Congregation Rodeph Sholom
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Dear Congregants, 

Spring has sprung! If you're feeling in the mood to clear out the winter cobwebs, CRS is the place to try something new. Be inspired by the story of a 108-year-old pianist, make contacts for a new job, stand up for women's reproductive rights, get the scoop on European Jewry from a renowned London rabbi ... and of course, celebrate Passover with us! 

CRS Celebrates 170 Years! 

This month, Congregation Rodeph Sholom enters its 170th year since its founding in 1842 on the Lower East Side. We are tremendously proud of our heritage, and look forward to honoring it in the coming year.  Be on the lookout for anniversary celebrations in the months to come!

Musical Book Launch:

A Century of Wisdom 

Monday, March 19 at 7:00 PM

What better way to celebrate a musical life than with music? Join Cantor Rebecca Garfein, the CRS Choirs, the Linden String Quartet, cellist Eliot Bailen, flutist Susan Rotholz, child soprano Julia Bailen, and special guests to herald the launch of a book about pianist Alice Herz-Sommer. At age 108, she has forged a life of music and optimism across a century and is the world's oldest living Holocaust survivor. Author Caroline Stoessinger will talk about the book and show film clips. More information is available here, or call Jenny Jurek at (646) 454-3039.  

Brotherhood Torah Study: Miracle, Tragedy, and Prayer - The Search for God

Tuesday, March 20 at 8:00 AM

A hurricane devastates an entire city. A tragedy befalls a loving family. A child's life is saved in the nick of time. Rabbi Levine will lead a discussion about the central question of Jewish theology: Why did God do this to me? Are afflictions and miracles sent to us by God? In life's highs and lows, how do we search for a glimmer of the Divine? RSVP to

PJ Library Has Come to Rodeph Sholom! 

The PJ Library has arrived! Find out how you can receive FREE Jewish children's books and music every month for your family (and sign up) by clicking here

Third Annual Job Fair at the  

JCC in Manhattan

Wednesday, March 21, 10:00 AM - 1:30 PM 

Come meet employers, discover opportunities, attend networking events, and connect with legal, financial, and other specialists at the JCC's third annual Job Fair. Co-sponsored by CRS, the UJA-Federation of NY's Connect-to-Care, and partner organizations. For more information call (212) 632-4602 or email Pre-registration for this event is required. Call (646) 505-5708 or register online here.

Passover Candy Sale Benefits  

Religious School

Order delicious Matzeltoff chocolate/toffee-covered matzah and treats online through March 30th for your family and friends for Passover ... and a percentage of your order will help support our Religious School! Use the special code CRSS when ordering online at; your treats will be shipped directly to your home. How sweet is that? 

Spring Shabbaton: Learning from Europe 


Friday, March 30 at 6:00 PM

Erev Shabbat Service 

London Calling:  

Does European Jewry Still Matter? 

Rabbi Deborah Kahn Harris, Principal of Leo Baeck College, London


Saturday, March 31 at 10:00 AM

Shabbat Morning Chapel Service 

Searchin' for Traces of What I'm Dreamin' Of: Looking for God in the Song of Songs 

Rabbi Deborah Kahn Harris in conversation with Rabbi David Ellenson, President of HUC-JIR

Jewish tradition views the Song of Songs as an ecstatic description of the love between God and the people of Israel. But where exactly is God in the Song of Songs? And what are the implications of God's possible absence? Come explore this superlative song with us. A lunch follows the services. RSVP to

Congregational Passover Seder  

Friday, April 6 at 7 PM, after Erev Shabbat services  

with Rabbi Lisa Grushcow  and Cantor Shayna De Lowe 

Join us for a meaningful and delicious Passover celebration that has become a tradition here at CRS! For more information, click here. RSVP to or call (646) 454-3029.  

