December 2015 - 5776

Volume LXIV #3

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,
Most people have an early morning routine. Shower, coffee, read the newspaper. Some of us meet the day with energy and head out to the gym, exercise and smile a lot! All before 8:00 a.m. Some of us need at least 3 cups of coffee to get going and don't talk or smile until at least 10:00 a.m. You know where you probably fall in this spectrum of energized or grumpy morning folk!
For some members of Congregation Shalom, however, three times a year, during the pilgrimage festivals, we have added a new routine in our mornings. A small group "religiously" gathers to share in a morning service and say yizkor; the memorial prayers we say for loved ones and friends. We gather at the synagogue at 8:00 for a quiet meditative service and I believe that each of us leaves at 9:00 feeling uplifted, renewed, re-connected to friends and traditions. There is always a quiet celebration when we have more people than the traditional minyan needed for prayer; which more often than not has been the case.
Traditionally Jews gather for morning minyan everyday and read the Torah on Mondays and Thursdays in addition to Shabbat mornings and afternoons. In light of this, our ritual committee has decided to experiment with the idea of offering a regular early morning service, in addition to the three yizkor services a year. Starting in January, we will gather on the first Tuesday morning of every month at 8:00. The service will include some of the traditional liturgy and also offer some time of quiet meditation and prayer. We will be finished by 9:00 so people can head out to work.  In order to see if there are enough folks to make up a minyan, we will try this early service for the first three months of the year and then we will re-access our community's interest. No matter what, we will continue on with our three times a year yizkor services. If you would like to be added to our Constant Contact list regarding these services, please e-mail Joan at
I hope you will join us and perhaps, who knows, you will find out that prayer and community at 8:00 in the morn is better than three cups of coffee in terms of getting your day off to a great start!

Rabbi Sig
 Rabbi Shoshana M. Perry

From our PresidentBarryTop    

Every two years the URJ hosts a huge gathering to learn, teach, dance and pray, sing, debate and resolve. This year, at one learning event led by Rabbi Marmur, I was shocked to learn that we Reform Jews inherit from Rabbi Ishmael, not Rabbi Akiva. I know we are not proponents of martyrdom or living for the next world (Rabbi Akiva). And, we are here to make the world a better place (Rabbi Ishmael).
Another memorable event was eating lunch with Nashema Carlebach, who has sold more than a million records, because I just happened to be in the right place, right time - which happens a lot at the Biennial. I met the warm April Baskin - click here to learn more about her - while I was a greeter for services. You would be AMAZED what a difference that greeter role makes. People would be hurrying to their seats, 5000 strong, heads down, grimly eyeing their phones, and when I would say with a grin, "Shabbat Shalom!" they would look up, meet my eye, and smile. It changed the event for them - and for me!
I was two rows back, seated next to some new friends, it is easy to meet people at Biennial, among the crowd of 5000 when Vice President Biden said words that I will be thinking about  for a while: "It is always appropriate to question a person's judgment, but don't assume you know their motives." And... you may remember I spoke at Yom Kippur about how making connections is good for you? Well, I met and learned from Dr. Robert Brooks, faculty member of Harvard Medical School and author of numerous books. He deftly juggled stories with fascinating research. One nugget from his talk was that if people experienced a great deal of stress, like loss of a job, a death in the family etc., they died younger. However, if a person was involved in helping others despite events that should lead to extreme stress, it was as though they had experienced NO stress

I went to the session led by our own Joey Penn where the interactions were among people of all ages as we developed techniques for reaching 6th to 8th graders. We were assigned surveys by Jewish kids. Our goal was to develop programs to reach the kids and to do that we worked in small groups studying the survey; in one group, my 17 year old partner's dogged persistence on figuring out what the kids were really about sticks with me as much as the serious care of another partner, a very serious 15 year old girl.
And, oh, the people in the plenaries... from Michael Douglas who explained that he had one Jewish parent but never felt welcomed until we welcomed him... to Cornell Brooks, president of the NAACP, who was instrumental in setting up the Journey for Justice, in which the Torah was carried by rabbis and congregants from Washington, DC to Selma ... or Stav Shaffir, the youngest female Knesset member in Israeli history whose passion and elocution held 5000 people spell bound... and, not to forget Ari Shavitz, author of The Promised Land - on this, I will just say, read the book so we can discuss the topic a bit more! If you would like to see the panel discussion with Stav Shaffir and Ari Shavitz, our own illustrious Rabbi Joffee, moderated by New York Times correspondent Jodi Kantor, click here.
I found the choices in Biennial hard - which one of five fascinating things should I go to?   But, let me give you another perspective, from our very own Hannah Muhlfelder:
It was so rewarding for me, as a NFTYite that often feels overlooked in the large umbrella of the URJ, to be directly included and asked what my thoughts and feelings were on current issues in the movement. I found myself having meaningful exchanges with adults at every turn, learning from them, and doing a bit of teaching as well. One moment that stuck with me in particular was when some of my NFTY friends and I came across a piano in between sessions. I played for a while and they all sang along, until a cantor came over with his guitar. We thought for a second that he wanted to use the space for himself, but it turned out that he wanted to join in on the fun! He, his wife, and their two children ended up staying with us for a while to play music and chat. They live in Virginia, and promised I would always have a place to stay should I be in their area. I couldn't have been more thrilled by the amazing encounters I had with other Jews and I am so excited for the 2017 Biennial in Boston!

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 Tamar Wexler

From our Education Director    

If you happen to be in the building during a Kol Kolot practice, you will see over 30 students, spanning 9 grades, singing together in the most beautiful chorus of voices. It is remarkable to see the students' deep concentration and dedication as they focus on learning the new tunes.
As I watch the Kol Kolot group, I am reminded of the strength of our community. Each of these students brings a love of singing and a love of music as they sing together under the skilled direction of our Cantorial Soloist Jodi. As the Kol Kolot children's choir practice their Hanukkah songs, it reminds us that Hanukkah is not just about the giving of gifts, but it is also about the coming together of Jewish communities around the world. During Hanukkah, we will bring our kehillah together for several wonderful events that honor the amazing school and broader temple community that exists at Congregation Shalom.
Please join us as we listen to the beautiful Kol Kolot choir as they sing Hanukkah Songs on Friday, December 4 at our Family Shabbat service. On Sunday, December 6 we hope that the whole community will join us for the annual School Hanukkah Party beginning at 12 p.m. This fun event has great music, delicious food, fun arts and crafts, and a warm and welcoming place for us to celebrate the start of Hanukkah. The Social Action committee will also be collecting Gently Used Shoes to go along with our tzedakah theme of supplying shoes for those in need. On December 9, our Kitah Gimel class will lead us in a Ma'ariv service and will light candles with our Hebrew school.
I want to wish you all a Chag Hanukkah Sameach, a meaningful and fun Hanukkah holiday.
Yael Signature

Social Action Committeesocialaction

Record breaking generosity: 2015 High Holiday food and Halloween candy drives
Thanks to our generous members - you have outdone yourselves with record breaking donations at High Holidays and Halloween this year! At final accounting, we raised $2,300 in grocery card donations to food pantries in Chelmsford, Nashua, Westford, and Lowell. Your contributions continue to help people throughout the year - the Lowell food pantry recently thanked us for helping them to purchase chickens for Thanksgiving.
Members also donated 106 pounds of Halloween candy this year - over ten pounds more than last year!  Your donations have sweetened the lives of soldiers overseas and food pantry clients in Chelmsford and Lowell.
Coat Drive through December 16
We began collecting winter coats in mid-November and have already donated more than 20 to the Mental Health Association of Greater Lowell. The clients of this organization need winter coats in all sizes, children through adult. The coat drive continues through December 16, so if you have any unneeded coats in good repair please drop them off in the bin in the lobby.
Shoe Drive, December 6-13
To reinforce this year's Religious School tzedakah project to support The Shoe that Grows (an organization providing shoes to children that last for 5 years), Social Action is holding a week-long shoe drive at Hanukkah. Consider donating your gently used or new shoes as a gift for one of the nights of Hanukkah! Donations will be accepted in the lobby during the week and at the Religious School Hanukkah Party.

Blood Drive planned for Monday, December 14, 2 p.m.-7p.m.
Congregation Shalom will once again host a blood drive on Monday December 14 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.

Christmas Mitzvot
Stay tuned for more information coming soon about ways to sign up and help our community on December 25! In the past we have served meals at local senior centers, shelters, and other social service organizations. We are finalizing details on this year's projects and will reach out through email and Weekly Updates with more information soon.

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, December 16 through Thursday, December 17 (until 5pm.) January dates will be January 20-21 - 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 January 19. If you have time to volunteer during the afternoon on Tuesdays and would like to take part, please contact Linda Newhard at

Questions? Need more information? Please contact  Thank you for your participation with this mitzvah.


Fundraising Does Tikun Olam
Taking pleasure in knowing that we made some people very happy and building their self-esteem, we have again donated hair products to those in need. Last week, the agency that received hair products was the Westford Food Pantry. Since June, we have donated hair products to Lowell Wish and Project Home Again. Feeding a belly is one thing and helping to clothe is wonderful but to help to make someone feel good about themselves brings a whole different slant on helping others.
Auction News
The Second session of our On-line Auction is well under way. Be sure to check daily to see if you have been outbid. For those who bid and won items in our first session, thank you for participating. We know you got some great bargains. Don't forget to contact Laura ( for pickup or paying information.

Featured This Issue
Welcome New Members
Online Auction Information
Donation Acknowledgments
Jewish Time Travelling Through Stories
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Save the Date

Dec 6  First Night of Chanukah 

Dec 7  Adult Ed Program

Dec 14  Blood Drive

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QuickLinksQuick Links

Links to Our Website

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Blood Drive Comingblood_drive

On December 14, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., we will once again be hosting a blood drive - helping to give the "Gift of Life" to those in need. In the coming weeks you will get more information about donating. Some of you may have gotten calls or cards already. I am looking for people to help by either monitoring the Canteen (where people relax after donating) or Registration. Canteen starts between 2:15 and 2:30 while Registration begins at 1:45 p.m. Please let me know if you can give some time by contacting Laura at
Yes, we are a caring community!

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Sisterhood One-Day Retreat

Save the date!             
Saturday, March 5, 2016
9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Shabbat - Getting off the Treadmill
How to Cultivate Joy, Gratitude, and Community in Everyday life
The retreat will be held at the Stonehedge Inn, Tyngsborough, MA. Join your Sisters for a day of music, learning, laughter, prayer, and nourishment. Complete information and reservation information will be in the January newsletter and in an email from the Sisterhood Board. Rabbi Perry, Sue Horowitz, and the Retreat Committee are hard at work to make this a wonderful day.
If you would like to help out, if you have any questions, or if you would like to reserve your spot now please contact Janet at
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thankyou ThankYou
Thank you to all our temple friends who sent cards and made a donation in memory of our mother, Lucy Alterio. Your thoughtfulness was a comfort during this difficult time. We are blessed to be part of such a wonderful community.
  Larry and Helene Segal

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Good and Welfaregoodandwelfare

We are excited to announce the birth of Eliot Benjamin Avrutine, born to parents Melissa (Segal) and Matthew Avrutine. We extend a warm mazel tov to them, as well as to first-time grandparents Helene and Larry Segal.
It is with great sadness that I write of the passing of Elaine Wolman, mother of our member Dan Wolman. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Dan, Katie, and their children Hannah and Josh. We send them prayers during this difficult time.
It is with great sadness that I write of the passing of Florence Snyder, mother of our member Howie Snyder. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Howie, Phyllis, and their entire family.

Welcome New Members

We welcome the following family to our Congregation Shalom community.  Please reach out and help make them feel welcome.
  Jill Keller and her daughters, Arielle and Karen

December Yahrzeitsyahrzeits

Barbara Baron
Frances Becker
Harold Berit
Pauline Chertok
Marvin Kerzner
Irene Notinger
Selma Raichek
Mildred C. Rainen
Gert Wiener
Joseph Goldman
Julius Hyatt
Bernard Miller
Arlene Newman
Pearl Park
Erwin Susman
Eli Baron
Max Epstein
Maurice Friedman
Steven Perry
Sadye Goss
Simon Malikan
Sadie Marx
Hyman Finkelstein
Dora Hyatt
Nathan Kupor
Sidney Kurland
Pearl Pearlman Spiegel
Micheline Szabo
Arline Weintraub

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

January Newsletter is

Thursday, December 17.


