June CEI Bulletin

Congregation Emanu-El Israel

222 North Main Street, Greensburg, PA. 15601          

                 SIVAN – TAMUZ      5780                 

JUNE 2020


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 Embrace of the Past and the Future

     There was a time before the cloud, the iphone, Facebook, LinkedIn and texting…….it’s just that many people don’t remember it.  Today we have libraries without books (they’re all digitized) and watches are no longer necessary (“I have my phone…”) One mother recently told me how, while explaining to her 11-year-old that when she got lost or couldn’t find her destination, she had to stop, find a phone booth and look up the number in the phone directory.  The child had never heard of a phone booth or a directory.  Her child’s response was, “why didn’t you just google it?” (Note: “google” is now both a noun and a verb!)  Oh, how the world has changed!

     Not only is change inevitable, but more often than not, life has been improved by the changes. While the anticipated leisure may not have been realized, people are rushing more and more intensely.  Medicine, technology and science enable us to live longer and healthier lives.  Happier is still an open question.

     As I am completing my first year here at CEI, I began to think about how we should move forward as a congregation, as a community.  What can we learn from the past that was very different from the present?

     Look at the struggles that our forebearers had in order to build and maintain this congregation.  We should feel a sense of relief and gratitude that their challenges are not ours.  Some of the stories of the generations that preceded me – Surviving the struggles of European oppression, and then the courage to flee to an unknown new land…… often a harrowing 6 week journey on a sailing ship, unstable and haltingly making it across the rough Atlantic.  Some didn’t make it across, and some survived in the new land only for a brief time.  Here, they had to learn a new language.  They had to support themselves, they became involved in the most menial of labor.  And while the persecutions in Europe may not be comparable, nevertheless they faced discrimination here as well.  Despite the obstacles, they overcame them and rose above them.  They continued to keep their tradition and faith alive.  All the while, building structures like the synagogue we have here in Greensburg. 

     Remembering all of this is imperative.  It reminds us of our heritage, of courage and of the effort to keep our house of prayer alive.  Temples are a living organism and we stand on the shoulders of those who came before.  And yet, I am reminded of what Ben Gurion said in 1948.  “We Jews must never live in the past, but the past must live in us.”  This sentiment is reflected in a special Jewish prayer:

“Praised are you, Sovereign of the Universe who has kept us in life, sustained us, and brought us to this time.”

     It is important for us to take a moment to remember those who came before us.  It is important for us to think about what we have accomplished this past year.  But let us also resolve to move forward into the future, with a determination to grow, nurture and allow CEI and the entire Western Pennsylvania community to blossom within our unique religion of Judaism, in our time, in our place, and in our manner.



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

The answer can be found somewhere in this bulletin!


What word is spelled wrong in every dictionary?”



   Happy Birthday wishes to:  Jerry Pavloff, Bill Friedlander, Nina Lewis, Bob Slone, John Vivio, Doris Kaufman and Ruth Papernick.

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

   Mazel Tov! To Max Kaufer achieved a 4.0 GPA for his freshman year at Clarion University, making him a Dean’s List member.  He is to be a campus tour guide for potential incoming students, working for the admissions office.  Max is the son of members Karen & Bruce Kaufer.  And to, Jason Chobirko who graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh majoring in Bioinformatics.  He will be attending Grad School at Cornell.  Jason is the son of members Karen & Brian Chobirko.

  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.

CEI has a supply of FDA 3-ply disposable masks. The proceeds from our purchase benefits the Excela Pandemic Response Fund through the Excela Health Foundation.  We are making them available to our members at no cost to you; but, any contribution is greatly appreciated.  If you need a mask/masks for your daily use, please contact the office and make arrangements to pick them up with social distancing.  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.  You will find the Pulpit Flower Form elsewhere in this Bulletin.  Thank you!



     On Division: A Novel by Goldie Goldbloom features what it means to be an Orthodox Jew living in modern times.  The setting is Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood where traditions are based on the Torah, but the setting is medieval Eastern European where most the community still adheres to the dress code and customs of the Middle Ages.  When the novel begins, Surie Eckstein is 57, mother of 10 children, grandmother to 32 and is about to become a great-grandmother. She is post-menopausal, and a breast cancer survivor, yet finds herself pregnant again with twins. She is ashamed to reveal her pregnancy because she would be judged for maintaining a sexual relationship with her husband long past customary childbearing age.  Because she is obese, she is able to keep her pregnancy a secret from her family and even her husband, Yidel, who is a Rabbi and famous scribe.  Yidel misses all the signs that she is pregnant. 

     Surie fears that Yidel’s desire to maintain the family’s reputation, he would then reject the twins.  Four years earlier, after the tragic death of their son, Lipa, they have distanced themselves.  Lipa was gay, so was rejected by his family and community.  He fled to California, later to become homeless and committed suicide.  Surie never could forgive Yidel for not loving Lipa and accepting him as he was.  Surie would never agree to an abortion because the Chasidic lifestyle would never allow it.  Instead of turning to her community for support, Surie looks outside it.  She volunteers at the hospital working as an interpreter for other Yiddish-speaking women.  Her midwife friend, Val, encourages Surie to accept a paid position as an apprentice midwife. 

