Simchat Torah (10/4)
The Holiday when we become the Torah's "Dancing Feet"
Join us Sunday, October 4, from 4 to 5 PM as we celebrate the completion of the annual reading of the Torah. Come help us fill our Temple with as we dance with the Torah scrolls filled with joy as we usher in a new cycle of reading the Torah. Music from Annice will enhance our festivities.
We surround our children with an unfurled Torah as we read the last verses of Deuteronomy, and the first verses of Genesis. Come celebrate the wonders of Torah and Jewish peoplehood!
Wear comfortable shoes and come rejoice!
Rabbi Altarescu and Rabbi Levy
Stay all night, stay a little longer
Dance all night, dance a little longer
Pull off your coat, throw it in the corner
Don’t see why you can’t stay a little longer.
Dining to Donate (10/18)
RTPV will be having another Dining to Donate event on Sunday, October 18 at Roma's (right next to Applebee's) at 5:30 PM.
If you were with us back in June at Applebee's, we had a very strong turnout and 10% of the bill was donated back to the Temple.
This time, we will have a fixed price dinner at Roma's for $30 which includes bruschetta, salad, a pasta course, one of three entrees- Steak Sorrentino (white wine, mushrooms and onions), Chicken Parmigiana or Salmon with white wine, lemon and butter. A potato and vegetable side will be included as well as soft drinks, coffee and zeppoles for dessert. Tax and tip are also included!
Good deal, right?
Along with schmoozing with your RTPV friends, Roma's will donate 20% of the total bill to our Temple!
So, please RSVP to Phil Hurowitz if you will be joining us for Dining to Donate at Roma's!
Nicole Berlas' Rosh Hashanah Speech
What The Reform Temple of Putnam Valley Means to Me
L’Shana Tova. First I would like to thank the Rabbi’s committee for inviting me to speak to you about what this temple means to me; an honor that I am humbled to have been offered and nervously accepted. When I listened to Betty’s message she said she had a quick question. I thought it was about a recipe – not this. I was told I have three minutes to speak. Go ahead and time me because it looks like you are getting two speeches for the price of one.
Growing up in Great Neck there was no shortage of synagogues. I loved the old sanctuary at Temple Beth-el. It was warm and intimate. I remember hanging onto the words of Rabbis Rudin and Davidson’s sermons. They made me aware of ourselves and injustices going on around us in the turbulent 60s and 70s and that we were obligated to take action to fix them.
For the 4½ years I lived in West Berlin I was also part of the temple in the Pestalozzi Strasse. Women sat apart from the men, the voice of the Hassan was nothing short of breathtaking. I also learned that by sticking cloves into apples on Yom Kippur and just smelling them it would help to stave off hunger. The scent was sweet. I went every Friday night because I knew that I could be a part of this community. That was important to me.
Maybe the good measure of a synagogue is how children come to learn. Maybe the measure of a synagogue is how one is welcomed. Certainly a measure of a synagogue is the knowledge, wisdom, and warmth of the rabbis and the music of the cantor. It is measured by the warmth and dedication of the congregants. This synagogue may lack size but it does not lack any of these.
It was my mother’s intention to be a part of my children’s Jewish learning but she sadly passed when David and Isabelle were 4 and 2 years old. I had no family nearby. No connections. I did not know how I was going to impart to them who they are without her and without a community. It felt overwhelming and sad but also critical and urgent.
President's Yom Kippur Speech
My question to you today is “Why Affiliate with a Jewish Community?"
Many of you know that I work in Manhattan and commute via Metro North five days a week. Once I arrive at Grand Central Terminal (and it is a terminal not a station as I learned from an audio tour that Ed and I did there). I take the Shuttle crosstown. Before I enter the turnstile in the subway each morning I see a young man, probably in his 30s in the station. sitting on the side on the floor with his beagle. He has some personal items around him but I have never seen him begging for money or approaching anyone. What I have seen over time is people conversing with him on a regular basis. For reasons unknown to me he has made a connection with some commuters. I am not sure if they provide him with food or money but they appear to check in on him and have developed some sort of friendship or connection to this young man and his dog. I am hopeful that one day I will no longer see this man and his dog and that he will be in a more comfortable and supportive environment.
So why I am telling you this. The reason is as human beings we all need other people in order to be well and thrive. We feel better just being around other people. And we need close relationships in order to be happy.
Belonging to a group or community gives us a sense of identity. It helps us understand who we are and feel part of something larger than ourselves. Researchers also find that people with strong social connections have less stress-related health problems, lower risk of mental illness, and faster recovery from trauma or illness. Friends and family can also encourage and support us in healthy lifestyle habits, such as exercise and moderation.
As the new Oneg Coordinator (thank you Roni for all the past years of coordinating!), I would be delighted if any members who have yet to sign up for an Oneg would consider doing so. You don’t have to make milk shakes! You can keep it simple. Hosting guidelines can be found at here. Open dates are below. Please note we need a host for next Friday, August 21.
Hosting an Oneg is really a nice thing to do. Why not share a celebration with your temple community? Whether it’s a new job, an anniversary, or something else entirely, or no reason at all, we love to celebrate! If you like, you can arrange with Rabbi Altarescu and Rabbi Levy to receive an aliyah to the Torah. You don’t have to have a reason to celebrate to receive an aliyah. It’s a mitzvah in and of itself to host an Oneg: “Hachnasat Orchim,” which means “Welcoming Guests.” An Oneg celebration provides hospitality, encourages schmoozing and mingling, and more often than not you can pick up a tip about cooking, cycling or a good plumber. I found the list below on the internet — #7 makes a great point. Please note that you don’t have to clean up by yourselves — there are always folks around who help. Sometimes they are schmoozing while they clean up and are totally unaware they are helping.
7 Good Reasons to Host an Oneg
- Honor family or friends.
- Celebrate a birthday or anniversary.
- Mark a milestone.
- Memorialize a loved one or an event.
- Celebrate the joy of Shabbat.
- Create community at RTPV.
- Because if you don't, who will?
So please check out the following dates, which are still open. You can let me know by email or you can sign up on the clipboard in the vestibule. I would be happy to have date conflicts to sort out between the emails and the clipboard! And, thank you to the many folks who already signed up! If you have ANY questions, please don’t hesitate to send me an email.
January 22, 29
February 12, 26
And, consider co-hosting with another member. Many hands make light work and it’s a great way to get to know a fellow member!
A special shout out to Brenda: I will make egg creams next time!
Thank you in advance.
RTPV T-Shirts for sale
Get your very own RTPV T-Shirt
Great for wearing to temple and community events!
Supplies are limited
Pre-orders are being taken now
Adult Sizes S, M. L & XL
Email Roni to reserve your t-shirt
Music for Shabbat
Many thanks to our cantor, Annice Benemy for adding to our library of music. You can now find new recordings (under the "Music" tab of our website) of some music from our Shabbat Services.
Shop at DeCicco's - Help RTPV!
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.