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Letter From the Chairman of the Board

Dear Friends,

As the month of Tishre comes to an end, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to those whose efforts at The Jerusalem Great Synagogue made the Yamim Noraim and Sukkot the inspirational and meaningful experiences that they were.  We thank Israel's Chief Rabbi, the Rishon L'Zion Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar who spoke before the first Slichot; The Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv-Yaffo, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau who spoke on Kol Nidre evening and Yom Kippur day; Chief Chazzan Chaim Adler; Maestro Elli Jaffe; Musical Arranger Raymond Goldstein; the Members of The Jerusalem Great Synagogue Choir; Ba'al Shacharit Professor Avraham Steinberg; Ba'alei Kriya Elli Jaffe and Simon Kresch, Ba'al Tokaya Rene Yitzchak Stein; Ba'alei Psukei d'zimra, Professor Menachem Steiner and Sir Ian Gainsford; our Gabbaim, Professor Menachem Steiner, Mike Goldman and Zalli Jaffe;, Chairman of our Emergency Response Committee, Professor Raphi Jospe; Chairman of our Welcoming Committee, Dr. Sheldon Abramson; our Director General Rabbi Finkelstein and a very special yasher koach to Israel Margaliot for all of his time and efforts in connection with the seating for the Yamim Noraim. We also thank Mr. and Mrs. Simon Kresch for providing the drinks to break the fast at the conclusion of Yom Kippur. Special thanks also to our Choir Member, Chazzan Avraham Kirschenbaum, who lead the services on Shabbat Breishit.  We are certain that our congregants and friends appreciate all that each one of these people does in helping to create an unforgettable experience for the Yamim Noraim and throughout the year at The Jerusalem Great Synagogue.

We extend our blessings of Mazal Tov to our Chattanim this Simchat Torah:  Professor David Latchman, Chattan Torah; Mikhail Bezeliansky, Chattan Breishit; Professor Arye Naor, Chattan Maftir; Tobias Berman, Chattan Kol Hanearim.  We also appreciate all of those who read the Torah on Simchat Torah so that aliyot were given to all of the men in the Synagogue.  We also express our gratitude to Alan Weichselbaum, who served as Gabbai of the Yom Tov Sheni Minyan for those from abroad keeping two days.

During the month of Tishre, we were delighted to sponsor and/or host several important events.  We are fortunate to be able to sponsor events of significance and high caliber: The Teshuva Drashot of Rabbi Shlomo Riskin and Rabbi Ari Berman; The Simchat Beit Hashoeva sponsored with Chabad of Rechavia and featuring the Piamenta Orchestra; The Jerusalem Conference for English Speakers sponsored together with B'Sheva, Atutz Sheva and Young Israel; a magnificent Art exhibition and sale of works by internationally renowned artist Itshak Holtz; the annual Leil Hoshana Rabba Lecture by Rabbi Dr. Avraham Twerski, sponsored together with Yeshivat Shaalvim; the all night Shiur in French on Leil Hoshana Rabba of Rabbi Joseph Sitruk, former Chief Rabbi of France; The Annual Mass Hakafot in Liberty Bell Park under the patronage of our dear friends Mr. and Mrs. Eugen Gluck in memory of Dr. Maurice A. Jaffe, z"l; our opening Motzaei Shabbat Mevorchim Social Evening and Lecture Program with the Vice Prime Minister of Israel, Minister of Strategic Affairs and former Chief of Staff of the IDF, the Hon. Moshe Bogie Ya'alon. We are proud that we are a dynamic institution with so many programs of Torah and culture in addition to our inspiring tefillot. These don't just happen and we rely on the generosity of our friends in Israel and abroad.  We hope that you will continue to support our Synagogue so that we are able to grow and serve the local and international Jewish communities.

I am pleased to advise you that Itshak Holtz now has a website. On it you may view many of the works, including those that were exhibited on Chol HaMoed Sukkot.  of this internationally acclaimed artist.  The website address is: www.itshakholtz.net  

