Summer 2011 - Congregation Beth El

Summer 2011 - Congregation Beth El

Summer 2011 - Congregation Beth El


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ISSUE 127 • SUMMER <strong>2011</strong> <strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> is a member of The Union for Reform Judaism<br />

In this issue<br />

President’s Message p.2<br />

Youth and Family Education p.3<br />

From the Executive Director p.4<br />

Camp Kee Tov p.5<br />

Nursery School p.5<br />

FROM THE rabbi<br />


Daily, for the seven weeks after the Passover Seder, Jews count the Omer.<br />

Literally “a sheaf,” the Omer once marked the seven weeks between<br />

the wheat harvest and the barley harvest. The Torah, in turn, connects<br />

two national-historical events: The Exodus from Egypt (Passover) and<br />

the revelation of the Torah at Mt. Sinai (Shavuot). We number each day,<br />

counting upwards from the second evening of Passover. One of the many<br />

explanations for the counting of the Omer is that it is an invitation to ask: “Where are you<br />

headed?” (Other manuscripts read: “Are we there yet?”) The Exodus from Egypt was not merely<br />

a departure from – it was the beginning of an affirmative journey towards what lay ahead…<br />

Each step along the way, Judaism teaches, is worthy of recognition and acknowledgement.<br />

We have put up an Omer calendar at each entrance to the synagogue.<br />

In the wider community of which we are a part, this is also the season of transitions, when we<br />

celebrate accomplishments and look forward to new journeys and new stages. At <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>, we<br />

will be marking and celebrating graduations, accomplishments, transitions and new directions<br />

forward at a variety of forums during the coming two months. I hope that you will join us in<br />

celebration as we acknowledge the harvests we have gathered in and look forward to counting<br />

upward in the months and years ahead.<br />

Shabbat Unplugged – Honoring our Seventh Grade<br />

Friday, May 13 • Potluck Dinner 6:00 pm / Service 7:00 pm<br />

We will recognize the <strong>2011</strong> Bat/Bar Mitzvah class as they step-up to Midrasha at our concluding<br />

raucous (in the best possible way!) and fun, kid-focused Shabbat Unplugged service. The entire<br />

congregation is invited and Religious School age families are especially encouraged to attend.<br />

The Story Teller, his young friend Chaya and Reb Yankel from Richmond, will be there too!<br />

Midrasha Graduation<br />

Sunday, May 22 • 10:15 am<br />

Midrasha, our community-wide Jewish high school program, has its 43nd annual graduation<br />

ceremony on Sunday morning, May 23 at <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>. A highlight of the Midrasha graduation are<br />

the student speeches. We congratulate Daniel Baldassare, Alexandra Kennedy, Callie Lapidus,<br />

Amy Midanik-Blum, Lena Miller, and Joshua Nelson on their graduation.<br />

Upcoming Events p.6<br />

Youth Groups p.8<br />

Member Corner p.9<br />

Music p.9<br />

Library p.10<br />


Confirmation<br />

Friday, June 3 • Catered Dinner 6:30 pm / Service 8:00 pm<br />

In Reform synagogues, Confirmation represents the completion of a significant period of study<br />

after the bar/bat mitzvah year and “confirms” young people’s commitment to and engagement<br />

with Jewish teaching and the Jewish people. There are eight students in this year’s Confirmation<br />

class and they will lead the service and each speak about “This I believe…” This year’s<br />

confirmation class members are: Noah Amme, Milo Dubinsky, Alana Levine-Gorelick, Rachel<br />

Graup, Lauren Hoffman, Seamus Nelson, Harry Pollack, Jacob Pearlstein, Sam Roditti.<br />

The Confirmation service will be preceded by a catered Shabbat dinner; please visit www.bethelberkeley.org to sign up.<br />

Advance reservations for dinner are required.<br />

East Bay Commuity-wide Shavuot<br />

Tuesday, June 7 • 7:30 pm – through the night at the JCC East Bay<br />

Join <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s Rabbis and volunteers in studying throughout the evening as part of the Berkeley community-wide Tikkun<br />

(all night study) in honor of Shavuot at the JCC. Shavuot evening Yizkor services will take place at the JCC. Shavuot<br />

Yizkor circle and services will be at <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> on Wednesday, June 8; Yizkor Circle at 6:15 pm in the library; Yizkor service<br />

at 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary.<br />

Gift Shop p.11<br />

Pantry Chug p.11<br />

Tzedakah p.12<br />

Torah Study p.15<br />

Midrasha p.15

2 | the builder: summer <strong>2011</strong><br />


The Greatest Contribution<br />

You know when you open a fortune cookie at a Chinese restaurant… and<br />

it’s not a fortune… but you know you’re “fortunate” to have received it<br />

anyway, and that it carries a deeper meaning in some way? Well, I saved<br />

this fortune that had that kind of message. It reads: “Robert F. Kennedy<br />

says ‘You’re happiest while you’re making the greatest contributions!’”<br />

I am pleased to say that I can look back on these past two years in leadership at <strong>Beth</strong><br />

<strong>El</strong> with great happiness. I have been able to draw on the wisdom accrued from more<br />

than three generations of <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> families, and from 67 years of congregational history.<br />

The diversity on our Board reflects the breadth of our membership, the depth of Jewish<br />

values in our congregation, and a legacy of deep commitment to <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>. Our visionary<br />

Rabbi has developed an outstanding team of professionals who have created exemplary<br />

programming. We hired Norm Frankel, our exceptional Executive Director, who has<br />

made significant improvements in our operations and financial condition. And while our<br />

mortgage debt remains substantial, we’ve established a payment plan we can live with.<br />

Things do seem to be humming along here at <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>. Our very own Strategic Plan is now<br />

complete, and implementation is underway. On Shabbat mornings we are the place to be!<br />

The bonds we have forged with our Berkeley synagogue and Jewish community partners<br />

are generating increased interest in synagogue affiliation, dynamic cross-denominational<br />

programming, and a new excitement about Jewish life in the East Bay.<br />

I am also really happy about our building, the way it looks, and the way it feels to be here<br />

with my congregation. Upholstered seating and acoustical tiles have done great things<br />

for the sanctuary, and when our community gathers for services and events we foster an<br />

even more welcoming environment. Our collective participation and involvement as a<br />

congregation is our “greatest contribution”, it continues to strengthen us, and we’re our<br />

“happiest” in community.<br />

I look forward over the next two years to continuing to contribute in my new role as<br />

Immediate Past President. If you haven’t already made your contribution to community, I<br />

urge you to do so. There are many ways to contribute, and here are some suggestions:<br />

1. Volunteering for a program or event, or to serve on a committee is a great<br />

way to get started. Please watch our weekly eUpdate for announcements about<br />

volunteer opportunities.<br />

2. Contributions can be of the financial kind, as well. As of the date of this writing,<br />

we have not yet reached our annual campaign goal for the 2010-<strong>2011</strong> fiscal year.<br />

But your generous financial contribution to our annual fund could bring us over the<br />

top! Please consider making a gift today, before the fiscal year closes on June 30th.<br />

