In Memoriam: Dr. Michael Henderson

Dear Friends,

I am most saddened to report the passing of Dr. Michael Henderson, husband of Dr. Nancy Henderson, who were members for many, many years.  Our condolences go out to the entire family at this most difficult time.  Notes of concern and support can be sent to Dr. Nancy Henderson at 443 North Markley Street, Greenville, SC  29601.  Our thoughts and prayers are with their family.
Yossi Liebowitz

June Events!

Kabbalat Shabbat: This Friday, June 8 at 6:00 with a pizza dinner including salad and dessert and musical entertainment here at the temple.

Saturday Service this week is canceled.

Breakfast Schmooze: Wednesday, June 13 from 7 to 9:00 am at Broadway Bagels

Kabbalat Shabbat: Friday June 15 at 6:00

Saturday Service: June 16 at 9:30

Father’s Day: Sunday, June 17

Condolences to the Family of Norm Bornstein

Dear Congregants,

I am sorry to inform you of the passing of long-time member Norm Bornstein. Our condolences go out to the entire family, his wife Marilyn, and his two children. Funeral arrangements have been planned for this week in Massachusetts. A local memorial service may take place in the next few days here in Spartanburg. 
Rabbi Yossi Liebowitz

Sisterhood Update for June!


Hopefully, this will find every- one drying out from all our rain and maybe enjoying some sunshine.

Sisterhood has a few things planned for the summer. There will be a general meeting on June 21 at 6:00 pm at The Standard restaurant located at Drayton Lofts. This is an important meeting as we have a financial decision to be made regarding our annuity and need to have a quorum for a vote. If you plan to attend, please contact me by email at, home phone at 828-894-0413, or by cell 828-817-3893 by June 19. Come out for a social evening with other sisterhood members.

We are also having our annual Fun Run on August 26, which is the first day of Sunday School. Please note that registration for Sunday School will take place prior to the run at the site at 9:30 rather than at the Temple. You will find a flyer included in this Temple Topics. We hope to see you there again this year to support Sisterhood.

Also, we are participating in Honey from the Heart again this year. A flyer and order form are included in this Temple Topics. We hope you will again want to send some sweet wishes to family and friends by ordering honey.

Mark November 8 on your calendar, as that is the date for our bake sale. We hope to have another good year of support from everyone in the congregation to make it even more successful than last year. More infor- mation will be coming in future Temple Topics.

Have a good summer Cheryl August

Hank Steinberg is Our Mensch of the Months for June!

If you are a member of Temple B’nai Israel or the Greater Spartanburg Community, you know the friendly face and warm handshake of Hank Steinberg.  While Hank deserves to be Mensch of the Decade, we honor his strong presence in our congregational family for the month of June!

“I was born and educated in Spartanburg and attended local schools including Spartan High. I married Marla Pincus from Dallas TX and we have 3 children. Our married daughters have the same last name: Daughter Samantha is an attorney in Miami married to Eric Funt. They have our first granddaughter Eden (age 2) and another granddaughter is due in late August. Daughter Shelli is a dentist in Atlanta married to Josh Funt (Eric’s brother). Our son Brian works for a national insurance firm in Atlanta.

Growing up here meant being active in the Temple. My mother (Kathy) helped direct a number of Temple plays, always worked at the bake sale, and we swam at the Glen Hills Pool behind the Shrine club while the ladies played mahjong and the men played cards. It was a tight knit community. My mom and my sister Linda passed away from breast cancer at ages 61 and 40. We had an active BBYO group when I was a teenager and we participated in the Dixie Council BBYO meetings. It was a great group of people including Cathy Lewson and David Blumenfeld.

After working several years, I moved back to Spartanburg in 1986. My father told me the first check I would write every year would be to the Temple. He was in charge of the Aliyah sales so I quickly learned my parents were very involved in Temple life, and financial support for the Temple was an integral part of our lives. The call came to serve on the board, and I agreed, for over 20 years serving twice as President of the Temple; 2 years in my 30s and 2 more years in my 40s. I vividly remember taking my oldest daughter Samantha to services every Friday night where she would fall asleep in my arms on the bima. (The Presidents used to sit there during services.) Marla became a Sunday school teacher for a number of years while our kids were growing up. Why drop them off when you can participate?

Back in the 90s we helped form a Temple softball team and basketball team and we had a lot of fun getting together to represent the Temple. Jon Lewson, Bob Britanisky, Brian Goldman, Andrew Green, Rex Russel, and many others remember the fun times. We were sort of the Ivy League team; good SAT scores but slow. We had quarterly golf outings for about 10 years with as many as 24 members playing.

My dad (Jack Steinberg) and I came up with the idea of a long term fund that would sustain the Temple in times of need so we started the Endowment Fund in 1995. We raised about $500,000 by members who are recognized on the Pillars of the Community plaque located near the Sisterhood room. The people on the plaque should be proud to have been a part of that forward thinking. Many other organizations have such funds which improve their quality of life and sustain the organization through tough economic times, or a downturn in membership. The purpose of the endowment fund was to initially help supplement the salary of the Rabbi when we switched to the Reform movement in order to attract better candidates. Later the board was allowed to redirect the funds for unforeseen expenses and to proactively take care of our buildings.

Our current campus began in 1963, and the Sunday School building was added in the early 70s. We saw an influx of young families to our area starting in the mid-90s and by 1999 I was concerned that our facilities were dated. So I hired an architect to come up with suggestions and then went to a number of families for support and to ask for a major financial commitment to fund the expansion and update of our facilities. The congregation raised over a million dollars and the project was paid in full as we added the sisterhood room, a new expanded and modern social hall, a Rabbi’s office, updated kitchen, new playground, covered walkways between the building and into the Sunday School, a permanent Sukkah, portico to the Temple, and sports Pavilion. There were so many members that helped with this process, and their names are on a plaque honoring them in the main Temple Lobby. Bob Lyon told me to stay off the building committee so I wisely listened to him, and we had 5 talented people run the project with our builder.

Currently, I am still on the Endowment committee with Gerald Smith and Larry Abelkop, the memorials committee (My mom used to be on it, and I would love to have someone take my spot.), and the Annual Appeal committee with Robert Lyon. My dad used to call everyone at the high holidays to raise money to balance the budget. I continue to do these things as I love our Temple and hope it will continue to provide a place of worship and social gathering for another100 years. It takes caring people to have a community and we have been very blessed by so many who have cared so much in the past. It is my sincere hope that others will carry the banner and continue to “plant trees” for our children’s children. My father and I have both put the Temple in our wills so that our dues will always be paid.”


A Message from Our President



For those of you who do not know me, I’d like to share with you a little about myself. I am originally from Augusta, GA and grew up attending the Adas Yeshurun Synagogue. The majority of my working career was spent as a Human Resources professional. Most recently I served as Director of Human Resources at Converse College. My husband Steve and I moved to the upstate about 15 years ago from Beaufort, SC and have been members of Temple B’nai Israel since our arrival to the area. We have a daughter, Debby, who is 12 and two adult children, Sarah and Jonathan.

Having served on the Board for the past several years, I hope to bring that experience and my energy to make the next two years productive and meaningful for all of us. To that end, I recently attended the Scheidt Seminar sponsored by the Union for Reform Judaism with 80 newly elected presidents from across the country. It was a wonderful training opportunity and I returned home inspired and motivated! I plan to work with Rabbi Liebowitz and our Board to continue the tradition of making our Temple a place of inspiration, learning, fellowship, and fun.

While serving on the Board has given me the opportunity to meet a lot of people at Temple B’nai Israel, I don’t know as many congregants as I’d like. It is my goal to know as many of you as possible, and to that end, I will be reaching out by making phone calls. I would also like to find out about your talents and interests. We’re always looking for volunteers to help keep things going!

I’m truly honored to serve as Temple B’nai Israel’s president and look forward to hearing your ideas to ensure we continue to meet and improve the needs of our congregants.

Sandy Gordin