February 2014 - 5774

Volume LXII #5

Member of the Union For Reform Judaism


Congregation Shalom is a Reform Jewish community committed to education, spiritual growth, and Tikkun
Olam (healing the world).  We are proud to be an extended family of equals - welcoming, caring, and inclusive.
 Together, we engage in religious observance, enjoy social activities, and pursue life-long learning.
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Rabbi From our Rabbirabbi


Dear Friends:


It seems like ages ago that I wrote my first sabbatical blog post. Unfortunately the last few weeks were not what I had anticipated in terms of "Sabbatical" experiences. First a short story and it may be familiar to some of you because I once told it in a sermon during the High Holidays. Years ago I remember my mother telling me about a conversation she had had with a friend of hers. The friend had seen my grandmother at the supermarket and in a friendly way inquired, "How are your Mrs. Finkelstein?" My grandmother went on to tell my mom's friend, in great detail, about her challenges and in particular focused on the details of her health. I am pretty sure that my mom's friend felt like she had really just meant to say hi and instead had gotten an earful. My mom tried to explain to my grandmother afterwards that when someone inquires, "How are you?" they often don't really want to know; that they are just saying hi! I was always struck by that story and the mixed message concerning what our words really mean.


Anyway, in that vein, although I want to check in and tell you all how I am doing I don't want to be like my grandmother in terms of the "Long Story".


Please click here to read the rest of this column on our website.

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Stephen Rodman's photoFrom our PresidentBarryTop    


Dear Friends:


Can you name the Jewish holiday traditionally marked by revelry, public celebration, and the wearing of costumes? A holiday where we are commanded to engage in feasting and gladness and to send gifts to the needy?


Yes, it is Purim! For many years now, we have focused on teaching the Story of Esther to our children and provided them the opportunity to dress-up and attend a carnival. At the same time we have failed to truly provide the same opportunity to the adult members of our community.


This year we begin a new Congregation Shalom Purim tradition.


On March 15 beginning at 7 pm we will gather in costume and celebrate Purim. As a community we will perform the mitzvot of Purim, including reading the Megillah, collecting for the needy, and eating a festive meal. Together let us rejoice in the retelling of the bravery of Esther and Mordecai, celebrate the survival of the Jewish people, and raucously jeer the name of Haman. As the saying goes, we will eat, drink and be merry.


So join us in our new Purim tradition. Prizes will be given for the best costumes, and perhaps you will be regaled with a Purim spiel.


If you are interested in reading a portion of the Megillah (in Hebrew or in English), assisting with our Purim celebration plans, or perhaps contributing to our feast, please contact me at


I look forward to seeing you at the celebration!


Stephen Rodman's signature 



Please click here to read previous columns on our website.


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From Our Education Directoreddir  


Calling All LEGO Lovers


Do you love or did you ever love to play with LEGOs? It does not matter if you are young or old - children, parents and grandparents - this event is for you! Join us for an exciting opportunity to build a LEGO model of Jerusalem right here at Congregation Shalom. On Saturday March 29th from 3:45pm - 6:30pm, we will gather as a community welcoming people of all ages to come and share in this amazing experience. Stephen Schwartz, an architect from New Jersey, will help us to build a LEGO city of Jerusalem. Go to for information. This creative and exciting workshop has been successful all over the country and we were lucky enough to be awarded a grant from the Merrimack Valley Jewish Federation to bring a Lego Jerusalem to our community. We will build Jerusalem, have a tour of Jerusalem and then we will share Havdallah in our beautiful Lego city. Children in Grades 2 and up will especially enjoy this program and its creativity.


Why am I telling you about this amazing event in February, when the event is at the end of March? We are offering our Congregation Shalom family the first opportunity to register for this Lego event, but at the end of February we will be opening up this event to people outside of our own Congregation Shalom community. All members of Congregation Shalom are invited to attend for free, but in March we will extend this to the public and we will be charging for others to attend. Please register early so we can make sure we have enough space for you and your family. There is limited space available for this workshop so sign up soon. The only "cost" for each of you is that we ask that you bring along your favorite recipe so we can compile a recipe book for our fundraiser next year.


If you would like to register for the LEGO Jerusalem event, please email Joan LaRochelle at and please tell us how many members of your family (please specify adults, children and ages of the children) will attend.


To get you in the mood for LEGOs and cooking and hopefully to encourage everyone to send in a recipe for our recipe book, here is a fun idea for baking using our LEGO theme. Make a simple sugar cookie in a square pan and cut them into blocks. Ice the blocks with different frosting colors and put a matching skittle onto the frosting - you have a fun and creative LEGO treat.


Please sign up for LEGO Jerusalem and bring a recipe - it promises to be an amazing event for everyone.


Yael Signature


Please click here to read previous columns on our website. 


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Social Action Committeesocialaction

Join us at our next meeting!

Our committee is actively welcoming new members. We'd love to have you join us at our next meeting, so please email us at if you are interested.


Fundraising Committeefundraising


"A little bit of this, a little bit of that..." - Just click on Amazon from our website, bookmark it and you are now attached. You don't have to go to the CS website again to get onto the Amazon website. Actually, some of you who get automatic monthly deliveries (coffee, tea, diapers), the first time you click through, you are set!! This is a very easy way to help our congregation.


Paper Retriever - All those old newspapers, magazines and trash mail will help fill our green and yellow container that will, in turn, fill our coffers -- but please NO CARDBOARD! (that means Pizza boxes!) - Time to clean out those bulging bookshelves to make room for the new ones. GoodBooks also takes belts, handbags, clothing, backpacks but no phonebooks. Clean out your closet and clean out your bookcases and CS becomes the recipient of your good will.


Valentine's 50/50 Raffle - because of a delay in the mail (letters sent out the last week of December) we now have Valentine's Day in March. When your raffle tickets arrive, please use the extra time to sell as many tickets as you can. Please let the committee know if you need more tickets (email us at


We are always looking for new members for this committee - just email us at the above email address.


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Featured This Issue
Rabbi Ross to lead Shabbat Services
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Save the Date
Feb 9 
Shalomite / Jr. Youth Group Event

Feb 14 Shabbat with Rabbi Ross

March 15 
Purim Celebration
March 29  LEGO Havdallah


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QuickLinksQuick Links

Links to Our Website

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 ThankYou ThankYou




Thanks to everyone who sent a donation to the temple and their good wishes for a speedy recovery following my hospitalization in October. The warm and caring thoughts of my Congregation Shalom family were sincerely appreciated.

    Mitch Hyatt


Good & WelfareGoodWelfare


It is with a heavy heart that I write of the passing of Lee Jerry Strock, sister of our member Judy Miller. We send our deepest condolences to Judy and her family.


We are also deeply saddened to note the passing of Paul McBride, father of Norman McBride. Our deepest condolences to Norman and his entire family.


It is with a heavy heart that I write also of the passing of Harold Cohen, father of Larry Cohen. We send our deepest condolences to Larry, Janice, Deborah and Breanna.

Newsletter Ads and You!


We are always looking for advertisers for the Temple newsletter. Ads can be placed at any time with special pricing for members. Ads need not be for a year so if you want to try us, we take ads for 3 months as well as six months. If you decide to continue your ad for a full year, we do pro-rate the price. As the saying goes, "Try us, you'll like us!"


Youth ScholarshipsYthScholar

Throughout the year, there are many enriching Jewish experiences available to our youth through our synagogue or the community. These include, but aren't limited to, summer camps and trips to Washington, New York, and Israel. Fortunately, there is some scholarship money available through the temple to those families in need of financial assistance for these opportunities. Please contact Margie Berenson at with any questions and/or for an application form. 

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Changed Your Address?
Notify us at and we'll make sure all the right organizations at the Temple are informed. Please include your full name in your request.

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Deadline for the

March Newsletter is

Thursday, February 20.


Please send articles to  


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Join Our Mailing List

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Guest Rabbi to Lead Shabbat Services on February 14  


Rabbi Dennis Ross will be leading services on Friday, February 14th at the Sunset Shabbat service at 6:00 pm.


Take Two Tablets - When They Want to Display the Ten Commandments in the Courtroom

Public officials all too often turn to their personal religious teachings when deciding about climate protection, access to women's health care, science-based evolution education in public schools and more. Rabbi Dennis S. Ross, author of All Politics Is Religious: Speaking Faith to the Media, Policy Makers and Community (SkyLight Paths Publishing) will discuss the religious impulses shaping national and state-level legislation and policy - and what can - and may not - be done in response to challenges to church-state separation.


For more information about Rabbi Ross, please click here.


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Sisterhood Newssisterhood 



Our annual Sisterhood/Brotherhood night out took place on January 22nd at Martha's Exchange in Nashua. Despite the terrible weather and the Patriot's game, we still had eight couples in attendance! We all had a nice time chatting while eating delicious food in a great atmosphere.


Our second annual beading night with Laura Rodman will take place on Wednesday, February 12th at Katie Ebersman's house. This was a really fun evening last year so we are doing it again this year and just in time for you to make a Valentine's gift. Laura will bring an array of beads for you to string and then she will finish it off for you. The cost to make a bracelet is $10.00 and $20.00 for a necklace. You can pay her that night with cash or a check. If you can join us, please send an email to


Save the date for "A Taste of Retreat" on Saturday, March 29, 2014 from 10 AM - 5 PM.  

This year Sisterhood will hold a one-day retreat rather than a full weekend at a distant location.Planning for the retreat is underway and as soon as things are firmed up, we will send out information.  


The retreat will be held at a site within 15-20 minutes of the temple and will include Shabbat morning service, lunch, a program, and will conclude with Havdalah. Susan Horowitz will be our song leader. If you haven't heard Sue, check out her wonderful music at Rabbi Perry will share information about her sabbatical. Cost will be approximately $50. If you haven't attended a retreat in the past, this is a great way to see what it's all about.


If you have any questions, please contact Janet Dubner at


We are planning a painting party event for March. Details will follow in the Weekly Updates and in the March newsletter. You will receive an invite via email as well.



Sue Miller and Katie Ebersman, Co-Presidents

Brotherhood Buzzbrotherhood

This month we re-instituted the monthly poker night. Newbie Arnie Kersner walked away with top honors. Look for an evite to next month's game in your email toward the end of the month. Sisterhood hosted the annual Sisterhood/Brotherhood night out on January 11th. Despite competition from the Patriot-Colts game which ended up scheduled for the same night, the turnout was great. Thanks to Katie Ebersman and Sue Miller for organizing.


Coming up - the annual Brotherhood Ski trip is slated for February 9th. Skiers should contact Neal Berenson to reserve your spot or to get more information. Our monthly guys-night-out will happen - information will be coming to members via e-vite. Non-members can contact Neal or me below for information.


As always we welcome new members.

Roger Loyer and Neal Berenson, Co-Presidents 


Click here to view the Brotherhood calendar at our Congregation Shalom website.


Return to Groups.

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This month we had one of our most popular events, Ski Trip. It was a success despite inclement weather. 18 Shalomites enjoyed the weekend up in North Conway and we look forward to next year.


This month we have a joint event with the Junior Youth Group! We are snow tubing at Nashoba on February 9th. RSVP now at Look for an email advertising that coming soon. Shalomites also urges all 7th and 8th graders to sign up for the JOSTY Shul-In, an exciting fun-filled weekend for Jewish middle schoolers around the region. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to email us at See you on February 9th!


Joey Penn

Shalomites President

Junior Youth GroupJrYthGrp 

Snow tubing with the Shalomites on February 9th at Nashoba Valley Ski Area.  You can RSVP or get more information at


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Food for Lowell Transitional Shelter (LTLC)FoodDonations 


What: cooked meatloaves and brownies


Where: coolers will be outside Congregation Shalom's door


When: Wednesday, February 19th at 4 pm through Friday evening, February 21st

          (the third week of the month, as always)  


Questions? Contact: Margi Loyer at


Thanks for helping us perform this mitzvah!


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iGiveiGive for Congregation Shalom
Have you ever thought how great it would be to be able to shop online at 783 different well-known stores and still donate money to Congregation Shalom?  Well, you can do that!  It's free and easy so join those of us who have been sending donations to the synagogue for years simply by shopping by first going to the iGive website once you have established the link.  Click here to register for Congregation Shalom to automatically be the recipient cause.
If you make a purchase through iGive within 45 days of signing up, an extra $5.00 will go to Congregation Shalom.  If you have any questions, please contact Laura at


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ExtendedCommunityExtended Community

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Please join the Nashoba Valley Hadassah group for a games event!


Date: Tuesday February 18th (This is MA school vacation week.)

Time: 2:00 - 4:00 pm

Place: Congregation Shalom


Cost: $18/adult if you are already a Hadassah member. If you are not, please contact us about joining a great organization! NO COST for children to attend (with an adult).


For: Hadassah members and our children (ages 7+). Note: Children should be able to play a board game without adult supervision.


Games we will play: whatever you bring! (Suggestions: Scrabble, Mah Jong, Apples to Apples, Cards, Rummikub)


RSVP: Margi Loyer, 

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The Concord Orchestra

Ehlers Young Artist Concert


The Concord Orchestra, conducted by Richard Pittman, presents its winter concert on Friday, January 31 and Saturday, February 1. Kent William Hisada, winner of the 2014 Ehlers Young Artist Competition, will perform Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major. The program also includes New England Triptych by William Schuman and Dvořák's Symphony No. 9, From the New World. Both performances are at 8 pm at the Performing Arts Center at 51 Walden in Concord. Competition runners-up will give pre-concert recitals both evenings at 7:15. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for senior citizens, and $10 for students. For information, visit or call 978-369-4967.

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Tikvah Family Shabbaton


On March 28-30, Camp Ramah in New England is hosting its first-ever Tikvah Family Shabbaton for families with kids with disabilities. We are looking forward to a wonderful weekend retreat with programming catered specifically towards parents, siblings and children and young adults with disabilities. For more information about the Shabbaton click here. To register for the Shabbaton click here. If you have any questions about the Shabbaton contact Tali Cohen, Director of Tikvah Vocational Services at or 781/702-5290 x108.


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From the Merrimack Valley Jewish Federation ...

Save the Date -- Sunday, March 23 from 2:30 to 5:00 pm

"March Music Madness"

With the Jon Nelson Band

At Temple Emanuel, Andover


Save the Date -- Sunday, June 8

Please plan to join us for a special celebration in honor of our 25 years of service to the community and to our people.


For more information, call MVJF office at 978-688-0466.



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Kerem Shalom of Concord and Nashoba Valley Hadassah



Saturday Night at the Movies

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"A toe-tapping, entertaining celebration of the song, starring Harry Belafonte, Connie Francis, Glen Campbell, Leonard Nimoy and many others." - San Francisco Chronicle



Hava Nagila (The Movie) is a documentary romp through the history, mystery and meaning of the great Jewish standard. Featuring interviews with Harry Belafonte, Leonard Nimoy, Connie Francis, Glen Campbell, Regina Spektor and more, the film follows the ubiquitous party song on its fascinating journey from the shtetls of Eastern Europe to the kibbutzim of Palestine to the cul-de-sacs of America. High on fun and entertainment, Hava Nagila (The Movie) is also surprisingly profound, tapping into universal themes about the importance of joy, the power of music and the resilient spirit of a people.


Saturday night, February 1 at 7:30 pm


Free for Kerem Shalom and Hadassah members, $10 for non-members 


Refreshments will be provided                                                            RSVP: 


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From the Visiting Nurse Association of Boston & Affiliates...


VNA Hospice Care needs volunteers! Hospice volunteers play a key role in helping to provide caring and compassion to patients and families facing life-limiting illness and loss. A volunteer may provide patients with company and emotional support, give the spouse, partner or other caregiver a needed break from care giving, and/or help caregivers run errands or get to and from appointments. A strong need exists for volunteers who can visit on weekdays. We also seek: musicians who would like to sing or play music quietly at the bedside of nursing home residents; Reiki practitioners who would like to offer Reiki to patients and/or caregivers; and people interested in visiting with their therapy dog. Volunteers who speak both English and a second language are also helpful. We provide volunteer training and ongoing support. Call 781-569-2888 and ask to speak to a Volunteer Coordinator for more information. Or email


Spiritual Poetry Journal


"Soul-Lit" is a new on-line spiritual poetry journal. A number of entries have been from Jews and have Jewish content. Writers are encouraged to submit their own poems which have a level of spiritual content to them. Two volumes have already been published.


To check out the website, please click here.


Please spread the word to members of the community who are writers / poets, and who may wish to submit their own writings.



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Please support our Congregation Shalom advertisers

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 new QPL ad Nov 2012
Morse Bayliss Ad April 2012
Dan Dubner new business card double
BethEl CemeteryMatt Schwartz Ad (2012)
Sharon Grier Business Card 2011

Peter Powell March 2013

Radisson Mazel Tov Ad
Sky Meadow