Temple Beth El of City Island
Your Shul By the Sea
480 City Island Avenue
Post Office Box 188
City Island, New York 10464


TBE News by the Sea
The High Holy Days: Journey of the Soul
October 2019 • Tishrei 5780

This Season of Soul...

   Safety and Security
   News and Announcements

It's time! We blow the Shofar, open the doors, wake up, stretch, forgive, return, repair, renew.

On behalf of our Shul by the Sea, welcome to the High Holy Days of 5780. Our theme this year is Journeys of the Soul. Read more from R. David on our theme.

Please invite friends and family: our shul thrives with new chances to touch people and impact the world. As always, services are free and open to the public first-come, first-serve.

Doors open 30 minutes before each service. To make the most of your soul journeys, plan ahead for traffic and parking – and please consult our customs and policies for tips and requests.

L'shanah tovah um'tukah. May you and your loved ones be inscribed and sealed for a year of sweet goodness and radiant souls.

Schedule for October and the
High Holy Days 5780

Please note holiday evening start times. Services will start promptly as scheduled. Plan ahead for traffic and parking, especially on weekends.

   • Erev Rosh Hashanah: Sun. 9/29, 6:00p
   • Rosh Hashanah 1: Mon. 9/30, 10:00a
   • Rosh Hashanah 2: Tue. 10/1, 10:00a
   • Shabbat Shuvah: Fri. 10/4, 7:30p
   • Kol Nidre: Tue. 10/8, 6:00pm
   • Yom Kippur/Yizkor: Wed. 10/9, 10:00a
   • Community Shabbat: Fri. 10/11, 7:30p
   • Sukkot Potluck: Sun. 10/13, 6:00p
   • SukkahFest (DEM): Mon. 10/14, 5:00p
   • Sukkot Shabbat: Fri. 10/18, 7:30p
   • Simchat Torah/Yizkor: Sun. 10/20, 7:30p
   • Community Shabbat: Fri. 10/25, 7:30p

Please review our Customs and Policies.  Kindly avoid scented products, and mute all electronics except assistive devices before entering shul.

Back to top

Cuba Medical Mission Supplies

TBE is collecting medical and health supplies that TBE will bring to Cuba on October 27. Cuba's Jewish community pharmacies depend on tzedakah, which literally can mean life or death. Your direct support can make a huge difference.

Please bring donations directly to TBE's collection box in the lobby. Click here for an official list of the most urgently needed items. Cuba also can accept clearly labeled unexpired prescriptions.

¡Muchísimas gracias! • תודה רבה • Thank you!

Back to top

The Flow of These Days
By Rabbi David

Each year at this season, a moment comes when I lose my sense of time and place. Instead of feeling like Rosh Hashanah, Shabbat Shuvah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot or Simchat Torah, my sense of time jumbles. Suddenly I feel all of them at once.

Maybe it's the changing sunlight. Maybe it's the season's disruption of routines, the ebb and flow of the music, or the sheer number of hours. Maybe it's the intensity of introspection. Maybe it's something else.

Whatever it is, I've come to understand the jumble as a helpful and even necessary part of my spiritual journey of the soul, which is our theme for the High Holy Days 5780.

Spiritually speaking, the flow of these days began with the first mid-summer knock on the outer doors of our psyche, gently getting our attention that change was afoot. Tisha b'Av came: walls fell. Sun angles changed. Leaves began to pop with color. Ancient tunes began to mix in.

Practically speaking, the world is spinning in ways we've never seen before. Whatever our beliefs, whatever our politics, these times are not usual. We should feel jumbled: if we don't feel jumbled, odds are good that we're not paying attention.

Rosh Hashanah celebrates the sweet renewal that can be ours, whatever our lives may be. We stir to go deep and change our lives for real. Shabbat Shuvah leans toward transformation and the singularity we call Yom Kippur. At Kol Nidre we begin to transcend ourselves. On Yom Kippur we touch the release from this plane and emerge so clear and high that we don't need the protective fixity of a roof overhead.

