Spring 2017

 

Temple Emanu-El Connection

Welcome to the new, digital version of the Temple Emanu-El newsletter.  If you or someone you know wishes to receive a printed version, please contact the office at 595-7521.  We hope you will enjoy our revised approach and welcome your feedback.  Please send comments to admin@shaloha.com.

__________________________________________________________________________

A Connection Editorial


By Stuart Novick

Welcome to the Spring 2017 issue of the Connection.  Our Temple newsletter has undergone quite a bit of change over the past year.  We went from being a print publication to an online one.  And from a format that featured a record of events to one that is focused on telling the Temple Emanu-El story through the voices of its leaders and members.  Why the changes?

The design change was made for several reasons.  We wanted to make the process easier for the people doing the work of putting the newsletter together.  Doing a print publication meant not only writing the articles but formatting them for print and then the time and effort of duplicating them on the office’s copying machine.  An online publication also saves us money on paper and mailing costs.

The format change came about partly from the recognition that, due to the efforts of our incredibly competent office staff and Temple members going above and beyond to contribute photos and editing help, our events have been publicized effectively through regular emailings and our Facebook page.  Those media have also provided an excellent photographic record of events and other Temple activities.

The other motivation for shifting the format was to provide in-depth writing that allows us to explore the deeper meaning of being Jewish and being members of the Temple community.  Our interviews and stories about Temple leadership and members are intended to both inform and inspire.  We hope that you enjoy the revised Connection and that you will let us know how we’re doing.

Be involved!  The Connection is happy to accept articles, commentary, letters, and feedback at admin@shaloha.com

_______________________________________________________________________________

The Rabbi on Being Jewish and Our Relationship with God

The Connection thanks Rabbi Aronowitz for taking the time for an extensive discussion about being Jewish and our relationship with God.

Q.  What is the relationship between belief in God and being Jewish?

My criteria for someone coming into Temple Emanu-El is not that they believe in God, necessarily, but that they are open to experiencing the presence of God.  If they are open to that, they can have a meaningful experience from being here.  If they are not open to that experience then they are limiting themselves.  And there is a good chance that they would wind up unsatisfied and not changed in any way.  In fact, I think whats important is for one to see God’s presence in the interaction with others rather than placing human beings on the same level as God.  Personally, Im just thankful for all that Im blessed with each and every day.

Q.  If we believe that God is not sitting on a throne somewhere judging everything we do, what is the influence of that belief on peoples actions?

I think that in some sense, God does “see” what we do, though not in a human sense.  Thats why we have the whole process of Teshuva during the High Holy Days season.  While not anthropomorphic, during the High Holy Days, each person is called to account before God.  Similarly with Passover were not just telling the Exodus story to our children. Like the chametz we get out of our homes during Passover, we can be puffed up ourselves with an unhealthy feeling of self importance and need to be reminded of whats really important.

But to go back to the question, we dont need a human form for God.  My concept of God is an energy, a force, a greater presence that is all around us.  But we have to let God in.  We have to seek that relationship.  God is not going to make a forced entry  into our lives.  Thinking we are masters of our universe is dangerous.  But there is another aspect.  God parted seas, but the people had to walk the walk.  So there is something greater than oneself.  When looking at another person if we imagine we are looking into the face of God, it will change our interactions for the better.

Q.  One can be Jewish simply by virtue of their birth.  If they never engage in any Jewish activity—Shabbat services, tzedakah, and other mitzvoth—they are still Jewish.  But without practice, how does Reform Jewish tradition look at their Jewishness?

One of the things Im concerned about is heritage.  Were connected with those who came before us through our rituals.  I dont think any of us want Judaism to become a museum.  When I saw 250 people at our Passover Seder, that speaks to whats possible.  Happy religious people are the best advertisement.  Who needs the anger?  I want our work here to be holy, different from the every day. 

Jewish education too often stops at age 13, and we get older while still basing our relationship with Judaism on that adolescent mindset.  I visit people in hospitals and one of the saddest things is to see someone laying on their death bed with no connection to their faith.  Yet, Moses taught us that we have free will, and we make our choices every minute of every day.  Sometimes those choices include not being involved in Jewish life.  But the commandments are not an all or nothing proposition.  I think one does as much as they can and then maybe do more with each passing year.

Q.  In contrast to belief, what experiences validate Gods reality for you?  How about for others you may know of?

The big matzo ball is my journey here.  If youd have asked in 1997 before I arrived in Hawaii, I would never have imagined that I would be an educator, then a cantorial soloist, and now rabbi of the Reform Jewish congregation here.  So Im convinced there was a greater power at work.  When I first arrived, I went into what I knew, which was sales.  I got part time sales jobs.  After a few months, I began to feel that it was not what I came here for.  I wound up going to services at Sof Maarav and met someone from the religious school.  I had led services in New York and was asked to lead some at Sof Maarav.  I then went on to do some teaching on Sundays and then added Wednesdays, and then became a part time cantorial soloist here at Temple Emanu-El.  In 2001 I became a full-time educator and soloist.  Later, the rabbi at that time took a 6-month sabbatical and I filled in.  The rest, as they say, is history.

As for others, I think of people recovering from serious illness or any dangerous situation.  No matter what the toughest situation you find yourself in, God can provide comfort and the strength we need to overcome the challenges life throws our way. The drug addiction crisis is another example.  People need a presence when recovering from drug problems.  No matter how we define God, I encourage people to think about the relationship.  What is our relationship with God?  Do we seek that presence, are we aware of it?  Its a question meant for us to wrestle with, not necessarily to answer and be done with.

_______________________________________________________________________________

A Look Back: Temple Emanu-El's Purim Carnival

_______________________________________________________________________________

Can Death Deepen Our Reverence for Life?

  Temple Member Linda Rose Herman

The Jewish people have a reverence for life. It is celebrated in the rituals that affirm our
relationship with God, in the smallest of everyday acts to the New Year, where we acknowledge
our faults and missteps so that we can become free to live life without the weight of our wrong
doing casting shadows over our enjoyment. This reverence for life is expressed even when we
die, with the way the body is treated and the rituals which proclaim the eternal connection our
soul has to our loved ones, the Jewish community, and the Jewish people as a whole.

One member of Temple Emanu-El has a unique viewpoint about death. Linda Rose Herman is
a pre-planning advisor for Hawaiian Memorial Park and Borthwick Mortuary. She helps
people plan for their final passage. And while some might think it is a morbid job, to Linda Rose
it is just the opposite. “What’s really morbid to me,” she said, “is if you die and nothing is taken
care of and survivors are running around trying to figure out what to do. The whole idea of
planning for your passing is to give your family space to grieve and to celebrate your life. And if
someone is single and has not created a plan, it can be even worse.”


Most of us probably know of someone who died without giving their family clear ideas of what
they wanted. It often leads to disagreements between family members and can turn an already
emotionally fraught situation into a terribly traumatic experience. With over 30 years in the
business, Linda Rose has seen families go through unnecessary turmoil and her life’s mission
remains to honor and celebrate lives and have everyone involved treated with dignity. They
have Jewish caskets and a care team familiar with Jewish burial tradition and body preparation.
The care team welcomes people chosen by the family who want to be involved in this process.

Linda Rose began her career on Maui. While she was there, the Jewish community created a
Jewish Section at the local cemetery. In 2002 she moved to Oahu. Her dream was to leave a
legacy of her career by helping establish a Jewish Section at Hawaiian Memorial Park, which
she represents. After many years of meetings with her manager and Don and Sandy Armstrong
and other members of Sof Ma’arav, Abraham’s Garden was established through the acquisition
of 100 burial spaces. Their vision and purpose is to provide the community with space for Jewish burials, and over half have already been purchased at a very fair price. For more information on how to acquire space in Abraham’s Garden, please contact Don Armstrong at 808-263-1130.

To Linda Rose, planning for and paying for one’s final arrangements makes common sense.
“We all have insurance for our car, home, even cell phone. It just makes sense to take care of
something that we know will happen.” The plans she offers through Borthwick Mortuary are
completely portable across the U.S. and Canada. There are numerous benefits included with a
plan, which Linda Rose will explain when she meets with you. As an example, the company
helps arrange for discounted air fare, lodging, and cars for people who come for services.

If you are interested in finding out more about cemetery and funeral pre-planning, contact
Linda Rose Herman at lindacares.net or feel free to call or text her at 808-864-3505.

_______________________________________________________________________________

A Look Back: "Passover on the Pali" Second Night Seder

_______________________________________________________________________________

What Does It Mean to Be A Jew?

