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Purim is HERE!

We will celebrate Purim with a special 3-day celebration:

Sunday, March 5 – 10 AM to1 PM 

Family megillah reading, Purim Carnival, costume parade, lunch

Monday, March 6 – 6:00 PM – Megillah reading - Live and on Zoom

Tuesday, March 7 – 10-12 – Megillah reading - Live and on Zoom


HAVE YOU RESPONDED TO YOUR INVITE? If not, just email here and let us know how many will attend: Click Here to Respond to Purim Carnival Invite!

Please respond by this Friday, so we can prepare. Happy Purim!

Also, please come early on Sunday morning to help set up!

Preparing for Purim!

Friends, please bring your games to the synagogue no later than 9:30 AM this Sunday. All games are welcome, except maybe "Dunk the Rabbi!"

We need someone to run the Balloon Darts game, as our usual game operator will be absent. This is our most popular game! Can you get about 200 balloons, blow them up, and bring them on Sunday? We will help you with that.

Also, please bring your noisemakers from home on Sunday, so we can "Boo, Haman!" properly.

Yahrzeit Minyan!

Friends, the families of the following loved ones have asked that we remember them with a special Yahrzeit Minyan this Friday, March 3 on Zoom at 6:30 PM:

Jeffrey Kastel z"l

Beverly Perlmutter z"l

Iris June Serle z"l

This will be an opportunity for family members to share their reminiscences and stories about their loved ones.

Zichronam Livracha!

May their memories be a blessing!

Here is the Zoom link for Friday night and Saturday.

La Crosse Jewish Film Festival 5783 – 2023

 The final 2 movies remaining in our schedule have been selected from recent award-winning Jewish and Israeli films. Renana and Rabbi Brian really liked this one!

  • Here are the rest of the film offerings for 2023:

Walk on Water – discussion date March 1

Link to movie on Prime

Link to movie trailer

Link to join discussion

The Women’s Balcony – discussion date March 15

Link to movie on Prime

Link to movie trailer

Link to join discussion

  • Watch each film on your own, any time during the 2 weeks before the Wednesday discussion.
  • The film discussion will be held on alternate Wednesday evenings at 7:00 PM 

Here is the Zoom Link to join the Wednesday 7 PM film discussion, March 1 and March 15:


Click Here to Join the Film Festival Discussion

Friends, we are so pleased to tell you that our Ukrainian newcomers have found jobs, they are taking English lessons, their kids are attending school. What a mitzvah! This mitzvah ONLY takes place because of your generosity. As more families continue to move here from Ukraine, we are going to need more funds to help feed and clothe them, and especially to find them housing. They could especially use gift cards for Festival, Woodman's and Kwik trip. Please give whenever you can, and as much as you can, to this huge humanitarian effort. Click here to make a cash donation.

If you want to give the newcomers gift cards, please give them to Michelle Hockersmith. Thank you!

Message from the Rabbi

When Adar Begins, Your Joy is Increased!

The month of Adar began on Tuesday and Wednesday this past week. Here is what the Talmud (Ta’anith 29a) states about the month of Adar: Mi’sheh’nichnas Adar, marbin b’simchah,” With the beginning of Adar, rejoicing is increased.


A person might think that this increase in joy is because Adar is the first month of spring. While winter is not completely gone, it is certainly on its way out. (OK, that may be true in Israel, but our recent snowstorm in La Crosse indicates that spring may be a longer time in coming!) While being the first month of spring may be enough reason for others to rejoice, the Jews have the wonderful holiday of Purim to make our spirits joyful.


Celebrated on the 14th day of the month of Adar, Purim is the holiday that commemorates good overcoming evil. This date corresponds this year to March 6 and 7.


In a nutshell, the story of Purim revolves around the plot, launched in the year 518 BCE by Haman (the wicked viceroy of the Persian-Median King Achashverosh), to kill all the Jews in Achashverosh’s kingdom. Haman’s hatred of the Jews reached a psychotic level when Mordechai, the leader of the Jewish community, refused to bow down to him.


Haman requested and was granted permission by Achashverosh to issue a decree calling for the death of all the Jews, to take place on the 15th of Adar. Haman, however, was unaware that Achashverosh’s new queen, Esther, was actually Jewish and was Mordechai’s cousin. With significant courage (and tremendous faith in God), Esther revealed Haman’s wicked plot to the king, thus saving the Jewish people.


In celebration of their salvation, the Jews feasted, gave charity (matanot l’evyonim) and exchanged gift baskets with each other (shalach manos or shaloach manot). They celebrated being alive with tremendous joy and rejoiced at being part of a wonderful nation. It is the energy of their joy that permeates the entire month of Adar so that even now, 2,500 years later, when Adar begins, rejoicing is increased.


Follow-up to last week’s alert – Several people have asked me if it was necessary to tell our members about the “Day of Hate” message that was appearing all over social media last week. Of course, we are so grateful that there were no reported incidents anywhere in the U.S., so far as we know. In consulting with your CSOA security team, and with other Wisconsin institutions, like the ADL and Milwaukee Jewish Federation, we need to make you aware of security concerns or threats. We welcome your suggestions for ways to improve these kinds of messages, so they will be more meaningful to you. Thank you for your valued feedback.

Shabbat Services

I must tell you how pleased I am that we have been getting a minyan at Friday and Saturday Shabbat services. Please continue to come, either in person or on Zoom!

Shabbat Shalom!

A Peaceful & Restful Shabbat!

Rabbi Brian Serle & Renana Friedman


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(612) 251-5045

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