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Please mark your calendars for these upcoming events.

  • Sunday evening, 09/13/2015, 7:00 P.M.: Arev Rosh Hashanah Services, led by Rabbi Ruz Gulko, at The YWCA. Oneg to follow.
  • Monday morning, 09/14/2015, 10:00 A.M.: Rosh Hashanah Morning Services, led by Rabbi Ruz Gulko, at The YWCA.
  • Monday afternoon, 1:00 P.M.: Tashlich at Giant Springs to follow.
  • Congregation no-host lunch to follow, at Maple Gardens, 5401 9th Ave. S.
  • The space at the Bethel is temporarily unavailable due to site renovation. The address of the YWCA is 220 Second Street North.


photo caption

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

Our community Passover seder is coming up in about three weeks! The seder will be held on Friday, April 10, 2015, at 5:30 P.M. at the meeting room at Clark and Lewie’s restaurant, 7th Street and 1st Avenue South.

Please 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.


Now, here’s your chance. As an Aitz Chaim board member, you can lend your voice to decisions that are made by the Board concerning this congregation, and Jewish life in general in this community. You will have a chance to get together with other passionate Jews and discuss and make decisions that directly affect you now and in the future. Topics before the Board typically include such things as the upcoming schedule for services, upkeep of the cemetery, holiday planning, and annual budget concerns. Any congregation member is encouraged to attend board meetings as a spectator, but imagine yourself being an actual participant in making decisions about matters directly affecting your Jewish life in Great Falls. You could go down in Aitz Chaim history.

The Board members who are up for re-election for two-year terms are vice president Bruce Breslauer, who has declined to run again; Treasurer Aaron Weissman, Secretary Nadyne Weissman, and board member Stuart Lewin. Elections are typically held between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and voting is done by secret ballot.

The next board meeting will be held on September 28, 2014, at 2:00 P.M. at the Celtic Cowboy, 116 1st Ave. S.

If you are considering running for election to the Aitz Chaim board, please let President Laura Weiss
or any other Board member know so that we can include your name on the ballot.


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

  • Wednesday, 09/24/2014: Airport pickup for Ruz Gulko: Aaron Weissman
  • Wednesday evening, 09/24/2014: Dinner hosts for Ruz Gulko: Don and Helen Cherry
  • Wednesday evening, 09/24/2014: Oneg, hosted by Ann Grobosky. Meriam Nagel will bring round Challah.


The Montana Council 2014 Scout Shabbat will be held at 9am on June 21, 2014 at the Montana Council Camporee in Townsend, MT in the 4-H building. Service will be led by Aaron Weissman and Stephen Boyd, and is open to all attendees at the Camporee.

Aaron Weissman
Scoutmaster, Troop 1026, Great Falls, MT
Vice President for Program, Montana Council
Boy Scouts of America



EDITOR’S NOTE: The story is told of a Jew who is traveling on a ship with some merchants. They show off their merchandise and ask the Jew, “What do you have?” He taps his head and says, “Everything I own is in here.” They laugh and call him a fool.

Then a storm hits. The ship sinks and everyone is forced to swim to shore with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They reach a city, but the merchants have nothing to sell. They are forced to beg in the streets.

A few days later they see the Jew, well dressed and well fed. He drops some money in their begging cups. They say to him, “We had so much merchandise, but now we have nothing. You had nothing, but now you have so much. How can that be?”

He taps his head and says, “I told you that everything I own is in here. I have studied all my life and I have knowledge. I am working as a teacher.”

The merchants nod their heads and all agree that knowledge is the best merchandise.

Jews know what it is like to have lost everything and to have nothing, not even a home or a homeland. We have survived by holding on to our knowledge. Each time we have moved, we have brought with us our best merchandise: knowledge of our Torah, our history, our beliefs, our skills and our stories. These stories cannot be lost, stolen, or destroyed, not as long as we keep remembering them and retelling them to each new generation.

As we celebrate the second day of Pesach as a community this April 15, we will once again share our stories and beliefs as a people, and pass them on to our children. Please join us. Next year in Jerusallem! — END OF EDITOR’S NOTE

A long-standing congregation tradition, the Aitz Chaim Community Pesach Seder will be held on the second evening of Passover, on Tuesday, April 15, at the O’Haire Motor Inn meeting room at 7th Street and 1st Avenue South. We will gather at 5:15pm, the Seder service will start at 5:30pm.

