Or Chadash Newsletter - November 2015 Edition

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In This Issue
Service Schedule
In Our Community
Legacy Circle
Rabbi's Message
President's Message
Religious School Director's Message
Student Cantor's Message
OC Cooks!
Author Event
Sisterhood Vendor Event
College Planning Workshop
Super Sunday Event
What you might have missed!
Shabbat Service Schedule
Shabbat Window  
Friday, November 6th - 
Celebrate Shabbat at Home, No Services at Or Chadash.

Friday, November 13th - 7 PM
Shabbat Family Services, 5th/6th/7th - Kristallnact - Archie Fagan (A WWII Veteran)

Saturday, November 14th - 5 PM 
Shabbat Afternoon Service and Bar Mitzvah of Brian Beckman

Friday, November 20th - 7:30 PM
Shabbat Services

Saturday, November 21st - 10AM
Shabbat Morning Service and Bat Mitzvah of Sophie Belkin

Friday, November 27th - 
Celebrate Shabbat at home. No Services at Or Chadash.

Friday, December 4th - 7:30 PM
Shabbat Services - Legacy Shabbat, honoring Members of our Legacy Circle

Saturday, December 5th - 10 AM
Shabbat Morning Service and Bar Mitzvah of Ben Weiss
In Our Community

Refuah Sh'leima (Get well) to...
Susan Blaicher 
Barbara Sansevere
Dorothy Saks
Beverly Kornstein
Geralyn Ritter

Mazel Tov:
To Sam Weiss, son of Debbie and Gary Weiss, for his upcoming role as King Triton in SKIT's production of Little Mermaid. There will be two performances on November 22nd.

Todah Rabah:
To John Graybeal for fixing the benches.

To John Hennings for fixing the bathroom locks.

To Andy Korfin for fixing the ark.

To Darren, Sarah & Liz Loew for Running the MCM10K (Marine Corp Marathon).

To Christine Berg for her incredible leadership and commitment to the Scrip Program at Or Chadash.

To Alexa Parliyan for arranging the Sisterhood Walks & Talks.

To Aaron Schwartz for hosting the Brotherhood Beer Brewing Event.

To Alexa & Tali Parliyan, Toby & Emma Saranick, Lisa & Scott Tauscher, Caryn & Evan Tomljanovich and Debbie & Ben Weiss for peeling apples in preparation for Pie-A-Thon at Baker's Treat.

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:

November 6th:
(To be read on Nov 13th)
Helen Gordon
Robin Lewy's Beloved Grandmother
Joan K. Weinstein
Susan Albert's Beloved Mother
Selma Bland
Beatrice Abrams's Beloved Mother
Blanche Margaret Erkkila
Craig Erkkila's Beloved Mother
Michael Joseph Sansevere Jr.
Joseph Sansevere's Beloved Father
November 13th:
Louis Zalaznick
Bruce Zalaznick's Beloved Father
Jerome Marrus
Alan Marrus's Beloved Father
Joseph Kass
Leslie Hann's Beloved Grandfather
November 20th:
Herman Weinstein
Susan Albert's Beloved Grandfather
Gerald Levine
Judith Levine's Beloved Husband
David Topf
Alice Schwade's Beloved Father
Mildred Marrus
Alan Marrus's Beloved Mother
November 27th:
(To be read on December 4th)
Rose Leon
Betsy Zalaznick's Beloved Grandmother
Bernard Wolf
Leslie Hann's Beloved Stepfather
Charles Gelb
Shirl Levy's Beloved Father
December 4th:
Marin H. Albert
Steve Albert's Beloved Grandfather
Anna Robbin Smith
Connie Smith's Beloved Mother-in-Law
Gertrude Heller
Jim Lewy's Beloved Grandmother
Elizabeth Lewy's Beloved Mother
David Lewy's Beloved Grandmother
Sheila Fisher-Cohen
Gary Brodsky's Beloved Cousin
Edward Kurlansik
Jack Kurlansik's Beloved Father
Loris Rosskam
Nancy Kanter's Beloved Mother
Bessie Kenyon
Susan Albert's Beloved Grandmother
Irving Safier
Cindy Lehrer's Beloved Father

Thank you to all who contributed as of September 29 to October 31st, 2015: 

Honi Amodio
Mishloach Manot
David & Cindy Cohn
7th Grade B'nai Mitzvah Gift
David & Rita Orlans
Nisim & Alexa Parliyan
John & Toby Sarinick
Gary & Debbie Weiss
Amara Willey
General Contribution
Jeff & Christine Berg
Allen & Salena Kern
Bernard & Carol Miller: In Honor of Jessica & Matthew Lazar B'nai Mitzvahs
High Holiday Donations
Kurt & Susan Blaicher
Tim & Miriam Blanke
Paul & Marlene Leibowitz
Adam & Jana Levison
David Rosen
Oneg Fund
Adam & Audrey Belkin: In Honor of Nadia Belkin's Bat Mitzvah

Legacy Circle 
For more information or further details, please click on this link.
To view the digital version of our Legacy Circle Book of Life click here.

Legacy Circle Members
Legacy Circle Members as of October 31st, 2015:

Larry & Beatrice Abrams 
Susan & Steve Albert
Jeff & Christine Berg
Adam & Audrey Belkin
Rabbi Joseph M. Forman
Cantor Kathy Gohr
Harvey & Kathryn Gold
Steven Grumbach
Rick & Jill Rosenthal
The Senator/Graybeal Family
The Sloan/Gong Family
Louis & Caryn Speizer
Caryn & Marc Tomljanovich
Kimberly & David Turner
Debbie & Gary Weiss
Betsy & Bruce Zalaznick

Bat Mitzvah

Sophie Belkin will become a Bat Mitzvah on November 21.  She is the daughter of Paul and Elyse Belkin and younger sister of Gillian Belkin.  Sophie is an eighth grader at Branchburg Central Middle School where she is a member of the Seven O'Clock Harmony ensemble choir. She enjoys playing field hockey, theater and music.  Sophie is a Girl Scout in Troop 60481 and is currently working on completing her Silver award. Her Mitzvah project includes volunteering at the Midland School and serving holiday lunches at SHIP.  
Sophie's Torah portion, Vayetzei, is about the story of Jacob's ladder and how Jacob was tricked into marrying Leah.  Sophie is looking forward to celebrating becoming a Bat Mitzvah with family and friends.

Bar Mitzvah

Ben Weiss will become a Bar Mitzvah on December 5, 2015. He is the son of Debbie and Gary Weiss as well as the younger brother of Sam. Ben is a 7th grader at Clinton Township Middle School.  In school, Ben particularly enjoys math and playing percussion in the school band. In his spare time, Ben enjoys playing both basketball and baseball all year round. For his mitzvah project, Ben chose to volunteer at the YMCA assisting the instructor with 2 different basketball skills classes. He has thoroughly enjoyed helping younger children learn the game.

Ben's Torah portion, Vayeishev, is the story of Joseph and the coat of many colors.  He has found it interesting to learn more about the famous story. Ben is looking forward to celebrating with his family, friends and the Or Chadash 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

RabbiFormanGiving Tzeddaka Each Week
A Tzaddik is a righteous person.  And Tzeddaka - from the same Hebrew root,  Tzadi/Dalet/Koof - is righteous giving.  In the 12th century, Maimonides wrote of eight levels of giving Tzeddaka, each one higher than the preceding one.
On an ascending level, they are as follows:

8. When donations are given grudgingly.

7. When one gives less than he should, but does so cheerfully.

6. When one gives directly to the poor upon being asked.

5. When one gives directly to the poor without being asked.

4. Donations when the recipient is aware of the donor's identity, but the donor still doesn't know the specific identity of the recipient.

3. Donations when the donor is aware to whom the charity is being given, but the recipient is unaware of the source.

2. Giving assistance in such a way that the giver and recipient are unknown to each other. Communal funds, administered by responsible people are also in this category.