  Temple Member Michael Fischer

If you are looking for Michael Fischer on Friday nights, he is easy to find.  Just come to services, where he has become a regular.  Everyone has their reasons for attending services, like keeping up tradition, religious obligation, Godly experience, rabbinical inspiration.  For Michael, Sabbath services represent all that and much more.  They are both the end and the beginning of what it means to be a Jew.

Born Jewish, Michael was away from its practice for 30 years.  During that time, he went to many different churches, Christian and otherwise.  He also collected books about Jewish accomplishments and humor.  Eventually, he came to the realization that there was something about being Jewish that he needed to know more about and he found himself drawn back to synagogue. 

Everything that Michael Fischer learned about Judaism was pointing in the same direction.  “The Jewish faith includes treating everyone with respect and kindness, repairing the world, valuing family and community,” he said.  “Living this way is the way to go.  We’re happier, have more friends, become more successful.  As Martin Buber wrote, each one of us is a part of the same larger cosmos of life.  The Jewish faith aspires to be in harmony with basic, universal truths.  All faiths and all of us come from the same miracle source of life.”

For Michael, the universal truths at the core of the Jewish faith are a living experience.  On Friday nights, he finds himself responding emotionally to the rabbi’s words, the music, the liturgy, the need to worship the source and feels moved hearing the Hebrew prayers.  “I feel I am with my people as I listen to the Hebrew,” he said.  “There is something very beautiful about being a Jew and living a Jewish life.  Friday night services reinforce these things.  I feel not only gratitude, but a sense of wonder.”

Michael has a somewhat surprising take about Jews and non-Jews, saying, “The Jewish religion is the foundation for two other major religions of the world.  What’s so good about being Jewish that others imitated us?  Why are we so good?  How did we do it?  What would make other people want to be like us?  Jews aspire to live an honorable, caring, responsible, social active life across various countries and times.  Think about Nobel Prize winners.  22% of them are Jewish!”

Michael feels that loving life, seeing it as precious, motivates many Jewish people to excel while celebrating the enjoyment of life in many different ways.  They become great musicians, songwriters, actors, scientists, educators, lawyers, doctors, business people, and comedians.  At the same time many remain change agents in their chosen field.  They want to make things better.  “Something in the faith itself tells us that living this way is how we thank God for being who we are and being human beings,” he said.  He also wondered why Jews are so universally disliked and avoided.

Are we hated for the same reason we’re admired?  Are others jealous of us, envious of our aspiration and commitment to bring the sacred into everyday life?  Are they threatened by our unity and unyielding devotion to our faith and to living its principles?  Is it because people can make money preaching hate?  Regardless, for Michael, “Friday night services remind me that it’s good to be alive despite being older with hurts and with limitations that I didn’t have before.  One great thing about being a Jew is being able to get together with other Jews and share our different points of view, have a nosh, laugh and enjoy our similarities and differences.  I think that underlying our sense of togetherness is our connection to the past thousands of years and to our ancestors who persistently strived to survive and prosper.  We are a faith and a people well worth knowing.”

_______________________________________________________________________________

The Deeper Meaning Of Our Temple Renovations


 Temple Member Carol Kozlovich

What is an organization to do when their facility is in need of repair but the budget isn’t sufficient to do the job?  In the case of Temple Emanu-El, you hope for a blessing and, miraculously, we got one, in the person of Carol Kozlovich. 

Carol has been a staunch supporter of Temple life for many years, having served on the Board of Trustees and been involved in several projects.  In her professional life, she is the founder and owner of an interior design company, Carol Kozlovich Designs.  As such, she is keenly aware of the way a space looks and feels and understands the details that bring about a sense of contentment as well as what might create discomfort.

Carol’s work with the Temple’s space began some ten years ago with the motorized rolling shades in the library.  The next project came about when she felt the restrooms were not up to par.  It took three months, but in the end the Temple had a remodeled women’s restroom with a vanity and stools covered with fabric.  The budget also allowed for a little sprucing up of the men’s restroom, painting the stalls, improving the lighting, and generally freshening it up.  A few years later, a much bigger project presented itself:  the bima and the fans and lights in the sanctuary.

The Temple had the budget for materials, and Carol, determined to make it happen, donated her expertise and her time.  She started with the carpeting on the bima and discovered that after 50 years, the padding had disintegrated and become part of the wooden floor.  Her installer was on his hands and knees for days scraping off the old carpet to get to the smooth wooden floor.  He did all the work himself, saving the expense of bringing in a crew.  Then there was the carpet itself.

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

            Carpet pad that had embedded itself into wood                                     Using articulated lift to change fans and
           floor of bimah had to be hand scraped to remove                                                    lights in the sanctuary


“The installer told me that this was the toughest carpet installation he’d ever done,” Carol said.  “There is a repeat design to it, so pieces have to be matched exactly.  Add the fact that there is not a square corner anywhere on the bima.  Plus there are steps.  I do think that the installer is a genius, because the carpeting is perfectly matched.”  In addition, Carol sourced the best quality possible from the mainland, so the carpeting is not only beautiful, tying in with the carpet on the floor and the fabric on the seats, it should last for another 50 years.

When it came to the walls of the bima, Carol got bar and bat mitzvah parents together to contribute the funds for the paint.  Once the paint was purchased and the project was ready to go, she brought in her painter, who’s worked for Carol for 15 years.  He was concerned about leaning the ladder against certain places in the wall.  There was some termite damage and he didn’t want any cave-ins.  But he was skilled enough to properly place the equipment to avoid any problems.

The bima walls are not flat.  Every 2 – 3 inches there is a groove and paint had to go inside of every groove.  In addition, paint brushes had to be attached to poles to catch the high parts of the walls.  The whole process was time consuming and laborious, but it turned out beautifully.  The walls, which were faded into a grayish green, are now a fresh, attractive white.

Carol was able to maximize the money and get enough paint to do the side walls near the memorial plaques.  She selected a pleasing shade of apricot to complement the bronze.  “It makes the memorial plaques look even richer,” said Carol.  “And it makes the room look fresh and works well with the teal seats and carpeting.”

The last part of the remodeling project was the ceiling fans.  That was tricky, according to Carol, because most people would want to bring in scaffolding.  The problem is, that whenever this is done, there is always some damage.  To prevent it, seats would have to be removed.  But doing that meant working with bolts that were rusted and carpet that was a bit fragile.  Her solution:  a hydraulic crane, or cherry picker.  She had used one for a bank remodel that involved a 3-story space. “I figured it would work just as well for us, as long as we were extra careful,”
Carol said.                                                                         

Using the cherry picker, her crew was able to get the fans replaced in two days, which is record time for a job of that size.  There were no accidents and no damage.  The sanctuary is now blessed with new units that generate more air from the fans and have better lighting as well.

Carol Kozlovich is a Temple member who is providing us all with an excellent example of what it means to be a role model when it comes to mitzvoth for the Temple.  She saw how her company, Carol Kozlovich Designs, could make a difference, not only for the membership, but for all who attend events at Temple Emanu-El. 

       
Cleaning around each stained glass window and painting the frame Bimah walls with old paint and new

_______________________________________________________________________________

Contributors' Listing

GENERAL TEMPLE FUND
Betsy Staller in memory of Freda Staller
Steve Edwards in memory of Rabbi Morris Goldfarb and in Honor of Rabbi Micah Greenstein
Marilyn Stern
Fran Margulies
Arnold Feldman in memory of Philip Feldman
Celia King in honor of the anniversary of Diane Farkas and Larry Steinberg
Celia King in honor of the birth of Josiah and Connie Lebowitz’s son
Celia King in honor of the birth of Michael and Cynthia Lebowitz’s grandson
Frank Fernandez in honor of Hanukkah
William and Karlyn Pearl in memory of William Emden Pearl and Sara G. Pearl
Jackie Foil in memory of Gustav Haak, Idalie Foil and Sophie Hillman
Diane, Gerald and Garry Umeda in memory of Tate Edwards
Jackie Foil in memory of Tate Edwards
Lester Hoffman in memory of Bertha Hoffman
Jackie Foil in memory of Marty Kogan
The Jewish Film Festival Committee in memory of Marty Kogan
Ruth Freedman for the yahrzeit of Armin Nagel
Dan and Renee Hartenstein
Carol Kozlovich and Beth-Ann Reed Kozlovich in memory of Larry Lee Reed
Steven Edwards in memory of Edith Edwards
Evelyn Hiu
Richard Rosen in memory of Anne Rosen
Rosemary and Larry Mild in memory of Luby Pollack and Harry and Elizabeth Bragarnick
Leonard Rossoff in memory of Bessie Rossoff
Frank Fernandez in honor of Passover
Kenneth Marcus in honor of Regina Fasberg Haak
George and Sandy Apter in honor of Albert L. Apter
Gary and Raleigh Cohen in honor of Mike Washofsky’s Birthday
Samsil Yun Cannon in memory of Glenn Cannon
Daniel Singer in memory of Gloria Singer
Alexis Friedman in memory of Harry Julius Freedman
Alex and Naomi Weinstein in memory of Abraham Weinstein
Marcia and Lenny Klompus in memory of Jeffrey Robert Cherner
Leah Gold in memory of Morris H. Gold
Andrea and Bob Snyder in memory of Morris Simon
Lynne Halevi in memory of Fannie Grossman and Isaac Alevy


