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Temple Emek Shalom announces endowment

Temple Emek Shalom honored Rabbi Marc Sirinsky on June 6 in a ceremony commemorating his "Bar Mitzvah year" as a full-time spiritual leader of the Ashland synagogue.

More than 300 people attended the service on a weekend that concluded the following night with a program and social gathering.

In honor of the rabbi the temple has established the Rabbi Marc Sirinsky Endowment, a permanent fund launched by a $10,000 matching gift from temple members and Portland residents Helen and Jerry Stern. Gifts from other temple members as well as non-members have boosted the endowment total to more than $30,000, with the endowment's Bar Mitzvah effort scheduled to continue through the summer.

Sirinsky spoke throughout the ceremony, explaining the various prayers and concluding his remarks by challenging the congregation: "To each one of you here, I bless you and I protect you. Now, please, have the courage and the vulnerability and the strength to turn to two people around you and join in this most sacred and holy spiritual practice. And I ask one additional thing of you: When today is over, please make sincere efforts to continue to bless one another and to protect one another, for as that is the promise of God that is made to us, so, too, it is God's challenge to us."

The musical portion of the service was led by Cantor Bella Feldman and backed by the Shabbat Shirah orchestra comprised for this ceremony of David Young, Asha Slater, Gabe Young, Bari Frimkess and Dennis Freese. The Temple's junior choir, including Hannah Bellinson, Ethan Croyle, Lauren Croyle, Nathan Soltz, Shoshana Werblow and Cara Feldman, performed several songs including "We Love Him So," a parody of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Any Dream Will Do" written by one of the synagogue's past presidents, Ron Silverman.

In another part of the ceremony, past president Avara Yaron led a guided meditation. A luncheon followed the service and was coordinated by JoAnn Prujan.

The ceremony involved many of the congregants and visitors who came to honor Sirinsky, and the Torah (five books of Moses) scrolls were taken from the ark and passed to 12 past presidents and three current presidents of the congregation: Bruce Barton, Ben Bellinson, Ben Bloom, Peter Dratch, Sherry Friedman, Steve Frimkess, Sharon Gell, Linda Goodkin, Dick Heimann, Marge Holman, Carolyn Mandell, Charlotte Osborne, Maggie Portrait, Ron Silverman and Avara Yaron.

The celebratory weekend ended Sunday night with a program coordinated by Robin Heald and emceed by Lenny Neimark.

Speakers included past presidents Dick Heimann, Carolyn Mandell, and Peter Dratch as well as Los Angeles visitor Michael Katz.

Silverman performed "He's an Extraordinary Man," a parody he had written about Sirinsky and based on the song from "My Fair Lady."

Cantor Feldman, accompanied by David Young, performed one of Rabbi Marc's favorite songs, "In These Times."

The social gathering portion of the evening was coordinated by Sharon Gell and Linda Goodkin, and music was provided by Jerry Attrick & and the Pacemakers.