The SCOOP

            The Happenings of Congregation Beth Israel
              December 2021

 I have a little dreidel, I made it out of clay. And when it’s dry and ready,  Oh dreidel  I shall play!!

Who doesn’t remember learning this dreidel ditty as a Hebrew school kid, or perhaps even teaching it to your own children and grandchildren? It’s a tune that seems to have always existed and passed down from one generation to the next. If you recall all the song lyrics, “I Have a Little Dreidel” describes the creation of the four-sided spinning top that is used to play the traditional game of dreidel during Chanukah.

What isn’t widely known is that the song was composed in the early 20th century by Shmuel (Samuel) Eliezer Goldfarb. Interestingly, he is the brother of the famous Conservative Rabbi Israel Goldfarb who composed another classic and timeless Jewish melody, “Shalom Aleichem,” that is traditionally sung in all congregations on Friday nights to welcome in Shabbat.

While he wrote ‘I Have a Little Dreidel” during the 1920s, Goldfarb’s song took some time to catch on. It gained its popularity in the 1950s when Chanukah started becoming more commercial and parallel to Christmas. There was never a single hit recording of the tune and its popularity simply spread organically.

“I Have a Little Dreidel,” also had a Yiddish version entitled “Ich Bin a Kleyner Dreydl,” written by Shmuel Shlomo Grossman. The melody of this version is similar to the English version, but the lyrics differ, describing a dreidel made of lead instead of clay and as the dreidel spins, the people join in and spin as well. 

As you welcome in this year’s Chanukah traditions, CBI wishes you and your family a joyous 8-day festival and a lifetime of Light.

Chag Sameach!!


I have a little dreidel, I made it out of clay,
And when it’s dry and ready, oh dreidel I shall play.

Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay,
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, oh dreidel I shall play.

It has a lovely body, with legs so short and thin,
When it is all tired, it drops and then I win.

Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay,
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, oh dreidel I shall play.

My dreidel’s always playful. It loves to dance and spin,
A happy game of dreidel, come play now let’s begin.

Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay,
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, oh dreidel I shall play.

Each week we come together in song, prayer,  and fellowship. Why not sponsor one of these beautifully enriching services. We are now moving back into the synagogue so that the sponsorship is back to the way we've always been the past 100 years.

Why not be the person who dedicates and sponsors a Shabbat in honor of a loved one. You will be acknowledged for this, both by the Rabbi throughout the service and your fellow congregants when you meet and chat throughout the week. You get to honor a loved one and CBI benefits from your generosity. Win-win.

Which Shabbat would you like to sponsor?  For more info, contact Marianne Baker at 516-489-1818.

And remember, our service starts each Shabbat at 10 AM.

Upcoming Events

The Rabbi Speaks

Dear congregant and friend,

As a new year beckons once again and we are heading toward the second anniversary of the Covid-19 pandemic, there have been, thankfully, markers and symbols along the way that have helped us cope with the stress and anxiety of the scourge that has upended our lives. 

Those markers have come in many guises, be it a family get-together in one of the several short-lived lulls of the pandemic; a joyous event that helped us forget the sorrow for a while; the vaccine that is the way out of this for us; or, perhaps, it was a religious and faith-based event that reminded us that the world and all that happens in it is so much more than the sum of its parts, telling us there’s something greater at hand, and a hand that is greater than us.

The Jewish holiday of Chanukah, which starts this Sunday night and lasts for eight days, is exactly such an event. A burst of spirit and warmth onto a world that can seem, at times, dark, dank, and uninviting.

In short, about 2,000 years ago, a small group of Jews, called the Maccabees, defended their right to practice their religious rituals against an oppressive regime (the Syrian-Greeks) that outlawed many of them. The Maccabees could have folded and resigned to their fate, but, no. They fought back valiantly, both militarily and with a war of ideas. And, despite the many odds, they won.  The victory culminated when they found a jug of non-contaminated olive oil with which to ignite the special candelabra (Menorah) in the Temple in Jerusalem, with the one-day supply miraculously lasting for eight (hence the eight days of Chanukah today, where we light an additional candle each night). 

However one sees the holiday, Hope is one thing that comes to mind. And Hope is the necessary ingredient for getting through our days, weeks, the year—and now almost two years.

Some see Chanukah as celebrating an ancient political victory, some see it as a religious triumph. Others view it as a time to connect with family, and some as a way of bringing more light into the world.

The most important and common factor is that all see the holiday as one that brings new light and a brighter vision for a better future. 

Like the vaccinations that have sprouted a beautiful vision of post-pandemic life, Chanukah sprouts a new spiritual perspective in our souls: We know we will live to see a better, more illuminated day (and night).

Chanukah is a festival that was born in the depths of darkness. All of Judaism—its culture, mores, customs, spirituality, and scholarship—was threatened, and the ones who cared most about losing it made a stand to defend and retain it. 

Ultimately, the Light of the spiritual parts of life won out. 

Today, as the vaccines have allowed us to see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel of darkness, let us all be hopeful that a new day awaits us, one of light, warmth, health, and peace.

A happy Chanukah and holiday season to all.

Rabbi Abe

Laugh & Chuckle

December Birthdays   
December Anniversaries
Alan Mantis
Steven Krull
Larry Rossman
Bianca Sosnovski
Ellen Rothman
Susan Bass
Marsha Mandel
Isaac Baruch
Lorraine Albert
Rosemarie Murray

January Birthdays   
January Anniversaries
  • Alan Steinger
  • Richard Sloan
  • Gail Broder Katz
  • Bernie Drexler
  • Edith Mishket
  • Sondra Bernstein
  • Joe Coppolino


  • Patty & Morris Rothstein
  • Bianca & Alexander Susnovski
  • Linda & Steven Kroll
  • Ilene & Robert Rothschild
  • Irene & Richard Sloan
November Yahrzeits

Miriam Pollack                       12-01 
Jacob Frank                           12-03
Theresa Frank                        12-06 
Sarah Fricklas                         12-06
Hanna Herscovcci                   12-06
Rabbi Harvey Weil                    12-07
Samuel Soblick                         12-08
Howard Mandell                        12-09
Melvin Zucker                            12-09
Meyer Widlitz                             12-11
Ina Abo                                       12-12
Doris Soblick                              12-12
Beatrice Janvey                          12-15
Don Nierenberg                           12-15
Simon Faver                                12-16

Bryna Newman                                12-16 
Erwin Shepard                                 12-16 
Allen Albert                                       12-17 
Morris Gerber                                   12-17 
Archie Weitz                                     12-17
Miriam J Maurer                               12-20
Tiffany Greenfield                             12-24 
Helen Alexander                               12-25 
Mia Rothschild                                  12-26 
Donna Block                                     12-27 
William Cahn                                    12-28 
Harry Beroza                                    12-30 
Freda Kantor                                     12-30 
Mildred Rappaport                             12-30 
Benjamin Soblick                               12-31


In Memoriam & Yahrzeits
Mazel Tov, Thanks & Wellwishers

Monique Reboh: (in memory of Nissan Reboh)
Susan Bass: (in memory of our beloved member, Ronnie Klein Leibman)
Kevin Brandes: (in memory of Hank Goldman and Ronnie Klein Leibman) 
Marianne Baker & Family: (at the Yarhtzeits of Leon Benedict (Nov.), Tiffany Greenfield (Dec.), and William Cahn (Dec.))
Claire Schoenfeld(in honor of my great-grandchildren)
Suellen Agulnick/Marriane Baker/Susan Bass/Judi Slatsky(Congratulations to Eli)
Marylin Kushner: (wishes for a happy b-day and anniversary to our Nov. and Dec. congregants)
Ilene & Robert Rothschild: (sending b-day wishes to Issac Baruch and Alan Mantis)
Joseph Pachman (good wishes to all the b-day and anniversary members)
Promote Your Business
Looking to promote your business, professional services, or the opening of a new venture? 

Consider supporting our synagogue by advertising in our monthly newsletter.
Please reach out to or 516-489-1818 for more info.


141 Hilton Avenue
Cathedral Gardens, NY 11550

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Beth Israel Congregation · 141 Hilton Ave · Hempstead, NY 11550-2131 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp