March Yarhzeits

3/1 Joseph Adelman
3/1 Mollie Shimkin
3/2 Lillian Bernstein
3/2 Ted Briggs
3/2 Esther Garrell
3/2 Bernard A. Katz
3/3 Mary K. Shenay
3/4 Emma Pollack Rattner
3/5 Jacob Cohen
3/6 Sidney August
3/6 Sarah S. Fleeman
3/7 Molly Black
3/7 Rose Levenson Katz
3/7 Bryan Ostrower
3/8 Mary Cooper
3/9 Maurice Shenay
3/9 Earl B. Yoffe
3/10 Samuel Davidson
3/10 Abraham Koshak
3/10 Irwin Leader
3/10 Pearl Liebowitz
3/11 Michael Koslen
3/12 Meyer Bernstein
3/12 David Gordin
3/12 Eleanor B. Oppenheimer
3/12 Murray Schoer
3/13 Ann Weintraub
3/14 Esther Bromley
3/14 Bruce Harrison
3/15 Mary G. Barnet
3/16 Jennie Abelkop
3/17 Barney Kaplan
3/17 Minnie Meyerson Zeidman
3/19 Dorothy Singer
3/19 Samuel Smiley
3/21 Herman Price
3/22 Aaron T. Kaplan
3/22 Herbert Manny Stier
3/23 Sam Reichal
3/23 Getzel Robkin
3/24 Etta Goldman
3/24 Seindel Koser
3/24 Becky Witz
3/25 Harry Liebowitz
3/25 Sharon L. Massey
3/26 Louis Blumenfeld
3/26 Fannie Asner Levin
3/28 Anna P. Reichel
3/29 Sylvia S. Cooper
3/29 Blanche Lyon
3/30 Harry Packer
3/31 Samuel Lazarowitz

Poignant Words from Dr. Stephen Godin, Fellow Congregant

About a heartfelt song written by Dr. Godin:

“There was an explanation that went along with this post to explain the origin of this song. I have retyped it below:
After every mass shooting, our country immediately engages in the same political debate as to why these tragedies happen. Is it guns? Spiritual emptiness? Mental health? To be honest, I don’t even pretend to know the answer. However, by continuing the arguments, we lose sight of what can be, after all, the most basic lesson of human nature.

After the Virginia Tech shooting, I was deeply moved by the story of Doctor Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor who died protecting his students. The late Terry Wetton and I wrote a song that was recorded by the Lonesome Road Band. We intended it to be not just a tribute to his heroism but also as a reminder that no darkness, no matter how intense, can ever extinguish the light of our better selves. In this latest tragedy, two men—Aaron Feis and Chris Hixon—selflessly sacrificed their lives to protect others. It is to them and their families that I would also like to dedicate this song. Truly, they show us the way.”

Click here to listen to Dr. Godin’s timeless words.

Responding to Spiritual Questions and Emotional Needs after Tragedies

By Rabbi Edythe Mencher

Following tragedies, especially those that are man made, people of all ages have questions about how a good God could let terrible tragedies happen.
Following a terrible event or loss, they may even cry out this question, tempting others to offer their own religious understanding or to engage in philosophical discussion. These are valid questions… to be engaged at other times.

In times of deep crisis and pain, such questions – when posed by adults – might be heard as:
“How could this have happened?”
“Does anyone care about and protect me and those whom I love?”
“What did I do to deserve this?”
“How can this terrible and unfair thing have happened?”
“Is there any order and security or is the world just chaos and mayhem?”
When posed by children, depending upon their ages, they may be heard as:
“Why didn’t my parents/teachers/caretakers protect me?”
“Is it safe to be away from my parents?”
“Is it safe to go to sleep?”
“Are there bad guys everywhere?”
“Is the world a scarier place than I thought?”
“Is anyone in charge?”

The Role of Religion in Comforting Those Affected by Tragedy

For most of us, in the immediate moment of tragedy, the question is only partly theological. Rather, the care we desperately need is that which human beings – perhaps Divinely inspired – can offer to one another.
This is not to suggest that pastoral counseling and religious questions aren’t important or should not be addressed in the days to come. Some people may change their own beliefs because of what has the trauma they’ve experienced – but however tenuous or tentative a person’s belief in God may be, the moment of serious loss and fear is not the right time to toss aside all possibility of belief in a loving compassionate Presence.

How We Can Help

We needn’t try to convince these individuals of anything or to challenge their doubts and disappointments, nor is it helpful to add our own negative conviction to theirs. If we hear them saying (directly or others) that life and the world seem devoid of love, order, and meaning, then agreeing or disagreeing isn’t the issue. Rather, the issue is how the world feels to them right now – and thus, anything we can do on the side of life, calm, and meaning will be most valuable.
The kindest response we can offer is one of listening, conveying acceptance that the questions are being asked, and doing and saying things that help restore a sense of love, justice, protection, and order in our world – even though what has happened is shocking, unfair, hateful, or a result of temporary chaos.
We don’t necessarily have to convey all that in words. Instead, it can be in hugs offered, compassionate care provided, and accompaniment through agonizing tasks such as funeral preparations and the gentle and timely restoration of routine. We try to provide living proof for one another that we live in a world in which there is great goodness, even though it is also a world in which terrible tragedies sometimes occur. This great goodness is expressed in such activities as caretaking, rescuing, and rebuilding, and it can be understood, by some, as a sign of God in the world.

When Children Have Questions

Children sometimes raise religious questions in the midst of tragedy too, although less often than their parents. It is important to ask them what they think and to try to support what they wish to and are able to believe, particularly if it is strengthening and reassuring.
As adults, we needn’t profess beliefs we don’t have, but we can be respectful of our kids’ hopes – even when our own beliefs and faith are shaken.
We can remind children about the ways religion and God can inspire us to take care of one another and to do the good and wonderful things that are also part of our world. Religious rituals like lighting candles, expressing hopes through prayer, and participating in celebrations that support optimism can be very helpful.
Children need their sense of security restored and anything that helps with that (and is consistent with their family’s practice and belief) is what counts – including explaining that those who have died are with God. Young children may not be able to conceive that someone who was once here is now not somewhere (this is difficult enough for adults); most older children can conceive of people living on within our hearts, or of souls returning to God.
It’s essential that we listen to children’s questions before we compose our answers, as very young children age may not be clear about the permanence of death and the difference between being alive and no longer alive. They still may be most concerned about being separated from parents themselves and are reassured that the child or adult who has died is not “somewhere” suffering and crying out in loneliness.

At moments of traumatic crisis, children’s faith and trust in the people they have counted on to protect them may be more significantly shaken than their religious faith. Anything adults can do to restore their sense that the people around them are working to restore safety will matter most. They need to be allowed to remain close to caring adults and to have a sense of calm – and, eventually, joy – returned to their lives.

Perhaps in this way, children and adults are more alike than different: All of us need to feel we are not alone and that there are trustworthy sources of hope, security, and joy within our world.

Rabbi Edythe Held Mencher, LCSW, serves as Union for Reform Judaism faculty for Sacred Caring Community and is director of the URJ Presidential Initiative for Disabilities Inclusion. In her role as director of the URJ Ruderman Disabilities Inclusion Initiative, she helped to create the online learning site She has been an adjunct faculty member of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s Interfaith Doctor of Ministry Program in Pastoral Counseling. She writes and consults on disability, mental health, and helping children and adults to navigate the feelings associated with difficult personal and communal events, drawing about Jewish and secular sources. She is the co-author of Resilience of the Soul: Developing Emotional and Spiritual Resilience in Adolescents and Their Families. Ordained in 1999, Rabbi Mencher is also a graduate of the Westchester Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy and of the Hunter College School of Social Work.

