December 2022: President’s Message

High Holiday Message 2022 – How Can I Help? October 4, 2022

I have a confession to make…I watch way too much television. Between attending meetings and events, and,of course, reading books for the monthly book club, you can always find me at home watching gameshows, any Marvel Series, all of the home renovation shows, and every…single… Hallmark movie.

But one of my favorite shows is a
medical drama called New
Amsterdam. It’s about Dr. Max
Goodwin, a medical director who
provides his patients with the care they
require, no matter the cost.
In the show, before someone greets Max,
he says to them first, “How can I help?”. This
quickly becomes Max’s catchphrase; and every time he
says it in an episode, you know that even against all
odds, Max is about to make something happen.
So why am I talking about a television show on Kol
Nidre? Well, it’s because New Amsterdam reminds me of
Temple Beth Sholom.
There are many times when congregants approach the
synagogue leaders, and just like Max, we say to you
“How can I help?”. We listen to your comments and your
suggestions, and we answer your questions.
When you asked how you can sponsor an Oneg or
Kiddush for a simcha, we connected you with Eta Kaplan
and Andrea Smith;
When you inquired about how to enroll your child or
grandchild in the Hebrew School, we connected you with
Ellen Dworkin, Beth Messina, and Sandy Steiner;
When you had an idea for a program or were looking for
a group to socialize with, we directed to Sharon
Rosenblatt and Melissa Hammer from Sisterhood; Steven
Sosensky from Men’s Club; Ira Kleinfeld from Adult
Education; Marjorie Drucker and Debby Pines from
Social Action; and Jessica Engel and Rabbi from the book
When you looked for a way to stay connected with our
community when you weren’t able to be here in person,
we connected you with Judy Rolnick from the Staying
Connected Committee.
When you were worried about what would happen to
Zoom when the Pandemic was over, we reassured you
that Zoom wasn’t going anywhere.
But let’s take a moment to discuss what would
happen if the roles were reversed. You often hear
“How can I help?”, but how often do you say it
yourself? How often do you say it to Temple Beth
MORROW LONG: “How can I help?”
LAUREN PISCITELLE: Well, Morrow, I am glad you
asked. I know you have experience with security, which
is why you’re our Safety & Security Chairperson. You
have been helping us with grants. You wrote the $10,000
grant from the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven
which is in memory of Arthur and Yvette Eder. This
grant, which we have received for the third year in a
row, assists us in the weekly expenses for our security
Additionally, you and the Safety & Security Committee
helped Karen Kaplan write the application for the
Federal Non-Profit Security Grant. Many thanks to
Karen for all of her hard work on this grant; and also to
Jessica in the office for obtaining the final piece of
information we needed in order to submit the
We are still waiting to hear if we have been awarded the
federal grant; and if we do receive the full amount,
projects will include security film for exterior windows
and glass doors; bollards for the front and back entrance
of the building; a PA system; additional security
cameras; and a generator. We hope that the generator
will serve a dual purpose – to keep our security measures
operating if our power is unexpectedly lost, and allow us
to provide a safe place for our community.
HINDA PISCITELLE: “How can I help?”
LAUREN PISCITELLE: Well mom, I know you’re a
retired teacher and that you’re also a part-time tutor. I
always say that the youth are our future. This year,
there will be more programming for families with young
children. In addition to the October 9th Sukkot Family
Fun Program – which families can RSVP to Ellen
Dworkin – another project we are working on is Jewish
Education Loan Boxes. These loan boxes will each have a
special theme and include activities and picture books for
families to take home for a short period of time. So, mom,
we could use your creativity to put together our first box
with a Hanukkah theme that will be available in
DAVID SLOSSBERG: “How can I help?”
LAUREN PISCITELLE: Thank you for asking, David.
For the past few years you have been running a
campaign called the High Holiday Appeal. The money
raised from the High Holiday Appeal makes it possible to
expand programming and to keep us all connected. This
year’s High Holiday Appeal information was mailed out
last week. If any member mistakenly tossed their
envelope, we will be accepting donations on our website – Just click on “High Holiday Appeal”
located under the “Give” tab.

For two years, we have been sharing with you the history
of Temple Beth Sholom. We started as a Jewish
Community Center, became a synagogue, and
throughout the years we maintained an exceptional
Hebrew School and a constant membership. During our
recent anniversary celebration, we learned about your
journey at Temple Beth Sholom – what brought you here
and what kept you here. It’s because of all of you that our
community has been able to grow and adapt all these
If there is one thing you take away from tonight, I hope it
is this: Make this the year that you ask someone or even
ask yourself “How can I help?” Don’t wait to be asked
to join a committee or help at an event. I have shared
that we’ll be making some security enhancements and
creating educational boxes. These projects can’t be
completed without you. And, if there is something you
want to see at Temple Beth Sholom, share that idea with
one of our leaders; this is your community, too, and we
want to make sure everyone’s needs and ambitions are
met. And if you don’t know who our leaders are, there
will be opportunities throughout the year to meet and
chat with us.
I know that all of you can be like Dr. Max Goodwin, and
make something amazing happen here; and I also know
that like his medical team, we can achieve more when we
communicate, share our ideas, and work together to
support one another.
So now we have come to the part of the evening – which
will probably be the only thing you actually remember
about tonight – the President’s Award. The first award
was presented in 1991 by Jerry Borodkin to Shirley and
Sidney Steinbach. The purpose of this award is to
recognize a member who has gone above and beyond in
the service of our temple.
This year’s recipient has a long history with Temple Beth
Sholom. In fact, this individual’s parents were among the
founding members who formed the Hamden Jewish
Community Center. This individual had a bar mitzvah at
Temple Beth Sholom before the sanctuary we are in right
now was built and this individual’s children had their
simchas here. You can find this individual making sure
our AED is stocked and up-to-date; painting the lines in
the parking lot; adding your loved ones’ names to the
memorial board in the lobby, organizing the Machzor and
Yizkor Book pick-up for the past three years and tracking
down any unreturned books; assisting with Zoom during
services; constructing the temple’s 20×25 foot Sukkah
year after year just as his father did, and continuously
asking, “How can I help?”
So, 22 years after his father, Julie, received the
President’s Award, I am pleased to announce that this
year’s recipient is Larry Hyatt.
(Continued President from page 4) Thank you to the following individuals for all of their
assistance during the High Holidays: Jonathan Engel &
the Ritual Committee; David Margolis and Larry Hyatt
(Technology Team); Charlie Mendlestein & the Ushers
(Gary Matican, Marty Rudnick, David Stern); David
Margolis, Geoff Kanner, Deborah Wilkenfeld, Greg &
Shira Rosenblatt (Shamashes); Ellen Dworkin, Shira
Rosenblatt, Michaela Long, Rachel Scolnic Dobin & the
Teen Assistants (Jr. Congregation); Michelle Murphy &
Jo Ben-Atar (Email Communications); Michelle Lakin
(Tickets); Morrow Long & Jeff Krupel (Security); and I
apologize if I missed a name.
TBS President
Lauren Piscitelle