This Shabbat is Parshat Hachodesh, which marks the occasion of the first mitzvah given to the nation of Israel. The Jews were commanded to sanctify the new month. In essence, it was a call to exercise their new found freedom to choose wisely to elevate every moment for holiness. It is a tragedy to waste time. For us, in a world of haste and hustle, we need this reminder as well.
The nature of humanity is to become habituated to the beauty and blessing around us and to become bored. The greatest proof of this phenomenon within humanity emerged at the beginning of time. We forget that Adam and Eve were commanded to eat from all of the trees of the Garden of Eden. God wanted them to enjoy all of the pleasures of the world. They could partake of anything-except for one tree. Soon enough, they became bored with what was permitted and only desired the forbidden fruit.
How do we live inspired and infuse the mundane and monotonous with meaning? In his book, Time and the Art of Living, Robert Grudin writes, "Because we believe that one moment is more or less like the next, we lose touch with the essential urgency of the present, the fact that each passing moment is the one moment for the practice of freedom." We possess a choice each moment to live or die, to grow or decay-in this instant and right now. We will never have this moment again.
The holiday of Pesach is all about time. One minute distinguishes between chametz and matzah. We focus on the last time to eat chametz, the start of the seder and the latest time to eat the afikoman. Ultimately, the holidays enjoins us to realize that we can potentially transform a fleeting moment into eternity when we harness our time for a mitzvah.
It is also the secret to leading a life of simcha, joy. Happiness emerges from unlocking the potential in any moment and appreciating the gift of every breath. Every breath we take is God's way of awakening within us the sacredness of every second. Every moment is new; every breath is fresh and endowed with the potential for eternal resonance. Let us use this season to gain new appreciation for the infinite potential in every moment.
Wishing you and your families a Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Daniel Cohen
Please note Rabbi Cohen will be away from Sunday to Wednesday but is accessible via email (email@example.com). In case of an emergency, please contact Rabbi Oran Zweiter (firstname.lastname@example.org or 917-544-7522) or Matt Feinberg (email@example.com or 203-703 -9042).
Best wishes to our CAS delegation going to AIPAC in Washington DC this coming week. Even if you will not be there, you can join virtually by visiting www.aipac.org
Seder Prep and Our Commitment to You - A Message from Rabbi Cohen: Thank God, we offer a wonderful array of classes to prepare for Pesach. However, if you cannot attend and would like a one-on-one Seder prep session, please let me know via email. Either I, or Rabbis Zweiter or Walk will set a time to meet before the holidays. Looking forward, God wiling, to a wonderful and uplifting Pesach season.
NEW New Shabbat Class for 6th and 7th graders - Mishna and Munchies with Rabbi Cohen. Meets 45 minutes before mincha at the Cohen home. First session - March 25th at 6:00 PM. For more info, contact Rabbi Cohen - firstname.lastname@example.org
Kosher Alerts The OU reminds you to always check the label before purchasing any item that needs kosher certification! And for the latest corrective actions, stay up with the latest OU KOSHER CONSUMER ALERTS & ADVISORIES...just click here
Kosher Advisory Breaking news from the OU - newly certified items! to check out the list click here
LIPS product of the week Check out our new Love Israel Products Blog (LIPS) for the latest ways to support Israel! Thank you to Lola Halperin and Aaron Goldenberg for organizing. www.loveisraelproducts.com
Thank you to Stamford Wine-Liquor Beer at 583 Newfield Avenue - Kris Patel for providing the wine and liquor at our annual dinner at a generous discount. Kris carries an extensive selection of kosher wine, many from Israel.
Pesach is around the corner. With this holiday comes the high cost of preparations and significant financial burden on a number of members of our community. The Maot Chitim/Passover Fund at our synagogue receives requests from various individuals and organizations. We prioritize the disbursement of all funds with an emphasis on first helping those in need from our own community. Please contribute generously and promptly. We would like to distribute the funds as soon as possible to help people prepare for the holiday. Thank you in advance for your generosity and wish you a Chag Kasher V'Sameach. Rabbi Daniel Cohen
to CAS Teen Leader Yaakov Faratci, son of Shimon and Stephanie Faratci, and Yael Dratch, daughter of former CAS Rabbi Mark and Sarah z"l Lamm Dratch, on their engagement
Celebrate with the family! Make a donation in their honor and we will send an acknowledgement to the family. Just click here
to the Dayan & Jelen families on their BCDS Students advancing in the Chidon HaTanach International Competition. This year for the first time BCDS entered the Chidon HaTanach International Competition with three students in grade 7: Max Dayan, Yehudit Hochman and PJ Jelen. They studied all year with the guidance of Morah Elana. Students from North America take three tests throughout the year and only the top 150 scores advance to the finals. BCDS (& CAS) are proud that all three of our students have advanced to the finals which will be held in NYC on May 14.
Thanks To Our Sponsors
Shabbat Shalom Hospital Packages
the Linda Beson Nursing Education Fund
Ana and Albert Lilienfeld in honor of Hecky Attar
In honor of Rabbi Tzvi Bernstein and Steven Steinmetz's birthdays by their wives
Kori & Bill Meyers and Rachel & Richard Seligson in celebration of Sam and Daniel's birthdays
by Melanie & Mark Kaplan in honor of Sarah's Bat Mitzvah
Do a mitzvah and help the Jewish Family Service fill its food pantry with Pesach food! Items needed: Matzah! *Items must be marked Kosher for Passover* Please bring donations now through March 29 to CAS Grocery bags can be left in the lobby coat closet Questions, please contact event chairs: Leah Fischel-Leah.Fischel@gmail.com or Shari Levine- Sharikel@gmail.com Youth chairs: Tina Reicin and Issac Reicin
Rabbi Grunstein will share a brief Dvar Torah at the Friday night services and the Chapel Service Shabbat morning. He will deliver the 1030 AM shiur on Just Rabbinic - Will of God or Will of the Rabbis and at Seudat Shlishit on Why do most people like to have "davened" but dislike "davening?"
We are grateful to Joyce and Larry Haber for their generosity in sponsoring Rabbi Grunstein's visit.
CAS believes in welcoming guests to our home and insuring that everyone has a place for the seder. Please indicate, using the form below, if you can host others - or if you would like us to match you up with another CAS family for either or both of the seders
CAS helps you get ready for Passover! Enjoy a wonderful Chinese dinner at CAS - allowing you to convert your home to Pesach by Friday! (members: $15/adult, $12/child, non-members: $18/adult, $15/child)
Passover comes with the high cost of preparations and significant financial burden on a number of members of our community. The Maot Chitim/Passover Fund at our synagogue receives requests from various individuals and organizations. We prioritize the disbursement of all funds with an emphasis on first helping those in need from our own community.
Thank God, we had a great meeting recentty with Larry Ritter of ITC Tours and planning for a Journey of Body and Soul next fall. If you have an interest and/or would like to join, please be in touch with Rabbi Cohen. We hope to solidify the participants by the end of March and then start some pre-trip studying and bonding after Pesach. To learn more about the trip visit www.cas-Stamford.org. Visit the informational tables during Kiddush on March 12, 19 and 26th.
We are looking for families and couples to host the potluck and provide the main dish, drinks, and challah, and then guests will fill in with side dishes and desserts. Join us for this great way to get to know people in the CAS community! For more info, contact Jessica Furmanky at email@example.com
We need volunteers! Please call Julie at (203) 321-6460 or Anne at (203) 321-5072
CAS Young Families
CAS Young Families Spring Fling Shabbat Oneg in the Park . Please join the CAS Young Families in the Shabbas Park on Saturday, April 29th at 4:00 pm for an oneg. Please bring a parve dessert or snack to share. If it rains, we will postpone to May 6th . We are looking forward to seeing everyone! Please feel free to invite friends and any families who may be visiting.
CAS Young Families Shalom Bayit Series with Rabbi Daniel Cohen Shalom Bayit Series with Rabbi Daniel Cohen Three Sundays in the Spring. April 23rd, May 7th and June 11th at 8 PM. Topics will be Parenting on the Same Page, 10 Principles for Spiritual Parenting, Romance in a Busy Marriage. For more information and/or registration for the series, contact Rachel Maryles at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Toddler Time Playgroup Tuesdays, 3:30 pm. Please join us for an hour of free play for children 1 to 4 years old and their caregivers. Facilitated by two moms of toddlers, this drop-in group meets weekly at CAS in the downstairs children's classroom. No cost, a light snack provided. Info: Rachel Kaimowitz email@example.com or Jessica Furmansky JessicaL83@gmail.com
Week of March 26
Rabbi David Walk: Bible from the Beginning - 9:15 AM
Bob Abrams: Tanach, Judaism and World History - Bagels with Bob - 10:00 AM
Bob Abrams: Tanach - The Book of Samuel - 10:15 AM
Rabbi David Walk: Dvar Yom B'Yomo. - 11:30 AM
Women's Scholar Series - Yona Goldman: In the Image of Hashem... B'tzelem Elokim - 7:30 PM
Rabbi Daniel Cohen: Power of the Prophets -New Series on Daniel - 8:15 AM
Rabbi Daniel Cohen: Depth of Genesis - 9:00 AM
Rabbi Daniel Cohen: Parsha Perspectives - 12:00 PM
Rabbi David Walk: Passover Primer - 7:30 PM
Rabbi Oran Zweiter: Weekly Haftorah - 9:00 AM
Rabbi Daniel Cohen: The Depth of Passover - 8:15 AM
Rabbi Oran Zweiter: Rambam Reboot - 13 Principles - 9:00 AM
Rabbi David Walk: Talmud Taanit - 7:30 PM
Rabbi Daniel Cohen: The Pre-Shabbos Torah Taste - 8:15 AM
LADIES The Stamford Mikvah needs your help! We are currently looking for women who would be willing to act as volunteer attendants. Our lovely and dedicated Shery takes Sundays off and we always need people for vacation cover as well. The only requirement is familiarity with Mikvah usage (and being a woman!) and training will be provided if appropriate. If you're interested please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
DID YOU KNOW? HEALING AND HOSPITALITY UPDATE Whether in the hospital, assisted living, rehab or at home, a visit can lift someone's spirits and help with their healing. We pray in the mi'sheberach for a healing of the spirit and healing of the body. Thank God, we have a cadre of people who volunteer to visit our members. We stay in touch and alert the group to mitzvah opportunities via the email@example.com email group. The warmth of our community is our strength and our value. Thank God, many people are moving into the community. There is no better substitute for building friendships than a Shabbat meal. Once a month, we invite our members to host new families for Shabbat by sending them names. If you would like to be added to either or both groups, please contact Matt Feinberg in the office or Rabbi Cohen.
FRIDAY NIGHT, MARCH 31ST, 9:15PM AT THE HOME OF DAVID AND JUDITH JELEN, CAS cordially sponsors an oneg and shiur with Rabbi Menachem Leibtag of Yeshiva Har Etzion, "Why Moshe is in the Dark Until Chosech". All are invited.
CAS FREE MEZUZAH CAMPAIGN IN FAIRFIELD COUNTY, CT Bringing Blessings to Jewish Homes. Do you know a neighbor or a friend who lacks a mezuzah? CAS offers a free mezuzah and home visit to post this sacred scroll at the entrance to all Jewish homes in the area. For more info, contact Rabbi Cohen: firstname.lastname@example.org
JOIN THE CHEVRA KADISHA We need new volunteers for the Chevra - those willing to perform a tahara. Info: Please contact Rochel Attar at email@example.com
IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING We need you to help secure our Synagogue. As you come to the building, please be aware of your surroundings. If you see something out of the ordinary, please let someone know about it. This will keep everyone safe.
WELCOME TO OUR SYNAGOGUE PROGRAM Every Shabbat we station ushers at the doors in the sanctuary to welcome people, assist them and enhance the service. We are expanding the usher roles to include a greeter in the lobby from 9-10:30 am. Please join the usher team. We need you and your smile. Info: Mitchell Bell.
COMMUNITY CHESED HELPERS An important role of the Chesed committee is outreach to the Shul's elderly and homebound, who are often isolated and lack a lifeline to our synagogue. Volunteer to reach out and identify needs, visit, or give a ride. Even small gestures mean a great deal Interested? Vivian Weiss at 203-323-0909 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are aware of elderly or homebound members in need of outreach, please notify Rabbi Cohen.
WE WANT YOU FOR BINGO! Players AND volunteers needed. Join in on the fun we have every MONDAY at 6:00 PM
CAS Israel Advocacy Update
CAS Israel Advocacy Update
Reserve Sunday, June 4 for the Celebrate IsraelParade - celebrateisraelny.org. March with one of our local schools, be a spectator, or join CAS! We plan to send a CAS delegation - please contact me if you would like to help plan and participate.
Consider Visiting Israel this year! Contact Rabbi Cohen about his trip
Join our Israel Advocacy Committee
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. On May 22-25 be front and center for a mega-celebration in Israel in partnership with the Religious Zionist of America (RZA) and World Mizrachi. Individuals and communities from around the world will participate in this once in a lifetime opportunity. Celebrating 50 years of a reunited Jerusalem on Yom Yerushalayim. See www.mizrachi.org/YY50.
SOOSH BENEFIT POP-UP Soosh, in partnership with UJF, presents a pop-up restaurant on Tuesday, April 4th at Soosh, featuring a 5-course tasting menu of all new dishes created by Chef Evan Finkel with wine pairings from Royal Wine Corp. A portion of the proceeds will benefit BCDS, Carmel, and the Jewish High School of CT. Reserve a spot today to enjoy a delicious new menu and support your local schools! There will be 2 seatings @ 6pm and 8:30pm. RSVP by March 28th @ [www.ujf.org/popup] Total Cost: $100/person
UJF YOUNG LEADERSHIP MEETS WITH TZAHAL SHALOM On Monday, March 27th at 7:30pm UJF will hold a Young Leadership parlor meeting with IDF soldiers as part of the JCCs Tzahal Shalom Program. You will have a chance to mix and mingle with soldiers, hear their stories and ask questions about their experiences. This free YLD program is open to the public, and is for those approximately 25-45 in age. To rsvp please call the UJF office or contact Sharon Franklin at email@example.com. The program will be held at a private home in Stamford, address will be supplied with RSVP.
UNITED JEWISH FEDERATION HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL PROGRAM. April 23. The annual Yom HaShoah event will be held at Temple Beth El at 4:30pm, and will feature key note speaker Dr. Eric Goldman, a Jewish film expert, who will speak about the Holocaust through the lens of the cinema. Also featured, will be an art exhibit featuring art of Yad Vashem: "The Anguish of Liberation as Reflection in Art" and "Reflections of local Holocaust survivors". The exhibit will open with a reception on April 3rd at the government center in Stamford, 888 Washington Boulevard, at 5:30pm, and Mayor Martin will say a few words. These free programs are open to the entire community. For more information call the UJF office or contact Sharon Franklin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RABBI MENACHEM LEIBTAG SHIUR Please join us for Rabbi Menachem Leibtag's annual Lunch and Learn Shiur entitled: Re-examining "Redemption" in light of "Creation". The thematic connection between Shmot and Bereishit. The Shiur will be held at Soosh on March 29, 2017. Lunch from 12:30 followed by the Shiur at 1:00. RSVP to Judith Jelen at Jelen1@aol.com by March 24th
613 FOR PASSOVER? No one likes cleaning for Passover....Having to cook for Shabbat 3 days before is even worse! So join us in our Shabbat dinner meal , let us do the cooking.. On APRIL 7th, 613 Restaurant will be hosting a Shabbat meal for the community. We will have candlelighting and minyan at 6:30pm, and start the meal at 7:15pm so you can drive to the restaurant before Shabbat and only have to walk one way....home! (vehicles can be left in 613 parking lot over Shabbat) PLEASE RSVP BY March 31st TO email@example.com
IMPROV ON ICE WITH CHICAGO CITY LIMITS SUPPORTING JCC TZAHAL SHALOM . Saturday, April 1, 8:30 p.m. doors open, 9 p.m. show begins at The J. Raise your glass to our JCC Tzahal officers and laugh the night away with the comedic improv of Chicago City Limits. Purchase tables or individual tickets early as this event sells out. $75 per person/$750 to reserve a table for 10. RSVP by March 27. Click here to purchase tickets online. Dairy dessert. Dietary laws observed. Must be 18+ to attend. Co-chairs: Marcy Kurzman and Lisa Popper. Committee: Alix Eben, Hope Levensohn, Ilyse Lyman and Dana Roth. For details about our JCC Tzahal Shalom events, click here. For more information, contact Nancy Schiffman at 203.487.0941 or firstname.lastname@example.org
SPRING SEMESTER REGISTRATION AT THE J Member registration for spring classes and programs begins Monday, March 27 at 9 a.m. At that time, members in good standing can register online at stamfordjcc.org, by phone at 203.322.7900, or in person at the JCC welcome desk. Registration for enrichment classes is accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Each individual may register for one family only. Online registrations for child care programs cannot be accepted for the JCC Sara Walker Nursery School, KinderPlace, KidsPlace, and other programs at the discretion of the JCC. Community registration begins Wednesday, March 29 at 9 a.m. Community members may register in person at the JCC, by phone at 203.322.7900, or online at [stamfordjcc.org].Spring semester classes and programs begin Wednesday, April 19. For full class descriptions and registration information, please [link:http://www.stamfordjcc.org/membership/membership-at-the-jcc/#JoinToday,text:click here,type:link]. For more information, please contact Carla L. White, Director, Registration at 203.487.0942 or [email@example.com]
BI-CULTURAL DAY SCHOOL FAMILY TRIP TO ISRAEL is scheduled to leave April 30 and return May 11, 2017. Let's celebrate Yom Ha'Atzmaut together in Israel!! For more information about this very special trip, please contact Bob Abrams at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-329-2186.
JEWISH SENIOR SERVICES NEEDS MINYAN MENSCHEN!! JSS is in great need of men to attend and help make our daily Minyan (prayer quorum of ten) in order to help Residents say the Kaddish 365 days of the year. Our Minyan hours will not overlap with most synagogues Minyans. Please feel free to contact Rabbi Stephen Shulman, Director, Pastoral Services at (203) 396-1001 or email email@example.com for exact service times.
STANLEY FERBER MEMORIAL SENIOR PASSOVERSEDER Tuesday, April 4 * 11:30 am - 1:30 pm Joinus for a Seder led by Hazzan Sidney Rabinowitz, followed by a traditionalPassover meal. The Passover Seder is presented each year for the senior adult community, free of charge, thanks to the generosity of Mrs. Beverly Ferber, in memory of her husband, Stanley Ferber. For more information or to register,contact Connie Cirillo Freeman at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 203.487.0983.
THE JEWISH HIGH SCHOOL OF CONNECTICUT'S 6TH ANNUAL SPRING GALA , recognizing Keter Shem Tov recipients Andrew and Elizabeth Lustbader, is on Sunday, April 30th at 11:00 am. The featured speaker this year is Bret Stephens. Mr. Stephens is a Wall Street Journal columnist, winner of a 2013 Pulitzer Prize and former Chief Editor of the Jerusalem Post. The Gala will be held at Temple Beth El in Stamford (350 Roxbury Road). For more information, please call 203-357-0850, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.jhsct.org
CAMOS For the fifth time, CAMOS (Committee to Advance Modern Orthodoxy in Stamford) will be representing the Stamford community at the bi-annual Jewish Fair sponsored by the Orthodox Union, to be held in Manhattan on Sunday, April 30th from 12 noon-6PM. http://www.checkoutstamford.com/news Historically this has been one of the most effective ways we've been able to promote the community to others who are interested in finding out more about Stamford. A big thank you to Elaine Finkelstein, who is chairing the CAMOS effort, and to our various organization and real estate partners who have agreed to be sponsors at the event. If you know anyone who might be interested in moving to Stamford, please tell them about the fair.
DO A MITZVAH! CONSIDER SUPPORTING THE JFS KOSHER FOOD PANTRY by purchasing Mitzvah Baskets and/or Mitzvah Centerpieces instead of flowers for your next simcha at CAS. Distributions from the JFS Kosher Food Pantry have increased by more than 1000 since the recession. With this tremendous upsurge in use, JFS is constantly challenged to keep the food pantry full. Your generosity enables JFS to help those in our community in their greatest moments of need.
SCHOKE JFS LIFE TRANSITIONS, beginning Wednesday, September 14th at 4 pm Support group, meeting weekly, for unemployed facing the emotional challenges of finding employment at the Stamford Schoke JFS office, 733 Summer Street, 6th Floor. Contact Anne Birchenough at 203-921-4161 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
LETS TALK (FREE) Thursdays, 11 am at the Stamford JCC, 1035 Newfield Avenue and Thursdays, 1 pm at the Westport Senior Center, 21 Imperial Avenue. Seniors talk about common interests and concerns, facilitated by a Schoke Jewish Family Service counselor. Contact Anne Birchenough at 203-921-4161 or email@example.com.
SCHOKE JFS BRAIN FITNESS GROUP PROGRAM -Tuesdays, April 25th and May 16th at 1pm: Designed for individuals looking to stimulate their brain power with a meaningful experience focusing on insight, reducing stress, inspiring confidence, and providing practical support to help reach personal goals! Come and meet others and participate in some mental exercises to stimulate brain power. Insurance co-pays will be accepted, or $20 fee to attend. Light refreshments will be served. Advance registration suggested by contacting Jami Fener, Brain Fitness Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-921-4161 x121
LETS TALK Fairfield, starting in February 23rd at 12:45 pm at the Bigelow Center for Senior Activities, 100 Mona Terrace, Fairfield. Seniors talk about common interests and concerns, facilitated by a Schoke Jewish Family Service counselor. Contact Rebekah Kanefsky at 203-921-4161 or email@example.com
NOT ENOUGH MONEY FOR FOOD? Schoke JFS will provide information and eligibility assistance for financial help to purchase food. For a consultation, please contact Rebekah Kanefsky, Schoke JFS Case Manager at 203-921-4161 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAVE THE DATE: SCHOKE JFS COLLEGE AHEAD!, Thursday, May 4th at 7:30 pm at the Stamford J, 1035 Newfield Avenue, Stamford. A panel of college admissions deans will discuss topics of interest to high school students and their parents, moderated by Claire Friedlander, Schoke JFS College Consultant. For more information, contact her at email@example.com or 203-921-4161.
SAVE THE DATE: An Evening with Elayne & James Schoke JFS on Wednesday, May 10th at the Italian Center, Stamford: 38th Annual Mitzvah Award to the Beldotti Family and Young Leadership Award to Mark Frank. Cocktails at 5:30 pm, dinner, live auction and, at 8:00 pm, stand-up comedy by Steve Solomon of the Broadway show, My Mothers Italian, My Fathers Jewish and Im in Therapy. For more details or to RSVP, visit www.ctjfs.org.
SCHOKE JFS BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT GROUP, meets weekly, starting on Thursdays, March 16th at 10:30 am, at Congregation Bnai Israel, 2710 Park Avenue, Bridgeport. Gather to share feelings and exchange ideas in a non-judgmental environment that provides emotional, practical, and spiritual support for grieving the loss of a spouse or significant other. Contact Amanda Geffner, Schoke JFS therapist at 203-921-4161 or firstname.lastname@example.org