Pennings from Pam – Excerpts from Bulletins

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May 072014

October 2014 Bulletin

As you know from Rosh Hashana, I found a wonderful musician, Ellen Brown, to
accompany me for the High Holidays this year. When I heard that Beverly Fletcher, my
High Holiday accompanist for the past three years, was going to be the accompanist for
another synagogue, I felt lost. Beverly was wonderful to work with these last few
years. I learned a lot from her. Now I had the daunting task to find her replacement. I had to find someone that would be able to learn the High Holiday service in less than three months; be able to accompany me on
over 70 prayers; as well as transpose ancient melodies that have no score.

My first year, I studied the prayers for over six months. Even though I had the
advantage of recognizing many of the melodies from my years of going to services; I was still worried about how well I knew the prayers.

Finally I found Ellen Brown. She came highly recommended, and is indeed very talented. Ellen is a piano teacher at
Phoenix College, an accompanist for several choirs, and a choir director. I feel
that I am being accompanied by very capable hands, and can’t wait to work with her for Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur.

September 2014 Bulletin

In reflecting back over the last 6 years that I have been the Beth Ami cantorial soloist, I suddenly realized that I have performed over 70 different solos.  There have been times that I have repeated a solo, but in general I try to find a solo that will work for the specific Shabbat or High Holiday service that I will be singing for.
Throughout the years I have often been asked,” Where did you find that song?”  Well the answer is through a lot of research on the web. and Google have long been my best friends.  I begin the research in the summer between seasons.  Hopefully I will find a few prayers that will peak my interest.  Of course with 18 services, including the High Holidays, that is only the beginning. My research always continues throughout the season.  My desire is that I will get a 2 week window to prepare the prayer once I find the “perfect” song.
Once I find a melody, my hope is to find the sheet music.  If I am lucky will have the music for me to purchase.  If I am real lucky it will be in a key that I can sing and that it is not impossible for Bob to play. used to have a program that would automatically transpose the song.  This made life so easy, as I could then just hand the sheet music to Bob and the preparation to learn the music would begin.
However as time has gone on, my research has taken a little more creativity to find a new “perfect” prayer.  If the composer has a website, I always hope that they have the sheet music available.  If the music is not available, I sometimes will contact the composer and ask for either a lead sheet or a chord sheet. If luck is not on my side, then off to the piano I go to pluck out the notes and try to find chords that will show off the song.  With my having so many jobs, it is difficult to find the time to do that.  So I cross my fingers and hope to find the sheet music.
It may seem that every song is written just for me.  Not true.  The guitar capo has become another one of my best friends for instant transposition or when I had someone with a gift like Beverly Fletcher, who could transpose in the blink of an eye I found myself very fortunate.  Now I do have a three octave vocal range, however when a service has from 35 to 60 prayers, it is important that my voice last the whole service.  Thus I try to have as many prayers in my key as possible so that it will last the whole service. Yet I also try to make sure the key is in a range that most congregants could join in and sing. With prayers like R’tzei having over a one octave range that is not always possible.
The next step is to try out the song with Bob.  If we see the potential, we keep tweeking the melody.  First we try the key out and make sure the range is correct.  Then as we polish the song, I put my own spin on the prayer.  The song has to speak to me.  I want it to express my feelings. The rabbi once quoted me, ’that I feel like I am singing love songs to G-d’.  That is how I feel.  The melody and words need to talk for me in a way that mere words can’t.  Hopefully by the time Shabbat service arrives, the song is ready to be sung for the congregation and G-d.
My next wish is to compose my own melody and prayer.

February 2014 Bulletin

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Feb 022014

From Rabbi Abrams:
On Feb. 16 I have been invited to lead a discussion after viewing the film “Disobedience,” which is part of the Phoenix Jewish Film Festival.  It will be shown 3 times. My presentation will be at the Harkins Arrowhead Theater in Peoria at 7:00 on Sunday the 16th of Feb. This is a true story of Sousa Mendes who was the Portugal Consul in France during the Nazi onslaught. He personally wrote visas for 30,000 people who were fleeing the Nazis, many of whom were Jewish. His story is one of courage and moral convictions against all the odds. It is a story that needs to be told and known and well worth your time and attention, especially since Janice Friebaum will be speaking on children of survivors at the Temple on Feb. 7. The film will also be shown on Feb. 12 in Scottsdales and on the 19th in Chandler.

From Blossom Osofsky, President of the Congregation:
 Here we are in February now.  Our next service is on February 7, and we have a special guest Janice Friebaum speaking about second generation survivors of the Holocaust.   Please come and bring friends and family.


Friday, February 7, 7:30 p.m. with Rabbi Abrams  and Cantorial Soloist Pam Beitman

Guest speaker: Janice Friebaum

Oneg hosts: Vicki and Steve Hoffman, Susan and Bernie Pollack,Isabel Meth and Mort Bloom

Shamas: Jerry Mittleman and Blossom Osofsky

Friday, February 21,7:30 p.m. with Rabbi Abrams  and Cantorial Soloist Pam Beitman

Oneg hosts: Sara House, Joy Goldman, Nancy and Bob Unferth

Shamas: Steve Hertzfeld and Donna Horwitz


Janice Friebaum, Holocaust Educator, to speak 

Janice Friebaum, professional Holocaust educator and survivor advocate, will speak at Friday night services on February 7, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. on the experience and impacts of being raised by Holocaust survivor parents.

Ms. Friebaum, daughter of a Holocaust survivor, holds a Masters degree in Jewish and Holocaust studies. She has interviewed dozens of survivors, including the Shoah Visual History Project, and has served on the Boards of Holocaust organizations in Washington State, Florida and Arizona. She has served as executive director of a Holocaust education organization and worked for and served as consultant to Jewish Federations , community planning and Holocaust survivor issues.  She has spoken extensively to students in high school and colleges and at professional conferences. She is currently conducting a Senior Services Study for the Jewish Community Association of Greater Phoenix and recently created Generations After, a group for children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors in greater Phoenix.

FEBRUARY 22, 2014  3-5 p.m., at Beth Ami Temple
Join us to hear our very own Professor Sallie Terman speak on “American Gangsters of the early years of America”.  Hear about Arnold Rothstein and his boys, Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky and others.  $12.00 for single, $20.00 for a couple. For Reservations/Tickets: Contact Donna Horwitz or

Advance Tickets to the Temple Fundraiser

To avoid crowding at the door you may purchase advance tickets to Sallie Terman’s lecture on Jewish Gangsters to be held at Palo Cristi Church,. Please contact Donna Horwitz  azhorwitzs@cox.netLight refreshments will be served following the lecture.  

Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival

February 9 – 23, 2014


Harkins Camelview 5, 7001 E. Highland Ave., Scottsdale
Harkins Chandler Crossroads 12, 2980 E. German Rd, Chandler
Harkins Arrowhead 18, 16046 N. Arrowhead Fountains Ctr. Dr., Peoria

Ticket prices:

$11 for adults ($12 at the door)
$ 6 for students (ID required, 25 yrs and under)
For information about tickets, ticket packages or group discounts:


  Oneg Shabbat Hosts Needed for Beth Ami Temple Services
    Hosts still needed for March 14 and May 2, 2014. 
Celebrate a birthday, anniversary, baby naming, etc., etc.
Please call Elyssa Schneider if one of these dates works for you. Thanks.


Arizona Jewish Historical Society
Book Discussion Group
Thursday, February 13, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
122 E. Culver St,
Phoenix 85004
“A Letter in the Scroll”
by Rabbi JonathanSacks
Discussion led by Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz, Valley Beit Midrash
Thursday, February 27, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
Screening of “Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy”
RSVP <> Mention Feb. 27 in your response
Opportunity to go to the Grace Museum of American in Cave Creek
Nancy Unferth is forming a group to go to the museum on March 4th or 6th at 1:00. (which date to be determined shortly).  If you missed the opportunity to go last time and would like to have an opportunity to see this remarkable and unusual museum,  please let her know. You can only see this museum  in a group with a costs $10.00 for a  2 hour guided tour through America’s history with beautiful chronological walk in dioramas. There are golf carts which you can  ride in the wide halls. There is a stop to have refreshments and walk out on to a balcony looking over the desert. If you are interested, email Nancy Unferth at or call.  We can arrange car pools to get out there.
The next Fressers Dinner will be at 6:00pm on the 5th of February at the Village Tavern,  8787 North Scottsdale Road. Please respond to Adrianne and/or Mel Selbst by an e-mail <> or by calling. Fresser’s always meet on the first Wednesday of every month. Mark your calendars in advance so you can join us.
Torah Study
The Temple Torah Study Group has had to change the date for our next session. It will be on Sunday, March 2nd from 2 until 4 at the home of Sara House. We will be finishing up Samuel One from the Tanakh chapters 20 to 31 which will end  that story. After recapping those chapters. we will have a freewheeling discussion. R.s.v.p. to Sara email her at or Arlene Freedberg  before Feb. 24th.
Cultural Group
The Cultural Committee has arranged for a forty-five minute private guided tour of the Heard Museum Highlights Tour, including the Georgia O’Keefe Showing, with or without lunch at the Museum Restaurant following the tour. The date is February 11, 2014 at 11:00 A.M.  The cost is $12.50 per person, payable at the door (lunch is separate). For reservations or questions, contact  Donna Horwitz
Beth Ami temple gratefully acknowledges the following donations:
Arnie Schwartz       in memory of Ruth Schwartz, wife
                                in memory of Max Schwartz, father
                                in memory of Ethel Rubin, mother-in-law
Sara House             in memory of Phyllis House, mother-in-law
Rothbergs              in memory of Sally and Charles Rothberg,
                               in memory of Mary and Harry Medovy
Mittelmans             in memory of Rosilyn Unferth, mother of Nancy           
                               birthday wishes to: Mel Selbst
                                                              Dan Helfant
                                                              Morrie Chernis
                                                              Arnie Schwartz
Pollacks                  in memory of Norbert Pollack, father of Bernie

Announcements? Additions? Adjustments? Please contact Susan Pollack at <> with “Beth Ami” in the subject line or call.
See memborship directory for phone numbers.

January 2014 Bulletin

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Jan 022014

From Rabbi Abrams

The story of Judaism continues this month in the Book of Exodus. It is the inspirational story of the Israelite’s escape from Egypt and slavery and their trek to the Promised Land. The message of freedom from slavery and the giving of the Ten Commandments forms the basis of Exodus. The moral ethics of the Decalogue is the foundation of Western Civilization’s laws. Moses, the hero of the story never became an object of worship. With all of his greatness, he was not perfect. He will always be remembered as the Emancipator and Law Giver by Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

From Blossom Osofsky, President of the Congregation

Well, the new year 2014 will be here next week. I want to wish everyone a wonderful new year. We have a lot of exciting things planned. Be healthy, and be happy. Love to you all.


Friday, January 10, 7:30 p.m
Lead by Rabbi Abrams and Cantorial Soloist Pam Beitman
Oneg Hosts
Shamas Donna Horwitz and Arnie Schwartz

Friday, January 24, 7:30 p.m.
Lead by Rabbi Abrams and Pam Beitman
Oneg Hosts
Shamas Stan Gering and Blossom Osofsky

Club Events

Fressers’ Dinner

January 8, 2014
3159 E. Lincoln Dt.
Phoenix, Az. 85016
Please e-mail Anne Chernis at or phone if you plan to attend.

Saturday, February 22, 2014
3:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.
At Palo Cristi Church
Our very own Sallie Terman, Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Scottsdale Community College will tell us all about those infamous Jewish gangsters of the early years in America. For information call Donna Horwitz or Blossom Osofsky.

Taking a Stand: Resistance & Survival Special Event
Saturday, January 11, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Chandler Center for the Arts, located at 250 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler
$10 general admission; $7 active military/armed services veteran; to purchase these tickets, go to:
The Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival and the East Valley Jewish Community Center proudly partner with the Phoenix Holocaust Survivors Association, Generations After the Shoah, and the City of Chandler to present the once-in-a-lifetime event, Taking a Stand: Resistance & Survival. This very special program will feature a moderated panel discussion with Tom Blatt and Philip Bialowitz, two of the remaining eight living survivors of the Sobibor extermination camp. For those who are unfamiliar, after a successful revolt on October 14, 1943 approximately 600 prisoners made an escape attempt from Sobibor. It is believed that 300 were successful and about 50 of those evaded capture. The panel discussion will be guided by clips from the award winning and gripping fact based drama Escape From Sobibor allowing the audience to visually and chronologically follow Tom and Philips’ story of resistance & survival. For more information, please contact Mary Garcia or email her at

Book Discussion Group

Thursday, January 16th, 7:00 p.m.
Cutler-Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center
122 E. Culver St.
Phoenix, Az. 85004
Free admission
RSVP to or (602) 241-7870

“The Storyteller” by Jodi Picoult
Discussion led by Michael and Jennie Kronenfeld

Best seller Picoult takes on a heavy subject in her latest outing: the Holocaust. At 25, Sage Singer is scarred by the car accident that took her mother’s life. A baker who works at night in a New Hampshire shop run by a former nun, Sages shums almost all human contact, save for her coworkers and her funeral director boyfriend, Adam, who is married to another woman. Sage ventures out of her comfort zone to befriend Josef Weber, an elderly retired teacher, who throws her world into chaos when he tells her that he’s a former SS officer.
Sage, whose grandmother Minka survived the Holocaust, reaches out to the Department of Justic and is connected with Leo Stein, a charismatic attorney and Nazi hunter. Leo travels to New Hampshire to investigate Sage’s claims, which leads them to Minka who shares a surprising connection to Joself. Based on extensive research, this is a powerful and riveting, sometimes gut-wrenching, read in which the always compelling Picoult brings a fresh perspective to an often explored topic.

Cultural Experience Club

January 28, 2014
A trip to Basha’s Museum of Contemporary Southwestern Art is the order of the day. This is a very exciting and interesting museum for those who attend. The museum is free and located in Chandler. Let us know if you are interested and for more details, call Nancy Unferth or Sallie Terman.

Discussion Club

Sunday, January 26, 2014 – 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
The home of Mort Bloom, 7255 E. Griswold Rd., Scottsdale or phone for directions.
The speaker will be a police officer from the Crime Prevention group. He will speak on scams and ways to protect yourself and your home. With scams so prevalent such as what just happened at Target, it should be a very interesting talk. All members of the Temple are welcome to attend. Directions and Mort’s new email address will follow.

Torah Study Group

Sunday, January 12, 2014 – 2:00 pm to 4 pm
The home of Arnie Schwartz.
RSVP to Arnie at or Arlene Freedberg at
Arnie will lead a discussion of Samuel 1, Chapters 11 – 20 Iin the Tanach., right after Judges. The second hour we will discuss our beliefs about God and how contemporary beliefs compare to those of the ancient world.

Walking Club

January 25, 2014 – 9:30 am
Pinnacle Peak Trail in North Scottsdale
We have had some good turnouts lately, so we are going to start 2014 off with a request from some of the regulars, the Pinnacle Peak Trail in North Scottsdale. The Sierra Club rates the 150-acre Pinnacle Peak as a moderate hike with an elevation gain of approximately 1,300 feet. The trail has a very smooth tread with a number of ups and downs over the course of the 1.75 mile trail (one way). It is not a loop trail so you come back over the same trail. So bring along your friends and family for an enjoyable time of talking and a little walking. Please RSVP to Jan or Steve for all the info: call or email

Special thanks

Special thanks to Pam Beitman and her son Sean Johnson for updating the Beth Ami Web Site. They have included recordings of the Torah blessings with transliterations for those members of the congregation who wish to practice. If you’d like to see other blessings included, let Pam know. The last two issues of the bulletin have been posted there with phone numbers deleted for the sake of privacy. Pam would like to add some more pictures. If you have any to share, email them to Pam at . The Web Site can be found at .


Beth Ami gratefully acknowledges the following donations:

  • Pelberg famiy in memory Malva Holyoak, mother of Linda
  • Karen Murdock in memory of husband, David Murdock
  • Norma Siegel in memory of Elias Friedland, father
  • Isabel Meth in memory of Marshall Haft, father of Susi Stome
  • Elyssa Schneider donation to Beth Ami
  • Barbara Epstein in memory of Mildred Oberhard, mother

Announcements? Additions? Adjustments? Please contact Susan Pollack at with “Beth Ami” in the subject line or call.


December 2013 Bulletin

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Dec 162013



The Little Temple with A big Heart                                                   

                                                                                     December 2013
From Rabbi Abrams:
An excerpt from the November 8 Sermon on “Spirituality and The Jewish People:”
“Joining a congregation is asserting your identity in a community, being part of the Jewish people. The spirit of Judaism has kept us alive over the long run Our values, history and mission can help us survive and to continue to survive. Spirit is defined as “the breath of life, the soul”. Lack of spirit is defined as “destitute of life, dejected, depressed”. When we discuss spirituality in Judaism, it means a connection with something inside ourselves and beyond ourselves. Spirituality is reaching out for a relationship. It is bonding as a group. It is bonding with …the Jewish people.” \

From Blossom Osofsky, President of the Congregation:
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Chanukah. At our service on November 22nd, I told everyone about Family Promise and how the PaloCristiChurch takes in some homeless families, feeds them, and lets them stay there. I said that it would be a Mitzvah if we help as well, and that I was taking donations. I collected $200.00 for Family Promise that night, and I want to thank all of you so much. Everyone at Palo Cristi was so excited and happy. That’s what we are all about, making a difference in people’s lives. I send love to you all.

December 13, 7:30 p.m. with Cantorial Soloist Pam Beitman
Oneg Hosts: Anne and Morrie Chernis in honor of Morrie’s Birthday
Shamas: Steve Hertzfeld and Bernie Pollack

Messages from Members of the Congregation:
I want to thank my Beth Ami family for their calls, cards and prayers.
They have been a great source of comfort to me and Jerry.
I’ve had many procedures over the years, this one has been the most challenging. But coming from “good stock”, I will be back to Active Duty by the end of the year.

Love you all
Linda Mittelman

Mariellen Miller would like to thank to thank the many Temple members who were so kind to call and write notes regarding Phil’s recent accident and illness. He is improving and we both appreciate all of your concern. Thank you!!

Club News
The next Fresser’s will be at Christo’s on Wednesday. December 4 at 6:00.Please remember to save the first Wednesday of every month to join the fun.

Beth Ami Hiking Club: December 15th (Sunday) at 9:30 a.m. Join us at Scottsdale’s brand new McDowell Sonoran Preserve’s trail-head at Brown’s Ranch. This beautiful area offers a variety of trails from easy to moderate. We will do a hike(s) depending on who shows and we leave nobody behind. Location: North Scottsdale, north of Dynamite on Alma School Rd. Please RSVP or call for more info to Jan and Steve Hertzfeld 480-429-4610

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday January 11, 2014 Membership committee meeting, at Sallie Terman’s at 2:PM. Sallie will be calling to confirm or the members can email a response at <>

Discussion Club
Anne Polunsky from the Jewish Historical Society gave a fascinating talk on pioneer Jews of Arizona before the Beth Ami Temple Discussion Club on Sunday, November 17 at the home of Jackie Topus. About 20 Beth Ami members attended. Jews came west in the mid-1800’s seeking their fortunes in an uncharted territory. Five characteristics made the Jewish pioneers successful: integrity; education; language skills to communicate with the Indians and Spanish; experience in providing basic needs; use of paper credit instead of gold or silver. Henry Lesinsky developed copper mines which he sold to Phelps Dodge. Black Jack Newman established the Inspiration Mine. Miami is named after his wife. Mike Goldwater initially was in business in La Paz, moved to Ehrenberg (named after a friend killed by the Indians), became a hauler and moved to Prescott, where he opened a store for his son. In 1892, Mike’s second son, Baron, opened a store in Phoenix where it retained the Goldwater name until the 1980’s. Baron’s son was Barry Goldwater. Other prominent Jewish retailers were the Diamonds (ultimately sold to Dillards); Korricks ( ultimately Macy’s); Rosenzweig’s Jewelry Store and Goldbergs (sold to Hanny’s).

Cultural Experience Club
We’re going to the Opera! The Cultural Experience Club will be seeing the Masked Ball(film) by Verdi. December 18th at 11:AM at the Pavilions UltraStar Theater, Scottsdale, 101 and Indian Bend. Advanced tickets are now on sale, seniors $12.00. Theater phone, 840 302 6055.

Torah Study
Beth Ami Temple’s Next Torah Study session will be held at Mort Bloom’s home on Sunday, Dec.. 8th from 3 until 5. We are reading from the book of Judges in the Tenach,Nevi’im, first Samuel ,page 558 from the Jewish Study Bible , chapters 1 through 10. Lila Markowitz will lead with input from all of us. The next session will be either the 5th or the 12th of January 2014. Please r.s.v.p. to Isabel Meth at <> or Arlene Freedberg at or 602 996-4075.

Beth Ami gratefully acknowledges the following donations:
Sallie Terman in memory of Jean Terman, mother of Earl
Hyman Terman, father of Earl
Sallie’s brother
Nancy Unferth’s mother and stepfather
Roz Fischer get well to Pat Bruner
get well to Goldie Cohen
Freedbergs in memory of Rosalyn Olin, mother of Nancy Unferth
Marshall Haft, father of Susi Stone
Michael Bentley, father of Arlene
Jerry Zack in memory of Louis Zack, father of Jerry
Margo Rubenstein in memory of Seth Rubenstein, brother of Margo
Stiegels in memory of Sallie Stiegel, mother of Elliot
Louis Bennett, father of Nancy
mother and stepfather of Nancy Unferth
Hertzfelds in memory of Cele Fabel, grandmother of Jan
recovery of Golie Cohen
Dolly Brazlin in memory of Hy Brazlin, husband
Donna Horwitz in memory of Marshall Haft, father of Susi Stone
recovery of Goldie Cohen
Announcements? Additions? Adjustments? Please contact Susan Pollack at <> with “Beth Ami” in the subject line or call 602-390-5494.

November 2013 Bulletin

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Dec 142013

From Rabbi Abrams

During last services my message was a report on the Pew Survey of  trends in American Judaism. We already know that synagogue affiliation is very low, that the intermarriage rate is high, and there are great numbers of Jews who don’t define themselves by religion. Instead of wringing our hands with negatives, American Judaism can meet the challenge. We have the freedom in this country to be whatever we want. We don’t have to be Jewish because we are forced to.  We can choose Judaism because we want to be Jewish. We in the religious community should reach out to secular Jews, humanistic Jews, cultural Jews and agnostic Jews.Our best argument for affiliation is to be part of the Jewish People. All Jews can agree with that. Religion should be understood in the broadest way.  Maybe the term “Spiritual” should be used. The Spirit of Judaism has kept us alive over the long run.  Our values, history, and mission can help us survive. Let us persevere with a positive outlook about the future of American Judaism.  There is much to be proud about.

From Blossom Osofsky, President of the Congregation

As November is almost here we welcome the holidays and all of the fun that comes with it. We also welcome our new members as well.  Love and Blessings to you all.

Join the conversation

You can find Beth Ami Temple on Face Book at It is hoped that in a few months this page will replace the bulletin. It is a good place to announce activities and share adventures, but it will involve only Temple events and nothing else.


Rabbi Abrams and Pam Beitman
Friday, November 8, 7:30 p.m
Lead by
Oneg Hosts Jackie Topus, Janet Goodsitt and Sallie Terman
Shamas Committee Donna Horwitz and Blossom Osofsky

Friday, November 22, 7:30 p.m.
Lead by Jerry Mittleman conducting services with Pam Beitman
Oneg Hosts Adrianne and Mel Selbst and Melissa Selbst-Gruys
Shamas Committee Stan Gering and Donna Horwitz

Welcome new members

Ilene Goldstein, Joan Lowell, Lila Markowitz, Mel and Adrianne Selbst

Friendship Clubs

There are 9 active and thriving clubs at our temple. Please consider being a part of these fun and interesting activities.  Each club has its own chairman.  Just call the chairman of one or other clubs regarding information you may want. Or call Sallie Terman, general chairman .

Torah Study Chairman Arlene Freedberg
Movie club Chairman Judy Beechen
Mah jongg day Chairman Ethyle Komie

Mah jongg evening Chairman Sara house

Travelers club Chairman Donna Horwitz

Speaker/Discussion club Co-chairmen Barbara Epstein and Isabel Meth

Cultural experiences Chairman Sallie Terman

Dinner Club Chairman Nancy Stiegel

Hiking/walking Chairman Steve Hertzfeld

Please check us out our clubs! We are saving a place for you.

Club Events


Wednesday, November 6, 6:00 p.m.
BJ’S at Desert Ridge near Tatum

Please notify Nancy Stiegel or Jackie Helfant if you plan to attend.
We meet the first Wednesday of every month at a different restaurant.   Each person takes a month and makes all of the arrangements at a restaurant of his or her choice. The time is always 6:00. This group is open to all Beth Ami members. All we do is eat and have a good time.   If you want to join us or have questions, please call Nancy Stiegel.  Hope to see some new faces. This is just a fun group.

Discussion Club

The first meeting of the season for the Discussion Club will be held on Sunday, November 17 at 2:00 PM.   The speaker will be Ann Polunsky who is head of speakers for the Arizona Jewish Historical Society.  Her subject will be “Pioneers of Jews of Arizona beginning in 1850.”  This should be an interesting subject for all of us to know about the beginnings of Jewish history in Arizona.  Everyone in the congregation is invited to attend.
The meeting will be held at the home of Jackie Topus, 8915 N.84th Way.  Directions will follow.

Cultural Group

January 28, 2014
Bashas Art Gallery of Soutwestern Art (Chandler)
Event Coordinator: Nancy Unferth

February 11, 2014
Georgia O’Keefe Collection
Heard Museum with private guide
Event Coordinator: Donna Horwitz

March 11, 2014
Exhibition of Chihuly Glass Artist
“Chihuly in the Desert”
Desert Botanical Gardens
Event Coordinator: Judy Beechen

April 6, 2014
Tour of Torvea Castle
Historic landmark of Phoenix
11:00 a.m. guided tour
Event Coordinator: Dolly Brazlin

May 6, 2014
Hollywood Costume Exhibit
Phoenix Art Museum
private guided tour
Event Coordinator: Ethyle Komie

For general information, please call Sallie Terman, Chairperson

BETH AMI WALKING GROUP strolls for Mental Health for Groups first walk of year
The NAMI Walk at the Arizona State Capital provided a great location for a stroll on a beautiful October day and a worth cause for many Beth Ami members.  Leading the way was Rabbi Art and Claire, Arnie Schwartz, Morrie and Anne Chernis, Melissa Selbst, Joan Lowell, and Steve and Jan Hertzfeld.  We also had many others joining us on the Stigma Buster team. Thanks to all that walked or donated to this great cause.

Here are The Walking groups upcoming planned hikes for a variety of levels of fitness:
November 10 at 9:30am
40th St. south of Shea Blvd

December 15 at 9:30am
McDowell Sonoran Preserve – Trailhead to be announced

For more details/info: Contact Jan or Steve Hertzfeld

Travel Group

The Beth Ami Temple Travelers Committee is meeting on Saturday, November 9, 2013 to discuss our future travel plans.  If you are interested in joining the committee, please contact Donna Horwitz at

Torah Study

We will meet on Sunday, Nov. 10th. at the home of Arlene and Marv Freedberg from 3:00 until 5:00. We will be discussing “A Parable Of The Trees.” in the Tanach in NEVI’IM  from the Book  of Judges p. 531 line 8 thru line 15 . Please read the Story of SAMSON beginning with chapter 13 also in judges, page 539 thru chapter 16 ending with The Story of SAMSON and DELILAH. Please R.S.V.P. to  Arleneor

Temple History

Goldie Cohen, our temple historian, is trying to put together a scrapbook of our history over the years. She is looking for articles, ads, photos personal stories even old bulletins’  or anything that will pull this big project together.  Please look around you notes or files that you can contribute.   Goldie, like all of you, is another temple member with a “big heart”.  Please see what you can find.


Beth Ami gratefully acknowledges the following donations:

  • Freedberg family in memory of Lauren Freedberg, granddaughter
  • Ceil Freedberg, mother of Marvin
  • Michael Bentley, father of Arlene in honor of Marvin’s 75th birthday
  • Judith Cohen in memory of Jack Finkelstein, father
  • Hertzfeld family in memory of Sophie Hertzfeld, grandmother of Steve, and Harry Sigman, grandfather of Steve
  • Morrie Chernis in memory of his parents
  • Bobbi Lazarus in memory of Charles Luks, father
  • Polson famiy in memory of Jesse Daniel Lieberman, grandson
  • Helfant family in memory of Anna Helfant, mother of Dan

May 2012 Bulletin

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Apr 302012

From Rabbi Abrams

Judaism is not founded upon miracles and myths but upon a history which traces the path of a people who are searching for meaning. We have to break through to get to the unabridged core of a God intoxicated religion which can sustain life and reinforce beliefs which we can live with in today’s world.

From Blossom Osofsky, President of the Congregation

Hi all!  It’s hard to believe but Friday, April 27th was our last service for the year. Beth Ami and the Palo Cristi Church are very excited about the fundraiser that we’re doing.  So,If you haven’t purchased a ticket yet contact me.     


An Evening of Broadway Show Tunes

Sunday, May 6 – 7:00 pm
The Palo Christi Presbyterian Church
3535 E. Lincoln Dr.
Paradise Valley, AZ
Ticket price: $15.00 per person in advance or $20.00 per person at the door. Contact Blossom Osofsky for tickets and information.
Beth Ami Temple and Palo Cristi Presbyterian Church invite you to an evening of Broadway show tunes with Beverly Fletcher and Jason Mc Donald. Coffee and dessert follow the concert.

The Temple Travelers

Saturday, May 5, 2012 – 11:00a m
The home of Donna Horwitz
We will be discussing our next trip.  Please feel free to join us if you are interested in having a voice as to where our next trip will be or let her know if you would like to attend future meetings.  Our first trip to Prescott was a huge success as a good time was had by all.  We are now considering other Arizona cities and perhaps Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Call Donna at 602-997-5623 or e-mail her at for further information.

From Sara House

It is so comforting to have the friendship of my these very wonderful Beth Ami members during this difficult time.

Beth Ami Town Meeting and Shabbat Service

Friday, May 11 at 7:30 pm


Beth Ami temple gratefully acknowledges the following donations:

  • Barbara Epstein and Zal Newman in memory of Julian House
  • Barbara Epstein and Zal Newman in memory of Gustave Oberhard, father of Barbara
  • Mel and Adrianne Selbst in memory of Julian House
  • Mel and Adrianne Selbst in memory of Mel Dinner
  • Sallie Terman in honor of Arlene Freedberg’s leadership of the Torah group
  • Stan and Jill Gering in memory of Susan Bock, sister-in-law
  • Stan and Jill Gering in memory of Evelyn Gering, mother of Stan
  • Blossom Osofsky in memory of mother-in-law, May Osofsky
  • Blossom Osofsky in memory of Stan Osofsky, husband
  • Elyssa Schneider in memory of Julian House
  • Morrie and Anne Chernis in memory of Julian House
  • Isabel Meth and Mort Bloom in memory of Julian House
  • Isabel Meth and Mort Bloom in memory of Daniel and M.J. Fraenkel, parents
  • Ethyle Komie in memory of Julian House
  • Ethyle Komie in memory of Earl Komie, husband
  • Ethyle Komie in memory of Morris Komie, father-in-law of Ethlye
  • Ethyle Komie in memory of Rose Linker, mother
  • Charles Hurwich in memory of wife, Anita
  • Elliot and Nancy Stiegel in memory of Daniel Stiegel, son
  • Elliot and Nancy Stiegel in memory of Henrietta Bennett, mother of Nancy
  • Bart Kroungold in memory of Samuel Kroungold, father
  • Susan and Bernie Pollack in memory of Ariel Schein, father of Susan
  • Arlene and Marv Freedberg, happy birthday to Susi Stone
  • Arlene and Marv Freedberg, get well to Rachel Freedberg, granddaughter
  • Hertzfeld family in memory of Linda Bernstein,  grandmother of Jan
  • Barbara Schischa in memory of Gary Schischa, son
  • Barbara Schischa in memory of Erwin Schischa, husband

If you wish make a donation to honor the memory of someone or celebrate a happy occasion, contact Bobbi Lazarus, Temple Administrator, at 3104 E. Camelback Road #508, Phoenix 85016 or phone 602-956-0805.

Thanks to Donna Horwitz, Sallie Terman, and Nancy and Bob Unferth for hosting the April 27th Oneg Shabbat.

April 2012 Bulletin

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Apr 032012

From Blossom Osofsky, President of the Congregation

STRANGERS NO MORE–  Beth Ami Temple and Palo Cristi Church have joined together for a fundraiser.  It will be on Sunday May 6th at 7 p.m. in the evening.  We are featuring Beverly Fletcher accompanying Jason Mc Donald singing show tunes .  It should be an exciting evening of fun.  Get your tickets and join us, everyone. It will be great.  You can call me at 480-657-0888 for more information.
Let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Pesach. Enjoy family, friends, good food and celebrate freedom.

Shabbat Services

April 27 – 7:30 pm
Lead by Rabbi Abrams and Cantorial Soloist Pam Beitman

Thanks to Elyssa Schneider for co-hosting the March 23 Oneg.


An Evening of Broadway Show Tunes

Sunday, May 6 – 7:00 pm
The Palo Christi Presbyterian Church
3535 E. Lincoln Dr.
Paradise Valley, AZ
Ticket price: $15.00 per person in advance or $20.00 per person at the door.
Beth Ami Temple and Palo Cristi Presbyterian Church invite you to an evening of Broadway show tunes with Beverly Fletcher and Jason Mc Donald. Coffee and dessert follow the concert.

In Memory

Beth Ami mourns the loss of Julian House, husband of Sara.


If you wish make a donation to honor the memory of someone or celebrate a happy occasion, contact Bobbi Lazarus, Temple Administrator, at 3104 E. Camelback Road #508, Phoenix 85016 or phone 602-956-0805.

The following donations have been gratefully received by Beth Ami:

  • The Phil Miller family in memory of Belle Axelrod, mother of Mariellen
  • The Phil Miller family in memory of Edward Robinsonfather of Mariellen
  • The Phil Miller family in memory of eric Robinson, brother of Mariellen
  • The Geller family in memory of Sol Geller, father of Earl
  • Bobbi Lazarus in memory of Sandy, husband
  • Bobbi Lazarus in memory of Celia Lazarus, mother-in-law
  • Bobbi Lazarus in memory of Leon Lazarus, father-in-law

Thoughts From The Rabbi – Excerpts from bulletins

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Apr 032012

October 2014 bulletin

On the High Holidays our themes were on Rosh Hashanah, looking forward
and not backward, to make new experiences; to face the future with
courage and hope. Also, the theme was to focus on this world and today.

Salvation in another world isn’t that important in Jewish thought. “One
good deed in this world is worth the entire future world,” said the rabbis. We
need to bring God down to us and to earth. From earth justice will spring up.
No matter how much violence there is, we cannot reject the world.

On Yom Kippur we will talk about failure and reconciliation and
celebrating the possibility of improving our lives. “Teshuvah” (Return) is the
major concept. We can change. We can come back.

Our next service will be on Simchat Torah. The reading from the Torah will
be Braishit (In the beginning). We have come full circle from last year….The
Torah Scrolls will be taken out of the Holy Ark and carried around the
sanctuary seven times. It is a celebration. Simchat Torah means
“rejoicing with Torah”.

There are other creation stories from ancient Babylonia citing many gods who
created the world. The Jewish creation is caused by one God.

So, join us on October 17th as we celebrate Simchat Torah and the Fall Festival
of Sukkot and welcome the Fall Season.

September 2014 Bulletin

I am writing this note at the beginning of August. I hope that by the time you read
this, the war in Israel will be over and concluded. The battle with Hamas has
brought out anti-Semitism around the world. There is no longer any doubt that anti-Israel
and anti-Semitism sentiments are the same.
Israel had no alternative, but to defend itself by all means possible. The Jewish People around
the world must unite in solidarity for Israel.
Whether Jews are religious or secular, identified or assimilated, we are all part of
the Jewish People. We feel like family to the Israeli people who are or were experiencing
this crisis. How courageous they are. They have our prayers, our love, and our
continued support. Our slogan is NEVER AGAIN!
Wishing you, your families, and the Jewish
People around the world, L’ Shanna Tova!
May Israel finally see peace.
Looking forward to seeing you at Temple.

April 2012

Passover is a festival that encompasses all facets of Judaism. Its message is freedom, celebrating the exodus of Hebrew slaves from subjugation. The first commandment is a powerful statement:  “I am the lord who brought you out of the house of bondage, out of Egypt.”  this commandment says that god is a god of freedom. Judaism teaches, however, that god needs us to carry out the task even though the inspiration is divine.  We must act for anything to happen.  The red sea didn’t open until Moses and the people moved. God tells Moses that there is a time to pray and a time to act.  The lesson is clear. We must help god by our actions on earth. The message of Passover is a great inspiration to all humanity.