Author Archives: Aaron Weissman

Aiming Higher for Rosh Hashanah

Most of us just dip our apples in honey for the Jewish New Year. At the Techion in Israel, they are aiming higher! Watch them shoot an apple with a crossbow through a balloon filled with honey!

Why? Apparently because they can.

GFHA Eaton Road Cemetery Maintenance

Scout Shabbat marked this weekend

At services this coming Friday night (7:30 p.m. at the Bethel, 1009 18th Ave SW), we will mark the occasion of Scout Shabbat. Any Scout or Scouter attending in uniform will be able to wear the Scout Shabbat patch on their uniform. Patches will be available at services.

The 12th point of the Scout Law confirms that a Scout is Reverent. Part of the way that Scouts show their Reverence is to annually attend a Scout Sunday or Scout Shabbat observance.

The Scout Shabbat program is organized by the National Jewish Committee on Scouting. Aitz Chaim congregant Diane Sherick is our local Montana chapter chair of the National Jewish Committee on Scouting. More information can be found at

Student Rabbi Miriam Farber will be here this weekend! Mark your calendar for a Great Falls ‘Jewish Weekend!’

As Joy noted last week, Student Rabbi Miriam Farber will be here in a few short days; it has been too long since we have gathered for services.  

  • Kabbalat Shabbat services will be held at the Bethel on Friday, April 19 at 7:30 pm.
  • Torah Study will be held at the Bethel at 10am on Saturday, April 20.
  • Our NFTY (National Federation of Temple Youth) will also be meeting on Saturday afternoon.  Contact Rabbi Miriam if you need more information about this meeting.
  • We will gather for an adult discussion at the Bethel on Saturday evening, 5:30 pm.  This will also be a vegetarian/milchig potluck meal.  Please bring a dish to share!

We look forward to seeing you at our services!

A Ziessen Pesach to all!

We had a lovely Pesach Seder last night; food and fellowship made for a great evening.

We wish a bittersweet farewell to Adam Koslen as he moves to a bigger media market, Sioux Falls gain is our loss. Welcome to the Bergs and the Wilkins; we look forward to getting to know you better.

Todah Robah to Sandy Thares and the O’Haire Inn for creating such a wonderful meal and to Laura Weiss for all of the behind-the-scenes work and organization to make the evening possible.

Mark your calendars for the second night of Passover in 5774, downstairs at the O’Haire!


The Maccabeats present Les Misérables – Passover

Passover supplies ARE available in Great Falls…

As noted in the comments in the last post, a small selection of Passover it’s is available at the 10th Ave S Albertson’s.

Nadyne Weissman was kind enough to provide this photo of items for sale this year:


As always, please patronize establishments in our small community that make a point to carry Passover supplies.

Matzah in Great Falls?

So far, we have been unsuccessful in finding any retailer in Great Falls that is carrying kosher-for-Passover products. Has anyone else had any luck finding any matzah?

Make your Reservations for the Community Passover Seder NOW!

photo caption

Traditional arrangement of symbolic foods on a Passover Seder Plate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our community Passover seder is coming up in only two weeks! The seder will be held on the evening of Tuesday, March 26 at the meeting room at Clark and Lewie’s restaurant, 7th Street and 1st Ave South.

We need your RSVP as soon as possible! You can make your reservation on our website, by visiting, by sending Laura Weiss an email at or by calling her at 452-8621.

Memorial Service for the Four Chaplains, February 10 at 4pm

On February 10, 2013 at 4 p.m. (doors open at 3:30 p.m.), American Legion Post 341 will be honoring the service and sacrifice of the Four Chaplains at a memorial service at the First Congregational United Church, 2900 9th Avenue South.

Aitz Chaim board member and retired Air Force airman Stephen Boyd will represent the Great Falls Jewish Community at the service.

On February 3, 1943 at 12:55 a.m., the US Army Transport Ship USAT Dorchester was struck by a torpedo from a German U-Boat while traveling to Greenland. Aboard were 902 servicemen, merchant seamen and civilians.

Through the pandemonium, according to those present, four Army chaplains brought hope in despair and light in darkness. Those chaplains were Lt. George L. Fox, Methodist; Lt. Alexander D. Goode, Jewish; Lt. John P. Washington, Roman Catholic; and Lt. Clark V. Poling, Dutch Reformed.

Quickly and quietly, the four chaplains spread out among the soldiers. There they tried to calm the frightened, tend the wounded and guide the disoriented toward safety.

“Witnesses of that terrible night remember hearing the four men offer prayers for the dying and encouragement for those who would live,” says Wyatt R. Fox, son of Reverend Fox.

One witness, Private William B. Bednar, found himself floating in oil-smeared water surrounded by dead bodies and debris. “I could hear men crying, pleading, praying,” Bednar recalls. “I could also hear the chaplains preaching courage. Their voices were the only thing that kept me going.”

Another sailor, Petty Officer John J. Mahoney, tried to reenter his cabin but Rabbi Goode stopped him. Mahoney, concerned about the cold Arctic air, explained he had forgotten his gloves.

“Never mind,” Goode responded. “I have two pairs.” The rabbi then gave the petty officer his own gloves. In retrospect, Mahoney realized that Rabbi Goode was not conveniently carrying two pairs of gloves, and that the rabbi had decided not to leave the Dorchester.

By this time, most of the men were topside, and the chaplains opened a storage locker and began distributing life jackets. It was then that Engineer Grady Clark witnessed an astonishing sight.

When there were no more lifejackets in the storage room, the chaplains removed theirs and gave them to four frightened young men.

When giving their life jackets, Rabbi Goode did not call out for a Jew; Father Washington did not call out for a Catholic; nor did the Reverends Fox and Poling call out for a Protestant. They simply gave their life jackets to the next man in line.

As the ship went down, survivors in nearby rafts could see the four chaplains–arms linked and braced against the slanting deck. Their voices could also be heard offering prayers.

Of the 902 men aboard the USAT Dorchester, 672 died, leaving 230 survivors. When the news reached American shores, the nation was stunned by the magnitude of the tragedy and heroic conduct of the four chaplains.

information and text on the Four Chaplains can be found at

Four Chaplains stamp, 1948

Four Chaplains stamp, 1948 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stained glass window, U. S. Pentagon, honoring...

Stained glass window, U. S. Pentagon, honoring the Four Chaplains, USAT Dorchester, 1943 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)