THE VOICE TEMPLE BETH ABRAHAM, 1301 WASHINGTON STREET, CANTON, MA 02021 PUBLISHED BI-MONTHLY ELUL 5772-HESHVAN 5773 SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2012 ISSUE NO. 1
“T he Y ank les” will be a ‘Home R un’ Fundr aiser Oct. 14 “The Yank ankles” Run’ Fundraiser “The Yankles”, an awardwinning film, will make its Boston area premiere on Sunday, October 14, 6 p.m., at Temple Beth Abraham, as a fundraiser for TBA. The public is invited. The film is about Charlie Jones, a down-and-out exbaseball player, who needs to
meet a community service requirement by coaching. The problem is that no team will take him - except the Yankles, an obscure Orthodox yeshiva baseball team desperate for a coach. The film has won multiple awards from film festivals around the country.
A light supper will be available at our concession stand. Tickets are $10 for a fun, entertaining evening.
Canton F all Fall Classic Oct. 28 The 24th annual Canton Fall Classic Road Race, hosted by Temple Beth Abraham, will be held on Sunday, October 28, starting at Temple Beth Abraham. The event is open to the public as a TBA fundraiser and features three races: a 10K (6.2 miles), a 5K (3.1 miles) and a children’s Fun Run. In the past few years we have averaged 600-800 runners, while raising $15,000-$20,000 for TBA. This is a community event that we are very proud of, as it is very respected and appreciated by the town of Canton. For those who have never previously been involved, now is an opportunity to get involved as a volunteer. It’s fun, it’s community, it’s an action-packed day…just ask anyone who has been there on race day. On race day there will be no Hebrew school, but children are encouraged to attend the race as either a participant or a helper. High (continued on page 7)
Rabbi Da vid: Challeng es and a Ne w V ision David: Challenges New Vision Our community is going through a tremendous amount of change. We are developing a new vision, mission and core values for the temple and are recreating the structures through which we live up to those values and fulfill that mission. We are bringing new initiatives to the shul, breaking bad habits and encouraging innovation, creativity and thinking outside of the box. We have said good-bye to some members and friends who have left our community and are welcoming many more who have and will come in. In short, we are creating a new spiritual community. This past Shavuot, many local Conservative congregations gathered together at Temple Beth Abraham to learn and pray about creating spiritual community. In one of our sessions we discussed the challenges that come with change. One of the participants shared a comment that was so insightful and yet so simple that it hasn’t left me all summer. She said, “It isn’t change that’s hard - it is loss that’s hard.” When we make changes in our lives, we are both gaining something new - a new tradition, practice, habit, experience - and at the same time losing something that was once a part of who we are. Sometimes those losses are easy to bear; other times they are painful and challenging. It isn’t the change itself that is so difficult - it is the loss that accompanies it. As we approach the High Holy 2
Days, this theme of change and loss rings true. Every year, whether on the Jewish New Year or the secular New Year, many of us make resolutions: I’m going to work less; I’m going to lose weight; I’m going to read more. These resolutions are hard to keep not only because we have limited willpower but also because they are life changes that require us to lose a part of who we are. We pride ourselves on hard work and success; we love to eat; we’d rather watch the game. It’s not the change itself that is so hard - we know that working less, slimming down and reading more are all good for us - we are ready and willing to fulfill each and every resolution we make. What’s challenging is mourning what we will lose in the process. Judaism has a different approach to thinking about change. Judaism doesn’t teach us that change is good, that change is nice, or even that it is important. Judaism teaches us that change and growth are necessary. They are obligations that we humans would do well to fulfill. That’s what these upcoming holy days are all about - fulfilling our obligation to be human by looking deeply within ourselves and not only fixing what is broken but imagining what could be. Judaism teaches us that what we gain through change far outweighs what we lose. In Prophetic literature angels are called omdim “standers.”
Sure, angels can fly, but they have only one foot and so their mobility on solid ground is severely restricted. That’s why when we say the amidah, the standing, private prayer, we stand with our feet together - we are mimicking the angels who only have one foot.) People, on the other hand, are called holchim “walkers, movers and shakers.” Our whole being, what defines us as human beings, is that we can move, we can change, we can grow. And unlike our furry friends who also have the gift of movement, ours is not only physical but spiritual and emotional. We can change; we must change - that’s what makes us human. When mourning the loss of a loved one, Jewish tradition encourages us to embrace the pain and be in the sadness - but not forever. We live deeply in our pain for seven days, then less so for thirty days, then less so for eleven months. Even then, we come back and remember the loss a few times a year because we know that loss never disappears completely. But after acknowledging the loss, we begin to rebuild. We re-create new selves. We begin moving again. The loss and pain that comes with change is nothing to scoff at - it is also not something that we should dwell on for too long. We must rebuild, re-create and begin moving again. That’s where we are, my friends. We have changed and we will continue to change - and we must as a community, as Jews and as human beings. Let us acknowledge the pain, support one another and embrace the possibilities that rebirth brings.
Pr esident ge: President esident’’s Messa Messag I’ve often wondered what I would do if I were given a chance to start all over again. Would I continue to live my life the way I always have or take a risk and try something new? Like many of you, I’m more comfortable with the familiar, but I recognize that sometimes, in order to grow, we need to change. TBA has just come through a period of uncertainty and upheaval. For the first time in a long time, we have had an honest discussion with our members about our membership and financial future. The opportunity to become a part of a regional synagogue was discussed, and the general feeling of our community was that while we wanted to stay informed about the regionalization process, we wanted to remain an independent temple. That path could not happen, however, without everyone stepping up and taking ownership of our community. And step up you have. We have members volunteering to help us become a more vibrant, exciting and inclusive community. We have members volunteering to canvas our membership to see what our current needs are and what our future vision is. We have the opportunity to look at what constitutes a thriving and growing Jewish community and to become just that. Over the past few weeks, I have been both surprised and delighted at how many of you
are coming forward to ask, “How can we help?” We don’t have all the answers right now, but we are asking the right questions. What does spirituality look like in the 21st century? How do we address dues in the current economic climate? How do we ensure that we have enough volunteers to run the governance and programs that our community wants and needs? You have made it clear that you want Temple Beth Abraham to be here for many years to come. We now have the opportunity to make TBA something very special. I hope you are as excited about the future as I am. Kol Tov Marci Bernotas
Member ship Membership Please join us in welcoming our newest members into our community: Edward Lidz of Canton and the Wagner Family: Michael, Sheryl, Curtis and Clayton, also of Canton. We are committed to making this year a year to remember. New and different events are being planned. Triple E changed our plans for the “Sunset Shabbat.” It was replaced with a new and different Shabbat dinner at our home base. We hope that this did not inconvenience anyone, and you all came and enjoyed. As always, we need help from our members to bring new families into our community. Please be sure to let us know of any families who would be interested in a closer look at TBA. Phyllis Lerner and Netti Sternklar Co-Chairs, Membership
Flow er Dona tions R equested ffor lower Donations Requested or Bima on High Holidays If you would like to donate flowers for the bimah at Temple Beth Abraham for the High Holidays, we welcome it. We need flowers for Rosh Hashanah and then for Yom Kippur. Please fill out the form below, if you don’t have email, or call Judy Steinberg at the office and let her know at 781-828-5250. Name_____________________ Address___________________ __________________________ Donation $______ 3
Cong tion Congrregational Educa Education With the High Holidays just weeks away, I find myself reflecting on the past year. The thing that keeps popping out is the word change. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word change means, “to make different or undergo a transformation”. This idea of change or transformation is exactly what we have begun and will continue with into the year ahead. One exciting change in the year to come within the Religious school is our new Saturday/ Sunday split. The students will
come two Saturdays and two Sundays each month. This will provide the students and their families an opportunity to experience Shabbat as well as help celebrate with the entire community. This will also mean that Starbucks Shabbat will now be meeting twice a month. Another fun change will occur for our 5th-7th grade students on Tuesdays. We will have a program called “Discovery”. “Discovery” works by having a topic and offering three different ways to learn about it. The student can pick what speaks to them. We are also thrilled to be
Boar d of Educa tion Board Education Can you believe another school year is almost upon us? We have lots to look forward to this coming year, starting with the new Chavurah (Religious School) programming. We’ve also been hearing fabulous things about the individual student planning meetings with Rabbi David and Melissa Rudman that took place this summer. We are both excited to start working with our children toward their milestones and expect we’ll learn a thing or two ourselves! Some other events to look forward to in the upcoming year: Havdalah potluck dinners, class milestone celebrations, family learning opportunities and more! We’re also pleased to announce a new offering for high 4
school students called Telem. Telem is a unique program for Jewish teens that integrates community service and learning, and TBA is excited to participate as a Telem site beginning this fall. An open house will be held at TBA on Sunday, September 9, from 1:30-3:30 for interested 8th12th graders. Keep your eyes open for monthly updates, which will include the specific Chavurah schedule and other important dates. Enjoy the rest of your summer, and we’ll see you in September! Amy Litwack and Ellen Orkin Co-Chairs, Board of Ed
part of the Telem program this year for our 8th-12th graders. This is a service-based program. We are hosting the Telem Kickoff event on Sunday, September 9th, at 1:30 p.m. Our Women of Wisdom group will continue into the New Year. If you have not heard about us or have not joined us yet, you don’t know what you are missing. This is the most remarkable group of women who are willing to try new things and push themselves out of their comfort zone. Change is scary. Change is hard. Change is exciting and has so many possibilities. Let’s choose to look at all the changes this year like a kiddush cup filled to the top. It is filled with all that sweetness. Shana Tova, Melissa
Joanne Allison Connor s Connors Sc holar ship Scholar holarship Recipients Marcia and Jerry Connors are pleased to announce that the 2012 recipients of the Joanna Allison Connors Memorial Foundation Scholarship /awards are Hanna Foreman and Melissa Steinberg, both from Sharon. Hanna is beginning her studies at Clark University and Melissa is going to the University of Hartford. Both girls and their families have been involved with the Temple Beth Abraham communithy. Marcia and Jerry want to wish these girls the best of luck in college.
Social Action in Action Social Action Committee is Seeking YOU! As the new Social Action Committee coordinator, I want to thank everyone who has been helping Temple Beth Abraham meet its commitment to Family Table every month. We have provided 25 cans of both kosher vegetables and kosher soups every month and have agreed to continue to do so for the coming year. Please bring your canned goods to the synagogue the next time you stop in. Iâ€™d like to send a special shout out to Adrienne and David Fleishman who have steadfastly been taking our contributions to Family Table every month. As they have told me many times, packing up grocery bags and delivering them to families and individuals in need is incredibly rewarding and a great way to create a meaningful Sunday morning once a month. Cathy and I have packed and delivered for Family Table a couple of times this year, and Adrienne and David were absolutely right! It is a great way to spend a Sunday morning. For those of you who have children, it is an especially meaningful way to demonstrate to them as a family that they can be of service to others while having a really fun time. This year we have committed to packing and delivering on March 17 and July 14, so mark your calendars now so that you, too, can have fun and meaningful experience. (The summer date is a great time to include your kids in the process.) Please contact me if you are interested in finding out
more. Beginning in September and as part of our High Holy Day mitzvah, we will once again be collecting items for the Canton Food Pantry. There will be bags at TBA that we will ask you to take and fill up with toiletries, food and other items that the Canton Food Pantry has told us it needs. Last year, I heard that TBAâ€™s contribution for the High Holy Days was the largest contribution of any organization that donated to the Pantry all year long. Congratulations to all who contributed to that accomplishment, and I invite everyone to help us achieve that distinction once again this year. I plan to have bags ready for pick up at Rosh Hashana to be returned by Yom
Kippur. Keep your eyes peeled for the bags and the list of items by September. For those who wish to give of your time as well as your donation of goods, I plan to have a meeting in September of interested folks to establish a Social Action calendar for the coming year. I invite you to start by contacting me to let me know you are interested in sharing your thoughts and ideas about how we can work together as a TBA community to address some of the needs that exist within our own TBA community, the Canton community, and the greater Jewish community. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (781) 575-0087. Ann Hartstein, Chair Social Action Committee
Temple Beth Abraham was the largest contributor of food to the Canton Food Pantry. Please bring food donations to TBA before Yom Kippur. 5
Fundr aising Nets $42,000 ffor or TB A Fundraising TBA during 2011-2012 We are pleased to announce that our 2011-2012 fundraising efforts, including our Spring Gala “Honoring the Groundbreakers”, as well as vendor advertising in our Membership Directory raised a net income of nearly $24,000. When we add the income for the upcoming Canton Fall Classic Road Race, we approach a net income of about $42,000. I am so proud of all of your collective efforts to make this happen for our synagogue.
In September, I will be sending out forms to all of you for the 2012-13 Membership Directory to fill out and, as necessary, update. Please return them to Judy Steinberg at the temple office no later than September 20. If you have ideas, suggestions or questions about fundraising programs, please feel free to contact me at (781) 267-6112 or email@example.com. Larry Finklestone, Chair Fundraising
Unified Multi-Synagogue USY is coming ... Stay tuned for more details
Succoth and Simc ha or ah Simcha hatt T Tor orah Dinner in the Sukkah will be held on Friday, October 5. Call Melissa Rudman for details. Join us for our Simchat Torah celebration on Monday, October 8, 8 p.m., to dance with the Torahs.
Join us on Tuesday, October 9, 9 a.m., for Simchat Torah services and our annual luncheon to honor our Hatan Torah and Hatan B’reisheet recipients.
Da vid Hor ovitz speak ing No v. 14 David Horo speaking Nov “F ents” “Frrom Campus to Cur Currrent Ev Events” David Horovitz, founding editor of The Times of Israel, will be speaking on behalf of the David Project on on “From Campus to Current Events” on November, 14, 7:30 p.m., Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street, Newton. Horovitz was Editor-in-Chief of The Jerusalem Post for seven years. He was also editor and 6
publisher of the award-winning news magazine The Jerusalem Report. Horovitz was written for newspapers around the world, including the News York Times, Los Angeles Times, Irish Times and (London) Independent. He is a frequent interviewee on CNN, BBC, Sky, Fox News, NPR and other TV and radio stations.
From the Libr ary Library Welcome back to an extraordinary list of books for you to read this year. Our newest selections can be found in the Chapel in the bookcase. They include: I Am Forbidden by Anouk Markovitz, The Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich, Far Above Rubies by Cynthia Polansky, Rav Hisda’s Daughter by Maggie Anton, By Blood by Ellen Ullman and The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman (available in regular and large print. If you have any books outstanding, please return them. Harriet Lavine
Book Gr oup Group All Book Group meetings are on Monday evenings. Anyone is welcome to come: September 10, Hope: A Tragedy by Shalom Auslander, at the home of Sherry Alpert October 15, The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman, at the home of Paula Atkins November 19, Rashi’s Daughters: Miriam, home of Susan Lipsitt Other dates are: December 17, January 21, February 18, March 18, April 15, May 20, and June 17.
The synagogue would like to be informed about all important events and occasions, including births, engagements, weddings, awards, etc., as well as illnesses and deaths. Please notify the office at (781) 828-5250.
Good and W elf ar Welf elfar are e MILESTONES: Congratulations to Judy and Joel Kepnes on the marriage of their daughter, Lisa to Erik Santucci. Congratulations to Joan and Steve Schottenfeld on the marriage of their daughter, Lisa Schottenfeld to Matt Dunn Congratulations to all those TBA members who celebrated graduations this past spring: Ruth L. Diamond Religious School: Kephi Alkalay, Hunter Cerruti, Clara Cook, Holly Delaney, Alex Lurie, Jake Marglous, Samantha
Marglous, Emily Orkin, Brenna Snyderman, Eric Solomon Kehillah Schechter Academy Jacob Hershman, Sam Foreman. Talia Mayman, Dalia Paskin, Sam Rudman Prozdor Hebrew High School Anna Poirier, granddaughter of Selma and Harvey Sandberg Private School Gann Academy, Joe Sandperl Andrew Weiner, The Learning Prep in Newton, grandson of Helene and Frank Weiner Aaron Rosenthal, Roxbury Latin School
Canton F all Classic R oad R ace Fall Road Race (continued from page 1) school students may receive volunteer credit for participation. For further questions and volunteer information, please call the Race Committee, whose contact information is below. Please pass the word to your friends and neighbors in hope of increasing attendance. They can get more information and a race application from our website: www.cantonfallclassic.com Please plan on helping in any way you can. If you need to contact us, please e-mail or call one of us. Hope to see you race day! Here are the Race Committee members: Rich Zides, (781) 828-7284, Richard.B.Zides@verizon.net Harvey Blonder, (781) 828-
4095, firstname.lastname@example.org Melissa Mayer, (781) 8285416, email@example.com.
High School Logan Cerruti and Zachary Levenson, Canton High School Hanna Foreman, Sharon High School, granddaughter of Diane and Warren Foreman Jessica Taylor Goodman, Needham High School, granddaughter of Doris and Ted Goodman SPEEDY RECOVERY: Sy Schlossberg Judy Sokolove Alan Golub Heather Paskin CONDOLENCES: Bob Baseman on the loss of his wife, Bonnie Adrienne Fleishman on the loss of her mother, Sonya Churnick Marc Russman on the loss of his mother, Annette Russman
Visiting Moms - F isiting Frree Home V Visiting Are you feeling alone or isolated with your newborn? A friendly face, adult conversation, a chance to tell someone that you feel overwhelmed and tired can make a world of difference. Sponsored by Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Visiting Moms are trained volunteers and experienced moms who can help
you gain confidence in your new role parenting your newborn. A Visiting Mom will visit you in your home for an hour a week during the trying first months of infancy up until your baby’s first birthday. For more information, contact Judy Semonoff at (781) 6475327 x 1410 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Minyans are Sunday-Thursday, 7:30 p.m. If you can’t attend, please arrange for someone to go in your place. Next bulletin is NovemberDecember. Deadline is October 1. Email articles and photos to Sherry Alpert, email@example.com.
Temple Beth Abraham 1301 Washington Street Canton, MA 02021 (781) 828-5250 www.templebethabraham.org firstname.lastname@example.org
Temple Beth Abraham Staff Spiritual Leader...............Rabbi David Paskin Congregational Educator......Melissa Rudman President...............................Marci Bernotas Office Manager......................Judy Steinberg The Voice Editor......................Sherry Alpert Rabbinic Intern...............Shoshana Friedman