Condolences and Upcoming

Dear Ohev Tzedek Congregants and Friends:

We note with sorrow the passing of Minerva Nudell, mother of Carol Sherman, and Alberta Tosi, mother of John Tosi. May their memories be for a blessing. We extend our deepest condolences to their loved ones.


A reminder for those who have RSVPd: MSJS and Akiva students, families, and staff will lead a Kabbalat Shabbat service, following a Friday Night dinner on Friday, February 24, at 6 pm.

Saturday, February 25: Services (Torah portion: Mishpatim) begin at 9:45 am. A kiddush luncheon will follow, sponsored by Ron Zoldan and Alexandra Kane in honor of the birth and naming of their daughter, Gabriella Clara Zoldan. This Saturday is also Simcha Shabbat – join us to celebrate Gabriella’s birth and all of February’s happy occasions!

Ladies, keep your calendars open for the monthly meeting of the women’s Rosh Chodesh group – Sunday, February 26 at 6 pm at Phyllis Oresky’s house.

Join us in celebration of Shabbat Across America on Friday, March 3. We will celebrate with a Kabbalat Shabbat service and vegetarian potluck. Please bring your favorite vegetarian/dairy dish to share! We will meet in the Birch Hill Cabin in Mill Creek Park at 5:30 pm. This free event is open to the entire Ohev Tzedek congregation and their guests. Please RSVP to the OT office by Wednesday, March 1.

Help prep for Purim! Join us Sunday, March 5, at 10 am at Ohev Tzedek to bake hamantashen and fill mishloach manot boxes.

The March Board of Directors meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 8 at 7 pm.

The JCC will be hosting their annual Purim Carnival on Sunday, March 12, from 10:30 am-1:30 pm. This family event is fun for all ages. Enjoy food, games, a bounce house, face painting, and more! Come dressed in your best costume for a chance at a prize for best-dressed! For more information, contact Emily Collins at 330.746.3250 x. 152.

Temples El Emeth and Ohev Tzedek will be hosting our joint Purim Extravaganza and Megillah reading later that day (Sunday, March 12, at 4:30 pm) at El Emeth. A Megillah reading will take place at 4:30 with dinner and a celebration immediately following. Enjoy a full salad bar and hot dog dinner, featuring world-famous El Emeth Sisterhood hamantashen, a Purim photo booth, a band, prizes for all children, and a return engagement by our favorite balloon artist, Joe Sullivan! Come join your friends from Ohev Tzedek and Temple El Emeth for an evening of music, singing, fun, food, and surprises! No charge for dinner, but reservations are a must. RSVP to Temple El Emeth or to Ohev Tzedek by Monday, March 9. We hope to see everyone in costume!

Join us Sunday, March 19 at 2:00 pm at Ohev Tzedek for a showing of Flory’s Flame: The Story of Judeo-Spanish Musician Flory Jagoda. Flory’s Flame weaves the life story of 90-year-old Sephardic musician Flory Jagoda with her 2013 Celebration Concert at the US Library of Congress. Raised in a musical household in Bosnia, her family roots go back centuries before the Jewish expulsion from Spain in 1492. As the sole surviving family member after WWII, Flory’s mission has been to continue her family’s cultural legacy through their music. Her strength of spirit shines through her challenging but ultimately triumphant story. Please RSVP to OT office for the film and light refreshments by 3/14.

The Youngstown Symphony Orechestra will be giving a free Stained Glass Concert at Temple El Emeth on Sunday, March 26 at 2 pm.

Save the Date: The annual Ohev Tzedek Second Seder will be held on Tuesday, April 11, at 6 pm. Please see the attached flier/RSVP form for more information.


Adult Education

Current Classes

Please contact the Ohev Tzedek office if you are interested in any of these classes, or to suggest others. Unless otherwise noted, all classes meet at Ohev Tzedek.

The Sh’ma and its Blessings  Using Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman’s excellent volume in the My People’s Prayer Book series as a guide, we will explore this central prayer as an entry into exploration of tefilla, Jewish prayer. This class meets Monday nights at 7 pm.

Star Shlep: An Exploration of Short Jewish Science Fiction and Fantasy – Using Jewish science fiction/fantasy as the starship, we will explore the farthest reaches of the galaxy of issues of Jewish identity, survival, and development. We are now entering a new phase of the class and will be selecting a novel to read together. Now is a good time to join the class if you’re not already a Star Shlepper. This class meets Thursday nights at 7.

Beginning Hebrew – A beginning Hebrew reading class will continue to meet on Sundays – please call the office for dates and times.

Future Classes

Jewish Composers and Musicians from Biblical to Classical to Pop – A treat for the mind and the ears: we will learn about Jewish composers and musicians from King David to Carole King and listen to and discuss their music. How, if at all, did their Jewishness influence their music? Feel free to suggest composers and musical selections when you register for the class. Time to be determined.

What’s So Funny About Being Jewish? A Study of Jewish Comedians  Who doesn’t have a favorite Jewish comedian? Why has comedy been a Jewish occupation for so long? How could a people with an often-tragic history produce such a large number of really funny people? We’ll watch and listen to comedy routines both old and new and search for common threads. Time to be determined.

The Amidah – Using Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman’s excellent volume in the My People’s Prayer Book series as a guide, we will explore this core prayer to discuss tefilla, Jewish prayer, as a whole, and how Jews have ever understood our ongoing, evolving relationship with G-d.

Selected Books of the Prophets: Joshua and Judges – Read beyond the haftarot! By delving deeper into some of the prophetic writings, we’ll begin to access the wisdom of this crucial middle third of the Tanakh. We’ll start with the first two books that follow the Five Books: what happened once our ancestors entered the Land? Why are these two books so different?

Saying Kaddish – Using The Kaddish Minyan and several other excellent sources and classroom discussion, we will explore “the time after” a loss of a dear one; saying Kaddish can be far more than a rote exercise – it can be a path to reconnection with the past, a meaningful activity of the present, and an important link to the future.


JCC Events

Lunch & Learn: Get Fit with the Phantoms – Join us for a fun program where the Phantoms hockey coaches will explain the training the players go through to stay in shape for the hockey season. This event is free and open to the public. A light lunch will be served. Friday, February 24, 12-1 pm.

Dive-In Movie: Finding Dory – Friday, February 24, 3:30-5:30 pm. Free/member, $5/non-member.

Darlene’s Destinations: Rogers & Hammerstein’s The King and I – One of Rogers and Hammerstein’s finest works, The King and I boasts a score which features such beloved classics as “Getting to Know You,” “I Whistle a Happy Tune,” “Shall We Dance,” and “Something Wonderful.” Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British school teacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children. Price ($65/member, $85/non-member) includes orchestra seat, transportation, and tip for the bus driver. Dinner on your own. Sunday, February 26 in Cleveland; leave JCC at 11 am, return at 7:30 pm

Glee: After-School Edition – Students will sing, dance, and act to develop a mini performance with instructors. No experience necessary.  Wednesdays, March 8, 15, 22, and 29, 3:30-5 pm at the JCC. $30/member, $40/non-member.

STEM Education Program – Students will learn design thinking, use of CAD, and 2D design and participate in activities promoting team building, creativity, and problem solving. Space limited. Students are required to bring a laptop to this program. Mondays and Thursdays, March 13, 16, 20, 23, 27, 30, April 3 and 6, 3:30-5 pm at the JCC. $70/member, $95/non-member.

Movie & Lunch Bunch: The Boy in the Striped PajamasThursday, March 16, 12-2:30 pm at JCC. A light lunch will be served. $5/member, $7/non-member, $10/after March 13.

Bias in the Media: Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words? – A picture can be very powerful and at times paint an image that is bias and slanted. This happens often when it comes to Israel. Gary Kenzer, former media bias watchdog in Israel, will show us how a photo cna paint a negative picture. Gary is an expert presenter on the issue of media bias toward Israel and how to advocate using social media resources. He has spoken at hundreds of conferences and events, and has been featured on the radio and TV. The event is free and open to the public. A light dinner will be served. Monday, March 20, 6-7:30 pm at JCC. RSVP to Gon Erez at 330.746.3250 x. 159 by March 15.

Lunch & Learn: Colon Cancer Awareness – Friday, March 24, 1-2 pm at JCC.

Treasure Dive – Friday, March 24, 3:30-5:30 pm at JCC. Free/member, $5/non-member.

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This Week and Upcoming

Dear Ohev Tzedek Congregants and Friends:

Saturday, February 4: Services (Torah portion: Bo) begin at 9:45 am. 

We will be showing Before the Flood, Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary about global warming, on Sunday, February 5, at 1:30 pm. Before the Flood is an intriguing look at the evidence behind global warming, including interviews with major world leaders, as well as showing actual instances where the changes in environment are becoming obvious. Ohev Tzedek is showing this film as part of the beginning of a newly forming Social Action Committee. A discussion including Dr. Colleen McLean, Assistant Professor of Geology at Youngstown State University, will follow; Dr. McLean specializes in environmental response and recovery and is active in Friends of the Mahoning River.

Dance Lessons for Beginners: Join the fun and learn to dance with Lyndall McPhail. Learn the basic patterns to six different dances (swing, waltz, rumba, salsa, cha cha, and polka). Be ready when the weddings, festivals, and reunions start this spring! There are partner dances, but you don’t need a partner to come to class. No dance experience needed – everyone learns together! 6 weeks, starting Sunday, February 5, at 2 pm at Creekside Fitness Center in Boardman (membership to Creekside not necessary to attend class). $30/person for 6 weeks or $10/person weekly drop in rate. Continue reading

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Rabbi Oresky’s Sermon for January 28, 2017: Denial or the Nile?

Sermon for January 28, 2017: Denial or the Nile?

Dear Friends,

In last week’s Torah portion, Miriam watched while Pharaoh’s daughter pulled Miriam’s baby brother Moshe from his little basket in the Nile, then made sure that he was safe and would be cared for by his own mother, at least for a while. The Nile, the giver of life for the entire area, was intended by Pharaoh to be the bringer of death to newborn Hebrew boys – “cast them into the Nile,” he decreed in last week’s portion. But Moshe was saved through Divine and human help, or better, humans acting through Divine inspiration.

In this week’s Torah portion, Moshe must bring G-d’s first plague against the Egyptians upon the Nile, turning its water to blood. G-d commands Moshe to have his brother Aharon, not Moshe himself, hold his rod over the water, perhaps because he had been nurtured on and saved from that very water. While the Torah says that “they did as the Lord had commanded,” the text says “he (presumably Aharon) lifted up the rod and then struck the water in the Nile,” and the miracle occurred. In the second plague, frogs arose from the Nile and fouled everything on land. So it is safe to say that the Nile was crucial, not only in Egyptian life, but in that of Moshe as well.

We are no longer in Egypt, so we needn’t worry much about the Nile – our concern today is with “denial.” When the Israelites’ suffering under Egyptian slavery could no longer be denied, they cried out to G-d, Who sent them Moshe and Aharon. And when Moshe encountered G-d at the burning bush, he tried to deny his suitability to the task of leading his people out of Egypt, but his denial was countered in every way.

We, too, cannot afford denial at this point. We need to counter unreasonable political developments in every way that we can, to not try to stick our heads into the sand and deny the reality of what we can clearly see is happening. We need to look no further back than the early 1930s to see the folly of denial. Because if we engage in that kind of denial now, we might as well be floating on the Nile, but this time, who will save us?

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This Week and Upcoming

Dear Ohev Tzedek Congregants and Friends:

A reminder for those who RSVPd: The Lunch & Learn discussing Israeli Diversity will take place Friday, January 27, 11:30-1.  Israel has one of the most diverse societies in the world. Immigrants from various countries around the world have made Israel a multicultural country. Join us for a fascinating lecture as we learn about the influence that many of these cultures have had on Israeli society. 

Saturday, January 28: Services (Torah portion: Va’era) begin at 9:45 am. This week, we celebrate Simcha Shabbat. Please join us this Saturday in celebration of all of January’s happy events! Ladies, stick around after services to celebrate Rosh Chodesh at the group meeting in the social hall! Continue reading

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