September 2016 - 5776

Volume LXIV #12

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,
The rhythm of synagogue life is very different in the summer and many of us have been busy making plans for the new year.  At such times, I find it helpful to reflect back on our congregation's mission statement which reads:  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.
In the spirit of this mission, I have been working with our ritual and music committees as well as our congregation's spirituality discussion group to explore ways to enhance our prayer and spiritual experiences for members of all ages. I am very excited about some of the changes we are making and programs we are initiating. The scope of these is too long to describe in a brief newsletter article, but please look for a special letter reviewing all the new High Holidays and Shabbat experiences that we are initiating this coming year. I hope to have this to everyone by the end of August. 
Additionally, I wanted to share that our congregation's social action committee is going to be working with an agency in Lowell helping to re-settle Syrian refugees. I know that Laura Smith has written about the details in the social action newsletter article. In the Torah we are instructed, "The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native, and you shall love him as yourself since you were strangers in the land of Egypt." (Lev. 19:33)  The Reform movement's Religious Action Center is working with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society to help with the desperate plight of refugees in the world today, which is the most pressing refugee crisis since World War II. Please see the following resources that will help you understand the situation from a Jewish and logistical point of view:
and As you will see from Laura's column, there are many important ways that each of us can help and I hope you will partner with other members of the greater Lowell community to help these families find some semblance of safety and security after a time of complete upheaval and struggle.
I look forward to seeing you all in the days ahead!
Rabbi Sig
  Rabbi Shoshana M. Perry

From our PresidentBarryTop     

Caring About the Stranger

As Rabbi Sacks said, "Why should I not hate the stranger?  Because the stranger is me." 

They say good manners are defined by how you behave when stressed. I visited the Fringe festival in Edinburgh, Scotland this summer.With some 75,000 strangers milling about a fairly small city, the crowds were thick and meals in particular chaotic. It's not a setting where you expected a personal touch. When I traveled outside of Edinburgh, the Scottish people were both welcoming and warm. But even in the chaos of the fringe, I was touched by two specific acts of caring. One occurred while waiting for lunch in an outdoor café, I didn't see it myself, but my son did. He observed a man approach a food vendor and order two sandwiches.The man took his two sandwiches, walked a few steps, and dropped one sandwich off with a homeless man who was sitting on the curb with a blanket on his lap.  And, the benefactor, almost without stopping, continued on his way.  I do not know whether this was a habit of his or whether it was a spontaneous gesture of kindness. But what I do know was that the gift was very well received. This was evident from the gusto with which the homeless man inhaled his meal.

The other act of caring was more personal. While I did experience warmth from Scottish people, I cannot say the same for Scottish weather. My family had tickets for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, a variety show of military performers held in a 7,700 seater open-air sports arena. On the day we went, it was in the fifties, it was windy, and the rain never stopped. After five minutes of shivering in the rain and wind, we pulled out our newly purchased Scottish plaid blankets, popped the tags and spread the blankets and, very quickly, they were dripping, but providing some nice warmth. 

Even so, one hour into the show, my youngest daughter was curled in on herself, shivering and totally miserable. We had to decamp. Unfortunately, tickets were hard to come by, and so our party wasn't all together. All stores down the exit alley were closed. And there was no hot drink to be found for my daughter. We did spot a young woman, pony-tail bobbing, enjoying conversation and a hot drink in a disposable cup. When we approached her and explained that our daughter was cold and we wondered where we could find a hot drink for her, the young woman explained that it came from the canteen which was only open to staff.  As we turned away, she held out her cup and said, "Please take mine!"   And, she convinced us with her kindness.

This same young woman approached us a few minutes later, on noticing we were still there, waiting for the rest of our party, and, pointing to an ambulance a short distance away, said, "They can help you. We expect this sort of thing, and they are set up for your daughter." While I tip my hat to the amazing performers, I will remember most of these acts of caring.

Tamar R. Wexler
    Tamar's signature  
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From our Education Director     

I was recently at a meeting with members of the school committee to discuss fundraising and what our goals were for this year. As we discussed what to sell and what we want to order, we found ourselves wrestling with explaining to families why we fundraise at all. We have school fees and book fees and the Temple has membership dues, so why do we need a specific school fundraiser? As I have worked in this wonderful community, I have often assumed that everyone knows how the finances are structured. However, the more we spoke, the more we realized that not everyone understands the costs and expenses that fees and dues actually cover and why we need to fundraise.

Historically, our Temple community has carried a large portion of the school budget. While school fees cover a percentage of the total school budget, the larger community supported 50% of the school budget. As the years have evolved, we shifted to a 55:45 split of costs and now we have settled on a 60:40 split where the school is responsible for 60% of the total school budget and the larger Temple community supports the other 40%. This split is testament to the amazing power of Congregation Shalom members and the support for the school that has always been reflective of our Temple community.

The school budget itself covers usual, reoccurring expenses that arise during the course of the year, such as teacher salaries, family learning, teacher training and the like. The budget does not take into account one-time purchases or unusual, sometime extraordinary, expenses that do not normally arise during the school year.

As we look at the needs of our school community, we have seen that the TV's, the Hebrew games and the MP3 players have all enhanced our children's learning environment. These, among many other items, were made possible by the fundraising dollars that we have accumulated over the past few years. Last year our teachers raised a concern that the whiteboards in several of the classrooms no longer allowed them to erase properly. It turns out that they were very old and were beginning to fail. We needed new whiteboards. The Temple does not have a line item in its budget to cover such expenses and neither do we at the school level. Luckily, we have fundraising money that allowed us to buy new whiteboards for the classrooms. Please check them out, they are shiny and new! While this may not be as exciting as a new TV, it allows our teachers to use their rooms in ways that are more functional and this enhances the learning of our students.

It is fundraisers like the "Shalom Happens" water-bottles, the Flower Power bulbs and the that allow us to continue to enhance and enrich our school. I am excited that this year, we will still be offering the website and we ask you to continue to order items from there but please keep your eyes open for our new and amazing item.  I will keep you in suspense but just know, it promises to be the perfect antidote to those cold winter night blues.
For now, I want to wish you a wonderful rest of the summer and we are excited to see everyone here on September 11.

Yael Signature

From our Cantorial Soloist     

Summer is without a doubt my favorite season. My kids around more...the sun...the beach...the warm temps. While I do relish my long days by an ocean, I find myself missing regular Shabbat services in our beautiful sanctuary. I miss our community coming together in prayer and song. I miss the sounds of Kol Kolot filling our temple walls with their sweet voices. And so, while I will miss soaking up the magic of another NE summer, I am very excited to return with Adam to our sacred space that is the Congregation Shalom community. 

Over the summer, Adam and I have gone into the studio and recorded a few pieces. One of them is "Lead the Way", a piece composed by Julie Silver and David Kates. Click here to hear our recording of this special composition. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed singing it. 

Julie will be coming to Congregation Shalom Sunday, April 30th to do a concert for us. Her talent, warmth, humor and love of Jewish music is simply contagious. Please mark your calendars now for this special event.  

As summer closes, and we prepare to welcome 5777, I wish you all strength and peace of mind. 

See you Friday, September 16, our first CS evening Shabbat service of this season.


Thank you to those of you who have sent in your Oneg requests.  
We are still looking for one or two more families who attend the Family Rosh Hashanah Service in the afternoon of the first day (October 3) who would be willing to help with that Oneg.

The scheduling is still in progress, and requests can be sent to  

The Oneg schedule for the first three months are complete, and are as follows:

