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.
Although Purim is a celebration of our people’s victory over Haman in ancient Persia, we remember all of those tyrants who over the ages have tried to destroy us. Many looked upon the Jewish people as intruders who did not belong in their lands, as Haman said: “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from those of every people; neither keep they the king's laws; therefore it does not profit the king to suffer them.” (Esther 3:8)
The story is related in the book of Esther (the Megillah) which is read on Purim. Haman convinces King Ahasuerus to let him destroy the Jews in the kingdom, but the plot is discovered by the Jew Mordecai, whom Haman hates because he refused to bow down to Haman. So Mordecai is the first whom Haman plans to hang. Modecai asks his cousin, Queen Esther, to appeal to the king to save her people. It is a dangerous mission because Esther herself is Jewish, and also because no one can approach the king without being asked to. She fasts for three days before going the king and succeeds in saving the Jewish people. Now, instead of Mordecai, it is Haman who is hanged.
Purim is a joyous celebration, the only time when we are told to get drunk. We celebrate with carnivals, costume parties, Purim spiels (plays), providing gifts for charities, the reading of the Megillah (during which lots of noise is made with every mention of the name Haman) and of course the eating hamentashen (cookies shaped like Haman’s hat).
At Emanu-El, we’ll celebrate with a Hebrew School festival on Sunday, March 1 and a potluck supper and program on Friday, March 6.
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