• Drash Schedule for October 2019 - Date Parsha Drash Oct 5 Vayelech Don Armstrong Oct 12 Haʻazinu Les Rosenthal Oct 19 Sukkot Fran Marguiles (Kohelet) Oct 26 Breishit David Haymer
  • Levinson-Krupp Library - Levinson-Krupp Library This library was dedicated 50 years ago to the memory of Rebecca Lewin Levinson and Brannette Mayer Krupp by Justice and Mrs. Bernard Levinson. Over the years the library fell into disrepair, but starting in 2005 was redesigned and updated to accommodate the Rabbi Morris Goldfarb Collection. The library contains books of Jewish […]
  • Rabbi Rosalind Bio - 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 where she works with students, couples, and families to create and officiate at uplifting and deeply […]
  • High Holy Days at Sof - Message from Rabbi Rosalind Glazer Dear Friends, I write to you from my home office in Jerusalem as I watch the summer sun slip away and I begin feeling the pivot toward Elul. With the final month of the Jewish calendar year we begin the spiritual work of teshuvah with the recitation of Psalm 27 […]
  • High Holy Days Service Schedule 5780 (2019) - Rosh HaShanah Services: Sun. Sept 29 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM (with dessert potluck after services) Mon. Sept 30 9:00 AM-12:30 PM (apples/honey dairy/parve potluck) Tue. Oct 1 9:00 AM-12:30 PM (apples/honey dairy/parve potluck)   Shabbat Shuvah Saturday Morning Services: Sat. Oct 5 9:50 AM-Noon (dairy/parve potluck after to celebrate)   Yom Kippur Services: Tue. […]
  • The Meaning of Each Braid - By Peter Fritz Recently, I made several braided round challahs. Some people may have wondered why. After all, it is not Rosh Hashanah. I often make round braided challahs for events like bar/bat mitzvahs, baby naming and weddings because it incorporates the spirit and life of the event. A round challah starts off looking like […]
  • Membership Dues - It is a new year and time for Sof members to pay their dues. We all love what we have at Sof; this is a joyous time of year to celebrate and to sustain our congregation. Annual Membership Dues Invoice checks payable to CONGREGATION SOF MA’ARAV or pay online at sofmaarav.org Please include your email […]
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  • To Seek Life: Upon My Mother’s Yahrzeit, I Remember - By Sandra Z. Armstrong I was born Sandra Zimmerman, with a ventricular septal defect (VSD) – a hole in my heart. For some born with a VSD, the hole closes naturally. Mine did not. In 1922, Dora Moness Shapiro established Deborah Heart and Lung Center with the motto “There is no price on life.” The […]
  • Holy Cow! – Parsha Chukat - By Naomi Olstein While parsha Chukat deals with many topics, it begins with parah adumah, the red heifer. It is the most enigmatic mitzvah in all of Torah. More than a mitzvah, it is chukat haTorah – Law of the Torah. If a person comes in contact with a human corpse, she or he must […]
  • Mazal Tov! – Amira’s Wedding - By Marlene Booth Let me set the stage. Our daughter Amira wanted to get married at Raananah, a very small Jewish  bungalow colony, originally Labor-Zionist, in New York state, in which Avi’s family spent time every summer since the late 1930s. Raananah, the Hebrew word for “young, tender, fresh,” was founded by idealistic Jewish immigrants […]
  • Honey and Poi: The Middle Years 1980-1999 -   Background: In the beginning, Sof affiliated with the conservative movement of Judaism and was in touch with its headquarters at the Jewish Theological Seminary for ritual, religious, personnel, and organizational matters. The relationship had, however, not been smooth and questions of money payments and service rose often. In an effort to get back on […]
  • The Princess Who Wanted to See G-d - By Reb Daniel Lev “Why not!??” yelled the princess, “Why can’t you show me!??” The King looked down at his ten year-old daughter and felt the bittersweet conflict every parent goes through when they want to fulfill their child’s request and know that they cannot. “My darling,” he pleaded, “I do not know how to […]
  • Playing a Pivotal Role - By Greta Beigel, Image by Chris Rohrer Since his debut with the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, cellist Joshua Nakazawa has fostered a unique musical life in the islands. Joshua Nakazawa leads a double life. Some nights, the 32-year-old wears tux and tails and sits in the cello section of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, performing works by […]
