Rabbi Cy Stanway
Of all of the Jewish holidays, perhaps the strangest is Purim. One would expect the holiday to be much more somber. After all, Haman and his henchmen plotted to destroy the Jews of Persia on the 14th day of Adar but at the last minute the tables were turned and his plans came to naught.
The mood should be one of deep prayer and of giving thanks to God and remembering the people like Esther who save the Jewish people. Instead, we have a holiday filled with carnivals, food, general silliness and a frivolity. Why?
It is, I think, gallows humor. Literally. We are laughing because we escaped the gallows at the last minute. When people dodge a bullet, there is often shock and disbelief followed by great joy. That is what happened here.
I believe that after the initial shock, the writers of the Book of Esther expressed their joy. This is what has made Purim such a strange holiday. Whereas Hannukah is much more theological and has philosophical underpinnings of religious freedom, Purim is a holiday that celebrates blind luck.
Jews are no strangers to laughter and much humor comes from terrible circumstances and close calls. I believe we will see much more of that in the future.
In our country there are people who feel emboldened to threaten Jews just as Haman did. Whereas anti-Semitism was hidden under the rug, our teachers and leaders reminded us that it never really went away. (Read 'The Plague' by Camus for a refresher). It was just not politically acceptable to desecrate Jewish cemeteries, paint swastikas on the walls of synagogues, and equate Israel with the Nazis and genocide. But, today it is for no reason other than the haters feel embolden to hate publicly. And, it is not 'somewhere else.' Sooner or later it will hit our neighborhood and our temple. In fact, just this morning, my sister in law called quite upset that there had been a bomb scare at her child's Jewish day school - one of about a dozen this week alone.
There is no rest for the anti-Semite because anti-Semitism is a disease. It is a pathology that has no reason for being. People are feeling emboldened to hate Jews simply because it is the oldest hatred in the book. Don't try to analyze the people who hate: they hate simply because they can.
But the Purim story is a lesson and the lesson is this: it takes awareness and steadfastness, courage and strength to stand up for the oppressed against the wicked. It takes nerve to stand up against those who hate for the sake of hating. I don't have to reason with them. I only have to resist them. I know that, ultimately, they will crawl back under their rocks until the next time but, in the meantime, we will have stood our ground and cared for our community.
This is a moment in Jewish history - and American Jewish history. The only question remaining is who is going to be our Esther. All of the Hamans are easy to spot. It is the truly brave that stand on the glistening edge of the wave of history and, I, like you, plan to be on that edge against the irrational hate of Jews by people who can't even tell you what a Jew is, let alone tell you the slightest reason why they hate Jews -- other than they just can because they need something to hate.
So what to do? Do what Jews have always done. Live righteously. Protect the vulnerable. Keep an eye toward the future. Never lose hope. Never allow the haters to turn you to hate. Remember the rabbinic dictum: 'Whoever can turn an enemy into a friend has achieved the highest good." That is our ultimate goal. It seems far away for the moment but everyday it gets closer and closer.
From the Cantor
Cantor Marnie Camhi
It’s Adar and you know what that means!! Purim!!! This year we will be celebrating on Sunday, March 12 at 10:30am with a new original Purim spiel (written by me) called The Little Mermaideleh. It is a spoof of The Little Mermaid. Our cast, crew and musicians have been working very hard since January to prepare the show for you. I am so very proud of everyone involved in this year’s spiel!
Todah rabbah, mazal tov and bravo to: Rachel Adler, Evan Beson, Lia Bram, Maya Brosniak, Araiya Casriel, Eric Casriel, Barry Edison, Paige Edison, Reese Figueiredo, Marian Gross, Eliza Howard, Josie Howard, Briana Jacobson, Danna Kawut, David Kawut, Sadie Kawut, Kim Levin, Rachael O’Neill, Alexandra Preston, Adi Raz, Julia Reisler, Sharon Silverman, Rabbi Cy Stanway, Elliot Topper and Anna Vernick.
Please come in costume and join us for all of our Purim activities! We will start at 10:30am with a song session, costume contest and then the spiel! The Purim Carnival will begin at noon (12pm).
See you soon!
From the Principal
The Heimlich Aaron library is about to get a long overdue makeover!
You may have noticed that we have been quietly disposing of books that have not been touched in over 30 years, while we have been building up the use of our Children’s Library, which is now temporarily being housed in a spare classroom. Your children have been visiting the library twice a month and, under the direction of our EBRS Alum Chase Kaplan, have been enjoying discussions, hearing Jewish content stories and taking out books with our state of the art checkout system generously donated by our Temple Sisterhood.
Now we plan to remodel the space for the Heimlich Aaron Library. We will be replacing all the bookcases, updating the lighting, putting on a fresh coat of paint and replacing our dated and worn furniture with new durable tables and chairs. When it is complete, it will be a beautiful and welcoming space to learn, meet, share and even think.
But we need your help. We have committed not to use any funds from our temples budget. The Aaron family has already generously donated a substantial number of dollars and we’d like you, the parents, to have the opportunity to participate in funding this worthy project. We would like to suggest a minimum donation of $100 (or more, of course). All those who participate with this minimum contribution will have their names engraved on a plaque to be displayed on our existing EBRS dedication board, located near the school wing.
participate, simply send in your check, made out to Temple Beth Miriam, with a note in the memo specifying Library Renovation.
I look forward to your participation in this exciting project. I know it will further enrich our children’s experience at Temple Beth Miriam and will also send them the message that caring for this sacred space is important and matters.
Stella J. Stanway
*Mazel Tov to Harold & Susan Hodes on the birth of their grandson, Ethan James Hodes. Ethan was born on February 27, 2017. His proud parents are Josh & Katie Hodes.
Mazal tov to Jolie Harkavy! Jolie Sienna Harkavy will become a Bat Mitzvah on April 1. Jolie lives in West Long Branch with her parents and younger sister Aria and is a 7th grader at Frank Antonides Middle School. She is a member of the National Junior Honor Society as well as the AT (Academically Talented) Program. Jolie keeps very busy after school as well; she plays for the Field Hockey and Lacrosse teams and is on the Cheerleading Squad. Jolie is also passionate about performing arts. She loves to sing, dance, act and play the piano despite not having taken any lessons. She has participated in numerous productions including the Shore Regional High School production of Annie when she was in 5th grade.
For Jolie’s Kishrei Halev project, she will be working with the Mya Lynn Terry Foundation. The foundation helps families battling pediatric cancer in many ways that range from helping to procure needed medications that are not covered by insurance to simply bringing smiles on family’s faces. Jolie has worked on projects with the Foundation for several years and is honored to have recently been named a Junior Board Member.
From the Office
March is full of events for everyone! We will have Visual Tefillah, preceded by wine & cheese at 7 PM on March 3. The Paid Up Sisterhood Brunch and Teen Academy will take place on March 5. SALTY will have their Annual Purim Carnival, and we will enjoy the Purim Spiel on March 12. Be on the lookout for your Purim Bags, too!
Raffle drawing will also take place on March 12! If you have not purchased your tickets, we have them in the office. You do NOT have to be present to win big prizes!
There is a school trip, a B’nai Mitzvah, and lots of adult classes throughout the month. Please see our calendar for all of the particulars. We hope you will join us!
Happy Purim from our families to yours,
Shari Nightingale and Frankie Langer
Beth Mriiam welcomes Patricia Coelho from Long Branch New Jersey to our family here at TBM!
Outstanding Jewish and Israeli Programing at the Axelrod Theatre
The Axelrod Theatre at the JCC on Grant Avenue in Oakhurst is having some wonderful programs and Beth Miriam is invited to attend! Rabbi Stanway will be offering 10 free tickets to synagogue members for each of these events (excluding Film Festival) – with a limit 2 per family.
I am Anne Frank – April 23
Noa – May 13
Transcendance May 21
“Time and Chance” –
If you wish a ticket or two, please contact the Rabbi at 732-222-3754 and he will arrange to get them to you. This is a wonderful opportunity to see some great Jewish and Israeli culture and share as a community the joys of music and dance.
May their memories be a blessing
Sylvia Stamler Ginsberg*
Temple Beth Miriam mourns the Loss of Paul Frankel. May God console those who mourn among all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
Pess Family Youth Group Fund
In memory of Liesel Baker, mother of
-Gina & Brian Gillet
In memory of Ira Bassin
-Lt. Col. Ron Ledwitz & Meryl Ledwitz
Library Renovation Fund
In memory of my loving parents, Jack & Theresa Greenstone.
In memory of Abby Scheer's husband, Steven
In memory of Brian Fine's wife, Sharon.
