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Volume 34, Number 3
November 2014
Volume 31, Number 7
Cheshvan/Kislev 5775
March 2012
Adar / Nisan 5772
Services Schedule
All phone numbers use (510) prefix unless otherwise noted.
Monday & Thursday
Morning Minyan
8:00 a.m.
Friday Evening (Kabbalat Shabbat) Chapel
6:15 p.m.
Shabbat Morning
Sanctuary 9:30 a.m.
Exception: we will begin 9:00 a.m. the Thursdays of
Sukkot, and Shemini Atzeret.
Candle Lighting (Friday)
November 7
November 14
November 21
November 28
4:46 p.m.
4:40 p.m.
4:36 p.m.
4:33 p.m.
Torah Portions (Saturday)
November 1
Lech Lecha
November 8
November 15
Chayei Sarah
November 22
November 29Vayeitzei
is proud to support the Conservative
Movement by affiliating with The United
Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
Advertising Policy: Anyone may sponsor an issue of The
Omer and receive a dedication for their business or loved
one. Contact us for details. We do not accept outside or
paid advertising.
The Omer is published on paper that is 30% post-consumer
The Omer (USPS 020299) is published monthly except
July and August by Congregation Beth Abraham, 336
Euclid Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610.
Periodicals Postage Paid at Oakland, CA.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Omer, c/o
Temple Beth Abraham, 336 Euclid Avenue, Oakland, CA
© 2014. Temple Beth Abraham.
The Omer is published by Temple Beth Abraham, a nonprofit, located at 336 Euclid Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610;
telephone (510) 832-0936. It is published monthly except
for the months of July and August for a total of ten issues
per annum. It is sent as a requester publication and there
is no paid distribution.
To view The Omer in color,
visit www.tbaoakland.org.
Mailing Address
336 Euclid Ave. Oakland, CA 94610
M-Th: 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Fr: 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Office Phone
Office Fax
[email protected]
Gan Avraham
Bet Sefer
Rabbi (x 213)
Executive Director (x 214)
Office Coordinator (x 210)
Bet Sefer Director
Gan Avraham Director
Bookkeeper (x 215)
Custodian (x 211)
Kindergym/Toddler Program
Volunteers (x 229)
Mark Bloom
Richard Kaplan, [email protected]
Marshall Langfeld
Rayna Arnold
Virginia Tiger
Susan Simon 663-1683
Barbara Kanter 763-7528
Kevin Blattel
Joe Lewis
Dawn Margolin 547-7726
Herman & Agnes Pencovic
Vice President
Vice President
Vice President
Vice President
Mark Fickes 652-8545
Eric Friedman 984-2575
Alice Hale 336-3044
Flo Raskin 653-7947
Laura Wildmann 601-9571
JB Leibovitch 653-7133
Susan Shub 852-2500
If you would like to contact the committee chairs, please contact the
synagogue office for phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
Adult Education
Dues Evaluation
Endowment Fund
Gan Avraham Parents
Gan Avraham School Committee
Israel Affairs
Men’s Club
Public Relations
Social Action
Torah Fund
Women of TBA
Aaron Paul
Warren Gould
Leon Bloomfield & Flo Raskin
Susan Shub
Herman Pencovic
Susan Shub
Toni Mason
Gary Bernstein
Stephen Shub
JB Leibovitch
Ulli Rotzscher
Jeff Ilfeld
Rachel Dornhelm
Laura Wildmann
Lisa Fernandez
Eric Friedman
Alice Hale
Marc Bruner
Anne Levine
Molli Rothman & Jessica Sterling
Phil Hankin
Adult Ed
Nitzhia Shaked
continues with her series on
November: 2, 9, 30
December: 7 and 14
which concludes the series!
Harlan Simon’s
Flamework Class
November 16, 12:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Studio One Art Center in Oakland
Reservations are required.
We are limited to 16 participants, age 16 or older.
Cost is $30 per person.
Email [email protected] for reservations.
The Friendship Circle
Friendship Circle programs present families of individuals with special needs and teen volunteers the
opportunity to form real friendships
within a non-judgmental and supportive community.
Teen Scene:
Teen Scene is a semi-monthly, one and a half hour
program on Sunday evenings for teens with special
needs to join with loving teen volunteers for a fun,
educational group experience.
The program begins with a light dinner and is followed
by an hour of activities and Jewish discussion. Teens
enjoy various activities, which include dancing, basketball, yoga, drum circle and more.
For more information, including Teen Scene dates,
please contact Devorah Romano, [email protected]
PJ Library Events for Families
(Children ages 2-7)
Come enjoy these wonderful free family events!
November 2, 3-4:30 p.m.
In Concert with Isaac Zones & Melita Silberstein
December 7, 3-4:30 p.m.
Puppeteer Diana Schmiana
All events will be held at the
Contra Costa Jewish Day School
955 Risa Road, Lafayette
Dec 14, 2014
Hanukah Celebration with TBA
May 1-3, 2015
TBA Camp Retreat
Planning is underway!!
Kindergym Sunday Play Days with Dawn
Nov 9 & 16, Dec 7 -- Details on page 14
See additional WTBA sponsored Adult
Education activities on page 6.
Comfortable Anywhere in the World
Wherever you go there’s always someone Jewish
You’re never alone when you say you’re a Jew
So when you’re not home
And you’re somewhere kind of ‘newish’
The odds are--don’t look far-‘Cause they’re Jewish, too.
Some Jews live in tents and some live in pagodas
And some Jews pay rent ‘cause the city’s not free
Some Jews live on farms in the hills of Minnesota
And some Jews wear no shoes and sleep by the sea.
Amsterdam, Disneyland, Tel-Aviv--Oh, they’re miles apart
But when we light the candles on Sabbath eve
We share in the prayer in each one of our hearts
These lyrics were written approximately 30 years ago by Rabbi Larry Milder, who is now the
Rabbi of Congregation Beth Emek in Pleasanton. They creatively and joyfully express the idea
of how a Jewish community can make you feel right at home no matter where you are in the
Whenever and wherever I travel, I try to find the Jewish community there, see their synagogues,
compare their local customs, and get to know some of the people. I know many of you do as
It’s one thing to derive comfort from knowing there is a Jewish community in places you visit,
but it’s another thing to actually feel comfortable inside the various synagogues. My goal as
a rabbi and teacher is for the children who grow up at Temple Beth Abraham to have enough
knowledge to be comfortable at any synagogue in the world—Conservative, Orthodox, Reform,
or other. I want our kids to know enough about our traditions, the Hebrew language, and our
sacred prayers so that they will never be lost in any Jewish synagogue experience.
For better and worse, our society is a mobile one, and many of our kids will not settle in the
area in which they grew up. So our religious school functions around giving our students Judaic
skills they can take with them anywhere. Education Director Susan Simon and her staff do a
fabulous job of turning this vision into reality. This summer, Eva Sasson, one of our Hebrew
School graduates now in her early twenties, remarked to me that she “felt so lucky to have
grown up at TBA.” She cited this very reason; she felt comfortable in just about any prayer
So if your children complain just a little bit about how they don’t want to go to Hebrew School
or aren’t learning anything, trust me and trust our alumni—they are. They are building prayer
and Judaic skills that will last them throughout their entire lives.
Rabbi Mark Bloom
“I would like to share with you something very important to me. Yom Kippur morning I went down to the TBA Social
Hall. It was a remarkable sight to see the room was full of parents and kids. The Rabbi and Micah were telling stories
about the Bible and reading from the Torah. The kids were very involved.
It warmed my heart to witness how our Rabbi is involved with the kids.”
From, Misia Nudler
American Jerusalem – Jews and the Making of San Francisco
by Mark Fickes
I grew up in San Francisco in a family that was decidedly non- religious. I attended an
Episcopal Grammar school that was 40 percent Jewish. Many of the Jewish kids I knew
growing up were just like me. We didn’t go to synagogue, we had Christmas trees, and we
had families that were strongly Zionist. We all knew we were Jewish but had no connection
to Jewish observance and out main connection to the greater Jewish community was the occasional visit to the SFJCC in Laurel Village.
Much later in life when I became more interested in traditional observance, I often wondered
whether my family and the others I knew were some strange anomaly. Recently, I was watching PBS and stumbled across a great show called American Jerusalem – Jews and the Making
of San Francisco. It was fascinating because for the first time, I realized that my experience
growing up in San Francisco was not that unusual at all.
If you haven’t seen it, I urge you to watch American Jerusalem for it really provides insight
into the unique character of the local Jewish community. It tells the story of San Francisco
from the Jews of the area. Thousands of Jews were among those who rushed to California
during the Gold Rush, some born in the United States, but many who came from Central
Europe. Like everyone else, Jews sought riches—but they also hungered for something more:
the opportunity to shape a new life for their families and their people.
In San Francisco many Jews found tremendous opportunity because San Francisco was brand
new. Unlike many cities in America where Jews had to fit into an existing power structure,
the Jewish pioneers of San Francisco forged their own institutions. These Jews were able to
transform themselves from poor peddlers to successful merchants. Jews were accepted in
San Francisco and thus had a tremendous impact on the history of the City. With tremendous
acceptance, however, came challenges to Jewish cultural norms and identity. San Francisco’s
Jews were searching for a balance between maintaining their age-old ethnic identity and
becoming something new - an American - a process experienced by all who immigrate to
America. The San Francisco Bay Area Jewish community remains different from many other
Jewish communities in the United States--more diverse, secular, and open, with a lower rate
of synagogue attendance and a higher rate of intermarriage. Yet, we are strong and committed. Whether you’re a native San Franciscan like me or someone who came to the Bay Area
later in life, I urge you to take a look at American Jerusalem. You’ll be sure to see a little bit
of yourselves in the film.
Please Join Us for Morning Minyan
on Mondays and Thursdays
Join the regulars at our Minyan service, each Monday and Thursday usually
starting at 8:00 a.m. The service lasts about an hour, and is really a great way
to start the day. As an added bonus, breakfast is served immediately afterwards.
To use the old expression – try it, you’ll like it. If not as a regular, just stop in
once or twice and see what it’s all about.
Eggs mit Onions breakfast November 27, 10 a.m.-ish, TBA Social Hall
after minyan. What could be better on Thanksgiving morning than minyan followed by a hearty oneg that
we prepare for YOU. It’s the tastiet of Men’s Club traditions: a fabulous meal that always includes eggs and
griddle-carmelized onions. What will we prepare this time? Shakshuka? Morning burritos? French Toast and
Scrambled Eggs? Bring the family and find out! Note: morning minyan on Thanksgiving starts at 9 a.m.
Growing up Jewish in Rural California
by Rachel Dornhelm
We are very lucky to have a wonderful community here at TBA where we share many of the
same Jewish values and have a wide support system for one another.
It’s not something I take for granted.
I grew up in rural Humboldt County in the far north of California. There was a wonderful
but tiny Jewish community there in Eureka. It was entirely lay led, and encompassed every
denomination. There were the traditional Reform members - generally the families of the merchants who moved up there to open stores to service the timber industry in the 1920’s.
Then there were a few families like my parents who were from orthodox backgrounds and
jobs brought them to this more off-the-grid outpost in the early 1970’s.
Finally there were the Humboldt State University students who would come through and
brought many influences from the growing Reconstructionist movement of that time.
Some of the challenges of growing up there were logistical. For instance, we were the only
kosher family in a 250 mile radius. It meant bringing coolers full of meat back whenever we
took trips to the big city (San Francisco), or else having the kosher butcher in Los Angeles
ship big boxes of frozen chicken our way if we wanted meat for shabbat dinners.
But those were more external challenges. In retrospect, I realized that I learned a very personal sense of Judaism. It revolved largely around the traditions of my family and it wasn’t something I shared with a lot of people. In a way, that private element made it extremely meaningful. Friday nights were not sacred in the same way for almost anyone else I knew.
After moving down to the Bay Area and living in cities on the East Coast I realized how much
of Judaism revolves around sharing the traditions and joys with a wider group of people.
We are very lucky at TBA to be part of a synagogue that celebrates the broad, diverse community it is a part of while also nourishing the Jewish identity and values that bring us together
in the first place.
December Omer Theme: Hanukkah photos from past years
We cheerfully accept member submissions. Deadline for articles and letters is the seventh of the month preceding publication.
Editor in Chief Rachel Dornhelm
Managing Editor Lisa Fernandez
Layout & Design Jessica Sterling
Calendars Jon Golding
B’nai Mitzvah Editor Susan Simon
Cover Gabriella Gordon
Help From People like you!
Jessica Dell’Era, Nadine Joseph, Richard Kauffman, Jan Silverman,
Debbie Spangler
June Brott, Jessica Dell’Era, Charles Feltman, Jeanne Korn, Anne Levine,
Stephen Shub, Susan Simon, Debbie Spangler
Copy Editors
Distribution Hennie Hecht, Herman and Agnes Pencovic
Mailing Address 336 Euclid Ave. Oakland, CA 94610
E-Mail [email protected]
Six Word Memoirs from TBA
The birth of the year 5775.
For the High Holidays, Susan Simon asked families to
send in “six word memoirs” on what Rosh Hashana and
Yom Kippur mean to them. The succinct thoughts are listed below. That got us thinking. We’d like to put together
a book of six word memoirs from our larger community,
and we’ll print them, one month at a time, in the Omer
until we have enough to compile a book.
Our connection is deeper with community.
Please send your six word memoirs to [email protected]
org with the word “six word memoir” in the subject line.
Please include your name and your age, because part of
the beauty of the book will be seeing how we feel about
Judaism at different ages. The theme of all these memoirs
should be Judaism – they don’t have to be about the High
Holidays. We reserve the right to not print any based on
editorial judgment.
From anonymous TBA congregants:
Shabbos smells: roasting chicken, bubbe’s cigarettes.
My acts can dignify another’s humanity.
My kids’ behavior in shul: abominable.
Soccer games on yontif – oy vey.
Sentimental longing for my childhood synagogue.
Honoring mother and father: It’s hard.
Bernie Madoff, Roger Sterling-- Jews. Shanda.
Wish husband felt more Jewish.
Dreaming of Susan Simon’s potato latkes.
Israel- we don’t agree. (Avoid topic.)
Hope to be buried near grandparents.
Why no rollerskating rink at TBA?
Learning to become a bat mitzvah.
Shul, Holidays, Awesome, Latkes, Omyn, Maccabees!
Holidays are fun, love being Jewish!
My all-time favorite holiday is Purim.
I play guitar for Shabbas prayers
It’s awesome to be the rabbi.
Singing fun songs together every day.
A big community that’s braided together.
A family that is glued together.
Temple Beth Abraham, Happy New Year.
Sleeping in the sukkah is fun.
Judaism is kindness to all people.
I love Hanukkah and all holidays.
Giving people tzedakah money, food, clothes.
Hanukkah eight presents instead of one.
Hebrew songs make me feel special.
People, culture, funny, happy, knowledge, food.
Synagogue, kippah, bat mitzvah, Jewish-star, God.
Temple, songs, colorful, stars, white, Torah.
When people get hurt, help them.
Be Menschy. Makes you feel good.
Don’t do sins. Be loving always.
Bar Mitzvah: study, prayer, celebrate, done!
From Lisa Fernandez, Milah Gamon and Noah
I’ve sinned this year, forgive me.
Apples and honey, yum yum yum.
I promise to be nicer, sis.
I promise to be nicer, bro.
I promise to be nicer, kids.
How can Jews be better today?
In coming issues!! Submit to [email protected]
The Six-Word Memoirs on Jewish Life is a partnership
between Reboot (www.rebooters.net) and Larry Smith.
In November 2006, writer and editor Larry Smith issued
a challenge to fans of his online publication, SMITH
Magazine. Inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s legendary
shortest of short stories (“For sale: Baby shoes, never
worn”), Smith asked readers to describe their lives in
six words. Since then, the Six-Word Memoir® made
its debut in 2006, nearly one million short life stories
have been shared on the storytelling community SMITH
Magazine website.
Elohai, please respond to our prayers.
Discover Your Genealogy: WTBA Member Event
Sunday, November 23, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Temple Beth Abraham Social Hall
All WTBA members are invited to join us for an afternoon of exploring
your family’s roots. TBA member Carole Robinson, an genealogist
extraordinaire, will lead us through a tutorial on tracing your genealogy.
If you haven’t yet had a chance to join this year, now’s the time so you
can share in this afternoon of discovery.
RSVP: Esther Rogers [email protected] or www.womenoftba.com
Renew or Join WTBA today!
For more info contact:
Jo Ilfeld [email protected] or www.womenoftba.com
Join us for WTBA’s
Sponsered by WTBA & Ruach Hadassah
Girls Night Out
Timbrels and Torahs
Israeli Wine &
Chocolate Pairing
Baum Youth Center, 341 MacArthur
On behalf of The Women of TBA (WTBA) and Oakland
Ruach Hadassah, we would like to invite all East Bay
Women to join our Rosh Chodesh group. The group
meets monthly on the Monday closest to Rosh Chodesh,
from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at rotating members’ homes. The
meetings are facilitated by members of the group.
Girls Night Out is a casual, monthly event to
gather TBA women together for relaxed and
unstructured social time. Drop in on the first
Thursday of each month to chat, laugh, debate,
have a glass of wine and some light goodies, and
get to know each other better. No need to bring
a thing! Meet old friends, and make new friends.
There’s a different mix, vibe, and conversation
every month. Come check it out!
Questions: [email protected] or
[email protected]
Questions? Contact Amy Tessler at [email protected]
net or (510) 482-1218 to obtain the reading materials
and get on the distribution list for the upcoming meeting locations.
Thursday, November 6
7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Monday, November 24, 2014
This month, we will take a break from our book Taste
of Text by Ronald H. Isaacs. This book is an introduction to the study of talmudic and midrashic materials.
Rabbi Isaacs addresses sixteen topics of religious and
personal importance. The meeting will open with a
short discussion about the significance of the month of
Fom Being a Bakersfield Jew to AIPAC
by Daniel Klein
As a “West Coast Jew,” the first 18 years of my Jewish
life were spent in Bakersfield California, a city with a
little over 400,000 people in California’s Central Valley.
While there were two synagogues made up of around
200 affiliated Jewish families and 200 un-affiliated ones,
relatively speaking there was no Jewish life other than the
one created by my parents. With two grandparents who
survived the Holocaust on my mom’s side and a descendant of Captain Alfred Dreyfus (from the legendary
Dreyfus affair in France) on my dad’s side, there was no
shortage of family conversation about the importance of
a strong Jewish identity and the consequences that ensue
when Jews can only rely on others to have their best
interests in mind. My “West Coast” Jewish experience
consisted of my grandparents, aunt, uncle, cousins and
immediate family having family Shabbat dinner together
almost every Friday. My mother, determined to help us
connect with our Jewish identities in an area that was and
is not Jewish, would come to our school and explain the
different Jewish holidays to our class. Possibly because
of this, our family was “featured” lighting a menorah
in the local newspaper’s explanation of Hanukkah one
year. Despite growing up in a very Gentile community
that grappled with minor anti-Semitism at times, I really
enjoyed growing up in Bakersfield and experiencing the
“Western” Jewish life we created in the Central Valley.
Growing up as somewhat of an outsider in the local
“mainstream” gentile culture of the Central Valley, I
never anticipated how life could be different when one
continued on page 16
Men’s Club Upcoming Events
submitted by Jeff Ilfeld
Poker night 7 p.m., November 13 in the Baum Building. Questions and RSVP to Phil Hankin at [email protected]
Eggs mit Onions breakfast November 27, 10 a.m.-ish, TBA Social Hall after minyan. What could be better on
Thanksgiving morning than minyan followed by a hearty oneg that we prepare for YOU. It’s the tastiet of Men’s Club
traditions: a fabulous meal that always includes eggs and griddle-carmelized onions. What will we prepare this time?
Shakshuka? Morning burritos? French Toast and Scrambled Eggs? Bring the family and find out! Note: morning
minyan on Thanksgiving starts at 9 a.m.
Jews in Bad Shoes bowling 7:30 p.m. Thursday Dec. 4, Alameda’s Southshore Lanes. Knock down a few pins and
share pizza and refreshments with old and new friends. To get in on the bowling fun, RSVP to Howard Zangwill at
[email protected]
Young Parent Chavurah 1 p.m. Sunday December 7, location TBD, sponsored by the Men’s Club with snacks and beverages. Hey parents and toddlers: Like eating other people’s cookies? Enjoy watching professional sports? We thought
so! Join the Young Parent Chavurah for a cookie swap and enjoy your treats during the 49ers – Raiders game. Bring
your “A” Game cookies, brownies, or bars and the recipe (or box) to share. We’ll nosh on the goodies while cheering
on the game and you can go home with new dessert ideas just in time for Chanukah. To join, please reach out to Jessica
Klein at [email protected] or Lauren Smith at [email protected]
Jewish Heritage Night at the Warriors 7:30 p.m. December 22 vs. the Sacramento Kings. Celebrate a night of
Hanukah and winter break from school with the gift of basketball. $32 per ticket includes commemorative scarf.
Questions and RSVP to Jereme Albin at [email protected]
Erev X-mas movie sing-a-long and dinner co-sponsored with the Women of TBA, December 24, time TBD. Singers
wanted; no talent required! It will be a joyful evening for all ages this year featuring last year’s favorite movie Frozen.
Come join us while we sing our way through the movie while enjoying a delicious no-cost meal. Questions and RSVP
to Rob and Esther Debare at [email protected]
Men’s Club family game night Sundown, January 17. Welcoming individuals and families of all ages, we’ve revived
a classic Men’s Club event for this winter. Come ready to play and bring your favorite game to start after we celebrate
Havdala together.
Member’s Only Super Bowl party February 1, time TBD in the Baum Bldg. The Men’s Club Board wants to show
its appreciation for your support by hosting our members and their immediate families to a front row seat at this year’s
Super Bowl. This is a no-cost event; just show up, enjoy the game, the commercials, the camaraderie, and the plentiful
food & drinks. Clear your calendar and watch the most viewed television event of the year with friends, family and the
Men’s Club. TBA is the place, don’t miss out!
Dreidel AZA built it:
WTBA learned in it:
WTBA Board adorned it:
Bet Sefer shook the lulav in it:
Are You Sure That’s a Jewish Meal?
by Shira Levine
Here’s what growing up Jewish in Georgia was like:
The day after Pesach, when you show up with your lunch of leftover brisket, squash casserole (sprinkled with matzo
meal), and sweet potatoes (from the tzimmes), your coworkers ask you, “Are you sure that’s a Jewish meal?”
Every holiday meal, from Pesach to Rosh Hahannah to Thanksgiving, is served at 2 p.m. and is called “supper.”
All your holiday wishes are inflected on the correct syllable, like “L’shana TOV-ah! Gut YOUNT-iff!”
You refer to the Christian Lord as “Yushkie.”
When the Braves are in the World Series, its okay to tell the High Holiday congregation the score from the pulpit.
Being a Jew in Wisconsin, Minnesota and More
by Elinor DeKoven
As a rabbi’s daughter, we traveled quite a bit. When I was going to school back east, it was always so difficult during
the high holidays as I did have to be absent from classes on all the holidays. If there were Jewish kids in my classes,
(of which there were few), I was the only one who took off for both days of Rosh Hashannah and Sukkos, both the
first two and last two days; and Pesach. It was really tough in high school, but more difficult in college as most of
the first exams fell on Rosh Hashannah or Yom Kippur. We lived in Appleton, Wisconsin; Rochester, Minnesota;
Pittsburgh, Pa; Louisville, Ky; Atlanta, Ga; and Coral Gables, Fla. My children ran into the same problems growing
up in San Leandro. There were no Hebrew Day schools when my children were growing up. How wonderful it is to
watch the children of TBA who do attend these schools and don’t have to worry about being excused from class or
being conspicuous by their absence during our wonderful Jewish holidays.
Editor’s note: In last month’s issue the Rabbi included ten Jewish books he suggests reading á la the
“Facebook Ten Books” meme. We invited others to
contribute their thoughts. Here are two lists that came
in. If you have one of your own, please submit it to
[email protected] or mail to the office address
and we will publish it in the next Omer.
List One
From Gerald Hertz, who says “there are others as well,
but this is a start.”
Isaac Asimov - his Foundation series
Irving Stone - Men to Match the Mountains, Sailor on
Norman Mailer
Franz Kafka - The Trial
Arthur Miller - Death of a Salesman
Chaim Potok - My Name is Asher Lev
Harry Kemelman - the Rabbi series
Philip Roth - Goodbye Columbus
Herman Wouk - Marjorie Morningstar, the Winds of War,
War & Remembrance
Faye Kellerman
Art Spiegalman - Maus
List Two
From Alice Hale
The Rabbi’s list of ten memorable Jewish books in last
month’s Omer was thought provoking, and I thought I
would share my list of ten Jewish books that have stayed
with me. It was hard to keep it to ten, but perhaps some
of these are unusual – and if I can encourage anyone to
read any of them, terrific. It is, of course, highly subjective. Many of these books I read before I became Jewish,
(the list is somewhat chronological, I converted between
#’s 6 and 7) , and in a way it can be seen as a map of my
journey to becoming Jewish.
1. Book of Jewish Holidays. I don’t know the name of
this book, or who wrote it, but when I was very small,
maybe 5 or 6, my mother and I checked out a book about
Jewish holidays from the library and she read it to me. As
a result, Judaism never seemed very strange or unusual
to me. A good lesson in the power of introducing young
children to different cultures and beliefs. And decades
later when I married a Jewish boy, I already knew the
basics about Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah.
2. The Abandonment Of The Jews: America and the
Holocaust by David Wyman. This book forced me to
seriously reevaluate our country’s performance during
World War II; we might have won the war, but we lost
the moral battle that resulted in the death of six million
Jews. It is also the book that made me understand the
need for the existence of the state of Israel.
3. Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk. I’m sure
many of you are rolling your eyes at this one. I was a
huge Gene Kelly and Natalie Wood fan, I’d seen the
movie, I was a drama major, so I decided to read this
book – which I ended up devouring over a long weekend
during college. I’ve come to believe Wouk is a terrible
misogynist, but still this book told me a lot about what
happened to the children of Jewish immigrants when they
left the Lower East Side for the Upper West Side, and
how a “nice Jewish girl” faced the challenges of the modern world.
4. The Winds of War and
5. War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk. Epic
novels of World War II, starting from before Germany
invaded Poland and ending after V-J day. Despite the fact
that Wouk judges the women in his story harshly, these
books really give you an idea of the scope of this era, and
particularly the way the events of the Holocaust developed. There is a discussion of the Book of Job in War and
Remembrance that has really stayed with me. The military history is also quite interesting.
