A Glorious Evening

With approximately forty-five other Shomrei members, Bruce and I attended the Musical Taste of Shabbat hosted by Ken Bannerman and Judy Wildman last Friday evening at their beautiful home.

The Service was glorious and memorable. Judy led the service, while Ken played the bass and Merrill Silver played the piano. We all sang the wonderful Kabbalat Shabbat songs, led by Judy, including Mizmor Shir, Lechu Neranina, etc. The music was so very wonderful! Continue reading

My First Trip to Israel

In Honor of the 75th Anniversary of Israel, I wrote this article remembering my first trip to Israel.

My first trip to Israel was a 10 day Daphna Tour, December 1967, the first Chanukah after the Six Day War.

I remember seeing the whole country of Israel from the air and being moved with tears of joy. I felt deeply connected to Israel. Continue reading

The 10th Commandment Adapts!

Ten Commandments

As we all know, every word in the Torah means something.

The Ten Commandments appear both in Exodus and Deuteronomy.  However, the last commandment has changed in Deuteronomy.

In Exodus 20:17, the wording is as follows: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his man servant or maid servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

By using the semicolon, we infer that house means all property owned by your neighbor, including his wife.

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Robert Bielsky Speaks About Widespread Jewish Resistance


Bruce and I attended the Yom HaShoah Commemoration of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest and Kean University Holocaust Research Center on April 11th, featuring Robert Bielsky as Speaker.

Director of the Holocaust Council of Greater MetroWest, Barbara Wind, said Jews did not go to slaughter quietly during the Holocaust. Between 1941 and 1943, underground resistance movements developed in approximately 100 ghettos in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe (about one-fourth of all ghettos), especially in Poland, Lithuania, Belorussia, and the Ukraine. Their main goals were to organize uprisings, break out of the ghettos, and join partisan units in the fight against the Nazis. There was widespread resistance by fighting and killing Nazis, Jews risking their lives to save other Jews, escaping from killing fields, ghettos and slave labor camps, keeping the Jewish religion alive and fighting with the Partisans in the forest. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising lasted more than a month before the Germans overcame the Ghetto. That is longer than France or Belgium held up against the Germans before surrendering. Continue reading

Destination Unknown

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On Tuesday, June 6th, Bruce and I attended a screening of the feature film, “Destination Unknown”, at Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy in Livingston. In 2014, director & editor, Claire Ferguson, started to work with the Film’s Producer – Llion Roberts of Wales on a feature-length account of the survivors’ stories.

The film’s Producer, Llion Roberts, was present and told us why he made this film. In 2003, he visited Auschwitz and experienced extreme cold while wearing a winter coat. He could not imagine the freezing cold felt by the victims, wearing only their camp uniform. After speaking to the son of a Holocaust survivor, he decided that he had to make a film.   He travelled the world, interviewing survivors.   The result of the entire fourteen year process is “DESTINATION UNKNOWN.”

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Natalie Baff Sends Purim Discussion Notes


March 5, 2017

Bruce and I are still in Coconut Creek, Florida. We now attend Shabbat Services at Temple Beth Am in Margate, Florida. Unfortunately, the synagogue right outside the gate of Wynmoor did close, due to financial difficulties. We like Beth Am very much and enjoy Rabbi Kieffer’s sermons. The Rebittzin, Melinda Kieffer, hosted a discussion session about Purim. I’d like to share some of the subjects we discussed at that session, and my thoughts since then.
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Shomrei Snow Birds Send Greetings from Florida

Editor’s note: After taking cruises during the past few winters, Natalie and Bruce decided to stay on land this winter and are renting an apartment in Florida.

Bruce and I arrived here at Wynmoor on January fifth and were happy to find a wonderful social community with more activities than a cruise.  Our “Kosher” apartment is a huge, beautiful corner unit, and our bedroom and patio face the 14th hole of the golf course. We buy our Kosher meat at the Kosher Marketplace in Boca Raton.

Baff 1Our apartment is filled with Jewish paintings, menorahs, kiddush cups, Jewish platters, sayings, etc.  Besides these, there are many plaques honoring our owner’s parents, Blossom and Leo Zivin for their outstanding leadership in the Israel Bonds Program, as well as their financial support. Continue reading