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October 2012 Kol Shalom

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October 2012 Issue of the Kol Shalom


    JOURNEY TOBETH SHALOMCantor Elisa shares herjourney to become aHazzan and part of ourBeth Shalom family.P3

    WASCOLUMBUSJEWISH?Join us on Friday,October 12 at 8:00pmand find out the facts.P14

    SHAKE YOUR LULAV!ITS SUKKAH TIME!Join us for dinner on Friday,October 5 or Saturday,October 6 for Havdalah!Details inside.P2


    FINDING YOUR PLACE IN THE SUKKAHWhen the Conservative Movement was founded in the early 1900s in theUnited States, the Movements founder, Solomon Schechter, referred to it ascatholic Israel.I put the c of catholic is small case so you would understand that Schechter wasnttalking about the Catholic religion. Rather, he was using the word in its less-knownform, meaning all-inclusive. In creating the Conservative Movement, Schechterwanted to form a big sukkah, if you will, where every Jew in America would find aplace to dwell.In our attempt to create an accepting, embracing, inclusive Jewish community atCongregation Beth Shalom, we too are trying to stay true to Solomon Schechtersoriginal vision for our Conservative Movement. We want to make our metaphoricalsukkah wide enough so that whether you are gay or straight, an empty-nester or ablended family, old or young, a davener or a kibbitzer, intermarried or FFB or a Jew byChoice you will be at home here.

    Every subcommittee of the Board of Directors welcomes your input. You can email our president, Karin Karel [email protected] and she can plug you in based on your talents and interest. If you have a little spare time and youwould like a volunteer opportunity, you need look no farther than our Executive Director, Merrill Dorph,[email protected] or call 302-654-4462 ext. 16, Our Hazzan, Cantor Elisa Abrams, is looking to expand our adultchoir, get children involved in a youth choir, and welcome teens as Torah readers. We also need musicians for our SimchaBand for Simhat Torah, 7:00pm, Monday, October 8. If you are interested, or want to put on a play, a musical, or attendJewish-themed plays or musicals in the area, drop her a line at [email protected] or call 302-654-4462 ext. 13.The best way to find your way under the sukkah, to really feel welcomed by the community, is to get involved, to get someskin in the game. I am looking for congregants to attend our August 2014 Israel Trip, to Mentor, to Volunteer with theHomeless, to become Foster or Respite Parents. If any of these social action and Israel programs sound interesting, I amreached at [email protected] or 302-654-4462 ext. 11.Meanwhile, please let us really join together under our community sukkah, on Friday night, October 5, for a Shabbatdinner at the synagogue (details later in this Kol Shalom) or Saturday night, for Havdalah at my familys sukkah, onOctober 6th, starting at 7:00pm. For the Havdalah, we are asking you to bring your best home made deserts, while wewill provide fresh veggies, hummus and tahina, healthy fruit and cheese, hot cider, and Israeli wine. Following Havdalah,we will put on a good old-fashioned kumsitz, singing some of our most beloved Israeli folk songs (and maybe someAmerican ones as well). You can find us just off Mt. Lebanon Road, at 611 Berwick Rd., in Edenridge.Come join us under our sukkat shalom, our tabernacle of peace, as we make room for you under an ever-expansive,inclusive sukkah.

    Rabbi Michael Beals


    DID YOU KNOW?Congregation Beth Shalom is a member of the Vaad HaKashruth of Delaware, the local kashrut authority in the State ofDelaware. This allows our kitchen to prepare kosher dairy or meat items which members of our community can enjoy.

  • WHAT AN AMAZING WEEKEND!From Shabbat Under the Stars to Hebrew School,

    from the Open House to Kugel Mania, andeverything in between many thanks to everyonewho came out and joined us! Special thanks to

    Mark Lipman for all the great photos!


    THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!T ransition, for the most part, is a difficult process. At Congregation Beth Shalom, we recentlywent through a rather lengthy transition process as we said goodbye to Cantor Ruth Ross andhello to Cantor Elisa Abrams. We were very fortunate to have many individuals whovolunteered their time and efforts with this transition. The Board of Directors and the ExecutiveCommittee, spent many, many hours performing their entrusted duties. However, there were anumber of non-Board member congregants who volunteered to assist the Congregation in what weknew would be a difficult, and at times very emotional process. We want to thank and acknowledgethe following individuals for all that they did on behalf of and for the benefit of our Congregation:

    Lisa Elliott, Ruth Siegel, Jessica Imber, Steve Colton, Diane Wolf, Anita Sobel, Fran Freeman, Judy Lewis, Ethan Solomon,Karen Moss, Elisha Caplan, Jerome Nachlis, Ceil Roth, Caryl Marcus-Stape, Michael Sigman, Dan Berkowitz, BonnieZahn, and Stacey Friedland. We are very fortunate to have each of these individuals as members of our congregationfamily.Many other congregants have likewise been involved with welcoming Cantor Elisa and showing her and her fianc LorenCasuto around the Wilmington area. We thank everyone for your participation in this process and welcome our new hazzan,Cantor Elisa.Peter Burcat, Immediate Past President


    MENS CLUB MINUTEBig, Really Big! Monday Night Football - November 5, 2012 at 8:30pm - Join the CBS Men's Club to watch theEagles-Saints game at Theater N, 1007 N. Orange Street in downtown Wilmington. Movie theater-size screen, greatsound system, comfy seats. What more can you ask for? Admission and popcorn are FREE. Snacks and beverages areavailable for a nominal charge. Be sure to visit our website - http://www.bethshalomwilmington.org/mensclub


    OUR SYNAGOGUEMY JOURNEY TO CONGREGATION BETH SHALOMMy journey began twenty-seven years ago in Los Angeles. Perhaps it was mybeautifully diverse background that inspired me to want to live my lifeglorifying G-d through Jewish music and learning. Let me explain...My mother was born in Havana, Cuba and generations ago, her ancestors came from Spain.During the Spanish Inquisition, they fled to Turkey, and eventually made their way toCuba. When Fidel Castro entered the scene in Cuba, my grandfather along with many otherJewish Cuban men left Havana in search of work in New York City, foreseeing what wasabout to happen to their beloved Cuba. Recently, my grandfather explained how heart-breaking this task was, so much so, that those fellow Jews who left Cuba cried as they left,fearing it would be the last time they would set eyes on the home they loved so dearly.Sadly this became a reality for many of those who fled. When my grandfather found workin a factory in the garment district, he sent for my grandmother, aunt, and mother. Theywere fortunate to be able to leave, as painful as it was. They said goodbye to their tropicalparadise for a big, gloomy, New York City. Eventually, they made their way to LosAngeles.

    My father was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His parents fled Nazi Europe and made a home for their family inArgentina, only to learn that the Nazis had followed them after the war had ended. Their life in Buenos Aires was one ofwealth and luxury, and although everything seemed to be going right, they were plagued by anti-Semitism. So, when theywoke up with swastikas painted across the front of their Buenos Aires home, they knew they had to leave their wealthylifestyle and move elsewhere, leaving everything behind. They literally decided to flip a coin between Los Angeles andMexico City, two cities with thriving Latin Jewish communities, and Los Angeles won. They became American citizens andnever turned back.Being a Latin Jew adds what I like to think of as an additional dimension to my identity. Being a Latin Jew of SephardicAND Ashkenazic roots means often being called a mutt, or hybrid, or my personal favorite, an Ashkephard. It meanslearning Spanish before English as a baby and then thinking in a combination of Spanish, English, and Hebrew as I gotolder. It means having Passover seders in Ladino with Spanglish conversations mixed in. It means walking in to my Cubangrandparents` house on Rosh Hashanah (which they pronounce as one word, Roshanah with a rolled r) and beinggreeted by the phrase, para muchos anyos, literally meaning for many years, instead of l`shanah tovah. It means recallingsweet memories of my Argentinian grandmother holding both my twin sister and me in her arms, calling us her shaynamaidelen or my Argentinian grandfather saying he was determined to live to see our b`not mitzvah, even if it meant hewould have to be transported in an ambulance. Being a Latin Jew means sometimes making sacrifices and compromises atthe dinner table. On occasion, Cuban black bean soup, chimichurri, or fried plantains replace matzah ball soup, lox, orchopped liver. Being Latin and Jewish means greeting other Latin Jews with the phrase, Shabbah Shalom on Shabbat,instead of the typical ShabbaT Shalom, simply a pronunciation difference that we laugh about in my family. On a dancefloor, I could easily feel inspired to dance a horah, tango, or salsa. Being Latin and Jewish means listening to old recordingsof the Sephardic vocal legend, Shoshana Damari, or getting teary eyed at the memory of holding my Argentiniangrandmother`s hand tightly when I was a little girl as she sang God Bless America at the top of her lungs, meaning everyword of it with all her heart. After all, it was because of America that her family escaped the Nazis.When I think of my Jewish journey, I find it impossible to do such a task without referring to this unique part of myidentity. Since I was

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