1. The highest form of charity is to help sustain a person before they become impoverished by offering a substantial gift in a dignified manner, or by extending a suitable loan, or by helping them find employment or establish themselves in business so as to make it unnecessary for them to become dependent on others.
Every Sunday morning and Thursday afternoon, Religious School students at Or Chadash participate in the Mitzvah of giving Tzeddaka.  They bring in their coins, collecting it throughout the weeks.  At the end of the school year, classes vote on where to give the money they have collected.  But this year, my 7th Grade class is doing something a bit different.
Each week, our 7th Graders are choosing a Jewish charity somewhere in the world and teaching our class about it for a few minutes.  Some are showing a video, others have us look at the website.  To encourage their generosity, I am contributing $18 to the Jewish or Israeli organization AND matching their gift (up to another $18). 
To date, the 7th Grade and I have given to Zalul, an Israeli Environmental Organization working for clean water, The Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind and Room to Read. 
I look forward to continuing to share with all of you the Jewish/Israeli Charities that our class is supporting and learning about.
Rabbi Joseph M. Forman
President's Message

Thanks - Giving

In the spirit of the upcoming holiday I would like to use this space to do some thanks-giving (and maybe think about a turkey or two as well). I remain continually grateful that my family has found a home at Or Chadash. I am thankful for the warm, open, friendly environment we have at Or Chadash. I am deeply grateful for the engaging, interactive, religious education my boys are receiving.  Most importantly, I am thankful for the many people at Or Chadash who have touched our lives.

In my role as President I would like to thank Rabbi Joe for his wisdom, compassion and the guidance of our community. I am grateful that we have a Rabbi who wants to understand us as a community and us as individuals. I am thankful that Joe has a good sense of humor and can see how both the details and the big picture all matter. I am thankful that Joe is both our spiritual guide and our friend. I am thankful that Joe is teaching our children and partnering with us on our Judaic journey.

I am thankful that we have Betsy at the helm of our religious school. Betsy continues to remind us that learning should be fun. I am thankful that Betsy brings us new ideas all the time about how we should improve and stay relevant. I am thankful that Betsy raises the bar on how much our children can and should learn. I am thankful that Betsy cares about our children in the same way that we do, with respect and with love.

I am thankful that we have Cantor Kathy's beautiful voice in our community. I am thankful when Kathy finds a new way to bring music into our spiritual life (bongo drums, songs in rounds, oldies turned into holiday songs!). I am thankful that Kathy is teaching our children trope and that she shares her kind, caring, purposeful approach with us.

I am thankful that our Trustees are so willing to give of their time and talents to help make the Or Chadash magic happen. I am grateful each and every day as one or another of the Executive Committee steps up to solve a problem, take accountability for an area, or help to steer us. I am thankful as I get to know all of the Trustees and see each individual find a space to lead. I am thankful that our Board of Trustees is collaborative and respectful and is aligned on a common mission and vision. I am thankful that our Trustees are the best Ambassadors of Or Chadash that any organization could hope for.

I am thankful for our "little house in the woods." I am grateful for those who came before us and had the foresight to find us a space that has beautiful trees and a yard for our children to play in. I am thankful to the donors who provided us with beautiful stained glass windows and a wonderful sanctuary in which we come together to sing, celebrate and pray. I am thankful to everyone who makes a donation large or small to help keep our doors open.

I am thankful for the community that is Or Chadash. I am thankful that each of you has decided to be a part of this community and that we walk on our Jewish journey together. I wish each of you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I thank you for all that you do to make Or Chadash such a special place. 

Kim Turner

Religious School Director's Message

Betsy NYC.jpg
What are the significant milestones in a Jewish life? 

Our fourth grade class is currently learning about these lifecycle events: baby naming, consecration, bar and bat mitzvah, confirmation, the marriage ceremony, the funeral and rituals of mourning. 

There are other meaningful milestones that touch the lives of individuals and families including toilet training, learning to tie shoes, learning to read, obtaining a driver's license and leaving for college. The Shehecheyanu ("who has given us life") blessing, which can be said at such special times, is a prayer acknowledging that we are thankful for new and unusual experiences. 

More recently in Jewish life, we are given opportunities to memorialize the deaths of our beloved pets and special friends, since these difficult and tender moments don't necessarily fit into the typical rituals of mourning. 

On November 20, 2015, a store will be closing in Clinton, New Jersey. To some, it was just a grocery store.  To others, it was much more.  I know of no prayers or rituals for this event, so I have memorialized the store's "passing" with these words.... 

