Spring 2010 Bulletin


Rabbi's Message

The holiday of Shabuot is not only the time of the giving of the Torah.  It culminates seven weeks of counting the omer from the second day of Pesah.  This counting is so integral to the holiday that Shabuot has no independent date in the Torah; it can be calculated only by counting fifty days from the holiday of Passover.
   In the process of counting, we pay attention to the importance and sanctity of time in our lives.  Each day is enumerated separately and independently from the one that precedes and follows it.  Each day deserves its separate ceremony of counting.  The Torah and Jewish tradition thereby encourages us to consider our use of time not merely during the period that joins Pesah and Shabuot, but all year round as well.  The holiday gives us pause to reflect on what we do with our spare time.  Moreover, it challenges us to reflect on whether we have used our time effectively with our family and our friends and in our occupations.
   The realization that time has to be cherished and that time must be sanctified is a critical component of all of our Jewish life.  It is a realization that forces us not to wait until we regret the way that we have lived certain parts of our lives.  And it can literally change the quality of our lives on a daily basis as we go forward.
                                                                                Rabbi Raymond Harari


Executive Committee

            Welcome to our newly elected committee members and executive committee for 2010 through 2012.  Many thanks to our past and current members for their selfless work on behalf of our community.
Albert M Dweck
Arthur Djmal
Elliott Dweck
Chuck Erani
Albert S Dweck
Ralph Khezrie
Chucky Dweck
Charles Suede
Eddie Baranoff
Charles Grazi
Lee Greenberg
Bernie Hafif
Michael Harari
Robert Lubin
Isaac Oved
Jack Saban
Ezra Saff
Teddy Silvera


Mr. and Albert Bale on the birth of a girl
Congratulations to the grandparents and great grandparents on the birth of their grandchildren
Mr. Sam Ifergan (girl)
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Levy (boy)
Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon Goldman (twins - boy and girl)
Mr. and Mrs. Moise Dwek (girl)
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Heiney on the birth of a grandson
Mr. and Mrs. Solomon Sayegh (girl)
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph  Sayegh (girl)
Mr. and Mrs. Danny Levy (boy)
Adam, son of Mr. and Mrs. Irwin Dayan, and Michelle, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Marcus
Joe Cohen-Arazi on the passing of his mother Miriam
Helen Grazi on the passing of her mother Sarah Sued
Kol Israel Events 
            On Sunday April 11, Rabbi Harari and 20 congregants recited the blessing on the trees normally said during the month of Nissan.
            Kol Israel is well known for our outstanding Yom Hashoah programs.  As always, Rabbi Besser led the presentation with thoughtfulness and sensitivity.  We started off by hearing Jeanette Wortmann and Michelle Djmal speak about their experiences on their Heritage trip to Poland.  The program continued with Holocaust survivor Felicia Hyatt, author of CLOSE CALLS,  speaking about her own horrific experiences.  Raised in Poland, she recounted how she managed to survive on the run and at Aushwitz under the most inhuman circumstances in history.  Thanks to Felicia Hyatt for reminding us of our past so that we can go on and face the future.  Henry Hamra ended the program by leading us in Hatikvah.  Our exceptional programs are due to the care and efforts of Jack Saban.  Thanks again for making sure we never forget.
Celebrating Israel’s 62nd birthday, this year’s Yom Haatzmaut celebration was as fun and meaningful as ever.  The shul always looks festive draped with flags and the blue and white cookies are always a favorite.  This year we had the honor and pleasure of  listening to a most eloquent speaker.  Aaron Harari gave us a very moving account of his experiences as a soldier in an  IDF tank unit in Gaza.  Aaron, a Brooklyn boy, volunteered to serve in the Israeli army for a year. After spending a year studying in Israel after high school, he felt a responsibility to give something back.  The congregation was in awe as he so clearly described his harrowing experiences and reminded us of the plight of the boys who defend our freedom every day.

           Our festivities continued with a Kiddush outside in the sunshine.  Many thanks to sponsors Emma Dayan and family and Albert M. Dweck for making this day such a success.
            The celebration continued for Kol Israel’s young adults as they participated in the All 4 One Sebbit at Beth Torah.  Rachel Erani gives us her account of the afternoon:
            On Saturday, April 17 a group of kids from different synagogues got together in order to commemorate the state of Israel. It was a youth program for Yom Ha'atzmaut (also known as "blue and white cookie day" ) where the teens of Kol Israel, Shaare Shalom, Bnei Yitzhak and Beth Torah united together to celebrate.  After praying in our own shul and taking part in our shul's program, the kids of Kol Israel walked to avenue J.  When we  got to Club 100 , I was overwhelmed with the amount of people I saw. Each person in the room, high school or college, was  an important part of making this program successful. A special thanks to Rabbi Haber for getting us involved in this wonderful program.
             We started with a delicious lunch, and the eating went on for a really long time. Then the rabbis of each shul performed a silent skit, that I think we all agreed was pretty clever.  And of course after that, it was time to eat again. So when we finished  devouring our yummy desserts, we all walked over to Beth Torah where we heard an inspiring speech by Mr. Charles Harary.  He had the crowd rolling with laughter, as he described his visit to the White House and meeting with then president George W. Bush.  But more than that, he taught us what Israel meant to us as a people, and to us as individuals.   The day didn't end there though.  Subsequent to his speech, we all went down stairs to play some games and unleash our inner "social butterflies".  It didn't matter what age we were, all that mattered was who beat who in knock hockey and who was the banana-grams champion.  When I first thought about it, I wondered what all of these fun and games had to do with Israel's Independence.  However, I realized that the purpose of this program wasn't just to goof around with our friends, it was to join together and celebrate something that many of our ancestors were not privileged to have, and that is freedom. 
            As usual, our Kol Israel book club on April 27th was a lovely and stimulating afternoon.  Joyce Matalon graciously opened her home and treated us to a delicious and beautiful lunch.  We then discussed PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen – a timeless classic novel that explores the topics of love and marriage.  Our speaker Esther Hidary clearly showed us that although written in the early 1800s, the issues presented are still current.  We all enjoyed the lively presentation.
            We are looking forward to our upcoming  summer book club when we will discuss THE PRINCE OF TIDES by Pat Conroy which will be presented by Vicki Harari. 

            Kol Israel’s annual Yachad Shabbaton is always a very special time for our congregation. Many thanks to Rabbi Besser and his students for coordinating this most meaningful project.  From organizing housing for participants and advisors to providing meals  and activities for every moment of Shabbat, this is a  tremendous effort.  An effort well rewarded by the happy faces of all involved.           
            Thanks to sponsors Joe Cohen Arazi and Irving Feldman for making this amazing event possible.

            Our annual Barbeque took place on Monday May 3, the day after Lag La’Omer, along with our popular Beit Midrash program.  As in the past, the men and women involved had a wonderful time and were thrilled with the delicacies provided by chef Elliot Chrem. Dinner was served  from 7:00 to 8:30 after our chef pulled up to the annex with his portable grill and whipped up a menu that filled up the many, many guests.  After that everyone settled down to classes.  It was a great night!  In the words of one satisfied community member, “BBQ, Burgers and a few Franks.  All the Rabbis deserve our thanks”
            Thanks also to our sponsors for this very popular event: Eddie Ash, Raymond Ashkenazi, Chabtaye Chraime, Charles Cohen, and Martin Mizrahi.

Click Here for More Pictures

We are thrilled to announce that our highly anticipated cookbook will be published this fall.  Please act now to reserve an ad to honor the cook(s) in your life.  Space is limited.
-Special thanks to Grace and Michael Cohen for their donation of a camera to be used to document and showcase events in our community. 
-The Kol Israel Youth Committee is eager for new ideas from parents and kids for activities and programs. Please contact Elliot Dweck or Jack Saban
Upcoming Events
Summer Book Club –  THE PRINCE OF TIDES by Pat Conroy presented by Vicki Harari
Fishing Trip – September
 After School Homework Helping Program 


© Kol Israel Congregation