Congregants should read this important statement from the New York Board of Rabbis sent out on Sunday, May 31st, forwarded to us by Rabbi Patz.CORL STATEMENT ON THE DEATH OF GEORGE FLOYD
Posts by :
Remembering Lee Calem
Remarks by Rabbi Norman Patz
Visiting Rabbi, Temple Beth Shalom of Puerto Rico
To be presented by Rabbi Michael Holzman
May 17, 2020 23 Iyar, 5780
The members of Temple Beth Shalom of Puerto Rico receive the news of Lee Calem’s death with heavy hearts. For decades, Lee and her late husband Al were pillars of the congregation. They were members of the small group that founded the synagogue in 1967 and they remained
active for more than forty years, culminating in a co-presidency of the congregation.
I got to know them in 2007 when I first went to San Juan as one of the congregation’s visiting rabbis. Lee and Al welcomed Naomi, my wife, and me and made us feel comfortable. They told us stories about the congregation’s history and describing with their characteristic insightfulness the challenges facing the congregation as it transformed itself from an “Anglo” membership to one composed mostly of native Spanish-speaking Jews by choice, who brought amazing stories of their rediscovered Jewish heritage (or newly discovered love of Judaism),
reenergizing the congregation.
Lee was a good cook and a gracious host in their beautiful, art-filled apartment. Lee loved art and served as a brilliant docent at the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico, in San Juan. We were privileged to have her give us two full days touring the museum’s marvelous collection, regaling
us with fascinating stories and insights. And Lee was passionate about books and about politics.
She was a voracious, perceptive reader and a committed liberal. She was great to talk to – and to argue with! Lee always spoke her mind. You never needed to wonder about her political opinions or cultural tastes. But, to the best of my recollection, she made no enemies in the congregation and people were always eager to “come back for more.”
Although we never got to meet Lee and Al’s family, it was our great pleasure to see the many photographs of them all on display in their apartment on Luchetti Street, and to hear the stories. She was so proud of everyone.
Not long after Al’s death in 2013, Lee left the island to be near her children and grandchildren. She purchased a lovely home in Kensington, Maryland, where she became active in the community doing things she loved. When we visited her there, we saw how well she had made the hard adjustment back to the mainland without losing contact with her dearest friends of many, many years who remained in San Juan.
Lee was terrific. We loved her and were saddened to see how the years sapped her vitality and her vivid personality. On behalf of Temple Beth Shalom, the Reform Congregation of Puerto Rico, and personally, Naomi and I offer condolences to Lee’s children, Andrea, Douglas and Mark, and to their families.
HaMakom y’naheim…. May God console you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
Board of Directors of Temple Beth Shalom during Lee and Al’s co-presidency
From left to right:
Front row: Belkis Escribano z”l, Lee Calem z”l, Al Calem z”l, Marc Schnitzer
Middle row: Rabbi Norman Patz, Don Friedman Sue Klau, Ada Szeto z”l, George Mark
Back row: Arnold Benus, Arnold Gendelman, Jimmy Klau z”l, Alma Duran, Luis Sanchez
Holocaust survivor Francine Christophe tells a beautiful tale of the power of kindness and generosity in this clip from Human, the Movie.
In French, with subtitles in English and Spanish.
More information about the film can be found on their official website: http://www.human-themovie.org/
NATIONAL POLICE WEEK CEREMONY
February 16, 2020
Remarks by Rabbi Norman Patz
Delivered in Spanish by Luis Sanchez
I am honored to represent Temple Beth Shalom of Puerto Rico and our rabbi, Norman Patz, who has spoken at this ceremony in past years. Today he is leading a memorial service for the late Jimmy Klau, a founder and past president of the congregation, a prominent leader in the Puerto Rican Jewish community and in the island’s business community for more than 50 years.
Rabbi Patz sends his greetings to you. He regrets that he cannot be here with you today, but he hasn’t yet discovered a way to be in two places at the same time! He has asked me to share these thoughts with you.
In recent years, some people on the mainland have been displaying an unusual American flag in front of their homes. Instead of the normal red, white and blue colors, the colors of this flag are only black and white, with a thin bright blue horizontal line in the middle. This dramatic flag was created to show support for members of the law enforcement community.
The thin blue line is a phrase that refers figuratively to the position of police officers, the force which holds back chaos in society. The phrase is based on a poem by the English writer Rudyard Kipling, the author of The Jungle Book, Gunga Din and Kim. The poem, entitled “Tommy,” talks about “redcoats” – British soldiers – and the shabby and disrespectful treatment they received from the British people in peaceful times compared to the exact opposite way the soldiers were treated when war was raging, because they then became the “thin red line” of heroes, defending their country and its people.
Those British soldiers, those redcoats, may not be saints, says the poem, but they are the brave ones – the needed ones – when “there’s trouble in the wind” (cuando hay problemas en el viento). And so, the “thin blue line” represents police forces all across America. You are Puerto Rico’s “thin blue line.” You are the front line of government. You represent the law. You are out there every day in uniform. You are visible everywhere. So when people are upset by government misbehavior or inaction in the face of danger such as the recent earthquakes, and some of them take their frustrations out on you, that’s exactly the time your police training has to work: Proteccion, Integredad! In spite of your own fears and frustrations, you must work well. Especially when government doesn’t work well, YOU must work well.
The people of Puerto Rico are famous for their resilience when bad things happen, but the hurricanes and the earthquakes have worn our resilience very thin. People need to know that they can depend on you and trust you.
Sixteen hundred years ago, Rabbi Assi, who lived in the land of Israel, said that there were two kinds of justice: strict and compassionate justice. That, I suggest, is the religious prescription for our police: strict justice and compassionate justice. You must find the balance between them every day and in every situation.
Be the true heroes of Puerto Rico – la delgada linea azul de Puerto Rico.
Que Dios les proteja y bendiga en sus labores, tan sagradas para la libertad y la democracia.
CEREMONIA DE LA SEMANA DE LA POLICÍA
16 de febrero de 2020
Palabras del Rabino Norman Patz presentadas por Luis Sanchez
Tengo el honor de representar al Templo Beth Shalom de Puerto Rico y a nuestro rabino, Norman Patz, quien ha hablado en esta ceremonia en los últimos años. Hoy dirige un servicio conmemorativo para el difunto Jimmy Klau, fundador y ex presidente de la congregación, un destacado líder en la comunidad judía puertorriqueña y en la comunidad empresarial de la isla durante más de 50 años.
El rabino Patz te envía saludos. Lamenta no poder estar aquí contigo hoy, ¡pero aún no ha descubierto una manera de estar en dos lugares al mismo tiempo! Me ha pedido que comparta estos pensamientos contigo.
En los últimos años, algunas personas en el continente han estado exhibiendo una bandera estadounidense inusual frente a sus hogares. En lugar de los colores rojo, blanco y azul normales, los colores de esta bandera son solo blanco y negro, con una delgada línea horizontal azul brillante en el medio. Esta espectacular bandera fue creada para mostrar apoyo a los miembros de la comunidad de aplicación de la ley.
La delgada línea azul es una frase que se refiere figurativamente a la posición de los agentes de policía, la fuerza que frena el caos en la sociedad. La frase está basada en un poema del escritor inglés Rudyard Kipling, autor de The Jungle Book, Gunga Din y Kim. El poema, titulado “Tommy”, habla sobre los “abrigos rojos” – soldados británicos – y el trato lamentable e irrespetuoso que recibieron del pueblo británico en tiempos pacíficos en comparación con la forma exactamente opuesta a la que los soldados fueron tratados cuando la guerra estaba en su apogeo, porque entonces se convirtió en la “delgada línea roja” de los héroes, defendiendo su país y su gente.
Esos soldados británicos, esos abrigos rojos, pueden no ser santos, dice el poema, pero son los valientes, los necesarios, cuando “hay problemas en el viento” (cuando hay problemas en el viento). Y así, la “delgada línea azul” representa a las fuerzas policiales en todo Estados Unidos. Eres la “delgada línea azul” de Puerto Rico. Eres la primera línea del gobierno. Tú representas la ley. Estás ahí afuera todos los días en uniforme. Eres visible en todas partes. Entonces, cuando la gente está molesta por el mal comportamiento o la inacción del gobierno ante peligros como los terremotos recientes, y algunos de ellos le quitan sus frustraciones, ese es exactamente el momento en que su entrenamiento policial tiene que funcionar: ¡Protección, Integredad! A pesar de tus propios miedos y frustraciones, debes trabajar bien. Especialmente cuando el gobierno no funciona bien, USTED debe trabajar bien.
La gente de Puerto Rico es famosa por su capacidad de recuperación cuando suceden cosas malas, pero los huracanes y los terremotos han agotado nuestra capacidad de recuperación. Las personas necesitan saber que pueden depender de usted y confiar en usted.
Hace mil seiscientos años, el rabino Assi, que vivía en la tierra de Israel, dijo que había dos tipos de justicia: justicia estricta y compasiva. Eso, sugiero, es la receta religiosa para nuestra policía: justicia estricta y justicia compasiva. Debes encontrar el equilibrio entre ellos todos los días y en cada situación.
Sé los verdaderos héroes de Puerto Rico – la delgada línea azul de Puerto Rico.
Que Dios les proteja y bendiga en sus labores, tan sagradas para la libertad y la democracia.
Temple Beth Shalom cordially invites you to the screening of The Last Cyclist on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, produced by our very own Rabbi Norman and Naomi Patz! There will be a Q&A with the producers after the film.
Please call or email to make reservations, as spaces are limited!
The Last Cyclist, written in Terezín during the Holocaust, is a daring absurdist comedy in which bicyclists are blamed for all of society’s ills and systematically hunted down and murdered. The Last Cyclist’s anti-Nazi allegory was so overt that it was banned following its dress rehearsal. The script, nearly lost to time, was painstakingly reconstructed and reimagined by the writer and producer Naomi Patz, beginning in 1995
Filmed by Edward Einhorn, who also directed the play, The Last Cyclist allows audiences to bear witness. It is as if we too are attending that fateful dress rehearsal in the concentration camp. Amused, intrigued, distracted and thrilled by the not-so-subtle equation of Nazis with lunatics, we are still terrified victims of the murderous immorality of a lunatic and her followers.
The film is a remarkable new addition to the historical record of Nazi atrocities, as well as a fascinating artifact of Jewish defiance.
We have a very exciting announcement to make:
After more than a year of planning, our solar-powered electricity generation and storage system is now live! The installation of this system, which will not only help us reduce our electricity costs, but will also be of invaluable use after the next grid-collapsing storm, was only possible thanks to the generous support of the following institutions and foundations:
- The Jewish Federations of North America
- The Jewish Federation of Greater Metrowest NJ
- The Max and Sunny Howard Foundation
- The Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut
- The Fred August and Adele Wolpers Charitable Foundation
- The Natan and Sarah Blutinger Charitable Foundation
- The Blanche Lerner and Irwin Lerner Charitable Foundation
Special thanks go to:
- Edward Finkel, Regional Director, Jewish Federations of North America|Network of Independent Communities, for his invaluable assistance and insight immediately after the storm and through the ongoing years, advocating for TBS with the JFNA Emergency Committee and for his good counsel in connecting us to Peter Rosen and ProSolar
- Jon Borschow, of the Foundation for Puerto Rico, for his support, encouragement, and advice
- Rabbi Norman Patz, who was in residence during hurricane Maria, and who spearheaded fundraising efforts
- Rabbi Jon Haddon
- Stanley Gulkin
And finally, thank you to the amazing people who designed and installed the actual system:
- Peter Rosen, Kevin Alvarez, Brad Spernak, Brian Walden, Marcello Perez, Dan Chrisman, and the entire ProSolar team
- Walter Pedreira, Aldua Aboukheir, Manuel López, Alberto Cruz, Alejandro Rosa, and the entire CRT Energy team
Had it not been for all of their efforts, we would not have been able to proceed with this project. Words cannot express the enormous gratitude we have for their faith and trust in our ability to pull this project through.
Dir. Irene Orleansky
Join us on Saturday, April 6, at 6:00 PM for an evening of film and pizza! We will be screening Bal Ej: The Hidden Jews of Ethiopia.
Following this screening we will have a Q&A with the filmmaker in Israel via Skype.
