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
I hope your summer has been filled with relaxation, sun, great reads, delicious tomatoes, walks on the beach, family time...; just like one extended Shabbat! Although we have experienced a lot of change in the realm of staff this year, most pieces are falling into place for next year. Dale Norman has started in her role as Director of Education and Lifelong Engagement; meeting with teachers, planning curriculum and learning about our community. Dale's enthusiasm is infectious and she is starting to feel at home. In the months ahead, we hope to have some open houses for her to meet our members and get to know our community.
In the realm of music, we also have some exciting news. As you know, Meryl Gold will be returning this coming year for High Holidays. Johann Soults (cellist), Scott Nicholas (pianist) will be with us yet again for Kol Nidre and some of the members of our community will lend their musical talent during the High Holidays as well. Since we last heard Meryl sing, she has been studying guitar and will be able to accompany herself for some of the music.
As for our Shabbat evening and B'nai Mitzvah services, we are lucky that an array of talented soloists and cantors will be helping to lead us in prayer and music. As you know, Sue Horowitz will be with us once again. Sue's exciting news is that her husband Robert has recently been offered a position as medical director of a cancer center. Robert has worked hard to achieve this position and I am very excited for him and Sue. So, the news for us is that Sue will now be living in two places - Iowa and Maine! Although she will be moving to Iowa with Robert, they are keeping their home in York, Maine and she will be traveling East about two times a month. She will be able to stay connected to the York community she loves, the ocean and the communities that she plays music and leads services. Sue will continue to help me lead many of our services and Sisterhood retreat as well as being able to play at her other concerts.
Our spiritual life will continue to be enriched by other music as well. Some of you may have heard Ari Strasser sing at Yael's good-bye service or have met her when she taught music in our Sunday school. Ari is an amazingly talented singer-songwriter and she will be helping to lead services some Friday nights as well as at a few B'nai Mitzvah services. Someone new to our community is
Cantor Sharon Brown Goldstein, and she works part-time at the Reform synagogue in Westborough, MA. Cantor Brown will be leading music at a few of our B'nai Mitzvah services this coming year. In addition, Jodi Blankstein and Adam Dehner will be helping to lead services at two of our B'nai Mitzvah services.
Finally, we are a community blessed with many musically talented people. Shpiel will be back several times during the year at our Shabbat Services and we hope to have a few other talented folks join us for music as well. If you are interested in bringing your musical skills to our community, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at
From our President
New Website Coming Soon
In today's fast-paced world, a website that is more than three years old looks dated. The URJ recognized this and decided last year to switch all websites to a more modern platform. This news happily came just a short time after our own Communications Committee recommended to the Board that we update our website. Eileen Hirsch has once again put in the hours needed to design and create our next generation website, and thanks to the URJ and a member's contribution it's been done at no financial cost to our temple.
This new website will give a great new face to the world for Congregation Shalom, while continuing to provide all the information that members have come to expect. Prospective members' first contact with a synagogue is often through a website. Our home page is designed to show what we're all about - highlighting our welcoming spirit, the caring nature of our community, and key events. The home page also gives our members easy access to information on services, events, URJ articles, and more.
We will still have a Members Only section, tailored to the important information members need. The Members Only section is similar to the old one and will evolve over time.
Like anything new, it might have some kinks to work out. We have done our best but can't anticipate everything. If you click on the calendar and it doesn't look right, if you have trouble logging in, if you try to make a donation and it's not working - you get the idea, please just let us know. Send a friendly email to Eileen at
If you're eager to check it out, it won't be long. Sometime in late August when you type
into your browser, you'll be at the new site.
| From Our Education Director
For weeks we joined the world in holding our collective breath as we prayed for a group of soccer players and their coach waiting to be saved from a flooded cave in northern Thailand, far from the comforts of the Merrimack Valley Region.
The drama was intense and we, the crowd were riveted as nature once again bumped up against nurture. First, the team, called 'The Wild Boars', were lost while exploring a cave complex on June 23rd. They vanished into a labrynth, half a mile below the earth's surface, seemingly swallowed whole. Then, just as hope evaporated, they were found by two British divers. I remember their gaunt faces seemingly floating out of shadows and projected into our world.
"A little bit of light pushes away a lot of darkness." - Jewish proverb
They were scrawny, with huge eyes and wide smiles, having survived on nothing but hope, teamwork, and droplets of water licked from the walls of a cave. Their 25-year-old soccer coach, a spiritual person schooled in Buddhist philosophy, sustained his team all that time in darkness, with rising waters, and no outside contact. He taught them about meditation and faith and how to dispel their doubts and tap into their inner strength.
The entire world prayed for those boys and their coach as they were dragged from the belly of the earth, one by one. A harrowing tale of rebirth.
Every few decades a story arises which grips the hearts of nations and overtakes TV screens. I still remember Baby Jessica McLure Morales who fell down a well in her aunt's backyard in 1987 and was trapped for 58 hours before being rescued. Along with millions of others, I was glued to the TV as the toddler was pulled out of the well. And now, this summer we have 13 more individuals, to add to this lexicon; survivors all, plus one Navy Seal who gave his life in the course of their rescue. The world was riveted yet again. [In our Jewish tradition, the number 13 is charged with mystical meaning. It is the age of B'nai Mitzvah, the transition from childhood to adulthood, but that unravelling is for another column.]
Stories of recovery and reclamation burst on the scene and grip our hearts with such intensity because they speak to the children we all once were. These accounts offer up levels of curiosity, hope, and also the promise of a better and more meaningful future.
From Baby Jessica in Texas to the boys in Thailand, children have been restored to their families and communities, their futures safeguarded. Indeed a well-known Talmudic quotation says it best: " ...Whoever saves one life, it is as if he [or she] has saved the whole world."
In a planet often seemingly bereft of simple human kindness, it is heartening to see communities and families of all nationalities pull together for lost boys they will never personally know. These children symbolize the best we can all hope for in partnership.
One teen who continuously moves the world with her powerful words and faith in goodness, is the late Anne Frank, who died in the Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp shortly before the end of WWII.
"How wonderful it is
," wrote this German teenager from her hiding place in the Secret Annex in Amsterdam, "...that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world..."
It is children who inspire the best in us and have the capacity to point us in a better direction.
In our own school and community it is important for us to continually foster the importance of human life and social justice which are so central to the mission and goals of Congregation Shalom, which is built upon lifelong learning, worship, and Tikkun Olam/Repairing the World. Just as the boys in the cave have inspired the world, our own students inspire and move us to be better and do more.
Stay Tuned for More Adventures
In Jewish Learning and Engagement
Clik the link below for some August Jewish Reading Recommendations and Reviews from the Jewish Book Council:
[Last month I asked Congregation Shalom campers, parents of campers, or counselors of all ages, past and present to allow me a brief glimpse into your lives at camp.]
This is a reminder to please share your favorite memory/memories of a summer experience, be it at a Jewish camp, or otherwise. Why is camping so important to you? On the other hand, why doesn't camping appeal? If you prefer, you could even write a short (one paragraph) review of your favorite camp and why it is so special. Drawings, photos and humor are always welcome!
I hope to learn about you and have us share memories. My last column spoke about Jewish Camping and I would love to hear some of your responses and begin the process of gathering this information to share.
Pick Your Oneg!!! Please!!
You choose the date, time, and service type
- Want a Sunset Oneg?
- Want to host the same night as your father's Yarzheit?
- How about hosting the same night as your child's class dinner?
- Away all winter?
Just let us know, and we'll make it happen. Every member is expected to host two Onegs. However, if you volunteer to be the coordinator, one Oneg will fulfill your obligation. All hosts are expected to help with set-up and clean-up along with supplying food. Please, do not just drop off something at the synagogue.
There is always a need for those of you willing to host some special services for Erev Rosh Hashana, Rosh Hashana children's service, Simchat Torah service, or teacher appreciation Shabbat. If you have very young children, the Tot Shabbat is for you. However, if your children have outgrown it, please let us know.
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with requests, as well as stating whether you are willing to be a Coordinator or not. Requests may contain any/all of the following:
: Tot, Family, Adult, MOCA, or Adult Sunset
: There are adult sunset at 6pm, family at 7pm and a few others at 7:!5.
: Holiday or Special Shabbat (e.g., Shalomites Service, Grade 3 Shabbat Dinner, or a friend's Bar/Bat Mitzvah weekend)
Unavailable dates, such as vacation or snowbird schedule:
"we're in Florida from December 1 - May 31" or "not during tax season", so we'll schedule you for a better time.
Do you want Sue Horowitz or Shpiel,
such as December Family Service or November 6 at 8 p.m.
The final schedule for services/special Shabbats is not available until late August. Assignments are made during August and published in the September newsletter. Therefore, requests can be made during early August.
If you do not request specific dates, you will be assigned to ones that we hope are appropriate; however, the best way to ensure that the assignment is correct is to let us know your preferences before being assigned. Once the assignment has been made, you are responsible for swapping your date, if necessary, with another member.
Thank you for your part in making our congregational Oneg program successful; it's yet another part of Congregation Shalom's tradition that we feel is special and unique.
The Oneg Committee
Caren Boroshok, Scheduler
Pat & Rick Karpeles, letter senders
Social Justice/Social Action Committee
The Social Action & Justice Committee kicked off the summer by working with the Chelmsford League of Women Voters at a booth at the Chelmsford 4th of July celebration. We registered voters and spread the word that "Democracy is not a Spectator Sport"! Many thanks to our Shalom volunteers who braved the heat!
On July 12, Congregation Shalom, Temple Isaiah (Lexington), Hancock Church (Lexington) and the Arlington Unitarian Universalist Church co-sponsored the ACLU "What a Difference a DA Makes" event. Rahsaan Hall spoke about the power and influence of DA's and the importance of this coming election. At the end of his talk, he put out sign-up sheets for volunteers who would be interested in being trained for court watching and canvassing. He left Temple Isaiah with 3 sheets of names! If you're interested in finding out more, and adding your name, check on What a Difference a DA Makes on-line, or contact us at
Ongoing Social Action
Table of Plenty
Congregation Shalom volunteers at the Table of Plenty in Chelmsford which serves dinner to anyone who walks through the door, without question, every Tuesday from 5-6pm. Our team preps, cooks and serves dinner every other month on the third Tuesday. If you can volunteer during the afternoon and would like to be a part of this mitzvah, please contact Sue McDonald at
email@example.com. Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monthly Food Donations for Middlesex Transitional Living Center
Congregation Shalom collects donations of meatloaf and/or brownies and/or salad for the Lowell Transitional Living Center each month. It's easy to help out with this mitzvah. Simply place your donation in the cooler chest at the entrance of the synagogue, and know that you have done a good deed! You can leave your donations in the cooler beginning on Wednesday, August 15th (starting around noon) through Thursday, August 16th (until 8pm.) Because of Yom Kippur, there will be no collection for the Transitional Living Center in September, but we will be collecting non-perishable food and gift cards for our annual Yom Kippur Food Drive at the synagogue.
Our planned Adult Education events for this year are completed. We hope you have enjoyed them! We are welcoming two new committee members and would love to welcome you to join our committee. Drop us a line if you are inclined!
Our next article will be published in September... once we've finalized events for next year!
Tamar Wexler and t
he Adult Education Committee
High Holiday Service Schedule At-A-Glance
Saturday, September 8th at 7:30 PM
Rosh Hashanah Services
Sunday, September 9 - Erev Rosh HaShanah - 8:00 PM Oneg to follow
Monday, September 10- First Day of Rosh HaShanah
9:00 AM -Family Service
11:00 AM - Adult Service
2:45 PM - Young Children's Service
4:00 PM - Tashlich at Freeman Lake, N.Chelmsford
Tuesday, September 11- 2nd Day of Rosh HaShanah
10:00 AM - Adult Service
Yom Kippur Services
Tuesday, September 18 - Erev Yom Kippur
7:30 PM - Kol Nidre
Wednesday, September 19 - Yom Kippur
11:00 AM - Adult Service
1:45 PM - Young Children's Service
2:45 PM - Informal Yom Kippur Text Study with Rabbi Perry
3:45 PM - Renewing our Spirit with Lynne Rothstein and Meryl Gold
4:45 PM - Yizkor Neilah Havdallah
Breakfast following Havdallah. All are invited.
High Holiday Services at Congregation Shalom
L'SHANA Tovah! We are looking forward to welcoming the New Year with all of you and would like to share some information about our upcoming services and activities.
Rosh HaShanah begins at sundown on Sunday, September 9. We offer several services and programs and encourage to you to choose the services that are best for you and your family. We are excited to introduce a new family prayer book this year, Mishkan HaNefesh for Youth. This new machzor is filled with beautiful contemporary and spiritual readings that will be meaningful for both children and adults. These books were donated by the 2017-2018 Bar/Bat Mitzvah class. The class purchased enough books for the congregation. If you have any questions, please contact
SELICHOT SERVICE: Saturday, September 8 at 7:30 PM
. Selichot are prayers for forgiveness and Selichot services are held on the Saturday evening before Rosh HaShanah. Our congregation will be hosting an evening of study, conversation, community, and prayer beginning with Havdalah, coffee and dessert. Our High Holiday period is enriched by preparation and reflection and we hope you will join us for this meaningful evening. RSVPs are not required, but it will help us to know how many are attending. If possible, please let us know you are coming at email@example.com.
ROSH HASHANAH SERVICES
Erev Rosh HaShanah: Sunday, September 9 at 8:00 PM Oneg to follow service.
Family Service: Monday, September 10 at 9:00 - 10:15 AM
The Family Service is geared to meet the needs of families with children in the 2nd through 6th grades. This service is distinct from the children's service in the afternoon which is for younger children. We will be using our new High Holiday prayer book that is written to meet the needs of children ages 8-12 as well as adults. The traditional High Holiday melodies are used. There is a shorter sermon appropriate to this population. For many, this service will be a substitute for the later service, although some adults may choose to attend both. Adults without children may also choose this service. The service is designed to maintain a sense of sacredness and seriousness and is not a service for young children.
*Please see important information at end regarding flow of traffic, timing and seating at end of Family Services and beginning of Adult Services.*
Monday, September 10 at 11:00 AM
Tuesday, September 11 at 10:00 AM
Young Children's Service:
Monday, September 10 at 2:45 PM
This service is for children from toddler to age 7 and their families and lasts about 45 minutes. There will be a short oneg after the service.
Monday, September 10 at 4:00 PM at Freeman Lake, North Chelmsford -
Tashlich is the ceremony performed on the afternoon of Rosh HaShanah when members of the Jewish community gather at a body of water, preferably one with fish, to symbolically cast their transgressions away. This ritual is meant to spiritually reinforce the process of making teshuvah (atonement) during the Ten Days of Awe.
YOM KIPPUR SERVICES
Evening Service Kol Nidre: Tuesday, September 18 at 7:30.
Family Service: Wednesday, September 19 at 9:00 - 10:15 AM (see description above)
Adult Service: Wednesday, September 19 at 11:00 AM
Young Children's Service: Wednesday, September 19 at 1:45 PM
2:30 PM - Rabbi Perry will lead an informal text study meant to enrich the themes of the holiday.
3:45 PM - Lynne Rothstein and Meryl Gold will lead an informal service of meditation, reflection and song.
4:45 PM - Yizkor Service We recall memories of loved ones and invite the congregation to write the names of loved ones and put them in the basket in the lobby. All names will be read during this service.
5:30 PM - Neila, Havdalah, and Breakfast.
As the day draws to a close, we conclude our high holidays with prayer and reflection in front of the open Ark in the dimly lit sanctuary. Havdalah will conclude our services. We welcome all in attendance to our community's Breakfast at the end of Yom Kippur. Please look for the evite and RSVP so we can prepare accordingly.
**We would like to review information regarding flow of traffic, timing and seating. When the Family Service is over, those in attendance will exit out of the doors on the side of the building and the back of Classroom 6. People will not be able to exit into the lobby. If you have used the coatroom, you will need to circle back to the lobby to pick up your things. People who are coming to the 11 AM service will not be able to enter the sanctuary until it has been straightened up by the Board of Trustees. If you have any questions, please see one of the ushers. It is congregation policy that seats may only be saved until 15 minutes before services begin. Thank you for your cooperation.
If you or someone you are bringing to services has a disability and need special seating and/or use of an infrared hearing device, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be specific about what services you will be attending. Additional handicapped parking will be available in the parking lot.
Services are live streamed.
Our services are now streamed live and may be viewed at our website www.congregationshalom.org. We are happy to announce that we have been able to improve the sound quality of services. If you cannot attend services and would like to borrow the prayer books, please contact email@example.com. If you do not want to be seen on this live feed, please do not sit in the first three rows of the sanctuary.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the Ritual Committee, we wish you and your family a happy, sweet and peaceful New Year. L'Shana Tova.
Thank you to all those who sent good wishes on the birth of my precious new great granddaughter, Leila Mae Psillas. She is a joy to behold.
We are pleased to welcome Anthony and Barbara Zimmerman and their children Alexander and Madison of Tyngsboro, MA
Evelyn R. Schneider
Evelyn R. Schneider
Goldie (Strasberg) Lasky
Isador William Friedlander
|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
with any questions and/or for an application form.
Changed Your Address?
Notify us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
and we'll make sure all the right organizations at the Temple are informed. Please include your full name in your request.
Getting Ready for the Auction
Within the next month, you will be getting a letter asking for a donation to our Online Auction: whether it is a cooking class, an art lesson, a music lesson, or maybe an antique that no longer interests you. Is there a restaurant you are willing to go to for a gift certificate? Think 'out of the box' and you will be surprised what you come up with for an auction item. The more items we get, the more items are auctioned off and therefore the more money we make.
The Fundraising Committee thanks you in advance for helping us make this the best auction ever!!
The Fundraising Committee
Plan Ahead for High Holidays Celebrations
Time to stock up on summer favorites! Hosting a BBQ? Need snacks for a trip to the beach or lake? I have plenty of extra cards if you just want to request a gift card for shopping for High Holiday celebrations. Pick a store and an amount and join in to receive grocery store gift cards. I send you the cards, and you write a check to the Temple. That's it! You'll see how easy it is to fundraise for the Temple without spending any extra money or time. You can get in on the monthly mailings or just get cards when you need them. Together we contributed about $3,000 to Congregation Shalom during the 2017-2018 fiscal year!
Contact me to get started with one of our best fundraisers. I have gift cards for Hannaford, Donelan's, Whole Foods and Stop & Shop. Your payment to Congregation Shalom results in 7% cash back for the Temple.
Hi! My name is Abby Segal and I am this year's President of The Shalomites! I have been on The Shalomites' board since I was in eighth grade and am thrilled to share my ideas and experience to make a successful and fun year!
Our first event is the Freshman Kidnap which falls on September 16th. Rising eighth graders will be introduced to our great youth group by being blindfolded and "kidnapped" to a fun and surprising location.
Something I want to do this year is collaborate and communicate with the adults in our synagogue! The board thought it would be fun to have an event and fundraiser where we opened a "Shalomite Restaurant" in the synagogue and serve a classy meal to members of the temple! This way, Shalomites can meet and show their appreciation to the members who support our youth group!
I am very excited for a new year of learning, making new friends, and creating memories with The Shalomites!
The Shalom book group is on it's summer hiatus but we are planning for the fall meetings. We invite anyone who is interested to join us for an evening of friendship and book discussion.
We will be meeting on:
Monday, Sept. 24, 2018 ,7:30PM at the home of Esther Wikander
Book Selection: The Alice Network by. Kate Quinn
Some possible summer reads ( fiction):
Educated by Tara Westover
American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan
The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni
There, There by Tommy Orange
Magic Strings by Mitch Albom
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
The Girl Before by JP Delaney
Some non- fiction or semi fiction:
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Code Girls by Liza Mundy
Radium Girls by Kate Moore
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Enjoy your summer. Good reading!!
|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
Reform Jewish Outreach Boston (RJOB)
offers classes and workshops supporting interfaith couples and individuals exploring Judaism:
Yours, Mine & Ours for Interfaith Couples
Interfaith couples who are seriously dating, engaged, or newly married strengthen their communication around faith, family, and culture, in a short-term, small group setting. Held October and March.
Introduction to Judaism
Explore a modern take on Jewish life. Engage with Jewish values, celebrations, and spirituality. Introduction to Judaism is an engaging 16-session course for anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of Jewish life through a Reform lens. Courses starting in Brookline, Boston, and Sharon/Westwood.
Planning a Jewish Wedding
For Interfaith and Jewish couples. Explore the symbols of the Jewish wedding ceremony, ways to honor family traditions, and how to personalize your ceremony. Workshops in Boston and Cambridge.
RJOB is a program of the Union for Reform Judaism, working in partnership with URJ congregations and with the support of Combined Jewish Philanthropies.
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