B'nai Israel April 2013

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April Temple Bulletin

Text of B'nai Israel April 2013

  • Congregation Bnai Israel2710 Park AvenueBridgeport, CT 06604www.congregationbnaiisrael.org

    Volume 154, Number 9 Nisan/Iyar 5773 April 2013

    Generations Rising: From Memory to Responsibility

    Eastern Fairfield County Community Holocaust Remembrance DaySunday, April 7 at 2:00 p.m.

    There will be a service of remembrance (with participation from local survivors and our community clergy) followed by a panel discussion with Dr. Samson Munn, Harry Weichsel, and Mayor Kai-Uwe Spanka (city of Wetter, Germany). Central question: Has the world changed since the Holocaust?

    Hosted by Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 2385 Park Avenue, Bridgeport. Sponsored by Congregations Rodeph Sholom, Bnai Torah, Ahavath Achim, Bnai Israel, Beth El, and the UJA-Federation of Eastern Fairfield County. For questions, contact Congregation Rodeph Sholom at 203-334-0159.

    Celebrating Elaine ChetritFriday, April 26

    Please join us for a Shabbat celebration in honor of Elaine Chetrits26 years of dedicated service to Congregation Bnai Israel!

    Oneg reception 5:006:00 p.m. with hors doeuvres and wineShabbat service 6:007:00 p.m.

    Immediately following the service will be a celebratorydessert in Elaines honor. Please join us!

  • Sharing Our Joy Congratulations to Robert and Anne Citrin on the birth of their granddaughter Lilah Rose (parents Amanda and Alex Dreier) and the engagement of their daughter Kim to Rob Shames.

    TLC/Temple Loving Care at Bnai Israel

    Theres a terrific concept spreading through Religious School: Chavurah (Community)! Jen Diamond and Kim Sherman are the co-creators of this program (for Kitot DaledVav [4th6th grades]) that aims to strengthen the sense of community among our school families. To reinforce this years 6th grade focus on tikkun olam (repairing the world), the students have joined our TLC efforts. The kids, along with Kim Sherman, parent volunteers Kathryn Brown and Stacey White-Katzmann, and TLC food coordinator Joanne Derwallis, worked to assemble vegetarian lasagnas for our TLC freezer. Ira Wise shopped for the ingredients, photographed our chefs in action, and also took care to get the lasagnas baked. Thank you, all!

    In addition to the children, several adults in our TLC group got together to cook up quiches and banana bread, and some others shared the extra bounty from their home cooking.

    Please contact me if you know of a synagogue member in need. Wed love to help reduce the stress of food prep for someone who is ill or recovering from an injury, or who would be boosted by a little comfort food from TLC. Thanks!

    Lchaim,Liz Nigrosh (lizziesmail@aol.com, 203-268-9044)

    James Prosnit, D.D. .................................................................... RabbiEvan Schultz ............................................................................... RabbiArnold I. Sher, D.D. ..................................................... Rabbi EmeritusSheri E. Blum, D.M. ................................................................ CantorRamon Gilbert, D.M. ................................................ Cantor EmeritusIra J. Wise, R.J.E. ............................................. Director of EducationRobert H. Gillette, R.J.E. ....................................... Educator EmeritusAlexa Cohen .............................................. Early Childhood DirectorAbby Rohinsky ..................................................... Director of FacilityMatthew Rosen ............................................................. Youth Advisor

    OfficersMindy Siegel ......................................................................... PresidentSamuel Rosenberg ....................................................1st Vice PresidentMichael Blumenthal ...................................................... Vice PresidentShari Nerreau ................................................................ Vice PresidentRichard Walden ............................................................ Vice PresidentLori Underberger .................................................................. TreasurerLawrence Levine ................................................... Assistant TreasurerJulie Pressman ....................................................................... SecretaryDonna Tauss .......................................................... Financial SecretaryMark A. Kirsch ............................................. Immediate Past President

    AffiliatesJim Greenberg ................................................. Brotherhood PresidentMaia Butterfield & Hannah Greenhall .............. BIFTY Co-Presidents

    2710 Park Avenue Bridgeport, CT 06604(203) 336-1858www.cbibpt.org

    The Bulletin of Congregation Bnai Israelis published every month except July.