  • Daddy I Miss You - By Greta Beigel Father’s Day has come and gone. Rather apt when considering the life & times of Richard Beigel, the father I hardly knew. He left South Africa when I was 10 and set sail with a distant cousin for America. His migration and subsequent citizenship saved my life by enabling me to flee […]
  • Tikkun Olam Opportunity This Month - By Kay Lorraine For the past 13 years, you have been listening to me beg, cajole, guilt, and encourage congregation members to volunteer for Family Promise. It occurs to me that some of you many not fully understand what this is all about. We are all aware that Hawaiʻi has one of the nation’s worst […]
  • Peter Fritz: Challah Man - By Arnie Warshawsky On Sunday, June 2, 2019, I learned a tiny bit about the challenges and satisfaction of baking challah. With seven other hardy souls, I attended the second showing of “Peter Fritz: Challah Man.” We were graciously hosted by Temple Emanu-El, which had a kitchen sufficiently large to handle the nine of us. […]
  • Marv Black: A Profile - By Fran Margulies Behind the gentle Marv Black we meet on Shabbat mornings hides a former fierce warrior. I visited Marv recently, and he proudly pulled from under his bed a formidable collection of “edged weapons,” as he called them. They range from short lethal knives to long graceful Samurai swords. Slowly hoisting each one […]
  • Organic Torah: Tree of Knowledge–Tree of Life - By Rabbi Nathan Margalit The Tree of Knowledge is what we have become used to in much of our Western education—it begins with breaking things apart into smallest components. Our education system is divided into discrete subjects: math, science, English—too often devoid of context and the vibrancy which comes from what Gregory Bateson called “the […]
  • Studying on Shavuot: From the feet of a man to the foot of a mountain - By Dina Yoshimi Growing up in a Reform shul, I associated Shavuot with two rites of passage: consecration and confirmation. On Erev Shavuot, the rabbi would call all the children who were set to begin their Jewish studies in the Fall to the bima to be consecrated. The highlight for all those cute little ones […]
  • Sof Officers & Board Elected for 2019-2020 - The slate of Officers and members of the Board of Directors were approved at the May 17 Annual Membership Meeting of Sof Ma’arav. Alex Golub was named as the Children’s Jewish Education Chair. The list of all Officers and Board members approved for this year’s term appears below. Officers*: President Sandra Armstrong   Vice President […]
  • Challah: Flour Power - By Peter Fritz Temple Emanu-El is making their kitchen available for another class on making challah. The date is Sunday June 2. Time 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM. Class size is limited to 8, so if interested, register early. To register: Call Stephanie at 808-595-7521. This is a hands-on course. The class will cover making, braiding and baking the […]
  • An Ocean of Knowledge - By Sandra M. Z. Armstrong The ocean was calm today. Waves gently rolled back to meet those coming forward. How much are our lives like this? We often look backwards into our past for the strength to move forward again. The ocean changes minute to minute like our lives. We are forever adjusting. When the […]
  • 20 Years A Jew: Installment 7 – “And then there was Israel…” - By Athena DeRasmo Haifa. I sat in a tiny office in a government building – bleak, institutional, and oppressive. Like most Israeli government buildings, it could have been a set for a cold war film. Across from me sat a clerk – a stern, Russian-Israeli female about 15 minutes past her prime and more than […]
  • Snowbirds: Les and Pat Rosenthal’s Off-Island Time - By Les and Pat Rosenthal A before pic from our delightful seders May 5th Pat and I flew to visit my nephew in Nashville and our great niece and nephew. From there we went up to Bowling Green, Ky and the National Corvette Museum where we toured then picked up a car. From there we’ve […]
  • Snowbirds Lovin’ The Newsletter - By Brian Ellinoy and Rachelle Lackman I think the newsletter is absolutely fabulous. Thank you so much for all the time and effort you and your supporting cast are devoting to keeping everybody informed of Sof doings. For “snowbirds” like Rachelle and me who unfortunately can’t be in Paradise all the time the newsletter with […]
  • Who Guarantees that Jews Will Receive and Keep the Torah? - By Reb Daniel Lev   The women and children, of course! It’s because of them that that we received and continue to practice the Torah. We learn this from Millennia-old Rabbinic Midrashim. A Midrash is a special commentary on the Torah that uses metaphor and story to convey its wisdom. The following stories come from […]
  • The Meaning of Community - By Sid Goldstein The dictionary defines community as “‘a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” I never understood how important that fellowship was until I got hurt. The unfortunate accident that I had visiting Las Vegas to see my family has made me understand what it […]
  • Praise for Honey and Poi - Honey and Poi was published about 3 months ago, and the critical reviews of it have started to arrive.  Here are a few samples:   Perhaps the best book about a small conservative shul on an island in the Pacific thus far this year. Some may think of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace and Sholem […]
  • Purim Fun - Musical Troupe and Purim Photos from R. Daniel Lev
  • Pesach Humor -
  • Shabbat Evening Songfest - By Arnie Warshawsky Reb Dan Lev and his bride Margie Walkover hosted the first of what he hopes will become a regular event on the last Shabbat of the month.  Everyone in the community is invited to attend. The idea is for people to join in friendship, song, and meditation as we bring Shabbat to […]
  • Pinchas Monkey Street - Story retold by R. Daniel Lev Reb Pinchas worked as the business manager for a Poretz, Polish aristocrat, named Brunon. Each Friday morning he’d go to Brunon’s office where the Poretz would open a small chest and count out several gold coins to pay Pinchas for his services. As the coins fell into his hands, […]
  • Pesach Memories - By Sof Members Passover Memories by Mat Sgan We invited a mixed multitude to one Seder and were able to do the four questions in 12 languages including Hawaiian and Pidgin. A hostess at one of the Seders made some terrible matzoh ball soup. One teenager referred to the main ingredient as, “The balls of […]
  • Sof Celebrates Pesach – 5779! - By Arnie Warshawsky Passover is a time of family and friends. Passover is a time of remembering an ancient redemption when Israelites were freed from slavery to meet their collective and individual destinies. As such, Passover also is a symbol of hope for the world’s oppressed. This year, Sof Ma’arav congregants gathered in many venues […]
  • Organic Torah: Transcendent Letters - By Rabbi Nathan Margalit There is an important commentary by the Piazetzner Rebbe in which he talks about getting our spirituality into our whole beings. Though his commentary starts on the story of Noah, it includes a very interesting thought on the receiving of the Torah on Mount Sinai, on the verse “and the whole […]
  • Honey and Poi – Author’s Preface - By Dr. Mathew Sgan “I read Honey and Poi in one reading. I couldn’t put it down. I especially loved knowing the details of how the schul came into being, who the pioneers were, and the split involving egalitarianism. It is quite an accomplishment and a great service to our community.” – Gayle Goodman This […]
  • From the Levinson-Krupp Library - (Hours: 9 am-noon, Monday & Thursday or upon request) During this cold weather it’s always fun to curl up with a good book. We have lots of new books in the library just waiting to be read. Here is a sampling: 327.12 FRI   SPIES OF NO COUNTRY by Matti Friedman. Award winning writer Matti Friedman’s […]
  • Bris for Benjamin Bean - The Bris for Benjamin, the new baby boy born to Sof Members Hannah and Travis Bean
  • Challah Class Fun - Taught by Peter Fritz In this course, we make and bake eight challahs. The first part consists of mixing the ingredients to make the bread dough (approximately one hour). While the dough is rising, we discuss baking temperatures and different braiding techniques (approximately one hour). After the ball is risen, the dough will be divided […]
  • Olive Oil Matzo - By Peter Fritz Time: 30 minutes, mostly unattended   2 cups flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup olive oil 1/2 cup water Sea salt, optional.   Yield: 12 servings. Heat the oven to 500 degrees. Put flour, salt and olive oil in a food processor. Once the machine is on, add water. Continue to run […]
  • 20 years a Jew: Installment 6 – Conversion and Jewish “Pedigree” - By Athena DeRasmo I have it on good authority that once the conversion process is complete, that’s it! The convert is no longer a convert; they are a Jew. No discussion or question – being a convert needs no disclaimer. If only this were true. There will always be someone who thinks a particular convert […]
  • Sof Celebrates Purim - Photographs by Arnie Warshawsky Purim is one of Judaism’s most raucous holidays. We celebrate beautiful Esther thwarting evil Haman’s plans by reading the Megillah. We make loud noises when Haman’s name is mentioned. The holiday helps us to celebrate our history, our heritage, and our triumph. Nowhere is this truer than at Congregation Sof Ma’arav. […]
  • Reading Torah at Sof - By Michelle Schneider My Hebrew education began when my nonobservant parents sent me, at my request, to Sunday School for four years, culminating in my Bat Mitzvah. Until I discovered Sof, however, I basically attended synagogue on holidays only.  Now I’m immersed in Saturday services, and, having drashed and led several Torah services, reading Torah […]
  • Yad In Hand   - By Marc Flitter Several Parshas ago I was honored to read from the Torah at Congregation Sof Ma’arav. Asked to share that experience, my first thought was that perhaps “Jewish geography” might more appropriately be utilized to mark where such reading opportunities have been afforded rather than to share the neighborhood locales and designated public […]
  • How I Came to Read Torah at Sof Maʻarav - By Chad Teasley   As I read from parashah Tetzaveh at Congregation Sof Ma’arav on February 16th, it seemed to me that my Judaic education had come full circle. About six years ago, as I took the initial steps on my journey toward Jewish conversion, I visited Sof a handful of times at the suggestion […]
  • The Story of Torah Trope Class at Sof Ma’arav - By Sandra Z. Armstrong Studying Torah and learning how to read from the Torah is the greatest equalizer of a Jewish Community. It does not matter where you went to school/college, what career you have chosen, where you live, whether you still work or you are retired, who you like or dislike, what your hobbies […]
  • The Book of Esther - By Robert J. Littman The Book of Esther has been called one of the strange books of the Bible. There is no reference to God in the entire book. The story is one of the few books of the Bible set outside of Israel. It reads like a folk story and has nothing very Jewish […]
  • Updated Book Club Meetings for 2019 -
  • Sof Shabbat Dinners Update - By Les Rosenthal Did you know that on the first Friday night of each month our party shul, Sof Ma’arav, invites you and a guest to a potluck Shabbat dinner?! Our next dinner is Friday, April 5th. Currently we have one on the Windward side. With enough advance notice and participation, we could have several […]
  • The State of The Shul Remarks - By Sandra Z. Armstrong Aloha Everyone, As your newly elected president, I present this list of Sof endeavors and “shout outs” since our annual meeting on May 25, 2018. It has been a very busy year to be president because Sof Ma’arav is a shul that never sleeps! I continue to be amazed and forever […]
  • 20 Years A Jew: Installment 5 – Modest* Fashion and the Modern Woman - By Athena DeRasmo I am not a modest woman – never have been. However, when I was going through conversion, I went through changes. Becoming a Jewish woman would be a big responsibility and I needed my outside to be more in keeping with my inside. I decided that a more conservative appearance would be […]
  • Contribute to the Monthly Sof Newsletter - Do you have news, stories, comments, or suggestions? Contact Sid Goldstein, Communications Chair.   We are seeking stories and news from ALL members of the Congregation. Please send any item you’d like to see in the April Newsletter to Sid Goldstein by March 25.   Thanks to everyone who contributed to previous newsletters.
  • March 2019 Events - Sunday, March 3, 1-3pm The Sof Ma’arav Book Club will be discussing “The Marriage of Opposites” by Alice Hoffman. Anyone interested in joining, contact Carolann Biederman during the Oneg after Services.   Wednesday, March 20, 6pm Congregation Sof Ma’arav Purim Celebration, Megillah reading and Pot Luck Dinner   Saturday, March 30, 9am-1:45pm Services at the […]
  • Honolulu Jewish Film Festival 2019 - The 17th Annual 2019 Honolulu Jewish Film Festival is coming to the Honolulu Museum of Art’s Doris Duke Theatre on two consecutive weekends: March 2nd-3rd and 9th-10th. The Festival will feature 10 recent world-class documentaries, comedies and dramas portraying Jewish culture, historical events and contemporary situations. Two of these films are making their national premieres […]
  • Amos Oz: A Remembrance - By Sid Goldstein On December 28, 2108, Amos Oz died. This is something I will never forget. Just the day before, I had picked up a copy of his last novel Judas and began to read it for the Sof Book Club. Amos Oz was, without question, the most famous and talented writer that Israel […]
  • Moshe the Miser - As told by Reb Daniel Lev   Moshe was a wealthy butcher and the town miser – he was so stingy that even the most miserable, and accomplished, beggar would be completely ignored as Moshe walked down the street. Shnorers from the shul would walk the other way when they sighted Moshe. But Moshe had […]
  • Chanting Torah - By Linda Lingle We always feel a great sense of accomplishment when we achieve something we doubted we could—learning to surf, speak a foreign language, fly an airplane, or master a musical instrument. I decided to learn to chant Torah for the same reason you would learn to do one of the skills listed above—to […]
  • Reflections on T”U B’Shevat - By Dina Yoshimi with photos by Naomi Olstein Sifting through my childhood memories of T”U B’Shevat, I recall religious school teachers urging us to participate in the annual JNF campaign to purchase trees in Israel.  In classes, we saw photos of children planting rows of small saplings in barren settings, and photos of families going […]
  • Sof Book Club 2019 -    The Book Club meets on selected Sundays from 1pm to 3pm. If you are interested in reading any or all of these books, please contact Carolann Biederman in the Oneg Room after Services. Sof Book Club Selections for 2019: January 20 – Judas by Amos Oz March 3 – The Marriage of Opposites by Alice […]
  • Past Events - Sof Board Meeting Sunday, February 17, 5:00 pm: Winter Board meeting for Congregation Sof Ma’arav held at the home of Robert & Bernice Littman.   End-of-Life Discussion Sunday February 10, 1-3 pm:  Beyond the Paperwork: Estate Planning; Sponsored by Jewish Community Perspectives Group. Event to be held at Temple Emanuel 2550 Pail Highway   Book […]
  • The Kabeel’s Donkey – A Children’s Story - By Rabbi Daniel Lev Once upon a time in old Yemen there was a town where Jews and Muslims lived in peace.  It was called Dhamar. The king of Yemen would assign a Mayor (called a Kabeel) to each town and, unfortunately, the one he chose for Dhamar was very mean. He did not like […]
  • From the Levinson-Krupp Library - Contributed by the Levinson-Krupp Library (Hours: 9 am-noon, Monday & Thursday or upon request) January 2019 Live every moment of 2019 and feel blessed to have the opportunity to see another day in paradise. Happy 2019 from all three of us! Among the new books in our Library are: FIC WOL  THE FEMALE PERSUASION  by Meg Wolitzer 232.9 FRE  WHEN […]
  • Hanukkah In Egypt - By Robert Littman Jews have lived in Egypt in great numbers since the 3rd century BC. In the aftermath of the 1948 Israeli War of Independence and the Suez crisis in 1956, most of Egypt’s Jews left. Today less than 20 Jews, all elderly, remain in Egypt. The 9th century Ben Ezra Synagogue, the synagogue […]
  • From the Sof History Project - By Mat Sgan Newly elected president Peter Freeman (1991–1992) took a page out of Ronald Reagan’s playbook with a “Morning in Sof” optimistic approach. Beginning with a warm letter to fellow congregants, Freeman invited all to participate fully, and included a committee sign-up sheet. His new-day attitude extended to creating a summer/fall bulletin outlining exciting […]
  • Upcoming and Current Classes Held Every Shabbat - Classes at Sof   1).  Group Torah study sessions along with alternating Talmud study (led by Gregg Kinkley) at 9:15-9:50am. 2)   Children’s Class with Biblical stories, lessons from the Torah and an introduction to Hebrew letters, sounds and words at 11:10-11:45 am (during Shabbat morning services.) Taught by Sandra Armstrong. 3).  Introduction to reading Biblical […]
  • The Last Pharaoh - ISBN: 9781386134923   He’s the pharaoh you’ll love to hate! The Last Pharaoh, a novel by Sof member Dr. Lorna Holmes, originally written for middle grade students, is finding an audience with adult readers as well. In Seattle in 1980, Billie gets a package containing Nectanebo, the last pharaoh of Egypt, who is out to […]
  • The Ba’al Shem Tov Reads A Holy Book - by Rabbi Daniel Lev The Ba’al Shem Tov, also known by his acronym “BeSHT,” inspired the founding of the Hassidic spiritual movement of the eighteenth century. He brought great innovations into the religious identity and practice of the common Jew, avoiding the hyper-scholasticism and intellectual aristocracy of the Jewish world at that time and replacing […]
  • 20 Years A Jew: Installment 4 – Balancing Secular and Sacred - By Athena DeRasmo Every day this convert is faced with balancing sacred observance and a vast secular life, which challenges my observance at every turn. Shabbat is a big help, the precious island in time, as are the holidays. There is also the plethora of Jewish activism, volunteerism, clubs, and committees, and to be sure, […]
  • 20 Years A Jew: Installment 3 – “What’s an Orphan To Do?” - By Athena DeRasmo With High Holidays 5779 behind us, it seems fitting to comment on what the Holidays mean to this convert. I have heard it said, and I paraphrase, “Time keeps the Jewish people.” The Jewish calendar sustains the Jewish people in the diaspora then and now. It can even be said that time […]
  • Sof Book Club – A Year in Review - by Members of the Sof Book Club The Sof book club completed another year of comprehensive, diverse, and often exciting reading of Jewish stories, authors and history. This year, the Book Club met eight times and read the following books:      The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem by Sarit Yishai-Levi Little Failure: A Memoir by Gary […]
  • The Social Event of the Year!  - Photographs by Arnie Warshawsky and Naomi Olstein On Saturday, December 9, the social event of the year took place…. the Armstrongs’ Hanukkah Party. Over 140 people attended, and a good time was had by all. Menorahs were lit (a LOT of them), prayers were sung, and the rockin’ Ruach Band gave a Jewish spin to […]
  • Aloha, Lynley - by Sid Goldstein   Lynley Shimat Lys has accepted the position of Webmaster & Newsletter Compiler for Sof Ma’arav.   Lynley is a Ph.D. student at the University of Hawaii Manoa. She is working toward a degree in Comparative Literature. She has a B.A. from UC Berkeley in Comparative Literature (Hebrew, Russian, and English). She […]
  • Sof History – Gertrude Serata - From the Sof History Project – A Key Leader By Mat Sgan   In 1979–1980, Gertrude Serata succeeded Jordan Popper as president of Sof Ma’arav. She was elected at the Annual Dinner meeting in May 1979. She had come to Hawai`i to be with her daughter’s family.   Gertrude had been active in leyning and […]
  • Sof Members In The News – Mat Sgan & Kay Lorraine -   Mat Sgan Elected to Pacific Historic Parks Board   Sof member Mat Sgan has been elected to the Board of Directors of Pacific Historic Parks (PHP.) PHP is a Friends group of the National Parks Service and has been instrumental in establishing most of the physical and program endeavors associated with visitor services at […]
  • Prayers for Pittsburgh - by Sid Goldstein   On Thursday November 1, over 300 people gathered at Temple Emanu-El to pay honor to the 11 people who were brutally murdered in Pittsburgh for the crime of being Jewish. Temple E Rabbi Ken Aronowitz and Sof Ma’arav’s Dina Yoshimi put together a remarkable program to pay tribute to the lives […]
  • Hanukkah Memories - by The Members of Sof Maʻarav   Hanukkah is a family holiday that evokes memories. We’ve asked members of our Congregation to share some of those memories. What follows are their stories, in their words.     “Hanukkah grew bigger and bigger as a celebration as the years went by. My family of birth did […]
  • Jewish Community Services Annual Dinner Honors Marlene Booth and Avi Soifer - by Carolann Biederman      On Sunday, November 4, 2018, Jewish Community Services celebrated its twentieth year of service to the community with 150 guests at the Pacific Club. The Annual Dinner honored the 2018 Volunteers of the Year — ten amazing people, representing six different congregations.   Avi Soifer and Marlene Booth were the […]
  • Israeli Consulate at Temple Emanu-El – Thursday December 13 - Eitan Weiss of the Israeli Consulate is speaking this Thursday evening December 13 at Temple Emanu-El. Light pupus at 6:00pm with a 7:00pm talk and a question and answer period moderated by Beth-Ann Kozlovich. Eitan Weiss Flyer
  • Honey and Poi – New Sof Maʻarav History Books -   Two new books, courtesy of the Sof History Project. Honey and Poi provides a history of Sof Maʻarav from its founding in 1971 until today. The Sof Maʻarav History Project Appendix offers additional information and details gleaned from further research. To purchase copies: Book orders for Honey and Poi may be fulfilled at: Amazon.com/books newmat78@gmail.com […]
  • Fennel and Orange-Scented Challah Recipe - Fennel and Orange-Scented Challah   by Peter Fritz Fennel and orange scented challah is a favorite of many members of the congregation.  Because fennel and orange go so well together, I include some orange zest with some fresh orange juice in the dough for its scent and brightness. The added flavor and natural sweetness from […]
  • Prayers for Pittsburgh Service – President Sandra Armstrong’s Opening Speech - November 1st, 2018 – The Prayers for Pittsburgh Service was held at Temple Emanu-El with approximately 300 in attendance including representatives of congregations across Oahu. It was described as “A gathering for members of the Oahu Jewish and other faith communities to pray for the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting and their […]
  • Starting the Year: Our President’s View Erev Rosh Hashanah 9/9/2018 - Contributed by Sandra Armstrong L’Shanah Tovah to all of you here tonight. And may we be blessed with a sweet new year full of laughter, joy, life and celebration. Today we welcome you and your families and friends. Members, potential members, visitors, and guests We are a proud congregation who has been together for 47 […]
  • Frances Maltin’s Contribution to Major League Baseball - Contributed by Mat Sgan, part of the Sof Ma’arav History Project As Mat Sgan explains: Jackie Robinson broke the color line in Major League Baseball in 1947. Before that, and to prepare him and the world for that momentous occurrence, he played for the 1946 Triple A Montreal Royals baseball team. They were befriended by […]
  • Reflections On This Yom Kippur - Contributed by Gayle Goodman We have Yom Kippur behind us now, but somehow it still stays with me. So many beautiful melodies pop up in my mind and buoy my day as I go about my normal routines. This year, I was particularly moved by the shiur with Rabbi Rosalind. I would like to further […]
  • All the Way to Simchat Torah! - Contributed by Rabbi Daniel Lev, adapted from Reb Shlomo Carleback Elyah the Chassidic shoe maker was in a quandary – what should he do!? Here he was on Erev Yom Kippur, on the eve of the holiday, and he had planned the whole day just right. He got up, dressed, and went to the Shul […]
  • How to Braid a Six-Strand Challah Bread Loaf - Contributed by Peter Fritz A six-strand challah creates a thick, wide challah with a pretty design. However, I found the instructions hard to follow until I discovered simplified instructions on the Internet. All you have to remember is “over two, under one, over two.” Saying it out loud as you braid keeps you on track. […]
  • Rabbi Rosalind Glazer Returns - Sof Ma’arav invited Rabbi Rosalind back after the fine job she did during High Holy Days 2017. The High Holy Days schedule for 2018 is below. 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 […]
  • A Night to Remember: Don’s Tribute Event - Contributed by Mat Sgan It all began with a spontaneous outburst at the June Sof Board Meeting. President Don Armstrong called for new business, and I called for recognition of him for his decade of leadership and many good deeds. In true Sof fashion, the answer was, “Are you ready to do it, Mat?” So, […]
  • Don’s Roast and Toast Lyrics - Contributed by Gregg Kinkley [to the tune of “I am the Very Model of a Modern Major General”] Don is the very model of a modern Temple president, He was from Jersey; now it seems he’s of Hawaii resident, He makes a good shul leader, or at least that is the sentiment There’s only one […]
  • Let’s Toast to Life - A toast by Carolann Biederman, given during Donald Armstrong’s Roast & Toast Tribute Event Many of Donald’s accomplishments here in Hawaii are collaborations and strategic partnerships. We know “it takes a village.” And it takes Sandy. Tonight, though, the spotlight is rightly on Donald. We celebrate his ruach and hard work, which have blessed our congregation […]
  • Sephardic Challah With Whole Spices - Contributed by Peter Fritz I enjoy baking different types of challahs for Sof, and this is a favorite. While this recipe suggests a variety of spices, the seeds used for Sof are a combination of anise, coriander, and sesame seeds. I confess that I often use more honey and raisins that are called for in […]
  • Introducing the Organic Torah Translation Series - Contributed by the Organic Torah Team This year, starting in September, Rabbi Margalit or another Organic Torah teacher will write a monthly translation, summary, and commentary on a short section of spiritual Torah. Most often, it will be from the book Derekh HaMelekh, by Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira (The Piazetzner Rebbe) (1889 – 1943). This […]
  • 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 […]
  • Talmud Shiurim at Sof Maarav - Contributed by Gregg Kinkley An hour before we start our prayers, (Invoking names like Abe and Sara), Earnest study of the layers Of our tradition, through Gemara, Commences ‘round the hour of nine; A guided tour of divine And often thought-provoking mirth: Come learn how study’s wisdom’s birth! For well over a decade now, a […]
  • Tres Mexicanos Entran A Un Bar - Contributed by Kay Lorraine Three Mexicans walked into a bar… You probably think this is the beginning of a joke rather than the start of an absolutely true story about what happened to me down here in Texas last Thursday. Around six, I went to Sanchos Cantina, a little dive around the corner from the […]
  • And G!d Spoke - Contributed by Rabbi Daniel Lev Why is it that the Jewish master, Reb Zusha, never recalled any of the Torah wisdom he heard from his Rebbe, Dov Ber, the Maggid of Meseritch? I know that you’re burning to know this and that’s why I’m about to tell you. You see, the Maggid inherited the leadership […]
  • 20 Years a Jew: One Convert’s Observations in Seven Installments - Contributed by Athena Derasmo Installment #2 “Why Judaism? What made it special (to me)?” As I mentioned in installment #1, the form and function of Judaism has always been hugely attractive to me. Who can deny the intellectual appeal, the turning of Torah again and again, and the Socratic method of study? Even for those […]
  • Sof Book Club Update - Contributed by Carolann Biederman The Sof Book Group has been meeting since 2005 to discuss meaningful books with Jewish themes, histories, authors or perspectives. We meet on Sundays from 1 pm to 3 pm, in a comfortable, informal setting at a member’s home. Hosting is voluntary. The ground rules are simple: 1) read the book […]
  • Snowbirds On the Go - Contributed by Les Rosenthal From July 12th to the 16th, Bill Fisherman and I had an adventure together. Bill lives in Anchorage, and I in Gig Harbor, Washington, when we are off island. Bill invited me to join him on a trip on the Kenai River in Alaska, fishing for sockeye, or as they’re called […]
  • 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 […]
  • “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.