That's Sukkot: sheer joy, earned by our spiritual journey and purely unearnable, a gift of grace.

It's an otherworldly journey, this journey of the soul. Writing these words, I feel my usual sense of self starting to jumble. For me, this jumble usually reaches its peak at Neilah on Yom Kippur afternoon, when I go outside into TBE's garden for the final prayer service. Returning to shul from the garden, I must walk west toward the glow of the setting sun. I get lost in that glow, not knowing exactly where I end and where the setting sun begins – and all the more whole for it.

May this season of soul renew you and your loved ones for a year of sweet goodness.

Back to top

Sukkot: Potluck, Party & More

Don't miss four opportunities to party TBE style for Sukkot. (Dress for the weather, and don't forget to RSVP by October 10 via email to us at

TBE Sukkot Potluck
Sun., Oct. 13, 6:00pm
RSVP required

Join R. Shohama and R. David for a musical First Night Sukkot potluck dinner in TBE's Sukkah (yes, with chandeliers). Bring a dairy/pareve or kosher-fish dish to share. 

Rabbi David's Sukkot Party
Mon., Oct. 14, 5:00pm (in Westchester)
RSVP required: address will be sent as reply

Join R. Shohama and R. David at R. David's home for this annual SukkahFest (Columbus Day). Dairy, pareve and kosher-fish dishes requested.

Sukkot Shabbat
Fri., Oct. 18, 7:30pm

Join R. David and the Band for the Shabbat of Sukkot. Celebratory oneg in the TBE Sukkah.

Shmini Atzeret & Simchat Torah
Sun., Oct. 20, 7:00pm

Join R. Shohama, R. David and the Band for our final hurrah of the Holy Holy Days. We'll dance with the Torah and immerse in one last celebration in the Sukkah. Yizkor will be observed. Oneg to follow.

Back to top

Our Journeys of the Soul
By Rabbi David (re-printed from September)

Our High Holy Day theme is Journeys of the Soul. In Jewish mysticism, the English word "soul" unfolds as multiple soul "levels" shaping who we are.

We live in the body (physicality, doing), in heart (emotion, feeling), in mind (idea, thinking) and in spirit (essence, being) – all simultaneously. We each have a body-soul, heart-soul, mind-soul and spirit-soul. This idea can twist us in knots.

But no matter. The soul "knows" what we don't yet fully sense. In much the same way, we can "know" in our body. We can "feel" with our mind. We can "think" with our heart. And "soul" is inside it all, and all around. Jewish mysticism gives names to soul levels:

 nefesh (body-soul)
 ruach (heart-soul)
 neshamah (mind-soul)
 chayah (spirit-soul)

To these we add the transcendent soul-sense of yechida (Unity) that is always Present and seemingly most palpable on Yom Kippur. 

We need them all. We are them all. That's why our High Holy Day journey will ascend and unify all of them. We'll journey into the soul of action in our embodied, beautiful and broken world. We'll feel the emotion-soul with hearts perhaps accustomed to self-protecting. We'll "soulify" our minds. We'll reach toward a Presence that makes renewal possible. And by that merit, we'll stretch into healing, forgiving and renewing our lives.

Return again as we journey into the holy and wondrous land of the soul. L'shanah tovah!

Back to top

Come, Come, Whoever You Are

Our High Holy Day theme song has a story worth telling, because it reflects our shul's core values.

The English words are translations of prose by Rumi, a Sufi mystic (1207-1273). Rumi's Islam is a close cousin of our heart-centered Judaism.

The words became a song that grew popular in Unitarian communities. The music is by a very Caucasian guy who calls himself Sudhananda, a Hindu mystical name. Rabbi David took the tune with Rumi's words, and set them to Hebrew words rooted deep in the Jewish soul.

So if you're keeping score, our theme song is Sufi-Unitarian-Hindu-Jewish. It's all about soul.

The song's message is a prayer for our spiritual journey of renewal. "Come, whoever you are" – no matter what you did or didn't do, what vows you broke or how many times. Come, no matter what: this journey is for all of us.

This journey will challenge us. The soul's journey often does. There might be inner heat, fear and loss. But "ours is not a caravan of despair." Joy awaits us and can transform us.

"Come, yet again. Come. Come."

Back to top

Celebrating Rabbi Shohama:
Weekend of Nov. 22-24

Invitations to TBE's Tribute Luncheon were mailed to all members. Copies are available at shul throughout the High Holy Days.

The invitation includes ticket information, chances to offer keepsake blessings, and ways to contribute to TBE's Rabbi Shohama Wiener Future Fund. The Future Fund will help bring R. Shohama back to TBE in 2020 and beyond, and nourish new spiritual opportunities in her legacy.

We hope each and every TBE member and friend will participate in this once in a lifetime opportunity to love and honor our treasured Rabbi Shohama.

Friday, Nov. 22: Kabbalat Shabbat 

This special musical Kabbalat Shabbat will be R. Shohama's final service for this season.

Sunday, Nov. 24: Celebration Luncheon

Join Dr. Ora Horn Prouser (Dean of the Academy for Jewish Religion, the seminary R. Shohama led as president for 15 years), R. Jennifer Singer (Rabbi of Kol HaNeshama in Sarasota, FL), musical friends and spiritual colleagues for a soulful tribute to R. Shohama.

Pelham Split Rock Golf Courses
Sunday, November 24
12:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Back to top

Thanksgiving Week

It's time to save a few dates for Thanksgiving week, immediately after Rabbi Shohama's tribute weekend. Please save the following important dates on your calendars:

Monday, Nov. 25, 7:30pm

Multi-Faith Thanksgiving Service at TBE with all City Island Houses of Worship.

Thursday, Nov. 28, 12:00pm

Annual giving-back opportunity to serve Thanksgiving lunch at the Methodist Church. 

Back to top


It takes a village to keep TBE humming, especially for the High Holy Days.

TBE extends gratitude from the heart to the many members who dedicated time, energy, money and sheer sweat to readying our holy community for our High Holy Day journey:

Judith Alpert • Elaine Belasco • Bob Berent • Cheryl Berent • Johanna Devlin • Barbara Gold • Mariko Gordon • Daniella Haney • George Klein • Paul Klein • Tody Liederman • Philis Maucieri • Jodie Sadovsky • Janet Seifer • Violet Smith • Rachel Stark • Pat Tammaro • Avra Tietze • Ellen Weinstein • Leon Weinstein

Please extend a special thank you to Steve Gottlieb for redesigning our sound system, along with Bandmates Stu Goldstein and Monty Renov for serving as TBE's musical Levi'im.

When you see them and the Board of Trustees, please show them how much you appreciate them.

Back to top

Healing List

TBE sends blessings of refuah shleimah (fullest possible healing in body, heart, mind and soul) to these persons in and around our community:

    Anne Gerstman (congregant)
    Maria Guzzone (friend of congregant)
    Maya McAuliffe (congregant granddaughter)
    Jodie Sadovsky (congregant)

TBE keeps Healing List names for a month, subject to renewal. In case of a request for confidentiality, only clergy will know: names will be kept private. To add or renew a name, or seek Chesed Committee support, please email us at; for confidential requests, please contact R. David.

Back to top

Security and Safety

"High Season" brings more people lingering late on City Island.

TBE will continue to take active measures to enhance safety and security. Upcoming building enhancements will help. For now, please review the simple measures we all can take to enhance safety and security.

Park in well-lit areas. High-light parking is available on City Island Avenue and the Seafood City lot's first row adjacent to City Island Avenue (closest to the synagogue). Please park there.

