Or Chadash Newsletter - MAY 2015 Edition
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In This Issue
Service Schedule
In Our Community
In Our Community
Rabbi's Message
President's Message
Educator's Message
Cantor's Message
Confirmation Service
Rabbi Steinbrink's Visit
Mitzvah Day
Wine Tasting

Shabbat Service Schedule

Shabbat Window  
May 1: 7 PM -Shabbat Family Service K/1- Are you Smarter than a 1st Grader?

May 2: 10 AM - Shabbat Morning Service and Bar Mitzvah of Bowie Shreiber 
May 8: 7 PM - Celebration of Shavuot and Confirmation
May 15: 7:30 PM -
Shabbat Services and Special Guest speaker: Rabbi Dick Steinbrink

May 16: 10 AM - Shababt Morning Services and Bat Mitzvah of Sarah Hecht 
May 22: 7:30 PM - Celebrate Shabbat at Home with Family and Friends. No Service at Or Chadash.
May 29: 6:30 PM - Kabbalat Shabbat Services (early service)

May 30: 10 AM - Shabbat Morning Services and bat Mitzvah of Shayna Lehrer 

In Our Community

Refuah Sh'leima (Get well) to...
Eileen Berkelhammer
Susan Blaicher 
Barbara Sansevere
Dorothy Saks
Virginia Murphy
Beverly Kornstein
Condolences to... 
Rabbi Richard Steinbrink on the death of his sister, Barbara S. Levine
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


May the memories of the following individuals be a blessing:

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

Doris Lerman

David & Isabel Mahalick's Loved One

Sheldon Weinick

Ross Weinick's Beloved Father

May 8

Charlotte Werstein

Leslie Hann's Beloved Grandmother

Ellen Sabio

Steven Albrecht's Beloved Mother

Robert Hann

Chris Hann's Loving Father

Deborah Schwartz

Shelly Weller's Loved One

Esther Adelman

Laura Senator's Beloved Grandmother

Louis Brodsky

Gary Brodsky's Beloved Grandfather

Lillian Golden

Beth Golden's Beloved Grandmother

Kate Hirsch

Betsy Zalaznick's Beloved Great Grandmother

David Abrams

Larry Abrams's Beloved Father

May 15

Molly Margolis

Stephanie Kassanoff's Beloved Grandmother

Lillian Rapp

Salena Kern's Beloved Mother

Anna Wolf

Leslie Hann's Loving Grandmother

Estelle Kern

Allen Kern's Beloved Mother

May 22

Larry Seligman

Deb Weiss's Beloved Father

Hannah Rachel Sandler

Jeff Sandler's Beloved Mother

Isidore Wolf

Leslie Hann's Beloved Grandfather

May 29

Lillian Friedman

Hilda Suchow's Beloved Mother

Leo Heller

Elizabeth Lewy's Beloved Father

Jim Lewy's Beloved Grandfather

David Lewy's Beloved Grandfather

Shelly Weiss

Evelyne Hersch's Beloved Cousin

Celia Zalaznick

Bruce Zalaznick's Beloved Grandmother

June 5

Richard Levy

Robert Levy's Beloved Father

Bernard Sigel

Meredith Sigel-Willey's Beloved Father

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

Mishloach Manot

Paul & Maureen Weiner


General Contribution

Steven Garfield


Rabbi's Discretionary Fund

Matthew Lidinsky & Sally Mazzocchi


Oneg Fund

Steve & Susan Albert: In Honor of Rabbi Steinbrink

Stuart Oxenhorn & Robin Schutz


Mitzvah Day

John Langer & Annette Ivry

Darren & Elizabeth Loew

Adam & Audrey Belkin

John Graybeal & Laura Senator


Mitzvah Day - Helping Hands

Chris & Leslie Hann

Harvey & Kathryn Gold

Yehara Raddalgoda

Herbert & Diane Vaunghn


Education Enrichment Fund

Gary & Deb Weiss - In Honor of Betsy Zalaznick & Wendy Solomon



B'Nai Mitzvah

Stephanie Oxenhorn became a Bat Mitzvah on April 25, 2015. She is the daughter of Robin Schutz and Stuart Oxenhorn of Readington Township. Stephanie goes to Readington Middle School. She sings in the chorus, and plays on the school soccer team. Her love for soccer lead to her Mitzvah project, collecting and donating used soccer cleats for underprivileged children in Brazil.

