Or Chadash Newsletter - MARCH 2015 Edition
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In This Issue
Service Schedule
In Our Community
Sunday Walk & Talk
Registration Quick Links

Shabbat Service Schedule

Shabbat Window  
March 6: 7:30 PM Shabbat Experience
March 13:  6:00 PM Shabbat Brown Bag Dinner
7:00 PM Shabbat Family Service with 7th Grade Mitzvah Project Movie and Shabbat Across America
March 20Muhlenberg College: Shabbat Services and Dinner - No Services at OC
March 27: 7:30PM Shabbat Service

In Our Community

Refuah Sh'leima (Get well) to...
Eileen Berkelhammer
Susan Blaicher 
Barbara Sansevere
Dorothy Saks
Virginia Murphy

Thank You...
To the Board of Trustees for their assistance with the Flood Clean Up. 
Cindy Lehrer for her Donation of a Shop-Vac.
To all those that participated with "Feed the Need!"
To Christine Berg, Jana Levison, Caryn Tomljanovich and Betsy Zalaznick, for baking Hamantaschen Cookies for the Purim Festival.
Extra special Thank You to Karen Tovi-Jones for her assistance in preparing the Purim Gift Bags.
To the Purim Committee for an incredible job:
Susan Albrecht, Audrey Belkin, Elyse Belkin, Christine Berg, Yulia Frenkel, Susan Lazar, Amy MacIsaac, Deborah Mitchell, Courtney Moscowitz, Lisa Tauscher, Caryn Tomljanovich, Karen Tovi-Jones, Eve Wasserman, Glenn Wasserman and Kristina Witzling.
To all the Volunteers that ensured the Purim Carnival was a tremendous success.

Mazel Tov...
To the Becker Family, for walking 13.1 miles in just under 3.5 hours, for Breast Cancer Research.
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:  

March 6

Arnold Kassanoff

Beloved Father of Jim Kassanoff

Anita Moutner

Beloved Mother of Dave Moutner

Dale Moutner

Beloved Sister-In-Law of Dave Moutner


March 13

Rochelle Ringel

Beloved Mother of Robin Lewy

Seymour Zwerling

Beloved Father of Eric Zwerling


March 20

Anna Gelb

Beloved Mother of Shirl Levy

Louis Eli Werstein

Beloved Grandfather of Leslie Hann

Murray Bacal

Loving Father of Jane Stein                                                               

Lee J. Kenyon

Beloved Grandfather of Susan Albert

Jack Skarbnik

Beloved Father of Barbara Persichetti

Elsie Strauss

Beloved Mother of Joe Strauss

Dora Meltzer

Beloved Aunt of Evelyn Hersch

Stanley Gold

Beloved Father of Harvey Gold


March 27

Irving Falk

Beloved Stepfather of Ross Weinick

Bernard Woir

Beloved Father of Caryn Speizer


April 3

Valentina Geylur

Beloved Grandmother of Sergey Wortman-Vayn

Betty Roberts

Beloved Mother of David Roberts

Harold Kern

Beloved Father of Allen Kern





    Sherrie Mazzocchi: In Memory of Gloria Grumbach


Mishloach Manot

     Larry & Beatrice Abrams

     Steve & Susan Albert

     Steven & Susan Albrecht

     Ben Atkinson & Faith Fuhrman

     Robert & Galia Barlow

     Jeffrey & Jill Barna

     Ken Becker & Sharon Bobnar-Becker

     Alan & Sheila Beckman

     Mark & Nancy Beckman

     Adam & Audrey Belkin

     Paul & Elyse Belkin

     Douglas & Kimberly Beman

     Jeff & Christine Berg

     Kurt & Susan Blaicher

     Tim & Miriam Blanke

     Ray Blumenfeld & Audrey Hackel

     Jon & Lori Blutfield

     Ira & Estelle Breines

     Gary Brodsky

     Brian & Jodee Chizever

     Carl Christensen & Deborah Beer-Christensen

     Brian & Carol Coriell

     Brian & Faith Costello

     George Eckelmann & Jane Engel

     Craig Erkkila & Ruby Halper-Erkkila

     Rabbi Joseph M. Forman
Dan & Jacquelyn Freedman

     John & Maria Gendelman

     Harvey Gold

     Robert & Julie Goldstein

     John Graybeal & Laura Senator

     Steve & Sage Grumbach

     Chris & Leslie Hann

     Phillip & Andrea Harvey

     Alan Hecht & Maria Jose De La Hoz

     Mark & Jessica Hodkinson

     Pierce & Stacey Hubbard

     Susan Ingram

     Gerald Jones & Karen Tovi-Jones

     Craig & Sudha Kantor

     James & Stephanie Kassanoff

     Estelle Katcher

     David & Michele Kinderman

     Andy & Michele Korfin

     Jack Kurlansik

     John Langer & Annette Ivry

     Robert & Susan Lazar

     Perry Lehrer

     Cindy Lehrer

     Barry & Alison Levine

     Adam & Jana Levison

     Robert & Shirl Levy

     Elizabeth Lewy

     Jim & Mary Clare Lewy

     Edward & Cheryl Lifshitz

     Darren & Elizabeth Loew

     Alan Marrus

     Vadik & Kate Metelitsa

     Daniel & Deborah Mitchell

     David Moscowitz & Courtney Boyd-Moscowitz

     David & Katherine Moutner

     David & Rita Orlans

     Stuart Oxenhorn & Robin Schutz

     Gary & Susan Parilis

     Nisim & Alexa Parliyan

     Ed & Carolyn Podgorski

     Stephen & Diana Propper

     David & Randi Roberts

     Rick & Jill Rosenthal

     Joseph & Carolyn Sansevere

     John & Toby Sarinick

     Don & Sara Schenker

     James & Barbara Schlessinger

     Robert & Alice Schwade

     Aaron Schwartz

     Meredith Schwartz

     Stephen Sinoway & Beth Golden

     Victor Sloan & Sandra Gong

     Glenn & Lydia Sokoloski

     Louis & Caryn Speizer

     Andrew & Jane Stein

     Ken & Cindy Stoter

     Mike & Lisa Tauscher

     Chris & Melissa Tiber

     Marc & Caryn Tomljanovich

     David & Kimberly Turner

     Edward Tyler & Renee Trambert

     Glenn & Eve Wasserman

     Paul & Meredith Weil

     Paul & Andrea Weinberg

     Ross & Susan Weinick

     Gary & Debbie Weiss

     Amara Willey

     Richard Willey & Meridith Sigel-Willey

     Mark & Kristina Witzling

     Sergey & Honeylet Wortman-Vayn

     Bruce & Betsy Zalaznick

     Eric & Naomi Zwerling


General Contribution

    Andy & Michele Korfin


High Holy Day Donations

     Edward & Cheryl Lifshitz


Building Fund

Steve & Sage Grumbach: In Memory of Gloria       Grumbach


Education Enrichment  Fund

     Edward & Cheryl Lifshitz: In Honor of Larry &

     Beatrice Abrams

     Edward & Cheryl Lifshitz: In Honor of Paul &

     Maureen Weiner

Rabbi's Discretionary Fund

     Edward & Cheryl Lifshitz: In Honor of Rabbi Forman


Youth Programs Fund

     Edward & Cheryl Lifshitz: In Honor of Betsy



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



         This week at Or Chadash we celebrate the holiday of Purim. With our Carnival, our Seuss-themed Mishloach Manot bags and our Grinch who stole Hamantaschen spiel, we have brought joy and gifts to so many within our community. Purim is a fun time for all. But there is another side to Purim that we often overlook.

         The story is well known: a Persian King chose a beautiful young woman named Esther to be his queen, unaware that she was Jewish. Esther hears from Mordecai, her uncle, that the King has entrusted the fate of Persian Jews to Haman, one of his advisers. Haman hates the Jews and issues an order that they be killed.

         At great risk to her own life, Esther reveals that she is Jewish and pleads with the King to save her people. He agrees to do so and gives the evil Haman the death sentence Haman himself had hoped to give the Jews.

