June Belletin 2021

June 2021 CEI Bulletin

Congregation Emanu-El Israel

222 North Main Street, Greensburg, PA. 15601          

                 Sivan – Tamuz      5781                 

June 2021


office@cei-greensburg.org     rabbi@cei-greensburg.org     www.ceigreensburg.org

 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 children of Israel are recalcitrant and undependable.  They reject their covenantal responsibilities for a piece of meat, a golden calf, and a sexy Moabite body. They are children, in fact, infantilized by the slavery of their upbringing and unable to endure the incertitude and ambiguities of freedom.

     Against the spiritual immaturity of the Israelites stands Moses. He has the voice of the prophet, confronting evil, yet remains humble. He demands that they understand the Torah they are receiving, and refuses to accept either God’s or the people’s demands that his status be elevated to that of demigod. Yet the Torah is unequivocal — Moses is fatally flawed. He is a wanderer, condemned to die in the desert, forbidden entry to Eretz Israel (the land of Israel) and denied the honor of leading his people to the final homecoming.  Moses is an “imperfect hero”.

     The Israelites are addicted to miracles and martial law, to appetite and apostasy. Moses is the benevolent leader who chides and dictates, but cannot liberate his people to stand on their own feet, to be independent of his will. The result is inevitable. The people rebel once again, and in frustration and disappointment Moses finally responds: “Listen, you rebels, shall we get water for you out of this rock?” Moses hits the rock, water pours out and the people temporarily quench their thirst.

     God reacts immediately: “Because you did not trust Me enough to affirm my sanctity in the eyes of the Israelite people, therefore you shall not lead this congregation into the land.” At the very moment Moses needs to wean the Israelites from their dependence on him and turn them to God and Torah, he credits himself for a quenching miracle.

     He is a hero of mythic proportions who can calm an angry God, yet chastise and redirect his people when they panic. He is the ideal leader for the desert, the only one who can give direction and purpose to the wanderings. But he is not the leader for the freedom of homecoming, the one to build a covenantal community in Eretz Israel.

     The need for leadership seems ever present.  The type of leaders we need are defined by time and locale, the context of our world.  The success of our leaders, and in fact our own success, are often a result of how good a job we do in picking our leaders.  Are they the right people, at the right time, for the job at hand?  It is a lesson that has as much importance today as it did in the time of Moses.



From the President: 

 At the April meeting of the small congregations working in conjunction with the Jewish Community Legacy Project, upcoming programing was discussed.  One of the events that we will be planning for is a shared Havdalah service making use of our clergy.  It is felt that there should also be a topic of discussion to accompany the service and that is why I am writing to you now.  Rather than me selecting a topic, which might only be of interest to me, I am reaching out to you to ask you what topics might be of interest to you.  One topic that was suggested is the recent Israeli elections, because most people seem to be confused about the results.  If that is the topic that is selected, the office of the Jewish Federation of North America might be of some help. 

     Our main speaker today was Eric Lidji from the Rauh Jewish Archives and he gave a wonderful overview of the organization and some of its work with small towns/cities in the western PA region. 

     Another topic might be to utilize Eric with helping us figure out ways of connecting with each other as congregations, not just among those of us who are leaders. 



Downstairs Shades

As per the suggestion from Shawn Brokos, Director of Community Security for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, the shades in the Library and the Social Hall should always be kept closed!  New shades for the kitchen will be ordered. 

Thank you for your cooperation in this very important matter.



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 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 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.



 Happy Birthday to:  Dan Gistenson, Gerald Pavloff, Bill Friedlander, Nina Lewis, Beth Frederick, Bob Slone, John Vivio, Doris Kaufman, Ruth Papernick, Gwen Sarko, Hannah Winters and Linda Liebman. 

   Happy Anniversary to: Yolanda & Gerald Pavloff, Karen & Bruce Kaufer, Ann & Bob Gelman, Suzan & Josh Estner and Virginia & John Lieberman.

   We offer condolences to former members Carla Herling & Jason Nunemaker on the death of Carla’s mother Ricki Herling.


GRAD NEWS!  Mazel Tov!

Michelle Gau is graduating from Franklin Regional High School and will be attending Seton Hill University.  She will major in Marketing and has been chosen to be on their Division II Golf Team.  Michelle is the daughter of members Myriam & Francois Gau.

Rachel Gau is graduating from Franklin Regional High School and will be attending Penn State New Kensington.  She will major in Computer Science and will later transfer to Penn State Main as part of the 2+2 program.  Rachel is the daughter of members Myriam & Francois Gau.

Noah Hammerman graduated from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.  He is the son of members Buddy & Renea Hammerman.   

Jacob Karelitz is graduating from Nations Ford High School in South Carolina and will be attending UNC-Charlotte majoring in Business.  Jacob is the son of Alan & Val Karelitz, grandson of member Amy Karelitz and great-grandson of member Eileen Cohen.

Ben Moidel graduated from the University of Dayton (Ohio) with a Master’s of Science in Aerospace Engineering. Ben is the son of members Teri & Gary Moidel.


