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ETZETERA November 2020

President - Shari Mark The more things change, the more they stay the same. At a time when so much is new and different and relying on old ways doesn’t work, one thing remains a constant: the generosity of the Temple Etz Chaim family of families. To everyone who pledged for Kol Nidre, my immense gratitude. I’d like to think I inspired some of you but the truth is, we are a big-hearted, committed congregation, and when the going gets rough we band together and give of ourselves both financially and in our time, to maintain all that TEC is, does and represents. “It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning” - Winston Churchill. When I read this from a CEO’s recent communication, I thought how apt for us at TEC too. March feels like so long ago and while we made some really big changes, more changes are coming. We are adjusting and adapting to some new norms and there is a very creative, energetic and dedicated group of staff and volunteers currently working on bringing you fun new Hanukkah programs for us to be able to celebrate the festival of lights together. Wait, you say, it is only November, but great programs take time to dream, create, organize and communicate. Just thinking about them is making me very excited!

At the time of this writing, your leadership is working diligently on a return-plan to worship services as we have passed the city’s attestation process. It is our desire for us to be able to daven once again, in person, in our Paskow Sanctuary while respecting safety protocols. Stay tuned for more details as they arise. Yours, Shari Mark

Shari Mark can be reached at president@templeetzchaim.org


Rabbi Ari Averbach A few weeks ago, I went to drop off my ballot. I have seen everyone posting pictures online as they drop their ballots into the slot, and I thought I would do the same thing. I have never posted a selfie online, at least I don’t think I have. My obligatory posts are nearly all Synagogue, or Judaism, related. Yet, I felt the pull to capture this moment. I handed my phone to my four-year-old son and told him to take a picture of me putting the envelope in the box. Very slowly, dramatically, I faced the camera as I went through all the motions, smiling all the while. I walked back to my son to look at the pictures he took, certain that they would be blurred by his unsteady hand or a finger over the lens. But there were no pictures. I asked him what happened, and he said, “You didn’t say cheese.” I didn’t need that picture, even if it were framed perfectly. I probably would have deleted it because I really don’t need a picture of myself voting, or a picture of myself

doing anything else. My camera roll is mostly my kids and Synagogue programs, like our amazing Sukkah. I smile at the cuteness that comes naturally to kids. It’s moments like these, the tiny ones that pass us by so quickly, that remind us what is important in life. For me, it is not the major news moments, of which we are all too aware of these days, but the honest interactions with people we love, that help shape who we are, and remind us who we want to be. With Thanksgiving weeks away, I know it will be a unique holiday this year. Perhaps Zoom, socially distanced, or outside. Probably less travel and fewer turkeys. But I am already collecting a list of these little things for which I am grateful, it helps me stay positive. And I look forward to sharing these gems with my family.

Rabbi Averbach can be reached at rabbiaverbach@templeetzchaim.org

Hazzan Pablo Duek When a piece of music is created, written or not, the goal is to express a feeling, to communicate a message, to reach out and move people. Since the term “folk” means “people”, it is the people who has the power to convert any music into folk music by embracing it or not. When a song, a choral piece or an orchestrated musical composition is rejected or ignored after several attempts by various performers, played in different venues to a variety of audiences and fails to resonate in them, then it will not find its way to the people. We can say it doesn’t belong to the folk music category, but the dilemma remains: is there a limit to the music that can potentially become folk music? During the Dirty War in Argentina, from 1976 to 1983, the people who voiced themselves against the military government were tortured and killed. Several artists and songs pieces were censored and prohibited for being considered contrary to the Ruler’s interest, among them Leon Gieco, Charly Garcia, Maria Elena Walsh and many others. Foreign artists and bands like Queen, Pink Floyd and Rod Stewart fell in this category as well. These artists expressed the injustices suffered by the people and they had to be silenced according to the dictatorship in power. When democracy was reinstituted in 1984, the prohibited songs and artists were brought back to life by the people. When life itself is threatened, music, and art in general, finds its way to emerge as the people’s truth, a kind of hymn to our own survival. May we continue to express our love and gratitude to God and among us with the magical power of Music. Hazzan Pablo Duek

Hazzan Pablo can be reached at hazzanpablo@templeetzchaim.org


Education at TEC

Debbie Blumenthal - Early Childhood Education Thanksgiving is a special time of year. It’s a holiday about Pilgrims, turkey and family – but it is also about giving thanks for everything from a parent and pets to sunshine and lollipops. Feeling thankful invites young children to consider the warm, happy feelings they have about people, places, and things that make their world feel safe. It is an invitation to smile and be thankful. What are you thankful for?

Looking for a gift to bring your friends and family at Thanksgiving? Check out the preschool’s annual See’s Candies Fundraiser. Place your order online HERE from October 26thNovember 16th. Orders will be delivered directly to your home.

November is our month of mitzvot, beginning with TEC’s Mitzvah Day on Sunday, November 1st from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There are many ways you participate in Mitzvah Day such as giving blood at the Blood Drive, recycling cell phones or e-waste, dropping off a new toy, or donating school supplies! Everyone is invited to join Rabbi Averbach, Hazzan Pablo, and myself for a fun, Facebook Live Shabbat service every Friday morning at 11:00 a.m. We have fun singing, reciting blessings, telling stories and so much more! Check out Temple Etz Chaim Preschool Facebook page!

Debbie Blumenthal ECE Director

Reminder, the ECE Centers will be closed November 26th and 27th in observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday. Have a warm, delicious Thanksgiving holiday! Please remember to wear your masks, social distance, and be safe!

Debbie can be reached at debbieb@templeetzchaim.org

Shannon Tepfer - Youth Department November Activities:

Are you looking for friends, fun activities, or leadership opportunities? A safe space to chill and be yourself? Become a member of our TEC USY Chapter and let the good times roll! We host incredible activities for kids in 3rd-12th grade on Thursdays from 4:00 pm-5:30 pm each month. On the last Sunday of each Religious School month we also host our Machar K-2nd grade events from 12pm-12:45 pm. All lounges are free at this time, we only ask that you are up to date with your membership fees.

Sunday, 11/1: Youth Commission/Parent Meeting 10:15am11:15am (Zoom) Thursday, 11/5: Sr USY (9th-12th graders) Bonding Lounge 4:00pm - 5:30pm Thursday, 11/12: Kadima Cooking Lounge 4:00pm - 5:30pm Monday, 11/16: Machar “Grateful and Thankful” lounge 12:00pm-12:45pm

USY Membership: $90 for the entire year (3rd-12th grade) and Machar $50 for the entire year (K-2nd grade).

Thursday, 11/12 - Sunday, 11/15: ENCAMPMENT: Project USY! This Far West weekend is for 9th-12th graders. You must be a paid USY member. Sign up on regpacks.com/usyfi2020 by Wednesday, November 4th. For more details please contact the Youth Office.

Calling all kids! We want to know what you like to do too! At the end of every lounge there will be an opportunity for you to let us know what you want to do next! We want you to be part of the planning process and can’t wait to hear all of your awesome ideas!

Thursday, 11/19: Jr USY Bonding Lounge (7th and 8th graders) 4:00pm-5:30pm

As always feel free to email or call the Youth Department for any details on events and activities as well as any questions you may have about getting involved! Take a look at our November activities below and let us know what you are interested in joining. B’shalom Shannon Tepfer, Youth Director Shannon can be reached at shannon@templeetzchaim.org


Joyce Bronstein - Religious School Thank you to all the TEC community for your support of our Mitzvah Day Backpack Drive. Your donations made it possible for the children of Casa Pacifica to receive school materials that may otherwise have gone without. This month we join together to celebrate Thanksgiving, despite the pandemic. It makes me even more appreciative for my family, friends, health and so much more. I am grateful that we can continue to share this American holiday together whether in-person or virtually. Even though this year is different, like everyone else, I am learning to embrace this new normal with a sense of peace.

“Giving thanks” has always been an important part of Judaism, from reciting blessings after meals to celebrating our holidays and so much more. Judaism teaches us to treat others how we would like to be treated. A lesson that we have been taught, and hopefully, will continue to put into action through our words and deeds throughout the year. Wishing all of our TEC families a very Happy Thanksgiving. Warmly, Joyce

Joyce can be reached at joyce@templeetzchaim.org

On Wednesday, as I left TEC in the late afternoon, I noticed that the Westminster Free Clinic had a line of cars wrapping around our parking lot and a long line of people standing outside the Church, all waiting patiently for their weekly box of food. Right in our own parking lot, in Thousand Oaks! Do we see them? Do we hear them? Who are they? Our neighbors and friends, maybe. As we celebrate Thanksgiving, it is a good time to take a moment to really think about those living around us. Is there someone we know that needs our help? Maybe simply calling and reaching out will help. This Thanksgiving just might be the right time to remember to support our Social Action Committee in their efforts to help our community.

TEC Religious School student Shira enjoys her TEC children’s activity book while watching our High Holiday Family Service... so much fun!


Men’s Club

Colin Pullan - President of Men’s Club Gentlemen, if you are not already a Men’s Club member, it would be so nice to welcome you to Men’s Club as well! Men’s Club put up a different kind of Sukkah this year. It was a drive-thru Sukkah (with a car wash, thanks to Buzz Schoenkerman and his bottle of Windex). A number of people constructed and manned the Sukkah. Thank you to Mark Zucherman, Nathan Stelman, Benny Sommerfeld, Gary Katz, Carol Miller, and Buzz Schoenkerman. You built it so well and manned it so professionally! Thanks also goes to the TEC staff, Johnny and his crew. It is obvious that the Pandemic is impacting our programming. We are hoping to have a virtual brunch with a special speaker mid-November. Watch for notification of virtual Men’s Club Poker nights. Our 20th annual Scholar-In-Residence program is in the works for early 2021. Circumstances will dictate whether it is virtual

or in person. I am excited about our programs such as Hearing Men’s Voices, Havdalah and Bowling, Men’s Club and Women of TEC led Shabbat, the Jeff Finn Talmud, Scotch, and Steak With the Rabbi, etc. Wishing each of you all the best, Please contact me if you have questions about Men’s Club. Colin can be reached at mensclub@templeetzchaim.org

Women of TEC

Cindy Scherr - President of WOTEC Women of TEC has been busy! Although we still have not been able to be together in person, we have had several Zoom events, and there are more on the horizon! Our movie discussion night was a great success. Thanks to our programs VP Dana Gallenberg for coordinating! Also in October, WOTEC partnered with several other TEC organizations and the Ventura County League of Women Voters for an informative evening where we learned about several propositions on the ballot. Thank you to Elissa Lazarus for being our point person for this event. Coming in November, we will have our annual Challah bake, to be held on November 10. By now, you should have received information with the details. Please contact Dana Gallenberg at dgallenberg@templeetzchaim.org for more information. Coming up in December, we will make Chanukah candles and share stories on December 8, and a Zoom Bingo night (complete with prizes!) on December 22. More information will be forthcoming soon. Our meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every month, and are open to all members of WOTEC. However, our November meeting has been changed to Wednesday, November 4, due to the national election. Feel free to contact me at womenoftec@templeetzchaim.org if you have any questions. I look forward to “seeing” you at our upcoming events! Even in these difficult times, we all have so much to be thankful for. Marshall joins me in wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving. B’Shalom, Cindy Scherr, WOTEC President Cindy can be reached at womenoftec@templeetzchaim.org


Tikkun Olam Social Action - Judy Gindi We hope you were able to participate in the League of Women Voter’s analysis of the ballot propositions. Thank you to the wonderful committee that worked hard to make the evening webinar a success: Ellen Zucker, Ellen Gleimer-Husted, Beth Meyer, Elissa Lazarus, Mark Goldstein, Dan Lubetkin, Jane Silbering, Gideon Manzur and Shane Silverstein. Social Action is proud to present Adopt-a-Family 2020 which will run through December 2nd. We have families waiting to be adopted through Many Mansions (they provide low income housing) and Harbor House (they provide services for the homeless). Please email me ASAP if you would like to adopt one of these families. It truly is a Mitzvah! Because of the Pandemic, Harbor House is only accepting gift cards to Target or Walmart. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving the house, please mail a check to TEC earmarked for Harbor House, attention Jessica. We will order the gift cards for you through TEC’s Scrip program and deliver them to Harbor House. Do you love giving presents, why not adopt a family from Many Mansions? Contact us and we will send you a wish list from a family size of your choosing. Wrapped gifts can be dropped off at the Temple Office with Shane, please call beforehand. Or we can pick them up at your home. Deadline is December 2nd. We are also collecting new unwrapped toys for the Westminster Free Clinic which offers medical care to the less fortunate. Look for the yellow bin by security. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or email me. Toys are due by December 6th. We hope you can attend a very special Friday night Shabbat Service, November 20th. Denise Cortes, the Director of Harbor House will speak to us about the homelessness in our local community. Would you like to feed the hungry? Contact Lynne Katz at lynneradman@yahoo.com. Interested in attending a Social Action meeting? Please email me so I can give you the date of our next meeting on zoom. Wishing you good health, Warmly, Judy Gindi Judy can be reached at socialaction@templeetzchaim.org



TEC Community Outreach & Men’s Club Welcome

Dan Meisel

Regional Director, ADL Tri-Counties

The Unlearning of Hate

Educational Programs to Promote Inclusive Schools Join us as Dan Meisel describes the ADL’s educational programming at local schools and districts. ADL programming has been designed to help educators and students create inclusive environments and prevent the damaging impact of harmful or hateful conduct. Come learn about what the ADL is doing in our schools to promote inclusion and acceptance. Q & A following the presentation.

Sunday, November 15th at 10:00 am

For Zoom information, please RSVP to outreach@templeetzchaim.org by Wednesday, November 11th to secure your spot.

1080 East Janss Rd. Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 805-497-6891 • templeetzchaim.org



Weekly Schedule* Sunday

8:30 am Morning Minyan Service

Monday 7:15 pm Evening Minyan Service

Tuesday 10:00 AM Tuesdays with Rabbi Spiegel

Wednesday 7:15 pm Evening Minyan Service

Friday 6:00 pm Kabbalat Shabbat

Saturday 9:30 am Shabbat Morning Service 8:30 pm Community Havdalah

* Visit TEC @ Home for updates



Dunaier Music Fund: In memory of: Julia Deutsch William Deutsch Frances Deutsch Babe Dunaier Howard Dunaier In appreciation of: The Goldberg Family Early Childhood Education Fund: In memory of: Evelyn Levin Joyce Goldberg Jotkowitz Camp Ramah Scholarship Fund In memory of: Pauline Shechter Jack Shechter Max Jotkowitz Molly Jotkowitz Amy Scop Barukh Fund In memory of: William Rosen Marshall Rosen Hazzan Duek’s Discretionary Fund In memory of: Harriet Wise Oberman Beatrice Treisman Robin Oberman Glenn Garvin Meredith and Michael Druyen Alfred Morris Liz Groden Fania Orlowski Jan Orlowski Maurice Silverman Rose Silverman Kevin Axelrad Our condolences to: The Kaye Family Liz and Ron Groden The Lessman Family Robin Oberman The Sturman Family Debbie Alpert In appreciation of: Sidney and Sheryl Guttmann The Goldberg Family Debbie Alpert Rabbi Averbach’s Discretionary Fund In memory of: Irving Garvin Meredith and Michael Druyen Jason Hammer Lynne Smith Felicita Saiez Rebeccah Schwartz Stuwartz Bass Morris Ratzan Dr. Ratzan Maurice Silverman Rose Silverman Kevin Axelrad Kenneth Sachs David Sachs Max Borman Harvey Mahler Dorothy Schotland Bruce Wilkoff

Eli Storch Yetta Storch Claire Zelkowitz Toby Yoskowitz Lawrence Storch Irving Friedman Lois Rudman Leona Edelstein Ceila Scherr Avol The Scherr Family Our condolences to: The Tobin Family Neil and Carolyn Bordofsky The Brooks Family Fran and Reuben Finkelstein Geri Siegel The Shapiro Family Liz and Ron Groden The Sturman Family Debbie Alpert The Kaye Family David Schwartz Ann and Marvin Friedman Susan and Alan Flaschner Jessica Dennis In appreciation of: Sidney and Sheryl Guttmann The Goldberg Family Debbie Alpert Religious School Fund In memory of: Stuwartz Bass Morris Ratzan Dr. Ratzan Ira Goldfinger Robin Goldfinger Paul Greenberg Jessica Dennis Bernie Axelrad Kevin Axelrad Arlene Levenson Ellen Zucker Herbert Friedlander Carl and Linda Friedlander Ben Ruthberg Barbara Nemet Our condolences to: The Kaye Family Carl and Linda Friedlander Elisa Feldman Memorial Religious School Scholarship Fund In memory of: Lillian Klapper Bonnie Goldenberg Max Avol Lori Karp J Neugroschl The Scherr Family Our condolences to: The Shaprio Family Jeff and Sheri Schoenwald The Kaye Family Nomi Freed The Lazarus Family Sarah Orlin The Tahir Family Sarah Orlin Get well soon: Les Feldman Sarah Orlin


Happy Birthday To: Buzz Schoenkerman Jeff and Sheri Schoenwald Lipnick Religious School Scholarship Fund In memory of: Martin Kroin Mollie Kroin Harry Kroin Rose Frederick-Horowitz George Winterstein Esther Rebecca Goldberg Susan Goldberg Harry Stein Sybil Goldstein Meyer Levin Barbara Shannon Our condolences to: The Sommerfeld Family Myrna Stelman The Tahir Family Myrna Stelman The Sturman Family Myrna Stelman The Kaye Family Myrna Stelman Tzedakah Fund Our condolences to: The Kaye Family Herb Wexler Temple General Fund In memory of: Jacob Pourdavoudi Behrouz Pourdavoudi Dorothy Rosengard Phillip Rosengard Robert Assael Miriam Assael David Assael Richard Landau Gina Landau Robynne Schwartz Joshua and Rebeccah Schwartz Esther Sloate Comis Sadie Ione Sloate Stuart Comis Our condolences to: The Sturman Family Debbie Alpert The Kaye Family Joyce Flescher Debra and Jay Levine In appreciation of: Debbie Alpert Margrit Polak David and Diane Wender Seth Browner Sue Schurgin Women of TEC Scholarship Fund In memory of: Frieda Honigman Stuart Hockman Women of TEC Tribute Fund: Our condolences to: The Kaye Family Etta Weinstein Bonnie Rothman Get well soon: Rhoda Lipsig Elissa Lazarus


Clergy Rabbi Ari Averbach Hazzan Pablo Duek Rabbi Emeritus Shimon Paskow Rabbi Emeritus Richard Spiegel Staff Gideon Manzur - Executive Director Debbie Blumenthal - ECE Director Joyce Bronstein - Religious School Director Shannon Tepfer - Youth Director Kathy Sharp - ECE Assistant Director Lindsey Alpert - Administrative Support Shane Silverstein - Programs/Events Coordinator Jessica Jacoby - Accounts Receivable Board of Directors Shari Mark - President Eric Feigenbaum - Executive VP Jeff Solomon - Immediate Past President Jennifer Elson - VP Membership Sherri Finn-Werber* - Trustee, Adult Education Mark Goldstein - Trustee Community Outreach Judy Gindi - VP Social Action Elissa Lazarus - Corresponding Secretary Dan Lubetkin - VP Communications Wendy Margolis* - Financial Secretary Beth Meyer - Recording Secretary Tom Milhaupt - VP Personnel/Legal Colin Pullan - Men’s Club President Michael Roberts - Trustee Bingo Cindy Scherr - Women of TEC President Larry Slomowitz - VP Building and Grounds Benny Sommerfeld - VP Religion and Worship Ilana Sweet - VP Youth Felicia Toporoff - VP Religious School David Yodkovik - Treasurer Joe Zwicker - VP Early Childhood Education Terri Zwicker - Trustee Strategic Planning Gary Katz - Past President Marshall Scherr - Past President Myles Simpson - Past President

*Past President

1080 East Janss Road Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 www.templeetzchaim.org

Space is available to advertising in our Etzetera. If you are interested in placing an ad, please send an email to communications@templeetzchaim.org

Temple Etz Chaim Live Stream! At Temple Etz Chaim, all Shabbat Services held in the Paskow Sanctuary are live streamed. Live Streaming allows those in our community who otherwise cannot physically come to the Temple to participate in the Shabbat experience. It also affords B’nai Mitzvah families with out-of-town guests who cannot make it to services the opportunity to participate in the simcha. Please know that if you ascend the bimah, light the Shabbat candles, have an Aliyah, or open the ark, your image and voice will be broadcast on the live stream. Services can now be viewed live! Visit our Facebook page or streamspot.com.


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Etzetra: November 2020  

Etzetra: November 2020