March 2023 Bulletin

March 2023 CEI Bulletin

Congregation Emanu-El Israel

222 North Main Street, Greensburg, PA. 15601          

                 Adar – Nisan      5783                 

March 2023


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


From the desk of Rabbi Leonard Sarko

Late winter and early spring marks two important Jewish Holidays – Purim and Passover.  They are one month apart and serve to refocus our attention after a three month span from our last holiday, Hanukkah.

All major Jewish holidays are about different types of freedom.  It is a very different approach than other religions which focus their holidays on their viewpoint of God.  Hanukkah, that we celebrated last December, was about religious freedom; Purim is about freedom to live, to reject genocide; and Passover is about physical freedom, freedom from slavery.

There is another connection between Purim and Passover.  They both occur outside the land of Israel.  Purim is located in Persia, Passover in Egypt.  Both involve kings who control the fate of the lives of the Jewish people.  Both involve the destruction of the mechanism of that peril – the Pharaoh’s army and Haman.

Maimonides saw past triumphs and tragedies in a unique way – as current events, not ancient history.

When he discussed Purim and reading the Megillah, he wrote, “The prophets and the courts commanded that the Megillah be read in order to praise God, the salvation God brought us, and God’s response to our cries, so that we will bless God, extol God, and inform the future generations of the truth of the Torah’s promise…For what great nation is there that has God so near to it? The Lord our God is always [available] when we call Him.”  What is interesting about this statement is that the Megillah, the Book read on Purim, never mentions the name of God.

In a similar fashion, when Maimonides discussed the Passover Seder, he wrote, “In each and every generation, a person must present himself as if he, himself, has now left the slavery of Egypt.”

Maimonides understood that the commemoration of past events speaks much more to the present than the past.  The world of Purim and Passover was dangerous.  So is our world today.  We simply face different threats.  Today we face Covid, prevalent mass murders, and a world that experiences dangerous climate change, through earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and a myriad of other weather phenomenon which challenges our existence.

Like our biblical counterparts we must find solutions to our crises.  We must use our Judaism to help us not only survive but thrive in our dangerous world and set something better for those that will come after us.

I wish to end this monthly note an a far more pleasant thought.  The comedian Alan King once wrote a summary of all Jewish holidays.  Jokes often reflect a deeper truth.  I believe this one does as well.  He said, “A summary of every Jewish holiday: They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat!”

I want to wish all of you a very nice Purim and Passover.  Chag Samach – Happy Holiday.

Rabbi Lenny     


From the President: Irene Rothschild

For most of the articles I write for the Bulletin, I focus on temple business, but for this month, I would like to share a personal experience with you, but first a little background.  In 2014, I traveled to Israel and while there I met relatives in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, all on my father’s side of the family.  Going back even further, I learned about my great-grandfather Rafael Rothschild, his brother Josef Rothschild and some of their descendants.  One of my cousins in Jerusalem has been conducting extensive research into the genealogy of our Rothschild Family, using sources in Germany over many years.  On February 12, 2023, he brought 40 of us together on a Zoom call to present some of what he has learned in his research and his visit to Germany during the summer of 2022 with his mother.  He and his mother are descendants of Josef Rothschild and I had the pleasure of having Shabbat dinner with them while in Jerusalem in 2014.  We have been communicating ever since via email.  Fortunately, their English is exceptionally good!  It was thrilling to ‘see’ these cousins, some of whom I have met and some I had not until that day.  I know that Rafael Rothschild had eight children, four girls and four boys, my grandfather being one them.  Josef had 12 children, two of whom died as babies, so there were ten surviving children.  Needless to say, there are a lot of Rothschild relatives somewhere in the world and I am having fun learning about them and meeting some of them.  The stories of the Holocaust generation’s survival are compelling; however, sadly, not all of them survived.  I am grateful and thankful every day that I was born in the USA!  Now, one of my long-term goals is to find out more about my mother’s side of the family…many of them, I know perished during the Holocaust.  Maybe there is a trip to Germany in my future.

So now back to temple business.  At the February virtual board meeting, the directors selected Sunday, June 11, 2023 for our Annual Congregation meeting.  Please save the date.  I am going to try to bring back Officer Deiter for another ‘Stop the Shooter’ – ‘Prevent a Hostage Situation’ session, so I am hopeful that as many of you will plan to attend as possible.  It is imperative that we learn how to save ourselves and others during a crisis situation.  Federation, through the Secure Community Network, is working hard at training us to remain safe while worshiping and conducting synagogue business.  Please know that the Security Committee is at work taking steps to keep everyone safe.  After the meeting, we will have a pot luck supper in the Social Hall.

I need to extend a special Thank You to Rabbi Lenny for his help in completing the PCCD grant application.  It was much more extensive than either of us realized and certainly beyond my level of expertise!  If we wind up actually receiving the funds, we will install two sets of exit only interior doors and film on all of the downstairs windows.

Also, the nominating process for Board of Directors is in process, so if Mary Ellen contacts you, please consider taking a leadership position in the Congregation.  I am so grateful to have such a dedicated group of Directors to work with in conducting the business of the Congregation.



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.



Happy Birthday to:  Pearl Berman, David Blozowich, Edgar Bureau, Jim Davis, Marilyn Davis, Jon Lewis, Gary Moidel, Rabbi Sara Rae Perman, Carol Ratner, Shirley Ratner, Jessica Roberts, Georgi Virshup and Sean Winters.

Happy Anniversary to:  Marilyn & Jim Davis.

We offer condolences to Marla Blum and Adam Anderko on the death of Joseph Anderko.



When is chocolate even better?  When you enjoy the results of your own making!  On Sunday, February 5, six Sisterhood “buddies” met at McFeely Chocolates in downtown Greensburg and assembled a “Chocolate Smash”.  Each of us went home with a big chocolate heart filled with chocolate treats – and our own mallet.  What fun!!!

On Friday, March 17, we will conduct, along with Rabbi Lenny, the Shabbat Service.  Many of you have agreed to take a part, and if you still get a call I hope you will say, “Yes”.  The oneg following Services will be hosted by the Sisterhood and looks to be yummy.  We’re hoping many congregants will attend in person and help celebrate a festive Shabbat.

Sisterhood has a big responsibility – we raise enough funds to keep us all warm in the winter and cool in the summer. That responsibility carries a price tag of at least $6.000 annually.  We also sponsor onegs and host a Passover Seder, Rosh Hashanah Reception, Tu BiShvat Seder, Chanukah Dinner, Break the Fast, and more.  WE ALSO HAVE FUN!  If you have not renewed your membership or would like to join, please give me a call (dues are only $25/year).

Be Happy!  Spring is Coming!  Stay Well!

Terri, Sisterhood President


ALFRED RATNER LIBRARY NEWS by Shirley Shpargel, Librarian

The 2023 Sydney Taylor Book Award winners have been announced by the Association of Jewish Libraries.  This year’s winners emphasize how our Jewish communities connect us, and the award recognizes titles for children and teens that exemplify high literary standards while portraying the Jewish experience.

The gold medalist for the Picture Book category, grades K-4, is The Tower of Life: How Eliach Rebuilt Her Town in Stories and Photographs by Chana Stiefel.  This is a moving biography of the woman who created the Tower of Life at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.  This is the true story of how thirty-five years after the Nazis destroyed her shtetl of Eishyshok, Poland, Yaffa Eliach made it her life’s mission to recover thousands of her relatives and survivors photographs from around the world.  Susan Gal’s illustrations bring to life this true story of love and remembrance.

The gold medalist winner for the Middle Grade category, grades 4-8, is Aviva vs. the Dybbuk by Mari Lowe.  This is a tender story about friendship and community, grief and healing, and one girl who manages to connect them all.  Aviva and her widowed mother live next door to their synagogue in rooms above the mikvah, which is believed to be haunted by a dybbuk only Aviva can see.  This story gives an inside look at a close-knit Orthodox community.

The winner of the Young Adult category, grades 9-12, is When the Angels Left the Old Country by Sacha Lamb.  Uriel, the angel, and Little Ash, the demon, have been Talmud study partners for centuries.  Pogroms and search for a new life have drawn all the young people from their Shtetl to America.  When one of the emigrants goes missing, Uriel and Little Ash set off to find her.  But there are many obstacles ahead of them: Medical exams at Ellis Island, Corrupt officials, cruel mob bosses, murderers, and poverty.



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.  


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 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:  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.


We gratefully acknowledge the following gifts:

PULPIT FLOWERS.  In Memory of:

Jan. 20:    Andee Millstein by Marilyn & Jim Davis.

Jan. 27:    Walter W. Baker by Cori & Michael Liptak.  Eugene Lipowitz by Linda Liebman and Renee Silverman.

Feb. 10:    Alvin Holzer by Marilyn & Jim Davis.  Stanford Davis by Linda & Jeffrey Reisner, Marilyn & Jim Davis, Phyllis Davis and Family.


CEI 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.

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.

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

CONGREGATION GENERAL FUND:  CEI operating expenses.  In Appreciation of:  Thursday evening classes by Rabbi Lenny by Ron Schneider.  In Honor of:  The Birthday of Phyllis Davis by Linda & Jeff Reisner.

CONGREGATION YAHRZEIT FUND:  In Memory of:  Helen Stoll Feuerstein by Shirley Shpargel. Jane Goldberg Berkman, Sanford Gold and Richard Goldberg by Eilinor Gold.  Harold Freeman by George & Anita Freeman. Sandra Moldovan by Sheila & Barry Kassel. Stanford P. Davis by Ada Davis. Phillip Eisenstatt by Larry & Liz Eisenstatt. Albert Farber by Jeffrey & Cathy Feryus. Sara F. Cohen by Stanley Cohen. Anita Boas by Don Gold. Jennie & Henry Roth and Anita & Charles Koral by Judi & Harvey Roth. Bessie Alabran by Beth & Troy Federick. Barbara Aurick by Susan Hoffman. Adolf Rothschild by Irene C. Rothschild.

ER LIBRARY FUND:  Supports library facilities, books, & equipment.

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

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

NEW SHABBAT PRAYER BOOKS:  Provides for the purchase of new Stone Edition of The Chumash.  In Honor of the Birthday of Linda Reisner by Marilyn & Jim Davis.  In Honor of the Special Birthday of Carole Davis by Marilyn & Jim Davis.

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.  Virginia Lieberman (724-668-2442) or Yvonne Bureau (724-837-8072).

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.



You are invited to the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education’s High Tea & Book Launching Event on Wednesday, March 1 from 4:00 – 5:30 PM in Boyle Hall Room 167 A&B.  Join them to celebrate the publication of the NCCHE’s new book, “Holocaust Education Today: Confronting Extremism, Hate, and Mass Atrocity Crimes” by authors Dr. James Paharik, Dr. John Spurlock and Dr. Roni Kay O’Dell. The authors will be signing copies and books will be discounted by 50% and available to purchase by cash, card or check.  Do not miss out on some great conversation, tea, and treats!  If you have any questions or need further details, please reach out to them at

The meeting registration link is:  Meeting Registration – Zoom or



Friday, April 7, 2023 in the CEI Social Hall at 5:00 PM.  A short service will be interwoven throughout the traditional Shabbat Meal with Matzo.  Cost:  $20/pp (ages 12+), no cost for those 11 and under.  RSVP to the office, 724-834-05 or Terri KATZMAN, 724-837-8275 no later than March 31, 2023.  SPONSORED BY CEI SISTERHOOD



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.  1st Vice President:  Marion Slone.  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.


Honoring Their Memory

HONORING THEIR MEMORY …. 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:

March 3, 2023:  *Michael Arbetter, *Noah Cohen, *William Davis, *Belle M. Friedlander, *Henry Gold, *Leib Gross, *Mary Levin, *Pauline Levinson, Frances Lurie, Rozlyn Naughton, *Hattie Neumann, *Joseph Quint, James Ratner, *Eileen “Popsy” Sadock, Gary Schenck, Daniel Tattenbaum, *Israel Weiner, Samuel E. Weiner, William Weiner and Tom Ziff.

March 10:  *Joanne Brodell Alpern, *H. Samson Binakonsky, Ellen Bray, Eileen Cohen, Joseph Glasser, Andrew Jubelirer, *Isaac Kahanowitz, Herman Resnick, *Ethel Ziff Shor and *Sidney Silverman.

March 17:  Jacob L. Adler, *Ralph Balber, *Thesi Baneman, *Joseph C. Binakonsky, *Ida Browdie, *Sarah Goldstein Davis, *Mary Farber, *Theodore Gillis, Sadie Goldman, *Sam Kamerman, *Etta Katzman, *Albert Levick, *Isadore Levine, *Meyer Liebman, *Morris Loundy, *Joseph H. Rossen, *Morris Schultz, *Eva Ratner Schurr, Herb Seigle, *Betsy Shendowich and *Samuel N. Whiteman.

March 24:  *Sidney D. Adler, *Max Applbaum, Frieda Benowitz, *Anne Bolner, Charles Carothers, *Gittl R. Cohen, James Constantine, Bonnie DelDuca, Seymour Farber, Sylvia Felder, *Fanny Felder, *Jacob Glicenstein, *Bella B. Jacobson, *Mary G. Kaufman, *Theodore Levin, *Harry Levine, *Isidor Neumann, Mickey Radman, *Isaac Schindowich, *Noah Shendow, *Harry B. Shendowich, *Goldye Taper and *Shrage Ph.L. Ziff.

March 31:  *Morris Altman, *Ann L. Axelrod, *Benjamin Berkofsky, *Louis Bleiberg, *Anna Buchman, *Anna Cohen, Louise Davidson, *Michael Farber, *S. Harry Goldberg, *William Gordon, *Isaac Gross, *Burrel Hochberg, *Michael Magadof, *Rachel Ozik, *Charles I. Ratner, Daniel Michael Reid, Rhoda A. Reid, *Darlene Robinowitz, *Seth Alan Sadock, *Israel Samuels, *David L. Slone, *Sarah VeShancey and *Samuel Wolinsky.

April 7:  Frances Brodell, *Goldie Cohen, *Sheldon Cohen, Barbara Eckstein, *Elliot Farber, Clara Sedel Greensberg, Helen Kirkpatrick, *Lillian Kogut, *B. Jacob Levine, Joan Mendler, Sara Schulman Metz, Anna Pavloff, Addie Reid Powell, *Alfred W. Ratner, *Rolf Rothschild, *Maxene Rita Segal, *Sol Shpargel and *William Zakowitz.

 * A light will be lit on a Memorial Board