March 2014 - 5774

Volume LXII #6

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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Stephen Rodman's photoFrom our PresidentBarryTop    


Dear Friends:


"Together, we engage in religious observance, enjoy social activities, and pursue life-long learning."


That sentence is taken directly from our Mission Statement. At Congregation Shalom we are charged with the task of promoting and supporting these three goals: observance, education and community. How, then, do we go about accomplishing these goals and meeting the needs of our community? Through diversified programming, cultural endeavors and the talents of our members, we strive to bring our mission alive.


For example, take a look at our calendar for just the month of March. It includes the following:

  • An adult education program on Mediation and Drumming on March 9.
  • Sisterhood Painting Party on March 13.
  • An adult Purim celebration on March 15, including a reading of the Magillah and a costume party.
  • A children's Purim carnival on March 16 sponsored by our Shalomites.
  • Shalomites attending the NFTY Spring Conclavette March 21-23.
  • First Light concert sponsored by the Merrimack
    Valley Jewish Federation on March 23.
  • Brotherhood tour of a chocolate factory on March 23.
  • Havdallah and LEGO night on March 29, in which we will build the city of Jerusalem out of LEGO blocks.

Over this next month, I think Congregation Shalom offers something of interest to each and every member. Take a look at our calendar, plan accordingly, and come be a part of our community. Help us to achieve our mission.



Stephen Rodman's signature 



Please click here to read previous columns on our website.


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From Our Education Directoreddir  


I am sitting and looking out my window thinking that March is almost here and theoretically spring is on the way yet we have a foot of snow on the ground. Well I am forever hopeful that we will see green grass again and I am excited for the month of March, filled with exciting and wonderful events that will get everyone out of the house and we will once again get to celebrate our wonderful community in multiple ways.


For Jews around the world, the word PURIM invokes both excitement and a sense of community. I truly believe that Congregation Shalom's Purim Carnival is testament to that. On March 16th, our whole school will come together to celebrate Purim. We will have our traditional teacher Purim Shpiel, our own special reading of the Megillah (the story of Queen Esther) and of course a wonderful costume parade. What makes this day even more special for me is the work that our amazing Shalomites do to make this a special event. The Shalomites will work through the night to set up games, competitions, food and fun events to make this a meaningful and fun community event. For everyone this is a time to relax and enjoy Purim as part of the greater Congregation Shalom community. Please remember that the Purim Shpiel is considered a regular day of school but we ask our parents, grandparents and special friends to join us and share this special day together.


Later in March we have our amazing LEGO experience. On Saturday March 29th you will all be able to participate in the building of a 600 square foot model of the city of Jerusalem made entirely out of LEGO bricks. We will join as a community and will celebrate Havdallah in our LEGO city. Please email Joan LaRochelle at to register and please tell us how many members of your family will attend (please specify adults, children and ages of the children). This event is open to the larger community but there is an entrance fee for non-members. Please remember to bring your favorite recipe so we can create a recipe book for our school.


March is also filled with other exciting events. We have an adult Purim party on March 15th that promises to be lots of fun. We have both our 4th and our 5th grade Family Ed events and our 8th grade is going on a few exciting field trips. On March 30th the 5th graders will be painting their wimples, which is always a highlight for everyone.


I look forward to sharing in all these wonderful events together.

Yael Signature


Please click here to read previous columns on our website. 


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Social Action Committeesocialaction

Successful January Blood Drive

Thanks to all who volunteered to help or who donated blood at our January 6 blood drive. We helped the Red Cross collect 27 units of much-needed blood to help our community. Look for another blood drive coming this spring.


Family Social Action Projects

Social Action has hosted two family projects during January and February. In January, a group of religious school students and their families gathered to tie fleece blankets which were donated to the Lowell Wish Project. In February, a group of preschool families created Valentine's Day cards and helped assemble lollipop bouquets and treat bags to help cheer homebound seniors.

Purim Social Action - buy a rattle, help a needy family

To honor the Purim mitzvah of giving to the needy there are several social action opportunities planned around Congregations Shalom's Purim celebrations.


First, we are running a Baby and Diaper Drive during the month of March to help support the Lowell Wish Project. You can donate any of the following needed items all month, but especially when you come to temple on Saturday evening March 15, or Sunday morning March 16 to hear the megillah read:

  • Disposable diapers (any size - these are in the greatest demand of all needed items)
  • Baby wipes
  • New baby bottles and nipples; bottle brushes
  • Onesies
  • Baby toiletries: baby shampoo, diaper cream, lotion, powder etc.
  • Baby nail clippers, thermometers, or other similar items
  • Bibs, burp cloths, blankets
  • Rattles, teethers or small newborn toys


To further this Purim mitzvah, we will be selling baby rattles at the megillah readings on March 15 and 16 to be used as groggers. These rattles will be donated to the Wish Project, and the proceeds from their sales will be donated to a Boston organization called Yad Chessed, which extends credit for grocery purchases on Purim to needy Jewish families, subsidized by donations collected on Purim by participating synagogues in the Boston area. Please donate generously at Purim this year and do a double mitzvah!


Fundraising Committeefundraising

As the pristine snowflakes continue to fall, one on top of another, their beauty gets lost as they get packed down as we all try to continue on. We in Fundraising continue on, planning an upcoming event on May 17th for your enjoyment. Doc Rachlin who sounds like Tom Rush or Gordon Lightfoot will be entertaining us for a wonderful evening of music and song. For those wives who will be alone that night while your husbands enjoy camaraderie on the Cape, you too should be having a night out of fun and companionship. SAVE THE DATE!!


Valentine's Day Comes In March This Year To Congregation Shalom

March 14th the winner of the Valentine's Day 50/50 Raffle will be announced. As of the 14th, the true Valentine's Day, the winner would have received a check for $475. Can you imagine what it will be on the 14th of March? If you need more tickets, let the Fundraising Committee know. If you want to help with our Doc Rachlin Cabaret, DO let us know. If you want to help on any project, just contact us at Any help is always appreciated!


Featured This Issue
College Packages
Annual Second Seder
Music Committee
God in the Box
CS Family in Florida
Donation Acknowledgements
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Save the Date
March 9 
Meditation and Drumming

March 15 
Adult Purim Celebration

March 16  Purim Carnival
March 29  LEGO Night 


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QuickLinksQuick Links

Links to Our Website

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 Welcome New Membernewmembers


We welcome Erica Loughlin to our Congregation Shalom community. Please reach out and help make her feel welcome.

Good & WelfareGoodWelfare


Gillian and Ivan Orlinsky are proud to announce the wedding of their son Paul Orlinsky to Laura Escobar Alvarez on January 26 in Boston.


It is with a heavy heart that I write of the passing of Judith Solo, mother of Bobbi Newman and Arnie Eskenas. We send our deepest condolences to Bobbi, Arnie and their families.  

College Packages


Time to think about a package to your college student for Purim. The price remains the same: $16.00. Since the Chanukah package was more serious (Shalom waterbottle, menorah and candles) we look forward to a more goofy package for Purim. If interested in sending one, please email Amy Degen by Monday March 10th to Also we are baking hamantachen so if you are interested in helping, please email Amy.

Meditation and Drumming


There will be meditaion and drumming on Sunday, March 9 at 11 am.


Please click here for more information.

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

April Newsletter is

Thursday, March 20.


Please send articles to  


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Join Our Mailing List

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Annual Second Seder - Mark Your Calendar     


Congregation Shalom's 47th Annual Second Seder will be held at the temple on Tuesday, April 15 at 6:00 pm.


This event is open to our members, their families and guests, and will include the complete Seder menu, ceremonial foods, Seder plates, ceremonial wine and beverages.


The cost will be fifteen dollars per person ($15 / person), and is partially catered. Please reserve this important date in the traditional religious life of our congregation and plan to join us in this observance.


Pat & Bob Schneider 


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Music Committee News   


Congregation Shalom will be presenting an evening of Jewish Broadway at the Chelmsford Center for the Arts on Saturday June 7th, 2014. Shpeil, the adult choir, the youth choir, and the Chai School will all be performing. There is plenty of opportunity for anyone with interest to get involved, whether on stage or in production, publicity, stage management, ticketing and more! Get your individual or group acts lined up and stay tuned for audition announcements.   


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God in the Box   


The God in the Box Interfaith community program continues with these events in the coming months.


Sunday, April 6 at 7 pm   "How We Study Our Sacred Texts"

Westford United Methodist Church

10 Church St., Westford


Sunday, May 18 at 7pm  "What Happens When We Die / Where Do We Go From Here"

First Parish Church United

48 Main St., Westford


For more information please see our website.  

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Congregation Shalom Family in Florida    


On January 25, 2014 current and past members of Congregation Shalom who are staying in Florida all met at Libby's Restaurant in Sarasota, Florida for a 5th reunion dinner. The total count was 30 temple members! A great evening to get together and enjoy everyone's company.


Thank you Nancy Baron for organizing the event. Next year will be on the Florida East Coast. Come join the party.  


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Sisterhood Newssisterhood 


Our second annual beading night with Laura Rodman took place on Wednesday, February 12th at Katie Ebersman's house. We had a wonderful time creating unique bracelets and necklaces and catching up with each other.


We are planning a painting party event this month to be held at the Magic Brush in Tewksbury. Cost is $30 per person. Please watch your email for an invitation. Details will follow in the Weekly Updates.


This month Congregation Shalom Sisterhood will be hosting a Taste of Retreat; a day of music, services, study, friendship, laughter and good food in a beautiful environment. We are delighted that singer/songwriter Sue Horowitz will be with us for Tradition, Ritual and Renewal for Women on March 29th at The Stonehedge Inn and Spa in Tyngsborough.


Our program includes a Modified Mikvah experience, Yoga, and music games with Sue along with options for Spa Treatments. Rabbi Perry will also share some reflections on her Sabbatical studies. We hope to see you there.


Susan Miller and Katie Ebersman, Co-Presidents

Brotherhood Buzzbrotherhood

Last month was an active one with a ski trip, poker night and a guy's night out.


Poker night happens once a month, usually on the first Sunday night of the month. It is a low-key game with the emphasis on having fun, with a flat cost of $10 to include pizza, beer and a possible chance to win what is left in the pot after expenses. Please contact one of us if you are interested in learning more.


Guy's night out also happens once a month and last month it was held at the Lowell Beer Works. Usually on the second Wednesday of the month, we try to meet up at a different restaurant each month for some good food and socializing.


In case you haven't noticed, there is a lot of snow on the ground. Well it is New England and if we are going to have all this snow you might as well put it to good use. So, February is ski season and this year a few of us ventured to Waterville Valley. The sky was blue, sun bright and the snow was just right. The four guys who made the trip returned tired but very fulfilled. Maybe next year you will join us.


It is time to sign up for our annual Cape Cod retreat. Details will be emailed soon. The retreat is a great way to connect with other men from the temple. There are activities galore, great food and always a lot of interesting discussion. If you have never participated, speak to one of us and get the details. If you have, and are planning to go again please sign up soon as space is limited.


As always we welcome new members. If you want to learn more shoot off an email to us or, better yet, just show up at one of our events.


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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In February, Shalomites attended events for all ages. Many of our eighth graders went to the JOSTY Shul-In in Brookline to sample what NFTY would be like next year. Shalomites also attended MANTY's Winter Wonderland in Manchester.


This month we will be sending members to NFTY's Spring Conclavette which will take place March 21-23. You can register for this event at


Coming in March, there will be many new ways to get involved. On March 1st, we will be going Glow Bowling with TEMTY, the youth group from Temple Emanuel in Andover. We will be continuing our planning of the Creative Service and Purim Carnival on March 4th and all Shalomites are encouraged to come and help us out!


The Shalomites will be hosting the Purim Carnival on March 16th, with a Shul-In the night before. We will be running out annual Hamentaschen Contest to determine which cookie will reign supreme. Please contact if you would like to enter.


