Category Archives: 5777


This is the usual request to send any corrections to the Yizkor list to me, but with a twist.

I have tried for several years to get an answer to my question regarding who should or should not be on the list, and who stays on the list, and why. If we were to have a discussion on the subject, the number of opinions probably would outnumber the number of participants in the discussion. In my opinion, the best and most satisfactory answer to this question I have ever received was from a Rabbi, who said that this congregation is so mixed and so small that we should just keep doing what we have been doing. so in the tradition of the Jewish faith and of this congregation, I want to include on the list the names of the loved ones who have departed in the way that those who loved them and are still living want them to be remembered and included.

I know this is not just a list of names, but a sacred list, a list of people we honor and remember, people we knew and loved who shared their lives with us and, in many cases, taught us how to be Jews, a people set apart, a family of God. This is a special and beautiful legacy that we could have received from no one else, one to wear proudly and with dignity, one that is before our eyes and in our hearts daily to guide, encourage, sustain, and comfort us through the calms and storms of this present life, one to share with each other and to pass on to our children and their children into the future. So in this list we have an unbreakable chain that binds us together as individual links, as families, and as a community, to both our past and our future. I want to preserve it as intact as possible for the benefit of present and future congregants. Doing so is a labor of love from me to you.

Joy Breslauer, Aitz Chaim Editor


EDITOR’S NOTE: If God wrote you a letter wishing you a happy new year, what do you think it might say?

Dear Chaim…
By Rabbi Chaim
On Wednesday evening, we will usher in a New Year with Rosh Hashana 5778. During the holiday service, we read the Haftorah about the infertility of Chana and Elkanah. Chana – childless and troubled by her super-fertile sister Peninah – travels to G-d’s Tabernacle in Shiloh and breaks down in prayer, beseeching G-d for a child. She is then blessed with baby Samuel, who grows to be a prominent prophet of the Jewish people. When she returns with Shmuel to Shiloh, she thanks G-d. In her words “ For this child did I pray, and the Lord granted me my request, which I asked of Him.”

How often do we pause to simply say “thank you” to Hashem before submitting our next request? How often do we see the gifts given to us by G-d and just relish in them? How often do we recognize that Indeed Hashem has answered our prayers?

I want to publicly express my thanks to the Almighty for all that He has done for my family and me, and to apologize for not being grateful enough.

Last night, I envisioned receiving this note from G-d:

Dearest Chaim,

Thanks again for dedicating your life to sharing my Torah with Montana. I appreciate all that you do, but I need to knock some sense into you and put you in your place, so please bear with me.

I know that you, like all my creations, have “moments” but please get a grip. Next time you are struggling, next time you think your world is imploding, next time you question what I’m smoking, please remember Chana’s words “El Hanaar Hazeh Hispalalti – For this child I did pray.”. These heartbreaking moments of life always pass, and at the end you will see that I’ve answered your prayers in spades.

When your children are misbehaving, Chaim, giving you heartache, remind yourself:
El Hanaar Hazeh Hispalalti – For this child I did pray. You wanted a family so badly and look, I’ve provided you and Chavie with just that.

When your child is struggling with a tough medical quandary, remind yourself Chaim:
El Hanaar Hazeh Hispalalti – For this child I did pray. Yes, they have health challenges, but I’ve also gifted you and Chavie with inner strength and amazing doctors to get you through the darkness.

When you drive 400 miles just to visit one young Jew in desperate need of love, remind yourself Chaim:
El Hanaar Hazeh Hispalalti – For this child I did pray. How fortunate are you to spend your day on the road, in order to uplift one of My children.

When a Jew increases their Mitzva observance and you’re frustrated that it isn’t more, remind yourself Chaim:
El Hanaar Hazeh Hispalalti – For this child I did pray. Yes, it may be a bit frustrating, but in My eyes, Chaim, their small step upwards has shaken the heavens and is so precious.

When you think that someone else has it easier or better than you, remind yourself Chaim,
El Hanaar Hazeh Hispalalti – For this child I did pray. The life I have given you is a perfect fit, tailor made for you, so cut the you-know-what and be grateful.

Do you feel me Chaim? I don’t mean to shut you up, but please take a moment, daily, to see how much you’re loved and blessed.

I bless you with a rokin New Year and wish you continued success in making Montana a place that makes Me feel at home. Please thank Chavie on My behalf, not only for putting up with you, but for being an amazing mother to her five Kinderlach and a spiritual leader of Big Sky Country.



There’s nothing about my life I’d want to swap out, and neither should you. Look at your life and sing “El Hanaar Hazeh Hispalalti – For this child I did pray”. G-d please continue to give me what I need to be the best I can be in service of You!

Please take a moment before Rosh Hashana to enjoy this beautiful rendition of El Hanaar Hazeh Hispalalti, composed by Reb Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz of Los Angeles. The kids and I love it, I think you will too!

Wishing you and yours a Shabbat Shalom & Shana Tova!
Your friends @ Chabad Lubavitch,
Rabbi Chaim, Chavie, Shoshana, Chaya, Zeesy, Menny & Chana Laya




Ten Year Anniversary Gala
Celebrating a Decade of Light
WHEN: Sunday, October 22, 2017, 6:00 P.M.
WHERE: MUSEUM OF THE ROCKIES, 600 W. Kagy Blvd., Bozeman, MT 59717

Ten Year Anniversary Gala




How to Prepare Yourself and Your Congregation for the High Holidays
By Rabbi Rick Jacobs , 9/05/2017

Tallit, machzor (High Holiday prayer book), traditional head covering, and shofar

For the Jewish community, the balmy days of summer are far from relaxing, perhaps never more so than this year, as we grappled with the meaning of the events in Charlottesville, marched in Washington, and reached out to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Now that Labor Day has passed, the intense preparations for our fall “Rites of Renewal” are in full swing. Few of us can quite articulate the forces that summon us to the spiritual practices of the upcoming Days of Awe. For some, these rites are familiar from childhood, for others, they are the chosen practices of adulthood, but for all, there are aspects of our participation in the Days of Awe that we do not completely understand. That is not to say that our religious life is irrational, but rather that the world we live in, especially in these challenging times, defies neat rationalizations – making congregational life more vital than ever for us and our members.

Beginning on Rosh Chodesh Elul (the first day of the Hebrew month of Elul – which occurred two weeks ago, just after the solar eclipse), a month before Rosh HaShanah, there are many practices and customs that can prepare us for the intensity and depth of the High Holidays.

One such practice is to sound the shofar daily. The shofar blasts – Tekiah, Shevarim, Teruah – return us to a time when most of existence was mysterious. According to Rabbi Michael Meyer in Response to Modernity: A History of the Reform Movement in Judaism, it was for this very reason that our Reform forbears of the 19th century eliminated the sounding of the shofar: “because its use was encrusted with kabbalistic notions and its raucous, primitive sound was believed more likely to disturb devotion than to stimulate it.” In some Reform congregations at the time, a trumpet’s more refined, modern sound replaced the shofar’s eerie, primitive wail, but given our collective hunger for the authentic, soul-awakening Jewish practice, I doubt that substituting trumpet blasts for the shofar is still a practice in our community. Especially for all of us who lead our people, it is important to hear the shofar’s ancient, haunting call – both to strip away facades and to face ourselves, each other, and the Nameless One with honesty and truthfulness.

Spiritual preparation and introspection, too, are essential for everyone who hopes to experience the transformative power of the High Holidays, but there is more. I love the teaching of one of my heroes, Rabbi Marshall Meyer, who was one of the 20th century’s true rabbinic giants. Born and bred in the U.S., he moved to Argentina and fought for human rights during the dangerous years of the military junta, and in the 1980’s brought his unique blend of spirituality and social justice to New York City’s Upper West Side to revive Congregation B’nai Jeshurun. He taught:

Rosh HaShanah initiates the Aseret Yimei Teshuvah, commonly translated as the “Ten Days of Repentance.” I would like to suggest that for these days to have a new dimension of meaning, we translate them as the “Ten Days of Searching, Twisting, and Turning,” of wrestling with our souls and trying desperately to find new meaning to our existence.

Like his teacher, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Rabbi Meyer wants us not only to be introspective in our preparation for the upcoming High Holidays. These days also are a time for us to accept greater responsibility for the repair of our aching world. From looming dangers of a nuclear North Korea to the famine in East Africa to the struggles for religious freedom in Israel, to the soul-searing plight of refugees around the world and the mostly locked gates of the U.S., there is urgent need wherever we turn our gaze.

In this climate, our congregations can – and must – be incubators of spiritual energy, encouraging all who enter their doors to live more courageous and fulfilling lives. Creating that energy and infusing it deeply within our communities is the biggest, most holy work before us. Let us make sure to keep our eyes on that goal.

Beginning in Elul, and with growing in intensity during the upcoming High Holidays and throughout the new year of 5778, may we hear and respond not only to the shofar’s wailing cries, but also those of the countless people, both near and far, who are crying out for healing and for love.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs
Rabbi Rick Jacobs is the president of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), the largest Jewish movement in North America, with almost 900 congregations and nearly 1.5 million members. An innovative thought leader, dynamic visionary, and representative of progressive Judaism, he spent 20 years as the spiritual leader of Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, NY. Deeply dedicated to global social justice issues, he has led disaster response efforts in Haiti and Darfur. Learn more about Rabbi Rick Jacobs.


How to search through your past without falling into it


Yahrzeit memorials are listed by consecutive Gregorian month, date, and year, if known, or at the beginning of the list for one calendar year following the date of passing.

Compiled by Aitz Chaim over many years, this list is maintained by the Ram’s Horn. Please send any corrections or additions to
May the source of peace send peace to all who mourn, and comfort to all who are bereaved.

Name of
English Date of Passing Hebrew Date of Passing Deceased Relationship to
Sarah Lewin Mar 11, 2017 13 Adar, 5777 Mother of Rachel Michele Lewin Costaneda
Lydia (Leah) Bailey Mar 31, 2017 3 Nisan, 5777 Mother of Karen (Chaya) Semple
William Meyer Sep 6, 1966 21 Elul, 5726 Grandfather of Diane Sherick
Norman Nagel Sep 6, 1976 11 Elul, 5736 Father of Meriam Nagel
Harriet Renne Sep 11, 2009 22 Elul, 5769 Mother of Michael Renne
Joe Barrett Sep 14, 1993 28 Elul, 5753 Uncle of Nadyne Weissman
Paralee Poplack Shapiro Sep 20, 1999 10 Tishrei, 5760 Mother of Jeff Shapiro
Zel Lana Jenings Sep 21, 2006 28 Elul, 5766 Niece of Diane Sherick
Frances Langsam Sep 22, 1996 9 Tishrei, 5757 Mother of Helen Cherry
Alfred Maleson Sep 24, 2009 6 Tishrei, 5770 Uncle of Wendy Weissman
Nathan Rapaport Sep 27, 1925 9 Tishrei, 5686 Grandfather of Nadyne Weissman
Leila Rapaport Green Sep 27, 1967 23 Tishrei, 5728 Grandmother of Nadyne Weissman
William Semple Sep 29, 2010 21 Tishrei, 5771 father of Doug Semple


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Dear friends,

As I am sure many of you have already heard, this morning’s Supreme Court deliberations did not result in any concrete decision. However, the Supreme Court Justices sent a very clear message to the government, strongly advising them to unfreeze the resolution. As Chief Justice Miriam Naor said, “something frozen can also be melted.”

The deliberations this morning lasted for over two hours, during which the Government representatives tried to convince the court that their commitment to building an egalitarian platform was met. The Justices did not accept this argument.

We were prepared for the fact that a final decision would not be made this morning. In any case, we intend to continue our highly intense campaign over the next couple of months. The Supreme Court Justices clearly indicated today that if the government still refuses to implement the resolution, the court will eventually intervene. We have strong reason to believe that this intervention will be in our favor and force the government to do as they agreed upon over a year and a half ago.

There is no doubt that this is a long and daunting process, but we continue believing that in the end, we will reach the “promised land.”

For a more detailed update on today’s proceedings, Click here.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Gilad Kariv
President and CEO
Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism

The Israel Movement for Reform & Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) is the umbrella organization of all the Reform communities and institutions in Israel.
We seek to integrate Jewish tradition with the realities of modern life, and believe in the right of each individual to shape their own Jewish way of life through a process of study and reflection. The Reform movement emphasizes the commandments concerning relations between humans, religious tolerance, and full equality between women and men in the synagogue and in all walks of life.


Great Falls Inter-Faith Association
August 24th, 2017

Those present:  
Pastor Ray Larson, Benefis Healthcare
Stephen Boyd, GF Hebrew Association  
Rick Allison, Big Sky Baptist
Jim McCormick, Rescue Mission  
Kristy Pontet-Stroop, Alliance for Youth
Tom Moore, GF Public Schools  
Kerry Parsons, CMR
Heather Hoyer, GFHS  
Kathy Schendel, Echoz Pregnancy Care
Renee Phillips, Calvary Chapel of Great Falls  
Dave Strand, Big Sky Baptist Church
Lacey Spencer, United Way  
Beth McKinney, GF Food Banks
David Culpepper, Foothills Cummunity Christian School  
Dave Nordel, City of Great Falls
Gringer King, Family Connections MT  
Focus: Back to School & City Resources
Pastor Ray opened with a reading from 1st Corinthians and a prayer.
Back to School with Tom Moore, Drew Uecker, Heather Hoyer, and Kerry Parsons.
Tom – Great Falls Public Schools – This year’s Convocation, the school year kickoff, is at the GFHS Field House, 8am Monday Morning. September 8th, at Paris Gibson is education and training for all the school foodbanks, introducing a software package in the hopes that all the foodbanks will implement it. Each School has unique needs, and most of the schools have expressed interest in partnering with their area churches to assist those needs.

Heather – Great Falls High School – Have need of hygiene items, baby shampoo(non-allergenic) is especially needed, along with toothbrushes. Church partnership is going well, they’ve been working with Pastor Jeff with 2 concepts: Many hands, 2 tons of food being moved to families in need. Also Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. They spend two days delivering boxes to needy families, in the past they’ve utilized students with adults to drive and deliver food, however, she would prefer the students stay in class so they are always looking for volunteers to help. If interested, Call Heather @ 268-6313.

Caregiver trauma – Teachers get exhausted with all the worry and stress as they care for all the impoverished students, and small encouragement from volunteers means much.

Kerry – CM Russell High School – Welcoming teachers back Monday, 1400 students on Tuesday, the school has already been bustling though with prep for their first ever varsity football contest. Construction is beginning for their new STEM addition and is continuing on other infrastructure upgrades Kerry had a meeting with their partners earlier this week, customer service is a large component of the mission of the school. Many kids in crisis, free and reduced lunch population is smaller than GFHS but still definitely high. Their food pantry is very active. As far as needs, food pantry and hygiene items are always needed, as well as volunteers. Many extra-curricular activities can be expensive, and not all kids can front the expense, they are asked to give scholarships and have set up accounts to help cover the costs. Faculty fatigue will be ever-present; any volunteer help is welcomed. To help, call Kerry Parsons at 268-6241.

Dave Nordel – City of Great Falls – Disaster Preparedness, Emergency Management Passed out books, Schools are very prepared, have excellent ability to handle bad situations. No major disasters have happened in Great Falls for almost 57 years, which is a blessing and a curse, we don’t know how to react in an emergency.

In Great Falls, there are on duty at any given time 12 firemen, 6 police, 3 ambulances, and 2 sheriffs. So only about 23 EMS responders for 60,000 people. That’s not counting everyone coming in from outlying areas seeking help. Because of this, Dave goes throughout the city to educate people about preparedness. Everyone should be able to keep themselves alive for 72 hours without emergency services, and he has a small booklet he hands out everywhere he goes called “Family Preparedness” that lays out everything to do for your family.

He suggests every organization has a disaster preparedness talk, churches would act as a major gathering point, and the more churches are prepared for disasters, the more load they can take off of shelters and hospitals.
Code Red is the vehicle they use to alert people to a disaster, if you have a landline, you are already signed up, if you have a cellphone you can go to to sign up, or download the CodeRED app on your smartphone.

Pastor Ray Adjourned the meeting.
Submitted by Stephen Boyd, recording secretary.