MoTAS Weekly 11/25/2020: Upcoming December Activities / November Minutes

MoTAS Weekly Newsletter In This Issue:

  3. support the siSTERHOOD GIFT Shop for chanukah
  4. NOvember meeting minutes


Please mark your calendar for our next membership meeting on Sunday, December 13 at 9am. We are still finalizing the speaker, but you can trust that we’ll have a virtual breakfast that can’t be beat (because you get to make your favorite food).

(Return to Top)


You are invited to join the Men of Reform Judaism on December 21, 2020 at 5pm Pacific for a very unique and insightful examination of the election results: “The Election: A Jewish Perspective“. Our speaker will be Rabbi David Saperstein, and he will be talking about the effects of our relationship with Israel, and our relationship with other denominations.

For 40 years, Rabbi Saperstein directed the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, representing the Reform Jewish Movement, the largest segment of American Jewry, to the U.S. Congress and Administration and currently serves as its Director Emeritus. Designated by Newsweek Magazine as the most influential rabbi in America and by the Washington Post as the “quintessential religious lobbyist on Capitol Hill,” for over two years (2015-2017), Rabbi Saperstein served as the U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, carrying out his responsibilities as the country’s chief diplomat on religious freedom issues. Also, an attorney, he taught seminars on Church–State law and on Jewish Law for 35 years at Georgetown University Law Center. In 2019-2020, Rabbi Saperstein served as the President of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, the international arm of the Reform Jewish Movement.

The meeting will be held over Zoom, and you MUST register in advance. To register, visit .

(Return to Top)

3. support the siSTERHOOD GIFT Shop for chanukah

Get your Hanukkah necessities at our TAS Sisterhood Judaica Shop. The TAS Sisterhood Judaica Shop is open for private appointments, Monday through Friday during business hours. Masks are required and temperature will be taken by office staff. Proceeds benefit the many programs that Sisterhood provides TAS and the national Women of Reform Judaism. To arrange your private appointment, please contact Laraine Miller at 818-631-8199 or Your patronage is appreciated.

(Return to Top)

4. NOvember meeting minutes

Date: Sunday, November 15, 2020 via Zoom due to social isolation related to the pandemic

Presiding: President Howard Miller

Members Present: Howard Miller (President), Hal Bass (Secretary), Les Birken, Daniel Faigin (Past President), Ken Feldman, Scott Gore, Brian Hatkoff, Al Lapides, Ed Lapporte, Bob Levine, Roger Lowe (Treasurer), Barry Mann, Chuck Mondrus, Mark Moskowitz, Larry Pfefer (VP), Russ Rapoport (VP), Todd Reznik, Bill Shapiro, Bernie Singer, Sandy Stern, Mike Thornhill, Ken Wolf, and Scott Yollis.  Guests: Mel Birken, Sue Cohen, Cheryl Hatkoff, Annette Held, Janet Rice, Fran Lapides, Debby Lieber, Andy Mann, Laraine Miller, Elaine Pfefferman, Sheila Reback, Tyree Wieder, and Sandy Zonnis.

President’s Report:

Howard began the meeting by asking MoTAS members about their Thanksgiving plans.

Howard thanked Scott Gore for last month’s presentation on NASA’s Mars project.

Howard expressed gratitude to Hal Bass, Bob Levine and Roger Lowe for planning the well-attended Shabbat service honoring our veterans on November 13, and he has also emailed a note of appreciation to  Rabbi Becky.

Mark Moskowitz volunteered to explore the feasibility of providing a plaque containing the names of military veterans among the TAS membership.

The Sisterhood Hanukkah Boutique this year is a virtual event thru December 31.

MoTAS is sponsoring a station at the Hanukkah drive-by on Friday, December 11. Four to six volunteers are needed to pass out boxes of potato latke mix. Howard requested that members contact him with ideas for MoTAS projects or educational presentations.

Debby Lieber has asked people to make their Count Me In campaign contributions, if they have not already done so.

A kashrut task force is in the planning stage.

The temple’s new clergy assistant, Debbie Shayer, comes to TAS with a considerable background in the field.

The access control project will shortly be implemented.

Howard and Daniel Faigin are looking into holding a Zoom dinner for “Christmaskkah” on December 25.

Bob Levine will publish simchas in the temple’s Wednesday and Friday eblasts. Email your simchas to Bob at November 30 is this month’s deadline for publication on December 9.

Brian Hatkoff announced that the Men of Reform Judaism is presenting a webinar on December 21 featuring Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center in Washington, D.C.

Treasurer’s Report, as of 11/10/20:

Income: $0
Expenses: $0

Sports Squares Distributions:

  • Exit sign lighting upgrades not covered by DWP: $1,500 (funds not yet allocated)
  • Grant for Eagle Scout project organized by William Rosen to build ECEC equipment: $350

Sports Squares:

Prior Years Sports Squares Funds: $5,645

2020-21 Football Squares:

  • Income $4,828; Winners paid out <$925> Net $3,903

Total Sports Squares Funds Available for Distribution: $9,548 ($5,645+$3,903)

New Business: Howard moved, and Al Lapides seconded, a motion to contribute $180 to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund in recognition of Rabbi Becky’s involvement in the Veterans’ Shabbat service on November 13. The motion carried.

Howard Miller moved, and Larry Pfefer seconded, a motion to contribute $300 to sponsor a station of 4-6 MoTAS volunteers at a Hanukkah drive-by on Friday, December 11. MoTAS members manning the station will pass out boxes of potato latke mix. The motion carried.

Educational Presentation: Janet Rice, a member of the TAS Board of Trustees, discussed the veterans’ homeless crisis and plans to provide housing on the West Side VA campus. Janet literally grew up at TAS. Her parents, Bess &amp; Gary Himler, of blessed memory, were founding members of the congregation in 1965. Janet graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UCSB and went on to receive a master’s degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin. She has had extensive experience working with the Department of Defense in a civilian capacity. She is currently the western regional director for The Craddock Group, a service-disabled-veteran-owned firm that specializes in capital planning and real estate development. The Craddock Group is one of several companies engaged in an attractive four-phase project to provide 1,691 residences for homeless veterans on the grounds of the VA center in West L.A. Janet pointed to the urgent need for housing homeless veterans across the country. In L.A. alone, there are 555,000 rent-burdened households. Some 83,000 individuals in Southern California are currently homeless, 3,900 of whom are military veterans primarily from Vietnam and the wars in Iraq and  Afghanistan.

Adjournment and Next MoTAS Meeting: The next meeting will be held by Zoom on Sunday, December 13, 2020, at 9:00 am.

Respectfully submitted,

Hal Bass/Secretary

(Return to Top)


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!

(Return to Top)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s