Celebrating Our Cantor

During the weekend of April 1-2, Temple Israel will be honoring Cantor Steven and Myrna Dress. We hope you will join us on Saturday, April 1 for Shabbat services and a festive kiddush and Sunday, April 2 for a musical program and a celebratory brunch

In Honor of Cantor Dress

Through his dedication and commitment, Cantor Dress has worked tirelessly over the years, helping our children prepare for becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. As a lasting tribute to these efforts, the Temple will be dedicating a Sefer Haftarah in Cantor Dress' honor, and there are opportunities for all Temple Israel community members to participate.

What is a Sefer Haftarah?

A Sefer Haftarah is a compilation of prophetic texts of striking beauty with a scroll that outwardly resembles the Sefer Torah.  The Sefer Haftarah is mounted at both ends on its unique Etz Hayyim and then covered in a custom cloth mantle for safe keeping. When not in use, it is stored in the ark next to our Torah scrolls. It contains all of the Haftarot that are recited on Shabbat and festivals. Unlike a Torah scroll, the Sefer Haftarah will have vowels and trope markings to make it easier for congregants to read.

The Sefer Haftarah has been part of Jewish liturgy since Roman times when it was first introduced as a way to counter a Roman decree that forbade the reading of the Torah in public assemblies. During the 9th century, the Ben Asher family developed the system of cantillation and punctuation (trope and k'tiv). From that time onward it became traditional for the Haftarot to be chanted. It was common during the Middle Ages to have scrolls of the prophets in the ark next to the Torah scrolls. When it came time to read the Haftarah, a scroll was taken out of the ark and the appropriate Haftarah was chanted. Haftarot in scroll-form were mentioned as early as talmudic times, but have been almost totally eclipsed by the printing press. The Temple Israel Sefer Haftarah will be used to enhance the spirituality of the reading experience.

How can I participate?

Members and friends of Temple Israel and of Cantor and Myrna Dress have the opportunity to dedicate the cover (mantle), handles (Etz Hayyim), Yad, Book, or any number of Haftarot in our new Sefer Haftarah. Individuals who support the Sefer Haftarah will be recognized in the Event Program for the celebratory weekend on April 1 and 2, 2017, when the Sefer Haftarah will be dedicated.  In addition, those individuals or families who choose to associate their gift with a specific Haftarah portion or at a greater giving level will be recognized in the Lang Galleria.  

This is your opportunity to honor Cantor and Myrna Dress, as well as create your own personal legacy that will be part of our greater and ongoing traditions here at Temple Israel. Contributors can take advantage of one of any number of giving opportunities to commemorate important moments. You may choose to contribute in honor of your or your family member's Haftarah portion or in memory of a loved one, or for any other meaningful occasion. (Of course, contributions to recognize multiple portions also are possible…see below.) Imagine reliving the pride you felt, when you can see your family member's name and bar or bat mitzvah year appear on display in Temple Israel on the Hebrew anniversary of their special day.

Giving Opportunities

$5400     Scroll
$3600     Mantle (Cover) 
$1800     Book
$1000     Yad
$1000     Etz Hayyim (Handles)
$720      High Holiday Haftarah
$540      Festival Haftarah
$360      Weekly Haftarah
$180      Verse
$72       Word
$36       Letter

*This category has a limited number of sponsorships available

Any donation of $720 or higher will include 2 tickets to the celebratory brunch on April 2.

All donations of $360 and higher will be noted on a permanent display in Temple Israel.

If you are donating $360 or more, in addition to being recognized as a contributor to the overall celebration, you are also entitled to one specific Haftarah sponsorship, which will appear in a format similar to the book pictured above, which will be displayed in the Lang Galleria. If you are contributing at such a level, you'll be able to indicate your choice, and the year the Haftarah was chanted, when you make your donation online below.  

If you would like to sponsor multiple haftarot, please enter each donation separately.

Yes, I Want to Celebrate Cantor and Myrna Dress

If you would like to have more than one Haftarah sponsorship recognized, or if you have any other questions or would like more information, please contact us at celebratecantor@tisharon.org.

Thank you for your support!

Brunch - April 2, 10:00am

Due to overwhelming support, the brunch has sold-out. Ticket sales are now closed and we will not be able to accept walk-ins on the day of the event. Thank you for understanding.