MoTAS Weekly for 2/3/16: Monthly Speaker Meeting Sun Feb 7 @ 845a – Aaron Weissman on the Court System

MoTAS Weekly NewsletterIn This Issue:

  1. FEBRUARY SPEAKER: AARON WEISSMAN / LEARN HOW THE COURT SYSTEM WORKS, FEB 7, 2016
  2. MAN OF THE YEAR – BARRY MANN
  3. WE GET THANK YOUS
  4. ANNUAL APPEAL LETTERS ARE OUT
  5. ARE YOU UP TO THE KITCHEN CHALLENGE?
  6. MENS HANGOUT WITH RABBI LUTZ – MARCH 13
  7. PURIM CARNIVAL VOLUNTEERS – MARCH 13, 2016
  8. CELEBRATE THE HISTORY AND LEGACY OF VALLEY SHELTER
  9. HELP THOSE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION GET TO TAS
  10. IN CLOSING

1. FEBRUARY SPEAKER: AARON WEISSMAN / LEARN HOW THE COURT SYSTEM WORKS, FEB 7, 2016

The California Court systems has multiple levels and types of courts. On speaker on Sunday morning, February 7, 2016 will be TAS Member Aaron Weissman, who will discuss the differences between the courts, and present information on how to use the court system effectively and efficiently. Aaron J. Weissman has practiced in civil and business litigation for over 33 years, emphasizing civil law and motion and appellate practice. Mr. Weissman has been a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and American Bar Association since 1983, a member of the Beverly Hills Bar Association since 2008 and has served as a Volunteer Grader of Moot Court Appellate Briefs for the American Bar Association since 2008. Mr. Weissman is also a candidate for Los Angeles Superior Court Judge in the 2016 elections.

As always, before the speaker, we will have our scrumptions MoTAS breakfast and our review of upcoming activities. Join us at 8:45 AM for Breakfast, with the event review starting at 9:00 AM. The speaker starts at 10AM.

Due to the Purim Carnival, we have moved the March meeting up one week to March 6, 2016. Our speaker in March will be Rosalyn Kahn on “Reducing Stress”. Rosalyn writes: “What if there is way that you could turn stress into your friend vs your enemy. This is not a fantasy ….this is reality. Come out and listen to Rosalyn Kahn sharing the research from Shawn Anchor a leading researcher on Happiness and Kelly McGonigal’s talk Stress is Your Friend as well as her own experience from her book on Random Acts of Kindness are Changing the World.’”

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2. MAN OF THE YEAR – BARRY MANN

At the MoTAS Shabbat on January 29th, the leadership of MoTAS announced the 2016 MoTAS Man of the Year: Barry Mann. Barry Mann has served as the chair of the Golf Tournament for the last two years – a task involving lots of time and work. Barry has also served as Treasurer of MoTAS and as a MoTAS Vice President.

Barry will be honored at the MRJ Regional Man of the Year Dinner on Saturday, March 5, 2016 (Note: The Menorah had an incorrect date) at 6:00 PM at Temple Beth Shalom, 2625 N. Tustin Avenue, Santa Ana, California 92705. Let’s show Barry how TAS supports our man of the year by filling up the room. Dinner is $36 per person, with an entrée choice of Chicken, Salmon, or Vegetarian. Reservations are due to MoTAS by Tuesday, February 23. You may email your reservation to president@tasnorthridge-motas.org or reserve online at http://tinyurl.com/motas-2016-moy . Put your meal selection (C, S, or V) as your middle initial. You can also bring your checks to the meeting on February 7. We will contact you to coordinate payment and your meal choice.

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3. WE GET THANK YOUS

MoTAS regularly gets “Thank Yous” for the work we do. Here are a few recent ones:

From Barb Gelb, in response to the Football Squares Grant:

As I said in my request, religious school would not work without our AVODAH program, and L’taken is one of the strongest, most life-changing programs we offer our teens. So, thank you to you and all the fantastic MEN of TAS for the grant money.

From Rabbi Lutz, in response to the Football Squares Grant:

I am so appreciative of the efforts of MoTAS on behalf of the community. Please extend my thanks to all who make this possible.

From JFS/Sova, in response to our donation from the Golf Tournament proceeds:

On behalf of Jewish Family Services of Los Angeles (JFS) and our Board of Directors, we thank you for your generous donation … to support JFS {SOVA}’s hunger relief programs. Last year, JFS {SOVA} distributed over 3 million pounds of food to individual of all ages, ethnicities and religions. But food is only part of SOVA’s compelling story, a story that begins when a client walks through the door of a SOVA pantry. The client is provided with comprehensive needs assessment so that resource staff and community specialists can provide employment assistance, legal counseling, food stamps, MediCal enrollment and can facilitate access to on-site social workers. All of these servies are based upon recongizing the dignity of each client, providing attention to their needs and giving clients a sense of hope. These remarkable achievements could not have happened without the generosity, compassion, and commitment of partners like you. For your dedication and support, we THANK YOU for enabling SOVA to do its life-affirming work.

