Friday, January 31, 2003

Shabbat-O-Gram, January 31, 2003, Shevat 29, 5763

Shabbat-O-Gram, January 31, 2003, Shevat 29, 5763

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman, Temple Beth El, Stamford, Connecticut



Previous Shabbat-O-Grams can be accessed directly from our web site (  For some new “E-mail from the Front,” go to



Did you know….


…that our local federation has just this year hired our first Community Educator, Ilana De Laney, who in a short period of time has enhanced greatly the educational opportunities available to Beth El adults and children, as well as Jewish professionals?


…that among those federation-supported projects was last week’s rip-roaring Jewish rock concert held right here, that brought together over 700 children from all the synagogues in Stamford and Greenwich?


…that one very exciting  project that this Community Educator is working on is a regional Hebrew High School program that will greatly enhance Jewish life for teens from Greenwich to Westport?  Imagine, hundreds of Jewish teens, from all over the county, including our own from Beth El, all learning and having fun together.  This proposed expansion of the Merkaz Torah program is being supported in large measure by the United Jewish Federation. Through Ilana’s leadership, this support has gained the support of all the rabbis, educators and federation leaders in this region.


The United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien's Annual Super Sunday event will be held on February 2, 2003 at the JCC in Stamford. For more information, please call the UJF office at 321-1373 Ext.108,









Friday Night:

Candles: 4:51 PM 

Family Friday Shabbat services (featuring our Junior Choir and some surprises) at 7:30 PM, in the sanctuary

Shabbat morning:

Service: 9:30 AM

Children’s services: 10:30 AM (the older service will be led by our 4th graders)

Kesher Luncheon

Torah Portion: Mishpatim

Read the Masorti commentary at JTS commentary is at: USCJ Torah Sparks can be found at UAHC Shabbat Table Talk discussions are at Other divrei Torah via the Torahnet home page: Test your Parasha I.Q.: CLAL's Torah commentary archive:  Nehama Liebowitz archives of parsha commentaries:  For a more Kabbalistic/Zionist perspective from Rav Kook, first Chief Rabbi of Israel, go to

Morning MinyanDaily at 7:30 AM, Sunday at 9:00 AM in the chapel

Reminder of our “No School No Shul” policy: On days when Stamford public schools are cancelled or delayed, morning minyan is also cancelled.  On Sunday, when our religious school is cancelled because of weather, minyan is also cancelled.   Friday night and Shabbat morning services are never cancelled, but people are asked to use their own good judgment (we call it “sechel”) on days when the weather is very bad.



Sunday morning, from 11 AM to 12:30PM, special family program for 7th graders and all other 2003 B’nai and B’not Mitzvah. In the lobby.



The Highest Level of Tzedakkah


Once again, is looking to find suitable employment for a fellow Jew in need.  Today I am looking for help for an Israeli family famliar to many of us.  Here is his letter of introduction.  If you would like to see more information and a resume, contact him directly, or me at  Thank you.


Dear Jewish Community of Stamford,

We would like to introduce ourselves to you all.  We are Orit, Noam, Yehonatan, and Ziv Baratz, a young family living in Beit Hashita Kibbutz in Israel.
My wife, Orit, and I are in our early 30's; our children are 2 and 4 years old. After the hard last two years in Israel, we want to give our family 1-2 years of another way of living.  Yifat Meiri, Orit's sister, was your Young Jewish Emissary who lived last year in Stamford.  We heard so many good things about the community, that we wanted to try to come to Stamford. I am a senior Procurement and Logistics Manager, and Orit is a teacher.  Hebrew is our mother tongue, but we are both fluent in English.  We think both of us can contribute to any organization that will accept us.

We will be happy to be contacted:


Home Phone: + (972) 4-6536778

Thank you, Stamford, for any opportunities that you can offer to my family and I.


