Congregation Shalom is a Reform Jewish community committed to education, spiritual growth,
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.
From our Rabbi
This past week I had the privilege of working with one of our Bat Mitzvah students on her D'var Torah. As a part of the writing process I ask every student to reflect on what the journey of becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah means for them personally, as well as asking them to think about what it means for them to be an adult Jew. What responsibilities will they commit themselves to? What mitzvot will they integrate into their lives? What goals will they set for themselves as they go forward into more independent Jewish life? These are actually excellent questions that we should regularly ask ourselves.
Being Jewish is not meant to be a static state, but rather an ever changing evolution of identity and experience. Many people would translate "Revelation" as the act of God having given the Torah to Moses and the Jewish people at Mt. Sinai. In actuality, our Torah refers to "Revelation" with the Hebrew phrase, Z'man Matan HaTorah - the "time of the giving of Torah". "Giving" in the PRESENT tense. Each of us has the opportunity, every day and in every moment, to explore what it means to "receive Torah" and to be in relationship with the Divine, the Jewish People and the ethics, rituals, culture and beliefs of our faith. Being Jewish is about engagement. Being Jewish is about action. Being Jewish is about opportunity.
At the Union for Reform Judaism's web-site we read:
Reform Judaism maintains faith in the Covenant between God and Israel as expressed over the generations in the teachings of an ever-evolving Torah and tradition. Stirred by the mandate of tikkun olam, Reform Judaism seeks to be the living expression of those teachings. It welcomes all who seek Jewish connection to pursue a life of meaning as inspired by the Divine and proclaimed in the truths grasped by Jewish teachers throughout time.
In sacred attachment to the Jewish people and with connection to the State of Israel, Reform Jews, as members of a group and as individuals, in holy congregations and in diverse settings, strive to make thoughtful choices about how we put our values into action. Reform Judaism asks us to seek the holiness that is present throughout creation through reflection, critical study, and sacred acts so as to renew our living Covenant with God, the people Israel, humankind, and the earth.
The Organizations of the Reform Movement
exist for the purpose of bringing the teachings of Judaism to the world. In partnership with one another, these organizations hope to realize the many lessons contained in those teachings by nurturing individual Jews, by sustaining congregations and groups that foster authentic and innovative community, and by shaping a shared destiny for Reform Jews with fellow Jews in Israel and around the world.
Rabbi Marla Feldman writes:
It has become axiomatic that to be a Jew is to care about the world around us. To be a Reform Jew is to hear the voice of the prophets in our head; to be engaged in the ongoing work of tikkun olam; to strive to improve the world in which we live.
Circling back to the Bat Mitzvah student I was working with, it was so meaningful to see that her Torah portion had the famous passage, "Tzedek, Tzedek Tirdof! Justice, justice shall you seek!" This command is meant to constantly reverberate in our souls. It is a command that has become deeply embedded in the Reform Jewish psyche.
As the summer's heat descends upon us and as the pace of life slows down, I hope you will wrestle with what it means for you to be Jewish and to experiment with the opportunities that Jewish life, in it's fullest dimensions, offers to you. I also hope that the timeless commandment of "Tzedek, Tzedek Tirdof! Justice, justice shall you seek!", will become an inspiration for your personal efforts in the realm of Tikkun Olam.
Wishing you a wonderful summer,
Rabbi Shoshana M. Perry
From our President
Once Jews were ostracized and lived in separated enclaves, even in America. At the first synagogue I belonged to as an adult, in Wellesley, Massachusetts, I remember the story told of how Wellesley became integrated. As would-be buyers came to see a new complex, its Jewish builder would sit, reading the Jewish Advocate. Word got around ... and, now, the temple in Wellesley has 1200 members!
In America today, Jews can live anywhere... associate with anyone. Barriers for Jews have fallen in so many ways; Bernie Sander's Judaism isn't much discussed and Donald Trump doesn't talk about keeping Jews out of America. It is not hatred or fear that forces us into a connected community today.
I was all unaware of what community could mean until my first day of 6th grade in my new home of Great Barrington - small-town Massachusetts. I told my new teacher that I was going to be out very shortly for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The disbelieving taunts from the other kids rang out, "There aren't any holidays called that - you're making them up to get time off from school!"
Then all of us were open-mouthed when my teacher, flushed as pink as a fair-skinned ginger-haired man could go, wrote Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur on the board and said, "Yes, these holidays exist and are part of the practice of Judaism and, not only are they real, but I will be taking those days as well because I am Jewish!"
Sometimes you don't even know how much you need a community until events show you.
We do have a community; one previous and current members have built and that we nurture together, showing up, volunteering, stepping up to help. We will it together.
Maybe you participate in Mitzvah Day or you ferry your child or children once or (starting with 3rd grade) twice a week to temple. Or, you come to Shabbat services ... or you come to High Holidays...or other Jewish holidays or on Wednesdays with your Shalomite...or for Brotherhood events, for MOCA events, for Adult Education events or for Sisterhood events.
I hope that this summer brings you joy and relaxation and that as the pace picks up for the fall, leading to the High Holidays in October, you are ready to contribute your piece to make up the awesome extended family that is our community here at Congregation Shalom.
We can't do it without you!
See you soon - l'hitraot!
Tamar R. Wexler
From our Education Director
Every year I thank the teachers', the students, the parents, and the amazing office staff that make this school run as smoothly as it does. However, I am never sure if I am able to adequately show my deep appreciation for my committed and caring school committee.
Our committee meets every other month and I am lucky to have a group of supporting and caring parents who help me find ways to allow our school to grow and prosper. As I walk into every school committee meeting, I feel excited to work with such dedicated and committed parents. It is not always easy to be asked to help me to think what is in the best interest of the whole school and not just a committee member's individual child. However, I feel confident going into meetings that the school committee will help me to think through the strategic and sometimes the mundane and practical elements that go into running a successful school. The school committee are my partners in growing and developing a rich and meaningful experience for the students, the teachers and their parents.
I want to thank Danielle Evans-Cole, Pam Gordon, Tina Kempner, Michele Maltby, Deborah Morrissey, Elana Newman, Adam Scherer, Leah Shuldiner, Rachel Fox-Weinberg and Rabbi Perry who are all a part of the amazing and dedicated School Committee. I appreciate the ability to rely on this committee to always focus on the betterment of the school as a whole and I am deeply appreciative of this small group of committed volunteers that work alongside me and support me every step of the way.
I especially want to thank Cayla Maguire who has been my school committee chair for 4 years and has graciously accepted to do an additional year alongside Elana Newman who will head up the school committee next year. It has been an honor and a privilege to work with Cayla and I am so appreciative of all her dedication and hard work.
I would love to have a few additional caring and committed parents around our table helping to make the school the best place it can be. If you are a parent or even just an interested Temple member, I encourage you to get involved in our School Committee. I guarantee you a warm and supportive environment and, of course, always good food. If you have any questions or want to get involved, please reach out to Elana Newman or Cayla Maguire at
From our Cantorial Soloist
"To our Congregation Shalom Family:
Adam and I wish you a safe summer filled with song and light. This
highlights the words "from generation to generation" which captures the essence of our community. We look forward to sharing prayer and music together in the fall.
B'shalom v'kavod ( with peace and respect),
Jodi ( and Adam too)
|Social Action Committee
What a successful Mitzvah Day we had on Sunday, June 5! Despite somewhat rainy weather, more than 60 congregants spent the day working to repair the world onsite at the temple and at five offsite venues.
Thank you to members of all ages - children through adult - who donated goods for refugees, recycled electronics, crafted handmade gifts and placemats, created bouquets using recycled flowers, cleaned and pruned our temple landscaping, baked cookies and brownies for the Lowell Transitional Living Center, sorted donated household goods for the Wish Project, performed amazing talents and sang at Bridges in Westford and the Atrium in Chelmsford, served lunch at the Lowell shelter and Chelmsford senior housing, and cleaned and repaired the Paul Center.
Your efforts improved the lives of so many people in our community: newly arrived refugees, the homeless at the shelter, children with developmental disabilities who use the Paul Center, and seniors who received the gifts of talent, music, and flowers to brighten their day. Thank you all for continuing a beloved Congregation Shalom tradition, and for embodying our community's commitment to tikkun olam!
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, July 20 through Thursday, July 21 (until 5pm.) August dates will be August 17-18 - mark your calendar now!
Volunteer 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 5-6 p.m. at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Chelmsford Center. Our team serves every other month on the third Tuesday, and will next serve on July 19. If you have time to volunteer during the afternoon on Tuesdays and would like to take part, please please contact Linda Newhard at
Save the Date
July 8 - Sunset Shabbat (no Oneg)
July 22 - Sunset Shabbat (no Oneg)
|Good and Welfare
Condolences to Margi Lotto and family on the loss of her mother, Doris
Dear Congregation Shalom family,
Our most sincere thanks for your good wishes and contributions.
We feel greatly blessed to have your support and friendship during our recovery .
Jean and Harry Rubinstein
It is hard to put into words the thanks we would like to give to all the members who made donations in my mother's name, the numerous cards of sympathy and personal notes and the calls of condolences during this very difficult time. I have a heart that is overflowing with gratitude and love to my Congregation Shalom family.
Mom loved coming to services and always being greeted by so many people and Rose was brought to tears when I showed her all the cards and donations received.
We will forever remember them.
Thank you from the very bottom of my heart.
Margie Lotto and family
Nathan Harry Katz
Moses Solomon Strock
|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!"
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and/or for an application form.
|Changed Your Address?
Notify us at: email@example.com
and we'll make sure all the right organizations at the Temple are informed. Please include your full name in your request.
Calendar Committee Calling!!
We are looking for all committees to send in their preferred dates for Temple use. We would like to get the calendar set as soon as possible and we need your help to do that.
Two reminders...first, if you decide to have a function once the calendar is set, look to make sure the date you want is not taken. It is not all right to schedule something on a date that another committee has a function and expect that committee to cancel their function. Second, it is imperative that NO ONE asks for dates on Wednesday late afternoons and evenings. It becomes very disruptive to bother Yael about Temple usage. She has complete control of rooms until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.
The Calendar Committee
Fundraising Over the Summer
First a big Mazel Tov to Alex DesLauriers for winning the 50/50 Raffle. Hmmm, what can he do with over $500? Alex, as you treat yourself to 'something", think of your Temple Family - we are happy for you!!!
Time to Start Thinking About Auction Donations
Come the end of August, we will begin collecting items for our Annual Auction. Think of a craft you can teach or some tutoring skill you have. Any antiques that no longer fit your décor? What about a piece or Art? Think dinner party or ballroom dance lessons. Be creative and think out of the box. Go through closets, bookcases, attics, your hidden spaces. We'll sell it on Congregation Shalom Auction and the Temple Treasurer will be very happy!!
We recently held our Year End Dinner at Martha's Exchange in Nashua. Fifteen friends attended and enjoyed time together.
Our annual summer pool party will be a chance to swim, relax and socialize. It will be held at Debbie Arthur's house on Monday, July 11 at 6:00 p.m. Watch for an evite with more details.
We are working on the calendar for 2016-2017 and are excited to be adding in some new events and activities! If you are interested in getting more involved in Sisterhood, we are still looking to fill the programming position.
We do not have a meeting scheduled for July, but don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
Toby Sedgwick and the Sisterhood Board
Sisterhood Retreat 2017
Save The Date: 17th Annual Sisterhood Retreat. March 3-5 at The Anchorage Inn in Ogunquit,
Brotherhood finished a great year and has planned a fun filled schedule for the upcoming year.
In May another successful weekend retreat on the Cape was had by all attendees. Guys night out in June was at a Cambodian restaurant that knows how the brotherhood loves good food at reasonable prices. In fact, John Boroshok sees to it that the guys always have a great place to eat and looks for input from us all in planning this monthly tradition. In June, Bob Schneider organized a bike trip on the Bruce Freeman bike trail.
This coming year look for two hiking events, one in October and another designed for families in the spring. Look forward to a new event next spring.... pistol target shooting.
See you at our new member night, September 11th.
Remember, Brotherhood is primarily a social organization. Guys just want to have fun!
Most recently, the Shalomites volunteered at Camp Paul for Mitzvah Day. At Camp Paul, we did everything from cutting the grass, to installing gutters. "Knowing that our work was going to make a difference for others was an amazing feeling", said a Shalomite working at Camp Paul.
In May, the Shalomites hosted the first annual Beit Café which was a huge success! We loved seeing the talented members of our youth group and Congregation Shalom community. Overall, the Shalomites have had a wonderful year filled with new friendships, spiritual growth, and many fun memories.
We would like to thank our advisor Steven for a great year. We wish him all the best in the future as he embarks upon new adventures!
Julia Segal, Shalomites Presiden
|Grocery Store Cards
THANK YOU FOR A GREAT [grocery card] YEAR!
I would like to thank all of the families who are sustaining monthly regulars and all the people who bought grocery cards during Sunday school. Together, we've raised more than $2000 for the temple for this fiscal year. This money is essential to the temple budget and helps keep our programs strong. Thank you for taking the one extra step before you shop.
As we head into the next fiscal year, starting July 1, please consider joining the monthly program. If you shop at Hannaford, Stop & Shop or Donelan's, I can send you a card once a month and you will be helping the temple every month, with no out-of-pocket money from you! The stores have these programs to help support non-profits and we get 7% back for every purchase.
Just email Judy Beningson at
and I will get you a card in whatever denomination you need: $25-$500!
The Congregation Shalom book group will be going into their summer hiatus mode.We will meet again in September. Over the summer we will be reading both books by Harper Lee.,
" To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Go Set a Watchman"
Discussion of these two books will take place on September 12, 2016 at the home of Jean and Harry Rubinstein.
Some other summer reading suggestions are:
"My Life on the Road" by Gloria Steinem
" The Midwife of Hope River" by Patricia Harman
"The Light in the Ruins" by Chris Bohjalian
" The Children Act" by Ian McEwan
"A Fall of Marigolds" by Susan Meissner.
|iGive 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.
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
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
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 LPalais@vnab.org.
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.
Please support our Congregation Shalom advertisers