Or Chadash Newsletter December 2013 
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In This Issue
Service Schedule
Kup o' Joe
In Our Community
25th Anniversary Donations
President's Message
Student Cantor's Message
Hanukkah Celbration
Ner Shel Tzeddakah
Adult Education
What You Might Have Missed
Registration Quick Links

Shabbat Service Schedule

Shabbat Window 

December 6: 7:00PM Shabbat Family Service with 4th, 5th, 6th grade participation - followed by a celebratory Hanukkah Latke Oneg!
October 13: 7:30PM Shabbat Services 
October 20: 7:30PM Shabbat Experience 
October 27: Enjoy Shabbat with Your Friends and Family - No Services at OC
Kup O' Joe

Caffeinated Conversations
....with Rabbi Forman. 


Join Rabbi Forman on selected Sunday mornings at 9AM for a lively conversation on a wide variety of topics: US and Israel politics, theology, Jewish practice, sacred texts and more. 

Feel free to suggest a topic for a future gathering.

Coffee and refreshments always served.

9AM on Sundays
Sunday December 8th at 9:00AM Jewish life in Europe is re-emerging in the cities of Berlin and Vienna. Join me to hear of my journey to Austria and then to Germany with 30 Reform rabbis (and a few spouses) during the Central Conference of American Rabbis' Jewish heritage tour.  I will be sharing  photographs, insights into the new Jewish community, reflections after meeting with government officials and somber moments of remembrance. 
January 5
February 9
March 9
April 13
May 4

*Kup is Yiddush for Head/Mind

In Our Community

Refuah Sh'leima (Get well) to... 
Eileen Berkelhammer
Muriel Trambert
Ira Breines
Susan Blaicher
Millie Albert
Mazel Tov...
to The Wasserman Family on the occasion of Robyn becoming a Bat Mitzvah
In order to help us be a more caring community, please share your lifecycle events with Rabbi Forman


Feel free to click on a hyperlink to send a note and let someone know you are thinking about them.

yahrzeit photo

Upcoming Yahrzeits 

May the memories of the following individuals be for a blessing: 


November 29 - to be read on December 6

Sheila Fisher-Cohen 

cousin of Gary Brodsky 

Gertrude Heller 

grandmother of Jim Lewy
mother of Elizabeth Lewy 

grandmother of David Lewy 

Bessie Kenyon 

grandmother of Susan Albert 

Edward Kurlansik 

father of Jack Kurlansik 

Shirley Levine 

mother of Dan Levine 

Irving Safier 

father of Cindy Lehrer 


December 6

Sylvia Borgman  

mother of Estelle Breines 

Harry Breines  

father of Ira Breines 

Joseph M. Fish  

grandfather of Rabbi Joseph M Forman 

Ken Kimberley  

friend of Sherrie Mazzocchi 

James Mazzocchi  

father of Nick Mazzocchi 

Steven D. Weinstein  

brother of Susan Albert 

Milton Wolfson 

  Father of Craig Wolfson


December 13

Marilyn Altshuler  

mother of Neil Altshuler 

Esther Fish  

grandmother of Rabbi Joseph M Forman 

Harry Hackel  

father of Audrey Hackel 

Isadore Suchow  

father-in-law of Hilda Suchow 


December 20

Mary Landberg

grandmother of Dena Tocci 

Raoul Rabiner

father of Betsy Zalaznick 

Anna Suchow

mother-in-law of Hilda Suchow 

Sylvia Wasserman 

Loved One of Shelly Weller 

Albert Winter 

loved one of David & Isabel Mahalick  


December 27

Anne Lerner

grandmother of Liz Tracey 

January 3
Samuel Alpert
father of Evelyne Hersch  
Hannah Blumenfeld
mother of Ray Blumenfeld 
Joseph Sandler
father of Jeff Sandler 
William Schwartz
father of Donna Zubek 
Rabbi's Discretionary Fund
Craig Erkkila & Ruby Halper-Erkkila
David Moscowitz & Courtney Boyd-Moscowitz
John Graybeal & Laura Senator
Gerald Jones & Karen Tovi-Jones
James Towson
Jonathan & Lisa Ostroff
Beth Katzman

Educational Enrichment Fund
Bruce & Betsy Zalaznick
In Honor of Susan Blaicher wishing continued good health
Bruce & Betsy Zalaznick
In Honor of Bob & Shirl Levy's Anniversary
Bruce & Betsy Zalaznick
In Honor of Barry Drill wishing good health and a speedy recovery
Steven Albrecht 
In Honor of Amanda Albrecht's Bat Mitzvah

General Contributions
Dovi Hasson & Beverly Tsernov 
In Honor of Amanda Albrecht's Bat Mitzvah
Steven Garfield
Robert & Julie Goldstein

High Holy Day Donations
Martin & Lisa Segal
Edward & Cheryl Lifshitz
Robert & Shirl Levy

Yahrzeit Donations
Conrad & Arlene Cohen
In Honor of Departed Family Members
Evelyne Hersch  
In Memory of Seymour Hersch

7th Grade Bar/Bat Mitzvah Gift
Jon & Lori Blutfield

Edward Tyler & Renee Trambert
Hanukkah Napkin Sales
25th Anniversary Donations
Or Chadash gratefully acknowledges the generous donations to the 25th Anniversary Fund received to date from:

Larry & Beatrice Abrams

Steve & Susan Albert

Kurt & Susan Blaicher

Tim & Miriam Blanke

Ira & Estelle Breines
Jeff & Christine Berg  
Jeffrey D. Charney  

Brian & Carol Coriell

George Eckelmann & Jane Engel

Rabbi Joseph M. Forman
Harvey Gold

Evelyne Hersch

Mark & Jessica Hodkinson

Estelle Katcher
Robert & Shirl Levy
Darren & Elizabeth Loew
Stephen & Diana Propper
Rick & Jill Rosenthal

Joseph & Carolyn Sansevere

John & Toby Sarinick

Robert & Alice Schwade

John Graybeal & Laura Senator

Stephen Sinoway & Beth Golden

Victor Sloan & Sandra Gong
Louis & Caryn Speizer

Gerald & Ronda Starr

Marc & Caryn Tomljanovich 
Paul & Meredith Weil 
Ross & Susan Weinick 
Gary & Deb Weiss
Richard Willey & Meridith Sigel-Willey
Mark & Kristina Witzling
Bruce & Betsy Zalaznick
Eric & Naomi Zwerling
Jewish Family Services

Jewish Family Services 

JFS is a non-profit, non-sectarian social service agency whose mission is to preserve and strengthen the quality of individual, family and community life based on Jewish values. We provide our services to a diverse socio-economic client population that includes individuals, children, young adults, families and the elderly.

 Click here for information on additional services.  


Meals On Wheels 
Meals on Wheels needs volunteer drivers in our area. Serve your homebound senior neighbors a hot noontime meal. The commitment to drive is only once a month. It will take only an hour or two once a month to get that good feeling of giving. Call our office at (908)284-0735 to offer your time or for more information (and/or check out our website at mowih.org). Help us, help others. Many thanks. 
Rabbi's Message


Jewish life in Berlin 2013


Last month I spent 10 days in Vienna and Berlin exploring not only the 1000 years of Jewish history in those cities and the horrors of the last century perpetrated by the Nazis, but also spending Shabbat with the re-emerging Jewish communities there.

Or Chadasch in Vienna is a Reform congregation sharing our synagogue's name (if not our spelling) and was very warm and welcoming to me.  After adjusting to the sound of German being spoken in the airport, the streets, the hotel, the restaurants and the museums, and initially bristling from it, it was reassuring to hear it in the synagogue interspersed with Hebrew.   After nearly two weeks I began to appreciate the rich heritage of Jewish life and Reform Jewish life in a place that seemed to me antithetical to our people's values. 

This Sunday I will be sharing stories, insights, conversations with political and military leaders, and reflections on the future of Jewish living in those communities.  At this Hanukkah season, a festival recalling the dedication of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem and the commitments of a small group of Jews fighting to survive in a hostile world, it is fitting to consider that today the Jewish communities of Vienna and Berlin are working to survive and even thrive in a place that not so long ago tried to destroy them and now is helping them to flourish.

Please join me for this uplifting and hopeful conversation.

And best wishes for a peaceful, healthful and meaningful Hanukkah.




Rabbi Joseph M. Forman

President's Message

I've been trying for days to find the time to gather my thoughts and sit down to write this month's column.  After a couple of failed attempts, when I was either too tired or too distracted, I realized that this is the beginning of "that" season- the one when, hopefully, your life is filled with the happy chaos of Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, time with family and maybe our first snowstorm.   My schedule is also filled with school events, the usual extra curriculars and trying to find some time to breathe in all the chaos.  Even though it is happy chaos, everyone needs to slow down at some point.


So, this short note is just a reminder that although December can be a mad house, activities at Or Chadash gives us the time to take pause and breathe a little.  Our Hanukkah candle lighting has always been one of my favorite events at synagogue.  There is something immensely soothing about the sight of our congregation's menorahs all lit at once.  I enjoy it, not only as a joyful celebration of Hanukkah, but as yet another way our community comes together to share in our Jewish traditions.


Keep your eyes open to find out how to participate in Ner Shel Tzeddakah, the Candle of Righteousness, where we provide support to the Sand Hill Boys Home.


As usual, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.  I hope you had a delicious Thanksgiving and are having a joyous Hanukkah.  




Caryn Tomljanovich, President

Student Cantor's Message

Kathy Gohr

Shiru Ladonai, shir chadash! Sing unto God a new song!

Psalm 96 opens with these familiar words sung on Friday evening in many synagogues. I've often wondered if it would be appropriate to sing unto God an older song, a familiar song, a song that connects us to our childhood. Songs that our parents and grandparents sang as they worshiped in the synagogues of their youth.


And so it was on Friday November 22nd. Rabbi Joe donned his black robe, I my black kimono and together we led the congregation from the "Newly Revised" Union Prayer Book published in 1940. Songs like, "God is in His holy Temple," and "How Good it is to Praise The Lord" were sung for the first time within our Temple walls, indeed the old songs became new again for many of those in attendance. My guitar was not played, as guitars were not allowed as part of the formal worship experience. We sang unaccompanied, our voices were pure and simple. The service was primarily in English, as was the custom of the day, Rabbi Joe even read a passage from the original Union Prayer Book published in 1895. Participants brought in their own treasured editions from home, and shared them with each other before and after services.  Most expressed that they enjoyed the experience and suggested that we might share this again in the future.


Friday, January 10 we will be celebrating "Shabbat Shira," the Shabbat of song. It is a tradition in many synagogues, including ours to have a musical service. This year we will once again be dusting off the Union Prayer book as well as the Union Hymnal. I would love to get a choir together for this service, so please let me know if you are interested. Please join us as we "Sing unto God a renewed song!"


And please join us as our choir, Shir Chadash, sings on Friday December 6th at 7:00PM as we will gather in community to light menorahs for Hanukkah. 

Friday Night, December 6 Hanukkah Celebration

Family Service and Special Latke Oneg

7:00 PM (Please note the service time) We will gather as a community to light menorahs for Hanukkah and enjoy the sounds of Shir Chadash, our community choir led by Student Cantor Kathy Gohr.


Our 4th, 5th, and 6th grades will lead us in the blessings of the Hanukkah Menorah and the Shabbat candles. Don't forget to bring your Hanukkah menorahs! (We have candles.)  Everyone is encouraged to attend this very special Hanukkah Shabbat service.


Our Friday Hanukkah celebration includes a songfest led by our Religious school students and Student Cantor Kathy Gohr, latkes, arts and crafts including edible dreidels, origami dreidels, make your own Sufganiyot (jelly donuts) and special Hanukkah desserts and more!


* Remember to bring a food item or supermarket gift card to support the Flemington Food Pantry.  They have specifically requested the following: 4 pound bags of sugar, Coffee (ground) decaf, Tea.    

We need LOTS OF LATKES!!!!  Do you like to make latkes? Frozen? Sweet potato? Zucchini? Pureed? Shredded? With onions? Gluten Free? We like ALL kinds. We need Lots of Latkes.


Please RSVP here
 to let us know you are coming and what you will bring.

Ner Shel Tzeddakah - Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World)

On Hanukkah we light the eight candles of the Menorah using the Shamash, the helper candle.  That 9th candle is often referred to as an extra candle -- but it is not extra, it is essential!  This Hanukkah each of us has an opportunity to act as a Shamash, the essential helper bringing light to our community.


As many of you know, the Union for Reform Judaism has created a tradition of dedicating the 6th night and candle as the Candle of Righteousness, Ner Shel Tzeddakah. 

Rather than exchanging gifts on the 6th day of Hanukkah, we are asked to donate the cost of gifts that day to a charitable organization to help individuals and families who rely our our generosity to help them during this season of light.


Our congregation has a history of making big impacts.  For Ner Shel Tzeddakah, our goal is to pool Or Chadash's collective resources to help the children at Hunterdon Youth Services, known to many of us as the Sand Hill Youth Home, have a wonderful and bountiful holiday. We are a generous congregation, and together we can make a difference.


Please send a donation to OC approximating the value of the gifts that would otherwise be exchanged on the 6th night of Hanukkah.  We will provide the donors with a "certificate of generosity of spirit" to give to family and friends in lieu of the Hanukkah gift for that night.  All monies received will be used to purchase a gift card to be spent at a mall or area stores.


In addition, the Sand Hill Youth Home would love to keep their boy's active. Anyone who has any gently used exercise equipment they are willing to part with is asked to contact Rabbi Forman to make arrangement to donate that, as well.


We hope you will click here to participate in Ner Shel Tzedakkah! Thanks in advance.