February Yarhzeits

2/1 Bess Blumenfeld
2/1 Conley Cook
2/1 Mortimer Friedberg
2/1 Sroel Weisz
2/2 Betty Malinow
2/3 Donald Haughay
2/3 Fannie Lichtenstein
2/4 Louis Bruck
2/4 Louis Himber
2/4 Ethel Silver
2/5 Max Berman
2/5 Isador Cohen
2/6 David Cohen
2/6 Ann D. Finkelstein
2/6 Isaac Malinow
2/6 Amelia Mann
2/7 Jonas H. Bernanke
2/8 Louis Smith
2/9 Lazorus Cohen
2/9 Bessie Gray
2/9 Rose Platt
2/9 Isaac Revich
2/10 Rose Perlman
2/11 Charles Finke
2/11 Sheila Rose Tanenbaum
2/12 Ben Abelkop
2/13 Harry Finkelstein
2/13 Otto Teszler
2/14 Harry Smiley
2/15 Sarah D. Cohen
2/15 Samuel Hecklin
2/16 Mimi Gelband
2/16 Gussie Hecklin
2/16 Ada M. Rovin
2/16 Josephine Usiskin
2/17 Lenore Axelrod
2/17 Avraham Weisz
2/18 Jacob Finke
2/18 Jeanne Hutchison
2/19 Moises Reteiny
2/19 Harry Stemberg
2/20 Jim Ely
2/20 Alvin H. Levin
2/20 Israel Shinberg
2/20 John S. Steel
2/21 Samuel Cohen
2/21 Emil Mortge
2/22 Morris Cohen
2/22 Abraham C. Felsher
2/22 Efim Abram Minevich
2/22 Alan Silverman
2/23 Haya Sara Gilpin
2/23 Allen Haughay
2/23 Ethel Morstein
2/24 Ludvik Weiss
2/26 Sigmund Pickus
2/26 Aaron Tanenbaum
2/27 Iman H. Bornstein
2/28 Kathleen Bruck
2/28 Ruth Crosby
2/28 Anne P. Gray
2/28 Sam Kassler
2/28 Louis Levy

January Yarhzeits

1/1 Joe Pincus
1/1 Thelma Yoffe
1/2 Sarah Cohen
1/2 Gershon Sandler
1/2 Max Silverman
1/2 Gedeon Daniel Teszler
1/4 Robert Lyon
1/4 Sheril Ann Powers
1/4 Bernie Rovin

1/5 Mary Cohen Bornstein
1/5 Rose Goldberg
1/7 Eleanor Gerber
1/7 Michael Yoffe
1/8 Carol Nickelsberg
1/9 Esther D. Cohen
1/9 Esther Malka Levovitz
1/10 Helen Price
1/13 Beatrice Berger
1/13 Edward Goldman
1/13 Masha Kirshman
1/14 Jacob Steinberg
1/15 Max Brett
1/15 Harry Yogman
1/16 Irving Litoff
1/17 Fred Bernanke
1/17 Israel Gilpin
1/17 Harry Leader
1/17 Martha Mortge
1/17 Eleanore Stern
1/18 Abraham M. Anderson
1/18 Mel Lichtig
1/19 Pearl B. Cohen
1/20 Mayer Malinow
1/20 Alexander Schultz
1/21 Laura B. Krafchick
1/21 Emilia Revich
1/21 Geneva Spigel
1/22 Morris Small
1/23 Barbara Friedman
1/24 Daniel Axelrod
1/24 James Clark Strait
1/24 Esther Tobochnik
1/25 Molly Silver
1/25 Catherine Wasel
1/29 Mae Burros Belowsky
1/30 Irving Adler
1/30 Susan Elaine Portnoy
1/31 Jeannette Morris

December Yarhzeits

12/1 John Barbarash
12/1 Hannah E. Nabow
12/1 Asher Nickelsberg
12/2 Marvin Hyman
12/4 Sylvia F. Gray
12/5 Charles Gelband
12/5 Elaine Shapiro
12/7 Seymour Feinstein
12/8 Clara Barbarash
12/8 David Fellerman
12/8 Martha Glazer
12/9 Samuel Figur
12/14 Samuel Price
12/14 Rabbi Laurie Skopitz
12/14 Fred Ostrower
12/16 Avrum Shmuel Chayim Ben Lazar
12/18 Max Lichtenstein
12/18 Frances Schwartz
12/19 Paula Rabiner
12/20 Edward Kassower
12/21 Phil Harry Singer
12/22 Sylvan M. Jack Cohen
12/22 Morris Siegel
12/23 Tiffany Greenfield
12/24 Sarah From Freedland
12/24 Sondra Pincus
12/25 Wanona O. Steel
12/26 Rivie L. Levin
12/26 Alice L.H. Smith
12/26 Morris Yoffe
12/27 Louis Cohen
12/27 Sigmund Witz
12/28 Moshe Price
12/30 Clara S. Cohen
12/30 Daisy Schoer
12/30 Louis Zeidman
12/31 Nettie Gelfand
12/31 Joseph Mann
12/31 Seymour Rosenberg

November Yarhzeits

11/2 Philip Gelman
11/2 William W. Schwartz
11/3 Samuel Morewitz
11/3 Rose Packer
11/4 Richard C. Acanfora
11/5 Louis D. Portnoy
11/6 Sylvia L. Margolis
11/6 D’vorah Price
11/7 ChavaRifka B. Kirshner
11/7 Arthur Lutsky
11/7 Sophie A. Pinsley
11/8 Minnie Hyman
11/9 Kate Shapiro
11/9 Saul Tanenbaum
11/10 Ruth K. Arenson
11/11 Rosa H. Gantt
11/11 Morris Gerber
11/11 Cecilia Robinson
11/11 Nathan Shimkin
11/12 Fishel Levy
11/12 Theodore Zaner
11/14 Leah K. Lerner
11/14 Gertrude List
11/14 Hy Packer
11/16 Frank Wasel
11/17 Ben Black
11/17 Joseph Wachter
11/19 Donald G. Tombow
11/20 Morris Switzer
11/20 Newman Vogelstein
11/21 Max Cohen
11/21 Mendes Morstein
11/22 Lidia Teszler
11/23 Barnet Freedman
11/23 Isadore Lazarowitz
11/23 Israel Massey
11/23 Harry Reimer
11/23 Abe Smith
11/23 Dina Weisz
11/24 David Falcon
11/24 Evelyn Poliakoff
11/25 Ida Gelburd
11/25 Simon Hecklin
11/25 Harry Levine
11/25 Julian N. Spigel
11/26 Eva Adelman
11/26 Marsha Anne Horn
11/27 Maxwell H. Goldberg
11/29 Bernie Fleishman
11/29 Harry Koshak
11/29 Esther Minsky
11/30 Max N. Davidson
11/30 Ida Fellerman 1
1/30 Hannah B.From
11/30 David Nabow
11/30 Rebecca Price

In Memoriam of Marian Unger

Dear Members,

I am saddened to inform you of the passing of Marian Unger, mother of Lisa Schoer, Sandy Gordin, and Carol Unger. Our condolences go out to the entire family. Tomorrow evening, Tuesday, October 24 at 6:00 pm, a memorial service will be held at the synagogue followed by a mourners’ meal. We urge you to extend your sympathy to Sandy Gordin at 7250 New Cut Road, Inman, SC 29349 and to her sisters, Lisa Schoer at 1950 Buford Dam Road #203, Cumming, GA 30041 and Carol Unger at or 10015 Haynes Bridge Road, Unit 37, John’s Creek, GA 30022.

I lieu of flowers, the family asked that you make a donation to Temple B’nai Israel in honor of Marian Unger.

I hope that you can come for this memorial service and show support for the family.

Sincerely yours,
Yossi J. Liebowitz, Rabbi