Come early. Please aim to arrive a little bit earlier, to claim closer parking spots.

Travel together. Carpooling is fun, good for the planet and safest. If you travel solo, don't hesitate to ask for an escort back to your car.

Be street smart. Use common sense. As in any urban setting, carry any purses between you and someone walking with you.

Close the door behind you. Please take special care to close the front door and the Sanctuary door behind you each time you enter or exit.

Back to top

News and Announcements

SHTIEBEL HAVDALAH GATHERINGS. Rabbis Ben Newman and Shoshana Leis warmly invite TBE members to First Saturday monthly Havdalah dinner and music jams ($10). This month's event (Oct. 5, 6:00-8:00pm) will be at their home: 56 Ogden Avenue, Dobbs Ferry NY 10522.

HEALING CIRCLE FORMING. TBE is forming a healing circle facilitated by Pat Tammaro and Daniella Haney. The circle meets monthly for spiritual and mystical prayer for healing in all forms. No experience necessary. First meetings will be at TBE on Wednesday 10/23 at 12:00pm, and Friday 11/22 at 5:00pm.

MANDATORY FOR CUBA TRAVELERS. All Cuba travelers are reminded that we have a mandatory meeting at TBE on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 7:30pm.  We will distribute visas, paper tickets and other needful things. We'll also have a "packing party" for the medical supplies. Please leave plenty of time for this evening: visas will not be mailed.

HI TO ASTOR SAGE. Welcome Astor Sage as TBE's new violinist in our Band by the Sea. Astor will join us starting Erev Rosh Hashanah and looks forward to meeting the community. Welcome, Astor!

IMMIGRANT WELCOME CAMPAIGN. TBE proudly joined over 400 congregations supporting the HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) Welcome Campaign for immigrants. TBE will continue to make immigrant support a spiritual priority, reflecting Judaism's keystone principle that "we, too, were strangers."

SPONSOR AN ONEG. Oneg chair Violet Smith seeks volunteers to sponsor an oneg in honor of a birthday, anniversary or other simchah, or in memory of a loved one. Thank you for offering this gift of the heart.

GIVE YOURSELF AND DEVICES A REST. Please silence communication devices before services. Please minimize movement and noise at Barechu, Shema, Amidah and Kaddish. Thank you for uplifting the kedushah (holiness) of sacred times. 

YOGA MONDAYS (7:30pm). Suitable for every age, body type and experience level, this weekly series in breath, body and spirit seeks deep healing and integration, led by Daniella Haney (Patreesha Sat Inder Kaur), certified instructor in spiritual disciplines of breath and body. Dress in loose-fitting clothes: participants can either use the floor (mats and pillows are provided) or sit in a chair. Tea and cookies served after sessions. Suggested freewill offering $10 per session. RSVP to Daniella at

YOGA SCHEDULE ADJUSTMENTS: In honor of the High Holy Days, there will be no Yoga at TBE on September 30 (Rosh Hashanah) or October 14 (Sukkot). Yoga on October 7 will be held in the Community Room rather than the Sanctuary.

REMINDER: NO SCENTS. For the health and comfort of all, TBE asks that members and guests refrain from wearing scented products such as perfume, cologne and aftershave.

WRITE FOR US! We invite you to make free announcements – joyous occasions, memorials, tributes and more. We also invite you to send us pictures, poems and essays. Submissions are due on the 20th day of the month by email.



Street Address
480 City Island Avenue
City Island, New York 10464

Mailing Address
Post Office Box 188
City Island, New York 10464

General Email

General Telephone

Synagogue Website

Donations & Payments





"Your Shul by the Sea" is a spiritually dynamic, loving and joyfully inclusive community dedicated to the heights and depths of Jewish tradition. We emphasize renewing the heart and soul of Jewish life.

Our members and friends hail from across New York's tri-state area. They describe us as truly warm and real, free of pretense. From the moment you enter, you'll feel enfolded, welcome and embraced just as you are.

We proudly welcome diversity in all forms. Our leaders are women and men, LGBT and straight. We hail from across and beyond the breadth of Jewish denominations. We pray and play with our siblings in multiple faiths, sharing with us the human call to infuse all life with living spirit. 

We draw from all movements of the Jewish world. We reach beyond outdated labels. Our clergy are innovators in Jewish spirituality, and hail from the Academy for Jewish Religion and ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal.

Explore our website for more about our clergy, our uplifting Band and our education program. Welcome!




R. David Markus
Senior Rabbi
Link for Email

R. Shohama Wiener
Link for Email

For pastoral emergencies, please also email the synagogue office at



TBE's Board of Trustees are our Kohanim, community leaders in the spiritual flow of Judaism's ancient priesthood of service.

Executive Officers

   Paul Klein, President
   Jodie Sadovsky, Vice President
   Daniella Haney, Treasurer
   Elaine Belasco, Secretary


   Helaine Atlas-Cutler
   Barbara Gold
   Helen Lerner
   Violet Smith
   Bart Sobel
   Rachel Stark
   Arnold Wile

TBE is reorganizing its committees and developing a growing number of community task forces. Stay tuned for ways you can serve and support Our Shul by the Sea!



Membership is open to all spiritual seekers who resonate with our joyful approach to Jewish Renewal. We rely on membership and charitable support to keep our doors open to all regardless of means.

For membership information, please contact:

Elaine Belasco
Membership Chair



We depend on tzedakah (charitable support) to continue offering high-quality, low-cost spiritual community for all persons, regardless of means.

To make a 100% tax-deductible contribution, click here to give via PayPal:


On behalf of Your Shul by the Sea, thank you for your generous support of our vision for joyful spiritual Judaism in coastal New York and beyond.



Temple Beth El of City Island is proud to network with innovative communities across the spiritual spectrum that emphasize heartfelt inclusion and spiritual experience beyond labels and boundaries.

Rabbi David is a rabbinic fellow alumnus of


a former project of CLAL: Center for Jewish Life and Learning, whose participating clergy are helping lead the cutting edge of innovation in Jewish spiritual life.




Temple Beth El of City Island inherits the spiritual tradition of innovation today re-inspiring Judaism and all spiritual life. 

We share the flow of spiritual innovation with cooperative spiritual allies here and around the world. Together we're building a living and breathing Jewish spirituality open to all.

In this spirit, TBE thanks proudly our spiritual partners at –

– which is helping pioneer the next phase of Jewish spiritual building for the 21st century. Learn more at Bayit: Building Jewish.
TBE draws from all streams and denominations of Jewish life, including the pluralist tradition of the New York Jewish seminary, Academy for Jewish Religion

and Jewish Renewal influences flowing in diverse ways, including the founders and alumni of 



Temple Beth El of City Island is a proud supporter of full LGBTQ equality and inclusion in Jewish life. We were among the first Jewish congregations in New York to legally solemnize same-sex marriages, and we have a long and proud history of LGBTQ leadership of our community.

For more information, please contact us or our friends at Keshet: For LGBTQ equality in Jewish Life.



Temple Beth El of City Island is rated as a top welcoming and inclusive synagogue for persons of all races, ethnicities and religions by the good people at Mocha Juden.




Please also support TBE with every Amazon purchase. Do your Amazon shopping from and designate Temple Beth El of City Island. Thank you!





For the health and comfort of all members and guests, TBE is a no-scent community.  Thank you for avoiding use of perfume, cologne and other scented products when coming to shul.

We ask that all members and guests make a spiritual practice of muting electronic devices before services, and taking on the holy awareness of what's arising in our prayer space.

Please consult our customs and policies for helpful guidance about ways to feel most comfortable in our community and make it your own. Thank you.
Copyright © 2019 Temple Beth-El of City Island, All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp