The TBI Tablet

March 2023

Adar / Nisan  5783
Rabbi Jan Katz
Melody Funk
Cantorial Soloist
Ira Keltz



Link to Health & Safety Guidelines for Attendance at all TBI Services
Link to Calendar of Worship Services
Friday evening March 3 -  Kabbalat Shabbat on ZOOM only
 7:00 -7:30 pm   Zoom Community Schmooze 
7:30 - 8:00 pm  Kabbalat Shabbat Service on Zoom only

Oneg Shabbat Sponsored by 
Lori and Ralph Reitsma
In Memory of Lori’s Mother, Ruth Kagen and her Grandfather, Kalman Alterman
Hana and Peter Berman
In Memory of Peter’s Grandfather, Sam Camann  

Saturday morning March 4 -  Shabbat Morning Service on ZOOM only 
9:30-10:00 am -  Zoom Community Schmooze 
10:00 am - 11:00 am  Shabbat Service
Special presentation by the artist Kimayo has been canceled due to weather
Friday evening, March 17 - Shabbat Hybrid  Service and
Reading of the Megillah
 7:00 -7:30 pm   Zoom Community Schmooze 
7:30 -9:00 pm  Service in the sanctuary and on Zoom

Oneg Shabbat Sponsored by 
Lois Kessin
In Memory of her Parents, Nat and Ruth Kessin
Judi Shapiro

In Memory of her father  
Thank you to our Oneg Shabbat Sponsors
To sponsor an Oneg Shabbat contact Sue Needleman
There is a railing on the right side of the bimah (behind the rabbi's lectern) 
which may be used for stability when ascending and descending for honors.
Return to Menu

Shenichnas Adar, Marbim B’simcha -“When the month of Adar enters, we increase in our joy” – so says this iconic message two weeks before Purim, which falls on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar, and this year on March 7.  We wonder what we are meant to say or do in the first half of the month to fulfil this instruction in the absence of further detail!  A medieval commentary, Ein Yaakov, re-imagines the expression to “When Adar arrives, we decrease mourning and increase joy.”  In Judaism it is an auspicious time to temporarily let go of or distract ourselves from all that plagues our hearts and souls at this moment in time, and to start something new – add some learning, or distance ourselves from some of the negative influences around us, in order to fully immerse in the joys and antics of the holiday of Purim.  Is this even possible given the almost daily acts of hate bias, vandalism and antisemitism that are so close to home?

We are all seeking effective antidotes to our fears and to this reality.  Perhaps the Book of Esther, which we traditionally read two times on Purim, once in the evening and once in the morning⸺so that we have a better chance of committing it to memory⸺can offer both a way to respond to that which brings us down and urge us towards joyous celebration and hope in the future simultaneously. 

In the Book of Esther, the antagonist Haman sets out to destroy the Jews after he becomes angered by Mordechai’s refusal to bow down to him.  Haman approaches the Persian King Ahasuerus for a decree to be issued to destroy the Jews.  Haman declares the antisemitic formula, saying “There is a certain people. . . dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of thy kingdom, whose laws are different from those of any other people and who do not obey the king’s laws (Esther 3:8).”  The Jews, Haman claims, are disloyal to their king because they are loyal to their religion and thus must be destroyed.  According to an article by Cantor Renata Braun, this argument has been used against the Jews for centuries.  Haman falsely accuses the Jews of being incapable of commitment to their own community and to their neighbors.  Ironically in the Book of Esther, King Ahasuerus’ life is saved by the Jew Mordechai from an evil assassination plot by palace eunuchs.

Purim’s response to what we can do to stand up against antisemitism is in the heroic courage of Esther, who risks her life to expose Haman to the king in order to save her people.  O’ that this strategy would work today, knowing that so many brave Jewish and non-Jewish individuals and institutions are indeed calling out the outrageous and vindictive acts of extremists, neo-Nazis, and conspiracy theorists, among others who continue to ascribe to the theme of “there is a certain people…,” often to deaf ears and not enough support or follow-up.

