The proverbial statement "Do not judge a book by its cover" is inspired by the mishna in Ethics of Our Fathers, by Rabbi Meir, which states, "Do not look at the bottle, but at what is contained within."
It is a hard principle to live by. In our fast paced world, we would rather simplify, compartmentalize and judge than take the time to really get to know someone. We may evaluate a person based on appearance or association, when instead we should see beyond the surface. Every human being possesses a story and a soul.
This challenge manifests itself in many ways. How do we respect our elderly? In particular, do we engage someone with dementia or Parkinson's? Do we treat someone with a disability as different or befriend him or her like any other person? A person who is disheveled deserves the same dignity as one who is dressed to the tee. We should never discriminate whether by faith or race, as everyone is created in God's image.
What do we see?
A timeless idea in this Torah portion affirms this enduring value. Moses smashes the tablets upon the worshiping of the golden calf. He seeks God's forgiveness for the Jewish people and God grants a second chance via a new covenant and the second set of tablets. The Talmud wonders what happened to the broken shards of the first set. Are they buried as is customary for sacred objects? The Talmud explains that the broken tablets were stored in the ark next to the second set. They still maintained their holiness. The implications are numerous.
We respect a Torah scholar who may have forgotten his wisdom or an elder with memory loss. We see beyond the brokenness of person and recognize the Divine imprint upon them. Regardless of economic class, race or faith, we are enjoined not to search for the dirt, but to mine for the gold.
In our own community, the next few weeks are a unique opportunity to strengthen our united bonds. On seder night, we invite all who are hungry to come and eat. Now is the time to find ways to insure the physical, emotional and spiritual well being and sense of welcoming of those in our midst. Make a contribution to our Passover Charity Fund at www.cas-stamford.org/passover, support the JFS Pesach Food Drive, commit to visits though our "healing visits" mitzvah team and extend an invitation for a seder. If you would like suggestions of people, please let me know.
What do we see?
May we envision the sparks of the Divine in everyone, both inside and outside the Jewish community, and in the words of King David, partner with God in building a world of Chesed, Kindness.
Wishing you and your families a Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Daniel Cohen
Rabbi Cohen will speak regularly each Shabbat in the Sanctuary Service after musaf.
Dudes, Daughters, & Donuts is ON for this Sunday, 9:15 AM
Public service reminder: All unprocessed raw meat and chicken is automatically kosher for Pesach and just needs to be rinsed well before use. Buy now and freeze before prices increase. (Ground meat must be kosher for Pesach). Uncooked and unprocessed corn beef and pastrami needs to be marked kosher for Pesach.
Thank you to Stephanie and Bob Sherman, Sandy & Michael Kamen, Beverly & David Stein, and Veronica & Erwin Reich for supporting the Rosalie Aberman AIPAC Teen Advocacy Program. If you would like to support this initiative and deepen Israel Teen Advocacy, please contact Rabbi Cohen.
Israel Trip Update Thank God, we had a great meeting recently 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 18 and 25.
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
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 make a memorial contribution online, and have us send an acknowledgement to the family, please click here
to our Annual Festive Dinner Honorees: Guests of Honor: Sandi & Stuart Waldstreicher, Community Service Award: Dean Schuckman, Young Leadership Award: Daniella & Mitchel Balsam, and Chai Award Barbara & Larry z"l Miller
Celebrate with the family! Make a donation in their honor and we will send an acknowledgement to the family. Just click here
to Jessica Furmansky, Judith Bernstein, and Melissa Litwak for chairing a fantastic Purim Seuda
to Dinner Chairs, Darona Bernstein and Liba Steinmetz
to Journal Chairs, Diane & Elliot Sloyer and Rhonda Schaffer-Maron & Jeffrey Maron
Thanks To Our Sponsors
Shabbat Shalom Hospital Packages
Gloria Green, Cheryl Frydman, Stacey Mintz, Ethan Green in memory of Tamara Miriam Chassen on her 17th yahrzeit;by Flossy & Sam Fischel in honor of Ellen & Ari Fischel & Family's move to their new community; and the Linda Beson Nursing Education Fund
Jay Jubas in commemoration of the yahrzeit of his father, Dr. Harry Jubas
Eric & Rebecca Sigman and Rachel & Ephraim Cohen
Eric Jankelovits in commemoration of the first yahrzeit of his mother, Erna
Scott, Jeff, & Russ Miller and their families in honor of their Parents being honored with the Chai Award and the Mark Family in honor of Len's 70th birthday
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 belives 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
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.
Jeffrey Maron & Rhonda Schaffer-Maron and Diane & Elliot Sloyer
CAS Young Families
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
Babies & Breakfast at CAS Bring your baby and come mingle with other moms at CAS. This free group is for moms with babies from birth through 1 to socialize, grab some food, or at the very least, get out of the house! We meet every other Thursday at 11:30 for 1 hour. Next date: March 30. Info: Melissa Litwak (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Week of March 19
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 postponed until 3/27.
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: Kabbalah- Symbolic System of Thought - 7:30 PM
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
CAS HELPS PREPARE YOU FOR PASSOVER Back by Popular Demand! Pre-passover Chinese Food Dinner at CAS. Friday evening, April 7. Look out for details in the upcoming weeks!
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com
JOIN THE CHEVRA KADISHA We need new volunteers for the Chevra - those willing to perform a tahara. Info: Please contact Rochel Attar at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com. 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.
Sign up for AIPAC's Policy Conference. The Three most important days for Israel Advocacy -
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
SCHOKE JFS KOSHER FOOD PANTRY PASSOVER FOOD DRIVE: Sunday, March 19th from 11 am to 1 pm in front of the Stop & Shop at the Ridgeway Center. Please assist with our Passover food collection by donating matzah, gefilte fish, horseradish, matzah ball soup mix, Kosher for Passover canned fruit and vegetables, grape juice, macaroons and grocery cards for fresh produce. For more information, please contact Rebekah Kanefsky at 203-921-4161 or 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
BEYOND SIBLING RIVALRY: RACHEL AND LEAH IN THE ZOHAR Dr. Sharon Koren will present "Beyond Sibling Rivalry: Rachel and Leah in the Zohar" at Young Israel of New Rochelle, 1149 North Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10804 on Wednesday, March 22 at 7:45 p.m. The lecture, which is free and open to women and men, is part of a continuing series at YINR sponsored by WIJS, the Women's Initiative for Jewish Studies.In the Biblical text, Leah and Rachel are set up as sibling rivals from birth by nature and patriarchy. On every measure (except fertility) - i.e. age, beauty, affection - Rachel seems to emerge the winner.The Kabbalists took a different view that reflected the theological needs and physical reality of 13th century Jews living in Castile. Dr. Koren will discuss how the rabbis created a paradigm in which Leah - unwanted and unloved like the Jews of Castile - is actually the one closer to God. Dr. Koren is Associate Professor of Medieval Jewish Culture at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York and is currently researching a book on the Matriarchs in the Zohar. Please visit www.yinr.org/wijs to view the complete WIJS schedule or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to be added to our mailing list.
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 email@example.com
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 [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for exact service times.
BRUNCH AND LEARN SERIES: MINORITIES IN ISRAEL: ETHIOPIAN JEWS Sunday, March 19 * 10 - 11:30 am Today Israel is the home of the largest Ethiopian Jewish community in the world. What are their daily struggles? Suggested donation $5, open to the community. To register or for more information, contact Yael Stolarsky, JCC Israeli Shlicha, at 203-487-0951 or email@example.com.
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
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 Thursdays, 11 :00 am Free at the Stamford JCC, 1035 Newfield 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.
LETS TALK Thursdays, 1:00 pm Free at the Westport Senior Center, 21 Imperial Avenue, Westport. Seniors talk about common interests and concerns, facilitated by a Schoke Jewish Family Service counselor. Contact Anne Birchenough at 203-921-4161 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com