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Meet Our Board Members – Kimberly Marcus

Kimberly Marcus Kimberly Marcus has been a member of TBA for eight years. She has been on the Board for three years, first as a Trustee and now as a Tikkum Olam Committee co-chair. She became involved at TBA by volunteering in her son’s classroom and then by slowly joining committees.  Kimberly helped to spearhead TBA’s Spiritual Walk with Rabbi Holtz.  She became an adult Bat Mitzvah at TBA in 2009.

She is also a co-VP, 8th grade in Sleepy Hollow Middle School’s PTA and a member of the Steering Committee of SCBWI’s Metro NY Region.  Through TBA, she is involved with The Community Food Pantry of Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow and the Community Coalition (C2).

Kimberly is married to Jonathan Gleit, a Civil Rights Attorney and member of Shekelvestors, the Israel Investment Club at TBA. He has also played guitar on different occasions at TBA, most recently at Beatles Shabbat.

Kimberly and Jonathan have two children. Kira became a Bat Mitzvah in April at TBA and their son Caleb was confirmed in June, 2014.  Kimberly was a professional photographer, elementary school teacher, and is currently managing her spouse’s law office.  She is also a children’s book writer.  Kimberly and her family live in Tarrytown and have a dog, cat, and a fish.

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Shabbat Greetings from Rabbi David Holtz – June 27, 2014

Rabbi David 11On Sunday I’m headed to Poland, to participate in the bar mitzvah I wrote about in the June bulletin. I’ll be in Warsaw, Bialystock, Zamosc (site of ceremony) and Krakow. I’m hoping we’ll have a chance to stop in Chelm (between Zamosc and Krakow) just to take a picture. If you’re not familiar with the Wise Men of Chelm, look them up.
My plan is to post thoughts and photos each day. I’ll put them on the TBA Facebook page, and, technology permitting, on a blog created just for this trip, http://tbainpoland.blogspot.com/. I invite you to follow along. I’ll spend next Shabbat in Krakow with the Reform congregation. I’m looking forward to telling you all about it!

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Shabbat Greetings from Stuart Skolnick – June 20, 2014

Stuart SkolnickChange is in the air. This is true literally as you read this on Friday, 20 June. It’s the longest day of the year and with tomorrow’s summer solstice we’ll have the “official” start of summer.

It’s been easy to follow the lengthening of days by watching Friday night candle lighting times. Tonight is the latest lighting time of the year. Going forward, lighting times will start to get earlier.

There are other changes taking place as well. This past Tuesday evening TBA held its Annual Congregational Meeting. An annual Agenda item is the Slate of Officers and Trustees and after the vote was taken the Temple has a new group of Officers and Trustees. Plan to attend services this evening at 7:30pm and watch as this new group is officially installed. I would also ask you to give them your support and constructive suggestions throughout the year so they have the benefit of your thoughts and input. Watch for the announcement of the monthly Board meetings and plan to attend one (or more!). These meetings are open to the congregation and any member is welcome to attend. Take an active part in the running of your Temple by volunteering to help out with an event or project or serve on a committee. There is something for everyone’s interest and new ideas and energy are always welcome. Take a moment to speak to one of the incoming officers or trustees and find out how you can participate. Everyone will be glad that you did.

Shabbat Shalom!

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Shabbat Greetings from Cantor Margot Goldberg – June 13,2014

Cantor-MargotShabbat Shalom!  It is a pleasure to welcome Tamara Reps Freeman, Benjy Povman, and Caleb Gleit to join Rabbi Holtz and myself on the bima this evening in music and prayer.  Rabbi Holtz and I have worked together, along with the Ritual Committee, to explore what prayer at TBA might sound like.  We have used our screens for a hands free service so that we can connect with those in attendance in a different way.  We have tried services with fewer spoken words to see how music touches our souls and lifts our spirits.  We tried a service where we set the prayers to Beatles’ melodies to see if the words might strike us in a different way if the melodies were different yet familiar.  Tonight we welcome these talented musicians to enhance our familiar melodies and introduce us to new ones via violins and drums.

Tamara Reps Freeman, Jen Povman’s sister, is a talented violinist with a specialty in Holocaust music and education.  She has been at TBA before as part of our Adult Education lectures and I know that this evening will be equally interesting, entertaining, and inspiring.

On another note, next Friday I look forward to welcoming Amanda Berkson, Olivia Berkson, and Hannah Monack to join Rabbi and myself on the bima as we thank our outgoing, and install our incoming, Board of Trustees.  These talented pre-b’nei mitzvah students will add harmony throughout our service . It has been a wonderful year of music, prayer, and inclusion and I want to thank all who worked so hard to learn new music, share their talents with the congregation, and lift our spirits.

