MoTAS Weekly 12/23/2020: Christmakkah Update / MoTAS Shabbat / Rabbi Becky Speaking / and much more

MoTAS Weekly Newsletter In This Issue:

  1. SU JAN 10: MOTAS JANUARY MEETING – RABBI BECKY
  2. TH DEC 31: SHARE YOUR SIMCHAS FOR JANUARY
  3. FR DEC 25: CHRISTMAKKAH MOTAS UPDATE
  4. FR JAN 22: 2021 MOTAS SHABBAT SERVICE
  5. TU FEB 02: SUPER BOWL SQUARES NOW AVAILABLE
  6. DECEMBER MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES
  7. IN CLOSING

1. SU JAN 10: MOTAS JANUARY MEETING – RABBI BECKY

We have finalized planss with Rabbi Becky to speak at our January 10th meeting.  Rabbi Becky will be giving us a half year update.  She will talk about her experience in getting to know the temple and its members, what she has learned and where she would like to see for TAS in the future. As always, the business meeting will start at 9am with Virtual Lox and Bagels (meaning we’ll show you pictures of them), and our speaker will start between 945am and 10am. Zoom information will be published next week.

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2. TH DEC 31: SHARE YOUR SIMCHAS FOR JANUARY

If you have a Simcha you want to share, click here for the link to submit your Simcha. Submissions will be due no later than the last day of the month prior to the month of publication. We are now taking December submissions to be listed on January 13, 2021. For more details or questions contact Bob Levine. If you are interested in making a donation to TAS in honor of your Simcha, click here. A donation is not required to submit your Simcha.

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3. FR DEC 25: CHRISTMAKKAH MOTAS UPDATE

The Christmakkah event started many years ago when Christmas was on a Friday night. We wanted to coordinate going out for Chinese food after the service, and wanted to avoid the long lines at the Chinese restaurant. So we devised a plan where we would make reservations and order ahead with a fixed menu. Easier for us, as we have a reservation. Easier for the restaurant, as they don’t have to take orders or deal with multiple checks and credit cards. The dinner continued for many years, with MoTAS attempting to coordinate an afternoon movie so we could accidentally “meet” at the theatre.

This year, that hasn’t worked out. We’re attending services virtually. We’re watching our movie virtually. And if we get Chinese food, it will be takeout (and the restaurants will still likely be slammed). Attempting to coordinate anything wouldn’t work, because of all the different deliveries.

So, instead, we offer a little advice:

  1. Order ahead. Chinese leftovers are as good as “day of”, and you avoid the crush. Order tonight (Wed 12/23) or tomorrow night (Thu 12/24). Reheat on Christmas. Enjoy. But support your local restaurants — they really need the business these days. Here are some links for locations MoTAS has used in the past: (a) Mandarin King (Devonshire/Balboa); (b) Golden Hunan (Reseda/Devonshire); (c) Chis Chinese (Reseda/Devonshire, closed Christmas Day); (d) Hot Wok (Reseda/Nordhoff); (e) A&W Seafood (Reseda/Chase)
  2. Do something different. MoTAS received a call from Cafe Graikos in Porter Ranch that they would be open on Christmas Day after 4pm. So if Greek Food is your Christmas tradition, they are a possibility. We’ll be doing a dining out with them in the future.

For those that are interested, we can Zoom for a Social Schmooze after services and or during your dinner (~7:30pm). If you are interested, please email Howard at hmiller12@socal.rr.com and Larry at lpfefer@tasnorthridge.org

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4. FR JAN 22: 2021 MOTAS SHABBAT SERVICE

As you are aware, every year MoTAS has an opportunity to lead the congregation in prayer.  We also give the temple our unofficial “State of MoTAS” address, and announce our Man of the Year.  In past years, interested men were able to participate in the service, by reading sections in English, prayers in Hebrew, singing in our “choir,” or making brief reflections on their experiences with MoTAS.This year we’ll be virtual so the structure is still being worked out, but we hope to have something similar.

This year, our service will be held on Friday, January 22, 2021, 6:30 PM, via Zoom

Please contact Bob Levine, at tasboblevine@gmail.com if you are able to join in, and what you would like to do.  If you are unable/unwilling/not available, please let Bob know as well.

More information regarding what you would be doing will be sent out as soon as the service is put together. (Return to Top)

5. TU FEB 02: SUPER BOWL SQUARES NOW AVAILABLE

The Monday Night Football season is nearly, 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 http://squares.tasnorthridge-motas.org/. Squares must be purchased by the Tuesday before the Super Bowl.

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6. DECEMBER MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES

Date: Sunday, December 13, 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, Yale Doberne, Daniel Faigin (Past President), Ken Feldman, Brian Hatkoff, Larry Hoffman, Al Lapides, Bob Levine, Roger Lowe (Treasurer), Joel Lowell, Barry Mann, Chuck Mondrus, Larry Pfefer (VP), Russ Rapoport (VP), Bernie Singer, Alan Stepakoff, Sandy Stern, Mike Thornhill, Ken Wolf, Scott Yollis
Guests: Walt Agajanian, Phyllis Bass, Cheryl Hatkoff, Gloria Katcher, Laurie Mondrus, Sheila Reback

President’s Report:

Howard began the meeting by asking members about their favorite Hanukkah gift.

Howard read a note from Rabbi Becky thanking MoTAS for our gift to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund in honor of her participation at the November 13 Veterans’ Shabbat. Rabbi Becky added that she looked forward to partnering with MoTAS on other occasions, as well.

Howard thanked Janet Rice for last month’s presentation on plans to address veterans’ homelessness

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

MoTAS had planned to sponsor a station at the Hanukkah drive-by on Friday, December 11. The drive-by had to be canceled due to pandemic restrictions.

Howard requested that members contact him with ideas for MoTAS projects or educational presentations.

Howard invited MoTAS members and their families to attend the 5 pm Shabbat service on December 25, and said that he and Larry Pfefer are looking into holding a “Christmakkah” Zoom movie night. Anyone interested in participating should call one of them.

There was a short discussion about coordinating meals with a single Chinese restaurant, but it became clear that everyone had their own favorite Chinese restaurant.

Bob Levine will publish simchas in the temple’s Wednesday and Friday eblasts. Email your simchas to Bob at tasboblevine@gmail.com. December 31 is this month’s deadline for publication on January 9.

Brian Hatkoff reminded members that 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.

Bob Levine said that Super Bowl Sunday Sports Squares will shortly be available at $25 per entry.

The MoTAS Annual Appeal begins January 1.

The annual MoTAS Shabbat will take place January 22. Those who wish to participate in the service should contact Bob Levine at tasboblevine@gmail.com.

There will be no Tu B’Shevat Seder in 2021.

Howard is making plans for a video presentation to honor Les Birken, MoTAS Man of the Year.

Treasurer’s Report, as of 12/09/20:

Income: $50 (early donation to 2021 MoTAS Annual Appeal)

Expenses:

  • $500 to MRJ (MoTAS annual commitment)
  • $180 to Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund in recognition of Rabbi Becky’s support of the November 13 Veterans’ Shabbat (donation was approved by a vote of MoTAS members at the November 15 general meeting)

Sports Squares Distributions:

  • Exit sign lighting upgrades not covered by DWP: $1,500 (funds not yet allocated)

Sports Squares:

Prior Years Sports Squares Balance: $5,645

2020-21 Football Squares:

  • Income $4,828; Winners paid out <$1,550>; Winnings donated back to temple $50; Net $3,328

Total Sports Squares Funds Available for Distribution: $8,973 ($5,645+$3,328)

Educational Presentation: Dr. Hal Bass presented a PowerPoint entitled, “The Armenian Genocide: Prelude to The Holocaust.” He discussed the long history of Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire and the Armenian Genocide that began on April 24, 1915 and lasted until 1923. During this period, the Ottoman Empire had been defeated in WW1 and replaced by a republic under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Up to 1.5 million Armenians perished, along with an estimated 1 million Greeks and Assyrians. Thousands of others were forced to flee to other countries, including the U.S. and Canada. To this day, Turkey refuses to acknowledge its responsibility for the Armenian Genocide. 

The first Armenian Republic in northeast Turkey and the Russian Caucasus survived only two years (1918-20). A smaller, second republic was established in Soviet Armenia in 1920 and lasted until collapse of the USSR in 1991. The third Armenian republic, within the same borders, gained its independence in 1991.

Adolf Hitler’s “final solution” was modeled, in part, on the Armenian Genocide. Shortly before the onset of WW2 in September 1939, Hitler asked, “Who speaks today of the extermination of the Armenians?”
The final segment of the presentation dealt with the recent war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, whose population is predominantly Christian Armenian but which lies within Muslim Azerbaijan. The Armenians had hoped to wrest N-K–which Armenia refers to as Artsakh–from Azerbaijan and fold it into Armenia. However, Armenia, in early November, was forced to call for a ceasefire following unsustainable losses to the superior Azeri forces, whose arsenal included Israeli and Turkish drones. (Israel and Azerbaijan have close trade and diplomatic ties.) Armed Russian peacekeepers are now maintaining the ceasefire.

Howard commented that the presentation was very interesting and well appreciated by the group.

Adjournment and Next MoTAS Meeting: The next meeting will be held by Zoom, Sunday, January 10, 2021, at 9:00 am.

Respectfully submitted,

Hal Bass/Secretary

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IN CLOSING

As always, remember that the Men of Temple Ahavat Shalom is *your* organization. Keep up to date on our activities at http://www.tasnorthridge-motas.org/ and participate. Sign up for our action alert list at http://tinyurl.com/motas-action-alert. 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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