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ETZETERA Growing Forward, Rooted in Tradition

High Holidays 2019/5780

Elul, Tishrei, and Cheshvan 5779

1080 E. JANSS ROAD ● THOUSAND OAKS, CA 91360 Phone (805) 497-6891 ● Fax (805) 497-0086 ●

Rabbi’s Message On a Friday morning a few weeks ago, Hazzan Pablo and I were leading preschool Shabbat services - the cutest part of my week - when a three year old blurted out a question that was brilliant. Why do we call the Torah an Etz Chaim?

Rabbi Ari Averbach

grow more trees. So too, what we do here can be returned a hundred-fold. The Torah we teach here will grow into the community, into the world, bring kindness and peace and warmth out of these walls. The social action we do here affects people in our shul and outside our faith, in the Conejo Valley and on the other side of the world. It brings our name and the name of Judaism and God’s holy name into the world for good. The minds we inspire here will build a better world.

I gave an answer that worked for the kids, but the question then would not leave my mind. Our rabbis of antiquity loved this metaphor. We sing the words as we put the Torah back in the ark - Etz Chaim hee lamahazeekim bah - it is a tree of life to those who hold fast to it.

I am grateful to be part of this community, and I look forward to the high holidays, which promise to bring our ancient traditions and mix in some new ideas as well. I know that the services can feel overwhelming - with music and words and theology (not to mention the food!) - I want to learn with you so that we are all a bit more prepared for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. My three-part class begins on September 8th. Sign up or pop in.

But to translate it differently: This is Etz Chaim, and all of you who uphold it bring blessings. In fact, you ARE blessings. This is Etz Chaim, the Tree of Life, constantly growing and changing, seeking sunshine and offering shade. You have helped care for this “tree” and ensure that it continues to thrive. The Talmud asks why Torah is compared to a tree - and Rabbi Nahman bar Yitzhak responds that a small tree can grow big, can produce so many acorns or seeds to help

Looking forward to growing this Etz Chaim with you.

Rabbi Ari Averbach

President’s Message Shana Tova!

Jeff Solomon, President

are looking forward to hearing what Rabbi Averbach has to say during the High Holidays. This also means that our Kol Nidre appeal is approaching. This is distinct and different from the capital campaign we have just launched (“Our Legacy, Our Future”). That campaign is specifically targeted to upgrades and modernization of our sanctuary building that is now 35 years old. The annual Kol Nidre appeal helps Temple Etz Chaim to fill a financial gap. So, once again, this year I will be asking each of you to take out your High Holiday tickets and let your heart guide you.

On behalf of the Solomons, Jan, Jeff, Rebekah and Hannah, I want to wish all of you a very sweet and happy New Year as Rosh Hashanah approaches at the end of this month and the beginning of next month. First, I wanted to take a moment to express gratitude for how fortunate I am. Timing is everything and I have been really fortunate to be President during this transition of Rabbinic leadership. I am thoroughly enjoying working with our new Rabbi. He is bright, personable, warm, outgoing, approachable, and just delightful. Not only does he have a huge circle of people to whom he is connected, but also the Rabbi has several great instincts about what to do, whether it is from the pulpit or in marketing or any number of other things. I suspect that many of you already knew this based on the overwhelming support he had.

Between now and then, I ask you to think about how you can make a difference. It could be financially, as that is always welcome. It could be with time, as we greatly appreciate the spirit of volunteerism that courses through the hallways of TEC. It could be with your knowledge or your personality or any number of other characteristics that make you, you. We want that and we continue to need that.

Jeff Solomon

As the New Year approaches, I am sure that many of you 2

Hazzan’s Message Exciting times at TEC.

Hazzan Pablo Duek

Shabbat, where TEC offered a delicious dinner followed by a creative service in which the prayers were paired to the Beatles most popular songs. The result? Happy children dancing and playing along with adults singing and participating. I’m sure we all helped to create memories of fun and participatory services. If you couldn’t make it, stay tuned for the next special Shabbat with Ignition Band, they are amazing by the way.

As I’m beginning my 19th year as your Hazzan, we are entering a new chapter in our Community’s life. Rabbi Spiegel, my partner for 18 years became our Rabbi Emeritus, he will continue to teach classes and serve you with his usual kindness and wisdom. Thank you Rabbi Spiegel for a lifetime dedicated to the Jewish people as a remarkable teacher and leader.

High Holy Days, Sukkot and Simchat Torah are around the corner, these are joyous and serious days to gather and pray as a community. Cantor Noa Dori will offer her voice and soul as she joins us again this year during the Yamim Noraim.

Last July, we welcomed our new Rabbi Ari Averbach and his family. I look forward to a fruitful partnership that will propel TEC to newer and exciting experiences.

I feel happy and blessed to continue serving you as your Hazzan after so many years.

Rabbi Averbach, may this new chapter in your professional and personal life fulfill your deepest expectations as we embrace each other and walk together. Baruch haba! Welcome!

On a personal note, among the many upcoming B’nai Mitzvah this year and the next, my son Carmel begins his preparation towards his special day. Julieta and I couldn’t feel happier and proud.

Our “Shabbat under the Stars” during summer were very well received and attended. Different guests Cantors and other professionals, besides myself, led inspiring services.

Julieta joins me in wishing you a Sweet and prosperous year. Shana Tova!

Hazzan Pablo Duek

One special Friday night service was Tailgate-Beatles

Executive Director’s Message The High Holidays to me is a time to reflect on the past and look to the future. This year will be no different. As many of you know, for the last two years I have shared the mitzvah of blowing the shofar with Ron Goldstein; who has been doing it here at TEC for more than 50 years. Prior to becoming a member at TEC, I had previously done it at the shul I grew up at with my father and brothers - since I was about 3 years old. I share this memory with you because my blowing the shofar here at Temple Etz Chaim is both a reflection of the past and looking toward the future.

Gideon Manzur, Executive Director

call to action. It seems like just yesterday when my daughter Eliana came home from pre-Gesher, after the Shofar Factory came to our preschool, filled with such joy that she now had her very own shofar that she made, and asked me if I would teacher her how to make a proper sound. She became the third generation of our family to carry on this familial tradition. In the coming year I encourage you and your family to heed the sound and become more active in our vibrant community. Attend a new event, social gathering, or adult learning opportunity that helps guide you in creating or strengthening your own familial Jewish traditions while sharing them with our community.

My father, similarly to Ron, came into the role of blowing the shofar for the high holidays. Wanting to share his love of Judaism with his children, he took the time to teach us how to not only properly say the blessings and make the calls, but also how important a role we played is n the tradition. Some say the sound of the shofar is a

Elisha, Eliana, Ariella and I wish you and your family Shanah Tovah Umetukah.

Gideon Manzur 3

Early Childhood Education Smiling faces. Happy voices. These are just some of the things teachers love to see and hear on the first day of school. Most children are excited about going to preschool. But adjusting to a new environment can be difficult. Young children, just like adults, always feel more comfortable if they know what to expect. These are some strategies that will help your child feel comfortable in his/her new environment and get into the swing of things.

Debbie Blumenthal, Director of ECE

Progress”. This will be a perfect night to meet our new Rabbi and hear what he has to say about raising your children! We have a fun Back to School event planned on Sunday, September 15th from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. on the front lawn. This will be a fun afternoon for you to meet other preschool parents and their children. The children will enjoy bouncing and sliding on inflatables, sensory tables, and playing with their friends while the parents can schmooze with each other and meet other new families. Our first Tot Shabbat service for the new school year will be on Friday, September 20th at 6:15 p.m. in the TEC sanctuary. Rabbi Averbach, Hazzan Pablo and I look forward to a Shabbat evening with stories, songs, and blessing. A delicious dessert reception will follow the service. All are welcome! The entire preschool will be celebrating the Jewish New Year during the month of September. Rosh Hashanah begins on the evening of September 29th. Check the High Holiday schedule in this bulletin for a list of dates and times of the Family and Regular High Holiday services. We hope that this is a sweet New Year for all of our TEC families! The TEC Sukkot Family Dinner will be held on Friday, October 18th at 6:00 p.m. We will enjoy Sukkot songs, prayers and stories together in the TEC sukkah on the patio! Don’t forget to RSVP on the enclosed form so that you and your family can be included in this fun holiday celebration!

Ahead of time, come visit our school, new classroom and meet the teachers. The night before, you will probably start some new routines. These rituals, like bedtime stories, add predictability and are comforting in unfamiliar situations.

If I can answer any questions about our preschool program or Parent & Me classes, please stop by my office or call me at 805-497-6852. Welcome back, I cannot wait to see everyone!

Make sure your child knows that you will not be staying and reassure him that you will return. Refer to the pickup time by familiar activities such as after lunch, nap time or after enrichment class.

Debbie Blumenthal

Creating a morning good bye ritual is fun also. Developing a unique way to say good bye to your child sends a reassuring message of love. Some children love to “push” their parents out the door, others have a special wave or kiss they do. Of course the classroom teachers and I will also be available to help with this separation time. The teachers, in their loving way, will comfort and engage your child in activities as you leave. It may take a few days, even weeks for your child to be comfortable enough to separate easily. In September we will start off our Parent Talk series on Monday, September 9th at 6:30 p.m. and Rabbi Ari Averbach will be speaking on the topic “Mensch in 4

Religious School

Joyce Bronstein, Director of Religious School

I am excited to announce that Rabbi Averbach will be offering a three-part talk which will provide an opportunity to take a deeper dive into the prayers and philosophy of the High Holidays. It will provide a chance to delve into our liturgy with new eyes. I hope you will make it a point to attend these sessions and explore the High Holidays with Rabbi Averbach.

participate in the many meaningful customs, traditions and prayers associated with this holiday. On October 18 at 5:30 p.m, I hope to see everyone at our Sukkot Family Dinner. I love watching as our families enjoy eating a special meal under our incredibly large Sukkah. Todah Rabah in advance to Wendy Margolis, and her Sukkot volunteers, for providing a delicious Sukkot Dinner for our families. Also, again this year, on October 21 at 5:15 p.m., I would like to invite everyone to join us for a Simchat Torah complimentary dinner. After the dinner, we will join together as we celebrate the completion of reading the last words of the Torah and begin to read it again….IT’S TRADITION! Also, It is so much fun to watch congregants experience the joy of “dancing with the Torahs,” waving flags and eating apples. Phewwwww….lots going on at TEC. I along with my husband Leo, children and grandchildren, wish everyone a very Happy New Year filled with health, happiness, peace, fulfillment and lots of special moments! L’Shana Tova Tiketevu!

Joyce Bronstein

The sessions will be held on September 8th at 10:15 a.m. and September 15th and Sept. 22nd both at 9:30 a.m. All sessions will be held in the Wolfson Auditorium. So please mark your calendars and r.s.v.p. by emailing me at or calling 805-494-8174. As the High Holidays approach, please note that we offer many age appropriate educational and fun experiences for our children. All High Holiday programming for children/grade levels can be found in the High Holiday packet you received. Please make sure to register your children so we have enough materials and snacks for all attendees. For students in grades TK-7, please bring a dairy or pareve lunch. Please remember to join us for Family Friendly High Holiday Services and remember to sign up for your child to participate in the Yom Kippur concluding Neila Service. Again, please make sure to mark your calendars for all the High Holiday Experiences for the entire family at TEC. Flyers can be found in this bulletin. Thank you in advance to the Men’s Club for the beautiful Sukkah you will be building for all of us to enjoy. It is always a special treat for me to watch our students 5

USY & Youth Welcome back to TEC for the 201920 year. I am so excited for the upcoming year, with all of the new and exciting events planned for USY, Kadima and Machar. We are hitting the ground running this month with a ‘Kick Off’ Machar lounge for K-2nd kiddos. During Machar events, we teach community, friendship and a love of Judaism. We encourage all K-2nd grade kids to join us once a month for these fun events. Machar membership is $50 for the year plus $10 per lounge; or $125 for the year, which includes all lounges.

Shannon Tepfer, Youth Director

September Dates and Events: 9/01: Disney Day! 7 am at TEC for the bus, returning at midnight 9/07: Havdalah & Hike in Wood Ranch 5:30 pm-7:30 pm 9/08: Youth Commission (Parent) Meeting 10:15 am- 11:15 am 9/08: 1st Machar (K,1,2) lounge! 11:30 am – 1:30 pm 9/13-9/15: LTI at AJU, Bel Air – Sr. USY leaders and 8th grade President

Let’s talk about "Rosh Hashanah" (the Jewish New Year), and what it means. So what do we do for this holiday? I’m so glad you asked! Literally translated as "head of the year"; it is a reflective time that allows us to look back through our past deeds, and see what we could have done better throughout the year. This act of reflection and celebration allows us to move forward in pursuit of a sweet New Year. Let TEC USY help you make your new year AMAZING, full of heartwarming, and life changing moments.

9/17: Jr Lounge 6:15 pm – 7:45 pm 9/22: Kadima Lounge 11:30 am – 1:30 pm 9/29: Machar “Rosh Hashanah” activity 11:30 am- 1:30 pm 9/29: Apples and Honey FREE “High Holy Day” Child Care Preschool & Elementary Children 7:00 pm- 9:00 pm 9/30: Rosh Hashanah Tashlich Walk (8th – 12th graders Only)

This month, from beginning to end, the Youth Department has many new, innovative and exciting activities for kids, ranging from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Make the TEC Youth Department your destination to start the New Year off right, with an all-inclusive pass to life changing experiences and lifelong friends.

October Dates and Events: 10/06: Youth Commission (Parent) Meeting 10:15 am11:15 am 10/08: Kol Nidre FREE Childcare Preschool & Elementary Children 7:00 pm- 9:00 pm

Membership is $90 for the year, and lounges are $10 each. We meet regularly throughout the month, usually Tuesdays and Sundays after Religious School; and meals are included in the cost. We also have several outside activities planned throughout the year called, “Lounge on the Town”, where we take 7th – 12th graders to local places for fun activities, dining, and learning.

10/09: Yom Kippur Sicha (8th-12th Only) 12:00 pm-1:00 pm 10/16: Shakshuka in the Sukkah (Kadima) 4:30 pm-6:00 pm

Additionally, we have opportunities for parents as well. If you are interested in joining our Youth Commission, we meet once a month right before Religious School pick up. Our goals are to plan fun activities, keep kids involved, fundraise for scholarships, and volunteer for big events. Speaking of volunteering, we are looking for parent volunteers to help us with our Rosh Hashanah Tashlich walk on Sept. 30th as well as sponsors for our luncheon. If you are interested in participating in your child's youth experiences here at TEC, please call or email the Youth Department : (805) 494-3648.

10/17: Sushi in the Sukkah (Jr & Sr USY) 4:30 pm-6:00 pm 10/18: Sukkot Family Dinner (Everyone invited) USYers to help serve dessert! 10/27: Machar Blessings and Baking 11:30 am- 1:30 pm 10/29: Feeding the Hungry Calvary Church, Westlake 6:00 pm- 7:30 pm

Shannon Tepfer 6

Jennifer Elson, Membership VP

Membership Hello Membership,

relationships/connections we have in the world. My commitment to you, our current and future members, is

My name is Jennifer Elson and I recently accepted the

to help you feel that important connection - perhaps by

Membership VP position at Temple Etz Chaim. My family

joining a havurah, attending various TEC programs and

joined the temple almost 9 years ago when my twins were















opportunities to become part of groups and committees.

Confirmation and are off to college! The Jewish identity

I hope that you will join me in the many CONNECTIONS

and pride they feel is all because of the love and

waiting for you at TEC!

attention from Joyce Bronstein and the amazing teachers in the religious school, Rabbi Spiegel and Hazzan Pablo,

My “door” is always open to you- to talk, share ideas, ask

who made them feel loved and a true part of our history

a question, and for new members, to schedule a visit/

and culture.








me or leave a message

When I sat down to write this article and the importance

with Jessica at the temple office!

of this leadership position, one word immediately popped into my head CONNECTION “Membership”

Happy and Healthy New Year, from my family to yours!

relates to “Community”, which directly relates to the

Jennifer Elson

word “Connection”. I firmly believe the quality of our lives








our Benny Sommerfeld, VP Religion and Worship

Religion and Worship Religion and Worship (R&W) has gotten off to a busy start preparing for the High Holidays. We have finished the first round of honors and we will soon send out RSVPs to all of you with the assigned honors. Over 300 honors have been assigned which translate to about 175 families or ~45% of the TEC community! If you have received a letter for an honor, please RSVP and let me know if you are able to participate.

have any ideas, I invite you to email me at: and share your thoughts. Adult learning is a key issue that we want to address. I encourage all of you to RSVP for Rabbi Averbach’s three teaching sessions during the month of September in preparation for the High Holidays. We are thinking of introducing a new prayer book, which can serve as a learning opportunity for a richer prayer experience. More information will be provided after the High Holidays regarding its implementation.

It is important for us to know if you will be present so that our services can flow and become meaningful for all. We will have a check-in table in the main hallway at TEC to acknowledge your presence and I will be notified that you are here. This is your “Hineini” (Here I am) moment and I hope you will enjoy it. I have the honor to be the Baal Shacharit for both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, so if you arrive when services start at 9:00 am you will see me on the Bima.

Lastly, for all the Torah readers in our congregation, we are planning to use the standard tri-annual Torah reading cycle. If you are interested in reading Torah please email me. We will plan for different levels of Trope training with Pablo. Irma and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all Shanah Tovah Umetukah

The R&W committee consists of the clergy plus the following congregants: Ken Leon, Tzvi Kalinsky, Buzz Schoenkerman, Jonathan Benjamin and Lisa Eidman. We have been discussing how we can increase our service attendance and enhance our prayer experience. If you

Benny Sommerfeld 7

Mark Goldstein, Trustee-Community Outreach

Community Outreach As we begin this New Year, consider how TEC can enhance the value of your membership and how you can make TEC a better place. The goal with Community Outreach is to engage you to become active both at TEC and with other TEC members to expand our membership and build bonds among those in the TEC family. Consider new or modified programs that will help you enjoy your membership more and how you can contribute to others at TEC. Please contact me with your thoughts about new or modified programs. For example, should we have a wine, cheese and Havdallah event or offer this before Friday night services every so often? We’ll be setting planning meetings and info sessions for the below – so, check your TEC email for this. Pride Weekend - In conjunction with other houses of worship in the Conejo Valley, the week before Conejo Valley Pride (which is September 28), we are considering programming about being Jewish and LGBTQ+ in support of our LGBTQ+ friends, family, and neighbors. Sermons and programming across the Conejo on this topic will be offered on the weekend of September 20. At TEC, it may be a Sunday brunch, it may be a speaker during services… please contribute your ideas and make this a meaningful weekend.

Teens in Transition – too many teens at TEC are struggling with emotional and psychological challenges. We’re working on educating and supporting one another during this time of need. Please provide your thoughts on how we at TEC can do this. Bimah Benefits Team provides alternatives to flowers for those sponsoring bimah decorations while supporting charities. Visitor Welcome Team guides those visiting Shabbat services or TEC for the first time. This team guides new members, prospective members, those of other faiths, and local students through Shabbat services. Garden and Bird Sanctuary Team - Maintain and enhance the garden and bird area behind the temple. Garden work days to be announced. We learn more about ourselves by learning more about our neighbors. In this area we encourage Interfaith Opportunities. Join TEC members in conjunction with Social Action in participating on the Conejo Valley Refugee Welcome Team and the Conejo Valley Women’s Interfaith Network.

Mark Goldstein

Women of TEC

Cindy Scherr, WOTEC President

Welcome to Women of Temple Etz Chaim! As we prepare for the High Holidays coming up in just a few weeks (how did THAT happen?), I wanted to let you know what’s coming up for WOTEC. We have a full calendar planned for the year with social, educational, and Judaic events – something for everyone! On Wednesday, September 18, we will hold a “Dollar-a-Dip” potluck dinner, where you will get the scoop on Torah Fund for this year. It will be at Pam Friedman’s home. For more information, contact Sarah Karamas at Sunday, October 13 is our paid-up Membership Luncheon (free to all paid-up members of WOTEC). This is a catered luncheon with entertainment, raffles, and prizes, and is always a really terrific event. Please contact Elissa Lazarus at for more information.

effort of WOTEC and the Religious School) will be held on Friday, October 18. Again, for more information, please contact Elissa Lazarus.

And our annual Shabbat Dinner in the Sukkah (a joint

Cindy Scherr

Rosh Hashana will soon be here, and I want to take this opportunity to suggest that you make becoming involved with Women of TEC your new year’s resolution. You can serve on a committee, help plan an event, work in our Judaica shop… or just attend an event that sounds interesting to you. Our board meetings are open to all members; we meet the first Tuesday of every month. But please be aware that because of Rosh Hashana, our October meeting will be held on WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 2. All meetings are at 7:00 pm (please note the new starting time) in the Adult Lounge. As always, if you have any questions, you can always reach me at Marshall joins me in wishing you all a Shana Tovah, a year full of sweetness and joy. I look forward to seeing you all at shul.


We Proudly Congratulate our B’Nai Mitzvah Zach Benjamin

September 7, 2019

My name’s Zach Ross Benjamin and I am an 8th grader at Viewpoint School. I love hanging out with my friends and talking to them about our common interests. I love art and I aspire to be a designer when I am set into the real world. I am very grateful to Marv Friedman and my parents for helping me on my way to becoming a Bar Mitzvah, without them I wouldn’t be doing this today.

Aedyn Fredericksen

September 21, 2019

My name is Aedyn! I am currently an 8th grader at Sinaloa Middle School. I enjoy music, singing, my friends, longboarding, my dog, and most of all, the ocean. I have been going to TEC since pre-school. I would like to thank all of my teachers who have taught me and believed in me. Thank you Rivka for working with my schedule and teaching me. I would also like to thank my parents and grandparents who have devoted their time to driving me, supporting me, and keeping me on task. I look forward to becoming a Bat- Mitzvah! Ken Leon, Men’s Club President

Men’s Club August was quite an exciting month. The TEC Men’s Club hosted the annual FJMC Western Region Man and Youth of the Year Awards. At the same time, we played host to the inauguration of the 2019-2020 Western Region Board, led by our very own Gary Katz as President. We’re all very proud of our former club president, and former temple president. Gary is a great leader and the Western Region of FJMC couldn’t have been passed into better hands.

asking your trimming company to deliver the (unmulched) trimmings to TEC between Thursday October 10 and Friday October 11. Thank you all in advance. After we build the Sukkah, on Wednesday, September 16, 2019 the Men’s Club will meet in the Sukkah at 7:45 for Steaks, Scotch, Cigars and Torah with the Rabbi. This is fun event where you bring your own kosher steak and our magical Men’s Club Grill Masters will marinate and cook your steaks to perfection. We’ll sit together, share a schnapps, eat our steaks, and join in a rousing discussion of a Torah portion as led by Rabbi Averbach. Plan to arrive with your steaks by 7:00 so they can marinate. Join the Rabbi and congregation in the Chapel for Minyan, and then come to the Sukkah for a great time. You don’t have to bring a steak. We can grill anything. It has to be Kosher and it can’t be dairy.

I need to correct a typo from last month’s Etzetera. The TEC honoree was Mark Goldstein. I accidentally put the incorrect name in my article last month and I wish to apologize to Mark for the Mistake. At the awards, held on August 18, 2019, Maya Silberstein, the outgoing president of TEC’s USY chapter, was honored as TEC’s Youth of the Year.

There is one last major event that I wish to advise you of. Sunday, November 3, 2019 is the annual Mitzvah Day. This year the Men’s Club is going to be collecting used, but in good condition, business attire; for both men and women. We’ll have a drop-off zone at the Temple on that Sunday where you can deposit suits, shirts, ties, dresses, slacks, sport coats, and shoes.

Now we’re heading full steam into 2019-2020. Our first Men’s Club even of the year is coming up on Wednesday, September 11, 2019. The Men’s Club will be meeting at the brand-new Mad Era Brewery in Simi Valley (across from the Costco). We’ll meet at 7:00 PM for an evening of Beer tasting, snack tasting, and all-around comradery. We’ll take a moment to remember 9/11, and then move on to celebrating life. Bring a friend.

From the entire TEC Men’s Club to you and your entire family, we wish you a L’shana Tova Tikatevu. May the coming year bring you health, happiness, love and prosperity.

October and Holidays are fast approaching and the Men’s Club is having its annual Sukkah Building event on Sunday, September 13, 2019, beginning at 8:30 AM. We’ll complete the Sukkah and put on the schach. And that brings up a good point. We need Branches. If you are planning to have your trees trimmed, please consider

Ken Leon


Social Action

Judy Gindi, VP of Social Action

The High Holidays are upon

Blood Drive: During Mitzvah Day on November 3rd from

us. It is a time to reflect on

9-1. Contact Debra Levine

our lives and what we want to

do that is most meaningful to us.




at (818)271-1307 or email

Adopt-a-Family: Sign up you and your friends to adopt


families for the holidays from Many Mansions, Meals on

commandment to help those in need, I find that I usually gain much more from

Wheels and the Westminster Free Clinic. See flyer in the

helping others than I have ever given. The friendships I

Chailights section for additional details. Please sign up

have made over the years working on Tzedakah

as soon as possible so we know how many families we

(charitable) projects and the joy I have felt in bringing

can adopt. Contact Judy Gindi if you have any questions

our community together to help others, has made my

or want to help administer this worthwhile project.

life much richer. Please consider joining the Social Action Committee.

Collections: Please donate your gently used handbags/

We will meet regularly to plan

purses to help homeless women. Deadline is October

activities that will support Social Action causes at TEC and in the community. We will also have field trips to

1st. Clean out your closet and do a mitzvah at the same

Many Mansions, the Westminster Free Clinic and more!

time. Blue colored hampers are in the temple foyer and the preschool and religious office to collect them.

Please contact me at (805)701-6861 or email me

WIN (Women’s Interfaith Network) is a group of women

at for more details

that come together every month to assemble various

Shanah Tovah!

items for those in need in our community. They meet

Judy Gindi

the 4th Thursday of the month at Temple Adat Elohim at 7 pm. It is an incredible group of women that does

Opportunities to Volunteer:

wonderful things for the community.

USY Food Drive for the High Holidays: Bring dry and

The Westminster Free Clinic in Thousand Oaks needs

canned goods to the temple during the holidays.

medical professionals to provide free care to low income

Support local food pantries including Manna and Sova.

residents of the Conejo Valley. The clinic meets every

Feed the Homeless:

TEC feeds the homeless every

Wednesday night at the United Methodist Church, next

month. Contact Lynne Katz at

door to the temple. Pharmacists, physicians, podiatrists,

for further information.

nurses, chiropractors, and physical therapists are

The next date is September

needed. Come, take a tour of the clinic to see for

24th. Mitzvah Day: Sunday, November 3rd.

yourself the incredible services they offer.

There will be

given every Wednesday at 6pm in Dickerson Hall at the

activities for every age and from every temple organization.

Tours are

church. Observe how a church is turned into a medical

It’s going to a special day where our

clinic that serves over 100 people each week. For further

synagogue comes together as a community to help


those in need.





at or Judy Gindi at (805)701-6861 or at 10

Connor Friedman at the National JCC Maccabi Games Connor Friedman, a former Temple Etz Chaim member and an upcoming junior at Thousand Oaks High School, represented Team LA Valley at the National JCC Maccabi games this summer in Atlanta, Georgia. Connor was the most decorated athlete for team LA Valley as he earned nine swimming medals and to him the more significant award, the Maccabi Midot award, for role modeling the six values of Midot: Tikkun Olam, Respect, Joy, Price, Big Hearted, and Jewish Peoplehood. In boys swimming 16 and under, Connor earned gold medals in the 400 free relay and the 50 backstroke. He also earned silver medals in the 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 200 Individual Medley, and 200 free relay. In addition, Connor earned bronze medals in the 400 medley relay and the 200 freestyle. At the Atlanta airport, TSA security required that his backpack be opened because of the the heavy medals. Connor trains with Class Aquatics Swim Club in Westlake Village.

Thank You and Goodbye From Seth Browner After almost two years at Temple Etz Chaim, I’m leaving for a new job up at UC Davis Hillel where I will be working as the Engagement Associate. Of course, I’m excited to take the next, big step in my career, but sad to be leaving behind all of the friends I’ve made here at TEC.

be a home. Now that I’m moving on, I feel tremendously lucky to be a member of the extended, TEC family. As my grandparents will happily tell you, I’m excellent at staying in touch. Never hesitate to send me a hello email at You can also find me on Facebook or the UC Davis Hillel website. Thank you again, everyone. I will miss you and think about you often.

To everyone who I’ve worked with, whether you were in the front office, the school, or on the board of directors, it’s been amazing. When I graduated from college, I never would have imagined that I would find my way back to the Conejo Valley of all places. For that, I’d like to thank the board of directors who first hired me when I was fresh out of school. It’s not easy finding your first job, so thank you for taking a chance on me.


Seth Browner

I’d like to thank my colleagues in the front office; we’ve been through so much together! I’d like to thank Rabbi Spiegel, Rabbi Averbach, Rabbi Paskow, and Hazzan Pablo. I’d like to thank everyone in the school building, from the directors to the preschool teachers, who graciously let me visit their lovable kids daily, read them stories, and play with them on the yard. To the many b’nai mitzvah families and members who I’ve worked with in some way or another, you guys are all part of the wide circle of friends I’ve grown so close to here. When I was interviewing for the job at UC Davis, I told the Executive Director there that I don’t think a single, one of my other friends from college, who are all working in their “first job ever,” can say they’ve made so many new friends at the office. I meant it. It’s reaffirmed what was always my favorite part about being Jewish: having a family everywhere you go. TEC will always be my launchpad into the working world, but it will also be so much more. It will 11


September 2019 Sunday 1


1 Elul 2

2 Elul 3

Labor Day 7:30 AM USY Disney Day 8:30 AM Minyan

Front Office, ECE, and Infant Center Closed 7:15 PM Minyan



8 Elul 9


3 Elul 4


4 Elul 5


5 Elul 6

Saturday 6 Elul 7

First Day of Preschool and Religious School, Grades 3-7

9 Elul 10

10:00 AM Shabbat Services 7:00 PM Al Anon

7:30 PM WOTEC Board Meeting

7:15 PM Minyan

5:00 PM Bingo

10 Elul 11

11 Elul 12

Zachary Benjamin Bar Mitzvah

7:30 PM Kabbalat Shabbat

12 Elul 13

5:30 PM Hike and Havdalah

13 Elul 14

First Day of Religious First Day of School, Grades TK-2 Religious School, Grades 8-12 8:30 AM Minyan 9:30 AM Membership Open House 9:30 AM Youth Commission Meeting 10:15 AM Rabbi Averbach Adult U

7:00 PM Al Anon 6:15 PM USY Kadima Lounge

11:30 AM Machar

14 Elul

10:00 AM Shabbat Services

8:30 AM Lifeline Screening 7:15 PM Minyan

7 Elul

7:15 PM Minyan

5:00 PM Bingo

Aedyn Fredericksen Bat Mitzvah

7:30 PM Kabbalat Shabbat

12:00 PM Board Retreat


15 Elul 16

16 Elul 17

17 Elul 18

18 Elul 19

19 Elul 20

20 Elul 21

21 Elul

Selichot 8:30 AM Minyan 9:30 AM Rabbi Averbach Adult U 3:00 PM ECE Back to School Carnival


6:15 PM Tot Shabbat

6:30 PM Men’s Club Board Meeting

7:15 PM Minyan

22 Elul 23

7:00 PM Book Club

7:00 PM Al Anon

7:30 PM TEC Board Meeting

7:15 PM Minyan

23 Elul 24

8:00 PM Men’s Club Poker Night

24 Elul 25

7:30 PM Kabbalat Shabbat Pride Shabbat

11:30 AM USY Kadima Lounge 29

7:00 PM Selichot Services

5:00 PM Bingo

25 Elul 26

26 Elul 27

27 Elul 28

28 Elul

10:00 AM Shabbat Services

8:30 AM Minyan 9:30 AM Rabbi Averbach Adult U

10:00 AM Shabbat Services

7:15 PM Minyan

7:00 PM Al Anon

5:00 PM Bingo

7:15 PM Minyan

7:30 PM Kabbalat Shabbat

29 Elul 30 1 Tishrei Rosh Hashana Day 1 No Religious School

Erev Rosh Hashana 8:30 AM Minyan 11:00 AM Machar 7:30 PM Erev Rosh Hashana Services

9:00 AM Main Services 9:00 AM High Holiday Experience, Grades TK-4 9:00 AM ECE Childcare 10:30 AM Junior Congregation, Grades 5-7 11:30 AM Tashlich Walk 2:30 PM Family Services

SAVE THE DATE November 3 Mitzvah Day

November 5 Preschool Photos

November 13 Men’s Club Poker Night 12

November 20 Babka Bake

November 23 Havdalah by the Ocean


October 2019 Sunday




2 Tishrei 2



3 Tishrei 3


4 Tishrei 4


5 Tishrei 5

6 Tishrei

Rosh Hoshana Day 2 Fast of Gedaliah 9:00 AM Main Services

10:00 AM Shabbat Services

9:00 AM ECE Childcare


7 Tishrei 7

8 Tishrei 8

5:00 PM Bingo

9 Tishrei 9

10 Tishrei 10

7:30 PM Kabbalat Shabbat

11 Tishrei 11

12 Tishrei 12

Erev Yom Kippur Yom Kippur No Religious School Front Office Closes at 9:00 AM Main Services 2:00 pm 9:00 AM ECE Childcare ECE/Infant Center 9:00 AM High Holiday Close at 3:00 pm Experience, Grades TK-4

8:30 AM Minyan 10:15 AM Youth Commission Meeting

13 Tishrei

10:00 AM Shabbat Services

10:30 AM Junior Congregation, Grades 5-7 12:00 PM USY Sicha

7:15 PM Minyan

7:00 PM USY Kol Nidre Childcare 7:30 PM Kol Nidre

2:15 PM Community Forum 2:30 PM Family Services 4:15 PM Yizkor Service

5:00 PM Bingo

5:00 PM Concluding Service

7:30 PM Kabbalat Shabbat

6:50 PM Neilah 7:00 PM Havdalah


14 Tishrei 14

Erev Sukkot

Sukkot Day 1

8:30 AM Minyan 8:30 AM Men’s Club Building the Sukkah 12:30 PM WOTEC Membership Luncheon 20

10:00 AM First Day Sukkot Services

11:30 AM Lunch Box Schmooze in the Sukkah, Grades K-2

Sukkot Day 2

17 Tishrei 17

Sukkot Day 3

18 Tishrei 18

Sukkot Day 4

10:00 AM Second Day 7:00 PM Al Anon Sukkot Services 7:15 PM Minyan

22 Tishrei 22

Shemini Atzeret

23 Tishrei 23

5:00 PM Bingo

5:30 PM Dinner

Sukkot Day 5

20 Tishrei

Sukkot Day 6

24 Tishrei 24

6:30 PM Kabbalat Shabbat 7:30 USY Chapter Led Shabbat

25 Tishrei 25

26 Tishrei 26

27 Tishrei

Simchat Torah

Front Office Closed No Religious School

10:00 AM Shemini Atzeret Services (Yizkor)

19 Tishrei 19

5:30 PM Sukkot Family 10:00 AM Shabbat Dinner Services

7:15 PM Minyan

8:30 AM Minyan 8:30 AM Thousand Oaks Street Fair

16 Tishrei 16

Front Office Closed No Religious School

21 Tishrei 21

Sukkot Day 7


15 Tishrei 15

10:00 AM Simchat Torah Services

6:00 PM Say Shalom Dinner

7:00 PM Al Anon 7:15 PM Minyan

5:00 PM Bingo

10:00 AM Shabbat Services

7:30 PM Kabbalat Shabbat

6:15 PM Simchat Torah Services

28 Tishrei 28

29 Tishrei 29

30 Tishrei 30

1 Cheshvan 31

2 Cheshvan

8:30 AM Minyan 10:30 AM Open House, Grades TK-2 11:30 AM Machar

5:00 PM Open House, Grades 3-7 7:15 PM Minyan

7:00 PM Al Anon 6:00 PM USY Feeding 7:15 PM Minyan the Hungry

5:00 PM Bingo

SAVE THE DATE December 9 Scholastic Book Fair in the Rotunda

December 13 Sixth Grade Shabbat Dinner and Program

December 18 Breakfast with Babies 13

December 23 Preschool Winter Camp Begins

December 30 Hanukkah Ends

Contributions to our Synagogue Rabbi Ari Averbach Discretionary Fund

Hazzan Pablo Duek Discretionary Fund Religious School Fund

Our condolences to:

In memory of:

In memory of:

In memory of:

Julie and Ken Saul

Beatrice Cohen

Marvin Cohn

David Cohen

Susan Cohen

Maxine Cohn

Bernice Banker Donna Kinsbruner Hyman Foster Sylvia Koppel Samuel Robinson Errol Berk Mary Yaffa

Marc Cohn

Fred Cohen Maria Sabolch Siegel

Arthur Dell Ida Dell

Judith Feldman Florence Goldfinger

Janice Orlowski Reva Schwartz Carolyn and Neil Bordofsky

Robin Goldfinger Mazel tov on your new job: Seth Browner

Evelyn and Bert Schoenkerman Sr. Carolyn and Neil Bordofsky

Marcey Schoenkerman Judy Gindi

Buzz Schoenkerman Miriam Raviv Ron Senderov

Moshe Cohen

Our condolences to:

Melvin Harold Simon

The Schoenkerman Family

Jean Simon Cohen Carolyn Bordofsky Our condolences to: The Saul Family From Buzz Schoenkerman Thank you to: Rabbi Averbach

From the Lessman Family The Saul Family From Carolyn and Neil Bordofsky Mazel tov on your new job: From Judith Sneed Temple General Fund In memory of:

From Rachel and David Carmona

David Lichtenfeld

In honor of your installation: Rabbi Averbach From Sam Averbach From Geri Siegel From Barbara Rosenberg From Debbie and Les Feldman Welcome: Rabbi Averbach From Herb Wexler Mazel tov on your new job: Seth Browner From Judith Sneed Rabbi Richard Spiegel Discretionary Fund In memory of: Rowline Feldman Rose Horowitz Maurice Sachs David Sachs Bernard Silverman Lewis Silverman Thank you to: Rabbi Spiegel From Emily, David, Shayna, Talya, and Ella Rackow

Elisa Feldman Memorial Religious School Scholarship Fund

Philip Lichtenfeld Mary Green William Green Rabbi Joel Zaiman

Kirby Teasdall

Herman Adelman Sally Mark Evelyn Feldman Ilean Kanter Debbie and Les Feldman Our condolences to: Buzz Schoenkerman Sturman

From Ann and Elliot

The Saul Family From Nomi Freed Mazel tov: From Debbie and Les Feldman

Ida Goldstein Susan Cohen Lenore Adler Joyce Goldberg Mazel tov on your new job:

In memory of:

Seth Browner

Louis Shechter

From Judith Sneed

Yetta Storch Claire Zelkowitz Toby Yoskowitz Lawrence Storch Gladys Fishman Alan Lipkin Herman Shrater Joel Shrater Men’s Club Silverstein Humanitarian Fund In memory of: Gari and Richard Saly Ner Tamid Education & Community Center Fund

Cindy Alpern and Sons Milton Fixel Helen Fixel Francine Mozes Women of TEC Beautification Fund Get well soon: Cindy Scherr From Liz and Ron Groden Ann Moore-Ross From Liz and Ron Groden Women of TEC Scholarships Fund

In memory of:

In memory of:

Helena Dain

Miriam Hockman

Cherie Wrigley

Stuart Hockman

Dunaier Music Fund

Fienberg-Lerner Chapel Minyan Fund

In memory of:

Our condolences to:

Larry Seaver

The Saul Family

In honor of: Warren Potash

Eli Storch

Zerlin Library Fund

Gordon Salganik

Rabbi Spiegel and Hazzan Pablo

Marie Rubens

Rose Alpern

From Debbie and Les Feldman

Jotkowitz Camp Ramah Scholarship Fund

Janice and Manny Perlman

Ernest Solomon

In memory of:

From Patty and Jerry Kaye

Tree of Life Fund

Barbara Kluber

Elliot Sturman

Our condolences to:

Lawrence Schneider

Sharon Kluber

Wishing you well:

In memory of:

Stan Helfand

In memory of:

Herma Silverstein

The Chernavsky Family

Early Childhood Education Fund

Tillie Gordon

Tzedakah Fund

In memory of:

Susan Simowitz

Marge Sherman

Rabbi Jack Shechter

From Wendy and Lester

James Reiter

William Sherman

The Saul Family


Men’s Club Scholar-in-Residence

Barbara Wexler

Jerry and Sid Sherman

The Saul Family

Murray Reiter

Dr. William Silverberg Janice and Manny Perlman

Our condolences to:

In memory of:

Seth Browner

From Andrea and Ed Norick

From Ronnie Greenberg

From Judith Sneed

From Bonnie Rothman Torah Fund

Barbara Freeman

Lois Girsky

Women of TEC Tributes

Get well soon:

Thinking of you on the occasion of Flo Goldberg’s yahrzeit:

Herb Goldin

Paula and Steve Goldberg From Shirley and Alan Lipkin


Lois Girsky

Chailights - Schedule of Services


Chailights - ECE Back to School ECE Play Day: Sunday, September 15th from 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Come meet other ECE families for an afternoon of play on our front Warren Lawn. Everyone is invited! September ECE Tot Shabbat Service: Friday, September 20th at 6:15 p.m. Everyone is invited to join Rabbi Averbach, Hazzan Pablo and Miss Debbie for Shabbat blessing, songs and story! A delicious dessert reception will follow the service. Parent & Me Fall Session: Now registering for babies, birth - preschool age! Classes are offered Monday Friday in our ECE Center. Email for class description and cost.

Chailights - Religious School Tuesday, September 3

First Day of Class Grades 3-7

4:15 p.m.

Sunday, September 8

First Day of Class Grades TK, K, 1, 2

9:30 a.m.

Sunday, September 8

Rabbi Averbach Talk- Part 1

10:15 a.m.

Monday, September 9

First Day of Class Grades 8, 9, 10

6:30 p.m.

Monday, September 9

First Day of Class Grades 11, 12

7:30 p.m.

Sunday, September 15

Rabbi Averbach Talk – Part 2

9:30 a.m.

Sunday, September 22

Rabbi Averbach Talk – Part 3

9:30 a.m.

Monday, September 30

High Holiday Experience Grades TK-4

9:00 a.m.

Junior Congregation Grades 5, 6, 7

10:30 a.m.

Family Service All Ages

2:30-3:30 p.m.

Tuesday, October 1

No Class- Rosh Hashanah

Tuesday, October 8

No Class- Kol Nidre

Wednesday, October 9

High Holiday Experience Grades TK-4 Junior Congregation Grades 5, 6, 7

10:30 a.m.

Family Service All Ages

2:30-3:30 p.m.

Neilah Service (all children)

6:50 p.m.

Friday, October 18

Sukkot Family Dinner (rsvp)

5:30 p.m.

Monday, October 21

No Class-Simchat Torah Dinner & Service

5:30 p.m.

Sunday, October 27

Open House for parents TK, K, 1, 2

10:30 a.m.

Tuesday, October 29

Open House for parents Grades 3-7

5:20 p.m.


Chailights - Religious School


Chailights - Religious School

Chailights - Youth Department


Chailights - Youth Department


Chailights - Youth Department


Chailights - Youth Department


Chailights - Women of TEC

Women of TEC - Calendar of Events Wednesday, September 18

Dollar-a-Dip Pot Luck/Torah Fund Social Event

6:30 p.m.

Sunday, October 13

Paid Membership Lunch (no charge to members)

12:00 p.m.

Sunday, November 24

Holiday Boutique

9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, November 20

Babka Bake (with Adult U)

7:00 p.m.

Sunday, December 15

Dinner and a Movie at TEC (Ladies Night Out!)

5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, January 14

Wine and Line Dancing in Spiegel Hall

7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 11

Tu B'Shvat Seder/JNF information night

7:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 22

WOTEC Tea/Social Event

Wednesday, April 22

Game Night in Spiegel Hall

Friday/Saturday June 5-6

WOTEC/Men's Club Shabbat

June 2020

Woman of Valor Program 22

7:00 p.m.

Chailights - Women of TEC & Religious School Collaboration


Chailights - Women of TEC


Chailights - Social Action


Chailights - Sukkot


Chailights - Mt. Sinai Pre-Need Program, Grief Support Group, Approved Kosher Caterers, and Photographers for Life Events


Non-Profit U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 131 Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Temple Etz Chaim 1080 E. Janss Road Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Temple Leadership Clergy

Board of Directors

Rabbi Ari Averbach

Jeff Solomon, President

Tom Milhaupt, VP Personnel/Legal

Hazzan Pablo Duek

Shari Mark, Executive Vice President

Michael Roberts, Trustee Bingo

Rabbi Emeritus Shimon Paskow

Sherri Finn, Immediate Past President

Cindy Scherr, WOTEC President

Rabbi Emeritus Richard Spiegel

David Ambramovicz, VP of Ways and Means

Larry Slomowitz, VP Building and Grounds

Jennifer Elson, VP Membership

Benny Sommerfeld, VP Religion and Worship


Eric Feigenbaum, VP Youth

Felicia Toporoff, VP Religious School

Gideon Manzur, Executive Director

Mark Goldstein, Trustee Community Outreach David Yodkovik, Treasurer

Debbie Blumenthal, ECE Director

Judy Gindi, VP Social Action

Joe Zwicker, VP Early Childhood Education

Kathy Sharp, ECE Assistant Director

Robin Kahn, Trustee Business Services

Terri Zwicker, Trustee Strategic Planning

Joyce Bronstein, Religious School Director

Elissa Lazarus, Corresponding Secretary

Gary Katz, Past President

Shannon Tepfer, Youth Director

Ken Leon, Men’s Club President

Marshall Scherr, Past President

Wendy Margolis, Financial Secretary

Myles Simpson, Past President

Beth Meyer, Recording Secretary


Profile for Temple Etz Chaim

September-October 2019 Issue  

September-October 2019 Issue