Shalom and thanks for visiting our Temple Emanu-El website. We are a Reform Jewish Congregation in Irondequoit, New York, a few minutes from downtown Rochester.
We feel fortunate that we share a rich heritage, a vital Jewish community life, and a promising future. Our congregation reflects the diversity of today's society - we invite you to share in our warm, informal approach to Reform Judaism
Friday Shabbat services generally begin at 7:30 pm.
To find out more about our congregation, please click “About Us” on the menu bar. Better yet, come visit us.
Born in 1898, Molly Picon was a talented actress, comedienne and songwriter. She appeared in Yiddish and English theatres, in vaudeville, in motion pictures and on radio and television.
She developed her love of theater early in life when her mother was a wardrobe mistress in the theater. At age of five, she won an amateur contest, receiving a prize of five gold dollars. She started her acting career at age six in Yiddish theater. In 1919, she went on a tour with a vaudeville act, “The Four Seasons,” which closed when it got to Boston where the theaters were all shut down because of an influenza epidemic. Molly went to apply for work at the Yiddish theater, the only place in town that was open. The manager, Jacob Kalach, gave her a job and ultimately married her. The two toured Europe for two years, where Molly was a hit. When they returned home, they found that Molly’s fame had spread to the US, and her career took off.
Over the years, she appeared in many productions, including the films “Come Blow Your Horn” with Frank Sinatra, “For Pete’s Sake” with Barbra Streisand and as Yente the matchmaker in “Fiddler on the Roof.” Her TV appearances include “Gomer Pyle, USMC” and “Car 54 Where are You?” Her most famous film was “Yidl Mitn Fidl,” shot in Poland in 1936, where she appeared dressed as a boy, traveling with her father giving musical performance. (See a film clip and hear Molly sing)
During World War II, Molly Picon and her husband traveled with the USO to entertain the troops, and following the war, they traveled to Europe to entertain survivors, bringing gift packages of personal items and candy.
Molly died in 1992, at the age of 94.
Book: Seymour Brody, Jewish Heroes & Heroines of America; need to complete this citation
Links: Wikipedia; Jewish Women of America
Tu BiSh’vat, celebrated on February 4th this year, is the New Year of the Trees. Three other New Years on the Hebrew calendar are the New Year of kings and festivals (1 Nissan, the month of Passover), the New Year for animal tithes (1 Elul, the month before for Rosh Hashanah) and the New Year for calculating the calendar (1 Tishrei, Rosh Hashanah).
Tu BiSh’vat marks the beginning of spring in Israel, it celebrates the bounty of nature and is used to calculate the age of trees. Traditionally, the fruit of a new tree may not be used until the tree is mature (three years); the fourth year’s fruit is tithe; after that the fruit may be eaten. Following the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE, and the exile, Tu BiSh’vat marked a remembrance of Israel and its bounties.
The holiday is celebrated in several ways: the planting of trees in Israel, eating the seven species found in Israel (wheat, barley, figs, pomegranates, olives, grapes, and dates). Some people also celebrate by having a Seder, developed by Kabbalists, that features four cups of wine ~ as in the Passover Seder ~ and the eating of a variety of fruits and nuts. The four cups have wine are of different colors that represent the four seasons and different elements: all white, representing Winter and earth; white with a drop of red, representing Spring and water; half white and half red, representing Summer and air; and all red, representing Fall and fire. Click here for a Seder.