Sign In Forgot Password

Fall 2019


The Temple Emanu-El Connection

Welcome to the digital version of the Temple Emanu-El newsletter.  If you, or someone you know, would like to receive a printed version, please contact the office at 595-7521.  We welcome your feedback. Please send comments to


Rabbi's Interview: Behind The Curtain PLUS The Rabbi's   Five Questions

The Connection thanks Rabbi Ken Aronowitz for taking the time out of his incredibly
busy schedule to share his thoughts with the Temple Emanu-El community.

Behind The Curtain

Naturally, as congregants we see the rabbi as our spiritual guide, the one who conducts Shabbat and holiday services and who serves as the leader of our Temple.  While these functions are the ones we can observe and experience, there is far more that goes into Rabbi Ken’s mission.  For this issue of The Connection, we are privileged to take you “behind the curtain”.  Rather than a traditional interview, we have a nutshell version of Rabbi’s all encompassing vision as seen through his own eyes.

The Five Questions

Rabbi Ken is seeking to know more from our members when it comes to five overarching questions about being Jewish.   "As a Reform rabbi, I see things a little differently in terms of a rabbi's relationship with his congregation and the community,” Rabbi Ken said. “Rather than being the definitive source on being Jewish, my role is more to provide good, solid knowledge and education and encourage each individual to determine for themselves how they want to practice their Judaism, how they 'do Jewish'. So I am asking for everyone to be a part of something meaningful and important both to me and the entire congregation as well as the Jewish community."

Please give the Five Questions some thought and then click or tap “reply” and send in your responses.  Rabbi added that, “The Five Questions are meant to encourage people to reflect on what it means to be Jewish.  Each person’s ideas and reflections are very important to me.  I am very much looking forward to reading everyone’s responses.”

We will share the outcome of the Five Questions in the next issue of The Connection.  Meanwhile, here is a partial list of the things that Rabbi Ken is working on in the year 5780 as he takes you “behind the curtain”.

Jump Start Pre-School:  Create engaging Shabbat and holiday experiences for Jewish and other families who signed up to have their children meet with Rabbi Ken.

Outreach:  Invite those who are interested in Judaism and possible conversion to see how our community prays by attending services and to see how we learn by attending Torah study.  This will help us to determine who will be a good match for our next Judaism 101 class.

Hebrew Name:  Prepare and present a class on choosing a Hebrew name, culminating in a group naming ceremony.

Creating Modern Liturgy:  Prepare and present class to be recorded on prayer writing.  

Pop Up Learning:  Invite members of the community to choose a Jewish-learning related topic or activity to have in their home with a small group of other member families.

Youth:  Support SJS and Kadima staff, supervise Kesher and Confirmation Post B'nei Mitzvah sessions, support YEET (Youth of Emanu-El Temple) youth group coordinator and promote NFTY Kallot as well as Jewish summer camp/high school programs.

Cultural:  Support the Honolulu Jewish Film Festival.  Grow the Honolulu Symphony connection with Temple.  Look into Jewish book and art months.  Facilitate singles and other social gatherings.

Life Events:  Prepare and officiate gatherings related to Temple Emanu-El and also Destination B'nei Mitzvah, Death & Dying, Weddings, Brit Milah, Brit Bat, and Naming ceremonies.

Holidays:  Prepare and implement the Nu’uanu Interfaith Thanksgiving Week Service.  Prepare and implement Temple Hanukkah, Tu B’Shevat, Purim, Passover Seder, and Shavuot experiences.  Prepare and implement the Community Yom HaShoah Service and Community Yom HaAtzmaut.

Caring Community:  Help create a caring community group within our Temple Emanu-El community including a Bikkur Cholim group to visit those who are ill.

Tikkun Olam:  Support Temple Emanu-El’s support of Family Promise, The Hawaii Food Bank, Waikiki Teen Center, Salvation Army Thanksgiving Dinner, and Meals on Wheels.

Respond to Requests:  Reply to requests from the Temple Emanu-El community, the Greater Oahu/Hawaii Jewish community, the Interfaith community, and the community at-large in addition to doing pastoral counseling.

Facilities:  Facilitate cleaning up and organizing all spaces on the Temple campus as well as much needed work on our Torah scrolls and sanctuary.

Again, we note that this is only a partial list of Rabbi Ken’s projects, programs, and responsibilities.

Rabbi Ken’s Five Questions

Please give some thought to these questions and, when you’re ready, click or tap “reply” to respond with your answers.  Stephanie DeMello, our administrative assistant, will make sure your responses get to Rabbi Ken and are otherwise kept private.  Your voice is important.  It’s OK to say you are not sure or don’t know.  The important thing is to respond! We would appreciate your reply by Sunday, December 15.

      1.  What do you call and how do you describe the “something greater than yourself?”  Is it a Divine Presence? How do you experience it? Through community? 

      2.   How do you now (or how could you) use prayer in your spiritual or religious practice?


     3.  What place does (or could) Jewish culture and Israel have in your life?


     4.  What areas of Jewish study (Torah, Talmud etc.) have had the greatest impact on your life?  What is the best way for you to  study: in person, watching videos, reading books, online, something else?


     5.  What would move you to become an active member of a Caring Community being of help to others in our Temple Emanu-El  community?  What would move you to do Tikkun Olam, being of service to the greater community? In what ways could you contribute to each?



Temple Emanu-El’s Youth Education Programs Are Thriving

One way to understand the history of the Jewish people is through our dedication to and reverence for knowledge and understanding.  From the earliest days, those who could read were held in the highest regard.  They held a special place in society.  Our rite of passage – bar and bat mitzvah – culminates with reading a portion of the Torah. 

We are called upon to look for meaning in our long history through the thousands upon thousands of writings – Torah, Talmud, rabbinic literature, commentaries, Jewish law, Kabbalah and so very much more.  When we stop to reflect, education is at the core of our Jewish faith and Jewish life.  Having a thriving Jewish education program is one of the highest priorities for any congregation.  Thankfully, Temple Emanu-El’s has become a remarkable success.

We now have a place for everyone – of all ages – to study, to learn, to grow, and to be a part of a community of Jewish knowledge.  This issue focuses on youth education.  In the next issue we will examine the many opportunities for adult learning.

The School of Jewish (SJS) studies encompasses classroom time, holiday programming, speakers, family activities, and more.  Parents are encouraged to become involved and participate in the Parent Hui that is also a part of the SJS.  There is even a parent-led security task force headed by Jamie Garcia that patrols the campus, making sure that everyone is safe.

             Rachel Garcia Coordinates Our Youth Education Programs

Coordinating the School of Jewish Studies is Rachel Garcia.  She and her family decided to make Hawaii their home after her husband, Jamie, retired from the Army as a Lt. Colonel, after 25 years of serving our country, and got a job here.  They had been stationed here previously and decided—after moving 15 times—that  they wanted to make Hawaii their home.  Rachel and Jamie have two boys, Jacob, who is 12, and Joshua, who is 8.  Jacob is preparing for his bar mitzvah.

Rachel’s upbringing in upstate New York included large doses of ongoing Jewish education.  Her mother, father, and sister are all teachers.  In fact, her dad was on the staff of a yeshiva and a longtime religious educator, well-known in Rochester, NY.  Rachel’s professional career included a strong background in journalism/print media and also working as a reporter and TV news anchor.  She is currently a field editor for Taste of Home magazine.

After getting settled on Oahu, Rachel learned that the Temple was in need of help to coordinate the Jewish education programs, something she had assisted with at her last shul in Colorado Springs.  She is currently the youth program coordinator, and also a preschool and Hebrew school teacher.  The number of students involved is now 50-plus and growing.

The SJS Educational Vision is to have students become educated Jews who:

  • Connect with their Jewish community both here in Honolulu and around the world.
  • Integrate the cultural, moral and spiritual values of Judaism into their lives.
  • Cherish the language, history, text and homeland of the Jewish people

Nevatim Program pre-K.  Once a month.  Sundays.  10:00–11:30 AM.

This class is an introduction to Jewish holidays and themes with the focus being mostly on holidays.  As a pre-K program it is also a way to have young families meet, socialize, and get a taste of Temple life.  Rachel teaches this program along with co-teacher, Mehana Paul.  There are currently 10 families enrolled.

Kindergarten – 7th grade (SJS).  Sundays.  10:00 AM – 12:30 PM 

The subject matter depends on grade.  Each grade has up to 10 goals within it which include creating Jewish community,  life cycles, Jewish rituals and holidays, mitzvot and middot, prayers, Torah stories, liturgy, and introduction to the Hebrew language.  There is a morning shir – group prayer, and all families are invited to participate in the first 15 minutes of class.  The students then break off into classroom discussions.  There is also special programming, such as cooking classes,  Jewish calligraphy, and Israeli folk dancing.

SJS Teachers:

Kindergarten/1st grade –  Hannah Frankel

 2nd and 3rd   grades – Aviela Weltman and co-teacher Jade Unabia

 4th and 5th grades – May Nachum

6th grade and up – Jan Fried

Art teacher – Jackie Mild Lau

Kadima Program (called Hebrew School in our youth) 5th to 9th grade – Wednesdays 4:30 – 6:30 PM 

Teachers:  Aviela, Rachel and Rabbi

The curriculum is focused on Hebrew language, prayers, and liturgy, Torah and Haftorah study, primarily to prepare the students for their bar/bat mitzvah.  There are currently 10 students who are learning that their Jewish rite of passage is just part of the journey, not the end.  Once they are bar/bat mitzvah and graduate out of this class, they move on to kesher – some immediately, some after a short break.

Kesher 8th – 10th grade.  Monthly.  Sundays.  12:30 – 2:00 PM

This class is taught by Rabbi Ken and Judah Hoffenberg.  It is a continuation of Jewish learning that engages the students in more mature topics.

Confirmation  Class.  11th and 12th grade.  Monthly.  Sundays.  12:30 – 2:00 PM

Teacher:  Rabbi Ken

This is a privileged class that gets to work directly with rabbi.  Once they complete the program, there is a confirmation service.  Last year saw 4 confirmation graduates.

Temple Youth Group 

The students in the youth group named it YEET (Youth of Emanu-El Temple).  Hannah Frankel is the director for YEET.  They get together for  occasional social activities such as ice skating, escape room adventures or bowling.


One of the most exciting and encouraging aspects of our educational programs is that our young people who have passed their milestone bar or bat mitzvah often volunteer to help in classroom as a madrichim.  Some will even become paid staff.  They help out on campus both in the classroom and with service projects. 

Interested students must apply and be interviewed.  Currently there are 13 teens participating.  Rachel noted that the fact that they want to return and give back speaks volumes.  There are lots of places where, once someone has finished bar/bat mitzvah, they tend to disappear.

The future looks brighter than ever for Jewish education at Temple Emanu-El.  We salute Rachel, the teachers, madrichim, students, parents – everyone who is making our congregation such a vibrant learning community.


Board President Offers a Timely Invitation to All Members


Board president Jackie Mild Lau’s leadership and vision continue to be essential to Temple Emanu-El’s continued growth and success.  Jackie served three terms from 2014 – 2017, had a 2 year break, and was just re-elected to her fourth term.  She spoke to the Connection about the goals and objectives for the upcoming year.

“After the elections, the board held a retreat in September,” Jackie stated. “We decided to focus on three areas:  fundraising, governance, and engagement.”

This is our 60th year on the Pali and our facilities are showing their age.  The board’s focus on fundraising will enable us to address projects that have long needed attention:  roofing, tenting for termites, lighting, flooring, and seating in the sanctuary, and possibly electrifying the Ner Tamid (Eternal Light).  It currently runs on gas, which creates soot on the walls and ceiling.  Also, it sometimes gets blown out by the wind.

In addition to those renovations and improvements, certain areas of the Weinberg Learning Center need work.  The partitions are difficult to move, lighting could use an upgrade and the general atmosphere needs to be more welcoming.  We could purchase the solar array on the main building roof outright (the Temple currently has a power purchase agreement) to lower/eliminate most long range electricity costs.

If fundraising efforts are very successful, improvements could go beyond need to include possibilities such as expanding the library into the front courtyard to create a reading room/lounge and upgrading the kitchen to include a “Café Emanu-El,” which would further our mission as a gathering place.

“Improvements have been made in the kitchen already, including new ovens courtesy of Sisterhood and an induction stove top,” Jackie added.  “Stan and Marie Satz have done a wonderful job with painting, organization and general clean-up.  We’re so grateful for their efforts and hope they will continue and that others will also join in the good work.”

As to governance, Jackie and the board are focused on reviewing and updating the by-laws and creating a leadership development program.  “It’s so important to our future to have potential leaders in the ‘pipeline,’ so we can have smooth and more predictable leadership transitions,” Jackie explained.

She added that, “We plan to create new possibilities for people to participate, to learn about the board, and to develop their leadership skills.  Joining a working group or committee is another way for those who are interested to get started and there are many to choose from.”

We invite you to watch the e-blasts for opportunities to help out.  Members are also welcome to attend a Board meeting as guest observers to learn more about the Temple’s governance and the tasks and goals of each committee.  The current committees and their chairs are as follows:

Governance Committee (Josh Levinson, Chair)

Fundraising Committee (Dan Tabori, Chair)

Membership Committee (Justin Levinson, Chair)

Religion Committee (Larry Steinberg, Chair)

Education Committee (Jackie Lau, Chair)

Building & Grounds Committee (Scott Paul, Chair)

Honolulu Jewish Film Festival Committee (Kathy Krammer, Chair)

Sisterhood Committee (Marie Satz, Chair)

Archives Committee (Larry Steinberg, Chair)

Seniors Committee (Evelyn Davis, Chair)

Cemetery Committee (Scott Paul, Chair)

The Board of Trustees meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month from 6:00 - 7:30  PM, usually in the Library. BYO snacks.

The Board’s theme this year is "L’ Dor V’ Dor”, From Generation to Generation.  It includes facilitating an engaged, intergenerational congregation where members feel a connection to their own Jewish identities, each other, and the community.  To that end, Jackie said “We want to find ways to make it attractive for teens, young adults, families with children, empty nesters and our ever faithful seniors to participate more at Temple events and services.”

Family-friendly and some adult focused Saturday night activities like movies, music, social gatherings and wine tastings have been suggested.  “I’ve been thinking of offering hands-on art events involving painting, ceramics, and more for those in a creative mood,” Jackie said.  “I’m also considering scheduling a town hall or other type of semi-annual meeting where members can learn about what’s up, express their vision, help set priorities and be a part of creating the future for our congregation and community.”

Our deepest thanks to board president Jackie Mild Lau and the entire Temple Emanu-El Board of Trustees for their commitment to our congregation!


Donation Listings
Donation listings from May 14-November 25, 2019

Fran Margulies in appreciation of three events at Temple: Rabbi Daniel Lev performance, Holocaust Memorial and Jewish community Speaker Series presentation about Ben Hecht
Eileen Hilton and Leonard Rossoff in memory of Bessie Cohen
Stan and Marie Satz in memory of Alan King
Lynne Halevi in memory of Fannie Grossman and Isaac Alevy
Arnold Feldman in memory of Sarah Feldman
Stan and Marie Satz in memory of Leah Satz
Diane Farkas and Larry Steinberg in memory of Tom Brown
Sara Izen in memory of Tom Brown
Stan and Marie Satz in memory of Tom Brown
Meredith Glass
Frank Fernandez
Sally Morgan in honor of Richard Field for his help
Gail Marcus
Deane Berson
Polina Druker in memory of Mayor Zeltsman
Ruth Freedman in memory of Borys Kusne
Ruth Freedman in memory of Saul Freedman
Stephen Dorner in memory of Thomas Brown
Malie Beach-Smith in honor of Abby Arnold
Maureen Margolis in honor of William and Evelyne Margolis
Diane Farkas and Larry Steinberg in honor of Jackie Foil’s 90th birthday
Ken and Shizue Goldblatt in memory of Alfreda Goldblatt and Sanai Kawano
Rosemary and Larry Mild in loving memory of Luby and Saul Pollack
Rosemary and Larry Mild in honor of Jackie Foil’s 90th birthday
Rosemary and Larry Mild in honor of Lynne Halevi’s 90th birthday
Diane Farkas and Larry Steinberg in honor of Lynn Halevi’s 90th birthday
Martha Katz in memory of Zoltan Katz
Barbara Green in honor of Jackie Foil’s 90th birthday
Sue Schneiderman in honor of Jackie Foil’s 90th birthday
Dan Bender in honor of Bea Haymer
Latner/Justin Ohana in honor of Martin “Frey” Hebert’s Bar Mitzvah
Diane Farkas and Larry Steinberg in honor of the 70th birthday of Jay Friedheim
Kathy Krammer and Randy Jensen
Stan and Marie Satz in honor of Celia King’s birthday
Stan and Marie Satz in memory of Victoria Oyer
Stan and Marie Satz in memory of Murray Satz
Claire Soos in honor of Gloria Katz’s 75th birthday
Ruth Freedman for the yahrzeit of Elissa Josephsohn
Jeffrey and Katherine Kissel to fund the Ner Tamid replacement
Stuart Novick in memory of Dorothy Novick
Rona Adams in memory of Harold “Harry” Adams and Lillian “Tilly” Adams
Larry Mild in memory of George Leon Mild
Sheila Gerstman in memory of Harold Gerstman and for a Happy New Year 5780
Frank Fernandez for Rosh Hashanah 5780
Margery Schwartz in honor of John Schick’s 85th birthday and the New Year 5780
Irene Burgess
Josie Bigood in honor of Sharon Weiner and Scott Paul
Robin Wurtzel
Kristi Maynard and Timothy Olderr
Frank Fernandez for Yom Kippur
Frank Fernandez for Sukkot
Rosemary Mild
Kenneth Marcus in memory of Murray B. Lander
Frank Fernandez for Cana Fernandez’s birthday
Jackie Foil in memory of Samuel Jack Foil

Celia King in honor of Marie Satz
Steven and Elaine Edelstein in honor of Stephanie DeMello
Joanne Shapiro
Evelyn Davis in memory of Louis Vogel
Evelyn Davis in memory of Richard Buff and David Buff

Diane Parker in memory of Hoyt Parker
Sally Morgan in honor of Jackie Foil
Kathy Krammer in honor of Jackie Foil’s 90th birthday
Kathy Krammer in honor of Lynne Halevi’s 90th birthday
Diane Parker in memory of Celia Fichman
Marcia Klompus in memory of Benjamin Mensh
Sara Izen in memory of Bella Goldstein
Congregation Sof Ma’arav

Barbara Edelstein in memory of Alice Boxman
Julie Kessler in memory of Carmela Nitzan Kessler


Diane Farkas and Larry Steinberg honor of Greta Conlon’s Bat Mitzvah

Celia King in memory of Alan King
Harvey and Diane Minsky in memory of Abraham Whitman
Judith, Jim and Megan Hiramoto in memory of Doris Rose
Sandy Gottesman in memory of Louis Gottesman
John and Eudice Schick in memory of Minnie Rosenstein and Joseph Rosenstein
Jeffrey Grad and Elizabeth Grad in memory of Vinson Grad
Polina Druker in memory of Gregory Druker
Rosemary and Larry Mild in honor of Diane Farkas
Jan Strasburg in memory of Earl Strasburg
Elizabeth Kent in memory of Ron Kent
Diane Farkas and Larry Steinberg in honor of Celia King’s birthday
Joyce Heinberg in memory of Paul Heinberg
Richard Kersten in memory of Miriam Lewis Kersten
Shirley Klippert
Diane Farkas
Sandy Gottesman in honor of Jerry Clay’s birthday
Jerry and Vanny Clay in memory of Louis Clay
Richard Kersten


Elaine Egashira in memory of Hersel and Eva Starr


Celia King in honor of Stan and Marie Satz's Anniversary
Stan and Marie Satz in honor of Celia King on Mother’s Day


Barry Langlieb and Alice Lachman in honor of Lynne Halevi’s 90th birthday
Rosemary and Larry Mild in honor of Kathy Krammer and Randy Jensen


Lynne Halevi in memory of Victor Halevi, Fannie Grossman, Nathan Grossman and Martin Kogan
Janes and Cherye Pierce in memory of Clem Rosenzweig and Leon Rosenzweig
Howard and Jana Wolff in memory of Dr. Richard Adler and Sylvia Wolff
Jerry and Vanny Clay in memory of Ruth Clay, Louis Clay and Rose Cohen
Rosemary and Larry Mild
John and Eudice Schick
Evelyn Davis
Richard Kersten in memory of Miriam Lewis Kersten and Caesar Shepard Kersten
Robert and Suzan Bach in memory of Morris Bach, Yetta Bach, Harry Fink, Sylvia Fink, Joanne Bass and Barbara Brenner
Rachel Garcia
Sandy Gottesman in memory of Wally Gottesman, Jeff Gottesman, Louis Gottesman, Rose Gottesman, Shirley Gottesman Parker and Abe Parker
Harvey and Diane Minsky in memory of Mildred Minsky, Barney Fritz, Gladys Fritz, Ilene Dorfman and Esther Whitman
Mike Naft in memory of David Naft, Lea Naft and Jane Naft Loventhal
Stuart Novick
Suzanne Schneiderman in memory of Bernie Schneiderman
Brenda Widder and Felice Valmas in memory of Arnold Widder
Rodney and Jackie Lau in memory of Hannah J. Mild, Set Gim and Gladys Lau, Miriam L. Wolfe, Sigmund and Herta Forsch, John and Hilda Mild, Cy and Lydia Haack and George Mild
Betsy Staller
Judith, Jim and Megan Hiramoto
Margery Ziffrin and John Marlowe
Diane Parker in memory of Hoyt Parker, Celia Fichman and Alfred Fichman
Jackie Foil, Kenneth Marcus and Gail Marcus
Margery Ziffrin
Mark and Janie Davis
Mort Nemiroff
Carol Kozlovich


Rona Adams
Aaron Alter
Charlene Anaya
Robert and Suzan Bach
Gerald and Vanny Clay
Evelyn Davis
Todd and Theresa Devere
William and Sharron Fisherman
Ruth Freedman
Sandy Gottesman
Alexei Guren and Julie Levitt Guren
Cliff and Nancy Halevi
Lynne Halevi
Maya Iriondo
Robert and Judith Liu
Rocky Marcus
Anita Mueller
Harvey and Diane Minsky
Scott and Malia Paul
Richard Rosen
Matthew Shannon
Hanania and Darleen Shauriki
Noah and Corinne Solomon
Dan and Jerusha Tabori
Diane and Gerald Umeda
Myles Unabia and Susan Kroe-Unabia
Diane Farkas and Larry Steinberg
Hannah and Christopher Creviston
Dr. Philip and Miriam Hellreich
Craig Cannold
Robert Richmond
Guedj Philippe
David and Shawna Altfeld
Tim Olderr and Kristi Maynard
Mitchell Bednarsh
Aaron Goodstein
Robbie Berstresser
Dana Schwartz
Josie Bigood
Robyn Wertzel
Jacqueline Tamman
Michael Richards



Stuart Novick, editor, writer

     Stephanie DeMello, layout and production

Diane Farkas, proof reader

Mon, June 1 2020 9 Sivan 5780