THE SHMOOZE - Bais Abraham Congregation

A Weekly Newsletter
for Members and Friends of
Bais Abraham Congregation
Hyim Shafner, Rabbi
Rori Picker Neiss, Maharat
Parshat Vayikra
Rosh Chodesh Nisan
21 March 2015
Candle Lighting 6:55 p.m.
Shabbat Ends 7:54 p.m.
(according to
This Shabbat and Bais Abe Events
Shul Office
(314) 721-3030
[email protected]
Rabbi Hyim Shafner
[email protected]
Maharat Rori Picker Neiss
[email protected]
Greg Storch, President
[email protected]
Kiddush Sponsorship
[email protected]
Shmooze Submissions
[email protected]
Davening Schedule
6:55 p.m. – Fri. Mincha/Maariv
9:00 a.m. – Sat. Shacharit
6:34 p.m. – Sat. Mincha, Maariv
8:30 a.m. – Shacharit
Monday – Friday
6:30 a.m. – Shacharit
Office Hours
Monday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Tuesday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Wednesday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Thursday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Friday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Cholent Kiddush
All are invited to a cholent Kiddush lunch following Saturday morning services.
IS-REEL Movie Night This Saturday
Come this Saturday evening, March 21st at 8:30 pm for the Israeli movie,
Children of the Sun. There will be a Q&A with people who grew up on
kibbutzim, as well as Israeli refreshments. All are invited! See the flyer in the
Shmooze for more information.
Preparing for Passover: Heart, Mind, & Spirit-Wednesday, March 25
Take a break from all your cleaning and cooking to focus in on the most
important Passover preparation: yourself.
Join Rabbi Hyim Shafner and Maharat Rori Picker Neiss this Wednesday from
7:30-9:00 pm at Bais Abe for an exploration of some of the deeper meanings of
Passover. Together we will explore Hasidic writings, Rabbinic teachings, and
Lunch and Learn Next Shabbat – March 28th
Next Shabbat we will be joined by Dr. Stephen H. Legomsky who will speak on
the topic, “Once We Were Slaves.” The holiday of Passover commemorates our
exodus from oppression and the beginning of our journey to freedom and
redemption. Yet, how many people in our world today struggle to escape their
own suffering? What options are available for those who seek freedom? Join us
for a study of immigration policies in the United States and Israel and an
exploration of Jewish understandings of refuge. The Lunch and Learn is
sponsored by Jessica and Michael Friedlander in memory of Jessica’s parents,
Belle and Jacob Kramer; Fawn Chapel and Alan Nemes; and an anonymous
This week’s Shmooze is sponsored by Alice Thomas.
Shalom and Welcome!
We at Bais Abe pride ourselves on hospitality and openness to Jews of all backgrounds. We strive to build a community
rooted in mutual respect and commitment to Torah values and Halacha (Jewish law). Please feel free to contact Rabbi
Shafner at [email protected] for any information that may be helpful to you. If you would like a place for a Shabbat
meal, our eager hosts would love to welcome you. Please email [email protected]
Bais Abraham
Board of Directors
Greg Storch
Gabe Douek
Vice President
Daniel Picker
Bais Abe Junior Book Club – Next Saturday, March 28
The Bais Abe Junior Book Club will meet next Shabbat to discuss the book
Stealing Home by Ellen Schwartz. Tefillat Yeladim will be at 10:30, and the book
club will follow at 11:15. For more information, see the flyer in this week’s
Dan Weisz
Phyllis Shapiro
Immediate Past President
Passover 2015/5775
Passover is quickly approaching. Go to the Bais Abe website,, for holiday details, directions for kashering
your homes, guidelines for shopping, and more.
Aviva Buck-Yael
Barbra Danin
Larry Friedman
Morey Gardner
Tessa Gardner
Barry Ginsburg
Alexander Griffel
Judy Hoffman
Harvey Iken
Judith Medoff
Alan Nemes
Roz Neuman
Michael Novack
Dan Scharff
Stuart Shilcrat
Alice Thomas
Rob Wasserman
Richard Wise
Bais Abe will not be hosting a seder this year. If anyone is looking for a place for
one or both seders, please contact the shul office. May everyone have a Chag
Kasher v'Sameach, a kosher and joyous holiday.