Please send articles to  


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Join Our Mailing List
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How to Participate in the Congregation Shalom Online Auction
The 2015 Congregation Shalom 11th Annual Online Auction begins on November 1. We start the bidding at 25-30% of an item's value, guaranteeing great bargains. This year, Chanukah is December 6 - 14, so we'll have 2 sessions of gifts available prior to its onset.
We have about 150 gifts so far, with more arriving daily, including some new and unique offerings - handcrafted jewelry by Phyllis Howard, theater tickets, golf clubs and gifts, restaurant gift certificates of $50 and more to Staples, Legal Sea Foods, Evviva Cucina, and, among other great prizes.

Our usual four two-week bidding sessions end this year on December 26. Please note that each session ends at 11:59 p.m. on the last day of the session. (Bids received after midnight according to the clock on our server will be disqualified.)
Our easy-to-use auction program with anonymous bidding is found at:
Register if you are a new user. If you are a return user, the same email/password combo will work. Email or call Ava for help, or if you forgot your password.
  • To bid, just click on "Submit Bid" on either page.
  • Click on right column (Details/Photo) for the full description of each item.
  • To see status of all your bids, click on "View Your Bid History". You can tell if you are currently the highest bidder or not.
  • Session dates are shown at top of home page, upper left.
That's all there is to it! 

If you'd like, pay for your purchases at the end of each 2-week session by credit card online with our secure system (you don't need a PayPal account to use your credit card).
If you have any questions or problems please email Ava at
Thanks and have fun!
Laura, Ava, and the Fundraising Committee 
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Sisterhood Newssisterhood

We hope you were able to join in for at least one Sisterhood activity in November!
On November 8, we teamed up with Brotherhood to host speaker Esther Kosofsky. Attendees shared stories and engaged in a discussion about being Jewish in December.
We got a lovely fall day on November 15 to enjoy a walk along the Bruce Freeman Trail, then relaxed at the Java Room with delicious snacks and beverages. We are hoping to add more walks to the event schedule in the spring.
Our annual Chanukkah Fair will take place on Sunday, November 22 (8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.) and Wednesday, December 2 (4:15 p.m. - 6:30p.m.) There are still a few spots for volunteers.
On Wednesday, December 9, Patti Green will be hosting a Chanukkah party at her house. Join us at 6:30 p.m. for latkes with friends. Please RSVP via the evite so we have enough food for everyone. We appreciate all the time Patti has given to organize the fair and host the party.
The Sisterhood will be collecting items to donate to the women at House of Hope in Lowell. Requested items are: liquid 'free and clear' laundry detergent, nail polish sets, lotion sets, and make up sets. Please bring unwrapped items to the party, or place in designated box in temple lobby by December 11.
We will be having a one day retreat on Saturday, March 5, 2016 at Stonehedge in Tyngsboro. Please save the date and watch for more details soon.
Our next board meeting is on Tuesday, December 1 at 7 p.m.. All are welcome to attend.
We wish everyone joy, health, and peace during the holiday season and in the year ahead.
Toby Sedgwick and the Sisterhood Board 

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Brotherhood Newsbrotherhood

This November/December is a busy time for the temple Brotherhood.  On November 7th, resident Brotherhood head chef Mel Starr along with sous chefs Cris Shuldiner and Jerry Bass led a fleet of Brotherhood members and spouses in the preparation and consummation of a five course authentic South Korean dinner. The meal was awesome. All present thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We even had a side competition: who could eat the most egg rolls?!
This month we also sponsored, along with Sisterhood, speaker Esther Kosofsky who talked with us about how interfaith couples can navigate the Jewish holidays during Christmas/Chanukah season. A lively discussion ensued.
Coming up, the annual Brotherhood latke making and serving of the latkes to the children in our religious school will be on December 13. If you want to participate, and especially if your child is in our religious school, contact
On Sunday early evening December 13, yours truly will host the Brotherhood annual movie night. This year our movie will be the action-packed spy thriller "Kingsman" starring Colin Firth, Michael Caine, and Samuel Jackson. Space is limited. The first eight members to reserve a reclining seat in front of the big screen will not be disappointed with this action packed and funny film. We will have either pizza or Chinese food by consensus. Contact

