This will be a fun week, with our February meeting on Thursday and Bingotini on Saturday. The pair of events will be a contrast between the old and the new. For our February event, we are trying something new - you can bring an antique and have our expert give you an estimate of what it is worth. It will be a blast to see what special objects we all have hidden in our households. And Bingotini is a tried and true favorite. If you haven't RSVPed for Bingotini yet, you can still come, but please let us know - we want to be sure to set up enough tables. The February meeting is $5 (waived for Sisterhood members and Friends of Sisterhood) and Bingotini is $36 at the door.
Speaking of upcoming events, RSVPs for the ever popular Sisterhood seder are now open! Get your RSVP in early, because this event sells out! This year, our seder is on a WEDNESDAY - Wednesday, April 3. The theme this year is "Viva Pesach! Celebrating Latin American Jews."
For more information about any of these events, check out our website (tassisterhood.org) - The scrolling box has flyers for all three events. And after each event, be sure to go back to our website to check out the pictures we took!
Hopefully, you can make at least one of the events, because it won't be the same without you!
On the theme of "antiques" this week, we mention the Biblical story of Ruth. What is more antique than the Bible?! Everyone knows that Ruth was the Moabite daughter-in-law of Naomi, and that when Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem after the deaths of her husband and both her sons, Ruth went with her, saying, "For wherever you go, I will go; wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God."
But consider yourself a biblical scholar if you also knew that Ruth is the great-grandmother of King David. In biblical times, lineage was traced through the paternal line, and Ruth marries Naomi's cousin Boaz and has a son, Obed, who has a son, Jesse, who is David's father.
Here are more interesting facts about Ruth's story that are typically not taught in religious school. Before Boaz could be allowed to marry Ruth, another closer relative to Naomi (who is unnamed) had to reliquish his right/obligation to marry Ruth. Fortunately for Ruth and Boaz, the relative does do this and he ratifies his choice by taking off his shoe and handing it over to Boaz. An interesting way of "sealing the deal"! Can you imagine if that is how we certified deals nowadays?
Stay tuned for future interesting facts about Biblical stories that are typically not taught in religious school!
First a quick reminder about our meeting on Feb 21 where you can bring one Antique item and get an estimate of its value, and Bingotini on Feb 23. Hopefully you have already RSVPed for Bingotini if you can come. Go to our website (tassisterhood.org) for more information about either event.
Did you know that, of your membership dues, $18 goes to the our umbrella organization, the Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) and $2 goes to WRJ Pacific District? Why is our Sisterhood part of WRJ? Because of everything WRJ does to support Judaism, Jewish women and Jewish youth.
You could spend hours wandering around the WRJ website (www.wrj.org) learning about the multiple leadership and spiritual development programs, the upcoming conferences, conventions and trips, the funds WRJ provides to support rabbinic students, kids programs, Jewish camps, and other special projects, the work they do to promote social justice and their support of political activism to make the world a more equitable place.
Not only does WRJ make a difference at the National level, but our Sisterhood benefits from their programs as well. One example is WRJ's Chai Mitzvah program. Chai Mitzvah is a program to enhance Jewish engagement and deepen one's spiritual connection to Judaism. Like a book group, Chai Mitzvah network groups meet monthly with text-based source books on Jewish topics.
At our Sisterhood we have one Chai Mitzvah group. If there was enough interest, we would start a second group. Check out the Chai Mitzvah website (www.chaimitzvah.org) and if you are interested, let us know!
On the subject of spiritual leadership, have you heard of Sarah Schenirer? She was born in 1883 into a prominent rabbinic family in Cracow, Poland. Schenirer, who attended a Polish elementary school for eight years, envied her brothers the opportunities they had to learn Torah. In 1917 Schenirer decided to initiate some type of educational activity for the women of her community. First she organized a lecture series for adult women. Then she set up a kindergarten for girls. The school, called “Bais Ya’akov”, grew and grew. It is now a worldwide movement with tens of thousands of pupils in hundreds of institutions.
Have you sent in your check for Bingotini yet? It's Saturday, Feb 23 (7:30) - two days after Sisterhood's antique items meeting on Feb 21. Bingotini is always a fabulous event! Why don't you call some friends and fill a table? If you do, let us know and we will reserve seats for your group so you can all sit together.
RSVP by Feb 17 to get the $30 price. RSVP by sending a check payable to TAS Sisterhood to Sue Cohen, 22349 James Alan Circle, Chatsworth, CA, 91311 - or you can leave it at the Temple. You can even pay online using paypal or a credit card by using the donate button on the Sisterhood website (www.tassisterhood.org). If you pay online, please add a dollar per person to cover the paypal or credit card fees.
One of the reasons we work so hard to fundraise is to support our youth, who represent the future of Judaism. This has long been a priority of the Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ), the umbrella organization for our Sisterhood. Here is one paragraph from an article by Paul Reichenbach, Director of Camping and Israel Programs, Union for Reform Judaism, speaking about how WRJ's priorities and commitments changed his life*1.
"There is an extraordinary story to tell in celebrating the leadership role of the NFTS*2 calling for the establishment of our Union camps. Just as NFTS led the way to inspire the establishment of NFTY*3 in 1939, in 1950 a Sisterhood resolution was passed calling for the creation of residential camps for Reform Jewish youth. That audacious dream was fulfilled in 1952 with the founding of the Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute followed by Camp Saratoga (Swig) in 1953. By 1958 the UAHC*4 was operating five camps with the establishment of Union Camp Institute (Goldman), Harlam, and Eisner. By July 1, 2014, the URJ will operate 14 camps in the USA and Canada. This commitment to powerful immersive Jewish experiences for our young people has been sustained by the allocation of scholarship dollars by local sisterhoods making the dream of camp a reality for so many deserving children. It is estimated that the typical WRJ chapter allocates at least $2,000 a year for camp financial assistance.*5"
1) You can find the entire article at https://nfty.org/2013/12/03/it-takes-a-sisterhood-wrj-and-youth/
2) NFTS is the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, which was WRJ's name until 1993.
3) NFTY is the National Federation of Temple Youth, the umbrella organization for our youth group.
4) UAHC is the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, which was the URJ's name until 2003. The URJ is the umbrella organization for our Temple.
5) We are a "typical WRJ chapter"
So, come have a great time at Bingotini, and help us raise the money that we budget for camp financial assistance!
The TAS Purim Carnival Planning Committee is looking for a few more members. Expectations for committee members include attending four or five planning meetings with other TAS and TRZ committee members between now and March 24th. The Purim Carnival is a joint event by TAS and TRZ and will be held on Sunday, March 24, 2019 at Temple Ramat Zion. If you are interested in helping to plan this fun event please contact Rabbi Dalia Samansky at TAS.
We are so excited about our February meeting! On Feb 21, bring one of your treasures to our meeting, and Lori Tucci, a highly experienced appraiser and owner of Estate Sale Angels, will look at our items and appraise their value. It will be a lot of fun to find out what our special items are worth and tell their stories! As always, the $5 admission is waived for Sisterhood members and Friends of Sisterhood.
Thinking about ancient treasures, here is the story of Jodi Magness, and how good fortune can sometimes have problematic side-effects. Jodi Magness is an archaeology superstar who has published on excavations in Jerusalem, Qumran and Masada. Dr. Magness has participated on 20 different excavations in Israel and Greece. In 2012, Magness’s team on the Huqoq excavation uncovered stunningly preserved mosaics in a fifth-century C.E. (late Roman) synagogue. This one-of-a-kind find has completely changed Magness’s life for better and for worse.
“These discoveries have complicated my life in unexpected ways, some of them good, and some not-so-good,” Dr. Magness reflected in her Archaeological Views column A Lucky Discovery Complicates Life in the March/April 2015 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review.
“On the good side: The mosaics are truly spectacular and exciting and have attracted much media attention and interest. On the not-so-good side: The excavations have become a much longer-term project than I originally planned, and the cost of uncovering and conserving the mosaics has far exceeded our original budget, so that I must scramble to find new sources of funding each season."
I hope to see you at this Thursday's Sisterhood meeting. Our guest speaker, Rabbi Keara Stein, is fabulous and you will not regret coming to hear her speak on Interfaith families. As usual, the meeting starts at 7pm, and costs $5, although the fee is waived for Sisterhood members and Friends of Sisterhood.
While you are checking your calendar to make sure you are free Thursday, why not mark down our February events? Thursday, February 21 is our antiques show and Saturday, February 23 is the ever popular Bingotini.
To RSVP for Bingotini, send a check payable to Sisterhood care of Sue Cohen, 22349 James Alan Circle, Chatsworth, 91311. Bingotini is $30 for RSVPs before Feb 17 and $36 at the door.
Remember that, if you want to know what Sisterhood events are on our calendar, you can always go to tassisterhood.org. Click on "Events & Programs" on the menu bar or dropdown, and then "Upcoming Events".
Did you know that Bingo was named and popularized by a Jewish immigrant from Poland? When the game reached North America in 1929, it became known as "beano". It was first played at a carnival near Atlanta, Georgia. New York toy salesman Edwin S. Lowe, a Jewish immigrant from Poland, renamed it "bingo" after he overheard someone accidentally yell "bingo" instead of "beano."
Lowe hired a Columbia University math professor, Carl Leffler, to help him increase the number of combinations in bingo cards. By 1930, Leffler had invented 6,000 different bingo cards. They were developed so there would be fewer non-repeating number groups and conflicts when more than one person got Bingo at the same time.
Not only did Lowe's company produce bingo cards, he also developed and marketed the game Yahtzee, for which he bought the rights from a couple who played it on their yacht. His company was sold to Milton Bradley in 1973 for $26 million.
New Year's celebrations are over and the kids are back to school. Now on to a new year full of great Sisterhood events! Our first event of the year, "An Interfaith Conversation" will be on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 7pm in the Social Hall, and will feature a guest speaker, Rabbi Keara Stein, Director of InterfaithFamily/LA. So mark your calendar - you won't want to miss this. Click here to see the flyer.
In the spirit of the upcoming interfaith event, this week we're featuring Carolivia Herron, an American writer of children's and adult literature, a scholar of African-American Judaica and a convert to Judaism. Carolivia was born Carol Olivia Herron to Oscar Smith Herron and Georgia Carol Johnson, in Washington, D.C. on July 22, 1947. Herron converted to Judaism in adulthood, and later discovered that she had Jewish roots.
Herron has a BA in English from Eastern University in Pennsylvania. She earned an MA in English from Villanova University in 1973, and an MFA in creative writing and a PhD in comparative literature and literary theory from the University of Pennsylvania. Herron spent a year of postdoctoral research at Brandeis University studying African-American Jews. She has taught literature at many institutions, including Harvard University, Mount Holyoke College, Brandeis University, and Marien N'Guabi University in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo. Carolivia is a founding member of "Jews of African Descent".
Herron's writings include: her debut novel, Thereafter Johnnie, a semi-autobiographical portrayal of African-American life; her critically acclaimed but controversial picture book Nappy Hair, a call-and-response story based on her own experiences as a child; a children's book, Always an Olivia which recounts the coming of Herron's Jewish ancestors from Tripoli, Libya, to the Georgia Sea Islands in the Americas: and her latest book, Peacesong DC, a fictionalized autobiography.
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe
Our Sisterhood exists and thrives because of the volunteer spirit of our members. So if you have some time to give, there are a few volunteer opportunities available. Please look them over and respond if you're interested in participating.
The Sisterhood Hanukkah party was a wonderful festive evening. There was plenty of food and conversation, songs led by Cantor Ken, a ḥanukkiyot on each table, poetry readings and a gift exchange. There was something for everyone. It was a memorable holiday evening.
To continue with our theme of Amazing Jewish Women, this week we are featuring all of our own Sisterhood members who thoughtfully brought an original or a favorite Hanukkah-themed poem or reading to Thursday's party. The readings set a beautiful tone for the evening. Four of the women who participated wrote and read their original poems, and here they are. Enjoy!
I Saw the Light
by Sandy Robinson
When I first entered the doors at TAS
I was a practicing Methodist, no less!
I didn't even know I was a Jew!
The revelation was bolt out of the blue!
Now that I'm an official member of the Tribe,
I am so very blessed and I am truly alive!
I saw the light - as they sometimes say
And I enjoy being a Jew ALMOST every day!
Sometimes I find the light and sometimes it finds ME!
Most times, the light fills me with amazing glee!
I love the light of discovery when I'm studying Torah
The light from the sun, moon, stars and a shiny Menorah!
I love to see children's eyes light up in wonder,
Or see a show of lightening with a roar of thunder!
I love Friday night or High Holiday services when the eternal light I see,
MoTAS dinners out and Sisterhood activities make me happy as can be!
I enjoy performing Caring Community or Social Action Mitzvot,
It makes the humble light within me shine with nary a gloat!
In troubling times of worry and woe,
The light of god shows through with a mighty glow!
We need to remember - no matter the season or day or night
If one looks hard enough, one can ALWAYS find light!
Every Year We Celebrate
by Anita Hoch
Every year we celebrate
Latkes fill our pretty plate
The house is filled with friends and kin
Playing dreidel to see who’ll win
Andrew, Lyam, Mason, Judah
Chanukah is a real Hudah!
Again we’ll get together
Happy Chanukah birds of a feather
So shine pretty lights
8 fun filled nights
Lights from the Windows
by Laraine Miller
Lights from the windows
as I walk down the street,
bring warmth to my heart
in hopes that I will meet
family and friends,
from long ago and new,
in peace and freedom, too.
The Festival of Lights
Is joyful and fun
May we be blessed
With good health, love and hope –
She Said a Poem You Should Write
by Jackie Zev
תכתב שיר, היא אמרה
אל אור של חג חנוכה
אז השיר הזה כתבתי
וגם השיר קראתי
!ועכשיו השיר נגמר. אני שמחה
She said a poem you should write
On the Chanuka holiday light
This poem came from my head
And the poem to you I’ve read
And now the poem is over – Alright!
Thanksgiving feasting is done - on to Chanuka! We hope you can make it to our Chanuka celebration on Thursday, December 6 at 7pm! As usual, we will be enjoying home baked latkes, collecting gifts for Matanot Libenu (Fran Rosenfeld's gifts from the Heart), and having our annual gift exchange. To our traditional activities, this year we are adding poetry. Please either compose your own poem on the theme of light or find words written by others to share during our celebration.
Here is a poem to inspire you to write or find something better:
To show off their might
The Assyrians wanted to fight
Judah the Hammer said "NO!"
And defeated the foe
And that's why we kindle eight lights
If you can contribute latkes to our celebration or if you can volunteer to setup or cleanup, please let Karen Pelmont know - 818-635-9996. If you wish to participate in the gift exchange, we suggest you bring a wrapped gift with a value of around $15, but if the gift exchange is not to your liking, please come anyway - there will be other activities to participate in and enjoy.
In honor of great Jewish cooks (there have been so many!) we tell of Evelyn Rose, 1925-2003, who was the first woman commissioner at the British Meat and Livestock Commission, and was made an MBE* in 1989. She was also an honorary life fellow of the Institute of Home Economics, and a former chair of the National Guild of Food Writers. Rose wrote a weekly food column for the Jewish Chronicle from 1963 (never missing an issue) and wrote a food column for the wine magazine Decanter. Her magnum opus on Jewish cuisine, the Complete International Jewish Cookbook, was published in 1976, and has been revised three times since, most recently in 2011.
Her obituary in The Guardian described her singular accomplishment as the melding of "contemporary cooking with Jewish dietary laws, regulations that not only prohibit the use of pig meat and shellfish, but also the mixing of dairy products with meat". Evelyn Rose was also "highly aware of the changes in culinary trends, particularly the move away from the fatty foods so typical of traditional Jewish cooking ... her modern, health-conscious recipes exemplified the changes that had taken place over her long career."
Born in Manchester, Rose lived in the city all her life except for four years that she spent in the United States as an evacuee. During her time in the United States Rose worked as a secretary at the MGM studios in California. She was invited to audition for the lead role in National Velvet, which was won by Elizabeth Taylor.
Rose was an amazing and accomplished woman!
*MBE is The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. It is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organizations, and public service outside the Civil service.
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