Shalom from TBD Religious School

Shabbat newsletter compiled by
Gal Kessler Rohs, Education Director
Who doesn’t like a cookie? Whether you prefer the Toffee-tastic, Do-si-dos, Girl Scout S’mores, Tagalongs or other Girl Scout cookies , you also help empower a girl by purchasing a box or two of cookies. That’s because the cookie sales are designed to instill necessary life and people skills such as decision making, money management, goal setting, and business ethics.

To assist in this effort, we at TBD are providing a platform for three of the 1.7 million Girl Scouts who also wear the hat of TBD Religious School students and share TBD’s mission of doing mitzvot. Samantha Silver, Samantha Wolfson, and Talia will be selling their cookies this Sunday both before and after religious school. We are proud of them for collaborating in our TBD mission of performing mitzvot. 

At the founding of the Girl Scouts of America approximately 100 years ago, one of the main missions was the idea of community service through projects such as the selling of cookies. This not-for-profit organization uses the proceeds made through these sales to sustain their programming and the service projects the girls choose together as a troop. For example, Samantha Silver’s troop chose to use the proceeds to sew pouches for orphaned Australian marsupials who lost their caretakers in the recent fires. Talia’s troop will be renovating the Kindergarten garden at her local school, while Samantha Wolfson’s troop will be catering to foster children and homes.

At our last Ulpan Shabbat family dinner, Rabbi Lachtman was offered a Thin Mint cookie. Declining, he responded that eating Thin Mint cookies have never made anyone thin! Well, making us thin might not be the objective, but supporting a young girl to help improve the world certainly is.

Shabbat shalom,
- Gal Kessler Rohs , Education Director
Tu BiShvat program and Seeking Donations
of disposable paper/plastic/styrofoam goods and the seven species
On Tu BiShvat, (the holiday of the trees, and more recently the holiday of nature), it is common to celebrate also by eating the seven biblical fruit mentioned in Deuteronomy 8:7-8: "For Adonai your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with streams and springs and fountains issuing from plain and hill; a land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs, and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey." Collectively known as  shivat haminim , the Seven Species are sacred fruits and grains grown in the Land of Israel. They are wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.

We'll be having a biblical bagel breakfast for children in first grade and older, co sponsored by Camp Mountain Chai to celebrate the holiday, learn about the Camp, and learn the species. Parents invited! Please let us know if you are able to contribute. Thank you!
Got Dirt?
Asking for donations of soil bags for our Tu Bishvat planting activity
Our preschoolers and Kindergarteners will be planting a new garden as part of their Tu Bishvat planting experience. We are asking for about 10 bags of soil. Thank you for your donations, and thanks to Steve Bermann, Larry Alpert and the Bidinian family who have stepped up to help with the project, and the Alkana family for their monetary contributions!
This week's Parashat BeShalach
explains why we traditionally have two challas on Shabbat
Tradition holds that two whole challot should be used on Shabbat as a remembrance of the double portion of manna that fell in the desert mentioned in this week's Torah portion. This is so that no Jew should have to gather food on Shabbat (Exodus 16:22-32).

Another interpretation is that the two challot fulfill the biblical injunction articulated in the two versions of the Ten Commandments in the Torah: " Remember  the Sabbath day and keep it holy" (Exodus 20:8) and " Observe  the Sabbath day to keep it holy (Deuteronomy 5:12).

This week therefore, we chose an image of two Shabbat fig challas to also represent Tu Bishvat, as figs are one of the seven speices of fruit traditionally eaten on The holiday of the trees. Click here for the recipe by Joodie the Foodie.
In honor of Monday's Tu BiShvat,
Here are some fun facts about trees and Israel 🌳🌲
🌳🌲According to the  Jewish National Fund - USA , Israel was not blessed with natural forests; its forests are all hand-planted. When the pioneers of the State arrived, they were greeted by barren land. Yet despite that, did you know that  Israel  is the only country in the world to enter the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees?

🌳🌲Forests are considered one of the best means we have of offsetting global climate change because they tie up large amounts of carbon. In other words they simply have a large biomass. Because trees tend to be long-lived (the longest living organisms on our planet), they keep that carbon tied up for a long time. 

🌳🌲Everything begins with water. Growing new forests requires lots of water. Israel is # 1 in the world in water recycling. Israel now has a water surplus and exports water to adjacent desert countries.

🌳🌲Want more about trees, Israel and how you can help, and not only because it is Tu Bishvat? Click here for the JNF website, or here for the Tree in the Holyland site.
A message from Jason Moss, Haskala teacher
intended for TBD Religious School Haskala and Senior High students
As you may or may not be aware, I am the Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys. The mission of the Jewish Federation is  to build community by strengthening and enhancing Jewish life  for the estimated 30,000 – 45,000 Jews living between Glendale and Rancho Cucamonga. We do this by providing programs and services that support the needs of the Jewish community and act as the Jewish voice on issues that affect the greater Jewish community.

In order to make ensure the Jewish Federation is able to continue doing our important work in the community, we fundraise for our an annual campaign. We do this in a variety of different ways, including an event called Super Sunday which is taking place this Sunday. Super Sunday is a day-long effort to contact as many people in our community as possible and ask them to consider making a donation to the Jewish Federation. This is done with community volunteers calling the community.

For the past number of years, I have had my Sunday School students participate in this event as a way to better understand who our local community operates and what the responsibility each member has to ensure that we have a strong and vibrant Jewish community. This has been in place of our regular Sunday School session.

As such, please let me know if your child is able to attend and participate this Sunday, February 9 at the Jewish Federation (114A West Lime Avenue, Monrovia). There are two possible time slots available – either from 9:30am – 12:00pm or 5:30pm – 8:00pm.

If you have any questions or would like a bit more information, please let me know either by calling me at the Jewish Federation (626.445.0810) or sending me an email .
If you have gotten phishing emails
from TBD, or our Rabbi
"We have noted some phishing emails sent to Temple members recently, generally from someone pretending to be the Rabbi. This appears to be another scam operation like we dealt with back in 2018. Here is what to do:

- If you see a strange or out of the blue request from someone claiming to be Rabbi or another Temple leader, check to verify that it is their correct email. The phishing scam uses different non-TBD email accounts. They tend to start by asking for a favor and ultimately begin asking for money.

- If the email appears to be a scam, you can report it to the FTC by forwarding the email to and referencing complaint #101014461. We filed this back in 2018 when the phishing scam first appeared.

- You can also forward the spam email to Microsoft at"
Mazal Tov Hannah
on the Milestone of your Bat Mitzvah this Saturday!
The Kamhi-Stein family have been TBD members since Hannah was 3 months old. She has attended religious school since Kindergarten (at that time there was no toddler class or preschool at our school), and is preparing now for her Bat Mizvah with Rabbi Lachtman and Cantor Campbell . Though her Bat Mitzvah is tomorrow, Hand in Paw has been part of Hannah’s heart since she first adopted Negrita, her Shihtzu puppy, and then Luna, Hannah’s Multi-poo dog.

Read here about Hannah's Mitzvah project benefitting Hand in Paw.
A few words to enlighten our Shabbat
from Bat Mitzvah Hannah, and Rachel
(who have been friends since kindergarten at TBD!)
Flyers, Flyers, Flyers, flyers, flyers, flyers
Coming up at Temple Beth David
 featured dates to note:
Friday, Feb 7th at 7.30pm: Shabbat services with Hannah Stein, oneg Shabbat to follow in honor of Hanna and Alan Stein, sponsored by the Stein family 
Saturday, Feb 8th at 4.15pm: Hannah Stein Bat Mitzvah
Sunday, Feb 9th, at 9.30am: Jeff Brody presentation of Camp Mountain Chai at Religious School
Sunday, Feb 16th, No Religious School, President's Day, TBD at Union Station 
Tuesday, Feb 18th, at 7.30pm, Adult education with Rabbi Lachtman focusing on the book When Difficult Relatives Happen to Good People
Sunday, Feb 23 at 9.30am, Adult Bagel Breakfast, 9.30am "Estate Planning" with Gavin Wasserman, 9.30am, Debby Singer presenting PJ Library
1:00 TBD Book Club is " Out of the Shadow, " by Rose Cohen
Friday, Feb 28th at 6pm: Ulpan Shabbat including dinner
Sunday, March 1 Religious School
Thursday, March 5th, at 10am: National Webinar on education and thriving (Contact Gal for more info)
Thurday, March 6-8th, Shabbaton (For 3-9th graders)
Sunday, March 8th: Purim at TBD, Lindy Bornstein making food enrichment
Friday, March 13th at 6pm: Purim carnival at TBD
Sunday, March 15th Religious School, TBD at Union Station
Sunday, March 22nd Religious School
Friday, March 27th at 6pm: Ulpan Shabbat including dinner (topic: Passover)
Sunday, March 29th at 9.30am, Adult Bagel Breakfast
Friday, April 3rd at 6pm: Ulpan Shabbat including dinner (topic: Passover)
Sunday, April 5th Religious School (topic: Passover, Model Seder)
Sunday, April 12th, No School, Passover Break
Friday, April 17th at 6pm: Ulpan Shabbat including dinner (topic: Israel)
Sunday, April 19th Religious School (topic: Holocaust for Upper Grades), TBD at Union Station 
Sunday, April 26th Religious School (topic: Israel Day)
Friday, May 1st at 6pm: Ulpan Shabbat including dinner
Sunday, May 3rd Religious School
Sunday, May 10th, No School, Mothers' Day
Friday, May 15th at 6pm: Ulpan Shabbat including dinner (topic: Shavuot)
Sunday, May 17th: Last Day of Religious School, family lunch, TBD at Union Station 
Friday, June 5th at 6pm: Ulpan Shabbat including dinner
Sunday, June 21st: TBD at Union Station