Or Chadash Newsletter - APRIL 2015 Edition
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In This Issue
Service Schedule
In Our Community
Upcoming Yahrzeits
Special Thank You
Sunday Walk & Talk
What You Might Have Missed

Shabbat Service Schedule

Shabbat Window  
April 3- 7:30PM Celebrate 
Shabbat and
Passover Seder with friends and family. No Services at Or Chadash
April 10 - 6PM dinner and 7PM Movie: Woman in Gold at Montgomery Cinemas in Skillman 
April 17 - 7PM Shabbat Family Service - 6th Grade Torah Portion Presentation 
April 24 - 7PM Shabbat Service 

In Our Community

Refuah Sh'leima (Get well) to...
Eileen Berkelhammer
Susan Blaicher 
Barbara Sansevere
Dorothy Saks
Virginia Murphy
Mazel Tov...
To Sergey, Honeylet and Big Brother, Aaron Wortman-Vayn on the birth of Kai Ethan.
To Sherrie Mazzocchi on the wedding of her daughter, Sally Mazzocchi to Matthew Lidinsky.

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:


April 3

Joseph Ettinger

Shelley Weller's Beloved Father

Robert John Schwade

Robert Schwade's Beloved Father

Marc Leon

Betsy Zalaznick's Beloved Uncle

April 10 (To be Read on April 17)

Maude Albert

Steve Alber's Beloved Grandmother

Albert Sperber

Eileen Berkelhammer's Beloved Father

Norman Halper

Ruby Halper-Erkkila's Beloved Father

April 17

Stanford Bernard Speizer

Louis Speizer's Beloved Father

Richard Landman

Michele Korfin's Beloved Father

Bernice Sherman

Louis Speixer's Beloved Mother

Sadie Sperber 

Eileen Berkelhammer's Beloved Mother

Sarah H. Levin

Ellen Pytlar's Beloved Mother

April 24

Ralph Amodio

Leslie Hann's Beloved Uncle

Edwin Loewy

Susan Ingram's Beloved Father

Andrea Harvey's Beloved Grandfather

Helen Topf

Alice Schwade's Beloved Mother

Evelyn Zwerling

Eric Zwerling's Beloved Mother 


May 1

Sidney Stein

Stephanie Kassonoff's Beloved Grandfather

Ruth Moutner

David Moutner's Beloved Aunt

Rose Weinstein

Isabel Mahalick's Loved One

Sheldon Rotter

Naomi Zwerling's Beloved Father


Thank you to all who contributed as of March 30, 2015:

Endowment Fund

Adam & Audrey Belkin


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.  


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 Pesner. 
Register online and learn more.

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.  


Below is a rundown of the special events coming up this month:

Monday, April 13 - 7 PM

The Jewish Film Series Presents, "No Place on Earth" - 

October 1942 - Esther Stermer, along with some family members and a group of other families, seek asylum underground to evade being caught by pursuing Nazis. They remain hidden below for nearly a year and a half - the longest recorded uninterrupted underground survival occurrence. Their harrowing story is unearthed by accident when cave explorer Chris Nicola, stumbles upon remnants left behind by the cave dwellers. Through extensive research and determination, Nicola locates a few of the survivors and has them share their incredible story of strength and perseverance.

This film is "an Inspiring tale of endurance" Philadelphia Inquirer "An Amazing Chapter on WWII History" Minneapolis Star Tribune. The documentary film screening will be followed by a discussion led by Chris Nicola.


Saturday, April 18 - 7 PM

Jewish Film Series Presents: "Restoration (Boker Tov Adon Fidelman)"

Hosted by Temple Beth-El, Hillsborough Run time: 102 minutes

Aviv Malamud has died, and bequeathed his share in the business not to his longtime partner Yaakov but to Yaakov's son Noah. The aging Yaakov is a skilled craftsman, who loves his work but has little sense for financial issues, which had always been taken care of by his dead partner. Business is going down, demand for Yaakov's services is falling off and banks refuse to give loans. Noah is pressing Yaakov to retire and sell off the workshop - which could bring a lucrative profit. Yaakov is on the verge of reluctantly giving in when a mysterious young man named Anton gets a job in the workshop, and becomes Yaakov's apprentice. Anton comes up with a way of saving the failing business, or at least giving it a breathing spell.

Questions or to register call 908.722.0694


Sunday, April 19 - 10 AM - Yom Hashoah

On the occasion of Yom Hashoah, we take the time to commemorate the tragic events which took place 70 years ago. But we often don't think about how we, as American Jews, view these events through very distinct lenses. This talk will explore the unique perspective of American Jews on this chapter in our people's history.  Valerie Thaler, Ph.D., has taught Jewish history at Towson University and Baltimore Hebrew University. She received her Ph.D. in Jewish history from Yale University and an MA in Jewish Education and Jewish studies from Brandeis University.

Event is FREE to the Community.  Hosted by the Flemington Jewish Community Center


Thursday, April 30 - 6:30 PM - Featuring Falafel & Films 

Israeli Short Films Presented by Ma'aleh School of Television Film and the Arts in Jerusalem. Enjoy a falafel dinner while watching three subtitled films. A short discussion will follow each film. 

Hosted by the JCC, Bridgewater

And Thou Shalt Love* (Adult Subject Matter) 

Ohad, who is studying in the special "Hesder" program for orthodox soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, experiences profound loneliness while he conceals from others that he is gay. After calling a religious hotline for advice, Ohad is convinced that he is "cured". Then Ohad's study partner Nir returns from the army. Ohad finds he can no longer evade the difficult questions, both within himself, and between himself and G-d.

Fair Fight

Dog fights, a brother who gambles, debt, and violence threaten the life of a young boy and his dog trying to survive the harshness of working class poverty.

A Woman Laughed

The Biblical Sarah and Michal, both women who laughed, confront their infertility. One bears a child, the other remains barren. Three women directors bring to the screen a powerful and poetic female experience.

Memory Game

A mother and her only child try to cope with the death of the child's father. While the mother throws out the father's belongings in order to try and move forward, the child collects them in a secret hideaway to try and store memories. Will this battle over loss and memory tear them apart or enable them to reconstruct their lives together?

$12/person in advance or $15/person day of event.

To Register Call 908.725.6994 x201


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.


The Annual Make a Difference Program @ RVCC
Monday, April 13th, 2015 - 7:00 PM
Grand Conference Center at RVCC
Theme: "Whoever saves one life saves the entire world." Hillel

Honoring Diane Naar, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon & Warren Counties from 1999 to 2014

Diane Naar spent her career working in community development - providing human services and programs to those in need. As Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon & Warren Counties, she and her staff, Board members, donors and Jewish community leaders have spent the last fifteen years assisting both Jews and non-Jews in need locally, in Israel and around the world.

Featuring Keynote Speaker Nick Winton and

Recognizing Evelyn Rauch for making a difference.

For more information, please click here.

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


JMFWhen you walk into the doors of Or Chadash, you will see on the left, hanging on the wall above our Food Basket, a framed bright yellow card.  Written on that card is a beautiful translation by Rabbi Rami Shapiro of the words in Pirkei Avot 1:17 from the Talmud. His interpretation helps us better understand their meaning. The card reads: Shimon ben Gamliel said: Study is not the goal, doing is. Do not mistake "talk" for "action". Pity fills no stomach. Compassion builds no house. Understanding is not yet justice.


In a little more than 24 hours we will be celebrating Pesach - our spring festival of freedom and redemption from enslavement. "Let all who are hungry come and eat, let all who are oppressed find redemption," we will declare. Freedom from Egyptian slavery is what the story in our Haggadah will retell; redemption from the tyranny of oppression is what we will celebrate. But we are all well aware of the myriad forms of slavery and oppression that still exist in our own day.  Across the globe over 30 million children are enslaved workers --TODAY!  Sadly, in America, even right here in Hunterdon County, there are individuals who are oppressed by the economic injustices that the perverted distribution of wealth has created in a nation that routinely celebrates freedom. The share of wealth owned by the top 0.1% is almost the same as the bottom 90%.  How can we celebrate freedom when all around us others are enslaved by this oppression? 


The Passover dinner event is often a time of family tradition, sharing stories not only from the Book of Exodus, but also from more recent history in our own families' lives.  Incumbent on each of us is the Mitzvah to experience at the Seder the sense of freedom that our ancestors must have felt.  That's a tall order for us.  If we can read, have access to a computer, and can sit down for a civilized meal knowing where and when our next one will be, we are already living in the rarified space of the less than 1% of the population. And yet our Seder comes to remind us and increase our awareness of the need that still exists to redeem others from bondage of all kinds.


Jonathan Safran Foer, in his New American Haggadah (2012), adds the following insight to the Seder.  As the Matzah is passed around the table and the group is reminded that this Matzah is the bread of affliction, the words "Let all who are hungry come and eat" are a bit unsettling, he shares. "Maybe this passage should be read a week, or a month, before Passover, when there would still be time to issue a meaningful invitation to a hungry person.  Is the Haggadah being cruel? Or merely disingenuous? How, as we fill our bellies with brisket, can we mourn the existence of hunger in the world and not feel like hypocrites? The Haggadah, Of course, might be making a point at our expense. Could it be teaching us that this night, in one crucial way, is just like all other nights? On all other nights we eat to satisfaction without a thought for the hungry stranger. Tonight, we speak of hunger, but do nothing to alleviate it. In Judaism, it is not the thought that counts, but the deed."


Shimon ben Gamliel lived 2000 years ago.  Pity filled no stomachs then.  Foer is a contemporary of ours.  Our understanding today still does not bring justice. Freedom from hunger continues to elude far too many of us.  Perhaps in the days ahead and in the year that lies before us we will create a place at the table for those still in need of redemption.  That is the real purpose of our celebration - to move us to action.


Wishing you a sweet and healthy and fulfilling and redemptive Passover.




Rabbi Joseph M. Formam


President's Message

Just last week I was lucky enough to join my mom at an all women's Seder put together by the Hadassah Chapter in

West Windsor.  What is an all women's Seder you ask? In this case, it was gathering of 149 women to share a holiday celebration focused on the female aspects of Judaism.  Although I was somewhat below the median age of the gathered crowd, I was proud to be part of the energy and excitement of the day. 


The Seder was a terrific participatory experience, but what fascinated me the most were the stories in the room. Most of these women were born or alive at the cusp of the Depression and World War II. They were the first generation to try and figure out how to balance mothering with work and for many of them, my own mom included, they were the first women in their families to seek higher education.  There were immigrants from Israel, children of Holocaust survivors and those with their own challenges and triumphs. There is surely a book or movie in this gathering of women.


The Haggadah directs us to tell the story of the Exodus to future generations and make sure they understand it. The women's Seder did just that, as well as gave me inspiration to take Lyra to join us next year. But for me I was most fascinated by the stories and history in the room. These were women of strength, each with their own interests, but brought together by the continuity of Judaism. These women are the reason I continue the story.
Shalom and Happy Passover! 




Religious School Director's Message

Author Jennifer Weiner shared her thoughts on BZ Head Shotbecoming an adult in this heartwarming and feel good Opinion piece in The New York Times (March 29, 2015) All Grown Up and in Charge of the Seder.


Sometimes, she explains, it is a specific moment that makes us feel like we are adults, or an occasion. For Ms. Weiner, most of her recent adulthood feelings have been tied to food and religion as she hosts family and holiday events at her home.


Like the author, hosting holiday and prepping family meals-- that first Thanksgiving turkey, homemade applesauce for latkes, creating a Seder plate, straining the chicken soup, and using my family matzo ball recipe with the secret ingredient of seltzer water (light and fluffy) was a leap into adulthood. Another strong memory for me is when the roles were reversed in the front seat of the car and my mom became the passenger and I became the driver.


Ms. Weiner's article on marking the day, or the year, that childhood was left behind reinforces the concept of "becoming an adult" as a process--not a moment.  In teaching our students about the process of becoming a Jewish adult, we have introduced activities to encourage our students and parents to think about this important lifecycle event as a process and not "just" a ninety-minute service on a Shabbat morning or afternoon.


Growing up is not a function of time, but of reconsidering our identity-through the responsibilities we are tasked with and the roles we assume from an earlier generation as now ours.


This academic year we introduced many new student and family activities to help with this concept of "process versus event, driver's license versus graduation" and to encourage our students to better understand that becoming an adult is a different experience for all. In helping our students explore "adulthood", our sixth grade students were tasked with interviewing family members and friends to identify the events, activities and experiences that made them most feel like an adult.  A sampling includes: getting a first job, getting a driver's license, voting in an election, shaving, and serving in the military.


