Spartanburg Green Congregations’ Chaplain Ron Robinson is going to speak on December 7 at 8:30 to 9:30 in the morning at the Temple. Breakfast will be offered. Conservation and recycling efforts are underway locally, regionally, and even nationally. Included in these efforts is a new group in Spartanburg called Spartanburg Green Congregations. The special session will focus on the organization’s efforts to promote reference for the Earth in the web of life. Learn more about faith communities that are gathering together to reach many diverse individuals to encourage love and respect of the Earth, the Common Ground upon which the faith community is built

Scholar in Resident


Left to right: Rabbi Liebowitz, Rabbi Ingber, Dr.Rob McCormick, & Gary Poliakoff.

We’d like to thank the following institutions and individuals who have helped put to- gether this interfaith effort: USC Upstate and Dr. Rob McCormick, Wofford College and Chaplain Ron Robinson, Converse College and Chaplain Jason Loscuito, Central United Methodist and Pastor Tom Norrell, Unitarian Universalist Church and Reverend Sally Beth Shore, St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church and Father David Whitman.
We’d also like to acknowledge the follow- ing members of the religious and general community: Cheryl August, Tom & Joan Barnet, Stephen & Sandy Gordin, Jon & Cathy Lewson, Mike & Ina Minsky, Helga Moglin, Hank & Marla Steinberg, Nancy Anderson, Jay & Pam Kaplan, Dr. Dwight & Nancy Lambert, Gary & Sandy Smiley, Ben & Lynn Stauber, Gary Poliakoff, and Junie & Irene White.


We have focused on the miracle thing and I think we often overlook the message of Hanukkah. To me, the core of the holiday is the cleansing of the temple… The accomplishment was in restoring the temple to the purpose which it was built. Now think of the temple as a symbol. Perhaps it represents my life. The world has tried to use for its own (perhaps good, but none-the-less extrinsic) purposes. But now I can rededicate myself to my own original purpose. Ralph Levy Another View

Dear Friends,

Once more the Holidays of Christmas and Hanukkah intersect. I don’t know which is more difficult to deal with; when they coincide or when they fall far apart. Credit or blame the Jewish calendar which is based on the cycles of the moon with its 19 year intercalculation of the solar calendar. (This is why we have a leap month every 2nd or 3rd year)

What they have in common is apparent; a time to keep warm as the shortest days approach, the emphasis on light and the never ending calories to be enjoyed and avoided. As for the themes of history they could not be more different. The Messianism in the Christian celebration is paramount, a concept that we sired but whose fulfillment awaits us still. Our celebratory theme emphasized freedom. But most distinctively it is the Jewish insistence that our uniqueness was worth the sacrifice and that our struggles to remain Jewish are to be heralded. That another message of freedom of diversity for all people has been grafted on to our holiday is worthy, but not central. The tendency to emphasize the latter as we ignore the distinctive message of being Jewish for its own sake is our loss.

This has led to the universalization of Chanukah as a sad usurpation by non-Jews of our holiday. It takes the form of the odd celebration
called Chrismakah, a false fusion of the two traditions that are not fully the same, but in some measure quite different. Other fake aspects like Chanukah tinsel is imitation of Christmas as is the so-called Hanukkah bush. The Christmas tree, to thoughtful devout Christian devotes, is filled with great meaning; the tinsel is the angel’s hair that flowed at Jesus’ birth, the star at the top is the Star of Bethlehem announcing his birth, the wreath with red berries is the future blood spilled on his crown of thorns. None of these comport with Jewish belief or practice. More than this it is usurpation of Christian holy objects which ought not to be done.

I know I am in the “meaning business” and I tend to take all traditions seriously and respectfully. I appreciate Christmas, Kwanza, and Chinese New Year, but from afar. They are not my celebrations.

Boundaries are important to respect.

Still ours the dance, the feast, the glorious Psalm, The Mystic lights of emblem, and the Word. Emma Lazarus The Feast of Lights

Wishing you a great Hanukkah, Rabbi Yossi Liebowitz, D.D.

Hadassah Meeting


We invite everyone to join us for a business meeting on Wednesday, November 16 at 10:30 in the Sisterhood Activity Room and stay for the Rabbi’s Brown Bag luncheon immediately following at 12 noon.

Please continue to collect your loose change in your Hadassah tzedakah boxes. We will be collecting those at a luncheon meeting in December. This is tentatively scheduled to be held at Bangkok Thai. Details will be announced later.

We hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving surrounded by loved ones. If you are at the Temple, as a gesture toward those less fortunate, please consider bringing some canned goods for the collection barrel located in the coat closet. The need for assistance is especially great at this time of year.

See you around the Temple

Nancy Rosenberg


Spartanburg Interfaith Schedule of Events

Imagining Myself: Righteous Gentiles During the Holocaust
Thursday, November 10
7:00 pm at USC Upstate at Tukey Auditorium 800 University Way, Spartanburg, SC

An Interfaith Conversation, Guests Welcome
Friday, November 11
9:00 am at Converse College, Kuhn Room 108 580 East Main Street, Spartanburg, SC

A Consultation with Students & Staff
Friday, November 11 12:00 pm at Wofford College
429 North Church Street, Spartanburg, SC

A Life of Responsibility: The Holocaust as Inspiration
Friday, November 11 7:30 pm at Temple B’nai Israel
146 Heywood Avenue, Spartanburg, SC

Sabbath Tisch: Two Rabbis, a Catholic Priest, & a Methodist Minister Talk About
a Few Verses from the Bible
Saturday, November 12 11:30 am at Temple B’nai Israel
146 Heywood Avenue, Spartanburg, SC RSVP to the Temple 582-2001

Did you hear the one about the Rabbi and the Pope?
Catholics and Jews, A New Era!
Saturday, November 12
3:00 pm at St. Paul’s the Apostle Catholic Church 161 North Dean Street, Spartanburg, SC

Jewish Origins of Preaching: Crawling Into the Text
Sunday, November 13
9:00 am at Central United Methodist Church 233 North Church Street, Spartanburg, SC

The American Dream
Sunday, November 13
11:00 am at the Unitarian Universalist Church
210 Henry Place Spartanburg, SC

Scholar in Residence

Join Us for An Interfaith Meeting of Hearts and Minds with Rabbi Abie Ingber November 10-13, 2016

Rabbi Abie Ingber is the Director of Community Engagement at Xavier University, the leading Catholic university in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has lectured widely on the concerns of oppressed peoples. He is the son of a woman who escaped from Nazi-occupied Poland on Christmas Eve due to the kindness of a Christian official. He has devoted himself to being an advocate for those suffering around the world, specifically in the Darfur region.

In the fall of 2012, he logged 24,734 miles in two trips serving as the keynote lecturer at the Cameroon Muslim Student Union annual conference and at the new Museum of Dialogue of Cultures in Kielce, Poland. Rabbi Abie co-created the 2005 award-winning exhibit, A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People, which has toured over eighteen American cities.