May 2011 Nisan 5771
Rejoicing over Bin Ladin’s death? One Rabbi’s Musings
A man who did great harm is no more. On Yom HaShoah, a day on which we remember the atrocities of the Holocaust and our communal pain, Osama Bin Ladinwas killed in a special operation by US Navy Seals. Like many of you, I turned on the tv and saw scenes of rejoicing and jubilation in New York and Washington. It was anatural response. As President Obama said: “Justice has been served”. I sincerely hope that families of those who have suffered from the tragic loss of their loved ones on 9/11 and throughout his campaign of terror now have some sense of closure, even though their pain continues. I felt a certain sense of relief that this man who demonstrated an utter contempt for human life was gone. And then I had a sense of dis-ease. I think I know why.
Reason #1: A teaching came to mind that I want to share with you – from a midrash connected to the Passover story. When our ancestors crossed over the Red Sea safely and witnessed the drowning of Pharoah’s army who had been in pursuit, not only they, but the angels, too, understandably rejoiced. The midrash teaches that the angels invited God to celebrate, but the Holy One declined, saying, “How can I rejoice when the work of my hands (my children) are drowning?” A different perspective: King Solomon wrote“When the wicked perish, there is a joyful song.” There are many more texts that capture the tension.
Bin Laden may be dead, but his cause certainly isn’t. It would be foolish for us to be overly celebratory and ignore responses from others who do not share our world view. As we learned from the Holocaust, heinous acts can happen anytime and anywhere in which we neglect to see the humanity of our fellow human beings. Maybe we’ll draw a little closer to one another, be a little more compassionate, a little less fearful? Maybe peace will now be just a little bit closer? The darkest times come before light….
In the last week of April 2011, a distinguished group of people wearing their finest apparel came together to participate in a solemn yet joyful time-honored communal event. The proceedings involved a respected clergy member, additional professionals, and the participants themselves. The day signaled the start of a future filled with promise. It wasn’t the Royal Wedding, but you’re forgiven for thinking so. It was, of course, the Kehillah Leadership Retreat. We didn’t wear hats, but some of us wore our Kehillah shirts – finery indeed! Our Rabbi, administrator, and most especially our excellent facilitator, Diana Hoyt, made sure we stayed focused. The result? A plan of action to help ensure Kehillah’s promising future. Getting on the invite list for a Kehillah leadership gathering is much easier than getting on a Royal Wedding invite list. With Kehillah, all you have to do is … something you like to do. Like to throw parties and meet new people? The Membership or Oneg Committees are the place for you. Like to hang out on Facebook? Read Elyse’s note (below), then go meet her & Jonathan on Kehillah’s FB page. Does a chill of pleasure run up your spine when you admire your well-organized shelves or work space? Join Toby and others on our High Holy Days Committee. Aching to do some good in the world? Read Amina’s latest Social Action report – and take action. You can reach any of us through the Kehillah office, 602-367-7667. For just plain fun, join your Kehillah friends at the VOSJCC’s Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration, Sunday, May 15 from noon to 4pm. Help staff the Kehillah table for at least one hour, and you’ll receive a Kehillah shirt of your own! Then, in case you do get invited to the next Royal Wedding, you’ll already have something to wear.
• Annie Braslawsce will play the
part of Mae Peterson in the
Starlight Community Theater
(Anthem) production of Bye
Bye Birdie, running June 9-12.
• Mazel Tov to the Hafalia family
in honor of their children,
Bradley and Hannah’s B’nai
Mitzvah May 28, 3:00. The entire congregation is invited
• Mazel Tov to the Morris/Sharfman family in honor of
daughter Rebecca upon her high school graduation.
We Need Your Updates
Dear Kehillah Community,
I am updating our membership roster and would appreciate
your help. If you have changed any of your contact information
since joining Kehillah, please let me know. You can
reach me at [email protected]
Thank you very much.
Administrator, Kehillah of Arizona
Thank you to all who helped make our Interfaith Passover
Seder a wonderful experience.
With special thanks to:
The Interfaith Passover Seder Committee
Ceil Siegel, Chair
Reisa and Warren Miller, for their generous assistance with
printing the Haggadot; the Staff of New Vision Center;
Sheri Fogel, for printing & set-up help
Calendar of Events
for more information
Wednesday, May 4 – 7:00 P.M. – Rosh Chodesh
Thursday, May 12 – 7:30-9:00
High Holiday Choir Rehearsal at Arlene Maletta’s
Friday, May 13 – 7:30 P.M. – Kabbalat Shabbat
Sunday, May 15-12:00 P.M. – 4:00P.M.
