MoTAS Weekly 04/16/20: Congregational Meeting 4/19 | Dining Does Good 4/28

MoTAS Weekly Newsletter In This Issue:


Apologies for the delay in this week’s weekly. Working from home, the days have begun to blur into each other.


This is a reminder that there will be a Special Congregational Meeting on Sunday, April 19 at 11AM. At this meeting, the congregation will hear a full report from the Rabbinic Search Committee, answer questions related to the search and selection, and vote as a community to ratify the selection, initial term, and salary. Some important rules for this virtual meeting:

  1. Anyone who plans on voting MUST attend this meeting via the video feature of Zoom, no voting allowed by those calling in via telephone. This means that we must see your face and be able to visually count your vote by your raised hand, just as if we were sitting all together in the Social Hall.
  2. There will be NO voting by mail or proxy.
  3. If you do not know how to connect to Zoom via the video feature, contact the Temple Office ASAP so we can give you the necessary instructions.
  4. Each membership unit, in good standing, shall have one vote, except those membership units that have two or more adult heads of household, which shall have two.
  5. This meeting requires a quorum so please attend.
  6. If you have any other questions or concerns about this process, please contact Debby Lieber at well in advance of the meeting so she can address them.

MoTAS hopes all of our members will be able to support the Special Congregational Meeting Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 11AM via the Zoom link in the email you will receive.

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The MoTAS May Membership eMeeting Zoom will be on May 3 at 9:00. Our program for the meeting will be “Historical Perspectives on Baseball” led by Mark Moskowitz. Among his discussion topics will be the rules for induction into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame and some of the quandaries the organization is facing, past, present and future. Attendees might find it interesting to take a look at the current rules beforehand. A Zoom announcement will be sent out in next weeks MoTAS Weekly. Feel free to invite friends who are baseball fans to attend.

At this meeting, we’ll be voting in our officers for next year, whom the nominating committee has proposed as … the same slate as this year.

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A Men Only discussion is planned for Sunday evening May 17 at 7pm via Zoom. Bob Levine will facilitate the discussion; contact him at if you are interested in participating. All men are welcome to attend.

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The Men of TAS have prepared a beautiful presentation for temple families to commemorate Yom HaShoah. It is a wonderful mix of personal reflections from our clergy and temple leadership, as well as songs, readings and stories that will bring special meaning to your Yom HaShoah observance. It will be sent to the membership Sunday evening.

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As you know, a lot of restaurants and other small businesses are hurting. MoTAS wants to directly help restaurants that have helped us before in our fundraising activities. Plan on ordering lunch or dinner out from Chi’s Chinese on Tuesday April 28. Please be sure to thank them for their past support to The Men of Temple Ahavat Shalom when you pick up your order or call in for delivery. You can even ask for Marco and tell him directly. An easy way to get out of making dinner and still helping others in need.

To be clear on this: No flyer is needed; the restaurant is not donating back to MoTAS. This is MoTAS giving back to the restaurant by supporting them in thanks for their support for us over the past years. Letting the restaurant know this builds the relationship for our working together in the future.

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Our annual operating budget depends on the generous contributions of our temple members. We use the funds to run our organization, support the ECEC and Religious School, and the Temple. In combination with our other fundraising activities, we support the costs of Camperships, the Avodah Program, the free pancake breakfast, Confirmation L’Taken, and many more activities and benefits that are not part of the Temple budget. If you would like to help us, visit Let’s show that 100% of our active members participate, even if it is just for $18.

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Date: Sunday, April 5, 2020 Via Zoom Due to Social Isolation Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Presiding: President Howard Miller

Present: Howard Miller (President), Hal Bass (Secretary), Les Birken, Joe Blachman, Bob Brostoff, Daniel Faigin (Past President), Brian Hatkoff, Al Lapides, Ed Lapporte, Bob Levine, Roger Lowe (Treasurer), Barry Mann, William Moalem, Chuck Mondrus, Mark Moskowitz, Jeff Neiman, Larry Pfefer (VP), Russ Rapoport (VP), Larry Rofe, Jim Schwartz, Bill Shapiro, Bernie Singer, Shelly Spector, Alan Stepakoff, Mike Thornhill, Ken Wolf

President’s Report:

Howard expressed appreciation to William Moalem for arranging painting of the entry and exit gates on March 1, and to Doug Gee for supplying the paint, brushes and rollers. The painting crew consisted of Les Birken, Hank Cohen, Yale Doberne, Roger Lowe, Howard Miller, Mike Rayfield, Bill Shapiro and Scott Yollis.

Howard thanked everyone who helped out at the Purim Carnival, the last temple event before social isolation went into effect and public events were canceled.

A temple Seder via Zoom will be conducted by Rabbi Kalfus and Cantor Cohen at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, April 8. Passover dinners are available thru Cornucopia, but orders must be received by Monday noon, April 6, and picked up at the temple between noon and 2 pm on April 8.

Howard said he was excited about the prospect of Rabbi Becky Hoffman coming to TAS as our senior rabbi on July 1. She brings many strengths that should appeal to congregants of all ages. A congregational meeting to approve Rabbi Hoffman’s contract will take place via Zoom on Sunday, April 19, at 11 am.

Treasurer’s Report, as of 03/05/20:


  • March 8 Purim Carnival food: $399
  • Deposit for October 25, 2020 Poker Tournament: $200

Proposed Sports Squares Grants for ECEC & Religious School:

  • Replace floor in ECEC kitchen and build a cabinet for a donated oven
  • Landscape area in front of the school office

Sports Squares Distributions:

  • Holiday gifts to custodial staff: $225
  • ECEC classroom rug: $343
  • ECEC Luncheon support: $300
  • Lighting upgrades not covered by DWP: $1,500 (funds have not yet been spent)
  • Increasing the bandwidth and possible additional projects, TBD: $5,000


  • 2020 MoTAS Annual Appeal: Income to Date $4,892 (46 donations), 2020 Pride Appeal $1,339, Printing & Postage <$203>, Net $6,028
  • Feb 25 Dining Does Good at Chi Chi’s Pizza: $185; YTD $1,082

Sports Squares:

  • Prior Years Sports Squares funds: $6,641
  • 2019 Football Squares: Income $5,000, Winners Paid Out <$1,920>=Net $3,080 (Net includes one winner who returned their $75 prize plus a $5 donation)
  • 2020 Football Squares: Income $288 (reallocated to Football Squares from canceled 2020 March Madness NCAA Basketball Tournament)
  • 2020 Super Bowl: Income $2,296 (includes $100 remaining from 2019), Winner Payout <$1,151>=Net $1,145. Final score winner returned $360 of their winnings to the temple, increasing net income to $1,505.
  • 2020 March Madness NCAA Basketball Tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic:  Donated funds $478
  • Total Sports Squares Funds Available for Distribution: $11,992, Distributions <$868>=Net $11,124

MoTAS Annual Appeal: We’ve exceeded our fundraising goal of $4,500 for 2020. As all adult male members of TAS are also members of MoTAS and for which there are no annual dues, the goal for the annual appeal is 100% participation. In conjunction with our other fundraising activities, MoTAS supports the costs of Camperships, the Avodah Program, a free pancake breakfast at the opening of school, the L’Taken Social Justice Initiative for the Confirmation class, and many additional programs that are not part of the temple budget. Checks can be mailed to the temple or online donations made through

Men’s Only Discussion, Sunday, April 5, 7 pm, Via Zoom: The meeting was organized by Bob Levine and Brian Hatkoff will host the Zoom broadcast. Men’s only discussion groups provide a forum for discussing men’s issues in a friendly and supportive environment where what is said in the room remains confidential. This is MoTAS members’ opportunity to air important topics with their peers. Thirteen people are expected for tonight’s discussion.

Yellow Candle Lighting for Yom HaShoah: Due to the social isolation necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic, MoTAS is unable to hold a candle-packing meeting or to send out yellow candles this year. But commemoration of Yom HaShoah beginning at sundown on April 20 will proceed. Our plan is to do an electronic mailing of a virtual candle, with messages and personal reflections from the clergy and temple leadership. Larry Pfefer is organizing this effort and is preparing a video for which he is asking MoTAS members to make recordings for the background audio. Watch your email for further information.

Poker Tournament, Sunday evening, October 25: This year’s poker tournament will again be held at TAS.

New Business:

Motion introduced by Bob Levine: “In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, I move to suspend for one year (July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021) bylaws section 4.7.1, which stipulates that the President and the Vice Presidents can serve no more than two consecutive one-year terms.” Daniel Faigin seconded, and the motion was adopted unanimously.

Motion introduced by Howard Miller: “The TAS budget is under unanticipated stress due to closure of the ECEC as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. I propose that MoTAS provide our 2019-20 annual commitment of $5,000 at the present time instead of during the annual congregational meeting on June 7th.” Roger Lowe seconded the motion, which was adopted unanimously.

Motion introduced by Howard Miller: The goal of our Sports Squares program is to benefit temple projects, groups and events outside of the temple budget. “I propose that we provide a one-time allocation of $1,000 to assist up to 10 member families who have lost jobs as a result of the COVID-19-related economic collapse. Included would be a one-time gift per family of a $100 VISA card, with no questions asked relative to how the money is spent. If the number of families in the future should exceed 10, a separate motion would be required.”

Included with the gift would be a note wishing the family well and indicating that this gesture of goodwill is a means for MoTAS to extend a helping hand to those who have been laid off or furloughed from work. The specific information is confidential, but there are three families at present who would qualify. The cover letter, on MoTAS stationery, and the gift VISA card will be mailed out by the temple. Howard’s proposal has been reviewed with the Caring Community and cleared by Debby Lieber and Aaron Solomon.

Al Lapides seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.

Motion introduced by Larry Pfefer: “I propose that the MoTAS logo be redesigned to incorporate features of the TAS logo such that its background better relates to the overall temple organization.” Howard seconded Larry’s motion.
Following discussion, Barry Mann moved to table the motion until it could be further reviewed at a subsequent MoTAS meeting, and Chuck Mondrus seconded. The motion to table was adopted unanimously.

Report of Nominating Committee for 2020-21 (Bob Levine, chair; Daniel Faigin, Russ Rapoport and Ben Tenn, members): The committee proposed the following slate of officers for election at the May 3 MoTAS meeting: Howard Miller, President; Vice Presidents Larry Pfefer and Russ Rapoport; Treasurer Roger Lowe; Secretary Hal Bass. Anyone wishing to run for one of these offices is welcome to do so. Interested candidates should email Bob Levine and they will be added to the slate in May.

Adjournment and Next MoTAS Meeting: The next meeting will be held at TAS or by Zoom, as conditions warrant, on Sunday, May 3, 2020, at 8:45 am. Elections of MoTAS officers for 2020-21 will take place at this meeting.

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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