jay Rosenbaum
Shabbat Services / Events: Friday, Saturday
Friday, October 8

10:30 am: Kehillah Shabbat via ZOOM

5:45 pm: Shabbat Welcome & Refreshments. Service to follow in-person and via ZOOM (Meeting ID: 885 5732 2368, Passcode: 7wW055) and via Livestream
Saturday, October 9

9:00 am Torah Study in-person and via ZOOM (Meeting ID: 853 3548 4859, Passcode: 58QLMa) only. No Livestream.

10:30 am Shabbat Morning Service/Bat Mitzvah of Jaden Cohen via Livestream.
Temple Office Closed THIS Monday, October 11th: Columbus Day. Kehillah School is OPEN.
 Bat Mitzvah
My name is Jaden Cohen and I will be celebrating becoming a Bat Mitvzah on Saturday, October 9th. I will be chanting from Parashat Noach in the book of Genesis. I am a member of Temple Israel along with my parents, Heidi & Bruce. I am excited about entering the 8th grade for this coming school year at Albert Leonard Middle School.

When I’m not in school, I love playing soccer and volleyball, riding my bike, socializing with my friends, and listening to music. I love to bake and come up with new and creative ways to decorate cakes for special occasions.

For my Mitzvah Project, I have chosen to raise money for the Westchester Humane Society. Because of the pandemic and construction that they have been doing on the facility, I will be doing virtual fundraising. I’m creating a website, and it will have links and ways to raise money and get supplies to donate to their facility to help out with the animals. It is very important to me to see that all pets are well taken care of and through the adoption process, each can find a loving permanent home.

I look forward to connecting with you at my Bat Mitzvah when I am called to the Torah.
Clergy Check-Ins Staying Connected With YOU!
Get inspired and connected with our twice-weekly Clergy Check-Ins, as our Rabbi and Cantor share news and observations.
Through the intense moments of COVID, Clergy Check-Ins helped us to connect as a congregational community. These weekly connections have proven to be valuable as our spiritual leaders share sacred words of learning and encouragement. Apart from being showcased here in the weekly eblast, on Tuesdays you’ll be hearing from Rabbi Jay, and on Thursdays Cantor Schloss will share his thoughts. You can find our recent check-ins here in CONNECTIONS weekly on the Temple Website, or take a look at past check-ins through the YouTube playlist here.
 
We hope you will continue enjoying this way of staying vibrant, relevant, and close!
Please Support Temple Israel TODAY!
Your support is needed!
 
Keep OUR community thriving by pledging your SUPPORT. Your gift allows us to continue to dedicate resources towards the future: worship, celebration, lifelong learning, and Tikkun Olam – the repair of the world.
 
Click for options to help guide you in your pledge as you reflect upon what Temple Israel means to you, and to our wider community.
 
This is OUR community, this is OUR future...let's continue OUR support of Temple Israel of New Rochelle. 
A Note to Members! There is a Board of Trustees meeting once a month that is always open to all members of Temple Israel.
 
You are invited to join the next meeting on Wednesday, October 20th, 7:30 pm (with a meet & greet at 7 pm). 
Temple Events & Opportunities
Sisterhood Wine Tasting Event
Thursday, October 21st – 7 pm
at Temple Israel

Sisterhood and OneHope Wine are collaborating in offering this special Wine Tasting event OPEN TO ALL!

Upcoming Events!
  • Saturday, November 6th: Outdoor Movie
  • Sunday, December 5th: Virtual Jewish Museum
World Events and World Jewry as Reflected Through Jewish Responsa
... with Rabbi Jay Rosenbaum

Beginning Friday, October 22nd – 9 am
With each passing day, we are bombarded with news of a constantly changing world which confronts us with difficult challenges we thought we’d never encounter. More often times than not, they require of us a response, be it internal or through a course of action. There are so many dynamics that direct us in the choices and the manner in which we respond. What is the sage wisdom that we find in our age-old rabbinic responsa, and what does it direct us to do?

This Friday morning class will look at the pressing questions of our day, and together, we will read the responsa literature dating back millennia, as to what course of action Judaism would direct us to take. In this journey, we are all beginners. Let us learn from one another, and develop a deeper appreciation and love from the great and diverse resources of Jewish learning and law.

Mah Jongg Lessons
Tuesdays: 6:30 - 8:30 pm
November 2, 9, 16, and 23

It's not just your grandma's favorite pastime! Learn the game of Mah Jongg from instructor, Sari Bedevian, in only four lessons.

$125 per person, including $10 for the Mah Jongg card. Open to only 8 participants.

Contact Sari Bedevian for details and to participate.
Chavaya children and young adults from kindergarten to HS
The purpose of Chavaya is for our participants to develop strong relationships with the Jewish community through the lens of prayer Hebrew, Bible stories, Shabbat and Holidays, Israel, Lifecycle, Jewish values and Jewish history. We seek to engage in Judaism through knowledge, action, spiritual encounters, and community participation.
Our Sunday groups enjoyed singing and teaching each other about the days of Creation.
Rebecca Elkus-Ferst, the Director of Education: Youth & Families , is excited to answer your questions about Chavaya!
Kehillah children from 6 weeks to 6 years of age
Temple Israel’s Kehillah School promotes child development in a nurturing and stimulating play-based program that encourages creativity, decision-making and problem-solving skills, spiritual growth, and a joy of learning. Age-appropriate activities challenge each child to develop his/her social, emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual potential.
It's a NEW beginning for the Kehillah School ... and this school is stronger, full of fun, exploration, and Judaic learning led by Jen Pennucci, our Kehillah School Director.

Check out the NEW Website, and see how THIS Kehillah School will be an integral part of Temple Israel of New Rochelle!
Community
Romaniote Jews
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
12:00 pm ONLINE

Through Purchase College | Jewish Studies Program, and recommended by our Temple Congregant, Lisa Keller, join this FREE online event which is an introduction to the complex history of the Jewish Community.

Social Action Hygiene & Period Product Drive for October

Please join Temple Israel in collecting hygiene and period products which include NEW and FULL SIZE items such as toothpaste, soap, shampoo and conditioner, etc. This is a wonerful opportunity to perform Tzedkah (righteous acts) and Tikkun Olam (fixing the world).

Library
The Lost Café Schindler: One Family, Two Wars, and the Search for Truth, by Meriel Schindler.

Schindler seamlessly melds two riveting histories, the tumultuous story of Jewish life in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the gripping tale of a remarkable family.   
Meet Us
Reach Clergy & Staff: click here

You can connect with clergy through Clergy Check-Ins which can be found in Connections on the Temple Website.
Website: click here
Mission Statement
We are a community that adds meaning and purpose to modern lives through an inclusive approach to Judaism. We live our Jewish values in our worship, celebration, lifelong learning and Tikkun Olam–the repair of the world.