Kehillah Connections

FEBRUARY 2011 / ADAR 5771

“Kehillah” means community

CONNECT WITH US! Kehillah of Arizonae-mail: [email protected]

Kehillah is full of surprises. Our most recent Kabbalat Shabbat services introduced us to members of Avdey Torah Jayah, the Mesa-based Hispanic Sephardi congregation led by Rabbi Yosef Garcia. We’ve started hearing the fascinating and moving stories of these “hidden Jews,” right here in the Valley, who struggle mightily to connect with and maintain their Jewish heritage. What a change from so many of us, for whom our Jewish heritage has been so accessible that we sometimes take it for granted.
At Kehillah, we DO aim to make it easy for you to participate, learn and grow, no matter where you are in your Jewish journey. But like Nachshon, the brave fellow who took the first step into the not-yet-parted Red Sea, it’s up to all of us to make the first move.
How easy is it? How about trying one of these: Come to just one more service than you normally do. ~ Take a reading in English or Hebrew, or an aliyah to open the ark, at services. ~ Try Torah Talk this month (Feb. 19th): I promise you’ll leave with more energy than you came with. ~ Tell our Hospitality Chair, Evelyn Simon, that you’d like to welcome people to services, hand out siddurim, or bring some food for our oneg. ~ Tell your friends why Kehillah is important to you, and invite them to services. ~ “Adopt” a siddur with a bookplate that honors a loved one or celebrates an occasion, or just because you love our prayers and texts.
Here are some more ideas: Donate to a fund that holds special significance for you (music? oneg? Rabbi’s discretionary fund?) or create your own, meaningful opportunity: For example, Reisa and Warren Miller decided Kehillah needed funds available for our Caring Committee, and with their generous starter donation we now have a Chessed Fund. (Thank you!) With your ongoing support, funds will now be available to help members who are in need or grieving.
Finally, I invite you to share your pride in Kehillah and support the community at large by joining me at the Kehillah table for the Jewish Federation Mega Event, Sunday, March 6, at the Arizona Biltmore, with guest speaker Stephen Dubner, author of Freakonomics. Call me if you’d like to attend.
Wishing you the courage of Nachshon, to take that next step in your Jewish journey, Sherry

On Our Calendar February

Kabbalat Shabbat February 11, 7:30 pm

Torah Talk, February 19 10:30 am at the home of Arlene Maletta, 5231 E. Muriel Dr., Scottsdale, AZ 85254 Your advance RSVP is appreciated but not required; last minute drop-ins are welcome! Call Arlene at 602-485-0661.

Kabbalat Shabbat February 25, 7:30 pm


Kabbalat Shabbat March 11, 7:30 pm

Purim Celebration March 20, 11:00 am – 2 :00 “Open Mind, Open Hands: Fulfilling the Mitzvot of Purim” See below for details!

Kabbalat Shabbat March 25, 7:30 pm

Visit our website,, for a complete, clickable calendar.

“Open Mind, Open Hands: Fulfilling the Mitzvot of PurimMarch 20th, 11:00am
Join us as we come together to celebrate Purim. Our celebration this year is “Open Mind, Open Hands: Fulfilling the Mitzvot of Purim.” It will be everything you’ve come to expect from Kehillah: unique, thought-provoking, and FUN. By blending ritual, hands-on creativity, teachings, and social action with a special banquet, we’ll properly celebrate Purim by performing four mitzvot: 1) hearing the megillah being read, 2) enjoying the celebration, 3) giving gifts of food to friends, and 4) giving gifts to the needy.

INTERFAITH SEDER Friday, April 22ndThe second Kehillah Interfaith Seder, held with our friends of New Vision Center, is one of our most popular activities. To keep our per person cost as low as possible, we are seeking underwriters as well as any donations for flowers, wine, and Haggadot. Watch for the flier with more details soon. Meanwhile, be sure to put this on your calendar now!

YOM HASHOAH – HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY SIX MILLION POINTS OF LIGHTSunday, May 1 is Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day. Please join Kehillah for a very special program, “Six Million Points of Light.”  Rabbi Sharfman will lead this exploration of the Holocaust, developed with our education committee. Through the program we will explore some of the darkness that the Holocaust brought to the world, and some of the points of light that tried to fill the darkness. Because of the nature of this discussion, we suggest that families who wish to bring children who have not yet been b’nei mitzvah contact Kehillah to get more information.

The community-wide Yom HaShoah Days of Remembrance observance will be held on Tuesday, May 3rd from 7:00 AM-7:00 PM at the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus. We are seeking volunteers to fill a fifteen minute time slot to read names of those who have perished in the Shoah (Holocaust). Even though the event is three months away, we appreciate you letting us know of your willingness to give fifteen minutes that day. Please contact Rabbi Sharfman if you will participate.


Dear Kehillah Family,
It’s always a joy to see you at services and to share Shabbat with you.
Thank you to those folks who have offered to sponsor an Oneg Shabbat in honor of a special occasion or someone special. It’s a gift to us all.
We are looking forward to honoring your dear ones and commemorating your important celebrations.

With pleasure,
Evelyn Simon,
VP for Hospitality

From Amina D’Ambrozio, Social Action Chairperson:
Reminder – we are continually collecting non-perishable foods for local food banks. Please remember to bring one or two non-perishable items to Kehillah Friday night services and whenever we gather at New Vision Center.

If you have furniture and/or household items for donation, please consider Furnishing Hope.  This amazing organization, started by Robin Manelis, sister of Kehillah member Marci Sheer, collects donations of furniture and household items and distributes them to individuals transitioning out of homelessness. They get referrals from agencies that help individuals transition out of homelessness into small apartments. Household items, linens and furniture are kept in two large storage units located in Tempe, Arizona until needed.
This is all accomplished by volunteers. Furnishing Hope serves Tempe and surrounding areas. If you know of someone who is in need of furnishings, contact us.

Visit the website at to see the wonderful things they are doing.
You may also contact Furnishing Hope by email at [email protected].Thank you! Amina D’Ambrozio[email protected]

Congratulations to Kehillah member Ellen Lerman, whose company, Chai Chuppah, was profiled in January 28th issue of Jewish News of Greater Phoenix
Kehillah members Evelyn Simon and Arlene Maletta are representing Kehillah in the Jewish Community Choir that will perform a Holocaust memorial concert on Sunday May 15.


Todah Rabah to Ellen Lerman for creating our beautiful new challah cover, a loving labor of her hands.

To Rabbi Sharfman’s Discretionary Fund
Arlene Maletta
Joel and Donna Cohen

In memory of Neil Sirotkin
Barbara Sharfman

In Memory of Earl Sharfman
Linda Farber

In memory of Norman Sobel
Larry and Audrey Sobel

In memory of Ethel Goldman
Reisa and Warren Miller

To the Kehillah General Fund
Jean Palestine

In memory of Arden Levin
Alvin Levin, OD

In memory of Jeannette Miller
Reisa and Warren Miller

In memory of Earl Sharfman
Jayne and Peter Behman
David and Susanne Sussman
Arthur and Diane Newman
Sylvia and Phillip Geller
Albert and Corinne Resnick
Carl Dubinsky
Daniel and Evelyn Simon
Toby and Steven Gerst

In memory of Neil Sirotkin
Muriel Antokal
Susan Schneider
Roslyn Braverman
Norma Rubenstein

In memory of Audrey Gruber Wallack
Penny and Lat Celmins

In memory of Norman Sobel
Nancy Therien
Phil Motta
Ester and Peter Zack
Dr. and Mrs. Eugene Sands
Sandy and Bob Russman
Leon and Fay Siegel

To the Music Fund
Evelyn and Danny Simon
Larry and Ivy Lesser (in-kind)
Ray Poland

To the Chessed Fund
Reisa and Warren Miller

To the Oneg Fund
Lois Kotin
Joel and Donna Cohen
Sherry Siegel
Clara Stander

For the Loved Ones in Your Thoughts The Kehillah Memorial Board is available to you to honor loved ones who have passed away. Our beautiful, lasting remembrance is on display at every service, just inside the sanctuary doorway. Engraved brass plaques are $180 each. Please contact the office to discuss your needs.  From Our RabbiI am available to you in times of joy and sadness. Please let me know when I can extend timely support and comfort to you and your family.– Rabbi Sharfman _________________________________________________________
KEHILLAH OF ARIZONA: Rabbi Bonnie Sharfman, Cantor Seth Ettinger  BOARD OF DIRECTOR: Sherry Siegel, President; Ceil Siegel, VP for Programming; Evelyn Simon, VP for Hospitality;  Alan Hirsh, VP for EducationLindsay; Gilbert, Secretary; Dan Simon, Treasurer; Warren Miller, Jonathan Seeliger, Bob Liebman, Immediate Past President  ADVISORY COMMITTEE: Amina D’Ambrozio, Gil Blumenthal, Lynne Blumenthal, Linda Feldman, Lesley Hafalia, Ellen Lerman, Arlene Maletta, Rebekah McCarthy, Alan Michels, Cathy Michels, Reisa Miller,Joan Sirotkin, Debbie Sobel, Amy Wasserman  EDUCATION COMMITTEE: Vicki Bates, Lindsay,  Gilbert, Lesley Hafalia, Rebekah McCarthy, Debbie Sobel, Amy Wasserman

Sally Oscherwitz, Administrator  Please send notices, photos, event or calendar information, volunteer opportunities, etc. to Sally Oscherwitz at [email protected] or mail them to the address below.  Kehillah of Arizona, Inc. is a duly incorporated 501(c)(3) under IRS law. Contributions are tax deductible. Please remember us for your charitable giving; every donation is greatly appreciated. To discuss major gifts, please contact the Kehillah office and ask for Sherry Siegel. Checks may be made out to Kehillah of Arizona and mailed to the address below.  To receive Kehillah Connections and other Kehillah news, please send us your e-mail address. We promise not to sell or give out that address. Kehillah of Arizona Mailing Address: 10810 N. Tatum Blvd., Ste. 102-308, Phoenix, AZ 85028Meeting Address: 18010 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85032   Phone: 602-369-7667E-mail: [email protected] (general); [email protected] (Sally Oscherwitz)      Website: