February 2015 - Mt Zion Congregation

Shevat/Adar 5775
MT. ZION CONGREGATION, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
February 2015
from Student Rabbi Cohen…
Mt. Zion Book Group
I write this to you after just returning from a seminar on Israel
Education through the iCenter. Israel is one of my passions,
and so I hope you don’t mind if I share it with you.
Anyone interested in joining us in reading
and discussing our next book selection is
more than welcome!
We are now approaching the holiday of Tu b’Shevat, a holiday
known as the “New Year of the Trees” and which is considered
the Jewish Arbor Day. It’s no coincidence that this holiday falls
during the emergence of spring in Israel. Almond trees start to
bloom and the promise of growth is in the air. The beauty of
Tu b’Shevat is that it gives us a chance to not only celebrate
but cultivate a land faced by immense conflict and continual
destruction. However, Israel is not the only land that we pay
heed to. This holiday reminds us to preserve our own land,
starting with the trees in our backyard.
In our very own “Tree of Life,” the Torah, we read, “Man is a tree of the field”
(Deuteronomy 20:19). There are many interpretations for this one verse, but amongst
them all, great attention is given to the roots of our trees. Our roots can be seen as
our faith. They are the least glamorous of the tree’s parts--and yet the most crucial.
Buried underground, virtually invisible, they possess neither the majesty of the
tree’s body, the colorfulness of its leaves nor the tastiness of its fruit, but without
roots, a tree cannot survive.
Roots can also be seen as our family or kinship network. Are we grounded? Are
we part of a strong, Jewish community that provides nurturance? And what are
we rooted within? Is our soil fertilized with knowledge and spirituality? Are our
roots strong enough to withstand a storm? We are like trees of a field, but will we
choose to stand alone, or become a forest thriving together?
become a tree-planting festival in Israel, in which Jews all around the world plant
trees in honor or memory of loved ones. Individuals, miles apart, participate in the
same task of upholding the land of Israel. Let us continue to preserve our own Jewish
forest as we come together each week for prayer, friendship and learning. We may
be trees of a field, but we must also be the farmers who help each other flourish.
Looking forward to seeing you at our very own Tu b’Shevat seder & Shabbat on
January 30th and then for a related Adult Education session & Havdallah on the 31st.
*Lastly, I would like to extend a warm thank you to all who so graciously helped
to make our Chanukah event a success!
Adult Education:
Saturday, February 21st, 7-8:30 pm
Women of the Wall and the Struggle for
Religious Freedom in Israel. Havdallah service
concludes the evening. Israeli nosh included!
We will be reading The Promise of a
Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can
Create Extraordinary Change by Adam
Braun. “Adam Braun began working
summers at hedge funds when he was
just sixteen years old, sprinting down the
path to a successful Wall Street career.”
(As a young 20-something…) “while
traveling he met a young boy begging on
the streets of India, who after being asked
what he wanted most in the world, simply
answered, ‘A pencil.’ This small request
led to a staggering series of events that
took Braun backpacking through dozens
of countries before eventually leaving
a prestigious job to found Pencils of
Promise, the organization he started with
just $25 that has since built more than 200
schools around the world.”
In explaining his underlying motivation
for his philanthropy, Adam clearly
credits his Jewish roots, tikkun olam, his
Grandmother’s surviving the Holocaust
and the overall encouragement of his
family and the philanthropic example set
by his parents. This is a quick, enjoyable,
and inspirational read.
The paperback edition of this book is
scheduled to be released on February
3, 2015.
Plan to join us at 12 noon on Saturday,
May 9th for a brown-bag-bring–yourown-lunch and discussion. Also, please
bring your suggestions for our next book
choice, with discussion to take place late
next fall.
Questions or comments? Be in touch!
David Aronson (605-957-4371)
[email protected]
Matilda Oppenheimer (605-332-8404)
[email protected]
Game Night!
We will hold an informal “game night”
on the evening of Saturday, March 21st
at 7 pm in the Temple Social Hall.
Please bring a dessert or appetizer/snack
to share.
Mah Jongg will DEFINITELY be one
option. Novices welcome to play. Guys
and gals, all ages invited to participate.
If you happen to have some experience
with the game and have your Mahj cards,
please bring them...even if they are out
of date. Hopefully, we can put together
some sets of 4 like cards so that multiple
tables can be equipped to play.
For those with no interest in Mahj, feel
free to bring other board games and
decks of cards.
We will open the evening with Havdalah,
then divide up for fun and games!
Please let me know if you are available
to help with setting-up and/or cleaningup.