Dear A & P, 
My dear A & P, oh how I will miss you.  You were not the biggest, brightest or newest kid on the block, but you got the job done and you were mine.  

My dear A & P, you never changed with the times.  Gourmet cheese sections, florists or cafes were not your thing.  But there was character in those wrinkles. 

My dear A & P, your bakery did not sell challah, but you had all the ingredients for me to make my Rosh Hashanah honey cakes, and it was my pleasure to bring one to your cashier to taste the sweetness of our holiday. 

My dear A & P, your parking lot may have had a few bumps and crevices, but my spot was always open.  Your lot was the perfect meeting place.  "Park at the A & P" and we can drive in one car.

My dear A & P, you did not have many checkout lanes, but there was always one for me.  You did not have a bank, but when I needed to wire money to my son in Barcelona, you took care of it for me. You greeted us with warmth and allowed my daughter to pack her own groceries, cheering her on with words of encouragement.

My dear A & P, with your windows looking out on Old Route 22.  I could see the weather and the approaching storms, as the bread and the milk disappeared from your shelves.   You were there for us through bad winters.  You were there during Sandy. You were a barometer of our town.

My dear A & P, you were a bit of Clinton. You had your own special sort of charm.  

You will be missed.

Betsy Zalaznick

Student Cantor's Message

Kathy Gohr
As I drove to the Temple for services last Friday night, the most amazing thing happened. I was driving east as the sun was going down behind me, and the resulting glow lit up the colors on the hills that bordered upon the highway. There were blazing reds and bright oranges, but the most striking color was the brilliant yellows that reflected the sun's rays and bathed the hillside in a warm golden glow that was simply spectacular. The traffic was minimal for a Friday afternoon so I felt no rush, I was able to take in the Shabbat beauty that was given to me in that moment.

It is my custom to tune my car radio to a station that plays soft, gentle music as it helps me to transition from the world at the hospital where I serve as chaplain to the world of Or Chadash and my role as cantor. As I marveled at the leaves of gold that shimmered on the hillside my ears were blessed by a cello and harp duet which matched the beauty that my eyes beheld. The melody sounded vaguely familiar and it didn't take more than a few measures to recognize the melody as "Jerusalem of Gold." At that moment my drive was transformed from the mundane into something holy, the hillside transformed into the sacred space of God's creation. I found myself in one of those "thin places" where heaven and earth meet and there is no perceptible boundary between the two.

In that moment of realization I knew that I was accompanied on my drive by more than just a sunset, the autumn foliage and the radio. It was a divinely inspired symphony that was intended to take me into Shabbat in the fullness of my senses. A coincidence? I think not. I was filled with gratitude that I was not only able to bear witness to such beauty but that my eyes had been opened to see it. We are continually surrounded by sparks of holiness if we but open ourselves to it. May you all be blessed to experience the miracles that were meant just for you. 

Kathy Gohr

OC Cooks - Apple/Pear/Cranberry Kugel

This Apple-Pear-Cranberry Kugel features the best of fall produce in a twist on a traditional sweet kugel. Perfect for Thanksgiving!

  1. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  2. 1/2 cup white wine or water
  3. 3/4 cup currants or raisins (optional)
  4. 6 oz cranberries (half a bag of frozen cranberries)
  5. 2 lbs tart apples
  6. 1/2 lb pears
  7. 1/4 cup white sugar
  8. 6 eggs, separated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and core the apples and pears, and cut them in half. Put them in a pan with the cranberries, and the raisins, if you are using them. Add the wine or water and cover.

Cook on low heat for about 20 minutes, or until the apples fall apart. Mash the fruit into large chunks with a fork and add both sugars.

Cook over medium-low heat for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool. When the mixture has cooled a bit, add the egg yolks to the pan and stir well.

Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl with an electric mixer until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the fruit mixture.

Pour into an oiled or buttered baking dish and bake for about 40-50 minutes, or until the top browns.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

For the link to the recipe, please click here.

