September 25, 2013
 21 Tishrei 5774
Click here for Daily Minyan Schedule

Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter
In This Issue
The Ritual of Waters
Hag Sameach and SHABBAT SHALOM
Learning Opportunities

The Ritual of Waters

Rabbi Matthew Berkowitz


The festival of Sukkot is known as Z'man Simhateinu, the time of our rejoicing. One of the reasons that happiness is connected to this pilgrimage festival is the ritual of nisuch ha-mayim, the Water Libation Ceremony. Although this is an unfamiliar ritual to us today, it was one of the highlights of the Sukkot holiday. When the temples stood in Jerusalem, water libations were performed each morning of the holiday. And later, in the evening, people would gather at the point from which the waters were drawn and join in festive singing and dancing. This ritual was known as simhat beit hashoeva, the celebration at the place of water-drawing. Mishnah Sukkah even states, "One who has not seen the rejoicing at the 'Place of the Water-Drawing' has never seen rejoicing in his life." The ostensible reason for this ritual is the belief that on Sukkot, God judges the world for rainfall in the coming year. And, in fact, it is at the close of the holiday of Sukkot that we begin our prayers in earnest for rainfall in the Land of Israel.


A beautiful prayer is associated with this ritual of waters. The Babylonian Talmud reports that when "Hillel the Elder celebrated during the 'rejoicing at the place of the water-drawing,' he used to recite, 'When I am here, everyone is here; but when I am not here, who is here? To the place that I love, there my feet lead me.'" Then God responded to Hillel the Elder, "If you come into my house, I will come into your house; if you come not into my house, I will not come into your house: 'In every place where I cause my name to be mentioned, I will come to you and bless you' (Exod. 20:21)" (BT Sukkot 53a).


Sukkot, at its heart, is about the intimate relationship between God and the Jewish people. Sitting in our booths, we recall a time of remarkable closeness as Israel wandered through the desert toward the Promised Land. Hillel the Elder reflects the quality of this relationship in his teaching. For it was in the midst of such happiness that Hillel acknowledged his closeness to God and to the entire community. His personal presence became symbolic of the participation of the entire group. Only when we take such a proactive approach in our own personal observance does it become a truesimhah for the entire community. Our personal participation in the holiday of Sukkot ultimately leads to the joy and participation of the entire community and nation-all of which brings us to experiencing the presence of God.

Rabbi Matt Berkowitz is Director of Israel Programs for JTS.


May Their Memories Be For a Blessing 

September Yahrtzeits

9/25/2013 (21 Tishrei)

Fryda Lipowicz 

9/26/2013 (22 Tishrei)

Oscar Altshuler

9/27/2013 (23 Tishrei)

Evelyn Gruber

Lucylle Wonboy

9/28/2013 (24 Tishrei)

Betty Segal 

October Yahrtzeits

10/1/2013 (27 Tishrei)

Rae Jacobson

Barbara Keila

Sidney S. Stark

10/2/2013 (28 Tishrei)

Carl Cohen

Allan B. Rimar

Harold Ruskin

Rosann Toby

10/3/2013 (29 Tishrei)

Milt Fishman

10/4/2013 (30 Tishrei)

Isaac Knoppow

Anna Murray

10/5/2013 (1 Heshvan)

Alfred Benkoff, 

Aaron Soverinsky

10/6/2013 (2 Heshvan)

Sam Thomas Balkin

Edith Rosenberg

10/7/2013 (3 Heshvan)

Renee Rochlin

10/8/2013 (4 Heshvan)

George Kohn

10/9/2013 (5 Heshvan)

Harry Handler

10/10/2013 (6 Heshvan)

Marilyn Breitman

10/11/2013 (7 Heshvan)

Martha Faxstein

10/14/2013 (10 Heshvan)

Morris Lantor

10/15/2013 (11 Heshvan)

Jerome Lipowica

Arthur Aaron Lovinger

10/16/2013 (12 Heshvan)

Kayla Kapen

Philip Dines

Joseph Irving FriedmanGertrude Nusholtz

10/21/2013 (17 Heshvan)

Manny Chudnow

10/23/2013 (19 Heshvan)

David Harris

10/24/2013 (20 Heshvan)

Naomi Lillian Markowitz

Irving A. Rubin

Martin Segal

10/25/2013 (21 Heshvan)

Nathan Weiner

10/26/2013 (22 Heshvan)

Serena Weiss

10/28/2013 (24 Heshvan)

Mary \Katz, Robert Braverman, Mr. Alvin Jacobson

10/29/2013 (25 Heshvan)

Fara Caplan Baer

10/31/2013 (27 Heshvan)

Mrs. Linda Kozlowski

To make a donation to commemorate a yahrtzeit, please click here.  If you are a member of the synagogue and a yahrtzeit for your loved one is not on the list, please contact the synagogue office so we can update our records.


Please click here if you wish to permanently memorialize a loved one by purchasing a yahrtzeit plaque.  

Join Our Mailing List
To make a donation to the synagogue,  
phone:  248-432-2729
Erev Shemini Atzeret
Wednesday, September 25th
6 p.m., Chapel 
Shemini Atzeret
Thursday, September 26th
9 a.m. Services, Sanctuary
Services this morning will include the Yizkor service. Dedication of memorial plaque for Ronald Taub, brother of Alan (Gaye) Taub.
Simhat Torah (morning)
Friday, September 27th
9 a.m. Services, Sanctuary
Shabbat Bereisheet
Friday, September 27th Shabbat Table
6 p.m. Minha/Kabbalat Shabbat/Maariv, Chapel
Saturday, September 28th
9 a.m. Services, Sanctuary
Kiddush Lunch following services sponsored by the Kiddush Lunch Fund. Shabbat Zemirot and Birkat Hamazon led by B'nai Israel teens.
Kiddush Lunch is available through the generosity of weekly sponsors.  Please e-mail or call the synagogue office if you would like to sponsor a kiddush lunch.  You may also make a donation to the synagogue specifically for the Kiddush Lunch Fund by clicking here.  
Next Shabbat, October 5th, there is a Temple Kol Ami bar mitzvah. There will be shuttle parking from Prince of Peace.
We have received a gentle reminder from the West Bloomfield Postal Service to PLEASE NOT PARK in front of people's mailboxes in the neighborhoods or on Walnut Lake Road.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation. PLEASE USE THE SHUTTLE to avoid any conflicts.  Future Shuttle Dates:  October 12, October 19th.
Tikkun Olam
          Repair the World  
One of the outcomes of the September 16th meeting of our Sisterhood was members stepping up to chair additional committees and volunteer opportunities for our synagogue.  those opportunities will be listed here.  Additional ideas and volunteers are always welcome.  Contact Betsy Wolf, 248-207-0408.

Prepare and serve dinner to families staying at Ronald McDonald House while their children receive treatment and care at Children's Hospital.  This is a family friendly activity. Please e-mail Davida (DeDe) Robinson if you wish to participate in this mitzvah.  Available dates:  
     October 13, November 10th, December 8th.

Tools to Teach Your Students to Love Learning
For new and Veteran Volunteers
Friday, October 4th, 10 a.m.-noon
West Bloomfield Public Library Meeting Room
Light breakfast/no charge.  Space is limited. Contact Linda Foster or call 248-642-2656
Sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council, Detroit Jewish Colation for Literacy, Repair the World and Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit
Upcoming Youth and Family Activities
Upcoming Shabbat Youth Activities 

Supervised Youth Activities,  Room 3, lower level 

       provided for ages 12 and under

Shabbat mornings, 10-11:45 a.m.

Shemini Atzeret, Thursday, September 26th, 10-11:45 a.m.


To stay current on all youth and family activities, contact Ilana Glazier  to join the B'nai Israel Families Facebook Group.





2013-14 Grades 9-12 are eligible.

Registration begins September 23rd.

Questions?  Contact Danielle S. Longo or call 




USY Summer Programs

USY Summer Programs Registration is now open.  9-12 Graders eligible.

Programs include USY on Wheels, Mitzvah Missions, Israel Adventures, Italy/Israel Pilgrimage, Israel/Poland Seminar, Eastern Europe/Israel Pilgrimage.  

Visit for more information and to download an application.

Upcoming Community Events
and TKA/BI Joint Opportunities

An Evening or Conversation and Song with Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary)
Sunday, October 6th, Temple Kol Ami
Doors open 6p.m., Show begins 7 p.m.
Tickets:  $36.00 ($20.00 ages 13 and under)
$100.00 tickets include exclusive Meet and Greet with Peter Yarrow 5:30-6:30 and reserved seating. Buy tickets online: or call Robin: 248-851-0463. Sponsored by the Michigan Interfaith Power and Light and Temple Kol Ami in support of Sustainability and Faith.
Learning Opportunities   
Adult Education
"Reflections on the Siddur," with Dr. Mitch Parker
Saturdays, 11-11:45 a.m.
October 5, 19
November 9, 23
December 7, 14
Mitch will focus on Ashrei, Aleinu, the Kaddish, Adon Olam, Yigdal, Hallel and Birkat Hamazon. 
Class meets in the lower level, Room 9.

Additional Adult Education Information to be announced in October.  Please check this space for future learning opportunities.

Caring Community Information

Refuah Sh'leimah/Wishing a Speedy Recovery

Please e-mail Michael Golob or call the synagogue: 248-432-2729 if you wish to add a name to our communal mishebeirach list. 
Congregant looking for a ride to services 
West Bloomfield congregant is looking for a ride to morning or evening minyan and/or Shabbat services.  Please contact Rabbi Robbins at (610) 574-5179 or Thank you.
Mazel Tov 
Happy Birthday!

Birthday Cake

September Birthdays   

 25  Frances Chudnow  

 27  Erika Finn       

 27  Warren Lada

October Birthdays

4 Ilene Miles

 4 Emilie Weingarden

 5   Beth Avadenka     

11  Jonah Wolf                                                          

12  Naomi Reiter

15  Erin Graub

16  C. Michael Graub

16  Roxane Newhouse

16  Jordan Weiss

17 Lenny Jacobson

18 Steve Kaufman

19 Kenneth Brown

19 Ruth Kozlowski                                                             

20 Adam Marcotte

21 Annie Jacobson

23 Jerome Beale

23 Carrie Roth

24 Steven Dines

25  Ruby Robinson

26  Stacy Gittleman

28  Edith Wolok

29  Libby Beider

29 Adina Robbins

30 Philip Epstein

31 Benjamin Chudnow

31 Yael Duer

Jewish Wedding

October Anniversaries


10 Michael & Marybeth Rosen                     

13 Howard & Karen Rosenberg             

14 Arnie & Cheryl Berlin             

18 Jordan & Inez Stevenson                                    

 22 Warren & Sandy Lada

29 Ehud & Debi Kapen

To make a donation in honor of someone's birthday or anniversary, please click here.
If your birthday or anniversary information is not listed, please email the synagogue so we can update our records.
USCJ logo
Quick Links

B'nai Israel Synagogue is affiliated with USCJ, 
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.