Category Archives: July


Dvorah will be out of town on august 2, and has asked that services be moved to August 16.


Same time, same place, same potluck, different day.



Catherine deCuir
818 Curtis Street
Albany, CA 94706

June 14, 2019
Congregation Aitz Chaim
C/O Wendy Weissman, CPA
Attn: Laura Weiss, President
525 Central Avenue, Suite LB
Great Falls, MT 59401-3271
Dear Ms. Weiss:

I’m writing to introduce myself and the new novel I’ve written with Robert Schoen. I hope you’ll be able to help me.
Our book, The Rabbi Finds Her Way, was recently published by Stone Bridge Press of Berkeley, California.
The clergy and president of our own congregation, Temple Sinai in Oakland, have suggested that we share our book with temple book clubs around the country—I know that one of my favorite ways to learn about new books is through my book clubs.
Would you please be so kind as to give this letter to a congregant who leads a temple book club so they may consider it?

We’ve had wonderful feedback from several Jewish book clubs that have read The Rabbi Finds Her Way, and have arranged with our publisher to offer a special book club rate.’ And for every five books ordered at the same time we will include a sixth at no extra cost.
Please email me at for information on your special book club order, payment instructions, and any questions you may have.
da914G de duzi
Catherine deCuir
Author and Cantonal Soloist
Our special book club rate is $10.00 per copy, including tax and shipping to one U.S. address (minimum three copies). Payment may be made by check, credit card, or PayPal.

Ike KAbbi

The Rabbi Finds Her Way

by Robert Schoen
with Catherine deCuir
Print ISBN: 978-1-61172-052-5
$16.95/ $2299 CAN I 316 pages I Paperback
Stone Bridge Press
Distributed by Consortium, Baker & Taylor, Ingram and other major wholesalers

“This rabbi gig. People have no idea what its all about.”
A year after graduating from rabbinical school, Pearl Ross-Levy lands the job of her life. As Associate Rabbi at Lakeshore Temple in Oakland, California, Pearl begins to learn what being a rabbi is all about.
Through compelling, inspiring, and often funny episodes, the young rabbi meets a cast of quirky characters and discovers what it means to become a leader in the synagogue community. As Pearl faces the challenges of her new role, we witness her kindness and compassion as well as her resourcefulness and courage.
Whether it is caring for her high school classmate (the victim of a serious car accident), struggling with the anguish of a man who believes he’s committed a murder, or bringing the community together to help a lonely cancer patient feel not so alone, the rabbi teaches us how a little love and caring can affect people in wonderful ways.

The Rabbi’s strength and faith grow as she continues to see that God does, indeed, work in strange ways.

“The Rabbi Finds Her Way.. very quickly into our hearts. Authors Robert Schoen and Catherine deCuir introduce a cast of memorable original characters and create a wonderful role model, Pearl Ross-Levy, for female and male rabbis alike.”
—Rabbi Stephen Lewis Fuchs, D. Min, DD, Bat Yam Temple of the Islands, Sanibel, Florida Former President-World Union for Progressive Judaism

Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation Beth Israel, West Hartford, Connecticut
“The book was so funny, warm, and enticing. I couldn’t put it down!”

—Cantor Ilene-KeyscTernplessMairOakland, California
“The Rabbi Finds Her Way is a captivating glimpse into the world of a young female rabbi and her congregation. Robert Schoen and Catherine deCuir give Judaism a funny, poignant, illuminating voice through their protagonist, Rabbi Pearl Ross-Levy, who will steal your heart. A must-read for readers of any faith!”

—Gail Tsuldyama, Author of The Samurai’s Garden and Women of the Silk

Author Bio
Robert Schoen is the author of On God’s Radar— My Walk Across America and the award-winning book What I Wish My Christian Friends Knew About Judaism. He lives in Oakland, California.
Catherine deCuir is a cantorial soloist, jazz vocalist, and fiction writer. She lives in Albany, California.

STONE BRIDGE PRESS, P.O. BOX 8208, BERKELEY, CA 94707 / 510.524.8732 /


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 may we be a comfort to all who are bereaved.

Name of
English Date of Passing Hebrew Date of Passing Deceased Relationship to
Dawn Schandelson Sep 3, 2018 23 Elul, 5778 Wife of Arny Schandelson, Mother of Brett and Scott Schandelson
Irving Langsam Jul 3, 1991 21 Tammuz, 5751 Father of Helen Cherry
Alvin Magalnick Jul 3, 2010 21 Tammuz, 5770 Brother of Elliot Magalnick
Gregory Scott Merriman Jul 10, 2007 24 Tamuz, 5767 Father of Laura Merriman
Natalee Holly Kelman Jul 10, 2013 3 Av, 5773 Daughter of Evelyn Kelman
Beverly Espelin Jul 12, 2007 26 Tammuz, 5767 Mother of Dawn Schandelson
Hilda Schandelson Jul 17, 1962 15 Tammuz, 5722 Mother of Arnold Schandelson
Rachel Foxman July 18, 2014 20 Tamuz, 5774 Sister of Marty Foxman
Miriam Fischer Jul 20, 1953 8 Av, 5713 Mother of Robert Fischer
Maurice Jacoby Jul 27, 1976 29 Tammuz, 5736


This is a reminder about the lay services led by Devorah Werner the first Friday of the month, July 5, at 6:00 P.M. at the Bethel, with a milchig (dairy) potluck to follow.

