Visit our temple website at
Jacquie Dyrke and her daughter, Lisa, will be hosting our upcoming Purim dinner (on Friday,
March 6). They will be serving a vegetarian pasta dish and would like the rest of us to bring
salads. Jacquie already has the desserts assigned. Thanks Jacquie and Lisa! Congregational Meeting & Schedule Changes
Refer to the schedule later in this newsletter for a number of important date changes.
Congregational Meeting is now scheduled for Sunday, April 19, 2009, at 1:00pm at the Temple.
PLEASE plan on attending. We are such a small group and EVERYONE’s input is needed. If you
are interested in serving on the Board or have any items you would like put on the agenda,
contact Sheila Rudin or Karin Pritikin .
Rea Kirk’s grandson, Hadyn James, was born on February 13, in San Diego. The baby
weighed 7 lbs, 3 oz, and was 18 inches long--mom & dad and baby are all doing fine. Mazel tov!!
Emily Goldberg passed the Hebrew entrance exam for this summer’s Chalutzim program.
Chalutzim is a 7-week intensive Hebrew immersion program at Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI). Way to go, Emily!
Mitzvah Opportunity—Save the Date
Temple Beth El and the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship will be serving a meal at the Dubuque
Rescue Mission on Sunday, April 5. More details to follow, but put the date on your calendars. Dinner Hosts Needed
Only three opportunities are left to host Rabbi Stephanie for dinner this year: Saturday, April 4;
Saturday, April 25; and Friday, June 5. Contact Cindy Mikel to sign up! From Around the Region
Karin Pritikin reports that the Alexander Levi exhibit is going to be moving in September to the
Iowa State Museum. Humanities Iowa and National Endowment for Humanities have let us know
we are a good candidate for second year match funding needed to add artifacts from The Iowa
Jewish Historical Society and the Iowa State Museum, so a new grant will be filed in early April.
Thanks for everything, Karyn. Anti- Defamation League Plains Region
Alan Potash, Regional Director of the ADL, reports that they recently developed a specifically for Des Moines, Topeka, Davenport, Sioux City, Topeka and Wichita,
that highlights the terrorist threat Israel faces on a daily basis. Feel free to print and distribute
these posters in your community. (See Alan’s complete letter and the poster information at the
end of our newsletter.)
Shabbaton in Madison, hosted by Congregation Shaarei Shamayim (April 24-26)
begins with Friday evening services, 6 p.m. at First Unitarian Society,
900 University Bay Dr., the location which Congregation Shaarei Shamayim shares with FUS.
Shabbat services on Saturday, April 25th at FUS will begin with Torah Study at 9:30 and
services at 10:30, followed by an Oneg lunch and discussion. The discussion will be on themes of the Tent of Abraham, Hagar, and Sarah in times of War and Peace. We will break for the afternoon from 3:30-7 p.m.
Havdalah and the evening program will begin at 7 p.m. There will be music, story telling,
a store of arts and books, and a dessert potluck.
Our Sunday morning program will take place at The Family Center, 2120 Fordem Ave.,
starting with bagels and coffee at 9:30 a.m. We will be discussing "New Takes on Holy Days and Lifecycle Events" with Rabbis Waskow and Berman. We plan to finish about 11:30 a.m.
In order to be prepared for the Shabbaton meals, we need to have all registration forms
in to us no later than April 15th. Those forms are available on the CSS website, under the Shabbaton section. If anyone has any questions, they are welcome to contact us at
In case of inclement weather
In case of bad weather, the outgoing message on the Temple's answering machine will reflect
any cancellation of a service. If you have a question about services taking place please call the
Temple. Even if Rabbi Stephanie is unable to get to town, it is possible that the Worship
Committee will be holding a Lay Service.
REMEMBER TO CHECK THE REVISED SCHEDULE AT THE END
OF THIS NEWSLETTER. DATES HAVE CHANGED.
From Rabbi Stephanie
On Friday night, March 6th, we will celebrate the merry ole holiday of Purim with noisemakers,
storytelling, costume, food and drink. It’s certainly a one-of-a-kind holiday on the Jewish
calendar—or is it?