Bal Ej: The Hidden Jews of Ethiopia
About the film:
Following a hundred year old account of the prominent Jewish Polish scholar Jacque Faitlovich, the film-maker travels to discover and explore a sect of secret Jews in Ethiopia. Named Bal Ej, craftsmen, for their artisan skills, they have been persecuted by their Orthodox Christian neighbors who slandered them as evil-eyed and hyena-people and have been deprived of the basic rights such as ownership of land, the reason for adopting crafts such as pottery, weaving and iron smithery. Fearing persecutions, they appear Christians outwardly, and practice Judaism in strict secrecy. The synagogues are hidden deep in the mountains and had never before been visited by strangers. Some of their ancient traditions trace back to biblical times and have been completely forgotten by the rest of the world.The film “Bal Ej: the Hidden Jews of Ethiopia” lifts the curtains of hundreds of years and reveals the history, customs and culture of this remarkable community to the world.
About the film director:
Born in Ukraine in a family of holocaust survivors from Poland and grown up in Russia, Irene Orleansky is an Israeli musician, producer, ethnographer and film maker. Irene dedicated the last few years to exploring culture, music and traditions of remote Jewish communities in Asia and Africa.
“Senbet Leyunat” – a song from the soundtrack of the film “Bal Ej: the hidden Jews of Ethiopia”
Amharic, Hebrew, English, with subtitles in English
There will also be entertainment for the children.
Adults – $10
Children under 12 – $5
You are cordially invited to join us for the first night of Passover! Come celebrate with us and enjoy a family-style Seder led by Cantor Dorothy Goldberg at Temple Beth Shalom.
Doors will open at 6:15, the Seder will begin at 6:30 P.M.
TBS Members and Associate Visitors: $40
Jewish Non-Members: $50
Children 5 and under: $20
Due to limited space, we are prioritizing members, associate visitors, their spouses and children only. Non-Members who wish to attend must be Jewish.
Spaces are limited so please make your reservation promptly.
For reservations or more information contact Temple Beth Shalom from 10:00AM to 3:00PM Monday through Friday at 787-721-6333.
We accept checks, cash, and VISA, Master Card and Discover.
Las puertas se abrirán a las 6:15, el servicio comenzará puntualmente a las 6:30 P.M.
Miembros y visitantes asociados del TBS: $40
No-miembros judíos: $50
Niños de 5 años o menos: $20
Debido al cupo limitado, estaremos priorizando a nuestros miembros, visitantes asociados, sus parejas e hijos solamente. No-miembros que quieran asistir tienen que ser judíos.
Tenemos cupo limitado así que por favor reserve pronto.
Para reservar u obtener más información llame al Templo de lunes a viernes de 10:00 AM a 3:00 PM al 787-721-6333.
Aceptamos efectivo, cheque, VISA, Master Card, o Discover.
In commemoration of the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, Puerto Rico has an exclusive opportunity to the memorable story of Eva Schloss, stepsister and childhood friend of Anne Frank.
Eva Schloss will be traveling from London to share her story of triumph and survival with the Puerto Rio community.
Like her stepsister, Eva went into hiding in Holland until she, along with her family, was betrayed, captured, and sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. Listen to her first hand account of the life of Anne Frank and the discovery and printing of her famed diary. Mrs. Schloss serves as trustee of the Anne Frank Educational Trust, has published three books about her experience in the holocaust and is the subject of James Still’s Play “And Then They Came For Me – Remembering The World of Anne Frank.”
This historic event is taking place Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at the Sala Sinfónica Pablo Casals (Centro de Bellas Artes de San Juan). It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear Eva’s holocaust story.
The Jewish community of Puerto Rico is thrilled and excited to share Eva and her story with Puerto Rico.
This is event is a collaborative effort undertaken by: Chabad of Puerto Rico, The JCC of Puerto Rico, Temple Beth Shalom of Puerto Rico, and the Jewish Federations of North America.
Sala Sinfónica Pablo Casals
Centro de Bellas Artes
Date: Wednesday, February, 20, 2019
Time: 7:00 PM
To Purchase Tickets:
Online via Centro de Bellas Artes box office
Online via Ticket Center
Tickets may also be purchased by telephone (787) 620-4444, in-person at the CBA box office or at any Ticket Center kiosk.