May 2014 - 5774

Volume LXII #8

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 so long since I have written to all of you. As you probably know I returned to work full-time on April 1st. Actually, I cheated a little and spent some time at the Sisterhood retreat in March. What a wonderful program the women on the steering committee put together. I am so appreciative of their efforts to make this happen while I was away.


I believe that words have great meaning, even the simplest of words. Even in our tradition the concept of words holds great importance. When the Torah describes the creation of the universe, the text is, "And God SAID, let there be light". God speaks the act of creation. The verb is not "to make" or "to form" or even "to create". Instead the image is that God created the universe with the spoken word! I think about this concept often and I try to really focus in on the meaning of words and communication. So when I say that I want to THANK some people who supported the community and me while I was on sabbatical, the word THANKS represents a very deep, heart-felt and sincere expression of gratitude and appreciation. There are far too many people to list and I am sure I will leave someone out, so I will not attempt to be comprehensive. I do want to thank all the people who led services, music, classes and more. Some were lay people and some were guest rabbis and to all of them I say thank you and that I deeply believe our community was enriched by all your gifts and generosity of spirit.


I do want to offer some special words of thanks to my wonderful colleague Yael who went far beyond the scope of her job to handle all the day-to-day issues and challenges that emerged while I was away. She did this with grace and good humor but she deserves a huge thanks. The same words could also be written for Stephen Rodman. Stephen chose to take on a second term as president knowing that there would be potential challenges and many transitions while I was on sabbatical. Stephen, your leadership has been exceptional and we are truly very lucky to have you in the role of president; a position you serve with dedication, focus and yes - even good humor! I would finally like to thank Lynne Rothstein who led most of the services while I was gone. How lucky the congregation was to have Lynne during the time I was away. She exudes a sense of spiritually that is truly a gift and I hope that, for those who came to services when she was here, you felt your Sabbath experience to be elevated and enriched.


Now for the future!!! There is so very much happening in the next couple of months that I hope you will be involved in as much of it as you can! It kind of feels like a Letterman top ten list in no particular order.

  1. May 22nd, Rabbi Deanna Douglas will be leading two thought-provoking classes on Sephardic Judaism and the background of Christopher Columbus. We are very lucky to have such a talented teacher join us. Please come and learn and bring friends from the community!
  2. On May 4th the MVJF is having their yearly film festival with two amazing films.
  3. On May 4th in the afternoon, our new High Holiday soloist, Jodi Blankenstein is leading a healing service in Andover and this will be the time her new CD will be released. On it is the music from the healing service. Details to follow in weekly updates.
  4. May 2nd is teacher appreciation Shabbat. I hope you will join us in prayer and in honoring our wonderful teachers.
  5. On May 9th, our great high school seniors will be leading Shabbat services and be our guest speakers.
  6. On May 16th our awesome Confirmands will lead us in our yearly Confirmation service. They have created a beautiful service and I hope you will join us. This service is a special time - 7:00 p.m.
  7. May 18th is both our annual meeting and then in the evening we will be having our last God In the Box program. In particular, we will be speaking about our different traditions' views of the after-life.
  8. June 1st is our yearly Mitzvah Day. So many of us feel this our holiest day of the year in the way it combines our faith with action. I hope you will get involved that day and more importantly perhaps reach out to the social action committee and volunteer to help plan the day!
  9. June 7th, as you will see from the separate column, promises to be an amazingly fun and festive musical evening as members of our community lead us in the rich repertoire of the Jewish Broadway heritage.
  10. ..... There is so much more - come and join in!

Warm regards,

Rabbi Sig  

Rabbi Shoshana M. Perry    


Please click here to read previous columns on our website.


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Stephen Rodman's photoFrom our PresidentBarryTop    


Dear Friends:


Our Annual Meeting will be held this year on Sunday, May 18 at 4:30 in the afternoon. After the success of last year's meeting, we will continue with the same format. From 4:30 until approximately 5:10, we will be holding a "wine and cheese" social gathering. After the long winter months, this affords our members an opportunity to "catch-up" with each other, renew relationships, and simply to socialize.


Thereafter, we will get down to the business of Congregation Shalom. We will review our finances for the past year, vote on a budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, discuss issues and opportunities facing the congregation, and vote on a slate of officers and trustees.


We will continue to publish the agenda, minutes from the prior year's meeting, president's report and committee reports in the "members only" section of the temple website prior to the meeting so that all members can be properly informed of pertinent issues prior to the meeting.


I hope to see each and every member at the meeting, on Sunday, May 18th at 4:30.


Stephen Rodman's signature 



Please click here to read previous columns on our website.


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From Our Education Directoreddir  


The month of May is filled with a mix of emotions, beginnings and endings, and the celebration of many milestones for all of us. I am so proud of all that we have accomplished this year but, at the same time, I am sad that we are coming to the end of another year and I will miss the hustle and bustle of our students as they come to classes on a Wednesday and a Sunday. This year we have had wonderful experiences and amazing learning has gone on in every classroom. Whether it is the class led Ma'arivs, the passion for collecting tzedakah, or the Lego Jerusalem we have had ongoing meaningful and exciting learning opportunities together.


While May marks the end of this school year, we are also very lucky to be embarking on a new and exciting opportunity for our students that will culminate in an amazing "Jews on Broadway" show on Saturday June 7th. We are thrilled to offer our students the once in a lifetime opportunity to study music and theater with a professional as part of our Jewish Broadway Kids production that will be featured alongside the Jews On Broadway community event on June 7th. Rene Pfister, a talented professional director from the Berklee College of Music, will direct and choreograph our students so they will be ready to perform for our community on June 7th.  We will have two rehearsals in May and one in June before the final show on June 7th. Please contact Yael or Joan to sign up and to obtain additional rehearsal information. This will be a fun and exciting opportunity especially for our Grades 2-7 students.


The month of May also brings with it a combination of many spiritual and exciting school and community events! Please try to attend as many of these events as possible as we try to instill in our students that the school is not an entity unto itself but we are all part of an even larger warm, welcoming and nurturing temple community.


On Friday May 2nd at 7 p.m., I would like to invite everyone to join us as we honor our teachers and our madrichim during our Teacher Appreciation Shabbat. Each and every teacher and madrich gives our students the gift of learning and I encourage everyone to come to Shabbat services to show our appreciation for all their hard work.


On Friday May 9th at 8 p.m., we will honor our High School seniors as they embark on their next journey with a Shabbat honoring this milestone in their lives. While the students will be leaving this area, they will always be a special part of our community and we invite everyone to come and hear as our graduates share stories and insights about growing up at Congregation Shalom.


On Friday May 16th at 7 p.m., we will honor our Confirmation class as they begin the next stage of their Jewish journey. I have worked closely with this inspiring and talented group of 10th graders and I encourage everyone to be a part of this special and very moving Shabbat service. The 10th graders have worked hard to put together their service and we want to invite everyone to come and pray and learn from our Confirmation Class.


We will celebrate the last day of Religious School on May 18th with short presentations from our students and we will watch as our Kitah Hey students pass the Torah down to the 6th graders in the final Kitah Hey Ma'ariv on May 21st.


Of course in and amongst all the wonderful events in May, I want to take a moment to honor all the mothers out there - I wish you all a happy and special Mother's Day surrounded by the love and support of your families.
  Yael Signature


Please click here to read previous columns on our website. 

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Social Action Committeesocialaction

Blood Drive planned for May 12  

Congregation Shalom will once again host a blood drive on Monday May 12, from 2-7 p.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.


Mitzvah Day 2014!

We are planning a fun and meaningful day, with opportunities to do mitzvot on site at our building and at a variety of community locations who can use our help. As this newsletter goes to print, we are planning the following activities:

Onsite Activities

Offsite Activities

Painting classrooms

Wish Project painting and organizing, Lowell

Children's mitzvot crafts

Ronan McElligott Playground cleanup, Westford

Caring Yarns knitting

Singing at the Atrium, Chelmsford

Electronics recycling

Paul Center cleanup, Chelmsford


Serve lunch at Middlesex Transitional Living Center, Lowell

We will have more information soon on how to sign up in advance so that we can have a successful day. We are looking forward to another great day of community togetherness!

Fundraising Committeefundraising

Please Join Us!

Doc Rachlin will be 'rockin' the temple with an evening of American Jewish Folk Music on May 17th starting at 8 p.m. Reservations are requested so we have an idea how many people will be attending. It promises to be an evening of fun so tell us you will be there!! It is only $15.00 per person. Beer and wine will be served for a small fee and after the concert, a feast of dessert and coffee or tea.


As always, we are looking for energetic temple members to join us - not many meetings and just knowing that we are bringing money to the treasury gives us such a good feeling.


For information about the concert or joining the committee, contact Laura at


Featured This Issue
Yiddish Book Center trip
Broadway is Coming
New Prayer Books
Nominating Committee
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Save the Date
May 2 
Teacher Appreciation Service

May 9  Graduation Service

May 16  Confirmation

May 18  Annual Meeting


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QuickLinksQuick Links

Links to Our Website

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Yiddish Book Center Trip

The Yiddish Book Center is a non-profit organization working to tell the whole Jewish story by rescuing, translating and disseminating Yiddish books and by presenting innovative educational programs that broaden understanding of modern Jewish identity.


Tuesday May 13th

Leaving our synagogue at 8:30 a.m.


If interested email Amy Degen at

Thank you to the many congregants that gave donations and sent notes of condolence for the passing of our father and grandfather, John Andreola.

   The Andreola Family


Many thanks to our extended family here at Congregation Shalom. Your support, visits, and donations on behalf of my father was greatly appreciated. His memory will always be a blessing to us.

    Jane & Arthur Nahabedian


We would like to thank our temple community for the out-pouring of support following Stephanie's father's unexpected passing last month. We also continue to be overwhelmed with gratitude for everyone who has given Stephanie rides to her many doctor appointments. Thank you all.

   Jon Libby & Stephanie Gallagher


The Religious School would like to thank everyone who made our Lego Jerusalem event so successful. A special thanks to the MVJF for your generous donation; to Grand Rental in Pelham NH for donating the dance floor to us for the evening; to Dwight Doane for picking up and returning the dance floor, and to all the volunteers who worked so hard to make this event such a great success. Todah rabah!


Many thanks for the many get well cards when I broke my wrist last month. Your caring is greatly appreciated.

   Marilyn Frank

Good & WelfareGoodWelfare


It is with a heavy heart that I write to tell you of the passing of Sidney Kittredge, father of Rebecca Rosenstein. We send our deepest condolences to Rebecca and her family.  

Adult Ed Program Led by Rabbi Douglas  


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


"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.

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

June Newsletter is

Thursday, May 15.


Please send articles to  


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Join Our Mailing List

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Broadway is Coming to Chelmsford!    






 On June 7th at 7 p.m., Congregation Shalom will be producing its very own show, "Jews on Broadway" at the Chelmsford Center for the Arts. We will showcase talented musicians and singers from our congregation and the wider community, performing songs from many beloved Broadway Musicals written by Jewish composers and lyricists. A dedicated group of temple volunteers is busily working to bring the show to the stage.


The performance roster (so far) includes the Adult Choir, Shpiel, Children's Choir, Congregation Shalom Teens (preparing the narrative) and Nathan Morrissey (pianist extraordinaire). If you have any musical talent that includes selections from any of these musicals, we would love for you to be involved in the show. Please contact either Bruce Goss, Music Director or Dennis McHugh, Assistant Music Director at to discuss what part you can play in this exciting venture.


Other volunteers will be needed as well. If you are interested in helping in any way, please contact Liz Denly, Volunteer Coordinator at


This program is supported in part by a grant from the Chelmsford Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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New Prayer Books    


As noted by our President, Stephen Rodman, in the last newsletter:


Shortly you will be receiving a request for Bookplate donations OR donations towards the cost of the new books. The last High Holyday prayer books were published in 1997 and our new ones will be published in 2015.  A two book set will cost $36 (you get 2 bookplates).  Of course, you can donate any amount you wish, with no bookplates involved.


Bookplates will read:

Donated by____________

 and (optionally)

In memory of___________


In honor of______________


Donations may also be made anonymously.


Send checks made out to Congregation Shalom to

            Ritual Committee

            Congregation Shalom

            87 Richardson Road

            N. Chelmsford, MA 01863  

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God in the Box   


The God in the Box Interfaith community program has one final event:


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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Nominating Committee    


The Nominating Committee is proud to present the slate for positions that are open on next year's board, to be voted on at the annual meeting. We'd like to thank all the nominees for their willingness to serve.


Treasurer: Fran Hirschel

Recording Secretary: Gavin Heater

Corresponding Secretary: Liz Denly

Trustee: Arnie Kerzner

Trustee: David Brother

Trustee: Linda Lischer

Trustee: Missy Haas


- The Nominating Committee: Tamar Wexler, Rob Janoschek, Paul Rodman and Heather Myerson


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Sisterhood Newssisterhood 


Welcome to Spring! We hope you had a wonderful Pesach full of family, friends, and delicious food of course.


On March 29th we had the first Taste of Retreat, a one-day retreat experience held at the Stonehedge Inn. Janet Dubner and her committee, Lynn Rothstein, Becky Bronson, Susan McHugh and Jean Rubenstein, provided the perfect balance with the day's programming. We started with Shabbat services led by Rabbi Perry and accompanied by Sue Horowitz, our musician of the day (and of retreats in the past). Options for the day also included a Mikvah experience, Yoga, a discussion group, or taking advantage of the onsite Spa. We had 36 women together for the day and we hope to offer this one-day retreat again.


On April 6th a group of women headed to Brookline for a morning of shopping for the Passover holiday.A good time was had by all, as well as some great Jewish food at the local restaurants and markets.


We are looking forward to our Dinner with the Rabbi event that will be held on Tuesday, May 6th at 6:30 p.m. at the temple. We hope you are planning to attend. Lenzi's will be catering dinner this year and attendees are asked to bring an appetizer, dessert or beverage. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to as soon as possible.


Please mark your calendar for June 11th, when we will hold our Annual Year End dinner. Details will follow in the temple Weekly Updates and also via our Sisterhood emails.


As we look to the next year, board positions are starting to fill up. We do still need one or two women to take on the president/co-president role(s). If you are interested in being on the board, please contact us at We are always looking for new ideas and we would welcome new women onto the board and into these roles.


Susan 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.


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.


Return to Groups.

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As our Shalomites year draws to a close, we have a few dates to keep in mind. The first date is May 4th, which is the Walk for Hunger. This is a 20 mile charity walk through Boston to benefit Project Bread. Sign up now! May 9th is the last day to submit Letters of Intent for next year's Shalomites Board - don't forget to send us one at


Our last two events are our destination event on May 18th to the Museum of Science, and our end of year cookout at the Degen household after Mitzvah Day on June 1st. Email to RSVP.


Thanks, can't wait to see you all there!


Joey Penn 

Shalomites President

Grocery Cards  


Turn Your Shopping Into Cash! If you shop at Hannaford, Donelan's or Stop & Shop, then donating to Congregation Shalom has never been easier. Order a gift card from the temple and not only do you get the value of the card purchased, but Congregation Shalom gets a 7% bonus.


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 LTLC (Shelter in Lowell)FoodDonations 


You know the drill! THANKS to all who've been contributing. Here's a reminder:


What? cooked meatloaves and/or brownies


When? Wednesday, May 14 at 4 p.m. thru Friday evening services on May 16


Where? cooler(s) outside temple doors


Why? Residents at the Lowell Transitional Living Center (LTLC) are counting on us!


Questions? Contact Margi Loyer at  


PLEASE NOTE: Roger & I are moving out of the area (to Arlington) and, although we do plan to stay connected to Congegation Shalom, I really need one or more people to step up and take on this responsibility. It's really pretty easy! Please consider helping us out with this mitzvah. Contact me for more info. TODAH RABA!

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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           4 - 7 p.m. 

Osgood Landing, North Andover


Double Feature:

The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life and The Attack 



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

Sunday, June 8 at 6 p.m. at Temple Emanuel in Andover, MA


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



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Daughters of Abraham 


Daughters of Abraham is an interfaith women's book group consisting of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim women. We meet monthly (second Monday of each month) from 7 - 9 p.m. currently at Congregation Shalom, but the location may change soon (but will be somewhere nearby).


We are actively seeking Jewish members. If you think this is something that might interest you, please check the website ( and contact Margi Loyer at



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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