         The story is just that: a story. But embedded in this farcical tale are important messages that continues to bring not just laughter and silliness, but real meaning to us today.

         Throughout history there have been times when Jews have had to hide their identity to protect their lives from those who wished to destroy us. (The name Esther actually means Hidden.) Today, in America, we are able to live openly as Jews. But we are all well aware that the freedoms we enjoy are not to be found everywhere across the globe.

         Purim reminds us that we must always grapple with the problem of evil, and with people who, like Haman, hate us simply for being different. The murderous acts of ISIS against Jews, Christians and even Muslims is frightening to read and hear about. Yet Purim also offers hope.

         The Book of Esther in which the story of Purim is found is unique among the books of the Bible. The name of God and the voice of God are missing from it. There is a Midrash (a rabbinic commentary) that teaches that the voice of God is to be found in our own voice.   The story of Purim reaffirms to us that we must never be silent in the face of evil. We must speak out, and more: we must act against those who would threaten to destroy us. How we shall do so without becoming as barbarous as the villains is an ever-present challenge. (Take a look at the final chapters of the Book of Esther to determine how well the Jews of Shushan managed that. Not too well, in my opinion.)

         I hope this Purim season brings you joy. And more: I hope that in the chorus of men and women calling for justice and peace, your voice is heard.


Rabbi Joseph M. Forman


President's Message


I recently finished reading the book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. One chapter of the book speaks to the rise of evangelical Christian mega churches correlated with the extroverted culture that is sometimes prevalent in the United States. In the chapter on the church, the author observes that extrovertism seems to be a key requirement for thriving in the church culture. Congregants are expected to be at once openly outgoing and committed, with opportunities for  multiple social events built into their weekly schedule.

This concept got me thinking about my own experiences at not only Or Chadash, but other synagogues which I've attended.  One of the things I've always valued about Judaism, and Or Chadash in particular, is the opportunity to participate at your own comfort level. Sure, growing up I was expected to attend Friday night and Saturday morning services, but I could partake quietly or more openly.  Friday nights at Or Chadash are ideal for both the extroverts and introverts among us.   (Or those who fall somewhere in between.)

I can sit quietly lost in my own thoughts and take in the service or I can boisterously rattle my egg shaker. There are moments for quiet prayer and reflection, as well as joyful singing. By the time we get to services on Friday nights I am usually pretty tapped out by the week's events. Personally, I appreciate the opportunity to indulge my introverted tendencies during services and leave feeling a bit more recharged then when I came in.  For me it's not a passive experience, but one that lets me reflect on the week and take a quiet, internal moment.   By the end, I'm ready to schmooze a bit during Oneg and catch up with all of you. 

There's much more to the whole science of introverts/extroverts than I'm able to condense here. No matter your personal tendencies, Or Chadash welcomes you with open arms and the opportunity to express and participate in services and events in a variety of ways. I hope to see many of you in the weeks ahead.     




Religious School Director's Message

BZ Head Shot

From the RJ.orj Blog, Guest Blogger Betsy Zalaznick's Featured Article:


Purim at Or Chadash, includes many of the usual traditions: putting on a Purim spiel (play), using boxes of pasta as groggers, baking hamantaschen with our students, reading the Megillah, and hosting a spectacular carnival that features Esther's Salon, Mordecai's March Madness, a photo booth, and plenty of prizes and food.

But the highlight of Purim at Or Chadash is our mishloach manot (Purim gift bags) program. Launched 12 years ago, the initiative has since evolved into one that touches each and every member of our synagogue community, including our college students, who receive a text message reminding them to check their mailboxes for Purim goodies. The project also encompasses many facets of congregational life - social action, college outreach, community outreach, and fundraising.

Here's how it works: Congregants order mishloach manot gift bags to be sent to other congregants, and every household in our community receives a gift bag and card, hand-delivered before Purim by synagogue members. The cost to send a mishloach manot gift bag to each household in the Or Chadash community is $180. There are other gift options, as well. For example, for $18, members can select three households to which they wish to send a gift bag. Each bag's contents fit within the theme selected for that year, and the accompanying card is signed by everyone who had a hand in putting the bag together. This year, that's more than 85% of our members!

This year's Purim theme is "Green Eggs and Hamantaschen," which we selected to coincide with Read Across America, an annual event to celebrate reading and the birthday of children's author Dr. Seuss. In addition to green eggs and hamantaschen, this year's red and white striped bags will be filled with goodies related to Dr. Seuss' books, including a bookmark, red fish candy, Goldfish crackers, animal crackers (for all the animals in If I Ran the Zoo), lollipop Truffala trees (from The Lorax), a pencil to "briefly write briefs", and a chocolate globe to navigate The Places You'll Go.

In addition to selecting a theme every year, we also choose an organization or two related to the theme to receive a portion of the proceeds from our fundraising initiative. After Hurricane Sandy, for example, our theme was "The Jersey Shore," and the gift bag included playing cards from Atlantic City, cotton candy, and salt water taffy. We donated the proceeds to an organization that was doing hurricane relief work. Another year, the theme was baseball, with a tie-in to a baseball exhibit at the National Museum of American Jewish History called "Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American." That year, Cracker Jack, Baby Ruth candy bars, and bubblegum were among the bags' goodies, and we sent the residents and staff of our neighborhood boys' home to spend a day at the local Atlantic League ballpark.

Because this year's theme is centered around reading, a portion of the proceeds from the fundraiser will go to an Or Chadash favorite: PJ Library®, a Jewish family engagement program whose website and books are our number one resource for holiday activities for kids of all ages (and their parents). We also will donate to  First Book-Hunterdon County  which provides new books to children in need in Head Start, Early Head Start, and our local public schools. We also have delivered 20 Purim gift bags to Family Promise-Union County to support its new reading initiative, The Need 2 Read®.

On Purim, we read in the Book of Esther (9:22), "The Jews were to observe these days for feasting and merrymaking, and as an occasion for sending gifts to one another and presents to the poor." Or Chadash's mishloach manot program provides members with opportunities to perform these two mitzvot-sending gifts that delight family and friends, as well as offering presents and tzedakah to the needy. This initiative strengthens our sense of community, both within the congregation and in and around Hunterdon County.


Chag Purim Sameach!


Betsy Zalaznick


The Union for Reform Judaism has partnered with WRJ and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation to provide opportunities for 58 select small congregations to offer PJ Library® subscriptions in communities where it does not yet exist. For more information, visit the partnership website or contact Stephanie Fink - sfink@urj.org.



Student Cantor's Message

Kathy Gohr

Purim seems to have come around just in time this year.  I have been feeling mired down by the cold weather, feeling depressed by all of the violence perpetrated by ISIS in the name of Allah, and a general sense of hopelessness has come over me.  I am then reminded by the message of Purim; how even in the midst of danger and threat of destruction there is still hope. The fate of the Jews of Persia rested on the courage of a young woman who had been divinely placed in a position that enabled her to be instrumental in the preservation of her people. Had she not fulfilled her purpose by placing herself at risk, the Jews of Shushan would not have survived.  While I'm not suggesting that we place ourselves in a position of peril, we can open our eyes to the injustices around us with the awareness that we have been placed here "for such a time as this." We must always remember that our actions are never insignificant, they have the potential to change the world. Every time we encounter someone we will both leave the encounter better or worse for having had it, but never the same. Let's try to make each encounter be for the better, because one never knows how far our intentions will travel. Now if I could just do something about the weather!  Actually I heard a Cardinal singing a love song in my back yard at 6:15 this morning, a sure sign that Spring is on the way!


Many Bles-sings,

Kathy Gohr



If Purim is traditionally a time of mischief and merriment, then Mother Nature was celebrating with us on Sunday, March 1, as the snow held off long enough to let us enjoy our annual Purim Carnival, then tucked us back in our homes once we left Or Chadash.  A large crowd filled our synagogue, and we all enjoyed several hours worth of entertainment: there was Purim Jeopardy; the Megillah reading; and the Purim Spiel--"The Grinch Who Stole Purim" (starring none other than Mr. Stein in, you guessed it, the leading role!).  But that's not all.  Once we made more room in front of the Bimah, the TCNJ Circus Club entertained us with juggling, diabolo, and hula-hooping.  Following their performance, carnival-goers played games like Purim Plinko and Mordecai's March Madness, and they luxuriated in Esther's Salon.  New this year, the TCNJ Circus Club offered stations on juggling, hula-hooping, and spinning plates; and in the craft room, attendees could make their own juggling balls to take home.  And if that wasn't enough entertainment, one needed to look no further than at our very own blue-haired Rabbi Joe, Cantor Kathy, and Betsy dressed to charm us all as Thing Alef, Thing Bet, and Thing Gimel! 

Thank you to our local merchants for various donations and discounts:

ShopRite, Stop&Shop, and Philadelphia Pretzel Factory.

Thank you to everyone who brought pasta-box-groggers, which filled three large boxes to donate to the Food Pantry.

Thank you to those who contributed to Alex's Lemonade Stand.

We are especially grateful for funding from the Education Fund for the TCNJ Circus Club this year.

And the biggest thanks goes to all our student volunteers who helped with the carnival games, Esther's Salon, and the Prize Room.  We all appreciate how the "big" kids contribute so much to making a great time for the "little" kids.

You can find an article about the Purim Carnival with photos on NJ.com by clicking (here).

See you next year at the carnival!
The Carnival Committee:
Susan Albrecht, Audrey Belkin, Elyse Belkin, Christine Berg, Yulia Frenkel, Susan Lazar, Amy MacIsaac, Deborah Mitchell, Courtney Moscowitz, Lisa Tauscher, Caryn Tomljanovich, Karen Tovi-Jones, Eve Wasserman, Glenn Wasserman and Kristina Witzling.


Or Chadash Sisterhood Presents: 
Sunday Morning Trail Walks and Coffee Talks
Want to meet some new people, or catch up with friends you only see in the hallways of OC or while waiting to pick up your children? 
Join us monthly for either a quick trail walk, and/or a quick coffee klatch!
We never seem to have time to get together, so a nice walk and talk during Hebrew school on Sundays seemed to be just the thing!
We are scheduling the walks and coffee shops alternately between Flemington and Clinton: Baker's Treat, and Citispot, respectively.
Email/text me to let us know if you can join (parliyan@comcast.net, 646-491-2648), or just show up!
Bring walking shoes, and garbage bags for trail walk in case we find garbage to clean up. JOIN US!!!!!!
Trail walk 9:30-10:00 Weather dependent! This is a fair weather event ONLY!
Coffee talk 10:15 - 11:00
Please use this website for specific dates and locations.
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger
The Fifth Question: 

Passover is a special time when we gather with family and friends to retell the story of our people's freedom from bondage. We read from a prayer book, perform rituals that are thousands of years old, and eat A LOT of delicious and symbolic foods. Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to have that luxury.


Hunger in America is at an epidemic level. 50 million Americans - nearly 1 in 6 - struggle to put enough nutritious food on the table every day. One out of every five Israelis can't be sure when or if they'll have their next meal. These statistics are tragic, and they inspire our daily work. But at Passover, when it can seem as though the primary purpose of the Seder is to eat (and eat and eat), we feel the discomfort a bit more keenly.


We set the stage early in the Seder, saying, "All who are hungry, let them enter and eat." We move ceremoniously through the haggadah, reminding ourselves that we once were slaves in Egypt and explaining the meaning of each bite we eat. But millions of Americans and Israelis have only a lack of food, which has a very different meaning - it is a reminder that they are still enslaved.


This year we turn our attention to the persistent heartbreak of childhood hunger in America. As policymakers debate what is to be done with no movement forward, we have heard members of Congress say: "hunger is a good motivator" and, even more shocking, for children on subsidized lunch: "maybe sweep the floor of the cafeteria."  


So this year, please join us as we again ask The Fifth Question: Why do we tolerate leaders who spend more time belittling hungry children than they do trying to fix the problem of hunger?


For more information or how you can help, please visit this website.


3rd Annual, A Night to Celebrate Israel
Our Community's Support of Israel
Thursday, March 26 at 6:30 pm

Raritan Valley Country Club
Bridgewater, New Jersey

$18 per Student
$50 per Adult

Educate & Celebrate!
Dinner * Speakers * FUN!

Honoring Rabbi Ron Isaacs, and Aviv Alter, Rutgers Hillel Student

Register Here.

Consultation on CONSCIENCE
Join Jewish leaders and activists in Washington, D.C. to learn from key policy and government leaders about the issues that shape public debates, to explore the connection between Jewish texts and current events, and to build strong social action and advocacy skills to use in your community.
April 26 - 28, 2015
Join us, and greet our new director, Rabbi Jonah Presner
Register online and learn more.

What You Missed:
Chocodiem Event:

Fifth Grade Family Workshop:

Sixth Grade Family Meeting:

Rabbi Joe's Milestone Birthday:

Family Services (Third & Fourth Grade):


Narcissus Israel Bulbs were planted to celebrate Tu B'Shevat (Birthday of Trees)

Doing Yoga Tree Pose to celebrate Tu B'Shevat

PURIM 2015

Jewish LIFE: Learning Is For Everyone 
Jewish Life


Jewish LIFE (Learning Is For Everyone), our community wide adult education program, has a great lineup of special events scheduled in addition to a wide variety of classes  and films offered at our participating synagogues.  The complete 2014-2015 Jewish LIFE brochure is available on line here.  


Iris Krasnow, Sex After...Women Share How Intimacy Changes as Life Changes.  

Wednesday, March 4 l 12pm Program & Lunch

This book is filled with advice and the voices of 150 women and offers an honest, candid and intimate guide. 

Hosted by the Birnbaum JCC, Bridgewater.

Co-sponsored by the Temple Beth-El, Hillsborough Sisterhood, the Temple Sholom Sisterhood and the Brandeis National Committee, Somerset Chapter. 

Fee: $18/advance, $22/day of

Rebecca Alexander, Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found 

Wednesday, March 11 12pm Program & Lunch

Rebecca Alexander is a psychotherapist, spin instructor, volunteer and extreme athlete. She also happens to be almost completely blind and deaf. Not Fade Away is her inspiring and moving memoir of a young women who is slowly losing her sight and hearing and yet continues to live life to its fullest potential.

Co-Sponsosored by Jewish Family Service of Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren Counties and Brandeis National Committee, Somerset Chapter.

Fee: $18/advance, $22/day of

Culinary Center in NYC
Thursday, March 12 | 10am - 4pm

Behind every meal at L'Ecole is the passion and dedication of 50 chef-instructors and students from every corner of this world-class culinary school. At L'Ecole, it is always about our guests and their experience. There's no better place for a great meal, wine, cocktail and personalized service.


Fee: $65/person, includes coach bus, delicious three course lunch with coffee/tea. Gratuities are included.

Originals by an Original The Artistic World of Mordechai Rosenstein
Artist in Residence, Temple Sholom
Thursday, March 12 | 7:00pm

Meet artist Mordechai Rosenstein and observe him creating a work of art in the synagogue lobby. At 7:30 there will be a presentation and discussion by Mordechai of several of his noted pieces of Hebraic calligraphy and artwork. Afterwards, paint with the artist a collaborative piece you can take home. 

Location: Temple Sholom, Bridgewater

Free to the Entire Community, Sponsored by Temple Sholom

Glenn Kurtz: 3 Minutes in Poland
Thursday, March 19 | 7:00pm

Five years ago, Glenn Kurtz discovered three minutes of color footage film shot by his grandfather on a 1938 trip to the Polish Village of Nasielsk. His grandfather inadvertently captured a world that ceased to exist just one year later. Of Nasielsk's 3,000 Jews, fewer that 100 survived the war.

Fee: $8/advance $10/day of


Please refer to the Jewish LIFE webpage for 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.