FAMILY PROMISE
William and Karlyn Pearl in honor of their grandchildren Matteo and Luca Bazzan

GAN PRESCHOOL
Cantor Emerita Regina Y. Heit in memory of Marion Cohen Yarchever
Renee Shain in memory of Sonia Ashendorf

GAN PLAYGROUND AREA FUND

 


BUILDING FUND



LEVINSON-KRUPP MEMORIAL LIBRARY
William and Karlyn Pearl in honor of the Temple’s faithful librarians
Jean Hankin-Jones in memory of Mae Hankin and Dr. Norman M. Hankin
Jean Hankin-Jones in memory of Fred Goldblatt
Alice Lachman and Barry Langlieb in memory of Leyah Brosbe, mother of Anita Mueller
Barry Langlieb in memory of Edward Langlieb


SJS SCHOLARSHIP FUND
Rosemary Mild and Larry Mild in memory of Miriam Luby Wolfe
Diane Farkas and Larry Steinberg in honor of Jaden Devere’s Bar Mitzvah
Diane Farkas and Larry Steinberg in honor of Tyler Devere’s Bar Mitzvah
Diane Farkas and Larry Steinberg in honor of Jackson Giannasio’s Bar Mitzvah
Diane Farkas and Larry Steinberg in honor of Noa Ulansey’s Bar Mitzvah

Diane Farkas and Larry Steinberg in honor of Joe Steinberg’s Bar Mitzvah

 

SJS


RABBI’S DISCRETIONARY FUND
Larry Mild in memory of John Mild
Robert Solomon in memory of Iona Duval Solomon
Arnold and Brenda Widder and Felice Valmas in memory of Shalom Ginsburg
Diane Farkas and Larry Steinberg in memory of Tate Edwards
Diane Farkas and Larry Steinberg in memory of Marty Kogan
Polina Druker in memory of Manya Zeltsman
Lenny and Marcia Klompus in memory of Herman Klompus
Jackie Lau in memory of Hannah J. Mild and Herta Frosch
Larry Mild in memory of Hilda Mild
Rosemary and Larry Mild in memory of Marty Kogan
Subhasis Das and Janice Das for Tu B’Shevat Service
Kathy Krammer in memory of Robert Krammer
Sid and Becky Rosen in memory of Judie Rosen
Pamela Blackfield in memory of Cecilia Blackfield
Mimi and Reuben Levy in memory of beloved daughter Dina Levy
Stuart Novick in memory of Jehiel Novick
Cherye Pierce in memory of Leon Rosenzweig
Jerry and Vanny Clay in memory of Ruth Clay
Dora Sapiro in memory of Norman Sapiro
Jerry and Vanny Clay in memory of Rose Cohen
Rabbi Heather Miller and Beth Chayim Chedashim in honor of Bea and David Haymer and the Congregation
Martha Katz in memory of Josephine Neuberger
Evelyn Davis in memory of Wilma Vogel
Polly Khalife in memory of Freddi Khalife
Leah E Gold in memory of Rudolph Gold

 

RABBI MORRIS GOLDFARB FUND
Karen Blackfield in memory of Leland Blackfield
Bob and Sally Garner in memory of Dr. Harry H. Pitluck


JEWISH COMMUNITY SERVICES

 

KITCHEN FUND
 

FOODBANK
Carie Sarver of HRID

MEN’S CLUB
Marc. Hodes
Dr. Stanley and Marie Satz

_______________________________________________________________________________

Credits:

Stuart Novick, editor, writer

     Stephanie DeMello, layout and production

     Larry Steinberg, photographer

Diane Farkas, proof reader

Thu, June 22 2017 28 Sivan 5777