     The author, Goldbloom, refers to On Division not only as the street that Surie lived on, but also her divided soul.  Surie deeply appreciates the security of her life anchored in ritual and familial love.  On the other hand she yearns for intellectual engagement.  Goldie Goldbloom is a Chasidic-Lubbavitch woman, mother of 8 children, and is also an activist for LGBTQ Chasidic youth.  On Division can be checked out from the Alfred Ratner Library at CEI.




Religious School News

What a sad moment!   As our Jewish community and congregation are shrinking, so is our school.

     We have had a Hebrew School, a religious school, and studies with Rabbis for conversions with attendance by over 100 students.  At one time, we even had a separate building down the hill from the parking lot.  Some of our teachers were paid for their work, but most of them volunteered their time.  We had as many as ten classes, some of which met three days a week.  From what I gathered, the space was tight, but we ran a full time school.  The teaching schedule enabled most parents to socialize and develop friendships.  So, thank you Barbara Young, Liz Eisenstatt, and Barbara Wilder, may their names be remembered forever; and to Rabbi Sara Perman for coordinating our school in the past.

     Thank you also to the various teachers of music, history, Hebrew, Talmud, Bnai Mitzvah, holocaust, Israel, dance, and more.  As the number of students shrank, we combined some of the subjects and classes.  Nevertheless, our children received a top notch education through classroom work, cooking, dancing, and teaching trips to Pittsburgh, New York, and Washington D.C.

     The above is just what I can recall from the past thirty years.  I know there was more.  In the past year or two, we were down to two classes with two students and three teachers.  Our last official students were Autumn Blozowich and Yvonne Bureau.  They were great together, feeding off each other from their strengths.  It has been a pleasure watching them grow in their Jewish knowledge.

     As of now, I am stepping down from my positions as the principal and Hebrew teacher at CEI.  No, I am not going anywhere.  As long as I live locally, I will be here as part of CEI and a Hebrew consultant.  If the need is here, so am I.                                       

  Thanks to all, Shoshana Halden


Experiencing FINANCIAL IMPACT from COVID-19?

Do you need cash assistance?
Do you need to replace lost wages or keep your small business afloat?
Do you need food, counseling, or help with an older relative?

Where should I turn in the Jewish community?

Are you seeking other resources?

For more information contact, JFunds, a network of Jewish financial support services @ jfundspgh.org


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

What word is spelled wrong in every dictionary?”

                           The word – wrong


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.


PULPIT FLOWERS.  In Memory of: 

April 17:         Noah Wood Toig by Phyllis Davis and Marilyn & Jim Davis.

April 24:         Norma Gespass by Marilyn & Jim Davis.  Dr. Thomas Warren Wilson by Virginia & John Lieberman.

May 8:             Mark Weisberger by Larry Brodell and Linda & Jeffrey Reisner.  Max Kaufer by Bruce & Karen Kaufer, Max & Jamie.  June Ziff by Phyllis Davis and Marilyn & Jim Davis.                


CEI Charitable Funds

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.  In Honor of:  Karen Sarko’s special birthday by Phyllis Davis.                

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: Jacob Yakov Cohen by The Dunhoff & Cohen Families.       

CONGREGATION YAHRZEIT FUND: In Memory of:  Addie R. Powell by Robin Mickey. Harry & Dorothy Sandson by Andra Sandson Condon. Max Kaufer by Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Kaufer. Sylvia Bendix by Sanford Bendix. Herbert L. Friedlander by Bill Friedlander, Jody, Mike, Stacey & Michael Keating. James Applebaum & Frances Applbaum Abramson by Barbara (Applbaum) & Daniel Glennie. Barbara Wilder by Jack Wilder. 

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).  In Honor of:  The Speedy Recovery of Mary Ann Wolfe by Irene Rothschild. Justin Chobirko’s acceptance to Cornell by Irene Rothschild. The birth of grandson to Marianne Kennedy-Evans by Irene Rothschild. Karen Sarko’s special birthday by Marion & Bob Slone, Mary Ellen Kane, Wally Caplan, Irene Rothschild, Terri and Stan Katzman.  In Memory of:  David Robinson by Wally Caplan.  Jacob Cohen by Irene Rothschild, Terri and Stan Katzman.

SOCIAL ACTION FUND:  Supports projects that benefit our community.

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



The meeting was held virtually on Gotomeeting.com at 1:30 pm.

ATTENDING:  Irene Rothschild, Julie Goldstein, Mary Ellen Kane, Marion Slone, Rabbi Lenny Sarko, Virginia Lieberman, Terri Katzman.

The directors discussed whether to hold a rummage sale this year.  The consensus was to wait to make a decision and address how to manage social distancing and other safety measures.

Irene asked if it was still necessary to edit addresses, email addresses and phone numbers from the Bulletin.  The suggestion was made to simply replace personal information with the CEI phone number and email.  There was a concern that this would overload Bea.  Irene will talk to Bob Halden about whether he will continue to remove the identifying information before the Bulletin is published on the website.

Rabbi Lenny shared the initial information that is being developed to send to service providers for persons who are blind or visually impaired.  There was discussion about the targets of the document – administrators or clients.  Rabbi Lenny will come up with a cover letter for the administrators and the focus of the initial document will be edited to address the clients more directly.  Virginia will work with Rabbi Lenny on this.  He is also working on material for the other target populations in the outreach initiative. The hope is that those who respond to CEI’s outreach will be motivated to become Fair Share paying members.  After they respond and begin to develop a relationship with CEI and Rabbi Lenny, he will broach the subject of membership.  Rabbi Lenny is adapting the website to make it more compatible with screen readers.

Irene told Julie that she believes that the Restricted Funds should be tapped to reimburse the General Fund for the cost of the search for the Rabbi.  Julie answered some questions about the Financial Report.  She and Irene will look into possibly changing electricity providers to get a lower rate.

Rabbi Lenny received a grant from the Federation for the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund. 

Robin will be planting flowers around the CEI sign on the front yard.  The flowers will come from the greenhouse that was to supply the plants for the Sisterhood sale that had to be cancelled.

Virginia reported that ballots for the Board election should be going out this week.  There was discussion about possibly holding the annual meeting virtually, but no decision was made.  It may just be postponed until it is safe to hold such a meeting. 

Minutes respectfully recorded by Virginia Lieberman and submitted by Irene Rothschild.


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. 


                      SIVAN – TAMUZ 5780
















Shabbat Service ONLINE ONLY

6 Nasso




12noon Deadline for Election Ballots to be returned




7:30pm CEI Board Meeting (Online)





Shabbat Service ONLINE ONLY

13  Beha’alotcha










7 :30pm

Shabbat Service ONLINE ONLY

20 Sh’lach




Rosh Chodesh Tamuz


Rosh Chodesh Tamuz







Shabbat Service


27 Korach












Shabbat  Service


4 Chukat-Balak

Independence Day

                   Please Note:  All times & events subject to change.

                                             Mon., July 6           CEI Closed.

                                             Mon., Sept. 7          CEI Closed.

                                             Fri., Sept. 18          Erev Rosh Hashana.

                                             Sat., Sept. 19          Rosh Hashana Day I.

                                             Sun., Sept. 20         Rosh Hashana Day II.

                                             Sat., Sept. 26          Shabbat Shuva.

                                             Sun., Sept. 27         Erev Yom Kippur.

                                             Mon., Sept. 28        Yom Kippur.  CEI is Closed.


The CEI Riddle Answer:     Wrong.


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. 







June 5:  Stuart Freeman, *Louis Glantz, *Dr. Philip H. Gold, *James (Yaney) Grossman,

*Margot Halden, *Maurice Kramer, Ethel Krokosky, Sara Pittler Kurtz, Bill Moldovan, Leah Moldovan, *Robert Schindowich, Esther Segal, Jane Ratner Werrin and Fay Wolinsky.

June 12:  Eleanor Chobirko, Elaine Dunhoff, *Elaine Friedlander-Smith, *Isadore Friedman,

Louis Glantz, *Rose Goldberg, *Edward Gordon, *Simon Gordon, *Barry J. Kane, *Sarah Levin,

*Yale Ozik, *Abraham Pavloff, Aleen Redlich, Audrey G. Richman and *Lewis Schindowich.

June 19:  *Abraham Buchman, *Sarah Tucker Cohen, *Isidore Felder, *Benjamin Geier,

  1. Gunter Haas, *Anna Magadof, Maxine Morris, Sally Davis Rubinoff, *Martin Theodore Sadock, Robert Schrag, *Isadore Sine, *Samuel C. Weiner and *Ethel Ziff.

June 26:  Ben Berlin, Frank Borowsky, *Albert Boyer, *Esther Caplan, *Jacob Daniels,

Helen “Honey” Davis, *Ida Sarah Friedman, Norton Geier, *Aaron Harry Gillis, *George Gillis,

*Abe Levin, *William Lifshitz, *Theodore “Ted” Rossen and Herman Tannenbaum.

July 3:  William Buchman, *Edna G. Cobetto, Cecil Cohen, *Fannie Davis, Samuel Farber,

*Rachel Leah Flamm, *Louis I. Gould, John Hammill, Jr., *Nathan Jaskulek, *Beila Mace,

Joe Naughton, *Maurice Nevins, Richard Pomerantz, *Leonard Wolinsky and Anton Wong.