6. Deborah, Golda and Me by Letty Pogrebin. A story
of how to be a feminist and a Jew. I remember how
shocked I was that Pogrebin seemed to be really unapologetic about, for instance, resenting Christmas.
7. Wanderings by Chaim Potok Another epic, a history
of the Jewish people. For getting a sense of the scope of
the history of Judaism, told in a poetic and heartfelt manner and from a distinctly Jewish perspective, I highly recommend this book.
8. Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the
Five Books of Moses by Bruce Feiler. In this book, the
author sets out to go to the actual places where the events
of the Torah took place. He interviews scholars, archeologists, anthropologists, tourists, pilgrims and goes through
a spiritual transformation of his own as he comes to realize the power of these stories, particularly when seen in
the context of the land where they took place. A great
book to read before a trip to Israel.
9. Absolute Convictions by Eyal Press. Press’ father was
one of the few abortion providers left in Buffalo, New
York after Bernard Slepian was killed by an anti-abortion
sniper. This story, subtitled “My Father, a City, and the
Conflict that Divided America” is a both a personal memoir about a young man from an Israeli family growing up
continued on page 21
Tallit Tidbits
by Susan Simon
I love looking at the different tallitot
that I see during services at TBA and at
other synagogues. We are all familiar
with the blue and white or black and
white striped tallitot that are standard in
our synagogue. But look around during
daytime services – we have tallitot of
every color, of many different shapes,
sizes, fabrics. And there are even differences in the tzitzit themselves – most
are all white, but we see more and more
blue threads woven into the fringe. And
some tallitot have fringes that are different from the long tzitzit. So after
looking at all of these differences, what
makes a garment a “kosher” tallit?
Historically, tzitzit were places on each of the four corners of a man’s clothing. The tzitzit were and are made
from strings that have been purposely woven for the
purpose of being tzitzit, making common yarn unacceptable for this purpose. The tzitzit start with a knot and end
with a knot, and on each fringe, there are 5 knots, some
say because they represent the 5 books of Moses, some
say because they represent the 5 senses, and still others
say because they represent the words in the Shema (yes, I
know it has 6 words, but it is said that the word Echad is
represented by the windings between the knots).
Interestingly, the Torah does give us any guidance on
the tying of tzitzit – it was the Rabbis who determined
the configurations that you see today. The windings on
each tzitzit refer to the binding of ourselves to God, or to
God’s unity which binds everything together. Each tzitzit
is made up of three threads of the same length and one
that is longer called the Shamash. The Shamash is the
one that is used to make the wrappings.
A tallit can be made of any material, although until
recently, wool was preferable because was used in biblical times. You cannot make a tallit that has both linen
and wool in it (look up the rules of shatnez and then if
you can understand the reasons for it, be sure to tell me!).
When do we wear a tallit? Only during morning services, seven days a week. This is because the Torah
says that you shall see the tzitzit and they shall remind
you of the commandments. Before electric lights, this
wasn’t possible during evening services. There are two
exceptions – we wear our tallitot on Kol Nidre and for
Erev Simchat Torah.
One of the things I love about the tallit is the numerology
attached to the tying of tzizit. There are 4 corners on a
tallit, 5 knots, 8 strings, 39 windings, and 613 commandments that we are supposed to remember. Somehow, this
doesn’t quite add up. But it does! In Gematria, each letter of the Hebrew alphabet has a numerical equivalent,
e.g., alef =1, bet=2, etc. By adding up the number equivalents in the word “tzitzit” we get the number 600. We
have 5 knots, plus 8 strings on each corner which equals
13 – and that’s how we get to 613. But, of course, there
is another way to look at it. There are 39 windings on
each tzitzit. Some people believe that this stands for the
phrase “God is one” (Adonai echad) which has a numerical equivalent of 39. Each of the tzitziot has 8 strings (4
x 8 = 32). If you write out the number 32 with Hebrew
letters, it is “lamed vav” which spells the Hebrew word
lev which means heart. Some believe that this represents
our eternal yearning and drawing toward God.
Two more quick things: Most of us used to the
Ashkenazi method of tying tzitzit – that’s what is used
on all of our synagogue tallitot - but there is also a beautiful Sephardic custom that is very different – you can
find a video of it on Youtube. And lastly, while you can
find a large variety of beautiful tallitot at our wonderful
Afikoman Judaica store, you can also have your own,
custom made tallit by Outi Gould, getting to select the
colors and materials and many other details. Check out
her website if you are interested: customtallit.org.
B’Tayavon: Shakshouka 101
by Faith Kramer
Shakshouka (also shakshooka or shakshuka among other
variants) is said to mean crazy, all mixed up, and truly it
has become a favorite of those who have tried it either
here or in Israel and it has been growing in popularity.
It’s one of those dishes that has had its own diaspora and
has morphed as it has spread. This egg dish began as an
Ottoman stew. It migrated across Arab lands, was transformed by the foods of the New World and became popular in Northwest Africa. Jews had their impact on the dish
as well by cooking the onions in olive oil. Immigrants
brought this light entrée to Israel where it is popular for
breakfast, brunch or even supper.
Alice Hale had her first taste of shakshouka in Israel
at the famed “Dr. Shakshuka” in Jaffa. Amazing, what
a treat even on a hot day! Even at a tiny food stall in a
mall in Jerusalem, what a great breakfast!”
Hale makes the dish at home now, based on a version in
the “cookbook Jerusalem, but I don’t add as much spice.
I prefer kind of a sweeter, tomatoey base. I make it with
orange or yellow peppers too. I like to serve it with really
good French bread or if I am really industrious, homemade pita. I try to use only really good, organic eggs too.
It is one of the few meals everyone in my family will eat.
I make it for supper more often than breakfast, actually.
Funny, after eating it in Israel, I suddenly started to notice
it on menus all over the place. Even Beauty’s Bagels on
Telegraph serves it now!”
Carol Robinson and husband Art Gould also had their
first taste of shakshouka in Israel.
“Art and I first had shakshouka during Art’s first year of
rabbinical school. Not in the beginning since the Yom
Kippur War started six weeks after we arrived and all the
eggs went to the soldiers. After the war shakshouka became
a go-to dinner. Nothing fancy – tomatoes, peppers, onion,
spice with the eggs on top. We served ours on rice.”
I first discovered shakshouka in a roundabout
way when I needed to come up with a representative
Israeli recipe for one of my j weekly cooking columns.
Shakshouka with its history and adaptations seemed like
just the dish.
There are probably as many ways to make it as there
are people who cook it or ways to spell it. Some versions substitute mushrooms or spinach for the peppers.
Some keep to just tomatoes and or tomato sauce. Others
scramble the eggs into the vegetables and sauce instead of
cooking the whole eggs on top. Many add some cumin or
paprika to the seasoning mix. Needless to say, it is very
versatile and accommodating and always delicious.
For example, Bryna Ross skips the tomatoes many consider traditional.
“I use red peppers. I slowly sauté them in olive oil, garlic
and lots of hot paprika before adding the eggs,” she said.
I’ve never made my own version of shakshouka the
same way twice. Sometimes I’ll add chopped kale or
chard to the sauté. Other times I’ll add a few pinches of
ground cumin or sub smoked paprika for regular paprika.
Sometimes I’ll add tomato sauce, other times I don’t. It’s
partly what I feel like and partly what I have in the pantry
and refrigerator.
I use 12 quail eggs instead of the six chicken eggs when
I’m making this for a crowd and there will be other dishes
so individual portions will be smaller. The tiny quail
eggs ensure everyone can get some of the pan-cooked egg
with their serving.
I’ve even made a vegan version (see recipe).
I like to serve this with fresh pita bread or, like Hale, with
crusty French bread. I think it would be delicious (and
gluten free) over polenta as well. Top with plain yogurt or
sour cream if desired and a sprinkle of herbs.
Pass with hot sauce, fresh salsa, sriracha, Asian chiligarlic paste, North African harissa, or Yemenite z’hug for
added zing.
Email me at [email protected] and let me know how
you make/like your shakshouka. I’ll try to include your
input into any updates.
For December, the Omer will be discussing latkes. Be
sure to send me your tricks, tips, stories and recipes for
this Chanukah favorite. Send tips and favorite recipes to
[email protected]
Serves 4-6
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 ½ cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups 1/4” thin slices of red and or
green bell peppers
1 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
¼ tsp. dried ground oregano
2 cups ½” cubes of tomato
6 eggs
¼ cup minced fresh parsley and or mint
Heat oil in 12” skillet over medium high
heat. Add onion, sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic, sauté a minute. Add bell peppers,
paprika, salt, black pepper and oregano.
Sauté for 7 minutes. Add tomatoes and
sauté for 10 minutes. Smooth top of stew,
using a spoon to make six indentations.
Break an egg into each indent. Lower heat
to medium low and cover pan. Cook eggs 3-4
minutes. Remove lid, sprinkle with fresh
herbs. Serve directly from pan.
Serves 4-6
To make shakshouka vegan, I put cubes of
tofu (use firm or medium firm) in the stew
and heat them through just before serving. I like the softer steamed cubes in
this version, but you could also brown the
cubes first in 2 Tbs. oil, remove from the
pan, cook the recipe as directed and add
in the browned tofu as below.
