Jewish Community Center of    JCC the Place to Be
 Long Beach Island  E-Letter

 January  24, 2020
 27 Tevet  5780




Contents
A Torah Message
JCC Trip to Israel
Kol Hakavod
Upcoming Events
Florida Annual Reunion
Giving Opportunities - New Credit Card Information
Name Badges
Next Week's Events
Service Schedule
Michaberach List
Yahrzeits for Next Week
Happy Birthday
Congregation News
Cholent Shabbats
Celebrate a Milestone
JCC Cook Books
Sponsor an Oneg Shabbat
Sponsor a Kiddish
Bulletin Ads
TD Affinity Program
Documents & Links
A TORAH MESSAGE

This last week, Rabbi Jay has been at the bedside of this father who is ill and was not able to write a message for the weekly email.  Here is a commentary from the Jewish Theological Seminary website.  We wish Rabbi's father, Jerry Jay,  a refuah shelemah.   

PARSHAH VAERA

"Finding Freedom", a commentary by Joel Pitkowsky

A moment of great tragedy occurs in this week's Torah reading, although it is not a moment that many people focus on when they read these chapters. There is so much drama in this story, so many scenes that we can visualize either because we've seen them acted out on stage or in a movie (or perhaps in our dining room during a Passover Seder), or because they are powerful moments that speak to our connection with one of the pivotal Jewish moments, that many people pass over (pun intended!) the quieter elements of the story.

And yet, near the beginning of the Torah reading, immediately following God telling Moses about the eventual redemption from Egypt, we read the following, "But when Moses told this to the Israelites, they would not listen to Moses, their spirits crushed by cruel bondage (Exod. 6:9)". The tragedy is not that the Israelites did not listen to Moses, the tragedy is why they would not listen to Moses. Slavery had beat them down to such an extent that they could not imagine what freedom looked like. Slavery had damaged them so greatly that when freedom was dangled in front of them, they could not for the life of them understand what it truly meant.

At this moment in their collective lives, the Israelites were struggling with an issue that many of us can recognize-they could not see what was right in front of them. Have you ever had that experience? Have you ever finally left a job or ended a painful relationship and then realized that everyone around you saw the truth of the situation long before you could see it? More amorphous than any physical object and yet infinitely more important, freedom is difficult for many of us to grasp, especially those of us who have never lived without it.

In our Torah reading, the ability to not see what is right in front of you is illustrated by the dilemma of the hardening of Pharaoh's heart. The Torah tells us that God hardened Pharaoh's heart during the saga of the ten plagues. If this is so, then how can Pharaoh be held responsible for not letting the Israelites go and forcing his country to undergo undue suffering at the hands of the Israelite God? Why couldn't Pharaoh see early in the story (after the first or second plague) that the situation was futile and that he should just give up and let the Israelites go?

The Torah provides us with one answer to this question. If you pay close attention to the wording of the plagues, you will see that for the first five plagues, Pharaoh hardens his own heart. God only hardens his heart with plagues six through 10. How does this fact provide us with an answer? In this transition from Pharaoh hardening his own heart to God hardening his heart, maybe we are seeing the ancient equivalent of cognitive dissonance, of Pharaoh going so far down a path of thought and behavior (as evidenced in his choosing to act a certain way following plagues one through five) that he caused himself to lose his free will!

As Rambam wrote in his introduction to Pirkei Avot, "In other words, they sinned of their own free will, till they forfeited the opportunity of repentance." (Shemonah Perakim, Ch. 8) Have you ever felt that you had gone so far down a road of behavior, making certain choices, that you honestly could not see a way out, that you could not see an alternative? Maybe that is what happened to Pharaoh.

A second answer is supplied by Rashi, who understands plagues six through 10 (in which God hardened Pharaoh's heart) as being punishment for Pharaoh and the Egyptians. God needed to show Pharaoh that God was in charge. God needed Pharaoh to see that, contrary to Egyptian culture and religion, Pharaoh was not a god, and that the Israelite God, our God, had all of the power.
It is difficult to imagine a world that is different from the world we are currently living in. It must have been extremely painful for Pharaoh to realize that the worldview on which he was raised, the worldview that allowed Israelite slavery and that understood Egyptian power, and especially the prestige of the Pharaoh, to be absolute, was crumbling to the ground. And yet, we still wonder how he could not see the truth. In next week's Torah reading, Pharaoh's courtiers say this to him in words that ring out thousands of years later, "Are you not yet aware that Egypt is lost? (10:7)"
He did not realize that all was lost; because Pharaoh could not see what was in front of him, he could not see the truth of the situation that was staring him in the face because it was too difficult to do so, too painful, too harsh a reality for him to face.
When Moses told the Israelites that God would free them, they did not believe him because they had been slaves for so long they could not imagine a reality any different from the one they were living. And yet, courageous people throughout history remind us that freedom is a state of mind that we can grasp on to even when our bodies cannot experience it.

Perhaps we think of the great Jewish hero, Natan Sharansky, who told the story many times of how he felt free many years before he was released from solitary confinement because he had decided that he would be free in his mind, even though his body was held captive by the KGB. Or perhaps we find inspiration in the story of the late Senator John McCain, who was held captive by North Vietnam for several years during the Vietnam War. Senator McCain held on to his sanity, at least in part, by repeating to himself these words from his favorite poem, "Invictus," by William Ernest Henley, "It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul."

We must never allow ourselves to fall victim like Pharaoh, victim either to our own evil or to losing sight of what is around us. With effort and with the constant search for clarity and understanding, we will hold on to the great human gift of freedom, and decide for ourselves, hoping to have the strength of Sharansky and McCain, to use our freedom for good, and to inspire truth and liberty for ourselves and for those around us.

The publication and distribution of the JTS Commentary are made possible by a generous grant from Rita Dee (z"l) and Harold Hassenfeld (z"l).

JCC TRIP TO ISRAEL THIS SUMMER

We will be staying at Kibbutz Lavi during our trip to Israel August 2 - 13.  It is a beautiful place in a spectacular setting. Interested in joining us? Contact Rabbi Jay at mjayrab@gmail.com for details.
 
REMEMBER VISITING ISRAEL - #ITZAMITZVAH!!!!


KOL HAKAVOD CAMPAIGN

Please consider being a part of this campaign to supplement the clergy needs of our congregation.   This is a separate, voluntary commitment  and is additional to our low annual dues obligation. HERE IS THE LINK TO BRING UP THE DONATION FORM KOL HAKAVOD

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

ANTISEMITISM STUDY: "From Torah to Today"
The second session led by Rabbi will take place on Sunday, February 9 at 10:00 AM at the home of Irene & Michael Babst in Barnegat.  We must have your reservation since they live in a gated community.  Please respond to this link if you are attending: RESERVATION

Last session: Tuesday, March 24 7:00 PM at the home of Diane & Ron Buskirk 

SPEND THE WEEKEND WITH US - January 24 & 25

Friday night services 
8:00 PM
Saturday
Torah Study 9:00 AM
Services 10:00 AM
Lunch after services (12:00 ish) Cholent Lunch prepared by Rabbi Jay
Game afternoon following lunch (cards, mah jong, games - no betting allowed).
Movie Nite: 7:00 PM following Havdallah


Movie: "On the Basis of Sex" 
a 2018 American biographical
legal drama film based on the life and early cases of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, starring Felicity Jones and Armie Hammer.
 
FLORIDA ANNUAL REUNION


2020 Florida Ladies Reunion Luncheon
to honor the life of Judy Abend
Tuesday, February 11  @ noon 
at Apeiro 
Delray Marketplace
 14917 Lyons Road. Delray Beach.  
We will order from menu but have a private room.  Please call Helyn Benjamin (561 740 7499)
 or Eileen Buznitsky (561 362 3880).
  Everyone is welcome.  
Please call by 2/4

GIVING OPPORTUNITIES
CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS ARE NOW AVAILABLE

You can now make your donation, orders and pay for events with your credit card. 
Please print this application and fill in your credit card information:  CREDIT CARD
Send it along with the appropriate forms, which are listed on the home page (scroll down) of our web site:   WEB SITE

PRAYER BOOKS
There are still High Holiday Prayer Books and Chumashim available to be purchased in memory or honor of someone or something. 
The cost of a Prayer Book is $72 each and $120 for an Eitz Hayim Chumash. 
The donation includes an affirmation sticker in the book and an acknowledgement letter or letters.


