Category Archives: November

SAD NEWS

Donald Neil Cherry, 1933-2021, 5694-5782, 88, of Great Falls, passed away on Tuesday, November 30, 2021. A Graveside Service will be held on Thursday, December 2nd at 12:00 Noon at Mount Olivet Cemetery with full Military Honors. A Celebration of Life is planned for a later date. A full obituary will be available later.

THE AITZ CHAIM COMMUNITY HANUKKAH SCHEDULE

Please mark your calendars for the Aitz Chaim Hanukkah schedule.

  • Sunday, 11/28/2021 — Monday, 12/06/2021, 24 Kislev — 1 Tevet, 5782: Hanukkah.
  • Sunday, 11/28/2021, 24 Kislev, 5782: Erev Hanukkah. 5:30 P.M.: 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, 11/29/2021, 25 Kislev, 5782: First day of Hanukkah. 5:30 P.M.: We will light the second candle of the Diane Kaplan Memorial Chanukkiah at the Civic Center.
  • Tuesday, 11/30/2021, 26 Kislev, 5782: Second day of Hanukkah. 5:30 P.M.: We will light the third candle of the Diane Kaplan Memorial Chanukkiah at the Civic Center.
  • Wednesday, 12/01/2021, 27 Kislev, 5782: Third day of Hanukkah. 5:30 P.M.: We will light the fourth candle of the Diane Kaplan Memorial Chanukkiah at the Civic Center.
  • Thursday, 12/02/2021, 28 Kislev, 5782: Fourth day of Hanukkah.
  • 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM: Menorah lighting and Chanukkah celebration at the Capitol Rotunda, Helena. **(See separate article in Ram’s Horn.**)
  • 5:30 P.M.: We will light the fifth candle of the Diane Kaplan Memorial Chanukkiah at the Civic Center.
  • Friday, 12/03/2021, 29 Kislev, 5782: Fifth day of Hanukkah.
  • 5:30 P.M.: We will light the sixth candle of the Diane Kaplan Memorial Chanukkiah at the Civic Center.
  • 6:00 P.M.: From there we will go to the Bethel for services led by Devorah Werner and to celebrate Hanukkah as a community. **(See separate article in Ram’s Horn.**)
  • Saturday, 12/04/2021, 30 Kislev, 5782: Sixth day of Chanukah. 5:30 P.M.: We will light the seventh candle of the Diane Kaplan Memorial Chanukkiah at the Civic Center.
  • Sunday, 12/05/2021, 1 Tevet, 5782: Seventh day of Hanukkah.
  • 5:00 P.M. MAJCO Hanukkah Across Montana, on Zoom. **(See separate article in Ram’s Horn.**)
  • 5:30 P.M.: We will light the eighth candle of the Diane Kaplan Memorial Chanukkiah at the Civic Center.
  • Monday, 12/06/2021, 2 Tevet, 5782: Eighth day of Hanukkah.

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

Hope to see you there.

PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THE MENORAH LIGHTING AT THE CAPITOL ROTUNDA IN HELENA

  • WHAT: Hanukkah Gathering
  • WHERE: Helena Capitol Building Rotunda
  • WHEN: Thursday, December 2, 2021, 12 noon until 1 pm, with more time afterward for socializing.
  • WHO: Governor Gianforte will be speaking and attending the event. I will invite the various community representatives to speak, as well.
  • We look forward to re-establishing our annual in-person celebration. Bert

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE

    The Great Falls Hebrew Association, Aitz Chaim Community would like to extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all veterans. We as individuals and as a nation owe you a debt of gratitude we can never repay.
    We all know that the cost of our freedom isn’t free. Thank you for your service.

    RETURNING THE HISTORIC HELENA SYNAGOGUE TO JEWISH USE, BY REBECCA STANFEL

    I’m writing to you in my capacity as president of the Montana Jewish Project. This Helena-based non-profit has been working for the past seven months to re-acquire Helena’s historic synagogue and return it to Jewish use. Today, we signed a sale purchase agreement with the Roman Catholic Bishop of Helena, who has used the historic synagogue for administrative offices since 1981 but no longer has need of it. This agreement is a milestone, but only a first step.

    Many native Montanans don’t know about the state’s rich history of Jewish life. Helena’s early Jews built Temple Emanu-El in 1891. The cornerstone with the Hebrew date (5651) was laid by Montana’s Governor Toole in a huge gathering that drew crowds from across the Northwest. In his speech, congregation president Herman Gans described the majestic building on Ewing Street as a “gift to ornament the city we love.” Temple Emanu-El’s congregation were early adopters of Reform Judaism and hired a Rabbi, who later led New York’s largest Reform synagogue.

