In This Issue
Hearing Enhancement Devices

Hearing enhancement devices are available during services at the security desk. In addition, there is a Hearing Loop in the Schafler Forum. Please switch hearing aid to T-coil.

Union Field Cemetery

Come visit and learn more about Rodeph Sholom's historic Union Field Cemetery. Discounted fees are available for CRS members. For more information, call our knowledgeable staff at 718-366-3748.

Bereavement Notices 

Click here if you would like to be informed of deaths in our community.
January 8, 2015
Community Engagement
A Community Conversation on Race and (In)Justice

In his most famous speech, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shared his dream that his "four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Events in recent weeks have shown us that we are still far from making that dream a reality. From Ferguson, MO to our own beloved city, tensions and emotions are running high, and we are engaged in important--but challenging--conversations about the justice system and race in America. It is a complicated conversation, but one that is vital to our vision of a just world and a just society.

We believe that, as a Jewish community, this is a conversation we need to have-in our homes and in our synagogue. We know the price of silence all too well.

As we prepare to honor Dr. King's life, we want to invite you to a conversation on race, privilege, fairness, and our responsibility as Jews. Facilitated by me and featuring voices from within the congregation, we want to offer the chance to share our experiences, our questions, and our hopes in a safe space, guided by Jewish values. On Tuesday, January 13th at 6:00PM, come share your voice, and listen to those of your fellow congregants.

I hope you'll join us.

Rabbi Robert N. Levine and the Clergy and Educators of Congregation Rodeph Sholom

Shir Chadash

The second Erev Shabbat of the month at Rodeph Sholom is Shir Chadash, a service comprised largely of song.  The Shir Chadash service provides a meaningful worship opportunity for congregants and visitors of all ages - from seniors, to children and everyone in between!

For more information, please contact:
Religious School Shabbat Dinner

Friday, January 9th from 7:00-9:00PM

Relax and enjoy some family and adult schmooze time with our Religious School community!  Activities for kids of all ages! Suggested donation is $18 per person over the age of 6. 

To RSVP or for more information, please contact: or call (646) 454-3082
Membership Pre-Neg

Congregational "Pre-neg" - like an oneg, but before services! Please join us in the CRS lobby for a casual and fun way to meet others in the community, enjoy some wine and cheese, and welcome Shabbat together. Erev Shabbat Services immediately following at 6:00PM.

To RSVP and for more information, please contact: or call (646) 454-3051
Erev Shabbat Service 
Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, January 16th at 6:00PM

Join us as we honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  
Building on our community conversation on race and (in)justice, Erika Davis, a blogger who writes about the intersections of race, racism, religion and sexual orientation on her blog, 
Black, Gay and Jewish will speak about the Black Lives Matter movement and the Jewish community. Read more...

For more information, please contact:
Lunch Together 
"Life in Stills"

Remaining dates: Tuesdays, February 10; March 10; April 14; May 19; June 9

Miriam Weissenstein never imagined that she would be facing a new chapter in her life, but when The Photo House - her late husband Rudi's life work - was destined for demolition, she knew she needed help. Read more...


To RSVP or for more information, please contact: or 646-454-3039

Dress British, Pray Yiddish
Led by Rabbi David Ellenson

Tuesday, January 20th from 7:00-8:30PM Remaining dates: Tuesdays, January 27; February 3, 10

The challenge of being authentically Jewish and authentically American played itself out in all aspects of Jewish life, but perhaps particularly through the pages of its prayerbooks. What words we say - and don't say - are statements of belief, not only theological, but political and historical as well.  Read more...

To RSVP and for more information, please contact:
Meyer W. Nathan's Award Service & Oneg

Friday, January 23rd from 7:30-9:00PM

Please join us as we honor Mrs. Sarah Brooks and Mrs. Rita Lichtenstein for their years of service to the community.
Inspiring Women of the Congregation

Once a year our Sisterhood comes together to celebrate the inspiring women who are part of our congregation. Read more...

Join us beforehand for our Shabbat Morning Chapel service honoring our Brotherhood and Sisterhood. Service begins at 10:15AM.

For more information, please contact: or call (646) 454-3101
CRS Theater Auditions

This year's production will be The Drowsy Chaperone: A Musical Within a Comedy. Music & Lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison and Book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar! Read more...
Brotherhood Annual Film Festival

January 31st

Black Over White - Directed by Tomer Heymann, 2007 Read more...


February 6th

Little White Lie - Directed by Lacey Schwartz and James Adolphus, 2014 Read more...


Screenings take place following Shabbat services.


To RSVP and for more information, please contact: or call (646) 454-3102


Cycle for Survival: 

Join the Rodeph Sholom Riders! 


Sunday, March 8th


Cycle for Survival is a national indoor cycling event raising money for rare cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. To date, Cycle for Survival has raised over $52.8 million dollars; 100% of the money raised is directly allocated to research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center within six months of the events. This year, Rodeph Sholom is riding...and we want you to ride with us. On Sunday, March 8, 2015, join Rabbi Laufer and the Rodeph Sholom Riders (accepting suggestions for a team name, too!) for an afternoon of high-energy indoor cycling for a lifesaving cause.  You can pedal hard or hardly pedal-no experience necessary! (But you must be 18 to participate.)

Contact Rabbi Laufer now 
if you are interested in participating

PJ Library

Sign up and share the fun of reading!


Congregation Rodeph Sholom and PJ Library invite you to join in the fun of reading with FREE Jewish children's books and music. Click here to sign up or to receive more information.
Tikkun Olam

CRS Social Action Initiative:



January E-Advocacy - Support Child Nutrition Reauthorization:  According to the USDA, more than 49 million Americans live in food insecure households - including 15.8 children who rely on government programs to meet their nutrition needs. These children are not only hungry, but also at increased risk of developmental and health problems. The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act will ensure that children receive healthy meals at home and at school. As Jews, the Torah commands us to feed the hungry: "And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap all the way to the edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger" (Leviticus 23:22). Urge your senators and representatives to support the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act by clicking here


On-going E-Advocacy: Sometimes e-advocacy opportunities arise that need quick action; legislative action will occur prior to our ability to inform you in our next monthly e-blast.  If you would like to receive notification of these pressing e-advocacy issues, 

click here  to opt in to a special email action list.  You will receive e-advocacy email alerts on an "as needed" basis (on average twice a month - though sometimes a little more and other times a little less, as needs fluctuate). 

CRS Homeless Shelter 


Brrrrrr - it's cold out there!  With the winter months upon us, it is even more important that we make sure we have volunteers to welcome guests to our CRS Homeless Shelter Monday - Friday to ensure that the 8 men who stay with us have a warm place to sleep.  We have many openings in February and invite you to sign up for a night.  Bring a friend, volunteer as a family, or contact Rabbi Meyer at to be matched up with a veteran volunteer if it's your first time.  To sign up, visit  Community service hours available. 

St. Xavier's Soup Kitchen


Sunday, January 11th from 11:45AM-3:30PM


Help prepare and serve meals to visitors at the St. Xavier's Soup Kitchen in Chelsea with your fellow CRS congregants.  All volunteers must be over the age of 14, and children under the age of 17 must be accompanied by an adult.  Sign up to volunteer on VolunteerHub.

Ongoing Adult Learning and Life

CRS Walking Group


Tuesdays at 9:15AM (weather permitting)

Meet at CRS


Come walk with us to stay healthy and fit, make new friends or spend time with old ones.  


This group is spearheaded by RSS parents, CRS congregants, and Rabbi Kaye.  All are welcome!


For more information, please contact:

Book Club


Thursday, January 8th* at 7:00PM

Next date: Thursday, February 5th


We are reading Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart. Next month we are reading Call It Sleep by Henry Roth. 


To RSVP or for more information, please contact:


*New Date

Jewish Basics

Shabbat and the Festivals 


Wednesday, January 14th from 7:00-8:30PM 

Remaining dates: Wednesdays, January 21, 28; February 4, 11, 18, 25 


An introduction to basic Jewish culture, ritual, and living. This course is open to all who want the opportunity to take a closer look at why and how Jewish rituals have developed and how these rituals create meaning in our lives.


To register or for more information, please contact: or 646-454-3029

Personal and Spiritual Pathways 

Through The Psalms

With Rabbi Jacqueline Ellenson


Friday, January 16th from 12:00-1:30PM

Remaining dates: Fridays, February 20; March 20; April 17; May 29  


The Book of Psalms contains expressions of all human experience and multiple manifestations of the ancient search for God's presence. Through the study of Psalms, we will gather for a personal and participatory learning experience, supplemented by poetry and song. 


To RSVP or for more information, please contact: or call 646-454-3029

How to Raise a Mentsch

The Parenting Discussion Group

Led by Rabbi Spratt, Rabbi Laufer, 

and RSS Parent, Rabbi Erica Gerson


Wednesday, January 21st from 8:45-10:00AM

Remaining dates: Wednesdays, February 25; March 25; April 22; May 6  


Whether you're thinking about how to bring Shabbat (and other Jewish holidays) to life in your home, or what a gratitude practice with your kids might look like-this monthly group offers an opportunity to ask the big, small, practical, and theoretical questions surrounding parenting in an intimate environment.


To register or for more information, please contact: or 646-454-3029

Therapists' Study Group


Tuesday, February 3rd from 10:30-11:30AM 

Remaining dates: Tuesdays, March 3; May 5

This group will provide an opportunity to discuss ethical and clinical issues unique to therapeutic work, focusing on how Jewish insights and perspectives might be relevant to your practice.   
For more information contact Ruth F. Kobrin, LMSW at 646-454-3180

 Hebrew Classes

Taught by Sara Rosen 

Class Levels:

  • Beginning Hebrew Reading 
  • Continuing Hebrew Reading 
  • Beginning/Continuing Modern Hebrew 

Dates and times vary by level.  


To register or for more information (including dates and times), please contact: 

or call 646-454-3029


Yom Kippur Appeal 5775/2014


Yes, we are still accepting donations to the 2014 Yom Kippur Appeal. There is still time to have your name included on the insert in the Spring Chronicle--and your participation will be greatly appreciated. Every gift supplements the operating budget, strengthening our ability to present a superb array of activities and services for members of every age and allowing us to more comfortably extend membership to families who could not otherwise afford to belong.

Click here to make an online donation or call the Development Department at (646) 454-3050 


Margulies Fund Scholarship


Are you planning to enroll in a long-term program in Israel between now and June, 2015? A limited amount of Scholarship money is available to those who celebrated their Bar/Bat Mitzvah at CRS, were confirmed at CRS, or graduated from Rodeph Sholom School. The terms of the Margulies Fund stipulate that course work must be at a recognized institution of higher learning or an institution connected with the Reform movement, such as NFTY-EIE summer session. Course work should include the history of the Zionist movement and the importance to Jews of the State of Israel in the modern world. The recipient of a Margulies Scholarship will agree to a service commitment at Rodeph Sholom upon completion of his/her program.

To inquire about a scholarship, please contact Deborah Siegel at or (646) 454-3050