Bnai Israel Congregation News 
February 7, 2020
12 Shevat 5780

Jerusalem Skyline by unknown Jewish artist

We are committed to serving the Jewish Communities of Wilmington
and the surrounding areas  and providing for the study of Torah, education,
Tikkun Olam,  and a sense of community, egalitarianism and spiritual growth
all in accordance  with the principles, values and traditions of Conservative Judaism.

Shabbat Shalom
Friday, February 7, 2020  ~ 12 Shevat 5780
Candle L ighting  ~ 5:30   pm



***Friday Evening, February 7***

Service at 7:30 pm
Oneg to follow
sponsored by Michelle Bannon & Richard Weisman 

***Saturday Morning, February 8***
Service ~ 9:30 am
Tu b'Shevat Seder to follow service   

Sedrah:   Beshalach
Acts of Loving Kindness - Gemilut Hasadim

     We are asked to emulate acts our Tradition ascribes to God.  The Torah suggests that God buried Moses.   Preparing the dead for burial is a mitzvah of the highest order.  Those who share in this mitzvah are part of the Sacred Society, the Chevra Kadisha.  Our Chevra Kadisha  is looking for a few more men to volunteer for the important mitzvah. Please contact Steve Stein at 910-619-0666 if you would like more information or to add your name to their roster.

From the President ... 
Yesterday, we lost another lifetime member of Bnai Israel, Fred Retchin. I didn't know Fred very well and I'm very sorry that I didn't. What a remarkable person he was. Born and raised in Wilmington, Fred Retchin was a pillar of our congregation, of his profession and of our city. He was an active member of Bnai Israel for many years and served as President. He was also a National Board member of Hadassah Associates, men who lend their support to Hadassah by raising money for advancing medical care and educational projects in Israel.

A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, he successfully ran his family's businesses, Carolina Furniture and Furniture City. He also served on and chaired the boards of professional associations of the furniture industry, for which he was honored with The Willis Award of Merit in 1984.

Fred's service extended beyond his synagogue and professional life to include the public sector. He was a Board member of New Hanover County Medical Center and its Foundation. He served as chairman of the Wilmington chapter of the American Cancer Society and a board member of New Hanover County Social Services. Somehow he found the time to be a New Hanover County Commissioner for 8 years, serving as Chairman for 3 of those years. During that time he was the force behind establishing a professional EMS and fire services for the county.

A treasure of our community has left us and it is with sadness that we say goodbye. Our thoughts are with his wife Corinne, his son Sandy, daughters Marsha and Roslyn, brother Dan and his entire extended family. May his memory be a blessing.
Our first Tu b'Shevat Seder is this Saturday, February 8th. It will begin after morning services, which end about 11:30. Tu b'Shevat marks the beginning of Spring in Israel. Outside of Israel, it's a connection to the natural world and to Eretz Yisrael. It's also called The New Year for the Trees and celebrates the fruit of the tree, fruit of the vine and the abundant gifts of the natural world. Trees play an important role in addressing the challenging environmental issues of our time.* Please join us at our Tu b'Shevat seder. We will serving delicious fruits and wines associated with this holiday. There is no charge but we need to know you are coming! Many thanks to Rabbi Kenter and Laurel Westreich for making this happen! * For more information about Jewish efforts addressing climate change, go to:
A Special Thank You
At our service last Friday, we paid tribute to two survivors of Auschwitz on the 75th anniversary of the liberation of that camp. Reba Alper spoke eloquently about her mother, Bronia Merlin, and the life she led before, during and after the Holocaust. Rich Weisman shared the story of our friend, Marcel Zelinski, a native of Krakow, Poland, who was liberated from Auschwitz at age 10 and walked 55 miles back to Krakow in search of his family. Marcel became an avid cyclist and returns to Poland yearly for both March of the Living and Ride for the Living. 

Bronia and Marcel each went on to educate innumerable others about the Holocaust and the events leading up to the devastating Nazi regime. At the age of 85, Marcel continues to be living proof that the Jewish people have survived and continue to flourish. Given that up to 50% of adults today know very few facts about the Holocaust, these stories must continue to be shared. Thank you to Reba and Rich for your part in keeping our history alive.

Looking Ahead
Passover is coming! Since many of us have no family members in the area, Bnai Israel has held a 1st seder for the last several years and it has been very well attended. We would like to continue this new tradition and need a committee to coordinate this event. The food will be prepared by a catering service. Please contact me at or 706-832-3048 if you are willing to help us plan this wonderful celebration.
Shabbat Shalom,
Have you borrowed chairs from the Shul?

If you have and have forgotten to return them, please do so as soon as possible.  We are missing quite a few and would love to get them back!  In fact, we will even pick them up if you need us to.  Email me at or call Steve Stein at 910.619.0666, and we will make it happen.  Or, feel free to drop them off during office hours Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Bnai Israel Congregation
2020 Purim 
"Hamantashen By The Dozen" Sale

 It's that time again!!! Please support our synagogue by ordering a " Hamantashen By the Dozen" bag -- or two or three or four -- for you, a family loved one, a friend, a neighbor.....anyone that you would like included as you celebrate Purim this year.
Each order contains 12 delicious, synagogue baked hamantashen made with love and care (and parve this year) by congregation volunteer bakers, attractively packaged, complete with special Purim greetings from Bnai Israel. Gifting hamantashen cookies is a traditional --and perfect-- way to celebrate Purim, a festival that recognizes the courage and unity of the Jewish people. All proceeds go to Bnai Israel due to the generous support of our Men's Club and Sisterhood.  
Just complete the order form below by printing it, or picking one up at the synagogue, and return it (by mail or in person) with your payment (check or cash) to Kate in the synagogue office during business hours. And this year, you can also get the form and place your order on Shul Cloud and pay by credit/debit card by clicking on this link.
Contact Rena Goldwasser,
phone/text 860-490-0916 (leave your name and number if no answer.)




Coming Events

Save the Date!
Celebrate a New Year for the Trees a t our 1st  Tu b'Shevat Seder

Saturday, February 8 
11:30am after Shabbat morning services
B'nai Baggers
to meet.
We need you!

February 10
10:30 am

Cooking at
Good Shepherd
Please volunteer:
alanrit or kate.bnaiisraelilm@

 February 12
4:30 pm

Please make a reservation early so we can prepare enough food.
February 21
dinner at 6:00
Service to follow

** Please make a reservation by calling or emailing the Shul office.
910.762.1117 ~

             Cooking  at
Good Shepherd

Our next date to cook is scheduled for February 12th at 4:30 pm.  

We need at least 2 more cooks! 
Shul office:  910-762-1117 or

Donations to Good Shepherd

B'nai Israel is working to support our friends at the Good Shepherd Center 
during February. 
Please consider donating one or more of the items listed below. 
Green Beans (regular size cans or the large # 10 cans)
Corn(regular size cans or the large # 10 cans)
Salad Dressing (ranch and other "flavors")
Hot Sauce
Pasta (all sorts)
Pick up an item when you are shopping and drop it off at the synagogue in the donation box located in the minyan room.  Your donations can also be dropped off at Good Shepherd Center, 811 Martin St., Wilmington, NC 28401; Monday-Friday, 8:30 am - 6:00 pm at the back door under the awning.
Sisterhood Kabbalat Shabbat
Friday, February 21,
dinner at 6:00 pm

This Kabbalah Shabbat will be lead by the women of B'nai Israel Sisterhood.  Dinner will be served at 6:00 pm and the service will follow.  Reservations are a must and can be made by email:

If you would like to participate in the service (both English and Hebrew parts are available) or help with the dinner, please contact Sherry Padva at or 914.837.8453.
Our next meal delivery date is Tuesday, March 10.  Thank you to Janice Kingoff, Dee Sherman, Judy Malman and Laurel for getting us started. Hospice "Meals of Love" provide home-cooked meals for the families of hospice patients.  We still need one main dish and one salad or vegetable.
Drop off is between 2:30-4:30 pm at Lower Cape Fear Hospice, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington. Donations need to serve 8 and should be delivered in a disposable container. If you can help please contact Laurel Westreich,, 201-317-5071. Thank you.

Celebrate Trees with
JNF's Catch the Tu b'Shavat
Spirit Sweepstakes!

Tu b'Shivat is the original earth day, 
celebrated this year on February 10.  Plant trees
in Israel with JNF for your chance to win:

2 round trips tickets to Israel on El Al Israel Airlines,
2 nights at the Carlton Tel Aviv, and a JNF tour for two people.

JNF E-Z Tree account - 10 Trees!

Each tree equals 1 entry.*
The more trees you buy, the greater your chances to win.

1 TREE $18 ~ 2 TREES $36 ~ CIRCLE OF 5 $72

Sweepstakes runs January 31-February 10, 2020

Enter for a change to win at
or call 800.542.TREE

*Enter without purchase at
See website for official rules.
Plant a Tree!
JTree is a collaborative campaign by a variety of Jewish organizations that share a commitment to addressing climate change. Planting and protecting forests, and repairing the damage already done to them, is essential to the survival of life in this time of climate crisis. JTree USA joins with partners from all over the world and all walks of Jewish life.    Join us!  

Copy the address below, put it in your 
browser to get to this website to learn more:

Sist erhood Book Club News      

Many thanks to Elaine Lathrop for her gracious hosting--at her lovely home-- of the latest chapter of the Sisterhood Book Club.
At the meeting, we completed our discussion of Klagsbrun's book on Golda Meir and the birth of the nation of Israel. We explored Golda's complicated feminism, her hard work despite bouts of ill health, her contributions to the labor movement and her work as foreign minister and prime minister. We saw her passionate commitment to the future of the Jewish people and their right of return to Israel--and so much more!.
Thanks to our participants, Arlene Burns, Rena Goldwasser,  Elaine Lathrop, Anita Liebeskind, Sue Mintzes, Joelle Serot, and Barbara Waxman.
The next meeting will be on April 1st (no foolin') from 1-3 PM, and Barbara Waxman will host at 2815 Cambridge Drive. 
The book will be The 100 Most Jewish Foods, edited by Alana Newhouse.  It's a collection of short essays on such foods as matzah balls, adafina, and some more controversial culinary entries (like Chinese food!).  The essays also examine Jewish faith, identity, observance of holidays, humor, and family life.  Besides some lovely food photos, there are a number of recipes.
I ordered a copy for the Bnai Israel library.  It will arrive this week. You may, however, want to buy your own copy (hardback about $15 and kindle about $8).
If you know any Sisterhood members who might be interested in participating in the book club,  please ask them to send me  ( their email addresses.

Sisterhood members will tour 
Cameron Museum on Sunday March 29,2020 
at 11:00 followed by lunch at the CAM Cafe.  We will have a docent-led tour of the Belden Collection and Noguchi Sculptures.

Reservations are a must!!  Attendance is limited.  Cost $15.00 (check to B'nai Israel Sisterhood.)  Lunch is self paid.
RSVP to Laurel Westreich, or 201-317-5071


Birthdays and Anniversaries
February 2020

Day      Anniversary
Roberta & Harold
Debbie & Jerry
Barbara & David
John Klekamp & Mike

Birthdays and Anniversaries come from your ShulCloud Member Profile.
If your special day is NOT included here, please check your profile and add the dates.  If you are not sure how to do that, contact Kate Maclay in the office for help at

We offer prayers of healing for the following:**
Steve Glaser
Walter Pancoe
Sydel Gluck 
Jerry Smith
Bucky Stein
Joan Feinstein

Faye Sobol
Fran Strauss* 
Roberta Eichenholz
Scott Prushik
Henry Westreich

*Fran Strauss is in rehab at Bradley Creek and would love to have some brief visits.

**Each week we will show our  members and their families  who wish to be on the Misheberach list.  Names will remain on the list for 3 months unless you ask us to remove them earlier.  
Contact our office to add or remove names.

The names of those who are not members but whom you wish to 
receive prayers  will be read at Shabbat services.
6 - 12 Shevat 5780  ~  February 1 - 7, 2020

Abram Moskow
Husband of Marilyn Moskow
Bertha B. Kingoff Mother of Janice Kingoff
Bob Weinstein Respectfully remembered
Evelyn Hirz Chotiner Mother of Gail Grotsky
Freida Uden Mother of Shirley Levine
Harry Elias Abrams Respectfully remembered
Helen Solomon Mother of Sue Mintzes
Henry B. Neuwirth Respectfully remembered
Jerry Joseph Popkin Respectfully remembered
Joseph Gorchov Grandfather of Mindy Krasnipol
Martin Zimmer Respectfully remembered
Murry Felds Respectfully remembered
Norman Robinson Respectfully remembered
Sam Evenson Respectfully remembered
Samuel Abraham Piken Respectfully remembered
William Kaminsky Respectfully remembered
Winfield Bannon Father of Michelle Bannon

If you would like to make a donation to B'nai Israel, please click below
and use the Pay On Line tab on our website.

Donations will be published when our Bookkeeper returns in a couple of weeks.

Please help us to correctly direct your gift by including what fund you
would like your donation to support:  dues, event, benevolent fund, etc.  If you 
are making a donation in honor or memory of someone, please
include their name.

Circle of Honor

Beneficiary: Carol & Scott Johnston

M ark Alper
Sharon & Terry Dresbach
Judith Malman
Joanna Puritz
Debbie & Jerry Smith
Rose & Alan Zimmer
Barbara & Stanley Prushik
Martha & Steve Stein
Michelle Bannon & Rich Weisman
Roberta & Harold Eichenholz
Sharon & Stephen Mechum
Deb and Martin Meyerson
Dee & Murray Sherman
Leigh & Walter Winter
Dottie & Irv Freedland
Pam & Barry Weiss

For more information or to sign up for the Circle of Honor
Rabbi Kenter's email address is

Rabbi's Musings 
will be found if you  CLICK HERE

B 'nai Israel Congregation

Website & ShulCloud Directory

Office Hours Monday thru Friday - 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Administrative Secretary,  Kate Maclay

shabbat shalom