Friday, March 2, 2007

March 2, 2007– Adar 13, 5767

March 2, 2007– Adar 13, 5767




Rabbi Joshua Hammerman, Temple Beth El, StamfordConnecticut


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In Memoriam…

Leah Levitz Fishbane


In her mid 30s, I saw her grow from child to adult…from Bat Mitzvah to Huppah to full flower.  She was taken from us tragically this week. Our deepest sympathies to the Levitz and Fishbane families.


“Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.”


- Robert Frost




Contents of the Shabbat O Gram:

(Click to scroll down)


Just the Facts (service schedule)  

The (Occasionally) Ranting Rabbi

Mitzvah/Tzedakkah Opportunities

Ask the Rabbi

 Spiritual Journey on the Web

    The Beth El Bar/Bat Mitzvah Commentary (new)

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

 Announcements (goings on in and around TBE)

TBE Youth Programming

Joke for the Week



Our Men’s Club of the Future!



TBE seventh graders at the recent World Wide Wrap

Check out for our extensive library of photo albums,

articles, sermons, info about the temple,

Shabbat-O-Grams and links to the Jewish world.




Quote for the Week



“I learned much from my teachers, more from my books, and most from my troubles.”

KaminerBaraitot de Rabbi Yitzhak







Saturday, March 3, 2007

At Temple Beth El


For all ages!!!


6:30—7:30 PM: Family Megilla reading, costume parade and goodies in the Sanctuary


We Always Make a Big Megilla over our Megilla readers….

Allison Schechter, Ethan Hammerman, David Katz, Samantha Wise, Rebecca Savransky, Peri Shapiro, David Ginsberg, Harrison Shapiro and Cantor Rachael Littman!!!


7:30 – 9:00 PM: Our SPECTACULAR carnival, put together by our USY and Kadima groups in the Social Hall


8:15 PM:  Full Megilla reading in chapel


9:00 PM:  Bus leaves taking teens who wish to attend the Purim Boat Cruise in Greenwich


Carnival Prices:

$12 per child and $30 for a family package of three or more,

for unlimited access to all attractions!!

Featuring a giant inflatable obstacle course, bounce castle, games, prizes, and more!!!!



COME IN COSTUME!!!! (kids and adults)




This program has been subsidized by a generous contribution from the Sisterhood of Temple Beth El


Candle lighting: 5:28 pm on Friday, 2 March 2007.  For candle lighting times, Havdalah 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  The United Synagogue has updated its candlelighting information. To learn more, click here.


Friday Evening 


Shabbat Evening service: 6:30 PM – in the chapel

Tot Shabbat – 6:45 PM – in the lobby




Children’s Services: 10:30 AM


Our Torah Portion for Shabbat Morning

Parashat Tetzaveh – Shabbat Zachor

 Exodus 27:20 - 30:10  

1: 29:19-21

 MafDeuteronomy 25:17-19 (3 p'sukim)

Haftarah (Shabbat Zachor): I Samuel 15:2 - 15:34


If you liked Storahtelling, you’ll LOVE Storahtelling’s new weekly blog about the Torah portion Find it at  ORT Navigating the BibleRashi in English; BibleGateway: Useful for comparing different translations: Note- this is a Christian site.
What’s Bothering Rashi (BonchekEach week, one example from the parashah is deconstructed. See a weekly commentary from the UJC Rabbinic Cabinet, at  Read the Masorti commentary at  University of Judaism,  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.:’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 For 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  Also, try  To see the weekly commentary from Hillel, geared to college students and others, go to For 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:



100 Blessings: Download information about the grace after meals (see Birkat Ha-mazon explained in Wikipedia and in the Jewish Virtual Library)  The actual prayer can be downloaded at Birkat Hamazon [pdf]

Morning Minyan

7:30 Weekdays, 9:30 Sundays


We’ve had several people coming lately who are saying kaddish following recent deaths in the family.  We want to make sure we have a minyan each day. Your presence any morning is greatly appreciated!



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 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.




Ranting Rabbi



A Shabbat-O-Gram Exclusive

Just Back from Israel


          Our Beth El BCDS 8th Graders returned from a three week stay in Israel on Wednesday.  Here are some instant reports from the kids, exclusively written for the Shabbat-O-Gram.


My Bi-Cultural Israel trip was the best trip of my life. This was so for many reasons. One of these reasons is the people I was with. For this Israel trip, I got to go to Israel with my whole grade at Bi-Cultural. It was very fun to go halfway around the world with all of my friends from school. By doing this, I got to develop better relationships with every single person in my grade, and our whole grade got to bond with each other like never before. Thanks to what this trip did, our grade will be that much closer when it comes time for our graduation this June.


        Another reason why this Israel trip was the best trip of my life was all of the places that we went to. We got to go to both some of my favorite places that I’ve been to many times before, and also many places that I’ve never been to before. Some places that I liked on this trip were Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, EilatTiberias, and the Dead Sea. I liked Jerusalem because of the mixture of the old and the new. I really liked going to the Kotel again, and on this trip we were lucky to go to the Kotel four times. I liked Tel Aviv because of how much it reminds me of New York, because of the liveliness of the city and the tall buildings. I liked Eilat because of its extraordinary resorts and its fantastic fish and coral, which we got to see first hand while going snorkeling in the Red Sea. I liked Tiberias a lot because of how beautiful it looked overlooking the Sea of Galilee, and because of its famous tombs. Last but not least, I liked the Dead Sea a lot because of how cool the floating was and because of the cool places on the coast, like Masada and Ein Gedi.


        In conclusion, this trip was awesome and I can’t wait to come back to Israel in many years to come, and I will always have the wonderful memories of my Bi-Cultural trip with me wherever I go.

                                                                                                        DAN HAMMERMAN



Davening at Masada

Jackie Schechter


          The past three weeks in Israel were surely some of the best weeks of my life.  I have just returned home from my school’s eighth grade Israel trip and now have time to catch my breath and reflect on our amazing journey.  Every part of the trip, from climbing down a cliff to touring the Old City to meeting Israeli teenagers, has been an experience to remember, not to mention a lot of fun.