Contemporary scholar Yehuda Kurtzer of the Hartmann Institute and the eminent Rabbi Jonathan Sacks of blessed memory both offer powerful insights.  For Sacks, “Jews cannot fight anti-semitism alone.  The victim cannot cure the crime.  We have to stand together to fight hate; not Jews alone, but every single person who cares for the sanctity of life and for a free and just and tolerant society.  We must gather allies, because the hatred of Jews is the hatred of difference, which is the hatred of humanity.”  Kurtzer dismisses all the tactics of the American Jewish community that he deems ineffective in recent times: (1) calling out antisemitism in the party one doesn’t vote for inevitably widens the partisan divide and undermines a democratic culture; (2) taking to Twitter to name and shame antisemites, which results in amplifying and popularizing antisemitism more than it does to suppress it; (3) pouring dollars into protecting our institutions with robust security measures, which no one thinks will defeat antisemitism, but at least seeks to protect those inside those institutions from violence, albeit richer Jewish institutions will be safer than poorer ones; (4) trying to exact apologies or even fines from antisemites to get them to retract their beliefs; (5) being proud Jews, which only has the effect of making our commitment to Jewishness dependent on antisemitism as a motivator; and (6) beating up on those that are trying to protect us, e.g. organizations like the Anti-Defamation League, out of frustration at not beating our opponents. 

Instead, like Rabbi Sacks, Kurtzer urges us to embed in the police and criminal justice system the idea that antisemitism is their problem to defeat, and to make antisemitism anathema to America itself.  The effectiveness of this strategy came in the aftermath of the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh, when the mourning process was shared across the greater Pittsburgh community and, when antisemitism was repudiated by the general public.  Kurtzer is advocating more investment⸺across partisan divides, in relationships with local governments and law enforcement.  It means supporting organizations that combat hate, bias, and antisemitism however imperfect in their results.  It means education, awareness-raising, and relationship-building with other ethnic and faith communities.  It means public relations visits to Holocaust museums — so that we have the allies we need when we need them.  It means investing in mutuality of the Jewish community and American democracy. 

Yehuda Kurtzer gives us a reason to pivot to hope in the month of Adar, to intentionally conjure up the magic of Purim⸺the less than serious, sometimes ridiculous, and ultimately redeeming aspects of the story⸺the first queen Vashti’s defiance of a tyrannical and loopy king, the antics and intrigue of palace jealousies, an unredeemable villain, the acknowledgment, protection of, and the granting of full rights to a minority community by the reigning sovereignty, and finally, the deep and abiding need for each of us to pursue Jewish rituals and holiday celebrations that will always be a counterpoint to that which diminishes our humanity.

Temple B’nai Israel will celebrate Purim the weekend of March 17th – 19th.   At in-person Friday night services, we will read the Megillah, use our noisemakers (groggers  in Yiddish, ra’ashanim in Hebrew), and eat hamantashen (oznay haman in Hebrew – “Haman’s ears”).  And, be sure to join us on Sunday morning, March 19th at 11:00 a.m. for both a childen’s and a grownup Purim Shpiel (play), lox and bagel brunch, and Purim freylech – a festive holiday!


Rabbi Jan Katz 

Return to Menu
March in New Hampshire is a beautiful time to get out of the house to take part in a wide variety of activities. We have several fun events coming up in March at TBI. The first takes place on Saturday, March 4th.  We will have a 1 hour Shabbat service starting at 10 am, followed by a musical performance from local singer/songwriter Kimayo at 11:15 am who will share her personal story entitled ‘My Queer Life’.  This is followed by a catered lunch from The Rustic Gourmet in our Social Hall. The suggested donation is $18 and you can RSVP on our website    I encourage you to attend if you’re available as it’s going to be a very special program.
Later in March on the weekend of the 17th- 19th we will be celebrating Purim with a Friday night  Hybrid service including the reading of the Megillah.   On Sunday morning March 19th join us from 11 am-1 pm featuring a Rochester NY style bagel brunch (thank you Rabbi Katz!) and live performances of 2 short separate Purim Shpiels from both our religious school kids and a group of TBI volunteer actors written by our very own TBI member Debbi Finkelstein!  Don’t miss it! Featured TBI performers include Ray and Paula Chambers, David Rothman, Julie Hirshan-Hart, Rabbi Katz, and more. I have it on good authority that the actor playing Queen Esther is the fairest in the land of Shushan!
I would like to thank several TBI members who responded to my February Tablet message last month to donate money to our Social Action Fund that covers the cost of preparing meals for Isaiah 61 and the Salvation Army, as well as our Yad b'Yad fund that helps support TBI members and friends with meals and visits. Generous donations were received from Bob and Joyce Selig, Robert Sawyer, Ken and Rhoda Goodman, and Jim, Carol, David, and Debbie Lurie.
Our TBI family is so generous and caring for our community and it’s truly a pleasure to serve the congregation along with our Board of Directors as we continue the traditions of those who came before us.
Happy Maple month from NH!
Return to Menu
  • March 5 - Schedule change due to weather  Religious School will meet on Zoom beginning at 10 a.m.   Zoom links will be sent to parents.
  • March 19  - our children will celebrate Purim with the adult TBI community beginning at 11 a.m. with Purim Shpiels, brunch, and hamantashen.
Religious School education for children is included for all members of Temple B'nai Israel
Contact Rabbi Jan Katz for more information
Return to Menu
This month our Adult Education programs are combined with special events and holiday celebrations for the congregation.
  • March 4 - PROGRAM CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER  Shabbat morning service on Zoom at 10:00 am
  • March  19 - Celebrate Purim at TBI. 
Details for both programs are below.

Musings on the Megillah, a night of adult study for Purim on March 7 at 7:30 p.m
The URJ is partnering with Reform rabbis from small congregations to offer a new opportunity for adult congregants to study the Book of Esther.  Join other small congregations across the URJ network

Musings on the Megillah is open to everyone. Register to join  

Torah Study with Rabbi Jan Katz
Join Rabbi Jan for a monthly Torah Study program on Tuesday evening, March 21 at 7:00 pm on Zoom.  
If you are interested in participating please contact Rabbi Katz here
Return to Menu
Join us for Shabbat morning service on Zoom beginning at 10:00 am
Return to Menu


March 7 / Adar 14

Celebrate Purim at TBI on Sunday, March 19th
 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Grab Your Groggers and Get Ready to Make Some Noise!

Hear the Megillah and see 2 original Purim spiels
Brunch following with Hamantashan for all!

Return to Menu
ORDER ONLINE June 11 through July9
Hello Everyone,
We hope you are getting through the winter season and looking forward to spring.  YES, IT IS THAT TIME OF YEAR TO PREPARE FOR OUR BIGGEST FUNDRAISER FOR TEMPLE B'NAI ISRAEL! 


We are happy to say  that HEATHER NEEDLEMAN  is captain for making latkes.  She is a fantastic cook and a delight to work with.  Heather is looking for volunteers for these dates:
  1. TUESDAY, MARCH 21, 9:30 a.m.........wash potatoes, peel carrots and onions, place into groups for processing.......3 people needed
  2. WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22, 9:00 a.m.......process and fry approximately 744 latkes......8 people, minimum, needed. 
  3. THURSDAY, MARCH 23, 9:30 a.m..........bag and freeze......3 people needed
In case you don't know, we have a new refrigeration room, (former first classroom), just beyond the kitchen!!  So there is no more going up and down stairs to freezers!

Please respond to me, Rhoda, as to when you can assist in this fun project.  We look forward to schmoozing while we work together!!
Rhoda and Sue
Food Festival Co-Chairs
Return to Menu
We Care proudly presents Michelle Brooks-Thompson, national award-winning independent recording artist and performer, on Saturday evening, May 27th performing to benefit Camp Resilience of Gilford, a resource for veterans and first responders and a fitting tribute for Memorial Day weekend in the Lakes Region.  The show will take place at the Inter-Lakes Community Auditorium, 1 Laker Lane in Meredith at 7:30 pm.  Doors will open at 7:00 pm for general admission seating.  Tickets and more information on our website Temple B'nai Israel (
Experience the Michelle Brooks-Thompson phenomenon for the first time in the Lakes Region.  Michelle is known for her appearance as a finalist on the hit NBC TV show, The Voice.  Since competing on The Voice, Michelle’s versatile and phenomenal singing ability has privileged her to grace a multitude of diverse musical platforms across the country.  She is known as a dynamic powerhouse vocalist and she will perform the music of iconic female voices including Aretha, Celine, Tina, as well as paying tribute to America with her own stirring rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, complete with an honor guard.   Michelle brings her live band and back-up singers to “rock the house” on May 27th.
We Care has been bringing the best and brightest talent to the Lakes Region for the last ten years while raising more than $150,000 for valuable nonprofit organizations, like Camp Resilience.  The mission of Camp Resilience is to “help those who served bounce back and improve in mind, body, and spirit” by organizing and providing free 2- and 3-day retreats “designed to help service members, veterans, first responders and their loved ones recover and maintain their physical, psychological and emotional well-being.  The retreats combine peer-to-peer counseling, life skills workshops, and outdoor experiential learning.  Camp Resilience strives to provide attendees with the tools to develop self-improvement goals and sustained ties to their community.  The retreats stress the importance of camaraderie and wellness in fostering resilience.”   For more information about Camp Resilience visit their website
Camp Resilience - Home
Return to Menu
The latest edition of The Lakes Region Business Directory is now available.
Volume I - Issue 4 February 1 to April 30 

 Miracle Farms, We Care Event Sponsor
The Laconia Daily Sun, the official Media Sponsor of TBI
To view the directory, click here
The Lakes Region Business Directory subscription period will renew in May 2023. 
The campaign to renew and add new advertisers is ongoing. 
Contact us to renew or sign up -
Return to Menu
Abigail Cooperman, daughter of members Manuela and Bob Cooperman, will become a Bat Mitzvah at Temple B'nai Israel on October 23, 2023.   An essential part of becoming a bat mitzvah is the selection of a tzedakah project.   Abigail wants to spread the message that it's important to consider animal shelters as an option for tzedakah through this project.  Abigail selected this project because of her love for animals and her understanding that many shelters struggle to acquire enough supplies to take proper care of their animals.  
Return to Menu
Shabbat morning service
Saturday, June 10th

Festive Kiddush following the service
To the members of the congregation:

I just wanted to say thanks for all you have done for me in exploring Judaism.  I am divorcing and leaving the Laconia area.  I am in Chile now but had a bad accident and will be coming back to NH in a week and going into a nursing home rehab.  I tore a tendon in my leg.  I hope you all keep in touch.  The Temple has meant a lot to me and has moved me toward eventual conversion. I have learned a lot at your feet and will always be grateful for how well I was welcomed.  I thank those who invited me to Seders and other events and I loved the educational programs. I will still try to attend services via internet but I just wanted to give you my thanks for all you have done for me.  You helped me with my interest in Judaism and wherever I wind up, you will always be my favorite congregation.  I wish you all good health and happiness since you have contributed to my spiritual journey.
E. "Scott" Cracraft
We sadly say goodbye to our long-time TBI members Naomi and Mark Goldman who have both served on the board and have been engaging members of our community.  Mark has been the Financial Secretary and Naomi has been the Holiday Chair.  Their dedication and talents have significantly enhanced our TBI operations for many years and their departure leaves a large gap that will be hard to fill.  Especially Naomi's delicious strudel!

Mark and I have many special memories of spending time with our family in NH-- skiing and enjoying time on the lake, gaining a greater appreciation for the beauty of Nature, and very important to us, experiencing the warmth of the TBI community.

When Mark and I first became full-time residents of NH we knew no one.  Looking for a Jewish experience, we attended a performance in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day. The joy with which people greeted one another and the hugs exchanged seemed truly heartfelt.  I wanted to be part of that group.  Shortly thereafter, Mark and I attended our first service at TBI, and indeed we received a very warm welcome. Since that time in 2006, we have made many wonderful friends and have been inspired by the rabbis who have officiated at TBI.  We feel blessed to have been members of the temple and thank everyone who made our efforts to serve TBI such a joy.

