May Bulletin

May CEI Bulletin

Congregation Emanu-El Israel

222 North Main Street, Greensburg, PA. 15601          

                 Nissan – Iyar     5782                 

May 2022

 724-834-0560    

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.

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From the desk of Rabbi Leonard Sarko

     How does Judaism view conversion?  In English we have two words to describe this characteristic, convert and proselyte.  The second word is often used to describe someone newly converted to a religion. In Hebrew there are a few words which defines a convert in a more specific manner.  Transliterated we might use the word gar.  This is better defined as a foreigner.  The word in Yiddish over time changed to goy, and became a pejorative – a not nice word – for a non-Jew.  Whereas ger in the bible was a word used for simply someone not from our neighborhood.    In Hebrew we also have the word moomar or mishoomad.  This is defined as a Jew who converted from Judaism to another religion.  The orthodox does not recognize this status.  Once you are a Jew you are always considered a Jew by this denomination, regardless of your beliefs or actions. 

     There is an interesting idiom, in Hebrew transliterated as ger tzedek.  This means a devout or “righteous stranger”.  This is someone new to Judaism who follows the religion in a strict or enthusiastic manner.  It is often the case that converts are far more zealous about their new found religion than those born into it.

     There is also the Hebrew word transliterated as anusim.  This is different than moomar which is voluntary.  Anusim is a person forced to convert out of Judaism.  Examples would be Jews who were required to convert to Christianity by the inquisition.

     In other words, conversion from a Jewish perspective, is a very complicated matter.  Yet we must ask the question.  What is the status of a person who converts to Judaism within the community?  The first thing we must understand is that Judaism is not a missionary faith and so doesn’t actively try to convert people.  The tradition is that a person who wishes to convert needs to ask three times before acceptance to a course of study.  Unlike Islam or Christianity which simply requires a single foundational belief; Judaism has no such individual concept.  It is based on a number of ideas that need to be understood to reach a conclusion that this is the religion for me.  Often times this will take about a year of study, and in reality is but a first step in the educational process. 

     The question at hand though is what is the position or acceptance of converts into a Jewish community?  Do they have a separate status and are there certain restrictions?  The answer is that a convert has full rights and responsibilities within the Jewish community.  There is nothing they are not allowed to do or cannot do in a religious sense because they came to the religion as a convert.

     Modernism tends to promote a skeptical perspective.   As such, new converts within a specific community tend to be looked at arms length.  This is counterproductive both for the community and for the convert. 

     We are congregationally in a transitional time frame.  Between the Internet, the pandemic, and people constantly on the move because of their jobs, we are in need to redefine what and how a synagogue operates.

     Many small congregations have not recognized this need and have not adjusted how they operate to address this new reality.  These synagogues are dying.   CEI has and has grown over this same time frame.  We have been moving to redefine what and how we operate to address this new society and how Judaism works within it.  One key area is our geographic expansion that has brought a number of new members to our congregation.  We have also been active in bringing in a number of new converts to our religion and our congregation.  It is critical that they be fully accepted.  Not only accepted as a Jew, but as a full and wanted member of our CEI community.  For the most part this has happened. 

     Understanding that this acceptance is not only something we should be doing from a religious perspective, but also from a humanitarian point of view is important.  As time allows please take the extra effort and make sure that these new members of our congregation feel welcomed, wanted and integral with our community.

Shalom,

Rabbi Lenny

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President:  Irene Rothschild

The most pressing issue on my mind for the past six months or so has been security for the Congregants, staff and the building.  The PCCD – Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency was offering a grant to faith-based organizations, so I worked for two months on the grant application, hoping to get funds for some new interior doors and locks, film for the downstairs windows and upgrades to the security system.  Unfortunately, I learned last week the CEI did not qualify for the grant.  The reasons being that we have never experienced an actual threat and there were 600 applicants for the $5 million that was available.  Needless to say, I am very disappointed!  But, we need to keep moving forward.  Another item on the agenda for the Security Committee is arranging for an active-shooter drill and to that end, some of us met last week with an officer from the Greensburg Police Department who spent two hours with us going over the whole building.  He gave us some good tips already!  Rest assured that the Security Committee is hard at work and I very much appreciate all of the time and attention that everyone on the committee is willing to give!

At the Annual Congregation Meeting on Sunday, June 26, 2022 at 1:00 PM the officer will return to conduct a seminar and a drill with all of those attending, so please plan to be there as it is vital to all of us as to how to survive an active shooter event!  After the drill, we will have a pot luck dinner in the Social Hall.  The seminar will be held in the sanctuary. 

Most Congregants are accepting the reality of the current world situation and that we can no longer be complacent about the issue of a possible dangerous event and that is reassuring!  The officer complemented us on the amount of security that we are already providing and congratulated us on keeping the doors locked at all times and NOT admitting unknown people.  The Security Committee has developed a policy to that end and it will be published in the Bulletin and on the website.  It is essential that it be on the website, so that any future visitor will know to contact the office beforehand and to request an appointment or make known that he/she will be attending services. 

On the Committee’s agenda is updating our AED credentials and to hold a ‘Stop the Bleed’ workshop through Mutual Aid.  So, if you are interested, please pay attention to when they will take place. 

The April Virtual Board meeting was devoted to revising the current Congregation policies.  Some were eliminated, some revised and some remained the same.  The discussion was quite good and thorough!  As the governing arm of the Congregation, it is very rewarding to know that each Director takes his/her ‘job’ seriously.  The election is coming up and I hope that each of you will participate.

Irene

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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.

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CHATTER                             

   Happy Birthday to:  Myriam Gau, Joyce Schenck, Jamie Marks, Mitch Goldstein, Cheryl Schorey, Robin Mickey, Jim Schenck, Karen Sarko and Jeanne Cohen-Sicuro,

   Happy Anniversary to:  Brian & Sharon Winters, Rabbi Lenny & Karen Sarko, Michael & Jody Keating and Jon & Nina Lewis. 

   We offer condolences to Sister Gemma DelDuca and the death of her sister Bonnie DelDuca.

   Mazel Tov to Anna & Jeremy Spor on the birth of a daughter Mira Dorothy Spor.

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LET’S MEET AND EAT!

CONGREGATION EMANU-EL ISRAEL SISTERHOOD

CLOSING DINNER AT

 RODNEY’S

557 WENDEL ROAD, IRWIN, PA

ON WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2022 AT 6 P.M.

WE CAN CELEBRATE A YEAR THAT HAS BEEN FILLED WITH HELPING OTHERS, VISITING FINE ART, AND MAKING MEMORIES AT THE CHOCOLATE SHOPPE.  WE CAN THINK OF WHAT WE WOULD LIKE TO DO IN THE NEXT SISTERHOOD YEAR.  AND, WE CAN JUST HAVE FUN.

WE WILL ORDER FROM THE MENU AND PAY SEPARATELY. 

WE DO NEED YOU TO RSVP– CORI LIPTAK AT 412-996-5722 OR TERRI KATZMAN AT 724-837-8275 NO LATER THAN FRIDAY, JUNE 10.

THIS IS THE USUAL TIME WE ENCOURAGE MEMBERS TO OFFER A CONTRIBUTION TO OUR SISTERHOOD (DONOR) IN THE AMOUNT OF $18, $25, $36, OR MORE.

BRING A PICTURE OF YOU AS A BABY FOR OUR “GUESSING GAME”.

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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.  

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     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).

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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.

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ALFRED RATNER LIBRARY NEWS by Shirley Shpargel, Librarian

Book purchased with Alfred Ratner Library Fund:

     The Passover Guest by Susan Kusel (Holiday-Passover) Picture Book grades K-4.

Lisa Scottoline is a bestselling author of many legal thrillers, but her novel, Eternal, is a historical novel that takes place in Italy during the 20 years of Mussolini’s reign.  Based on true events, the charactes’ world is shattered during the struggle of anti-Fascists in World War II Rome.  The main characters: Elisabetta, Marco and Sandro grow up to be the best of friends despite their differences.  Elisabetta is the local beauty and aspires to be a writer.  Marco is the loud, athletic champion biker in a family of cyclists, and Sandro is a Jewish mathematics prodigy.  The friendship develops into a love triangle with both Marco and Sandro falling in love with Elisabetta.  But in the fall of 1937, all their childhood hopes change as Mussolini asserts his power, aligning Italy’s Fascists with Hitler’s Nazis.  The discriminatory race laws that the Fascists put into place are very real and well documented by Scottoline.  Fascism starts to separate Marco, a party member, and Sandro, a victim of their legal attacks.  The three find that all they love, their families, their homes, their friendship and their city, will never be the same.

Scottoline has researched the Italian Holocaust for years.  As an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, she took a year-long seminar, “The Literature of the Holocaust,” taught by the late Philip Roth.  She chose Rome for the setting in Eternal since its Ghetto is home to the oldest continuously existing Jewish Community in all Western Civilization.  Eternal is a novel of loyalty and loss, family and food, love and war all set in one of the world’s most beautiful cities.  Lisa Scottoline’s Eternal can be checked out from Westmoreland Library Network.

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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.

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CEI Security Committee – Policy for Opening Doors

Adopted April 18, 2022

  1. Doors should remain locked at all times.
  2. All Congregants have a FOB that will enable them to enter the building during authorized times.
  3. If the buzzer sounds, a monitor should be viewed before opening the door.
  4. No unknown person should be admitted without an appointment.
  5. If the person is known, it should be safe to open the door; however, please check the monitors first to make sure that they are not being used by someone with a weapon that wishes to gain access to the building.
  6. If an unknown person requests to enter the building, they should be told that it will be necessary to make an appointment with whomever they are wishing to see and to show identification. If they are dropping something off or leaving sales materials, have them leave it at the door and someone will get it when it is safe to do so. 
  7. Whoever responds to the request, should clearly state this policy.
  8. If you are not a member of CEI and would like to attend services, please register your name and submit a photo ID to the office at least one day in advance.

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“These are a few of our favorite Jewish things:”

Western Pennsylvania Small Congregational Clergy Explorations

Clergy Explorations is a series of the Western PA Small Congregations initiative, in collaboration with Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and the Jewish Community Legacy Project.  This series and future programs are designed to enhance the Jewish experiences of the members of the 13 small congregations in the Western PA region.

Program #5: 

Conversion to Judaism: Different Eras, Different Views

will be presented on

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

at 7:00 PM

by Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer

Congregation B’nai Abraham in Butler

In a Power Point and discussion session, we will explore the views and practices concerning conversion in the biblical and early rabbinic eras.  Prepare to be surprised!!  All programs are virtual presentations. 

Register using this link.

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUlceGqpjkqEt2vJpg-D-EKPRC4tXvML8ns

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We gratefully acknowledge the following gifts:

PULPIT FLOWERS.  In Memory of: 

In Memory of: 

Mar. 18:          Sarah Davis by Linda & Jeffrey Reisner, Marilyn & Jim Davis and Phyllis Davis & Family.

                        Herb Seigle by Marilyn & Jim Davis.  Sadie Goldman by Cori & Michael Liptak.

Mar. 25:          Harry Levine by Marilyn & Jim Davis and Phyllis Davis & Family.

Apr. 01:          Israel Samuels by Marilyn & Jim Davis and Phyllis Davis & Family.  David L. Slone by Marion & Robert Slone.

Apr. 08:          Sol Shpargel by Shirley & Jerold Shpargel.         

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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.

 

CONGREGATION GENERAL FUND:  CEI operating expenses.  In Honor of: The upcoming Bat Mitzvah of Terri Katzman by Meryl Lazar, PhD.  In Memory of: Eileen Cohen by Ann Karelitz Laaff, Marilyn & Jim Davis, Esther & Stuart Glasser.  Bert Minushkin by Karen A. Minick, Amy & Kenneth Young, Sandra & Victor Meyerowitz, Ethan Binder, Will Levine, Terri & Stan Katzman, Rosalyn Balk, Donald Pripstein.  Mickey Radman by Terri & Stan Katzman, Rosalyn Balk, Donald Pripstein.          

CONGREGATION YAHRZEIT FUND: In Memory of: Rozlyn Naughton & Daniel Tattenbaum by Rachel Minushkin. Daniel M. & Rhoda A. Reid by Robin R. Mickey. William Virshup by Richard & Georgi Virshup. Goldie Cohen & Sheldon Cohen by Jeanne & Jeff Sicuro. Sara Schulman Metz, Sol Shpargel & Ruth F. Shpargel by Shirley & Jerold Shpargel. Max Applbaum by Barbara Glennie. Joan Mendler by Mike & Stacy Mendler. Rolf Rothschild by Irene C. Rothschild. Louis Wilder by Jack Wilder. Goldye Pittler by Bill Friedlander.                                       

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

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. 

RABBI’S DISCRETIONARY FUND: Helps individuals and/or org. in need.  Donations by Dr. Herb Kramer, Jim & Marilyn Davis and Lisa Minushkin Heffley. 

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 Bob Slone by Jack Wilder. Happy Birthday to Monte Peters by Irene Rothschild. In Memory of:  Jan Rupp by Wally Caplan.  Eileen Cohen by Wally Caplan, Don Pripstein, Loren & John Vivio.  Joe Ewing by Virginia & John Lieberman. Bonnie DelDuca by Virginia & John Lieberman, Marion & Bob Slone, Mary Ellen Kane and Amy Karelitz. Herman Meltzer by Barbara & Shelly Rose.

SOCIAL ACTION FUND:  Supports projects that benefit our community.

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

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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.

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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.

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It is my greatest wish that you will honor me with your presence at my

BAT MITZVAH

 SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2022           

10 A.M.

 CONGREGATION EMANU-EL ISRAEL

Terri Katzman

Kiddush luncheon immediately following in social hall.

Although a little past the age of thirteen, I look forward to fulfilling the mitzvah of reading from the Torah and sharing this experience with each of you.

My tzedaka project supports the work of the Westmoreland County Food Bank.  You can help me by bringing a non-perishable item(s) to C.E.I. on Saturday or Friday evening services.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHETHER YOU CAN JOIN US FOR THE DAY BY CALLING ME AT 724-837-8275 OR EMAILING ME AT terriandstan@comcast.net, no later than May 6, 2022.

NO GIFTS, PLEASE. Should you want to acknowledge the occasion, a donation to the Westmoreland County Food Bank or Cong. Emanu-El Israel would be welcomed. 

You are welcome to join us online. Please go to www.ceigreensburg.org start page for instructions.

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Save the Date

With Love and Joy, we invite you to celebrate with us!

Michaeel and Rachel Gau

will be called to the Torah on 

May 27th at 7:30 pm

at CEI

Substantial Oneg will follow in the Social Hall

Please RSVP by May 12th at myriamgau@gmail.com

You are also welcome to join us online.

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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. 

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Honoring Their Memory

The following Yahrzeits will be honored at CEI

May 5: *Nellie Callet, *Pearle G. Conn, *Leonard J. Cowan, *Nathan Dates, *Martha Friedlander Kuhns, *Irene S. Mullen, Goldye Pittler, *William Balazs Roth, *Ethel Stalin, Mark Weisberger, *Louis Wilder and June Ziff.

May 13:  *Aaron Blum, *Robert Finkelhor, *Milton M. Goldberg, *Minnie Gordon, *Abraham Gross, *David Grossman, Janet Engelhart Gutterman, *Anna Levine, *Anna Pallan, *Nathan David Redlich, *Anna Shofnosky and *Michael Whiteman.           

May 20:  Frances Applbaum Abramson, Sylvia Bendix, *Johnn Bergwein, *Lillian Berkofsky, David Bernstein, Michael Warren Buchman, Terry (Rachel Leah) Davis, *Benjamin Davis, *Abraham Friedlander, *Sarah Gross, *Jacob Introligator, *Olga Obernauer Jaskulek, *Bertha Kamerman, Joann Kramer, *Reuben Levinson, Richard Liebman and Anna Marie Mikita.

May 27:  James Applebaum, *Harry E. Buchman, *Hymen Davis, *George Ekstein, *Blanche Gillis, *David Hochberg, Max Kaufer, *Ida Millstein Levine, *Sadie Levinson, *Abraham Minsky, *Jacob Ratner, Curt A. Reisner, *Sam Rosner, *Isadore Rubin, *Jacob M. Rubin, *R. Leah Rubin and Henry O. Slone.

June 3:  *Harry Berger, *Simon Feinberg, *Isidore Felder, Minna Lader Feuerstein, Stuart Freeman, *Herbert L. Friedlander, *Dr. Philip H. Gold, *James (Yaney) Grossman, *Maurice Kramer, *Samuel Moldovan, *Abraham Pavloff, Linda Schwartzman, *Mollie R. Whiteman and *Barbara Wilder.

 

April CEI Bulletin

Congregation Emanu-El Israel

222 North Main Street, Greensburg, PA. 15601          

                 Adar II – Nissan     5782                 

April 2022

 724-834-0560    

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.

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From the desk of Rabbi Leonard Sarko

Respect – is it something earned or is it a gift that is given?  The dictionary defines respect as, “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.”  This definition implies that it first must be a characteristic exhibited by one person and then recognized by another and thereby it is then given.  It ends up to be a combination of the two. 

The Aretha Franklin song takes a different take and asks for respect.  The song implies that she deserves it but may not get it from the person she wants it from.  Again, the act of respect seems to require two parties to exist.  I found it difficult to pin down a Hebrew word in the bible that translates as respect.  There are a number of words that imply it, but I found no direct words for it.  Does this mean that there is no Jewish concept for the term respect?

I have been struggling with this concept for some time.  It seems that the term has little relevance, if any, in our modern world.  The focus of people seems to be getting and increasing authority.  Again I turn to our dictionary to define this term – “the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.” 

Think of our politicians, on both sides of the aisle.  Their speeches reflect little of real life and the idea of truth is not even a consideration.  What is the goal of their speech, of their actions?  It is not really about power directly but of gaining authority. Look at the current war in the Ukraine.  Russia gains nothing in resources, nothing in money, nothing in any measure I could find, including additional power.  It is strictly about gaining authority.

I have seen exhibitions of what authority looks like in a synagogue setting.  I remember being at a Bar Mitzvah practice.  I was there as a guest of the family.  It was in a very large synagogue.  A family member at the practice asked for a small addition to the service as a way to explain and show the relationship of certain people to the Bar Mitzvah boy.  The lead rabbi of the congregation said no.  There was no explanation as to why; there was no discussion at all.  He simply exhibited his authority.

In the spectrum of synagogue, it is interesting to note that respect rarely plays a part.  Authority is significant in large synagogues and as the size of the synagogue decreases, the authority of the rabbi becomes less.  In small synagogues it is non-existent.  Where does respect come in as it is applied toward rabbis?  It has no function.  It does not exist.  In large synagogues they do not respond out of respect but out of authority; in small synagogues there is no respect of the rabbi and because of the size of the facility there is no authority.

In our world at large the same exists.  If the entity is large enough – i.e. a nation, a corporation, a local gang, etc… the fear generated by authority will tend to rule the day.  The smaller and nondescript the entity, the less authority they will have and people will simply disregard or ignore the other person or entity.  As a student of history this seems to have always been the case.  The word respect is in our vocabulary, but it is not in our actions.  Authority seems to be the rule.  Yet the results of authority tend to be counterproductive to the needs of those it is applied to.

Amen. 

Rabbi Lenny

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President:  Irene Rothschild

When Bert and Rae Minushkin moved to Florida about ten years ago, Bert asked me if I would agree to sit on the board for the EFSP – Emergency Food and Shelter Program that comes under the auspices of the United Way of Southwestern PA as a representative of the Jewish Community and I agreed.  I have been serving on the board ever since.  It is a good feeling to be able to represent our community in this county wide group.  The function of the board is to distribute the state funds to various non-profit agencies that request these emergency funds, such as the Union Mission, Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Blackburn Center, Welcome Home, WCFB and the Red Cross.

At the virtual meeting on Monday, March 7th, representatives of the various agencies that were requesting portions of these funds had the opportunity to explain why these funds are so needed.  Listening to them explain why these emergency funds are so badly needed was heart breaking. It made me realize how fortunate I am and that there are so many others who are not as fortunate.  It is so devastating to know that so many families and individuals are in need of basics such as food and shelter in Westmoreland County.  One of the reasons that donations are down and that these emergency funds are so needed is that inflation and/or COVID are causing financial stress on families that would normally be inclined to donate more to the United Way. 

The work of the Security Committee continues.  They are developing a potential policy for not opening the doors to people who are unknown.  They are signing up for webinars sponsored by Federation that will enhance their knowledge and understanding of providing security for our Congregation.  Among other things, they will be developing an Emergency Operation Plan and an evacuation plan.  There will be an ‘active shooter’ drill during the annual Congregation meeting on June 26th.  If you have thoughts, concerns or suggestions, please contact me or anyone else on the committee. 

Happy Pesach!

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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.

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CHATTER                             

   Happy Birthday to:  Sister Gemma DelDuca, Wally Caplan, Natalie Myers, Richard Virshup, Autumn Blozowich, Herb Kramer, Sydney Vegoda Hovis, Francois Gau, and Ruben Rothschild.

   Happy Anniversary to:  Joyce & Jim Schenck. 

   Mazel Tov to Linda & Bernie Brill on the birth of a grandson, Benjamin (Benji) Norman Brill.  Proud parents are Kasie & Nathan and older brother Emmett.    

We mourn the death of member Eileen Cohen and offer condolences to Amy Karelitz and Family.  Bert Minushkin and offer condolences to his wife Rachel and family.  Mickey Radman and offer condolences to his wife Janet and family.

 

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The 29th annual JFilm Festival will run from Thursday, April 28 to Sunday, May 8, 2022!  The eleven-day JFilm Festival presents international Jewish-themed films that deepen audiences’ understanding of Jewish culture, tolerance, and other common humanity.  For more information visit:  www.filmpittsburgh.org

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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.  

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SISTERHOOD NOTES  

Sisterhood has been busy.  In February, following a pizza lunch and meeting at the Temple, we enjoyed a wonderful exhibit at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art.  In March, with “fun” being the theme, we enjoyed a chocolate making party at McFeely’s Gourmet Chocolate Shop in Greensburg.  It was yummy!

In April we will be hosting the Passover Seder on Friday, April 22 here at CEI.  Hope you have made your reservations for Rabbi Lenny’s Seder and the great meal to follow.  If you can, we would appreciate your help setting up the day of the Seder:  let me know if you can.

On another “note”, I want to thank all who purchased copies of the Mishkan T’Filah.  We not only sold the 20 books recently ordered; we also sold six additional books that were waiting for dedication.  I think it is fantastic that so many of you answered my request for the purchase of these much needed books.

We’re going to sit back and relax during the month of May, and, then we will have a closing dinner in June.  Cori Liptak has taken charge of the dinner and will let us know when and where in the next newsletter.

In the meantime, enjoy the blossoming of Spring.

                                                  Terri Katzman, Sisterhood President

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SAVE THE DATE:

WALK a MILE in their, her, his, our SHOES

The 11th Annual Men’s March to stop

Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender-Based Violence.

Take a STAND while taking a WALK!

 

WHEN:  Saturday, April 23, 2022

WHERE:  St. Clair Park in Greensburg or in a location of your choice.

WALK BEGINS:  10:00 AM.

For more information, call 724.837.9540 x 144.

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     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).

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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.

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ALFRED RATNER LIBRARY NEWS by Shirley Shpargel, Librarian

     I Want You to Know We’re Still Here: A Post-Holocaust Memoir is a moving search for her past by Esther Safran Foer.  Her son, Jonathan is the author of Everything is Illuminated, a fictional story of his travels to Ukraine to search for the woman who saved his grandfather’s life.  Esther Foer was born in a displaced-persons camp in Lodz, Poland in 1946 to parents who managed to escape from the Nazis.  Esther’s parents felt their past was too unspeakable to share with their children, but one day her mother mentioned that Esther’s father had been married before and his first wife and a daughter were killed in the holocaust.  Esther then wanted to search for the Gentile family that had saved her father in her parent’s hometown, Trochenbrod in Ukraine. 

     Esther and her son, Frank, a journalist and historian, traveled to the area in 2009 to walk in the footsteps of her relatives.  They were able to honor the memories of their ancestors at the site of the mass grave where many victims were buried.  Esther met with the descendants of the couple who had hidden her father during the war and learned the name of her father’s murdered wife and child.

     I Want You to Know We’re Still Here is a moving story nor only of Esther’s journey but of four generations living with the shadow of the Holocaust.  They are four generations of survivors, storytellers, and memory keepers.  The memoir concludes with the birth of a new grandson signifying that life is precious and filled with promise.  This memoir can be checked out from the Alfred Ratner Library.

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Our next Conversion Ceremony will be on Friday, April 29, 2022 for three of our students; Nicolette Cloutier, Sydney Vegoda Hovis and Jessica Roberts.  The conversion ceremony is divided into three segments.  All three segments will be witnessed by our Bet Din, a panel of Jewish judges composed of three of our Congregants.  The first segment is a mikvah ceremony.  This will be conducted at Duff Park in Murrysville at 10:30 AM.  This is a purification ceremony using water from a running stream along with a set of prayers.  The second segment is to share a meal, which will follow after the mikvah ceremony at CEI in the Social Hall.  So we can prepare properly, anyone who would like to attend the mikvah ceremony and/or lunch, please contact the rabbi ASAP. 

The last is for the three students to be called to the Torah that evening at the 7:30 PM Service.  They will read verses from our parasha and provide a dvar. 

All are welcome to attend any or all of these events.  The evening service will be in-house and online.  If you wish to see the mikvah ceremony and/or would like to join us for lunch, please contact the rabbi by email or phone, so we can plan properly.  We will be social distancing and masks are required for those unvaccinated (except when you eat).

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LET’S CELEBRATE PASSOVER TOGETHER

ON FRIDAY, APRIL 22, 2022 AT 6:00 P.M. IN THEC.E.I. SOCIAL HALL

THE ENTIRE CONGREGATION IS INVITED TO ATTEND A SEDER

ON THE LAST NIGHT OF PASSOVER.  RABBI LENNY WILL LEAD US IN THE SERVICE:  WE WILL EACH HAVE OUR OWN SEDER PLATE.

FOLLOWING THE SEDER, WE WILL ENJOY A COMPLETE CHICKEN DINNER.

THE COST FOR THE EVENING IS $18/PP

RSVPs MUST BE IN NO LATER THAN FRIDAY, APRIL 8 2022

PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL THE CEI OFFICE

If financial assistance is needed to cover the cost, please contact Rabbi Lenny.

We would love to have you be part of this Passover celebration.

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 We gratefully acknowledge the following gifts:

PULPIT FLOWERS.  In Memory of: 

Feb. 25:  Boaz Lurie, Reuven Lurie & Zilpa Lurie by Shoshana & Bob Halden.  Tom Ziff by Phyllis Davis & Family and Marilyn & Jim Davis.

Mar. 04:  William Davis by Linda & Jeffrey Reisner, Marilyn & Jim Davis and Phyllis Davis & Family.

Mar. 11:   Joanne Brodell Alpern by Linda & Jeffrey Reisner, Marilyn & Jim Davis and Phyllis Davis & Family. 

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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.  In Memory of: Bert Minushkin by Shoshana & Bob Halden, Linda & Jeffrey Reisner, Garton & Associates Financial Advisors, LLC, Marilyn & Jim Davis, Janet & Mickey Radman, Irene C. Rothschild, Donald Pripstein, Walter Caplan, Elaine Pripstein Thomas.        

CONGREGATION YAHRZEIT FUND: In Memory of: Michael Arbetter by Francine Arbetter. Pauline Liebman & Francine Lipowitz by Linda Liebman. James Ratner by Carol Ratner. James Constantine by Renea Hammerman. Herman Resnick by Ben Resnick.                   

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

Granddaughter Briley Anne Maskrey by Samantha and Jonathan Dohner.  Granddaughter Avery Jean Maskrey by Samantha and Jonathan Dohner.  In Memory of: Addie Reid Powell by Robin Reid Mickey. Rhoda and Dan Reid by Robin Reid Mickey. Diane “Deanie” Blum by Marla Blum and Adam Anderko. Aaron Blum by Marla Blum and Adam Anderko. Geoffrey P. Dohner by Jonathan Dohner. Annamae Kovalsky Dohner by Jonathan Dohner. Joanne Brodell Alpern by Linda and Jeffrey Reisner (3), Norma and Larry Brodell by Linda and Jeffrey Reisner (3).

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. 

RABBI’S DISCRETIONARY FUND: Helps individuals and/or org. in need. A Donation by Ms. Cheryl Schorey.   A donation by Anna and Jeremy Spor. 

    

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 birth of Hudson Abram Hovis by Irene Rothschild.  A speedy recovery for Virginia Lieberman by Wally Caplan, Irene Rothschild and Mary Ellen Kane.  A speedy recovery to Bob Slone by Irene Rothschild, Virginia and John Lieberman, Terri and Stan Katzman.  A very Happy Birthday to Terri Katzman by Mary Ellen Kane.  In Memory of:  Rabbi Sanford Marcus by Virginia and John Lieberman.  Bert Minushkin by Virginia and John Lieberman, Brian, Karen, Justin and Jason Chobirko, Terri and Stan Katzman, Loranna Sayre and Ronda Goetz.  Eileen Cohen by Virginia and John Lieberman, Shirley Ratner, Ronda Goetz, Terri and Stan Katzman and Irene Rothschild.  Tim Krimpecki by Irene Rothschild.

SOCIAL ACTION FUND:  Supports projects that benefit our community.

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

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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.

IN HONOR OF JEFFREY REISNER

75TH BIRTHDAY  MARCH 20, 2022

LOVE FROM YOUR FAMILY

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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.

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SAVE THE DATE:

PLEASE JOIN US TO REMEMBER THOSE WHO DIED IN THE HOLOCAUST:

ANNUAL YOM HASHOAH OBSERVANCE

SUNDAY, APRIL 24, 2022

2:30 PM

at PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH

1325 Mission Road, Latrobe, PA 15650

SERVICE WILL BE IN-PERSON AND VIRTUALLY.

Log-on to www.princeofpeacelatrobe.com to click that link.

Co-Sponsored by Congregation Emanu-El Israel, The Greensburg Ministerium, The Latrobe Ministerium, Westmoreland Jewish Community Council and the Seton Hill University’s National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education.

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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. 

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It is my greatest wish that you will honor me with your presence at my

BAT MITZVAH

 SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2022           

10 A.M.

 CONGREGATION EMANU-EL ISRAEL

Terri Katzman

Kiddush luncheon immediately following in social hall.

Although a little past the age of thirteen, I look forward to fulfilling the mitzvah of reading from the Torah and sharing this experience with each of you.

My tzedaka project supports the work of the Westmoreland County Food Bank.  You can help me by bringing a non-perishable item(s) to C.E.I. on Saturday or Friday evening services.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHETHER YOU CAN JOIN US FOR THE DAY BY CALLING ME AT 724-837-8275 OR EMAILING ME AT terriandstan@comcast.net no later than May 6, 2022.

NO GIFTS, PLEASE. Should you want to acknowledge the occasion, a donation to the Westmoreland County Food Bank or Cong. Emanu-El Israel would be welcomed. 

You are welcome to join us online. Please go to www.ceigreensburg.org start page for instructions.

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GRAD NEWS NEEDED!  If you know of someone graduating from high school, trade school, college or university, PLEASE email the CEI office (office@cei-greensburg.org)  with the information ASAP or call (724-834-0560).

Please include: Who, Where graduating from and their major, and What are their future plans.

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“These are a few of our favorite Jewish things:”

Western Pennsylvania Small Congregational Clergy Explorations

Clergy Explorations is a series of the Western PA Small Congregations initiative, in collaboration with Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and the Jewish Community Legacy Project.  This series and future programs are designed to enhance the Jewish experiences of the members of the 13 small congregations in the Western PA region.

Program #4: 

PaRDeS: The Garden of Biblical Interpretation

will be presented on

Sunday, April 10

at 1:00 PM

by Rabbi Bruce Gottlieb

Sons of Israel Congregation in DuBois. 

This discussion will explore the different types of interpretation and will help unravel the mystery.  All programs are virtual presentations. 

To register or for log-on details, please email duboisareasynagogue@gmail.com to receive log-in information.

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April 2, 2022

Dear Congregation Member,

Elections will be held from May 9 – June 9, 2022 to elect four 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                        Marion Slone

 Mary Ellen Kane                    Virginia Lieberman

  Joel Last

                                                                       

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 four vacancies.  The Nominating committee has nominated the following people to run for Board Membership.

Jon Dohner                             Beth Fredericks

Jamie Kaufer                          Irene Rothschild

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 2, 2022.  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 9 and June 9, 2022.

 Nominating Committee:

      Mary Ellen Kane, Chairman

      Yvonne Bureau

      Marion Slone

      Jack Wilder

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Honoring Their Memory

The following Yahrzeits will be honored at CEI

April 1:  *Louis Bleiberg, Frances Brodell, *Anna Buchman, Charles Carothers, *Anna Cohen, *Goldie Cohen, *William Davis, *Elliot Farber, *S. Harry Goldberg, *William Gordon, *Isaac Gross, *Burrel Hochberg, *Michael Magadof, *Rachel Ozik, * Charles I. Ratner, Rhoda A. Reid, *Darlene Robinowitz, *Seth Sadock, *Israel Samuels, *David L. Slone, *Sarah VeShancey and *Samuel Wolinsky.

April 8 (includes April 15): *Benjamin Berkofsky, *Morris Bolner, *Sheldon Cohen, *Samuel J. Friedland, Jacob Gelman, *Celia Grossman, *Saralouise Hirshberg, Helen Kirkpatrick, *Lillian Kogut, *B. Jacob Levine, Joan Mendler, Sara Schulman Metz, *Sylvia R. Naumoff, Anna Pavloff, *Issac Pomerantz, Addie Reid Powell, *Alfred W. Ratner, *Catherine Ratner, *Gertrude Ratner, *Rolf Rothschild, *Maxene Rita Segal, *Sol Shpargel, *Noah Wood Toig,  Joel Travers, William Virshup, *William Zakowitz and *Pearl Y. Ziff.

April 29 (includes April 22): *Sara Altman, *Divine Joy Bayer, Jeny Bergstein, Morris Bergstein, Fred Bray, Jr., *Bette Buchman, *Joseph Callet, *Sheldon Cohen, *Sadie B. Daniels-Adler, *Bennett Davis, *Ida Diamond, *Meyer Farber, *Max Harris, *Alyce Hochberg, Joseph Israel, *Eva Kahanowitz, Paula Last, *J. Levin, *Thelma Levin, Libby Louis, *Dorothy C. Miller, *Dr. Samuel Pittler, Leonard Pittler, *Max Pretter, Mireille Rousseau, *Yetta Sandson, *Wolf Shoag, Ruth F. Shpargel, *Sarah K. Silverman, *Jennie Soltz, *Mary Whiteman, Dr. Thomas W. Wilson, *Rose Witaskis, *Esther Wolinsky, *Louis I. Zakon, *Bessie Ziff and *Joseph Ziskind.         

May 5: *Nellie Callet, *Pearle G. Conn, *Leonard J. Cowan, *Nathan Dates, *Martha Friedlander Kuhns, *Irene S. Mullen, Goldye Pittler, *William Balazs Roth, *Ethel Stalin, *Louis Wilder and June Ziff.