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

June Yarhzeits

6/1 Barney Gelburd

6/1  Rhoda Koshak

6/2  Marvin Frank

6/3  Marvin Adler

6/4  Barney Shinberg

6/5  Herman Klausner

6/7  Meyer Cohen

6/8  B. Herbert Shapiro

6/8  Beth Weinberger

6/9  Rosa Levy

6/10  Jacob Barash

6/10  Sidney Captain

6/11  Gittel Smith

6/11 John R. Steel

6/13 Shalom Baruch

6/14 Jessica M. Horn

6/15 Louis B. Freedman

6/15 Sarah Robkin

6/17 W. Zolley Lerner

6/19 Sanford Licht

6/19 Myron Parsons

6/20 Diane Ostrower

6/20 I. Harry Tanenbaum

6/21 Ernest Acanfora

6/21 Fay Friedberg

6/21 Bella Cohen Karsh

6/21 Richard Packer

6/22 Sidney Anderson

6/25 Abraham Gelburd

6/25 Lena From Reimer

6/26 Rae Berman

6/26 Betty Freed

6/27 Marvin Singer

6/28 Edith Silverman

6/28 David M. Spigel

6/29 Goldie Shinberg

6/29 Charles Simmons

6/30 Lucy Britanisky

June Birthdays!

6/12 Dot Frank

6/12  Paul Freedman

6/13  Marla Steinberg

6/14  Sophia Russell

6/16 Elliott Leader

6/21  Libby Steinberg

6/22  Rachel Brough

6/25  Stuart Filler

6/26  Matthew Poliakoff

6/27  Gerald Smith

6/28  Stan Hyman

6/29  Bob Britanisky

6/30  Marc Slotin

June Anniversaries!

6/2 Heidi & Bob Moss

6/6 Arleen & Marvin Siegel

6/9 Marla & Hank Steinberg

6/11 Jennifer & Bob Britanisky

6/14  Karen & Robert Lyon

6/15  Helen & Greg Feldman

6/16  Lee & Milton Vogelstein

6/20 Susan & Larry Abelkop

6/20 Beth & David Blumenfeld

6/23 Mary & Andrew Poliakoff

6/25 Lisa & Ray Frye

6/29 Elaine & Stan Hyman

6/30 Karen & Roger Fuller


June 2018 Worship Schedule


June 1 & 2

Jerome Falcon Bar Mitzvah

June 8 & 9

Friday: 6:00 Kabbalat Shabbat-Dinner at Pi-Squared

June 15 & 16

Friday: 6:00 Kabbalat Shabbat-Dinner Out After

Saturday: Morning Service 9:30

June 22 & 23

Friday: 6:00 Kabbalat Shabbat-Dinner Out After

Saturday: Morning Service 9:30

June 29 & 30

Friday: 6:00 Kabbalat Shabbat-Dinner Out After

Saturday: Morning Service 9:30

From the Heart with Rabbi Liebowitz


Dear Friends,

I am a fan of billboards, succinct declarations of what makes known the sense of an institution’s mission. Whether they come from Churches, Synagogues or Mosques, they constitute a creative motto for what floats their boat ideologically. Thus, the above billboard which sums up both their concern for the hazards of excessive electronic communication and their attachment to the Golden rule found in Leviticus’s Holiness code and in other sources including Buddhism. There is a quip from a scene in the marvelous Jewish Canadian film “Lies my father told me!” The ragman emerging from his noisy and gossipy Old Montreal neighborhood offers a query to God: “Dear Lord, when you said in the Bible ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,” did you know about Mrs. Lefkowitz?’” Easier said than done are following the prescriptions of faith. Many of us will emphasize the faults of others while minimizing our own missteps. At times it is psychologically rewarding to put someone else down to raise up our own egos which are in need of bolstering. In a more global view, we need look no further than to consider the current political discourse in Washington to see how civility has taken a downturn.

I have a rabbinical colleague who had the good fortune to work as an intern for a Senator from Alaska. The Senator artfully said to him one day; “When one of us wishes to take issue with or demean the views of a fellow senator we refer to him as ‘My distinguished colleague’ from such and such state!” But when we really wish to put him down, we say “My MOST distinguished colleague from such and such state!’” All romanticizing aside, the days of “Have you no shame?” have long passed. To use the current parlance this is the new normal. Can we unring the sour notes from current bells being rung in the future? Has its contagion spread too far and gone too deep into our psyche? Does the internet with Facebook provide ugly and lasting opportunities that encourage everything from cyberbullying to rumor mongering about age, looks and more? I hope not.

As part of our Pilgrimage of Peoples interfaith and multiracial tour to three museums: Holocaust, Indian, and African – American, we included a visit with Congressman Gowdy and Senators Scott and Graham. They were as cordial as they were amiable and receptive. Most touching was Senator Scott’s and Congressman Gowdy’s review of their book Unity. It was wonderful to have a half dozen of our young people outfitted in Boy Scout attire to witness such warmth and sharing by two leaders of our nation. Nice to see the Golden Rule demonstrated in these difficult days.

Wishing one and all a wonderful summer in which you tweet others as you would want to be tweeted.

Rabbi Yossi Liebowitz D.D.

7 Jewish Essays to Help Us Remember Fallen Soldiers

Gravestones with American flags in front of each one

Although Memorial Day – which Americans will observe this Monday – is not a Jewish holiday, the idea of remembering and honoring those who died in service to our nation is certainly a Jewish value. With that idea in mind, we’ve rounded up these stories and prayers to share with you ahead of the long holiday weekend.

1. 5 Jewish Readings for Memorial Day

Including both ancient and contemporary texts, this compilation of prayers and readings offers a selection to enrich your holiday observance.

2. Why I Serve in the Military

Although the two never met, Aaron Rozovsky shares why he thanked Navy SEAL Senior Chief Petty Officer Heath Robinson, z’l, each week before Shabbat in Petoskey, Michigan.

3. Hatred and Bigotry Have No Place in “The Purest Democracy”

Rabbi Dan Bronstein, Ph.D., writes about Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn, who, as a chaplain for the United States Marine Corps, delivered what became an historic eulogy, following Iwo Jima, one of the most devastating battles of World War II.

4. Rethinking Memorial Day

Rabbi Douglas Kohn reconsiders his own patriotism and relationship with the military in today’s America – and helps readers use a Jewish lens to do the same.

5. Yom Kippur in Vietnam

Mike Rankin, z”l, a military physician, shares his remembrances of a Kol Nidre service aboard a destroyer following a battle with the North Vietnamese Army that resulted in many deaths.

6. The Normandy Kaddish Project

Alan Weinschel recounts how a trip to the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach reminded him of his responsibility – and ours – to remember these fallen soldiers by saying Kaddish for them annually.

7. From Battle to Metaphor: The Meaning of Waterloo in Modern Jewish History

Rabbi Lance J. Sussman, Ph.D. writes about what connects the Battle of Waterloo – which took the lives of 26,000 souls in one day – and Reform Judaism.

May those we remember on this Memorial Day rest in peace and may we, taking to heart the teaching of the Prophet Isaiah, continue the sacred task of beating our swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks.