Temple Beth El  
Bradenton/Lakewood Ranch  
5150 Peridia Blvd East, Bradenton, Fl. 34203

 July 2018

Temple Beth El Bradenton
5150 Peridia Blvd E. BRADENTON, FL 34203


 Shabbat Services are every Friday night at 7:30 pm
Saturday morning at 10 am followed by Torah Study


"News and Views”
By  Rabbi Michael Sternfield  

 Dear Beth El friends,

Recently, following the startling suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I devoted a sermon to discussing the Jewish view of suicide, obviously not the most uplifting of  topics, but one that was both timely and of importance. In my sermon, I made note of the fact that there is no history of Jews committing mass suicide, not even in the most extreme of circumstances, including the Shoah. Yes, sadly there were many individuals, who could no longer endure the suffering any longer and who made the ultimate decision, but there never have been any collective suicides.


The question arose: What about Masada? Those who visit Israel invariably visit Masada and are told the story of Jewish resistance. It is a compelling story. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that it is true. Nevertheless, it remains a powerful myth about Jewish determination never to relent. “Masada shall not fall again” is an oft-repeated slogan of that determination which reflects Israel’s absolute commitment to defend itself against all adversaries.


According to the patriotic legend, in 73 C.E., 960 Jewish rebels committed mass suicide at the desert fortress of Masada rather than surrender to the overwhelming force of their Roman oppressors. This version of what happened at Masada is based on perhaps the most famous Israeli archaeological dig in recent history, the 1963-1965 excavation of Masada led by Prof. Yigael Yadin. Is this story a true picture of the real events at the ancient wilderness stronghold? In all likelihood, the answer is no.

In the best-known analysis of this legend, Sociologist Nachman Ben-Yehuda’s “The Masada Myth” (2002) closely examined the day-by-day transcripts of the archaeologists’ conversations at Masada. He skillfully demonstrated that the interpretation of the artifacts uncovered during the dig was significantly affected by the process of nation-building and the forging of a national identity, which was then underway in Israel. Nation building required a heroic past, and the pressure of this requirement subtly led to concealing facts and even falsifying the historical evidence.

Why did the archaeologists involved ignore scientific evidence in favor of a version of history that now appears to be largely a myth? The answer to this question is the focus of his study. Beyond Masada itself, Ben Yehuda considered the larger question of how every society creates its own symbolic moral boundaries between truth and deception.


For those not familiar with the legend, King Herod had built a luxurious palace on Masada as a possible refuge. After the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, the surviving rebels are said to have fled to Masada. 960 men, women and children holed up there as 8,000 Roman legionnaires laid siege. Using Jewish slave labor, the Romans built a gigantic ramp with which they could reach the fortress and capture the rebels. According to Josephus, on April 15th in the year 73 CE, the zealots’ leader Eliezer Ben Yair gathered his people and told them the time had come to “prefer death before slavery”. Using a lottery system, the men killed their wives and children, then each other, until the last survivor killed himself. The Romans advanced, finding found only “an awful solitude, and. they admired the nobility of their resolve.” Josephus recorded that two women and three children survived to tell the tale.


After the declaration of the state of Israel in 1948, Masada took on a new significance, symbolizing heroism and sacrifice. But many scholars long have cast doubt on the “myth of Masada”, saying it was either exaggerated or the suicide story was simply wrong.


Guy Stiebel, professor of archaeology at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University and Masada expert, said: “The myth evolved. All the ingredients were there. At the end of the day, it’s an excellent story and setting, you can’t ask for more.”


Yadin Roman, the editor of Eretz magazine, wrote: “Masada became an Israeli myth,” he said. For a nation still reeling from the revelations of the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann, “brave Jewish warriors standing up to the might of the Roman army was a much-needed antidote. But many people challenged not only the veracity but also the merits of the myth – you stand-alone on a hill to fight your enemies and then commit suicide? This is the ‘Masada complex’? This is the model for Israel?”


David Stacey, a veteran of the excavation 50 years ago, dismissed the story of mass suicide. “It was completely made up, there was no evidence for it.” he said. “Yadin was a smart enough operator to know that to succeed, you’ve got to sell a story. He succeeded.”


To this very day, Israeli tour guides gather tourists together atop Masada and dramatically repeat the legend. It still makes for great story telling. Fortunately, yes fortunately I repeat, in all likelihood, it did not happen that way. What actually happened to the zealots of Masada will never be known. And yes, “Masada shall never fall again” remains a powerful expression of Jewish self-determination, despite the highly dubious veracity of the end of the story.