We followed up the interviewing activity with a very personal activity.  Our twelve-year-old students were tasked with creating a list of the items that would help move them towards adulthood.  Our sixth graders' lists were very diverse and included items such as getting their own email address, opening a savings account at a bank, and being able to go to the mall unaccompanied by an adult.  During our January family workshop the students along with their parents looked at the these lists and began developing action plans to help their sons/daughters achieve these goals--if, of course, their parents thought the students' adulthood goals were reasonable.


Adulthood, for better or worse sneaks up on all of us. Hopefully our young adults will look back and savor the memories.


Chag Pesach Sameach,

Betsy Zalaznick

Student Cantor's Message

Kathy Gohr

It was a cold and snowy Friday night, the first night of spring. As I walked up to the Hillel house at Muhlenberg College, all of that melted away as I walked through the front door. The building, an impeccably restored pair of Victorian houses joined together, was ablaze with activity. Students were arriving with a Shabbat energy that only college students can have, and I felt invisible as they greeted each other and headed for services. The Reform style services were in the basement in a comfortable room led by two students, one armed with a guitar. It was refreshing to sit back and participate as the next generation led us in worship, singing many of the songs that were written by folks that I have met along the way.


As we gathered upstairs for dinner I realized that I was probably by far the oldest person in the place. I looked around the room and saw a table of students who looked as if they didn't quite fit into the social circles in the room, this is where I sat down. We had a delightful conversation over a Deli dinner that would have rivaled most delis in the Lehigh Valley.  As others joined us we shared stories of ourselves, where our journey had taken us so far as well as where we hoped to be headed. Although chronologically I was the oldest I realized that these "kids" has experienced far more life than I had at their age.


After dinner we returned to the basement to join in a student led discussion on diversity. We gathered in small groups to share quotes from Pirkei Avot (the sayings of the fathers) and explore how they may apply to the inclusion of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons in our community. As we openly discussed how we could become more inclusive I was taken back to my own college days where the "Gay Alliance" met secretly so as to not invoke oppression from the masses. HIV, as far as we knew did not exist, and homosexuality was still considered to be a form of mental illness. "Tolerance" was the word of the day, inclusion was too much to hope for.  Yet even tolerance in itself implies oppression, for it reflected the deep self-hatred experienced by those marginalized by the majority. We never thought that marriage equality would ever take place within our lifetime.


As I brought myself back to the present I realized that these students were already doing the work they were speaking about. The word inclusion wasn't enough for them anymore, the new word for the day has become "celebration." As these young adults become the next leaders of our community, I think we are in good hands.


Many Bles-sings,


Dear Or Chadash friends:

Once again, Diane and I returned from Florida and found your Purim package awaiting us. We are grateful to be remembered, and we thank you for thinking of us at this time of year.
We hope you had a joyous Purim and will have a wonderful Pesach.
Rabbi Forman has invited me to speak on May 15, and I am looking forward to being at Or Chadash that evening and hoping to see many familiar and unfamiliar faces.

Until then, Shalom,
Rabbi Richard and Diane Steinbrink

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 link for more information on 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.


Woman In Gold

Gustav Klimt and Adele Bloch-Bauer: The Woman in Gold

April 2, 2015 to September 7, 2015


On April 2, 2015, Neue Galerie New York will open "Gustav Klimt and Adele Bloch-Bauer: The Woman in Gold," an intimate exhibition devoted to the close relationship that existed between the artist and one of his key subjects and patrons. Included in the exhibition will be a display of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, paintings, related drawings, vintage photographs, decorative arts, and archival material. The show will be on view through September 7, 2015.

This exhibition is made possible in part by the Neue Galerie President's Circle.
Conservation of Adele Bloch-Bauer I and support for this exhibition is made possible in part by A. Lange & Söhne.

This exhibition coincides with the opening of the historical drama "Woman in Gold," starring Helen Mirren as Adele Bloch-Bauer's niece Maria Altmann, and Ryan Reynolds as lawyer Randol Schoenberg. The Weinstein Company is set to release the film in U.S. theaters on April 1, 2015. The film is based upon the incredible true story of how Altmann, working in collaboration with Schoenberg, successfully sued the Austrian Government for the return of five Klimt paintings seized by the Nazis from the Bloch-Bauer family townhouse in Vienna during World War II.