The cost of this year’s meal, which will include

  1. matzo ball soup
  2. brisket with pearl onions and apricots
  3. honey lemon chicken
  4. salad
  5. roasted potatoes
  6. vegetable
  7. dessert

will be $27 for Adult Congregation Members and $36 for non-Members.

If there ARE any participants under 12yo let me know, and we will inquire about a child’s rate. This fee covers all of our costs for a traditional Passover Seder, including matzo, the traditional symbolic foods, kosher wine and grape juice.

Please send your reservation and payment for the meal to the congregation at 1015 1st Ave N., or via email to Laura Weiss, You can also pay for your reservation through the “PayPal” link on this page. All reservations are expected to be paid before the Seder begins. We need to have a final count to the caterer by April 7. The final date when we can accept cancellations is April 10, and we will be unable to accommodate refunds if you are unable to attend and do not inform us by that date.

Submitted by Aitz Chaim Congregation President Laura Weiss


Please mark your calendars to remind you of these upcoming events.

  • Wednesday, 11/27/2013—Thursday, 12/05/2013: Chanukkah.
  • Wednesday evening, 11/27/2013, 5:30 P.M.: Erev Chanukah. Lighting 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. We will light each successive candle on each successive night of Chanukah at precisely 5:30 P.M.
  • Thursday, 11/28/2013: Thanksgiving, and the first day of Chanukah. We will light the second candle at precisely 5:30 P.M.
  • Sunday, 12/01/2013, 2:30 P.M.: Thanksgivukkah party at the home of Stuart and Hilary Lewin, concluding with the 5:30 lighting of the fifth candle of the Diane Kaplan Memorial Channukiah at the Civic Center.
  • Monday, 12/02/2013, 12:00 noon: MAJCO Candle lighting at the State Capitol in Helena.


Can you believe it has been over 2 years since Sarah’s bat mitzvah? Max’s bar mitzvah is just around the corner – December 28th, 2013. You should have received your invitation in the mail by now. If not, please call or e-mail Wendy ( or 727-4098). We will need to know what events you are coming to so that we can give counts to the caterers.

As his community service project, Max will be collecting canned food and making baskets out of them to use as table decorations at the luncheon for his bar mitzvah. After the lunch, the baskets will be donated to the East Middle School food pantry.

We are asking, if you are able and willing, to donate food and/or baskets, bows, ribbon and wrapping. We also will need help assembling the baskets. Assembly will be at the Washington School at 4 PM on Monday, December 23rd. Please call or e-mail Wendy ( or 727-4098) to donate items or to help. We will be serving pizza during the assembly of the baskets so please let me know if you are coming so that we have enough food.

We look forward to seeing you all at the bar mitzvah!

In the meantime, Happy Hanukkah!



May You Have an Easy Fast!

Aitz Chaim Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur Schedule

As we draw to an end of the Days of Awe, we prepare for Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur. We hope to see you at our services, which will all be at the Bethel, 1009 18th Ave SW, led by Student Rabbi Bess Wohlner

Kol Nidre services will begin at 7pm on 9/13/13 at the Bethel, 1009 18th Ave SW, led by Student Rabbi Bess Wohlner. Sarah Weissman will be our cantorial soloist for the Kol Nidre.

• Yom Kippur morning services will begin at 10 am on 9/14/13 at the Bethel, 1009 18th Ave SW, led by Student Rabbi Bess Wohlner.
• A discussion on Yom Kippur will be held at 3pm.
• Yizkor service will begin at 4:30pm
• Ne’ila service will begin at 5:30 pm
• A community potluck (milchig) break the fast meal will follow the conclusion of Ne’ila services. Please contact Helen Cherry to sign up for the potluck.

Mark your Calendars for Upcoming Services and Events…

  • MAJCO Shabbaton, October 4-6 at Congregation Har Shalom in Missoula

  • Aitz Chaim Services for October, 2013: Weekend of October 11-13, led by Student Rabbi Bess Wohlner

  • Chanukah: 11/27 – 12/5. Watch your email and for more information!

  • Bar Mitzvah of Max Weissman, Saturday, December 28. Contact Aaron and Wendy Weissman for more information.