MoTAS Weekly 09/18/19: Sukkah Building Oct 13 / Dining Out Oct 15 / Poker Tournament

MoTAS Weekly Newsletter In This Issue:



JEWISH MEN WITH TOOLS (MoTAS) will be building our temple Sukkah on Sunday October 13. This easy job can be completed in about an hour and needs to be as the school hopes to use it that morning. We cannot build it before then because of the High Holidays. Please come with gloves, Allen wrenches, and friends. Please let Howard ( know if YOU can shop for chicken wire and zip ties. Although we believe we have a source lined up for palm fronds, if you know of an alternative source, please let us know. If YOU have a truck available to pick up the palm fronds, we would appreciate that also. We will have bagels and drinks. Please let us know if you can be there to help out!

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MoTAS’s 2nd Annual Texas Hold-em Poker Tournament is less than two months away —  Sunday October 27. We need players, we need sponsors, we need donations for our raffle tables, and we need volunteers. Anyone who likes poker will have a great time. We are all proud of what the Men of TAS does with our financially supported projects, so please find a way to help us execute this fundraising effort.

This year’s winner will earn $1,000 and there will be cash prizes for everyone making the final table. Other opportunities to win big include our famous 50/50 cash drawing (final selection can win $1,000), a raffle and a silent auction. In addition, there will be $3,000 in total prizes to the players at the final table in addition to the cash prize for the high hand of the night.

The $85 entry fee entitles you to a players seat, a lite dinner, a drink and five raffle tickets.

  • $100 bonus chip for new player registered by a returning player. This will put you 10% ahead of other players when you hear “Shuffle up and deal!”

Feel free to 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. The event website also allows you to print flyers for the event, and to find the printable registration form you can print and give to your friends.

Various sponsorship opportunities are available on the registration form for those who want to help the Men of TAS fund important activities in support of their temple and local community. Other contributions may include future local sports tickets (Dodgers, Lakers, Clippers, Rams, Chargers, Galaxy, LAFC, UCLA, USC, etc.) and upcoming entertainment (tickets to local concerts or plays) that can be used for auction items or raffle prizes.

Please forward our invitation to all your poker playing friends so that we can make this event a rousing success. You can download a copy of the flyer from .  If you have any questions, call Howard Miller at (818) 993-0796.

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Would you like an easy way to help MoTAS financially? How about taking your family to dinner. The MoTAS “Dining Does Good” allows you to go out to dinner, and have the restaurant donate a portion of your check support the Men of TAS. Our August Dining Does Good” will be Tuesday, October 15 at Emle’s Mediterranean at 9250 Reseda in Northridge. You can find a flyer for the event at

We really encourage you to come and support these events: we raise a little extra funds for our work, but more importantly, we come together and break bread as a Temple family on a regular basis. It is a real joy to walk into a neighborhood restaurant and see your Temple friends, to sit down and share a table and talk. This is the heart and goal of MoTAS: Building Relationships.

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Date: Sunday, September 8, 2019

Present: Howard Miller (President), Hal Bass (Secretary), Bob Brostoff, Cantor Ken Cohen (guest), Daniel Faigin, Mel Janis, Rabbi Arturo Kalfus (guest), Bob Levine, Roger Lowe (Treasurer), Barry Mann, William Moalem, Larry Pfefer (VP), Kathy Pullman (guest), Russ Rapoport (VP), Mike Rayfield, Bill Shapiro, Bernie Singer, Robert Spier, Mike Thornhill, Scott Yollis.

President’s Report:

  • Howard thanked Bob Levine, Roger Lowe, Mike Thornhill and Scott Yollis for preparing this morning’s brunch.
  • Howard paid special tribute to Sharon Janis, who died on August 6. Sharon, a former Sisterhood president, was a strong supporter of MoTAS for many years and was always available to extend a helping hand to the men’s club.
  • Members introduced themselves and described their vacations and other ways in which they spent the summer.
  • At the congregational meeting on June 2, MoTAS presented a check for $5,000 representing our annual commitment to the temple. In addition, Howard announced that MoTAS provided almost $12,000 for specific temple needs, which included the Gala, Cantors Concert, pancake breakfast at the opening of school, camperships, installation of synthetic turf, and a new water heater for the kitchen.
  • At the June MoTAS meeting, Howard proposed, and Barry Mann seconded, a motion to allocate up to $5,000 of MoTAS operating funds for a special project or projects, such as improved broadband, landscape enhancements and/or better acoustics in the social hall. The motion carried unanimously. At today’s meeting, Howard asked the members to submit ideas to him for using these funds.

Treasurer’s Report, as of 9/6/19:

  • Expenses:
    • Lighting Upgrade for Items Not Covered by DWP: $1,500
    • School Opening Pancake Breakfast August 18: $200
    • Sisterhood Honey Jars Program: $72 (includes $36 for a misplaced check in 2018)
  • Income:
    • 2019 MoTAS Appeal: $4,817 (48 participants) and Pride Appeal $622 (7 participants), Postage & CC Fees <$191>=$5;248 (exceeding our goal of $4,500)
    • Dining Does Good June 25 at Chi’s Chinese Restaurant: $80
    • Shabbabaque June 28: Income $1,376, Food & Supplies <$541>, CC Fees <$205>=Net $630
    • Dining Does Good August 19 at Maria’s Kitchen in Northridge: Net proceeds will be reported at the October MoTAS meeting
    • Poker Tournament October 27: Income to Date $620, Expenses <$226>=Net $394
  • Sports Squares:
    • Prior Years Sports Squares Funds: $8,146
    • 2019 Football Squares: Income $4,800, Winners Paid Out <$0>=Net $4,800
    • 2020 Super Bowl: Income $100 (left over from 2019), Winner Payout <$0>=Net $100
    • 2020 March Madness NCAA Basketball Tournament: Income $0, Winner Payout <$0>=Net $0
    • Total Sports Squares Funds Available for Distribution: $13,046

Sukkah Building Sunday, October 13, at 8:30 am: Volunteers are needed for this annual MoTAS project.

Poker Tournament Sunday, October 27, at 4 pm: A Texas Hold’em tournament will take place at TAS, Sunday evening, October 27. Doors open at 4 pm and playing will begin at 5 pm. Temples Judea and Ramat Zion will participate in this year’s tournament. The two congregations will receive $20 for each player from their respective organizations. Barry Mann is in charge of obtaining prizes, such as Dodgers and Lakers tickets.

Mitzvah Day Sunday, November 13: Judy Stehr is chairing this event. One idea was to donate $500 to the Stars of Hope USA program, whose mission is to “transform children of all ages… through the power of art and messages of healing.” Bob Brostoff proposed, and Mike Rayfield seconded, a motion to allocate the $500 from Sports Squares funds. The motion failed with 6 aye and 11 no votes. The discussion on the motion entailed the desire to help the temple more directly rather than an outside project.

Bob Levine then moved, with Barry Mann seconding, to donate $250 from Sports Squares funds to the Mitzvah Day Committee to be used at the committee’s discretion. The motion carried unanimously.

The group also decided to create our own Mitzvah Day project. The goal will be to clean and repaint the Rinaldi Place parking lot security gates and fencing along the street.

Facilities Update: Larry Pfefer did a PowerPoint presentation. We have a FEMA grant for enhanced security and surveillance measures. Ongoing maintenance and repairs include roofing the activity center and school building, tree trimming, doors, improved indoor and outdoor lighting (with assistance from the DWP) to include exits and other areas of our facilities, a fire alarm panel, new signage and better broadband.

Adjournment and Next MoTAS Meeting: The next meeting will take place at a restaurant, preferably on a Tuesday evening in October. An announcement of the date and venue will be forthcoming.

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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