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Tu B'Shvat Book Discussion Sunday, January 16

All are welcome to join this exclusive Zoom webinar with Michal Oshman for an evening of education, awareness, and actual tips and tools to help us combat anxiety and live a life filled with purpose! Hoted by the Sisterhood.

Michal Oshman is Head of Company Culture, Diversity and Inclusion at TikTok Europe, and was formerly responsible for international leadership and team development at Facebook. Throughout her career, Michal has trained and coached hundreds of tech leaders. She served as an officer in the Israeli Defense Forces, and has three university degrees in psychodynamic and systemic thinking, sociology, and anthropology. Michal lives with her husband and their children in London, UK. 

The event is free, but with a $36 sponsorship you will receive a free copy of Michal's best selling book: What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid: Discover A Life Filled With Purpose And Joy Through The Secrets Of Jewish Wisdom.

Click here to join.

Message from the President

Dear Friends,

This week's Parsha – Parshat Bo –  begins with the last three plagues and continues with the exodus from Egypt. The Parsha includes all of the stories and the basis for the laws of Pesach. We’ve all learned the literal explanation for eating matzah: there was no time, in the haste to leave Egypt, for the bread to rise. 

Our Sages learn a deeper lesson from the unleavened bread. Leavening is associated with pride. Eating unleavened bread brings us back to the basics. It reminds us to be humble. The Jews who left Egypt needed this lesson to keep them aware that the miracles happening to them were not of their own doing, but Divine intervention. We today also have a lesson to learn from the matzah. We also need to be humble. We are not over anyone else, we need to listen to others and none of us have all the answers.

• • •

Humbling experiences and not having all of the answers is a good description of my first week as President. In addition to appointing Ellen Kamaras as Vice President and Celia Weintrob as Secretary, the Board also had to choose a new Treasurer after Deborah Ehrenberg's decision to step down. Deborah had suggested Steven Zucker as her replacement, a decision that was embraced unanimously by the Board. I am happy to report that Steve has tentatively agreed to serve. We are also working on hiring a bookkeeper to assist him, and  a secretary/office manager to assist the Rabbi, relieving him of much of the day to day tasks dealing with the Shul building and practical issues. Some other ideas in the pipeline include Rosh Chodesh BBQs, as soon as it gets a little warmer out, and a committee to review our voting protocols.

The decision was made to schedule Board meetings for the third Monday of the month at 8:45 every other month, beginning Jan 17. The minutes of the annual meeting as well as the brief meeting to appoint officers will be approved at that meeting and will then be shared with the membership. I will be sharing the agenda prior to the meeting. 

I have started meeting individually with members who have reached out to me, and I will continue to meet as well as invite other members to share their concerns with me. Whether I reach out to you or not, please contact me if you have anything on your mind or any ideas you may have. All constructive ideas as well as criticisms are welcome.

You can email me at (or text or WhatsApp me at 917-620-8762) and I will get back to you as soon I can. 

Wishing all of you all a meaningful and peaceful Shabbos,

Steve Inker  

CBA elects 2022 Officers and Board

The members of Congregation B'nai Avraham elected the shul's 2022 officers and 3 new board members, in electronic voting concluded at 6:30 pm on Thursday, Dec. 23.

The new officers, elected to one-year terms, are:

•President Steven Inker

•Treasurer Doborah Ehrenberg

Three board members, elected to three-year terms, are:

•Brooke Bryant

•Phil Lerner, Esq

•Arnie Licht, MD

The following 6 current board members were not up for re-election this year and will continue on the board:

•Steve Cohn, Esq

•Samuel Elhadad, DDS

•Mitch Garbow, Esq.

•Steven Inker

•Ellen Kamaras

•Ellie Carmody Stone, MD

Retiring from the board on Dec. 31, having chosen not to seek re-election, are:

•Richard Golden, Esq. (President in 2021)

•Michael Weinberger, Esq.

The congregation thanks Richard and Michael for their service.

DONE: Friday Dec 24

•Regular Shacharit time — 7:45 am — this Friday.

•In his weekly "This Week in Action" newsletter, Michael Bast reports:

Friday night is called Nittelnacht (“middle of the night”) when we stop learning Torah for about 8 hours, until midnight.  If I can get out of doing the dishes, I’m going to the Rabbi’s house to play chess.

Mincha and Maariv at shul begin at 4:30 pm.

New Covid guidelines (Dec 15)

December 14, 2021

To the Members of Congregation B’nai Avraham:

         Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the CBA Medical Committee and the Board have been carefully following developments and issuing guidelines to comply with governmental mandates and to protect everyone who enters our building. 

         On Friday, December 10, 2021, the New York State Department of Health issued a Commissioner’s Determination to take effect on Monday, December 13, 2021.  Violation may result in a fine of $1,000.  The Determination will remain in effect until January 15, 2022, at which time it will expire or will be renewed or modified.  

         The Commissioner’s Determination applies to indoor public places, to all persons who are over the age of two and who are able medically to tolerate a face-covering, and to all activities taking place in the premises, other than active eating or drinking.  All such persons are required to be either masked or to show proof of vaccination. 

         The Board has concluded that this mandate applies on our premises and that requiring proof of vaccination would not be a workable option for us, especially on Shabbos.  The Board is therefore requiring, effective immediately and continuing while the Commissioner’s Determination is in effect, that all persons inside our premises be masked. 

         I know that many of us, including me, are already fatigued by the Covid pandemic.  Complying with this mask mandate will, I hope, protect everyone who enters our building, help avoid the collapse of our health care system, and hasten the day when we can live more normally.

                           Richard W. Golden, President

Sun, January 16 2022 14 Shevat 5782