    2 Whats happening at temple? Get Happenings, our weekly email! Send your request to lynn@cbibpt.org!

    Sincere Sympathy

    We extend our sympathy to the bereaved families of:

    Millie Hirschlock, grandmother of Rachel YurdinAlfred Rosenthal, father of Ed RosenthalArnold Harris, father of Scott HarrisHenry Heskel Ezra Bakhash, father of Eddy BakhashDr. Edwin Locke, husband of Evelyn LockeElaine Barrer, sister of Shirley Winnick

    Widows and Widowers Group Saturday, April 20 at 2:00 p.m.

    Our guest speaker is Jack Kadden, an editor of the New York Times. Join us at the home of Leona (Lee) Attenberg, 51 Morning Glory Drive, Easton. RSVP to Lee at 203-374-9688. We look forward to seeing you!

  • Last week the words Let my people go resonated around our seder tables. Significantly, as the Israelites moved from Egyptian bondage toward the Promised Land the mantra switched. The Torahs message became do not mistreat the strangerbecause you

    once were strangers in the land of Egypt. Those words are such a powerful vector in our text that they are the most frequently mentioned mitzvah (some 36 times) in all of Torah. In other words, we more than anyone know what it feels like to live as outsiders. As a result, we need to be responsive to the most vulnerable in our midst.

    I am reminded of this strongly held tradition every time the immigration debate raises its head in our country and community. And while some comprehensive immigration reform may at last be on the agenda in Washington, there is one local item now being considered by our representatives in Hartford. Through the efforts of CONECT, the broad-based congregational network of which we are part, a bill is being promoted to provide drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants living in Connecticut. (Such opportunities are already available in New Mexico, Washington State, and Illinois.) There are estimates of more than 11 million undocumented people living in our country; many hold jobs, own small businesses, and pay taxes, but are

    unable to get a drivers license. At a recent legislative hearing in New Haven that drew many CONECT advocates, more than 2,000 people gathered to support what on some levels is a commonsense safety measure for us all.

    It makes sense for more drivers to be licensed. That makes for safer roads. It makes sense for police to be able to identify anyone at the scene of an accident, and not have people who might have useful information flee because they overstayed a visa. It makes sense to have more drivers tested and trained, insured and paying license fees and property taxes on their legally registered vehicles.

    Passing this law would not increase illegal immigration, but it would help people who want nothing more than to legally drive a car, get to work, or help their children get to school.

    Undocumented immigrants are todays biblical strangers residing among us. No matter their legal status, they shouldnt be forgotten or ignored. I have no knowledge of the status or documentation of my immigrant ancestors, but I assume they would have been illegal by todays standards. Until Washington makes changes, this law can do something to help better the way todays immigrants are forced to live.

    Rabbi James Prosnit

    3Learn about our pre-K programsee p. 6 for more info.

    From the Rabbis Desk

    Because We Were Strangers in the Land of Egypt

    Mixing Religion and Politics: Asylum-Seeking, With Andrea Goodman

    Friday, April 12following Shabbat service and dinner This program is part of a very special series in which we focus on some hot topics presented by talented, passionate, and articulate people who have been long connected to Bnai Israel. Our congregant Andrea Goodman will give an overview of the asylum process and share some personal stories of some deeply inspiring and courageous people who have sought legal

    protection within the United States due to a demonstrated and well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. The program will begin around 8:00 p.m. following 6:00 p.m. services and 7:00 p.m. dinner. (Reservations and a $20.00 charge for dinner onlycontact Lynn at 203-336-1858 or Lynn@cbibpt.org.)

  • 4 Food of the month: instant hot/cold cereal

    eBnai Thanks You!

    February Blood DriveThank You!

    Bnai Israel Empty Nesters Spring Event

    To all of our friends, fellow congregants, and our temple staff and clergy:

    We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to you for making our 2013 eBnai online auction a resounding success! With a combination of your wonderful donations and generous bidding, our auction proved to be an outstanding fundraising effort, and we sincerely appreciate all of your support and

    participation. We are also grateful to past co-chairs Shari Nerreau and Jim Hagani and all the volunteers who worked behind the scenes soliciting, organizing, a