Congregation Bnai Israel's 90th anniversary celebrated
By Adele Siegel
An enthusiastic audience of over 200 people celebrated Congregation Bnai Israel’s 90th anniversary on Sunday, Sept. 6. The essence of the event was expressed in the plaque presented by Mayor David Morell on behalf of the Village of Fleischmanns:
“Presented in recognition of Congregation Bnai Israel’s founders, present members and future generations for their rich cultural contribution to the Village of Fleischmanns. We join you in celebrating your 90th anniversary as a respected asset to Fleischmanns and the Catskill community. As a historical site, the Bnai Israel synagogue is a treasured component of our national, state and local heritage.”
It was an afternoon of history, song and dance. A video was shown, produced by Tim Mulvaney, master of ceremonies, of members sharing their experiences in coming to the area and, more specifically, to Bnai Israel. In a nostalgic look at the past, June Meinstein reminisced about people and events that were significant in the life of the congregation during her 48 years as an active member. A program booklet included a historic timeline of synagogue events.
David Schneiderman, president of the congregation, acknowledged the dignitaries present, area clergy and political personalities. Assembly-man Clifford Crouch was ably represented by his special assistant Kathy Mami Moore who presented a framed citation from the New York State Assembly.
The chorus of Congregation Bnai Israel, under the direction of Rabbi Moshe Pomerantz, presented a program of Israeli and Yiddish songs. Chorus members included Georgette Banks, Marsha Biederman, Nancy Feldman, Paula Herbst, Marilyn Ippolito, Lola Kurtzer, Naomi Lurie, Debra Rubin, Fanny Steinhauser, Al and Hannah Tanzer accompanied by Adam Ippolito.
The dance group, Marsha Biederman, Fannie Stein-hauser, Yvonne Reuter, Marilyn Ippolito, Nancy Michaels, under the leadership of Debra Rubin, concluded the program on the side lawn near the refreshment tent.
A history of the congregation was researched and organized by a diligent committee headed by Anita Rubin and included Elizabeth Bernhardt, Gil Rubin and Tim Mulvaney.