Bnai Israel Congregation News 
February 14, 2020
13-19 Shevat 5780

Almond trees and fields  of Israel

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 14, 2020  ~ 19 Shevat 5780
Candle L ighting  ~ 5:36   pm



***Friday Evening, February 14***

Service at 7:30 pm
Oneg to follow

***Saturday Morning, February 15***
Service ~ 9:30 am
Kiddush to follow service   

Sedrah:   Yitro

From the President ... 
Wonder what goes on during the week at Bnai Israel? There's plenty of activity behind the scenes, and it runs the gamut, from committee meetings to planning sessions, mat making or food being delivered for the oneg. If you're lucky, you might get to sample whatever's cooking in the kitchen. The doorbell or the phone seems to always be ringing. It's not uncommon to run into Harold repairing something or to see Jerry in the office signing checks.
Here's a small sample of what's been going on recently:

The first training session for leading Friday services was held with Steve Stein. We reviewed the various prayers, songs and sections of the service several times, and I am happy to report that Jane Birnbach, Jon Alper and myself are now part of the roster for leading services on Friday evenings. Interested in joining this group but nervous about leading a service by yourself? We are happy to pair up with you. Just speak to me or Steve Stein.

The Ritual Committee met and mapped out the services for the next several months to include Purim, Passover, Shavuot and Tish'a B'Av. We have a full schedule planned. Thanks to Steve Stein, Alan Gerberg, Gayle Ginsberg and Rabbi Waxman for insuring we remain a full-service shul!

The Rabbi Search committee met last week for a preliminary phone call with a candidate. This was followed by a long discussion about the needs of our congregation and the type of rabbi best for our community. At this time we have not yet found a candidate we want to invite for a visit; but know that, with persistence, we will find the right candidate for us.

The Communication Committee continues its efforts to keep the website up-to-date and user friendly. It has been a steep learning curve keeping up with the many changes on Shulcloud. Kudos to Carol Atwood and her committee for sticking with this process! 

WE NEED YOUR PICTURE FOR THE MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY! This is very important to help us maintain our strict security measures. This is for everyone's safety. Also, please send us your photos of Bnai Israel events so they can be added to our rotating photo gallery.

The Hamantashen Queen, AKA Rena Goldwasser and her court (Carolyn Moskowitz, Joelle Serot & Laurel Westreich) have come up with a brilliant project: selling hamantashen by the dozen. Now you can order all you want- for yourself or your friends & family! Yum. What a wonderful Purim gift! This is a major project and lots of other bakers are needed. No previous experience necessary. Don't miss out! Orders are due by February 21st.

And, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Bag Ladies. They meet every other Monday, working on sleeping mats for the homeless. This is a true mitzvah project!

Looking ahead to Passover, Tina Sacramone has agreed to coordinate our 1st night Seder on Wednesday, April 8th. This has been a very popular and well attended event since many of us don't have family members living nearby. We are meeting with a caterer next week and more details will be forth-coming soon. Save the Date!

Shabbat Shalom,
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.

2020 Purim 
Bnai Israel Congregation
"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.)

Rabbi Search Update

Just today we received a résumé from a rabbi currently based in London. He has a very interesting background with many accomplishments, and the Search Committee is looking forward to speaking with him next week.
Last week we had a preliminary phone call with another rabbi who expressed interest in us. After a long discussion, the Search Committee decided not to pursue any further discussion with him.
Interview Week for graduating rabbis was held this week in New York. There are 17 students graduating, but only 12 are seeking a pulpit position. We were not selected by any students for an interview.

We have a strong application/ résumé and are confident we will find the right rabbi for Bnai Israel. We believe we will have more work to do in the coming weeks!

Michelle Bannon & Steve Stein
Co-chairs, Rabbi Search Committee

Coming Events



** Sisterhood
Please make a reservation early so we can prepare enough food.

February 21
dinner at 6:00
Service to follow

Cooks needed
at Good Shepherd

March 11
4:30 - Call the
office to sign up

Good Shepherd
Food Drive
Please Help!

 month of

Let's Party!

March 9

6:00 pm

Meals to be 

March 10
between 2:30 & 4:30 
Rabbi Kenter's next visit

19 to 24

*** Sisterhood tour of Cameron Art Museum
limited space

March 29 
11:00 am

Book Club

April 1
1:00 pm 
Barbara Waxman
will host
** Please make a reservation by calling or emailing the Shul office.
910.762.1117 ~
***C ontact Laurel Westreich, 
or 201-317-5071

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.
February Food Drive
for 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 15-16 oz size cans or the large # 10 cans - 103-109 oz)
(regular 15-16 oz size cans or the large # 10 can - 103 - 109 oz)
Salad Dressing 
(Ranch and other "flavors")

Hot Sauce   Ketchup   Salt    Pepper   Pasta (all sorts)
Pick up an item when you are shopp ing, 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.

Sist erhood Book Club News      

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 soon if it hasn't already. 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 partici-pating in the book club,  please ask them to send me  (barbarawaxman their email addresses.

Sisterhood members will tour 
Cameron Art 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


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.

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.
13 - 19 Shevat 5780  ~  February 8 - 14, 2020

Celia Josephson Mother of Charles Josephson
Joel Katz Brother of Slick Katz
Louis Caplan Respectfully remembered
Nathan Stein Father of Steve Stein
Raymond Retchin Father of Dan Retchin
Rochelle Kaufman Mother of Sherry Padva
Serena Stein Hallman Respectfully remembered
Yetta Leinwand Leder Mother of Robert Leder

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.

Marilyn Moskow
Building Fund
In memory of Abram Moskow
Howard & Gain Grotsky
Building Fund
In memory of  Evelyn Chotiner
J. Fred Newber, Jr.
General Fund
In memory of Fred Retchin
Rena Goldwasser
General Fund
In memory of Bella Kalichman Glat
Sarah & Marvin Neuwirth
General Fund
In memory of Howard Neuwirth
Jeri & Lenny D'Lugin
General Fund
In memory of Roland Specter
Jeri & Lenny D'Lugin In memory of Howard Neuwirth
Jane Birnbach
Cemetery Fund
In memory of Fred Retchin,
a Wilmington hero!
Michelle Bannon & Richard Weisman
Capital Improvement Fund
In memory of my father,
Winfield Bannon
Pam & Dennis Sender
Building Fund
In memory of Sam Bork,
father of Pam
Pam & Dennis Sender
Building Fund
Honoring Rabbi Waxman's support for our family at a very difficult time
Jerry & Debbie Smith
General Fund
Get well wishes to
Heather Harris
Richard Weisman & Michelle Bannon
Building Fund
In memory of
Howard Neuwirth
Mary B. Levine Living Trust
General Fund
In memory of her father
Charles Block
Jay Jacobson
Cemetery Fund
In memory of  his sister
Natalie Justa
Joan Feinstein
General Fund
In memory of her father,
Murray Gainsburg
Herbert Zimmer
General Fund
In memory of
Howard Neuwirth
Herbert Zimmer
General Fund
In memory of 
Nettie Birnbach
Zee Reitblatt
Building Fund
In memory of
Bessie Green
Bruce & Lori Gorman
Rabbi's Discretionary Fund
In memory of
Lillian Gorman
Steven Janz
Building Fund
In memory of 
Samuel & Pearl Bluestein
Robert Leder
General Fund
In memory of
Nora Owens
Sharon & Richard Cantone
General Fund
In appreciation for
B'nai Israel
Arlene & David Burns
Capital Improvement Fund
In memory of
Howard Neuwirth
Patricia & Charles Josephson
Building Fund
In memory of Charles' mother,
Celia Josephson

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