We will miss the members and the opportunities for learning and growing that TBI has offered us. You will always be in our hearts.

Join us at the Shabbat evening service on Friday, May 5th as we say "l'hitraot" to Naomi and Mark.

  Learn more about our committees on the TBI website

Thank you to Judi Shapiro and Karen Lukeman who answered the call to help on the Ritual Committee with Ray Chambers.  Thank you -Todah Rabah!  Additional committee members are always welcome!

More opportunities open for volunteers:
  • Holiday Committee Chairperson and committee members
  • Financial Secretary (board position)
  • TBI representative to the Annual Interfaith Prayer Breakfast Planning Committee.  Meetings take place every other Tuesday, 1:30 PM, from now through April 28th for the breakfast.  The breakfast will be held on the 1st Thursday in May. 
  • Cemetary Chairperson and committee members
  • Building and Grounds Committee members
  • Team members for Jewish Food Festival cooking sessions
For more information please contact Ira Keltz
Best of the Lakes Region is BACK!
TBI has been voted the "Best Place to Worship" since 2019 
 Let's keep the streak going!!
Voting begins March 21st 
Return to Menu
Temple Beth Jacob’s Shapiro Lecture Series presents:
James Carroll, author of Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews  
Wednesday, March 29, 7:00 pm, Zoom

James Carroll, a former Roman Catholic priest and still a devout Catholic, is the author of Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews, winner of the 2022 National Book Award and read by the TBJ Sunday morning book group this year. He will be in conversation with Rabbi Robin Nafshi to discuss rising antisemitism, religious identity, and anything else that comes up.
Join in on Zoom:
Like all Shapiro Lecture events, the program with James Carroll is free and open to the public.
The "ENGin Program "works with volunteers that would like to assist students in Ukraine with basic instruction in the English Language. It does not require one to have previous teaching experience.
The tutoring takes place via Skype or Zoom for 45-60 minutes, once a week. The instruction is basically informal, emphasizing simple dialogues that center around cultures, interest in sports, hobbies, family, and friendship.  Mentors are assigned a student based on common interests, all have had some basic instruction at school, in the English language.
Anyone interested in volunteering can contact our member Warren Sommers at
Return to Menu
Paul Weinberg Monday, April 11, 2022 Brother of Rod Weinberg
Melvin Lezberg Tuesday, June 28, 2022 Husband of Marilyn Lezberg
Paul Miller Monday, July 4, 2022 Brother of Susan Needleman
Herbert Kagan Saturday, August 27, 2022 Uncle of Lori Reitsma, 
    Howard Kagen, and Stephen Kagen
Ruth Heilman Friday, September 9, 2022 Mother of Rabbi Boaz Heilman
Robert Katz Monday, November 7, 2022 Brother of Rabbi Alan Katz
Michael Simon Friday, December 16, 2022 Stepfather of Ira Keltz

Nathan Niederman 03/01/2023 Father of Jay Niederman
Ruth Kagen 03/04/2023 Mother of Lori Reitsma and Howard Kagen
Harry London 03/05/2023 Father of Rhoda Goodman
Arthur Cicero 03/06/2023 Father of Lori Boelig
Eileen Cohen 03/06/2023 Mother of Ronald Cohen
Sandra Snyder 03/06/2023 Cousin of Lori Reitsma
Marcia Cota 03/11/2023 Friend of Marsha Ostroff-Rines
Jason Morse 03/11/2023 Uncle of Judi Rogato and Robert Sawyer
Ruth Gross 03/14/2023 Grandmother of Barry Alan
Marvin Gould 03/15/2023 Father of Carol Lurie
Maurice Miller 03/15/2023 Father of Susan Needleman
Ardelle Richton 03/15/2023 Mother of Steven Richton
Edward Scherr 03/15/2023 Cousin of Alan Rosenfeld
Steven Weinreb 03/17/2023 Brother of Mark Weinreb
Jennie Goldberg 03/18/2023 Grandmother of Lynne Snierson
Mary Lipman 03/18/2023 Grandmother of Henry Lipman
Sarah Perlmutter 03/18/2023 Aunt of Henry Lipman
Charles Pollak 03/18/2023 Father of Linda Green Darish
Rose Tolin 03/20/2023 Mother of Tina Tolin-Scheper
Frank Wolf 03/20/2023 Father of Sharon Wolf
Kenneth Lipman 03/21/2023 Father of Henry Lipman
Abraham "Morris" Gaynor 03/22/2023 Father of Linda Cowan
Bessie Lampner 03/25/2023 Aunt of Henry Lipman
Hannah Camann 03/26/2023 Great Grandmother of Peter Berman
Robert Lawson 03/28/2023 Father of Liz Rosenfeld
Henry Wolfson 03/28/2023 Father of Laurie Kass
Jared Aronson 03/29/2023 Son of Leslie and Mark Aronson
Susan Edelstein 03/29/2023 Wife of Mark Edelstein
Raymond Camann 03/30/2023 Great Uncle of Peter Berman
Harold Awrich 03/31/2023 Father of Alan Awrich
Louis Cohen 03/31/2023 Grandfather of Judi Rogato and Robert Sawyer
Cheryl Kagen 03/31/2023 Sister-in-law of Howard Kagen and Lori Reitsma
Ericka Warshal 03/31/2023 Niece of Irene Gordon

Blanche Weiner 03/01/2023
Louis Achber 03/17/2023
Joseph Kropp 03/19/2023
Maurice Yaloff 03/19/2023
Louis Melnick 03/20/2023
Adeline Lerman 03/22/2023
Shlomo Solomon 03/22/2023
Joseph Tatar 03/26/2023
Helen Gozonsky 03/29/2023
Myles Israel 03/30/2023
Temple B'nai Israel has a designated area for burials
as part of the Union Cemetery in Laconia.  For more information visit our website.
Return to Menu

Make Meaningful Donations at TBI

Celebrate lifecycle milestones, honor special occasions, express sympathy, remember a loved one, or simply say “thank you.”

Your thoughtfulness will be acknowledged with a tribute card to the honoree(s) informing them that you have made a gift to our synagogue in their honor or memory.

Donate online or by mailing a check

Special Gifts help to maintain our building, grounds, and interior spaces.  
Contact President Ira Keltz  for more information

David and Barbara Katz In Memory of Michael Simon, Stepfather of Ira Keltz
Lori Boelig In Memory of Grandfather Tom Cicero
Lori Boelig In Memory of Grandfather Sam Kass
Steven and Judith Siegel In Memory of Grandmother Marcy Siegel
Joel Funk  In Memory of his Mother Pearl Funk
David and Barbara Katz In Memory of her beloved Mother Pearl Malcom and brother Douglas Malcom

Derek and Kristine Blackwelder In Honor of Temple B'nai Israel
Jane Harrington In Honor of Temple B'nai Israel - Freezer fund raiser
Gabrielle Mogil In Memory of her Grand Mother Clara Burger

David and Barbara Katz Wishing a complete and speedy recovery to Adam Hirshan
David and Debbie Lurie In Honor of Temple B'nai Israel
James and Carol Lurie In Honor of Temple B'nai Israel
Ken and Rhoda Goodman In Memory of Sue Needleman's Brother Paul Miller 
                 and Robert Katz,  Rabbi Alan Katz's Brother 
Jane and Stephen Bogurski For community support
Robert Sawyer and Judy Rogato In Honor of Temple B'nai Israel

Return to Menu
The TBI Tablet is distributed monthly
to an ever-growing list of members and friends of TBI.

Contact us today - 

Return to Menu
TBI Facebook Page
TBI Website
Copyright ©  2023 TEMPLE B'NAI ISRAEL  All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
210 Court Street
Laconia, NH 03246

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.