Friday, May 30, 2003

SHABBAT-O-GRAM for May 30 and June 6, 2003 and Iyar 29 5763


May 30 and June 6, 2003 and Iyar 29 5763

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman, Temple Beth El, Stamford, Connecticut



 MAZAL TOV to Matthew DeNardo, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in Bioengineering. Matthew is looking to work in the medical devices field


I’m aching to put some more graduation Mazal Tovs right in this space!  Please send them along!!!


For a report on my meeting today with Chris Shays, see below…


Previous Shabbat-O-Grams can be accessed directly from our web site (


E-mail from the Front” 

Some new mail is in.  Go to and scroll down to the most recent entries.






Friday Night

Candles: 7:59 PM  (gettin’ later all the time)

Family Friday Shabbat Service: 7:00 PMin the sanctuary this week, rain or shine, to accommodate the large crowd, as we celebrate our final Junior Choir- led service of the season as well as wishing Mazal Tov to our 7th Graders at their Aliyah Service, as they mark their “aliyah” (ascending) to 8th grade and heir eligibility for the community’s new Kulanu program for teens.

Shabbat Morning:

Service: 9:30 AM – During the service, we will be hearing a first-hand report from our Bi-Cultural 8th graders on their recent trip to Israel.  We’ll also be celebrating Jerusalem Day (slightly belatedly) with poetry and song.

MAZAL TOV to Haley Ratner, who becomes Bat Mitzvah this Shabbat morning!

MAZAL TOV to Kelly and Matthew Sabloff, whose new daughter Ava Leila Sabloff will be named this Shabbat morning!

Children’s services: 10:30 AM

Torah Portion – Bamidbar (The beginning of the book of Numbers)

Haftarah is Machar Chodesh (special selection for the eve of the new month)

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/Orthodox perspective from Rav Kook, first Chief Rabbi of Israel, go to For some probing questions and meditations on key verses of the portion, with a liberal kabbalistic bent, go to To see the weekly commentary from Hillel, geared to college students and others, go to

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

Note: This week there is a special additional Sunday morning service for Rosh Hodesh (in addition to our regular 9:00 AM service): 10:30 AM

MAZAL TOV to Ariel Ferber Poser, who becomes Bat Mitzvah this Sunday morning.



Thursday Evening: Candles: 8:03 PM; Services at 8:00 PM, followed by a Tikkun Leil Shavuot (Shavuot study session).

Friday Morning, 1st Day of Shavuot: Services at 9:30 AM, children’s services with Nurit at 10:30.  Kahal (congregant-led) service with lunch.  At the conclusion of the main service, we’ll be unrolling a Torah scroll, along with the children, to again receive the Torah at Mt. Sinai.

Friday Evening: Candles at 8:04 PM; service outdoors (casual dress) at 7:00 PM (weather permitting), Tot Shabbat at 6:30 PM

Shabbat morning, 2nd Day of Shavuot:  Services at 9:30 AM, including the book of Ruth and Yizkor; Children’s services at 10:30

MAZAL TOV to Ryan Erskine, who becomes Bar Mitzvah on the 2nd day of Shavuot

MAZAL TOV to Barb Moskow, who will be ordained as a rabbi at a special ceremony here on Sunday, June 8, at 7:00 PM. ALL ARE INVITED!



A Special Shabbat-O-Gram Report: My Meeting With Rep. Chris Shays


This afternoon, several rabbis from Stamford and Greenwich sat down for a friendly, open dialogue session with Rep. Chris Shays, at his request.  For those who may not be aware, Rep. Shays recently visited Qatar, Jordan, Iraq, Israel and the territories, and some of the comments made upon his return caused concern among Jewish supporters.  You can read Shays’ official position on the Middle East at his Web site, at; to read about the current controversy, check the article at the CT Jewish Ledger at Shays comes under fire for remarks made after West Bank visit


What must be said above all is that Shays’ voting record on behalf of Israel is impeccable, that he has been a loyal and trusted friend of the Jewish community, and that his stance in support of the Iraq war was quite courageous, in the face of what he claimed were letters from constituents opposing the war at a rate of 99-1.   


For the sake of brevity (and I do plan to go into greater detail about the meeting at services this weekend), I’ll just bullet some of the main points I took from the meeting.


n                         Shays did apologize for the remarks that were taken out of context in the Norwalk Hour.

n                         He was clearly hurt by the lack of support given to him by the Jewish community during the Iraq crisis.  We tried to explain how many Jews did not want to frame this as an Israel-related issue and therefore took a back seat, but nonetheless, he had a point.  His mail ran 99-1 against the war, so it’s hard to believe that too many from the Jewish community were heard from.  He felt betrayed and abandoned.

n                         It is still not too late to write the congressman to express profound appreciation for his courageous stance on Iraq and his longstanding support of Israel. You can contact him at or by mail at

1126 Longworth Building
Washington, DC 20515-0704

10 Middle Street, 11th Floor
Bridgeport, CT 06604-4223

Government Center
888 Washington Boulevard
Stamford, CT 06901-2927

n                         He is concerned that the Israeli settlement policy and Israel’s strong presence in the West Bank and Gaza are diminishing the chances for peace.  We tried to explain (unanimously, I may add, and we were a very diverse group), how the only way the “Road Map” can make any progress now would be for the Palestinians first and foremost to abandon terrorism, taking very concrete steps to disarm the terror groups.

n                         If you do write to Shays, it is a good idea to remind him that Israel wants nothing more than to leave Palestinian population centers and ease their way back to normalcy.  I made the point that even after a year of the current terror campaign, Israel didn’t re-occupy these cities until  30 Jews were massacred at their Passover seder in Netanya. If the terror really were to stop (and not just a tactical cease-fire) the Israeli public would insist that the army withdraw, even if the politicians hemmed and hawed.   Things would improve for the Palestinians virtually overnight.

n                         We pressed the point that the Palestinians are inculcating to their children a culture of hate and martyrdom and that nothing can change until this stops.

n                         He made a couple of comparisons between what he perceives could happen in Israel and apartheid in South Africa, especially fearful that those recommending “transfer” of Arabs get their way.  This is a very dangerous comparison and we were quick to assure him that the right wing fringes of the government who express those desires will never get their way; but that Israel is nothing like South Africa.  What Barak was willing to give up at Camp David is proof of this. Even Ariel Sharon has accepted the two state solution.  It is important to stress this in communications with him.  Nonetheless, isn’t it interesting that what is being asked of Israel is a “transfer” of Jews from the West Bank (something Israel has expressed a willingness to do).

n                         He called for a “good faith effort” by the P.A. to combat terrorism.  We insisted that the mistakes of Oslo (which most of us had supported) could not be repeated, and that there needed to be concrete steps to eliminate the threat of terrorism before Israel makes significant sacrifices.

n                         If you write to Shays, bring up President Bush’s speech of last June 24 as the ideological framework for the “Road Map.” He didn’t seem to be too aware of its contents, and they are very important in that they make it clear that the Palestinians must make the strategic decision to abandon all support for terror in all its forms (and Arafat in all his forms) as the first step toward peace.  Resolving the settlement issue is seen as part of the solution, but not the main cause of the problem.  We have to make sure that that speech of June 24th continues to guide American policy, as President Bush embarks in his first foray into serious Middle Eastern summitry next week. Read the text of the June 24th speech at

Interesting sidelight – on Shavuot, the President will be in Sinai – but will the Bush be consumed???????? Sorry…

To summarize, the exchange was open and honest. Chris Shays deserves our gratitude and respect.  He has done a super job on so many issues and many of us failed to support him last month when he needed it most.  Now is the time to express that appreciation, and to express your concerns for the future of Israel and all the peoples of the Middle East.





Stamford Hospital has recently implemented very strict policies regarding patient privacy.  Visiting clergy are no longer given unlimited access to the list of patients that are there, and patients’ names have been removed from public places around the nurses’ station and on the door of the room.  Therefore, it is more important than ever before that the synagogue be notified when you or a loved one is in the hospital.  The cantor and I do make regular “rounds” and we would love to visit any congregant; but unless we are notified, we will most likely not know that you or your loved one is there.  Help us help those you love by letting us know. 




Spiritual Journey on the Web










Jerusalem Day and Shavuot



Thursday was Jerusalem Day.  The 36th anniversary of the 1967 Reunification of Jerusalem really falls on Friday in the Hebrew calendar, but because Shabbat preparations would conflict with the celebration, it was moved back a day.  Here are some Jerusalem Day-related information and links.


A Jerusalem Day message from Minister for Diaspora Affairs Natan Sharansky Click here.

Jerusalem in Facts and Figures

Approx. 670,000 residents -- Jerusalem is the Israeli city with the largest non-Jewish population (approx. 32%).
65,000 new immigrants live in Jerusalem - most of them are from the former Soviet Union.
Jerusalem has a very young population: 44% is between the age of 0-19; 8% is aged 65+

Jerusalem has: 32 city libraries, 24 museums, 16 hospitalization institutes, 37 Family Health centers, 28 community centers and councils, 23 neighborhoods, 80 elderly clubs, 27 centers for people with special needs, 1,201 synagogues, 70 mikvahs, 158 churches, 72 monasteries, 73 mosques.

Some Jerusalem and Israel Links Online Magazine about Israeli life  Nice lesson, featuring passages by great writers about Israel -- An Appreciation of Yehudah Amichai – By Dr. Ann Lapidus Lerner of JTS Four Yehuda Amicha poems about Jerusalem (view the movie) (before they starting charging extra for their supplements)

Jerusalem Municipality Website

Jerusalem Capital of Israel (1)

Jerusalem Capital of Israel (2)

The status of Jerusalem

Basic Law: Jerusalem

Internet Exhibit: Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

Compilation of Additional Documents about Jerusalem Articles by Michael Oren, author of “Six Days of War”  Bar Ilan University's Center For Jerusalem Studies: Jerusalem: Life Throughout the Ages in a Holy City,

Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Jerusalem Through the Centuries,

Jewish Virtual Library: Jerusalem,

The Israeli Knesset: Jerusalem

Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs: Jerusalem in International Diplomacy, by Amb. Dore Gold,

Jewish Agency: Sources for Yom

OU-Yom Yerushalayim Guide & talking points,



Shavuot at the JTS Web Site


Shavu'ot falls on the sixth and seventh day during the Jewish month of Sivan, or June 6th and 7th of this calendar year. A holiday that celebrates agriculture and the Torah, synagogues are decorated with flowers and foliage while congregants are urged to study vigorously. On the sixth day of Sivan, we commemorate the day that we received the Torah, zman matan toratenu, and observe the ancient custom to remain awake for the entire first night to study Torah. On the seventh of Sivan, the second day of Shavu'ot, we read from The Book of Ruth.

To view what customs are traditionally observed during the holiday of Shavu'ot, please visit:

Shavu'ot Highlights
Dr. Eliezer Diamond discusses his love affair with The Book of Ruth in "'And the two went on': Ruth as Daughter, Wife and Friend."
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Chancellor Ismar Schorsch issues a call to action to reinvigorate Jewish knowledge of Hebrew in "Shavuot: Rededicating Ourselves to Battling Jewish Illiteracy." ml

Recipes for Shavu'ot
Commemorate the Torah by eating "Bible Cake."
http ://

Nora K's Cheesecake: avuot/cheesecake.shtml

Shavu'ot 101
Do you need a quick tutorial on the who, what, where, when and how of Shavuot? Read this:

Kids Corner
Have you ever been unsure about how to explain and celebrate Shavu'ot with your kids? We have provided you with a brief explanation and an arsenal of activities that you and your child can complete together.
http://learn.jtsa.e du/topics/kids/shavuot_together/







Required Reading and Action Items 





Israel's 14 Comments on the Roadmap

The Rejection - Benny Morris (New Republic/Australia-Israel Review) To judge by Palestinian opinion polls and street demonstrations, most Palestinians today do not seek only the liberation of the territories from Israel's occupation. They seek also the destruction of Israel. And the masses express their hatred of the Jewish state by supporting suicide bombings inside Israel proper, against buses, supermarkets, and restaurants. For the Palestinians, each suicide bombing represents a microcosmic assault on Israel's existence; and each street celebration following successful bombings testifies to the popularity of the method and the goal. Palestinian behavior during the past three years has provided the unhappy ground for a serious re-examination of my own political assumptions. I have spent the past twenty years studying the hundred years of Zionist-Palestinian conflict. I have come away from my examination of the history of the conflict with a sense of the instinctive rejectionism that runs like a dark thread through Palestinian history - a rejection, to the point of absurdity, of the history of the Jewish link to the land of Israel; a rejection of the legitimacy of Jewish claims to Palestine; a rejection of the right of the Jewish state to exist. And, worse, this rejectionism has over the decades been leavened by a healthy dose of antisemitism, a perception of the Jew as God's and humanity's unchosen.

Start with the Al-Aqsa Brigades - Ze'ev Schiff
Abu Mazen and Mohammed Dahlan will try to halt the terror through agreements and understandings and not through a civil war. To this day, such efforts have failed even when the Egyptians mediated between the representatives of the Palestinian organizations.  Even if terror activities cease, the infrastructure will not be removed. Security sources in Israel are worried that under the cover of a ceasefire, the terror organizations will continue building their forces and rehabilitating.    Such a cease-fire should be accompanied by the fulfillment of the other articles in the agreement, including weapons collections, an end to the arms smuggling, and a cessation of the incitement to violence. And of course, when Abu Mazen negotiates with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, he first of all should make certain that his own organization, the Fatah, ceases the operations of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. (Ha'aretz)

Israel Gets In the Car - Sen. Joe Lieberman
The Israeli cabinet approved the process of the road map. What they have approved is the destination, which is peace with the Palestinians. And they've effectively agreed to get in the same car with Abu Mazen and the United States. But it's not going to get to peace by that particular road map.
    Arafat's leadership of the Palestinian cause has hurt the Palestinians and their aspiration to have a state. He has repeatedly missed opportunities to achieve a better life and an independent state for the Palestinians, and right now he's an obstacle. The coming to power of Prime Minister Abu Mazen is a hopeful step. I know him well. But the question is whether Arafat will let go. And, of course, the most important question is will Abu Mazen effectively declare war on terrorism? (Fox News)


Jews and Arabs Visit Auschwitz Together - Yair Sheleg (Ha'aretz) Some 150 Israeli Arab intellectuals, athletes, and businessmen, and as many Jews from Israel, are in Poland to tour and learn about the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp. They are joined by some 200 Jewish and Arab public figures and youth from France. "We are here to be with the Jewish people, in all its history and all its suffering," said Father Emil Shofani, of Nazareth, who initiated the pilgrimage.

The Shadow on the Road - Mortimer B. Zuckerman
Abbas shows no sign yet that he is prepared to eradicate a culture that fosters violence. Arafat, the man who signed the Oslo agreement in 1993 and signs the checks for the terrorists, is doing everything he can to diminish Abbas. Arafat told one Fatah central committee meeting, "My brothers, why are you preventing Abbas from forming an American cabinet? Why won't you allow him to fulfill Israel's wishes?" The tests for stopping terrorism are clear. Abbas has to arrest, interrogate, and punish the terrorist killers; dismantle and disarm Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front; seize their illegal weapons and hand them over to the U.S. for destruction. He must also put an end to the continued incitement to violence. Disturbingly, Western intelligence agencies have concluded that neither Abbas nor Dahlan intends to do this. (U.S. News)

Playing Offense: How U.S. Terrorist Hunters are Going After Al Qaeda - David E. Kaplan (U.S. News)
America's frontline agents in the war on terror have hacked into foreign banks, used secret prisons overseas, and spent over $20 million bankrolling friendly Muslim intelligence services. They have assassinated al Qaeda leaders, spirited prisoners to nations with brutal human-rights records, and amassed files equal to a thousand encyclopedias.


State Department Ratchets Up Pressure on Syria
Damascus will face a sharp escalation of American pressure if it fails to act quickly to halt its support of terrorist groups, the State Department's top Syria expert warned last week. The Bush administration is "closely following" Syria's behavior, said Stephen Seche, director of the Syria, Lebanon and Jordan desk in the State Department's Near Eastern affairs bureau, because of America's "belief that the moment has come for Damascus to make a fundamental shift in the way it approaches regional affairs." "Inaction by Damascus, or even worse, a continued evidence of behavior which is negative and destabilizing, will result in a continuation of negative dialogue, dimensions of pressure that will continue to be applied on the government of Syria," Seche said. At the same forum, former assistant secretary of state Martin Indyk said that previous administrations had erred in not acting long ago to demand that Syria shut down the terrorist offices operating in its capital. (Forward)


Sharon Seeks Steps Against Terror Before Summit - Herb Keinon
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is not enthusiastic about a high-profile summit in early June with President Bush and Mahmoud Abbas before Abbas takes steps to fight terror, senior diplomatic officials said on Monday. "Why hold a high-profile summit before anything substantial has happened on the ground?" one official said. (Jerusalem Post)


Saddam's Sons: The Sum of Two Evils - Brian Bennett and Michael Weisskopf (TIME)
According to both a family servant and another source familiar with communications from Uday Hussein, despite two U.S. attempts during the war to kill Saddam as well as Uday and his younger brother Qusay, all three survived.
Even now, says this other source, Uday, from a hideout near Baghdad, has reached out to the U.S., hoping to strike a deal for his safe surrender.
Uday, the second source says, is laying low with a number of aides, while Saddam and Qusay remained together, until recently at least, in a separate location near Baghdad.


The Calculus of Terror - Bruce Hoffman
Israelis have an enormous resiliency. They've been fighting terrorism in one form or another since the State of Israel was created more than half a century ago. But the terrorists look at the incremental changes in Israeli society and public attitudes in response to the attacks, and they smell the scent of blood. They believe that they've found a way to harm the Israelis and that through mercilessly exploiting it they're going to win. Almost for the first time in the history of terrorism, terrorists have gotten people to sympathize much more with the perpetrators of the violence than with the victims. (Atlantic Monthly)


Abbas is Second Fiddle to Arafat - David Horovitz
Abbas does not set the Palestinian agenda. That privilege remains the domain of Yasser Arafat. While Arafat tops every Palestinian leadership popularity survey, Abbas barely figures. It is in Israel's prime interest that the Sharon government assure the international community, its own people, and the Palestinian public that it is anxious to get back to the serious negotiation the road map envisages. Israel needs to stress that it longs for the day when it can safely withdraw its troops from their forward positions around and inside West Bank cities, confident that an efficient PA security force is engaged in a concerted effort to prevent new waves of bombers and gunmen from filling the vacuum. (Los Angeles Times)

An Activist's Guide to Arab and Muslim Campus and Community Organizations in North America - Stephen Schwartz (FrontPageMagazine)

From the Jerusalem Post:

Six Day War 36th Anniversary Special

Calev Ben-David:The quest for an earthly Jerusalem

Andrea Levin: Remedial map-reading for the NYT

Dore Gold On America's Voices | 


Key Links

Media Contact Information





The New York Times today launched a special section entitled "Threats and Responses: Targeting Terror." The Times' homepage promotes it as "Complete Coverage."

This new section collects Times articles from the past ten days that address terrorist attacks worldwide and official responses to quell them. The deadly car bombing in Saudi Arabia and the two Chechnya attacks figure prominently, but Times editors take this opportunity to include U.S. anti-terror combat in Afghanistan, a recent bombing in the Philippines, anti-terror trials in Bosnia and Bali, and the ongoing hunt for Al Qaeda.


Conspicuously absent from The Times' "complete coverage" are reports on terror and counter-terror in Israel from the past few weeks — most of which appeared on the Times' own pages:

— May 5: Israeli Gideon Lichterman is killed by terrorists near Shvut Rachel.

— May 6: Scotland Yard issues a ruling on British citizens accused in the Tel Aviv bar bombing.

— May 8: The Times runs an investigative report: "What Drove 2 Britons to Bomb a Club in Tel Aviv?"

— May 8: Israel eliminates a senior Hamas terrorist.

— May 11: Israeli Zion David is gunned down by terrorists outside of Ofra.

— May 13: Israel arrests fifteen members of the Islamic Movement for funneling millions of dollars to Hamas.

— May 14: Israel conducts Gaza anti-terror raids in response to mortar fire on Israeli cities.

Why do none of these articles make their way onto The Times' anthology of recent terror reports? Why do Times editors believe that terror against Israelis and IDF responses "don't count" for a special section on world terror??


At this sensitive early stage in the renewed Israel-Palestinian talks, such omissions undermine Israel's critical insistence upon the uprooting of Palestinian terror. The Times, after all, would have its ten million readers believe that anti-Israeli terror simply doesn't exist.


Comments to:

Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias.




Quotes of the Week 









The Road Taken – Editorial

Both America and Israel face significant risks with the diplomacy that has picked up steam following the successful prosecution of the war in Iraq. The big risk America faces goes to its credibility. Mr. Bush has vowed that he will not treat with a Palestinian state that is not democratic and with a Palestinian leader who is tainted with terrorism. Yet resumption of a peace process will confront America with a constant temptation to look the other way at such provocations as Hamas' recent reply. The terrorist group said it would agree to cease attacks against Israeli civilians within the 1967 borders while maintaining freedom of operation against Jewish settlers and soldiers - and this only on the condition that Israel cease targeting Palestinian terrorists. Mr. Bush and his team will face a constant temptation to seek progress on the peace front at the expense of "small details" like this one. Mr. Bush has stepped out onto a terribly slippery slope. (New York Sun)


“The decision…was as difficult as crossing the Red Sea.”—Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, describing his government’s 12-7 cabinet vote to approve the U.S.-backed road map. [Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said that in granting qualified approval to the road map peace plan, the cabinet had not ratified a binding legal document, but rather presented a “declaration of diplomatic intentions.”(Associated Press, May 26; Jerusalem Post, May 26)


“We are not occupiers. This is the homeland of the Jewish people.”—P.M. Ariel Sharon, who earlier this week caused an uproar for using the word ‘occupation’ to describe Israeli rule over Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, backtracked from his remarks, explaining that what he had meant was that it is “not desirable to rule over another people.” [P.M. Sharon noted that Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein had rebuked him for using this term, pointing out that the legal position adopted by all Israeli governments since 1967 is that the West Bank and Gaza are “disputed territories” rather than “occupied territories”.] (Jer. Post, May 28)


“If you compare the current Likud to the Labor party’s forerunner, the Mapai, during the time of Golda Meir [prime minister from 1969-74], you’ll see that Golda’s Mapai was more nationalist, more determined, and more prepared to stand up for what’s ours than the Likud of today.”—M.K. Uzi Landau, reflecting the viewpoint of many from within P.M. Sharon’s own Likud party. Landau lobbed scathing criticism against the prime minister for his conditional approval of the road map, and also said that he would not have believed he would hear such a statement [the prime minister’s usage of the term ‘occupation’] coming from a right-wing, hawkish icon, like Ariel Sharon. (Ha’aretz, May 28)


“At this price, the left would have brought peace long ago. There’s no compromise here. It gives up everything. Even leaving the settlements in our hands will be difficult. [Israel’s 14 reservations] will end up like autumn leaves. It is far worse than Oslo.”—M.K. David Levy, a Likud stalwart who moved leftward into Ehud Barak’s government and who later returned to the Likud, saying that the road map document was one of the “worst things ever to be faced by Israel”. (Ha’aretz, May 28) 





























Come to the Final Family Friday of the season
on May 30 at 7:00 PM

Featuring our Junior Choir and the Aliyah Ceremony for our 7th Graders



An Exciting, New Hebrew High School is Opening in September 2003 in Stamford

Kulanu, (All together) - is the place to be for Jewish teens beginning in September, 2003. The Community Commission for Jewish Education of UJF and area Congregations are pleased to announce the integration of our current high school programs, Merkaz Torah and Etgar into one high level, stimulating after-school Hebrew High for grades 8 – 12.

Kulanu, a vibrant and close-knit community of Jewish students from different backgrounds will come together to learn about their rich Jewish tradition. Students can look forward to excellence in curriculum selection, diversity in course offerings taught by superior educators, dynamic special programming, and flexible scheduling.

Kulanu will provide an opportunity to connect, socialize, and form lasting friendships. Fun and learning will go hand in hand, especially when greater numbers of teens congregate together to make Kulanu “the place to be”.

Kulanu students will have the option of studying in three different tracks: 2 to 5 hours per week, on Wednesdays and/or Sundays. Students will also have the opportunity to do independent research and internship, under close faculty supervision. Each year students will receive a letter of achievement and detailed transcripts which will enhance their college applications.

On four special Sunday learning days, (Sha’ar), Kulanu students will be joined by teens from communities throughout lower Fairfield County. These days of learning, will be at the Stamford campus of the University of Connecticut.

In looking forward to September 2004, Kulanu will be a regional Jewish High School with the participation of students from Greenwich, Norwalk, Westport and other communities in lower Fairfield County.

For more information, contact Ilana De Laney, Community Director of Education at 321-1373, ext.114 or e-mail her at




For Barb Moskow

June 8, 2003

7:00 p.m.

Reception to follow.

RSVP to Caroline Geller in the Education Office 322-6901, ext. 306



They've called many things...

The Ten Commandments

...The Two Tablets

...The Ten Words

...The Covenant

...The “Big Ten”


But So Much About Them Remains a Mystery....

Where do they come from?

What do they really say?

What is the secret to their power?

And are there really ten?


Come to Temple Beth El On Shavuot Night

As we learn Torah with our Greenwich neighbors

from Temple Shalom


Thursday, June 5

Service at 8 in the lobby

the Tikkun Leil Shavuot* (Shavuot study session) begins immediately after.


*Tikkun Leil Shavuot is the name for the all-night study session that was made popular by the Kabbalists in the Middle Ages.  These mystics felt the night of Shavuot was a time of great holiness and divine receptivity to study and prayer.  Just as the Israelites marked that night at the foot of Sinai with intense preparation, so do we prepare once again to recieve the Torah.  Our Tikkun will not last all night, however, but just a couple of hours -- with plenty of coffee (plus juice and cookies) to go around!




Beth El Seniors

  4th Annual End of Year Barbeque

 Tuesday- June 3, 2003 at 5  P.M.


Come visit with your Temple Beth El friends for the final dinner meeting of the year.

We hope that you will join us in a great evening of fun and food.

We will be rustling up some old-fashioned barbeque on the open fire.

This is a rain or shine event. If it rains, we'll eat inside.


Reservations are a must for everyone.  Please call the Temple Office , 322-6901, ext 300 by May 29th.

Price- $5 per person.






I’m reprinting my “Wish List” that appeared last week, since it has already drummed up some important conversation (e.g. – How about an Americares-style project to construct our own playground?) With our budget very, very tight for next year, we are looking for some angels to support some of our most important programs.  For instance, we can’t even begin to plan the next Congregational Shabbaton until such additional funding emerges. Please take a look at this list and, if you are fortunate enough to have the means, let us know where you would like to help. Thanks.



1)       Adult Education – Our budget does not support extensive adult education and we are seeking private assistance to develop and fund exciting new programming.  This can range from small seminars to lecture series to a larger endowed annual event, modeled after our current Scholar-in-Residence program and Hoffman lecture.  I would like to increase the number of guest speakers that appear at Shabbat services as well. These programs also need to be marketed properly to the public.  We’re developing some great ideas for next year – if you have some interest, let’s make a Shidduch.


2)      Shabbatons – The annual congregational and individual class Shabbatons are in need of “angels.”  For the congregational Shabbaton, participants each pay for their own room and board, and we are eternally grateful to Penny and Michael Horowitz for funding the Shabbaton scholar (as well as our annual Scholar and Residence here).  But we still are in need of additional funding to allow this program to continue.  Our expenses include staffing, program development, financial aid and materials, and these costs add up to enough to place the future of our Shabbaton program in serious jeopardy.  It would be a real shame to forfeit this program, given the outstanding success of the Shabbatons over the past few years.


3)     Playground – We are in the process of collecting data that will help us to decide on the feasibility and desirability of a nursery school here, as well as exploring avenues for community partnership.  That process will take several more weeks.  If we do go ahead with the concept, there will be significant investment opportunities for those interested in the project.  One clear need would be for a nice playground.  But it is a need that goes beyond the question of a nursery school, as it would be used on the High Holidays and throughout the year by congregants and would be seen by all newcomers as a sign of our warmth and love for young children.  Since the question of a nursery school’s feasibility will be determined in part by the willingness of congregants to step forward as potential funding sources, it is important that those who are interested in this contact me as soon as possible.


4)     Prayer Books – We are grateful to the Poser and Ferber families for funding the bulk of the 200 new Sim Shalom Weekday Siddurim that we are now using at minyans, B’nai Mitzvah and Religious School services.  Individual books are still available for donation.  In addition we are slowly making progress on the creation of our new Friday Night Siddur, Tehillat Shabbat.  We thank those who have already contributed to this project (and beg their patience as we continue the work) and hope others will follow their lead.


5)     Shabbat Morning Kiddushes and Lunches – Shabbat morning is prime time for community building.  It’s what we are all about.  And nothing helps build community more than great food.  We already have adequate kiddushes and lunches, with the help of our sponsors and lunch committee members, but a major upgrade in the quality and amount offered would enhance the experience for all.  As they say, “If you cook it, they will come.”  A major annual subsidy would help us do each week what the break-the-fast already accomplishes after Yom Kippur.  Whoever donates gets to plan the menu!


6)     Friday Night Live – and other great musical experiences. Talk to Cantor Jacobson about all the fabulous ideas she has to make beautiful music at Beth El.  


7)      Sound System – Nothing is more important to a successful service or program than good sound.  Our sanctuary needs considerable work done – and for that, we need $$ help.


8)     Friday Night Outdoor services – We love our setting; but it needs sprucing up, better lighting and a design of that sacred space.


9)     Youth Scholarships – To Camp Ramah, Israel Programs and other USY events. These are vital and we simply don’t provide them.  It’s time we did.


10)  Your idea – If you have a dream, share it with us.  Together we can make it happen!


That’s my wish list.  What’s yours?




Time for a Joke…


A rabbi was walking home from the Temple and saw one of his good friends, a pious and learned man who could usually beat the rabbi in an argument.

The rabbi started walking faster so that he could catch up to his friend, when he was horrified to see his friend go into a Chinese restaurant (not a kosher one).

Standing at the door, he observed his friend talking to a waiter and gesturing at a menu. A short time later, the waiter reappeared carrying a platter full of spare ribs, shrimp in lobster sauce, crab rangoon, and other treif (non-kosher food) that the rabbi could not bear to think about.

As his friend picked up the chopsticks and began to eat this food, the rabbi burst into the restaurant and reproached his friend, for he could take it no longer.


"Morris, what is this you are doing? I saw you come into this restaurant, order this filth and now you are eating it in violation of everything we are taught about the dietary laws, and with an apparent enjoyment that does not befit your pious reputation!"

Morris replied, "Rabbi, did you see me enter this restaurant?" The rabbi nods yes.

"Did you see me order this meal?" Again he nods yes.

"Did you see the waiter bring me this food?" Again he nods yes.

"And did you see me eat it?" Nods yes.

"Then, rabbi, I don't see the problem here. The entire thing was done under rabbinical supervision!"

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