Summer is a great time for Spring cleaning! Do yourself a favor and clean out your garage or attic, and donate your unwanted, gently used items to the NJC. Our Yard Sale was a great fundraiser for us last year, and we can use your help to make it a success this Summer. The more, nice items we have, the bigger the sale will be. Please call the office at 951-7976 to arrange a time to drop off your items, or to arrange for assistance in picking up your items. And please also volunteer to help work the Sale on August 5th.
Shavuot is Saturday night, May 26th. Join us for a special evening as we observe several Shavuot traditions with food and fun! Shavuot commemorates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, so it is customary to study Torah throughout the night. While we might not stay up all night, we'll learn Torah by playing JEWPARDY!, our own Torah version of the game show Jeopardy! The sweetness of Torah is remembered by eating dairy dishes, so we'll enjoy an ice cream social. Finally, Yizkor is traditionally held on major festivals, so we'll remember our loved ones with this special service. Don't miss this important evening, starting at 7 p.m.
Join Jonathan King, Rebecca Oppenheim, Ryan Oppenheim and Caroline Santopadre, and their families, for confirmation ceremonies during our erev Shabbat services this Friday, May 18th, at 7:30 p.m. This is a special night for our students, their families and the entire Congregation. Please join us to celebrate this important event.
Rabbi Nimon Receives Doctor of Divinity Degree
Rabbi Nimon received a Doctor of Divinity Degree from Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion at ceremonies in New York on May 3, 2012. The Degree recognizes Rabbi Nimon's service to Reform Congregations in North America. Mazel Tov!
A couple of weeks ago, during Friday night Shabbat services, I posed the question, "do you have to believe in God to be Jewish?" We know that Maimonides, in his Thirteen Principles of Faith, said "yes." What's your opinion? Please share your comments with us and vote in the poll.
NJC SOFTBALL TEAM CHASES "THREE-PEAT"
NJC's softball team is enjoying another strong season in its quest for a third straight championship in the New Orleans Synagogue Softball League. The team enters mid-season with a 5-1 record in the ten-game regular season. The team's next game is May 6th, at 9 a.m., at Girard Park in Metairie on West Esplanade west of Transcontinental. In its last game, against Temple Sinai, our team won 13 to 6, thanks to some strong hitting by Jonah Berman, Dr. Aaron Karlin and Andy Cutliff. Upcoming games are June 3rd, at 11:40 a.m. versus Gates of Prayer, June 10th, at 1:40 versus Shir Chadash, and June 24th, at 9 a.m., versus Touro. All games are played at Girard Park. Come out and support our team!
Here are some photos from our Gala just a few years ago.... If you have photos you would like to share, send them to email@example.com. And mark your calendars for our next Gala on November 3, 2012. Thanks to Miles Mark for providing these photos.
On the left, our own Sally Cox, daughter of Joan and Greg Cox, meeting Elie Wiesel, world-famous Holocaust survivor, author and Nobel Laureate, at the University of Arkansas. Sally asked Wiesel to autograph a copy of his book, "Night," as a birthday present for her mother. A copy of the inscription, with Joan's Yiddish name, is on the right.
My grandfather came to the US from Lithuania around 1910-1915, leaving behind 1 sister and 5 brothers. He brought one of his brothers to this country before the war. One brother survived and came after the war. I explored the names database of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum online and found the records of the deaths of his 3 other brothers. The document in Hebrew is the record documenting the death of my great uncle Shalom Baraker. The second attachment is a translation provided by the museum. The woman listed as the witness was my Dad's cousin who survived the war and immigrated to Haifa in the 1960's and whom I met during my second visit to Israel in 1985. Anyone can search through the Museum's digital data base at http://db.yadvashem.org/names/search.html?language=en to find records relating to people who were killed during the Holocaust.
The Miracle of How a Man Found His Brother
This is the story of Leon, a survivor that I knew in Connecticut. One Shabbat morning while a group of us were studying Torah, we read about Joseph's father sending him to find his brothers. While Joseph was searching for them, a mysterious unnamed man appeared and told him where he would find them. Suddenly, Leon jumped to his feet. He told us how he and his brother hid in various places to avoid capture by the Nazis. Somehow they became separated. At night, as Leon lay in his hiding place, he had no idea where his brother was or if he would be able to find him. He didn't even know if he was alive.
Leon described how during the night a man appeared to him. Leon thought he was seeing an angel because he could see right through the man. The visitor told him that his brother was safe and that he was hiding in a certain house in a nearby village. In a blink the man/angel was gone. Leon recalled how in the darkness of night, he carefully went to the other village and found his brother.
Leon sat down as suddenly as he had stood up. The group remained silent, moved beyond words.
Leon's brother also survived the Shoah and moved to New York City.