Inaugural Journal of Torah Thoughts
Published by Congregation Israel of Springfield
We learn in Pirkei Avos (Ethics of Our Fathers), that the world stands on three things: the
Torah (learning Torah), Avodah (observing the mitzvos) and Gemilas Chasadim (acts of
kindness). While the Congregation Israel of Springfield (“CIS”) community has long been
synonymous with warmth, chesed and middos tovos, in recent years, the CIS community
has been focusing on making serious efforts to further develop our individual and
communal Torah learning. We have endeavored to build a community where each one
of us, regardless of where we are in our religious observance at the time, is working
on developing a deeper and more personal relationship with HaShem. There is simply
no greater way to develop this relationship than through the study of Torah. It is with
this in mind that we are proud to launch our newest edition of the programming guide
called “Setting Sights”.
The goal of CIS’ “Setting Sights” initiative is to provide a diverse array of events for
the CIS community to engage in throughout the year with each event having its own
nuanced attraction. With HaShem’s help, these programs will deliver the opportunities
needed for everyone to find the means to facilitate their own religious growth. It is our
fervent hope and belief that the CIS community can become something far greater
than any of us could have imagined. However, that potential can only be realized with
an active commitment to continually and passionately engage in working on our Avodas
HaShem. One of the best ways to connect with Torah is to be part of the process of
disseminating Torah. CIS is excited to be publishing its third annual journal of Torah
thoughts in conjunction with the “Setting Sights” programming guide. This year’s
volume entitled “Hearing the Voice” is an exploration of the ways HaShem communicates
with B’Nai Yisrael and is pictured to the left.
May HaShem bless all of our efforts in these important endeavors that they be successful;
and may we merit, both individually and communally, to elevate our lives to be inspired and
guided by a deep and meaningful commitment to Torah, Avodah and Gemilas Chasadim.
Chaim M arcus Ben Hoffer
www.congregationisrael.org | 339 Mountain Ave | Springfield, NJ | 973.467.9666
NOVEMBER 15-16, 2019 PARSHAS VAYERA
Rabbi Menachem Leibtag
Rabbi Menachem Leibtag, an internationally acclaimed
bible scholar and pioneer of Jewish Education on the
internet, is well known in the Jewish community for his
essays on the weekly Bible portion. His vibrant thematic-
analytical approach blends the methods of modern
academic scholarship with traditional Jewish approaches to
the Biblical text. In Israel, Rabbi Leibtag teaches at Yeshivat
Har Etzion, Yeshivat Shaalavim, Midreshet Lindenbaum,
and at Yeshiva University’s Gruss Center.
DECEMBER 13-14, 2019 PARSHAS VAYISHLACH
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin
Rabbi Bashevkin is the director of education for NCSY, the
youth movement of the Orthodox Union. He is also an
instructor at Yeshiva University, where he teaches courses
on public policy, religious crisis, and rabbinic thought. After
studying in Yeshivas Ner Yisroel, he completed rabbinic
ordination at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary,
as well as a Master’s degree at the Bernard Revel Graduate
School of Jewish Studies. His most recent publication is
entitled ‘Synagogue: Sin and Failure in Jewish Thought.’
WITH KOL FUSION
PARSHAS BESHALACH FEBRUARY 7-8, 2020
Please join us for a special “Shabbos Shira.” Program includes:
• Inspirational Friday night davening
• Heartfelt Friday night Tish
• Uplifting Shabbos morning davening
MARCH 20-21, 2020 PARSHAS VAYAKHEL-PEKUDEI
Prof. Richard Joel
President Emeritus Yeshiva University
Professor Richard M. Joel, President Emeritus of Yeshiva University,
served as Yeshiva’s fourth president from 2003 until 2017, and was
named the Bravmann Family University Professor in April 2010.
Professor Joel is renowned as a charismatic leader and a captivating
orator, and has traveled globally to dialogue with audiences on
values-driven education, communal leadership, and Jewish identity.
Earning his B.A. and J.D. from New York University, Professor Joel
also served as Assistant District Attorney and Deputy Chief of
Appeals in the Bronx, and an Associate Dean and Professor of Law
at YU’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
APRIL 24-25, 2020 PARSHAS TAZRIA-METZORA
Rabbi Ken Spiro
IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE MIZRACHI WORLD MOVEMENT AS PART OF THEIR ISRAEL360 PROJECT
Rabbi Ken Spiro received Rabbinic ordination from, and is a senior
lecturer for, Aish Jerusalem. After graduating from Vassar College
with a BA in Russian Language and Literature, Rabbi Spiro received
a Masters degree in History from Vermont College of Norwich
University and completed his graduate studies at the Pushkin
Institute in Moscow. Rabbi Spiro is also a licensed tour guide by the
Israel Ministry of Tourism. He has appeared on numerous radio and
TV programs such as BBC, National Geographic Channel and The
JUNE 5-6, 2020 PARSHAS NASO
Prof. Shoshana Schechter
Professor Shoshana Schechter is assistant professor of Bible at
Yeshiva University Stern College for Women and the director of its
Mechina program. A graduate of Stern College, with a bachelor’s
degree in both Judaic Studies and English Literature, Mrs. Schechter
also teaches Tanach and English at Ateres Bais Yaakov High School
in Rockland County, New York. She holds masters degrees from
Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies as well as from
Columbia University School of Journalism.
ISRAEL BONDS SHABBAT
Colonel Richard Kemp Development Corporation for Israel
Colonel Richard Kemp is a retired British Army officer who served from 1977 to 2006. He
commanded Operation Fingal in Afghanistan from July to November 2003, was an infantry
battalion Commanding Officer, worked for the Joint Intelligence Committee and COBR
and completed 14 operational tours of duty around the globe. He now provides strategic
consultancy services on leadership, security, intelligence, counter-terrorism and defense.
Come enjoy serious Torah learning along with a
scrumptious breakfast on Legal Holidays.
THANKSGIVING DAY NOVEMBER 28, 2019
Rabbi David Fohrman
Rabbi David Fohrman is the founder and CEO of Aleph Beta, a non-
profit media company that produces high-quality Torah videos,
highlighting a unique methodology in studying Torah text in a
way that is both intellectually rigorous and emotionally engaging.
Rabbi Fohrman also lectures internationally on Biblical themes. He
served as a senior writer and editor for ArtScroll’s Schottenstein
Edition of the Talmud and taught Biblical themes at Johns Hopkins
University. Rabbi Fohrman’s recorded lectures and animated videos
are available at www.alephbeta.org. His published works include
The Beast That Crouches at the Door, The Queen You Thought You
Knew, and The Exodus You Almost Passed Over.
NEW YEAR’S DAY JANUARY 1, 2020
Rabbi Sariel Malitzky
Rabbi Malitzky is currently in his 2nd year at JEC High School where
he serves as a Rebbe for multiple grades and levels, and is a key
member of the administrative team. He also serves as the Director
of Recruitment, which is a natural position for the warmth and
energy he exudes. In addition, Rabbi Malitzky is the Assistant Rabbi
at Ohr Torah in Highland Park and the Founder & Director of Camp
Slapshots, a sports day camp in New Jersey.
DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED
Returning guest lecturer Mrs. Chani Juravel
will be giving a 4 part mini-lecture series!
Mrs. Chani Juravel, LCSW
Chani Juravel is a popular lecturer and therapist living in Rockland County, NY. After
attending Beth Jacob Teacher’s Seminary in Jerusalem, she completed her undergraduate
degree in Brooklyn College and graduate work in Columbia Teacher’s College and Fordham
University. Chani runs a private practice focusing on individuals and couples, and is a
regular columnist for Bina magazine. Her lectures and training combine Torah-true
hashkafah with psychological insight in a way that makes them relevant and accessable.
Some of Chani’s lectures can be found on Torahanytime.com as well as Aish.com.
Other Featured Speakers
Dr. Danielle Bloom, PhD
Danielle’s passion is applying the ancient Torah text to our lives today, and
she has been teaching Torah and psychology for twenty years. Danielle
completed her undergrate degree at Stern College for Women, received
her Master’s degree in Jewish history from Touro College, and recently
completed her doctorate in Jewish Education and Administration at the
Azrieli Graduate school of Yeshiva Univerity.
Mrs. Shani Gejerman
Shani is a seasoned lecturer and currently teaches a course on
Relationships in Tanach to senior girls in Machon Ora. Prior to this, she
taught in Bruriah High School for 22 years. Residing in Passaic, Shani
teaches weekly classes to women in her neighborhood, as well as
kallah classes. Her warmth, animated nature, and realistic perspective
make her a respected and sought out speaker.
BY RABBI MARCUS
Monday - Thursday Morning | Amud Yomi | 5:45 am
Gemara shuir, learning one Amud of Gemara a day (masechta varies).
Sunday Morning | Gemara Sanhedrin | 9:15 am
Come join Rabbi Marcus as he engages your mind and explores the
depths and complexity of Gemara Sanhedrin.
Sunday Night | Women’s Parsha Shiur | Time Varies
Insightful discussion on the weekly Parsha and its impact on our daily lives.
Tuesday Night | Semichas Chaver Program | Time Varies
This shiur will help participants gain a better understanding of halachik
practices and its modern day application.
Thursday Night | Mussar for Men | Time Varies
Character development and spiritual growth shiur incorporating themes
of the weekly parsha and holidays (when applicable).
Shabbos Afternoon | Navi Shiur | 30 minutes before Mincha
Explore the books of Tanach and become captivated by the heroes of Nevi’im.
Shabbos Afternoon | 1st - 4th Grade Shiur | Time Varies
On alternating weeks for 1st-4th grade boys and girls, Rabbi Marcus
engages our youngest and brightest with exciting torah topics.
A DAY OF GIVING BACK
The second annual Yom Chesed proved to be even better than it’s inaugural
event! Once again, families of CIS joined together to perform various acts of
giving back, with activities including:
• Creating care packages for the Lone Soldiers of the IDF
• Stuffing teddy bears for Chai Lifeline
• Assisting with the garden and food pantry at Jewish Family Services
• Packing Shabbat boxes for families staying in local hospital with their loved ones
• Creating bags of summer fun for Camp HASC campers
• Running a number of Alex Lemonade stands throughout the community
• Collection and packing of food donated by CIS families to be packed for
Comfort Cart, a service provided by St. Barnabas for cancer patients
• Packing care packages for CP360 to be provided to patients
undergoing cancer treatment
This event is the highlight of the year for our families and we look forward as
preparations are already underway for the third annual Yom Chesed!
The Membership Committee is dedicated to ensuring that both our long-standing
shul families and newest community members feel at home. From organizing
meals to ease a new family’s transition into the community, to running programs
that bring community members together, the committee is dedicated to unifying
families while providing a tight-knit and connected feel for our growing community.
This committee is also instrumental in arranging visits for prospective families to
experience Shabbos in our community.
Some highlights of this committee include:
ANNUAL SUMMER BBQ
Shul members of all ages gather together for delicious food, games, and an
afternoon of fun for the whole family.
This bi-annual event creates opportunities for our long-standing and new
community members to connect during a Shabbos lunch meal together prior to
reconvening at a community-wide dessert.
[email protected]: NIGHT OUT @ THE SHUL
[email protected] is a fun, casual program that encourages members to join together on those
long, winter Saturday nights, for a creative activity with friends and food at the shul.
PARSHA ON THE LAWN
This summer program is an opportunity to join together Shabbos afternoons for
Torah, food, and friends in backyards around town.
SISTERHOOD OF CIS
The Sisterhood of CIS offers the women of Congregation Israel programs and events
with opportunities to spend time with other women, create new friendships, and give
back to the community. Last year, their goal of gathering and unifying the women
of our growing community was achieved by running a number of beloved annual
events, along with some new and exciting programs.
SOME EVENTS TO LOOK FORWARD TO THIS YEAR INCLUDE:
• Annual Sisterhood Paid Up Membership dinner
• Challah Bake with guest speaker, Charlene Aminoff of Gali Wigs,
co-sponsored with Mikvah Yisroel of Springfield, NJ.