Stephanie's Torah portion was Tazria / M'tzora, which describes the rituals of purification, diagnosis of skin diseases and other oozing stuff.  Stephanie enjoyed being up on the bima, then celebrating with her family and friends.



Bowie Shreiber will become a Bar Mitzvah on May 2nd.  He is the son of David Shreiber and Allison Bain, and the older brother of Fox and Lily.  Bowie is a 7th grader at Readington Middle School, where his favorite subjects are Math and Art. Bowie plays baseball for his school and plays saxophone in the jazz band.  He also enjoys basketball, rock climbing, and exploring the outdoors.  He is a black belt in Kempo karate.  Bowie's Torah portion, K'doshim, describes the laws that God gives Moses for the people to follow in order to be holy. For his Mitzvah project Bowie created several short Youtube videos discussing common concerns and questions about Type 1 Diabetes to be used by the local schools as resources for training and increasing awareness among teachers and students. Bowie is looking forward to celebrating his Bar Mitzvah with his friends, family, and community. 


Sarah Madison Hecht will become a Bat Mitzvah on May 16. She is the daughter of Maria Jose De La Hoz and Alan Hecht. Sarah is in the seventh grade at Alexandria Middle School. She is active in the Girl Scouts and on the the school field hockey team. Sarah is a nationally ranked equestrian and is the current Morgan Grand National 15 and under Park Saddle Champion. Her Mitzvah Project included working with Saddlebred Rescue to raise awareness for the organization by making a promotional video. Sarah's Torah Portion, B'har, is about the rotation of a farmer's crops and the importance of land ownership. Sarah can't wait to celebrate with her family, friends and community. 


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.  


The Shimon & Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center


The Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center, is a non-sectarian social service agency located on 14 acres on Talamini Road in Bridgewater.  The JCC opened its doors to the community in December 1999 after years of planning and fundraising by a passionate group of local families that were driven to bring a JCC to our tri-county area. 


Please use this link to find out what is happening at the JCC.

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


Dear Members of our Or Chadash community,

One of the wonderful customs at Or Chadash is our open interpretation of the idea of Tradition.  We honor the sanctity of much of Jewish ritual life, yet are welcoming of new interpretations of our 3500 year-old traditions, also.


One tradition that we have is to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Shavuot and its accompanying observance of Confirmation  neither on the grid of the lunar calendar nor the solar calendar, but on the Hallmark Calendar of Mothers' Day  -- for that is the weekend when we call upon our 10th grade Religious School students to lead us in the celebration of this spring holiday and share with us, as did the Biblical Ruth, the values and ideals that make up their Jewish identities at this stage in their lives.


"Shavuot" is the Hebrew word for "weeks." The Torah tells us to count seven full weeks after the second day of Passover to Shavuot. In ancient times, the Israelites were an agricultural people who brought sheaves of grain as gifts to the Temple for these seven weeks. On the fiftieth day, Shavuot, they brought loaves of bread made out of the new grain.
The holiday has several names. It is also called Z'man Matan Torateinu (Hebrew for Season of the Giving of our Torah), as well as Hag HaBikkurim (Hebrew for Holiday of the First Fruit) as it marks the beginning of the fruit harvest when the first ripe fruits were brought to the Temple as an offering of thanksgiving.
In the early part of the 19th in Germany, Bar Mitzvah was replaced in the emerging Reform congregations with a Religious School graduation ceremony called Confirmation. Linking this affirmation of faith with the ancient Israelites' affirmation of faith -- as told in the story of the receiving of the Ten Commandments in the Book of Exodus -- Confirmation has endured as link between the past and the present.
I hope you will join us for one of the most moving and inspiring services of the year. 



Rabbi Joe Forman   

President's Message


During a small stretch of downtime while traveling for work, I finished reading, Orange is the New Black, by Piper Kernan. While I'd watched a few episodes of the TV series by the same name, I was interested in learning more about the main character on which the series was based.

It's a quick and fairly interesting read for anyone who is interested and it sheds an interesting light on the impact of mandatory drug sentences on women and families. The book is both a personal exploration of the author's time in prison and a reflection on the policies that put her there in the first place. Towards the end of the book, she is recounting a conversation she had with a fellow inmate about religion. Formerly a religious skeptic, Piper has this to say, " In prison, for the first time, I understood that faith could help people see beyond themselves, not into the abyss but into the street, into the mix to offer what was best about themselves to others."


