Yom Sheini, 4 Kislev 5779

Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur Sermons 5778
Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur Sermons 5777

 Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur Sermons 5776

Shabbat HaKavod Service 2014

There are lots of signs that things have changed in our world. Some make me laugh. For example, whenever my family would leave my grandparents’ house for the drive home, we would be told: “Don’t forget to call me when you get home, so I know you’re safe,” by my grandmother. But, we all knew what she really meant – to call when we got home, let it ring twice, and then hang up without actually talking to anyone. Why? Long-distance charges! She didn’t want us to waste a dollar on a call, so we’d let it ring twice and that was that. Today, however, who concerns themselves with long-distance charges from the phone company? They don’t even exist in most circumstances, and when they do, new technologies, like internet calling, can circumvent them.

Another sign that we live in a different world is how often people not only changes jobs nowadays, but how people often change careers – sometime multiple times over the course of a lifetime. I often hear from members of our community about these major changes in their lives and I am regularly impressed by what I hear. Not only do these kinds of changes take a good a measure of bravery, they also take an immense amount of work to recreate oneself – all the more so as we get older. What is often the most impressive about this process is how excited, energized and happy people seem to be – once they transition to the new career, but even during the long process of change. The process is invigorating and the results often feel life-changing.

Here at Temple Israel, this shouldn’t be all that surprising. There are many ways in which people can change themselves through their involvement here, but there is one way that seems to change people’s lives more than most: Adult B’nei Mitzvah. For more than 30 years, we have been offering adults in our community the opportunity to become b’nei mitzvah, either for the first time, or the second. Many of our community members never had the opportunity to have a bar or bat mitzvah in their youth for a host of reasons. For others, they may have chosen not to have one for a different set of reason. And then, there are those who had the ceremony, but it wasn’t as meaningful as it could have been.

Our ABM program is for all of the above and is open to anyone and everyone. Over the course of two school years, we take you on an exploration of Judaism that covers all of the basics, from Hebrew skills to learning the prayers and about the Torah, but it also takes us through an exploration of our beliefs that is both engaging and fascinating. I hope you will join our newest cohort, beginning on Sunday, November 18th at 10 am (see the details on right). We are very lucky to have Cantor Sarah Zemel, who has been working with Temple Israel for many years now, as our lead ABM teacher, in conjunction with my colleagues and me.

Cantor Zemel is a caring and excellent teacher and will be a wonderful guide for those who take this journey with us. If there is interest, Cantor Zemel will also be teaching an advanced Hebrew class.

For anyone who has ever been a part of our ABM program (and there are well over a hundred people who have), or if you have ever been to our ABM service, you know that this is a moving experience. We hope that you will join us.

Just this past week, as one young woman was called to the Torah as a bat mitzvah, she was flanked on the bimah by her parents – both of whom had also been called to the Torah on our bimah – about 30 years apart! Dad had his bar mitzvah here as a teenager and mom as an adult. Both of her parents took pride in their daughter, but they seemed to be personally connected not only to the special moment of their daughter becoming bat mitzvah, but also to their own journey and connections to our tradition, our congregation and our people.

In a modern world that gives us both the opportunity and permission to make big changes in our lives, to learn new skills and have new experiences no matter how old we are, becoming an adult bar or bat mitzvah is as invigorating and life-changing as some of the career reformations our members have undertaken. Please let us know your interest in taking this powerful journey with us.

Rabbi Weiner
Senior Rabbi

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HHD 5778 Logo

High Holidays 5778
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

The most sacred time of the year is the period of the High Holidays, from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur.


For the Rosh Hashanah sermons given by Senior Rabbi Scott Weiner and Rabbi Beth Nichols, please click.
For the Yom Kippur sermons given, click for Senior Rabbi Scott Weiner and Rabbi Beth Nichols.


High Holiday Logo

 

High Holidays 5777
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

The most sacred time of the year is the period of the High Holidays, from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur.


For Rosh Hashanah sermons given by Senior Rabbi Scott Weiner and Rabbi Beth Nichols, please click.
For Yom Kippur sermons given by Rabbi Beth Nichols, please click.
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HHD 5775

 

High Holidays 5776
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

The most sacred time of the year is the period of the High Holidays, from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur.


For Rosh Hashanah sermons given by Senior Rabbi Scott Weiner and Rabbi Beth Nichols, please click.
For Yom Kippur sermons given by Senior Rabbi Scott Weiner, please click.
For Rosh Hashanah greetings given by Lloyd Robinson, President, click for Erev, Family and Main, please click.

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Shabbat HaKavod Service

TINR 1 Year Anniversary Speech – June 6, 2014 ~ Adam Egelberg

For those of you whom we haven’t yet met, my name is Adam Egelberg. My wife Mia is sitting over there (point), and next to her are our two sons, Jake and Matt. We have lived in New Rochelle for 12 years and we’re here tonight celebrating our 1 year anniversary with the congregation of Temple Israel. I guess if we were a little quicker on the uptake we might be celebrating our 10th anniversary tonight, but better late than never.

Mia and I were invited to speak on behalf of the families being honored for their first anniversary. When considering this, we felt that we could only do so if we could reach out to as many of them as possible to get a sense of what other families thought about their first year with Temple Israel. Amazingly, all the first-years seem to be on the same page when it comes to this community. Here are some of the thoughts and feelings that came out of those conversations, many of them repeated:

Inclusive, Amazing, Tremendous positive influence, Peppy, Wonderful, Interactive, Happy, Huge help, It felt great, Thrilled, Something for everyone, Always striving to do better, Dynamic, Innovative, Creative, We are very thankful, Like family.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

The word community came up frequently. But what is a community exactly? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines community as “a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc.” That didn’t capture it for me, so I went to the font of all knowledge: Google.

Google says a community is a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals. While still a bit bland, I think that “feeling of fellowship” is a good place to start when describing Temple Israel. Google would also like you to know that there is a sale on Kippot at Amazon.com tonight and that you should all join Rabbi Weiner’s Google+ group.

The other sentiment uniformly expressed by the freshmen was that the Kehilah school is really something special. I would go way over my allotted one page if I tried to fully capture all the amazing things the families said about the school. So to be brief, you guys are doing a great job. Keep it up.

As Mia and I have older children, I would like to add that the Chavaya program is incredible. I am stunned to see children actually enjoying Hebrew School. You might be running afoul of some long standing traditions there.

So on behalf of my wife and children and the other first-year families who were lucky enough to discover this wonderful community, I would like to thank you for welcoming us all into your family.


Shabbat HaKavod Service

TINR 18 Years Anniversary Speech – June 6, 2014 ~ Jessica Frank

Good evening!  I feel particularly blessed and honored tonight to be able to celebrate the Cohan family’s 18 year anniversary in this glorious place.  I cannot believe how quickly the time has gone by, and how much MY HUSBAND AND I AND OUR CHILDREN have gained from being a part of the vibrant, inspirational community that is Temple Israel of New Rochelle.

18 years.  CHAI! -- the gift of life and of good luck.  How appropriate.
 
It all started when my 9 year old daughter came home from school one day and announced that it was imperative that she make her Bat Mitzvah.  (I think that her grandfather had something to do with her demands, but I can’t be positive.)   I drove up the winding hill from Pinebrook Blvd. just to TALK about the possibility of joining, and left Joyce Engel’s office a half hour later as a member,  armed with a complimentary prayer book in my hand.

And that day opened up a new chapter in our lives, which, 18 years later, has multiplied into volumes of beautiful experiences here for us.  Laura did make her Bat Mitzvah, but, unfortunately, her grandfather didn’t live to see it.  Neither of them did.  They both would have been proud, though.  My son David followed through as well, growing and thriving here on his journey through Bar Mitzvah, Confirmation, and Hebrew High School graduation.  

I of course, (not one to be upstaged), jumped on the spiritual bandwagon and decided, about 40 years after my 13th birthday, that I too wanted to study Hebrew and to make my Bat Mitzvah.  My husband encouraged me, my children inspired me, and my Temple laid out the welcome mat by providing a beautiful, nurturing environment with strong support so that I could reach that goal.  My adult Confirmation just last week was yet another step along my path of learning  -- being given the opportunity to  analyze, debate, and absorb Reform Judaism and all of its gifts, as well as its challenges.  

