August Bulletin

August CEI Bulletin

Congregation Emanu-El Israel

222 North Main Street, Greensburg, PA. 15601          

                 AV – Elul     5780                 

August 2020


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

From the desk of Rabbi Leonard Sarko

The phrase “people of the book” is often used to lump together many of the so-called Abrahamic religions.  Jews, Muslims, Baptists, Methodists, and others have embraced this way of aligning with the laws that define our various traditions.  But if there was one term to distinguish Jewish tradition, you could make a strong argument for “witness.”  We are a people of witnesses, and it is demanded of us that we see and engage in the world through a Jewish lens.  That is the beauty of Jewish living.

The final letters of the first and last words of the Shema are ayin and daled.  These letters stand out as they are three times as large as any of the adjacent letters.  Ayin is the last letter in the word shema, and daled is the last letter in the word echad.   Combined, they spell eid, witness. Judaism teaches us that living our lives as Jews means that we are witness to the power of experience and the power of community.  We cover our eyes when saying the prayer in order to better concentrate on these words.  We open our eyes in order to experience the wonder that is Jewish living and learning.

One of my favorite experiences as a rabbi is the religious questions that I get from kids. When is God’s birthday?  Were there dinosaurs on Noah’s ark?  An inquisitive first grader once asked me, “Why is the Shema written in the prayer book if we always cover our eyes when we say it?”  What an astute observation.  Clearly, there would be no need for our main tenet of faith to be written in the siddur if we all internalized these essential words the way we teach our children to do.

Judaism is a religion of life.  We have no theology explaining an afterlife.  We have no focus on what happens after we pass away.  To be Jewish is to define a way of life.  Judaism must be lived, it cannot simply be learned.  The Bible says, “But take utmost care and watch yourselves scrupulously, so that you do not forget the things that you saw with your own eyes and so that they do not fade from your mind as long as you live.  And make them known to your children and to your children’s children.”  The Torah is insistent that Judaism hinges upon experience, and it provides pathways for those who were not able to witness the Exodus firsthand.  None of us today were there at Sinai, but we certainly have the ability to live, breath, and experience Judaism on a daily basis.



This month’s CEI Riddle.  Below you will find a riddle. 

The answer can be found somewhere in this bulletin!

 What has a face and two hands but no arms or legs?”



   Happy Birthday wishes to:  Cori Liptak, Josh Estner, Bob Halden, Don Gold, Marc Werksman, Karen Kaufer, Bruce Kaufer, Mary Ellen Kane and Larry Slone.

   Happy Anniversary to:  Marion & Bob Slone, Yvonne & Ed Bureau, Debbie & David Blozowich and Ruth & Arnie Papernick.

   We offer condolences to the Cohen Family on the death of Joseph Cohen.  He was the grandson of founding member Alexander Cohen.


CEI LINK Program – a video conference experience.  CEI continues to video conference the Shabbat Services on Friday at 7:30 pm.  So you can now attend services from home.  Please go to our website 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 and he will walk you through the process.  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 or may be borrowed from CEI for use online.  To borrow a Mishkan T’filah, please call the office for pick up arrangements.  These must be signed out through the office.  The “chat” room is usually open by 7:15 pm for a socialization time before service.


CEI has some FDA 3-ply disposable masks.  If you need a mask/masks for your daily use, please contact the office and make arrangements to pick them up with social distancing.  They are available to our members at no cost, but any contribution is greatly appreciated.  Thank you for staying safe!


Sisterhood recognizes that this is an unusual time as CEI has been closed for in-person services.  You may be thinking that we don’t need to have pulpit flowers for an on-line service, but we are hopeful that services will return to normal or close to normal over the next year. Sisterhood supports CEI and the community in a variety of ways.  Unfortunately, we have had to cancel events that normally would raise the funds that are necessary to provide that support.  Purchasing pulpit flowers is your opportunity to remember or honor those you care about and to support Sisterhood.  Pulpit Flower forms were due by July 31, if you did not send your form in and wish to participate, please mail or drop the completed form off ASAP.  Thank you!


Please mark your calendars and join us on Sunday August 23 at 10:30 am for a seminar titled “Women in Judaism”.  It will be led by Rabbi Lenny and is open to all.  It will be online and we will be using the same login as we do for Friday evenings.



      A  Remembrance Card at a price of $6.00 (including stamp) can be sent for any occasion.  While you are wishing someone a happy birthday     , get well wish     , an anniversary wish      , offering condolences     , letting someone know you are thinking of them     , or offering congratulations for a job well done     , SISTERHOOD ALSO BENEFITS!

     To send a card, call Terri at 724-837-8275 or Virginia at 724-668-2442.


Riddle Answer:

What has a face and two hands but no arms or legs?”

                                        Answer:  A clock


Memorial Booklet

Once again, we are in the process of preparing the Memorial Booklet for the Yizkor service on Yom Kippur, September 28, 2020.  This tradition has been well received by our membership and in this time of virtual services, we would still like it to continue as an Online Memorial to your loved one/s.

Only the names of those deceased during the past year (5780: 2019-2020) will be read from the pulpit.  If you wish to have the names of deceased relatives included in the Memorial Booklet on our website, please list them on the form below or mark “same as last year” and only write in names to be added.  Please indicate if any of the names appear on the Memorial Plaques.  This will help us publish an accurate record in the Virtual Memorial Booklet online.

At this time of the year, it is appropriate to make contributions in memory of our loved ones.  If you wish to honor your loved ones in this way, kindly indicate the contribution below.  Please note that due to High Holiday deadlines, forms must be returned no later than September 8, 2020.  Unfortunately, names submitted after this deadline may not appear on the Virtual Memorial Booklet in time for High Holidays, but we will try our best.

May the upcoming year bring you the blessings of love, health and happiness.

                                                                                               Sincerely,                                                                                                Memorial Committee                                               

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Please inscribe the following names of my dearly beloved in the Yom Kippur Virtual Memorial Booklet online.  This form should be returned by September 8.  Please indicate if the name is in the Memorial Plaque.  SAME AS LAST YEAR (No additions)              

SAME AS LAST YEAR (With additions below)           

NAMES OF DEPARTED                                          MEMORIAL PLAQUE                        

______________________________________        ____________________                 

_____________________________________          ____________________                  

_____________________________________          ____________________                 

_____________________________________          ____________________                 

_____________________________________           ____________________                  

_____________________________________          _____________________                 

_____________________________________          _____________________                  

_____________________________________          _____________________                  

I am enclosing my contribution of $ ______________  I would like a printed copy mailed to me: _____

Remembered by: ________________________________________________________________

                                (As it will appear in the Memorial Book Online)        PLEASE PRINT CLEARLY



     The Woman Who Fought an Empire by Gregory Joseph Wallance is a historical biography of Sarah Aaronsohn, the daughter of Romanian-born Jewish settlers in Palestine.  In 1915, the British were at war against the Ottoman Empire.  A group of youths from Zichron Ya’akov, formed the spy network, Nili, an acronym for the Hebrew translation of “The Eternal One Israel Will Not Lie.”  The members of Nili were not just spies, but bright, ambitious youths in their twenties.  Following the outbreak of World War I, Sarah learned that her older brother, Aaron, led Nili, to aid the British in their war against the Ottomans.  Aaron was a famous botanist who started gathering secret military data about the Turks while addressing their devasting locust crisis. 

     Aaron later was sent to London, and Sarah joined Nili, eventually rising to become the organization’s leader.  Operating behind enemy lines, Sarah and her spies furnished vital information to British intelligence in Cairo about the Turkish military forces.  In the fall of 1917, Sarah was caught and tortured by the Turks.  To protect her secrets, Sarah got hold of a gun and shot herself.  She was only twenty-seven.

     The author, Wallance, portrays Sarah Aaronsohn as a young woman of fierce intelligence, staggering bravery and resourcefulness.  She had the ability to outsmart the enemy and lead a team of underground rebels that made her a World War I heroine.  The Woman Who Fought An Empire: Sarah Aaronsohn and Her Nili Spy Ring is available in the Alfred Ratner Library.



We Gratefully Acknowledge the Following Thoughtful Gifts

PULPIT FLOWERS.  In Memory of: 

July 10: Milton Gespass by Marilyn & Jim Davis.  Harry Feuerstein by Shirley & Jerold Shpargel.         

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 CAPITAL FUND:  For approved building structure repairs & replacements.

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

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

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

CONGREGATION GENERAL FUND:  CEI operating expenses. In Memory of:  Patricia “Paddy” Barnhart by Rose Marie Rohrbacher.          

CONGREGATION YAHRZEIT FUND: In Memory of:  Edna G. Cobetto by Dr. Bernard & Ellen Cobetto. Ben Berlin by Donald Gold. Harry Feuerstein by Shirley & Jerold Shpargel. Joe Naughton by Rae & Bert Minushkin. Family members throughout the year by Larry Brodell, Linda & Jeffrey Reisner. Bradford Powell by Robin & Paul Mickey. Margaret “Peg” Goldberg by Carol & Ted Goldberg. Richard Stolzenberg by Shirley & Steve Taqnnenbaum. J. Gunter Haas by Irene C. Rothschild. Lillian & Samuel Liebman by Linda & Richard Liebman.           

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 SHABBAT PRAYER BOOKS: Provides for the purchase of new Mishkan T’filah.  

RABBI’S DISCRETIONARY FUND: Helps individuals and/or org. in need.    

REMEMBRANCE FUND: A special donation to Sisterhood to honor or celebrate an event or person.  Terri Katzman (724-837-8275) or Virginia Lieberman (724-668-2442). 

SOCIAL ACTION FUND:  Supports projects that benefit our community.

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


Tree of Life Share your joy!

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 life.


MEMORIAL PLAQUES:  Remember a loved one by purchasing a plaque for the sanctuary

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


Rabbi Leonard Sarko.  Sara Rae Perman, Rabbi Emerita. 

CEI Officers:  President: Irene C. Rothschild.  1st Vice President: Terri Katzman.  Treasurer: Julie Goldstein.  Recording Secretary: Virginia Lieberman.  Sisterhood President: Marion Slone, Men’s Club President: Gary Moidel. Bulletin Editors: Mary Ellen Kane & Bea Harrison. 


Honoring Their Memory

The following Yahrzeits will be honored at CEI

Aug. 7:  Joseph Richard Bergad, *Anna R. Brill, *Meyer Bronk, *Ruth D. Buchman, Janet Cohen, Fanney Cohen Devlin, Selma Fairman, *Fannie Friedland, *Dora Goldberg, *Minnie Jacobson, *Gordon Kogut, *Myron Lewis, *Gertrude E. Mace and *Abraham Moidel.

Aug. 14:  *Frances Altman, *Freida Bleiberg, Gladys Dunhoff, Bertha Freidman, Benjamin Glenn, Frank Glenn, Morris Glenn, David R. Gold, Eva Hubschman, *Dorothy Werblin Labowitz, Ruth Leifer, Irene Moldovan, Yolanda Perusse, Sidney Pripstein, Diane Tauber and *Jean Grossman Wolf.

Aug. 21:  *Jacob L. Adler, Charlotte Charapp, *Herbert Cohen, *Louis William Cohen, *Bella Donshefsky, William Dunhoff, *William Enelow, *Marcy Lynn Farber, Jane Fish, Erwin L. Kaufman, Phyllis Kramer, *Stanley Arnold Morris, *Tillie K. Morris, *Rosa Perlstein, *Abraham Rubenstein, Timothy Silvis, *Dorothy Solomon, *Lawrence Taper, *Nathan Weber, *Rosalyn Levin Wolinsky and Gertrude Zwibel.

Aug. 28:  Esther Beber, *Samuel W. Berk, *Samuel Diamond, Clara Faas, *Louis Farber, Murray Fischer, Hannah Fishfeder, *Nathan Glantz, *Dr. Toba Hochberg, *Henry H. Katz, Natalie Kaufer, Harold Kirkell, *Bella Kogut, *Lt. Warren Roy Laufe, *Isidor Lefkowitz, *Hyman Levine, Milton Lindner, *Sarah Olesker, *Ernst Perlstein, *Samuel R. Ratner, *Lieselotte Rothschild, *Fannie Schneider, *Benjamin Schwartz, Annabelle Lindner Sharon, *Helen A. Slone, Joyce Thomas, Jerome Valinsky, Eleanor Werksman, *Louis Whiteman and *Mark Alan Young.

Sept. 4:  Diana Abrams, *Henry Baneman, Devora Berman, Norma Brodell, Harold J. Buchman, *Phylis Caplan, Mildred Caplowe, Hannah Gillis, *Lewis Kay, *Morris A. Leff, *Benjamin Liebman, *Benjamin M. Ratner, *Hinda Rubenstein, *Julius Werblin and *Shirley M. Young.


CEI BOARD MEETING MINUTES – Wednesday, July 8, 2020

This meeting was held virtually.

ATTENDING: Julie Goldstein, Terri Katzman, Jamie Kaufer, Joel Last, Virginia Lieberman, Irene Rothschild, Rabbi Sarko, Marion Slone.  GUEST: Karen Sarko

PRESIDENT REPORT AND ADMINISTRATION:  Irene welcomed Jamie Kaufer as the newest member of the Board of Directors and thanked her for being willing to become an integral part of conducting the business of the Congregation. 

     At the last meeting, it was brought to our attention that the existing Long-Range Plan for CEI needs to become part of the By-laws. Bob Slone has agreed to continue as Chair of the Long-Range Planning Committee which will be meeting virtually with Noah Levine and Rabbi Sarko to revisit the Plan and discuss any changes that might need to be made to ensure that the focus remains on ‘preservation’. Julie moved that the Plan become an addendum to the By-laws. Marion seconded the motion.  Motion passed.

     At the August meeting, the Directors will take a close look at the existing Congregation Policies to determine if any should be eliminated, revised or added.  The August meeting will be held on Wednesday August 19 rather than August 12, 2020.

     As they do every year, The City of Greensburg is requesting a donation toward their expenses in lieu of taxes.  The Board agreed to make the same token donation as in past years.

     Scott, our custodian, is retiring.  Recently, Irene spoke with Yvonne B. regarding her recommendation for a possible replacement for Scott.  In addition, she spoke with her neighbor who is considering taking the job in addition to his full time job elsewhere as a custodian.  Please contact Irene if you have any other recommendations.

    Irene will be meeting with the Rabbi for his yearly evaluation. The Board discussed their thoughts on his first year and any possible additional compensation.

RABBI REPORT:  Services continue to be online and will continue to be so for the near future.  Attendance is around 40-50 people with 5-6 participants each week.  Rabbi Lenny has begun discussions on how to best conduct the High Holy Days this year and will have a recommendation by the next board meeting.  The two conversion classes continue to meet weekly online.  He began a weekly online Bat Mitzvah class with Autumn this week.  Her Bat Mitzvah is scheduled for June 26, 2021.  He has also met with a couple of Congregants to help them learn how to connect to GoToMeeting for the services.  He has written and submitted 3 grant proposals on behalf of the synagogue this past month to support proposed outreach.  One proposal that was submitted previously is still under review.  An online seminar has been scheduled for Sunday, August 23, at 10:30 am.  This was put together with input from Sisterhood, but will be open to anyone who would like to participate.  The topic is Women in Judaism.  

TREASURER REPORT: Julie presented a summary of the past fiscal year and the report for July.  July revenue is significantly below last year, but Julie will be sending out the Fair Share reminders soon so revenue should be improving.  Revenue for last year did not cover expenses.  Unfortunately, opportunities for fundraising are non-existent at this time.

SISTERHOOD:  Sisterhood calendar is in the process of taking ads. 78 ad letters were mailed out and responses are coming in.  Two previous advertisers will not be renewing their ads because of the pandemic. 

MEMBERSHIP: Membership is looking to initiate some advertising and outreach in anticipation of the High Holidays.  Rabbi Lenny has been working on some ads.  There is also a brochure that has been developed.  Terri and Rabbi asked that the Board give them a budget amount that would be available to fund this outreach.  The Board requested some ballpark figures on how much printing, supplies and mailing would cost before setting an amount.  Rabbi Lenny and Terri will come back with those numbers quickly and the Board will make a decision after discussion by email.

OLD BUSINESS:  Karen Sarko headed the committee to develop guidelines for the future reopening of CEI.  It was agreed that this reopening will not be happening until at least September and will depend on the situation with the spread of Covid 19 at that time.  When the building eventually reopens, masks will be required.  Seating will be reservation only in order to meet the need to socially distance in the sanctuary’s limited space.  Temperatures will be taken before admittance and admittance could be denied.  Hand sanitizing will be required as well.  There will be no Onegs and congregating for conversation before or after services and in person meetings are discouraged.  These guidelines are an attempt to protect the health of Congregants and staff.  Services will continue to be virtual. Federation may be able to help us acquire the masks, thermometers and hand sanitizer.

NEW BUSINESS:  The beginning of the new fiscal year requires election of those officers whose terms have expired.  Joel moved that Irene be elected as President and Terri be elected as Vice President. Jamie seconded the motion.  Motion passed.

ADJOURN: Meeting adjourned at 8:10 pm.

Deadlines for the Bulletin are ALWAYS the SECOND FRIDAY of the month.

The next virtual meeting will be Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 7:00 PM

Minutes respectfully recorded by Virginia Lieberman, Recording Secretary, and submitted by Irene Rothschild.