Serve with crusty bread or pita. Also works
well on top of pasta, rice or grains.
2 Tbs. oil
1 small onion, chopped
5 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. cumin
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
5-6 roughly chopped tomatoes
1 large red pepper, chopped
1-8 oz. can tomato sauce
1Tbs. or more to taste, Yemenite hot
relish (z’hug) or harissa or chiligarlic paste
3-4 cups chopped kale or other greens
1 lb. rinsed and drained tofu (but not
pressed), cut into about 24 cubes (see
Heat oil in large sauté or fry pan. Cook
onions until beginning to brown and add
garlic. Sauté until garlic turns golden.
Stir in cumin, salt and pepper and sauté 1
minute. Add tomatoes and red pepper, sautéing until peppers are beginning to soften (add a bit of water or vegetable broth
if needed). Add tomato sauce and z’hug or
other hot relish. Mix well. Sauté until
simmering. Add in greens, once they have
begun to wilt, add tofu and cook until
greens are done and tofu is heated through
(adding water or broth as needed to keep
it slightly “saucy”).
Serve with a drizzle of hummus and a
sprinkle of fresh herbs (parsley, mint or
cilantro) if desired.
Note: I rinse and drain the tofu, but
don’t weigh it down (press) to get it
to drain further. I cut the tofu cake in
half horizontally then cut the halves into
cubes. Too large the cubes are hard to
eat, too small and they will disintegrate
into the sauce.
Makes 10 breads
Make the dough up to two days ahead. These
are thicker and tangier than supermarket
pitas. Thanks to Rose Levy Beranbaum’s
“The Bread Bible” for the inspiration on
how to time-shift my recipe.
1 package (2 ½ tsp.) yeast
1 1/3 cups of 110 degree water
1 tsp. sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. vegetable oil, plus extra
Mix yeast, water and sugar and set aside
for 5 minutes until foamy. Mix flour, salt
in large bowl. Add yeast mixture and oil.
Combine. Knead in bowl until a rough dough
forms. Knead dough on a lightly floured
surface (or in a mixer with dough hook)
for 10 minutes, adding flour or water as
needed to keep dough pliable and smooth.
Oil 3 quart bowl or other container. Press
dough into bottom. Oil top of dough. Cover
container with plastic wrap and refrigerate
for 8 hours or up to 2 days. (Dough should
double in size.) One hour before baking
turn oven on to 500 degrees and place a
baking sheet on a rack at the lowest point
in the oven. Place a second rack as high
as possible. A half hour before baking,
place a pan with 1” of water on the top
rack of the oven. Remove dough from refrigerator, roll into 10 balls and flatten into
disks. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rest 20
minutes. Roll disks into rounds just less
than ¼” thick. Let rest 10 minutes. Place
rounds 2-3 at a time on hot baking sheet.
Bake for about 4 minutes until puffed but
not browned. Remove from oven, cover with
towel. Let oven reheat a few minutes before
repeating with next batch.
Get Involved at the Gan
by Barbara Kanter
Preschool at Gan Avraham often is the gateway to Jewish
life and community for young children and often their
families. Some families had been active TBA members
as couples before children, and other families return to
(or begin) their affiliation to the Jewish community after
children arrive. Jewish early childhood education introduces and builds the foundation for a strong Jewish identity for young children.
Calling all parents of babies and toddlers! Want to
connect with other parents of young children at TBA
for some low key schmoozing, fun baby-friendly
activities, and Shabbat luncheons? Then join our
Chavurah for some casual fun!
November 8 - Potluck Shabbat
On Saturday, November 8, we will have our first
Shabbat event. Join us at 2:30 p.m. for a post-nap,
potluck dairy Shabbat luncheon hosted by Chavurah
parents Lauren and Matt Smith at their home in
To sign up for an event or to get updated about
our future Chavurah happenings, please reach
out to Jessica at [email protected] or Lauren at
[email protected]
December 7 - Cookies and Football
Hey parents, babies and toddlers: Like eating other
people’s cookies? Enjoy watching professional
sports? We thought so! Join the Young Parent
Chavurah for a cookie swap on Sunday, December 7
at 1 p.m. in the Baum Youth Center and enjoy your
treats during the 49ers vs. Raiders game. Bring
your “A” Game cookies, brownies, or bars and the
recipe (or box) to share. We’ll nosh on the goodies
while cheering on the game and you can go home
with new dessert ideas just in time for Chanukah.
Special thanks to the TBA Men’s Club for sponsoring this event! To join us, please reach out to Jessica
Klein at [email protected] or Lauren Smith at
[email protected]
An integral and special aspect of the Gan experience is
the opportunity for the families to become involved in the
community. There are Gan events and activities throughout the year to plan and attend. We have already had
Back to School Night, Share a Shabbat and Supper in the
Sukkah. Share a Havdalah is later this month. There are
the monthly Shabbat Mishpacha services and many more
TBA activities and events.
Active involvement and participation create community and personal friendships. This community involvement today creates the future memories for you and
your children.
with Dawn for Under 3s
Temple Beth Abraham Social Hall
10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.
$12 per family
November 9
November 16
December 7
Come join our community of diverse families for our
32nd year for climbing, sliding, ball pit, fire engines,
water play, playdough, rocking horses, parachute,
songs, bubbles, and all of you will make new friends!
Priced per family; siblings under 3 welcome!
Please share this info with your entire parenting
Contact Dawn with any questions at (510) 547-7726
Kindergym with Dawn for ALL families
Less Stress, More Routine at Bet Sefer
by Susan Simon
In November we find ourselves in that funny time of
year. The months of Elul and Tishrei bombard us with
Jewish celebration. First we spent time contemplating the
previous year during Elul, hoping that the sound of the
shofar will awaken us to be better people. Then with the
High Holy days of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, even
deeper contemplation, more reflection, more determination to do better this year. Sukkot provided us with more
opportunities to celebrate with family and with friends, to
eat wonderful fruit and vegetables, to be grateful for our
And now we are in the month of Cheshvan, sometimes
called Mar-Cheshvan. We still celebrate Shabbat every
week, but otherwise, we have no special holy days
for either celebration or mourning. It is said that the
great flood that Noah and his family survived started in
Cheshvan, and that King Solomon finished building the
second Temple in Cheshvan.
But what it means to us at Bet Sefer is that we are finally
in the swing of our routines. The children in Mechina
know where their classrooms are and how to get to and
from music with Rabbi Bloom. The children in Alef,
Bet and Gimmel have gotten into the routine of Hebrew
Through Movement with Adi Shacker where they are
learning to follow commands entirely in Hebrew. It is
so fun to sometimes see them ordering each other around
using their new vocabulary.
In Kitah Dalet it is great to see the children using new
technology in class – using iPads and computers to rein-
force Hebrew reading skills (thank you again to Gerry
Hertz for donating two iPads to the school!). We are
excited to watch their progress and happiness with the
Our students in Kitahs Hay and Vav are making fast progress with their t’fillah skills, the 5th graders working on
the Friday night service, and the 6th graders working on
the Torah and Musaf services. Have you ever wondered
how the students end up so proficient in leading prayers?
All of the prior learning comes together in these two
years so that our graduates are life-long prayer literate –
they never need feel like outsiders in a synagogue!
Our 7th graders are probably in L.A. right now with
Rabbi Bloom, experiencing the Museum of Tolerance,
Beit T’shuva, the American Jewish University, and, of
course, Disneyland. This is a wonderful bonding experience that solidifies good relationships between the
students, leading, we hope, to involvement in our youth
group as they continue through middle school and high
So while some people look at the Jewish calendar and
lament that is the month of Cheshvan with nothing to celebrate, those of us in education rejoice that routines are in
place, expectations are set, and everyone has finally settled
in. So if I look less stressed these days, THAT’S why!
Please Join Us for
TBA’s Youth Services
Shabbat Mishpacha
for preschool-aged children
and their families.
Kitah Gimmel classroom.
November 1 & December 6, 10:15 a.m.
T’fillat Y’ladim
for children in Kindergarten,
1st & 2nd grade & their families.
In the Chapel.
November 1 & December 6, 10:15 a.m.
Junior Congregation
Mmmm...what does
the etrog smell like?
for children in 3rd-6th grade.
In the Chapel.
November 15 & December 20, 10:15 a.m.
Give a new parent an hour to shower
This is a perfect mitzvah for those with daytime
flexibility. Volunteers are needed to provide
short daytime sits free of charge to our new
moms and dads allowing them to shower, get a
haircut, or just take a walk.
Interested sitters should contact us at
womenoftba@ tbaoakland.org.
Feed the hungry
TBA volunteers at CityTeam to feed the hungry on
the fourth Sunday of each month from 5-7 p.m. If
you wish to volunteer contact Caren Shapiro to sign
up at [email protected]
Shabbat Fun and Games
We would like to invite 3rd – 6th graders to
join their friends in the Baum Youth Center
following Shabbat services
Dates coincide with Junior Congregation:
November 11, December 20, January 17,
February 21, March 21, April 18, May 16
Welcome a New Member
After the service, join together for Kiddush
in the social hall. Enjoy Lunch and then have
your parent walk you over to the Youth
Center and check in with the Chaperone!
Men’s club, continued from page 7
Have fun with Shabbat appropriate
games and activities…
basketball, board games, jump rope,
foosball, ping pong, or even just shmooze
Do you have time to help deliver TBA’s new
member baskets? If so, please contact Virginia at
virginia@ tbaoakland.org
lived and worked in a Jewish community. While I lived in
Los Angeles, arguably the center of Jewish community on
the West Coast, I felt comfortable being Jewish, but I was
never employed at an institution that actively supported
my being Jewish. Now, for the first time in my life, as
someone working for the American Israel Public Affairs
Committee (AIPAC), I do not have to ask for Rosh
Hashanah and Yom Kippur off or be required to explain
to an employer why I prefer not working on Shabbat.
Previously, I always had to make the case to get the day
or even a few hours off so I could go to High Holiday
services. Whether it was at school in Bakersfield, college
at UC Santa Cruz, or graduate school at Pepperdine, I
had to ask permission to miss class or explain why it was
unfair to have to have my paper completed two to five
days before my peers did because I wanted to observe
the Holidays. In a welcome contrast to this, the AIPAC
offices shut down for major Jewish holidays without any
fanfare. At AIPAC, for the first time, I am not penalized
for being a Jew. It is a feeling that is hard to explain,
but something I appreciate every Shabbat and during the
holidays. On top of that, we have found a home among
the TBA community. This experience has changed what
it means for me to live as a “West Coast Jew.” While I
cannot speak to the “East Coast” Jewish lifestyle, this has
been my “West Coast” Jewish experience so far.
➢Drop off: When children arrive they should check
in with the chaperone at the Youth Center.
➢Parents can enjoy the Kiddush, please stay on
campus while your child is at Keflanu.
➢Pick up: parents should pick up their child at the
Youth Center. Just let the chaperone know your
child is leaving. Please pick up by 1:15 p.m.
La’atid If you are a 4th-7th grade parent this
year, your child is automatically a member of
La’atid “To the Future”.
We have monthly events which tend
to be both social and socially conscious.
To RSVP or questions, contact your trusty advisors, Dina & Phil Hankin at [email protected]
Next event: Laser Tag, November 16
Chessed Day for TBA Youth
Phil and Dina Hankin led the October La’atid youth
group event in conjunction with Bay Area Chessed Day.
The kids had fun helping out with B-I-N-G-O at The
Reutlinger in Danville.
Photos by: Molli Rothman
B’nai Mitzvah
Yael Berrol, November 22, 2014
Hi, my name is Yael Berrol, and I’m in 8th grade at Montera Middle
School. My favorite subject is English. I enjoy dancing, reading, traveling, going to Camp Ramah, and spending time with my friends.
The Torah portion at my Bat Mitzvah will be Toldot. It is about Jacob
and Esau. I will be reading the section where Jacob deceives his father
and steals the blessing. In my drash I will be talking about intuition and
maturity. I am excited to celebrate with my friends, family, and the
New Members
Loren & Elise Perelman. Children Cassius, Vivienne, August
Allen & Ellen Rubin
Annette Bourget
Daniel Levinsohn & Yulia Rozen. Daughter Lila
Sarah Cohen
Andrew Meklin. Daughters Irene and Federica
We would like to introduce you to the TBA community in an upcoming newsletter. Please send a short
introduction of you and your family, with a digital photo, to [email protected] Thanks!
Cover artist: Gabriella Gordon
Gabriella studied her Masters of Fine Art at Konstfack,
or University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in
Stockholm after three years of of art studies in Paris,
France. Her work is usually mixed media depending on
what she feels she want to express. Gabriella usually
works with abstract pieces. She has worked in glass,
ceramics asphalt, cement, silicone, video nylon stockings, and fabric and acrylic.
Sally Ann Berk
William Joseph Kunis
Gary Rosenblum
Sophie Cohen-Kleinlerer
Jason Klein
George Zimmer
Jordan Alva
Isaac Kaplan
Alden Cohen
Marci Gottlieb
Noah Goldstein
Kevin Bergman
Angela Engel
Lila Levinsohn
Benjamin Teitelbaum
Jason Swartz
Matthew Gildea
Ruby Rosenberg
Karen Schoonmaker
Charles Bernstein
Robin Disco
Joel (Ben) Goldstone
Leonard Katz
Eden Jasmina Maidenberg
Stephanie Roach
Shira Sanghvi
Matthew Smith
Jordan Steiner
Daniel Nathan
Ethan Silberzweig
Risa Stiegler
Anna Applebaum
David Berman
Raphael Breines
Hannah Hodess
JoAnne Robb
Hannah Friedman
Talia Paulson
Penny Righthand
Sophia Sparks
Zachary Sparks
Joanne Bessler
Brendan Edesess
Jueli Garfinkle
Talia Jaffe
Zoe Sterling
Moira Belikoff
Rafael Brinner
Milah Gammon
Jeremy Goldman
Molly Hersh
Scout Kauffman
David Marinoff
Jessica Klein
Casey Baum
Harriett Feltman
Peter Gertler
Eliza Hersh
Marc Horodas
Debra Perrin Coltoff
Jeremy Simon
Cole Bloomfield
Joel Garfinkle
Justin Graham
David Joseph-Goteiner
Amy Kittiver-Kay
Ethan Klein
Sandy Margolin
Joshua Wittenberg
Ezra Kotovsky
Talia Kotovsky
Michael Maidenberg
Laura Wildmann
Eli Posamentier
Aron Rosenberg
Marshall Wildmann
Jacob Zimmerman
Danna Gillette-Pascal
Natalya Zatkin
Abraham Barnes
Zoe Graham
Laura Grossmann
Nathan Levine
Steven Pascal
Etta Heber
Lori Morris
Casey Shea Dinkin
Leyla Brinner-Sulema
Stacy Margolin
Paul Silberstein
Annie J. Schwartz Strom
Laura Tucker
Maya Weiss
Demetri Adams
Jonah Rosenberg
Pavel Slavin
Toni Mason
Is your birthday information wrong or missing from this list? Please contact the TBA office to make corrections.
May God comfort you among all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem
November 1-7
Richard Balint
Loren Siegel
Mildred Stone
Annette Barany
Esther Brodke
Jack Dobrushin
Henry Garfinkle
Henry Schmulowitz
May Shane
Elizabeth Dienstag
Jules Gevertz
Jack Litwack
Rosebud Silver
Herman Spritzer
Harry Cohen
Marcus Jacob Klein
Herman Bernard Kraft
Monroe Mendel Piser
Isaac Sevi
Ann Gertrude Shapiro
Fred Kastel
Rabbi Herbert Morris
Kenneth Rotman
Paulette Sevi
Yeshuah Sinai
Caroline Falkenberg
Barbara Korin
Fagge Tova Kuff
Norman Bookin
Nitza Kleinlerer
Clarence Markus
Simring Okh
Lena Snow
November 8-14
Zohra Benisty
Paula Dickman
Ruth Feldhammer
Julius Goldberg
Roger Martin
Marion Weller
Molly Bluer
Morris Lasar
Mary Louise Tenery
Helen Wasserman
Ida Lazerwitz
Morris Mauskopf
Rosa Quittman
Emma Shaffer
H. Rowland Carter
Nathan Engleberg
Sidney Rosenthal
Chaim Brzozowsky
Karl Kraus
Bertha Rosenblatt
Lillian Davidson
Herszel Herszman
Benjamin Mutnick
George Wasserman
Yehuda Breslov
Martha Schwartzman
Jeanette Gohd Taylor
Dorothy Wood
November 15-21
Bertha Heimy
Sarah Morofsky
Hilda Kessler
Anna Ramek
Isadore Scheinberg
Meyer Schulack
Bill Biglovsky
Frieda Levine Jacobs
Isadore Scheinberg
Bernard Hodess
Gertrude Lazar Landy
Herman Rosenthal
Geraldine Turchen
Myer Cohen
Alfonse Feibelman
Samuel Felberbaum
Joseph Malnick
Max Pactor
Hezghia Saidan
Mervin Gochman
Rose Kontrovich
Henrietta Cherry
Morris Isaacson
Arthur Myers
Daniel Shaffer
Penina Turner
November 22-28
Samuel Ash
Sam Clar
Sarah Epstein
Irene Elizabeth Flick
Marvin Goldberg
Bernard Kasdan
Helmut Stein
Sara Stevens Zorowitz
Irving Goldman
Stanley Hershman
Recent Deaths in Our Community
Susan Fischer, mother of Michelle (James) Bricker
Patricia Nightingale
Freda Rubenstein
Augusta Saretsky Weinberger
Ruth Bresow Young
Max Gershenson
Anne Bosniak Goldberg
Kurt Kruchinski
Ben Maccabee
Helen Moskowitz
Janice Thompson
Esther DeKoven
Charlene Eberhart
Pearl Kasdan Jonas
Joseph Landowitz
Irvin Weller
Marietta Wulff
Henry Brott
Esther Dubrow
Mary Feltman
Arlene Frances Freeman
Rebecca Kerns
Joseph Okh
Ben Shane
David Benisty
Paul Hertz
Max Gevertz
Arthur Kellman
Leo and Esther Ramek
Abraham Shaffer
November 29-30
Gussie Goldstein
Isaac Marcus
Max Marovitz
Leah Stamer
Cyril Weiss
Phyllis Marjorie Cowan
June Reingold Fleck
Harry Grossfield
Herman Roth
Anyone wishing to purchase a memorial plaque, please contact Pinky at the synagogue office at
(510) 832-0936, extension 229.
If you do not know the location of a Memorial Plaque for your loved one, simply find the Memorial Plaque
binder located on the back table in the Sanctuary. This book lists all Plaques in alphabetical order by the last
name of the deceased and will be updated as new Plaques are hung.
Please do not remove the binder from the Sanctuary.
A Legacy Gift Lasts Forever
Include TBA in your Estate Planning so that your message to your family is loud and clear:
“The existence of Temple Beth Abraham is important to me and for the future of Jews in Oakland.”
Contact TBA’s Executive Director Rayna Arnold for further details
(510) 832-0936 or [email protected]
You are never too young to plan for the future!
Book list, continued from page 10
in the U.S., but also the story of how conservative social
values came to dominate the political discussion in the
1908s to the exclusion of important economic issues. We
are still feeling the effects of this distraction today. What
makes this a Jewish book is Press’ very perceptive discussion of the difference in how his mother (a Holocaust
survivor) and his father (a Sabra) reacted when the FBI
told them his father’s name was also on an anti-abortion
hit list.
10. Jerusalem: The Biography by Simon Sebag
Montefiore. To be honest, I haven’t finished this book
yet. I had to take a break. It is 704 pages long, and I lost
count of the number of times the author described the
streets of Jerusalem as “running with blood.” Keeping
track of the rulers, dynasties, and massacres in the city’s
history is a challenge. But I want to get back to it because
after visiting Jerusalem I found myself fascinated by this
city and how it has been at the apex of so much human
history. This book attempts to explain the city’s essence.
Charity is equal in importance to all the other commandments combined.
Davis Courtyard Match Fund
Herbert & Harriet Bloom
Keith & Marlene Dines, in memory of
Florence Dines
Gerald & Ruby Hertz
Daniel Jaffe & Yael Yakar
Marshall & Lynn Langfeld, in memory
of Peter Finnegan
Marshall & Lynn Langfeld, in memory
of Louis Berg
David & Stephanie Mendelsohn
Michael Rosenberg & Jessica Teisch
Klaus Ullrich Rotzscher & Jessica
Siegel, in honor of my mother’s 80th
Klaus Ullrich Rotzscher & Jessica
Siegel, in memory of step father
Hans-Georg Venus
Jeri & Marvin Schechtman, in memory
of Reba Schechtman
Marvin & Wendy Siver, in honor of
David Reback’s bar mitzvah
Marvin & Wendy Siver, in memory of
Frances Hochman
Andy & Marcia Wasserman, in memory
of Ely Levis
Jeanette Jeger Kitchen Fund
Adele Mendelsohn-Keinon & Irwin
Keinon, wishing Jack Jeger a speedy
Misia Nudler, in memory of
Harold Nudler
Joel Piser & Jing Weng Hsieh, in
memory of Frances Mae Piser
Bet Sefer Discretionary Fund
Michael Stewart, thank you Susan
Denise Davis, in honor of Misia Nudler
Robert Edesess & Janet Lai
High Holy Days Appeal – General
Marc & Debra Barach
Herbert & Harriet Bloom
Kenneth & Ann Cohn
Robert DeBare & Esther Rogers
Li & Aimee Fife
George & Janet King
JB Leibovitch & Judy Chun
Kirk & Dvora McLean
Klara Pinkhasov
Ruth Souroujon
Mark & Lori Spiegel
High Holy Days Appeal –
Endowment Fund
Marc & Debra Barach
Herbert & Harriet Bloom
Kenneth & Ann Cohn
Robert DeBare & Esther Rogers
George & Janet King
David Lorber, in memory of Jack Lorber
Kirk & Dvora McLean
Larry Miller & Mary Kelly, in memory
of Anne Miller
Ilya & Regina Okh, in memory of my
father Nuta Okh
Mark & Lori Spiegel
General Fund
David Bimbaum, thank you
Rabbi Bloom
Richard & Naomi Applebaum,
Drs Jing and Joel Piser – thank for
your generosity of time
Richard & Naomi Applebaum, in honor
of Misia Nudler a woman of valor who is
deeply loved
Richard & Naomi Applebaum, in
memory of Sid Shaffer, may you rest in
peace, a prince among men
Richard & Naomi Applebaum, wishing
the TBA Congregation a L’Shana Tovah
David Bercovich, in honor of 72 year of
marriage for Sam and Ellen Bercovich
Arthur & Rosalie Beren, in memory of
Leonard Fixler
Libby Hertz, in memory of
Gladys Hyman
Leonard Katz, in memory of Boris KIatz
Carl M. Leventhal
Stuart Liroff
Eve Ramek, wishing Annie Strom a quick
Daryl & Bryna Ross
Al & Quennie Shore, in honor of granddaughter Leah’s Bat Mitzvah
Kiddush Fund
Howard Davis, for kiddush honoring
Misia Nudler
Judy Nudler Borah, for kiddush honoring Misia
Lawrence & Sharyn Rossi, in memory of
Zelda Klein
Matthew & Sarah Weisman
Minyan Fund
Fifi Goodfellow, in memory of Moshe
Marcus & Isaac Naggar
Milton & Margaret Greenstein, in
memory of Bertha Rosenstein
Robert Klein & Doreen Alper, in
memory of Doreen’s beloved friend Judy
Yom Ha Shoa Fund
Leon & Judy Bloomfield, in memory of
Eva Klein David
Camper/Scholarship Fund
Elinor DeKoven
Sheldon Schreiberg & Sherry Marcus,
in memory of Edward & Sylvia Stern
Rey Steinberg, in memory of
Harvey Steinberg
Rey Steinberg, speedy recovery to
Annie Strom
Rey Steinberg, in memory of
Leonard Fixler and Henry Ramek
Silver Playground Fund
Nancy Luberoff, in honor of
Cheryl Silver’s 60th birthday
Joan Tanzer, in honor of Cheryl Silver’s
60th birthday
Rabbi Discretionary Fund
Jonathan Wornick
Richard & Naomi Applebaum, Happy
Birthday Rabbi Bloom, thanks for all
you do!
Peter Bercovich, in memory of
Sam Bercovich, grandfather
Thalia Broudy, in memory of
Joanna Stern
Michael & Kathryn Burge, in memory
of Rachel Gordon
Jeffrey & Susan Callen
Robert DeBare & Esther Rogers
Steven & Joan Jacobs, in memory of
Albert Jacobs
Misia Nudler, Condolence on loss of
husband to Cecel Seeman
Misia Nudler, Happy Birthday
Rabbi Bloom!
Hertz - Israel Scholarship Fund
Eve Ramek, in memory of Mayer
Gerald & Ruby Hertz, in memory of
Mollie and Harry Hertz
Cantor Discretionary Fund
Larry Miller & Mary Kelly
Hertz Interfaith Fund
Davis Hunger Fund
Gerald & Ruby Hertz, in memory of
Mollie and Harry Hertz
Michael & Audrey Hyman
Wasserman Fund
Endowment Fund
Norma Armon, in memory of Gertrude
Ilya & Regina Okh, in memory of
Mundl Litvak Okh
It is a Jewish tradition to give contributions to commemorate life cycle events and other occasions. Are you celebrating a birthday, engagement, anniversary, baby naming, Bat/Bar Mitzvah or recovery from illness? Or perhaps remembering a yahrzeit? These are just a few ideas of appropriate times to commemorate with a donation to Temple Beth
Abraham. These tax-deductible donations are greatly appreciated and are a vital financial supplement to support the
variety of programs and activities that we offer.
Thanks again for your support! We could not do it without you!
This contribution of $ ___________
is (check one) ___in Memory of
___ in Honor of:
(name) ________________________________________________________________
Contribution _______________________________ Acknowledge________________________________
From: _____________________________________ To: ________________________________________
Address: ___________________________________ Address: ___________________________________
Please credit the fund checked below:
mGeneral Fund–Use where most needed
mCentennial Building Fund
mLeonard Quittman Endowment Fund
mRabbi Mark S. Bloom Discretionary Fund
mLeo and Helen Wasserman Fund–Funds guest speakers at
mKiddush Fund
mMinyan Fund
mPrayer Book Fund
mWomen of TBA (WTBA)
mTBA Men’s Club
mCantor Kaplan’s Discretionary Fund
mCampership/Scholarship Fund
mCelia and Morris Davis Hunger Fund
mDanielle and Deren Rehr-Davis Teen Fund
mHarold Rubel Memorial Music Fund
mHerb and Ellen Goldstein Memorial Jewish Education Fund
mHerman Hertz Israel Scholarship Fund
mJack and Mary Berger Fund
mJeanette Jeger Kitchen Fund
mMollie Hertz Interfaith and Outreach Fund
mRose Bud Silver Library Fund
mSam Silver Playground Fund
mYom Hashoah Fund
mOther: __________________________________
For a full description of each fund, please visit www.tbaoakland.org and
“CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE LIST OF FUNDS FOR DONATIONS” in the left column, “Temple News”
8a-9a Minyan (Chapel)
9:30a Rosh Chodesh-Kislev
(Contact Amy Tessler for location)
8a-9a Minyan (Chapel)
8a-9a Minyan (Chapel)
No Bet Sefer this week
'' 6:43p
4p-6p Bet Sefer
7:30p Board Meeting
No Bet Sefer
Veterans Day
Kitah Zayin in l.a.
Kitah Zayin in l.a.
eleCtion Day
TBA is a voting location
for local prescient
4p-6p Bet Sefer
8a-9a Minyan (Chapel)
No Kindergym this week
9a Weekly Text Study
(Woodminster Cafe)
9a Weekly Text Study
(Woodminster Cafe)
10-11a & 11:15a-12p Kindergym
9a Weekly Text Study
(Woodminster Cafe)
10-11a & 11:15a-12p Kindergym
'' 6:30p
9a Weekly Text Study
(Woodminster Cafe)
10-11a & 11:15a-12p Kindergym
'' 6:40p
9a Minyan (Chapel) followed by
Thanksgiving Day breakfast
Office and Gan closed
No Kindergym/Bet Sefer this week
Office and Gan closed
No Kindergym this week
Kabbalat Shabbat UNPLUGGED
'' 4:32p
6:15p-7:15p Kabbalat Shabbat
4p-6p Bet Sefer
6:15p Bet Sefer Zayin Class Dinner
28 '' 4:35p
6:15p-7:15p Kabbalat ShabbatRock n’Roll Shabbat
9:30-10:30a & 10:45-11:45a
21 '' 4:39p
9:30-10:30a & 10:45-11:45a
9:30-10:30a & 10:45-11:45a
5:45p Bet Sefer Mechina Share A
6:15p-7:15p Kabbalat Shabbat
14 '' 4:45p
8a-9a Minyan (Chapel)
10-11a & 11:15a-12p Kindergym
4p-6p Bet Sefer
8a-9a Minyan (Chapel)
10-11a & 11:15a-12p Kindergym
4p-6p Bet Sefer
8a-9a Minyan (Chapel)
10-11a & 11:15a-12p Kindergym
Always check the Congregational E-mail or the Weekly Shabbat Bulletin for more up-to-date information. Please note any corrections care of Rayna Arnold at the TBA office.
5:34p Havdalah (42 min)
9:30a-12p Shabbat Services
9:30a-12p Shabbat Services
Bat Mitzvah of Yael Berrol
1-2:30p Mah Jongg
for Experienced players
5:35p Havdalah (42 min)
9:30a-12p Shabbat Services
10:15 Junior Congregation
12:30p Keflanu-play together grades 3-6
5-9p BBYO-Parents Night Out
6p Gan Share a Havdallah
5:39p Havdalah (42 min)
22 Chayei Sara
5:44p Havdalah (42 min)
9:30a-12p Shabbat Service
Wasserman Speaker
Father Michael Barber
1-2:30p Mah Jongg for Beginners
6:51p Havdalah (42 min)
9:30a-12p Shabbat Services
10:15a Shabbat Mishpacha
10:15a T’fillat Y’ladim
November 2014
Calendars in The Omer are produced 30-60 days in advance using the best data available from the TBA Administration Staff. This calendar is also available at our website www.tbaoakland.org
10a Adult Education w/Nitzhia Shaked
No Adult Ed. • 5-7p CityTeam
rosh ChoDesh
Adult Education - Glassmaking with
Harlan Simon - TBD
La’atid event - Q-zar - off site
10:30a Sunday Kindergym
6p Teen Scene
'' 6:57p
10a Adult Education
with Nitzhia Shaked
Kitah Zayin in l.a.
10a Adult Education
with Nitzhia Shaked
6-7:30p Teen Scene
Daylight saVing time enDs
Fall BaCK one hour
Cheshvan / Kislev 5775
8a-9a Minyan (Chapel)
8a-9a Minyan (Chapel)
Rosh Chodesh
9:30a Rosh Chodesh-Tevet
(Contact Amy Tessler for location)
8a-9a Minyan (Chapel)
8a-9a Minyan (Chapel)
No Bet Sefer
'' 6:43p
No Bet Sefer
Rosh Chodesh
Last Night of ChaNukah
4p-6p Bet Sefer
ChaNukah BegiNs (1st Night)
4p-6p Bet Sefer
7:30p Board Meeting
Yitzhak Rabin-his life and legacy
walk through presentation
(Social Hall)
4p-6p Bet Sefer
No Kindergym this week
Office Closes at 1p
9a Weekly Text Study
(Woodminster Cafe)
No Kindergym this week
Office Closes at 1p
9a Weekly Text Study (Woodminster)
Men’s Club and WTBA
Christmas Night Movie
9a Weekly Text Study
(Woodminster Cafe)
10-11a & 11:15a-12p Kindergym
9a Weekly Text Study
(Woodminster Cafe)
10-11a & 11:15a-12p Kindergym
9a Weekly Text Study
(Woodminster Cafe)
10-11a & 11:15a-12p Kindergym
No Bet Sefer
8a-9a Minyan (Chapel)
Office & Gan Closed/
No Kindergym this week
4p-6p Bet Sefer
8a-9a Minyan (Chapel)
10-11a & 11:15a-12p Kindergym
4p-6p Bet Sefer
8a-9a Minyan (Chapel)
10-11a & 11:15a-12p Kindergym
4p-6p Bet Sefer
8a-9a Minyan (Chapel)
with Marshall Wildmann
10-11a & 11:15a-12p Kindergym
6:15p-7:15p Kabbalat Shabbat
No Kindergym this week
'' 4:56p
9:30-10:30a & 10:45-11:45a
6:15p-7:15p Kabbalat Shabbat
27 '' 4:52p
6:15p-7:15p Kabbalat Shabbat
with GleeBA!
9:30-10:30a & 10:45-11:45a
20 '' 4:50p
9:30-10:30a & 10:45-11:45a
5:45p Bet Sefer Kitah Alef
Share A Shabbat
6:15p-7:15p Kabbalat Shabbat
13 '' 4:49p
Always check the Congregational E-mail or the Weekly Shabbat Bulletin for more up-to-date information. Please note any corrections care of Rayna Arnold at the TBA office.
9:30a-12p Shabbat Services
Bat Mitzvah of Juliet Hagar
1-2:30p Mah Jongg
for Experienced players
5:39p Havdalah (42 min)
9:30a-12p Shabbat Services
Bar Mitzvah of Marshall Wildmann
10:15 Junior Congregation
12:30p Keflanu-play together grades 3-6
5:35p Havdalah (42 min)
28 Chayei Sara
5:32p Havdalah (42 min)
1-2:30p Mah Jongg for Beginners
9:30a-12p Shabbat Service
Bat Mitzvah of Eliana Bloomfield
5:31p Havdalah (42 min)
9:30a-12p Shabbat Services
10:15a Shabbat Mishpacha
10:15a T’fillat Y’ladim
14 Vayishlach
December 2014
Calendars in The Omer are produced 30-60 days in advance using the best data available from the TBA Administration Staff. This calendar is also available at our website www.tbaoakland.org
5-7p CityTeam—
Volunteer to Feed the Hungry
6p Teen Scene
La’atid Chanukah Party
'' 6:57p
Men’s Club Hanukah Party
in memory of Leonard Fixler
10a Adult Education
with Nitzhia Shaked
10a Adult Education
with Nitzhia Shaked
10:30a Sunday Kindergym
6-7:30p Teen Scene
8a-9a Minyan (Chapel)
Kislev / Tevet 5775
Temple Beth Abraham
327 MacArthur Boulevard
Oakland, CA 94610
Oakland, CA
Permit No. 020299
SAVE THE DATE: Saturday evening January 24, 2015
for the annual and exceptional
Temple Beth Abraham Gala
Enjoy a divine sit-down dinner and music that will pull you to the dance floor.
Look for your invitation shortly.
For additional information contact Doree Jurow Klein or Deborah Reback
TBA Directory...................... i
What’s Happening.............. 1
From the Rabbi................... 2
President’s Message............ 3
Editor’s Message................ 4
Community......................... 5
Women of TBA................... 6
Men’s Club......................... 7
Sukkot in Pictures................ 8
East Coast Jews/
West Coast Jews................. 9
A Family of Jewish Book
Lovers.............................. 10
Ritual............................... 11
Cooking Corner................ 12
Gan Avraham News......... 14
Bet Sefer News................. 15
Volunteering/Youth Events.16
La’atid............................. 17
Life Cycles........................ 18
Donations......................... 22
Calendar.................... ......24

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