Beth Shalom Logo
A Reform Synagogue that Honors Tradition
April 2018 • Nisan/Iyyar 5778 
Volume 80.07
Beth Shalom Stained Glass
 
 

Rabbi's Message

Alan Dershowitz tells this old joke about two Jews in a Vienna café in the 1930s. One of them is reading the Yiddish newspaper, while the other one peruses Der Stürmer, the Nazi propaganda organ. The Jew reading the Yiddish newspapers asks accusingly “Why are you reading that Nazi rag?” The other Jew responds: “I used to read the Yiddish newspaper, and all it talked about was how Jews are suffering, being fired from their jobs, being subject to pogroms, and starving. 
Now I read in the Nazi newspaper that we control the world. I prefer the good news!”
This injects a bit of levity into a very heavy topic, one that many of us would, perhaps, prefer to ignore. How much easier it is to focus on the good and pretend that the bad doesn’t exist!? 
 
Especially now...as the weather is warming up, the period of our People’s Passover Liberation is upon us, the prospects of summer shaping up in various ways. There are so many things to look forward to with anticipation and excitement!
 
Of course, the Jewish People are schooled in both blessings and curses, and this is one of those seasons to remind ourselves of this fact. Passover begins a period of introspection, a period of 49 days of counting, culminating with the holiday of Shavuot. We think of where we have been, and where we would like to go. 
 
We think of our People’s past, symbolized by the Exodus from Egypt, and the journey toward the future, symbolized by revelation at Sinai during Shavuot. We think of the promise, the pitfalls, and the perils along the way. On the top of that list must be the Shoah, the Holocaust, the crime against humanity that decimated world Jewry and placed a black stain on all of mankind. 
 
We will commemorate Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, together as a community on Sunday, April 8th at 4pm. I ask you to please consider joining us in this critical community event. Last year our numbers were not where they could have been, and it felt lacking. Given that we are hosting this event in our Beth Shalom House, we would like to see a significant reversal of this. 
 
The entire Baton Rouge Jewish Community, as well as our non-Jewish friends and neighbors will join together in unity and memory. Together, we will contemplate the 6 Million worlds that were taken from us. Together, we will commit ourselves to upholding their legacy. Together, we will fulfill the Jewish mitzvah of Zachor, Remembering. 
 
After all, remembering is not just the absence of forgetting...it takes an active decision to remember and to educate. By not averting our gaze from the harsh reality of the past, we insure our blessings in the future. 
 
Speaking of this, I send you all blessings for health, success and love in this holiday season. As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me if you need anything. See you for our community Seder, as well as on April 8th!
 
L’Shalom,
 
 

Board Message

My first bulletin message is bittersweet. Aliza, Izzy, and I are moving back to Pennsylvania in the late Spring as both Aliza and I were offered jobs from Penn State University. We are happy to move closer to our parents and siblings, and at the same time we are sad to leave our Baton Rouge and Beth Shalom community. I’ve lived in many places as an adult, which has consequently meant I’ve had to move a lot. My perspective on a move is that it should always be bittersweet: it is important to look forward to new opportunities while at the same time appreciate the place you are leaving. In that vein, I’d like to reflect on my time in Baton Rouge with a focus on the role of Beth Shalom in our lives. I’ll move in and out of the plural tense because many of these thoughts are shared with my wife, Aliza.
 
One of initial introductions to the Beth Shalom community was having pre-Yom Kippur dinner at the Posner’s house the year that we arrived. We experienced Southern Jewish hospitality for the first time, immediately feeling comfortable and at ease. In attendance were a group of Jewish young adults who were also new to the area, and several of them became our best friends in Baton Rouge. That early hospitality set the foundation for our social life here and we are incredibly grateful to Linda and Mark for welcoming us to Baton Rouge. It also exemplifies the caring and giving nature of the Beth Shalom community. We had a lot of life changes while in Baton Rouge, both happy and sad, and Beth Shalom played an important role in navigating those events. We are so grateful to Rabbi Natan and everyone who contributes to Beth Shalom’s warm environment to share life’s joys and cope with life’s hardships. I also need to say thanks to everyone who made the Corned Beef Sandwich sale a resounding success!!
 