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 Mary Ellen Kane.  



While the building is closed, if you should need to use the building during working hours, please alert Bea and arrangements can be made.  If you should need to enter the building after working hours, be aware that the system will be armed and you may unintentionally cause the police department to be alerted.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I appreciate your cooperation and understanding as to why it is important to maintain the highest level of security possible for the Congregants and the Staff.




The Light of Days by Judy Batalion brings to life the underground resistance network against the Nazis that existed across the Polish ghettos.  The resistance was mostly Eastern European Jewish women in their teens and 20s who spied, built and planted bombs, went undercover to steal and deliver weapons and documents, and killed Nazi soldiers.  Judy Batalion recovered their stories from diaries and memoirs written in Yiddish, Polish and Hebrew, some during the war and others after on oral histories.  Their stories were left to collect dust in the British Library.  While researching Hannah Senesh, Judy Batalion discovered the material about and by these heroines, few of whom survived the liberation.

This group of resistance “ghetto girls” counters the myth of Jewish passivity but documents the extent of Jewish activism throughout the ghettos.  Some girls took on Christian identities to avoid capture.  Mostly they traveled to surrounding Polish towns and in and out of the barricaded ghettos.  Through these links they set up hiding places for Jewish children outside the ghetto, found safe houses to conceal resistance fighters, provided forged papers and plotted escape routes to Palestine.  The couriers acted as human radios, bringing warnings of coming deportations to the death camps, and were responsible for reporting the massacres and atrocities against the Jews.   They were described as “kashariyot”, the Hebrew word for connectors.  

Judy Batalion’s biographies of the resistant fighters follows them through destruction of the ghettos, arrest and internment in Gestapo prisons and concentration camps, and for a few through the end of the war.  The Light of Days can be checked out from the Westmoreland Library Network.


Greetings Adult Students,

I missed you and our gathering.  So, if you are feeling vaccinated and want to start again, come and we will talk and plan with our masks on.  What about?  Hebrew/conversation/Israel and more.

We will go back to Monday at 6:00 pm on June 7, 2021.  If needed, we can split the class in accordance with level of capability.

YELLA, let’s go! Please call me with any questions at (412) 610-1924 I cannot wait for your RSVP.





Is called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah

Please join me and my family as I celebrate my

Bat Mitzvah Online

(sanctuary seating is by invitation only)

Friday, June 25, 2021 @ 7:30 PM


Saturday, June 26, 2021 @ 10:00 AM



     And so a new tenure begins for me as president of CEI Sisterhood.  Many thanks to Marion Slone for her tenure and for her promise of continued dedication to the annual calendar.

     Just a note about the past – the May 7th Sisterhood Shabbat was awesome.  Thirty women synchronized the evening with great aplomb.  And many thanks to Rabbi Lenny for putting the inspiring service together.

     The last year has proven to be a difficult time to do any programming.  But, as my year opens up we are also finding society opening.  This will allow us to resume our times of having programs, fun – and eating out!  Our first “eating out” experience will take place on Wednesday, August 18th at Twin Lakes Park where we will share a pot-luck dinner and plans for the future.  More info on this outing will be in the next newsletter.

     During August we are also planning to resume our Rummage Sale.  Set-up dates are August 11, 12, and 13 with the sale beginning on (Sunday) August 15.  Around the middle of June (and not before) rummage can again be left at CEI.  We’ll need lots of help for set-up!

     And now, another announcement:


     Virginia Lieberman has graciously accepted the job of Remembrance Fund chair.  Beginning immediately, please call Virginia at 724-668-2442 or email her at virginiagwl@windstream.net to order a card.  As a back-up Yvonne Bureau at 724-837-8072 or email at ybschnauz@aol.com will accept orders.

     If you haven’t been using this service to send out congratulations, sympathy, happy birthday, get well, or thinking of you wishes, please consider this easy way to express your feelings.  At the cost of only $6.00, including stamp, this is a bargain, easy process, and a way to support our Sisterhood.

Sometime during June, I will be sending a letter and membership form to all of the women in our congregation.  This will be an invitation to join our “sisterhood” and become a vital part of CEI.  In the meantime, enjoy the sunshine!

                                                  Best regards,



We invite you to enjoy a presentation on the Jewish artist Mark Rothko by Natalie Myers.  This presentation on Mark Rothko is Natalie’s conversion project.  The project will be on the CEI website, www.ceigreensburg.org and available to view June 1 and after.  We think you will find it interesting.


Spring Cleaning?  Items for the August Rummage Sale

can be dropped off again AFTER June 28, 2021.

If you have any questions, please contact Shoshana Halden or Terri Katzman.


We Greatfully Acknowledge the Following Gifts:

PULPIT FLOWERS.  In Memory of: 

April 9:  Sol Shpargel by Jerold & Shirley Shpargel.  William Virshup by Richard & Georgi Virshup.

April 16:  Noah Wood Toig by Phyllis Davis, Marilyn & Jim Davis.