SEND ONE OF OUR TRIBUTES IN HONOR OR IN MEMORY OF
See order form here: TRIBUTE


PAVERS
Inscribe a paver at the front entrance to the building
8" X 4", 8" X 8" and 12" X 12"
SEE UPDATED ORDER FORM:


Become a permanent part of the JCC landscape.
Purchase a personalized paving stone 
in honor of your family or in memory of a loved one.

Please contact
Diane Hoffman 
with your order 
or with any questions: 
dihoff1@aol.com


TREE OF LIFE
Add a leaf (leaves) to our beautiful Tree of Life located in the Social Hall.  See the order form here: 

Bronze Leaf $90 
Silver Leaf $126 
Gold :Leaf $180

ENDOWMENT FUND
Join Herb and Selma Shapiro z'l to help assure the continuity of our JCC, and our ability to continue providing a full-service congregation to serve the Jewish people of the area.

A donation of at least $50,000 to the endowment fund will allow the donor to name one of the funds as the donor wishes. All such name funds will be joined together to be part of the endowment fund portfolio.

Judith z"l & Donald Pripstein have joined the Shapiros with a $50,000 donation and have established The Pripstein Family Endowment Fund.

All members are encouraged to help this important effort by contributing to this fund whether as a specific named fund, or as a general donation.

Your gift to the fund can be sent to the JCC Office. Please mark your check accordingly.


YAHRZEIT PLAQUES
Space is available for memorial plaques on the yahrzeit boards in the Sanctuary. Here is the order form: PLAQUES

NAME BADGES

If you did not order a name tag, we will be putting in another order.  Here is the link for the form to order your name tag:  BADGES

 
JCC INFORMATION
 
 
 
THE OFFICE IS LOCATED AT
2411 Long Beach Boulevard (24th Street)
Spray Beach, NJ 08008

ENTER THE BUILDING DURING OFFICE HOURS
THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR.
FOR HANDICAPPED ENTRANCE
PRESS THE ENTRY BUTTON ON THE NORTH SIDE OF THE ENTRANCE FOR ADMITTANCE.


Mailing Address:
2411 Long Beach Blvd.
Spray Beach, NJ 08008

Telephone: 609-492-4090
FAX: 609-492-7550

web site: www.jccoflbi.org  
  

OFFICE HOURS
Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9 AM to 1:30 PM 

  
 

 
Mary Beth, Tony and Leslie

Office Staff:
 Leslie Dinkfelt, Office Manager
 
Mary Beth Krieger, Staff Member
Tony DeGregorio, Custodial Staff



Kitchen Manager
Susan Berube


CONTACT INFORMATION:
  
Rabbi Michael S. Jay

Michael Babst, President
mjbofjcclbi@gmail.com

  VIEW THE NOV/DEC/JAN BULLETIN
with this link



E-mail Editor: Rose Valentine 
rvalen 1963@aol.com
 

"Like" Us on Facebook: Search for Jewish Community Center of Long Beach Island and make sure the JCC of LBI: The Place to Be icon shown above shows up
or click on this link  FACEBOOK
or cut and paste:




NEXT WEEK'S EVENTS
1/24 - 1/31

Saturday
7:00 PM
Movie Nite

SHABBAT SHALOM

Shabbat 
Candle Lighting Time
Friday 
January 24, 2020
4:49 PM
(So. Ocean County NJ)

Friday evening
January 24, 2020
8:00 PM

Saturday
  January 25, 2020
9:00 AM 
Torah Study
10:00 AM 
Services

Enjoy a Cholent Lunch at 12:00 Noon
prepared by Rabbi Jay 


Game afternoon 
after lunch....
Canasta, Mah jongg, 
or a variety of 
board games 



FEEL FREE TO COME TO THE JCC FOR ALL OR ANY PART OF THIS SHABBAT!!!!!


Please help us create a special atmosphere by not using electronic devices (phones, cameras, games etc) in or around the synagogue on Shabbat 
 and Holidays. No food or drink is permitted in the sanctuary.

MISHABERACH LIST


At the  beginning of each year, the mishaberah list is purged.  Please contact the office to add the name(s) of loved ones you wish to have read for a speedy recovery at services:

YAHRZEITS FOR NEXT WEEK

These names will be  read at services on  January 24, 2020

Helen Berman
Joyce Blumberg
Harry Jerome
Herman Meyer
J. Gilbert Sholin
Dr. Henry Abrams
Helen Cweibel
Estelle Gordon
Joseph Gross
Beatrice Koss
Richard Pacharz
Harriet Blecher
Cantor Hirsch L. Chazin*
Harry Goldhammer
Marvin Kolsby*
Doris Luterman
Dr. Jack David Levy*
Erik Cameron, MD
Perla Zavelson
Lillian Kenter*
Frieda Klein
Martin Nissenblatt
Mary Esther Sprague Ruoff*
Ben Scharf
Helen Tebeleff
Milton Elefant
Henry Hirsh
William Jaslow
Jack Kaplan
Stella Schub
Joseph Stern
Arthur Sussman


   
PLEASE LET THE OFFICE KNOW WHEN YOU WILL NEED A MINYAN TO SAY KADDISH.  

 
* Yahrzeit Plaque - These names are lovely enshrined on our synagogue 
memorial boards.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Cake

This Week's
Birthdays:

Martha Serepca Frank
January 25
Eileen L. Rosen
January 25
Evelyn Stern
January 25
Barry Sussman
January 25
Jeffrey Denholtz
January 26
Brian Gottesman
January 26
Robert Van Naarden
January 26
Eileen Buznitsky
January 27
Annbeth Katz
January 27
Karen Schwing
January 27
Cookie Botwinick
January 28
Stanley Berman
January 31
 
 
 

If you have not given the office your birthday information and would like to receive birthday wishes, please notify the office of your date of birth.

And if you would like to have the Rabbi give you or a family member a special blessing on the Shabbat of your/their birthday, please let him know: RABBI

CONGREGATION
NEWS

Get Well
JERRY JAY

JENNIFER MILLNER



SHARE YOUR NEWS
AND PICTURES



 
 
Caring 
CARING COMMITTEE
   
This committee acts as a support system for congregation members facing illness and other personal situations that need to be addressed.
Please contact Chairperson,
Debby Schweighardt
if you are in need of assistance or if you know of a JCC member
that needs our help.
973-634-5349 
     
CHOLENT SHABBATS

Join us for our two scheduled "Cholentfest" dates, January 25th and February 22nd. Both days are Saturdays. We will have Torah study and/or services and then have cholent for lunch. 
CELEBRATE A MILESTONE AT THE JCC

The JCC is a beautiful place to celebrate a milestone: wedding, anniversary, baby naming, birthday.

Contact the office for further information. 609-492-4090
 
JCC COOKBOOKS

Looking for a house gift for Thanksgiving, a Chanukah present or just enjoy trying new recipes? The JCC cookbook is available for $10 per book.

   
SPONSOR AN ONEG SHABBAT


SPONSOR
an Oneg Shabbat 
on Friday night

with a $36.00 
minimum contribution

See this form for details
ONEG

Call the JCC Office to reserve a date.
609-492-4090
SPONSOR A KIDDUSH


We are proud to announce the establishment of the 
Zena Jay Kiddush Fund
in memory of Rabbi Jay's mother

Those who want to sponsor a kiddish or would like to donate to the fund, can contact the office at 609-492-4090

For information about 
sponsoring a Kiddush

SEE DONATION & MENU:

BULLETIN ADS

Please contact the JCC Office (609-492-4090) if you would like to place an ad in the Bulletin
TD AFFINITY PROGRAM

Easy money! 

Do you have an account with TD Bank? 

You can contribute to the JCC without it costing you a cent. TD Bank will pay us on the number of accounts in our TD Affinity Club. There is no minimum number of members. We automatically receive $10 for every checking account and .01% of the balance on Savings Accounts. In addition we receive $50 for any new accounts.  This is strictly confidential and the JCC does not know the amount in any of the accounts. 

Think about joining this program and helping the JCC to reap the benefits.


DOCUMENTS AND LINKS

 

JUST CLICK AND YOU'RE THERE!!!

 

LATEST BULLETIN:

BULLETIN 

 

 WEB SITE:

JCC WEB SITE

 

MEMBERSHIP FORMS

MEMBERSHIP  

 

PAVERS:

PAVERS 

 

TREE OF LIFE

TREE 

 

YAHRZEIT PLAQUE FORM:

PLAQUE 

 

KOL HAKAVOD DONATION FORM

KOL HAKAVOD

 

ONEG SHABBAT SPONSOR:

ONEG 

 

KIDDISH SPONSOR:

KIDDISH