However, there are always ways to improve. From being on the board I see that Rabbi Natan and community leaders are constantly working to develop new programs that engage the congregation. This is great, but there is a risk of spreading resources too thin. The development of programs requires input from the community regarding which existing programs are valued and what needs are not being met. Additionally, the continued success of programs requires attendance and volunteers from the congregation. I urge you to provide feedback to Natan and board members about what is working and what is not, and then support the programs you enjoy. There are many demands on ones’ time, and maybe the next instance you are on the fence about attending a Beth Shalom event – be it services or Seder – think about all that you get our of Beth Shalom and remember that it depends on your involvement. These are issues that I am working on in my own life so hopefully we’ll also be around more to see all of you before we leave.
 
Shalom Aleichem,
Danny Brent
 
 

Brotherhood

The next Brotherhood workday is scheduled for April 22nd. We will be going on the roof to remove leaves and clear drains. Also, we may work in the Synagogue's vegetable and fruit Garden of Eden and whatever else Steven may have on his agenda. Be prepared to grunt!
 
I have been in touch with Rabbi Natan regarding the Israel Institute and how the Brotherhood can best contribute to this effort. Specifically, if you have good books on Israel in good condition, please consider donating them to this worthy endeavor. I have a couple that I am considering donating as well. In addition, we talked about the Brotherhood sponsoring a magazine or newspaper subscription from Israel. I hope to be able to update this in the next column.
 
A happy Pesach to all!
 
Gary Baum
 
 

Sisterhood

What a busy month for the BSS Sisterhood! Our 34th Annual Corned Beef Sandwich Sale went swimmingly. We ran out of corned beef around noon on Tuesday, which is always a good sign of a great sale! THANK YOU to all of our volunteers, everyone who sold sandwiches to co-workers, shared posts on Facebook or otherwise supported our sale.
 
Another big thank you for everyone helping us put on Saturday's 2nd Night Seder. Cooks, decorators, program coordinators, chair arrangers and more -- you are all very much appreciated. It will be a great event!
 
News from Sisterhood -- Congratulations to our own Laurie Maas, who was the keynote speaker at the Multiple Sclerosis Luncheon in early March. Mazel Tov, Laurie!
 
Shabbat candles are available to purchase at BSS. See Cathy in the office.
 
 

Rayner Center

March was a fun filled month as we learned about insects, spring, transportation, ABCs and 123s, colors and shapes, spring, transportation, Purim and Pesach. Rayner’s children celebrated Purim on March 2nd with a Purim parade down the hallways to Tot Shabbat with Rabbi Natan and Mr. Nick. The children displayed their costumes, the masks they decorated, and filled the hallways full of excitement and noise from their groggers and songs.
 
We also celebrated Passover with a school wide Passover Seder on March 29th. All who attended had a wonderful time learning about Passover. 
 
In the month of April, we will learn about Yom Ha’Atzmaut, dinosaurs, plants, ABCs and 123s, Jewish values and manners, colors and shapes, and participate in a science activity. Rayner will be closed April 6th for Passover.
 
Todah Rabbah!
Rabbi Natan
Steven Winkler
Cathy Melanson
Rayner Learning Center Council
Nick May
 
 

Hadassah

Greetings to all of you during this great Passover season. The Hadassah hospitals in Israel serve as our link to the original Passover story that took so many years ago. Hadassah’s mission is a living embodiment of the Hebrews’ plight and redemption in Israel.
 