Yom Ha’atzmaut; celebrate Israel! Ina Levine
Saturday, May 28th – Shabbat Mincha Service;
B’nai Mitzvah of Bradley and Hannah Hafalia
Tuesday, June 7th – 7:30 P.M.-5:30 A.M.
Shavuot with Ohr Chadash
Friday, June 10th – 7:00
Mini study session, “Navigating the Siddur”
followed by Kabbalat Shabbat
Saturday, June 25th – 10:00 A.M.
Torah Talk-at the home of Sherry Siegel. Light
nosh at 10:00; program begins at 10:30
Gil & Lynne Blumenthal
Dr. David Hecht
Reisa & Warren Miller
Kehillah of Arizona
gratefully acknowledges the following
• A donation was made to the Rabbi’s Discretionary fund
in loving memory of Melvin Kirschler, by Irma Gottlieb,
• A donation was made to the Rabbi’s Discretionary fund
in loving memory of Melvin Kirschler, by Daniel and
Evelyn Simon, brother-in-law and sister-in-law
• A donation was made by Shelley Gilbert, in honor of
Lindsay Gilbert’s birthday
• A donation has been made for the May 13th oneg by
Marilyn Morris and Barbara Sharfman in honor of various
• A donation has been made for the May 13th oneg by the
Hafalia Family in honor of their children Bradley and
Hannah’s B’nai Mitzvah
Kehillah of Arizona extends our
Thank you to Diana Hoyt who led the Leadership
Retreat April 24. We most appreciative about the
guidance and learning gleaned from this event and we
are most excited about moving forward with new
committees being formed and new people coming into
leadership of Kehillah of Arizona.
Kehillah of Arizona extends
our Deepest Condolences
The community of Kehillah of Arizona sends our
deepest sympathies to Linda Feldman on the loss of her
beloved uncle. May his memory be a blessing.
Join Our Celebration
Dear Kehillah Family,
Our children, Bradley and Hannah, truly feel like they
are part of a community when they come to Kehillah.
We hope that all of you will come together as a community
to help us celebrate their B’nai Mitzvah on
Saturday, May 28, 2011.
We will gather together at 3:00 in the afternoon for a
Seudah Shelishit (a light Shabbat afternoon meal)
followed by an afternoon service during which the twins
will read from the Torah.
Please RSVP with Lesley Hafalia 623.341-9114 or email
at [email protected]. Please let us know if you will be
sharing this special day with us by Sunday May 15th so
that we can make sure we have the correct amount of
Lesley and Valentino Hafalia
Blessing Exhibits in Phoenix
An exciting interfaith project
that is looking for volunteers to serve on committees.
Are you interested in becoming more involved in your
Kehillah community? New committees are being formed
and meetings scheduled. If you’re interested, please contact
any of the following people; we’d love to work with you!
High Holiday Days Committee – Toby Gerst
Membership Committee – Arlene Maletta and Elyse
Caring Committee – Reisa Miller
Hospitality Committee – Ev Simon
KEHILLAH IS GOING TO
ISRAEL AND YOU ARE
Did you know that our Rabbi had been a tour guide in
Israel? Join Rabbi Sharfman and your Kehillah friends on a
fabulous, one of a kind Israel trip next Spring (2012).
Highlights will include a Kabbalah experience in Tzefat, an
authentic Bedouin experience, a Middle Eastern feast, a
jeep tour in the Dead Sea area, optional hiking in Ein Gedi
and add-ons to Eilat and Petra and much more (you know
our Rabbi…). Please let Rabbi or Ceil Siegel know of your
interest. We’re picking dates now and focusing on March-
Do you use Quark?
If you don’t know what this question means, don’t worry
about it! But if you do use Quark, please contact Sherry at
SIGN UP for Kehillah’s
Board of Directors
Rabbi Bonnie Sharfman
Cantor Seth Ettinger
Sherry Siegel, President
Ceil Siegel, VP for Programming
Evelyn Simon, VP for Hospitality
Alan Hirsh, VP for Education
Lindsay Gilbert, Secretary
Dan Simon, Treasurer
Bob Liebman, Immediate Past President
Our Mailing Address:
10810 North Tatum Blvd., Suite 102-308, Phoenix, AZ 85028
For general information, please e-mail [email protected].
To contact Rabbi Sharfman, please e-mail [email protected]
Services held at:
New Vision Center 18010 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85028
New Kehillah of Arizona