MoTAS Weekly 03/03/2021: Mar 14 Monthly Meeting / NCAA Squares

In This Issue:

  1. SU MAR 14 MONTHLY MEETING: MY LIFE IN DOD DESIGN
  2. NCAA SQUARES TIME
  3. HELP US DO WHAT WE DO: SUPPORT THE MOTAS APPEAL
  4. SHARE YOUR SIMCHAS FOR APRIL
  5. THU, APR 8: YOM HASHOAH (YELLOW CANDLES)
  6. MOTAS SEDER SURVEY: RESULTS
  7. SUN, APR 11: MOTAS MONTHLY MEETING
  8. FEBRUARY MEETING MINUTES
  9. IN CLOSING

1. SU MAR 14 MONTHLY MEETING: MY LIFE IN DOD DESIGN

Program:  Howard Miller will speak on The $600 Ashtray and Other Fun Design Challenges: One individual’s Experience in Military Weapon System Development.  He will present stories of some of the unique and many times humorous issues he dealt with in the development of a glass cockpit for the B-1B bomber and the F22 crew station development for the United States Air Force.  There will also be a chance for everyone to attempt some design work themselves.  All you need to have to be prepared for Howard’s presentation is a salad fork.

In April, MoTAS will be initiating plans for our future leadership.  If you have an interest in helping our group succeed and would like to consider becoming part of our leadership team, please contact Bob Levine at (818) 271-1282.  He can talk to you about our leadership responsibilities and what each position entails.

2. NCAA SQUARES TIME

Now that football season is officially over, it’s time for basketball and the craziness known as the Final Four, in early April. Once again, MoTAS is happy to offer you the opportunity to help raise some needed funds for special TAS projects, and maybe you’ll earn some $$ along the way. You are receiving this email because you so generously supported our Sports Squares program sometime in the last year, and we want you to have first opportunity to play now. To get all the information (and in some cases, more than you could ever want), go to http://squares.tasnorthridge-motas.org/ where you’ll find the instructions, a sign-up form you can print, and a link if you wish to order your spaces online.

To summarize: each name on the board can have up to 3 spaces. The squares are priced at $36 each. The game is for both the men’s and women’s tournament (semifinal two games each, and final games), so there are 12 opportunities to be a winner, since there is a winner at the half and final score. If the board is fully subscribed at all 100 spaces, the payout is $150 per win. Once again, we’ll use our “tie-breaker” method to determine a winner if a winning square is unsold (If there are unsold squares, the payouts will be adjusted.) The tie-breaker is your prediction of the total number of points both teams will score in any game, for example, if you think the final score will be 82-61, your number = 143. Here’s a hint for those who are unfamiliar (or don’t really care….): the average score for the men’s tournament for the last two years was 147, and the average score for the women’s tournament was 134. You get only one tie-breaker per person, so choose wisely.

3.  HELP US DO WHAT WE DO: SUPPORT THE MOTAS APPEAL

By now, you have received your MoTAS Appeal Letter. You’ve read about all MoTAS has done to support TAS over the past year, and how the COVID environment has limited our fund raising options. You know that our appeal is even more important this year for us to do what we do. Luckily, it is easy to support MoTAS. Just visit our support webpage: http://support.tasnorthridge-motas.org/. There you can read the appeal letter, make your donation online, or download a form to mail with your check to Roger. Without all of our usual activities, MoTAS needs your support even more to be able to support the temple and its needs during these extraordinary times. MoTAS does not charge dues to its members; we depend on your donations to be able to do what we do.

Just visit http://support.tasnorthridge-motas.org/ to donate.

4. SHARE YOUR SIMCHAS FOR APRIL

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 March submissions to be listed on in April 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.

5. THU, APR 8: YOM HASHOAH (YELLOW CANDLES)

After missing last year due to COVID restrictions, MoTAS will once again be sending out MRJ Yom HaShoah memorial candles to our temple members.  Since our meeting is virtual, a few volunteers will be assembling the candles and printed documents in preparation for mailing.  Thanks to those MoTAS members who have offered their help for this effort. It’s not too late for you to join us. If you would be willing to help assemble candles, please let Howard know at president@tasnorthridge-motas.org. The volunteers will be contacted by Howard around March 21.

6. MOTAS SEDER SURVEY: RESULTS

In the mailing for the Annual Appeal, Howard included a tenative date for the MoTAS Seder. In the last two mailings there has been a survey about 2021, and two-thirds of the six responding wanted to do … nothing, and if we did do anything it was a tie between a seder-themed speaker or some form of discussion. As there isn’t a strong push for a seder until we are past this and can meet in person, we’ll put the event on hold for another year.

For reference: You can find the updated draft version of the MoTAS/TBHLA Haggadah (cut down from the first trial year) at https://app.box.com/s/gbh0aydqshh4omtb3ac8gf4pta3iy1vk . Note that we would not do everything in the service, especially if we do a discussion-only (no meal) event.  You can find the 2007 version of the MRJ Haggadah at http://www.menrj.org/sites/default/files/articles/files/MRJ%20The%20Mens%20Seder%20highres.pdf .

7. SUN, APR 11: MOTAS MONTHLY MEETING

Finish your taxes early this year so that you can attend our April meeting.  We have yet to identify a program, so if you have an idea or can suggest a speaker, please contact Howard Miller at (818) 903-9656.

8. FEBRUARY MEETING MINUTES

Editor’s Note: Alas, the new Constant Contact interface doesn’t allow me to format this as nicely as I did in the past.

Date: Sunday, February 21, 2021 via Zoom due 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, Jeff Kaiser, Al Lapides, Ed Lapporte, Bob Levine, Roger Lowe (Treasurer), Joel Lowell, Fabian Malinovitz, Barry Mann, Chuck Mondrus, Mark Moskowitz, Jeff Neiman, Bill Shapiro, Alan Stepakoff, Sandy Stern, Ben Tenn, Mike Thornhill, Ken Wolf, Scott Yollis

Guests: Cheryl Hatkoff, Fran Lapides, Kathy Pullman, Sheila Reback, Barbara Shapiro

President’s Report:

Howard began the meeting by asking members to describe a significant national event that occurred while they were growing up.

Howard thanked the 18 MoTAS participants and Rabbi Becky for the January 15 Men’s Shabbat in which Hal Bass received our Man of the Year award presented to him by last year’s Man of the Year, Les Birken.

Howard congratulated Scott Gore for his work at JPL that saw last week’s successful landing of Perseverance on Mars.

Howard and Larry Pfefer have initiated an access control project for the two sanctuary building foyer doors that will be scalable to all doors in the future.

Howard will announce a nominating committee for 2021-22 MoTAS officers.

Bob Levine publishes simchas in the temple’s Wednesday and Friday eblasts. Email your simchas to Bob at tasboblevine@gmail.com. February 28 is this month’s deadline for publication on March 10.

Income from Sports Squares was used to upgrade the temple’s WiFi system and to fund William Rosen’s Eagle Scout project, in which William will place dwarf orange trees in decorative wooden planter boxes near the parking lot.

The MoTAS Annual Appeal is ahead of its fundraising goal. Moreover, there have been 52 participants (including 5 women) in 2021, in comparison to 47 at this time last year. The TAS Campus Pride Campaign’s 9 participants have thus far donated a total of $727, which is $127 over the projected target of $600.

Volunteers are needed for packaging yellow candles for Yom Ha Shoah to be mailed out to congregational families. If available, please contact Howard.

Daniel Faigin is making plans for a MoTAS Seder. Details will be forthcoming.

Howard encouraged individuals to attend the online February 22 Jewish Disability Awareness Conference.

Purim Festivities: Hamentashen Part 1 for students will take place at 5 pm on Thursday, February 25, and Purim with a Twist for adults will be held at 7 pm on February 25, followed by a Purim-themed Shabbat service with a cast of crazy characters at 6:30 pm on February 26. Check the Wednesday and Friday blast emails for further details. 

A “Paw” mitzvah honoring congregants’ pets will take place on Saturday, March 6.

The TAS Annual Gala will be held Saturday, May 15. This year’s honorees will be the Caring Community.

Treasurer’s Report, as of 02/19/21:

Income: 

  • Annual Appeal $5,593; TAS Campus Pride $727; Fees <$109>; Net $6,211

Expenses:

  • Sports Squares Distributions:
    • Exit sign lighting upgrades not covered by DWP: $1,500 (funds not yet allocated)
  • Sports Squares:
    • Prior Years Sports Squares Balance: $5,145
    • 2020-21 Football Squares:
      • Income $4,828; Winners paid out <$1,925>; Winnings donated back $125; Net $3,028
    • 2021 Super Bowl
    • Income $2,150; Winners paid out <$1,150>; Net $1,000
    • Total Sports Squares Funds Available for Distribution: $9,173 ($5,145+$3,028+1,000)

Educational Presentation: The title of Al Lapides’ talk was “The History of Advertising and Its Effect on Society.” The Syracuse University graduate (bachelor’s degree in political science and radio/television, master’s in TV production) and USAF veteran (where he was a captain) is a native of Rochester, NY. Al and his wife, Fran, are long-time, active TAS members. When the pandemic subsides and venues reopen, Al will return to his regular Sunday activity at the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo, where his encyclopedic knowledge about cars of every make and model has made him a popular docent for many years. 

In his presentation, Al covered the history of advertising from its 19th century roots to the 21st century. Much of advertising can be applied to discussions about the ideas and ideals we believe in. He said the key to a successful campaign is to identify a target for engaging and motivating individuals or groups to support the advertiser’s cause or purchase their product. The debate includes whether advertising should entertain and/or irritate (yes that, too) the audience, as well as inform them.

The earliest ads appeared in newspapers and magazines. Then radio came along in the early 1920s, followed by television (which now includes cable and satellite) and the internet. Increased technology and a need for greater creativity have paralleled the growth of broadcast and digital media.

Al gave examples of different types of advertising:

  1. Products or services for the consumer
  2. Institutional/corporate
  3. Trade/professional
  4. Political
  5. Lobbying/issues-oriented
  6. Advertorials
  7. Promos/in-house media
  8. Furnishing PR materials to the media as features or news
  9. Public service messages donated by ad agencies or media

Advertising is often aimed at a specific audience, such as commercials for anticoagulants on network news shows primarily watched by older viewers. Celebrities are frequently used, but this may entail risks should a celebrity engage in controversial or questionable behavior. Advertisers who rely on puffery can be legally challenged.

Members and guests greatly appreciated Al’s highly informative talk on something all of us experience and whose impact on our lives is enormous.

Adjournment and Next MoTAS Meeting: The next meeting will be held by Zoom, Sunday, March 14, 2021, at 9:00 am. Howard Miller will do an educational presentation: “The $600 Ashtray and Other ‘Fun’ Challenges: One Individual’s Experience in Military Weapons Systems Development.”

Respectfully submitted,
Hal Bass/Secretary

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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