Locally, please mark your calendars with the following dates:
 
April 15, 2018 4 pm-6 pm- Join us for a program that will answer “Everything You Didn’t Know About Hadassah”. We will also honor our local Woman of Year Ellen Bander for all the work she has done for Hadassah Baton Rouge. Keepers of the Gate and Chai Society Members will also be recognized. The program to be held at Galatoire’s Baton Rouge will feature some delicious hors d’oeuves and pastries. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions." style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-size: 14px;">add to calendar
 
May 6, 2018 1 pm-3 pm- This is a game day open to all to be held at Beth Shalom synagogue. There will be a children’s craft involving the creation of a pushkah box. Babysitting and snacks will be provided. Come with your favorite game or share a new one. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions." style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-size: 14px;">add to calendar
 
May 23, 2018 7 pm-8:30 pm- Join us for a book discussion at the Goodwood Library Main Branch. We will be reading “Dinner at the Center of the Earth” by Nathan Englander. This is a fictional account addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict wrapped in the guise of an international thriller. Please come and enjoy. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions." style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-size: 14px;">add to calendar
 
June 10, 2018- Special 70th anniversary celebration of the birth of the State of Israel. Join us for Israeli food and a look at modern day Israel.
 
More details will follow for all of these events.
 
Thank you for all you do for Hadassah.
 
Hadassah Baton Rouge
 
 

Federation

Henry S. Jacobs camp is our region's Reform Jewish overnight camp located in Utica, Mississippi serving the Deep South: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Western Tennessee. Since 1970, Jacobs Camp has been providing a caring Jewish community that builds young people. The opportunity to live as part of a close-knit community and develop new skills, assisted by dynamic and enthusiastic staff, coupled with Jewish values and the development of one's Jewish identity result in the experience of a lifetime.
 
The Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge is pleased to offer scholarships to local families to attend camp.
 
Complete the online application found here. We will receive it digitally. All information entered is confidential. 
 
In addition, for the 20th year, the Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana is offering the Goldring Family Foundation Jewish Summer Camp Experience Incentive Grant. This incentive provides up to $1,500 for a Jewish child to attend a Jewish not-for-profit sleep away summer camp for the VERY FIRST TIME. There are no need based requirements. Applications can be obtained by visiting www.jefno.org.
 
For more information please contact Ellen Abrams by phone at 504.524.4559 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
 

BaRFTY

 
Hi Y'all,
 
BaRFTY had a very busy month working hard to plan the Spaghetti Dinner and Auction for Abraham; selling dinners, buying groceries, planning activities and recruiting BaRFTYites with talent. Thank you to everyone who bought dinners; whether you took “to go” or ate in and to those who bid on our engaging auction. To say the event was successful is an understatement.  Together, we raised more than $2,500 for Dream Street! AMAZING!
 
Next on the list of events is Spring Conclave, April 20-22 in Memphis and our BaRFTYites are looking forward to making the trek up to the Birthplace of Rock and Roll to hang out with our fellow Southern Jews! If you would like to sign your teen up for Spring Conclave please click the link here. Registration ends April 11th.
May will be our final event where we will have an end of the year party to welcome new members, wish our Seniors well and have elections for the 2018-2019 BaRFTY Board.  We hope to see a lot of new faces.
 
BarFTILY yours,
Max Sager, Co-President
           
 
Beth Shalom in Pictures
 
Volunteers meticulously prepping sandwiches for our 34th Annual Corned Beef Sandwich Sale. 
Mike Patton receives the last corned beef sandwich.
 The Maas family celebrating Laurie at the Multiple Sclerosis Luncheon.
Support was strong for Laurie Maas as she gave the keynote address at the Multiple Sclerosis Luncheon.
Laurie Maas goes all out to support the Corned Beef Sandwich Sale.
 
Announcements & Reminders
 
We welcome any and all to come and worship with us at Beth Shalom.
Oneg Shabbat
Would you like to host an Pre-oneg? If so, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information and available dates.
Hospital Visits
We rely on you to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.?subject=Hospital%20visits">let us know when you, a family member, or friend are in the hospital or recuperating at home and would welcome a visit from Rabbi Natan.
May He who blessed our ancestors grant all who are ill a complete and speedy recovery.
 