For more information or details, please use this link. 


Or Chadash Family and Friends are invited to a special evening: 

Friday, April 10 - 6 PM for Dinner and a 7 PM Movie of "Woman in Gold" at the Montgomery Cinemas in Skillman, NJ

Please Visit this website for more details. 



Unchained At Last

The New York Times features a column about Unchained At Last with the headline, "Woman Breaks Through Chains of Forced Marriage, and Helps Others Do the Same."

The piece focuses on Unchained's executive director, Fraidy Reiss, who, after escaping her own abusive arranged marriage, founded Unchained to help women and girls from all cultures and religions to flee or resist forced marriages.

Unchained provides free legal services to its clients. And "because the clients' situations can be so catastrophic - forced at gunpoint to accept a marriage, raped by a husband, essentially imprisoned within the home as a domestic servant - Unchained at Last also provides mentoring, access to therapy and cash stipends for everything from basic clothing to English as a second language class," the column explains.

The column quotes an Unchained client as saying: "I cannot even describe what it's like to have an angel sweep down and kiss you on the forehead and then hold your hand and tell you, 'I'm not letting go until you're O.K.' "

The piece describes how Unchained has grown in less than four years to help more than 90 women and girls, pass a law in New Jersey last year, and participate earlier this week in a planning session held by the White House Council on Women and Girls to develop a national policy on forced marriage.

Read the full column here.


NY Times features Unchained at Last - 3/21/2015 



Alex's Lemonade Stand at Or Chadash
Thank you to all those that supported Alex's Lemonade Stand at our Purim Carnival.  We are looking forward to doing it again on Mitzvah Day as well. 
Please click on this link to see where your contributions are being used.  

Join Or Chadash for our 2nd Annual Wine Tasting!
Please join us on June 6th from 6-10PM
You will get a tasting of 6 different wines and scrumptious food to eat - along with lots of gift baskets to bid upon. Wine is also available for purchase.

Old York Cellars
80 Old York Road, Ringoes, NJ 08551
June 6th, 6-10pm $40/per person

Come and enjoy the night out, bring friends and family!!! This event is open to the entire community and is sure to be a blast!

Payments can be made via credit card or check. Checks can be dropped off at the Temple or mailed directly to:

Adam & Audrey Belkin
6 Jennings Lane
Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889

Please contact Adam or Audrey at 908/534-3676 if you have any questions!
To Register, please click here!

35th Anniversary - Jewish Family Services 

Celebrating 35 years of

providing support for Life's challenges...

One person, One family at a time


Over the past 35 years:

JFS provided mental health counseling to over 2,700 individuals and families struggling to cope with the stressors of everyday life.

1,000 individuals benefitted from Career Services and the Job Seekers Support Group.

60 families from the former Soviet Union, as well as families from Kosovo, were helped to resettle.

280 individuals and families received volunteer support from the Family Mentor Program.

50 Holocaust survivors have received supportive services to help them age with dignityIn 2001 JFS provided counseling and group support to those most impacted by the events of 9/11.


Every Year:

Over 100 frail seniors are helped to age in place through the Senior Service Program. Over 50 families are provided food assistance through the JFS Emergency Assistance Program.

35 special needs families participate in programs designed to support them. Our Community Chaplaincy touches the lives of 180 people in institutional settings offering cultural and spiritual support. Recently merged Hebrew Free Loan program helps families become financially stable and self supporting by providing an interest free loan when no other options are available.


35th Anniversary CelebrationAn Evening to Honor Our Distinguished Benefactors, Founders and Past Presidents

Thursday, May 7, 2015 
6:30 PM Cocktails and Full Dinner Buffet 
8:00 PM Tributes and Dessert

Couvert $125 
One Drink Gratis - Cash Bar 
Dietary laws observed

Raritan Valley Country Club 
747 NJ Route 28 
Bridgewater, NJ

Kindly respond by April 15

Reserve Tickets                                         Place Journal Ad                                          

For more information, please click here. 


JFS Working to Help the Community Meet its Challenges


What You Might Have Missed:


Temple Tots and 2nd Grade - Join together to make decorated Charoset and Seder Plates

Nuts for you - Apples, Wine and Cinnamon too.

Chocolate Seder