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The Monthly Newsletter of Congregation Beth Torah
Join us for a Special Meeting of the Congregation on Tuesday night, March 8th, at 7:30 p.m. Where we will hold a congregational vote (per our bylaws) to officially elect
Rabbi Javier Cattapan to be Beth Torah’s Senior Rabbi beginning July 1, 2016. March 2016
Issue 298 Adar/Adar II 5776
Purim at Beth Torah The British Invasion hits Beth Torah as Beatlemania arrives at Café Shushan with Purim in Shpiels Forever Adult Megillah reading and Café Shushan:
Wednesday, March 23rd. 7:00 p.m.: Adult Megillah reading in the sanctuary. Costumes Encouraged! Let your inner thespian out by reading one of the chapters that night. Contact Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer. 8:00 p.m.ish: Hamantaschen and Coffee by Zach available in the ulam. 8:15 p.m.ish Purim In Shpiels Forever performance. Get your Beatlemania on as we retell the story of the Fab Four: Esther, Mordechai, Haman and King Ahasuerus. Bring your Macaroni and Cheese boxes to use as groggers and then donate them to JFS.
1st Ever CBT Purim Carnival Saturday, March 26th. 3:30 - 5:15 p.m. Games 5:15 - 6:00 p.m. Costume Contest, Parade, Megillah All-You-Can-Play Bracelets for Kids! $15 for the first child, $10 for each additional child OR 4 tickets/$1 Kids under 5 are FREE Tickets can be purchased during religious school or at the Beth Torah office beginning March 6th. Questions? Contact Genna Stowe, Chair, email@example.com
Note about online Tekiah: When viewing the Tekiah online, you click through the pages using the left and right arrows to view the entire document. Slide the magnifying bar to make the pages bigger. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or problems.
A Note from the Rabbi Rabbi Rick Shapiro Dear Friends, On Wednesday evening, March 23rd, we will have an opportunity to celebrate Purim, one of the most festive occasions of the entire Jewish year. Purim celebrates the heroism of Queen Esther and her uncle/ cousin, Mordechai, in averting the King’s death sentence against the Jewish people. We all know the story. The King, Ahasuerus, had acceded to the instigation of his Prime Minister, Haman, by issuing a law permitting his citizens to kill the Jews of Persia. Once the king passed a law, it was impossible to retract. Since the King didn’t know that his wife, Esther, was Jewish too, she and Mordechai were then able to reveal Haman for the hateful and evil man that he was. The King then issued a second decree allowing the Jews to defend themselves. At the conclusion of the story, Mordechai was appointed the Prime Minster in place of Haman. Esther’s influence in the court was exceptionally high, and Jews instituted the celebration of Purim to commemorate their deliverance. The Book of Esther is one of the world’s first novellas and it is simultaneously gripping, funny, and significant. While most often we think of Purim as a holiday for children, it is actually a holiday for adults, as well. The messages of Purim are really a way of reading all of Jewish history, relevant for our own day as well. 1. Purim teaches the importance of treating women equally to men. Note that without Esther’s calm, her intelligence, and her articulate and dramatic words, the Jews would not have survived. It is remarkable that, in a world of patriarchal domination, this book about salvation coming from a woman has remained a perennial favorite among Jews everywhere. Little boys and girls grow up knowing about a powerful woman who intervened to save the Jews. Esther’s example is one that empowers women to be all that they can be, to realize that gender is not a limitation or a destiny. Esther liberates both men and women to be who they are as individuals and to take responsibility for their actions, their people, and the world around them. (Continued on page 2)
Torah Portion & Haftarah
(Continued from page 1) 2. A second lesson to emerge from the Megillah is the imperative of Jews to fight for their own defense. Evil people - the spiritual heirs of Haman - are willing to scapegoat us in every age, blaming us for inflation, communism, capitalism, war, peace, or anything else they oppose. Alone among the nations of the world, Israel is the only country whose enemies want to get rid of it and its civilians entirely, rather than simply disputing a territorial claim or a particular policy. The irrational and obsessive nature of anti-Semitism is as true now as in the days of Haman. And what brought Haman down was the resolve of the Jews to stand up for themselves and to assert their own interests publicly and without apology. We, too, must recognize what is in our own interests - a vital and democratic State of Israel, the freedom and safety of the world’s Jews, and a significant network of synagogues and Jewish education in the United States - and we must be prepared to labor constantly to maintain that reality. 3. King Ahasuerus shows us that for evil to triumph, the only thing good people have to do is nothing. The King was not a wicked man, not a fervent anti-Semite. But he allowed himself to be manipulated by Haman and the results were devastating. The two-fold lesson here is that we must establish permanent dialogue with other peoples, educating them about the reality of Jewish living and Jewish people so that the Hamans of the world will not have an audience. Additionally, we must make sure never to allow ourselves to be in the role of dupes to bigotry against others, whether a race, a gender, a religion, or a sexual orientation. Jews have a special interest to oppose any hatred, persecution, or discrimination. The lessons of Purim remain relevant today. This Purim, let’s not let our children have all the fun. Let’s all - adults and children alike - celebrate together, and remember the lessons of Chag Purim. This article was adapted from a D’var Torah by Rabbi Brad Artson, Dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University
Tekiah # 298, March 2016
Congregation Beth Torah (913) 498-2212 Fax: (913) 498-1071 Email: email@example.com Website: www.beth-torah.org
If you need to contact Rabbi Shapiro for a rabbinic emergency when the office is closed, he can be reached on his cell phone: 760-668-5806. Officers President...................................................Linda Zappulla First Vice President…………………................Barry Katz Vice President………………………...........Bonnie Swade Vice President……………………..........…Elisa Waldman Secretary ........................................................ Matt Haun Treasurer ................................................. Mike Ginsberg Immediate Past President.......................... Michelle Cole Board of Trustees Jeff Altman Tom Cohen Todd Davisson Miki Herman Frank Sterneck
June Crane Mike Fine Bob Milgrim SueAnn Strom
BTTY President........................................... Sarah Shaw
www.beth-torah.org | Page 2
Staff Interim Rabbi........................ Rabbi Rick Shapiro, D.D. Founding Rabbi ................ Mark H. Levin, D.D., D.H.L. Music Director..................................... Emily Tummons Director of Community Connections...........Laura Intfen Director of Education ........................... Bridey Stangler Director of Finance ......................... Todd Janvrin, CPA Office Manager..................................... Robin O’ Bryan Administrative Assistant.........................Sharon Altman Administrative Assistant ............................... Cathy Nix Bookkeeper......................................................Barb Kitt Communications Associate ........................ Sara Glass BTTY Adviser: Zach Zwibelman JYG Adviser: Rachel Bolter © Congregation Beth Torah, Overland Park, KS
March 4/5 25 Adar Parashat Vayak’hel “Enjoy Shabbat Traditions” Kaia Schwartz Becomes a Bat Mitzvah March 11/12 2 Adar II Parashat P’kudei “Enjoy the Cover of the Clouds” March 18/19 9 Adar II Parashat Vayikra “Fight Back Against Today’s Hamans” March 25/26 16 Adar II Parashat Tzav “Make a Sacrifice to Advance Jewish Ideals”
Shabbat Morning on the Bimah
Attention all Shabbat Morning Regulars and Irregulars: We’ve got something unique happening on Saturday morning, March 12th, so save the date. Shabbat ShaBagels will take place in chairs right on the bimah, earlier that morning. Later on, in our main service at 10:30 a.m., we will leave all the Shabbat ShaBagel chairs there on the bimah and avail ourselves of a rare opportunity to experience a morning service right next to the open ark. In the Jewish month(s) of Adar, things can get a little topsy-turvy. What’s down is up, and what’s right is left. All bets are off! We will welcome that spirit of upside-downness by ascending to the bimah, moving in as close as we can to the holiest spot in our entire building, and praying together.
In Memorium Terri Lipman Cousin of Rabbi Mark Levin Richard G. Hendler Father of Steven Hendler Meyer W. “Mickey” Brown Husband of Myra Brown
Brother of Philip Brown
Linda Zappulla, Board President Linda.Zappulla@gmail.com
Dear Beth Torah friends, Late breaking news: on Friday, February 19th, we sent a letter to the congregations with the exciting news that Rabbi Javier Cattapan had accepted our offer to become our Senior Rabbi. Subject to the congregational vote on Tuesday, March 8th, at 7:30 p.m., Rabbi Cattapan will join Beth Torah on July 1, 2016. Read more on page four about this wonderful man and his strengths, skills and warmth, and be sure to join us (or send your proxy) for the vote at a special meeting of the congregation on March 8th. Continuing the theme I began last month, Beth Torah looks for opportunities to enhance and energize our community. We let go of our beloved Chili Cook Off, and had the pleasure of joining the Membership Committee’s amazing First Super Bowl Party. They said big-screen TVs, but they meant HUGE-screen TVs. Plenty of food, drink and good times were had by all. Next up in the way of new is Beth Torah’s first Purim Carnival on Saturday, March 26th. Join the Weiner Religious School and BTTY for a fun afternoon. In lieu of Joel’s Ride, a team is working on a Run/Walk later in the spring. A committee is forming to produce a Jazz Concert in June. You are invited to help us plan these events, and please note, we are looking for a golfer to take the lead on our Annual Golf Tournament. So please raise your hand, and let Laura know which event you’d like to work on. These activities are important to Beth Torah in many ways. Each represents a different kind of event, bringing our members together in new and different ways. Some of them are fund raisers, allowing people to support Beth Torah while having fun. Every event represents an opportunity for each of us, as members, to be personal brand ambassadors for Beth Torah. Invite your friends to experience first-hand what we find so special about Beth Torah. Happy Spring.
Linda Zappulla Volunteer Coordinating Committee Highlights our Costco Shoppers We all enjoy the delicious nosh on Friday nights as well as a hot cup of coffee on Sunday mornings, Friday evenings and just about anytime we gather. Seems like those pretzels magically appear, along with plates, cups and forks. Do you ever wonder how those magically appear?? We have a dedicated group of people who help us shop at Costco every other week to make sure YOU will have these symbols of hospitality we have all come to appreciate. Thank you to our volunteers: Sherry Abramowitz, Amie Crane, Sarah Derks, Randi Friedlander, Marcia and Larry Rittmaster, Nancy Solomon, and Ellen Taylor who have been performing this task for a long time. They could really use some more folks who are willing to occasionally help out. The procedure is simple. You can shop any day during the week you choose (except for Tuesday, when Beth Torah is closed). 1. Stop by the Beth Torah office to pick up the Costco Card, your shopping list and a check made payable to Costco. 2. Shop! (no explanation needed here) Costco employees will even load your car if you ask nicely with a smile on your face. 3. Return the items to Beth Torah. Shop during regular office hours and our fabulous maintenance staff will unload your car. It’s really an easy way to help out. Just let Marcia Rittmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org know you’d like to be added to this cadre of helpers and you can choose the date that best fits your schedule.
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New Rabbi Update We are thrilled to share with you that Rabbi Javier Cattapan has accepted our offer to become Senior Rabbi at Beth Torah. The offer was made February 17th following the unanimous recommendation by the Rabbi Search Committee, unanimous vote by the Board of Trustees, and enormous support from our members who met him during his visit in early February. This is pending congregational approval as required by our bylaws, at a meeting to be held on Tuesday, March 8th. In accepting this position, Rabbi Cattapan said he was honored by our offer. “Among the many great people and congregations I came in contact with in the past few months, Beth Torah is the best match for me because of the great potential for growth and the quality of its leadership, staff and volunteers. After a few conversations, the warmth and welcoming character of the congregation became evident. The highly participatory worship style, both innovative and sensitive to our Jewish tradition, touched me deeply.” Rabbi Cattapan is a great choice for Beth Torah. He understands who we are, and shares the values and priorities we identified as we worked through the Interim Process. He brings enormous energy and enthusiasm for Judaism, a spirit of innovation, and a commitment to partnering with the board, staff and congregation, as we move forward to the next stage of Beth Torah. Rabbi Cattapan was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1998. Currently, he is the Rabbi at Congregation Achduth Vesholom in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Previously, he was the Rabbi at Temple Beth Israel-Shaare Zedeck in Lima, Ohio. He has been Visiting Assistant Professor and Teaching Assistant of Hebrew at Miami University, HUC-JIR and Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina. Rabbi Cattapan is a native of Buenos Aires. He will be moving to the Kansas City area with his husband, Kris Gray, and they are looking forward to arriving in July and becoming a part of Beth Torah’s family. Special thanks to the Rabbi Search Committee for their hard work and commitment to finding an excellent rabbi for Beth Torah. Also thanks to Rabbi Shapiro for helping us work our way through the Interim Process of learning about ourselves, so we could select the right rabbi. And thanks to our congregation, who actively participated in the rabbi search process, warmly welcoming our candidates. Shabbat Shalom, Linda Zappulla, President, Board of Trustees Shanna Haun and Barry Katz, co-chairs, Rabbi Search Committee
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Volunteering at Beth Torah Over the last few years, you may have noticed emails from “SignUpGenius” and you either took a risk and opened the link or just deleted it. You may have received an email from Congregation Beth Torah with a link to a SignUp Genius form. Many of you have been using it and enjoying the benefits (listed below) for a long time. Others have no idea of how or why this tool can be helpful to you. Beth Torah has always taken great pride in providing activities that connect our members to projects for our own benefit or to help others. Filling volunteer opportunities isn’t usually a challenge, but we are definitely not reaching as many folks as we would like. In an effort to streamline this process for both our volunteers and the office staff and lay leadership, we have decided to use this tool exclusively in the future. NOW-what does that mean for YOU? Here are some answers to help you learn why you should use it. What is Sign Up Genius?
It’s a FREE online tool for volunteer management and event planning.
What are the benefits? • You can sign up at your convenience (24/7), no more worrying about when the office is open. • You can see who else is volunteering and choose to work with a friend or with someone you’d like to know better. • It prevents too many volunteers for one slot or activity while others still need help. • It has an easy “swap” tool if you find that life gets in the way and you need to trade slots. • It automatically sends you a reminder of your commitment. What about privacy?
You don’t have to give your phone number or other personal information.
Do I need to establish an account with SignUp Genius? An account is not required, but if you wish to establish one, you can check back and see all of your commitments in one place. How do I access the SignUp Genius when I want to volunteer? 1) You will receive an email from the Beth Torah Office with a short description of the event or need that includes a link directly to the Sign Up Genius for that activity. 2) The link will also appear in CBT E-News and on our website in a few locations. It will be accessible from the activity and also from the “Member Services” tab. This location will include a complete list of all activities and volunteer opportunities in one place! What if, after reading this information, you still don’t feel comfortable using an online tool? Simply call the Beth Torah Office and a member of our awesome office staff will sign you up! You’ll still receive the reminder from SignUpGenius before the event. Do you still have questions? Feel free to call Marcia Rittmaster, Volunteer Coordinating Committee member, at (913) 6499524.
At our February Blood Drive, we registered 37 donors and collected 35 units of blood. There were two first-time donors! We met our collection goal! Did you know that each of the 35 pints of blood helps two hospital patients fight cancer, survive serious accidents and undergo surgery? Thanks to our Co-Chairs, Jeff Altman and Scott Franklin, for organizing and recruiting for our Blood Drives. Mark your calendars for our next drive which will be Wednesday, May 11th. Sign up at www.esavealife.org Giving blood is a sure way to save a life. www.beth-torah.org | Page 5
Laura Intfen, Director of Community Connections email@example.com
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” --Arthur C. Clarke It was magic. I used my Bluetooth on my phone, a remote blue tooth speaker and the magic of the airwaves to play music in a room I wasn’t even in. Just push, push, push buttons on my phone and across the hall, the music played. Yep. I was pretty proud of myself. So, I was not surprised when the installers for the new door answering system told us at the office how technologically advanced we are here at Beth Torah. If he only knew… Okay, so we really are not that technologically advanced. I’m sure there are a hundred things that we could do faster, easier, and with more modern signatures, but hey, we are getting there. I’d like to share with you a couple of technological leaps we have taken during the month of February of the leap year of 2016. Here’s what’s new: Outside the building-We have the fob system under control now. If you are having any trouble with your fob, stop at the office and let me know. The bugs have been worked out and I have not heard of any issues since our repair. Our door answering system has been upgraded so that the staff can answer the door (front and back) from our computers and even our phones. This means no more long waits in the cold or the rain for our guests or members who have forgotten their fobs. Our Security Committee Chair Person, Bob Milgrim, has made sure that we have remained safe and yet as warm and welcoming as we can be. Thanks, Bob, for keeping us up to date, safely. Inside the building-You received an Email from us letting you know that we have a “members only” section on our website now and you can find all kinds of wonderful things on it. I hope you have logged in and checked to make sure we have all the “up to date” info on you. Is the phone number we have for you that old land line that you got rid of five years ago? Is the Email address we have the best way to reach you? You can even check your yahrtzeit list to make sure that we have everyone you want to remember on your list. Also, there is the financial side of this wonderful new tool. You can see your statement, pay for a particular charge, or pay the whole thing. If you would like to make a donation, the easiest way is to go in through the “Members Only” side and do so through your account. The newest section of this upgrade is the Members Only document section. Look for articles, notices from the board, forms you may need, and other such pages that are just for your eyes, because you are part of the Beth Torah community. But the best part of this new corner of the Internet is the Member Directory. You can look up your friend, your child’s friend, your neighbor, or any of our community that you would like to connect with. We are hoping to add the ability for you to upload pictures onto this section soon. If you would like to opt out of this Members Only Online service, or if you did not get your sign on information, or if you are having trouble accessing this magic, contact us at the office. Our IT magicians, Sharon Altman and Barb Kitt, will be here to help you navigate. What’s next for us? Who knows? But I can’t wait to see. Have a great March and let’s get together on Friday night or Shabbat morning some time. There is a whole community here ready to interact with you. Old world style... face to face.
Join us for worship Friday night, April 15th, at 6:30 p.m. As part of the community Seven Days Event, Mindy Corporon will be speaking at Beth Torah during worship on: “Life: A Good Thing to Give.” Check out our website for more information.
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WANTED. Golfer to co-chair the annual Beth Torah Golf Tournament, scheduled this year at Brookridge Golf and Fitness on August 15th. Thank you again.
Financial Update Even though it is still winter and just March of 2016, the Finance Committee has been meeting to discuss a budget for the next fiscal year-that starts July 1, 2016! Our fiscal years run from July through June so in order to have a budget that can be presented to the Congregation in May for approval, the budgeting process was started in January. One step in that budget process is to project what the finances will look like in the next few months as we finish this current fiscal year. Expenditures are relatively easy to predict, for the most part those are items that are controllable. However, it is more difficult to predict the timing of commitments paid by the Congregation. Many of you have chosen to pay your commitments monthly by allowing us to either charge your credit card or sweep your bank account. This allows for a much more predictable cash flow and is the preferred method for paying those commitments. If you are not set up for an automatic payment of your commitments we strongly urge you to consider that. If you are interested please contact Todd Janvrin (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Barbara Kitt (email@example.com) to get set up. PLEASE REVIEW YOUR STATEMENTS that are sent to you on a monthly basis-you either get a paper copy or most of you get an electronic copy sent through Email. You can also see your account balance on our new on-line member access. That will show you what commitments have been charged to you, what you have paid, and what you still have outstanding. For budgeting purposes I cannot stress enough how important it is that you either pay what is outstanding or have a plan to pay these charges in full by June 30th of this year. A couple things about your statement: First, the statement does not identify whether or not you are on an automatic payment. You might think your commitments are being paid automatically, but if you donâ€™t see that outstanding balance declining, it is not currently being paid automatically. Please contact one of us. Second, while your commitments may be set up for automatic payments, we do not automatically charge other outstanding items (such as sponsorships) on your credit card unless you specifically have told us to do so for that item.) Thank you for your continuing support of Congregation Beth Torah. None of what we do here at Beth Torah or what is done out in the community can be done without you. Todd L. Janvrin Director of Finance
What celebrations do YOU have coming up at Beth torah?
Spread the Joy:
Sponsor a breakfast or some fancy shmancy creamers for our Sunday morning breakfasts. Purchase a leaf on our Tree of Life in the Ulam. Sponsor a Nosh for an Erev Shabbat Friday night worship. Contact the Beth Torah office to take an opportunity to spread the joy!
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Adult Education & Special Programs Bringing Adult Education To You Discussion on the Writings of the Torah Join the community in discussion on Shabbat morning, 9:00 to 10:15 a.m. in the Library. Jewish Book Club Contact Rabbi Shapiro to be a part of our Jewish Literature discussion group. On Monday, March 28th, at 7:00 p.m., we will discuss: The Retrospective by A.B. Yehoshua, Saturday Night at the Movies Join your community for an exploration of the Israeli feature films of the past 50+ years. Each film will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Beth Torah Ulam and be followed by a discussion led by Rabbi Shapiro. Join us on Saturday, March 19th, for a viewing of “Waltz with Bashir”. Ray Davidson Yiddish Circle If you haven’t yet visited the wonderful “Yiddish Circle for Learning” at Congregation Beth Torah, you’re missing a treat. Come to Beth Torah each Friday at noon until 1:30 p.m. Bring your lunch if you’d like. Stay-N-Play Board Games At Stay-N-Play following Services on Friday evening, March 25th, you can stay to play board games with our community. Bring your friends and any games you want to play or just come and learn some new games. Thank you to Stu Lewis and Andrea Zwibelman for stepping up to be the new coordinators of this growing group. Wisdom on Wednesdays To honor the memory of Rabbi Eugene Borowitz-Reform theologian, philosopher, author, and teacher-the Wisdom on Wednesday crew will be exploring some of his many writings. Join us any Wednesday at noon in the Bride’s Room for lunch and conversation; or from 12:30-1:30 p.m. for study and discussion. Lunch with the Rabbi Join Rabbi Shapiro this month for some lunch and some learning at our next Lunch with the Rabbi on Thursday, March 17th, 12:00-1:30 p.m. in the Library. Bring your own lunch or call the office at (913) 498-2212 to order a sandwich.
Sarah Shaw BTTY President 2015-2016 Hi all! February was a lot of fun in BTTY; we went to reStart and cooked dinner for over 70 people! The weekend after that we had fun sorting dry foods at Harvesters. Then on the last Friday of the month, we had a cake-lounge night that was pretty awesome. Coming up on March 5th, we are going to go to Pinstripes. We are going to meet at Beth Torah in the youth lounge at 5:30 p.m. for some pizza and Havdalah. Pick up is around 7:20 p.m. I am super excited about this and I hope you are too. P.S.: Spring Chavarah is coming up fast. If you are interested or have any questions, come to me, Zach Zwiebleman, or anyone on the BTTY board for information. Hope to see you soon! -Prez Sarah www.beth-torah.org | Page 8
Bridey Stangler, Director of Education Bstangler@beth-torah.org
I’m sure that many of you may agree that, sometimes, our lives have the feel of being run by machines. Many of our waking hours, after all, are spent with eyes on screens, navigating our workplaces and relationships with electronic finesse. And when they are not, what are we doing? Where are we? The gas stations, shopping malls, and restaurants we patronizecombined, aren’t they the mechanized heart of our first-world economy? We are Jews who embrace the complexities of an ancient religion in a modern world, and I have no desire to shake off the conveniences that come with being Reform. But not too long ago, the writer Amos Oz said “... Shabbat nowadays is either a religious one in synagogues or spent in shopping centers. I regret that.” He was speaking specifically about Shabbat in Israel, but it sure strikes a chord. The question for me, a Reform Jew, who drives, spends money, and listens to music on Shabbat (and likes it!), is this: can the ancient custom of Shabbat serve as a break against the machines into which we endlessly put our time and attention? And some of you have said yes. Yes! Shabbat is the time for that full stop! Some of you have accepted the Shabbat Mission - the actual paper packet, a fresh one of which has been created for each of the last seven weeks. And then some of you are thinking, “what on earth is she talking about?” Each week at Beth Torah, a Shabbat learning opportunity awaits you. It’s in a big envelope, displayed in the Ulam for anyone and everyone to take. Inside are materials appropriate for people of all different ages including art to put on your fridge or bulletin board, a short story, a news article, and corresponding questions and activities. Everything inside this magical envelope relates to a theme: Chesed (kindness), Peleh (wonder), Nes (miracles). I say it’s magical, because that’s what Shabbat is: it’s a sudden stillness. And these Shabbat Missions (called this to create a little mystery for the kiddos) allow you to cease, if only for a few minutes, from the constant input and output of machines. The Shabbat Mission asks for sincere, open, human connection. Zionist thinker Ahad Ha’am said it well: “More than the Jews have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews.” He didn’t just mean it ritualistically. It wasn’t just about the preservation of Jewish tradition. Shabbat is a night and a day out of time when all of us can set aside our jobs and devices, our wallets and car keys, for only a few minutes to study, to speak, and to smile. Face to face. Shabbat Mission packets are available in the Ulam of Beth Torah. New ones are handed out Sunday through Friday in preparation for Shabbat. Pick yours today, and enjoy a few minutes of human connection this Shabbat.
Stay Connected at Beth Torah: Visit our website: www.beth-torah.org Follow us on Twitter: @BethTorah Join us on Facebook: Congregation Beth Torah or Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you the links!
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March 2016 B’nai Mitzvah Bat Mitzvah of Kaia Schwartz Kaia Schwartz, daughter of Rob Schwartz and Judi Field-Schwartz, will celebrate her Bat Mitzvah at Shabbat worship on Saturday, March 5, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. Kaia is in the seventh grade at Harmony Middle School. She is passionate about singing and spending time with her friends and family. The family looks forward to seeing the Beth Torah community at worship and invites the community to a Kiddush with desserts following services.
Community-wide Purim ‘Seudah’* *Festive meal
le m e who me! ate th o Celebr ages welc All
Thursday, March 24, 2016 10:00 a.m. at Village Shalom 5500 W. 123rd St., Overland Park, KS
Join area clergy for:
• Continental Brunch • Music/Sing-along • Interactive Purim Study • • Assemble Shalach Manot Gift Bags • and Much More! • Wear a costume (optional) • Bring a canned good for the JFS Food Pantry • Stay for the Megillah reading!
Attendance is FREE OF CHARGE, but reservations are required. RSVP no later than March 21st by email: email@example.com, or phone: 913-327-4622. Indicate the number of people attending and the name of each person. For additional information, visit kcrabbis.org. Sponsored by the Rabbinical Association of Greater Kansas City in collaboration with Village Shalom and congregations, and generously funded by the Flo Harris Supporting Foundation of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City.
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Passover Food Drive
Hunger never takes a holiday. As we approach the season of Passover, there will be hundreds among us who will struggle to put food on the table let alone those special items to celebrate a Seder. More than 160 families will be helped through your participation in the Passover Food Drive. Beth Torah will be collecting Matzah Meal and Grape Juice. All packaged items should be labeled “kosher for Passover.” Drop off items at your congregation through April 15th. Monetary donations are also being accepted by check or online through the JFS site http://www. jfskc.org/; funds are used to purchase food items to include in the holiday food packages. By participating in the Passover Food Drive you are putting into action the traditional words of the Haggadah, “let all who are hungry come and eat.” There is a variety of volunteer opportunities available in connection with the Passover Holiday Food Drive. If you or someone you know wants to volunteer, please call (913) 730-1410 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leadership Raise Your Hand to Get Involved in Leadership at Beth Torah! Hello Beth Torah Members, Every year at this time, the Nominating Committee is activated to develop the slate of officers and members of the Board of Trustees, to be voted on at the Annual Meeting. The Nominating Committee consists of three board members and three non-board members. (Nominating Committee members cannot be proposed as officers or new members of the board.) Throughout the year, Board leadership is looking for their own successors. Sometimes we need particular skills or need to add people who reflect the demographics of the membership. We become aware of people who have been involved in Beth Torah activities, taken a leadership role in a program or committee or expressed interest in joining the Board. But we may not know of YOUR interest and skills. Please let us know if you are interested in being considered for the Board or in getting involved in another leadership role. With so many changes, there is so much opportunity to influence the future of Beth Torah so please consider stepping forward into leadership. Realize that it may take time to work your way into the ultimate leadership role you want, but getting started is equally important. We need your professional skills, your interest and commitment and your love for the community we call Beth Torah. Please contact me directly with your interests. I look forward to hearing from you! Michelle Cole, Nominating Committee Chair and Immediate Past President, Board of Trustees (913) 940-0939 email@example.com
Thank you to our 2016 reStart Volunteers!!!! A special thank you to Scott Franklin for all his hard work coordinating the volunteers for the January month at reStart! A true mitzvah for our community. Jeanne & Dan Adler, Sharon & Jeff Altman, Bass Family, Joan & Pete Cabell, Carroll Family, Chase Family, Amie Crane, Jackson & Jonathan Crane, Sarah Derks, Marie Difilippo, Carol Ducak, Emert Family, Brandi Fisher, Shoshana Fisher, Forman-Wright Family, Yali Franklin, Amy & Scott Franklin, Frumkin Family, Martha Gershun & Don Goldman, Tess Gerson, Deb Gill, Lindsay Gill, Sara Glass & Family, Henri Goettel, Goldstein Family, Hammontree Family, Chad Hansford, Hanson Family, Jo-Ann Harris, Hendrikse Family, Laura & Tim Intfen, Kershenbaum Family, Sydney Kitt, Kivett Family, Stephanie Kolb, John Lantos, Kacy & Mark Levin, Gail & Richard Lozoff, Asa Maker, Eli Maker, Milgrim Family, Kerry Miller Family, Andie & Cliff Neuman, Robin & Rod Oâ€™Bryan, Jordan Patt-Rappaport, Aden PattRappaport, Rope Family, Gary & Amy Shaw, Sarah Shaw, Jacob Shaw, Shniderson Family, SueAnn Strom, Ellen Taylor, Waxman Family, Wolock Family, Nancy & Jay Yedlin, Zack Zwibelman
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The Gift Shop at Beth Torah Kosher Passover Candies Available at the Gift Shop at Congregation Beth Torah! It is time to place your order for Kosher Passover Candies from Barton’s Chocolatier. The Gift Shop at Congregation Beth Torah is the exclusive seller of Barton’s Candies and Confections through their fundraising division, “Miss Chocolate”, and is accepting prepaid orders from now through March 24th. The Gift Shop at Congregation Beth Torah is the only shop in the Kansas City metropolitan area who will be selling Barton’s candies again this season. Please remember our Gift Shop will have a limited supply in our store, which will be sold only while supplies last, so a prepaid order is the best way to guarantee that you will have the candies you like for Passover. I realize that Passover is not until April 22nd but it is always good to plan ahead. During the month of January, the Gift Shop has a raffle to benefit a social justice project. Congratulations to Denise Ellenberg who won our Social Justice Raffle! Denise will have a donation made to a social justice project of her choosing. Shalom, Kelly Kaplan
Gift Shop Winter Hours are: Sunday 9:00 to 12:30 p.m. (during religious school), Monday 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., Wednesday and Friday 10:00 a.m. to noon or by appointment: call Kelly at (913) 498-1474.
J Camp at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City The Jewish Community Center has two summer day camp options. The Child Development Center (CDC) Camp provides activities for children 2 years to 5-years-old, and J Camp is open to youth entering 1st through 8th grade. The day camp sessions are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. from June 6th through August 5th. Extended care is available. Exciting summer activities include swimming, sports, drama, crafts, archery, tennis, field trips and special events. Barney Goodman Camp offers a variety of summer camp fun. Specialty camps include Sports, Theatre, Art, Dance, LEGO and Triathlon Camp. Youth do not have to be members of The J to attend, but we do have Member pricing and summer memberships. J Camp programming infuses Jewish values, the love of Israel and a sense of Jewish heritage in campers. In addition, the J Camp Shlichim (Israeli Emissaries) enrich the camp experience with Israeli cultural activities. Many of our staff were once campers at The J, so they understand the long-term impact of positive role models, fun activities and unbeatable Camp ruach (spirit). J Camp is accredited by the American Camp Association. Enrollment is underway and an 8% early enrollment discount is available through April 1st. Find out more and enroll online at www.JcampKC.org or call (913) 327-8079. Kelly Somberg J Camp Administrative Assistant - Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City
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Emily Tummons, Music Director Emily@beth-torah.org
New Moon Lab This month the music program invites you to participate in Beth Torah’s first official New Moon Lab, Saturday, March 12th, at 6:30 p.m. On a Saturday night early on in the Jewish month, usually the first one, we will get together at Beth Torah, make Havdalah together, go outside and look at the waxing moon, and recite a blessing that praises God for the new moon. Throughout the session, bits of learning and discussion will be woven in, as will songs and prayers about going to sleep in peace. Here is an English version of the blessing for the new moon (birkat hachodesh): Praised are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, who created the skies with Your word, and all heaven’s host with the breath of Your mouth. You gave them appointed times and roles, and they never miss their cues, doing their Creator’s bidding with gladness and joy. God is the true creator who acts faithfully, and God has told the moon to renew itself. It is a beautiful crown for the people carried by God from birth, who will likewise be renewed in the future in order to proclaim the beauty of their creator for God’s glorious majesty. Praised are You, Adonai, who renews new moons. The imagery in this blessing is lovely and profound. The moon is reminiscent of the Jewish people themselves. As the moon reappears to face its creator each month, so we can renew ourselves spiritually in greeting the Shechinah [the Divine Presence] each month, by partaking in this ancient tradition. Here’s an interesting bit of Talmud (Sanhedrin 42b): “Said Rabbi Aha bar Hanina in the name of Rabbi Asi in the name of Rabbi Yohanan: Reciting the blessing over the moon at the proper time is like greeting the Shechinah personally ... It was taught in the school of Rabbi Ishmael: If the Israelites were privileged to greet their father in heaven once a month, that would be enough for them. Said Abaye: Therefore we should say the blessing standing up (as though greeting God). Meremar and Mar Zutra went so far as to climb up on one another’s shoulders while saying the blessing.” We will probably not be climbing up onto each others’ shoulders in our New Moon Lab, but we will be exploring and experimenting a lot over these springtime months, making moments of joy right and left, and connectedness, peace, healing, and fun. The music team beta-tested this concept two times: once in November (for Kislev) and then again in February (for Adar). We called up 17 people to form two focus groups and incubate and shape this model before sharing it with the congregation. These folks filled out extensive surveys and gave our music team a lot of incredibly helpful feedback toward the formation of this new alternate gathering. Thank you guys! If you have questions about the ins and outs of this gathering, please talk with me anytime, or talk with one of the people: Todd Davisson, Jill Fine, Mike Fine, Sam Fine, Doug Greenwald, Barbara Gutierrez, Jesús Gutierrez, Tim Intfen, Julie Kaplan, Alisa Kartch, Kacy Childs Levin, Karen Loggia, Ann Shepherd, David Spizman, SueAnn Strom, Bonnie & Mickey Swade, and Becky Toniazzo.
Here are the dates for our first three New Moon Labs: Saturday, March 12th: 7:30 -- 8:30 p.m. Saturday, April 16th: 7:30 -- 8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 14th: 7:30 -- 8:30 p.m. Please Email me if you would like to sign up: firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign-ups are needed by the Monday before each New Moon Lab, so we can be sure to save a seat for you. Snacks and babysitting are provided. “Whatever it is that lies out there beyond our knowing, and which leaves us speechless before it in our witness, it is the source of the energy and the conviction we need to do what’s needed, which is to take care of each other.” --Barry Lopez
Make Music With Us
There are gateways galore for you to get involved in the Beth Torah music program. Call or Email Emily if you play an instrument or like to sing: email@example.com. Our Men’s Group, Women’s Group, and Kids Choir rehearse seasonally on Sunday mornings, and our Adult Choir, under the direction of Carmen Dieker, rehearses seasonally on Wednesday evenings. All are welcome.
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New Moon Lab Gather with friends and family to make Havdalah, say the blessing of the new moon, learn, talk, contemplate, and sing.
Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Adar: March 12th Nisan: April 16th Iyar: May 14th Congregation Beth Torah 6100 W. 127th Street Overland Park, Kansas
Email Emily Tummons (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details and to sign up. RSVPs are needed no later than the Monday before each event. Babysitting and snacks are provided. The session is just shy of one hour. Everybody is welcome. www.beth-torah.org
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Contributions Beth Torah General Fund In Memory Of:
Naum Mintskovsky Felix Mintskovsky Irving Muller Fran & Whitey Kuhn Jean Kessler Bill & Charlotte Kessler Bernard Eichler Jim & Kelly Kaplan Sheldon Roodman Allison Roodman David Goldstein Brita Horowitz Denise Holsberger Tina Lewis Charles Wasserman Rita Stark
Hunger Fund In Memory Of:
William Elfanbaum Rita Stark Babe Giacone Julie Chesis Sadie Ozar Issy & Leslie Ozar Stephanie Elyachar Ethyl Portman Edward Goldstein Gail Goldstein Sid & Evelyn Antin Cherie Fasbinder Meyer Kreitman Joe & Bobbie Levy
Educating our Future Fund In Memory Of:
Brad Weiner Elizabeth Deister Hammontree family
In Honor Of:
In Honor Of:
Ilan Steigmanâ€™s birthday Shaefer Spizman
Religious School Fund In Honor Of:
The Conversion of Ashley Woolf Denise, Steve & Blaire Ellenberg
Choir Fund In Honor Of:
Wonderful Shabbat Worship Anonymous
Youth Activities Fund In Memory Of:
Dorothy Chapman Paul Chapman Richard G. Hendler Glen & Joyce Goldstein
The beautiful family of Hal & Carol Sader Eric & Rosana Caplan
Rabbi Shapiro Discretionary Fund In Memory Of:
Lloyd Cunningham Ron & Jo Ann Ginson
In Honor Of:
Wonderful Shabbat Worship Anonymous
Rabbi Levin Discretionary Fund Joe Waxman
In Memory Of:
Jack Osman Stan Osman Jerry Shapiro Barry & Chris Shapiro Otto Hirsch Bill & Charlotte Kessler Eugene Pikovsky Doug & Rowene Bossart Abraham Levitt Mildred Swernovsky Harry Levitt Pauline Handleman Bob Handleman Sheldon Roodman Marie Difilippo
CBT Fund for Families in Need In Memory Of: Helen Zipper Ron Zipper
Sponsorships: March 4th/5th: Nosh, Pulpit flowers and a Dessert Kiddush sponsored by Rob Schwartz and Judi Field-Schwartz in honor of the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter Kaia Schwartz. www.beth-torah.org | Page 15
Community Events Bagels and Babies Sunday, March 6th, 10:30 a.m. Calling all babies ages 0-18 months old! Meet other parents at the same stage of life as your family, find out about activities and resources in the Jewish community, enjoy a bagel bar and snacks. Join us for a baby shower like no other! Click here for more information. Melton -- Bereshit I - From Adam to Abraham: The First 20 Generations This ten-lesson course is from the renowned Melton Scholars Curriculum. It will be taught at Village Shalom, using traditional texts, historical documents, interactive discussion, and engaging insights from Rabbi Glickman. Feel free to pick up lunch from Rachel’s Café or bring your own dairy sack lunch. This class explores the stories that take us from the universal creation of the world, to themes of family and faith, honor and dishonor, passion and power which provide a rich exploration of our people and ourselves. Date: March 17-June 2, 2016 (10 sessions) 1:00-2:30 p.m. at Village Shalom, 5500 W. 123rd Street, Leawood, KS 66209 Tuition: Thanks to the generosity of Congregation Beth Shalom, this course is offered at a special rate of $150/student + materials for the first 15 students enrolled. Limited scholarships available. A collaboration of Congregation Beth Shalom, Melton@HBHA, and Village Shalom. Register at www.events.org/MeltonKansasCity, or contact Melton Director, Annie Glickman, with questions at aglickman@ meltonschool.org. The Melton School in Kansas City receives funding from Menorah Legacy Foundation, Jewish Heritage Foundations and the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City-Circle of Chai Group. The Melton School is also generously supported by Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, along with consortium partners Congregation BIAV, Congregation Beth Shalom, Village Shalom and a number of individual donors who have pledged to support Melton at HBHA. The Melton School is a department of HBHA. Older Adults: Edible Trends in Container Gardening Older adults are invited to hear speaker Merle Sharpe, retired landscape designer and Master Gardener, on Thursday, March 17th, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. Sharpe will inspire you with “Containers Pretty Enough to Eat” and “Growing Micro Greens”, both growing trends in home gardening that work well in containers and small spaces. This talk will cover the basics of container gardening, easy plant combinations, and tips to make it easier for the mature gardener. This presentation is co-sponsored by Older Adult Initiatives of Jewish Family Services and the Heritage Center of The J. The program takes place in the board room of the Jewish Community Campus, 5801 W. 115th Street, Overland Park. While the program is free, reservations are required by contacting Deb Brown at (913)-3278044 or emailing her at email@example.com. Grief Support Available Jewish Family Services hosts a Grief and Loss Support Group that meets the first and third Wednesday each month, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. at Village Shalom. The support group is for individuals grieving from the death of a spousal partner or significant other. The group, which is free, provides the opportunity to address issues of loss and grief within a Jewish spiritual context in a warm and confidential environment. The group is co-facilitated by Rabbi Mark Levin and Roger Goldblatt, a licensed clinical social worker. To register for this support group or for more information, please contact Goldblatt at (913) 730-1422 or firstname.lastname@example.org. One Call to Volunteer Jewish Family Services has centralized its volunteer opportunities! JFS recruits new volunteers throughout the year – and we want you to sign up. YOU can make a difference in someone’s life by volunteering as little as once a month. All you need to do is send an Email to email@example.com or call (913) 730-1410. JFS has numerous volunteer opportunities in its various programs and services including older adult programs like JET Express and Help@Home, the food pantry and holiday projects. Give just a little and get so much in return. LINK: http://www.jfskc.org/volunteer/ WANTED: Drivers for JET Express A program of Jewish Family Services, JET Express provides rides for older adults who no longer drive, taking them to the places they need to go. Whether it’s to the doctor’s office, shopping, to synagogue or church, or to meet a group of friends for a social outing, JET Express is helping older adults stay independent longer, and the volunteers who help them feel like they make a difference in someone’s life. Because of increased demand, JET Express is looking for new volunteer drivers. Becoming a volunteer is convenient, flexible and rewarding. Volunteer drivers choose when, where and who they drive. Volunteer drivers choose how often they want to provide rides, whether it’s once a month or every week. Volunteer requirements are minimal: you must be 21, have your own vehicle to drive and hold a valid driver’s license and have current auto insurance coverage. Drivers participate in a short training before they begin driving. If you’re interested in volunteering for JET Express, please call (913) 730-1410. http://www.jfskc.org/recruiting-drivers-for-jet-express/
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Click here to see the March Calendar on our website: www.beth-torah.org
Beth Torah members supporting one another through life’s health care challenges.
To make a referral or to volunteer, contact: Beth Torah (913) 498-2212 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Save the date for our “Spring Session,” a concert featuring 100% local, organic, original Jewish songs, all homegrown right here in Kansas City:
Sunday, April 3rd, 2:30 p.m. Did you know that Beth Torah has songwriters sprouting up right and left? About a dozen CBT-ers will be performing their own works or the works of their friends at this spring concert. They are excited to share their creations with you all. We are also welcoming to the stage several rabbis, hazzans, and other stellar musicians from our sister congregations: Ohev Sholom, Kehilath Israel, Beth Shalom, B’nai Jehudah, Kol Ami, and more. We are excited to offer all these musicians a spotlight for their compositions and talent. Beth Torah’s ensembles will also be showcased, including the Men’s Group, the Young Adult Group, the Adult Choir, the Women’s Group, and others. For the concert, there is a small suggested donation of $5-10, to help offset the costs of producing the event. You can make a difference. Come out and support your local Jewish songwriters, because their survival and growth as composers are in your hands.
Save the Date: May 6th for our Hatikvah Sermon-in-Song! www.beth-torah.org | Page 17