THE VOICE TEMPLE BETH ABRAHAM, 1301 WASHINGTON STREET, CANTON, MA 02021 PUBLISHED BI-MONTHLY ADAR -IYAR 5769 / MARCH - APRIL ISSUE NO. 4
Staying Connected at TBA Online Technology can be a blessing and curse. There are so many times when I need to just get away from the Internet and email. There are other times when the Internet has made my life immensely more convenient. One of the blessings of the Internet is information sharing. In an instant, we can share and receive information about breaking news, upcoming programs, new teachings and so much more. Another blessing of the Internet is in how it can allow us to stay connected even though we may not see each other in person as often as we’d like. In the past year alone, I’ve reconnected with high school friends that I hadn’t spoken to in over twenty years on Facebook, a popular social networking website. As Temple Beth Abraham continues to find ways to keep up with all of the technology available to us, we are proud to announce our brand new website at www.templebethabraham.org. In addition to providing you with up-to-date information on all of
our programs, including a full temple calendar – the new website allows us to stay connected as we never have before. By joining the website, members of Temple Beth Abraham can now upload pictures and videos to share with the community, share lifecycle celebrations, and even chat, in real time, with other temple members. Temple Beth Abraham online also allows each of us to have a voice in conversations (forums) on topics ranging from the situation in Israel and the Middle East to our new President and his administration. Do you have things around the house that you’d like to give away, or do you need something specific but don’t want to run out and buy a new one? At www.templebethabraham.org you can post your “Have’s and Need’s.” If you are like many who are intimidated by new technology and the Internet, have no fear. Featured on the website is a sixminute video showing you around (continued on page 3)
Minyans are Sunday-Thursday, 7:30 p.m. Minyan calendars are enclosed. If you can’t go on your scheduled night, please find someone to cover for you.
The synagogue would like to be informed about all important events and occasions, including births, weddings, etc., as well as illnesses and deaths. Please notify the office at (781) 828-5250.
Join us for our annual Purim Celebration Monday, March 9 Our Purim Carnival will start the day, 4:00-6:00 p.m., at the temple. It will be followed by a Family Megillah reading and costume parade 6:00-7:00 p.m. This is when we will give out the coveted, “My Costume is Better Than Rabbi David’s Costume” Contest Award. At 7 p.m., TBA’s Purim shpielers present “Shushan Idol”, when we choose our first Shusan Idol. Your vote counts. Finally, after Hamantaschen at 8:00 p.m., we will read D’ganza Megillah (the whole Megillah). Don’t forget to pick up your purim baskets on Purim.
Rabbi David’s Message: Enough Like so many of you and other Americans, my family has been hit hard by the failing economy. Many of us have had to make difficult decisions about what is most important to us: Do we pay down our credit cards or take that much needed vacation; do we contribute to our favorite charity or replenish our savings account; do we get our children or grandchildren that gift that they have been wanting or save our extra dollars for their future? While these decisions are more pressing now than they have perhaps been at other times – the questions themselves are not new. The decisions we are forced to make about our finances now are much the same as the questions that we make each day about our life’s priorities – what is important enough to me that I will give my hard-earned dollar, my limited time, my depleted energy? When we make these decisions, we often look for outside factors to justify our choices – I don’t go the gym, because I don’t have time; I won’t donate this year because I need that new piece of furniture. What matters about these decisions is not the choice we make, but the recognition that we are making a choice. And equally important is the realization that the choices we make are not because of these outside influences, but instead, because of what is most important to us. If I don’t go to the gym, it’s not because I don’t have the time - it’s because it is more important to me to spend my time elsewhere. If I don’t contribute this year, it’s not because I “need” new furniture – but because, at this point in my life, giving to myself is more important than giving to others. This is not positive or negative. 2
No one can judge whether the choices we make are inherently good or bad. What we can, and must do, though, is recognize, as our former President use to say, that we are the deciders. God has given us free will to determine the course of our lives; to make choices and to construct the matrix of what is most impor-tant to each of us. When times are difficult, either financially or otherwise, it is easy to see outside factors as influencing our decisions. While they surely do influence us – they do not control us. Influence is not control. As humans, we retain ultimate control over our own destiny and our own path. We have the capacity to make choices that are “good” in our lives. It is the knowledge that we are the shapers of our own destinies that demands that we pay close attention to the choices we make and the priorities that we assign in our lives. We cannot be fooled into believing that there is not enough time, not enough energy, not enough … We, in Canton, Sharon, or wherever we may live, are blessed enough that we should be able to say, even when we have difficult decisions to make, that we have “enough”. In the birkat hamazon, the grace after meals we sing, “Avraham, Yitzhak v’Ya’akov, bakol, mikol, kol.” This verse makes reference to our forefathers
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and three different Biblical verses in each of which one of our forebears acknowledges that he has “enough”. It would be a thoughtless mistake to suggest that there aren’t people, even in our own community, who are hurting terribly and who cannot honestly say that they have “enough”. For them we must extend a compassionate and generous hand. For the rest of us, these times call for us to examine the choices we make, what we “need” and what we “want”. These times teach us to appreciate again the Divine gift of free will and the responsibility to make good and right choices for our lives, for the lives of our families, for our community and our world. B’shalom, Rabbi David
From the Library What’s better than curling up in a chair on a cold, snowy day with a hot cup of cocoa and reading a great book? Thanks to your donations, we are able to offer you these books for your reading pleasure: Goodnight Sh’ma by is the Jewish version of Goodnight Moon. It ends with a transliteration of the Sh’ma and is a perfect child’s introduction to one of our most important prayers. Christopher’s Ghosts is a spy thriller whose story begins in Berlin, 1939 and flashes forward to 1959 and the exploits of a CIA operative. The Copper Scroll is another thriller. The theme is finding a scroll which gives plans for the building of the Third Temple. A (continued on page 4)
President’s Message This feels like the winter that will never end doesn’t it? Every day it’s either snowing or grey with freezing rain. Even on the days when the sun is shining brightly, and it looks as though it should be a little warmer, a trip outside soon turns our thoughts of warmth into icicles. The economic forecast isn’t a whole lot sunnier, and it seems as though there’s nothing but bad news every time you turn on the tv or radio or pick up a paper. I was thinking about how it seems so long ago that we heard Rabbi David’s sermons during the high holidays extolling the virtues of “joy”. It’s hard to be joyful when you think that everything around you is going badly. This very hard winter started me thinking about another word that’s been in the news a lot lately.
TBA Online (continued from page 1) our online home and explaining how to use all of its functions. There is no technology that can replace a face-to-face meeting, or even better, one that includes a hug or handshake, but for all those times we can’t be together – we can still stay connected at: www.templebethabraham.org. - Rabbi David
Hope. It was a major theme of our new President’s campaign, and it appears that it is continuing to resonate with people during these cold winter days. What a powerful word hope is. Without hope, we stumble into depression. Without hope, it’s hard to see how things will get better. Hope is a pretty vague word…there’s really no concrete definition. Hope is just …hope, different things to different people. Some would say it is “magical thinking,” but I say it’s the force that allows us to see past the bad times. It’s what enables someone to beat incredible odds. It’s what Mordechai had when he talked to Esther and told her to convince Ahasuerus to save the Jews from Haman’s plan to destroy them. That’s why Purim is such a joyful festival. It’s what Moses and the Jews had when they were finally able to leave Egypt. That’s why, although we remember our time as slaves in Egypt during Passover, the seder ends with the phrase “next year in Jerusalem”. It’s our hope as Jews that we will never be slaves again and that we will all have the joy of being back in Israel some day. Hope and Joy. The two really are intertwined and it’s hard to have one without the other. That’s kind of how I feel about Purim and Passover. They signal the beginning of spring and of hope and renewal. I want you to try and remember these words, as this winter winds down, because for every cold winter day, for every bad economic forecast, for every struggle you may have in your personal life, if you can hold on to hope, I believe that joy will surely follow. B’shalom, Marci Bernotas
Two Important Board Positions to be Filled As you all know, in these difficult times, the financial stability of our temple is of the utmost importance. We need to have members of the temple with financial/accounting backgrounds to help us maintain healthy records. We are currently looking for volunteers to fill two critical positions within our organization. The first is an Assistant Treasurer. This person will have the responsibility of entering our receipts and the bills from our vendors as well as generating vendor checks and our membership bills. This person will also be responsible for generating reports for our board meetings and for our committee chairs upon request. The Assistant Treasurer position should take no more than two-four hours a week, and you would be working closely with both the Treasurer and the Financial Secretary. A working knowledge of Quickbooks would be helpful. The other position is Financial Secretary. As many of you know, Lester Stein has been our Financial Secretary for the last five years. He has done a wonderful job of making sure that our membership, holiday appeal and Hebrew School bills go out and get paid. In addition, he has handled our hardship issues with compassion and discretion. But all good things come to an end, and Lester has informed us that at the end of this fiscal year, he will be stepping down as Financial Secretary. This is probably one of the most important volunteer positions within the temple, and we are looking for someone who has knowledge of our membership and some busi(continued on page 6) 3
Family Education Update Purim, which is March 9th this year, is one those tricky holidays, because it often gets lumped into the same category as Halloween. Sure both are a time when adults and children dress in costume, but that really is where it ends for having things in common. Halloween has its focus on death, while Purim celebrates life. Halloween is known for how much we can take from others, and Purim is about giving. While I will admit that both can be fun, Purim can be fun and meaningful. One way to make Purim meaningful is to give misloach manot (gift baskets) to friends, family and those in need. We make it easy at the temple, because you can order them already made each year or you can get creative and make your own. Another way to
Help Earn Cash for our School
You can help earn extra cash for the Ruth L. Diamond Religious School by collecting Box Tops for Education, found on selected products you use everyday – from food to household items. It’s easy – just look for the Box Tops for Education label, cut it out, and send it in to the office. If you have any questions, please contact Margie Kaplan at (781) 821-6272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 4
make Purim meaningful is to hear the Megillah being read. Matanot la’evyonim (gifts to the poor) is a custom during Purim to give at least two donations to organizations or needy individuals. It reminds us that celebrating is also about sharing with others. This is a great time to teach that lesson to our children. So what about the fun at Purim? How about the carnival filled with games, candy and prizes. Or the Shpiel with the fabulous TBA cast? Or at the very least, who can miss seeing Rabbi David in his crazy costumes each year. Purim is a holiday for young and old to enjoy. It is filled with great delight, but also we find meaning behind our actions. I look forward to sharing the celebration with you. Any guess on what the Rabbi, Judy, or myself will dress as? B’Shalom, Melissa Rudman Congregational Educator
Walk for Hunger Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger will be held on Sunday, May 3. Reach out to those in need by calling 1-800-645-8333. More than 522,000 people in Massachusetts are struggling to put food on the table.
Good & Welfare Mazel tov: Diane & Warren Foreman on their granddaughter, Jessi Foreman, being chosen to the 2009 United States Maccabiah Open Track and Field Team Marci and David Bernotas on the marriage of Marci’s son, Evan Chapman, to Catie McMillen
Condolences: Selma Masofsky on the loss of her husband Sherry Alpert on the death of her mother, Arline Alpert Sheila Levine on the death of her mother, Rose Hood Florence Goodman on the death of her sister, Rose Hood Dorothy Golub on the death of her brother, Edward Minkin To my friends: I want to thank you all so much for your kindness in cards, phone calls and generosity in donations in memory of my beloved husband, Ed. - Selma Masofsky
From the Library (continued from page 2) feat, which accomplished, could give rise to a war of biblical proportions. These books can be found in the Chapel book case. Just sign the card in the book and place it in the black box on the case. Thank you again for your donations. If there is a particular book you would like to see in our library, please let me know. Harriet Lavine Library Chairperson
TBA Needs Your Special Gifts for Many Needs You may sometimes ask how you can contribute to Temple Beth Abraham. You may also wonder how you can recognize that special friend or family experiencing a life cycle event such as a birthday, the birth of a child or grandchild, a marriage, or the loss of a family member. Your contributions to the temple, whether they be financial, contributions to existing funds, or gifts-in-kind, are appreciated. In the past two years, the temple was able to obtain several special gifts, including: * Automatic external defibrillator * Security system * Table-size Torah cover
* Yizkor Board * Storage shed and snowblower * Updated sanitizers for the kitchen * Multi-media projector * Prayerbooks This year, in consultation with members of the Temple community and the professional staff, a list of important needs for the temple has been developed. Each need has been priced by a vendor or craftsman, and the list reflects priorities definied by members and the professional staff of the Temple. There are many opportunities for one-time or ongoing contributions such as cards, religious school scholarships, Shabbat
kiddush, the Kirshner/Pearlstein Bereavement Fund, Passport to Israel Fund, and the Lusbader/ Babcock Holocaust Remembrance Fund. We have now launched two major projects: Torah Restoration and Silver Repair. Our three Torahs will each cost $1,500-$2,500. We have also established the Novick Cherenson Finkel Memorial Art Fund, established to beautify the silver Judaica of Temple Beth Abraham. Other items on the list for Special Gifts are: * Speaker system update, $4,990-$7,000. (continued on page 7)
recipE corner: Challah Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes. If seeds are not added, additional egg wash can be brushed on before baking.
By Amy May 2 packages ( 2 T) yeast 1/2 C sugar or honey 5-6 C Flour 2 tsp salt 1 C warm water 2 large eggs 1 egg white w/ 1 T water mixed in 1/4 C vegetable oil poppy, sesame, and flax seeds & coarse salt (optional) Dissolve the yeast and a pinch of sugar in the warm water. Let stand 10 minutes. The yeast should start to work and create a froth on the top of the mixture. Add the eggs, salt, sugar and oil. Mix well. Add flour 1 cup at a time. When you can no longer incorporate flour with a spoon, put the dough on a floured countertop.
This recipe came about as the result of several weeks of experimentation with a friend. We wanted a good challah recipe, and got together on several Fridays trying and adapting recipes we had. Knead for several minutes, incorporating more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Return to a bowl. Cover loosely. Let rise for one hour. Punch down. Split the dough in half. Braid one challah from each half. Place on a cookie sheet.
Over time I have made it my own, preferring to use honey over sugar, using white whole wheat flour, and putting a seed and coarse salt mixture on top. I always use a four-part braid, and if I am making it for a crowd, I make one large challah from this recipe.
Brush with egg white. Sprinkle with seeds and salt if desired (cover it well with seeds because the challah will get much bigger). Let rise uncovered 30 minutes.
If you have not made bread before, knowing when the dough is â€œrightâ€? can be difficult. Bread making is more of an art than a science. Hope you enjoy it. 5
Religious School Update This winter has been very busy for the Religious school. Over the Martin Luther King long weekend, several families from our Kitah Hay class braved the snowy weather to spend the day in New York City. Their stops included Ellis Island, The Jewish Heritage Museum, a stroll down Delancey Street, and a visit to the Lower Eastside Tenement museum. A special thanks goes out to Michelle Langmead for leading all on the trip. Kitah Aleph also had a special experience in January. We celebrated Havdalah together at the home of Shari and Jonathan Goldstein. The children made their own Havdalah kits that can now be used weekly in their own homes. Something magical happened that night when the parents decided that the evening was such fun that they should continue this
potluck Havdalah once a month on their own. February started off great with a Family Learning Sunday. The theme for the Sunday was Tu B’Shavat. The families were divided into groups, and the teachers shared their creativity and knowledge with them. If you popped your head in, you could see everything from recycling projects to bird feeders being made. The Religious school Zimriyah was also held in February. On a cold winter night there is nothing that warms one’s heart like listening to our children’s beautiful voices. Important dates to keep in mind: * March 1st Family Learning * March 6th Bet Chagigat HaSiddur * March 9th Purim celebration B’Shalom, Vaad Limud
Two Board Positions to be filled (continued from page 3) ness or accounting experience (although this isn’t mandatory). Lester will work closely with you for the remainder of this year so that you can see exactly what he does, and he promised to be available for any questions after his term ends. I know that it’s easy to look at this notice and say “someone else will do this”. However, without volunteers for these positions, we cannot effectively run the “business” end of the temple, and without the business end, it’s more difficult to have room for the spiritual end. If Temple Beth Abraham is important to you and your family, please call me at 617-549-5522, or email me at: 6
email@example.com. Let me know that you are willing to be part of helping us have a healthy synagogue for many years to come. In appreciation, Marci Bernotas President
TBA Book Group The TBA Book Group will meet as follows: Monday, March 23 - My Enemy’s Cradle by Sara Young at TBA hosted by Laina Levine. Monday, April 27 - A Woman in Jerusalem by A.B. Yehoshua, home of Gayle Feldman.
Passport to Israel The Passport to Israel Program is a wonderful program which helps everyone to send his/ her children to Israel so that they may connect with their people and charge their Jewish souls. I know your children will benefit from this program. You may enroll your child in the third or seventh grade. You contribute a fully refundable $200 for seven years if your child is in the third grade for a total of $1,400 or $400 for three years for a total of $1200 if your child is in the seventh grade. These funds, plus all interest earned plus $700 from CJP and $150-$175 from the Temple ($25 per year if your child enters in the third grade or $50 per year if your child enters in the seventh grade) can be used on a variety of programs, four weeks or longer in Israel, such as camp or USY trips, while your child is in high school. (Sorry no short family visits to Aunt Sophie in Natanya will be subsidized.) Even college programs that are now approved. Just fill out an application form in the TBA office and send it to with a check made out to Temple Beth Abraham for $200 or $400. This is really a no-brainer. Twenty-one of your fellow temple members are now enrolled. Two of my children were the first to use Passport to Israel from TBA. I cannot tell you how profound an impact this four-six week program had on them, my wife Lesley and me. It would have been difficult if I had to come up with all the money for their trips at once. Israel is ready to be rediscovered by all of us in the Galut. Please, do not deny your child this fantastic opportunity. Michael Shain, Chairman Passport to Israel
Find Your Inner Chef! Want to learn to cook like the pros? Looking for a fun afternoon out? Want to hang out with some fun people? Chef Kathy Kats and TBA will be hosting a series of Three Cooking Classes Sundays: March 1, 8 and 22 3:00-5:00 p.m. $100 per person $180 per couple
Classes are “hands-on” with a demo and come with samples, wine and recipes. Space is limited. Make your reservation now. Your payment is your reservation. Pay by check or go to Paypal link at TBA website www.TempleBethAbraham.org. Come join the culinary fun!
Class 1: Cooking 101 Basic Knife Skills Stocking your Pantry Spices and Herbs Black Bean Cakes and Guacamole Mini Zucchini Frittatas Bruschetta w/Tomatoes, Olives & Mozzarella Wine Pairing
Class 2: Making Some Dough Basic Bread Making Turtle Bread Classic Sesame Dinner Rolls Perugian Sweet Bread Olive Tapenade Garlic Bean Spread Wine Pairing
Class 3: Who Made the Salad? The Art of Food Presentation Classic Caesar Salad Asian Salad w/Ginger Dressing Minted Lime Fruit Presentation Wine, Cheese and Crackers
TBA Needs Your Special Gifts for Many Needs (continued from page 5) * Handicap access update (rear entrance) and/or contruction (front entrance, estimate pending) * Auto-fold machine for office, $1,200 * Events read board signage with lighting for front of temple, $8,690 * Walkway to Memorial Garden, Sukkot and Rabbi’s office, Phase I- $1,706; Phase 2, $3,534, Phase 3 - $1,781 * Laptop computers for religious school (2), $550 per computer * Multimedia projector and screen, $2,000
* Table size Torah cover with lettering (High Holiday), $300 * Update office for family educator, religious school and youth lounge * Upgrade temple inside lighting * Replace front doors including glass and alarm, $1,500 * Carpeting of the sanctuary, $12,000 * Social hall room dividers (12), $300 per unit The temple also has several funds that you could consider: SPECIAL FUNDS * Passport to Israel Fund helps to defray the cost of a trip to
Israel for our participants. * Library Fund buys new books, videos and materials for our temple library. * Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund allows the religious leader to allocate funds to those who are in need. * Youth Fund helps our USYers defray the costs to attend programs, conventions and summer trips. ENDOWMENT FUNDS * Brightman Family Memorial Fund sponsors a program on the eve of the holiday of Shavuot. * Kirshner/Pearlstein (continued on page 8) 7
Special Gifts for Many Needs (continued from page 7) Bereavement Fund provides a Shabbat meal to a family sitting shiva. * Endowed Future Fund provides for the special needs of the temple in the future. * Novick Cherenson Finkel Memorial Arts Fund established to beautify the synagogue by establishing a Judaic art collection and/or conducting concerts or other artistic events. * Lustbader/Babcock Holocaust Remembrance Fund established to create a Holocaust section of the library to promote Holocaust studies and educational opportunities as well as to foster understanding of the Unitarian Church and its role in fighting the Holocaust. CANTON HIGH SCHOOL AWARD ANNUAL FUNDS are funded on an annual basis by individuals in our community CANTON HIGH SCHOOL AWARD ANNUAL FUNDS are funded on an annual basis by individuals in our community. HEBREW SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS have been established to support children in our Hebrew School who are continuing their Jewish education. * Cooperbrand Memorial Fund * Danovitch Family Memorial Fund * Cantor Ben Gailing Siddur Fund * Rabbi’s Discretionary Award * Sisterhood/Brotherhood Award ANNUAL FUNDS * Banks-Diamond Hebraic Scholarship * Asher Hasin Memorial Fund *Matzkin Family Award 8
* Leslie Pearlstein Scholarship * Rabbi Discretionary Award You can establish a scholarship to be given this year by donating $200 toward the Hebrew School Scholarship Fund. You can contribute to any of the existing funds or consider the following: * Acknowledge a life cycle event by sending a card, with a minimum contribution of $6. Please contact the temple office. Minimum contributions for the follows are: * Tallit, $30 * Prayerbooks, $54 Daily prayerbook High Holiday prayerbook * Chumash, $100 * Leaf on the Tree of Life, $100 * Memorial Plaque, $200 * Shabbat Kiddush, $250 * Meditation Garden Brick, $100 * Meditation Garden Plaque, $500 If you are interested If you are interested in funding a Special Gift, please call me at (781) 828-8258 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. - Phyllis Moore, Chair Special Gifts
Social Action: Food Donations Needed Temple Beth Abraham has committed to collect 20 cans each of kosher soup and kosher canned vegetarian beans each month for the Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Family Table. Please bring in your donation when you come to Temple. The next time you’re shopping, why not grab an extra can and drop it off in the temple lobby? Thank you for thinking of others. On May 3, Temple Beth Abraham has committed to supplying drivers who will go to Jewish Family and Children’s Services Family Table in Waltham. There, they will sort grocery items and then deliver them to homes. Please volunteer, especially with your children. It is a wonderful experience. Contact Lesley Shain at email@example.com or call (781) 828-0531 for more information. Social action is always looking for new people.
Save Your Shaw’s Receipts Bring or mail all your Shaw’s reciepts to the TBA office. We also collect receipts from The Butcherie, Brookline (not Canton). We receive dividends every month from them. Please, NO Stop ‘n Shop receipts.
Webmasters Needed Webmasters – We Need You! Temple Beth Abraham has an urgent need for someone with web experience to maintain our website. The website is already set up. We just need someone willing to spend one-two hours a week to make sure it’s up to date (and make any upgrades or additions). This is work that can be done from your home -no need to come into TBA. If you, your children or someone you know would like to help us out with this please call Judy at (781) 828-5250.
Looking to Volunteer? I’m looking for you! Please join me in the Temple office to help with Temple mailings. If you’re willing and able to help, please call me at the temple at (781) 828-5250, so that I can put you on a call list. Let’s spread the fun around. Thanks again, Judy Steinberg Office Manager
Classical Concert March 22 Conductor Lawrence Isaacson presents:
A program of Beethoven, Doppler and Tchaikovsky by the Neponset Valley Philharmonic Orchestra Sunday, March 22, 3:00 P.M. Showcase Live, Patriots Place, Foxboro Adults $30, Seniors $20, Students $5. www.NVPOrchestra.org or call (781) 381-3300.
May-June Bulletin deadline: April 1, 2009. Email your news to: Sherry Alpert, Bulletin Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Temple Beth Abraham 1301 Washington Street Canton, MA 02021 (781) 828-5250 www.templebethabraham.org email@example.com
Temple Beth Abraham Staff Spiritual Leader..............Rabbi David Paskin Congregational Educator.....Melissa Rudman President..............................Marci Bernotas Rabbinic Intern....................Jeremy Fierstien Office Manager......................Judy Steinberg The Voice Editor......................Sherry Alpert
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