Author Event - Elissa Altman 
Sunday, November 15 at 9:30 AM

Poor Man's Feast by Elissa Altman

"We are the sum of the people and the stories that came before us..."
Elissa Altman's words from this blog entry remind me of the visual imagery of passing the Torah from generation to generation during a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  Her words also remind me of collecting and sharing our beloved food stained, dog eared, handwritten recipes from family and friends.
I hope you will plan to join us on Sunday, November 15th at 9:30 AM when author Elissa Altman comes to Or Chadash to share her stories with us. Please bring your friends! Maybe tissues?

More from Elissa...

Would love to know if you are planning to attend so we can have the right set-up. No pressure, but if you are interested in cooking from Elissa's book or blog, Poor Man's Feast (PMF) that would be lovely.  Either way, please come and plan on spending a special morning with us. (Sisterhood vendor event same day@ noon.)
PMF books are and will be available for purchase at Or Chadash.  Also available at the Hunterdon County library.
Questions or need more details, please contact me.  Hope to see you on the 15th, Thank you!

Betsy Zalaznick

Sisterhood Vendor Event 
Sunday, November 15 at 12:00 PM

College Planning Workshop

On Thursday, November 19th from 6:30-8:00 PM, there will be a valuable College Planning Workshop presented by congregant Paul Beers of KJM Financial. The workshop is educational in nature, and the information is invaluable to those who have high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. For those who have young children, it is a chance to get a head start on your planning. 

Super Sunday Phone-a-thon Event

Please join the movement!  Sunday, December 13th at the Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Senter in Bridgewater, New Jersey!

Chesed (Caring Committee)
Five years ago, Or Chadash established a Chesed Caring Community dedicated to helping members of Or Chadash through life's challenging times with acts of compassion.

We have provided food and visits to elderly homebound congregants and to families with new babies; attended shiva services after a death in the family; helped with grocery trips, doctor visits and farm chores; and written notes of sympathy and congratulations. Early on, we held a resume writing workshop run by experts in our congregation, and we brought in a social worker to provide practical suggestions for helping with aging parents. 

Rabbi Forman can be reached at Or Chadash or on his mobile phone: 908-894-9336 or e-mail: rabbi@orchadash-nj.org. You can also reach me at chesed@orchadash-nj.org.  We also encourage anyone interested in helping to let me know, and I will add you to our email list and make you aware of current needs.

You can volunteer as much or as little time as you are able, even just a few minutes to write a get-well or sympathy note or to make a comforting phone call. Very often, the people who help with Chesed activities get the same uplifting feeling as those who receive assistance. By helping others and allowing ourselves to receive help, we forge meaningful connections with other members of the OrChadash temple community.

Leslie Werstein Hann
Chair, Chesed Caring Community
Rutgers Jewish Film Festival

The 16th Annual Rutgers Jewish Film Festival
October 28 - November 8, 2015

The Rutgers Jewish Film Festival, sponsored by the Bildner Center, screens award winning international films over the ten-day festival. A broad approach is taken when choosing the films for the Rutgers Festival, offering a slate of critically acclaimed titles that explore the multi-layered, global Jewish experience. Some films tackle uniquely Jewish issues, while others address universal themes through a Jewish lens. With such a diverse selection, the festival draws a wide audience, reaching the region's Jewish population as well as the Rutgers University community and the general film-going public.

The Bildner Center makes each screening a multidimensional experience by inviting a guest speaker - either the director, a featured actor or a noted expert in the field - to preface each film and then engage in a dialogue with the audience at its conclusion. Year after year, attendees remark that this opportunity to ask the questions raised by these thought-provoking films makes the issues more personally relevant and their film festival participation more meaningful.

Unique, too, is the way the festival not only reaches out to the community, but also gives back to the university by exposing the general student body to these distinctive films. Professors of Jewish Studies and other academic departments at Rutgers are among the speakers invited to introduce the films, and they will often assign related films to their classes. Students also have the opportunity to meet visiting film directors and scholars.


Contact: 848-932-4166 or rujff@rci.rutgers.edu 


24 Days                                            Above and Beyond   
Director: Alexandre Arcady                  Director:Roberta Grossman

What you might have missed:
America's Grow-A-Row:

Temple Tots - Sukkot:


Consecration & Simchat Torah:

Baker's Treat - Apple Peeling:

Challah Fun:

8th/9th/10th Grade Religious School: