Successful 79th Anniversary

By Ellen Ruth Topol 

Temple Beth El of City Island held its 79th Anniversary dinner dance on May 4, 2013, at the Pelham Split Rock Golf Courses Golf Course, an exquisite venue with delicious food. Approximately 100 people attended, including the Lickety Split Band.

And, to the exuberant sound of this delightful band, the soles of the guests’ feet barely touched the ground as their spirits soared higher and higher. We are told that our soles are where our spirits make contact with the Earth in physical form and as they danced the souls of the guests participated in joyous revelry on many planes at once. The excitement and energy of the music and the gathering of the celebrants on the dance floor created a deep sense of fellowship and camaraderie. We experienced the unity of the outward beat that brought us together as some of us reflected on our prayerful times together. We had experienced this connection before in an inward beat that took us higher & higher, as our Shul by the Sea Band has strengthened our ability to dance on the notes of our own inner journey.

The honorees this year are Olga Berdé Mahl, Michael Tietze and Elan Wolf. Olga has been a significant catalyst for the evolution and continuing unfolding of our synagogue. Michael and Elan have each generously offered their time and expertise in helping to make the Temple building beautiful and more efficient.

Freddie Lando graced us with his magnificent singing voice and as they say you could hear a pin drop as he sang a spiritual song that lifted our hearts. Temple Beth-El is blessed with our own talented musicians, Rabbi Shohama, Reb David, Reb Eva Sax-Bolder, Alan Dattner and Steven Gottlieb, who graced us with their musical gifts as well. And, of course, our very special talented Reb David served as a wonderful master of ceremonies never missing a beat employing his great sense of humor. Paul Klein, our Temple President, skillfully facilitated the event with the help of our effective co-chair Michael Eiron.

At the end of the evening, the raffle was won by Estelle Menon from Grace Church on City Island. Graciously, she donated back her winnings to our Temple– very generous on her part. This collegiality is further reflected by the heartwarming mix of ethnicities and religions represented at this event- truly an inspiring model for world community. Through all the excitement and conversations, those in attendance spoke as one voice in celebration.

Rabbi Shohama happily remarked at the end of the evening a wish that we could have events like this more often. Many of us agree with this intention for community is the reason we come together since the Jewish tradition emphasizes the importance of praying with others being necessary to truly experience our own wholeness and, in this way, mirror G-d’s Oneness. As the congregants, family members and guests left, it did appear that through spirited musical sounds, a satisfied appetite, good conversation and happy dancing feet, the invisible thread of connectivity, which we have been cultivating, continues to flourish and joins us deeper together.