-Ann & Leon Stone
- Peter & Josephine Grayson
David & Stacy Howard
Cantor's Discretionary Fund
Tom Gavin & Susan Stone
Barry & Stephanie Bricken
Ann & Leon Stone
Joanne & Barry Edison
Lisa & Steven Kaye
Jay & Jayme Lowenstein
Rabbi Cy Stanway
Stella Jeruzalmi Stanway
Jeffrey K. Tulis
In honor of Lucca Tetelbom La Banco's Bar Mitzvah
Teacher's Endowment Fund
In honor of Sophie Gavin's Bat Mitzvah
-Ann & Leon Stone
Rabbi Discretionary Fund
In memory of Natalie's mother & Alan's grandmother
-Natalie Bellucci & Alan Bonnar
Conn Music Fund
In memory of Steven Scheer
-Jane & Stuart Gerechoff
Temple Beth Miriam Funds List
Tree of Life - $180
The Yahrzeit Memorials -$500
Prayer Book Fund (inscribed $36)
Social & Community Action Fund
Heimlich –Aaron Library Fund
The Endowment Fund
Rabbi Joseph Goldman Fund for Jewish Learning
Religious School Renovation
Heimlich Memorial Scholarship Fund
Dorothy Hirsch Scholarship
Rabbi Discretionary Fund*
(Separate check payable to & for Rabbi Discretionary Fund)
Cantor Discretionary Fund*
(Separate check payable to & for Cantor Discretionary Fund)
Roz Nagel Fund for Religious School Special Projects
The Carolyn Meyer Memorial Lecture Fund
Neimark Shabbaton Institute
Berg-Bialek Youth Leadership Retreat Fund
Conn Music Fund
The Norty Kern Youth Scholarship Fund
Arthur & Hazel Harmon Fund
The Milton Ziment Fund for Scholastic Achievement
Sonya Grossman Art & Beautification Fund
Temple Beth Miriam Wish List Fund
The Katz Family Fund
Temple Beth Miriam Camp Fund
Library Shelves - $1,000
Evelyn Blank Choral Fund
Pess Family Youth Group Fund
Teacher's Endowment Fund
March Birthdays & Anniversaries
Mazel tov to all that celebrate this month.
Nancy Singer Olaguera
Happy Anniversary Couples
Richard & Cyndi Berger
Greg & Jackie Coben
Martin & Sondra Epstein
Arthur & Karen Hodes
|Need to get in touch with your board representative?
President Harry Silverman firstname.lastname@example.org
Rabbi Cy Stanway email@example.com
Cantor Marnie Camhi firstname.lastname@example.org
Religious School Principal Stella J. Stanway email@example.com
Administrator Shari Nightingale firstname.lastname@example.org
Administrative Assistant Frankie Langer email@example.com
Youth Group Leader Stella Stanway firstname.lastname@example.org
Youth Group President Anna Vernick email@example.com
Building Superintendent Rosy Franceschy 732-762-4335
Family Affair Cy Stanway firstname.lastname@example.org
Fund Allocation Bob Kellert email@example.com
House Committee Keith Kaplan firstname.lastname@example.org
Investment Comm Harry Silverman email@example.com
Membership Steve Silver firstname.lastname@example.org
Rel. Sch. Bd. Wendy Sloter email@example.com
Sisterhood - Point Persons Debbie Gerbman firstname.lastname@example.org
Cindy Singer email@example.com
Relig. Pract. Sharon Silverman firstname.lastname@example.org
Special Events Bob Kellert email@example.com
Youth Group Gary Pess firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Action Steve Peckman email@example.com
Programming I. Mark Cohen firstname.lastname@example.org
Fundraising Steve Peckman email@example.com
Immediate Past President Michael Gross firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice Presidents Robert Kellert email@example.com
Treasurer Lori Goldstein firstname.lastname@example.org
I. Mark Cohen email@example.com
Men's Club Barry Edison firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary Emily Feldman email@example.com
Leonard Berkeley firstname.lastname@example.org
Danielle Delcuore email@example.com
Emily Feldman firstname.lastname@example.org
Chase Kaplan email@example.com
Heather Foster firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Silver email@example.com
Brian Gillet firstname.lastname@example.org
Alvin Goldman email@example.com
Lori Goldstein firstname.lastname@example.org
Marian Gross email@example.com
Bob Kellert firstname.lastname@example.org
Joel Kreizman email@example.com
Stuart Lippsett firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrea Phox email@example.com
Patricia Shapiro firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharon Silverman email@example.com
Wendy J. Sloter firstname.lastname@example.org
Rabbi Emeritus z'l Joseph Goldman