We look forward to seeing you soon.


Andrew Bass

Shalomites Communications VP

Junior Youth GroupJrYthGrp 


Join us for 5 Wits Adventure at Patriot's Place on Sunday, March 23rd.


Eat lunch at the temple then leave to enjoy the adventure. Click here for more information about 5 Wits. There are 2 options. Depending on the number of kids, we may go to both shows. If not enough kids show up, we will pick the one most want to attend.


The cost is $14 plus extra money to go to either frozen yogurt (froyo info) or cupcakes (cupcake info).


Stay tuned for email blast coming soon!



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Donation Acknowledgementsdonationacks  
The following donations were received from September 2013 - January 2014:



   18 general donations

In honor of

    High Holidays, 19 donations

   Laura Miller

   Sylvia Freedman

   Missy Hass's birthday

   Beth Goldberg & Howard Tochman's  

     new home

In memory of

    Jerome Germain

   Shelby Tocman

   Carol Cohen

   Arthur Rainen

   Mildred Rainen

   Agnes Rainen

   Rose Reid

   Harry Reid

   Carol Buckholz

   Evelyn Klein

   Cheryl Feldsott

   Dale Utterbach

   Lee Jerry Strock



In honor of

    High Holidays

In memory of

  Len Heier's mother, Alice



one general donation

In honor of

    Nathan Katz


one general donation

In memory of

    Dr. Marvin Kerzner



one general donation

In honor of

    High Holidays

   Justin Mayer becoming a bar mitzvah



one general donation



In honor of

    Stephanie Benowitz becoming a bat


   Marriage of Robert Mark Hirschel &

     Megumi Sugihara

   Marriage of Michael James Hirschel &

     Asia Bajsa

   Marriage of Sarah Dubner & Mike


   Birth of Misa Josephine Hirschel

   Birth of Sebastian Wlodek Hirschel

   Birth of Yoshi Saul Hirschel

   Birth of the Dubners' granddaughter,

     Eve Marie Hance

In memory of

    Marshall Haft



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We Are Looking For Some Monthly Grocery Shoppers 


If you are like my family of four, you shop for groceries every week! Please help the temple with one simple action - sign up for a monthly grocery card.


Just email Judy Beningson at and I will get you started. Once a month, you get a grocery card for Hannaford, Stop & Shop or Donelans, and the temple gets cash back of 7%. Join the ten other Congregation Shalom families that are already Monthly Members. THANK YOU. 


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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, March 19th at 4pm through Friday, March 21th at services   


Questions? Contact: Margi Loyer at


Thanks for helping us perform this mitzvah!


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Library - Book Review

Book Review of Good Harbor by Anita Diamant


Anita Diamant is another one of my favorites! She is a "prizewinning journalist whose work has appeared regularly in the Boston Globe Magazine and Parenting Magazine. She is the author of six books of contemporary Jewish practice." Her first novel was of course The Red Tent, which was a bestseller. This was my favorite book of hers, and was one of the first, if not the first, popular novel to tell a fictional story about a woman from the Bible. Also, she is a local girl who lives in Massachusetts! Some of you may know that she is the founding director of Newton's Mayyim Hayyim mikvah. I visited the mikvah as part of a Hebrew school field trip and it was way cool!


Good Harbor is a story about two Massachusetts women. Kathleen, a fifty-nine year old Jewish convert from Catholism, is a Gloucester native. Joyce, a forty-two year old Jew, finally has enough money to buy a small vacation house in Gloucester. There is a statue of the Virgin Mary in the yard of her new house and someone has been leaving mysterious tributes for her. Kathleen and Joyce meet at Sabbath services and start a friendship. Kathleen, a children's librarian, is diagnosed with breast cancer. It has killed her sister and she is very frightened. Joyce, a writer, feels increasingly distant from her teenage daughter and husband. And there is a very cool female rabbi in the story who leads interesting services where the congregation loves to be involved. Remind you of anyone?


I always love Ms. Diamant's writing style. It draws you in immediately, and is very easy to follow. I became involved with the characters right away and wanted to know what would happen to them. I felt like her characters were real people with real flaws who were trying to do their best. I can sometimes get annoyed with the typical "girlfriend fiction" where people try to find themselves and all that, but this story is not like that. Also, it is not just about breast cancer. Kathleen has a great sorrow in her past that she has kept hidden. Kathleen is surrounded by long-time friends, but feels she cannot share with them what is going on with her now. So Joyce, with her strong personality and new friendship, comes along just at the right time. Kathleen is just what Joyce needs now also, as she is feeling so isolated. It is also a story about how a community with both Jews and Catholics can get together.


I have always enjoyed Anita Diamant's fiction. This is one of her lighter reads and I highly recommend it. If you haven't read The Red Tent yet, put it on your to do list for sure!


                                                            Submitted by Rhonda Waxman


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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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For more information, please click here.


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From the Merrimack Valley Jewish Federation...


March Music Madness with the Jon Nelson Band

Sunday, March 23


2:30 pm - Make You Own Sundaes & Camp Hadar Camper Reunion

3:15 pm - Concert


The Jon Nelson Band will provide a wonderful afternoon of celebration for all ages!


At Temple Emanuel in Andover

Your reservations from the originally scheduled First Light concert will be held for you.


Register at .



MVJF Create A Masterpiece

for children age 6 and up

Sunday, March 30   4:00 - 5:30 PM


Professional Artists will teach you, step by step, how to create a special Passover Painting and everyone will leave with their own masterpiece. Perfect for hanging in your own home or to give as a gift to grandparents!


No Painting experience necessary and all supplies are included.

$25.00 per person   Space is limited.

Registration deadline: Friday, March 14

Visit to sign up.



Israeli Dance Workshop With Shmulik Gov-Ari

Sunday, March 30, 3:30 - 4:30 pm Basic, 4:45 - 6:45 pm Advanced

Osgood Landing, 1580 Osgood St., North Andover, MA


Learn new Israeli dances from internationally acclaimed Israeli dance choreographer and teacher Shmulik Gov-Ari. His dances tell the story of Israel, many based on his Yemenite heritage. For more information or to pre-register contact Arline at 978-388-6995 or


Basic $8, Advanced $12 before March 18. At the door $10/$15, both sessions $23.

Co-sponsored by Merrimack Valley Israeli Dancers and the Merrimack Valley Jewish Federation.



4th Annual Jewish Film Festival

Sunday, May 4

Osgood Landing, North Andover

More details coming soon!


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What is the MVJF anyway?


MVJF/Merrimack Valley Jewish Federation has been in existence for 25 years. There are many Congregation Shalom members who are actively involved on our board; it's one of the ways we participate in Tikkun Olam.


Some of the worthwhile programs and projects your gifts to the MVJF support include:


CAMP HADAR: a quality Jewish day camp in Salem, NH


PROJECT HOME AGAIN: provides new bedding and used home furnishings to needy families


FREE LOAN SOCIETY: provides confidential interest-free loans to Jews in the Merrimack Valley who need assistance paying for essentials


JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL: Annual program which will be Sunday May 5th this year in Andover.


PJ LIBRARY: Provides Jewish families with young children with free books, CDs, and programs with Jewish content


YEMIN ORDE YOUTH VILLAGE: A village in Israel which houses and treats traumatized youths


TZEDAKAH BOXES: For every Bar/Bat Mitzvah child in the Merrimack Valley - to encourage them to 'live generously'


GRANTS to area temples. Funding for: Jerusalem City of Gold...LEGOs program in March 2014 at our very own Congregation Shalom!


And so much more! We hope to see you at one of our events this spring!


If you already participate in our annual campaign, we thank you. If you do not, or haven't in the recent past, we encourage your engagement and participation. We can only fund these worthwhile programs with your support. Please visit our web site  for more information or to make a contribution, or contact the MVJF office at: 978-688-0466, or mail a check to: MVJF, PO Box 937, Andover, MA 01810.



Margi Loyer, MVJF board member and co-chair of the 2014 annual campaign

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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 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