MoTAS Weekly for 8/6

MoTAS Weekly NewsletterIn This Issue:

  1. Volunteers Needed for Shabbabeque (Fr 8/15)
  2. Are You Coming to the Queen Concert in the Park? (Su 8/10)
  3. Making Prayer Physically Accessible Be a Golf Sponsor, and Support MoTAS and
    (Golf Tournament, Mo 10/27)
  4. The Board is Filling Fast (Football Squares)
  5. Mitzvah Day Ideas (Su, 11/2)
  6. The Pancake Breakfast is Coming (Su, 9/7)
  7. September MoTAS Meeting: Jewish Institutions in the Sepulveda Pass (Su, 9/14)
  8. Meet the Men of TAS – Roger Lowe
  9. Executive Board Meeting (Rescheduled)
  10. In Closing



Shabbabeque 2The August Shabbabeque is a week-and-a-half away. We need volunteers to help us with the event. Specifically, we need volunteers in three areas:

  1. Shopping. MoTAS shops for the event a few days before the event. We need people to help with the shopping, and more importantly, to help with unloading into the refrigerators at TAS. There will be a small amount of additional shopping the day of the event.
  2. Schlepping. Steve Zonis, who usually brings a personal grill to the event, injured his back at the last Shabbabeque. MoTAS must step up to the plate for our friend. We need one person who can help Frank S. load the grill at Steve’s house the day of the event, help unload it at TAS, and reverse the process after the event. Let’s demonstrate that MoTAS members are there for each other.
  3. Setup. We need people to arrive a few hours before the event and help set up the tables, make plasticware packages, and make sure everything is where it needs to be.

If you can help with any of these activities, please contact Joel Lowell at 818/832-1525.

If you are coming to participate in the Shabbabeque, it is important that you preregister by the deadline. This helps to ensure that we purchase the correct amount of food for the event. Dinner is $11 for adults, $7 for children, whether you register online or not. Register or make your reservation (to pay at the door) by clicking here.

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Valley Cultural Center LogoFor the last few weeks, I’ve been reminding you about the MoTAS Concert in the Park on Sunday, August 10. That’s this coming Sunday. I’m planning to be there. Are you? If you are, please drop a note to so we can coordinate arriving early and saving some space.

Still not sure what we’re talking about? We’re using the August MoTAS meeting slot to do something fun: have a picnic dinner in the park and listen to rock music. Specifically, we’re using the free summer Sunday evening Valley Cultural Center Concert in the Park as an opportunity to get together and have fun. Join your MoTAS family starting at 4:30 pm for a bring-your-own picnic, discussion, games, followed by a concert (at 6:00 pm) featuring Queen Nation, a tribute band that pays homage to the golden age of vintage Queen concerts. The VCC concert is free (so why trek to downtown to see the Queen musical at the Ahmanson). The concert ends at 8:00 pm. We will attempt to have some sort of MoTAS banner or sign so you can find us. We will attempt to be near the trees.

Concerts on the Green are held at the Lou Bredlow Pavilion in Warner Park at 5800 Topanga Canyon Blvd., in Woodland Hills. There is plenty of room for a late afternoon picnic with the family while being entertained by headline performers. Parking for Concerts on the Green is available in the parking structure directly behind the stage on Califa Street for $10. Additional parking is available on Owensmouth Avenue in either parking structure between Califa and Oxnard. (see map). Signs are clearly posted. Carpooling is encouraged; those who wish to carpool should contact Daniel Faigin (a dedicated
vanpooler) at and he’ll coordinate the pools.

In fact, why not make it a TAS day. Spend the morning (starting at 9am) at TAS by participating in the 3rd Annual ECEC Clean Up Day, helping make the ECEC and Religious School sparkle (and be more attractive to prospective students). The more that participate, the more that can be done. For more information, call (818) 360-5183 or email

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Do you find the new prayerbook, Shaarei Tefila to be too heavy to hold? Did you know there’s a digital solution. CCAR Press has issued a Shaarei Tefila app for iPads, Android Tablets, and Kindle Fire Tablets. These make the Friday evening prayerbook (and soon, other prayerbooks) accessible in a much lighter-to-hold format. You can find the apps in the appropriate ecosystem store (e.g., iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Store).

Why am I mentioning this? At a recent service, my wife (who is dealing with rheumatoid arthritis) brought the issue to my attention. We didn’t think there was a solution until we discovered that the Android App had been released. We realized that most people don’t know this utility is available. Further (and this is where MoTAS might come in), we don’t know how many congregants might be affected? If you are finding the new prayerbook hard to hold, and would like MoTAS to investigate potential group solutions, please drop a note to


Golf Tournament 2014The Annual MoTAS Golf Tournament is on Monday, October 27, 2014, and (as I’ve mentioned before) you’re going to be seeing weekly reminders until then to participate. Each week, we’ll try to highlight the different ways you can help the Golf Tournament; this week, we’re talking about golf sponsorships.

The Golf Tournament is the main fundraiser for MoTAS — it supports our activities, it supports our contributions to TAS, and it supports the contributions we make to community organizations. This year’s tournament is extra important, for we didn’t do one in the last MoTAS programming year. For this event to succeed, the community needs to support the Golf Tournament. One way to do that is through golf sponsorships. With a golf sponsorship, an individual or organization purchases a level of signage — from individual signs at each tee to larger sponsorships that provide banners and web-page publicity. All sponsorships include some level of mention in the MoTAS Calendar/Ad Book.

The sponsorships start at $180 with a Tee Sign, and top out at $9,000; corporate sponsorships are $1,800. Sponsorships at the corporate level and above also include player spots and special premiums. Golf Sponsorships are a wonderful way to promote a business and its relationship to Temple Ahavat Shalom and MoTAS. Encourage those local business and other businesses you know to become sponsors. Donation letters will be provided.

As always, you can find more information on the golf tournament and sponsorships at Our Golf website also provides information on how register as a player, how to make prize donations, and how to place ads in the calendar/ad book.

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Sample Sports Squares GridAnother easy way to support MoTAS and TAS is by participating in our 2014 Football Squares. $50 is all that is required for an individual to purchase a square. Each week during the Monday Night Football season, prizes will be awarded for those squares matching the scores at the quarter, half, three-quarter, and final marks (based on the last digit of the total score, and the randomized numbers along the top and side of the grid – no skill involved). Not only can you win, but the congregation wins as well. If the board is fully subscribed, $5000 is raised, and $2000 is paid out in prizes, leaving $3000 to be allocated to specific temple activities.

The board is over half full, and there’s still a month to go on signups. There’s only one way to ensure you get a square: visit to learn how to purchase your square today. There you can find an online sign-up form, or a form you can fill in, print, and mail.

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Mitzvah Day is the first Sunday in November, and MoTAS will be there. We’re looking for your ideas on what the MoTAS contribution should be? Should we work on cleaning and repairing an ECEC room? Should we organize an activity related to men’s health? Should we take on the scourge of domestic violence? The Social Action Committee has a number of ideas, but what we do should be decided by the Men of TAS. So send me your ideas, and the Executive Board will pick one. Just drop an email to, call me at (818) 438-5781, or fill out the contact form on the website.

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The first day of Religious School is approaching fast… and you know what that means. It’s time for the MoTAS Pancake Breakfast. Join the men of Temple Ahavat Shalom on Sunday September 7 at 9am for a delicious breakfast of pancakes, juice, and other goodies. We’re also going to need volunteers to help us with the setup and cleanup. If you will be available that morning, please contact Joel Lowell at 818/832-1525.

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The start of Religious School also meets the start of the MoTAS monthly meetings. Join us in the Activity Center at 8:45 am on Sunday, September 14 for our traditional MoTAS breakfast — bagels, lox, fruit, sweets, eggs, juice, and coffee / tea. Breakfast and our activity review will be followed by our first speaker of the year: Erik Greenberg of the Autry Museum.

The title of Erik’s talk is “The Jewish Institutions of the Sepulveda Pass”. The Jewish institutions that line the Sepulveda Pass offer physical evidence of LA Jewry’s westward movement and a glimpse into the beliefs and ideals that helped shape American Jewish observance and culture over the past fifty years. Dr. Erik Greenberg, Director of Education at the Autry National Center and participant in the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies’ web
project, Mapping Jewish LA, will explore and explain the connections between the Jewish institutions of the Pass and their connection to some of the most significant developments in postwar, American Jewish thought.

Erik Greenberg (9/14/14 Speaker)Erik Greenberg is the Director of Education at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles. He received his Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Los Angeles and also holds MAs in history from UCLA and California State University, Northridge. Erik has spent over a decade teaching a range of students from k-college and beyond on a wide variety of historical subjects ranging from the history of the American West to the intellectual and cultural history of the American Jewish experience. Erik is a frequent contributor to a number of academic journals as well as the Autry’s quarterly magazine, Convergence. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the American Jewish Archives’ Lowenstein-Wiener Research Fellowship and two Monkarsh Family Fellowships at UCLA’s Department of History. Erik has lived in Los Angeles for twenty-two years, and he has spent a considerable amount of time stuck in traffic in the Sepulveda Pass.

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The best way to build a relationship with someone is to get to know them. In support of this, we’re using our weekly newsletter to introduce you to the Men of TAS, starting with this year’s officers. If you’re a man of TAS — especially if you’re a regular participant in MoTAS activities — we would love to share your bio. Just mail it to

Roger LoweRoger has been a member TAS since 1986. He has been active in the MoTAS for many years supporting the many events, such as Purim food service, Sukkah building, and the golf tournament. He received his bachelor’s degree from City College of New York.

He retired from Kaiser Permanente in 2008, where he worked for 23 years in the IT department. Since retirement he has been remodeling his 1964 home and traveling around the country and the world.

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Due to the absence of a number of board members to support the family of Esther Saritsky, the MoTAS Executive Board was pushed back one week to August 11 at 8:00 PM Pacific, by telephone conference call. Any man of TAS, by virtue of being part of the Men of TAS, is welcome to listen to the meeting. The Conference dial-in number: (712) 432-0075 (note that this may be a toll call). The participant access code is412408. Members can also participate via Skype by adding the contact “freeconferencing.7124320075? to their contacts list and calling the contact at the time of the meeting (after which the access code is entered). Please let the president and/or the secretary know if you will be attending.

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In closing, remember that the Men of Temple Ahavat Shalom is *your* organization. Keep up to date on our activities at and participate. We want to serve all the men of Temple Ahavat Shalom and welcome new participants from the TAS membership. Join our Facebook group and “follow” our new website. Come be part of the Men of Temple Ahavat Shalom!

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