Beginning in 1731, Purim Povidl (“Plum-Jam Purim”) was celebrated by the members of David
Brandeis’ family in Bohemia. When a bookbinder in the community died, Brandeis was accused
of poisoning a jar of plum jam that had been purchased from his grocery store. Upon exoneration
from the charge, this Special Purim was set for the 19th of Adar and celebrated into the 19th
Pulverpurim (“Powder Purim”) was observed annually by the family of Abraham Danzig in
commemoration of a powder-magazine explosion in Vilna in 1804. Thirty-one lives were lost and
many houses destroyed, including that of Danzig. Yet, though he and his family were all severely
wounded, they escaped with their lives and celebrated the miraculous feat.
And still other Special Purims have been observed throughout the ages. “Purim Syracuse” was
ordained in remembrance of an occasion, in 1400, when the elders of the community carried
inauthentic Torah scrolls during a mandatory Catholic procession in a leader’s honor. The
punishment for such an offense was execution, but the lives of the elders were spared. In
Pitigliano, Italy, a Special Purim was celebrated after the collapse of a school roof in 1757 was
survived with no casualties. More recently, “Purim Hitler” has been observed in Casablanca on
the second of Kislev since 1943, commemorating that Jewish community’s escape from riot and
All Special Purims share two common traits. First, their observances are modeled after those of
their namesake holiday, typically preceded by a fast day and then featuring a festive meal,
donations to the poor, and a synagogue service. Special prayers of thanksgiving are included in
the liturgy and a recounting of the miraculous deliverance, often read from an actual megillah
Hebrew, is shared during the service.
But I find the second trait particularly noteworthy and instructive even for each of us today.
Though the scope of the danger and the number of individuals who might have been affected
vary greatly, all Special Purims commemorate deliverance from immanent destruction.
Throughout hardships big and small, Jews have continually made the most of any respite with
which they were graced, celebrating deliverance rather than lamenting prolonged suffering.
Those who celebrated Special Purims seem to be saying to all of the oppression they suffered at
the hands of their enemies, “Ha-Yom Purim Lanu, Machar Yom Chol.”
Perhaps nothing has
changed, and nothing may even change tomorrow, but today is Purim for us—a celebration all
that much more powerful because we
created it. May that spirit inspire this Purim and throughout
Rabbi Stephanie M. Alexander Upcoming Activities
NOTE: There have been several changes to the schedule, so please pay close attention…
• Friday, March 6th – Purim service and dinner – COME IN COSTUME!!!
• Saturday, March 7th, 3:00 pm @ temple – Afternoon Discussion
The Matriarchs and Patriarchs:
A Love Story?
We all know the Purim story is quite risqué, but Genesis has its moments, too! Was it love at first sight for Abram (later Abraham) and Sarai (later Sarah)? What about the handmaiden, Hagar, Sarah gave to Abraham by which to conceive? How about Abraham’s move, not once but twice, to pass Sarah off to another suitor as his sister? Was Rebekah able to capture the attention and interest of otherwise rather passive Isaac? Jacob and Rachel and
Leah – how did that arrangement work??
• Saturday, March 7th, 7:00 pm – Adult Study
Saturday evening we continue the light-hearted, merry nature of Purim with Jewish game night – specifically, “Apples to Apples: The Jewish Version.” Now tested and highly approved by both the Alexander and Sherman families, this fun game allows for all kinds of surprising, thought-provoking and, yes, laugh-out-loud funny moments, all with a Jewish twist. The more the better so please join us!
On the Horizon…
• Friday, April 3rd – Visitors’ Service
• Saturday, April 4th, 11:00 am – Temple Seder
• Saturday, April 25th, 3:00 pm – Interfaith Worship Discussion
There are many settings in which we, as individuals and a congregation, engage in interfaith worship – from organized Thanksgiving services and community-wide peace vigils, to public invocations and impromptu blessings. What are the appropriate parameters for such worship? Does “interfaith” have to mean all faiths? Is there room for uniquely Christian, Jewish, Muslim devotion in such a setting? These questions, posed by our own members, are certainly food for thought for all. Saturday afternoon we’ll reflect upon these situations and more and evaluate different interfaith models.