Attention Mt. Zion
Congregation Members,
There are just a few of us who conduct
services when there is no Student Rabbi
present. This is a wonderful opportunity
to keep our community vibrant and active,
and we would welcome others to participate
in this commitment to our Congregation. If
you know of someone who has the ability to
conduct services, encourage them. If YOU
are able and willing to share the honor of
leading services in English or using Hebrew,
please contact me at [email protected]
or 605-957-5223. I would be glad to help
anyone who is willing to step up to this
responsibility. We take great pride in our
ability to provide for our own needs. Please
contact me. Thank you all in advance for
participating in this way.
FEB 20 - 22
MAR 6-8
MAR 20-22
APR 3-5
APR 17-19
Visiting Groups
to the Temple
Our congregation is served by a
Student Rabbi who is available
a limited number of weekends
from September through May. We
encourage your scheduling your
Friday evening worship services
visit only when the Student Rabbi
is in residence. For Friday evening
visits and/or in cases where other
scheduling arrangements are
needed, please call or e-mail the
President of the congregation who
will assist you with scheduling.
Hosts for Student
Rabbi Allison Cohen’s
Friday and Saturday
meals are needed.
Please contact Marty
Davidsohn at
[email protected]
or 254-8434
and get your favorite date.
David Aronson, Ritual Coordinator
On January 11, 2015, the Mt. Zion
Temple Board of Directors, on behalf of
the Mt. Zion membership, unanimously
voted to stand in solidarity with the
people of Paris and the nations of the
world against the terrorist attacks and
murders last week at the headquarters
of Charlie Hebdo magazine and at the
Hyper Cacher kosher grocery store in
Remember birthdays,
anniversaries, yahrzeits,
Please send your
donations to:
Mt. Zion Temple, PO Box 756
Sioux Falls, SD 57101
Remember to submit articles
appropriate for the
March Tidings.
To submit articles,
you may email them to:
[email protected]
OR mail them to:
510 S. 1st Ave.
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Our daughter, Raizel Ladybird
was born on
January 2nd.
Tim and I are
beyond thrilled
and in love!
Freya Thurmer
Join Us at the Table!
January’s potluck dinner was
a success. Everyone there said
it was great to get together and
share a Shabbat meal. Next
month’s dinner is February 6th
at 6:00 pm. We hope to see even
more of our community there.
Just bring a dish and join us.
(December 10, 2014 - January 9, 2015)
Please send all Temple contributions to:
PO Box 756, Sioux Falls, SD 57101
To the Congregation from Rosie & Mike Mace;
Harlene Lewin; Elisa Lewis; Anne Peterson
This dinner is open to all families
of the congregation. This dinner
will occur every first Friday of the month whether the Student Rabbi is
in town or not.
The dinner will conclude before services. Attendees are not required to
go to services following the dinner but are certainly welcome to do so.
Please put this on your calendar and join us.
For more information, contact Stephen Rosenthal at [email protected]
gmail.com or call 376-5189. Save the dates - March 6th and April 3rd
(Passover Seder)!!
To purchase a tree, contact
MARGO OLSON at 371-2020
or email her at
South Dakotans
for Israel on
In memory of Henrietta Kopel, one who
exemplified Tikkun Olam, from the Children of
Hy and Lillian Hurwitz: Jeanne, Robert, Marilyn
& Larry
Thank you to all Members and Friends of Mount Zion
Temple for your continued support.
RECEIPTS: I have tried to be prompt in acknowledging
all donations and dues payments with receipts as they are
received throughout the year. If you are in need of duplicate
receipts for any payments made in the 2014 tax year, please
submit your written request via e-mail ( [email protected]
midco.net) or regular mail (Mt Zion Congregation; ATTN
Treasurer; PO Box 756; Sioux Falls SD 57101). Please
include the amount of your gift and approximate date on
which it was given. Please submit your request by April
1, 2015.
Reforest Israel by planting trees
in Israel through JNF, the Jewish
National Fund. The price of one tree
is $18.
Happy Chanukah to Mount Zion Congregation
from Ilya & Nonna Gutman (Marshall MN)
Help support the
extraordinary works
of Hadassah with a
card or certificate!
Contact Cards &
Certficates Chair
Carol Rosenthal if
you’d like to make a
donation. There’s a
card or certificate in
every price range and
for every occasion!!
DUES 2014-15: The Temple’s current fiscal year runs
from June 1st 2014 through May 31st 2015.
If you have not yet fully paid your dues for this year, please
try to make your payment(s) before May 31st. Collecting
the outstanding balances before June 1st 2015 helps greatly
in meeting our current financial obligations (payments
for Student Rabbi’ s services; utilities; insurance; Union
of Reform Judaism dues; cleaning expenses; grounds’
maintenance; ritual expenses; repairs; and so forth.)
If you are able to make additional gifts beyond your dues
commitment, that is appreciated. We are projecting a
modest deficit in funds received vs annual expenses.
If you are unable to meet your dues obligation in full or
need to extend your payments beyond May 31st, please
communicate that information to me. The more open our
communication, the better that we can plan for next week
and next year and beyond!
If you have specific questions about our budget, please
contact me. This information is available to all members.
Matilda Oppenheimer, Treasurer (605-332-8404)
from the Congregation President…
Controversies at the Kotel (Western Wall)
This article is published with permission from its author, Rabbi Marc Angel, jewishideas.org
The Jerusalem Post and other media reported that a leader of “Women of the Wall” was arrested at the Kotel in Jerusalem for
raising her voice in song and prayer. She, together with a group of hundreds of women, have been attempting to gain the right for women to
pray at the Kotel, each according to her preferred style of prayer--with prayer shawls, chanting aloud, reading from the Torah etc.
The arrested woman was kept in prison overnight, and complained that she was treated as though she were a notorious and dangerous criminal.
The police authorities stated that they were upholding the law, which forbids women from praying at the Kotel in loud voices or while wearing
a tallit or tefillin. The Jerusalem Post reported: Israeli law, upheld by the Supreme Court, stipulates that it is forbidden to conduct a religious
ceremony “contrary to accepted practice” at a holy site, or one that may “hurt the feelings of other worshipers.”
Here are a few troubling questions we all need to ponder:
1. Should people--men or women--engage in confrontational behavior at the Kotel in order to press their religious viewpoints? Doesn’t this
undermine the rights of all others at the Kotel, who wish to pray without such distracting commotion?
2. Should women be imprisoned for singing the Shema and other prayers in a loud voice at the Kotel? Are men arrested for chanting the Shema
and other prayers in loud voices?
3. If the Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that no one may pray at the Kotel in a way that may “hurt the feelings of other worshipers,” does this
also apply to Hasidim, Hareidim or others whose mode of worship may indeed hurt the feelings of non-Hareidi, non-Orthodox Jews?
The problem at the Kotel reflects deep divisions within the Jewish community in matters pertaining to religious observance. The Hareidi
Orthodox--who have religious control of the Kotel--strive to limit women’s role in the public sphere. The rest of the Jewish community-whether moderate Orthodox, non-Orthodox, non-observant--is compelled to adhere to Hareidi standards, as though only the Hareidim have a
legitimate claim to the Kotel and other religious sites.
The status quo is unsatisfactory...and even disgraceful! I am not comfortable with activists creating public scenes at the Kotel, even though
I can understand their frustration and anger. I am distressed that a woman can be arrested at the Kotel for singing the Shema in a loud voice.
I am profoundly upset that conduct at the Kotel is governed by a Hareidi rabbinic establishment that gives little or no heed to the views and
feelings of the non-Hareidi Jewish community. The Kotel, after all, is a shrine for all the Jewish people, not a private synagogue for one group
or another.
There is no easy solution to the current unsatisfactory situation. Peoples’ emotions run high. The Hareidim believe they alone represent God’s
will and that no one but their rabbinic sages can decide matters of halakha. The moderate Orthodox have not produced a viable alternative
approach. The non-Orthodox would like to dismantle the Hareidi control of the Kotel altogether and allow non-Orthodox forms of worship at
the Kotel. The Women of the Wall--which includes Orthodox and non-Orthodox members--wants to assure total equality for women who wish
to conduct prayer services at the Kotel.
It is impossible to satisfy all these mutually exclusive positions. Public demonstrations, legal battles, calls for compromise--none of these
approaches will likely create a genuine and respectful harmony at the Kotel.
I have suggested a number of times an altogether different approach. My suggestion has been roundly criticized by many, and I know it is not
perfect. But I think it actually can dramatically improve religious life at the Kotel.
No public prayer services should be allowed at the Kotel. Not Orthodox, not Conservative, not Reform, not egalitarian...no public services of
any kind! No one should wear a prayer shawl or tefillin at the Kotel.
The Kotel should be reserved only for individual, private prayer and meditation.
If people wish to have formal prayer services, they should pray in private synagogues run according to their own preference and minhag.