          However, if I had to choose the most meaningful part of the trip it would be davening at Masada.  That day, we woke in the early morning darkness and hiked up to the ancient fortress.  By a stroke of luck, we made it to the top in time for sunrise!  In a swirl of pink and orange and gold we watched the sun glide up over the clouds and reflect its light off the glistening waves of the Dead Sea.  The girls then formed their own minyan, and my friend and I led Shacharit.  Since it was also Rosh Chodesh Adar, I proudly also led Hallel for the rest of my classmates.  Davening on Masada at sunrise was surely the most spiritual davening of my life.  I felt closer to G-d than ever before and was just so thankful that I was in Israel and alive at that very moment. I know I’ll never forget davening at Masada at sunrise.



            Before the trip even started I thought that it would be great.  It turned out to be much, much more.  Spending my first Shabbat in Israel, in Zefat, where Kabbalat Shabbat was invented was a great way to start off.  Even though I wasn’t able to participate in everything I still had the time of my life.  I think two of the most eventful things on the trip were going to the Kotel on our last day in Israel and going camel back riding.  It was an awesome thing to do.  The camel behind me tried to eat my shoe.  This trip was the best three weeks ever!

Lowell Eitelberg





Mitzvah/Tzedakkah Opportunties

Beth El Cares
Cathy Satz (968-9191;
Cheryl Wolff (968-6361;
BETH EL CARES co-chairs




Click here to tell your Member of Congress to maintain the current economic and diplomatic sanctions against Iran!


Free Them Now


Ehud Goldwasser         Eldad Regev            Gilad Schalit

 Kidnapped Israeli Soldiers


 Click for more information

 Sign the petition at



Landmark Resolutions Introduced in the US Senate and House of Representatives
Recognizing Rights for Jews from Arab Countries as Middle East Refugees


CONTACT: Stanley A. Urman, 917-606-8262 or 973-669-9788

WASHINGTONDC (February 20, 2007) - Rarely is any consensus reached on final status issues in the Middle East peace process. Yet, remarkably, US Congressional leaders have agreed on the rights of Jewish refugees displaced from Arab countries.

In a rare display of bi-partisanship, four Senators and four Congressmen, representing both political parties, have introduced landmark Resolutions on Middle East refugees that call attention to the fact that Jews living in Arab countries suffered human rights violations, were uprooted from their homes, and were made refugees. These Resolutions signify that "it would be inappropriate and unjust for the United States to recognize rights for Palestinian refugees without recognizing equal rights for former Jewish, Christian, and other refugees from Arab countries."

On February 16, 2007, formal bicameral resolutions were introduced in the Senate (S.Res 85) and in the House (H.Res 185). These far-reaching Resolutions seek to ensure that all victims of the Arab-Israeli conflict are treated with equality, including Jewish, Christian and other refugees from countries in the Middle East, North Africa and the Persian Gulf. Concretely, the Resolutions urge the President to ensure that in all international forums, when the issue of 'Middle East refugees are discussed, representatives of the United States should ensure: "That any explicit reference to Palestinian refugees is matched by a similar explicit reference to Jewish and other refugees, as a matter of law and equity."

This bi-partisan effort is being spearheaded in the House of Representatives by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) along with Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL); Rep. Michael Ferguson (R-NJ); and Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY). In the Senate, sponsors are Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ); Trent Lott (R-MS); Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN); and Sen. Richard Durbin. The Resolutions will be the strongest declarations adopted by the U.S. Congress, on the rights of Jewish and others refugees that were forced to flee Arab countries.

"When the Middle East peace process is discussed, Palestinian refugees are often addressed. However, Jewish refugees outnumbered Palestinian refugees, and their forced exile from Arab lands must not be omitted from public discussion on the peace process. It is simply not right to recognize the rights of Palestinian refugees without recognizing the rights of Jewish refugees," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).

"There can be no true and lasting peace in the Middle East unless the legitimate claims of all refugees displaced by the years of conflict are recognized by the international community," said Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN). "Large numbers of both Arabs and Jews have been forced to flee their countries and it is only right and equitable that the President acknowledge and include Jewish and other refugees in any discussion of Palestinian refugees in pursuing this issue in the international arena."

"It would be constitute an injustice were the United States to recognize rights for one victim population - Palestinian refugees - without recognizing equal rights former Jewish refugees from Arab countries" said Stanley Urman, Executive Director of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries. "Both were victims of the very same Middle East conflict and the rights of Jewish refugees must be addressed."

Additional information and materials can be found at:


Pre-Passover Hametz Food Collection

As you clean your cupboards in preparation for Passover, please consider donating unopened boxes, bags and cans of hametz to a local food pantry.  For your convenience, you can deposit those items in a box outside the Helen Golin Gift Shop, from March 22nd to 28th.  We will then deliver the food to a local food pantry.  Check your e-mail for more information.


Mitzvah Project – Dog-related Items



For my mitzvah project I am helping Adopt-A-Dog, a volunteer organization in Greenwich, CT, which helps find good, safe homes for homeless animals.  They have found homes for many Katrina dogs that lost their families in the hurricane.  To help them, I am donating money I have raised, and collecting dog-related items such as toys, collars, bones, and leashes; and cat-related items such as toys, collars, and catnip.  Any crates that your dog or cat no longer use would be greatly appreciated by Adopt-A-Dog   You do not have to be  dog or cat owner to help - Adopt-A-Dog also needs new or used blankets, pillows, soft table cloths, and really anything else that the animals can sleep on.  I can collect some of these items myself, but I need your help to collect enough needed items to make a big difference.


I will have a collection box out in the Hebrew School entrance at the temple for any donations. For any items that are too big for the box, please contact me and we will come pick them up at your home.  


You can also help Adopt-A-Dog by saving "Weight Circles" from Purina Brand Dog Food.  Adopt-A-Dog receives 8 cents for every pound of weight circles sent in to Purina.  Adopt-A-Dog buys 1,000 pounds of dog food every month!  Each label that you clip and donate from a 20 lb. bag gives them $1.60 towards their food bill.  A 50 lb. bag label means $4.00 in meals for their pooches.  Trust me, it adds up!  Please clip the labels off the side of each bag you buy and place them in the envelope attached to the collection box. 


On behalf of all the homeless dogs and cats at Adopt-A-Dog, thanks so much for your help! 


Lindy Fruithandler



To check out Adopt-A-Dog for yourself, please visit their website at







What’s all this I Hear about “Haman Rights?”


For Purim, Our Guest Commentator…

Rabbi Rosanne Rosanna Danna


Why are people so concerned about giving rights to one of the most infamous, ruthless villains in Jewish history? I mean really, who needs “Haman Rights?”  Should one have the right to target an entire people for destruction?  Should one have the right to build gallows to hang an innocent man (who had also saved the king from dangerous plot? Should one have the right to wear ugly three-cornered hats?  I say “NO. 


What?  What did you say?  It’s not “Haman Rights,” it’s HUMAN rights?  Oh…that’s very different!






Spiritual Journey on the Web

Purim Torah

Before we set out on our way, some basic Purim links, for background on the holiday: A nice selection can be found at (Jacob Richman's Hot Sites) and also at Some excellent articles from Yeshivat Har Etzion can be found at, and at Torah From Dixie at

Among the most popular aspects of Purim is the satiric genre known as Purim Torah. On Purim everything is turned upside down. Even those phenomena that are normally venerated are turned on their heads, even the study of Torah itself. Purim Torah is rabbinic logic gone haywire, otherwise known as "pilpul" ( It's the Wise Men of Chelm ( taking over the Yeshiva. It comes from a little too much wine ("Adloyada, combined with a little too much of our natural Jewish irreverence. It's Rashi ( meets Mel Brooks

Come to think of it, Brooks' hit (and soon to close) "The Producers" is a classic Purimspiel (Purim Play) -- a classic reenactment of the story of Purim in a different context. "Springtime for Haman in Shushan" has a ring to it, but this journey is about Purim Torah, not Purimspiels. There is a connection, though, which is explored at Some more about Purim Torah as it relates to the Megilla can be found at

Purim Torah takes many forms. Political commentary is almost always part of it, whether the politics be internal or global. Last week at services we discussed the Talmudic incident where Rabbah followed commandment to get so drunk on Purim that he couldn't tell the difference the evildoer Haman and the good guy Mordechai. As a result he "slaughtered" his drinking buddy Rabbi Zera. Fortunately, he was able to revive Zera. He then asked Zera whether he might like to join him next Purim and Zera replied that he'd pass, but thanks anyway. You had to be there -- it was funny to those who heard it here, and it must have been funny to the rabbis of the Talmud too. The sages probably knew Rabbah in the way that "Saturday Night Live" knows George W. Bush, and they also understood that even mandated rabbinic laws can be dangerous when taken to excess. So this story was what one might call an internal satire, a joke by the rabbis about their own methodology. For a more modern version, check out last year's Purim edition of Sh'ma at, where the whole genre of rabbinic wisdom gets satirized smartly:

Rab Shamllel (who had been thrown out of both the House of Hillel and the House of Shammai at one time or another) used to muse, "You know, it's not what you know and what you don't know. What matters more is whether you know what you know and what you don't know. To know what you know opens the gates to confidence. To not know what you know opens the gates to indecision. To know what you don't know opens the gates to wisdom. And to not know what you don't know opens the gates to catastrophe. You know what I mean?"

He used to sigh, "There are four kinds of car mechanics in this world: The first can fix your car, but can't take you until the Tuesday after Tu B'Shvat. Of these there are but few and what can you do? The second can take you today but are incapable of fixing your car. Of these there are many and they are to be avoided. The third can't take you until the Tuesday after Tu B'Shvat AND are incapable of fixing your car. They are called 'dealers.' The last can fix your car and can take you today, but none of them dwell within a five-hour drive from here."

Purim Torah can be sophomoric ( -- is about the Schlitzer Rebbe. Get it?, and just plain fun (a new Talmudic tractate on how to eat ice cream: Rabbi Nahman said in the name of Rab, "It is forbidden to eat ice cream with the fingers." But the sages say, "[when it is] in a cone*, it is permitted [to eat this way]. But was it not taught, "Ice cream is finger food, you fool!" [Renee, Sig 2a]?# There is no difficulty. Here it is talking about ice cream, here frozen yogurt. One may not consume premium ice cream for it is written, "Only The butterfat you must not eat, [For it is to be burnt on the altar for atonement, (Lev. 17:10a-11a)]. Rav Sheset says, [this applied only] when the Temple is standing. *According to Rashi. Other Rishonim explain this as meaning a sandwich.)

In the end, Jews do on Purim what we do the rest of the year as well -- we poke a little fun at ourselves. On this most topsy turvy of days, we understand that the secret of life is to enjoy the ride -- and laugh a little all the while. 


From Beliefnet…


Virtual Talmud: Purim, Power, and Jewish Women


Quiz: Are You in the Purim Spirit?   


From the Jewish Week: Special For Purim: Purim Spoof



Love Israel? Get ready for 3 minutes of pure pleasure

Aerial Odyssey
Israel as you have never seen before
Click Here to watch the video




Jewish and Israeli Links:


A great resource on all things Jewish:

The best Jewish site for Jewish learning:



Israel Defense Force,
Israel Government Gateway, links to Government Ministries,
Israel Knesset,
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Israel Prime Minister’s Office,
Israel Central Bureau of Statistics,
Israel Tourism Ministry, North America,
Buy Israeli Products,,
Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies,
Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies,
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs,
One Jerusalem,
Twenty Facts about Israel
Myths & Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict
Jerusalem Archaeological Park,


Israel Info Center – Israel Activism Portal,
US White House,
US State Department,
US Senate,
US House of Representatives,
THOMAS (search for US Legislation),
United Nations Watch,
Embassy of Israel – Washington, D.C.,

Media-Related Links:


Jerusalem Post,
Jewish Telegraphic Agency,
Ha’aretz English Edition:,
Independent Media Review and Analysis,
Middle East Media Research Institue (MEMRI),
Palestinian Media Watch,
Israel Insider,
Jewish World Review,
America’s Voices in Israel,
@The Source Israel,


Other Jewish Sites

Data JEM – an GEM for Jewish Education! Database for  Jewish educational materials:

The best Jewish kids’ site on the Web is , with games, virtual tours and “J-Pod” downloads, kids of all ages will LOVE it.

Another superb educational site is -- you can be a self-taught “maven” on all things Jewish!

A Jewish Guide to the Internet:

On Jewish Vegetarianism and Animal Rights: (hey, you KNEW I’d put this one in)

How many Jewish hockey players are there? (None right now…there’s a lockout).  Find out at

Glossary of Yiddish Expressions:  )Please be patient, this page is farshtopt with information)

You can find an online Hebrew dictionary at

Nice Jewish parenting site  Jewish Gates is an amazing site, filled with material on Jewish history, ritual and culture. 

Go straight to the linked index at and go to town!  The Jewish Super Site; a similar site is and my personal all-time favorite,

The sourcebook for Jewish history (all periods) can be found at

Online Texts Related to Jewish History.  All the primary sources “fit to print.”

Israel Campus Beat – to get all the latest information on Israel relevant to students on college campuses




The Beth El Bar/Bat Mitzvah Commentary


Bar/Bat Mitzvah: Beginning, Not An End

As our new “season” begins, with eight b’nai mitzvah in March alone (!), this article from the Jewish Week is especially timely.  I’ve excerpted some below.  See the entire piece at

Bar/Bat Mitzvah: Beginning, Not An End

Rabbi Jan Katzew – The Jewish Week

About a year ago, I received a call from a motion picture marketing executive who asked me to preview the soon-to-be-released “Keeping Up With the Steins,” a “commentary” on b’nei mitzvah as they are celebrated in North America. My interest was piqued: A mainstream movie about the commercialization of b’nei mitzvah … perhaps this would engender a “teachable moment,” particularly in light of these propositions, which experience has shown increasingly to be true:

l Adults are spending too much of their disposable income on b’nei mitzvah celebrations.

l B’nei mitzvah children internalize the message that the religious ceremony is less meaningful than the party that follows.

l Families believe that bar and bat mitzvah represent the end of formal Jewish education.

l Parents are living vicariously through their children and, consequently, creating celebrations that are more for adults than for middle school students.

l American Judaism has assimilated values that are more consonant with America than with Judaism.

While I defer to the judgment of others, I left the movie feeling profoundly under-whelmed, but hopeful that viewers would be moved to converse with family members and friends about just how much, in this particular case, art imitates life. We have turned a rite of passage into a right of passage, the responsibility of attaining religious status into the entitlement of social status. “Keeping Up With the Steins” is an unlikely candidate for an Academy Award, but it has served a purpose if it causes us to pause and consider the cultural phenomenon that prompted its production and distribution.

According to Avot de Rabbi Natan (Chapter 16), at the age of 13, the yetzer tov (good impulse) is born and with it, our capacity for conscious pro-social, empathic and compassionate behavior. B’nei mitzvah are intended to catalyze a character-building process that lasts a lifetime. It is therefore painfully ironic that we may be party (pun intended) to the yetzer hara (evil impulse) running amok at precisely the moment when the yetzer tov first sees the light of day.

I realize that I am skating on thin ice — or treading on sacred ground — by criticizing the manner in which b’nei mitzvah are being celebrated by America’s Jewish families, many, if not most, of whom have yet to embrace the idea that a bar or bat mitzvah is a simcha that marks the beginning of a choice to lead a Jewish life.

Arguably, the greatest challenge we face in Jewish education inheres to the perception that a bar or bat mitzvah represents an endpoint. By mandating minimum expectations for becoming bar or bat mitzvah, we have created an artificial bubble of Jewish learning between grades three and seven. The bar or bat mitzvah party for the youngest child in the family too often celebrates the end of synagogue affiliation.

 As we live longer, it becomes less reasonable that one’s Jewish life should reach its apex at age 13. Instead, we can help to place bar and bat mitzvah in the perspective of lifelong Jewish learning and living — an acceptance of communal responsibility, a beginning of conscious commitment and a promise to make a meaningful contribution to the people of Israel in covenant with the God of Israel. A rich Jewish life does not have to be expensive — at least it should not have to be expensive.

We are already b’nei and b’not mitzvah. Our children, on the other hand, are just in the process of becoming. Bar and bat mitzvah is a process and a status that regrettably has devolved too often into a product and an event. It is our collective challenge to take a population of episodic Jews and help them live continual Jewish lives, so that life’s celebrations and tribulations will be seamless parts of their Jewish identities rather than an interruption in their “normal” lives.




Required Reading and Action Items



Some GOOD NEWS from Israel 21c,,

 and other sources


Culture | Photography opens the eyes of Israeli special needs children  
A unique program at a Jerusalem photography school which enables children with special needs to get in touch with themselves through photography is providing light in the lives of more than 100 Jewish and Arab children. For many of the students, this is the first time they've ever held a camera. In the course of the program - now in its 17th year - they learn not only how to frame and take photographs but how to develop and print them as well. According to school director Avi Sabad, 'Photography is something with immediate results. You deal with society... reality... it changes something in the schedule of our lives.' More...


Technology | Grand Israeli designs to keep sensitive American sites safe  
American homeland security programs are increasingly focusing on safeguarding locations which could be prime targets for terrorist attacks - like borders, airports, highways, and water reservoirs. In order to help the professionals target exactly where to place sensors, lights, fences and other preventive apparatus, Israeli security company DefenSoft has developed an innovative CAD program that automates perimeter security planning. The Lighthouse program has already been installed throughout Israel at sensitive locations, saving time and money for the organizations involved. Now, US private equity group AGS has invested in DefenSoft with the intentions of introducing Lighthouse to the American homeland security market. More...


Global Democracy | Israel's Bedouin women turn desert plants into skin remedies  
In the remote town of Tel Sheva in Israel's southern Negev desert, a group of Bedouin women are using the herbal lore of their mothers and grandmothers to create a unique new line of skin remedies. Assisted by the women's unit of an Israeli center to promote Jewish-Arab economic development, the project - called Asala Desert Nature - is not only teaching the women vital entrepreneurial skills, but bringing a ray of hope to the whole community. More...


Culture | Israeli family winery competes with the best

Health | Israeli database offers tailored medical information for patients, gratis


now for the rest


Prime source: Daily Alert of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

See also


From Ha’aretz:


Border Police Kill "Mega-Terrorist" in West Bank - Yaakov Katz
On Wednesday, the Israel Border Police's undercover unit killed Ashraf Sa'adi, an Islamic Jihad leader in Jenin, who intelligence officials said was behind the dispatching of a would-be suicide bomber who was caught in Bat Yam on February 20. "Sa'adi was a mega-terrorist," said one of the commanders who participated in the operation. "He needed to be taken down." (Jerusalem Post)


Five Palestinian Rockets Strike Israel - Shmulik Hadad
Palestinians in Gaza fired five Kassam rockets toward Israel on Wednesday. Two rockets landed near Sderot, one landed near a kibbutz in the Negev and two landed south of Ashkelon. (Ynet News)


Shiite Cleric Defies Hizbullah - Pierre Akel
 Shiite Mufti of South Lebanon, Sheikh Ali el Amin, has condemned Hizbullah's transformation from a "cultural" to a "military" movement vowing allegiance to Iran. His speech at the rally in Beirut commemorating the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri two years earlier was a signal of his firm commitment against Hizbullah's attempts to seize power in Lebanon. According to Sheikh el Amin, Lebanese Shiites are still largely "moderates." Whereas Hizbullah and its Amal allies could represent 40 percent of Shiites, the large majority remains committed to political moderation and to Lebanon's independence and democratic system.
    On Iran's attempts to mobilize Arab Shiites to support Teheran's policies, Sheikh el Amin said, "We have nothing to do with Iran's political strategies....The Iranians would never enjoy the allegiance of all Lebanese Shias." "Does it really serve Iran's interests to be viewed with awe and distrust by Muslims all over the world?" he asked. (Middle East Transparent)

Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S.UK, and Israel):


Iran: The Radical Wins Again - Amir Taheri
 a few weeks ago, we were told that Ahmadinejad's star was on the wane, but he is emerging with his position in the Khomeinist establishment strengthened. Ahmadinejad has cast himself in the role of the proverbial Islamic holy warrior who will ride his white horse into Jerusalem to liberate it from the infidel. The nuclear program would not have been an issue in Iran just two or three years ago - most Iranians knew nothing about it. But today, largely thanks to Ahmadinejad's constant hammering of the theme during his ceaseless provincial tours, most Iranians are familiar with the issue. And because Ahmadinejad has presented the dispute as an attempt by the great powers to deny Iran nuclear energy, many Iranians support the regime's position. (New York Post)


Peace in Middle East a Palestinian Peace Ploy - Rachel N. Stephens
As long as there is a fight over Israel, I'll always support the Jews because the Palestinians, as a whole, have no claim to the Land of Israel, nor are they trying to coexist peacefully. Just who are the Palestinians? And what is Palestine? After a Jewish revolt in 135 CE, the Roman procurator of Israel asked the scribes to identify the Jews' worst enemies. He was told, "The Philistines." To humiliate the Jews, he renamed the province, "Philistia" which became "Palaistina" and now "Palestine." Modern-day Palestinians are Arab. The Philistines were from Greece, Crete and Western Turkey. Arabs did not arrive in Israel until the 7th century CE - almost 2000 years after the Jews had settled on that land. Up to the 1940s, the term "Palestinian" was used for Jews in the land.
    PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein said: "The Palestinian people do not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the State of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality, today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct Palestinian people to oppose Zionism." (Daily O'Collegian-Oklahoma State University)


Israel's Critics: When Church Politics Goes Haywire - Rev. Kent L. Svendsen
number of religious organizations seem to glorify the Palestinians while demonizing the Israelis. For the life of me, I can't understand how they can be so unsympathetic to a nation who is surrounded by enemies who want to "drive them into the sea." I'm not unsympathetic toward the Palestinians, who have many hardships to face. But I have a hard time offering them sympathy and support after they voted Hamas into office. Hamas has openly declared as one of their main goals to eliminate the nation of Israel.
    Now we have the latest chapter coming from the critics of Israel. The Israel Antiquities Authority has begun salvage excavations in the Jerusalem Archeological Park, with the intention of building a permanent Mugrabi Gate ramp to replace a temporary wooden structure that had been declared hazardous. In reality, the work does not interfere in any way with the sacred mosque or the Dome of the Rock which are both sacred to Muslims. All they are doing is replacing a wooden ramp so it doesn't collapse when pilgrims go to the Temple Mount. The ramp is reported to be the only access non-Muslims have to be able to visit the Temple Mount. No ramp could mean no access. Could it be that what is wanted is to prevent non-Muslims from visiting the sacred site which is sacred for Jews, Christians and Muslims alike? The writer, an ordained United Methodist minister and an Army Reserve chaplain, served for 10 months as the sole chaplain at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Sauk Valley Gazette [Illinois])


Hold Iran Accountable - Kenneth R. Timmerman (Washington Times)

  • Iran's leaders are testing us in Iraq, where Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) networks continue to fund both Sunni and Shi'ite insurgents. They are testing us at the International Atomic Energy Agency and at the UN, where they continue to defy demands by the international community to verifiably suspend their nuclear programs, which constitute a clear violation of Iran's commitments as a signatory of the Nonproliferation Treaty.
  • Voices are raised saying that we should negotiate with Tehran's leaders if we want to avoid war. But we simply don't need negotiations with the regime over its nuclear program. Through UN Security Council resolutions, we have set out the parameters of what the Iranian regime must do to avert steadily increasing international sanctions. They can accept those conditions, shut down their programs in a verifiable manner, or suffer the consequences. The U.S. should not settle for anything less than full, unconditional compliance from Tehran. There is nothing to negotiate.
  • The same goes for Iran's involvement in Iraq, its support for international terrorist groups, its refusal to recognize the right of Israel to exist, and its wretched disregard for its own citizens' political and human rights. Why should we negotiate down the standards of internationally acceptable behavior?
  • We should hold Iran's leadership accountable for its behavior by rolling up its networks in Iraq and striking the IRGC support structures across the border. We should insist Iran comply with the International Covenant of Political and Human Rights that it has signed. We should enforce the huge number of judgments against top regime leaders in courts around the world for their terrorist attacks.
  • For starters, we should insist that Iran comply with the UN Security Council demands on its nuclear programs by ratcheting up mandatory economic and diplomatic sanctions. Anything less is just not serious.

The writer is president of the Middle East Data Project Inc. and executive director of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran.


Israel Security Agency Report (Shabbak Report) 2006 - a very useful report  presented  by  the dedicated team of  the Institute for Counter Terrorism (ICT) .   In this Israel Security Agency report for 2006, we read the assertion that Hamas has taken over the Gaza strip with the support of Hezbollah and Iran. The report presents many useful facts, figures and graphs. - Shmuley Boteach: Fiddling while celebrities burn (JPost)


The News You Don't Read - Hillel Halkin
The more successful Israel's army and security services are in preventing deadly acts of Palestinian terror against Israelis, the more the world looks upon the means of prevention as vindictive and unnecessary harassment of Palestinians on Israel's part. Take Wednesday's thwarted suicide bombing. An Islamic Jihad operative from the West Bank city of Jenin was arrested in a Palestinian "safe house" near Tel Aviv. How did Israel's intelligence services know that someone from Jenin was on his way with a bomb? And how did they know where he was hiding so that they were able to get to him in time?
    Israeli intelligence must have known about the bomb because of security-related operations that include roadblocks, raids on houses, dragnets, and sweeps - all those operations that have given Israel a reputation for being an unconscionable oppressor. "Dozens of Israeli lives saved yesterday" doesn't play well with the editors of the New York Times or the Guardian in London. We in Israel, who know those lives could have been our own, our friends', or our family's, have a different take on it. (Commentary)


How the EU Subsidizes Trade with Iran - Editorial
The European Union - led by GermanyFrance and Italy - has long been Iran's largest trading partner. Its share of Iran's total imports is about 35%. Even more notable: Its trade with Tehran has expanded since Iran's secret nuclear program was exposed. Between 2003 and 2005, Europe's exports rose 29%. Government-backed export guarantees have fueled the expansion in trade. That, in turn, has boosted Iran's economy and its nuclear program. EU taxpayers underwrite trade and investment that would otherwise be deterred by the risks of doing business with a rogue regime. The EU thus provides a lifeline to a regime that is unpopular at home and sponsors terror abroad. (Wall Street Journal)


Time to Take Iran Seriously - Editorial
Iraq is one of many places where Iran is working to destabilize the Middle East and damage U.S. interests. In Lebanon the Iranian-backed terrorist organization Hizbullah, which last summer plunged Lebanon into war with Israel, put its cadres in the streets of Beirut to bring down the Lebanese government. Along with its ally Syria, Iran has funneled assistance to Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, and an amalgamation of terrorist groups called the Popular Resistance Committees, who are using the West Bank and Gaza to attack Israel. Jordan accuses Hamas operatives of planning to carry out operations there. Iran's subversion of Iraq is but one part of a much darker picture. (Washington Times)


Sudden Jihad Syndrome - Editorial
It looks like the Muslim teen who opened fire on shoppers in a Salt Lake City mall is yet another case of "sudden jihad syndrome," a condition in which normal-appearing American Muslims abruptly turn violent. Taken together, this and other cases add up to an invisible jihad inside America.
    Several other Muslim-tied cases since 9/11 include: Naveed Afzal Haq, who went on a shooting rampage at a Jewish community center in Seattle; Egyptian national Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, who shot two and wounded three at an Israeli airline ticket counter at LAX; the D.C. snipers - John Muhammad and Lee Malvo, both black Muslim converts - who picked off 13 people in the suburbs; Omeed Aziz Popal, who took his SUV on a hit-and-run spree in San Francisco, mowing down pedestrians; Ismail Yassin Mohamed, who injured drivers and pedestrians in Minneapolis; and Iranian student Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, who deliberately rammed his SUV into a crowd at the University of North Carolina.
 They may seem isolated, but all have radical Islam at their nexus. These men act as conscripts called up for a mission, sick as it is. (Investor's Business Daily)
    See also Killer's Daughter Admits It Was Political - Mahmoud Habboush
Ali Abu Kamal's relatives say they are tired of lying about why the Palestinian opened fire on the observation deck of the Empire State Building, killing a tourist and injuring six other people before committing suicide. Kamal's daughter Linda said that her dad wanted to punish the U.S. for supporting Israel, and revealed her mom's 1997 account that her husband had become suicidal after losing money in a business venture was a cover story crafted by the Palestinian Authority. (New York Daily News)


When Jews Helped Renovate the Temple Mount Mosques - Yehuda Litani
In 1992 King Hussein of Jordan financed renovations of the golden dome of the Dome of the Rock Muslim shrine on the Temple Mount. On a visit to the site during those renovations I discovered an iron panel inscribed in French. The foreman of the Irish construction company said the panel had been found on top of the mosque and was temporarily dismantled so that the dome could be coated in gold.
    The words in French revealed that the shrine had been renovated in 1899 during Turkish rule, assisted by the Jewish community in Jerusalem. The inscription noted that five acclaimed Jewish artists had been invited to Jerusalem to help renovate the mosques on the Temple Mount, including stone carvers, wood carvers and iron mongers. The inscription also noted that all the students at the "Kol Israel Haverim" school in Jerusalem were given a three-month leave in order to assist in the renovation work on the Temple Mount.
    The foreman apparently told Waqf representatives about the panel, and when we came back to the site the next day the panel was no longer there. (Ynet News)


The Fight for Jerusalem - Jamie Glazov Interviews Dore Gold
At the end of the Camp David summit in July 2000 Yasser Arafat tried to assert that there never had been a Temple in Jerusalem. What he essentially did was to throw a stone of historical lies called "Temple Denial" into a lake and its ripples spread all over the Middle East. In an effort to begin to negate these trends, I wrote The Fight for Jerusalem: Radical Islam, the West, and the Future of the Holy City. I also put into the book striking color photos from the Israel Antiquities Authority with some of the greatest archaeological finds of recent years that bolster the veracity of the Biblical narrative and contradict the trend Arafat sought to initiate. How can you deny there was a Kingdom of Judah when you see royal seals of the Davidic dynasty - like the seal of Hezekiah, King of Judah?
    We must create a modus vivendi in Jerusalem based on the mutual respect of all the great monotheistic faiths. But that modus vivendi will be impossible to reach if the radical Muslims succeed in spreading a culture of total denial with regard to the historical connection of the Jewish people and Christianity to Jerusalem. There are many holy cities in the world that interest other faiths - IstanbulMeccaKarbala. No one demands internationalization today in those cases. Why do they talk about internationalization with respect to Jerusalem? (FrontPageMagazine)


