Category Archives: Kislev

HELPING SMALL JEWISH CONGREGATIONS HONOR THEIR PAST WHILE PLANNING FOR THEIR FUTURES: JCLP NEWSLETTER, SPRING, 2020

JCLP The Legacy Spring 2020 http://www.jclproject.org

Dear Friends,
The apocryphal Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times” is sometimes misattributed as a Yiddish expression.
Whether Chinese or Yiddish or something else, there’s no denying that our times are unprecedented.

JCLP cares about its community of congregations. No one should feel alone. Thanks to The Union for Reform Judaism and The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, two of our national partners, we shared online and streaming resources in order to provide spiritual comfort and guidance during the early days of finding ourselves coping with an unsettled present and hoping for a stable future.

Each day brings changes. Rabbi David Lyon, Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel in Houston and JCLP Board Member, encourages heeding words of the Psalmist and the Sages that are both timely and timeless. They are worth keeping in mind when the status quo has been upended:

When God seems far away, Psalm 139
When you feel discouraged, Psalm 40
When you are lonely or fearful, Psalm 23
When you want courage for your task, Joshua 1
When people fail or disappoint you, Psalm 27
When you feel that you’re in danger, Psalm 91
When you feel sad or despairing, Psalm 34

One Tree of Life Torah is now in Brazil and another is in the Philippines. That placement ended up being what might be called bashert since Kulanu was unaware of the Thalkars’ intensely felt connection to that country. Their son and daughter-in-law spent three years in the Philippines as Peace Corps Volunteers, returned to be married on the island of Bohol, and were back for a visit just last year. The Thalkar family longs for and will treasure the moment when they can again travel to the Philippines and join in a service with the community now reading from a Torah steeped in the history of the Oil City, Pennsylvania, Jewish community.

Additional regional planning meetings are being developed to bring like communities together to share their experiences. Congregations continue to navigate the planning process. Jewish life continues to comfort and sustain.

This edition of The Legacy introduces one of our first members of the board, the wonderful Etta Raye Hirsch, tells about precious Torahs being transferred from one generation to the next, and relates the story of a man whose collection of gold coins was a surprise source of a donation.

If you choose to join the foundations and individuals continuing to support JCLP as the only organization working exclusively on behalf of historic, small-town Jewish communities, please consider a donation.

Even though we may be separated by circumstances and distance,
JCLP embraces each of you as part of one community—Klal Yisrael—and we hope for your health and safety always but especially now.

We wish you a sweet Passover, however outside of the usual this year’s celebrations might be.

Sincerely,

Noah Levine,
Senior Vice President, JCLP

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MEET ETTA RAYE HIRSCH, MEMBER OF THE BOARD
Mention the name Etta Raye Hirsch in Atlanta and expect to see smiles and hear appreciation for the sunny and energetic woman who was honored last spring as Philanthropist of the Year by the local chapter of The Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Etta Raye was born and raised on a farm in Pulaski, a small Tennessee town 75 miles from Nashville also known as the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan. Even without a synagogue in the town, Jewish heritage was an integral part of her upbringing.

She is a tireless supporter of charitable organizations in Atlanta, both in the Jewish community and also those benefiting the general public. Her contributions have supported programs that care for vulnerable populations, such as those facing illness, children with special needs, the elderly, immigrants, and the homeless.

Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta has celebrated Etta Raye for “passion for people and Jewish education and a life lived with an exceptional level of menschlickeit (humanity).” Their children and grandchildren follow the philanthropic path she and her late husband, Henry, set out with the Henry and Etta Raye Hirsch Heritage Foundation.

Etta Raye has served on many boards in the Atlanta region and has the busy schedule of someone who gives both time and money to causes she cares about.

So why become one of the initial board members of the Jewish Community Legacy Project?

“I am Jewish and from a small town,” she says. “When I first heard about JCLP I felt the importance of the project. The small town congregations served by JCLP are real and important and no one else is helping them the way that JCLP does.”
“The Jewish Community Project touched my heart,” she adds.

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FROM PENNSYLVANIA AND WITHIN TO THE PHILIPPINES AND BEYOND
Jewish settlers arrived in Oil City, Pennsylvania, shortly after discovery of the eponymous fossil fuel in nearby Titusville in 1859 led to the development of the petroleum industry in the northeast corner of the state.

In 1892, Tree of Life Synagogue was founded and—much like similar synagogues in other small towns—was a spiritual, social, and educational center throughout its existence. The synagogue flourished through the 1920s but began to decline in the post-World War II years.

By the end of the 2010s, Tree of Life’s and its leaders Barry Lang and Menahem and Tania Thalkar, acknowledged that the community had dwindled to the point where the remaining few members could no longer sustain the building. The halls now resonate with the sound of children in pre-school and after-school programs since the building was sold to the local YMCA.

In addition to the sale of the building, Tree of Life had historic Torahs and other religious articles that needed new homes. For the Torahs, JCLP made a connection with Kulanu, an organization that supports isolated, emerging, and returning Jewish communities around the world.

One Tree of Life Torah is now in Brazil and another is in the Philippines. That placement ended up being what might be called bashert since Kulanu was unaware of the Thalkar intensely felt connection to that country via their son and daughter-in-law who spent three years there as Peace Corps Volunteers, returned to be married on the island of Bohol and were back for a visit just last year. The Thalkar family longs for and will treasure the moment when they can again travel to the Philippines and join in a service with the community now reading from a Torah steeped in the history of Oil City, Pennsylvania.

A Torah from a different part of the state will soon be used for worship in a new home within the state. Beth Sholom Congregation, a small but robust historic community in Johnstown, worked with JCLP to facilitate the gift of this sacred scroll to Hillel at Gettysburg College. JCLP responds to the needs of its communities with specificity.

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OLEAN JEWISH COMMUNITY HELPS OTHERS LIKE IT
Everyone in town knew Joe Bear.
His job with the municipal government of Olean, New York, earned him the title “Mr. Public Works.” He was a stalwart of the Olean Jewish community from the very beginning, even though the association that eventually turned into his beloved Temple B’Nai Israel formed 14 years before his birth in 1912.
The B’Nai Israel building is a dramatic structure built in 1929 in what is known as Moorish style, with a massive arched terra cotta portal encircling a round stained glass window. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Faith and spirituality informed Joe Bear’s life and he was a lifelong and very involved member of the temple. He taught religious school classes and was also an officer. On Yom Kippur he was known for sitting in the foyer all day. Many people called him “Rabbi.”

He and his wife had no children. They provided hospitality for Temple B’Nai Israel’s ordained visiting rabbis and were always the model of Jewish lives lived honestly and openly. He was a singular figure and especially devoted to the synagogue after his wife’s death in 1982.

Joe Bear was a dapper dresser with a penchant for hats, a proudly patriotic WW II veteran, and a collector.
One of those collections recently became the source of the Joseph Bear Fund at JCLP.

He was ill for a number of years before his death in 2009. The Olean Jewish community gave him emotional support during that time and his memory is a treasured one.

Like many similar communities, Temple B’Nai Israel has dealt with changing demographics and declining membership. The congregation’s engagement with JCLP laid the groundwork for a legacy plan that included the recent sale of the building to a local community theater group, the transfer of a Torah to a youth camp in Northern California with a connection to four generations of B’Nai Israel members, and attention to the religious life of members still in Olean among other considerations.

“JCLP was instrumental in what was a long and detailed task,” says Marcia Storch, one of the B’Nai Israel leaders who worked with JCLP, “and one that was without a fee.”
She adds, “JCLP is a blessed process.”
Marcia Storch was also a confidante of Joe Bear and overseer of his estate. When a late inventory of his possessions uncovered a collection of gold coins, it was a clear choice to sell them to benefit the Jewish life he cherished.

Funds from the sale of Joe Bear’s long-ago collected treasure joined contributions to JCLP from other former and present B’Nai Israel members who feel affection for small-town American Jewish life, and value how JCLP’s kind and objective counsel can help comparable communities.