    Unfortunately, two years later, the Panic of 1893 cratered Montana’s economy. The Jewish community managed to hang on to Temple Emanu-El but couldn’t afford salaries, so lay leaders took over services.

    In 1935, the Depression continued Montana’s economic decline, and meanwhile the local Jewish population had also dwindled. Recognizing they could no longer maintain the building, the congregation “sold” the synagogue to the state for $1, asking only that it be used for a “good and social purpose.” The state converted the once-38-foot-high sanctuary into two floors of social services offices, and a basement of classrooms became a third floor of offices. “De-sacralizing” the building for government use included removing its distinctive onion domes and the Hebrew inscription “Gate to the Eternal” from the front. In 1981, the state sold the building to the Roman Catholic Diocese.

    Now in 2021, Bishop Vetter is moving into new headquarters, and he recognized the importance of returning the building to Jewish life. We reached out to him, and we are overjoyed to have signed a contract to buy Temple Emanu-El.

    Our vision is to create the first Jewish cultural center in Montana, also potentially serving Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Alaska. Helena’s Jewish community has been growing steadily, but we recognize that it is small, and our members approach Judaism in different ways. Rather than attempt to form one congregation from the small many, our founding goal is to establish a center for Jewish life, culture, and education that radiates beyond Helena. I’ve been working with the JCC Association of North America for ideas for future programming, education, and events that will benefit all of Montana’s Jewish communities. We also will have space available for regular services for Helena’s Jews. We envision Jewish cooking classes and book groups, education for children and adults, and speakers on Jewish history and ethics.

    We’d like to explore the possibility of collaborating with different Jewish communities around the state to join you online for services. For example, my family have long been members of Beth Shalom in Bozeman, and we plan to remain so. This project should not replace or erode the vibrant collaboration among Montana’s Jewish communities; rather it should add something new that will enhance Jewish life in Montana.

    We also want to continue the legacy of Temple Emanu-El. Even in 1935, at its lowest point, the congregation donated the synagogue’s pews to the African Baptist Church across Helena, looking outward to find where they could help. Our core value is tikkun olam, and we will partner with other organizations that share this mission.

    Right now, we’re focused on raising the funds to complete the purchase of the building, but we’re also working hard to lay groundwork for connecting with like-minded partners. Whether it is by providing the space for after-school youth mental health groups, sharing office space with other non-profits that value acceptance, offering eldercare, making our space available for MAJCO or Hadassah meetings, or hosting open cultural and educational events, we envision active collaboration with our partners to meet community needs. We are also consulting with Montana historians to create an exhibition open to the public that celebrates the unique history of Jewish life in Montana and to inform our consideration of the synagogue as an historical treasure.

    Judaism puts its focus on community before buildings, and in our case, we have come to realize these are inextricably connected here in Helena, where we have been homeless. We see Temple Emanu-El as a living symbol, one that connects Montana’s past with our growing present Jewish population and with our future. Consider: Montana is one of only two states that does not have a Jewish center or synagogue in its capital. Montana’s politics have taken an alarming shift. Anti-Semitism is on the rise (for example. the neo-Nazi campaign in Whitefish and anti-Semitic leafleting in Bozeman. We believe that re-acquiring and openly existing in our historic home as Montana’s first Jewish cultural center is a powerful action we can take to counter these forces.

    My board members and I would like to get your feedback and ideas for the Montana Jewish Project. We hope we can earn your trust and council on how best to nurture the project and grow together in our vision.

    May we meet with you in the coming weeks? What is the most convenient way for you that we can begin this conversation? Phone? Video conference? Sitting down to coffee in your city?

    Best,
    Rebecca Stanfel, President
    Montana Jewish Project
    (916) 216-1580
    Make A Donation

    PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THIS UPCOMING EVENT

    This is a reminder of the Kabbalat Shabbat service led by Devorah Werner on the first Friday of the month, November 5, 2021, 2 Kislev, 5782, at 6:00 P.M. at the Bethel.

    As discussed and approved by the church council on June 8, 2021, all organizations that are using the facilities will be required to follow all the current use guidelines or any new guidelines adopted by the church council or as mandated by any federal, state or local government agency.

    Current guidelines include but are not limited to:

    • Masks will be voluntary and are recommended if persons are or have been ill, or if people are more comfortable wearing them.
    • Social Distancing would still be appreciated.
    • Food or beverages will be allowed upon request. Council will review requests.
    • All contact surfaces must be wiped down with a sanitization product before leaving.
    • Any additional expense incurred due to requirements for additional sanitization of the facilities, or part of, shall be paid by the responsible parties involved.

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

    Hope to see as many of you there as possible.

    YAHRZEITS — NOVEMBER, 2021

    RAM’S HORN POLICY FOR LISTING YAHRZEIT MEMORIALS:
    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 editor@aitzchaim.com
    May the source of peace send peace to all who mourn, and may we be a comfort to all who are bereaved.

    Name of
    Deceased
    English Date of Passing Hebrew Date of Passing Deceased Relationship to
    Congregant
    Rae Lind Oct 12, 5782 6 Cheshvan, 5782 Wife of Michael Renne
    Diane Sherick Aug 13, 2021 10 Elul, 5781 Wife of Jack Sherick, Mother of Michael Sherick and Heidi Cech
    Ethel M. Shapiro Nov 1, 2016 30 Tishrei, 5777 Aunt of terry Thal
    Tillie Barrett Shapiro Nov 2, 2002 27 Cheshvan, 5763 Aunt of Nadyne Weissman
    Leonard Weissman Nov 10, 2007 29 Cheshvan, 5768 Grandfather of David Weissman, father of Jeff Weissman, Patricia Philipps, Ted Weissman, Sally Weissman and Gale Rietmann.
    Florence (Flo) Barrett Nov 12, 1966 29 Cheshvan, 5727 Aunt of Nadyne Weissman
    Martin Renne Nov 14, 2000 16 Cheshvan, 5761 Father of Michael Renne
    Dr. Daniel Foxman Nov 19, 2001 4 Kislev, 5762 Father of Marty Foxman
    Arleen Heintzelman Nov 19, 2020 3 Kislev, 5781
    Norman Handler Nov 20, 2000 22 Cheshvan, 5761 Father of Wendy Weissman

    ARLEEN HEINTZELMAN OBITUARY

    Our deepest condolences to the family of Arleen Heintzelman. May her memory be for a blessing from generation to generation. From Schnider Funeral Home

    YAHRZEITS — KISLEV, 5781

    RAM’S HORN POLICY FOR LISTING YAHRZEIT MEMORIALS:!
    Yahrzeit memorials are listed by consecutive Hebrew 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 editor@aitzchaim.com
    May the source of peace send peace to all who mourn, and may we be a comfort to all who are bereaved.

    Name of Deceased Hebrew Date of Passing Deceased Relationship to Congregant
    Gary Ray Holsclaw 11 Iyyar, 5780 Son of Arleen Heintzelman
    Dr. Daniel Foxman 4 Kislev, 5762 Father of Marty Foxman
    Henry Espelin 7 Kislev, 5745 Father of Dawn Schandelson
    Irving Tatz 12 Kislev, 5769 Father of Janet Tatz
    Joseph Magalnick 13 Kislev, 5731 Father of Elliot Magalnick
    Richard Weiss 15 Kislev, 5761 Father of Laura Weiss
    Diane Kaplan 16 Kislev, 5770 Mother of Kai Nealis
    Carl Weissman 20 Kislev, 5721 Grandfather of Jerry Weissman
    Beverly Tatz 26 Kislev, 5776 Mother of Janet Tatz
    Sarah Barrett 30 Kislev, 5728 Grandmother of Nadyne Weissman
    Charlotte Weiss 30 Kislev, 5780 Mother of Laura Weiss

    REQUEST FROM STUDENT RABBI ERIK L. URIARTE, BETH AARON, BILLINGS

    Since August of 2017, I’ve been serving as the student Rabbi for Congregation Beth Aaron and I’ve been a resident of the state since May 2018. I am also currently in my final year of Rabbinic School at Hebrew Union College, the seminary of the Union for Reform Judaism.

    In these last three and a half years of serving this community, I’ve come to meet, and learn a lot about, Jewish communities in Montana. I’ve been fascinated by the rich and amazing history of Judaism in Montana. I’ve been amazed at the tenacity of the Jewish spirit that has held many communities together for decades, and even over a century in some places; all while separated by hundreds of miles from major urban and Jewish centers in the rest of the United States.

    It is with this in mind that I’ve decided that for my final thesis work to fulfill my educational obligations for ordination, that I will be engaging in a study of Jews and Judaism as it stands now in Montana. There have been many demographic studies of Jewish populations in the United States, including rural and historical communities, however, all of these have focused on communities in places like the South or the upper Northeast, where small Jewish populations still have support from larger urban Jewish communities and infrastructure an hour or two away. This is not the case here in Montana.

    I would appreciate it very much if you could take 15-20 minutes to complete this online survey NO LATER THAN NOVEMBER 30th.

    If you have any questions, you may contact me at (406) 413-5367, or by emailing me at uriarte.huc@gmail.com.

    If you are unable to complete the survey online, but would still like to complete it, I am happy to schedule a time to take your answers over the phone if you contact me by phone or email.

    Thank you very much for your time and participation,

    Erik L Uriarte, MAHL
    Student Rabbi and Director of Religious Programming
    Congregation Beth Aaron – Billings, MT
    Cell: (406) 413-5367