Or Chadash Newsletter - December 2015 Edition

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In This Issue
Service Schedule
In Our Community
Legacy Circle
Legacy Circle
Rabbi's Message
President's Message
Religious School Director's Message
Ner Shel Tzeddakah
An-lin's Bat Mitzvah Project
Super Sunday Event
What you might have missed!
Shabbat Service Schedule
Shabbat Window  
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

Friday, December 11th - 7 PM
Hanukkah Family Shabbat Service (Look for our special Hanukkah email with all the details of this festive night!!)

Friday, December 18th - 7 PM
Shabbat Experience with Candles, Kiddush and Motzi and Film

Friday, December 25th - 
Celebrate Shabbat at home. No Services at Or Chadash.

Friday, December 31st - 
Celebrate Shabbat at home. No Services at Or Chadash.
In Our Community

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

Mazel Tov:
Susan and Steve Albert on the birth of their Grandson, Noah Thomas Albert, born November 2 to parents Marty and Sue Ellen Touma Albert

Todah Rabah:
The members of Sisterhood who helped with the Vendor Event

Christine Berg, Rebecca Schindler and Betsy Zalaznick for baking for our Elissa Altman event

The Schenker Family for hosting the 2nd Annual Movie Night and Fall Celebration

Aaron Schwartz for hosting the Beer Making Event with Brotherhood

Rick Rosenthal for his help in our Kristallnacht Observance and assistance to Archie Fagan

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:

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

December 11th:
Sylvia Borgman
Estelle Breines's beloved mother
Harry Breines
Ira Breines's beloved father
Ken Kimberley
Sherrie Mazzocchi's beloved friend
James Mazzocchi
Nick Mazzocchi's beloved father
Steven D. Weinstein
Susan Albert's beloved brother
Milton Wolfson
Craig Wolfson's beloved father

December 18th:
Suzie Cooper Gold
Andrew Gold's beloved mother
Esther Fish
Rabbi Joseph M. Forman's beloved grandmother
Joseph M. Fish 
Rabbi Joseph M. Forman's beloved grandfather

December 25th:
Gloria Grumbach
Steve Grumbach's beloved mother
Harry Hackel
Audrey Hackel's beloved father
Raoul Rabiner
BetsyZalaznick's beloved father
Milton Schwartz
Miriam Blanke's beloved father
Aaron Schwartz's beloved father
Sylvia Wasserman
Shelly Weller's loved one
Albert Winter
David & Isabel Mahalick's loved one

January 1st
Anne Lerner
Liz Tracey's beloved grandmother
Esther Senator-Gross
Laura Senator's beloved grandmother

January 8th
Marc Kraditor
Allyse Vanderwalker's beloved father
Joseph Sandler
Jeff Sandler's beloved father

Thank you to all who contributed from November 1st to November 30th, 2015: 

Judith Levine: In Memory Of Gerry Levine
7th Grade B'nai Mitzvah Gift
Alan & Sheila Beckman
Edward & Cheryl Lifshitz
Victor Sloan & Sandra Gong
Cindy Stoter
David & Kimberly Turner
General Contribution
Judith Levine: In Honor Of Benjamin Weiss Bar Mitzvah
Gary & Debbie Weiss: In Memory Of Evelyn Hersch
Rabbi's Discretionary Fund
Alan & Sheila Beckman
Oneg Fund
Paul & Elyse Belkin: In Honor Of Sophie'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

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

There are Two Chanukkahs

           RabbiFormanChanukkah.  The word means dedication and refers to the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem following the victory of the Maccabees over the Seleucid King Antiochus in 165 B.C.E.   In commemoration of the victory, an eight-day festival was established beginning on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev - usually in December.  It is a holiday that has evolved over the centuries and now includes such European influences as latkes and the game of dreidle.
            There is, though, another Chanukkah -- one that is celebrated throughout the year.  It is called Chanukkat-Bayit and refers to the dedication of a Jewish home.  The tradition of observing a Chanukkat-Bayit finds its origins in the Book of Deuteronomy 6:9 where we read: "You shall write them on the door-posts (Mezuzah) of your house, and upon your gates." 
            Following this commandment, our ancestors placed a K'laf - a tiny parchment containing these words and the Shema - into a small container and affixed it to the doorposts of Jewish homes.  The word Mezuzah actually means "doorpost."   According to tradition, the Mezuzah is to be affixed to the right side of the doorpost at the entrance to the home, as well as to each interior room except for closets and bathrooms. 
            The Mezuzah distinguishes a Jewish home and is a visible sign and symbol to all who enter that a sense of Jewish identity and commitment exists in that household.  It reminds us each time we pass it that our homes are holy places and that when we enter our homes we should act in a manner that honors those who share that dwelling with us and when we leave our homes to go outside we need to continue to commit ourselves to perfecting our world.
            This year at Or Chadash we have started the Mezuzah Project - placing a Mezuzah on the doorposts of our members homes.  All you have to do to participate is contact me and schedule this lovely ceremony.  I can provide the Mezuzah - we have olive wood ones - or you can obtain your own. 
            I wish you a wonderful Chanukkah  -- a joyous Festival of Lights and the opportunity to dedicate your home with a Mezuzah.
Rabbi Joe Forman
President's Message

Hanukkah Lights, Miracles and Reading

When I started thinking about what I wanted to say in this December newsletter I thought a lot about Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. In this darkest time of the year, when even a drive home at 4:30PM seems dark and dismal, it would be easy to talk about the warmth of the Hanukkah holiday. I thought about the glow the menorah makes as my sons light the candles and my mother says the blessings. I thought about the brilliant bedazzling light of our Hanukkah celebration at Or Chadash, when we collectively light our menorahs and the light radiates throughout the sanctuary. I thought about the Hanukkah miracle that allowed a small amount of oil to be stretched for eight days and allow us to overcome some very dark forces.