CHANUKIAH LIGHTING SCHEDULE for GREAT FALLS

  • Sunday, 12/22/2019, 25 Kislev, 5780, 5:30 P.M.: Erev Chanukah. We will light the first candle of the Diane Kaplan Memorial Chanukiah at the Civic Center. If you come at 5:30.30, you’ll probably miss it, especially if it is cold.
  • Monday, 12/23/2019, 26 Kislev, 5780: First day of Chanukah. We will light the second candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.M.
  • Tuesday, 12/24/2019, 27 Kislev, 5780: Second day of Chanukah. We will light the third candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.M.
  • Wednesday, 12/25/2019, 28 Kislev, 5780: Third day of Chanukah. We will light the fourth candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.M.
  • Thursday, 12/26/2019, 29 Kislev, 5780: Fourth day of Chanukah. We will light the fifth candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.M. Weather permitting, Yeshiva students Dovid and Nissen will be joining us with holiday treats and spirit, courtesy of Rabbi Chaim Bruk of Bozeman.
  • Friday, 12/27/2019, 30 Kislev, 5780: Fifth day of chanukah. We will light the sixth candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.M. From there we will gather at the Bethel for our annual community Chanukah party. Please bring a milchig (dairy) dish to share, a warm smile and a happy heart for family and friends, and a hearty appetite for latkes and Sufganiyot.
  • Friday, 12/27/2019, 30 Kislev, 5780: A short Shabbat service led by Wendy Weissman before the party at the Bethel.
  • Saturday, 12/28/2019, 1 Tevet, 5780: Sixth day of Chanukah. We will light the seventh candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.M.
  • Sunday, 12/29/2019, 2 Tevet, 5780: Seventh day of Chanukah. We will light the eighth candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.m.
  • Monday, 12/30/2019, 3 Tevet, 5780: Eighth day of Chanukah.

The address for the Bethel is 1009 18th Avenue Southwest. click here for map and directions.

MAJCo — CHAG HANUKAH SAMEACH

Six13 – A Star Wars Chanukah
“DO, OR DO NOT — THERE IS NO TRY.”

Little known fact: though Baby Yoda’s cousin delivered this sage advice to Luke Skywalker, he took his inspiration from the Maccabees. Like the Jedi years later, against all odds (never tell us the odds!) they fought off a great empire who sought their destruction.

Today, we celebrate the miracles of that time with presents, dreidels and latkes — and our tribute to the music of one of the greatest film franchises of all time. CHAG SAMEACH… may the force be with you!

HANUKKAH MESSAGE, FROM RABBI RUZ GULKO

Chag Urim Sameach – A joyous holiday of lights to all of my dear friends in Great Falls!!

During this darkest time of year and of our political insanity, let us pray for a world united by wisdom and love, with the critical recognition that there is so much more that unites us than divides us!!
💜
Love, Rabbi Ruz

NEW FILM ON RELIGIOUS JOURNEYS OF AMERICAN MILLENNIALS FROM DIVERSE FAITH BACGROUNDS

RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY IN AMERICA
MILLENNIAL EXPERIENCE • INTERFAITH

Seventeen years after six diverse American teenagers shared their spiritual struggles and aspirations in a 2002 documentary, they return as adults in WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE NOW? to reveal how their beliefs have changed. Against a backdrop of growing religious polarization and disengagement, these now 33 year old subjects, including a Catholic, Pagan, Jew, Muslim, Lakota and Buddhist, offer their deeply personal faith journeys, life challenges, and evolving ideas about higher powers. Visit our website for a preview of the full film.

PURCHASE OPTIONS
DVD for unlimited internal use – $129
Community-Wide Screening + DVD for unlimited internal use – $249
Fundraiser Community Screening + DVD for unlimited internal use – $349

SCREENING AND DISCUSSION
Filmmaker Sarah Feinbloom
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Award-winning filmmaker Sarah Feinbloom is touring campuses with WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE NOW? to facilitate inter-faith dialogues and conversations about religion in America. Sarah has been a featured speaker at the Ford Foundation Difficult Dialogue Series, the Graduate Theological Union’s conference on Religious Pluralism and the Religions for Peace-USA Symposium: Beyond Bigotry.

Contact us for more information

GOOD DOCS sets prices that are standard among educational distributors to help independent documentary filmmakers cover the costs of making films. Prices reflect unlimited classroom/library use of a DVD or streaming license. We recommend sharing this email with your library or department. If there are budget limitations,
please contact us.

NEW FILM ON JEWISH SCHOLARS WHO FOUGHT NAZI PROPAGANDA FROM INSIDE THE WARSAW GHETTO

We’re writing to share a new award-winning documentary that we hope you’ll screen with Great Falls Hebrew Association Aitz Chaim.

WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY tells the incredible story of a secret band of journalists, scholars and community leaders in the Warsaw Ghetto who set out to defeat Nazi lies and propaganda with pen and paper. The film mixes the writings of the Oyneg Shabes archive – the caches of writing and artifacts buried by these men and women – with new interviews, rarely seen footage and stunning dramatizations to transport viewers inside the Ghetto and into the lives of these courageous resistance fighters. Read the full synopsis here and request a preview link on our website.

“Using newsreels, voice-overs and re-enactments, Roberta Grossman, the documentary’s director, paints a comprehensive portrait of the times and of the risks taken by Ringelblum and his group.”
– The New York Times – Critic’s Pick
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PURCHASE OPTIONS
DVD for unlimited internal use – $129
Community-Wide Screening + DVD for unlimited internal use – $249
Fundraiser Community Screening + DVD for unlimited internal use – $349
Screening + Q&A with filmmaker available upon request – Contact Us

See purchase options for shorter version of the film here.

GOOD DOCS sets prices that are standard among educational distributors to help independent documentary filmmakers cover the costs of making films. Prices reflect unlimited classroom/library use of a DVD or streaming license. We recommend sharing this email with your library or department. If there are budget limitations,
please contact us.

MENORAH LIGHTING IN HELENA

There will be a Menorah lighting at the State Capitol Rotunda in Helena on Monday, 12/23/2019, 26 Kislev, 5780, at 12:00 P.M., followed by a MAJCo meeting at 1:00 P.M. All statewide members are welcome to attend.

Also on Monday, 12/23/2019, 26 Kislev, 5780, at 4:30 P.M., Rabbi Mark Kula of Beth shalom, Bozeman, will light the Chanukiyah at Fort Harrison. Everyone is welcome to attend.

PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THESE UPCOMING EVENTS

Please mark your calendars for these upcoming events.

  • Sunday, 12/22/2019�Monday, 12/30/2019, 25 Kislev — 2 Tevet, 5780: Chanukkah.
  • Tuesday-Wednesday, 12/24-25/2019, 26-27 Kislev, 5780: Christmas at the Mercy Home. Please see separate article in Ram’s Horn.
  • Sunday, 12/22/2019, 25 Kislev, 5780, 5:30 P.M.: Erev Chanukah. We will light the first candle of the Diane Kaplan Memorial Chanukkiah at the Civic Center. If you come at 5:30.30, you’ll probably miss it, especially if it is cold.
  • Monday, 12/23/2019, 26 Kislev, 5780: First day of Chanukah. We will light the second candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.M.
  • Monday, 12/23/2019, 26 Kislev, 5780: 12:00 P.M.: Menorah lighting at the Montana State Capitol rotunda in Helena, followed by a MAJCo meeting at 1:00 P.M. All statewide members are welcome to attend. Please see separate article in Ram’s Horn.
  • Monday, 12/23/2019, 26 Kislev, 5780, 4:30 PM: Chanukiyah lighting at Fort Harrison, led by Rabbi Mark Kula of Beth Shalom, Bozeman. All are welcome to attend. Please see separate article in Ram’s Horn.
  • Tuesday, 12/24/2019, 27 Kislev, 5780: Second day of Chanukah. We will light the third candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.M.
  • Wednesday, 12/25/2019, 28 Kislev, 5780: Third day of Chanukah. We will light the fourth candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.M.
  • Thursday, 12/26/2019, 29 Kislev, 5780: Fourth day of Chanukah. We will light the fifth candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.M.
  • Friday, 12/27/2019, 30 Kislev, 5780: Fifth day of chanukah. We will light the sixth candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.M. From there we will gather at the Bethel for our annual community Chanukah party. Please bring a milchig (dairy) dish to share, a warm smile and a happy heart for family and friends, and a hearty appetite for latkes and Sufganiyot.
  • Friday, 12/27/2019, 30 Kislev, 5780: A short Shabbat service led by Wendy Weissman before the party at the Bethel.
  • Saturday, 12/28/2019, 1 Tevet, 5780: Sixth day of Chanukah. We will light the seventh candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.M.
  • Sunday, 12/29/2019, 2 Tevet, 5780: Seventh day of Chanukah. We will light the eighth candle at the Civic Center at precisely 5:30 P.m.
  • Monday, 12/30/2019, 3 Tevet, 5780: Eighth day of Chanukah.

The address for the Bethel is 1009 18th Avenue Southwest. click here for map and directions.

MISSOULA SING-ALONG sundays

http://www.theroxytheater.org/films/fiddler-on-the-roof/
Fiddler on the Roof
The Roxy Theater

Gather your holiday cheer and sing along to your favorite musicals on Sing-a-long Sundays all through the month of December!Norman Jewison’s adaptation of the long-running Broadway musical is set in the Ukranian ghetto village of Anatevka …
http://www.theroxytheater.org

OPEN INVITATION FROM BETH SHALOM, BOZEMAN

HANUKKAH ACROSS BOZEMAN