Home | Reform Temple of Putnam Valley

Hanukkah Happenings

Happy Hanukkah!

A Menorah  			There are many ways to celebrate the Festival of Lights with RTPV. On Friday from 6 - 8 pm we have our annual Hanukkah Fest complete with a menorah contest, a latke contest, games, songs and more. At 8:00 we welcome back Annice Benemy on guitar to help us lead a Shabbat service filled with the light and joy of Hanukkah.

Please bring your Hanukkah menorah to services so we can all light them together.

The celebration continues on Sunday at 5PM at the Jefferson Valley Mall, where all the synagogues in Northern Westchester and Putnam join together for a community Hanukkah candle lighting and song festival.

All the best for a bright and joyous Hanukkah,

Rabbi Levy and Rabbi Altarescu

Rabbis' December Message

Rabbi David Hartman said, “Judaism is a community of interpretation.” In other words, Jews are good at re-describing and re-imagining our past in light of what is happening in the present and what our hopes are for the future.

Hanukkah is a case in point We all light the same menorah, but some Jews focus on what we learn from its history lesson -- how theological differences, in this case between zealous religious Jews and Hellenized secular Jews, can lead to bloody wars. Others might prefer to focus on how the fight for religious freedom prevailed in spite of a hostile surrounding culture (which in modern terms translates as the freedom to be Jewish in a non-Jewish world). Still another approach is to celebrate Hanukkah as a holiday of miracles, affirming faith in God as evidenced by the one cruse of kosher oil that lasted for 8 days, or the miracle of the weaker Maccabean soldiers overpowering the stronger Syrian Greek army. And yet others see Hanukkah as a beautiful reminder that in the midst of the dark and cold of winter, or the darkness in the world today, or in one’s life at a particular moment -- there is always light and hope.

All Jews share a common history, but all of us have our own interpretations and unique expressions of what it means to be Jewish. The word Hanukkah means “dedication,” as Judah Maccabee re-dedicated the Temple left desecrated by the Syrian Greeks. May we dedicate ourselves to bringing our unique light and contribution to the RTPV community and beyond, and may this Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, be full of joy and warmth for us all.


Rabbi Laurie Levy and Rabbi Steve Altarescu

Community Menorah Lighting

Community Menorah Lighting
at Jefferson Valley Mall
Sunday, December 21 at 5 pm


Join RTPV members and other temple congregations from Putnam County and Northern Westchester for a community-wide Menorah lighting and singing at the Jefferson Valley Mall on Sunday December 21 at 5 pm.

In previous years various congregations have each lit the Menorah on one night. This year our Rabbis and the local Rabbis group thought it would be great if many congregations joined together one night to sing and celebrate together. We will gather at 4:45 pm at the Menorah kiosk at the center of mall.

We hope that many of us can make it! Treats for all!

Candles and Gelt Orders have arrived

Hanukkah and Shabbat Candles and Gelt Orders
have arrived and are ready for pickup at RTPV!

Those who placed orders may pick them up at the temple.
They may be picked up Friday evening before and after services, this Saturday morning during Hebrew School, and Tuesday evening, 12/9 (during the RTPV Board Meeting) from 7:15 until 9pm. Let us know when you will be coming, so that we can have them ready, by replying to this email. If none of those times work, let us know and we will work something out. 


PLEASE NOTE: We ordered 6 extra boxes of Hanukkah candles for those of you who meant to order, but didn't get around to it! The boxes of 45 hand-dipped candles from Safed Candle Company in Northern Israel are $13 each. They are available on a first-come-first-served basis, so email now in order to have a box or two held for you.

Thank you to everyone who placed orders,
helping to support Israeli artists and RTPV!

Hanukkah begins at sundown on Dec 16, 2014

Kabbalah and Jewish Spirituality text

kabalah treeA few of you who attended the Adult Education workshop on November 23 requested that I send out the text of my talk as well as the guided mediation that we did.

Click this link for a PDF of the talk, the guided mediation and some of the handouts.

If anyone has questions or would like to discuss the workshop teaching feel free to contact me.

All the best,
Rabbi Steve Altarescu 

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.