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President's Message

07/05/2019 07:31:23 PM


First, a big thank you to all members who participated in the Northern Westchester Jewish Festival on Sunday, June 23, in Mount Kisco and sponsored by UJA. It was exciting to have HCS present at the event. I also want to thank all those who attended this community family event.

Thank you for adhering to our security protocols when entering and leaving the synagogue. For upcoming major events, such as the High Holidays and bar/bat mitzvahs, you may notice enhanced procedures such as providing guest lists, so we know who to expect at synagogue and the necessity of adults having government issued photo identification.

Before you know it, we will be coming up to the High Holidays. You have and may continue to receive email invitations from the Ritual Committee asking you to participate in the High Holidays services. This is an excellent way to do service for HCS. Please see our High Holiday schedule on page 6 of this issue of the Shofar.

Speaking of the Shofar, this will be the last issue of the Shofar transmitted by email. All of the information you find in the Shofar will be available on our website starting September 1. There will be blogs from the Rabbi, Principal and Co-Presidents. You will be able to find our Social Action, Sisterhood, and numerous other activities plus the calendar. We will have an expanded HCS Happenings which will include links to pages of interest. Please take advantage of this redesigned, dynamic, online platform that will make it easier for you to find all the information you need to participate in all our upcoming activities.

Visit for our current information and in the fall when we launch the online Shofar.

Enjoy the rest of the summer and see you at synagogue.



Bob Fischer


05/07/2019 02:01:05 PM




Dear Congregants,

Wow! What a year this has been for Hebrew Congregation of Somers! In a year of transition where we might have experienced chaos and stagnation, we, instead, have coalesced, grown and blossomed. We now enthusiastically look forward to Rabbi Shoshana Leis’ leadership and arrival in July.

Throughout the year Cantor Ruth Ossher led our services and Lunch and Learn sessions so beautifully with her knowledge, her wisdom and, of course, with her melodious voice. Attendance at services is up, yet we would love to see more of our young families at our once a month Friday Family Services and Pot Luck dinners. It is such a joy to have our children and their families involved.

With Education Director Jill Liflander’s passionate leadership, expertise and creativity and the dedication of the teachers, our Hebrew School is thriving and growing. Also, Jill and others are beginning a beautifying project of the synagogue with colorful framed posters of Israel, cleaning house, removing broken down furniture, cleaning out the rabbi’s study, library and attic areas upstairs and more. Please watch for announcements to see how you can join in the beautification efforts and please let us know if you have any ideas.

Danielle Greenberg, who has led fun and informative Adult Education classes all year, has arranged for Stav Appel to speak at our June 6 Adult Ed session. The Fascinating topic is how the 15th century Marseille Tarot holds hidden meanings for the “Secret Jews” of the era. Watch for the flyer announcement for details.

Besides Lunch and learn and Adult Ed, we have had 2 NAMI (National Association on Mental Illness) presentations: one for adults only in the Fall and one for parents and kids in the Spring. The presentations focused on recognizing the signs of depression and how to seek help. We also had and international Israeli educator, Nadav Shachmon (here for three years working at Westchester Jewish Council) who gave us a timely talk on the Israeli election system.

Bob Fischer continues to oversee building repairs and improved security systems, so we can worship, learn and socialize in peace and safety. Your continued financial support for these efforts is essential for their success and is greatly appreciated.

Come one, come all to the Annual Congregation Meeting and Hebrew School Moving Up Ceremony on May19th. It’s a great time to show our pride in our students and learn even more about this year’s achievements such as our Social Action Projects, Mitzvah Projects, Somers Community Council and group trips. Refreshments will be served.

Finally, many, many thanks to Oscar, all our committees and chairs, all our volunteers, attendees and students for helping to make H.C.S. shine so brightly this year!

The Board of Directors and the Co-Presidents are wishing each and every one of you an enjoyable and healthy summer.


Vicki Stein Prusnofsky, Co-President

03/13/2019 12:21:49 PM


A message from Co-President Bob Fischer

Thank you to all who are our attending our services led by Cantor Ruth. It is a pleasure to see all of you and the energy you contribute to the congregation and good feelings we all share through prayers, singing, chanting, and being together. Remember to order your Shalach Manot and attend the Megillah reading on Friday, March 22.

Thank you for using our new RING doorbell. We can now know when someone is at the door and can verify their identity. Thanks to all have been contributing to security improvements. We have repaired and improved the front door in addition to the doorbell. More changes will occur in the future.

Oscar continues to keep the building ship-shape. Nonetheless our building and the house across the street do need work. We recently completed chimney repairs at the house and our sanctuary exit and stairway by the bima need repair. Your contributions toward these efforts are appreciated. All of the security and building repairs and improvements are costly. As we have always said, our expenses are covered by dues, tuitions, HH pledges AND contributions. Thank you for your generosity.

Look for emails inviting you to attend Ritual Committee meetings to plan services and the upcoming High Holidays. Please continue to support your synagogue and community at services and pot lucks and through participation in Sisterhood, the Education Committee and your energy and enthusiasm.




01/14/2019 01:07:52 PM


Gloria Caldarella

January/February 2019


Hello Fellow Congregants!


Back in July, when Bob, Vicki, and I divided the duties of the HCS Presidency into thirds, we also split up the year’s “Presidents’ Message” for the Shofar. I hadn’t realized at the time that I would inadvertently get stuck with the winter installment. Why ‘stuck’? Well…we have passed the joyous and reflective fall holidays, we have passed festive and latke-filled Chanukah, and we are not yet up to the feeling of renewal that Purim and Passover offer. If you are a “snowbird” you are reading this message from a lounge chair someplace warm and sunny. But most of us are stuck in a typical New York winter, with gray skies, rain, snow, ice, and cold. Brrrrr!


What message of warmth and optimism can I send out to carry us all through to the March-April Shofar along with the promise of spring?? There are several thoughts that occur to me that I would like to share and I hope you feel less stuck thinking about them:


  • Every day we add two minutes of daylight more than the day before
  • You can reflect on the good times we had during fall festivals and festivities (aaah, that yummy Chanukah dinner!)
  • You can plan some spring activities (create your Megillah costume now)
  • You can plan a summer vacation knowing that you will be packing up the gloves and unpacking the bright colors and short sleeves again
  • You can join us for services and Lunch and Learn to either commiserate about the cold or warm up with fellow congregants through some lively exchanges (and food always makes me happy)


On the positive side, HCS is busy as always with Hebrew School, Sisterhood, Shabbat services, and the continuing process of hiring a new rabbi. A sincere thank you to all those HCS members—adults and children—who showed their support by attending the Friday evening and Saturday morning shabbat services that were co-led by Rabbi Shoshana Leis and our Cantor, Ruth Ossher. The response to our Rabbi candidate was overwhelmingly positive. We are working with Rabbi Leis in the hope that she will be joining the HCS family as one of our spiritual and religious leaders. May I take this time to thank Ruth Ossher for the excellent job she has done leading services and supporting all HCS members.


So…make some hot chocolate or cider, find a fleece throw, and think warm thoughts,

Gloria Caldarella


Mon, August 10 2020 20 Av 5780