March 2015 - 5774

Volume LXIII #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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Rabbi From our Rabbirabbi

Dear Friends:


As I sit to write this article for the March newsletter, it is hard to imagine that spring will be arriving anytime soon. The drifts of snow are six feet in some places and our family has been hard at work dealing with ice dams and roof issues for the last two days, probably like the rest of our members.  But.... I know that spring IS coming. How do I know it? Because it is ADAR and in Jewish tradition there is the custom of saying, "Be Happy, It's Adar!" That, along with today's balmy 37 degree weather, is enough to lift my spirits and feel the anticipation of new beginnings. In the Talmud the rabbis write, "mi she'nikhnas Adar marbin b'simchah" (Ta'anit 29a) - "When one enters the month of Adar, one should increase joy." There is a great article written about the importance of joy at the website: Rimon:  Resource Center for Jewish Spirituality. If reflecting on the spiritual gifts that joy can bring us would be meaningful to you, you might consider reading this entry written by Rabbi Kaya Stern-Kaufman. It struck a chord for me, especially after this last month when the challenges of winter are enough to drain anyone's spirits. Enjoy the reading.

Rosh Chodesh Adar was on February 20th and 14 days later is the holiday of Purim. After a long, dark, cold, cooped up winter, Purim is a time to let lose, dress up, act silly and even have a few drinks or two. In fact it is a mitzvah! There are four specific mitzvot associated with the holiday of Purim: reading from Megillat Esther, giving gifts to the poor, exchanging gifts of food with friends, and partaking in a festive meal. Traditionally people also dress in costumes. As for drinking during the holiday, the rabbis of the Talmud and then during later generations expounded and debated on this very subject. Whereas for the Seder we are explicitly commanded to drink four cups of wine, the amount of libations that are to be drunk on Purim is far from exact. There is an interesting article at the My Jewish Learning website on the history and challenges of drinking during the holiday of Purim. If this subject interests you, you can read it by clicking here and learn more!


For those of us who don't have a chance to head south to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras, Purim is the next best thing. I hope you will consider coming to the 2nd annual adult Purim celebration at Congregation Shalom on March 7th at 7:00. The next day is our yearly Purim Shpiel for kids as well as The Shalomite carnival. The social action committee is sponsoring a baby goods and diaper drive. Please bring some of these items along to the Purim events and fulfill the mitzvah of giving gifts to the poor.


And for those of us who are really ready for spring.... Pesach is just on the horizon. Join us for our yearly community Seder, which this year will be filled with wonderful music led by Jodi Blankstein and her son, Zach.



Stephen Rodman's photoFrom our PresidentBarryTop    


Dear Friends:


"The Board of Trustees of Congregation Shalom is responsible for maintaining the spiritual and fiscal wellbeing of our congregation, as well as ensuring the safety and security of the synagogue. The Board of Trustees sets the direction for the congregation by working with the professional staff, communicating with the members, evaluating congregational life and helping to keep the organization focused on its mission. The Board of Trustees carries out the will of the congregation, and helps perpetuate congregational leadership."


The above paragraph is taken from the Congregation Shalom Leadership Manual. It succinctly and clearly sets forth the charge for our lay leadership. The Board both manages the congregation and leads, setting a path for our future.


A committee of current Trustees and members-at-large has been formed to nominate a slate of members to serve as new trustees and officers. They have been tasked to find members of our congregation from all demographics so that we have a representative cross-section of our membership on the Board.


While there are no specific requirements to serve as a trustee, the nominating committee is looking for members dedicated to Congregation Shalom and its mission, members who are committed to contributing to the fiscal, spiritual, educational, and social foundations of the community.


If you are interested in serving on the Board or Trustees, or you know of someone who may be an asset to the community by serving as a trustee, please reach out to me at


Stephen Rodman's signature 



Please click here to read previous columns on our website.

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From Our Education Directoreddir  


It does not matter if we are old or young, Purim stands out as one of the most unique holidays for its focus on having fun. In fact, during the month of Adar, we sing:"Mishenichnas Adar, Marbim B'Simcha," meaning "He who welcomes Adar will be increased in joy."


Each year our Congregation Shalom school community spends the morning together celebrating this special event. This year, we will have two different opportunities to celebrate this fun holiday - there will be an adult party and megillah reading on Saturday, March 7th and then on Sunday, March 8 we will once again celebrate Purim as an all school event.


As many of you now know, we were chosen to host the Spring Conclavette, or "Spronc." What an honor for our small congregation in North Chelmsford. Our older kids, as well as our 7th and 8th graders, represented us at JOSTY and once again we were so strongly represented that our little community (relative to some of the bigger Reform congregations in Massachusetts) had the largest representation of all the area temples.


You may be asking why I am writing about our youth group in the middle of an article about Purim. Well...While I love the fact that the Pre K - 7th grade gets together as an entire community, I love that our older Shalomites are also deeply involved in this special day. Each year I feel such pride as I watch the incredibly hard work that our Shalomites put into the Purim Carnival. There are never enough opportunities for the youngest kids to see the older kids in action, but Purim showcases to everyone the power of an amazing youth group. We always think of l'dor vador as the representation of our Jewish history, grandparent, to parent to child. But, on Purim, I think of l'dor vador not just as the historical passing down of wonderful Purim traditions but also the older Shalomites setting the stage for a new and dynamic involved youth group that will lead the Purim carnivals in the future.


With the strength of generations behind and ahead of us, I look forward to seeing the whole community at our annual school Purim celebration beginning at 10 a.m. on Sunday, February 8. The whole morning promises to be a great time with fun food, entertainment and games for all ages.

 Yael Signature


Please click here to read previous columns on our website. 

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Social Action Committeesocialaction


Diaper and Baby Goods Drive

Social Action is running a Diaper and Baby Goods 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 7, or Sunday morning March 8 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


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 7 and 8 to be used as groggers. Both the rattles and your Purim tzedakah will be donated to the Wish Project, which helps provide needy people in the Merrimack Valley with basic furniture and home and baby goods. By providing basic goods to people in crisis, the Wish Project helps end needless suffering in the short term, while helping to end homelessness in the long term.


Monthly Food Donations for Middlesex Transitional Living Center

Congregation Shalom is collecting food for the Lowell Transitional Living Center (LTLC). It is easy to help out with this mitzvah. Donations of meatloaf, and/or brownies and/or salad are accepted each month. There will be a cooler chest located by the doors of Congregation Shalom. Simply place your donation in the cooler and know that you have done a good deed! The food will be collected and brought to the Lowell Transitional Living Center in Lowell, where our donations are greatly appreciated each month. You can leave your donations in the cooler beginning on Wednesday, March 18 through Thursday, March 19.

April dates will be April 15-16- mark your calendar now.


Volunteer at Table of Plenty in Chelmsford

Congregation Shalom is part of a team of volunteers at the Table of Plenty in Chelmsford, an organization that serves a free meal to all, no questions asked, every Tuesday from 5-6 p.m. at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Chelmsford Center. Our team serves every other month on the third Tuesday, and will next serve on March 17. If you have time to volunteer during the afternoon on Tuesdays and would like to take part, please contact Linda Newhard at


Mitzvah Day is coming: Sunday, June 7

The Social Action Committee is busy planning this year's Mitzvah Day, a congregation-wide day of social action. Stay tuned for more details, but hold the date and plan to join us for a day of community and tikkun olam!


Questions? Need more information? Please contact


Fundraising Committeefundraising


Wine Tasting for Passover


Okay, so you're not a sommelier of wine, or beer (yes, there is one), or even sake but you really like a nice glass of wine and Manischewitz just doesn't cut it. You've heard the word Mevushel in relation to wine, especially kosher wine but what does it mean? Are you looking for wine from Israel or just wine for Passover?


We have been invited to join Gordon's Fine Wines and Liquors in Waltham for their very special annual Passover wine tasting. Gordon's has the largest selection of kosher wines in New England. Their address is 894 Main Street and the date is Sunday, March 29th from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. When you arrive, mention Congregation Shalom and they will give you a card. Show the card when cashing out and we will receive 10% of your sales. This is a great opportunity to learn about wines, buy some fabulous wines, and help your congregation. Sabbath observant servers will pour wines. If you have any questions, please contact


For the Sisterhood members who are going to Brookline for Passover goodies, do stop in Waltham on your way back for your wine.


Your Fundraising Committee


Featured This Issue
Purim Carnival
Purim Extravaganza
Second Seder
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Save the Date


March 7  Adult Purim Celebration

March 8  Purim Carnival

March 29  Passover Wine Tasting

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QuickLinksQuick Links

Links to Our Website

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Purim Carnival is Looking For Helpers


The Shalomites are holding the annual Purim Carnival on Sunday, March 8 from 11:00 a.m. -.1:00 p.m. In addition to games and raffles, there will be lunch items and hamantaschen available to purchase. Are you a talented baker? Enter our Baking Contest and win a prize! We are seeking bakers to each provide 2 dozen hamataschen (nut free). We are also looking for volunteers to assist with set up, preparation of food, selling food, and clean up. Let us know if you would like to help during shift #1 (9:30 - 11:30) or shift #2 (11:30 - 1:30).


Please reply to to let us know if you can bake and/or volunteer.


Costumes! Comedy! The whole Megillah!


Purim is coming and Congregation Shalom is celebrating with an adult Purim party (BYOB) complete with Megillah reading and a pun-prone Purim shpiel. Costumes are highly encouraged and there will be prizes!


It's 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 7 at the synagogue. Look for the Evite! Please contact Valarie Rosen at for more information.
16th Annual Sisterhood RetreatRetreat

Please join us at the Anchorage By the Sea in Ogunquit, Maine on April 10 - 12.


Topic: Good Girls/Bad the text and beyond.


Update: Dinner Friday night at Five-0 and Saturday Night at Jonathan's. There will be a choice of 3 entrees: chicken, fish, or vegetarian. Every effort will be made to accommodate individual dietary needs.


Please click here for details and the registration form (it will download automatically).  If you have any questions, please contact Janet at


Deadline for registration is March 1.


Second Seder at Our Templeseder


Congregation Shalom's 48th Annual Second Seder will be held at the temple on Saturday, April 4 at 6:00 p.m.


Please mark your calendars.


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, 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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Good and Welfaregoodandwelfare


It is with a heavy heart that I write of the passing of Raymond E. Leonard in Florida. Ray was the father of Kent Leonard. We send Kent, Laura (Miller), Nick and all their family our heart-felt condolences.


It is also with a heavy heart that I write of the passing of Margaret Denly. Margaret was the mother of Peter Denly. Sadly, on the same day, Liz Denly's grandmother passed away as well. We send Peter, Liz, Brett and all their family our heart-felt condolences.


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 19.


Please send articles to  


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Join Our Mailing List
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Sisterhood Newssisterhood


Greetings!  I hope everyone is surviving the record snowfalls and that your homes are all safe and sound.


As was mentioned in last month's newsletter, the Sisterhood/Brotherhood night out was a success, despite the snow storm that evening. About 22 of us gathered at John Ryan's Pub in Billerica for a lovely evening of great food and friends. Thanks to Bob Schneider for arranging this nice evening out! We missed those who could not come.


We hope you can join us at the temple on Tuesday, March 17th at 7:00 p.m. to hear Lorraine Greenfield speak about memories. Lorraine collected memoirs from people living at Hebrew Senior Life in Dedham, MA and put those memoirs together into a book. She will be speaking to us about the importance of remembering events and recording the memories.


For those who love to shop and love Passover, we will again travel to Brookline, MA on Sunday, March 29th to shop for Passover items you may wish to buy or just to window shop. We will eat lunch together somewhere in Brookline. We will meet at the temple at 9:00 a.m. for carpooling.


By now you should have received an email with all the details about the Sisterhood Retreat on April 10 - 12 in Ogunquit, Maine. If you did not receive the information and would like to attend, please email us.


Katie Ebersman, Sisterhood Board 


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


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Brotherhood Newsbrotherhood


On Wednesday, February 11th, "Guys Night Out" was at Act 111 in Acton. It was a very nice venue. The food was delicious; the atmosphere relaxed. We had a great time catching up and discussing everything from ice dams to job stress.


Our annual Retreat will take place on the weekend of May 15th-17th. There are still spots available. Activities include hiking, biking, fishing and golf. If you want to just kick back and relax, the beach is serene and picturesque. Walks on the beach or reading are popular activities. There are also informal discussion groups.


Meals are a highlight! They begin with dinner on Friday night and continue through Sunday breakfast. Saturday night is steak or lobster with all the trimmings!


Mark Burton, Brotherhood Vice President  


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


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Hi all!


Last month, we had five members of The Shalomites attend NFTY's National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. We had an amazing time learning, praying, and making amazing new friends. It is also my pleasure to announce that our very own Joey Penn has been elected as Membership Vice President of next year's NFTY North American Board. We wish the very best to all of our Shalomites attending the L'Taken trip yo Washington, DC. They will be returning March 2 with I'm sure what will be life-changing experiences.


Lots of exciting events will be happening in the coming month! The Purim Carnival and shul-in will be from March 7-8. All 7th graders are invited to help staff the carnival on Sunday morning and take part in The Shalomites community. From March 20-22, we will be hosting NFTY Northeast's Spring Conclavette at Gann Academy in Waltham. We are absolutely thrilled to be the host TYG and we need every member of The Shalomites to help plan as well as every family in the congregation to house NFTY participants. All Shalomites in grades 8 - 12 can register by clicking here. We look forward to seeing you there!



Hannah Muhlfelder, The Shalomites President 


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


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Caring Yarns Yearlong ProjectCaringYarns   

Calling all knitters! We have a project for you that can be finished in one evening while watching TV. We have a pattern for making slippers for women that we will take to the Lowell Women's Shelter. The pattern comes in 3 sizes, requires size 9 needles, 2 stitch markers, a yarn needle and one skein of worsted weight (#4) yarn. You can make a few sets with this one skein.  Please click here for the pattern.

We will be working on this project through next summer. Thanks for joining us in this project.


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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 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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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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March Yahrzeitsyahrzeits


Morris Berger, Jack Bresnick, Ida Burton, Frances Strock Circle, Elliott Finn, Edith Follis, Paulene Leader, Charles Miller, Benjamin Pearlman, Julia (Sabel) Salmirs



Harold Cohen, Hanna David. Hanna Kapon David, John Estrella, Natalie Franklin, Hattie Hirshman, Nathan Kashuk, Eunice Klein, Ira Klein, Dora Porfetta, Estel Porfetta, Esther Porfetta, Isha Porfetta, Leon Porfetta, Andrew C. Reilly, Stella Schaevitz, Albert Shaponick, Doris Waldman



Gloria Fierverker, Gayle Friedlander, Evelyn Katz, Danny Lapin, Harry Marcus, Laura Mizen, Frank Niedergang, Jacob Porfetta, Elizabeth Richards, Mack Weinstein



Vernon Beck, Meyer M. Dreher, Leonard Finn, Rachel Helen Kreithen, David Siegel, Sophie Weinstein



Gertrude Blumstein, Sidney Brother, William Derby, Adelle Egan, Lillian B. Fostie, Helen Gross, Thomas Herring, Carl Hite, Brian Howard, Nathan Singer, Joseph Waldman


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ExtendedCommunityExtended Community

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From the Merrimack Valley Jewish Federation ...


Ladies, Let's Get Into Trouble


RESCHEDULED to Sunday, March 1,3:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Lanam Club, Andover


Join us for a special Merrimack Valley screening of the documentary film that pulls back the curtain on three generations of funny Jewish women.


MAKING TROUBLE tells the story of 6 of the greatest female comic performers of the last century: Molly Picon, Fanny Brice, Sophie Tucker, Joan Rivers, Gilda Radner and Wendy Wasserstein. It looks at how they defied stereotypes, took big risks, and used comedy to express themselves while making a living and entertaining others.


These talented women defied cultural expectations and opened doors that ALL women are walking through today. Jewish history is richer and the world a more enjoyable place because of their contributions.

Click here to purchase tickets or call Federation Office at 978-688-0466.


JF&CS Family Table

Helping families in need celebrate Passover

More than 400 families in Greater Boston and on the North Shore rely on JF&CS Family Table to provide them with kosher food and personal items every month. Our community is a key part of this effort. As you prepare for your Passover celebration, please consider a donation to JF&CS Family Table - a wonderful way to observe and celebrate Passover and the beloved tradition of tzedakah.


You can make a gift to Family Table in one of the following ways:

  • Mail a check to JF&CS Family Table Passover Appeal, 1430 Main Street, Waltham, MA 02451
  • Visit to make your donation online
  • Call 781-647-JFCS (5327) to donate by credit card over the phone.

Your entire donation is tax deductible. Thank you for your support!


 Return to Quick Links

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Table of Plenty in Chelmsford

Free Dinner Served

Every Tuesday from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Chelmsford Center


All are welcome. No questions asked.

Also, if you know of someone who cannot get out,

but would benefit from a dinner being delivered to them, please contact us.


For more information contact:



 Return to Quick Links

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                  Spring into Health

                       Every Step Counts

                     with Nashoba Valley Hadassah


                         Sunday, March 8th

                              4:00-5:30 p.m.

  Congregation Shalom, 87 Richardson Drive N. Chelmsford, MA



Join us for a fun program

 with our own talented members


Alissa Himelfarb, Registered Dietitian


Marne Geller, Personal Trainer certified by ACSM

 (American College of Sports Medicine)


Learn about Nutritional dos and don'ts

How to read food labels, finding hidden sugars etc.


Wear comfortable clothes and bring 3-5 lb. weights to use when we try some easy exercises


Associate and Family Members Invited Too


Sign up for the Hadassah Every Step Counts Challenge

(go to

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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 Cemetery
Sharon Grier Business Card 2011
Sky Meadow