December 2020 | Kislev-Tevet 5781
by Shelley Schweitzer
In just a few days Chanukah will be upon us, and we will have then, pretty much, completed a year of Jewish holidays with the backdrop of a pandemic. In many communities, the cancellation of Purim celebrations March 9 and 10 was the first nod to the severity of the mystery illness we’d come to know as Covid 19.
In our house, we marked Passover with a meal delivery to Mom and her joining us via Duo with an iPad on the table. Then came Shavuot and a delayed confirmation class service. We rolled right through the federal holidays of Memorial Day, July Fourth, and Labor Day and most recently delivered yet another “meal-to-go” package for Thanksgiving. We worshipped from our homes for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and made only virtual visits to the sukkah of friends. We virtually danced with the Torah on Simchat Torah and here we are, days from the lighting of the menorah.
In Hebrew, Chanukah means dedication. It commemorates the “rededication” of the Second Temple and this year; it happens to fall at the end of the first “Covid holiday cycle.” Normally Chanukah is the middle of the eight-holiday sequence most of us know. Interesting that it times out to be the conclusion of the 2020/5780-5781 sequence.
For me the pandemic has been navigated in phases. First phase was the organize and purge phase. Many of us used the time to “take a breath,” to rest a bit if not to actually stop and smell the roses.
By phase two, we recognized that this disease wasn’t going anywhere soon and that we needed to accept it and find ways to remain connected and meet our own needs and those of others.
By phase three we were accepting the losses of being apart and celebrating milestones alone, and we began to look for silver linings. We became resigned to some things and found opportunities in others.
And here we are at Chanukah, a holiday that is about dedication and rededication. As we hear reports that the Covid timeline appears to have a light at the end of the tunnel – that isn’t a train – we find ourselves in another phase of the management cycle.
Chanukah is a time to rededicate ourselves to those things that are important to us; to “double down” if you will, on continuing to live our values both now and post-pandemic. We have an opportunity now to think about the lessons of these 9 months and of the lessons of each of the holidays in our Jewish 8-holiday sequence. Several Jewish holidays celebrate freedom. These months have given us a lot to think about as we define for ourselves those things that truly make us free. Some holidays are victories of good over evil; the harvest holidays mark the cycles of the earth, and still others are times to reflect, repent and start anew.
This Chanukah, I encourage you to give yourself the gift of rededicating yourself to those things that are most important to you. Identify what those things are and find ways to “double down” on them in the months to come. It will be the positive outcome that we each have the power to bring about as a result of this collective experience.
Temple Israel recently became a member of the Anti Defamation League’s (ADL) Signature Synagogue program. As described on their website:
The Signature Synagogue Program is an important way to engage our community and ignite a congregation-wide commitment to raising awareness about and speaking out against antisemitism and hate. This program creates a unifying initiative for community education and engagement. Participants in the Signature Synagogue Program will have special direct access to ADL’s programs, resources, and learning opportunities focused on local, regional, and national issues.
The ADL’s first exclusive Signature Synagogue webinar series begins on December 2nd at 5:30pm with a webinar entitled “Antisemitic Tropes Across the Globe.” In it, you will hear from Shaya Lerner, ADL’s Associate Director for Middle Eastern Affairs, and David Weinberg, Washington Director for International Affairs. You will learn about antisemitic tropes across the globe and the ways they manifest from various governments. After the presentation there will be time for Q&A from the participants. Every person must register in advance to attend the webinar.
James Michael Collum
Howard Fetters, Jr.
Carl J. Langkamp
Dr. Sam Lieberman
Lauren Beth Mostov
Carmen Adams Newcomb
Dr. Samuel Rafael
Celia G. Reinglass
George A. Spitzer
John Strauss, Sr.
Dr. James Tate
Dr. Irving Felder
Howard A. Fetters
Al S. Jacobson
William L. Lavin
Harry Stern Mann, Jr.
