Friday, February 27, 2009
In this week's Torah Portion we read about the building of the first sanctuary in Jewish history called the Mishkan (Tabernacle). 13 chapters are filled with the details of the Sanctuary's construction, from the dimensions of its pillars to the colors of its tapestries. In contrast, the Torah devotes one chapter to its account of the creation and three chapters to the revelation at Mount Sinai.
The Sages teach that the Mishkan is also a prototype for the Human experience. In the person, there too lies an inner core that continues to remain Holy and untouched by the experiences of everyday life. This is our divine and all powerful essence which we can tap in order to overcome the most difficult challenges we encounter.
Tonight we gather to kick-off our Social Action Shabbat. We hope you will join us for the teen-led Kabbalat Shabbat service beginning at 6:30pm, and then participate tomorrow in one of our three social action projects around lower Manhattan. We conclude our Social Action weekend with a lunch and a tish. Let's tap into our inner core in order to provide a gift for all those around us.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
WHAT HAPPENS IN SHUSHAN STAYS IN SHUSHAN!
Don't just HEAR the megillah, BE the megillah.
Sunday, March 8 at 7pm
New Shul Members: Free
272 West 10th Street (b/w Greenwich and Washington Streets)
From Martha Stewart:
Makes about 60 cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup poppy seeds
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons honey
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1. In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed until light in color and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add orange zest, orange juice, vanilla extract, and 2 eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary
2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add to butter mixture until just combined. Divide dough into thirds. Wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove one-third of the dough from the refrigerator at a time. On a liberally floured surface, roll dough to a 1/8-inch thickness. With a 3-inch fluted round cutter, cut out as many circles as possible, and place on a prepared baking pan. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile make the poppy-seed filling: Grind poppy seeds in a food processor. Place seeds in a medium saucepan. Add milk and honey. Cook over a medium-low heat until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Add raisins and lemon zest. Remove from heat. Cool completely before using. (You can substitute apricot preserves for the poppy-seed filling.)
4. Remove chilled circles from refrigerator. Place each filling into a medium pastry bag fitted with a coupler. Pipe 2 teaspoons of filling into the center of each circle. Whisk together remaining egg with 1 teaspoon of water. Brush edges with egg wash. Fold in sides to form a triangle. Pinch dough to enclose the filling.
5. Bake the cookies in the center rack of the oven until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets for 5 minutes; then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Editor's note: Don't be shy when filling the hamantashen. Try adding chocolate chips or peanut butter chocolate chips for a real delicious treat!
Do you have a favorite hamantashen recipe? If so, leave it in the comment section for us to try!
Today is the second day of the month of Adar, the Hebrew month in which we celebrate Purim and the twelfth month of the religious year on the Hebrew calendar.
To get you in the happy mood that Adar is all about, we thought we'd start the month with a few Purim riddles.
1. There is a cage at the Shushan city zoo that contains both peacocks and goats. If there is a total of 30 eyes and 44 feet, how many of each is in the cage?
2. Ahasuerus's royal horse is tied to a five-meter rope in front of the palace. Six meters behind the horse is a bale of hay. Without breaking his rope, the horse is able to eat the hay whenever he chooses. How is this possible?
3. Bigtan and Teresh met at an inn to discuss the overthrow of King Ahasuerus. They each ordered a vodka on the rocks. Bigtan downed his and ordered another. He then drank his second in a gulp, and decided to wait before he ordered a third. Meanwhile, Teresh, who was sipping his drink, suddenly fell forward, dead. Both men had been set up for an assassination. Why did Teresh die and Bigtan survived?
4. Esther has 6-3/4 piles of sand and Mordechai has 4-2/3 piles of sand. If they put them all together, how many piles of sand do they have?
Answers appear in the comment section. No cheating!
We have spent lots of time this year talking about technology and how it relates to Judaism. Check out this fascinating YouTube video on the progression of information technology.