 Within our Congregation

Todah Rabah... to Julie Hoffman for the Corned Beef Sandwich Sale advertising spots on WKRF; Lillia Berkowitz for our Corned Beef Sandwich costume; all of our brownie bakers; Mark Posner for donating gloves; Janet Bonaventure, Lindsey Burton, John Carlson, Elizabeth Clubb, Diane Dean, Francine Fisher, Laurie Goldfeder, Rachel Hausmann, Lynn Kober, Laurie Maas, Nick May, Paula Samuels, Gail Sherman, Edna Silverman, and our army of volunteers who came out Saturday, Sunday, Monday, & Tuesday to make this our BEST YEAR EVER! 
Need a ride to services? 
Please call or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Wednesday prior to the service that you would like to attend, and we will make arrangements for a ride to services.
Boomers + Jewish singles group
If you are a Jewish single over 45, you are invited to join our casual group for monthly coffee and conversation, synagogue and community service projects, and cultural activities. Please call Heidi Shapiro at 225-924-2597.
 
Donations
 
Thank you for your generous donations. Donations may be made to honor any occasion or remembrance. A full listing of all of our funds and a downloadable donation formare available on the Beth Shalom website. Donations via PayPal are also welcomed.
General Fund
In Honor of:
  • Lillia & Zac Berkowitz's new baby, Tessa Joanne Berkowitz — Miriam Bensman; Karen & Jerry Ceppos
  • Sarah & Sean Becnel's new baby, Rebekah Leah Becnel — Miriam Bensman; Karen & Jerry Ceppos
  • Ronit & Lee Savoy's Wedding— Karen & Jerry Ceppos
  • Ben Yaun's Bar Mitzvah — Karen & Jerry Ceppos
  • Laurie Maas as keynote speaker at Multiple Sclerosis Luncheon — Karen & Jerry Ceppos
  • Mark Hausmann for his leadership as President of Board at BSS — Karen & Jerry Ceppos; Laurie & Dale Maas
  • Mark Posner, great president to be — Laurie & Dale Maas 
  • Rabbi Natan! What a great job he is doing and looking forward to Israel trip — Laurie & Dale Maas
  • Michael Levine's 77th birthday — Steve Levine
  • All the CBSS workers — "Just a quick note to say 'thank you'. The CBSS was obviously a big success. Your hard work, while not always acknowledged, was certainly appreciated. You are the engines that make our little Shul run. Thanks so much for everything you do on behalf of BSS. Y'all are the best!!!" - Linda & Mark Posner
In Memory of:
  • My father, Saul Wexler — Harold & Carol Wexler
  • Harvey Hoffman — Paula Hoffman
  • Trudy & Eric Gidan— Susie Gidan; Maureen & Gary Kavalar
  • Sarah Maas — Karen & Jerry Ceppos
  • Steve Bensman — Karen & Jerry Ceppos; Laurie & Dale Maas
  • Sylvia Rusoff — Laurie & Dale Maas
  • Maurice Zuidema — Maureen & Gary Kavalar
  • Frida Zuidema — Maureen & Gary Kavalar
  • Carl Gidansky — Maureen & Gary Kavalar
  • Oma Gidansky — Maureen & Gary Kavalar
  • Adolf Heilbron — Maureen & Gary Kavalar
  • Cousin of Randy Goldich, Sharon Silverstein — Laurie & Dale Maas
  • Sister of Gerald Berenson and aunt of Laurie Maas, Sara Stone — Laurie & Dale Maas
  • Josh Bombet — Henry Spielberger
  • Ruth Spielberger — Henry Spielberger
 
Memorial Plaque
In Memory of:
  • Sylvia Rusoff — Marsha Rusoff
 
Adult Education
 
The​ Israel Institute is a deep dive into Israel issues of the day as we affirm our commitment to always keep Israel top of mind. This month, we will be discussing Culture and People and we will be kicking off our Israel Institute Interfaith Sessions. In these sessions, we will discover the beating heart of Israel as Christians and Jews come together to study, discuss, and share stories. Sunday, April 1 at 11 am This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-size: 13px;">add to calendar and Saturdays, April 7 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-size: 13px;">add to calendar and 28 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-size: 13px;">add to calendar at 1 pm.
Transformational texts
Join us as we travel through 3000 years of life-affirming, Transformational Texts, as Rabbi Natan presents his favorite passagestexts that have changed lives and enhanced our faith. This month, we will be discussing Chasidut. Wednesday, April 4 at 7 pm. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-size: 14px;">add to calendar
 
Days to Remember
 
Please visit our online calendar for the most up-to-date information about events at Beth Shalom and in the wider Jewish community.
April Anniversaries
11    Doris and Elton White
22    Alice and J. T. Meyer
27    Rochelle and Michael Beychok
April Birthdays
 2    Patricia Pizer
 4    Linda Brener
 5    Jerry Weltman
       Seth Deitch
 7    Bob Fields
 8    Matthew Saltz
10   Karen Ceppos
11   Robin Fletcher
14   Rachel Goldfeder
15   Howard Hershberg
16   J. T. Meyer
17   Paula Hoffman
       Henry Spielberger
18   Robin Ceppos
20   Samantha Litten
23   Cindy Levy
25   Roger Piha-Paul, Jr
26   Dale Maas
       Nick May
       Ara Rubyan
Yahrzeits
April 6: Minnie Safer, Cynthia Schwartz, Ione Gumelsky, Benjamin Kleiman, Shirley Reznikoff, Arlene Bishop, Harry Brown, Elson Fellman, Stanley Wertheim, Gustav Braun, Ida Knurr, Sylvia Robbins, Eileen Silverman, Abe Kaplan, David Snyder
 
April 13: Caroline Asinofsky, Tillie Blum, Sarah Ginsberg, Alphonse Weil, Bertha Weiss, Wilhelm Weiss, Sam Helfman, Ibi Markovits, Murray Efruss
 
April 20: Philip Brownleader, Mary Hirschmann, Rae Rutter, Yale Silverman, Beatrice Wolf, Hermina Kellner, Frank Reznikoff, Luisa Gonzales, Ann Sabin Kaplan, Jacques Piha-Paul, Sara Soroka, Salomon Wolff, Milt Chapman, Norman Chapman, Ted Rice, Pincus Bagalman, Mickey Clemens, Sander Sabin
 
April 27: Elizabeth Fink, Dr. Stanley Green, Ralph Holloway, Rose Ohlbaum, Joseph Saltz, Max Schwartz, Everett Smolinsky, Stella Dwork, Itamar Ram, Earl Suffrin, Dora Brianis, Natalie Feingold, Sarah Saltz
 
Special Events
 
Shabbat Yeladim
Join us for our April Shabbat Yeladim experience; featuring music & movement filled services, a KID-ish breakfast, and Saturday-PLAY time. Saturday, April 7 at 9 am. add to calendar
Jewish Journeys has partnered with the Jewish Book Council's National Jewish Book Clubs to launch Beth Shalom Synagogue's Book Club. Our book club will be a space dedicated to social, educational, and cultural enrichment through reading and discussion of contemporary books that span the Jewish world. At the next meeting, the book club will be discussing The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman. Following Shacharit Shabbat Saturday, April 28. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." style="font-family: verdana, geneva, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-size: 14px;">add to calendar
Shabbat Yeladim
Israel is turning 70 years young this year! Join us as we celebrate this milestone in Israel's history as we celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut at Beth Shalom Synagogue. Activities will include "Pin the Flag on Jerusalem", Magen David Handprint Art, and special guest storyteller Frank Levy! Click here for more information on Frank. Sunday, April 29 at 12 pm. add to calendar
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Visitors are always welcome!

5778ServiceTimes3

Let us show off our audacious Southern hospitality!

Latest News

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    April 2018 Bulletin

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    BSS Book Club!

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      The Israel Institute will be growing to the interfaith community with Israel Institute of Beth Shalom Synagoue Interfaith Sessions. Read More
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Apr
20

04.20.2018 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Apr
21

04.21.2018 9:00 am - 10:00 am

Apr
21

04.21.2018 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Apr
22

04.22.2018 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Apr
27

04.27.2018 6:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Apr
27

04.27.2018 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Apr
28

04.28.2018 9:00 am - 10:00 am

Jewish Songs For Kids (and kids-at-heart)

A YouTube playlist curated by our Music and Programming Coordinator, Nick May
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