I could go on and on about everything that this place has done for me, but for now I’ll just say “Thanks, Temple Israel, from the Cohans, for the friends, for the faith, for the knowledge, and for the on-going adventure.”    

And here’s to another chai – another 18 years…or even 36, God willing!

Shabbat Shalom.


Shabbat HaKavod Service
TINR 36 Years Anniversary Speech – June 6, 2014 ~ Val Etra

In the introduction to Mishkan T’filah, our prayerbooks in the pews, Sam Karff wrote “Each generation must struggle to hear the call,
“Where art Thou?  Each must choose to answer.


Shabbat HaKavod Service

TINR 50 Years Anniversary Speech – June 6, 2014 ~ Carole & Mitch Ostrove

Mitch                   
Yes, 50 years as a couple here at Temple Israel.  It all began in 1948 with consecration at Webster. TI has, and always will be, an important part of our lives.  Our parents were involved, so we were involved.  They were great role models.

Carole
We were both consecrated and went to Religious School, Mitch was a Bar Mitzvah.  We were part of the Junior Society, Junior Cantors, Junior Rabbi’s, Junior Choir, then Confirmation and Graduation. All that before being married, in Temple, 50 years ago. It is through our involvement that many good friends were made and kept.

Working to put together the Holiday Bazaar was a huge undertaking. The Purim Carnival and the Young Couples Club were loads of fun, especially the Scavenger Hunt at JFK.

Mitch
I served as Brotherhood President, was active on the National Board, and for 20 years headed up the  Kitchen Crew and loved every minute. I served on the Temple Board and have been an active Honorary member for years.  My brother and I were the honorees for a Temple Gala 20 years ago.  It was a wonderful evening!

Carole
Our children, Marjorie and Jimmy continued the family tradition. They were named at Temple, consecrated, attended Religious School, Bar Mitzvah, Confirmation, Graduation and were active TIFTY members.

Mitch
And now a 4th generation of Ostroves. Our granddaughter Jackie was named at Temple, as was our grandson Joey.  Joey was one of the first babies in the Kehillah School and his mom, Marjorie is President of the Parents Association.

L’DOR V”Dor from generation to generation.  Temple Israel, part of the fabric of our lives.

 

Shabbat HaKavod Service
TINR 60 Years Anniversary Speech – June 6, 2014 ~ Mary & Tom Garten

My wife’s parents lived on Aviemore Drive in New Rochelle, and I resided in Hartsdale. Mary’s parents were then members of our Temple at the Webster Avenue location.

On September 9, 1954 we were married by Rabbi Shankman at Mary’s home.  I was quite nervous so Rabbi Shankman told me to hide behind the foliage until the ceremony began.  Mary and I then became members at Temple Israel.

Both of our children received their Hebrew names at our Temple.  Our son, Lawrence was Bar Mitzvah by Rabbi Shankman after being mentored by Cantor Crockett.  Larry always valued his friendship.  Our Bar Mitzvah was held in Rosen Hall.  The first party event scheduled there.  Our daughter Jean attended Sunday school and her class picture was for many years on the corridor wall.

Mary and I will always treasure our friendship with Rabbi Wohl.  I so enjoyed being a member of his radio committee.  Cantor Reps performances were always a pleasure to listen to.

We have witnessed our Temple grow in recent years in many aspects of the religious field.  We are so proud to be affiliated with our Temple and know our Temple will continue to flourish under Rabbi Weiner’s leadership. As a World War 11 Veteran and Purple Heart recipient, I very much appreciate Rabbi Weiner’s reading at our services the names of the fallen soldiers.

Mary and I are so thankful to be honored here this evening.

Coming Up

13Nov
11.13.2018 3:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Kol Simcha
13Nov
11.13.2018 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Chavaya
13Nov
11.13.2018 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Chavaya High School
13Nov
11.13.2018 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
TIFTY Sandwich Brigade and Ethics of Coaching
14Nov
11.14.2018 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Food for Thought
14Nov
11.14.2018 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Board of Trustees Meeting (meet & greet 7 pm)
15Nov
11.15.2018 7:30 am - 10:00 am
AJC/WJC Thanksgiving Diversity Breakfast
15Nov
11.15.2018 3:45 pm - 6:00 pm
Torah Corps
15Nov
11.15.2018 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Chavaya