Category Archives: Uncategorized

Chanukah Shabbat Service

December 19th, 2014   7:30 PM

“Shabbat is like a special guest who comes to visit each Friday night and stays until nightfall on Saturday.  This guest is so full of grace and light, so loved and so loving that to have her arrive is a pleasure, and to see her leave brings sadness.  In the Talmud, the rabbis personified Shabbat as a beautiful bride, a partner for the Jewish people, who each week would be greeted with joy.”*

Please join us Friday, December 19th, for a joyous Shabbat service at Temple Beth El.  Service is scheduled to begin promptly at 7:30 PM with a pot-luck oneg to follow immediately afterward.

As always, our oneg is a delicious and delightful end to services, and beginning of Shabbat!

In addition to celebrating Shabbat, this service falls on the 4th night of Chanukah.  Bring your Chanukiah and candles, we would like to create a very bright light for all to see, and add a warm soft glow to our sanctuary!

 Our service will be even more wonderful as we light the Chanukah and Shabbat Candles together and celebrate the festival of lights with family and friends.

Temple Beth El’s Chanukah Gift – each year we choose a very worthy cause and run a holiday collection for that cause.  Our charity of choosing this year is the South Jersey Community Food Bank.  We are collecting non-perishable food items.  Please bring your contribution to any of our upcoming events, or if you would like to make a monetary contribution you can mail it to Temple Beth El, PO Box 103, Hammonton, NJ  08037 – make your check payable to Temple Beth El and send a note or mark your check – SJ Food Bank.  We are happy to make a food purchase on your behalf.  Thank you in advance for your anticipated contribution!  Have a wonderful Chanukah.

**source:  Judaism for Dummies, A Reference for the Rest of Us!  

Welcome Back Brunch

September 7th, 2014   11:00 AM

Join us for our Welcome Back Brunch and High Holy Day Celebration Preparation!

“Shofar is blown to call us together, to reassemble.  On Sunday September 7th, we will be reassembling at Temple Beth El to prepare our sanctuary and surroundings for our most sacred High Holy days.  Not only do we feel the change in the air, but our tradition and ritual alert all our senses; sight, sound, smell, touch, taste, to this process of returning.  Our prayer books are changed, the Torahs and Ark covers turn to white, the tunes of our service change and the sweetness of apples and honey are shared.  I hope you will join me as we begin our journey into the new year together, in community.” -Abby

*Official Temple Beth El Beautification Day*

Don’t forget to bring your rakes and yard gloves, we’ll need a couple shovels too.  We hope you’ll join us at this wonderful time of the year to be outside.  We’ve ordered up a light breeze and lots of bright sun shine to make for a very pleasant day together! 

Temple Beth El Steering Council

Simchat Torah Celebration

October 18th, 2014   10:30 AM

Join us in celebration of Simchat Torah!

Simchat Torah, the festival where we finish reading the Torah and start again from the beginning.

‘Rejoicing of the Torah’

You are cordially invited to celebrate this joyous holiday with us.  Learn about this very special holiday while dancing and listening to Israeli music.  Everyone is invited.  Our Hebrew School children will be enjoying the mornings activities – learning, marching & dancing, waving their flags and carrying their toy Torahs.  Our Spiritual Leader Abby will chant from Torah while leading our adults in song & celebration.

Israeli music, candy, apples & honey, and sweets! will top off our day.


2nd Annual Havdalah/Selichot Gathering

Havdalah SelichotSeptember 5th, 2015   7:30 PM

Join us for Havdalah including wine and cheese (provided by TBE).

Dessert is Pot-Luck.

Begin your journey into the High Holy Days with an informal gathering of music, learning and community; opening to the spirit of Forgiveness and Teshuvah (return).

Led by Temple Beth El’s Rabbi Abby Michaleski.

Those seeking a place to observe the Holy Days are welcome to attend.

While there is no charge for this event, donations are accepted to defray the cost.


A Message from our Spiritual Leader 2014/2015


Abby Michaleski
Abby Michaleski

Dear Friends and members of TBE:

This coming fall will be my ninth year as the Spiritual Leader of TBE and it is difficult to wrap my mind around that passing of time.  When I first transitioned from the Cantorial Soloist to Student rabbi, I admit there were moments of terror as I contemplated the responsibility and expectations of this role.  This community however, lovingly created a space and a foundation where I could grow into myself and my rabbinate.  Fear, eventually, was replaced with joy and blessings as we created meaningful and moving experiences together.

While there have been challenges (what family doesn’t have them), I look back over the years and recall so many wonderful moments of our journey together, with Jewish values and practice as our guide.  I felt and continue to feel inspired and proud of this community as it made the difficult choice to stay together after our basement, and nearly our sanctuary was destroyed.  With the help of friends, members and the Hammonton community, we raised almost $80,000 and then rolled up our sleeves and rebuilt!  I have been honored and grateful to lead lifecycle events and holiday gatherings that are not only well attended but feel spiritually meaningful (a student rabbi couldn’t ask for more); culminating this year with my first and as far as I know, TBE’s first ever adult Bat Mitzvah (Mazal tov to you Leenie!)!  And of course, there is the gift of Shabbos.  I am delighted to say that we have made a minyon (10 adults) every month for many years now and that is no small accomplishment for a synagogue our size.  It is such a joy to bring in Shabbos together and I look forward to many more candle lightings in community.

So I write to you today, not only looking back but also forward to a future at TBE; rich with possibilities.  The High Holy Days begin a new Jewish calendar cycle and I invite you to step into the magic and beauty of Jewish time and join us.  As you put the dates of our gatherings onto your refrigerator calendar (or your iPhone), please be sure to put a special star onto January 18, 2015.  This community, which opened its door for me to lead as a first year rabbinic student will be throwing a grand celebration luncheon in honor of my Rabbinic Ordination and I hope you will come and be a part of this huge milestone.  I have been honored to journey with you all these years and I look forward to celebrating together and moving forward as we co-create our Jewish paths ahead.

Many blessings to you and all your loved ones for a sweet and joyous New Year!

Much love,


A Message from our President 2014/2015


Dear Members and Friends:

For the second consecutive year, it is my pleasure to address you as president of Temple Beth El, of Hammonton.

Here’s hoping you are in the midst of enjoying a wonderful summer season!  It seems difficult to comprehend, but summer is now in its final stages, with the High Holy Day services right around the corner.  We look forward to having you join us.  As you know, Temple Beth El does not require any additional fees to attend our High Holy Day services.  And, while there are no tickets to purchase, given the limited capacity of our sanctuary, I strongly urge you to kindly make your arrangements early, so no one is disappointed.

 The doors of Temple Beth El are always open for anyone wishing to attend any of our scheduled calendar events.  In addition, TBE’s Hebrew school – free for the first year for new TBE members – begins on Sunday, September 7th.  Moreover, our eagerly-anticipated Shabbat services will be conducted – in inimitable fashion – by our spiritual leader, Abby Michaleski.  For those who have yet to experience one of TBE’s unique Shabbat services, they will surely come away feeling better about themselves and the world around us.

We take great pride in our “Open Door” policy, here at Temple Beth El.  However, as a relatively small congregation, we depend greatly upon the kindness of those who share our pride.  And, it is through their generosity, which allows us to keep our doors open without charging those who wish to partake in any of our special year-round events.

The backbone of any congregation is the quality of its members.  In that regard, Temple Beth El proudly excels!  Our membership is more about quality than quantity.  There exists a genuine, unmistakable feeling of camaraderie between our congregants.  One reason, I suspect, is that most have been members for several years and firmly committed to keeping Temple Beth El – now celebrating our 77th year – viable and flourishing for many years and generations to come.

A few years ago, during a particularly harsh winter, Temple Beth El suffered significant flood and structural damage.  It was a devastating psychological and financial blow for TBE to absorb.  In fact, with a less committed congregation, our delightful little shul might not be standing today.  However, with a firm commitment to rebuilding what had been damaged and/or destroyed, members of TBE rolled up their sleeves and took on the job of fixing what needed to be repaired and, ultimately, TBE survived!  It is a source of pride for all of us and the fuel that drives our collective commitment.

Looking ahead, we are bursting with confidence about Temple Beth El’s future.  Nothing would please us more than adding you and your family to ours!

Thank you so much for your time and here’s wishing you and your family a happy, healthy, peaceful and joyous New Year!  God bless you!

Warmest personal regards,

Stephen R. Schwartz


Shabbat Service 06/13/14

June 13th, 7:30 PM.

Lloyd Wolf’s Jewish Fathers: A Legacy of Love,  published by Jewish Lights . . . “This book is a collection of stories and photographs celebrating the lives of contemporary American Jewish fathers.  Wolf writes, “The image of the Jewish father is synonymous with the Yiddish word mensch, a good, kind, decent, human being.  The word mensch has become part of America’s vocabulary.  The first mensch that we meet in life is usually our father.  Honest.  Hardworking.  Fair.  Charitable.  Funny.  Reverent.  Honorable.  Responsible.  A mensch.  It is a standard to be lived up to, a standard that Jewish fathers have been charged with since the times of the Biblical patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”*

Dear Members and Friends of Temple Beth El:

We hope you’ll join us this Friday, June 13th, at 7:30 PM for our next Shabbat Service.

We have so many upcoming events to celebrate this Friday:  Shabbat tops the list, Father’s Day on June 15th, and so much more.

Oneg will be provided by TBE members – in keeping with the Township of Hammonton’s upcoming Red, White and Blueberry Festival, oneg will be a “Blueberry Surprise.”  To quote a TBE member, “Sounds delicious, Yum!!”  Hammonton’s 2014 – 28th Annual – Red, White and Blueberry Festival date is June 29th.

You are welcome to bring a friend or family member to service to share in the joy of Shabbat
with your Temple Beth El family.
Temple Beth El Synagogue
642 Bellevue Avenue, PO Box 103
Hammonton, New Jersey  08037
(609) 561-7217


*source:  blog.RabbiJason (Miller)

If you have a moment, please visit our FaceBook page and “like us” !  Temple Beth El of Hammonton – Facebook.

A Message from our President 2013/2014

SteveIt is my honor and pleasure to address you today as Temple Beth El’s president.  I would like to share with you some things about Temple Beth El that I consider to be very special and makes our synagogue such a unique congregation.

First, the most important component of a synagogue is not the elegance, nor opulence, of its structure, but rather, the quality of the individuals who comprise its membership – and their collective connection with their shul.  Although, few who have seen Temple Beth El – built in 1937 – could deny it’s lovely quaintness, or, old world feel.

It is, however, our members, where Temple Beth El shines most brightly.  Their collective enthusiasm and passion is undeniable.  As a shul with a rather small, yet very committed membership base, Temple Beth El’ers are noted for always pulling together to do whatever is necessary for our synagogue’s greater good.  This is not only done willingly, but with the highest level of devotion.

Obviously, finding the right synagogue for yourself and your family is extremely important.  Personally, when our family was searching for one, we visited many – but came away mostly with feelings of frustration.  My wife and I had serious doubts that we would ever find one that, well……just felt right – until we visited Temple Beth El.  When we did, we knew we had found the perfect fit.  I’m hoping you will derive a similar experience.

I can honestly say that the one component in which members of Temple Beth El take most pride, is that we judge no one.  Everyone is equal in our eyes and welcome at Temple Beth El.

I cordially invite you to visit Temple Beth El and see for yourself exactly what makes us uniquely special.  Perhaps, after doing so, you will consider becoming a member yourself.  Therefore, I strongly suggest that you attend one of Temple Beth El’s Shabbat Services – conducted by our spiritual director, Abby Michaleski.  I guarantee you will come away feeling better about life and the world we occupy.  Abby’s spirit and purity of soul is infectious and undeniable.  We are extremely fortunate to have her at our spiritual helm.

With the high holy days fast approaching and coming particularly early this year, we invite you to plan now to attend services here at Temple Beth El.  There are no tickets to purchase, but given the limited capacity of our sanctuary, I urge you to please make arrangements to attend early, so no one is disappointed.

Thank you so much for your time and here’s wishing you and your family a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year!  God bless you!

Warmest personal regards,
Stephen R. Schwartz

Salute to Summer Celebration Picnic Brunch

June 7th, 2015     10:00 AM

We’re announcing . . .
Temple Beth El’s “Salute to Summer Celebration”
Picnic Brunch
Image result for summer
We’re welcoming the Hammonton community to our celebration!
To join our Salute to Summer,
to see our Historic House of Worship
and to meet our “Newly Ordained” Rabbi –
Rabbi Abby!
You’re invited too ! ! !
Place:  Temple Beth El Synagogue
             642 Bellevue Avenue
             Hammonton, NJ  08037
Date:    June 7th, 2015
Time:   10 AM thru 12 Noon
Our Picnic Brunch is Pot-Luck.  Bring your beach chairs and blankets.
Our planned festivities for the morning include:  Vendors – 50/50 Chances (6 for $15.00 or $3.00 each) – and you can purchase cold water and soft pretzels.
Temple Beth El’s long time member Claudia is coordinating the food for our Pot-Luck.  Please email Claudia at with the food item you would like to contribute.


Image result for grass

Yom Ha’Shoah / Holocaust Remembrance Event

April 19th, 2015   10:15 AM

Yom Ha’Shoah / Holocaust Remembrance

Temple Beth El of Hammonton invites the community to our Yom Ha’Shoah / Holocaust Remembrance Day Event.

Tammy Forstater, daughter of Holocaust survivors Eda Eigerman Schiff and Irwin Newman, and an active participant in the community of second generation survivors of Philadelphia, will be our guest speaker.  We hope you can join us as Tammy shares her personal stories with our Temple Beth El family.

We are also pleased to welcome Rabbi Kevin Hale who is an expert Scribe or “Sofer” who will be working on one of our Torahs that day to ensure it is fully Kosher for years to come.  Rabbi Hale will also be sharing his experience as the child of survivors and his involvement in repairing rescued Scrolls from Nazi Germany.

We hope you’ll join us in welcoming Tammy and Rabbi Hale to our Temple Beth El family.

Stay afterwards for conversation and light refreshments.

To cover the cost of this event, a small donation of $10 per person for non-members is suggested.

Note from event publisher:  in an effort to find clip art or a picture to add to this event publication, I came across the website for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  Please visit their site at  Clip art or one picture cannot replace the experience I had reading their site.

– Kathy Wagner