October 2015 - 5776

Volume LXIV #1

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,
I recently saw a video that was a narration by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks explaining what it means for him to be Jewish. As I watched and listened, I was moved to share his insights with the members of our community, especially as we begin the New Year 5776. Rabbi Sacks, who served as the chief rabbi of England, is an eloquent speaker, prolific writer, and fierce advocate for social justice. Rabbi Sacks' effort to articulate why he identifies as a Jew was thought-provoking and I felt it can help each of us reflect and evaluate why and how we each identify Jewishly, and, if we have families, how and why we want our children to be raised as Jews.
Please enjoy the brief video: "Why I am a Jew" by Rabbi Sacks

In every generation, Jews have faced the forces of assimilation, just as we do today. In addition, our generation faces societal forces like commercialism, social disengagement, and the expectation that everything will happen in lightening speed. These as well as other societal forces have had an impact on the way religion is experienced in America. In light of these trends and with the insights offered by Rabbi Sacks, I invite you to think about your Jewish goals for the New Year. Do they involve learning for all members of your family? Do they involve creative and new ways to bring Shabbat and other festivals into your life? Do they involve broadening your Jewish community in a fun and social way?  Do they involve meditation? Music? Art? Do your Jewish goals focus on Tikkun Olam and Tzedakah? Do your goals involve volunteering at the synagogue and sharing your gifts with others? Whatever your goals may be and however you want to express your Jewish identity, I hope you will find ways to connect to others through the Congregation Shalom extended family and. in doing so. I know you will inspire others.
In this New Year, may your connections to Jewish life be enriched.
Rabbi Sig
 Rabbi Shoshana M. Perry

From our PresidentBarryTop    


On my family trip to Acadia in Maine this summer, our connections to our community, both sacred and secular, surfaced - or perhaps I should say: rolled to a stop before our eyes. The license plates above were all from one day at the park. People travel from everywhere to visit this park in Maine - actually, it is in the top ten list of most visited national parks in the United States. It is not a crowded park - I found it much more accessible than Yellowstone with fewer people to trip over. Yet, among the many visitors, my pictures show that there was someone from our backyard, who was connected to the Rashi school! And, we also ran into fellow congregants on one trail, a bit of home to balance all the wilderness. Each type of connection brings its own rewards to those who make the connections.
The words below on connections, from Relational Judaism  by Ron Wolfson, bear pondering as we enter the new year:
  1. Between you and yourself: do I understand myself?
  2. Between you and your family
  3. Between you and your friends
  4. Between you and Jewish living and learning
  5. Between you and your community, both sacred and secular
  6. Between you and Jewish peoplehood, wherever Jews are
  7. Between you and the State of Israel
  8. Between you and the whole world
  9. Between you and God: belief or disbelief, either way, a willingness to wrestle with the Divine.
As you read this, the new year is just beginning. I hope that it fulfills its promise in all your connections.
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 Tamar Wexler

From our Education Director    

Every year I find myself wrestling with multiple options when choosing a Tzedakah Project for our school. How do I pick one project over another when there are so many worthy causes out there? This is a dilemma I face every year when choosing a Tzedakah project. Almost every organization I explore has dedicated people serving a needy community and each organization has a valuable life lesson attached to it. However, something about "A Shoe That Grows" struck a chord. It is not a large organization, but rather a grassroots fundraiser that offers a simple pair of shoes to someone in need. Actually it was my daughter who told me about this organization. She heard about it in her classes and something about the simplicity of this concept resonated with her. When your teenager reflects on this with you, it inspired me to delve deeper into this organization too. What I found was an organization that saw a need and designed a simple but effective solution. Every parent can relate to the need to buy new shoes every few months to fit our children's ever-growing feet. What moved me was that "The Shoe That Grows" saw a problem and designed a solution that was relatively cheap and very effective. As a school we can raise $15 and give a child a pair of shoes that will last up to 5 years as it simply grows and adjusts with each child's feet. I encourage you to visit their website at
The charitable organization that designed the shoes is called "Because International". This word is such an unassuming but meaningful way to look at any tzedakah organization. Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) is part of Congregation Shalom's mission statement, and it is such a simple but vital part of our school and our community. Please watch our Tzedakah Board as our footprints make their way into filling up duffel bags of shoes one pair at a time.
On our school Tzedakah Board, we have a poster that captures the importance of tzedakah:
"It is not your responsibility to finish the work of perfecting the world, but you are not free to desist from it either." Rabbi Tarfon, Pirke Avot 2:21
I encourage parents to remind your children to bring in tzedakah every week. It is not how much money they bring, but rather the mindfulness that bringing tzedakah brings. Every week our students are able to remember the importance of taking care of each other and the world, just "Because."
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Social Action Committeesocialaction

Monthly Food Donations for Middlesex Transitional Living 
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, October 21 through Thursday, October 22 (until 5 p.m.)
Questions? Need more information? Please contact  Thank you for your participation with this mitzvah.

