June 2016 - 5776

Volume LXIV #9

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.
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Rabbi From our Rabbirabbi    
Dear Friends,
It is not yet the end of May and I feel both inspired and exhilarated by the many programs, events and services that have taken place at Congregation Shalom this past month and there are still more to come! Whether it be the amazing Taste of Learning Fair with our friends of the Anjuman e-Ezzi Masjid, hearing the beautiful voices of our youth in Kol Kolot, learning about the heroism of the Albanian Muslim community during the Shoah, discussing the current state of Israel, listening to this year's Confirmation class speak about their Jewish Journey or listening to our Shalomites entertain our members at their first Beit Café, our congregation has been enriched beyond words.   
I also feel grateful for the support our congregation has been able to share with one another as we have faced pastoral emergencies and loss. As Ecclesiastes wrote:  To everything there is a season and time for every purpose under the heavens:  A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.... Our synagogue is a place where we can find purpose and meaning during joyous and difficult times and we can know that our presence and support can and does make a difference in other people's lives.  This is the strength of Congregation Shalom. 
Rabbi Wayne Dosick writes, "In community, there is shared memory, unity of purpose, mutual commitment, reciprocal responsibility, and common destiny.  In community, there is powerful energy that heightens awareness, supports unfolding consciousness, strengthens cosmic connection, enhances prayer, deepens meditation, and affirms transcendent experience. In community there is sharing of tragedy amid triumph - joy enhanced, sorrow eased. In community, there is support for personal healing - the pain and sufferings of physical disease and emotional trauma tempered and soothed.  In community there is encouragement and energy for global healing - the task of transforming and perfecting the world advocated and empowered." When I read Rabbi Dosick's words I realize that much of what he envisions community to be is what we strive for in our congregation. I hope that looking back on the year and looking forward to the next, you will appreciate the gift that our Jewish community can be for each and every one of us. 
Benjamin Mandelstamm wrote, "A human being is like a letter of the alphabet; to produce a word one must combine with another."  For Jewish community to exist, we must share our lives, share out gifts, lend our support and spread our creativity. In doing so we can do so much more than we can when we act alone. It is in this spirit that I want to thank each and every lay person who helped in large and small ways throughout the year. Whether it be by serving on a committee or bringing food for an oneg; whether it be by being a part of a minyan or bringing food to a family that needs support... whatever it may be, your contributions and efforts matter and by acting, contributing and sharing of yourself, you help to create together the Kehillah - community.  
And... the year is not yet over!  In addition to our services and programs, in particular I hope you will come for Mitzvah Day on June 5th, Chai School Graduation on June 10th, Choir Shabbat on June 17th along with our Installation Shabbat.  In addition, we will be honoring our member of the year, Eileen Hirsch, on June 17th.  Eileen is a person who has shared her talents, creativity, time and sensitivity over many, many years.  She has been a blessing to our Kehillah/Community, and we hope you will come and celebrate with us.
Rabbi Sig
  Rabbi Shoshana M. Perry

From our PresidentBarryTop     

Learning Together
Looking back at May, I am amazed. Our education events started with the movie Besa.This event for Yom Yashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, drew members from our synagogue and non-members who are Jewish, as well as Muslim, from surrounding communities. We learned how the mainly Muslim community of Albania welcomed Jews, with the support of the government of Albania. We also witnessed how the Albanian Muslim community demonstrated hospitality, and we in Congregation Shalom honored them, not only by remembering their efforts but also by providing Albanian food. One man of Albanian descent complimented our efforts most sincerely. Not only did we host an event to remember the Holocaust, but we chose one about a Muslim community. Not only did we get attendees who are Jewish, both members and non-members, but we also got attendees who are Muslim. And the Albanian food, which none of us had ever made before was very well received. Audacious and hospitable learning!
In mid-May, we hosted the One Book/One Congregation Event, led by Karen Spira. We met to discuss the controversial book by Ari Shavit, My Promised Land.  As Ms. Spira said, given this was the first foray of the current Adult Education Committee into discussing Israel, we were adventurous. Ms. Spira did an outstanding job, teaching and helping us listen to each other, and I hope she joins us again for another learning event. Audacious choice for our first (in recent times) learning event on Israel!
Then we hosted an interschool event with the Anjuman-e-Ezzi Masjid of Billerica. As I stood in the entry hall, next to Aamir in his traditional white Muslim garb, complete with gold and white cap on his head, my heart began sinking to my toes. Many Muslims were coming and claiming their name tags, but very few members from Congregation Shalom. But, I should have had faith because by 3:10 pm, Congregation Shalom attendees had matched the Masjid attendees ... and, by the time the event was really underway by 3:30, there was a HUGE turnout with nearly as many from the Masjid as from Congregation Shalom.
Whether you had a child who prepared one of the booths on food or clothing or symbols or just someone who came to interact with adults, there was space and opportunity. To me, it felt like the first weeks of college where everyone was open to talk and interaction, presenting new worlds of perspectives and knowledge. I am very interested in hearing what your experiences were. I hope you are willing to share them. Please send me your thoughts at .  It was a welcoming and joyous celebration of learning and exploration of two faiths for children and adults! Here's what the Lowell Sun had to say about it.
We are living up to our Congregation Shalom mission.That of being committed to education, spiritual growth, and, yes, Tikkun Olam (healing the world).
Taking a risk in learning has presented me (and I hope many of you), with literally awesome payback. 
Tamar R. Wexler
    Tamar's signature  
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From our Education Director     

All of our students know the song Mitzvah Goreret Mitzvah, Averah Goreret Averah "one mitzvah will bring another mitzvah, one transgression will bring another transgression." Pirkei Avot 4:2
We often sing that song but we do not always reflect on what it may mean. The Hebrew School students will tell you that a Mitzvah is not only a good deed, it also encompasses studying Torah, learning and enriching your life and others lives in meaningful ways. Each of our Bar and Bat Mitzvah students keep a journal of the 13 different mitzvot they are asked to do in the year leading up to their special day. They are asked to reflect on different types of Mitzvot: Torah - Study and Knowledge, Avodah - Observance and G'milut Chasidim - Acts of Loving Kindness.
As I walked into work this morning, I saw the board with the list of events that are happening for Mitzvah day on June 5. Activities like sorting donations for the Wish Project, baking for the Lowell Transitional Living Center, Caring Yarns, children's crafts and repurposing flower arrangements are all happening right here in this building. If you prefer, you can take your young children to Bridges by EPOCH, a memory center where they can perform as part of a talent show, you can work at the Paul Center, or sing at the senior living facility and you can even sign up to serve lunch at the Lowell Transitional Shelter. These hands of Mitzvot offer our families the opportunity to teach about acts of loving kindness in meaningful and tangible ways. I urge every family to attend. It does not matter if you come for an hour or you spend most of the day, the work will be meaningful and will offer us all the possibility to allow for Mitzvah Goreret Mitzvah. I love the idea that one mitzvah will bring another and the concept of positive actions allows all of us to feel connected to one another and the world at large. On Sunday, June 5, our Kehillah (community) can bond and give back simultaneously and this is a real gift we give to our children.
In the realm of gifts we give our children, I want to once again thank my incredible teachers, my dedicated madrichim and each and every student and parent in our school for an incredible year. I feel truly honored to be your Education Director and I feel so proud of the amazing Kehillah we have at Congregation Shalom.
Have a safe, fun, relaxing and meaningful summer!
Yael Signature

From our Cantorial Soloist     

Modim Anachnu Lach, Shaatah hu Adonai Eloheinu v'Elohei Avoteinu v'imoteinu l'olam va-ed...Baruch Atah Adonai hatov shimcha ul'cha na-eh l'hodot.  We acknowledge that You are Adonai, our G-d and the G-d of our ancestors forever.....Blessed are You Adonai, Your Name is goodness, and You are worthy of Thanksgiving. These words, an excerpt from the Hoda'ah (thanksgiving/acknowledgment) section of our liturgy help us to articulate our gratitude for our numerous blessings.

It is through our soulful music each Shabbat that we are all better able to express our thanks and praise. Sometimes just saying or reading words of prayer is not enough to lift our spirit. Melody resonates within, making prayer more accessible to us and praying with intention or kavana possible for us.

Each Shabbat it is my goal to inspire with true kavana. At the end of an especially poignant service, I am often reminded of my childhood Hazzan, Cantor Philip Macktaz. He uttered his thanks by singing to G-d with the ultimate sense of intension. In serving as a musical vessel for our congregation, he made the text come alive and helped us to better express our awe and appreciation in prayer. 

The building of this kind of connection to prayer through music starts with our children. Last month we reveled in the blessing of celebrating Kol Kolot singing prayer and song with ruach and grace.  Coming soon, on Friday June 10th , I feel particularly blessed to have my son, Zachary Blankstein, accompanying me on guitar for our Graduation Shabbat. Our wonderful accompanist, Adam Dehner, has actually been Zach's guitar teacher for almost 13 years. Today, Zach is the NIFTY NE song leader and leads hundreds of teens in song and prayer each month. Together, we will share in a very soulful and festive musical Shabbat. Come to sing and be lifted!!

Lastly, on Friday, June 17th, our sanctuary will be filled with the blended voices of our adult choir. After all, why should the kids have all of the fun? The mixture of the Congregation Shalom voices and ideas on each Shabbat is surely something for which to be grateful!!
I wish you all a sweet month of deep intension and gratitude.


Jodi Blankstein, Cantorial Soloist

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Social Action Committeesocialaction

Successful Blood Drive held on Monday May 16
Congregation Shalom  once again hosted a blood drive and collected 33 pints of blood!.Thanks to all who donated and to those who volunteered their time!
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, June 15 through Thursday, June 16 (until 5pm.)  July dates will be July 20-21 - 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 5-6pm 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, 2016. If you have time to volunteer during the afternoon on Tuesdays and would like to take part, please contact Linda Newhard at

*Please see below for Mitzvah Day Information

Featured This Issue
Mitzvah Day
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Save the Date
6/4 -Torah Study
6/17 - Installation/Choir Shabbat &Congregant of the Year recognition
6/20 - Movie Monday w/ Amy Degen

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QuickLinksQuick Links

Links to Our Website

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Choir Shabbat
June 17th
7:00 p.m.

Join us for an evening of music!

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Good and Welfaregoodandwelfare

Condolences to Alan Fidler and family for passing of our friend and member Laurie Fidler.

Condolences to David Holladay and family on the passing of David's father William L. Holladay.

Condolences to Pat Karpeles and family on the passing of her mother Phyllis Dimond.

Thank YouThankYou

I wanted to thank all our friends and neighbors who have been so helpful to me and my family since Laurie passed away on 4/28/. I also wanted to thank all those who made contributions in her name.  Your generosity and support are greatly appreciated. Love to all, Alan Fidler

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June Yahrzeitsyahrzeits

6/3/1 6
Elaine Cutler Becker
Elaine Hirsch
Gilbert Hite
Louis Kerzner
Sylvia Melnick Laider
Irving Park
Faith Ward

Phyllis Bass
Martin Greenfield
Isadore Hovsha
Lillian Indorff
Frances Sudhalter

Gloria Barkan
Catherine Holladay
Linda Navy
Robert Perry

Jessie Ginsburg
Barbara (Bobbie) Greenfield
Minnie Helfman
William Lasky
Michelle Moarin
David Rosenberg
Robert H.Sohn
Mae Tack
Arthur Weisberger

Wilma Ruth Carrick
Harry Fierverker
Grace Iannini
Leonard Schwartz

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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

July Newsletter is

Thursday, June 16th


Please send articles to  


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Join Our Mailing List
Sign up for Mitzvah Day ! Sunday June 5, 2016, 8:30AM -3PM
Come join your temple family for a fun and meaningful day!

Onsite projects :
Offsite projects:
  • Family mitzvot projects:
           Crafts, Power of Flowers, Baking for Lowell Shelter  
  • Temple grounds cleanup 
  • Caring Yarns knitting 
  • Goods sorting for the Lowell Wish Project
  • Paul Center cleanup Chelmsford
  • Children's talent show at Bridges by
  •  EPOCH in Westford memory care facility
  • Prepare or serve barbecue lunch at Senior Housing, Chelmsford
  • Serve lunch at Middlesex Transitional Living Center, Lowell
  • Sing at Atrium senior living center
  • Household goods for a "Move in Bin"*for refugees resettling through International Institute of Lowell
*(see below for list of desired  items)
  • Electronics recycling*


We're collecting:

Household goods for a "Move in Bin" for refugees resettling through International Institute of Lowell

Help set up a household for a refugee family. Items can be purchased or high quality donations.

Requested items:

Place settings of dishes
Cutting board
Dish soap
Toilet paper
Sets of pots and pans
Kitchen/bathroom cleaner
Mixing/serving bowls
Food storage containers
Sponges/paper towels
Cooking & eating utensils
Alarm clock
Laundry detergent
Bar soap
Can opener
Pens, pencils, paper, etc.
Waste baskets
Generic shampoo
Rice cooker
Light bulbs
Trash bags

Electronics Recycling
Northeast Material Handling will have a truck at Congregation Shalom from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm on Mitzvah Day to collect old electronics and dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way. Most everything is taken, including old appliances, computer parts, lawn tools and snow blowers. There will be a $.55 charge per pound for TV's and alkaline batteries, $15 per monitor, and optional monetary donations will be accepted for all other items. 

A cceptable items to donate include:

A/C units
Battery operated tools
Coffee Pots
Electrical equipment
Fax machines
Fire alarm equipment
Lawn mowers
Light Fixtures
Metal furniture
Printed circuit boards
Snow blowers
Toaster ovens

Thank you for participating in these mitzvah programs!

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Raffle 50/50     
And it keeps on growing. Right now the winner will receive a check for over $400 - that's more than the minimum $250 promised. The more tickets sold, the more the winner gets so...if you haven't bought your tickets yet, please do so now - The winner will be announced on Mitzvah Day which is June 5th!!

Hair Care Donations
This month we are featuring two brands that are expensive in stores but not for you!! Obviously, our prices to you are in the last column for both Goldwell Kerasilk and Phyto Paris.

Goldwell Kerasilk
Goldwell created a new treatment called Kerasilk, which is not only non-toxic (no formaldehyde or anything close to it), but also (and more amazingly) totally customizable.
Basically Kerasilk allows you to maintain your natural texture-from pin-straight to totally curly to make your everyday style a little less frizzy and whole lot easier. We have, in stock:

Rich Keratin Care Daily Mask
33.8 oz
Rich Keratin Care Daily Mask
16.9 oz
Rich Keratin Care Shampoo
33.8 oz
Rich Keratin Care Shampoo
16.9 oz
Ultra Rich Keratin Care Shampoo
33.8 oz
Ultra Rich Keratin Care Shampoo
16.9 oz
Ultra Rich Keratin Care Shampoo
8.5 oz
Ultra Rich Keratin Care Shampoo
1.7 oz
Ultra Rich Keratin Care Daily Intensive Mask
33.8 oz
Ultra Rich Keratin Care Daily Intensive Mask
16.9 oz
Rich Keratin Care Conditioning Spray
5 oz
Ultra Rich Keratin Care Oil
3.4 oz
Ultra Rich Keratin Care Deep Smoothing Mask
6.4 oz
Phyto Paris
Pioneer in botanical hair care, PHYTO products are highly concentrated in pure plant extracts. Our entire line contains over 500 active botanical ingredients and is 95% natural. With 50 years of research and expertise, PHYTO has conducted thousands of clinical studies and scientific tests. It is with this respect of science and nature that PHYTO has the know-how to reveal and restore hair's natural beauty.

Express Conditioner-normal to dry hydration
5.1 oz
Express Conditioner-weaken,damagedRepair
5.2 oz
Straightening Shampoo
6.7 oz
Phyto Plage - after sun masque
4.2 oz
Phyto 7 day cream for dry hair
5.1 oz
Rich soothing oil
3.4 oz
Glossing cream
3.3 oz
Intense nutrition shine oil - pre shampoo
2.5 oz
Revitalizing Serum for thinning hair 12 amp.
.25 oz
Color Protect Radient Masque 2/500 ml-set
16.5 oz
Express Soothing Masque 2/500 ml-set
16.5 oz

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Sisterhood Snippetssisterhood
On May 3, over 30 members attended Dinner with the Rabbi. Shoshana shared some fascinating facts about women's health issues which triggered an interesting discussion. We also learned about an organization called Days for Girls. Here is the link
During the dinner, we also held our annual meeting. We approved the amended by-laws and voted in the 2016-2017 board. Janet Dubner told us how the volunteers at Power of Flowers collect, reuse, and then distribute beautiful bouquets to a variety of facilities. Learn more about this organization at
There are three events coming up. Watch for details for the End of the Year Dinner on Wednesday, June 8. On Sunday, June 12, we are planning a day trip to Portsmouth. Save the date for our annual pool party on July 11. 
Our next board meeting is on Tuesday, June 7 at 7:00p.m. We will be discussing the calendar and planning events for next year. Please consider joining us to share ideas, or contact us with any suggestions you have for speakers or activities.
Toby Sedgwick and the Sisterhood Board

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Brotherhood Newsbrotherhood

Brotherhood kicked off May with our Annual Meeting where our membership approved a new slate of leaders, including a welcomed nominee from the floor (Rick Karpales).

As I write this, Brotherhood members are having lots of laughs and a few drinks at our annual retreat on Cape Cod!  As always, the food is carefully planned and the fellowship is second to none. This year there was a late change of venue and it is taking place in the beautiful historic town of Orleans.

David Ebersman

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The Shalomites are very excited to host our first annual "Beit Café"! We have an evening filled with music, poetry, magic and more and can't wait to see the talents that our congregation has to offer!


Many of our Shalomites recently attended NFTY-NE's event Leadership Kallah at the URJ Eisner Camp. This was a weekend filled with leadership training, hanging with friends, and enjoying the beautiful sunshine.Mazel tov to our very own Channah Powell who was inducted as the Social Action Vice President on the regional board of NFTY!


The Shalomites are looking forward to volunteering on Mitzvah Day and finishing out the great year. 

Julia Segal
Grocery Store Cards  


We've done a great job with the grocery cashback cards, raising almost $2000 for the temple so far this year. Please order a card via the email below or purchase one during Sunday school in the lobby to get us over the $2000 mark. Thanks!
Just email Judy Beningson at  and I will get you a card in whatever denomination you need: $25-$500! 


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BGBook Group

The Congregation Shalom book group invites anyone who is interested to attend our meetings. We enjoy reviewing and discussing a variety of book selections each month.

Our next meeting will be on June 6th and will be a dinner meeting. Please contact Jean Rubinstein if you are interested in attending. We will be discussing the book, Saving Sophie by Ronald H. Balson.

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Adult Education - Community Events ListingAdultEd







Torah Study

June 4 

9-10:30 a.m.

Congregation Shalom

Rabbi Perry

Monday Movie w/Amy Degen

June 20      7:00 p.m.

Congregation Shalom

Starting up of Monthly movies on varying topics







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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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ExtendedCommunityExtended Community

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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