Yom Rishon, 23 Shevat 5777

Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur Sermons 5777
 Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur Sermons 5776

Shabbat HaKavod Service 2014

 

Cantor Randall SchlossI hope you attended (and prayed and sang with us at) the recent Coalition for Mutual Respect Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Shabbat celebration at Temple Israel. I had heard much about this service and it definitely lived up to the hype. But the service was much changed from previous years (so I understand). Rabbi Wohl has moved to Florida. Reverend Rouse has retired as well. And this year’s service featured a different choir. Rather than the unique choirs of Temple Israel and St. Catherine’s AME Zion Church, this year’s service featured the “Coalition” Choir. In addition to our professional vocal quartet, volunteers from Temple Israel, St. Catherine’s, Lighthouse and Trinity St. Paul came together, to sing together.

This choir was not only different because of its makeup, but because it served a new purpose. Temple Israel has a strong history of great synagogue music featuring choir. But historically the purpose of the choir has been, quite simply, to move the congregation to pray by presenting beautiful liturgical music. If the music expresses the emotional meaning of a given prayer, then hopefully the congregation will be moved to pray. It worked in the past. And for me and many others, beautiful liturgical music, performed with skill and artistry, can still achieve that desired result.

But times change, people change and congregations change. The choir that sang at the emotional MLK service exemplified meaningful, musical prayer. The choir members themselves shared with me afterwards how moved they were by the experience. And many additional members of the congregation were similarly affected, partly because the choir was made up of members of the community—ours and the participating churches—and partly because the choir served its additional function. This choir served as true leaders of prayer. They not only sang beautifully, a treat for all who listened, but they inspired the congregation to join them in song. After the traditional hymn, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” the Coalition Choir led the congregation in a joyful “Hava Nashira.” Echoing the sentiment of the first hymn, this text literally means “Let’s Sing! Let’s sing a song of praise. Halleluyah!” The congregation complied and joined the choir from their own seats. How exciting that ours is now a community that prays through raising our voices together in song, as well as through listening. We thank everyone who participated in the choir, raising their voices in song!

This role of choir as inspirational prayer leader is not limited to any particular style of music or instrumentation. We can use the organ, piano, guitar, percussion, any combination of instruments that will help serve the dual function of music in the synagogue: to express the prayers through music, and to lead the congregation in active prayer. In a sermon given shortly before his death, entitled “Unfulfilled Dreams,” Dr. King asks the question, “Is your heart right?” Unlike the powerful “I have a dream” speech which speaks of a grand vision of peace, justice and harmony, in this sermon, Dr. King asks a personal question. Before any of us can work and live successfully in our society, our own heart must be in the right place. And so it is with prayer.  For the choir members and the congregation alike, the voices of the choir can lift our spirits and help to “get our hearts right.” I hope you’ll join us.

B’shirah (In Song),

randall schloss

 

 

Cantor Schloss

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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.

Purim 2017

Purim 2016

Saturday, March 11, 2017 • Erev Purim
7:30 pm    Purim Shpiel & Megillah Reading - “What’s My Megillah?”

Sunday, March 12, 2017 • Purim
11 am    Purim Family Service
11:30 am    Purim Carnival (open to children 5 and under)
12 pm    Purim Carnival (open to all)

We ask each Temple member to bring in a box of macaroni and cheese to  use as a grogger  during  all of  Temple Israel’s Purim services.
This food will then be donated to HOPE Community Services.


Purim is a holiday for laughter, costumes, noisemakers and giving treats. Mishloach Manot is the Purim Mitzvah of sending small gifts, usually of food, to friends, neighbors and the community.

Surprise your friends and family with Mishloach Manot gift bags. Each decorated package contains an assortment of Kosher candy and snacks, hamentaschen, and a grogger. Please also consider donating Mishloach Manot to the United Hebrew or Sarah Neuman Nursing Home.

Why should you purchase Mishloach Manot this year?
• It is a Mitzvah to gift baskets of food to family and friends.
• Mishloach Manot sales are an important fundraiser for Chavaya.

Click to order Mishloach Manot this year and support Temple Israel of New Rochelle by Friday, February 17th!

Coming Up

Feb
17

02.17.2017 - 02.20.2017

Feb
22

02.22.2017 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Feb
23

02.23.2017 9:15 am - 11:00 am

Photo of the Day

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