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Spring 2019


The Temple Emanu-El Connection

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



Rabbi Ken Aronowitz Shares His Vision and Values

We extend our warmest gratitude to Rabbi Ken Aronowitz for taking the time to provide us with this interview.  We believe you will find it heart warming and illuminating.  Mahalo Rabbi Ken!

Q.  Time flies.  It’s been six months since our last interview.  You talked about your experience of the High Holy Days being something that’s quite personal for you, representing the yin and yang of life.  You spoke eloquently about both embracing life and coming to terms with the end of life experience and emphasized that helping members of our community with this challenging part of life is an important way for us to be a resource for our community.  Can you tell us how that’s been going?

A.  It’s been going well.  We’re completing the Caring Conversation series—four awesome sessions.  We’ve had deeply meaningful discussions about several important topics including a presentation on end of life wishes, how Jewish traditions could impact one’s choices for the end of life, and also the administrative and financial aspects. 

We had an expert talk to us about aging—not just the individual, but their support network of family, friends, medical professionals, and more.  One of the most powerful sessions focused on ethical and spiritual wills.  The question is what to leave behind as our legacy. 

An ethical will focuses on tradition, lineage, context, articulating one’s values, talking about our story, looking at oneself as a link in the chain.  A spiritual will takes on trajectory (direction), legacy, looking at one’s contributions, how one lived their values, focusing on one’s own journey, one’s story, and looking at oneself as a unique expression of the divine.

I’m working on reviewing several booklets from different congregations to learn how they have informed their communities on all the aspects of death and dying.  I plan to take best of those and add to it for our Temple website.  It will include practical information about people we can work with in the community, who do you call for this and that. 

For example, when one is dying or they’re approaching the end of life, it’s only natural to focus on their own condition—what do they want to happen in terms of their body, in terms of a service?  Recently, there was an individual who willed their body to medical school so it could be used to help save lives.  The body would be used and then cremated after 6 months or a year.  It’s new and I’m still working with it. 

Would there be a memorial plaque?  Would it be after the cremation occurs, the end of the mourning period?  What about washing of bodies that will be cremated, which would never have been done before?  So I’m aiming for a highly practical resource for community at large.  I want people to know what to do and to do it well before the calls need to be made.  That is such a gift to one’s family and friends because it takes the guess work out. 

The key is finding meaning in suffering.  If we have the practical issues taken care of, we can focus on meaning of our loved one’s life.


Q.  What would you like our readers to know about what’s happening with Temple Emanu-El?

A.  Well, of course, there is always a lot happening.  After Passover there is Yom Hashoah and then Israel Independence Day.  After that, I’ll be representing the Jewish community of Hawaii on a week long trip to Berlin, Germany.  The group will be comprised of rabbis from Alaska and the other western states.  We’ll be visiting a concentration camp.  Then it will time to gear up for next year and the High Holy Days.

I’m very excited about all of our Jewish educational programs—the Jewish Experience Center.  We have four graduates from the confirmation class, seniors in high school.  They’ve stayed around, becoming teaching assistants in our religious school.  Recently the youth group had a nice showing at their outing to the Ice Palace.

The 8th, 9th, and 10th graders are focused on enhancing social media for Temple.  They’re also going to meet with the coordinator and senior teacher for SJS to promote a more engaging, cohesive curriculum for the kesher.  The kesher, which means connection, is for students after their bar and bat mitzvah, 8th – 10th grades, and meets monthly.

The School of Jewish Studies (SJS) is for elementary school, 6th and 7th grades.  They meet every Sunday.  And we also have our youth group, renamed YEET by the members.  It stands for Youth of Emanu-El Temple.  I’m told it means something cool, but I’m exactly sure what.  (Laughs)

Q.  Thank you , Rabbi.  Any final thoughts for our members?

A.  I think we’re doing a pretty good job with our youth and with our seniors.  The 20 – 50 year olds we can do better with.  I would love to hear ideas from our members.  If anyone has an idea for programs or participation opportunities for people in those age ranges, please let me know.  You can email me at or call the office and talk with Richard Field, our executive director or Stephanie, our office manager.


Honolulu Jewish Film Festival Hits New Heights

Cathleen Field enjoys the HJFF Opening Night festivities held March 2.

To use an old cliché, this is not your father’s Honolulu Jewish Film Festival.  Under the leadership of co-chairs Kathy Krammer and Cliff Halevi with Chair Emeritus Jackie Foil and outstanding executive and screening committees, the 17th year proved to be transformative.

Since its inception, the film festival committee’s mission has been to raise funds for the Temple by sharing films that focus on the rich history and tradition of Judaism—both its triumphs and tragedies.  Early on, the committee joined hands with the Honolulu Museum of Art – Doris Duke Theater.  The museum staff helped develop relationships with filmmakers and distributors, identify films for the committee to select from, promoted and publicized the festival, and in return retained the proceeds from the ticket sales.  The committee did fundraising for the Temple by obtaining sponsors and contributions.

This year brought about a fundamental change.  The museum and Doris Duke Theater no longer sponsors the festival.  Instead, it has become the venue only.  Last year, members of the Honolulu Jewish Film Festival (HJFF) were trained by Doris Duke staff in order to facilitate the change in the business model. 

The museum also changed their business model, going from having 10 outside film festivals to 5.  The HJFF is one of the 5 because of its popularity.  The committee now rents the theater, which pays for its staff.  All the work of preparing for, promoting, and publicizing the festival is done by the committee.  This includes searching for movies, developing relationships with film distributors dealing with Jewish films, and with private filmmakers as well.  The amount of work is formidable, but in return, they retain ticket sales in addition to sponsorships and donations. 

Our Honolulu Jewish Film Festival has become so well known that is now showing up alongside Miami, San Francisco, and other major cities that are important to filmmakers when they promote their films.  The awards handed out at this year’s HJFF (best drama, best documentary, etc.) are now showing up in their promotional pieces.  In recognition of its place in the movie festival pantheon, the HJFF was invited to be a co-sponsor of a Shabbat Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival.

Sundance is the largest, and possibly the most prestigious, gathering of independent filmmakers in the U.S.  According to committee co-chair Kathy Krammer, “This invitation links us into Sundance.  The Shabbat Lounge is 3 – 4 day event sponsored by a celebrity over a long weekend at Sundance.  It’s a place where any Jews who are at Sundance can gather along with filmmakers, distributors.  They have Shabbat services on Friday night and Saturday morning and then have this lounge where they can meet, network, and participate in lectures.  Last year Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary sponsored it.  Dr. Ruth was a special guest because of a movie coming out about her this year.” 

The HJFF has grown so much that the work of the committee is now year round.  There are filmmakers and distributors to contact, hundreds of films to consider and screen.  The committee even uses their website now to allow filmmakers and distributors to submit films for consideration.  In addition, there are plans to have a movie along with a special guest at the Temple two or three times during the year that will be open to the public.

Now more than ever, the Temple’s own Honolulu Jewish Film Festival committee can say with pride, “See you at the movies!”



Q&A with Temple President Carol Kozlovich

We extend our warmest appreciation to Carol Kozlovich for graciously responding to our questions about Temple affairs.  We believe you will find her answers to be informative and illuminating.  Mahalo Carol!

Q.  We last interviewed you as you were starting your term as Temple president.  Now that you have been in the position for 6 months or so, what are you seeing differently?

A.  Just about everything! I took the job as the president because of my love for Temple Emanu-El and Jewish values and my respect for Rabbi Ken and Executive Director Richard Field, for the extraordinary job each of them does. I thought it would be an interesting experience for me, which it has indeed been, and also an opportunity to be of service.


Q.  Again going back to our initial interview, you were encouraged about the future because of the record number of Bar and Bat Mitzvahs during the previous year and also the growth in the attendance of Friday night services.  What kinds of things are being done now to build on those positive indicators?

A.  We noticed that attendance, especially among families with small children, went up when we started services at 6:30, so the Board voted to continue the practice throughout the year, not just in the summer months.  And it's definitely made a difference.  Of course, the onegs following the service add another dimension for conversation and socializing and the enjoyment of delicious food.

Rabbi Ken has also added more music to the services, and that's been enjoyed so much by everyone and has also helped to increase attendance.


Q.  What projects and other initiatives is the board undertaking?  Are there plans to replace the Ner Tamid (eternal light) above the ark with one that works on electricity? 

A.  The Ner Tamid will be replaced with one operating on electricity, thus removing the monthly propane cost, and there will be no black residue clinging to the ceiling or dripping onto the carpet.


Q.  The Eblast has featured some new classes – from making challah to a grief support group.  Could you review what is available for our readers?

A.  Temple members have many opportunities to  attend a wide variety of classes and programs to enrich themselves, meet people new to the community, make new friends, and renew acquaintances. We have Torah Study for men and women, a Torah Study just for women, Talmud Study, Caring Conversations to help with end of life issues, In Search of Wisdom Tuesday morning discussion group, a Yiddish-culture group - and more - plus special activities for younger and older children.


Q.  In addition to the classes, what projects or programs are available for Temple members to participate in?

A.  The growing area of participation and enjoyment includes our beautiful Friday night services and the special monthly Friday Simchah Shabbat when Rabbi Ken honors people who are celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and other special events in that particular month.

We also have a Speakers' Bureau presenting interesting and timely guest speakers.  The Jewish Seniors have a monthly lunch and program. The Jewish Film Festival will continue to grow, building on their exciting new format next year, and welcomes people who want to help.  Our Sisterhood is in perpetual motion looking after the Temple Store and promoting various events and activities.  We have the facilities to do so much more and are open to new ideas and suggestions.


Q.  For those who would like to contribute to the Temple financially, are there specific areas that you see are in need of support?

A.  For anyone wishing to contribute to the Temple, specifically we need to replace water damaged roofs and the folding doors between the sanctuary and the social hall, as well as repair some areas of the floor.  All contributions will be gratefully received and spent in the order of highest priority.



The Whole Megillah – Torah Stories
From an Interview with Larry Steinberg, Temple Archivist

Larry Steinberg with the recently discovered Megillah

Dedicated in 1960, Temple Emanu-El has a rich history—from the contributions of our members to the Jewish community and Hawaii as a whole to the sacred objects housed within the walls of our Temple, including a variety of Torahs.  Six reside in the ark.  The Kalakaua Torah is on display in a koa wood cabinet on the left of the alter.  A Czech Holocaust Torah sits in a companion koa cabinet on the right.  In addition, we are blessed to have an 1869 era Megillah scroll, discovered in 2011 during a housecleaning project.

There are three classifications of Torah.  Kosher means the Torah is usable.  B’dieved means some of the letters are faded or crumbling and in need of touch up, but the Torah is still readable.  Pasul means not usable.  Currently the Temple has three kosher Torahs that can be used for services. 

Recently, Temple Emanu-El hosted Miami, Florida Rabbi Druin, who is also a Sofer (scribe).  He examined our Torahs and made repairs to three of them in order to restore them to kosher status.  The work included touching up letters (the rigid ink on a Torah is fragile and can break off because parchment is flexible skin) and some extensive stitching on one of them where the partitions are stitched together with animal sinew and replaced the two rollers. 

Our Megillah

Our visiting Sofer, Rabbi Druin, was in awe of our Megillah.  He said that the size and beauty of its calligraphy was the most impressive he had ever seen.  He identified it as being written by a Russian trained scribe writing in pre-WWII Germany and dated it as nearly 150 years old.  The Megillah scroll was presented to the Temple by confirmation parents in 1965 to honor their two confirmation children.  The heavy, custom made storage case, stamped in gold leaf, says “Magillot Esther 1965” along with a small Star of David.  

The Megillah is not kosher yet.  It’s Pasul, but it’s permissible to read sections from it.  We can’t say blessings on the scroll to fulfill a mitzvah of any kind.  However, we can use a kosher scroll to say blessing on and read portions of the Pasul one.  At the end, when finished, closing blessings can then be said on the kosher scroll.

Rabbi Druin evaluated the Megillah and made recommendations for fixing insect damage and reinforcing the front and rear sections with extra parchment.  The cost is estimated at $1,250. 

NOTE:  If you would like to contribute to its repairs, please send a check to Temple Emanu-El  and put “Megillah Repair Fund” on the memo line.

The Holocaust Torah

The Holocaust Torah comes from the German takeover of Bohemia about November 1941.  A new cover was redone by Joey Silver to recognize and honor the nearly 7 million souls lost in the Holocaust.  He used German army colors and embroidered the names of three concentration camps—Dachau, Treblinka, and Auschwitz.  Mr. Silver used black rubberized thread, the same type used for German army boots.  He didn’t want the Torah cover to appear peaceful and even staggered the lettering so the three camps aren’t in alignment.  The Holocaust Torah, as its name states, was rescued from the Holocaust, restored, and is currently held in trust by Temple Emanu-El through the Memorial Scrolls Trust of London, England.

The Kalakaua Torah

The Kalakaua Torah was left to King Kalakaua in the 1880s and was frequently used in High Holy Day services into the 1930s.  Along with its Yad (pointer), the scroll eventually descended into the Hawaiian Ali’i (Hawaiian royalty), which graciously lent them to the Jewish community for High Holy Day services. 

In 1960, the pointer was given to Rabbi Roy Rosenberg of Temple Emanu-El and subsequently dedicated to the Temple.  In 1972, the Kalakaua Torah was donated to the Temple through descendants of Ali’i.  The parchment manuscript was then mounted to a set of replacement Eitz Hayim (rollers) and mounted with its original Yad in a specially crafted koa display cabinet.


Our Scrolls and Their Usability  

Temple Emanu-El has six scrolls, not counting the Kalakaua Torah or Holocaust Torah.  Of the six, one is totally kosher for use.  Three are kosher B’dieved, in good enough condition to fulfill a need or a duty (like backups), though one is fading rapidly.  Two to three thousand dollars were spent on two of them to bring them bring back to temporary use, but they are on the verge of problems. The last two are Pasul and can’t be used to read in public, but blessings could be said on it and a few lines read.



A Message from Celia 

I wish to thank all those people in our congregation who showered me with condolences as well as making donations to our Temple in my son Alan’s memory at his recent passing.

Heartfelt appreciation.

From Celia


Contributors' Listing

From September 26, 2018-May 13, 2019

Dora Youel
Marcia and Lenny Klompus in memory of Dorice Povich Mensh
Heather Freedman
Diane and Larry Steinberg in memory of Arnold Widder
Regina Heit for the Yahrzeit of Gilbert Yarchever
Kenneth Marcus in memory of Murray B. Lander
Cathy Joseph
Cliff Hanh
Jeffrey and Sandy Koch
Marc and Shannon Magid
Judith and James Hiramoto in memory of Eric Rose
Karen Spellmeyer
Geoff Goeggel
Ernst Anton in memory of Jack L. Anton
Celia King in honor of Rosemary and Larry Mild’s Wedding Anniversary
Fran Margulies in appreciation of the Tree of Life Synagogue Memorial Service
Mathew Sgan in memory of Mabel “Gin” Sgan
Sue Schneiderman in memory of Mim Lang
Frank Fernandez for Hanukkah
James Ka’upena Wong
Celia King in honor of Diane Farkas and Larry Steinberg’s Wedding Anniversary
Daniel Bender and Valerie Hashimoto in memory of Tate Nakano-Edwards
Karin Larson in celebration of Hanukkah
Ernst Anton in memory of Leah Anton
Arnold Feldman in memory of Philip Feldman
Linda Martell in memory of Liz Meisels
Janet Daniel in memory of Walter Kleinman
Lynne Halevi in memory of Martin Kogan
Regina Heit in for the yahrzeit of Marion Cohen Yarchever
Steven Edwards in memory of Edith Edwards
Kathy Esposito-Mason and William Mason Jr. in memory of Miriam Lang
Marcia and Lenny Klompus in memory of Herman Klompus
Frank Fernandez 
Myrna Lee Chang in memory of Paul Teba
Elaine Coel in memory of Charlotte Rosen
Sally Morgan in honor of Richard Field’s Birthday
Alex Lichton in memory of Ira Lichton
Diane Parker in memory of Hoyt Parker
Corey Rosenlee in memory of Judith Rosen
Diane Farkas and Larry Steinberg in memory of Arnold Widder
Lynne Halevi in memory of Victor Halevi
Dan Bender in honor of Jay Friedheim
Frank Fernandez in honor of Purim
Anita Mueller in memory of Leyah Goldberg Brosbe
Ruth Freedman in memory of Rachel Freedman



Evelyn Davis in memory of Richard Buff and David Buff
Evelyn Davis in memory of E.T. Davis
Evelyn Davis in memory of Wayne Deubel
Evelyn Davis in memory of Wilma Vogel

Jean Hankin-Jones in honor of Deborah Washofsky
Congregation Sof Ma’arav
Julie Kessler in memory of Carmela Nitzan Kessler
Charlotte and Lon White in honor of Richard Field’s birthday
Diane Parker in memory of Alfred Fichman

Diane Farkas and Larry Steinberg in honor of Dahlia Tabori’s Bat Mitzvah
Diane Farkas and Larry Steinberg in honor of the Peck B’not Mitzvah

Richard Kersten in memory of Miriam Lewis Kersten
Sandy Gottesman in honor of Jerry Clay
Stuart Novick in memory of Judith Novick
Harvey and Diane Minsky in memory of Esther Whitman
Diane Farkas and Larry Steinberg in memory of Mim Lang
Richard Kersten in memory of Caesar Shepard Kersten
Dede Guss  in memory of John Soares
Diane Farkas and Larry Steinberg in memory of George H.W. Bush
Bruce Berger
Sandi Schneiderman, Marci Risner and Barry Schneiderman in honor of Bernie Schneiderman’s plaque unveiling
Cherye Pierce in memory of Clem Rosenzweig
Evan Scherman in memory of Mim Lang
Linda Martell and John Barkai in memory of Mim Lang
Dr. Joel Greenspan
Ruth Freedman
Polina Druker in memory of Manya Zeltsman
Polina Druker in memory of Mim Lang
Sue Schneiderman in memory of Mim Lang
Sue Schneiderman in honor of Bernie Schneiderman’s plaque unveiling
Valerie Hashimoto and Dan Bender in memory of Mim Lang
Larry Mild in memory of Hannah Mild
Larry Mild in memory of Hilda Mild
Pamela Blackfield in memory of William Blackfield’s Yahrzeit
Reuben and Mimi Levy in memory of Dina Levy’s Yahrzeit
Sidney and Becky Rosen in memory of Judith Rosen
Dr. William Pearl and Karlyn in memory of Arnold Widder
Pamela Blackfield in memory of Cecilia Blackfield’s Yahrzeit
Stuart Novick in memory of Jehiel Novick
Polly Khalife in memory of Freddi Khalife


Don Wong
Brian and Leela Goldstein in memory of Irving Goldstein
Julie Kessler in memory of Carmela Nitzan Kessler
Margery Schwartz in honor of Eudice Schick’s 80th birthday
Carol Dickson
Bob and Sally Garner I memory of Dr. Harry Pitluck
John and Eudice Schick in memory of Harry Rosenstein


KITCHEN FUND          
(The following donations were made in honor of Evelyn Davis, Sisterhood's 2019 Woman of Valor)
Jerry & Vanny Clay
Richard Deubel
Annabel & Alan Gottlieb
Maya Iriondo
Terry Jennings
Joanne Kinsler
Kathy Krammer & Randy Jensen
Gail & Ken Marcus
Diane & Harvey Minsky
Malia & Scott Paul
Rich Rosen
Beth & Allan Stone
Harriet Weissman


Stan and Marie Satz in honor of Celia King
Michael and Cynthia Lebowitz in memory of Alan King
Larry and Rosemary Mild in memory of Alan King

Mort Nemiroff
Stan and Marie Satz
Diane Farkas and Stan Jacobs in commemoration of what would have been their mothers’ (Florence Farkas and Rose Jacobs) 100th birthdays
Stan and Marie Satz


Diane Farkas and Larry Steinberg in recognition of Stephanie DeMello’s extreme dedication and hard work!
Robert Steinberg




Stuart Novick, editor, writer

     Stephanie DeMello, layout and production

Diane Farkas, proof reader

Sat, April 4 2020 10 Nisan 5780