Temple Israel Reform Congregation

of Staten Island

315 Forest Avenue

Staten Island, New York 10301


Rabbi Michael D. Howald

Cantor Suzanne Bernstein


Bryn Biren, Linda Brill, Sandy Mazzucco, Felicia Otto


Temple Israel’s Electronic Bulletin


MARCH 2023

Adar - Nissan 5783

“Shalom, Welcome to Temple Israel....” is a phrase taught to us by Carole Lachman, a beloved, long-time congregant and bulletin editor who died in 2002. We named our bulletin in her honor and worked to realize her vision of Temple Israel as a community that welcomes the stranger and lets no one stand alone. As we move to a new version of this tradition of communicating with our Temple Israel family, we continue to forward Carole’s vision, love and devotion for our synagogue.

Erev Shabbat Services take place IN PERSON. Live-stream links, for those unable to join us, will be e-mailed to all congregants, along with the Friday night Progam, every Friday. The Zoom link for Saturday morning Torah Study and Services can be found below. (Please check weekly News and Notes and the Friday Night Program for any updates or changes.)

Shabbat Morning**

Torah Study at 10:00 a.m. followed by Services at 11:00 a.m.

Meeting ID: 842 7725 0914

Passcode: 345339

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Through the generosity of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, there is a free online flip-book version of our prayer book, Mishkan T'filah for Shabbat, available 

Through the generosity of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, there is a free online flip-book version of our prayer book, Mishkan T'filah for Youth, available 
A Message from

Rabbi Michael D. Howald

         Over the last several months, the tech-savvy sector of the Jewish community has been all atwitter about ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI and launched in November 2022.  The core function of ChatGPT was to engage in conversations with people that mimic the exchanges between human beings. Shortly after it was made available to the public, however, users began asking ChatGPT to prepare computer programs, compose music, and write student essays, even write poetry and song lyrics. It was only a matter of time before members of the Jewish community began asking ChatGPT to help them write sermons or stories.

         One rabbi, for instance, asked the chatbot to find a Jewish children’s story about the significance of names in Jewish tradition. ChatGPT quickly mentioned something called, The Name of the Little Prince. According to the chatbot, this is a popular Jewish story about a boy named Eliezer who sets out to find a new name for himself.  In this story, ChatGPT claimed, Eliezer ultimately discovers that his true name is actually "Yehuda," which means "praised" or "celebrated" in Hebrew, and he returns home with a new sense of self-confidence and pride.  When pressed for the source of this “Jewish “story, however, the chatbot conceded that it had made an error and had mistaken The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry for a Jewish story and had, to boot, completely changed the title, the plot, and the name of the main character. ChatGPT apologized for the confusion.

         Another rabbi asked the chatbot to write a 1,000-word sermon about intimacy and vulnerability. The rabbi later read the sermon to his congregation and, after they applauded his remarks, he informed them that an artificial intelligence had written his sermon and that, because of his experiment, he now wondered if computers would one day replace rabbis and cantors. After giving it some thought, however, he conceded that, since computers cannot express compassion or love, nor experience human spirituality, the job security of Jewish clergy might be more secure than he originally allowed.

         These two stories, only the first in what promises to be an ongoing experimentation with artificial intelligence in realms beyond simply answering questions and retrieving information, illustrate some of the challenges and benefits of relying on computers to generate content. Sometimes, we may want something to say and a chatbot may write something that supplies the words we cannot otherwise find. At other times, we may be seeking the familiar and a service like ChatGPT might be able produce a speech or sermon that finds the themes we wish to hear by drawing on millions, if not billions, of previous works. As the two stories above illustrate, however, artificial intelligence is still a long way from replacing human beings when it comes to sermon writing and storytelling.

         Since humanity could talk, we have been telling stories. The database of those stories in all the languages of the earth must, by now, be truly enormous. Sometimes we crave a retelling of a well-loved story but, even more, we yearn for the new. The mystics of the kabbalah believed that every new interpretation of Torah uttered by a student adorned Shechinah, the indwelling presence of God, with a new crown and they placed a premium on audacious interpretations of familiar verses. ChatGPT may be able to recite traditional stories, or string together different strands from disparate narratives, but can it truly create something entirely new? The experience so far seems to indicate that, at least for now, artificial intelligence remains derivative of what others have already created, even if it sometimes gets the details of those previous narratives completely wrong. 

         I, for one, am happy to continue writing my own sermons and finding my own stories. I recognize that I often return to the same themes in my written content, but each new encounter with the Torah text or the recurring cycle of the Jewish year, holds out the promise of a new understanding or perspective. When that happens, it makes all my weekly rabbinic struggles with topics, words and themes worthwhile. I couldn’t imagine just relying on a service like ChatGPT to put words in my mouth and, based on what others have found when experimenting with the chatbot, I hope you don’t either!

Rabbi Michael Howald   
A Message from the Co-Presidents

Happy March to All!

We hope that you are enjoying the new “Spring” this month leading into March. 

We are getting ready to celebrating Purim a joyous holiday commemorating the salvation of the Jews in Ancient Persia. In the month of Adar, the nation of Israel was saved from annihilation. The Jewish people who lived throughout the Empire of Achashverosh were faced with certain death. Through a miraculous turn of events, the threat was removed, and the Jews were saved. There were celebrations everywhere The Jews renewed their commitment to the Torah. It was a time of overwhelming happiness. We continue to celebrate their victory on the 14th day of Adar which this year is March 7th.

Come and join Temple Israel’s Purim Carnival on Sunday March 4th.  Purim fun continues as Temple Israel presents the reading of the Megillah followed by the “Purim Schpiel on Monday March 6 starting at 6:30 PM.

The celebrations and happy occasions we experience during Purim continue as we plan to celebrate Temple Israel’s 75th anniversary!  It is a momentous occasion that we will be marking with a beautiful celebration.  We invite all members of our community to join us in honoring this milestone and reflecting on the rich history of this synagogue. 

As we all know our synagogue is a vibrant and active community that seeks to bring our members together through a variety of events and programs.  From holiday services to educational opportunities, and much more, we strive to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.  However, to continue to provide these amazing events and programs, we need the support and assistance of our Congregants.  We need many more Congregants to help plan and execute our upcoming events.  There are many ways in which you can get involved and make a difference.  Whether you have just a few hours to spare or can commit to a more significant role, we really need your help. 

We understand that many of our members have busy schedules and may not have a lot of free time, and that’s ok! We have many less time-consuming possibilities also! By working together, every one of us can make a real impact and ensure that our events continue to be a success.  Think of it as GREAT way to meet new people (of which we have many wonderful people) as well as contributing to our rich Temple history.

Please reach out to us.  We will be happy to provide you with more information about the volunteer opportunities available.

Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to working together to make our upcoming events the best yet.


Sandy Mazzucco

on behalf of Co-Presidents Bryn Biren, Linda Brill, and Felicia Otto

Dear Fellow Congregants,

Thanks to all who have completed and updated their Membership Form.  This document provides us with the most current information about you and your family.  If you have not fully completed your family’s form, one of our Membership Committee members may be contacting you to secure any information that was omitted.  Please be sure to update changes in email contacts and new phone numbers for all included family members.

Further, please be reminded that notifications for completion of your building fund will be sent as a separate document.  As you know, the Temple’s Building Fund of $1100 per member is scheduled to be honored by our congregants during the first four years of membership.  If there were to be a ‘life-cycle event’ prior to that timeframe, it is required that the submission of the Building Fund be completed before that event takes place.

You are welcome to contact me directly at 917-873-4739 should you wish to discuss any matter regarding your annual commitment or satisfaction of your family’s Building Fund.  Be sure to leave your name and phone number if you are leaving a message.

Again, thank you for your on-going support of Temple Israel.

Alan Siegel

Financial Secretary

Please consider becoming a member of our


It helps to make membership available to all our families. Speak to our Financial Secretary to upgrade your membership.

Since Chanukah, Rabbi Howald and I have been debating which is better: latkes or hamantashen. He says latkes; I say hamantashen. Rabbi asked me to give one good reason why hamantashen are better, and I was reminded of Jewish wisdom I learned from Howard Stern, yes, that Howard Stern, the radio shock jock. Long ago, before I even came to Temple Israel of Staten Island, I was the cantor of Temple Sinai in Roslyn where Howard Stern was a member. Since I would occasionally see him when he would bring his daughter to pre-school, I thought I ought to listen to his show. Around Purim time, his co-host asked him to explain Purim to her. Stern said, Purim is the time when Jews eat hamantashen, cookies filled with prune, to clean house and make room in their intestines for matzo at Passover. This to me sounds like the best excuse to enjoy the most delicious triangular cookie ever invented.

To help you work up an appetite for noshin’ hamantashen, the Not Ready for Purim Players will present “Back to the Purimspiel,” a timeless time-traveling romp that you won’t want to miss. I want to thank all the folks who have been preparing day and night to entertain you with this great, meshuga (crazy) Purim tradition: our brilliant cast of characters, and yes, they are characters, and all those who have been working behind the scenes. Special kudos to Brooke Lopez for co-directing and choreographing, and to Jodi Siegel for working on the set. Thanks also to Simon Unger and his grandpa for the spectacular special effect. If you want to know what I am talking about, you should just come. What else do you have going on Monday March 6 at 6:30 p.m.? Plus you will hear the megillah (the story of Esther) which it is a mitzvah to do.

Also, it is a mitzvah to be joyful in Adar, and what is more joyful than bringing happiness to others? The residents of the Brielle were delighted that friends and members of the choir came to sing at Chanukah time, so we are going again on Friday March 3 to sing Shabbat and Purim songs. Meet in the lobby at 3:30.

Chag Purim Sameach! Happy Purim to all!

Cantor Suzanne Bernstein 



3:30-4:30 p.m.

All are welcome at The Brielle to sing Shabbat and Purim songs with residents. Meet in the lobby.

145 Friendship Lane (off Brielle Avenue)


6:30 p.m.

Jr. Choir members meet in the sanctuary

for a warm-up for the 7 pm Service.  


5:00-6:30 p.m.

FULL CAST Purimspiel rehearsal


5:00 p.m.

FULL CAST run-through for

6:30 Megillah reading & Spiel


7 p.m.

Sr. Choir rehearsal

Friday, March 24

7 pm

Sr. Choir warm-up for 7:30 pm Service



MARCH 2023


For calendar updates click here..

To print or download a copy of this calendar, click here.


LINDA BRILL, named a Staten Island Advance Woman of Achievement to be awarded at a luncheon at the Hilton Garden Inn on April 20; 

FELICIA OTTO, to be Temple Israel’s  nominee at the L’dor V’dor  luncheon on Sunday, April 23 at the JCC Manor Road; 

RUSSELL KAMINSKY as Temple Israel’s nominee at UJA celebration.



JERRY & KAREN GROSS and family on the the loss of his cousin, Helen Holtz;

REBECCA HAND and family on the loss of her mother-in-law, Janice Hand;

LORI WEINTROB and famiy on the loss of her mother-in-law, Elizabeth Pappas.


CHANDRA LEVINE, daughter-in-law of CHERYL LEVINE, recovering from surgery; 

STACIE MAGNUS recovering from hand surgery;





March 3, 2023

Milton Feigelman 

Barney Sher *

Bessie Bleiman 

Louis Harrison 

Sarah Samith 

Lillian Selznick *

Sylvia Polonsky 

Jacques Pessah *

Elinor May 

Sadie Mogol *

Thomas Sparacio 

Blanche Dembiner 

Harry Levee *

Albert Rosen *

Ella Small 

Ida Baver *

Felix Ecker *

Moises Gornstein 

Ethel Kessler *

Edward Lipsitz *

David Sappin 

Harry Siegel *

And we remember from the Holocaust:

Rudolf Hurtig

Zalman Chajet

Maria Freund

Haim Lipszyc

Jacob Krammer

March 10, 2023

Margaret Guttman 

Max Kadin *

William Levine 

Pamela Popler-Tolk 

Elaine Schnittman *

Lena Tannenbaum 

Samuel Smith *

Sidney Lachman *

Carl Litkofsky 

Isabelle Slamow 

Cecily Marianne Sostek 

Veronica Balogh 

Mary Curatola 

Norman Feigelman 

Michael Levine 

Mark James Sheirr *

Ida Grober 

Charles Overberger

And we remember from the Holocaust:

Alfred Lauffer

Aba Fleishman

Estera Roth

Iko Jarowsici

Judikje Keizer

March 17, 2023

Alice Snyder Best 

Michael Sorkin 

Esther Bierman 

Luz Burstein *

Robert Stakofsky *

Howard Wolodiger *

Beni Kessler *

William Pollack *

Eleanor Weinberg 

Caroline Elrich 

Greta Newman *

Samuel Tepper *

Harriet Simmons *

Thelma Fuller 

Mollie Kantrowitz 

Daniel Shapiro

And we remember from the Holocaust:

Euta Sommerstein

Ernst Tobi

Stefan Figlewski

Rivkah Okrent

Lipotne Netter

March 24, 2023

Alice W. Blach 

Falik Bronzaft 

George Schwartz *

Bertram Bronzaft 

Jerry Fleishman 

Israel Pisetzner *

Warren Silverman 

Rose Sugarman 

Sheila Blit 

Phyllis Brennan 

James Levy *

Gertrude Doria 

Ida Herman *

Lena Levinson *

Jack Sugar 

Steven Schreiber *

Lori Singer-Olson 

Aida Josel Brouse *

Dr. Jeffrey Walters

And we remember from the Holocaust:

Bronislaw Wachowicz

Tadeusz Niedziocha

Haya Herbert

Hersz Goldberg

Josef Belgard

March 31, 2023

Emanuel Sugerman 

Florence Rubin 

Nancy Avis *

Israel Pisetzner *

Helene Sparber 

Ellyn Sigmund 

Helen O'Krepke 

Dr. Hyman Poritz *

Gilda Schuster 

Estelle Dichter *

Brian Kudler 

Steve Nison 

Louis Siegel *

Max Baruch *

Paul Leder 

Edith Miller 

Daral Neiman 

Theodore Ruskin 

Florence Soloff *

And we remember from the Holocaust:

Ida Tabak

Charles Mogendorff

Donia Buechler

Iwan Parchim

Sandor Grunblum

* These names are on our Memorial Wall.

Erev Shabbat Services

Friday, March 3

Celebration of March

Birthdays & Anniversaries



Service at 7:00 p.m.

In Person and

via Live-Stream

(link to be sent via e-mail)




Friday, March 10

Service at 7:30 p.m.

In Person and

via Live-Stream

(link to be sent via e-mail)


Friday, March 17

Service at 7:30 p.m.


In Person and

via Live-Stream

(link to be sent via e-mail)


Friday, March 24

Service at 7:30 p.m.


Aufruf of Alexa Winchel & Christopher D'Antonio

In Person and

via Live-Stream

(link to be sent via e-mail)

Torah Study and Shabbat Services
Saturdays at 10:00 a.m.

Click here to join Saturday Morning Torah Study and Shabbat Zoom Services!


The Advance Payment Program allows members to pay in advance for Friday night program ads. Members usually deposit $100 (or less in some cases) and when an ad is placed, $5 is deducted. When the balance gets low (usually to about $10) an e-mail is sent reminding the member that they should consider adding money to their account. 

You may, if you wish, pay in advance for Friday night program announcements. For more details contact the Temple office or contact Deanna Feder dfeder19@aol.com to set up an account. 

Welcome to March. We are jam-packed with exciting ritual events this month.  First, a little recap from February. On February 10th we were honored to have Carol Bullock from the Staten Island Pride Center as a guest speaker at our Erev Shabbat Service.  Rabbi took a vacation the last week of February.  We would like to thank Past President Jerry Gross for leading the services in his absence on Erev Shabbat February 24th.  Also thanks go out to Arnie Grossman for leading Torah Study and Pamela J. Carlton for leading the Saturday morning service with musical accompaniment from Dr. Ken Pickover on February 25th.

Monday, March 6th, please join us for the Megillah reading and Purim Shpiel at 6:30 PM.  The Shpiel is being directed by Cantor Bernstein and Congregant Brooke Lopez. The actors are children and adult Temple members.  Children and Adults are encouraged to dress up in costumes. Congregants were asked in News and Notes to volunteer as Megillah Readers. Seventeen Congregants will participate in this.

Shabbat Afternoon, March 11th, at 3PM, Ma’ayan Feldman will be called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah.  Mazel Tov to Ma’ayan and all the family.  

At the Erev Shabbat Services of March 24th, Alexa Layne Winchel and Christopher D’Antonio celebrate their Auf Ruf for their upcoming Wedding. Alexa is the daughter of our Congregants Lissa and Neil Winchel.

The Sisterhood of Temple Israel Reform Congregation of Staten Island is hosting The Jennifer Straniere Memorial Passover Community Seder on Wednesday, April 5, 2023 at 6 PM.  Please remember to make your reservations with Sisterhood.  The flyer is included in this bulletin.

Finally, we continue to thank Jim Rohan for his Musical Leadership at Erev Shabbat Services when Cantor Bernstein is not here and Jaimie Blackman and Dr. Ken Pickover for their musical accompaniment at Saturday Morning Services on Zoom.  We also thank Sim Lenner who provides music at our Sunday Morning School Service, sometimes with Cantor Bernstein, sometime with Jim Rohan and sometimes on her own.

Please look to your e-mails, messages, Temple Israel’s New and Notes, our Facebook Page and this E-Shalom for additional information as it becomes available.

Linda Brill

Jerry Gross

Nina Rohan



Thank you to the following congregants for their assistance with ushering during services as well as for honoring the Congregation with their presence on the Bimah in February:

 Fern Barris, Bryn Biren, Sue Freedman, Silvia Gornstein, Sam Gornstein, Claire Guttsman, Dennis Guttsman, Russell Kaminsky, Polina Leibovich, Beverly Mazer, Felicia Otto, Inez Singer, Philip Straniere  

Nina Rohan

Ushering Chair

As we are getting closer to Purim and Passover, there are still many happy Sisterhood events to come.  

Sisterhood’s Sampled Sale took place on Saturday night, February 11 conducted by Jodi Siegel. The sale began with a light supper followed by a sale of many beautiful items.   Thank you to all of you who donated such beautiful and useful items for sale.  The Sampled Sale was very profitable raising over $2800.  The profits will be going toward subsidizing the cost of the Jennifer Straniere Memorial Community Passover Seder.

Sisterhood has scheduled some interesting speakers and activities for our General Sisterhood meetings. On February 12, a Joint Sisterhood/Brotherhood Meeting and breakfast was held.  Afterwards, we had the opportunity to learn how to do Israeli folk dancing. It was such a fun morning and a good way to burn off some calories!

Mark your calendars:  A special program will be held on Sunday, March 19, via zoom when Harriet Goodman Grayson, author of The Accidental Gangster, discusses the Jewish gangster.  Some of us have already purchased the book in anticipation for her presentation.  

Sisterhood’s next General Meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 22.  It will be a game night with a light supper – pizza and salad.

A Bingo/Basket Raffle Night with prizes on Saturday, March 18, is open to Temple Israel members as well as the public. Doors will open at 6:00 pm and bingo will begin at 7:00 pm. Admittance to the Bingo/Basket Raffle Night will be one $20 gift card and a receipt for the card purchased.  Sisterhood is encouraging temple members to purchase gift cards from Larry Hanibal.  Contact Larry at (917-967-4592) and he will bring the gift card to you.  If you purchase a gift card from Larry, there will no need to show a receipt at the door.  Registration is low at this point so if you intend to participate, let Anita Zuckerberg (uftavenger@aol.com) know as soon as possible.  See flyer.

Pamela Rogozin is organizing classes to teach Mah Jongg to Sisterhood members who are interested.  Classes will take place on three Wednesdays on March 15, 22 and 29 at the temple. Please let Fern Barris know (Sisterhoodti@aol.com) if you interested in learning how to play.

We are very proud of Jodi Siegel who has been asked to present at the Women’s Reform Judaism Northeast District Conference this year in Danbury, CT, from March 23 to 25. Libby Gershansky, Sandy Mazzucco, and Claire Guttsman are planning to atttend the conference.  The mission of Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) is to strengthen the voice of women worldwide and empower them to create caring communities. IF YOU IDENTIFY AS A WOMAN AND ARE A MEMBER OF OUR CONGREGATION, YOU ARE A MEMBER OF WRJ! Please join us in Danbury for all or part of the weekend. See the flyer below. Click here for the registration link. Sisterhood members may be entitled to financial support to take part in the in weekend. Speak to Jodi if you need more information.

Sisterhood will be hosting The Jennifer Straniere Memorial Community Passover Seder, on Wednesday, April 4.  Make your reservation early as space is limited.  See flyer.

Sisterhood’s Paid-Up Membership Dinner will take place on April 19.  At present we have 79 Sisterhood members and 12 Friends of Sisterhood.  

Making challah is equally delicious and symbolic.  Some consider it a mitzvah to make challah for shabbat.  In that vein, Anita Zuckerberg will teach us how to make challah at our May General Sisterhood Meeting.  The sisters will prepare it at temple and then after letting it rise, bake it at home.

A Women’s Shabbaton on Saturday, May 20, has been arranged by Sue Freedman. We have hired Cantor Bernstein to perform services in the morning and activities in the afternoon.  This should be an empowering woman’s day.  

Thank you, Blanche Ricci, Linda Hanibal, and Deanna Feder for selling and preparing Shalach Manot Gifts.  The bags will be ready the Sunday before Purim. 

Congratulations to two of our Sisters!   Linda Brill will be honored as Staten Island Advance Woman of Achievement on April 20; Felicia Otto will be honored at the JCC L’Dor V’Dor Luncheon on April 23.

Thank you to all our oneg volunteers.  Your help is very much appreciated.

Maxine Cohen is collecting food for the Kosher Food Pantry.  Please give generously.

Sisterhood is researching a cleaning service to deep clean the kitchen since it is long overdue.  We are planning on have the cleaning done during the summer months.  

Anita Zuckerberg, Pam Rogozin, Judy Lee

Sisterhood Co-Presidents 


Brotherhood at Temple Israel continues….


Thanks to all members who participated in the joint Sisterhood/Brotherhood Breakfast on Sunday, February 12th.  Following the eating portion of the morning, we gathered in the Sanctuary to discuss our participation in the Annual Purim Carnival event which will take place on Saturday evening, March 4th. We hope to see you at the Reading of the Megillah on Monday evening, March 6th, which will be followed by the presentation of the Purim Shpiel.  As discussed at the meeting, your assistance is welcome in preparing and helping to run some of the games and activities that are being set up for our children’s enjoyment.  Please contact me directly or reach out to Russell Kaminsky who will be directing the evening’s activities.

Please mark your calendars accordingly to ensure your participation.  We look forward to having you attend and assist with these events.  

Alan Siegel and Bob Zuckerberg





March means Purim! The month kicks off with an action packed weekend at Temple Israel from Friday, March 3- Monday, March 6. Friday, March 3rd at 7:00pm is our Family Shabbat Service with a hamantaschen pull apart challah at the end of the service! Many students will participate in the service and we look forward to seeing you there! Saturday, March 4th at 6:00pm is Brotherhood's Purim Carnival and all children are encouraged to attend in costume and enjoy the games, competitions and fun! Sunday, March 5th at 4:00pm there is a dress rehearsal for any students starring in the Purim Spiel and on Monday, March 6th at 6:30pm we ask all students to join us for the Megillah Reading and Purim Spiel in celebration of the holiday!

We have a Parents' Committee meeting on Sunday, March 12th at 10:00am. We will be planning events and activities to celebrate Passover in school next month.

Finally, thanks to our committee, we launched our Pretzel Sale Fundraiser at dismissal last month. Every Sunday at 12:00pm we will have fresh, hot soft pretzels for sale for $2 benefitting the school. We appreciate all of the support from our school families and our entire congregation! 

Be well, 


We are sorry if your name was inadvertently omitted. Please contact the Temple Office to update your membership information.

The Sisterhood of Temple Israel would like to help you celebrate birthdays and anniversaries for you and your family.
You can share the joy of Shabbat and your birthday and/or anniversary by helping to sponsor an Oneg Shabbat on the Friday evening when we celebrate birthdays and anniversaries for that month.
In addition to sponsoring the Oneg, the names of those celebrating appear in the Friday night program and celebrants are invited to the Bimah.
A contribution of $10 for birthdays and $18 for anniversaries is suggested to honor your special occasion and help the Temple at the same time.  
Letters are sent out early in the month prior and payment would be appreciated before the first Friday of the month of the celebration. 

March is for Membership!!!

We have exciting news to report. The committee has arranged to have dynamic Rabbi Scott Kalmikoff return in person to facilitate a fun and interactive workshop entitled “ Box in a Box?” To find out more and answer your questions, come join us on Sunday March 19th at Temple at 5 PM. This workshop is for all Temple members. Come chat and eat a bissel, too!!

The committee has also been contacting all members we have missed seeing in person. The response to the phone project has been very positive and it will continue. 

The Membership Committee is marching on!!

Sandy Mazzucco

Claire Guttsman

Temple Israel Sisterhood Judaica Shop



Just what you need and just what they want!
The only place on Staten Island for all your Jewish gifts.
Special Orders available.
Contact branchtr.ricci@gmail.com or call the Temple Office at 718-727-2231.
Some featured Judaica Shop items this month:
Contact Blanche Ricci at branchtr.ricci@gmail.com
 if you are interested in any Judaica Shop items.

Please RSVP to Sisterhoodti@aol.com if you are planning to attend.

Bryn Biren
Terry Baver
Avis Foundation Trustees

The mission of the Dr. Ronald Avis Foundation for Temple Israel Reform Congregation is:

…. to provide financial support for young families seeking membership in Temple Israel, and to attract new young families by providing learning opportunities, family programming, and social justice initiatives.


Welcome to March….We look forward to seeing you at our Family Shabbat on March 3rd. We hope more children consider joining the Children’s Choir. They will all love being a part of it and Cantor Bernstein is wonderful with them all. 

And please join us for the Purim Spiel on March 6th. It will be a wonderful night for the families.

We are hoping you will consider joining us for this year’s  passover seder. If you are having your own, there are many ways to create your own Passover Haggadah. If you are interested in working on creating your own Haggadah, reach out to Terry Baver. She will help you!

We hope many of you find ways to volunteer for our community. Keep your eyes open as things come up where volunteers are needed. And also, if you have your own ideas abut things you would like the children to be involved with, join the School committee! 

Remember to join us on May 6th as we will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of Temple Israel! The night will include a cabaret, speeches from congregants, including those who were members for so many years, and a wonderful journal. Please mark it down on  your calendar and plan to come. And when you receive the Journal please consider purchasing a page (or a part of a page) ! Our congregation only survives by the generosity of our members. 


Bryn Biren and Terry Baver

On the evenings of February 8th and 15th we enjoyed a presentation by tour guide Justin Ferate, on “The Jewish Catskills”. It was eye opening to some of us, and brought back memories to those of us who spent summers of our childhood in the “ Borsht Belt”! And do you know what a Kochalayn is? ( a very unusual accommodation where the Moms cooked side by side, but on their own appliances, and the children raised pandemonium in a communal dining room!) And I didn’t know how to spell that Yiddish word so I searched my book shelf, and Leo Rosten’s “Joys of Yiddish” answered the question. You might want to read it!

Thanks to Cheryl Levine for arranging this program.

Looking Forward—

Book Discussion—Wednesday, March 8, 7:30 PM, on Zoom. “Personal Librarian” by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray. This book is a fictionalized telling of the life of Bella Costa Greene. the Librarian to J.P. Morgan. Libby Gershansky will lead the discussion. Contact Cheryl if you wish to attend. Cherylmlevine@gmail.com

Were you born on Staten Island? Did you immigrate? Get ready for a program on the “History of the Jews on Staten Island”. Check Notices for the date and details TBA.

And since we live in a diverse world, a program on “ The History of Christianity” and its’ relationship to our people, is being thought of for the Fall.

(Search on your device for “My Jewish Learning”, for some very informative articles!)

Cheryl Levine and Judith Pessah
Adult Learning Committee Co-Chairpersons

On Saturday April 29, 2023 
presented by the FUNdraising Committee
Doors open at 7:45PM.

Come and sing your favorite song, and dance the night away.
You can bring your own instrument and play along too.
Join us for a fun filled night, laughter guaranteed!
Enjoy some tasty snacks. Bring your own bottle (BYOB)
$20 Per Person. Make your check payable to Temple Israel (write fundraising at the foot of the check)
Mail to: Rhonda Trontz-Allen 
660 Bard Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10301
See flyer below.
 Questions? Contact 
 Lissa 917-846-5454
                      Rhonda rhondata61@yahoo.com
                Karen kefreygamoran@aol.com

Rhonda Trontz-Allen, Karen Frey-Gamoran, Lissa Winchel


Linda Brill

Staten Island Advance Woman of Achievement

Contributions to Temple Israel as tributes, dedications or memorials are welcome and are published in the weekly Shabbat program.

Donations can be dedicated to the general Temple Israel Fund or to any of the following specific funds: 

  • Adult Education Fund 
  • Building Preservation Fund 
  • Caring Community Fund 
  • Carole Lachman Memorial Fund
  • Choir Fund 
  • Confirmation Fund 
  • Estelle A. Gootenberg Memorial Fund (for Torah Repair/ Restoration) 
  • Gerald J. Lustig Memorial Fund (for Ark & Ark Doors) 
  • Liheyot Fund 
  • Membership Fund 
  • Prayerbook Fund 
  • Rabbi Marcus Kramer Memorial Library Fund 
  • Shoah Education Fund
  • Scholarship Fund 
  • Rabbi Michael D. Howald Fund for Social Action and Tikkun Olam

A $5.00 minimum donation is requested for these funds. Checks for donations to any of these funds should be made payable to Temple Israel.

PRAYERBOOKS may be dedicated in honor or memory of a special person or occasion. For specific prayerbooks and donation amounts, look for the Prayerbook icons found in this bulletin

Please make checks for Donations to the RABBI’S DISCRETIONARY FUND payable to that fund.

Donations in any amount may be made to SISTERHOOD OF TEMPLE ISRAEL or BROTHERHOOD OF TEMPLE ISRAEL with checks made payable directly to the affiliate organization.

For a leaf on the TREE OF LIFE in honor of a simcha, please scroll down. 

For permanent MEMORIAL PLAQUES on our Family Memorial Wall or Original Memorial Wall, please call the Temple office at 718-727-2231.

To see list of all recent
Tributes and Program
Donations to Funds...

If you are not receiving this Bulletin via a direct e-mail and would like to, please contact us at TICOMMUNICATION@aol.com to be added to our mailing list.

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Our E-Bulletin is shared with the entire Temple Israel Family and the Staten Island Community. If you are a local business or community organization and you would like to advertise in our monthly bulletin, please contact the Temple Office at 718-727-2231 or e-mail TICommunication@aol.com.