I would hope it doesn't take a prison sentence for each of us to realize what I find so true in this powerful statement. That within each of us lies the deep capacity and the ability to better our world. We each have unique skills, interests and passions that we can use to help others. It sounds simple, but certainly worth reflection with Mitzvah Day fast approaching. (If you haven't registered yet, there's still time!) 


If you have kids and have some more free time over the summer, take it one step further. Find what fascinates them the most and figure out how to use it to repair our community. As I've been looking for things to keep my own kids busy this summer, I've realized our area is rich in opportunities to get involved.  


Once you've done some good, it's time to have some fun. It's time to purchase tickets to our Wine Tasting and Auction on June 6th. (Use the link further down in the newsletter.) It's a fantastic event with abundant food, delicious wine and great auction items. 

I'm looking forward to seeing many of you on Mitzvah Day and at the Wine Tasting!



Religious School Director's Message

BZ Head Shot

Confirmation is my absolute favorite service at Or Chadash.  I find it magical: seeing our tenth grade students in white robes, all grown up, celebrating together.  Many of you were named at Or Chadash, joined our Temple Tots program, celebrated consecration here-and all of you became a Bar/Bat Mitzvah on this very bimah.  And now, this evening, as we celebrate Shabbat, and as a community all of your accomplishments, and marvel with your parents on just how amazing and dedicated you are.


This is the opening paragraph of my remarks which I will share next Friday evening, May 8th as we celebrate the festival of Shavuot and the confirmation of seven amazing Or Chadash students -- Jacob Berg, Thuy Blumenfeld, Jenna Lifshitz, Mei-lin Sloan, Sydney Stoter, Josh Weinberg, and Jack Weiner. But please, don't come to Confirmation to listen to me!


We believe that listening to these seven 10th grade students and meeting their parents will give you a new perspective on our Or Chadash programming and specifically -- our Confirmation education curriculum. These high-school students are all hyper-involved in sports, clubs and academics, yet they each made the commitment to continue their Jewish education with the support and encouragement of their parents. Today, everyone one of them considers that decision to have been life-changing. 


It is sometimes challenging to explain to adults as well as pre-teens where Judaism fits into their lives. These students will be talking about "What does the 'Jewish' me look like?" As our Confirmands answer that question, we hope you will be there to witness and support these students and their families as Or Chadash comes together as a community to celebrate this most significant and meaningful lifecycle event.


If you don't know what a Confirmation service looks like-you are not alone.  We have found that our Or Chadash community has little knowledge of what our Confirmation (Grades 8/9/10) program is all about--much less a Confirmation service. It is only after attending this remarkable service that parents, students and congregants understand the power, the connection and the meaning this event can transmit to you, your child, and your entire family. Those first-time attendees will remark during the celebratory oneg following the service that the statements of Jewish identity from the Confirmands created a memorable, powerful and uplifting message. And we agree. This is the capstone event of the year. 


It will be a Shabbat to remember.  Please join us.


Betsy Zalaznick 


Student Cantor's Message

Kathy Gohr

 While attending a rehearsal for this year's confirmation service it occurred to me that this class was the first full class where I had also participated in their Bar/Bat Mitzvah. It's hard to believe that I am starting my fourth year here at Or Chadash!  In a little over a week they will be standing on the bima dressed in white robes with their tallit across their shoulders. I had overheard a remark a year or two prior where a student mentioned that this was the first time they had worn their tallit since their Bar Mitzvah. I was curious as to why. One of the first parts of a b'nei mitzvah service is the tallit presentation, then this ritual garment worn for the first time gets packed away until confirmation, except for maybe an occasional appearance at the high Holydays.

Then I started thinking. Why not wear your tallit more often? When attending a b'nei mitzvah of one of your classmates, or siblings, or another student in the religious school, why not wear your tallit as a sign of solidarity, a symbol of welcome for the newest member of the adult Jewish community? Parents, if you can still find your tallit, why not wear it as a symbol of your Jewish identity, as an example for your children? I think it would be wonderful if each new b'nei mitzvah could look out from the bima and see a sea of tallitot looking back at them. Then in return, when they attend a b'nei mitzvah they could wear theirs as a sign of welcome as well.

So let's start a new tradition here at Or Chadash. I invite you to bring your tallit to services with you on Saturday morning as an expression of unity and welcome for the newest members of our community. It may feel a little awkward at first, but many new practices do. Soon it will feel as natural to you, as if you have been doing this all of your life. I look forward to seeing a sea of tallit at out next b'nei mitzvah!

