RTPV | Reform Temple of Putnam Valley

Tu B’Shevat: In Celebration of Trees

Reform Temple of Putnam Valley

Tu b’Shevat: In Celebration of Trees 
Pot Luck Dinner and Seder

Friday, January 30 at 6pm 
followed by Shabbat Services at 8


Join us for a Kabbalistic journey into Tu b'Shevat: A spiritual seder about the earth, trees and nature.

Like a Passover seder, we will have 4 cups of wine (or grape juice), 4 questions, poetry, songs, readings and more, including a craft project for the kids and adults.

The seder will start at 6:00, followed by dinner at 6:45 (please bring a vegetarian dish to share -- preferably with some ingredient(s) from trees).  Shabbat services are at 8.
Please RSVP to Nicole Berglas.

Our Friday night service, beginning at 8:00 PM, will celebrate the beauty of song in our lives. We read in the Torah that after the Israelites crossed the Reed Sea they joined together in song:

Miriam the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out with her to dance with timbrels,

Rabbis' January Message

Its New Year’s for Trees, Too

Tu b’Shevat, celebrated this year on February 4, is the Jewish New Year for trees. Why, you might ask, do trees have a New Year? For tax purposes, in ancient Israel, it mattered in which year a tree began to flower and produce fruit.  

Right now, even though it is the middle of winter in Putnam Valley, in Israel the winter is waning and the sap of the trees is beginning to flow in preparation for producing fruit.

Tu B'Shevat image 			There are beautiful rituals designed to create a sense of awe and honor for the fruit bearing trees of the world. Where once we brought a tree’s first fruits to the Temple as an offering to God, today we can offer the fruit of our lips through song and prayer. This is what we hope to create at our Tu B’Shevat Seder on January 30th. As on Passover, our seder includes 4 cups of wine, but with an interesting twist to represent the different phases in the yearly cycle of trees. 

The Seder, conceived by the mystics of 16th Century Sefat, is meant to spiritually connect us to God and Torah (known as an Etz Chayyim, the Tree of Life) as well as to nature, by journeying through the Four Worlds of the Kabbalists, while partaking of the various types of fruits and nuts that trees produce.

Tu b’Shevat is a good time to (re)commit ourselves to protecting trees and all of the environment. It is also a good time to (re)connect with nature. In the words of Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav:  

Grant me the ability to be alone;
May it be my custom to go outdoors each day 
among the trees and grasses, 
among all growing things
and there may I be alone
and enter into prayer to talk with the One that I belong to.

Rabbi Levy and Rabbi Altarescu

President's Message, December

Dear Temple Members and Friends,

RTPV 			Happy Hanukkah!  I hope you are enjoying the warmth and joy of the Festival of Lights and that you are looking forward to continuing the celebration at this evening's Hanukkah Fest, which begins this evening at 6pm. At this time of year, I think about the success of Judah and the Maccabees in restoring worship to the temple. I am reminded of how fortunate we are to have our own place of worship, mindful of how precious it is, and how challenging it can be to retain and maintain. 

Our energetic Rabbis, Laurie Levy and Steve Altarescu, continue to infuse our temple with joy and light.  I am especially delighted by the enthusiasm of our congregants, and appreciative of the many individual efforts that contribute to our temple community, enabling us to worship, learn, and celebrate together.

Our temple, which is funded by dues and donations, and essentially run by an army of volunteers, has accomplished a great deal in just the last few months...

(please click here for the rest of the message)

RTPV Students Visit Fieldhome Nursing Home for Chanukah


RTPV students had a heartwarming visit to the Fieldhome Nursing Care Center.

The residents were so appreciative of our visit and our students opened their hearts and their voices sharing Chanukah songs and words of care and love. We are so proud of all of you.

2014-2015 School Registration

Information about 2014-2015 School Registration has been posted on our Education page. Please return your Registration Forms as soon as possible to allow sufficient time to plan our faculty, classroom assignments and supplies.


Shop at DeCicco's - Help RTPV!

We are very excited to announce a great and easy way to help out RTPV simply by buying groceries - and it won't cost you a cent!

All you need to do is shop at DeCicco's Market located at 3651 Lee Rd, Jefferson Valley (opposite the JV Mall). When you check out just tell the cashier  that you are participating in the rebate program for the Reform Temple of Putnam Valley. The cashier will look up the applicable code and enter it. Simply by doing that, our Temple will get a percentage of whatever the cost of your purchase is. No extra cost to you but a great benefit to us.
We hope that you all take advantage of this opportunity and thank you in advance for your help.