Fundraising Excitementfundraising

Auction items are coming in daily - the list of 'great stuff' keeps mounting. From never worn FootJoy size 11 M black golf shoes to a Nike driver with a retail price of $360, to golf accessories for a desk, we have it. If you want a massage, we have two. Go on a buying spree in Staples with the $100 gift card. Wegman's, Donelan's, Lapel cleaners - we have 'em. Looking for Auction Items from members! Very little has come in on that front.
Sometimes we take for granted, that it is a given, that various venues will donate an item to us. Below is an email that I received from The Boston Red Sox. We may be 'down on them' for their standings and wonder how many times a win has become a loss thanks to the bullpen. As we believe, they too, believe in Community and helping one another.
Dear Laura,
We recently received your request regarding your upcoming charitable event. We believe it is our role as the Major League Baseball Club of New England to support accredited non-profit organizations of this region with their fundraising efforts, and we are happy to help you. Please know that you will receive an item within 10 days of your event.
Thank you for allowing us to help you with your community efforts.
Community Relations
Boston Red Sox

Featured This Issue
Fall Event - Indoor Food Truck Festival
Our Year in Song
MOCA Schedule
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Save the Date

Sept 30  First day of Hebrew School

Oct 4  Sukkot Adult Ed program

Oct 23  MOCA Shabbat

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QuickLinksQuick Links

Links to Our Website

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Indoor International Food "Truck" Festival

Join us for the second annual Congregation Shalom fall social event. The theme this year is Indoor International Food "Truck" Festival and will be held on Saturday, November 14 from 7 - 9:30 p.m. There will be appetizers, drinks, food "truck" faire, desserts, socializing, and live music (dancing-well that's up to you). Tickets are only $25 per person, in advance. More information will be coming, please look for announcements in the weekly updates!

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Prayer Book Contributions

Many thanks to the Congregation Shalom Brotherhood for donating funds to build shelves to hold our new prayer books, and also to the Congregation Shalom Sisterhood for making a sizable donation to pay for the books.
If you want to be a part of this, the bookplate form is on our website!
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thankyou ThankYou
Just a note of thank you to all our friends in Congregation Shalom who have been so helpful and supportive during my recent illness. While it has been a long road and still continues, your love and support have been received with enormous gratitude and appreciation. Hearing from so many, the words of support and helpful meals have meant so much to me. Thank you all. I will continue to work hard to recover my health and am comforted knowing that our community is near and dear.
   Laurie Fidler

October Yahrzeitsyahrzeits

Nathan Brown, Phillip Elkins, Gerald M. Freedland, Mary (Strolovsky) Friedlander, Betty Lou Gordon, Henry Hirshman, Ida Kamien, Darrel Landress, Palma Speigel
Freida Fidler, Doris Friedman, Leon Katler, Paul Mayer, Steven Rothstein, Myer Martin Shapiro, Lena Starr, Bebe Steinberg, Arleen R. Yegelwell
William Grier, Harry Starr, Zoltan Szabo, George Wiener
Celia Brass, Albert Edelstein, Lenore Rambach, Carole Reichert, Madeline Richards, Barbara Schachet

Our Caring Committee Can Help

The Caring Committee is always available to provide meals or transportation to those members and families who need a little help. Please don't hesitate to email Katie Wolman at or Rabbi Perry at, or feel free to call Katie at home.

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

November Newsletter is

Thursday, October 15.


Please send articles to  


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Join Our Mailing List
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Our Year in Song -- Kol Kolot and more

As we have just embraced the start of 5776 together, I cannot help but reflect upon blessings from this past particular becoming a part of the Congregation Shalom community. As I begin my 9th year as a Cantorial Soloist, I come to you with a true understanding and an excitement for blending my love of song and prayer with the needs of a congregation. I am looking forward to guiding this community in sacred song for two Friday night services a month as well as for B'nei Mitzvah services and holidays. Teaching through the medium of music is a passion of mine, and so I am also very excited to be bringing music and prayer to our religious school. Additionally, I will be leading a junior choir open to all children grades K-7. Kol Kolot (All Voices) members will lift the roof of our sanctuary this year with their sweet voices and grand spirit! Stay tuned for performance dates.
Throughout the year, as your Cantorial Soloist/Music Educator, I intend to create a prayerful musical space that preserves the past and also embraces the future. Meshing the old and the new, I believe, will allow us all to celebrate a history while highlighting the present and beyond. Whether in the classroom or the sanctuary, it is my desire to seamlessly weave meaning and context into our song, all the while preserving sacred tradition.
Thank you all for the opportunity to share my love of traditional and modern Jewish song.
B'Shira v' Ruach (With Song and Spirit),
Jodi Blankstein, Cantorial Soloist/Music Educator

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Sukkot Adult Ed Program

Sukkot: Joy and Suffering in the World as it is
Sunday, October 4th at 10:30 a.m. at our temple
Emily Block, a community organizer from The Merrimack Valley Project will discuss community building and how it relates to Sukkot.
Refreshments will be served.

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Attention M O C A*s
(Members Of a Certain Age)
To All MOCAs, new and older, Greetings!  Here is our schedule for 2015-2016...please mark your calendars.
MOCA's purpose is to help Members Of a Certain Age (YOU decide the age!) maintain an active association with the congregation and with other MOCAs.
We attend a Shabbat Service at Congregation Shalom and, before or after the service, meet for dinner at a nearby restaurant.  Do plan to join us.
This year, 2015-16, our meetings will be at the Feng Shui restaurant on the following Shabbat (Friday evening) dates and times:
October 23          Feng Shui at 7:30                  Sunset Service  6 - 7:00 p.m.
November 20       Feng Shui at 6:00                  Shabbat Service  8 - 9:30 p.m.
December 11       Shalomite Creative Service and Dinner  6 - 10:00 p.m.
February 26         Feng Shui at 7:30                  Sunset Service  6 - 7:00 p.m.
May 13                Feng Shui at 7:30                  Sunset Service  6 - 7:00 p.m.
June 10               Feng Shui at 5:00                  Choir Shabbat Service  7 - 9:00 p.m.
Do mark your calendars and plan to join us for some or all!
At the Feng Shui restaurant, the MOCA group will have a private room, food will be ordered from the regular menu, and the management will give us separate checks per individual or couple.  
Please note that we will be joining in the Shalomite Creative Service on December 11 and eating dinner at the temple.
Also, three of our MOCA Shabbat Services are Sunset Shabbats.  This affords us the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely meal, with time to socialize, after the Shabbat Service.
Your MOCA Chair, Ethel Kamien

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Sisterhood Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk

What if you could make a commitment to support the health of the women in our Congregation? Would you do it?
Well, anyone at Congregation Shalom can, by joining the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. Last year, Making Strides events united more than one millionpeople in nearly 300 communities nationwide with a shareddetermination to finish the fight against breast cancer. When you support our team with a donation or by joining the team,the American Cancer Society will be able to help more people in our community touched by breast cancer.
This non-competitive walk to save lives will take place on Sunday, October 18. The walk starts at 10:00 a.m. at beautiful Greeley Park in Nashua, NH. We will meet and walk together as the Congregation Shalom Sisterhood team in a scenic fall neighborhood. Non-Sisterhood members are also welcome. Pre-registration is required.
To register or make a donation, go online to .
Under the "support a walker or team" section, type in "Congregation Shalom Sisterhood" and press search. When the blue team name comes up, click on it to reach the "Donate" or "Join the team" buttons. The system will guide you from there.
For information, questions, or assistance to register or donate, please contact Annette Skolnick via the Sisterhood email (
We look forward to your support. Thank you.

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Sisterhood Newssisterhood

Sisterhood got the fall season started with our annual Kick Off Dinner on September 10. Twenty-five members caught up on summer news and enjoyed delicious food together. Debbie McBride did a fantastic job coordinating the fun evening.
We also enjoyed a Patriots football watching party at Donna Upson's house on Sunday, September 27.
We have two activities scheduled in October!
  ~ Saturday, October 3, we will meet for a Shabbat walk at 10:00 at Great Brook Park in Carlisle.
  ~ On Sunday, October 18 at 10:00 a.m. we will participate in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Nashua, NH. Please support this cause by joining our team or making a donation. Go to and search for the Congregation Shalom Sisterhood team.
Thank you to Laura Rodman and Sara Epstein for organizing all the information and producing the New Year's Greeting and Memory booklets. It's a lot of work and they both give much time and effort to complete this project each year.
Remember to send in your membership form and dues. If you have any questions, comments, or activity ideas, please let us know. Our next meeting is on Tuesday, October 6 at 7 p.m.
We wish everyone a sweet new year,
Toby Sedgwick and the Sisterhood Board 

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Brotherhood Newsbrotherhood

This Sunday, September 20, the Brotherhood opening year kick-off and new member night was enjoyed by all attending. Featured was Bar-B-Que cooked to perfection by award winning chef and Brotherhood member, Cris Shuldiner. Bravo and great thanks to Cris for another superb meal. Additionally, entertainment was provided by the Usual Suspects band.  Most are temple members, who hosted last month's Guy Night Out.
Brotherhood annual raising of the Sukkor was done earlier on Sunday.If you would like to help on the Sukkor teardown, please contact

David Brother
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Nothing new this month.


Julia Segal

Shalomites President 5775-5776 


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


Return to Groups.

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Looking For a Few More Families  

Do you want to help the temple without spending time or money? Yes, you can! Help while you shop.
Join the monthly grocery card program.....each month I mail you a prepaid grocery card for $100-$300 (Hannaford, Stop&Shop or Donelan's), and the temple makes $7-$21 cashback. This leads to thousands of dollars for our program, with no out-of-pocket monies from you. I'd like to get 10 more families signed up for the monthly program. Just email Judy Beningson at and I will get you started. 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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ExtendedCommunityExtended Community

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Browsing Through Birke's
A Documentary Film
about a Jewish Holocaust-surviving family,
their quirky 50 year-old downtown Lowell clothing store,
and its eccentric owner
DATE: October 1
TIME: 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. (Film at 7:00 p.m.)
WHERE: UTEC,  41 Warren Street, Lowell, MA 01851
  • Visit with Szifra and other family and customers.
  • Share your story from shopping at Birke's. We would love to hear it!
  • Get the chance to learn more about the culture, history and experiences from Lowellians from Cambodia, Rwanda, Kenya, other African countries, Bhutan, Burma, Iraq and other countries.
  • View the film
  • Panel and Q & A Discussions after the film.
Szifra (Shifra) Birke is an executive coach and daughter of Holocaust survivors. Contact her at or 978-446-9600.
And check out Be sure to click on top tab 'Watch the Trailer' for a 2 minute preview of the film. 

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From the Merrimack Valley Jewish Federation ...
MVJF Annual Meeting
Sunday, October 18 at 7:00 p.m.
The program will include
MVJF Year in Review ~ New Programs and Initiatives
Election and Installation of the Incoming Board of Directors
~ Guest Speaker ~
Amy Degen
The Lucky Jew: How Poland Remembers
Dessert Reception to Follow the Meeting
 (Dietary Laws Observed)

Congregation Shalom
RSVP or call 978-688-0466 by October 9

Family Fun Party                     
Sunday, November 22
 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
PJ age - 10 years old                Bring your parents and grandparents
Guest Performer from Israel  -- Mark Lazar
Federation Office Building. Heritage Place. 439 South Union St, Atrium Level, So. Lawrence, MA
More details to follow

First Light with ventriloquist Jonathan Geffner
Come to Osgood Landing, No. Andover on
Sunday, December 13
2:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Fun for all ages.
For more information, call MVJF office at 978-688-0466
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Tikvah Family Shabbaton
Camp Ramah in New England
November 6-8
Experience an accepting, supportive, fun-filled
Shabbat retreat designed for parents, siblings,
and children with disabilities

What is unique about this Shabbaton?
  • Parents will have the opportunity to relax, celebrate Shabbat, and meet other families with similar experiences and exchange ideas and resources.
  • Siblings will participate in group activities together, developing bonds in a safe and supportive environment.
  • Children and young adults with disabilities will enjoy a variety of activities and opportunities for socialization with experienced Ramah staff.
For more information or to register, see our Tikvah Family Shabbaton webpage.
Questions? Contact Tali Cohen, Director of Tikvah Vocational Services at or 413-400-2763.

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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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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
new Morse Bayliss ad
Dan Dubner new business card double
BethEl Cemetery
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