September Bulletin

September CEI Bulletin

Congregation Emanu-El Israel

222 North Main Street, Greensburg, PA. 15601          

                 Elul – Tishrei     5781                 

September 2020


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

From the desk of Rabbi Leonard Sarko

As we approach this holiday season, the pandemic prompts us to look back at previous years. The remembered past causes a longing to be together.  We remember the fondness and support of our community.  We remember being with our family and friends and ache for such times to return.

Yet there are High Holy Day moments that even our current environment will not change.  We will still hear the sounding of the shofar.  The shofar is the most recognizable of all the Rosh Hashanah symbols. The sounding of the shofar plays a central role in the day’s service. Young and old alike gather in a hush to listen carefully to the cry of the shofar.

The mitzvah on Rosh Hashanah is “to hear” the sound of the shofar. From the Shema we learn that “hearing” in Judaism means to understand. The call of the shofar is the sound that wakes us up so that we will make a choice for clarity, for awareness, for a fully constructive and purposeful life.

The blowing of the shofar consists of three sets of three different notes. Thus the minimum number of shofar blasts one is required to hear is nine; however, the accepted manner of blowing actually results in many more sounds. Each of the three notes, Tekiah, Teruah, and Shevarim, is designed to evoke a particular idea and feeling.

Tekiah (a long note): Tekiah calls us from the routines of day-to-day living, from a dissipation of our creative energies, to refocus on who it is we truly want to be. The Tekiah challenges us to feel the power and the potential of our innermost selves—a part of ourselves we may have lost touch with over the year—and then dares us to commit ourselves to the pursuit of our awesome potential.

Teruah (short note): Teruah is more comforting. It softens us, allowing us to integrate our thoughts and feelings of the day. The Teruah says; before you rush headlong into the new year, energized by your rekindled convictions, pause for a moment. Let the sense of inspiration settle in. Let it fill your soul.

Shevarim (medium note): Shevarim is an anxious, longing note. Feel the tugging, the yearning to somehow start again, this time accomplishing what we want in life. 

On the simplest, most basic level, the sound of the shofar is the muffled cry of an injured soul. A soul crying for freedom. Free to be its own uninhibited self. The homing signal in every Jewish heart.

The High Holy Days not only give us time to reflect on our past, but to plan for our future.  There are two ways to reach our goals and realize our potential. One is by good old-fashioned dedication and persistence. The other is to redefine our potential as being what we have already achieved.  We read Psalm 47 seven times. In doing so, we mention God’s name forty-nine times. We are reminded to set our goals in life high and to keep them there.

Karen and I, along with the Board of Directors, want to wish you a joyous, safe and healthy New Year. “Shanah tovah um’tukah,” May you have a good and sweet New Year and “G’mar chatima tovah,” which means, “May you be inscribed for good in the Book of Life.” 



From the Desk of the President

CEI started a new fiscal year on July 1st and I am pleased to announce that Jamie Kaufer joined the Board of Directors, although virtually.  At the same time, I wish to thank Bruce Kaufer for his years of service on the Board.  The Directors will continue to meet virtually, until the building is open and business can be conducted as usual. 

Over the past couple of months some Congregants have shared their feelings with me about if, when and how to re-open the building and the subject was discussed at length at the last two Board meetings.  To that end, I have asked Karen Sarko to chair a Covid 19 Committee that will follow the current recommendations as to when and how to re-open the building safely.  As an experienced nurse, she is uniquely qualified to chair this committee.  She will be paying attention to the latest guidelines and recommendations from federal, state and local experts.  She and I sat in on a Zoom conference hosted by Federation recently.  Some recommendations that were discussed may not pertain to CEI, but some may and Karen’s committee will include those suggestions in their recommendations to the Board.  The topic was on the agenda for the July Board meeting. Given that our Congregants are older and may have underlying medical conditions, the Board has used caution in making the decision to close the building and will use the same caution as to when to re-open the building safely.  Based on recent information, the Covid 19 Committee recommended that the building stay closed.  The Board voted unanimously to accept that recommendation, so Shabbat services will continue virtually and most important, High Holiday services will be conducted virtually, as well.  This decision is based on the health and the safety of Congregants and staff.  If you have questions or would like to discuss this decision, please contact me via email or phone.  

On a personal note, I have made the decision to sell my townhouse and I moved to a patio home in Wimmerton at the end of July.  It is new construction and I am excited about making the move, after living in my former home for 30 years.  It was a conscious decision on my part to stay in this area, so I can remain close to the temple, the museum, my family and friends.  Please contact Bea should you need my new address and phone number before the CEI Calendar is published.

Even though the weather has warmed up and the sun has been shining, I am hopeful that you are keeping safe when you venture out of your houses. 



From my house to yours,

I wish you a very sweet and healthy New Year of 5781!



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 wishes to:  Ellis Cohen, Zak Goldstein, Harry Slone, Cooper Kane, Juhua Yang, Michael Kane, Jason Winters and Maron Slone.

   Happy Anniversary to:  Karen & Brian Chobirko, Myriam & Francois Gau, Cori & Michael Liptak, Loren & John Vivio and Terri & Stan Katzman.

   Mazel Tov to: Madison Karelitz on her graduation from Hempfield Area High School.  Her father is Eric Karelitz; her grandmother is member Amy Karelitz & her great-grandmother is Eileen Cohen.

   Mazel Tov to: Yael & Nate Snyder on the birth of a son Sebastien Gerard Snyder.  The proud grandparents are members Myriam & Francois Gau.

   Congratulations to former member Larry Eisenstatt who recently hit the 50 hour benchmark for volunteering with the Westmoreland County Food Bank.

   Mazel Tov to:  Sister Gema DelDuca celebrating 70 years with the Sisters of Charity.  She entered the order September 8, 1950.

   Celebrating Zack Virshup getting a new kidney.  He is doing well.  Zack is the son of members Georgi & Richard Virshup.

   We offer condolences to member Marc Werksman & family on the death of his father, Albert Werksman.  And to Israel Bonds’ Harold Marcus on the death of his mother Violet Marcus. 



     My Mother’s Son, a novel by David Hirshberg, takes place in the 1950’s Boston neighborhood where the families are Jewish, Italian and Irish.  The narrator is Joel, who grows up on that diverse block focusing on 1952, but times shift from the past to the present, creating a colorful and complex portrait of a family from their immigration to their assimilation and eventual successes.  As an adult, Joel, becomes a radio storyteller where stories evolved about playing baseball, rooting for hometown teams, discovering girls, collecting stamps, and watching the new TV programs.  It is a time during the Korean War and neighbors went to fight and die, the polio epidemic was a threat, and Holocaust survivors did not talk of their experiences.

     Joel’s grandfather becomes involved in Boston politics at a time when Jewish and Italian immigrants worked for Irish city bosses.  The brothers are entrusted with the weekly delivering and receiving of “envelopes” as they bicycled all over town.  They become exposed to political intrigue, a baseball scandal, and a colorful group of men of all ethnicities.  There are flashbacks to the early nineteen hundreds that relate to Joel’s grandfather’s immigrant beginnings and his murdered wife, and his Aunt Rose flight with her future husband, Uncle Jake, from Germany on the day after Kristallnacht, November 1938. 

     My Mother’s Son explores today’s values along with the past as Joel’s struggles lead him to realize life is never simple.  The book’s themes are serious and provide historical insight about present day America.   It is entertainingly written with vivid description, and dialog that captures the multiethnic voices of the neighborhood.  The many half-truths and clouded secrets Joel dealt with over the years finally become clear as he realizes he is truly his mother’s son.

My Mother’s Son may be checked from the Alfred Ratner Library



     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).


Message from the Board of Directors

Upon the recommendation from the Covid 19 Committee, the building will remain closed for the foreseeable future.  Shabbat services will continue to be observed virtually. 

High Holiday services will be conducted virtually, as well.

Please continue to remain safe and healthy!


A message from the Board of Directors

High Holiday Donations

Although there will be no face-to-face High Holiday services this year,

Please remember to continue to make donations in honor

of or in memory of a loved one. 

Good wishes for a healthy and happy 5781!


Diane (Danni) Bloom Rudov has published a book entitled Crazy Quilt of Loss and Love

She is a former Greensburg resident who attended Congregation Emanu-El Israel for many years.  She now resides in Squirrel Hill and attends Temple Sinai, where she sings in the choir.

Her poetry collection, which is quite approachable, captures the universal experiences of loss, redesigning a satisfying life, and adapting to the tumults of aging, illness, and death. The book is available through Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, or the publisher, Word Association Publishers.  For more information, contact her at


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 Booklet

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

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

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

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

                                                                                               Sincerely,                                                                                                Memorial Committee                                               

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


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

SAME AS LAST YEAR (With additions below)           

NAMES OF DEPARTED                                          MEMORIAL PLAQUE                        

______________________________________        ____________________                 

_____________________________________          ____________________                  

_____________________________________          ____________________                 

_____________________________________          ____________________                 

_____________________________________           ____________________                  

_____________________________________          _____________________                 

_____________________________________          _____________________                  

_____________________________________          _____________________                  

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

Remembered by: ________________________________________________________________

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



We Gratefully Acknowledge the Following Thoughtful Gifts

PULPIT FLOWERS.  In Memory of: 

July 24:          Martin M. Kramer by Herbert Kramer.

July 31:          Lillian & Samuel Liebman by Linda & Richard Liebman and Renee Silverman.  Herbert Moidel by Teri & Gary Moidel.

Aug. 14:          Diane Tauber by Don Gold.

Aug. 21:          Erwin L. Kaufman by Doris & Huddie Kaufman.

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 Memory of:  Norman Amper 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.  


Contribution of Love from the Estate of Patricia “Paddy” Borowsky-Barnhart. In Honor of:  Conversion Class by Natalie Myers.  In Memory of:  Dr. Abe Friedman & Norman Amper by Marilyn & Jim Davis.            


Lillian Tattenbaum by Rachel & Bert Minushkin. Clara Faas by Jack Wilder. Milton Gespass, Gladys Dunhoff, Janet Cohen & Fanny Cohen Devlin by Dalia & Richard Dunhoff.  Herbert Cohen by Harry Cohen. Louis William Cohen by Jeanne & Jeff Sicuro. Jean Grossman Wolf by Dr. Jeffrey & Marsha Wolf.  Natalie Kaufer & Murray Fischer by Bruce & Karen Kaufer & Max.  David R. Gold by Nancy Gold.              

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.   

In Honor of: Rabbi Lenny by Herbert Kramer.    

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 90th birthday of Bert Minushkin by Irene Rothschild, Marion & Bob Slone, Mary Ellen Kane, Terri and Stan Katzman and Danni (Bloom) Rudov.  The 90th birthday of Don Gold by Mary Ellen Kane, Terri and Stan Katzman.  The birth of grandson, Sebastien to Myriam & Francois Gau by Terri & Stan Katzman.  The speedy recovery of Huddie Kaufman by Irene Rothschild, Terri and Stan Katzman.  Bea Harrison’s retirement from Kohl’s by Irene Rothschild.  In Memory of: Kay Rowe 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 Share your joy!

Inscribe a leaf our Tree of Life. Leaf — $180 ea.

(Price includes engraving)

The golden leaves may be inscribed to commemorate joyous events such as births, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, etc.  Share your joy by inscribing simchas on our Tree of Life…… an everlasting remembrance of the meaningful happy events that touch life.


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

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


Rabbi Leonard Sarko.  Sara Rae Perman, Rabbi Emerita. 

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


Honoring Their Memory

The following Yahrzeits will be honored at CEI

Sept. 4:  Diana Abrams, *Henry Baneman, Devora Berman, Irene Birnbaum, Norma Brodell,

Harold J. Buchman, *Phylis Caplan, Mildred Caplowe, Hannah Gillis, *Lewis Kay, *Morris A. Leff, *Benjamin Liebman, *Benjamin M. Ratner, *Hinda Rubenstein, *Julius Werblin and *Shirley M. Young.

Sept. 11:  Irving Arbetter, Rose Bergad, Ruth “Bunny” Bernstein, *Anne Bleiberg, *Harry Daniels, David H. Davis, Jacob Gelman, *Libbie Gordon, *Jacob Hochberg, Anna Berk Jablonsky, *Patricia A. (Jamie Stein) Jurczyk, *Ben Katz, Ruth Lippard, Mark Mendler, *Albert Oppenheimer, *Bessie Wilkoff Osgood, *Lena Samuels, Howard Schwartz, *Freda Wilder and *Isaac Wolinsky.

Sept. 18:  *Lena Bayer, *Lottie R. Berk, *Minnie G. Binakonsky, Shirley Bloom, *Barbara Callihan, Malka E. Kaufer, *Harry Kuhl, *Abe Loundy, Anne Miller, Max Mindlin, *Ida S. Rossen, *David Shendowich and Maxine Slone.

Sept. 25:  *Elizabeth Altman, *Harvey Arnold Bayer, *Moses L. Cohen, *William V. Conn, M.D., *Jacob Corman, Dora Ekstein, Jeanette Feldstein, Yetta Rachel Glenn, Katjarina Erker Lader, Marcus Last, Anna Minushkin, Louis Slutzker, Lillian Davis Valinsky, George Ziff and *Emma R. Zober.

Oct. 2:  Allan Barnett, Alexander Bluestone, Neal J. Buckstein, *Esther Charapp, *Geraldine S. Drexler, *Samuel Felder, *Zev Wolf Felder, Celia Glantz Feryus, *Zalman Flamm, Don Friedberg, *Ernest Freidlander, Ruth Glantz, Judy Goldstein, *Rose J. Harris, *Hannah Kuhl, *Philip Levinson, *Jack H. Millstein, Sr., Jack Moldovan, *Minnie Reisberg, *Samuel H. Roth, *David Schneider, *Ida Shofnosky, *Albert Solomon, *Lab Wolinsky, *Ida Zeeman and Harry Ziff.