April 2014 - 5774

Volume LXII #7

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:


As you may recall, Congregation Shalom test piloted a new prayer book during services this past Yom Kippur. Rabbi Perry met with congregants after the services to obtain feedback and reaction to the new prayer book. Those comments were then sent back to the Central Conference of American Rabbis ("CCAR"), the publisher, and incorporated with comments received from many other congregations across the country.


While there was some negative feedback, on the whole, comments were overwhelmingly positive. Over the next year or so, CCAR will continue to revise the prayer book in an effort to make the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services more personal and more meaningful in modern times while keeping the traditions of the past.


CCAR's current plans call for the book to be available for use during High Holy Days in 2015. The machzor will actually be divided into two volumes and will allow the Rabbi to select those passages and prayers that will be most meaningful to her congregation.


At its most recent meeting, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to adopt the new prayer books when they are published in 2015. By adopting the prayer books now, pre-publication, we will receive a forty percent discount on the purchase price.


Instead of asking our members to personally purchase the machzor, as has been done previously, the Board voted to have Congregation Shalom purchase and own the prayer books. In this way, we will not have to coordinate the individual purchases of books, we will be able to begin using the new books immediately upon publication, prayer books will be on the seats as you enter the sanctuary, and, as new members join the congregation, they will no longer have the added expense of purchasing the prayer books.


In order to pay for the prayer books, we will be selling book plates. Over the next month or so, expect to receive a request for the purchase of these book plates. By purchasing the book plates, you will be able to memorialize those who came before us while honoring those who will come after us.


If you should have any questions with regard to the new prayer books, please do not hesitate to contact me at


Stephen Rodman's signature 



Please click here to read previous columns on our website.


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From Our Education Directoreddir  


As we enter the month of April, we are about to embark on what is probably my (and many others) favorite Jewish holiday, the holiday of Pesach or Passover. For me, Pesach combines rich Jewish heritage, wonderful family traditions and of course all of my favorite foods. It is my grandmother's matzah ball recipe, my mother's chicken soup and my father's famous charoset. It is the golf balls that are thrown around to represent hail, the red die that is the put on our faces, the numerous frogs that are scattered about collected over all the years and it is the Passover songs that we have sung since I was a baby. For everyone this wonderful holiday invokes memories and feelings that have been passed down from generations before us. The whole telling of the Passover story, reminds us of a time when we were slaves and it rejoices in the freedom we now enjoy while reminding us that not everyone in the world is free.


Just last month, our wonderful Kitah Bet class led us in a Maariv service on a Wednesday evening. They led the service beautifully and the evening was a warm and spiritual experience for all of us. At the end of the evening, the Kitah Bet class added a new dimension to the service. They were asked by their teacher Sue Tymon, to share why they believe that L'Dor V'Dor was important to Judaism. Each of them

shared their own personal reflections:


Spencer shared the importance of passing things down and he reflected on the importance of being chosen to perform mitzvot. Emily spoke about the spirit being kept alive as we pass the Torah down and Hannah shared her feelings about being the chosen people to pass the Torah down from generation to generation. Dylan spoke about not just passing down the Torah but also passing down the prayers to each generation, and Ilana focused on the importance of teaching Torah and the commandments to our children and grandchildren. Ryan reminded us of the importance of Torah and the Hebrew language needing to be passed on and Nathan reminded us that God, Torah, and the Jews are interlinked to create everlasting life and we cannot let any of these fall for fear of everything disappearing. Ben reminded us of our connection to famous Jews like Abraham and Sarah and he spoke about the importance of passing our knowledge onto our children. Naomi shared the need to teach Torah and she told us that even though we will die eventually, our spirit will live on and we will always have the Torah and this is the responsibility we have as the chosen people. Jacob summed it up when he said quite simply, it is cool because we can pass it on to our children and they can pass it on to their children.


As the last student spoke, I found myself speechless and in awe of what they had just shared; in just a few minutes, this confident and wonderful group of 10 year olds captured the true importance of tradition - if it is Passover or Purim, Yom Kippur or a Shabbat dinner with family, the true meaning of "'L'Dor V'Dor was represented. When our students turn into our teachers we truly appreciate the power of the gift of learning that we give to our children every week as part of our wonderful Congregation Shalom community. I cannot help but think about the Hagaddah that tells the story of the Jews leaving Egypt and the legacy they left behind but also the future they offered L'Dor V'Dor. I wish you all a Chag Sameach-a wonderful and meaningful celebration of Passover.

Yael Signature


Please click here to read previous columns on our website. 

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Social Action Committeesocialaction

Purim Social Action successful

Thanks to all who were generous with their donations to the Lowell Wish Project and Yad Chessed during Purim. Through sales of baby rattle groggers at Megillah readings, we raised $122 dollars to donate to Yad Chessed for needy Jewish families in the Boston area. As this newsletter goes to press, we are continuing to collect diapers and other baby goods in our month-long drive to help support the Lowell Wish Project with this ever-present need. We will be donating the 48 baby rattles as part of this drive.


Spring mitzvah activities planned

Look for more details coming soon about plans for a temple cleanup day later in April and of course, Mitzvah Day in June! We are planning many meaningful and fun ways to help make the world a better place.


Blood Drive planned for May 12, 2014

Congregation Shalom will once again host a blood drive on Monday, May 12, from 2-7p.m. Volunteers are needed to help set up, staff, and clean up the drive. If you are interested in volunteering, please email If you would like to donate blood, please sign up at and enter in Congregation Shalom's zipcode (01863) to be directed to our location to sign up.

Fundraising Committeefundraising

Louis Armstrong once said "All music is folk music. I ain't never heard no horse sing a song."


The Fundraising Committee is very proud and excited to present an evening of American Jewish Folk Music to be performed by Doc Rachlin, on May 17th starting at 8 p.m. at Congregation Shalom. He will present a selection of songs written by Jewish songsmiths. Many of the songs he will enchant us with you know but didn't know that they were the works of Jewish songwriters. Sure, you have heard of Bob Dylan and Paul Simon but there are many you don't know about. He has shared a stage with Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn.


Please join us for an evening of music and fun. Knowing this congregation, there will be foot tapping and sing-a-longs as the evening progresses.


Dessert and coffee will be served when the entertainment is over.


You can make your reservations at any time - please send a check to Congregation Shalom at 87 Richardson Road, N. Chelmsford, MA 01863 and mark your envelope Fundraising.


Prices are: $15.00 per person. Beer, wine and soda will be available for a small fee.


Our Book and Clothing Deposit Bin

GotBooks.Com has been bought by Recycle That, a company out of Colorado (which is a leading state in its recycling efforts). They are very excited to be in Massachusetts as part of their zero waste / waste reduction initiatives. They are one of the 5 sponsors of SMART's (Secondary Materials and Recycle Textiles Association) Rangers Program, which is an educational curriculum for grades K-5. They recycle everything so if you have clothing that is not suitable for Lowell Wish or Savers, put it in the grey bin next to the recycle bin. This is another way to save the planet and have Congregation Shalom reap the rewards.


Oneg Duties are Everyone's Responsibility



We here at Congregation Shalom feel that community is an important part of what makes our synagogue unique. We are an extended family, and, like a family, we ask each member family to contribute to the community. As members of Congregation Shalom, we have only a few obligations, such as paying dues and fees to keep our doors open and our staff paid. Another obligation of each member family is to participate in an Oneg a couple times a year.


The Oneg obligation is shared equally by all our families. We know that many families look forward to partaking in the Oneg and view the participation as a simple way to give back to the community. We also know that the Oneg itself is a cherished part of Shabbat services, a time when we get to mingle and "check-in" with each other.


Unfortunately, not all members are pulling their weight. We are very saddened by the fact that all too often we have members who do not want to participate, or who drop off their food expecting other members to do the extra work of setting up and cleaning up. Please keep in mind that we are all volunteers, and if you do not help out, others will have more work. It is not fair to the other members participating in the Oneg when they are asked to do more because others have failed to meet their burden.


We certainly understand that schedules change, but we hope you can work with friends to swap dates. It is each member's responsibility to find coverage if that member is unable to attend an Oneg. The Oneg Committee would be happy to provide contact information, if needed, to assist you in finding a replacement family.


Scheduling for Onegs is done for the entire year in August. In the June and July time frame the Oneg Committee will ask members to send in any Oneg preferences. We are happy to honor your requests at that time. So go ahead, pick a date that works for you - perhaps a yahrzheit, Chanukah, school vacations, whatever you want - just let us know in the summer, before the schedule is finalized.


Together, we can make the Onegs an enjoyable experience for everyone.


Thank you,

            The Oneg Committee (Caren and Rick)

Featured This Issue
Adult Ed Programs
Broadway Musicals movie
Annual Second Seder
Passover grocery shopping
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Save the Date
April 11  
Shalomite Creative Service

April 13  Jewish Broadway Movie

April 15  Second Seder


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QuickLinksQuick Links

Links to Our Website

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Good & WelfareGoodWelfare


It is with a heavy heart that I write of the passing of John Andreola, father of Chris Andreola. We send our deepest condolences to Chris and his family.


We are also deeply saddened to note the passing of Raymond Andrew Gallagher Jr., father of Stephanie Gallagher. Notes of condolence can be sent to Stephanie Gallagher and Jon Libby and their entire family.


It is with a heavy heart that I write also of the passing of Nathan Kashuk, father of Jane Nahabedian. We send our deepest condolences to Jane and her family.
Adult Ed Programs Led by Rabbi Douglas  


Rabbi Deanna Douglas will be leading two adult ed programs for the congregation. We are very excited that she is coming. Please click here for more information about her.


"So, was he or wasn't he?"

Sunday, April 27th - 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.


Much discussion, debate and controversy surround the man whose day we celebrate on October 12th, even his name. Who was Christopher Columbus anyway? Spanish, Italian, Jewish, converso, or...? We'll look at the hard historical evidence and some of the "soft" evidence as well. Come and put your 2 in. You may be right.


"The Glory of Sephardic Poetry: Martial, Romantic, Poignant"

Thursday, May 22nd - 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.


The variety of scholars/poets/politicians of the Sephardic world has never been equaled. We'll consider the variety of themes they addressed. Come and be surprised by how human and pertinent their words are.

Please Join Us for Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy


We will be showing this Broadway movie on Sunday, April 13th at 10:30 a.m. in the sanctuary. It is sponsored by the Adult Education Committee.


This movie is the prelude for our upcoming "Jewish Broadway Review" which will be held on June 7th. Details to follow.



We are moving soon and we have 2 large tents in great condition:

  • a 10 x 14 full height walk-in cabin tent with integrated floor
  • a 10 x 12 screen house

Yours for the asking! First come, first served. Contact:


Roger & Margi Loyer

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

May Newsletter is

Thursday, April 17.


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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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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Sisterhood Newssisterhood 


Happy Spring! I am sure we are all ready for some real spring weather and for the snow to go away.


On Sunday, April 6th members of Sisterhood will be going to Brookline, MA to have lunch and shop for Passover items. A few people have signed up for this already and we hope more will want to go too. People can carpool from the temple or meet in Brookline. Katie Ebersman will contact the attendees on Wednesday, April 2nd to let them know who is going so you can arrange to either carpool or meet in Brookline. If you want to join the group, please send an email to


We hope you can join us for a fun weekend away in Portsmouth, NH on Saturday and Sunday, May 3rd and 4th. This weekend has been planned by one of our members and is just for fun and relaxation with your friends. Portsmouth has a lot to offer and there are a variety of activities that you can do. If you want to go for the whole weekend or just for the day, that is fine. For those that want to stay over, rooms will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn. You can stay by yourself or share a room with a friend. If you are interested in joining the fun, please send an email to


Our annual Dinner with the Rabbi will take place on Monday, May 6th at the temple at 6:30 p.m. Dinner will be catered again this year. We just ask that you bring an appetizer, beverage or dessert. If you would like to come, please email us at by April 29th.


Some of our terms of office on the board will be expiring in June. We are looking for someone to fill the following positions:

            President (2-year term)

            Vice President or Co-President (2 year term)

            Programming (1 or 2-year term)

If you have never been on the board and would like to give it a try we would love for you to join. If you have been on the board in the past and would like to come back, you are more than welcome to. If you are unsure and might be interested, please feel free to call us or send us an email so we can discuss it with you.


Sisterhood is an important part of the temple community and without people to serve on the board we cannot function. We want to continue to try and offer programs and events that appeal to everyone in our Sisterhood, but we need your help in order to be successful. Please consider joining us!



Sue Miller and Katie Ebersman, Co-Presidents

Brotherhood Buzzbrotherhood

Spring is around the corner at long last. This means that the Brotherhood retreat can't be far off. See the Brotherhood page to learn more about this activity we hold each year in May on Cape Cod. All are welcome, but if you are intending on attending you need to contact one of us ASAP so we can hold a spot.


We will be having a breakfast meeting with speaker in April - final date to be determined. An email will be going out to all Brotherhood members with more details. If you are not a Brotherhood member and are interested, contact one of us using the email below and we will get back to you.


Early June is the date for a barbeque and softball game with the Shalomites. Details will come out in next month's newsletter.


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.


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Last month, we had a very successful Purim Carnival thanks to the support of many. Thanks to everyone who helped make the Purim Carnival such a success: the parents who helped serve food, the mom who volunteered to sleep over on Saturday night so the kids could have a shul-in, the bakers who made delicious hamantaschen (especially Chris Shuldiner, the winner of the Best Hamantaschen contest), our advisor, and the 25 Shalomites who organized and ran the carnival. We raised $60 for the Walk for Hunger and nearly $900 for Shalomites activities and scholarships. This year we had one of the most successful carnivals to date and we have all of you to thank for it!


We have also been hard at work planning our Creative Service! This event consists of a dinner and then a service and program written and led by the Shalomites for the community. All are welcome, and encouraged, to attend. The Creative Service is on April 11th, at 6 p.m. We look forward to seeing you there!

Joey Penn 

Shalomites President

Passover Shopping at Stop & Shop 


From all reports, Shop & Shop has the widest selection of Passover food items.  If you plan on shopping at Stop & Shop for Passover, please buy a grocery cashback card so you can help the temple at the same time.


Just email Judy Beningson at  and I will get you a card in whatever denomination you need: $25-$500!  THANK YOU.

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Food for Lowell Transitional Shelter (LTLC)FoodDonations 


THANKS to all who help me perform this important mitzvah of feeding the hungry!


What: cooked meatloaves and/or brownies


Where: cooler outside temple door


When:   Wednesday, April 23 at 4 p.m. through Friday evening, April 25   

Note: This is the 4th weekend of the month. We usually do this the 3rd weekend, but I've changed it this month because of Passover.    

IMPORTANT: As many of you are aware, Roger and I will be moving soon and I will no longer be able to take charge of this important project. I need someone to step up to handle this - starting in May. It's really pretty easy ... please contact me (Margi) at for more info. Don't be shy!


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Library - Book Review
Book Review of Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

This is the first novel of Jonathan Safran Foer, which won the National Jewish Book Award and The Guardian First Book Award. His second novel, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, used 9/11 as a backdrop. Both books have since been made into films. Foer is the grandchild of Holocaust survivors. While he was at Princeton University, he took a writing course with "author Joyce Carol Oates who took an interest in his writing." His senior thesis was about his maternal grandfather, the Holocaust survivor. In 1999, Foer traveled to Ukraine to expand his thesis which grew into Everything is Illuminated.


This is a novel that sometimes actually hurts to read. It is one of those stories that you feel in your bones. Sometimes when reading this book I became frozen while reading of the atrocities committed. I literally was too shocked to weep. There are four story lines / time lines / points of view in this novel. The first is from a young Russian man named Alexander Perchov, who speaks very bad English in a funny, endearing way. He is narrating the present day journey. Alexander has been hired as a translator by Jonathan, who decides to journey to Russia to find the person who saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Then there is the story of the Jews of the Russian shtetl in 1791, which is part historical and part imagined by Jonathan. In the third story line, we read letters written by Alexander to Jonathan in 1997 after their adventure in Russia. It is apparent that, after their journey in Russia, the two men take up a correspondence, although we only see Alexander's letters. The final story takes place in the shtetl in 1941, and is also part historical and part imagined by Jonathan.


The style of this book is quite unique. It can be a bit confusing as it moves back and forth through time and as it is part "fiction" part "history". The farther back in time it goes, the more it takes on the qualities of folklore. When Alexander is narrating or writing, it takes a while to get used to his style. It reminded me of how it took me a while to get used to reading The Help by K. Stockett. Once I got used to it though, it flowed faster. There were also some funny and exciting parts to the book.


I had seen this movie before I read the book, which is backwards from the way I usually do things. I highly recommend both the book and the film. However, due to the detailed sexual descriptions throughout the book, I would not recommend it for children or young teens.


                                                            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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From the Merrimack Valley Jewish Federation...


4th Annual MVJF Jewish Film Festival

Sunday, May 4

Osgood Landing, North Andover

Films announced soon!


MVJF 25th Anniversary Gala~ An Evening of Celebration and Friendship

Sunday, June 8

Tikkun Olam Award presented to former U.S. Representative Barney Frank.

Performance by Clark Rubenshtein, eleven year old vocal prodigy with poise, presence and personality.

Cocktail Reception, Dinner and Festivities

Save the Date - Invitations coming in April


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Zamir Chorale of Boston co-sponsors a community-wide program with Ruderman Knesset Fellows in partnership with CJP, Northeastern University and the Jewish Advocate ....


Town Hall Boston

A Discussion on Israel and American Jews

Tuesday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m.


Northeastern University, Blackman Auditorium

Eli Hall, 342 Huntington Avenue, Boston


Free and open to the public. Pre-registration required. 

For tickets, contact or .


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From Nashoba Valley Hadassah ...


Sleep your way to a Healthy Heart

Sunday April 6th
2:30 - 4:00 p.m. at the Acton Library 

An interactive presentation on heart disease symptoms and risk factors, providing guidance on how women can make prevention a priority.

Featuring Dr. Kenneth Sassower of Massachusetts General Hospital, Board Certified Specialist in Sleep Medicine.  Sponsored by Nashoba Valley Hadassah Chapter



Free and open to the public.

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Mother's Day Flower Project


As in recent years, we are once again participating in the JWI / Jewish Women International Mother's Day Flower Project.


How this works: You donate $25 to the JWI and they send out a beautiful Mother's Day card to the woman of your choice.

Where the money goes: JWI sends bouquets of flowers and baskets of beauty products to women at 200 battered women's shelters across the country.


For more info, check out:


To send a card: I have a supply of cards; contact me. You can get your check to me and I can get a card to you to send out, or I can send out a card for you.


Hope you'll choose to participate in this worthwhile project. It's a great way to honor a special woman in your life!


Margi Loyer, 


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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