3. Members of our past leadership have suggested that our congregants follow<br />

the example they themselves set by naming <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> in their will. What better way<br />

to secure the legacy handed down to us for future generations, and to insure<br />

our Jewish community’s future, than by leaving a planned gift to <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>? Many<br />

members have already made provision in their will, or have included <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> in<br />

their estate plans.<br />

Our collective strength is measured by what we each contribute individually. Thank you<br />

for the opportunity to serve as president of this great congregation. And a million thanks<br />

for your participation, your involvement, and for your “greatest contributions” to our<br />

community.<br />

Joanne Backman<br />

President<br />


1301 Oxford Street<br />

Berkeley, CA 94709-1424<br />

Phone: 510-848-3988<br />

Fax: 510-848-2707<br />

Youth and Family Education Office<br />

Direct Line: 510-848-2122<br />

Nursery School Office<br />

Direct Line: 510-848-9428<br />

Camp Kee Tov Office<br />

Direct Line: 510-848-2372<br />

Midrasha Office<br />

Direct Line 510-843-4667<br />


Rabbi Yoel H. Kahn<br />

Senior Rabbi<br />

ext. 215 - rabbikahn@bethelberkeley.org<br />

Rabbi Reuben Zellman<br />

Assistant Rabbi & Music Director<br />

ext. 228 - rabbirz@bethelberkeley.org<br />

Norm Frankel<br />

Executive Director<br />

ext. 212 - norm@bethelberkeley.org<br />

Debra Sagan Massey<br />

Director of Education<br />

ext. 213 - debra@bethelberkeley.org<br />

Barbara Kanter<br />

Nursery School Director<br />

ext. 219 - barbara@bethelberkeley.org<br />

Zach Landres-Schnur<br />

Camp Kee Tov Director<br />

ext. 217 - zach@bethelberkeley.org<br />

Janice Baker<br />

Accounting<br />

ext. 210 - janice@bethelberkeley.org<br />

Diane Bernbaum<br />

Midrasha Director<br />

510-843-4667 - diane@midrasha.org<br />

Odette Blachman<br />

Gift Shop<br />

ext. 240 - oblachman@sbcglobal.net<br />

Rebecca DePalma<br />

YAFE Administrative Coordinator<br />

& Youth Group Advisor<br />

ext. 214 - rebecca@bethelberkeley.org<br />

Juliet Gardner<br />

Clergy Assistant<br />

ext. 235 - juliet@bethelberkeley.org<br />

Lenora O’Keith<br />

Administrative Coordinator, Main Office<br />

ext. 211 - lenora@bethelberkeley.org<br />

Stephanie Pollick<br />

Camp Kee Tov Admin. Coordinator<br />

ext. 223 - stephanie@bethelberkeley.org<br />

Rabbi Ferenc Raj<br />

Rabbi Emeritus<br />


I always get a bit sad in May when our programs<br />

wind up for the year. I feel so privileged to<br />

spend time with the students, parents and<br />

teachers over the course of the year. And then<br />

in the middle of May, things stop. We wrap up<br />

the year, and look forward to Camp Kee Tov<br />

in the summer. But my daily interaction with families radically<br />

changes over the summer.<br />


School is out...but it’s just beginning!<br />

Debra Massey - Director of Education<br />

I go into planning mode. We work on curriculum, we hire new<br />

teachers, and we enhance our programs. My doors are always<br />

open to hear your ideas and suggestions as to how our programs<br />

can be improved. You should be receiving this year’s YAFE<br />

brochure in the mail very soon, and you will note some exciting<br />

changes.<br />

One new concept is that our education programs are now open<br />

to non-members through a Trial-Year. Families of pre-k students<br />

through 3rd grade can pay a non-subsidized price and join our<br />

education programs while checking out the synagogue. We hope<br />

that this new option opens the doors to <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> for more families.<br />

Please help us by spreading the word!<br />

We are also incorporating new programming into our programs.<br />

In particular, we are focusing on Judaism’s commitment to the<br />

environment and sustainability. We will be partnering with the<br />

newly created Urban Adamah- a Jewish urban farm in central<br />

Berkeley. We plan on having several family days on the farm<br />

and encouraging our students to literally get their hands ‘dirty’<br />

with Jewish learning.<br />

We have also received a grant from Hazon (www.hazon.org) to<br />

offer a program called Home for Dinner to our 5th grade families.<br />

This project will give families the opportunity and the tools to learn<br />

about healthy eating and engage in the shared experience of<br />

cooking and food preparation in the context of Jewish family life.<br />

Through five family education days, we hope to inspire families<br />

to strengthen the family unit and in turn, the Jewish home and<br />

Jewish life.<br />

I also have hopes that we can establish a CSA (community<br />

sponsored agriculture) program, where weekly deliveries of fresh,<br />

organic, local produce are delivered to <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> to be picked up by<br />

our families. I envision families gathering on Thursday evenings<br />

to pick up their boxes, to socialize and to share food together. If<br />

you would like to help this dream become a reality, please be in<br />

touch so we can work on this project together!<br />

As you can see, my summer months of quiet will quickly pass<br />

and the fall will be upon us with fervor once again. We will<br />

be launching the year with our annual Shabbaton - September<br />

16th - 18th at URJ Camp Newman. This weekend will be a great<br />

way to get ready for the upcoming High Holy Days, while still<br />

holding on to summer fun. There will be swimming, a climbing<br />

tower, hiking, learning, and lots of time to relax. We hope to see<br />

you there!<br />

Registration for the 5772 School Year is now open!<br />

Visit www.bethelberkeley.org for more information.<br />

YAFE End of the Year Celebration<br />

Shabbat Unplugged<br />

Honoring the 7th Grade Class and our Teachers<br />

Friday, May 13 • 6:00 – Potluck Dinner / 7:00 pm – Service<br />

led by our 7th grade class followed by a festive oneg!<br />

Celebrate all the learning that has happened this year with a familyfriendly<br />

service for the whole community featuring<br />

Rabbi Kahn, the 7th grade class, and songleader Josh Miller.<br />

Potluck (no meat please) by the first letter of your LAST NAME;<br />

please bring a dish to serve 10-12 people:<br />

A-L: Fruit, Salads and Veggies<br />

M-Z: Main Dish<br />

We encourage you to bring non-disposable plates, cups<br />

and utensils to help save our planet.<br />

Come see the magic of Jewish overnight camping!<br />

Come to Camp Newman!<br />

Friday, August 5 • 4:00 - 9:30 pm<br />

Shabbat dinner, Singing and Dancing! Online registration required!<br />

We are asking all visitors to make a minimum contribution of<br />

$20/adult. (Free for under 18)<br />

www.newman.urjcamps.org/alumni/reunions/synagogue<br />

Save the Date...<br />

<strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> Annual Shabbaton<br />

Rejuvenate for the New Year!<br />

September 16th - 18th at URJ Camp Newman in Santa Rosa<br />

If you want to help in the planning of this fun-filled weekend,<br />

please contact Debra Massey at debra@bethelberkeley.org!<br />

www.bethelberkeley.org | 3

4 | the builder: summer <strong>2011</strong><br />

You are cordially invited to join us at <strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s Annual Meeting on Sunday,<br />

May 15 at 10:00 am. The Annual Meeting is open to all members, and is an opportunity to conduct<br />

important congregational business and communicate information on the financial state of the<br />

congregation.<br />

We will begin the meeting with a brunch reception and presentation of the Marian Magid Award for<br />

Excellence in Leadership. The business portion of the meeting will begin at 11:00 am, and will include reports on the state<br />

of the synagogue, a review of our current year finances, and the operating budget for the coming fiscal year. There will also<br />

be an update on the status of our financial obligations to our bank and others, and an opportunity to answer your questions<br />

on the fiscal state of the synagogue.<br />

There are two items on the agenda that require a vote of our members.<br />

1. The first item is a recommendation by our board of directors to increase standard membership dues from $2,650<br />

to $2,750, and to correspondingly adjust all other introductory and special membership categories appropriately. In<br />

response to the severe economic recession we’ve experienced, the Board of Directors deferred a dues increase in the<br />

past 3 years. With the improving economic climate and the need to meet rising costs, the Board has recommended<br />

a modest increase this year of $100 in our standard membership dues request.<br />

2. The second item requiring a vote by our membership is the slate of candidates for the Board of Directors. You<br />

received notification of that slate already. We are very excited to present a slate that includes a new synagogue<br />

President, Dan Magid, a new 1st Vice President, Paul Sugarman and many other talented and experienced leaders<br />

in our community.<br />

At this year’s Annual Meeting we will also be honoring our outgoing immediate Past President, Katherine Haynes Sanstad, and<br />

long time member and Professor of non-profit management at UC Berkeley, Mike Austin. Mike and Katherine shepherded<br />

us through the complex process of creating a Strategic Plan for <strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>. That plan, which has recently been<br />

adopted by our Board of Directors, will guide the work of our leadership as we work to implement our vision of a vibrant,<br />

diverse, and dynamic synagogue and a vital center for Jewish programs and learning for children and adults of all ages.<br />

Katherine and Mike’s efforts and leadership epitomize the vital importance of volunteer participation at all levels, in building<br />

and sustaining our community.<br />

You will be receiving in the mail this month your annual membership renewal forms. We ask that you return these forms<br />

promptly. Erev Rosh HaShanah is only a few months away (September 28) and we plan to mail High Holy Day tickets by<br />

late August. That means we need your prompt return of your renewal form and dues pledge for the new fiscal year starting<br />

July 1. Tickets will only be mailed to members who have returned their forms and made their dues pledge. We do ask<br />

you to seriously consider increasing your personal commitment this year even beyond the recommended $100 increase<br />

in standard dues. Even though there are signs of an improving economy, many of our members have had to request<br />

significant dues modifications in recent years. The strains of a difficult economy, the burdens and high costs of medical<br />

needs and insurance, the growing cost of college education, and other factors have caused financial hardships to many<br />

congregants. Your financial generosity to <strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> is essential to ensuring that we fulfill one of our core values<br />

as a Jewish community guaranteeing that our door is always open to all members of our community, no matter their<br />

financial circumstances. Your on-going support is vital to our ability to realize that commitment to an open and diverse<br />

community.<br />

We are aware that many of our members would like to give more, but cannot at this time because their assets are<br />

invested in property, retirement funds, insurance policies, or other long term investments. That is why we are offering,<br />

through the <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> Planned Giving Program, an array of alternative ways to make a significant contribution to our<br />

future and create a Jewish Legacy for generations to come. Even if you cannot significantly increase your dues<br />

commitment this year, you will be able to do something meaningful for our future Jewish community here at <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>.<br />

Please contact Jill Dodd, John Hartog, Marc Derewetzky or myself if you would like to make a donation, or discuss options<br />

for a planned gift or bequest, or just to talk about how you can help make a difference in our <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> community.<br />

Norm Frankel<br />

Executive Director<br />


ANNUAL MEETING <strong>2011</strong>


Kee Tov Lifers<br />

Zach Landres-Schnur - Camp Kee Tov Director<br />

A young boy stood at the base of his family’s<br />

steep, gravel-filled driveway. Wearing a red<br />

shirt, blue shorts and navy backpack, he<br />

smiled wide showing off his newly lost front<br />

tooth. The camera clicked...<br />

That was 1989. My first day ever at Camp Kee Tov! Over 20 years<br />

later, not much has changed...except my tooth grew in.<br />

While I’m a Kee Tov lifer by all means of the definition,<br />

I’m certainly not alone.<br />

One hundred seventy four. That’s the combined number of Kee<br />

Tov years between the 10 members of our leadership team,<br />

which features seven Program Directors and three administrative<br />

staff (myself included). Break that number down and you’ll see<br />

that the average years in the Kee Tov family of our supervisors<br />

is over 17!<br />

That’s the kind of experience that sets Kee Tov apart from many<br />

camps. With staff coming back year after year, our counselors<br />

have the experience, knowledge and roots to provide the best<br />

camp experience for our campers. They embrace old traditions<br />

and build new ones.<br />

This summer is no different. The Kee Tov staff is full of people<br />

who, like me, remember their first day of Kee Tov from years ago.<br />

Much of the staff grew up at Kee Tov -- literally and figuratavely.<br />

It’s been a constant in most of our lives. People have switched<br />

schools, gone off to college, played on different sports teams,<br />

performed in various plays. But each summer, there’s always that<br />

familiarity of kumsitz, fuzzy milk and endless ruach.<br />

While their track record isn’t as extensive, many current campers<br />

experience the same thing as our most experienced staff. For<br />

them, Kee Tov is their home away from home. They think about<br />

Kee Tov year round and are longing for that final bell to sound to<br />

announce that summer -- and Kee Tov -- has finally arrived.<br />

It’s fun to see the campers -- maybe they’re making a lanyard or<br />

playing dodgeball or singing E-Schoen’s newest hit -- and know<br />

that their Kee Tov career is in its early stages. Even some of our<br />

Habonimers (1st and 2nd graders) are already proclaiming they<br />

will be the best counselor EVER...in, oh, about 10 years!<br />

But those campers, though just six years old, are right. Once in<br />

the family, it’s hard to leave. And if some of the campers turn out<br />

anything like our leadership team, their time at Kee Tov is just<br />

beginning!<br />



Barbara Kanter - Nursery School Director<br />

The last months of the school year are always<br />

busy at <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> Nursery School. The children<br />

returned from spring break at the end of<br />

April to begin preparing to celebrate Israel’s<br />

birthday in early May. We will make and eat<br />

Israeli foods for the birthday celebration. Of<br />

course we will have birthday cakes and sing happy birthday to<br />

Israel in Hebrew and English. Soon after that celebration, we will<br />

prepare for the holiday of Shavuot with yet another compelling<br />

story, some very concrete symbols and commandments, and<br />

yummy cheese blintzes.<br />

As we approach the end of our school year, we also have a few<br />

more special events. Our now annual Yom Mishpacha is Friday,<br />

May 6. Each child will invite a special relative or friend to spend<br />

time together at school. Our annual Nursery School Family BBQ<br />

Picnic for current families is Sunday, May 15. Finally our Bet Class<br />

Graduation and Nursery School Good-bye Party are on our last<br />

day, Wednesday, June 15.<br />

We look forward to a fun filled summer at Club BENS. Our summer<br />

sessions begin the very next Monday, June 20. We begin with a<br />

one-week session followed by a four-week session to coincide<br />

with Camp Kee Tov and then another one-week and four-week.<br />

And before we know it, the summer is over!<br />

I want to express my very special thanks and appreciation to our<br />

fantastic team of teachers. Dana, <strong>El</strong>aine, Erik, Hannah, Jodi, Lily,<br />

Liz, Nicole, Nurit, Wendy and our music and yoga specialists,<br />

Melita and Kate, are all wonderfully talented and dedicated<br />

professionals.<br />

A huge thank you also to Dana Zell and Jessica Wolin our Nursery<br />

School Committee co-chairs. Their many hours of hard work and<br />

support were greatly appreciated. Although Dana will still be part<br />

of our Nursery School community, she will retire from her co-chair<br />

position. Jennifer Brand, who has been a committee member,<br />

will be our new co-chair for the coming year with Jessica. Thanks<br />

to all of our committee members who have served the Nursery<br />

School with their strong commitment of time and energy. And of<br />

course, thank you to all of our parents for their support, trust and<br />

commitment.<br />

Todah rabah to everyone! <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> Nursery School is truly very<br />

special.<br />

www.bethelberkeley.org | 5


Lunch & Learn Series<br />

“Chai” – in pursuit of life long learning<br />

If Only They Were Like Us<br />

led by Dr. Evie Groch<br />

Thursday, May 12 • 12:00 to 1:30 pm<br />

Generational differences have become more pronounced in<br />

this decade. We will explore how we can capitalize on the<br />

unique attributes and strengths each generation brings to the<br />

workplace, school, and family. Dr. Evie Groch has had an<br />

extensive career as an Educational Administrator and specializes<br />

in professional development.<br />

Please bring a bag lunch. Dessert and drinks will be provided.<br />

Questions? Email Miriam Schiffman at chai@bethelberkeley.org<br />

or call 510-749-9687. Lunch and Learn events are open to the<br />

entire congregation and community. Bring a friend!<br />

Lecture with<br />

Dr. Avivah Zornberg<br />

The Pit & the Rope:<br />

Joseph & Judah<br />

Sunday, May 22<br />

2:00 pm – Reception*<br />

4:00 pm – Lecture<br />

We will explore the complex history<br />

of Joseph, left for dead in a pit, sold<br />

as a slave, finally viceroy of Egypt.<br />

Consulting midrashic sources and other commentaries,<br />

traditional and modern, we will attempt to trace the trajectory of<br />

his inner life. Psychoanalytic and literary material will aid us in<br />

our quest: what happened to the light in Joseph’s face?Free of<br />

charge and open to all!<br />

*Kosher dietary laws observed under the supervision of<br />

Rabbi Yonatan Cohen, <strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> Israel<br />

Avraham Burrell, Mashgiach<br />

“Like” <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> on<br />

Facebook!<br />

facebook.com/bethelberkeley<br />

The 100th person to “Like” us<br />

will win an awesome prize!<br />

Men’s Club Day at the A’s<br />

A’s vs. Giants<br />

Sunday, June 19 (Father’s Day) • 1:05 pm<br />

Tickets: $20 for adults / $15 for kids (Third level seats behind<br />

home plate). Each ticket includes a $6 coupon for refreshments.<br />

Deadline to Order is June 5, but tickets may sell out well before<br />

that date. Order your tickets today by sending a check payable<br />

to <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> Men’s Club to: Bob Goldstein – 2921 Forest Avenue<br />

– Berkeley 94705. Please indicate on the check the number of<br />

adult or kid’s tickets. Celebrate Father’s Day at the ball game!<br />

For more information, contact Bob Goldstein at<br />

mensclub@bethelberkeley.org or call 510-548-0720.<br />

LGBTQ Pride Shabbat<br />

June 25 • 10:15 am service / 12:15 pm picnic<br />

Don’t miss a festive and Pride-ful service on Shabbat morning<br />

in honor of the weekend’s LGBTQ celebrations. Whether you’re<br />

a youth or adult, straight, gay, trans, queer or something else,<br />

join us for special music, liturgy and Torah teaching. After the<br />

service, we’ll adjourn for a potluck picnic in the park, and<br />

Rabbi Zellman will lead informal study and discussion of some<br />

of the Talmud’s gayest excerpts--some that reflect on GLBT lives,<br />

and a few that just take an extra-fabulous look at the world.<br />

Happy Pride / Chag Geavah Sameach!<br />

<strong>Summer</strong> Shabbat<br />

Learning Services<br />

July 9 – Morning Blessings<br />

July 16 – Sh’ma and its blessings<br />

July 23 – Amidah<br />

July 30 – Torah Service<br />

The Shabbat morning services during the month of July will<br />

each focus on learning about the prayers, music and meanings<br />

of a different section of the Shabbat morning service. These<br />

learning services are an opportunity to learn and explore the<br />

structure and themes of our services, enabling more meaningful<br />

and knowledgeable participation. Each Shabbat morning will<br />

include a complete Shabbat service with an extended look at<br />

one section of the liturgy. You are invited to attend any individual<br />

day or the entire month. This series is especially recommended<br />

for parents of up-coming b’nai mitzvah, those new to synagogue<br />

life, people seeking to deepen their prayer practice, volunteer<br />

service leaders and, of course, everyone else!<br />

6 | the builder: summer <strong>2011</strong>

GALA<br />

We want to gratefully acknowledge our amazing crew of Super Hero<br />

volunteers who made our amazing <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> Gala.<br />

Spearheaded by <strong>El</strong>len Singer-Vine, with outstanding design support by the dynamic duo of<br />

Tami Linde & Shoshana Berger, and Paula Price’s the behind the scenes masterminding of the<br />

Live and Silent Auction, our team of more than 50 volunteers turned <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> into a Super Site for the evening.<br />

And of course thanks also to Aaron DePalma for an incredible dinner, a feast fit for any Super Hero.<br />

Check Out Photos from the Gala online!<br />

Did you have a great time at the <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> Gala, and want to relive your evening as a superhero?<br />

Did you miss the Gala and wish you could have been there to see all of the amazing costumes?<br />

Now you can see Shoey Sindel’s fabulous photos from the Gala. Just visit www.shoeysindel.com and<br />

go to the View/Order tab and click on the album. The password for this year and last year’s albums is “gala”.<br />

Want one more chance to be a <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> Superhero? Just order your photos online. The proceeds from the sale of<br />

Shoey’s Gala photos will all go to support youth programs at <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>.<br />

www.bethelberkeley.org | 7



Rebecca DePalma - Youth Group Advisor<br />

<strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s Youth Groups are having a fantastic 5771 and we are<br />

finishing up this school year in style. Sababa, our sixth-eighth<br />

grade group is having a Shabbaton (weekend camping trip) on<br />

Sunset State Beach May 6th-8th. The board members came up<br />

with the theme Hidden Treasure for the event, and we’re excited<br />

to find our own holy space for this Shabbat, go geo-caching,<br />

play capture the flag at night, and much more. We will leave<br />

<strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> at 4:00 pm on Friday and return at<br />

11:00 am on Sunday. The cost of the event is $50/person and<br />

you can register at www.bethelberkeley.org/youthgroups.<br />

The following Friday, May 13th, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm we have<br />

Sababa <strong>El</strong>ections & Pizza Party for 5772. Our current board<br />

members are ready to pass the torch to the next generation. Our<br />

fifth-seventh graders are invited to run for positions to create and<br />

run their own events next year. More information about becoming<br />

a Sababa board member is available on the website.<br />

Ruach! our fourth & fifth graders celebrated Purim together<br />

making mishloach manot (Purim baskets) and retelling the<br />

Megillah in a dramatic fashion in the game of half-life. Our<br />

final event of the year, is a party at Pump It Up on May 19th,<br />

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm and the cost is $15. Please RSVP to me at<br />

rebecca@bethelberkeley.org or 510-848-2122 ext. 214 if your<br />

student is able to attend.<br />

Our youth groups want to thank our parent volunteers and<br />

staff members who have made 5771 so successful, and<br />

for their continued support of youth group programming<br />

here at <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>. Thank you. Please feel free to contact me at<br />

rebecca@bethelberkeley.org if you have any questions, concerns,<br />

or would like to know how you can help our teens continue to<br />

create incredible, fun, Jewish programs for each other!<br />

Youth Group Calendar<br />

All of <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s youth are encouraged to<br />

join us for the following events:<br />

Rabbi Yoel Kahn, Debra Massey & Rebecca DePalma<br />

invite all 8th-11th Graders & Parents to attend a<br />

Teen Forum at<br />

<strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong><br />

May 15 • 12:30 - 2:00 pm (Zachary’s Pizza)<br />

or<br />

May 18 • 6:30 - 8:00 pm (Cheeseboard Pizza)<br />

We will engage in visioning a more involved youth<br />

community at <strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>. We value your<br />

input about what you want to see at <strong>Congregation</strong><br />

<strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>, so please join us! RSVP to Rebecca DePalma<br />

at rebecca@bethelberkeley.org so we can be sure to<br />

provide enough pizza.<br />

SUMMER <strong>2011</strong><br />

Spaces Filling<br />

Fast!<br />

Session 1: June 27 – July 22<br />

Session 2: August 1 – August 26<br />

Visit www.campkeetov.org to register today!<br />

Shop for your Family and<br />

Earn Funds for <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>!<br />

It’s easy and convenient to purchase scrip in the<br />

<strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> office or by a setting up standing order you<br />

receive via U.S. mail, which can easily be adjusted<br />

to meet your changing needs.<br />

MAY<br />

events<br />

May 6 - 8<br />

Sababa Shabbaton on Sunset State Beach<br />

May 13th • 5:00 pm<br />

Sababa <strong>El</strong>ections & Pizza Party<br />

May 19 • 4:00 pm<br />

Ruach! End of Year Party at Pump It Up!<br />

If 200 families purchased as little as $100 in<br />

groceries and $20 in Peet’s scrip/month, the profit<br />

for our congregation would be $1200/month or<br />

$14,000/year! It’s easy and we all need to eat<br />

and/or drink coffee or tea! Peet’s $20 gift cards also<br />

make great gifts too! While Berkeley Bowl scrip is<br />

available in $20 denominations, Andronico’s comes<br />

in $25 or $50 scrip.<br />

Please support your congregation in this easy<br />

fundraising act of kindness! Please drop by the<br />

<strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> office to purchase directly or contact<br />

Shelley Simrin at 510-527-6020.<br />

8 | the builder: summer <strong>2011</strong>



The congregation is cordially invited to<br />

attend as my daughter, Michelle Schiff<br />

is called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah<br />

on Saturday, May 14, <strong>2011</strong><br />

at 10:15am. Kiddush will follow.<br />

Carra Schiff<br />

The congregation is cordially invited<br />

to attend as our son, Zebulon Berg is<br />

called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah on<br />

Saturday, June 11, <strong>2011</strong><br />

at 10:15am. Kiddush will follow.<br />

Stuart Berg & <strong>El</strong>len Shandalove<br />

The congregation is cordially invited<br />

to attend as our daughter, Isabella<br />

Rothenberg is called to the Torah as a<br />

Bat Mitzvah on Saturday, June 4, <strong>2011</strong><br />

at 10:15am. Kiddush will follow.<br />

David Rotheberg & Lorraine Sandoval<br />



Vida & Ron Bierman<br />

Daniel & Renuka Bornstein<br />

Lara Peso<br />

MUSIC<br />

High Holy Days rehearsals: Wednesdays, August 17 - September 21, & October 5 • 7:00 - 8:45 pm<br />

There’s no better way to prepare your mind and spirit for the High Holy Days. We’ll be leading the congregation in some of our tradition’s<br />

most beloved music, from Jewish cultures around the world. We work hard to make beautiful music, and we have a lot of fun in a lively<br />

and supportive atmosphere. The chorus is always open to new singers--any member of <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> who loves to sing is encouraged to join<br />

us! Musical background is not necessary. The commitment is one “season” at a time--you can sing with the chorus for the High Holy Days<br />

without committing to any other time of year. In addition to sheet music, rehearsal CDs will be available to all singers. Questions? You are<br />

encouraged to contact Rabbi Zellman, <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s Music Director:<br />

rabbirz@bethelberkeley.org, 510 848-3988 ext. 228.<br />

Want to sing sooner? Join the chorus now for our spring season!<br />

5 Spring Rehearsals: Wednesdays, May 4 - June 1 • 7:00 - 8:45 pm / Community performance: June 7th in the evening<br />

In celebration of the season of Shavuot, we’ll be singing our tradition’s greatest music about the Torah-- not from the Torah,<br />

but about it instead. Awesome!<br />

Seeking Torah Chanters for the High Holy Days<br />

In just a few months, the <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> community will gather to observe the High Holy Days. Chanting from the Torah at this sacred time is an<br />

important mitzvah that volunteers around the world perform on behalf of their Jewish communities. We are now seeking Torah chanters!<br />

You can choose your service: aliyot are available for all morning services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Sections of Haftarah are also<br />

available for some of these services. Each section is short, and we will provide you with the Hebrew text, a digital recording of the chanting,<br />

and a photograph of the section of the Torah scroll that you’ll be chanting from. Rabbi Reuben Zellman is available to help you as you<br />

prepare. To sign up, please email Emily Marthinsen: emilymarthinsen@comcast.net or email Rabbi Zellman with any questions:<br />

RabbiRZ@bethelberkeley.org. Thank you for considering this mitzvah!<br />

www.bethelberkeley.org | 9


NEW<br />

BOOKS<br />

IN THE<br />


Scott Spear - Library Chair<br />

Donations to the Plishner and Vida Funds make it possible to have<br />

new children’s and adult’s books. Here are some more:<br />

Esther’s Children: A Portrait of Iranian Jews, edited by Houman<br />

Sarshar, gives a comprehensive history of the oldest Diaspora<br />

Community, from 722 BCE to the end of the 20th century, in 25<br />

articles by leading scholars, sumptuously illustrated.<br />

I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey on the Road to Peace<br />

and Human Dignity, is by Izzeidin Abuelaish. In 2009, an Israeli<br />

shell killed three of his daughters and a niece. His deepest hope<br />

is that his daughters will be “the last sacrifice on the road to peace<br />

between Palestinians and Israelis.” <strong>El</strong>ie Wiesel calls the story “a<br />

necessary lesson against hatred and revenge.” Dr. Abuelaish<br />

inscribed this copy, “To <strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>¬–Best Wishes.”<br />

Tree of Souls: the Mythology of Judaism, by Howard Schwartz, won<br />

a National Jewish Book Award. It is the first anthology of Jewish<br />

mythology in English, gathering nearly 700 of our myths, famous<br />

and forgotten. Reviewers place it next to Bialik and Ravitsky’s Sefer<br />

Ha-Aggadah. Professor Schwartz is also a writer of wonderful<br />

children’s books. Previous books of his include <strong>El</strong>ijah’s Violin,<br />

Miriam’s Tambourine, Lilith’s Cave, and Gabriel’s Palace.<br />

A Fire in Their Hearts: Yiddish Socialists in New York, by Tony<br />

Michels, is a history of the Jewish community in New York during<br />

four decades of mass immigration, from the 1880s on. Here<br />

is the story of Abraham Cahan, Mikhail Zametkin, Chaim<br />

Zhitlovsky, and others, of the schools and institutions of New York<br />

Yiddish culture, of the newspaper Forverts, in a formative period<br />

for American Jews and the American left.<br />

Yale University Press has begun a series called “Jewish Lives,”<br />

and two biographies from this are now here, one of Moses<br />

Mendelssohn (1729-1786), called the “German Socrates,” by<br />

Shmuel Feiner, and Solomon, also known for wisdom, by Steven<br />

Weitzman.<br />

One of the methods <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> members use in studying Torah is to<br />

compare different translations. The first complete translation of<br />

the Bible into another language was the Septuagint (called that<br />

because of a legend that it was translated by 70 rabbis), a Greek<br />

translation produced by the Jewish community of Alexandria in the<br />

third century B.C.E. A New English Translation of the Septuagint,<br />

the first such translation since 1843, gives one the opportunity to<br />

read a translation of a translation. Fateful conceptual changes<br />

were introduced by the Septuagint. Just a few examples: Torah<br />

was translated as “nomos”, nefesh was translated as “psyche”,<br />

davar was translated as “logos”, ehyeh was translated as “ego<br />

eimi”. Translation is interpretation, sometimes a radical one.<br />

This book is in the Torah Study section.<br />

In Burnt Books: Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav and Franz Kafka,<br />

Roger Kamenetz compares and finds many similarities between<br />

these two troubled and beloved figures, one a Hasidic master and<br />

one a secular Jew, analyzing the major works of both and finding,<br />

he says, a more nourishing Judaism.<br />

Two new books in Shoah history are Ghettostadt: Lodz and the<br />

Making of a Nazi City, by Gordon Horwitz, telling of the destruction<br />

of pre-war Poland’s second most-populous Jewish community,<br />

and The Death Marches: the Final Phase of Nazi Genocide, by<br />

Daniel Blatman, professor of Jewish History at Hebrew University.<br />

These are heartrending books.<br />

Rabbi Yoel Kahn honored as a “Leading Voice”<br />

On April 5, in honor of the approach of Passover, Rabbi Yoel Kahn delivered the sermon at the weekly<br />

chapel service at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. Rabbi Reuben Zellman led the school choir as well.<br />

(PSR trains ministers for the Protestant clergy). As part of the service, the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies<br />

in Religion and Ministry recognized and honored Rabbi Kahn as a “Leading Voice” for his “pioneering work<br />

in ritualizing religious visions of justice and inclusion, and prophetic religious leadership for liberation.”<br />

10 | the builder: summer <strong>2011</strong>


<strong>Summer</strong> is approaching and we hope you’ll add Jewish<br />

books to your summer reading list! The month of June<br />

brings many “gifting” occasions: Graduations, Showers,<br />

Weddings, Birthdays, etc. From children’s games and<br />

designer jewelry to unique gifts and books for the home,<br />

you’ll find it at the Gift Shop.<br />

Our new arrivals include a 5-volume set of the Chumash<br />

(Five Books of Moses) in interlinear form (English translation<br />

directly below each Hebrew line), plus commentary. The set<br />

is nicely bound and runs $100.00. We’ve already spotted<br />

this series being carried around <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>’s Torah Study<br />

group... come check it out, and remember it for that special<br />

person when you need a Jewish gift.<br />

We’ve also added “On the Doorposts of your House” a<br />

book of home ceremonies and prayers (like how to hang<br />

a mezuzah), published by the Central Conference of<br />

American Rabbis, a useful gift for graduates or weddings, or house warming at $25.00.<br />

Don’t forget to come see us first when you need a mezuzah to hang or the scroll (called a “klaf”) to put inside it! We have fabulous<br />

ritual objects that double as lovely art pieces. Come in and find something new to fall in love with and use regularly in your<br />

Shabbat or daily rituals.<br />

Here are some cheerful suggestions for teacher appreciation gifts and other celebrations requiring a gift this time of year:<br />

* San Francisco-designed printed kitchen towels $ 8.00 to 10.00<br />

* Ahava hand cream, rich in minerals from the Dead Sea. $ 20.00<br />

* Pairs of colorful hand-crafted tapered candles, really big selection $ 6.00 to $8.00<br />

* Wide assortment of jewelry in a variety of price ranges<br />

* Anodized aluminum napkin holders or trivets $ 18.00 to 28.00<br />

The <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> Gift Shop is open during standard business hours (closed Saturdays and other holidays) and open Sunday morning by<br />

appointment. When there are no volunteers available, our capable office staff takes care of sales. What could be more convenient?<br />

Well, to top it off, we accept cash, check, MasterCard or VISA. Have a refreshing summer and visit the gift shop to support your<br />

synagogue!<br />

Odette and Robinn<br />


1 cup flour<br />

¼ cup powdered sugar<br />

½ cup butter (melted)<br />

Mix flour and sugar. Add butter. Blend well and press flat and evenly into an 8x8<br />

inch pan. (You can successfully double the recipe and bake in a 9x13 pan.) Bake<br />

at 350 for 20 minutes. While this bakes, mix the top layer.<br />

Lemon Bars<br />

(makes an 8x8 pan, can double for 9x13 pan)<br />

Top Layer:<br />

1 cup regular sugar<br />

2 tablespoons flour<br />

½ teaspoon baking powder<br />

2 eggs beaten<br />

3 generous tablespoon lemon juice<br />

powdered sugar<br />

Mix sugar, flour and baking powder. Add beaten eggs and mix well. Add lemon<br />

juice and mix again. Pour over crust. (It will be a thick liquid—but it thickens<br />

when it is baked.) Bake at 350º for 25 minutes. Cool a little and cut while warm<br />

(not hot.) Dust with powdered sugar.<br />

For more information or to join the Pantry Chug, contact Debbie Leon<br />

at pantrychug@bethelberkeley.org!<br />

www.bethelberkeley.org | 11



Phyllis Zisman in honor of the birth of her grandson,<br />

Zachary Nathan Zisman to Matt & Carrie Zisman<br />


Mary Jacobs<br />

Laurie Swiadon<br />

Wilma & Stephen Rader<br />

Doreen & Stephen Rothman<br />

Anna Mantell & Bob Goldstein in honor of Bertha Lowenthal<br />

Anna Mantell & Bob Goldstein in honor of the birth of<br />

granddaughter Amanda Hansen to Jim & Judy Freeman<br />

Marilyn & Harry Margulius in honor of Ruth Guthartz’s<br />

90th birthday<br />

Stanley & Miriam Schiffman in honor of Ruth Guthartz’s<br />

90th birthday<br />

Stacey Shulman in memory of Jacqueline Silver<br />


Paul & Susan Sugarman<br />

Nancy Turak & Marc Davis<br />


Kelley Meade & Harry Clewans in honor of the<br />

<strong>2011</strong> B’nei Mitzvah class<br />

Jordan-Pollack Family in honor of the <strong>2011</strong> B’nei Mitzvah class<br />

Amy Oppenheimer & Jennifer Krebs in honor of the<br />

<strong>2011</strong> B’nai Mitzvah Class:<br />

Rudy Brandt<br />

Samantha Resnik<br />

Kobi Appel-Bernstein<br />

Leo Pollack<br />

<strong>El</strong>i Barnes<br />

Michelle Schiff<br />

Isabella Rothenberg<br />

Zebulon Berg<br />

Jacob Amme<br />

Rebecca Friedman<br />

<strong>El</strong>la Hoffman<br />

Adin Krebs-Oppenheimer<br />

Laurel Richardson<br />

Emma Waldman<br />

Jaime Falcone-Juengert <strong>El</strong>lis Lee<br />

Rueven White<br />


Alan Buder & Barbara Brenner in memory of Jack Buder<br />

Mary Jacobs in honor of Nancy Turak<br />

Nancy Turak & Marc Davis in memory of Henny Weil<br />

Nancy Turak & Marc Davis in memory of Jean Davis<br />

Nancy Turak & Marc Davis in honor of Jenn Rader<br />


Alfred & Anita Cotton in honor of Kobi Appel-Bernstein being<br />

called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah<br />

Anna & Michael Fogelman in memory of Ilan Gabriel Biederman<br />

Valerie Hellmold in memory of Arthur Shulman<br />

Jean Henderson in memory of Robert & Marilyn Hemmings<br />

Marcel & Margrit Schurman in memory of Rafael Kafka<br />


Diane & Ed Bernbaum in memory of David Cotton on<br />

his birthday<br />

12 | the builder: summer <strong>2011</strong><br />


Diane & Ed Bernbaum<br />

Monty Garretson<br />

Edward Holly<br />

Sharon Caplow Todd<br />

Adele Amodeo in memory of Aron M. Rosenweig<br />

Gale Antokal & Neil Gozan in memory of Jack Antokal<br />

Joanne Backman & Harry Pollack in memory of William Loebman<br />

Stu & Judy Berman in memory of Mabel Berman<br />

Ann Gonski & John Scott in honor of Rabbi Kahn’s book<br />

Ann Gonski & John Scott in honor of Albert Magid being called<br />

to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah<br />

Ann Manheimer & Arthur Swislocki in memory of Paul Lasoff<br />

Ann Manheimer & Arthur Swislocki in memory of<br />

Zola Manheimer<br />

Ann Manheimer & Arthur Swislocki in memory of Betty Manheimer<br />

Teresa Harlan in memory of Arthur Shulman<br />

Julliette Hassid in memory of Marguerite Mizrahi<br />

Julliette Hassid in memory of Sol Calef<br />

Mark & Estie Hudes in honor of Ruth Guthartz’s 90th birthday<br />

Harry & Marilyn Margulius in memory of Max Margulius<br />

Barbara Morgan in memory of Ruben Zelwer<br />

Joan & Walt Walston in honor of their granddaughters<br />

May & Sarah Simon<br />

Jerry Weintraub in memory of Shira Ulmer<br />

Jerry Weintraub in memory of Jacqueline Silver<br />


Sharon Friedman & Leo Meier<br />

Steven Joseph & Corey Hansen-Joseph<br />

Steve Kurzman & Kim Nies<br />

Peggy & Michael Lipson<br />

Bob Brandfon & Barbara Fierer in memory of Jacob Brandfon<br />

Barbara Fierer & Bob Brandfon in honor of Ruth Spear,<br />

Adele Amodeo and <strong>El</strong>lie Goldstein-Erickson<br />

Barbara Fierer in honor of Bob Brandfon’s 80th birthday<br />

Robert Graup & Emily Nozick in honor of Ruth Spear,<br />

Adele Amodeo and <strong>El</strong>lie Goldstein-Erickson<br />

Mary Jacobs in honor of Adele & Ruth for all the hard work and<br />

dedication to the Homeless Program<br />

Jane & Neil Levy in honor of Ruth Spear, Adele Amodeo<br />

and <strong>El</strong>lie Goldstein-Erickson<br />

Linda Kay Marchena in honor of Mike Klayman’s birthday<br />

Anna Mantell & Bob Goldstein in honor of the birth of<br />

granddaughters, Maya & Zoe to Michael & Andrea Cassidy<br />

Marilyn & Harry Margulius in memory of Irving Brendze<br />

Milt Mozen in honor of of Ruth Spear, Adele Amodeo and<br />

<strong>El</strong>lie Goldstein-Erickson<br />

Stephen & Wilma Rader in honor of Ruth Spear, Adele Amodeo<br />

and <strong>El</strong>lie Goldstein-Erickson<br />

Judith & David Tabb in honor of <strong>El</strong>len Singer-Vine’s birthday<br />

Jerry Weintraub in honor of Ruth Spear, Adele Amodeo and<br />

<strong>El</strong>lie Goldstein-Erickson<br />

Nilou & John Yadegar in memory of Isaac Rahamim Pirnazar<br />

Vadjiheh Yadegar in memory of Ashraf Kashfi Benlevi<br />

Vadjiheh Yadegar in memory of Nosrat Yadegar<br />

Phyllis Zisman in honor of the baby naming of Maggie<br />

Rose Zissman

TZEDAKAH (continued)<br />


Marilyn & Bill Sugar in memory of<br />

Leon Israel<br />


Maxim Schrogin & Karen Harber<br />

in honor of Albert Magid being<br />

called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah<br />

Peter Scott & Ronna Kabatznick<br />

in honor of Albert Magid being<br />

called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah<br />

Catherine Tzur in honor of<br />

Albert Magid being called to the<br />

Torah as a Bar Mitzvah<br />

Nancy & Andrew Wallach in honor<br />

of Albert Magid being called to the<br />

Torah as a Bar Mitzvah<br />

Nancy & Andrew Wallach<br />

in appreciation of Dan Magid<br />

MEN’S CLUB<br />

Phyllis Zisman in honor of the<br />

marriage of Joel Melamed &<br />

Stephanie Premji<br />

Phyllis Zisman in honor of the marriage of Fran Mantell &<br />

Benjamin Dinehart<br />


Janet Byron in honor of Rabbi Zellman<br />

Phyllis Zisman in memory of Arthur Shulman<br />

Agnes McKenzie in memory of Steven Rothenberg<br />

Bruce & Susan Carter in honor of Bob Brandfon’s and<br />

Ruth Guthartz’s birthdays<br />

Bruce & Susan Carter in honor of the birth of Mary Jacob’s<br />

grandson, Jackson<br />

Stacey Shulman in memory of Shira Ulmer<br />


Phyllis Zisman in memory of Dorothy Wollins<br />


Alfred & Anita Cotton<br />

Juanita Curry<br />

Clarke & Maria Daniels<br />

Bob & Sara Kupor<br />

Thomas & Amy Lurquin<br />

Men’s Club<br />

Gary & Lois Marcus in memory of Sally White<br />

Gary & Lois Marcus in memory of Bernard Ostrom<br />

Natalie Baird in appreciation of Rabbi Kahn<br />

Odette Blachman in honor of Ruth Guthartz<br />

Jeffrey & Susan Brand in honor of Ruth Spear<br />

Janet Byron in memory of Jules Byron<br />

Judy Chess in memory of Arthur Shulman<br />

Judy Chess in honor of Emily Marthinsen’s birthday<br />

Max & Bonnie Cooperstein in honor Albert Magid being<br />

called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah<br />

Max & Bonnie Cooperstein in memory of Phyllis Weisberg<br />

Max & Bonnie Cooperstein in honor of Benjamin Gansky’s<br />

graduation from the The Guthrie School of the<br />

University of Minnesota<br />

Bronwyn, Richard & Lisa Eisenberg in honor of Rabbi Kahn<br />

Gary & Lois Marcus in memory of Selma Marcus<br />

The Mayeri Family in appreciation of Rabbi Kahn & Rabbi Zellman<br />

The Mayeri Family in appreciation of Odette Blachman<br />

The Mayeri Family in appreciation of Joan Ominsky<br />

Lloyd Morgan in memory of Alice Morgan<br />

Amy Resner in memory of <strong>El</strong>izabeth Resner<br />

Amy Resner in memory of Gertrude Levine<br />

Nilou & John Yadegar in honor of Albert Magid being called to<br />

the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah<br />

Vadjiheh Yadegar in memory of Sinoor Yadegar<br />

Vadjiheh Yadegar in memory of Benjamin Benlevi<br />

Vadjiheh Yadegar in memory of Jahangir Yadegar<br />

Phyllis Zisman in honor of Ruth Spear, Adele Amodeo and <strong>El</strong>lie<br />

Goldstein-Erickson<br />


Nilou & John Yadegar in honor of Rabbi Raj<br />

Phyllis Zisman in honor of Rabbi Ferenc & Paula Raj<br />


Florence & John Lewis<br />

Minnie Adler in memory of Jack Adler<br />

Ruth & Scott Spear in honor of Emily Marthinsen’s birthday<br />


Stephen & Wilma Rader<br />

Ruth Ehrenkrantz & Spencer Klein in honor of the birth of<br />

Daniel & Lynne Fingerman’s grandson Niko<br />

www.bethelberkeley.org | 13


CONGREGATION BETH EL Fund Contributions<br />

This contribution of $_________ is □ in Memory of* □ in Honor of*<br />

*<br />

It is a Jewish tradition to give Tzedakah to commemorate life cycle events and other occasions. Are you celebrating<br />

a birthday, engagement, anniversary, baby naming, Bat/Bar Mitzvah or a recovery from illness? These are just a few<br />

ideas of appropriate times to commemorate with a donation to <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>. These tax-deductible donations are greatly<br />

appreciated and are a vital financial supplement to support the wonderful variety of programs and activities that we offer at<br />

<strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong>. Thank you for your support.<br />

Please credit the fund checked below:<br />

Contribution<br />

acknowledge<br />

From:<br />

to:<br />

Address<br />

address<br />

□ General Fund - Use Where Most Needed<br />

□ Aaron Plishner Children Library<br />

□ Arjmand Adult Education Fund<br />

□ Blachman Emergency Fund<br />

□ Building Fund<br />

□ Camp Kee Tov Scholarship Fund<br />

□ Chevra Kadisha Fund<br />

□ David Cotton Memorial Swig Fund<br />

□ <strong>El</strong>len Meyer Childcare Fund<br />

□ Endowment Fund<br />

□ Freed Flower Fund<br />

□ Homeless Meal Program<br />

□ Israel Scholarship Fund<br />

□ Bar Lev Landscape Fund<br />

□ Marian Magid Memorial Fund<br />

□ Men’s Club<br />

□ Mitzvah Committee<br />

□ Music Fund<br />

□ Nursery School Fund<br />

□ Oneg/Kiddush Fund<br />

□ Prayerbook Fund<br />

□ Rabbi’s Kahn’s Discretionary Fund<br />

□ Rabbi Emeritus’ Raj’s Discretionary Fund<br />

□ Rabbi Vida Library Fund<br />

□ Religious School Fund<br />

□ Social Action Fund<br />

□ Youth Groups Fund<br />

□ _________________________________________<br />

Thank you for your generosity. Please make checks payable to <strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong><br />

and mail to 1301 Oxford Street, Berkeley, CA 94709<br />

14 | the builder: summer <strong>2011</strong>

midrasha<br />


Meets Shabbat Morning (Saturday)<br />

in the Beit Midrash at 9:15am<br />

May 14 - Parashat Behar<br />

Leviticus 25:1 - 26:2<br />

Led by Bob Brandfon<br />

May 21 - Parashat Bechukotai<br />

Leviticus 26:3 - 27:34<br />

Led by Barry Silverblatt<br />

May 28 - Parashat Bamidbar<br />

Numbers 1:1 - 4:20<br />

Led by Caroline Lehman<br />

June 4 - Parashat Nasso<br />

Ruth<br />

Led by Bruce Linton<br />

June 11 - Parashat Beha’alotcha<br />

Numbers 8:1 - 12:16<br />

Led by Stan Schiffman<br />

June 18 - Parashat Sh’lach<br />

Numbers 13:1 - 15:41<br />

Led by Bill Schechner<br />

June 25 - Parashat Korach<br />

Numbers 16:1 - 18:32<br />

Led by Barry Levine<br />

July 2 - Parashat Chukat<br />

Numbers 19:1 - 22:1<br />

Led by Lisa Feldman<br />

July 9 - Parashat Balak<br />

Numbers 22:2 - 25:9<br />

Led by Ruth Spear<br />

July 16 - Parashat Pinchas<br />

Numbers 25:10 - 30:1<br />

Led by Rabbi Yoel Kahn<br />

July 23 - Parashat Matot<br />

Numbers 30:2 - 32:42<br />

Led by Steven Joseph<br />

July 30 - Parashat Masei<br />

Numbrs 33:1 - 36:13<br />

Led by Jerry Weintraub<br />

graduation!!!<br />

Diane Bernbaum - Director<br />

It’s coming. My favorite day of the Midrasha<br />

year...graduation. No, it’s not my favorite day<br />

because it marks the end of the school year<br />

and I can finally sleep a little later or go to<br />

a ball game or have guests for brunch on<br />

Sundays. It’s my favorite because when I hear<br />

each graduate speak about what Midrasha and their 18 years of<br />

Jewish education have meant to them, I am overwhelmed with<br />

pride and have absolutely not a worry in the world about “Jewish<br />

continuity.” All the early mornings, late nights, long work days,<br />

and worry about program details all go out the window and I<br />

realize that I have chosen the right profession and the right job. If<br />

you’d like to be similarly filled with nachas (You don’t have to be<br />

the school director or be related to Midrasha in any way to take<br />

pride in these kids. Just living in our community will do!), please<br />

join us for graduation. It is Sunday, May 22 at 10:15 am in the<br />

<strong>Congregation</strong> <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> sanctuary, 1301 Oxford Street in Berkeley.<br />

The graduation epitomizes the pluralistic nature of our Midrasha<br />

community. We have 22 graduates. They come from 6 different<br />

synagogues. We are truly a community school.<br />

Mazel tov to the following students and their families: Alona<br />

Bach, Daniel Baldassare, Adam Berson, <strong>El</strong>i Bovarnick, Raphael<br />

Falk, Jason Finkelstein, Leo Grossman, Erin Hodess, Alexandra<br />

Kennedy, Callie Lapidus, Hannah Lukanuski, Ephraim Margolin,<br />

Sara Meltzer, Amy Midanik-Blum, Lena Miller, Joshua Nelson,<br />

Zachary Piser, Avi Rosenblum, Ariele Scharff, Jordan Tennenbaum,<br />

Devin Van Hoy and Marnina Wirtschafter<br />

See you on May 22 at 10:45 am at graduation!<br />

Congratulations to the following<br />

<strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> Midrasha Graduates!<br />

Daniel Baldassare<br />

Alexandra Kennedy<br />

Callie Lapidus<br />

Amy Midanik-Blum<br />

Lena Miller<br />

Joshua Nelson<br />

Looking for the<br />

Calendar?<br />

The May calendar was included in our NEW monthly<br />

Buzz mailer. For May, June and July calendars,<br />

please visit www.bethelberkeley.org for<br />

up to date information!<br />

www.bethelberkeley.org | 15

congregation beth el<br />

1301 Oxford Street<br />

Berkeley, CA 94709-1424<br />

Shabbat Summit<br />

May 21 • Noon - 4:00 pm<br />

Shabbat is at the center of Jewish time and Jewish spirituality. Its weekly<br />

arrival-- and our observance-- are a continual invitation to spiritual and<br />

physical rest and renewal, to affirm our deepest Jewish ideas and to share<br />

sacred time with family and community. We are blessed at <strong>Beth</strong> <strong>El</strong> to have a<br />

diverse range of services and programs from our monthly chanting services on<br />

Friday evenings to Torah study and Chug Mishpacha on Shabbat mornings.<br />

Last year, we convened a summit about Friday evenings which has guided<br />

our programming and now we would like to turn our attention to Shabbat<br />

morning/Shabbat day. Questions we would like to ask include: Are we offering<br />

the right mix of services? What other programs might we offer which would<br />

speak to our congregation? How can we make our services/programs flow<br />

more smoothly? What is the relationship between minyan, Torah service,<br />

Chug Mishpacha, Torah study, ShabbaTot and our other special programs?<br />

Please join us for an afternoon of study, reflection, dialogue and planning<br />

on Saturday, May 21, from noon to 4:00 pm. The afternoon will begin<br />

with a catered Shabbat lunch and Shabbat songs, followed by a facilitated<br />

conversation. The day will conclude with se’udah shelishit, the traditional third<br />

meal of the Sabbath day. Please let us know if you are coming so that we can<br />

a count for lunch; RSVP to Shabbat@bethelberkeley.org.

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