Special Underwriting Opportunity    

Our congregational Seder brings together a wide spectrum of our community: families, singles, seniors, members and non-members alike. A gift of $5,000 will help broaden our welcome to those in our community who might not be able to afford the cost. To make a donation or discuss other underwriting opportunities, contact Deborah Siegel at (646) 454-3050 or  

22nd Annual Passover Freedom Seder   

Friday, April 13 at 7:00 PM  

Come together in the Schafler Forum with our friends from Memorial Baptist Church in Harlem as we celebrate freedom from slavery with song, stories, and a festive meal. Cost is $25 per person. For more info, click here. RSVP to or (646) 454-3121.  

Passover Special Needs Service  

Saturday, April 14, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM 

Share Passover traditions at this warm and inviting celebration that's designed to be accessible and sensitive to a variety of needs. There will be music, healthy snacks, and the service will be interpreted into sign language. For more info, click here. For questions and to RSVP, contact or (646) 454-3124.  

Here One Day, with  

Filmmaker Kathy Leichter   

Wednesday, April 18, at 7:00 PM 

This documentary by award-winning filmmaker Kathy Leichter tells the story of Leichter's mother, Nina, who lived with bipolar disorder for over 20 years and died by suicide. Shot by the 2010 winner for Best Cinematography at the Sundance Film Festival, the film takes audiences on an intimate, beautiful journey through Nina's life and her family's experience of her mental illness and death. Sponsored by the Mental Health Initiative of the Caring Community. For resources, click here. RSVP to

Save the Date! 

One Voice to Save Choice  

Presents Cecile Richards,  

President of Planned Parenthood     

Monday, April 23 at 7:00 PM 

Rally with us to defend women's reproductive health services against the current assault being mounted on both the federal and state levels. What's at stake? What can you do right now? Join us for this important event! For more information, contact or (646) 454-3109.

Urgent Action Alert:

Reproductive Health Act in Jeopardy! 

The Reproductive Health Act, our One Voice committee's first priority since 2007, was seriously jeopardized this week when the Senate Republican leadership pulled the RHA from its rightful committee of consideration so as to prevent a vote on the popular measure. Now, the only way it can be considered is if Governor Cuomo places the bill on the floor himself.


Make our voices heard, and tell Governor Cuomo that reproductive rights are a religious value! Please email or call Governor Cuomo THIS WEEK and urge him to make RHA a priority this session, and ask everyone you know to do the same! Send a message HERE through NARAL- Pro Choice NY.

National Day of Unplugging 2012 

Sundown, Friday, March 23 to Sundown, Saturday,  

March 24 

Never taken the challenge before? We think it's time! Sundown on March 23 launches the Third Annual National Day of Unplugging. Rejuvenate your sense of Shabbat with a complete break from all your "devices" and connect instead with friends and family over a relaxed meal, then join us for a Shabbat service. Reboot (which founded the concept) is sponsoring an "Unplug and Eat Together" campaign, in partnership with Slow Food USA, Hazon, and other organizations. Take the pledge to unplug here. Stop tweeting and go outside to hear the birds!

Ongoing Adult Opportunities and Classes


Seminar in Jewish History

Thursday, March 15 at 12:00 PM

Rabbi Lisa Grushcow

We will discuss Jonathan Schneer's The Balfour Declaration: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict.  



"Esa Eynai El He'Harim - I lift my eyes to the mountains"

Personal and Spiritual Pathways through the Psalms

Fridays at 12:00 PM - March 16; April 20 

Rabbi Jacqueline Ellenson

A contemplative and personal approach to finding support through the biblical Psalms.  

RSVP to Sigal at     


For Those With a Family Member With Mental Illness:

A Jewish Support Group

Mondays at 7:30 PM - March 26

Share experiences, strategies, and information; gain insight and learn coping skills. Professionally facilitated and open to all. For more information, contact Ruth Kobrin, LMSW, at  

(646) 454-3180.


Basic Judaism 

Wednesdays at 7:00 PM

March 28: Rabbi Sari R. Laufer and Rabbinic Intern  

Brian Immerman

April 4, 18 & 25: Rabbi Leora Kaye

Open to all who want to take a closer look at why and how Jewish rituals have developed, and how they create meaning in our lives.   

