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The First Estate: March 21, 2012

News and Trends From Brooklyn’s Houses of Worship

Francesca Norsen Tate, editor

Events Spotlight Leadership

Of Brooklyn’s Woman Rabbis

The Jewish Faculty & Staff Association at New York City Technical College hosts its Annual Passover Demonstration Seder Program. Guest Rabbi Heidi Hoover, of Temple Beth Emeth v’Ohr Progressive Shaari Zedek, leads this year’s seder.

Rabbi Hoover is spiritual leader of this Reform Congregation in Victorian Flatbush, which celebrated its centennial in 2011. The Demonstration Seder takes place in City Tech’s Grace Gallery in Namm Hall next Thursday, March 29. Seating is very limited. Reservations are required; with a deadline of Friday, March 23. For more information, contact JFSA President Albert Sherman at 718.260.5837 or asherman@citytech.cuny.edu.

* * *

Rabbi Linda Henry Goodman has become the first woman to assume the presidency of the New York Board of Rabbis. She was installed at a ceremony on Sunday, March 18.

A native New Yorker, Rabbi Goodman has served as Union Temple of Brooklyn’s spiritual leader since 1992. She has been acclaimed as an advocacy leader in social justice causes and as a gifted musician. She has long been a leader in the community, outspokenly fighting to protect women’s reproductive rights and health care, and advocating for marriage equality in New York State. The New York Board of Rabbis awarded her the Rabbi Israel and Libby Moshowitz Prize, named after the great rabbinic fighter for social justice. Rabbi Linda Henry Goodman. Photo courtesy of Union Temple of Brooklyn

Currently Rabbi Goodman is on the Steering Committee of Reform Jewish Voice of New York State, and the Clergy Advisory Board of Concerned Clergy for Choice in Albany. She also received the Zagelbaum Award in Chaplaincy, primarily for her work on behalf of our city in the wake of 9/11.

Rabbi Goodman, who was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, became the first woman to serve on the rabbinic staff of Temple Emanu-El of New York. She then became rabbi of the Nassau Community Temple of West Hempstead and Hillel Director and Jewish Chaplain at Adelphi University. She also has served on the Jewish Studies faculties of Molloy College and New York Theological Seminary. She has served on the Board of Trustees of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, on the CCAR’s Committee on Jewish Sexual Values and Resolutions Committee, as the New York Regional Representative for the Women’s Rabbinic Network. Rabbi Goodman also holds an M.A. in Hebrew Literature and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Hebrew Union College.

A talented musician, Rabbi Goodman is also a graduate of the Mannes College of Music and earned her M.A. from Queens College, where she held a graduate teaching assistantship in the Music Department. She also served on the faculties of Mannes College, and SUNY Purchase. Music continues to be a tremendous source of inspiration to her, and has helped her to contribute significantly to the musical life of Union Temple on an ongoing basis.

Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Executive Vice President of the New York Board of Rabbis, was master of ceremonies at Sunday's installation. He said, "The election of the first female president in the 131 year history of the NYBR is truly a remarkable moment and Rabbi Goodman, who embodies the noble spirit of K’lal Yisrael, Jewish pluralism, is an extraordinary leader who has worked assiduously to bring our denominations closer to one another. The NYBR reminds us that while we have many locals, we must always belong to one union.”

* * *
Panel Forum Tackles

End-of-Life Considerations

“Who Said It’s OK?- Decisions at the End of Life,” is a panel discussion being offered at the East Midwood Jewish Center, to offer guidelines on the options and documents that patients and family members may need.

Dr. Howard Honigman moderates the discussion. Panelists include, as of press time, Rabbi Stephanie Dickstein, Barbara Paris MD, and Brenda Mamber, LCSW. Break-out sessions after the discussion will focus on Healthcare Proxies; Living and Ethical Wills; Hospice and Homecare; Organ Donation, with Rabbi Ben Kohanim of Halachic Organ Donor Society, presenting, and Planned Giving, with Stephanie Franco of Weill Cornell Medical College, presenting.

The panel discussion begins at 10 a.m., March 25, at the East Midwood Jewish Center, 1625 Ocean Ave. (between avenues K and L). Light Refreshments will be served. The cost is $10 if pre-registering, or $15 at the door.

* * *

St. John’s Episcopal Church in Park Slope is launching an arts series this weekend, titled “Concerts on the Slope.”

The first program, on Sunday, March 25 offers “An Afternoon of Chamber Music,” with works by Schubert, Hindemith, Beethoven and Bartok. Featured artists are violinist Elly Suh, violist Kallie Ciechomski and cellist Ben Larsen. The concert begins at 3 p.m. A free will offering will be accepted. The church is at 139 St. John’s Place (just west of 7th Ave. in Park Slope.)

* * *
Honoring Faith Leaders

Of Several Generations

Damian Daniels, a youth member of St. John’s Church, Park Slope, has been selected as one of 12 teens from Episcopal parishes nationwide who will participate in a Mission trip to Arizona and Mexico. Damian was among many applicants throughout the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island who applied for the mission trip. The youths will demonstrate the commitment the Episcopalians demonstrate to welcome immigrants to this nation….Published author Elizabeth Nunez gave a presentation to St. John’s parishioners on her latest books, and she spoke about her experience as a writer and teacher. Bringing Ms. Nunez to St. John’s was Juliet Emanuel George, chair of the parish’s Literature Committee….Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz this week joins the Hellenic community of Brooklyn, the Honorable Georgios Illiopoulus, Consul General of Greece in New York, and the Honorable Koula Sophianou, Consul General of Cyprus in New York, for a Greek heritage reception at Brooklyn Borough Hall. There will also be a message from His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Church, presented by Very Reverend Eugene N. Pappas, president of the Metropolitan Clergy. This year’s honorees include Paul Bregianos; Alice Halkias; Georgios Mastrokostas; Michelle Tampakis; Peter Vlitas and Georgaklis & Mallas, PLLC.

* * *
Brooklyn Celebrates Being Irish

Last Friday, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, head of the Brooklyn chapter of the Loyal League of Yiddish Sons & Daughters of Erin, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. (Joe) Hynes, and Al O’Hagan of Brooklyn’s Baile na nGael “Home of the Irish” hosted the tenth annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast at Borough Hall. Among the honorees were Judge John P. Walsh, Brooklyn Supreme Court, who received the Justice William T. Bellard Memorial Award; and Monsignor Walter Murphy, of the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Immaculate Conception Center. Msgr. Murphy received the Commodore John Barry Award.

« « «

Maronite Catholics, who trace their heritage to Lebanon and the Near East, also have a connection to the lore and mission of St. Patrick, whose feast day was celebrated over the weekend. Salma Vahdat, of Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral, recalls when Msgr. McMahon referred to the Maronites as the “ ‘Irish of the East’ in a sermon he gave at one of our St. Maron Feast day banquets.”

Msgr. McMahon was the director of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association at that time. Says Ms. Vahdat,“As a matter of fact he had a leaflet printed at that time relating the history of the Maronites and it is in that context that he called us ‘the Irish of the East.’ He was a really lovely man and quite dedicated in the cause of the Christians of the Near and Middle East.”

* * *
Maronites Celebrate Children’s

1st Sacrament of Reconciliation

Contributed by Salma T.Vahdat

Saturday morning, March 3, was a day replete with anticipation for twelve children of our Cathedral community. They had gathered to receive their third Sacrament, First Reconciliation.

This was a truly a family liturgy. The children, along with their parents, grandparents and siblings, were primed for the service that our rector, Msgr. James Root, prepared for them. After all, it would be the first time these youth would be aware and participate themselves in receiving a Sacrament. Baptism and Chrismation were beyond their baby memories. Catechist Norma Haddad had been instructing them since September and they were more than ready to demonstrate what they had learned. The service had been scheduled during the season of Great Lent to emphasize the penitential aspect of the Sacrament.

A prayer service began the celebration of this sacrament, after which their confessions were heard. When all had completed the confessions, a communal prayer was offered and each of the children was presented with a prayer stole.

The children who received the Sacrament of First Reconciliation are Elysa Abdel Massih, Kaithleen AlHaddad, Marvin AlHaddad, Gael Diab, Keven Diab, Vanessa Eid, Eli Abi Daher, Patrick Chamoun, Jenna Abi Habib, Andrea Khoury, Maya Mattar and Tiffany Chouki. Their next big day will be their First Communion Day in May.

The children and their families were then honored at a reception in the Cathedral Social Hall.

* * *

Lenten Programs Continue

Parishes throughout the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre, and the Archdiocese of New York will also be participating in this same sacrament on Reconciliation on Monday of Holy Week, which runs from April 1-7. Traditionally called the Sacrament of Confession, or Sacrament of Penance, Reconciliation focuses on the joy of having one’s sins forgiven and being in a state of grace with God and one’s fellow person.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered at all parishes, including Assumption Church and St. Charles Borromeo Church, both in Brooklyn Heights, from 3 to 9 p.m. on Monday, April 2, in preparation for the holy days of the Paschal Triduum, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil.

* * *

Traditionally, Lent was a time when new catechumens to the Christian faith were prepared for the sacraments of initiation, Baptism and Holy Communion, which were then celebrated on the Easter Vigil, which commemorates Jesus’ being resurrected from the dead. For all Christians, new and lifetime, Lent is also a time of selfless and charitable giving, and an opportunity to deepen one’s relationship with God, reconcile with and bring healing to others.

“Lenten Prayer for a Broken World,” is the theme of All Saints Episcopal Church’s Annual Lenten Prayer Breakfast, this Saturday.

The Rev. Steven D. Paulikas, priest-in-charge at All Saints Church, will be the speaker. Ms. Avis Joseph will be the musician.

The requested donation is $30. The church is at the corner of 7th Ave. and 7th St. in Park Slope, across from New York Methodist Hospital. Participants are asked to use the 7th Street entrance. Those wishing to make reservations or get more information may call the church at 718-768-1156 or email to ascparkslope@yahoo.com.

* * *

Assumption Church continues its Sacred Scripture & Faith Sharing program on the Friday mornings during March, following daily 8 a.m. Mass.

Sister Bernadette Sullivan, of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, leads this series, which offers the chance to reflect on the Scripture Readings for the Sundays of Lent. The program continues on March 23 and 30, in the Assumption Church Hall, following the 8 a.m. Mass.

* * *

Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Bay Ridge offers Lenten Prayer: every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. during Lent. Bethlehem Church observes Palm Sunday Service: at 10:30 a.m. on April 1, and is hosting a Maundy Thursday Service and Seder, April 5 at 6 p.m. RSVP is required for the Seder; call 718-748-9502.

Catholic Diocesan

Wedding Celebration

Hosted in Bay Ridge

Our Lady of Angels Roman Catholic Church, 7320 4th Avenue, in Bay Ridge is hosting the Annual Diocesan Wedding Anniversary Celebration to be held on Saturday, April 28. Couples celebrating their 25th, 30th, 40th and 50th anniversary and above are invited to attend with their families. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio will celebrate a special Mass. All registered couples will receive a personalized certificate and those in attendance will have the opportunity to have their picture taken with the Bishop. Couples must register at their respective parish offices. A fee of $35 per couple is requested to help defray the cost of the celebration.
The First Reconciliation Class of Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Cathedral. Photo by Simon AlHaddad

March 21, 2012 - 12:07pm


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