Committee of the Month: Larry and Brenda Miller Memorial Caring Community

We welcome new members who want to help! Contact 412-835-1783

Within Temple Emanuel, there is a group of temple members who are available to help other temple members when they are in need, and to remember our temple members during life cycle events, such as the birth of a baby, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, weddings, and funerals.

WAYS WE CARE:

  1. When a baby is born someone from the caring community writes a note of congratulations, and the parents receive a gift – a child’s book of Jewish prayers
  2. When a Torah Center student has a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, someone from the caring community writes a mazel tov note to them.
  3. When temple members have a wedding someone from the caring community writes a mazel tov note to them.
  4. When a temple member comes home from the hospital, the caring community delivers a Shabbat bag on the Friday before Shabbat begins. Inside the bag, there is a Challah and challah cover, a mini grape juice, Shabbat candlesticks, a get well card, and a small prayer book.
  5. When a temple member dies we bring a cookie tray to the house where there is a Shiva.
  6. We provide rides to the doctor for temple members who don’t drive.
  7. And the caring community makes phone calls to older temple members to see how they are doing, and to invite them to events.

FUTURE EVENTS:

The Temple Emanuel Caring Community is partnering with the Adult Education Committee to present a Bagels & Bites Sunday Brunch Series. There will be brunch style foods served along with a most interesting talk!

The first speaker at this event is scheduled for 12/16/18 from 10:30 am -12, with Philip Terman, an award-winning poet who teaches creative writing and literature at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, where he directs the visiting writers’ program. Also, he co-directs the Chautauqua Writers’ Festival. Philip Terman’s most recent selection of poetry is entitled: Our Portion: New and Selected Poems (Autumn House Press, 2015).

No two Passover Seders are alike!

We’re just over a month away from Passover (1st Seder is Friday, April 22), so what better time to start thinking about ways to make your seder special.  Every family has their own traditions – we’d love to hear about some of yours.  Please send your comments to lhoffman@templeemanuelpgh.org.

Our member, Jennifer Bordenstein, shared her family’s truly unique seder experience:

Our Passover Seder tradition is quite unique.  After WWII ended, and 6 siblings on my husband’s side emigrated to the US, they began holding a Seder each year.  During the Seder, they spoke of their “Exodus” from Russia to America.  They spoke of l’ador vador, and how they hoped generations ahead would continue with their Seder tradition.  

My children began the 6th generation of the Dobro Family Seder.  We have our own Hagaddah, that is filled with stories of how the family began their new lives in Boston.  The Seder is ‘MC’d” by a relative who was a Broadway actor, so you can imagine the laughter that ensues.  There is a yearly family tree that is printed to show the new babies, marriages, and deaths.   We “facetime” with the now elderly, Florida contingent of the family.  The Seder ends with “Good and Welfare”, where each of us must stand up and tell something about our year.  People announce new jobs, new homes, good and terrible health situations, and there have been 2 marriage proposals.

The Seder fluctuates in size each year, with 120 people at its largest.  Family fly in from all parts of the country and it has gone from us all cooking together in a community center, to hosting it at a banquet hall in Boston.  I began attending the Seder in 1996, with my boyfriend, turned fiance, turned husband.  Each person outside the family must be deemed “Seder Worthy”, which is a huge step in the relationship.  

Over 1300 pounds…

…that’s how much food the 4th Graders and their parents took to SHIM last Sunday!

A big thank you to SHIM (South Hills Interfaith Ministry) Executive Director Jim Guffey for helping us to weigh and sort all of the food we brought, for giving us a tour, and for telling us about of all the great things happening at SHIM.

By the way – the 4th graders only weighed 895 pounds…how cool that we brought in so much more food than that! Another big thank you goes to everyone who participated in Temple’s annual food drive – you helped us make a difference!

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Back at Temple there was a lot of creative energy – 1st grade visited Ms. Dreyfuss, Lydia and Maddy in the art room and made their own mini-Torah scrolls:

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And kindergarten sang with Mrs. Margolis:

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All in all…a great morning!

 

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Coming Up:

~ Our next Shabbat LaMishpacha Dinner and Family service of the year is Friday, November 1st! Please let Lori in the main office know if you are able to attend the dinner. The cost is $15 for adults, $5.50 for children under 14. Can’t make it to the dinner?  Join us for the service.  This is a “don’t miss” event! See you there!

 

 

A Time of Rejoicing

Sukkot is known as Z’man Simchateinu…a Time of Rejoicing…and indeed it was! Everyone had a great time visiting our outdoor sukkah – thank you to Ms. Freed for making it an awesome experience!

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Hannah Schwartz

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Our younger students also visited Mrs. Altschul in the Library… and had story time in a very special sukkah:

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The smiles and laughter continued all week:

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3rd Grade

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And then to end it all… our rousing celebration of Simchat Torah!  It started with a delicious spaghetti dinner. And then, amid much dancing and singing, we read the end of Deuteronomy, rolled the Torah all the way to the beginning and started over with the first verses of Genesis and the Creation story. We also welcomed our newest students to the Torah Center:

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What a week!

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A big THANK YOU to Jason Richards for contributing so many great pictures to this week’s blog entry!

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Coming Up:

~ Our first Shabbat LaMishpacha Dinner and Family service of the year is THIS Friday, October 4th! Please let Lori in the main office know if you are able to attend the dinner. The cost is $15 for adults, $5.50 for children under 14. Can’t make it to the dinner?  Join us for the service.  This is a “don’t miss” event! See you there!

 

~ 4th Grade Family Day is THIS Sunday, October 6th from 9:50 am – 11:30 at SHIM. If you have not done so already, please RSVP to Rachel or Paula at torahcenter@templeemanuelpgh.org. 

 

~ There will be NO JHS CLASSES THIS Monday, October 7th.

Welcome Back!

 

Welcome Back to the start of another GREAT year at the Torah Center!

What a weekend it was…the observance of Yom Kippur followed by the first day of classes. Throw in an open house and there was a lot happening around here! There were plenty of smiles as teachers welcomed students and met parents…all in all it was a great start to the New Year!

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Our Yom Kippur Torah Center programming was once again a great success. Thank you to everyone who helped make it happen – our parent and teen volunteers, our teachers, and of course, our students!

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Sunday kicked off the year with an Open House – an opportunity for parents to meet with teachers and learn about the curriculum. The younger students brought their parents to class while the older students joined their parents in the Sunday Morning Minyan before parting ways – parents to meet with teachers and students to various Hebrew review and Sukkah decorating activities. It’s amazing how much Hebrew was remembered (and forgotten) over the summer! It was a day full of activity and excitement…

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The Jewish High School started on Monday night. The evening started off with an awesome BBQ Dinner. Good food, good company, a little learning thrown in…who could ask for more?

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Stay tuned…..more great things to come!

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Coming up:

~”In the Kitchen with Ms. Freed” for Jr. J-Club (grades 4, 5 &6), THIS Sunday, September 22nd right after Torah Center Classes. Cost:  $5.00/person. Please RSVP to jodikart@aol.com

~10th Grade Confirmation Consecration & Parents Meeting THIS Monday, September 23rd  at 7:20 pm

~Erev Simchat Torah Dinner and Service THIS Wednesday, September 25th; Free Spaghetti Dinner at 6 pm, Festival Service at 7 pm. The service includes the Consecration of our newest students in Kindergarten-3rd Grade. All are invited to attend! RSVP for dinner to Rachel or Paula at torahcenter@templeemanuelpgh.org  

~Our first Shabbat LaMishpacha Dinner and Family service of the year is on Friday, October 4th! Please let Lori in the main office know if you are able to attend the dinner. The cost is $15 for adults, $5.50 for children under 14. Can’t make it to the dinner?  Join us for the service.  This is a “don’t miss” event! See you there!

Thank You for a Great Year!

We celebrated the last day of Torah Center with our first-ever Showcase of Learning. Parents and students spent the morning together participating in activities and viewing student work from throughout the year. Exhibits and activities included the student-led Minyan, a wax museum, a rousing game of “Are You Smarter than a 2nd Grader?” pinwheels for peace, prophet puppets, and more. What a morning!  Thanks to everyone – parents, students, Madrichim and Teachers…for making this another terrific year!

Some pictures from the event:

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Have a great summer!

 

 

Is it Spring Yet?

It may be cold outside, but its warm here at the Torah Center! Keeping busy and having fun are sure ways to pass the time until spring comes. Look what we have been up to these past few weeks…

At 6th Grade Family Day, students and their parents got a close-up look at the Torah scroll with Rabbi Mahler:

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Thank you to the madrich who held the Torah scroll open the entire time!

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6th Graders also made tzedakkah boxes and talked about the ways they can help others. They came up with some great ideas for their upcoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah Mitzvah projects!

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The 5th Graders discussed the marriage ceremony in their Lifecycle class. After looking at examples of Ketubot, they designed their own:

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4th Grade students showed off their Hebrew reading skills and made dream catchers:

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3rd Grade students practiced writing the Hebrew letters and vowels they’ve learned and worked on their end of the year projects:

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Kindergarteners joined their 5th Grade buddies in the library for story time:

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And Israeli dancing was fun for everyone once again:

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The latest installment of Family Cooking made for another successful afternoon. Everyone enjoyed hanging out with Melinda Freed and learning how to make matzah…it was fun to beat the clock. Who knew that you only have 18 minutes to go from dough to oven?

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Chag Sameach! Have a very Happy Passover!

 

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Coming Up:

There will be NO TORAH CENTER OR JHS CLASSES on Sunday, March 24th- Monday, April 1st. Have a great Pesach/spring break!

Family Days, Snowflakes, and a Trip to Washington, DC

The Torah Center Experience is back!

After a brief hiatus…you can once again tune into to find out what is happening here at the Torah Center! What a full couple of weeks – here are some of the hightlights of what has been keeping us busy…

In December, the 5th grade students and their parents had the opportunity to participate in our first joint effort between the Torah Center and the Social Action Committee. As part of the morning of activities, members of the class and committee joined together to make lunches and to assemble giftbags for the residents of Miryam’s Shelter. It was a productive and meaningful morning for all involved:

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And the 8th and 9th grade students made snowflakes…part of the ‘Snowflake Project,’ a national campaign to create a ‘Winter Wonderland’ for the students of Sandy Hook Elementary when they returned to classes in their new location:

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The 9th grade took a well deserved break afterwards:

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And this past weekend, members of the 10th grade Confirmation class attended a 4-day seminar organized by the Religious Action Center in Washington, DC. Highlights included visiting the Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Air and Space Smithsonian Museum, seeing the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, participating in Havdalah at the Jefferson Memorial, lobbying our Senators and Congressional representatives, and hanging out with nearly 300 other Jewish teens from across the country! It was a great weekend! Thank you to everyone who has supported the bagel sale and helped us fund this worthwhile and important experience.

At the MLK Jr. Memorial

Group Picture in front of Capitol Building

Havdalah at the Jefferson Memorial

See you next week!

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Coming Up THIS Weekend:

IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO RSVP for the next Shabbat LaMishpacha Dinner and Family service of the year THIS Friday, February 1st! Please let Lori in the main office know if you are able to attend the dinner. The cost is $15 for adults, $5.50 for children under 14. Can’t make it to the dinner?  Join us for the service.  This is a “don’t miss” event! See you there! 
6th Grade Family Day is THIS Sunday, February 3rd from 9:30 am – 12 noon. Please plan on joining your children at Torah Center for activities that will allow you to learn and experience Judaism together. RSVP to Rachel or Ellen at torahcenter@templeemanuelpgh.org

Chanukah, O Chanukah…

Happy Chanukah!

It definitely is a time of celebration here in the Torah Center! Chanukiahs, dreidls and chocolate gelt abound… but there are other signs too that it is holiday time. Walking through the hallways one is sure to hear many retellings of the Chanukah story and multiple renditions of the Dreidl Song, see creative (and usuable!) art projects and witness the creation of the annual Chanukah videos along with the timely reappearance of Mrs. Levy’s famous Menorah Hat.

Here’s a look at what’s been happening around here – as we prepared for Chanukah and then celebrated the first few crazy nights…

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Students and parents alike visited the annual Mitzvah Mall, the chance to make donations to worthwhile organizations including Temple’s Caring Community, the Children’s Village, the Humane Society, SHIM, Ronald McDonald House, JNF, and the Kosher Food Pantry. In return for a small donation, students received a beautiful Chanukah or holiday card acknowledging the donation along with a description of which mitzvah goes along with the work of the organization. In essence – easy holiday shopping for a good cause!

It was difficult to decide which organizations to visit! The 2nd grade class had a great time learning about each organization and making their donations:

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In the Art Room, Pre-K students and their parents used their hands to make the candles of the Chanukiah on special Chanukah placemats:

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Kindergarten also made Menorahs with candles that can be “lit” each night:

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Ist Grade made Menorah napkin holders – a necessity to help clean up after eating latkes!

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4th Grade made Blessings for the Home Pictures as Chanukah gifts:

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The 5th Grade worked on their much anticipated Chanukah videos:

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The 6th Grade made a human Menorah:

The Human Menorah

Our Madrichim were helpful as always…counting Tzedakkah and sorting the candles, gelt and dreidls to be sent home:

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Happy Chanukah!

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Coming Up THIS Weekend:

IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO RSVP for The Temple Emanuel Chanukah Dinner & Service THIS Friday, December 14th at 6:30 pm. [Crafts and games starting at 5:30] The cost will be $7 for adults (ages 14 + years), $3.25 for children (ages 3 to 13) and under 3 free. There will be a family rate of $23 (immediate family only). RSVP to Lori at lblattner@templeemanuelpgh.org
5th Grade Family Day is THIS Sunday, December 16th from 9:30 am – 12 noon. Please plan on joining your children at Torah Center for activities that will allow you to learn and experience Judaism together. RSVP to torahcenter@templeemanuelpgh.org

What Have We Been Up To Lately?

What have we been up to lately here at the Torah Center? Take a look!

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Members of the Confirmation class led Shabbat services at Concordia and had a great time. Thank you, Mr. Zoffer, for accompanying them!

Our 10th Graders also continue to run the bagel sale to raise money for their upcoming trip to Washington, DC for the L’Taken Seminar at the Religious Action Center:

3rd Grade Family Day brought parents and students together for a morning of activities including Kehillah (community time) with Rabbi Mahler:

They also learned about the importance of the mezuzah and had the opportunity to decorate their own:

Our 5th graders paired up with Kindergarteners for story time in the library. The olders students chose stories to read to the younger ones. It was a great experience for everyone!

 

And our 6th Graders discovered that they really do like to dance – especially Israeli style!

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A special welcome to Ellen Drook and Rachel Zoffer who have joined our staff as the Education Secretary Team! Rachel will be in the office Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sunday mornings. Ellen will be there on Thursdays, Fridays and Sunday mornings as well. Please stop in and say hello!

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Coming Up:

Pre-K Family Day is THIS Sunday, December 2nd from 9:30 am – 12 noon. Please plan on joining your children at Torah Center for activities that will allow you to learn and experience Judaism together.
 
The Annual Mitzvah Mall will be THIS Sunday, December 2nd.  For more information, plase check the weekly Torah Center email.
 
Our next Shabbat Family service of the year (no dinner this month – come to the Chanukah dinner instead!) will be on Friday, December 7th. We will celebrate December birthdays at the service. This is a “don’t miss” event! See you there!
 
Chanukah begins on Saturday, December 8th.
 
The Temple Emanuel Chanukah Dinner & Service will be on Friday, December 14th at 6:30 pm. The cost will be $7 for adults (ages 14 + years), $3.25 for children (ages 3 to 13) and under 3 free. There will be a family rate of $23 (immediate family only) RSVP by December 10th to Lori at lblattner@templeemanuelpgh.org
 
5th Grade Family Day is Sunday, December 16th from 9:30 am – 12 noon. Please plan on joining your children at Torah Center for activities that will allow you to learn and experience Judaism together. RSVP to education@templeemanuelpgh.org