Shabbat Shalom, Margot

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Shabbat Greetings from Rabbi David Holtz – May 31, 2014

Rabbi David 11“Noah,” one of several “biblical blockbusters” to come out this year, has several things in common with Cecil B. DeMille’s classic of the genre, “The Ten Commandments.”  Both use cutting-edge special effects, both add a completely invented love story to the narrative, and both demonstrate a surprising familiarity with rabbinic interpretation and midrash. But where “The Ten Commandments” is generally content to illustrate the drama and the lessons present in the biblical text, “Noah” develops some themes that are only hinted at, or even absent from, the original, such as environmentalism and the question of humanity’s place in the world.  In addition, unlike the story of the Exodus, in the Noah story there is no speaking in the biblical text, other than God’s command to Noah to build the ark.  So the screenwriter of “Noah” had the problem – and the freedom – of completely inventing the entire dialogue.  And fascinatingly, in this movie, God is the only one who does not get a speaking part.  I hope you’ll join me tonight at services for a longer discussion of the movie, its backstory, and its contribution to the already large body of commentary on the story of the Flood.

Shalom u’vracha!

(Peace & Blessings!)

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Shabbat Greetings from Stuart Skolnick – May 23, 2014

Stuart SkolnickB’chukotai, FOMO, B’midbar, M*A*S*H.

Now what could all of these things possibly have in common? Last week we read parashat B’chukotai and our chanting of Chazak, Chazak at the end signaled the completion of the book of Va’yikra, Leviticus. This week the scene will shift as we start reading B’midbar and continue in the eponymous book (Numbers in English).  And the scene has shifted at TBA as well.

I think that it turned out to be fortuitous that the Religious School bade farewell to Pam this week and we find ourselves moving in a different direction. We’re moving forward but the narrative will be different. It’s positive on all accounts as Pam has chosen her path and our search committee worked tirelessly to bring Allison in to head our school.

FOMO? I didn’t know what it meant either but whenever you have a question about the latest terms, or trends in social media, just ask Pam. Perhaps it’s because she has two teenage girls that she needs to keep ahead of or maybe she needs to be up to date to speak to her students or maybe it’s just because that’s who she is. Curious, timely, informed. And OK, I’ll tell you. It’s Fear of Missing Out. Those of you who didn’t have the opportunity to work with Pam on a daily basis as I did might have missed out but so many of you saw her in action for so many years I think that her concern, her ability, her work ethic couldn’t be overlooked.

M*A*S*H? I don’t need a show of hand to see that many of you remember this TV show or the movie it was based on. When I arrived, I needed to know the players, their relationships, who was close with whom and who was not. Pam became Radar to me since she knows everyone and how they relate to, and are related to, each other. For a newbie, that information is invaluable and Pam was always generous in sharing her knowledge of anything TBA.

So this is my opportunity to say “Thank You” to Pam for all of the wisdom and guidance that she has shared with me during my short time at TBA. Pam – I know that you will have an impact wherever your career takes you next. Along with thousands of other admirers at TBA, I’ll miss seeing you each day and wish you only success in your future.

Shabbat Shalom!

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Shabbat Greetings from Jen Povman – May 16, 2014 Chai Plus and Am Yisrael Chai

Chai Plus Candy Graphic“It feels nice to be invited.”   Six words.  Spoken to me by a congregant attending our Chai Plus Event combined with the Shuly Nathan Concert and reception this past Saturday evening.  Chai Plus is not an exclusive club, nor a committee, nor a thing to do.  It is just a subset of our TBA congregants who have been members for 18 years or longer.  And each of them received a party favor of a Chai chocolate with their free admission at the welcome table.   Capping a week chock full of seasonal celebrations and lifecycle events, over 75 TBA guests filled our Social Hall decorated in cabaret style.    In the glow of hurricane lanterns, while munching on apricots and almonds, we celebrated Havdalah. We ushered in a new week amidst caring friends of many generations.  We were serenaded by Shuly Natan, a lovely singer who brought Israeli culture and history to life with her charming narration and familiar warm, melodies including “Jerusalem of Gold.”

During intermission, Rabbi Holtz and Cantor Goldberg honored our long time members by asking them to raise their hands.  Rabbi asked, “How many of you have been part of TBA for 18 years? 20 years?  30 years?” and up until “50 years?”    After pausing for inspired applause he moved on, only to be interrupted.  “Excuse us, Rabbi, you stopped too soon.”   Indeed, we have folks who have been part of TBA for 60, 70, and even 80 years. People who have been members their entire lives.  We all chanted the Shehecheyanu in appreciation and gratitude for reaching this season.

 As I sat with Board members and parents of teens, I was overcome by this meaningful moment.  Men and women, grandparents and singles, widows and widowers, Reform, Conservative and interfaith Jews, survivors and sustainers, have all given consistently and selflessly.  Chai Plus folks have ensured that Temple Beth Abraham thrives as a Jewish community of connection, of religious learning, and practice.  And I thank you from my heart, for making it possible that our daughter, Molly has TBA, that she views as her second home, in Tarrytown, where she will soon become a Bat Mitzvah.

