NEWSLETTERTOP

January 2016 - 5776

Volume LXIV #4

Member of the Union For Reform Judaism

978-251-8091

www.congregationshalom.org

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,
 
New Year's celebrations usher in opportunities to experiment, explore, and renew connections. As Jews we are lucky to have five New Years! The Jewish calendar has four New Year celebrations that demark different types of beginnings and as Americans we also have the secular New Year. As we enter 2016 I would like to highlight some "new" opportunities in the realm of prayer, ritual, and spirituality as well as renew some older educational opportunities that our congregation has offered in the past.
 
First Tuesday of the month Shacharit services from 8:00 a.m.- 9:00 a.m. will include traditional liturgy, music, and meditation. Please join us for this spiritual wake-up and community! Remember the power of a MINYAN and know you count! If you would like a reminder please e-mail Joan at edassistant@congregationshalom.org.

Havdallah Under the Stars (even in the winter!) - Saturday January 23rd. Jodi Blankstein and I have been busy envisioning two wonderful Havdallah opportunities for January 23rd. From 4:30-5:30 we will have an experiential Havdallah service that includes finding the three stars needed for Havdallah to begin, star gazing, wonderful music, and storytelling. Although you do not need to RSVP, a congregational evite will go out to the community. At 6:30 older teens and adult members of our congregation will have the opportunity to say good-bye to the Sabbath with music, text study, socializing, and, yes, even star-gazing. This service will be similar in nature to a Sunset Shabbat with time for visiting friends, making new acquaintances, hearing beautiful music, and of course food. An evite for this will also be going  out to the community. If you are excited about either opportunity and would like to help with food, set-up, or more please contact me at rabbi@congregationshalom.org.
 
Shabbat Morning Torah Study - Please join members of the Congregation Shalom community for Torah Study on January 30, February 27, and March 26 from 9:00 - 10:30. On each of these Shabbat mornings we will read the week's Parashah as well as look at some traditional and modern commentary.

The Holocaust - A Four Part Series: Taught by Amy Degen. Please see more detailed information further in the newsletter

Beginning Hebrew and Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah - Jodi Blankstein and I are trying to access if there is enough interest in the community to start a new round of beginning Hebrew in the spring on Sunday mornings. This would allow older teens or adults who have not had the chance to become Bar/Bat Mitzvah to acquire the basic Hebrew reading skills they would need to be in a follow-up class. Since 1998 almost 30 adults of the Congregation Shalom community have had the opportunity to be called to the Torah as a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. If you are interested in pursuing this path of Jewish learning please contact me at rabbi@congregationshalom.org.
 
In this New Year of 2016, I hope that the above opportunities will help the mission of the Congregation Shalom community come to enrich your lives. The more people who join us, the more enriched we will all be!
 
Warm regards,
Rabbi Sig
 Rabbi Shoshana M. Perry

From our PresidentBarryTop    

Strangers
 
I have been pondering what it means to be a stranger. Clearly, it would be a Syrian coming to Munich (click here to read an article). But, for me, it means being a Jew in the Berkshires (myself through high school), a Northerner at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia (my eldest daughter), and a dual French-American citizen who speaks fluent German and English but no French (the Holocaust played strange tricks on my family).
 
To me, a stranger could be one who 1) is a newcomer to the culture or 2) chooses to join the culture at many levels, though not all. Of course, we all - no matter what we look like or what we practice - all of us - are sometimes strangers by this definition. Men or women, Christian or Muslim or Hindu or Jew, tourist or naturalized citizen or native-born - sometimes, each of us falls into the category of stranger.
 
Whether we grow up 'in the fold' or choose to join the fold - as Jews... or as Americans, when, with honest intent, we choose our path, we should be audaciously welcomed. The current intensity in our public discourse (though I, too, fear the stranger) made me deeply uncomfortable. So much so, that with input from Rabbi Perry and her Cafe Wisdom adult education class, I asked the Board of Trustees to join me in extending support to our Muslim neighbors from North Billerica who have welcomed our children into their house of worship as part of our curriculum and joined us for events ranging from Mitzvah Day to Interfaith Thanksgiving Services.

On December 10, I proposed to the board by email that each indicate whether she or he favored sending the following letter:

Dear Friends of the Anjuman-e-Ezzi Masjid,
 
As members of Congregation Shalom we wanted to reach out and express our support and empathy during this difficult time. As Jews who have unfortunately known all too well the feeling of having been singled out for our faith and identity, many of us have come to take to heart the expression "We will not be silent." We want to express our solidarity and our desire to stand with you in light of the rhetoric that is targeting your religious faith. During this Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, which celebrates religious freedom, we keenly feel that we should all be coming together as Americans. We will not remain silent in the face of hateful speech that singles out any of our neighbors, friends, co-workers or communities of faith. 
 
We have always valued the relationship between our two congregations and look forward to many more years of walking together in the path of peace.
 
Warm regards,
Tamar R. Wexler, President of Congregation Shalom
On behalf of the Congregation Shalom Board of Trustees

Within fifteen minutes I had my first positive response. Within 4 hours, eleven of the diverse Board of Trustees had indicated their support - with a few more giving support later. It is remarkable to me that we were able to come together so quickly. I mailed the letter the next day. I am honored to be President of this wonderful community.
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Tamar R. Wexler

From our Education Director    

Each year we celebrate Tu B'Shvat, a New Year for the trees. The Bet, Gimel, Dalet, and Hey students come into the Seder excited because they know and wait for this special day. The Kitah Aleph students come into the sanctuary wide-eyed and a little confused by this new and exciting Seder. We usually associate a Seder with Passover but the Tu B'Shvat Seder is something quite different for most students. I love that the students get to sample lots of different fruits, sing songs, and watch videos about Tu B'Shvat, but we also ask our students to think about the importance of taking care of the earth and the importance of recycling and planting trees to preserve the land for future generations. The Seder plate of fruit is filled with so many opportunities to think about the importance of trees and fruit and we ask our students to think about the symbolism behind the fruits that they eat.
 
The Tu B'Shvat Seder Plate has 3 different kinds of fruits on it:
 
The first has a peel or a shell that cannot be eaten. The rabbi's have taught us that people's personalities differ as fruits do. The students are asked to think about the idea of being "hard on the outside and soft on the inside" and how that might affect how you live.
 
The second fruit has pits or seeds that cannot be eaten. We say a blessing thanking God for the "fruit of the trees". Our Tu B'Shvat Seder book asks us to think about how we as people may be like trees that like to grow and stretch to the sunlight but are able to be flexible and move with the wind.
 
The third fruit is edible both inside and out. There is a Midrash that asks why the Torah is compared to a fig? The Midrash explains that other fruits have something inedible, pits, seeds or a shell, but every part of a fig is good to eat. Our students can relate to this as Torah is central to the idea of l'dor vador and the preservation of the earth is vital to the idea of generation to generation. Ask your students about the story of Honi and the tree he planted.
 
Finally, I hope that everyone will take a moment this Tu B'Shvat to enjoy any fruit from Israel: Almonds, dates, fig, carob, and pomegranates are all grown in Israel and make a delicious treat.
 
Chag Tu B'Shvat Sameach to everyone.
Yael Signature
Yael 

From our Cantorial Soloist    

Shabbat Shira
 
The Sabbath of Song, or Shabbat Shira, will fall on Jan 23rd. It is during this Shabbat that we chant Shirat Hayam, the Song of the Sea, found in the Parasha (portion) B'shalach in Exodus. As Moses and the Israelites miraculously pass to freedom they share their joy and awe in song. The words of Shirat Hayam express their gratitude to G-d and their awareness of their divine liberation on the shore of the Sea of Reeds.
 
The chanting/singing of Shirat Hayam is quite distinctive. Perhaps to add eloquence and a sense of triumph, the phrases that contain G-d's name are sung with a special melody. One of the verses sung to this festive tune is the Mi Chamocha, our prayer of freedom that is part of our weekday, Shabbat, and Festival liturgy. Each time we chant the Mi Chamocha we thank G-d for our miraculous deliverance from Egypt. Those verses in Shirat Haym without G-d's name are chanted using the traditional cantilation that we hear on a typical Shabbat. Shifting between the traditional cantilation and the special melody creates a uniquely characteristic sound.
 
In addition to its unusual and beautiful tune, the layout of this text is also remarkable. The song is written as poetry, unlike the prose of other portions. Scribes write this piece in three somewhat overlapping columns. Many think the words are spaced to resemble bricks laid over one another, serving as a reminder of the bricks the Israelites made as slaves in Egypt. Others have said that the layout looks like the waves of the sea extending over the scroll.


Please join us on January 23rd for two special musical experiences as we embrace our Shabbat of Song and welcome Havdallah. Both programs will involve beautiful participatory music, Havdallah, and stargazing. On this Shabbat Shira, come and join Rabbi Perry and me and lift the roof of our sanctuary with your spirited voices.
 
B'Shalom,
 
Jodi Blankstein
Cantorial Soloist

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Social Action Committeesocialaction

Holiday Coat and Shoe Drive Generosity
We collected over 60 winter coats from mid-November to mid-December which have been donated to the Mental Health Association of Greater Lowell. In addition, we collected more than 200 pairs of shoes during our one week Hannukah shoe drive. The shoes were donated to The Lowell Wish Project, the Lowell transitional Living Center, and the Mental Health Association. Thank you to our generous congregation for these acts of tikkun olam! Together we have truly made a huge difference for needy people in our community.
 
Successful Blood Drive
On December 14, Congregation Shalom held an extremely valuable blood drive, collecting 42 units of much needed blood. This was our most productive drive since 2013! Thanks to all who volunteered and especially to those who donated. Plan to help or donate again in May 2016!
 
Christmas Mitzvot
As this newsletter goes to press, our members again have plans to give of their time to serve others in their celebration of Christmas. We will donate food for Christmas dinner to be served at the Chelmsford Senior Center, serve meals to residents at the Renaissance Club for adults with mental health as well as at the Lowell Transitional Living Center, and participate in holiday activities with memory care residents of the Atrium in Chelmsford. Thank you to all who are part of this meaningful annual tradition.

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, January 20 through Thursday, January 21 (until 5pm.) February dates will be February 17-18 - 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 lsnewhard@comcast.net.

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

Fundraisingfundraising

A Very Spectacular Auction Season
As the auction season comes to a close, we have had an amazing array of items: 39 Restaurants, 23 different types of Food, 14 kinds of Entertainment. We had Jewelry, Judaica, Personal Care Products, Art, Miscellaneous Products, and even a Roomba vacuum. Without all the members and friends who joined in the 'bidding wars', we would not have had such a successful auction. To all those who made donations, you gave us the extra ammunition to put on the auction block. To the Fundraising Committee who went into stores and restaurants and beyond to ask, cajole, and maybe even wheedle managers into giving us gift certificates, thank you. There are no words that express our gratitude to Ava and Howard Schutzman. Your expertise makes our auction site run.

Look for your raffle tickets for our 50/50 Raffle - the winner gets 'nothing but money'.
 
Please don't forget to pay for and pick up your winning items.

Featured This Issue
Cantorial Soloist's column
Sisterhood
Adult Ed Events - NEW
Holocaust Course
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Save the Date

Jan 9  Brotherhood/Sisterhood Night Out 

Jan 23  Havdallah Under the Stars

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GroupsBlockGroups
  
  
  

 

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QuickLinksQuick Links
 
   

Links to Our Website
  
  
    
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

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Start Thinking About Purim

Chanukah's over - time to get ready for Purim! Is your costume ready?
 
Megillah reading and BYOB party March 26. Watch for the evite! Email purim@congregationshalom.org for more.

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thankyou ThankYou
Phyllis and I would like to offer our thanks to the congregation, and especially Rabbi Perry, for your sympathy, good wishes and support. The simultaneous passing of my mother coupled with my emergency back surgery made for a very trying few weeks. The support and caring we received from the Congregation Shalom family really helped in getting us through this difficult period.
Thank you all again for your cards, visits, calls, food, and support in helping us get through this.
  Howie Snyder
 
Thank you to all of the thoughtful temple members who made donations in honor of my becoming a Bat Mitzvah. Thank you also to the Sisterhood, Brotherhood, and Board of Trustees for the gifts commemorating this special day.
  Charlotte DiGiovanni
 
Thank you to all those who sent cards and made donations in memory of my mother Bea Scolnick. She enjoyed coming to Congregation Shalom for our life events. Your support and caring is really appreciated.
  Mark Scolnick
 
Thank you for all your cards and calls wishing Bob well on his knee replacement. Your support always means a lot.
  Marilyn and Bob Frank

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Good and Welfaregoodandwelfare

It is with great sadness that I write of the passing of the following people:
 
Beatrice Scolnick, mother of Mark Scolnick. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Mark, Irma, and their entire family.
 
Jon Baron, husband of our friend and member Nancy Baron. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Nancy and her entire family.
 
Josh Friedman, husband of our friend and member Amy Winograd Friedman. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Amy, Lauren, and Jordan, as well as to Amy's mother Nancy Winograd.

January Yahrzeitsyahrzeits

1/8/16
Gershon Yitzak Blumstein
Rose Cohen
Howard D. Dimond
Nathan Dubner
Sally Dubner
Sara Eisenstein
Morris Kallus
Nathan Marx
Blanche Powell
Arthur Sawyer
Arnold Starr
Lee J. Strock
Norma Jean Wilgoren
 
1/15/16
Joseph Derby
Louis Goss
Werner Janoschek
Gertrude Kupor
Don Lischer
Paul McBride
Peter J. McHugh, Jr.
Barbara Schutzman
Yetta Silverstein
Noel Whitby
Charles Eliot Worden
Hope Worden
 
1/22/16
Edwin Chertok
Harold Cohen
Norman Fried
Thomas Rosen
Archie Sudhalter
Herb Zalkind
 
1/29/16
Edward Becker
Alice Danzig
Bertrand Goldstein
Peter Leonard
Robert Mizen
Israel Posner
Sol Rauch
Robin Ruehli
Samuel Schneider
Julius Wilgoren

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 caringchair@congregationshalom.org or Rabbi Perry at rabbi@congregationshalom.org, 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 scholarship@concgregationahalom.org with any questions and/or for an application form. 

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Changed Your Address?

Notify us at  emailchange@congregationshalom.org 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

February Newsletter is

Thursday, January 21.

 

Please send articles to

newsletter@congregationshalom.org.  

 

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Sisterhood Newssisterhood

 
Our December events focused on the Festival of Lights. Patti Green did a fantastic job organizing the Chanukah Fair. During the two days of sales, many temple members had a chance to purchase a variety of items, from books to dreidels to chocolate gelt. Thank you to all of the volunteers who assisted with set up, sales, and clean up. We'd also like to thank Laura Rodman for joining in with her beautiful jewelry.
 
On December 9, about 20 members enjoyed a lovely evening hosted by Patti Green. The food was abundant and delicious. We all had a chance to light the Chanukah candles together, relax, and share family news and winter plans.
 
Our collection for House of Hope was a huge success. The donations included 12 jugs of laundry detergent and three large bags filled with lotion, makeup and nail polish supplies. Kudos to the entire congregation for joining in to help with this project.
 
Our big event in January will be the Brotherhood/Sisterhood Night Out. We will be going to dinner at Bamboo Fine Asian Cuisine and Sushi Bar in Westford on Saturday, January 9 at 6:30 p.m. An evite has been sent out, but please contact Sisterhood if you have any questions.
 
Plan ahead for our spa day on Sunday, February 7. Watch for an evite with more details soon.
 
Mark your calendar for our annual retreat. The one day event will be at Stonehedge Inn in Tyngsboro on Saturday, March 5. The topic is 'Shabbat: Getting off the Treadmill ~ How to Cultivate Joy, Gratitude and Community in Everyday Life.' An email went out recently with further information. Registration deadline is February 5 - click here for the form.
 
Our next board meeting is on Tuesday, January 5 at 7 p.m. All are welcome to attend.
 
Wishing everyone peace and health in 2016!
 
Toby Sedgwick and the Sisterhood Board
sisterhood@congregationshalom.org 

 
 
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Brotherhood Newsbrotherhood

As usual the temple Brotherhood had another busy month this past December.
 
Guys night out at Bishop's Legacy Lebanese restaurant was well attended, as was the annual movie night which featured the Colin Firth movie "Kingsman" .Latke making at the temple went well this Chanukah thanks to the participation of several teams of expert cooks. Look for an e-vite from Jon Boroshok about a breakfast at the end of December.
 
Coming up on January 9, the annual Sisterhood/Brotherhood evening out will be held at Bamboo in Westford.

David Brother
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Shalomitesshalomites


The Shalomites' Creative Service was a huge success! Our theme was "Who Are Jew" and the evening centered around discovering and defining our Jewish identities. The night began with a beautiful service led by our Religious and Cultural Vice President Sam Segal. We ate a delicious meal and then participated in a program led by our Programming Vice President Abby Segal. The Shalomites were very active throughout the night, sharing personal interpretations of their Jewish identity throughout the service and group leading for the program. Thank you to everyone who came to this event and we hope that you left with a better understanding of "who Jew are"!
 
Julia Segal
Shalomites President 5775-5776 

 
 
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Adult Education - New Community Events ListingAdultEd
 
The Adult Education Committee is compiling a listing of community Adult Ed events, which can integrate dates from different committees and community groups if submitted by the first week of each month. Please forward dates to adulted@congregationshalom.org. Dates/events will be vetted by the Calendar Committee during the second week of the month, before being added to our Adult Ed event listing.

ADULT EDUCATION EVENTS
Event
Date & Time
Location
Information
Sturgeon Queens
Jan. 10
12:30 p.m.
Groton School
Café Wisdom
Jan. 12
10:30 a.m.
Congregation Shalom
 
Joachim Prinz: I Shall Not be Silent Movie/Discussion
Jan. 18
7:00 p.m.
Congregation Shalom
Torah Study
Jan. 30
9-10:30 a.m.
Congregation Shalom
 
Café Wisdom
Feb. 9
10:30 a.m.
Congregation Shalom
 
Facing History/Facing Ourselves-Holocaust Series
February,
4 classes
7-8:30 p.m.
Congregation Shalom
Presented By: Amy Degen
Torah Study
Feb. 27
9-10:30 a.m.
Congregation Shalom
 
Boston Jewish Music Festival
March 1-13
TBD
Westford Interfaith Group - Sacred Meals
March 6
7:00 p.m.
 
Tradition of scared meals within religious traditions
Café Wisdom
March 8
10:30 a.m.
Congregation Shalom
 
Beyond Bubbie's Kitchen
March 13 
5:30-7 p.m.
Back Bay Event Center
  Explore Boston Jewish food favorites
Torah Study
March 26
9-10:30 a.m.
Congregation Shalom
 
Dr. Ruth Nemzoff
April 5
7:00 p.m.
Congregation Shalom
Human Conversations
Café Wisdom
April 12
10:30 a.m.
Congregation Shalom
 
MVJF Jewish Film Festival
Starts May 1
TBD
 
Besa: The Promise Movie/Discussion
May 4
6:30 p.m.
Congregation Shalom
Yom HaShoah
Café Wisdom
May 10
10:30 a.m.
Congregation Shalom
 
One Book/One Congregation
My Promised Land by Ari Shavit
May 15
10:30 a.m.
Congregation Shalom
An interesting take on the state of Israel; Facilitated discussion by Elisha Gechter

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The Holocaust - Four Part SeriesHolocaustCourse
 
The Adult Education Committee is offering a four-part series about the Holocaust for adult members of our synagogue. The classes will take place at Congregation Shalom in the library from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. on the following dates:
            Monday, February 1
            Tuesday, February 9
            Monday, February 22
            Monday, February 29
An R.S.V.P. would be appreciated. Please contact Joan LaRochelle at edassistant@congregationshalom.org if you have any questions about the class and to register. There is no fee for the class.
 
Amy Degen was trained by Facing History and Ourselves (FHAO) to teach the Holocaust to 9th grade students at Congregation Shalom. She has been teaching the Holocaust since 2007 and this summer went to Poland with FHAO and Poland's Forum For Dialogue.

Bystanders
What is the Role of the Bystander and who were the Bystander's during W.W.II? We will learn about the Evian Conference, the Voyage of the St. Louis, and will look at examples in Poland where bystanders were also perpetrators. What was the role of the U.S.? How did the U.S. help the Jews or not help the Jews?
 
Resistance
Jews are often portrayed as not resisting during the Holocaust and being led like Sheep to the Slaughter. We will discuss this phrase and look at the many ways that Jews fought back.
 
Rescuers
Who did help the Jews during the Holocaust? We will learn about numerous rescuers and why they were Upstanders under enormous risk.
 
Holocaust Memory Moving Forward
How do we remember the Holocaust going forward? Looking at memorials, music, dance, art, survivor interviews, etc. What lessons do we learn and why we should not forget.

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Grocery Store Cards  

Start the New Year By Fulfilling Your Resolution to Help the Temple
 
YOU can raise funds for Congregation Shalom programs without spending any money.
 
Here's how:
1 -- You buy a grocery cash-back gift card (for Donelan's, Hannaford, or Stop & Shop) and
2 -- The temple receives 7% cash back.
So, if you buy $100 worth of groceries, the temple gets $7.
 
To learn more, email Judy Beningson at giftcards@congregationshalom.org. Or purchase in person on Sundays at the temple during the religious school year.


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Library - Book Review

Sinners and the Sea by Rebecca Kanner
 
This debut novel was published in 2013. Rebecca Kanner's stories were previously published in numerous journals including The Kenyon Review and The Cincinnati Review. She recently published a second novel: Esther.
 
In the tradition of The Red Tent this novel tells the Noah story "from the perspective of his often forgotten wife." In the Bible this heroine is nameless. She remains nameless in this book until the last page. Unlike the newest Christian Bale Noah movie, her husband Noah in this novel is more true to the Bible, being 600 years old! This book "examines the complexities between right and wrong and calls into question the very idea of righteousness."
 
Although I didn't enjoy this story as much as The Red Tent, it made for very interesting reading. It opened a window into life during Biblical times, and what it was like for women. It especially portrayed how women were totally dependent on men (fathers, brothers, husbands) for everything. They were completely subjugated.
 
What was so interesting about this book was that it portrayed the story as pre- and post-apocalyptic. I don't know why this surprised me, as it WAS the end of the world. I guess I just never thought of it that way. Before, I had always thought of the Noah story as: sinners, flood, dove, moving on.  The images in this book were much more brutal.
 
In the "before" section, it described the trials of Noah's life, as he argued with the sinners for years and tried to change them. It portrayed how tortured he was in talking always with God and finally listening to the command to build the ark. Then, the actual ark building was arduous and almost impossible, not only in the building, but in that the sinners often sabotaged the work. There was also an extreme amount of discord among his three sons, which became violent once they were on the ark.
 
Once they were on the ark and the flood started, there were graphic descriptions of what happened to everyone left behind. Also, life on the ark was extremely difficult and violent, and the passengers and animals were sick and starving. In addition, after the rains stopped, there were some survivors on boats, and it was like Waterworld meets The Walking Dead! For those who enjoy dystopic stories and movies, this novel is definitely for you!
 
Although we never heard God speak during this novel, God communicated through Noah and through actions, which were BRUTAL. It was difficult to understand God's reasoning because surely the babies that drowned were still righteous? Noah's sons were NOT always so. Every time the reader might have thought God would show mercy there was none.
 
It was a very interesting take on a classic story, and I would recommend it. (Just don't eat right before reading). I am looking forward to reading Esther.

Submitted by Rhonda Waxman

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iGiveiGive for Congregation Shalom
Have you ever thought how great it would be to be able to shop online at 783 different well-known stores and still donate money to Congregation Shalom?  Well, you can do that!  It's free and easy so join those of us who have been sending donations to the synagogue for years simply by shopping by first going to the iGive website once you have established the link.  Click here to register for Congregation Shalom to automatically be the recipient cause.
  
If you make a purchase through iGive within 45 days of signing up, an extra $5.00 will go to Congregation Shalom.  If you have any questions, please contact Laura at fundraising@congregationshalom.org.
  

 

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ExtendedCommunityExtended Community

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Nashoba Valley Hadassah and the Groton School Jewish Student Life presentSturgeonQueens



The Sturgeon Queens follows the story of four generations of the Jewish immigrant family that started the famous Lower East Side lox and herring emporium Russ & Daughters, and still owns and runs the business today, a century later.
 
The Writer, Director, Producer Julie Cohen will be attending the showing and will answer any questions after the film.
 
Movie
WHEN:       Sunday, January 10
TIME:          12:30 p.m.
WHERE:     The Campbell Performing Art Center
                  at the Groton School, 282 Farmers Row, Groton
COST:        Movie is free
 
(Optional) Brunch to precede movie
Authentic food from Russ and Daughters

TIME:          11:30 a.m.
COST:        $20
RSVP:  Required - click here to RSVP to Amy

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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:

tableofplentyinchelmsford@gmail.com

www.tableofplentyinchelmsford.org

978-710-8328

 

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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 LPalais@vnab.org.

  


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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