Safeguarding Jerusalem - Yehuda Ben Meir
It's become very clear that the clash over the construction work near the Mugrabi Gate is part of a broader campaign for the control of Jerusalem. After all, this construction work has no connection to the Al-Aqsa Mosque nor any effect on it. In the view of those Arab leaders mobilizing the war and the incitement against the construction, Israel has no sovereignty in Jerusalem's Old City and has no right to carry out any sort of construction work in the Temple Mount environs. At the root of this war is the intensifying effort by the Palestinians to deny any link or rights of the Jewish people to the Temple Mount or to Jerusalem, and thus to undermine not only our right to sovereignty in Jerusalem, but also Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. The writer, a former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University. (Ha'aretz)


Lest the Sword Slip from Our Hand - Ze'ev Schiff (Ha'aretz)

  • Jibril Rajoub, a former head of PA Preventive Security in the West Bank who is considered a "moderate" Palestinian, has now appeared on television and shocked his Israeli acquaintances with the remark that in the end, the Palestinians will recover every inch of land between the river and the sea.
  • With all due respect to my Palestinian friends, I can only conclude from these remarks that we must shut our ears when the Palestinians scatter promises about wanting to live alongside Israel. It is not words that matter, but deeds, and deeds alone.
  • There is only one conclusion, and Moshe Dayan already said it in his eulogy over the grave of Roi Rutenberg, who was murdered by Arabs from Gaza in the 1950s: "This is our life's choice: to be prepared and armed, strong and determined, lest the sword slip from our hand and our lives be cut down."
  • The key issue here, and our primary concern, is the continuation of terror; today manifested in the continued rocket fire, the refusal to release Gilad Shalit, the attempts to carry out suicide bombings, and the massive smuggling of arms. Bringing an end to these things constitutes part of the Quartet's demands.
  • Of course Israel must help Mahmoud Abbas, and through him, the suffering Palestinian people. But it cannot participate in a sneaky attempt by Hamas to use a moderate and positive-thinking man like Salam Fayad, who would be finance minister in a unity government, to put aid money into the hands of Hamas ministers, including those heading the movement's military wing.
  • Having a moderating force in Gaza and within the PA is in Israel's interest, but it is not enough. Israel must also insist that the Palestinians pass the critical test of reining in terror and fully abide by all agreements.


 The Mecca Agreement - A Strategic PLO-Hamas Alliance for Establishing a Palestinian State without Hamas Recognizing Israel - C. Jacob and Y. Carmon
Hamas will not be required to recognize Israel, since, as a Palestinian movement, and even as a government, it is not authorized to conduct diplomatic negotiations, as negotiations and the signing of treaties in the name of the Palestinian people are the exclusive prerogative of the PLO and its head, Mahmoud Abbas.
 This tactic allows Abbas to conduct negotiations as the representative of the Palestinian people, and it enables him to ask Israel and the international community to overlook the fact that Hamas, which is part of the PA government, has not changed its principles and does not recognize Israel. (MEMRI)


U.S. Sanctions with Teeth - David Ignatius
A new variety of U.S. Treasury sanctions is having a potent effect in Iran. The new measures work thanks to the hidden power of globalization: Because all the circuits of the global financial system are inter-wired, the U.S. quarantine effectively extends to all major banks around the world. "As banks do their risk-reward analysis, they must now take into account the very serious risk of doing business in Iran, and what the risks would be if they were found to be part of a terrorist or proliferation transaction," says Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert Kimmitt.
    Top U.S. Treasury officials visited bankers and finance ministers around the world, warning them to be careful about their dealings with Iranian companies that might covertly be supporting terrorism or weapons proliferation. This was enough to convinc e most big foreign banks in Europe and Japan to back away from Iran. The new sanctions are toxic because they effectively limit a country's access to the global ATM. In that sense, they impose - at last - a real price on countries such as Iran that have blithely defied UN resolutions. (Washington Post)


Who Wins in Iraq? Iran - Vali Nasr
In the political vacuum that followed Saddam's fall, Iranian influence quickly spread into southern Iraq on the back of commercial connections - driven by a growing volume of trade and a massive flow of Iranian pilgrims into shrine cities of Iraq - and burgeoning intelligence and political ties. Iran's influence quickly extended to every level of Iraq's bureaucracy, Shiite clerical and tribal establishments, and security and political apparatuses. The war turned a large part of Iraq into an Iranian sphere of influence and, equally important, paved the way for Iranian hegemony in the Persian GulfThe writer is professor at the Naval Postgraduate School and adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. (Foreign Policy-Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)


Maintaining Perspective on Iran - Fouad Ajami (U.S. News)

  • Mixing bravado and bluff, and granting proxies in Palestine and Lebanon, the leaders of the Iranian theocracy appear to have succeeded in spreading the image of a mighty power able to have its way in the world. For some, that great arc stretching from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean is now a battleground between Pax Americana and the Persians. This belief is in part due to the abdication of the Arab states, their virtual absence from the contest of nations.
  • Iran is a radical player in the world of states, but we should not overstate its power. We should not fall for the Persian bluff. It is important that we do all we can to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions and to checkmate it in arenas that count, but we should always remember that this is a society swimming against the tide of history and confronting the limits of its capabilities. The Iranians dwell virtually alone in the House of Islam, separated by language and culture, marked by their Shiism.
  • Iran's deranged president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, came into power promising to put Iran's oil wealth "on the dinner table." But the Iranian economy is on the ropes. The price of bread and meat and basic commodities has risen by as much as 25 percent. A society that spends $20 billion a year to subsidize the price of energy, electricity, and gasoline will in the end have to contend with the wrath and disappointment of its people.
  • There is swagger in Iran, and there is menace, for its rulers are without scruples. Terrorism, for them, is always an option. But theirs is a vulnerable and brittle society. There is no need to "engage" them and bail them out as they stumble. The regime should be harassed, contained, and held to account.




MYTH #254

"Palestinians have ceased their terrorist attacks."



Until the deadly suicide bombing attack in Eilat on January 29, 2007, which took the life of three innocent people, nearly a year had passed since a major terrorist incident. This created the false impression that the Palestinians have ceased or reduced their efforts to target Israelis. In fact, the apparent lull in violence is not a function of any diminution of efforts by the terrorists, but, rather, an indication of the success of Israeli counter terror operations (CNN, January 29, 2007).


The Palestinians promised to end violence as a condition to Israel recognizing the PLO in 1993. The Palestinians promised to stop terror again when they signed the Oslo agreements. They reiterated this commitment yet again when the agreed to the road map. As recently as November 2006 they announced a cease-fire after Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas reached an agreement with rival Palestinian factions for a cessation of violence. Each time, however, Palestinian promises have proven insincere as their deeds have contradicted their words.

As part of the most recent agreement the Palestinians agreed to stop Qassam rocket fire, suicide bombings and the digging of tunnels (Haaretz, November 26, 2006). Despite the “cease-fire,” Qassam rockets continue to be launched almost daily into Israeli territory and tunnels are dug along the border with Egypt. One tunnel provided the opportunity to conduct the attack in Eilat. Terrorists routinely attempt to infiltrate Israel. In just one week in February 2007 three suicide bombing attacks were thwarted, one in Tel Aviv and two others in Sinai (Jerusalem Post, Reuters, February 21, 2007).

Palestinian terrorists remain committed to the destruction of Israel and the Palestinian Authority leadership continues to do little or nothing to stop the violence, and, more likely, is encouraging it. The only reason atrocities are not being perpetuated with the same regularity as in the past is because of the tireless efforts of the security agencies to prevent them and the efficacy of the security barrier.


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


To order a copy of the NEW paperback edition of Myths and Facts, click HERE. The previous edition of Myths & Facts is also available in Spanish, German, French, Russian, Portuguese, Swedish, and Hebrew.






Our Next Synaplex Shabbat will be

Cantor Littman’s



NEXT Friday, March 9 at 7:30 PM



Followed by a Sit-Down Oneg and Rebbe’s Tish

A special Tot Shabbat will also be held at 7:30







» Click here for more information






Temple Beth El

Second Night

Community Seder

Tuesday, April 3

6:30 PM

350 Roxbury Road



Led by Rabbi Joshua Hammerman and

 Cantor Rachael Littman

Includes traditional Kosher Seder meal

Entertainment and activities for children throughout the evening; Open to the public – All are welcome!


Prices:      Adults:$55, Children (3-12) $25

                Maximum Price Per Family $175

                (Parents & Kids)

Please RSVP At 322-6901 by March 22







 The Many Demensions of Jewish Prayer”

with Rabbi Hammerman

meets select Sunday mornings 9:00-10:00 am


Bimah 101:

Prepatory course for Adult Bar/ Bat Mitzvah

With Cantor Rachael Littman

Meets weekly Sunday mornings 10:00-11:00 am


                                                     Judaism for Everyone

An Introductory Class for Dummies, Smarties

and Those Who Don’t Know How to Ask

With Rabbi Hammerman

Meets weekly on select Sundays 11:00 am-12:00 pm

(A prerequisite for those who wish to join

the Beth El Adult Bar/ Bat Mitzvah Class.)

Fee: $50 for materials


 Modern Conversational Hebrew Ulpan

Instructor: Eran Vaisben, Education Director


Do you have good basic Hebrew reading skills? The primary goal of this class is to further your overall

understanding and use of the Hebrew language. This class emphasis is on communicative skills that

will enable you to communicate in simple Hebrew for everyday situations. This first level Ulpan class

is covering a variety of dialogue, articles, stories and songs.

Prerequisite: Hebrew reading


Learning and Latte at Borders

Stamford’s long-running monthly interfaith “tri-alogue”

featuring Rabbi Joshua Hammerman, Rev. Douglas McArthur and Dr. Behjat Syed

This year’s topic:

“Moral Dilemmas for a World in Crisis”

Join us as we engage in friendly dialogue about some of the hot-button issues of the day.  

Meets on the second Tuesday of each month from 7:30-8:30 PM, October-May

 Topics (subject to last-minute adjustment to keep up with the headlines)

March 13 – Is sexuality good, evil or neither?  What are the worst “sins” for our traditions?

April 10 – What are different ways of imagining God in our traditions? How does God show love?

May 8 – What is the future of religion in America?  The world?  Is religion a source of evil? Can other religions be “true?”  How can pluralism work for the believer?




Support our Temple Gift Shop! 


Community Scholar-in-Residence Program


President Emeritus of National Hillel & Early Architect of “birthright israel

March 20, 2007

7:30 pm at Temple Beth El (opening session)

“Being Jewish in the iPod Age”

Maintaining and translating Jewish values into contemporary Jewish life

Infeld is known for his searing intellect, brilliant insights

into Jewish life and enthusiastic, dynamic speaking style,

Avraham Infeld is not to be missed.

For more information on the other events of the three-day program,

visit UJF website at or contact

Dr. Ilana De Laney

203.321.1373 ext. 114 or

This program made possible through the generosity

of the Herbert and Sarah M. Gibor Charitable Foundation

We PROMISE you won’t be disappointed!


Youth Programming




*** All USY events are now open to 8th graders

8th grades are welcome to continue to attend Kadima events as well.

March 3rd - Temple Beth El's Famous Purim Carnival! 

USY members are invited to volunteer and help man the different booths.

(Transportation will be provided for those going on to the Teen Cruise)

March 31st or April 1st - Comedy Club in New York!

May 5th or 6th Chelsea Piers

June 3rd - Pool Party

We hope to see you at these events.
If you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to write me at or call 917-348-9790.

All the best!



Thanks to Mindy Rogoff and Darlene Kaufman, who both sent me this one:


Two astronauts land on Mars.  Their mission: to check whether there  is oxygen on the planet.
"Give me the box of matches" says one. "Either it burns and there is oxygen, or nothing happens."
He takes the box, and is ready to strike a match when out of the blue, a Martian appears waving all his arms..."No, no, don't!"
The two guys look at each other, worried.  Could there be an unknown explosive gas on Mars? But he takes another match....
And now, a crowd of hysterical Martians is coming, all waving their arms: "No, no, don't do that!"
 "It looks serious. What are they afraid of? But - we're here for Science, to know if man can breathe on Mars".
 He strikes a match, which flames up, burns down, and..... nothing happens.
 "Why did you want to prevent us from striking a match?"
The leader of the Martians says,
"Today is Shabbos!"



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

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