From the Knock Foundation, in response to our donation from the Golf Tournament proceeds:

On behalf of the members of the Board of Directors of Knock Foundation, Inc., I would like to express my sincerest thank you for [MoTAS’s] donation … in support of our ongoing work. Thanks to your generosity Knock Foundation can continue to partner with underserved communities in developing countires in order to provide the access and opportunity to pursue an education, practice healthy living, and exist in a clean environment. Our work stems from an abiding belief that to reach one’s full potential, every human being must have access to these basic needs. Knock is committed to comprehensive, self-sustaining and holistic practices designed to alleviate poverty. Your gift will enable us to continue providing: small business loans; educational scholarships to over 40 students; school lunch serving a nutritious meals to more than 850 children every day; sexual health seminars; and medical missions bringing American doctors to train local doctors, including all necessary equipment and supplies. On behalf of all whom your donation has touched, I would like to say “Asante sana!” (Thank You!).

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4. ANNUAL APPEAL LETTERS ARE OUT

By now, you should have received your MoTAS Annual Appeal letter. Why do we do an annual appeal? Simple. Unlike many other mens clubs and brotherhoods, MoTAS has no dues. As a male member of Temple Ahavat Shalom, you are automatically a member of the Men of Temple Ahavat Shalom (MoTAS)? In 2012, MoTAS moved to an inclusive model where every man in TAS is part of the Men of Temple Ahavat Shalom. Since we have no dues, every year MoTAS asks you to support our work financially.

MoTAS strives to encourage the men of TAS to be leaders. Leadership comes in many ways, one of which is visible participation and support. MoTAS is stronger when it is supported by all the men of TAS. Wouldn’t it be great if we could say that every man in the congregation has supported us? The amount you contribute is up to you-large or small. Select a meaningful amount that is comfortable and reflects the value of the MoTAS relationship to you. We recognize contributions of $100 or more on our wall of honor at http://wallofhonor.tasnorthridge-motas.org . The funds support our non-specific contributions to Temple Ahavat Shalom (i.e., those that benefit the general fund, as opposed to specific projects), as well as those activities that are service-oriented and not designed as fundraisers. Contribute online by visiting http://support.tasnorthridge-motas.org/: you can either pay online, or print a form and mail it in. Note that MoTAS receives no financial support from the TAS budget; our funds are separate.

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5. ARE YOU UP TO THE KITCHEN CHALLENGE?

Back at the June 2015 Shabbabaque, MoTAS arrived to prepare our usual scrumptious meal. To our dismay, we discovered that the refrigerator we regularly use was not holding a food-safe temperature. We improvised that Shabbabaque by storing food in the Sisterhood refrigerator, while we started to investigate the problem. Since June, a team headed by Frank Soronow and including Scott Yollis, Les Birken, and Aaron Solomon has been investigating the problem. We discovered two primary issues:

  • The refrigerators and freezers are limping along and may fail at any time. We were able to temporarily get them working, but recent reports are that they are failing again.
  • The cooling system for the kitchen space has not been working for a significant number of years. This has lead to increased heat in the kitchen, which serves to shorten the life of the refrigeration units.

The estimate for repairing the kitchen is significant. The cooling is approximately $4,500. There are two refrigerators, each costing around $3,400; there are two freezers, each costing around $4,100. Sisterhood has already started the process to replace their refrigerator. MoTAS recognizes that we are not the primary user of the kitchen; we feel these repairs are so important to the heart of the Temple that we need to make them happen sooner rather than later. MoTAS would like to get this problem resolved before the next Shabbabaque.

To that end, MoTAS has allocated $1,100 from the Football Squares funding towards the kitchen (see item 2 above). We are also doing a challenge grant of $1,500 from our reserves. Additionally, an anonymous member of MoTAS and the Temple as a whole have added their own equivalent challenge grants. This means that every dollar of the $1,500 raised by 4/30/16 will be matched with three (3) additional dollars, which will all go to the kitchen. Anything you donate will help us help TAS improve the kitchen. As with the Annual Appeal, online and printable donation forms are at http://support.tasnorthridge-motas.org/, and donations of $100 or more will be acknowledged on our Wall of Honor. We thank you in advance for your support.

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6. MENS HANGOUT WITH RABBI LUTZ – MARCH 13

On Sunday, March 13th at 6:00 PM we’re going to be having a very special Mens Only Hang Out and Discussion Group – we’ll be hanging out and talking with Rabbi Lutz. We thank Rabbi Lutz for providing this opportunity, and encourage the men in the congregation to come and discuss issues that are unique to men. Dave Friedman, our event coordinator, is working up some special discussion topics for the evening – and remember, everything said during the meeting stays in the meeting. Additionally, we’re going to be joining the Rabbi for dinner before the meeting with a Barbeque dinner from Stonefire Grill. Space is limited, so RSVP at http://tinyurl.com/motas-2016-rabbi-hangout or directly to Dave Friedman (at 818/970-7701 or vp2@tasnorthridge-motas.org) and mail your check for $15 (made payable to Dave Friedman) to Dave Friedman at 19707 Buckeye Meadow Lane, Porter Ranch CA 91326. Dave will provide you the location of the hang out once your reservation is confirmed. This is a Mens Only event.

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7. PURIM CARNIVAL VOLUNTEERS – MARCH 13, 2016

The Purim Carnival is scheduled for Sunday, March 13th, if El Nino cooperates. MoTAS traditionally has provided the food service for this event. If you are available and willing to volunteer to help, please sign up at http://tinyurl.com/motas-purim16

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8. CELEBRATE THE HISTORY AND LEGACY OF VALLEY SHELTER

One of the organizations supported as a TAS Social Action partner, and by extension, a MoTAS Social Action partner, is LA Family Housing (LAFH). LAFH has asked me to extend the following invitation to MoTAS:

Our congregations respond. Our congregations drive change. Our congregations, each rooted in different faiths, understand that we need to take care of each other. Together, through the Valley Interfaith Council (VIC), our congregations created Valley Shelter more than 30 years ago to respond to a growing crisis of homelessness in the San Fernando Valley.

In 1984, under the leadership of VIC, and with the support of Mayor Tom Bradley, we came together to buy the old Fiesta Motel on Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood. The motel became Valley Shelter and served 40 families who were allowed to stay for one month each. Our congregations volunteered—we cooked, we danced, and we tutored the kids. We listened to the parents’ challenges and we supported the families and their transitions out of homelessness.

In 1986, VIC facilitated the merger of Valley Shelter and a new non-profit called LA Family Housing (LAFH). LAFH immediately began to grow and expanded its footprint on Lankershim—adding administrative offices, a health clinic, and a second shelter for homeless individuals. Today, LAFH owns 23 properties across the city and helps 5,000 people as they work to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.

Los Angeles continues to confront a homelessness crisis much like the one that caught the attention of VIC leaders back in the early 1980s. More than 5,000 individuals in the Valley alone experienced homeless in 2015. LAFH has established itself as a regional coordinator and leader in the fight against homeless and has continued to rely on the support of all of us and our congregations in working towards the goal of ending homelessness. LAFH is excited to launch a new development on the original site of the Valley Shelter: The Campus at LA Family Housing. The Campus will include 50 new units of permanent supportive housing—housing that includes services such as mental health counseling and job skills training, a 6,000 square foot health clinic, and nearly 5,500 square feet of new office space to house the service providing program staff.

This spring, Trudy and Norman Louis Valley Shelter will be razed to make way for the new Campus. We invite you to join the VIC and LA Family Housing to celebrate the legacy of Valley Shelter by sharing any photos or memories or experiences you had either as a volunteer, donor, resident, or staff member. We also invite you to save the date and join us at Trudy and Norman Louis Valley Shelter (7843 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood 91605) on Sunday, February 21st 2016 at 1 pm to celebrate the history and legacy of Valley Shelter and look forward to the future.

RSVP by email to TheCampus@lafh.org. Additionally, LAFH invites you to share any photos and experiences you have from Valley Shelter as a volunteer, donor, resident, or staff member to the same email address! Email your photos & memories to TheCampus@lafh.org by Feb. 15th.

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9. HELP THOSE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION GET TO TAS

The following request was sent out to the TAS Board, and I wanted to pass it along to the men of TAS:

As you may be aware, we have a handful of members who rely on public transportation to be able to get around because they do not or cannot drive. Many of these people rely on Access services which will pick people up and drop them off at their specified location for a nominal cost. Several congregants rely on Access to get around in part or in whole. However, Access will only drive to locations that are within one mile from a Metro bus stop.

A couple of years ago, Metro removed the bus stop at the corner of Reseda and Rinaldi and as a result, TAS is no longer within a mile of a Metro bus stop. This has meant that those using Access cannot be dropped off at TAS and would have to walk or roll for some distance from the drop off point –which is impractical. There is no exception for Access for a place of worship.

Over the last several years, several attempts have been made to work with Metro on this issue. Until now we have not been successful. However, we learned over the weekend that Metro is having a public hearing this Wednesday evening to discuss restoring the Reseda/Rinaldi bus stop. This would open the door for Access services for our congregants who need and rely on them.

It would be great for anyone who might be available to attend the meeting in Van Nuys. Please ask others in your circle to come speak or support the matter. If we can speak on this matter, we can help people in our congregation.

The meeting is Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.

Marvin Braude Constituent Center
6262 Van Nuys Bl.
Van Nuys, CA 91401

If you would like to see the service proposals being considered, you can check them out at the Metro website:

https://www.metro.net/about/metro-service-changes/proposed-changes-metro-bus-service/

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IN CLOSING

As always, remember that the Men of Temple Ahavat Shalom is *your* organization. Keep up to date on our activities at http://www.tasnorthridge-motas.org/ and participate. Sign up for our action alert list at http://tinyurl.com/motas-action-alert. 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 website. Come be part of the Men of Temple Ahavat Shalom!

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