Congregation Rodeph Sholom
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Dear Congregants, 

We're a diverse family at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, and just about every aspect of our community is represented in this month's activities.  You can join us to march in support of Israel, celebrate the Festival of Shavuot, explore the legal complexities of conversion, relive our trip to Spain, share the pride of a Shabbat dinner with more than 250 GLBT Jews, take action against hunger in NYC, help plan next year's Book Club ... and that's just for starters.  Why not try something new? We hope we'll see you more than once this month!

Save the Date:  

Farewell to Rabbi Lisa Grushcow 

Friday, June 15 at 6:00 PM at Erev Shabbat Service

Mark your calendars now, and plan to join us as we bid farewell and honor Rabbi Grushcow, Rabbi Andrea Myers, and their children, Ariella and Alice, for their nine wonderful years of service to our community. The celebration will continue at a special Oneg Shabbat.

Help us put together a Memory Book full of YOUR thoughts, memories, and photos of Rabbi Grushcow and her family! If you would like to be included, please submit your material by Friday, May 18, at, or mail to the attention of Sigal Stark, CRS, 7 West 83rd Street, New York, NY 10024. Submissions can be in any form; we will ensure they are cleaned up for the book.

You've Seen the Headlines:  

Now, Hear the Story 

Friday, May 18, 8:00 AM   

Miriam Zussman and her family made aliyah in 1999, moving to Beit Shemesh. She helped start Amit Noga and Amit Nachshon, two high-quality schools for girls and for boys, and had a front-row seat when tensions recently erupted in Beit Shemesh between the Israel's chareidi and the more liberal community. Come hear her perspective! Co-presented by CRS Sisterhood and Israel Committee. More info is available HERE

High School Graduation Service 

Friday, May 18 at 6:00 PM 

A cordial invitation is extended to our 2012 High School Graduation Service, as we honor this year's Graduates: Cara Cancelmo, Eric Erle, Elana Frank, Cara Haas, Rachel Kupfer, Maya Levine, Claire Lichtenstein, Spencer Lutvak, Cece Nealon-Shapiro, Fallon Rosen, and Yafit Shafer-Sull. Come celebrate with them; a festive Oneg Shabbat will follow. 

Lunch Together with Rabbi Grushcow:

Rodeph Sholom's Trip to Spain

Tuesday, May 22, 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM (Note date Change) 

Rabbi Lisa Grushcow will join us for a presentation on "The Golden Age to 1492 to Today: Rodeph Sholom Goes to Spain," complete with music and pictures! Suggested donation of $8.More info is available HERE.  

RSVP to or (646) 454-3029.    


A Fun Night for Prospective  

Religious School Students 

Wednesday, May 23, from 5:00 to 6:00 PM 

Prospective students entering Kindergarten and First Grade this fall (and their parents) are invited to a mini-class with songs, stories, and activities while learning about Religious School. For questions and RSVPs, contact Marcia Stein at or call (646) 454-3086.  

An Evening With Rabbi David Ellenson in Conversation with Rabbi Robert Levine:

The Conversion Conundrum  

Wednesday, May 23, at 7:00 PM 

What constitutes legitimate conversion to Judaism? We'll explore legal opinions written by 19th- and 20th-century Orthodox rabbis in Europe, the U.S., and Israel. Submit questions for the evening's dialogue to More info is available HERE.  RSVP to or (646) 454-3029.

Lunch and Learn: The Book of Ruth 

Dr. Carl Mankowitz   

Saturday, May 26, at 12:30 PM 

Ruth, the quintessential convert, is most famous for her royal descendant, King David. We'll explore the historical and thematic issues raised in the Book of Ruth, one of the most beautiful and textually complex books in the Jewish tradition.  

RSVP to or (646) 454-3029.

Congregational Shavuot and  

Yizkor Service 

Sunday, May 27 at 10:00 AM 

Please join us for our congregational Shavuot service in celebration of this festival. Shavuot celebrates the covenant between God and the Israelites at Mount Sinai, and the ongoing receiving of Torah in each generation. This service will include the prayers and reflections of Yizkor.


Adult B'Nei Mitzvah Introductory Meeting   

Tuesday, May 29, at 7:15 PM 

If you want to renew or enrich your commitment to Judaism and Jewish learning, consider being a part of the Adult B'Nei Mitzvah experience at CRS!  Study with our clergy, educators, and fellow congregants and discover what it means to be part of the brit, the covenant between God and Israel. More info is available HERE

Community GLBT Pride Shabbat Service and Dinner

Friday, June 1, at 6:00 PM 

Our annual GLBT Pride Shabbat Service will be followed by a GLBT Shabbat Dinner for more than 250 people! Our speaker at the service will be Roberta Kaplan, a congregant and nationally acclaimed litigator currently challenging DOMA with the case of Edie Windsor ("Edie and Thea"), a widow forced to pay $363,000 in federal estate tax upon the death of her spouse. Edie Windsor will also speak at the service. For more info, click HERE.

Celebrate Israel Parade

Sunday, June 3, 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM 

Step out with us to show your support for Israel. We march rain or shine ... and provide the t-shirts! For more info, click HERE.

CRS Children's Choir and Cantor Garfein Appear Onstage With Neil Sedaka!

Tuesday, June 12 at 7:30 PM

The Town Hall, 123 West 43rd Street 

The Rodeph Sholom Children's Choir and Cantor Rebecca Garfein will make a special appearance in Folksbiene's annual gala concert, "The Music of Our Lives," performing onstage with legendary singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka. More information is available HERE

Ongoing Adult Opportunities and Classes


Basic Judaism 

Wednesdays at 7:00 PM

May 16 & 23

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


Seminar in Jewish History

Thursday, May 17 at 12:00 PM

Rabbi Lisa Grushcow

We will discuss Gal Beckerman's When They Come For Us, We'll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle To Save Soviet Jewry (2010). 



CRS Book Club

Thursday, May 17 at 7:00 PM (Note Date Change!) 

Wayne Hoffman's novel, Sweet Like Sugar, is about an unlikely friendship between a young man wrestling with his faith, and a man of faith wresting with his youth. Come join our group and be a part of the lively discussion! Click here for more information.

Thursday, June 7 at 7:00 PM

After an enjoyable and rewarding year of reading together, come help us plan next year and be a part of our book-choosing process! 

RSVP for both dates to


For Those With a Family Member With Mental Illness:

A Jewish Support Group

Monday, May 21, at 7:30 PM 

Share experiences, strategies, and information; gain insight and coping skills. Professionally facilitated and open to all. For more information, contact Ruth Kobrin, LMSW, at (646) 454-3180.


Lunch Together

Tuesday, June 12, 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

We'll visit together and brainstorm ideas for next year's programs. Bring either generic suggestions or -- even better -- specific programs with contact information.

RSVP to or (646) 454-3029.


The Jews of Early Modern Eastern Europe

Tuesday, May 22, at 7:15 PM

Dr. Ira Cohen

Despite our nostalgic view of 17th- and 18th-century shtetl life, it isn't Anatevka ... and it never was. For more info, click here

RSVP to 


Therapists' Study Group

Thursday, June 7 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 discuss ethical and clinical issues from Jewish perspectives. For more information, contact Rabbi Grushcow at (646) 454-3025 or


Mah Jongg at CRS

Thursday, June 14, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

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!  


How to Raise a Mentsch

Tuesdays at 9:00 AM - May 29; June 12 

Rabbi Lisa J. Grushcow

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




Thursday, May 31, at 9:00 AM  

Rabbi Benjamin Spratt

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



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.

CRS Spring Food Drive     

What can you do about the families going hungry in New York City? Plenty! Your donation to the Rodeph Sholom Spring Food Drive is urgently needed as government support gets reduced to all programs. Click HERE to make a donation, or send a check payable to Congregation Rodeph Sholom, with "Food Drive" in the memo, to CRS Food Drive, 7 W. 83rd Street, NY, NY 10024.

Action Alert: Support the Farm Bill!       

Your signature is needed as we urge the federal government to pass and fund the 2012 Farm Bill, which would require the government to maintain funding for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program -- or food stamps). The Farm Bill also advocates for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Sign your name to the Jewish Petition for a Just Farm Bill, and urge our government to take care of its neediest citizens. 

The Leah Uhr Margulies Hebrew, Zionism and Jewish Studies Program     

Are you (or do you know) a young adult in the CRS family who's thinking about attending a long-term program in Israel in the upcoming year? There's financial assistance available! To learn more about the Leah Uhr Margulies Hebrew, Zionism and Jewish Studies Program (aka the "Margulies Fund"), contact Rabbi Levine or Tirza Arad.

Visit CRS on Facebook! 

Our Facebook page is a great way get a glimpse of what's going on behind the scenes (and off-site) in the Rodeph Sholom community. "Like" us here to discover a new aspect to CRS! 
May 16, 2012
In This Issue
Go Behind the Headlines
High School Graduation
Lunch Together: Revisit Spain
Fun for Prospective Religious School Students
The Conversion Conundrum
The Book of Ruth
Festival of Shavuot
Adult B'Nei Mitzvah Meeting
GLBT Shabbat Dinner
Celebrate Israel Parade
CRS Chldren's Choir Sings with Neil Sedaka
Ongoing Adult Opportunities and Classes
CRS Food Drive
Action Alert: Farm Bill
Scholarships Available
CRS is on Facebook
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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.


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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