Sep 9 - 7 p.m. Family Shabbat - Kempner*, Chandler W&E, Menaker, Rodman S&I, Sevigny
Sep 16 - 6 p.m. MOCA Shabbat -  Sunset Segal L&H*, Gilmore, Graff, Kamien, Kurland
Sep 23 - 6 p.m. Tot Shabbat -  Berman, Danzig A&K, Lazar, Maltby
Sep 23 - 7:15 p.m. Shabbat Shirah Shabbat - Thomas*, Linden, Mizen, Sedgwick, Shapiro
Sep 30 - 6 p.m. Sunset Shabbat - Shpiel Worden*, Hyatt, McHugh, Michaud & Capland, Rosenberg
Oct 2 - 7 p.m. Adult Shabbat - Rosh Hashanah Frank*, Danzig B&L, Hyatt, Kallus, Levi, Pignatelli, Schutzman
Oct 3 - 2:45 p.m. Family Shabbat - Children's Service Rosh Hashanah Matson*, Newman D&E, Wahlberg & Gilmore
Oct 7 - 6 p.m.Sunset Shabbat - McBride, Michaud, Moskowitz, Rosenberg & Katler
Oct 12 - 6:30 p.m. Adult Shabbat - BREAK FAST Friedlander*, Lotto, Miller G&J, Weitzen & Epstein, Wikander
Oct 14 - 6 p.m. Sunset Shabbat - Lay led? Lerman, Notinger, Sherer, Valleley
Oct 21 - 7 p.m. Family Shabbat - Consecration/Simchat Torah Grade 1  Morrissey J&D*, Anthony, Miranda & Stewart-Miranda, Newell, Rosen, Schertzer & Strizhak
Oct 28 - 6 p.m. Sunset Shabbat -  Burton*, Bass, Boerman & Shaponick, Raichek, Zehngut & Frampton
Nov 4 - 7 p.m. Family Shabbat - Grade 3  Libby & Gallagher*, Barter, Dangel & Gordon, Feuerstein, Miller B&L
Nov 11 - 6 p.m. MOCA Shabbat - Sunset Shpiel Upson & Correia*, Blumstein, Epstein, Myers, Rosenberg
Nov 18 - 6 p.m. Tot Shabbat -  Ginsberg & Kawashima-Ginsberg, Jegasothy, Libby & Shannon
Nov 18 - 7:15 p.m. Shabbat Shirah - Lischer*, Ablove, Eskenas, Kreithen & Goldman-Kreithen, Nazario, Silton, Zehngut & Frampton
The Oneg Committee:
Caren Boroshok, Scheduler
Pat & Rick Karpeles, Letter Senders

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Social Action Committeesocialaction

Happy New Year from the Social Action Committee. We always welcome new members, and invite you to join us in working to make the world a better place.  If you would like to join us or be a part of the committee's email list, please email and you will be added to the list for communication.
As we approach the New Year, there are many opportunities for our members to take action to help heal the world.  
Refugee resettlement assistance (see info below):
International Institute of New England (IINE), a refugee resettlement agency in Lowell, has urgent needs to help in a surge of resettlement of 13 refugee families by mid-September.  Per IINE, needs include:

1.  Identifying affordable housing: We are still seeking the following: one bedroom (1), two bedroom (1), three bedroom (3), and four bedroom (1). If you have any landlord connections, please share.
2. Housing/household goods: We need household bins for the same apartments. *(see attached list of needed household goods)* We would also welcome donations of new pillows and sheets, and/or lightly used comforters. Donations can be dropped off at our office in Lowell with advance notice.

3. Weekday Volunteers: There will be lots of activity during the surge, including setting up apartments, helping clients complete paperwork, walking families to appointments, and more. To help support our staff, we are seeking volunteers for four hour shifts from 9-1pm and 1-5pmbetween August 29th to September 16th. Assignments will be provided on-site based on the needs of the day, but will be manageable and done in conjunction with staff. 

4. Interpreters: During the surge, we very much need several additional Arabic, French, and Swahili speakers for the same volunteer shifts (9-1pm or 1-5pm). We may also need evening on-call interpreters in the same languages.

5.Trucks/vans: Especially the first week of September, we are seeking individuals with access to trucks and/or vans to help with apartment set ups."

If you are able to help with any of these needs please email  

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.  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 September 20th.  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, September 21 through Thursday, September 22 (until 5 p.m.)  October dates will be October 18-19 - mark your calendar now!
High Holiday Food Drive
More information on the annual high holiday food drive will be coming later in September.

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International Institute of New England

"Move in Bin" Collection
for refugees resettling in 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
To arrange a drop off time at International Institute (17 Warren Street in Lowell),  please respond via email to Peter Saati at the International Institute:
Featured This Issue
International Institute of New England
New Members
Great Decisions Discussion Group
Hadassah Challah Sale
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Save the Date

9/11 - Religious School Starts
9/14 - Hebrew School Starts
9/16 - MOCA Shabbat
9/17 - Torah Study
9/24 - Slichot Service
9/25 - All Temple Meeting
9/29 - Adult Ed Speaker - Dr. Nemzoff

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QuickLinksQuick Links

Links to Our Website

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Welcome New Members

We are pleased to welcome Alexander and Emily Verbun to our temple family.

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Good and Welfaregoodandwelfare

Condolences to Janet Dubner and family on the loss of her mother Faye Goldstein

Condolences to the Himelfarb family on the loss of our friend and member Mark, husband of Alyssa and father of Shayna and Dan

Thank YouThankYou

Our heartfelt thanks to our congregation family for the love, prayers, generous donations, food, and friendship extended to us on the passing of my mother, Faye Goldstein. We were blessed to have her with us to share so many simchas and to watch our temple grow.   

Todah Rabah with love, Janet & Dan

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September Yahrzeits Yahrzeits
Sarah Brown
Benjamin Orringer 
Harry M. Reid
Herman Schaevitz

Lillyan Chandler
Susan Chertok
Domenic Iannini
Barbara Spiegler
Elliot Winograd

Albert Aronson
Henry Derby
Marilyn Fields
Mary Finkelstein
George Fuchs
Kenneth Green
Carol Heines
Dorothy Heines
Herbert Hirsch
Itzhak Kamien
Arthur O. Rainen
Aaron Rothstein
Adelaide Wexler

Arnold Becker
Benjamin Berman
Samson Chandler
Ruth Goldstein
Carol Kurzman
Helen Posner
Aaron Skolnick

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High Holiday Services 
Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on ­­­­Sunday, October 2nd.  We offer several services and encourage you to choose the services that are best for your family. Please see the schedule below for all service times. If you have any questions, please e-mail the ritual committee @
The Adult Services on the first day of Rosh Hashanah and on Yom Kippur  morning begin at 11 a.m.and lasts 2 hours. Services on the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah begin at 10 a.m.  Please note:  we appreciate that families want to save seats for one another for services, however, the Board of Trustees requests that fifteen minutes before services begin, you relinquish any empty seats to those who are coming in. If you have older copies of the Family Service prayer book that you would like to sell to newer families or donate to the synagogue, please email us @
The Family Service is held on the first day of Rosh Hashanah and on Yom Kippur. These services begin at 9:00 a.m. and end approximately 10:20. The Family Service is geared to meet the needs of families with children in the 2nd to 6th grades. This service is distinct from the children's service in the afternoon which is designed as a service for younger children. We use a beautiful High Holiday prayer book that is written to meet the needs of children ages 8-12. Rabbi Perry leads this service with our soloist and the traditional High Holiday melodies are used.  There is a shorter sermon geared to this population. For many, this service will be a substitute for the later service, although some adults may choose to attend both. Some adults without children choose this service over the later service. The Family Service is designed to maintain a sense of sacredness and seriousness. We remind all of our members that this is not a service for young children. A special High Holiday prayer book is used for this service.  Families usually own their own for the time period that they attend these services.  If you plan on attending the Family Service for the first time and do not yet own the prayer books, please email the ritual committee @ We can order you new copies, or if families have finished using their copies, we may be able to sell you used copies. 
The Young Children's Service is held at 2:45 on the first day of Rosh Hashanah and at 1:45 on Yom Kippur. This services for toddlers to children about the age of 7. The service lasts about 45 minutes and is very experiential.
We would like to review information regarding flow of traffic, timing, and seating. The Family service will end at 10:20 a.m. and the Adult service will begin at 11 a.m. This will give our community a 40-minute window to have the sanctuary clear out, be picked up and to have people get seated for the next service. When the Family service is over we will ask all those who are in attendance to exit out of the doors to the side of the building and the back of the sanctuary.  People will not be able to exit into the lobby. If people have used the coat room it will mean that they need to circle back to the lobby to pick up their coats. Meanwhile people who are coming to the 11 a.m. service will not be able to enter the sanctuary until the early service is finished and all the people have left.  
**If you or someone you are bringing to services has a disability and needs special seating, please  email Marilyn at ritual@congregationshalom.orgPlease note we have several infrared hearing devices. Please contact Marilyn if you would like to use one.  If you will need handicapped parking, please contact Janet @ .  

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New Year's Greeting Booklet

Rosh Hashanah is Coming and we're ready to receive your New Year's Greeting Book messages.

The New Year's Greeting Book conveys your High Holiday greetings to the Congregation Shalom family and remembrances of departed loved ones. 

  Click here for the New Years Greeting Form.  Please send this form along with the appropriate amount by September 9th to:

New Year's Greetings
Sisterhood Congregation Shalom
87 Richardson Road
N. Chelmsford, MA 01863

If you have any questions, please email Laura Rodman or Sarah  Epstein at

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

October Newsletter is

Thursday, September 15th


Please send articles to  


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Auction Donations Are Welcomed
During the first week of September, you will be receiving your donation request in the mail.  This is a fully, well, almost fully, self-funding event.  We pay for postage and have to give the state 5% of the Gross income.  Everything else goes directly to the Auction.  Please think:  what can I/we give for the auction? An antique, piece of furniture, give a class, jewelry, main course, soups, desserts, go to a restaurant and get a gift certificate, how about one from your favorite store?  Think out of the box - let your imagination run wild.  Help make this Auction the best yet because of all the items you have donated!!

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Sisterhood Snippetssisterhood

Get ready for a year full of fun, community and learning with Sisterhood! Registration forms and the calendar for 2016-2017 were mailed in mid-August. Additional copies are available in the temple lobby.
Our first event is the Kick-Off Dinner on Thursday, September 22 at 6:30pm. Main course will be provided, and everyone should bring an appetizer or dessert to share. It is important to rsvp by September 18 so we can notify the caterer. We are looking forward to a big crowd and a wonderful evening.
Thanks to Annette Skolnick, we have created a Congregation Shalom Sisterhood team for the Making Strides for Breast Cancer Walk. The walk begins at 10:00 a.m. at Greely Park in Nashua on Sunday, October 30. However, we encourage members and friends to register by September 7. Those who do and also raise $100 will get a team tshirt! Please see details below for the link for registration and donation.
Our next board meeting is on Tuesday, September 6 at 7p.m. All are welcome to come and share ideas. 


Sisterhood Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk
What if you could make a commitment to support the health of the women in our Congregation?  Would you do it?  Well, anyone at Congregation Shalom can, by joining the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk .  Last year, Making Strides events united more than one million people in nearly 300 communities nationwide with a shared determination to finish the fight against breast cancer. When you support our team with a donation or by joining the team, the American Cancer Society will be able to help more people in our community touched by breast cancer. 

This non competitive walk to save lives, will take place on Sunday, October 30, 2016.  The walk starts at 10:00AM at beautiful Greeley Park in Nashua, New Hampshire We will meet  and walk together as the Congregation Shalom Sisterhood team in a scenic Fall neighborhood. Non-Sisterhood members are also welcome. Pre-registration is required. Walkers who register and raise $100 by September 7 will also receive a Sisterhood team t-shirt!

For information, questions or assistance in registration, please contact Annette Skolnick via the sisterhood site:  or visit our TEAM's Home page.
Go to this:  website and scroll to: "support a walker or team". Under team, type in:  Congregation Shalom Sisterhood, click on: Join our team or donate. Follow the instructions.

Thank you for your participation.

Toby Sedgwick and the Sisterhood Board  

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Sisterhood Retreat- Save the Date

March 3-5, 2017 for the 17th Annual Sisterhood Retreat at the Anchorage Inn in Ogunquit Maine.  More information will be in the October newsletter.

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Brotherhood News
The Brotherhood  roars into another year.  On Sunday September 11,  the Brotherhood will hold their annual kick-off/ new member night event.  Come and enjoy Cris Shuldiner's  award winning Bar-B-Q and listen to the music of the "Usual Suspects Band", a cover band featuring our own David Penn and Norman McBride. This event is always well attended and cost is included in your annual $36 dues (new members free their first year). Come and enjoy conversation, good food, beer, and entertainment at the Temple starting at 5:30 p.m.

August guys night out was held at Norm's sea food in Methuen. September's guys night out will probably be on Thursday, Sept 15, so look for Jon Boroshok's E-vite for more details.

Remember, the first Sunday of each month is poker, beer and pizza night at the temple @7:00p.m.

For more information, contact  

David Brother

Library Book Review

Naomi Ragen is an American-born novelist, playwright and journalist who has lived in Jerusalem since 1971.  She has just published her tenth novel:  The Devil In Jerusalem.  Jephte's Daughter  is her first novel.  "A recurring theme in her fictional works is injustice against women in the Haredi Jewish community".  Haredi is a spectrum of groups within Orthodox Judaism which are characterized by rejection of modern secular culture.  Many Haredim segregate themselves from modern society although there are some communities which trade between Haredi and non-Haredi Jews.
The story of Jephthah in the Bible is about a soldier who is asked by the elders of Gilead to be their leader in the campaign against the Ammonites. Jephthah held out for a more permanent position and the elders agreed that he could be their permanent chieftain if he defeated Ammon.  He swore an oath that whatever came out of the doors of his house to meet him when he returned from the Ammonites should be the Lords for a burnt offering. Unfortunately, his only child, his daughter, came out of their house to greet him when he came home, and he was forced to keep his vow. The brave daughter did not fight her fate, but only asked for two months grace. 
This novel is the story of Batsheva, a religious, pampered daughter of a wealthy American Jewish businessman.  When she is 18, her father reveals to her that he is the only living Ha-Levi left, the sole heir to a 200-year old Hassidic dynasty. All of the other family members were murdered in the Holocaust. Her father was not a scholar, and had promised his mother before he escaped that he would continue on with his family's heritage.     
Batsheva is his only child, so Abraham, her father, goes to Israel and consults with the Rabbis there to find the man who will be the greatest scholar of the next generation. This man will marry his only daughter and carry on the dynasty. Batsheva has been educated in America, as a son would have been, rather than a daughter. She has studied English literature and the Talmud and has argued with her teachers. She agrees to meet Isaac Harshen, a renowned scholar, despite their differences. 
Even though she has misgivings upon meeting him, Batsheva follows her father's wishes and marries Isaac in Jerusalem. She "is soon shocked at the life she is expected to live. Shackled by ancient rules and imprisoned in a marriage laced with growing hostility and cruelty, she makes a bold decision - and a daring escape".
This novel gives an interesting window into the world of Haredi Judaism. The differences between gender roles and American and Israeli interpretations of rules are discussed, as well as individual differences in marriages within the community. Batsheva is a woman of faith, but is also her own person and so she struggles both inside her cloistered community and in the secular world.  There are several interesting twists in this story and I was very interested to see what would happen to Batsheva. I also now want to read some of Ragen's other books!
Submitted by Rhonda Waxman

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Grocery Store Cards  


Are you spending more grocery time at Stop & Shop, Donelan's, or Hannaford recently?  You can help Congregation Shalom at the same time. We are looking for 10 more families to join our monthly grocery card program (joining the many families participating already). 
Once a month, you get a grocery card for Hannaford, Stop & Shop or Donelan's  in whatever amount you want ($25-$500), and the temple gets cashback 7% for free! 

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 will resume their book review meetings on September 12. We welcome anyone interested in spending an evening  discussing and reviewing an interesting book with a wonderful group of women.

This month's book selections  are "To Kill a Mockingbird " and "Go Set a Watchman "  both books by Harper Lee".  We will be meeting at the home of Jean and. Harry Rubinstein.

Our next meeting is October 17. The book is "The Boys in the Boat" by Daniel James Brown

Return to Quick Links

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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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Nashoba Valley Hadassah Challah Sale

Challah of varying types, Ruggalach, and even Bubke will be available for purchase.

You will be able to pick up your baked goods at the synagogue, or at a location in Westford on Saturday evening (the night before the holiday), or on Sunday morning in Acton.

All orders must be submitted by September 25 along with a check to Nashoba Valley Hadassah.

Click here for the order form

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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