Shabbat and Passover

Rabbi Sanford Seltzer and Rita Pollack, Rabbi’s wife (photo by Melanie Einbund)

Harrison Scheckler and Eliyanah Powers (photo by Melanie Einbund)

April 28 was our last Shabbat service until the High Holy Days. It was also the last service of our outstanding accompanist Harrison Scheckler. Harrison leaves us to teach at a university in Iowa. Harrison came to us not knowing Jewish liturgical music. He has learned this genre amazingly well. We will be forever grateful for his commitment, performance, and musicality. The community wishes Harrison well in all of his future activities.

The Institute for Judaic Services and Studies (IJSS) wishes to thank, as well, Rabbi Sanford Seltzer for providing spiritual leadership with enthusiasm and energy. We look forward to his leadership at our High Holy Day Services and ongoing Shabbat Services. Eliyanah Powers, cantorial soloist, has graced us with her melodic and spiritual voice over the past several months. We will welcome her back in September with great anticipation and enthusiasm.

Passover came early this year and was observed from April 5 through 13. Passover commemorates the Jewish people’s freedom from slavery in Egypt. Seders (meaning “order”) are held by many to recite and remember the story and give thanks for the freedoms we experience today. Of course, food is served, both ritual and the familiar. Baked goods with leavening are forgone during the holiday, and matzah (a flour and water mixture that is baked before it can rise) is eaten instead.

Interesting to know that Hasidic (Orthodox) Jews from Brooklyn source wheat for their Passover matzah from farmers in Arizona. Because of our limited rain (this year is no doubt an exception) allows for a stricter standard of matzah. Rabbis from New York travel here to inspect and to ensure the correct moisture content of the grain.

Our March Oneg (social gathering) celebrated the birthdays of Judi Friedman, Jerry Lankin, Bonnie Lasky, and Irv Rothenberg. To sponsor an Oneg for a special event, remembrance, or celebration. please contact Sherry Kaplan at [email protected].

Contributions to IJSS are always welcome. Recently we have received information that charitable donations can be made from your IRA account. There is an article on the IRS website titled “Reminder to IRA owners age 70-1/2 or over: Qualified charitable distributions are great options for making tax-free gifts to charity.” The article gives instructions on qualified charitable distributions. If you would like more information, please contact Seth Eisner, IJSS treasurer, at [email protected]. Of course, for any donation, please seek the advice of your legal and/or financial professionals.

Bonnie Lasky is the editor of Jewish Links, a newsletter of Jewish events, interests, and celebrations throughout the community. To receive a copy, contact Bonnie at [email protected]. Jewish Links includes IJSS events and happenings.

IJSS is a small and welcoming congregation. We value our members and their needs. If you have questions or wish to join our congregation, please feel free to contact Esta Goldstein at 520-825-1181 or Seth Eisner at 520-818-6340 for information.

We hope everyone had joyful celebrations of Passover and Easter, and wishing you a happy spring!