Yom Rivii, 28 Tishri 5778

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

 Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur Sermons 5776

Shabbat HaKavod Service 2014

By the time this bulletin is in your hands, I will have seen many of you over the holidays. As I write this, however, I am just a few days back into my regular schedule after my summer sabbatical. Even in these few days, lots of you have asked me if my time away was what I had hoped it would be and if there was some great take-away from the experience of a prolonged absence from the day to day of my professional life. In short, the answers are yes and yes, without a doubt.

Indeed, the sabbatical (including the part in the spring) was all I had hoped for. It was a great gift from the congregation to both recognize the regular commitment of time on my part to Temple Israel and the value for me, my family and the congregation, for me to have a chance to recharge the batteries. This summer, I got to do many things that I have not had the chance to do in a long time – or ever!

In the early part of the summer, I got to volunteer, as I always do, at the URJ Kutz Camp. This summer however, I was able to be there for nearly the entire session of camp – something I haven’t done since I was a student, nearly 20 years ago. My service to camp, as the faculty dean, has never felt more helpful to camp and, at the same time, it has never felt more fulfilling to me. The weeks there were not just about the teaching and programming for which I was responsible. It allowed me to make more and deeper relationships with campers and staff alike. Likewise, it was so wonderful to have those weeks with colleagues from around the world. I got to learn and be inspired by their work in their communities and be moved by the kinds of collaborations that occur when excellent rabbis, cantors and educators come together in a camp environment. On the one hand, I was there to volunteer, but on the other, I gained so much from being there for such a long stint. It will be hard to be back there only for one week next year!

For the remaining six weeks of the summer, I had the gift of spending nearly all day, every day, with both of my daughters, something that hasn’t happened – ever! Some of you may be wondering if I’m being truthful, but I promise I am! I love being a rabbi and serving the Jewish community, but that comes with a trade-off of having an atypical schedule. I serve the community most nights and weekends. The six weeks with my daughters was an opportunity to just be a dad without running out to meetings at odd hours, or being the one dad on the soccer field in a suit and tie! Before leaving for Israel, we used that time to take day trips all over the New York area. We went to the Statue of Liberty (where I hadn’t been since 5th grade), national parks, museums, a Broadway show, lunches and walks and so much more. At night, we got to have dinner as a family and on weekends we spent time with family and friends. Being a one man daddy day camp was tiring, but I cherished it!

And then we went to Israel for a month, where our daily journeys to and fro in that country were amazing as well. Israel may be a small country, but even we, who have been to Israel countless times, still find new places and sites to visit as well as our favorite haunts that we never miss. We went to Israel’s biggest yogurt and pudding factory (Israelis eat an average of 2 per capita, per day, so this is a place of national importance!), lots of beaches, an escape room (you try doing that in a non-native language!), we made art with our family’s favorite Israeli artist in her private studio, we went to a stalactite cave, explored the treasures of Jerusalem, I got to run with my daughter in 95 degree weather (even less fun than it sounds), ate donuts at our favorite Arab bakery in the heart of Old Jaffa and so much more. Limor and I even got away for a vacation on our own to celebrate our 20 years together.

So yes, I got to do everything I wanted to do on my sabbatical. The great take-away, however, wasn’t grand, but it was profound. The little things do matter. Having the time to do important and meaningful things, not in the minutes or days one finds in between the other things, but doing them solely for the enjoyment of them, was amazing. It has given me insight, at this time of year, on how I’d like to prioritize my time – doing more things, more often, that I love, with those I love. I can’t wait another seven years to make the space for such important things. With the New Year just begun, I hope I live up to it! I hope this year is, for you too, a year of doing things you love and being with those you love, more than ever. Make the time, it’s worth it!

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Rabbi Scott Weiner

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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

18Oct
10.18.2017
28th of Tishrei,
18Oct
10.18.2017 7:00 am - 3:00 pm
Kehilllah School Picture Day
18Oct
10.18.2017 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
TIFTY High Holiday Food Drive Delivery
18Oct
10.18.2017 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Kehillah School Curriculum Night
18Oct
10.18.2017 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Board of Trustees Meeting (meet & greet 7 pm)
19Oct
19Oct
10.19.2017 12:00 pm - 12:20 pm
Shirah (Kehillah School)