MoTAS Weekly for 9/3/14: We Need You

MoTAS Weekly NewsletterIn This Issue:

  1. Volunteers Needed: Upcoming Activities
  2. Eaters Needed: It’s Almost Pancake Time
  3. Audience Needed: MoTAS Meeting – The 405 Runs Through It
  4. Players Needed: Going, Going, Football Squares Are Almost Gone
  5. Salesmen Needed: Make the Golf Tournament Calendar/Ad Book a Success
  6. Clever Title Needed: Sisterhood Speaker on Restitution of Nazi-looted Art
  7. Introduction Needed: Meet the Men of TAS: Steven Zonis
  8. Telephones Needed: September Executive Board Meeting
  9. In Closing

1. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Upcoming Activities

Volunteers NeededIn this issue of the MoTAS Weekly, you’ll discover that we need your help and participation, starting with a need for volunteers for two upcoming activities:

  • Pancake Breakfast. This coming Sunday, September 7th, starting around 8:00 AM, we need volunteers to help us set up, cook, serve, and clean-up at the Pancake Breakfast. If you will be available, please contact Joel Lowell at 818/832-1525 or email Volunteers eat free, but donations are welcome to defray costs.
  • Sukkah Building. One of my favorite events of the year is building the Sukkah. Men with gloves and Allen wrenches building things. It is a great way to get to know the men in TAS and provide a needed service for the congregation. RSVP at You’ll get a “ticket” confirming your RSVP, but no ticket is required to participate.

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2. EATERS NEEDED: It’s Almost Pancake Time

pancakeReligious School starts on Sunday, September 7th, and that means it is time for the annual MoTAS Pancake Breakfast. Join the men of Temple Ahavat Shalom at 9 AM for a delicious breakfast of pancakes, juice, and other goodies. MoTAS has changed our pricing, as we feel that no child should skip breakfast for lack of funds. Therefore, the breakfast is free for kids and
teachers in the school
; for other adults, the cost is only $5 for pancakes and $1 for juice/coffee only. This is a “pay at the door” event; although we would like to know if you are coming, reservations in advance are not required. The morning provides you the opportunity to learn about the different ways to get involved with TAS and strengthen that relationship. As parents, we are the role models for our children. If we get involved with the synagogue, we’re demonstrating to our children the value of involvement.

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3. AUDIENCE NEEDED: MoTAS Meeting – The 405 Runs Through It

Erik Greenberg (9/14/14 Speaker)It was the reason for Carmaggeddon and Son of Carmaggeddon. It is what many of us slog through on our way to work every day. It is the Sepulveda Pass, and it is also the home of three major Jewish institutions: Stephen S. Wise Synagogue, the American Jewish University (the former University of Judaism), and the Skirball Center. Why are so many Jewish institutions clustered in the Sepulveda Pass? You can find out the answer to that question on Sunday, September 14th at our first speaker program of the 2014-2015 year. Join the Men of TAS at 8:45 AM in Activity Center 5/6 for a scrumptious breakfast typically consisting of bagels, lox, eggs, cookies, fruit, juice, and coffee/tea (donations appreciated). Our normal monthly meeting (d’var torah, introductions, and a review of upcoming activities), starts at 9:00 AM,
followed by our speaker at 10:00 AM. This month, our topic is “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 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 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 has spent a considerable amount of time stuck in traffic in the Sepulveda Pass.

Future speakers include our executive director, Aaron Solomon, on how the temple runs; Dr. Allan Katcher on managing your strengths, and a Judaica show-and-tell. Full information on the speakers program may be found at

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4. PLAYERS NEEDED: Going, Going, Football Squares Are Almost Gone

Sample Sports Squares GridThe Football Square board is almost full — there are just about 10 Football Squares left for purchase. If you have been putting off buying your football square, it is time to do it before the board is completely full. Once it is full, we’re not opening a second board. If you have reserved a space but haven’t paid, please get your payment in—once the board is full, unpaid reserved squares may be subject to release to those with payment.

As a reminder, $50 is all that is required for an individual to purchase a square, and you could quite possibly win that back. 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.

There is only one way to ensure you get a square: visit to learn how to purchase your square today. There you can find an on-line sign-up form, or a form you can fill in, print, and mail. Remaining squares will also be available for purchase at the Pancake Breakfast and the Sunday MoTAS meeting. Sales are scheduled to close at the end of the Sunday MoTAS meeting!

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5. SALESMAN NEEDED: Make the Golf Tournament Calendar/Ad Book a Success

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 the Calendar/Ad Book.

This year, MoTAS is trying something new. We’re turning our Golf Tournament Program into an overall TAS Calendar and Ad Book (which will include the Golf Tournament program). This will be available in the TAS Foyer all year after the tournament; it will be promotional material you can hold in your hand, post on your refrigerator, put on your coffee table, and consult all year. MoTAS is offering calendar pages for free to all TAS committees, auxiliaries, and organizations. There is no requirement for them to purchase the space; this is a service to the congregation.

Adbook MockupWe’re funding this by asking the congregation and local businesses to purchase ads for themselves or their businesses. A variety of affordable ads are available:

  • $18 — Supporter Name – 3 lines
  • $36 — “In Honor Of”/”In Memory Of” or a Business Card ad
  • $72 — Quarter Page Ad
  • $140 — Half Page Ad
  • $250 — Full Page Ad

Additionally, every full Golf Sponsorship includes an ad book ad. If we can make the Calendar/Ad Book a success, MoTAS will do this every year for the congregation. Help the congregation, and help MoTAS: encourage those businesses you frequent to support the congregation with an ad. Information and forms are available at the Golf 2014 website,; the form is also on the back of the Golf Tournament flyers. All it takes is you, taking a golf tournament flyer and getting your favorite local businesses to buy an ad. This is a win for the businesses that show their support of the Temple and an inexpensive way to draw in patrons (and, while you’re at it, encourage them to donate prizes for the prize table).

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

P.S.: Sisterhood will also be running Mah Jongg for those interested during the Golf Tournament. For more information, contact Anita Hoch, the Sisterhood Mah Jongg chair, at 818-360-0160 or email

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6. CLEVER TITLE NEEDED: Sisterhood Speaker on Restitution of Nazi-looted Art

On Thursday, September 18, Sisterhood will be having their first speaker meeting of the year: Donald Burris Esq. on “The Restitution of Nazi-Looted Art“. The Sisterhood meeting is at 6:30 PM, followed by the speaker at 7:00 PM. Mr. Burris has devoted a considerable amount of time to the pursuit of art work and other assets stolen by Nazi authorities before and during World War II. In 2004, he successfully argued to the United States Supreme Court, at the conclusion of which the Austrian government was ordered to, and did, return a number of priceless historic paintings by Gustav Klimt.

Donald Burris has been a distinguished practicing lawyer and law lecturer for over 44 years. He is an engaging speaker who speaks from his heart. His work on behalf of Maria Altmann, whose family’s artwork was seized in Vienna in 1938, is as much a passion for justice for Holocaust survivors as a labor of love.

This will be an exciting evening – a first-hand account of historical revelations and machinations of the Nazis and how at least some well-known European art was restored to the rightful owners.

Please join Sisterhood at this event, and bring your friends. This meeting is open to everyone! Please send an email to or call 818-882-4529, with the number of people who will be attending so Sisterhood can get a count for chairs and refreshments.

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7. INTRODUCTION NEEDED: Meet the Men of TAS: Steven Zonis

Steven ZonisThe 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 This week, I’d like to introduce you to Steven Zonis, one of the men behind the grill at every Shabbabeque, one of the men who ensures we eat well at our morning breakfasts, one of the MoTAS Men of the Year in 2014, and more importantly, a real good guy who is there whenever he is needed.

Steven Zonis has served in various roles within MoTAS; from our cook to our Vice President and back again. He handles innumerable tasks, both large and small; most of which go relatively unnoticed. He is our problem solver – par excellence! Despite always being busy, he accepts our challenges and solves our dilemmas. Steven currently shares our Man of the Year Award with his alter ego, Scott Yollis.

Professionally, Steven has spent more than thirty years in various management and leadership roles in advanced technology firms. He specializes in overhauling ineffective methods, and most phases of business and systems development from the shop floor to the top floor and across the supply chain.

Steven has a deep understanding of project management tools and approaches to manage complex, multi-disciplinary projects and the flexibility to lead diverse and dynamic teams to deliver balanced and integrated solutions to clients challenging business problems.

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8. TELEPHONES NEEDED: September Executive Board Meeting

motas-logo-200The title of this item was a stretch, but I was trying to go with a theme. This coming Monday, September 8, is the monthly MoTAS Executive Board meeting. The MoTAS Executive Board believes in transparency—to that end, we’re doing our meetings as teleconferences and all MoTAS members are invited to listen in. By doing this, we’re hoping to keep the boring business to a minimum during the Sunday meeting. To participate, simply call (712) 432-0075 at 8:00 PM on Monday September 8 and enter the participant code 412408. You can find the agenda (which also has Skype connection information) at If you want to receive a copy of any distributed background material (such as the budget for approval), please send an email to

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As always, 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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