It is not incumbent upon us to complete the work, still, we are not permitted to abstain from it. -- Pirke Avot 2:16 

Thanks to the Chesed Committee
The Chesed committee received a note from Mrs. Berkelhammer's daughter, Lisa, about the Chesed group's work on behalf of her mom.
We are proud of the work of the committee and join her in thanking you for your help!
Please accept my thanks and gratitude for your ongoing kindness and generosity. The wonderful soups and challah which you have prepared and delivered for my mom have made a huge contribution to her health over these many months. Your hard work and devotion is not taken for granted!
Upcoming Adult Education Programs at Or Chadash
Sunday December 8th at 9:00AM Kup O' Joe - Jewish life in Europe is re-emerging in the cities of Berlin and Vienna. Join me to hear of my journey to Austria and then to Germany with 30 Reform rabbis (and a few spouses) during the Central Conference of American Rabbis' Jewish heritage tour.  I will be sharing  photographs, insights into the new Jewish community, reflections after meeting with government officials and somber moments of remembrance.

Sunday December 8 10:30AM- 12PM - The Conversation Project at Or Chadash. With Rabbi Forman and Chaplain Lee Coopersmith
The Conversation Project is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care. Too many people are dying in a way they wouldn't choose, and too many of their loved ones are left feeling bereaved, guilty, and uncertain.
It's time to transform our culture so we shift from not talking about dying to talking about it. It's time to share the way we want to live at the end of our lives. And it's time to communicate about the kind of care we want and don't want for ourselves.
The place for this to begin is at the kitchen table - not in the intensive care unit - with the people we love, before it's too late.
We can make these difficult conversations easier. We can make sure that our own wishes and those of our loved ones are expressed and respected.
If you're ready to join us, we ask you: Have you had the conversation?  Please join us for this powerful and important program.

Cantor Emeritus Lee Coopersmith is a graduate of the School of Sacred Music of the Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City, where she was invested as a Cantor in 1982.  She received her Master of Sacred Theology and Pastoral Counseling Certificate from New York Theological Seminary in New York City.  In April of 2010 she earned a Doctorate in Pastoral Ministry from HUC-JIR in a joint program with the Post Graduate Center for Mental Health.  She also holds a BA in voice from Farleigh Dickinson University.  Cantor Coopersmith is now retired from Temple B'nai Abraham, Livingston, NJ. She is currently serving as the Community Chaplain for Jewish Family Service of Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren Counties. 

Sunday December 15 10:30AM- 12PM - iEngage: Engaging Israel: Foundations for a New Relationship
The Engaging Israel project attempts to construct a new narrative and language for discussing Israel. The Hartman Institute Lecture & Study Series, led by Rabbi Forman, will include video lectures, text study, and lively group discussion.
Going deeper than the political issues of the day, Engaging Israel re-frames the discussion about the enduring significance of the State of Israel for contemporary Jews worldwide.
We will explore questions such as: What are the benefits of Jewish sovereignty? How should a Jewish state exercise military power ethically? How do we create and
maintain a Jewish democracy? Why should American Jews care about Israel? What values should a Jewish state embody? What can Israel offer the world? 
Please join us for this engaging program.
Jewish LIFE: Learning Is For Everyone 
Jewish Life

Jewish LIFE (Learning Is For Everyone), our community wide adult education program, has an exciting new season of programs and special events planned for the coming year.  A great lineup of special events are scheduled in addition to a wide variety of classes  and films offered at our participating synagogues.  The complete 2013-2014 Jewish LIFE brochure will be available on line at www.ssbjcc.org.  Printed copies will be available at the Shimon and Sara Birnbaum JCC in Bridgewater.


Below is a rundown of  the special events coming up this Fall.  We are pleased to also offer two new exciting opportunities for adult learning, The Melton School and iEngage.

  • NEW!!! Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning (A project of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem).   The Melton School will be offered at the Shimon and Sarah Birnbaum JCC in Bridgewater on Tuesdays, 9:30-11:30am, from October 2013  through June 2014.  Registration Fee:  Register by September 10:  $650/person; Register after September 10: $700/person.   
  • NEW!!! iEngage:  Engaging Israel:  Foundations for a New Relationship, Sundays, 9-10:30 AM: 12/15, 1/26, 2/23, 3/23, 4/6, 5/4 (Hosted at Or Chadash, Flemington). Please join me for this remarkable program. Cost for iEngage is $50/person.  Members of Or Chadash are $36. 
  • Wed., Dec. 4, 12 Noon:  Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Author of How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who's Sick.  Program & Luncheon (Hosted by the JCC).
  • Thurs., Dec. 12, 6:30pm:  Irma Horowitz Film Series Featuring Falafel & Films.  The Breakfast Parliament, The Ranch, The Rabbi's Daughter (Hosted by the JCC). 

Please refer to the Jewish LIFE brochure for program fees and additional information.  To register for programs hosted at the JCC, please call 908-725-6994 x201.  To register for programs at other locations, please contact the hosting synagogue or agency.

hat You Might Have Missed
Remembering Krystallnacht with Author Meg Wiviott -  11/15

Author Mark Russ Federman - 11/17

Wine Tasting 11/24

7th Grade Decorates Rolling Hills Care Center for Hanukkah