David Brother
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The Shalomites kicked off November with our first annual PaJEWma Party! With blankets, pillows, hot chocolate and of course our onesies, we snuggled up in the library and watched "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." It was a fun and relaxing way to get a break from our homework! The Shalomites also had a lot of fun working at the International Food Truck Festival. We helped set up, babysit, serve food, check in guests, and clean up. It was great being a part of such a fun community event. Lastly, many of us are excited to be attending NFTY-NE's Fall Conclavette hosted by SHAFTY in Newton November 20-22!
Julia Segal
Shalomites President 5775-5776 

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Grocery Store Cards  

Getting Ready For Thanksgiving? Help the Temple at the Same Time
Do you want to help the temple without spending time or money? Yes, you can! Help while you shop. Get a grocery card for $100 (Hannaford, Stop&Shop or Donelan's) and the temple makes $7 cash back.
This leads to thousands of dollars for our programs, with no out-of-pocket monies from you. Buy your turkey and help the temple, too!
Just email Judy Beningson at and I will get you started. Thank you.

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Library - Book Review

The Avengers: A Jewish War Story
by Rich Cohen
This nonfiction book was published in 2000 by Rich Cohen, a New York Times bestselling author and journalist. Cohen had first heard about this story in 1977 at age ten, when his family visited Israel. His grandmother's niece was one of the only Jews to have survived from her town, and she had fought as a partisan in the forest for much of the War. Her name was Ruzka.

This story begins right before WWII and is the story of Ruzka Korczak, Vitka Kempner, and Abba Kovner. I can only describe it as a story of struggle, a long arduous, unbelievable struggle that lasted through the war. Following this, there were the struggles of post-war Europe, and after that the struggles as Israel fought to become a state. Cohen visited Ruzka, Abba, and Vitka numerous times in Israel and on their visits to the United States. He also traveled around Israel and interviewed survivors and partisans. This book is derived from twenty years of these conversations, and is a chronology of their lives and struggles.
This book is divided into four sections: The Ghetto, The Forest, The Cities, and The Desert. Ruzka was born in Poland, and became a Zionist at a young age. She walked to Vilna, the capital of Lithuania, in 1939, fleeing Nazi Poland. Fifteen thousand Jewish refugees went to Vilna in 1939, many with the help of an underground railroad. In Vilna, she met Vitka, also from Poland, and they became inseparable. In 1941 the Jews of Vilna were forced into the ghetto.
The girls met Abba Kovner, 24, a Zionist, when they were living in the ghetto. It describes the Jewish police, the slave labor, how groups would be gathered up and driven away and never came back. Many of the ghetto Jews did not believe that these Jews were being murdered in the forest and buried in mass graves, despite a witness' testimony. Abba tried to recruit a resistance in the ghetto, to fight back and to sabotage the Germans. There was much infighting among the many different groups of the ghetto. There were Zionists, Communists, Jewish police, resistance, and those who did not want to fight. Vitka and others were part of the resistance, and would get jobs outside of the ghetto, or help to smuggle in food and blankets. Eventually, as the ghetto was systematically emptied out, many of Abba's resistance fled into the forest.
The "Forest" section of the book was also very enlightening to me. I had seen movies about the partisans, and read stories, but had no idea about the infighting, and how much the Jewish partisans were not wanted or welcomed. The Polish, Russian, Lithuanian, and Communist partisans had many anti-semitic members. Even though they were all united against the Nazis, it didn't necessarily mean they wanted the Jews to survive. The Jewish partisans had to struggle to get guns, explosives, supplies, and food, and also to protect themselves against attack by other partisans. Our three protagonists worked missions from the forest until Russia was liberated.
Their mission changed to work in the cities of Europe until the Armistice and then after. There was actually a plan to poison German prisoners. Many of the partisans and survivors did not think the Nazis should be allowed to move on with their lives.
Ruzka was the first to make it to Palestine, where she was promptly put into Atlit prison, a British camp. Once released, she travelled around telling her story. Many people didn't believe her. People could not believe the worst until evidence started coming in. When Abba finally made it, he helped fight in the war for Israeli statehood. He believed that "if you struggle, then win or lose, you win."
I learned much from this book. It was fascinating, exciting, heartbreaking, upsetting, hopeful, and educational. I highly recommend it.
Submitted by Rhonda Waxman

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Donation Acknowledgmentsdonations

The following donations were received from July - October, 2015:

   Three general donations
   Three general donations
In honor of
In honor of
   High Holidays, 20 donations
   Ken Weintraub
   Mel Starr's 80th birthday
   Amanda Spiro and family
   Judith Palais
   Jodi Blankstein
   The Weinberg Family
   Carol Cohen
   Jack & Charlotte Stoller
   Two donations
   Jodi Blankstein, three donations
In memory of
   Bob Kupor
   William Shapero
   One general donation
   James Shapero
   Pearl & David Levine
   Mollie & Louis Mencis
In honor of
In appreciation of
   Phyllis & Terry Howard's 50th Anniversary
   Prayer and support
   Joan Bernstein's 80th birthday
In memory of
   Martin Ames

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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 ...MVJF-MarkLazar
Jewish Time Travelling Through Stories

Please Join Us for An Evening
of stories and learning
followed by coffee and baked goods
Monday, December 7 from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
at Congregation Shalom
Through the use of storytelling and historical narrative,
Mark Lazar will interweave moments of Jewish history and Jewish values
that have led us from Biblical times to the modern day.
Mark Lazar is a Jewish educator based in Jerusalem,
who specializes in informal education.
He engages with people of all ages exploring Jewish Identity
and History ,Modern and Ancient Israel, and the Holocaust.
Through both formal presentations and lively, group activities,
Mark brings new excitement and joy to Jewish learning and living.

This is a FREE event sponsored by:

Please RSVP by November 30 or 978-688-0466 or

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From the Merrimack Valley Jewish Federation ...

First Light

A Special Show for All Ages

Sunday, December 13 at 2:00 p.m.


Ventriloquist Jonathan Geffner


MVJF is eagerly anticipating the arrival of a gang of dummies. Assisted by renowned ventriloquist Jonathan Geffner, these madcap meshugeneh puppets will perform their highly acclaimed show, "Maccabee Mishegoss!", as part of the Chanukah Celebration. Children and adults (PJ kids, families, and seniors) are invited to enjoy this uniquely mesmerizing performance by one of the world's most amazingly skilled ventriloquists. Audience members are forewarned to prepare for a fabulous celebration with latkes and laughs.



More details to follow.  For more information contact .

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LimmudBoston 2015, the annual all day celebration of Jewish culture and learning is taking place Sunday, December 6, 9am- 6pm at Congregation Mishkan Tefila in Chestnut Hill. Filled with over 60 sessions and musical entertainment, the workshops and performances will appeal to the young and young-at-heart. And the price is a great deal at just $36 per adult for a whole day!
Prices go up a few days before the conference.
The Camp Limmud program for ages 3-13 will be coordinated by Kesher Newton, the Jewish after-school program. There is a discounted rate for children.
The full schedule is now up online. Here is a little taste of some of the offerings available to participants.
  • Intriguing Connections between Judaism and Psychotherapy
  • Chai Alive!  Record Your Story or Interview A Family Member for Posterity
  • An Israel that Could have been: Herzl and the Offer of a Jewish Territory in Africa
  • Remember the Ladies:  An Historic View of Jewish Women Musicians in America
  • John Lennon and the Jews
  • Avraham Avinu: Leadership and Heresy
  • Refuat Hanefesh-Refuat Haguf: Healing of Body and Healing of Mind
  • A.J. Heschel Meets Parker Palmer:  Teaching as a Spiritual Journey
  • Illuminating Sacred Text

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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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 new QPL ad Nov 2012
new Morse Bayliss ad
Dan Dubner new business card double
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