Men of TAS (MoTAS) Weekly for 12/12/18: Sign Up Now for Jewish Xmas Chinese Dinner

MoTAS Weekly NewsletterIn This Issue:



For many Jews, if you ask what they are doing on Christmas day, the answer is the same: They will be seeing a movie, and having Chinese food. Who knows where this tradition got started? Perhaps it is in the Talmud. But who is MoTAS to argue with tradition?

MoTAS is facilitating a TAS Jewish Christmas. MoTAS will be providing a list of recommended afternoon movie showtimes for members to pick their favorite movies and meet other TAS folk (see “Movie Coordination” on the event page on our website). You’ll buy your own tickets and pick the movie, and hopefully meet TAS friends. We will reconvene at Golden Hunan restaurant (10334 Reseda Blvd, Northridge, CA 91326 — on Devonshire at Reseda) at 5:30pm for a fixed menu dinner. This event is open to the entire TAS community.

The cost for the dinner is $24 per person (adult or child); soft drinks are extra. Reservations must be made by Friday, December 21; there are no exceptions and no walk-ups. December 25 is an extremely busy night at the restaurant, and we must pre-reserve our space to avoid the wait. The price is based on the Golden Hunan charge plus tax, gratuity, and online processing fees; this is not a fund-raising event.

To register for event, click here or visit our event page, or send email to Please provide the names of the movies of interest. If you are not paying on-line, your check must be received by the day of event; we will also be able to take “day-of” payments by credit card. All payments must be received by the time we sit down to dinner on Tuesday, December 25, 2018.

Note: If you only want to participate in the movie coordination, email your desired movies to Click here for a flyer on the event.

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MoTAS Shabbat – Friday, January 11, 2019. Once a year TAS celebrates the contributions of MoTAS at the MoTAS Shabbat. This is a special Shabbat service that is primarily led by the members of MoTAS and open to the entire congregation. If you are a male member of TAS and would like to participate in the service, please contact Bob Levine, at Please let him know if you want to read Hebrew. You can also RSVP online at; use a middle initial of “H” if you want to read Hebrew. You can also call Daniel at (818) 438-5781 and the message will get to Bob. Participants meet early at 6:45 PM; the service starts at 7:30 PM.

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Tu B’Shevat Seder – Sunday, January 13, 2019. For the 2nd year, MoTAS will be facilitating a Tu B’Shevat Seder for the congregation. This time, we’re doing it in conjunction with the religious school for the older kids. This is a great way for the Men of TAS to interact with the families of the religious school (we’ll be doing a little something for the parents after the service before they get back together with their kids). We’ll need folks to help setup as well as participate in the event.

The current plan is to have a **short** business meeting, followed by setting up for the seder. The date is the 2nd Sunday of the month, so this event will replace our normal Sunday morning meeting for the month. The overall time will be our usual meeting time: 845am (possibly a little earlier) until the end of religious school.

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With 2019 approaching quickly, MoTAS is trying to grow the TAS presence in the Synagogue Softball league. The teams that include TAS representation could use a few more players to stabilize the teams. TAS is represented on two teams in the league. The league plays “modified fast pitch” softball on Sundays from late January into June. Game times are 8:30am, 10:30am, and 12:30pm. Please contact Joe Blachman at for more information about the teams and the league.

Our teams are open to ALL member families, as well as ALL genders. Must be over 18 years old to participate.

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Date: Sunday, December 9, 2018

Present: Howard Miller (President), Hal Bass (Secretary), Bill Bigelson, Les Birken, Aaron Dakovna, Daniel Faigin, Michael Kantor, Roger Lowe (Treasurer), Barry Mann, Larry Pfefer (VP), Russ Rapoport (VP), Mike Rayfield, Larry Rofe, Bill Shapiro, Alan Stepakoff, Sandy Stern, Ben Tenn, Scott Yollis.

Introductions: Members introduced themselves and explained how they and their families celebrated Hanukkah. Howard acknowledged three new members: Aaron Dakovna, Michael Kantor and Larry Rofe.

Treasurer’s Report:

  • June Shabbabaque, Net Income: $121.37
  • August Shabbabaque, Net Income: $237.59
  • September Pancake Breakfast for School Opening, Net Expenses: <$94.95>
  • Poker Tournament, Net Income: $6,063
  • Hanukkah Boutique Food Service, Net Expenses: <$16.28>
  • Dining for Dollars in November at Chi’s Chinese Restaurant, Net to MoTAS: $100

Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament Sunday evening, October 21: Our major fundraiser each year is designed to help MoTAS meet its annual $5,000 commitment to the temple.

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

There were 68 reservations (57 from TAS and 11 from Temple Ramat Zion), including 5 no-shows. Total revenue was $14,457, with expenses and profits allocated proportionally. Profit was about $2,000 less than from past golf tournaments.

Sisterhood’s Annual Hanukkah Boutique took place on Sunday, October 28. MoTAS volunteers assisted with table set-up, food service and clean-up. Net expenses were $16.28.

Honoring Our Veterans: MoTAS held a dinner on November 15 at Ali Baba Persian Restaurant in Granada Hills in lieu of the regular monthly meeting. Twenty-two men attended, including 7 veterans who shared their military experience with the group: Sandy Stern, Mike Rayfield, Barry Mann, Bob Levine, Al Lapides, Bob Hyam and Hal Bass.

Other Activities: Howard expressed appreciation to Ed Lapporte, Bill Shapiro and Scott Yollis for arranging the Pancake Breakfast, to Mike Rayfield for supervising construction of the Sukkah, and to Barry Mann for Dining for Dollars (which in November took place at Chi’s Chinese Restaurant in Northridge). Howard thanked all the members who served the temple through their participation in these activities.

Upcoming Events:

  • Daniel Faigin and Larry Pfefer are coordinating afternoon movies on 12/25 followed by group 5:30 pm dinner at the Golden Hunan Restaurant in Northridge. A sign-up sheet was circulated. Any others who are interested should contact Larry (or visit our event page).
  • Bob Levine is making reading assignments for the annual MoTAS Shabbat service on Friday, January 11, 2019. It is at that service when our MoTAS Man of the Year for 2018-19 will be introduced.
  • Tu B’Shevat will be observed on January 21, 2019. Our annual Tu B’Shevat Seder, to which students are invited, will take place on Sunday, January 13. A sign-up sheet for participants was passed around. Mike Rayfield moved, and Daniel Faigin seconded, to apply $300 from Sports Squares toward the Seder. The motion carried unanimously.
  • Annual Men of Reform Judaism Convention: Brian Hatkoff, president of MRJ’s Western Region, is reminding interested MoTAS members of the forthcoming MRJ convention in Newark, NJ from January 18-20, 2019. Any MoTAS member wishing to attend the Newark convention should contact Brian.
  • Fishing trip: Aaron Dakovna and Larry Rofe introduced the possibility of a fishing trip, which both of these avid fishermen said they would explore. If you are interested, please add your name at

Special Donations: MoTAS contributed $198, or $18 per victim, to the men’s clubs of the three congregations in Pittsburgh affected by the October 27 mass shooting in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood; $36 in memory of Matthew Henkin, son of Rabbi Alan Henkin; and $100 from Sports Squares for the ECEC and Religious School Teacher Appreciation Luncheon.

Barry Mann moved, and Bill Bigelson seconded, that MoTAS donate 50% (up to a maximum of $3,000) from savings for replacement of the kitchen water heater. The motion carried unanimously.

Annual Budget: Howard presented the 2018-19 MoTAS budget, which has a projected deficit of $2,351. The deficit will be covered by funds from the savings account. Daniel Faigin moved, and Mike Rayfield seconded, that the budget be adopted. The motion was approved unanimously.

Student of Year Award: Howard said he would discuss with Rabbi Dalia Samansky, the education director, an idea of his to award a certificate and $25 gift card each year to an outstanding student from each class.

Sports Squares Project Group for Unmet Temple Needs: Barry Mann and Ben Tenn have volunteered to form a group to investigate unmet temple needs that might benefit from funding through our MoTAS Sports Squares grant program. Ideas which arose during discussion were to project parts of the Shabbat service on a screen, and to provide for regular web-based live-streaming of Shabbat and other services.

Adjournment and Next MoTAS Meeting: The next MoTAS meeting will take place on Sunday, January 13, 2019, at 8:45 am.

Respectfully submitted,
Hal Bass, Secretary

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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. 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!

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