Friday, December 29, 2023

TBE Milestones: A Quiz 37 Years In the Making

 1)      Who of the names below did NOT speak here as part of the Hoffman Lecture series?

Wolf Blitzer

Alan Dershowitz

Elie Wiesel

Thomas Friedman

Yitz Greenberg

(Answer is 5. Rabbi Greenberg was here as a scholar in residence)

2)      Our first weekend scholar in residence was...

Peninnah Schram

Neil Gillman

Moshe Waldoks

Steve Greenberg

Burt Visotzky


(Answer is 1. Peninnah Schram, the great Jewish storyteller, came for a weekend while I was still assistant rabbi. The first who came when I became senior rabbi was Waldoks, the rabbi and humorist (and he was very funny)). Storahtelling came here several times, during our Synaplex era.

3)      TBE Shabbatons were memorable. List the one place where they were never held....

Holiday Hills

Camp Sloane

The Nevele

Camp Eisner

Camp David

(Answer is 5. We were never invited.)

4)      In which Confirmation Class photo did my hair begin to turn silver-ish?






(Answer is 4.)

5)      Of all the things said from the pulpit during my tenure, this line drew the most laughs - and I didn't say it. Who did, and when?

"I'd like to thank the rabbi. He's been like a father to me."

(Answer: Ethan at his bar mitzvah)

6)      Which was my favorite bar/bat mitzvah class ever?

1) 1988

2) 1999

3) 2111

4) 2525

5) 5775

6) Are you kidding me? They all are!

(answer: 6)

7)      In 30 years, I've missed exactly one bar or bat mitzvah. Why did I miss it?

Saturday, the rabbi slept late

The kid stuck gum on my chair

Hey, she missed my bar mitzvah.

To go on the March of the Living

(answer: d - and she was given 9 months advance notice and a chance to switch dates. Just sayin')

8)      Which of the following was the worst usage of the term "Shabbat" in our eternal efforts at marketing Shabbat?

Tot Shabbat


Synaplex Shabbat

Shab-N-Schmooze (for teens)

Shabbat Unplugged



(answer: none of the above!)

9) Which large retailer did I cite during a High Holidays sermon early in my tenure, mentioning that, because of their serious moral lapses, I would not be shopping there for a year (I never called it a "boycott...")

1) Bloomingdales (there was a Bloomingdales?)

2) Stop and Shop

3) Stew Leonards

4) Bernie Madoff's Superstore

5) Amazing Stores in Norwalk

(answer: You think I'm crazy?  Ask someone who was here!)

10) Most of our recent Israel trips have been run by Keshet Israel Tours.  What company ran the first few?

Answer: "Hearts of Pam," lovingly run by our very missed and loved Pamela Cohn Allen

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