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2014 March 5774

INSIDE This Issue

Social Committee Launches Bagelpon By Lester Nathan

B Tourography: Manochehr Norparvar A Very "Baaad" Man page 3

Meatloaf and Trivia page 4

Trinity Serves Up an Added Entrée page 4

agelpon … is it a discount coupon for bagels at times and rebate amounts. The Communications Rainbow Bakery? Perhaps it’s a Jewish knock-off Committee helps publicize Bagelpon via Touro’s of a popular on-line coupon promotion? Well, Internet applications – the website, e-mail blast that’s close; it’s a new program at Touro which gives and group page on Facebook. The communication members, along with their family and friends, the is not only faster, but helps draw members to the opportunity to try out new events which differ from website. And the website’s Bagelpon page serves our regular social events. another role: it holds the It is modeled after that rebate coupon. To receive popular coupon promotion; the rebate, a member however, our members do not should attach a receipt need to pay in advance nor do from the venue to the we require a minimum number coupon, then deliver it to for the event to proceed. Touro's office. Harmony Lodge President Ba g e l p o n d e b u t e d Norm Dinerman came up with on December 15th with the idea last spring. By using an afternoon of ten-pin (l to r)Jeremy Steinberg, Marc Gertsacov, Lester Nathan, the Internet instead of flyers bowling at Cranston Richard Fain, Norman Dinerman, Stevan Labush. with reservation coupons, it Lanes. The twelve who makes it easier to run the event and diminishes the participated had a great time. The next event chance of a cancellation. Norm discussed his idea was billiards at Bo’s Bar & Grill in Warwick, on with several brothers in the Social Committee and then January 26th. In February, Bagelpon featured made one change: the rebates would be in bagel bucks two family-oriented events: skiing/snowboarding/ instead of real money. This motivates participants to snow tubing at Yawgoo Valley in Exeter and the attend future Touro events such as Two-fers, dinner musical, Hairspray, at The Stadium Theater in dances and Pawsox games. Woonsocket. See the website (www.tourofraternal. The Bagelpon program is democratic – any org/bagelpon) for further details. member can propose an idea for a new event. If you One final note: Rebate coupons for Bagelpon have an idea for a new Bagelpon event, please pass can only be used on the date and time that Touro it along to any lodge officer or better yet come to a advertises the event and may only be used by the social committee meeting. The final selections are member who makes the purchase. made by committee, which chooses the venues, dates,

March Madness at Touro By Max Guarino

T Common Cause page 5

his year, March Madness is coming to Touro. We have set up an NCAA Championship Bracket at Members and/ or immediate family are welcome to join this bracket, for free, to match their NCAA Basketball knowledge against their brothers'. Cash prizes to be awarded are: $100 to the 1st place winner, $50 to the 2nd place winner and $25 to the 3rd place winner. If you have given us your e-mail address, you should be receiving an e-mail invitation to join our league in the nearfuture. ~1~

Touro has also planned an event where you can brag how great your bracket is doing! On March 23rd, from 2 to 7 PM, we are holding a “Cards and NCAA March Madness” event at Touro Hall, where you can watch the third round games on our large screen, and also play cards. It’s open to Touro families only, and costs only a refundable $5 or 5 bagel bucks. Enjoy kosher corned beef and cabbage with veggies. At the end, we will raffle off two Red Sox tickets. Everyone gets one free ticket and is welcome to purchase more.

Chairman's Chatter

The Handwriting on the Wall

By Jed Brandes, Chairman of the Board History – ‘hIs-tə-ri’ noun, plural his•to•ries A continuous, systematic narrative of past events as relating to a particular people, country, period, person, etc., usually written as a chronological account; chronicle: a history of France; a medical history of the patient. Touro has many written chronologies documenting its rich heritage. For instance, every new member signs a book upon initiation. We can tell who joined and when, going back to Touro’s earliest days. In the office, bound copies of minutes from all the board and lodge meetings record all the actions and decisions made by those who have governed our fraternity. In preparation for writing this column, I thought it would be interesting to see what messages my predecessors wished to convey. So, I sought out another chronology: the Tourogram. At our website you can view all the past Tourograms, dating back to 2001. If you want to go back further, hard copies are also maintained in the office. I’ve spent some time reading past issues, with a keen eye towards Chairman Emeritus Bob Miller’s column, "From the Chairman". My immediate reaction was that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Ten years ago, Chairman Miller wrote about volunteering. While mostly an objective discussion of the nature of volunteerism, he did state that Touro would “welcome any and all who want to volunteer for the betterment of the association.” Today, the need for involved brothers is greater than ever. Charitable initiatives such as our visits to Ronald McDonald House require a dedicated work force. Our social agenda is dependent on our brothers to perform the behind the scenes work that ensures successful events. We are always looking for new lodge officers and board members to help shape our future. That brings us to February 2009. Bob’s topic was nominations. His article discussed Touro’s process for keeping our Lodge Offices and Association Board manned by motivated brothers. It concluded with an invitation to get involved by seeking an office or promoting another brother for election. The more things change, the more they stay the same. We are privileged to have dedicated men who devote their time and energy to ensuring Touro’s success. It is our good fortune to have experienced brothers with institutional knowledge, but Touro must evolve to remain vital. That requires the new ideas that inevitably come with new officials. Happily, I can report that at our recently concluded nominations meeting, new brothers stepped up to the plate. And we can look forward to their unique contributions. But we can always use more. Next year, we will start all over again. I reiterate Chairman Miller’s invitation: if you’d like to get more involved, find someone to nominate you! It’s that easy! Plans are now well under way for Touro’s Centennial celebration. The Centennial Committee is already booking venues. We will have events scheduled for the entire year, and it promises to be unforgettable. Since we are marching inexorably into the future, what could be more important than recording our progress? So, the committee is interviewing historians to pen a retrospective of our association’s first hundred years. What do you know? Another chronology! Lang leben zolt ir! ~2~

By Lester Nathan, Friendship Lodge President


t last September’s lodge meeting, we honored our “old timers”, those with 25+ years of membership. On that evening, I, too, reached a milestone, my 20th year as a member and 19th on the Communications Committee. So now seems like a good time to review Touro communications: the past, present and future. During my first six years, between 1994 and 2001, the Tourogram, which came out quarterly, was our primary tool for communicating information to the membership. Its content included the lodge meetings, social events, philanthropy, member profiles, and the upcoming social events. It took us more than two months to produce an issue. In 2002, a Website Committee was started and launched our first website. It contained an overview page, an event calendar, printable flyers, recent event photos and a member benefits summary. Some of the information doesn’t change too often; these pages supplant our brochures. But three features are quite dynamic: the flyers, calendar and photo gallery. We update them often and it gets done in a week or less. In 2009, the Communications Committee took over the Touro group page on Facebook. Now, we were using a social media website. Though Facebook cannot contain our entire website’s content, it offered something new – an interactive wall on which any group member can post a comment, photo, video or link to another web page. Any member having either a computer or smart phone can post a comment on our wall. Typically, they post their messages within a day of an event, and sometimes during them! As I write this article, membership in our Facebook group stands at 69, one fourth of our email mailing list. But the number is growing steadily. Perhaps you’ve noticed the demise of print magazines such as Newsweek. They face stiff competition from web sites which update continuously. Our Committee has noticed this “handwriting on the wall.” Most of the stories in the Tourogram are quite old by publication time. On the other hand, for inactive members who don’t regularly attend our meetings, the information might still be “news.” Continued on page 3 - Handwriting

Manochehr Norparvar: A Very "Baaad" Man By Howard Wasser


anochehr was born in Shiraz, Iran in the 50s. His name in Persian means Heaven’s Face. The family was, and is, part of a tight knit Jewish community which has lived in the area since the time of Esther. Shiraz is known as the city of poets, gardens, wine, and flowers. In fact, the oldest sample of wine in the world was discovered in clay jars just outside of Shiraz (about 7000 years ago). When asked what his interests were as a child, he responded “science.” When asked what his favorite subject in school was, he again responded “science.” When asked about his favorite sport, he did not say “science” but responded with soccer, of course. He was not part of an organized league but like many of us in this country, he played in the field with his friends. As Manochehr got older, he realized education in the United States might be better for him than where he lived. With that in mind, he applied and was accepted to West Virginia State College. He stayed there for one semester but was lonely without his family around, so he moved to Rhode Island to be nearer to his brother, and later on, his sister joined them. He was accepted at URI, where he lived off campus. After getting an undergraduate degree in 1980, he stayed on to get a Masters in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 1982. He worked for several companies for a few years but decided he would rather be self-employed. Although he was very busy as a Civil Structure and Environmental Engineer, he found time to

teach. He taught at Roger Williams University for about 17 years and at URI for about three. In addition to work, Manochehr is involved with his family and religion. Those are two of the reasons he joined Touro in 1998. His brother Rahmat is a member and encouraged him to join. He enjoys the camaraderie and appreciates that Touro runs a kosher house. After a couple of years at Touro, he was asked if he would like to become more involved. He jumped right in and became treasurer of Harmony Lodge. After that, he was Vice President of Harmony Lodge. With that job came the chairmanship of the Social Committee. There may not be a more demanding job at Touro. Manochehr thrived. He was told that he was a very good man. Jokingly, someone said he was a VERY BAAAD MAN. This nickname has become legendary. Currently, he is again the treasurer of Harmony Lodge. A couple of years ago, his nephew Elan was one of the student grant winners at Touro. Even though Manochehr was born far away from RI, we still found a RI connection. I asked him about his religious affiliation and he mentioned an Orthodox synagogue near the East Side. I asked if he knew my friend Ben. Of course he did; he sees him almost every day. So if you think you have no connection to Manochehr, try talking to him, there will be a connection. And if all else fails, then say to him, “You are a VERY BAAAD MAN.”

Handwriting - continued from page 2

Also, the Tourogram might be the only news for a member without a computer. I’ve heard these arguments many times during our committee meetings. But as mentioned earlier, this is about the future as well as the past; websites, Facebook and other similar applications seem to be where the future lies. The Internet will always deliver information faster than a hard-copy newsletter. So, we plan to use a different software application, named WordPress, which would make it easy to post articles and announcements on our website, to go along with the images. On WordPress, one can also post comments if you have your own WordPress account. We plan to launch WordPress during 2014. As the chairman of Communications, this will be both an exciting and demanding challenge for our committee to implement. Stay tuned for updates on this exciting project as it moves forward.

Golf League on the Move! By Barry Shaw, Chairman, Golf Committee


he Touro Golf League is moving to Cranston Country Club. Our new tee time will be 4:15 to 4:52. We have room for 24 golfers. Anyone interested in playing contact Barry Shaw at or contact the office at 785-0066. Save the Date for Touro’s annual golf tournament. This year’s “members only” event will be held on Monday, September 29, 2014 at Crystal Lake Golf Course. Details to follow.


Picture This...Meatloaf and Trivia By Max A. Guarino

(l-r) Barry Schiff, Jed Brandes, Alan Lury

(l-r) Rick Cohen, Jeff Harpel, Alan Lury, Mitchell Cohen, Gary Berkowitz


n Wednesday evening, January 29th, Harmony Lodge hosted the first monthly meeting of 2014. After the meeting, we were treated to Chairman Emeritus Bob Miller's famous meatloaf dinner. As we have come to expect, it was excellent. After the meal, Touro members were entertained with Picture Trivia, hosted by Vice Chairman Alan Lury. Alan showed us pictures of Jewish celebrities, sports stars and famous places in Rhode Island, and then asked us questions about them. He didn't just include today’s entertainment and sports stars, but also popular figures from past generations. Let’s just say he really put our knowledge of Jewish celebrities and RI geography to the test ... and there were definitely

2014 Student Financial Aid Program Ready to Launch By Steve Waldman, Chairman, Student Financial Aid


he Board of Directors has once again generously given the Student Financial Aid Committee a total of $45,000 to be awarded as three grants of $3,000 and another $36,000 to be awarded in the form of interest-free loans of up to $3,000 each. Regular Touro Members, their spouses and children, and children of deceased regular Touro members may apply for grants. Previous grant winners are not eligible for additional grants. Regular Touro members, their children and children of deceased regular Touro members are eligible for interest-free loans. Each student may receive up to $12,000 in interest-free loans over their academic careers. Applications for both loans and grants will be available in March. Complete details will follow in an upcoming March mailing.

(l-r) Fred Raisner, Alan Lury, Norman Tobin, Harry Finklestein

some Touro brothers who rose to the occasion. The winners of the cash prizes were: 1st place: Barry Schiff and Jed Brandes 2nd place: Rick Cohen, Mitchell Cohen, Gary Berkowitz, and Jeff Harpel 3rd place: Fred Raisner, Norman Tobin, and Harry Finkelstein Hard work by Bob, Alan and many others did not go to waste. Everyone won in the end, as laughter was heard throughout the evening. Most who were there would agree this was a triumphant evening. Don't be too surprised to see this event repeated at Touro in the future. Thanks for a great evening once again, Touro!

Hello (Curt) Columbus... By Lester Nathan & Howard Custis

…and hello Tyler Dobrowski, associate director at Trinity Rep, our special guests at the February 26th lodge meeting, held at Chelo’s Hometown Bar & Grille. Curt and Tyler are evangelizing on the value of Rhode Island’s award-winning regional theater. Their presentation's theme (l-r) Tyler Dobrowski, Norm Dinerman was Trinity’s outreach programs and Curt Columbus to our local community, through Project Discovery, the Young Actors Summer Institute, internships and the Trinity Rep Outreach programs, open to both students and adults. As everyone knows, budgetary cutbacks have hurt many arts programs at schools nationwide. Through their efforts, they are trying to encourage the younger generation to participate and attend the theater for years to come. Curt mentioned that Trinity Rep is the oldest permanent resident company in the country, started in 1963. He paid complements to several of Trinity’s resident actors, such as Barbara Meek, Ann Scurria and Tim Crowe, with whom many of us have grown up. And he also welcomes the competition from other RI theaters and spoke highly of several recent plays he attended. The evening closed with several questions from the audience. Curt and Tyler did a great job. Don't be surprised to see Trinity appearing on Touro's social calendar!" ~4~

Social Scene Spring 2014 By Andrew Liss, Vice President, Harmony Lodge

Touro’s Annual Open House Wednesday, April 23 | Touro Meeting Hall | 6:30 pm Menu: Kosher Baked Chicken with all the fixings Speaker: Speaker Geoff Charles from WHJY radio


ell spring is in the air, and we here at the Social Committee have so much going on. Our Brothers have worked hard coming up with new events to make Touro a better fraternity. I ask each and every Brother, if you have an idea for an event, participate in the process. Your ideas are very important to us. If you cannot attend, but have an idea you would like to see become an event, then feel free to email it to me Remember, we meet every first Wednesday of the month, upstairs in the board room, at 7:30 PM, and I encourage each and every Brother to attend.

“The Book of Mormon” Providence Performing Arts Center Sunday, May 4 - SOLD OUT!!!!

Installation Dinner and Harmony Lodge meeting. Wednesday May 21 | Touro Meeting Hall | 6:30 pm

Touro's 1/2 Day Fluke Fishing Sunday, June 22 | Frances Fleet 33 State Street , Narragansett, RI

Here’s what is coming up on the calendar:

Touro's Annual Steak Fry featuring Touro’s “March of the Living” Beneficiaries

Cards & NCAA March Madness Basketball Sunday, March 23 | Touro Meeting Hall | 2:00 pm Games on the Table, and games on the Court... with food thrown in for good measure!

Harmony Lodge Meeting with Andrew Schiff of the RI Community Food Bank

Wednesday, June 25 | Touro Meeting Hall | 6:30pm Hosted by Friendship Lodge. Recipients sharing their experiences.

Touro Goes to the Pawsox Thursday, July 3, 2014 | Pawsox Stadium Fireworks after the game!!!!

Wednesday, March 26 | Touro Meeting Hall | 6:30 pm

Touro Spring Two-fer Saturday, April 5 | Crestwood Country Club Rehoboth, MA. Featuring “The Driftwoods”.

As always, please donate a Kosher, non-perishable food item when you come to a meeting for The Louis and Goldie Chester Full Plate Kosher Food Pantry. They could always use your support.

John Marion Brings Common Cause to Touro By Barry Jay Schiff


(l-r) Norm Dinerman and John Marion

n Wednesday, November 20th Harmony Lodge welcomed the Executive Director of Common Cause Rhode Island, John Marion. John holds a degree in History and Political Science from SUNY Binghamton. John laid out the primary goals of Common Cause: Open Government (Transparency), Ethical Government and Accountable Government. He explained that Common Cause does not take positions on fiscal or social issues. They concern themselves on the process of how issues are handled and decisions are made. He went on to describe the history of Common Cause nationally, how the Rhode Island chapter was formed and how he became their Executive Director. He linked Touro and Common Cause through member Mort Gray’s wife, Joan, who has served as Common Cause Rhode Island Treasurer for many years. He urged everyone to become involved with Common Cause and as always, our brothers peppered him with questions. ~5~

Community Involvement Shares Our Good Fortune! By Andy Lamchick, Chairman, Community Involvement


s Touro Brothers, we are extremely fortunate to be able to be members of an organization that is well funded. We don't have to fundraise and we have the opportunity to share what we have with the community. The Community Involvement committee has the happy task of sharing Touro's good fortune. We are given a generous budget by the Board of Directors, and we make it our business to put our dollars to the best possible use each year. Community Involvement was approached by Susan Adler from the Jewish Seniors Agency, who requested funding for The Senior Day Care program which focuses on art and music. In addition, we learned about needy Jews in our community who would have difficulty celebrating Hanukkah with their present

financial situation. The Senior Agency identified 50 families in serious financial need. Our committee donated $1,000 for the 50 Jewish families and $600 for the day care center. We also made a donation to the Jewish Alliance of $2,000 in advance of next year’s March of the Living program. The money will be held in a secure account, and will be shown preference to members of Touro families attending the March. We had $1175 remaining in last year’s budget, so the committee decided to split the money equally among three organizations. The Rhode Island Community Food Bank, the Kosher Meals on Wheels program, and the Kosher Food Pantry. Each organization received $375. The Community Involvement Committee works hard to represent you and our organization throughout the community. Please let us know of any ideas you may have to help our community on your behalf.

New Brothers who Joined in 2013 Neil Benharris Gary Berkowitz Brett Boisvert Barry Guy Alan Halsband Scott Halsband

Bruce Leach David Leach Louis Long Ralph Nathan Richard Rossi II Daniel Schafler

Bennett Schiff Douglas Simon Jeffrey Stoloff Alan Temkin Neal White

Touro WelcomesTwo New Brothers Initiated at the January 29, 2014 Lodge Meeting

(l-r) Bennett Schiff and Jeffrey Stoloff ~6~

In Memoriam Brothers we lost in 2013 Herbert Bloom Samuel Cooperman Jacob Fink Philip Greenberg Sheldon Land Harold Levin Abraham Levine Bernard Levy Seymour Norman Ronald Richter James Shocket Dr. Maurice Siegel David Smoller Merwin Summer Morris Zenofsky





Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Providence, RI Permit #719

P.O. BOX 3562 CRANSTON, RI 02910


April 5 Spring Two-fer with The Driftwoods at Crestwood Country Club

June 25 Touro Annual Steak Fry with March of the Living Recipients Visit Touro at or scan the QR code.

2 0 1 4 MARCH 5 7 7 4 Bruce Weisman, Editor Columnists: Jed Brandes Howard Custis Norman Dinerman Max Guarino Andrew Lamchick Lester Nathan Arthur Poulten Barry Jay Schiff Howard Wasser Staff Photographers: Jeffrey Davis Edward Deluty Stevan Labush Touro Fraternal Association 45 Rolfe Square, P.O. Box 3562, Cranston, RI 02910 Phone: 401-785-0066 Fax: 401-941-8781 E-Mail: Website:

TOURO BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2013-2014 Jed Brandes, Chairman Alan Lury, Vice Chairman Steven Waldman, Treasurer Marc Gertsacov, Secretary Judah Rosen, Chaplain Barry Shaw, Inside Guard Robert Miller, Chairman Emeritus Arthur Poulten, Chairman Emeritus Nathan Lury Jed Brandes Robert Miller Milton Bronstein Arthur Poulten Jeffrey Davis Norman Dinnerman Ried Redlich Barry Schiff Adam Halpern Barry Shaw Stevan Labush Michael Smith Andrew Lamchick Steven Waldman Rodney Locke Bruce Weisman Alan Lury Steven White

FRIENDSHIP LODGE HARMONY LODGE Lester Nathan, President Norman Dinerman, President Andrew Liss, Vice President Jeffrey Padwa, Vice President Richard Cohen, Secretary Andrew Shuster, Secretary Michael Levin, Treasurer Manocher Norparvar, Treasurer Max Guarino, Inside Guard Max Dinerman, Inside Guard Ried Redlich, Faithful Guide


Featuring Radio WHJY DJ

GEOFF CHARLES Wednesday, April 23 6:30 pm

Winter 2014  

The Winter 2014 edition of the Tourogram

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