We then enjoyed a catered Oneg dessert reception, getting to enjoy the camaraderie. Late in the evening the room was filled with admiration and inspiration.  These three hours were among my favorite of the year at Temple.

And I know that we are all invited: to participate, to be Chai Plus, filled with life and meaning as we give– not just to a building– but to each other in this sacred community.

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Shabbat Greetings from Pam Barkley – Friday, May 9, 2014

pam barkleyWhen my girls were old enough to talk, we started a family tradition on Friday nights. At some point between lighting candles, singing Kiddush and eating challah, I’d say “OK, high/low?” And so we go around and tell each other the best and the worst parts of our week. It has always been a simple way of checking in and sharing with one another. Tonight, as we light the Shabbat candles, I know that the “high” of my week will be obvious to every member of my family: The party TBA threw for me Saturday night.

I cannot even begin to adequately explain how much it all meant to me. From the very idea of the party to the gifts I was given to the wonderful things people said about me at the event, it was all overwhelming and so meaningful to me. I have always felt like I did my very best to make our school all it could be. But to hear this reflected by you — the congregants — in so many ways, is something I truly will never forget.

So to all who planned the event, came to the party, sang to me, took out a journal ad or shopped for me, Todah Rabbah. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting your hearts into making me feel so appreciated and loved. I am humbled and honored by all you have done and know that this past week will remain on my “high” list for a very long time to come!
Shabbat Shalom!

Pamela Joy Barkley
Director of Education

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Shabbat Greetings from Cantor Margot Goldberg – Friday, May 2, 2014

Cantor-MargotShabbat shalom!  Spring is trying desperately to spring and with it comes the season for celebrations.  Join us at 7:00pm tonight for Family Shabbat Services including our High School graduation and moving up ceremony.  We say all the time that TBA is about lifelong learning and this evening we will honor our students who have chosen to continue their Judaic studies as we ceremoniously link them to our Chain of Tradition during a beautiful ring ceremony.  Several years ago Rabbi Holtz, Pam Barkley, and I created our High School graduation ceremony to include all of our High School students and to encourage our younger students to continue to learn about their heritage.  The ring that our graduates “received” when they were in 7th grade has been inscribed with their names and graduation date and we look forward to linking it with rings of past graduating classes all attached to our founders ring.  Our 8th-11th graders will once again be presented with the ring that awaits their names as they reaffirm their commitment to their Jewish studies and our 7th graders will be presented with their ring for the first time.  We are very proud of all our students and hope that you will join us to congratulate our graduates:

Emily Carter

Maxwell Freiman

Rebecca Hershman

Jack Nienaltow

Aram Peers

Hannah Prince

Madison Rifkin

Tess Weitzner

Rachel Zive

Then on Saturday night the celebration continues as we come together as a community at our annual fundraiser in honor of Pam.  If you haven’t yet RSVP’d please feel free to click here and make your reservation or just arrive at Vintage Saturday night at 7:30pm and register at the door.

The season has begun and I look forward to celebrating all of our simchas together as a community!

Shabbat shalom,

Cantor Margot

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Shabbat Greetings from Irene Metz – April 11, 2014

Irene Metz photoShabbat Shalom.  My name is Irene Metz and I am the new Clergy Coordinator at Temple Beth Abraham.
Although I have always had a connection to Judaism, it took a beginning Hebrew class some 15 years ago at Community Synagogue of Rye (CSR) to jumpstart my journey of Jewish discovery.  Now each week I look forward to Saturday morning Shabbat services.  It is my sacred time to exhale, count my blessings, talk to God, reflect on the week and think about my missteps.  The Torah discussion lead by the rabbis enables us to unravel and question the Torah portion of the week. Using ancient and modern commentaries helps bring relevance and present day meaning to the Torah.

Community Synagogue has given me the opportunity to meet new and interesting people and absorb a wealth of knowledge from the clergy. The learning opportunities are endless, but I also learned that a Temple does not run itself and that the professional staff is very important to the existence of a synagogue.

At CSR my personal volunteer involvement started small and has grown over the years.  I chaired the membership committee, served 6 years on the Board of Trustees, was a part of Reimagine, participated on search committees, and am currently recording secretary on the Community Synagogue’s Executive Committee.  When my 35 year professional career in supply chain management at Scholastic, Inc. (publisher of children’s books, including Harry Potter and Hunger Games) concluded, the logical step for the next phase of my career was to combine my prior work experience with my commitment to the Jewish community – Temple Beth Abraham seems like that perfect workplace.

My husband Jonathan and I live in Rye Brook in our almost empty nest. Our son Joshua, 26 years old, lives in Manhattan and my daughter Isabel, 20 years old, is a junior at Indiana University. I enjoy attending the ballet, theater and movies, reading, gardening, and spending time with my family and friends.

I look forward to meeting the TBA congregants and learning from Rabbi Holtz, Cantor Goldberg and the professional team.  How wonderful it is to have two synagogues to call home!



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