I write these words for the final edition of the PTBAS Temple Voice during the Days of Awe. I am filled with awe and gratitude for the great blessing this congregation has given me, the chance of a lifetime - to be the spiritual leader of PTBAS, a caring and forward-thinking community, engaged in Torah and committed to upholding the highest ideals of our Jewish heritage. Thank you all for your faith and trust in me. I look forward to sharing the joys and burdens of leadership of our new congregation with Rabbi Heidi Hoover, who I have come to know as a warm, intelligent, devoted
and dynamic leader. I am certain that we go from strength to strength.
I want to thank everyone who made these High Holy Days of 5778 so very beautiful.
— Our devoted choir members, many of whom began rehearsing at the beginning of the summer!: Tamara Kerner, Janet Schlesinger, Ellen Birch, Frema Schneier, Mady Kaye, Ellyn Rothstein, Debbie Belsky, Jane Gleiberman, Suzanne Lechnos, Beverly Berkowitz, Frank Gonzalez and Manny Arnowitz. Vilma Manis and Grace Schneider, choir alumnae, sang along too. Milton Platt couldn’t sing this year because of health reasons, but I know his heart and spirit were with us.
— Our wonderful soloists, Aiden Dreskin, Jill Ballow and Arthur Fiacco, and our pianist, Maxine Feldman.
— Our shofar players, Jill Ballow, Anne Young and Miryam Coppersmith. Thanks to the Wilkow family for bringing Elliot’s shofar to display on the bima so we could all remember with love his mighty blasts of the horn. Thanks also to Miryam for leading us in movement meditation on the second morning of Rosh Hashanah.
— Joel Moss and all the ushers who make everyone feel welcome. Helene Smith and the hardworking catering committee who nourish us. Susan Sysler and the members of the social action committee who help us put our words into action. Fran Silverman and the ritual committee who make sure our services are participatory and dignified. Thanks also to our caring committee, for reaching out all through the year to congregants who are unable to attend services. Thanks are due as well to Ellyn Rothstein who meticulously kept track of the calendar and to Lillian Schwartz for her expert editing of the Temple Voice so that everyone could know what was happening when.
— Sondra Berkman and Angel DeJesus There are no words adequate to thank these two amazing people, but I’m going to try. Angel and Sondra are the kindest, most giving, most dedicated people I have ever had the great good fortune to know. None of what we have done at PTBAS could have been accomplished without them. It’s clear that what they do is simply not just a job to them, so the only possible way to explain their devotion to PTBAS, is that they are both truly blessings from God.
It will be bittersweet to celebrate Sukkot and Simchat Torah at 1515 46th Street for the last time. So let’s fill these days with as much joy and spirit as we possibly can, and then, like our ancestors, Abraham and Sarah, and with God’s help, we will “go forth” - “Lech Lecha” - to create a new, stronger more vibrant community which will carry the legacy of all our congregations forward through this century and beyond. Ki Tov! Tov m’od! How very, very good it will be.
With best wishes for a good and sweet year,
Cantor Suzanne Bernstein, Spiritual Leader