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Newsletter 04/25/2012

Congregation Beth Shalom

Weekly News and Updates, April 25, 2012**********************************************************************************************

Minyan Needed for Sabbath Services at 8:00 p.m., Friday Evening, April 27 (5 Ilyar)

Jill Panzer‘s mother, Minna Sarrett, passed away last Sunday, April 15 (23 Nissan), in West Hartford, CT. Please join us for Shabbat Services and help form a minyan for Jill to recite Kaddish.

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for Fairfield

Shabbat (candle lighting) begins at 7:43 p.m. on Friday, April 27. Shabbat ends (Havdalah begins) Saturday, 8:47 p.m. in Fairfield.


Mazel Tov!
Upcoming Bat Mizvah of Bella Unger

Isabella Rosa Unger, daughter of Alan & Katrin Unger and sister of Anna-Theresa & Jack, will be called to the Torah on May 5th, 2012 at Beth Shalom as a Bat Mitzvah.

Aliyahs and honors are planned for Michael Eisner, Neil Gritz, Richard Rubin, Mitchell & Renee Posner, Warren & Harriet Berman, Howard & Andrew Meyer.

The Ungers are expecting Bella’s grandparents Hilja-Anne & Valentin Merzin, Aunt Helen & Uncle Toomas Tomberg with cousins Peeter, Marko & Rene from Estonia; and cousins Andrew from San Francisco & Howard Meyer from New York.

Message from David Serritt’s Family in England

My son, David Serritt was a member, and regular attender, in your Shull.
Unfortunately, he is now in the UK, and in a nursing home suffering with MS.
Being his father, I vividly recall attending the Friday night services together with my Late Wife, and David. One of the outstanding memories is when we attended your Psach Seder.
It was a wonderful occasion.
Please convey our best wishes to your congregation, and in particular, anyone who  remembers David during his stay at the Maharishi University.
Gerald Serritt
Leeds UK.

Editor’s note: Friends and acquaintances of David can contact him through his father Gerald at:

Member of Fairfield Jewish Family, from circa 1910, visits Beth Shalom

Deborah Soodhalter found our Beth Shalom website and called to tell us we had the history of Jews in Fairfield incomplete. Her grandparents settled in Fairfield around 1910; her mom was born in Fairfield in 1919 and lived here for many years.

The first Jewish families in Fairfield were settled in 1910 – 1914.  They were Joe Feldman, William Finkel, Becky Ullman Feldman, Zara Ullman Finkel, and Harry Ullman.

Debbie’s grandfather, William Finkel, and his business partner, Joe Feldman, were in the scrap metal business in Rock Island, Illinois.  William Finkel and Joe Feldman bought Fairfield Iron and Metal in 1910.  In 1916 Joe Feldman married Betty (Becky) Ullman (Feldman) and William Finkel married Zara Ullman (Finkel) in 1917.  They all made their homes in Fairfield, Iowa until their deaths.

According to Milton Ullman, there were no other Jewish families in Fairfield, Iowa other than Debbie’s relatives when he was a young boy.   The Silverman’s and any other Jewish families came to Fairfield several years after the Ullman, Finkel and Feldman families.

Debbie herself was born in Davenport, Iowa, has lived most recently in Florida, and visited us at Beth Shalom for Shabbat Services this past Friday.  Debbie has sent us a more complete history of her family, which will add to our incomplete history of Jews in Fairfield (to be included in our Beth Shalom website, which is about to undergo revision), as well as the possibility of finding a video of her father “touring” Ottumwa’s B’nai Jacob Synagogue and narrating a history of his family in the area.