While this suggestion will be opposed by many who currently pray at services at the Kotel; and while this would be a blow to the “Bar Mitzvah
at the Kotel” business--the overall benefits would be great. The Kotel would regain its proper religious status as a shrine of the entire Jewish
people, where each person can enjoy spiritual freedom to pray and meditate privately. It will cease to be a battle ground for competing religious
ideologies. It will cease to be the center of “turf battles” among segments of the Jewish people.
The Kotel is a vestige of the ancient Holy Temple. The Talmud suggests that the Temple was destroyed because of needless hatred and
antagonism among the Jewish people.
We need to restore the Kotel as a place that is free of such hatred and antagonism, that allows each of us to pray to the Almighty humbly and
privately, that helps us to recognize our spiritual connection to God--and to each other.
Pot l u c k D i n n er
Friday, February 6, 2015
6:00 pm
Bring a dish to share!
Join us for Shabbat Services at 7:30 pm if you’d like!
Mark Your Calendar: First Friday of every month
Questions? [email protected]
Save these dates: March 6th & April 3rd (Passover Seder)
NEW Temple
“Like” Us!
Mt. Zion Congregation
14th & Duluth Streets
PO Box 756
Sioux Falls, SD 57101-0756
Join us!
Temple Social Hall
Friday, January 30th
7:30 pm
President: ................... Bernice Schotten
Vice President: ............ Royce Hansman
Treasurer: ...........Matilda Oppenheimer
Secretary:......................... Judy Lampert
Board of Directors: ........Carin Rosinsky
Cathy Ezrailson
Judy Lampert
Marc Feinstein
Margo Olson
Stephen Rosenthal
Past President: ...................Murray Haar
Mt. Zion Congregation - February 2015
6 (Sh'vat 18)
5:27 pm
7:30 pm Shabbat Service
Tu B'Shevat
10 am Torah Study
Torah: Yitro Exod 18:1-20:23
Haftarah: Isaiah 6:1-7:6; 9:5-9:6
Leon Maggied Bday
5:36 pm
7:30 pm Shabbat Service
Temple Board Meeting
10 am - Social Hall
13 (Sh'vat 25)
10 am Torah Study
Torah: Mishpatim Exod 21:1-24:18
Haftarah: II Kings 12:5-16
Steve Hansman Bday
Mt. Zion Family Seder
Friday, April 3rd
Torah: T'rumah Exod 25:1-27:19
Haftarah: I Kings 5:26-6:13
10 am Torah Study
Helen Ofstein, Samantha Rosinsky
Rosh Chodesh Adar
Susan Mendelsohn Bday
5:46 pm
7:30 pm Shabbat Service
20 (Adar 2)
27 (Adar 9)
5:55 pm
7:30 pm Shabbat Service
10 am Torah Study
Torah: T'tzaveh Exod 27:20-30:10
Haftarah: Esther 7:1-10 or
I Samuel 15:2-34
7 - 8:30 pm
Adult Ed: Women of the
6 (Adar 16)
7:30 pm PURIM &
Shabbat Service
Marc Feinstein Bday
March 1
A reminder that proper attire should
be worn when participating in
services at Mt. Zion Temple. Your
cooperation with this matter is
greatly appreciated.
6:04 pm
Torah: Ki Tisa Exod 30:11-34:35
Haftarah: I Kings 18:1-39
10 am Torah Study
All Yahrzeits that are observed Sunday through
Saturday are read the Friday of that same week.
If a Yahrzeit is not listed or you need information
concerning Yahrzeits, please call Jan Forstein at
332-3354. A Yahrzeit card and envelope will be sent
to you to notify you of upcoming Yahrzeits. (If you
do not receive your notification, please contact Jan.)
Also included with the notification card is a donor
envelope if you wish to make a donation to the Temple
in memory of your loved one.
February 6th
February 27th
Phillip Light
Adreienne Saalfeld
William Rothman
Erma Sternberg
Bernard “Bud” Brandwein
Henry Levinson
Herman Davis
David Davis
Pola Haar
Rose Friedman
Ben Borden
Nila Pitts
Gussie Shulkin
Herman Eirinberg
William Cohon
J. Emmett Zerfas
February 13th
Etta Cohen
Stanley Goodman
Sally Mosow
Zishke Marsh
March 6th
Louis Zabel
Joseph Bleichfeld
Sally Forstein
Louis Axelbaum
Albert Wolfson
Lawrence “Buddy” Horwitz
Harold “Bud” Margulies
Sophia Samorodin
Harry Broder
February 20th
Rosalie Lux
Dorothy Roganson
Ruben J. Light
Ben Light
Solomon Korb
Loren Rea
Sam Eder
Benjamin Katz