2017 MoTAS Man of the Year: Daniel Faigin

At the 2017 MoTAS Shabbat, the 2016 Man of the Year, Barry Mann, introduced this year’s Man of the Year as follows:

This year’s Man of the Year can truly be called a Renaissance Man. His interests are so varied that he should be up for “The Most Interesting Man in the World”.

If there is a job to be done, all you have to do is ask him and it will be done.

He is selfless to a fault. His knowledge of Judaism is astounding.

Having grown up in West Los Angeles and attending high school there, he received his undergraduate and masters degrees at UCLA.

He has a profound and varied interest in theatre and seems to never miss a performance, whether it be large or small theaters.

He is also a fanatic on board games and has an extensive collection of some of the most esoteric games you can imagine.

As a computer whiz, he has worked on our website, created flyers for our dining events and our various special events (including the golf tournament.)

He has maps in his head and is an expert on our California highways. He runs a number of blogs on the LA theatre scene and our LA streets and highways. His knowledge of  computers and cyber security are well known.

He is our last two years president of MoTAS. He is our own DANIEL FAIGIN!!

MoTAS Weekly for 8/31/16: Highlighting Calls for Squares, Golf, Pancakes, Weilers, Denial Movie, Allan Sherman

Fathers and Sons

As I write this post/article, I have just received word that Scott Yollis’ father passed away. He’s not alone: in March, other men in the congregation have lost fathers or fathers-in-law, including Mike Doner and Rabbi Lutz. It is also just after my father’s birthday; he passed away in 2004. Fathers play important roles in our lives: they pass down values, they serve as examples, they teach us how to lead. Our congregation is blessed with many active fathers, including the men of MoTAS and the fathers in our religious school.

One problem we have, however, is a generational divide between the fathers in the congregation. Although we all share the same goal — leadership in our family and leadership for the congregation — we feel we have little in common. The older dads form the core constituency of MoTAS. The younger dads are involved in the ECEC and activities like “Dad’s Night Out”. When we should be cross-pollinating our similar experiences, we separate and think we have little in common.

MoTAS would like to change that. First, we invite the younger dads to come to our Sunday morning meetings (timed to be during religious school), our MoTAS Seder, and our upcoming outing to see the Lancaster Jethawks — affordable, family-friendly baseball. We also want to work with the dad’s group in the ECEC — providing umbrella publicity, and working together to promote fund raisers for our groups and the congregation. If this is something you would like to help with, please contact me at president@tasnorthridge-motas.org .


MoTAS Weekly for 12/16 & 12/23/15: Join MoTAS for a Jewish Xmas: Movies, Shabbat, and Chinese Food

I’m Fried

Whew. What a year it has been so far. We were overwhelmed at the August Shabbabaque, and found out where our fronds really were when we had to scramble to find them to build the Sukkah. We came together for a wonderful golf tournament, and have had great hangouts, breakfasts, and speakers. It has been incredibly busy, and I’m just about fried. I’m sure you are as well.

One of the metaphors of Chanukah is oil, and we traditionally eat fried foods. I’m sure we’re all familiar of why oil is a central theme of Chanukah. I’d like to address being fried, and how to endure and stay strong even when you’re getting dipped into that hot oil.

The answer is simple: Friends. Friends who recognize when you’re overloaded and just step in to help out, and who pull you out of the fried before you’re burnt to a crisp. Where do you find those friends? I’m sure you know my answer: in the Temple auxiliaries: Sisterhood and MoTAS. By being involved with MoTAS, you will make friends for life — friends who are there for you just as they are there for TAS. This friendship crosses political and spiritual divides. It also deepens your connection to TAS as a whole, for those friends bring you into larger and larger circles, until the whole congregation becomes a supporting insulating layer to keep your temperature from rising, resulting in a meltdown.

As we end the calendar year with all the December craziness, remember that MoTAS is here for you. We hope to see you, and get to know you, at a future MoTAS event.

Preventive Maintenance

This month, it was my turn to present a D’var Torah at the TAS Board Meeting. The parasha was Noach, and as I wrote it during the Golf Tournament, I was struck by the preventive maintenance Noah did before loading the ark. MoTAS  is intimately familiar with preventative maintenance as we are often called upon to do it, both at the temple and at our homes.

Preventive maintenance can involve hand and power tools, but it can also involve tools as simple as a smile and a greeting. Everytime you greet and welcome someone to a MoTAS meeting or at a TAS Shabbat or event, you are performing preventive maintenance. Everytime you say “thank you” to a volunteer, you are performing preventive maintenance. You are maintaining the relationship of that person with MoTAS and with TAS, and possibly bringing it to the point where they will become more involved and more active (or they will stay active). This is critical: for if you ignore the preventive maintenance, as with equipment, you pay for it later.

My goal, with MoTAS, is to create a culture of preventive maintenance. If you haven’t participated in a MoTAS activity, we would love to have you join us. If you have volunteered to help us, we really appreciate your time and effort. Oh, and if you still want to do that physical preventive maintenance (this time, for the world), come and join MoTAS on Mitzvah Day, November 1, 2015.

Overwhelmed by Shabbabaque – We Want To Make It Right

The following will appear in this week’s MoTAS weekly, as well as being worked into a congregational message:

Wow! What a Shabbabaque! On Friday, August 21st, MoTAS (in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary Committee) hosted our 50th anniversary Shabbabaque. Attendance was amazing – with an extremely large number of last minute walk-ups at the door. We did our best to accommodate everyone, but some food items unfortunately ran out early (we based our purchases on the RSVPs by the Wednesday deadline plus volunteers and an allowance for typical late registrations and walkups). In our long string of successful Shabbabaques, this has very rarely happened. MoTAS wants participants in its events to walk away with a good feeling – if you left dissatisfied, please let us know and we will do what we can to make things right (including a refund, if appropriate). To do so, contact the MoTAS President, Daniel Faigin, at president@tasnorthridge-motas.org or the Treasurer, Roger Lowe, at treasurer@tasnorthridge.motas.org or 818-576-8980. Pictures will be on the TAS website shortly.

Our goal is to constantly improve our Shabbabaques — we can always make them better. To that end, we would love your comments on what worked well about the Shabbabaque (pluses), and where we can improve (deltas). We already know to order more food J . You can leave a comment on the event page at http://shab-bbq.tasnorthridge-motas.org/, or send an email with your pluses/deltas to president@tasnorthridge-motas.org. You can also comment on this post.