Friday, March 3, 2006

March 4, 2006 – Adar 4, 5766

March 4, 2006 – Adar 4, 5766



Rabbi Joshua Hammerman, Temple Beth El, StamfordConnecticut



Welcome to Scholar-in-Residence Rabbi Joseph Telushkin,

and to all who will be attending Shabbat Across America on Friday!

(We’ll be having a nice crowd of about 150)



Send your friends and relatives the gift of Jewish awareness -- a Shabbat-O-Gram each week, by signing them up at   To be removed from this mailing list, sent e-mail request to  If you have signed up and are not receiving our e-mails, check your spam filter to make sure that TBE is not being “spammed out.”




Contents of the Shabbat O Gram: (click to scroll down)


Just the Facts (service schedule)

The Rabid Rabbi (including E-mail from the Front)

Mitzvah/Tzedakkah Opportunities

Ask the Rabbi

Spiritual Journey on the Web   

Required Reading and Action Items (links to key articles on Israel and Jewish life)

 Announcements (goings on in and around TBE)

Joke for the Week



Quotes for the Week


"Teach your tongue to say, 'I do not know,'

lest you be led to lie."


(Talmud BavliBerakhot 4a as translated by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin in Jewish Wisdom)






Friday Evening 

Candle lighting Candle lighting: 5:12pm on Friday, 17 February 2006  Havdalah is at 6:16 on Saturday evening. For candle lighting times, other Jewish calendar information, and to download a Jewish calendar to your PDA, click on  To see the festivals of other faiths as well, go to


Kabbalat Shabbat: 6:30 PM – in the sanctuary


Shabbat Across America Dinner - 7:15 (by reservation)


Rabbi Telushkin will speak during dinner, at approximately 8PM

(Those not signed up for dinner are welcome to join us for the lecture):


“The 21st Century: A Jewish Vision, One Day at a Time”


Shabbat Morning: 9:30 AM – Scholar in Residence Weekend


Rabbi Telushkin will speak on:

“What Jewish Humor Tells Us about the Jews”

with question and answer period during lunch


We also will honor the memory of Shirley Fish, long time Associate Principal of our Hebrew School


Children’s services: 10:30

Torah Portion:  Terumah - Exodus 25:1 - 27:19

1: 26:1-3
2: 26:4-6
3: 26:7-11
4: 26:12-14
5: 26:15-21
6: 26:22-25
7: 26:26-30

Haftarah – I Kings 5:26 - 6:13

See a weekly commentary from the UJC Rabbinic Cabinet, at  Read the Masorti commentary at  University of Judaism,  JTS commentary is at: Torah Sparks can be found at Shabbat Table Talk discussions are at divrei Torah via the Torahnet home page: your Parasha I.Q.:’s Torah commentary archive:  World Zionist Organization Education page, including Nehama Liebowitz archives of parsha commentaries: For a more Kabbalistic/Zionist/Orthodox perspective from Rav Kook, first Chief Rabbi of Israel, go to some probing questions and meditations on key verses of the portion, with a liberal kabbalistic bent, go to or, for Kabbalistic commentaries from the Zohar itself, go to To see the weekly commentary from Hillel, geared to college students and others, go to a Jewish Renewal and feminist approach go to .  For a comprehensive Orthodox viewpoint from the Israeli rabbi, Yaakov Fogelman, go to the Torah Outreach Program at  Guided meditations for each portion by Judith Abrams at For online Parsha quizzes from Pardes in Israel, go to Torah for Kids:  Weekly Lesson of Popular Israeli Rabbi Mordechai Elon - and his parsha sheets:   From Bar Ilan University:

Mincha – Ma’ariv – Havdalah: 5:00 PM – Mazal Tov to Sarah Liffmann, who will become Bat Mitzvah this Shabbat afternoon.




Morning Minyan: Weekdays at 7:30, Sundays at 9:30 AM




At his Bar Mitzvah two weeks ago, Lowell Eitelberg announced that, as part of his Mitzvah Project, he would be aiming to increase awareness and attendance at our morning minyan.  Lowell will be communicating his ideas with the congregation, as he did with the Ritual Committee this past week.  Here is an excerpt from Lowell’s Bar Mitzvah d’var Torah:

“The more I’ve come, the more I’ve come to appreciate everything about being here.  I enjoy the half hour ride from Bridgeport every day with my dad.  I enjoy being able to daven at my own synagogue.  I enjoy being given parts like ark openings.  I even enjoy some of Frank’s jokes.  But most of all I enjoy the fact that I now count as one of the ten needed for a minyan.  There already have been many days when I’ve been counted as the tenth person, which has enabled a mourner to say the Kaddish.  I can remember one morning a few weeks ago when I had to study for a grammar test, but I saw that we needed one more person – so I ran to the car to get my tefillin, said the blessings and joined in the minyan.  It feels great to count equally with any adult there, even though in some ways I’m still a kid.  It makes me feel like I’m making a real difference.”


Winter Weather Advisory

Note that in the case of bad weather, weekday minyan does not take place when Stamford public schools are cancelled OR delayed.  On Sunday, minyan is cancelled if our Religious School sessions are cancelled. Friday evening and Shabbat morning’s main service is never officially cancelled, but do use your best judgment in deciding whether to come.  We will endeavor to get proper notification to WSTC radio regarding cancellations, but that may not always be possible for children’s services held on Shabbat.



The Rabid Rabbi




 (The Jewish Week 2/17/06)


The Zigzag Life

By Joshua Hammerman


            A couple of years ago, when visiting Jerusalem during the height of the Terror War, I had the pleasure of witnessing a series of skits presented by a popular Israeli theatrical troupe named Nalaga’at (“Please Touch”), consisting primarily of actors who are both deaf and blind.  The touching production is entitled, “Light is heard in Zigzag.”  At a time when Israelis reasonably feared that every bus ride, every cup of coffee, could be their last, when each mundane act contained tremors of impending apocalypse, they were inspired by the heroic daily activities of people for whom the simplest affirmations of life had become the ultimate triumph. 


            Adina Gal, one of the co-directors of Nalaga’at, said that when she began working with the group many of the actors had been contemplating suicide, but now they understood the contribution they could make to society.  That in turn has changed her.  "I always believed that there is no limit to the human spirit,” she said, “and, yes, today I know it, and this one of the biggest gifts I got in life." 


            For the dozen disabled actors of Nalaga’at, simple survival becomes an act of transcendence, and through their performance we begin to perceive sight and hearing in a different way, not as straightforward products of the eye, ear and brain, but as indirect perceptions, as resonant metaphors.  We “hear” light in zigzag, just as the trembling Israelites “saw” the thunder at Sinai when receiving the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:15.  Each moment of life vibrates with significance and sometimes the most powerful path to truth is the one that is least direct.   Just as light and sound reach us obliquely, in waves, rather than in a straight line, so is life truly lived in zigzag. 


Scientists and philosophers have long discussed the implications of linear versus cyclical time.  Judaism presents us with a perfect balance of both.  When I pick up the Kiddush cup on Friday night at 6:01 and finish the prayer at 6:03, I’ve moved forward two minutes in linear time. I’m two minutes farther removed from Creation – and that much closer to my death.  But simultaneously I’ve tapped into distant memories of other Kiddushes on other Shabbats: I see my late father’s smile as I chime in with the final verse, I see my great grandparents, whom I never met, singing the prayer with their grandson, my father, at their side; I see Moses at Sinai reading off the fourth commandment, and I see God at Creation’s twilight, replenishing the Soul of the Universe.  While I’ve undoubtedly moved forward by those two minutes, I’ve also tapped into a timeless cycle of an ever-present Shabbat.


            Exodus 12 is one of my favorite examples of life in zigzag.  Just as the Israelites are about to escape centuries of slavery with a dab of lamb’s blood on the door, we pause for a message from our sponsor.  Moses gives the Israelites detailed instructions as to how Passover is to be celebrated generations into the future, right down to the matzah, the bitter herbs and the search for leaven.  These slaves haven’t yet dipped their toes in the Red Sea and already they’re being given the school vacation calendar for 5766.


            But that’s exactly the point.  The first thing free people need is a calendar.  They need to control time.  And for Jews, a life of freedom is one where time’s tyranny is vanquished.  We “pass over” the angel of death by conjuring an eternal present that lies beyond the destroyer’s grasp.


            The zigzag path is normally associated with someone who is either drunk, learning how to ride a bicycle, skiing or fleeing a hail of bullets.  Only the crow gets to fly directly to North Dakota; we have to zigzag by way of O’Hare.  But how many of us would choose if given the option for non-stop, to take the least direct route – the path of the zigzag, the drunkard’s way?


            Natan Sharansky did.  When the former refusnik finally won his freedom after spending years in prison camps and a lifetime in Soviet captivity, his first supreme gesture as a free man was to walk in a zigzag across the bridge, to the other side where his liberators awaited.  One would think that he would have run across, given his intense thirst for freedom and desire for reunification with his wife Avital.  Yet when a Soviet officer ordered him to go straight over the bridge and make no turns, Sharansky said, “Since when have I started making agreements with the KGB?  If you tell me to go straight, I’ll go crooked!”


            Sharansky knew that life is lived in zigzag.  History moves relentlessly forward, but to be fully human and fully free means to have the cherished ability to transcend time’s arrow and decelerate its monotonous, torrid pace. 


            A while back, a congregant in the hospital, recovering from a painful ski injury, recalled the 1998 film “Sliding Doors,” in which the protagonist’s future hinges on whether she makes it onto a departing train.  The film gives us two versions, one in which she makes it and the other where the doors slide shut. 


My congregant related the film to her own experiences, wondering what the past two hellish weeks would have been like had she veered left instead of right.  She probably would have lived out those days in meaningless daily drudgery, not appreciating her good fortune, she surmised.  When she heals from the injury, I suggested, she may find that her life has actually been enriched because she zigged when she should have zagged.


But such is the way of Judaism’s giant slalom. Replace the first “l” with an “h” and slalom becomes shalom.  Through the zigs and zags of our wavy descent, our hellos become indistinguishable from our goodbyes and our descent lands us back on top of the mountain – ready to begin anew.



Report from Israel


Sue and Alison Greenwald just returned from a trip to Israel

Here are excerpts from their correspondences.


sunday-afternoon-i am thinking of you all.

asher, please forward to your folks.joyce, please share with mom and the boys. my note is a bit disjointed-memories are flooding my mind-so, please disregard the grammar, but i want to share some things with you...


Alison and I have had a glorious week in Israel which we will hold in our hearts for the rest of our lives.….We got to experience a rest stop with mcdonalds and merchants making pita...worlds colliding! Tzfat was a lovely, magical place. i guess i share the hotel story because that woman is what i will remember about israelis-every one has been kind to us.


today i am happy to say that ali is mostly back to her old sweet self. we ended up deciding that the best thing to do is stay in Netanya. for one thing, we are experiencing a sand storm!  Layers of dust on the cars...

but early this morning, i took a long walk along the Mediterranean, picked up shells and unusual rocks which I’ve added to Jan’s collection on the window sill overlooking the sea. then we went to see a stone business that jan's neighbors own. we had been with them for Shabbat dinner. it was amazing to see all of the beautiful jerusalem stone and marble from all over the world. then we ventured into a  small local grocery. now, i know there are many famous museums and sites to see, but ali and i had a wonderful time winding our wagon through the market and picking out some silly things to bring home...the stainless sponges-silver and gold for meat and dairy...shabbat candle foils...later we will go for dinner in the center of town.tomorrow we will venture forth one more time to the shuk (outdoor market--WE NEED ONE AT HOME!!!).  We met lovely friends of Jan’s at the store-the most fun is to meet the people...


I am hoping ali will stay well now.  We agree that she will finish her homework (she's doing Spanish now) and try her best to make it to school after we return home, G-d willing, Tuesday morning.


i am looking forward to sharing our wonderful photographs. we have memories of meeting my relatives for the first time, taking the tunnel tour under the Wall. at the place closest to the "foundation stone," the closest place to the kodesh ha kodashim, the holy of holies,i said a prayer for all of you there-ali held me as she saw that i was so moved. (M-I said a prayer for your friend, especially). more memories-  having dinner with amy's sister, neice and nephew near ben yahuda street, walking on the streets of old and new jerusalem with sally wasserman (my jcc buddy), lighting the yahrtzeit candle for my mother looking out onto the mediterranean sea from jan's window, seeing ali's camp counselor, Chen, playing in a club, going to the border near Tulkarm, and the wall separating the west bank. ali and i had dinner in the center of ben yahuda st in jerusalem. we gave tzedukah to those who came up to us and asked, then finally a woman came and gave us both shabbat candles-i went to give her money and she said, "no-this is for you-for Shabbat- for free"-ali saw friends of hers from camp at LIFELINE, a wonderful workshop/day program for the elderly-we bought many lovely things they produce at this site. On of our fondest memories was spending a morning at the nutrition project for ethiopian women, supported by jan and barbara's fund.  THE FORGOTTEN PEOPLE'S FUND -please, if you want a place to make a donation in israel, this one is awesome.  janali and i watched the class-picture a horseshoe arrangement of tables. 18 Ethiopian Israeli women, some with babies in arms, listening as the teachers show them how to prepare eggs, falafel, cabbage salad. the children played with ali and me. and yes, i did hold a lovely baby boy for a long time.  of course i could not speak with the mother because of the language barrier, but we understood each other nonetheless.  i helped to pass out the dishes and food for the mothers to try. then the teachers distributed toothbrushes and toothpaste. then we met with the social worker who described other programs going on at the center. i had the pleasure, that evening, of presenting checks from Ali and other people at home who had given me donations, to the Board of the Forgotten People's Fund. Yad Vashem, (the holocaust museum) touched ali and i deeply. we walked through arm in arm. people were silent as they walked through the exhibition. we looked for a photograph of the Salpeter family in the hall of names as my mother-in-law had asked me to do. we did not see them, but we did see them in the computer registry.

and yes, we did do our bit to help the israeli economy. i came ready to spend, on important things of course-- a new menorah, gifts--and not so important-spices, sponges, ahava moisturizer, potholders for my mother-in-law! it was a pleasure.


of course, throughout our stay we are reminded of the ongoing unrest-soldiers, checkpoints, bag checks, panels devoid of glass at the netanya mall from the bombings. we are just doors away from the park hotel where the Passover massacre occured. landmarks recognized because suicide killings took place there. they are always there to see and remember. but here i see people trying to live normal, productive lives-to study, to raise their children, to grow old, to prosper. to make a difference in eretz yisroel.


we will never be able to thank jan enough for having us here. love to you all. l'hitraot.









The last Shabbat-o-Gram included a moving story about a math teacher whose students wrote down all the positive qualities they saw in other students.  This story has an interesting story behind it – unlike so many other Internet inspirational forwards, this one is true.  Read about it at






Mitzvah/Tzedakkah Projects




New Orleans-February, 2006 - 5 ½ Months Post Katrina




I returned from a two week volunteer stint, in New Orleans the evening of February 8.  The past weeks have been spent in decompressing and putting my thoughts in order to share this searing experience with you


I have been asked why I went.  My before and after answer is the same.  When I saw the television feed of the mess at the Convention Center and the sight of desperate people waving at helicopters from bridges or from rooftops with water lapping at the edges begging to be rescued, much of a grand city under water I knew immediately that everyone there was going to need a lot of help for a long time.   I was compelled to go and, I now add, that I was glad I did. 


It was a very intense time.  My assignment as a mental health professional took me into the field everyday seeing the very worst of the devastation and the very best of people determined to survive and rebuild their lives and communities.   In a chase car I followed the Red Cross vehicle, called an ERV (emergency recovery vehicle), that brought hot food (prepared by rotating volunteers from the Southern Baptist Convention for the past 6 months) water, snacks and blankets to people living in these still destroyed areas trying to reclaim their homes. Over 10,000 meals were distributed daily.  My task was to speak to everyone and anyone in line for food gauging their emotional status. . All of the people I met were somewhere in the process of reclaiming their homes. Gutting a house in the aftermath of Katrina is a mean, hazardous and emotionally draining task.   This is true whatever your station in life. 


I met men in their 60’s and  70’s who were  fixing up their mammas houses’; women of the same age  fixing up their own houses; a woman and her daughter grateful to be moving into their long awaited little FEMA trailer; a man with tears running down  his checks recounting his still fresh, harrowing and  to him, inexplicable, escape from the flood waters(as he put it  God “carried” him to safety.); a 70 year old helping to rebuild his church who could not yet face tackling his own home having  lost his wife of many years in June just before Katrina struck; men and women gutting their large brick houses carefully noting which of their neighbors were returning and with sadness those who were  not.  Fatigue was everywhere but resolve everywhere as well.


Faith for most people I met is an extremely sustaining element and references to that faith are a natural part of their conversation.  Unfailingly polite, people were always thanking me for just being there. Determined to rebuild people are nonetheless burdened by the feeling they have been abandoned by the rest of the country and that we, out there, are little aware of how slow the recovery is and how far everyone still has to travel.   Concern that the levees will not be sufficiently repaired by the upcoming hurricane season is a constant worry. Absent its infrastructure, strong leadership, much of it population, its tax base and traditional income streams the recovery of New Orleans, and its surrounds, the Parishes (counties) that abut the city on its hard hit eastern end and to the Southeast is being led by the courage and determination of individuals and small businesses that struggle to remain open or reopen.


Yes, the downtown area of New Orleans, including the French Quarter is intact but many hotels and restaurants have yet to re-open as well as many businesses. In that prime tourist area traffic lights work and streets are free of debris.  Not so just a few miles away.  The Garden District, a prime residential area, home of Tulane University and Loyola, is eerily normal, a virtual refuge from the destruction everywhere else.  Two large Reform Congregations are also located in the Garden District and I was able to attend a Shabbat morning service at one of them.  Though their Temple is intact 30-40% of the congregants are yet to return to their homes according to the Rabbi.


Meeting people in the midst of unbelievable devastation that goes on for blocks and blocks and miles and miles: houses blocking roads, streets almost impassible by mounds of toxic debris, houses with a car or boat wedged underneath ; houses smashed, sagging in the middle with a car clinging to it - its front wheels on the roof, the rear wheels on the ground; a house dumped into a canal; trailers parked next to the vacant foundation of a house that is nowhere to be found; neighborhoods like ghost towns: you can’t help but wonder where on earth you are ! Surely not this country!    Yes, 5 months after Katrina-normal is still a long way off.


In the course of my daily activities I met a man who owned a small business located in a hard hit commercial/residential part of New Orleans that had been flooded courtesy of Katrina.  He is in the process of rebuilding and refurbishing his business place and, at the same time, doing as much business as he can.


Responsible, hard-working and compassionate his priorities are to meet his responsibilities to his family (married with 5 children) and his 8 employees (four of whom were totally flooded out).  Each employee is paid for a full weeks work regardless of time they have to take off to reclaim their homes. He has shortened the work day to accommodate the reality of the fatigue of his employees who spend nights working on their own homes even though that impacts the business he can do on any given day. He sees himself as committed to his employees and they to him.  No doubt only one example of many similar brave and committed acts by countless others.


And while that is to be admired it is important to also note that potable water, electricity, an operating supermarket or gas station, the uninhabitable Ninth Ward, insufficient medical care are issues that have to be dealt with each and every day – by those who were in Katrina’s path.  I see Katrina as a national tragedy and a national responsibility and urge everyone to take whatever opportunity is presented to assist those most affected to recover.


Rosaline Feinstein



Rally for Darfur - WashingtonD.C. - April 30, 2006


Since April 2004, American Jewish World Service has been actively responding to the crisis in Darfur. Our focus has expanded from an initial emphasis on providing humanitarian relief, to include education and advocacy to stop the genocide. This is unique for AJWS, as our core mission is to help alleviate poverty, hunger and disease around the world.

Yet it was clear from the magnitude of the genocide that we needed to launch a campaign to educate our friends and neighbors to advocate for the people of Darfur. You and I, President Bush, Kofi Annan and every person with a moral conscience must act swiftly and decisively to end this outrage.

AJWS, in conjunction with the Save Darfur Coalition, is mobilizing a grassroots demand for concrete action on the part of our elected leaders to stop the genocide. Here's how you can help:

Sign the Million Voices for Darfur Postcard: Make your voice heardJoin the national campaign to send one million postcards to President Bush, urging him to support a stronger multinational force to protect the civilians of Darfur.

Save Darfur: Rally to Stop Genocide: Pledge to be thereJoin AJWS at the rally to stop genocide in Washington, D.C. on April 30, 2006



Beth El Job Bank: The Highest Level of Tzedakkah


Thanks to Dan Zimmerman for this suggestion for those looking for employment opportunities:

AIG (American International Group), as one of the largest insurance companies, has many opportunities for many skill areas.  I suggest the aig web site (

Also, here is a link for the job search page on the aig web site:


Beth El Cares
Cathy Satz (968-9191;
Cheryl Wolff (968-6361;
BETH EL CARES co-chairs
Blood Drive
Give the Gift of Life! Get involved in a short term mitzvah project that will save lives.  Who benefits from these blood donations? People who are born prematurely, people with auto-immune and other blood disorders, people involved in accidents… Many people, including temple members, have received blood transfusions in the past and some people need regular blood transfusions.  
On Sunday, April 30th between 8:30 am and 1:30 pm we need 125 healthy adults who are at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and have not given blood since the beginning of March.  The Red Cross will provide the “beds”; we need to put “arms in the beds”.  Color War points will be awarded to your child’s color war team!
Contact Cheryl Wolff to schedule your donation time or to volunteer to help.  


Lock of Love

As promised, Beth El Cares will be hosting another group donation for children and teens to cut their hair for “Locks of Love”.  If your hair is 10” or longer (in a ponytail), mark Sunday May 7 on your calendar. Guy Sasson & Company will be coming to Temple Beth El to start haircuts at 12:00 noon (right after Religious School). Advance sign-up is required.  Mother and daughter teams will be accepted! Rebecca and Cathy Satz are hopeful they’ll both have their 10” by then-they’re close!


Contact Cathy Satz to schedule your appointment.


Beth El Cares Shabbat

We hope you can join us at Shabbat morning services on Saturday April 15, when we will be hosting a panel discussion regarding Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.  We will feature at least two panelists, Gabi Birkner, staff writer for the Jewish Week who has been to the south several times since Hurricane Katrina and has written some moving reports and Rosaline Feinstein, congregant, who has also written a moving report detailing her recent visit to the south. The panel may also include some students who recently spent a few days performing mitzvah projects in New Orleans with the JCC.



Rally to Stop Genocide

Sunday, April 30th

2:00 - 4:00

(Group will gather beginning at 1:00)

The Mall WashingtonDC


Carl Weinberg is working with Beth El Cares to organize a group from Stamford to attend this rally.  For more information about the rally and other Darfur initiatives, contact Carl at 539-5560 (day), 322-8675 (evenings) or




Spiritual Journey on the Web




Purim is one of the most joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar. It commemorates a time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination. [more from Judaism 101...]


Also see the wealth of material at and take the Purim  Quiz at


A Purim Multi-Media presentation:


And what’s Purim without a little humor??? ….


Check out and take a look at Halachah Mi-Disney, which answer’s the pressing question, “Can mice serve as prayer leaders?”



Anti-Semitism, Renewal, and Purim



United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism


Joshua Kulp


For more information on the Yeshiva , or to make a donation, please send to P.O.Box 7456,  Jerusalem,  94265 , Israel.

Tel: 972-2-622-3116; E-mail:; Website:



At the end of the Book of Esther, after the Jews have been saved from Haman's evil decree, Esther and Mordecai request that the 14th and 15th of Adar be established as eternal holidays to be observed in every generation.  The response to this request is not recorded in the Bible, but the Rabbis preserved several traditions which expressed the hesitation felt towards the holiday of Purim.  Read the following two passages and ask why they felt such hesitation.


Babylonian Talmud Tractate Megillah 7a

Rav Shmuel the son of Yehudah said:  Esther sent to the Sages, "Establish me (my holiday) for the generations!  They sent back to her, "You will arouse the jealousy of the other nations."  She sent back to him, "I (my holiday) is already written in the chronicles of the Medean and Persian kings.


Jerusalem Talmud Tractate Megillah 1:7, 70d

Eighty five elders, amongst them 30 prophets, were distressed over the following matter.  They said, "It is written (in the Torah) 'These are the commandments which God commanded Moses' (Leviticus 27:34), i.e. these are the commandments which we were commanded by Moses.  Thus Moses said that no prophet is permitted to institute anything new.  Nevertheless, Mordecai and Esther wish to institute the new holiday of Purim.


According to the first passage the Sages feared that by celebrating the incredible fortunes of the Jews they would arouse the anti-Semitism of the rest of the world. 

·        How has this fear been an ever present emotion in Jewish history?

·        Can Jews celebrate their religion and uniqueness without causing jealousy and hatred amongst others?

·        Can we claim that God "chose" the Jewish people and at times during our history brought salvation to the Jews without becoming prejudiced against other people?


The second passage expresses a different fear about Judaism, the fear of renewal.  The Rabbis were not convinced that it was in their power to create new holidays. 

·        Why would they be afraid of new institutions or holidays?  Does a new holiday in some way impinge upon the sanctity and uniqueness of the older traditions?

·        In our day what new holidays have been instituted?  Have they always been accepted?  How might they still feel different from the old ones?


With these two passages in mind we might want to consider Purim in a new light.  Purim is a holiday of Jewish renewal and Jewish pride, one in which our ancient relationship to God gave human beings the strength to save the Jewish people despite the inherent dangers involved.  Mordecai, Esther and the leaders of the time then had the courage and healthy pride to create a new holiday, fostering a sense of Jewish renewal, which would invigorate the Jewish people in every generation to come.


If you have comments or questions about this topic and would like to further discuss the issue with the Yeshiva teachers, please contact us through our e-mail or website above.










Honoring Shirley Fish


            When our temple’s Discussion Group recently decided to dedicate a plaque in memory of Shirley Fish, who died last spring, I was faced with two questions from those who are relatively new here: Who was Shirley Fish and what is the Discussion Group?


            The second question is easy to answer – the Discussion Group is one of TBE’s best-kept secrets – a “havurah” of sorts (fellowship) that has been meeting now for a generation, once a month, at people’s homes, to discuss topics of Jewish interest.  Their programs aren’t always well publicized, but they are open to everyone.  This group also provides a living model for other groups to grow, should they come together.


            Shirley and Don Fish were long a part of the Discussion Group.  But when we recall her this weekend, it will not be because of that. Shirley was associate principal of the TBE religious school for 20 years.  I worked with her for the last seven of them – both as a teacher in the school and assistant rabbi – part of her staff, and then she became part of my staff when I became rabbi.  Shirley didn’t just disappear after 1994.  That was not Shirley – she did whatever we asked her to – teaching Hebrew to adults, consulting on educational matters, always teaching, and most of all always learning.


Few people I’ve known have embodied the sacred Jewish principle of life-long learning.  As a teacher, what she taught most of all was that love of learning, and especially the love of learning about Judaism.  That’s one reason her teachers loved her so much – they knew that her heart was in this often thankless and usually frustrating enterprise known as Jewish education.  When I came to Beth El we worked on ways to involve entire families more in the learning process.  We implemented was a series of family education sessions, one for each grade.  Shirley, Larry Bloch and I also initiated a program of weekend retreats – Shabbatons, which were done first with the 7th grade families, and then with the Discussion Group itself.  Some of my fondest early memories at TBE involve those Shabbatons.  She believed in combining informal as well as formal education, something that has become a hallmark of our educational philosophy, and was ready to embrace enthusiastically any new trends in Jewish education. 


Shirley embodied the unlikely and precious balance between a strong will and profound humility.  When she knew something needed to be done in a certain way, it was done that way.  But she also was one of the best listeners I’ve ever met.  She was never too proud to change her mind.  She was really a dream to work with, and to know, always loyal to family, friends and co-workers, ever optimistic, with the uncanny ability to make good on that optimism because she was a do-er, not a talker.  She and Larry were a perfect combination.  At times, when Larry was ill, she was able to take the reins of the school and things ran seamlessly; but most often, Shirley preferred to remain in the background, allowing others to take center stage.


            When Larry retired, Shirley felt it was time to do other things.  But she never lost touch with the temple, providing needed advice and assistance to several educators who followed.  She never lost her passion for learning and for teaching.  It is more than fitting that we honor her memory with a permanent plaque in our school wing.  Generations of Beth El students owe so much to her.  Now, with the youngest group of her Beth El students just having entered college, the passing of 12 years since the end of the Bloch/Fish era is a perfect time to remind ourselves of the rich legacy of their work and of that glorious time for our religious school.


            This Shabbat morning, some of Shirley’s ex-students, teachers, parents and friends will gather here to do just that.








Required Reading and Action Items - When Intermarriage Hits Home - Gary Rosenblatt - Editor and Publisher, Jewish Week



Israel's Media Problem by Hillel Halkin  - which you can find at:

Thanks to Bob Rosenthal for forwarding this, commenting, “The author details two reasons for Israel's poor standing in world opinion. One: the life style, deadline pressures, intimidation and news gathering process of foreign correspondents living in Israel create a system that strongly favors the Palestinian view. Two: a post-modern, relativistic worldview on the part of intellectual elites has created an environment where historical fact matters much less than who tells the better story.”



Israel's Anti-Ballistic Missile Test Pushes Altitude Boundaries - Alon Ben-David (Janes Defence Weekly)
    Israel's anti-ballistic missile Arrow Weapon System successfully intercepted a target simulating an Iranian Shahab-3 medium-range ballistic missile in a test over the Mediterranean on Dec. 2.
    The interception was conducted at a record low altitude.
    "We have never before tried the Arrow against the Shahab characteristics, but we know now that we are capable of intercepting all existing ballistic missile threats in the region, whether conventional or non-conventional, and we are developing capabilities to deal with future threats," Director of the Israel Missile Defense Organization Arieh Herzog said.



The Right to Make Bad Choices - Hillel Halkin
Recognizing a government as a legitimate expression of popular will that is therefore entitled to rule is one thingSupporting a government by extending financial or other aid to it is something else. It is patronizing to treat the Palestinian people as ignorant innocents who did not know what they were doing when they elected a party that calls for the destruction of Israel. They were aware of it and knew whom they were voting for. To now argue that financial assistance to a Hamas-led PA should continue as before, because if it doesn't the PA will collapse financially, is absurd. It is treating the Palestinians like children who are not responsible for what they do.
    Just as it took decades of communist regimes in Europe to convince the world that communism is a system that never works, the only way to rid the Muslim world of the illusion that Islamic governments can cure it of its ills may be to let such governments reign and fail. But to do this, it is imperative not to save them from failure by propping them up financially or otherwise. (New York Sun)

Is Palestinian Statehood Still a Valid Option? - Zalman Shoval
(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

  • The cornerstone of Hamas' program, its very raison-d'etre, is the destruction of Israel, replacing it with an Islamist, fundamentalist, intolerant state reaching from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River and beyond. The dominant theme of all their statements includes no territorial compromise - no peace even if Israel were to hand over all the territories and eastern Jerusalem; at most, some sort of temporary armistice (hudna).
  • The world attaches much too great an importance to the question of whether Hamas will recognize Israel's right to exist. Israel doesn't need approval from the likes of Hamas - rather it's the other way around: Should Israel recognize, under present circumstances, the Palestinians' right to a state?
  • The fact that Hamas and its future government refuse to take upon themselves the most fundamental obligations under the "roadmap," let alone previous agreements such as Oslo, Paris, Wye, and Sharm E-Sheik, and to do away with the "right of return," dictates a reevaluation of Palestinian statehood as an American and Israeli goal.
  • An often-cited argument for Palestinian statehood is that it would solve the Palestinian refugee problem once and for all. Yet it should be clear to anyone that the future Palestinian state won't be able, economically and demographically, to absorb more than about 10-15 percent of the total refugee population, and the refugee issue will continue to be a ticking time-bomb endangering the stability of the whole Middle East.
  • Putin's invitation to Hamas to visit the Kremlin is part of the former Soviet, as well as the present Russian, government's policy to counterbalance America's dominance in the world by establishing a political base for itself in the Arab and Islamic worlds - thus Iran, thus Hamas.


Syria and Political Change - Scott Lasensky and Mona Yacoubian
The Syrian regime continues to consolidate its grip on power, but with a narrowing base of support among the ruling eliteAt present, hardliners are in the ascendancy. President Bashar al-Assad favors the anti-American and pan-Arab mindset, which remains the regime's default position. Syrians may not like the current regime, but in view of the situation in neighboring Iraq, they prefer stability to chaos. The opposition will no longer settle for reform, but is coalescing around the demand for regime change. (U.S. Institute of Peace)

Hamas More Don't We Know? - Andrew C. McCarthy
Is the UAE a source of support for Hamas? Analysts Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen described extensive strands of UAE funding for the terror organization in FrontPage Magazine: "On July 27, 2005, the Palestinian Information Center carried a public Hamas statement thanking the UAE for it's 'unstinting support....The sisterly UAE had...spared no effort to offer financial and material aids to the Palestinian charitable societies.'" Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan, father of the current UAE president, is described as having been an ardent benefactor of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad until his death in 2004 - three years after 9/11.
    Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism recently told MSNBC's Rita Cosby that "Hamas couriers as late as last year...were sent to the West Bank or Gaza [who] came in with UAE cash. So there is still a problem of terrorist supporting operations." (National Review)


Google to Open R&D Center in Israel - Leah Krauss (UPI)
    Internet search giant Google will open a research and development center in the Israeli city of Haifa in 2006, the company announced Tuesday.
    "As a country renowned for its thriving economy and passion for new technologies, Israel is home to many outstanding computer scientists and engineers and Google is looking to establish long partnerships with institutes and universities."
    "Google is also continuing to look at other locations in Israel for future engineering centers," the company said.

Orthodox debut on ´Apprentice´ - Viewers of the season premiere of "The Apprentice" didn’t see any yarmulkes, but they did witness the debut of two Orthodox Jews on the reality television series that stars Donald Trump.  Full Story (JTA) - Interesting piece from the Alban Institute on organizational development for churches and synagogues. 




Bomb Victims' Parents Petition Academy Awards to Reject Movie - Chris McGreal (Guardian-UK)

  • The parents of three Israeli children killed in a suicide bombing have sent a petition with 32,000 names to Hollywood to demand that the Palestinian film "Paradise Now," about two suicide bombers planning an attack, be dropped from the Oscars this weekend on the grounds that it promotes terrorism.
  • "Paradise Now is artistic terror," said Yossi Mendellevich, whose son, Yuvi, 13, died in the bombing of a Haifa bus three years ago that killed 17 Israelis including nine children. "The film contributes to the death industry and the myth of the suicide bombers. By promoting and praising the film as an Oscar nominee, I'm sure the queue to become suicide killers will be much longer."

    See also Putting "Palestine" on the Map?

 - Hilary Leila Krieger (Jerusalem Post)

ISRAEL: The good news (from

Keeping avian flu from taking flight  
Israeli infectious disease expert Dr. Bina Rubinovitch was recently part of a World Health Organization delegation of international doctors sent to Turkey in order to contain 21 cases of the avian influenza and advise local medical officialsAn integral component of the worldwide battle to prevent the deadly disease from spreading, the Rabin Medical Center specialist says that she is willing to pack her bags again and travel to wherever she is needed. More...

Culture | ISRAEL21c special feature: A visit to Tel Aviv  
Tel Aviv offers beaches, fine food and wine, trendy boutiques, a dynamic arts scene and beautiful peopleThe bustling city's distinctly Mediterranean lifestyle with a Middle Eastern edge is turning it into a popular international destination. Come along for a tour of Israel's city that never sleeps and find out what makes it so special.  More...

Israeli device lengthens the stem cell cord that save lives  
There are dozens of life threatening illnesses that are now being treated with cord blood stem cells - the cells located in the blood of a newborn baby's umbilical cordHowever, this procedure has been limited to patients weighing under 100 lbs. Now, An Israeli start-up called BioCord has developed the SituGen system which enables more efficient extraction of blood from the cord, eliminating the weight limit. And with more cord blood available, more lives can be saved. More...

Technology | Business is blooming for Israeli flowers

Health | Israel's Brainsway stimulates a magnetic remedy for depression

Health | Israeli study shows red grapefruit lowers cholesterol, fights heart disease

Global Democracy | Israeli soccer team strikes a winning educational goal


MYTH #210

"America's Arab allies routinely support U.S. positions at the UN."


In 2004, Jordan was the Arab nation that voted with the United States most often, and that was on only 30 percent of the resolutions. The other Arab countries, including allies Saudi ArabiaKuwait and Egypt, voted against the United States 80 percent of the time or more. As a group, in 2004, the Arab states voted against the United States on just under 80 percent of the resolutionsBy contrast, Israel has consistently been America's top UN allyIsrael voted with the U.S. 100 percent of the time in 2004, outpacing the support levels of major U.S. allies such as Great Britain, France and Canada by more than 30 percent (“Voting Practices at the United Nations,” State Department).

This article can be found at

Source: Myths & Facts Online -- A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict by Mitchell G. Bard.









Adar 5766 / 2/28/06

Theme: "Jewish Humor"

What Are We Laughing At?
By Alyssa Appelman, University of Missouri
OC Assistant Editor

Printing and reprinting depictions of Muhammad in public newspapers is clearly different (and potentially more offensive) than making a comment among friends. …Not to say that laughing at another group’s quirks are admirable in private, but just more socially acceptable.

A Blessing on Your Head, A Curse on Your Kishkes
By Daniel Estrin, Brandeis University

The 467 Yiddish curses listed in the book range from jocular jabs ("May you choke on a fish-dumpling") to insulting innuendoes ("Someone should be named after you already") to truly imaginative scenarios ("May someone call a doctor for you urgently, and when he arrives, they should inform him that it is too late").

It’s a Wonderful Country
By Devora Greenberg
Shliha to the Conservative Movement

"Humor is more aggressive in Israel; it’s more black, more intense."

KOACH Humor: God's Son-in-Law

 "Well," says Mr. Schwartz, "he's a lovely boy, I only just met him and he already thinks I'm God."


An Interview with Hanna Hindin, St. Kate's

As one of a handful, I can help define what "Jewish" is to my peers. It’s not just "that group of kids with huge curly hair and blah blah blahbut something I choose to portray.

The Tu B'Shvat Seder
By Shira Zeliger, York University

The "Haggadah" which was used for this seder, was created by Shira ZeligerKOACH Intern at York University and Yonah KrakowskyYavneh Olami co-director at York and featured contemporary poems, Talmudic sources, blessings for the seven species of the Land of Israel and some jokes as well.


From our previous issue, you may have missed...

Is America Co-opting our Cool?
Josh Klemons
San Diego State Hillel

Stand Up for Sit Downs, the Answer to the Arab-Israeli Conflict
Zach Seeskin, Brandeis University

Be Open-Minded Without Dropping Your Ideals
Risa Weinstein
KOACH Rabbinic Intern

An Interview with Jeremy Goldmeier, University of Missouri

Jews for Jesus, A Winning Oxymoron
Maya Berezovsky, KOC Editor
University of Minnesota

Editorial calendar / Submit an article

Meet the Staff - Bios & Photos

Article Index
We've been net-publishing our monthly e-zine for several yearsAll past articles are archived online.

Joke Index
Don't take life so seriouslyRead some humor from the editors of KOACH-ON-CAMPUS.




Temple Beth El



Sponsored by Penny & Michael Horowitz

In loving memory of Bessie Silver

We welcome




Friday, March 3, 2006

Kabbalat Shabbat Service begins at 6:30 p.m.

We will join hundreds of synagogues across the continent as they take part in an historic national Jewish event to celebrate what unites all Jews - SHABBAT!

Shabbat Across America Dinner at 7:15 p.m.  (registration form below)

Nurit Avigdor will have a special children’s program during the lecture

ALL are welcome!

Friday, March 3rd

Rabbi Telushkin will speak during dinner:

“The 21st Century: A Jewish Vision, One Day at a Time”

Sign up for Shabbat Across America

Shabbat, March 4th

Rabbi Telushkin will speak on:

“What Jewish Humor Tells Us about the Jews”

with question and answer period during lunch

and, on that Shabbat morning…

Dedication of a Plaque on Noah’s Ark

Remembering SHIRLEY FISH

beloved member of TBE and former Associate Principal of our Hebrew School for 20 years!

By the TBE Discussion Group

Saturday, March 4th at 7:30 p.m.

at the home of Ron and Grecia Gross

Rabbi Telushkin will speak on:

“Jewish Literacy: How to Become a Knowledgeable Jew”

RSVP to our education office at

Sunday, March 5th at 10:00 a.m.

“You Shall Be Holy”

based on Rabbi Telushkin’s new book (being published THAT WEEK),

A Code of Jewish Ethics


Joseph Telushkin, named by Talk Magazine (September, 1999) as one of the 50 best speakers in the United States, is the author of Jewish Literacy:  The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People and Its History.  The most widely selling book on Judaism of the past two decades, Jewish Literacy has been hailed by leading figures in all the major movements of Judaism, and was brought out in a new edition in 2001.  In March, 2006, Bell Tower/Crown is publishing the first volume of his monumental work, A Code of Jewish Ethics:  You Shall be Holy, a comprehensive presentation of Jewish teachings on the vital topic of personal character and integrity.

Telushkin’s 1997 book, Biblical Literacy:  The Most Important People, Events and Ideas of the Hebrew Bible, was chosen as a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club.  The Book of Jewish Values: A Day by Day Guide to Ethical Living was published by Bell Tower/Crown Books in 2000, and was the subject of a PBS special that aired throughout the United States that December.  His book, The Golden Land, a museum--in-a-book, tells the story of the Jewish migrations to the United States. In August, 2003, Bell Tower/Crown Books published The Ten Commandments of Character:  Essential Advice for Living an Honorable, Ethical, Honest Life, and the same month, Touchstone/Simon and Schuster reissued a revised and expanded version of Why the Jews:  The Reason for Anti-Semitism, which Telushkin co-authored with Dennis Prager.  In 2004, Toby Press published his novel, Heaven’s Witness, co-written with Allen Estrin, a murder mystery which deals with the themes of reincarnation and life after death.  He and Mr. Estrin have recently completed a screenplay of the novel for a TV movie to air on CBS.






‘Jazzy’ Shabbat Service Offers Fun for Jews of All Ages
from Stamford And Its Surrounding Communities…

Follows on the Heels of January’s Successful Event,
Which Brought Together Over 250 Inspired Worshipers

PURIM schedule

Monday, March 13

6:00 PM Family Megilla reading, costume parade, goodies, and introducing TBE THUNDERSTIX!

7:00 – 8:30: Our SPECTACULAR carnival, put together by our USY and Kadima groups

For all ages!!!

We will be selling for this event which will give unlimited entrance to all the attractions and sand art for each child


In advance:

$15 per child and $40 for a family package of three or more

At the door:

$18 per child and $45 for a family package of three or more

The adults are invited to our Caribbean Lounge for flavored coffee and dessert while the kids are playing

8:00 PM – Full Megilla reading in sanctuary

9:00 – “Beth El Apprentice” Original Purim “spiel” featuring our TBE Teens and the irrepressible Donald Shlump

COME IN COSTUME!!!! (kids and adults)





Adult Education Classes


An Introductory Class for Dummies, Smarties

and Those Who Don’t Know How to Ask

with Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

This week – Jewish Values: Tzedakkah and Gmilut Hasadim


“Our Shared Stories: Central Figures in Religion as Portrayed in the Bible, Quran & other Sacred Texts.”

Next session:  Tuesday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m.


Topic:  Mary Magdeline and Esther

Led by:  Rabbi Joshua Hammerman, Rev. Douglas MacArthur, and Dr. Behjat Syed


with Rabbi Selilah Kalev

Meets weekly on Thursdays at 10:00 a.m.


with Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Sunday, March 12th

 at 11:00 a.m.

What is Kosher – and why???


with Rabbi Selilah Kalev

Jewish Family Service Begins Outreach

for its 2006 Annual Camp Scholarship Program

It’s that time of year!   JFS is once again accepting applications for its Annual Camp Scholarship Program.

This program was created through the generosity of Ben and Joan Zinbarg, who established a fund to assist families requiring financial help to send their children to a Jewish Camp.  They have been joined over the years by other generous donors who understand the impact of this unique Jewish experience. 

It is well known that a Jewish camp experience helps to strengthen youngsters’ Jewish identity and future involvement in the Jewish community.  It is an experience they never forget.  We at JFS are proud to be able to provide this wonderful opportunity.

This program is open to all Jewish children from the Greater Stamford, Darien, New Canaan, Westport, Weston, Wilton and Norwalk area whose families require assistance.  Children must be entering first grade, or higher, in September to qualify.

Families wishing to apply should call Jewish Family Service at 203-921-4161 to request an application.  All applications must be submitted by April 1, 2006. 

Anyone interested in helping to support the Camp Scholarship Program should contact Matt Greenberg, Executive Director, at the above number. 

Kashrut in Stamford

More Good News

Stamford Kosher Activists Committee is pleased to announce a "new & improved" stocked kosher dairy dept. at the new Shop Rite (Commerce St.),

Items will include :

Various Miller's Brand Line of Hard Cheeses:

108 Slice Brick American (Yellow & White)

Plus Individual Wrapped Packages

Shredded Variety

Muenster Blue Pack & Sliced Orange Rind

Swiss Green Pack

Monterey Jack

Goat Cheese


Cheddar Stick

Mozzarella Sticks

Eventually Emeck & Tenuva Israeli Quality Line

J&J  Brand Cholov Yisroel Soft Cheese Line Including :

Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, Sour Cream, Whipped Cream Cheese

Lastly Ahava brand:

Regular & 2% Only New Square Milk (1/2 gallon sizes)

Plus Regular New Square Orange Juice and the popular Passion Fruit, Strawberry, Orange Juice Blend.

Discussions are continuing at both Shop Rite and Stop & Shop (Ridgeway) for what we hope will be a wide and varied expanded Passover Section for all your Passover needs.

Stay Tuned.

Eat and Enjoy,

Shabbat Shalom,

Avi Greif


Stamford Kosher Activists Committee

Temple Beth El to Honor Past Presidents - Dancing Through the Years

On April 1, 2006, Temple Beth El will host its annual dinner dance where we will pay tribute to our past presidents.  This is not an April Fool’s Joke!  Come join us as we go "Dancing Through the Years” led by a band featuring music from the ‘70’s, 80’s and ‘90’s, and of course, the preceding decades. The festivities will start at 7:30 p.m.

The community is invited to join us as we express our gratitude for the commitment and achievements of these lay leaders, 14 men, and one brave woman in their midst, who have dedicated a minimum of two years of their lives to benefit Temple Beth El.  Of course, these two years do not include the work they did leading up to their tenure as presidents and their continued involvement with Temple Beth El since their presidencies ended. Temple Beth El past presidents and honorees are:

Gordon Brown, Rosalea Fisher, Al Golin, Fred Golove, Jack Greenberg,

Ron Gross, Marty Israel, Herb Kahan, Alan Kalter, Mark Lapine, Milton Mann,

Neil Perlman, Gerald Poch, Brian Rogol and Jack Wofsey

For more information, to purchase tickets to the dinner dance or to buy an ad in the commemorative journal, please contact Temple Beth El at 322-6901.

A Free Concert

 Featuring Pharaoh’s Daughter

March 5, 2006, 3:00 pm

 Hosted by Congregation Beth El of Norwalk

In celebration of Camp Ramah New England

Sponsored by The Olshansky and Singer Family funds

Supported by Local Area Synagogues and Day Schools (including TBE!)

Blending a psychedelic sensibility and a pan-Mediterranean sensuality, Basya Schechter leads her band, Pharaoh's Daughter, through swirling Hasidic chants, Mizrachi and Sephardi folk-rock, and spiritual stylings filtered through percussion, flute, strings and electronica.

Her sound has been cultivated by her Hasidic music background and a series of trips to the Middle East, Africa, Israel, Egypt, Central Africa, Turkey, Kurdistan and Greece. BasyaShe began retuning her guitar to sound like a cross between an Arabic oud and a Turkish saz, with harmonic minor melodies, and odd time signatures. With the many amazing musicians, named below and others as well she has recorded four albums, three with Pharaoh's Daughter and one instrumental exploration with Persian santur player, Alan KushanPD also appears on three Tzadik label compilations: Voices in the Wilderness, the 10 year of anniversary of Zorn's Masada compositions; a collection of Sasha Argov music; and, a Brazilian Jewish composer from earlier in the 20th century, Jacob Du Bandolim.

Pharaohs' Daughter has toured extensively through America, Eastern and Western Europe, as well as Greece and the UK. This past summer, Pharaoh's Daughter had the honor of debuting at Central Park's Summer Stage series in August 2004, and has played such prestigious stages as Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park, and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. When she's not touring or performing, Basya plays darbukariq and frame drum as part of the B'nai Jeshurun music ensemble that accompanies Friday night services.

Over the past two years, Basya was the recipient of numerous compositional and project grants from NYSCA (New York State Council of the Arts) American Composers Forum (for Trance, and multilayered sound and video installation collaboration with filmmaker Pearl Gluck) and the American Music Center. She hopes to record Pharaoh's Daughter's fifth album, Hagar, within the next year.



Heading North from New York & Stamford:
Take EXIT 16 and turn left at the traffic light onto East Avenue. Proceed straight ahead 0.5 mile through 3 more lights. Synagogue is on the right .

Heading South New Haven & Bridgeport:
Take EXIT 16 and turn right at the traffic light onto East Avenue. Proceed straight ahead 0.5 mile through 2 more lights. Synagogue is on the right.

"Five Rabbis, Four Questions: (and then some):

A Pre-Pesach Pow-wow With Stamford's Board of Rabbis"


The Stamford Board of Rabbis will host a panel discussion about the themes of Passover on Wed., April 5 at Temple Beth El, 350 Roxbury Rd at 7:00 PM.   In an informal, participatory setting, the rabbis will discuss the ins and outs of the hagaddah, the ritual items on the seder plate, Jewish concepts of freedom and tips for a great family seder, along with other questions. 


The Board of Rabbis, currently chaired by Rabbi Ira Ebbin, meets monthly, serving important leadership functions in the community, including advocacy, education and community building.  Programs such as these are especially helpful in promoting Jewish awareness in a spirit of communal solidarity. 


The panel, featuring Rabbis Ira Ebbin, Marc Disick, Daniel Cohen, Phil Schechter and Joshua Hammerman, will be moderated by Ilana De Laney, the community's director of education.  The event is co-sponsored by the Community Commission of Jewish Education of the United Jewish Federation, along with the Board of Rabbis.  The program is free and open to the public. 

Sisterhood is inviting you to a Ladies’ Nite Out!

Thursday, April 6, 2006

At Temple Beth El

7:00 Shopping Bazaar opens
7:30 Fashion Show begins

See the latest fashions from


Designer clothes at off-prices

Join us for a fun-filled evening!

Enjoy shopping at our Spring shopping bazaar.

Sample dairy desserts from the new soon-to-be-released Sisterhood Cookbook – “From Our Table to Yours.”

 Preparations by Dr. Fran Ginsburg and her team of Sisterhood chefs!

View the latest fashions modeled by our very own Sisterhood members:  Marlyn Agastein, Amy Fishkow Benjamin, Rachel Benjamin, Sarah Benjamin, Alana Kasindorf, Jeannie Kasindorf, Jodi Maxner, Sue Shapiro, and Mia Weinstein
Hair by Guy Sasson and Makeup by Sue Berkoff

New and Fabulous Silent Auction plus our favorite Raffle prizes (1/$5 and 5/$20).

RSVP by March 31, 2006

Patron             $20 ($25 door)               Make checks payable to Sisterhood and send to:
Non-member     $25                               Eileen H. Rosner, c/o Temple Beth El
Sponsor           $36                                 350 Roxbury Road, Stamford, CT 06902
Benefactor      $54
Prepaid Raffles (1/$5 and 5/$20)

Mindy Fishman         Maureen Leffand
203.594.9171            203.569.7024

The Jewish Heritage Video Collection

comprises over 200 video tapes, covering such topics as:








For more information, please call Ilana De Laney or Sandy Golove, 321- 1373, ext. 107.

Sponsored by the Community Commission for Jewish Education, UJF

2006 Fairfield County Ct Jewish Little League

Registration and Sponsorship Forms are Now Posted on the League Website:

See the Website for More Details!

Just Posted to the site: the 2005 FCCJLL Yearbook in Full Color
See what last season looked like!!

Questions: Please contact league commissioner Seth Marlowe

Too young for the JCC Maccabi experience but want to GET IN THE GAMES? Join Jr. Maccabi!  Jewish kids between the ages of 9-11 (by 7/30/06) are invited to join us for special events throughout the year.  In addition, each participant will get a JCC Jr. Maccabi T-shirt and will march in the Parade of Athletes at the Stamford 2006 JCC Maccabi Games Opening Ceremonies on Sunday, August 13 at the Arena at Harbor Yard.  For more information, contact Melissa Glazer at 487-0973 or Fee: $36 JCC Members / $50 Non-members


Join us for our Hip Hop Dance Party and Sleep-over with DJ Dave (from Tim and Dave) on Saturday, March 4 at 7:30 pm – 9am Sunday, March 5.  Fee: $50


An American tourist was riding in a taxi in Israel.

As the taxi approached a red light, the tourist was shocked to see the

driver drive straight through without even slowing down.  Surprised as he

was, he didn't say anything, feeling himself a 'guest' and not wanting to

make waves.

The trip continued without event until the next intersection.

This time the light was green and, to the American's dismay, the cab

driver brought the vehicle to a grinding halt.

Unable to contain his astonishment, he turns to the driver.  "Listen", he

says, "When you went through the red light, I didn't say anything.  But

why on earth are you stopping at a green light?"  The Israeli driver looks

at the American as if he was deranged.  "Are you crazy?!" he shouts.  "The

other guy has a red light!  Do you want to get us killed?!"

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