Many Bles-sings,



From Left to Right:  Mei-Lin Sloan, Ja
ck Weiner, Joshua Weinberg, Jenna Lifshitz, Jacob Berg, Thuy Blumenfeld & Sydney Stoter.
Shabbat Service: Special Guest Speaker - Our Emeritus Rabbi Richard Steinbrink

Friday, May 15 - 7 PM - Shabbat Services: Special Guest Speaker- Rabbi Richard Steinbrink.  

Rabbi Steinbrink, Rabbi Emeritus of Or Chadash, will speak on the following: "When I was a teen, I ushered in my congregation in Brooklyn to avoid having to sit through a boring service. When I became a rabbi I did my rabbi-thing and was happy doing it. Now that I am retired and sit in the pew, I have some observations that I would like to share."  

Please join us for what is sure to be a wonderful evening.  Special 80th-birthday celebration for Rabbi Steinbrink.


Or Chadash is Going to Israel in November 2015

Israel Trip 2015 
Or Chadash and Friends Travel to Israel!!

While I have had the privilege of traveling to Israel many times and even lived in Jerusalem for a year, this is the first time Or Chadash will be taking a congregational trip together. We will be traveling with the amazing guidance of IsraelExperts and their tremendous experience leading group tours. Whether you have been to Israel before or this would be your first time going, there is simply nothing like it in all the world!

The dates for our travels are November 1-12, 2015, with add-on options available.

Joe Perlov (from IsraelExperts) and I have arranged a truly remarkable trip sure to meet the interests of a diverse group. The trip we are planning is top-shelf. This is not to say that we intend to make this trip out-of-reach for the budget-conscious traveler; on the contrary. We are well aware that a trip to Israel is not something most of us can afford to do on a whim. Yet, if ever you've thought of traveling to Israel, I hope you will consider taking this opportunity and traveling with Or Chadash! The final cost is still to be determined - in part by YOU. We have created several options to make this journey affordable. I hope you will take a look at our options and join us for what will be an incredible journey!

Here is a general glance at our itinerary -- more information is available by visiting our website.

- exploring the Mediterranean coast of Tel Aviv 
- feasting on Israeli breakfasts 
- visiting Independence Hall 
- walking the ancient port city of Jaffa 
- learning on a walking tour with Arab and Jewish guides 
- visiting the Orchard of Abraham's children, a Muslim-Jewish Center for kids 
- remembering at the Yitzhak Rabin Center 
- relaxing and enjoying the night life at cafes 
- discovering the creative side of Jewish life on a graffiti tour 
- hearing from speakers on Civil Rights 
- visiting art galleries and an incredible craft market tour 
- spending some time studying Jewish texts at a secular Yeshiva 
- celebrating Shabbat in Jerusalem at Har El, the first Reform Congregation in Israel 
- exploring the Israel Museum 
- taking in the sound and light show on the walls of the Old City 
- touring the Jewish Quarter, the Western Wall, and the ancient Tunnels 
- spending time at an archaeological dig 
- shopping at Machane Yehuda - the famed Jerusalem open air market 
- visiting and tasting at a winery 
- paying our respects at Military Cemeteries 
- filling ourselves with Biblically based foods with a trained chef 
- reflecting on our history at Yad VaShem, the Holocaust memorial

These are but some of the adventures we will share together in Israel. I hope you will consider joining us for this remarkable journey.

If you are interested in joining us on this exciting trip to Israel, please contact the synagogue.   
Rabbi Tarfon said: It is not your duty to complete the work, but neither are you free to avoid it. Pirke Avot 2:21

Please join us and participate in Mitzvah Day at Or Chadash on Sunday, May 17, 2014 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. (Mitzvah Day will be held rain or shine.) This is a wonderful opportunity to get involved in the Or Chadash community and have a huge impact on our world. 

There are many ways to be involved, including the Helping Hands Project below.

Please sign up for Mitzvah Day here! 

Helping Hands Project

We will build prosthetic hands which will be shipped to people all over the world who don't have a hand because of war, accidents, or genetic conditions.

This youtube video, Shivkumar Writes Love, demonstrates the impact of the hands that we will be building on May 17th.

For more information and to sign-up, click below.

Helping Hands Registration form for Team Captains and Team Members:


Shivkumar Writes Love youtube link:

If you have any questions, please contact 
Betsy Zalaznick (bzalaznick@gmail.com)  Thank you!
Please save the date.  We look forward to seeing you soon.

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

Reserve Tickets                                         Place Journal Ad                                          

For more information, please click here. 


JFS Working to Help the Community Meet its Challenges


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