Men of TAS (MoTAS) Weekly for 10/17/18: Poker Tournament THIS Sunday

MoTAS Weekly NewsletterIn This Issue:



This Sunday is our 2018 Men of TAS (Temple Ahavat Shalom) and Men of Temple Ramat Zion Texas Hold-em Charity Poker Tournament. If you haven’t signed up yet, NOW IS THE TIME TO DO SO. How do you do this? Easy — print and fill out the registration form and mail your check payable to Men of TAS (or your credit card information) to Howard Miller at 9656 Geyser Ave, Northridge CA 91324. You can also visit and register and pay online (or click here to go directly to the Eventbee). If you have a donation, again, get it to Howard. Call Howard at (818) 993-0796 if you have any questions.

Don’t play poker? We still need you! We’re going to need volutneers to help with our registration desk and to serve food and drinks, and to help the poker players when they need to rebuy chips. If you can volunteer, please contact Howard Miller at 9656 Geyser Ave, Northridge CA 91324, call (818) 993-0796, or email

(Return to Top)


The TAS Sisterhood will be holding its Chanukah Boutique on Sunday, October 28. Traditionally, MoTAS has supported this event by providing food for sale for the vendors and attendees. We will be doing this again, with sandwiches and pizza. If you would be able and willing to help at the event, we’ve set up an Eventbee RSVP list, so sign up today!

(Return to Top)


Date: Sunday, October 14, 2018

Present: Howard Miller (President), Hal Bass (Secretary), Bob Brostoff, Karen Davis, Daniel Faigin, Brian Hatkoff, Cheryl Hatkoff, Bob Levine, Fabian Malinovitz, Laraine Miller, Mark Moskowitz, Larry Pfefer (VP), Kathy Pullman, Russ Rapoport (VP), Mike Rayfield, Bill Shapiro, Wil Simpson, Frank Soronow (Past President), Alan Stepakoff, Carol Stern, Sandy Stern, Ben Tenn, Cindy Tenn, Mike Thornhill, Ken Wolf, Scott Yollis.

Introductions: Howard introduced two new members: Mark Moskowitz and Ken Wolf. He also welcomed our honored guest, Rabbi Arturo Kalfus, followed by introductions of the other MoTAS members and guests in attendance.

Installation of Officers: Rabbi Kalfus formally uninstalled our 2017-18 officers: President Frank Soronow VP Howard Miller, VP Bill Shapiro, Treasurer Roger Lowe, and Secretary Hal Bass. He then formally installed officers for 2018-19, who were elected last May: President Howard Miller, VP Larry Pfefer, VP Russ Rapoport, Treasurer Roger Lowe, and Secretary Hal Bass.

Treasurer’s Report: Roger Lowe is out of the country and his financial summary was deferred until next month, at which time we also expect to have a formal budget in place. Meanwhile, Howard announced that MoTAS income for the year is on target. Our annual MoTAS fund-raising appeal has brought in close to $4,000, nearly the same as last year. He encouraged those who have not yet done so to contribute to the annual appeal.

Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament Sunday, October 21, 4 pm to 9 pm: Our major fundraiser each year is designed to help MoTAS meet its annual $5,000 commitment to the temple. Howard reported that he anticipates a successful event, to be co-sponsored by Temple Ramat Zion and held at TAS. TAS has three large sponsors and approximately 12 table sponsors for $180 each. However, we are still short of players. MoTAS members are encouraged to provide flyers to friends and family about the poker tournament. A mailing also went out to over 400 addresses earlier in the week.

Barry Mann is in charge of the silent auction. Hebrew National hot dogs, soft drinks and beer will be available. Howard asked MoTAS members who are not playing to volunteer with food, drinks, registration and table runners.

The Men of TRZ have sponsored a “lucky table.” Howard moved that MoTAS likewise sponsor a “lucky table” for $180. Barry Mann seconded the motion and it carried unanimously by voice vote.

Howard expressed appreciation to Daniel Faigin, Bob Levine, Roger Lowe, Barry Mann, Larry Pfefer, Russ Rapoport, Bernie Singer and Scott Yollis for helping to plan and organize this event.

Sisterhood’s Annual Hanukkah Boutique will take place on Sunday, October 28. A sign-up sheet was passed around for MoTAS volunteers from 10:30 am till 1:30 pm to assist with table set-up, sale of lunch items and clean-up.

Facilities Upgrade: Larry Pfefer chairs the temple’s Facilities Committee. He spoke about his desire to bring more temple members on board to assist with efforts to repair and upgrade our temple infrastructure and to document our art and ritual objects.

Rabbi Kalfus’s Remarks: Rabbi Kalfus spoke about his Jewish upbringing and summer camp experience in Argentina. He left Buenos Aires for Israel as a young man to study Jewish history and philosophy at Hebrew University, where he received a BA with honors. He learned Hebrew while at college in Israel and at a kibbutz. After meeting a professor from the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, who was visiting Israel, Rabbi Kalfus enrolled at JTS. He found Conservative Judaism too restrictive and switched to Reform Judaism’s Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, from where he was ordained as a rabbi. He also met his wife, Phyllis, in New York. Phyllis is now a special education teacher at Milken High School in L.A. The couple has two children: a son who specializes in cybersecurity and a daughter who is currently a senior at the University of Michigan, where she is concentrating her studies on corporate social responsibility.

Rabbi Kalfus explained that he would like the TAS Board of Trustees to act more as a corporate board and less as a micro-manager. Board meetings will henceforth be held every other month. On alternate months, the Board will gather on one Tuesday evening from 6:30-9:30 pm for dinner, discussion and committee business.

The rabbi also announced plans to establish multiple interest groups of 5-6 family units who would meet at the temple on Shabbat at least twice during the year and four or more times on their own the rest of the year. Laraine Miller said over 100 members have already signed up for the new program, which is to begin next month.

Rabbi Kalfus concluded his remarks with mention of a proposed TAS-sponsored trip to Argentina in April 2019.

Adjournment and Next MoTAS Meeting: The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 am, to give those present an opportunity to attend a Sisterhood forum about propositions on the November ballot conducted by Fran Lapides. The next MoTAS meeting will take place on Sunday, November 12, 2018, at 8:45 am.

Respectfully submitted,

Hal Bass, Secretary

(Return to Top)


As always, remember that the Men of Temple Ahavat Shalom is *your* organization. Keep up to date on our activities at and participate. Sign up for our action alert list at 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!

(Return to Top)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s