It is estimated that 4 exabytes of unique information will be generated this year. That is more than in the previous 5,000 years. Given that we think of the previous 5,000 years as having some meaning to Jews, think about how we understand this nugget and how we can use it to contemplate how we learn and how we will engage our tradition differently...in ways we can’t imagine now because they haven’t been imagined yet. No pressure, of course!
Feel free to leave answers to the above question (or your own questions!) in the comment section.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Calling all New Shul Families:
Trinity Food Pantry Needs Us!!
Pack a grocery bag to feed a family
Please deliver to us by Friday, February 27, 2009
Here’s what you do:
1. Refer to the grocery list below to pack a bag to feed a family for one week
2. Bring your grocery bag to Rishomin or BMA, Monday-Thursday, February 23-26
3. Or, bring your grocery bag to Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday, February 27
To feed 1 person, please include the following cans/boxes
1 Rice (1 lb. minimum)
1 Pasta(1 lb. minimum)
3 Meats (Tuna or other)
To feed a family of 4, please include the following cans/boxes:
1 Rice (1 lb. minimum)
2 Pastas (1 lb. minimum each)
5 Meats (Tuna or other)
All bags will be delivered to Trinity Lower East Side Lutheran Parish as part of
The New Shul Social Action Weekend
The Ritual Lab is excited to announce our third "Shabbat Club Outing" in which we will visit Shabbat services and observances around the city. Our goal is to experience Shabbat in other communities and settings, from Chasidic shuls to more informal chaverim to synagogues that are somewhat like ours, and to see if there are rituals and practices that we'd like to bring back to our own community. Everyone is invited to join.
This expedition will take place at Romemu (located at West End Presbyterian Church, 165 W. 105th Street at Amsterdam). The service itself starts at 10am. It is preceded by gentle yoga at 8:45am and meditation at 9:30am. Join for any or all components - meet us inside.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Posted by Member Jack Saul
Advanced Seminar in International Trauma Studies
SEPTEMBER 2009 TO MAY 2010, NEW YORK CITY
Founded in 1997, the International Trauma Studies Program (ITSP) is a training and research institute in New York City. The program is committed to enhancing the resilience and coping capacities in individuals, families, and communities that have endured and/or are threatened by traumatic events - domestic and political violence, armed conflict and natural disaster. ITSP pursues its mission by providing professional training, conducting innovative research, offering technical assistance to international organizations, and helping build a global learning community in mental health and human rights.
The International Trauma Studies Program provides intensive training in trauma theory, prevention and response for professionals from such diversified fields of interest as health and mental health, law, human rights, community activism, the arts, journalism and the media. Our training programs based in New York City and Arua, Uganda bring together professionals from around the world to develop and share innovative approaches to working with trauma survivors.
They are now accepting applications for the 2009-2010 Advanced Seminar in International Trauma Studies Advance Seminar. The Seminar is directed by member Jack Saul, PhD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University.
If you are interested in the advanced seminar please send an email with your CV to email@example.com or check out their website for more information.
Are you dazed and confused, and maybe even a bit fearful, in light of all of the challenges facing us today? Between the economic crisis, the conflicts in the Middle East, and the ever-looming threat of terrorism, many of us feel lost, disempowered, and hopeless.
If you can relate to any of this, then you will love reading and discussing Rabbi Goldstein's own book, Lost Souls: Finding Hope in the Heart of Darkness (Random House), a book that tackles exactly these topics and offers a path out of the dark forest so many of us find ourselves in. Join Niles and other New Shul members for three intimate and stimulating sessions.
Dates: Wednesdays, March 4, 11, 18
Time: 7-8:30 pm
Location: Given upon registration
Cost: $36 (includes one copy of the book)
RSVP to the office
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
For those of you who were unable to attend our Annual Meeting last week, I wanted to share with you some of my concluding remarks:
On Tradition and Change
Lukas Foss, the composer and former conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic who passed away last week, once said, when asked about his avant-garde approach to music, that "the best thing is to have one big foot in the past and one in the future."
This idea -- of embracing both tradition and change -- expresses my fundamental approach to Jewish thinking and Jewish life. And, it was The New Shul's spirit of "showing a new way that is ancient," that first brought me here, over 18 months ago, during my final year of studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary.
And what I've found is a shul that is uniquely suited to be a major presence in helping to reconcile the traditional aspects of our Jewish teaching with the very real nature of our own lives in downtown New York in this new world of ours. A place that has been, and will always be, welcoming to all.
I know that many of us are excited to follow Niles' career, waiting to see how his next book will stir and challenge us, and all of the milestones that are yet to come in his impact on American Jewry; and yet, at the same moment, we acknowledge the sadness that we feel as he leaves this community where he has been for the past ten years its founding Rabbi and spiritual leader.Creative adjustment to Jewish Life
But, we are all thankful for the Torah that he has given to each of us, and to this whole community.
Mordecai Kaplan, the founder of Reconstructionist Judaism, wrote that creative adjustment to Jewish life "seeks not only to preserve, but even to enhance, the spirit of the tradition."Click here to read the full remarks.
"It is that very sense of need for religion that impels us to reinterpret the traditional beliefs... and to revise and develop the traditional usages in keeping with spiritual needs which we can genuinely experience."
This to me is the project of both The New Shul and my own life as a Rabbi.
As always, I welcome feedback in the comment section, via email, or in person.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
While you're busy signing up for our day of Social Action on Saturday, February 28th as part of our Second Annual Social Action Weekend, mark your calendar for another great opportunity!
We will be joining forces again this year with Project Ezra delivering food boxes to the Jewish elderly on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The food boxes will contain all the ingredients the seniors will need for a kosher Passover. In addition to just dropping off the food, you have a chance to bring a smile to the door as you greet (and hug) this homebound population.
Sunday April 5th
Start Time - 9:00 - 11:00
465 Grand Street
New York, NY 10002
All volunteers should have a car or join forces with someone who does. You will need a car to deliver the packages - it is too far to walk. If you can help, please RSVP directly to the office by phone or email. Thanks!
By Nia Judelson
Begging for help
As one falls,
Yet never to be replaced.
Tomorrow's loss is never to be replaced,
Today's has already fallen.
The never mourned,
the much abused,
T - Thankfulness - be thankful for vegetation
R - Recycle - Help our trees
E - Environment
E - Eco-Friendly
S - Save The Trees
The wind blows on a melancholy green burst of shrub,
You look as the symbolism of holiness flashes
To martyr in not, but standing is civil.
The meaning of true-green is not nature,
Wood and leaves.
Give us life,
Make a town look sweet.
How many times
have you kicked a tree?
Doubted one's power,
Or laughed at one
for being green?
Their beautiful cycle
The cycle of Life.
Plant a tree today,
And then I'll call you nice.
By member Sean Baldwin
Witnessing the New York City Experience of Tu B’Shevat
Sean read these Chaikus again at this years Tu B'shevat Jam. The pictures of the Souper Bowl, today's Rishonim Tu B'shevat Seder, and the great spring weather inspired us to post them on the blog.
To plant a tree in this stuff
Must I rent John Deere?
Another Dig Out
Broken Plastic Shovel cries
Nature! You cruel wench!
This snow is past tense
Shoveling, my father seems
Right here beside me
My power inside
I am frozen holding it
The sun decides when
Eat No Eat No Eat
I already ate at home
Bubbe don’t play that
Villager photos by Tequila Minsky
This week's Villager, one of our local papers, has a great recap (and fabulous photos) from our success-FUL Souper Bowl. The picture above also appeared in the Jewish Week. We're busy planning the Golden Schmaltz Awards IV. We promised you'll like it.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
King Ahasuerus and Queen Vashti invite you to spend a delicious and dissolute evening at the Royal Palace...here, anything can happen!
Celebrate Purim at The New Shul's annual "Folies Esthere," an extravaganza unlike any other. Food! Wine & Beer! Dancing Girls!
Please come in costume!
Featuring Candy Samples and The Vashti Vixens!
New Shul Members: Free
272 West 10th Street (between Greenwich & Washington Streets)
Sunday, March 8 at 7pm
The Golden Schmaltz Awards: Souper Bowl 2009 was a huge success. There were 18 soups judged by a panel of celebrity guests including: Stephen Lyle, Akhtar Newab and Marco Moreira.
And the winners are:
Division One – Chicken/Matzah Ball Soup
1st Place: Jewish Penicillin by Cheftestant Janice Moses
2nd Place: Chicken Soup by Cheftestant Joanne Wilson
3rd Place: A Jew Married an Italian Wedding Soup by Cheftestant Natalie Judelson
People’s Choice: Matzoh Ball Soup (thanks to Joan) by Cheftestant Mark Philips
Division Two – Everything Else
Best Tasting Soup: Carrot Ginger Cocunut Curry Soup by Cheftestant Stephen Fried
Most Innovative Soup: Pistachio Soup by Cheftestant Sylvia Stein
Most Hearty Soup: Bean Soup by Cheftestant Elise Hurley
People’s Choice: Mushroom Barley by Joanne Wilson
Julian's Favorite: Carrot Ginger Cocunut Curry Soup by Cheftestant Stephen Fried
An online cookbook featuring recipes and pictures of all soups will be available shortly. Thank you to all those that came, ate, cooked, judged, and helped make the event happen.
Monday, February 9, 2009
In Memory of Irwin Hoffman
By Edward Hoffman
When Abraham marched to God’s time
across the desert briar,
Did he smile at His divine jest, or
Quake in a mortal’s earth-tremor, of
Eden’s mystery seen, but not grasped?
Did the mind-glimpse of his only son, dead,
on an altar of martyred love,
Evoke any outpouring against the cloud-drummer,
Or bury yet deeper the ashes of a father’s conscience?
And when in the shrouded wilderness, the Angel
at last appeared to Abraham,
Did it mirror a shimmering cloak of celestial light,Or the earthly blaze of a father’s devotion?
Editor's Note: Thank you to member Ed Hoffman (one of the three authors Niles recommended here) who submitted his poem for our blog. We welcome your contributions as well - poetry, thoughts, teachings, recommendations, you name it. Email your suggestions for blog postings to Amy or our office.
Many of you mentioned that you missed the Torah clips. Here is this week's portion Yitro:
Parshat Yitro from G-dcast.com
Read from a feminist perspective, Yitro contains one of the most painful verses in the Torah. At the formative moment in Jewish history, when presumably the whole people of Israel stands in awe and trembling at the base of Mount Sinai waiting for God to descend upon the mountain and establish the covenant, Moses turns to the assembled community and says, "Be ready for the third day: do not go near a woman" (19:15). This perplexing section leaves the readers wondering whether women were included in, or excluded from, the revelation at Sinai. How do you interpret Moses' command to "not go near a woman" (19:15)?
by member Mary Jo Berger, recited at the Tu B'shevat Jam on Friday, February 6
DID YOU EVER IMPERSONATE A TREE?
I DID: AN OAK, SWINGING MY LIMBS AT A HALLOWEEN DANCE
WAS YOUR LIFE THREATENED FOR HUGGING A TREE?
MY FRIEND’S WAS. SHE FLED FROM HER HUSBAND
HAVE YOU MADE LOVE ON THE FOREST FLOOR?
TRY IT, LOOKING UP AT THE MULTITUDE OF LEAVES BACKLIT BY THE SUN
IS THERE ONE TREE YOU CHERISH SEEING?
MINE IS A DWARFED BIRCH IN FRONT OF EPIPHANY CHURCH, WHERE
MY MENTOR WAS MEMORIALIZED
DO YOU KNOW A GROVE YOU CAN’T KEEP OUT OF YOUR MIND?
THOSE EVERGREENS ON THE RESEVOIR RIDGE ARE ETCHED ON MINE.
I ALWAYS MEANT FOR THEM TO BE ON PAPER FOR MY MOTHER
HAVE YOU PLANTED ANY?
ESHKOLIOT TREES IN THE SOIL OF THE KIBBUTZ
CAUSED MY FINGERS TO SWELL AND CRACK OPEN.
SO I HAD TO STOP PLANTING, AND MY SOUL CRIED
THE HEAD OF THE PARDEZ SAID WE COULD ONLY SING IF WE HAD THREE TAPOOZIM IN HAND
WITH MY CHILDHOOD FRIENDS
HUNG PRAYERS FROM THEM?
WITH MY STUDENTS IN JAPAN
DRUNK FROM ONE?
DID YOU EVER FEEL BLESSED BY AN ARC OF TREES UNDER WHICH YOU PASSED?
I DID. EMERGING FROM THAT TREACHEROUS MAUI ROAD, I SAW BEFORE ME
AN OLD MASTER’S PAINTING COME TO LIFE, AND,
DRIVING THROUGH IT, I KNEW I WOULD RETURN.
AND I HAVE, EVEN WITHOUT GOING BACK.
I AM BLESSED.
Were you at the Souper Bowl and can't stop dreaming about one of those delicious soups? Missed it and keep hearing how amazing the soups were? Either way, here's your chance to make the soups at home! Download our 2009 Souper Bowl recipe book with the winning recipes and more.
The Bielski brothers: Alani's fahter is sitting in the front row, right corner.
The Bielski brothers started one of the most famous Jewish partisan groups. They were famous because unlike other partisan groups who were focused on mainly fighting the Germans, the Bielskis first and foremost wanted to save Jewish lives. To do so, they had to fight battles on a daily basis. They were led by the oldest brother, Tuvia, among the greatest heroes of World War II, a man who led the most stunning Jewish rescue and resistance operation of his time. "I would rather save one old Jewish woman than kill 10 Nazi soldiers," he said. He argues that they had to fight back or their people would be slaughtered.
Join us to see Defiance this Sunday, February 1st at 11:30am (film starts at 11:45am) at Regal Cinemas Union Square (850 Broadway. Alani Golanski, member of The New Shul, will join us for the screening. Alani's father participated in these heroic actions.
To see the trailer or to learn more about the film, click here.
ONE PERSON CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Kabbalat Shabbat - Friday, 6:30pm
Teen Led Service for the entire community, featuring two guest speakers. Brief prep session for Saturday's community action will be available following the service. Action Projects - Saturday from 10:30am-2pm Three different Social Action projects taking place around the city - each helping a very different community in need. Watch for information on how to sign-up.Tish - Saturday at 2:30pm Join us at the Newman Home. Lunch will be served. This exciting weekend can only happen with your help. Join us for what promises to be a very rewarding weekend for everyone.
Action Projects - Saturday from 10:30am-2pm Three different Social Action projects taking place around the city - each helping a very different community in need. Learn more here.
Tish - Saturday at 2:30pm
Join us at the Newman Home. Lunch will be served.
This exciting weekend can only happen with your help. Join us for what promises to be a very rewarding weekend for everyone.
We will be participating in three community service projects on Saturday, February 28th as part of our Social Action Weekend.
1. PROJECT ORE
Congregation Emunath Israel (236 W. 23rd Street, b/w 7th & 8th Avenues)
This is the only kosher food program in NYC. This program serves 35-40people daily, with a special short Shabbat service and meal on Saturday morning. Volunteers not only serve food but are also invited to sit and interact with those they serve.
Prep lunch: 10:30-noon, with option to attend Shabbat service at 11:30am
Serve lunch and clear: 12-1pm
Sing with Ellen for diners: 1-1:30pm
What we need:
15 people to serve lunch (minimum age 14)
Unlimited number of people to sing with Ellen (any age) at 1pm
*Every volunteer is asked to contribute approximately $20 to pay for the meal.
2. TRINITY CHURCH
602 E. 9th Street at Avenue B
The Soup Kitchen provides meals to the hungry five days a week,feeding approximately 1,500 people each week. Many of these families have children and rely on these meals. We will bring groceries to stock Trinity's food pantry for needy families on the Lower East Side,cut and prep vegetables for the soup kitchen, possibly paint a classroom and sort groceries.
Arrive: 10:30am10:30-1:30 - Break into groups to accomplish our mission
What we need:Unlimited participants of all ages
*All volunteers are asked to bring groceries. We will provide a shopping list to all those participating.
3. NYC KIDS' CLUB
Meet at Chelsea Mini Storage (28th Street b/w 11th & 12th Avenues)
NYC Kids' Club provides activities, games and live lessons every Saturday for children ages 6 to 14 living in public housing in Chelsea. As volunteers, we will help organize and run a special fair for the kids with sports, board games, and presentations based on our theme of "one person can make a difference."
Arrive at 11am
11-noon - prep activities
12-2pm - activities with kids
1-2:30pm - clean-up
What we need: 8-12 volunteers 16 and older
*All volunteers are asked to donate $5 towards the rental of the gym and snack.
HOW TO SIGN UP? It's easy! Email the office by Wednesday, February 25 and let us know which one you want to help with and how many are in your group.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Join us tonight, Friday, at 7pm at First Presbyterian Church, 12 W 12th St (enter on 5th Avenue). Experience a feast of the senses with live music, poetry, and spoken word performed by the talented members of The New Shul, served up with food and drink.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Take a minute..
...and imagine what it would be like to attend school or teach classes without a pencil or a piece of paper.
Every day, teachers and students across Malawi are forced to do just this. Hundreds of thousands of students and teachers do not have access to the most basic school materials.
In an effort to support education in Malawi, Goods for Good has started a school sponsorship program - School Connect. This program links US schools, youth groups and other organizations to under-resourced schools in Malawi.
How you can help..
The New Shul is Partnering up with Goods for Good to collect materials for the Teacher Supply Closet. Each Teacher Supply Closet will contain supplies to be distributed to schools for use during one school year.
On behalf of Goods for Good, The New Shul is collecting:
- Red Pens
- Flip Charts
- Colored Paper
- Air Pumps
Please bring your materials to VCS (272 w. 10th Street) on either February 23rd, 24th, or 26th between 4 and 6pm or Friday, February 27th at our Social Action Kabbalat Shabbat Service.
In addition to improving the lives of children in Malawi through their generous donations, The New Shul will also have the opportunity to learn more about the culture, history and challenges that their peers in Malawi face every day.
Monday, February 2, 2009
This post is submitted by member Barry Temkin.
Camp Na'aleh is a small, intimate camp atmosphere where every camper is a king or queen!
Na'aleh is one of 7 camps in North America that belong to a group called Habonim.
Beautiful Camp Na'aleh's new site is located near Binghamton. It introduces the ideals of the kibbutz in Israel and progressive Judaism to campers through sharing, love of nature, and community building; everyone is respected for his or her own unique traits and abilities.
Friendships last forever and Na'aleh activities go on throughout the year, not just in the summer!
Camp Na'aleh serves campers ages 8 to 16, grades 3 to 11. Generous incentive grants available (not limited to the needs-based) from the Foundation for Jewish Camping.
For additional information please contact member Barry Temkin at 212 929 0494 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also contact Executive Director, Samantha Cohen at 718-203-4292, e-mail her at Samantha@naaleh.org or see the website http://www.naaleh.org/.
NYSJFF provides a unique platform for quality features and documentary films with Sephardic themes created by filmmakers across the globe. This annual exploration of Sephardic Jewry offers the audience an extraordinary breath of lands, languages and traditions.
The Venues include:
Center for Jewish History (15 W 16th Street Between 5th and 6th Avenues)
The JCC in Manhattan (344 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street)
Visit the Box office at http://www.smarttix.com/ or call 212-868-4444
For more information visit http://www.americansephardifederation.org/.