February 18, 2021 • Volume 17 No. 34
Throughout the Jewish year there are certain Shabbatot that are given a special name, each one associated with an historic moment of joy, sorrow, or uncertainty. Amongst them are Shabbat Shuva—in between the High Holidays, Shabbat Shira—commemorating the crossing of the Reed Sea, Shabbat Nachamu—a Shabbat of consolation following Tisha B’Av-marking the destruction of the first and second temples. In the weeks preceding Pesach, there are four additional Shabbatot. To mark each of these Shabbatot, there is either an additional Torah or special Haftarah portion.

This Shabbat is Shabbat Zachor—the Shabbat of remembrance immediately preceding the minor festival of Purim. Haman was Agagitea descendent of Agag, the king of the Amalekites who were Israel’s biblical enemy. Upon leaving Egypt, Amalek attacked Israel from the rear, killing those most vulnerable. In Deuteronomy 25, amongst 74 ethical commandments, Moses instructs the new generation, “You shall remember what Amalek did to you on the way, when you went out of Egypt, how he happened upon you on the way and cut off all of the stragglers at your rear, when you were faint and weary, and he did not fear God. Therefore, it will be, when Adonai, your God grants you respite from all your enemies around you in the land which Adonai, your God, gives to you as an inheritance to possess, that you shall obliterate the remembrance of Amalek from beneath the heavens. You shall not forget.”

We shall discuss the seeming contradiction of these verses at Torah Study on Saturday, at 9:00 am. For this Shabbat, let us take away an important message from all of these special Shabbatot. They precede or follow seminal moments in Jewish history—moments that underscore our people’s vulnerability, destruction or redemption. And those historical recollections are remembered on Shabbat—a day of rest, renewal and hope. Shabbat each week, whether linked to a frightful event in our people’s past, or ones we personally encountered this week, provides the sacred space for us to tap hope and inspiration and help us to pierce through our darkest moments.  

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Deborah A. Hirsch
Next Week Thursday, February 25, 7:00 pm

We’re coming back! Join us for the Purim Spiel & Megillah Reading.

See other details on the Purim event page
Shabbat Services: Friday, Saturday
Friday, February 19
6:00 pm Shabbat Evening Service (Casual Welcome and Conversation at 5:45 pm via ZOOM Meeting ID: 885 5732 2368, Passcode: 7wW055) via  LiveStream
Saturday, February 20
9:00 am Shabbat Torah Study and Morning Blessings (Shabbat Greetings at 8:50 am) with Rabbi Hirsch via ZOOM Meeting ID: 820 2427 9550, Passcode: 2uRykB, and via LiveStream
Click for the online Shabbat Leaflet
Temple Israel On-Going Programming
Daily Check-Ins next week will be Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

You can find the check-ins on the Temple Facebook page or in Connections on the Temple Website.
Kehillah Shirah on Thursdays, 10:30 am via ZOOM ON-GOING.
The Responsa Class is an opportunity to spend some study time with Rabbi Hirsch, on Fridays 9:00 am, discussing thought-provoking and interesting issues. Connect via ZOOM: Meeting ID: 206 879 5603 Passcode: 3GAeKM.
Kehillah Shabbat on Friday, 10:30 am via ZOOM ON-GOING.
Temple Israel Events
Its not just the day ... it's a season!

Pick a project, make a difference, do a mitzvah!

Click to see the list of projects, and how you can help.

Among some....

  • "Love in a Box" is hosting a zoom decoupage session which has been MOVED to: Sunday, March 21st, 4:00 pm (from Wednesday, February 17th). Please RSVP

  • "Project Linus" blankets must be done by TOMORROW Friday, February 19th.
On-going Sessions:
TONIGHT February 18, 7:00 pm
March 4, 7:00 pm
March 11, 8:00 pm
Join Rabbi Hirsch, via ZOOM, who will delve into the origins of Reform Judaism and how it has adapted/changed over the generations.

If you've missed a session, click here for the YouTube video (Part 1) for congregants.
Still Collecting!

Brotherhood & Sisterhood are sending you a challenge!

During this pandemic, food challenge and food insecurity has risen to a crisis level. Families and children are going to sleep hungry.

Brotherhood & Sisterhood want to make a difference in this crisis. Will you help? Click to find out how?
Get Ready ... In April!
Sisterhood Common Read

The book chosen for the Sisterhood Common Read is An Innocent Bystander: The Killing of Leon Klinghoffer, by Julie Salamon.

Click for more details, up to date information on the event, and the author.
Camp Pinebrook Still Enrolling Campers!

Are your children, grandchildren, or friends' children interested in Camp Pinebrook for the summer, or do you know someone who is?

Call Jesse Gallop, Camp Director, at (914) 813-8700, or check out the Camp Pinebrook Website!
Check out these books, and more, when you reserve a book for Purim. Library books are available for request and can be held at the front desk for pickup.
Contact Stephanie, the Temple Librarian, at (914) 636-1204 or email stephkras11@gmail.com
In the Community
Impact of COVID-19 on the Immigrant and Refugee Community

In conjunction with HIAS Refugee, WJCI invites you to attend a special zoom event with Westchester R2C on Sunday, March 7th, 10:00 am. Register here


Friday, March 5th, 6:00 pm
Shabbat Evening Service / National Refugee Shabbat via ZOOM
Visit Streamed Services on the Temple Website
(Come early for the Casual Welcome and Conversation at 5:45 pm)
UJA-Federation will be hosting a virtual musical tour of Jerusalem with Yonina on Sunday, March 14th at 11:00am! Yoni and Nina are an Israeli-American couple who started sharing music through weekly home videos on social media. Check out a sample of their pre-recorded tour of Jerusalem and promo video!

If you’d like to sign on to this special event or have any questions, please reach out to Becca Newman (UJA-Federation of New York) at newmanb@ujafedny.org.
Westchester To Help Seniors Navigate Vaccine Appointment Process

Westchester County's Department of Seniors Programs & Services will be helping seniors navigate the vaccine appointment process.

The department has an information and assistance phone line that is available to help Westchester's seniors from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm weekdays at (914) 813-6300.
"Strangers in a Foreign Land" Conversation

On Sunday, January 31st, there was a video conversation with the Interfaith Council for New Americans in Westchester (ICNAW) and two brothers who have been resettled, along with their families in Westchester, through HIAS with the support of ICNAW.

Temple Israel is one of the five faith-based members of ICNAW.

Click here for the rebroadcast, which became an interesting and heartwarming conversation (fast forward to the beginning of the broadcast).

If you would like to donate to continue the support of refugee families settling in Westchester, please do so:
  • By check made out to Beth El, indicate in memo for ICNAW 1324 North Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10804
  • Online via PayPal: http://bit.ly/ICNAWPayPalCUUC (or visit to cucwp.org and click on donate) to donate by PayPal or credit card. MUST indicate "ICNAW" under "Other."
To reach Temple Israel clergy or staff, click here.

Visit our website for more information.
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.