Monday, June 20, 2011

"Nit Yisrael" - an accurate name for a Reform temple

The "Mother Synagogue of Progressive Judaism in South Africa" deserves credit for being honest enough to publicly inform - at least those who understand Yiddish - that it is not a Jewish establishment.

A pity, though, that its English label isn't as truthful.
"Temple Not Israel" would be the correct translation for the Yiddish "Nit Yisrael", to describe that country's Reform mother-ship.
                                                                      Hat tip TN


  1. Surely you weren't taught to spell "nit" this way.

  2. Nit, nisht, nicht, nix and not - all mean the same thing when assessing Reform's connection to Judaism!

  3. I wonder when those progressives will realise that a nun and a beis are not interchangeable?

    OTOH, that reformer's mothership doesn't seem to have too much going on at all and obviously no one is looking at the website either.
    They are still advertising last year's affairs -
    >>>We invite you to be part of our warm Jewish family over the High Holy Days
    September 2010 —Tishrei 5771

  4. Meanwhile another reform temple bites the dust (BH)

    Teaneck loses a Reform shul as Beth Am holds last serviceBuilding bought by Orthodox congregation Shaarei Tefillah
    Published: 17 June 2011
    Shavuot was bittersweet for Cong. Beth Am, a Reform synagogue in Teaneck that never wanted to grow too big, but after 47 years grew too small to continue. Last Tuesday night the congregation held its last communal dinner and its last service, celebrating the festival while calling up memories, saying goodbye to old friends, and reuniting with former members and grown children of members who returned for the occasion.

    “It was very heartbreaking,” said Phyllis Betancourt, a member for 20 years. “Boxes of Kleenex were being handed back and forth. We all shared tears.”

    Beth Am’s 26 member-families are dispersing to three area Reform synagogues: Temple Emeth in Teaneck, Temple Sinai of Bergen County in Tenafly, and Cong. Adas Emuno in Leonia. Each congregation is receiving one of Beth Am’s three Torah scrolls, and at the conclusion of the Shavuot service the scrolls were removed from the ark and escorted from the building.

    Temple Sinai of Bergen County receives a Torah from Teaneck’s Beth Am. Michele Harris, chair of Temple Sinai’s transition committee, and Sheldon Burnston, Beth Am’s president, are pictured. Ophelia A. Yudkoff

    Three nights later, Temples Emeth and Sinai welcomed the former members of Beth Am in special ceremonies. Adas Emuno is holding its ceremony tonight.

    Before the Temple Emeth service, Beth Am’s president, Sheldon Burnston, discussed the music with Temple Emeth Cantor Ellen Tilem. “She incorporated a lot of the melodies that were our standard melodies into the service,” he said.

    Burnston, along with Beth Am’s Rabbi Harvey Rosenfeld, carried the Torah down the center aisle of Temple Emeth’s sanctuary up to the bimah, with their fellow Beth Am congregants following behind.

    “As it turned out, there were spaces for seven sifrei Torah in the ark. Ours made the seventh and filled the spot. The symbolism was quite lovely,” Burnston said.

    At the Temple Sinai welcoming ceremony, which Burnston and Rosenfeld also attended, Rabbi Jordan Millstein used the metaphor of a marriage to describe the union of the two congregations.

    “Rabbi Rosenfeld took the Torah from me, and he passed it to each Beth Am congregant to touch. Then they replaced the Torah cover with one similar to the others they used at Sinai and placed it into their ark,” said Burnston.

    The three Reform congregations will receive the proceeds of the sale of Beth Am’s building, in proportion to the number of members joining each shul. Burnston said that 15 families moved to Temple Sinai, 11 families to Temple Emeth, and two to Adas Emuno.

    In its last formal membership meeting last month, the congregation approved the sale of its building to Cong. Shaarei Tefillah, an Orthodox synagogue which has been meeting a couple of blocks away.

    “We are bursting at the seams and need space for all of our members,” said Mark “Mendy” Schwartz, the shul’s president. The 10-year-old congregation started out as a neighborhood minyan meeting in a member’s house and now boasts nearly 100 member-families.

    Schwartz said his congregation has been prioritizing possible renovations to the building, which will likely include “modernizing the sanctuary to accommodate an Orthodox minyan, fixing up the classrooms for our children to have a space for learning and prayer, and cosmetic upgrades to the social hall and kitchen.”

    If all goes well, he said, Shaarei Tefillah will hold its inaugural services in its new building on Rosh HaShanah.

  5. And a conservative one also dies

    Teaneck Jewish Center votes to install mechitzaBoard said shul faced choice between Orthodoxy or dissolution
    Published: 17 June 2011
    The Jewish Center of Teaneck voted Tuesday night to install a mechitza in its main sanctuary to separate men from women, completing the synagogue’s long transition from Conservative to Orthodox.

    The vote was 79 to 38 in favor, just more than the two-thirds supermajority required. This was one more vote against the change than a similar measure drew in January, but 20 more votes in favor.

    The measure was strongly urged by the shul’s board, which said that it confronted a choice between Orthodoxy and closing down.

    “The town of Teaneck is Orthodox,” Arthur Freiman told the congregation on behalf of the board. “We must make the change given the changing population of Teaneck,” he said.

    He also noted that in 2010 18 members died, while eight new members joined who were affiliated with the synagogue’s longstanding Orthodox minyan. The Orthodox minyan draws more members than the traditional minyan, according to the synagogue’s president, Eva Lynn Gans.

    When the mechitza is installed, the congregation will have only one service on Shabbat and holidays. An additional service with mixed seating will be held for the High Holidays.

    “It will take some time to implement,” Gans said of the change. “We need to think about how we handle it to make people comfortable.”

    Gans said she first came to the synagogue as a child, 60 years ago. At its peak, the congregation had 1,400 families.


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