A Passover Gift for Bais Abe Members and Friends
Enjoy your coffee or tea with a brand new Bais Abe mug! We have mugs for
members and friends of Bais Abe. Pick up your Pesach gift at the shul.
Bais Abe Committees
We are currently recruiting members for Bais Abe’s committees. These
committees carry out essential work for the shul. The work of the committees is
done by volunteers and your help is needed. Working on a committee is a great
way to help the shul. It is also a great way to meet and get to know other
members of the congregation. Below is a list of committees with their chairs.
Please contact shul president Greg Storch, [email protected], if you are
interested in joining a committee or if you would like more information.
Finance – Greg Storch
Development – Dan Scharff
Membership – Aviva Buck-Yael
Programming – Barbra Danin and Phyllis Shapiro
Chesed – Fawn Chapel and Roberta Gutwein
Ritual – Alan Nemes
Building/Design – Barry Ginsburg and Tessa Gardner
Community Service Committee Meeting – April 12th & Volunteer Opportunities
The next meeting of the Community Service Committee will be April 12th at 10:00 am. We would like
to receive your suggestions for volunteer opportunities for Bais Abe members. These opportunities
should be fully organized existing projects which we can join with no financial expense. Please email
your suggestions to Alice Thomas at [email protected] or call 314-683-8333.
Also, on Wednesday, March 25th at 3:30 up to 4 volunteers are needed to create team captain
packets for the NAMI WALKS event at NAMI's Brentwood office. NAMI is the National Alliance on
Mental Illness. They also need volunteers to help set up the NAMI WALKS Team Captains'
Luncheon at the Hilton Frontenac Hotel the morning of Friday, March 27. Please contact Alice if you
would like to volunteer for either or both of these opportunities. Additionally there is an interesting
project at The Crown Center Kosher Café. The flyer is attached to the Shmooze.
Bais Abraham Joins AmazonSmile
Every time you shop on Amazon, you can benefit Bais Abe. Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of
your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. It's simple to
register. Just click on this link and designate Bais Abraham Synagogue as your charity of choice. Make your pre-Pesach purchases really count! Contact
Phyllis Shapiro [email protected] with any questions.
Passport to Israel
If you would like to sign up through Bais Abraham for Passport to Israel which will enable you to save
money and receive matching funds through the Jewish Federation for future Israel trips for your child
please click here:
Our Weekly Shabbat "Tefilat Yeladim" (Children's Service)
Our weekly Tefilat Yeladim is a wonderful opportunity to introduce
your children (or grandchildren!) to the beauty of praying with a
community on Shabbat morning. We use a special colorful
children's siddur with illustrations (by Koren publishers) that
familiarizes the children with the prayers they will hear in shul as
they grow up. Spearheaded by Caley Chill and supported by the
Benot Sheirut, services will be at 10:30 every Shabbat in the Bais
Abe auditorium. Tefilat Yeladim is sponsored by the Feen family
and an anonymous donor.
Shul Announcements
Bais Abraham’s New Website
Bais Abraham's new website is now live! A big thank you to Russel Neiss for all his hard work
redesigning our site. We are in the process of editing some content and adding pages. If you have
any updates for the site please send them to Jennifer Lorch, [email protected]
Passover Food Collection
There is now a blue food collection bin in the shul lobby. Please bring Kosher for Passover ONLY
items to place in this bin, which will then be donated to the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry.
Help others in the community celebrate Passover! See Marty Geller with any questions.
Volunteer Numismatist Needed
Do you enjoy collecting and researching currency? Bais Abe has a volunteer project for you! Please
contact the office for more information.
Bais Abe Building Access
If you require access to the Shul on a regular basis please contact Rabbi Shafner or Barry Ginsburg
for a side door code.
Shmooze Sponsorship
Bais Abe’s weekly newsletter, The Shmooze, is a community effort and can use your help. Sponsor a
week’s publication for only $10. Please contact the office for more details.
Bais Abe Board Meetings
Bais Abe board meetings are held on the 2nd Tuesdays of each month. All Bais Abe members are
welcome. If you have any questions contact [email protected]
Bais Abe Committees
Have something to contribute? Want to make a difference here in your own community? Take
action and join one of Bais Abe's committees. To find out more about joining a committee please
contact [email protected]
Support the Shul While Shopping
Every time you shop at Schnucks, you can earn money for Bais Abraham.
Our shul participates in Schnucks’ "Scrip" program. It's easy. Just show
your Bais Abe scrip card when you check out and your purchases create
automatic contributions to the shul of up to 3% of your purchase price. Our
mathematical consultant ran the numbers and estimates that if we have full
participation, the shul can make approximately $6,000 a year. Email or call
the office for a scrip wallet or key-chain card and begin earning money for the shul on your next trip
to Schnucks.
Do you “Like” Bais Abe on Facebook?
Find Bais Abe on Facebook at
Sponsoring a Kiddush at Bais Abe
Sponsoring a Kiddush or "Lunchish" is a wonderful way to mark a simcha or yahrzeit. Or you can
honor a loved one by sponsoring one of our monthly Lunch & Learns. Now, you can also sponsor
seudah shlishit for just $54! If you would like to sponsor (or co-sponsor) any of the above, please
contact the office or Kiddush Chair, Judy Hoffman ([email protected]). They will go over costs
and help you plan the Kiddush or lunch you want. Please help shul members plan ahead by letting
us know about your wish to sponsor at least 10 days in advance. Thank you!
Reminder: No perfume/cologne in the synagogue
Please refrain from wearing perfume/cologne in the synagogue because some of our members are
highly allergic. If you inadvertently arrive at the shul wearing any scents, please wash them off.
Attention: people with nut allergies
If you have a nut allergy, for your safety please assume that any foods or beverages served at Bais
Abe may contain nuts or have been prepared on equipment that processes nuts. Please feel
comfortable asking those in charge of food or beverages about their nut content and they will try to
provide it if possible.
Upcoming Kiddush and Shabbat Calendar
March 28
Lunch & Learn with Dr. Stephen
H. Legomsky
Jessica & Michael Friedlander in
memory of Jessica’s parents,
Belle & Jacob Kramer; Alan
Nemes & Fawn Chapel; and an
anonymous donor
April 4
Cholent Kiddush
Sponsor Invited
April 11
Cholent Kiddush
Sponsor Invited
To RSVP for an event email [email protected] or call 721-3030.
Halacha Highlight
Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Nissan – A Busy Time on the Bima
There will be a lot of activity during the Torah reading this Shabbat morning, with three Torahs
involved, due to the fact it is Rosh Chodesh Nissan, the first day of the month of Nissan. We will
take the three Torahs out and walk around the shul with them all (with women carrying them through
the women’s section). We will read the regular Shabbat parsha (portion – this week, Vayikra) from
first Torah, and re-wrap it. Then we will open the second Torah and read the special section that is
read on Rosh Chodesh (Bamidbar 28). After we re-wrap that Torah, we will open the third Torah and
read the fourth of the Arba Parshiyot (the four special Torah readings leading up to Pesach). It
comes from Shemot 12, and among other things, contains the rule of eating Matzah on Pesach.
This Shabbat is also when the law of the blessing over trees in bloom begins. This is a beautiful
blessing that we each get to recite only once a year – the first time after the first day of Nissan that
we see a fruit tree in bloom (Shulchan Aruch 226). Here is the blessing so you can be prepared for
when you first see a fruit tree in bloom! “Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech HaOlam shelo
chiseir b’olamo klum, u’bara bo briot tovot v’ilanot tovot l’hei’anot bahem bnei adam (Blessed
are You, Hashem our God, King of the universe who did not omit anything from his universe, and
created in it good creatures and good trees for the benefit of humankind).”
Jack Shapiro
Bais Abraham Learning-at-a-Glance
Basics of Judaism
Rabbi Shafner
“Torah on Tap”
Rabbi Shafner
Women’s Class:
Book of Shoftim (Judges)
Alternating between Rabbi
Shafner and Maharat Rori Picker
Midrash Tehillim
Maharat Rori Picker Neiss
Parshat Hashavua
Maharat Rori Picker Neiss
Women’s Torah Learning
Beit Midrash Chevruta
(Partner) Study
Deepen Your
Prayer Class
Time & Place
Mondays, 7:30 p.m.
at Bais Abe
Periodic Monday nights
see Shmooze for exact dates and times
Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m.
Gardner Beit Midrash
Wednesdays, 9:15 a.m.
Home of Leslie Litwack
Wednesday, 1:00 p.m.
Home of Adinah Raskas
Maharat Rori Picker Neiss
Wednesdays, 5:00 p.m. at Bais Abe
You and your chevruta (partner)
Wednesdays, 7:30 p.m.
in the Bais Abe Auditorium
Rabbi Shafner
Each Shabbat, approx. 10:15 a.m.
in the Gardner Beit Midrash
Shalhevet Women’s Kollel
Partnered learning + shiur with
Maharat Rori Picker Neiss
1 and 3 Tuesdays of the month, 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 pm
at Bais Abe
Hinenu Shabbat Study
Stuart Klamen
Each Shabbat, 1 hour before the printed mincha time
St. Louis Jewish Community News
Maos Chitim Fund
Each year the Vaad Hoeir collects money for those in need of extra funds to buy food for Passover.
If you want to donate to the fund please mail a check to: "maos chitim" Vaad Hoeir of St Louis, #4
Millstone Campus Dr. St. Louis, MO 63146. If you require monetary assistance for Passover and
would like to make use of the communities' maot chitim fund please contact Penina Glassman 7261021. [email protected] All requests will be held in strict confidence.
Interfaith Hunger Seder – March 25th
An Interfaith Hunger Seder will be held on Wednesday March 25, 5:30 to 7:00 PM at Ladue Chapel,
9450 Clayton Road. All are invited to learn more about the problem of hunger in the region and
beyond, as well as what can be done to help. Participation requires a canned food donation. Space
is limited and RSVPs are required by March 20 to 314-442-3871 or [email protected]
Chabad Student Association presents: From Auschwitz Survivor to Wash U. Student
Wednesday, March 25, 7 PM Graham Chapel, Washington University
Professor Eugen Schoenfeld (B.A. 1951) shares reflections on the Holocaust, morality, and the
problem of evil.
Eugen Schoenfeld was born in 1925 in the Carpathian town of Munkacs in what is now Ukraine. He
was raised and educated in the deeply rooted traditions of the Jewish faith amid a large and active
Jewish community. However, Hitler’s Final Solution would irrevocably change his close-knit family.
Having survived the ghetto and internment in Germany’s infamous camps, the young man
immigrated to the United States to begin to rebuild his life and complete his formal education with an
education at Washington University in St. Louis. He later went on to an illustrious academic career,
in which he chaired the Department of Sociology at Georgia State University, where he developed
the department’s Ph.D. program. Supported by Student Union of Washington University in St. Louis.
Eight Months Post-Ferguson: The Journey from Recovery to Rebuilding - April 16th
There will be a panel discussion, “Eight Months Post-Ferguson: The Journey from Recovery to
Rebuilding,” Thursday April 16, 7:00 to 8:30 PM, at the Sheet Metal Workers Local 36, 2319
Chouteau. The event is free and open to the public. Reservations are requested: Please contact Gail Wechsler at JCRC with any questions, 314-442-3894.
Community ListServe
The St. Louis Jewish Community has an active ListServe where members can offer items for sale,
ask for items or services, read about community events, and more. The ListServ is a perfect place to
offer items that you no longer need that someone else may enjoy. Many people benefit from such
posts. To become a member of the community ListServe just email [email protected] Posting is easy! Just email your post to [email protected]
Shmooze Classified
Wise & Scott, LLC
Certified Public Accountants
2333 Grissom Drive, Suite 106
St. Louis, MO 63146-3322
Phone: (314)569.0301 Fax: (314)569.0878
We are a full service CPA firm providing traditional
financial reporting, taxation and management advisory
services, including estate planning and real estate, tax
controversy and litigation services.
Richard M. Wise, CPA, JD
Kenneth Scott, CPA
Fabric Art by Berta for Passover
Get your order for Passover from Fabric Art by Berta. A donation will be made to the Shul with every
purchase. The matzoh cover with the afikkomen bag is $45.00 and the Apron is $22.00. Call or email Berta for more information, 314-725-7499 or [email protected]
Advertising in Shmooze Classified
You can advertise in Shmooze Classified for two weeks for $18. We have a readership of about
200. Please send text to [email protected] and a check to the shul office.
‫שלום שבת‬
Submit articles and announcements for publication by Thursday morning to [email protected]
Advertise in the Shmooze Classified section and on Bais Abraham’s website for two weeks for $18. For
further news and general information about our shul please check out our website at
The Shmooze© is a community publication of Bais Abraham Congregation, 6910 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis,
Missouri, 63130.
Hyim Shafner, Rabbi.