If you missed our past president (and the official Brooklyn borough historian) Ron Schweiger on Sunday 4/11 covering the cavalcade of famous and infamous Brooklyn-born Jews, good news — the replay is now available above.
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There’s been plenty of change at Temple this year — who could have imagined Zoom services, remote challah baking, and the upcoming virtual Megillah reading and Purim spiel on the 25th!
(About that… if you have friends and extended family who want to join us for Purim they can sign up at bshertpurim.eventbrite.com, and when you record your 10-second dance party to Kool & The Gang’s Celebration, be sure to send it to Rabbi Hoover by Monday to get it into the spiel.)
Now we have one more new thing to add… our new member portal and donation/dues system, Shulcloud. You can find it at bshert.shulcloud.com.
With this system, you can review your family’s account and yahrzeit information, view and pay statements, and (eventually) order a virtual memorial plaque, sign up for an event, or look up friends in the directory… even more to come.
Your account in Shulcloud is already set up and ready to go. To get a personalized login link, just email email@example.com and we’ll send it right out. Once you get the link, click it; then click on “My Account”; click on Edit My Profile, and set a password for your account.
Once you have a password, you can log in whenever you like; just go to bshert.shulcloud.com and click Login in the upper right corner. It’s important to be logged in if you’re making dues payments or donations, so they can be properly credited to your account.
Once you’re all set up, please take a moment to review the information in your profile, and let us know if it isn’t correct or complete. If you have open charges on your account, you can go to the Dues & Donations page to make a payment or make an additional donation.
Further improvements on the way! If you have any questions about the Shulcloud system, give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have billing or account questions, let the office know at email@example.com.
—Mike Rose for B’ShERT
By Alan Zarrow
In honor of Election Day, I am concentrating this month’s Walking Tour segment on some very strange political stories and the people associated with them.
We begin at Green-Wood Cemetery and our first stop is NYC Mayor William Jay Gaynor (Section 7) who was the victim of an attempted assassination on August 9, 1910 (8-9-10 for all of you numbers people) and amazingly survived a bullet in the neck. Although he was considered a highly-regarded candidate for either governor or even president, he was not even put up for nomination by his party for another term as mayor. He died in office in 1913 from an apparent heart attack – not from his wound. Someone else who died in office — on February 11, 1828 in Albany — was New York Governor DeWitt Clinton (Clinton Dell section), shown behind yours truly. His uncle, George Clinton, while serving as the nation’s fourth vice president, also died in office. Hmmmmm. Bad genes? DeWitt was originally buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in New Windsor, NY, along with his uncle George, but was re-interred at Green-Wood.
John Young McKane (Section 146) was known as the “Czar of Coney Island” and his exploits could fill a book. He was a strong supporter of Grover Cleveland in the 1884 presidential race and it was widely suspected that he had a hand in some election irregularities. He was eventually convicted in 1894 of election fraud in the local Brooklyn contests of 1893. (THIS guy’s biography should be a story for one of Ron Schweiger’s future talks – hint, hint.) Grover Cleveland (the only president to be elected to two NON-consecutive terms) is buried in Princeton (NJ) Cemetery along with Vice President (and dueler of Alexander Hamilton) Aaron Burr and university founder Paul Tulane. Ron Schweiger is shown here in front of the Leonard Walter Jerome’s Green-Wood mausoleum (Section 37). Who is Leonard Jerome and why are we talking about him in an article about politics? Leonard was the father of Jenny Jerome, who was the mother of Sir Winston Churchill.
We will take our leave of Green-Wood with the story of Teresa Sickles. While she was not in politics herself, her husband, US Representative from New York Daniel Sickles, was. The Sickleses lived in a row of houses across from the White House facing Lafayette Park (in the same row of houses as Henry Reid Rathbone, the army officer who accompanied Abraham Lincoln to Ford’s Theatre). Daniel found out that Teresa was having an affair with Philip Barton Key (son of Francis Scott) and publicly shot Key in front of the Key residence located on the other side of Lafayette Park (near the home of William Seward, who was gravely wounded the night Lincoln was shot). Daniel was tried and found not guilty by reason of insanity — the first successful use of such a defense in a case like this — and went on to have a command at the battle of Gettysburg, where his leg was shattered and ultimately amputated. He donated his leg to the US Army Medical Museum (where it is still on display – just ask Bonnie Greenbaum) and it was said that he visited his leg on every anniversary of the amputation. Teresa died in 1867 and was buried in an unmarked grave in the Sickles plot here at Green-Wood. Unmarked, that is, until just this past summer when a marker suddenly appeared – pointed out to me by the sharp eyes of our own Lori Pandolfo.
Moving from Green-Wood to upper Manhattan, we meet the one and only NYC Mayor Ed Koch (“How’m I doing?”). Koch is buried in the Trinity Church Cemetery Uptown on Broadway and 155th Street in the section that houses the cathedral. Also in that part of the cemetery is bird expert John James Audubon. On the other side of Broadway you will find the Astor family, Clement Clarke Moore (“T’was the night before…”), and Jerry Orbach.
We come back across the East River to Calvary Cemetery in Queens, where we have Carmine DeSapio (Section 27), who was known as the last real boss of Tammany Hall. During his tenure, he was accused of having ties to organized crime and was influential in replacing unpopular mayor Vincent Impellitteri with Robert Wagner. The Wagner family is also in Calvary (Section 45), approximately 50 yards to the right from Governor Alfred E. Smith. Our final stop this month is New Montefiore Cemetery in Farmingdale, where we find Abe Beame (Section 4, Block 6), NYC’s first Jewish mayor and Ed Koch’s predecessor. Unfortunately, he was on the receiving end of the now-famous headline, “Ford to City: Drop Dead.” Yep – some strange stories. Again, I can’t thank enough the people who came with me on my journeys, and thank you to the folks at Green-Wood, who encouraged people to do the walking from the beginning.
(Text and photos by Alan Zarrow. The photo of Alan with DeWitt Clinton is by Miriam Mishkin)
Introduction to Judaism: An Exploration for Curious Adults begins 10/21/20
Join this 20-session course on Jewish life, thought and practice
Discover Judaism from an adult perspective
Become a more confident parent of Jewish children
Explore long-standing questions that you haven’t yet asked
Join this 20-session course on Jewish life, thought and practice
In a warm and open environment,
explore Jewish thought, prayer and practice,
learn about Jewish history and holidays,
wrestle with inherited texts and contemporary issues,
discuss Jewish views of God, ethics, life and death.
The curriculum is designed to give you access to concepts, vocabulary and observances that are central to Judaism. Explore the holy and the historical, inherited texts and contemporary issues, rhythms of the calendar and of our lives in this seminar-style course.
Rabbi Sue Oren, Instructor and Coordinator
This 20-session class meets on ZOOM
Weds eves, 7:00-9:00 pm or Sun eves, 7:30-9:30
(plus a virtual shabbat gathering with Union Temple)
first session: October 21st
$425 course tuition plus $25 materials fee
For registration & questions, contact Rabbi Sue Oren at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1.917.539.1334
This class is co-sponsored by:
BelovedBK, Brooklyn Heights Synagogue, B’ShERT, Congregation Mount Sinai,
East Midwood Jewish Center, Flatbush Jewish Center, Kane Street Synagogue,
Kolot Chayeinu/Voices of Our Lives, Park Slope Jewish Center, Union Temple
Dear B’ShERT family,
Attached below are PDF files of the prayerbooks we’ll be using for Yom Kippur. If you have a physical Mishkan HaNefesh prayerbook from the synagogue, you don’t need these files. Otherwise, these might be helpful to you. The pages will be displayed on screen, but they will not be visible when our cantorial soloist, Nonie Schuster Donato, is singing.
To keep file sizes manageable, there are three separate PDFs. They are numbered in the order of the services. Click each link to view or download the PDF.
File #1 includes Kol Nidrei (Friday 7:30 pm)
File #2 includes the Yom Kippur morning prayer service (10 am), then the Torah service on Yom Kippur morning, through to the end of the morning service (a continuation of the 10 am service).
Please be in touch with me or the synagogue office with any questions.
Shabbat shalom and g’mar tov.
What better gift could there be for Rosh Hashanah than some HONEY FOR THE HOLIDAYS? Coming soon for 2020!
This distinctive 8-ounce jar of kosher honey will arrive in time for Rosh Hashanah, decorated with a festive label, and will include a personalized card reading “Shana Tova—Wishing you a Healthy and Happy New Year.” This card also lets the recipients know that a donation has been made in their honor to B’ShERT’s Accessibility Fund. Your cost is $12.00 per jar + $5 shipping for delivery by the holidays (for orders after July 22, shipping is $5.50). We will gladly mail orders outside the US for an additional fee.
Our 2020 store is opening soon! When it does, click here to order & use code BSH to make sure B’ShERT is credited for your purchase!
2020 Chairperson: Karen Eichel
Dear B’ShERT family and friends,
Jewish tradition prioritizes pikuach nefesh, saving a life, over almost everything else. In this pandemic, we have been urging our congregants and friends to stay home, be cautious, and practice social distancing. This week we have seen many in our city and country congregate in protest, catalyzed by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police.
The protests are also about so much more. They are about the systemic racism that is built into our nation: the substandard healthcare, the systems that have prevented black Americans from building wealth, the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on African-American and Latinx communities, the disproportionate number of deaths of black Americans at the hands of police, the ways in which Americans are treated differently by the justice system, business owners, and individuals because of the color of their skin.
Those of us who are white cannot ever fully understand what the daily experience of people of color—Jewish and non-Jewish—is like. We can listen to and believe those who tell us what that experience is, we can read about it, we can learn, and we can stand with those whose lives are impacted daily by systemic racism, in ways large and small, obvious and subtle. I respect the grief, the rage, the sense of powerlessness, and the desire to be heard and acknowledged that led to the uprising of African-Americans across our country. I respect the allies—including some police—who have joined the marchers. I stand with them.
In this time of pandemic, it is risky to join protests in person. Should you choose to do so, please be as careful as possible not to expose yourself and others to the virus—wear a mask over your nose and mouth, and keep your distance from others. In your decision-making, take into account the others in your life who are at greater risk—older people and those with health issues.
There are also other ways to take action—write messages on your sidewalk with chalk; call elected officials and demand change; sign petitions; donate to organizations working for change; put signs in your window that reflect your beliefs; write an op-ed—these are some possibilities.
Black lives—both Jewish and non-Jewish—are not valued today in our country as much as white lives, and #BlackLivesMatter. Because our inherently racist systems lead to disproportionate, unjust deaths of people of color, working to change those systems also contributes to pikuach nefesh, to saving lives.
Please be safe and take care,
Dear B’ShERT Community,
We’re pleased to tell you that the June 2020 edition of the Voice of Truth is now available online.
The Voice of Truth team is now on hiatus until the September issue. Yours truly plans to take a break from VoT editing duties by reading novels and tackling a number of writing and editing projects. (The irony does not escape me.) The deadline for the September issue is August 20th; I’ll give you plenty of notice. If you’re inspired, feel free to send your submissions earlier. As always, direct all submissions to email@example.com. You may also reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I wish everyone a peaceful, enjoyable and healthy summer. I look forward to seeing many of you on Zoom and, perhaps in the not-too-distant future, back in our beloved Temple building.
Adrienne Knoll and the Voice of Truth team