Security update and Shabbat Shalom from Rabbi Ain – March 10, 2017

March 10 2017
Dear Congregants:
With the recent escalation of threats against Jewish institutions, we want to reassure you that the leadership and staff of the synagogue are prepared to respond to emergencies, and the safety of our members is our top priority.
We want to take this opportunity to review how we receive security information and the procedures we practice in response to what we hope will continue to be hypothetical threats. We are in regular contact with the NYPD’s 17th Precinct, with whom we have a close relationship and is located only a block from the synagogue. Our security company, Security USA, specializes in synagogues and schools. They give us current information on security issues in New York City and the synagogue area in particular. The executive staff recently met with them to discuss the spate of bomb threats.  The Rabbi and Minna attended an interfaith meeting on security led by John Miller, Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism of the New York Police Department. We are thankful that all our sources find the current threats “not credible.” Nevertheless, we have trained to respond if needed.
Our children and staff are well-practiced in evacuation drills. Our teachers, administrative and maintenance staff know lock-down procedures, and we will run practice drills throughout the year. During the day, access to the building is restricted and the doors are locked except for drop-off and pick-up. Our services are open to the public, but we reserve the right to restrict access if security deems it necessary. We plan to hold an evacuation drill during Shabbat services in the near future, and volunteers will be trained to assist.
You too can help. Law enforcement professionals all emphasize a phrase that seems cliché but it is fundamental: “If you see something, say something.” Call 911, if you see anything suspicious.
Our proactive measures, training and continuous communication with Security USA and the NYPD has prepared us to be ready for emergencies, in the unlikely event, that one may occur.
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of us.
Shari Pochapin, President
Rachel Ain, Rabbi
Minna Schneider, Executive Director
Shabbat shalom! In this Torah portion, Tetzaveh, God appoints Aaron and his sons as priests. God describes the priestly clothing, and explains how to properly sanctify the priests. Aaron is commanded to make incense offerings to God every morning on an altar. God explains that once a year Aaron will make an offering on that altar to atone for all of the Israelites’ sins.
KabalTOT Shabbat tonight is at 5:30 pm and our Musical Kabbalat Shabbat services with Purim melodies are this evening at 6:15 pm. Saturday morning services are at 9:15 am. Candle Lighting is at 5:40 pm.
Thought question: In this week’s parasha there is a lot of focus on God’s role in the development of Jewish ritual (and yet Moses’ name is never mentioned) and tomorrow night in the Megillah, Esther’s name is repeated many times but God is never mentioned. Why do you think this is the case? COME TONIGHT TO TALK ABOUT THIS!
Purim is tomorrow night and Sunday!
Don’t forget to come to SPS tomorrow night at 7 pm for the megillah reading, shpiel, and afterparty! The festivities continue on Sunday morning with the traditional megillah reading at 9:15 am and the Purim Carnival from 10:45-1:30 (please note that from 10:45-11:30 the Purim carnival is reserved for those children looking for a quieter experience with sensitive ears!)
Kidney Donation Awareness Event
Please join us March 29th at 7:00 p.m. for an inspiring presentation about living kidney donation and how we can help a member of our community and others.  The program will include information about the process of becoming a kidney donor-and advise those of us not ready to donate a kidney how else we can spread the word.  Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served.  Sponsored by Ken and LeslieZuckerbrot.
With Purim here…Passover is around the corner! Check out everything we are doing at SPS to get ready for Passover
Men’s Club Matzah and Wine Sale
Tuesday, March 21st – 6 pm to 8 pm
Please join us for an informal evening of wine tasting, just in time for Passover. (Yes – it’s THAT soon!)
Sample and order a wide variety of wonderful kosher-for-Passover wines for your own Seder table or bring them as gifts to your friends and family!
Representatives from McCabe’s Wine & Spirits will be on hand to tell us about the wines’ attributes and also instruct us on how to choose the right wine for the food and occasion.
All are welcome and no RSVP needed.
Just come by during these hours.
We’re also offering hand-made Shmurah Matzah from Brooklyn’s own Shatzer Hand Matzah Shmura Bakery for pre-purchase.
Can’t make it to the tasting?  No problem … just click here for the 2017 Passover Wine list and send us your order by mail, email, or fax: 212-758-5745
Women’s Seder
TUESDAY, March 28, 2017
Doors open at 6:30 pm
Seder begins promptly at 7:00 pm
At Sutton Place Synagogue
Advance paid reservations required & must be received prior to March 17.
$45 per female guest ($50 for late reservations)
Questions? Contact Evelyn Gomer or call 917-523-7352.
Sutton Place Synagogue First night of Passover Seder
First Night, Monday, April 10, 2017
Service: 6:30 pm       Seder: 7:00 pm
Sassower-Schneider Ballroom
Members and their guests    $120 per person
Non-members                        $130 per person
Child(ren) under 12: $65
Email or call 212-593-3300 for reservations.
                     For more information check out

Shabbat shalom,

Rabbi Ain