• A Tribute to Donald Armstrong - Contributed by Mat Sgan Congregation Sof Ma’arav is hosting a Roast and Toast celebration as an expression of thanks to Don Armstrong. This event will take place on Sunday, August 12, 2018 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM at Kuapa Isle Club House, 156 Opihikao Way, Hawaii Kai, 96825. There will be enough food and […]
  • The Shanghai Jewish Refugee Museum -   Contributed by Sid Goldstein   During our trip to Shanghai, Lorna and I visited the Shanghai Jewish Refugee Center. It was a very moving experience. The Center encompasses the old Ohel Moishe (Tent of Moses) Synagogue and some additional display space for artifacts of the Jewish refugee community. In the first few years of […]
  • 20 Years a Jew: One Convert’s Observations in Seven Installments - Contributed by Athena Derasmo Installment #1 The decision to convert: Simple, right? In 1998, I attended Rosh Hashanah services at Sof Ma’arav with a friend. The next week, I returned for Yom Kippur services on my own. After that, I started attending weekly Shabbat Services. I remember that I would open my siddur from left […]
  • Tzedakah and Tikkun Olam - Contributed by Kay Lorraine It has been my understanding that the root of tzedakah means justice or righteousness. Therefore, acts of tzedakah can be used to generate a more just world. Sometimes, one performs tzedakah as much to heal themselves as to perform tikkun olam. I confess to being one of those people. I have […]
  • A Talk on “Kvetch” – A Memoir of Music and Survival - Journalist and author Greta Beigel will present a book talk on July 24th at UH Manoa regarding “Kvetch: One Bitch of a Life,” her memoir about growing up an Orthodox Jew and a concert pianist in South Africa during the apartheid era. Presented by Osher Lifelong Learning Institute on campus, the 90-minute event will focus […]
  • From the Levinson-Krupp Library June 2018 - Contributed by the Levinson-Krupp Library (Hours: 9 am-noon, Monday & Thursday or upon request) Philip Roth: A Farewell to One of the 20th Century’s Greatest Writers Philip Roth died on May 22, 2018 at the age of 85. His work addressed, sometimes humorously and sometimes tragically, the social upheavals of the post-war era. When Roth was […]
  • Drash Schedule for July -   Date Parsha Drash July 7 Pinchas Naomi Olstein July 14 Mattot/Masei Hefcibah Martin July 21 Devarim Linda Lingle July 28 Va’ethanan Athena DeRasmo  
  • “Madame President” Sandra Armstrong Chosen by the Board -   Sandra Z. Armstrong is the new President of Sof Ma’arav. She was selected as part of the slate that was approved by the Congregation Board of Directors at the Annual Meeting on May 25. There are several changes to the officers and the Board for the 2018-2019 term. Morris Rabinko has been selected as […]
  • A Pesach Full of Aloha! - By Rabbi Dani Eskow, as it appears in the “Rabbis Without Borders” section of My Jewish Learning A few months ago, my family went to Hawaii for Pesach. Not really the stereotypical destination for a Passover vacation. We tend to go to Israel, but for a few reasons it didn’t work out this year, and I […]
  • Reb Naftali, the Healing Rebbe - Contributed by Rabbi Daniel Lev Chaim was a sensitive ten-year-old boy who lived with his humble parents in the river town of Shplotz. Sadly, Chaim was not able to run around like other kids in town because he had been injured three years ago in a farming accident and was wheelchair-bound ever since. None of […]
  • Tamara Ramos Takes the Cake - Contributed by Kay Lorraine It started innocently enough. Our own Tamara Hadassah bat Sara was going to leyn for the first time on Saturday, May 12. I wanted to do something special to commemorate it for her, so I ordered a special cake and had “Mazel tov, Tamara” inscribed on the top. I had to […]
  • Organic Torah - Contributed by The Organic Torah Team As we start this new time of beginnings, we’re very excited to announce the new offerings for Organic Torah membership for the coming year 2018-2019. For Individual Memberships we’re very proud to offer a monthly translation/commentary by Rabbi Margalit, in addition to regular webinars and discounts. To read more, […]
  • The HJFF Story - Contributed by Naomi Olstein In 2003, Lyn Zukercorn, a longtime member of Temple Emanu-El and employed as its Events Director, contacted Don Brown, a prominent local film producer, with the idea of holding a Jewish Film Festival in Hawaii. The idea took hold. It was originally called the Temple Emanu-El Jewish Film Festival. The Festival […]
  • Kū Kanaka/Stand Tall - Contributed by Marlene Booth My new half-hour film, Kū Kanaka/Stand Tall, will have its national television premiere on the PBS World Channel, Monday, May 7th, at 9 pm ET/8 pm CT. As luck would have it, we don’t get the PBS World Channel in Hawaiʻi, but please alert friends and relatives on the mainland and […]
  • Remembering Mildred “Millie” Irejo - Contributed by Mathew Sgan Of all the mixed multitude that is Congregation Sof Ma’arav, no member has ever been as unique as our Millie Irejo. Born in poverty, placed in a beloved Jewish foster home (only to be removed to meet other’s needs), self-educated, and faced with health problems throughout her life, Millie was determined […]
  • Lost and Found: Jewish Communities of India - Contributed by Gayle Goodman Gayle Goodman and Michael Schuster, of Sof Ma’arav, traveled to India in December 2017 to visit Jewish communities around India to research an upcoming East West Center exhibit called “Lost and Found: Jewish Communities of India.” The exhibit will be opening June 10th. You can go to arts.eastwestcenter.org to subscribe and […]
  • In Memory of the Shoah Victims and Survivors “Forgiveness from the Chofetz Chaim” - Contributed by Rabbi Daniel Lev for Shoah Remembrance Day Rabbi and Professor Abraham Joshua Herschel came to the United States in 1939 and contributed greatly to Jewish spiritual culture. Sometime in the 1950s, he was asked if he could forgive the Germans for the Holocaust. He said, “No.” When he was asked why, he told […]
  • A Kailua Beach Walk - Contributed by Sandra Armstrong as it appeared in the “Currents” section of Midweek “Committed to Respecting, Saving Our Ocean” by Ron Mizutani What came to me on this walk was far greater than I anticipated as I spotted pieces of plastic garbage. Of course, I forgot (again) to bring a bag to pick up debris. […]
  • Shabbat Story - Contributed by Reb Daniel Lev Shabbat/Shabbos, the Jewish day of rest, is most sacred to our tradition and provides us with a full day of spiritual respite each week during which we celebrate, connect with our loved ones and the earth, and just “be” after a long week of “doing.” To the Jews of Eastern […]
  • “Sons and Soldiers,” a Book Review - Contributed by Linda Lingle For at least 20 years I have avoided reading books or watching movies about the Holocaust because I find them deeply upsetting. If you don’t feel the same, or if you do, you will want to read “Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and […]
  • In Memoriam to Daniel Mosler - Contributed by Mathew Sgan On March 9, 2018, Pamela Landrum and I went to Court C-11 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific to participate in the inurement of 1st Lieutenant Daniel Mosler. Daniel served in the U.S. Air Force in Burma and Asia during WWII. The inurement was organized by Tom Sheeran, who […]
  • Helene Satz Receives Prestigious Award - The International Board for Certification of Group Psychotherapists will be presenting the 2018 Harold S. Bernard Group Psychotherapy Training Award to Helene Satz Psy.D., ABPP, CGP. The presentation will take place during AGPA Connect 2018 in Houston at the Westin Galleria Hotel on Thursday, March 1 during the Membership Community Meeting.This award was established in […]
  • You Are Bigger Than the Pain - Contributed by Rabbi Daniel Lev Most people seek help from physicians when they have a medical problem. That works best for those conditions that can be fully healed. Unfortunately, chronic pain and illness are usually not curable and repeated visits to doctors or swallowing lot of pills does not often make much of a difference […]
  • A Little Learning from the Shabbat Afternoon Talmud Shiur*: The Mitzvah of Making Minyan - Contributed by Dina Yoshimi In our recent study of Berachos (Perek Shevi’i, 47b), we encountered some teachings on the value of making minyan. We learned the following: “And Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: A person should always awake early to go to the synagogue, so that he should merit to be counted among the first […]
  • Everyone Can Feel Joy of Life in Hawaii - Contributed by Sandra M.Z. Armstrong as it appeared in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser 2/12/18 As I walk along the water’s edge, I see people, sunshine and a glistening ocean. I see people from all over the world experiencing the exact same scene and enjoying it immensely. All types of shapes and bodies and colors of people are […]
  • It Takes a Chevra - Contributed by Linda Lingle It was with great pleasure and a sense of accomplishment that I participated in our recent Shabbat service that shined a light on the various Jewish educational opportunities available to Sof Ma’arav congregants. Since moving home last year after spending a couple years on the mainland, I have participated in biblical […]
  • 2018 Book Club Schedule - The Book Club meets occasionally on Sundays from 1 to 3 p.m. at members’ homes. Contact Carolann Biederman for questions or to attend. 2018 Schedule Date Title Author 2/4 The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem Sarit Yishai-Levi 3/25 Little Failure- A Memoir Gary Shteyngart 4/29 Yiddish: A Nation of Words Miriam Weinstein 6/10 Pumpkinflowers – A Solider’s […]
  • Cantor Ken Cohen Moves On… - Contributed by Fran Margulies On Feb 16, 2018 Ken became the Cantor at Jericho Jewish Center on Long Island, New York, bringing to a poignant close a fruitful chapter of thirty-one years in the history of Hawaii’s Jewish community and in Ken’s own life. Ken came to the University of Hawaii in 1987 on a Pacific […]
  • “The Real Deal” on Hawaii Public Radio Celebrates Its 35th Anniversary - Contributed by Carolann Biederman Seth Markow’s jazz radio program, “The Real Deal,” marks its 35th year on the air in Hawaii this February. Hawaii Public Radio’s HPR1 (88.1 FM) is home to “The Real Deal” on Saturday and Sunday nights from 8 to 10 p.m., but the origins of the show go back to 1973 and […]
  • Hebrew Education Celebration - Contributed by Sandra M. Z. Armstrong On Saturday, February 17 Congregation Sof Ma’arav will be having our annual celebration for Biblical Hebrew classes that includes a delicious Oneg. Please come and celebrate with us! All classes including the weekly children’s class will participate. Instruction in basic Hebrew and beyond forms a broad basis of who […]
  • Our Torah & Talmud Study Group - Contributed by Sid Goldstein It’s Saturday morning at Sof Ma’arav. The Torah scrolls have been rolled and put in place; the prayer books have been set up. The tallitot and yarmulkes have been put out. All is ready for Shabbat Services. But first, it’s time for Torah & Talmud study. Usually, 9 or 10 souls […]
  • Parsha Shemot Drasha - Daniel Lev was scheduled to deliver the drash for our parsha last Saturday but could not. So, he has asked us to include his written version on our website. This is the link to Daniel’s drash for Parsha Shemot (Genesis 1:1-6:1) Enjoy!
  • We Are the Party Shul! - Contributed by Sandara M. Z. Armstrong Sof Ma’arav Hanukkah parties have been held at our house for the past twelve years. They have been a great addition to our Jewish experience in Hawaii. Last Saturday night we hosted 100+ friends including several of our awesome “snowbirds’ from all over the mainland. We have one couple […]
  • The Conversation - Contributed by Donald Armstrong On Shabbat Shuvah, I talked about the surprise of my near-death experiences and the questions they raised: Are my affairs in order? Have I made things right with my family and friends? Am I ready to be judged? My drash touched on: (1) the unpredictable timing, but absolute certainty of death; […]
  • “Welcoming” Marketing Philosophy Offers Impressive Results - Excerpt from Kehilla Magazine When New Jersey native Sandra Armstrong began writing her “how to” marketing book for Conservative synagogues, little did she dream she would be finishing it in Hawaii. And yet, what Sandra now calls “Jewish Paradise,” turned out to be the perfect tropical setting for the book’s completion. The premise of the […]
  • Professor Robert Littman Receives Distinguished Service Award - Excerpt from University of Hawaiʻi News University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Professor Robert Littman has been selected as the 2018 recipient of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) Martha and Artemis Joukowsky Distinguished Service Award. The institute is considered the nation’s leading archaeological organization with 220,000 members and promotes inquiry and public understanding of the […]
  • On the Passing of Millie Irejo - Contributed by Dina Yoshimi On the afternoon of November 20, longtime friends, fellow congregants, and devoted soulmates of Millie Irejo gathered to remember her life, and to acknowledge her many contributions to their own lives. The service opened with the reading of Psalm 91 by Rabbi Ken Aronowitz. The words reminded us of Millie’s enduring […]
  • Family Promise Volunteer Opportunities - Contributed by Kay Lorraine Aloha friends, You may have heard me making occasional announcements to our congregation about Family Promise. Family Promise is a unique program that partners with churches, synagogues, and temples to provide food and safe places to sleep at night to homeless families with children while the family is transitioning into affordable […]
  • Try Look! Bilingual Pidgin-English Picture Book - Educational materials using Pidgin are scarce. Here is one you can get for free as a printable e-book through Hawaii Review. Try Look has local pictures and elementary level dialogue. It can be used to show the differences in construction between Pidgin and English, so children learn the distinction in a positive way. The author, Dr. Lorna Holmes, is an ELL PTT at Kaʻiulani […]
  • Welcoming at Congregation Sof Ma’arav - Contributed by Sandra M. Z. Armstrong, Welcoming Chair Position held for the last 12 years at Congregation Sof Ma’arav Congregation Sof Ma’arav is conveniently located in Honolulu. Because of our state of Hawaii being a destination vacation spot, we often have visitors from all over the world attend our services. In addition, we have many […]
  • Hebrew Literacy Classes - Contributed by Sandra M. Z. Armstrong I am pleased to announce that Biblical Hebrew classes are taught at the conclusion of our Shabbat services and oneg/lunch at Congregation Sof Ma’arav every Saturday afternoon. The good spirited, highly motivating learning that takes place in these classes makes Hebrew Education fun. I tell my students that learning to read Hebrew is easy.  It […]
  • News From Cuba - Contributed by Mat Sgan Hi Sofers, I traveled to Cuba under auspices of Cornell’s Adult University for eight days recently and want to share a few items that might be of interest. Terrific lectures featuring a background of Cuba. Three stages identified: 1519-1898 Spanish Period 1898-1902 Cuban-Spanish War (America joined on Cuba side late, but still got […]
  • Thank you, Rabbi Rosalind Glazer - Thank you, Rabbi Rosalind Glazer, for our amazing High Holy Days services!   Meet Rabbi Rosalind Glazer Ordained at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC) in 2003, Rabbi Rosalind Glazer made Aliyah in 2012. After moving to Jerusalem to serve as Interim Director for RRC’s rabbinical program in Israel, she founded Joyful Jerusalem Lifecycles and Destination Celebrations […]
  • A Jewish Girl & a Not-So-Jewish Boy - From New Jersey to Hawaii, what is this all about? Sandra Armstrong’s memoir is more than an endearing love story—it’s a layperson’s guide to understanding, adopting, and practicing Judaism. Whether you are currently in an interfaith relationship or simply want to learn about Judaism, this book is a source of inspiration. You will find that […]
  • Jewish Cemetery Plots Available for Sale in Abraham’s Garden - Jewish cemetery plots are available for sale in Abraham’s Garden. Abraham’s Garden is located within Hawaiian Memorial Park in Kaneohe. Currently plots are being offered on a base unit price of $5,000. Hawaiian Memorial Park is selling nearby plots for more than $6,000 to $8,000. Prices for plots in Abraham’s Garden are expected to be […]
  • Matzah Caramel Crunch Recipe - Matzoh Caramel Crunch 1 jelly roll pan Matzoh to cover the bottom 2 sticks butter 1 cup brown sugar ½ cup chopped nuts 2 cups chocolate chips (or enough to cover the matzoh) Preheat oven to 350* Cover the jelly roll pan with foil. Spray with cooking spray. Lay matzoh flat on the bottom of […]
  • For Jewish Ritual Celebrations and Ceremonies - Contact Rabbi Mel Libman, a member of Sof Maarav, resident of Honolulu, a member of the Rabbinical Assembly (the professional organization of Conservative Rabbis) and a graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York Rabbi Mel Lipman may be reached via email: rabbimel@gmail.com
  • Family Promise - Family Promise is a wonderful, interdenominational service program that provides shelter to working homeless families.