April  2017 - 5777

Volume LXV #7

Member of the Union For Reform Judaism


Congregation Shalom is a Reform Jewish community committed to education, spiritual growth,  and Tikkun
Olam (healing the world).   We are proud to be an extended family of  equals - welcoming,  caring, and inclusive.
  Together, we engage in religious observance,  enjoy social activities, and  pursue life-long learning.
Congregation Shalom
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Rabbi From our Rabbirabbi    

Dear Friends,
This coming spring our congregation has an amazing array of services and events planned and in looking at the diversity of these programs, we can clearly see our membership's commitment to our mission:  Congregation Shalom is a Reform Jewish community committed to education, spiritual growth, and Tikkun Olam (healing the world).  We are proud to be an extended family of equals - welcoming, caring and inclusive. Together, we engage in religious observance, enjoy social activities, and pursue life-long learning.  Just to note a few of these up-coming events and services - our community seder, adult education programs on Israel, a Yom HaShoah commemoration, Mitzvah Day, movie nights, Confirmation, Chai School graduation,  and so much more - we can see how we are committed to life-long learning, social engagement, spiritual growth and tikkun olam.
In light of our 50 th year anniversary as a congregation, I would like to highlight a few of the special events to mark this milestone in our community. On April 11th , our members will be hosting Congregation Shalom's 50th  community seder! Together we will hear the meaningful story of liberation from the Hagaddah with readings and stories. Our evening will also be filled wonderful Passover music led by our cantorial soloist Jodi Blankstein, who will be accompanied on guitar by her talented son Zach. This year our meal will be fully catered so in a sense we will all feel a little bit freer as well!
On April 30th at 4:00, we will be hosting the amazing singer/songwriter Julie Silver. Many of you may remember Julie's concert from 2010 which was filled with spirit, energy and awesome music. Julie is an internationally known performer and she will be sure to rock the house and move us with her melodies. People of all ages will love this concert and we hope you will bring friends. Details to purchase tickets will be out soon. If you would like to help on the day of the concert, please contact Rabbi Perry at  Then in early May, our congregation will be hosting a wonderful story-slam, in the style of the Moth Story hour on May 6th. Stay tuned for more details. 
Finally, many of you may remember the learning event last spring that we hosted with our friends at the Anzummen e-Ezzi Masjid in Billerica. For those of us who attended, we made friends, learned a great deal about each other's faiths and cultures AND enjoyed wonderful food.  This year a broader interfaith group is hosting a progressive in-place dinner on June 25 th in the late afternoon. There will be three courses - appetizers, salads and desserts. For each course we will move from table to table meeting with people from the different faith communities. At each course we will have an opportunity to talk together, eat together and build bridges of understanding.  If you would like to help plan this event, please be in touch with me at .
Wishing you and your families a joyful and meaningful Pesach.
Warm regards,    
Rabbi Sig
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From our PresidentBarryTop   
A Joke for you

Before I dive into my joke, I wanted to wish you a happy Passover. For a couple of very useful links around Passover, check out the very end of this article.  Chag Sameach! And, now, onto a joke...
A young man comes to a rabbi and says, "Rabbi, I would like to study Talmud with you."
"Very nice," says the rabbi. "May I ask what background you have in Talmud?"
"None," says the young man.
"I see," says the Rabbi. "Have you studied the Mishnah, which lies at its core?"
"No," says the budding scholar.
"Yes, I see, and what of the Torah; have you studied Torah and its commentaries?"
"No . . ."
"Yes, well, you see young man, the Talmud is a very complex and complicated art. May I ask, what makes you think you are ready for such a task?"
The young man smiles patiently. "Well, Rabbi, I have an undergraduate degree from Harvard, and my MBA from Wharton. You teach. I am sure I will be able to learn."
"I'll tell you what," says the sage. "I will give you a test. If you pass, I will teach you Talmud. If not, maybe you will start by joining my Torah study class."
"Fine," says the young man, indulgently. "You can give me a test. How many questions will be on it?"
"Just one," says the Rabbi. "Are you ready?"
"Two men come down the same chimney. One comes out with soot on his face. The other's face is clean. 
Who will wash his face?"
Without even taking a moment to think, the young man replies: "The one with a dirty face."
"No," says the Rabbi. "The one with a dirty face sees the other with a clean face and assumes that his face is clean. Why would he want to wash a clean face?"
The young man smiles. "OK, you got me. But, give me another question and I will pass your test."
"You would like another question?" says the Rabbi.
"Yes," says the young man.
"Alright," says the rabbi. "Two men come down the same chimney. One comes out with soot on his face. One's face is clean. Who will wash his face?"
The young man smiles oddly, thinks a bit, and then says: "The one with a clean face."
"No," says the Rabbi. "They both will."
"The one with the clean face sees the one with the dirty face and assumes his face is dirty. So he goes to wash his clean face. And the one who thinks his face is clean can only assume that face washing after coming down the chimney is some sort of ritual, so he washes his face too."
The young man laughs. "I think I am beginning to learn something about the logic of the Talmud. I don't suppose you could give me just one more question?"
"You would like another question?" says the Rabbi." "Alright."
"Two men come down the same chimney. One comes out with soot on his face. One's face is clean. Who will wash his face?"
This time the young scholar ponders the question for some time and then replies: "They both will?"
"No," says the Rabbi. "Neither will; it's a klutz kasheh [a silly question]. Who ever heard of two men coming down a chimney with only one face covered with soot!"
"OK, Rabbi," says the young man. "When is your Torah study class?"
With thanks to the URJ web site for this D'var Torah, this joke begins an article by Rabbi Joe Rooks Rapport on Parsha Tzav which will be read in April. You can read the full article at or you can see other D'var Torah on this and other week's portions by going to
To learn Torah in person, come and join our very own rabbi in our very own library one Saturday at 9AM - two open sessions are coming up on April 15th and May 13th and everyone is welcome!  Hope you are able to make one of them.
And, here are few interesting Passover links for you:

Wishing you a very happy Passover!

Tamar R. Wexler 
From our Education Director     

I think everyone loves a Passover Seder, the food, the family, the fun and of course the frogs. Seder means order and the Seder is the meal on the first and/or second nights of the holiday. The Pesach Seder is designed to help us remember and internalize the story of the Jewish people's exodus from Egypt. It provides an annual reminder of our liberation from slavery and of our responsibility to help others who are oppressed.  

Passover can be approached from several different angles depending on the ages of the participants. Many of us grew up with the Maxwell House Haggadah - it was long and as a child I remember it had lots of very hard words. Yes, we had the same Haggadot growing up in South Africa but just a different coffee company. However, today we have access to several different kinds of Haggadot and this allows us the possibility to engage participants in many different ways. There are Haggadot for different ages and stages and recently I even heard about a Baseball Hagaddah! Younger children may even want to create their own Hagaddah and I encourage parents to share the Passover story with younger children in advance and to have them be a part of the preparation as much as possible.

For the younger participants at your Seder, the plagues offer a great way to engage and interact. Ping-Pong balls flying around for hail, red face paint for blood and assorted plastic insects and frogs make great additions to your table as the plagues are read. Sunglasses for darkness are also a hit! There are interactive plays that children can create and even dress up opportunities to role-play the different parts of the story. The more creative and engaging a Seder is the more the younger child can participate.

The Passover Hagaddah says: "All people, in every generation, should see themselves as having personally experienced the exodus from Egypt."  While this concept is hard for younger children, the Passover story offers older children and adults the possibility to engage in meaningful and difficult conversations about slavery in modern times. Sadly, if you Google slavery today, you are faced with startling statistics that are both sobering and frightening. While we were not in Egypt ourselves, we do have slavery as part of our history and Passover helps us remember both the experience of slavery and the joy of freedom. Even if slavery is a harder concept, the older students would be able to discuss the experience of refugees and our grade 5, 6 and 7 students had the opportunity to learn about a Jewish organization, HIAS that works with refugees from around the world. HIAS is a global Jewish Not For Profit that works to protect refugees. While the majority of the refugees coming to America right now are not fleeing from slavery, they are fleeing from a life of terror, war and persecution to live in a place of freedom. This concept of freedom is central to our lives and also at the core of our Jewish history. Learning about the impact of terror and the hope that freedom offers, will help to internalize the Passover story for everyone.

Regardless of how you engage with the Passover story, I wish you all a meaningful and fun Passover filled with good health, friends and family. Chag Pesach Sameach!
    Yael Signature  
From our Cantorial Soloist

Shir Hashirim , the Song of Songs or Songs of Solomon consists of many love poems metaphorically highlighting the relationship between God and the children of Israel. It is often read on the Shabbat that falls during the intermediate days of Passover.

 Shir Hashirim is not found in the Torah. Rather, it is one of our five Megilot (scrolls). We recently, on Purim, had the privilege of listening to the Tale of Lots in Megilat Esther, another scroll.  These two scrolls and three others are found in our Book of Writings (Ketuvim). Unlike the other Megilot however, the Song of Songs is primarily written in a romantic poetic form.  Many musicians have taken these love poems and put them into song. As many artists alike continue to bring the expressive and lyrical language of Shir Hashirim to our liturgy, they too accent the exceptional union between God and B'nei Yisrael (the Children of Israel).  It is a "love story" certainly worth exploring!

Please come and sing along with Rabbi Perry and myself to some of these pieces from Shir Hashirim as well as other traditional Passover favorites at ourAnnual Passover Community Sedar on Tuesday April 11th at 6:00 p.m.  This second night of Passover promises to be an evening filled with lively storytelling and song. I am especially excited to have my son Zachary accompanying us for the third year in a row at this very special event. Zachary, the song leader for NFTY (North American Federation of Temple Youth) has studied guitar under the tutelage of our guitarist, Adam Dehner for almost 14 years. His connection to music, both contemporary and traditional, will surely raise our spirits. Come to sing, share and of!

Also, this month, in continuing with the spirit of our 50th celebration, we have the extraordinary singer song writer, Julie Silver, coming to us for a concert for all ages on Sunday, April 30th at 4 PM. We as a community sing so many of Julie's beautiful arrangements. Compositions such as Shir Chadash, Chazak Chazak, and The Rockin' Dreidle Song...all Julie.  This will surely be an afternoon of uplifting song not to be missed!

Chag Pesach Sameach (Happy Passover)   

B'Shalom (With Peace),

Jodi Blankstein, Cantorial Soloist                                         

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50th Anniversary Gala: October 15, 2017
We are actively planning for this exciting evening.  If you know of any past members who might be interested, please share their names and contact information so that we may include them in our upcoming 
50 th  Anniversary celebration notices.  Please 
e-mail with the information.

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Social Action Committee socialaction
Two successful collection drives!
Thank you to all who donated to both the Winter Clothing drive in February and the Baby goods and diaper drive in March. In February we collected two crates full of hats, scarves, winter boots, and coats to give to newly arrived refugees served by the International Institute of New England in Lowell. In March members generously donated over 500 diapers and a variety of basic baby supplies to donate to the Lowell Wish Project. Your kindness helped many families in need in our community.
Need for more volunteers at Table of Plenty in Chelmsford
Congregation Shalom is part of a team of volunteers at the Table of Plenty in Chelmsford, an organization that serves a free meal to all, no questions asked, every Tuesday from 5-6pm at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Chelmsford Center.  We have had some turnover and now need more volunteers to help serve!  Our team serves every other month on the third Tuesday, and will next serve on May 16, 2017. If you have time to volunteer during the afternoon on Tuesdays and would like to take part, please contact Linda Newhard at
Monthly Food Donations for Middlesex Transitional Living Center
Congregation Shalom is collecting food for the Lowell Transitional Living Center. It is easy to help out with this mitzvah. Donations of meatloaf, and/or brownies and/or salad are accepted each month. There will be a cooler chest located by doors of Congregation Shalom. Simply place your donation in the cooler and know that you have done a good deed! The food will be collected and brought to the Lowell Transitional Living Center in Lowell, where our donations are greatly appreciated each month. You can leave your donations in the cooler beginning on Wednesday, April 19 through Thursday, April 20 (until 5pm.)  May dates will be May 17-18 - mark your calendar now!
Hold the Date: Mitzvah Day 2017 is on Sunday, June 4!
Plans are underway for our annual Mitzvah Day - stay tuned for more details. For now, hold the date and plan to join us for a fun day of community and tikkun olam!

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The following donations were received from November 2016-February 2017:

33 general donations
In honor of 
   Kallus's grandson's bar mitzvah
   Laura and Paul Rodman's 50th          wedding  anniversary
In memory of
   Elaine Wolman
   Philip Sherwood Wexler (2                donations)
   Herbert Fischler
   Tillie Katz
2 general donations
In memory of
   Tillie Katz
In honor of
   Laura and Paul Rodman's 50th          wedding  anniversary
In memory of
   Philip Sherwood Wexler

In memory of
   Philip Sherwood Wexler
   Herbert Fischler
In honor of
   Laura and Paul Rodman's 50th          wedding  anniversary
In memory of
   Faye Marion Goldstein
   Bernie Tack
   Phyllis R. Dimond
In honor of
   marriage of Donna Upson and David Correia
In memory of
   Jerold P. Gilmore
   Carolyn Kupor

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Featured This Issue
50th Anniversary Gala
April Oneg Schedule
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Save the Date

April 15th - Torah Study
April 17th - Movie Monday
April 25th - Yom Hashoa Program

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QuickLinksQuick Links

Links to Our Website

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April Oneg Schedule

Apr 7 - 7 p.m. Family Shabbat - Grade 6  (Music w/ Jodi & Adam) Katz*, Ablove, Blumstein, Brother, Cohen D&L, DiGiovanni
Apr 14 - 6 p.m. Sunset Shabbat - Berenson*, Andreola, Moskowitz, Nahabedian
Apr 21 - 6 p.m. Sunset Shabbat - Brown, Curry, Levine, Raichek
Apr 28 - 7:15 p.m. Shabbat Shirah Shabbat - (Music w/ Jodi &Adam) McKeon*, Boerman & Shaponick, Burke, Ebersman, Rodman S&I

Karen and Rick
Oneg Committee
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Upcoming B'nai Mitzvah Schedule

Naomi Rodman - April 1st
Ryan Menaker - April 8th
Daniel Himelfarb - May 20th
Emily Myerson - June 10th
Hannah Dangel - June 17th
Ilana Berkowitz - June 24th

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Good and Welfare

Condolences to Pat Schneider and family on the loss of her sister Donna D'agata

Condolences to Rikki Rabinowitz and family on the loss of her mother Sandee Martin

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Thank You's

My heartfelt thanks to each of you who reached out recently when my dad, Herbert Fischler, passed away.  Your hugs, caring words, cards, and donations in his memory were all very much appreciated.  The love and friendship of our Congregation Shalom family has helped to support me during a very sad time

Joanna Myers

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April Yahrzeits Yahrzeits

April 7th
Barbara Blumstein
Gertrude Blumstein
Sidney Brother
Shirley Grier
Carl Hite
Brian Howard
Rachel Helen Kreithen
Patricia Sedgwick
David Siegel

April 14th
Selma Fagelman
Dora Goldman
Jerome Rosenstein
Carolyn Salus
Marie Wikander

April 21st
Arthur Brahm
Herman Burton
Melvin Carrick
Morris Gilmore
Paul Howard
Joanne Lazar
Miriam Marcus

April 28th
Benzion Antokal
Nancy Solomon Davis
Laurie Fidler
Sidney Kittredge
Max Kupor
Ronald S. Levi
Sidney Liebman
Paula Navy
Simon Navy
David Newman
Philip Order

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Our Caring Committee Can Help

The Caring Committee is always available to provide meals or transportation to those members and families who need a little help. Please don't hesitate to email Katie Wolman at or Rabbi Perry at , or feel free to call Katie at home.

Newsletter Ads and You!


We are always looking for advertisers for the Temple newsletter. Ads can be placed at any time with special pricing for members. Ads need not be for a year so if you want to try us, we take ads for 3 months as well as six months. If you decide to continue your ad for a full year, we do pro-rate the price. As the saying goes, "Try us, you'll like us!"


Youth ScholarshipsYthScholar

Throughout the year, there are many enriching Jewish experiences available to our youth through our synagogue or the community. These include, but aren't limited to, summer camps and trips to Washington, New York, and Israel. Fortunately, there is some scholarship money available through the temple to those families in need of financial assistance for these opportunities. Please contact Margie Berenson at with any questions and/or for an application form. 

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Changed Your Address?

Notify us at:  and we'll make sure all the right organizations at the Temple are informed. Please include your full name in your request.

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Deadline for the

May Newsletter is 

Thursday, April 20th


Please send articles to  


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Adult EducationAdultEd

Torah Study
Saturday April 15  9:00 a.m.
CongregationShalom Library
Led by Rabbi Perry
Monday Movie w/Amy Degen
Monday April 17   7:00 p.m.
Congregation Shalom Library
Train of Life :  (English subtitles) The Jews in a town in France in 1941, decide to deport themselves before the Nazis come into their village.  A comic fairy tale attempting of the great escapes in history.
Yom Hashoah program-Restoring an Abandoned Jewish Cemetery in Poland-Why is it important?
Tuesday April 25  7:00 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.
Congregation Shalom  Library
After a memorial service for Yom Hashoah, Amy and Josh Degen will describe how they, along with 9 others, spent 6 days in Bialystock, Poland in August 2016 helping to restore a Jewish cemetery.

As a community who is committed to life-long Jewish learning, celebration and culture, we wanted to share with you information about The Jewish Arts Collaboratives Spring 2017 series of concerts, lectures, performances and more. These are wonderful opportunities and we hope you will take part in some of the events.

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Check your mailbox - in a few short weeks, you will find an envelope with raffle tickets for the Annual 50/50 Raffle.  Last year Alex DesLauriers received a check for over $800. Your name can be on this year's check.  Tickets are $10 each and every family gets 2 tickets in the mail.  The important thing to remember is that the more tickets sold, the more money the winner gets. As always, there is a $250 minimum prize.  Let your friends and family know and get tickets for them to join the fun.  If you guess the number of tickets sold this year, you will get 4 tickets with your name on them for next year's Raffle.
As always, we are looking for energetic people to join us in our quest of raising funds for the synagogue.  Almost no meeting - we do a lot by phone.  Contact us at
From all of us to all of you, have a wonderful Passover!

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Sisterhood Snippetssisterhood
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Brotherhood NewsBrotherhood

As we kiss goodbye to winter and a snowy, blustery March, Brotherhood looks forward to Spring and the annual ritual of the Brotherhood retreat on Cape Cod. Great food and libation, interesting conversations, card games, kayak adventures, and more. At this time we already have 15-16 members committed to the weekend of May 19-21. While all beds in the three houses rented are accounted for, there are 3 futon couches and 3 air mattresses. If you still have an interest and are not signed up, contact
This past month, a number of Brotherhood members enjoyed hiking in the Westford Reservation area. Also, a large contingent of members pitted their auto racing skills driving Mini Grand Prix racing carts on a F1 type race track in Wilmington. Guys night out featured Vietnamese cuisine, a really great value, enjoyed by a number of members.
Think about getting involved in Brotherhood. We are primarily a social organization and try to help out the Temple when called upon. Our annual meeting and Bar-B-Q is on May 7. Come, enjoy a burger and get to meet the guys.
Submitted by David Brother

Grocery Store Cards  

From all reports, Stop & Shop has the widest selection of Passover food items.  If you plan on shopping at 
Stop & Shop for Passover, please buy a grocery cashback card so you can help the temple at the same time.

Just email  Judy Beningson at  and I will get you a card in whatever denomination you need!   


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BGBook Group

The Congregation Shalom book group welcomes all who would like to spend an interesting evening of book review, discussion and socializing.

Jot the following dates into your calendars and note the book selections for those dates:

   April 3rd  - The Devil in Jerusalem  by Naomi Ragen
                       Hostess- Phyllis Kallus

May 22nd - Pieces We Keep by Kristina McMorris
                       Hostess- Esther Wikander
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iGiveiGive for Congregation Shalom
Have you ever thought how great it would be to be able to shop online at 783 different well-known stores and still donate money to Congregation Shalom?  Well, you can do that!  It's free and easy so join those of us who have been sending donations to the synagogue for years simply by shopping by first going to the iGive website once you have established the link.  Click here  to register for Congregation Shalom to automatically be the recipient cause.
If you make a purchase through iGive within 45 days of signing up, an extra $5.00 will go to Congregation Shalom.  If you have any questions, please contact Laura at



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Extended Community
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Sunday, May 7, 2017
2:30 - 6:30 PM
More details coming soon!

FANNY'S JOURNEY - Winner Award for best Film in Hamburg, Audience Awards in Atlanta, San Diego, Denver and Providence
Based on a true story, FANNY'S JOURNEY is an incredible tale of bravery, strength and survival, a story of a daring young girl who will stop at nothing and fear no one. In 1943, 13-year old Fanny and her younger sisters were sent from their home in France to an Italian foster home for Jewish children. When the Nazis arrive in Italy, their caretakers desperately organize the departure of the children to Switzerland. When they are suddenly left on their own, these 11 children do the impossible. In French with subtitles.
THE WOMEN'S BALCONY - Nominated for 5 Israel Academy Awards 
When the women's balcony in an Orthodox synagogue in Jerusalem collapses, leaving the rabbi's wife in a coma and the rabbi in shock, the congregation falls into crisis. Charismatic young Rabbi David appears to be a savior after the accident, but slowly starts trying to take control. This tests the women's friendships and creates an almost Lysistrata-type rift between the community's women and men. 
In Hebrew with subtitles. 

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Table of Plenty in Chelmsford

Free Dinner Served

Every Tuesday from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Chelmsford Center


All are welcome. No questions asked.

Also, if you know of someone who cannot get out,

but would benefit from a dinner being delivered to them, please contact us.


For more information contact:



 Return to Quick Links 

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From the Visiting Nurse Association of Boston & Affiliates...


VNA Hospice Care needs volunteers! Hospice volunteers play a key role in helping to provide caring and compassion to patients and families facing life-limiting illness and loss. A volunteer may provide patients with company and emotional support, give the spouse, partner or other caregiver a needed break from care giving, and/or help caregivers run errands or get to and from appointments. A strong need exists for volunteers who can visit on weekdays. We also seek: musicians who would like to sing or play music quietly at the bedside of nursing home residents; Reiki practitioners who would like to offer Reiki to patients and/or caregivers; and people interested in visiting with their therapy dog. Volunteers who speak both English and a second language are also helpful. We provide volunteer training and ongoing support. Call 781-569-2888 and ask to speak to a Volunteer Coordinator for more information. Or email


Spiritual Poetry Journal


"Soul-Lit" is a new on-line spiritual poetry journal. A number of entries have been from Jews and have Jewish content. Writers are encouraged to submit their own poems which have a level of spiritual content to them. Two volumes have already been published.


To check out the website, please click here.


Please spread the word to members of the community who are writers / poets, and who may wish to submit their own writings.



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Please support our Congregation Shalom advertisers

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  new QPL ad Nov 2012
new Morse Bayliss ad
Dan Dubner new business card double
BethEl Cemetery
Sky Meadow
Westford Regency ad