RSVP to Sigal at


Lunch Together 

Tuesday, April 3, 11:30 - 1:30 PM

We'll watch the 2008 film Pizza in Auschwitz, about a 74-year-old Holocaust survivor named Dani Chanoch, who persuades his two adult children to accompany him on a trip back to the barracks where he "camped." CRS congregant Akiva Kohane, who was with Dani at Auschwitz, introduces the film. Suggested donation of $8. RSVP to or (646) 454-3029.


Therapists' Study Group

Thursday, April 5 at 3:00 PM

Rabbi Lisa Grushcow

Conversation and connection for therapists, using Jewish sources to explore key themes in the human experience. We'll also discuss ethical and clinical issues, and how Jewish perspectives might be relevant to your practice. For more information, contact Rabbi Grushcow at (646) 454-3025 or


CRS Book Club

Thursday, April 12 at 7:00 PM  

(Note Date Change This Month!) 

This month we're reading Austin Ratner's debut novel, The Jump Artist, based on the true story of photographer Philippe Halsman, whose life was forever changed by a miscarriage of justice that was known across Europe as "The Austrian Dreyfus Affair." Come join our group; we're looking forward to a lively discussion! RSVP to; Click here for more information.


Mah Jongg at CRS

Thursday, April 19, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

(Note Date Change This Month!) 

Know how to play? Want to learn? Join us for the game, the fun, and the "bridge mix"! We welcome novices and veteran players alike. Cards are available for purchase for $8.00 or bring your own. And if you have an extra set that you can let us use that day, that would be great!  



Text in Context:

Zohar, Zo Good -- A Survey of Jewish Mysticism

Thursdays at 8:00 AM - April 5, 12, 19 & 26

Rabbi Andrea Myers

We'll explore how Jewish mysticism developed in different communities over time, focusing on contrasting Sephardic and Ashkenazi interpretations of the Kabbalah.

RSVP to Sigal at


How to Raise a Mentsch

Tuesdays at 9:00 AM - April 3 & 17

Rabbi Lisa J. Grushcow

A chance to explore the big questions of parenting in an intimate environment. RSVP to



Thursdays at 9:00 AM - April 19

Rabbi Benjamin Spratt

It's never too early to begin creating the best environment for our children. RSVP to


Hebrew Classes

Beginning Hebrew - Mondays at 6:15 PM

Beginning Hebrew - Thursdays at 9:00 AM

Continuing Hebrew - Mondays at 7:30 PM

Continuing Hebrew - Tuesdays at 9:15 AM

Understanding Liturgy - Tuesdays at 8:15 AM 


Shabbat Morning Torah Study

Saturdays, throughout the year, 8:45 AM - 9:45 PM

Rabbi Lisa J. Grushcow, D. Phil.

Rabbi Sari R. Laufer

Rabbi Benjamin H. Spratt 



Click HERE for the full Adult Education Brochure.

March 15, 2012
In This Issue
Musical Book Launch
Brotherhood Torah Study
PJ Library at Rodeph Sholom
JCC Annual Job Fair
Passover Candy Sale
Spring Shabbaton
Congregational Seder
Underwriting Opportunity
Passover Freedom Seder
Passover Special Needs Service
Film: Here One Day
One Voice to Save Choice
Urgent Action Alert
National Day of Unplugging
Ongoing Adult Opportunities and Classes
Join Our Mailing List

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"Tzedakah begins the moment we decide to think about other people besides ourselves."
-Rabbi Robert Levine

Find out more about CRS underwriting opportunities.

  Union Field Cemetery

Come visit and learn more about Rodeph Sholom's historic Union Field Cemetery. Discounted fees are available for CRS members. For more information, call our knowledgeable staff at   718-366-3748.

Hearing Enhancement Devices
 enhancement devices are available during services at the security desk.
March Lobby Donation Box
We are collecting new, unwrapped pajamas for the Pajama Project. Click here for more information. 


Bereavement Notices

Click HERE if you would like to be informed of deaths in our community.

Bikkur Cholim 


Our committed group of Bikur Cholim volunteers visit individual congregants, as well as the Jewish Home and Hospital. If you or a loved one live there and would appreciate a visit from a friendly Rodeph Sholom volunteer, e-mail with contact information.


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