TSTI President Craig Krandel Annual Meeting 2015

 
It is an honor to have served this congregation for the past year and i want to say thank you for entrusting me with such a position. It is truly hard to believe that a year has already gone by. I must admit that when I accepted this position, the majority of comments that i got were, “are you nuts??”, “you must be out of your mind”, I have to say that it has been the complete opposite experience. I can honestly say that it has been one of the the most rewarding experiences of my life. To be able to work with and serve a community such as the one we have here at TSTI is not something that many others have the privilege of doing.

It has been a challenging year. One that faced many unscheduled meetings, holiday conference calls and difficult decisions and I must say, …

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TSTI Students Learn About Inclusion, Diversity with Artist Julie Wohl- from VillageGreenNJ.com

 

Religious school students at Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel in South Orange have just completed an art project based on the Jewish concept of b’tzelem elohim – “in the image of God.” The project was spearheaded by Mindy Schreff, director of the Reform synagogue’s Linda and Rudy Slucker Religious School, and artist-in-residence Julie Wohl, who led students age 5 through 13 on a creative journey that combined art with Jewish text.

Schreff worked with Wohl to envision an art piece that would represent b’tzelem elohim, a concept that is closely aligned with the school’s curriculum as well as that of TSTI’s Iris Family Center for Early Childhood Education, which fosters inclusion and diversity. TSTI is known in the wider community for its barrier-free building and commitment to serving students with special needs.

“We wanted to find a way for the students to express the idea of b’tzelem elohim visually,” said Schreff.

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Ten Minutes of Torah – Celebrating Jewish Arts and Culture

  

So proud Debbie Halpern, author of this article, is a member of TSTI. 

I understand why Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction last month. It is a beautiful, captivating and moving story. Set in World War II, possibly the most written-about period in history, it manages to cover original ground. The main characters are tragically drawn, rich, and full. Novels as well-written are few and far between and deserving of honors.

It is only upon reflection, and in context, that I find it part of a larger, disturbing trend of well-written, popular novels that cast the Nazi soldier as victim. Like the “must-read” contemporary World War II novel The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak, Doerr’s novel paints a sympathetic portrait of the Nazi soldier – the “everyman” German as the victim of a larger evil force.

What made The Book

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Sending Aid to Nepal

  
Dear Friends,

The news coming out of Nepal is more and more tragic with each updated reports. It is no surprise that Israel immediately set out to get relief workers on-site as has been the case with so many tragedies of this magnitude. The Jewish State is quick to offer assistance and, when such assistance is accepted, (which isn’t always the case), quick to follow through on the offer. It is also no surprise that Jewish organizations throughout America are putting together efforts to raise funds. Click here for a list provided by the Reform Movement.

One of the hallmarks of the Jewish community is that we look out for our own AND for those we may never meet. This is one such time. Any support we can give as a community will be truly impactful.

The Times of Israel offers some insight into Israel’s mission. Click here

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Worth Reading: Why I Require FBI Agents to Visit the Holocaust Museum

  

…I require every new FBI special agent and intelligence analyst to go to the Holocaust Museum. Naturally, I want them to learn about abuse of authority on a breathtaking scale. But I want them to confront something more painful and more dangerous: I want them to see humanity and what we are capable of. 
I want them to see that, although this slaughter was led by sick and evil people, those sick and evil leaders were joined by, and followed by, people who loved their families, took soup to a sick neighbor, went to church and gave to charity.

This article makes some interesting… and important points. It is definitely worth reading. 

Click here to read the full piece.

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 A TSTI Passover…

 

TSTI Rennasaince Group celebrates the second night of Passover at Giorgio’s in South Orange  …

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TSTI Hebrew High Seniors Share Their Plans

  

During the last night of Hebrew High for this year our graduating seniors shared their plans for next year with the rest of the Hebrew High. They also used the opportunity to thank Rabbi Miller for her years teaching them and directing Hebrew High and wished her luck in the new position. 

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Two Calls to Make Before Shabbat Arrives 

Dear Friends,

As Shabbat approaches I wanted to reach out over social media and ask you to make two important calls- one to Senator Menendez and the other to Senator Booker. The former is simply a call of thanks. The latter is a call to action. 

Some background:

 A number of news outlets are reporting that a framework agreement with Iran may be signed as early as this weekend. All indications are that serious concessions are being made by the P5+1 to the Iranian regime. These include weakening demands for inspections, potentially lifting all sanctions immediately, and allowing Iran to continue to operate the Fordow nuclear facility. (This is an underground, heavily fortified facility at a previously undisclosed location.) It is imperative that Congress play its historically mandated role and participate in the political process in order to ensure that any deal signed is indeed the “good deal” spoken

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Latest TOI Post- I’m an  AIPAC Activist Without Quotes

  

On March 1st, Rabbi Jonah Geffen, the Rabbinic Director for J-Street posted on Facebook what can be seen as a challenge to his fellow rabbinic colleagues who were about to attend the AIPAC Policy Conference.

Question for all my “progressive” rabbi friends at AIPAC this week. Especially those who have spoken out against the PM’s speech to congress. Are you going to to lobby congress if the issue is Iran and your assigned ask is for your congresspeople to vote against the President?

As The J-Street Conference with some 3000 delegates (1000 of them students) approaches, I revisited this post and came away with a few questions and new insights.

Read more: I’m an AIPAC Activist and Progressive Without Quotes | Daniel M. Cohen | The Blogs | The Times of Israel http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/im-an-aipac-activist-and-progressive-without-quotes/#ixzz3VKA2jS00 

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/im-an-aipac-activist-and-progressive-without-quotes/

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Must read- Apologies and the Arab Community

  

The President of Israel doesn’t have a whole lot of responsibilities, but one of them, when the job is done well and the holder of the office is well respected, has been to be a sort of moral and ethical conscience. In that light, President Rivlin’s suggestion that there is no place for such remarks in elections and the suggestions coming forth that Benjamin Netanyahu apologize to the Arab community for his racial and ethnic based comments should be appreciated and followed…

 Read the rest

http://weareforisrael.org/2015/03/22/apologies-and-the-arab-community/…

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