Louis R. Myers
Catherine Shifman Rosenbloom
L. Betty Savage
Julia Ziskin Schweitzer
David H. Shulan
I. Walter Arkow
Frieda Wise Bellin
Rosalie Carp Berley
Vera Luntz Burstein
Elsie Gelfand David
Louis J. Friedman
Lt. Col. Fred Green
Jacob Wolf Hartman
Wayne Arthur Krabill
Darwin S. Luntz
Florence B. Mintz
Minna H. Myers
Irvine Harold Routman
Linda Atleson Stein
Nathan Meyer Chapman
Murray Abraham Gold
Gertrude Toronski Leyton
Dr. Otto L. Plaut
Jacob Michael Rapport
Dr. Jerome Rosengard
I. Michael Rudolph
Kaethe Schohl Wells
The Temple's sympathy is extended to the families of:
Richard Rosen, who passed away on November 11, 2020. Richard was the husband of Susan; father of Gabe & Evan; brother-in-law of Jeff & Dale Sklar.
Sydelle Wax, who passed away on November 20, 2020. Sydelle was the mother of Amy (Jim) Humphrey.
Abigail Vanest, who passed away on November 21, 2020. Abby was the granddaughter of Beit Ha'am employee Darrell (Patty) Vanest.
Mazal Tov to:
David Robert Sinopoli & Matthew Keith Smith, who were married on September 6, 2020. David is the son of Debbie & Vito Sinopoli.
Meredith Smuckler & Dave Arnold, who were married on October 25, 2020. Meredith is the daughter of Randi & Bill Smuckler; granddaughter of Harlene Smuckler and Gloria & Bill Miller.
Temple Israel Endowments
Carl & Audrey Lavin Endowment
In Memory of
Father of Debby Perlitan, by Audrey Lavin
Atleson-Laden Family Religious School Endowment
Bob & Diane Friedman, continued good health, by Mark & Cathy Atleson
Lee Karelitz, by Mark & Cathy Atleson
Vito Sinopoli, by Mark & Cathy Atleson
Rabbi Spitzer, by Mark & Cathy Atleson
Rabbi John H. Spitzer & Rabbi Jon Adland Restricted Fund for Social Justice & Action
In Honor of
Rabbi Jon & Sandy Adland, birth of grandson, Asher, by Denise & Steve Nielsen
Rabbis Spitzer, Adland, and Komerofsky, by David & Katherine Sharkis
In Appreciation of
Rabbi Spitzer, by Denise & Steve Nielsen
Rabbi Adland, by Denise & Steve Nielsen
Rabbis Spitzer, Adland, and Komerofsky, by Debbie & Vito Sinopoli, Robin Rubenstein & Howard Richmond, Laurie & Hector Medina, Louis and Jane Rubenstein
In Memory of
Hilda Falk Wilson, by Rabbi Jon & Sandy Adland
Robert & Shelley Schweitzer Temple Youth Group Endowment
In Memory of
Ruth Rubenstein, by Rob & Shelley Schweitzer
In Honor of
Rabbi Jon & Sandy Adland, birth of grandson, Asher, by Rob & Shelley Schweitzer
Temple Israel Restricted Funds
Mazon Fund - A Jewish Response to Hunger
In Memory of
Ruth Rubenstein, by Nicolae & Iuliana Stelea; Denise & Steve Nielsen
Richard Rosen, by Paul & Marilyn Feldman; Adele & Ron Gelb
Ann Olden, by Karen Olden
Gwen Balin, by Karen Olden
Irene Gelb, by Adele & Ron Gelb
Bob Friedman, by Joyce & Jerry Ortman; Marshall & Gail Bleckman
Vito Sinopoli, by Harlene Smuckler; Paul & Marilyn Feldman; Bob & Susan Narens
Rabbi Spitzer, by Paul & Marilyn Feldman
Bruce White, by Paul & Marilyn Feldman
In Honor of
Rabbi Jon & Sandy Adland, birth of grandson, Asher, by Diana Collum; Marshall & Gail Bleckman; Judie Cohodas
Desk Building Group, by Paul & Marilyn Feldman
Rabbi's Discretionary Fund
In Appreciation of
Rabbi Komerofsky by Chuck & Esperanza Deutsch
Temple Israel | www.templeisraelcanton.org