After considering all of these as topics I then turned my attention to the holiday itself, the frenzy of shopping, the urgency to have the right gift for someone and the desire to try to put some meaning to this holiday season. As all of this was percolating in my head I took Matthew shopping at Barnes and Noble during "black Friday" yesterday. I live in a family of readers. Everyone in our family loves to be pulled into a good book. Most of the Hanukkah gifts on my sons' piles this year will be books. Books open our minds to new worlds, they teach us to understand other perspectives and allow us to shed light on things that might remain otherwise dark. I cannot think of too many things as miraculous as reading.

This year I would encourage you to think of reading as one of our Hanukkah miracles. Imagine a world where children don't have books to read or people to read them. Imagine a world where books are banned and you can only read what is allowed. Imagine a world without books. It would be a dark world indeed. This year, let's see if we can help shed some light on reading for someone who needs it. I have no specific ask of you other than that you do something that helps shine a light on the miracle of reading. Give a book as a gift to a child, donate to a charity that supports literacy, share a good book with a friend, or just curl up by the light of your fireplace and read a good book. In between the holiday parties and the shopping for X-box games let's try to find the miracle of Hanukkah in a good book.

Happy Hanukkah and Happy Reading!

Religious School Director's Message

Betsy NYC.jpg
It has probably happened to everyone at least once. That unsettling moment when the customer support person's solution for your malfunctioning computer/phone/tablet (select one) is to simply "push the reset button to restore your settings to the original format". Sometimes, the best solution to a technological problem is to rewind and to go back to square one.

Daily life is filled with lots of challenges. The goal for many of us is to try and find activities that provide that "reset" feeling, a clearer head and increased focus--without the angst! For me, my yoga functions as a reset button. Ninety minutes of concentrating on balancing, strengthening and flexibility in a heated room makes me feel empowered.

In more traditional settings, Shabbat is celebrated for 24 hours--one seventh of a week! Talk about an "old school" reset. My mini-Shabbat restore button involves baking challah on some Friday afternoons, as I knead the dough and am surrounded by the aroma of challah baking in the oven.

Last year we instituted some meditation breaks during Religious School to instill that sense of calm. We showed this video, "One Moment Meditation: How to Meditate in a Minute" last year to our Or Chadash students. (A kindergarten class at Spruce Run School, Clinton Township is using meditation thanks to Or Chadash member and school nurse, Faith Fuhrman's thoughtful information share!)

The end of our secular calendar year--the school concerts, shopping for family and friends, parties, cleaning up the house for company or planning travel to visit family can challenge all our sensibilities and may require an "extra strength" December restore. Maybe discovering additional personal "restore" techniques " will be one of your 2016 goals?

Happy Hanukkah,

Betsy Zalaznick
Ner Shel Tzeddakah - Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World)
On Hanukkah we light the eight candles of the Menorah using the Shamash, the helper candle.  That 9th candle is often referred to as an extra candle -- but it is not extra, it is essential!  This Hanukkah each of us has an opportunity to act as a Shamash, the essential helper bringing light to our community.
As many of you know, the Union for Reform Judaism has created a tradition of
dedicating the 6th night and candle as the Candle of Righteousness, Ner Shel Tzeddakah
Rather than exchanging gifts on the 6th day of Hanukkah, we are asked to donate the cost of gifts that day to a charitable organization to help individuals and families who rely our our generosity to help them during this season of light.
Our congregation has a history of making big impacts.  
For Ner Shel Tzeddakah, our goal is to pool Or Chadash's collective resources to help the children at Hunterdon Youth Services, known to many of us as the Sand Hill Youth Home. We are a generous congregation, and together we can make a difference.
Please send a donation to OC approximating the value of the gifts that would otherwise be exchanged on the 6th night of Hanukkah.  We will provide the donors with a "certificate of generosity of spirit" to give to family and friends in lieu of the Hanukkah gift for that night.  All monies received will be used to purchase a gift card to be spent at a mall or area stores.

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

Click here to donate to Ner Shel Tzeddakah.

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

Hanukkah Events in Our Community

Evan's Bar Mitzvah Project
Self Defense Clinic - Support Evan Tomljanovich's Mitzvah Project

Join us on December 20th at 12:15PM for a one hour self-defense clinic at Or Chadash. 
During the clinic, Evan will teach you basic self-defense techniques and tips. 
Best for ages 9 and up, adults are definitely welcome! 
Wear comfortable clothes. 

Evan is a first degree black belt and assistant instructor at Clinton Tae Kwon Do. Evan wanted to teach these clinics for his mitzvah project so that people could be able to defend themselves and feel confident and comfortable. We hope to see you there!

RSVP to caztom1@gmail.com or via text at 908-528-3564.

An-lin's Bat Mitzvah Project
In the summer of 2014, my parents took me and my sister back to China to see the orphanages where we came from, and the places where we were found. My sister Mei-lin's orphanage was bright, and had games and books for the kids, and people to play with them and teach them. My orphanage in Dapu was dark and hot and there wasn't anything for the kids to do. Some of them had handicaps like cleft palate or clubbed feet, and the local hospital couldn't help them. When I saw this I knew how lucky I was, and I decided to make my Bat Mitzvah project about helping
the kids in the Dapu orphanage to try to give them a better future.

Please look at the video I made. I hope you will think about making a donation. My parents and grandparents have offered challenge grants for the first $7500 raised.

Thank you for helping me to give the kids of the Dapu orphanage a better future.
Sand Hill Boys' Home Open House Invitation


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!

What you might have missed:
Author Elissa Altman, Poor Man's Feast

Sisterhood Vendor Event