• Saturday, May 9th, 3:00 pm - Discussion of the book God Knows, by Joseph Heller
“Joseph Heller's powerful, wonderfully funny, deeply moving novel is the story of David -- yes,
King David -- but as you've never seen him before. You already know David as the legendary warrior king of Israel, husband of Bathsheba, and father of Solomon; now meet David as he really was: the cocky Jewish kid, the plagiarized poet, and the Jewish father. Listen as David tells his own story, a story both relentlessly ancient and surprisingly modern, about growing up and growing old, about men and women, and about man and God. It is quintessential Heller.” (Warning: This is a fascinating example of historical fiction, but most definitely “Rated R”.)
Service and Mitzvah Schedule for 5769
NOTE: Rabbi Stephanie offers a slew of activities on the weekends she is here. The schedule below does NOT include those specific activities. Refer to each newsletter for the specifics of an upcoming weekend. Friday, March 6.6:00pm …Purim service with dinner to follow (dinner hosted by Dyrke) Saturday, March 7…7:00pm adult study
dinner: Kirk & Gottlieb, study: Gottlieb
Friday, April 3… Passover and Visitors’ Service.
Sunday, April 5 DUBUQUE RESCUE MISSION Meal—details to follow Sunday April 19…1:00pm at the temple—SPRING CONGREGATIONAL MEETING Friday, April 24.7:00pm Shabbat service
dinner: Mikel & Pierce, oneg: Aidenbaum
End-of-Year Adult Social hosted by the Alexanders
Tuesday, February 17, 2009 2:18 PM Subject:
Message from Plains States Regional Director Alan Potash
As Director of the ADL Plains State Region, I want to ensure that our news reports, resources and programs extend throughout our region. At the same time, I welcome your active input and participation.
With the Israel-Hamas conflict and uptick in global anti-Semitism, our office has launched an educational campaign in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska to help the media and the general public understand why Israel is fighting back.
We recently developed apecifically for Des Moines, Topeka, Davenport, Sioux City, Topeka and Wichita, that highlights the terrorist threat Israel faces on a daily basis. Feel free to print and distribute these posters in your community.
In an effort to further extend our outreach throughout the tri-state area, we are asking
community leaders to encourage their congregants and federation members tfor
our monthly newsletter (see below) through our new and improved regional We
would appreciate your promoting the newsletter through your weekly bulletins.
We look forward to working closely with you to make the ADL more accessible and
beneficial in your own community. Please know that I am a resource for you and your
community and am always
available for any questions or concerns.
Alan Potash, Regional Director
Anti- Defamation League Plains Region
Having trouble viewing this message?in graphical, HTML format.
ADL Provides Media with More
Accurate Take On Israel-Gaza
In the wake of the Israeli-Hamas conflict, the
ADL Plains States Officea media
advisory guide for heartland journalists
throughout the region as well as created state-of-the-art advocacy materials for the general public.
ADL Reaches Out to Regional Jewish Communities
In Wake Of Violence
After the recent Chicago Synagogue assault, the ADL Plains States Regional Office contacted Jewish institutions in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska, advising them to take security precautions and protect their communities. The ADL also
to area Chabad centers to express its condolences at the devastating assault in Mumbai, India, which claimed over 170 lives last month.
Omaha Law Enforcement Trained On Regional Hate Groups
ADL Plains States Regional Director Alan Potash and a national expert provided law enforcement officers in
Omaha, Nebraska anon regional hate groups, their leaders, ideologies and activities. Regional Jewish-Hispanic Ties Strengthened Through ADL Outreach
ADL Plains States Regional Director Alan PotashJorge Eernesto
Espejel Montes and staff in Omaha to establish a relationship and discuss critical regional issues impacting
Mexican nationals who live in Nebraska and Iowa. E-Verify a Fix for Nebraska? ADL Plains States Says No
In the absence of comprehensive federal immigration reform, the ADL Plains States office has expressed its
about E-Verify to Nebraska State Sen. Brad Ashford. Denmark's Resistance Captured in New Photography Exhibit
The Institute for Holocaust Education (IHE) of the ADL Plains States Region is hosting anby
internationally-acclaimed photographer Judy Ellis Glickman, entitled "Resistance and Rescue, Denmark's
Response to the Holocaust." ADL Plains States Urges Constitutional Treatment of Jews in Postville, Iowa Case
Plains States Regional Director Alan Potash responded to ain the Dec. 24th Des Moines
Register on Sholom Rubashkin, the former executive of Agriprocessors in Postville, Ia.
2008 Anti-Defamation League. All rights reserved.
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