May  2017 - 5777

Volume LXV #8

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,
As you know we are currently celebrating the 50 th anniversary of Congregation Shalom.  In thinking about our history as a community we have so much to be proud of. One aspect of our congregation's mission that has been especially important, has been our commitment to educating our children. This has happened in both formal and informal ways; in the classroom, as well as through our junior youth group, The Shalomites and NFTY.  Another way that our children's Jewish identity has been enriched is through Jewish summer camping.  Many of our congregation's youth have attended Jewish day camps like Camp Hadar and others have gone away to overnight camps including the Reform Camps:  Eisner, Crane Lake, Six Points Sci-Tech Academy and Kutz Camp.  Other youth in our community have loved attending Tel Noar and Camp Tevya.  Our teens have also participated in the URJ summer trips to Israel and Mitzvah Corps trips to Central America. 
A great deal of research has been done that provides clear evidence that the most significant way we can make a long-term impact on our children's long-term connection to Judaism is through Jewish camping and youth group experiences. Unfortunately, opportunities like camp can be very expensive and if your child regularly participates in NFTY events like conclavettes and Institutes, that can add up as well. Fortunately, families have the ability to access scholarship funds through a variety of philanthropic organizations. The Reform movement has need-based financial aid resources that are very generous for their camps and NFTY events and there is a wonderful organization called the Foundation for Jewish Camp that is able to help provide information about a wide array of Jewish summer camps as well as offering a range of scholarship options. You can look at the web-site to learn more.
Many of these scholarship funds, however, are contingent on the local congregation making a financial contribution as well.  In the past, we have been able to help families with small but helpful grants from the Susan Murray Scholarship Fund as well as the Shalomite Scholarship fund. Unfortunately, both of these funds have become fairly depleted and we will not be able to help many children and teens in the future. I hope you might consider helping us to rebuild these funds so that we can continue to help children attend youth group events, synagogue youth trips and camp. Even a small amount can help a family that might otherwise not be able to provide their children with these wonderful, life-lasting experiences. I wanted to highlight this need in our congregation in case you are interested in helping build for the Jewish future.  Perhaps you might consider a gift to either of these scholarship funds in the days ahead. 
In appreciation,
Rabbi Sig
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From our PresidentBarryTop   
To quote Alan Alda, who spoke at my son's graduation two years ago, internet time is too fast for what really matters; slow down and make the right choices! The jump to May and our annual meeting this year is a short one; the meeting is on May 21st at 4pm.
Two years ago, at our annual community Passover Seder, we had 87 people. Last year, we only had 68. And, we have noted a decrease in membership - we're down to 185 member units, not including affiliates. I wondered what would happen this year with the community Passover Seder and was amazed when 111 people signed up!
Perhaps, we can get a larger than ever turnout for our annual meeting! Though we are not planning to present new by-laws for approval - hopefully that will be next year - we do need to discuss our budget and the financial choices we're recommending. And, we need you to do it. While I can't promise a meeting of only an hour, I can promise chocolate covered strawberries.
It's time to slow down and make the right choices - see you on May 21st at 4pm.

Tamar R. Wexler 
From our Education Director     

May is a month filled with moments that reflect on the richness of our school community. The month begins with our Teacher and Madrich Appreciation Shabbat on Friday, May 5. This Shabbat always feels so special and is so important as we honor our amazing teachers and madrichim and thank them for the work they do. Every year I am in awe of the hard work and dedication of all of our talented teachers. They are deeply committed to enriching the lives of our students and infusing us all with a love of Judaism and of the Hebrew language. This is not an easy task on a Sunday morning or at 4:15 p.m. on a Wednesday, after a long day of work and school, but our teachers exude positivity and warmth every day. Our teachers and madrichim nurture, support and enrich our children every week with a love and dedication that deserves our honor and our thanks. Please join us for this wonderful Shabbat as we honor our teachers and listen to our beautiful Kol-Kolot singing and enhancing our Shabbat experience.
On Sunday, May 7 our Grade 6 class will travel to our all day Kallah retreat. We love this day every year as we get to witness the class bonding and working together on different challenges throughout the day. They wrestle not just with the meaning of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, but also how to overcome the struggles and challenges that both the low and high ropes courses present. This day is always a powerful reminder of the strength in perseverance and the power that group support and encouragement can offer. The students and the adults leave with a strong sense of the gift that this community offers to all of our youth for now and into the future.
The gift of community is seen again just 2 weeks later on May 19 when our Grade 10 class has their Shabbat Confirmation Service. I have had the opportunity to work with these wonderful and committed students, and it has been my pleasure to watch them as they have grown and matured through the years. When I began, this group of students were in 5th Grade and now they are young adults wrestling with the meaning of God and teaching us about the power of their community and the commitment they have to both Congregation Shalom and their Judaism. The Confirmation Service is a wonderful Shabbat service for the whole family and I encourage everyone to attend.
The school year is quickly winding down with the final day of Religious School assemblies and our incredible Grade 7 Ketubah Gallery Showing on May 21. The Ketubah's created in Margie Lotto's class are works of art and I hope everyone will stop in to see these beautiful pieces of art. On May 24, we have one of my favorite Ma'ariv services as we are led in prayer by our Kitah Hey class and then we witness the beautiful and important ritual as our Kitah Hey class passes the Torah down to the Kitah Dalet class in the meaningful and spiritual L'dor vador moment, as we see our oldest Hebrew School class passing the honor of being the oldest in the school to the next generation.
Each of these events and many more moments in May are testament to the incredible Congregation Shalom community. I feel lucky to have Rabbi Perry supporting me every day. I also want to take a moment to give a giant thank you to Joan and the office staff for their support throughout this year. I cannot believe that I am beginning my 7th year with Congregation Shalom and I feel honored to work with such amazing teachers, staff, lay leaders and other professionals that make my job wonderful each and every day.

    Yael Signature  
From our Cantorial Soloist

Kaddish d'Rabbanan (Kaddish of the Rabbis) consists of the Text of Kaddish Yatom (Mourners' Kaddish) plus an additional paragraph asking blessing upon teachers, students, and all those who study Torah. Please join us on for a special Shabbat service on Friday, May 5th as we celebrate our Congregation Shalom teachers.  Help us to honor their work in guiding our children in the study of Text and values. On this night, Kol Kolot, our children's choir, will also lend their rich voices, honoring our educators and their contributions to the Congregation Shalom family. Later in the month, we witness our confirmands as they teach and share pieces of their own Jewish journeys. On both Fridays May 5th and May 19th , our sanctuary will be filled with music, learning, and gratitude. 

The sacred space that is Congregation Shalom is a blessing.  This Makom Kadosh is a holy refuge revering the sanctity of community. Please enjoy the following video featuring myself, Adam and musician, Lisa Yves, highlighting this dedication of sanctuary.

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

Jodi Blankstein, Cantorial Soloist                                         

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Board of Trustees

The following is the slate of nominees for new positions on the Board of Trustees:

President -  Joanna Myers
Vice President - Liz Denly
2 nd Vice President - Cayla Maguire
Trustee - Dan Wolman
Trustee - Jon Libby
Trustee -  Brian DiGiovanni
Trustee -  Katie Ebersman 

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50th Anniversary Gala: October 15, 2017
We are actively planning for this exciting evening.  If you know of any past members who might be interested, please share their names and contact information so that we may include them in our upcoming 
50 th  Anniversary celebration notices.  Please 
e-mail with the information.

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Youth Scholarship Request

Each year, many of our youth attend Jewish programs and activities that can provide many benefits to them educationally, spiritually, and socially. Our congregation has provided financial assistance to many families who apply for a scholarship to help defray the cost of these enriching programs. For many years, the scholarships have been awarded through the Susan Murray Scholarship Fund. From time to time, this fund becomes depleted and the demand can come close to or exceed the amount available for all the families who apply. 

At this time, the fund is low and we are reaching out to the congregation to request that you please think about contributing to this fund when making a donation to the temple.  It will help our families to send their children to high quality Jewish programs in the future. Thank you for your consideration.  

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Choir Announcement

The adult choir will start rehearsals in May for the Installation Service and Choir Shabbat on June 23rd.  We are lucky to have found a local and very experienced choir director,  Karen Leonard, to shepherd us through the process.  Karen is the music director at the United Methodist Church in Chelmsford.  This will be our last "performance," as the choir is taking an indefinite "sabbatical."  Most of the "regulars" will be participating, but we would be delighted to welcome anyone who would like to join us for this occasion.  If interested, please contact Joan Kerzner at  

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Social Action Committee socialaction
Refugee Welcome Dinner held on April 23
On Sunday, April 23, Social Action hosted a fun and fulfilling potluck welcome dinner for three newly arrived refugee families from Iraq and Syria. We enjoyed playing games, sharing stories, and eating delicious food together. Thanks to the nearly 30 Congregation Shalom families who volunteered to help in some way, from lending car seats, to picking up our guests and bringing them to the dinner, to providing dinner companionship, to donating food and supplies, to serving and cleaning up afterwards. Your kindness and generosity to newly arrived immigrants is truly appreciated!

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 5-6 p.m. at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Chelmsford Center.  We have had some turnover and now need more volunteers to help serve!  Our team serves every other month on the third Tuesday, and will next serve on May 16, 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, May 17 through Thursday, May 18 (until 5 p.m..)  June dates will be June 21-22 - mark your calendar now!
Hold the Date: Mitzvah Day 2017 is on Sunday, June 4!
Plans are underway for our annual Mitzvah Day - stay tuned for more details. For now, hold the date and plan to join us for a fun day of community and tikkun olam!

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Featured This Issue
Board of Trustees
Youth Scholarship Request
Choir Announcement
May Oneg Schedule
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Save the Date

May 7th - Israel - a program led by Karen Spira
May 9th - Cafe Wisdom
May 11th - Great Decisions (pre-registrants only)
May 13th - Torah Study
May 15th - Movie Monday
May 21st - Annual Meeting

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QuickLinksQuick Links

Links to Our Website

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May Oneg Schedule

May 5 - 7 pm Family Shabbat/Teacher Recognition (childrens choir w/ Jodi and Adam) Berkovitz*, Barter, Chandler W&E, Krigman, Myerson, Rosen, Weinberg & Fox-Weinberg
May 12 - 6 pm Sunset Shabbat - Shpiel Hantman*, Hurd, McBride, Szabo & Wexler, Weintraub & Spiro
May 19 - 7 pm Family Shabbat - Confirmation Jodi w/Adam Music Segal J&W*, Boroshok, Kaufman, Landress, Mayer, Penn, Rosenstein
May 26 - 6 pm Sunset Shabbat - Grier*, Eskenas, Keller, Miller D, Rubinstein

Karen and Rick
Oneg Committee
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Upcoming B'nai Mitzvah Schedule

Daniel Himelfarb - May 20th
Emily Myerson - June 10th
Hannah Dangel - June 17th
Ilana Berkowitz - June 24th

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Thank You's

Thank you to all for your support during my recent surgery and followup  hospitalization.

Jim Grier
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Good and Welfare

Mazel Tov to Carolyn and Paul Hantman and Jane Morrissey, proud grandmother, on Ben's marriage to Emily Butler. 

Condolences to Brian and Sandy Moore and family on the passing of Brian's father George.

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May Yahrzeits Yahrzeits

May 5th
Ruth Abrams
Nettie Bernstein
Lillian Kent
Bernard Reichert
Hyman Scolnick

May 12th
Benson Brown
Phyllis R. Dimond
Doris Halpern
Esther Heckel
Israel Helfman
Albert Picard
Max Rambach
Renee Zwerin

May 19th
Edward Brown
Dorothy Caplan
Berthold Giniger
Norman Josett, Sr.
Linda Kaknes
Pearl Kurland
Louis Shamesman

May 26th
Martin Ames
Harold Goldstein
Lillian Indorff
Marcia Kasowitz
Etta Kerzner
Ellen Muhlfelder
Raymond E. Riddick
Frances Sudhalter
Ida Weisberger

June 2nd
Elaine Cutler Becker
Harold Goldstein
Phillip Heines
Louis Kerzner
Sylvia Melnick Laider
Beverly Matson
Irving Park
Faith Ward

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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

June Newsletter is 

Thursday, May 18th


Please send articles to  


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Adult EducationAdultEd

Israel - a program led by Karen Spira
May 7
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Congregation Shalom Sanctuary
BDS (Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment), Israel on American campuses, Jewishness in Israel, anti-Zionism vs. antisemitism.  Maybe you have heard about this in the news... maybe you are sending a kid off to college and they will need to be prepared.  Come and learn!
MVJF Film Festival
May 7
2:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Osgood Landing,
1580 Osgood St., N. Andover
Double Feature: $18/pp Donation for both movies 
2:30 p.m.- Fannie's Journey
4:30 p.m.-The Women's Balcony
Café Wisdom
May 9 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Congregation Shalom Library
Monthly study group led by Rabbi Perry; focuses on Torah study or current events
Great Decisions: A Facilitator Led Discussion Group
Thursday May 11 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Congregation Shalom Library
THIS GROUP IS FULL -This is just a reminder to the participants of the final discussion of the series.  This month the discussion is Cuba and the U.S.
Torah Study
Saturday May 13 9:00-10:30 a.m.
Congregation Shalom Library
Led by Rabbi Perry
Monday Movie w/Amy Degen
Monday May 15
7:00 p.m.
Congregation Shalom Library
The Case For Israel, Democracy's Outpost:
An explanation of why Israel has the right to exist, protect its citizens from terrorism and to defend its borders from hostile enemies.  Narrated by Alan Dershowitz.


As a community who is committed to life-long Jewish learning, celebration and culture, we wanted to share with you information about The Jewish Arts Collaboratives Spring 2017 series of concerts, lectures, performances and more. These are wonderful opportunities and we hope you will take part in some of the events.

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By now you definitely have your 50/50 Raffle ticket in hand. Don't just toss them in the recycle bin. Buy them and if you don't want to do that, sell them to someone you know who wants to take a chance. Money is a good prize to win - no salons that you don't go to, no restaurants you don't frequent, no stores in Oshkosh. Nothing but money, cash, gelt. The winner will be picked at the end of Mitzvah Day. So far, only one person has guessed how many tickets will be sold. If you forgot to do that, just email me with a number. If you guess the correct number sold, you will get 4 free tickets next year.
Trying to figure out what to give for a friend's daughter's graduation?  What about someone going away and you keep hiding your hair dryer so it won't somehow get spirited away to camp, college, boarding school.  We have recently received one dozen BayBliss Torino 6100 Nano Titanium hair dryer that sells for $139.99 retail.  We are selling the for $30.00 each. 
if you want to see one up close and in person.

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Sisterhood Snippetssisterhood
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Brotherhood NewsBrotherhood

As the Brotherhood warms into spring, we think of outdoor activities. A number of wannabe brotherhood race car drivers attended the Formula 1 like race event in Wilmington which was led, and I might add won by member Nesan Jegasothy. On April 23 we had the 3rd annual family hike, led by Larry Cohen. We returned to Horn Pond in Woburn as it worked out to be such a close and enjoyable hike last year.
A sizeable contingent of Brotherhood members are gearing up for the annual Brotherhood retreat on the Cape the weekend of May 19. Headed by our very own chef in residence, Mel Starr, the retreat food is without parallel.
Look forward to the Annual meeting cookout Sunday May 7 , typically around dinner time. I have personally assumed the responsibility for providing hamburgers and hot dogs, which I assure will be unsurpassed.
David Brother

Grocery Store Cards  


If you are celebrating the sight of the green grass again and need to buy some groceries, just remember to help the temple at the same time!

Just look in the lobby on Sunday AMs during religious school or email  Judy Beningson at   and I will get you a card in whatever denomination you need: $25-$500!  Hannaford, Stop & Shop & Donelan's & now Whole Foods all have programs to help us.  


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BGBook Group

The Congregation Shalom book group welcomes all who would like to spend an interesting evening of book review, discussion and socializing.

Jot the following date into your calendars and note the book selections:

  May 22nd - Pieces We Keep  by Kristina McMorris
                       Hostess- Esther Wikander
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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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Sunday, May 7, 2017
2:30 - 6:30 PM
More details coming soon!

FANNY'S JOURNEY - Winner Award for best Film in Hamburg, Audience Awards in Atlanta, San Diego, Denver and Providence
Based on a true story, FANNY'S JOURNEY is an incredible tale of bravery, strength and survival, a story of a daring young girl who will stop at nothing and fear no one. In 1943, 13-year old Fanny and her younger sisters were sent from their home in France to an Italian foster home for Jewish children. When the Nazis arrive in Italy, their caretakers desperately organize the departure of the children to Switzerland. When they are suddenly left on their own, these 11 children do the impossible. In French with subtitles.
THE WOMEN'S BALCONY - Nominated for 5 Israel Academy Awards 
When the women's balcony in an Orthodox synagogue in Jerusalem collapses, leaving the rabbi's wife in a coma and the rabbi in shock, the congregation falls into crisis. Charismatic young Rabbi David appears to be a savior after the accident, but slowly starts trying to take control. This tests the women's friendships and creates an almost Lysistrata-type rift between the community's women and men. 
In Hebrew with subtitles. 

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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