• Women’s Self-Defense class
• An evening art event
ANNUAL PROGRAMS RUN BY AND/OR SPONSORED BY THE SISTERHOOD INCLUDE:
• Mishloach Manot baskets for purchase
• Shabbos HaGadol Kiddush and Luncheon for the entire community
• Yom Ha’atzmaut Kiddush and Luncheon for the entire community
The CIS Youth Department has created an expansive and awesome slate of programming
for the kids of CIS to participate in and enjoy throughout the year. Programs include
Sporting Events, Theatre Trips, Rock Climbing, BBQs, Purim Carnival, Chanukah
Chagigah, Ice Skating, White Water Rafting, and much more. On a weekly basis, youth
groups are held for children from nursery through fourth grade during davening every
Shabbos morning. These groups are led by our teen youth leaders (9th grade-12th grade)
and our Youth Leaders in Training (YLITs 5th grade-8th grade) with the goal being to
provide a safe, fun, and warm shul environment for the children of CIS. Tailored on an
age appropriate level, all youth groups enjoy davening, playing games, learning, and
having fun together on Shabbos mornings in shul. Additionally, parent-child learning
on Shabbos afternoons (or on Motzei Shabbos in the winter) is a wonderful opportunity
for parents to join with the youth and make Time for Torah together.
Benny and Ark Bromberg
Benny and Ark Bromberg joined the CIS family in September 2016.
Benny hails from the small Jewish community of Overbrook Park in
West Philadelphia. He graduated from Yeshiva University with a degree
in History and is currently the Executive Director at Kulanu, MetroWest
Hebrew after-school. Benny has always been involved in youth
development, having been a NCSY advisor, a behavioral assistant for
special needs students, and held multiple teaching positions at camps
and in NYC Public Schools. Benny loves to play music and sports and is
often seen with a guitar or football in his hand!
Ark grew up in the heart of the Willowbrook community of Staten Island. She’s been an
active participant in youth groups, first as a child, then as a Youth Leader for many years. She
spent her summers involved in youth program coordinating. In her various roles, from camp
counselor to lifeguard, Ark was able to hone her inter-personal and program development skills.
Having experienced it all first hand, she has a unique perspective on the ins and outs of Youth
programming. When she’s not co-directing the Youth Department, Ark travels into Manhattan to
work for B&H Photo’s Marketing Department, which she has been a part of since 2013.
Their daughter, Becky, is a 2 ½ years old with an affection for Elmo, dancing and trucks.
Becky currently attends the Gan program at the YM-YWHA in Union County and is excited to
now be old enough to start attending Shabbos morning groups in the Fall!
Ark and Benny can always be reached at [email protected]
SNEAK A PEEK INTO
WHAT’S IN STORE….
9/22 Apple Picking
10/14 Annual Sukkah Hop (1st Day Sukkos)
10/20 Chol Hamoed: Funplex
10/22 Mini Hakafos
11/3 Petting Zoo comes to CIS
11/8 High school Boys Oneg
11/9 YLIT & Teen Movie Night
12/7 Ice Skating 5th-12th graders
12/13 High school Girls Oneg
12/28 Family Chanukah Chagiga
1/4 YLIT & Teen Oneg
1/5 Color Me Mine- preschool-5th
1/11 YLIT & Teen Mall Scavenger Hunt
Dedication of Adult Education Program..................................................... $10,000
Dedication of Women’s Shiur Hachodesh Series....................................... $3,600
Scholar-In-Residence Programs....................................................... $2,000-$5,000
Women’s Monthly Shiur..........................................................................................$ 6 0 0
Lox & Learning............................................................................................................$ 5 4 0
Semichas Chaver Program Weekly Shiur.......................................................... $ 1 5 0
Rabbi’s Shiur (Women’s, Halacha, Tefillah, Navi)............................................ $ 1 0 0
For Sponsorship and General donations, visit our website www.congregationisrael.org
JOIN US FOR SHABBOS!
Springfield is a cozy and pleasant place to live and raise a family. The center of the Orthodox
Jewish community is Congregation Israel of Springfield (CIS). Under the leadership of Rabbi
Chaim Marcus who is committed to creating an environment that helps each community
member grow in their Avodas Hashem to the best of their abilities, CIS has seen explosive
growth with the young family demographic increasing from a handful of families a decade
ago to almost 50 young families today! CIS is a warm and inviting shul and a place all
community members feel at home. CIS is the only Orthodox shul in Springfield that results
in an out-of-town style community only a little more than 30 minutes outside NYC.
To come experience Springfield for Shabbos, please email [email protected]
www.congregationisrael.org | 339 Mountain Ave | Springfield, NJ | 973.467.9666