June 2017 - 5777

Volume LXV #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.
Congregation Shalom
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Rabbi From our Rabbirabbi    

Dear Friends,
In recent months, I have had the honor of teaching our B'nai Mitzvah class, our Confirmation class and our Post-Confirmation class.  With each group of students I have offered the opportunity to reflect on the theme of "purpose".  What does it mean to become an adult Jew?  What words of wisdom would you share with younger students in our religious school?  What does it mean to "confirm" your identity as a Jew and how has community helped your vision grow?  How do you hope to move forward in your Jewish lives with a sense of meaning and commitment? Our students have embraced the opportunity to reflect and they have offered different age-appropriate answers.  In every case, their insights and observations and most of all their embrace of "purpose" is truly inspiring. 
I believe that the questions of purpose and meaning are relevant to ALL of us, whatever our age and whatever our stage in life.  If we could each mindfully ask ourselves these questions on a more regular basis, then our lives would be filled with a sense of value, self-worth and perhaps holiness.  Our tradition teaches us that although we are each created B'zelem Elohim, in the image of God, we are not identical, drones thinking, feeling and living in the same manner.  Each of us is also blessed with unique gifts, opportunities and way of being in the world.  As we grow, mature and experience the full breadth of life, with its rigors, challenges, defeats, joys and successes, we are offered the opportunity to let these personal character traits unfold.  Is this not what Oscar Wilde meant when he wrote, "Be Yourself-everyone else is already taken."  Perhaps Oscar Wilde knew of this teaching from the Talmud!  There we read the story, "Before his death, Rabbi Zuzya said, "In the World to Come, they will not ask me, 'Why were you not like Moses?' They will ask me, 'Why were you not Zuzya?'"

So how do we find a sense of purpose and direction in our lives and how can Torah and Jewish teachings be our guide?  I offer this teaching from the Mishnah, " Rabbi Tarfon and some elders were reclining in an upper chamber in the house of Nitza in Lod when this question came up: Which is greater, study or action? Rabbi Tarfon spoke up and said: Action is greater. Rabbi Akiva spoke up and said: Study is greater. The others then spoke up and said: Study is greater because it leads to action." Just as I invited the students in our school to reflect personally, I invite all of us to reflect on the way we balance study and action in our lives and as members of a Jewish community Our synagogue offers all of us the opportunity to pursue both study and action in a variety of ways: through our efforts in Tikkun Olam (which embraces both social action and social justice); through our opportunities to help our congregation grow in strength and mission; and through our many opportunities to study and learn.  May you search for purpose and meaning by enriching your life with personal growth.  
Since I have written about the value of learning from Jewish texts, I will end by sharing a text that challenges and inspires me personally.
"Ben Zoma says: Who is the wise one? He who learns from all men, as it says, "I have acquired understanding from all my teachers" (Psalms 119:99). Who is the mighty one? He who conquers his desire, as it says, "slowness to anger is better than a mighty person." (Proverbs 16:32). Who is the rich one? He who is happy with his lot, as it says, "When you eat [from] the work of your hands, you will be happy, and it will be well with you" (Psalms 128:2). "You will be happy" in this world, and "it will be well with you" in the world to come. Who is honored? He who honors all created beings..."
I hope it inspires you as well.  

With warm regards,
Rabbi Sig
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From our PresidentBarryTop   

Jewish Emotional Intelligence

I always thought of emotional IQ as the ability to understand others and empathize with them. This past year, I have been working on cultivating the skill but I was recently crushed to discover that emotional IQ isn't actually about empathy at all! Emotional intelligence, as defined by Wikipedia, is the capability of individuals to recognize their own and other people's emotions, to discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and to manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt environments or achieve one's goals.
In other words, emotional IQ is an ability and a skill... and it can be used to further your ends or, as The Atlantic put it, to enable oneself to "become better at manipulating others." As one subject matter expert, Professor Kilduff of the University College London reported in The Atlantic, "The strategic disguise of one's own emotions and the manipulation of others' emotions for strategic ends are behaviors evident not only on Shakespeare's stage but also in the offices and corridors where power and influence are traded."
After I had recovered from having my very firm illusion shattered, I accepted that this was a skill like any other and I needed to treat it as such. When my children were growing up, I would marvel at their every accomplishment. When they did something particularly outstanding, I would tell them, you have great gifts, and the greater your gifts, the greater your responsibility to use your gifts to help others. As gifts go, so do skills.
So, what then, is the responsibility of those with significant emotional intelligence or for those of us learning on this path? Clearly, the responsibility is the same as with any other gift or skill... as ethical Jews, we must use our abilities and skills to improve the lives of those around us. As one senior educator at UCLA Hillel, Rabbi S. Yanklowitz wrote, "the emotional choices we make are crucial." And further, "when we properly cultivate compassion, we promote good citizenship." For, after all, we then pay greater attention to the impact of our actions on those outside of our community.  And, Rabbi Yanklowitz wrote" when we give space to reflect upon our anger, we teach self-control." For, after all, with greater emotional intelligence, we understand more the impact of our emotions on others.
While my path on increasing my emotional intelligence has shifted - I understand that it is a skill that is about more than empathy alone - I will continue trying to develop my emotional IQ, and to use it Jewishly, for good.

Tamar R. Wexler 
From our Education Director     

One of my favorite quotes is from Ethics Of The Fathers, where Rabbi Hillel says, "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?" (1:14).

I love this quote because it reflects what I believe to be one of the most beautiful aspects of the Congregation Shalom community. Congregation Shalom's mission statement says, "Congregation Shalom is a Reform Jewish community committed to education, spiritual growth, and Tikkun Olam (healing the world)." The idea of healing the world speaks directly to Rabbi Hillel's idea of taking care of ourselves while simultaneously making sure we also take care of others. I love this notion as it reminds us to take care of our own well being, but also to make sure that we are responsible for others. The idea of healing the world may seem daunting and often unmanageable but it is not about healing everything, but rather about each of us doing our part. This reminds me of a famous story adapted from Loren Eiseley "A Single Starfish" :

One day an old man was walking along the beach. It was low tide, and the sand was littered with thousands of stranded starfish that the water had carried in and then left behind. The man began walking very carefully so as not to step on any of the beautiful creatures. Since the animals still seemed to be alive, he considered picking some of them up and putting them back in the water, where they could resume their lives. The man knew the starfish would die if left on the beach's dry sand but he reasoned that he could not possibly help them all, so he chose to do nothing and continued walking. Soon afterward, the man came upon a small child on the beach who was frantically throwing one starfish after another back into the sea. The old man stopped and asked the child, "What are you doing?" "I'm saving the starfish," the child replied. "Why waste your time?... There are so many you can't save them all so what does it matter?" argued the man. Without hesitation, the child picked up another starfish and tossed the starfish back into the water... "It matters to this one," the child explained.

As I reflect on this story and the second part of Hillel's quote "If not now, when?" I can't help but think about the powerful opportunity our community offers on Mitzvah Day to allow our families to take a hands-on role in Tikkun Olam. The important idea of "If not now when?" allows us to show our children the importance of taking on healing the world not sometime in the future, but rather on June 4 th at Mitzvah Day where we can all be part of healing the world in small and big ways - whether it is one flower, one blanket, one placemat or any of the other meaningful mitzvah opportunities, we are able to make a difference as a community together. I look forward to seeing everyone at Mitzvah Day.
    Yael Signature  
From our Cantorial Soloist

No news this month from Jodi. 

B'Kavod v'Shalom (With Respect and Peace),

Jodi Blankstein, Cantorial Soloist                                         

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2017 Congregants of the Year
Congratulations to Laura Smith and Leah Shuldiner for being voted as this year's congregants of the year!  They will be acknowledged at the Installation Shabbat on Friday, June 23rd.

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On October 15th we will cap off our Golden Anniversary with a gala reception at Sky Meadow Country Club.  What a wonderful opportunity to rejoice in our accomplishments, socialize with fellow congregants, and enjoy good food/drink & entertainment!

The theme of the reception is to pay tribute to three groups that have been central to this 50 year journey:

  • The Founding Families with their foresight and unwavering commitment to establish a Reform Jewish place of worship in our community
  • Rabbi Shoshana Perry and Rabbi Emeritus Terry Bard, for their devoted spiritual leadership
  • Past Presidents, for their skills and time in guiding the operations of the synagogue
Invitations to the reception will be forthcoming this summer.  In the meantime we hope that you will show your continued support of Congregation Shalom and be a part of an enduring commemoration by placing an ad in the Tribute Book.

For more information on the Gala, and to download the Tribute Ad Form, visit:

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Social Action Committee socialaction
Blood Drive to be held on Monday June 12, 2017 2:00 p.m- 7:00 p.m.
Congregation Shalom will host a blood drive on Monday June 12, from 2:00 -7:00 p.m. Volunteers are needed to help set up, staff, and clean up after the drive. If you are interested in volunteering, please email   If you would like to donate blood, please sign up at and enter in Congregation Shalom's zipcode (01863) to be directed to our location to sign up. 
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.  Our team serves every other month on the third Tuesday, and will next serve on July 18, 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, June 21 through Thursday, June 22 (until 5:00 p.m.)  July dates will be July 19-20 - mark your calendar now!

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Featured This Issue
Congregants of the Year
50th Anniversary Tribute Book
June Oneg Schedule
Mitzvah Day
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Save the Date

Mitzvah Day - June 4th
Blood Drive - June 12th
Installation Shabbat - June 23rd

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QuickLinksQuick Links

Links to Our Website

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June Oneg Schedule

Jun 2 - 7 pm Family Shabbat - Lay led Newman E&R*, Nazario, Pitts & Rosenthal, Skolnick, Smith T&L
Jun 9 - 6 pm MOCA Shabbat - Graduation Adult Sunset Jodi w/Adam Music Moore*, Beningson, Degen, Giniger & Revy, Mackillop & Rabinowitz, Miller M&L, Solomon
Jun 16 - 6 pm Tot Shabbat - Jodi w/Adam Music Ginsberg & Kawashima-Ginsberg, Libby & Shannon, Schertzer & Strizhak
Jun 16 - 7:15 pm Shabbat Shirah Shabbat - Jodi w/Adam Music Heines*, Andreola, Sohn, Starr, Zeichick
Jun 23 - 7 pm Adult Shabbat - Adult Choir (Music) Board Installation Denly*, Bass, Fidler, Haas, Holladay & Navy, Myers, Newlon & Rothstein, Riddick
Jun 30 - 6 pm Sunset Shabbat - Janoschek*, Leonard & Miller, Lydon, Notinger, Rose

Karen and Rick
Oneg Committee
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Upcoming B'nai Mitzvah Schedule

Emily Myerson - June 10th
Hannah Dangel - June 17th
Ilana Berkowitz - June 24th

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June Yahrzeits Yahrzeits

June 9th
Phyllis Bass
Martin Greenfield
Elaine Hirsch
Gilbert Hite
Isadore Hovsha
Michelle Moarin

June 16th
Gloria Barkan
Doris Feldsott
Barbara (Bobbie) Greenfield
Minnie Helfman
Catherine Holladay
Robert Perry

June 23
Dorothy Brahm
Harry Fierverker
Jessie Ginsburg
Hyman Indorf
Linda Navy
David Rosenberg
Leonard Schwartz
Robert H. Sohn
Mae Tack
Arthur Weisberger
Leta Wettreich

June 30th
Wilma Ruth Carrick
Edie Friedlander
Grace Iannini
Simon Kasowitz
William Lasky
Evelyn Rodman

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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 15th


Please send articles to  


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Mitzvah Day 

Sign up for Mitzvah Day 2017 ! Sunday June 4, 2017, 8:30 A.M. -2:00 P.M.
Come join your temple family for a fun and meaningful day!
Onsite projects :
Off-site projects:
  • Family mitzvot projects: Crafts, Power of Flowers, Baking for Lowell Transitional Living Center
  • Caring Yarns knitting
  •  Goods sorting for the Lowell  Wish Project
  •  Bake sale to benefit  International Institute refugee  families
  •  Shalomites fleece crafts
  • 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
  • Diaper Drive for Lowell Alliance Diaper Bank. All sizes welcome, but sizes 4-6 especially appreciated.

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This is the Last Call for all  CHI hair products as well as  Neuma   When these go away, they will be gone to one of fundraising's donation places. They will be replaced with BedHead.  More to come in the following weeks!

3 Sets of  Shampoo & Conditioner - cleanse and smooth
11 Sets of Shampoo & Conditioner - replenish and restore
3 count 10 oz. Firm hair spray
2 count 5.3 oz. Shine spray
1 count 5.3 oz. Dry shampoo
2 count 12 oz. 5.3 Silk infusion
2 count 6 oz. Silk infusion
2 count 12 oz. Keratin conditioner
2 count 6.8 oz. Keratin silk infusion
3 count 6.8 oz. Keratin leave in conditioner
2 count 8 oz. Volume booster
2 count 8.5 oz. Infra gel
2 count 2 oz. Silk infusion
2 count 10 oz. Helmet head hairspray
2 count Molding clay
2 count 3 oz. Pliable polish
Retail Price
Our Price

50/50 Raffle

Time is running short for you to get your raffle tickets in - remember that the lucky number will be drawn at the end of Mitzvah Day. Get your number in for how many tickets are sold and if you are right, 4 tickets for next year will be free.

if you want to see one up close and in person.

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Sisterhood Snippetssisterhood

On May 9, over 30 members gathered for a lovely dinner. Following the meal, Rabbi Perry gave an enlightening presentation about her recent trip to Washington, DC with 11 Congregation Shalom members. They participated in the Consultation on Conscience Conference, heard inspirational speakers such as Anat Hoffman, and had a unique opportunity to lobby on Capitol Hill. Rabbi Perry also shared videos and information from Women of the Wall. Learn more by using the links below: 
Special thanks to the set up and clean up volunteers, and to everyone who brought appetizers and desserts. We'd also like to thank Janet Dubner and Power of Flowers for the beautiful vases of springtime flowers.
We held our annual meeting and approved the following members as the 2017-2018 Sisterhood Board of Officers:
President ~ Donna Upson
Treasurer ~ Carol Frampton
Corresponding Secretary ~ Liz Denly
Recording Secretary ~ Toby Sedgwick
Fundraising Chair ~ Patti Green
Membership Chair ~ Anne Rosenberg
Trustees ~ Katie Ebersman and Tamara Sorell
There are still two open positions: Vice President and Programming Chair. We are eager for more members to step up to help us keep Sisterhood running smoothly. It is difficult for our small group of board members to plan and coordinate the variety of quality programming and events without additional assistance. We have a lot of new ideas for 2017-2018 but need your help to make these events happen. Please consider joining the board or volunteering to offer your help for a specific event next year.
We express our gratitude to everyone on the 2016-2017 board. Your time, energy, thoughtfulness, enthusiasm and creativity contribute to the spirit and 'sisterly' connections that make Sisterhood so special.
Our End-of-the-Year Dinner will be on Wednesday, June 14 at 6:30pm. Watch for an evite soon with more details.
Mark your calendar so you don't miss our Annual Pool Party on Monday, July 17.
If you need a birthday, graduation or wedding present, we have a variety of gifts and Judaica items available in our gift shop. Many beautiful options are on display. Contact us if you would like to make a purchase.  
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Brotherhood NewsBrotherhood

The Annual Brotherhood Retreat was held on the weekend of May19. We were back at Linger Longer by the Sea in Brewster where we've had over a decade of soul enriching experiences.  This year, in addition to our gastronomical and culinary experiences, the challenge was to bring the best available micro brew. We were not disappointed. Enjoying poker, golf, fishing, kayaking. and eating, while getting to know each other better, what a combination. In May we also had the Brotherhood Annual Meeting. Last year's slate of officers was unanimously re-elected by acclimation. Some of the best hamburgers and Pearl hot dogs, along with salad and all the sides were enjoyed by those lucky to attend.
Look for announcements for guys night out. The Board will work hard to keep a continuous schedule of fun events, so watch for upcoming future announcements.
Submitteed by David Brother

Grocery Store Cards  


We've done a great job with the grocery cashback cards, raising almost $2500 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 $3000 mark.  Thanks!
Just email  Judy Beningson at   and I will get you a card in whatever denomination you need: $25-$500!  THANK YOU.

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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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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