MoTAS Weekly for 3/9/16: Purim Carnival *and* Mens Hangout with the Rabbi THIS WEEKEND

MoTAS Weekly NewsletterIn This Issue:

  1. PURIM CARNIVAL: NEWS FOR ATTENDEES AND VOLUNTEERS
  2. MENS HANGOUT WITH RABBI LUTZ – MARCH 13
  3. BASKETBALL MADNESS SQUARES ON SALE
  4. MOTAS SEDER – APRIL 17
  5. OUR SOCIAL HALL KITCHEN NEEDS YOU — THE KITCHEN CHALLENGE
  6. HELP MOTAS DO ALL WE DO — MOTAS ANNUAL APPEAL
  7. MOTAS IS EXPLORING A SPECIAL INTEREST SUBGROUP FOR YOUNGER MEN
  8. 2016 GOLF TOURNAMENT PLANNING BEGINS…
  9. IN CLOSING


1. PURIM CARNIVAL: NEWS FOR ATTENDEES AND VOLUNTEERS

The Purim Carnival is scheduled for Sunday, March 13th, if El Nino cooperates. MoTAS hopes to see you there — remember to get your tickets in advance at http://www.tasnorthridge.org/purim/. While you’re at the carnival, remember to stop by the MoTAS booth, where our wonderful MoTAS and Mitzvah volunteers will serve you tasty food cooked by the Men of TAS. You’ll also be able to purchase reusable metal water bottles for just $10. These are powder-coated blue bottles with the MoTAS logo with an integral straw and carry handle.

Speaking of Volunteers. MoTAS will need volunteers to help shop, to help cook, to help at the front of the booth, and to deliver to workers. We’re also going to need a volunteer to coordinate our Mitzvah Volunteers (students working towards campership and similar credits). If you have volunteered, or want to volunteer, please contact our event coordinator, Bob Levin, at robertwlevin11@gmail.com. The exact work shifts are being determined, so please let Bob know of your work preference. Mitzvah Students — Remember you need to earn at least 5 hours, and children 10 and under must be accompanied by their parent.

We need volunteers as follows:

  • Saturday: Food pickup and delivery to Temple for storage (2 hours max)
  • Sunday: 2 hour shifts beginning at 8:00 am and ending at 4:00 pm. Available tasks include:
    • Setting up in kitchen
    • Assisting with food preparation in kitchen
    • Assisting with service of food and drinks
    • Assisting with taking food orders away from social hall and delivery of food to those locations
    • Most importantly, cleaning up after the Carnival, especially cleaning the kitchen, barbeque, stoves, etc.

Again, if you are available and willing to volunteer to help, please contact our event coordinator, Bob Levin, at robertwlevin11@gmail.com, and let him know what you would like to do and when you are available.

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2. 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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3. BASKETBALL MADNESS SQUARES ON SALE

NCAA/Basketball Squares are on Sale! Now that we are past the Superbowl (congratulations to all our winners), it’s time to think about the NCAA Men’s Basketball championships. They are rapidly approaching, and that means it is time for Basketball Squares. The procedure is very similar to the Superbowl Squares. Basketball Squares cover the last three games in the NCAA championship: the semifinal and final games on April 2-4, 2016. Squares are $18, and adults may purchase up to 3 squares for themselves, and 3 squares for their partner. Payouts are $150 for both the halftime and final scores of each game. You can win once or twice in a game. If the board is not fully subscribed, the payout is proportional based on the number of subscribed squares. To address the possibility that all 100 squares might not be subscribed, the following is the procedure for empty squares that win: each player will make a guess as to what the total number of points will be (i.e., you add the final scores of both teams). This number will be used to settle all cases, for all games. If you purchase more than one square your “number” will apply for all your squares. Closest to actual score wins (payouts divided with ties). If there is no halftime winner, the final score prediction will still be used.

Squares must be purchased by March 30, 2016. Forms will soon be available in the Temple Foyer. You can also print the registration form — or register online — at the usual online home of the Squares program: http://squares.tasnorthridge-motas.org/. Remember that the real winner is Temple Ahavat Shalom. With a fully subscribed board, $900 will be available to support specific temple activities, organizations, and projects.

As for what the Squares program supports: I’m pleased to announce the funding from the 2016 Super Bowl Squares. You make this possible when you purchase Squares. (You make even more available when you donate winnings back, as one of our Super Bowl winners did).

  • Avodah – $250
  • Camperships – $350
  • Alumni Committee – $115
  • Caring Community – $100
  • Emergency Backpacks – $120

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4. MOTAS SEDER – APRIL 17

On Sunday, April 17, you are invited to join the Men of TAS at our annual Mens Seder. This special service and dinner, modeled after the traditional Passover Seder, provides a comfortable and ‘safe’ space for the men of TAS to explore and celebrate what it means to be a contemporary Jewish man. The text of our special haggadah, developed by MRJ and available at http://www.menrj.org/mrj-mens-seder, explores issues that pertain specifically to men; the service and dinner provides a place to take those issues, share them, discuss them, and wrestle with them.

PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO ATTEND, WE NEED YOUR RSVP AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. To RSVP (and pay in advance), visit http://seder.tasnorthridge-motas.org/. RSVPs are due by noon, April 11.

Our Mens Passover Dinner will consists of traditional Passover foods — water, wine, homemade charoset, and more (maybe even gefilte fish) — as well as barbeque chicken and tri-tip (for what man doesn’t love barbeque).

The cost for the meal and the service is $20. The schedule is as follows:

  • 5:30pm: Sign in and snacks
  • 6:00pm: Service and dinner

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5. OUR SOCIAL HALL KITCHEN NEEDS YOU — 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.

Since then, we’ve learned more about the poor shape of the TAS Social Hall kitchen:

  • Repair of the make-up air system the prolongs the life of the equipment (heat exchanges, swamp coolers) is approximately $4,500.
  • Replacement of each refrigerator is approximately $3,400 each. One has already failed; the other is working but could have problems in the future. Sisterhood has already replaced their refrigerator.
  • Improvements are needed in the fire-prevention systems and the vent hoods. Estimates are in process.
  • The freezers are working, but we should budget for their replacement. Each costs around $4,100.
  • There is no maintenance contract for the kitchen equipment.

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, and build a fund that can keep the kitchen in top maintenance.

To that end, MoTAS allocated $1,100 from the Football Squares funding towards the kitchen. We issued a challenge grant of $1,500 from our reserves. Since doing that, the Temple has offered its own challenge of $1,500, and an anonymous member of MoTAS has joined the challenge and has offered to match all fund raised up to $3,000. To date, we’ve raised over $4,000 from donations — meaning with the matches and the grants, we’re over $11,000. That’s a start, but let’s keep this going so we can do all the work we need to do. The campaign will end 4/30/2016.

Anything you donate will help us help TAS improve the kitchen. As with the Annual Appeal, online and printable donation forms are at https://wp.tasnorthridge-motas.org/about/support-motas/2016-kitchen-challenge/ (or just go to http://support.tasnorthridge-motas.org/ and click on the Kitchen Challenge), 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. HELP MOTAS DO ALL WE DO — MOTAS ANNUAL APPEAL

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 .

So where do the funds raised by MoTAS during this appeal go? Here’s a sample of what they (and the funds raised by the Golf Tournament) support:

  • Expenses for MoTAS activities not covered by donations or activity fees. This would cover breakfasts at meetings, expenses for the Sports Squares programs, and similar expenses.
  • Expenses for specific TAS needs that were not part of the TAS budget. The Kitchen Challenge is an example of that: the funds for the challenge were raised in past appeals.
  • Support for TAS students through Bar/Bat Mitzvah gifts, camperships, and other funding.
  • The MoTAS contribution to the Temple’s general fund, either at the annual meeting or through sponsorship of events.
  • MoTAS contributions to the regional Men of Reform Judaism and the charitable activities it supports, such as Reform on Campus.

You, the men of TAS, are the ones that make the above possible through your contributions during this appeal. 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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7. MOTAS IS EXPLORING A SPECIAL INTEREST SUBGROUP FOR YOUNGER MEN

MoTAS is exploring the notion of creating a separate special interest subgroup to serve the needs of the younger men in our congregation. This group would include activities targeted towards younger dads with families, younger marrieds without kids, and younger single men. If you’re curious as to what is meant by “younger” — that will be up to the group to decide. The group will determine its own activities, but hopefully will join with the rest of MoTAS for larger temple support activities. If this is something that sounds like it might be of interest, please contact the MoTAS President, Daniel Faigin, at faigin@cahighways.org.

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8. 2016 GOLF TOURNAMENT PLANNING BEGINS…

Plans are firming out for the 2016 MoTAS Golf Tournament, which will be held Monday, September 19 at the beautiful Calabasas Country Club. MoTAS is looking for members to join our Golf Tournament committee. This is the group that plans the tournament, and helps bring in sponsors and advertising. If you would be interested, contact Barry Mann at andybarry80@yahoo.com.

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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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