LEADERSHIP OF TSO
Our Spiritual Leader
Rabbi Stephen Epstein
A MODERN CONSERVATIVE RABBI
Rabbi at Temple Sholom of Ontario
Serving San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, CA and all of Southern California
Office Hours: Mon, Tue, Thurs, Fri. 9AM - 1 PM
Message from the Rabbi
Isn’t it great that life is starting to get back to normal? Finally, we are having live services in the sanctuary, but we are also continuing to broadcast on Zoom and Facebook. It is wonderful that people who are out of the area will still be able to tune in and participate in the services via Zoom since we are continuing with that venue.
However, now that we are having live services, we will need to have a minyan in order to recite our sanctifications, the Kaddishot, and do our complete Torah service. So far, enough people have showed up for our Shachrit (morning services) so that we have, for the most part, been able to take out the Torah.
Again, I will invite each of you to give me feedback about the services. So far, I have received a lot of comments about which melodies and prayers you prefer and have done my best to accommodate your requests. I have also varied the various psalms and English readings. You may also have noticed that I am no longer explaining prayers to the extent that I have been since you’re probably all fairly familiar with why we do what we do. Of course, if anybody has any questions, feel free to contact me.
Speaking of Torot, as you all know, only two are kosher and that limits which we can use. This means that we have to make do on festivals and other special services in which we read from multiple portions and thus require multiple Torot to be efficient with the time.
I received some good news the other day: a benefactor is donating and making it possible for our synagogue to repair a few of our Torot. Thank you so much to this anonymous donor. We are so grateful that in the future we will have more than one kosher Torah available for services. I am in the process of contacting a local sofar to come out and evaluate them.
As the COVID epidemic starts to abate, we can look back at the challenges of the last year and be proud of what we’ve accomplished. Our year of Hebrew is coming to a close and we have provided education to some of our youths in preparation for their B’nai Mitzvot, teaching Hebrew and Torah. We are in the throes of conducting the Miller Course, Introduction to Judaism. This is the sanctioned course for those exploring becoming Jewish by choice and those who either want to enhance or review their Jewish Education. We are one-third of the way through the course already and the participants seem to be enjoying it. I am also delighted with the participation in our Tuesday evening Torah study. Our conversations have been stimulating and lively and people seem to like it.
As we now turn our attention to the future of our synagogue, I am optimistic that it looks very bright. We have done a great job of maintaining our shul through a very challenging time. As we get back into our synagogue life, the future looks nothing but bright. Take pride in what you’ve all done in keeping Temple Sholom of Ontario operating and get involved.
Not only are you doing a great mitzvah, but you are setting the stage for our synagogue and Judaism to grow.
Shalom & B'Tzelahah
Our Synagogue President
Finally, we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We started to hold services inside the sanctuary on May 23rd while continuing to have services on Zoom and Facebook. We do ask that if you are planning on coming to the service, please let Bonnie know so that we can ensure that there is proper seating for everyone attending. We still have the rules set forth from the county of San Bernardino to comply with and one of those rules is social distancing.
The Temple held the bi-annual congregational meeting on Wednesday evening, May 19th. The meeting was both in person and on zoom. I want to thank everyone who showed up at the Temple for the meeting, and also those that participated on Zoom.
Unfortunately, we had three members of the board who made the difficult decision of not continuing to serve on the board. I want to thank Michelle Benitez, Helene Blumner and Leo Van Esschoten for their service on the board and to the Temple these past many years. When you see them at services, be it in person or on Zoom, give them all a big thank you and job well done reception..
We are very fortunate to announce our newest members on the board.
Welcome to our newest board members: Sarah Friedman, Howard Green and Lawrence (Larry) Horowitz. I am sure that all three of these qualified individuals will not only be an asset to your board but will bring new ideas to make Temple Sholom of Ontario even better.
Because of your generous donations, the security gate is scheduled to be installed in the middle of June. The board wants to thank all of those on the gate committee, Sharon, Barbara. Avrum and Gabby; without their commitment to make our Temple even safer the project would never have gotten off of the ground.
Due to the recent rise in anti-Semitism, the Ontario Police Dept,. at the request of our own security chairman, Gabby Kovnator, is increasing patrols and allowing a police vehicle to remain at the temple to deter any anti-Semitic activity.
Our sincere thanks to the sisterhood for fixing up the playground so that it is safe for the children. Then next time you are at the temple, take a look at how nice the playground looks. A special thank you to Zoe and Sharon for doing the leg work and finding the right material that would make the playground safe for the children and an extra special thanks you to Avrum who did the preliminary work.
At the congregational meeting it was voted on by those congregants present both in person and on zoom to go back to a starting time of 8 pm for services on Friday night. Beginning May 28th services will begin at 8 pm.
Effective immediately the office will be closed on Wednesday. Please make a note that neither the Rabbi or Bonnie will be at the Temple on Wednesdays unless it is a holiday or special event.
The board meets on the 2nd Thursday of every month. We are still meeting on zoom. If you wish to attend the meeting and/or address the board, please inform Bonnie in advance so that she can add your time to the agenda.
Toby Bloom - President, Temple Sholom of Ontario
Our Sisterhood President
Purim is passed.Hopefully in the next few months we will be able to meet in person.
Unfortunately, we do not yet know what restrictions will be in place, including the serving food for our Onegs and Kiddushes.
This will be our second Passover being at home and having our Seder over Zoom. Looking thru my slips of paper of menus of Passovers past was very bittersweet. Usually, we’ll cook and bake several main courses and too many desserts to count. At our home, last year was, and this year will be, very small and without variety. Three of us cannot eat that much food in a few days.