September 17, 2014   22 Elul 5774
Main Line Reform Temple-Beth Elohim, Wynnewood, PA
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Baseball, Poker & the Past

“Reminiscences,” complains G. B. Shaw in Heartbreak House, “makes one feel so deliciously aged and sad.”  While older than many, I am not at all sad reminiscing about our Brotherhood’s active participation in the life of our Temple since Sy Ettinger, our first president, exhorted us to be true to our Jewish values and not try to compete with Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows.

Brotherhoods, “since the time when synagogue-affiliated fraternal groups, or landsmanschaften [Yiddish for countrymen organizations] from the Eastern European emigration organized worship services in storefronts and homes, raising money to sponsor immigrating relatives, purchasing land for cemetery plots, and creating free loan societies . . . all adding to the developing network for each community” (The Evolution of Jewish Brotherhood,  Our MLRT Brotherhood community, too, has followed the principles of this collective past that began in the early nineteen hundreds and was officially created at MLRT in 1954.  Note that, just as organized worship then often began in private homes, so, too, MLRT began by holding services wherever it could, such as at the Haverford Friend’s facility; as well, MLRT has recently purchased cemetery plots at the West Laurel Hill.  This is all by saying that our Brotherhood continues in the proud tradition of this nation’s Brotherhoods, giving service to our own Temple, while striving always, whether in service or fellowship, to embrace Jewish values.

So now for some reminiscing.  As you have suspected, timing interferes with actual events having already taken place prior to submitting these monthly articles.  March was filled with several noteworthy events that I chose not to give short shrift to them.  First was the extraordinarily attended Second Annual Sports Dinner.  More than fifty men gathered for food, drink, and light-hearted banter, all while listening to Glen Macnow impart his vast knowledge of the Philadelphia sports scene.  The unspoken feeling of community was palpable at this gathering.  With Sisterhood as a co-sponsor, we came together at a pre-Purim celebration; at the Purim Carnival the next day we, as always in the past, worked the food booth, donating all proceeds to the Religious School having also purchased all the food that was for sale.  The Early Childhood Education pre-school, an incredible asset at MLRT, was pleased to receive our contribution to its Spring Ad Book.

Hard to accept that time’s unyielding hand (forgive the Pathetic Fallacy) brings my tenure as your president to its inevitable conclusion in a few weeks.  I am neither sad nor forlorn that, as of yet, no Brother has considered to volunteer a bit of time, a little passion, a keen desire to perpetuate the landsmanshaften fervor of years gone by.  For this I know:  someone will fill in the blank that precedes “Brotherhood President” on the name badge so proudly worn by me and all my predecessors.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary Brock
MLRT Brotherhood President


Texas Hold’em Tournament – Thursday, April 10 | 6:30 pm
We have another Texas Hold’em Tournament scheduled. As usual, we start at 6:30 pm with snacks and then try to figure out whose bluffing.

Brotherhood Shabbat Service – Friday, April 25 | 8:00 pm 
A wonderful opportunity not to be missed by all our members to worship together.

MLRT Community Outing Jews and Baseball
Past, Present, and Future - Saturday, May 17

Also, in May is the National Museum of American History’s presentation of “Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American.” This event will be a congregation-wide opportunity to learn of the stories of how Jews and other minorities shaped baseball and America. This docent-led event will be followed by attending a Phillies game that same evening. The entire family will want to consider attending this event.
The day will include:
• “Jews in Baseball” exhibit at the National Museum of American Jewish History
• Havdallah
• Phillies Night Game
Cost is only $55 per person, which includes: bus transportation, snack, museum entrance, and Phillies ticket!
Bus Departs from MLRT 2:30 pm
Bus Returns to MLRT 11:00 pm (depends on speed of the game)!
Please RSVP and make payment to Erica Capello at or 610-642-0304 by Tuesday, April 1.
(Extra tickets will not be purchased and final numbers are due to the Phillies on April 1.)


Click here to get to ~ Brotherhood Job Bank!
Please call the Temple office for the username and password to access the Brotherhood Job Bank 610-649-7800.

Brotherhood is working to help connect those in our community in need of a job with others who are hiring or aware of openings. If you are looking for a job or know of an available job, please email Louis Bernstein at


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