This month's Lone Soldier Dinner, which is taking place this Friday evening (October 28),  is being sponsored by Jean Claude and Debbie Muller in loving memory of Avraham Moshe Richman z"l (1929-2004) and Chava Raphaella Kraemer (nee Muller) z"l (1979-2000).  Avraham Moshe was the sole survivor of his family and town.  His bravery, resourcefulness and courage helped him survive the war years. With great determination, faith and his constant smile, he, together with his devoted wife Edie, built a home dedicated to Ahavat Hashem and observance of Mitzvot and maasim tovim. Chava Raphaella was a shining light to all who knew her, and had a passion for life that was remarkable. The hardships that would have destroyed most people physically were overcome by her courage and faith. She was exceptional, and brought people closer to Judaism by reaching out to them in her unique way.  May their memories bring blessing to all and may we draw inspiration from their lives and deeds.  We are grateful to the Muller Family for memorializing these two very special people by being the benefactors of this month's Lone Soldier Dinner, assisting these young people whose love of Israel and the Jewish people motivated them to volunteer to serve Medinat Yisrael by joining the IDF.  If you are a Lone Soldier and wish to participate, please register at www.lonesoldiercenter.com or leave an SMS message on Josh Flaster's telephone number 054-3189474 by this Thursday, October 27.

Our next Motzaei Shabbat Social Evening and Lecture will be on Saturday evening, November 26 at 8:00 PM.  Our Guest Speaker, back by "popular demand" is Professor Daniel Gordis, Senior Vice President of the Shalem Center.  His topic is: "The Jewish Assault on Judaism in America – Its Origins and What It Might Mean for the Future of Israel."  The program is in English, a question-and-answer session follows the Lecture and admission is free.  Because of renovations which will be taking place in the Friedler Banquet Hall, the program will be held in the Main Synagogue.  There will be access to those who are physically challenged and we will have an enhanced sound system.  The entire community is invited.

Many of our readers may be familiar with the television program, usually broadcast from Jerusalem, "Tuesday Night Live" hosted by Rabbis Ari Abramowitz and Jeremy Gimpel.  You can see some of the past programs by going to their website www.thelandofisrael.com  Prior to Rosh Hashana they issued a video which we think you will benefit from seeing.  To view it, please go to http://www.youtube.com/user/thelandofisrael#p/f/0/ydwxy9yqhzM

We are happy to welcome our newest Founder Members, David and Vera Rosenberg, of Lawrence, New York.  We are grateful that they have decided to partner with us and wish them many more years of good health and happiness and a very constructive relationship with The Jerusalem Great Synagogue.     

We are delighted to note that our esteemed Board Member Ambassador Yehuda Avner's best-selling book "The Prime Ministers" will be the source of two films.  Moriah Films of Los Angeles, the film division of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, has acquired the rights from Toby Press to produce a documentary, which is scheduled for release in 2012.  Crystal City Entertainment has optioned the book to produce a dramatic adaptation for television or screen.  The book was a finalist for the 2011 National Jewish Book Award and was an Amazon #1 bestseller.  Kol Hakavod to Ambassador Avner.               

Mazal Tov to our Council Member and congregant Professor George Moschytz on becoming Dean of the Engineering Faculty of Bar Ilan University.  Professor Moschytz was heretofore the Department Head of the School of Engineering.  We congratulate him on his new position and are certain that, under his leadership, the school will grow and flourish.  

Mazal Tov to our congregant and Choir Member Zeev and Giselle Jaffe on the birth and naming of their daughter, Batsheva.  Mazal Tov to grandparents our beloved Elli and Jacqueline Jaffe, Elle and Ariela Guggenheim and Moti and Rachel Sonnenfeld and to great-grandparents, our beloved Mrs. Ella Jaffe, Marcos and Adina Katz, Moshe and Jenny Sonnenfeld and Claudia Guggenheim.  May Batsheva go to Torah, chupah l'ben Torah and maasim tovim and be a constant source of nachat to her family and to all Am Yisrael.

Mazal Tov to our congregant Toby Willig on the birth and brit of her great-grandson Moshe Chernofsky, born to Yehoshua and Chana Chernofsky of Jerusalem.  May Moshe go to Torah, chupah and maasim tovim and be a constant source of nachat to his family and to all Am Yisrael.

Mazal Tov to our dear friends and congregants Shuly and Orlie Rechdiener on the engagement of their son Micha to Yemima Hoffman, daughter of Chaim and Yocheved Hoffman of New York.  May Micha and Yemima go to the chupah b'shaa tova u'mutzlachat and share a long, healthy and happy life together as they build their bayit ne'eman b'Yisrael.

Mazal Tov to Jamin and Shana Koslowe of Bergenfield New Jersey and their entire family on the celebration of the Bar Mitzvah of their twin sons, Hillel and Yehuda Koslowe this past Shabbat at The Jerusalem Great Synagogue.  May these bnei Mitzvah continue to be constant sources of nachat to their family and to all Am Yisrael.  Our thanks to our dear friend, Rabbi Y.A. Korff, the Grand Rabbi of Zvhil, who delivered the dvar Torah on Shabbat morning.  

We were saddened to learn of the passing of Mr. Sasson Shalam z"l, of New York.  Mr. Shalam was a long time friend and supporter of The Jerusalem Great Synagogue and many other significant institutions.  We extend our condolences to his siblings and children.  We pray that they be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem and experience no further sorrow for many more years.

This week, at the completion of 11 months since his passing, an azkara in memory of Elad Riven is taking place at the cemetery in Nesher (near Haifa).  Elad was the extraordinary 16 year old volunteer fire fighter who, together with others, died while trying to save the lives of people trapped on a bus in the Carmel forest in the tragic fire this past Chanukah.  During the course of these past several months, the new group of fire fighting planes purchased by Israel was named in his memory as were the recently completed fire station in Nesher and the B'nei B'rith clubhouse for the  fire fighters in Haifa.  The Jerusalem Great Synagogue has dedicated a plaque in his memory on the Memorial Tablet in our Main Synagogue.  We pray that his parents, Emil and Zvia Riven, will find some measure of solace in the knowledge that his dedication to saving the lives of others will always be remembered.  May Elad's memory be a source of blessing to his parents and to all Am Yisrael.   

Together with all of Israel and good people throughout the world, we are extremely thankful to God that Gilad Schalit returned home after more than five years in captivity. Our prayers were with him and his family throughout this ordeal and we pray that he will be blessed with good health and happiness from now on.  Our hearts are also with those who were injured or whose family members were injured or killed by terrorists who have now been freed.  We continue to pray for the other members of the IDF who are still missing. Please also add prayers for Refua Sheleima for Aryeh ben Sarah Leah (Chazzan Aryeh Goldberg),  Leeba bat Mashe (Norma Fund), Amiram ben Reina (Amiram Benshimol), Chaim Ariel ben Vera Devora (Ariel Sharon),  Yehonatan ben Malka (Jonathan Pollard), Avraham Mordechai Hakohen ben Berta (Chazzan Avram Hilman), Yehonatan Moshe ben Devora Tova (Yonatan Tannenbaum), Amit Yehuda ben Malka (Dr.Amit Schwartz),  Avraham Yeshayahu ben Aviva (Avraham Yeshayahu Feiner), Shai ben Rachel (Shai Peltz), Miriam Rivkah bat Adina Leah (Miriam Strasberg), Yissachar Dov ben Peshe (Bud Silver), Avichai Avraham ben Sarah Miriam, Gitel Rivka bat Chaya Risa, Ephraim ben Sara Tikva, Chaya Aviva Sarah bat Adel Nechama (Alexandra Morgan Talbot) and Refael Michael ben Reitz (Refael Michael Rothschild). May they all be blessed with a speedy and complete recovery and enjoy good health for many more years.

Chief Chazzan Chaim Adler will officiate this Friday evening (4:40 PM) and Shabbat morning, Parashat Noach – Shabbat Rosh Chodesh (7:55 AM) accompanied by The Jerusalem Great Synagogue Choir conducted by Elli Jaffe.  If you are in our area, I look forward to seeing you on Shabbat.

Shabbat shalom and Chodesh tov.

Asher Schapiro


October 28-29 – Shabbat Rosh Chodesh – Parashat Noach – Chief Chazzan Chaim Adler will officiate on Friday evening (4:40 PM) and on Shabbat morning (7:55 AM) accompanied by The Jerusalem Great Synagogue Choir conducted by Elli Jaffe.

October 28 – Leil Shabbat Dinner for Lone Soldiers following Friday evening tefilla.

November 4-5 – Shabbat Parashat Lech L'cha – Friday evening (4:35 PM) and Shabbat morning (7:55 AM)

November 11-12 – Shabbat Parashat Vayayra - Chief Chazzan Chaim Adler will officiate on Friday evening (4:30 PM) and on Shabbat morning (7:55 AM) accompanied by The Jerusalem Great Synagogue Choir conducted by Elli Jaffe.

November 26 – 8:00 PM - Motzaei Shabbat Mevorchim Social Evening and Lecture – Speaker: Professor Daniel Gordis  Topic: "The Jewish Assault on Judaism in America – Its Origins and What It Might Mean for the Future of Israel."


Mr. and Mrs. Eugen Gluck

Dr. Felix and Dr. Miriam Glaubach


Congregation Shaarei Tefillah, Newton Center

Dr. Felix and Dr. Miriam Glaubach

Mr. and Mrs. Yerachmiel Koppel

Mr. and Mrs. Jean-Claude Muller

Mr. and Mrs. Elliott Tannenbaum

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