Rabbi Michael P. Sternfield


       Rabbi Sternfield is available to meet with you for counseling, guidance or to discuss issues or concerns. He is also available for Jewish and interfaith weddings; funerals and memorial services, and other life cycle events.

Call the temple to make an appointment. 941-755-4900


Membership in a synagogue represents a commitment to the community. It means that you are involved in keeping Jewish life alive and seeing it continue to the next generation. It also gives you a framework of giving and contributing to the Shul, and it means that you are a partner in supporting the financial needs of the Synagogue which we are all part of. If you are interested in joining Temple Beth El Bradenton, please contact Staci Rosenstein   


TBE Members: Don't forget that you may pay your dues by credit card!  
Please call the Temple office (941-755-4900)

for more information!
     Welcome to our new members!
Jay and Mimi Givarz
Bonnie Krasik

Helen and Howard Hammerman
Diana Tully


Message from the President 
Dr. Robyn Spirtas


Shalom Temple family and friends, 

June has been a busy month at TBE. Music continues to be a big part of our Services and our new choir is a great asset to our community. We had three really great events this month, one to the Sarasota Players Theatre and dinner, one to a dinner show at the Manatee Performing Arts Center and one to the Bradenton Marauders baseball game. All three were very successful. Our goal is to provide not only Shabbat Services and Jewish Holidays but to form an actual community for us. Father's Day Shabbat was wonderful and many of the men  participated. 



We had a very productive and wonderful calendar/planning meeting and have decided on some wonderful upcoming events. Our most exciting being the Bar Mitzvah of Jonathan Torres. Please come out to support our Bar Mitzvah boy -June 29th and 30th.  

Jonathan Torres born Feb 26, 2005 in Mineola, NY! Brother to Alicia Torres (15). Some of
his favorite things to do are cooking, hanging out with our 2 dogs, playing video & computer games with friends, checking out YouTube and playing his saxophone. When he grows up he wants to be a trauma surgeon and live in the UK. 

And plans are well under way for High Holy Days so look for your HHD packet online or in the mail.

Your TBE President,
Robyn Spirtas


TBE Shabbat Services and Special Events:

Friday, July 6th at 7:30 p.m. - Independence Day Shabbat

“Gott Benshe Amerike!” A sermonette in song in celebration of America, Cantor Bard and our terrific Temple choir will lead us in patriotic songs by American Jewish composers: Irving Berlin and Max Helfman, as well as American folk tunes.
Join us! Ice Cream to follow at the Oneg Shabbat. Wear red, white and blue!

Thursday, July 19 from 11am to 2pm. - Book Signing Event
Support our new member Howard Hammerman! Howard will be reading from his
novel, Flying Blind,
 at Bookstore One, 12 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Come one, come all and learn how a good man did bad things for good reasons. Learn about his struggle between right and
wrong as he flies his single-engine Cessna, gets caught in a drug deal, and is seduced by a beautiful woman. Adults only, please. Refreshments will be served. Books will be sold.

Friday, July 20th at 7:30 p.m. - Torah Service. 

Once a month, we have a Friday night Torah reading. A special Shabbat evening of shared study and learning. This is the Shabbat where we take the Torah out of the Ark and read from the Torah. 

Monday, July 23rd at 6:00 p.m. - “A Midsummer Evening” 

Meet us at Scarpino’s Restaurant (the former Mama Onesti’s), 6152 14th St. W., Bradenton. Bayshore Blvd (the Target Shopping Center on US 41). Join us as we enjoy an evening of traditional Italian food and great Jazz.  This evening is open to the entire community. Order from menu. Please RSVP to the Temple office at 941-755-4900 by July 16th so we can reserve your space at the restaurant.

Sunday, August 5th at 4:00 pm - TBE Open House!
If you are not yet a member of TBE, bring a friend and join us at
the Temple on August 5th. The Temple will be open from 4:00 -5:30 pm. See the Synagogue, meet the Rabbi and Cantor, meet our Hebrew School teacher, "Miss Susie". Say hello to some of our board members and congregants! Light refreshments will be served. 

We are a family and would like you to join us at or all events. Shabbat Services start at 7:30 pm on Friday night and 10:00 am on Shabbat morning. 

