MoTAS Weekly 11/20/19: Chanukah Boutique 11/24 | December Meeting 12/8

MoTAS Weekly Newsletter In This Issue:



The annual Sisterhood Holiday Boutique is Sunday, November 24 from 10am to 3pm. Typically, the Men of TAS helps with the food service. We pickup sandwiches and pizza, and help sell the food to the attendees and the vendors. It is one of the opportunities for our youth to work with MoTAS to earn credit towards camperships by delivering the food.

If you will be able to help us at this event, you can sign up at

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Our next membership meeting will be November 10, 2019, at the usual time in the usual place (i.e., 8:45am in the northernmost rooms of the Activity Center). This may be our last meeting in the Activity Center. Our speaker will be Dr. Hal Bass. Hal will be presenting a discussion on Edward VIII and Wallis Warfield Simpson, highlighting their love of Hitler, Edward’s abdication and revelations of anti-Semitism that was previously presented for the CSUN SAGE Society.

As always, our meeting will start with our usual MoTAS breakfast, followed by a short business meeting and our speaker. Please bring a potential active member with you: this is the best way to introduce someone to all the great guys in our group.

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The following MoTAS events will be occurring in the next few months. Please mark them on your calendars now. More information will be in the weekly as soon as sign in sheets and pricing information becomes available:

  • MoTAS Jewish Xmas. Wednesday December 25. You bring the movie, we’ll arrange the Chinese dinner. Basically, we make a group reservation at a local Chinese restaurant so that we can all get together after our afternoon movies for dinner. Saves you the hassle of waiting for a table, and make it easier for the restaurant to have a fixed menu. Win win. Larry Pfeffer is currently coordinating with the restaurant; as soon as we have details, we’ll set up the sign in.
  • MoTAS Shabbat. Friday, January 10. This is the Shabbat where MoTAS leads the service, and the Man of the Year is recognized. Bob Levine will be coordinating.
  • Tu B’Shevat Seder. Sunday, February 8. This is a seder for Tu B’Shevat that MoTAS leads for the religious school. Tu B’Shevat starts the evening of Sunday February 8, so we will likely do the seder that morning.
  • MRJ Man of the Year Dinner. Saturday, March 14. Mark the date on your calendar now for the annual Man of the Year dinner, where our MoTAS honoreee will be feted together with all the other outstanding men from the region. Location to be announced.

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Date: Sunday, November 10, 2019

Presiding: Larry Pfefer (VP) for President Howard Miller, who was out of town.

Present: Hal Bass (Secretary), Les Birken, Bob Brostoff, Yale Doberne, Daniel Faigin (Past President), Scott Gore, Brian Hatkoff, Gordon Lester, Bob Levine, Roger Lowe (Treasurer), Fabian Malinovitz, Barry Mann, William Moalem, Larry Pfefer (VP), Kathy Pullman (Guest), Mike Rayfield, Todd Reznick, Howard Schnee, Bernie Singer, Alan Stepakoff, Sandy Stern, Ben Tenn, Mike Thornhill, Scott Yollis

President’s Report: Larry thanked Bob Levine, Roger Lowe, Mike Thornhill and Scott Yollis for preparing the brunch for today’s meeting.

Members introduced themselves and mentioned favorite dishes their mothers prepared.

Larry updated MoTAS members on security upgrades at the temple. Twenty-six of 38 cameras have been installed to date, along with greatly enhanced security lighting.

The Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament on Sunday evening, Oct 27, was a big success. Eighty-two people registered, with three no-shows. Five players came from Temple Judea and four from Temple Ramat Zion. On Howard’s behalf, Larry thanked members of the planning group chaired by Howard Miller: Hal Bass, Les Birken, Daniel Faigin, Brian Hatkoff, Bob Levine, Roger Lowe, Barry Mann and Larry Pfefer.

Treasurer’s Report, as of 11/05/19:


  • Bar/Bat Mitzvah Gifts: $165
  • Security camera at gate to Rinaldi Place: $500
  • Sep 21 S’lichot Reception Support: $93
  • Oct 13 Sukkah Construction: $150
  • Nov 3 Mitzvah Day Support: $200
  • Nov 10 Vaping: A Growing Epidemic Panel Discussion Support: $100
  • Nov 16 Come Wine with Us Support: $100

Pending Expenditure(s):

  • Lighting Upgrades Not Covered by DWP: $1,500


  • 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)
  • Aug 19 Dining Does Good at Maria’s Kitchen: $228
  • Oct 15 Dining Does Good at Emle’s : $150
  • Oct 27 Poker Tournament: Income to Date $16,207, Expenses <$6,967>=Net $9,240

Sports Squares:

  • Prior Years Sports Squares Funds: $8,146
  • 2019 Football Squares: Income $5,000, Winners Paid Out <$945>=Net $4,055 (Net includes one winner who returned their $75 prize plus a $5 donation)
  • 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: $12,771

2019-20 MoTAS Budget: Larry presented the budget. Projected income $12,275, projected expenses $12,515. Projected deficit of $240 should be relatively easy to erase using funds on hand.

Ben Tenn raised the issue of the MoTAS checking account balance and expressed his opinion that a greater amount be turned over to TAS in view of the temple’s financial state. Ben’s comments were taken under advisement.

Bob Brostoff moved that MoTAS support for camperships be increased from $1,200 to $1,500. Mike Thornhill seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Daniel Faigin moved to approve the budget, as amended. Mike Rayfield seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Dining Does Good Tuesday, November 19: Chi’s Chinese Restaurant in Northridge. A portion of the bill is returned to MoTAS as a contribution. Diners are required to present a flyer downloadable at .

Hanukkah Boutique Sunday, November 24: Volunteers are needed, and a sign-up sheet was circulated.

Rinaldi Place Fence Painting: Tentatively scheduled for Sunday, December 8, from 1-3:30 pm. Volunteers were asked to enter their names on a sign-up sheet.

Presentation by Alan Stepakoff on Computer Security: Alan is a retired enterprise security architect with a background in mathematics whose career spanned many years at CSUN and JPL. His comments were comprehensive and greatly appreciated by everyone present. Alan covered a variety of issues, among which were:

  • Data encryption, especially for laptops.
  • Protecting laptops from being stolen by locking them in the trunk and in a hotel safe when not in use.
  • Put PCs and laptops to sleep or turn them off when leaving a room or your home.
  • Network security may be unreliable, so make sure you have a good firewall.
  • Difference between http and https.
  • Secure sites vs. vulnerable unprotected sites.
  • Cellphone authentication.
  • Importance of backing up data.
  • Employing strong passwords.
  • Email, which is the biggest vulnerability: phishing, spear phishing and whale (big) phishing.
  • VPN.
  • Using the cloud.
  • Making sure data is carefully erased before disposing of old hardware (PCs, laptops, cellphones).
  • Requesting notification of unusual or suspicious activity from banks, credit card companies, and department or other stores that issue charge cards.

Adjournment and Next MoTAS Meeting: The next meeting will take place at TAS on Sunday, December 8, 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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