November 27th, 2020
Candle Lighting 4:12pm
Offering THANKSGIVING for Our Wonderful Minyan Attendees
So very grateful to our “minyanaires” for turning out and Zooming in, assuring us a strong minyan (so far) on a notoriously tough holiday weekend! Keep it up, please!

And he will also be speaking at one of our Hanukkah celebrations! (see further on…)
Texts, translations and transliterations

A New World fruit has been incorporated into Old World recipes, with sweet (and sour) results  

Thanksgiving is the most Jewish of holidays. A story of flight, immigration, and success here in the New World, perhaps no other ethnic group better embodies the mythic narrative of the early English pilgrims than the Jews. For Jews, the ritual of Thanksgiving dinner reminds us of another sacred meal celebrating liberation and redemption – the Passover Seder. Jews know how to do Thanksgiving.

On the façade of Philadelphia’s National Museum of American Jewish History, a sign reads, “Only in America.” Indeed the American experience seems to be unique in the long journey of Jewish history. Though reminiscent of former great centers of Jewish life, in some ways the American Jewish community surpasses previous golden ages. Never have Jews contributed so dramatically to the life of the nation. Never have we been welcomed so thoroughly and achieved positions of such esteem. In America we have transformed ourselves from the “huddled masses” of Emma Lazarus’ famous poem into a rich landscape of creative spiritual thinkers, innovative community builders, and a 26 billion dollar philanthropic “communal apparatus”. In many ways, it’s true what Fievel Mousekewitz says in the animated classic An American Tail, in America, “the streets are paved with cheese.”

Over the coming years Millennials of the Jewish American community will begin to sit down to Thanksgiving dinners as true shapers of the emerging Jewish story. They have developed a set of values based on their unique Jewish experience – one which both reflects and diverges from the past. It is a more global experience, a less institutional experience, and an experience shaped by the State of Israel in many ways. Jewish Millennials will bring many new questions to the table, and will play an outsized role in the dynamic future of our people in the New World.

Thanksgiving, the verb, is a central practice and value in Jewish identity. Coming together around the table to celebrate and express gratitude for the many gifts in our lives and history is one of the foundations of Jewish ritual. Many of the Jewish calendar’s sacred meals trace their origins to festivals of harvest – much as the American Thanksgiving celebrates the plenty of harvest, so too do Jewish feasts begin with giving thanks for the abundance of this world.
In many ways, the entire project of Jewish spirituality and ethics is to enable us to cultivate lives of gratitude and thanks giving. We look around ourselves and see how our journeys in this lifetime are so precious – each sunset, each relationship is a great gift. We look about, and with tremendous gratitude we say Baruch Atah Adonai – Thank you!

Celebrating the plenty, we are also reminded of those who do not share in the abundance of our society. We are reminded of the Jewish poor, often overlooked because of our community’s relative wealth. One in four Jewish households in New York City are poor – often those who have most recently embodied the 2000-year-tale of Jewish expulsion and immigration. At Thanksgiving dinner, gratitude is also accompanied by humility and a renewed determination to seek Tzedek / Justice for those in need.
Mi SheBayrach
We make special prayers for those who are ill at every Shabbat Morning service and during our Monday & Thursday Minyanim. Since the onset of the pandemic, we have been adding a special Mi SheBayrach for those who have contracted the coronavirus.

You can add a name (traditionally: Hebrew/Yiddish name and mother’s Hebrew/Yiddish name, but we’ll take English names and the names of those who are not Members of our Tribe) by calling or emailing me.
Or better yet: why not join us for the 9:00am weekday morning minyan, and read the Psalm (in English) just before we include the name of your family member, friend or acquaintance in the Mi SheBayrach
Torah Reading 
On route to his uncle’s home in Haran, Jacob encamps in the open air near the city of Luz. That night he has a vision of angels ascending and descending a ladder from heaven. God appears to him and promises protection to Jacob, and the land to his descendants. In the morning Jacob erects a stele on the site, renames the place Beth El, and vows that if he returns home unharmed he will dedicate a tenth of his possessions to God.
On the outskirts of Haran, Jacob encounters his cousin Rachel, a shepherdess, at the local well. He is so taken with her that he single-handedly removes the stone covering the well and waters her flock. Jacob is welcomed cordially into his uncle Laban’s household, and he agrees to work for seven years as a shepherd in order to gain his cousin Rachel’s hand in marriage. Laban deceives him and he is wedded to Leah, Rachel’s older sister. Jacob must now work an additional seven years to marry Rachel.
During the years in Haran, Leah and Rachel - and their handmaidens, Bilhah and Zilpah – bear Jacob eleven sons and one daughter. (Benjamin, the 12th son, will be born near Bethlehem.)
Jacob works an additional six years for Laban in exchange for all the streaked and spotted animals born into the flock. Without any detriment to Laban’s pure black and white animals, Jacob’s flock becomes exceedingly numerous, arousing envy and hostility in Laban and his sons. Jacob decides that it is time to return home with his family and flock. He departs while Laban is away; Laban overtakes him and they have a brief confrontation before concluding a covenant of peace with each other. The journey home is resumed.
ALL our Synagogue Prayer Services and Programs are conducted over ZOOM

You can participate in one of two ways 
  • Dialing in - or - 
  • Using internet access and a smartphone, tablet or computer
Do You Need to Obtain a Siddur? Please call or email me for details. kas
Do you need a CROSS-REFERENCE GUIDE to pages in the old Sim Shalom (Blue cover) for Shabbat and Holidays (when we are using Lev Shalem)?...
to the Weekday Services in Lev Shalem (when we are using the burgundy weekday Sim Shalom)?
Call me or email me for the GUIDE

Fort Lee Virtual Shul Prayer Services CLICK HERE TO ATTEND
Participant ID/Passcode: 585121 (if required)
Dial in: 929 205 6099     Meeting ID: 894 4624 7890

Our Shabbat Services
Friday evenings at 7:00 pm
Shabbat Mornings at 10:30 am
Havdalah at 5:15 pm    
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

  • Irene Eisenstein will be observing yahrzeit for her father, Albert Cohen on Friday evening, November 27th
  • Robert Mohl will be observing yahrzeit for his mother, Anna Mohl on Friday evening, November 27h
  • Milton Breit will be observing yahrzeit for his sister, Dora Planchard on Sunday evening, November 29th
  • Norman & Ann Schaer will be observing yahrzeit for their daughter, Stacey Yore on Sunday evening, November 29th
  • Ann Oster will be observing yahrzeit for her father, Solomon Weisleder on Sunday evening, November 29th
  • Irwin & Karen Meyers will be observing yahrzeit for their son, Jonathan Meyers on Tuesday evening, December 1st
  • Suzette Kolitch will be observing yahrzeit for her mother, Sylvia Ross on Wednesday evening, December 2nd
  • Selma Spielman will be observing yahrzeit for her mother, Mary Mundel on Thursday evening, December 3rd

Birthdays & Anniversaries
Iris Fox
Larry Lesh
Marc Karpman

Fort Lee Virtual Shul Prayer Services CLICK HERE TO ATTEND
Participant ID/Passcode: 585121 (if required)
Dial in: 929 205 6099     Meeting ID: 894 4624 7890

Sunday - Friday Mornings at 9:00 am 

Sunday - Thursday Evenings at 7:00 pm
Special Request: if you purchased or downloaded Siddur Lev Shalem (Shabbat and Holidays) and/or Siddur Sim Shalom (Weekdays), please let Rabbi Stern know. (Please call him or email him).

Our Weekly Programming  
Fort Lee Virtual Shul Classes/Programming CLICK HERE TO ATTEND
Participant ID/Passcode: 144384 (if required)
Dial in: 929 205 6099      Meeting ID: 822 9648 6657
Wednesdays at Noon -
Coffee Talk  (BYO coffee, lunch, etc.)

Thursdays at 11:00 -
Legends of the Bible
Fridays at 11:30 -
Bible as Literature Class  

Please call me for your free access code if you would like to participate in ScholarStream
Only 2 Sessions on Each Coast (4 Total) Remaining!

Our Congregation is a sponsor of ScholarStream Series
Following on the success of our direct-to-public programming for Tikkun Leil Shavuot and Selihot, and in a continuing effort to help our rabbis and congregations during these trying times, the RA, USCJ, JTS and Ziegler are excited to announce a joint initiative to offer high quality adult education opportunities to all those interested in participating. ScholarStream is a four part series which will give communities the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s leading scholars and engage deeply with our texts and traditions.
The first two series will be offered on the following dates and times, meeting for one hour each week.
Hidden Histories and Untold Stories
Tuesdays at 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT
Join JTS scholars as they uncover the hidden context around biblical figures and important eras in Jewish history.
  • 12/1: Dr. Sarah Wolf on how foreign the beit midrash would feel to the early Rabbis
  • 12/8: Dr. Amy Kalmanofsky on what the Bible really had against Jezebel
Equity, Forgiveness and Intersectionality
Wednesdays at 10 PM ET / 7 PM PT
Join Ziegler faculty as they explore issues related to race, gender equality, intersectionality, and building a democracy of the future. Download the full descriptions for each Ziegler session here.
  • 12/2: Rabbi Dr. Gail Labovitz on what Exodus has to teach us about intersectionality
  • 12/9: Rabbi Dr. Aryeh Cohen on building a multiracial democracy

Because our congregation is a sponsor you are eligible for free access to this series.
Any questions email Max Arad at

Our Weekly Programming  
Fort Lee Virtual Shul Classes/Programming
Participant ID/Passcode: 144384 (if required)
Dial in: 929 205 6099      Meeting ID: 822 9648 6657

LINDA RICHMAN is looking for VOLUNTEERS to share their passion or expertise with the COFFEE TALK crowd….
Your profession
Your avocation
Your hobby
Your expertise 
Your life experiences
Your travels
Please be in touch with the Rabbi to volunteer or to make suggestions for programming…
Wednesday, December 2
What I Learned from ScholarStream About Moses’ Family         
I’ll try my best to convey Dr. Alan Cooper’s masterful lesson—Rabbi Ken Stern

Wednesdays December 9 & 16
The Evidence (or Lack Thereof) for the Exodus with Marvin Chertkoff

This past Tuesday Telhila Friedman had no choice but to join us for Coffee Talk from her car, as she traveled to the north of Israel (I took this screen shot of her during her talk):
Gifts from Dr. Stefanie Halpern, Director of the YIVO Archives:
and to the YIVO Calendar of Classes and Events:
Thursdays at 11am:
Re-Inventing the Bible
The Rabbis were both close readers of the text, sensitive to every nuance, and, it turns out, also great fiction writers and spinners of yarn. They weren’t just legal scholars!
Using Louis Ginzberg’s masterful narrative compiling these legends, The Legends of the Bible, we will continue our exploration of these tales, known as Midrash Aggada.
Available for cheap on Amazon! 
Fridays at 11:30 am
Virtual Hanukkah Events in which We Will be Participating:  
Folksbiene Hanukkah December 8-12
For more Information and to Register, please click here. 
We are delighted to invite you and your community to our Hanukkah Hullabaloo on Monday, December 14 at 8 PM ET! You'll laugh! You'll sing! You'll dance! Come and join us!
All are welcome to join us!
We look forward to celebrating with you on the 5th night of Hanukkah!
Kol Tuv,
The Ramah Berkshires Team
Our Own Hanukkah Party!!
We’ll Romp and Stomp
Dance and Prance
Tuesday night, December 15 at 8pm
Participant ID/Passcode: 144384 (if required)
Dial in: 929 205 6099      Meeting ID: 822 9648 6657

Our Shul is a Co-Sponsor
Important/Interesting Reads
And maybe another Jew!!
Tony Blinken, Accepting Biden’s Secretary of State Nomination, Notes Jewish Roots                               
Biden Nominates Alejandro Mayorkas, Latino Jew Who Has Said Jews Face Heightened Threat, as Homeland Security Secretary
Joe and Jill Biden are Roman Catholics - but all three of the Biden children married Jews                                             
She is only one voice—and she is older now and tempered, and a lone voice among a slew of pro-Israel Jews. So calm down, everyone—and let’s wait and see…
Reema Dodin faced immediate criticism from some conservative groups but is backed by veteran politicians and Jewish Democrats
The whole thing is shameful!!
The late historian, Cecil Roth, wrote a biography of her:
The true story of Doña Gracia Nasi, whose courage and charity helped countless hidden Jews like herself during the Inquisition, is retold in ‘The Wandering Jewess’                                      
Last Word on the Election from an Old Friend  (I mentored him in his first year in Rabbinical School)
Early November is finally here. I have seen a lot of hate spewed in recent days about a man who is a constant winner and overachiever, and that's what the people who support him like about him. Yes, he's been caught in some lies and maybe twisted the truth a little but he's still out there proving his haters wrong time after time. Some people are just jealous of someone who is successful and has money. Throw in a hot foreign underwear model at his side and they hate him even more. You may not have wanted him in his role, but he's there now and there's nothing you can do about it. I know it’s possibly just going to get worse over the next several days, but like him or not, Tom Brady is turning things around in Tampa.
This either puts the incoming Biden Administration in a bind—or does them a favor!
 As Mount Karkom attracts increasing visitors, archaeologists try to protect a prehistoric art-filled site that a top researcher claims is Mount Sinai, complete with ‘burning bush’                   
BDS / Anti-Semitism / anti-Zionism
Longtime Human Rights Activist Irwin Cotler Named as Canada’s First Envoy in Anti-Semitism Fight                                
Kyle Rittenhouse Wore a Shirt with a Coffee Company’s Name on It. Now Its Jewish Owner is Being Harassed by Anti-Semites
Univ. of Illinois Admits ‘Double Standards’ for Jewish Students, Whose ‘Zionism is an Integral Part of their Identity’ – in Historic ‘First Step’
BDS Without a Campus Due to the Pandemic     The landscape that nurtured a movement shuts down, leaving activists on both sides wondering whether the debate will cool down—or get hotter
This may simply be “tone-deafness.” Then again, it is Quebec… Then again, Hanukkah pales importance to Christmas…         
Quebec to Allow Gatherings During Christmas, But Not Hanukkah, Frustrating Province’s Jews                                             
Iran / Syria / Hezbollah
Israeli officials should urge the new administration to maintain U.S. economic leverage over Iran while avoiding the personal vendettas and public policy feuds of the Obama era. And should the incoming Biden administration fail to take Israel’s concerns over Iran into account, the tensions of the Obama-Netanyahu era will likely return 
As negotiations hit impasse, Yuval Steinmetz, Israeli Energy Minister suggests meeting Michel Aoun in Europe to break deadlock following Twitter tiff                                                 
The Palestinians
Ahlam Al-Tamimi was the mastermind behind the Sbarro pizza restaurant attack in Jerusalem in 2001   
In my opinion this the wrong approach to take with the President-Elect, but as Abba Eban said, “They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”
The Gulf /Arab States
Joe Biden’s foreign policy nominees have said they will re-prioritise human rights in relations with Middle East governments
New fiber-optic network would connect the historical enemies and open a new corridor for internet traffic                

Now this is substantive, and far more important than moving the US Embassy, recognizing Israel’s (de facto) sovereignty over the Golan, or the “peace” with nations who have never been at war:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s covert trip to visit Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wasn’t supposed to be public knowledge. But it surprised no one. One thing is clear: The two leaders are bracing for an ill wind emanating from the new White House.
The Whizin Center for Continuing Education is pleased to present our mid-fall lineup of classes and learning opportunities, delivered in an ONLINE format.
We wish continued good health and safety to the entire community. We will be updating our offerings and classes on an ongoing basis. Be sure to visit our website to learn more:

Only in America: Harry Houdini & David Copperfield
Saturday, December 12 at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT)
Free, donations encouraged
Join us as we are transported from Independence Mall in Philadelphia (or wherever your living room may be!) to Las Vegas for a magical online event celebrating Harry Houdini and David Copperfield as they are inducted into our Ed Snider Only in America Gallery®/Hall of Fame.
This family-friendly event is free and open to everyone...tell your friends!

David Copperfield, the world’s best magician, will accept the award from his International Museum and Library of the Conjuring Arts, which houses the largest collection of Houdini artifacts in the world. Other presenters include 2019 Academy of Magical Arts Winners Asi Wind and Lucy Darling...


The Great Kosher Meat War of 1902 (Author Talk)
Tuesday, Dec 1, 2020
Live online at 4 pm ET
FREE with Registration

Thousands of Jewish women took to the streets of Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1902 to shut down every kosher butcher shop until the precipitous rising prices of kosher meat came down. Join Scott D. Seligman, author of The Great Kosher Meat War of 1902: Immigrant Housewives and the Riots That Shook New York City, to learn their story.

Giving Tuesday is Tuesday, December 1—just under one week from today. We're suggesting a donation of $10 in honor of our 10th year as our anniversary celebrations continue, and as we work tirelessly to make sure the stories of American Jewish life will continue to be told for decades to come.
Save the Date
Monday, December 21
Courtesy of Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
In honor of Flory Jagoda's 97th birthday on December 21, join us in celebrating the life and music of this living Ladino musical legend. "Nonna Flory"—a Sephardic Jewish singer and composer—received the 2002 National Heritage Fellowship, the highest honor the U.S. bestows upon a traditional artist.
Program details coming soon. In the meantime, enjoy a video of Flory performing Ocho Kandelikas at the Richmond Folk Festival on October 14, 2012.

Register here.

As lovers of Jewish music, you probably already know what a groundbreaking and important contribution The Milken Archive of Jewish Music: The American Experience has already made to the Jewish world. What you may not have known is that many of the Conservative Movement's most prominent cantors, CA members all, recorded extensively for that years-long project.

For five more weeks, through December 21, every Monday at 8:00 PM ET, we'll be bringing you their stories and their music. Cantors on Record will feature live interviews with the artists and the music they recorded along with archival photos.

This week, Dr. Mark Kligman of UCLA's Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music steps into the role of host to interview our regular host, Hazzan Elizabeth Shammash.

About Hazzan Shammash:
The daughter of a mother with roots in Latvian Jewry, and a Baghdad-born father of Babylonian Jewish tradition who emigrated to America, mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Shammash earned a bachelor’s degree in Italian studies from Brown University (including a year of study at the University of Bologna in Italy), an artist diploma from Boston University’s Opera Institute, and a master’s degree in music and voice performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Her opera credits include the role of Idamante in Mozart’s Idomeneo with the Wolf Trap Opera, and her concert appearances have included an all-Bernstein program with the National Symphony Orchestra, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Seattle Symphony under Gerard Schwarz. She holds a master of sacred music and certificate of hazzanut from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, and currently serves as cantor at Adath Israel in Merion Station, Pennsylvania.

In subsequent sessions, you'll get to meet and hear from such luminaries as these:

  • November 30: Hazzan Simon Spiro
  • December 7: Hazzan Charles Osborne
  • December 14: Hazzan Raphael Frieder
  • December 21: Hazzan Aaron Bensoussan

The Cantors Assembly is thrilled to be continuing our collaboration with The UCLA Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music and The Milken Archive for Jewish Music: The American Experience, and we hope that you enjoy and share this program with your fellow lovers of Jewish music.

Register here.

For a press release to share with your congregation or organization, please click here.
From the Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music
To learn more about our session with Frank London, click here.
To learn more about David Amram's session, click here.

For more information about all our programs, click here.

25 years ago today, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated because he was building a world where the Jewish State and her neighbors could live side-by-side in peace. 

Especially in these fraught times, the Z3 Project honors his memory by continuing to fight for the cause: not just for peace between Israel and her neighbors, but also peace between ourselves. Let’s come together now — left and right, Orthodox and secular, West Bank settler and Berkeley student—to embrace our shared legacy and a common destiny.

Be a part of The Z3 Project, a virtual experience during the week of Hanukkah, Dec. 10-17, 2020. Join artists, performers, speakers, and regular folks from around the world as we reimagine Diaspora-Israel relations in an online communal experience like none other. 
The 2020 gathering will be 100% online, during the eight days of Hanukkah, from December 10 through December 17, 2020. On each day, we will premiere exclusive Main Stage conversations, alongside feature articles and educational videos. In addition, there will be local conversations hosted by JCCs from around the globe. Keep your eyes on the program for up to date information.
The $36 registration fee gives you an all-access pass to every aspect of the global Z3 Experience, including voting rights in the Z3 Giving Circle. Proceeds from ticket sales will support seven programs at partner JCCs worldwide, based on votes by ticket holders, with final results revealed during the closing session. This is Z3's new spin on Hanukkah - until the very end of this eight-day virtual experience, you have a stake and a say in our future: your money, your vote, and your voice.