There's more! Check out ALL the TBE EVENTS and details on the website- view in either list or calendar view.  AND print for your records!!  www.templebethelbradenton.com


♫  ♫  ♫  Music  ♫  ♫  ♫

“Those who sing, pray twice.” (Talmud)

Voice! The gift we all possess! If you love to sing (more or less on pitch) and have a musical ear in ensemble, then the congregational choir is for you! For more information: please contact Cantor Bard (773-484-8149)

 Men's Club News


Hi all - hope you are having a wonderful summer. The Men's Club event for the summer was a trip to a Marauders Baseball game which was a huge success. It was open to the entire TBE family and 27 people attended.


Just a early reminder to set your calendar! Our first meeting for the upcoming year will be on Sunday, August 19th at 9:30 am at my home (4605 36th Avenue West). Come and enjoy bagels plus.
Statements for the Men's Club went out this past month. I hope all the men of the TBE family will become part of this terrific arm of TBE as we do much to help our temple. 

Neil Clark, President

 Shares from Sisterhood

There will be a sisterhood meeting at 11:00 am at the temple on Wednesday, July 25th .  
Please support your sisterhood! Sisterhood dues for the 2018/19 year are now due. $25.00 Please make checks payable to TBE sisterhood and send to 5150 Peridia Blvd East, Bradenton, Fl. 34203 or bring cash or check to the meeting.

On Wednesday, June 6th, the sisterhood sponsored a trip to see Tony and Tina's Wedding. It was an interactive dinner show at the Manatee Performing Arts Center. It was a wonderful evening! Thank you to all who participated.

Among the plans being considered for the coming year are cooking with the Rabbi, our annual Sisterhood Shabbat but with a twist, and of course, our Chocolate Oneg. Jean welcomes any ideas for speakers at our luncheons, or other ideas for monthly meetings.  Do not hesitate to send email or phone 941-747-2423  weaverjean@verizon.net 

Let the congregation share your joy or memory. Please consider sponsoring an Oneg Shabbat in celebration or remembrance

Friday: Challah and wine $25; food $25 both $50

Saturday: Challah and Wine for Sat. morning. $25

Entire Shabbat,  $75.00

Please make all checks payable to: Sisterhood, Temple Beth El


 Memorial Plots are available from Temple Beth El. Located in Palmetto, Florida, Skyway Memorial Gardens has been serving the residents of Manatee County since 1952. The tranquility of Skyway ensures a peaceful resting place for years to come. Call TBE for more info on the "Garden of Abraham".

Monthly payment plans now
available through TBE.



Please remember TBE in your will, 
there is no greater gift.   

A project of the sisterhood is to feed the hungry. There is a food barrel in the foyer, waiting for your contribution. Please bring your nonperishable food items as often as possible. Hunger has no season. 


  Yahrzeit Plaques  

Temple Beth El yahrzeit plaques are now available for purchase.   Purchase one for a loved one already deceased or purchase now for a future date. Plaques can be English and Hebrew or just English or just Hebrew. The cost is $250 per plaque.  Please make checks payable to Temple Beth El—with "yahrzeit plaque" noted on the check . Call the temple office to request the order form




Our Hebrew & Religious school is an interactive, hands-on teaching experience. We will be  enrolling children for both Religious and Hebrew School in August. If you are interested in registering your child for Religious school, please contact our Education Director, Susie Konicov, by calling the Temple office at 941-755-4900.  


If you know an unaffiliated Jewish family with young children, who is looking for a shul, please tell them about us! We want to build our religious school and are looking for more students.  Thanks for being a link. Susie Konicov, Education Chair       



If you are interested in learning how to read Hebrew or are interested in a Beginner's Hebrew Conversation class, call Temple Beth El at 941-755-4900. Participants in the Conversation class must read Hebrew proficiently. 

 The Temple Office


The TBE office is available to you. We are typically open Tuesdays thru Thursday, 9:30 am - Noon. For Rabbi or Temple information or to RSVP for an event, please call the Temple office. 941-755-4900. The Office is located at Temple Beth El, 5150 Peridia Blvd E, Bradenton 34203. Please notate on your check what the monies are for ie: "donation", "dues". You can also find out information by going to www.templebethelbradenton.com/events       


Got pocket change? Remember Pushke money? Put your change each day in a ziplock bag, then bring the bag to the Temple as a donation. Every little bit helps! It is a great way to get the kids to contribute too!


“It is a Tree of Life to those who hold fast to it.” Proverbs 3:18  Purchasing a leaf (or leaves) on our Tree of Life, is a wonderful way to mark and sanctify precious life events, such as: B’nai Mitzvah, engagements, weddings, birth of a child or grandchild, birthdays, anniversaries, or any special occasion.  It is also a loving way to remember those who have gone before us. Call the TBE office for more info -


5150 Peridia Blvd E Bradenton, FL 34203 (941)-755-4900 
TBEBradentonFL@yahoo.com Office hours: Monday - Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 




Religious Education Director  


Executive Board
Exec. Vice President 
Immediate Past President


Board Members


Community Affairs
Publicity & Social Media 

Men's Club 

Board Members at Large            


Michael Sternfield
Alan Cohn

Susie Konicov



Dr. Robyn Spirtas
Ron Eiseman

Neil Spirtas
Bayla Kolton
Staci Rosenstein 
Sandy Clark



Katherine Richmond 

Susie Konicov 


Staci Rosenstein
Jean Ellis   
Neil Clark

Irv Zamikoff  

Michael Loewy          

    We are looking for people to participate in a committee or help out at events.

Call the temple if interested. 

Yahrzeit Information


It is customary to light a yahrzeit candle on the anniversary of a death. The candle is lit the evening before and burns for 24 hours. It is also a Jewish custom and part of the foundation of Judaism to perform an act of tzedakah or charity, to honor the memory of the deceased. To make a donation in the name of your loved one, go to www.templebethelbradenton.com or send your check to 5150 Peridia Blvd E, Bradenton, Fl. 34203



Florence Shulman IMO Pearl Schwartz

Lionel Friedman IMO Herman Friedman



Ron & Robin Eiseman IMO Benjamin Eiseman

Barry Steiger IMO Bob Steiger

David Morgen IMO Nanette Cohen

Jean Shames IMO Annette Shames

Eunice Bruton IMO Annette Shames



Linda Hoffman IMO Molly G, Samson

Neil & Sandy Clark IMO Seymour Kleinman



Ron Adelson IMO Maisia Adelson

Dr. Eli Lerner IMO Sarah Lerner



Celia Strickler IMO Dick Norris

Jean Ellis IMO David Levy

Neil & Sandy Clark IMO Jane Clark

Celia Strickler IMO Charles Stahl

Please see our Temple supporter, Jay Givarz at Fidelity Bank
for all your mortgage needs.




Thank you for supporting Temple Beth El with your donation. Please let us know if you would like your donation directed to a specific purpose. 


Marlena Johnsky IMO Dan Johnsky
Florence Shulman IMO David Aron Shur
Jean Ellis IMO Marc Levy

Sanford Danziger IMO Arthur Danziger

Friedel Meyer IMO Albert Mayer



Jean Shames IMO of Jerry Shames

Marlena Johnsky & Kate Richmond in celebration of Cantor Alan's Birthday

Torres Family in celebration of Jonathan's Bar Mitzvah



Florence Shulman IMO Leonard Stanley Shulman



Gary Konicov


Julie Rose

Deborah Bard


Jean Ellis

Beverly Safron
Sandy Clark

Marlena Johnsky




To make a donation, send checks payable to Temple Beth El, 5150 Peridia Blvd E, Bradenton, Fl. 34203 or go to www.templebethelbradenton.com/Donate

Simcha Grams 


TBE sends Birthday, Anniversary, Bar/Bat Mitzvah and other celebration “Simcha-grams” to members in honor of their special day. This is a wonderful way to contribute to your Synagogue and to send  your TBE family good wishes. This is also an easy way for our Synagogue to make extra money, so please take the time to fill this out. To have your name included in the congratulatory card, just print this form and circle those names you wish to be included on and enclose $2.00 per name.  A card will be mailed to those individuals prior to their special day.     
Names must be received at the office by the 20th of the month prior to the birthday or anniversary.



2        Diana Tully

3        Deena Wegner

4        Judy Rothauser

10      Freda Koff

13      Barry Schneider

13       David Karubian

26       Harold Millstein




13            Jerry & Susan Koff

31            Becky & Bob Hadesman



Your Name ____________________________________________  

How would you like your Signature on card? ________________________________________

Phone: _______________________________

# of Names Selected  @ $2.00 each  _________  Check total:______________________

In the memo area of your check write: Simcha Gram and send by the 20th of the month prior to the simcha month  to: Temple Beth El Attention: Simcha Gram, 5150 Peridia Blvd E. Bradenton, Fl  34203 
If we have somehow overlooked your Simcha or made an error in printing the date, please accept our apologies and call the temple office at 941-755-4900 so that we may update our records.  


Temple Beth El Bradenton/Lakewood Ranch is a 501(c) 3 is a non-profit organization. 
5150 Peridia Blvd East, Bradenton, Fl. 34203     TBEBradentonfl@yahoo.com

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