September 18th 2020
Shabbat Times: 
Candle Lighting
Virtual services see below

 Forecast: 65

The Evening Minyan Wishes You a Shana Tova!
And Greeting from this Morning's Minyan

See you tonight and tomorrow...and tomorrow!!
Please Note: Sunday Night Services for the end of Rosh HaShannah will take place on Zoom at 7:45pm, using our regular weekday evening minyan log-in or dial-up
Soulful Rendition of Avinu Malkeinu from an 8-Year old in Australia
Soulful rendition of avinu malkeinu in English and Hebrew
Soulful rendition of avinu malkeinu in English and Hebrew
Missing the Comfort of "My" Seat in Synagogue When the Whole World is Askew       
Do's and Dont's- From Shofar to Sukkah     

Sunday - Friday Mornings at 9:00 am CLICK HERE TO ATTEND
Dial in by phone: 929 205 6099     Meeting ID: 110 379 215
Sunday - Thursday Evenings at 7:00 pm CLICK HERE TO ATTEND
Dial in by phone: 929 205 6099       Meeting ID: 338 747 559

Dial in by phone: 929-205-6099      Meeting ID: 886 1779 2509

This Week's Yahrzeit Observances
We hope that our weekly listing of yahrzeit observances will serve 2 purposes:
1)     To remind those who have the yahrzeit for a second time, much closer to the date of the actual observance
2)     To alert friends and acquaintances that someone they know is observing a yahrzeit. We hope that you will show them your support by joining them at our (virtual) minyanim, and helping to assure that Kaddish can be recited with a minyan 

Evelyn Baer will be observing yahrzeit for her grandmother, Lina Aufseeser on Friday evening, September 18th
Tobey Lyden will be observing yahrzeit for her sister, Jacqueline Borruso on Friday evening, September 18th
Carolyn Tauber will be observing yahrzeit for her mother, Betty Lippel on Friday evening, September 18th
James Rosenberg will be observing yahrzeit for his grandfather, Jack Rosenberg on Friday evening, September 18th
Sheila Scherl will be observing yahrzeit for her mother-in-law, Jeanette Scherl Thau on Friday evening, September 18th
Phyllis Lowe will be observing yahrzeit for her grandfather, Sini Winter on Friday evening, September 18th
Ann Rosenberg will be observing yahrzeit for her husband, Fred Rosenberg on Sunday evening, September 20th
Gerald Topiel will be observing yahrzeit for his grandmother, Fannie Topiel on Sunday evening, September 20th
Roberta Mathes will be observing yahrzeit for her uncle, Theo Mathes on Monday evening, September 21st
Regina Friedman will be observing yahrzeit for her mother-in-law, Jennie Friedman on Tuesday evening, September 22nd
Ann Bloch will be observing yahrzeit for her father, Charles Bogursky on Wednesday evening, September 23rd
Harvey Fishman will be observing yahrzeit for his mother, Lee Fishman on Wednesday evening, September 23rd
Phyllis Lowe will be observing yahrzeit for her mother, Rose Kaplan on Wednesday evening, September 23rd

Birthdays & Anniversaries
 Andrea Elrom
Lori Wasserman

Important/Interesting Reads
These ABU DHABI Restroom Symbols Take Some Getting Used to for Westerners!

The Significance of the Israel-UAE Deal                                                                    
This deal will radically change the way Arab states will deal with each other and their problems.                             

What Bahrain's Deal with Israel Really Means
Social distancing, self-isolation, underground training of medical students were key.                                            
 Jewish Students Aid Owners of Kebab Shop Hit in Synagogue Attack in Halle, Germany

The Secret History of America's Only WWII Refugee Camp 


Israeli NGO mourns destruction of refugee camp they helped build              
 For five years IsraAID has been helping Syrian, Iraqi and Afghani refugees in Lesbos. This week the camp burned down, and 12,000 are homeless.   

Israeli Arabs See Opportunity in Accords with Bahrain and UAE 

Israel to Celebrate Jewish New Year Under a Second Lockdown               
Citizens will be confined to within 500 meters of their homes for at least three weeks in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus. 

Pop Culture
Introducing... THE ALMAS 5780                                                                    
The best of the best in Jewish pop culture for this past Jewish year. 
Hit Israeli Series 'Fauda' Will Be Back for 4th Season 
'Shtisel' Season 3 has a Trailer                           
Is There Really a 'Koufax Curse' for Jews Who Play Baseball on the High Holidays?         
The Many Jewish Lives of Diana Rigg


MERCAZ Reads Israel is a partnership of
MERCAZ USA, Mercaz-Masorti Canada, and the Israel Forever Foundation

This past spring, we launched our MERCAZ Reads Israel online book club by reading and discussing Avigail Graetz's A Rabbi's Daughter. Nearly 200 individuals joined us for our first book club meeting in early June!

Our next selection is Ilana Kurshan's book, If All The Seas Were Ink.

We will be joining together via Zoom on Wednesday, September 23 at 1:00 p.m. EDT to reflect on Ilana Kurshan's memoir, with the author herself!

Below is a step-by-step guide to walk you through everything you need to know to register for our upcoming book club meeting, and participate in our book club discussions!

Get Ready to Participate in our next
MERCAZ Reads Israel Book Club Meeting!

Buy the book, If All The Seas Were Ink on Amazon. The book is available for purchase in soft cover, hard cover, Kindle, and audio book formats.

Register to participate in our book club discussion, via Zoom, on Wednesday, September 23 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. Note: You may need to scroll down a bit on the page to see the registration form. After you click 'Submit,' be sure to copy, paste, and save the Zoom meeting login information that will be displayed on the page. (To see the login information display, you may need to scroll up a bit in your browser after you hit 'Submit.')

Read an article about the book by author Ilana Kurshan, review the discussion questions, and watch an Eli Talks presentation to dive deeper into the book, and prepare for our book club meeting!

Begin discussing the book now, in our online book club group on Facebook! Join our MERCAZ Reads Israel group on Facebook, then go to our If All The Seas Were Ink unit to begin sharing your thoughts about the discussion questions with fellow book club members!

We hope that many of you will join us on Facebook (now) and via Zoom (on September 23) to dive deeper into If All The Seas Were Ink!

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at


Sarrae G. Crane
Executive Director

P.S. Please consider supporting MERCAZ USA by becoming a member of MERCAZ USA or making a donation. Your support makes exciting Israel engagement opportunities like MERCAZ Reads Israel possible. Thank you!

September 2020

Dominick Balletta, Executive Director - NYTF. Photo: ©Russell Peborde
Sholom Aleichem to the Folksbiene community (finally!)

My name is Dominick Balletta, the relatively new Executive Director of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene. I jumped feet first into the life of Folksbiene on November 1 of last year and had just gotten my sea legs when the pandemic hit.
And so, as we make the turn into fall and take our initial steps towards coming out the other side, I thought this would be a good time to introduce myself and chat with you all for a few moments.

More Info

Spotlight: Magda Fishman
Cantor Magda Fishman, star of Folksbiene's Soul to Soul, will usher in the Jewish New Year with some of her favorite Yiddish, Hebrew and English songs. Mark it on your calendar: Wednesday, September 16 at 1PM!
Recently, we were lucky enough to chat with Magda about her upcoming Folksbiene!LIVE concert.
Read More!

Not to be missed! Tune in on Wednesday, September 23 at 1 PM when journalist Budd Mishkin interviews none other than comedy legend Robert Klein!
Known for his unique brand of Jewish humor, the Bronx-born celebrity will talk about his life and remarkable career as a comedian, singer, and actor. 
More Info

From Zalmen's home to yours
Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek features Songs of Spirituality and the New Year, Songs from The Golden Land, and other musical gems this month.
Sit back, relax, and watch his entertaining Living Room Concerts on Folksbiene! LIVE.
From his home to yours, Thursdays at 1 PM!
See the September Schedule Here

Catskill Memories
It's that time again and oh do we have some very special Yiddish theatre memory videos for you...summertime in the famed Borscht Belt, also known as the Jewish Alps!
This month, we asked two of our #NYTFriends to record themselves talking about their favorite Catskills memories. We introduce you to, Marty Goetz & Rick Grossman...
Watch Here!

Looking Ahead
On the horizon for October is Folksbiene! LIVE: "Welcome to Our Suke/Sukkah", a four-day festival of family-friendly performances during Chol Hamoed (the intermediary days of Sukkos) from October 5th to 8th.
Presentations include Kids and Yiddish: The Reunion Special; Tatiana Wechsler Concert; Budd Mishkin in conversation with the Grammy Award-winning Klezmatics; and, Bisl Borscht: A Tribute to Mickey Katz, starring Ben Liebert (Motl from Folksbiene's Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish) with Special Guests.
More Details

Each month, Ellen Eisen will take us on a journey back in time to a shtetl far, far away where we will explore the origins and meanings of both well-known and little-known Yiddish sayings.
Read More

The Office of Cultural Affairs Team wishes you a Shana Tova

Israeli Culture in North America
Thursday, September 17, 2020

Unmasked! Films From Israel | Through Sep 22
Watch a sneak peek of the most promising not-yet-released Israeli films, presented by their filmmakers, including new works from Shira Haas (Unorthodox), Nir Bergmann (Broken Wings), Talya Lavie (Zero Motivation) and others. Co-presented by The Office of Cultural Affairs, Consulate General of Israel in NY.

Salon de Virtuosi Summer Virtual Alumni Series
Salon de Virtuosi presents a special Alumni Spotlight Concert, featuring world renowned cellist Amit Peled in an online concert with his pupil Ismael Guerrero. In collaboration with The Office of Cultural Affairs, Consulate General of Israel in New York.

God of the Piano | Out Sep 18
Anat has never been able to reach her father's musical standards, and now her family's hope of producing a musical prodigy rests on her unborn son. When the baby is born deaf, she resorts to extreme measures. "Rarely does a debut feature showcase a talent so fully formed" Glenn Kenny, The New York Times.

Fashion According to Warhol | Sep 22, 12pm EDT
Andy Warhol wanted to be buried wearing his blue jeans, beloved shoes and started his career as a fashion illustrator. In this lecture, Ya'ara Keydar embarks on a visual journey in the footsteps of Warhol's extraordinary life and career.
In Hebrew

TISFF on Air | Sep 21-26
The Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival will showcase more than 100 brand new short films, both from Israel and around the world, on its new online platform. Featuring shorts by Shadi Srur, Yona Rozenkier, Elinor Nechemya and many others.

Tel Aviv Dance ONLINE | Through Sep 16
Suzanne Dellal Centre's annual summer festival will feature nine works by Israeli choreographers, eight of which are world premieres. The artists have been working hard since January 2020, into and through the days of the Corona pandemic. And now each work has been adapted and produced for the new media especially for the festival.

Army of Lovers in the Holy Land
Asaf Galay's new documentary about the Jewish roots of the Swedish queer disco-pop band Army of Lovers and its charismatic singer Jean-Pierre Barda's journey to make aliyah - examining the notions of home, identity and family along the way. Galay and Barda will participate in a virtual Q&A on Sunday, September 20 at 3pm EST.

NSCMF's Onstage/Offstage Concerts and Conversations Series
The North Shore Chamber Music Festival presents "onstage/offstage": a new concert and conversation series presented live-in-person at PianoForte Chicago and by livestream through the NSCMF website. The exploratory series includes Jewish and Israeli music and the world premiere of an NSCMF commission by celebrated composer Avner Dorman.

IPO Digital Chamber Music Series | Sundays, 2pm
The inaugural program will feature Mozart's Clarinet Quintet in A major, with clarinetist Ron Selka, violinists Saida Bar-Lev and Sivann Maayani, violist Amir van der Hal and cellist Emanuele Silvestri.

The Wandering Israeli | Sep 15-26
The Wandering Israeli, with over 600 performances worldwide, takes you on a unique Israeli adventure. Based on a true story, actor/storyteller Elad Shippony pivots through a medley of colorful characters to weave a unique tale that's powerful, funny, and uplifting. Photo: Dmitry Mishin.

Hatikvah: A Sacred Readings of a Secular Text | Sep 13, 2pm EDT
Renowned musicologist Dr. Edwin Seroussi (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) discusses the history of Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem, focusing on unexpected and lesser-known religious interpretations of the song. Photo source: National Library of Israel, Ms. 8o 4116.

Bat Levi | Sep 25 & 26, 7:30pm

Bat Levi is a performance developed at A.I.R. Gallery. Wilschanski's performance practice unravels through the artist's body as she assembles and dismantles pseudo-sculptural costumes which alternately constrict her motion and give new, iconographic meaning to her gestures.