April 23:  Norma Gespass by Marilyn & Jim Davis.

April 30:  Dr. Thomas Warren Wilson by Virginia & John Lieberman.  Terry (Rachel Leah) Davis by Phyllis Davis, Marilyn & Jim Davis.

May 7:  Mark Weisberger by Larry Brodell, Linda & Jeffrey Reisner.  June Ziff by Phyllis Davis, Marilyn & Jim Davis.           



     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 Jerry Pavloff (724-593-6513) or Gary Moidel (724-468-0005).


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.


CEI Funds

ER 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.  CEI operating expenses. A grant from the Make A Difference Foundation, Inc. and Jeff & Susan Firestone, Adam Winter, Richard & Jessica Krathen.  In Honor of:  The 75th Anniversary of my Bar Mitzvah by Donald Pripstein.  In Memory of:  Ruth F. Shpargel by Marilyn & Jim Davis.             


Joan Mendler by Stacy & Mike Mendler. Helen Kirkpatrick & Louis Wilder by Jack Wilder. William Virshup by Richard & Georgi Virshup. Harry Sandson & Dorothy Z. Sandson by Andra Condon Sandson. Sheldon Cohen by Jeff & Jeanne Sicuro. Sara Schulman Metz & Sol Shpargel by Jerold & Shirley Shpargel. Dr. Thomas Warren Wilson by John & Virginia Lieberman. Goldye Pittler by Bill Friedlander, Jody, Mike, Stacey & Michael Keating. Sylvia Bendix by Sanford Bendix Max Kaufer by Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Kaufer. Frances Applbaum Abramson by Daniel & Barbara Applbaum Glennie. Czerna Cohen by Shirley & Stephen Tannenbaum. Abraham Pavloff by Phyllis & Sidney Ackerman. Barbara Wilder by Jack Wilder. Herbert L. Friedlander by William Friedlander. Joseph Cohen by Theresa & Harry Cohen.            

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.    

 A donation by Nancy & Ed Krokosky.    


A special donation to Sisterhood to honor or celebrate an event or person.  Virginia Lieberman (724-668-2442) or Yvonne Bureau (724-837-8072). In Honor of:  The 2nd Bar Mitzvah of Don Pripstein by Janet & Mickey Radman, Irene Rothschild, Terri & Stan Katzman.  The Birthday of Robin Mickey by Irene Rothschild.  The Birthday of Karen Sarko by Irene Rothschild and Mary Ellen Kane.  The Anniversary of Rabbi Lenny & Karen Sarko by Mary Ellen Kane.  In Memory of: Ruth Shpargel by Terri & Stan Katzman, Amy Karelitz & Family, Irene Rothschild, Mary Ellen Kane, Marion & Bob Slone, Virginia & John Lieberman.  Bob Carpenter by Wally Caplan. Ricki Herling by the Chobirko Family. Leonard Grodin by Virginia & John Lieberman and Kate & Tim Donovan. Bill Brasco by Wally Caplan. Sandy Greaves by Wally Caplan.

SOCIAL ACTION FUND:  Supports projects that benefit our community.

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.


We wish to offer a huge Thank You to the

Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

for the COVID-19 Relief Fund grant.

CEI greatly appreciates their support

during this pandemic time.


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. 

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

June 4:  *Harry Berger, Eleanor Chobirko, Joseph Cohen, *Isidore Felder, Stuart Freeman, *Dr. Philip H. Gold, *James (Yaney) Grossman, *Maurice Kramer, Bill Moldovan, Maxine Morris, *Abraham Pavloff, Aleen Redlich, Robert Schrag, Esther Segal, Jane Ratner Werrin, *Mollie R. Whiteman and *Barbara Wilder.

June 11:  Patricia Barnhart, Dr. William Felder, *Isadore Friedman, Norton Geier, Joan Gisterson, *Louis Glantz, *Edward Gordon, *Simon Gordon, *Margot Halden, *Barry J. Kane, Ethel Krokosky, *Yale Ozik, *Lewis Schindowich, *Robert Schindowich and Fay Wolinsky.

June 18:  *Abraham Buchman, William Buchman, *Sarah Tucker Cohen, *Elaine Friedlander-Smith, *Benjamin Geier, *Rose Goldberg, *Sarah Levin, *Anna Magadof, *Martin Theodore Sadock, *Isadore Sine and *Ethel Ziff.

June 25:  *Albert Boyer, *Jacob Daniels, Helen Davis, *Ida Sarah Friedman, *Aaron Harry Gillis, *George Gillis, *William Lifshitz, Joe Naughton, *Theordore “Ted” Rossen and Joan Silvis.

July 2:  Ben Berlin, Leonard Berman, *Esther Caplan, *Edna G. Cobetto, Cecil Cohen, *Fannie Davis, *Rachel Leah Flamm, *Gloria Glasser, *Louis I. Gould, John Hammill, Jr., Gertrude Hatowski, *Nathan Jaskulek, *Maurice Nevins and *Leonard Wolinsky.