Ziv Baratz




Spiritual Journey on the Web






Parshat Mishpatim: Dung Happens


Last week's portion of Yitro, you may recall, ended with the bang of God's thunder at Sinai.  This week's portion offers a stunning contrast.  We go from the mystery and cacophony of Sinai to the nitty-gritty of daily life -- the laws of slave and slave holder, the details of petty feuds, of accidental death and injury, the goring ox,  the thief in the night. 


Mishpatim thrusts back into the midst of daily life, facing its mundane and not-so mundane concerns.  The laws regarding abortion are based on passages found here (see, as well as, for more on this.  Capital punishment is covered as well (and I’ll be discussing that at services tomorrow, in light of the recent courageous stance of the governor of Illinois (see for the news story, and and for the Jewish view).  We also read how important it is not to lie (see a nice reminder, on Feb.1, that President’s Day is coming up, when we recall the the lives of two presidents of great truthfulness: “Honest Abe” and Mr. “I cannot tell a lie” himself, the original George W.


Yitro is life as it was lived at the peak, beyond the limits -- Mishpatim is life as it is lived every day.    But these are the building blocks that create a just and caring society.


At first glance what we have in Mishpatim looks like an anthology of laws -- but they are best seen as stories told around a fire, or at a card game, or at a local pub.  They are the stories from the back pages of a newspaper.  Did you hear the one about Joanne, who was pregnant and lost her baby when she accidentally wandered into that fight between Joe and Sam?  And how about what happened to Judah's ox!  It wandered away from the threshing field and fell into that open put that Joshua dug!  So who is going to pay?  And did you hear the latest gossip at the market -- about that guy who lent that other guy a sheep and then one night it died and whose fault is it anyway?   Stories intertwined with stories -- leading to hours and hours and weeks and weeks of discussion.  These discussions are what became eventually the Talmud.  No portion is a greater argument on behalf of an Oral Law than this one.


(Go to the text section of at to see how the so-called Oral Law developed into the Talmud.)


And there are principles too: Don't give a false report, don't follow a multitude to do evil; don't oppress a stranger in your midst; don’t take a bribe.  But these too are stories, even without the narrative.  We fill in the details.


Mishpatim is a vast painting -- not a landscape, but one of those medieval Brueghel paintings, a portrait of all the real people, teeming with life.  Check out to see what I mean, and click on “Peasnat Wedding” or “The Peasant Dance.”   What lies behind it all is the Torah's eternal plea for justice, compassion and nobility, for living with dignity.


The people described in this portion are not named.  Justice in the end is not about fame, or in some cases, infamy.  God is not in the peak moments of Sinai, it seems to be telling us, as in the details of every day life.  God is not in the words of Moses or other great leaders so much as in the stories of the little people and their travails.


And really, God is in both.  It's instructive that if you visit Jerusalem, you can approach the holy Temple in all its grandeur.  Even as an archeological ruin, that grandeur is still palpable.  And yet the entrance to the old city closest to the Temple mount is called, of all things, the Dung Gate (, for an aerial photo and description).    Even with all the nobility of that exalted spot, the most sacred spot in all of earth, "dung happens." If God is in all the details of daily life, God is most certainly in the dung.  If you don’t believe me – click on this:!






Ask the Rabbi

Send your questions to   


Two important questions have come in this week: 


The first question comes from Dan, who recently moved to this area and has attended services with us on several occasions:


Dear Rabbi,

I am writing this e-mail to ask you a question. My question is, why is it that it seems to be so "not Jewish" to hunt. I can understand that the food is not Kosher, but what else is there? Is it simply cultural?
Thank you for your time, I am looking forward to your response,

Dear Dan,

It’s more than cultural; it lies at the foundation of our value system, which sanctifies all of life and staunchly defends those who are innocent.  A great Web site for those who wish to understand this is  Richard Schwartz is THE maven on Jewish vegetarianism as well.  Here he writes:

14. What is the Jewish view of hunting?

The rabbis strongly disapproved of hunting as a sport. [8] A Jew is permitted to capture fish, flesh, or fowl only for purposes of human food or another essential human need, but to destroy an animal for "sport", fashion, or vanity constitutes wanton destruction and is to be condemned. Based on the statement "not to stand in the way of sinners" (Ps. 1:1), the Talmud prohibits association with hunters [9]. A query was addressed to Rabbi Ezekiel Landau (1713-93) by a man wishing to know if he could hunt in his large estate, which included forests and fields. The response stated:

In the Torah the sport of hunting in imputed only to fierce characters like Nimrod and Esau, never to any of the patriarchs and their descendants.... I cannot comprehend how a Jew could even dream of killing animals merely for the pleasure of hunting.... When the act of killing is prompted by that of sport, it is downright cruelty. [10]

Check the rest of Schwartz’ material for more on the subject, impeccably indexed at

A second question comes from someone who asked whether one, born of Jewish mother, who converts to Christianity, is still considered a Jew.  The answer to that question is “yes and no,” mostly “no.”  You can find a full response at the “Jews for Judaism” site,  While we try to be as inclusive as possible in extending the umbrella of over all who would want to cast their lot with the Jewish people, in this case an apostate is one who does not wish to do that.  To accept such a person as a Jew would be to render meaningless the entire Judaic belief system and it would lend credence to those so-called “Jews” for Jesus who try to convince our kids that they are really “completed” Jews.


Keep those questions coming in!





Israeli Election Results

 Voting for the 16th Knesset - Final Results

    According to final voting returns that now include the votes of soldiers, for elections to the 16th Knesset, the leading parties are Likud - 38 seats, Labor - 19, and Shinui - 15. The center-right and religious bloc won 69 seats, while the center, center-left, and Arab party bloc won 51 seats.




Seats 1999

Seats 2003

Center-Right and Religious Bloc:


Center-Right Parties



Will talk peace with Palestinians only after a cessation of violence

Ariel Sharon



National Union

No Palestinian state

Avigdor Lieberman



Yisrael b'Aliyah

Palestinian state only if democratic

Natan Sharansky



Center-Right Religious Parties



Ultra-Orthodox and traditional Sephardim

Eli Yishai



United Torah Judaism

Ultra-Orthodox Ashkenazim

Yaakov Litzman



National Religious Party

Religious Zionism, emphasizing army service and the Land of Israel

Effi Eitam




Center, Center-Left, and Arab Party Bloc:


Center-Left Parties



Resume talks on Palestinian statehood before end to violence

Amram Mitzna




Withdrawal to 1967 borders

Yossi Sarid



Center Parties



Separation of religion and state

Yosef Lapid



Am Ehad - One Nation

Workers' rights

Amir Peretz



Arab Parties


United Arab List-Ra'am

Dominated by Islamic movement, supports Palestinian state

Abdulmalek Dehamshe




Formerly Communist party, supports Palestinian state

Mohammad Barakeh




Cultural autonomy for Arabs, supports Palestinian state

Azmi Bishara





  18 Women in New Knesset
  The new Knesset will include 18 women, one more than in the outgoing Knesset. The Likud will have 7 women MKs, followed by Labor (4), Shinui (3), NRP (1), Meretz (1), Yisrael b'Aliyah (1), and One Nation (1). 27 MKs are religious. 9 are immigrants from the former Soviet Union. (Ha'aretz)


 Israel Decides: Winners and Losers (UPI)




Required Reading and Action Items








A sign seen outside of a church in Boston:  “Never give up! Even Moses started out as a basket case.”


Bush Takes U.S. to the Edge of War
President Bush took the U.S. to the edge of war with Iraq Tuesday, declaring in his annual State of the Union message that Saddam Hussein had missed his "final chance" by showing contempt for UN weapons inspections. In the Middle East, Bush said, "we will continue to seek peace between a secure Israel and a democratic Palestine." (Washington Post)    Full text of Bush's State of the Union Speech (Washington Post)

 A Call for Unity - Ariel Sharon
I will ask all Zionist parties to join a unity government that will be as broad as possible. The differences between us diminish in the face of the murderous hatred of the terrorist organizations of anything Israeli and Jewish, the threat of the war in the Gulf and attacks on Israel, and the economic crisis that is ripping Israeli society apart. This is a time for coming together in unity, for fusing all forces in order to bring about a genuine victory. Victory over terrorism, and the beginning of a true peace process. Everyone is waiting to see if Israel will act together, united, in order to achieve its aims: security, prosperity, quiet, and peace. This is possible. It depends only on us. (Ha'aretz)


Sharon Weighs Coalition Partners - Yossi Verter
For the next 42 days, Sharon will do everything in his power to establish a national unity government in the image of the previous one - including the Labor Party. If he fails, he will approach Shinui and offer the anti-religious party a place in a narrow, right-wing government, with or without Shas. If that fails too, Sharon will be forced to establish the government he doesn't want - a right-wing government with the Haredi parties. (Ha'aretz)


Ariel Sharon - the Moderate - Bill Schneider
If the war with Iraq is successful and Saddam Hussein is overthrown, it will open up new prospects for peace. And Ariel Sharon wants to be the man who negotiates that deal. He wants a broad-based coalition. He does not want to depend on a narrow base of right wing parties, because he wants maximum flexibility. Notice what we're saying here, something quite remarkable. Ariel Sharon as a moderate. (CNN)


Sharon Victory Shows He's One of Country's Most Skillful Politicians - Ross Dunn
Mr. Sharon's ruling Likud Party is predicted to nearly double its number of seats in the parliament to 36, twice that of its main rival Labor, demonstrating a major shift to the right in Israeli public opinion. (VOA)


Minor Parties Fail in Israel Elections - Mark Lavie
Thirteen parties won seats, according to results announced Wednesday, but 14 others failed to make the grade. Two parties left out of parliament that had been expected to fare better were the ultranationalist Herut, with a settler from Hebron in a prominent position, and Green Leaf, favoring legalization of marijuana. (AP/Guardian-UK) At a time when the Jewish Agency is planning to cut its allocation to the Masorti (and Reform) movements - they are quietly passing on large sums to an Orthodox institution  - outside of the normal budgetary framework.


Cartoon in UK Paper Draws Israeli Protest - Sharon Sadeh
The Israeli Embassy in London has sent a strongly worded letter of protest to The Independent, following an editorial cartoon Monday by Dave Brown, depicting Prime Minister Ariel Sharon biting the flesh of a Palestinian baby. The background shows Apache attack helicopters sending missiles with the message "Vote Likud." Shuli Davidovich, the embassy's press secretary, responded: "The blood-thirsty imagery not only misrepresents the real reason for the IDF's operations in Gaza, but also feeds the hostility toward Israel and the Jewish people which lies at the very core of the Arab-Israeli conflict." (Ha'aretz) 
Comments to:


PA Columnist: Silent Majority Opposes Firing Rockets at Israel - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)


 No Missiles Will Fall on Israel Again - Yehuda Avner
Col. John Caldwell served with the 82nd Airborne Division during the 1991 Gulf War, and had commanded squads of Scud-hunting commandos to scour Iraq's western desert in search of the mobile missile batteries. "The Great Scud Hunt" turned out to be a fiasco due, largely, to abysmal intelligence. Apart from knocking out a few cunningly fabricated decoys, the 2,493 missions dedicated to the anti-Scud operation failed to score a single confirmable kill.
When asked to explain his pledge that no Scud missiles will rain down again on Israel, he replied, "Schwarzkopf [the then commander-in-chief] made the greatest mistake of that war by refusing to invest the necessary assets to neutralize the Scud threat from the start. This time, before the Iraqis will know what has hit them, our commandos will be swarming all over western Iraq. With the help of Israeli special forces we have already mapped out their likely launching sites, hiding places, and elevations. We can call in air strikes instantly. We also have vastly improved reconnaissance systems. And if, by chance, one of Saddam's few remaining Scuds is launched, the chances of their penetrating our Patriot shield and your Arrow shield are virtually nil." (Jerusalem Post)


Midnight for Baghdad - Mortimer B. Zuckerman
Iraq is located in the midst of a region that has been a hotbed of global terrorism, including Shiite Islamists, personified by their ruling mullahs in Iran; Sunni Islamists of al Qaeda, funded primarily by Saudi Arabia; and Baathists from Iraq. They all have America in their gun sights. They would all be inspired if Saddam is allowed to flout the UN resolutions and erode America's credibility. They would all be less constrained if Saddam could get away with his deception.
    We must live with the fact that we are the No. 1 target in the world because we are the No. 1 country. We cannot be put in a position of having our security decided by the U.N. Security Council, some of whose members merely vote to serve their own national commercial interests, while others just blindly hope for the best. (U.S. News)


Israel Launches Family Ties Program with 50% Hotel Discounts Travel World News Israel's Ministry of Tourism is beginning the New Year with an ambitious initiative that encourages visitors to stay in Israeli hotels with their Israeli family and friends. Under the FAMILY TIES program, Israeli friends or relatives of tourists from the U.S. and Canada will receive a 50% room rate discount when they join North American visitors at the same hotel, at the same time. The minimum stay is five nights, and visitors can choose from the over 100 hotels across Israel that are participating in the program. North American travelers are encouraged to invite 2 relatives/friends to take advantage of the Family Connection half-price offer. The discount is applicable for North American visitors staying at Israeli hotels on an individual basis, not for those traveling with a group, and is valid through March 31st.


To see the Daily Alert, filled with links to articles about Israel, contact the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs


How we can help Israeli small businesses:

I’ve heard form a few of you about Canada’s closing of Magen David Adom’s office there.  Because of the pressure applied, the Canadian government has apparently reversed itself.  See for more information.

This week, as Israel continued to root out terror cells and destroy munitions factories in Gaza, much of the world media cynically portrayed Israel's actions as a campaign stunt by Ariel Sharon to bolster his reputation for effective security measures.


For example, see this January 27 report in The Independent (UK):


"Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian cabinet minister, said the Gaza raid was driven by Israeli politics. 'We believe he [Sharon] wanted to end the election campaign on this note with more Palestinian blood and destruction,' he said."



Col. Ilan Ramon is presently encircling the earth aboard the Columbia space shuttle. In a televised conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Ramon, who is the first Israeli astronaut, said, "I call upon every Jew in the world to plant a tree in the land of Israel during the coming year. I would like to see at least 13 or 14 million new trees planted in Israel exactly one year from now, on the anniversary of the launching."


Upon hearing Mr. Ramon's statement, Jewish National Fund Chief Executive Officer Russell Robinson said, "It is so meaningful that the first Israeli astronaut calls out from space, to Jewish people everywhere on earth, to have a direct connection to the land of Israel by literally planting roots in its soil."

In Israel, Jewish National Fund officials immediately took up the challenge last week by planting the first 13 trees in the Ben Shemen Forest in honor of Ilan Ramon and the Columbia team. As JNF World Chairman Yehiel Leket said, "On the Colombia's next orbit around the earth, Mr. Ramon will already be able to see the first 13 trees that JNF planted as a response to his request."


Mr. Leket had already planted a tree in Mr. Ramon's honor in the new Bible Forest on Tu B'Shevat, where he noted that the Israeli astronaut's first name, Ilan, literally means "tree."


In response to Mr. Ramon's request, JNF promised to send the message to Jews around the globe.


To plant your tree in Israel in honor of Ilan Ramon, call 800-542-TREE (8733) or visit To learn more about traveling to Israel, call JNF Travel & Tours at (877) JNF-TOUR (563-8687) or email travel@jnf.or



See a wonderful article in today’s Times on the science experiments and Holocaust Torah brought into space, at

Background / Ilan Ramon's guide to the galaxy
Virtual Jerusalem News, Israel - 17 Jan 2003
Dilemma for Nasa scientists - Times of India
Israel' Astronaut Has Prayer Cup - ABC News
First Israeli in Space Sees Mission as a Symbolic Journey - Yahoo News
Independent Online
Shuttle Images Delight Israeli Scientists - Tuscaloosa News
Shuttle Images Delight Israeli Scientists - Sarasota Herald-Tribune



United Synagogue Announces new CD-ROM: "Kosher: Sanctifying the Ordinary"
Order Today!

"Kosher: Sanctifying the Ordinary," a lively CD ROM explaining Jewish dietary laws, is now available. A joint project of The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) and the Rabbinical Assembly (RA), this unique and comprehensive resource is designed for both Jewish professionals and laypeople of all ages and levels of religious knowledge.  Now you can preview a segment of this wonderful, interactive, educational resource; the interactive kitchen is now available on the USCJ website.  It can be found at You can also get there by going to and rolling over "Commitment and Observance" and then "kashrut" and clicking on "interactive kosher kitchen".




Quotes of the Week: The Israeli Elections 


Excerpts: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Victory Address


   …"This is a day of victory for all of us, a historic victory… It is permissible to be gladdened by the victory, but there is no room for celebrations. The battle against the terrorist organizations has not ended. It exacts victims every day. The Iraqi threat hangs over our heads. The socio-economic crisis still threatens the stability of the economy, and the chances for prosperity for all of Israel's citizens. Today is not the time for celebrations…This is a time for soul-searching, for coming together in unity…


   "...The people has had its say. It has decided on my program, a plan that is loyal to the historic path of the Likud, and which is appropriate to the present security and diplomatic reality. Now it is incumbent on all the political forces to carry out the will of the voter. This is the meaning of democracy…Narrow political considerations…must not now turn into an obstacle in the path of national unity…
   "I say to all the parties, the differences between us are dwarfed by the murderous hatred of the terrorist organisations of anything Israeli and Jewish, the threat of the war in the Gulf and attacks on Israel and the economic crisis that is ripping Israeli society apart. Israel must not be left split apart internally, eaten up by blind hatred--not at a time of war, not at a time of crisis, not now. Israel needs unity. Israel needs stability. Israel needs both quickly before the crisis deepens… I am hereby announcing, that after the president assigns me the task of forming a government, I will ask all Zionist parties to join a unity government that will be as broad as possible… This is the will of the people… "
 (Ha’aretz, January 29, 2003)



“We will be a bridge between the left and the right to form a balanced policy that will bring us to peace and security with the Palestinians. But the first job is to form a secular unity government. We will tell the religious in this country—don’t be frightened of us. We are not against religion, not against Jews, and not against religious Jews. We are against the exploitation of religion from money and power. We will not conduct a religious war in this country. We will not make a civil war. But we want equal rights for equal duties, for all citizens…We call on Sharon, whom I congratulate: Sir, establish a secular unity coalition and we will be loyal members.”—Shinui leader Tommy Lapid calling on P.M. Ariel Sharon to form a secular unity government, which would include his party and that of Labor. [Shinui’s astounding 15-seat win will have important implications on the formation of Sharon’s coalition government.] (Ha’aretz, Jan. 29)


“I have no one to blame but myself… The movement was wonderful, it did its part…but we received disappointing results. Two factors hurt us. [One was] the Labor Party, which also paid a heavy price this evening… The second factor was [PA Chairman Yasser] Arafat. It is completely clear that the reason for our loss is that we are viewed as Arab-lovers. We are lovers of Arabs—and lovers of Jews, and lovers of humanity. We were in the opposition—as the only opposition—under impossible conditions. I think we were the only ones to sound an alternative voice in this miserable country… And if this is the result, I must accept responsibility for it…”—Meretz leader Yossi Sarid announcing his resignation due to the poor showing of his party which garnered only six votes. (Ha’aretz, Jan. 29)



“P.M. Ariel Sharon has won re-election, no mean feat in consideration of our recent history. More than that…the roughly even split between Right and Left has been broken…[H]ow can Sharon use his mandate to recapture the initiative regarding Middle East diplomacy? The prime minister reportedly plans to do this by drafting Israel’s own ‘road map,’ not based on the Quartet’s drafts, but on Israeli needs…: terror must stop, and Israeli’s negotiating partner must be a Palestinian leadership that fights terror and has real democratic legitimacy… The larger challenge will be to shake off the attitude that was dominant…throughout the Oslo period, namely that the Palestinians can be expected to deliver only in response to Israeli concessions, and even then should not be held to their commitments. Even more than it failed as a plan, Oslo failed as a mentality. The new mentality, if it is to succeed, must force the Palestinians to build Israeli confidence and deliver results, not the reverse… [T]his is a defining moment for Sharon, the Likud, and the Right as a whole… The Right must go beyond defining itself by what it is against, and explain and pursue what it is for. It must do so on the diplomatic, economic, and social fronts…”—Editorial (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 29

















Family Fun and Pasta Night!

Saturday, February 1st

6:30 p.m.

Dinner, Family Fun, Dancing & Havdalah

GREAT for all ages!


For more information, call Hope Weisel at 329-3191.

Italian entrée for adults - pasta for children

Individual Adult $12

Individual child $6

Maximum per family $36

Non member family and friends:

Individual Adult $14

Individual child $7

Patron family $100

Sponsor family $50


Next Week

 Celebrate the Arts Jewishly

Our Big Family Program of the Year!!

Sunday, Feb. 9, 9-11:30 AM

Join us for a morning filled with activities designed to put your family in a festive state of mind.




It’s not too late to become part of  our

Torah Cantillation Class

with Cantor Deborah Jacobson


Offered Sundays, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

An eight-week course starting January 26th

Hebrew reading skills required.




Youth Activities






On March 15our teens will lead the main service,

 reading Torah,

leading prayers,

opening the ark,

having aliyot,



Contact Ilana Ginsberg-322-2003, or
Ariel Savransky- 329-2990

Or me (Rabbi H) at




To see what’s happening in the region, check out the USY Website at

KESHER (Grades 3-5)

Saturday, February 1st      Shabbat Luncheon

ATID (K-2)

Sunday, February 2nd

Trip to Mother Earth Mining


USY (Grades 9-12)

Mid-winter Convention, Manchester, CT

February 7th - 9th


KADIMA (Grades 6-8)

Saturday, February 8th

Shabbat Luncheon



Tuesday, February 18th

Trip to see the Sound Tigers Game



Thursday, February 20th

Snow tubing




Camp Ramah in New England (previously Camp Ramah in Connecticut) is celebrating its 50th year Jubilee in 2003 (Yovel). Camp Ramah has been a profoundly positive experience for thousands of Jewish youth from Maine to Florida. We recognize that a summer at Camp Ramah has a deep lifelong impact on Jewish lives. We want to reconnect with you. Camp Ramah in New England is currently searching for all staff and camper alumni. Our Alumni Association is organizing alumni chapters in several cities.


Please forward your current contact information and e-mail address, with years at Ramah, to or call the camp office at (781)449-7090.  If you are a parent of an alumnus, please forward the contact information of your children who have moved to other locations and/or ask them to send us their contact information themselves. 


We also invite you to visit the Alumni Association web-site where  you can learn about alumni activities, register with the alumni directory, search our records for staff and camper alumni of Camp Ramah in New England and Camp Ramah in Connecticut, and read the alumni newsletter.   


Two large community celebrations will mark the Yovel. On the evening of March 5 Israeli staff and Americans who have made aliyah will gather in Jerusalem. Attendees are expected from throughout Israel and the United States. Day long festivities are also planned for May 25, 2003 at the Ramah campus, in Palmer, Massachusetts. This family-style reunion is expected to draw alumni and community leaders from 1953 through 2003.


By submitting your current contact information you will be updated about Yovel events.

Reconnect with Ramah, as we celebrate the past, present and future of our exciting community



The Web link for this week's Shabbat-O-Gram is - - The site is continually updated during the week with corrections and additions.  Feel free to forward this link to your friends. People can subscribe to the weekly Shabbat-o-Gram at   I also send out mailings to college students, Gen Xers and teens, so let us know if you wish to be placed on any of those lists.  If you wish to unsubscribe, contact