Yes, this is the day after the Fourth of July, and yes, there will be a milchig (dairy) potluck afterwards.

Hope to see as many of you there as possible. We will have a gathering no matter how few or how many come.

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


NOTE FROM JANET TATZ: Many of you have heard Ellen Baumler, Montana historian extraordinaire, present in the past. Ellen has a key interest in the history of Montana Jewry and has offered many lectures on that topic. She has also led walking tours of “Jewish Helena” including the Home of Peace cemetery. As you can see from this program announcement, Helen has recently been accepted to present on this topic at a conference in Cleveland. Perhaps you were anticipating being in Cleveland or know a friend or relative who lives in that area. Please share the news.

May 2019                                                                             Contact:  Sandra Golden, Publicity Chair, IAJGS

For release:  Upon receipt                                  

Area resident to speak at 39th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy set in Cleveland

Dr. Ellen Baumler of Helena has been selected as a presenter at the 39th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Cleveland, Ohio, July 28 – Aug. 2, 2019.

Baumler’s presentation, “Montana’s Pioneer Jewish Communities: A Lasting Legacy,” explores Montana’s historic Jewish communities. The gold rush brought Jewish pioneers from Germany, Prussia, Austria, and Poland as well as New York and Chicago to Montana. Opportunity drew these adventurers to mining settlements where business and religious beliefs brought them together. Jews set up the first businesses at Bannack, Alder Gulch, and at most mining boomtowns. They seized entrepreneurial opportunities and became miners, barbers, tailors, bankers, attorneys, and cattlemen, but it was especially in the stepping-stone roles of merchant and provider that many achieved economic stability and civic status in a single generation. Without rabbis or synagogues, they established benevolent societies, maintained holidays and traditions, and planted the roots of Judaism in Montana. Their legacies are the seeds of today’s Jewish congregations that flourish across the state.

Details of the conference, including registration and hotel information, are posted on the conference website:

“We are excited to be able to bring this conference to Cleveland this summer, with the city’s many attractions and vibrant Jewish community,” said Ken Bravo, of Cleveland, IAJGS president and co-chair of the 2019 conference with Jay Sage, IAJGS vice president, of Newton, MA.

Sage commented, “With today’s growing interest in genealogy, a conference like this provides excitement and information to many individuals looking to explore their roots.  For those of Jewish ancestry, it also offers tips for their unique challenges and research in tracing their ancestors and an opportunity to interact with a group of individuals from similar backgrounds.

Local host for the conference is the Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland.

Among features of the annual conference are:

  • More than 200 programs, lectures, panel discussions and workshops, focusing on genealogy methodology, available archival resources, and the history of all Jewish communities
  • Presentations aimed at all Jewish genealogists, from first-timers to conference veterans
  • A vendor Exhibit Hall and Resource Room with genealogy experts, mentors, and archivists for a one-stop research experience at the conference site
  • Networking via popular Special Interest Group (SIG) and Birds of a Feather (BOF) meetings and luncheons
  • In-depth DNA workshops

The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) is an umbrella organization of more than 85 Jewish genealogical organizations worldwide offering the world of Jewish ancestry where you live.  The IAJGS coordinates and organizes activities such as the annual IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy and provides a unified voice as the spokesperson on behalf of its members.  The IAJGS’s vision is of a worldwide network of Jewish genealogical research organizations and partners working together as one coherent, effective, and respected community – enabling people to succeed in researching Jewish ancestry and heritage.  Find the IAJGS at and like us on Facebook at




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This coming Sunday, July 22, at 2:00 p.m., we will be dedicating an historical plaque at the Home of Peace Cemetery here in Helena.

Ellen Baumler, the recently retired Montana Historian and an expert on Montana Jewish history, will be officiating, as well as leading a walk through the cemetery to talk about many of the people and families buried there.

All are welcome!
Thank you,
Janet Tatz

(P.S.: I attended the Montana Historical Society seminar in Helena on historic cemetery preservation last month. Ellen Baumler was one of the presenters and led the tour of historic cemeteries of Helena. Home of Peace was featured on the tour. Ms. Baumler was excellent.


Todah Robah to the following Congregation members who have offered their hospitality to Rabbi Ruz Gulko and to provide the oneg:

  • Friday, 07/27/2018: Airport pickup for Rabbi Ruz Gulko: Stephen Boyd
  • Weekend hosts: Jerry and Nadyne Weissman
  • Friday Evening Services, 07/27/2018, 7:00 P.M.: Arev Shabbat Services led by rabbi Ruz Gulko at The Bethel. Oneg to follow.
  • Friday Evening, 07/27/2018: Oneg, Nadyne Weissman, Joy Breslauer
  • Saturday morning, 07/28/2018, 10:00 A.M.: Torah study with Rabbi Ruz Gulko.
  • Saturday Noon, 07/27/2018: Lunch with Rabbi Ruz Gulko: Teriyaki Madness, 1710 Tenth Avenue South
  • Saturday Evening, 07/28/2018, 5:30 P.M.: Fleshig (meat) potluck at the Bethel with adult discussion to follow. Possible topic: The Ten Commandments.
  • The address for the Bethel is 1009 18th Avenue Southwest. Click here for map and directions.