MoTAS Weekly 12/18/19: LAST CHANCE TO SIGN UP: Chinese Food on Xmas

MoTAS Weekly Newsletter In 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 A&W Seafood Restaurant (9306 Reseda Blvd, Northridge, CA 91326 — on Devonshire at Prairie) 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 20; 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 A&W Seafood charge plus tax, gratuity, and online processing fees; this is not a fund-raising event. Note there is a small additional fee if you register and pay online to cover our costs from Ticketleap. You can avoid the fee by choosing the registration only option (which is free), and paying by check.

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 Wednesday, December 25, 2019.

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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The regular football season is nearly over, and now is the time to buy a Superbowl Square. The cost is only $25 per square, and you can help Temple Ahavat Shalom while potentially rewarding yourself. The price is the same as last year, although on-line registrations now have a small handling fee from TicketLeap that we used to absorb — this allows reduces the cost to MoTAS and allows us to do more for TAS. Payouts are the same: $230 for each quarter, and $460 for the final score. A full board of 91 squares pays out $1150 to players, and $1125 to MoTAS. You can find the rules of the game, register and pay online, or find a form that you can print and mail in, at

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MoTAS Shabbat – Friday, January 10, 2020. 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 volunteer online at 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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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:

  • 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, December 8, 2019

Presiding: President Howard Miller

Present: Howard Miller (President), Hal Bass (Secretary), Les Birken, Dave Breuer, Gloria Katcher (Guest), Gordon Lester, Roger Lowe (Treasurer), Barry Mann, William Moalem, Larry Pfefer (VP), Russ Rapoport (VP), Mike Rayfield, Bill Shapiro, Bernie Singer, Scott Yollis

President’s Report: Howard thanked Gordon Lester, Roger Lowe, William Moalem and Scott Yollis for preparing the brunch for today’s meeting.

Members introduced themselves and mentioned their favorite Hanukkah presents.

Howard received a warm thank-you note from Ellen Lowe for MoTAS support of the successful “Come Wine with Us” evening on November 16.

Temple Upgrades: Larry Pfefer announced that the temple has received bids for re-roofing the two school buildings. TAS has asked the DWP for further lighting enhancements

Treasurer’s Report, as of 12/05/19:


  • Men of Reform Judaism dues: $500
  • Sports Squares grant for security camera at Rinaldi Place exit gate: $535

Pending Expenditure(s):

  • Sports Squares grant for lighting upgrades not covered by DWP: $1,500


  • Oct 27 Poker Tournament: Income to date $16,904, Expenses <$7,574>=Net $9,330
  • Nov 19 Dining Does Good at Chi’s: $200
  • Nov 24 Hanukkah Boutique food: Income $450, Expenses <$662>=Net <$212>

Sports Squares:

  • Prior Years Sports Squares funds: $7,509
  • 2019 Football Squares: Income $5,000, Winners Paid Out <$1,045>=Net $3,955 (Net includes one winner who returned their $75 prize plus a $5 donation)
  • 2020 Super Bowl: Income $250 (includes $100 left over from 2019), Winner Payout <$0>=Net $250
  • 2020 March Madness NCAA Basketball Tournament: Income $0, Winner Payout <$0>=Net $0

Total Sports Squares Funds Available for Distribution: $11,714

Dining Does Good will not take place in December.

Dinner on December 25: Daniel Faigin and Larry Pfefer are in charge of arranging dinner for MoTAS members and their families at A&W Seafood Restaurant, 9306 Reseda Blvd., Northridge. Cost will be $24 per person.

Rinaldi Place Fence Painting: Tentatively scheduled for Sunday, December 8, from 1-3:30 pm, but had to be postponed until a Sunday in January 2020 due to rain.

MoTAS Annual Shabbat Service, January 10: Bob Levine is spearheading this activity. Howard will send out an email asking for participants to sign up. It is at the annual Shabbat service that our MoTAS Man of the Year is introduced. The MRJ dinner to honor Men of the Year from Southern California congregations will take place at Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana, Saturday evening, March 14.

Sisterhood Seder, Thursday, April 2: Six MoTAS volunteers will be needed for 60-90 minutes that evening to assist Sisterhood with the Seder.

MRJ National Convention, June 25-28, 2020: The annual meeting will take place at Temple Shalom in Dallas. Brian Hatkoff, MRJ VP and long-time MoTAS member, is encouraging the men of TAS to attend the convention. Further information is available at

Educational Presentation: Hal Bass gave a PowerPoint presentation on Britain’s King Edward VIII and his wife, Wallis Warfield Simpson. Hal’s initial presentation was made for a class on “dynamic duos” at the CSUN-affiliated Sage for Learning in Retirement Program, of which he and his wife Phyllis are members.

Edward succeeded to the throne in January 1936 on the death of his father, King George V. He abdicated less than 11 months later in December 1936 without a coronation, ostensibly because he planned to marry “the woman I love,” a divorcee whose ex-husband was still alive. Marriage between the monarch and a non-widowed divorcee would be in violation of Church of England canons. A further objection was that British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and Conservative Party stalwart Winston Churchill knew that Edward and Wallis were Nazi sympathizers. In 1937, months after Edward’s abdication, and again in 1939, he and Wallis visited Hitler in Germany and gave the Nazi salute. During WW2, then-Prime Minister Churchill “exiled” Edward to the Bahamas, where he unhappily served as governor until the end of the war.

The couple spent the years after WW2 in France and at the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC, where they were frequently photographed and shown in newsreels as part of international café society. In an interview Edward gave in 1950 to the Times of London’s Paris correspondent, he was quoted as blaming WW2 on the Jews, FDR, and Anthony Eden, who had resigned in 1938 as foreign secretary over opposition to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini following Italy’s annexation of Ethiopia.

Adjournment and Next MoTAS Meeting: The next meeting will take place at TAS on Sunday, January 12, 2020, 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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