April 2024 Bulletin

April 2024 CEI Bulletin

Congregation Emanu-El Israel

222 North Main Street, Greensburg, PA. 15601          

                Adar II – Nisan 5784                 

April 2024




The Mission of Congregation Emanu-El Israel is:  To support Judaism and the welfare of our community.


FROM THE DESK OF:  Rabbi Lenny

April is a unique and special time in Judaism.  It is the time for Passover.  For me, and I hope for you, it brings special and happy memories.  As a young boy, it was a time when our extended family would get together for the annual Seder.  It was not unusual for 50 or 60 relatives and friends to come together for this event.

These Seders brought something more than just a religious experience.  It was also a time of inspired dialogue.  We did work our way through the Haggadah, the book we read for the Seder.  Yet the conversations throughout the evening, as yes these were long evenings, were varied, interesting and challenging.

The Torah explains the place of our children in this religious event.

Exodus 12:26-27
And when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ you shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the LORD’s Passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.’

Exodus 13:8
You shall tell your son on that day, ‘It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.’

Exodus 13:14
And when in time to come your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall say to him, ‘By a strong hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery.

Deuteronomy 11:19
You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

The precept that we include our children in our religious observances and discussions is both different and critical for Jewish practice.  When coupled with the promotion of questioning, regardless of who those questions are directed, it becomes a foundation for life.

The discussions around our Seder table were always varied and interesting.  The talk was not just of religious matters, but of politics, the economy, our jobs, current events around the world and anything else that might be on people’s minds at the time.  During the meal itself often many different conversations would be going on simultaneously.  As a young boy I would strain to pick up these varied conversations and tried to understand the points they were making.  This brought an extension and expansion of my own mind and resulted in a desire to learn more, not only about Judaism, but about the world around me.

With all this variation and dialogue, I am reminded of a Jewish prayer.

Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the Universe, who has such things in his world.

Karen and I want to wish everyone a wonderful Holiday this year and may your dialogues be varied, interesting and worthwhile.

Amen, Rabbi Lenny



CEI LINK Program – a video conference experience.  Even though CEI is open for in-house worshipers, we will continue to video conference the Shabbat Services on Friday at 7:30 pm, so you can continue to attend services from home.  Visit our website www.ceigreensburg.org for instructions on how to log into the meeting and for the meeting code (which should be the same each week).  If you have any questions, please call and talk with Rabbi Lenny.  Songs for the service will be available on the website.  The Mishkan T’filah (prayer books) used in the service are available digitally on the website.



Happy Birthday to:  Autumn Blozowich, Wally Caplan, Sister Gemma DelDuca, Francois Gau, Sydney Vegoda Hovis, Natalie Myers, Don Pripstein, Jack Shpargel and Richard Virshup.  And a very happy 100th Birthday to Herb Kramer

Happy Anniversary to:  Joyce and Jim Schenck


SISTERHOOD NOTES: Terri Katzman, President

A recap of our year.  What we have done:

1  Sponsored a fun Game Day for all congregants on February 18th.

2  Fulfilled our commitment for Food2Go4Kids.  We made three deliveries of 55 weekend food packages to Westpoint Elementary.  At our March 13th Sisterhood meeting, it was decided that this is a great project and one we would like to continue in the next school year.

3  Our March Sisterhood meeting generated much satisfactory discussion of the book Atomic Anna, reviewed by Shirley Shpargel.

4  At the March meeting, it was voted on to purchase 5 additional large print Shabbat Miskan T
filah for the congregation.  As of this writing, we have 44 High Holiday prayerbooks for sale at $55/each and 5 large print Shabbat prayer books for sale at $55/each.  Please contact Bea at the office to purchase and dedicate these books.

What we will be doing:

1  Leading Sisterhood Shabbat on Friday, April 5th.  We look forward to all congregants joining us for the service and special oneg.

2  We will host the congregation’s Passover Seder on April 28th.  Sign-ups are now being taken.

3  Sisterhood Closing Dinner, chaired by Cori Liptak, will take place on Tuesday, May 14th at Edo Hibachi.  Upcoming flyer will offer additional information.

s great to be busy!

Wishing everyone a Happy Spring, Terri Katzman, Sisterhood President.


ALFRED RATNER LIBRARY NEWS:  Shirley Shpargel, Librarian

The 2024 Sydney Taylor Book Award winners have been announced by the Association of Jewish Libraries.  This year’s winners take readers to unique places and introduce them to memorable people.

The gold medalist for the Picture Book category, grades K-4, is Two New Years by Richard Ho.  Two New Years for this multicultural family inspired by the author
s own, means twice as much to celebrate. In the fall, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is celebrated by the family who dip apples in honey, bake challah, and sing songs.  In the spring the family celebrates Lunar New Year by eating dumplings, watching dragon dances and release glowing lanterns that light the sky.  The illustrator, Lynn Scurfield, uses warm illustrations that evoke the paper cutting traditions of both cultures.

The gold medalist winner for the Middle Grade category, grades 4-8, is The Dubious Pranks of Shaindy Goodman by Mari Lowe.  Lonely preteen Shaindy is lured into assisting popular Gayil with a series of pranks targeting students in their all-girls Orthodox Jewish middle school.  But when the consequences escalate, Shaindy must decide whether fitting in is worth the cost to her classmates. This book explores the complexity of middle school friendships and bullying.

The winner of the Young Adult category, grades 9-12, is The Blood Years by Elana K. Arnold.  Growing up in Czernowitz with a protective grandfather and an unstable mother, teenage Frederieke Teitler and her older sister Astra struggle to survive when war breaks out and their beloved community is invaded by the Russian and German armies.  Based on the true experiences of the author’s grandmother’s childhood during the Holocaust in Rumania, Arnold weaves an unforgettable tale of love and loss and one young woman’s will to survive during the darkest days of the twentieth century.



Do you know of someone who is Jewish and currently unaffiliated?

Do you know of someone who would like to worship with us as a member?

If so, please give info to Anna Spor



If you are planning to initiate or change your will or estate plan, please remember to include Congregation Emanu-El Israel (CEI) as part of your legacy.  The monies can be used for a specific purpose as designated by you, or added to an Endowment Fund already set up to assure the ability to continue providing a full-service Congregation to serve the Jewish people of the area.

This legacy can be accomplished by a simple bequest in your will, by one of the allowable charitable trusts where you get an immediate tax advantage, or through life insurance.

PLEASE DO IT NOW!  Please check with your attorney or insurance agent.  If you have any questions or need additional information, contact Robert Slone (724-836-5468) or Gary Moidel (724-244-6421).



Share your joy by inscribing simchas on our Tree of Life…  an everlasting remembrance of the meaningful happy events that touch us.  Inscribe a leaf on our Tree of Life.

Inscribe a leaf our Tree of Life. Leaf – $180 ea.  (Price includes engraving)

The golden leaves may be inscribed to commemorate joyous events such as births, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, etc.  Share your joy by inscribing simchas on our
Tree of Life… an everlasting remembrance of the meaningful happy events that touch us.

Memorial Plaques are for remembering a loved one.  You may purchase a plaque for the sanctuary Memorial Boards by contacting the CEI office (724-834-0560).  Cost per plaque $300.00.

Memorial Boards.  For more details, please contact the CEI office at 724-834-0560.



When making a donation, whether to a CEI Fund or the Remembrance Fund, please provide complete information.  This will make it easier and faster to process.

1    The name and address of where to send the response to let them know you made a donation.

2    The reason for the donation (in memory of, in honor of, speedy recovery, etc) and the full name of the honoree.

3    Name and address of donor.

Example:  Please send a card (or accept this donation) to Jane Doe, XXX Main St, Greensburg, PA 156XX.  In Honor of the Birthday of Jane Doe!  From Jack Jones, XXX Broadway Dr, Greensburg, PA  156XX.



PULPIT FLOWERS.  In Memory of:

February 23:  Boaz Lurie, Reuven Lurie and Zilpa Lurie by Shoshana & Bob Halden

March 1:  Mike Arbetter by Marilyn & Jim Davis. William Davis by Marilyn & Jim Davis and Linda & Jeffrey Reisner. Tom Ziff by Marilyn & Jim Davis

March 8:  Etta Katzman by Terri & Stanley Katzman. Joanne Brodell Alpern by Linda & Jeffrey Reisner and Marilyn & Jim Davis

March 15:  Sarah Davis by Linda & Jeffrey Reisner and Marilyn & Jim Davis. Herb Seigle by Marilyn & Jim Davis



ALFRED RATNER LIBRARY FUND:  Supports library facilities, books, & equipment.

ARCHIVE FUND:  Helps to defray the cost of archiving the CEI material sent to the Rauh Jewish archives.

BOB & PHYLLIS DAVIS FAMILY FUND:  Youth scholarships & enrichment.

CARING FUND:  Supports congregants who are experiencing sickness, bereavement & other personal difficulties.

CEI ENDOWMENT FUND:  Provides for the continuity of the congregation by subsidizing future operating expenses.

COMPUTER FUND:  Provides a means to continually upgrade & maintain CEI’s computer system / software.

CONGREGATION GENERAL FUND:  CEI operating expenses. In Memory of: Doris Kaufman by Shoshana & Bob Halden.

CONGREGATION YAHRZEIT FUND:  In Memory of: Fannie Redlich by Faye & Leonard Redlich. Jack Moldovan and Phyllis Davis by Sheila & Barry Kassel. Pauline Liebman & Francine Lipowitz by Linda Liebman. Eileen “Popsy” Sadock by Jonathan Sadock. Sara F. Cohen by Stanley Cohen. Bert Minushkin & Rozalyn Naughton by Rachel Minushkin. Herman Resnick by Ben Resnick. Goldie Cohen by Jeanne & Jeff Sicuro. Helen Kirkpatrick by Jack Wilder. Sara Schulman Metz & Sol Shpargel by Shirley Shpargel. Etta Katzman by Terri & Stanley Katzman. Daniel & Rhoda Reid and Addie Reid Powell by Robin Reid Mickey. Eileen Cohen by Amy Karelitz. Joan Mendler by Mike & Stacy Mendler.          

IVAN B. YOUNG EDUCATIONAL ADVANCEMENT FUND:  Supports the advancement of Jewish education.

LIBRARY BOOK FUND:  Provides for the purchase of books and other resource material for the library.

NEW HIGH HOLIDAY, MISHKAN HANEFESH, PRAYER BOOKS:  Provides for the purchase of new High Holiday Mishkan HaNefesh.  In Honor of: Irene Rothschild’s 80th Birthday by Teri & Gary Moidel.  In Memory of: Doris Kaufman by Irene C. Rothschild.

PULPIT FLOWERS:  Provided by donations to the pulpit flower fund.

RABBI’S DISCRETIONARY FUND:  Helps individuals and/or org. in need. A donation by Anne Bush.

REMEMBRANCE FUND:  A special donation to Sisterhood to honor or celebrate an event or person.  Virginia Lieberman (724-668-2442) or Yvonne Bureau (724-837-8072).  A Speedy Recover to: Wally Caplan by Virginia & John Lieberman, Irene Rothschild, Mary Ellen Kane, Shirley Shpargel, Marion & Bob Slone and Terri & Stan Katzman.  In Memory of: Doris Kaufman by Wally Caplan.

SOCIAL ACTION FUND:  Supports projects that benefit our community.

TEMPLE EMANU-EL CEMETERY FUND:  For beautification and upkeep of the Temple Emanu-El Cemetery.

TORAH REPAIR FUND:  To provide funds to repair the Torah scrolls.

TREE OF LIFE:  A personalized leaf commemorating a happy lifecycle event to be added to the Tree of Life in lobby.



Please Note:  All times & events subject to change.

Sunday, May 5:  Community Yom HaShoah Service, Latrobe.

Tuesday, May 14:  Sisterhood Closing Dinner 2 Edo Hibachi.

Monday, May 27:  CEI Closed – Memorial Day.



Jews on Broadway Part 1: The Music of Rogers and Hammerstein an online program of the Western PA Small Congregations cohort and the Jewish Community Legacy Project will be held Thursday, April 2, 2024 at 7:00 PM by speaker Mike Roteman, vice-president of Congregation Ahavath Achim in Carnegie, PA.  Over the past several years he, along with his wife Ellen, has presented a series of programs on Jews in Sports, Jews in Movies, Jews in Comedy, Jews in Music, and Jews on Broadway.  Join with us as we look at whether there was ever a greater combination of song writing talent than the tandem of composer Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II?  Sit back and relax as we bring you film clips from such Rogers and Hammerstein classics as Oklahoma, Carousel, The King and I, South Pacific and more.  To register click:


Jews on Broadway Pt. 2 will be on Thursday, May 16, 2024 at 7:00 PM. Mike Roteman will discuss some other terrific Jewish composers and lyricists on Broadway with names like Alan J. Lerner and Frederick Lowe, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and others.  Sit back and relax once again as we bring you clips from such classics as My Fair Lady, Camelot, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof and more.



You have the opportunity to dedicate a set of the new High Holiday prayerbooks in honor of or in memory of a loved one or special occasion, and a book plate will be placed in each book. These books will NOT be lent out.  The cost is $55.00 for regular print and $100.00 for the large print books.

Checks for these dedications should be made payable to CEI Sisterhood and mailed with the dedication wording to the CEI office.  If you have any questions, please contact the CEI office.



Reminder:  The opportunity to dedicate a set of the new High Holiday prayer books in honor of or in memory of a loved one or special occasion and to have a book plate placed in each book will continue throughout the year. These books will NOT be lent out.  The cost is $55.00 for regular print and $100.00 for the large print books.

Checks for these dedications should be made payable to CEI Sisterhood and mailed with the dedication wording to the CEI office.  If you have any questions, please contact the CEI office.



Westmoreland County’s 13th international march to stop rape, sexual assault, and gender violence.  Organized by the Blackburn Center.

Saturday, April 13th, 2024
Saint Clair Park, Greensburg
Registration 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Walk begins at 10:00 AM

Registration is $5 for each participant.  Children under 12 are free.  Pets on a leash are welcomed.  Prizes go to the most festive shoes, top fundraiser, and largest team.

Register on-line at:

or call Alex at 724-837-9540, extension 144



Elections will be held from May 10 – June 7 2024 to elect three Board members for two-year terms. The election will be conducted by e-mail and mail.

The following people have one more year to serve on the Board.  They may be up for re-election next year.

Julie Goldstein
Robin Mickey
Joel Last
Gary Moidel
Virginia Lieberman
Anna Spor
Marion Slone

Pursuant to Article VI, Section 3 of the By-Laws, a Nominating Committee has been appointed to nominate one person to fill each of the three vacancies.  The Nominating committee has nominated the following people to run for Board Membership.

Jon Dohner
Irene Rothschild
Jamie Kaufer

Any other members in good standing who desire to run for the Board of Directors may do so by presenting to the Nominating Committee a nominating petition signed by twenty (20) congregation members in good standing.  Any such petition must reach the CEI office by noon on Monday, May 6, 2024.  For your convenience, attached is a template of a nominating petition.

Elections will be held by returning a ballot, which you will receive at a later date.  The ballots should be returned to the Congregation office in person, by mail or by e-mail between May 10 and June 7, 2024.

Use the Congregation Emanu-El Israel Nominating Petition found in the April bulletin to nominate individuals for the Board of Directors.  The Nominating Petition form must be returned by Monday, May 6, 2024 at 12:00 noon.



The CEI Office is open Monday, Tuesday & Friday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  Wednesday & Thursday from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

Rabbi Lenny, generally, has office hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM.  Making an appointment is highly recommended, since emergencies and meetings outside the office do occur.  The Rabbi can also be available at other times, for your convenience.  Please call 724-834-0560 or Rabbi directly at 724-963-0789.



Rabbi Leonard Sarko

CEI Officers:

President: Irene C. Rothschild.  Vice President: Jamie Kaufer.  Treasurer: Julie Goldstein.  Recording Secretary: Virginia Lieberman.  Sisterhood President: Terri Katzman.  Men’s Club President: Gary Moidel.  Bulletin Editors: Mary Ellen Kane, Karen Sarko & Bea Harrison.



Families of the following loved ones will honor their memories and mark the occasion of their family history by reciting the Kaddish this Shabbat.

The following Yahrzeits will be honored at CEI:

April 5:  *Louis Bleiberg, Frances Brodell, *Goldie Cohen, Judy Dohner, *Elliot Farber, *Burrel Hochberg, Helen Kirkpatrick, *Lillian Kogut, Charles Koral, *B. Jacob Levine, Joan Mendler, Sara Schulman Metz, Addie Reid Powell, *Alfred W. Ratner, *Darlene Robinowitz, *Israel Samuels, *Maxene Rita Segal, *Sol Shpargel and *William Zakowitz.

April 12:  *Benjamin Berkofsky, *Morris Bolner, Dr. Boyd Button, Charles Carothers, *Sheldon Cohen, Louise Davidson, *Richard Irwin Dunhoff, Seymour Farber, *Celia Grossman, *Saralouise Hirshberg, *Sylvia R. Naumoff, Anna Pavloff, *Isaac Pomerantz, Joel Travers, William Virshup and *Pearl Y. Ziff.

April 19:  *Sara Altman, *Samuel J. Friedland, Joseph Israel, *Eva Kahanowitz, *Thelma Levin, *Dorothy C. Miller, *Dr. Samuel Pittler, *Catherine Ratner, *Gertrude “Tootsie” Ratner, *Wolf Shoag, *Noah Wood Toig, Mayer Wolinsky, *Bessie Ziff and *Joseph Ziskind.

April 26:  *Sadie B. Daniels-Adler, *Bennett Davis, *Ida Diamond, Norma Gespass, Isabel Glantz, *Alyce Hochberg, Paula Last, *J. Levin, *Max Pretter, *Rolf Rothschild, Mireille Rousseau, *Yetta Sandson, Ruth Metz Shpargel, *Sarah K. Silverman, *Jennie Soltz, *Mary Whiteman, Dr. Thomas Warren Wilson, *Rose Witaskis and *Louis I. Zakon.

May 3:  *Divine Joy Bayer, Jeny Bergstein, Morris Bergstein, *Bette Buchman, *Joseph Callet, *Leonard J. Cowan, *Nathan Dates, *Meyer Farber, *Max Harris, Anita Koral, Libby Louis, *Irene S. Mullen, Goldye Pittler, Leonard Pittler, Dorothy Sandson, Harry Sandson, *Ethel Stalin, Mark Weisberger, *Louis Wilder and *Esther Wolinsky.

* A light will be lit on a Memorial Board