2710 Genesee St.
Utica, New York 13502
Phone: (315) 724-4751 ✡ email: tbeutica@gmail.com

A Conservative Jewish Congregation Established for
the Worship of God, the Study of Torah,
and the Practice of Righteous Deeds


October 4 - 6:19 PM
October 11 - 6:57 PM
October 18 - 6:44 PM
October 25 - 6:32 PM
Nov. 1 - 5:35 PM

Temple Beth El
by Making a Donation
In Honor or
In Memory
to a Temple Fund:

•The Victor H. Flax Fund
•The Dr. Leonard Levinson Cemetery Care Fund
•The Minyanaires Fund
•The David M. Philipson Fund
•The Religious School Education Fund
•The Harry N. & Eleanor L. Savett Scholarship Fund
•The Dr. Albert A Schwartz Ed. Fund
•Memorial Plaques
•Simcha Plaques
•Tree of Life Plaques

To Make a Donation Contact the Temple Office at
(315) 724-4751

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Please notify Temple of any
ADDRESS CHANGES you may have
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Thank You

A Message from Cantor Socolof

CantorWe understand that in our lives some times are more eventful than others. That is certainly the case this month in our community.

We will usher October in with the solemnity of the Rosh Hashanah services. The following week, we observe Yom Kippur, followed by the joyous celebration of Sukkot. Most years that is enough for us to feel slightly overwhelmed. It is among the reasons that Cheshvan, the subsequent month on the Hebrew calendar, is totally devoid of any holidays.

This year, though, we will squeeze in yet another celebration. The last weekend of October (and Tishri) Temple Beth El will celebrate its 100th anniversary. We are looking forward to a Shabbat full of joy and reminiscence, appreciation for where we have been and the opportunity to see a few faces we have missed for a while.

In Judaism we have a long-standing tradition of celebrating the anniversary of certain milestone events. What are Passover and Shavuot but celebrations of the exodus and the giving of the Torah? Purim and Chanukah but remembrances of the victory over Haman and the rededication of the Temple by the Maccabees?

What is distinctive about these occasions is that they are not merely commemorations. In each case, we celebrate the past as a goal towards forming the future. Passover is essentially meaningless unless we see ourselves as having personally been freed from Egypt and throw off the shackles we carry. Shavuot is of no value if we do not see ourselves at Sinai receiving the Torah personally from God and treat it as the precious gift it is. Purim is just a saturnalia if we, going forward, do not resolve to eradicate Amalekite tendencies from the world. Chanukah is only a solstice festival if we do not integrate the message of rededication that its name declares.

This leaves us to consider what we should take away from the celebration of Temple Beth El's 100th anniversary. Firstly, we should agree to learn from the passion for Judaism the founders of Temple Beth El demonstrated as they undertook the tasks of establishing a congregation and its necessary auxiliaries (school, cemetery, Sisterhood). As we recite and remember the stories of how people over the years made Temple Beth El a focal point in their lives, we should resolve to do the same. The wonderful memories we have are a precious gift. We should work to help give that gift to coming generations.

Eli Wiesel once said, "I don't live in the past. But what can I do - the past lives in me." Embracing and celebrating our past is a necessary step in the process of learning who we are. That knowledge can inform not just where we are, but where we are going.

Cantor Socoloff

Contact him at uticacantor@verizon.net