קישור שלום ~ Kishur Sholom

Staying Connected with the Temple Sholom Community

11 March 2024 ~ Rosh Hodesh Adar II 5784

Parashat Pekudei

Shalom, chaveirim - hello, friends -

My trip has many critical parts - not the least of which is connecting with people. Actually, that IS the critical part. Though after a day of working in a field of eggplants, I have found other important components - more on that another time.

And Sunday evening, I really had a treat. 

One of our temple members, Marilyn Lieff, who also is the last living founder of our temple, has a daughter who lives in Israel. Linda Lieff Altabeff and her husband, Doug, live in Rosh Pina, which is a beautiful community in the northern part of Israel. Linda and I have been in touch over the last few months just so she could know her hometown synagogue was thinking of her and our people's homeland and Modern State during these most difficult of days. 

At one point, I told Linda I would be in Israel in March and would like to meet. She mentioned she had an artist opening in Jerusalem on March 10th. How perfect! I knew I'd be in Jerusalem that day. And so, there I went on Sunday evening to the Italian Synagogue's beautiful museum to see an extraordinary art exhibit which was featuring women working with fabric to tell, show, demonstrate the impact, role, presence, gifts, properties, personality traits women bring to the Jewish story and our people. 

The context of this showing is The Jerusalem Biennale, which is a major art undertaking that goes on for two months across the city in some of its most iconic locations. Go browse the website to learn more. To see Linda's work, which is part of a section called "Threading," you can see here and here. The pictures do not do it justice and really, you need her explanation. Next time I see you, I'd be only too happy to explain about her magnificent work, which in no small part was inspired by her father's wood cut wording of "Da Lifnei Mi Atah Omed ~ Know before whom you stand" which adorns our sanctuary. 

During the gallery introduction, the curators spoke about the importance of this event in light of the horrors that Israel has known these last many months. The fact that the art show was planned long before October 7th and that it would highlight women - in order to showcase the strength and depth of Judaism, Israel, and the Jewish people could not have been more prescient for what was and is needed. 

Among the awful that Israel has known with such an uncertain future, there is a palpable sense of determination, creativity, hope, and resilience. How long this can last, I do not know. But as one friend of Linda's said, "We know we are in a seismic moment and we do not know how it turns out." Indeed, we don't. That uncertainty can be numbing and terrifying. But it can also be encouraging and empowering. There are so many things that are beyond our control. But for those things which are in purview, may we seize hold and dream, hope, create, and DO! 

L'shalom miYerushalayim, 

Rabbi Mark Cohn 

Pictured above is Linda Lieff Altabeff and me in front of her magnificent artwork - an ark curtain, parochet.


Sunday, April 7 (3:00 PM) at Temple Emanuel, 1 E. 65h Street, NYC. Join me for an extraordinary opportunity to honor our Czech Torah!! Register HERE as seating is limited. To learn more about the Czech Memorial Scroll Trust, go to their website HERE.

Thursday, May 9 (7:00 PM) at Congregation B'nai Israel, 444 Main Street, Southbury. Acclaimed author, journalist, teacher Yossi Klein Halevi will be speaking on "How October 7 Changed Israel and the Jewish World." This evening is hosted by our congregation joined with CBI of Southbury, the Jewish Federation of Western CT, the Greater Washington Coalition for Jewish Life, United Jewish Center of Danbury, and Temple Beth David of Cheshire.

Recommended Resources from the Rabbi's Desk (or more likely laptop)

Constant and important updates, podcasts, blogs, and articles from The Free Press, Times of Israel and Tablet Magazine.


"Left, Right, Haredi: Three Great Awakenings of the Gaza War." Three major sectors of Israeli society, at odds before the war, are now coming together. That unity cannot be allowed to dissipate. Yehoshua Pfeffer in Mosaic Magazine.

For two different views of the current realities in Israel, have a look at

"5 Ways Israelis have changed after 5 months of war" from National Public Radio and "IDF Reservists are building a new Israeli society - this is how" from The Jerusalem Post.

"My fellow Palestinians: Stop Blaming the Jews - Hamas is starving our brothers and sisters in Gaza" Bassem Eid, a Palestinian human rights activist in Newsweek.


"The Free Press in Israel: Part I, Running Toward Fire" with Bari Weiss on Honestly.

"External pressures on Israel and within" with Haviv Rettig Gur during his weekly check in with Dan Senor on Call Me Back.

"Lunch & Learn" with Rabbi Mark Cohn

NOON - 1:00 PM


April 9, 16, 30

Examining the Haggadah and getting ready for Passover: physically, mentally, emotionally, soulfully!



Services & Study

Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday Evenings 6:30PM


March 22

Howard Lapidus


March 15 - this week!

Rabbi Jon Haddon

March 29

Barbara Kessler


Shabbat Morning Torah Study - 9:30am


March 16, 23, 30

The Jewish Experience in New Milford

The New Milford Historical Society & Museum has begun work on a new exhibit entitled The Jewish Experience in New Milford. If anyone has any historical information, photos or other artifacts relevant to this upcoming project or an interest in participating, please contact Sandy Ivler at [email protected] or David Cohen at [email protected]

Help Needed for the Oneg

We have two Onegs a month all year long now. The Board of Trustees has cheerfully taken on the responsibility of sponsoring the

Onegs since July. However, having only the Board sponsor the Onegs is self-defeating. Onegs bring people together after Shabbat services on Friday. Onegs help build community and are a way for people to introduce themselves to the Temple and to each other. And most importantly, it’s a time to shmooze. And best of all: It’s easy! A challah, some cookies, some wine and juice. That’s it. Challah and wine are supplied by the Temple. The Rabbi will take care of the Kiddush blessings. A quick clean up and your finished with one of the 24 Onegs we will have.

And of course, a Board member is always ready to assist and help you. Call the office (860.354.0273) if you would like to sponsor an Oneg.

Temple Sholom

122 Kent Road ~ P.O. Box 509

New Milford, CT 06776

(860) 354-0273

Temple Sholom Website (www.tsholom.org)

Temple Sholom Facebook